Sunday, May 30, 2010

94.) Promises

Soundtrack Song - Incubus, Dig

I set the now empty shot glass upside-down on top of the bar, feeling the familiar but long-unfelt burn of the alcohol as it slid down my esophagus, hitting and splashing into my stomach. Then I pursed my lips and exhaled, fighting the uncomfortable feeling as my body ingested something it had forgotten how to handle. It didn’t matter what we were drinking, and I wasn’t even sure what it was—except for knowing that it was strong. The burn and discomfort complemented my annoyance.

The bartender stepped down across from us to collect our glasses, and I quickly ordered a Coke because I needed a chaser. The guys immediately asked for another round of shots, taking full advantage of the fact that they didn’t have to pay. It really didn’t even have anything to do with how I had been treated; these guys were VIPs, and the manager didn’t want to lose their business if they would decide not to come here anymore after that... episode.

Tucking my hair behind my ears with hands that were still shaking, I took a deep breath and tried to calm myself. I still had adrenaline coursing through my system from that dance-floor confrontation, and then my irritation piled on top of that was frustrating me. It had all happened so fast, and slugging that slime-ball had been a gut reaction. Maybe it was a tad over the top, to just punch him like that, but it was degrading and embarrassing to be treated that way in the middle of the floor in front of people that I knew.

It wasn’t until after I did it that it occurred to me that, maybe, perhaps, it was a bad idea to hit him; I backed up away from the grabby jerk, but I was fully prepared to stand my ground and tell him to fuck off. I was not—am not—a pushover.

And then Kris showed up, and I could tell by his posture alone that he was not happy. So I forgot all about myself and started to worry that Kris was going to get into a fight; I grabbed his shirt, ready to pull him back if I had to. Just the thought of him getting hurt in a fight over something that I had done made me sick with worry and concern.

A sick feeling that was being exacerbated by the alcohol currently churning in my stomach.

I was nothing short of relieved when that asshole left instead of retaliating. The guy was a pig, but I really didn’t think that he’d hit me back. I figured that I had proved my point that I didn’t want anything to do with him, so the ass would just call me a cunt and leave me alone. But hitting another man would be socially acceptable, meaning he could respond to his emasculation and punch Kris—which would be okay in the eyes of the other patrons.

Kris, of course, made sure I was okay, not at all caring that he himself almost engaged in fisticuffs. He was the ultimate, quintessential guy in how he wanted to protect and take care of his woman. It was reassuring to know that I had a man who was willing to stick up for me when things got rough, that he had my back, and that I could have relied on him for help if I had needed it. But he had so carelessly thrown himself into the middle of a situation that he could have stayed out of, because he had wanted to protect me when honestly, I didn’t need it. It was a nice sentiment, but I didn’t think that Kris would think I was a weakling incapable of watching out for myself.

I turned my head as I stood at the bar and looked back at him, who was still sitting in the booth. He had his back against the wall and his right leg stretched out across the seat. His sleeves were rolled up to his elbows, his tie was loosened around his neck, and the top button of his dress shirt was undone. Kris was looking across the table at Marc and Jamie, who were silent and nodding as Kris spoke rather animatedly, occasionally running his hand through his hair.

He had no right to act all pissy toward me for defending myself. I wasn’t even sure what instigated his attitude problem, because he didn’t seem angry that it had happened—he was more upset that I handled it all on my own. But what kind of girlfriend would that make me, if I made him fight my own battles? Even if I had needed Kris to step in, I wouldn’t have let him fight and potentially get hurt. I hated when Kris fought on the ice, so I definitely wouldn’t make him do it when it was completely unnecessary for him to do so. I couldn’t be responsible for that.

I had gladly let him lead me off the dance floor, glad that both of us were out of that sticky situation. In fact, I was still a little taken aback by everything that had so quickly happened in the matter of a span that had only lasted about ten seconds. But as soon as he copped that attitude about how I had chosen to handle the situation, I lost my patience with him. First, he wanted to insert himself into my fight—albeit, I’ll admit, with good intentions—but now he wanted to chastise me?

I knew that the entire situation sucked, and I wished that it hadn’t have happened. I wanted to be able to blame someone. Even though I knew it was stupid of me, a part of me wanted to blame Jamie. The dress was her idea; she was there with me when I got the tattoo of Kris’s number, and she wanted to doll me up in a way that would show it off and make Kris’s mouth fall to the floor. Well, that had worked... but apparently, he wasn’t the only one who had liked it. I knew it wasn’t her fault, but I should’ve said “no” to the dress.

In fact, maybe it was me who deserved the blame. Although I did occasionally like to get all fancy to look good for my boyfriend, I never went all out like this. My most extreme was that short, red silk dress I bought specifically for Valentine’s Day. But this was obviously dressing for attention. I knew that I hadn’t done anything intentionally to call that guy over, but still... why me? Out of all the girls here? I certainly wasn’t the prettiest, and practically every other girl here had bigger tits, so, once again, why me? Had I done something to attract him? I certainly must seem like a magnet for drama. Ugh, I’m a drama magnet.

And then, beyond that, a part of me wanted to fault Kris, too—which was just as equally ridiculous. I knew he hadn’t done anything wrong. But I kept thinking that if he hadn’t’ve wanted to get us drinks, and if he had immediately followed me out there to dance with me, then I wouldn’t have attracted the prick in the first place. But that was stupid, just me wanting to point a finger when there wasn’t any direction to point it at.

If anything had happened differently, like not wearing the dress or me not going out there to dance just yet, then maybe this would not have happened. I knew trying to find someone to place the blame on was a twisted coping mechanism, and I fought against focusing my anger on someone other than the douchebag who effected this, but who was gone.

The drunk had been kicked out of the club, I was no worse for wear because of it—even if I was mad about it, and now Kris and I were not getting along. I guess I had spoken too soon when I thought everything was falling into place out here in Cali with Kris.

Another shot was placed in front of me. My throat was still kind of burning; it’s amazing how your body can change once you give something up. “Ugh, I can’t,” I said, pushing it away. One of them, I didn’t really care who, picked it up and downed it like it was a gulp of water after a long, hard workout.

I wanted to forget all about what had just happened; the reason I left Kris sitting at the table was because he was going to ruminate on it and we were going to have some kind of fucking discussion about it, in which I did not want to take part. He was a play-it-safe kind of guy, and of course I knew that about him—but what was he fucking expecting from me? I left Kris because I didn’t want to talk about it, with anyone, but these guys around me thought it was, like, the coolest thing ever.

“Not a bad jab, Jo, but you would’ve been better off with a hook. More force,” Mitch said, like he was going to teach me how to fight and defend myself when he had just witnessed me do just that.

“Well, I didn’t have a lot of room to work with. Too hard to turn my body into it,” I explained, vaguely wondering in the back of my mind why I was even engaging in this talk. I was getting flashbacks of drinking at a bar with Kris’s teammates back in Pittsburgh, so I kept in mind everything that happened then and all those consequences. I didn’t need a repeat of that. And even though I was angry right now, a few drinks wasn’t going to change anything.

But I was also reminded of other, earlier memories of my life. Hanging out with these jocks was like how I spent my sophomore, junior, and part of my senior years in high school. These guys were oversized boys, like James’s teammates, except they had big paychecks and fat wallets to make them even more obnoxious.

They treated me pretty much the same way, too. In high school, I was the captain’s sister. James had made it clear to his teammates that I was off-limits, so they saw me as an annoying, tag-along little sister who could do no wrong. They thought that I impeded on their ability to have a good time, so they teased me and picked on me, tolerating my presence because I was a package deal; if James was going to hang out with them at the diner, then of course I was coming, too.

These guys saw me as the exact same thing—I was Kris’s tag-along girlfriend, probably some prissy, demanding girl that ate up all of his free time while I was around. Well, I was taking up all of his time, but only because we didn’t have a lot of time together before I had to leave again. They were silly, immature boys that had no idea about the deep, emotional connection that Kris and I shared; they’d never understand the many ways we needed each other. They were only tolerating me because I got them free drinks.

“If you started benching weights, I bet you could make it into the UFC,” he added with a cheesy smile, definitely exaggerating my skills as a fighter in order to make conversation with me.

“That’s okay, I’ll think I’ll pass on that. My hand hurts after one punch,” I told him. That guy’s jaw was hard as steel.

“But that works! All you really need is one good, solid hit for a K-O!”

We all laughed at Torrey’s enthusiasm. Logan chuckled and shook his head, switching the pace of our conversation as he spoke. “Man, the way Letang stormed over there, I thought for sure he was gonna deck that dude into next week. But then here’s this girl,” he laughed, gesturing toward me, “who does it for him.”

“What do you mean, ‘does it for him’?” I asked, squinting my eyes. I wasn’t even going to chew him out for the comment on my gender. “I didn’t do anything for him. I defended myself. I don’t doubt Kris would have, or could have, inflicted some real damage to that asshole. I’ve seen him fight, seen him stick up for his teammates on the ice,” I told them, thinking that they should already know this until I realized that Kris probably hadn’t been on the team long enough to form that kind of bond where he would vehemently go after someone from the opposing team after a questionable hit. “I thought for a moment that he was going to, and that I was going to have to hold him back.”

“Man, if my girl was out there getting manhandled like that, no one would have been able to hold me back. You best believe that asshole wouldn’t be walking out of here,” Logan grunted, implying whether he meant to or not that Kris was, at best, a pacifist—at worst, a pussy.

My temperature began to rise. “Oh yeah? So that’s why you just stood there, along with everyone else, as all that happened? Just watching? At least Kris isn’t all talk. He manned up and acted. He’s the kind of guy who’s always gonna have your back when you’re out on the ice. He’s the kind of guy who you want to have out there to back you up. So you might wanna watch your mouth before you talk like that.”

“Oooh, touchy,” he chuckled, not at all affected by anything I had just said. “It’s cute, the way you defend him.”

“I’m not defending him,” I countered. “Kris does not need me to defend him. I’m just letting you know that you’re being an absolute asshole. He’s your fucking teammate, so you should start acting like he is.”

Torrey added, “He’s the new guy. We’re just giving him a hard time. That doesn’t affect anything out on the ice.”

“He’s been here two weeks. What does he possibly have left to prove to you guys? As a matter of fact, I think you boys need to start giving him more credit and take a few pointers from him.”

“Come on, Jo. Now I think you’re over-exaggerating.”

“‘Over-exaggerating’ is redundant,” I bit out. “And I’m not. Because, you know, not only does Kris have a great girlfriend,” I gestured to myself as if I were a trophy or prize that any of them would be lucky to have, “but there’s the tiny detail of him already winning the Cup. Who among you boys have accomplished that feat yet? Hmm?” I paused dramatically, knowing that none of them could respond in the affirmative. “That’s what I thought. So maybe... just maybe... it would be worth your while to take a few tips from him, to learn from him, to mature.”

I took a hard, long swig from my Coke glass, as if all that talk had made me incredibly thirsty. It kind of did, because my throat was still burning from that shot of strong liquor. Then I sent my glass back on the bar, waiting for their response. I had taken my digs at them, showing them (just like I had with that drunk fool) that I wasn’t going to back down and let them poke their fun—neither at me, and definitely nor at Kris. Not when he would do anything for whomever his teammates were.

Jamie shook his head as the others stayed silent. “Wow, you know, you kind of sound like my mother.”

“Your mother must be a very smart woman,” I quickly returned, making him chuckle and nod.

The atmosphere at the bar was now just as uncomfortable, so I got the bartender’s attention and ordered two waters. He quickly filled two plastic cups with ice and water. Apparently, I wasn’t just a VIP; I was a VIVIP: a very important VIP. I left the boys at the bar to enjoy as many free drinks as they wanted, and I headed back to that far, corner booth.

Jamie noticed my approach first, and she cleared her throat and darted her eyes between Kris and me so he and Marc got the idea that I was coming back over. It wouldn’t take a genius to realize they’d been talking about me. When it dawned on Kris, he sat up straight and removed his leg from the bench seat so I could slide in next to him. I set down one of the cups in front of him, giving him a peace offering as I said quietly, “Here.” Just because I wasn’t happy with him didn’t mean I loved him any less. No argument would ever change how I felt about him.

“Uh, thanks, Jo,” he replied, his fingers curling around the cup without him picking it up to drink. I could feel his eyes on me, watching me carefully and analytically as I peered out on the dance floor just so I didn’t have to look at any of them. I’d left after a biting exchange with Kris, so neither of us was too pleased with how the night was transpiring. It wasn’t that I was giving him the cold shoulder; I knew, however, that he still wanted to talk and this wasn’t the time or the place to do it.

The awkwardness was palpable, but this was the better alternative considering I could have stayed at the bar with the others. Jamie tried to ease the tension by generating some small talk. “So, I do have to work in the morning, so I wasn’t planning on staying out too late.”

Marc caught on to her drift and replied with, “Uh, yeah, well, we’re leaving tomorrow after our practice. I mean, so, I shouldn’t be out too late either. With practice and traveling and all. Right, Letang?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah, right. Shouldn’t be out late,” he mumbled. Kris released his hold on his cup and put that hand at the small of my back; his fingers were cold, and I instantly shivered and fidgeted. He asked me, “Do you just wanna go now?”

We hadn’t even been here fifteen minutes. The sooner we left, the sooner Kris would want to have this stupid conversation that I wanted to avoid—I really didn’t want to be lectured on how reckless I had been. I wasn’t a demure, delicate lady, and I never was going to be. He knew this about me, yet he still was making an issue out of this. “I don’t know. Not really, but if you need to get some sleep....”

Marc pulled out his keys from his pocket and twirled the key ring around his index finger. “Want a ride?”

“No,” Kris denied with a shake of his head. “We’ll catch a cab. See you tomorrow, though.”

“Wait, Jamie,” I called out as they got up to walk away. “Your dress.”

It seemed like such a waste now, that she had spent almost an hour helping me get ready to go out as she picked out the dress, a pair of heels to match, straightened my hair, and helped me apply all this make-up to only be out for a quarter of an hour, and even worse to have that be a miserable time on top of it.

“That’s okay, I’ll get it back from you later,” she replied, giving me a small wave. “We’ll figure it out. Have a good night.”

I stopped myself from snorting indignantly. A good night? Our night had already been ruined. Standing, I waited for Kris to get up and lead the way. Since I was annoyed and a little pissed off, I figured it would just be easier to let him do whatever. He liked the control, obviously, and I was too apathetic at this point to care.

Kris brought me over to the bar to tell the guys that were heading out. “We’re taking off. See you guys tomorrow at practice.”

“Leaving so soon?” Logan asked, leaning against the ledge of the bar on his elbows.

“Yeah. Practice tomorrow, then we head to Vancouver, so... yeah,” Kris answered, very matter-of-factly.

“’Kay. We’ll see ya tomorrow, then,” Torrey said, giving the both of us a nod as he made eye contact. It felt kind of formal and weird, but we had other things on our minds, so we left without saying anything back.

The taxi ride was painfully silent as we were driven back to the Alameda. Neither of us spoke; Kris reached for my hand on my lap, lacing his fingers through mine as it lay on my thigh. I squeezed it, not bothering to stop looking out the window at the passing city to glance over at him. It was still awkward between us, but fight or no fight, there was still the knowledge in our heads that we were supposed to making every second of my visit count. We weren’t supposed to be upset with each other.

As soon as we were dropped off, Kris paid the driver and then opened the hotel room door, I headed straight into the bathroom, where I closed and locked the door. I still wasn’t prepared to hash this out with him, so I peeled the dress off, kicked the heels from my feet, and then proceeded to get ready for bed. I pulled my hair back into a ponytail, brushed my teeth, and scrubbed my face free of make-up and any sweat until my skin was pink.

I hadn’t brought many clothes with me since I figured Kris and I would be holed up together a lot of the time. Because of that, I ended up wearing a lot of his shirts. There wasn’t much in the bathroom, but there was his button-down from Saturday’s game, so I tossed that on and buttoned it up, except for the top two buttons. I wished I had underwear or socks, but my stuff was in the main room and I didn’t want to go through it and invite this conversation to happen. So I left the bathroom and immediately pulled back the covers and got into bed. Probably the best thing about staying in a hotel is that your bed gets made for you. That, and you never have to worry about running out of soap or shampoo.

“Good night,” I told him, rolling over so my back was toward him.

“Jo,” Kris started, standing on the other side of the bed. He was stripped down to his undershirt and his boxers and his socks, ready for bed but moreso, ready to talk.

“No,” I blurted out, moving onto my back. “I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to fight with you. I don’t want to talk about this. I don’t want to spend tonight listening to you tell me that I shouldn’t have done what I did, or for me to try to explain to you that I did what I had to do. I just don’t want to.”

He sat down on the opposite side of the bed, still leaving some distance between us, but he was looking down at me as I lay there. “So what? You want to go to bed mad, pretending like this didn’t happen? You want me to leave tomorrow without resolving this, so we spend our day apart still ticked off with no way of fixing it, and then I come back and we’re still upset about all this?”

“No,” I repeated. “I don’t want that either. I do want you to understand that shit like this happens, Kris, and I handled the situation. Do you think that’s the first—or last—time I’ve been approached by some handsy dude? ’Cause it’s not, nor will it be. This was just taken to the extreme, by him and by me. I appreciate that you wanted to help or whatever, and, you know, maybe I could’ve been a little calmer, but I just reacted. And everything turned out fine.”

“Fine? That is not an appropriate way for you to react, Jo,” he scolded, and I didn’t know how to take that. Was this still because I was supposed to be a weak, incompetent girl? Or did he just higher standards for me? Was I too crude for his tastes?

“He was making a total fool out of me! It was disgusting. I do not need to be made a mockery of in front of an entire room of people, and then have someone come in and take care of it for me. I don’t need you to fix things for me. That’s just fucking embarrassing. It’s demeaning and degrading. I needed to stick up for myself, and that’s what I did. Shouldn’t you be proud of me for handling it on my own? For not needing you?”

“You can’t just go around punching people!” he hollered exasperatedly, waving his hand around in the air.

“I thought you wanted to me to be able to take care of myself!” I yelled at him, tossing back the covers off my torso and sitting up. I was throwing all this back into his face, seemingly out of nowhere, but I couldn’t help it. The words spewed from my mouth of their own volition. “Isn’t that what you said, hmm? You said you couldn’t watch over me all the time. That you didn’t want to have to worry about me. Remember that? You said that after I got drugged. You were so fucking upset, and I felt so bad that I hurt you, so I stopped drinking, I stopped smoking—but that obviously didn’t solve the problem, did it? The whole point you made behind that was in case something happened, you wanted me to be okay enough to handle it. So now, when a ‘something’ presented itself tonight, I took care of it. Just what you wanted. So what else do you want from me?”

“That is what I wanted, but you don’t seem to realize that this isn’t about what you are or are not capable of. Although I will admit that I didn’t expect you to haul off and hit him. This is about your safety—that’s my number one concern here. You’re lucky he just slunk off instead of wanted to come back at you harder. People are crazy! You don’t know how he would have reacted. I don’t know what would’ve happened if I hadn’t’ve stepped in.”

“Well, then, it’s a damn good thing you were there, huh?” I spat out sarcastically. “Why is it that everyone else didn’t have a problem with it, and you did? Do you need to feel like a ‘man’ and protect me? Then go find a girl who needs that, because I don’t.”

“Of course I want to protect you, Jo! You could have incurred a lot worse than unwarranted attention—that’s what this is about. You wanna handle that situation on your own? Fine. But don’t do it like that. You put your safety at risk by picking a fight with a guy, someone bigger and stronger than you. Plus he was intoxicated, making it even more dangerous.”

“Oh, but it would have been okay for you to hit him? Don’t be such a fucking hypocrite here, Kris. He could have hit you, too, you know. You guys could have gotten into an all-out brawl, and you could have gotten really hurt. So don’t pull this bullshit out on me about my safety. Because the last thing I wanted to see was you take a punch because you stood up for me.”

“You still just don’t get it. I’d be able to take anything that guy threw at me. You can punch, Jo, I’ll give you that. You can fight, but can you take it? That guy was drunk, he obviously had no inhibitions, and he wouldn’t have held anything back just because you’re a girl. There’s no telling how people are going to react when under the influence. That’s dangerous. I know that. I know that well.”

A bit of my anger subsided, once I understood where he was coming from. He still wouldn’t come right out and say it, but I knew. I reached out for his arm, touching him lightly. My tone was softer, even though I wasn’t markedly less upset with him. “Kris, not every intoxicated man out there is your father.”

“All it takes is just a little alcohol to change people, Jo. You know. You’ve seen it, too.”

I resisted the urge to scream. My dad was a depressed drunk, not an angry drunk. “I don’t think alcohol changes people. I think it magnifies their feelings and tendencies. Alcohol doesn’t make you do something that you don’t want to do; it’s not like it’s crack or something. Just because he was drunk doesn’t mean he was going to hurt me, and someone can hurt me who isn’t drunk. Correlation does not imply causation. Just because your dad got physical when he drank doesn’t mean all people do.”

“He already had his hands all over you. I told you, I saw it all, and I didn’t get jealous because I knew it was an honest mistake and you weren’t trying to dance with some other guy. But he wouldn’t stop. Damn it, Jo, I was so fucking worried he was going to hurt you. I can’t...” he paused, taking a deep breath as he looked away from. “You don’t understand. I can’t see anything happen to you.”

“Nothing’s going to happen to me, babe. You don’t have to worry about me so much.” I squeezed his arm and tried to get him to look at me again, but he wouldn’t, so I moved next to him. “Hey, babe. Kris,” I cooed, trying to make him face me. That’s when I realized that this went much deeper than whatever happened at the club tonight.

Like so many things in our lives, this came back to one of his life experiences that affected him so deeply. This wasn’t about me, at least not solely; it was about Luc. His best friend had been the one person he had to turn to, who he could have fun with and talk to about anything, until he had senselessly been taken away from him. Kris was now irrationally afraid to lose another person he loved so much. That hadn’t been a life-or-death situation, but it was still enough to shake him up to see me in harm’s way.

“I just... I saw you in danger, and I had to come over and help. It was such a precarious situation, and I wanted to take care of it so you’d be safe,” he told me. I wasn’t sure whether or not Kris knew that he was trying to compensate for the helplessness he felt when Luc had died, and Kris couldn’t do a thing about it.

I wanted to tell Kris that we were all always in danger. Maybe we didn’t think about it every second of every day, but we all live in immediate danger. Every time I get in my car, every time he walks down the road to the Tank... something could happen to either one of us at any time. Life can be short and cruel, and we knew that well. That’s why we had to enjoy the moments we had together and live them to their fullest potential.

But I didn’t say that. He knew all that; that’s why he chose caution and safety while I chose mirth and revelry. We were still struggling to find that middle ground of compromise. Tonight exemplified that, because we had been so caught up in excitement over spending our week together that the big issues didn’t seem to matter.

So instead, all I said was, “I know.” I didn’t say that I didn’t need or want him to act that way. In a tougher situation, it would be reassuring to know Kris would back me up or help out. Hell, even though it had annoyed me, it was kind of cute that he wanted to be so protective. In a weird way, it let me know how much he cared by wanting to take the brunt of an attack for me.

“I just need to know you’re safe,” he said, finally turning his head. There was such sadness in brown eyes.

So much sadness that I couldn’t help myself from swearing something to him that I couldn’t possibly guarantee. “Kristopher, nothing’s ever going to happen to me. You don’t have to worry about me, or wonder if I’ll be okay. That’s the last thing that should ever be on your mind, because I’m someone, something that you can always count on. No matter what, I’ll always be there for you whenever you need me. Always. Forever.”

Kris didn’t say anything else. Without any spoken words, we awkwardly lay down on the bed so that I was on my back, and his head was on my chest. I had one arm around his chest and shoulders to hold him, and my free hand was playing with his hair and lightly scratching his head as I did my best to comfort him the only way I knew how. Because I had wanted to soothe him, I didn’t even notice that I was on my back and my tattoo wasn’t hurting anymore.

After about ten minutes of that, Kris readjusted his body position, rolling over and getting on top of me. I spread my legs to accommodate him as he held himself up with those big, strong arms of his. He kissed me gently and slowly, and he probed my mouth with his tongue so thoroughly that I was glad I brushed my teeth. I wrapped my arms and legs around him, tangling my body with his. Then Kris put all his weight onto one hand so he could begin unfastening the buttons of my shirt. When most of them were undone, except for a few at the bottom, he pulled one of the sides away, baring my right breast to him.

He stopped kissing me so he could see what he was doing. First, his fingers lightly circled my breast, swirling closer to my nipple with each turn. But he didn’t touch it. He observed the way my body was responding to him as my nipple got hard and my back arched and I licked my lips and moaned as a way to beg him to continue. Then he did the same thing with his tongue, circling around until this time, he touched the sensitive nub, pulling it between his lips and softly clamping down on it.

Sex was always incredible with Kris, because he always put the effort in to make sure I was happy and enjoying it. He knew that as long as I was enjoying it and having a good time, then he would be, too. Having sex at a time like this, when we were so open and in tune with each other was even more amazing because emotions were running high, sensations were heightened, and we were so eager to please each other that we’d forsake our own gratification for the other’s.

I grabbed at his shirt and pulled it over his head as quickly as I could. His mouth separated from my nipple in the process. When he turned his attention back to it, he blew cool air over it, and that with the combination of his saliva sent me into a fit of chills and anticipation. I reached down and pulled his dick out of his gray boxers, stroking him slowly to drive him crazy; I could feel how wet I was already getting for him, and I wanted him inside me so desperately.

He grabbed my wrist and made me let go of him, pinning my hand down against the mattress. “Not yet.” He kissed me on the mouth and then dragged his mouth down my body, insisting on tasting me everywhere first, before he let me repay the favor and join our bodies as one.


  1. i love this story so much. your writing is amazing and I am going to be so sad when this story is over!!!!

  2. Things between these two are always so much more complicated than we expect. What seems to be a fight in a bar turns out to raise a lot of past experiences, none of them positive. It's too bad that things can't go smoothly, but every time they seem to understand each other a little more quickly. Maybe eventually they can avoid all the painful times.

    Just some lines I loved in this post:

    "I should’ve said “no” to the dress." Haha, the old TLC shout out, or is this a hint of things to come?

    "Well, I didn’t have a lot of room to work with. Too hard to turn my body into it,” I find it so funny that Jo can engage in this technical fighting discussion after all the emotional thinking. Just what makes her unique and kinda cool.

    "He’s your fucking teammate, so you should start acting like he is.” Amen, sister. You boys better listen up. Well, maybe after the Vancouver game, because I remember the Sharks spanking my Canucks too frequently this season.

    "I wanted to tell Kris that we were all always in danger. Maybe we didn’t think about it every second of every day, but we all live in immediate danger."
    Bong, bong. The reverberating of the words of the fricking title of this story, Jo gets to say them and they make all their issues make even more sense. Genius.

  3. I didn't think about the loss of Luc being part of Kris's reaction. I thought it was about a little boy who couldn't protect his mother from a drunk. But it comes down to the same thing, Kris wants to keep the people he loves safe. I don't understand how that can be a bad thing. Plus I agree with him.
    A.)Taking care of yourself doesn't mean you punch people assuming they won't punch back.
    **You wanna handle that situation on your own? Fine. But don’t do it like that. You put your safety at risk by picking a fight with a guy, someone bigger and stronger than you. Plus he was intoxicated, making it even more dangerous.”** We will never know what would have happened if Kris hadn't stepped in.

    B.)If you don't want Kris to get hit standing up for you. ** Just the thought of him getting hurt in a fight over something that I had done made me sick with worry and concern.**
    Then don't put him in that situation. Do you think he (or any decent guy) would stand by and watch this guy hit you, so you can prove you can protect yourself? Would you want him to?
    “Oh yeah? So that’s why you just stood there, along with everyone else, as all that happened? Just watching? At least Kris isn’t all talk. He manned up and acted.**
    Take away my feminist card if you want, but if I'm in physical danger I want my man to intervene.

    C.)**I wanted to tell Kris that we were all always in danger.** He knows. That's why he wants to manage the danger we have some control over. You don't stand in front of a moving train, poke a bull with a short stick or punch a drunk unless that's the last resort.
    **“Nothing’s going to happen to me, babe. You don’t have to worry about me so much.”** Would be so much more convincing if shit didn't keep happening to you.:)

    So much sadness that I couldn’t help myself from swearing something to him that I couldn’t possibly guarantee. “Kristopher, nothing’s ever going to happen to me. You don’t have to worry about me, or wonder if I’ll be okay. That’s the last thing that should ever be on your mind, because I’m someone, something that you can always count on. No matter what, I’ll always be there for you whenever you need me. Always. Forever.”
    Don't worry Jo he knows you can't guarantee it any more than Luc could.
    End of Rant

    Yeah they get to have slow hot make up sex! I'm a perv so feel free to tell us some details...

  4. Wow - there was a little part of me that got worried that you were going to split them up through this argument.

    I loved how Jo told the guys on the team how it is - someone has to or needs to and Kris isn't in that position.

    "bodies as one" -> and next marriage as one???
    Jay you're such a tease if this is going where I think it is, or maybe I'm reading TOO much into your choice of words.

  5. So the differences in Jo and Kris rear their ugly head. I must admit, as much as I, well, I din't *enjoy* per se, but was relieved that Jo and Kris had a spat, it is because we have learned through this whole story, right from the beginning how completely different they are. They have learned to grow and love each other through acceptance and compromise and I think if either one of them lost themselves in their relationship it would really make this a sad story. This fight, their argument, the roots in Luc and Kris' dad and Kris' nature to protect her and Jo's nature to well, take things into her own hands really proved to me that they are still those characters that I had grown to love from day one, just by some stroke of genious writing and incredibly deep and meaningful love, they work through their differences because they know that they are better together, they have grown together without sacrificing who they really were. As I mentionned, I have fallen in love with these characters, so if Jo lost her tenacity or Kris lost his 'safety-first' and protector mentality because they were comforming to the other's wishes I think it would be a great loss.

    This chapter was excellent at exemplifying why they work, because they aren't the same, they are very, very different and the two extremes, the compromise and relationship building really makes Kris and Jo everything that I love about the two of them in their relationship.

    Bravo, a lot of really important and significant things in this chapter and it was written very well, a typical Jo/Kris hashing out the bullshit conversation. They are so honest with each other that is incredible.

    Plus, Incubus, Dig, is my future first dance song at my wedding and a perfect fit for this chapter. Get out of my brain though, okay? The music similarities are getting freaky. :)

    p.s. If you turn this into something morbid and ruin Jo's promise to Kris I will be a mess, please don't do that to me.

  6. I am with K's p.s. No morbidity allowed.

    I loved this chapter because of the fact that Jo could see below the surface of what Kris was trying to get at when he was so upset with her for hitting that guy. I love that she hit that guy! Go Jo go! However, I feel Kris' pain at the thought of another loss, as well.

    Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous!

  7. I just have one comment....


  8. So I wonder if she'd be drinking if she hadn't gotten into the little tiff with Kris? I don't like to think about her doing it just to spite him, but I'm sure that's part of it. I really hope that she doesn't do something she regrets... she needs to spend as much time being happy with Kris as possible.

    "I didn’t need it. It was a nice sentiment, but I didn’t think that Kris would think I was a weakling incapable of watching out for myself."
    ^^ I don't really think that that was where Kris was coming from (I could be wrong of course), but I took it more as a... he loves her and wanted to protect her. He wanted to be able to jump in and be her hero... not because he thinks she's weak and incapable of dealing with things... but because he loves her and he doesn't want to risk anything bad happeneing to her.
    I know that at situations like that, you don't really realize the danger right away, but it was a messed up situation and it could have gotten out of control quickly.

    "I hated when Kris fought on the ice, so I definitely wouldn’t make him do it when it was completely unnecessary for him to do so. I couldn’t be responsible for that."
    ^^ Ok I understand where Jo is coming from... but I find it humours that she thinks Kris fighting during hockey is necessary, but fighting to defend the woman he loves wouldn't be.

    Ok shit... I got sucked in at the end and forgot to pick parts out. lol
    Basically, I thought it was phenomenal. The fact that I'm sitting in the food court and I'm on the edge of my seat, completely enthralled in their conversation to the point that my face in 4 inches from the screen; should be enough to tell you how fantastic it was.

    I love Jo and Kris and I know that there are going to be times like this, times when they disagree and don't get along, but they love each other and at the end of the day they only want what's best for the other person. I think they have the sort if relationship that everyone wants... the good and the bad.

    Amazing, like always... but now I have to sit with the fact that this time together is almost over... =(