Saturday, July 17, 2010

110.) Schmoopy

When I stepped out of the bathroom, they guys were—thank goodness—gone. I had heard Kris yelling at them to leave, and although it had kind of been a rude awakening, the boys hadn’t been trying to be mean or annoying. We had kind of disappeared yesterday, and I think that this had been their way of checking up on us and making sure that we were having a good time together.

While irritating, it was cute, too. They had his best interests at heart, even though they were acting like total guys about it. What else could we expect from them, though? It’s like they wanted to make sure all was well with Kris, and it was the first time that I really felt like the guys were watching out for him—thereby accepting him fully into their group. Kris was more than just a guy in a Sharks jersey; he was a part of their team.

Kris was dressing in black, mesh, basketball shorts and a black Sharks tee. I really didn’t want to see him put a shirt on and cover his sexy body, but I wouldn’t want him going down to partake in the complimentary continental breakfast and showing it off to anyone else. His body was all mine. All I wanted to do was rip that shirt right back off him and keep him hostage for the rest of the day, but I refrained, for his sake.

I tossed the bed sheet back on the mattress and started to dress myself, slipping back into my panties and yesterday’s khaki shorts and blue shirt; I didn’t pack any other clothes, except for my Letang jersey to wear to the game tonight. But I don’t think Kris noticed at all what I was wearing. He smiled broadly at me when I plopped down on the bed, waiting for him to step into his Reebok flip-flips so we could get our grub on.

“Are you sure you wanna go down for breakfast? We could order up again,” he suggested.

Shrugging, I let him make the decision. “It’s your birthday, so whatever you wanna do is fine with me. We can hang out with the guys, or stay up here.”

“I mean, I told them that we’d come down, but we don’t have to.”

Then I laughed. “I told you, babe, whatever you want. We can go.”

“Okay, then let’s go down before they eat all the food. We’ll be lucky if there’s anything good left. That is... unless I get my present now?”

“Not yet. When the time is right, you’ll get it.” I raised my arms into the air and waggled my fingers at him. “Help me up.”

“Lazy,” he teased, but he grabbed my hands and gently pulled me to my feet again.

“No, I’m just helping you warm up, you know, stretch your muscles and all that,” I giggled, wrapping my arm around his and squeezing his strong, thick bicep. His arms were so hot, and I sighed as he put that arm around my shoulders and pulled me against his side.

“These muscles?” he joked, flexing with his free arm. Through the thin, cotton fabric of his shirt, I watched his bicep bulge. I swear, Kris’s body could put Superman’s to shame.

“Oh, yeah. You wouldn’t wanna cramp up during the game.”

“Then I guess I’d better make sure I’m ready,” he laughed, swiftly bending down and hoisting me over his shoulder. I squealed in surprise and giggled with delight as he manhandled me. “This’ll do the trick.”

“Don’t you dare hurt yourself before the game,” I warned. “I did not come all this way to see you sit on the bench, you know.”

“This is fine. See?”

I felt as he twisted at the waist and then did a squat—just to show off. “Look at that big, ole gluteus maximus.” I gave him a quick slap to the ass, trying to get a reaction out of him.

“Hey, watch it,” he growled playfully, starting toward the door.

“I am watching it.” This time, I pinched it, laughing at my own joke before I said it. “More like gluteus sexy-us. Mmhmm.”

Kris put me down with a sigh. “Will you stop talking about my butt?”

Pouting out my lip, I said, “Why would I wanna do that? I like it so much that I have to talk about it.”

He just shook his head as he grabbed my hand. That’s how we made our way down to the ground floor for our morning meal. We got off the elevator and could smell the eggs and bacon and orange juice as the scent of breakfast wafted through the lobby. We followed our noses into an adjoining room, where all the food was spread out on a table. Surprisingly, there was still a lot of food, even though it looked like most of the guys had eaten already. The staff had to have known that a bunch of hungry hockey players were staying, because there was absolutely no shortage of any food.

We headed straight for the buffet line, and we grabbed plates and piled them high with food. Even though we had eaten plenty last night, we felt starved. Then we walked over to where our morning intruders were sitting at a full table in the corner. They were nice and polite about us joining them, pulling over chairs for us instead of letting us sit alone at a nearby table. It was almost... weird of them.

Although they were all actively avoiding any conversation related to tonight’s game specifically or even hockey in general, I could see that they were all amped and revved up to get out on the ice at seven. I couldn’t imagine what must have been going through their head. All that anticipation and competition would have driven me nuts.

Kris ate healthily: a banana, yogurt, granola, orange juice, eggs, and toast. I, on the other hand, ate eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, and a giant cup of coffee. Kris scrunched up his face as I doused my eggs and potatoes with ketchup, but he didn’t say anything since he knew how I ate. But Logan made a gagging sound, not afraid to voice his disgust. “Ew. Really? Ketchup on your eggs?”

“It’s good,” I told him, shoveling a huge forkful past my lips to prove the point to him. My next two words were mumbled, and a bit of egg fell out of my mouth in the process, but I think he got the point. “Want some?”

Real classy, Jo,” he laughed. I held my napkin in front of my face as I laughed, so no one would have to see. “God, Tanger, and you put up with this on a regular basis? Gross.”

He smiled at me as he took a sideways glance in my direction. I could act like a lady when it mattered, but it was so easy to goof around with the guys—especially when they were being open and pleasant with us like this. Kris nudged me and teased, “I’m still training her on table manners.”

I whined, “Heeyy. I’m a good girlfriend.”

“Yes, you are,” he quietly said in my ear, slipping his arm around the back of my chair and leaning down to plant a kiss on my cheek. “The best. I mean, who else would fly out to Denver to spend the day with me?”

The guys groaned, and Torrey pretended to hold his stomach. “Gonna vomit. The mushiness is more disgusting than ketchup on eggs!”

“It’s like that schmoopy episode of Seinfeld,” Logan complained. “I feel like George.”

“No soup for you!” Pickles laughed, imitating the Soup Nazi from the same episode. I could tell that they had nothing better to do than sit around and watch television all day. Which was probably especially true during the playoffs, when they wouldn’t go out to the clubs or otherwise occupy themselves with liquor and girls. All they had at a time like this was TV.

My boyfriend, however, looked a little lost; he must not have seen this episode, which shouldn’t have been allowed, since it was one of the funniest episodes of any show ever. The conversation moved on, though, and continued to morph and adapt as the guys forced themselves to talk about anything other than the game that night. They talked a little more about Seinfeld and then other shows, and when the discussion lulled, Torrey even asked me about my classes. I almost choked on my eggs because I was so surprised by that.

We hung out until the rest of the team began congregating in the lobby, ready for the team bus to take them to the arena for their morning skate. Kris moved to hand me the room key, so I could hang out in his room while they were gone.

“Stay outta trouble while I’m gone?” he said playfully as my fingers curled around the card, ready to take it from him. “No pay-per-view movies. And stay outta the minibar—the team doesn’t pay for that, and that comes out of our pockets.” I thought he was done, but he wasn’t; he got more serious as he reached back into his pocket and grabbed his wallet, pulling out a couple fifties. “If you wanna go walk around, go shopping, eat, whatever, that’s fine. We won’t get back for three, maybe four hours, and then we’re gonna eat again before our naps. So be back by around one thirty?”

“I was just gonna take a shower and hang out while you were at practice, Kris,” I mumbled, looking at the money now in my hand. “I don’t need this. I don’t want it, either.”

He shrugged. “Well, it’s my birthday, so you’re not allowed to argue with me. Please take it. You can spend it or not spend it if you so choose, but I know last minute plane tickets aren’t cheap, and—”

“But I came out here for your birthday. I’m not taking your money for that, because it’s like making you pay for your own—”

“Ah, ah, ah,” he chuckled, cutting me off. “You even said that coming out here wasn’t my present, so you have no reason to object to this. Listen, if it had even occurred to me that I could have you fly out to see me... if I had at all that it was possible or a feasible plan... then I would have sent you a ticket faster you can say, ‘San José, here I come,’ because I want to spend time with you as much as you want to spend it with me. So please, just take it.”

I fidgeted, unsure about letting him give me that cash. As I shifted my weight to one leg, I turned my head to the side and saw the guys looking over at us. They all sharply looked away and tried to give the appearance that they hadn’t been listening—but they only looked like they were trying to pretend to have not been listening, and failing miserable at that as well.

My mouth fell open, but I still didn’t have a response for him. I wanted today to be the greatest day of the year (so far) for him, and I didn’t want to argue... but I didn’t want him to give me money, regardless of the excuse. It was one thing when he paid for things while we were out and about, but I didn’t like him just giving me money for the sake of giving me money. Even if I only had fifty-two dollars and thirty-seven cents in the bank to last me until Friday, this trip had been a worthwhile investment for the welfare of our relationship.

Before I could find a way to diplomatically say “no,” I felt Kris’s hand in my pocket as he shoved the crisp bills into my shorts. My hand circled his forearm—or at least as much as I could, considering the girth of his arm—and tried to protest again. “Hey, Kris! Don’t!”

He pressed his mouth against mine with a hard, quick kiss, and he left before I could fight him anymore. He did glance back at me, his hair falling into his eyes, but I recognized his rakish grin. Kris was pretty laid back about a lot of things and he was never pushy or demanding—unless it was something he was adamant about. That’s how I could always tell if it was something he cared a lot for, because he’d make sure it happened if he wanted it to.

I pressed the button for the elevator. When the doors opened, Rob Blake and Patrick Marleau stepped out of the car. Rob nodded at me. “So, you made it. Was he surprised?”

“Yeah,” I replied, beaming. “He had no clue. Kris was so surprised, and he was happy to see me.”

“I’m sure he was,” he laughed.

“Have a good skate,” I bade him, stepping into the elevator before the doors closed and riding it up to the fifth floor. I was going to stick to my original plan to take a nice, long, hot shower, and then to just chill out and veg until Kris came back. Today was all about him, and all I wanted to do when I came out here was to spend the time with him. If we were in San José, I would have gone to his skate, but since I probably wasn’t supposed to be here in Denver as a distraction, tagging along would have been a bad idea. It wasn’t a big deal to wait for him, though. After all, we’d been apart for a month and a half; a few hours was nothing compared to that.

I yawned as I let myself into the room, and then I quickly stripped down and took that shower I was dying for. Since I was a busy person, I never took long, luxurious showers. When I did get an opportunity, the unit below mine usually emptied the hot water tank that our apartments shared so I got maybe five minutes with warm water. This was going to be a nice chance for me to just relax. My shower must have lasted for half an hour, and my skin was warm and bright pink when I finally turned off the water. The mirror was fogged, and I wiped it clear so I could brush my hair and teeth.

Putting Kris’s dress shirt from yesterday back on, I plopped back on his bed. Since the guys were only here for one night—last night—the maids hadn’t come back in to clean the room, so the sheets were rumpled and askew. But best of all, the bed still smelled like Kris. That was one thing about him that I missed so much. At home, when his pillowcase still smelled like his shampoo, it was a little easier to pretend that he was around, and just away for the time being. Once the scent dissipated, though, I only had my memories to rely on; otherwise, it was like he was never there. He’d been gone for so long, and we’d only been living together for a couple of months when he got traded, that it was getting harder to remember what it was like to live with him on a permanent basis.

I couldn’t wait for all that to change when this damn semester would be over.

My phone beeped with a few messages, so I turned on the television and read the texts I had. There was one from Charlene, telling me to give Kris a happy-birthday hug from her; Tubby sent a message with wishes that I was having a good time; and Dave asked if I wanted to get together at the Starbucks in Squirrel Hill to study. I ignored all the messages and didn’t bother to respond.

When Kris finally got back, he didn’t ask if I went out and shopped or ate or spent the money he had given me. Instead, we napped together. I loved the way he could wrap himself around me, like a little kid holding onto a stuffed teddy bear. It made me feel so warm and loved when I was surrounded by his arms.

At three thirty, the alarm on his phone went off, signaling the end of our nap. I quickly dressed in my Letang jersey and brushed my hair again. It took me only about two minutes, so I watched as Kris put on his suit. It was interesting. Since he slept in his boxers, he put on his undershirt and then his pants, which he left undone as he put on his dress shirt. All the while, he was talking on the phone to his mother, who had called to wish him Bonne Fête. I loved listening to him speak French, even though I had no idea what he was saying.

There was something so domestic about the way he held his phone between his ear and his shoulder as he tucked his shirt into his pants and did up his fly, button, and belt buckle. Especially when he was smiling like that, which he only did when he was talking to his mom. They had such a special relationship. Now that Kris was almost dressed, I reached into my bag and pulled out the small, wrapped package I had brought with me. It was not an expensive present, but it wasn’t about the price; it was about what we were going to do with it, and I thought that’s what would make Kris appreciate it.

When he saw what was in my hands, I could tell that he tried to get off the phone with his mom—but it still took him a few minutes to end his conversation. When he finally did, he sat next to me on the bed with the length of our thighs touching. “So this is my present?” he asked, teasing me. “It looks... small.”

I laughed. “Well, that’s okay. I don’t have to give it to you.”

Using his quick reflexes, he grabbed the package out of my hand before I could get it out of his reach. He acted like a total kid, squeezing and shaking it, trying to guess what it was before actually opening it. I wrapped my arms around his bicep and placed my chin on his shoulder to watch as he slid a finger under the folds and ripped the tape.

Inside was a robin’s egg blue tie. It wasn’t anything special, just something I bought at Target, but the fun came into play when I flipped up his collar and took the tie from him. I performed the calculated movements to knot the fabric and complete his outfit. It wasn’t about the tie; it’s that I could be here to give it to him and to tie it, like I had done for him before and loved doing for him. Simple moments like these were the ones I had missed the most over the long weeks without him.

When it was tied and straightened, I grabbed the strip and pulled him toward me. Kris knew exactly what I wanted, so he kissed me. It was sweet and sensual and sexy without being sexual or demanding.

“Jesus Christ,” Logan’s voiced echoed unexpectedly through the room. He and Pickles interrupted us, unlocking the door with Husky’s unused key for the second time today. I could have killed him. “You two are like Siamese twins, attached at the lips.”

“Don’t take it out on us just because no one wants to kiss you.”

Logan laughed. “I don’t care about kissing. I’d rather have her suck my—”

“So, are we leaving?” Kris asked, interrupting him.

“Yeah,” Pickles chuckled, “We gotta go turn in our keys, load our bags, and take the bus to the arena.”

“Come on, Schmoopies. Let’s go,” Logan sighed.

Things got a little complex at this point. I couldn’t hang out in the hotel because the team had to check out, but I couldn’t yet go to the arena because I wasn’t supposed to be there and the doors wouldn’t even open for ticketholders until six thirty. Kris looked at me, feeling bad, because he felt like he was abandoning me when I had made a special effort to come out here.

“Don’t worry, I’ll go grab something to eat and find my way to the arena,” I said to him.

“You might not wanna wear this jersey though,” he replied, pointing to the shark in the middle of my torso. “Denver might not be nice to you.”

“It’ll be fine,” I promised. I kissed him softly and hurried out of the lobby before the coaches spotted me. I used Kris’s money to take a taxi into the main drag in the city so I could grab a bite to eat at a café—where I knew people wouldn’t care about hockey and wouldn’t bother me. I ate slowly and then called Tubby to pass the rest of the time as I waited, before finally heading over to the Pepsi Center to watch the Sharks win the sixth game. The game had started slowly and was tied one to one until the third period, when the Sharks explodes and started scoring left and right. Kris didn’t get any points, but I knew he’d be more than pleased with the five-two win and clenching the series.

The Sharks’ curse of choking in the first round had been broken, but they still had a long way to go.

8 comments:

  1. I agree, eggs with ketchup (or anything) is gross. The guys were acting like such girls, it cracked me up! It seemed like they were keeping an eye on Jo and Kris... I like that they have mellowed out though.
    Goodbye is gonna be a had one for these 2... :(

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  2. I love this story can't wait for the next update :)

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  3. Love the chapter Jay... I love ketchup on my eggs too and I ususally get the responds of gross as well but I think its genetics because my grandpa eats them that way too. Its just amazing that when you are away from someone its the little things you miss the most. I can't wait to read more!

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  4. Cute chapter!

    I like Ketchup on my eggs once in awhile.

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  5. nooo, eggs with ketchup is amazing!
    as much as i love that the sharks won the series, that's more time that jo has to wait to be with kris :(
    but they'll make it. what ELSE can stop them?! haha

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  6. Okay, my fav visual is definitely when he pops the bicep. Yowza! It's funny because Jo is just wearing the same clothes and Kris is all muscles and black sports gear, it's like he's the sex object in the relationship. And maybe he would be....

    My second fav visual is the hair falling in his eyes as he grins at her. He does have pretty hair.

    Don't know the Seinfeld episode, so I'm probably missing out on some meaning here, but the teasing and camaraderie with the guys is really nice and the whole team dynamic is feeling warm and cuddly in an immature guy way.

    Yeah, getting handed two fifties is pretty awkward, but it's always hard to get around the dynamic of one person having a lot of money and the other having hardly any. I sympathize with Jo here though, it could maybe have been done more privately.

    And the tie, such a nice gift. The whole scene is so romantic, I may have to learn to tie a tie.

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  7. THE FUCKING TIE.

    I died because for me it just has so much meaning for them. I always picture the scene at Kris' moms house when they are getting ready to go to dinner and she comes down in her silky red dress and Kris is standing there with his tie undone waiting for her to do it for him and then they get lost in their own little 'fuck i am in love' moment as she does it up for him. SIIIIGH. I have way too much invested in this story.

    I'm likin' that things are getting better with the team and that the Sharks won and that Jo got to come down and everything, but Jay, I am starting to get to know your writing a little better every time I read and I am seriously fucking concerned. This whole trip has gone too fucking well, and then Dave calls and asks her to go hang out and the playoffs and only a few more weeks until she's out there for the rest of the post season....

    WHAT HAVE YOU GOT UP YOUR SLEEVE.

    You seriously amaze me every time I read. The gift was perfect but so was watching him get dressed talking to his mom. Like, hello? I could actually picute him getting dressed and the phone and the smile, not necessairily on Kris Letang, but any guy, that is a sexy thing to get to sit and watch and just fester in how intense your feelings are for someone that watching them do the little insignificant things is just all you need to fall that little bit more in love.

    I loved the simplicity of this chapter, the writing... everything.

    Great, great work; I'm anxious for more.

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  8. Jay, this was such a sweet, fantastic chapter! First of all, I completely loved the "Schmoopy" reference! That episode is absolutely 100% hilarious! I die laughing everytime. I also love that the guys are being so friendly and accepting of Jo. It's incredibly sweet.

    OMG THE TIE! Ahhhh that was like the perfect gift! I love that Jo putting Kris' tie on for him is like their "thing". It's positively adorable and it has so much meaning to their relationship.

    Everything is going so well for them right now, I love it! I'm happy that the Sharks won, too. Hopefully there's a chance that Kris can bring that Cup home again. Excellent update, my dear.

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