Tuesday, July 27, 2010

113.) Sex, Win, Sex

Sorry, guys. I tried to get this up yesterday, but I was having some computer issues which I fixed just long enough to post this.

Soundtrack Song - Train, If It’s Love

This time, I found Jo before she found me.

I had been standing in the baggage claim area of the airport, waiting not by the turnstile or right by the escalator, but toward the back where I could stand against the wall. My ball cap was pulled down over my face as low as possible while I watched and waited for Jo to come descending into the lobby; it may have been an unnecessary precaution, but seeing as though we were pretty close to winning this round of the playoffs and making the conference finals—barring a complete team meltdown—there was a lot of hoopla surrounding the Sharks out here. It was the first time that the Sharks had this kind of playoff potential in a long while, and people were excited about it.

Back in March, when Jo came out west for her spring break, she had been lost in the sea of people and I couldn’t find her. Her shriek had echoed off the walls and alerted me to her presence like a warning siren before she had launched herself against me.

But this time, I spotted her as she looked around for me. She had one earpiece to her iPod in one ear, and the other hung down her front as her head swiveled around, searching for my familiar face. Jo was wearing cut-off, tight, jean shorts and a white tank top, the red of her bra faintly showing through. I pushed off the wall and made a bee-line for her. The place was pretty crowded, with multiple flights having landed around the same time and everyone trying to find their luggage all at once, so I had to snake my way through the people to get to her.

Jo was getting caught up in the rush of travelers, nudged and pushed and swept away in the flow of traffic. It was a struggle to reach out and grab her arm, but I managed to pull her to me. Her body melded to mine as she recognized my grip and stepped into me. My arms folded around her, holding her against my chest as she took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.

We took our time, staying just like that for what felt like forever. After all, it felt like we had all the time in the world. I didn’t have anywhere to be today, and Jo was here specifically for me.

I bent my head and smelled her hair, nuzzling my face against her scalp. It was like a scent that you smell one day, and you know it’s familiar but you can’t quite place how you know it. But I knew it was her shampoo or conditioner or hair product or whatever—it was Jo. I could feel the small mounds of her breasts pressed against my front as she pressed her face into my neck. I was feeling and smelling her, and it was wonderful.

This was so different from the way we had crashed together the last time we had met at this airport. The other people had parted for us and watched our little reunion; but this time, no one made any room for us. They were bumping into us, and I think I even heard someone mutter under their breath about how we should just get out of the fucking way already, but I ignored all that. There was no need to make a big scene or make this bigger than it had to be. This was small and simple because it meant so much to us; it was all about how we felt.

The other times we had met up, there had been sparks and smiles and big, romantic gestures. Now, there was only relief. Now, there was all the time in the world. We were both completely and totally relieved to be reunited, together again, without the weight and pressure of knowing that we would have to part soon after. I’d still have to leave to go on road trips with the team, but those wouldn’t be for any long duration of time before we’d get to spend time together again. It would be just like it was before I had been traded to the Sharks, and I couldn’t wait to get back to that place in our relationship.

I just held onto her, content to stay like that until she made the first move to pull back; I could’ve stayed this way forever. She still didn’t make that move when she said, loud enough so I could hear her over the bustle of the crowd while quiet enough that not everyone else can listen in, “Congrats on the assist last night, babe. I love watching you on the power play.”

Grunting, I tried to ignore that comment. Last night’s game did not go as planned. We could have swept the Red Wings, but we lost when Detroit scored seven goals. I had assisted on our only goal of the game; there shouldn’t be anything negative about helping my team score—except when it was a pity goal in the third. Now, instead of celebrating a sweep, I had come straight from practice to pick Jo up because we had to play a fifth game. So instead of addressing her congratulations to me, I changed the subject and answered her back. “Congratulations on finishing your semester, Joey. I’m so proud of you.”

She laughed, her body shaking against mine as I held her. Other than that, she stayed still as she spoke, not even moving to look up at me as she continued our conversation. “This is not a contest to see who can say ‘congratulations’ more.”

“But I didn’t get to talk to you yesterday after your exam, because of the game and then traveling. How’d you do?”

“Good, I think,” she replied. Then she got accidentally pushed from behind as a group of passers-by tried to sneak behind her. That knocked her into me—which I wasn’t sure was possible, because we were already pretty close.

“What do you say we go get your bag? And get out of here?”

“Yes,” she sighed, finally adjusting her posture and standing up straight so we could make our way to the baggage turnstile. I grabbed her hand and brought it up to my lips as we waited, and Jo giggled and tried to pull her hand away. “Scratchy,” she laughed, talking quietly. We were surrounded by crowds of weary travelers, but we still tried to enjoy each other’s company privately. “Your beard is really growing in. It’s kind of impressive.”

I immediately began to rub the underside of my jaw as she talked about my facial hair, feeling the bristly hair. “Kind of? You should see some of the other guys’ beards. Scraggly, or like peach fuzz.”

“Listen to you brag, like you’ve got a full beard. You have a dirt lip,” she softly chuckled, tracing her thumb above my mouth. “And not even enough to make a soul patch here,” Jo added, swiping the pad of her thumb against my chin.

“Then what are you complaining about?” I brought the back of her hand back up to my mouth and puckered up, evoking the same squirming reaction from her. “Hmm?”

“Seriously, Kristopher,” she pleaded, continuing to giggle. I let go, not really wanting to, but willing to relent to her wishes if that was what she wanted. She responded by slinging one arm around my waist and the other around my back; then she clasped her hands together and placed them over my hip so she was holding onto me but not too tightly. Resting her head against my shoulder, she sighed contentedly. It was an even compromise, and I kissed her forehead—which she let me do to without fidgeting.

I put my left arm around her shoulders as I pulled my ball cap down over my face a little more. When I glanced up, I could see the revolutions of the turnstile, but I couldn’t see anyone’s faces, so I hoped to avoid any recognition. It’s not that it wasn’t something I was used to, because I was. It happened often in Pittsburgh, but since I went to so many of the same places, no one really ever bugged me. Here, though, it was a new experience. Don’t get me wrong; I certainly didn’t mind meeting fans, getting recognized, being asked for the occasional autograph, hearing fans wish me good luck, or the like. I just wanted to avoid that today.

Once my hat was fixed, I put my free hand on her arm in front of me. “So, how was your flight? Good?”

“Ugh,” she groaned loudly. “Delayed. For. Fucking. Ever. Stupid thunderstorms in Pittsburgh. Wouldn’t’ve been so bad, except they boarded us and then decided to tell us that we were going to be delayed. There were blue skies when Tubby dropped me off! We sat on the plane for over an hour in that canned, stale, recycled air, and it was so hot and humid and I thought I was going to die.” She realized her poor choice of words, shook it off, and continued, “Once we finally took off, I kept willing the plane to fly faster, to get me here sooner. Swear to God, Kris, I’m not letting you go until I absolutely have to.”

“I missed you, too. I figured we could order in? Whatever you want.”

“Chinese?”

“Sure.” I paused. “You know, Brandy was asking when you’d be back in town. I lied and told her tomorrow, just in time for the game.”

“You lied to her? Why?” Jo asked, looking up at me with a puzzled expression.

“Remember last time you came to visit me here in San José?” When she nodded, I further explained, “Well, I didn’t want a repeat of that argument in the car. You wanted a night to hang out together, stay in, get reacquainted with each other... so I figured that’s what we’d do this time.” Suddenly, I got a little worried that she’d want to go out, and that maybe I should have asked her before I had decided on anything. “I mean, is that okay?”

“Aww, Kris, it sounds great,” she laughed, kissing the underside of my jaw in appreciation. “Except you didn’t have to lie about it. You coulda just told her that we wanted to be alone tonight. I’m sure she would have understood that. Like, her husband’s on the road a lot. She’d get it.”

“Yeah, she would. Samantha, not so much,” I sighed.

“Samantha? Why would she care? How do you know if she would care?”

I rolled my eyes. “Because she, too, has called me to ask when you were coming.”

Her quiet tone was gone as shock and surprise set in. “Wait. What? I haven’t even heard from her in like, two or three weeks. And anytime she’s called me, I talked to Brandy, too. How the hell did she talk to you?”

Clearing my throat, I casually mentioned, “She would, uh, borrow Blake’s phone. It only happened a few times, mostly more lately because you were busy and not answering your phone when she wanted to talk. I really just kinda feel bad for her because she seems so... lonely. She’s not their kid, so she doesn’t get all their attention like Brett or Bailey do. And when she does get attention, it’s negative, which makes her act out even more.” I continued to think aloud. “She needs a good role model, you know? Things aren’t easy for her right now from what you’ve said to me about it, and I know that, but there are better ways she could be dealing with it. It’s not my place to say anything, so I just tried to listen—I mean, plus, I’m not even supposed to know any of this. But I think that’s why she likes you so much. You’re straight up with her, you don’t sugarcoat anything, but you don’t just criticize her. You try to help, constructively, and I think she sees that.”

“Are you done, Dr. Phil?” Jo pointed to the turnstile. “Because I think I see my bag....”

I quickly forgot what the hell we had been talking about, because the prospect of leaving with Jo was at the forefront of my mind. “Which one is it?”

“Black one with the wheels, with the bright pink address tag and yellow ribbon on the handle. Just lemme grab it so we can head out.”

“No, no, let me,” I offered. I unwrapped myself from around her and headed to get Jo’s bag for her, but she wouldn’t let go of me. She took my hand in hers and then placed her other hand over the back of mine, following me as I wove around the maze of impatient people. That made it a lot more difficult for me to maneuver deftly enough through the crowd to avoid bumping into people. I kept apologizing profusely to the people we bumped or walked into, but it’s not like I was going to ask Jo to let go and hang back while I picked up her suitcase; I certainly didn’t want to let go of her, either.

As soon as I grabbed it, we turned right back around, and I pulled her bag behind us as we headed for the exit. Jo raised her hand as if she were going to hail a taxi, but I shook my head at her, tightened my grip on her hand, and pulled her in the direction of the short-term parking lot. “We don’t need a cab.”

She looked skeptical. “You making me walk to the hotel?”

“No,” I chuckled, finding humor in the way she automatically assumed that. “Why would you even think that? I got to borrow Brandy’s Escalade again.”

“But I thought Brandy didn’t know I was in town yet?” she asked, pressing for information. She knew that something was up—and something was up—but I didn’t want to divulge that information. Yet.

“Well, I called in a favor from Bowlby, and he told Brandy that it was up for inspection or needs its tires rotated or some excuse, I don’t know. Does it matter, anyway? Just go with it.”

“‘Just go with it’? Seriously?” Her voice was high and squeaky as she tried to process this new information. “Did you seriously just say that to me? Who are you, and what have you done with my Kristopher? My Kristopher would never say that.”

I laughed. “Really? Never?”

Never. My boyfriend is stuck in his ways. Not a spontaneous bone in his body. He never ‘just goes with it.’ You’re a pod person!”

Squeezing her hand as we approached the Escalade, I dropped my hold on her and then reached into my pocket for the keys. If Jo hadn’t suspected something before this point, this was when she would have been put on alert. I opened the back of the SUV to stow her suitcase away, and she spotted my bags in the back, too. “Okay, for real,” she started. “What’s going on? Did you do laundry or something?”

“No.”

“Your collage is in here, too! Kris, why? What’s going on? Seriously, please, tell me what’s going on.”

“You’ll see,” I told her, closing the trunk and heading around to the passenger side to open the door for her, like a proper gentleman as my mother had instilled in me to be.

“Oh my God, you didn’t, like, get kicked out of your hotel or something, did you? You’ve been paying to stay there, right?”

“No, not kicked out,” I laughed, keeping my answers to the absolute possible minimum. It was beyond amusing to keep her in the dark about what was going on. Well, she surprised me by coming to Denver, so I could keep this under wraps for just long enough to be able to see the look on her face.

“Okay, good. Because it would be really sucky of you to have me come out without a place to keep me!”

“Come on, Jo,” I scolded her mockingly. “You know I’ll take care of you. Of course we have a place to stay!”

“Then why is your stuff in here and not in your room?” I didn’t answer her, so she kept pestering me. “Kris? Come on, babe, tell me.” She put her hand on my thigh as I drove us, but I didn’t hold it. Since it wasn’t my car, I wanted to be extra careful as I navigated the city streets. The only time I glanced away from the road was to look at Jo’s face as I purposely took us past the Alameda—but didn’t stop. “Damnit, tell me where we’re going!”

I couldn’t keep up the silent treatment. “I thought you liked surprises and spontaneousness? Where’s your sense of adventure?”

“Apparently, I gave it to you!” Jo was practically bubbling over, searching our surroundings as if she would find a clue. “I’m seriously going to explode if I don’t find out what’s going on, like, now.”

Luckily, our destination was only a couple of blocks from the Tank, which we had just passed. I continued to drive quietly and carefully, making a right off the main drag and stopping in front of a big, impressive-looking building. Someone opened my door, and another person headed toward the back and began to unload our things onto a brass cart.

“Welcome to The Fairmont,” we were bade as we exited the SUV. I handed over the keys and waited for Jo to walk around the car, joining me under the awning. I put my arm back around her shoulders and led her inside to the ornate lobby, the cart being pushed in behind us.

“See, I said I’d take care of you. You like it?” I asked her, stepping up to the front desk. The smiling receptionist greeted us and took my reservation print-out, credit card, and I.D.

Since I was Canadian, she struggled with finding the identification numbers and my birthday so I pointed them out to her and tried to help, in order to speed the process along. “Kristopher Letang. Birthday’s April twenty-fourth, 1987. That’s my passport number, and my visa number, if you need that, too.”

She giggled and blushed a little, typing in the information to her computer. “Thank you. I’ve only been here about a month, and I’ve never had to do this with a passport before.” She typed a little more and then looked back at me. “Are you here on business? Or for pleasure?”

I opened my mouth to answer her, but Jo spoke for me. She wrapped her arms around me from behind, but looked around me toward the receptionist. “A little bit of both.”

The receptionist cleared her throat and nodded. “Uh, I see you’ve requested a one-bedroom suite, Mr. Letang. Would you prefer a view of the San José skyline, or the Santa Cruz Mountains?”

“Um, I don’t care,” I responded. “Jo? What do you—”

“Skyline,” she told the clerk, her mind quickly made up. Then she spoke to me. “That sounds nice, right? Being able to see the city all lit up.”

Before I got a chance to answer my girlfriend, the receptionist sucked a breath between her teeth. “Oh, I’m sorry. All we have available are mountain views.”

Jo grumbled something softly as she leaned her forehead against my spine, so I put my hand over hers and told the receptionist, “That’s fine. We’ll take whatever’s available.”

She nodded again, typing a few more things into the computer before she handed me two card keys. “You’ll find your room on the fourteenth floor of the South Tower. Room 1403. Pressing zero on the phone in your room will call down here to the front desk, so if you need anything, my name is Rebecca, and I’ll be happy to help with you anything you might need.”

“Thanks, Rebecca,” Jo said, sounding chipper as she took one of the room keys and slipped it into the pocket of her jean shorts. She also grabbed the slip of paper that the clerk was holding out for me.

The two of us headed toward the bank of elevators, and our bags followed behind us in the elevator. Even though we weren’t alone as we headed up to our floor, I talked to her like we the bellhop wasn’t there. “So? Nice place, right? I asked the guys about where their families stayed when they came down, where was nice. This was where they told me. Do you like it?”

“It’s nice, Kris. Really nice. I mean, really nice. But why did you do this now? You should have moved out of that other place a long time ago.”

“Well, I didn’t care about staying there. Sure, it wasn’t great, but it was close and fine for just me. But this place is nice, and it has a pool.”

“A pool? I didn’t see a pool,” she mused aloud.

I laughed. “That’s because it’s on the roof,” I told her, watching the way her face lit up as she thought about it. “There’s actually room service here. There’s, like, three restaurants, too. Oh yeah, and a spa, if you want to check that out.”

“A spa?” she chuckled. “What am I gonna do at the spa?”

“I don’t know, whatever girls do at spas. I still have a few road trips ahead of me—I hope—so I wanted you to be somewhere safe. Somewhere with stuff to do or keep you occupied. And plus, it’s still kinda close to the Tank. Not as close as the Alameda, but still pretty close.”

“So you did this for me?”

“Well, yeah,” I explained. The elevator dinged, and we headed to the left for our room. “I didn’t want you to have to stay there all alone for days on end. We’re hoping to make it to the next round, you know, and then we’ll be out for three or four days depending on the schedule, depending who would win the other series, the Hawks or the Canucks. That’s pretty far away.”

Jo didn’t say anything for a moment. “You’re so cute when you act so protective. I hope you’re not putting yourself out for this. I’ll be the first to say the Alameda was pretty sketchy and you needed to move on up, but this is pretty extravagant just for me. You know I’m happy to be wherever you are—and that’s my only requirement.”

“I know. And I’m happy to have you here,” I replied, sliding my key card into the door and opening the door.

There was a parlor with a sitting area, and then there was the bedroom with the king-sized bed, the television, and a few more chairs, and of course the bathroom with a walk-in shower as well as a separate bathtub. The bellhop pushed the cart into the room and deposited our bags and my collage in the sitting area. I slipped him some cash for a tip, and he quickly ducked out.

I spun around, looking for Jo. I found her in the bedroom, face down the bed. “Jo, what are you doing?”

“Testing the mattress,” she replied, her words muffled by the pillows and blankets. She pushed up and rolled over, sitting up and bouncing. “It’s so bouncy! Kris! You have to feel this!”

“It’s a bed,” I laughed, leaning against the wall and watching her. The littlest things seemed to make her smile so much. “Of course it’s bouncy.”

She stood up and began jumping on it like a four-year-old child. “Well, I’ve never had a bed like this! Oh my God, it’s gonna be amazing to sleep on this tonight.”

“Well, you know what else we can do on it,” I started, leaving the parlor and getting on the bed with her.

Jo stopped jumping but remained standing. She nudged my shoulder with her foot until I was lying in a supine position, and then she stood towering over top of me, a foot on either of my sides. It was the perfect position for her to tease me. “You mean to tell me, Kristopher Letang, that beds are good for something other than sleeping?”

“Most definitely.” I slid my hand from her ankle, following the lines of her leg upwardly as far as I could reach while lying down.

“Well, are you going to tell me what else we can do?”

“I think I’d rather show you. Come here.” Grabbing the back of her knees, I pulled her down on top of me and quickly unfastened the button of her shorts. Then I rolled her over and quickly yanked those jean cut-offs down. Her panties were as red as the bra showing through her white tank top. “I missed you, Jo. I hope you know that.”

“I know,” she responded. Her hands threaded through my hair as she gazed up at me. “I missed you, too, babe.”

I whispered to her, “Let’s make love. I want to be able to take my time with you. I feel like I can finally relax, Jo, relax with you.”

She kissed my ear. “I like the sound of that. It’ll be just like last time, like on your birthday,” she said. “Sex all afternoon, and then tomorrow I’ll be at your game and you’ll win, and then we’re going to have victory sex.”

Next, I removed her tank top, leaving her only in red lace. I kissed her stomach until she pulled off my shirt and I had to break away from her. “As long as you don’t jinx me.”

“Well, then, better stick to what worked last round. Sex, win, sex.”

8 comments:

  1. This was unbelievably sweet and cute. Loved it.

    -Saf

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  2. Omgee, I have to do it, because I think I have started a tradition but YYYYYEEEESSSSS x4!

    So glad that he surprised her...woohoo!

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  3. Awe man, you cut that one short!!!

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  4. pls let the next xhapter continue this scene lol i am glad they are together

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  5. "Sex, win, sex." Surely the magic formula for life, or at least life with hot hockey players. I love the way they're glued together at the airport, love the ritzy new hotel room and mostly love the way they finally seem to get to be together in a relaxed way without a looming separation.

    "I whispered to her, “Let’s make love. I want to be able to take my time with you. I feel like I can finally relax, Jo, relax with you.”"
    Mmmmmmmm, that sounds amazing, and especially coming from Kris, whose talents we all know are world class. Okay, it's mid-summer but I think I'm dissolving into a puddle of goo here.

    Well, I know what happens to the Sharks in reality world, but I'm wondering what happens to the Sharks in the fictional world. I'll wait and see.

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  6. They are so stinking cute!!! I love them together. I'm going to TRY to quit worrying and just enjoy how happy they are.

    Hands down favorite line:
    **“Never. My boyfriend is stuck in his ways. Not a spontaneous bone in his body. He never ‘just goes with it.’ You’re a pod person!”**

    Feel free to pick up right where you left off I wouldn't mind hearing about this...
    ** “Let’s make love. I want to be able to take my time with you. I feel like I can finally relax, Jo, relax with you.”**

    I might have mentioned this before, okay more than a few times. In your world please let anyone but the Flyers be EC champs. Typing Flyers and EC champs in the same sentence makes me nauseous. I'm willing to bribe you, just name your price.

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  7. Oh my goodness, Jay. I missed your writing so much! My computer's on the fritz so this afternoon I got caught up with the last three chapters and it was so amazing to get to read those particular three because they said goodbye but then I got to read about the reunion...all in the same afternoon!

    Anyway, they are so sweet together I can't stand it. I'm sensing that this story is naturally coming to an end soon but there are still so many questions that need to be answered. I'm looking forward to reading about what happens!!!

    Amazing job! I seriously can't praise you enough. Also, I just thought I should let you know that I still re-read Paper Perfect whenever I need a pick me up :)

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  8. “Apparently, I gave it to you!”
    My favorite line...

    I'm almost done with July! And I still love your story, Jay. Love it a lot...

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