Wednesday, August 11, 2010

119.) Invincible

I joined in on the rush. It was something I had done tons of times. I saw Couture get the puck and head toward the opposite end of the ice, but Mitch was tied up behind the net with Cammalleri. It was a split second reaction to leave my post by Nabokov and follow Logan. My summer training had been spent learning to get the most power out of every stride, and it was something that had translated well all season long; it didn’t fail me now. I was only just behind Couture as he crossed the blue line into our offensive zone.

Logan was a shooter. I knew that, so I was going to crash the net and hope for a rebound or a tip in. Before I was close enough, Couture took his shot, and the puck went sailing wide. So I made another snap decision and decided to get the puck and try for a wraparound. That way, I could get back into my defensive position if I couldn’t poke it in.

There was one thing I didn’t account for: Hal Gill. The man was a fucking brick wall, practically stationary. He lowered his shoulder and prepared to hit me; I knew it was coming and tried to get around him and avoid the hit. I was only marginally successful because he didn’t get the chance to really lay into me. But he did knock me off my balance and send me into the net. It came off its moorings and I landed on my left shoulder. Hard.

The ref blew the whistle to stop play since the net was knocked out of its place, which bought me a few seconds to suck it up and get back onto my skates. I was breathing hard from the rink-long sprint as well as the sharp twinge of pain, so I went straight for the bench for a quick rest.

“Good hustle, Letang,” McLellan said, clapping me on the shoulder. I nodded, trying to hide my wince as best as possible. There was no way that I was going to let on that I may have jacked up my shoulder. Not in the Finals. No way.

Heater, Patty, and Jumbo were out there with Murray and Boyle; once the focus was on the face off, I rolled my shoulder under my hefty pads. It wasn’t bad and it wasn’t serious, but it was already sore and the pain was distracting. Once I got back out on the ice for my next shift, it hurt to handle the puck and shoot. I could feel it when I took long strides on the ice or stretched my arm out to poke check.

But I didn’t let that affect my play. I went through every motion, knowing it was going to hurt and knowing how sore I was going to be in the morning. Hell, how it would throb and bug me tonight once my uniform was off. However, we were in the middle of the game, and I had to finish it without negatively affecting the outcome of the game. It was Luc’s day, so I had to play for him; I was still able, so I did it.

I was on the ice when the Habs scored their first goal, and I wasn’t on the ice when the Sharks scored their two. Coach cut down my minutes because I wasn’t playing well, but he didn’t say anything or ask me about it once the game was over. Everyone was happy enough to take the first win of the series. And yeah, I was happy, too. It was a win, after all... but I didn’t contribute to it. I was detrimental to my team, because I had allowed a goal to be scored while I was out there. I was lucky that my teammates were able to pick up my slack and do the job that I couldn’t do.

Emmert was doing his usual, grabbing players and sending them out into the hallway for interviews. I accidentally made eye contact with him from across the room, and he raised his eyebrows imploringly to ask if I was up for a few questions. With a quick shake of my head, I told him no. Reporters went crazy with me and the other French Canadian players on the team, and I just couldn’t deal with that headache after my poor performance. I was sore and not happy.

This wasn’t how I wanted the day to go. It wasn’t how it was supposed to go. Not on today, of all days. I had wanted to play well in Luc’s memory, and I had failed. Instead, I had found a way to hurt myself.

I was so glad that Jo would understand. She was good with me today, being totally sweet and kind. When I had a lot of stuff on my mind, I knew that I could be curt and rude. Jo didn’t take any of that personally, and she talked to me delicately without pussyfooting around. Jo was too frank for that. If there’s one thing that irks me, it’s when people treat me like a ticking time bomb. Was I upset and sad? Yes. I fucking lost my best friend, and I’m always going to be sad about that. But can I keep my emotions in check? Yes. Only people who knew Luc would understand; although Jo didn’t know Luc, she knew me and she knew what it was like. She just knew.

We were all taking a long time to wrap up our postgame routines. First of all, there were all those interviews taking place, which eats up more time than you’d think. Plus, it was getting to the end of a long season, so more guys were getting checked out by trainers or getting rubdowns. Add that in with usual meetings and analysis, and it was taking twice as long to get out of the dressing room and head toward the hotel.

That being said, I was one of the first people to head out. There weren’t a lot of people waiting in the lounge because they knew how long it would take for their particular players to leave during a night like this, but a few family members and loved ones were hanging around—Jo, of course, being one of them. I didn’t have to say anything to her; as soon as she saw me, she quit her conversation with Jamie and met me by the door. She didn’t say anything to me, either. We headed out into the night in silence. The five-block walk was spent in a wordless, leisurely amble. It didn’t bother me, because I had too much on my mind to bother thinking of something to say.

When we got back to our room, Jo broke the silence. “Do you think I’m an idiot?”

“What?” I asked, feeling attacked out of the blue. I didn’t know where this was coming from or what she meant by it.

Jo deliberately and slowly repeated her words, drawing them out for emphasis—like she thought I was the dumb ass. “Do you. Think I’m. An idiot?”

I sighed, feeling frustrated beyond belief. Why was she trying to pick a fight now? Surely she knew that I wasn’t pleased with the outcome of the game and was already in a foul mood because of that, on top of it being a particular day in May. “No, I do not think you are an idiot, Jo.”

“Really? Because I think you do.”

“What? What the.... What are you trying to get at here?” I asked, getting straight to the issue. Whatever that may be. “Just come out with it already.”

She put her hands on her hips. “Well, I think that you must think I’m an idiot, because I can tell when something’s not right. I can tell, Kris, but what I don’t understand is why you’re not telling me about it after you promised me that you would.”

“It’s not serious,” I groaned. We always did this. We always had an argument over this, and I didn’t want to do it now. I wasn’t in the mood; this wasn’t the day. “It’s not a big deal, so please don’t make it one.”

Her voice was low as she admitted vulnerably, “You know this scares me. And if you didn’t know—which still, you should have—then now you do. I understand that you don’t want anyone else to see if you’re hurt, but you can’t hide it from me. Nor should you try to, or want to.”

This was all part of Jo’s typical mode of attack. She’d be angry and fiery at first, and then mellow out once we got down to the meat of the matter. She was worried, scared that something was majorly wrong with me, which is why she lashed out. Even though we’d gotten good at talking to each other, we still had our own methods of communicating; just like how I didn’t want to talk when I was frustrated or irritated with myself, like when I didn’t play well or was bothered by something personal. I didn’t like to share aspects of myself when they were less than perfect.

I let out a quick breath of air. “Here. I’ll show you.” I walked into the bathroom, and she was merely a step behind me. Under her watchful gaze, I stripped off my tie and dress shirt before I carefully pulled my undershirt over my head to show her my shoulder. The black and blue bruise was slowly starting to form; it didn’t look bad now, but it would undoubtedly appear worse come morning. The shoulder contusion I had suffered earlier in the season—which had really freaked Jo out—was much worse than this. “See? Not bad.”

Jo stepped beside me to get a better look. Her fingers delicately ran over my skin, the bruise discoloring my tattoo. The angel on my shoulder looked battered and abused. “How bad does it hurt?”

“Not bad. Just sore,” I explained.

“Then how sore? You only played seventeen, maybe eighteen minutes.”

I groaned, rolled my eyes, and headed into the bedroom. As I began to undo my belt, I muttered, “That’s because I sucked.”

“No, because you were hurt,” she replied. She leaned against the door frame of the bathroom, refusing to chase after me. She was standing firm, staying put. “You still laid a big hit on Gionta in the third. Sent him straight to the ice.”

“And he’s tiny. So it’s not like it was hard to do.”

“Stop trying to play this off.”

I stepped out of my dress pants and into my comfortable, blue sleep pants. “Stop trying to find excuses for my poor performance.”

“It’s not an excuse!” I rolled my eyes again, so she continued, “I’m not trying to make you feel bad about this. I know that you’re not happy that it happened, especially today. I’m not being insensitive here, but you need to learn that it’s okay to admit when you’re hurt!”

“But it’s not okay.”

“You may want to be in top, peak physical condition, but you’ve gotta start being honest with yourself, or else you’ll push yourself too hard or too far. You’ll turn something little into something a lot worse. Did you at least get it looked at? To make sure it’s not something serious?”

I mumbled my “no,” heading toward the head of the bed and beginning to pull back the covers. Since I was an athlete and had good physical awareness, I knew when something was wrong with my body. This was just a minor setback. Any injury by any one of the guys would be worse if it happened now because our bodies were so run down at this point in the season.

“Of course not,” she sighed. She grabbed the ice bucket from on top of the microwave. “I’m going to get some ice for your shoulder.”

“You don’t have to—” I started to tell her, but she was already out the door. There was no use in even trying to change her mind. She was going to be stubborn about this; I could tell. At a time like this, it was easier to just go along with her than argue. I got into bed and lay down on my back, and then I picked up the remote and turned on the television.

Jo came back with the bucket only about one-quarter full. She turned out the overhead light so only the bluish tint of the television screen was casting shadows against the walls. The first thing she did was to change into her pajamas. In her newly found demure manner, to save me the temptation of watching her shimmy out of her clothes, Jo grabbed her favorite outfit comprised of my things: that black Kasüal shirt I surrendered to her and a blue pair of my boxers. She changed in the bathroom as she got ready for bed, and walked out with a freshly washed faced and brushed teeth.

Her next activity was to prepare a makeshift ice bag for me. She used a plastic bag to hold the ice, and then she wrapped it in a towel to diffuse the cold. Jo walked over to her side of the bed, which was to my left. She always slept on my left; ever since our first sleepover, this was how we did it.

She sat the bag gingerly on my shoulder and then perched on the bed with her back against the head board—obviously not relaxing with me. As horrible as today had been, I didn’t want it to end the same way. With a low sigh, I turned off the television and set the remote down on the nightstand.

“Come lie down with me,” I said, realizing that it sounded more like an order rather than a request. “Please?” When she scooted down to join me, I realized that I had to clarify. “On my good side?”

“You’re lucky I love you,” Jo huffed, but she didn’t need any other encouraging. She crawled over me to my other side, and I moved over to make room for her.

Since I had free range of motion with my right arm, I put it around her and pulled her against my side. “Yeah, I am lucky.” I kissed her temple. I didn’t want to argue with her or fight over something as miniscule as a bruise, and definitely not on this day, when I knew how important it was to savor these sweet, wonderful, simple moments.

“This feels weird,” she mumbled, her face pressed into my side. She kissed the side of my pec and looked up at me.

It did feel weird. I was so used to have her on my other side. “It’s not so bad though.”

“Hmm. I guess.” For a few moments, we just listened to each other breathe. Until Jo reached across me and readjusted the towel full of ice. “Does that feel okay?”

“Will you stop worrying so much? I swear it’s like I’m in bed with my mother.”

It’s a good thing the room was dark, because I definitely did not want to see the look that I was sure Jo shot at me. It would be a billion times more intense than daggers.

“Oh, aren’t you fucking hilarious,” she cracked, her words sharp but her tone soft. “My boyfriend, the comedian. Do me a favor and don’t ever compare me to your mother like that again.”

“What? I love my mother. It’s kind of like a compliment.”

“No, that’s creepy and disgusting.” Jo adjusted the bag again and then settled beside me again. “And you know that when I stop worrying about you, then that means that you need to worry, because it’s my job to make sure you’re okay.”

“Well, fine. But you don’t need to worry so much.”

The room was silent for a few moments. “You need to know, Kristopher, that you are not invincible. And that’s okay. No one is, and it’s not a weakness to accept that about yourself. It’s a weakness if you don’t know your limitations.”

My hand rubbed her back and side as I lay there in thought. I really did try to manage a façade of togetherness and capability. Jo knew that and could see right through it, but that didn’t mean that I wanted to admit it. It wasn’t just that I wanted to have that air or appearance; I wanted to be good enough for Jo. She needed someone who could be strong enough for the both of us when things went wrong. I knew how strong she could be, but I didn’t want her to have to exercise that on account of me. If there had been one thing I had learned from my childhood, it was that women deserved strong men that they could always depend on.

Jo fell asleep before I could think of a response to her statement.

In the morning, I went about my day like I usually would. The bed was wet from the melted ice, which had leaked out of the plastic bag. The towel only did so much to absorb that volume of liquid. Jo shifted as I unwound myself from her, but she didn’t wake up. We had a late night the day before.

I got ready for practice. My shoulder felt better, but still somewhat sore. If today had been a day during the regular season, I’d get out of practice, just having to bike and do the usual cardio; however, this was the Finals. I didn’t have the luxury of taking the time off now. So I woke my girl up, even though I wanted to let her sleep in, and kissed her before I left for practice.

McLellan, who had practically ignored me last night, was on top of me this morning. He watched me carefully, asked how I was feeling, and wanted to know if I was ready for tomorrow’s game. I assured him that I most definitely was ready, because I was feeling great. He cut practice short for everyone and let us go after some specific drills, since he was pleased that we had taken the early lead in this final round. We players used the time wisely, stretching and making sure we were loose before we headed home an hour earlier than usual. I was definitely looking forward to getting some extra time to relax. I didn’t call Jo to warn her that I’d be back sooner than expected because I wanted to surprise her, figuring we could head out for lunch and spend some nice quality time together. We deserved it.

When I got back to the room, Jo was in the shower. Her routine was to go swimming, and I could spot her wet swimsuit in the sink as she stood under the spray. Since she was alone and assumed she had some privacy, she left the bathroom door wide open—and since she was standing under the hot, steaming spray, she didn’t hear me coming.

I hesitated as I tried to think of the best way to surprise her; no matter what I did, I was going to scare the shit out of her. I could’ve yanked back the curtain, stripped down and got in with her, or waited for her in the other room. As I considered these options, I got distracted by her moan. It was a sound I had heard plenty of times before, but I wasn’t expecting it. Instantly, I knew what she was doing in that shower, and I stiffened in my shorts.

Jo had been so good about diluting her sexuality around me. She was always sexy to me and I was so attracted to her, but she hadn’t done anything remotely sexual around me since I had made it clear that I needed to reserve my energy after the second round. It made sense that the reason she could hold off so well was because she was getting off without me.

She moaned again, and I couldn’t stand to hear it again like that. Everything that had been bottled up in me over the past three weeks bubbled up and boiled over. Jo shrieked as I pulled the curtain back and leaned into the shower. Water pelted me as I turned off the flow to the showerhead, and I got even wetter when I grabbed Jo and pulled her against me.

“What are you—” she started to ask, but I cut her off and answered with a deep kiss. I wasted no time as I inserted my tongue into her open mouth and tasted her. We hadn’t even kissed like this for weeks, and I hadn’t realized how much I had missed it.

With my arms wrapped around her slick, drenched body, I walked us carefully into the bedroom. She had to be feeling my erection as it hardened even more. I held on and kept kissing her, forgoing air. I didn’t need air... I needed Jo. Water soaked the front of my clothes, absorbing it off her and drying her.

Jo reached for the hem of my shirt and began to pull it upward, but she stopped herself with some type of iron will. “Kris,” she whispered, sounding breathless. “Are you sure?”

The best reply was action, and all I had to do put my arms over my head for her to interpret that as a resounding, but silent, yes. She pulled my tee over my head, and together we unfastened my shorts and let them and my boxers fall to the floor.

Her fingers curled around my dick and squeezed firmly yet gently. I pressed my face into the crook of her neck, feeling like I could blow my load in her hand. “Hello, my friend,” she said huskily. “Oh, how I missed you.”

“Are you talking to my...?”

Jo looked up at me with a sparkle in her eyes. “Yes, I’m talking to your cock.” She squeezed again. “Is that a problem?”

“Yes,” I hissed, backing her up even more and laying her out on the bed. I didn’t want there to be anymore of that; we had more important things to do. “Stop talking.”

“Make me.”

I hoped that she had had enough time to prep in the shower, because I couldn’t hold myself back. I grabbed her thighs and spread them apart as I crawled between them and aimed my aching, throbbing dick toward her warm, slick center. She reached down and helped by spreading her lips to welcome me. Her eyes fluttered shut as I slid all the way in, pausing and enjoying the way she surrounded me. I held most of my weight off her body with my right hand, allowing her to wriggle beneath me and lift her lips encouragingly.

As Jo pushed her pelvis up, I withdrew and then lowered myself to meet her again. “Fuck,” I moaned, wanting to let her know how good this felt. I missed this so much, missed sharing these intimate moments with her, loving her, and making love to her. “Jo. God, Jo. Yes.”

“That’s it. Come on, babe. Do me harder. Make me come.”

I went harder, making bigger and faster movements as I thrust into her. Biting the inside of my cheek, I tried to hold off, but even the pain wasn’t even to distract me from the ultimate pleasure that threatened to wash over me. “Please tell me you’re close.”

“I’m close,” she whimpered. “So close.” Jo ran her hands over my chest and then cupped her own breasts, pinching her hard, pink nipples and arching her back. I’m not sure if she came first. Maybe I did. Or maybe we climaxed simultaneously. Either way, it felt amazing. I filled her up with my come, releasing all my pent up emotions and desires at the same time. Collapsing on top of her, I kissed her soft lips and relished in the feel of her naked body against mine.

5 comments:

  1. Great Chapter!! can't wait for the next chapters!

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  2. Love your writing! Kris needs to learn that he can't be invincible all the time.

    I still love them together. Keep up the awesome work!

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  3. Well, I was at a hockey game and a sex scene broke out.

    Poor Kris, he takes way too much to heart and all the pressure has to explode sometime. Okay, everything I write here is sounding like a double entendre, so I'm just going to say: you never know what's going to happen when these two are together, and that's just great to read.

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  4. Haha I knew they couldn't last without having sex!!! Kris was so sad and depressed. I think he kind of needed to feel close to Jo again to get him back on track.

    I love this story and can't wait for more!!!!!

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  5. I think the fact that Jo doesn't pussy foot around Kris even though it's the Finals is a real testament to their relationship and the fact that she was concerned more about the particular day than the hockey shit is kind of relieving. I mean it's all about routine, and if she would routinely bitch him out in the regular season about being hurt than that shouldn't change, right? Especially considering the significance of the day and then what happened with James and everything, I understand Jo's concern.

    I'm glad the team won, and I can understand Kris being a little mopey because he didn't participate to the extent he would like, obviously he is competitive, but surprise grabbing his girlfriend from the shower because he heard her getting her self off sex should definitely lift his spirits. I wonder if maybe the intensity of the Finals and playoffs was exasperated(sp?)by finally having Jo all to himself and than imposing such a restriction. I'm sure Jo was surprised and happy!

    Excited to see at Jo thinks!

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