Tuesday, August 31, 2010

125.) Home

Soundtrack Song - The xx, Basic Space

As soon as Jo and I stepped foot back into Mom’s house, I spotted my Mom in the kitchen. She was standing in the doorway, watching us carefully and waiting for us to make the first move. Her fingers kneaded the towel in her hand, crinkling and wrinkling it before smoothing out the material and repeating that same action, over and over again.

Jo dropped her arm from around me and gently nudged me toward the direction of the kitchen. All it took was one step farther from the door, and Mom came bustling toward me with her arms outstretched. We met in the middle of the living room and hugged each other. I let her do that for a little while, because I knew how much it meant to her. She always came running whenever I had scrapped a knee or got hit too hard with a puck; she was a nurturing mother. But my need for her brand of care had waned.

I was seeing her a little differently now. I still loved her and was indebted to her for all her sacrifices, but it wasn’t the same anymore. This was the first time that she hadn’t been the strong, independent woman that I had always pictured her to be. Nor was she a mother with the only duty to protect her only child. She was less of that idealized person, and now more human instead. All because I had learned about her past that had been built around so much more than me—whereas our life, from the time we had left until now, had always consistently revolved around me and whatever I needed. It was humbling, and it put a lot in perspective.

Mom kissed my cheeks and patted them softly, her mouth spewing out apology after apology. She instructed me and Jo to sit in the living room while she finished with the cookie dough she had begun mixing up. Her method of stress release had always been baking and cooking; I couldn’t really eat the stuff because it was always so decadent and calorie-laden, especially considering I had another game in the Finals to worry about the very next day, but that wouldn’t stop her. Jo and Henrí would be reaping the benefits of her bake-a-thon.

Instead of sitting in the living room, I told Mom that Jo and I were going to head upstairs. “We’re gonna go up to my room.”

“Just as long as you—”
she started to say, but then she cut herself off. I knew exactly what she was going to tell me: Just as long as you keep the door open. However, she didn’t say it. Mom nodded and simply said, “Okay.”

I was surprised by that, because I had expected her to maintain and enforce the rules of the house that I had grown up with and knew so well. I guess things were changing, though, and Mom was starting to accept the relationship I had with my girlfriend, that it was serious and meant a lot to me.

Waving at Jo, I beckoned her to follow me up the stairs. I guided her toward my bedroom door and let her walk through before me. As she plopped on the bed, I closed the door, waiting to hear the distinct click meaning that the door was safely and securely shut behind me.

Jo raised her eyebrow. “I thought you weren’t allowed to have girls up here all alone?”

“I’m not,” I told her, quickly crossing the room and pulling my shirt back over my head. This was the second time I had done this today; the first time was when I had let myself in when Jo was still sleeping. “But then again, you’re not just any old girl.”

She giggled as I climbed right on top of her, pushing her down onto the mattress and not giving her any say in the matter. I pushed her shirt up just below her breasts, and then I kissed her mouth, her neck, and then the delicate skin above her navel. Jo had a line of very soft, thin, blonde hair there on her tummy, and I traced that line lightly with my finger. She laughed again while halfheartedly swatting at my hand. “That tickles, Kris. Stop it.”

“Sorry. I’ll try a little lower.” I unfastened her jeans and lowered the zipper, dragging my lips down past her bellybutton to the very top of her cotton, floral panties.

“But Kris,” she said, stopping my progress and interrupting me. “Your mom’s downstairs.”

“I know. She’s gonna bake some cookies. She’ll be busy for a while.” Sitting up, I grabbed the material of her pant legs and tugged them down over her hips.

“She’ll hear, just like last time. She knows, like, mother’s intuition or something. And I think that maybe she’s just beginning to like me.” When I kissed the inside of her thigh, I felt the muscle underneath her skin quiver. Her next words sounded strained. “I don’t want to, uh, ruin, um, that.”

I chuckled. “Wow. You know, I wanted you two to get along, but not if that meant I can’t make love to my own girlfriend when I want to.” Then I kissed the juncture between her legs over her panties. I pressed my tongue against the cotton fabric and found her clit; I knew I hit the spot when her body shuddered. “Is there anything I can do to convince you?”

“You’re sure? I mean, it’s the Finals....”

“I’m very sure,” I told her. I moved up along her body and rubbed myself against her, simulating sex with our clothes still on. The firm texture of my denim jeans against her sensitive skin put a spark of lust in her eyes. There’d be no more dissension from her on this matter.

This was definitely what I wanted to do. Right now, my life felt like utter and complete chaos. Nothing was going right, and I felt like I was out to sea with tired legs, barely managing to tread water to keep my head above crashing waves around me. But there was one thing that wouldn’t ever change: the perfect way I fit and meshed with Jo. Whenever I was inside her, it felt like I was meant to be there. I really wanted that feeling at that moment.

Jo must’ve recognized that emotion on my face, because she said, “Let me take care of you, babe. You’re so stressed, so let me make you feel good.”

“No.” I pushed her shirt up the rest of the way, taking it off completely. Then I pulled down the straps of her bra over her shoulders, just enough so I could scoop her breasts out of the cups. Her nipples were hard as diamonds already. I kissed around her chest, never getting too close to those little pink nubs. Jo twisted and writhed, anxious for me to finish teasing her and start the more pleasing foreplay—just the reaction I had been expecting.

I always knew what to expect from Jo; I knew how she’d react to every little thing I did to her body. I controlled her, and it was nice to be able to control something in my life—especially when that something was an act that would bring pleasure. When I flicked my tongue over the pert tip of her breast, she bit her bottom lip and exhaled loudly. Her fingers threaded through my hair and tugged gently. When I kissed it softly, she slid her hands over my shoulders and reached down to begin opening my pants. As soon as the button popped, the pressure off my erection helped me to concentrate on the task at hand. I sucked on her other nipple as she pushed my jeans over my ass and pulled my dick out of my boxers.

She licked her hand and circled her fingers at the base of my penis; not wanting to give her any advantage over me, I hooked the crotch of her panties to the side. I pinched her clit and made her back bow before inserting my index and pointer fingers into her sweet, hot entrance. Jo pumped her hand up and down, and I matched her thrust for thrust as I fucked her with my fingers. If Jo sped up her pace, so did I. If she clamped her muscles down around my hand, she squeezed her hand around my dick. It was just like we were having intercourse without the full-body contact.

But that didn’t last for long. Her hips moved in time with my hand, my hips were in sync with hers, and soon we couldn’t take it anymore. I knew Jo would cave first if I could hold out, so I waited until she spoke up—just like I knew she would. Her free hand tucked a few strands of hair behind my ear, slid to the back of my neck, and quietly moaned in my ear. “Kris.” She licked her lips, and her tongue accidentally, or maybe not accidentally, brushed the shell of my ear. “I need you inside me, Kris.”

I didn’t need her to ask again. I rolled my body to the side, and Jo spread her legs farther apart to make room and accommodate me and then tilted her pelvis. She made it easy for me to drive home, but I probably wouldn’t have needed her help; our bodies could find each other like magnets. It was a force of nature that neither of us could resist.

As I sunk into her awaiting body, Jo made this sound that was like a growl, a moan, and a coo all at once. Whatever it was, it was a sound of pure, unadulterated satisfaction. I placed my elbows on the mattress just above her shoulders, which put me in the best position over her. My body barely hovered over hers, and I could anchor her in one spot so she didn’t move so much as I rocked my pelvis against hers. Jo gyrated against me. I kissed her mouth and neck, sucking and nibbling on her thin flesh. One of her hands cupped the back of my head, keeping my mouth in place against her skin; the other was digging her nails into my ass, making sure that I kept moving.

The bed was creaking, the springs in my old mattress squeaking as they compressed and extended. “You feel so good. You make me feel so good,” she purred quietly. “I love the way you fit in me.”

I took a break from kissing her so I could reply, “Me, too.” I stopped rocking and began to plunge in and out of her. Jo’s eyes fluttered shut, and she wrapped her arms around my shoulders and her legs likewise around my butt. Her mouth was right by my ear, and her breath hit my skin as she panted. Her breath would periodically hitch.

My body hurt. Every muscle ached. It felt like I couldn’t even remember a time in my life when I felt healthy and rested, but that didn’t mean that I could stop or that I even wanted to. As my body yelled and screamed at me to stop, to rest, I kept going. The need to feel Jo come around my dick was greater than my need for respite. I think Jo knew that, so even though I had full intentions of going as long as she wanted, she was speeding things up for me. She tightened around me, bringing me closer to the edge of oblivion faster than I would have liked. I had to make her climax first and make myself hold off until then. I tried to slow down to make things less intense, but that only made it worse—thankfully, though, it had the same effect on her, too. She groaned, and if I hadn’t’ve known better, I would have thought she was in pain.

Even though I was getting closer to the brink, I at least had my wits about me to keep my voice low. I sighed her name. “Jo.”

Her fingers kneaded my back and the heels of her bare feet did the same to the backs of my thighs. “Kris, I love you.” Her back arched again, which pressed her soft breasts into my chest. I could feel her hard nipples against my torso. Suddenly, her body went slack and she fell back onto the mattress. Her breathing became more rhythmic and deep as she recovered, but I was just beginning to reach the end. My balls tightened and twitched, and I felt the familiar yet always gratifying rush of pleasure leave my body.

When I was empty, I fell on top of Jo and nestled back into her arms. My head was empty, too, which was a wonderful feeling. I wasn’t thinking about hockey or the Finals, and I wasn’t thinking about Mom or about Marcel either. At that moment, I was just a man, lying in bed with his girlfriend after a quick but no less enjoyable session between the sheets, soaking up the simple moment.

“Thank you,” I murmured into her hair as I pressed my face into the crook between her shoulder and her neck. She didn’t ask What for? or say You’re welcome before I fell asleep.

I woke up to the scent of warm chocolate. Jo wasn’t lying down with me; she was fully dressed again and sitting cross-legged at the foot of the bed, eating freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Rolling over until I was on my back, I watched as she nibbled on the cookies and got crumbs all over my bed. I adjusted the pillow beneath my head. “Hey.”

“Well, well, well, it’s about time you woke up. I think your mom was going crazy, trying to decide whether to hold off dinner or wake you up.”

“Why didn’t you just wake me up? What time is it?”

“Six.” She shrugged, like it was no big deal that I had been asleep for hours. “I figured you were pretty exhausted and could use the rest. If you’re hungry, I can go tell her that you’re up now.”

“Is everyone waiting on me?” I asked, pushing myself up into a sitting position. The sheet fell back and exposed my bare chest. I began reaching for my clothes that had been strewn across the small room.

Again, Jo shrugged. “Kind of. Henrí’s back from work, Mamie’s here, and your mom put dinner in the oven to keep warm. Everyone understands, Kris. Your mom told them what happened yesterday.”

I exhaled, making my hair fly away from my face. I wasn’t sure that I wanted everyone to know. It made me seem weak—made me feel weak—if they thought that I was having trouble dealing with this. Just because I was having trouble dealing with this didn’t mean that I wanted them to know that. I wanted to have the appearance at least of being strong, even if I was struggling on the inside.

Jo stood up, popped the last bit of cookie in her mouth, licked her fingers, and then picked up my shirt and handed it to me. “It’s okay. It would have been a shock to anyone. Your family just wants to be there for you and support you, Kris. It’s what families do.”

I wanted to call her out on that line of bullshit, because I knew that she couldn’t believe it. Her family wasn’t her support system. I was. Tubby was. Right now, I knew that I could depend on her for anything, and I wasn’t afraid to depend on her like I had once been scared to do. Jo was a part of me now, and I had transitioned from relying on my mother—a momma’s boy is what I had heard some of my former teammates call me—to relying on Jo for comfort and reassurance.

Tossing my shirt over my head and pulling it down my body, I grabbed her hand and squeezed it and tugged on it until Jo was standing in front of me and looking up at me expectantly. “Hey. I just want you to know that I love you.”

She reached up and cupped my chin and cheek. Her thumb caressed my face through my beard, which was so itchy. “I know.” Then she pushed up on her toes and gently kissed my lips. I tried to kiss her back, but she pulled away. “I love you, too, babe. Now let’s go eat.”

We headed down the stairs, Jo leading the way. Everyone stopped talking when we reached the first floor and turned to look at us. Jo just smiled and said she was hungry as she headed into the kitchen. I immediately followed her and avoided talking to anyone in depth. When we were all congregated in the kitchen and getting ready to eat, I hugged Mamie and kissed her cheeks. She patted my cheek and looked at me carefully, of course knowing I had seen Marcel and also knowing that I wouldn’t want to talk about it either.

Mom talked over dinner like nothing happened, chatting away with Mamie about the recipe for dinner and asking Henrí about his day at work. Jo ate without once saying anything to me about being poisoned or there being any arsenic in her food. I held her hand under the table, tracing the lines in her palm with my fingers.

After dinner, I left. I kissed Mom and Mamie and they wished me luck for the next day’s game. Jo walked out to the sidewalk as we waited for the cab to come and get me. Mom had offered to drive me back to the hotel, but I wanted to take a taxi. I wanted the alone time, and generally just time away from her. I still had a lot to think about, considering the rug had just been pulled out from under me and I still wasn’t sure what was the truth and what was lies.

Jo kissed me as the cab rolled up and sent me off with strict orders to call her sometime before the game, or if I just needed to talk at all. I held onto her hips and kissed her good and hard until I finally made myself let go of her to leave.

I had wanted the alone time to think, but I found that once I was alone, I didn’t want to be. I hung out with the guys all evening. We watched movies in Couture’s room until Coach walked by and forced us into our individual rooms. Husky and I talked strategy until he insisted that we get some sleep in preparation for game four.

The next day, I had practice to distract me. I kept my feet moving on the ice and dedicated myself to ever drill and run-through that Coach McLellan lined up for us. I ate my pre-game meal at the hotel with the team and napped for a solid two hours, calling Jo in between like she had instructed me to. I was pretty tired, so we didn’t stay on the phone long. Jo just wanted to hear my voice to make sure things were okay. She was coddling me without trying to be obvious about it, and I knew that. Under normal circumstances, I would have been irritated by it, because I wanted Jo to be looking out for herself, and not for me. With so much going on in my life right now, though, it felt nice to be taken care of and watched out for.

During the game, I was a step behind—or stride behind rather—for all three periods. I was making all kinds of mistakes: I pinched too deep, I coughed up the puck, and I was shooting wide. My mind was preoccupied, and every time I sat on the bench, I was scanning on the crowd for a familiar face. Was Marcel here, watching me? And what was going to happen after the game? Would he be waiting again?

I was getting ahead of myself, and I knew that. But still, I couldn’t stop my mind from drifting to what would go down later. Not being able to keep my head in the game was detrimental to our team, and we dropped game four when Montréal scored. Cammalleri deked past me and scored top shelf on Nabby in the second, and we were never able to even it up to give our team a chance to win.

In the locker room, I apologized to my teammates. If I had been sharper on the ice, that goal wouldn’t have happened. Everyone was pretty bummed about it, because now the series was tied at two games apiece, and now it was like a best of three. We had the chance to go up three to one, and I had blown it and let them all down. None of them blamed me; at least not to my face. But still, I had known what I had done. I couldn’t separate my personal emotions from the game. Sex the day before probably didn’t help, but I knew it would be stupid to place the blame on that. My mind wasn’t in it, and neither was my heart.

We were leaving for San José right after the game, and I couldn’t have been more excited to go home. It was odd for me to think of California as home, but it was a safe place for me right now. I would be able to focus there rather than here, where I was surrounded simultaneously by pressure to succeed by my family and hope of failure by the rest of Montréal as well as the overwhelming concern of seeing my father.

I showered quickly and dressed, but I chose to wait until a big group of my teammates was leaving for the bus that would take us to the airport. I couldn’t get passes this time around, so no one I wanted to see would be waiting for me. There was no reason for me to linger, so I didn’t. Amongst a group of my completely oblivious friends, I sneaked off for the bus. I pretended to keep my eyes trained on the floor, but I used my peripherals to look for the last person I wanted to see.

He wasn’t there.

It felt like everything I had feared was all for naught. Marcel wasn’t waiting for me. He probably hadn’t even showed up for the game. For a split second, I even entertained the thought that I had imagined or dreamed the entire encounter from two days ago and that my mind was just playing tricks on me, but I knew that couldn’t possibly be true since Jo had been a witness to it, too. I shook my head and kept up with the guys as we boarded the bus and departed for the airport, headed to home sweet home.


  1. It seems like all the barriers to their relationship are falling away. His mom now likes Jo, they can have playoff sex without guilt, Kris can open up to Jo, he doesn't idealize his mom anymore. Yet, there is still no joy, because he can't be happy when the team loses, regardless of whether he has a bad game or a good one.

    Are we heading towards a reunion/confrontation scene with Kris's dad? Seems like Kris has one more demon to conquer before he's done, and there has to be a Game Six in Montreal now.

    Love the way he holds her hand under the table, that's so innocent and adorable. Jo's being a rock here, props to her.

    Oh, yeah you did slip that sex scene in the middle of the drama. As Cosmo might say: Twenty ways to make your readers all hot and sweaty!

  2. Wow I'm finally caught up!

    I love how this chapter ended. It's so often in life that we worry and fret over something that could happen only to have it be for naught. It seems I'm a lot like Kris in this fashion.

    Never did I think I would say this but I relate more to Kris than Jo these days.

  3. I have been so impressed with Jo these last 2 chapters. She has grown so much. Being able to put Kris first even when is was less than pleasant. That along with Kris being able to show how vulnerable he is right now, I think is a sign of how deep their love is.

    I loved how his mom waited for him to make the first move and then just hugged the stuffing out of him. So cute.

    This is a big shift of power between Kris and his mom.** “We’re gonna go up to my room.”**
    The last time they visited he would never have broken the rules like that.

    The way you discribed Kris's feelings during sex was amazing. This wasn't about the physical release for him. It was about having something in his life that made sense, that hadn't changed and that he knew how to control.

    **This was definitely what I wanted to do. Right now, my life felt like utter and complete chaos. Nothing was going right, and I felt like I was out to sea with tired legs, barely managing to tread water to keep my head above crashing waves around me. But there was one thing that wouldn’t ever change: the perfect way I fit and meshed with Jo. Whenever I was inside her, it felt like I was meant to be there. I really wanted that feeling at that moment.**

    **I always knew what to expect from Jo; I knew how she’d react to every little thing I did to her body. I controlled her, and it was nice to be able to control something in my life—especially when that something was an act that would bring pleasure. **
    Just Glorious Jay!

    As much as I love your Kris,(and I do) the boy needs to learn to use his words more.
    **“You feel so good. You make me feel so good,” she purred quietly. “I love the way you fit in me.”

    I took a break from kissing her so I could reply, “Me, too.”**
    Kris you sweet talker.

    I was really hoping Marcel would be there. Kris needs to confront him. He won't be able to concentrate fully on anything until then.
    I'm also worried that left to his own ruminating he will decide his dad was a good guy until he had a child. So as long as he doesn't have childern he won't turn into his dad.

    Exquisite as always. Thank you.

  4. That would have been kreepish having your mom hear the bed creaking.