PART TWENTY FOUR:
Playoff time rolled around, and game three against the Senators was tomorrow.
The series was tied, and the boys were playing on home ice.
Though I love my Pens to death, I have that feeling that it's not our time yet.
With the coveted Stanley Cup in mind, I haven't seen much of anyone except Henry and the boys lately. I'd been spending mass amounts of time with them, due to the looming Nationals. Actually, practice was set to start in around twenty minutes.
I was sitting on a bench in the changing room when my phone vibrated.
'1 New Text Message'
I flipped it open, pressing OK.
'How're things at practice? Miss you tons, lets do a late dinner.'
I grinned, quickly replying,
'We're about to start. Miss you lots too. Dinner sounds good, my place or yours?'
Yours as in Mario's.
"Ooh, someone just got another text from Loverboy," Jared teased. They'd all taken to calling Sidney 'Loverboy' around me now.
Sid had been sending me the cutest, corniest texts from practice and the first two playoff games in Ottawa all week.
"Yeah? So! At least I don't send him sexy pictures like Kate!"
Oh, the benefits of going to high school with the team before becoming their coach. I knew all their friends and girlfriends.
And Jared's.. Well, she's the new Savannah.
Everyone has bets going to see how long they'll last, and so far it's been just shy of a semester. The only good thing is that he isn't attached to her. Jared has always chosen hockey over her, which gave us reason to believe that they won't last. He didn't even defend her when we made jokes, instead, he joked along.
I was very pleased with our practice. My head was clear; Henry was doing better, Sidney and I had a date tonight, and everyone was working hard.
"You guys, I'm gonna cry if we don't sweep at Nationals," I told them during a break between drills.
"No you won't," Casey retorted.
"You'll just buy us pizza and tell us we'll do it next season," Brett agreed.
"Yeah-huh," they chanted.
"Cherche pas, t'as tort!" I yelped, quoting my favourite French movie- Brice De Nice.
"Barriere de corail!" Jared threw his arms out to his sides, pretending to be a coral reef. We all joked about it for a bit, then got down to business.
When I checked my phone after practice, Sid's reply was:
'Mine. Be here at 9 30'
By the time I got home it was eight thirty, so I took a shower, then changed into a pair of jeans and a periwinkle, short sleeved, buttoned, meant-to-be-wrinkled J. Crew shirt. I slipped on a pair of ballet flats, did some light makeup, dried my hair, and left.
I rang the doorbell of the Lemieux house at exactly 9:30, and Sidney greeted me with a soft kiss.
"Hello to you too," I grinned, stepping inside.
"I figured since it's really nice out, we'd eat outside.." he told me as he led me out through the back door. "Sounds good."
We walked for a bit out onto the field, where a comforter was laid out, another blanket folded and off to the side. As I sat down, I saw peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches, sun chips, grapes, ceasar salad, and an assortment of goodies.
"Oh, Sid. You're the sweetest, cheesiest guy ever," I gushed as he sat next to me.
"It's amazing. No. You're amazing. Thank you so much for doing this."
"Thanks, but it was no problem, I -"
"No. You've been so swamped with practice, and you find the way to pan and have a picnic with me."
After we ate, we just laid out there in the field, talking.
He squoze my hand that he'd been playing with as he said, "I love you."
He turned onto his side to face me, and I did the same, staring him in the eyes, not breaking contact.
"I love you too," I beamed, happy he wasn't saying it under the same circumstances as last time, leaning in and closing the gap between our lips.
A little while later, Mario came out, telling us,
"It's time for you crazy kids to get inside."
"Mais non, grand monsieur," was my initial reply, which cracked Sidney up, but Mario didn't look too pleased.
"Desole, Monsieur Lemieux," I hung my head, then stuck my tongue out at him when he wasn't looking.
When we got inside it was around midnight.
"Sid, I have to go home.." I told him, a sad tone in my voice.
"But I don't want you to," he pouted.
"Come on," I brushed his dark hair out of his eyes, "you've got a huge day ahead of you. A good nights sleep is a must."
"But I won't get any unless you're here."
"Rahh!" I groaned, "Why must you weaken me with your corny lines?"
"Because I love you," he stated matter of factly.
"Oh really then? I guess I could stay, seeing as I love you too."
He grinned, leading me to his room.
"What, no guest room?"
"Nope. It's occupied"
"I can deal with that- Wait. What do you mean by occupied?"
"We have guests?" he shrugged, trying to drop it.
"Nuh-uh. Who's here?"
He mumbled something.
"My parents and sister.."
"They're here for the playoffs.. and my mom wanted to meet you," he explained shyly.
"Your parents are here?" I hissed, nearing a panic attack.
"Relax, they're gonna love you! I sent my mom a bunch of pictures and stuff a while ago. You know what she said?"
"No, what?" I prepared for the rude motherly comments.
"We make each other 'lite up' and that you're one of the most beautiful girls, oh, and if you two can get along on a shopping trip, you're automatically in the family."
"Fantastic.. Is this gonna be like Meet the Parents, only I'm Ben Stiller?"
"No," he grinned, "you're much better looking and not a total spaz."
"Oh thanks Sidney. Way to make me feel better. Real boost of confidence. Let's go to bed."
By the time Sid and I were up, everyone had left for breakfast, not bothering to wake us up.
"Ugh, I can only imagine what Mario's telling your parents about me," I groaned.
"How would he know so much?"
"When I came out with Marc-Andre last year, I lived here y'know."
"Yeah, this place is like a hotel, eh?" he laughed.
When everybody came back, Sidney had to get going, so he handed me his All Star jersey and quickly introduced everyone.
"Aubs, this is my dad, Troy. My mum, Trina, and my sister, Taylor. I'll see you before the game?"
"Yeah," I nodded, pecking his cheek.
"Eew!" Taylor wrinkled her nose.
Right as Sid left I felt nervous and alone.
'Time for the inquisition.'