Everyone was in, still beat from the night before. Tomorrow morning was skate, game then home. It seemed like forever had passed since we’d left Pittsburgh. Back then I’d never been in the paper or on TV. Then I could still say that my one experience in Sidney’s bed had been his idea. I was on Crosby overload, even since coming back from Christmas. At least now I felt sure that had worked itself out of both our systems.
Me: Can I come see you?
Kris: Meet me at the pool.
I put my suit on and took the elevator down a few floors. I could see Kris’ head bobbing in the water. No one else was around. I pulled off my sweats, wondering if Kris remembered this was the suit I’d worn to shower with Max. Taking the stairs, I stepped into the perfectly heated water.
“Hi belle,” he said, coming over. Kris was at his cutest when swimming, his hair plastered everywhere and stuck up where he touched it. “How was your date with Sid?”
“We snuck out like little kids and had dinner. I’m back by 8:30 PM.”
Kris took a seat next to me on the steps. Our shoulders just broke the surface of the water. The large space smelled of chlorine and our voices echoed above us.
“I might have said something to him before,” he started.
“I know, he told me. Sid and I agreed to stop clowning around. It’s not fair to you guys and it keeps blowing up in our faces. Sidney remains among my best friends, but he is officially out of the picture.”
Kris looked skeptical. “He’s said that before.”
“This time, I am saying it.” I swam to the middle of the shallow end. “Kris, what do you want from life? For your future?”
Kris backstroked around. “A family, eventually. I get lonely. I’d like to always come home to someone. And I always wanted brothers growing up, and the team is like that now. So I’d like a family. Also, more Stanley Cups.” He stood up across the pool from me.
“I’d like to have all that with you,” he said.
I was frozen. A smile came to my face as tears stung my eyes. He walked over to me through the waist-high water. He was quiet, waiting for me to reply.
“That’s the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me,” I managed.
He stopped an arm’s length away and placed his hand on my shoulder. “I can’t wait forever, Kahlan. But I could love you forever.”
I moved into him and put my hands on his cheeks. He was shirtless and I had trouble breathing. My lips found his and gently, hesitantly he sealed his promise with a kiss.
“Kris, I am trying to figure myself out. I’m sorry for taking so long. I know that what you say is true – you are ridiculously perfect.”
He and I both took a step back at the same time, then laughed.
“Too close,” he said.
“Too naked,” I confirmed.
Cara and I joined the guys for pre-game meal in the hotel restaurant. The TV crews had given up and the photographers had left. Kris, Max and I all ordered chicken parm. Flower came in, carrying a jersey.
“Here Kay, Vero says you should wear this again tonight,” he handed it to me.
“Boooooooooo,” went around the table. After we paid, I put my coat on as everyone else headed for the elevator.
“Can I go with you?” Max asked.
“How do you know where I’m going? And don’t you need a pre-game nap?”
He shook his head. “Slept all day yesterday. Couldn’t sleep now anyway.”
Max came back with his coat and a baseball cap for me. I led him out through the kitchen and the loading dock, just in case. Being photographed again would suck, but being photographed with Max would ensure the topic would never die. He stayed a few paces away. We didn’t say much as we walked fifteen minutes until I steered us into the bookstore. In the fiction section, Max and I stood next to each other flipping through books.
“I feel like we haven’t talked,” Max said without looking up. His tone was not friendly.
“I haven’t figured out what you’re up to,” I replied.
Max kept his eyes on his book, but his voice got tighter. “I had to do something. You were slipping back to Sid. He was slipping back to you. I thought you’d be more freaked out by the media attention. I was almost relieved about the airport photos – I thought that would be it for you two.
“So I tried to keep you from being alone with him, where real damage could be done. And in public, I pushed you toward him knowing you’d be photographed. But I underestimated. You handled the pressure. And you certainly liked the danger,” he spat.
I put my book on the shelf. “Max, stop manipulating me.”
“You are manipulating me, Kahlan,” he hissed. “You think you’re being fair, giving everyone an equal slice of you. Everyone gets a date, everyone gets a New Year’s kiss, knowing I will take whatever you give me. But you’re playing us against each other, making us share. And Sid was different.”
He finally closed his book as well. “You’re taking your sweet time here, Kahlan. Doling it out to us in little bits. I’m trying not to push, and instead I am getting pushed out. I can’t do nothing.”
“Neither can I, but that’s what you’re asking for!” I was yelling in a whisper now. “To give nothing to Kris means nothing for you. It means nothing for me. I was so happy as friends with everyone, and now I cannot do anything without doing something wrong. And I know when I’m doing something wrong. It must seem like I don’t, but I really do.”
Max reached across the aisle and pulled out a book. “Does this help you choose?” he slapped a book down on my hand: Jennifer Weiner’s Good in Bed.
“More like this,” I said, shoving Jennifer Weiner’s Goodnight Nobody into his chest and storming away.
Cara and I sat in the box again then headed directly to the airport after the guys lost by 2 goals. Everyone was tired, frustrated and I was happy not to talk to anyone on the flight. We piled into Kris’ car and drove home.
I changed, then unpacked right into the laundry. Max dragged his suitcase in behind me and did the same. I’d been thinking on the way home.
“Thanks for calling me out on my shit, Max,” I said softly, not wanting Kris to overhear. “I feel terrible for everything that’s happening. You are the only one who gives me a hard time for it, and that's what I need.”
Max stuck out his foot and kicked the door shut. He grabbed my hair, twisted my body and slammed me against the washing machine. Instantly his tongue was in my mouth. His hands were under my shirt, lifting it from my body. He pressed me backward and moved his lips to my breast. Snaking hands down my waist, he pushed my pants off. Then he gripped my ass hard and lifted me onto the washer.
Looking right into my eye, he reached behind me and twisted the dial on the empty machine. The noise seemed deafening as it started to vibrate and fill.
My body was begging for Max. My brain signaled a total meltdown. Of their own accord, my hands pulled Max’s shirt over his head and raked fingernails down his arms. He reclined me and worked his mouth down my body. His thumbs rubbed my thighs and he moved his fingers into my lap. The machine was shaking and so was I.
Stop stop stop! I shouted inside. Shut up shut up shut up! Fuckingshitbloodyhell.
I reached between my knees and opened Max’s pants. I slid a palm flat down his front, then wrapped two fingers around the width of his hard cock on the way back up. He shook his hips and sent his pants to the floor. Curling around his waistband, I pulled out and then down, leaving him as naked as I was.
I’d seen Max in various states of undress, but I hadn’t looked at his naked body in the kitchen. Now the sight of his penis, standing at attention, trembling for me, almost made me finish before he could start. His body was beautiful beyond imagining. Svelte, hard, powerful, perfect. I almost blacked out.
Max grabbed my ass and slid me forward on the lid of the machine. The wash cycle was rocking loudly. Pressing his thighs to the metal, he paused. His throbbing cock was in my hand, poised just outside my slick entrance.
“Kahlan, dites-moi de s'arrêter.” He growled. I didn’t understand. “Tell me to stop.”
I bit my lip, pleading, then shook my head no.
Max rocked into me, all at once, and I squealed a sob. He pressed to my chest, holding me close as the washer did most of the work. He pumped upwards, my weight shifted and pushed him as deep as I had ever felt anything. His movements were rough. I wanted him to punish me. I hooked my feet together behind his back.
The spin cycle started, twisting my hips with it. Max moaned into my mouth. I clenched onto his dick, working my body to exaggerate the swiveling motion. He matched me and pinched my nipple. I gasped. I was quaking, so close.
Max cursed something delicious in French and drove harder. His second swing reached all the way into me, hitting a spot I hadn’t even known existed. I bit his shoulder to muffle my scream. I squeezed my eyes shut as a jolt of pleasure slammed through me. He was throbbing inside me. My body locked up, rippling down the length of him. As the wave passed to him, he nailed into me one last time and dug his fingers into my hips. Pain and pleasure collided. He choked out a breath, moved twice then dropped his head to my shoulder. The spin cycle wound to a stop.
Still inside me, Max whispered into my neck. “You said you wanted a hard time, cherie.” I laughed, tears coming to my eyes.
And then Kris opened the door.
4 years ago