Saturday, June 21, 2008

PART ONE

“Salut, Karine!” Aunt Nathalie greeted me enthusiastically and kissed me on the cheek.

“Bonjour, Aunt Nathalie,” I replied, smiling widely. “Salut, Alexa,” I added, peeking around Aunt Nathalie to greet Alexa, Uncle Mario and Aunt Nathalie’s youngest child, who was hiding behind her mother.

“Hi,” she said softly.

“Here, let me help you with your bags.” Aunt Nathalie lifted one of my two suitcases and led me up the stairs. “Your room is in this wing,” she said, leading me down a hallway to the right. “You have your own bathroom, and it’s nice and quiet in this area of the house.” We passed a door on the left side of the hall. “That’s Sid’s room. I’m not sure if he’s home.” She hesitated, as if she was going to knock on the door, but then decided against it. “You’ll meet him at dinner. And here,” she said, opening a door a few steps away, “is your room.”

I let my suitcase fall to the floor and surveyed the room. It was bigger than my bedroom at home—in Montreal, I should say, at my parent’s house. A king sized bed rested in the middle of the room, right in front of a large plasma television. A door in the far left corner opened to a small, but gracious bathroom, and a walk-in closet was located on the opposite side of the bedroom.

“This is beautiful. Thank you so much!” I gave Aunt Nathalie a hug. “I really appreciate this.”

“Oh, Karine, it’s nothing,” she replied with a wave of her hand. “You’re family!” She smoothed my duvet cover and told me that dinner was at 6:30, if I would like to join the family and Sidney.

“Of course. I can’t wait to see everyone. It’s been so long!”

Aunt Nathalie left the room and I lifted my suitcases to the bed and opened them. Although I was only planning on staying with Uncle Mario and Aunt Nathalie for a few weeks at the most, I brought enough clothes to last me for quite some time. The rest of my belongings were in a storage center nearby.

I was very grateful Uncle Mario had offered to let me stay at his home until I could find an apartment of my own. I had graduated from McGill in Montreal in June, and had recently been offered a job by PPG at their headquarters in Downtown Pittsburgh. The opportunity was too good to pass up, so I had frantically packed up all my belongings and bought my plane ticket. Although I wouldn’t start work until October 15th, which was two weeks away, I wanted to get to Pittsburgh as soon as possible so I could become familiar with the city and begin apartment hunting. I had planned on staying in a hotel, but Uncle Mario insisted I stayed at his house in Sewickley, saying it was too empty. I had smiled at that comment, because Uncle Mario and Aunt Nathalie had four children plus Sidney Crosby, the 20-year-old captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, living with him. The more the merrier, he had assured me.

I finally finished unpacking around four in the afternoon, after cursing myself numerous times for bringing so many clothes with me. My closet was half full, and I had at least twice as many more clothes packed in boxes, sitting in a storage shed somewhere nearby. At least I’m prepared for everything, I told myself. I had four cocktail dresses, over a dozen suits in various shades of blue, black, and beige, a ridiculous amount of street clothes, and, of course, all of my hockey gear. Although I didn’t play competitively in college, I was captain of my high school team and had been skating since I could walk. Like most of the Lemieuxs, I had a somewhat unhealthy obsession with hockey. When I was little, I told everyone I was going to be the first girl to go pro. When I realized that was all but impossible, I still played hard and often but slowly switched my focus to school and graduated from McGill with a degree in finance.

My eyes flickered to the door as I heard someone quietly clear his throat. Sidney Crosby was leaning against the doorway with a small, polite smile on his face.

“You’re Karine?” he asked. I stood and took a step towards him.

Ouais. I mean, yeah,” I stammered. Although I had seen Sidney countless times on television, I had never realized how attractive he was. He absent-mindedly ran his hand through his dark, wavy hair and shifted his weight. “Nice to meet you.” I extended my hand and he shook it softly.

“I'm Sid. Sidney Crosby.” Sidney’s brown eyes swept my room, stopping on my hockey pads that were piled in a corner. “You play?” he asked, motioning towards my gear.

“Of course I play,” I scoffed. “I’m a Lemieux.” Sidney grinned widely and his face lit up with amusement. “We’ll have to go one-on-one sometime.”

“Yeah. As long as you don’t mind losing to a girl,” I replied with a smile.

Sidney gave a short laugh and rolled his eyes. “Yeah, okay,” he said sarcastically. He glanced at his watch and excused himself. I watched him walk down the hall and into his bedroom, admiring his amazing body. He was only a few inches taller than me, but he was all muscle. I suppressed a groan as I turned away and closed my door behind me. That boy was gorgeous.

1 comment:

said...

This is REALLY good and i'm just on the first chapter!!