Wednesday, June 25, 2008


My alarm jolted me awake at six o’clock the next morning. I heard Sidney groan beside me and my stomach did a tiny lurch. My mind ran over the events of last night. After leaving the club, Sid and I had returned to my apartment. I had intended for him just to walk me to my door and then go to bed alone, but his passionate goodnight kiss had changed my mind. I had pulled him inside and we had left a trail of clothing leading to the bedroom. I remembered Sid’s face hovering inches above mine, that hungry, determined look in his eye, his breath hot and pleasant against my neck.

I turned the grating alarm off and gave Sid a peck on the forehead. “Sorry,” I whispered. “Go back to sleep.”

I took a quick shower and was surprised to find Sidney in the kitchen. “Morning, beautiful,” he greeted, making me blush slightly. “I made crêpes!”

I wrinkled my nose at the charred mess he slapped on a plate and handed to me. “Looks delicious,” I lied. “But, uh, I don’t think I have time to eat…I still have to get ready for work.” Sid glanced at his ‘crêpes’ with a disappointed look, so I took an obligatory bite. “Yum,” I muttered, forcing myself to swallow.

“I should stick to hockey, huh?”

“Yeah,” I replied with a giggle. I turned to toss my crêpe into the trash and Sid wrapped his arms around me from behind.

“You smell good,” he whispered, burying his face in my hair. I groaned quietly as he kissed my neck. “Practice is optional today—you should call in sick and we can stay in bed.”

I hesitated. After last night, staying in bed with Sidney all day sounded more than inviting. “I can’t,” I eventually replied with reluctance. I turned around to face him and wrapped my arms around his neck. I looked into his soft brown eyes and felt butterflies rise in my stomach.

I pulled Sid into a kiss and wanted nothing more than to drag him back into my bedroom, but a glance at my clock told me I was already running late. “I really have to get ready for work,” I said quietly. Sid pouted and kissed me again. “Sidney.” I pushed him away with a laugh. “You’re going to get me fired.”

“Good. Then I can have you all to myself.”

“I don’t think so, Mr. Crosby. If I have to share you with the world, you have to share me with PPG.”


Time began to pass alarmingly fast, and before it knew it, it was November 6th. Sid and the team had just returned from New Jersey, where they shut out the Devils and ended a two-game losing streak. After a team dinner, Sid invited Colby and Marc-André to my apartment. About a week ago, I had given Sid a key since he slept at my apartment more than he did at Uncle Mario’s, and he had practically moved in. I had even sacrificed some closet space and a drawer for him—a major deal for me, because with the huge amount of clothes I had I needed all the space I could get.

Colby entered carrying a six pack and I swiftly took it away and shoved it in the back of my fridge. “No drinking tonight,” I said. Colby made a face at me and moaned. “You all need to be in peak condition tomorrow so I can watch you kick Daniel Briere’s ass.”

The Flyers were coming to town tomorrow night, and I had a personal vendetta against their star player that began way back when we played PeeWee in Montreal.

“Not a fan, Karine?” Marc-André asked.

“Not at all. We were always on rival teams in PeeWee, and that little fucker would taunt me to no end. ‘Get back in the kitchen, Karine,’” I mocked in a whiny voice. “‘Be careful, you might break a nail.’ UGH! This one time, I got so angry I hit him across the face with the blade of my stick. Best penalty of my career. He bled everywhere.” I sighed happily and remembered sitting in the penalty box, watching a six-year-old Danny clutch his face in pain. “I think he got over twenty stitches.”

Colby stared at me, his eyes wide. “God, you’re so violent.”

“Just don’t piss me off, Army,” I teased.


Philadelphia won the game by a miserable two goals. And Colby didn’t even fight Briere like he had promised.

“I don’t understand why we keep losing,” Sidney said dejectedly when we were back at the apartment. He was sitting on the edge of the bed, staring at his hands. “I just don’t understand.”

I scooted behind him and began to rub his shoulders. “Things will fall into place,” I replied. “Something’s just not clicking, but you guys will figure it out. The team is loaded with talent. You all just need to find the momentum.”

Sid sighed. “We need to get it together, and fast. We can’t keep losing like this if we want to make it to the playoffs.”

“One game at a time, mon cher,” I said quietly, kissing his neck.

He twisted around so he was facing me and began to kiss me ravenously. “I love you,” he whispered as I pulled him down on the bed.

My heart fluttered. “I love you, too,” I whispered back.


Unfortunately, the Pens lost to the Rangers the next night, and again to the Flyers on Saturday. Sidney arrived home on Sunday in a horrible mood.

“You realize that out of six games we’ve played this month, we’ve only won one?”

I didn’t reply; I wasn’t sure what to say or do, so I just let him continue talking.

“What’s our problem? We’re better than this!” He made a frustrated noise and buried his head in his hands. “Do you see what we’re doing wrong?” He was speaking loudly and quickly. He was angry, but only with himself.

I shook my head. “Let’s go somewhere.” Sid stared at me with a blank expression on his face. “You need to get your mind off of this. Come on, you have a game tomorrow night…let’s go unwind.”

“No,” he replied firmly. “I need to watch these games. I need to see what I’ve been doing wrong.” He grabbed the remote and scrolled through the tons of games he had saved on TiVo and played the Tuesday night Philadelphia game. He leaned forward on the couch and stared at the television as if he was hypnotized.

“I’m going shopping,” I said quietly. Sid nodded, his eyes never leaving the TV.

I returned home late that evening and found Sid still sitting in the exact same spot on the couch. The only thing that had changed was the game—he was now watching Saturday’s game against the Flyers.

“Sid, come on.” I tried to take the remote from him but he held onto it for dear life. “This isn’t healthy.”

“Stop it, Karine,” he replied sharply, pushing my hand away. “Look, right here.” He rewound a few seconds and resumed play in slow motion. “See that? I should have had that shot. Or I could have at least passed to Colby…he was wide open.”

“Sidney,” I interrupted him sternly. “Turn of the television.”

“Shh, I’m trying to concentrate.” I positioned myself between him and the TV, blocking his view. “Come on, Karine, get out of the way!” he said, more than a little irritated.

“Give me the remote. You can’t keep obsessing over things you have no control over. You’re not the entire team, Sid.”

“Karine, move.” He raised his voice slightly.

I shook my head and held out my hand. “Remote,” I demanded. He sighed loudly and tossed the remote to me. “Thank you.”

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