Saturday, August 2, 2008

THIRTY-EIGHT

"UGH! What the fuck, Lauren?" I shouted as I looked at Lauren's stomach contents that were now displayed all over my front. She'd covered a good portion of Sid, too.

"Sorry," Lauren replied thickly as she slumped to the floor.

Colby came running in the kitchen, probably to find out why I was screaming at his fiancé, and couldn't help but laugh when he saw Sid and I covered in vomit with disgusted expressions on our faces. "That sucks," he said between laughs.

"Fuck you, Army," Sidney replied, wrinkling his nose at the sight of his vomit-covered tee shirt.

"Oh, no!" Sylvie exclaimed as she entered the kitchen behind Colby. "Oh, guys, I am so sorry. Go upstairs and shower—Karine, you can use the bathroom in our bedroom, and Sid there's another bathroom down the hall. I'll find you two some clothes."

I stepped over Lauren, who was now passed out cold on the floor, and started up the stairs. Sid followed me silently and found his way to the upstairs bathroom as I entered Marc and Sylvie's master suite. I closed the bathroom door behind me and peeled off my smelly, stained clothes. I looked at my reflection in the mirror. At least she didn't get my hair, I thought. Yeah, some consolation.

I took a very quick shower and wrapped myself in a towel before opening the door. There were two pairs of clothes resting on the bed, the smaller set obviously meant for me. I heard the bedroom door open behind me and I turned to see Sidney, also in only a towel, enter the room.

"Oh, sorry," he said, blushing slightly. I noticed his eyes quickly wander over my body before he stared at the floor.

"It's fine," I replied. "Here, I think these are yours." I handed him the larger tee shirt and sweatpants.

"Thanks." He took the clothes and started at me for a few seconds, making me very uncomfortable. "Do you mind if I just change in here? I feel kind of…exposed, walking down the hall in only a towel."

"Sure. Whatever." I turned around and began to loosen my towel, but I could still feel Sidney's eyes on me. "Turn around, Crosby," I ordered.

"Nothing I haven't seen before," he replied.

I cocked one eyebrow and turned my head to look at him. "Turn around," I repeated.

Sid smiled, but obeyed. I held out the tank top Sylvie had left for me and shook my head. It was a deep red silk cami—very revealing, something I normally wouldn't wear. Sylvie and I were the same size, but she dressed much more provocatively than me. I sighed and pulled the cami over my head and decided to ask Sylvie for a sweatshirt later. I looked at the tag of the jeans she laid out for me and was surprised to see a 'Seven for all Mankind' label. She must really feel badly about Lauren puking on me, I thought.

"Can I turn around yet?" Sid asked as I pulled on the jeans.

"Yeah," I replied as I buttoned them. I ran my fingers through my wet hair and turned to face Sidney.

"Woah," he stammered, his eyes appreciatively moving over my body. "You should let Sylvie dress you more often."

"Stop," I replied tersely, crossing my arms across my chest. I felt very uncomfortable and exposed, and the hungry way Sid was looking at me didn't help matters.

"Sorry," Sid replied as he rubbed the back of his neck. We stood parallel to each other, and every so often Sidney's eyes would flicker to my scantily clad frame.

"So," I said awkwardly, finally breaking the silence, "when you said you didn't want to be friends..."

He shook his head. "I said I can't be your friend. I'm always going to want something more."

"Oh." I bit my bottom lip nervously and pressed on. "So...you want me to stay away." It wasn't a question. I knew if Sid couldn't be around me, I wouldn't make things harder for him.

"You really don't get it, do you?" he asked with a sardonic laugh. "I can't live without you, and I can't handle being 'just friends.' I want you back, Karine."

"I...I don't know if that's a good idea."

"Probably not. It would be easier for us to go our seperate ways. But nothing worth having ever comes easy." He paused and crossed his arms over his chest. I couldn't think clearly; he wanted me back? Was he insane? He was actually willing to forgive me after everything I'd done. Why the hell would he do that? "So...uh…have you made a decision about Paris?" he asked hesitantly. I knew from his tone that he was afraid of my answer.

I sighed and chewed on my bottom lip. It wouldn't surprise me if I tasted blood soon. "There was never any decision to make," I said quietly. "I'm going. I don't have a choice."

"Oh," he replied. His one word answer stung more than any full sentence he could have said. His voice was dripping with disappointment, and I could see the frustration in his face.

"I'm really sorry, Sid."

"Don't be. I get it. You had to decide between me and your career, and you chose your career. It was the smart thing to do."

I met his gaze and was unsurprised by his cold expression. "I don't like this either, you know."

"So don't go!" he practically shouted.

"Sidney, put yourself in my position. PPG is paying for my apartment, I'll be making over $100,000 a year, plus there's an entire list of other perks. Not to mention that this promotion is amazing for my career. It would be stupid for me to quit now. Can't you understand that?" I tried to remain calm, but my voice cracked with emotion. Don't cry, I ordered myself.

He shook his head. "This is what I understand. I understand that I love you. I understand that you're the most important thing in my life. And I understand that you're leaving me, which I guess means I am nowhere near as important to you as you are to me. That's what I understand."

I clenched my fists and tried very hard not to lose my temper. Now it was my turn to be frustrated. "Fuck you, Sid." My voice was quiet, but forceful. "Do you think this is easy for me? Why do you think I went to Montreal? I can't be around you anymore! It kills me to see how I've hurt you. You think you aren't my world? How dare you. How dare you! Do you honestly think I want to go to Paris? I have to, Sidney. You are the best thing that's ever happened to me, but are you going to be around in a year? What is going to happen to me if we break up and I never went? If I don't go to France, I'm going to regret it for the rest of my life. Is that what you want? Will that make you happy?" Sid didn't reply; he flushed slightly, and then stared at his feet. I knew I was getting to him, and I knew I should probably stop berating him, but I was on a roll. "You were drafted, what, almost three years ago? Tell me, Sidney, if we would have met in Rimouski three years ago and we had been this serious, what would have happened when you left Canada for Pittsburgh? What would you have done if I would have told you not to leave? What would do you if I was acting as childish as you are right now?"

"That's different," he muttered.

"No, Sidney, it's not. It's exactly the same. You of all people should understand why I need to go to Paris."

Sidney continued staring at his feet and opened his mouth like he was going to say something, then decided against it. He sighed, looked around the room, and rubbed the back of his neck. I knew he was agitated, but I couldn't sympathize for him. I was much too angry at him right now; the feelings of guilt had evaporated, and now all I was feeling was resentment. I couldn't believe he thought he was the only one who was hurting because of this mess. Sure, I had brought it on, but I could guarantee I was struggling with Paris more than he was.

"Karine, I don't understand why I'm even speaking to you right now. I can't explain why you are still all I think about. You just…you do something to me. I feel something for you that I have never felt for anyone else in my life. That's how I know I'm in love with you. Yeah, I'm still in love with you. Even now, when you're telling me to fuck off. Even now, when I'm about fifty percent sure that you're going to punch me. Look, I'm used to making sacrifices for other people. I've always been focused on the bigger picture—what's better for my family, what's better for my team…but with you, I'm completely selfish. I don't want you to go to Paris. I know you don't, either. So just stay. Please." He moved toward me and wrapped my hand in both of his. "Please."

My anger instantly evaporated as I looked into his eyes. I had never felt so torn. I knew if I quit my job, I would regret it. But would I regret leaving Sidney even more? "I don't know what to do," I said quietly.

Sid placed his hand on the side of my face and stroked my cheek with his thumb. "Is the thought of me providing for you really that appalling?"

I gave him a small smile, then nodded. "I would feel guilty."

Sid smiled strangely and cocked his head to the side. "What if it was my job to provide for you?"

I frowned slightly, not understanding what he meant. "Huh?"

"What if we were married?"

I felt the blood drain from my face and my mouth fell open in shock. Did he just propose to me? I stammered, unable to form a coherent sentence. "Sid…we've…no, I mean…come on…just think…"

He sighed. "I wasn't expecting you to say yes." He rested his forehead against mine and smiled. "Would it really be that impossible for you to find another job?"

I felt his warm, sweet breath against my cheek and thought I was going to melt. I forgot how even the slightest touch from Sidney would cause electricity to pulse through my body. He was still stroking my cheek with my thumb, and goosebumps rose on my arms. "No," I whispered. "I guess it wouldn't be impossible."

"That is exactly what I wanted to hear."

"But," I said very seriously, stepping away from him so I could think clearly, without the influence of Sid's body so close to mine, "I'm not quitting my job at PPG yet. I'm going to look for a new job, but if I don't find one before I have to leave for Paris, I'm going."

Sid smirked. "Okay. We'll see about that."

My anger flared up again. "Don't patronize me, Sidney. I'm serious."

"I'm not patronizing you," he replied. "I'm just saying, I'm going to make it almost impossible for you to leave. I need you here."

I sighed and rubbed my eyes. "You are so exhausting."

Sidney smiled and pulled me close to him. "So are we finally done being pissed off at each other?"

"I was never mad at you," I replied. "I was mad at myself for hurting you. Have you forgiven me?"

"Absolutely," he replied. He kissed my forehead and wrapped me into a hug. "Hey, I want to show you something."

"What?"

"Just come with me." We left the bedroom and went downstairs, where he grabbed our coats and left Marc and Sylvie's without telling anyone goodbye.

"Where are we going?"

"It's a surprise," Sid replied as he led me to his Range Rover.

10 comments:

Aeryn said...

Okay this totally blew me away! I CAN NOT wait for your next update, I want to see how everything turns out! Great job!!!

KylieD32 said...

YAAAAAAAAY!!!!
Please update soon! Let me please say again, you are a FABULOUS writer!

LC said...

I'm so happy they're back together!! Yayy! You can't leave us on a cliff-hanger like that though PLEASE update soon haha

Kayla Elizabeth said...

I can't wait for the next chapter. I'm super glad their back together! :)

Manda said...

lmao is it sad that when i wake up at noon everyday the first thing i do when i get online is check to see if you've updated? this is seriously amazing.

Kaity said...

i do the same thing everymorning when i wake up i get on the computer to see if you updated
i love it (:
update soon please

Lauren said...

wow I cannot wait until the next update! :)

stovgirl said...

I love this story, and I love that you update it, quickly...

anika875 said...

omg! best chapter! can't wait for the next one!

KylieD32 said...

I feel like I've checked for an update a million times today! I'm so hooked, I need to know what happens!