I peel off my under armour, my hair no doubt standing up in all different directions. I rub my hands over my face; the tiredness starting to seep in after the press had left practice. I look down to my bag by my stall. I sigh and take out my phone, There was a text from Frank asking when Mom’s Birthday was, a text from “Anna” I think she was the blond that took my phone last night at the club and plugged in her number. Apparently she wanted to know if we would be at the club again tonight, and a text from Verizon, telling me about a new plan they offered. Still nothing. Not a text or a voicemail, or even a missed call. Nothing.
I sigh frustrated, throwing my phone back into my open bag and heading toward the showers.
3 week. 3 fucking weeks and I had still not heard from Maggie! I knew there was a chance that I would never see her again after I walked out of the apartment, but now it was bugging me that we lived in the same city and I had no one to pick on. Which wasn’t entirely true, I had a whole hockey team, but it was just so fun getting under Maggie’s skin. I missed her spit fire attitude and infectious laugh. I didn’t want to just not see her again for the next decade.
I step into the shower after turning on the water. My skin jumps and I let out my breath in a hiss as I come in contact with the extremely hot water. Soon, it numbs my skin, easing the tension out of my muscles.
I needed, no not needed… I wanted to see her. I groan, letting my head fall back against the tile in the shower as I think of her at the club, the white tank top, that slick golden skin, the thick mane of raven hair and those emerald green eyes. The way her hips moved to the beat, the gold buckle of her belt catching the light in the club. How her hands came up, running up the nape of her neck to collect her hair. I feel my cock twitch just at the memory. I couldn’t have forgotten how she looked if I wanted to, and it was a damned turn on. I was going to have to make the first move. Maggie was too damned stubborn to admit that she may have been wrong. It was a pointless fight. I turn off the water off, and step out of the shower, toweling off and wrapping the towel around my waist. I was going to go find her.
“Ugh,” I groan in frustration. I wipe off my mud-covered hands on my jeans and pull my mass of wet hair back into a ponytail. Getting the annoying sopping strands out of my eyes. I bend back down into the shallow hole, scraping away more dirt as does the worker next to me.
“Maggie!” I hear a voice call.
“Yeah, what’s up Jeff?” I ask popping my head up and looking in the direction of the voice.
He motions me over to the other carefully marked hole he is digging. I nod my head and putting my hands on the dirt wall of my own carefully dug hole and hoisting myself out. I try to brush the mud off my jeans, but only brush more on. I let out a frustrated sigh as the rain continues to pelt down on me.
“Does it ever stop raining here?!” I grumble.
“Haha, it doesn’t seem to,” he laughs, “Maggs what do you say we pack up early today? I mean it’s Friday and everyone is miserable in this rain.”
He was right. It had been raining for the better part of a week but today was horrible. It was like Monsoon season on the African plains. Everyone was cold, wet, and miserable. Digging in the dirt was fun, but digging in cold mud was not only difficult, but also exhausting.
“Yeah, let’s pack up and get outta here Jeff. I’m beat and I think so is everyone else,” I nod.
He nods and walks off to inform his crew while I walk over to mine and tell them the good news. I wipe the water dripping off the end of my nose as the rain comes down harder and I suppress a shiver. I was soaked to the bone.
After a good half hour of getting everything squared away and making sure all the workers left the site, I make my way back to my jeep, only to find a nice looking little black sporty thing next to my car. I stop, in my head I go over who it could possibly be, when the front door opens and HE steps out.
I had to admit; he looked damned good in jeans and a hoodie, the heavy rainfall quickly marking a dot pattern on his broad shoulder as he smirked that cocky smirk at me.
“What do you want Talbot?”
“Excuse me, is there a Maggie Sutherland, here?” I ask stopping some cold and pitiful looking guy.
“Yeah, she’ll be along in a minute,” he nods, heading to his car.
I mumble a thanks and go back to claim the shelter of my car. I’m about to turn on the car, and turn up the heat and music. But I spot petite figure headed my way. She smiles and waves to some guy, giving him a smile as she adjusts the strap of some old beat up leather bag around her shoulder. I watch as she pushes a soaked wet curl out of her face and tucks it behind her ear. I smirk as she walks toward me, trying to find her keys in her bag. The jeans she wore hug from her hips because of how saturated with water they were with brown patches of mud intermixed in the denim. Her khaki military style coat added soaking weight on top of a waterlogged dark red t-shirt. I chuckle at the sight; maybe I should have waited until it was at least a sunny day out. She pulls her keys out of her bag and her eyes connect with my car when she lifts her head. She stops her brow furrowing as I step out of the car, those green eyes widen slightly before narrowing on me.
“What do you want Talbot?” she asks lowly, continuing to walk over to her car.
“Hey to you too Maggs. How’s the dig?” I ask, walking over with her.
“Could be better, it’s pretty difficult to dig in the mud,” she mumbles, unlocking her car.
She throws her bag in the passenger seat before hopping into the driver’s seat.
“Maggs come on…” I begin, knowing that she was just planning on rolling out of their without saying a word to me.
“Can we at least talk? I mean, I wanted us to see each other more than once ever decade,” I chuckle.
“Max, I’m cold and I’m wet…” she begins, her head wiping up to meet my amused smirk, “Don’t make that last one dirty.”
I fake shock, “Maggie, I would never.”
“Uh huh. Look Max, I just want to go home and take a hot shower and order Chinese and do nothing. I’ve been working in the rain for the past few days,” she grumbles.
“I’ll bring the beer,” I smirk, before closing her door and cutting off her rejection. She looks straight up pissed as I hear her muffled voice draw out my name in a warning. However, I ignore it and head back to my car.
“See ya there, Maggs,” I wave.
“Honestly, Talbot, you have nothing better to do today than follow me home?” she grumbles, shoving her key into lock and with a solid twist unlatching it.
“Nope, I’m all yours today Maggs,” I grin at her.
“Oh, joy,” she says, her eyes rolling skyward before walking into her apartment.
I walk in behind her and let my gaze wonder around the apartment. My jaw slightly slackens at the sight in front of me. In the 3 weeks since the shouting match of the century, Maggie had managed to transform her apartment into a one of a kind space. Pictures covered one of the walls in a mismatched abstract pattern of sorts, while the other wall was completely hidden by two bookcases that were big enough to make me wonder how Maggie even got them through the door. They weren’t empty bookshelves either. Each shelf was lined from end to end with an assortment of books. There were only two shelves that didn’t contain any books, instead were a few artifacts and then more pictures.
The actual wall space that was seen was a sage green color and a red worn-out Persian rug was nestled under the dark wooden coffee table.
“Wow, Maggs. I like what you’ve done with the place,” I say taking a look around.
“Thanks. I need a shower…”she sighs, running a hand through her drenched locks, after throwing her keys on the kitchen counter and hanging her jacket and bag on an oak coat tree next to the door.
“Is that an invitation?” I grin suggestively at her, setting the case of Yuengling down next to her keys.
“Hardly,” she snorts with an eye roll, “Are you gonna be here when I get out of the shower, or am I just going to find a note?”
“Oh, no worries Maggie, I’ll be here,” I chuckle, plopping down on the beat up brown leather couch.
“Fine, just don’t break anything,” she replies with a yawn before retreating to her room.
I watch as she walks into her room, and snicker at the brown smudge of a handprint that was on her ass. No doubt she had wiped off her hands on the back of her jeans. I listen to her opening and closing drawers and a closet door before she heads into the only bathroom with a towel in hand. I wait for a minute before I hear the shower turn on, telling me that she was in there for at least 10 minutes. Should I or shouldn’t I? I look down passed my hands and to the dark hard wood floor, searching for the answer.
“Why the hell not?” I murmur before hauling myself off the couch and into Maggie’s bedroom.
The walls were doused in a deep dark red color that screamed warmth and sex. The ceiling was painted a warm chocolate brown, closing the room in, not in a cave like way, but instead instantly giving the room a cozy feel. Small gold details were painted around some of the corners and edges of the room, giving it a Moroccan feel. The bed had a comforter that had an Indian or Moroccan design, but I couldn’t make out the pattern because it was in a crumpled mess on the one side of the bed, evidence that Maggie had flung it off herself as she stumbled out of bed this morning. Multiple deep colored pillows seemed to act as a cocoon, almost making the deep walnut headboard of the bed disappear. The bed looked comfortable and inviting, making me want to fall into the bed and sleep there for the rest of the week... Or throw the raven haired beauty in for a romp. I could just imagine how her tawny skin looked against the deep red of the sheets, her fingers clutching at them as her back arched off the bed. How her dark hair would spread out on the pillow. How those red sheets would outline her naked curves perfectly, one slim leg peaking out as she looked at me with lusty dark green eyes, biting her full lower lip.
I groan at the thought, I was getting Maggie Sutherland into that bed. It would happen and I would show her the time of her life.
I shake off the image I have just conjured up in my brain and continue looking around the room. The last thing I needed to do was have Maggie come out of the shower with me in an obvious state of need.
A dark weathered wooden dresser stood on the opposing wall, next to the doorway I had come in. A blue bra with three little rhinestones between the cups was hanging from the black iron knobs of the drawers. The closet doors rested open, showing the place where Maggie’s wardrobe lay. It wasn’t much, like one would expect from a woman, but that was Maggie.
There was an antique jewelry box from some middle eastern was placed on top of the chest of drawers, a silver Celtic cross hanging from one of it’s four corners. A deep red almost maroon sari looking fabric covered the windows adding to the dark mystic of the room. Clothing littered the floor next to the closet and a pair of wet leather boots had been kicked off at the edge of the bed. The smell of pepper and mint was faintly in the room, a smell that was uniquely Maggie.
A few pictures decorated the bedside table. One of Maggie and some guys standing next to the pyramids, her in a canoe in a river surrounded by a jungle, one of her with an elephant. I recognized her brothers in a few of them too, all had either green or blue eyes and surprisingly tawny skin coming of course from their father. There was one of Maggie on Paddy’s back, both laughing. They looked strikingly similar, except Paddy had his straight dark hair cropped into a faux hawk. There was one of her perched on the shoulders of Sean and Liam. One was of all 5 Sutherland boys and Maggie in front of a pub; Maggie was the shortest of them all. All the men were at least 6 feet tall, but I knew who was the wild child and the boss, the 5’2’’ beauty. There was a picture of all 6 of the Sutherland kids, Maggie in a white cap and gown with a huge grin in the middle of her brothers who were all causing a commotion around her. The admiral standing off to the side in his uniform, his arms crossed over his chest, and a stone lion statue crouched in the background.
The final one was in a silver frame, a Celtic knot in the one corner of the frame. In the picture was a redheaded woman hugging a raven haired little girl. Neither looked very much like the other. But the plentiful waves in their hair and the strikingly similar bright green eyes were the same.
“Snooping around my apartment, eh, Talbot?” a voice purrs from behind me.
I whip around to see Maggie padding toward me in a fluffy white towel. Her hair masked by a similar towel on the top of her head.
“Just trying to get a glimpse into Maggie Sutherland’s life,” I smile charmingly.
“Haha, right, just don’t go sniffing through my underwear drawer,” she chuckles, plucking the blue bra off the dresser knob.
‘Why hadn’t I thought of that one?’ I think, as I watch her walk away from me and back to the bathroom, black ink running from the nape of her neck and following the spine before disappearing into the white towel. It took almost all my energy to not pull her back to me, rip the towel off her, and have my way with her.
“So,” she says over a mouthful of Chinese food, “What did you want to talk about?”
“Why didn’t you call me back Maggs?” I ask, watching for her reaction.
She sits on the other corner of the leather couch, opposite of me, in a navy blue oversized hoodie and plaid boxer shorts. Her legs tucker under her, Yuengling sat in front of each of us on the coffee table.
She shrugs, pushing around her chicken and broccoli with her chopstiks.”I was busy.”
“For three weeks?” I ask skeptically, raising my eyebrow.
“Yes! I’ve been starting with the dig and then getting this place all set up,” she says motioning around the room with her chopsticks.
“Maggie, come on. You couldn’t have taken 2 seconds out of your busy schedule to say, ‘Hey, Max, good game?” I ask, I watch as she just shrugs and looks back down at her food, “Unless… unless you didn’t watch any games?” I half ask half state, my heart sinking with the realization that Maggie wasn’t even a devoted hockey fan. She probably had no idea what our record was, when I was at home or away, the goal I had scored a few nights ago, or the close encounter fight I had almost had.
“Have you watched any games Maggie?” I ask quietly, dreading her answer.
“Yeah, I’ve watched almost all of them,” she says quietly, not meeting my gaze, her cheeks tingeing a slight pink.
My mood immediately improves and I can’t help the grin that spreads across my face. She HAS been watching my hockey games!