Sunday, May 23, 2010

Chapter 2: Two Small Feathers

“Max, we’re going to head over to The Pig and Fiddle later for some drinks, you in?” Flower asks, undoing the buckles of his pads.

“Nah, can’t today. I’ve got a date tonight,” I smirk at him suggestively.

“Ooohh, you mean dinner before a one night stand,” he chuckles rolling his eyes.

“Hey, I’ll have you know that I went out with her before,” I say pointing to him as I make my way to the shower.

“Wow, a two date streak, what a record. What’s her name?”


“Uhm… I think it’s Pheobe,” I say over my shoulder.

I think…

“Max,” she whines with a sexy pout, “I thought you said there would be other guys from your team here.”

“There will be baby, just give them some time to get here,” I tell her, giving her a smile and taking her hand in mine.

“But Maaax, what if they don’t come.”

“They will come baby,” I reassure her.

I look around the quiet familiar bar as she sighs. It was pretty well kept secret that the boys had and we knew the bartender, Paul, pretty well. I notice that there is no one here yet, save for a curly raven haired beauty with her back to me at the bar, sipping on a Guinness and downing a sandwich. Never seen her before.

“Oooohhh, look. Is that them?” Julie squeals beside me.

I look to the door to see a few of my teammates stream in.

“Mad Max,” they shout out at me.

“Boys!” I greet.

“Maxi, let’s go over and say hi to you team mates!” Julie squeals again.

“Ok,” I sigh with a grin.

Of course this wasn’t my type of girl; however, if you ask one of my teammates, anyone without a dick and a decent rack is fair game with me. Which was partly true, right now I wasn’t picky, I would get picky when I was ready to settle down. But I’m 26, I’m not ready to settle down quite yet. And right now, tonight, this was the girl I was taking home. I had already taken her home a few nights ago, and she was definitely a good lay. So if I had to show her my teammates for the last round 2, it was a small price to pay. She could flirt with them all she wanted, as long as I got to take her home for tonight and she did that thing with her tongue.

We get up and make our way to the table. Her big (fake) tits bouncing as she wiggled her slim hips over to the table of guys. I doubted that she graduated from Princeton, if she even went to college, but she didn’t burn retinas, that was for sure. She looked like she came close to making it into playboy, and with the amount of clothing she had on, she could have been. She had light brown hair, I could tell it was dyed, but I was unsure (nor did I care) of her natural color. She had big hazel eyes, that were almost lost in the smoky eye shadow and her clothes were so tight, leaving little to imagination. How did women get into clothing so tight? The skirt was short, the shirt was low, and the heels were high (not that I was complaining. She was right out of a maxim magazine. The guys all break out in grins, knowing what I was doing tonight, or should I say who. I see a few tongues come close to hitting the table as my new lay... dy friend and I approach.

“Hey guys this is…” I begin to introduce my puck bunny as the girl from the bar walks buy us, fixing the collar on her jacket. As she pushes her long raven mane out of the collar I get a glimpse of high cheekbones with a dusting of freckles across them, and a small tattoo below her right ear. I could just make out two small feathers. I’ve seen that tattoo before, “… Maggs?”

Her head snaps up to meet mine and I’m met with a pair of green emerald eyes.

“Max!” she says in shock.

“It is you! What are you doing in Pittsburgh? God, I haven’t seen you in what… almost 10 years?” I ask walking over to her and abandoning my very confused table and a less than amused busty brunette.

“I’m photographing Fort Pitt and helping with the dig. What are you doing here?” she asks still shocked.

“I live here. I play for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Don’t tell me you stopped watching hockey Maggs,” I say with a smile.

“Damn, I don’t remember the last time I watched a game on TV. Let alone watched TV. I’ve been in Egypt for the past 2 months,” she grins back, “So you made it, eh? To the NHL, I mean.”

“Yeah I did. Just like I told you I would,” I grin back cockily at her, before I hear Jordan clear his voice over at the table.

“Oh shit, I’m sorry. Guys this is Maggie Sutherland… wait it is still Sutherland, right? A guy hasn’t tamed you yet, has he?” I say suddenly realizing that it is a real possibility that she was married, like many of my other friend in Quebec.

“Nah, that’d tie me down too much,” she brushes off. And I find myself feeling relieved?

“Anyway, this is Maggie, she and I lived next door to each other, the last two years of high school. Maggs these are my team mates, Jordan Staal, Alex Goligoski, Brooks Orpik, Evgeni Malkin, Tyler Kennedy, Kris Letang, and Marc Andre Fleury. Oh, and this is Julie,” I say introducing her to everyone.

“Nice to meet you,” the guys chime in together.

“Boys,” Maggie nods with a grin, “Nice to meet you, Julie.”

“Yeah,” my date chokes back with a sneer, sizing up Maggie. Julie sat at the table next to Staalzy and Gogo, placing her boobs on the table and leaning over slightly, giving me and everyone else in the bar, a good look at her twin purchases.

I look around the table and see the guys all seem to be ignoring her and focusing on Maggie. Their eyes traveling the length of her petite body. I look back to her, and actually take in her appearance.

I hadn’t seen her in 8 years, since her high school graduation and she hadn’t grown an inch, still the slight 5’2’’ but her figure was slightly different. It was still the hourglass figure that she had in high school. But now there was lean muscle in place of the smooth skin that had once graced her at 17. She still had the hips and ass that guys secretly dreamed about, and the one she was so self-conscious about. Rounded and in your face, I laughed to myself remembering joking with her after I hung a Frisbee off of it. She had rather small breasts, unlike the brunette next to me, but of course the brunette next to me had gel in hers. Maggie was still the girl who looked best in a t-shirt and worn jeans, I note looking at her faded blue shirt with the word “Nikon” across her chest. The t-shirt stopped where a brown leather belt with a warn gold buckle began holding up faded jeans that hid what I knew to be toned legs underneath, after all she was the soccer captain of her high school. Maggie had those girl next door looks, but with a sarcastic spin to her attitude setting her apart from the stereotype.

Her long dark brown almost black hair had grown out, hitting just below her bust in waves that only she could pull off. The look that girls spent hours in front of the mirror with a curling iron and then shaking their head to tousled perfection. The rich dark coffee coloring, of her hair shined from being constantly dried naturally. Her lips had a natural pink flush with a slight shine from, no doubt, her signiture Burt’s Bees or Blistex chapstick she kept in her pocket. A dusting of freckles was splashed across her slender nose and high cheekbones; from a tan she had received from the sun and not a machine.

Finally I looked up into what captured me the most about Maggie Sutherland. With her appearance, bright blue eyes or dark brown eyes were expected, but in their place were eyes that shown like emeralds. They weren’t the light greenish yellow that most green-eyed people possessed. They were almost the green of a clover, a deep green that seemed to change with every mood. They were framed by long dark lashes, like that my blond friend had glued on. But of course Maggs wore hardly any makeup.

“Why don’t you sit down and have a beer with us, Maggie,” Marc asks.

“No thanks, I’ll let you boys to your fun. I’ve had a long day, I’ve got to get home,” she smiles sadly.

“Aww, come on Maggs. We can catch up,” I grin at her.

“Maybe later Max, I’m beat. I’m still jet lagged and I have to find my pillow and blanket among the boxes,” she shakes her head.

“Still as stubborn as ever I see.. Alright, Maggs, give me your phone,” I say holding out my hand, I wasn’t letting her go that easily.

“Still as cocky as ever, I see,” she replies mocking me, before reaching into her fleece pocket to retrieve her phone handing it over.

I plug my phone number in her phone and text myself from her phone so that I will have her number.

“Looks like you’ve done that once or twice before, Talbot,” she snickers.

“Eh, a few,” I grin back handing her the phone.

She goes to take it but I pull back immediately, to which she gives an annoyed huff. I chuckle and giver her her phone.

“Good to see you Maggs, I’ll text you later so that we can meet up.”

“Oh joy,” she says with a sarcastic eye roll, but the grin on her face told me she was kidding, “Nice to meet you guys,” she says looking over my shoulder at the table.

“See ya around Maggie,” they reply.

She smiles, her dazzling smile and turns her attention back to me, “Later, Talbot.”

“You can count on it Maggs,” I grin at her before she walks out the door; her hips have a slight sway to them as she walks.

I turn around to see all the guys grinning at me, and Julie has her hands on her hips not looking very amused.

“What?” I ask.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chapter 1: Sunset

This is the new Max Talbot story, "new" being the key word so please, please, please comment and tell me what you think. Your feedback is VERY important. Tell me the story could be better and how, tell me what you don't understand, that my choice of background sucks (don't get used to it, it may change) and if you don't want to make a public comment feel free to email me at

Thanks so much for reading!


Colors of red and purple, orange and yellow streaked the sky as the bright scarlet orb neared the jagged line of buildings, reflecting off the murky waters of one of the three rivers surrounding the city. I had yet to distinguish which river was which, but who knew how long I would actually be here this time. They were telling me that the dig would take at least a few months, but I planned on spending at least 6 months here. Which is why I had signed a 6 month lease agreement. Stay here in Pittsburgh for awhile before I got that itch again, then it was who knows where. Six months was a long time for me to stay in one place, but I needed this for at least a little bit. A little stability, while on a nice safe archaeological dig, I don’t think there are any grave robbers in Pittsburgh that would gladly shoot me up to get their loot.

I watch as the sun sinks a little lower in the sky, while I listened to the boxes shift around me, keeping on my toes incase something went wrong. It always amazes me the colors a sunset can make, yellows, oranges, purples, reds, pinks, the color palate was endless. The sun was one of the only constants in my life, the one thing I could count on to be there. It could be seen everywhere around the world, except for those particularly depressing days in the northern countries and in Antarctica. But other than that, it was always there. And it was here in Pittsburgh too, getting ready to hunker down for the night behind the beautiful city skyline.

“Miss, where would you like us to put this last box?” one of the 3 men wearing tan movers' suits asks.

“Anywhere is fine and thanks very much for your help,” I say turning around from my picturesque scene to acknowledge them before they left.

“Sure thing, good luck in the new place Miss,” he says with a tip of his hat before backing out the door.

I sigh and look back to my scene, hands on my hips. My eyebrows furrow and my right pointer finger comes up to tap the end of my nose as I try to remember where I had left my camera.

Coffee table!

I walk over quickly to the other side of the couch and pick up my trusty Nikon and head back over to the window. Quickly snapping the picture of the sun halfway below the city skyline and half above. I smile to myself, looking at the digital image in the camera. Another sunset from my travels, another snapshot of my life.

I turn away, abandoning the site for now, and look around the apartment I would call my home for the next 6 months. It was rather small, with a kitchen and living room that connected together. The living room lead off into a small bedroom and connecting bathroom and also into a small room, not much bigger than the small bathroom. I planned on putting up bookshelves and a desk there, making it my office. The apartment was rather small, but it was clean and just enough space for me. And it sure beat living in a small tent with 4 guys in the freezing cold of the far north.

There was quite a bit to fit into the space, mostly my photographs from all over the world. Some large ones would hang on the walls; others would decorate shelves wherever there was room. Yup, that ‘s mostly everything I have in my possession, books and photos. That’s all I needed, too much stuff and I would be weighed down.

There was a lot to do . . . but I was hungry. What time was it anyway? I look to the stove clock, “6:25.” My stomach rumbles in agreement with the clock that it was now dinner time.

I search around until I find my black Columbia fleece jacket and slip it on along with my trusty leather boots, that still had sand hiding in the inner corners from my recent trip to Egypt. I had been shooting some shots of the new boats, or rather ancient boats, they were finding in the sands by the pyramids. The wood had been perfectly preserved thanks to the dry dessert climate. It was an archaeological specimen that was too good to pass up.

I shake my head again with a chuckle, I was doing it again. Get back on track. Dinner. I make my way out of the apartment through the maze of boxes and lock the door behind me. Sliding down the aluminum railing of buildings stairs, I was in the cool October weather of Pittsburgh. I took a deep breath, inhaling the frosty air of the night.

I had been all around the world. Had been in all climates, most recently Egypt, Russia, and Israel, and they all were a little different. All of them had a different smell, a different feel. Pittsburgh was one of my favorite cities in the world. It was so unique in its multi culture and set up. I had come here toward the start of my career shooting pictures for a piece on the wonders of the steel city, and the remnants of the once great industrial age. I had fallen in love with the city, and when I was offered the opportunity to dig and shoot at Fort Pitt, I couldn’t say no.

I stop a few blocks from my apartment in front of a small hole in the wall pub with a glowing Guinness sign in the window and a wooden sigh hanging by the door that displayed a pig playing a fiddle. This place reminded me of my beloved birth place and area of my young childhood. With the sudden craving of some kind of sandwich with fries and a good cold beer to go with it, I smile and push open the door.

“What can I get you Miss?” a man in his late 30s asks, as I approach the bar. I could pick up a trace of Irish accent in his voice.

“I’ll have the turkey club sandwich with fries and a Guinness,” I smile at him as I jump to sit up on the bar stool.

“Sure thing, coming right up Ma’am,” he gives me a friendly wink and begins to turn away.

I sigh and my eyes drink in the place. It had low lighting that allowed for a very cozy atmosphere. On the walls hung things that spoke of it’s Irish origins. One picture that caught my eye was like that of the sign that hung out front. This place was called the Pig and Fiddle. There were only a few people that dotted the round wooden tables, making it apparent that this pub had good business, but it wasn’t well known. It was just the place for me.

“Here ya go,” the man comes back, placing my sandwich and beer in front of me on the bar. “Will that be all for now Miss?”

“Yup, that’s great. And it’s Maggie. Believe me I’ll be here a lot, it will be easier to know my name,” I chuckle before taking a swig of my beer.

“Well ok, Maggie. I’m Paul. What brings you here?” he asks wiping the counter next to me.

“Archaeological dig over at Fort Pitt,” I say with a smile.

“So you’re an archaeologist, I take it,” he says in surprise.

I nod, “Yeah, and a photographer for National Geographic.”

“Wow, that’s an interesting line of work,” he says immediately interested.

“You can say that again,” I snicker.

“Well, Maggie, I’ve got to tend to the other customers, but if I see you as much as you say, I’ll be expecting some stories,” he grins.

“Oh I have plenty, Paul,” I laugh as he walks away to the tables.

Out of the corner of my eye I see a man and a woman sit down at a table to my left, they looked to be about my age. The girl had a solid shade of brown hair that was stuck in place with lots of mousse and her boobs seemingly popped out of her tight pink shirt. There was no way those were real. I couldn’t tell what the man looked like because he had his back to me, but I couldn’t help but notice his broad shoulders. I bite my lip and turn around to take another sip of beer. After cracking my knuckles, a habit that pops up when I’m alone and bored, I dig into my sandwich.

“Max,” I heard the girl whine as she pouts her silicone lips

“I thought you said there would be other guys from your team here.”

“There will be baby, just give them some time to get here,” I hear the broad shouldered man say charmingly. I hated when girls whined like that, maybe it was because I had grown up with 5 older brothers.

“But Maaax, what if they don’t come,” she pouts.

I roll my eyes, not hearing what “Max” said back. His name brought back memories though.

I had known a Max when my family had lived in Quebec for a few years during my last years of High School. Max and I had always been at each other’s throats, but I had secretly liked him. I never regretted anything I did, believing that all things had put me where I am now. But I had always wondered what would have happened if I had told him. Oh, well. Wonder what had become of him anyway? He had always wanted to be a hockey superstar, I wonder if he had ever accomplished that dream.

Plus there was the Max that I shared a room with when I was at Monte Alban, photographing the ancient structures there, paying particular attention to the ball courts. Max was an archeologist there, new to the field just as I was. I taught him some tricks of the trade and he taught me about the Zapotec culture. We had a good time... especially in our off time. Boy that heat gets to you and makes the hormones go wild. Plus I was a sucker for blue eyes and this guy had eyes like ice. I grin thinking of Monte Alban. Not my favorite place in the world, but good times. My favorite place was the area of my birth, Ireland.

I was born into a military family; my Father was an Admiral in the Canadian Navy. We were always moving because of it. I was born in the same place as my mother, Ireland, and had lived there until I was 3. From there we had lived in France, Ontario, a few places in the United States, Australia, again in Ireland, before finally going to Quebec, the birth place of my father, around the start of my Junior year of High School.

The door of the pub opens and a sea of tall muscular guys come in, breaking me out of bitter thoughts of my childhood. Well muscled, like I said, and they weren’t lacking in the looks department either. They go past the table that had been making my ears bleed, as I pop the last bit of sandwich into my mouth. I take a swig of beer when a high-pitched squeal comes from Brunette Barbie.

“Jesus Christ,” I mumble, that voice could have broken glass.

I see the guys look over at the sound and break out into sarcastic smirks.

“Mad Max!” they all shout.

“Boys!” he rumbles back.

“Maxi, let’s go over and say hi to you team mates!” the girl squeals again.

I snort loud enough so that only Paul hears, and he lets out a hearty chuckle in understanding. I finish off my beer quickly and leave some money on the table, I wanted to get out of there before “Maxi” introduced Barbie to the guys.

“I’ll see you soon, Paul!” I call over the bar as I shrug on my fleece.

“Looking forward to it Maggie!” he chuckles.

I smile at him and turn around to leave, the smirk that was present on my face immediately drops when I realize that my only way out is passed Barbie and her boy toys. I groan inwardly with an eye roll and start over. Luckily as I approach I seem to go unnoticed as Barbie and Ken move over to the table of guys. I fix my collar on my fleece, pulling my wavy coffee colored hair out of my coat. It was weighing me down quite a bit lately, time for a hair cut I suppose.

“Guys this is… Maggs?” a voice asks.

My head shoots up at the sound of my name and my eyes connect with a pair of familiar blue grey eyes.