Monday, July 11, 2011

Chapter 14: Hard to Kick

Even though I'm slightly heartbroken... this story must go on. Because I just can't stop writing it. SO even though a certain hockey player is moving across the state, in this story he will stay in the 'Burgh. Good Luck Superstar!

Max’s POV

She was so goddamn frustrating! Why couldn’t she just give us a shot? It was blatantly obvious that there was chemistry between us. She didn’t even deny it! And what did she mean ‘it’s easier if we’re just friends’? It was getting pretty damn hard trying to behave myself. And the fact that she wanted me too, but was just too stubborn to admit it, had made my hand my night companion for a few weeks instead of her curves that I craved.

I turn off the shower, stepping out into the thick steam in my bathroom. I dry off, shaking the water out of my hair, before wrapping the towel around my waist and heading into my bedroom where Stanley was trying to get a milkbone out of his Kong toy. I pick up my phone from the bed.

Staalzy: ‘Diesel, 10:30.’

I smile to myself. I wasn’t going to be a celibate waiting for Maggie. It was taking a whole hell of a lot longer to land her than I thought it would.

I take a shot of Irish whiskey, chasing it with a swig of Bud Light. Maggie would be appalled by the action, chasing the Irish liquid with what she called “American water.” No, not thinking of her. I look around the club, searching for a suitable partner. I spot a brunette looking at me from the other side of the bar. I smile at her, and she smiles back putting in a cute wave.

I grin and push myself off the bar walking over to her side. She was just below my height with black pumps, which were attached to long legs clad in a short black skirt. She had on a long sleeved red shirt that warmed her tanned skin and dipped low in the front. Her long brown hair was curled into perfect waves, which were swept over one shoulder.

“So, how about we skip the small talk and cheesy pick up lines. I’m Max,” I smile charmingly, kissing her hand.

She giggles at my charm, and I know I have someone to take home.

“Maddie,” she smiles back.

I laugh, before leading her out for a dance. A petite brunette named Maddie. Of course.

Maggie’s POV

He rolls off of me to the other side of the bed, trying to cool down in the hot Aussie weather. The heat could be merciless when you didn’t add water. Our heavy breathing mingled with the sounds of the gulls in the distance and the soft beating of the ceiling fan’s motor. The moving air helped to evaporate the slick sweat from my body, helping me to cool my body temperature again.

“Damn, Darlin’, that was a hell of a goodbye,” he pants next to me.

I chuckle, turning on my side to look at him, my head resting in my hand.

“You’re not so bad yourself, Tiger,” I smirk, tracing the waves in the tattoo that circled his upper bicep. A ‘T’ with wings on a larger bicep flashes in my mind, but I quickly shake my head, clearing the thought.

His blue eyes look to my eyes for a minute but wander over my exposed flesh greedily. They were always blue, the color of the ocean. Surprisingly unlike the blue eyes in the States that turned a stormy grey as often as the Pittsburgh sky. I take a deep breath, remembering my intent.

I move so that I’m straddling his slim waist, his strong core beneath me. I whip my head to one side, letting gravity take my thick hair to one shoulder so that I can cool off. I let my hands wander around his chest, tracing unique patterns in his tan skin. He let’s out a hum, his hands coming up to caress my hips, before settling on my ass with a squeeze.

“Mmmm, those hands are always wandering,” I smirk at him.

“They’ve got a mind of their own,” he grins at me.

I chuckle lowly, before pulling his wrists so that his arms rested above his head. He pouts at me, which I answer by pressing myself to his body, my chest brushing against his. I pull my head up so that my mouth connects with his, my tongue exploring his mouth. After a few moments, I let my lips journey away, kissing down his neck and letting my tongue flick over the spot right below his jaw. His sun bleached hair, tickles my nose as I do so, so unlike the clean cut brown hair that I wanted to run my fingers through in the airport. I linger on the spot, sucking ever so gently as I hear him let out a groan, his hands trying to free themselves of my grasp.

“That’s not nice Maggie,” he warns, his voice low.

“Mmmm,” I respond against his throat, before traveling down to nibble on his collarbone and grinding my hips against his abs.

“Fuuuck,” he moans, and I feel him growing against my back.

He tries to flip us over, but I use my weight as leverage, keeping me on top. I move my hips back a little, so that his erection is poking my outer thigh.

I bring my mouth to his again, keeping one hand on his wrists while reaching my other hand to circle around his shaft. He could easily break his arms free, but with his penis in my hand, he is in no place to demand.

I begin to stroke him, my tongue still in his mouth as he groans, his hips bucking up slightly. I smirk, sitting up abruptly.

“Come on Maggie,” he says huskily, “You’ve got to finish what you started.”

“Only if you promise to take me one last time, before I leave,” I say.

I hear him groan, “I have a date.”

“Exactly. Do you want to go on your date with blue balls?” I ask cockily, knowing the advantage I had.

“You have to finish this, not just for me but for you too,” he grins at me, his arm pulling away and his hand coming to the already damp place between my thighs. I gasp as he pushes a finger into me, his thumb pushing my clit like a starter button. “You need this just as much as I do.”

I stifle a moan and instinct takes over as my hips move, pushing his finger in deeper. I hear him chuckle before he takes away the pleasure, licking the juices off his finger. I glare at him.

“That’s what you think. But, if you’re going to be like that,” I say beginning to get off him, “I can just finish this up quickly in the bathroom,” I finish licking my own fingers suggestively.

His eyes widen, before he let’s out a feral growl, flipping me onto my back and hovering overtop.

“Fine. I’ll take you.”

“Take me where?” I ask sweetly, batting my eye lashes innocently.

“I will take you, one last time to Surfer’s Paradise. And when you’re itchy from the salt water on your 25 hour flight, that’s your own damn fault.”

My mind switches over to picture a different body above me, one that was shaped by a life on the ice, not in the ocean. I can’t help the transformation from taking shape in my mind. After a week of sex with an Australian surfer you would think I could at least diminish the fantasy in my mind, but I was having no such luck. The habit was proving hard to kick.

“Yes it will be,” I nod, before pushing Max out of my mind and pulling my self up to connect our mouths, my right leg hooking over his hips.

He needs no further encouragement and plows into me, his full length filling me completely.

I sit with my legs dangling over the sides of the board. The ocean’s gentle current moving me slightly. I look off into the distant blue, waiting.

Riley had left a half hour ago to go on his date, which he had already postponed two hours. He quit surfing when I pulled out my iPhone and quickly changed my flight. He had wanted to drive me to the airport, but I could manage.

I watch as the waves build up in the distance, I needed one last cleanse before I could leave, go back to Pittsburgh, and face him again. Before I put on the ‘just friends’ façade.

I take a deep breath, pulling my legs up and leaning down on my board. My arms paddle through the water, inching me closer to the Promised Land, abundant in gnarly waves. There were people all around me, enjoying some of the best waves in the worlds. There was a reason this was called ‘Surfer’s Paradise’.

Finally I see the one I’ve been looking for. It builds up slowly, promising to tower over me. I swiftly move up to my feet, my arms out to help maintain my balance. Using my core and legs I plant myself firmly on the white board, my feet perpendicular to the two orange strips running down it’s length. As the wave rolls closer to land, it takes me with it. Using muscle and momentum I turn my board to ride on the giant’s mighty edge, my hand coming out to sweep along its blue coolness.

I could feel my muscles, all working together to keep me centered and upright, the roaring of the ocean in my ear as the sun begins to dip lower to the horizon. As the wave carries me, others beside me wipe out, but I try to remain upright. Balancing on the edge becomes harder and harder as the wave gets steeper. I ride it for as long as I can, before I can no longer hold on. My body gives in, falling in to the cool blue ocean, feeling the tide swarm around me. I feel a tug on my ankle as my board drifts further than me, thank God for that ankle strap. I kick my legs hard in the water, breaking the surface and gasping in the clean air, my board next to me.

I let the bliss bubble up inside me as I tread water next to the surfboard, watching as the wave I was riding goes crashing into the shore. It is suddenly too much to take and burst out in a loud laugh, my head falling back, the weight of my wet hair making it easy. I swim easily to shore, feeling no need to rush, even though the sun has dipped lower and the sharks will be out soon. But I find that my feet touch the sandy bottom quicker than I expected, and soon I can walk up the beach.

I push my board in the sand next to my duffel and messenger bag. I pull out my camera and look out to the ocean. The horizon had become a canvas to a mighty force, streaked with reds, oranges, and yellows. It darkens the once clear blue waters, making the few stragglers surfing their final waves into dark silhouettes. I pull the camera up to my eye, focusing the shot and pushing the button, actions that were now just second nature.

Lowering the camera, I take in the picture in front of me. I breathe deeply, knowing that even when the film was developed, the picture could not match the beauty in front of me now. This was breath-taking beauty that literally made a person forget how to take in air for a moment. No matter how good of a photographer I was destined to become in this life, nothing could compare to the real thing. My photos only provided a glimpse of what nature could do. Man’s inventions simply cannot compare to Mother Nature herself.

Max’s POV

I wake up to my phone vibrating on the table next to me.

The thoughts of last night, although slightly clouded, come back to me and I immediately look to my right. But instead of her head on the pillow, there is a piece of paper.

Thanks for a great night, Superstar. Call me.

~ Maddie

I sit up, leaning on my arm as I scan the paper in my hand. I let out a low chuckle; we both knew that I wasn’t going to call. But she was a good fuck, maybe if I was feeling a little lonely one night…

I suddenly remember my phone and roll over to retrieve my phone from the bedside table.

Maggie Sutherland : ‘I’m baaaaack!’

I smirk at the text, thinking of the feisty brunette that could not be compared to, not even to a similar brunette with a coincidentally similar name. So similar, that luckily Maddie didn't notice when I moaned the wrong name last night... oops. And I wasn't supposed to be thinking of her. That habit was seemingly harder to kick than I thought.

I text back.

To Maggie Sutherland: ‘Lord help us all.’

Moments later my phone goes off again.

Maggie Sutherland: ‘ :P ’

I chuckle at the text; she definitely was one of a kind. Maybe… I won’t be lonely.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chapter 13: Easier

Congrats to the Boston Bruins, 2011 Stanley Cup Champs! Tim Thomas, you earned The Cup for sure! And Recchin' Ball, way to go out with a bang :)

“So you’re running away,” Paddy asks, sitting on the end of my bed.

“I’m not running away, I’m just leaving for a few days,” I sigh, shaking my head and putting my two bathing suits in my canvas duffel bag.

“Sounds like you’re running away, to me. Is this all because of Max and you wanting to tear each other’s clothes off?” he asks, holding up a bikini top and looking at it disapprovingly.

“No. Max and I are just friends, which I have already explained to you, multiple times,” I reply, snatching the top from his hand and putting it back in the duffel, “And I’m not running, just getting some air.”

“Maggie, why can’t you just admit you have a thing for him? It’s obvious that he’s into you,” he says stretching out his long legs on my bed.

“I thought you didn’t want me to be with Max?”

“Well that’s before I realized how much you two love each other.”

“Padraig, we’re not in love. We’re just…”

“… Friends, I heard. But obviously there is some more to it. Otherwise he wouldn’t have let you stay and not had sex with you, AND you wouldn’t be going to … wherever you’re going now.”

“How do you know we didn’t have sex?” I ask raising my eyebrow, watching him as he rolls his eyes.

“Because, my dear sister, you don’t have the look,” he replies sarcastically.

“What look?”

“The ‘I-just-got-laid’ look and you’re still a little cranky,” he smirks at me, reclining fully on my bed.

“Whatever,” I mumble throwing in a pair of cutoffs.

We remain silent as I finish up my packing, a few pairs of underwear & a bra, my 2 bathing suits, a rash guard, flip flops, & my travel conditioner, deodorant, and contact solution.

Paddy was already packed and ready to go. He was due to leave this morning, flying out of Pittsburgh Airport to Alaska to visit Sean. I was leaving right after him.

I shoo him out of my room and change into a white tank layered under a Penn State hoodie. I wiggle into my other pair of cut off jeans and slip on my boots.

I walk out of the room and begin throwing my remaining stuff in my messenger bag; two books, glasses, iPod, phone, chapstick, passport & id, ticket and my leather bound journal.

“Alright,” I say throwing my duffel and messenger bag by the door, “You ready?”

“Yeah,” he says, walking over to the kitchen with me.

I pull out two shot glasses from the cabinet and my bottle of the whiskey I brought back from Ireland on my last visit. I pour the brown gold liquid into each glass, my brother takes one and I the other.

“Here’s to safe travels and good times,” I begin, holding up my glass, as does he.

“To no fear and more beer,” he grins back.

“To learning from mistakes and embracing life.”

“To our next adventure.”

“To our next adventure,” I agree with a laugh.

We clink our glasses and down our shots. It was something all the Sutherland siblings did when we parted. We weren’t a very religious family, much to my grandmother’s dismay, but for us, toasting was our prayer. Life was a mystery and who knew what could happen to any of us by the time we met again… if we ever did, God willing.

We grab our gear and head out, I walk to my jeep but Paddy stops me.

“Nope. I got us a ride,” he smiles at me, waving to someone in the distance.

“You what?” I ask, looking over to where he’s waving.

There he stands, leaning against his car in jeans, a black fleece coat, and that infamous grin. A shiver goes down my spin… because it’s 45 degrees and I have on shorts.

“What is Max doing here?” I hiss at my brother. This made disappearing just a little harder.

“I figured he could give us a ride to the airport, that way you don’t have to pay to park your car for an extended time,” he smiles sweetly at me, his green eyes widening innocently.

I send him a glare.

“You’re welcome,” he smiles pushing me in the direction of Max.

“Hey Maggs, Paddy,” Max grins, pulling me into a hug.

I feel myself tense in his strong arms, trying not to let on that I liked his embrace more than I should. I really needed this trip; being away from him would help clear my mind. I let myself melt into his touch, hugging him back.

“Hey Max,” I sigh, trying not to let his scent get to me, but loving how his arms tighten around me.

“Why are you wearing shorts?” he asks quietly.

I hear Paddy clear his throat behind us, making us pull away.

“We should get going, I don’t want to miss my flight,” my brother says, throwing a soft knowing smile at me.

I nod and climb into the back seat of the car, letting Paddy take the front. The mixture of emotions going through me was beginning to be exhausting, along with confusing. Paddy was leaving, and I wouldn’t see him again until Christmas, luckily that was only a month away. I liked Max too much and I was getting tired of pretending I didn’t. That’s why I had to get out, maybe if I was away from him for a while I would come to my senses, remind myself of why I couldn’t do what I found myself wanting to do for the first time in a long time. I felt myself wanting more than just sex and a friends with benefits relationship. But I didn’t have time for what I wanted. I didn’t and couldn’t live that life.

I stare out the window at Pittsburgh, watching the water droplets from the rain descend down the glass with the cityscape in the background. I could feel Max glancing back at me through the rear view mirror while he and Paddy chatted about hockey, but I couldn’t look back.

Max’s POV

“I’ll be right back, I need to use the restroom,” Maggie murmurs heading to the bathroom as soon as we get into the airport.

As soon as she’s out of sight, Padraig turns to me.

“Max, she feels the same way,” he says quietly, his green eyes intensely watching for a reaction.

I look at him, my brows furrowing.

“What do you mean?”

“Maggie, she’s falling in love with you too,” he says, looking over to the bathroom to make sure his sister isn’t coming.

My breath catches involuntarily, could this really work out?

“She… she said that?” I cough, trying to find my voice again.

“Of course she didn’t,” he says rolling his eyes, “But I can tell, she wouldn’t have gone home with you otherwise and she wouldn’t be running now.”

“Running?” I ask, confused again.

“I don’t know where she’s going, somewhere warm, but she’s running from her emotions that’s for sure.”

“So that duffel isn’t yours and that’s why she’s wearing shorts,” I wonder aloud.

“Yup,” he nods, quickly shutting up as Maggie walks back toward us.

“How long?” I ask desperately. She couldn’t be running away forever could she? She had to come back right? Her bags weren’t that big; both could be carry-ons, so she didn’t have that much to go on. Then again it was Maggie.

He looks at me to answer my question, but Maggie has already reached us. He looks at me apologetically, and turns with a smile toward his sister.

“Alright, I’m ready!” she smiles, a little cheerier than before.

“Good, well Max I guess this is it,” Paddy says turning to me, hand out stretched, “Hopefully I’ll see you again soon.”

“Hopefully,” I smile at him and shake his hand. Who knew Padraig Sutherland and I could ever shake hands again or that he’d be ok with me going after his sister. If he weren’t ok with it, the handshake would have been his fist connecting to my face.

“See ya, Talbot,” Maggie waves, heading over to the security line.

“Wait hold up Maggs,” I say reaching out to grab her arm, not wanting to let her go until I knew she was coming back, “Can I talk to you for a minute?”

“Yeah, quickly,” she sighs, allowing me to pull her away from her brother, and to a less crowded area of the airport.

“Maggie how long are you going to be gone?” I ask quietly, getting close to her small frame so she can hear me.

“Max…” she sighs, averting her gaze to the floor.

“Where are you even going? And why are you leaving?” I ask, trying not to plead.

“I’m going to Australia for a few days, get some sun, surf, and visit an old friend,” she says looking back up at me.

I search her green eyes, making sure she’s telling the truth.

“Why now?” I ask simply, needing to hear it for myself that she was leaving because of me.

“I … um…” she says, leaning in a little close to me, “I just need to clear my head. You know, a good surf cleansing.”

“Actually I don’t know, I’ve never been surfing,” I smirk down at her, “You know most girls go to the spa or something when they need to clear their head.”

She chuckles softly, looking down and adjusting her messenger bag on her shoulder before looking back up at me.

“Yeah, well, I’m not most girls,” she smiles, that familiar mischievous glint in her eye.

“No, you’re not,” I smile back, looking down to her pink smirk and back up to clover colored eyes.

I watch as she bites her bottom lip and watch her eyes wander down lower on my face. I begin to close the distance, wanting nothing more than to pull her away from the airport and back to my apartment to do what I didn’t do the other day. I wanted to close the distance that I had backed away from when she was in my t-shirt and those sexy black-rimmed glasses. Her green eyes had begged me to kiss her that morning, but I let the chance slip away… again.

This time, her hand comes to my chest, stopping me from pressing my lips to her. I sigh, squeezing my eyes shut tightly before opening them and finding her green eyes looking at me almost painfully. Her touch burned through my shirt.

“Max,” she says quietly, her voice was tired as if she was losing a fight, “We… I can’t.”

“Why? Why can’t we just give it a try Maggs? Because there is obviously something here,” I say, gesturing between us, frustrated that she wasn’t willing to give me a chance.

“It’s easier if we’re just friends,” she says, stepping away and pulling her hand away from my chest and sweeping it through her coffee colored mane.

I nod, sticking my hands in my jean pockets with a defeated sigh.

“I have to go,” she says, after a few moments of silence.

She steps closer, hugging me cautiously. I wrap my arms around her tightly, giving her a squeeze and breathing in her mint and pepper scent.

“I’ll see you in a week,” she whispers, before gently kissing my cheek. So gentle that I can hardly feel the touch of her lips.

“A week it is,” I smile, letting go of her.

She smiles back and walks over to her brother, who waves before they head through the security line. I can’t help but watch her little ass wiggle in those cut off jeans. Her leather boots seemed to call more attention to her lean muscular legs.

I sigh and walk back out to my car. As I’m about to climb into the front seat, my phone goes off in my pocket, signaling a text.

From: Paddy Sutherland ‘Don’t give up on her. She’ll give in eventually.’

Maggie’s POV

After saying goodbye to Padraig, I boarded the plane to Australia. Well… first to Chicago, then to LA, THEN to Australia. Over 25 hours after almost kissing Max Talbot in Pittsburgh International Airport, I landed in Brisbane, Australia. I told myself that I wouldn’t think of him from the minute I boarded the plane. However, 25 hours is a long time, and after the first hour I found myself fighting off thoughts of the hockey player. 5 hours in, I gave up and let my mind wonder.

But now, I was here, on my vacation and I was NOT allowed to think about him until I boarded that plane again.

After leaving the terminal and walking into the chaotic crowd I begin my search. I let out a groan as I look around. Trying to find a sun-bleached surfer in an Australian crowd was next to impossible here. I take off my hoodie, it was entirely too hot for that now. November in Australia meant it was almost summer, instead of almost winter in Pennsylvania.

“MAGGIE!” I hear a voice shout to my left.

I look to my left to see my old friend, jogging toward me. I hadn’t seen him in at least 2 years, making him 29 now. He was the stereotypical Australian surfer. He had shaggy blond hair bleached by the sun and salt water, blue eyes like the ocean, and a tall sculpted surfer’s body that was bronzed by living on the beach.

As soon as he hits me, he pulls me quickly against his sun-warmed body.

“G’day mate!” I grin at him, using my best Australian accent.

He laughs, his head falling back making the sound echo off the airport walls. His booming laugh soon diminishes into a quiet chuckle, as his left hand comes to settle on my hip and he steps close again. His light blue gaze drops to my lips, making me smirk, before his eyes connect with mine, shinning with a smile. His other hand comes up to my neck, his thumb brushing my jawbone as he smiles at me.

“G’day mate,” he says quietly, before his mouth is on mine.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Chapter 12: Déjà vu

“Alright Maggs, let’s go home,” Max says grinning at me, our hands swinging comically as we walk out of the club.

“Max seriously, it’s fine. Just take me to my car,” I groan, trying to break my hand free.

“Ooooh, no. You are not breaking into your own car at one in the morning,” he says not letting go of my hand.

“I’m not, it’s quarter after one in the morning,” I say sticking my tongue out at him.

“Nope, you’re coming with me, Maggs,” he says giving me a tug and sending me into his side.

I hold back a gasp, and instead settle for an “oomph.” It felt good to be against him, his solid torso next to me and his strong arm around my waist. It was surprising how well I seemed to fit there. And man did he smell good!

“What did I say about those hands,” I grumble, looking down to his hand splayed out on my hip.

“Mmm… your mouth says one thing, but you have to admit Maggs, you like my hugs,” he hums leaning down so his mouth is by my ear.

“You keep telling yourself that Talbot,” I say rolling my eyes and forcing myself to push away from his warm body.

We make it to the car before anything else on the matter can be said, and I’m so tired I get in without a fuss. I’m no where near the most tired I’ve ever been, but I didn’t want to do say something I was going to regret.

Max’s POV

I sink down in the leather seats and turn the key, causing my car to hum to life.

“So is this how you get all your girls?” she asks buckling her seat belt.

“Huh?” I ask perplexed, looking over at her.

“The girls you take home, do they lock themselves out too?” she smirks at me, her eye brow raising sarcastically.

“Actually Maggie, some women find me charming and attractive,” I say rolling my eyes.

“I never said you weren’t,” she shrugs.

I quickly look over to her after her admittance, but she is contently looking out the window.

“So what you’re saying is you think I’m hot,” I smile cockily at her, catching her roll her eyes before I have to turn my gaze back to the road.

“I’m saying that from what I know anthropologically, you’re fit, you have a masculine voice, and you face is pretty symmetrical… well maybe not now,” she chuckles, gesturing to my black eye, “as a female it’s easy to view you as an attractive male that has potentially good genes to provide to offspring.”

“So what you’re saying is you want to have sex with me,” I smirk.

“No, because of my evolutionary make up, I’m attracted to you because your appearance suggests that you can provide good genes to offspring that could make them well adapted and thus continue on the gene pull,” she says with a straight face.

“Jesus, Bones, all you had to do is say yes,” I grin over at her.

“Bones?” she asks, looking over at me apparently confused.

“Yeah, you know, the TV show?” I say.

“Max, I don’t really watch that much TV…” she yawns shaking her head.

“You’ve never seen Bones?” I ask, looking over at her in shock.

“Nooo,” she replies slowly.

“You would like it, it’s about a crime solving anthropologist,” I say looking over at her, “We’ll watch it when we get to the apartment.”

“Max,” she sighs getting frustrated.

“Here we are, home sweet home!” I say before she can continue, pulling up into my driveway.

I hear her let out an annoyed sigh before I climb out of the car, running around to the other side to open her door for her. However, I’m almost nailed by the door as it swings open on it’s own, before I can even grab the handle.

“Save your chivalry for the next girl you bring home, I’m capable of opening a car door,” she grumbles, stepping out of the car.

Her independence was so frustrating sometimes, but I didn’t push the subject. Apparently it was passed someone’s bedtime.

I follow her to the door, stepping around her small frame to unlock it. I open my front door and promptly let it close behind me instead of holding it for her.

“Smart ass,” I hear her grumble, opening the door.

“You’re the one that didn’t want the chivalry, I was just abiding you wish,” I smile sweetly at her as I climb the stairs. Her only reply is an eye roll. “You better watch Maggs, my mom says that if you roll your eyes too much they stick like that.”

She just sticks her tongue out at me for the second time tonight.

“You know, I can think of so many more ways you could use that tongue, instead of in a childish way,” I sigh, turning on the lights.

She just gives me a glare, but I see a blush ever so slightly hidden beneath the freckles on her cheekbones.

Suddenly, a young black dog comes barreling out of the bedroom, a sock in his mouth.

“Stanley!” I say throwing my hands up, making him slide to a stop in front of me, sitting obediently at my feet.

I give the dog a good rub, murmuring how he is a good boy.

I look up to Maggie, who is giving me a warm smile and amused look.

“Maggie, this is Stanley, Stanley go bite her,” I chuckle.

“You’re soooo funny Talbot,” she says with a huff, “Hi, Stanley. I’m sorry you have to live with him,” she says in a higher pitched voice.

Stanley immediately responds to the attention and worms his way over to her, letting her run her hands through his curly hair.

“Awww, you’re such a good boy,” she murmurs.

His answer to the complement is to give her a few sloppy kisses on the cheek, making her giggle.

I watch as her nose wrinkles as she laughs, trying unsuccessfully to get Stanley away from her face. She continues to laugh when he rolls over on his back for her to rub his belly.

“You’re adorable,” she tells him, obliging his request and rubbing his belly.

‘So are you,’ I find myself thinking, a smile creeping onto my face.

“Well Max Talbot, are we going to watch this show you’re talkin’ about, or can I go pass out?!” she says, bringing clover green eyes to question me sarcastically.

“You have to watch at least one episode,” I pout comically at her, making her laugh again. I smirk, always taking it as a small victory when I cold make her laugh.

"Alright, but could I at least borrow a shirt, this one is starting to get annoying,” she sighs, gesturing down to the green lace top my eyes had been enjoying all night.

“Yeah sure,” I say running into my room and rummaging throw my drawers for a t-shirt. I come back out with a Penguins shirt, my name across the top, much like the one she wore to the game.

“Where is the one you wore to the game?” I ask, handing her the shirt.

“My car,” she sighs, taking it and walking off to the bathroom, her hips swaying in those worn jeans.

A few moments later she comes out, wearing only the t-shirt with her dark rimmed glasses on. My jaw drops as I watch the muscles play in her thighs as she walks. The t-shirt just skimmed her mid thigh. I found myself wishing that she was taller at that moment, just so the shirt went higher on her thighs. She places her clothes on the coffee table before walking over to the couch.

I clear my throat and grab the remote, pushing the On Demand button. As she tries to pass me to sit on the other corner of the couch, I reach up and pull her to me by hips. She let’s out a surprised squeak before losing her balance and crashing down beside me.

“Mean,” she huffs.

I just laugh and sit up so that I’m next to her, our shoulders touching as I scan through On Demand.

“Back at you,” I say simply, gesturing to her outfit and making her smirk, “How about this one?” I ask clicking on the second one down.

“I’m leaving up to you,” she says, pulling her knees up on the couch and leaning into me.

“This one it is!”

Just as Booth handcuffs the guy who did it, I look over to Maggie to find her asleep against me, snuggled into my side. I brush a stray curl from her face and watch her sleep. Her emerald eyes were masked by lids fringed by thick lashes. Her pink lips were slightly pressed out in sleep and I could only imagine how they would feel against me. She wasn’t like the other girls that had spent the night in this apartment. Those ones were perfectly tan, with make up slathered on, and we would still be rolling around in the sheets at this time. But here was the girl that I had really wanted all along, and she was nothing like the girls that I had been bringing home. She was a spitfire that was one of the most stubborn people I have ever met. I never thought that I would be bringing her home, and although my dreams were played out a little differently than watching a TV show and her falling asleep, I couldn’t help but smile at the beauty next to me.

I gently stand up, careful not to wake her. I pick her up, cradling her in my arms and making my way to the bedroom. I gently lay her down on the bed, pulling my black comforter over her small frame, watching as she nuzzles her head deeper into the pillow.

I smile at her childlike action that made her that much cuter. She seemed so quiet and peaceful now. You would never be able to guess what a spitfire she is when she’s awake.

Bending over, I let my lips briefly linger on her smooth cheek, right below her high freckle covered cheekbones. I straighten and turn to leave again, it was one of the first times that I had a girl in my bed and I wasn’t in it too.

“Max?” I hear her voice softly murmur from the bed.

“Yeah Maggs?” I ask turning in surprise to the quiet voice.

“Stay,” she says simply, not even opening her eyes.

I hesitate for a minute, was this some kind of trick?

“I don’t want to be alone tonight,” she says quietly, those emerald eyes peaking open to look at me.

I feel my breath catch; she murmured that exact sentence over 8 years ago. She watches me, waiting for me with an almost pleading look on her face. This was the very definition of Déjà vu.

I smirk back and find myself going back over to the bed. I strip myself down to my boxers before crawling into my own bed, careful not to touch her, unsure of the boundaries that I had just entered. It felt like it was the first time I had ever crawled in bed with a girl, not sure what to do next.

She scoot her body next to mine, her head rests on my bicep as her fingers come up to trace the cross on my ribs, sending chills cup my spin. Her green eyes sweep up to mine as she smiles sleepily. Her right hand rests on my ribs as she scoots in closer, nuzzling her nose into my neck and letting out a content sigh, slipping back into sleep.

I let my hand travel down her curves from her shoulder down to settle on her hip, feeling pleasure shoot through my body as I pull her hips to fit into me. It felt so right to be next to her.

Maggie’s POV

“Don’t know where I’m going. Don’t know where I’m going…” My ring tone sings.

‘Who the hell is calling me?’ I think, letting out a groan, ‘And where the hell is the phone?’

I try to move to stop Flogging Molly from screaming, but I find that my waist is weighed down. A masculine arm draped over it.

“Shiiit,” I hiss, looking over my shoulder to see who it is.

His rugged face is sleeping angelically behind me, his head pillowed on his tattooed bicep, and his hard body was fit tight against me.

I quickly search my brain, realizing that my mind wasn’t completely consumed by alcohol last night so I could remember what happened. I look down at myself to find that I’m in a t-shirt, no pants, but a t-shirt. Thank God nothing happened.

“Don’t know where I’m going. Don’t know where…”

I try to crawl out of his grasp carefully so as not to wake him, but his grip just tightens around me.

“Stay,” he mumbles, not even opening his eyes.

I try again, hoping he’s still asleep.

“Maggie, go back to sleep,” me grumbles, pulling me tight against his warm body.

I sigh.

“Don’t know where I’m going. Don’t know where…”

“Max come on, Paddy is calling me,” I groan, trying to move his heavy arm.

“Fine,” he sighs, his grey eyes opening ever so slightly to watch me crawl out of bed, “Nice red undies, Maggs. Very cute.”

“Shut up,” I grumble, trying to keep the blush I felt coming from staining my cheeks. I slip on my glasses and grab my phone off the bedside table, “Padraig, it’s 8 in the morning what do you want?”

“Where the hell are you? Open the damned door!” I hear my brother growl into the phone.

“YOU HAVE THE FUCKING KEYS!!! I had to stay with Max because I couldn’t get into my apartment without breaking into the car.”

“YOU WHAT?!?!”

“Paddy, I haven’t had my coffee, yet,” I warn.

“You can break into a car, why didn’t you just get your spare?” He asks.

“Look, just go get my car and use the keys to get in, I will be home in a little bit,” I sigh, pushing on my temple; it was much too early for a headache

“I swear to God he better have behaved himself, or I’m gonna…” Paddy begins.

“YOU are going to do NOTHING, Padraig. Nothing happened last night and Max gave me a place to say because you have my keys. Quit trying to protect me, if I want protection I will use a condom or hire a bodyguard. Goodbye, I will see you soon,” I snap into the phone.

I let out an annoyed sigh, turning around to see Max sitting up in bed, a lazy smirk plastered on his face. His hair was sticking up in every direction and his hands were behind his head, his biceps showing his strength. It took all the strength I had not to jump back into bed.

“What are you so smug about?” I ask, my hands coming to my hips in attitude.

“You’re hot when you’re mad and fresh out of bed,” he grins at me cockily.

I just roll my eyes at him, before heading to the bathroom; my hair was probably rivaling Medusa’s at the moment.

I take a deep breath while I’m in the bathroom, letting out a groan when I look in the mirror.

I’ve been worse, but it was going to take days to get all these knots out. I quickly locate his toothpaste and do a quick travel finger brush on my teeth, something I learned over the years when a toothbrush wasn’t available. I pull up my hair into a knot and splash water on my face, good enough. I’ll just leave my contacts out today. But even though I looked like…well like crap… I was surprisingly well rested.

I open the door to the bathroom, to find a shirtless male leaning against the wall, smirking at me His shoulder muscles flexed as he shifted, my eyes wondering lower to the cross that marked the muscle that was packed tight against his ribs. I followed his abs down, almost reaching out to trace the lines of muscles. Further down, boxer briefs clung to his frame and showed off the hockey player muscular thighs that would make a nun give up practice. And also showing off that he was no little boy.

If that wasn’t enough temptation, his unique concoction of smells, that all males have when they first wake up, was enough to make me drool. I could detect his spice deodorant and musky cologne ever so slightly, mixed in with his own natural scent. It was enough to send me over the edge, and before I can stop the action I bite my lip, giving away my thoughts. My eyes travel back up his frame to meet his eyes; his blue eyes were clouded over with grey and held heat as they stared back at me.

I begin to lean toward him, if he kissed me and I happened to reciprocate that wasn’t sex right? Obviously with how we were dressed and with his bed right there it could lead to that (and probably would), but that wasn’t so bad right? We could have sex, it wasn’t like either of us were virgins or expected more out of sexual relationship other than sex. I’d figure out everything else later. Maybe this would clear the air, cut the sexual tension we had been holding since high school. Then we could go about life like normal.

I look down to his lips, and then back up to his eyes. ‘Come on Max, kiss me,’ I think.

He begins to close the distance, leaning down to my height, but before the final inches are passed, I hear Max’s phone go off in the other room, snapping both of us out of it.

I clear my throat and back away a little, smoothing back my hair. I watch as Max backs away slightly too, chuckling lowly as his hand sweeps through his already messy hair. The air between us was breathable once more, allowing for clearer thinking. He clears his throat and steps closer to me.

“I’m liking this look on you,” he says, his height causing me to look up at him. His eyes had changed back to blue, holding humor and something else, that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. “Paddy should take your keys more often,” he says tugging the hem of my t-shirt. I feel myself instantly heat up again as his warm body brushes against me to get into the bathroom, closing the door behind him.

I let out the breath I didn’t realize I had been holding, going into the living room to get my clothes. I find my clothes and go back into the bedroom. Just as I’m pulling my jeans on I hear the door open. He steps out and stops with his hand in his hair when he sees me tugging the denim over my hips. I button them and pull off the t-shirt, only to pull my own shirt over my head, making sure to wiggle it a little more than normal.

“Come on Superstar, get dressed and I’ll buy you some coffee on my way to my apartment,” I say plastering on a fake smile and running my hand over his shoulder as I pass.

When I hear his closet door, signaling that he was putting on clothes, I let out a sigh. How much longer were we going to be able to keep this friendship without slipping into the friends with benefits category? I needed to get out of here for a little bit. Where should I go?

I look down to the coffee table, spotting a magazine with a Subaru carrying multiple surfboards on the top. That’s it!

“Maggs, I need to take Stanley out, and then we’ll go,” Max says coming out of his bedroom tugging on a hoodie with the Penguins emblem on the front.

“Alright, that’s fine. I have to make a phone call anyway,” I smile, reaching for my phone.

He nods and grabs the leash off a hook by the door, Stanley bounding over.

As soon as they’re out the door, I quickly find the contact I’m looking for in my phone. After 3 rings a heavily accented deep voice answers.

“Riley, it’s Maggie,” I smile, “How are the waves down there?”

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chapter 11: Over Protected

I watch as a bright pink bubble forms in front of his lips while he skates around the ice. All the Pens players taking shots at the net as the Senators do the same on the opposite end of the ice.

“I didn’t realize how much I missed hockey,” Paddy murmurs beside me, “I haven’t been on skates in years.”

“You could’ve made it you know. To the NHL, I mean, or at least the AHL,” I reply quietly looking over at him as he watches the players skate on the ice.

“Nah, I didn’t have the drive, although I probably travel more than they do,” he chuckles, “But I wouldn’t talk if I were you, you could have made a pro soccer team.”

“Yeah, I could’ve, but that wasn’t ever my dream, it was Dad’s,” I laugh, “Plus, running away from grave robbers is a bigger adrenaline rush.”

“Speaking of fun, are we still going out with the team after the game?” Paddy asks.

“Max said we can if we want to, I figured you could use some good Pittsburgh fun before you leave,” I shrug, taking a bite of my nachos.

“Sure could!” he grins.

“You can’t bring anyone back with you, got it? You go home with someone, not bring someone home. The last thing I want is to be sexiled from my apartment,” I warn, pointing my finger at him after I lick the cheese off it.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah” he brushes off as the lights dim and the Penguins take the ice, reaching over into the plastic platter of nachos in my lap.

“I’m serious Padraig.”

“Shh… Maggs the game is starting,” he mumbles over a mouthful of nachos.

I roll my eyes and turn my attention to the ice.

Max’s POV

“Oooh that’s a nice one Max, you’re gonna get all the ladies tonight with that eye shadow,” Fleury grins at me after inspecting my black eye.

“Fucking Chris Neil,” I grumble, pulling off my padding. Unlike the rest of the team who was in a good mood from the 2-1 win over the Senators, there is something about a black eye that can make you a little grumpy.

“He sure knows how to land a punch, eh Talbo?” Engelland says from across the room.

“Yeah, and Max sure knows how to take one,” Sid laughs from beside him.

“Shut up Wonder Boy, at least I’ll be brave enough to travel to the dance floor tonight,” I grin back.

“You know I can’t do that,” he grumbles, frowning at me. Poor Kid, he couldn’t do anything without it being everywhere.

“Everyone decent?” a voice calls out.

A collection of “Yeah”s are the reply, provoking the door open. In barges the girl that has been on my mind lately. She wore the same oversized Penguins shirt I had given her before, it was ridiculously big on her, masking her curves. The front was tucked into her dark jeans, which were torn in both knees and once high up on her right thigh, the denim hugged her curves perfectly. The tips of her brown leather boots peaked out at the bottom. Her coffee colored hair was twisted into a loose braid that was swept over her shoulder. She had her hands on her hips as her green eyes scanned the room, before landing on me. A smile replaces the frown on her face and I find myself smiling back, my stomach dropping in excitement as she approaches. Padraig comes in behind her, trying to keep a straight face.

“Max Talbot, you need to learn how to fight!” She calls out loudly, making the whole room chuckle, “Good game guys! Congrats on the win!”

Every one throws back a “Thanks Maggs.” They were getting too used to having her barge in the door.

I glare at her declaration, “I can fight!”

“Pffft, like a girl,” she says rolling her eyes, her hand comes up to my jaw and she stands on her toes to get a close look at my eye. All I had to do was turn my head back around and I could easily connect my lips with her sarcastic smirk. Her green eyes refocus on my eyes and they widen slightly, as I look down to her pink lips. Obviously she didn’t realize how close she was. I begin to close the distance when Paddy clears his throat from behind Maggie.

“Damn! He really landed that punch!” Padraig says, looking over Maggie’s shoulder.

Maggie looks at me and backs away only slightly, and I watch as she quickly composes herself. I clear my throat slightly, that was a horrible idea.

“Jesus Christ, Talbot, that’s going to be a hell of a shiner,” Maggie says shaking her head, her finger tips brushing over the tender skin making me wince. “You’re going to have to start wearing Flower’s mask, if you keep fighting like that,” she says taking a step away and jerking her thumb over to the goalie next to me.

Marc-Andre grins up at her as he unlaces his skates.

“Hey Maggie!”

“Hey Marc, why didn’t you at least throw Talbot your blocker pad? He could of used it,” she grins moving her hand back to my face, which I bat away with an annoyed sigh.

“Maybe next time,” he laughs.

“I’m sure there will be a next time with the way he fights,” she chuckles, I glare at her but she just smiles at me innocently, “Oh Marc this is me brother Paddy, Paddy this is Marc.”

Paddy and Fleury shake hands and exchange greetings.

“Well Maggs, I hate to push you out, but the boys and I need to get ready,” I say, steering her toward the door.

“Fine, I’m going, I’m going,” she grumbles, “See ya soon boys!”

“Thank you!” I sigh, walking back to my stall.

“Damn Talbo, it got really hot in that corner,” Cookie grins at me.

“Yeah, Max, get it,” Rupper laughs, “Although I’m pretty sure her brother would of kicked your ass right then and there.”

I just chuckle and head to the shower. Yeah he would’ve.

Maggie’s POV

“What the hell was that?!” Paddy says as soon as the door to the locker room closes.

“What was what?” I ask innocently, heading to the exit and waving to Jimmy.

“Oh don’t play dumb. You and Max were ready to strip each other right there,” he grumbles.

“Nothing can happen between Max and I, Paddy. Don’t worry about it,” I sigh rolling my eyes.

“But you want something to happen. I’ve seen the way you look at him Maggs,” he says quietly.

“I’ve had a dry spell since I got back from Egypt, I just need a thirst quencher and then I’ll be fine. There’s nothing going on with Max, and there won’t be either,” I bite back.

My brother chuckles beside me, “Bull Shit!”

“Whatever. Here, you drive,” I say rolling my eyes and throwing him my keys.

“Why do I need to drive?” he grumbles.

“Because I’m going to get ready, and unless you want me to drive AND fix my hair…” I reply climbing in my jeep.

“Fine, I’ll drive while you make yourself all pretty for Max Talbot.”

“Shut the fuck up Padraig!” I growl, taking off the Penguins shirt I was wearing.

“WHOA! What the hell is that?”

“What?” I ask, looking down at my shirt, was it not clean?

“Where the hell did you get that a brothel in Bali!?! I thought you weren’t taking anyone home!” Paddy shouts.

“I never said that, I just said that you weren’t allowed to take anyone to MY HOME,” I point out, “And I’m pretty sure you mean Bangladesh, and no I’ve never even been there. Victoria’s Secret has more than thongs and bras you know.”

“Whatever,” he mumbles through gritted teeth, his fists tightening on the steering wheel. I roll my eyes. Ever since we walked into the locker room, he started the whole overprotective brother behavior.

Sure the shirt showed a little more cleavage than the t-shirts I normally wore, but going through the store, there were a whole lot more “shirts” that he wouldn’t approve of… at least not on me anyway. It was just a little olive green lace tank, that both dipped into a V in the front and the back. It’s not like you could even completely see through the lace. It was just that I had more cleavage exposed than I normally do. Compared to the puck bunnies that were bound to be near the VIP room, with their tiny shirts, almost nonexistent skirts, and sky scrapper heels, I looked like a soccer mom.

“Just suck it up. Pull up right there,” I snap, pulling my hair up into a messy bun, in order to show off some of the tattoos on my back, and pulling my green military style blazer back on.

I hop out of the car, buttoning up my jacket and grabbing my messenger bag as Paddy gets out of the car grumbling about missing the opportunity to kick more sense into me in the womb. I just roll my eyes and walk over to the guy leaning on the black BMW next to me.

He was bigger than Max, maybe only an inch taller, but he had arms that rivaled Popeye’s and shoulders that were meant for a girl to grip all night long. I had seen him bare-chested in the locker room once or twice and wanted to jump him. But now, unfortunately, he was covered by a light blue, button up shirt, which he still looked damned good in. He smiles shyly at me, running a hand through his long dark hair.

“Hey Maggie, Max is running a little late, he asked me to help you guys get in,” he says shyly, but I don’t miss how his dark eyes wonder up my frame.

“Thanks Kris,” I smile back at him, my hands in my pockets as Paddy comes to stand up behind me.

He looks warily at Paddy.

“Oh right. Paddy this is Kris Letang, he’s a Defensemen, Kris this is my brother Paddy,” I say quickly introducing the two, but it doesn’t seem to qualm Kris’s caution toward my brother. They shake hands like gentlemen and Kris leads the way to Diesel.

“Must you be so menacing? Kris isn’t going to do anything, he’s a good guy,” I whisper harshly at my brother.

“Maggie, if you came to visit me and I hung out with a women’s volleyball team frequently, what the hell would you do?” he whispers back.

“Tell you ‘Congrats man’ and make sure to stay out of your bedroom,” I growl back, following Kris into the VIP area.

I take my coat off, hanging it on a chair next to a certain tall center, and sitting down next to him.

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t Miss Maggie,” he grins at me.

“How’s it going Mr. Staal,” I ask playfully nudging him with my shoulder, “that was a pretty nice goal tonight.”

“Thanks Beautiful, I’m glad you liked it,” he says, throwing me a lazy smirk and letting his eyes wander over me.

I catch his gaze with mine, and let my eyes linger on his deep blue orbs. I can see movement out of the corner of my eye as someone sits down in front of me. I watch as Jordan breaks my gaze to glance over in the direction, he starts to meet my eyes again, but instead does a double take.

“Padraig! Get the stick out of your ass, and stop glaring down any potential dancing partner I’m conversing with!” I say raising my voice, looking over to the dark skinned giant across from me.

He turns his warning glare from Jordan to annoyed one when his eyes land on me.

“Jordan this is my brother Paddy, Paddy, Jordan Staal,” I sigh resting my hand in my chin, “You need to start introducing yourself, Padraig, cause I’m getting damned sick of it.”

They each nod at each other, evenly.

“Oh for Christ’s sake, you two probably have the most in common out of everyone. Both of you are centers, both of you grew up with multiple brothers, the list goes on...” I say rolling my eyes.

“You played center?” Jordan asks.

“Yeah, dude. And you may have grown up with brothers but Maggie was always the real challenge,” Paddy chuckles.

“From what I gather, she still is,” Jordan laughs back.

And with that, the ice is broken. Soon Paddy is moving a chair over so that he’s in front of Jordan instead of me.

“I was sitting on the handle bars with Marc peddling, and we had the genius idea to use the cinder hill as a jump…”Jordan laughs, making Paddy hoot with laughter.

“I see Paddy met Staalzy,” a deep voice says in my ear, making chills go down my spin. Making me smile without realizing I’m doing so.

“Yup!” I sigh, looking up at him, not moving my head from my hands.

“Sorry I was late Maggs,” he chuckles, setting down a Bud Light in front of me.

“What’s this?” I say wrinkling my nose.

“Oh, that’s mine,” he says quickly, “THIS is yours.”

He pulls the beer to the seat next to me and sets down a Heineken in its place.

“That’s a little better,” I shrug, “I don’t know how you can drink that shit. You may as well drink water.”

“Mmm… but water wouldn’t give me this lovely buzz,” he hums sitting down beside me.

“True,” I laugh, before bringing the beer up to my lips.

“What’s this?” he says his finger brushing over my now sensitive wrist.

“A tattoo.”

“You got a new one?” he asks, pulling my right arm closer to him to get a good look.

“Two actually.”

Two days ago Paddy and I had gone to the tattoo parlor. He finally got our mother’s maiden name connected with a Celtic cross tattooed on his forearm. Something he’s been saying he’s wanted to do for years now. I had a compass tattooed on the inside of my upper right forearm and the yellow box logo of National Geography with the scrolled word ‘Inspire’ running up its side on the corner of my right wrist. They were still a little tender and shined from the Vaseline I had applied in the car.

“I like them,” he says simply, letting his hand linger on my arm as he sends me a charming smile.

He was in a charcoal grey dress shirt with no tie; instead it was unbuttoned at the collar. His sleeves were already rolled up; showing off his well-defined forearms that I knew would hold me up and position me below him. His short hair seemed to beg for someone to run her fingers through its thickness. He had shaved recently, but already he had a slight scruff, that would undoubtedly send countless shivers down a girls spin as his lips explored inches of flesh.

He smirks at me, as his eyes shined a bright blue, which seemed to capture my own gaze. I found myself inadvertently leaning closer to him, my mind tried to tell me no, but my senses weren’t listening. His scent was musky and definitely male, and definitely upped his sex appeal. The anthropologist in me told me that I was viewing him as a suitable mate, but the female in me was telling me to take him home… now! Which meant it was time to get out of there and go find one I could take home.

“Well, I’m going to go scour the dance floor, I’ll see you boys later,” I say clearing my throat, breaking his gaze, and moving away from the male next to me.

I glance at Max, to see him look down at the table with a sigh, his jaw slightly clenching.

“STAY!” I say pointing a finger at my brother.

2 beers and 5 duds later, I was back in the VIP lounge but my brother was nowhere in sight. I head over to one of the couches that Sid and Kris were lounging on nursing their drinks.

“Hey boys,” I smile, sitting down next to Kris, “Either of you seen me brother?”

“Nope, not for at least half an hour. He was headed out to the dance floor last I saw him.. Are you drunk? You sound Irish,” Kris grins at me.

“Eh, maybe a bit, but not really,” I chuckle, leaning back against the couch and pulling my legs up to me, letting my eyes slightly close. I knew I wasn't drunk, but I was just a little tipsy.

“We wear you out already Maggs?” Sid asks.

“Yeah Crosby, watching you on the couch has worked me up into a frenzy,” I wink, causing him to blush, “Nah, I’m kidding. I put in an 8-hour workday and the alcohol is making me a bit sleepy now. “

“Why don’t you go home?” Kris deep voice asks, but his body language tells a different story as he drapes his arm behind me.

“’Cause Paddy has my keys,” I sigh, scooting a little closer to the warm body.

I send him a shy smile that says, ‘I’m only a tipsy weak female, take care of me.’ It was a look that I had learned to use when I had had enough loud fun for the night and wanted a warm male to snuggle up to. Living with guys most of my life, I had perfected it. Most guys saw right through it, but still let me be warm and safe in their arms.

Kris chuckles and opens his arms a little wider for me. I smile and snuggle into his warm body, draping my legs across his muscular thighs and pillowing my head on his strong shoulder. He was all solid muscle, and it was definitely a turn on. And he smelled really good, better than some of those sweaty guys on the dance floor anyway. If I weren’t so tired I would be dragging him home.

He and Sid continue talking like they were and I just listen, content in the defenseman’s arms. His slightly calloused fingers lightly brush against my shoulders every so often in a comforting motion, making me smile.

“Why is it that you two are always in here and not out there finding a lovely lady to take home like the rest of them?” I ask suddenly.

Sid smiles at me almost sadly, his hazel eyes looking at me like a wiser father would look at his naïve daughter.

“Looks like Tanger is doing fine on the couch,” I hear a voice say behind me, I feel Kris tense at the voice.

“Maxime, I already have an overprotective brother staying with me, I don’t need you to try and fill that role too,” I sigh, taking my head off Kris’s shoulder to look at him.

He looked surprisingly fresh for just coming off the dance floor. The only thing that hand changed since I last saw him, was that another button had popped open on his shirt. Had he even danced with anyone?

“Speaking of your brother where is he?” Max asks.

“I don’t know, but he has my keys and I’m tired,” I yawn.

Just then my phone vibrates in my pocket, signaling a text message.

Paddy - ‘I’m headed out, I’ll be back at your place tomorrow morning’

“Shit!” I murmur sitting up and quickly texting back.

But mid text I’m interrupted with another text.

Paddy – ‘My phone is almost dead so I’m turning it off’

“FUCK!” I shout, causing one of the puck bunnies that was hanging off Tyler Kennedy, to turn to me and glare.

“What’s the matter Maggs?” Max asks.

“Paddy left with someone and turned off his phone. AND he still has my keys!” I sigh, pressing to fingers to my forehead trying to relieve myself of the oncoming headache.

“Don’t you have a spare hidden?” Sid asks.

“Oh course I do!” I say rolling my eyes, “But it’s in my car, and Paddy has the keys for that!”

“You’re not supposed to hid a spare in your car!” Max laughs.

“Exactly where else am I going to hide it? I live in an apartment, I can’t exactly hide it under a fucking door mat!”

“Leave it with a friend?” Kris shrugs.

“Max can you take me back to my car?” I sigh, smoothing my hand over my hair, hoping to smooth back any rebellious frizz that had come out of my bun.

“Why? You don’t have the keys.” he says, giving me that ‘stupid girl’ look.

“I can break in,” I shrug, standing up from the couch.

“You’re going to break into your car?” Sid says, clearly a little shocked at my declaration.

“It’s a Wrangler, it’s not that hard.”

“But you know HOW to break into a car?!” he pushes.

“Sid, I grew up with 5 brothers and I’ve traveled all over the world. I can break into a car, hot-wire it, and drive it to the nearest water post,” I sigh, boys were so dumb sometimes, silly shelter hockey players.

“Maggs, there are police that patrol the lot at this time of night,” Max says shaking his head.

“It’s not like I’m trying to take Sid’s car, I’m breaking into my own car.”

“Or you could just stay at my place tonight,” Max says grabbing my coat and bag off the chair and handing them to me.

I quiet at the though and look over at him skeptically, searching his blue eyes to a hidden meaning. But they have clouded over into a stormy grey instead of the clear blue they were before, impossible to read.

“I will be a perfect gentleman,” he says rolling his eyes.

I let out a very lady like snort as Sid and Kris chuckle behind me.

“I will! Come on Maggs, it’s only one night and I’ll sleep on the couch, you can have the bed to yourself. Well…Stanley might join you… but I will stay on the couch,” he smiles, turning on the Talbot charm.


“He’s my labradoodle, you’ll love him,” he smiles, his eyes changing color again.

I sigh, biting my lip as I weigh my options, stay with Max or break into my car. I could think of a few others, but they ranked lower than breaking into my car. I should’ve just gone home with someone. That way I could’ve left before they got up and hopefully have been satisfied.

“Alright,” I sigh, giving in, “Let’s go.”

He looks at me with a triumphant grin.

“But you keep your hands to yourself, or I swear to God, you will be out for a few weeks with broken fingers,” I warn, pointing my own finger at him, making Kris and Sid laugh behind me.

“Yes ma’am! Bye boys,” he grins, taking my hand and leading me to the door.

“Very funny,” I snap, but I allow him to interlace his fingers with mine. It was easy to get separated in the sea of people.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chapter 10: Freudian Slip?


Sorry I disappeared for a few... ya know... months! But now it's summer! Which means I have MUCH more time to write and I should, if everything goes well, be able to update this much more often. Hopefully I'll post chapters a few times a month instead every few months. So here's to more updates and no writers block this summer. Enjoy and have a great summer!


“7:33 PM”

That’s what the hands on my watch were figuring the time to be. I huff impatiently, standing on my toes to lengthen myself as much as possible in order to see over the sea of people. But my 5’2’’ frame could only stretch so far. I look around, making sure none of the bitter security personnel were around, before climbing up on the chair beside me. Finally, I had a height advantage over the million or so people crowding around the airport like herds of confused cattle. Well… maybe not a million, but the number had to be close to that.

“Excuse me, Miss, you can’t stand on the chairs,” a deep voice says from behind me.

I let out an annoyed heavy sigh, readying myself to turn to the man and explain that I was handicapped because of my height. As I turn around to come face to face to the voice, I find myself looking at a well-built man of my exact age. He stood in front of me, almost nose to nose, and he wasn’t standing on a chair. His long legs were clad in jeans held up by a leather belt. His solid torso and broad shoulders were concealed beneath a forest green sweater and under a leather jacket. His rugged face had chiseled features that I knew could bring a girl to her knees. His high cheekbones, and tawny skin hinted at his Native ancestry, and his lips were quirked up in a smirk, his light green eyes almost mirrored mine as they smiled at me.

“PADDY!” I shout loud enough for the million others to hear, throwing my arms around my twin brother as he laughs and twirls me around in a bear hug.

“I missed you baby sister!” he grins putting me down. His 6’2’’ frame towering over me, and he was my shortest brother!

“I’m 3 minutes younger than you!” I say exasperated, but I can’t keep the smile off my face.

Out of all my brothers Paddy and I were the closest, probably due to the fact we shared the same womb for 8 months. And we weren’t like some twins that looked similar but were complete opposites personality wise. He was basically the male version of me. Stubborn, outspoken, outgoing, and a short temper, plus neither of us were very good at putting down roots.

I hadn’t seen him in almost a year, since the Sutherland Christmas last year in Montreal at my Dad’s. But he and I made sure to call each other at least once a week. Both of us were constantly traveling, me with National Geographic, hopping from dig to dig, and him with his “pub education.” I had been in Egypt for two months, Israel the two before that; Ireland, Siberia, and Russia for the remaining eight. Paddy had been traveling through multiple countries in Europe and North America. Traveling and learning about beer, wine, and liquor for his pub.

I wait for him in the driver’s seat of my jeep grinning as he dumps his North Face backpack in the back seat before plopping down next to me in the passenger’s seat.

“What?” he smirks looking over at me.

“Nothing,” I smile back.

“Tell me!” he says annoyed.

“It’s nothing,” I shrug.


“You just look like me, is all. All that traveling did you good,” I grin, looking over at him quickly before switching lanes

“Well, of course you would think so, Miss I-can’t-stay-in-one-place-for-more-than-6-months,” he chuckles.

“Hey, now I wouldn’t talk if I were you!” I shoot back.

“We’ll blame it on Dad,” he shrugs looking out the window.

“Yeah…” I respond solemnly.

Paddy only had but a slightly better relationship with the Admiral than I did. Which really wasn’t saying much. It was no secret that our dad had moved us here, there, and everywhere throughout our childhoods and tried to force us into his plan. I was the first to break free, and from there it was a like a chain reaction amongst my siblings.

“So this is it, huh? Home Sweet Home,” Paddy asks stepping into my apartment and letting his backpack fall beside my messenger bag.

“Eh, for now,” I smirk.

“It’s nice, Maggs dad wouldn’t approve of so many books,” he grins.

“Thanks Paddy!” I grin, “You cool with the couch?”

“You mean you’re not going to give up your bed?”

“I’ve basically been living in the sand for four months,” I say, my hand automatically coming to my hip in attitude.

“So that’s a no?”

“Didn’t you just come back from Gran’s?” I ask.

“Yeah,” he sighs, “she says hi by the way.”

“Padraig, you’ve been sleeping at Gran’s! That house even melted Dad’s heart a little! No way am I giving up my bed. You didn’t even bring me back something from Ireland!”

“You were in Ireland a few months ago!” he retorts, going over to pull a beer out of the refrigerator.

“Fine, I’ll give ya that. And if you’re going to drink my beer grab me one too,” I sigh flopping down on the couch and turning the Penguin game on. They were playing the St. Louis Blues and it was the last game of their road trip.

He comes over, handing me a beer before dropping his 6’2’’ frame on the lazy boy with a mighty sigh like groan.

“So you found Max Talbot, eh?” he asks, bring the bottle up to his lips and taking a gulp, looking at me from the corner of his eye.

“Technically he spotted me first. But yeah, never thought I would see him again,” I chuckle, watching as number 25 himself checks Andy McDonald into the boards.

“And there is nothing going on between you two?” he asks slowly, not so much out of curiosity but assurance.

“Come on, Paddy, you know me, I don’t do relationships and neither does Max,” I sigh rolling my eyes.

“That’s what I’m afraid of,” he replies gruffly.

Max’s POV

I pick at the napkin before a little piece falls off. I roll it in a tight ball and push it off to the side of the table with the 3 I had previously made. Sighing, I look down to my watch. They should be here any minute.

“Collecting spit balls?” Paul asks, setting down a beer in front of me.

I chuckle, “No, just waiting.”

“Waitin’ for who? Another lady-friend?” the bartender asks, wiggling his eyebrows at me suggestively.

“Not exactly, I’m meeting Maggie and her brother for dinner,” I smile, feeling nerves serge through my stomach again at the thought of coming face to face with Paddy.

“So, why are you nervous? Don’t you guys go way back?” Paul asks confused, leaning on the table as a few people chatted beside us in the bar.

“Because the last time I saw Padriag, he threatened turn me inside out,” I chuckle nervously, picking at the pealing beer bottle label.

“Ah, I see. Something to do with Maggie?”

“Yeah, I spent the night with her and he found us. Nothing had happened, but that’s not what he thought, and Maggie doesn’t remember because she was drunk.”

“Oh. That’s a tough one,” the bartender says pondering an answer.


“Well I hope you’re ready for him, cause Maggie just walked in the door,” he whispers before walking away.

My head shoots up and I spy the petite brunette walking through the door with a tall male. If you couldn’t tell that the two were siblings, you were a fucking idiot. Besides the height difference and the whole gender difference, they were identical. I watch as Paddy bends down to tell her something. Something she apparently didn’t like because she frowns and jumps up to smack the back of his head. He let’s out a hearty laugh before pulling her into a headlock as they approach the table.

“Lemme go, Paddy!” she grumbles, twisting around in his arms, but he just chuckles continuing walking.

I watch as she suddenly throws a punch into his side, making him cringe and let out a grunt, before letting her go. Maggie let’s out a triumphant “HA!” and grins before plopping down beside me.

“Jesus, how old are you two? Your father would never approve of such behavior,” I grin.

“Haha, Dad never approves of our behavior…or lives,” Maggie chuckles mischievously, reaching over to take a sip of my beer, to which I give her an annoyed look.

“Especially Maggie’s,” Paddy grins, ruffling his sisters hair, who lets out an annoyed huff before smoothing down the tousled waves.

“How have you been Paddy?” I ask, reaching my hand out cautiously to him, trying not to let on that I was afraid he may bite… or worse.

“Not bad, Talbot, not bad,” he says evenly shaking my hand, “ ‘course, I don’t have the superstar status like you do.”

I hear Maggie let out a sarcastic snort as she plucks a pretzel from the bowl on the table, popping it in her mouth.

“Max isn’t a Superstar, he’s just a hockey player with bad acting skills,” she says rolling her eyes.

“Pfft, like you can act. At least I was on TV,” I retort, facing her with a smirk.

“Oh no, you shouldn’t have said that,” Paddy groans as Maggie’s eyes light up.

“Actually, Talbot, I WAS on TV. I was in a documentary about Cahokia 2 years ago. I talked about the burial mounds they have left behind and how similar mounds were and still are in a few places in the United St…” She begins before Paddy covers her mouth with his hand.

“Don’t start. Tonight is a dead civilizations free night. Max doesn’t want to hear about Cahokia, the Aztecs, the Egyptians, or any other ancient civilization. You can talk to your other archeologist friends at work about dead cultures,” Paddy sighs, “OUCH! Don’t bite!” he says quickly pulling his hand away from his sister’s mouth, allowing her to stick her tongue out at him childishly.

“Very mature,” he grumbles, “Once she starts in on ancient cultures it’s impossible to stop her and next thing you know you’re hearing the details of female circumcision in the Middle East during dinner.”

“It’s interesting!” she defends.

“She had Liam running for the bathroom and everyone else squirming in their seat. I still can’t eat tortellini,” Paddy says rolling his eyes toward me.

“Yeah, dinner probably wasn’t the best time,” she admits.

All I can do is shake my head in amazement. The Sutherlands were mind boggling at times.


“And then Joey went to kiss her and she delivered the best jab I have ever seen to his nose,” I laugh, Paddy holding his sides in laughter, as Maggie grins next to me recalling the event.

“I told him to bugger off. He should’ve listened,” she shrugs with a smirk, draining the last of her Sam Adams from the bottle.

“I warned him not to mess with her, but when he came into practice the next day with the tell tale black and blue eyes… it was easy to piece it together,” Paddy laughs.

“Georges LaRaque didn’t even throw punches that well,” I smirk at her, watching as her green eyes smirk back at me mischievously.

“Well I learned from the best,” she shrugs with a smirk.

“Sean?” I ask, unable to break her emerald gaze.

“Ahh, that’s right,” Paddy nods, after taking a swig of Guinness, “Uncle Donal.”

“Yup, when I was 14 he took me aside after dinner at Gran’s, he told me a pretty young lady had to learn to protect herself. Never mind that I had 5 brothers,” she chuckles.

“Uncle Donal took out an entire pub once in Kilarney. The man would take on the entire British army if you let him,” her brother says shaking his head.

“And win,” Maggie throws in, toasting her brother with her bottle.

“You know, I have no doubt that all of that is completely true,” I chuckle, “Anyone else and I would call bull shit, but you two? No doubt.”

The laughter dies down and everyone smirks, tracing the edge of their glass or picking at the label on the bottle. All of us let our memories wonder, remembrance heavy in the air. Maybe Paddy forgot all about that night after all.

“Well… Some of us have to be at work tomorrow,” Maggie says glancing at her leather watch.

“You go on Maggs, I want to catch up with Talbot a bit more,” Padraig says, glancing over at me and throwing an innocent look at his sister as she stands up and shrugs on her fleece.

I take a gulp of my Molson, uh oh.

I watch as Maggie’s furrows her eyebrows, her green eyes scanning her brother’s face as her hands rested on her hips. Her eyes move over to me, scrutinizing the situation, obviously knowing something else was going on. I smile at her, trying to void my face of the nerves I was feeling.

“It’s cool Maggs, I’ll see you later,” I smile, hoping she won’t suspect anything.

“Alright,” she says slowly, “See you later, Max.”

She walks to the door, waving to Paul on her way out.

As soon as she’s out of sight, I feel Paddy’s gaze turn to me. I could almost feel the heat from the intensity burning into my skull. I take a deep breath and turn to face him. Just as I suspected, his light green eyes were intently trying to set me ablaze.

“Alright, Paddy, out with it?” I sigh, might as well get this done and over with.

His mouth turns up in a smirk, his eyes holding an almost deadly humor.

“What’s are your intentions with my sister?” he asks almost too calmly, but the heat behind his eyes tell me that one false move and I’m walking out of here with a messed up face.

“Maggie and I are just friends, Paddy, nothing more,” I sigh shaking my head.

“I know you’re friends. But that wasn’t what I asked. Why are you friends Max? Unless you’ve changed drastically, you were never one for being ‘just friends’ with any one of the opposite sex,” he says his voice rising slightly.

“I don’t do relationships, and from what I gather, neither does Maggie,” I quip back, getting a little pissed off because he knew me too well, and I didn’t want to tell him that I wanted to fuck his sister. I didn’t have to, he already knew! But he wanted to hear me say so that he had a justified reason to break my nose.

“That’s exactly what I’m afraid of. I don’t know how long you are going to keep up this friendship façade, but don’t lay one hand on her Talbot, or I swear to God…” he growls.

“What Paddy? What the hell are you going to do? Maggie’s a grown woman, she doesn’t need your fucking protection, and I highly doubt she wants it,” I growl back, my temper rising, “If she wants to have fun there is nothing you can do about it. You’re not her father Paddy.”

“Damn right I’m not, I’m her brother. And you don’t get it do you Max? You are one of the few guys Maggie has ever wanted to have anything other than sex and friendship with,” he snarls.

My eyes widen at his words. He may as well have punched me; it sure as hell feels like he did.

“Look, Maggie has tons of guy friends, a product of having to grow up with all of us boys, but she doesn’t do relationships passed friendship. I know she’s not some defenseless virgin, hell I walked in on her and some bastard in Spain, which scared me for life,” he says shaking his head in disgust, “But you’re different Max, Maggie could really fall for you,” he says, his voice lowering, but not in a hostile way, it was as if he had just revealed one of his sister’s deepest secrets.

I look at him evenly, his light green eyes were a completely different green than his sisters, they were borderline hazel instead of the deep clover color of Maggie’s. His gaze seems to challenge me to spit out an out of line comment.

“What if I’ve already started to fall for her?” I ask before I can stop myself.

My eyes widen almost as much as his do. Not only had I just revealed the fact to him, but I had just been enlightened as well. Did I really just say I’m falling in love with Maggie Sutherland?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chapter 9: Passed Fear

I was originally going to write this chapter in present time, with a changing POVs between Max and Maggie, with just a short past story from Max's thinking. But his thoughts seem to run away from me and it ended up being as long as a chapter. Oh well, that just means the next chapter has been started! Hope you enjoy!


Max’s POV

We had won 3-2 against the Blues, and now finally, after a 5 game road trip, we were headed home. Most of the guys had significant others that they were antsy to see. I knew a few of the guys, especially the unmarried but in a relationship guys, would not attend the optional practice tomorrow morning. They would spend the morning and most of the day in bed with their girlfriends, only to come to practice on Sunday morning standing a little taller and with more confidence. The “I-just-got-laid” look on their faces.

I sigh, putting on my headphones and hitting shuffle on my iPod. Looking out the window into the dark night sky, my thoughts drifting unintentionally toward a spitfire girl that was not a good relationship candidate. Never the less, she had managed to infatuate me. However, my mind couldn’t decide whether or not to be excited about our dinner tomorrow night because I was getting to spend time with the entertaining beauty, or to dread it with the inevitability of seeing her brother again. It wasn’t a date, it was just three old friends getting together. Yet even though I didn’t do relationships, I would much rather go on a date with Maggie than have to come face to face with Padraig Sutherland after what had happened almost ten years ago.

(8 ½ years earlier in Quebec)

“Maaax! We’re done, man! Finally we can get out of here, done with all that petty high school drama, all those stupid grades. We’re done!” Paul says, sitting down on the couch beside me and spilling his beer as he did so. The blonde in my lap that I was having an unimportant conversation with, giggles at his intoxication.

We had finally graduated high school and now we were off! No more schooling for me, I’m going to make it big. I’m going to play into the NHL!

I roll my eyes before taking a look around the room as he talks to the blonde on my lap, his words slurring together as he drunkenly tries to explain the last hockey fight he was in.

The party is at one of my teammate’s house, and of course his idiotic parents left him alone in the house a week after graduation. They were going to have a hell of a mess on their hands when they got home. It isn’t a huge house, but it is amazing how many people could fill the space. Anyone who is anybody is here, and the people were still arriving! The front door had hardly been closed all night.

I could smell the stale stench of cheap alcohol, wafting around the house and the numerous drunk people. Everyone was laughing, slurring words, and falling over before laughing even harder. Sloppy kisses were being thrown around like the beer cans and games involving cups were adding to the inebriation.

“Oh, look! The Sutherland boys are here… oh, and they brought their sister too…” one of the brunettes behind the couch says, her tone turning to disappointment when she sees the female Sutherland.

The Sutherlands were like gods in the school, but they weren’t the stereotypical popular crowd. They didn’t have crowds of people constantly hanging around them. Instead, there were only a few kids they seemed to be close with. They were the kids that didn’t have to show up to every party to be cool, they just were. With their tan skin, fine features, dark hair, and blue/green eyes, their native looks added a mysterious command and beauty. All were athletic and excelled in their chosen sports, mostly because their father demanded it. They weren’t snobbish or stuck up, instead very down to earth, but with boiling hot tempers and stubborn ways. They were like a pack of wolves in the school, everyone wanted to be with them, but few could be accepted fully

For years they had dominated the school, since Searn, Paddy, and Maggie had moved in 3 years ago. Sean had graduated last year, but because his two siblings had just graduated he was still around in the summers. The twins, Paddy and Maggie, both graduated, just like I had, last week. Paddy was a damned good hockey player, but he didn’t have what it took to go pro. Maybe his skills could progress enough, but he didn’t WANT to continue with hockey. He was off to some college or something in British Columbia. Maggie was a damned good soccer player, and her father wants her to go pro after attending college in Montreal.

“Paddy! Sean!” I yell, getting up from the couch, did I mention the two were not only my former hockey teammates and neighbors, but also my good friends.

“Mad Max!” They both say in almost unison, coming over to shake my hand.

“Congrats, man,” Sean grins at me, “Who would’ve thought you and Paddy would ever graduate.”

“Some how that congratulations lost its effect,” I chuckle rolling my eyes, making them boom out with laughter.

“Hey boys,” the blonde I was with says coming over to us,. She proceeds to hang off of me and size up the Sutherlands at the same time, letting her slightly blood shot eyes wonder over them as her nails drag across my shoulders. “You guys looking to get a lay tonight?” she giggles drunkenly.

It was no secret that every girl that had gone through our high school in the past 3 years had had a crush on one of the Sutherland boys. Two had gone through our high school and three others were around occasionally, all at least 6 foot and muscular.

“Awww… Marie, they don’t want anything you got. But Pauly on the couch over there has been trying to catch a disease,” a sultry voice says, handing the two brothers each a bottle of beer.

If ever girl had a crush on one of the Sutherland guys, almost every guy had a fantasy that involved their sister, Maggie. The Captain of girls Soccer was a spitfire that was for sure. Her plentiful raven waves swept back in a pony tail, showing off her rebellious feather tattoo. Her green eyes stare at me humorously, her pink lips smirking, as her hands rested on her hips that were clad in short cut off jeans.

The blonde lets out a bitter “humf,” and wobbles off.

I pout at the beauty that had scared her off, I could have gotten laid tonight.

“Come on Max, Marie? That girl is a walking STD,” Maggie chuckles, shaking her head as she takes a swig of her beer.

“No worries, Maggs, I’m always safe,” I wink at her.

She throws her head back, letting out a laugh that was even louder than her brothers’.

“Whatever, Talbot. I’ll see you guys later,” she smiles rolling her eyes before sauntering off elsewhere.

“Feels good to be free, eh Talbot!” Sean asks, toasting me with his beer.

I grin back, raising my beer bottle in return looking over to Paddy, who sends a suspicious look my way.

I quickly avert my gaze, playing it off as if I didn’t see it. It wasn’t a secret that I had a crush on Maggie, although she seemed oblivious to the fact. And it definitely wasn’t a secret that Paddy was the most protective of Maggie’s brothers.


“Maxime Talbot,” she giggles, flopping down in my lap.

“Hey Maggs,” I grin, carefully taking the red cup of mysterious liquid from her hand and setting it on the littered coffee table in front of me.

“I’ll talk to ya later Max,” the guy I was conversing with says, giving me a sly grin that said ‘You lucky bastard.’

“Yeah see you Joe,” I nod his way as I feel her hands make their way around my neck and she presses herself into me. Making chills of pleasure go up my spine.

“So, rumor has it you got a lil’ thing for me,” she half slurs into my ear, sending shivers down my spine.

“Oh yeah? Who told you that?” I ask with a grin, as she moves so that she’s facing me.

“Pauly. He said that even though you have all those girls, you really just want me,” she giggles biting her lip.

“What if he’s right?”

Her drunken grin drops as a look of seriousness passes onto her face. Suddenly her mouth is on mine, her tongue in my mouth in a sloppy opened mouth kiss. I try to tell myself that she’s just completely wasted, but I find myself kissing her back. Maybe it was the buzz I was feeling, maybe it was just male instinct, maybe it’s just that I can’t say no to something I’ve wanted for so long. I can taste the mixture of liquor and beer on her tongue as it dances with mine. Her leg swings around so that she is sitting in my lap completely, as she moves her hip slightly to rub her crotch against mine. I let out a groan at the feeling, God I could lay her down on the coffee table right now.

But it’s Maggie, why did it have to be Maggie. Any other girl I would, not caring about how she felt, after all it was only one night. But it was Maggie, I didn’t want that, I wanted to do this right or at least so that she would remember it.

“Maggs,” I groan, taking my lips away from her.

“What’s the matter, Max?” she purrs, her now swollen lips moving to my neck, “I thought you wanted me.”

I groan as she nibbles right below the corner of my jaw before passing her hot tongue over it.

“You have no idea how much,” I say, trying not to lose it right here, “But Maggie, you’re drunk.”

“Only a little,” she giggles against my neck, “But I can assure you, that you won’t be able to tell if you take me upstairs.”

I let out a groan at the thought of doing just that. Jesus Christ, I would love to do just that. Where did this conscious come from?!

“Maggie, I can’t…”

“Come on Max, I really want you,” she slurs, leaning in to attach her lips to mine again.

I put a finger up, stopping the connection, knowing that if I let her kiss me, my self control would dissolve.

“No, Maggs,” I sigh.

She pulls away, her green eyes beginning to water. Shit!

“So Pauly wasn’t right?” she whispers.


“Fine. I’ll go see if Joe wants some company,” she sniffs, before attempting to get up.

“No you won’t,” I say, holding her down, my blood boiling at the thought of Joe’s hands on her.

“Max, I don’t want to be around you now…” she whines.

“Maggie, you can’t go with Joe!” I say firmly.

“STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DO!” she shouts at me, making me cringe, “Everyone is always telling me what to do! I’m done, leave me alone!”

I look at her and see the tears begin to descend down her cheeks, there was more to this than just me. I look around to see if Sean or Paddy is anywhere near in hopes of acquiring their help.

“Come on Maggs, let’s get out of here,” I whisper pulling her into me and walking to the door, hearing her cry quietly into my shirt.

I walk with her to the playground down the road from the house and sit her on the steps to the slide. Her tears still descending down her cheeks, as her lip quivers. I pull her into me, her arms coming around my neck like before, but now it’s as if she holds on for dear life as a sob tears through her. I just let her cry, knowing that there wasn’t much more I could do. I wait as her sobs slowly slow into quiet sniffing.

“Maggs, what’s wrong? This isn’t like you,” I whisper in the darkness.

“I’m scared,” she whimpers back.

“Scared of what?!” I say taken aback, never in a million years did I think I would hear Maggie Sutherland say those words.

“I need to get out, I need to leave. Dad… I just keep disappointing him, and he keeps pushing me to go into the military or play soccer,” she begins.

“But I thought you liked playing soccer?”

“I’m out of here next week Max. I’m leaving. I can’t wait for August to go to college, and I’m afraid to be alone.”

Her confession caught me off guard. She was afraid to be alone? That was the reason I had never asked her out. She was so independent. She didn’t need a guy. She liked to be alone. And now, she’s afraid to go out on her own.

“What about that college your dad said you were going to? You were going into their soccer program?”

“I’m going to Pennsylvania State University in the United States,” she says shaking her head, “I got accepted and approved for aid. Dad doesn’t know yet. And I never loved playing soccer Max, my dad wants me to play soccer.”

“The U.S.?! Maggs what about your friends and brothers?” I say feeling as though someone just punched me.

“There’s nothing here for me Max. I don’t belong here. Hell, I haven’t felt at home anywhere in… in… ten years,” she murmurs quietly, paying with the necklace.

“Ten years?” I ask confused, and then it dawns on me, “Since your mom died…”

She just nods her head, more tears leaking out of her eyes.

“I can’t stay here, I don’t belong here and I need to get away from the Admiral and lead my own life. I don’t want to be a soccer star, I don’t want to go into the military. I want to travel the world, Max. I want to get to know it’s ancient secrets; I want to go to Italy and eat real Italian food. I want to visit my family in Ireland. I want to stand next to the pyramids at Giza. I want to paddle a canoe in the Amazon. I can’t do that if I stay with Dad. I need freedom!” she says, her voice becoming more powerful.

I had caught a glimpse of the insecure, depressed, and afraid Maggie Sutherland. A rare exotic creature, that was rumored to be extinct. I doubt that many others had ever had a glimpse, even within her own family.

“But I’m afraid that I’ll make mistakes. That I’ll just end up poor, getting married to a guy I hate because he knocked me up and I’ll be stuck in a life I hate all my life.”

I look down at her, as she leans up against me for support.

“Maggs, you need to do this. You are capable of so much more, and you’ve got the guts and fire to get you far,” I chuckle, “Look at me, I’m going to go to the NHL, or at least that’s what I tell people. But who knows if I’ll ever make it. Maybe I’ll get stuck and only make it as far as the AHL. Maybe I’m not good enough. But I have to try. I’ll never know if I can do it, if I don’t try. Which is exactly what you need to do Maggie. Don’t regret not knowing.” I say sternly, wishing I could listen to my own words and take the plunge with her. Maybe we could be something spectacular… but now I guess we’ll never know. After she left for college, I would probably never see her again. The thought tore through me and upset me more than I thought it would.

“Max…” she whispers up to me, her head on my shoulder, “take me home.”

“Sure thing, Maggs,” I smile, helping her up.

As we approach her house 15 minutes later, I stop at her door. Wanting to make sure she got inside ok, before I went to my house next to hers.

“Max, I don’t want to be alone tonight,” she says, trying to concentrate on the keys in her hands.

I take a deep breath, weighing my options. I wanted to, God did I want to, even if it was just sleeping next to her, I knew I might not get time alone with her ever again. But what if Paddy found out, he’d be so pissed.

“Please Max,” she whispers her voice cracking as she looks at me with watery green eyes, unable to find her keys because her mind was clouded with alcohol.

I sigh, finding her house key and following her in.

She leads me up to her bedroom on the second floor. It was small and painted a simple white, with a few posters of landscapes on the wall. Stark, clean line that looked military issue. Definitely not something I pictured as Maggie’s room.

“I have to pee,” she waves, wobbling over to the bathroom.

I kick off my shoes and stand awkwardly in the middle of the room, not sure what to do. I shouldn’t be here. If any of the Sutherland’s found out I was here, I’d be in for a broken nose and worse. I should just leave now, before she gets back in.

I hear the door to her bathroom open, signaling her coming back in. Shit, too late. Maybe I could make an excuse.

“Look Maggie…” I say my hand subconsciously coming to tug on my hair.

“Hmmm?” I hear her ask from the doorway.

I look up, to begin my excuse, but my breath hitches and my mouth goes dry at the sight in front of me. She stood in the doorway, in a pair of black striped boy briefs and the green t-shirt she was wearing before but without a bra. Her dark brown hair out of the ponytail it was in, tumbling over her shoulders.

“I … ummm… nothing,” I manage to stutter out.

She just nods in a drunken sleepy way, before crawling into bed. I watch as her hairbrushes pillow and she pulls her legs to her chest. Staring at the white wall, a single tear rolling down her cheek.

“Maggie?” I whisper in the darkness, only the moonlight illuminating the room.

“I feel trapped,” she sniffs, “I hate this room.”

I sigh, giving in completely, I had to stay. I take off my t-shirt before crawling into bed next to her. I cautiously reach out to her, touching her shoulder, feeling her flinch slightly.

“Maggie, come here,” I whisper.

After a few minutes of me holding my breath and waiting for her to turn to even look at me, she does just that. She turns, looking at me from brilliantly green eyes, tears still on her face. I find myself reaching out, to cup her face in my left hand, as I lay facing her, wiping tears off her cheeks.

“You’re going to make it Maggs. You’ve got what it takes to get out of here and succeed,” I whisper, before my thumb brushes along her jaw soft jaw line, Hoping that she remembers my words in the morning, but knowing she probably won’t.

Her head tilts at my touch, as my thumb drifts to her chin. I watch as her long lashes drift down touching her freckled cheeks. Here she was, in my touch. I could have had her all this time. I could have kissed her everyday. But instead, this was it.

I bring my lips slowly to hers, taking my time wanting to memorize the feeling of her lips next to mine. She was leaving in a week, and I would never see her again. I wanted her, God did I, but I couldn’t do that to her.

My lips move against hers, spurred on when she kisses me back. My hand drops to her slim waist, pulling her closer to me as her hand find it’s way to my shoulder, then my neck, and then her slim fingers found their way through my hair. My mouth opens at the feeling, my tongue poking at her lips, begging her to give me a chance and let me in, at least for a little while.

I hear her let out a content sigh as she slowly gives in, meeting my tongue with her own.

“What the fuck Talbot!” I hear a whisper yell, as a fist connects with my side.

I open my eyes to see Padraig Sutherland sending me a death glare, his cheeks reddening and his green eyes looking lethal.

I look over to see the one person that would make him burst into flame in a fit of rage. Her head rested on my shoulder, her hand across my chest as she slept obliviously with a small smile on her pink lips, lashes splayed on high freckled cheekbones.

“Get up Talbot, before I make you get up,” he growls quietly, apparently not wanting to wake up his sister.

I carefully move out from under the sleeping beauty and out of bed, grateful that I had decided to leave my jeans on. I pick up my t-shirt from on the floor and follow him out the door, looking back at Maggie one last time.

As soon as I walk out the door, Paddy’s fist collides with my face, making pain shoot up from my jaw.

“What the fuck do you think you were doing, Max?!” he speaks loudly, as I hold my jaw.

“Nothing happened Paddy, she was drunk, crying, and she asked me to stay. That’s it, nothing happened!” I growl back.

His fist collides with my face again, “Bull shit. Maggie doesn’t cry.”

“Look Paddy….” I say clutching my face.

“Get the fuck out of my house Talbot. And if you ever come near my sister again, I will turn you inside out and make sure you never play hockey again,” he growls pushing me down the hallway.

“Max let’s go!” Marc-Andre calls, motioning me off the plane. Apparently I had completely zoned out in my thoughts.

“Yeah, I’m on my way,” I respond, quickly gathering up all my shit.

Maggie hadn’t remembered anything about that night, or at least I didn’t think she did. I hadn’t talked to her again since I bumped into her at the Pig and Fiddle a few weeks ago. A week after I had spent the night in the Sutherland house, Maggie was gone, just like she said. And in fear of commitment and my own feelings (although I blamed the fear on Padraig Sutherland’s threat), I let her go.