It has been quite a while since I posted, but I have not forgotten about this story. I have literally had writer's block on this chapter for almost 2 years! I kid you not, I could not pass a page and I have no idea why. But these last few days it has lifted, and I finally have moved on with the story. If there are any grammatical errors, I apologize. I was just so excited to get this back out there and moving again!
So here's hoping that now that I have graduated college (yeah, it has been that long!) I will have more time to write after work.
I sip my coffee, looking out the window as people walk by on my glorious day off. The sun is deceiving, and I watch as people pull their coats closer around them in the bitter wind. Pittsburgh, along with the rest of the world, had entered the month of December. Christmas decorations were everywhere, and hopes of snow were running in the weather report. But so far, the only evidence I saw was the frost that stuck to the small patch of grass in front of my house, that was sure to be gone when I get back.
Suddenly a bronzed beauty catches my eye as she rounds the street corner. I watch as she pulls off her aviator sunglasses and walks in the door, immediately making me smile.
Before I can say anything, she is hurrying over to the coffee line, oblivious to my presence. I chuckle and get up, standing behind her. I pull her into me by the waist, spinning her around to hug her.
“Get your fuc…” she let’s out lowly, giving me a solid shove away from her. I should’ve known better. “Max! Jesus Christ, I was ready to break your nose,” she sighs before pulling me back in for a hug.
“Hey to you too stranger! How was Australia?” I chuckle, squeezing her petite body into me tightly.
She breaks away and looks up at me beaming, her green eyes sparkling with a smile.
“Awesome! I finally got to go to surfer’s paradise. The waves were gnarly,” she grins, pronouncing the last word with a perfect Australian accent. Her nose crinkling in a giggle afterwards, the freckles on top were more pronounced than before.
“Great, I’m glad you had fun!” I can’t help but grin back.
“I did. How was the game against Chicago?”
“Eh, it was ok. We lost 3-2, but it was good fast paced hockey,” I shrug.
“I’m sure, I was wicked bummed I miss it,” she replies.
“Can I help you?” the barista asks, breaking into our conversation.
As Maggie places her order I take in her appearance. She seemed to always have on those worn jeans and leather boots, but it was her. An brown bomber jacket covered what looked to be a cream thermal with a blue ikat scarf wound around her neck and a camera bag slung over her shoulder. I watch as she bites her lip, looking over the sign before ordering a tall Kona coffee with no cream. Her face was kissed by the sun, making her glow beneath the freckles on the bridge of her nose and cheeks. Her wavy raven mane looked slightly damp, hinting at a rushed shower. As she waited for her coffee, she twirled her sunglasses absent-mindedly in her hand.
“You off to the site now?” I ask, silently hoping she would say no so she didn’t have to go.
“Not exactly,” she says slowly before thanking the Barista who hands her, her coffee, “I’m headed over to the Fort Pitt Museum to take some shots of artifacts that have already been found.”
“Oh,” I frown, knowing my own voice sounds disappointed… I didn’t hide that very well.
“Yeah, I know sounds boring,” she smiles, seemingly misinterpreting my response, “But once you get through the wax figures and behind the scenes it’s a lot more interesting.”
“I’ll take your word for it,” I chuckle, thinking about how much of a geek she really is... a geek with an amazing ass; I smirk taking in her appearance again.
“Well, I better get going…” she sighs looking at her watch before pushing her raven curls away from her face.
“Hey why don’t you come to the game tomorrow night?” I find myself asking loudly.
“What?” she asks, a little startled at my declaration.
“Yeah, I’ll have your tickets for you, just pick them up before. We’re playing the Canucks,” I say walking with her to the door, my hands stuffed in my pockets so I wouldn’t be tempted to touch the small of her back.
“Ok, I’ll be there!” She smiles, “See ya Max,”
“Bye Maggs,” I say shifting awkwardly as she stands grinning in front of me. Do I hug her? Kiss her? I definitely wanted to do the former, I think as she stands watching me with those knowing green eyes and that sassy pink smirk. God, I never have these problems with women, but with Maggie, my brain seems to short circuit.
She leans in close to me, her hand coming to my forearm as she almost touches her lips to my ear, making me jump at the contact.
“You need to stop looking at me like that, a girl will get the wrong idea,” she whispers in a sultry voice, before turning and walking away. Those hips swinging as her boots clacked on the cement sidewalk and she pulls her aviators over her eyes, shaking out her thick raven mane.
“Maybe it’s the right idea,” I call after her.
She just looks over her shoulder and gives me a grin as she continues on her way. Damn she drove me crazy. It seems like every time I see her is not enough, and every time she lets down her guard, I catch a glimpse of her feelings toward me. But before I can decifer them, she realizes what she is thinking, getting back on defense and becoming that playful tomboy again. I’m not going to let her go without a fight.
“This is crazy,” I mutter to myself as I stand in front of my closet.
Why was it taking me so long to find something to wear?! It was a hockey game for God’s sake, not a date… definitely not a date. I look over the closet again. I need something simple. I chuckle to myself; all of my clothes were simple, only a few pieces really caught attention. I didn’t want my clothes to catch attention; I wanted me to catch attention. We’d probably going out after a win right, so I should wear something a little sexy? Of course me wearing something sexy could jinx the win and then we could lose, so just jeans and a tshirt? I’m about to give up and go in a towel when the doorbell rings.
“Coming!” I shout, throwing on a pair of boxers and a large t-shirt to answer the door.
I open the door to find no one there, just a large white box with a gold bow sitting at my doorstep. My brows knit together in confusion and I read the tag on the card.
“It’s colder now, so wear this tonight” I look around the hall, no body around. I turn the card over to find more letters, “Just do it.”
A smirk appears on my face, no one bosses me around but one person. I chuckle and take the package inside, setting it on the table to open it. Why was I suddenly so excited? Too much coffee today, that has to be it.
I pull back the gold tissue paper to reveal a Penguin’s jersey, making a smile appear on my face.
“He didn’t,” I say out loud, as I pull the sweater from the box, with it a familiar spicy male scent comes wafting out.
On the back it in big white print is a number “25” with “TALBOT” on the top. I can’t help but smile; he wants me to wear his jersey to a game that was certainly a step up from a t-shirt. But what did that mean? I thought I had made it clear that I didn’t want to be in a relationship, or any kind of romantic … thing with him. Of course, a jersey didn’t have to say that, did it? I mean, there were guys all over the city wearing player’s jerseys this morning.
“Wooo Hooo” I scream as Max is declared the 3rd star of the game with 1 goal and one assist in the overtime win against the Blues.
I wait in my seat as the rows and rows of chairs begin to empty, for some reason I was prolonging going downstairs. My brain analyzing what was going on with Max.
“Just stop, it’s nothing,” I almost say out loud.
But if it was just nothing, why did I feel a tingle go down my spine this morning when I hugged him, his muscular body making my body hum just by being close by. Why did I want the flirting to turn into something more than playful banter? It was like High School all over again, except I was an adult now, I couldn’t live that carefree life anymore… or could I?
I heave myself up with a sigh, my brain needed to stop thinking so much. I make my way to the locker room, jumping over the railing again because I still hadn’t figured out the path to get there normally. Jimmy just nods at me with a smile at his post at the door as I walk by and into the waiting lounge.
I sit on one of the couches, all the women in the room keeping their distance from me. Maybe it was because I have never been there before, or maybe it had something to do with the name splashed across the back of my jersey, but I felt like I was being judged… probably harshly by some standards. One blonde and her leggy friend in particular were trying to set me ablaze with their eyes. I sigh and push a hand through my hair… why the hell were women so damn catty?!
Slowly, the players start to enter in, each claiming a smiling wife or girlfriend or, in the case of James Neal, a giggling bimbo that had been trying to burn a hole in my skull before. Neal winks in my direction as he’s heading out. I wink back, making the girl on his side give me the most disgusted face she could muster… which made my smile grow even wider.
Every time the door opens my head whips up in anticipation. Do I hug him? Kiss him on the cheek? Slug him in the arm in congratulations?
Suddenly, my time to think is up and he’s standing in front of me in a grey suit and purple shirt with a deep purple tie. His hair still wet from his shower and his blue eyes smiling at me.
“Hey Maggs!” he grins behind his scruff.
“Hey, great game, 3rd star!” I smile, my body pushing itself into his arms for a hug. I could smell the soap he had used in his shower and the cologne he put on just recently that was intoxicating, but not overwhelming. The hug lasted longer than it probably should’ve, the feeling of his hard body still imprinted on mine even after it broke. His blue eyes connect with mine, trying to find meaning in why the situation was suddenly so awkward…. why was it so awkward?!
“So, um… the guys are headed out, if you want to tag along,” he says clearing his throat.
“Right, of course, it was a great win you guys deserve a night out. Of course I’ll come,” I seem to say in one breath.
“Ok great!” he grins at me, those blue eyes clear as a cloudless sky like magnets to my own stare, like they knew they were undoing me at the seems… so much for my surf cleanse.
Someone coughs behind us and we break our gaze…
‘what the hell was that?!’ I think to myself, shaking off the connection.
“Alright, Tiger,” I say slugging him in the arm like the Maggie that wasn’t under his spell would, “lemme buy you a beer for the win.”
“I don’t suppose I can order a Bud Light,” he says, with an eyebrow raised as we walk to the car.
“Fuck no Talbot, fuck no” I smile at him, making him groan.
“You’re worse than Geno!” he groans, his arm coming around me to pull me into his side, “And he’s Russian.”
“Yeah well, I’m Irish and Scottish, in my book we were drinking first,” I huff, leaning into him and hating that I was letting myself.
“Is that true?” he asks skeptically.
“I dunno, but it sounds good to me,” I shrug, slipping into the passenger seat of his car. The thought of getting into my car never even occurred to me, and I look over at him startled but he’s just smirking at me, those blue eyes turning a stormy grey.
“I see you got the jersey,” he smiles, not allowing my eyes to wander from his.
“Yeah,” I smile, looking down at the sleeves, trying to keep a blush from making an appearance on my cheeks.
“You look good in it,” he says quietly, his voice getting huskier making me look up to find him closer than before.
“25, seemed like a good number,” I almost whisper back, inadvertently looking to his lips. My mind suddenly whispers kiss me, and it startles me, making me back away a little bit away from the heated situation.
“I can’t promise you that I’ll take you home afterwards,” he says truthfully, warning me before starting the car. I can feel his words run warmly through my body, my mind trying desperately to pull the emergency brake.
“Pfft, some one has to make sure your drunk ass gets home!” I quip, quickly wiping the slate of the idea of going home with him for another reason.
“I don’t have practice tomorrow, Maggs,” Max says suggestively.
“Well then I don’t have to worry about rehydrating you,” I smirk back.
Max Talbot may have started to charm his way into my heart… but I wasn’t going without a fight!