Monday, September 27, 2010

New Story!

New story time!  Inspired by Kimy, I'm going to try my hand at something non-Penguins related.  Plus, Jonathan Toews makes me laugh every moment he's not so serious.  And he gets all fangirl-esque when he talks about Sid, so we know he had good taste.  Anyway, here goes...

Backstage - ft. Jonathan Toews

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New story!

It started as a one shot, but Do Not Disturb looks to be going at least 5 parts. I'm posting it, and other shorter stories, at (One) Shot Through the Heart.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Chapter 11 - This Time of Year [The End]

Soundtrack: I know there's a reason to change, I know there's a time for us. You think about the good times and you live with all the bad. You can feel it in the air, feeling right this time of year. – Better than Ezra, “This Time of Year”

Perfect summer days passed at Sidney’s house – barbeques, swimming, Ski-Doos. Kris woke up before Ginger most mornings, taking the cooler hours to work out with the guys. They ran or hit Crosby’s gym, challenged each other to contests swimming the width of the lake. Most afternoons Ginger, Dani and Vero put themselves in charge of snacks, carving watermelon and making smoothies. The nights stayed warm and clear.

“You’re bluffing,” Max said.

Ginger arched an eyebrow, her expression barely changing. “So bet.”

“There’s no way you have a third queen, and you can’t beat me without it.”

She drummed her fingers on the back of her cards, which lay face down on the table. “You seem pretty confident.”

“I am,” Max replied. “You’re bluffing and I’m willing to make this interesting. If I win, you have to strip, run to the lake and jump in naked.”

“Hey!” Kris stood up from the arm of the couch.

Max turned his cards down. “And if you win… name your price.”

Ginger smiled wickedly, like she’d been waiting all night for that. “If I win, we all strip and skinny dip.”

“Whooooooooooooooo!” Jordan shouted. Sidney blushed furiously and opened his mouth to protest. Ginger threw up a hand.

“INCLUDING Crosby. Or I’m not going!”

Jordan tried to pants Sid on the spot, but he was luckily wearing a belt. “Crosby, these are the only naked chicks I’m gonna see this month! Don’t you ruin it!” Sid relented, laughing. He held Dani in front of him like a shield.

Max looked seriously impressed. “I think I love you,” he said. “So let’s do this. I’ll call your bet, $50 bucks. Now let’s see ‘em.”

Max flipped his cards. He had tens over queens – one ten and one queen in his hand, one of each on the board. Ginger slowly smiled. She flipped up one of her cards: queen. Max hissed. He had a strong hand – she needed a jack, another queen or a nine-ten suited to beat him.

“Head start. Take your shirt off,” she said, tapping her last hidden card.

“No way, no freebies,” Max said, though he had absolutely no problem getting naked at any moment.

Ginger lifted the card to her face and spun it between her fingers: queen.

“Merde!” Max shouted, jumping up from the table. He ran around to Ginger’s side and grabbed her. “You had that up your sleeve! Take off your shirt so we can see where you hid it!” Ginger wiggled free, pulled her top off and threw it in Max’s face. With him temporarily slowed, she screamed and ran for the door.

They all barreled out of the house at full speed and top volume. Ginger jumped the stairs, unbuttoning her shorts as she hit the ground. She was less than two steps ahead of Jordan, who was covering ground like Usain Bolt. Ginger stutter-stepped out of her cutoffs.

“If you’re getting naked, I’m getting there first!” he yelled, shirt off and sandals flying. She turned halfway and tossed her bra at him. He was so surprised he almost stopped. Sidney flew past them both, shirtless and working on his mesh shorts.

“That’s what I’m talking about, Crosby, show us your best side!” Dani yelled from somewhere behind.

Ginger’s feet hit the planks of the dock at the same time as Jordan’s. Crosby was three steps ahead almost to the water. They screeched to a halt next to him, right at the end, and looked at each other.

“One, two, three!” Sid yelled. They all dropped their underwear and jumped into the lake.

Kris was two seconds behind them, followed by Max and then Dani. Flower and Vero reached the end of the dock, fully clothed.

“Cheaters!” Kris yelled, splashing up at them.

“In a few weeks, I have to see you guys naked all the time!” Marc ducked behind Vero as water flew in all directions. A wave hit her and she screamed. She emptied her pockets onto the dock, wrapped her arms around Marc and threw them both into the lake fully clothed.

“Get away from me, Staalsy! I know you’ve had a dry summer, but I am not that French!” Max shouted. Jordan threatened to head back first and lock them all out for the night.

Kris swam up behind Ginger and wrapped his arms around her. The lake was cold enough he had no problem keeping himself in control. But he did kiss her deeply.

“You are going to make Pittsburgh a lot more fun,” he said.

“Do you have a lake? We can do naked polar bear club!”

They lasted fifteen minutes in the water. Max and Jordan walked naked back to the house like they were out for a Sunday stroll. Ginger pulled her underwear and bra on before dashing past and slapping Jordan’s bare ass. Kris chased her right inside.

“Uh, I dropped my contact lens,” Dani yelled.

“Yeah, in the lake. We’re gonna look for it,” Sid helped.

“Then we’re eating all your ice cream!” Vero shot back.

Ginger changed into one of Kris’ t-shirts and a pair of shorts. Vero lined glasses up on the counter and Kris scooped coffee ice cream into each one. Ginger followed behind, filling each with root beer then topping them with whipped cream. Vero found straws and carried the drinks to the porch.

Jordan scooped whipped cream into his mouth with the end of the straw and looked at Ginger. “I saw you naked.”

“I saw you naked,” she said.

“I told my brothers.”

“I’m telling your mom.”

Ginger stood on the porch, watching the guys make their way down the road toward the house. At barely 8 AM the air was just beginning to heat up. It was time to head back to Montreal for the last two weeks of the summer – Ginger had to pack up her apartment, her roommates had found someone to take her place before school started. Most of the stuff she guessed would go to Kris’, since she didn’t know what he had or needed in Pittsburgh.

Need, she almost laughed. Kris makes $3.5 million a year. I don’t think he needs to borrow my toaster.

Dani came out and sat on the porch railing. “This is weird, eh?”

Ginger nodded, leaning against the post. “I’m nervous. Is that stupid?”

“No, you’re off to live in a fairy tale. If I didn’t know you and Kris were new, I’d think you’d been together as long as Marc and Vero. Don’t be scared, the guys will take good care of you.”

“I’ve never let anyone take care of me before, except my parents. It’s going to be weird, him spending money on me. It’s sweet, I know he means well, but I don’t want to take advantage of him.”

Dani swung her feet. “He thinks he’s taking advantage of you. Like he’s asked you to leave your whole life to be with him, which you can do because you’re normal. He’s not. He couldn’t leave the game, the team… he has no control. They have to do what they’re told. If you didn’t want to go, there would be nothing he could do about it. So really, Ginger, you have all the power.”

Ginger sat next to her. The guys were getting closer. “Did Kris tell you that?”

“Sid told me. He’s very… romantic. He likes the idea of something like that happening to him, but he’s too guarded.”

“What about you two?”

Dani shook her head. “Nah, not me. I mean, he’s great and gorgeous and we definitely have chemistry, but this is not a long-term thing. We talked about it last night. He called it a ‘game changer’ – that thing he’s looking for. When I didn’t beg and cry to be taken with him, I think he liked me even more.”

Ginger put her arm around her friends’ shoulders. “Your crazy summer with Sidney Crosby.”

“I prefer to think of it as his crazy summer with me,” Dani said.

The guys hit the lawn, walking around the cool off. Ginger tossed out a couple of water bottles. Sid came close, poured the bottle over his face so it drenched his already wet shirt, showing off his perfectly sculpted physique. Even Ginger couldn’t help but give a small gulp.

“Whatcha doing up so early?” he asked.

“Talking about how we missed our chance to have a threesome with you,” Ginger said.

Crosby spurted out a mouthful of water, so Max slapped him on the back. He came up sputtering. “You could always visit,” he told Dani.

“Eh,” she shrugged. “I’ll wait till Kris and Ginger come home for Christmas.”

“I’m coming home for Christmas!” Jordan volunteered.

Ginger shut the back of the Jeep. They hadn’t brought much stuff and were on the same plane as Max, Marc and Vero, so they piled everyone’s bags into one trunk. Dani was going home with Jordan. She did a final check around their room, then grabbed a soda from the kitchen. She couldn’t resist putting the few dirty glasses into the dishwasher when Sid came in from the garage.

“So, see you in the ‘Burgh?”

Ginger smiled and gave him a little nod. She didn’t want to leave, didn’t want summer to end. She didn’t want to rock a boat that had been sailing so perfectly. Sid reached out and wrapped her into a big hug. He was so strong, she suddenly felt like crying.

“You’re going to love it, I promise,” he said into her hair. “It’s not just you and Kris, it’s all of us. We won’t let anything bad happen.” He pulled back and held her face in his hands. She nodded, her eyes wet.

“I still kinda wish you were coming with me,” he said, with a big smile. That made Ginger laugh. She gave him a quick hug.

“Thanks Sid. You perv.”

Jordan leaned into the Jeep and honked the horn. Max and Vero were in the back, seat tilted forward to let her in. Marc and Kris would ride up front. Ginger hugged Dani goodbye, then Jordan.

“See you at home,” he called as she climbed into the car.

Kris pulled up to Ginger’s apartment building right from the airport. It was early and they wanted to get a feel for how much stuff they’d need to move. He followed her up to the third floor and into her life before him.

The living room was neat – three separate DVD collections on three separate bookshelves, slightly worn couches with soft throw blankets. Pictures hung in frames showing scenes of Montreal, New York and countless smiling faces. Her room was small but bright; she’d painted the walls yellow and strung flowers around her mirror. It looked like she’d left it just this morning: hairbrush on the dresser, one shoe sticking out from under the bed. Kris sat down on her red comforter.

“Not too much stuff,” she said, looking around. Her voice caught. Kris didn’t have to get up to reach out and pull her down. He pressed his face to her neck.

“We can take photos and put it back together exactly like this in Pittsburgh,” he said. Her laugh was a little gurgly with unspilled tears.

“It’s okay, Kris. I’m okay.”

“Whatever I can do to make this easy for you, please just tell me.”

Ginger brushed his hair back and kissed him lightly. “So far, you’re doing great.”

Over the next week, Kris helped Ginger sort books, movies and clothes. She packed her photos and shoes, left her ironing board and clothing rack. Every day they took a few boxes to Kris’ house, but most of what was in the house wouldn’t make the trip.

“Colleen!” Ginger called down the hall. One of her roommates stuck her head around the door. All the personal touches were gone, but the room still seemed full of furniture. “Whatever you want, it’s yours.”

Ginger had thought about putting her stuff in storage – furniture, etc. But that implied that she’d be back to living on her own someday. Neither of them liked that idea, and Kris had promised that if anything ever, ever happened and she wanted to leave, he would set her up again. She wanted to joke about moving in with Jordan, but instead she just kissed him.

When the last bag was stowed and her roommates had picked the place clean, Kris and Ginger dragged the leftovers to the sidewalk and had a little yard sale. They made $42 and at the end of the day the Salvation Army came for whatever remained. They locked the door for the last time and drove to Kris’ house. Inside, a huge bouquet of flowers was on the table. They were all shapes and sizes, bursting with color, contrasting with the dark, modern tones of Kris’ dining room.

“Welcome home!” he said after she was done squealing about their beauty. “Now this is officially your home, until we go. And when we come back.”

Ginger selected a rose from the vase and smelled it. “Thank you, Kris.” She leaned in to kiss him, but stuck the rose between his teeth. Then she took his hand and pulled him upstairs.

They went to Ginger’s favorite restaurant, a Thai place near her old apartment, for their last meal in Montreal. At a small table near the window they ate from each other’s plates. Outside, a light rain peppered the sidewalk as people dodged the drops. Ginger speared the last pot sticker and offered it to Kris.

She’d quizzed him about everything in Pittsburgh: favorite restaurants, bars, clubs, the library. He said she could buy books, but she insisted she liked the ultimate non-commitment of the library. They discussed where they’d eat, where Ginger could study, everything. When the waitress cleared their dishes, Kris put an envelope on the table.

“This is for you. Starting tomorrow, okay?”

Ginger looked at him sideways as she lifted the flap. Inside was a card with a little heart on the front and inside that was a credit card. In her name. She didn’t know what she’d been expecting. He’d told her she could under no circumstances pay rent or for anything in the house.

Kris held his breath. Please go okay, please go okay, he chanted in his head. He needed this because he had one more surprise for her. She looked at him evenly.

“Ginger, I want to take care of you,” he said, slipping his hand into her empty one. “This is just a little part of it.”

She exhaled. “Okay. But I’m buying my own clothes and stuff.” Kris knew better than to argue, he’d just have to find a way around that. So he smiled and leaned in for a kiss.

Whew, he thought.

It was 3 PM when they landed in Pittsburgh. Ginger held Kris’ hand and he kept his head down – he could get recognized here and was not equipped to handle it on such an important day. Sidney picked them up at the airport.

“You made it,” he said over his shoulder to Ginger.

“Almost home,” she smiled.

Sid drove thirty minutes as Ginger peered out the window at every house they passed. Big, small, dark, light – she couldn’t picture what Kris’ house would look like. She’d refused to see a photo, preferring instead to be surprised. They turned onto a side street, then into a driveway.

The house had a flagstone walkway to an arched front door. Pale brown brick covered the front of the building up to its gabled second floor and dark shingle roof. Windows lined the front, looking out onto a medium sized yard with a neat hedgerow. It was adorable in the East Coast style. Kris and Sid both looked at Ginger expectantly.

“I love it!” she squealed.

Sidney helped them dump their bags inside the front door, but declined their invitation to stay. When he was gone, Ginger raced around like she had at the lake house. She shouted from every room that she loved it. Kris just stood there and laughed, relieved by her enthusiasm. When she finally made it back to the entry way, Kris held out his hand. A Penguins keyring dangled from his finger.

“Thank you!” she tackled him in a hug.

“This one is the front door deadbolt, front doorknob, back door top and bottom,” he showed her each. There was a fifth key on the ring.

“What’s this?”


“Okay,” she nodded, trying to memorize the order.

“No,” he said. “Go in the garage.”

He followed her through the kitchen, happy to see the granite counters were clean and silver fixtures polished to a gleam. He’d been sure to have it cleaned before they arrived. Ginger unlocked the garage door and Kris covered her eyes from behind.

“One more surprise,” he said, then dropped his hands.

“Oh my God,” she gasped. A brand new, champagne colored Volkswagen Touareg sat in the first spot. The red bow on its windshield was courtesy of Crosby.

“Welcome to your real home,” Kris took her into his arms and kissed her mouth before she could protest.

Oh my God repeated in her head. She knew he didn’t want to hear her argue, and she couldn’t win anyway. Instead of that, she kissed him deeply. It worked – he was fooled to distraction. When he finally broke away, she started.

“You can’t give me a car!”

“Shhhh!” he kissed her again. “You have to get to school somehow! And it’s super safe – Jordan test drove it and Sidney went over all the specs. It’s like a team car, really. From all of us.”

“Except it’s from you,” she gave him a sarcastic look.

“Then I think you should start really thanking me,” he said.

Ginger wandered slowly around his bedroom. It was a lot like his room in Montreal, probably everything from a single catalog page. But this one was lived-in – two hockey sticks were propped in a corner, someone had carefully wound the cords on the Playstation controllers. The novel on the bedside table had a bookmark in the middle and a charging station on the desk had empty cords waiting. She ran her hands over the leather chair before sitting down on the navy blue duvet.

Kris watched as she took it all in. Ginger was here, finally, in the place he really thought of as home. The place he retreated to during the long, hard slog of the season; his sanctuary. Now she was here and she would be staying. Finally, he thought as he sat down next to her.

She flopped back on the bed then turned in as Kris did the same. They looked at each other in their new bedroom.

“Since the first moment I saw you, I’ve been trying to get you right here,” he said. “Since you handed me a bowl of chips and ran away.”

Her hand moved up his tattooed bicep. “I can’t tell you how happy I am to be here now.”

Kris tipped up onto his elbow, leaning over. Ginger tucked his hair behind his ear. He brushed his fingers over her throat and collarbone, her skin seeming to glow against the dark bedspread. When he met her eyes, they were smiling.

“I love you, Ginger,” he said.

“I love you, Kris,” she answered.

Instantly his heart felt a hundred times lighter, like she had filled it with helium and let go of the string. His mouth crashed down onto hers. The summer had been incredible, but it was always ending. Now it was over and she was still here. She was still his.

Ginger pulled him on top of her. She could have laughed, or cried, or screamed. This was her life now and she refused to be scared about it, refused to think of anything but how much had changed in one summer. She pulled his shirt over his head as he worked at her shorts. The same smooth skin, darker from the sun, ran beneath her fingertips. The same muscles flexed in response to her touch. His belt came undone easily, as if eager not to get in their way.

Kris felt suddenly impatient. He loved her, he’d told her, and now he wanted to show her. He kicked his shorts away as she struggled out of her top. When Ginger’s knees bent over the back of his and her hands met his shaft, wanting to guide him inside her, he had the same thought again. Finally.

Ginger marveled that Kris could feel new to her after the summer they’d had. Maybe it was that everything else was new now, and Kris was the foundation instead of the question. Whatever the reason, she gasped as he moved into her, felt her own wetness coat them. Her fingers raked his silky hair, bringing his lips to her neck. He thrust hard and she cried out, almost a sob, as her back arched. Everything was speeding – he was extremely hard and she was already trembling. Kris caught her nipple between his teeth, nipping softly as she pawed at the back of his thighs. He wanted this to be slow and sweet, to christen their new home, but he should have known better. They wanted each other, wanted this, too much.

“Ginger,” he panted. He was already so close, lifting his hips as he thrust, bringing her ass clear off the bed. On his upswing, she moaned half a scream. Before he could stroke fully again, she folded her head into his chest and growled as her body tried to break itself apart on the end of his cock. She gripped the blanket, grinding against him, until it broke and rolled across her body like thunder. He lay close, moving steadily and felt the orgasm flood her system. Her momentum released him and he plunged deep as he spilled inside her, burrowing his energy, his desire into her hot core. He breathed her name.

Ginger kissed Kris’ exhausted lips. A sigh escaped her, helped by the weight of Kris’ body lying across her, as she thought that so long as they had each other, they’d always be okay. She could do the rest, she would do it. She’d even welcome to tough times, if it meant she got to be with him always.

“I love you,” she whispered again.

Kris watched the light catch her hair, deepening until it was the color of fallen, russet leaves. If she were the last woman who ever came here, who ever held him, he would be happy. He would be lucky.

“I love you too, Ginger.”

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chapter 10 - Let's Just Fall

Soundtrack: I know we could both fall flat, let’s just fall and leave it at that. – Reckless Kelly, “Let’s Just Fall”

“I don’t want to leave yet,” Ginger whined like a little girl. Her arms and legs were wrapped around the armrest of the porch swing. Kris sat down next to her. Everything was packed and stowed, much of it back at Ginger’s parents’ house.

“We can come back next summer,” Kris put his chin on her shoulder. She stuck her lip out and shook her head, doing her best impression of a temper tantrum. Kris put him arm around her waist and let her stay put. “A week at Sid’s, two in Montreal, then we move.”

Ginger let him kiss her neck. “At least Sid has a lake.”

Ginger hit the ground running. It was unseasonably hot in Nova Scotia and she’d sweated all the way from Halifax even with the windows open. Sid’s house was right on the lake with a long dock extending out over the water. Sid was at the end, rod in hand and hook in the water – they were early. He looked over at the sound of pounding feet. Ginger pulled her top off and dropped it, leapt out of her shorts and hauled right on past him. SPLASH!

“Wooohooo!” she shouted as she surfaced. Max appeared on the porch, followed by Jordan. Kris was right behind her, still in his regular shorts, dropping his phone and wallet on Sid’s tackle box and launching into a cannonball.

“Hi Sid!” she waved from the water. Kris yanked her under, then they both bobbed to the surface.

“You scared away my fish,” he said drily.

Ginger smiled. “I brought you something better.” She pointed toward the house – Dani was leaning against the railing, waving. Sid dropped the fishing gear in an untidy heap.

“Are you wearing a swimsuit?” he called.


“Then you’d better run!” He accelerated from a jog as she dashed around the front of the house.

Marc-Andre came onto the porch and stood next to Jordan. Kris and Ginger were in the water, wrapped up together, kissing. “So that’s her?”

“She’s the one,” Jordan said.

“Jordan!” Ginger sat down, soaking wet, right in his lap. He held her in an iron grip and pressed a cold can to her skin till she shrieked. She managed to wriggle away, only to drop into Marc’s lap in the next chair.

“Hi!” she said. “I’m Ginger.”

Marc was already laughing. “You are exactly as I expected, Ginger. It is a pleasure to finally meet you.”

“Oh, if I’d known you were so nice I wouldn’t have dripped all over you!” She jerked her thumb toward Jordan. “I thought you’d be like the rest of these fools.” She got her own chair and drink and settled down in the sunlight. Her skin was dry in less than ten minutes.

“So you are moving to Pittsburgh?” Marc asked. “My girlfriend will be here later, she’ll love to meet you. And she’ll make sure you love Pittsburgh.”

Sid reappeared just before dinner time, his hair a mess and a huge smile on his face. Twenty minutes later, Dani emerged showered and dressed in fresh clothes. She gave Ginger a wide-eyed look and mouthed ‘WOW.’ Sid whistled his way into the fridge and out to the grill where Jordan and Max were already getting things started. The heat of the day had not broken, and Ginger fanned herself with a menu from the local Chinese place. Kris lifted her hair from her neck and blew in her ear.

“Having fun?” he asked.

She turned toward him and kissed his lips. “Not better than our lake house, but pretty damned good.”

The boys grilled up steaks and chicken kabobs, Dani made an avocado salad. They pushed two patio tables together and ate family-style. Once or twice, Dani almost lost an appendage by not moving quickly enough for a dish. Sidney took to serving her before himself. As they ate, Ginger felt this tight knit group of guys could be her new family. Of course Jordan had always been family, but she would need more people in Pittsburgh. And girls, she would need people who didn’t travel. Ginger didn’t pretend to understand the life she was signing up for and she’d be grateful to have someone to show her the ropes.

“Marc, when does your girlfriend get here?”

She finally arrived when they were clearing ice cream dishes from the table. Marc’s phone chirped as a car rolled to a stop and the sound of a door shutting echoed through the night. Two minutes later, a tall brunette with a warm smile emerged onto the porch. The guys all greeted her enthusiastically – no fake politeness for the sake of someone else’s date. Ginger liked her immediately.

“So you are Ginger,” she said, opening her arms for a hug. She said something in French to Kris that made him blush. Then she translated to Ginger. “Kris said you were beautiful but I think he was underestimating. I’m very happy you’re coming to Pittsburgh!”

Vero took Ginger on a walk down to the dock while Kris settled down to a beer at the newly clean table. Marc took the seat next to him, and spoke in French.

“Have you told her yet?”

Kris’ heart skipped a beat. He hadn’t said anything to Marc. “Told her what?”

“You obviously love her,” Marc said without taking his eyes of the silhouette of the two girls. “Have you told her?”

Kris admired the outline of their bodies against the dark night, moonlight flickering on the surface of the lake. “Not yet. I think it’s still too soon.”

Marc shook his head. “She’s already moving with you.”

Kris knew he loved her. He was pretty sure she felt the same. But he still felt fragile, like everything could come apart between now and then. He wouldn’t feel sure until she was in Pittsburgh, in their house, making a life for herself that included him. Not just a summer, a life.

“Soon, I’ll tell her soon.”

Vero didn’t need to be asked, she just spoke to all of Ginger’s questions. She was frank and open, even candid about her own relationship with Marc. She obviously felt a kinship with Ginger. When Vero explained how close Kris and Marc were, how alike in a lot of ways, Ginger realized she’d been harboring a fear of being lonely in Pittsburgh. Now she knew that wouldn’t be.

“Many of the guys, they cheat on their girlfriends,” Vero was saying. “I don’t think Kris is like this, I have never known him to cheat before. And the girls before… they were not like you. But many of the guys do, so you will always worry.” She paused, like she was debating, then continued. “Marc cheated once. He says it was the only time. And he told me himself, instead of letting me find out. It was his first year in the League and it was hard, because like you I moved there for him. But I forgave him and we are stronger now.”

Ginger gave her a small, tight smile. Her heart felt squeezed listening to someone tell such truth. She saw herself through a telescope, in Vero’s position.

“Do you remember, when you were young, what Jordan was like after a bad game?” Vero asked.

“Impossible,” Ginger admitted.

“They are all like that. You’ll learn his quirks. Some want to fight, others to fuck, some to be left alone to wallow. Sidney wallows. Kris, I think Kris will let you stay close until he gets through it himself. Marc gets very quiet, sometimes for a few days, but I just move around him until he’s ready to come back.” Vero stopped. “I feel like I’m telling you all the bad things! Mostly it’s wonderful. The wives and girlfriends do charity work, which you’ll be expected to help with. It’s fun, mostly, and will be more fun with you there. And you’ll have school, so you’ll have your own life.”

They moved to the side of the dock and sat down, swinging their legs over the water.

“You love him,” Vero said.

Ginger looked at her toes. “I do.”

Vero rocked against Ginger’s shoulder giving her a little bump. “You’re very lucky. And so is Kris.”

Everyone was beat from traveling and the heat. Ginger lay on top of the blankets in just her underwear, like a dog splayed out in front of a fan. Kris lay next to her, just breathing in sync. He reached for her fingers. Just like that, they fell asleep.

Dani was making breakfast in one of Sidney’s shirts when Ginger came into the kitchen. She handed down a coffee mug and passed it to her friend.

“Late night?” Ginger asked, not hiding her shit-eating grin.

“He’s like a puppy - if you don’t walk him every few hours, he’ll chew up the furniture and wreck the place.” She laughed, one hand on the counter to steady herself. “This is crazy, but it’s really fun. Thanks for bringing me, Ginger.”

Ginger put an arm around Dani’s neck. “Hey, he asked me to bring you. Seems like he got a taste of something he likes!” She swatted Dani’s butt and skipped out of the kitchen.

Jordan came through the living room in just shorts. It always gave Ginger a little twinge – he was really, truly beautiful. Sure, when he looked at him she saw twenty years of slap fights and sticking gum in each other’s hair. But she also saw her best friend and a really excellent guy.

“Jordan, I’m going to make it my mission in Pittsburgh to find you a girlfriend. Someone who deserves you.”

Jordan sat down and pulled her into a sleepy hug. “Are you getting all sappy? Do you have your period?” She slapped him, but he held tight. “Don’t worry, Ginger. I won’t replace you with some other girl if you promise not to forget about me when you’re all loved up with Tanger.”

Ginger hugged him back. “I won’t. You’ll always be welcome.”

“Can I come over every day? And you’ll make me peanut butter and jelly, no crust? I could use some help with my laundry too – how does my mom make it smell so good?”

Ginger rolled her eyes. “I’m almost scared to see how you live without us.”

The heat was unbearable. Even the lake water seemed warm. By 3 PM everyone was a zombie, all the ice cream was gone and Vero lay on the floor, holding an ice tray to her head. “Sidney, you make 10 million a year why don’t you have air conditioning?”

On the couch, Sid didn’t lift his head from Dani’s lap. “We never need it up here. Let’s go somewhere that has it. The movies?”

As they dragged themselves into a few cars, Ginger dawdled upstairs changing her clothes. When she finally came down, just Kris was waiting. They turned up the A/C in the Jeep and pulled onto the road. About a mile down, Ginger had previously spotted a small lane that veered off to the left. When they were almost there, she cranked the AC to full blast, unbuckled her seat belt and pulled off her shirt.

“What are you doing?” Kris was looking at her, not the road.

“Pull down there,” she said, unbuttoning her shorts. “We are not going to the movies.”

With a laugh, Kris wrenched the wheel in a dramatic turn and bounced Ginger around. By now, she was down to her bra and underwear. Kris went a few hundred yards, drove into a semi-clearing under some trees and was barely out of his seatbelt before he climbed right into the passenger on top of her. The gearshift got kneed, the glove box was stamped with a dirty shoeprint. Ginger reclined her seat and scooted out from underneath, into the backseat.

“Viens ici,” she crooked a finger at him.

Last night was the first night they’d spent together without having sex. Kris woke to the realization that he’d been holding her hand for nearly nine hours and he still felt satisfied. Sure she was sprawled out in her panties and he could think of a million things he wanted to do, but he didn’t need them. He only needed this.

Now she was naked in the backseat of his car and he couldn’t get there fast enough.

Kris tumbled over the headrest, his shirt partway off as he tried to do everything at once. One sandal obligingly fell by itself, the other he kicked away. Ginger already had his shorts open. He untangled his head from the fabric but not from his hair when she was already kissing him.

Ginger had also realized they’d gone the night just being together, without being together. She thought it was the kind of thing Vero had been talking about – “you’re lucky.” She was, and she knew it. But there would be plenty of lonely nights during the season and now she had a mind to stockpile some quality memories.

Before Kris was even out of his shorts, Ginger was inside them. His skin was hot to the touch and his erection grew in her hands. She spit into her palm and worked it over his hard-on, the slippery substance giving her the freedom to stroke his full length. He finally got his shorts off and put his mouth back on hers. They were half-sitting, half-kneeling in the back of the Jeep. Kris was hunched over and still his head brushed the ceiling. She glided her hand up, down and over the head of his penis. He moved his hips, pressing himself firmly into her grip as she spit in her other hand and added it to party. Kris’ hands kneaded at her breasts then he slid one up the inside of her thigh and spread his fingers into the lips of her pussy.

It’s only been 16 hours, maybe 20, Ginger thought as she wondered how it was possible to be so hot for someone all of the time. He might need road trips just to recover from me. She reached under his cock and cupped his balls, running her nails gently along where the sac met his body. He moaned encouragement.

Kris’ brain was blank. His entire sentient being was currently occupied by Ginger’s hands. He dragged one finger along her slit, felt her hot and wet and waiting, and knew he wouldn’t going to last long.

There wasn’t much room in the car. He pulled her up and bent her over the back of the seat she was kneeling on. Kris took a moment he really couldn’t spare to imprint the sight of her perfect bottom lifted into the air. He kissed the folds at the very top of the back of her thighs then ran his tongue once, slowly, along her glistening lips. She purred. He set the length of his erection against the crack of her ass and leaned forward to fondle her breasts. She arched her back, turning her face to his, and kissed him.

He tapped the head of his dick twice against her and then slid himself into her juicy core. Almost instantly she moaned. He held onto the seat and rocked deep into the heat of her body at a steady rhythm. Ginger bounced back against him until soon they were slamming themselves together. Kris moved his hands to the windows, the ceiling, but he couldn’t get the grip he wanted.

“Kris,” she panted, raising her head. Without thinking, he grabbed a handful of her thick, dark red hair and pulled himself in up to the hilt. She cried out, but it was the kind of pain that increased pleasure. By the second pull, she was begging for it. “Harder, Kris.”

His other hand traced the curve of her hip over the rise of her ass. She reached for it, pulled it under and pressed his fingers to her clit. She was so wet he could barely tweak it, so he settled the putting two fingers out straight and pushing down along her front. She shifted from side to side to do the rest.

Kris was rock hard, still with a handful of Ginger’s hair. She moved faster, like a pot of water coming to a boil. His hand from her lap circled around her stomach and pulled her back. He bent his knees under him, now kneeling with Ginger practically sitting in his lap. He didn’t need to push her against the seat. The weight of Ginger’s body dropped her down fully onto his cock. She sobbed out a breath as he reached as deep as she could take. With his arm at her waist, he held her down and ground his dick into her so she couldn’t catch her breath. Then he pumped his thighs and she bounced, bottoming out onto him again. The third time, she had tears in her eyes. He moved his hand from her hair and pressed two other fingers down over her clit.

Kris was all the way in, there was no more of Ginger to be had. As he bounced her like a rag doll on his cock, feeling her liquid coat him, her and probably the whole car seat, he massaged her hot button until she started to pant. Every muscle in her body grew taut, from her calves to her ass, and he knew she was very close. He needed her to be close.

Ginger tossed her head back onto Kris’ shoulder as he refused to let up his assault on her body. His fingers and dick were so deep in her they could almost touch each other. The edges of her vision were darkening and the pit of her stomach rippled like a pulse of light. She reached one arm over her shoulder, grabbed a hold of his hair, and pulled his face to her shoulder.

“Harder,” she barked, not even sure if she meant it.

He obliged, slamming up into her. She put her hands on the ceiling and held herself down into his lap. When she finally got enough traction to flick her hips, once was all it took.

Ginger moved suddenly, her body twisting and taking Kris’ throbbing erection with it. She swiveled, catching him by surprise, breaking his concentration. He came like a bomb detonating and cursed out loud. His body poured itself into Ginger’s hot little hole, pulsing hard a few times before he felt her go too, back arching, abs trembling, mouth open in a small, grateful noise. Ginger ground herself into him, riding out the last few pulses of her orgasm. Kris was holding her hair again.

“Wow,” her head flopped forward onto the seat.

Kris drew himself gently out, already feeling tender and sore. He laid his face against her back. “Oui. Better than a movie.”

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Chapter 9 - On the Brink

Soundtrack: A larger chance happened, all them they lie on the rise, on the brink of our lives. – Jason Mraz, “Bella Luna”

Kris leaned over the back of the couch. He wore shorts but no shirt, making it hard for Ginger to remember what it was she should have been doing. He smelled like deodorant and sunshine – he’d been mowing the lawn.

“Do I have to do yard work at your house?” she asked as he nuzzled her neck.

“It’s that or shovel snow,” he bit her playfully. Ginger took a deep breath. She’s completed all the transfer paperwork and now only had to hit send. Kris lifted his head from her hair.

“Sure you want to do this?” he asked, his voice soft. He was concerned that he was asking too much. That Ginger would come out of her infatuation having made an irreparable change. All for him. Kris wanted desperately to be with Ginger. But he’d found himself even more nervous since she’d said yes.

“Are you sure?” she countered. Ginger was sure. Well, pretty sure and that was the best she could do. Moving and transferring were scary thoughts, but she knew she’d be miserable without Kris.

“I’m sure, sweet, but you’re the one making the big change. Please do what is right for you. I will still be here either way.”

She tilted her head back and got a kiss to her lips. “This is what’s right for me.” She hit SEND.

Kris paced the kitchen. His pockets were damp where he kept wiping his sweaty palms. The sunshine was too bright, the washing machine too loud. He sipped a glass of water.

“Okay?” Ginger asked. She wore a sundress and flip flops, like any other day. A can of Coke hissed as she popped the top. “Don’t worry, this will be fine.”

“Right. Hi, we just met but I’m stealing your daughter and making her change her whole life.”

“You’re not making me do anything, Kris. They will be surprised, but they’ll be happy for us! My parents were pretty nuts back in the day. I’ve got some stories in case they decide to give us a hard time.”

The front door opened. “Your dad kill Tanger yet?” Jordan called. He tromped in, followed by Marc.

Marc gave Ginger a squeeze and took her soda. “So, you’re going to be living in sin with Ginger, eh? Any idea how you plan to explain that to her dad? Who you’ve never even met?”

Kris closed his eyes, and Ginger slid her hand inside his. “My parents had my brother before they were married. Talk about living in sin!”

Kris exhaled a little, still had a nagging feeling that she was giving up everything and he was sacrificing nothing. He would have, probably, but it hadn’t even been an option. He wished there was something he could give her to show that he was in this as much as she was. Tires crunched on the gravel driveway.

“Game time!” Jordan yelled.

A green SUV was parked with the back door open. Marc called a hello and went around. Seconds later, he returned with a suitcase and followed by a strawberry blonde woman. She looked so much like Ginger that Kris took a step back. In thirty years, Ginger would look like this. His heart leapt at the idea of still being with her when she did.

“Hi Mom!” Ginger threw her arms around the woman. Jordan squealed fakely and did the same thing. The woman laughed.

“Get offa me, Staal! You’re like an octopus.”

Ginger pulled Kris in by the hand. “Mom, this is Kris. Jordan’s teammate.” Kris reached out to shake her mom’s hand, but she dodged it and went in for a hug.

“Welcome, Kris! Might as well just hug us now.” When he released her, he instinctively reached for Ginger’s hand and found it right where he’d left it. Her mom’s gaze followed his hand into hers.

“Not just Jordan’s teammate, eh?”

“Kris is also my boyfriend,” Ginger said rather proudly, squeezing Kris’ fingers.

Her mom paused a second, tilting her head to look at Kris. “He’s awfully cute, Ginger.”

Kris blushed and everyone laughed. Ginger swung their clasped hands a little and stepped into Kris’ side. She had figured her parents would be cool, but there was always a chance she was wrong.

“Boyfriend?” her dad came around the far side of the car. He was less than Staal height, but still tall and barrel-chested. His short hair was salt and paper and he wore glasses, a t-shirt and shorts.

Kris extended his hand, feeling awkwardly stiff. “Mr. Harris,” he said. Jordan nearly burst his spleen laughing. Ginger’s father shook Kris’ hand politely before taking a swat at Jordan.

“Jordan was, quite literally, raised in a barn. Don’t mind his lack of manners,” her dad said. “I’m Dave, my wife is Kathy. It’s nice to meet you. You sound like you’re from Montreal.” Kris nodded. “Welcome to Thunder Bay. Any friend of Ginger’s is a friend of ours, even if he hangs out with the wildlife.”

Jordan and Marc pretended to look hurt. Then Jordan screeched like a monkey and took Marc down in a pile of arms and legs. Ginger stepped around them and took a suitcase inside.

Whew, Kris thought as Ginger poured lemonades and carried them to the back porch. Her parents gratefully dropped into some chairs. Kris chose the wicker bench and Ginger came back with chips, sat next to him and tossed her legs across his lap. Okay, he said to himself as he actually began to relax. Ginger’s parents talked about their trip, where her dad fished and her mom did crossword puzzles all day. Ginger waited for a lull in the conversation.

“I… we… have some news,” she said then quickly added, “I am NOT pregnant. So don’t panic.”

Her father put a hand to his heart. “Not funny!”

Ginger looked at Kris, smiling the small, private smile that he now knew so well. “I’m transferring to University of Pittsburgh,” she announced.

For a moment, everyone was quiet. Then Kathy asked about the transfer, about the program, about the dates. Ginger had it all memorized. Finally her dad spoke. “Where will you be living?”

“… and moving in with Kris,” Ginger asked with a questioning look on her face. Another silent minute passed.

“I suppose Jordan’s there if you get into any trouble,” her dad said a little warily.

Ginger scoffed. “Jordan is the trouble. He can’t wait for me to get there.”

Her mom stood, making Ginger stand and hug. Then Kathy hugged Kris again. “Guess you must be pretty great,” she said. Kris turned pink as Ginger followed her mom into the house.

Man up, Kris told himself. He took Kathy’s seat.

“Monsieur, I know this is quick and no one is more surprised than I am,” he started. “I want you to know that I plan to take very good care of Ginger. For as long as she’ll let me.”

Her dad smiled. “I trust Ginger’s judgment – if she likes you, you must be worth liking. And it’s not me you have to worry about anyway.” Somewhere in the front yard, Jordan or Marc howled in pain. The other voice cheered. “Be careful with my baby, Kris,” Dave said, patting Kris on the shoulder.

“Ready?” Kris asked as he started Ginger’s car.

“As I’ll ever be,” she said.

He’d packed his stuff and some of hers, loaded it into car and bid her parents goodbye. He hadn’t told her a thing except to insist on driving. Map in hand, he made a left somewhere near Jordan’s house and followed the road for 20 minutes. He made a left into the driveway at 17 Sparrow Street.

“Ta da!”

The house was weathered wood, almost gray like driftwood on the beach it bordered. White shutters were tied open on the second floor. It was small, cozy and one of only a few houses luckily unrented in the middle of summer.

“Welcome home,” he said and tossed her a set of keys.

Ginger ran around the front. A wide porch fronted the house, its wooden staircase descending right into the grass. There was a fire pit to one side and the lake lapped the shore a few hundred feet away. The living room was stuffed with comfy couches and an old easy chair. An open kitchen with a big island had copper pans hanging from the ceiling. Upstairs she found a small guest room and a large master bedroom.

“Are those yours?” she pointed to the charcoal gray sheets and duvet that looked just like the ones from Kris’ apartment.

“What did you think was in that huge bag I brought?”

She threw her arms around him with a squeal. “You are,” she kissed him, “the most amazing,” another kiss, “guy I’ve ever met.”

He kissed her back. “I know. So you wanna…” he kicked his foot toward the bed.

She blew a raspberry at him and skipped away. “We live in our own house…” she sang loudly.

Kris breathed a small sigh of relief. He wanted her to love this house, to love living with him. She was doing everything for him and he planned to return the favor anyway he could. Downstairs, she sang as she dragged a suitcase inside. “Our house, is a very, very, very fine house…”

An hour later, Ginger was in shorts with a t-shirt tied around her midriff on the front porch. The sun waned as she husked corn into a compost bucket. Jordan came around the side. “Nice place, Tanger,” he called to Kris who was down at the water’s edge.

“Jordan!” Ginger shouted, though he was barely twenty feet away. “Welcome to our house! Did you bring us a housewarming present?”

Jordan held up a six pack of beer and a packet of hot dog buns. “Armed and dangerous.”

Ginger carried empty plates into the kitchen. She smiled at the official sound of summer as the screen door swung shut behind her. Jordan held his beer out toward Kris.

“She really likes it. Well done, man.”

Kris made the toast and leaned back in his chair. Ginger had taken to the house like a duck to water – putting things away, declaring the quirks “charming” and pointing out a few places she’d like to christen as soon as they could get rid of Jordan.

“Is it always going to be this good?” Kris looked out at the water.

“Nope. Shitty losses, slumps, endless road trips… the season is always hard. But Ginger knows and she’ll make it better. For all of us.”

It was dark when Jordan left. Star shone over the lake and Ginger shouted that she could see fireflies in the yard. Kris padded out onto the porch and gasped. Ginger stood on a pile of chair cushions and towels, roughly arranged into a rectangle. She wore one of Kris’s big button down shirts open over her naked body. Strands of that red hair he’d come to love to much drifted around her face in the breeze.

“Welcome home,” she said.

Kris slid his hands inside the shirt, wrapping a hug around her middle. Their lips met softly. Ginger felt that this celebration would be sweet and slow. They lay down on the lumpy heap of whatever she padding she could find and Kris ran his thumb across her lip.

“Ginger,” he whispered, “thank you.”

“I haven’t done anything yet,” she nipped at his finger.

He pressed it over her mouth. “I mean thank you for being with me. For being here.”

She kissed the palm of his hand. “I could not be anywhere else, Kris. But don’t worry, I’m scared too.”

Kris closed his eyes and tightened his arm around her. She still fit against him the way she had the first day, the day that seemed so long ago. Ginger had taken over and Kris found the memory of days before he met her getting fuzzy. Here, in her arms, at their house, he wondered how he’d ever wanted anything else.

“I’m scared that you’re giving everything and I’m giving nothing,” he finally admitted. He hooked her hair behind on ear. “That you’ll change your mind and I will have taken so much from you.”

Ginger ran her hand up behind his neck. “I’m just making a change. I still get to study what I want, I have you guys to hang out with, Jordan says Pittsburgh is a great place. I’m going to love it Kris. You’re not taking anything, I am giving it to you.” She kissed his lips, thinking the matter settled. But Kris wanted to get through this one last thing so he could stop worrying.

“What am I giving you, Ginger?”

“Smile, Kris,” she said. He did, tentatively. “No, mon beau mec, I want the real one.” Kris laughed at her French, like she’d known he would. “That’s all I want. Give me happy and I’ll be happy.”

Kris kissed her through his smile, wishing he could concentrate all the happiness he felt into something he could pass to her lips. She responded with a request, from her body, that there might be one other thing he could give her after all. He let Ginger remove his shirt and he kicked off his shorts. Her legs circled his back, holding him close, and he found that she was already ready for him. She wanted him, not just like this but in the real way that might be hard later, might get rough. Thank god, he thought as he guided himself between her legs and took her breath away.

Ginger looked at the roof of the porch over Kris’ shoulder, thinking that she’d grown up a lot in just a few weeks. She’d never even wanted a house before but now wherever Kris was felt like home. She’d assumed she’d stay in Canada, but now the prospect of the US thrilled her. New places, new people, a new life. That’s how Kris made her feel: new.

A single tear slipped down her cheek. That’s new too, she almost smiled.

“Are you okay?” he paused.

She grabbed his cheeks and kissed his mouth. “Perfect.”

Kris moved inside her. The smooth skin of her legs was like satin and he felt her muscles contract as she met him thrust for thrust. She pressed her calf down along his side and over his thigh, the motion creating an exquisite space inside her. Kris explored it with an extra twist. Ginger moaned encouragement. He put his head into her hair, took a deep breath and rolled his body down into hers. Fingernails to his back to him he’d done it right.

Ginger saw everything – the sky, the branches of the tree black against the darkest blue. Kris’ hair caressed her face as he planted his hands on her hips. She pulled away when he did, giving herself the full, long glide of his cock every time he went back inside. It was flawless and hard, turning her like he was winding clock. His soft lips grazed her neck, biting the soft flesh barely enough to keep from leaving a mark. He breathed rhythmically, pacing himself like athletes do, measuring his exertion for maximum endurance. Her hands moved over his perfect, sculpted body, another finely honed tool of his trade. As the ridge at the head of his dick popped out of her then quickly drove back in, her body contracted against itself.

“Kris,” she breathed.

Tell her, tell her now, his brain said. No, it’s more than this. Don’t tie it to this single incredible thing she can do for you. It’s everything.

Ginger’s body quivered again, rippling against Kris’ cock like waves in the lake. He uncorked himself again, heard her gasp and then dug deep, lifting her off the pile of towels that smelled like sunshine. She put her head into his neck and stayed close as he held her, plumbing his throbbing erection into the hot core of her body, feeling her sweet juice coat them as her pussy begged for more. He couldn’t get close enough to her, couldn’t hold tight enough, go deep enough. His body trembled like water when you’ve filled a glass just over the rim. He was all surface tension now.

Ginger moaned into his shoulder, unselfconscious that they were outside where anyone could hear. His flesh was hot to the touch as energy broiled off his body. When he squeezed his dick all the way into her, pushing the last inch out of sheer insistence that it be the best sex she’d ever had, she bit her lip to keep from crying out louder.

“I can’t,” Kris gulped. He’d almost lost it twice already. His cock was twitching as he drove it into Ginger’s slick pussy, feeling her body snatch greedily at his.

“Kris,” she squeaked, as he cupped her ass, lifted her slightly and swung for the fences. Like she’d heard the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd, the cord in Ginger’s body snapped and bounced. She cried out, an orgasm hitting her body like a line drive. A second later, Kris bucked and burst so far inside her he thought he might be lost forever.