Sunday, June 26, 2011

Chapter 5

Are you still in love with me
Like the way you used to be or is it changing?
Does it deepen over time like the river
That is winding through the Canyon?

Are you still in love with her?
Do you remember how you were before the sorrow?
Are you closer for the tears
Or has the weight of all the years left you hollow?

Are we strangers now?
Like the Ziegfeld Gal and the Vaudeville show?
Are we strangers now
Like rock and roll and the radio?

Ch. 5

My work life was coming together like I had always hoped.  The plans I had put into motion were coming off without a hitch and everyone was loving it.  Despite the fact the team’s status here in Glen Falls was up in the air, the arena attendance was growing by leaps and bounds. (The team could possibly move to Allentown, PA, which is closer to Philly in a season or two)  The management could only attribute it to the popularity the website was drawing and the great reviews we were getting in the press.  It also helped that the team was doing really well this season and every time one of our players went up to play in the big club, they were making a noticeable impact.

The guys were even enjoying the new things we implemented, especially the player play-list.  It became a competition between the guys on whose play-list got the most thumbs up or thumbs down on the website after the game.  I ended up becoming the go-to person for help with the playlists which of course caused even more flack to be thrown my way if someone ended up with more thumbs up votes than another guy.  I found out quickly that there was never a dull moment in my job, and I loved it that way.

“Sooooo…” Mike drew out while we sat together in a booth at Friendly’s one night.  It was a date night, so it was just the two of us instead of the whole crew.  Our date actually started out on the slopes after practice, which suited me just fine.  I obviously wasn’t high maintenance and Mike was easy going like me, just happy to spend alone time with me since that wasn’t really an option back at the house.  Things were progressing slow between us, which suited me just fine.  He had actually just returned back from Philly yesterday after being with the big club for a week and a half while Andreas Nodl was out nursing an injury.  So, with his absence it took some of the pressure off of both of us.  He too didn’t want to push anything quickly, so I was lucky to have him.  I didn’t want to use him as a rebound; I cared too much about him to make him that.

“Hmm?” I mused with a mouthful of ice cream.

“Will you be my date to Riley’s Christmas Party he is hosting this Saturday?” he asked, sounding slightly nervous.

Riley Cote used to be an enforcer for the Flyers, but he retired last year and became an assistant coach for the Phantoms.  He was a fun guy and the whole team was stoked to be invited to his house for a party.  It was kind of a big deal that Mike was asking me to go with him because we had kept our relationship kind of quiet up until this point.  By going with him, the whole team was going to know, thus making everything official between us.  I looked up at him to find his blue eyes smiling at me, despite the look of anxiousness.  “I guess that means I have to go dress shopping,” I sighed like it was going to be a big inconvenience, even though I was holding back a huge grin.

“You wear dresses?” Mike played like he was shocked.

“I try not to, unless it’s a suit…” I answered honestly.

“And you look hot in them, so I’m looking forward this,” he winked at me.

Even though we had been “dating for a month” there hadn’t been much more than kissing between us.  I guess I was just slightly apprehensive about moving forward, and Mike never pushed it.  A couple times we had fallen asleep together in each other’s bed, but nothing more had happened.  I had a feeling Saturday night we going to be an evening filled of firsts for us and I was okay with that.

“James, I’d like you to meet my Mom and Dad, Rachel and Dean Trainer.  Mom, Dad, this is James Neal,” Shelly beamed while she introduced me to her parents.  They were in town to pick her up for Winter break.  I got the whole crew tickets for the game the night before she was leaving, feeling slightly obligated to when she told me Dean was a huge Flyers fan and it just so happened they were in town playing us that night.

“Great to meet you James, sorry to hear you play for the shitty team, but I won’t hold that against you,” Dean laughed loudly, drawing the attention from some of the other people standing in the hallway.  It was obvious he was drunk and I felt bad for Shelly as she cowered against me, embarrassed.

I just smiled and nodded politely, dreading what he was going to say next.  His wife, Rachel just stood politely by his side and shook my hand weakly with a meek smile.  “Well Shelly, time to make the trek back to the better side of PA,” Dean informed Shelly.  “Thanks again for the tickets James, guess it’s the least you can do for boning my daughter.”

Whoa.  What a winner.

Later that night Shelly called me.

“James, I’m sooo sorry.  I should have warned you that my father is an alcoholic.”

Of course I told her not to worry about it and that it wasn’t a huge deal.  Besides, it wasn’t like I was dating him, right?  However, the puzzle pieces were slowly falling together.  When Shelly drank, it was obvious she had a problem with alcohol too.  When we went out, she would always get trashed.  There was no middle line for her; she either didn’t drink anything at all or went all out and when she did, she became a completely different person.  She’d end up all over me or some other guy pulling the stripper moves she did on me the first night we met.  It was as if she became two different people and it was certainly taking its toll on me and our relationship.

All these thoughts rolled around in my head while Shelly talked on about when she was coming back into town and what she was planning on wearing to the New Years Eve party at Sidney’s house.  “Um, Shelly?”  I spoke up while she was in the middle of her sentence, surprising her and me.


“Don’t even worry about coming back early for the party…”

“Oh? Why not?”

“Shelly, you’ve been great, but I just don’t see this working out and it’s not fair to string you along in thinking this is actually going somewhere, because honestly it’s not.”

Dead silence on the other end.

“I’m sorry.  I wish you all the luck…”


“You are one lucky mother fucker,” Andrew jabbed at Mike when we walked into Riley’s house for the party.  All I could do was blush as everyone in the joint turned and looked at me and Mike.  It was too easy to notice some of the jaw drops around the place and double takes.  I felt really exposed, despite my dress covered everything.  Okay, so it might have covered everything, but it was tight and it didn’t leave much to the imagination.  It was the little black dress every girl should probably own, but standing here was giving me second guesses about that.

“Do you want something to drink, beautiful?” Mike whispered warmly into my ear when everyone went back to acting “normal.”

“A beer please,” I said through my teeth.  He chuckled lightly, kissed me lightly on the cheek and walked away, leaving me with JP and his girlfriend Tammy to talk with.

“You two look amazing together,” Tammy remarked with a smile and a wink.

“Thank you,” I smiled back, starting to feel a little more comfortable, despite the fact that I felt 5 feet taller in the 4 inch heals I was sporting for the night.  “We figured it was time to come clean with the whole team.”

“I can understand you being nervous about going public, but I think everyone will be cool with it,” JP hugged me.  “I know I am.”

“Thanks JP,” I hugged him back, leaving a kiss on his cheek.

It wasn’t that I was afraid of going public, I think it was more of the fact that I was admitting to myself I was moving on.

We got a lot of positive feedback from the whole team, including the higher-ups on the bench and front office throughout the night.  By the end of the night Mike was grinning from ear to ear and seemed hell bent on taking advantage of his new found liberties with me.  I had just walked out the bathroom when he moved out from the shadows as I walked down the unfamiliar hallway of Cote’s house and wrapped an arm around my waist, pulling me into a guest bedroom.  Before I could start scolding him, I was pressed up against the wall and his lips were against mine.  He pressed the whole length of his body against me and I instantly felt the heat of his hardness against my stomach.

I kissed him back, wanting his heat to fill my body.  I wanted this.  He was working his way down my neck when I finally had enough sense to speak.  “Mike?” I croaked.

“Yeah?” he mumbled against my skin.

“I’m thinking this is not the smartest place to be making out like this…”

He quietly laughed, his warm breath making me shiver.  “Probably not.”

“Take me home.”

I didn’t need to ask twice.  Soon we were practically running around the house, saying our goodbyes and the next thing I knew we were shivering more from anticipation than the ice cold temps of the New York winter.  We were quiet, the sexual tension in the car was completely out of control and all I could do was laugh.

“What are you laughing about?!” Mike cried out, now laughing along with me.

“This is totally ridiculous.  We are running home to jump in bed like two horny teenagers!”

Mike began laughing harder as he shrugged his shoulders and nodded in agreement.  He then abruptly stopped laughing and looked over at me while we were waiting at a red light.  “Are you okay with this?  Cause, I mean if your not, we don’t have to do…well, you know.”

“Do you think I bought a dress like this for nothing?” I giggled, peaking down at my stocking clad thighs, unable to see the hem of my dress because it was hidden beneath my winter coat.  Yup, it’s that short.

Mike smiled broadly again and grabbed my hand, squeezing it tightly.  “I was hoping you’d say that,” he laughed before stomping on the gas pedal when the light turned green.

He had me out of my dress in a minute flat and I was going to owe him a new white dress shirt.  Our mouths were all over each other, tracing the lines our hands made.  Somewhere in the middle of Mike’s gentle caresses the thought of James came into my head.  I instantly felt ashamed and immediately pushed the thought away, focusing on the man whose name I was crying out.

“Hanna?” Mike whispered softly into my hair.  I had fallen asleep wrapped around him at some point in the early morning hours.  He was warm and hard and made an amicable pillow.

“Hmm?”  I was fairly sure it was still dark outside, but I wasn’t even bothering to open my eyes.

“Who is James?”

Now he had my attention.  “What do you mean?”

“You just mumbled his name in your sleep…”

“I did?!” I asked, now lifting my head and willing my eyes to adjust so that I could see Mike’s face.

“Yeah, you said, “I love you James.”

Fuck me.


  1. Ugh... Wow... I have no words...

    I loved it.

  2. Wow! Really loving this chapter! I'm glad James broke up wight that girl, it was not working out at all! Looks like hanna ia gunna need a good reason or come clean! I hope it's a wake up call to be with James! Great update!:)

  3. Nice! I like Mike...

    This is gonna take some explaining...
    Great Chapter!