So....long time no update? Hey guys, I did want to let you all know that I'm alive and hopefully this chapter will serve as a bandaid for how bad I've been about updating all summer. Shit happens, right? Anyway, I'm currently in Europe for the next couple of months doing my study abroad (which is AMAZING) and I've found that there's generally more free time in Europe than in the U.S. They actually take the time to breathe here which is amazing for someone like me with a definitive type-A personality. Hopefully this means I will be writing a lot more frequently because I miss my characters a lot.
Also, if anyone has any methods of watching hockey on the internet that you think will work from Europe, please let me know! Otherwise, I'll be forced to just read about it on my fave blogs which just isn't the same :( Can it be October yet?
It was after 3 by the time I felt Geno snuggle into bed with me. After we had all finished up at the arena for the night, he had taken me and his parents out to eat at a quiet restaurant near his house so that we could all spend more time together. It had gone well and I was actually feeling like his parents really liked me which is why I had refused to head back to the house with them and stay there for the night.
They were just warming up to me and I didn't need to blow it by getting on his Mom's bad side when things were still so new for all of us. Plus, it just gave me the creeps to sleep in his bed while his parents were only just down the hall.
Still, he must have snuck out of his own house which I guessed I should have been surprised about but somehow wasn't. As much as he wanted to be here in bed with me, I equally wanted him beside me.
"Go back to sleep" he whispered pulling his shirt over his head and tossing it onto the floor somewhere. He flipped me over to face him and allowed me to slide my legs between his and rest my head in the crook of his shoulder. He was better than a body pillow and twice as comforting.
"You shouldn't have driven this late" I reminded him even though driving was what had eventually gotten him here in my bed.
"I had to push my parents to sleep so that I could leave." He chuckled against my hair as he spoke sending chills down my spine. "They just want to talk and talk and talk. Is easier if you live with me. Then I don't have to drive."
It was too late to talk about this so I kept the mood light and giggled at the fact that we were both sneaking around like teenagers.
"I don't know" I smiled scratching the spot behind his ear that made goosebumps pop up on his skin, "I kind of like the sneaking around thing. It's kinda sexy."
Luckily, he took my bait and even though I was exhausted, both of our hands started to roam to places that made it too hard to stop and go back to sleep.
I woke up the next morning feeling sloppy and groggy from the previous night's lovemaking session. I wanted to go back to sleep but it was already after 9 and it was weird that I was alone in bed. I threw on Geno's discarded shirt from the night before and buttoned it up to my neck. In the kitchen, Geno stood watching the small TV in the corner and shovelling cereal quickly into his mouth. Some of the cereal milk on his spoon sloshed onto his bare chest when he spotted me and he grinned quickly to say hello while he swallowed.
He looked so sexy in my kitchen that I couldn't help myself from walking over to him and licking up the small bit of milk on his chest.
I looked up mischieviously to see him grunt and quickly set down the bowl he was eating from on the counter next to him. He jolted me up against him so that we fit curve to sculpted curve as he kissed me slowly and deeply. Our lips made a small suction noise when we finally separated .
"Bad" he said smiling down at me. "Come over, spend day with me and my parents?"
"I don't know" I told him, "is there breakfast involved?"
He snorted in amusement and tucked a piece of my bed head behind my ear. "My Mama will make you big breakfast. Russian breakfast."
"Well okay then" I smiled, standing on my tip toes to press a kiss to his lips. "Give me half an hour?"
He nodded and left me to get ready while he put on his clothes from the night before. We weren't exactly going to be subtle when walked into his house, me in clean clothes and him in the same ones he went to dinner in. I just hoped that his Mom wouldn't notice and that he would be able to sneak upstairs and change before she noticed.
"I'm not lying to my Mama" he repeated for the second time since we had gotten into our cars to head over to his place. While I got ready, I developed an excuse for him to tell his Mom about where he had been all morning. It was perfect except for the fact that he wasn't going along with it. This was kind of the wrong time for him to suddenly decide that he had morals.
"It's not lying exactly, it's fibbing." Even though we were on our cellphones talking, I could all but sense him rolling his eyes at me.
"I'm not lying. They probably didn't notice."
I didn't believe him for a second but I let it go because he was using his "I'm not changing my mind" voice.
10 minutes later we pulled into his driveway where he hustled me from the car and into the house out of the cold wind. The house was so warm that goosebumps broke out on my skin anyway in protest of the rapidly different temperatures.
"Go say hi, I go change now." He gave me a gentle shove on the butt towards the kitchen while he jogged upstairs, yelling out a hello to his parents. Over the top of the couch, Mr. Malkin's head popped up and smiled at me before turning his attention back to the TV. One of Max Talbot's commercials came on the screen and we both watched his horrible acting in wonder for a moment before I turned away.
"Good morning, Ava" Mrs. Malkin greeted me brightly as she wiped her hands off on the apron slung loosely around her waist. "Geno bring you for meal, yes?"
I smiled and nodded before taking a seat at one of the barstools in front of the center island. What she was making looked like the same porridge that Geno had made me before. It didn't look that appetizing but it was delicious and warm- perfect for a cold, winter morning which I knew they had a lot of back in Russia.
"Can I help with anything?" I asked before Geno swept back into the kitchen and gave me a hard kiss on the lips while saying something to his Mom in russian.
I couldn't fight the blush that stained my cheeks as I watched them watch me: one with a grin on his big face and the other with a knowing smile.
"I need to learn russian" I announced to both of them making them laugh loudly. I was honestly so surprised that his parents still seemed to like me that I didn't mind being the butt of the joke at all.
"You couldn't do it" Geno said smiling at me. "Too hard, you're too busy."
I knew that he was challenging me but there hadn't been too many times in my life when I had resisted the challenge of someone telling me that I couldn't do something.
"I could speak russian better than you can speak english." I pushed him away from me and started to hop down from my chair but he held me in place.
"How would you learn?" He called something else over his shoulder to his Mom who laughed while I steadily grew more irritated. I could learn this godforsaken language if I really wanted to. I was smart. I went to NYU for godsakes.
"I'll buy one of those computer programs." It would be wickedly expensive but worth it to see the look on his face when I spoke Russian to him.
"I have better idea. I'll teach you my language." He leaned down and kissed my nose then backed away to let me hop down. He was being condescending and I didn't like it. Still, he was pretty cute so I let it slide. That dopey smile of his was like salt to my ice-y road of a heart- it made my brain slow down every time.
Still I made up my mind to get one of those Rosetta Stone computer programs as soon as possible and practice it while he was on the road. Wouldn't he be surprised when I understood him speaking Russian and was able to reply back?
After awhile, Geno let up his taunting and we sat down to eat breakfast and enjoy the rest of the day together. Using my same method from the night before, I talked to his parents as much as I could even if they didn't completely understand what I was saying.
By the end of the night, the four of us were comfortably seated in the living room and laughing at an episode of "America's Funniest Home Videos." It was the perfect ice-breaker and tv show for all of us to watch because it didn't require vast knowledge of the English language to understand it. It was just stupid people and cute animals doing funny things on film.
During a commercial break, I excused myself and carried in everyone's dessert plates into the kitchen. It felt good to stretch my legs after sitting for so long and I needed a few minutes away from the noise and laughter to rub my temples and pop some aspirin for the headache I had.
Weirdly, it wasn't the type of headache I was used to. It was a happy headache, the kind that came from laughing too hard and probably drinking too much of the vodka that Mr. Malkin had pushed on me. I needed to drink some water and sober up a little bit more before I drove home for the night. Unfortunately I had meetings to take care of in the morning which made calling in sick tomorrow or taking a personal day out of the question.
"Hey, everything fine?" I felt his hand touch the small of my back before I turned to face him.
"Yeah," I smiled to reassure him then turned around to get back to my task. "I just want to finish this up real quick."
I continued to scrub the dirty dish I was holding but his hand reached around mine and pulled it from my grasp. He pushed my ponytail to the other side of my neck as his lips slid up the sensitive skin beneath my ear. He knew that was my weak spot, my 'I'll do anything you ask me to' spot and it instantly put me on the alert.
"What do you want?" I asked, my voice sounding more breathy than it had moments before. He didn't answer, he just continued to suckle and nip a pathway up and down from my collarbone to my earlobe.
I was so on to him and what he was trying to do. Totally into him and what he was doing but also wise to his sexy antics. "I'm not staying overnight" I told him.
He sighed and finally quit trying to turn me into silly putty. "Well you're not going home."
I laughed at the defiant expression on his face. We had lots of time to stay at each other's houses. As much as I wanted to be there all night, it made more sense logistically to go home and get ready in the morning where all of my stuff was.
"Geno," he tried to shut me up by kissing me but I dodged his lips in time. "I can't stay. I have a million things to do in the morning. I need to get up when my alarm rings. I need to be able to drink my coffee, eat my breakfast and not feel rushed. I need my stuff." I dodged his lips again and he sighed, his lips turning into an annoyed frown.
"Come here" he said pulling me from the kitchen. He pulled me in the direction of the garage and opened the door ushering me inside. I thought that we were going to have it out in the garage so his parents wouldn't hear us but instead he flipped on the lights and just stood there.
"Look, lots of room. Room for your car. Room for mine."
He grabbed my hand and pulled me back into the house. Walking past his parents again, he didn't say anything, just continued to pull me through the house pointing out how much room there was for my things. I knew what he was trying to do but it felt like my stomach had suddenly risen and swallowed my vocal cord.
He stopped in his bedroom last and shut the door behind us for privacy once again. This time it looked like we were going to have it out.
"Your stuff would be here. It would be easy. It make sense."
He sat back on the edge of his bed while I stood in the center of the room, grateful for the distance between us now.
"I know you think it makes sense" I told him trying to buy time for what I wanted to say. "It isn't that I want to say no" I finally answered, giving up and sitting next to him. "I just can't say yes yet either."
"Why? Why say no?"
"Don't you think it's a little soon for us to be moving in together?" I asked him curiously. If he moved this quickly with Oksana and other girls that I didn't know about, was that a sign of some sort of pattern in his relationships? I didn't believe in moving fast in relationships like he apparently did. I had already given him a lot at a much faster pace than I would have liked. Although, if it had been up to me, we probably wouldn't have even been dating yet. I was at least grateful for his persistence in that respect.
"No" he answered me, turning to look me straight in the eyes. "I want you here. Move in with me."
We weren't getting anywhere so I decided to give us both the time we needed to cool down. "I want to move in with you" I admitted, holding up a hand when he turned to grin and say something. "But I need to get used to the idea first. Can you not push me on this and give me the time that I need to make the right decision?"
He was silent for a moment but nodded and stood up from the bed. I took his hand and squeezed it in silent thanks even though he was only begrudgingly on board with my decision.
"I'm gonna go say goodbye to your parents then head home, okay?"
He didn't answer, just gave me a caveman grunt but disappeared out the front door with my keys. After saying good night to his parents and gathering my things, I met him outside where he had started my car for me and warmed it up for me.
I stopped and smiled for a second at the sight of him looking grumpy with his hands shoved in his pockets. "Car is warm" he said handing me my keys. I gave him a long, hard kiss in appreciation and it quickly turned urgent. I backed off and gave him one last lingering kiss.
"See you tomorrow at some point?"
"Yeah, will you come to game?" I nodded even though technically I had to be there anyway for the home game. He was still angry at me and I knew that I wouldn't be able to snap him out of it unless I gave him the answer he wanted me to give him. Since I wasn't going to do that until I had more time to think, I got in and drove away knowing that I had done the right thing for both of us.