After not writing in forever... here is a new post! My only excuse is that I'm now in Grad School and I don't have a life anymore and it doesn't exactly leave me time for writing. But one of my New Year's resolutions was to finish this story. So hopefully I can get there and finish this up! This is sort of a transition chapter because I had to go back and re-read parts of my own story to remember what I had been planning.
As always, thank you for still reading this!
I woke up the following morning feeling achy but sated. One arm was tingling beneath the weight of Geno's head but I didn't care; not when I was feeling so cozy and at peace tucked against his side. In my previous relationships, the start and end of the honeymoon period passed before I even noticed what had happened. What amazed me now was that I didn't feel like a honeymoon period ever happened in this relationship and to me, that was perfect. In place of the honeymoon, it felt like Geno and I had seamlessly slid into something complicated but real. It was so real that it was enough to cause varying levels of fear and joy in me every single day.
Geno's sudden yawn and readjustment of his leg over my hip stirred me from my daydreaming. Not that I minded being his person version of a body pillow.
"What time?" he mumbled sleepily. I tried to lift my head to see the bedside clock but couldn't see beyond his head or the pillow beneath it.
"I don't know. I can't see past your big head." My comment was made teasingly and he instantly picked up the baton and ran with my invitation to banter. My giggling was suddenly muffled as he rolled his body over mine and pressed me further into the mattress.
"See now?" he said grinning down into my face. Before I could respond, he began to kiss along my eyebrows and nose, distracting me even more from our objective.
"Geno, we can't" I half-smiled and whined, instantly picking up on what he wanted to do. It was as if my body had a siren for when he wanted to get frisky and my bells were ringing at full alarm.
"What?" he replied innocently even as his hand was creeping halfway up my t-shirt.
"You have a game tonight and I need to get to my office."
"We have time." I laughed knowing that we probably didn't have time and that this was his last ditch effort to get some in the morning. He may not have been a believer in the 'no-sex before a game' rule but I was and I certainly wasn't about to be responsible for his poor performance in a game. Unfortunately my next refusal was blocked by his exploration of my weak spot on my neck.
"Not fair" I mumbled even as my traitorous body moved to better serve his lips.
I was re-considering the amount of time we had when I heard a few quiet knocks on our door. "Oh my god, someone's at the door." With a strength I didn't know I had, I managed to shove Geno off of me and scrambled to right the t-shirt I was wearing.
Geno called out in Russian and suddenly the door opened revealing a smiling Mrs. Malkin. When she called out cheerfully in Russian, Geno translated for me.
"She say 'good morning.'"
"Morning" I called out in response even though I was dying of embarrassment. Apparently neither of them thought anything of Geno and I in the same bed. I considered myself a modern woman but that didn't mean I was ready for Mrs. Malkin to walk in and make assumptions about what we were or were not doing at night. Geno obviously didn't feel the same way. In his obnoxiously unique way, he yawned and stretched throwing his left arm around me and tugging me into his side.
"She asked if you're still taking her to game tonight."
"Of course" I replied, pausing a moment to allow Geno to translate. The back and forth from English to Russian was starting to mess with my head. Mrs. Malkin could muddle her way through a conversation in English but obviously preferred to speak in her native tongue. For the umpteenth time since last night, I wondered how I was going to survive an entire game's worth of conversation with her tonight.
"Is anyone else sitting with us tonight?" I poked Geno in the side causing him to flinch and rub his side.
"What do you mean?" He retaliated by poking me back in the side.
"I mean, how am I going to talk to your Mom all night? And where are we sitting?"
"Nervous?" He asked grinning. In a playful move, he pushed me back against the pillows again and swung a leg over my legs holding me in place beneath him.
"Of course I'm nervous! What if we have nothing to talk about? What if we can't talk at all!"
Geno interrupted my tirade with laughter and placed a kiss on my cheek. "You be fine, just talk about me and my goals."
"You're not that great" I teased linking my arms around his broad shoulders and sighing. Even though I was beyond nervous to sit with his Mom at the game, Geno had this way of eliminating my doubts and making them seem foolish. Maybe it was because his thick accent still made me thiInk of him as a Cold War spy. Or maybe it was because I was obsessed with his big broad shoulders and couldn't get enough of the cute shrugging thing he did when giving interviews. I was never going to advise him to stop doing that in interviews.
"You thought I was great last night" he grinned gently rubbing his hips against mine and looking smug. "How many times did I hear you yell it last night?"
His reminder was enough to light my face on fire and make me burrow against his neck. "I'm still embarrassed about that. Do you think we can have sex at my apartment from now on?"
"What?" Geno looked at me like everything he ever said always made sense. "They know we have sex."
He wasn't helping the situation and I tried to muscle him off of me so I could finally go shower. Leaving him laughing in bed, I flipped him off while dragging my tired body into the bathroom for my normal routine. There was something so wrong about having to go to work on a Sunday but then again, nothing was conventional about the hockey world. Players, staff members and families all had to endure the stress and long hours of a full season and if they were lucky, the post-season. By the time that I was showered, spritzed and dressed, I was already thumbing through the emails on my phone and debating whether or not to offer Crosby up as interview bait that night. The game was being broadcast on NBC that night and all of the players hated having to do interviews with national broadcasters. Since Crosby was the most seasoned interviewee out of all of the players, he was the usual sacrificed player; plus he was who the nation wanted to hear talk. At the same time, it was good to give other less-known players some exposure. I was still considering my options when Geno poked his head through the bathroom door.
"Hey" Geno greeted interrupting my debate. "Ride with me to the rink?"
I nodded distractedly still mulling over my interview plans for the day. The team was playing Boston and both teams would have a huge number of fans watching at home.
"What wrong?" Geno asked following me downstairs and into the kitchen. We both paused to greet his Mom and remind her of the plans for the night. To save me the trouble of leaving the arena, picking her up and battling through traffic back to the arena, Geno had arranged for a car service to pick her up and bring her to the Consol.
"Nothing" I replied, leaning around him to pop an english muffin into the toaster. It was quiet for a moment while we listened to the soft ticking of the toaster and the sounds of his parents moving around upstairs. My phone buzzed twice indicating that I had a new text message- probably from someone at the office.
My muffin sprang up indicating that it was done but Geno grabbed it before I could put it on a plate.
"Thanks" he grinned slathering peanut butter and jelly on two sides before unceremoniously smushing the muffin together.The fact that he knew that was my favorite only made me more indignant.
"That's mine!" I said trying to grab it out of his hands. Geno easily had a foot on me in height without my heels and I jumped up trying to reach the muffin that he was now dangling over my head."You're such a bully" I said now glaring into his gleeful face. He obviously found this funnier than I did.
"You want some?" he taunted, obviously trying to get even more of a rise out of me. Unfortunately, I didn't recognize the look in his eye and soon found my mouth full of english muffin before I could think about what he was up to.
He burst out laughing at the horrified expression on my face as I tried to chew and swallow the sticky mass of peanut butter and jelly in my mouth. "You're mean" I accused him as soon as I could talk again. I tried to formulate the words necessary to communicate "screw you" but my mouth was too full of sticky peanut butter.
"Baby" he taunted pulling me into his arms. He pulled me up on my toes for a kiss and that's how his Mom found us a minute later, still liplocked and tasting each others' breakfast. She smiled brightly at us and for the second time that morning I was embarrassed about the amount of intimacy his parents were witnessing.
The level of intimacy in our relationship was still something I was adjusting to in general. No one would guess that the 6'4" lanky man in front of me was capable of so much affection on a daily basis but he was easily the most open and affectionate man I had ever known or dated. In the beginning of our relationship I could remember almost flinching when he casually touched me or brushed a lock of stray hair from my face. Now it felt weird for him to not be around and doing those things. Even though the dynamic of our relationship had clearly changed and me along with it, I still wasn't sure how to interact with him in front of other people- whether it was his friends or his parents. That was one of the many reasons I was so nervous to sit with his family again tonight. By sitting in the friends and family section with his Mom, we were making a very public declaration in front of a crowd of (most likely) curious strangers and in front of members of the Penguins organization who also expected Geno and I to maintain a level of professionalism. It almost felt like I would be wearing three different hats at the game: Pens employee, supportive girlfriend and woman trying to impress her boyfriend's Mom.
"Hey" Geno spoke interrupting my racing mind. "Stop thinking so much, just go to game, enjoy and cheer for me."
I smirked in response to his 'cheering' comment. "So you think you're going to play well, huh?"
He tipped my chin up and gave me the cocky look that sent shivers up my spine. "Of course. You there, family there. Tonight will be good."
I laughed at how he was able to simplify a situation that I found to be so stressful and complex. "Just don't go picking a fight with Chara. I don't want to watch a giant pick on my boyfriend."
He laughed outright at that and pulled me against him. "But you could be nurse after game" he said wiggling his eyebrows and sliding his big palm over my butt making me blush and laugh. I glanced over at his Mom who had her back to us and was humming as she dug around the refrigerator.
"Thank god your Mom doesn't understand everything that you say."