4 years ago
Saturday, December 18, 2010
“I’m bored!” Mike sighed. They had a morning skate and the rest of the day free. Mike usually spent these days playing video games or hanging out, but today he felt keyed up.
“I’m working! But if you want, you can come to Bon Jovi tonight.”
“Errr, not really my music scene. Sorry,” he imagine himself in 1988, surrounded by stonewashed denim. How badly do I want to sleep with her? he asked himself. But she’d never fall for it. “Drink after?”
“Ten thirty at Parkers.”
Halley walked the arena floor, checking on the seating layouts and staging components and meeting the fire marshal to make sure the exit lanes were wide enough. She was overseeing the last batch of folding chairs being loaded in from the belly of the arena when a yellow cart pulled up beside her.
“Want a ride?” Alex asked.
Halley raised her eyebrows. “Didn’t you almost crash yourself and Mike into a gate on this thing?”
“Very safe now, have drivers’ license,” he slapped the seat next to him. She knew he and Mike were good friends, and she didn’t want to be uncomfortable around him. She tried to shake the feeling she’d gotten in the bar, like he was sizing her up. Like he was ogling her. Instead he seemed cheerful so she climbed on. He took her all around the underground parts of the Verizon Center, waving to everyone and yelling “beep beep!” He made himself laugh and that made Halley laugh. Finally Alex returned to the show floor and did a lap around the whole stage. It was actually a good way to check that the layout matched their specs.
“You work tonight?”
“Yeah, Bon Jovi at 8.”
“Can I come?”
Halley turned to full face him, checking for the slightly lecherous expression from the bar. It was not there. “You like Bon Jovi?” She’d figured Alex for a Metallica/Pantera guy like Mike, or maybe some Russian rock stuff.
“Don’t think so. But I like concerts. I bring you dinner before.” He didn’t wait for her consent, just drove off.
Arrogant, she thought. But I guess that’s done.
At 6 PM, Alex turned up in Halley’s section of the front office with a bag of Italian takeout and two ice teas. She thought people had stared when Mike visited, but this was like a traffic jam of bodies coming by while they ate in a conference room. Alex ignored them and told her embarrassing stories about Mike from the last four seasons, which she filed away for future ammunition. Her job tonight really involved making sure everything went according to plan. If it did, she wouldn’t have much to do.
He helped her carry a crate of headsets down to the security crew. When they got to the show floor, she pulled an All Access sticker from her pocket.
“You need this,” she said, but his hands were full. She’d put her sticker on her thigh, where she always wore it. Alex saw and stuck his thigh out. As Halley peeled the back she was already thinking that touching his thigh was awkward. Despite herself she nearly gasped when she did it – now she knew where he packed the 30+ pounds he had over Mike. His leg was rock hard. Alex simply smiled and kept going.
By the time they reached the main security station, at least as many people were staring as had watched them eat dinner. Alex introduced himself to everyone, being really friendly and cracking jokes. A couple of the guys gave Halley sideways glances – what are you doing here with him? Ovi was a known showman and hamming it up around the arena was nothing new. She hoped. When people told this story, she didn’t want to be included.
They finished the last checks before doors were set to open, so Halley led Alex up to the Verizon box where they’d be watching the show. A lot of her co-workers were there, since Bon Jovi was a pretty big draw, but most of them had seen Alex in the office and expected him to be here too. They grabbed beers and sat in the first row of box seats.
“You like Bon Jovi?” Alex asked.
“Yeah, I guess. Sold out this place in about ten minutes,” Halley said. “Are concerts here like concerts in Russia?”
“Yeah, is the same. That’s why I like them.”
The luxury box seats were comfortable, but Alex’s body took up 99% of the available space. Halley felt small next to him. They talked about Russia, music, all kinds of things, but no hockey. It was half an hour before she even realized that. Still, he was a little cocky – when he made a joke, he wanted everyone to hear him. He insisted on getting up for the next round, winding obviously through the crowd like he craved the attention. But he did make Halley laugh and to her surprise she enjoyed hanging out with him. Co-workers kept stealing glances at her and she’d have been lying if that didn’t make her feel a little special.
By the time the opening act was off-stage, the Verizon box was very full. Halley wanted to stand for the show but she would be blocking everyone’s view.
“I have an idea,” she told Alex. They each grabbed two beers and Halley walked them around the suite level to the press box. It was deserted – any of the music press were down in the crowd to review the show. Sometimes the staff hung out in here, but it seemed tonight like everyone wanted to be near the free food and drinks. They went into the announcer’s booth and slid open the windows just as the band came on stage. Their view was perfect – high, but live broadcast screens made up for that. Alex laughed at Halley’s dancing, but soon he was tapping along with the music. She sang along too, until she realized that her voice was loud in the empty space.
“Good singing,” Alex rolled his eyes. But he knew the words to some of the choruses of the 80s hits, and they belted out the well-known parts while Halley settled for lip-synching the rest. “I’ll Be There For You” started and Alex swung Halley around into a dance. He made her stand on his feet and they waltzed exaggeratedly around the press box. At the end, he dipped her like Fred Astaire.
He pulled her to her feet with ease. The music was over, replaced with a screaming crowd, and Halley was a few short inches from Alex’s chest with his burly arm still around her waist. Suddenly it was warm and almost claustrophobic. She tried to step back, but Alex didn’t let go. He knew how to use his size to his advantage.
“Mike is nice to you?” he asked. She was afraid to look up at him – there was no doubt in her mind that he would kiss her. She started to panic and her first thought wasn’t even of Mike. They were alone in a closed room. If Alex wanted to… he wouldn’t take something from her, but he might expect it to be given. After all, she’d brought him in here. He was Alex Ovechkin and she was just some girl who liked hockey and laughed at his jokes. God knew what he was used to getting from girls like that.
For fuck’s sake, I can’t even have fun with someone, she thought. These guys are all the same.
“He is,” she kept her face down. “Mike is nice. ”
Alex let go, if a little slowly. “Make sure he stay nice to you.”
He turned back to the show, bobbing his head like nothing had happened. Halley stood very still and thought about what he hadn’t said. Did he mean ‘Make sure Mike’s nice to you or I’ll kill him’ or ‘Make sure Mike’s nice to you or I will be’? Alex opened the second round of beers and handed one to her. She didn’t look at his face.
“Halley,” he said, still pronouncing it strangely. “Do I scare you?”
Her heart went quiet for a moment. “A little.”
“I would not hurt you,” Alex said.
She met his eyes. “I know. But the way you were looking at me at the bar…”
He wasn’t looking at her like that now. There had been lust in his eyes then, a little bit of possession as if he were sizing her up. Now his gaze was more frank, like he thought he’d figured her out. “I have lot of girlfriends, from what Mike say I don’t think you like to be one of them,” he caught himself. “I mean, I don’t think you like guy like me.”
Is this for real? She wondered if he was fishing for her to disagree with him, cutting himself down so she’d want to build him up or if he was really just honest. Because he was right.
“I…,” she didn’t know what to say. This was Ovi. Women wanted him and men wanted to be him.
“Is okay, Halley. I like to have more friends too. Maybe you change mind later.”
He didn’t touch her for the rest of the concert, just enjoyed the music but it took a few songs for her to relax. It helped when they played “Living on a Prayer” and they both sang along, breaking the tension a little and letting them have fun. After two encores, they took the elevator downstairs to check on the load-out for the show. It was technically someone else’s responsibility, so Halley just made sure it was handled.
“I’m meeting Mike at 10:30 at Parkers. Do you want to come?”
This is weird, she knew. I’m bringing a guy who just made a pass at me on what’s probably a date. With his friend. At best Alex would be a third wheel. But she had to invite him, since he was right there and she didn’t want to be rude. It looked like they’d be spending more time together because of Mike and Halley didn’t want this hanging over her head. Plus if he saw her with Mike, maybe he'd get a clearer idea of what was going on here.
Alex parked next to Halley at the bar. She’d had a long day of everyone turning to see Ovi, and seeing her with him. Mike was already there, at a table in the back. He’d ordered her a drink which sat condensing on the dark wood.
“Hey… Hey Ovi,” Mike said, remembering just a shade too late to smile. What the hell?
“Hi,” Halley felt grateful to see him, like he was home base in a game of tag and now no one could chase her anymore. She kissed him on the cheek, getting a surprised look.
Alex gave Mike a slap on the shoulder. “You miss good show! I go to bar.”
“You took Alex to the concert?”
Halley dropped into a chair and reached for her beer. “Saw him on the show floor and he asked if he could come. Of course you guys can always come, so he helped me with some stuff then we watched the show.” Mike looked skeptical, like a little kid who thinks he’s being lied to. “He kind of invited himself and I couldn’t say no. Plus, I was alone.”
“With twenty coworkers,” Mike pointed out.
“Yes. But I did ask you.” She didn’t like where this was going, like she’d solicited the date with Alex the minute Mike was gone. A glance toward the bar revealed that Alex was already working on a new date – two in fact, a matching set of blondes. “And Alex is more into that,” she nodded toward him buying a round for the girls, “than me. Plus, remember when I thought you were too flashy?”
Mike half-smiled into his drink. “Yeah, but I’m getting there. Maybe just not as fast as some other people.” They looked over to where Ovi already had his hand in one girls’ back pocket.
She kissed him on the mouth, both because she wanted to and because she wanted Alex to see. “You might be closer than you think.”
“On the road again,” Mike said. “We’ll be back late on the 10th. Off day on the 11th, want to do something?” The Caps started their season with a 2 game road trip and he was on his way to the bus. He’d gotten a pretty epic goodbye kiss the night before, but Halley was still holding back a little.
“Yeah, I do,” Halley was on her couch, feet propped up with a smile on her face. She knew something that Mike didn’t know. He promised to call her from the road and disconnected.
Halley watched the games at work – the Caps had strong early-season chemistry and they won two solid victories. Mike was in good spirits when they talked the night before he was due back. “How about we go to Six Flags, it’s their last weekend. Then I’ll take you to dinner?”
Two days later, he rang the bell at her apartment and to his surprise, she buzzed him in. He wound his way up the stairs and went in the open door. She was in the kitchen, moving around. The place was small but cozy, with pictures and books and stuff everywhere.
“Hey,” he said. It was a warm fall day, so he wore jeans, flip flops and a t-shirt with a button-down open over it. Sunglasses rested in his hair. Halley closed and locked the dishwasher door.
“Welcome back!” She gave him a kiss and Mike’s arms went around her slender middle. As his tongue slipped past her lips, he suddenly thought the theme park sounded like a terrible idea. She wore jeans, Converse sneakers and a green tank top with thin straps. He ran his palms over her shoulders and upper arms, feeling the silky smoothness of her skin.
“We could stay here,” he said in a low voice, fingers twisting in the strap of her top.
“It’s like the last day of summer, we can’t miss it!” she squealed. Oh yes we can, Mike thought.
They drove half an hour, parked and made it through the gates by lunchtime. The season had definitely tapered off, leaving only short lines for the rides. They hit the first few roller coasters and Mike watched Halley close her eyes through the entire rides. She put her hands over her head, hair blowing around and just screamed. On the wooden roller coaster, every turn knocked Halley into Mike with sufficient force to make him grunt. When the attendant asked if they wanted to go again, Mike said yes. Then he put his arm around her shoulders, holding her close, before takeoff. Halley didn’t mind.
After a carnival lunch of chicken sandwiches and funnel cake, Halley made them do the teacups and the funhouse, then Mike insisted on doing all the big roller coasters at least twice. It was even warm enough for the water ride, and Mike appreciated how it made Halley’s shirt stick to her skin even if it gave him soggy jeans. By five o’clock, thanks to the empty park, they’d done every ride three times and were a little dizzy.
“Dinner?” Mike suggested. He drove back into the city to an Italian place he knew. The food was amazing and it was casual enough for amusement park clothes. Halley finger-combed her hair, pulling it around her shoulders. At the restaurant, the waiter poured two glasses of red wine and Halley raised hers in a toast.
“Happy early birthday,” she said.
Mike smiled hugely, “How did you know that?”
“It’s the day after mine.”
It took Mike a second. He almost started talking about something else then his brain did the math on what she’d said. “Wait, your birthday is today?” Halley nodded over the rim of her glass. “All day it’s been your birthday and you didn’t tell me?!”
She just grinned at him. “I had a great birthday.”
“But that can’t be it, I didn’t even know! I would’ve made you wear a stupid hat and have the whole park sing to you. I would have at least let you eat all the funnel cake. Halley, why didn’t you tell me?”
“We’ve known each other for like three weeks. I wouldn’t expect you to make a big deal out of it. I went out last night with some friends.”
Mike already had his phone out and was typing away. “Oh, it’s a big deal.”
Throughout dinner, Mike gave her a hard time for not telling him. Halley was fine with the teasing because she’d had a really fun day just hanging out with Mike. He didn’t try to show off or impress her for her birthday, he didn’t buy her a present or do anything special. They just had fun. Then dessert came out, a huge piece of chocolate cake with a candle in it, and the entire place sang Happy Birthday. Mike hadn’t left the table.
“How did you do that?” she asked with a mouthful of frosting.
“Who do you think I was texting?”
Mike drove through town to an Irish bar and parked around the corner. It was hoping for a Sunday night, prompted by the warm weather. He held the heavy oak door for her and she ducked under his arm.
She gave a short, startled scream. Brooks jumped out from an alcove, nearly crashing into her. Five or six of the other guys were there – all people she’d met at the bar and grill. Backstrom’s girlfriend Anya even had a bouquet of flowers that she presented to Halley with a big hug. Someone handed her a drink, then a hand tapped her shoulder.
“This is Amanda,” Brooks said, a blonde girl under his arm. “And she got the good stuff!”
Amanda dropped a paper shopping bag onto the table and dug out pointed paper birthday hats and a bag of noisemakers, along with a dozen cupcakes and some candles. Everyone made a big deal about getting ready, so that when Halley was finally holding a cupcake with a lit candle, they were all wearing hats and singing at the top of their lungs. With the big finale of kazoos, she blew out her candle to wild applause.
“You guys are crazy!” she laughed, licking frosting from her fingers. Mike was right next to her. “Thanks Mike. This is awesome.”
“Imagine what I could have done if you’d told me yesterday!” He kissed her on the mouth, which got another round of whoops and hollers.
Halley snuck a look at her watch – 10:30 PM. She excused herself to the bathroom, but instead ducked into the server’s station. After a brief talk with their waitress, she handed over her credit card and pulled out the extra candle she’d swiped from Anya’s pack. The kitchen would be closed by midnight, but Halley would be ready before.
They drank and danced, Halley discreetly keeping track of the time. She planned to head back at 11:50 PM to make sure Mike’s cake was ready and Anya had been spreading the word that Round 2 was coming soon. At 11:45 PM, Alex arrived.
She hadn’t seen him since the concert, when he’d probably possibly been about to kiss her. He’d left the bar afterward with the two blondes he picked up, telling Halley and Mike to have fun without him. Now his face was smiling but his eyes said nothing.
“Happy birthday, Halley,” he said, holding out a box wrapped in white paper.
“What the hell?” she cleared space on their table. It wasn’t heavy, but square and flat. And big. She looked at Mike, who just shrugged. She tore off the paper, pulled up the lid and there it was: a red Mike Green #52 jersey. “Thank you!” She forgot their strange encounter and threw her arms around him.
Alex was gigantic in her arms. Mike was a pretty big guy, but Alex felt like a bear in comparison. He hugged her tightly, pressing her body along the length of his. The instant she felt it, it was over. Goddamn it, she thought, then forced it from her mind. It was almost show time. She unpacked the jersey and hung it on the back of a chair, then signaled for Anya to distract Mike. She suddenly found his tattoo really interested and started pushing up the sleeve of his t-shirt as Halley grabbed the jersey and ducked away.
In the kitchen, the waitress was waiting for her. Halley had bought the only whole cake they had – Snickers ice cream pie. The one candle looked kind of sad, but she couldn’t take the whole box without being obvious so it would have to do. Halley checked her watch – exactly midnight - put the jersey on, and lit the candle. The waitress followed with plates and forks. As soon as the kitchen door opened, Anya started singing at the top of her lungs.
Everyone turned to see Halley carrying the cake, wearing Mike’s jersey. They all joined in the song as Mike’s face turned bright red. On the turn of his 24th birthday, he looked about 5 years old. She stopped right in front of him, cake held up.
“I was hoping you’d jump out of a cake wearing only that,” he said. Catcalls followed.
“Your birthday is all day long,” she teased. He winked at her before he made a wish.
An hour later, Halley was sitting on Mike’s lap in front of a half-eaten cake. They were too full to be drunk – no amount of celebratory beer could dent the theme park food, dinner and three rounds of dessert they’d tackled in the day. Halley had taken off the jersey and Mike ran his finger under the strap of her tank top. The bar had emptied out considerably.
“Time to go, I think,” Mike said, looking around. He really didn’t want the night to end, didn’t want to be away from her just yet. She stood up in front of him.
“Come on, I’ll follow you home.”
Mike broke every speed limit in DC. Halley even flashed her lights once, telling him to slow down. They wound just outside the city limits and pulled into his driveway. He’d cleaned the place before leaving that morning in hopes that she might come over tonight. They’d been seeing each other for 3 weeks and that was 2 weeks longer than Mike had been made to wait for a woman since joining the League. As much as he hated to admit it, it did make him respect her more. It did make him want it to be perfect, and before the first time he already knew he’d want to see her again. She knows what she’s doing, Mike admitted to himself with no surprise.
Halley walked around his condo like she was going to buy it. One lap around the living room, kitchen and wine room and she declared, “I feel like I’ve been here before. No wonder Cribs wanted this – Mike, this place is amazing.” She wandered down the hallway, helping herself to opening every door and walking right into the master bedroom.
“I found it!” she called from the bathroom.
It had been the designer’s idea and he did like it. Mostly. It was wall to wall reflective paneling with some distortion – a mirror you can’t quite see yourself in – and it was stamped with a pattern that at the time had looked fine. Now it looked a lot like that Double Rainbow video. She stood in there, turning around.
“This is something,” she said. She had her hands on her hips. In the soft light her skin looked tan and a piece of hair lay askew, flopped the wrong way across the part. She was smiling brightly at him like she’d been planning to come here all along.
In one step Mike was in and out of the bathroom, Halley in his arms. Their lips met and all questions were erased as they tripped toward the bed.
“It’s not…,” she said as Mike pulled her shirt over her head, “as neat…,” she lifted his, “as it was on TV.”
The bed was unmade and that nearly unmade Halley. It looked inviting, suggestive; like Mike had just gotten out of bed to fetch her. They were headed right back in. He pulled his tee off then fumbled with the clasp on her bra, scolding himself inside – way to look like a rookie, can’t even get her bra off. When he finally did, they tumbled onto the comforter and landed on their sides. Mike pulled her in close, running a hand over her bare back as he kissed her hard. Halley pushed him onto his back. He tried to pull her down but she resisted.
“Let me look at you,” she smiled. She traced the lines of his tattoo, from the hollow of his collarbone over the curve of his shoulder. He was solid muscle but not chiseled like a model. Her hand glided over his chest, across his stomach and she knew what he was thinking. He was wishing he had a perfect six pack, was more defined. Halley met his eyes. “Jesus, you’re hot.”
Mike had been thinking exactly that Halley assumed. He always wished he looked more like the athletes you see photographed in fashion magazines – Christiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal. A couple hockey players had that physique, but it wasn’t built by their kind of training. It was extra and Mike had never quite gotten there. Her compliment almost made him exhale in relief. He’d been self-conscious about her opinion and busy admiring her body as she leaned over him, topless. Her skin was creamy, her breasts on the small side but full in his hand. One dark beauty mark nestled along the inside of her left breast, just far enough down that he’d never seen it while she was dressed.
“Not as hot as you,” he pulled her down and she gave in.
“Wrong,” she said, resuming their kiss.
The rest of their clothes quickly made a pile on the floor. As Mike stood up to drop his jeans, Halley scooted under the covers and held them open for him. Once he was in she pulled them up and over their heads, like a cocoon. He found her lips in the dark and let his hands travel all over her body. Hers where on his back, his legs and thighs. Finally they were in his lap.
Halley slid her palm slide down his length, the wrapped her fingers around. He moaned softly in pleasure as she stroked him. He pressed a hand between her thighs and dragged one fingertip across her wet cleft. She breathed out as he did it again. Mike rolled till he was on top of her and pushed her knees apart.
“So much for hard to get,” he smiled, positioning himself over her.
“You worked pretty hard to get here,” she conceded. She guided the tip of his cock to the spot.
“Oh God,” Mike groaned as he slowly pushed inside her. It felt like he’d been waiting forever for this but it was still better than anything he had imagined. Halley gasped like she’d been waiting just as long. Mike’s whole body pulsed in appreciation of being held so tightly. She caught his lips in a brief kiss before he began to move. Mike rolled his hips, gently at first, as Halley met his motions with eagerness. They took their time with each other, feeling out the way they fit together.
Halley hooked her foot over Mike’s calf and shifted to the side, catching his weight against her clit with every stroke. He kissed her deeply, rolling his body against just the spot she wanted.
“Mike,” she whispered. His fingers dragged trails of pressure across the softest spots of her body. She plied the curves of his back, the hard planes of his sides where they whittled down toward his waist and over the muscular rise of his ass. She shifted again beneath him and shuddered as a wave of pleasure passed through her.
“Like that?” he asked softly, smiling down at her. He did it again and she pressed her head back, moaning quietly. “I’ll remember.”
It didn’t take long for either of them to start breathing hard. A heavy pool of heat was boiling in Halley’s lower back, stirred every time Mike thrust into her. Their pace was languid but she was getting close to the edge. Her tiny cries of pleasure were like requests and Mike answered every one. He was rock hard, throbbing and his body begged for release. He could only wait so long.
“Let go, baby,” he said.
She did. Halley’s fingers dug into the pale skin of his shoulder blades and she cried out with her face pressed to his neck. Every part of her trembled in concert as the orgasm took the breath from her body. She pulsed hard, muscles rippling down Mike’s length and finally giving him release.
He shuddered, nailing Halley to the mattress with a grunt. All his energy and desire pulsed hot and hard into her sweet, welcoming body. Mike kept moving, draining himself three times. Then his hand brushed a strand of hair that had stuck to her lip.
“Mmmmm,” he sighed, dropping his head against her. She giggled in agreement. “Worth waiting for.”
Posted by juliet falls... at 4:17 PM