Disclaimer: I do not own the Mighty Ducks.
AN: This chapter contains a smidge lemon.
Charlie had spent most of Saturday touring the city with Robert. It turns out that Robert wasn't such a bad guy. He was a history teacher at a middle school in the Bronx. He modeled so that he would have money to send back to England for his family. Connie was always careful to only hire him for weekend shoots and shows unless it was absolutely necessary. Robert wasn't that different than he was, if you looked passed the fact that he liked boys.
Connie took Charlie out to dinner at Tavern on the Green that night and they talked until a waiter came to tell them that they would be closing soon. In the cab, she slipped a hand onto his leg rubbing him through his pants. He looked towards her and made out the outlines of an evil smirk as they passed under a street light. He was not going to take that and not retaliate.
He placed a hand on her thigh, pushing her legs apart gently before his hand disappeared up her skirt. Her breath hitched when he pushed aside her underwear to slip a finger into her folds. She fumbled with his belt buckle but they pulled up in front of her building before she could undo his pants.
Charlie led them to the elevator and waited until the elevator closed to reach behind him to push the stop button. Connie put a hand on his arm to stop him, shaking her head no.
"I can wait," she said breathlessly.
She stood in front of him to hide his erection from anyone who might happen to be in the hall. Once in her apartment he claimed that he needed a shower and asked her if she wanted to join him.
"You go ahead. I'm going to change out of these clothes. I swear I can still smell cigarette smoke on me," she said, scrunching her nose in disgust.
"A shower would help," he said enticingly.
"Nice try, but these walls are paper thin just like the ones in the janitor's closet. I wouldn't care if my neighbor on the other side of my bathroom wasn't an eighty year old man who likes to complain if I make the slightest sound."
Charlie took the fastest shower he had ever taken, not bothering with a towel because it would just be one more thing that would need to be pulled off. He stopped in the entryway to Connie's bedroom to see her asleep on top of the blanket in a sexy white cami and thong set. He didn't have the heart to wake since he knew that she'd had a long day and he that she would probably bitch him out if he woke her up.
He pulled on a pair of boxers before pulling a blanket down from the top of her closet. He got into bed before pulling the blanket over them. Connie rolled over to face him and he draped an arm over her hip. He drifted off to sleep to the sounds of traffic and the voices of people out enjoying the nightlife.
There are some perks to having the kids stay with Adam. Julie thought to herself. One, counted out in her head was that they got to spend time with their dad and their grandmother, but this weekend it would be their granddad. She didn't know how she felt about that. Tuck Banks wasn't high on her list of favorite people and she knew that she wasn't liked by him either. They had clashed since she was a teenager over everything from the way he treated his family to his nonexistent role in his family's life.
The second thing that was good about the kids spending time with Adam was more selfish than she cared to admit. With the kids gone she got a lot more work done and was able to unwind in ways that she couldn't when they were around. She not only had a little time to herself but she had time to think and clear her head.
She loved Peyton and Nathan but she needed the time alone to decompress even if she did miss them. She would wait by the window waiting for Adam to pull into the driveway and would welcome Peyton with welcome arms when she came running towards her. She would hold her little boy to her taking in his distinctive baby smell with a sentimental smile while his sister told her excitedly about what they had done with their dad.
They wouldn't be home for a few more days and she was at a loss as to what to do with her time. It was the first weekend that she'd had free in over a month. Usually she would go to mass and then she would spend the rest of the day running errands. She had chosen to sleep in telling herself that she would take the kids to Saturday and Sunday mass to make up for it next weekend. There were no errands to run, no trip to the grocery store since she had a few frozen dinners in the freezer
She could call Sara and see if she wanted to do anything. Fulton was probably still at hockey practice because Charlie had called and asked him to fill in for him. She could call her mom for her weekly call, but she usually did that after Sunday mass. She looked up at the clock with an exaggerated roll of her eyes. It was six o' clock on a Saturday and she had absolutely no plans. She was pathetic. She stood from the couch and made her way to the kitchen to grab her phone from its charger.
She scrolled through her contact list in dismay as she mentally checked off each person. They either had plans of their own or they weren't worthy of her time. She paused, taking a second as she stopped at a name. She pressed send without thinking twice.
"Hello?" Portman answered on the first ring.
"Hey," she said listlessly.
"You sound as bored as I do," he said with a grunt.
"Do you want to do something?" she asked hopefully.
"Can't, I'm stuck at work," he said with a sigh.
"Ugh, you suck!" she said with a growl.
"Trust me; I would rather be anywhere but here."
"How much longer should you be?"
"I'm gonna be here all night. I've got a lot of search and discovery work ahead of me."
"You can't take an hour to have dinner with me?"
"Tell you what. If you'll bring dinner here I'd be willing to take a break."
"I'll be there in half an hour."
She turned off her phone, slipping it into her bag along with her wallet and keys. She was out the door thirty seconds later, not bothering to turn out the lights that she had left on in the living room and kitchen. The last talk that she'd had with Sara ran through her head as she drove. She pushed it to the back of her mind with an aggressive growl. She was not going to think about that right now. She and Portman were adults. Two adults could be friends without romantic trappings getting in the way couldn't they?
Connie woke up to an empty bed on Sunday morning. She knew that she needed to talk to Charlie before he left but she was afraid of his reaction. She acted without thinking for the first time in years and now she was regretting it. She needed to be honest with him, it wouldn't be so bad.
She smelled coffee mixed with cinnamon and apples from the kitchen. She pulled herself out of bed, grabbing her bathrobe before leaving the room. She tied the robe as she made her way down the hall to the kitchen. Charlie was leaning over the oven when she came to stand in the archway of the kitchen.
"What are you doing?"
"I went out and got breakfast. You still like apple popovers, right?"
"Yeah," she said with a nod.
She shuffled to the coffee pot, her eyes bleary as she poured herself a cup. She shoved her hair out of her eyes before turning to face him.
"Did you sleep okay?" he asked as he brushed butter over the popovers.
"I did. I'm sorry about last night, I was exhausted," she said with a sheepish smile.
"I came here to spend time with you and that's what we did. No apologies needed," he said honestly.
"What time is your flight?"
"Not until three."
"I have to be honest with you. I wasn't exactly honest when I said that okay with our situation," she said cautiously.
"What's going on?" he asked in concern.
"It's not that I don't have feelings for you because I do. I've never been in a long distance relationship before and I'm scared," she said hurriedly.
"Cons, it's okay that you're scared. I'm scared too, but I am willing to work through it because I feel that you're worth it."
"You are too, but you've been through this before. I want to be strong for you but I don't think I can. I won't have you here to hold me if something is wrong, I won't have you here to vent to when one of my shows or shoots goes to shit. I am going to need you and yet you won't be here," she said pleadingly.
"I don't want you to change for me. I know that you'll need me just like I'll need you. Connie if I could pack up and move here I would. The school year is only half over and I have a contract with them for the next two years," he explained.
"I understand. If you don't want to be with me, I understand," she said quietly.
"I did not say that," he said crossing the short distance to her.
He wrapped his arms around her, holding her tightly as she breathed deeply to keep her emotions in check. He rubbed her back soothingly wanting to assuage her fears. He didn't know what had come over her but he was glad that she had been honest with him. He knew that things weren't going to be easy but he was willing to fight for her.
Julie stood outside Portman's office building waiting for someone to let her in. She'd had to press the buzzer four times before someone finally answered. A janitor who had probably been around when Jesus was alive slowly pushed a cart across the lobby. Julie rapped on the door to get his attention and his head jerked up in surprise. He hobbled to the door to open it just enough to stick his head out.
"We're closed, come back tomorrow morning at seven," he said politely.
"I'm here to see someone who works in the building, they're expecting me," she explained.
"No lawyer in this building receives clients after hours Miss," The man said sternly.
"She's not a client Earl," Portman said from somewhere in the lobby.
He came around a corner as Earl let Julie in. She gave Earl a thankful smile before he pushed his cart into one of the bathrooms. Her eyes met Portman's and she held up the bag of Chinese takeout that she held in one hand while her other balanced a drink holder.
Portman took them both from her then led the way to the elevator. He was silent until they were inside his office with the door shut.
"Sorry I couldn't come down sooner. How long had you been down there?"
"Almost ten minutes. Some guy finally answered the intercom and said he'd send someone to let me in."
"You brought Chinese, you are officially my favorite person," he said endearingly.
"I've always been your favorite person," she teased.
"True," he said opening a carton of sweet and sour chicken.
Julie handed him the cup of sauce along with a pair of chopsticks before opening her steamed chicken and broccoli.
"Since when do you eat that?" he asked in between mouthfuls.
"Since I'm not a teenager anymore, I'm still trying to lose the last little bit of weight that I gained when I had Nate."
"How are the kids doing?"
"They're good, Adam called last night and I got to talk to them. Tuck's girlfriend wants Peyton to call her Mammaw," she said with an eye roll.
"What do you have to say about that?"
"Luckily I don't have to say anything. Adam set the girl straight."
"'Girl'?" Portman asked with an amused grin.
"All Adam would say is that she's younger than we are," she said with a tight lipped smile.
"If I were Adam I would have smacked her teeth down her throat."
"That would have gone over really well," she said exaggeratingly.
Portman shrugged as he continued to eat. Julie smiled, glad that Portman was on her side. He always had been she had just forgotten about him for a while. She wasn't going to make the same mistake again.
"How have you been?" he asked to break the silence.
"Busy but good, today's the first day that I haven't had anything to do in a month. I was going stark raving mad just staring at the paint peel on my living room wall. Which reminds me, I need to do something about that," she said with a sigh.
"I can take care of it if you want," he offered.
"I can paint my own living room, but thank you for offering," she said with a shake of her head.
"Is it so hard to accept help from someone?" he asked.
"I'm not used to people offering to help," she murmured.
"You don't have to do everything on your own," he said in concern.
"I'm used to it. You're the first person other than Connie who has helped me in the past year and a half. The last guy I trusted left me, give me some credit Dean," she said sadly.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have pushed you," he said apologetically.
"I'm sorry too. You were just trying to help."
Silence fell over them once more but the tension was still there. Julie wished that she hadn't brought up Adam but she couldn't take it back now. Portman was nothing like Adam and she had no right to compare them. She felt guilty but she knew that at least for now that Adam would be the white elephant that followed her and Portman wherever they went.
Guy had asked no questions when Charlie came home that night. He gave him his space while he called Connie to let him know that he had gotten home and he hadn't raised an eyebrow when he'd had to spend half an hour trying to persuade Connie to hang up the phone for over an hour because he had to be up early the next morning.
Charlie had finally hung up the phone just before eleven. He was mentally and physically drained. He had been lucky to have been able to talk her into letting him leave. This wasn't a side of Connie that he was used to seeing. He wished that there were something that he could do.
"So, what did you do this weekend?" Guy asked from his bedroom door.
"Not a lot, I went and saw Gordon," Charlie said with a shrug.
"How's he doing?"
"He's doing a lot better," he said with a nod.
Gordon had been in an accident a month ago so Guy would have no problem believing that Charlie had made the two hour trek to see him. Guy nodded before pushing away from the door.
"Hey Guy?" Charlie called.
"Charlie?" he asked from his room.
"What did you do this weekend?"
"I didn't do a whole lot. I went out on a date last night and I helped Fulton out with the game tonight," he said as he stood at Charlie's door once more.
"Who's the lucky girl?"
"Somebody we went to grade and middle school with, you probably wouldn't remember her," he said with a nervous smile.
"Bring her by and then I can get to know her."
"Maybe," he said with a nod.
Guy walked back to his room and Charlie turned out his light before settling into bed. He would probably be up half the night worrying about Connie. If things got worse he would call Julie and get her opinion. He just hoped that things didn't come to that.