C27

The room was dark when he got back from the game. Not even the lamp on his bedside table was lit. He reached across the bed but found only the rumpled comforter and cold sheets. Meagan wasn't there.

With a chuckle, he shucked his jacket and shoes and grabbed a towel from the pile by the en-suite and headed back the way he had come. He crept down the hall in socks. Not that he needed to be quiet, at least not in this part of the house. There was no one to hear him but Meagan but he liked to surprise her.

He had a pretty good idea where to find her. There were only two places she would go when she couldn't sleep; Mario's office or the pool. He knew she wouldn't be in the office. The book she was currently reading was still lying on her bedside table, so he made directly for the pool.

The only lights on were in the hot tub. He could clearly make out her silhouette in the glimmering blue glow of the water. She was resting her head on her forearms on the lip of the tub, the rest of her curves just a shadow below the surface. She was probably asleep.

Sidney stepped into the dark, careful to close the French doors quietly behind him. When she didn't so much as stir, he slipped out of his suit pants, dropping his tie and dress shirt in a heap on the floor and padded silently across the cool pavement.

As he slid into the water behind her, he let his gaze roam over her shoulders, bare because the mass of her dark hair was tied up, held up and away from the nape of her neck by one of those clips that he was always finding around the house. She was kneeling on the submerged bench, her cheek lying on her forearm, snoring softly. Smiling to himself, Sidney gently kissed the curve of her neck, and felt her back rise and fall in a shallow sigh.

"Your back," she mumbled, not turning toward him, not even raising her head to look at the intruder. He chuckled softly, running his hands down to her hips and pulling her back against him. "Mmmm I thought you would be tired," she rocked her ass back against him as he kissed his way first up and then down her neck to her shoulder.

"Never too tired for you," he whispered, his fingers deftly untying the loopy bows at the hips of her bikini bottoms.

"What are you doing?" she squirmed, reaching to still his fingers.

"I scored in the shoot-out, you're supposed to reward me," he whispered in her ear, peeling her fingers away from his and going back to the work of sliding off her bikini bottoms.

"Anyone could walk in," she hissed, craning her neck to look back at him but he only grinned and pressed his lips over hers, or as best as he could from that angle. She struggled, but gave in as he pressed himself, hard and ready, against the small of her back. He could feel the raised scarring of her tattoo under his sensitive skin. He could feel her breath quicken as he slid his hands up to cup her breasts, the water running over her skin, over his fingers as he held her against him. He heard her whisper his name, the urgency in her voice fading as he nudged his way between her thighs.

"God I miss you when I'm not home," he hissed into her ear, desperate to feel the velvet heat of her enveloping him, to hear that little cry she would always emit when he first entered her. He'd been thinking about it, dreaming about it, ever since the end of the game. Having her soft fragrant skin moving over his had been all he'd wanted the moment he'd skated off the ice. She was his solace. She was home.

He slid his hands down into her bikini top, his fingers running over her hard little nipples. Grasping them between his thumb and forefinger, he gave them a tug, relishing her soft cry as she leaned back, her head falling onto his shoulder, the wet tendrils of her hair cool against his shoulders.

That first cry always made him hungry for more. He could never get enough. He lived to score goals, yes, but he also lived to please her and when he slid the length of his cock between her legs and was rewarded by a shudder and a low moan, he found himself grinning. If he never scored another goal he could live so long as he could make this woman moan his name out loud. That alone was food for his soul.

"I love you Mrs. Crosby," he whispered, turning her so that he could sit on the submerged bench and have her astride him. He could never imagine growing tired of having her ride him. Her eyes fluttered open and she smiled down at him.

"Every time someone calls me that, I start looking for your mom," she admitted, lowering her lips and her body down to his. He gasped into her mouth as he slid up into the snug wetness inside of her. He marvelled every time at how well their bodies fit together, convinced that her body was made to fit his.

His hands slid down around her ass, not in any attempt to control the speed of their love making, but just because he could, because he liked to. He could hear the sound of water spilling over the side, but he couldn't think about that. They could clean that up later. All he could think about was the way her slick wet skin felt against his, the way it gleamed in the reflected light, the way her fingers dug into his shoulders.

He was so entranced by the silvery glow of the water trailing over his wife's full breasts that he didn't hear the door to the pool open, didn't hear the slap of bare feet on the concrete. It wasn't until he heard the gasp above them that he realized they were not alone.


She could hear the words 'I'm sorry' and 'we didn't think' over and over again from her husband's mouth and it made Meagan cringe where she stood in the hallway, still dripping, wrapped in a towel, waiting for her turn to be berated by the unhappy parents.

Not that she could blame Nathalie and Mario. Stephanie was at an impressionable age and no matter how they felt about Sidney, when it came right down to it, she and he were really no more than guests in their house. That wasn't the worst part though, Meagan knew and no amount of apologizing to Mario and Nathalie was going to make the lithe dark haired girl feel any better.

The second eldest daughter had a crush on Sidney and who could blame her? To have the pin up boy of the NHL living in your house, taking you to the mall and joining the family for dinner was undoubtedly a very big deal to an impressionable young girl but now that she was growing into a young woman, having Sidney working out in the family gym, usually without a shirt, was doubtless too tempting to ignore.

Sidney, to his credit, was all too aware of the teenager's feelings and even before Meagan pointed it out to him, he had done his best to avoid being alone with the girl or even giving her the faintest of suggestions that he had any interest other than that of an older brother.

As for Meagan, she had recognized the look in the girls' the first time they had met. Of course the steely glare that followed the moon eyed happy girlish grin at seeing Sidney had tipped her off. Though Stephanie obviously viewed her as a threat, Meagan had done her best not to rub the poor girls' nose in it. After all, it hadn't really been that long since she had been the one with an impossible crush. She could well remember making the same moon eyes at a passing senior that wouldn't even notice she was alive.

"Meg, babe?" She looked up into Sidney's hazel eyes and smiled. "You were like a hundred miles away there."

"Sorry...I guess I was trying to block all this out," she sighed, accepting the kiss he pressed to her forehead. "So...my turn?"

"No," Sidney shook his head and turned her to head back down the hall, back to their sanctuary at the other end of the house. "But I think it's time we went back to looking for our own place, don't you?"

"Yeah, but with your schedule...?" she began, linking her arm in his as they climbed the stairs together in the dark.

"I think I'd better make time," he sighed, pushing the door open for them and following her inside. "Now, where were we?" he asked with a cheeky grin, pushing the door shut with his foot as he reached out to tug on her towel.


"Stop dragging your feet. God, I've never met anyone who hates surprises as much as you," he chuckled, trying to direct her forward without moving his hands away from in front of her eyes.

"I don't want to trip," she complained, her hands held defensively in front of her, like she was getting ready to play a game of pin the tail on the donkey, not view a house. Of course she didn't know what Sidney was leading her to, and she'd been blindfolded for the last two blocks of the drive.

"I won't let you trip," he promised, stopping in the middle of the walkway where he thought they she would get the best view of the house he'd brought her to see. Well really it had been on Nathalie's short list for them, but still…. He slid his hands free and leaned in to brush his lips over the shell of her ear. "Open your eyes babe."

He heard her gasp and then felt her hand reach down to clasp his. He waited, his heart beating hard against his ribs as she stood silent before him. He'd taken the risk and put a deposit down as soon as Nathalie had shown him the photographs. He was just hoping that Meagan loved the place as much as he did.

"It's huge," she breathed, turning her quizzical gaze back on him. "Do we need a house that big?" He grinned and kissed her softly on her forehead before steering her towards the double doors at the front of the house.

"Are you kidding? With your family coming to stay and my family coming to stay, we need lots of room," he reached for the bell but the doors swung open before his finger made contact. "Hey Ben," he extended his hand towards Mario's friend who smiled broadly back at them. "This is my fia…no wait, my wife," he corrected himself, sliding his arm possessively around Meagan's waist, "Meagan."

"I'm glad you two could make it. This is a really nice property. There isn't much available in acreages around here. I was stoked when this one came up on the market. I knew this was exactly the kind of place that our local hero should have." Sidney felt Meagan stiffen at his side and he could guess she was bristling at the sales pitch. Giving her hand a squeeze, he gave her what he hoped was a reassuring smile as they followed Ben inside. "It's very private, but you probably caught that on the drive in. You sure you're going to be able to find your way to and from the rink from here Sid?"

"I think so. The nav system got us here so I think we'll be fine," he laughed off the jibe at his lack of directional skills and continued inside. Once in the reception hall he clearly heard Meagan catch her breath. He followed her gaze up the broad curved staircase to the giant velvet Elvis painting and shook his head.

"Obviously that won't be staying," Ben chuckled as he herded them towards the great room, a sunken area overshadowed by a huge stone fireplace and cathedral ceilings. But that wasn't what Sidney wanted Meagan to see. He led her past the leather sofas and what he hoped was a fake bear skin rug on the floor, straight to the French doors that lead to the back of the property. Ben's hand was already on the latch, a bemused smile on his face. At a nod from Sidney he threw the doors open and stepped quickly aside.

"Holy shit," she breathed, reaching for Sidney's hand and squeezing it like her life depended on it. He smiled at her, watching her eyes widen, her mouth falling open in shock as she surveyed their new kingdom. He didn't have to look to know what she was seeing and he'd had a similar reaction to the pictures of the property.

"There's room to build a clinic," he began, leading her to the edge of the terrace where it fell away along a gentle slope and into a set of fenced paddocks. "There's already stables and lots of room for other things but can we not get pigs? I don't think pigs like me," he added, leaning in to brush his lips along her temple. He wasn't sure if she was even hearing him, but he could see the gears turning in her head. She was mapping out the clinic, the barn....

"It's too much," she sighed, turning her wide green eyes to him. He chuckled as he pulled her into the circle of his arms.

"If we start building in the Spring, by the time all your paperwork is cleared up you can start seeing patients right here in your own backyard. Oh, and one more thing," he disentangled himself from her and turned to find Ben waiting with the other part of his surprise, an eight week old Golden Retriever puppy. Ben handed him the squirming honey coloured bundle and he turned to Meagan and waited, expecting her to throw her arms around his neck, to laugh, to jump for joy, but she just looked up at him, her eyes brimming over with tears. "I thought we could name him something like Rufus? I just think maybe Stanley is bad luck and...," she reached up and slid her cool hands along his cheeks and kissed him squarely on the lips. He could taste the salt in her tears, but he could also feel that her full pink lips were curled up into a smile.

"This is so crazy, you know that?" she sniffed, reaching for the warm bundle of fur and tipping him onto his back so that his pink milk tummy was turned up and all four paws wriggle in mid air as if searching for purchase. She held the pup like a baby, in the crook of her arm and made cooing noises at him, before lowering her lips for the dog to lick. She laughed, the sound of Christmas bells filling the air and Sidney felt his heart hammering in his chest again. This woman, he wondered, would he ever feel less than amazed in her presence? "It's perfect," she smiled up at him, her green eyes still misty with tears. "I can already see our daughter running around back here...a pony...some puppies...." She turned her attention back to the paddocks and seemed to be explaining her plans in a hushed voice to the pup in her arms, leaving Sidney standing beside her, blinking with his mouth hanging open in shock.

"Is there...is there something you're trying to tell me?" he asked, glad to have her turn her mischievous grin his way. She batted her eyelashes at him and nodded, her cheeks turning pink as she waited for him to process the information. He opened his mouth, fully intending to ask for confirmation but as her grin grew, he found himself unable to make the words form or his tongue to move.

"You're going to be a daddy," she confirmed, her eyes shining as she offered her lips up to his, "before you go back to training camp. Don't you see how perfect it is? By the time a year goes by, we'll be parents with the whole future ahead of us. You've made everything perfect, given me everything I've ever wanted. It's just…perfect."

"Yes you are," he breathed, cupping her cheek in his as he felt the tears well in his own eyes. He'd never have thought in a million years this is where his life would be now. He thought he would never get over the pain of losing the cup and she'd thought she would never get over Brad, but as he looked into her eyes, he knew she was right. What they'd made, it was just perfect.