Well this is it. The end of this story. Hope you liked it. I think it's one of my favorites. So all I have to say no is GO PENS GO
"Mmmm, what time is it?" she asks, her voice soft with sleep as she snuggles back into me, her body warm and relaxed as I wrap my arms around her. Burying my face in her hair, I savor the sweet clean smell of her, letting her scent and the feel of her curves, her smooth skin helps me unwind, help to ease the buzz in my head.
"Late, or…I guess early," I grumble, brushing her hair aside and brushing the curve of her neck with my lips, tasting her skin, and feeling her shiver as I bite down on the curve her shoulder.
"Did you and the boys have fun?" she mumbles, reaching for my hand on her hip and leading it up underneath her t-shirt, letting out a happy sigh when give her nipple a soft tug. Pushing back into me, she gives me a suggestive nudge, which I wish I could ignore but my body responds, even though my mind doesn't want to, at least not yet.
"You weren't there," I grumble, withdrawing my hand as if I could punish her by withholding sex. "I looked up to share it with you Mel, and you weren't there."
"I'm sorry," she yawns, rolling over and reaching up to touch my cheek, smiling up at me. "I was there, I did see you win, but Trix's contractions were really close together and I had to be there for her babe. She would do the same for me." Leaning into her hand, I close my eyes try to let go of the disappointment.
"I've been picturing it, almost ever since we met. I wanted to hold the cup up and see you up there smiling...," my voice trails off as she strokes my cheek, as her lips brush mine.
"I'm sorry," she whispers, resting her head beneath my chin and wrapping her arm around me, resting the other flat against my chest, over my heart. "It's just that she needed me, and you had your parents and your sister and Mario and…," her voice trails off as I let out a long sigh.
"It's not the same," I mumble, staring into the darkness and wishing I didn't feel so mixed up right now. Reaching down, I lay my hand over hers', spinning her wedding ring between my thumb and finger. "I wanted to share it with you." I feel like some kind of whiny little kid but at the same time, I feel sort of hurt that my big moment has sort of been side stepped by Trixie and the twins, which makes me feel even smaller if anything.
"I was there," she insists, running her hand up my back and digging her fingers into the knots at my shoulder blades. "I saw you do some amazing things out there. I saw you win babe, and it was great, but that other stuff…that's more important to your parents who sacrificed to get you there and Mario and your team mates. This is more important to me," she adds, lifting her chin up and searching my face with her dark eyes, "you and me here, together. I know you're amazing out there and I am so proud of you, but what we do here, what we are here, that's what's important to me, to us." She leans her cheek back against my shoulder and lets out a sigh that sounds so contented it makes me smile too. "I mean, didn't you find…y'know when you were watching Trix and Ruuts together and seeing those babies…it just sort of put things in perspective for me you know what I mean? It's like years and years from now, you can tell this story to our kids, and you'll be like, 'your mom didn't even care' and the kids will laugh and you'll look up at me and I'll be looking at you just like I am now," she smiles up at me, her eyes full of that light that has nothing to do with whether I win or lose a hockey game and it makes me feel ashamed of how petty I've been. "I'm glad you won, and I am proud of you, but I love you Sidney, not just Sid the hockey player, not anymore."
"I know," I sigh, shaking my head more at myself than at her, pulling her close and gazing into those deep dark eyes. "I'm sorry, I was just…disappointed."
"Jealous more like," she grins, wrinkling her nose at me. "Twins, can you imagine?" she adds, rolling her eyes.
"I can, actually, yeah," I laugh, pulling her under me and kissing her, long and hard, until I feel her smile fade at the edges, and her heart begin to pound under my hand. "What are you wearing anyway?" I whisper, peeling the sheet away so I can look down at my wife, only to find her grinning up at me, one of the Stanley Cup Champions t-shirts now crumpled up around her waist.
"I told you, I am proud," she giggles, her laughter only getting louder as I look down at her Penguins boxers. "What? I was getting Trudy some so I thought why not?"
"I hate them," I grumble, pulling at them until she squirms and lets me pull them off, and then I do give in to the warmth and softness of her body, mine hardening more and more at each of her gentle touches, her soft kisses, her hot kisses.
"Mmmm they should call you the Stanley Stud," she grins up at me as I slide into her, and I just shake my head. I may have won the Stanley Cup and it may be every little boy's dream but this, right here, right now, is more real than that Cup will ever be. I may have won the Cup, but right now, she means more to me than any Cup ever will.
"Look at you mama," I grin over at Trix as I put the pink and blue teddy bears on the end of the hospital bed, watching her making faces at her daughter, as Jarkko proudly struts around the room talking to his little blue bundle of joy.
"One for each huh?" Sidney adds, sliding his arm around my shoulders, his gaze following Jarkko back and forth beside the bed.
"He wishes," Trix yawns, turning her tired eyes up to meet mine. "You want a turn?"
"Only if you're sure," I smile, happily taking the little pink bundle in my arms and rocking her slowly, looking down at her little pink cheeks and all that dark fuzz on the top of her head. Leaning in, I take in her new born baby smell and my heart flutters in my chest. "Have you picked out names for these two yet?"
"She's been fighting with me all night about it," Jarkko chuckles, looking over his son's head at his wife and raising his eyebrows at her, "haven't you darling?"
"I wouldn't call it fighting," Trix glares over at him as she pulls the covers up to her chin, "we were debating, and yes, we decided."
"And…?" both Sidney and I look from one to the other.
"Kimmo and Kaarina," Trix answers, her gaze softening as she looks over at her son snuggled in her husband's arms.
"That sounds almost like you let Ruuts win Trix and I know that can't be true, can it?" I ask, raising my eyebrow at her as she rolls her eyes and crosses her arms defensively in front of her chest.
"Nobody won," Jarkko says quietly, moving over to sit on the side of the bed and gently laying Kimmo into Trix's arms. "I'm just very persuasive and she's very tired," he adds with a grin.
"Well they're both beautiful and have beautiful names," Sidney grins, looking over my shoulder at Kaarina. "But we should get going huh Ruuts? You don't want to miss the big parade and press conference thing," he says, turning to look at Jarkko who's slid his arm around Trix's shoulder, making a perfect circle around his wife and son reminding me that I have my camera with me. Slipping Kaarina into Sid's arms, I pull out my camera and take a couple quick shots before Jarkko finally looks up at us both.
"I think I'll skip it," he smiles gently at his little family before holding out his arms to take Kaarina from me.
"Skip it?" Sid blinks, looking incredulously at me and then back at Jarkko. "Dude you were like…the fucking king of the playoffs, you have to come. The people need to sing your song. Ruuuuuuuutuuuuu," he howls up at the ceiling like a demented coyote.
"Nah," Jarkko smiles and he and Trixie share a secretive sort of smile. "The whole press thing isn't my thing anyway and Talbie doesn't want the competition for camera time today anyway," he adds with a chuckle. "Besides, I'd rather be here."
"It must be catching," Sid sighs, shaking his head as he slides his hand down my arms and laces his fingers in mine. "Suddenly no one around here cares about the Cup but me."
"It's not that I don't care," Jarkko and I say at the same time and then we both start laughing.
"Yeah I know, there's more important things to think about," Sid shakes his head and chuckles. "Well it's still important to me, so I guess we should get going."
"I'll see you in Finland," Jarkko smiles up at us both.
"Oh god yeah," I sigh, feeling a full blown pout coming on. "They'll be so much bigger the next time we see them."
"Psht, right like I'm not going to send you pictures like everyday," Trix laughs at me. "Get over here, give me a hug." I walk over, Sid's hand still in mine, and we all hug around the babies, and then we turn to go, with one last longing look over my shoulder to see Jarkko and Trix with their heads touching, looking down at their new little treasures and I can't help but wonder, will we be like that?
The boys fidget while Therrien and Mario take turns at the mic, whispering and laughing amongst them selves. The whole team is here. All but Ruuts and I can't help but admire his testicular fortitude at this point for blowing off this particular event. Blinking into the TV lights and the camera flashes, I can suddenly think of all kinds of places I'd rather be than here. Still, as I look from one face to the next, I see that all of the guys are smiling the same big goofy grins and I realize that no one else seems to mind. They all look like kids today, even old man Roberts just can't seem to stop grinning as he looks over at the big shiny Cup sitting beside the podium.
The members of the media sit patiently, but I know who they're waiting to hear from, and as I glance around at my teammates I get this sinking feeling and I know that it's because I'm not looking forward to stepping up to the mic. This is when being the small town boy is hard for me. It feels like if I get up there, I'm taking credit. Credit I don't deserve. Fleur, Geno, and yes, Ruuts are far more deserving than I am of the spotlight today but when Mario turns with a grin and holds his arms out to me, I get up, put a smile on my face and walk up to him, accepting his warm congratulatory hug, because he means it and because it helps to shake off some of the nerves to know that he believes in me.
I let my eyes roam the crowd as the ovation erupts, a roar that sends a chill through me, raising goose bumps on my arms that remind me of the first time I stepped out in front of this crowd and helps me realize that I would not have missed this for the world. It's not the same as the moment that buzzer sounded and I knew we won, but then there had been so many confusing emotions in that moment, that somehow this is just as sweet but in a way more so, because I can look out at them and drink it in, my team mates aren't yelling and I'm not having to look around for my parents, for Mario and the kids. But I can look over at Mel.
She smiles warmly, winking as I step up to the mic, and that too sends a shiver down my spine. It's good to have her here, not least of all because she helped me write the speech I'm now setting out on the podium in case I lose my way, but because she's become part of me, and it feels good to have her near by. That position used to belong to my father, and as I glance in his direction now, I hope that someday he'll understand why he's been 'replaced' as he puts it. I hope that day will be soon.
"First I want to say thank you to all the fans," I begin, letting the roar wash over me, feeling a genuine warmth towards the people who accepted me as their own, who make me feel like a giant instead of a boy who could have been too small to play in this league. "Thank you for coming every night, and thank you for making us all feel like we are your team." I glance back at the guys to see them all looking around at this full to the rafters stadium, and I know that I've said the right thing. "And I want to say thank you to my team mates. To Fleur, to Geno, and to Conks and everyone here and also to missing friends, Jarkko who's with his wife and brand new twins," I take a breath to let the crowd go into their now familiar chant of Ruuuuuuutuuuu, stepping back from the mic and thinking how proud Trixie would be to hear that, and that makes me think of all that we've been through this year, on and off the ice, and I shake my head, laughing. "I don't want to forget friends who helped us get here this year either, and so I'd like to send a shout out to those boys in Blue, Mark the wrecking ball Recchi, Eric the Crusher Christianson and of course Army, my friend Colby Armstrong." I glance up to see Army's Army signs dotting the arena and I can't help but wish he was here, wish that he'd been able to savor this moment with me. "This has been a dream for me, and I'm glad to share it with all of you." Stepping back from the mic, I listen to the roar going up again, and I wish I could leave it like that, but already I see the members of the media jumping up like Mexican jumping beans to ask their questions, and with a deep breath, I step back up to the mic and nod to the first familiar face.
"What will you do with your time with the Cup? Will you take it home to Coal Harbour?"
"Home…," I shrug, glancing around the arena. "This is home for me now, but yeah I will take it to Coal Harbour. There are a lot of people there that helped me get here and I'm looking forward to sharing it with them." I feel a warm tingle run through me as the Pittsburgh crowd cheers my sentiments as I nod to the Shawna Richer steps up to ask the next question, and I can't help but think how appropriate that is.
"How is your injury? Will the time off help and what will you be doing with your summer?" I feel my heart flutter in my chest as I smile down at her, nerves making every millimeter of my skin feel like it's on fire. This is it. This was the question I knew was coming.
"Yeah, I hope some time off the ice will help, but I've got a lot to do this summer. I want to spend time with my wife. We've got a nursery to build and a lot of planning to do for our son who should be arriving just in time for training camp." The sound in the arena is like a million bees buzzing in a jar as I lift my hand to run it through my hair, a pre-determined move that works exactly as planned as the lights and flashbulbs make my wedding ring glimmer. The flashbulbs are blinding, but I don't need to see the crowd reaction. I only have eyes for Mel as she stands at the side of the stage, her hands resting protectively over her just beginning to show baby bump, her full red lips turned up into a mischievous smile as she leans back into Mario's chest, his big hands resting paternally on her shoulders. Life is good. Life is very good.