Friday, October 28, 2011


And thus comes the end to another story!!! From all your comments, it seems that you have enjoyed it!! I can't thank you enough for your comments and following, it really does mean a lot to a writer when you get feedback. (Which is why I make sure I thank you every time!)

These are better than any flower picture...


Smiling about his first goals as a Leaf.

Epilogue – The following Summer…
“Daddy,” Sofia called out as she skated over to the boards where Evan and I were sitting watching her practice.
“Yeah, Grasshopper?” “Yeah, Sof?” Evan and I both asked in unison, laughing about it.
“That boy over there told me that I had to kiss him after practice,” she said, pursing her lips like she just ate a sour lemon.
I felt Evan sit up a little straighter to listen to what his daughter had to say.  “What did you say?” I asked her.
“I didn’t say anything,” she said with a wicked smile and sparkling green eyes.
“Yeah, I just punched him instead.  He has a bloody nose now,” she announced proudly as she looked over her shoulder towards the bench.  Both Evan and I followed her eyes back to the little boy sitting on the bench holding a bloody paper towel to his nose.
“Who told you that was okay to do?!” Evan freaked in a loud whisper.
I just looked the other way, pretending to not hear a word of what Sofia was going to say next.
“Daddy Loops told me that is how you settle things out on the ice…”
I felt Evan turn towards me, so me being the polite guy I turned to face him with a sheepish smile on my face.  “Hey Evan!” I said with a shit eating grin, trying not to bust up laughing.
“Well Daddy Loops should have told you that fighting is what boys do, not girls,” Evan said with a sparkle in his eye as he scolded me.  “Are you in trouble with the coach now?” he asked, turning back to Sofia.
“I have to sit on the bench for the rest of practice and say sorry to Luke after I talked to you guys,” she said, not seeming a bit sorry for what she did.
“Okay, well go back over and say sorry and we will talk about this after practice,” Evan said as sternly as possible.  He had really taken to the father role easily and Sofia loved him for it.  Of course when something needed to be addressed, I addressed it but all in all I was fairly lax with her.  It was an adjustment for the four of us that was filled with temper tantrums, tears, laughter and a lot of love.  By the time the baseball season rolled back around, Sofia was on terms with Evan being her real father and was involved with his family as much as possible.  Not that it is hard to love the curly, blonde haired beauty.  During the summer Sofia traveled with Evan’s family to Tampa Bay a couple times when he had long home-stands.  And like tonight, of course when he played in the area she was by his side.  There was a slight media back-lash but nothing we weren’t prepared for.
Nana passed away in her sleep after Christmas, unexpectedly.  Obviously we were all heartbroken, but Sofia kept us smiling every time we talked of her.  In February Avery and Sofia moved into my house in Newport. 
Some people could say that the family arrangement we had was like a Jerry Springer show, but we saw it as an extra happy family.  Evan and I got along like brothers and Avery often got annoyed when we would gang up on her.  Luckily the only time we only spent joint time together was during Sofia’s hockey and baseball practices and games, events that Avery wasn’t always available for because her flower business had seemed to bloom, pun intended, over night.
Evan was still glaring at me when I felt my phone vibrating in my pocket.  I just winked and answered the phone, “Heylo beautiful.”
“What did you do wrong?” Avery chirped into the phone.
“How do you know I did something wrong?”
“You don’t answer the phone like that unless you did something wrong,” she said, smiling into the phone.
Evan was chuckling besides me, obviously hearing the phone conversation.  I punched him in the arm and said, “Don’t worry, I’m sure Evan will tattle on me later.  Until then, what’s up?  You have all the flowers done for the wedding?”
“Yes, finally.  Ugh, I’m so exhausted.  It’s tough doing the flowers along with getting everything together for you and Sofia.”
“Did you get yourself a dress?” I asked, knowing that she had been having trouble finding something for her swelling belly.  She was already 6 months along and complaining about how fat she was.
I heard her sigh into the phone, “Yeah, Krissy helped me pick out this baby-doll type dress; either way I’m going to look like a balloon.”
“Yeah, a big blimp,” I chirped sarcastically into the phone as Evan raised an eyebrow at me, reminding me that I might be talking my way into a death sentence for when I arrived back home.
“I knew it!” she cried into the phone.
“Avery, you are too much.  You look beautiful pregnant, so please spare me the drama.  I love you and I will be home after Sofia’s practice to rub your feet.”
“Okay,” she said, hormonally happy once more.  “Love you bye!”
“Love you bye, baby,” I said into the phone, thinking about how truly beautiful she was pregnant.  The night she told me she was pregnant she was a complete wreck, going on about how once again she was pregnant and not married.  I told her we could go to Vegas that night if she thought it was so important.  I didn’t care either way.  Instead of Vegas we settled on the Justice of the Peace in Newport Beach.  Being that it was California, we were able to have a tiny wedding on the beach behind our house in the middle of February.  Avery said that she had spent too much time over the years helping plan for other people’s big weddings that she was happy just having a tiny wedding.  I didn’t care; I just wanted to be able to call her my wife.  My mom was a little miffed when I invited her down for the weekend and told her to bring along a wedding gift.  My parents had only met Avery and Sofia once, which was when we played in Edmonton and I flew them up for the game.  Of course my family instantly fell in love with my two women, but my mom was surprised because she knew my track record with relationships and how I had a habit of jumping in too quickly.
“Are you sure this is what you want to do?  I mean, we love Avery and Sofia, but I just want to make sure this is what you want,” Mom said over the phone when I called to ask for my Grandmom’s diamond ring that I was to inherit.
“Mom, I found my soul mate.  She loves me for me and I love her for how she makes me feel, which is the happiest man on the planet when she’s near me.” 
“Well then you need to marry her,” my mom said as I heard her begin to cry happy tears into the phone.  I of course just rolled my eyes because I had enough of crying women the last couple weeks with my pregnant, soon to be wife and Sofia being upset about Evan leaving for Tampa.
Back to hockey practice…
I looked over at Evan who was laughing to himself about the conversation that just happened with Avery.
“God bless you when she is 8 or 9 months pregnant…” Evan snorted.
“So are you saying you are glad you missed this part?” I asked, eying him.
“Yup,” he said with a smile that told me he probably wished he hadn’t missed it for the world.

“You are in so much trouble when she gets older,” Krissy smiled as Sofia jumped down from the make-up chair all dolled up in her flower girl dress.  She really did look like a princess with her wild hair all pinned back and a little make-up bringing out her cute little cheeks and lips.
“Nah, according to Evan, Joffrey already taught her how to fend for herself,” I said with a smile, laughing inside at the story of her punching a kid at the hockey rink for asking her to kiss him.
“Yeah, Bobby told me.  Seems Joffrey was pretty proud of her,” Krissy laughed.
“Of course he was…” I rolled my eyes before finishing up my own make-up.
Bobby and Krissy’s wedding was a fairy-tale and I was happy to be the one to help make it that.  The flowers were beautiful and set the tone for the whole celebration.  I already had appointments scheduled from two people who talked to me during the cocktail hour that followed the wedding ceremony.
“Why hello, Mrs. Lupul,” Joffrey growled in my ear as he came up behind me, wrapping his arms around my swollen belly.
“Mr. Lupul,” I cooed back as I leaned back and kissed him.
“I think it’s time for a dance together,” he said as he twirled me around, moving us out onto the dance floor.  He pulled me into him and I was happy that I still wasn’t big enough to not be able to rest my head on his chest.  “You look stunning,” he breathed into my hair, causing me to shiver.
“You look pretty sexy yourself in that tux,” I quipped back.  “But I’m sure the tux will look a lot better crumpled on the floor next to our bed when we get home tonight…”
“I like your thinking, horny pregnant woman,” he laughed back.
We were swaying together, getting lost in the music until we were interrupted by a little tug on the hem of my dress.  “Can I dance with you?” Sofia asked as she looked up between the two of us.
“Of course!” Joff exclaimed as he scooped her up into his arm and I wrapped my arm around the back of her.
“I love my family,” Sofia sighed as she laid her head on Joffrey’s shoulder.
Joffrey and I just looked at each other and smiled at her comment, agreeing 100% with the little girl’s observation.

the end.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Don't Give Up On Me

Well, I said I wouldn't do it. I said I wouldn't be writing full-stories, but this article and a talk in Philly with K and RebelHeart made the gears begin to turn on a player that people either hate or love. I can't say he's gorgeous, but I can't say he's ugly... I guess I want to say that he is intriguing and makes for a good story character. I am not a Capitals fan, so please don't think of me as one. However, with some help from some willing people, I've had some help in making this story seem as authentic as possible.

I am sure I will have some readers that won't be willing to read this because of the character, and that is fine, but I ask you keep an open mind (like me) and remember I have yet (at least I hope) to steer you in the wrong direction with my random pick of guys... Enjoy and please let me hear your comments (whether you like it or not)!!

Chapter 11

Tulips...the flowers of love

Ch. 11

It was rough getting back into the groove of things on the road.  The first road trip of the season was always a tough one, but I think it made it even harder that I was having my first road trip a couple months into the season.  Everyone already had themselves in their own schedules and I had to figure out where I fit in.  I was stuck in a room with one of the rookies, Matt Beleksey, who was a good kid, but he had some odd habits that I frankly found annoying.  The biggest one was sleeping with the TV turned onto Lifetime where they showed old episodes of the Golden Girls.

“Dude, I have to figure out how we can be roomies again,” I whined quietly to Bobby as we sat at breakfast.  “If I have to hear one more sexual innuendo from Rose on the Golden Girls, I’m going to go AWOL.”

“I thought you liked the Golden Girls…” Bobby chuckled as he took another spoonful of his eggs.

“It’s not funny,” I growled.

“You’re older than him so just put your foot down.  You never seemed to have a problem pulling the age rank thing on me.”

“I’m just afraid if I say anything right now, I might come across as a real ass and I don’t want to put the poor kid through it,” I said honestly as I ran my hands over my face.  I was tired and I was even more miserable about what I left behind in Anaheim.

“Have you talked to her at all?” Bobby asked.

I looked up at him through my fingers and just shook my head back and forth.  “No, I think we need this week to cool off.  Plus, I want to give her some space with the whole Evan thing,” I said slowly, trying to get myself to believe that I was doing the right thing.

“Why couldn’t you be understanding in the first place, you stupid ass?” Bobby asked without holding back.

“So you think I took the whole dishonesty thing a little tougher than I should have?”

Bobby took a breath, wiped his mouth with his napkin and set it down before answering me.  “Dude, I know you’ve been with a lot of slutty, lying girls over the past several years but Avery is not even close to being like any of those girls.  I can understand that the situation seems a little fucked up on the outside, but you have to remember that mothers do whatever they need to do to protect their little ones.  I can’t even imagine being in Avery’s shoes.  So you have every right for being hurt, but to just walk away from it all and throw in the rag is just a weak cop-out; especially since I’m pretty sure you were in love with her and Sofia.”

Bobby was a couple years younger than me, but he seemed to know a hell of a lot more about life than I did.  So, whenever he gave advice, I tried to listen with open ears and really think about his words.  “Should I call her now?”

“Um, I probably would…”

I found it pathetic that I had to be told to call the woman I had fallen in love with.  I had basically turned my back on her, waking her up from the dream I had promised wasn’t a dream.  Way to go asshole.

“That was a really good dinner,” Evan said to my Nana as he relaxed back in the kitchen chair, patting his stomach.  “Thank you, Nana,” he said with a charming smile as she came around behind him and kissed him on the head.  It was Thursday and Evan had basically been living at my apartment, spending a ton of time with the three of us.  It was almost as if Joffrey had never been.  Too bad my heart tells me different.

It probably should have bothered me how easily my little girl took to strange men.  Sofia was completely enthralled with Evan to the point that he would have to put her to bed every night and read her bedtime stories.  After he would put her down, we would go for a walk and talk about the plans we both had for her.  Not only were we working on the new relationship between him and Sofia, but we were also working on our rekindled friendship.  Or at least that is what I thought we were working on together…

“So, I was wondering if you’d be interested in going out with me tomorrow night,” he asked while we sat on the park bench in the cool evening air.  His hands were interlaced with mine, which had become the norm for us this past week, but I never thought of it as anything romantic.  It was more of a comfort thing for me.

I looked over to find him looking at me with an easy smile.  “Go where?”

“I don’t know. I was going to take you out to a nice dinner, maybe catch a band or something…”

“A date?”

“Sure,” he said with a wink.

“I don’t know if that would be a good idea,” I said slowly.  “I don’t want Sofia getting the wrong idea about us,” I said plainly.

As soon as the words were out of my mouth he was leaning in towards me and his hand was caressing my cheek.  “What if it wasn’t the wrong idea?”

His hand was warm, yet the electric current that I always felt when Joffrey touched me was not there in Evan’s hands.  “I think it would be,” I said quietly.  “I was in love with you a while back, but unfortunately we all grow up and find that maybe there are others out there for us.  4-5 years ago I longed to hear you say you still wanted to be with me so that we could be a big happy family, but I think there is someone else I long to hear those words from now,” I said honestly.

I saw a look of sadness pass through Evan’s beautiful eyes, but it was quickly replaced by a look of understanding.  “You’re in love with Lupul.”

I rolled my eyes as a stupid smirk forced its way onto my face, without my permission.  “Yeah, I think I am.  I just hope he still wants me, especially since I haven’t been answering his phone calls…” I said as I faded off.

“Why didn’t you answer him?  Didn’t you learn the first time about not calling or not answering phone calls?  Are you retarded when it comes to phone communication or something?”

I snorted, “I didn’t think I was, but now that you’ve said something… Ugh, I dunno Evan! I just haven’t answered him because I didn’t know what to do about you and me,” I said honestly.

He leaned in towards me again, taking both of my hands into his and looked deep into my eyes.  “Do you love me, Avery?”

“Yes, but not in the ‘I wanna go have hot sex with you right now way.’  I’m sorry, I just don’t look at you like that anymore, even though you are very sexy,” I added with a happy wink.

He laughed as he pushed a piece of my hair off my face.  “Thanks for the compliment, Ave.  But I have to say I agree with you.  I guess I just want to make us the perfect family…”

“And we can be…we just won’t be married to each other,” I exclaimed with a smile.  “As long as Sofia is loved by both of us, it will be perfect.”

A smile slowly crept across his lips as he nodded at my statement.  “This is why I do love you, as my friend I mean; you have such an optimistic outlook on life.”

I couldn’t help but snort again.  “Don’t let word get out because everyone else thinks I’m the most pessimistic person on the planet.  I blame this on you and Joff.”

“Anything to see that beautiful smile more often,” Evan said as he got up off the bench and pulled me up with him.  We then stood there under the starry sky holding each other in a tight hug, sealing our new fate as a family.

The road trip crawled to an end on Friday night, with us getting back to Anaheim early Saturday morning.  I was physically and mentally drained.  The worst part was is that hockey had nothing to do with any of it.  I was homesick for Avery and Sofia.  I had myself such a wreck after calling her numerous times to find no answer that Bobby had to take my phone away from me by Thursday.

Saturday morning I dragged myself out of bed and began my mission of getting my girls back.

I heard the bells jingle, signaling that someone had entered the store but I was busy finishing up an arrangement so I yelled out, “I’ll be right with you!”  No one answered, which I found a little rude but 2 minutes later I walked out from the back room, wiping my hands on my smock.  When I finally looked up, no one was to be found.  The only thing I noticed was a bouquet of Red, Orange and Cream tulips wrapped in cellophane lying on the counter.  Stapled to the clear, plastic wrapping was a handwritten note that stated: “For the Flower Girl.”

“What the heck?” I said to myself as I looked at the beautiful flowers.  Tulips were by far my favorite and they must have come from a ritzy flower shop because even as a florist, I did not have pull in getting the flowers during this part of the season.

I jumped when I heard his voice speak from behind me.  “I was told that tulips are a symbol of love.  They claim that red stands for ‘believe me’ and are a declaration of true love.  Orange stands for passion and cream colored tulips mean ‘I will love you forever.’”

I slowly turned around, staring down at the flowers as he spoke, trying to hide the smile that was creeping across my face.  “I’m sorry, but you can’t bring flowers bought from one florist and try to return them to another…”

“Shit, really?  I figured you might have changed your policy on flower returns since some guy gave you a hard time about it before,” he said as serious as possible as he took a step towards me and removed the bouquet from my hand, laying them on the counter next to me before backing me up into it.  “I guess it’s good that I bought them for the flower shop owner, hopefully she’ll keep them and not tell me to shove them up my ass.”  His body was now centimeters away from mine, even though the energy between us made it feel like we were glued together.  The heat that radiated off of him made me want to melt onto the counter.  My breathing was now shallow and quick, causing me to consciously try and slow my respirations, afraid I’d hyperventilate.

“Sounds like a cranky flower shop owner,” I said breathlessly, almost not getting all the words out coherently.

“Nah, just one that didn’t believe in love it seems but I worked some magic and brought her around to the idea of smiling again…”

“What happened that you are bringing her flowers?”

“I fucked up.”


“Yeah, the first time she needs all the support she can get from a decision she made long before we met, I get all emo and worry about my own feelings instead of hers…” he said while he looped a piece of my hair around his finger.  “She didn’t answer her phone when I tried to apologize, so I’m hoping that seeing her in person will make things a little different.”

“What, do you think you have some physical power of her?” I asked, trying not to squeak when he began to run his fingers lightly up and down my arms.

“Mmm,” he purred into my ear, causing the rest of my hairs to stand up on end.  “I think I do.”

“What if I said that I am not much better than you in the relationship department?  What if I stand here and tell you that I’m sorry for not taking your feelings into context? What if I told you that I’ve been miserable ever since you walked out my apartment door?”

“I’d have to say I’ve been the same way and that I’m glad to hear those words out of your mouth,” he said, slowly snaking an arm around my waist, pulling me fully against him now.  “Before we go any further, Avery, I need to tell you one thing.”


“I love you.”

I couldn’t help but smile broadly at this as my heart began beating even faster.  “I love you too,” I said straight-forth as I looked up at him.  “I’m sorry for keeping you in the dark about Evan…”

“Sssh,” he murmured as he leaned down and pressed his lips firmly against mine.  I felt his hands move up my back, leaving a path of fire as they moved.  My arms wrapped around him, pulling him even closer against me so that I could feel his warmth that I had missed so much.  I easily parted my lips as he sought entry to my mouth with his tongue.  He retraced the last path he had taken when we had kissed the last afternoon we spent in each others arms.  It felt so long ago, yet he felt so familiar.  I couldn’t help but smile as his body gave him away.  I could feel his hardened length against my stomach, even through our clothing.  “Are you the only one here?” he asked huskily as we parted lips.

All I could do was nod.

“Good, cause I already locked the door and set the sign to close,” he announced proudly as he reached down, cupped my ass and picked me up, taking me into the back room.  With a swipe of his large hand, he cleared the flower garbage off the metal working table and sat me down hurriedly.  He fumbled with the back tie of my smock, pulling it off quickly and then going for my shirt.  I already had him out of his and I was working on his belt as my shirt went over-top my head and onto the counter behind him.  Soon I was crying out in delight as his lips came down on the sensitive skin of my neck.  My fingers were intertwined in his hair, pushing him towards my aching breasts, wanting to feel his mouth caress them.  I felt him laugh at my insistence but he seemed happy to oblige me.  As I felt his tongue flick one of my sensitive nipples, I arched back onto the table, letting go of his hair and focusing on the pleasure he was giving me.  “God you are so beautiful, Avery,” he said with my nipple still in his mouth, causing me to buck off the table.

“Joffrrrreeeyyy…” I began to say but of course the last part of his name came out as a high pitched whine as he began giving attention to my other nipple while kneading both of my breasts with his hands.

“Hmm?” he asked humored as he looked up at me.

“Yesssss,” I hissed, realizing I was no longer able to form coherent sentences or thoughts.

Before I knew it my bare ass was sitting on the cold metal table with my legs wrapped around Joffrey’s waist, opening up for him to slide his long, hardened length into me.  “Fuuuuck,” he grunted out, pushing deep inside.  Soon the sound of our skin hitting together echoed off the work room walls.  The table was at the perfect height for him to hit my g-spot, in-turn giving me one hell of an orgasm that people on the street probably heard me having as I screamed.  Soon I felt Joff emptying his warm fluid deep inside of me and I couldn’t help but smile sedately.  He fit me perfectly and I knew I never wanted another.

He pulled my rag-doll body up into a sitting position so that I could rest my head on his shoulder while he was still twitching inside of, making me giggle.

“No laughter, that act was very serious,” he grumbled, hiding his own laughter.

“Mmm, I will agree that it was very serious,” I whispered as I ran my hands up and down his bare, muscular back.  “Because, I’m very serious about loving you,” I said, opening up for the first time to him.

“No more secrets,” he said as he pressed his lips to my neck.

“No more secrets.”

Monday, October 24, 2011

Chapter 10

Glad to hear from you all!!

Just an FYI, I have another story that will soon be getting posted on Blogger!! I'll let ya'll know when it's up!! I wasn't supposed to be writing another full story, but if you have patience and don't care that it doesn't get posted overly regular, then we are in luck! :o)  Until then enjoy this one!!

White Chrysanthemum...truth

Ch. 10

The whole ride to his house was filled with small talk about how his career was going and how my flower business was starting to pick-up.

“I saw your commercial on TV at the beginning of the baseball season for New Era and I had laughed out loud,” I informed him, thinking about that day.  “It’s been a while since I’ve seen your hair that short.”

He laughed back, “Yeah, I like it longer I think,” he said as he unconsciously picked up his hat and readjusted it.

“I like it longer too.  Your ears look too big when it’s shaved,” I said giggling.

He looked over at me and jabbed a finger into my side like he used to when we were younger.  I grabbed at his hand to stop him and as I went to let go I found that he was not going to do the same.  The rest of our car ride was in an electrically charged silence as his warm hand held onto my cool clammy one.

“Nice place,” I quipped when we pulled up to his house in the hills.  It sat along the cliff edge, over looking the Pacific Ocean, built in a modern, sleek shape.  It wasn’t overly large, but it was definitely larger than what a bachelor needed; especially one who only lived in it 4 months out of the year.

“Thanks, I bought it last year.  It’s become a retreat of sorts.  Mom, Dad and the rest of the family come up here to get away from things when I’m in Florida, so it gets used,” he said with a proud smile as he turned off the engine and left go of my hand.  He quickly came around to my side of the car and opened the door for me.  As I stepped out he took my hand in his once more and led me into the house.

 “Do you want a drink?” he asked as he threw his keys on the kitchen counter.

“Sure,” I said nervously.  I smiled and watched him pour me a glass of orange soda.  “Ah, so you remember.”

He laughed lightly, setting the glass of my favorite soda in front of me.  “Yeah, cause it’s still my favorite and I think of you every time I taste it,” he said as he sat down across from me, taking a gulp out of his glass.  “Although sometimes I add a little vodka to it to make it better.”

“Mmm,” I said as I swallowed the fizzy drink that also would remind me of him and the warm winter California nights we spent in each other’s arms.

“So were you ever going to tell me?”

I just shrugged.  “I probably should have told you the day I read the pregnancy test, but I didn’t want to ruin your career, I didn’t want to be the reason you didn’t reach your dreams,” I admitted quietly.

He surprised me as he reached over and grabbed my hands.  “Avery, you wouldn’t have ruined those dreams.  I wanted you to be apart of them, it killed me to leave for Tampa and not have you there with me.  I wanted to marry you, to give you the life I have now, to have you wearing my jersey,” he spoke and tugged lightly on my jersey, “to have a family…”

“You know that it would have not happened that way, Evan,” I said flustered by his admissions.  “You would have dropped out of college and gotten a job to support our asses, giving up your career because that is how you were raised.  So, please, don’t sit here and tell me it would have been fine because you know damn well it would have not been.”

He took a calming breath and whispered, “Doesn’t mean things can’t go the way we want them now.”

I didn’t have words for what he was insinuating, I just looked at him and stared.

When I didn’t say anything he asked, “When was she born?”

“June 25th, 2005,” I answered.  “She was 5lbs. 8oz. and 20 inches long.  She came out kicking and screaming.  She didn’t start sleeping through the night until she was almost 1 year old…”

“Do you have any pictures of her from when she was little?” he cut me off.

I thought for a moment, “Yeah I do if you have a computer.  Although I guess that is a stupid question,” I said, instantly embarrassed.

“Come with me,” he said, as he walked around, took my hand and walked me into what seemed to be his living room.  “Wow, is that your Rookie of the Year trophy?” I asked as I walked over to his trophy shelf that was illuminated with some recessed lighting.

I heard him chuckle as he came walking up behind me, “Yeah, I forgot that you never saw it.”

“I’m really proud of you Evan,” I said sincerely, only to turn to find him standing right by me.  He looked nervous and broken at the same time.  It broke my heart to see the normally happy man, so upset and it was my entire fault.  “I’m sorry,” I whispered, reaching out and touching his beautiful face.

He lifted his hand and covered mine with his as we stood and stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity.  “I’m sorry too, Ave.  I would have given it all up to have you both in my life.”  The words came out effortless and could have easily been construed into him just giving me a line, but the look in his eyes made me know that he had meant every word.  The small place in my heart that had been locked for so long seemed to open with his warm look.  After another long moment of silence he whispered with tears in his eyes, “Let’s look at pictures of my daughter.”

I signed into my flikr account and we sat together for a few hours while I told him stories about little Sofia, stories that he could have been apart of if I had told him sooner.

“So she is a hockey player?” he asked with a silly smile as I brought up the pictures I had taken last week of her in her new hockey uniform.

I couldn’t help but laugh… yeah, Joff helped me get her enrolled in one of the neighborhood programs.  I think he created a monster,” I said thoughtfully.

“So how long have you two been together?” he asked while he looked back over at the picture of me, Sofia and Joff.

“A little over three weeks actually, even though it seems longer,” I said.  Looking at the picture, I realized how happy we looked together, how much we looked like a family.

“Does he know about me?”


“Don’t you think he should know?” Evan asked quietly as he raised an eyebrow in my direction.

“I’m pretty sure he figured it out after the game tonight,” I mumbled as my heart ached, realizing I now had lied to the two most important men in my life.  “I just hope he can forgive me…” I said out loud but to myself.

“He’d be a fool not to,” Evan murmured.  Slowly, he reached out and touched my face.

I took a deep breath and quietly asked, “What do we do now?”

Evan took his hand off my face and sat back in the chair as the wheels in his head turned, “Well, I want to get to know my daughter this off season.”

“I’d say that we would have to take it one day at a time.  I don’t want to confuse her by throwing this on her lap… she is still only a little girl.”

“I understand that,” he spoke softly, taking my hands back into his.  “But I want to be apart of her life.  I want to be her father and give her everything she should have gotten a long time ago.”

“She doesn’t need your money.”

“I know that.  She deserves a father and I want to be that for her.”

I stood up and began pacing around the room.  “Are you going to go after me for custody?  Because I really don’t have the money to fight you on anything and I don’t know what I’d do if you took her from me, she’s my life, I don’t know what I would do without her…”  I was still spouting off when Evan pulled me into his arms and held me.

“I’m not going to take Sofia from you, Avery.  Yes, I want my name on the birth certificate and I want her to have my last name some day if she will take it, but I will not be taking her away from you.  As far as I’m concerned, nothing needs to be taken to the courts.  You and I might lead different lives now, but once upon a time we created one life, together.  So, I think we can obviously do what is best for Sofia together, without fighting like some stupid divorced couple,” he consoled as he ran his fingers through my hair, calming my nerves.  “So how do we want to do this?”

“How about you come to her game tomorrow night with me?”

“That sounds like a great idea.”

“Can you take me home now? I’m sure I have a very upset kid at home…”

“So I see she has your temper,” he chuckled as he walked over to the counter to pick-up his keys.

“Oh no, definitely not,” I said with a sarcastic smile.

“Loops?” Sofia asked half asleep in my arms as I rocked her back and forth in the recliner.

“You are supposed to be sleeping,” I growled quietly.

“I know, but I have a question,” she whined.

“Just one more question, grasshopper.”

“Are you going to be my daddy?” she asked innocently.

How can one innocent question rip me in half?  I was upset with Avery in the fact that she did not tell me about Evan, feeling like she didn’t trust me enough to tell me her secret.  Yet I think my heart exploded with joy, knowing that Sofia loved me as much as I loved her.  I took a deep breath, unsure how to answer her question.  “I will always be here for you and I will always love you,” I said carefully.

A small, sleepy smile lit up her face, “Good, cause I love you.”

“Love you too, hunnie.  Good night.”

“Night,” she said as she yawned and curled into my chest, finally falling asleep.

I must have dozed off with her because the next thing I knew Avery was home, gently scooping a zonked Sofia out of my arms.  Through half open eyes, I watched her carry her into their bedroom and soon she came back out, closing the door behind her.  “Hi,” I mumbled.

“Hey,” she said with a small, nervous smile.  “Can I curl up in your arms?”

I patted my thighs and opened my arms.  She kind of surprised me when she actually came over and sat on my lap, curling up on the chair with me.  “You’re a lot bigger than the other one I was just holding,” I laughed quietly.

“Gee thanks,” she said sarcastically.  “What are you doing here?”

“Well, Nana called me and basically demanded that I come over,” I said with a smile thinking about the old woman’s phone call.  She told me that if I didn’t come over, she was going to drive to my place and put Sofia on my front porch.  “Plus, for some reason the one person I wanted to see after the game was not there to greet me when I came out of the locker room tonight,” I whispered as I kissed her hair.

“I’m sorry,” Avery said quietly.

“What is going on Avery?  Why didn’t you trust me enough to tell me everything?”

“You know?” she asked as she lifted her head and looked up at me with tears in her eyes.

“After putting a few things together, I figured it out…” I said, letting my annoyance show a little.

“I never meant to put you in such an awkward spot,” she said as she nuzzled back into my chest.  “It’s not that I didn’t trust you Joff, it’s just been a secret for so long…”

“Why wouldn’t you tell Evan that he had a child?  You could be living in a much better place and driving a truck that wasn’t threatening to break down every time you drove it.  You could have Avery enrolled in a private school with the best teachers and she could be involved in whatever her heart desires.  Yet, here you are barely making ends meet and keeping secrets from people who love you.”  I instantly regretted how harsh my words came out but there was no turning back now.  The battle lines were instantly drawn.

She sat up and got off my lap.  “See!  That’s exactly why I didn’t tell people.  I didn’t want to ruin Evan’s dreams; I didn’t want Sofia to have a father that just paid for her.  I would rather we live like this and Sofia grows up knowing more how love can make life than what money could offer her,” Avery exclaimed with emotion as quietly as possible.

“You shouldn’t have to be the martyr and have to give up all your dreams,” I pressed, not 100% sure where I was going with it.

“I didn’t give up my dreams,” she said as her face twisted in some confusion.  “I wanted the best for my daughter and at the time I thought I was making the right decision.”

“So what about your decision on keeping me in the dark?”

“Joffrey, we have only been together for a few weeks…”

“But you weren’t honest with me,” I threw back, hurting more about the untruthfulness than I initially realized.  All my other failed relationships were based on dishonesty and here I finally thought I found a relationship where that wasn’t the case, yet here I was once again.

I watched her look down at the floor and then back up at me with a defeated look across her face.  “I can’t stand here and make you believe that I never meant to hurt you or make you understand the decisions I made 5 years ago.  I don’t expect you to completely understand that as a non-parent; I would do anything to protect my child from harm.  It will just have to be something that you either get or you don’t.  I’d love to say that I have all the time in the world to stand here and beg you to forgive me for not being perfect, but I don’t have time for that.  So either you will look past all this and move on with me or leave me and Sofia alone so that we can move on.”

I looked at her in disbelief, not remotely expecting to hear what I just heard from her sweet lips.  However, her eyes had become the hard, green emeralds I had seen the first couple days after I met her and I knew that this was no joke.  I went to take a step towards her, but I decided against it mainly for the fact that I refused to just let something like this slide.  I wasn’t ready to forgive.  “I am leaving in the morning for our road trip.  Please tell Sofia that I wish her luck for her game tomorrow and that I will visit her when I get home…” I said quietly before I brushed past her, trying to not show any of the emotion I was feeling as she stared right through me.

I cried myself to sleep after Joffrey walked out of the apartment and possibly out of my life.  I had thrown up my walls of defense when he was obviously hurt.  He had every right to be hurt; I should have been honest with him.   Unfortunately after all these years of protecting my daughter I found it all to easy to just walk away and tell myself that I was better off being alone.  It had been all too easy to tell him that I wanted to move on without him.   I just kept telling myself that I had bigger things to worry about with Evan now in the picture.  I somehow needed to bring him into Sofia’s life without confusing her even more.  As long as my daughter is happy, that is all that matters.

“You look tired,” Evan commented the next night as he took a seat next to me in the stands of the neighborhood hockey rink.

“I’m fine,” I mumbled, looking out over the ice was the kids came out from the locker room.  “I just didn’t sleep well last night.”

“It wouldn’t have anything to do with this, would it?” Evan asked as he pulled out his cell phone with a text message on the screen that read: I won’t be in the way of you getting to know your daughter.  Just please love her like she deserves to be loved. –Lupul.

I left out a little gasp, quickly covering my open mouth and turn away from Evan’s intense gaze.  “I don’t want to talk about it,” I mumbled, putting my hand back in my lap and tucking it into the sleeve of my sweatshirt, feeling like the temperature in the rink went down 10 more degrees.  I have officially fucked it all up.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Chapter 9

Sorry for the delay!! I promise to get back on track!! LOL

Anemone flowers...fragile

I came home from the early morning practice to find the house quiet, even though Avery’s truck was still parked out in my driveway.  I walked upstairs and found her where I left her this morning except this time, her face was tear stained and I could tell the pillow was wet from her crying.  I crawled across the bed and lay down next to her on my belly as I gently pushed some of hair out of her face.  “What is wrong, beautiful?”
“Nothing,” she mumbled.

I left out a quiet chuckle, “Okay, I’ll believe that when it snows in LA.  You slept like a fitful mess last night and now I come home to find your pillow soaked with your tears…”

“I don’t want to talk about it, Joff,” she mumbled with pleading eyes.

“This wouldn’t have something to do with Evan, would it?” I asked, knowing that I might be in trouble for crossing the line, but the whole situation has bothered me ever since the first episode.

She took a deep breath through her mouth and bit on her lip.  “It does, but I really can’t talk about it right now, Joffrey.  I just need time to explain it to you and right now is not the time.”

“Did he hurt you?” I pushed, wanting to know because if he did I was going to give the guy my two cents and possibly a few punches.  He’s a baseball player and I’m a hockey player, I’m trained to fight, he is not.

“Not in the way you are probably thinking.  Please, leave it go,” she said with an edge that told me to listen or otherwise I’d be starting a fight.

 “Mommy!” Sofia yelled happily as she let go of Nana’s hand and ran across the parking lot to me. 

I had been at the rink for almost an hour already, talking with Krissy and just pacing around the concourse, worried about how the evening was going to go.  I was glad to finally see my little one again, feeling a little more normal.  As much as I loved my weekend with Joffrey, I still felt like something was missing when she wasn’t near me.  I was trying to focus on my excitement for Joff and his big return to the ice.

We spent the afternoon napping and then I made him, Krissy and Bobby dinner as I put on a happier persona, hoping he wouldn’t see through my screen.  My heart was breaking because I knew I would have no way of getting around the whole Evan deal.  This was it and I truly had no idea how either of the boys would react.  All I could do was hope that Evan wouldn’t figure it out when he saw Sofia this evening at the game.  I wanted to be able to tell him somewhere private, just in case a big scene was made.

Joffrey seemed to think that whatever was bothering me earlier had passed, so he was back to his normal hyperactive self, which only made it easier for me to smile.  Tonight we were celebrating his return to the ice and I wanted to make sure all my attention was on him.  He was so pumped and was literally bouncing around like a little kid when I watched him and some of the boys kicking the soccer ball around for warm-ups.  It was even cute when he asked if I would wear his jersey for the game.

Before we got in the Jeep to head to the arena, I felt him grab my hand.  I looked over at him in confusion.  “Yes?”

 “Um, I was wondering something,” he asked with his adorable puppy eyes blinking at me.

“Yes?” I asked slower this time.

“Would you wear my jersey tonight?  I mean you look good in what you have on, but I’d really like to have both my girls wearing my number tonight,” he said with a shy smile.

I couldn’t help but giggle as I nodded my head up and down.  “Yes, I will wear your jersey, even though I think it’s just your attempt to label me as your bitch…” I said with a smile.

“Yeah, that’s what it’s all about,” he said sarcastically as he pulled me in towards him to kiss me deeply.  “You are alll mine,” he said in a demonic voice.

I looked down at the jersey I was now wearing and couldn’t help but giggling at the fact that I was swimming in the damn thing.  It was a game worn jersey, so it didn’t fit nice like Nana’s and Sofia’s, but this one felt more special for the fact that Joffrey had worn it.

“Mommy! You are wearing Loops’ jersey!  It looks big on you.” She exclaimed as she jumped into my arms for a hug.  “I’ve missed you Mommy.  Are you coming home tonight with us?

It felt longer than two days since I had seen her last and I couldn’t help but holding her a moment longer as I breathed in her scent.  I don’t know what I’d do without her.  “Yup, I’m coming home with you tonight,” I choked out as tears threatened to cloud my vision.

I put her back down on the pavement and we headed towards the arena where Joffrey was waiting for her.  He was already in his uniform and I couldn’t believe how much taller he looked in his skates.  “Hey Grasshopper!” He scooped her up, making her look even smaller than she was.

“Hi Loops,” she said with a big smile as she kissed his cheek and squeezed his neck.  “Good luck tonight!”

“Thanks baby girl,” he said as he kissed her back and handed her off to Bobby so she could give him a good luck hug.

As Sofia was busy picking on Bobby, Joff pulled me into him and whispered, “You look hot in my jersey.”

“I look like I lost a ton of weight and forgot to buy clothing that fits me,” I said with a frown as I looked down at the jersey dress I was wearing. 

“Aah, but this way people won’t be tempted to take my goods,” he said with a cocky smile. Before I could complain he leaned down and kissed me.

“Eeeeew!” I heard Sofia squeak as everyone around us began to laugh.  We both started laughing as we stood with our foreheads still pressed together.  This was the first time he ever showed any affection towards me in front of her.  “Mommy, you told me not to kiss boys because they have cooties!  Now we need to take you home and wash them off!” She said as I looked down to find her with her hands on her hips along with a disgusted look.

Nana just walked over and said, “Shush young lady and mind your own business.  Where do we go to get to our seats?” she asked, trying to hold back her own laughter.

I stepped away from Joffrey and said with a smile, “See you after the game.” 

“Bye, ladies,” Joff called out as we walked down the hall to the elevator.

Once again we were up in one of the club seat boxes.  As soon as I took a step into the room I found myself wanting to step out.  I knew he was going to be there, but seeing him always brought back a flood of memories that I thought I had buried.  I was pulled from my thoughts as Sofia went running over to Krissy who was talking to Evan.

“Why hello, Miss Sofia!” Krissy exclaimed as she picked up my little girl.  “I’m so glad you came to watch the game with us tonight!  Are you excited to see Loops play tonight?”

“No,” she pouted.

A look of surprise crossed over all of our faces, even Evan’s.  “Well why not?” Krissy asked.

“Because he gave mommy his cooties,” she said seriously.

I snorted loudly and scolded, “Now Sofia, really you don’t need to worry about that.”

“And who is this precious gem?” Evan asked as he was still laughing like the rest of us but with a curious expression across his face.

“I’m Sofia,” my daughter blurted out, always excited to meet anyone who was new and interested in her.

“Nice to meet you Sofia, I’m Evan,” he said, amused as he bent over and held out his hand.

“You have pretty eyes,” my daughter said as she shook his hand.

I couldn’t help but laugh when he blushed at her compliment.  “Thank you,” he said as he looked over at me and raised an eyebrow.  “She’s definitely you,” he said.

I just shrugged my shoulders and smiled nervously, hoping to God he didn’t see his likeness in her; the likeness that I saw daily with so many of her mannerisms.

The game started and we cheered loudly as Joff got on the ice for his first shift.  He looked a little rusty but after few shifts he was out hitting with the rest of them and had a couple shots on goal.  Of course Sofia insisted on sitting on Evan’s lap and explaining all her new found knowledge about hockey.

“I don’t think he needs a play-by-play, Sof,” I chirped over to her at one point.  “He has two eyes and probably has a clue about what is going on.”

Evan started waving his hand back and forth in disagreement.  “No, please, I’m enjoying what she has to say.  I do play baseball and not hockey,” he said with a kind smile.

“So how old is she?” Evan asked as I walked back and got a drink.

“Five,” I said, not meeting his eyes.

“She’s beautiful, why didn’t you tell me you had a daughter?”

“I didn’t think it was very important.”

“Huh, because she sure does seem very important to you and I have a feeling she’s a big part of your life,” he said as he rubbed his chin, looking like the wheels were beginning to turn.

Here we go.

“You know, I had the same colored hair when I was that young.  Everyone always thought I was adopted because both my parents had dark hair.  Little did anyone know that the blonde hair came from my mother’s side, along with my blue-green eyes.”

“I see,” I said as I tried pouring the soda into my cup.

“Plus I got the thick curly hair from my dad’s side,” he said as he picked his hat off his head and mussed his own hair.

“Oh,” I said in a, ‘I don’t give a shit,’ voice.

I went to turn and walk back to my seat as his hand stopped me.  He lifted my chin and leaned down so that he was staring into my eyes.  “Why didn’t you tell me I had a daughter, Avery?”

I took a couple deep breaths, trying to keep the tears from coming but it truly was useless.  “I can’t talk to you about this right now,” I pleaded.

He stepped closer and grabbed onto my arm, not tight, but enough to get my attention.  “We will be talking about this.  I won’t cause any trouble here, but I think you owe me a very lengthy explanation after the game.  Until then I will be sitting with my daughter and enjoying our first time together,” he said in an upset tone that told me he was hurt.

I reached out and grabbed his arm this time, “Please, don’t say anything to her.  Not right now, Evan…” I pleaded.

“Not right now…but she will know soon.”

As soon as the words were out of his mouth, the goal horn sounded and I could hear Sofia screaming, “Looooooops! Looooooops!  Mommy, Looooooops scored a goooooaalllll!!!”

I quickly wiped away my tears, glued on a happy face and went over to my bouncing daughter as I watched Joffrey’s first goal of the season replay on the jumbo-tron. 

I knew something was wrong when I got into the family room, expecting to see my cheering section and instead I found Krissy standing by herself with none of my girls to be found.  “Where are Avery and Sofia?”

“They stayed to watch the game, but Avery said she had to leave and to tell you that she would call you tomorrow.  She also said congratulations on your goal,” Krissy said hesitantly, giving me a hint there was more going on than what she was saying.

“What happened?  Does this have anything to do with Evan?”

Krissy looked at me with worried eyes and shrugged her shoulders.  “I think it might but I’m not sure.  They seemed fine the whole time; Sofia was even sitting on his lap for the whole game.  However, right before you scored I noticed them talking quietly over by the drinks.  They looked to be in an emotional conversation; Evan even leaned close to her as he held her chin.  When you scored I watched her wipe some tears away from her face and then put on this happy face that truly was not happy.  The rest of the game she seemed quiet yet still stayed involved for probably Sofia’s sake.”

“How was Evan after the conversation?” I asked, thoroughly confused by everything.

“He just paid a lot of attention to Sofia and stared a lot at Avery, seeming very attentive to her even though she acted like nothing was different.

“Did you get a chance to talk to him at all today?”

She took a deep breath like she was afraid to tell me but decided that she would speak.  “Apparently they ‘dated’ on and off over the last several years, and I use the word dated loosely because it sounded more like a series of hook-ups.  I guess at one point they were pretty serious about one another in college but then he went to Tampa Bay.  It seems the clincher was when he admitted he had messed around with several women, like any kid who gets thrown into the limelight.  He said he had asked her to move with him to Florida, but after telling him she would let him know her decision she basically disappeared.”

“Well, she had a kid, it’s not like she could just up and move in with him without knowing if it was going to work or not…”

“I don’t think he knew about Sofia,” Krissy said point-blank.

“Really?” I asked, shocked because of how much Sofia was apart of Avery’s life.

“Yeah, it sure seemed that way.”

“Do you think…nah, never mind,” I said deciding at the last minute my idea was most likely way off base.

“Do I think what?” Krissy asked curiously.

“Never mind,” I said, now sorry I even said anything.

“Do I think Sofia has Evan’s nose and chin?” Krissy asked with a raised eyebrow.

“You think he is Sofia’s father?” I asked, almost glad I wasn’t the only one wondering.

Krissy took a deep breath and nodded quietly.  “There is a good chance of it and it would explain a lot of how Avery has reacted around him.  I just don’t understand why she didn’t tell him if our thoughts are correct.”

“I don’t understand why I can’t see Loops!” Sofia cried as her temper tantrum kicked into full force as I carried her, kicking and screaming, to the truck.  I just left her cry, wishing I could do the same.  I wanted to be down in the family room, waiting for Joffrey to come out of the locker room so that I could congratulate him on his first game back and his first goal of the season, instead I was shipping my daughter home with Nana so I could have the talk I have dreaded ever since the day she was born.  

“Sorry, Nana,” I murmured as I closed the door to the truck, still able to hear Sofia screaming at the top of her lungs.

“This is what you need to do.  I love you child,” she said as she hugged me and kissed me on the cheek.  I watched as she looked over at Evan and nodded with a sad smile.  He reached out and shook her hand and said goodnight. 

I stood still until they drove out of the parking lot and then I looked over at Evan, “Well that was my ride…”

“I figured we could go back to my place; I’ll put some coffee on.”

I shoved my hands in my pockets and nodded, following him over to his black Lexus sports car.  He opened the door for me and I got in, buckling my seatbelt, trying to hold on to any normalcy I thought I had to hold onto.