Monday, June 29, 2009


Lillianah’s POV

The next time I lifted my head the sun was pouring through the windows to my right. I blinked my eyes a few times and glanced at the clock, 11:01 AM. I sat up in bed and stretched my arms above my head. I headed in to the bathroom and got ready for the long day ahead of me. What was I going to do with Frank and Will? I could show them around town, but I’m sure Max had already done that with them in the past. I headed out in to the living room to see Frank watching TV and Will still passed out, snoring on the couch. “Hey, you drink coffee?” I asked Frank as I walked around the kitchen pulling out a bag. “Yeah, are you making some? I would love a cup.” I smiled to him and nodded my head as I made a pot. Just as I pulled two mugs down Will’s head poked up from the other side of the couch. “Do I smell coffee? Count me in please.” I stifled a laugh and pulled down a third mug. Just as I turned around to see if they wanted cream and sugar they stood on either side of me, ready to prepare their own coffee. I shot each a smile and took mine in to the living room where I plopped down on the recliner. “So what do you boys want to do today?” I asked them once they joined me in the living room. Will shoved his glasses up further on his nose with his index finger and looked over at Frank. “Anything really, we want to get to know you. You must have magical powers to calm Max down. We actually don’t think you’re real.” I started to laugh, setting my mug down on the table next to the chair. “Oh no, I’m very real. So anywhere you want to go? I don’t work tonight, so we have the whole day. And another thing, I don’t have a car, so if it’s anywhere not in the South Side, you’ll have to drive.” They each gave me an odd look. “You don’t drive?” Frank finally asked. “I can drive, sometimes. On Max’s birthday when he got that concussion, I had to drive home and I was praying the whole way that I wouldn’t crash. I don’t know, I have no reason to drive.” They looked at each other, than back at me. “Alright we know what we want to do today.” Frank reached in to his pocket and then tossed his keys to me. “You’re kidding right?” “Nope, now come on, this might take all day.”

It was hard enough driving an automatic but when I looked down at my feet and saw three pedals I immediately panicked. “I’m going to break your car.” “No you’ll be fine, we taught Max how to drive,” Frank smiled as he began pointing out things to me. I started up the car and slowly pulled out in to traffic, only to stall the car at a red light. “I have an idea, Chinese fire drill, come on, get out,” Frank ordered as he opened his door and ran over to mine. I crawled over in to the passenger seat and he started the car back up. Once we were out on the highway, I looked over at Frank. “So where are we going?” I asked once we were about a half hour out of the city. “Somewhere with not a whole lot of people and big, wide open, empty roads.” I laughed and shook my head as I looked back out the window, watching civilization creep away with every passing mile. “This looks good,” Frank smiled a few minutes later and pulled off the highway and I caught sight of the sign for Mt Pleasant. He found a big, empty road and stopped the car. Frank got out of the car and I turned to look at Will, “I’m sorry if I put your life in danger.” I got out of the car and walked over to the driver’s side, climbing in. Once I got the car actually moving down the street at a steady speed of fifteen miles per hour my phone began to ring. “It’s probably Max, you can answer it,” I motioned to Frank to get my phone out of my purse between his legs. “Allo!” I moved along the street noticing a car come up behind me, I stuck my arm out my window and motioned them to pass me, which they thankfully did. “We’re teaching her how to drive a stick. She’s made it about a half mile at fifteen miles per hour without stalling yet,” Frank laughed. Frank motioned for me to pull over on the side of the road and so I did as he handed me the phone. “Hey baby,” I laughed in to the phone. “Where are you guys at?” “Down in Mt Pleasant. There’s no one around and only a few light poles, but don’t worry I know how to turn the steering wheel.” I smiled when I heard Max laugh. “Well that’s good to know. I was just calling to see what you guys were up to. I better get going. I love you.” “Love you too Max.” I closed my phone and set it down in the cup holder next to me. “Alright, so let’s see how fast we can get this baby up to.” I looked over at Frank with fear in my eyes but he just gave me that smirk, that smirk that Max had that could get me to do almost anything. Must run in the family.

“You want to drive back in to the city?” Frank asked as the sun was now starting to set and I declared myself the best driver this side of the Mississippi. “Sure! Thanks for teaching me how to drive a stick, it was fun once I got use to it.” “Yeah, I’ve never seen anyone get so frustrated at a clutch before,” Will laughed from the back. Once I was on the highway, going the speed limit, sometimes even over, I smiled to myself. I felt like I had been doing this for years. “So how did you meet Max? He’s never told us the story,” Will said from the back seat. “He never told you how he stalked me?” I laughed earning a confused look from the both of them. I went on to tell them how we met and I don’t think they stopped laughing until I finished our story. “So he use to just come to your work and watch you?” Will asked. “Well he would come with his teammates, and they would all be dancing with girls and whatnot, but he would be sitting on the same bench, just watching me. So yeah, it was about a month after I started noticing him that he finally came and talked to me.” “That my darling is amazing. You’re the sister we’ve never had.” I felt a tingle in my stomach as the words left his mouth. I looked over at Frank and gave him a smile.

Max’s POV

I hung up the phone and looked over at the boys. “My brothers are teaching her how to drive a stick.” Flower’s head popped up from the crowd. “You’re kidding me right? Do they realize what harm they are putting themselves in to?” I shook my head and laughed as the rest of the guys gave me skeptical looks, “she doesn’t exactly know how to drive. I mean she was a little brake happy when she drove me home from the Mellon the night I got the concussion.” Realization crossed over their faces as they joined in our laughing. I heard my phone ring and I pulled it out of my suit pocket. “Allo maman,” I smiled. “Maxime, where are you brothers? I can’t get a hold of Francis, and his wife is, oh I don’t know where she is, she’s always not around.” She’s kidding right? “They’re in Pittsburgh.” “WHAT?!” “So obviously they didn’t tell anyone they were coming because they just knocked on my door last night, I had no idea. They drove all day.” I heard her mumbled to herself a few choice words in French and I had to stifle my laughter. “Well then, are you with them?” “No I’m in Tampa Bay.” Flower came and stood next to me motioning his fingers for me to wrap up the phone call so we could head in to the arena for our morning skate. “Oh well, I will try him again then.” I wrapped up the phone call and followed Flower in to the arena.

I stuffed my iPod earphones in my ears and pushed play as I laid down on the hotel bed, resting my battered body after a win over Tampa. I turned the volume up higher as Evgeni had turned the TV on to some infomercial. As much as I love the Russian, I prefer rooming with Flower, but that only happens a few times a year. I picked my iPod up and looked at the screen, scrolling to my playlists. I landed on the one titled Lillianah and hit random. I had asked her to make me a playlist for when I was away to make it feel like I wasn’t away from her at all. The words filled my ears and I smiled to myself, she sneaked some music I’ve never heard before in here.

I’ll be the waterways that save you if you start drowning
in an open tab when your judgment’s on the brink
I’ll be the phonograph that plays your favorite
albums back as your lying there drifting off to sleep
I’ll be the platform shoes and undo what heredity’s done to you
you won’t have to strain to look into my eyes
I’ll be your winter coat buttoned zipped straight to the throat
with the collar up so you won’t catch a cold

I want to take you far from the cynics in this town
and kiss you on the mouth
We’ll cut our bodies free from the tethers of this scene
start a brand new colony
Where everything will change
we’ll give ourselves new names identities erased
The sun will heat the ground
under our bare feet in this brand new colony
everything will change

As the songs went on, I noticed they were love songs, but they were her love songs to me. A lot made me smile, some made me laugh, others made me miss her terribly. I already knew she was the girl I was going to marry, but these songs that she picked out specifically for me only confirmed my feelings. She felt exactly the same towards me as I did her. I’ve doubted her feelings a few times, but that was early on. Now, we were stuck together, we weren’t going anywhere. As I was thinking one song filled through my ears and I hit the back button to listen to it closer.

Where are you going with your long face pulling down?
Don’t hide away like an ocean, but you can’t see
But you can smell and the sound waves crash down

I am no superman, I have no reasons for you
I am no hero, oh that’s for sure
But I do know one thing for sure
Is where you are is where I belong

I went back in to the menu of my iPod and set the sleep timer, allowing myself to fall asleep to the music.

Lillianah’s POV

I filled up our wine glasses once again, having to open a second bottle to fill Frank’s to the rim. We were laughing, sharing stories and just in general getting to know each other better. I had a question on the tip of my tongue, and as badly as I wanted to ask it, I knew it wouldn’t be good. I knew that they knew about the engagement ring, I just wanted to know how much they knew about it. I bit my tongue every time the ring popped in to my mind, screaming at me to ask them what they knew. “So do you work tomorrow?” Will asked. “I do, eight to two. If you guys wanted to come down you’re more than welcomed,” I smiled to them as I attacked my wine. “Max told us we weren’t allowed, so we would love to tag along. Check out this nightclub he talks about all the time,” Frank smiled and held his glass up for me to clink with my own. Once my glass was empty and I refilled it for the third time I looked over at the guys. “How long has he had it?” I asked to both of them. “Had what?” Frank asked cautiously. “The engagement ring.” Will choked on his wine and Frank slowly looked away from me toward Will. “So you know about it?” “I found it one day.” Will nodded his head. “He bought it the day our parents came and visited.” I thought back and remember how he disappeared that morning and when I had asked him where he was he obviously lied to me. Now I know he was actually out buying a ring. So he’s had it for a little over two weeks. “Does he plan on using it any time soon?” I asked swallowing hard wondering if they knew or not. “With Maxime, you never know. He gets what he wants, he’s always been that way.” I slowly nodded my head and smiled to them as I started on my third glass. “Hey Lil,” I looked over at Will and smiled, “can you make us your s’mores. That’s one of the first things Max told us about you.” I began to laugh, “yeah, you know what, I’ll teach you how I make them too. Just don’t tell Max.”

The next night I couldn’t help but blare Britney Spears through the apartment as I picked out my outfit for the night. I peaked out in to the living room a few times to see the guys bouncing their heads back and forth every once and awhile, obviously enjoying the music as well. I’m sure they would deny it if I asked them though. I threw some things on the bed and closed the door. I stripped down and pulled on the thigh high red socks, then black boys shorts and a black bra. I looked in the mirror and wondered what I could wear over top with the socks. I looked back in the closet and my eyes crawled over Max’s clothes. I grabbed one of his white dress shirts and put it on. I grabbed one of my black belts and wrapped it around my waist, keeping the front of the shirt open. I rolled the sleeves up and I felt like I walked straight off the set of Flashdance. So much so I started dancing around the room as I finished getting ready. I finished up my make up and pulled on some black high heels and headed out to the living room where I grabbed my pea coat. I looked up at Frank and Will and they quickly looked away. “Are you guys coming down later?” “Yeah, we will come down around 10, we gotta get sexed up too ya know. We’ll lock up on our way out.” I smiled to them and walked out. They were funny, I liked them, a lot. They were both smart asses like Max, which I loved.

I danced around the booth, on an obvious 80’s kick, and I kept thinking about Max, and how I wished he was here. I turned around in my booth and looked down at the stairs where I saw Frank and Will talking to the security guard all while pointing toward me. I totally spaced on putting them on the VIP list. I quickly put on a playlist and headed down toward them. “Hey Robby, these two guys are with me.” I grabbed on to Will’s shirt and dragged them up the stairs with me before Robby could say anything else. “Do either of you drink tequila?” I asked once we were standing by my booth. “Um, yeah sure,” Frank smiled and I reached in and grabbed my bottle. I unscrewed the lid and took a swig before handing him the bottle. He looked from the bottle to me then shrugged his shoulders and took a swig and handed it to Will. “So I think we should take a picture and send it to Max,” I smiled as I pulled my cell phone out and stopped a guy that was walking by. I stood between the two with my arms over their shoulders as the stranger took our photo. I looked down at it and smiled before sending it off to Max. “He’s not gonna be happy with us,” Frank laughed at Will.

Max’s POV

“Flower! FLOWER! Please tell me this isn’t what I think it is,” I cringed as I handed him my phone across the table. He looked down at the photo on my phone and began to laugh. “Okay first off, how did Frank and Will get in to Diesel? Second off, she’s not wearing a whole lot. Is that your shirt?” I snatched my phone back and looked closely at what she was wearing. It was one of my dress shirts and not much more. “Well I guess it’s nice to see they’re getting along. I think. That’s good right? They’re getting along?” Flower began to laugh as he took the phone from me looking at the picture again. “If I know Frank and Will the way I think I know them, they’re getting along just great. I’m sure they got drunk last night and had one big heart to heart with each other. That’s what they did with me the first time I met them.” I shook my head, knowing that’s probably exactly what they did. I felt a twinge in my stomach just thinking about what they could have talked about. My brothers weren’t stupid enough to bring up the ring were they? Actually, yes, yes they are.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Lillianah’s POV

I knew the best thing I could do was dismiss the whole ring issue, and that’s what I did. Life was so much better when you aren’t stressing out over something like a ring. Well, a diamond ring. I pulled on my black shorts, then my white barely there halter top, before pulling on my white fur boots. I looked in the mirror and pulled my hair out of it’s pony tail, tossing it around to make sure it looked somewhat decent. Once I thought I looked “hot” enough for work, I took the boots off, pulled on flats and my black pea coat. I walked out in to the living room and leaned over the back of the couch to give Max a kiss before I left the apartment. I arrived at the club, happy to find out that I would only be working til 11, they had a local radio DJ coming in to take over the last three hours. Max was leaving for a small road trip the next day, so I wanted to spend time with him before he left, and finding out that I would be off early gave me an instant adrenaline high. I was off my period and I wanted one last romp in bed before he was gone for five days. The club was packed to the rim, which I found odd for a Wednesday, but I was always happy when the place was packed.

I was on a Kanye West kick when I noticed a few familiar faces walk through the front doors. I immediately mixed in to my personal theme song for them, the Robyn song I play every time they walk in, but became a little disappointed when I didn’t see the ring leader, the one with the smile that takes up his whole face. “Hey Lil!!” Tyler shouted to me and I waved to them as they made their way to the VIP. I looked down at my phone to see it was 10:30, I only had another thirty minutes before I could get home to my man. “Where’s Max?” I turned around to come face to face with Tyler and Evgeni. “He’s at home!” I shouted back to them as I quickly turned on a playlist and followed them in to the VIP, grabbing a shot of Vodka from Evgeni. “It’s good,” Evgeni smiled to me as he handed me another shot. That’s how the next five minutes went, shot after shot. “Dance with me for a minute!” Tyler shouted to me over the music and I grabbed his hand and turned my back to him. “Where’s your girlfriend?” His laughter caught me off guard, so I turned around in his arms to face him. “Lil, I don’t have a girlfriend, I don’t want a girlfriend.” I stopped moving and felt my eyes bulge out of my head. I grabbed another shot, gave Tyler a kiss on the cheek and headed back to my booth. I finished off my shot as I closed up my things and moved aside for the radio DJ to set up. I stepped out of the booth and felt myself stumble. I was drunk, or at least getting there. As much as I couldn’t wait to get home to Max, this new bit of information had me wanting just a little bit more liquor to clear out my brain that was currently wrapped around a diamond ring. I joined the boys in the lounge once again and Evgeni had a line of shots in front of him. He studied them, probably having four or five himself already, but he looked like he was in deep though. “Lil, have,” he held one up in the air and I took it from him, throwing it back. “You off?” I nodded my head as I took a seat next to him. “You go home to Max?” “In a few minutes, I want to unwind first.”

Once the clock hit 11:30, I pulled my boots off and pulled my coat on. “Bye boys, see ya around!” I shouted before I walked out of the lounge, for the first time discovering that I was in fact drunk. I enjoyed my time walking home, taking in the sights of Pittsburgh before the town shuts down at 2 AM.

Max’s POV

I stretched out on the couch, wondering if I packed everything I needed for the road trip we were heading out on. Three games over five days, Tampa, Carolina and then Florida. I was looking forward to the warm weather of the south, but this would be the first time in awhile that Lillianah and I would be apart. Man I’m sounding like a pussy. I flipped through the channels for a third time when I heard a knock on the door. I jumped up, figuring it was probably just the boys looking to head out. I pulled the door open and almost shut it. Almost. “What the fuck you assholes, you’re not suppose to be here for another week!” I stepped aside and allowed my brothers to walk in. “Sorry, I thought dip shit over here called you to tell you we were coming, and then once we were ten minutes out of town he told me he didn’t call you. So-“ “Wait, you guys drove down here? From Montreal?” They both nodded at me like there was no other form of transportation known to man kind. “You guys are ridiculous. Anyways, this couldn’t be the worst timing on your part, I leave for five days tomorrow, and-“ “Yeah we know,” Will interrupted. “So you think you’re just going to hang out with my girlfriend, who you don’t know, while I’m gone? Oh shit, I haven’t told her you guys were planning on coming yet.” I glanced over at the clock to see it was just after 11:00, she was probably in her zone, maybe I should just go to the club to catch her? “I need a shower.” I looked up at Frank and pointed down the hall to the bathroom. “She’s gonna flip out,” I mumbled as Will and I sat down on the couches. “She won’t even know we’re here when she gets home. You said she usually gets off at 2? We’ll be passed out in the next hour. We’ll sleep on the couches.” I sent a glare his way. “If you guys make a mess or break anything, I’ll bust your asses.” “Don’t worry little brother, we’re both trained remember? We have wives.”

“So we got pulled over outside of Buffalo for speeding and Frank goes off in French about how stupid American’s are and how they’re not smart enough to have the metric system like the rest of the world. So the cop kind of stops and watches him on his rampage then the cop says ‘va te faire foutre’.” I doubled over in laughter as Frank shook his head. “The cop told you to fuck off? Did you get a ticket?” I could see Frank’s ears get red. “Yeah he wrote me a ticket!” Will and I were laughing so hard that I didn’t even realize Lillianah had walked in until I heard a thud by the front door. I jumped up and ran toward her. She smelt like Vodka. “You’re off early.” She leaned up and gave me a kiss on the side of my mouth. “Yeah, they had a guest DJ come in. Your teammates were there, Evgeni was feeding me Vodka. Oh and Tyler doesn’t have a girlfriend.” It was at this point I was praying that she was so drunk, she would forget everything by morning time. “Um, my brothers are here.” A smile crawled over her face as she pushed me aside and moved to the living room. “Hi, I’m gonna go change, and I’ll be right back,” she smiled to them and I followed her in to the bedroom earning nods of approval from my brothers. “How many shots did you have?” I asked her as she sat on the edge of the bed and pulled her shorts off. “Six or seven. Maybe more.” She shrugged her shoulders like it was no big deal. I grabbed her lounge pants and red tank top off the top of the dresser and tossed them toward her. I noticed the bra on the ground and tossed it to her as well. I didn’t want her walking around with no bra in front of my brothers. Sure they’re both married, but they are also male. “You can head back out there, I just want to wash my makeup off and I’ll come out,” she smiled to me before walking up to me and wrapping her arms around my neck. I took her lips in mine, really wishing my brothers weren’t down the hall.

“Maxime, she is a knockout.” I smiled proudly at Frank. “That is why you will never, ever go to where she works.” “Why not?” Thinking of all the outfits I have seen her in and have taken off of her, I felt a little twinge in my pants. “She doesn’t wear a whole lot.” They looked at each other and I knew I said too much. I couldn’t trust these guys alone. Lillianah walked out of the bedroom, bumping in to the wall and crawled over the back of the couch and sat down between my legs, with her back up against my chest, and her legs stretched out over the couch. “Will, Francis this is my girlfriend Lillianah. Lil this is Will and Frank,” I introduced them and they both reached over and shook her hand. “It’s good to meet you guys, Max talks about you all the time.” “Oh really?” Frank asked with a raised eyebrow. “Well not really, but isn’t that what people are suppose to say when they meet the relatives? Well I mean he has told me some interesting stories and how you guys are married with kids, but that’s been about it.” They both laughed and I wrapped my arms around her waist, kissing her shoulder. “Dude, she just passed out.” I looked around and could see that her eyes did close and her breathing had evened out. I lifted her up in my arms and carried her to the bedroom. I took her bra off for her, and covered her up before rejoining my brothers. “Where did you find her?” I smiled as I pulled some spare blankets and pillows out of the hall closet. “She’s a DJ at a nightclub, I had my eye on her for about 6 months before I grew the balls to talk to her.” They looked at me like I had a strange growth growing off of my forehead. “It took you six months to talk to her? My little brother Maxime had trouble talking to a girl?” Will asked. “Well I’m dating her, we’re living together, I bought her an engagement ring, so she’s obviously not like other girls. She’s the real deal. Alright, I’m heading to bed, I’ll see you guys in the morning.” I turned on my heel and headed down the hallway. “Yeah, get up early, we need to talk about this whole engagement ring business,” Frank shouted after me.

Lillianah’s POV

“Well I’m dating her, we’re living together, I bought her an engagement ring, so she’s obviously not like other girls. She’s the real deal. Alright, I’m heading to bed-.” I quickly snapped my eyes shut and pulled the covers up closer to me. I was still semi-unconscious when I heard him talking to his brothers in the living room, but I was awake enough to hear ‘engagement ring’. It didn’t take much time for me to fall back asleep, thanks to Evgeni and his Vodka. Which at this moment, I was very, very thankful for.

The smell of bacon filling my nose caused me to jump up and run for the toilet. I drank far too much last night. After I brushed my teeth and washed my face I sat down on the edge of the bathtub and everything from the previous night came rushing back to me. First Tyler not having a girlfriend, drinking with Evgeni, coming home to find Max’s brothers, then . . . the engagement ring. For me. I got up from the tub and looked at myself in the mirror before heading out to the kitchen where the three brothers were chatting and eating. “Hi,” I smiled as I pulled down a mug and poured myself some coffee. “So I’m sorry I was a little wasted last night when we met. I never imagined meeting the rest of Max’s family that way,” I smiled to Will and Frank as I leaned back against the island, facing them. “No worries, you didn’t do or say anything embarrassing, so no harm no foul,” the older looking one who I remember as Frank said. For the first time with sober eyes I looked at all three, as Max sat down next to Will at the breakfast bar. They all looked identical, the only exception was that Frank wasn’t wearing glasses. My eyes settled on Max and I studied his face. His black eyes were nearly gone, and he was clean shaven except for a faint mustache. His glasses were perched on the end of his nose and he crunched on his bacon with a smile on his face. ‘I love you’ I mouthed to him, which he mouthed back and I turned around to get more coffee. “So how long are you guys in town for?” I asked Will and Frank as I reclaimed my position up against the island. “Ten days.” I laughed as Max choked on his bacon. “Ten days? Originally you guys were only going to be here for four days. Now it’s ten?” he asked after drinking half of his water. “We needed a vacation, don’t worry, we won’t bug you the whole time. We might head back up to Buffalo so Frank could yell at that cop some more.” All three started laughing as I could only smile. “I’ll take care of them, I’m sure they’re not as wild as you are Max,” I smiled and he just shook his head at me.

“Any liquor they take, I want them to replace okay?” I nodded my head as I tightened my grip around his neck. I kissed him on the lips and ran my fingers over his head. “I’m going to miss you,” I mumbled against his lips. “I’m going to miss you too mon cheri. When I get back, we’re going to look at that house, okay?” I nodded my head before I attached my lips to his again. He pushed me up against the door and pulled me in closer to him. I pulled away from him but his lips continued to travel down my jaw to my neck. “You better get going, you don’t want to miss your flight.” He nodded his head and kissed me on the lips one last time before he reached next to me and opened the door. We headed out to the living room and he said his goodbyes to his brothers before he walked out the door. There was nothing I wanted more than to head back to bed considering it was only 7:30, but I didn’t want to be rude. “Would it be okay with you if we fell back asleep? We were on the road for twelve hours yesterday, we’re still tired,” Frank said to me from the couch. I smiled to him and nodded my head, “that is perfectly okay with me, I think I’m going to go back to bed too, try and sleep off this hang over.” I retreated back to the bedroom and crawled in to the bed. I pulled Max’s pillow close to me and it smelt like him. I smiled into the soft cotton and my mind immediately went to the ‘engagement’ ring. When did he buy it? Why did he buy it? On Valentine’s day was that his weak way of asking me to marry him? Right before sex asking if I wanted to go to Vegas and get hitched? This is all too much for me. This relationship is moving way too fast for me. How did I get sucked in so hard? I opened my eyes and saw the picture of Max and I on the nightstand. That . . . that was why I got sucked in so hard. He’s my new drug. My healthy drug. I can’t get enough of him. I can just only hope that if and when he pulls that ring out on me, I don’t run away.

Friday, June 19, 2009


So I know in the beginning of the story I had Max with one brother, and than I discovered he has two, so to keep with the realness of this story, Max has two brothers. I’ll fix the old chapters to correct the mistake. =)

Lillianah’s POV

With every drawer I tore apart, I would put it back together in fear that practice might have ended early and Max would walk in on me. I couldn’t find the ring anywhere, which made me think it could have been Vero’s and Marc might have just changed his mind on the ring. That was absurd though, who does that? I looked in the closet and spotted his safe sitting behind his pants on a shelf. I pushed the pants to the side and looked down at the safe, it was locked. That was the only logical location a diamond ring could be, if he still had it. What if it was for a girlfriend in the past? But he didn’t date. Could that ring . . . could that ring be for me? I heard the front door swing open and I put Max’s pants back in their place and quickly closed the closet door just as he walked in. “Do you know what I just realized?” He asked as he headed to the closet and opened the door. “Um . . . what?” “You haven’t met my brothers yet.” I gave him a skeptical look, “from what I’ve heard, I don’t know if I’m mentally prepared to meet them any time soon.” He fiddled around in the closet before he turned around and tackled me on the bed. “I invited them to come down next month when your family and my parents come back.” I smiled and gave him a quick kiss, “I’ll warn my family.” He rolled his eyes at me and grabbed my hands, pinning them to the pillows above my head. “We’re not that bad you know.” I laughed against his lips and felt one of his hands come down and wrap around my lower back. He bit on my bottom lip, pulling it away from my face gently. “Are you busy? Or do you want to have some fun?” I laughed all while trying to get my hands out of his grasp. “Can’t.” He looked in to my eyes with a confused look. “I’m on my period.” “Damn.” He kissed me again before he climbed off of me and headed for what I assumed was a cold shower. My eyes darted to the closet and I noticed the top of his safe was propped open.

“Hey, I have to go to Flower’s he needs help moving around some furniture. Hopefully I’m not too long. Hey what do you say we go out to dinner tonight? Just me and you, maybe somewhere on Grandview. Pick a restaurant, we’ll go tonight.” I nodded my head and kissed him as he walked out of the apartment. I watched the clock tick by with every second and after he had been gone for ten minutes I jumped up and ran to the bedroom. I opened the closet door and at that moment I stopped in my tracks. What the hell was I doing? It didn’t feel right snooping through his stuff. But then again, we do live together. I pulled a hanger off the rack and used the metal hook to flip open the top of the safe. I peeked inside to see some papers, his passport, a photo album and then there it was, the ring box. I reached in and pulled the ring box out. I walked over to the bed, cradling it in my hands like it was an egg. I sat down on the bed, cross legged and continued to look down at the box. A few minutes passed by and I took a deep breath and finally flipped the lid open. It was empty. I felt like I was going to hyperventilate. What the hell was going on? I jumped off the bed and placed the box back in the safe where it was, and closed the lid. I pulled my cell phone out of my purse and called Alicia. “Hey, can I meet you at Starbucks?” “Um yeah sure, are you okay?” I took a deep breath, “I don’t know.” We made plans to meet down at Starbucks and I gathered King and headed out the door. I sent a quick text message telling Max where I would be and that Alicia needed to talk to me. I headed down the road and saw her standing out front. I handed her my cash and took a seat outside.

“So what’s going on?” I took a deep breath then sipped on my Americano. “I found a ring.” Alicia choked on her coffee and looked up at me. “A ring? Like a ring you put on your finger? Like the rings you’re wearing now?” I looked down at my hands, the black diamond buckle ring on my left ring finger and a simple silver band around my right thumb. “Um, a ring you put on your finger, but not like these. More like a huge round diamond, surrounding by more diamonds.” I saw my phone vibrating on the table and picked it up to see a text message from Max. Have you thought about where to go for dinner? I looked back up at Alicia. “He wants to take me to dinner tonight up on Grandview, where should we go?” She inhaled sharply. “He’s proposing.” I shook my head back and forth at a speed that gave me a headache. I quickly texted back. Monterey Bay? “Well let me finish my story. I found the ring, than I found out his teammate proposed to his girlfriend. So I figured it was his teammates ring that he was holding on to, because after that happened the ring disappeared. Well I saw her ring last night, it’s not the same ring.” I looked down at King as I took a sip of my coffee. “So I kind of snooped through Max’s stuff and found the ring box again, and I opened it, and it was empty.” I looked at her to read her blank facial expression but I failed miserably. My phone vibrated again and I opened it up. Sounds perfect, I’ll make reservations for 8. Love you. “Do you think he’s going to propose?” She finally asked. I shrugged my shoulders, “I don’t know. On Valentine’s day he wanted to go to Vegas and get hitched, but we talked about it and we both kind of agreed marriage isn’t in our near future at all.” A smirk appeared on her face. “Max seems to be the type of guy that gets what he wants. He wants you, that’s obvious, it just seems like he wants to make it permanent. Maybe he took the ring to go get it sized, because normal size 7 rings don’t fit your super long, super skinny alien fingers.” I shook the thoughts from my mind and stood up. “I need to go shopping, care to join?”

Alicia and I walked in to Max’s apartment to drop off King when I heard laughter coming from the living room. We walked in further and found Max, Marc and Sidney sitting on the couches. “Hey guys,” I smiled as I took King off his leash. “Alicia this is Marc and Sidney, guys this is my best friend Alicia,” they all waved and said hello and I leaned over the back of the couch to give Max a quick kiss. I couldn’t help but notice his hand was clenched shut, his knuckles a faint white. What was he so pissed off about? “Well we were just dropping King off, and we’re gonna head out shopping, I want to get a new sexy dress for this hot date I have tonight.” I winked at Max and followed Alicia out the front door. “Awkward,” Alicia sang once we were outside of the building. “What?” “We obviously walked in on something they were discussing. They went from laughing to dead silence in two seconds flat. You didn’t noticed that?” I looked over at her and bit my bottom lip, “don’t make fun of me, but I don’t notice a whole lot when Max is in the room.” “Oh my God. What the hell happened to the Lillianah that brushed off every man in sight, and thought relationships were for pussies?” I shrugged my shoulders for the second time that day, “she fell in love.” We headed in to my favorite vintage shop and looked around, pulling out everything imaginable to try on. A saleslady approached us, I recognized her as Verna, she had been working here for as long as I could remember. “Whatcha’ looking for Lil?” She asked with a smile and I spun around to face her. “A dress, I have a date tonight.” Her smile grows wider. “Anything fancy?” I nod my head, “yeah I would say so.” She disappeared in to the back room and came back out with a red dress with lots of ruffles and stuffed me and the dress in the dressing room. When I looked at it closer it was love at first sight. A knee length skirt, with a sweetheart top, that had a thick strap over one shoulder. I quickly stripped out of my clothes and pulled it off the hanger. I found the zipper and pulled it down, catching a quick glimpse at the tag. I swung the door open in my underwear. “I can’t wear this! I’ll ruin it! I can’t afford it!” Alicia gave me a weird look. “It’s ARMANI!” I whispered yelled to her and her eyes got wide, we both looked over at Verna. “Try it on, if it looks good, I’ll let you borrow it.” I swallowed hard and closed the door, slowly pulling the dress on. I prayed and prayed that it would look terrible on me, but when I turned to look in the mirror I fell in love with it.

Max’s POV

“I want to meet her Maxime, mom won’t shut up about her!” I rolled my eyes at my brother on the phone. “I know Frank, okay? Next month I’m bringing mom and dad down again, and her family is coming out from Philly, why don’t you and Will come too?” I heard a groan come from the other end of the line. “Will and I need to get out of Montreal now! We’re going crazy up here, we need a boys trip.” I pinched the bridge of my nose in frustration, “alright, alright. Let me do some things and talk to Lil and then I’ll call ya tomorrow, okay?” “Thanks baby bro.” This time I was the one that groaned, “don’t call me that. You call me that again I’m leaving your ass in Montreal.” I headed in to the apartment and found Lillianah closing the closet door. “Do you know what I just realized?” I asked as I opened the closet door and moved some things around before opening my safe. I needed to get the ring out without her seeing. I needed to take it in and have one of the prongs fixed. I was stupid one night looking at it, and I dropped it causing one of the prongs to slip a tiny bit, just enough though that I could notice it. “You haven’t met my brothers yet.” I quickly pulled the ring out and slid it on to my pinky, with the stone on the inside of my hand. “From what I’ve heard, I don’t know if I’m mentally prepared to meet them any time soon.” I turned closed the lid of the safe and then closed the closet. I turned around and pushed her back on to the bed. “I invited them down next month when your family and my parents come back.” I didn’t want to straight up tell her they were coming sooner than planned, I saw how stressed she got with my parents. And honestly? These are two dingbats who aren’t worth stressing over.

I met Flower and Sid at the ring shop. I needed moral support. “So when are you going to do it?” Sid asked as we were served tea while waiting for the ring to be fixed. “No idea. Not any time soon. We had that talk, we’re not ready.” He gave me a strange look and Flower just laughed. “Then why buy a ring?” “It’s an investment in my future.” He still looked at me funny. “So what if things don’t work out with-“ “Don’t say that.” “Hypothetically speaking, if things don’t work out, would you really give that ring to another girl?” I glared at Sid as he took a sip of his tea. “No, it’s meant for Lil, she’s the girl I’m going to marry.” He nodded his head and the jeweler walked back out with the ring. “Now Maxime, no more dropping it,” he smiled in his thick French accent. “It’s going back in the safe,” I assured him and Sidney plucked the ring out of his fingers before walking out. “Shit Talbot, did you drop your whole salary on this?” I took it from him and slipped it on my pinky again. “I said it was an investment.” “You won’t make any money from it though.” I smirked, “true, but I’ll get a whole lot more ass.” “Ain’t that the damn truth,” Flower laughed and we all headed back to my apartment. We spread out over the couches in the living room with the NHL network playing on the television. It suddenly became pick on Max day. “Imagine the kids he’ll have,” Sid laughed nearly doubling over. “They’ll come out hairy as hell flipping the doctor off.” “And tattoos all over them,” Flower chimed in and I just shook my head and looked down at the ring I was still holding. Kids. Why are they talking about kids? They continued laughing when I heard the door open. Sidney and Flower immediately shut up when Lillianah and Alicia came in to view. I squeezed the ring in my hand, making sure she wouldn’t see it. After giving me a quick kiss and dropping off her dog she headed back out with her friend to go shopping. “Close call there Max, maybe you should go put the ring away,” Flower advised and I nodded and got up, heading to the bedroom. I put the ring in it’s box, shut my safe and locked it.

I straightened my tie in the mirror for the fourth time as I waited for Lillianah to come out of the bathroom so we could head out for our reservations. “Okay Max,” I heard from behind me and spun around to see her in a beautiful red dress with her hair swept up in to a messy bun on the lower part of her head. My eyes went down her legs to her black peep toe heels. “You’re ankle feel okay in those?” She laughed and nodded her head. I noticed her bright red lips, with the rest of her makeup looking very, very natural. She might not be wearing any at all. My breath caught in my chest as I looked her over one more time. “You look absolutely stunning Lil,” I smiled as I walked up to her and placed my hands on her waist. She flinched at my touch and I gave her a confused look. “This dress is being loaned to me, it’s . . . it’s expensive, I can’t ruin it. I’m stressing out over it.” I grabbed her hand and twirled her around. “You look so damn good in it, I might have to buy it for you.” “Max, it’s vintage Armani. It’s two . . . two-thousand dollars,” she breathed out and my eyes nearly bulged out of my head. But then I shook my head, the suit I was in was Armani, and cost about a grand. So really, for vintage, it wasn’t that bad. “So no tearing it off you later?” “Oh god no!” She shouted and I stifled a laugh as she hit my shoulder and walked out of the bedroom.

I sat next to her at our table next to the windows with a beautiful view of downtown. “I love this city,” she smiled as she grabbed my hand under the table and gave it a squeeze. “I do too,” I smiled and placed my hand under her chin, bringing her attention to me so I could kiss her. We enjoyed our seafood meal discussing the up coming trip our families would venture on to meet each other here in Pittsburgh. Overall, she seemed excited about it. After her wine glass was filled up again, she placed her hand on my thigh and leaned in to me as we continued to look out over the city. “I love you Max, I’m so happy we found each other.” “You mean you’re happy I stalked you,” I laughed and she turned her head and kissed my cheek. “Yeah, you did kind of stalk me didn’t you? Hey I need to ask you a question. Don’t freak out on me okay?” I tensed up as she turned in her seat to look at me. I nodded my head for her to continue. “I found a diamond ring in the underwear drawer. Who’s . . . what is it?” I panicked. I could feel my face light on fire and weird noises were coming out of my mouth. I knew it was stupid of me to put it in that drawer, that’s why I moved it to the safe. “Tyler. It’s Tyler’s,” I finally blurted out and she tilted her head to the side. “He has a girlfriend?” “I guess so, I didn’t ask details, he just asked me to hold on to it for him.” Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit. “Oh,” she sighed with a hint of disappointment in her voice, “I see.” She turned to look back out the window and I pinched the bridge of my nose again, cursing to myself in French in my head.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Max’s POV

I sat on the examination table as Doc flashed a light in to my eyes. I kept my fingers crossed next to me hoping he would give me the ‘okay’ to start playing again. I needed to play again, I was becoming restless at home, and I’m sure Lillianah was going crazy. So much so, I noticed she started picking up extra shifts at the club. I didn’t like it when she worked 14 hour days, because of how exhausted she would get, but that was all she seemed to be working lately. “What year is it?” Doc asked and I snapped my eyes up at him. “You’re kidding right?” He laughed and nodded his head, “you drifted off in to la-la land on me there for a minute, I had to bring you back.” I looked down at my hands, “sorry, I was just thinking about my girlfriend and how she’s going to burn herself out with her work schedule.” He nodded his head again and opened what I assumed was my chart. He scribbled away on a piece of paper and handed it to me. I looked down.

Clear to play.

I jumped off the table with a wide grin on my face. “Thanks doc.” “Don’t thank me, thank your head.” All I could do was smile as I made my way in to the locker room and got dressed for practice. I looked at the yellow ‘no contact’ jersey hanging up in my locker and tossed it aside, grabbing the black one in the back. Once it was over my head, some of the guys started walking in. “Talbot’s back in order eh?” Staalsy smiled as he slapped me on my back. “Yeah so watch out, you’re number two on my hit list.” He stopped walking to his locker and turned around and looked at me. “Number two? Who’s number one?” I went to open my mouth but I heard the door swing open to my left. I looked over and watched Tanger walk in. I looked back over at Staalsy. “Number one.” His eyebrows shot up and he nodded his head. I headed out on to the ice, wanting to get a feel for things again before the guys came out. Sure I had been off the ice for a week, but it felt like a month.

Stride for stride my smile got bigger and bigger. This was where I wanted to be the most, this was where I belonged. I stopped at center ice and took in a deep breath, taking in the smell of fresh cut ice. This was my home. I tilted my head back and closed my eyes. Allowing my body to get back in to game mode. That was all interrupted when I felt a few pucks hit the back of my legs “What the fuck!?” I shouted as I turned around to see a smiling Sid and Flower. “Welcome back champ,” Sid laughed as he passed a puck to me, landing on my stick this time. “Seriously guys, I can’t wait to play in a game, it feels like it’s been forever.” I looked over my shoulder to see our new coach, Danny B, skate out on to the ice. “Hey Max, I heard you got cleared,” he greeted me slapping my shin with his stick. “Papers are on your desk.” “Desk? Oh yeah I guess I do have one of those eh? Well you ready to make the playoffs?” I gave him a skeptical look. Playoffs? We’re not making the playoffs. We were sitting pretty in tenth place, the Eastern Conference being the strongest conference in the league. We’d have to win 90% of our games to make the playoffs, and here we were with a rookie coach. “I know what you’re thinking Max, stay positive,” Flower stated. He knew me too damn well. I looked back over my shoulder once again to see Tanger take the ice. “Hey coach,” I called out for him and he skated the few feet over to where Flower and I were standing. “Are we going to scrimmage at all today?” “Yeah, I was planning on it, toward the end of the practice, why?” I looked over at Tanger once more. “I want to play against Tanger, he doesn’t think I can get around him.” Danny nodded his head, “sure, I can arrange that.” I skated away, but not before Flower grabbed on to me. “Don’t do anything stupid, it’s your first day back.” I just looked at him, I couldn’t guarantee anything. I wouldn’t feel any better about the situation until I send Tanger a message, and if that’s pounding him in to the ground, than that’s what I’ll do.

All I could say for Tanger was that he was lucky most of practice was spent broken up in forwards and defensemen. I was working on my stick handling skills when Flower skated up to me. “Hey I was being serious earlier, don’t be a jackass.” I shot a puck down the length of the ice, eventually landing at Hal’s feet. “You can’t look me in the eye and say if Tanger did to Vero what he did to Lil that you wouldn’t want to kick his ass either.” Flower kept his icy glare locked with mine before we heard coach yelling for us to start the scrimmage. Flower knew I was right, he would do the same thing, regardless of who the other guy was. I left him in the corner and met up with the rest of the team by the benches. A white jersey landed on my head and I looked around to see some of the other guys changing as well, when I saw Tanger in a black one, I quickly switched over in to the white jersey. “Talbot, I’m moving you to the left wing with Geno in center.” I looked up shocked. Winger? I knew Therrien was moving me around the lines, but never to a wing. I didn’t protest, I just went to where I needed to be. We went through the motions of the game as if there was no effort whatsoever. I took a shot on Flower, and went in for the rebound, only to find a stick smack me across the face. I jumped up from the ice to come face to face with Tanger. “What the hell is your problem?” I shouted at him and noticed the play around us came to a stand still. He didn’t say anything to me, he just stared me down. “You gonna answer me?” I shouted again this time shoving him. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Geno try and step in but coach grabbed his shoulder. “You’re stupid Talbot, what you’re doing in stupid.” I strained my ears a little just to make sure what I just heard him say was what he said. “What am I doing Letang? Can you please fill me in.” “We’ve moved on. You’ve forgiven her, I’ve stayed away.” I shook my head at him as I took my helmet off and tossed it aside. “Wow Letang, I’m yelling at you because you cross checked me across the nose. But now you just brought her in to it.” I pulled my arm back and then landed a shot right on his chin. Within seconds our gloves were gone as well as his helmet. “Let them go!” I heard who I assumed was Mike yelling.

“Has Lil ever seen you without a black eye?” Flower asked as our beers arrived at our booth. “Well now I have two, so double the pleasure. He didn’t even land a punch this is from the cross check,” I stated pointing my finger to my eyes which were turning a deep purple. “What the hell did he say to you to make you go all ape shit?” Sidney asked before taking a bite of his sandwich. “I was yelling at him for the cross check, but then he pulled Lil in to it, he brought it upon himself.” Flower shot me of disbelief. “Okay sure, I was planning on hitting him or something, but as practice went on, the idea sort of slipped, but then he cross checked me. I think we’re over it now, we duked it out on the ice then hugged in out in the locker room.” It wasn’t a lie, I did give him a hug before I left, but no words were spoken. None needed to be. “So Flower’s getting married, yeah!” I smiled before I dug in to my burger. “If she doesn’t kill me before than yeah, I guess I am,” he smiled just as Sidney’s girlfriend joined us at the booth looking like she was ready to kill someone. “I would say hi to you Avery, but I’m afraid you’ll attack me with something.” Her features immediately softened as she looked at me. “Hi Max. Sorry, I’m just stressed. Who would have thought beer would be stressful?” I held up my glass a looked at it. “Well, this beer tastes pretty damn good, that’s all that should matter.” She smiled weakly to me before she gave Sid a kiss and headed back to her office. After lunch I finished off a second beer and threw some cash down on the table. “Alright boys, I’m off to get a new phone.”

Lillianah’s POV

Staring at my clothes on the bed, I couldn’t do it. I reached for my cell phone and called Andrew, my boss. “Hey Andrew, it’s Lil, I can barely stand on my own feet, I think I need a day off.” I pat down next to my clothes on the bed and waited for his reply. “I was going to call you and tell you to take a day off anyways, you’re wearing yourself out Lil.” I nodded my head knowing he was right. “Thanks Andrew, I’ll see you tomorrow.” “Take tomorrow off too, don’t you want to go to your boyfriends first game back?” I scrunched my eyebrows together. “He’s hurt.” “Not anymore, crazy how fast word gets around town when it comes to sports.” I quickly said goodbye and called Max. “The number you have dialed has been disconnected or is no longer in service.” I pulled my phone away and looked down at it, that was his right number. Did he not pay his bill? I shoved my phone in my back pocket and headed out in to the living room where I grabbed King and took him outside for a walk.

I found myself sitting outside of my usual Starbucks sipping on my Americano. “Now there’s a sight,” I heard that all too familiar voice from in front of me. I brought my head up and smiled at Max. I watched as he grabbed my phone off the table and started typing away. My smile grew wider as I thought back to the first time he did that, how I told him that was a very bold move and he was so proud of himself. “I changed my number and got a new phone,” he explained as he sat down across from me immediately pulling his attention to King who just sat down on his feet. “Why did you change your number?” I asked curiously. “I’m sure my old one is still lingering out there somewhere, who knows who could get their hands on it, so I just changed it, now only you, the boys and my family have it. So do you have the day off?” I slowly nodded my head wondering if he was going to tell me how he’s been cleared to play. “I have tomorrow off too, I was planning on going to the hockey game because their superstar was just cleared to play again.” A smile came over his face and I felt my whole body erupt in butterflies. It amazed me how just his smile would still do that me. “I will be playing. How did you hear?” “My boss, he said word gets around fast when it comes to sports around here.” He reached across the table and grabbed my hand. “So, will you, my beautiful girlfriend, come to my game tomorrow night?” I looked at him a little harder when I noticed something. “Take your sunglasses off.” He gave me a stranger look before I continued, “please?” He took a deep breath and pulled them off. “Maxime! What the hell happened to you? Are you not aware you just got over a concussion?!” I shouted at him which unfortunately grabbed the attention of some by passers. He quickly put his sunglasses back on and squeezed my hand. “I took a stick to the face, that’s all. I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Doesn’t even hurt.”

We walked down the street hand in hand only being stopped once for an autograph. “So do I have you to myself for the rest of the day?” Max asked as we continued to stroll down the road. “All yours, whatever you want to do,” I winked at him as he stopped us from walking and turned around, heading back the other way. “Where are we going?” I laughed, but allowed him to drag me down a side street. “You’ll see,” he stated as he squeezed my hand. We walked another three blocks before he stopped me in front of a house with a for sale sign out front. I looked at the house than back at him. “What is this?” A smile came over his face as he looked up at the house, it was a beautiful two story, modern architecture stuck in the middle of the Southside. “I was thinking about buying it. I’d like to get out of that apartment and in to a house.” My eyes grew wide as I looked back at the house. “Well if you want it and you want to buy it, then buy it.” He turned to look me straight on, grabbing my other hand that held King’s leash. “I don’t want to buy a house if my girlfriend doesn’t like it. We can maybe check out the inside later this week? But what do you think about the location?” I looked around, it was far away off the main road that I’m sure noise wouldn’t be a problem like it was at my old apartment. “Well it’s not too far from the club which is nice. Are you serious about this though? You want to buy a house?” He looked back up at the house. “I was looking around before I met you, and it makes even more sense now. Well are you ready to go home?” I leaned forward and gave him a lingering kiss before nodding my head. “No where else I would rather be.”

The next night I found myself standing in front of the closet trying to figure out what to wear. “You should go like that. Nothing would motivate me more than seeing my girlfriend in the stands in just her underwear.” He wrapped his arms around my waist and kissed my shoulder. “If I went like this you would end up with another concussion.” I reached forward and pulled out the Betsy Johnson sweater he got me on Valentine’s day. I grabbed some black leggings and red suede boots and got dressed. “You’re sitting with Vero tonight, is that okay?” I looked over at Max who was slipping on his suit jacket. “Yeah, that’s perfect. I really like Vero, I want to get to know her better.” “Perfect,” he whispered as he gave me a kiss and then gave me a once over. “You look hot.” I shook my head and followed him out of the apartment. Once we were in the arena I hung out around the family lounge for awhile before heading up to the seat. I still looked out of place with my black and red hair, and the fact that it was up in a pony tail so my tattoo on my neck was visible. “Lillianah! It’s so good to see you again!” I looked to my right to see Vero making her way toward me. We greeted each other with a hug, and she took the seat next to me. “It’s good to see you too! So I heard you’re getting married,” I smiled my hardest trying to act excited for her, but saying the ‘M’ word since Valentine’s day was a little difficult. She nodded her head and held her hand out for me to take a look at her ring. I took her hand in mine and examined the ring, I did a double take and brought her hand up closer to my eyes. Princess cut. The ring I saw was round. “Are you okay?” Vero asked with a laugh. “Yeah, I just, uh, yeah. It’s very beautiful, congratulations.” I released her hand and looked out on the ice. If that wasn’t Vero’s ring I found, who’s was it?