Sunday, August 9, 2009


Max’s POV

Nudging Lillianah awake, she nearly smacked me in the head as she flailed her arms around. “Why are we up so early?” She groaned as she grabbed the covers and pulled them up over her head. “You want me to go get your parents alone?” I asked laughing as she slowly lowered the comforter from her face. “Fine,” she grunted as she crawled out of bed and headed in to the bathroom shutting the door behind her. I shook my head as I got out of bed and grabbed a change of clothes out of the closet. I quickly changed and headed in to the bathroom to brush my teeth. The silhouette of Lillianah through the steamed shower doors made me wish that we could just stay in bed all day, but we had a long day ahead of us. After we pick her parents up from the airport, I have to head to the morning skate and I’m putting my parents lives in Lillianah’s hands with my car. Sure my brothers had taught her how to drive a stick shift, but I have yet to witness it. After I finished brushing my teeth I looked at my beard in the mirror and debated with myself if I should shave it or not. At least, I decided to go back to the chops mustache. I believe it was a favorite of Lillianah’s. I kept having to wipe the mirror down as steam filled the room and a few moments later the shower stopped and she stepped out. “Have you been watching me shower?” She asked as she wrapped a towel around her wet body. “I was trying not to, because if I did, we would never make it out of here,” I laughed as I wiped down the mirror once again and covered the lower part of my face with shaving cream. With two fingers, I wiped off the shaving cream of the part where I wasn’t going to shave. I watched as the smile on Lillianah’s face grew. “Chops?” I nodded my head and laughed as she pumped her fist in the air. If I could keep her happy like this with such simple things for the rest of our lives, this relationship will be a piece of cake.

We pulled up to the arrivals and I caught a glimpse of Lillianah’s eyes light up as her parents came in to sight. It’s hard for me to image a life where she didn’t talk to them, at all. She loved seeing them now. I parked the car by the sidewalk and got out, hugging both Steve and Molly before grabbing their bags and tossing them in to the trunk. We all got in to the car after a short welcoming and I began my drive to Mellon. “Liz is pregnant,” Molly announced and I could see Lillianah tense up next to me out of the corner of my eye. “Again? How far along is she?” “Six weeks,” Molly answered and Lillianah nodded her head. “How come she couldn’t tell me?” “She’s been really busy lately Lily, it must have just slipped for her to call you.” She nodded her head again and I reached over the center counsel and grabbed her hand giving it a squeeze. I knew Lil wanted kids, but I didn’t think she would react this way to hearing her sister was pregnant. Does she want kids now? It would be nice for her to tell me if she did. Now that I had a new view on family and kids, I still wasn’t sure I would be a good father, plus I’d like to be married before we had kids anyways. “So Max, how’s the season going?” Steve asked as I pulled off the highway. “It’s going great right now, we got Dan in as coach and things are just flowing right now. We’re really clicking, there’s no question about it, we will make the playoffs.” “That’s great to hear, I’m happy for you.” I looked in the rear view mirror and smiled at him. I could look past the whole Flyers fan thing, just this once. Once we made it to the rink, I stopped the car and looked over at Lillianah. “You good to drive?” She scrunched her eyebrows at me and then began to laugh. “Yes, I’m good to drive. Since you wouldn’t teach me and your brothers did, I’m sure I’m good,” she laughed before leaning forward to kiss me. “I didn’t teach you because I was too scared. I make a living with my body you know.” “Maxime, that sounded wrong,” she laughed along with her mother in the back. I climbed out of the car and grabbed my hockey bag out of the trunk, before kissing her behind the car one last time. “See you at home. Drive safe.”

“So Talbo, the in-laws meet each other today, eh?” Sidney asked as we got dressed for morning skate. “Sure do, in about a hour,” I smiled to him. “And you’re leaving it up to Lil to handle them? That’s kind of evil. The uppy, sweater wearing Cleaver family meeting the eccentric, French, loud family . . . sounds like a reality TV show.” I shook my head at him and joined in his laughter. “They’ll get along just fine. Opposites attract right? And I know Lil’s family has a wild side to them, they like to party just like my parents do. It’ll be a great time.” We finished getting ready and headed out on to the ice. This time I was more cautious as I skated about the ice, keeping my head up and my eyes on anyone that might have a puck on their stick. I wasn’t going to be target practice today, I didn’t need anymore bruises. The morning practice came and went and after a short interview I had all my things packed up and waited patiently in the lounge for Flower. “Hey, so you should bring everyone out to dinner with Vero and I tomorrow night, I want to see your parents, and I want to meet Lil’s, see what kind of uppies you’re talking about,” Flower laughed as he walked out of the locker room and I got up to make our way to the parking lot. “Yeah sure, I don’t think we had anything planned yet, I’ll run it by them.” We climbed in to his SUV and I waited for the revving of the engine, but it never came. I looked over at Flower to see him starring at me. “What?” I asked with a nervous laugh. “Are you going to ask her to marry you this weekend?” I opened my mouth and shut it again, deciding a smart ass answer wasn’t the way to take this one. “No, not yet. She knows I have a ring, and we’ve discussed it, and she’s not ready. I know I am. Hell who would have thought, Maxime Talbot settling down? It’s frightening. Looking at the big picture though, we haven’t been together that long, there is still a lot to learn about one another. But when the time is right, the time is right. I actually started carrying the ring around with me, just in case.” I could see the corner of his mouth twitch up in to a smile and I immediately knew he could care less. “Vero wants to know doesn’t she?” “She won’t shut up about it, she wants you to do it already, but I’ll tell her what you told me. She’ll be excited.” I laughed and Flower finally turned to his dash and powered up his car.

After Flower dropped me off in front of my house, I walked up the short walk way and unlocked my front door. It felt so good being a home owner. No more elevators, nor nosy neighbors. It was a huge breath of fresh air. I walked up the stairs and saw Molly and Steve sitting at the kitchen island eating sandwiches. I dropped my bag by the stairs leading to the bedroom and made my way over to them. Molly immediately jumped up and hugged me and I shook Steve’s hand. “How are you Max? It’s good to see you again,” Molly asked as she reclaimed her seat and I took a quick glance down at my watch. I knew having them fly in on a game day was going to be tricky. I figured I’d have a quick lunch and stay out long enough to welcome my parents before I retreated up to the bedroom for my nap. I knew I wouldn’t be able to pull away Lillianah with me though. “I’m doing great. Things are going really good right now, did Lil show you around the house?” “She did, it’s a beautiful home. It really fits the both of you nicely.” I smiled at her comment. A house that fits us. “Yeah, once the season is over, we’ll be able to decorate it the way we want. It’s kind of blah now,” I laughed as I looked around. “Well that’s how all new homes are, but I have to say, this kitchen is beautiful, I’m very jealous.” I looked down at the red granite and remembered how excited Lillianah got when she saw it, it really was something special. I smiled at her as I heard the garage door open. I sighed in relief knowing she managed to get home safe, but the condition of my car was another concern. When the garage door swung open and laughter filled the air I felt my body get warm knowing how well Lillianah fit in with my family. Steve and Molly stood as the footsteps got louder and we all waited patiently. Lillianah walked up to me and gave me a gentle kiss and held her shaky hand out to give me the car keys. “Bad?” I asked with a laugh and her eyes grew wide. “I can drive in the city and on the highway, but get me in to the arrivals area of an airport and it gets a little sketchy.” I kissed her again and turned to our parents who were awkwardly standing looking at us. “Oh right, Molly, Steve, these are my parents Lucie and Serge. Mom, Dad, these are Lil’s parents Molly and Steve.” They turned to each other and shook hands and said friendly hellos. It didn’t take much time after that for the four to jump in to conversation. I made myself a quick sandwich and ate keeping an eye on the clock. Once I was done I gave Lilllianah’s ass a squeeze and announced I would be heading upstairs for my nap. A job where you nap during the day. I was one lucky bastard.

Lillianah’s POV

“Liz is pregnant,” my mom announced once we were in the car after picking them up. I felt my stomach tighten with jealousy. The more time I spent with Max, and the more I noticed women with strollers on the street, my body was screaming at me to become a mother. I was getting older, and with each passing day, my body reminded me of it. Sure I was still only twenty-three years old, but I felt like I was nearing forty and the chances of having children dwindling away. Then there was the other aspect, I had to quit coke. Straight up, if I wanted kids, I had to be clean. Yet another reason to quit and overcome my addiction once again. I felt the side of my body twinge at the thought of cocaine and how badly I could use some at this moment. To force this jealousy out of my body with a substance. “Again? How far along is she?” I finally asked and quickly wondered why my mother was telling me and not Liz herself. “Six weeks.” I bit my bottom lip and nodded. “How come she couldn’t tell me?” I finally spat out after a small debate in my head to ask or not. “She’s been really busy lately Lily, it must have just slipped for her to call you.” This irritated me, you don’t exactly forget you’re pregnant and a two minute phone call doesn’t ruin your whole day. Max reached over and grabbed my hand, giving it a gentle squeeze and I dropped the subject right then. I had to be happy for her, she’s my sister, and I’ve already missed out on so much, I wanted to be there for her this time. After dropping Max off at the arena, my dad took over the passenger seat and I sat in the drivers seat. I baby talked to the car quietly before pulling out of the parking lot. I can drive, I can do this. It’s a ten minute drive, no sweat. Once the car was in the driveway I could feel my body relax. I can drive, Will and Frank did a good job at teaching me. I brought my parents in to the house and gave them a quick tour, setting them up in the guest bedroom closest to the bathroom. “This is a beautiful home Lily, why didn’t you tell me you moved in to a house?” My mom asked once we headed to the kitchen. “Well it was a quick move, and every moment where we weren’t working we were packing. But it’s nice now you guys won’t have to stay in a hotel,” I laughed as I glanced at the clock and realized I had to leave for the airport again.

For the second time that day, I found myself in front of the arrivals at the airport, except this time I was behind the wheel. And on this occasion, I learned something . . . cab drivers are not nice; at all. As they sped out in front of me, and honked at me from behind, I was forced to leave the airport and drive through again. Once I saw an opening on the curb, I pulled in, coming inches from a truck behind me. I felt the side of my body twitch again, as the need to get high to overcome the anxiety of driving was at an all time high. I parked the car and kept my eyes locked on the sidewalk next to me, looking around for Lucie and Serge. Once I saw the all too familiar smile on Lucie’s face, I jumped out of the car and pulled her in to a tight hug. “It’s so good to see you again Lillianah. I can’t wait to meet your parents,” she beamed at me and I slipped out of her grip to give Serge a hug. We loaded their bags in to the trunk and I turned over the engine. I checked all my mirrors and even over my shoulder before I pulled out. A car flew by, laying down on the horn and I slammed on the brakes. The twitching now more powerful. I took a deep breath and tried once again, this time making it out in to the flow of traffic. “So it sounds like Will and Frank had a good time while they were here,” Serge announced from the backseat. “I hope they did, because I know they did. I have to give it to you two though, it must have been rough raising those three. There were a few times where I wanted to smack all three of them upside the backs of their heads,” I laughed. “Oh yes, they were quite the handful. They use to deliver newspapers in the summer time and we received many phone calls from neighbors about random articles cut out,” Lucie smiled from next to me. “I’m pretty sure I’ll be making a trip up there with Max this summer, I can’t wait to see where he grew up, and baby pictures of course.” “Oh I am looking forward to that, I’ve never had the chance to embarrass Max with a girlfriend before.”

As I watched my parents and Max’s interact in the kitchen my mind wondered off to where I could get a quick hit. There were only two people I could think of, my boss and Aaron. But how was I going to get away to get some? I shook the thought out of my head as I began to prepare Max’s pre-game meal. Once I got the water boiling I snuck upstairs to pull out an outfit to wear to the game. I hadn’t gone to a whole lot of Max’s games, and I still wasn’t sure of the appropriate way to dress for a game, but when I saw the jersey hanging up on my side of the closet, I smiled and pulled it out. I noticed it was probably too small to fit him, then after looking at the tags I came to find out that it was a women’s jersey and I smiled even more. I laid it over our lounge chair, along with a pair of grey jeans and my black knee high boots. Now while I was at the game, I wouldn’t feel so out of place. I looked over at Max napping in bed and stifled a laugh as he mumbled a few things in French. I headed back downstairs and our parents were still in full blown conversation. This was all going too smooth. I thought for sure that they would clash, but Max guaranteed me that they would get along just great. And they were. “So Lily, Lucie and I were just wondering if there will be wedding bells anytime soon?” My mom asked as her and Lucie joined me on my side of the kitchen island. “Oh I don’t know mom. We’re far from that, but it will happen, I hope,” I smiled at them trying to hide the fear in my eyes. It was one thing to talk about marriage with Max, but when you brings the mothers in to it, it was a whole different ball game. Even though I said we were far from it, they still took the opportunity to plan the wedding right there on my kitchen counter. Something about Quebec City, doves and personalized chocolate. I blocked them out once they started discussing music.

When we made it to the arena I almost felt like a hockey fan in my new Talbot jersey. Almost, I still didn’t understand the game a whole lot, and I still had my cheat sheet in my wallet, even though I really didn’t need it anymore. I knew who the guys were on the team now, now I just need a sheet explaining penalties and such. And what the hell is icing? We made our way in to the family lounge to relax before the game and my dad suddenly grabbed my knee and gave it a tight squeeze. I looked over at him to see he was looking at a guy standing a few feet away from us talking to Sidney. “Dad, you alright?” I asked him and his eyes never left the man. “Do you know who that is Lily? That’s Mario Lemieux,” he whispered yelled at me and I instantly became confused. Mario, who? I looked back up and Sidney glanced over at me quickly before pointing to us. The two of them walked up to us and I stood up and gave Sidney a hug. “Hey Sid, these are my parents, Steve and Molly,” I introduced them and my dad stood up and wiped his palms down the front of his legs. “It’s good to meet you. Steve this is Mario, Mario this is Steve, Lil’s dad. You know Lil has Max wrapped around her finger.” Mario first turned to me and pulled me in to a hug. “I never thought I would see the day Max would calm down. You must be something special,” he smiled and then turned to my dad and they began talking hockey and I quickly became confused and turned my attention elsewhere. I watched Max walk in to the room and quickly approached him. “Who is Mario, and why is my dad kissing his feet?” I asked with a very serious face, in which Max just began to laugh. “Mario use to play for the Pens, and now he owns them. They call him ‘Le Magnifique’ meaning the magnificent. You know I didn’t realize your dad is such a big hockey fan, I didn’t get that when we first met.” I couldn’t help but laugh, “he’s not!” We chatted for a little while longer before he had to head back in to the locker room to finish getting ready, I gave him a kiss and turned back to my parents, my dad was glowing.

Max’s POV

“So the in-laws are meeting each other for the first time I take it, Max?” I looked up to see Mario standing above me. “Yeah, they all flew in today, and according to Lil, so far so good. Hey Mario, can I ask you something? I would ask my dad but he’d run to my mom and I would never hear the end of it.” He sat down next to me and gave me his full attention, “of course, what’s on your mind?” I took a deep breath, still unsure if I wanted to do this, this weekend or not. “Did you ask Nathalie’s dad permission to marry her?” A big, proud, fatherly smile came over his face as he began to nod his head and looked down at his shoes. “I did, and I was a wreck when it happened too. We had just found out that she was pregnant, and there was nothing more I wanted than to marry her. Her parents came down to Pittsburgh for a visit and I took her dad out for a drink, and after a shot or two I asked him. Of course before he gave me permission came a long lecture on if I were to ever hurt her, he’d have my head. In my mind, it’s just the classy thing to do, and it builds on the relationship you already have with the father. It’s a respect thing.” I leaned my head back against the wall and thought about how Steve would take it if I asked him. Would I ask him? “Are you thinking about asking Steve for his permission?” “It’s been on my mind. I bought a ring, but I still think we’re pretty far from marriage still, but Mario, she’s amazing. I would marry here right here, right now if I could.”


Jay said...

abijfjvnw!!! Max, asking about asking Lil's father for permission! This is epic. Completely, totally, absolutely EPIC. I don't think I can breath right now. Let me find a a paper bag.....

Okay. Also, I love the cheat sheet. I'm with Lil, though, icing was a tough call to learn.

I hope that her future with Max is enough to keep her sober. I know that this isn't the end and that she has a huge battle in front of her, but I still want Max to be enough. Wedding bells in the future? I hope. Love that the in-laws are getting along and planning the nuptials already.

I heart Max's fu manchu.

Wonderful chapter, honestly. I would marry your story if I could. That's enough gushing for now.

PeytonRose said...

*sigh* your story is just...perfect? amazing? fabulous? all of the above?

i cannot believe that Max is thinking about asking Lil's father for permission! i totally agree with Jay about how epic that is. i'm getting so excited just thinking about it. your story has me so emotionally involved && i love it!

&& this is completely random, but i loved that little bit about the cab drivers. haha its so so true.

Zigh said...

OMG!!! Could you imagine Max Talbot asking a father's permission?! Awww that's the cutest thing ever!

Babies and a wedding sound great! Anything to stop Lil from using... for her and for Max's sake.

I can't wait to see what comes next!

Val said...

There is not a whole lot more that I can add to these comments other than fabulous chapter, as always, and I am glad that Lil didn't give in to the twitch...

Heather said...

I listened to that song the WHOLE time I read the chapter. Kept turning it back! What a perfect song choice.

I loved the interaction between Mario and Max. And now I'm excited to hear her dad's answer! Best part, I honestly think Lil would say yes to Max. But would Max still ask if he knew about her doing coke again?

EEK! This is so intense! Keep it up!

EHisCDN said...

As exciting as the whole asking permission thing is, I'm really concerned about her constant thoughts and needs regarding coke.