Thursday, June 23, 2011


Nicky sat on a stool in Mike's kitchen, watching Devin try to teach Ovi and Sasha how to make deviled eggs. Ovi's huge bear paws couldn't peel the delicate shell without crumbling the white underneath and Sasha kept popping out the hardened yolk and dropping them on the floor.

"Okay, you guys just stand here and open beers," she said, pushing them out of the way. Ovi looked relieved and went to the fridge to fetch his penance. Sasha started eating the empty whites he had amassed.

She looked up at Nicky, who admittedly was watching her like a TV show. He ducked his head, blushing of course, then quickly remembered he had nothing to be embarrassed about. If Devin wanted to wake up next to him she surely wouldn't mind if he admired her from a little further away. He turned back with a smile, and she smiled too. She might as well have stabbed him for the breath it took away.

You are crazy, he told himself. Reality had slipped away in favor of the perfect little world where he'd spent the last two days. His schedule and routine had disappeared - he'd even forgotten about hockey a few times, and during the playoffs! Good thing we practice tomorrow. He was one off day away from doing something crazy.

Devin laughed, disrupting her daydream. Carlson had four devilied eggs in his mouth and was singing what sounded like the Miley Cyrus.

"I ruuffff hherrgggg," John insisted. He really did love her.

They moved to the dining room with plates of steak and salad. Nicky instinctively held the seat next to him for Devin but she was right behind, already pulling it close. Their knees touched under the table and Nicky didn't taste a bite of his dinner.

Ten minutes into the meal, Brooks rolled in wearing a t-shirt, a scarf and a smile. He tipped an invisible hat toward Devin.

"Anything you want to tell me about your roommate?" he asked.

Devin smirked, gesturing toward his unseasonable neckwear. "Too late."

"Is that where you've been this whole time?" Mike yelled like he'd just found his lost wallet in last night's pants. "Jesus, you two getting laid is killing my social life!"

Nicky turned fuschia so quickly it was like breaking a glow stick. It was one thing to joke but another to call out his private life in front of everyone with Devin sitting right there. He opened his mouth to defend her honor, only to lose his anger in a laugh. With surprising accuracy Devin bounced a dinner roll right off Mike's forehead.

"Ow! Fuck!" his hand flew to the spot.

"Now you'll have a mark to match Brooks'," she said.

"At least your helmet covers that. I look like an extra in Twilight." But he was smiling.

DJ King suggested, "Say it was a slapshot."

Brooks got a very dangerous look in his eye. "A slapshot with a dirty mind who's still asleep in my bed."

Get it, Mel! Devin thought. Brooks was the kind of hot that called for fainting couches and chastity belts. If she had her way, Mel would bite her name onto his neck to mark her territory.

"Sorry," Nicky said under his breath. He must be used to the guys acting this way but Devin felt he still considered her a guest. A more confident gir would kiss the frown off his face and show the whole room what she thought of him, but he'd just be embarassed. And so would she. Devin settled for running her hand well above his goal line under the table.

Blushed anyway, she laughed to herself.

Dinner was fun. Surreal and possibly a long, masculine hallucination, but very fun. Devin hadn't checked her vitals signs in a while and it was very liely she'd died and gone to the international bachelor auction in the sky. Nicky needed the salt just then and required his enormous bicep and staggering shoulder to reach it.

Leave me here.

They watched Tampa Bay get their second win in a row to close their series to 3-2 against Pittsburgh. Nicky had one arm around Devin, practically holding her in his lap.  But he only turned from the game when the puck was not in play, which was okay with her.  She didn’t want him to see the worry and anxiety creasing her face.  He’d be back on the ice in just a few days, facing the biggest challenge of his career.  She put her hand gently over his broken thumb and saw his lips twitch with a smile.  Then back to the game.

Anything could happen.  Not just to Nicky but to anyone in the room, something good or bad or, in Nicky’s case for the last 21 games, nothing at all.  Whatever little bubble they’d spent the last two days inside was losing air quickly.  He’d go back to practice tomorrow and she’d go back to work.  

Devin knew if it couldn’t work now then it could never work.  But it was a little like being on a train heading down a track that might not be finished.  Not ideal, but not optional.  She settled her weight deeper into Nicky’s embrace and pretended it was miles away.  Instead she concentrated on the guys’ comments and discussion - it was like watching surgery in a room full of doctors.  They saw things she’d never noticed, remembered every play by every player and recalled encyclopedic knowledge from the many times they’d faced each team over the season.  To hear them talk, they’d have the next round well in hand no matter who they faced.

Good, Devin thought hysterically.  Then I’ll be perfectly calm.

After the game, Nicky watched Devin climb into his car the way she had ten times now, as if she’d been doing it forever.  So he did the same, and slowly buckled his seat belt while waiting for her to tell him what to do.  She just flipped around the radio dial.

“Oh! Uh... do you...,” she realized he was waiting, and suddenly felt very nervous and responsible for what would happen next.  She should know this stuff, right?  She should know how hockey works. “Do you have to go to sleep?  For practice?  Sorry I wasn’t thinking....”

He started answering her at the same time.  Of course she would have no idea what they did on normal days.  “Curfew only on game days.  You have work, yes?  No more sick days?  Don’t get in more trouble....”

They both said in unison, “You can come over.”


Then they both said, “Okay.”

Devin felt herself blush harder than Nicky had since they met, but at least she laughed.  Then a loud knock pounded on the window and she screamed out loud.

“Jesus, relax!” Carlson said, whipping open the door and nearly tipping her into the driveway.  “Are you two going to prom or what?  You’re blocking me in.”

Sure enough, Carlson had moved his car up and forward and tried to turn, only to end up diagonally across Mike’s driveway with no way out unless Nicky left.  He must have been trying for some time to end up so awkwardly situated, and no one even noticed him making an 11-point turn.

"Yes, we go."

John gave them an exaggerated wink. "Have fun, kids."

Nicky backed out of Mike's driveway and turned toward his house. He had monopolized Devin's time and while she didn't seem to mind, he felt greedy. She'd taken a day off to spend with him - no big deal - but it was a big deal for Nicky. He couldn't do that, not on a whim, not ever. In plenty of ways his life was not his own and he didn't want to take advantage of her that way. Other ways, yes.

"I get practice stuff, we go to your house."

As promised, Mel was nowhere to be found. Nicky wandered around the living room, examining the artifacts of Devin’s life more closely while she got a few things ready for the morning.  There was a photo of her and a guy in mid-air, having just jumped off some kind of platform.  Her hair whipped back to cover half her face and she was laughing, the hem of her shirt blown up to reveal a sliver of pale skin at her stomach.  They were only a few feet off the ground but you’d think she was free-falling.  Nicky thought it matched the way he felt right then.

“That’s my brother Sam.  My parents thought it was funny to give us names that could be for boys or girls, so I always call him Samantha.”

Nicky held the picture closer, noticing the resemblance between the two smiling faces.  He’d assumed it was an old boyfriend, since someone like Devin would obviously have had many.  But none of the pictures were obvious, much like what he’d seen on Facebook.  If she was seeing someone, she wasn’t advertising it.  Unless...

He sat on the couch and pulled her into his lap.  “Can we take a picture?  Everyone see the paper, but I like to have a picture of you for me.”

Devin dug out her phone and leaned back against Nicky’s chest.  He held it at the end of one long arm and snapped a shot of them smiling.

“Perfect,” he said, texting it to himself.

“Wait I want one too!” Devin got back in position, held the camera out, then turned her head and surprised him with a kiss that quickly went from silly to steamy.  She was straddling his thigh, her arm flung back around his neck.  The picture ended up catching their shoulders before the phone fell to the rug.

It seemed like ages since he’d kissed her, like he was getting to do it again for the first time.  She was on her back in a second and he poured his weight over her.  Devin clung to him, sucking his lower lip before running her tongue into his mouth.  He made quick work of her top and helped himself to her creamy skin.  As he kissed his way along the cup of her bra, his hips pushed themselves down to show her what else he wanted.

Devin’s whole body was jello.  It had been long enough since she’d had sex that the simple act had erased her mind like taping over an old video.  No trace of what had come before was left, only the new sights and sounds were stored.  Cast Nicky in the starring role and Devin could have been living in a dream.

A dream that was grinding obvious desire into her thigh, nipping at the swell of her breast and trailing soft blond hair across her feverish skin.  She fought the urge to whimper as she ran her fingers through it.

Nicky pulled her to her feet.  His eyes were heavy with lust, a look Devin was getting used to.  As she led him toward her room, the scene of their earlier romp, her body pulsed blood like a bass drum.  Her sensitive spots ached from all the attention of the day.  She nearly came at the sight of the messed up sheets they’d left that afternoon.

She was out of her clothes only a second before he was.  They lay themselves down easily, side-by-side and started over, kissing gently and using slow touches full of temptation.  Even after the day they’d had, Devin felt that engine-revving desperation to have him inside her.  It prickled her skin, drew her closer like gravity.  Fighting the pull, settling for his fingerprints strumming the smooth inside of her thigh, Devin could hardly breathe.

“Three times,” he said quietly.

Three times... oh, yeah. “Why are you counting?”

“Is a big deal for me!” Nicky laughed.

“Me too!  And in one day.”

“Only one day.”  Nicky tilted his head and looked right into her eyes.  Those baby blues made her feel warm all over, like she was soaking up the sun on a cloudless afternoon.  But there was hesitation there, where it hadn’t been before.  She waited.

“I was sure, when you meet me after the game, that you gonna like someone else better.  Mike or Ovi or someone.  Not me.”  He looked right at her when he said it, so she knew it was true.  “I was afraid that I disappoint you.”

It was no ploy for sympathy, and he was already in her bed.  This was just Nicky, feeling insecure.  Devin had plenty of experience with that.  Her heart broke a little.

“I thought you wouldn’t like me either.  That I wouldn’t look like my pictures,” she admitted.  

He brushed his lips along her jaw.  “Prettier than pictures.”

“Well I already knew you were gorgeous.”

He blushed.  Not because they naked in bed or because his need throbbed against her leg, but because she complimented him.

“You’re killing me,” she whispered.  Seconds later he was pressing her thighs apart and slowly fitting himself into her perfect body.  Devin willed herself to make room for all of him, sore as she was, so she could be as close to him as possible.  Just before taking the first stroke, in the single breathe before claiming her again, Nicky pressed a solid, confident kiss to her lips.

"Who's the girl in the picture?"

It was the first question a reporter asked. They were always thickest at practices. But Nicky felt good - confident, strong. A few days with his head out of the game had reset his patience. Winning helped, of course. Devin helped too.  

He'd known they would ask. He wanted to be respectful of Devin and of his own privacy, but so much of that was out the window. If he gave them something maybe they'd go away. After all there was a new series to talk about. So he wanted to tell them who she was and what she meant and be done with it. If only he knew.

If someone asked Devin, he wondered what she'd say. He knew what he wanted to hear. That someone you spend three days and nights in a row with is special.  Someone you tell your secrets to, like he’d done in her bed before even realizing what he was saying, that person mattered.  Devin mattered.

"My girlfriend," he made his voice as convincing as possible.

Now he just had to tell her before she read it somewhere else.

"It's really not that bad," Bryan said. He passed Devin a large tea. "It's not like he's Ovi."

Bryan had been following Devin's debut into the blogosphere. So far no one but Tumblr really cared if Nick Backstrom had a girlfriend and even there it wasn't earth-shattering.

"Or Crosby, or Kane or Toews. Or Jeff Skinner. Can you imagine? The tweens would kill you!"

"Are you saying my boyfriend isn't good enough?" Devin tried to joke, but her stomach hurt. Even people saying nice things... so many strangers judging, it made her skin crawl.  She was just grist for their gossip mill.

"Are you calling him your boyfriend now?"

She gasped - she hadn't realized which word she'd used. "I am if I have to stick up for him!"

Bryan held his hands up in defense. "I hear Sweden is lovely in the summer."

He left her there with her mouth hanging open.

She fully expected Nicky to call her that afternoon. But when her phone rang and his name popped up on the screen, she stared at it for a moment.

Sweden. Summer. Devin knew what the off-season meant but had managed to make herself forget. If Bryan was thinking about it, even to joke, did that mean Nicky was thinking about it too? Was it bad luck to think about it while the Caps were still so alive? That would be like ignoring a stain on a shirt - the longer you waited the harder it was to dislodge.

Not now, Devin told herself. Everything, even her reality seemed so fragile. If it's too good to be true, let me find out later.  

Her heart rate slowed at the sound of his voice on the phone, almost timid, just below normal volume so you had to get close to hear.  Not that she minded.  As she agreed to meet him for dinner and then spend the night at his place, Devin shifted in her seat.  Spending last night, and all of yesterday, together had left her a little sore in the saddle.  But the picture he’d taken of them on the couch was open on her desktop.

Totally worth it.

Two more blissful days passed.  Even with practice in his schedule, Nicky felt like he had a new life that revolved around Devin.  She went to work, he went to work, then they met up after and did things together.  Or did nothing together.  For all the concentrated time he spent with other people, playing and traveling, it was the first instance he could remember where he didn’t want any time to himself.  Not that he’d have a choice, mind.

The only smudge on his little scenario was that Tampa Bay beat Pittsburgh.  They won three in a row.  Nicky didn’t want to play the Penguins - even beating them the last three times in regular season, they were more formidable for hating each other.  But he really didn’t want to play a team that was just getting hot.

They watched the game at Brooks’ house.  Devin’s roommate was there, and even Mel had stopped licking Laich’s neck long enough to watch the game.  They all feigned relief at knowing their opponent, and rejoiced to play a team that had to go seven games.  No one said a word about what they were really thinking.

“They’re fucking good,” Devin finally announced.  Nicky put his head back and had to laugh.  She’d hit the nail on the head.  Carlson threw a pillow at her.

“What?!  St. Louis is like me on skates except he’s a wizard.  And Stamkos, that guy is sick.”

Mike made a gagging noise. “If you could get him all loved up like Nicky here, maybe he’d miss a game or two.”

Nicky gave Mike the finger.  Devin just smiled and mussed Nicky’s hair.  “What can I say? I like blond guys.”

But something changed for Nicky there.  He finally knew where the team was going, but not how it would turn out.  He had no idea where he and Devin were going, but if he could fill in the ending he’d do it in ink.  Hell, he’d told the press she was his girlfriend and that would probably show up in print tomorrow - could saying it make it true?  He’d keep the Caps moving forward with sheer will if he thought it would keep Devin next to, or underneath, him.  It was unlike him to feel out of control, but something about the next chapter finally being written made him frantic.  And it buried his shyness under an avalanche of need.

Nicky took Devin home that night and barely made it through the front door.  He threw her against the wall in the hallway, scattering the neat row of shoes and lifting her right off her feet, so he controlled one little thing in his life, Nicky tore into her.  He kissed her so hard she moaned against his mouth.  His grip on her ass held so firmly she stopped struggling and gave into him with a sigh.  He all but ripped off the clothes below her waist and put her right back in that elevated spot.  Then he used his hands to bring her down onto himself.

“Devin,” he said in his regular voice as he felt her wet slit glide over his cock.

“Oh God,” she whispered, eyes rolling back.  Her fingers twisted into his shirt and her body sucked and pawed at him.  Nicky thrust, slamming her into the wall and she moaned again.

“You feel so good,” he told her, setting a rhythm he couldn’t possibly keep.  She bounced in his arms like a rag doll, grasping for purchase but finding nothing to hold on to.  The only moves she could make were the ones he gave her.  Her lips found his earlobe and after a slow, torturous lick, she bit the tender skin rather hard.

Nicky hissed, and slammed her harder than ever.  Devin choked on a scream.  He caught her chin with one hand, holding her face to his until she opened her eyes.  But there was no pain there, only surprise.  He was surprising himself. Her body was launching a mutiny and she began to quiver around his thickness.  He landed a few more punishing strokes as he held her clear gaze, seeing how close she was to giving it up to him again.

“I told reporters today you were my girlfriend.”

It was not the most delicate time to discuss their relationship, what with fucking her senseless across from the coat closet.  But she was so far gone it didn’t matter.  

“Make me come, Nicky, and I’ll be whatever you want.”

Devin should have known.  If you wake a sleeping animal, it’s probably going to be hungry.  Nicky had been dazed since they met - partly by winning round one and she imagined at least partly by her and the intense connection they felt.  At least she felt it.  If Nicky didn’t, he was a world-class liar.  But game seven stirred him from sleep and she saw the person she’d only glimpsed when he was tearing up the ice.

For the first time, Devin saw his full strength.  He lifted her like a toy and nearly put her through the wall.  She’d have protested except bouncing back against him was like getting fucked twice by some kind of demigod.  She’d be wearing the shape of his hands like trophies on her ass.

For the first time, she saw him believe in himself.  It was fueled by testosterone and lust, the way the game was fueled by adrenaline and anger.  Nicky knew what he wanted in that moment and went for it.  She was lucky to be the target.  As he bottomed out inside her with a grunt, her internal power grid surged.

For the first time, she saw Nicky let go.  He was scared and excited and nervous and amped up all at once, but he didn’t have to say it.  The way he manhandled her while still confessing what he’d told the press - sugar and spice, naughty and nice.  It didn’t make sense but Devin got the meaning loud and clear.

“I’ll be whatever you want,” she told him.  As long as you’ll let me.

Devin came hard, sobbing out breath that he forced from her body.  He had her settled on one massive thigh while he pounded away.  Her feet never touched the floor.  His flexed biceps were too big for her to get any traction, so she knitted her fingers behind his back and kept his face in her neck.

“I love the way you feel,” he growled as the first wave hit her, making her back arch to meet his chest and spiraling right down her body to his.  The next few lines were in Swedish but she’s sure it was something like, ‘I love fucking you and I will never stop.’

He did come, probably out of kindness toward her wasted body.  She wrapped my legs around his middle, drove her ankles home to force him in deep and twisted her hips as smoothly as she could.  When he groaned her name, Devin knew she had it right.  Thirty seconds later, he flattened her out and burst like a balloon.

She doesn’t remember getting to the bedroom.  Walking was tough.  An hour or a month later, they were still panting, twisted up naked in his dark bedsheets.

"Did I hurt you?" he asked the back of her head.

"No, Nicky."

“I really tell them you’re my girlfriend,” he said.

“I really want to be.”

His arm circled her protectively, like he was apologizing for everything that came with the title.  But she knew it already, and the first cut was the deepest.  She found Bryan’s words coming back: “At least he’s not Ovi.  Or Crosby, or Kane or Toews.”  There were some things she couldn’t handle but Devin was pretty sure Nicklas Backstrom was in her strike zone.

1 comment:

  1. I loved the mention of Jeff Skinner. Yes, I'd be heartbroken if she was dating him.

    I love their relationship and this other side of Nicky.

    Great update. Can't wait for the next one!