Just a few words about Rolling Thunder

I just wanted to send a shout out to Juliet and Kimmy whose stories have recently been inspiring me and to my readers who, I hope, enjoy these stories

Friday, September 24, 2010

Chapter 4

 sorry, been down with the flu...I hardly had the strength to check my email the last few days never mind write but I hope this chapter will hold you for a few days more

All these pick-up lines from hell
Icebreakers infernal
from a heart so black and blue
only for you
I'm not afraid to admit I adore you
any more than I was before, babe
I am scared to death, I am scared to death
to fall in love
with you

with you...

scared to death...

I'm scared to death..

And you're sweet like poison
(lyrics from “Scared to Death” by Ville Valo, HiM)

“At least he’s not here this time so there’s no chance of catching him in his underwear,” my sister says in that tone that says that I’m a constant source of embarrassment to her. I consider telling her that I know he’s not home, that I think he’s in Columbus or Detroit or something like that but then decide to keep my mouth shut, that she’d only tell me that he’s only seeing me because I’m easy or that he’d never take me seriously if he knew that I lived in a trailer park. It’s nothing that I haven’t already thought myself and I don’t really want to hear it said out loud, so I just say nothing and follow her inside. 

“I’ll take upstairs,” I mumble, grabbing a mop and a bucket and heading up the stairs that I would have gone up the other night if I had been the easy lay from the trailer park that my sister and my mother think I am. Max knows different. Not that he was happy about it but….

The bed is wrong. 

Standing in the doorway, I stare at the big pine sleigh bed with fluffy looking quilt with its old fashioned homemade looking blue and white design. It’s nothing like the four poster wrought iron king size bed Max has in his room with the black and red silk sheets. 

“Jen!” I yell over my shoulder, frozen to the spot, staring at a family portrait of smiling faces around the Stanley Cup. Max isn’t one of them but Kristopher Letang is. “Jen, we’re in the wrong house,” I yell again. 

“We’re doing both!” she yells back up at me, “they’re right next door to each other.” I mumble something under my breath about not telling me that isn’t at all nice and something even worse about my being too tired and too stupid to notice as I walk over towards another picture of Kris with what looks like a bunch of club kids. His hair is up in some kind of pompadour, his smooth chest his bare and the elastic of his underwear is showing as he gives the camera a seriously sexy come hither look while snuggling up to a couple of girl with big hair and too much make up next to another guy wearing a necklace and a fairly serious fro. 

There’s another picture next to that one of him in the same outfit with a couple of the same girls and a few more thrown in for good measure, but he doesn’t have his arms around them. He’s not even touching them and the look on his face says that he likes whoever is behind the camera better than the present company anyway. 

I wonder if that person is the one in a few of the smaller photographs in simple frames on the top of a dresser and on his bed stand.  One of them shows him with some other buy with the same sort of thick, dark, un-groomed eyebrows but shorter hair and a wider, more confident smile, both of them holding a trophy and wearing medals. Right next to that one was with the same young man, but this time on a golf course, obviously sharing some kind of joke, looking close and intimate. 

The last one was the one on his nightstand of the two of them in Canadian jerseys, arms around one another, looking up at something, a flag maybe. Comrades in arms or…more?

Feeling nosey, I turn my attention to his closet, opening the sliding slatted doors to find a perfectly organized system of both folded and hung clothing as well as one entire set of shelves for a variety of shoes from combat boots to expensive looking alligator loafers, in between which is quite a collection of trainers, few of which look as if they’ve ever been worn.

“Damn, definitely gay,” I mutter to myself as I run my fingers over thick, soft cashmere sweaters and down subtly printed silk ties.  

Besides the tasteful and expensive clothes and the organization bordering on OCD, there doesn’t seem to anything to clean. Running my bare finger along the crown molding over the closet, there wasn’t a grain of dust to be found. Nor were there any lumps of solidified toothpaste in the sink of the en suite, or a gross ring in the toilet. There was definitely no sticky mess on the floor which indicated to me that he had better aim than most men.
“Are you done snooping, or are you going to clean something?” I whirl to find my sister holding a bottle of bleach out toward me. 

“Clean what?” I ask, going so far as to pick up the spin-brush sitting on the counter so I can run my thumb along the granite countertop beneath it, coming up with nothing.  “Either someone’s already been here and you have your schedules messed up or this guy is a neat freak and we’re getting paid to do nothing.” 

This has my sister grabbing her cell and wandering off, muttering something under her breath about schedules and using particularly colourful adjectives for the receptionist, leaving me to stare at a picture of Kris and Max, one on either side of the Cup, huge grins on their faces. 

Comrades in arms or….

“What the fuck was that about?” 

I’m expecting it so it comes as no surprise when Max forcibly drags me down into the seat beside him in the plane and gives me that look, the one that says ‘if we hadn’t been friends forever I’d be kicking your ass right now’. On the other hand, even though I’m expecting it, I’m not about to just give in to his little green monster pity party. 

“Qu’est-ce que tu racontes?” Max hates being toyed with, and his eyes grow dark with a threat that isn’t usually aimed in my direction, but because I’ve been expecting it I don’t flinch, though I should. I’ve been witness to the aftermath of a couple of go rounds with he and Jordan have had and neither time ended well.

You, hitting on my girl,” he snarls, giving me a look that dares me to deny it, which I do with a single shrug. 

“I spoke to her, oui, but hit on her? Non mon ami, je n’ai pas flirter avec ton fille.” I look him directly in the eye as I say it so he can see that I’m not lying. At least I don’t think that I’m lying. Did I want to flirt with her? Of course I did and not just because she was pretty. Lots of the girls that hang around us at bars are pretty but there was something different in her eyes that drew me in. “I know the rules and I’m not GoGo or Gronk. I don’t break the rules. She’s your girl Max, c’est fini.” Max stares me down and I let him because I feel guilty. I feel guilty for thinking about her sweet half smile and the way she looked at me from beneath her lashes. She might be his girl but there was something there, something between us and I know she felt it too. “You took her home didn’t you?” I ask when I feel like I’m going to break, when I’m about to spill my admission like a teenager in confession after he’s wacked off for the first time.

“No,” he grumbles and sits back in his seat, starting at the back of the seat in front of him. “She said she had a headache or something; that she’d been drinking too much.” It’s all I can do to keep my expression neutral as I nod sympathetically even while my mind is racing through the details of the night. She neither smelled of alcohol nor do I remember her ever having so much as a single drink in her hand. 

“Meilleure chance la prochaine fois, mon frère,” I offer to which he only shrugs one shoulder and continues to stare sullenly at the back of Flower’s seat. 

I tell myself not to read anything into it but there’s a little part of me, somewhere in the pit of my stomach that does a little happy dance at Max’s expense. 

I can’t help but compare the items in Max’s closet as I dust his room, which can use it. He’s definitely not as much of a housekeeper as his teammate. 

Where Kris’s closet was divided and carefully organized by type of clothing, colour and type of care required, Max’s closet is a jumble of both wire and wooden hangers with everything, including his jeans, hung up and where Kris’s closet was generally made up of more muted tones, Max’s is a virtual rainbow of bright primary colours.

“Chalk and cheese,” I mutter to myself as I head for Max’s private en suite, which, in all honesty is not as bad as I’d anticipated. There are a few petrified wads of toothpaste in the sink and I’m not sure I’d actually sit on the toilet seat but I have seen worse. 

I’m about to spray the mirror over the sink when my breath warms the cool surface and a message begins to appear. With a grin, I lean forward and blow, revealing a note scrawled in block letters:

I hate that you’re in my bedroom without me

Shaking my head I spray the mirror and wipe the message away. He might not be the neatest member of his team but he’s definitely charming. Sliding my cell out of the back pocket of my jeans I send him back a message that reads:

Maybe we’ll remedy that when you get back

I’m half way through cleaning the shower when my phone vibrates in my pocket and it’s not a text, it’s a call. 

That’s not fair,” a voice thick with sleep slurs on the other end of the line. Stepping out of the shower, I peer out the en suite door, looking for my nosy sister. 

“What’s that?” I ask, knowing damn well what but wanting to tease him, especially considering the barely stifled long drawn out yawn I’m currently listening to. 

Mmm, you’re in my bedroom ma petite coquina favorite,” he growls, a sound that has my skin breaking out in chicken flesh all at once. 

“To be honest, I’m in your shower,” I correct him only to hear him groan, followed by the rustle of sheets. “What are you doing sleeping in the middle of the day anyway?” I ask, stepping out of the shower and sitting down on the cleaned, closed lid of the toilet. 

We nap before a game, but how can I nap now with cette image in my head?” he asks, and I can hear the sultry grin he’s wearing in his voice. “Qui va être impossible. Just tell me, promets-moi that you’ll take care of this…condition when I get home.” 

“And what condition is that?” I ask, playing the innocent, just to hear him groan out loud again. 

I think we both know exactement what you do to me, mon petit chat,” he argues and I can’t keep a straight face. I do know and it was only because his handsome teammate had thrown me off that I hadn’t taken advantage of the state I’d left him in at the club but there had definitely been no doubt about how much he’d been enjoying my company. 

“Well I suppose we’ll have to see if you’re a good boy or not,” I chuckle, listening while he growls with frustration. 

Go to my bed, open the drawer on the bedside table on the right hand side,” he instructs me impatiently, his words succinct and to the point, his tone abrupt. Getting up, I walk over to the King Size bed with its canopy of fairy lights and its mountain of lavish opulently embroidered pillows and slide my hand into the drawer of the table on what I assume is his side of the bed, with its photos of Max with what can only be his brothers and his mother. My fingers slide over a long, thin box covered in soft velvet and I know he hears my sharp intake of breath when he laughs. “Open it.” 

“Max…you don’t even know me,” I sigh, pulling out the black velvet hinged box with shaking hands. 

Just open it mon ange,” he insists in that offhand jovial way he has. Tipping the lid open I find myself staring down at a diamond tennis bracelet with a single charm hanging from it, a heart with the Pens logo that spins in the middle from each end of the hockey stick with a diamond in the centre of the Penguin’s chest. 

“Max…this is too much,” I hiss into the phone, thinking more about my mother finding it and pawning it for booze and cigarettes, or worse, my sister finding me with it and thinking I stole it than about how truly pretty it is. 

Just a little thank you for cleaning up after me,” he chuckles, steering the tone of the conversation in a more comedic direction, a talent, I’ve noticed, that he uses to his advantage a lot. 

“Well then I hope you left one downstairs for my sister because whatever you cooked last is still all over the stove,” I muse as I consider taking the fragile sparkling bracelet out of the box, but decide to close it instead. All I’d need now is Jen finding it, or seeing me on the phone, and having to explain it. 

“I promise I’ll put an extra twenty in when I pay the bill for her,” he laughs as I slip the box into my back pocket. “So, will I see you when I get back?” 

“When is that?” I ask, like I’m checking my date book, as if I have a line of suitors out the door waiting to ask me out and the inbred loser with the missing front teeth and rusty TransAm in front of his place in the trailer park doesn’t count.

A couple of days, ma petite colombe, and then I will take you out somewhere coûteux et impressionnant and you can wear it for me, d’accord?” 

“I don’t know what you just said but yeah…why, you can take me wherever you want Mr. Talbot,” I add, throwing in some real Scarlett O’Hara Southern twang just to get even with his using his accent against me. 

“Puis il est convenu,” he adds with a throaty chuckle that reminds me that I’ve awoken him from his pre-game nap, “a black tie dinner for two, my treat, bien sûr, at the finest restaurant in Pittsburgh in two days time. Shall I pick you up?” 

“Uh no,” I mumble, beads of sweat breaking out across my forehead as I try and think of how I’m going to scrape enough together for another new outfit to wear. “You know you could just take me for hamburgers, or barbeque, I like a good rack of ribs,” I offer, realizing at the last minute just how that could be taken. 

A simple girl with simple tastes. Comme vous le souhaitez,” he adds and I can’t help but hear the grin in his voice when he says it although I can’t truly decide if it’s genuine or a rueful sort of smile. “I’ll ask around and see if I can find a good restaurant de la bière et le barbecue, just for you sweet Rebecca. I’ll text you when I get home.” I hang up and blow out the air that’s accumulated in my lungs while I’ve been talking to him and then I can’t help but laugh. You can take the girl out of the trailer park but apparently you can’t take the trailer park out of the girl.

“Did you buy twenty of those…,” Geno mimes the shape of something round around his wrist and looks perturbed that he can’t think of the word. 

“Bracelets,” I tell him and shrug, “yeah but I only had a couple left and she’s worth it.” 

“You like all the ladies,” the big guy laughs, rolling over onto his side to face me and supporting his big head on his big hand. 

“I don’t know about all, but generally yeah,” I agree with a yawn, “but there’s something about this girl…don’t know what it is but I like her…a lot.” I hear a chortle and glance over to see the big Russian looking back at me with sincere disbelief on his face. “What? You have Oksana, Sid’s got Tabby…why shouldn’t I have someone too?” 

“I never knew you are a…,” he thinks for a moment and then smiles and nods, happy with where his thoughts have taken him, “sheep.” 

“Ouch!” I grab my chest over my heart roll my eyes back in my head and collapse back on my bed. “You kill me big guy. Here I am, opening my heart to you and you shoot me down like that and I thought you were my friend.” 

“I am friend,” Geno laughs, tossing a pillow at me that lands right on my face. If there’s one thing you can’t fault the big lug for it’s his aim. “That’s why I tell you I think is funny you can be with one girl only. Eto tol’ko nyeestestvennoe.” I toss his pillow back and raise my eyebrow at him, which is one of the ways we have of reminding one another to speak English. “It not…not Superstar” he manages and I shrug and roll back on to my back, my arms behind my head as I close my eyes.

“Yeah well, I think you better get used to the idea of Superstar being off the market big guy because I’m telling you…there’s something about this girl…something different and I plan on getting to the bottom of it.”


  1. GAH!
    Kris is not gay!
    And I think I'm going to be pulling for Team Kris this time around. Because I want someone else for Max. Someone... Well, I'll send you an email about it*

    Great update!
    Geno made me giggle*
    And what's going on with Mel and Johnny? Is Goose gonna try something to break them up?

  2. Always about you Mel!!!!

    Hope you are feeling better Meredith! Great chapter...I like the whole he has 20 of the bracelets, but she is worth it....

    And the whole Kris is gay thing is hilarious...Can't wait til it all comes out...

    Be well my friend and keep Mel hanging..it's good for her soul. haha

  3. OMG THIS IS GETTING GOOD, I really like her name is Rebecca, because thats my name.


    Ive seen alot of sidney crosby and kris letang stories, just once i want to find an awesome story about MAX TALBOT, and miss thing i think you got it.
    i just hope Rebecca stays with MAx and max treats her with respect and truly LOVES her and not just doing it bc his freinds are all paired off now.

  5. To Anonymous

    They are actually quite a few Max Talbot stories. Starting with one of the best "You Belong with Me" by this writer. Her profile has a link to it. I don't want to spoil it for you but it's awesome!

  6. Love the secret message on the bathroom mirror! Your update made me smile!

  7. ive read, but havent commented yet. im loving how your writing this story. its cute that max is chasing rebecca.