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

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chapter 22 Final

Finally I'm worth it, though I'm not perfect
It still feels right, and I keep on giving
Trying to make a difference, in my life
But I know another way to show
Everything I can be for You
You're all that I'll ever need
I'll give you the Best of Me

(lyrics from “Best of Me” from The Letter Black)

Chapter 22

Everyone went, the day of Rebecca’s mother’s funeral. Max had insisted. Every single member of the team showed up in black suits with black ties. It was quite a display and I didn’t even mind if it was more for Max than it was for her and it was probably a good thing that they had come too, as besides Becca, there was only her sister and her family and a couple of old biddies from the trailer park and I’m pretty sure they’d just been there for the free tea and cake afterwards.

Rebecca still hadn’t cried, but after what she’d told me about her mother, I wasn’t that surprised. She sat, still as a marble statue, through the entire service. She even managed to clench her teeth through her sister’s hysterical sobbing as the plain wooden casket slid into the crematorium through a sliding door.

It was only when Max reached for her hand that she broke down. I knew, we probably all knew, that her tears in that moment were less for her mother than for herself and for him, but no one was about to say anything about it. I let her hand go so he could hug her and I even managed to thank him, albeit silently, as he gave me that look over her shoulder that clearly said that this was for her and that it wasn’t about anything else.

I didn’t need to be told. I’m not worried about losing her. Not now.

“You? You’re going to give up your beauty sleep to do midnight feedings and change diapers?” Jordan laughs as he says it, but quietly. This isn’t really the place for laughing, but it does seem like the place to share some good news.

“I am, apparently,” I reply, sharing a look with Becca that makes my heart skip a beat and my stomach do a salsa move.

“Are you sure?” Sidney hisses into my ear with a wary look towards where his wife and just a spattering of the other Wags, a select few, are helping with the tea and pastries. Becca hadn’t accepted mine or anyone else’s help with the casket or the funeral expenses but Sid had arranged for the cars and his wife had arranged for the food. I guess that’s just another day in the life of being the Captain of the Pens. “I mean, you know…,” Sid adds with a roll of his eyes towards where Max is standing alone, eating a cream horn.

“She’s sure,” I reply with a smile I can’t quite seem to force off of my face. “That’s good enough for me.” I think about adding that I hope it’s good enough for them too, but I decide against it. Their being here, in force, and Max with them tells me that whatever our differences are now, it’s all going to be okay in the future.

“Does he know?” Flower asks, appearing at my side with a plate of Mel’s homemade chocolate chip and smartie cookies. She and Jonny are the only ones not here, for obvious reasons. I’m surprised that she found time to bake with Brent Jr. howling all night. Apparently he has quite the set of lungs on him and I’m a little surprised to find that that thought doesn’t scare me in the least.

“She told him,” I reply quietly, looking over at Max who is watching her with a sort of blank look on his face. I wish he’d talk to me. I wish I knew what that apparently bland expression is hiding but I know I don’t have the right to ask. “I think that was actually the worst part,” I admit, though I wasn’t there. She wanted to do that part on her own but she did tell me that he cried.

“Max will be a great dad, someday,” Tabby says, appearing at her husband’s side and slipping her arm into his, leaning her body into his like they belong like that. It’s like they’ve had a magnet implanted that pulls them together all the time. They look like they belong like that. “In his bed Tanger, really?” she adds and I roll my eyes and sigh. I’ve been waiting for this.

“I know, my bad, je suis vraiment désolé, but you know what it’s like. I don’t have to tell you what being in love does to your brain, raison?” I can see when my Captain tries to hide a smile, and he doesn’t do it well. Sid sucks at poker. Even his wife, when she glances at him rolls her eyes and smiles.

“You can’t even give him hell about that?” she sighs and digs her elbow into his ribs. It only makes him giggle like a school girl though.

“Hey, I almost caught my death running through the rain to be with you, remember?” he reminds her and it’s her turn to blush. “Besides, Max has done some pretty outrageous shit in his time. I think he can get a new bed and go from there if he wants,” Sid adds, smiling down at his wife and for once I don’t feel so left out of the whole lovey dovey couple scene. I just have to look over at where Becca is standing with Michelle Cooke and Vero to know that I have one of those magnets now. It might not be quite as strong as what Sid and Tabby have, but I’m pretty sure it’ll get there.  

“Your sister didn’t stay long,” the wife of the Pens resident agitator noted as she poured me a cup of tea into a real china cup with its’ own little plate beneath it. I took the cup carefully from her hands and inhaled the rich scent of well steeped real leaf tea.

“Well this is pretty unexpected,” I reply with a glance around at all of Kris and Max’s teammates in their smart suits. “I think she was a little overwhelmed. I know I am.”

“We hang together,” Vero tells me, her hand on my arm. “No matter who you’re with,” she adds more quietly, with a quick glance towards where Max is standing off by himself.

“Every time I look at him I feel like I’m pulling on a thread that’s unravelling his entire life,” I admit, turning my attention back to the tea leaves at the bottom of my cup. “I can’t understand why he would do this for me after what I did to him.”

“Not to be mean but neither do I,” Michelle says simply and even though it does hurt, I know that I haven’t got a leg to stand on.

“She can’t help how her heart feels,” Vero hisses at the blonde bombshell who only raises her eyebrows and says nothing. “I know you can’t and Kris is...well he’s a great guy.”

“I know.” I afford myself a glance towards Kris who is standing in a group of his teammates, in a dark blue suit that has sheen to it, his long dark hair styled for once. He looks like a cover model for Sharp magazine or Cigar Aficionado, gorgeous and stylish. “I keep feeling like I need to pinch myself,” I admit, my heart fluttering like a caged bird in my chest. “Not that I never felt that way about Max,” I add quickly, sending a quick glance towards Max. My heart aches when I look at him now, it doesn’t pound.

“He’ll get over it,” Vero promises and I know it’s true but it doesn’t alter my guilt.

“But will he forgive me? And what about Kris?” I ask, looking back at him.

“Honey, he did all this for you,” Michelle points out, as if I need telling. “I think if he hasn’t forgiven you, he’s at least trying to.” Max’s gaze finally meets mine and a resigned sort of half smile spreads across his lips though his eyes still hold the pain I put there. Handing my still full cup to Veronique, I glance quickly towards Kris who gives me an understanding and encouraging smile, and then I turn and head towards Max.

“You okay?” he asks me, our fingers tangling together, just as easily and effortlessly they always have.

“I should be asking you that,” I smile and just a little of the pain leaks out of his gaze.

“Oh, I think I’ll live,” he says with a crooked smile. “What about you though, everything...okay?” he asks, looking down at my mid section. I know what he’s thinking. He doesn’t need to say it. There’s been hardly anything else on my mind the last few days.

“Yeah, okay,” I reply, my free hand sliding to my stomach. It’s still a very foreign feeling, the idea that I’m going to keep it after all, that I , of all people, will be a mother.

“Good, I’m glad,” he says and squeezes my hand before letting it go. I’d believe him, except for the disappointment clear in his eyes and in the way he swallows as he suddenly shifts his gaze to where Kris is still standing with Sid, Tabby and Jordan. Kris lifts his chin in a sort of silent hello and Max nods once. It’s more than I’d hoped for and I take it as a good sign.

“Look…I haven’t even talked to him about this and it’s probably too soon to even think about anything like this yet but...would you be the godfather to…to whatever it turns out to be?” I think Kris would approve, would probably agree with the idea, especially if it means that they stop the grade school stare downs.

“You know I’d be...,” he begins before his attention is stolen by a small freckle faced flame haired bundle of energy. I look from the stranger bearing a potted mum and back to Max, who blushes but doesn’t return my quizzical gaze.

“I’m sorry, I missed everything didn’t I? My mom always says that I have never, ever been on time for anything, not even my own birth!” The woman I recognize as the nurse from the other day busts right past Kris and Sidney like they’re no one and heads straight for where Max and I are standing. “There was this car accident with like, ten victims and everyone needed stitches and I don’t even work in the ER but it was like, all hands on deck so I was there like making sutcher trays and cleaning out wounds and there was this kid running around because his mother had a laceration on her...oh...I’m doing it aren’t I? I’m just blabbering on. I do that, I’m so sorry.” I can’t help at grin at her, especially when I catch the flabbergasted expression on Max’s face.

“There really wasn’t much to see,” I tell her quietly and she beams up at me like I’ve handed her a lollipop and patted her on the head. “You didn’t really miss much at all.”

“I’m glad. I mean, I’m not glad because I’m sure this was like, ridiculously difficult for you, what with it being for your mom and all but I’m glad that you seem to be taking it well. These are for you,” she presses the potted plant into my hands and then sort of hugs me around them. “I’m sorry for your loss,” she adds and then turns to Max. “The kids just loved seeing you the other day. They have not stopped talking about it. I was so glad that you could come.”

“Uh...yeah, well, me and kids, we’re great,” Max says in his golly gee shucks sort of way and bathes her in his ‘I’m Max Talbot and you will find me devastatingly handsome’ grin and she, in turn, looks up at him like he’s just been dropped down from heaven just for her. “Lucy right?” he asks, and impossibly her grin gets wider, but so does his.

“I think we should give them some space hmmm?” I lean back into the strong, heavily muscled body that presses up against me and close my eyes, just for a moment as his scent fills my head. I’d always liked the smell of Hugo Boss on him but ever since I’ve been pregnant it just sort of...does things to me.

“Do you think he’ll be okay?” I ask as Kris turns to lead me away.

“I think we’ll all be fine,” he whispers in my ear. “Just fine.”


  1. Awww man its over ughhhh


  2. Aw, I'm glad they got a happy ending. You actually made me like Kris Letang over Max Talbot.

    I hope you're planning to keep writing, since you're one of my favourite hockey fanfic authors.

    Anyways, just wanted to say thanks for the great story. I think I speak for everyone when I say we appreciate you writing this stuff.

  3. Best. Story. Ever. Have I said that one every chapter? You kick my ass on every story, and you are my hero.

  4. I'm truly sad to see this end, Your such a fantastic writer, i find myself going back and rereading story's when everyone else lacks updates. Fabulous Job as always, I hope to see something else in work soon.

  5. I just made an account today and I felt like it was high time I commented on one of your stories to tell you what an amazing writer I think you are! I've enjoyed reading your blogs and I hope that you continue writing!

  6. your comments make me uber happy. I hope you check out my other stories