Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chapter 21. I Think... I Like Cheesy Lines

Happy new year 2011! I think it's time for a new chapter and I hope you'll enjoy it. I wish you would write a comment. It gives me extra motivation to write and sadly I haven't got any comments for a long time. So let me know what you think and your ideas would also be appreciated...

Me leaving again was a pleasant surprise for Kayley because she wanted someone else to be the new family member, because according to her it was a hard job especially because of my mom and her very very very enthusiastic sisters. But rest of the family wasn't that excited. They even tried to make me change my mind, which was pretty hopeless since I would never change my mind. I missed him so much and i needed to be with him. Even at the airport Niklas asked me to think this trough once again.

"Think about it Netta. You just had a surgery. Besides you just came back." He pleaded. I didn't think he was worried about my knee. Instead he wasn't happy knowing I was leaving because a guy.

"I love you all, but you guys really are pain in the ass." I moaned. "I have a free ticket and I'm not going to just throw it away."

Niklas threw his hands in the air as a surrender. It was useless, he knew that. He had seen how everything in my changed when I even talked about Sidney. He gave me a hug and whispered in my ear to be careful.

"Kay, try to keep my brother out of trouble." I said and she just rolled her eyes.

"I'll do my best."

Sooner than I realized I was sitting on a plane seat, business class naturally, and fastening my seat belt. I was going to see him. I was going to be with him. A wave of happiness washed over me.

The flight went smoothly. But my feelings weren't so smooth. The closer we got to JFK I got more nervous. We haven't seen each other for many weeks. I couldn't sit still, I had to move my feet all the time and I started to bite my finger nails, which is funny because I've never done it earlier. Why was I so nervous. He wanted me to come... Right? Yes! He had even bought the ticket. So he DID want me there. Oh man, I think I'm having a panic attack and I have no idea why. I tried to concentrate on breathing but when there was only 15 minutes left before landing even as simple thing as that turned into something very difficult. Even the old lady next to me started to get worried,

"Miss, are you alright?" She asked and stared at me.

"Um... I'm fine." I whispered but it didn't sound really reassuring.

"You don't look fine, dear." She continued. I was not going to tell her how pathetic I was so I had to lie.

"I'm a little scared of flying." I finally came up with a reasonable explanation. She believed me.

"Oh dear. Everything's going to be just fine. Here, give me your hand. We're almost there." And rest of the flight I was holding her hand as she tried to calm me down.

JFK was busy as always and it took ages to get my bags, but when I finally got them on my trolley I remembered that Sidney hadn't told me anything else about my trip. Like what was going to happen next. Was he waiting for me here or was I suppose to go to Pittsburgh on my own? I got my answer the minute I walked into the arrival hall. He was standing there with a huge grin on his face.

"Hey beautiful!" he greeted and gave me a bear hug. He didn't even give me chance to say anything before placing his lips on mine. The kiss was like marijuana. I didn̈́'t want him to stop. But unfortunately he did stop. He had to crab me hard so I wouldn't fall down. He literally swept me off my feat.

"I missed you." I whispered suddenly feeling overwhelmed by him and his touch.

"And I missed you. Can't believe you're really here. I hope you're not too tired."

"I'm not." I lied. I was tired but it was not going to ruin anything.

"Good. I have plans." He sad with a mysterious grin. Then he took me outside and we took a cap. He told the driver to go to a certain address which I figured would be in midtown because of the street number. Other than that I had no idea where we were going. And naturally he refused to tell me. I rested my head on his shoulder and he put his arm around me. If you have ever loved some one and been apart, you know how good it feels just to be near him and not say a word. It almost feels like speaking would ruin everything, like that magical moment would somehow disappear. Even our cap driver who was singing some Bollywood song couldn't take the magic away. Finally we were close because all the buildings started to rise high around us. I love New York, but right then I couldn't care less about the city. All I could think about was him. The cap parked in front of a building and I immediately recognized the place. It was the same hotel where we had met the second time when Filippa had taken me to a jazz concert held in the lobby.

"What are we doing here?" I asked after Sidney had payed the driver and taken my bags.

"We are staying here for the night and and in the morning we're flying to Pittsburgh." He told me as we walked into the lobby.

I almost choked when the receptionist told us that our suite was ready and we could take the elevator up.

"A suite?" I hissed under my breath as we entered the elevator.


"A normal room would've been just fine." I laughed nervously.

"You're gonna love it." He just smiled.

And I did. It was huge and very beautiful. But most importantly there were roses and candles everywhere. I gulped. It was all very romantic. Too romantic. I started to panic. I was in a very expensive hotel suite filled with red roses and candles. So it must have meant that he wanted something from me. Something that we hadn't done before. And that something scared the hell out of me. I was hardly comfortable exposing myself emotionally so there was no way that I could let him get physically that close to me.

"Do you like it?" He asked and put my bags down. Luckily I was not facing him so he couldn't see my desperation.

"Yes." I answered but it sounded more like a question than an answer.

I heard him taking taking couple steps towards me but suddenly he stopped.

"Netta." He said softly. It took all my will power to say something.


"Honey, you can relax." He said. I think he was a bit amused because of a tone of his voice. "I just wanted to surprise you. That's all." So he knew what I was thinking. Now I was embarrassed.

"Don't be embarrassed." He said. Damn, he could read my mind.

"I'm sorry. You must think I'm crazy. And I don't blame you, because I agree."

"You're not crazy but I'm crazy about you." He said. And I believed him, though that was probably one of the cheesiest lines I've ever heard.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Chapter 20. I think...I'm in Seventh Heaven

As I had expected it was hard to have our phone dates ( Sidney called came up with that name) because of the stupid time zones. Even after my surgery, which forced me to stay at my parent's house doing absolutely nothing, we didn't find time. He was doing interviews and all sorts of campaigns in addition to his normal game schedule. Stupid Olympics! He was going to be on the team, though it wasn't official yet. He sent me messages apologizing for being too busy. I tried to understanding but frustration won my fake attitude sometimes. Usually when I was alone while my parents were at work. When they were home I tried to stay happy and concentrated on my recovery, because I didn't want them to be worried. Since my mom found out about me being in a relationship her stress level rose. She's a worrying type. I wanted her to think that everything was just fine, especially with Sidney. But I guess she knew I was faking it because she gave me all her weird looks and sighs.

But when he did call, I was in seventh heaven. His voice was so comforting that it made me forget that weren't sitting on his couch hand in hand. It made me forget my knee and most of all it made me forget all the frustration. I guess it was Friday when he called. It was almost 10 PM in Finland but he had just woke up from his pregame nap. He was still quite sleepy and sounded really funny and cute.

"Hey you." He said quietly.

"Hi!" I whispered for some reason. Maybe I didn't want my brothers, who were having their father-sons sauna and beer night, to hear me. I went to my bedroom, which by the way looked like a 10 year-old would live in there since I had all my childhood dolls and stuffed animals in there. I closed the door.

"Niksu and Noppa (Because they called my Tiny, I had come up with nicknames that had first irritated them but unfortunately they had grown used to them) are here. They just created the ultimate Olympics hockey team."

"Am I on their team?" He asked amused.

"No, they went old school. You know Gretzky and Kurri." I laughed and sat down on my bed. With my free hand I pushed my crutches onto the floor.

"Got to respect that." He chuckled.

For a while we didn't say anything. It was like neither of us found something to say, though there were million thing on our minds.

"Things are pretty crazy around here." He finally sighed.

"What's going on?" I asked suddenly feeling really tired not just physically but mentally. This long distance shit was almost too much for me to handle.

"Nothing that's not normal. I wish you were here though."

"I wish that too." I said it so quietly that he could barely hear me.

Damn, I wish it so badly that my whole body aches.

"Oh, I almost forgot. There'll be a delivery for you tomorrow morning. Are going to be home?"

"Where else would I be?" I laughed sarcastically.

Next morning when I woke up, there was a huge box on the kitchen table waiting for me. I guess the delivery man had come while I was still asleep and my parents had signed it for me before leaving for work. I smiled knowing that it was form him. I opened the box and saw a huge rose bouquet, similar to those which he had sent me when I was still touring and he was trying to make a good impression. There was also a note.

So you won't forget me.
Love, Sid.

I picked up the bouquet and found a vase big enough for it. I was about to put the box away when I noticed that there was something more inside. It was a small blue box, but to make it very clear, it didn't look like a ring box. It was slightly bigger. When I opened it I had to remind myself to breath. How did he get this!? My goodness! It was the exact necklace that I had lost in Central Park the day I had first met him. My grandmother's necklace. He hadn't just had it custom made to look like it. It was the exact same piece. I knew it because of a small crack. In the small box was also another note.

I guess this belongs to you.
Love, Sid

And I also found bigger envelope from the bottom of the big box. I slowly opened it, still feeling astonished at the necklace.

Dear Netta,

I wanted to show you that I'm serious about us. I'm serious when I say that you can trust me. I want you to know that I would do anything for you and I hope that my gift showed you how much you mean to mean. Being far away from you is hard but it sure does beat being close with someone else. Now I want you to call this number so you can get my real gift. It's a selfish gift, but hope you'll like it anyways.
Love, Sid

I took my cell and dialed the number he had wrote down. For my surprise a travel agency answered. The lady told me that there was a reservation for me.

"Okay... What kind of a reservation?" I asked puzzled.

"You'll fly from Helsinki to New York on Monday." She said and tried to sound very professional though I could hear from her voice that she was quite curious.

"On Monday!" I almost screamed. I pitied her ear.

"Yes, on Monday. And there seems to be a message for you attached to your booking. Let me see..." I could hear her clicking the mouse and typing something.

"...Yes, here it is. You should not be worried about anything since there will be a personal physiotherapist waiting for you and a very talented doctor with lots of experience in sports injuries."

Oh wow! I guess I don't have to take this long distance shit much longer!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chapter 19. I Think... I Have Crazy Brothers

I watched outside the plane window. We were about to land. Everything seemed so tiny and because winter was winning summer in their battle, everything was covered under a thin layer of white thing that I did not like. I was a summer person and snow represented everything I disliked; cold. When the plane touched the runway I sighed. So this was it. I was back home. Funny, I had pictured this very differently. Most importantly I had pictured this to happen on March. I knew my whole family would be waiting for me at the airport so I was mentally preparing myself to be happy. Don't get me wrong, I was really happy to see them, but still I wish I didn't have to, not yet. When everyone else got u to get their stuff from overhead lockers, I decided to stay on my seat. It always irritated me when a plane landed and every single person on the plane wanted to be the first person to get out. So instead of joining them, I stayed put and that way I also didn't have to face Finland just yet. See, I have a theory that if you're in an airplane your not in any country. You're in a neutral no man's land. Of course I couldn't stay there for ever. As I had expected, my whole family was there. Mom, dad, Nooa, Nilkas and Kayley, my grandmas and grandpas. Lot's of hugs and kisses and me and my brothers trying to make our mom stop crying was what usually happened at our airport reunions. This was no exception. My mother was having her "I got my baby back!" moment and we just had to leave as fast as possible to avoid any more weird glares at us. Last time someone, who said he was doctor, had asked whether she needed medical help. I was driving with my brothers and Kayley.

"I know you missed me a lot, but don't you think this is a bit too much. Just break your leg so you could finally see me." Nooa was teasing.

"Ha haa. That's very funny." I said and playfully hit his shoulder.

"Hey kids, knock it off!" Niklas who was driving said in that very authoritative big brother voice.

"Is it too early to ask about him?" Kayley asked and Niklas nearly drove off the road. See my brothers, especially Niklas, were really protective over me. I hadn't told them anything about Sidney, because he actually might have flown across the Atlantic to give Sidney "the talk". ANd luckily Kayley had kept the secret.

"I don't want him to go crazy, so of course I won't tell them anything." She had said on the phone.

"There's a he?" Niklas asked in shock. I noticed how Nooa was also really tensed next to me and demanding me to answer with his stare.

"Thanks Kay!" I laughed. She gave me a fake apologetic smile. I knew that there was no way out of telling my crazy brothers. They literally were crazy. My dad had joked that he didn't have to buy a gun to keep boys away from me since Niklas and Nooa were doing such a great job.

"So Tiny, (they called me that) who's this guy?" Nooa asked.

"Well, he's Canadian." I started carefully.

"He's a lot more than a Canadian." Kayley said and giggled at my discomfort.

"Seriously Kay! Shut up!" She just winked at me over her shoulder.

"Tiny, start talking." Niklas ordered.

"Well he's not a jerk. Isn't that all you want to know? I've heard you going on and on about how I should stay away from jerks. So you should be very pleased." I said.

"Tiny, I don't trust your judgment." Niklas said.

"I know a jerk when I see one." I said offensively. My brothers just burst into laugh.

"Yeah. And Kayley here is going to learn cross country skiing." Niklas said sarcastically.

"Never!" Kayley almost screamed. She had very strong opinions about cross country skiing. According to her she would never ever do it in her entire life, no matter how great exercise it was.

"That's what I thought." Niklas laughed. Then I did what I always did when I was younger and my brothers were teasing me. I pouted my lips and refused to talk to them after I had said "I don't like you!"

"If Tiny won't tell us anything, it's your job to inform us." Niklas said to his wife who was still thinking about cross country skiing.

"What, me? Babe, as much as I enjoy observing you and Nooa doing your big brother thing, I am a woman. And we women have to have each other's back. I'm not even going to tell you that he is someone you guys have been discussing about last summer. "

"Kay!" I sighed.

"What's that suppose to mean?" Nooa asked clearly irritated.

"I'm not telling anything." Kayley said but I could see she was thinking something more to say.

"Did you have good time in Pittsburgh?" She asked innocently. Okay, that was it. They would guess from that.

"Um... yeah." I muttered.

"Did you see him play?" She continued. What ever happened to "we women" speech? Well I guess I would have to tell them sooner or later. I'd rather do it later but Kayley clearly didn't like that idea.

We were in the middle of highway, but that didn't stop Niklas from braking really fast and pulling to the side. I was happy there wasn't a car just behind us or otherwise there would have been an accident.

"I don't think you are allowed to stop here." I said.

"Yeah, babe. If a police sees us here..." Kayley was also getting worried and she was eying the road behind us making sure there were no police cars near.

"Kayley, are you, in your very subtle way, trying to tell me that my sister is involved with some a hockey player?" Niklas asked his wife.

"Niklas, don't get upset. He seems to be a very nice guy." Kayley said and tapped gently his arm. My brothers snorted almost in unison. It was time to open my mouth and say something.

"Guys, he really is. He's good to me. He's sweet and gentle. He would never hurt me. And I'm not being naive like with...Daniel. He really is. I'm finally over Daniel. It's a good thing, right? Didn't you always say that I should be with someone who's worthy of me. He is. And if you'd meet him, you'd agree. I think you would like him, cause he doesn't go easy on me." I noticed how Niklas was looking at me with really weird eyes. I couldn't read his expression. Neither Nooa's.

"Are you in love?" Niklas asked. His voice was both worried and curious.

"It's too early for that." I mumbled selfconsciously.

"Tiny, if he breaks your heart, you know we got your back." Nooa said softly. And with those words they were telling me that it was okay, well maybe okay but almost okay.

"I wonder what would Sidney say if he knew how crazy this dudes are." I guess Kayley thought that it was time to tell them the last part of this secret.

I'm glad that the car was not moving. Niklas would most like have flipped the car around.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Chapter 18. I Think...I Saw This Coming

It was both great and not so great to be back with the girls. It was great because now I was able to witness all the crazy stuff that happened every time Filippa was somewhere. But it also meant being away from Sidney. We talked on the phone everyday but it wasn't enough. Funny that earlier it was more than enough. Now just hearing his voice made me want to drive to airport and buy a ticket to a place where he was playing. Of course I didn't do that. Not being with Sidney wasn't the only not so great thing. I just had to watch when others danced. My whole body wanted to move with them. Unfortunately my knee wasn't any better. I might have gone too far with my exercises because the knee was swollen and I had to use crutches once again. I didn't want to admit it to myself but I would most likely need a surgery. That thought made me irritated and I even snapped at Filippa couple of times and even at Sidney on the phone.

"I'm sorry. I'm just really upset about my knee." I murmured on the phone. He just chuckled.

"It's alright. Is worse than yesterday?"

"Yep. Like hundred times worse. I had to take those really strong painkillers. They make me really tired." I said and yawned.

"Have you seen a doctor?" He asked and I bet he knew that me seeing a doctor would mean surgery.

"Not yet." I sighed.

"You know you have to, sooner or later."

"I know, I know. I'm just waiting for a while if the exercises would work and the ice bags."

"Nets, you have to see a doctor. Otherwise they might have to cut the whole thing off." He said in very serious tone though he was joking.

"Okay, I will! Let's talk about something less depressing. How was your day?"

"We won." He told me though he knew I knew that.

"Old news." I laughed.

"Did you know that Jordan's just calling Filippa?" He asked.

"Oh that's why she's in the lobby." I laughed. "I thought she was hitting on that cute reception guy."

"Cute, huh?" Was he jealous? That thought made me smile.

"Not as cute as you." I laughed.

"That's my girl." He laughed back.

"You know I really like you?"

"I like you too. I think you're my favorite person." He said. I was picturing myself in his arms on his couch. I sighed and he heard it.



"Are you okay?" He sounded concerned.

"This is stupid. Not being there with, it's lame."

"I know." He sighed too. "You know what I would do if you were here?" He asked and I could here from his voice that he had that cute flirty smile on his face.

"Tell me." I smiled.

"I would kiss you really hard."

"Oh, dirty talking." I laughed.

"And then I would just keep kissing you." He continued.

"I'd like that."

The next day at the doctor's office I heard what I didn't want to hear. Me injury required a surgery. Shit!

"So?" Victoria asked both hopefully and concerned. She had come to the doctor with me. I just shook me head in frustration.

"Surgery?" She wanted to make sure though everything in me was screaming it.

"Yep." I said and then I used every possible curse word I knew in Finnish, Swedish and English.

"Okay. Nu måste vi ringa till Erik och Mariella." (Now we have to call Erik and Mariella) She said. Erik and Mariella were our producers. They didn't travel with us but stayed in Stockholm. We both knew what that meant. They would order me to fly back home. I was only wasting their money now that I wasn't dancing. Besides the insurance company wouldn't pay my surgery here. Only in Finland. She put her around my shoulders trying to make me feel better.

"Jag måste gå hem." (I have to go home) I sighed. I wish I could cry but since the waiting room was full of people I just swallowed the lump in my throat.

"Come on. Let's get a cap and go back to hotel."

Our ride back to the hotel was quiet. Victoria had promised to make the call and now she was explaining the situation to Erik. I didn't bother to listen to their conversation. I was too caught up on the thought of being on the different continent than Sidney. Wow, this was it. This was what I've been afraid of. This was the reason why I hadn't gone to see the doctor earlier. I had known this all along. But facing the truth was awful. There would be that crazy time difference so we just couldn't call each other so easily. There would be a stupid ocean between us.

Victoria put her phone back to her purse. She looked sad.

"He's getting a ticket for you to Helsinki." She sighed. I knew she wasn't telling me everything. Well she wasn't telling me when I'd be flying. She read me thoughts.

"Tomorrow morning."



The girls waited for us at hotel. From our expressions they understood what was going on. Victoria told everybody what Erik had said on the phone and when she told that he was getting me a ticket on the morning flight they sighed and Filippa almost burst into tears. People around us were gave us strange looks when the girls gave me a group hug. Gosh, I was going to miss them.

I tried to eat something but I couldn't. I was anxiously waiting for the call I had to make. I had to tell him that I was leaving the country. Leaving the continent, damn it! Losing my appetite wasn't the only thing that was bothering me. Me leg was practically killing me. I think it was more psychosomatic than real pain caused by my injury. When I knew that his ice practice would finally be over I took my cell and pressed his number. He picked up pretty quickly. I didn't even give him a chance to say hello.

"I'm leaving." After saying that I turned on the waterworks.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Chapter 17. I Think...I Already Miss Him

Those three days I spent in Pittsburgh were gone too fast. He had to go on the road and it was time for me to fly to Edmonton where the girls were performing tonight. We were at the airport and he was holding my tightly against him.

"The second you land call me." He said and I nodded.

"I will." I whispered.

We were just staring at each others' eyes and we both understood how our lives at that moment seemed too crazy. If we would have just been two ordinary people, I wouldn't have to get on that plane and he wouldn't have to leave with his team. We could just stay here and be together. Instead we had to be apart. We hadn't talked about this part of our relationship. I guess we didn't even want to talk about it. It was too depressing, after all this "thing" was so fresh and new. I guess we were afraid of the separation. At least I was. I didn't want this . It was awful. But something that I couldn't change.

"I don't want you to go." He said and hugged me almost too hard.

"I don't want to go." I answered and my voice was too shaky for me to control.

Sidney smiled at me. He seemed to find this somehow amusing.

"Just think how you, couple days ago, wanted to leave." He teased me.

"Keep teasing me and I really want to leave." I laughed. Time was moving too fast because I really had to go trough the security check. We kissed goodbye, and I thought how it was only our 5th kiss so far. I really would have wanted more.

As I was walking away I heard him saying:

"I was right about that ass of yours."

I didn't turn back. Just smiled and pretended to be angry. So I lifted my other hand and showed him the rude finger.

"F you Crosby!" As I had said that I heard him chuckle.

On the flight I had time to really think about us. It was still funny to say "us". We weren't just him and me, we were us. What was "us" going to do to somehow handle this long distance relationship. I really wanted that this would develop into something. Something meaningful and lasting. Oh boy, how I already started to miss him. I had only bad experience on long distance relationships. As case Daniel had taught me it was impossible to know what the other one was doing. He might start to feel completely different. Or, in worst case scenario, he might find someone else. That thought gave me shivers. What if he would found someone else? He was not a cheater but what if his feelings for me would slowly fade away and after some time he would find someone who could easily fill my place. Oh crap! I hated this. I hated feeling so insecure. I knew his feelings were genuine and I was sure he was being honest in every way. But time was a bitch. And distance relationship was even a bitchier bitch. Everything could change. I knew it too well. Funny how a guy like Daniel could still affect on my love life though he was no part of it. One thing that was sure was that I was not going to do the same mistake I did with him. I would know if something was wrong. You know there's no fire without smoke. And with Daniel I didn't see the smoke, or to be quite honest, I didn't want to see it though it was suffocating me. This time I would fight for this, not let it fade away. And the first thing I did when we landed was I called him and told him that.

I got a cap and drove to the hotel were rest of the girls were staying. Well by no they would have already left for the tonight's show. I took me suitcase to the room which was already full of Filippa's stuff. The room really didn't look like a hotel room, it was a place which looked like it had been hit by a tornado. I tried to clean it up a bit but I knew better not to go too far since though it looked like a total chaos there actually was some kind of order, and if I would mess that up, Filippa would be pissed. I watched TV because I didn't want to go to watch the show. I tried to stay awake so when the girls would get back I would be prepared. But of course lying there on my bed, I became so sleepy that my eyes just refused to stay open anymore. Couple hours later I woke up when someone jumped on my bed.

"Tell me everything!" Filippa screamed and suddenly the room was filled with girls in very strong make up. Apparently they were in such a hurry that they didn't even have time to wash their faces after the show.

"Wow guys! Just calm down." I laughed.

"We are not going to calm down before you tell us everything! The second the curtains were closed we ran like crazy people to get taxis so we could finally see you!" Oona explained. She was still in her costume.

"Ooh you guys. It's nice to see you too." I smiled. They all looked irritated.

"Shut up already and tell us about you and the future hubby of yours." Victoria said.

"Okay. Um... We are together." I said.


"Nothing else. We are together and that's it." They all looked quite disappointed since there was no juicy story.

"I bet you freaked out." Oona said. I was glad Filippa and Victoria got my back because they changed the subject.

"I bet he is a good kisser." Filippa smiled. I blushed.

"That good?" Victoria laughed. And after that they never stopped teasing me about my good kisser boyfriend.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chapter 16. I Think... It's Time to Be Brave

Theme song: Brave (Jennifer Lopez)

The game went well. They won so no sour face tonight. Someone on the team was having a small party at his house and we were going. I was quite starstruck so I still had no idea where we were going. I saw all his team mates and they came to say hi to me. Seeing all of them (shirtless) got me speechless. I still had no idea what Sidney was talking about, I just sat on the front seat of his car going "OMG!" on my mind.

"Did you hear anything I just said?" Sidney laughed when I finally came back to earth.


He just laughed. Boy, I love that laugh.

"I was just telling you how all the guys are giving me heart time because of you."

"They are?" I asked surprised. They had behaved really well when I had been there. They were just polite.

"Oh yeah." He kept laughing. "Especially since Jordan told everybody about us. Of course it wasn't really realistic, I mean all the little details he added to spice up the story. But that's all they talk now."

"Oh. What do they talk about us?" I asked smiling and thinking about Jordan's story, which most likely was the same one Filippa had come up with. She called it This century's love story.

"They are just teasing. You know this is pretty rare situation."

"I still can't believe you have never, I mean never ever, been in a relationship." I sighed.

"I've been with girls but never in relationship." He said though I knew all that. We had many deep and meaningful conversations on the phone.




He shrugged before he said what was on his mind.

"Is this a relationship? I mean, really a relationship. Not just..." He kept his eyes strictly on the road.

This time pushed my growing feeling of fear of being close to someone, away and smiled.

"I don't know, Sid. What do you think?" I asked and glanced at his profile. I saw how he was smiling too.

"I sure do hope this is, and if it's not, then I want to turn it into it." He said. A wave of happiness washed over me.

"Okay." And that's when I knew, just listening my own voice, that I was falling. I was done being afraid, done building a wall around me. He wanted me! He wanted to be with me though he knew I was a crazy person. It was pure insanity but I wanted to take this leap and jump over the edge.

"Okay." He said as sealing the deal. We were slowing down, because he was looking for a spot to park.

"So whose party..."

He burst into laughter.

"Fleury's. You know the goalie..."

"I know him, silly."

"Yeah good." He laughed.

The house was also huge just like Sidney's. And cool cars were parked outside. I guess boys will be boys and have their toys, especially when a boy has enough money for the rest of his life. Sidney rang the doorbell and in a moment young woman with brown hair and big smile came to open the door.

"Hi guys!" She greeted us with a French accent. Sidney gave her a hug and introduced us.

"Vero this Netta and Netta this is Veronique, Fleury's girlfriend."

"Hi! Nice to meet you." I said and we shook hands.

"Please come on in. There's some food and beverages in the kitchen and feel free to make yourselves at home."

I loved their house. You could instantly see that it was not just a house, it was a home. I bet that all the credit belonged to Vero. I hoped that Sidney would also pay more attention to his house so it would not be just a great luxurious house, but a home.

"I love your house. It's really beautiful." I told her as we were following her to the living room.

"Thank you. I love this house too." She smiled.

The living room was packed with Sidney's team mates and their spouses. They looked curious when we stepped in. I became very selfconscious and I felt like hiding behind Sidney and Vero.

"Look who finally showed up!" Jordan said and smiled warmly at me.

"Hi everyone! This is Netta and Netta meet everyone." Sidney said and everyone said or waved hello at me.

Wow, this was awkward. They were all looking at me and trying to figure me out. Max Talbot came to us and other people returned their conversations.

"So Netta, has Sidney been a good boy?" He said and winked. I laughed. We had already met at the arena and he made me relax especially now with his shirt on. He was really funny and easy going guy.

"He has." I said and I heard Sidney chuckle.

"It's great that you guys finally sorted things out. We were little worried about him since he just suddenly disappeared and then Fleury got a message from Montreal. As our captain he needs to be focused, you help him focus, right?" He asked with a teasing smile.

"I'll do my best." I laughed.

"Max, is Claire, no no, Annie... um Sonya here? I mean since your so focused nowadays." Sidney teased back.

"Yes, Crosby, I am focused. And I'm focused on that extremely lovely redhead over there talking to Geno's girlfriend. Her name is Samantha. I met her couple days ago at the airport."

Max waved at the redhead who gave him a sweet smile. She didn't look like the kind of girl that would suit Max's reputation. She was a girl next door very innocent and shy, beautiful though. She was very petite and looked like she didn't belong in this world next to Geno's drop dead gorgeous blond girlfriend. I wondered how others saw me. Was I also outsider in my plain but very comfortable clothes?

"Well good luck bro. I guess it's needless to remind you not to play with her." Sidney said and from the look on his face he was probably thinking why on earth had Max asked her out.

"I'm nothing but a gentleman. Netta, don't believe the rumors. I'm not a player." Max said and that caused Sidney to chuckle some more.

"Yeah. He's not a player." He laughed and shook his head.

The food was divine. Vero had ordered it from a deli in downtown. One thing that surprised me was the fact that there was not much alcohol, it was a party after all. Just couple beers but nothing else. Sidney said that it was because of they had to be in best condition in tomorrow's game. For me it wasn't a big deal though. I never drank myself drunk since I hated being drunk. In high school I had gotten wasted and made a total ass out of myself, and since then I had never been drunk. Besides my hangovers were not worth it. Every time I had been sure that I would die. I was just getting a class of Mountain Dew when Jordan came to me.

"How's Filippa doing?" He asked.

"She's in Vancouver. I think she said something about being full of the Olympics just after two days. And the only thing related to Olympics she's seen are the banners and flags in the streets." I smiled. Jordan laughed.

"She's so funny. I think I have to give her a call sometimes."

"I think she'd like that." I said knowing that there was nothing romantic going between two of them. Filippa had made it very clear by saying that Jordan would be a wonderful husband candidate except he's not a dark stranger, interested in ballroom dancing nor an investment banker. And Filippa's future husband should have at least one of those qualities, preferably all of them. Filippa was one of those people who loved to be surrounded by people and she constantly tried to make new friends. And Jordan was one of those "I need to be his friend" people, as Filippa called everyone who interested her.

"I heard you injured your leg." He said and genuinely looked sorry.

"Yeah. ACL. But it's getting better. I don't need to walk with crutches anymore." I said.

"Well maybe there's something good in that injury too. I mean you came hear, right."

That really stayed on my mind. If I hadn't got injured I would be in Vancouver dancing, which of course would be wonderful, but being here was, I had to admit, even better. I would still be living in that fear of being close to someone. I would not be able to be kissed by Sidney the way he kissed me. I don't know how he did it but he made me feel like I was slowly disappearing from this world when he kissed me. He made me forget everything around me. Sometimes he had to remind me to breathe. I would still be living that pathetic little life on mine if I hadn't got injured.

Sidney was talking with a small group on the other side of the room and I observed him. I couldn't believe this. That man had turned my life around and he really cared about me. I guess he sensed me staring because he turned to my way and smiled. And I smiled back. Once again he made the whole room disappear. It was just us, looking at each other. I wished I could have walked across the room and just kissed him, but I was too shy to do it. But that's exactly what he did. He came to me and pulled me into his arms. Oh, his kiss. It took my breath away and I could barely stand on my feet. Luckily he was holding me so tightly that I didn't even have to. I heard how people were whistling and Vero even sighed "Oh". People were staring at us but I didn't care. I loved this! I loved him kissing me. I loved it that he didn't care that people were looking. I loved... No! It was too early even to think about that!