I woke up with Abby sprawled across me. Sometime in the night I’d cheated my hand up under the back of her shirt, my palm flat on her flawless skin. I tried to remove it gently so as not to seem presumptuous.
“I feel that,” she mumbled, face pressed into my chest.
“I feel this,” I answered, wrapping my arms around her prone body. Instead of tossing and turning knowing she was just across the hall, I had slept like the dead because she was finally next to me. Abby lifted her head, hair a sexy mess like the morning before when I threw myself onto this same bed to wake her. If ever there was a compromising position, this was it.
“Abby, I…,” I started.
“Jordan, let’s…,” she said at the same time. We both laughed and I nodded for her to go first. “Jordan, let’s not do this now. In your parents’ house, I don’t want to… I don’t know. I don’t know what we’re doing. But not here, okay?”
I nodded again. “I was about to say the same thing. They’re not stupid, my parents, but they’ll notice if something is different. They love you and I intend to keep it that way. So you can come back.”
She turned, aligning her body with mine. “So we keep things the same as they’ve been?”
I agreed, sweeping one arm down to indicate the bed where we’d just spent our first night together. Nothing had happened, but something had definitely happened. “I think the challenge is over.”
Abby raised an eyebrow. “Are you kidding?” She put her lips to the closest part of body – my shoulder – then heaved herself out of bed. “I get one more day to torture you. Like hell I’m giving that up.”
I took such a cold shower I may as well have rolled in the snow.
The power was back on and breakfast was on the table. I’d consumed so much food in my few days in Thunder Bay that I would be doing extra workouts until summer. We took our time over pancakes and sausage - one more day and the clock would run out on our little holiday from real. Abby chatted with everyone like she’d known them for years. The necklace I’d given her glinted in the hollow of her throat, shining like a target my lips were desperate to hit.
I speared a forkful off Abby’s plate. “What do you say to a trip to the mall? I need some things and we can clean out the after-Christmas sales. Maybe see a movie?”
My mind ran away with a vision of making out with Abby like kids in the back row while we missed the entire movie. No one could interrupt us, no one would see us and there were limits of decency to keep us in check. The first time Abby let me in, I didn’t want to take things too far. She wouldn’t go farther than she want to, but I knew that the Penguins players had reputations for getting what we wanted, when we wanted it. I needed her to know this was more than just a conquest. So I would control myself - the first time at least. One round of keeping my hands to myself was the best I could possibly hope for.
“I wanna go!” Marc chimed in, Jared agreed. They did not wait for permission, just scarfed down every last morsel of food and hurried off to get ready.
Eric and Tanya were heading back to Carolina. Tanya and Abby traded phone numbers, then a really big hug. Abby blushed and I knew Tanya was talking about me. Good, I hoped she was saying “Jordan really likes you.” Eric knocked on my door frame as I was tying on my sneakers. we hadn’t gotten a chance to speak alone, but I knew from the look on his face what he was going to say.
“You must be pretty serious about Abby,” he said. There were many times earlier in my career that I had not been serious. Almost recklessly un-serious. My brother was a stand-up guy and frowned upon the party boy behavior. A girl like Abby was right up his alley.
“I hope she’s serious about me,” I admitted.
“I wouldn’t worry about that, J.”
Abby was ready first, sitting on the arm of the couch in her borrowed hunting cap. She tugged at a thread on her mittens, head down in concentration like a little kid dressed for school. The sight of her bundled up and waiting for me in front of the Christmas tree was simple but staggering. I had wanted to call someone mine before, but I’d never wanted a girl to say I was hers until now.
A/N: You guys are the best. These are SO short - I would hate me! I'll keep going fast.
4 years ago