Friday, July 22, 2011

Chapter 9

According to you I'm stupid, I'm useless
I can't do anything right
According to you I'm difficult, hard to please
Forever changing my mind

I'm a mess in a dress, can't show up on time
Even if it would save my life
According to you, according to you

But according to him I'm beautiful, incredible
He can't get me out of his head
According to him I'm funny, irresistible
Everything he ever wanted

Everything is opposite, I don't feel like stopping it
So baby tell me what I got to lose
He's into me for everything I'm not
According to you

(lyrics from ‘According to You’ by Orianthi)

She rolled over and felt the sun on her face. Opening one eye she watched the drapes float on the morning breeze. Breathing in a lungful of air she could almost taste the freshly mowed grass and warm scent of horseflesh. 


It was the first time she’d actually felt that way since she’d got back to town. Snuggling down beneath her comforter, she closed her eyes and listened to the birds, the sound of the tractor starting up and waited for the sounds and smell of her father making coffee downstairs. Instead she heard her phone vibrating across her nightstand. Chelsea reached out blindly and felt around until her hand closed over her phone and pulled it under the quilt and peered at it. 

Thought about you all night

She emitted a happy squeak and rolled over on her stomach. She didn’t remember exchanging digits with him but he had been playing Angry Birds on her iPhone when she’d gotten dressed. The goofy self portrait that was now in her contacts folder gave away the fact he’d entered his own which explained why he had hers.
Well I hope you got some sleep too she texted, adding a winky face in case he didn’t get that she was trying to be sarcastic. Her phone lit a few seconds later and she giggled at his reply.

Serious case of blue balls made that sort of difficult

Her fingers were poised above her phone, ready to text back a suggestion for relieving his problem himself when her phone vibrated in her hand.

Come out & play?? 

Chelsea rolled over on her back and contemplated playing coy, or hard to get or a combination of both but decided that she did want to see him again, and soon. 


She stared at her phone and waited for his response but none came. After a couple of minutes she put her phone aside and rolled over so that her back was facing it. She knew she was being childish by pouting but she’d got that rush of butterflies in her stomach and now it was gone. 

The sound of small pebbles hitting the hard wood floor of her room merely puzzled her at first. The muffled curse that followed as he no doubt realized that the window was open and that he might have hit her with a rock made her laugh. Throwing her quilt aside, she jumped out of the bed and went to the window. 

He was standing beneath her window in a pair of faded black jeans and snug fitting black t-shirt that emphasized the width of his chest not to mention his mile wide shoulders. He had a Yankees ball cap pulled low over his eyes so she couldn’t see them but his broad effervescent grin was crystal clear from her vantage point, two stories up. 

“I asked if you could come out. What are you waiting for?” 

“Do you want to tell a girl where she’s going so she knows what to wear?” she called down. He tilted his head to one side and she could see him squinting in the early morning light. 

“What you’re wearing looks pretty good to me,” he called back, his smile broadening as Chelsea glanced down, trying to remember what she’d worn to bed. It was just a slip and a short one at that, leaving almost everything bare. She felt a warm heat spreading through her entire body at the memory of his hands on her skin. Did he mean to just take her back to his place and have his wicked way with her? Did she mind if he did? “Just bring comfortable shoes and get down here,” he called as she took stock of her lack of clothes. 

She nodded and was about to pull her window shut when she caught sight of Jimmy coming out of the barn carrying a saddle. He stopped and looked, first at Mike and then up towards the house. She waved. He didn’t even nod, just turned and walked towards the ring. Chelsea watched him go, feeling her smile fading.
She hadn’t wanted to hurt him, not intentionally and not to be cruel. Seeing the blank expression on his face took some of the pleasure out of seeing Mike...but not all of it 


Mike stared down at his phone and cursed quietly. A large helping of bacon, eggs, pancakes and hash-browns had just been put down in front of him and now his agent was sending him the reminder of the radio interview at the local sports station. 

“I’m sorry, can we have this to go?” he said to the waitress before she had even settled the plate on the table in front of him. Her ‘happy to see you expression’ immediately changed into ‘I had better get a whopping big tip’ look. Chelsea’s eyes got wide over the slice of bagel she had just bitten into. “I completely forgot,” he explained, handing her his phone as proof, “this interview. I’m really, really sorry. I promise it won’t take long.” She looked at his phone as the waitress took her plate and Mike steeled himself for an angry barrage. After all, he’d gotten her out of bed and she was looking way to fly to deposit in the front waiting room of a radio station but she just shrugged, downed her coffee and said nothing. He couldn’t believe it. Some of the girls he’d dated and in no way seriously, had thrown downright hissy fits over less than this. Mike peeled off one more twenty than was strictly necessary as the waitress came back and as they stood, he couldn’t help but ask. “You’re pissed right? I mean you have a right to be but you are pissed at me right?”

“No,” she smiled as they fell into step. “Strictly speaking I should have made you wait while I mucked out stalls but...I didn’t want to do that in this,” she added, making the hem of her sundress swirl around her knees. He’d have liked it better if it had been shorter, but the way the sun was shining through it now made the light butter yellow fabric almost transparent and Mike decided that he liked it just fine as he stared hungrily at the shadow of her breasts. “But I am gonna eat this on the way,” she continued holding up the half of a bagel she hadn’t allowed the waitress to take. “Unless you’re gonna forbid me to in your fancy car,” she added as he stepped down off the curb beside the driver’s side door. Mike eyed the raspberry jam and cream cheese spread on the bagel and knew that even with his boys he had a rule about no food and drink in most of his vehicles but there was something about the way she licked her lips after she took a bite that was making saying no to her a lot more difficult. “What is with you and the fancy wheels anyway?” she asked as he thumbed the key fob to unlock the doors of the baby Escalade. 

“I like nice things,” he replied immediately without having to give it a second thought as he leaned on the roof of the lowered, fully pimped out black Cadillac SRX. “I like you don’t I?” 

“Wow,” she grinned across at him but not like she was basking in the glow of the compliment but more like she thought he was the biggest cheesehead she’d ever met. “Do you get all the girls with your smooth lines?”

“I got you,” he laughed, opening the door as she did the same on her side and sliding in behind the wheel. He put on his shades and then leaned across the centre consul for a kiss. She smiled at him and then stuck her finger in the jam and cream cheese and spread it across his lips instead. 

“That remains to be seen,” she told him and then settled back into her seat and bit into the bagel and chewed thoughtfully, staring straight ahead. 

He liked this girl. She had something different from the other girls he’d met recently. She had spunk, he decided as he turned the key and backed the car out of the parking lot. 


She’d flipped through most of the magazines in the place and decided that someone seriously needed to speak to whoever ordered them. There was a good cross section of mens’ magazines like SI, GQ Esquire and of course every single solitary back issue of FHM and Maxim but there was not a single solitary issue of Instyle , Cosmo or Vogue, let alone Ladies Journal or anything else someone with a vagina would spend more than ten minutes looking at.

“Did you want to listen?” the receptionist, who hadn’t so much as popped her head above the desk that bore the call letters of the station was suddenly watching her with interest. 

“To...?” Chelsea reluctantly closed the copy of GQ she was holding with a sweaty Alex Skarsgard  on the cover and looked up curiously at the pixie-like face looking over at her. 

“Do you want to listen to the interview?” She thought for a moment, wondering if there’d be a lot of talk about a sport she didn’t know much about and then decided she did want to know more about him and nodded. The woman behind the desk smiled and then disappeared behind the large screen of her computer and suddenly Mike’s voice was filling the room. 

She could hear the smile in his voice, that playful tone that in turn made her smile. He talked about teammates whose names she didn’t recognize and games she’d never seen but she liked the laid back way he talked about everything. He didn’t sound self important, in fact most of the time he sounded downright self-conscious when the on air personalities played up his role on the team. 

“You two been dating long?” the young woman from behind the desk suddenly appeared in front of her with a can of diet Coke. Chelsea thought about asking if they had the real thing around anywhere but decided against it and took the can as she shook her head. “Ah...I see,” the woman raised her eyebrow and pursed her lips and suddenly Chelsea realized that she was being looked at differently. 

“We met in D.C.,” she said, sitting straighter and staring right back at the woman who then met her gaze with a slightly more respectful one of her own. Would he really have brought a girl here who he’d met at the bar the night before? Chelsea wondered as she took a sip of the cool, dark bubbly liquid. Not that she remembered many of the faces of his friends, who she now supposed might have been his teammates, but out of all of them she thought he was one of the least likely to be a player. He’d never seemed like one to her. 


“So the ladies of Calgary want to know Mike,” one of the announcers asked as the interview wound down, “are ya seein’ anyone? Will we be seeing you at Cowboys?” Mike laughed and shook his head. 

“I’ve already been to Cowboys since I got back,” he told them and the two on air guys gave him the thumbs up like they were glad he was still the guy they’d expected, the guy voted most likely to take pictures of himself tanked with two hot blondes and post it to Twitter.  “And I’ve got a night planned at Vinyl soon, when some of my boys come in for the charity golf tournament and I’m sure I’ll see you all at Stampede,” he added, thinking about how good Chelsea had looked in her tight jeans and debating how hot she’d look with a Stetson on. 

“I noticed you dodged the first part of the question,” the guys laughed and Mike felt heat enter his cheeks. He hadn’t really dodged it, so much as ignored it. “That’s okay. We’ll let him get away with that won’t we? Don’t want to cramp a playah’s style.” Mike was already taking off the headphones and laughing nervously as he held his hand out to one of the two guys to shake. 

“No word about the hottie waiting outside for you Mike?” the other guy asked. Mike swivelled and stared at the heavy set man sitting behind the mic. He froze, his hand still held out to one of the two interviewers while he stared down the other one. It was like facing down two streaking forwards, only this time there was no goalie behind him and if he made the wrong decision they were going to get any empty net. Mike mulled over several answers, looking for one that would cause him the least amount of grief, from his agent, from his friends and most of all from Chelsea. 

“Do people use labels anymore?” he asked with a grin that was in no way real and was, in fact, a hell of a lot closer to baring his teeth like a junk yard dog. “She’s a beautiful girl and I’m going to leave it at that. Have a great day guys and I hope everyone comes out for the golf tournament, it’s for a great cause and I’m hoping we get some great weather for it.” Mike turned from the mic then, signalling that there would be no more questions and immediately started hoping that Chelsea hadn’t heard what he’d just said. 

He’d had girls get mental when he wouldn’t hold their hands in public or didn’t introduce them to his teammates as his girlfriend even if they’d only met the night before. When he pushed the door open to the lobby he found her rifling through a magazine and when she looked up at his approach, she greeted him with a smile. 

“Ready to go?” he asked holding out his hand to help her up out of the chair. She looked at his hand and then back up at him and tilted her head to one side. 

“That depends,” she began, a mischievous glint in her eyes. It was only as he started trying to anticipate her answer the way he would try to anticipate whether an opposing player was going to make a pass or a shot through the defensive zone that he realized that the he was hearing the voices of the guys who had just been interviewing him playing in the room. His gut twisted as he waited for her to tear him a new one for denying their relationship. “You’re supposed to ask what on,” she prompted him, giving his sneaker clad foot a shove with those strappy gold sandals that reminded him waaaay too much of that night in D.C.

“On?” he mumbled, doing his best Droopy imitation. 

“What’s the plan Stan? Where are we going?” she asked, laughing as she grabbed his hand and pulled herself up, planting her body near enough to his that he could feel the heat of her skin. 

“Oh that...yeah...I wondered if you’d help me do some shopping for some bedding and stuff,” he asked sheepishly. Her face lit up and she turned, heading for the door, practically dragging him behind her.
“I’m good at shopping. I hope you’ve got good credit.” 


She was piling bright green and blue coloured towels in his arms when the realization that she’d been the only one talking for the last half hour. As she put the next folded towel on top of the last one she’d piled into his arms, she pressed down until she could see his face. At best he looked distracted, at worst, upset. 

“Okay, I know men hate shopping but you’re the one who brought me here,” she pointed out, and, when she got no reaction Chelsea rolled her eyes and went back to picking out matching hand towels and wash cloths.

“No...uh thanks. I totally need the help,” he muttered in reply. ‘Well d’uh, you’re a man’ she thought as she grabbed a handful of washcloths in each colour and then turned to pile them on top of the growing pile in his arms, her full hand pausing as his gaze held hers and a gentle smirk tugged the corner of his mouth up at a crooked angle. 

“What?” she asked, her hand automatically going up to see if she had lipstick on her teeth or if it was smudged on the corner of her mouth. “Do I have a raspberry seed in my teeth or something?” 

“You’re really not bothered, are you?” he asked, his nose wrinkling and his eyes narrowing as he gazed steadily at her. Chelsea stared back at him, waiting for him to tell her what she was suppose to be bothered by, other than his sullen silence. Finally when his grin broadened, she dropped the washcloths on top of the pile and turned to walk towards the bathmats. She only made it a couple of steps when she felt his arms slide around her waist and the next thing she knew her feet were off of the ground and he was nuzzling her neck like a calf looking for a teat. 

“I...can’t...breathe,” she gasped, pushing down at his arms as they slid up her ribcage. He laughed and kissed her cheek before putting her down. “You’re weird,” she mumbled, trying very hard not to giggle as he held her against the width of his chest and nibbled on her ear like maybe it had suddenly turned into a cob of corn. 

“The boys are gonna loooove you,” he laughed, giving her ribs a crushing squeeze before he let her go and turned to scoop up the towels that he’d let drop to the floor. Chelsea turned and watched him, admiring the bootylicious angle as his jeans strained to contain what she knew to be solid muscle. 

“Boys?” she asked as he turned around. 

“Friends...teammates, whatever. Some guys I know are coming for this golf tournament and Stampede. You’re in right?” Chelsea raised an eyebrow at him and shrugged. 

“I might have things to do, I don’t know. I’ll have to check my calendar and get back to you,” she replied with a shrug. He only laughed, as if she’d just said something hilarious, and Chelsea quickly turned her back on him and headed back towards the bathmats so he wouldn’t see her smile. 


“There,” she said, dropping the last freshly plumped pillow in place before standing back to survey her handiwork, “guest room number two officially ready for visitors.” Mike leaned in the doorway and nodding approvingly. 

“Looks much better than it would have if I’d picked everything out,” he agreed. She turned and gave him a quizzical look. “You didn’t think I decorated my digs in D.C. did you?” he asked, watching the truth of his words dawn on her. 

“Yeah, I guess I have seen you bedroom,” she smirked and at the mere mention of his bed, Mike felt his balls tighten. He’d been watching her in that sundress all day, the silhouette of her body teasing him every time she moved. He wanted to drag her to his bedroom now but he had something he wanted to do first. 

“C’mere,” he held out his hand and she slipped her smaller one into his. Mike led her into the kitchen and, still holding her hand, reached for the marker hanging from the small whiteboard he usually wrote his work-out schedule on and scribbled a message for her while she read over his shoulder. 

Will you be my girlfriend?

Underneath he drew two, not very straight, boxes and beside the first he wrote Yes and No beside the second. 

He heard her snort and before he could even hand her the marker, she reached around him and with her finger drew an ‘x’ through the yes box. Feeling on top of his game, Mike reached up redrew the yes box and wiped off the question and before writing another.

Can we have sex now?