Thursday, January 13, 2011

Part 2 - Chapter 8: You're What I'm Looking For - Rooney

REMEMBER WE ARE HAVING GUESTS FOR DINNER. Kris read the text message nodding.
“Your phone telling you what to do again?” Sid asked as they stripped out of their practice gear.
“No Sarah.” he said tucking his phone back into his jeans pocket.
“Ah the amazing Sarah. Still the hottest nurse I’ve ever met.” he said as he peeled the tape from around his legs. “Sorry Max, Mal is second.” he said looking at their more scruffy team mate.
“More for me mon ami.” Max gave them a sly grin and a cheesy wink.
“So what’s Sarah have to say Tanger?” Sid asked continuing his routine of getting his gear off.
“Just reminding me we are having guests for dinner. I do not know who. I just know she asked me to make chocolate fondue for desert.” he shrugged not really questioning any of it. Nessa and Jimmy had their baby about an month ago so he figured it could be them having their first post baby double date night. Sarah had been busy prepping the apartment for whoever was coming. If it was Jimmy and Nessa he figured it was her G-Dad Archie with her brother Rus and his girlfriend. They had been for dinner shortly after the new year.
“Oh didn’t she tell you it’s a key party and all the couples are invited. The whole wife swap thing.” Duper said teasing his usual target in Kris.
“Is this you admitting you want to sleep with my girlfriend? I’m sure your wife would love to know dis.” Kris shot back reaching for his phone again acting like he would text Pascal’s wife Carol-Lyn.
“Did you just back sass me?” Duper asked looking to Tanger who was working his gear off as the post- practice press core entered the locker room. “Tanger just back sassed me.” he said looking around the room only seeing everyone smirking.


CAN YOUS TOP AND GET THREE LITTLE VALENTINE CANDY BOXES? I FORGOT TO GET THE CANDY WHEN I WENT TO THE STORE. He read the text from Sarah making a mental note to stop and pick up what she asked for. He still didn’t know who was coming but he would no doubt found out when he got home. He had learned long ago to let her fuss over her dinners and events. She liked doing it and if it meant a stop at the CVS to get some candy on his way home from MAF’s it really wasn’t a big deal.
“Hey…” he said entering the apartment immediately taking his shoes off seeing the fresh sweeper tracks on the floor.
“Kitchen.” she called giving him her location.
He followed her voice placing the bag from CVS on the counter next to the bowl of salad she had prepped. “Kiss?” he asked seeing her looking over a cook book her apron in place covering a t-shirt and jeans.
“Oh yes please.” she said keeping her cheese sauce covered hands away from him though he happily pulled her body to his for a lingering but still sweet kiss.
“You taste like cheese.” he said kind of smack his lips processing what the kiss had tasted like. “I do not think you have ever tasted like cheese before. Odd but I can not complain.” he said with a shrug leaning his hip against the counter watching her go back to work.
“I just taste tested the home made mac and cheese in the oven. If it tasted like something other than cheese I would question it.” she joked back.
He flipped on the oven light indeed seeing a pan of macaroni and cheese with the crumb topping and everything baking away. “So I see Mac and cheese, salad, fake fried chicken and you want me to make fondue?” he asked going over the menu. “Who picked these things except for salad we don’t ever eat like this.” he said slightly confused.
“You remember how I’ve been visiting with Ruby, Ramona and Rebecca?”
“Yes the little girls who won your heart in the ER.” he said nodding.
“Yes, though that sounds like the tv guide summary.” she said before continuing on with her explanation. “Well their foster Parents who are lovely by the way are do this weekend long training thing. They asked me if I could baby sit. I said they could stay here this weekend. Sorry this is all news to you the dinner was planned but CYS approved us as temporary care givers for the girls this weekend.” She was all smiles but tense since she hadn’t given him all the details of the weekend.
“So thy are coming for dinner?” he asked.
“Yes, and will be staying all weekend till Sunday afternoon.” she said with a bright smile.
“I have a game tomorrow.” he said blankly.
“Yes, we’re going. We’re going to hang out in the family suit. I called Melanie Kunitz and she said it was ok that there would be plenty of room.” Sarah could tell he was concerned for his routine. “Don’t worry when you come home for your pre-game nap we’re going to head out for a movie and then meet you back here so we can all ride together. I’m going to show the girls the arena and everything.”
“Wow… three little girls.” he said rubbing his hand over his face. “I am going to be out numbered.”
“Yes, for once you will be so just for the weekend, seat down? I don’t complain since men far out number women around here but this weekend ladies rule.”
“I will try though I’ll be using our bathroom. They won’t be in there will they?” he was slightly concerned over that. He would really be thrown off to find his shampoo ect put in a different spot.
“Well they shouldn’t be no. They’re staying in the guest room obviously. That bed is a huge king so all three of them will fit in there with room to spare.”
“How old are dey again?” he asked having heard about the girls many times as Sarah visited with them and kept track of them as they went through the process of landing in a nice foster home.
“Ruby is three, Ramona is four and Rebecca is six.” Sarah said listing the ages of the girls.
“Rebecca likes clothes and Barbie, Ramona like playing pretend and Ruby likes animals yes?” he asked trying to remember the basic facts about the trio of sisters.
“Yep, you have it exactly. They should be here around four thirty so we can get everyone settled in and then have dinner around five? All that is left is the fondue. Your Mom told me what to buy but some of the instructions I didn’t catch all the way so she just said you could make it and she would teach me next time we visit.”
He checked his watch. “Yeah I should start through they will be here soon and it will need to warm up.

It wasn’t half an hour later when the buzzer rang and a family was let into the building. Three little girls a pillow pet under the arm of each and a little back pack on each back paraded into the apartment. They looked slightly uncomfortable but so used to the feeling that it didn’t phase them. The girls were instructed to be good as their new foster Parents hugged them good bye with a slight awkwardness of it all being so new still.
“So ladies welcome to our home. I know you’ve all seen pictures of Kris but here he is for real.” Sarah said introducing him though he seemed to go just as shy as the girls.
“Hello girls make yourselves at home.” he said giving them a little wave.
The girls huddled up talking for a second in whispers.
“Don’t worry they do this all the time.” Sarah said trying to ease his concern. “Rebecca is kind of the spokeswoman for them all till they get comfortable.”
“We’ve decided you look Prince Charming. It makes sense because Sarah looks like a Princess.” Rebecca said.
“Oh girls.” Sarah said with a chuckle. “He is handsome isn’t he?” she said giving him a smile. “Can I show you your bedroom for the weekend?” she asked leading the girls down the hall. “I hope you’re hungry because once you’re unpacked we’re going to have dinner and prince charming made you an amazing fun desert.” she looked down the hall giving Kris a smile as all three of the girls latched on to her immediately following like little ducks in a row. All Kris could do was shake his head his heart kind of melting as he watched them go before heading to the kitchen to get what he needed to set the table.


“Ruby your face…” Rebecca said to her little sisters taking a napkin to the three year old.
“Don’t worry Becca we’ll take care of it. You enjoy.” Sarah said as Kris speared another mini marshmallow for each of the girls. Sarah knew Becca was usually the one doing the best to take care of her younger sisters. “As much as it pains me to inform you all baths will be happening after dinner. But it should be fun times. I got the soap you can write on the tiles with. I love that stuff.”
It was amazing to Kris just how good Sarah was with kids. He knew it was her job but even outside of work she was good with them. She helped kids tie skates at the team Christmas party, She was the go to baby sitter for most of the families on the team and here she was taking care of three little girls that had far to much in common with her younger self.
“If you put the dishes in I’ll do them up later.” Sarah said to Kris as she got up from the table lifting a chocolate covered Ruby up no doubt heading for the bathroom.
“No I will take care of it.” he said shaking his head it was the last he could do.

After dinner he could hear all the chatter in the bathroom and giggles as the women of the home had fun getting clean as he relaxed watching tv on the sofa his feet on the coffee table. Kris wasn’t expecting a tiny little person carrying a unicorn pillow pet nearly the same size as herself to crawl up on the sofa next to him. Thankfully he wasn’t watching anything to weird. Ruby started out sitting next to him on the sofa watching him. The longer she sat there the closer she got to him wordlessly scooting closer till a half an hour had passed and she was in his lap having trouble staying awake.
“Oh there she is.” Sarah said emerging from the hall. “I nearly had a panic attack when she wasn’t in the bedrooms or the closets.
“No she is here.” Kris whispered brushing the fine hair of ruby’s bangs to the side. Sarah had braided it back in hopes it wouldn’t be in tangles in the morning.
“I can take her back to bed if you want.” Sarah said stretching her arms out.
“No it’s ok.” Kris said shifting putting his feet down and adjusting the sleepy little girl in his arms.
“want to stay up.” Ruby mused as her head lulled against Kris’ shoulder.
“Shhh… big day tomorrow. Everyone sleeps soon even me.” he whispered to the little girl. All Sarah could do was pick up the purple unicorn pillow and follow behind. She placed the pillow down in the bed next to Ramona and Becca as Kris carefully put her down and tucked her in. He looked over the scene for a moment giving Sarah a smile. “I think I like little girls.”
She knew what he meant even if it came out a little funny.

Playoffs were clinched and the plans for an August wedding in Montreal were being thrown together. Sadly both Kris and Sarah had both wanted a winter wedding but the unknowns of the NHL schedule prevented that. The date was set for Aug. 6th with the following 10 days being their honeymoon in the south of France enjoying beaches, vineyards and the countryside… and some partying on the Rivera. Tonight though there was the engagement party Sarah’s G-Dad had insisted on throwing at the bar. With one of the rare three day breaks it was possible for most of their friends from the team and around the city to make it down as well a few people from Montreal including Kris’ Mother and Step-Father as well as a few friends.
“G-Dad we gotta control the West Virginia up in here!” Sarah called as she dusted the bars decorations sheets of dust falling.
“Don’t you dare change a thing Sarah. If you do you’ll want to paint or something and we don’t have time for all that. The way I figure you finish up dusting and Russ and I will put the rest of the decorations while you go clean yourself up. I saw that dress you brought down.”
She opened her mouth to speak but Archie cut her off.
“Now don’t worry everything is taken care of Brian is on his way to get the grilling started and Evelyn is on the bar.”
Sarah nodded. “Ok G-Dad I’ll go get ready.” she said passing him on her way to the door kissing his cheek bound for the home she grew up in.. “Thank you for doing this.”


Sarah couldn’t help but smile as she put her phone down getting in the shower.
Kris and Sarah had been busy since February. As it turns out there is a lot of paperwork when the people getting married are residents of two different countries. Then there was house hunting as the Letang family was about to rapidly expand. Sarah wasn’t pregnant but upon their marriage they would officially be the foster parents of three little girls on a path towards adoption. Finding an adequate home, doing the foster care classes, working with the system and keeping it as quiet as they could around the girls meant a lot of work. A lot of work that stressed them out and had become nearly a fulltime job for Sarah to navigate.
“Hey G-Dad let us in.” Nessa said with a knock at the door of Sarah’s childhood bedroom. The two girls had spent many days and nights in the room studying, talking about boys, jamming to Nsync and chatting on the internet.
“Get in here and let me see my beautiful godson!” Sarah said taking the two month old baby Matthew in his car carrier from her childhood friend. Sarah put the carrier down on the bed taking the awake but pleasantly quiet baby out to hold in her arms. “Oh Nessie I think he gets better looking every time I see him!” Sarah said cooing over the baby touching his little fingers which wrapped around her own finger.
Nessa draped a towel over Sarah’s front. “Seriously I don’t want him to puke on this stunning dress.” she said in a matter of fact kind of way.
It was nice to be with Nessa as she worked on her hair. Sarah missed her friend from home even if they talked and or texted nearly daily. “Do you think it’s crazy all this happening so fast?” Sarah asked looking at her friend fixing her hair in the vanity mirror she could remember her G-Dad putting in her room once her Grandmother had passed away. Sarah loved it and knew he couldn’t bare to see his own reflection in it without hers standing by him.
“Sarah you better not be having doubts. Though if you are let me know. I’ll divorce Jimmy and hop on the Kris train. He’s freaking as close to perfect as they come.” Nessa said as she flat ironed sections of Sarah’s usually wavy hair so it would go up smooth in a french twist.
“You haven’t smelled his farts.” Sarah said with a cheesy grin. She loved him and she knew it. As fast as it all was happening she would take fast and crazy over not having him any day.
“I think you two are the only people who could pull all this off. Getting married, all the paper work, a house, a family. People look at you and they see you’re in love. Not just happy puppy love but real love the love that allows you to glare at him from across the room and strike fear into him. The love that lets him walk up next to you fart and then slink away leaving you with the blame.” Nessa stopped talking as three little girls appeared in the mirror.
“Hey girls.” Sarah said waving at them. “Come on in.”
“Kris said you forgot these.” Rebecca said handing over a shoe box.
“And this.” Ramona added putting a purse on top of the box.
“And this.” Ruby said putting a small jewelry box on Sarah’s lap unable to reach to put the other things in the pile on the vanity.
“Told you he’s perfect.” Nessa said in a sing song voice as the girls climbed up on the bed.
“He’s Prince Charming.” Ruby said as she got an elephant out of the pile of stuffed animals to hold and play with. Ruby was slowly opening up as were the other girls. Rebecca was already starting to stroke out on her own more feeling less need to hover over and protect her younger sisters. Ramona had thrown herself into school and playing soccer all spring excelling in athletics. Ruby was a little chatter box when she was comfortable and had a special bond with Kris. She was content to spend most of her time with Kris sitting on his lap just chatting away about anything and everything. It was a good thing Kris was good at listening and or zoning out. Sarah was pretty sure Ruby had babbled about a stray cat that hung out on the playground at her preschool for over an hour the other day. Kris just sat patiently listening… or many maybe not. Either way Sarah found it adorable.
Sarah opened the box looking at the delicate chandeliers that were to hang from her ears. “They’re perfect.” Sarah said putting them in.
“It’s because he’s fu---… Hi Girls!” Mal said from the door cutting herself off from swearing. “It’s because he’s brilliant or at least brilliant at knowing you.” Mal said with nods from everyone else in the room.
With Mal’s arrival the bridal part was complete. These were the women and girls Sarah wanted to stand by her at the alter.


“So this is going to be your life now eh Tanger?” Max said bringing his friend a bottle of beer. Kris had a way of isolating himself even at a party that was half about him with old friends and family all around. He had dressed to compliment Sarah’s dress though she wouldn’t let him see it she had told him it was green leading him to go with the sage colored dress shirt and tan slacks. Thankfully the only photos being taken tonight were by friends and family. On the teams second trip to Montreal in January they couple had made time to do engagement photos in the snow and in a studio. His Mom had insisted though he wasn’t sure why. Either way they were nice to have even if he felt they were a bit unnecessary.
“Yes. Sarah the girls and Me. Our house, a real life.” he said trying not to sigh knowing it would bring about a ribbing. He thought it was funny how he had never known he wanted a family till one was nearly dropped into his lap. Upon meeting the trip of little girls he knew they had to be a part of his and Sarah’s life. They were young and had plenty of time to have children of their own but right now they could provide for these girls like no one had ever done before.
“I envy you.” Max said. The words shocked Kris. Max was the ever bachelor in the eyes of almost everyone. Sure Mal was the exception because they were both so chaotic and wild it somehow worked. “Mal does not want to be married ever. Not to me, not to anyone.”
Kris just smiled. “She’ll change her mind someday.


The ladies stood at the back door to the bar all together as the guys were gathers to the front and Russ started to introduce them all on the karaoke system. Sarah fixed the girls dresses ending with Ruby.
“Sarah I’m scared.” the littlest of the three girls said.
“Hold my hand.” Sarah said offering her fingers to Ruby. In response Ruby put her arms up in the children's universal code of ‘pick me up’.
“I got…” Mal tried to say but it was to late. Sarah had Ruby in her arms clinging with the little one clinging to her.
“It’s ok.” Sarah said giving Mal a smile.
They were all announced and lined the small stage with the male members of the bridal party in the form of max, MAF, Sid, Kris’ friend Yanick from Montreal and his Step Dad.
Russ held the mic out for Kris who looked momentarily panic stricken before taking hold of it. “I thank you all for coming out to celebrate with us. I especially want to thank Archie Pearson for hosting us here. Having you all here makes me so ‘appy. To have you all supporting Sarah and I in starting our life together with our family. It was not long ago I could never imagine my life bringing me ‘ere. Yet ‘ere I am and I would not change it for the world. I ‘ope everyone has a great time tonight.”
Kris passed the mic to Sarah who shifted Ruby on her hip slightly. She opened her mouth to speak but was beat to it by little Ruby who said “Hi’ into the mic first.
The room responded with a chorus of hello’s and other greetings. With the spotlight on her Ruby instinctively reached out for Kris hiding her face in his chest suddenly embarrassed. This elicited a chorus of ‘awws…’ from around the room.
“I know right?” Sarah said into the mic looking at Ruby with Kris as the other girls shifted to stand with Kris their future father figure. “Thank you all for making the drive or in some cases flights” she looked around spotting people she had met on her trips to Montreal. “I don’t think you know how lucky I feel to be standing up here with my soon to be husband and family sharing my joy with all of you. The past few years have been pretty intense and all of you stood by us. Like I said I can’t thank you enough. Please eat all the food and drink lots and dance and in a little bit feel free to karaoke.” Sarah passed the mic back to Russ Russ as a chorus of glasses clinking and people calling for a kiss started up.
“Dat is only at weddings!” Kris said all smiles and laughter as Ruby lifted her head.
“Just kiss her!” Rebecca said loudly getting a laugh from the crowd as Kris and Sarah met in a kiss with Ruby between them.

1 comment:


    There were a million things in here that I loved!
    1. Tanger back sassing Duper (YES!)
    2. His 'you taste like cheese' comment
    3. The trio of girls
    4. Mal
    5. Max makes my heart break. He just wants MAl to be with him.
    6. Ruby. Is. Precious.
    7. I can't remember it now... but there was something else. LOL