Back It up, Baby


I didn’t sleep after. I felt dirty and disgusted with myself and suddenly very sober but, I wanted to do it again. Beau, bless him, had fallen asleep immediately with his arms around my middle, cuddling into my stomach. It was sweet and was comfortable but, I felt so badly about myself that I needed out. Carefully, I extracted myself from him and climbed into my bed. That made me feel even worse because I was suddenly alone but, on my own accord.

Finally, I couldn’t stand it. I got up, grabbed my cell phone and left. It was two in the morning, not really the time to go wandering the streets of Pittsburgh so, I sat in the lobby. After about a half hour, I got bored of that and just sat outside of my hotel room, dozing in and out of sleep but, none of it sticking.

I stared at the wallpaper for a long, long time, counting stripes, counting polka dots, counting anything. I had just had sex with a teammate, something I had never done. Sure, I had slept with boys before but, never a teammate, there were rules. Actually, come to think of it, I had never ever slept with a fellow hockey player. All my three of my ex-boyfriends were just friends who barely liked the sport, let alone played it. Beau was an absolute first for me.

It wasn’t like it wasn’t fun and I didn’t enjoy it. I wanted him, he wanted me and it was amazing but, I was so afraid of wanting more and felt so dirty for just jumping into bed with him the second we got a real chance. Beau was sweet, funny and a great guy, someone I could find myself falling for, if I wasn’t already.

“Lilypads?” I looked up to see Brandon Sutter standing over me, looking rather confused. I squinted up at him and he frowned, “why are you sitting out front of your room?”

“Why did you call me Lilypads?” I asked, ignoring him.

“Why do you call me Farm Boy?” He countered. Fair enough, I shrugged and stood up. Stretching my arms over my head, I become incredibly aware that my stomach, along with a tattoo I had just gotten a couple months ago, were exposed. I instantly dropped my arms and crossed them over my chest.

“I went to get snacks, left my key and Beau sleeps like a log,” I lied. Brandon nodded as if he understood and then started to walk a couple doors down the hall. Once he got to a door, he stopped and looked over at me.

“Well, aren’t you coming?” I quickly scurried after him, happy to have company even if it was him. It was ironic because I could have that company with Beau, a man that I truly loved hanging out with but, instead I chose to hang out with someone who I only tolerated. “Beau and I used to room together last year on the road and occasionally he’d live with me. Mostly stayed in the hotel rooms they put him up in though.”

I nodded, following him into his dark hotel room. Clothes and various items were scattered everywhere but, thanks to house cleaning, no garbage. He had only one bed since he wasn’t sharing but, the room was still the same size as mine and Beau’s. I bit my lip, standing awkwardly by the bathroom, “why are you staying in the hotel? Don’t live around here? Where were you anyway?”

“Welcome, Sherlock,” he scoffed, throwing his key card onto his dresser. He kicked off his shoes and dropped himself onto his bed. “I was playing video games with Nealsy’s and we fell asleep if you must fucking know. My house is being renovated because a pipe burst this summer while I was away. The insurance company put me up in a hotel for the time being and somehow I magically ended up on you fuckers’ floor.”

“Sucks to be you,” I commented, wandering through the room. I subconsciously started to clean up after him but, then dropped all his clothes in a pile together, thinking twice. I opened my mouth to apologize but, he was already snuggled into his bed, flipping through channels.

“I know how Beau sleeps,” he muttered, eyes never leaving the screen. “You’re not getting him up until the morning, especially since he went out with the Frenchies tonight, he’s probably wasted. You can share my bed, just stay on your side and don’t fucking touch me.”

I sat down in a big lazy boy chair and dropped my legs over the edge, “I’m fine here.”

“Suit yourself. Nice tattoo by the way,” he shrugged before flicking off the lamp and turning down the volume of the T.V. That was it. No conversation, no funny anecdotes about his night. Brandon was literally just doing me a favour. We weren’t friends so, I don’t know really what I expected. Any sane person would have found this to be just fine but, I craved something more.

I touched the tattoo that he had noticed, the frog on my hip. Lilypads is what my dad had started calling me when I decided to be a goalie and it always just stuck. That's why I was so confused when Brandon called me it. The frog was just to remind me that, even though my mom was busy, Dad was still a phone call away.

Slowly, I started to drift off to the sound of Brandon’s deep breaths. The chair, as comfortable as it was, started to cramp my back and I found myself waking up numerous times within the hour. The air conditioning was way up and I was in such little clothing that I couldn’t keep warm, no matter how many times I wrapped my arms around me. Finally, I caved.

As quietly as I could, I pulled up the covers and climbed into the bed next to Brandon. Without hesitating, he extended his arm out to me. I couldn’t tell if he was sleeping or if I had waken him but, the alcohol still swirling around in my head clouded my better judgement. I climbed into the comfort of the nook between his body and his arm and rested my head on his chest. His arm coiled around me and I snuggled in closer, falling asleep almost instantly.