Status: All finished! :)

One More Night

Chapter 5

“Marc, what the hell?” Marc sighed, because just as he’d feared Jared was on his ass as soon as he was in the vehicle. He calmly put on his seatbelt, trying not to notice that Jared was just about ready to blow a fuse at him. His little brother was all but fuming, his cheeks heating up with his frustration.


“Don’t play stupid! What the hell is all… this?” he hissed, and Marc shook his head, running a hand through his hair.

“You guys left without me – I slept on Bree’s couch last night,” he answered, and Jared’s eyes widened.

“You went home with her? Goddamnit Marc you’re married!”

“I slept on her couch! What part of that did you miss?” Marc demanded, feeling his stomach twist with guilt at lying to his little brother. He hated being dishonest with anybody, let alone with his family. They meant the world to him, and their opinion of him meant the world to him – he’d hate for any of them to be upset or disappointed with him.

“Still Marc – you’re married, you can’t just crash at some girl’s house. Robyn’s gonna lose her goddamn shit. Especially because Bree’s a babe,” Jared groaned, making Marc huff at him.

“Well what was I going to do? Call a fucking cab because my brothers left me at the bar? Then she’d be on my ass about being at the bar in the first place. Bree was nice enough to offer her couch to me when I realized you guys were gone, and that’s all there is to tell,” he insisted, trying not to squirm under his brother’s scrutinizing gaze. Jared was an incredible judge of character, and could almost always read his brothers like an open book. Marc was hoping like hell this was one of those times that Jared wouldn’t be able to see right through him.

“Okay, I believe you,” he finally allowed, letting relief course through Marc’s body. “And, in your best interests, we don’t tell Robyn you stayed at a chick’s house. Danny let you crash on his couch, got it?”

Marc kind of knew Jared’s high school friend; they’d met on a few occasions and had gotten along. He knew Robyn would go and ask all three of his brothers who Danny was, and Jared was suggesting Danny because Eric and Jordan both knew him as well. He was one of few of Jared’s friends that his little brother trusted enough to crash at his house. Too many people were more concerned with advertising the fact a Staal was staying there than respecting their privacy.

“Thanks Jay, that means a lot,” Marc told him, knowing Jared would be able to hear just how grateful he was.

“You’re welcome; I don’t want her to be busting your balls for doing nothing but sleeping on a couch. And you owe me one,” the youngest brother reminded him, and Marc nodded as Jared finally put his truck into gear and started to leave the parking lot. He knew enough to not drive while he was worked up; he’d got into a few minor accidents when he was younger because he just couldn’t pay enough attention to the road while his head was in a million different places.

“Yeah, I do,”

The remainder of their drive home was quiet, Jared going to Eric and Tanya’s place rather than their parents. That would give Marc the opportunity to change out of his day-old clothes and into something clean; at least that way his parents wouldn’t get on his case about having spent the night in Thunder Bay rather than at home with his wife.

The ability to lie to his parents wasn’t really there for Marc. He’d never been good at keeping secrets, and he’d spent so much time trying to get their approval that he did everything in his power to not have something to lie about. This, he knew, was going to all but kill him if they asked him what had happened last night.

“Thanks again Jay,” Marc repeated himself as his brother killed the engine and opened his door.

“Again, you’re welcome,” Jared managed a smile then before getting out of the truck. Marc followed suit and they let themselves into their oldest brother’s home – their oldest nephew coming barreling down the hall toward them.

“Hey buddy!” Marc scooped the toddler up, and Jared laughed at Parker’s expression as the little carbon-copy of Eric waved at him, a big grin on his face.


“Hey… look who it is,” Eric came around the corner then, an easy grin on his face. Marc immediately wondered if Jared had said anything to Eric last night about his whereabouts, and didn’t know if he should say anything.

“Hey,” Marc nodded, adjusting his nephew in his arms. A sly grin came across Eric’s lips, and he raised an eyebrow at Marc.

“So, crashing at Danny’s? Why’d you let this idiot get you that drunk?” he teased, and Marc chuckled as the two of them followed Jared into the house toward the living room.

“Wouldn’t have had to if you guys hadn’t left me in T Bay,” was Marc’s quick reply, and Eric looked sheepish.

“I didn’t even realize there was a problem until we were like halfway home… I thought Jordan would have had enough sense to make sure everybody was there before he took off,” was the response. Eric had been more than a little drunk too – thanks to Jordan – and so Marc really couldn’t blame Eric for not having noticed until they were partway home.

“Yeah, sure,” Marc rolled his eyes, making his nephew giggle. “Well, I’m gonna change real quick. See you guys in a minute,” Marc handed Parker off to Eric before making his way to the spare room Jared was occupying. He knew Jared would only complain a little bit if he borrowed a T-shirt and pair of shorts, but Marc didn’t feel like walking over to Jordan’s guest house and dealing with Robyn quite yet.

His brother’s only gave him marginally questioning looks when he walked into the living room wearing Jared’s clothes, but neither of them said a word. Marc had honestly expected a little bit of teasing, but when Tanya, Heather, Nessa and Robyn were all sitting in the living room as well he was glad they hadn’t said a word. He managed a wave for them before swallowing hard when Robyn’s grey-green eyes turned to him. Her brow furrowed as she looked him over, before crossing her arms. Marc swallowed hard, unable to even force a smile onto his face for her. Shit was about to hit the fan for them, and if everyone else’s awkward behavior was an indication they all knew it.

“Hey, Parker, Levi – you boys wanna play outside?” Jordan asked, and with a cheer the two of them bolted for the door, everybody else following afterward until it was just the two of them in the living room. Marc let out a long, slow breath, his hazel eyes moving over the living room, and finally resting on his wife of just about two years. The twinkle in her grey-green eyes and the bright smile that he’d fallen so hard for four years ago were missing from her face. She’d stopped wearing her glasses about six months ago – opting instead for blue contacts – and as she stared him down her mouth was set in a hard line.

“So, Marc,” she drew out his name, hitting the ‘c’ hard enough for him to almost flinch. “Where were you last night?”

“They left me at the bar last night; I crashed at Danny’s place,” he answered, but her gaze didn’t soften one bit.

“Really? And why the hell would your brothers leave you at the bar in the first place?”

Marc knew she would immediately speculate – that’s how Robyn was. And it did sound stupid that the three of them would leave him at the bar. Unless you really knew his brothers, then it didn’t seem quite as crazy.

“I don’t know – Eric was hammered, Jared was pretty drunk… and well, Jordan isn’t the most responsible of people. I don’t know why, I was as surprised as you are right now when I realized they were gone,” he shrugged. She shrugged, before breezing past him. That left Marc a little stunned, and after a moment he followed after her. The guilt was eating away at him, but he knew he couldn’t say a word about Bree. It wasn’t for his own sake, it was for hers – if Robyn had any idea she would do anything and everything in her power to make Bree’s life a living hell. The worst part was that Robyn more than likely had the resources to do so.

“Robyn, where are you going?”

“To your parents’ place,” was her curt reply. Marc resisted the urge to groan, instead reaching out and grabbing her elbow, pulling her back and into his arms, wrapping, them around her even as she struggled against him.

“Let go of me Marc,”

“No, we need to talk about this. I’m not letting you just walk away from it,” he insisted, and was met with a steely blue gaze. It still caught him off guard, even six months later.

“I’m not in the mood to talk about this right now,”

“Well too bad, I am. Look, you can be mad, I get it, but don’t just shut me out over it,” he sighed, and after a moment her shoulders drooped and she stopped fighting him.

“Well I am mad – why you think you need to go out and get hammered in a bar is beyond me,” she huffed at him.

“I went out to spend some time with my brothers, okay? I don’t see why that’s such a big deal,”

“You get to see them every day!” Robyn’s voice gained volume, and Marc gritted his teeth, trying to keep his facial expression neutral and not set her off.

“But it’s not the same Robyn,” he gently explained, rubbing her arm. “We just wanted to go and spend some quality time hanging out. Where it was just about us, not hockey, not the season, not anything else; we need that once in a while, you know?”

Marc knew that it was futile trying to explain it to her, but he knew he had to try. He’d never be able to settle the mess that was his nerves and his conscience without coming clean about everything that he could. Marc had never understood why people cheated; he figured it was a ridiculous cop-out of a situation you didn’t want to be in, the idiotic way to avoid letting someone down slowly when you didn’t care anymore, anything like that. Now he realized that as much as he’d criticized those who did it, it happened far too easily for him to believe. He’d never had any intention of cheating on his wife, and yet somehow a friendly offer for him to stay on Bree’s couch had ended with him waking up next to her.

Robyn walked away from him then, still shaking her head, but her icy disposition had melted a little, that much he could tell. After a moment to collect his thoughts Marc followed after, quickly joining in with Jared and Jordan in chasing their nephews around. He needed distraction, he needed normal, and the rest of his family was just what he needed.