Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chapter Seven: Third Series of the playoffs

Diana hugged Mario as he came up to her in his VIP box. Smiling she asked him how he was doing, to which he replied "still alive and kicking." She laughed and nodded in agreement.

"That's always good to be alive for sure." She took her seat and turned to talk with him while they waited for the National Anthems.

"How have you been feeling Diana? Has the morning sickness eased off at all?" Mario looked at her once again with concern in his eyes. He had kept tabs on her since they had found out she was pregnant, calling her every day to make sure she was okay. He felt protective of her, as though she were another daughter. It was the same love he had for Sidney. To him Sid was like a second son. He wanted the best for them both.

"Not too bad lately. It comes and goes. I'm alright though, thanks for asking Mario." She patted his arm gently and smiled. She felt grateful that he cared about her and the baby.

Rising for the National Anthem, Diana's eyes searched out Sid on the ice. As usual his head was bent forward, his forehead resting on his helmet. Smiling she gazed at the love of her life, the pride she felt for him bursting through her heart. He worked so hard for moments like these, for the chance to be so close to the coveted cup. He deserved it, and she wanted it so badly for him.

At the puck drop, Diana cheered loudly for the team, "LET'S GO PENS!!!" Throughout the whole first period she barely sat down. Her excitement and love for the game keeping her on her feet, yelling and cheering on her boys. Mario had to tell her to settle down before she hurt herself on more then one occasion that period. But, he always said it with a smile.

At the first intermission, the Penguins were trailing 2-1. It had been a fast paced exciting period and they had played hard. Diana was waiting outside the locker room for Sid. A few seconds later, he came out; he had taken off his pads and jersey but still had his pants and underclothes on. Diana smiled as he walked up to her, the tight underclothes pressed against his muscular body accentuating every line, every muscle. He was big and strong and she loved it.

"Hey baby girl. How are you feeling?" He asked kissing her forehead.

"I'm fine hun. Good first period, you guys played really well. Now you need to come back in the second and get back that last goal."

"I know, we just have to keep to our game." Sid placed his hand on her belly. She watched him silently as he rubbed it gently. "For good luck." He said looking up and smiling. Diana laughed and hugged him before he kissed her one more time and headed back into the locker room.

This, like all other playoff games was a very important one. The Penguins had lost their first game of the series 4-2. It had been a hard loss and the boys were feeling the pressure of trying to stay in the running. Sidney hadn't been sleeping well the last couple nights, and Diana worried that he wasn't getting enough rest between games. They needed to win this one. She silently said a prayer as she headed back up to the box to join Mario and Natalie for the second period.

In the locker room, the team was buzzing about the first period. discussions of plays and how they would handle the second period were going on all around the room. Sid chugged down some water then sat back and rested his head against the wall. Closing his eyes, he ran through the first period in his mind. Then he envisioned the second. It was going to be a challenge he knew. But he had faith in his team, they could do it. 'Just get to our game, keep going north. Get the puck to the net, drive the puck.' He repeated silently to himself. He was tired, but tried hard to stay focused.

Just then he felt someone standing over him. Opening his eyes, he saw Jordan Staal standing there looking at him. "Everything okay with Diana?" He asked, sitting next to Sid on the bench.

"She's alright. It hasn't been too bad lately. Thank God!" Sid replied, picking up his pads and beginning to put them back on.

Jordan nodded, "That's good. Does she have any idea you are planning to propose?"

Sidney smiled and shook his head. "None."

They finished getting their gear back on and headed back out onto the ice after a brief, but positive message from Coach Bylsma. As he stepped onto the ice, Sid looked up towards Mario's VIP Box and waved at Diana. He smiled when she waved back, then headed to the bench for the beginning of the period. Geno would take the first shift in this period, which was just as well. Sid was tired and needed the extra rest.

Halfway through the second period, Pascal Dupuis got a break away. He shot across the ice with Sid and Kunitz right behind him. He shot the puck hard and it screamed past the goalie Carey Price and buried itself in the back of the net. Sid screamed and jumped on Pascal patting his helmet in congratulations. The score was now 2-2. It stayed that way until into the third period. The game was close, and both teams were showing signs of frustration. However, unlike the Penguins who seemed to somehow find a second wind during the second intermission, the CanadiƩns were showing signs of fatigue. The Penguins saw this as an opportunity to put them away in the third. But try as they might, the puck didn't seem to want to go in the net. Carey Price was standing tall in his net, and it was looking like it would go into overtime.

Sure enough, the period ended and overtime was set up. Sid took off his helmet and whiped his forhead with a towel. His gaze went to the VIP Box once again, where just like the whole game, Diana was standing watching him. She blew a kiss to him, which he "caught" with his hand and placed it on his lips. Somehow that simple gesture from her, helped him regain some energy. They had to get this win.

A minute and a half into overtime, Canadiens Mike Cammalleri stole the puck from Eric Tangradi in neutral ice and flew down the ice into the Penguins zone. Kris Letang threw himself to the ice as he shot the puck. He swore as it sailed over his leg and through Marc Andre Fleury's legs into the net. Sid hung his head in defeat. They lost. The second game of the series gone. They were now down 2-0 in this series.

Back at their house, Sid was quiet. Diana stared at him for a few minutes hoping he would say something. Finally she walked up to him and placed her hands on his shoulders. As she massaged them, he reached up and took her hand. "It's okay Sid. You guys will get the next ones. You'll win this series I know it."

He tugged gently on her arm until she came around the chair and stood in front of him. Looking up at her, Sid pulled her closer and kissed the back of her hand, then the palm. "I know baby girl. I'm just really tired and frustrated. I really wanted that win."

Diana held his hand, silently watching him as he ran his fingers along hers. "It's just one game Sid. You guys still have a chance to get back into this."

Letting go of her hand, Sid looked at her with anger flaring in his eyes. "One game is all it takes to lose the whole series! This is the playoffs for FUCK SAKES!!"

His words and the anger in them stung her like a bee. She stepped back from him as though he had struck her, tears welling up in her eyes. Sidney had never spoken to her like that before, and it scared her. When he saw the tears start to pour down her cheeks, he stood up and took a step toward her. His heart lurched in his chest. 'Shit! What did I just do?' He thought to himself. He reached out for her, but she pushed him away.

"I didn't mean it like that Sidney and you know it! I know this is stressful and frustrating for you. It is for me too, but we can't lose control. That won't help anything. I didn't mean to upset you. Maybe I shouldn't have said that, but I didn't deserve to be yelled at!! So I'm sorry that I ever said anything at all, I was only trying to make you feel better."

The words came spilling out of her mouth before she could stop them. Once they started, they seemed to have a mind of their own.

"Diana, I...."

"I don't care right now Sidney Patrick Crosby! That really hurt!!! I'm tired and I'm going to bed. You can just sit here until you calm the fuck down! GOOD NIGHT!!" She turned on her heel and ran out of the room, tears still streaming down her face. He watched her go, jumping a little when she slammed the bedroom door.

Slumping back onto the chair, he leaned forward and put his head in his hands. 'How the fuck could I talk to her that way?' He asked himself. Running his hands through his hair, he sat there wondering what the hell had gotten into him. He had never spoken to her like that before, and it was killing him that he'd hurt her that way. He could nearly feel his heart break when he saw those tears fall down her beautiful face. Her gorgeous, brown eyes filled with hurt at his sudden anger. Seeing that pain on her face, tore him apart inside.

Finally he got up and headed to bed. When he glanced at his watch he realized he'd been sitting there for over an hour. He got undressed, then crawled into bed. Diana was facing away from him on her side. Gently he reached out and put his hand on her arm. Leaning forward he kissed her and whispered, "I am so sorry Diana. I never meant to talk to you that way. Please forgive me! I love you baby girl."

Slowly she turned towards him, her face still streaked with tears. "I know you didn't mean it. You're frustrated, I know that. But you have to understand that I'm not the enemy here Sid. I'm on your side. I do forgive you, but you have to promise me you will never speak to me that way again. I couldn't handle it."

"Baby, I swear to you I will NEVER do that again. I can't bare the thought of losing you. I love you more than life itself Diana Ebony Ciccione!" He didn't move as she turned all the way around to face him.

Diana studied his face. Every line, every mark. He was so handsome, and in her heart she knew that she could never stay angry at him for long. "I love you too Sidney! You know I do, and you also know that you will NEVER lose me! I promise you that."

She gently pushed him on his back, then cuddled against him and like so many nights before laid her head on his chest as he wrapped his arm around  her and pulled her tightly against him. Soon they were both asleep, off in dreamland, dreaming of the Stanley Cup, their baby and the rest of their life together.

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