Claude rolled to a stop in front of Nora’s building. It was early in the day - there were hours yet to be spent in bed, learning all the different ways he could make her gasp. But he didn’t want to be creepy or crazy. Just because her presence gave him an incredible adrenaline high didn’t mean the feeling was mutual.
One day, maniac. One day, he repeated in his head.
Nora smiled at the way he was trying not to look sheepish. Claude’s easy grin became a frown just as fast. And it was quickly carrying Nora away. As much as she wanted to drag him inside and make good on that joke about tying him to the bed with a Bruins jersey, she thought it might be better to get a little space.
“That was really fun.” She turned in the seat, knees up against the console. His rust-colored shag was a hundred different shades in the sunlight.
“Would you like to come to the game tomorrow?”
Claude’s stomach churned at the words; he suddenly had zero confidence that she would say yes. That she would want to see him again. After all, he could just be dropping off a one-night stand.
Nora’s heart broke a little, like an egg running out through the cracks in its shell. There was actual worry, maybe even fear, in his voice.
“Of course,” she said. That anxiety drained from his face so quickly it was gone before she could kiss him. Instead her mouth found his as eager and excited as before. “But I’m only cheering for you.”
“And Danny.” He hoped he didn’t look as relieved as he felt.
“Bring your friend, she’ll cheer for us,” Claude suggested. It couldn’t hurt to have someone talking them up.
Nora dropped her feet so she could get as close as the car would allow. Claude’s tongue swept into her mouth with a little extra force, reminding her she’d only seen and felt a fraction of what he could do. It made bringing him inside seem irresistible, and the idea of tying him up impossible. But he’d probably let her do it anyway. She kissed him until she hoped he got the idea.
“Guess I’ll see you tomorrow,” he said over the roar of desire in his body to see if her seat reclined all the way.
Emily was, in fact, flailing about like she’d been shot in a slapstick comedy, or someone had punted her dog off a bridge. And Nora was only halfway through the story.
“Wait, go back,” Emily gasped. “You are intentionally not telling me what he looks like naked.”
“He looks fucking amazing! He’s an athlete.”
“I need more details! Six pack? Big arms? What? Otherwise in my wet dreams it’s going to be his face on Vinny Lecavalier’s body. And I know he’s not that hot!” Only Emily would openly confess to sexual fantasies about someone her friend was actually having sex with.
“He’s very... strong. Not a six pack like models who do crunches all day, but he’s all hard surfaces.”
Emily was face down and screaming into a couch cushion.
“He’s not that heavy though - what like 175? 180? So he’s not a huge guy... ohmygod. There’s no way to talk about this!”
Tears of laughter pooled in Emily’s eyes. “Just tell me! For fuck’s sake, Nora!”
“He’s big, alright?! Big enough?! He’s really fucking sexy, I’ll tell you that. He knows how to use it.”
Emily collapsed. She lay there giggling silently while they both thought about Claude Giroux naked. Nora covered her face - she couldn’t stop the satisfied smile, only hide it.
“God you’re so lucky!”
“Yeah,” Nora said. “I am.”
They made dinner and watched a few episodes of Castle on demand, laying around the living room like any Sunday night. Except that Nora was thinking about her phone, and whether or not it would ring, or buzz. Or if she should....
“HOLY SHIT!” She sat bolt upright, nearly spilling a bag of chips to the floor.
“What?” Emily jumped too.
“I... oh my God, I....” Nora stuttered. “He doesn’t have my number. I never gave him my... SHIT.”
Nora looked at her roommate, and Emily looked like she just realized she could see dead people. There was a moment of complete silence.
“What?” Emily finally repeated.
“I never gave Claude my number. I never thought of it. He didn’t ask and I didn’t... well. Fuck.” She pushed a hand back through her short hair, rerunning the highlight reel of the last twenty four hours and coming up with scalding touches, deep kisses and easy smiles. No phone numbers.
“But the game tomorrow. You’re going.” Emily corrected herself. “We’re going.”
Nora’s initial surprise was washing away. Of course she was going to the game. No question he had been sincere in asking her. Hell he’d taken her to Danny’s house for lunch - that wasn’t just nothing. Any other guy, especially a rich and famous one, she might have just fallen for the ultimate brush-off, the lowest scumbag one night stand ditch in history.
She shook away the thought and with it came a giggle. It was a little hysterical, but still laughter. Emily crossed her eyes in confusion, waving her hands for more information please.
“Yes, we’re going. I’m sure of it. But I also never gave him my last name. He has NO idea who I am, Emily! What is wrong with me?”
Emily shrugged like it was easy enough to believe. “Sex can have that effect on people.”
Claude stood in the ticketing office, holding a pen and staring at a blank envelope. He wore a backwards baseball cap over his sweaty hair, with mesh shorts and crocs. Practice had been vigorous enough to earn his customary pre-game nap. There was just one thing to do before heading home - the thing he’d been looking forward to all morning.
Only now he couldn’t do it.
He was aware that people were pretending not to watch him. Business was going on as usual for a game day, with people bustling about. It wasn’t unusual for a player to stop in with a ticket request, but it was unusual for that player not to know his guest’s name.
“She’s going to kill me,” he mumbled to himself as he scribbled on the envelope and passed it back to the woman at the desk.
It was just as well he couldn’t call her. Claude had taken longer than usual to fall asleep because his bed smelled like Nora’s perfume. He slowly and carefully remembered moving against her just that morning and decided that all of her skin, not just her neck or wrists, smelled perfect. The image tortured his mind until fell asleep on the same pillow she’d used. By the time he napped, ate and got to the rink, Danny was already there.
“Nora coming tonight?”
“You’ll see her - she’ll be the only person in here not wearing orange.”
Briere laughed. “Play well or she might remember she hates you.”
Two people in line. One person. Nora shifted her weight, bouncing on the balls of her feet, until she was next at the will call ticket window. The confidence of the night before - of course he was sincere! - was fading with every step. Her heartbeat ticked up. If this didn’t work she would feel like an idiot, and Emily would kill her. Just as well, since she wasn’t sure she’d want to go on after buying into such a load of bullshit.
“Hi. Tickets under Nora.”
The agent, an older woman, flipped through the alphabetized bin before her, then shook her head. “I’m sorry, what’s the last name?”
“Nothing under Nora?”
“No. Last name?”
Uuuggghhh, she thought. “I think they’re under Giroux.”
The woman blinked slowly, as if waiting for the punch line. Nora just shrugged. She got up slowly with a big exhale, as if Nora had better not be wasting her time on some delusion. A few stools down, she leaned over to talk to another agent. They flipped through another bin. Two surprised faces turned toward Nora.
“Here you go, miss,” the agent passed a white envelope through the slot in the window.
Emily clapped and squealed, Nora shook her head in disbelief. Her name was handwritten on the envelope - the first name so confident and bold, the last written just a little far away like it was afraid to come too close.
Thank God, she thought.
Beneath her name, Claude had written: Don’t need to ask for ID.
“Hahaha, not yet anyway,” Emily said, then started singing ‘Going to the Chapel.’
Her heart was still pounding when they passed into the arena like diving into a sea of bright orange. Of course he’d gotten them fantastic seats, about twelve rows up alongside the goal where the Flyers would shoot at twice. It was just far enough that he wouldn’t be able to see her unless he really looked, but she’d be able to see him.
They stayed in their seats while the players took the ice for the pre-game skate. Suddenly the empty rink was full, a swirling mass of skaters. And there he was: black letters on a white name plate, like a kick to the stomach.
He was sexy as hell. No doubt about it. A tiny piece of her brain harbored doubts - as if she’d been drugged at the casino night, and right through the next day. But he whizzed past, rust red curls lifted in the breeze, with a natural grace that made her feel all over again the way he moved inside her.
If Claude spotted Nora, she didn’t notice. He had his head in the game like everyone else. It was a little disconcerting to be unsure if she wanted his reaction or didn’t, if she wanted his attention right now. A part of her did. She stuffed it back down, feeling like a brat and glad they weren’t closer to the glass.
Once the puck dropped, everything moved in fast-forward. Even Nora had to admit the Flyers had a ton of talent. They were pretty evenly matched against the Blues with action going end-to-end. Emily could still be heard above the deafening crowd. They let the Flyers hear it for even the smallest errors, clearly expecting perfection from their team.
Nora smiled to herself: A lot like a Bruins game.
Claude was fast. He had an excellent sense of the ice, connecting on a few impossible passes. Watching him carefully for the first time was intense - she was on the edge of her seat whenever he touched the puck. If a Blues player came near him, her knees tried to creep up into a ball. The players all seemed bigger and scarier than she remembered from her last live game, even most of the Flyers. But not Claude - he couldn’t possibly be heavy enough to throw himself around the way he did. It sent tiny shivers through her, thinking of how much strength was packed into that body. Every once in a while she caught him smiling.
I’ll give him something to smile about.
When the Flyers finally scored halfway through the second, Claude wasn’t even on the ice. The arena went mad. Nora let out a sigh of relief and shook the tension from her hands.
“Stand up!” Emily’s voice cracked like she was at a Justin Bieber concert.
“No!” Nora rolled her eyes, but she did clap.
The Blues tied the game. Philly almost got it back with a crush of bodies at the net but the whistle blew to end the period. Almost twenty thousand people, almost all of them in orange, sat back and took a deep breath. Nora’s heart was pounding just as hard as anyone else’s.
“Miss? Are you Nora?” a man in a Wells Fargo Center uniform appeared at her side.
“Yes.” She was aware of a few curious heads turning in her direction.
“For you. Enjoy the game.”
Nora waited till her nosy neighbors looked away, ignoring the death grip that Emily had clamped onto her wrist. When the Mites on Ice intermission game began, she flipped the envelope and slit it open.
If you’re reading this, I guess you got the tickets. But if you want to keep using my last name, you’ll have to get a jersey. Text me your number and don’t leave.
He’d printed, rather than signed, his name and written his phone number underneath. She examined it closely - his handwriting was like his hands: strong, a little rough. Sexy.
It’s just handwriting! What is happening to me?
Emily read over her shoulder. “If it doesn’t work out, you can just put that on Facebook.”
Nora fit the note back into it’s envelope, folded it in half and held it until the Flyers took the ice to start the third period. After that she didn’t trust herself not to tear it in a moment of anxiety. Claude skated past in a blur of nameplates and she watched the teams take their places.
It didn’t take five minutes. A Blues defender hit Briere hard into the far boards. The crowd groaned in empathy. Danny shook it off and finished his shift, but as soon as he stepped back onto the ice if happened again. CRUNCH. The crowd’s reaction was tempered with more than a few four-letter words. Hartnell laid out the first player he came across - a clean hit, but it resulted in a bunch of guys pushing and shoving. Philadelphia got the puck down low on their next shift, catching rebounds as fast as St. Louis could give them up. David Backes scooped it desperately toward the blue line; Matt Carle stretched wide and batted it back into the scrum. Claude cut in front of the net, and the Blues’ Jackman cross-checked him so hard he took the goalie down with him.
Nora jumped out of her seat, hands flying to cover her face. The rest of the crowd was up in the same second.
“Motherfucker!” Emily screamed. Or maybe it was Nora.
Dog pile. Sticks and gloves flew. An arm in a white sweater threw a punch, a head in a black helmet reared back. Nora couldn’t see Claude, but hoped he was inside the cage and protected. The referees tried to elbow their way in. Hartnell gave one of the the Blues a full face wash, tearing his helmet off in the process. Braden Coburn dragged someone from the top. Jagr crawled out. The refs peeled back another player, and another until only the goalie Halak and Giroux were left twisted at the goal line.
Claude scrambled up. His helmet was gone, sweaty red hair sticking up everywhere, and a bright smear of blood tracked from his eyebrow. Nora winced. The refs moved off to tally up the penalties, turning their backs on the players. Claude went toward the bench - and as he passed Jackman, punched him in the back of the head.
Jackman wheeled around but Claude was already away like nothing had happened. The crowd, including Nora and Emily, roared. The refs looked up, clueless. Jackman hollered something, Hartnell yelled back. Giroux just smiled, blood and all.
“I want to have sex with your boyfriend,” Emily announced.
Nora let her head drop back. “God, me too.”
The Flyers got a power play from the incident and on the first rush, Wayne Simmonds scored. This time Nora stood up to applaud.
Claude shoved a hat down over his head. Sweat ran into the collar of his soaked t-shirt, prickling as his body cooled itself down. For once he was glad not to have scored so reporters would quickly move onl. Except that he wanted to see Nora’s expression when she admitted to cheering for him. He’d enjoying kissing it right off her face.
There was a text waiting for him from a new number.
You’re sexy when you’re mad. And bleeding a little.
He groaned quietly. This girl was going to make him crazy - crazy enough to forget askingto ask her number or last name before she left. He’d spotted her during the warm-up skate, sitting in those perfect seats wearing a black v-neck sweater and a sexy, messy mop of hair. Looking at her without being able to touch her was as torturous as sleeping in an empty bed that smelled like her.
Claude: Out in 20. Can I meet you somewhere close?
Nora: I’ll meet you. Don’t want to have to fight off a bunch of girls.
Claude: I bet you’re sexy when you’re mad.
He showered, suited and checked his watch: eighteen minutes. Some of the guys were making plans but Claude slipped right out before they could notice. Danny just waved.
Claude: I’m done.
Nora: Outside Philadium.
He considered jogging to his car, but hoped he’d need that extra energy later. The players lot was still full but most of the season ticket holders and surrounding cars had emptied out. Claude circled the arena and headed for the nearby sports bar. Going inside would be a terrible idea, but he’d do it. Of course.
No need. He spotted Nora from fifty feet away, standing at the curb. She wore jeans over those shapely legs, retro Adidas sneakers and a pattered pea coat. His chest got tight with desire just looking at her outline. Nora’s thumb came up like she was hitching a ride; Claude rolled to a stop.
She plopped into the seat with a gust of cold air, reached over and crushed his mouth into hers. That electrical charge slapped him like a lightning strike, sizzling down to his toes. The tension in his chest locked, he wanted to roar it out. Claude almost pressed the gas pedal through the floor.
“Easy,” he said, not meaning it.
“Hell no,” she grinned. Already she was breathless and the leather bucket seat was making her think dirty, flexible thoughts. His damp hair was curling as she watched and the dark suit made her think of the night they’d met - just a few nights ago - when she had been literally unable to keep her hands to herself. Reaching over the gearshift, she settled one hand on his thigh and tried not to purr at the energy coursing between them.
He raced toward his house, looking over at her once every block. She settled low into the seat and talked about the game - he watched her mouth move and tried to listen. No such luck. That searing kiss had tasted like her lip gloss.
“Did you cheer for us?”
She rocked her head from side to side. “Kind of. For the fight. And the last goal. It was a good game.”
Good enough for now, he thought.
He parked in his garage and the door rolled down behind the car. Nora hurried up the three steps to the door, so Claude had to reach past her to insert the key. His forearm brushed across her stomach, slowly and deliberately. Her hip fit slotted in against his lap, his shoulders curled around her. She turned her face slightly and they stumbled through the door.
It was like someone fired the starters’ pistol at a horse race. The gate opened and they went from standing to sprinting in seconds. Claude pushed Nora up against the wall, hands at the back of her neck, tipping her face up and capturing her mouth. Nora pawed his coat open slipped her hands along his shirt, holding fast to his taut waist. With a small twist she pressed one thigh against his crotch.
“Fuck,” he breathed, moving his lips to her throat. The pulse beat fast and he followed it down to her collarbone, one hand pulling her v-neck sweater open as he moved. She rolled her head to give him access and pushed her hands down over her ass, grinding against his lap away. Claude grabbed the back of her knee and lifted, hooking to over his hip and pinning her to the wall.
Nora gasped as Claude bit into the soft skin above her shoulder. The heat of his body made her glad he was holding her up. She breathed deeply the smell of his cologne and enjoyed the flex of his well muscled body beneath her grip.
Claude groped roughly over her breast, pinching the nipple so it rose hard under his palm. She tugged his shirt free from his belt and ran her fingers along his bare lower back. He responded with a thrust of his hips that made her squeak in surprise.
“Bedroom,” she whispered.
He stepped back, freeing her momentarily, and smiled. “No.”
His jacket hit the floor with a whiff. Nora had the tie halfway undone. Claude pulled everything off over his head and chucked it away as she reached for his belt. He peeled her sweater up, lifting two handfuls of her breasts in the process. He felt, rather than heard, Nora unzip his fly.
Claude cursed in French as she shoved her hand right down into his pants. He was hard as a rock from humping her against the wall and Nora had it all in her grasp. Grabbing a fistful of her hair, Claude kissed Nora hard and enjoyed her stroke.
“You’re so fucking sexy,” she managed. Shirtless, with his arms raised around her shoulders, Claude was a perfect specifmen. Heavy biceps, ropy muscle coiled from his neck to shoulders. The v-shape of his body ended in hard, flat abs that her wrists grazed as she worked his shaft. Already he was breathing hard, trembling in her hand. She knew he needed release, and quickly.
Nora dropped to a squat, settling onto her knees, feeling the wetness in her own panties as she moved. Claude flinched, a surprised smile on his face. His slacks pooled around his feet and she took a second to enjoy the sight of boxer briefs stretched tight over wide thighs and a pounding erection.
Claude could have gotten himself off against her hip, all their clothes still on. Now a quick tug of fabric and she slipped her lips over the head of his cock. As the slick, wet softness of her mouth touched his raging skin, he nearly came on command. He twisted his fingers into her dark bob. She looked up through her lashes and met his gaze as his dick disappeared between her lips.
He growled, “Yes, baby.”
Nora allowed herself a very private moment of dirty thought - how many other women would kill be have Claude Giroux panting their names in the middle of the hallway. His thick cock required a few deep breaths before she could take him deep, but the noise he made was worth it. His skin was smooth and taut against her tongue. Claude was completely at her mercy.
She made a ring with her fingers and squeezed his base, then flicked in time with her mouth to give him an extra pull and tug. He exhaled heavily. Nora pushed him to the back of her throat again and let go of the purr she’d been holding in since the car.
“Fuck, oh God.” His shoulders rounded, weakened by the sensation. Nora had already been a sexy dream, now she was crossing into fantasy territory. They were less than five steps into his house and she was sucking him off like she couldn’t get enough.
“Nora, I....” He lost the words as the head of his cock slipped past her tongue again. Surely she knew. She was going right for it. The sight of her bobbing along his dick was almost too much but he opened his eyes and caught her watching. Then she winked.
“Dirty,” was all he could say before he was struggling for breath. Her tongue swirled around his cap, then drew slowly up the hyper-sensitive underside of his penis. Stars appeared around the edges of his vision.
Nora liked giving blow jobs but mostly she liked being in control. Claude had made her feel nothing but out of control, and it turned her on immensely. Now she could give Clause what he wanted, or she could take it from him.
She moved harder. He was panting. Nora used her whole hand to work his shift into her mouth on every stroke. Claude got the tiniest bit harder, more rigid - a warning that he was about to blow. She pushed as far down on his cock as she could go.
Claude roared. That tightness in his chest tore free, along with the cramped flex of every other muscle in his body. All that energy drained into his lap as he burst across Nora’s tongue, grunting, spurting loads of hot come into her perfect, dirty mouth.
“Fuck, oh fuck,” he whispered as the last drops fell. Nora lightly licked him clean, looking right in his eye as she drew her lips back over his head like he was an empty ice cream cone.
Claude grabbed her wrist and hauled her up, stumbling as quickly as he could draw her toward the bedroom. He collapsed into the same sheets she’d already slept in; Nora stopped and let him watch as she peeled off her jeans, slowly shimmying them over the rise of her ass and pushing them down her slender thighs before climbing into bed with her bra and panties on. His arms folded around her, fitting her into the small spoon as his heart still pounded. She turned her face back over her shoulder - Claude used his last ounce of strength to lift his head and kiss her.
“I’ve been thinking about doing that since you stepped on the ice,” she confessed.
Claude let his face drop to the pillow. “Wait till you see what I’ve been thinking about.”
So sorry for the long time between chapters! I am struggling to find time for writing. But I'm seeing Giroux play tomorrow night, so prepare for maximum re-inspiration! - Juliet