Geno had me in a death-grip when I woke up. I laughed silently to myself as I tried to wiggle my way out of it. He mumbled something intangible in his sleep; causing my giggles to renew.
I heard a light tap at the door and froze. “Evgeni… Evgeni, someone’s at your door.” I whispered, trying to wake him.
He mumbled something at me in Russian before he rolled over. “Oh…” he sighed when he saw me; that crooked grin spreading across his face. He pushed himself out of bed and walked towards the door.
I couldn’t see who was there but, judging by the voice it was his father. They spoke for a minute before Evgeni came back in, closing the door behind him. “He think I kill you.” He chuckled as he climbed back into bed beside me.
“Why?” I yawned as I nuzzled into him.
“He say… sound like I try kill you.” I groaned as I realized what he meant. Of course they would have heard everything last night...
He laughed softly, the motion shaking me slightly; he seemed very unconcerned about the whole thing.
We lied there a bit more; it was nice to feel so safe, being held by a strong man. “Eat?” He asked, pulling me into the present.
“Sure!” I grinned sitting up. I was starving but I didn’t want to leave his bed; in fact I knew I wouldn’t, if he didn’t at least leave it first.
I watched him get up again, his boxer barely staying up over his hips as he moved around the room. I stared in fascination as he turned towards me, shimmying himself into a pair of loose blue jeans. Not realizing I was watching him he continued to look for a shirt. Grabbing a white one out of his closet he stretched up and pulled it down over his head; the fabric moving down to cover his delicious torso…
I sighed and climbed out too; if I stayed in there any longer… I grinned to myself, pulling on my jeans from last night and searching for my shirt.
I looked up to see Evgeni holding it out to me. I smiled at him before I pulled it over my head.
We donned our coats before heading downstairs. I was more than slightly mortified as we made our way past his parents. I was sure that they would hate me for sleeping with their son, but they both smiled at me warmly as I followed him out the door.
We walked arm and arm down the street; apparently Geno was even more famous in Russia than Pittsburgh. Almost everyone we saw either said hello or acknowledged him in some way.
It made me feel good - in a selfish way - being with someone like that.
We were seated at an exclusive table at a very expensive looking restaurant, Geno sitting next to me. The waitress came and gave us the lunch menus. I cocked my head at it as I held it in my hand before asking Evgeni for the time.
“Umm, 2-4-4” he said before turning back to his menu.
Holy crap! How did I sleep that long? I sighed to myself, I guess it wasn’t really that long, since we were up most of the night… I let my eyes wander over the menu too.
We ate a great lunch together; Evgeni was infectious - you couldn’t do anything but love him. By the time he was paying the bill, my face was soar from smiling so much.
Heading back out onto the street we walked along aimlessly for a bit; before heading back to my hotel.
The closer we got, the more awful I felt. Evgeni’s hand found mine, almost like he was subconsciously reaffirming my decision. I was going to break up with Mattie.
It hurt to think about, but it was my fault. No matter what happened from this point on; anything that I went through, was my fault.
I knew that I was going to be devastated without Mattie, but I couldn’t keep hurting him; and for whatever reason, I couldn’t stay away from Evgeni. Especially not now.
I sighed as we reached the door, figuring what I was going to do next, would not be pleasant. “I go too?” Evgeni asked as he put a finger under my chin; tilting my face towards him.
Yes! My mind demanded as I gave him a small smile; but I shook my head no.
“I should really do this alone…” He nodded and followed me into the lobby; plopping down on one of the couches.
We had decided at lunch that it would be better if I moved in to his house for the remainder of the tournament. Coach wouldn’t notice my absence and it would be easier on both Mattie and I, if we didn’t have to continue to share a room together. Part of me also understood Evgeni’s point of view; his girlfriend in a room with her ex-boyfriend wasn’t a happy thought.
I opened the door to the room; expecting to see Mattie and a few of the boys kicking around - but the room was empty. So empty; it looked like no one had been in there for a while. I took a quick walk around, looking for some sign of where he might be.
I shrugged my shoulders and started throwing my things back in my suitcase. As much as I wanted to talk to Mattie and clear the air, I was selfishly happy that I didn’t have to face him… I knew it would happen eventually, but it was nice to be able to put it off.
I pulled my suitcase after me as I exited the room. “Woah! Alright… so we’re going?” I turned around to see Rennie walking towards me.
“What are you talking about? Going where?”
“We were waiting to see what coach said about the rest of the tournament… like… if we’re gonna keep playing, or if we’re leaving.”
I started laugh, “Rennie what the hell are you talking about? I’m leaving the hotel… why wouldn’t we be staying for the tournament?” This whole conversation was confusing me; and I was getting antsy, the sooner I left the better.
He stared at me incredulity, his mouth falling open. “Why are you in such a good mood?” He asked quietly, looking around the hall.
I shrugged my shoulders. “Is this about Evgeni and Mattie?” How much does everyone know now? “Cause, that’s where I’m going… to Evgeni’s. I’m upset about the whole thing with Mattie but…” I shrugged my shoulders and gave him a weak smile.
“Do you not know?” He asked, stepping towards me.
“Not know what?” Rennie stared at me, shaking his head slowly as he pondered my question. He grabbed my arm and pulled me after him down the hall.
Geno was waiting for us in the lobby; he shot Rennie a glare as he caught sight of his hand around my arm. “We have to go…” Rennie said to Evgeni as we got closer. “Come on!” He called over his shoulder as he headed for the door. Geno looked at me, wondering what was going on. I told him I didn’t know and he grabbed my luggage as we followed after Rennie.
Rennie refused to say anything as we grabbed a cab and headed to Geno’s. I watched as Evgeni set my luggage inside his house before returning to the cab.
The longer we drove the more antsy Geno became. He started shooting questioning glances at Rennie as we drove deeper into town; coming to stop outside of a giant building.
We walked through the doors and I realized that we were standing in the lobby of a hospital. I glanced over at Rennie, who was already walking towards the elevator.
We rode in silence until the fourth floor; when Rennie hopped out and headed down the hill. He stopped halfway down, throwing the door open. “Dude! I could have been getting my freak on with that hot nurse… dick…” I heard Consti grumble as I followed Rennie into the room.
“Consti!” I screamed, throwing my hands over my mouth. I rushed to his side and jumped on him, pulling him into a hug.
“Wow… good to see you to.” He pulled away and gave me a smile, nodding at Geno and Rennie.
“What happened? Why are you in here?”
Consti stared at me with disbelief on his face. Why is everyone looking at me like that? I sighed as I waited for him to continue. “Ummm… we were in a car accident last night, Carlie…”
“Me, Mattie and a cabbie.” He said slowly, studying my reaction.
“What?! Where’s Mattie?” I shoved myself off the bed, backing away. “Where’s Mattie at Consti?”
He cocked his head to the side and studied me. “He’s still in intensive care.”
“What do you mean… like… he’s hurt? It was bad? You don’t look that bad…” I rambled, unable to function properly any longer.
“I just got a few cuts and bruises…”
“And everyone else?” I pressed, looking back and forth between Conti and Rennie.
“The cabbie died; he died on impact.” Rennie said softly, causing my breath to catch in my throat.
“Mattie?” I whispered out, now turning my eyes to the floor, unable to focus on anything.
“Carlie?” I looked up to see Dean standing in the door way, motioning for me to follow him.
I walked past Geno and Rennie, back out into the hallway. “Dean… what’s going on?” I pressed as soon as we were away from Consti’s room.
“Alright… Carlie; the boys were in a bad accident last night. Consti’s going to be fine. He has a bit of whiplash but that’s the worse of it for him.”
He looked at my face and then away. He exhaled loudly and shook his head slowly.
“Mattie?” I asked again, louder, as I felt my throat beginning to burn.
“I’m sorry Carlie.” He turned and headed down the hallway, away from me.
“Sorry? Sorry for what? Why are you sorry?!” I screamed down the hall as Dean continued to walk away from me. “Somebody tell me what the fuck is going on!” I felt hands grabbing my shoulder and turning me around.
Geno crushed me into his chest and I began to sob uncontrollably. He held me for a minute before scooping me up in his arms and carrying me to the waiting room.
Setting me down a chair, I watched him with blurred vision as he headed to the information counter.
I laid down in the chair; curling up into a ball as I stared into space.
At some point Geno had come back and moved me onto his lap. “Evgeni?” I whispered quietly, not sure if I was even talking at all.
“What did they say… is he going to be alright?” I turned me head to look up at him as he pointedly stared away from me. “Evgeni?” He looked down at me and let out a sigh.
“I sorry.” Was all he said. It was all he needed to say. With renewed sobs I covered my face with my hands as Geno pulled me up against his chest. Holding onto me for dear life.