**Today’s prompt: an argument after a game. I had to think about exactly how I wanted to do this one. Enjoy!**
I slammed through the front door, anger seething in my gut, and dropped my equipment in the mudroom. Behind me, Henri entered more sedately. I caught his wince out of the corner of my eye when I threw my stick into the corner. I should be more careful, but I was too angry to care. I stomped into the kitchen, then yanked open the refrigerator door. The bottles clanked and clinked dangerously. I grabbed a beer off the lower shelf, slammed the door shut, then banged the bottle down on the counter to pry off the top.
“Please stop banging around.” Henri’s voice was quiet as he followed me into the kitchen, his words slightly accented from his formative years spent in Quebec.
I pointed a finger at him, scowling. “Don’t. Just don’t.”
His answering scowl was adorable, but I wouldn’t let his pretty face sway me from my anger. I had every right be pissed off and I wasn’t going to stop just because he was pleading with me with his big brown eyes.
“What would you have me do, Christopher?”
Always my full name. Never Chris like everyone else in the world. Not for Henri. Not since the moment we met when I joined the team and certainly not since my apartment building collapsed and I moved in with him because I needed a place to stay. And his voice, saying my full name, caused shivers to roll down my spine. But I was angry, dammit!
“I was wide open! Half the night, standing there with a hand on my ass, while you fucking refused to pass me the puck!”
Henri’s eyes blazed, color rising high on his cheeks, and he straightened to his full six two height. “Their defensemen were twice your size. And gunned for you every time you did have the puck.”
“I can handle myself on the ice!” I threw up my hands, slopping beer out of the bottle in my hand. I slammed it down on the counter and rounded on Henri again, pushing into his space. “It’s not up to you to make those kind of decisions. You play the game!”
He reached out, almost too fast for me to track, and he grabbed my shoulders. He pulled me in, right up against him, and then slid his hands into my hair, tilting my head back so he could look down into my eyes. “I will not have you hurt.”
The ferocity in his voice, the utter conviction, made me catch my breath. What the hell? His grip softened, turned into holding on instead of gripping, and I licked my lips, watching him. His exhalation was explosive.
“You got something to tell me, Henri?” I whispered.
For a long moment, he was silent. And I was sure, for just a second, that he was going to pull away. Then he sagged against me, and I held on, wrapping my arms around his waist. Henri slid his fingers into my hair.
“Yes,” he said with conviction. “I want us to stop pretending we don’t love each other, stop being roommates, stop sleeping in separate rooms. I want you to come to bed with me right now, and stay there all night. I want you to be mine, not just my friend who lives in my house.”
I swallowed hard. He was offering me everything I’d been craving for months, the thing I only dared to acknowledge to myself in the dead of night. I’d hoped, sure. We’d been dancing around each other since the beginning, and we’d fallen into an easy rhythm of cohabitation. But I didn’t allow myself to give it solid thought, because I couldn’t be entirely sure.
But now he was staring at me, his eyes full of warmth and affection, desire and need, and a little bit of worry. I knew he was speaking the absolute truth. Henri never minced words.
The longer I was silent, the more the worry replaced the lust, and I couldn’t allow that. Not when I wanted him so much.
I lifted up onto my toes, closed the few inches between us, and kissed him.