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The Power of Memories

Chapter 18 + 19 + 20

March came and so did Mika. Tuukka had helped her to organize everything so that she could live with him. It was what they both wanted. Mika would continue studying as far as she could.
Tuukka was ecstatic. He’d never played better. When Mika was around he was calmer and on the ice he was a beast. In the last five games he’d stopped every puck that had gone his way. The team was already fond of Mika, now that she was closer and would bear their teammate’s child, they liked her even more. She made Tuukka head to practice with a smile on his face.
Mika’s move to Boston was good for Kara and Abby as well. They could have girls nights more often and it would be more fun. Starting tomorrow. The Bruins would leave in the morning for another road trip, so Mika, Kara and Abby would meet at Benoit’s home for movies and food. Abby would provide the cupcakes.
Since the opening of the bakery she’d seen Gregory every evening he was in town. When he’d come to her after a game or she’d gone home with him, they’d most of the time snuggled up in bed and talked or watched a movie. Just like years ago. It was comfortable.
Gregory had come to her with Italian food and two bottles of wine. He’d rented Fever Pitch, a movie they both loved, so that they had a nice movie to watch after the meal.
Over the food Gregory told her about practice that day and their shot at the Cup this year. It was looking good so far, but there were still enough games left to play to turn all this around. They had a good shot at the cup with the current team but it depended on the playoffs. Last year’s loss still stung and they were even more eager to win this year. Bring the Cup back to Boston.
Abby had enough work for the next weeks. There were a few parties for which she’d make cakes, cupcakes and different other things. Then there was the daily work. Her shop was open, but she made most of the money with the parties. It was going really well. In a few days she’d even welcome an engaged couple to talk about a wedding cake. Okay, it would be her first wedding cake, but she knew that she could do it. She’d already had plenty of ideas she’d written down. Maybe something would go along with what the couple had in mind.
After dinner Abby got up and put the dishes and the trash in the kitchen. She busied herself at the dishwasher. Gregory leaned in the doorframe, his eyes set on her. She could even feel his gaze.
“What?” She demanded when she turned around, trying hard to keep a straight face.
For a moment he said nothing, but then he shook his head and looked down.
“Oh, come on. I know something is up.” She walked up to him. “I’ve known you long enough, you seem to forget that sometimes.”
“Actually, I never forget that.”
Abby ran her hands up his chest, locked her fingers behind his neck. Immediately Greg closed his arms around her and held her tight to his chest. Warmth spread through Abby. She even allowed herself to close her eyes. She could stay like this forever. Feeling safe and treasured, warm and happy.
“What is it then?” she mumbled against his chest.
He sighed. “You know that I’ll come here immediately after we land back in Boston, don’t you?”
“I was hoping you’d do that.”
Abby knew that this wasn’t everything, but she wouldn’t pressure him into telling her right now. She’d try again later. But “later” turned into the next morning. She’d fallen asleep while watching Fever Pitch.
Gregory was already getting dressed when she woke up. He seemed distracted somehow and had the same look on his face as he’d had the night before.
“What’s on your mind?” Abby asked, still sleepy, her hair a tousled mess atop her head. When he saw her like that, he had to smile. She probably thought she looked horrible. She usually did in the morning, but she looked gorgeous. Good enough to make him want to crawl back into bed and miss his flight to Philadelphia.
“Nothing,” he said with a grin. “Go back to sleep.”
She watched him go back to the bathroom again. When he returned, he looked a little calmer. She would go back to sleep for another hour when he was gone.
He leaned down to her and kissed her. A kiss that lingered and left her lips tingling when he straightened again. Her heart beat rapidly in her chest, her smile grew.
At the door he turned around to her. “God, I love you, Abby. I think I never stopped loving you. I’ll see you in five days.” And then he was gone.
Abby looked at the empty spot at the door, shocked. Had he really just told her that he loved her? A warm feeling spread through her body, mingled with nausea.
“Oh God,” she mumbled to herself and buried her face in her hands.

“He did WHAT?” Kara blinked a couple of times, unable to process what Abby had just told them.
Abby had asked her and Mika to come to her place. The men were gone and they could watch the game together. But while they watched it, Abby had to tell them what Gregory had said to her. She needed advice. Badly.
“Have you talked to him since then?” Mika asked, lying down on her back, head propped up on a pillow. She’d been feeling nauseous all day.
“No. It’s probably good that he left me alone, because I don’t know how I would have reacted.” Abby hugged her knees, her eyes fixed on the TV. The Bruins were up one goal, but it was only the first period.
“Now that you’ve had time to think about it, how do you feel?” Kara poured a glass of wine for Abby and handed it to her before pouring a glass for herself.
“Scared shitless?”
“Oh, come on.” Kara scowled at her. Mika stayed quiet, following their discussion.
“I’m serious.” Suddenly close to tears Abby took a steadying breath. She would not cry right now. This was ridiculous. “How do I know if I can trust him?”
“Apart from the proposal thing years ago, has he ever given you a reason not to trust him?” Kara stared at her friend long and hard. A few seconds ticked by. “Well?”
“No.” Abby downed half her wine and got up. Watching the game wasn’t a good idea. It distracted her more and more. “He hasn’t. But I can’t get over the fact that he left me without a word.”
“Oh for crying out loud,” Mika burst out. “He handled it the wrong way but he told you that he wanted to explain it to you, didn’t he? If your aunt had given him your number this could have been over years ago. I know it must have been hard one you, but he tried back then and he’s trying now. He supported you with the bakery. Just the way he looks at you is enough for everyone around you to see that he really does love you. It’s not like he wants to marry you right now. Give the guy a fucking chance. It’s been working out for you two until now.”
Stunned by Mika’s outburst, Abby stared at her. She’d never heard Mika talk like that. She was usually very calm. Of course she spoke her mind, but rarely raised her voice and never had like this in Abby’s presence. But she was right.
“So, how do you feel about him, with him?” Kara tried with a gentler tone than Mika had used before. Slowly she reached for Abby’s hand and tugged her back on the sofa. She was getting annoyed by her pacing around the room.
“I don’t know.” Abby put her head on Kara’s shoulder and closed her eyes. “I really enjoy being with him. He’s wonderful, but something is still holding me back.”
“You have to let go.” Kara kissed the top of her head.
If Abby was completely honest with herself, she had to admit that apart from the nausea she’d felt after his words, she’d felt happiness. A kind of happiness she hadn’t felt in a long time. She would deal with that when Gregory came back to Boston.
An hour after Kara and Mika had left, Gregory called her. They’d won the game and he’d scored the game-winning goal. He was back at the hotel, lying in bed.
“I wanted to talk to you.”
Abby sat down on her sofa, turned the volume of the TV down and snuggled up in her blanket. She couldn’t stop her heart from beating faster when she heard his voice.
“Did you see the game?”
“I watched it with Mika and Kara. You rocked.”
“It was a great game. Some of the guys went out for beers, but I’m too exhausted to be honest. And talking to you on the phone is a lot better, since we have to get up early again tomorrow.”
“Oh, so you’re only calling me, because I won’t take up that much time?”
“I didn’t mean it that way. I’m sorry, Abby, I –“
“Relax!” She laughed and closed her eyes. “I was just teasing you.”
“Oh, I see.” He waited until her laughter subsided, before he continued. “Listen… I didn’t want to put pressure on you or anything this morning. I couln’t keep this to myself anymore. You don’t have to say anything to this, okay? We can talk when I get back.”
“That sounds like a good idea.” Relieved that he realized that it hadn’t been one of his best moves, Abby smiled to herself. He’d meant what he’d said. Now it was up to her to find out what she really wanted and whether she’d try to trust him again or not.

Just as he’d promised, Gregory rang the bell to Abby’s apartment after they’d landed in Boston. He had his suitcase with him and he was tired, but he needed to see her. It was already past midnight, but he was hoping that she was still awake. She wouldn’t have to talk to him or anything. Just seeing her would be enough for him.
When she buzzed him up, relief washed over him. Full of adrenaline and not patient enough to wait for the elevator, he bundled up the stairs. Dressed in shorts and a tanktop, Abby stood in her door waiting for him. Her hair was a mess, her eyes barely open, but a smile was playing on her lips.
“Ahh shit. I didn’t want to wake you.” Feeling guilty, he put his suitcase down inside her apartment, shut the door and wrapped his arms tightly around her. Immediately she snuggled up to him.
“It’s okay. I should have expected you. I was just too exhausted to stay up.” Her voice was hoarse when she spoke, her body warm against his, because she’d just gotten out of bed.
Carefully he pushed her hair back from her face before he kissed her. Slow, sweet kisses that he’d been missing for about a week. But he had to stop now. He scooped Abby up and carried her to her bedroom. She already got back under the blanket and watched him undress until he was only in his boxer briefs and could finally join her.
Gregory pulled her close to his chest, spread his fingers over her stomach and inhaled the scent of her hair. He could stay like this forever. Abby fell back asleep very quickly. It took Gregory another hour to reach that state, but it didn’t bother him. It was a great feeling to be with her. Just watching her sleep made him grin like an idiot. Perhaps it was being with her, watching her, that made him have trouble falling asleep.
When he woke the next morning the bed was empty. He groaned inwardly. All week he’d been looking forward to waking up next to her, even waking her up with kisses, making love to her in bed before they got up to take a shower together. And here he was. All alone. The smell of coffee and fresh bread rolls in the air.
With a sigh he got up and headed straight for the kitchen. There she was. Still dressed in her sleeping attire she stood in front of the stove making pancakes. The bread rolls were already on the table as well as coffee.
“Come back to bed with me,” Gregory pleaded, crossing his arms over his chest. Abby swiveled round and broke out in a smile.
“How about we eat breakfast and then we go back to bed?” She put the pancakes on the table and took her seat. “You need food and so do I.”
For a moment he kept staring at her, trying to get her to get up again. Finally he threw up his hands and joined her at the table. “Fine.”
“It’s a compromise.”
“Okay, okay. You’re right.” He was trying hard to suppress a smile.
The food was delicious but Gregory didn’t expect anything else from her. He was hungrier than he’d first thought, but luckily Abby had made enough pancakes. He was more than ready to return to bed with her now.
“I need to clean up first.” She got up to put the plates in the sink.
“No you don’t.” Gregory grabbed her around the middle and lifted her up. She tried to protest, but he didn’t let her. Only in the bedroom he put her down on the bed and immediately covered her with his body, pressing her to the mattress. “I’ll clean up in a bit, okay? You won’t have to do anything.” He started kissing down the side of her throat and took his time at her collarbone.
“Mhh okay,” Abby mumbled. Her eyes drifted shut. When she ran her fingernails up his back to his head, he sighed. This made it harder for him to concentrate.
When he tried to kiss her shoulder, Abby gave him a little shove. Perplexed he pushed his body off hers and stared down at her. Abby put her hands on his shoulders and turned them around so that she was now sitting on the top of his thighs. Her fingernails grazed his chest hair.
“I missed you,” she whispered when she leaned down to kiss his lips. That was all he’d wanted to her. She might not have told him that she loved him, but this was pretty damn close in his opinion.


I enjoyed this also,
Tento2 Tento2
This story was so good! I really enjoyed reading it.
Fairart Fairart
your writing is terrific! so engaging please post more :)
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