Friday, February 12, 2010

Fire and Ice

Title: Fire and Ice
Authors: Rolf and Gayspankee

There was twenty seconds left on the clock. The puck came whizzing down the ice, right onto the rookie's stick. He looked straight ahead, there was no one standing between him and the net, except for one of the greatest goalies in theNHL . The crowd was on it's feet, chanting in unison "Xander, Xander". He skated quickly down the ice, maintaining perfect puck control. The twenty one year old rookie was mere inches from a long time idol. He pulled back his stick, and began shaking uncontrollably.

"Xander. Xander! Time to get up." A soft voice spoke.

Xander jolted from slumber. He sat up abruptly and surveyed the room. He quickly realized he had been woken from a wonderful dream.

"Jeremmmmmmyyyyyy. Why couldn't you wait 
ONE more minute?" Xander said, laying back down and turning to his lover.

"I take it I woke you from something wonderful."


"Was I there?"

"I am sure you were."

"You mean the dream WASN'T about me?"

Xander smiled, leaned over and kissed Jeremy good morning.

"No it wasn't, it was about the other love of my life."

"Ah, I see. So which one was it this time?"

"It felt like the Stanley Cup one."

"X, some day you WILL be there."

"It doesn't feel that way Jer. Not in this league."

"You have to start somewhere. After all you WERE drafted by the AHL."

"Yes I was. And I was quickly sent to the ECHL."

"And fortunately for you, it is in your hometown. You are legend here."

"I want to be a legend somewhere else."

"X if you keep playing like you have, you will be. But I suggest you get rolling if you are gonna make it to practice!"

Xander stretched hard and wide, and sat up. He slowly dragged himself out of bed and into the bathroom. Jeremy was already dressed and ready for work. He got off the bed and made it. Xander releived himself and returned to the bedroom.

"When can I expect you?" Xander asked.

"Today's my double love. So I won't be home before 
2am . You have left overs in the fridge."

"Meatloaf again?"

"Hey, you always said you liked my meatloaf."

"Not three days in a row."

"You are impossible! If you don't want that, get a pizza. Just no junk food. You know you are on a STRICT diet for the season."

"Yes, sir."

"Any plans after practice?"

"Not really, nothing I can think of."

"Well just don't glue yourself to the computer all evening. The laundry is backing up."

"Don't worry. I won't just sit around."

"And be in bed by 11. You got a busy weekend coming up."

"I WILL! Sheesh. YOU be careful, you're the one with the dangerous job," Xander said as he padded out of the room and downstairs.

Jeremy smiled and followed him after grabbing his belt.

Alexander got out a box of cereal and a bowl and poured some milk in. Once that was ready he poured himself a glass of juice and settled at the table.

Jeremy came in and kissed him on the forehead. "I'll see you tonight, and you'll see me tomorrow. Please start the laundry tonight, alright?"

"Yes, yes, yes," Xander said between bites. "Go, go. I can take care of things."

Jeremy laughed as he headed out the door. "Be GOOD!"

Alexander finished up his breakfast and left the dishes on the counter top for later. He quickly got into his sweats and a tshirt and grabbed his bag. He nearly fell down the stairs going too fast, but caught himself and made it out to the car without any more problems.

As Xander rounded the corner, he nearly hit a car that was stopped in the middle of the street. "Damned Bitch! This is a street, NOT a parking lot!" he fumed, pulling around the car quickly, tires squealing in protest. He went in the back gate and parked near the back entrance to the arena, spotting a team mate on the way in.

"Timo! How was the date last night?"

Timo grabbed himself and grinned wickedly.

Jeremy shook his head, slapping Timo on the back. "Didn't know you had it in you Big Guy," he said, laughing.

"Neither did she!"

They were in the early arrivals bunch, those trying to make it up the team roster and into the next level. There was a lot of joking in the locker room as they donned their gear and laced up their skates, heading out for some warm up skating and drill work before the rest of the team arrived and the real practice began. Xander worked with Timo a lot, passing the puck between them and firing it at the goal when one missed it. Thirty minutes into that one of the goalies arrived on ice and they changed their routines and started trying to fire it past him.

"Gotcha!" Kipper said as he snagged a bullet from off of Xander's stick.

"How did you know I was shooting there?" Xander demanded, stopping in front of Kipper. "I faked a shot to the low slot."

"Every time you fake a shot to the low slot, you shoot high and right," Kipper said, dropping the puck back onto the ice. "You need to mix that up a bit," Kipper said, skating back down the ice as the coach had arrived. "You're easy to read that way."

Xander followed him slowly, trying to remember if he'd always done that. And if Kipper was catching on, then he was damned sure that the other goalies would do the same and he'd never score. He filed that away for further reference as the coach began giving out drill assignments.

After a grueling practice, most of the team headed to the locker room for a much needed shower. Xander opted for a few minutes alone on the ice. He skated down the ice with percision, maintaining that perfect puck control, just like in his dream. He got to the front of the net and faked low, shooting high.

"Damnit! I DO do that, just like clockwork!" Xander exclaimed.

"Yes you do. But it gives you a signature move," The coach responded, watching the young man skating alone.

Xander jumped, and nearly tripped at the sound of another voice.

"Jeez coach, didn't realize anyone was still out."

"Sorry about that. Make sure you bring that effort with you this weekend. Rumor has it there will be scouts around. And if you keep giving your all, as I have seen, I'll be looking high and low to replace you."

Xander smiled, tossing the puck around on his stick.

"Go on, hit the showers, save it for the game."

"Okay. Thanks coach." Xander skated off and headed for the shower. After getting dressed, he headed over to the weight room and rode one of the bikes for a solid thirty minutes to loosen his muscles. He slapped Timo on the back as he headed out the door. "See you tomorrow!"

He drove over to the mall, looking for something to do. He was tired of sitting at home alone, and was NOT interested in meatloaf for lunch or dinner. He went into the food court and spent a good twenty dollars on bits and pieces from the various storefronts, ending up with enough food for an army. He settled down at a table, alone, and began eating. He didn't miss the excited whispering a couple of college girls were doing, nor their furtive looks his way. He DID enjoy the attention most of the time, but today wasn't one of those days.

After eating about half of what he bought, he tossed the rest in the trash and wandered around the mall aimlessly. At least during the weekdays, he didn't have to worry about the kids spotting and hounding him. He just walked out of the kitchen store when he spotted the candy store next door. He looked longingly in the windows at the various sweets. Finally he couldn't stand it any longer and went in, sniffing appreciatively.

He was an athlete. He'd been through the rigorous physicals and been through so many lectures about healthy eating that he could probably write a book about it. But all that knowledge did nothing to kill his sweet tooth. He also knew from the last few physicals that he was close to being diabetic. He was warned that he needed to limit sugar and eat on a regular schedule to keep from developing the disease. But that ALSO didn't kill the sweet tooth. He fought with himself for only a moment, before caving in. He purchased only a small amount, figuring that the solid meal he had just finished should help. After purchasing his treasure, he went straight out to the car to savor it.

After eating three pieces of chocolate and one piece of hard candy, he headed home. Once there, he flipped on the television and settled in for his afternoon shows, savoring the rest of his candy. When finished, he placed both of the bags in his jacket pockets so he could dispose of them back at the rink. Jeremy had a second sense about junk, and he was going to take NO chances on getting those bags found in the trash.

When the evening news came on, Xander got up and tossed a load of laundry in the washer, then tried to decide what to eat. After opening the fridge and staring at it for five minutes, he shut the door. Then he opened the freezer, stared at it for a while, shut the door. He headed into the pantry, stood and stared for a few minutes. When nothing jumped off the shelf at him, he headed back to the fridge and started the routine again. Finally he gave up and headed into the office and settled down at the computer. After surfing for an hour, he headed back out to the fridge and tried again. Finally the meatloaf sounded the easiest to fix, so he tossed that in the microwave to warm up. He grabbed a can of green beans from the pantry and threw that on the stove on high. While those were cooking, he finally remembered the laundry and took what was in the washer and put it in the dryer, and tossed another load in the washer. He headed back to the stove and rescued the green beans just before the water had boiled away, and pulled out the meatloaf, settling on the sofa to watch more television while he ate.

After eating, he tossed the dishes on the counter and went back to the computer. He checked his mail, all of the hockey sites, then stuck in his latest game. And as was the usual case, became completely engrossed and forgot about the rest of the world. He looked up and got a nasty shock as he realized it was 
ten after eleven . "SHIT!" He quickly saved his game and shut the computer down, then headed into the kitchen for a quick drink. That's when he realized the dishes weren't done. He kenw Jeremy would be upset, given he had all day to clean up after himself, so he worked feverishly for twenty minutes getting the kitchen straight, nearly breaking a glass as he washed it too quickly. Once that was done he flew upstairs and got ready for bed, hitting the bed at 11:30 . He just hoped Jeremy wouldn't ask him his exact bedtime.

Jeremy pulled into the drive at 
2am on the dot. The day had been an easy one with only one call out for medical assistance. He left his jacket hanging in the mudroom and entered the kitchen, pulling a glass out for some water. As he poured the water, he shook his head slowly as he saw the dishes were still wet, which meant Alexander didn't get them done until LATE. He then headed into the laundry room and became slightly annoyed that nothing was hanging up or folded. He and Alexander were going to have a discussion tomorrow about getting chores done before anything else.

He headed upstairs, leaving the laundry as it was, and got ready for bed, sliding in without disturbing Xander. Most of the time it would take an A-bomb to awaken his partner anyway. He kissed him on the cheek, whispering "I love you," and went to sleep.

The alarm went off at 
8 am .

"Wake up Xander. Time to get up." He shook Alexander until he got a groan and one eye opened.

"Noooooo," Xander said, snuggling deeper under the covers.

"Yeeeesssss," Jeremy said, pulling the covers back. "You need breakfast before practice. And you can't be late today or you won't start on Saturday."

Xander slowly sat up, cracking his other eye open. He realized too that it was Friday and practices before game days were definitely required.

"You have a good practice today, and come straight home afterwards," Jeremy said as he shut the alarm off.

"Why?" Xander said, really too sleepy to argue anyway.

"Because I said so." Jeremy kissed Xander on the cheek and laid back down. "Please be quiet while you're getting ready, and I'll see you around 
11:30 ."

"Okay," Xander said, standing up.

Jeremy turned over and was promptly back to sleep.


The next two and half hours flew by. Jeremy rolled over to peek at the clock, and was stunned to see it was going on 11. Jeremy streched, and laid there staring at the ceiling for a couple minutes. But he didn't waste too much time before getting up. He wanted to be showered and have chores lined up for when Xander arrived home. Jeremy went directly into the bathroom, and showered. He made it short and sweet, and toweled off. He wrapped the towel around his waist and returned to the bedroom. He decided today would be a good day to wash the bedding, or rather have Xander wash the bedding. He quickly stripped the bed. Jeremy went over to the drawer, and pulled out fresh underwear. He slid them under the towel, and removed the towel, tossing it with the bedding. He walked over to the closet, to get his jeans and shirt, and found Xander's jacket hanging on the knob, instead of inside where it belonged. He sniffed it, and decided that it too needed to be washed. He tossed it on the pile, and went in for his clothes. Jeremy dressed, and returned to the bathroom for the rest of the towels. He tossed them on the pile, and went downstairs.

Alexander took an extra long shower after practice, having given 110%. He stopped for gas on the way home, not wanting to take any chances with the game tomorrow. He'd gotten lazy one day and not filled it up, running out of gas on his way to a game. He was twenty minutes late and the coach stuck him on the 4th line that night, cutting his ice time from the normal forty minutes down to ten. He'd not forgotten that lesson.

He pulled into the drive about 
11:45 , parking in the garage and shutting the door behind him. He entered the kitchen to find Jeremy at work on lunch.

"Hi. Sleep well?" he asked, wrapping his arms around Jeremy's neck for a long kiss.

"Hi yourself. And yes, slept very well. How was practice?"

"It was good. As of the end of practice, I'm starting tomorrow night. And there's supposed to be scouts there!" Xander finished happily, snagging a carrot from the cutting board.

"Get your gear put up and we'll eat."

Jeremy took another carrot and grabbed his bag, heading upstairs. He bounced back down two minutes later. "What do you want to drink?"

"Iced tea please. And get the mustard."

Xander poured a glass of tea and grabbed a coke for himself, settling at the table. "Oh, mustard." He got back up and took that out of the fridge and sat back down.

Jeremy placed two plates on the table with a couple of sandwiches each on them, along with some carrot sticks and celery. He was ever mindful of Alexander's diet.

"Mmmm, turkey and tomato," Xander said, biting hungrily into one of them.

"So you had a good practice?" Jeremy asked, putting a thin layer of mustard on his top layer of bread before taking a bite himself.

"Yes. Tell me something. Have you ever noticed how I shoot?"

"Well, and often?" Jeremy said.

Xander laughed. "Aside from that. I mean, if I fake, do you always see me doing the same shot after it?"

Jeremy took a moment to think that one over. ".....Low, then high?"

Xander put his sandwich down and turned to look Jeremy in the eyes. "YOU know that?" he asked in surprise.

"I DO watch you know," Jeremy said, laughing. "I can't say as you do that all the time, but I do remember seeing it before."

"Kipper said that to me yesterday. All practice it got under my skin today. Without thinking, that's what I keep doing. I'll NEVER score if I'm in a rut like that."

"You've scored plenty of times, Xander. And if you let this get under your skin, you're going to lose your concentration. Shooting is a split second decision most times, and you're going to have to let it fly on instinct rather than stopping to think about what you're doing."

"Yeah, I guess you're right," Xander agreed. "Maybe I should go back to the rink this afternoon and just try some shooting."

"No, that's the last thing you need. Light practices before gamedays. Aside from that, you and I have some items to discuss."

Xander was in the process of chewing, and it took him a moment to swallow as The Tone registered. "What?" he asked cautiously when he'd cleared his mouth.

"Let's start with what time you got into bed last night?"

Xander picked up his water and took a swig, using that time to try and formulate the correct answer. Unfortunately, water doesn't change 
11:30 to 11:00 . "It was close to 11," he tried valiantly.

"The TIME Xander," Jeremy said, used to bratspeak.

Xander couldn't fight the involuntary flush that crept into his cheeks. He ducked his head. "It was closer to 
11:30 ."

"That's what I thought. So you'll be in bed tonight at 10, and we're coming straight home after the game tomorrow."

"But Jeremy, they'll go out for drinks!"

"But no. You're expected to take care of yourself while I'm not here, and if you don't, then I'll step in and make those decisions for you. You had 
ALL afternoon and evening to do whatever you wanted, there is no excuse for getting to bed late."

"Yes, sir," Xander said with resignation.

"As for today, since you were so eager to carry the laundry over to today, you can do another three loads."

"Jjjeeerrrrreeemmmmyyy! I HATE doing laundry."

"Xander it's not like you have to go down to the river and beat it against a rock, although that may be one way to get you to do your chores."

"But I DID do my chores."

"Come with me!" Stand up and goes into laundry room, and opens dryer. "What is this?"

"Well they 
ARE clean."

"And clean clothes belong WHERE?"

"Folded and in the closet or drawer sir." Xander replied thru gritted teeth.

"Come with me, I will help you carry the next load down." Jeremy said as he walked upstairs to his pile.

Xander followed reluctantly and soon saw the pile that awaited.

"Jeremyyyyy, what did you do, use EVERY towel in the house?"

"No X, that would be YOU! I swear I have never seen anyone use so many towel for such a small body. Speaking of body, doesn't your practice gear need to be washed?"

Xander looked at the floor, as if in thought.

"Get them 
NOW , do it while you are actually DOING laundry."

Xander went to the closet to fetch his gear. He returned a moment later with his clothes. Jeremy had already grabbed a handful and had headed down. Xander picked up the remaining clothes, muttering fiercely, and headed downstairs as well. Entering the laundry room, he found Jeremy holding up his jacket......and the empty candy bag.

"What is this?"

"Trash," Xander said, dropping the clothes in a pile on the floor. "Why are you going through my pockets anyway?"

"I was cleaning them out so we didn't have tissues all over everything. Where did this come from?"

JUST trash!" Alexander said, turning to leave the room.

 JUST a minute, young man," Jeremy said sternly, putting the jacket on the washing machine. "This had chocolate in it at one time. Was it yours?"

Xander had stopped at the tone and turned slowly back around. When asked directly, he had no choice but to furnish the truth. "Yes, sir," he said slowly, eyes dropping.

Jeremy took a moment to breathe, wanting to avoid an explosion. Xander's stomach took a tumble as he waited. Jeremy couldn't quite keep the anger out of his voice.

"Alexander, we've talked about this, MANY times. What is it you can't remember that sugar is so VERY not good for you?! Do you REALLY wish to push your sugar levels high enough to trigger the diabetic response? Do you want to live with that disease the rest of your life? Do you?!"

Xander's lip slipped out, and hot tears stung his eyes. "I'm sorry, I just was ONLY a small amount!"

"It doesn't matter that's it's small! You're supposed to watch your diet very carefully. That didn't happen with this, did it?"

"One tiny piece isn't going to kill me." Xander replied defensively.

"Can you guarantee that?"

Xander stared at the floor.

"No Xander you CAN NOT!"

"I'm sorry. I won't do it again."

"You shouldn't have done it THIS time. Didn't we have a long discussion a few months back about this?"

"Yes sir. I am sorry."

"Sorry? This disease could and WOULD change and effect your - OUR - entire life. Do you understand that?" Jermey asked sternly.

Xander was quiet and stared at the floor. He hadn't given much thought to anything the night before, except for the taste he missed so dearly.

"Look at me Xander." Jermey replied, taking hold of Xander's chin.

Xander looked up, tears welling in his eyes.

"Do you understand the seriousness of this?"

"Yes, sir." Xander replied quietly.

"Since my lecture didn't make a lasting impression, I hope a good spanking will. You can remove your shorts and underwear and wait for me at the dining room table."

Xander's eyes widened. "Jeremy?"

"You heard me. Go."

"Ppplllleeeeasssseee? I'm sooorrrrrrrry."

"I am sorry? Is that what you or the doctor are going to tell me when you are diagnosed with the disease? I am sorry? Is that what you are going to tell me every time you are injected with insulin?"

Tears rolled down Xander's cheeks, the words piercing, knowing for the first time the seriousness of the matter. Xander began walking to the dining room, fiddling with his shorts as he went. Jermey walked to the kitchen, and stood over the sink. He breathed heavily, amazed he made it through that lecture stone faced. Xander was his life, and he couldn't believe how much his young lover was willing to risk for a piece of chocolate. He walked over to the drawer and pulled out the wooden spoon. He wiped a tear from his own eye, and headed into the dining room.

Alexander had removed his shorts, taking the time to carefully fold them and place them in a chair for lack of anything else to do. His stomach was churning, wondering what, exactly, Jeremy was going to do. There hadn't been an over abundance of spanking in their time together, but when Jeremy was trying to get a point across, it was usually painful. He swallowed on a dry throat as he heard Jeremy's footsteps, and sucked in painfully when he saw the spoon.

"I thought I said remove shorts 
AND underwear?" Jeremy asked in an even voice.

"Y..yes, I..." Xander stuttered as he worked his underwear down just below his bottom.

"Turn around, bend over the table."

Xander's tears welled and rolled down his cheeks again as he slowly turned around and faced the table. He placed his hands on the surface and bent forward a little.

"On your elbows," Jeremy demanded.

He bent further over, resting on his elbows, his head resting on his arms. He felt entirely too vulnerable in this position. Cold chills ran up his back as he felt Jeremy's hand placed in the center of his back.

"You stay in that position, is that clear?"

"Y..yes, sir," Xander said miserably.

"If you can't remember that excess sugar is bad for you, then I hope you can remember you don't want to be in this position again," Jeremy said, raising the spoon up and bringing it down sharply on Xander's left cheek.

Alexander heard the spank a split second before it's sting blossomed full strength. He jerked forward and a little to the right, trying to move his bottom from the target area, when a second swat landed on his right cheek. His head shot up as he gritted his teeth hard against the yell he wanted to make.

Jeremy kept focused on the task at hand, thoroughly reddening the dancing bottom in front of him. He didn't like spanking his lover, but if that kept him safe and healthy, then so be it.

Xander worked hard at controlling his sobbing and his yelling for the first ten or so swats from the spoon, but that was about all he could handle. Trying to breath around the tears caught in his throat was impossible, and finally the dam broke, the sobs bursting forth with a vengeance, interspersed with moans when Jeremy hit a particularly sensitive area of skin. He knew he deserved this, but couldn't help begging for Jeremy to stop as it hurt so bad. He soon gave up, the words becoming incoherent. He alternated weight on his feet, head up and down, but nothing stopped the spoon from falling.

Alexander was still dancing in place when he realized that there weren't any new blossoms of pain. His head immediately went down on his arms on the table, his cries echoing loudly against the wooden table top.

Jeremy left him in place for a moment or two, letting him get on top of the pain. "Come here," he said, putting a hand on his arm.

Xander stood up and quickly plastered himself against Jeremy's chest, letting the sobs wash over him. He hissed when Jeremy's hands gently pulled his underwear back in place, and walked slowly with him into the living room, settling down in his lap and accepting tissues as Jeremy handed them to him. He took a long while to settle down, the pain in his backside the least of his worries. When he finally had enough room in between his hitching breaths, he apologized.

"I know you're sorry, Xander, but we can't have that. We can't have you making this mistake over and over. Sorry won't EVER be enough if you end up with this disease. Some people aren't given the opportunity to fight against it, like you are right now. Some just develop it and have to live with it. That may happen with you, but there's a way you can fight against it now, and that's watching your diet stictly, along with exercise which you do get enough of. If you develop diabetes, we will survive with it. But as long as there is something we can do to fight it, I'm going to be standing behind you, pushing you to do your absolute best in that fight, even if it means blistering your tail seven days a week. You got that kiddo?"

Xander nodded, fresh tears streaking his reddened cheeks.

"Then I'd like you to stand in the corner and think hard about that. Make sure you remember it well." Jeremy put Xander on his feet and steered him in the direction of the corner.

Xander went over and tried to melt into the corner wall, fighting back the urge of pity crying. He worked on controlling his breathing and got past that. He even managed a hint of a smile at his predicament, thankful that NO 
ONE on the hockey team had a clue that his boyfriend spanked him. The smile disappeared almost as soon as it appeared as his bottom was still hot and aching.

Jeremy allowed Xander to calm down and collect himself for the next twenty minutes. Once Xander stopped the staggering hiccups, he started shifting from foot to foot, bored. Once Jeremy felt the message was across, he retrieved Xander's shorts from the dining room.

"Time's up kiddo!" Jeremy waited until Xander turned around, and tossed him his shorts.

Xander cautiously pulled them into place, wincing as they made contact with his backside.

"Get cracking on the rest of that laundry. And while you are waiting between cycles, you can clean the bathrooms."

"Jeremmmmmyyy." Xander said, trying to plead out of bathroom duty.

"Would you care to try that response again?"

"Yes, sir." Xander replied reluctantly, before turning and heading back to the laundry room.


"Time! Time!" The coach hollered from the bench. The skaters slid to their respective benches, huddling before their coach.

"Guys we are down a goal. We have 120 seconds to make something happen. I don't want to pull Kipper if we don't have to. Timo I want you to take the draw. You win the draw and pass the puck to Xander. It's up to you to get that puck up ice."

Xander nodded before grabbing the water bottle and spraying it into his mouth. He skated back to the faceoff circle near their own goal, patting Kipper's pads as he skated past. The crowd was rather quiet, the announcer telling the folks of the upcoming games. Xander's world shrunk, the sounds and faces of the crowd blurring into background noise. His breathing was loud in his own ears, his body bent and resting across his stick which was across his legs. He skated into place, catching Timo's eyes as he skated to the faceoff dot.

Xander checked out his opponents, their placement and who it was. He noticed that it was Shane Reinhart that was paired with him, the brought his focus back to the puck. The linesman checked out all players on the ice, asking two to back up out of the circle, then turned back towards the two faceoff opponents.

Timo had his stick ready, and as soon as the puck left the linesman's hand, he whacked at his opponents stick, then quickly swept the puck towards Xander, turning his body into his opponent and shoving him down.

Xander took two quick strides towards the puck, pushing it out in front of him a little, and angling his body into Shane's. He skated down the ice, Shane all over him, but no one in front. He jammed his skate into the ice and twisted backwards, keeping the puck on the tip of his stick. Shane twisted and fell down, unable to match the lightening quick movements of his opponent. He stretched full length on the ice and tried to poke check the puck away, just missing it by inches, but tripping Xander down.

Xander had danced around Shane and was focusing on the goal when Shane's stick pulled his leg out from under him. He did the only thing he could and shoveled the puck towards the net, hoping for a touch of luck. The puck was rocking in the air, and glanced off the goal tender's glove straight into the back of the net. Xander threw his hands in the air as he skated around the goal, Timo nearly knocking him to the ice as they collided for their celebration. Xander let the sound of the crowd wash over him. Once all five guys on the ice were finshed congratulating each other, Xander skated past his bench, hitting each's guy's glove for luck.

The coach was yelling his instructions, changing up defenses but leaving Timo and Xander out, two of his better players. Timo lined up at the center faceoff dot and waited for the puck to be dropped. The linseman dropped the puck and Timo missed it, the puck going to his opponent and then to their right winger. Just as that registered, the whistle blew. Timo and Xander looked up, and saw their best defenseman squaring off with "The Sheriff" on the other team. The crowd, as usual, got to it's feet and yelled.

Goose punched the sheriff square in the nose, blood spurting almost instantly. He backed up and let the linesman escort him to the box, the sheriff's angry taunts following him but not bothering him. He was provoked, and the guy got what he deserved, and hopefully more time.

It took a few minutes for the refs to decide on their call and get the ice cleaned up. Xander and Timo used that time to rest against the boards, wondering what the call was going to be.

"Number 36, white, five for fighting. Number 45, blue, two for instigating, five for fighting and ten minute misconduct," the announcer blared as the refs told the benches the call. That immediately caused the opponents to use their only time out as there was still just over a minute to play and now they were going to be down one man.

Xander and Timo listened to their coach with the plans, then skated out to center ice to take the draw again.

Timo won the draw, passing the puck to the right winger who skated down the ice. The opponents set up shop around the goal, intent on keeping the puck out. Jason passed the puck to Timo, who passed it to Xander. Xander returned the pass, skating a little closer to the goal. He glanced up at the clock, seeing forty-five seconds remaining. He tapped his stick on the ice, and Jason sent a rink wide pass in his direction. The two defensemen backed up, ready for a problem. The opponent's right winger intercepted the pass and put the jets on, skating towards the goal on a short-handed chance. Pavel made a beautiful poke-check on the opponent, the puck sliding to the second defensemen. He looked up to see Xander in the center of the ice, basically alone. He did a touch pass to Xander and watched.

Xander took the pass and skated towards the goal alone. The roar of the crowd didn't register with Xander, all he could hear was the puck on his stick, his skates cutting the ice, and the goal tender in front of him chanting "I've got you, I've got you." Xander had the room and flicked the puck to his backhand, trying to get the goal tender to bobble, but the goaltender was standing steady. He flicked the puck back to his right, faked a shot, then let it rip. The goal tender brought his glove up, and cursed as the puck went sailing cleanly beneath his glove.

Xander went to one knee, pumping his fist, as the horn blared, signaling a goal. He stood back up as his team mates surrounded him, hats starting to pepper the ice.

"Great job man, a hat-trick!"

"Never seen you shoot cleaner."

"You faked the goalie out, great job!"

Xander smiled from ear to ear, skating back to the bench. He took a moment to look up at the scoreboard, seeing 10 seconds left on the clock. He turned and watched as the hats peppered the ice, his first hat trick of his professional career. He accepted the puck from the ref and gave it to the water boy to hold for him, then skated to the end of the bench when the coach called him off the ice.

"You got the hat trick, rest," the coach said, sending in three defensemen in place of the usual two.

Xander leaned on the boards, watching as the last ten seconds ticked off, the opponents not able to score. The horn sounded for the end of the game. As Xander skated off the ice, he looked up and gave a thumbs up to Jeremy who was sitting in his usual spot.

Jeremy made his way down the steps, sitting near the exit to the dressing rooms, waiting for Jeremy to get his after game meeting and shower finished. He talked with a couple of the other family members he recognized while he waited. A moment later a loud thump could be heard, then a war hoop. When Jeremy realized it had come from Xander, he turned around, nearly falling to the floor when his lover slammed into him.

"They've called me up! I'm playing in the A next weekend! I'm going up!"

Jeremy gave Xander a hug, then a high five. "Congratulations! I knew you'd do it!"

"The guys, we're going out to celebrate. I'll -" Xander stopped when he saw Jeremy's shake of the head, no. With everyone else around, he didn't argue. "Maybe another time then."

The other family members that knew Alexander all crowded around to congratulate him and it was nearly fifteen minutes before they could make their way from the arena.

Xander remained quiet on the ride home, slowly getting out of the car when the arrived.

Jeremy followed him into the house, and as soon as the door closed, grabbed his lover for a bear hug, and a long, deep kiss. "I'm so proud of you sweetheart."

Xander thought that was the best celebration ever. At least until they headed upstairs to bed.

Copyright Rolf and Gayspankee 2010

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Most of the artwork on the blog is by Canadian artist Steve Walker.

Rolf and Ranger’s Next Book will be called The Mary Ellen Carter. The Mary Ellen Carter and other works in progress can be read at either the Falls Chance Ranch Discussion Group or the Falls Chance Forum before they are posted here at the blog. So come and talk to the authors and be a part of a work in progress.

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