A few hours later, Karen jolted out of bed and startled Sidney beside her.
"Baby, what's wrong?"
"I thought I heard crying."
"I don't hear anything. The twins are probably still asleep. Come here" he said lying down and pulling her with him. As soon as they cuddled into each other, a cry rang out "ok, that was spooky."
Karen got up and put on her robe "you're telling me." Sidney got up and went to get his shower so he could keep an eye on the twins when Karen got hers. Twenty minutes later, he was downstairs getting some breakfast ready for them as the phone rang.
After Karen got both kids fed and changed, she had them back in their cribs and they fell back asleep giving her ample opportunity to get her shower and ready for the family to come over for Christmas. When she got out and got dryed off, she went to the dresser to get clothes when she saw both necklaces Sidney and Jordan gave her. Picking them up and holding them in each hand, she thought back to when everything that happened between them wondering if she would be where she was today.
"I did love you Jordan but I couldn't let my heart realize that" she said looking at his. She turned to Sidney's locket "I had always loved you since our first date and I can't believe you still wanted to be with me after everything." She let out a sigh and didn't want to disappoint either of them. Karen put on Jordan's first then the locket Sidney gave her. It was perfect that one had a longer chain then the other and they sat perfectly one above the other. She hoped they both didn't get offended that she had both necklaces on and the first test would be Sidney. Karen got dressed and headed downstairs, letting the smell of food hit her nose and telling her how hungry she was. Walking into the kitchen, Sidney asked her to get the juice from the fridge and she did before sitting down. Sidney looked at her and smiled then glanced down to her chest. Karen's eyes looked at his and a small fear stopped her heart until he spoke.
"They both look beautiful on you and I know why you put them both on, you don't want to disappoint either of us today."
"I'm hoping to wear them both everyday, just not today because he'll be here with Britnie."
Sidney took one of Karen's hand and held it "just because one of those came from Jordan, it still came from a friend."
"And it doesn't mean I love yours any less Sid. They both represent me being a mother and they are both special to me."
"I know baby" he said kissing her hand and smiling at her telling her he was ok with it "but maybe sometimes you could wear just mine."
"I think I can make that happen the majority of the time." They leaned in for a kiss then began eating their breakfast.
After breakfast and getting the dishes done, Sidney and Karen sat in the living room for a undefined quiet moment.
"When is everyone suppose to get here?" Karen asked him.
"Well mom called while you were with the kids and she said that they would be here by 10a. What about yours?"
"Probably around the same time. Mom said she wanted us to enjoy some time before everyone got here."
"Then I can give you your other present."
"Sid" she said as he got up "that's not fair. I only got the painting for you."
"Well, I saw this and couldn't resist" he said handing her the box. Karen opened it and smiled as she pulled out the lace trimed baby doll lingerie and matching panties. "I saw that on a mannequin and instantly thought of you."
"So are you and after getting off all the baby weight, you'll look even more beautiful in it." Karen just shot him a look "you know what I mean baby."
"I do and I love it. Maybe I'll wear it tonight after everyone goes home."
"You could but I gave it to you now to have it to wear on New Years."
"Why do you want me to wait until then to wear it?"
"New Years is special and if the kids let me, I want to make it as romantic as I can for us to where by the end of the night, you have this one."
"Sounds wonderful, but um, if the kids let you?"
"Well, I'll have to have a talk with them but hopefully they won't yell for their mom after a certain time that night."
Karen shook her head and giggled "why don't we just see if either of our moms will take them after a certain time? I know we'll all be celebrating New Years together, maybe after midnight when they head home they can take the kids with them."
"Or, maybe they could take them earlier, let me do what I want to you before we meet up with everyone to celebrate before midnight."
"You have something planned already."
"I don't know what you're talking about. All I know is that I want at least an hour to make love to my beautiful wife without any possible interruptions."
"A full hour? Wow, someone's ambitious."
"Let's just say I want to ring in the New Year right. Forget everything that happened this year...well with the exception of the twins being born" he smiled at Karen "and have our fresh start as a family."
"I'd like that" she said with tears forming in her eyes. Sidney brought up his hand and caressed her cheek before leaning in to attack her lips with his. They stayed locked in an embrace until Karen heard a car pull up and got out of his grasp to Sidney's dismay. She went to the door and opened it seeing her parents, grandparents, Britnie and Jordan "apparently I missed the family gathering at the house."
"Nah, we just all pulled up at the same time" Britnie told her sister as she hugged her.
"Well perfect timing then" she said hugging her back "hi Jordan."
"Hey" he said somewhat shyly hugging her "Merry Christmas Karen."
"Merry Christmas to you too."
"Pretty necklace you have on" he said smiling.
"Thanks, my best friend gave it to me. Come on in" she said ushering them in and out of the cold so she could greet everyone else.
After everyone got inside, they sat around talking until the twins woke up to join them. Dinner was in the oven, so they decided to open up all the presents. Karen just watched Jordan, Sidney and Taylor all be kids and rip open presents. They only had two each, the rest belonged to the twins. Sidney would pick up the toys that were opened and proudly show them to the twins, virtually getting no response which just made everyone laugh.
"Mom, could you take Nicki, I need to check on dinner."
"Don't be silly. You stay and enjoy the family time, I will go check on dinner."
"And I will help you" Trina said handing Sidney off to Troy and getting up to follow Nicole in the kitchen.
"I'm not helpless you know" Karen yelled to them and smiled when she heard laughing coming from there. She sat and finished watching all the presents being opened then Sidney and Jordan trying to get the twins to play with them.
Awhile later, Karen and Britnie took the twins upstairs so she could feed them and put them down for their naps while the grown ups ate dinner.
"So, Jordan told me he told you everything that had happened that day at the arena" Karen said after getting situated and feeding Nicki.
Britnie sat on the couch with Sidney and nodded her head "yeah and I was more shocked that it had come to that."
"What do you mean?"
"I knew Jordan was having a hard time getting over you. When we were together, he would get this faraway look in his eyes and I knew he was thinking of you. I asked him straight out if he loved you and he said he did. But then after a second of silence, I asked him if he loved me."
"I hope he told you he did."
"He did. He looked me straight in the eyes and told me that eventhough he still loved you, he wanted the love he had for me help him get over the love for you."
"I'm happy for you Brit."
"It sounds like you are but I'm wondering if you really are."
"Yes Brit, I did love him. Maybe for a brief second I did fall in love with him. But I think it was more of the freedom that I was in love with. My life is wrapped around being Sidney Crosby's wife, but Jordan brought feelings of spontaneous, wreckless sex that was unhibited to both of us. It became a force bigger than both of us, only I was able to see what I really wanted and that was Sid. I do regret that you got hurt in all this. I was hoping to break it off with Jordan before it got to where it did but it didn't, for that I apologize."
"I forgive you sis, just if the urge hits again...go for someone other than Jordan" Britnie said then smiled.
Karen smiled back at her sister and nodded "I don't think I ever want to jeopardize what's in front of me again" she said looking down at Nicki then over at Sidney.
Meanwhile downstairs, Sidney and Jordan were alone by the tree putting a couple toys together for the twins.
"I guess you didn't mind Karen wearing the necklace I gave her" Jordan asked cautiously.
"No I don't. She's your friend Jordan and she's not about to do anything to ruin that."
"I know you're thinking I only asked Brit to marry me to keep me close to Karen."
"Let me finish please" he said sternly and Sidney just nodded "Brit and I had it out and I told her everything, I mean everything. The love I have for Karen, I don't know if it will ever go away but at least I know I can let go of the feelings to keep pursuing her. It's over Sid and I wanted you to hear it from me. You have a beautiful family and I can't destroy that for either of you."
Sidney sat there in silence for a minute "I appreciate that, really and I'm glad you finally told me the truth."
"What makes you think I wasn't telling you the truth before?"
"I could tell from your eyes. Before I still saw a need you had for Karen and this time, it was gone. I hope you and Britnie can truly get past this and be happy."
"Thanks man" he said as they shook hands "so hopefully this means that you won't try and take my head off at practice anymore?"
"Unless you steal the puck away, I don't see it happening again." They both laughed and finished putting the toys together.
Twenty minutes later, all the grown ups were sitting in the dining room eating their Christmas Dinner. Karen had looked around the table and saw what might not have been if her choices went another way. She was brought out of her thoughts when Sidney caressed her hand. Karen offered and smile and finished eating, joining back into the conversations. After they ate, Karen was in the kitchen getting some of the dishes done as everyone moved into the living room to continue talking until their dinner digested enough for some dessert. Sidney realized Karen hadn't been back out and went to check on her. He saw her at the sink and wrapped his arms around her waist.
"What's wrong?" he asked casually.
"Why do you always ask me if something's wrong?" she said turning around in his arms.
"Because I can always tell by either the way you get quiet in a room full of people or when you get a faraway look I know something's bothering you. So spill it."
"Nothing's wrong, I just saw everyone and was glad we were all together."
"Because it might not have happened."
"I can't help but wonder if this day would have been just me and my family if..." she said but Sidney put his finger over her lips to silence her.
"I am going to say this one last time. Are you listening because I will not be repeating it and we will never have this conversation again" he said getting a nod from Karen. "It might have seem like it, but I never wanted us apart. We both fought to be together and look how it worked out. Everyone is happy, everyone is right where they need to be. You need to get that through your head before I take a drill and bore it in there."
"I'm sorry and maybe it's the holidays but I can't help but still wonder how you went from being furious at me to being the most lovable, caring, and forgiving husband around. Most men that would have walked in on their wives with another man would have left long ago."
"But I think I've proved to not be like all men."
"And you're not Sid."
"Then why are you still doubting all this?"
"I don't know. Maybe I need something to just popped out of nowhere to make me truly realize it on my own."
"Well I hope it happens soon because I can't handle anymore hormone-related philosophical ramblings from you" he said getting a laugh out of her. "I love you. I've lost you once and I am never going to make that mistake again. Like you said, you will believe it when you see it."
"All I have to say is, it better smack me hard in the face so I don't miss it."
"Not too hard" he said bringing his hand up to caress her cheek "I don't need to see a bruise on this beautiful face." Karen just smiled and leaned in for a kiss before breaking apart and heading in to join everyone.