The Hockey MombySweetestThing©
Author's warning: There's a lot of talk about hockey in this story and it may be lost on people who weren't raised in the culture. Apologies. If you get through the shop talk there's lesbian sex with a moderate dom/sub element. Enjoy!
Kate loved hockey.
That wasn't particularly strange. In Northern Ontario, where the winters brought dozens of feet of snow and temperatures that would sink to thirty degrees below zero, the weird ones were the ones who didn't love hockey. But even in the town of Port Ferry, where the year was divided into Hockey season and getting ready for Hockey season, Kate was a special case.
She knew where it'd come from. The only child of a nickel miner who'd very much wanted to have sons Kate(then Katie MacGregor) found that hockey was her one way to bond with her often stern, distant father. Every Saturday night she would get to curl up on the couch with him as they'd root on their team. There wasn't much of an opportunity for girls to play hockey in those days but she learned the game as well as anyone. Even during the week, after being sent to bed, she'd stay up reading smuggled newspaper accounts and listening to games on the radio. Soon when she'd watch hockey with her father she found that she had to bite her tongue when her father would say something wrong or out of date.
A psychologist might not find it all things strange, all things considered, that when Katie started dating she always seemed to gravitate towards hockey players. Sure, the fact that they tended to be big, muscular guys didn't hurt but for Katie it was all about the game. If one of her beaus suffered an injury that kept him out of the line-up or was mired in a goal scoring slump he would often find his calls not returned. Looking back, Katie knew that had been tremendously immature of her but that was just the kind of girl she'd been. Nothing a guy could do would turn her on more than score a few goals or have a solid fight. She was very much a Puck Bunny.
So maybe it was inevitable that her predilections might throw her a change-up or two. It was the beginning of her freshman year of University, only a week after she'd moved to the big city, that she met Doug Stewart while out at a bar. He might have been turned on by her because Katie had grown up gorgeous. She had a long blonde hair, brown eyes, a dazzling smile and a knockout figure. Katie was turned on because he was a young pro player who'd just been called up to the big leagues and had scored a goal and lost two teeth blocking a shot in his first game. He had good speed and a wicked wrist shot. He was so into her that he wanted to take her back to his place. She was so into him that they didn't make it further than the back seat of his car.
It was less than two months later (and only after a week's worth of throwing up in her dorm room's bathroom, two separate pregnancy tests and a nervous doctor's visit) that Katie learned that she'd perhaps been a little hasty when she'd told Doug that she didn't care if he didn't have a condom on him. Katie had thought about giving up the baby but, deep down, she knew she could never do that. She'd told Doug instead and after he learned she'd be keeping the child, true to Doug's similarly traditional upbringing, he proposed. Katie accepted. Telling her parents she was getting married would be a lot easier, even at eighteen, then telling them by herself that they had a grandchild on the way. A quick trip to Niagara Falls later and she was Kate Stewart. Her parents were not thrilled, especially when she'd told them that she was leaving school, but seven months later when she gave birth to Riley they could not have been any more overjoyed at the sight of their grandson. Her mother had come to the hospital with a little teddy bear, her father had come with a tiny hockey stick.
Doug's pro career was not a success. Injuries limited him to just two frustrating seasons in the pros. So, at just twenty-one years old with a two year old son and already four months pregnant with twins, Katie moved with Doug north to his hometown of Port Ferry. Doug would become a partner in his father's medical supply business and Kate gave birth to twin boys, Parker and Casper. Doug threw himself into the business, expanding it thanks to the help of his local celebrity and some of the money he'd made in the pros, and saw both his profits and family keep growing. Kate gave birth to her daughter Kelsey two years after that.
By the time Kelsey was born, the twins were already skating and Riley was already on the local team. Doug flooded the backyard into a rink every winter and, blessed with their father's genes and their mother's encouragement, her boys took to the game passionately, staying outside playing until their cheeks were practically blue in the winter and yelling "Car" and playing with a ball in front of the house in the summer. It was clear to both Kate and Doug that their boys were going to be special.
Which is why Kate began to practically live at the Port Ferry Arena. She woke up at five in the morning almost six days a week to drive one of her sons to practice and was often their late into the night for one of their games. She raised money with bake sales and raffles with the other moms for new uniforms, a new scoreboard or whatever the place might need. She and Doug used to joke that the way they kept their marriage fresh was that they only saw each other a few times a month. As her sons grew and got noticeably better than anyone in town, it started to not be so much of a joke. She'd travel with her boys when they'd go on all-star tournaments to other provinces, the States, even once in Germany. When, at age six, Kelsey had informed Kate that she wanted to play hockey too, Kate's hesitation had not been out of concern for her daughter's safety but because she didn't know if she had the time. But Kate relented and afterwards found herself at the rink for the girls' league games too.
Kate didn't mind the time spent at the rink one moment. She relished every minute of watching her babies play the game she loved. It broke her heart when first Riley and then the twins had left home at sixteen to go play their Major Junior hockey in other cities but, for Kate, that simply meant she had to drive further on the weekend to see them. Kate devoted herself day and night to being a hockey mom.
Which is why, as Kate sat in the stands watching the Port Ferry High Falcons senior girl's team skate onto the ice for their opening game of the season, her heart broke more than a little. Kate was forty-two now. Her days as a hockey mom were coming to an end. Her boys had all grown up and become pros. Riley was twenty-three, playing in Boston, and widely regarded as one of the better young defensemen in the sport thanks in part to having grown to be six foot six and well over two hundred pounds. Casper and Parker had been first round draft picks in the previous year's draft and were now, for the first time in their lives, on different teams. Casper, the goal-scorer, was in California while Parker, who even as a four year old had been willing to drop the gloves at a moment's notice, was in New York. Katie called them every week, watched their games on TV and would even take the occasional flight to watch them play if they were nearby but it wasn't the same. They were all millionaires with girlfriends and lives of their own who had little time for her. She was proud of them as all get out but had let them go.
So it was Kelsey, her baby girl, the high school senior who was beginning what would be Kate's last year watching one of her children play. Kate had always thought it adorable that Kelsey, who even at eighteen barely stood five feet tall, had chosen to be a goalie. She was always the smallest girl on the ice but didn't lack for a quiet competitiveness that Kate always admired. Kelsey was not especially good but Kate suspected that was because Kelsey didn't really love the game and had only taken it up to take part in what was essentially the family religion. Kelsey was a good high school player but would go no further. She would be moving out east for University to study marine biology and would be gone at the end of the year.
"Forecheck!" Kate screamed in the nearly empty stands, girl's high school games being a tough draw even in the hockey mad town. Still, Kate did draw a few looks from the few scattered men in the audience. She was still a striking woman. Her blonde hair had stayed that way and her figure had gotten even fuller after having her kids. Hard work at the gym had kept her slim and fit and Kate was often mistaken for a woman ten years younger than she actually was.
The game was never in much doubt. The opposition didn't have anyone who could match #19 on the Falcons. The tall, impossibly quick Centre was easily the best player on the ice. She was a brilliant skater with breath taking acceleration and had great hands and vision. Kate roared as #19 scored the first goal of the game only thirty-six seconds in, stealing the puck behind the net and skating out to tuck it in on her backhand. She cheered as #19 scored three times in total in the period and assisted on two more. Both helpers coming on easy tap-ins after her set-ups had left the goalie and defenders hopelessly out of position. The opposition scored twice in the second period but after each goal, both of which Kelsey made valiant attempts on, #19 simply scored on her next shift as if in response. The girl was relentless, going after every goal despite the lopsided score. When the final period ended the score was 14-2. #19 had scored nine goals, assisted on three others. It was a dazzling, dominating performance.
As was the custom, the two teams shook hands and made their way to the dressing rooms as Kate made her way over there as well. The only other particularly excited fan in the crowd, a rounded, red-faced man in his mid fifties, was standing near the exit as well. Kate smiled and said hello.
"If it isn't the First Lady," Jacob Gasteux replied cheerily, referring to the nickname Kate had earned around town. "Quite a show, huh?"
"It was, Mr. Mayor," Kate agreed. Jacob had earned the nickname by virtue of being the rink manager long before he'd actually run for the office and won. Nobody was overly impressed. Being Port Ferry's Mayor largely meant choosing the theme for the spring parade and choosing which pothole to fill next.
"I can't believe they cut her from the National team last year. I know it was an Olympic year and she was just seventeen and everything but, cheese and crackers, she'd really have dazzled out west. Put the city's name on the map" the Mayor replied with more cheerfulness than regret, not needing any clarification as to who Kate had meant.
"Well, the girls still won gold." Kate countered. "The boys too. Besides, she'll make it next year."
"Speaking of Riley," The Mayor said, abruptly changing streams, "You'll have to thank him again for his generous donation to the rink. We sent a gift basket and everything but I hope you tell him from me personally how grateful we are. We're going to be able to completely re-do the weight room and finally get those lights on the north side fixed."
"I will.," Kate nodded
"But....do you suppose the twins might be doing anything similar soon? Because we were thinking that we could renovate the practice rink and...."
"I can't say, Jake," Kate said, already feeling somewhat distant from the place that had more or less been her home for the last 20 years. Ordinarily she'd have known about the need for any changes in the building. With her charm and drive and popularity among the other mothers she'd probably have been spear-heading some sort of effort to get it done without donations from her sons. But now, staying home most nights to watch one of her boys on cable and only making it out to the girls' games, Kate found she was out of the loop. She realized there was a bit of a disappointed silence on the Mayor's part so she smiled and assured him that she'd ask her sons.
"Well, at least make sure they're back in the summer for the golf tournament. Three All-Stars, all coming back. Just imagine what the press will say!"
Kate rolled her eyes. The "press" were the nice old couple who ran the Port Ferry News out of a tiny storefront on Main Street.
"I'm sure Martha and Gord will be very complimentary, Jacob." Kate said, feeling more than a little relieved when she saw the girl's locker room doors fly open. The girls filed out and most made their way outside, their heavy bags over their shoulders to get on the bus for school. Kelsey was one of the last girls out, her small daughter carrying the biggest bag by far. After her, carrying the bag with the #19 on it, was Andrea Beverley. In addition to being one of the best players, male or female to come through Port Ferry, Andrea was gorgeous. She was of mixed-race, her mother having been Native, and her skin was slightly darker than any of the other girls in town and she'd been blessed with high cheekbones, full lips and large, smoky eyes. Her sandy blonde hair, tied back in a pony tail, was from her father and though she was wearing a bulky hooded sweatshirt and jeans there was no hiding her body. Near six feet tall, with the long, toned legs of a ballet dancer, and a fit and well curved upper body. Feminine but undeniably athletic. She'd even gone to New York to model for a summer after she'd gotten her picture in a big city paper when she was fifteen but had come back a few weeks later, declaring the whole experience boring.
Kate had known Andrea since she was three years old. In addition to being Kelsey's best friend since pre-school, Kate had done a great deal of looking after both Andrea and her father after Andrea's mother had died in a car accident when Andrea was only five. Kate had driven Andrea to games as much as any of her own children and felt a similar, if slightly more reserved, pride in how good she'd gotten. Unlike some of the other mothers, who occasionally spoke cattily of her out of some bizarre cross-generational jealousy, Kate just was knocked over by how beautiful Andrea was. Kate knew from experience that, while the other girls often took as much time dolling themselves up after playing so no boy would ever see them without make-up, Andrea looked the way she did only after a quick shower and throwing her clothes on. Everything about her, from her game to her looks to her mannerisms seemed easy, graceful and strong.
"Ugh, I'll tell you what I won't miss in a few months," Kelsey grunted as she hefted her giant bag in front of her mother. Kelsey, Kate smiled, looked almost exactly like she did at her age, only if you'd compressed her by about seven inches. "Eighty bazillion pounds of sweaty goalie equipment."
"Hey girls," Kate smiled at the two of them. "Great game."
"Meh," Shrugged Kelsey, Andrea just nodded.
"I tell you, Andrea, you ever think about taking your foot off the pedal?" the Mayor asked, with a shake of his head, "Not always nice to leave the other team so whipped."
"If they want a close game," Andrea said, her voice indicating that such a thought had never even crossed her mind for a second, "They can practice more next time."
"Whew. Remind me not to get on your bad side." The Mayor said before turning to Kate,
"Kate, you have a nice day."
As Jake left to talk to some of the other girls, Andrea and Kelsey did what they always did after a game. Kelsey picked up Andrea's smaller bag of gear while Andrea effortlessly lifted Kelsey's much larger one over her shoulder. Kate was always amazed when she did, even as strong as Andrea looked, Kate knew those bags were as heavy as Kelsey complained. But as the two of them made their way out to the car, Andrea carried the bag as if it weighed nothing, even opening the door for the mother and the daughter to walk through.
It was October and the chill in the air was even worse than the week before. Soon enough it would be the five or so months of the year when going outside in anything less than a heavy winter jacket was akin to having a death wish. They walked across the lot quickly to Kate's brand new Lexus SUV. Andrea whistled when she saw it.
"Nice, Mrs. Stew," Andrea said, calling her the same thing that hundreds of her children's team mates had called her "Is it new?"
"Oh, that's right, just came a few days ago," Kate blushed a little as she opened the trunk, "A present from Casper."
"He's a sweetheart," Andrea said as she hefted the heavy bag into the open trunk before taking her own bag from Kelsey and also lifting it inside.
"He's a dope is what he is," Kelsey said, looking at the new car, "Would it really have been too tough for him to get the Hybrid? We have one planet here, one!"
"How's he doing in LA?" Andrea continued, ignoring Kelsey's frequent appeal for greater environmentalism. Kate paused for a second. Casper and Andrea had always been close, a given being as Andrea was at their house so often, but in the last year before he'd left Andrea and Casper were frequently alone together, in his room or telling people they'd been at the library, and though they'd never said anything officially it was widely assumed in the Stewart household that the two had been fairly seriously romantically involved. Kate didn't know if she should tell Andrea that Casper was not only doing fine but, as of his last phone call, had begun dating someone seriously.
"He's fine sweetie. Miss him too, huh?" Kate said, deciding to play it safe although trying to be sympathetic. Andrea just bit her thumb a little and tried to avoid eye contact.
"Meh, just thought about him when I tried that toe drag on my 4th goal." Andrea said, her tone not changing. Kate smiled. She'd noticed that too. It was a move Casper still used to great effect, often embarrassing some of the better pros in the game, including his older brothers.
"Ugh, is it like some law that the only thing we're allowed to talk about in this family is hockey?" Kelsey asked wearily as she hopped into the back seat of the car. Kate didn't know why but when she drove Kelsey and Andrea home, Kelsey always would get in the back and Andrea in the front. Kelsey was like that though. "Dad's out of town, right?"
"He is, sweetie, why?" Kate said as she got into her own seat. Doug's business had opened an office in Ottawa after getting a big government contract and he was often there for days at a time.
"Andrea is going to spend the night. That cool?"
Kate looked at Andrea as she got in beside her, still amazed at how good the girl looked just after sweating for nearly two hours straight. In a town full of white, Scottish protestants, Andrea's mixed heritage was the closest that Port Ferry got to ethnicity. Kate always found herself staring at the girl.
"She's always welcome, she knows that." Kate nodded "It's ok with your dad, right?"
"Yup, he's working late and said it's fine." Andrea said idly as she stared out the window. Kate smiled and drove off. With her boys gone, it was nice to have more people in the house.
Later that night...
Kate flicked the TV off. It had been a special night for her. Parker's team had been playing Casper's and she'd opened a bottle of wine and stayed up to watch the whole thing from the West Coast. It had been a night of some aggravation. Parker, just like he'd done as a little boy in the backyard, had pushed and slashed his twin brother whenever he'd gotten the chance, trying to goad him into a fight. If Kate didn't know any better she'd have sworn that most of the kicks in her uterus when pregnant with them had been Parker trying to beat Casper up even then. The commentators had even remarked on the odd level of physicality between the two brothers.
"They must have been quite a handful for Mrs. Stewart," the one said, laughing.