It Wasn’t a Misunderstanding But It Worked Out
Look, Alexei has lived in America for six years. He has watched hours of daytime TV, seen countless movies, listened to endless music, participated in thousands of conversations, done hundreds of post-games and press conferences and interviews. He has also Googled probably a million little turns of phrase that Americans, Canadians, Germans, Swedes, Fins, and every other English-speaking person around him has used that left him baffled. Alexei has drowned himself in English for half a decade. He can’t always articulate himself as well as native speakers or people who studied English in school, but he can understand the vast majority of what’s said to him. He’s also not an idiot, and he can discern differences in emphasis and context and how they affect the meaning of what’s being said.
So when a man looks him up and down with a hungry expression and says, “Fuck me,” Alexei is perfectly aware that it’s a compliment, not a come-on.
It’s a choice, not a misunderstanding, that makes him reply, “Okay.”
He keeps up the ruse all through Kent’s run, then lunch, and then back up to Kent’s hotel room. He keeps it up when Kent texts him a gorgeous picture of himself half-naked and covered in Alexei’s handiwork.
The Falconers go to Vegas, and Alexei purposely misunderstands Kent’s continued, pointed use of fuck ME in a series of texts regarding a recently published photoshoot featuring Alexei in black tie. He “misunderstands” Kent’s texts all the way into Kent’s apartment, then onto Kent’s couch, and finally into Kent’s bed. The Aces had wiped the floor with the Falcs, and Alexei takes it out on Kent’s mouth, his neck, his stomach, his cock. Kent celebrates the Aces’ win with moans and groans and an uncalled for chirp of, “You’re fucking like you played today, no hands.”
Alexei rolls him onto his back and fucks him hard, one hand tight on Kent’s cock to make him shake and cry out. “You want me be rough with you, Parson, just ask.”
Kent arches and comes.
They are the worst-kept secret in the NHL.
To be fair, though, neither of them is trying very hard to stay under the radar.
Kent gets mic’d up for a game against St. Louis and confuses the hell out of ESPN by alternating between Russian slander and ambiguous on-ice chirps such as, “I’ve seen better pickups from drunk a-holes at five in the morning via jumbled text.”
The Aces’ Twitter makes a gif of Swoops’ face when he turns to Kent on the ice and goes, “… What?”
(The drunk a-hole was Alexei, and the only thing he’d been drunk on was too much food and winning an intensive game of Words With Friends against Jack and Snowy. Although he had forgotten that Kent was in L.A. at the time and wouldn’t appreciate the avalanche of texts coming in when the sun had barely risen. Especially texts that involved sordid innuendo using bizarre vocabulary.)
After they’re both knocked from the playoffs, Kent comes to see him in Providence. They cook and make out and play a vicious game of Monopoly and go out for dinner with Thirdy, Snowy, and a few other Falcs and WAGS. They go running together, early in the morning but not that early, feet pounding the pavement and music in their ears, enjoying the company and also the mutual silence.
Alexei makes coffee in the mornings and Kent gets the toast and eggs.
“I know what you meant,” Alexei says, one insignificant Thursday while he’s spooning coffee grounds into the French press. “Last October, when you’re say ‘fuck me.’ I know what is mean, Kenechka. I know you’re not coming onto me.”
Kent doesn’t look up from where he’s stabbing the eggs into submission. “Kinda figured that out, like, three weeks in. Nobody takes that much shit that literally, Tates.”
Alexei brings the press to the stove and pours in hot water from a steaming kettle. “Fuck me, aren’t you smart one.”
“I’ll fuck you smart after breakfast,” Kent replies, and opens the overhead cupboard to get the mugs and plates.