omg contractor geno falls in love with single dad hockey star sid omggggggggg
“So,” Nealer says at the bar, “let me get this straight. You’re working for Sidney Crosby?”
“So?” Geno asks, taking a sip of his beer and shrugging.
“So,” Nealer says slowly, like he’s talking to a small child, or Beau when they make him do anything involving a paintbrush, “you’re literally going to spending all your time in the house of the best hockey player in the world.”
“Not big deal,” Geno replies as loftily as possible, taking another gulp of his Black and Tan. “Is just a job.”
“Just a job,” Nealer repeats, shaking his head. “Like I believe that.”
“I am professional,” Geno says, smacking Nealer’s shoulder. “Not like bunch of idiots I work with.”
“Excuse you, you need me,” Nealer says with more than a little outrage, and proceeds to drain his glass. “And just for that, you’re buying me another drink.”
“Idiot,” Geno repeats, draining his own drink. Besides, Nealer’s just being stupid. This whole thing is just a job, like any other, and Geno’s a goddamn professional. He’ll go in, fix up the nursery, and be able to say he worked for one of the hockey greats. Easy.
Twelve hours later, Geno’s thinking he maybe over-estimated his professionalism.
“Hi Emma,” he says, waving at the baby sitting on the living room playpen. Sid offered to make coffee, leaving Geno alone with Emma. Geno’s not so unprofessional as to start playing with the baby, but he figures waving isn’t so bad.
Emma stares back, big hazel eyes wide and clear, as she shoves her fingers in her mouth. Then she grabs a stuffed penguin, clearly well loved, and starts to chew on a flipper.
“Is that your favorite toy?” Geno asks, switching to Russian, which is always better for talking to babies anyways. “You seem to love it a lot. Do you like penguins just as much as your papa?”
Emma continues to gnaw on the flipper gummily, before smiling to reveal two tiny teeth. No wonder she was crying the first time Geno met her.
“Yes,” Geno says, coming a little closer to the playpen and watching her. “You like them just as much as your papa. Are they your favorite?”
After another few seconds of chewing, Emma pops the toy out of her mouth and says, very decisively, “Da.”
“Good!” Geno says. “Learning Russian already. You’ll find out it’s the best language.”
“Dada,” Emma says, flapping the penguin, and somewhere behind Geno, someone shifts enough for the floorboards to creak. Geno peers over his shoulder to find Sid, holding two mugs of coffee, staring at them both.
“Sorry,” he says, walking closer and smiling almost involuntarily at his daughter. “It seemed like you two were having a good time.”
“She very smart,” Geno says, English feeling rusty. He takes the mug Sid offers and gulps down some coffee quickly, just to make sure he doesn’t embarrass himself any further. It’s milky and sweet, just how he likes it.
“The smartest,” Sid says, smile growing even wider and crookeder. It’s a very nice smile.
Geno stands up, taking another sip of coffee. “Well,” he says quickly, “I go get to work.”
“Right,” Sid says, quickly. “Right.”
Geno heads up the stairs, aware of the thuds of his work boots on Sid’s beautiful hardwoods, the paint on his jeans and his threadbare t-shirt. It’s entirely possible he’s not as professional as he told Nealer.