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The Trouble With Love

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Eddie stretched across the king-sized bed, kicking his shoes off and wiggling his toes inside his socks. “Tuuuukkkkaaa,” he called. “I’m bored! Hurry up!”

Rask came out of the washroom, his hair wet from the shower and a towel wrapped loosely about his hips. “You shouldn’t have come early then,” he said rolling his eyes, a smile tugging at the corners of his lips.

“But then I wouldn’t get to watch this.” Eddie propped himself up on his elbows for a better view as Rask let the towel drop. “You know, we don’t have to be at the ceremony for an hour yet.”

“What did you have in mind?” Rask asked already stepping up to the bed, straddling Eddie and leaning in to kiss him.

Eddie grinned, licking into his boyfriend’s mouth and tangling his fingers into Rask’s wet hair.

There was a knock on the door and Rask growled, the sound reverberating against Eddie’s lips. The knock came again and Eddie whimpered as Rask pulled away, grabbing a pair of boxers and going to answer the door.

“The guys are heading down to the ceremony Tuuks, you coming?” Lucic asked. He nodded at Eddie over Rask’s shoulder. “Hey Lack.”

“Hi,” Eddie answered feeling a little uncomfortable around the forward as usual despite Rask’s insistent that he wasn’t a bad guy.

“I’ll be down in a bit,” Rask answered.

Lucic grinned. “Sure. I’ll let them know you’re going to be late. See you Lack.”

Eddie’s face heated up at the way Lucic winked at him before the door closed but quickly forgot about it as Rask returned to the bed and they picked up where they’d left off.

 

They made it downstairs in time to find their seats before the ceremony started though not by much. Their seats were next to one another which worried Eddie a bit as the cameras panned over the crowd. He told himself to calm down, no one would infer that they were involved just because they were sitting next to each other. They were just two goalies who’d been nominated for the same award and happened to be sitting next to each other.

“Relax,” Rask said quietly brushing his fingers against Eddie’s thigh, quick enough that no one would notice. “You’re making me nervous.”

Eddie shook his head, unable to hide his answering smile. “I don’t see why you should be nervous, you’ve already won one Vezina.”

Rask smiled reassuringly, like he knew Eddie’s nerves had nothing to do with the award, then turned his attention back to the stage where the ceremonies were starting.

Eddie leaned back into his chair and tried to imitate Rask’s focus. He failed and his gaze drifted around the audience, amusing himself by picking out people that he had at least a passing familiarity with and analyzing their body language. It amazed him that someone like Crosby, who had to be getting used to going home with a handful of awards by now, could still look as nervous as Scrivens who was perched on the edge of his seat, one leg bouncing nervously. His gaze moved on and he frowned slightly when he couldn’t see Luongo anywhere. He couldn’t imagine Lu would miss the ceremony when he was nominated for an award.

It seemed to take forever to get through the first set of awards. By the time the intermission performance came around he was getting jittery again and needed to escape for a few minutes.

“I’m going to get a drink,” he said. “Do you want anything?”

Rask was talking with Bergeron who had come over and was teasing him about the possibility of winning his second Vezina in a row. “I’m good, thanks.”

It was busy at the bar, Eddie was clearly not the only one to take advantage of the break, and he decided to make a quick stop by the washroom first. There was no one else around and Eddie was washing his hands when the door opened and Luongo stepped inside, looking surprised to see him.

“Hey,” Eddie said brightly not sure what to say. It had been a couple of months since they had last talked. He wished Luongo didn’t seem so intent on pulling away; he missed him.

“Eddie,” Luongo said glancing back at the closed washroom door. “I—”

“Tuukka knows you helped get us together,” Eddie said. “We can still be friends.”

Eddie jumped as Luongo shoved him up against the wall and kissed him. His mouth tasted like champagne and Eddie leaned into the kiss for a second until reason caught up to him. “Lu,” he said turning his head away and trying to steady his breathing. “Stop.”

Luongo jerked back like Eddie had slapped him. “Sorry,” he said breathing heavily.

“You’re drunk Lu,” Eddie said trying to ignore the feeling of Luongo’s lips against his. “I think I should go.”

“No, wait,” Luongo said catching Eddie’s arm and shaking his head.

“Lu…”

“I’m in love with you Eddie.”

Eddie felt like he’d taken a puck to the stomach. “You—” Luongo was in love with—“Why couldn’t you have told me this before?” he asked, struggling to breath.

“I’m sorry,” Luongo said, still standing close enough that Eddie could feel his breath against his face. “I didn’t—”

Eddie could feel himself on the verge of a panic attack, he couldn’t deal with this right now, and slid away. “I have to go,” he said and bolted.

“Eddie? What’s wrong?” Rask asked as Eddie dropped back into his seat.

Eddie shook his head. “Nothing,” he lied. He didn’t need Tuukka and Lu getting into a fight at the ceremony.

Rask didn’t look like he believed him.

“We’ll talk later,” Eddie said silently pleading that he’d understand that this wasn’t the time.

Rask stared at him for a moment then nodded and turned stiffly back to the ceremony.