The sun glistened off the water, sending a ray of light into Diana's eyes. Raising her hand to block the sun, she looks toward her children playing in the backyard. Ace sat with his trucks splayed all around him. Eva sat next to him laughing as he tickled her over and over. Diana smiled at her children, leaning forward to grab the glass of iced tea from the table. Suddenly a pair of strong arms came around her pulling her against the chair she was sitting in. Looking up her gaze locked with her husband's playful eyes.
"Hello my darling! How was your nap?" She said as Sidney moved and sat into the chair next to her.
Smiling, he reached over to pour himself a glass. "It was refreshing! How are you my love?"
"Great! The kids are enjoying the beautiful sunny day!" They both turned their gaze to the two kids, laughing and playing on the lawn. Sid smiled and took a sip of the iced tea.
"Well, that's good! I was thinking we could take a drive out to Cole Harbour and see mum and dad."
"That's a wonderful idea! The kids would love to see their grandparents." Diana got up and stood in front of her husband. Putting his glass down, Sid reached up and pulled his wife onto his lap. She giggled as he kissed her nose.
Sidney wrapped his arms around her and kissed her softly. It was a beautiful summer day in Halifax, Nova Scotia and he thought a nice drive would be just what they needed.
"Well shall we gather up the children?" Diana said, glancing back at the kids. Ace had gotten up and had picked his little sister up. They were walking toward the deck where their parents sat.
Sid nodded, letting Diana get up and following suit. "Okay you two, do you want to go see Nana and Papa?" He called to his kids.
"YAY!!! I wanna see Nana!" Ace shouted, almost losing his grip on Eva.
Sid swiftly jumped off the deck and took his daughter from her brother. "Easy there buddy, don't drop her."
Ace's eyebrows furrowed and he frowned, "I wasn't gonna drop her Daddy!" He said defiantly.
Diana laughed and reached out her hand to her son. "Come on champ, let's go get changed into some clean clothes."
The family went into the house, Ace and Diana heading to his bedroom to get some clothes. Sidney took Eva into her room to change her. "What do you want to wear bud?" Diana asked her son, who had flopped down on his new toddler bed.
"I wanna wear my jersey!" He replied, sitting up.
Diana reached up and took his penguins jersey from the closet. She then pulled a pair of jeans from his drawer. "Alright champ. Here you go, let's get you dressed, arms up!"
Ace raised his arms for his mom to pull of his shirt. Once he was changed, she helped him on with his shoes and they went to find his Daddy and sister. They found them in Eva's room, Sid tickling her as she lay on the change table. Eva was giggling and squirming everywhere.
"I can see you've made a lot of progress." Diana teased, playfully patting Sid's ass. He grinned and gave her a peck on the cheek.
Diana picked up the little summer dress that was laying next to Eva on the table. "This is cute! Nice choice love."
"I figured it was appropriate to go see the grandparents in." Sid responded, taking the dress from his wife. Helping Eva sit up, he pulled the dress over her head and did up the buttons in the back. "There, all set!"
After getting the kids settled in their car seats, they set off for Cole Harbour. Diana stared out the window, singing to the radio. Ace and Eva sat in the back seat playing with their car toys. Letting out a deep breath, Diana turned and looked at her husband.
"I love Halifax. It's just so peaceful and beautiful. I could stay here forever." She said, running her hand through her hair.
Sid smiled at her and reached over to take her hand. "I love it too baby. I don't think I could ever stay away for very long." He squeezed her hand gently.
She smiled back, then turned to gaze out the window again. Diana had told Sid before that when he retired, she wanted to move back to Halifax permanently. As much as she loved Pittsburgh, she couldn't see growing old anywhere but Halifax. Of course, she was happy wherever Sidney was. Her place was by his side, and her heart was always wherever he happened to be, regardless of where that was.
When they arrived at Troy and Trina's home, Ace raced to the front door. "Nana! Papa!!! We're here!!!" He called as he opened the front door and stepped into the house.
"Hey son, shoes!!" Sid called, lifting Eva out of her car seat.
"Sorry Daddy!" Ace called, sitting down to take his shoes off. Troy came into view in front of Ace.
Smiling down at his grandson, Troy held out his arms. "Hey there sport!" He said.
"PAPA!!!!!" Acelin cried, jumping into his grandpa's arms. Troy laughed as he hugged his grandson.
Trina walked up behind her husband, smiling at her grandson. "Do I get one too?" She asked, holding out her arms.
Ace laughed and ran to her. "Of course Nana!!! I missed you!!!" His little arms clung to Trina's neck in a warm embrace.
Sid handed Eva to his dad. Eva squealed with excitement as her grandpa hugged her. "How's my little princess?" Troy said, kissing Eva's forehead.
Eva responded by giving him a slobbery kiss on the nose. The grown ups laughed as they entered the house, Diana closing the door behind them. After taking off their shoes, everyone went into the living room and sat down. Trina had put Ace down and was now taking Eva from her husband.
"How are you two doing dad?" Sidney asked, leaning back on the couch and putting his arm around his wife.
"Oh we're alive and kicking. About the same as always. And how are you all doing?"
Trina sat with Eva on her lap, playing peek-a-boo. Eva squealed and laughed, causing her grandma to laugh as well. Sidney and Diana smiled at the two of them. Acelin went over and climbed onto Troy's lap.
"We're fantastic! As you can see the kids are growing fast. Eva isn't quite talking yet, we're still trying to get her to say her first word!" Diana said, her hand resting on her husband's leg.
The four adults sat talking for a while, then Trina decided she was going to take the kids and make some cookies. Sid and Troy went out onto the deck, while Diana stayed in the kitchen with Trina and the children. About an hour later, Troy came back in and told Diana she should go sit outside with her husband while he and Trina played with the kids.
"You look very relaxed and happy my love." Diana said, sitting in her husband's lap. Sidney wrapped his arms around her and smiled.
"I am. I'm always happy here. It's almost like a sanctuary for me." Lifting Diana's hand to his lips he kissed her fingers one by one.
Diana ran her fingers through his hair and down his cheek. His skin was tanned with sun, his eyes shining. It seemed that he just became more and more handsome every day. His strong jaw, dark hair and beautiful eyes making it hard not to be attracted to him.
"That's good." She noticed a distant look in his eyes, "What's on your mind darling?"
Sid shrugged, and looked out over the yard. The very yard he'd grown up in. Everything looked the same, yet different. Maybe it was because he was looking at it through a man's eyes, no longer a child's.
"I'm just thinking about what you said before. About how you could stay here forever." Looking at his wife, he kissed her hand again.
His wife stayed silent, allowing him to gather his thoughts. She knew him well enough to know he wasn't finished.
"I know that once I'm retired, you won't be happy unless you are up here in Nova Scotia. I'm a little torn I guess. I love Pittsburgh. The people, the city itself, our house. But I love you and I want you to be happy."
Diana took Sidney's face in her hands and kissed his mouth with a hard but passionate kiss. "Sid, you know that no matter where we are, I'm happy as long as I'm with you. My heart is wherever you are, my home is where you are. I belong beside you, with you, next to you! Nothing else matters!"
They gazed into each other's eyes for a moment. Then Sid pulled her tightly against him, his fingers curling into her hair. He held her tightly, her head resting on his shoulder. He inhaled, her scent filling his nostrils. He loved how she smelled, sweet like wild flowers.
"I love you so much baby girl! You don't even know how much I love you. There's no words that could ever explain it. Everything you have given me is more then I could ever ask for, more then I deserve! When I think about my life, I always think of you and those two beautiful children you've given me. I'm so blessed, and it's all because of you!"
He paused and held her away so he could take her face in his hands. He looked into her eyes and continued,
"At one time I thought hockey was all I'd ever need. But then I found you, and ever since then I've realized that YOU are all I need. You are my passion Diana, you are my love, my heart and my soul. I couldn't live without you!Whatever you want I will give you. I'd do anything for your happiness! And if retiring here in Nova Scotia is what you truly want, then it's yours! I'll be happy just as long as I have you to hold and love."
Tears stung her eyes as she stared at her husband. She could feel her heart pounding so hard it threatened to leap right out of her chest. "Oh Sidney! I know my love, I know! I feel the same about you, I always have. Everything will work out the way it's meant to! As long as we have each other, we are where we are meant to be. The heart lies where the ones we love are. I love you Sidney Patrick Crosby!"
Their lips met in a sweet, passionate kiss. "I love you too Diana Ebony Crosby! Forever!"