Disclaimers: This little tale is mine and all mine.
Sex: Yes’m. There will be sex in here, and you should know better than to ask if you’ve ever read my work before. J
If you’d like to tell me what a wonderful writer I am or that I royally suck, feel free at: XenaNut@hotmail.com.
Christina was finishing packing her bags, her mother sitting on her bed. Pam was filled with a mixture of disappointment yet utter glee that her daughter would be staying in town for at least two years if she finished the duration of her contract. She watched the blonde move around her bedroom, tucking blonde hair absently behind her ear as she looked into her closet, deciding on what needed to go.
“Guess it’s a good thing you never settled on a house, huh?” Pam said, trying to lighten up her heart.
Christina smiled at her. “Isn’t that the truth! But, I guess I could live somewhere else and still train her. But, I have to say, it’ll make my life a lot easier to be in the same place. That way I can get her ass out of bed at the crack of dawn without me having to get up at midnight to get there.”
“True.” Pam had a bad feeling about the assignment her daughter had just accepted, but wasn’t sure how to say it, or if she should say it. “I still can’t believe Farren Hankins hired you to coach her.” She shook her head in amazement.
“I know. I guess we’ve both come full circle. We both want to retire from the sport where we met.” Christina sat on the bed next to her mother, her leg beginning to ache. One definite plus about living at Farren’s place would be the nightly dips in either the hot tub or the Jacuzzi. It had done wonders for her with just one soak the night she’d stayed there.
“I guess you have.” Pam looked at her daughter, reaching up to touch her soft hair. “Are you sure this is what you want, honey?” she asked softly.
Christina thought about the question for a moment. She could sense her mother had some concerns about it, which in all honesty, she did, too. Finally she nodded. “Yeah. I think this is the right move for me. It’ll be strange coaching a woman, but I want to do this. It will be a good way for me to finally go out and leave this all behind me.”
It had taken nearly six months for Christina to be functional after the accident. She was still on crutches, the damage so extensive to her leg and hip, but she was bound and determined. She’d applied for college, and now at age nineteen, was a Freshman at DU in downtown Denver. That had been three years ago, and now she was finishing up her English degree.
Sitting in her advisors office, she waited for the woman, Dr. Littman, to show. She could hear the woman’s voice from down the hall, the high-pitched tone hard to miss. She was talking to someone about her son and his attempt at playing hockey. The two conversationalists stopped right outside the open doorway of Dr. Littman’s office door and finished their conversation.
“I’m tell you, the kid has got two left feet. His coach suggested maybe putting him in dance for a few months, see if he can get some coordination, but Jason just about pulled Stewart right out of hockey at that one!”
The woman the professor was talking to – Christina didn’t recognize the voice – laughed at that. “Oh, I’m sure he did! Okay, Lily, I have to go. I’ll catch you after my American Lit. class.”
“Okay. See you, Laura!’ Lily Littman hurried into the office, her bird-thin body that way because the woman never sat still for more than five seconds. “Good morning, Tina!” she chirped, flopping the stack of papers she’d been carrying to her desk top. “Sorry I’m late. Got caught up making copies.” She patted the stack for emphasis. “How are you?”
“I’m good.” Dark brows drew. “What’s wrong with Stew’s skating?”
Lily rolled her eyes. “What isn’t wrong with it? The kid is eleven and can’t seem to skate straight to save his life! Me and his dad are so frustrated, though I doubt hardly as frustrated as Stewart is.”
The blonde smirked. “Poor coach.”
Lily was about to respond, but then stopped, looking at her student. She stared so long that Christina began to feel uncomfortable. “Oh my god,” Lily Littman said, covering her mouth with her hand, eyes still glued to Christina. “Why did it never cross my mind before?”
Christina looked all around her, making sure nothing was dangling from her nose. “What?”
“You could teach him, Tina!”
Green eyes grew wide, Christina shaking her head. “Oh no. No you don’t.”
“Yeah!” Lily placed her palms flat on the desk. “Tina, honey, you used to do this professionally. If anyone could make my son skate, it’s you!”
“Dr. Littman, I can barely walk, let alone skate,” Christina protested.
“I’m not asking you to teach him how to do a sour cow, or anything.”
Christina burst into laughter, tears running down her face. “That’s salchow, Doc.”
“See? I can’t even say the stuff, let alone help Stewart with it.”
“But, he’s playing hockey, not figure skating.”
“It’s the same thing, Tina. Little metal blades on the bottom of boots, sliding around on ice. You can teach him balance and how to stay upright on those tiny little blades. His own coach can teach him the rest.” They stared at each other, green eyes unsure and narrowed, brown pleading. “Puleeeezzzze? I’ll make sure you get an A!”
They both knew Lily Littman was kidding about that, but Christina understood the depth of her pleading. She sighed. “Alright. I’ll help him.”
“Oh, thank you!’ Lily jumped up from her desk and hurried around to the blonde, giving her an enthusiastic hug.
And so it had begun. Christina had graduated, but it was more a formality then anything else. She’d soon had clients coming out of the woodwork. Her situation had been pretty similar to Sherry Duval’s, in that she had taken on a class of students, but had found one that was a star in the making. She’d taken the boy to new heights, coaching him for three years before moving on to another student, and on and on until she’d become a well-known and well-respected coach in the skating community. Until she’d left it three years before.
Farren cursed Christina with every breath. She was hurting, and hurting bad. It had been more than a year since she’d run a mile, let alone five! She was twenty-three pounds overweight from her last competition weight, and she swore the coach was trying to get her to lose it all in one month! Her lungs hurt, her legs burned, her feet her, even her ass hurt!
The only thing that kept her going was that Christina could run five miles, and that was with her leg being held together by Tinker Toys. At least the blonde had been kind enough to allow her to start with a measly two miles, and they’d worked their way up from there. Still, it sucked.
She saw Christina just up ahead, a green and white ski cap covering her short, blonde hair, wisps flying out with the winter wind. Farren’s glance moved down to her coach’s shapely behind, which moved nicely beneath the black track pants she wore. She had to admit, Christina Simms had grown into a fine-looking woman, especially considering the little shy imp she’d been as a kid. Definitely fine-looking.
Christina could hear the heavy breathing of her skater a few feet behind her, which made her shake her head in disapproval. She couldn’t understand how a life-long athlete could stop her training. Even if she weren’t training for her sport anymore, she should at the bare minimum be training to keep her body in tip top shape. Had she no self-pride?
Christina had been living in the palatial house for a month, starting training from morning one, and had heard many things about Farren Hankins, and her notorious nightlife. Apparently she’d taken home far more women than competition wins. This, of course was something that Christina intended to change right away. If Farren were serious about her sport, and about reclaiming what was hers, the womanizing would have to stop.
That thought made the blonde’s thoughts screech to a halt. Women? Since when was Farren Hankins into women? It had always been the rumor that the beautiful brunette was quite the prude, and not really into anyone at all. Christina smirked, amused at just how well the secret had been hidden. After all, the only person she’d ever been seen with was her coach, Beverly Michaels.
Christina stumbled, an image hitting her square between the eyes. She fell to one knee – luckily not on her bad leg – then fell over onto her butt, panting from the exertion of the run. Had Farren and Beverly been a couple the entire time? It sure would explain why Farren’s reaction to Beverly’s death was so hard.
“You okay?” Farren panted, stopping next to the blonde, hands on her knees. She looked the other woman over, looking for any visual indication of what had happened.
Christina nodded, feeling stupid. She brushed her cap off her head, running a hand over her hair. “Fine. Just tripped.” She took Farren’s offered hand, getting to her feet, only to wince. She’d managed to twist her ankle when she’d gone down. “Damn,” she muttered, limping over to a tree to lean against. One thing she did love was the acres of wooded property around Farren’s estate.
“Do I need to call a doctor? Is it your bad leg?” Farren was certainly concerned, but in truth, she was grateful for the reprieve. She’d had a late night last night, and the run was kicking her ass this morning.
Christina shook her head. “No. Just twisted my ankle. Go ahead and finish, I’ll meet you back at the house.”
Farren sighed, but said nothing. She continued on her way, once again cursing the blonde with every breath.
Christina was cursing her ankle as she hobbled her way back towards the house in a sort of hop/run that hurt like hell. Luckily they had nearly finished their run so she didn’t have far to go. She was half-frozen by time she got back, the heat from the run worn off, leaving behind the frost of the thirty-one degree weather. She was shivering, as she was hardly dressed for a stroll, and went straight to Keppy, begging for a cup of coffee.
Mug in hand, she wandered – more like limped – into the large living room, where a magnificent fire was already dancing, warming the spacious room. Intending to sit and enjoy the warmth, Christina’s attention was drawn to the mantle and all the pictures on it.
Sipping her coffee, she limped over to them, making her way slowly down the row, thinking in her mind that she really should go put ice on her ankle and wrap it, but her attention was fully caught by all the pictures of Farren and her former coach at various points in the brunette’s career. First wins. First competitions. The picture that caught her eye, however was one of the two women standing at the bottom of a snow-covered mountain, bright smiles on their faces and ski poles in their hands. The picture somehow seemed far too intimate for just a coach and her skater, or even long-time friends. There seemed to be a certain … knowing about the two women, toward each other. She was about to take the picture from the mantle to look at it closer, but the front door opened, and Farren blew in with the wind and cold.
Guiltily, she turned away from the pictures and towards her skater, who was stomping her feet on the rug, trying to get all the snow off them. Her cheeks were red, her breaths coming hard and fast. Farren glanced up, meeting Christina’s gaze.
“I hate running,” she muttered, then headed off towards the stairs.
Christina smiled, amused. “Me, too.”
Christina’s idea of training was intense, pushing the body and mind to their outer limits, and never, ever quit. Beverly had focused more on Farren’s height and grace, turning her into a ballerina on ice. That wasn’t Christina’s idea, at all. She wanted to use Farren’s height and strength to her advantage, and build on it, not bring it down, creating a beautiful swan. Leave that to the stage.
“Come on, Farren!” she shouted, clapping her hands together. “Push it! Faster!” She glanced down at her stopwatch, disappointed in the results. “Stop!”
Farren skated to a halt, her chest heaving, hair –pulled back in a ponytail – plastered to her head. She was frustrated and more than a little angry. That little blonde bitch had been pushing her nonstop for three months. She’d shed just about all the weight, with only five pounds to go. She was weighed daily, and Keppy had been instructed on the better ways to feed the ravenous brunette, making sure Farren had the calories and protein she needed without the sugar and fat she craved.
“Why the fuck am I doing this?” Farren blurted, her temper finally blowing after three months. “I’m not a fucking hockey star, Christy!”
“You’re not a delicate little goddamn swan, either, Farren. If you want to win – which you hired me to help you do – you do it my way!” The blonde was standing at the edge of the ice, green eyes blazing. She wouldn’t tolerate laziness, and Farren had been out of discipline for too long. She could tell by the fire in the brunette’s eyes that she had not yet fully made her point yet. “Do you want to do this or not? I mean, I can leave you right now. You can go right back to your drinking, whoring ways, and drop from the history books in this sport. Your call.” She stood her ground, arms crossed over her chest as the tall skater skated over to her.
“Who the hell are you to tell me what my lifestyle should be?” Farren was furious. She’d only had two women in the past month, which was driving her nuts. Too much pent up energy from the ruthless training regime she was being tortured with.
“As long as I’m your coach, I’ve got a pretty big say, don’t you think?” Christina asked, sarcasm dripping from her voice. She wasn’t at all surprised by Farren’s outburst. In fact, she’d been expecting it for about a month.
Farren knew she was right, but it still pissed her off no end. Instead of answering, she pushed off the ice and took off around the rink. If Christina wanted good times, fine, she’d give them to her.
It took the blonde a moment to realize what her temperamental ward was up to, but when she caught on, she clicked the stopwatch, watching as the seconds ticked by, Farren roaring by in a blur of movement and speed. Christina grinned, very much liking what she was seeing. Maybe she’d have to piss off the skater more often!
Farren raced around the rink, murderous thoughts in her head after every pass. She could hear Christina cheering her on and yelling words of encouragement, but it didn’t matter; Farren heard none of it. She was angry, and finally decided she’d had enough.
Christina watched as the skater made a beeline for the locker room, stepping off the ice and slamming through the blue locker room door. Amused, and feeling slightly guilty, Christina stopped the time on the stopwatch, marked the time down in her notes, then plopped down on a bench at the side of the rink. She sighed heavily, looking out onto the sea of ice. She’d coached many athletes in her twelve years as a coach, and had a myriad of experiences with them all. Some were wonderful and so grateful for her expertise that they hung onto every word she said. Others were pretentious little assholes who she couldn’t wait to get away from. Farren was somewhere in between, she suspected.
The problem was, Farren Hankins had been an athlete her entire life, and had been a successful professional skater for a good majority of it. Now, at age thirty-three, she was already set in her ways, and resented a new approach. This was a fairly new situation for Christina, and one that she didn’t relish. She questioned herself almost daily of why she’d come out of retirement for this.
Setting her clipboard and stopwatch on the bench beside her, she made her way over to the ice, stepping onto it’s slick perfection. Farren had fresh ice daily, which was wonderful. She playfully slid a few feet before continuing her stroll, hands tucked into her pockets. Christina knew their training was over for the day, which was fine with her. Maybe she’d head into town and catch a movie or something.
As she looked around the large space, memories came flooding back to her. She had spent so much of her life on ice, whether it was for her own career or that of others. Ice under her feet was as comfortable as hardwood flooring. Even so, she hadn’t put a pair of skates on in more than eight years. As she’d been working with Farren over the past few months, she was beginning to feel a bit wistful, wondering if maybe she should dig her old pair out of storage.
Farren stood at the bar, sipping her drink when she felt two hands slide from behind and rest on her newly-flattened stomach.
“My, my, you’ve managed to get even sexier,” a low woman’s voice said at her ear.
Farren grinned, turning her head to except the kiss she knew was waiting. “Be nice and don’t torture me,” she said. “I’ve got training at the ass crack of dawn and can’t stay out late.”
Lorraine Hammond grinned, moving around to a stool next to the skater. “Your loss, I must say.” She ordered a wine and looked Farren over. “You look fantastic, Farren. This new coach of yours is quite literally working your ass off.” She ran a hand over the area in question.
Farren smirked, removing the wandering hand. “I’m a few pounds away from my old competition weight.”
“And it shows.”
“Well, what can I say? The warden is tough.”
Lorraine laughed, deep and throaty. “You’re a trip, Farren. The warden. Such a baby.”
Farren rolled her eyes, but was glad to see her friend. They’d been friends with occasional benefits for about a year. “Thanks for meeting me. I appreciate it.”
“Sure. I was glad you called.” Lorraine sipped her wine, studying her friend. She could tell Farren was bothered by something. “You called me here for a reason, and if you have to be back into the coup early, it’s obviously not for a tumble. So what’s the problem?”
“It’s that damn woman!” Farren exploded, slamming her empty glass on the bar. “She’s driving me nuts, Lorraine. All she cares about is training, training, training! Up at ass crack, bed late. Working my ass off. For what?”
Lorraine chuckled. “For what you’re paying her for.”
Farren stared at the redhead for a long moment, irritation bright in her blue eyes. “Who’s side are you on?”
“Come on, Farren,” Lorraine said, not answering the question. She slid off the stool and grabbed the brunette’s hand. “You asked me to go to dinner with you, so let’s go to dinner.”
Christina made her way through the theater, moving with the sea of fellow movie-goers. She munched on that last of her popcorn as she did, anxious to get out into the fresh, early-spring air rather than inhaling the smells of humanity. She had stayed for a double feature, and was getting tired, as her normal bedtime was two hours ago. Still, she was in good spirits.
Though she’d never in a million years tell Farren this, she was glad the brunette threw her fit and took off because it gave Christina a much needed break, and a night to go out and enjoy herself. The only low point about the evening was she had gone alone. That was by no means odd behavior for the blonde; she was actually quite the loner, and dating or friends had never been much of a priority to her. But, for some reason, tonight she had wished she had someone sitting next to her in that theater. Well, other than the teenage girl who kept getting text messages every five minutes.
Broken free from the restraints of the crowd, Christina strolled out into the cool night, deciding to walk along the sidewalk as the theater was situated in a strip mall. Maybe she’d do a little shopping. Or, at the end of the complex was a Ruby Tuesdays. A late dinner, maybe?
Farren was walking next to Lorraine, who was chatting on and on about her day working as a massage therapist, which was how they met. Farren was only partially listening as they made their way down the strip mall towards the Ruby Tuesdays. Her mind was on someone else. A someone that was walking right towards them.
“Shit,” she muttered, slowing the pace of Lorraine.
“What?” the redhead asked, looking to Farren for the problem. She followed Farren indicating nod, only to see a beautiful little blonde walking towards them, the woman’s green eyes locked on Farren. “Wow. Who is that?”
“No kidding! That’s your coach? Jesus, she’s hot as hell!”
“Yeah,” Farren said noncommittally as the blonde approached.
Christina sighed, knowing there was no way she could avoid talking to Farren without being a totally rude bitch. She managed a small smile. “Hey, Farren,” she said.
“Hi. Out for a walk?” Farren asked, wishing she could duck into the restaurant. She was extraordinarily proud of her earlier behavior, and had hoped for a night of reprieve from the woman.
“Saw a movie,” the coach said, nodding back towards the theater with her head. She glanced over at the beautiful redhead who stood next to Farren. The woman was looking Christina up and down, making her feel like the redhead had her in mind for a menu item. Uncomfortable, she returned her focus to Farren. “What are you up to?”
Farren shrugged, nodding toward Lorraine. “We’re going to get some dinner.” She felt obligated, “Care to join us?”
“Oh, uh, no. Thank you.” Christina smiled politely. She didn’t like the way Farren’s friend kept looking at her, and knew that sitting across from her at a table would be quite unpleasant. “I’m headed home.”
Farren nodded, relieved. She needed some time away from training. “Okay. Well, see you later.”
“Okay. See you in the morning.” She gave both women a quick smile then hopped off the curb and into the parking lot, taking the long way to get to her car. Once she got in, she sat behind the wheel, inserting the key into the ignition and starting the engine. She sat there for a moment, glancing over at the restaurant, where the women had long since disappeared inside. She thought back to the meeting moments before. Seeing Farren standing there next to that attractive redhead made her feel strange.
She tapped her fingers on the steering wheel, chewing on her bottom lip. What was it that she was feeling? Who was that woman? Farren hadn’t even introduced them, not that Christina really wanted to know her, considering how the woman had been looking at her. Those looks made the blonde think that Farren’s friend was probably also a lesbian. Were they lovers? A couple? No, from what she’d heard, Farren liked her freedom far too much to get into a relationship. She did, however still want to ask about her and Beverly. Maybe she could ask Keppy.
The longer she sat there, the stronger the feeling she was having got. The trouble was, she still couldn’t discern what the feeling was. Frustrated, Christina backed out of her space and headed home.
Lorraine had talked Farren into heading home with her to have a drink and talk before she headed to her own house. They had talked a bit over dinner, but mostly Lorraine had talked, Farren half-listening. Her mind had been on seeing Christina, and her reaction to that. As much as she wanted a break from the training, and coach, for a moment, she had wished it were Christine that had been going to dinner with her, not Lorraine.
“Baby?” Lorraine said, noting that her friend was miles away. She reached hand up, caressing the side of the angular face. “What’s going through that beautiful head of yours?”
Farren leaned into the touch, wanting to get any thoughts of Christina out of her mind and simply lose herself in physical touch. She grabbed Lorraine at the back of the neck and drew their mouths together.
Christina turned around, jogging backwards as she watched Farren struggle. The brunette looked exhausted, her eyes bloodshot. She was slow and sluggish, and Christina felt she knew exactly why.
“Come on!” she barked, “Get your ass in gear!”
Farren glared at the blonde through the dark lenses of her sunglasses. She wasn’t sure who to curse more: herself for staying so late at Lorraine’s, or Christina for making her train at the ass crack of dawn. “Doing the best I can,” she panted.
“Not good enough,” Christina growled, angry. She’d heard heavy footfalls pass by her door three hours before, and knew then that it was Farren, finally finding her way home. She just knew the brunette had been with her friend, doing god knew what. It made her angry. Angry at Farren’s irresponsible nature, and the way she was handling the situation. It was clear the skater wasn’t taking her training seriously, nor her final goal: winning the gold. Goddamn it! Why am I so angry?
Instead of trying to answer that question, Christina turned around and continued her run, satisfied to hear Farren picking up her pace.
Farren was confused. Why did Christina Simms get on her case so badly? At first she had thought it was simply that she was a tough coach. That may have been part of it, but something was niggling at the back of her mind. It seemed like Christina was particularly unpleasant this morning. Granted, Christina had seen her out on the town with Lorraine the night before, so she likely figured the brunette had a late night, which Farren had said she wouldn’t do during training, but still… What was her problem? They needed to talk. This partnership would never work for two more years, if Christina couldn’t get her attitude under control.
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