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.

Winning Touch


Kim Pritekel

(Sorry for the delay in part 4. Real life got a little nuts for awhile – KP)

Part 4


Christina pulled herself up to the edge of the pool, arms resting on the tiled edge. She had been doing laps for more than two hours, and her body was letting her know exactly how it felt about such abuse. Exhausted, she pulled herself out the rest of the way and padded to the locker room, water falling from her muscular, compact frame.

She grabbed the towel she’d left on the lounge chair on her way, drying off her face. It had been two full days and nights since the ice skating incident, and Farren had yet to make an appearance at the palatial estate. When Christina had arrived back at the house from her parents’ home, she had been disappointed – though not terribly surprised – to find Farren hadn’t yet returned. Then she’d thought maybe it was good because it gave them both a bit more time to cool off. When the skater still hadn’t returned by the next day, Christina was just plain hurt. Then angry. Then worried. Then indifferent. Now, it depended on the minute by minute thought.

Showered and dressed, Christina made her way to the main house, sighing as she looked around. Spring was in full bloom, heading on into summer, and it was gorgeous. It would start getting hot soon, which she didn’t look forward to. She headed into the house and up to her room, oblivious to Farren’s car, which crept up the long drive.

Christina stood at her mirror, brushing her hair back away from her face, turning her head this way and that, looking at her skin and eyes. They were blood-shot from the lack of sleep she’d had over the past couple of nights. She had a bad feeling in her gut, and wasn’t quite sure where it stemmed from. All she knew was something was about to happen, and she had the feeling she wasn’t going to like it.

She walked out of the bathroom and into the bedroom part of the suite. She was about to grab the doorknob to open her door when she stopped, startled as there were footsteps directly on the other side of the closed door. They stopped, and Christina could tell someone was standing directly in front of her door. She waited a breathless moment, wondering if there would be a knock.

Christina decided to play it cool, hurrying back into the bedroom to find something to do. To make it look like she was busy, and was not in any way waiting for Farren’s return. Finding a book, she plopped down on the bed, arranging herself to look as though she’d been there for hours. She was ready. No knock. Instead, the footsteps moved away from her door, and down the hall towards Farren’s bedroom.

Irked, the blonde hurried over to the door, staring at it as it had done something wrong. “Why the hell am I playing to passive/aggressive?” she muttered to herself, feeling like a child. She threw her door open and hurried down the hall to find that, sure enough, Farren had returned.

Farren walked over to her bedroom window, pulling the curtains open when she felt the presence at her bedroom suite door. She turned to find Christina standing there, her expression unreadable.

“You missed training,” the blonde said, folding her arms over her chest and taking a casual stance.

Farren nodded. “I know. I’m sorry. I needed to get away for a couple days. Think.”

Christina studied the exhausted-looking brunette for a moment, then noticed something. She felt a stab of jealousy rip through her. “I see. I hope you got a lot of thinking done.” She turned and headed back to her own bedroom.

Shocked, Farren nearly followed when she realized that Christina had been looking at something on her neck. She hurried over to a wall-mounted mirror. “Fuck!” Bright as day, a large, very angry-looking hickey peeked out of her shirt collar. She ran out of the room, stopping once she reached Christina’s open door. Her heart fell when she saw the blonde calmly loading clothing into an opened suitcase on her bed. “What are you doing?”

“This isn’t working, Farren,” Christina said, her voice soft, defeated. She continued to lay her clothing in the large Samsonite when a warm hand rested on her arm.

“Wait. Please don’t go. I can explain-“ Farren blurted, desperation marking her voice.

Christina gently removed Farren’s hand, her smile gentle, yet very sad. “You don’t have to explain anything, Farren. You don’t owe me anything. What you do is your business.” Even as she said the words, she couldn’t allow herself to look at the brunette, knowing she’d see that damned hickey again if she did.

“Then why are you going?”

“Because this has been a disaster from the beginning.” Christina stopped packing and looked into Farren’s face. “We’re very different, Farren, which though may not be a crime, it makes for a very difficult working relationship. I’m tired of fighting with you. I am mentally and emotionally exhausted, and I’ve only been here a few months!” Her green eyes pleaded for Farren to understand. “Imagine a year from now. Two years.”

Farren sighed, knowing that Christina was right. She sat down on the bed, deflated. “Yeah.”

Christina continued to pack, her heart so heavy she thought it would fall right out of her chest. She also needed to get a rein on her feelings. Somehow they had gotten out of hand, and she wasn’t comfortable with it. She hated feeling jealous, and didn’t understand where it was coming from. Farren slept around, and would continue to do so. Was the blonde supposed to just wait for when Farren decided to get serous about her training again? All the while ignore the hickeys and late nights, and pretend it didn’t bother her?

“Where will you go?” Farren asked quietly. “Back to Spain?”

Christina shook her head. “No. I think I’ll hang around for awhile.” She sighed heavily, caressing the cashmere sweater that she held in her hands. She felt so lost. “Maybe finally finish my degree.”

“I hope you do.” Farren looked down at her hands for a moment, wanting so badly to cry. “Listen, I’m going to go.” She stood, swallowing several times to keep her emotions under control.

“Alright.” Christina was hurt, but didn’t dare show it. She held out a hand to the taller woman. “Good luck to you.”

Farren looked down at the blonde’s hand, such an impersonal gesture. She grabbed the smaller woman instead, holding her in a tight hug. Christina’s eyes slipped closed as she felt herself completely enveloped by Farren’s warmth and essence.

“Take care of yourself, Christy,” Farren whispering, remembering the nickname she used to call the blonde when they were kids, and still friends. Before competition and coaches had gotten in the way.

“You, too,” Christina said, returning the hug fully. “You are so talented, Farren.” She pulled away just enough to look up into the brunette’s face. “Don’t let that fall away.”

Farren smiled and nodded. She could feel her eyes beginning to sting, unshed tears giving serious threats. She quickly let go of Christina, and hurried from the room.


The last few students had left the classroom, eager to start their Christmas break after a challenging semester in Christina Simms’ class. Christina finished wiping down the dry erase board and shoving her books into her backpack. She was also looking forward to the break, though she wouldn’t have much of one. She planned to spend as much time with her mother as she could.

In the past year, since the diagnosis for Pam’s cancer, she’d gotten weaker and weaker. It had been a valiant fight, but part of Christina was terrified the battle was soon to be lost. She wanted their family to have the best Christmas possible, since it was likely it would be Pam’s last.

Christina pushed those thoughts aside, as she’d had a long time to attempt a reconciliation between her mind and heart. She knew the day would come soon when she’d have to face the true realities of losing her mother, which would be far too soon, considering Christina was only thirty-five. But, it would happen. For now, she tried to live each day as fully as she could, and be there for her mom and dad. Joe Simms wasn’t handling his wife’s sickness well. They knew Pam was terminal, and Joe couldn’t imagine his life without her. It broke Christina’s heart to watch him slowly fall apart.

The day was beautiful, as snow had fallen all night. The roads were slick and dangerous, but the scenery more than made up for it. Tonight she planned to take a drive around her neighborhood to look at Christmas lights. But first, she headed to her parents’ house. It was nearly four in the afternoon and her mom had to take her pills by four-thirty. Christina’s dad had changed the hours at his job to nights so he could be there with Pam during the day, then Christina took over when she left the community college she was teaching at to be there in the evenings. Once she got her mom tucked in for the night and made sure she had everything she needed, Christina headed home, a promise extracted from Pam that she’d call her daughter were she to need anything, no matter what time.

“Hey, Mom,” the blonde said, giving her mother a kiss on the cheek.

Pam had herself situated on the couch, her doo rag slightly askew. “Hi, honey,” she said, giving her daughter a weak hug. It was hard for her family to see her, especially those who didn’t see her every day like Joe and Christina. She had become so incredibly thin and frail. Her hair was long gone from chemo, and she looked gaunt. “I taped Oprah for you today.”

“Why?” Christina asked, sitting on the recliner next to the couch. “I hate talk shows.”

‘I know, but there was a program on there that I thought you’d like to see.” She winced slightly as she adjusted her position on the couch. “It’s over there, on top of the VCR. Your dad labeled it for you. Don’t forget to take it with you tonight.”

“I’m not going home tonight, Mom. I’m on Christmas break.”

“No.” Pam shook her head. “You’re going home. You have a house, so use it.” Pam could see the hurt in her daughter’s eyes, and realized that the older woman’s good intentions had gotten lost in her physical pain. She took her daughter’s hand, her eyes softening. “Honey, you have your own life outside of all this,” she indicated the sea of pill bottles and equipment that would help Pam get up and move around. “You don’t need to be around all this sickness all the time.”

Christina sighed, nodding. She hated leaving every night, so afraid she’d get a call in the middle of the night that her father would find her mom dead when he got in from work at midnight. “Okay.” Somewhere inside she did understand that her mom did want some time alone. Some time to feel normal. “I will.”

“Good.” Pam patted Christina’s hand before letting it go. “Maybe you’ll find yourself a boyfriend,” she said, a small smile on her pale lips.

Christina rolled her eyes. This was a discussion they’d had a million and one times. She knew that no matter what she said, she’d never be able to convince her mother that she was fine on her own. Always had been, likely always would be. She was brought out of her thoughts by her mother’s quiet voice.

“I want you to know that I’m really proud of you, Tina.” Pam waited until she had her daughter’s full attention. When she got it, she studied the beautiful face: the bright green eyes, so filled with intelligence and compassion. Her smooth, beautiful skin. Christina was in her mid-thirties now, but any twenty year old would kill for her skin. “You’ve grown into such a wonderful woman, honey. I’m so proud of all that you’ve done, from the skating star you were, to the brilliant, beloved professor you are now.” She smiled, tears in her eyes. “I always hoped you’d finish your education. I’m so glad you finally did.”

Christina looked down, pride filling her to the point of embarrassment. Her mother’s opinion mattered so much to her. It made her feel so happy to know Pam thought so highly of her. Pam Simms was such a good person, and a wonderful mother. Christina felt so lucky to have had her, but deep down she was so goddamn angry that she would lose her. It wasn’t fair!

Pam was surprised as abruptly Christina pushed up from the chair and disappeared up the stairs. She knew the reason, and it broke her heart.

Christina found her way to the bathroom, managing to get inside before the sobs ripped from her throat. As happy as her mother’s words made her, their frequency scared her. She knew it was getting close, and Pam wanted to make sure that those she loved knew exactly how she felt about them before…

She buried her face in her hands, unable to control her tears. Usually she was able to hold them back until she was at home, but today, for some reason, the emotion was riding the surface in a big way. She felt a large hand on her shoulder. Knowing her father had come to comfort her – again – she fell into him.

“I know, sweetie,” he whispered, holding his only child close. He’d had a few of his own breakdowns lately. It was hard watching his wife of almost forty years disappear before his eyes, but watching his baby girl lose her mama was probably one of the hardest things. “It’s gonna be okay,” he soothed, rubbing her back. He had planned to tell Christina that he and Pam had gone over her will earlier that day, but perhaps it wasn’t the right time just now.


By the light of the Christmas tree, Christina slid the tape into the VCR – glad she still actually had one – and sat on the couch to see what her mother had thought was so important as to make her daughter watch the hated talk shows.

Sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee in hand, Christina watched the show. The first forty-five minutes were filled with “Christmas miracles”, special things the show had done for various people. The blonde had to admit – especially as tears slid down her cheeks – it was touching. Even so, she wasn’t sure why she was supposed to watch. Then Oprah announced her next guest. Christina sat up a bit straighter, surprised to see former Olympic figure skater, Farren Hankins.

Christina watched intently as the brunette was introduced, her blue eyes twinkling as she took in the applause that were aimed at her. It had been more than three years since she had seen the beautiful woman. She couldn’t take her eyes off her now, as the talk show hostess began to talk to her. Christina was listening to what Farren had to say as they engaged in informal chit chat, but soon the words disappeared, and green eyes focused only on Farren’s face. The brunette was certainly beautiful on the screen, but Christina knew, in person, she was breathtaking.

Her gaze drifted down to full lips, and watched as the straight, ultra-white teeth flashed with each of Farren’s words. Her eyes were so blue, especially against the light blue button up shirt she was wearing. The color was vivid, the life behind them just as vibrant.

Christina was so lost in her perusal that she was startled when suddenly the image on the screen changed from Farren Hankins to a little girl skating around an ice rink, the Olympic medalist at her side.

“Explain how this program got started,” the talk show hostess said.

“Well,” Farren began, the picture back to her in the Chicago studio. “I got an email from Kelsey –“ referring to the little girl that had been on the screen – “and she asked if I would be willing to come to her school in Houston and be her show-and-tell that week.”

The audience broke out into laughter, as did Christina. She put her coffee cup aside, completely immersed in Farren’s story of her travels to Texas, all to meet a little nine year old fan, who took her to class with her.

“From that meeting with Kelsey, I was inspired to start a program back home in Denver for younger skaters like her.”

“So, let me get this straight. This little girl – cute little thing who wanted to drag you into her classroom as show-and-tell has inspired you to create a community program for kids who want to skate?”

Farren nodded. “Exactly. Kids who want to figure skate, play hockey, basketball, and we’re trying to open up a division for non-athletics, too.”


“Yeah, you know, you might paint, but can’t dribble a ball to save your life. Basically, a community center for kids, with extremely affordable membership fees, if not free. Depending on the case. So many kids want to be involved in activities outside of what their school can offer, but many parents can’t afford it. For instance,” Farren grinned, “I hardly think I could have gotten involved in figure skating through my local elementary school.”

Christina smiled, watching as Farren’s charisma washed over everyone in that studio, and likely everyone at home watching. The blonde couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Farren, a philanthropist? It just didn’t fit the hard-partying, womanizing person Christina had known three years ago. All the same, she watched the rest of the program, and wrote down the address where donations could be sent. She was intrigued.


Christina let the tinted glass door close behind her as she made her way towards her car, and out of the small, cramped parking lot of the Post Office. She didn’t feel comfortable leaving an envelope with a sizeable check inside, sit in her mailbox at home, waiting for the mailman to pick it up.

After watching Farren’s appearance on the talk show, she had decided she wanted to be part of Farren’s cause, even if from a distance through her sizeable donation. It was an extremely worthy cause, and Christina was proud of Farren for doing it.

As the blonde drove to her parents’ house, the smile slid from her face, remembering the dream she’d had the night before. She had arrived at the house, only to find that her mother had died in the middle of the night. A quick call home had assured her that her mother was fine. In fact, Pam sounded chipper and happier than Christina had heard her in weeks. That had immediately set her at ease.

“Mom?” she called, walking into the empty living room.

“Back here, sweetie,” Pam called out, her voice still weak, but stronger than Christina had heard it in far too long.

Christina followed the voice to the kitchen, where Pam was cleaning up breakfast dishes. “Let me help,” the blonde said, immediately rushing to take over the task, as it was difficult for Pam to stand for long periods of time. Her energy levels would usually give out after only a matter of moments.

“No, I’ve got it today,” Pam said, batting Christina’s helping hands away. “Sit.” Pam took a few steadying breaths before filling her daughter’s plate with a full breakfast, so happy to be able to do something for those who had taken care of her for months

Christina did as asked, gratefully accepting the plate of food, as her mother sat across from her. “You look good,” the younger woman said, scooping a forkful of eggs into her mouth. Her eyes slid closed. “God, I love your eggs!”

Pam smiled. “I’m glad. Don’t eat with your mouth full. And, thank you. I feel good.” Pam ran a hand over the material of the doo-rag that covered her bald head. “I had the most wonderful dream last night,” she began, voice wistful and eyes far away. Christina listened as her mother began to re-live her nocturnal journey. “I was standing in the middle of this wonderful field, flowers everywhere. I could even smell them!” Pam’s eyes widened with excitement. “I was so happy to smell flowers again. With this damn winter…,” her voice trailed off, no need to say what they both knew. It was likely Pam wouldn’t be around for the new flowers to bloom.

“It was so beautiful,” Pam continued. “The most amazing thing was, I had hair! Long, beautiful hair, like I did when you were little. I was dancing in the field,” Pam’s eyes slid closed, as once again she was able to feel the sun in her face and flowers brushing her legs as she danced in her dream field. “I was alive and well, no sickness.”

Christina wiped at a tear that threatened to fall, not wanting her mother to see how affected she was by what she knew was Pam’s ultimate dream: to be well. “That was a beautiful dream, Mom.”

Pam smiled and sighed. “It was. You know, I think it means I’m going to get better.” She slammed her hand down on the table. “I’m going to beat this damn thing!”

Christina’s smile was as radiant as her mother’s. Joe Simms entered the kitchen at that moment, bending down to first kiss his wife, then his daughter. “Honey, I need to ask you a favor today,” he asked of his daughter, pouring himself a glass of orange juice and taking a seat at the table.

“Sure, what’s up?” Christina asked, sipping her own juice.

“I’ve got meetings all day today, but I have to get this proposal to the Winbrant office by two.” He set a manila folder on the counter. “Would you mind?”

“No, not at all. In fact, I have to meet Wyatt at noon to go over a few things for next semester – you know, before he takes off for his ‘fabulous’ skiing trip,” she said, repeating the words of her best friend.

“Great. Thanks.” Joe downed his juice, then quickly hurried off upstairs to finish getting ready for work.

“Do you want to go with me today, Mom? It shouldn’t take more than thirty minutes or so with Wyatt. That is,” Christina hedged, “if he’s on time, anyway.”

Pam nodded. “Sure, I might. We’ll see how I feel by then, okay?” Pam began to clear the table of her daughter’s breakfast dishes, and the glass her husband had thoughtlessly left on the table. “You know, that man is far too handsome to be gay,” Pam said, an image of Wyatt Townsend in her mind. She shook her head. “Such a shame.”

Christina chuckled. “No, I’d say he’s too good-looking to be straight. Gay guys are supposed to be gorgeous.”

“Well, his alter ego manages just fine in the straight world,” Pam countered, meaning Brad Pitt, who most said Wyatt was a dead ringer for. Just, Brad Pitt in Gucci.

Christina laughed. “This is true.” She helped with the dishes, then helped Pam settle into the living room. “I watched that Oprah tape you sent me home with. Oh, and here’s your tape, by the way,” she said, digging it out of the messenger bag she’d left on the couch when she’d arrived at the house. “That’s a pretty amazing program Farren has started. I mailed out a check today on the way here.”

“Good for you!” Pam said, excited. She set the tape aside, knowing she’d use it later to tape her soaps. Sometimes she fell asleep in the middle of General Hospital, and couldn’t dare miss her show. “She looked beautiful, didn’t she?”

Christina was surprised by the sudden comment, but nodded. “Yes. She’s a beautiful woman, Mom.” Christina tried to play it nonchalant, not wanting Pam to know just how much Farren Hankins’ still could get to her. She wanted to change the direction of the conversation, and fast. “I’m going to talk to Wyatt about it today, see if he’s interested in maybe going down there to help her out. He doesn’t really have the money to give, but he has lots and lots of time.”

“That would be wonderful, sweetie. You should, too.”

Christina shook her head. “No. I’d rather give money.”

Pam knew from the tone of her daughter’s voice that the discussion was over. She dropped it.


As the morning wore on, Christina had herself set up on the couch, laptop in hand, working on notes for a new project she had planned for the next semester. Pam was in the recliner, watching CNN. She looked tired.

“Is there anything I can get for you?” Christina asked, taking off her computer glasses and setting them aside.

Pam turned blood-shot eyes her way and shook her head. “No, sweetie. My energy just seemed to have gone caput.” She reached over for the remote, hitting the MUTE button. She wanted to talk. “So how are things really going with you, Tina? Was the semester good?”

Christina put her laptop aside, pulling her legs up to tuck underneath herself. “Everything is going fine, Mom. I promise. The semester was good. Had a few jackasses in class, but overall, it went fine. I am considering going back and finishing, though. Getting my PhD.”

“Why?” Pam asked, never understanding her daughter’s constant drive and need to improve upon herself. It was wonderful in concept, but she often wondered if Christina’s use of it was simply to avoid living real life.

“Because with only a Masters I’m stuck teaching at either a high school or community college level. I’m thinking I want to get into the university.”

“Honey?” Pam said, her voice soft. “When are you going to stop improving and start living? I should be a prime example for you. Your youth and beauty don’t last forever.”

Christina was confused, and it showed on her face.

Pam smiled, understanding. “I have one question for you, which I don’t want you to answer right now, but I want you to think about for a bit. We can talk about it tomorrow.”

“Alright,” Christina drawled, not sure just exactly what her mother had in mind.

“If you died tomorrow, can you say you’ve done all that you hoped to do by this point in your life? Have you reached every dream? Achieved every perceived goal?”

Christina knew she could answer that question easily, and opened her mouth to do so, but Pam stopped her with a raised hand.

“No. Think on it tonight. You give me the answer tomorrow.”

Christina had dropped off her father’s proposal for him, and was now headed to the school to meet Wyatt. Pam had decided not to go, preferring instead to take an afternoon nap. They had plans to go out for an early dinner when Christina got home. She knew Pam was biting at the bit to get out of the house.

Wyatt was actually waiting for her, to the blonde’s surprise. The good-looking guy was notorious for being late to any and every planned meeting. Even his own classes, half the time.

“Hey,” Christina said, setting her messenger bag down on her desk, Wyatt sitting in a desk in the front row, feet up on the desk next to it.

“Afternoon, gorgeous.” He hopped down and walked over to her, giving her one of his famous bear hugs, which she happily returned. They shared a quick kiss on the lips. Wyatt wasn’t out at the college, so their genuine affection for each other helped keep his sexual status a mystery that leaned toward the straight. Christina Simms was the envy of most their female colleagues, which amused her to no end.

“Hello. You’re actually here!” Christina gaze him a smirk, which he rolled blue eyes at.

“Yes, yes. I had to drop off some paperwork to Grimes, so I was here anyway.”

“Wonderful. I can’t stay long, so that worked out great.”

“Gotta get back to your mom?” he asked, walking over to Christina’s desk, and looking through the pages the blonde had brought with her.

“Yeah. I’m going to take her out for dinner when I get home. She’s bursting at the seams to get out.”

“I bet. I would be, too, stuck in that bed all damn day.” He shook his head sadly. “Poor woman.”

“You should come with us, Wyatt. I know she’d love to stare at you all night.”

Wyatt grinned, his dimples winking at Christina. “I can’t, but I’ll follow you home and say hello.”

“She’d love that, Wyatt, thank you.” Despite Pam’s jokes about Wyatt’s looks, she’d always really liked the guy. She had been nearly heartbroken to find out he was gay, and that there wasn’t a chance of he and Christina making her gorgeous grandbabies. She often called him the son-in-law that got away.

The two teachers got to work, and within forty minutes were headed out. Wyatt promised to meet Christina at her parents’ house within fifteen minutes, but he had to fill up his tank for the early drive out of town the next morning.

Christina felt happy, hopeful, as she drove away from the school, surprised when she saw a big red sign mounted on a small, corner building: ROSES!

“Roses? In December?” Seeing it as a sign, she pulled into the lot and walked into the small flower shop. Her mother wanted the smell of real flowers, Christina was going to give her real flowers.

Bouquet in hand, Christina headed the rest of the way to her parents’ house, surprised – for a second time in one day – to see Wyatt’s car parked at the curb, her friend stepping out of his car.

“’Bout time you showed up…”

Christina rolled her eyes, showing him the flowers. “Pit stop.”

“For me? Aww, how sweet.” Wyatt laughed when his friend pushed away his attempts to take the flowers from him. “Such a loving daughter,” her said as they walked up the path towards the house.

“I know.” Christina pushed open the door, Wyatt behind her. “Mom!” she called out, excited to see her mother’s face when she saw the flowers, which smelled absolutely wonderful. She had definitely done her good daughter deed for the week. “Mom? I brought Brad Pitt with me!” She turned and grinned at Wyatt over her shoulder.

“I do not look like Brad Pitt!” he hissed, though he was always secretly pleased when someone told him that.

Christina walked through the living room to the kitchen, peeking out into the backyard, her concern growing. “Mom?” She glanced up towards the stairs, which she felt was unlikely, since Pam had a hard time climbing them without help.

“She’s not in the bathroom, either,” Wyatt said, stepping out of the small half-bath just off the kitchen.

“Check the basement, okay? I’m going to check upstairs.” Wyatt nodded and hurried towards the door that led down, Christina taking the stairs going up, two at a time. “Mom?” Christine asked softly, walking down that hall, ducking her head in her old bedroom, finding it empty, then on to her parents’ bedroom.

She let out a sigh of relief when she saw her mother laid out peacefully on the large king-sized bed. She must have decided to take her nap in her own bed, rather than the couch or recliner. It was highly unusual, but not totally unheard of. She chewed her lip for a moment, trying to figure out if she should wake her or not. A glance at her watch told her that it was the normal time when Pam would be getting up, anyway, so she decided to wake her.

“Mom?” she walked over to her mother’s side of the bed and sat on the edge of the bed, flowers lying in her lap. “Wakey wakey. I brought Wyatt to say hello, but he can’t join us for dinner. I tried.” She waited, nothing. “Mom?”

“You found her? Oh,” Wyatt put a hand to his heart. “Thank god. I wasn’t sure if she’d run off or something.”

“Nah, just napping.” She turned back to her mom, resting a hand on the older woman’s arm. She gasped, shocked to find it cool to the touch. Her heart began a slow build, beating a little harder each time. “Mom?” she said, her voice faltering a bit. She touched the side of Pam’s pale face, “Cold.” She turned to Wyatt, green eyes pleading for him to do something.

Wyatt hurried to the bed, bending over Christina and placing two fingers to Pam’s Throat. Dread filled him when he felt no pulse. “Call an ambulance,” he whispered.


Return to the Academy