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

Part 8


Christina had set herself up in one of the unused offices to make her calls. She had two neat piles in front of her, the face-down pile substantially larger, as she'd made the majority of the calls for the newest members of the center. She'd been at it for three hours. The first several calls she'd made had been answered by answering systems, so she'd moved on, waiting for those people to get home from work. After finishing the calls who had been answered, she was now returning to those who hadn't been.

She listened to the third ring, ready to hang up when a woman's voice was suddenly on the other end of the line. “Hello, Mrs. Radison? I'm Christina Simms from the Community Center.” As the woman acknowledged who she was, Christina glanced up as Farren stepped into the doorway of the office. She raised a hand in a greeting wave. Farren smiled in reply. “Hello. Your daughter, Kelsy signed up with us over the weekend, and we were just wanting to make sure that was alright with you.” The woman spoke on the other end, leaving Christina free to smile back at Farren.

Farren was amused, watching as the blonde tried to retain her professional demeanor on the phone, while grinning at her like a panther. She had decided to track down her gorgeous little helper, and overcome her reaction from earlier. She'd seen Christina hundreds of times, and had been just fine. She was determined to be just fine again. She raised her hand, pantomiming the motion of eating, raising a questioning eyebrow. She got an enthusiastic nod from Christina.

As Christina finished up her call, she kept her gaze on Farren, unable to help herself. The strange thing was, Samantha hadn't really done a whole lot to her, other than teach her a few cool eye makeup tricks, as well as give her some advice on clothing choices. Somehow, those subtle external changes had done more dramatic changes internally. She felt confident, somehow. Dare she say it? Sexy .

Farren fidgeted as she waited for the call to end, feeling as though she were about to jump out of her skin at any moment. What she really wanted to do was run back to her office, but she made herself stay put. Whatever had gotten under her skin, she was going to deal with. And deal with it right now! She hated feeling like something had control over her, especially when she didn't understand what it was.

Finally, Christina put the phone back into its cradle and smiled up at Farren. “Hungry, huh?”

“Yes. Very.”

Christina didn't miss the look aimed at her, which was carefully hidden a moment later. She could tell Farren was restraining herself, and that confused Christina. The Farren she knew before would never try and restrain her feelings. That was made apparent that night on the ice. Interesting.

“Okay. I have three more calls to make then we can go. Cool?”

“Yes. Very cool. I'll be in my office.” Farren left the room, a little pep in her step.

Thirty minutes later, the women met up outside a popular steak house, their cars parked two cars apart.

“I hope you're hungry,” Farren said, holding the door to the chop house open for her friend. “Lotsa food here.”

“Good! I'm starving.”

Glad to be out of the office for the day, Farren ordered herself a watermelon martini, glad to unwind.

“So, will Wyatt mind that you're out without him?” she asked, mentally kicking herself. Why the hell should she care if he cares or not?

Christina looked at her like she'd grown a third eye and shook her head. “Oh, no. Not at all. I'm sure he's stuffing his face as we speak, anyway.”

Interesting. Farren wondered if there were problems in the relationship. She could only hope. Bad me. I am a bad, bad person. “Oh. What are you going to have?”

Christina, completely unaware of Farren's inner thoughts of badness, perused the menu. “Not sure. I haven't eaten here in a long time, so I have to re-familiarize myself.” She looked at the abundant offerings of utterly fattening dinners. “God, my ass is going to pay for this tomorrow,” she muttered.

Farren rolled her eyes, but said nothing. Christina had the greatest ass of anyone she knew, and knew damn well one steak wasn't going to spoil the perfection. “Well, I am starving, and plan to thoroughly stuff myself.” She set her menu aside and began to snack on the bucket of peanuts at the end of the table, discarding the shells in the empty bucket, left for that purpose. “Mmm. Love peanuts.”

“Me, too.” Christina grabbed herself a small handful and carefully shelled each before popping the newly bared peanuts into her mouth, one by one. She studied her dinner companion for a moment, about to speak before she lost her nerve, but was interrupted by the returning waitress. Farren's martini and Christina's water was dropped off, and their food orders taken.

“Only water, huh?” Farren asked, stirring her drink before taking a sip. “Mmm. That's good.”

“It smells rather… watermelonee.”

Farren grinned. “Want one?”

“You trying to get me drunk so you can have your way with me?” Christina asked, shocked at her own words, but managing to hide that shock quite nicely. Unlike Farren.

Farren swallowed her normal retort - hell, yeah! – and took a second sip of her drink instead. “No. Water is just boring. You've had as long a day as I have, so I just figured….”

“I see. No, I'm fine. Thank you. If I feel really bad, I might have a wine cooler when I get home.”

“Ohhhhh!” Farren teased. “A wine cooler. Wild child, you.”

“I know. I even shock myself sometimes.”

Farren burst into laughter, enjoying the blonde's easy banter. It was rare to see Christina so relaxed, and though she wasn't sure what the occasion was, she was glad for it. ‘Thanks for your help today. As usual, you really helped save the day, like some super hero flying in out of the blue.”

“No problem. Sorry I didn't have my cape on, though; it's in the dry cleaners.” Christina grinned, which was quickly caught by Farren. Soon, they were grinning like idiots at each other. Tension had sprung up between them, and though Christina wasn't entirely sure what to do with it, she was enjoying it immensely. Warm fuzzies ran up and down her body, settling between her legs. It was a nice feeling.

A moment of tense silence bounced back and forth between them, leaving Farren at a loss of what to do or say. She glanced at her friend, then away as soon as her gaze was met by probing green eyes. She felt like she was thirteen yeas old again! What was up with Christina today? What was up with her , for that matter? Christina definitely had her on her toes.

“So, I hear that you only agreed to do the birthday party this weekend when you heard I'd volunteered,” Christina said, head cocked slightly to the side.

Farren looked at her, surprised, then looked away. “Cindy's fired,” she muttered, then took a sip of her martini. She'd definitely be having a second.

Christina chuckled. “Not necessary. I just thought it was cute.”

“Cute?” Farren felt grumpy now, busted in her ridiculous need to be near Christina. “I hate that word.”

“Oh, come on, Farren,” Christina said, reaching across the table and squeezing the brunette's hand playfully.

“You're a busy woman, and I didn't want you to have to give up your entire weekend, just to watch a bunch of kids scream and fall on the ice.”

“So, I shouldn't do that, but instead should sit on the couch watching TVO'd shows from the week?”

Farren blinked a couple times. “I don't have an answer for that. So, then I guess you're okay with chasing after twenty 10 year olds?”

Christina nodded, sipping her water. “Very okay with it. That is, if I get to chase after you, too.” Dead silence. “I mean you know, as I recall, you were somewhat of a difficult kid, yourself.” Christina felt like an idiot, and wasn't sure what to say. Instead, she turned her attention to de-shelling more peanuts.

Farren was trying to get her heart to calm, but it wasn't working. She now knew that Christina was outright flirting with her. And, she had a boyfriend at home! What the hell? She was about to say something when their dinners arrived.

They dug into their meals in silence, both thinking the same thing, but from different angles. Farren was wondering what the hell was going on. What, was it girls night out from the boyfriend? Was it time for some fun? Tease the lesbian? She felt a surge of anger, but then let it go. It was harmless, and so was Christina.

Christina, on the other hand, was wondering what she'd done wrong. Samantha – and Wyatt for the matter – had said she needed to flirt. Make herself available and open for Farren. So, what did she do wrong? The earlier sexual tension was now just… tension. She wanted to cry.

“I'll be right back,” she said, sliding out of the booth.

“Okay. I'll be here when you get back.”

Christina hurried to the bathrooms, tugging her cell phone out of her pocket as she went. Wyatt's phone rang twice before he picked up. “Help!”

“Christina? What's wrong?”

“I don't know what I did wrong.” Christina brought a hand up, swiping at a tear before it had a chance to fall. “I feel so stupid, Wyatt. I don't know what I'm doing. What was I thinking? She is totally out of my league. This whole thing was just stupid!” she hissed, turning away from a guy who walked by her, glancing her way at her vehement words.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on. What happened?” Wyatt removed his reading glasses, putting the tests he was grading aside. Jeff, who had been reading a book put it aside, as well.

“I don't know. I tried to flirt, but I think I offended her or something. God, Wyatt, what am I doing?”

“Are you crying?” Wyatt asked softly, shocked, as the only time he'd ever seen his friend cry was when her mom died.

“No,” Christina lied, wiping her eyes again. “I just feel really stupid, Wyatt. I don't have it in me to do this. I'm meant to be alone.”

“No you're not!” Wyatt exclaimed, his heart breaking for his friend. “Sweetie, you're beautiful and wonderful, and deserve to be happy. And, if Farren Hankins doesn't see that, then maybe she doesn't deserve you.

“No,” Christina sniffled, “it's not her fault, Wyatt. I'm just not cut out for this. I gotta go. I'm going to go finish my dinner then go home. I'm done.”

“Honey, please don't give up on this. I really feel you need to try-“

“I have to go, Wyatt. She's probably wondering where I disappeared to. I'll talk to you tomorrow.” Christina flipped her phone closed before her friend could talk her into anything.

As she weaved her way through the restaurant, she heard –

“Christina, don't let her go…”

Jerking her head around, expecting to see someone she knew – or her mother – she saw a young, black woman, her three children following her, including an adorable toddler, whose hand was held tightly by an older sister. The older child looked as though she wanted nothing more than to let the wiggling toddler's hand go.

Though amused, Christina couldn't help but wonder if it had been a sign of sorts. With a quick glance to the Heavens, she hurried back to her table and an awaiting Farren.

The brunette was cutting up her steak when Christina returned. She could sense something was wrong, but wasn't entirely sure what it was, or what to do about it. She glanced up at her friend as she slid into the booth.

“Find it okay?” she asked.

“Yeah. Sorry. Too much water,” Christina lied. Her own thoughts were whirling as she tried to decide what to do next. She felt in her gut that to turn away from Farren would be a mistake, but she wasn't entirely sure how to proceed. “Good?” she asked, indicating Farren's food, trying to get the topic off her sudden trip.

“Excellent!” Farren enthused, happy to be on seemingly safer ground. “I haven't had a good steak in far too long. I could never be a vegetarian again, lemme tell ya.”

“Again?” Christina questioned, cutting up her own dinner.

Farren nodded, sipping from her martini to wash down the large bite of steak she'd just eaten. She decided it might be wise to get some water, as she was beginning to feel the alcohol in her system. “When I was competing, I wasn't allowed to touch meat, other than the occasional fish or chicken. Beverly felt there was too much fat in red meats.”

Christina nodded, remembering many of her own dieting fiascos during those years. “I still love to run – when my leg will allow it, of course – but overall, I'm so glad I don't have to worry about the rigors of constant training, anymore.”

Farren raised her glass in salute. “Amen, sister.” Their glasses clinked, and their waitress appeared at the table, a second watermelon martini in hand.

“You ordered our special, secret item tonight, so get a second for free!”

Farren looked at the second drink, then at Christina, who was grinning. “Okay. Thank you.”

The waitress left, leaving the two women alone again. “Oh boy,” Christina said. “Are you going to be okay to drive?”

Farren shook her head, uncertain. “I honestly don't know. We may be sitting here for awhile.”

Christina smirked. “fine by me.”

As the meal went on, both women enjoyed the light-hearted conversation they shared, jumping from topic to topic. It was the first time they'd met as friends, and not as rivals or coach and skater. The tension between them had melted away, instead leaving a fun, refreshing atmosphere.

By the end of dinner, Farren decided she wasn't in good enough shape to drive home, and didn't want to sit at the restaurant – which was getting nosier as more and more people arrived – but instead wanted to go home.

“Would you mind?” she asked Christina, holding up her own stet of keys.

“Not at all. If you want, I can bring you back here tomorrow to pick up your car.”

Farren nodded in agreement. Their bill was squared away, and then they made their way out into the beautiful night.

“I'm parked over here.” Christina led the way towards her SUV, Farren following behind, her brain fuzzy and body pleasantly warmed.

“This is cute,” Farren complimented during the drive to her condo.

“Thanks. It's good in the snow and good on gas.”


Christina followed her friend's directions, ending up at a nice condo complex. It was so radically different than where Farren used to live. It was hard to believe she'd given up the huge estate for fifteen hundred square feet of condo living.

She parked the SUV at the curb, unsure what to do. Her stomach was in knots, her palms sweating. How was this supposed to work? Did she just say good night, and what time should I pick you up in the morning? Farren, on the other hand, had other ideas.

“Wanna come in and meet Fuzzy?”

Christina's eyes became saucers at the suggestion, her mind reeling at just what exactly Farren could mean by meeting Fuzzy.

Farren burst into laughter, seeing the confusion in Christina's eyes. “She's my dog ,” she clarified.

Christina also laughed, though it was a nervous laugh. An image had already begun to spring to mind, and now she wasn't able to brush it away. Instead, she found a parking space and locked the car, following Farren up the path to the building. It took Farren a moment to successfully get her door unlocked, but with a little help from Christina, the task was accomplished and entry was made.

“Welcome,” Farren said, dropping her keys with a loud clang onto a table. She flipped on lights as she went. It wasn't long before her brown, black and white beagle charged into the room – having been asleep on her bed – all barks and wagging tail.

Christina immediately fell in love with the small beast. “Look at you!” she exclaimed, falling to her knees to accept tons of puppy kisses. “You are too cute!”

“Oh, she knows that already,” Farren smirked, kicking off her shoes as she plopped down on the couch. She watched the blonde play with her dog for a moment, charmed by the picture the two made.

“I have to say,” Christina said, finally getting the dog settled down. “I'm surprised you have a dog, Farren.”

“Why?” Farren asked, patting the cushion beside where she sat.

Christina took her invite, and plopped down next to her, tired after a long day and a full belly. “I don't know. Your other house was just so … perfect. It didn't seem like you'd want the mess that goes along with having animals.”

Farren – who's head was resting back against the cushions – turned to look at the blonde. “My house was perfect because I had staff who made it that way. Not so here.” She indicated the living room around them.

Though it was a beautiful room, filled with expensive, stylish furnishings, magazines and two days of newspapers littered the coffee table top. What could be seen of the dining room table was piled with unopened mail and a light jacket that had been tossed over the top.

“Okay, so it's lived in.”

Farren burst into laughter. “Messy, you mean.” With a groan she pushed up from the couch and to her feet. “Come on. I'll give you the nickel tour.”

“Okay,” Christina said, following her hostess. “And, no, I mean lived-in . They headed into the large kitchen, Christina marveling at the new appliances and granite countertops. “God, I'd kill for those. My kitchen is so old. It needs to be re-done in the worst way.”

“So, why don't you re-do it?” Farren asked, leading the way into the joining dining room.

“I don't know. Guess I've got other things I'd rather be doing.”

Farren smiled in understanding. “Okay, so you've seen the kitchen, living room and dining room. I'll show you the bedrooms and office.”

Christina's stomach began to clench up again as they made their way down the hall, Fuzzy's wagging butt at their feet. She was first shown the guest bedroom, then the office – which was pin-neat – and finally the master bedroom. Christina was equal parts nervous and curious to see that room.

The bed was a large king, gorgeous cherry wood posts reaching nearly the ceiling at all four corners. The dresser and other furniture matched, creating a dramatic, beautiful effect. “This is really beautiful, Farren,” she said, turning in a small circle in the large room.

“Thank you.” Farren leaned back against the wall, hands tucked behind her. She felt nervous energy coming off Christina in waves, and washing right through her. She watched the blonde explore the room, her heart beginning to pound. Her buzz was quickly wearing off, leaving a deep burn of want in its wake. It was definitely making her nervous.

Christina finished her perusal of the room and turned to Farren. She saw her blue eyes burning a path right into her, and it made her feel almost dizzy. The tension was back with a vengeance. Christina felt her heart pounding, palms sweating, and she was terrified. She'd never been in this position before, and had no idea what to do about it.

Farren felt her resolve slipping away as Christina stood on the other side of the room, looking at her. Their gazes collided, and she felt the physical crash throughout her body, leaving her trembling. Words began to come from her before she'd realized she had meant to speak.

“You look so beautiful today, Christina.” Not only had she not meant to speak, but her voice was not her own: it was deeper, filled with the deepest want she'd ever known.

“Thank you,” Christina said softly, her fear growing in step with her desire. She felt awkward and unsure, all earlier confidence gone, drained from unfamiliar territory.

Farren couldn't take her eyes off Christina, her heart pounding in her ears and throat. She wondered if it could be heard in the room, outside the safety of her chest. Her body burned to touch the blonde, to taste her and feel her naked skin. She swallowed, her mouth suddenly dry. Any semblance of sense was beginning to vanish as her focus became tunnel vision: I want her .

Christina could feel a shift in the energy in the room. The air was becoming heavy and vibrant, as if every piece of furniture, every moment, every atom were waiting to see what would happen.

Farren fought her own body for control. Her feet itched to move, to carry her across the room to the blonde. She could remember how those lips tasted, how Christina felt against her. She longed for that touch again. For the chance to show her just how much she really wanted her. How much she loved –

Farren was shaken from her reverie and spurred into non-action by what she had just about to think. There was absolutely no way in hell love was a word that should be used in concert with Christina Simms. Right? Lust – check. Gorgeous – check. Maybe even really big, major like – check, check and check. But not love. Then, on top of that, an image of Wyatt What's-His-Name entered her mind, sealing the deal.

“I think you should leave,” Farren said quietly, turning her back on Christina before she did something really stupid, and asked the blonde to stay.

Christina felt as though she'd been shoved – hard. “What?” she asked, out of breath from her earlier euphoria of conflicting feelings.

“Really. I think you should go.” Farren turned to face the stunned blonde, doing her damndest to hide any expression. “It's late, and we've both had a long day,” she explained gently, trying to take any sting out of her sudden turn-about.

Christina said nothing, just nodded. She left the room, leaving a confused Farren behind, her only companion the slamming of the front door, followed by Fuzzy's barking.

“Beautifully done, Farren. Absolutely fucking brilliant,” she scolded herself, followed by a long sigh.



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