Chapter 2

Bryce lifted my chin as the song ended. It was the song we would be using for our qualification, which would be taking place in just three short days. It put a grin on my face just thinking about it. Bryce, catching a glimpse of my expression, chuckled. He had seen it on my face more and more as the Olympics neared. We had flown out to Vancouver last week, and since then the grin was on my face constantly. Sometimes jokes would be made about how I slept with it on.

"Good job, good job. Just a few things I noticed..." my coach droned on in his seemingly endless "constructive criticism". I knew I should be listening, seeing as the Olympics started in a few days, but I couldn't tear my thoughts away from the tall figure standing next to me.

"Hey, wanna grab a bite?" Bryce surprised me by saying. Since we'd become partners, he'd barely spoken a word to me despite my obvious crush.

"Sure," I managed to say. He smiled at me.

"I know this great little Chinese place if you're up for it," he offered. No more greasy burger joints for us. We were Olympic athletes now.

"Sounds great."

We drove to a cutesy little restaurant, who's name I couldn't pronounce, on West Broadway. What can I say? The food was good, and the company was even better.

"Are you excited for Friday?" he asked between bites. That was the understatement of the century.

"Yes, are you kidding me?" then I sobered. "But I'm really nervous."

"You'll do great. We'll do great." he quickly corrected himself.

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SSSSHHH went the sound of my skates as I landed my triple axel. I cheered inwardly and headed off the ice to unlace my skates. My mother, who had flown in today, had stayed late at the rink to watch me practice. She put a hand on my shoulder.

"You'll do great, Jess. I know you will." The faith in her voice gave me a warmness in my gut.

"Thanks Mom." We were now at my car. I took out my keys and opened the door.

"And how about that Bryce? He's a fine yound man. It's a shame..." she trailed off wistfully, yet I knew what she was thinking.

"He's straight." I said awkwardly.

And there we sat, neither daring to say what was on both our minds.

The End

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