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It didn’t matter how high she turned up the volume on her phone, her headphones were no match for the figure skater standing next to her in the cafeteria. 

“And then she did this thing with her tongue and I swear to fucking God, I ascended. Spiritually, physically, emotionally,” the skater gushed to her friends. 

Tobin chuckled, always finding it incredibly amusing that Olympians went as crazy as they did at the village. She’d never done that. Not that she was a veteran Olympian. It was only her second, and she’d been dumped right before her first one. She felt too focused now to screw around. 

“You guys were right. Sex is better at the Olympics and sex is best with Christen Press,” the skater added before grabbing a plate of pasta and waltzing off, her friends in tow. 

“Who the fuck is Christen Press?” A.D. laughed, slinging her arm around Tobin’s shoulders. 

“I think your wifey is happy you don’t know the answer to that,” Ashlyn chuckled, pulling A.D. and Tobin over to a table. 

“My wife has nothing to worry about,” A.D. replied. “She’s the light of my life.” 

“I’m glad they have salmon,” Tobin hummed, bobbing her head to the soft music in her headphones and scooping up a piece of fish onto her fork. 

“Speaking of sex, I need the room tonight, Tobs,” Ashlyn said with a grin. 

“No,” Tobin whined. “It’s the first night.” 

“She’s a skier. Does the moguls and she even said you could stay in her room with her roommate tonight,” Ashlyn added. 

“I don’t want to stay in her room. I want to sleep in mine,” Tobin pouted. 

“You owe me,” Ashlyn said, raising her eyebrows at Tobin. “Back me up on this A.D.”

“I don’t owe you,” Tobin scoffed. 

“She broke up with Justin for you. And CJ,” A.D. pointed out. 

“She just pressed send on the text to Justin, and CJ already knew it was gonna happen,” Tobin grumbled, knowing she was gonna lose this argument. 

Ashlyn reached out and pulled the cord out of Tobin’s headphones, cutting off her music. 

“Please? I need this. I'm shitting bricks about the boarders from Canada for halfpipe. Please, Tobs?” Ashlyn asked, jutting out her lower lip in a pout. 

“Stay off my bed,” Tobin sighed. 

“Like that’ll stop her,” A.D. chuckled. 

“And don’t ask me to do this multiple times a week. And you owe me next time,” Tobin added. 

Ashlyn stuck her hand out for Tobin to shake, sealing the deal. 

“I think Press was the best sex I’ve ever had. I’m hoping to run into her again,” a tall hockey player said to a few of her friends as they walked past Tobin’s table. 

“Damn, okay,” A.D. laughed. 

“I still don’t get why the village is like sex city,” Tobin hummed, sticking another bite of food into her mouth. 

Ashlyn munched on a French fry and shrugged. “You find a better way to expel the nerves, you let me know.”

“I don’t get nervous,” Tobin grinned. 

“You also don’t get laid by talented lovers, so,” Ashlyn teased with a shit-eating grin. 

“I guess I’m waiting for the right one,” Tobin said. “You’re right, though, CJ wasn’t very talented.” 

“We’ve got a team meeting at 9,” Christen said, readjusting her blue light glasses as she looked at her computer. 

“I’ll be there. Hopefully I’m walking a little funny but I’ll be there,” Ali winked, shoving some toiletries in a small duffel. 

Christen laughed and looked up at Ali. “This might be the first international competition you’re getting laid before I’ve hit my requisite five in the first few days.”

“I like finding someone talented and sticking with ‘em for the month,” Ali shrugged. “Gotta make sure they’re worth my time. Didn’t you fuck girl number two already after lunch?” 

“Three times. But who’s counting?” Christen winked, looking back down at her computer and the crossword puzzle she was desperate to finish before bed. 

“You write about that in your journal?” Ali teased. 

“I never write about them in my journals,” Christen corrected. 

“Right, right. Gotta keep the sex and the feelings separate,” Ali hummed. 

Christen nodded in agreement. “Sailor’s demise. Five letters,” Christen read aloud, running her finger along the bridge of her nose in thought. 

“Uhhh…I don’t know, and I’m late,” Ali rushed out, glancing down at her watch and slinging her bag over her shoulder. 

“Go get some. I’ll see you tomorrow,” Christen said, waving at Ali as she continued to look at her computer screen. 

“Oh shit! I forgot to ask you,” Ali added sheepishly, one foot out the door. 

“Condoms are in the communal buckets in the lobby,” Christen teased.

“No, I forgot to ask you if it’s cool that Ash’s roommate is gonna crash here,” Ali cringed. 

Christen pinched the bridge of her nose, her eyes falling shut. “Seriously?”

“Do you realize how many nights I’ve spent watching reruns of Full House with Crystal because you’ve had someone over until super late?” Ali countered. 

“Fine, fine, just get out of here,” Christen replied with an eye roll. 

“She’ll be here like…now. But Tobin’s cool. And all she wants to do is sleep,” Ali said quickly. 

“She’s a fucking boarder isn’t she?” Christen deadpanned, narrowing her eyes at Ali. With a name like that, there was no other sport this Tobin could be here for. Not in Christen’s mind anyway. 

“It’s…it’s a sport,” Ali mumbled. “Thanks, Chris,” she added, blowing a kiss and closing the door behind her. 

Christen just shook her head and went back to the crossword, tapping the tip of her nose as she tried to figure out the clue. 

“Sailor’s demise, sailor’s demise…storm? No,” Christen thought out loud. 

“Fuck, sorry,” a voice traveled down the hall. “My friend said 248. Oh, shit you’re 243. Enjoy yourselves.” 

Christen just rolled her eyes and let out a sigh. “Super,” she whispered under her breath, already cursing Ali for getting her into this. 

Christen hated snowboarders. She couldn’t stand them. They were cocky and arrogant adrenaline junkies who acted like they were the only sport that mattered just because they threw hard tricks and shredded through powder.

She shredded through powder. She was the USA’s best Alpine skier. She had two Olympic Golds back at her place in Aspen. She’d won her first at 19. She was the best, and she was about to be forced into close contact with a stupid snowboarder. 

A knock sounded at the door followed by some shuffling and a soft clearing of a throat. 

Christen got up from the bed, not caring in the slightest that she was in a pair of very small boy shorts and a thin tank top. She pulled open the door and then turned back around, all without looking at this Tobin person. 

“Bathroom’s on the right. I go to sleep at 10:30 and I wake up at 6. If that’s a problem, then it’s your problem,” Christen said, climbing back in bed and pulling her computer into her lap. 

Tobin stood stock still in the doorway, first caught off guard by the brusque way Ali’s roommate was talking and then a little distracted by the confidence she seemed to have in herself and her own body. 

Tobin shook her head and trudged across the room to Ali’s bed. 

“Sailor’s demise. Not storm. Plague? No, not plague,” Christen mumbled under her breath, tapping her fingers on the keyboard. 

“Siren?” Tobin offered, dropping her duffel and sitting down on the comforter to unlace her boots. 

Christen snapped her head up, finally getting a good look at her roommate for the night. 

“Siren?” she parroted, trailing her eyes quickly across tanned skin and smile lines, finishing her path by meeting Tobin’s gaze. 

“You know singing mermaids or whatever?” Tobin chuckled, a huge, toothy smile spreading across her face. 

“Huh,” Christen hummed, typing that answer into the crossword. Seeing that it was correct, she nodded. 

“My nephew loves Peter Pan,” Tobin said, sliding further onto the bed. 

Christen made a noncommittal noise, focusing back in on the crossword. Her fingers flew over the keyboard as she answered the next few clues. 

“6:00AM wake-up call is fine with me,” Tobin added. 

“Wouldn’t have changed it if it wasn’t,” Christen replied smoothly. “17 down, pre-Jurassic...Cretaceous,” she said to herself, grinning when she got it right. 

“Oookay,” Tobin mumbled. “Well, I’m Tobin Heath by the way.”

“Thanks for the help, Tobin Heath,” Christen said, closing her computer and taking off her blue light glasses.

“So, what sport do you do?” Tobin asked, smiling awkwardly across the room. 

“You don’t often make a lot of small talk do you?” Christen replied, an amused smirk playing at her lips as she got up from the bed. 

“I mean…I don’t usually room with strangers,” Tobin answered. 

Christen piled her curls into a high bun and walked to the bathroom, grabbing some lotion. 

“Fair. I ski,” Christen offered in reply, taking pity on Tobin and the fact she still looked uncomfortable. 

“Oh sweet!” Tobin said, shooting Christen a shaka sign with her hand. 

“And you board, which makes us mortal enemies,” Christen winked, rubbing the last of her lotion into her face. 

“Why is that?” Tobin laughed, her eyes crinkling as she smiled. 

“I’m not friends with snowboarders,” Christen replied, shutting off the bathroom light and walking back to her bed. 

“That’s too bad,” Tobin murmured. 

“It’s worked out well for me so far,” Christen shrugged. She cleared her throat and then pulled the covers up, lifting her arm to check her watch. 

“Well, just pretend I’m not here then, and I’ll be gone in the morning,” Tobin promised. 

Seeing that it was almost 10:30PM, Christen decided to take Tobin up on her offer. She rolled over and turned out the light between the beds, plunging the room into darkness. 

“Since you’re not here, I won’t say good night,” Christen chuckled, rolling over onto her side, facing away from Tobin. 

“Sweet dreams,” Tobin responded, a soft laugh slipping from her lips. 

Tobin was exhilarated. Her last run through the course had been perfect. She’d nailed all the tricks she’d set out to do, the snow had felt perfect under her board, and the sun was shining enough for her to actually break a sweat. 

And it just made her that much happier to be doing this with her friends. She loved being able to hear Lindsey cheer as she sped off down the course, getting one last boost of confidence, even from the newest rookie, just made the course that much better. 

So, when she reached the bottom of the course, she slipped out of her board and watched for Lindsey, wanting to give her the same kind of support. 

This was why she loved the Olympics so much. It wasn’t just about competition or winning a prize. The Olympics were the only time that Tobin felt like sports were about more than just competing. It was about camaraderie and friendship. Not that she’d say that aloud to Ashlyn or A.D. She’d be called completely soft for that. So, she kept it inside, letting those feelings warm her heart. 

“That was sick,” Tobin said, reaching out and shaking Lindsey’s shoulder. 

A scoff came from nearby, setting Tobin’s teeth on edge.

“Seriously, you did great. I loved your switch backside 540,” Tobin repeated, hoping to block out the person behind her and keep Lindsey’s confidence up.  

“The cab 900 double cork is going to continue to cost you points if you can’t stick it. All flash, no substance is a surefire way to not medaling.”

That comment plus another scoff from the Swedish snowboarder lounging against the railing, causing Tobin to turn around and look. When she saw it was Vonya, Tobin rolled her eyes and looked back at Lindsey.

“It’s a good thing we have more days of practice. Ignore Vonya. I think you’re almost there,” Tobin added, shooting Lindsey a smile. 

“Almost there won’t get you to the podium,” Vonya pointed out with an annoyingly perfect smile. 

“What would you know about the podium?” Tobin muttered, remembering how she’d knocked Vonya out of the bronze medal position at the last Olympics. 

Vonya’s smile dropped and her blue eyes hardened. “See you on the slopes,” Vonya said through gritted teeth, walking away, her blonde ponytail swishing behind her.

“Seriously, your cab 900 double cork is almost there,” Tobin said, nudging Lindsey toward the lodge. 

“They call her the Ice Queen,” Lindsey grunted, holding her board under her arm.

“Well, I’m not sure why. The Ice Queen has never been on the podium. She’s just kind of the Ice...Diva maybe?” Tobin suggested. 

Lindsey laughed and knocked her shoulder into Tobin’s. “You’re getting the Gold for sure. Your switch backside 1620 triple cork? Unreal, dude!” 

“Thanks,” Tobin said with a blush. “It’d be nice to medal again for sure. It’d be sweet if we were both on the podium.”

“Just gotta land my cab 900,” Lindsey shrugged. “I keep over-rotating and my ass hits the snow.”

“Maybe try letting go of your board a little earlier on your next run?” Tobin suggested. “It’ll help you straighten your body out quicker.”

Lindsey grinned and threw her arm around Tobin’s shoulders. “You’re a genius! Hot chocolate, on me.”

“I’m dying for something warm,” Tobin hummed, propping her board up against the rack and moving to the door of the lodge. “Also, I’ve had to pee for the past hour.”

“I’ll get the cocoa,” Lindsey laughed, shoving Tobin in the direction of the bathroom.

Tobin practically jogged to the back of the lodge, moving as quickly as her boots would allow. She shoved against the door, expecting it to be open and nearly knocking the breath out of her chest with the force that she pushed against it when it wouldn’t open. 

“Umm, occupied!” someone yelled from inside, eliciting a round of giggles from the other occupant of the bathroom. 

“Uhh...seriously?” Tobin asked, letting her forehead fall against the door. 

The door opened just a little bit, and a pretty brunette with her Team USA jacket unzipped and her hair messed up grinned sheepishly at Tobin. “Sorry, there’s one on the other side of the lodge.”

“Great, cool,” Tobin huffed, rolling her eyes at the obvious sex that she’d interrupted. “Enjoy yourselves or whatever.”

The brunette blushed and closed the door, letting out another giggle as the lock clicked. 

“Press! I liked this bra!” 

Tobin let out another long sigh before moving back through the lodge and toward the other side to find the second bathroom.

Of course, it was Christen Press. It seemed like no matter who was talking, they were talking about her. And Tobin still had no idea what she looked like or what sport she played. It wasn’t like the village was that big. There was no reason that Tobin wouldn’t know who everyone was talking about. Except for maybe the fact that other than competing, Christen Press was very likely locked away rocking someone’s world, not in any public spaces where Tobin would actually see her. 

“What sport haven’t you tapped?” Crystal asked with a laugh, sliding into the hot tub.

“Umm...what’s that one where they lay on the sleds? In just spandex?” Christen replied with a laugh, rolling her head from side to side as she let the warm water relax her muscles after a long day of training on the course...and other things.

“Luge,” Crystal chuckled. “I really thought you’d be into the spandex.”

“They like to keep it in-house, or so I was told,” Christen hummed. 

“That sounds incesty,” Ali teased as she slid into the hot tub. “Thanks for last night, by the way.”

“Ew, not you two! We have a rule for a reason!” Crystal cringed at the idea of her two best friends crossing that line together. 

“After that one drunken makeout session in Garmisch, we decided we’d be too powerful if we ever actually got together,” Christen laughed, winking at Ali. “She’s got her eye on someone, anyway. Who could compete with that?” 

“She’s good,” Ali said, her voice lowering an octave as she sank deeper into the hot tub. 

“I know I am, but how is she?” Christen teased, knocking her foot into Ali’s knee.

“Babe, I’m sorry to say, she might be better. She’s definitely more my type for sure,” Ali hummed. 

“I’m everybody’s type,” Christen scoffed, pretending to be offended.

“Except the luge team,” Crystal snorted, splashing a tiny bit of water at Christen. 

Christen laughed and shook her head, catching sight of a handful of figure skaters walking out. She watched as they put their stuff down on a bench and got into one of the other hot tubs situated outside.

“I’ll see you guys later,” Christen said with a grin, standing up in the hot tub and pulling her hair out of its bun, letting her curls fall around her shoulders.

“I guess I’m hanging out with you for the rest of the evening,” Ali sighed, shaking her head at Crystal as Christen strutted toward the other hot tub. 

“It’s not just the luge team, though, is it?” Crystal asked quietly, her eyes filling with concern as she watched Christen flirt with the figure skaters.

“She doesn’t sleep with snowboarders anymore,” Ali murmured. “That’s her choice though.”

“Pretty soon she’s going to run out of sports and people to hide behind,” Crystal pointed out.

“I know,” Ali sighed. “But we’ll be there when she needs people to catch her.”

“Of course. I wouldn’t leave my drunken makeout buddy from the Zermatt, Switzerland trip out on her own,” Crystal chuckled.

“Christen Press is definitely a skier or a snowboarder. That’s all I’m saying,” Tobin said, poking her fork into a bite of chicken. 

“In the age of technology, the Internet, Twitter, and Tik-Tok, you could just look her up,” Lindsey said, rolling her eyes. 

“That’s weird. I’m not googling someone, especially not the someone that everyone’s talking about. Also, I don’t have a Twitter...unless my publicist made one,” Tobin shrugged. 

A.D. set her tray down and shuddered. “We’re never using those hot tubs outside, guys.”

“Why?” Tobin asked, scrunching her eyebrows together. “I love those hot tubs. You get the scenic view without freezing your ass off.”

“You might have gotten some other….views if you’d been out there an hour ago,” A.D. replied. “I’m going to have that figure skater screaming ‘Oh, Christen. Right there, Christen!’ haunting my dreams for the rest of the games.”

“Jesus Christ,” Tobin huffed. “She’s everywhere!” 

“You need to get laid, dude,” Lindsey said softly, patting Tobin on the back. 

“I do not,” Tobin replied with a mouth full of mashed potatoes. 

“As someone who just got laid again last night, I concur with the rookie,’ Ashlyn announced, sitting down at the table.

“None of the guys this year are palatable,” Tobin shrugged. 

Lindsey, A.D., and Ashlyn all shared a long-suffering look and eye roll at Tobin’s response.

“Sweetie, you’re gay,” Ashlyn said for the millionth time since meeting Tobin. 

“I feel like I would have figured that out already,” Tobin replied, her cheeks flushing slightly like they did every time Ashlyn said that. 

“Kissing one girl in eighth grade isn’t the test you think it is,” A.D. sighed.

“It was a really bad kiss,” Tobin replied, her mouth turning down at the memory. 

“You were in eighth grade. Everything is bad at that time in your life!” Ashlyn argued.

“I’m not gonna experiment on some poor woman now. We’re in our late twenties. People are looking for relationships,” Tobin mumbled. 

A.D., Ashlyn, and Lindsey shared another look. 

“You know...there might be some not-so-poor woman here who could help you out,” Lindsey said quietly into her vegetables. “Just thinking out loud.”

“Absolutely not,” Tobin replied, shaking her head quickly. 

“You know she’d be good,” A.D. hummed with a small smile. “Just ask the hot tub.”

“I’m not gonna embarrass myself by going to some sex goddess as someone who hasn’t made a know...someone who hasn’t pleased a woman before,” Tobin forced out, her face officially a deep shade of red. 

Ashlyn reached across the table and grabbed Tobin’s hand, giving her a surprisingly soft look. 

“We’re just giving you shit, Tobs. We’s like your eyes aren’t open until you give them a chance to be, you know? Maybe there’s a reason none of these guys have done it for you. Maybe you’re shopping in the wrong section.”

“I...How do you even ask someone to fuck you?” Tobin asked quietly, her eyes darting down to her plate. 

It wasn’t like she hadn’t thought about possibly dating the wrong people. It wasn’t like some of her ex-boyfriends hadn’t told her she might be gay. They definitely had, and she always thought they were being dicks, upset that she was breaking up with them. But, there was a voice in the back of her head that appeared when a beautiful woman crossed her path or when she picked out another cutoff tank top or snapback to add to her collection. And now that she was incredibly single, it wasn’t the worst thing in the world to wonder if maybe experimenting one time would be a good idea. 

“Oh, Christen. Right there, Christen,” A.D. mumbled under her breath, quoting the figure skater she’d heard earlier.

“Shut up,” Tobin grumbled, shoving A.D.’s shoulder. 

“I hear she’s on the second floor, east wing,” Lindsey commented with a shrug.

“Again, what do I do? Knock on her door? I didn’t even bring like...nice underwear,” Tobin mumbled quietly. 

“You’re not wooing the girl. You’re just getting her help to test a theory. No lingerie needed,” A.D. replied with a small laugh.

“Doesn’t hurt though. We could go shopping,” Ashlyn grinned, waggling her eyebrows at Tobin.

“I’ll go shopping on my own, thanks,” Tobin replied. “And that doesn’t mean I’m actually thinking about going through with anything. I’m- I just need another cup of coffee. I can’t make decisions un-caffeinated.”

“No Christen Press here,” the tired-looking hockey player said, closing the door in Tobin’s face.

“Yeah, cool,” Tobin mumbled, feeling like a completely desperate idiot. “What the hell are you doing?” she muttered to herself, lifting her hand and knocking on the next door. 

“Can I help you?” Ali asked, arching a brow.

“Yeah, oh shoot- You’re the one Ashlyn had over on Tuesday, right? Ali?” Tobin asked, recognizing the room even though it had been five days since her forced sleepover.

“That’s me. And you’re the snowboarder. Tobin,” Ali grinned. “Looking for another sleepover?” she asked with a laugh. 

“Uh...not exactly. It’s actually nothing you can help me with,” Tobin replied, already stepping back from the door, knowing who was in this room and knowing Christen Press wasn’t there. 

Ali’s brows scrunched together in confusion. “You okay? You look a little…”

Just then, the bathroom door opened.

“Al, can you hand me a towel? I forgot one,” Christen asked, leaning around the door, her wet hair slung over one shoulder, water dripping from her and pooling on the floor.

Tobin averted her eyes as soon as Ali’s roommate came into view. She might not think she was gay, not 100% gay anyway, but she wasn’t blind. And Ali’s roommate was definitely a beautiful woman. 

“Tobin Heath,” Christen greeted, looking around Ali and offering Tobin a small nod. 

“Sup,” Tobin mumbled, raising her hand in a wave as her eyes stayed glued on her sneakers. 

“Think you could get me a towel? My roommate is moving too slow,” Christen asked with an amused lilt in her voice.

“So impatient,” Ali grumbled, stepping away from the open door and grabbing a towel from the counter. She tossed it at Christen, nearly hitting her in the face.

Christen laughed and caught the towel, using it to dry her hair quickly as she stood, half-hidden behind the bathroom door.

“I should go,” Tobin said, clearing her throat and shuffling to the side slightly as a few bobsledders moved past her in the hallway. 

“What did you need?” Ali asked, halting Tobin in her tracks.

“I’m just looking for someone, but I actually think I’m gonna call it a night,” Tobin answered, offering up a tight smile. 

“We can help. Chris here knows a lot of people,” Ali laughed, hooking her thumb over her shoulder and gesturing at Christen.

Christen stepped out of the bathroom with a towel around herself, an intrigued look on her face as she looked between Tobin and Ali.

“Who are you looking for?” Christen asked, pulling her wet hair into a bun on top of her head.

“Chris?” Tobin croaked, her mouth dropping open slightly. 

“Christen. Christen Press. Guess we never really did the introductions last time,” Christen shrugged, standing next to Ali near the door.

“I did. I did an introduction,” Tobin muttered, clenching her jaw and willing the blush to go away. It didn’t work, though. She could feel the incredibly dark blush spreading across her face. 

“You shared a room and never told her your name?” Ali laughed. “Unbelievable, Chris,” she added, shaking her head and walking back into the room, flopping down onto her bed and leaving Christen and Tobin at the door. 

“So...who are you looking for?” Christen asked again, arching a brow at Tobin. At the sight of the blushing, flustered mess standing in her doorway, Christen felt a slow smile make its way onto her face.

“No one. I forgot I have a team meeting,” Tobin rushed out, already turning to race down the hallway and back to her floor. 

Christen watched Tobin high-tail it down the hallway, her confusion furthering.

“Ooooh, she wanted you,” Ali laughed. 

“I don’t think so...she definitely didn’t the other night. What changed?” Christen asked, closing the door and walking back into the room.

“She knows your name now,” Ali smirked. “Your name precedes you.”

“As it should,” Christen grinned, grabbing some clothes from her suitcase.

“She’s hot,” Ali mumbled, pulling her comforter over her shoulders. 

“She’s a snowboarder,” Christen retorted, wanting to shut that idea down before it even really began. 

“She’s hot,” Ali repeated. “And that little blush number that she just did was adorable.”

Despite the nonchalant, noncommittal noise Christen made, she didn’t have the heart to disagree. Tobin Heath with a blush in her cheeks and stumbling over her words was pretty adorable. Too bad she was a snowboarder.

“Oh shit,” Ali laughed, scrolling through her phone. 

“What?” Christen asked, still a little distracted by the way Tobin’s brown eyes had gotten warmer when she blushed. 

“You remember how butt hurt Vonya was at the last Olympics?” Ali asked. 

Christen immediately tensed, pulling on her sweats with jerky movements at the reminder of her ex. The one who’d utterly destroyed her. The one who’d ruined snowboarders for her forever. 

“You’ll like this,” Ali said quickly, tossing Christen her phone that was already on Tobin Heath’s Instagram. “Look who won bronze.”

Christen pulled a sweater over her head and then looked down at the phone that had landed, face first, on her bed.

At the sight of those warm brown eyes and lopsided toothy grin, Christen couldn’t help but huff out a laugh. 

“Of course,” she muttered, throwing her phone back to Ali. 

“You should like that snowboarder,” Ali smirked, swiping out of Tobin’s Instagram and plugging her phone into her charger. 

“Not gonna happen, Al,” Christen replied, walking to the bathroom to finish getting ready for bed. But as she started doing her hair, she couldn’t help but smile a little. 

“It’s her fucking roommate,” Tobin blurted out, tugging the brand new, non-sports bra off and talking through the cracked bathroom door as Ashlyn brushed her teeth. “I slept with Christen Press without sleeping with Christen Press, and no one told me, and I just freaked out in front of her, and she has this way that she smiles like she knows I’m losing my shit.”

“I got about two percent of that,” Ashlyn mumbled around her mouthful of toothpaste.

“She’s Ali’s roommate. I slept next to her while you and Ali were here,” Tobin whined, tugging an oversized t-shirt over her head. “And I didn’t know. There’s absolutely no way I can look her in the eyes now.” 

“Oh shiitake mushrooms,” Ashlyn replied, her eyes widening. 

“Yeah, I’m mortified,” Tobin huffed, dropping down onto her bed. “I bought...well, it isn’t lingerie really, but I bought underwear from the non-athlete section of the store for her.”

Ashlyn spit and rinsed and then walked out of the bathroom. “Well...maybe this is a good thing.”

“What do you mean? How are you flipping this into an optimistic life lesson?” Tobin grumbled. 

“You said you enjoyed talking to her. You had decent rapport. Maybe that will make it easier to sleep with her.”

“I mean, she’s kind of snippy. But she’s funny, and she has a good laugh...Wait, what did you just say? I’m not sleeping with her. I’m avoiding her now. That’s the plan,” Tobin replied. 

Ashlyn just shook her head. “I give you a week. You won’t make it through prelims without needing a good fuck.”

“Not everyone has to have sex to do well at the Olympics,” Tobin argued. “I did fine in Vancouver last Olympics.”

“Bronze isn’t Gold, is it?” Ashlyn asked with a grin.

Tobin glared across the room at Ashlyn before shoving her legs under her covers and rolling toward the wall. 

“Hell yes!” Christen yelled, dropping her poles and pumping her fists at her sides as she skidded to a stop at the bottom of the hill. It had been a dream run. She’d woven between the gates and shredded down the aggressive decline with confidence. It might just be the first day of competition, but already, Christen knew she had Gold within her grasp. 

She looked at the board, seeing the fastest time of the day next to her name, and felt a beaming smile make its way onto her face.

“FUCK YEAH!” Ali yelled over the crowd and the loud bells that a few fans were ringing. 

“THAT’S OUR BESTIE WITH THE COURSE RECORD!” Crystal called out, jumping up and down with Ali.

Christen tore off her goggles and helmet and skied over to the crowd, throwing her arms around Ali and Crystal.

“That was awesome,” Ali said, practically shaking Christen in her arms. 

“Shit that was fast. That was so fast,” Christen said breathlessly.

“You freaking out a little?” Crystal laughed. 

“I think I can shave a tenth off in the next round,” Christen grinned, already thinking about the next round of qualifiers in three days.

“How about we get some dinner and rest your million dollar legs first,” Ali suggested with a beaming smile. 

Christen nodded, getting out of her skis and grabbing her discarded equipment. She smiled and waved for the fans that were lined up behind the barricade and then followed Ali and Crystal down toward the lodge and the vans that would take them back to the village. 

“Caught any other sports today?” Christen asked with a nonchalant shrug.

“Some snowboarding, you mean?” Ali grinned, knocking her hip into Christen’s. “The blushing little bean made it through.”

“I was hoping you’d caught the curling. They have a brunette I wouldn’t mind getting to know,” Christen replied, hiding her own blush behind her gloved hands and her flicker of interest in Tobin Heath behind her words.

“You’re obnoxious,” Crystal sighed, shoving Christen’s shoulder. 

“Well, that was shit,” Tobin growled, throwing her helmet into her bag and tugging her boots off. 

“You got second, sis. You slayed,” Lindsey argued, watching Tobin with a worried look on her face.

“Clearly not enough,” Tobin huffed, shoving her boots into her bag and tugging a pair of sneakers on. 

“Do you want some space?” Lindsey asked quietly, shuffling away from Tobin and toward where A.D. was standing at the door of the locker room.

“No, why would you ask that?” Tobin asked, her jaw clenching tightly as she pulled a beanie over her head. 

“Because you look like you’re gonna rip someone’s head off,” A.D. mumbled. 

“I’m not gonna rip your heads off,” Tobin clarified. 

“Just Vonya’s,” A.D. offered with a knowing look.

“I wouldn’t care if she weren’t such a dick about it!” Tobin hissed. “I don’t even care about medaling...okay that’s a lie. I don’t care about being the best, though. Not enough to get upset about a good run. She just gets in my head.”

“Want to get some food and chill?” Lindsey offered.

“I don’t know,” Tobin mumbled. “I have tons of energy. I don’t know if chilling is the move right now.”

“Okay, we’ll leave you to it. We’re gonna go watch Ash. Catch you back at the village,” A.D. said, slinging an arm around Linday’s shoulders.

“Be safe,” Lindsey called out, letting A.D. lead her from the locker room. 

Tobin took a deep shuddering breath, hating the tightness she could feel in her body. It felt unnatural. The whole reason she’d fallen in love with snowboarding as a kid was how freeing it felt. She’d managed to stay chill during her first Olympics, completely focusing on the sport and on her artistry. But now she felt like she was one mistake away from losing it. 

Tobin grabbed her bag and shuffled to an empty van, feeling a little guilty about not watching her best friend’s run. She knew the anxiety and frustration would just get worse, though. So, she pulled her headphones on and closed her eyes, aiming to relax enough to go back to her room and nap until dinner. 

Forty minutes later, and Tobin was rolling over in bed with a frustrated growl, unable to shut her mind off. For the most part, she kept running through her run or remembering Vonya’s words right before she headed down the course. And that small voice in the back of her head was repeating Ashlyn’s words from the night before, telling her that she needed to get laid stat, which only made her think about Christen, dripping wet from a shower and wrapped in a tiny towel. 

“Fuck it,” Tobin groaned, slipping out of bed and pulling on a pair of slides, not even bothering to put on the nice underwear she got or even run a hand through her hair. It didn’t matter. She’d already embarrassed herself in front of Christen Press, and another embarrassing moment wouldn’t do much more harm. 

It took her less than four minutes to get to Christen’s room from hers on the fifth floor. And the whole time, her mind felt numb, not overthinking for the first time in days. 

“Still looking for someone?” Christen asked with a smirk, leaning against the doorframe with her arms crossed over her chest. 

“I don’t really need to look anymore,” Tobin replied with a shrug. 

Christen’s eyes narrowed slightly. She took in the flushed cheeks and the ragged breathing and the glint of interest in Tobin’s eyes, and she realized Ali was right. Tobin was only here for one thing. One thing she couldn’t give her. 

“I have a no snowboarder rule,” Christen replied.

“Are you serious?” Tobin asked, raising an eyebrow at Christen. 

“I hear there’s a hockey player down the hall looking for someone to spend some time with,” Christen offered with a shrug.

“I’m not really into hockey players,” Tobin mumbled. “Plus, she hasn’t been talked up quite as much as you have.”

“What exactly are you looking for?” Christen asked, her voice oddly soft as she looked deep into Tobin’s eyes.

Tobin wet her bottom lip with her tongue, trying to think of exactly what she was looking for. A good fuck? A distraction? The understanding that she’d been lacking when hearing people talk about this woman? She wasn’t sure. 

“I guess I’m wondering what a woman does that makes someone yell about sex across a crowded cafeteria,” Tobin answered quietly, her cheeks flushing as she spoke. 

Christen’s lips quirked up into a small smile at that. That damn blush was too adorable. 

“Come in,” Christen offered in a quiet voice, stepping back and moving out of the way for Tobin to enter.

“I’m a snowboarder,” Tobin murmured as she took a tentative step forward. 

“Not for the next hour you’re not,” Christen replied, ignoring every single part of her that protested, that screamed at her to kick Tobin out. She ignored it because there was something undeniably alluring about the curiosity in Tobin’s eyes and the wonder on her face.

“I tried speed skating as a kid,” Tobin said, swallowing thickly as she fully entered Christen’s room. 

Christen laughed, the warm sound bouncing off the walls of the room. She shut the door and locked it.

“You and your small talk,” Christen chuckled.

“I’m just saying, you can pretend I’m a speed skater if that helps,” Tobin offered. 

“I have a feeling I’m going to be the helper in this scenario,” Christen replied, giving Tobin a knowing look. “First time?” she asked as she settled on the edge of her bed and cocked her head to the side.

“What makes you think that?” Tobin asked, clearing her throat and glancing around the room instead of at Christen. 

Christen just arched a brow in Tobin’s direction, seeming to silently point out Tobin’s fidgety behavior, her blushing cheeks, and her awkward small talk.

“I mean...I kissed a girl in eighth grade,” Tobin defended, knowing it was an extremely stupid response. 

Christen felt a small smile play at her lips. This was already bad. She was already breaking rules, with the small talk and the snowboarder thing. But she wouldn’t break them all.

“You won’t be kissing me. That’s one of my rules,” Christen hummed. 

“Too bad,” Tobin hummed, having absolutely no idea where this tiny bit of confidence was coming from. “I’ve been told I’m a great kisser.”

“Gold medal for Tobin,” Christen teased. “No sleeping over. No meals. I might help you out of your clothes, but I definitely won’t help you get dressed when you leave,” she added, listing out the rest of her rules.

“I’m also pretty good at dressing myself,” Tobin replied, her lips twitching up in a smile. 

Christen’s smile grew at that, despite her best efforts not to let it. “Anything you want to get off your chest before we do this?” Christen asked.

“Your glasses are cute. Very Harry Potter,” Tobin said, biting her bottom lip as her smile grew. 

Christen just shook her head, willing her smile away as she got up from the bed. She walked across the room and came to a stop right in front of Tobin. She watched as Tobin gulped and started to breathe a little quicker, as those brown eyes darkened just a bit. 

Without breaking eye contact, Christen unzipped Tobin’s jacket slowly and gently brushed it from her shoulders. She then dropped her fingertips to the hem of Tobin’s cut-off tank top and silently lifted her brows.

Tobin raised her arms, feeling goosebumps already rise on her skin, something that no one she’d been with had managed to do. 

With a smile, Christen pulled the tank top up and off, pushing it into Tobin’s hand. “Put this on the door handle,” she whispered.

“Isn’t it usually a sock?” Tobin asked, her eyes crinkling as she smiled. 

“Not with me it isn’t,” Christen grinned, backing up toward the bed and inclining her head in the direction of the door. She pulled her glasses off and discarded them on the bedside table before moving back to the edge of her bed, waiting for Tobin to return.

Tobin did what Christen had directed her to do, opening the door slightly, hanging her shirt on the handle before she closed and locked it, and padding back across the room.

“Poor Ali,” Tobin mumbled. 

“You really don’t like silence, do you?” Christen asked with a chuckle.

“I’m a talker,” Tobin nodded with a slight shrug of her shoulders. “I know it’s annoying, but it is what it is.”

Christen didn’t consider it annoying, but she wasn’t about to let Tobin know that. They weren’t friends; they weren’t together. She was just adding Tobin to the notches on her bedpost, and she could leave it at that. She ignored the small voice at the back of her head that taunted her for thinking it would be as simple as that.

She let her eyes trail down across Tobin’s somewhat bare chest, lingering on the v of her hips and the taut lines of her abs.

“Maybe you just haven’t met anyone who could make you enjoy silence,” Christen replied, pulling her tank top gracefully over her head, tousling her curls as she did so, leaving her bare from the waist up.

“Good luck,” Tobin teased, taking in the perfect body that Christen was revealing. Her eyes wandered over the rise of Christen’s breasts and hardened nipples. She felt her mouth go dry as she stared at the rippling muscles on Christen’s abdomen. 

Christen smirked as she pulled off her sweats and her boyshorts all at once, tossing them onto the floor. 

She didn’t need luck. Not when Tobin was seemingly stunned into silence at the sight of her. 

Tobin followed Christen’s lead, shoving her joggers and briefs off before she pulled her bra up and over her head. 

After letting herself marvel for a moment, Christen moved with a quiet grace and dizzying confidence. She used a soft touch to push Tobin’s head to the side, her lips finding Tobin’s throat. She nipped at the warm skin she found, using her other hand to pull Tobin’s body flush with her own. 

She sank into the taste of Tobin’s skin, into the tentative way Tobin’s hands found purchase on her sides. If she hadn’t been confident about Tobin’s lack of experience with a woman before, she was definitely confident about it now. She had barely done anything, just a few licks and nips at Tobin’s neck, and already, she could hear Tobin’s breathing pick up, could already feel Tobin’s hips jumping into her own. 

Biting back a smile at a particularly adorable sigh that left Tobin’s lips, Christen moved her lips down to the base of Tobin’s throat. Christen sucked hard, hard enough to bruise as she moved her hands to Tobin’s breasts, kneading gently. 

If Tobin’s mind had been spinning into overdrive before, completely tingly and numb, it was even more so now. Her head was clouded with desire and only getting cloudier. She leaned into Christen’s touch, enjoying the way just a brush of Christen’s fingers made her body shiver. If she’d been thinking clearly, she might have been embarrassed by the way she was reacting. She might have stopped her hands from gripping onto Christen’s back, pulling her closer. But, the pleasure was overwhelming, and embarrassment couldn’t break through the haze. 

Christen rolled a nipple between her thumb and pointer finger as she used her hips to turn them around, so Tobin’s thighs were against the edge of the bed.

“Shit,” Tobin hissed, holding back the much louder moan that she could feel rising in her throat. 

Christen chuckled as she kissed back up Tobin’s neck, as she flicked her tongue against Tobin’s ear.

“You’re gonna be a talker here too, huh?” Christen husked.

“Afraid so,” Tobin rasped, letting her hands slide down Christen’s back and settle on her ass with a soft squeeze. 

Christen bit back a small moan and stepped back, gently pushing Tobin’s shoulder and knocking her down onto the bed. She crawled on top and returned to the path she’d been following, only this time, she took one of Tobin’s nipples between her lips, her hand rising to keep the other breast occupied. 

She didn’t mean to spend so long up there, but she couldn’t help it. Every flick of her tongue or twist of her fingers wrenched the most wonderful sighs and gasps and whines she’d ever heard from someone who shared her bed. She was a little addicted to how sensitive Tobin was up here, at how much she could affect Tobin without moving further south.

“Fuck, Chris,” Tobin panted, feeling her hips try and roll into Christen, searching for friction in a way she never had before. 

That was another rule Christen let Tobin break. She never let the women she slept with call her that. But for some reason, she let Tobin break it. 

“I don’t think I’ve ever been with someone this sensitive here,” Christen whispered, finally moving down on the bed once she’d sucked another bruise onto Tobin’s chest.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had someone so interested in my boobs,” Tobin husked. 

“Great boobs. And I don’t think I’ve ever talked like this either,” Christen smirked up at Tobin before running her tongue along Tobin’s hipbone and making the woman beneath her gasp. “Oh, sensitive here too,” she chuckled breathily.

“Who knew,” Tobin muttered, squirming against Christen’s lips. 

Christen discovered that Tobin’s hips were even more sensitive than her breasts. She could blow a breath of cool air across Tobin’s hip and it would earn her a whine and an arched back. She could dance her fingertips up and down them and Tobin would rock up into her, begs and pleas slipping from her lips.

After another few moments teasing and working her up, Christen settled between Tobin’s legs and took an exploratory swipe through her.

“Damn,” Christen whispered, her eyes fluttering shut at the taste of Tobin, at how wet the woman was for her.

“Oh my God,” Tobin moaned, twisting her hands in Christen’s sheets. 

Christen used her hands to hold Tobin’s hips down as she ran her tongue through Tobin’s folds slowly.

“I’ve never been-” Tobin choked out, gasping and groaning as Christen’s tongue worked through her. 

“Never what?” Christen asked, pausing to look up at Tobin.

“I’ve never been this wet,” Tobin admitted, blinking her eyes open and looking down at Christen. 

Christen felt Tobin’s words land right between her legs. With a cocky smirk and a thrill running down her spine, Christen dipped her head back down.

It didn’t take long. It never did when Christen alternated between sliding the tip of her tongue inside and sucking gently on the woman’s clit. And right now, it took even less time than it usually did.

“I’m-” Tobin panted, rocking her hips into Christen’s mouth. “Chris,” she whined, feeling her legs stiffen before her body started twitching in pleasure, falling over an edge she hadn’t even realized existed. 

Tobin reached down and put a hand against one of Christen’s as she caught her breath, unable to speak while her heart was racing and her lungs were working overtime. 

Without letting Tobin catch her breath, Christen moved her hand from under Tobin’s and slipped a finger inside of her. It was easier to focus on this than the way it felt to hear Tobin call her that.

“Fuck,” Tobin croaked, her voice hoarse and wobbly and her grip on the bedsheets tightening. 

“No need for rest when you’re with a woman,” Christen murmured, curling her finger as she flicked her tongue against Tobin’s clit.

Tobin gasped before a keening moan ripped itself from her chest. This time, her hips rocked faster, urging Christen’s finger deeper inside her. 

“More,” Tobin begged. 

Christen moaned against Tobin, feeling her own thighs get slick at the choked-out request. She complied, slipping her middle finger inside on the next thrust, pushing in deep and twisting her fingers ever so slightly.

“Yeah,” Tobin panted, rolling her hips again and clenching around Christen’s fingers. “Right there, Chris.”

When Tobin’s back started to arch off the bed, when her gasps were closer together, Christen added a third finger and curled them.

Tobin moaned louder than she had since entering Christen’s room. “Shit, I- I’m coming,” she hissed, her toes curling and her head rolling back against Christen’s pillow. It was like it got better, like Christen was just warming up, her touches getting better at every stroke. And Tobin had no idea how she’d spent the last nine years of her adult life not doing this with another woman. 

Christen coaxed Tobin through her aftershocks, slowing the way her fingers moved inside of Tobin, slowing her tongue between Tobin’s legs. But she didn’t pull her fingers out as she kissed her way up Tobin’s stomach, taking a nipple between her lips again.

“My turn,” Tobin breathed out, her eyes fluttering open. 

“Relax. We’ve got time,” Christen hummed, starting to move her fingers again, pulling them out almost all the way before pushing them back in.

“Who the hell are you?” Tobin rasped, sinking into Christen’s touch again as pleasure coiled low in her stomach again. 

Christen released Tobin’s nipple with a pop and grinned up at her. “Christen Press,” she replied with a coy smile. “But you already know that.”

Tobin let out a tiny laugh before snaking her fingers into the hair at the back of Christen’s neck. 

Christen teased two more orgasms out of Tobin before she had her fill. She sucked her fingers clean and then chuckled at the blissed-out expression on Tobin’s face.

“Okay, I get it,” Tobin murmured, licking her bottom lip. 

“Just a little gay then?” Christen asked with a laugh, collapsing down onto the bed by Tobin’s side.

“Fully gay,” Tobin nodded, rolling over onto her side to face Christen. 

“Glad I could be of service,” Christen replied, watching Tobin with curious eyes.

Tobin lightly trailed her fingers along Christen’s hip bones, watching to see what would make Christen twitch or move or respond. 

“You don’t have to,” Christen whispered, swallowing thickly when Tobin’s touch skirted dangerously close to the heat building between her thighs.

“Kicking me out already?” Tobin asked, skimming her hand back up Christen’s body and brushing a thumb over one of her nipples. 

Christen squirmed a little on the bed at Tobin’s touch. “You came. You can go,” Christen replied.

“I don’t want to,” Tobin replied, bending down enough to take the other nipple between her lips. 

Christen could hear the emotion behind Tobin’s response. She knew there was more to it than just sex. But when Tobin flicked her tongue teasingly against her nipple, she was too far gone to care.

“Good luck,” Christen murmured, threading her fingers in the hair at the back of Tobin’s head.

What Tobin lacked due to inexperience with a woman, she made up for in enthusiasm. She sucked on Christen’s breasts, leaving marks before soothing the skin with her tongue. She nipped at Christen’s collarbones, letting her teeth scrape against Christen’s smooth skin. All the while, her hands moved up and down Christen’s body, sliding over muscular thighs and brushing up Christen’s sides. 

She couldn’t stop the tiny smile that spread across her lips when Christen twitched slightly beneath her. Christen Press had a ‘too cool for school’ aura that Tobin could see was slightly cracking each time Christen desperately rocked her hips up, finding no friction. 

But Christen had shown her a very good time. Christen had teased and taken her time. She’d made Tobin beg and moan and fall apart over and over again, and Tobin was determined to do the same for her, no matter how long it took or how much of a learning curve she was currently on. 

Tobin danced a hand between their bodies, letting her fingers brush against Christen’s inner thighs. 

“You’re wet,” she hummed with a tiny smirk before pressing another open-mouthed kiss to the valley between Christen’s breasts. 

“You’re hot,” Christen replied breathlessly, pushing her head back against the mattress and gripping tightly onto the bedsheets.

Tobin let her index finger move up slightly, barely brushing through Christen’s folds before she moved it back to Christen’s inner thigh. 

“I don’t do teasing either. Just fuck me,” Christen growled, sliding her fingers around Tobin’s wrist and moving her hand back between her legs.

“I don’t know...I think taking my time would probably be better for my learning process,” Tobin teased. 

“Not today,” Christen replied with an arched brow.

“Fine,” Tobin shrugged, pushing a finger inside Christen and sinking into the warmth between Christen’s legs. 

Christen’s eyes fluttered shut as she bit back a low groan. She dropped her head back down onto the bed and rolled her hips into Tobin’s touch.

Tobin pulled her finger back out and stroked two fingers through Christen’s folds, paying attention to what made Christen react the most. She circled Christen’s clit a few times, enjoying how Christen’s face scrunched up in pleasure, before she slid two fingers inside Christen, curling them just as Christen had done. 

Christen’s jaw was so tight she thought she might break it. She never let herself be vocal, never let herself be loud. She refused to let the people who shared her bed know how much she enjoyed this.

“Hey, Chris?” Tobin murmured, curling her fingers inside Christen as she pulled them out slightly and pushed them back in. 

Christen blinked her eyes open and looked up at Tobin, her chest heaving and her lips pressed tightly together.

“Is this okay?” Tobin asked, pressing her thumb against Christen’s clit as she rocked her thigh into the back of her hand, sending her fingers deeper inside Christen. 

Christen couldn’t stop the delighted, breathy moan this time, even if she was desperate to. She gripped tightly onto the back of Tobin’s neck as her eyes slammed shut. 

“Yeah, it’s- you’re- yeah,” Christen managed, hooking a leg around Tobin’s waist as she encouraged Tobin to move faster with every roll of her hips.

Tobin kept moving at a steady pace, rocking her fingers into Christen as she lowered herself enough to take Christen’s nipple into her mouth again. She sped up only when Christen let out a tiny sigh, enjoying the vocal response to what she was doing. 

She’d never touched a woman like this, let alone made a woman come. So, when Christen’s back arched off the bed and hand tugged painfully at Tobin’s hair, Tobin wasn’t sure what to do or what the shuddering from the woman beneath her meant. She kept her fingers moving steadily, her mouth going completely dry as she watched from above. 

Christen wrapped a hand around Tobin’s wrist, squeezing gently as her eyes fluttered open, that amused smirk back on her face.

“Did you- Uh...was that-” Tobin mumbled, sliding her fingers out of Christen. 

“Good work, champ,” Christen grinned, loosening her grip on the back of Tobin’s neck to pat Tobin on the back.

“Cool,” Tobin breathed out, moving down the bed. 

Christen chuckled and sat up on her elbows, cocking her head to the side as Tobin settled between her legs.

“Rookies don’t usually do this their first time,” Christen pointed out.

“It’s a good thing it isn’t my first Olympics,” Tobin teased, lifting one of Christen’s legs over her shoulder. 

“Do you think she hit Vonya? That would explain it,” Lindsey whispered, standing with Ashlyn and A.D. as the three of them watched Tobin in the weight room.

“Tobs, you’re a snowboarder, not a weightlifter, easy adding weights!” one of the staff members called out. 

“Got it,” Tobin answered, shooting a thumbs up across the room. 

“Maybe she got some good sleep,” A.D. suggested.

“She got laid,” Ashlyn snorted. “Tobs, who’d you fuck?” 

Tobin nearly dropped the weight that she was holding, a blush spreading across her face. 

“That’s no way to speak to a lady,” Tobin replied, making herself laugh as she moved to a different part of the weight room. 

“Silly me. Why’d I even ask when I know exactly who you fucked,” Ashlyn called out.

“Is Press as good as they say?” A.D. asked, moving closer to Tobin and lowering her voice slightly. 

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Tobin mumbled, starting her banded walks across the room. 

Ashlyn rolled her eyes at the obvious lie. She walked over and tugged the neck of Tobin’s workout shit down, revealing the hickeys littering her chest.

“Looks like her handiwork,” Ashlyn grinned, releasing her grip on Tobin's shirt when Tobin smacked her in the arm.

“She’s good, okay?” Tobin answered, moving to the side with her resistance band. 

“Just good?” Lindsey asked, raising an eyebrow at Tobin. 

“I heard she’s mind-blowing,” came a voice from the hallway. A voice that was equal parts amused and cocky.

“Well, this was fun,” Tobin groaned, her face heating up with another blush at the sound of Christen’s voice. 

“Good luck tomorrow,” Christen offered as she walked by the open door to the weight room, winking at Tobin as she passed.

“I hate you guys,” Tobin hissed. 

“Sounds like she’ll give you some good luck tonight if you stop by her room again,” Ashlyn said with a grin as she poked Tobin in the side. 

“I don’t- I mean, I should focus on tomorrow,” Tobin muttered, side-stepping in the opposite direction with the resistance band. 

“I’ll ask Ali to come by tonight anyway. Just in case,” Ashlyn hummed.

“Ash,” Tobin whined, trying to come up with the right words she’d say when she knocked on Christen’s door for the second time. 

Christen unclipped the small microphone from her Team USA polo and handed it back to the interviewer. 

“Thanks for focusing on the sport. Lots of journalists don’t,” Christen said with an easy smile.

“Thank you for sitting down for an interview. I know it’s hard to squeeze everything in. But America loves you, and we’re all excited to see you do well,” the journalist replied with a matching smile, prepping their equipment for the next Olympian. 

Christen got to her feet and turned to grab her coffee from beside the chair she’d been occupying. And then she heard a familiar voice and felt her blood run cold.

“I’m ready for my close-up!”

Christen nearly crushed the empty coffee cup in her hand as she stood back up. Taking a deep breath and willing away the immediate pain that radiated through her chest, she turned around to face the one woman she’d been hoping to avoid this Olympics.

“Hey, Chris,” Vonya said, flashing her signature cocky smile. “I didn’t know you made it to the Olympics this year.”

Christen’s green eyes flashed with irritation as a sharp sting of hurt pierced her heart. 

“Hey, Von. I didn’t know they considered whatever it is you do on a snowboard an Olympic sport,” Christen replied, hating the way her voice shook a little bit.

Vonya simply winked at Christen, a teasing glint in her eyes. 

“Gotta love how the Olympics brings athletes from all over together,” the interviewer said as he looked between the two women. “Maybe we could find time for the two of you to do an interview together sometime.”

“Never going to happen,” Christen said quickly.

“Chris doesn’t like to share the spotlight,” Vonya commented cruelly, hooking the mic to the collar of her shirt. 

Christen forced herself to walk away, to keep the burn of tears behind her eyes at bay. She stormed out of the media room and into the stairwell, leaning against the railing and taking deep, shaky breaths.

“Pretty girls shouldn’t cry at the Olympics unless they’ve just won a medal,” a voice came from down the hallway. 

Christen looked up and saw the curler she’d noticed early on during the Games standing there with a kind smile. 

So Christen did what she had gotten extremely good at doing. She walked over and slipped her hand into this other woman’s. She led her back to the dorms, to her room, and dulled the pain of Vonya, of the heartbreak, with the pleasure from someone else. 

Tobin was at war with herself. Technically hot chocolate wasn’t food, so she wasn’t breaking Christen’s rule about not eating food together. When she finally decided that the worst-case scenario would be Christen choosing not to drink the hot chocolate, she headed down the hallway, balancing Christen’s hot chocolate on top of her own and knocking on the door as soon as she stepped up to it. 

There was a muffled grunt, a loud thump, and something that sounded like scrambling. And then Christen pulled open the door in just her underwear, her hair a little messy and her eyes more than a little sad.

“Oh,” Tobin mumbled, seeing the naked woman over Christen’s shoulder, hurrying to pull a sheet over herself. 

“Can I help you with something?” Christen asked, wincing at the hardness of her words but unable to soften them.

“Uh...I guess not,” Tobin answered, hating how quickly her stomach had dropped and her throat had tightened around her words. She held out both cups. “Here, your friend might get thirsty.”

Christen took the cups of hot chocolate and watched Tobin walk away with a furrowed brow, impossibly confused why the pain in her heart was a little less painful after seeing Tobin, and not after spending the last twenty minutes between the curler’s thighs.

Tobin kind of wanted to go outside and bury herself in the snow. She hated the slight stinging behind her eyes and the way she felt bummed. She’d known that Christen had frequent sex. She’d been fully aware that Christen was a bit of a player before sleeping with her. And she was okay with that. She just hadn’t planned on seeing it, on seeing a different woman in Christen’s bed just like she had been two days prior. 

For the first time in Tobin’s life, she’d been more into someone than the other way around. A guy wasn’t chasing after her or asking her out. She was the one who cared the most, and she hated how empty that made her feel. It made her feel bad for the ex-boyfriends that she’d dumped, ex-boyfriends that she’d never really cared about enough in the first place. She felt bad because now she understood what it felt like to realize the other person didn’t care about you at all. 

Christen hesitated, her plate of half-finished waffles and an orange held between her hands.

She shouldn’t feel bad. She slept around and it was the worst kept secret in the Olympic Village. Tobin knew that when she’d shown up at her door three days ago. But the way Tobin’s face had dimmed and her brown eyes had lost a bit of their warmth had haunted Christen for a full twenty-four hours.

She hadn’t been able to forget about them as she went through the motions in her event today, sealing her spot in the next round with another fast time. She hadn’t been able to forget about them as she tried to lose herself in a crossword. She hadn’t been able to forget and now she was standing in the cafeteria, looking at the empty spot in front of Tobin Heath at an otherwise empty table and seriously considering occupying it.

“Fuck it,” Christen whispered under her breath, waltzing across the cafeteria and sliding into the seat opposite Tobin.

Tobin was currently listening to Chance the Rapper’s album Coloring Book, bobbing her head to the songs that she listened to most frequently to relax. She saved the faster-paced music for the slopes, sticking to lyrical rap when she just wanted to chill. 

Christen sat back in her chair and crossed her arms over her chest, waiting for Tobin to notice her. She watched Tobin bob her head to the music and mumble lyrics under her breath, stirring sugar and berries into her oatmeal and putting chocolate syrup on top of it. Christen had a feeling she’d stumbled upon a daily routine of sorts, because no matter how loud she cleared her throat, Tobin wouldn’t break out of her focus.

It wasn’t until Tobin lifted her spoon to her mouth to take her first bite that she looked up and saw Christen. She pulled her headphones down and put her spoon back into her bowl. 

“You’re quiet,” she said with a smile. 

“You’re the talker,” Christen pointed out, grabbing the orange from her plate and starting to peel it.

“That’s true,” Tobin nodded. “Good job on your run yesterday.”

Christen waved off the compliment with a sigh and a shake of her head. “I was slow on the start which cost me.”

“You made up for it with the finish,” Tobin said, shifting her eyes away slightly as she thought about the double meaning that could hold. 

Christen’s lips pulled into a smirk as she dropped the peel onto her tray and popped an orange slice into her mouth. 

“I knew you liked watching me finish,” Christen teased.

“I’m only human,” Tobin replied with a slight blush. 

Christen chuckled and flicked her eyes down to the oatmeal and then back up to meet Tobin’s gaze. 

“Humans don’t put chocolate syrup on their oatmeal,” Christen pointed out.

“Well, usually I put maple syrup on it, but I don’t like the cheap brand they have here,” Tobin replied. 

“A maple syrup elitist,” Christen said with a teasing smile. 

“Everyone has a flaw,” Tobin chuckled, her eyes crinkling as her smile grew. “Trust me, I wish I liked Log Cabin maple syrup. It would save me a lot of disappointment.” 

Christen hummed and dropped her eyes to the orange slices in her hands, the sound of the word disappointment reminding her of the kicked puppy look on Tobin’s face yesterday.

“Some people have more flaws than others,” Christen said softly.

“Sure,” Tobin said, her eyebrows scrunching in confusion. 

“I’m sorry I was...busy yesterday,” Christen said, looking up at Tobin quickly and then dropping her eyes back down.

“You don’t need to say sorry,” Tobin replied, keeping her voice soft. “I didn’t expect you to clear your schedule for me. I feel like you probably have a rule about that, right?”

A small smile made its way onto Christen’s face, her shoulders relaxing with Tobin’s response.

“I probably should have one, yeah,” Christen murmured. 

“I mean...if you don’t mind pre-planning, I’m free tonight,” Tobin said with a tiny smirk. 

Christen barked out a laugh and finally looked up. “You continue to surprise me, Tobin Heath.”

“How so?” Tobin asked, finally putting a bite of breakfast into her mouth. 

“Maybe I’ll tell you someday,” Christen replied with a small shake of her head. “But right now, I want to try that monstrosity,” she said, gesturing down at the oatmeal.

It was Tobin’s turn to laugh as she held her spoon out for Christen to use. “It’s gonna completely rock your world.”

“You scratch my back…” Christen grinned, taking the spoon between her lips and taking the offered bite of oatmeal. She chewed thoughtfully and lifted her thumb to catch the bit of chocolate that had gotten caught on her lip. After licking the chocolate from her thumb, Christen let out a contented hum. “Decent,” she grinned, holding back a laugh at the slightly slack-jawed expression on Tobin’s face.

“Maybe I can get my hands on some decent maple syrup and really show you the good stuff,” Tobin murmured, her heart thrumming quickly at the way Christen was looking at her over something as innocent as oatmeal. 

“I’ll see you tonight, Tobin,” Christen said with a coy smile, grabbing her plate and getting to her feet.

“Have a good day, Chris,” Tobin replied, leaning back in her chair and smiling bigger than she had all morning. 

Christen wiped her hand across her mouth and smirked up at Tobin, finding herself to be a little enamored with the wrecked look on Tobin’s face.

She ran her thumbs slowly across Tobin’s hip bones as she watched Tobin greedily suck air back into her lungs, leaning her head on her forearms on the bed frame.

“You are a very talented woman,” Tobin rasped, holding herself above Christen’s mouth as her legs continued to twitch. 

Christen chuckled and turned her head to kiss Tobin’s inner thigh. “Thank you,” Christen hummed.

“Can I- Can I try that?” Tobin asked as she glanced down at Christen. 

“You can try anything you want,” Christen replied with a coy smile.

“You’re really enjoying the expert role, aren’t you?” Tobin asked, swinging one of her legs over to move off of Christen and drop down onto the mattress beside her. 

“I just enjoy sex,” Christen shrugged, sitting up in bed and gently pulling her hair out of her ponytail, freeing her curls.

“Probably a popular opinion,” Tobin teased, already reaching out to brush her fingertips over Christen’s thighs. 

Christen moved to straddle Tobin’s face, running a hand through her curls to tousle them. She winked as she gripped onto the headboard and sank closer to Tobin’s mouth. 

“Probably,” Christen replied.

Tobin swiped her tongue through Christen’s folds, sighing as Christen’s taste spread across her tongue. That was something she’d been thinking about for the past three days, something she’d missed, something that she’d dreamed about. 

She teased Christen’s entrance with her tongue, tracing slow circles with her tongue despite Christen telling her that she had a rule against teasing. She couldn’t help it. She loved the way Christen’s legs tensed around her when she teased or the way tiny whimpers slipped from Christen’s lips no matter how hard Christen tried to keep them in. It was intoxicating, and she wanted to work Christen up as much as she could. 

Tobin moved her hands between Christen’s legs, sliding them over Christen’s ass and rocking her forward enough to get Christen moving against her mouth. She didn’t know why Christen tried to stay quiet. But she knew she did. She could see the way Christen tortured her bottom lip between her teeth and the way Christen’s forehead furrowed. The silence made Tobin feel slightly antsy. It made her want to do better, to do more. She pulled her tongue away from Christen’s entrance, moving it back to Christen’s clit and pressing it with slightly more pressure, directly where Christen wanted her. 

But other than Christen’s eyes slamming shut and a tiny sigh slipping from Christen’s lips, Tobin heard nothing. So, she pulled her tongue away, narrowing her eyes slightly at the woman above her. 

Christen bit back a growl and moved a hand to the back of Tobin’s head, guiding her back between her legs as she rolled her hips down.

Tobin pressed a kiss to Christen’s clit before turning her head to run her tongue along Christen’s inner thigh. 

“Problem?” Christen asked in a slightly strangled voice.

“You’re confusing,” Tobin mumbled softly, peppering Christen’s leg with kisses. 

“Well, you’re meant to keep working that tongue of yours between my legs and that’s when I come,” Christen huffed.

“Oh, I’m new here, but I’m very aware of that fact,” Tobin chuckled. 

“Then why aren’t you showing your awareness of that fact currently?” Christen shot back, glaring down at the woman between her legs.

“For someone who loves sex so much, you really don’t express it much,” Tobin hummed, turning her head again to lazily run her tongue through Christen’s folds. 

Christen’s eyes narrowed slightly and her jaw tightened. She quickly moved her legs from around Tobin’s head, getting up and out of bed. She grabbed a glass from the counter and filled it up at the sink of the small kitchenette, her shoulders tense.

“Hey, I didn’t mean that in a bad way. I just...I don’t know if I’m doing something...wrong?” Tobin said quietly. 

“I orgasm. I enjoy myself. You do adequately,” Christen snapped, taking a drink of water.

“I’m glad it’s adequate,” Tobin said, a pang of hurt settling in her chest. She slipped from the bed and bent down to find her boyshorts on the floor. 

Christen sighed at the tone of Tobin’s voice. She hung her head for a moment and then refilled the water glass. She walked back over and took the underwear from Tobin’s hand, exchanging it for the water.

“I didn’t mean that. I’m sorry,” Christen said softly.

“It’s fine,” Tobin muttered, focusing on the water instead of Christen. 

With another sigh, Christen dropped onto the edge of the bed and looked up at Tobin. 

“It’s not a you thing. You’re...frankly, you’re one of the best. It’s not you,” Christen offered quietly.

“Okay,” Tobin hummed, sitting down on the bed but giving Christen space. 

“Sex is science. It’s endorphins and release. It’s supposed to be enjoyable, but the moment someone knows how much you enjoy it, that’s when they know you. And when they know you, they can break you,” Christen said quietly, her voice breaking slightly.

Tobin’s forehead furrowed even more, her heart suddenly aching for the woman next to her on the bed. It was easy to see, easy to hear in her voice and read on her face. Christen Press had been hurt. 

“I guess I’m breakable then. I get wanting to protect yourself, though,” Tobin said with a sad smile. 

Christen shook her head and ran a hand through her hair. “I never said I was protecting myself,” she argued.

“You didn’t have to,” Tobin replied quietly. 

Christen looked over at Tobin, at the soft look in her brown eyes and the understanding half-smile on her face, and she felt her heart threaten to feel more whole than it had in a long time.  

“I didn’t mean to upset you,” Tobin added with a shake of her head. “See, the talking can be annoying.”

“I don’t think so,” Christen replied. She got to her feet and took the glass from Tobin’s hand, setting it down on the bedside table. She then swung a leg over Tobin’s lap, dropping down into it. She moved her lips along the hard line of Tobin’s jaw, over to her ear.

“I’m sorry. Thank you,” Christen whispered, scratching gently at Tobin’s scalp while her lips moved across Tobin’s jaw.

“Nothing to thank me for,” Tobin whispered back, holding an arm around Christen’s waist and slowly moving back on the bed. “I haven’t helped you finish yet.”

Christen chuckled against Tobin’s neck. “Go ahead,” she murmured. 

Tobin leaned back onto Christen’s pillow and tugged her back up to her mouth, resuming what they’d been doing earlier. 

Christen had cleared her schedule for the rest of the week, per Tobin’s request. Ali had pretty much moved into Ashlyn and Tobin’s room anyway. So, Tobin would spend her evenings with Christen, both of them trading orgasms back and forth until it was dark and they were yawning. Then, Tobin and Ali would pass each other in the halls on the way back to their own rooms, both blushing slightly and smoothing down their hair. 

There were times when they weren’t restricted to the bedroom. Tobin had found Christen watching film on her own in a conference room and they’d definitely taken advantage of the fact that no other athlete planned to watch film for the next few hours. Christen had stumbled upon Tobin in the locker room at the lodge near the slopes, half-dressed, and they’d stumbled into the shower from there.

But there were other times when sex wasn’t even on the table. Sometimes, Christen would join Tobin in the cafeteria if their schedules overlapped, talking over a bowl of oatmeal and steaming cups of coffee. Sometimes, Tobin would find Christen journaling in the lounge or doing a crossword at the lodge, and she’d join her, trying desperately not to be her talkative self so Christen could work in peace.

For the most part, they stuck to Christen’s rules. They didn’t eat dinner before or after sex. They didn’t kiss each other’s lips, not even when they felt heated and passionate. Tobin never slept the night, even if Ali stayed with Ashlyn. She’d crash with A.D. and Lindsey, squeezing into Lindsey’s bed much to her frustration. 

Tobin didn’t push Christen. After realizing that Christen had been hurt, after figuring out that there was a lot hidden behind Christen’s facade, Tobin decided not to push. She didn’t ask for more. She knew what this was to Christen, and as much as that sometimes made her chest tighten, she tried to respect it. She pushed down her feelings and respected that Christen only wanted sex. 

But it was hard to do that when Christen popped up at the end of her runs, standing near the barricade with a beaming smile and a shy wave. Just like she did right now.

“That looked fun,” Christen called out, pulling her puffy winter coat tighter around her shoulders.

“I got a little dizzy,” Tobin teased, picking up her board and finding her way out of the barricade to talk to Christen. 

“I bet,” Christen laughed. She hesitated and then reached into her pocket, pulling out a brown paper bag. “Umm, here.”

“What’s that?” Tobin asked, pulling a glove off with her teeth. 

“Open it when I’m gone,” Christen replied.

“That sounds a little scary,” Tobin laughed. 

Christen laughed again, and her cheeks filled with a slight blush that she wrote off as the cold air.

“I’ll see you tonight,” Christen said, backing up after handing Tobin the bag.

“As soon as I’m showered, I’ll be at your door,” Tobin nodded, unable not to think that Christen looked adorable in her black Nike puffer jacket and her bright red mittens, blushing and backing away. 

Christen nodded and walked away, shivering slightly in her coat as she headed back down to the shuttles near the lodge, internally chastising for not only getting that for Tobin but for giving it to her as well.

Tobin peeked into the bag as soon as Christen disappeared into a shuttle, her heart thudding in her chest and a beaming smile overtaking her entire face. 

For the elitist. 

Tobin’s chest warmed up when she read the maple syrup bottle, her mouth watering at the dark amber color and the fancy label. And all she could think about was eating breakfast with Christen tomorrow after thanking her for the syrup tonight. 

“Dammit!” Christen sighed, slamming her helmet into the snow as she sat halfway down the mountain. She’d slipped. It wasn’t anything drastic or alarming or even new. She’d fallen on more mountains and in more snow than she cared to count. 

But she couldn’t be falling right now. Not now.

She’d been cruising all week. She’d made this mountain bow to her and her skis. But for some reason, today of all days, eighteen hours before the elimination round, she couldn’t get her head on right. 

Christen resisted the urge to throw her helmet the rest of the way down the slope, forcing herself to take deep breaths.

The irrational part of her wanted to blame Tobin. 

Goofy, sweet, adorable, insanely talented in bed Tobin. That was the only difference from this week to the last. She’d only been sleeping with Tobin, no one else,  and now her game was suffering. 

But the rational part of her knew that was bullshit. What she did in the bedroom with Tobin had no effect on the fact that she’d caught a ski on some ice and crashed into a gate, thankfully not hurting herself or her equipment.

Hanging her head, Christen took another deep breath and then put her helmet back on. She got to her feet and skied the rest of the way down the mountain, desperately wishing for that control she always felt when she wore a pair of skis and glided across the snow, but failing to hold it in her grasp today. 

She ignored Ali and Crystal’s worried looks as she got into the shuttle next to them. She ignored their invites for dinner or for a movie night. Instead, she dropped her gear in her room and made her way to the fifth floor, not even bothering to knock on Tobin’s door before walking in.

“Jeez, you scared me,” Tobin gasped, just barely keeping her towel around her as she peeked her head around the bathroom door. 

Christen watched a droplet of water fall down the column of Tobin’s neck, slipping into the hollow at the base of her throat. She swallowed thickly and snapped her eyes back up to meet Tobin’s.

“Sorry,” Christen managed to say.

“You okay?” Tobin asked, stepping more fully out of the bathroom with a concerned look on her face. 

Christen wordlessly pulled her sweatshirt over her head and kicked off her running shoes, pulling off her leggings as well. She moved into Tobin’s space and surprised herself by tucking her head in the crook of Tobin’s neck and wrapping her arms around Tobin’s waist, embracing her tightly.

“Hey,” Tobin breathed out softly, forgetting about the towel in favor of returning Christen’s hug and holding her as close as possible. “What’s going on?” 

“I crashed,” Christen whispered.

“Are you okay?” Tobin asked, her voice taking on an almost panicked tone as she pulled away to look over Christen’s body. 

“Broke a pole. Nothing serious,” Christen replied with a shrug.

“You’re bruised,” Tobin said, lifting Christen’s arm and inspecting the light bruise running from her shoulder down to the middle of her bicep. 

“Ice is hard,” Christen mumbled.

Without thought, Tobin leaned down to press the softest kiss she could manage onto the bruise. 

Christen sucked in a shuddery breath, her eyes fluttering shut at the feeling of Tobin’s lips on her skin.

“Ice is hard, you’re right,” Tobin whispered, pressing another kiss higher up Christen’s arm as she left a trail along the bruise. 

“I feel like I can’t catch my breath. I’m losing control,” Christen admitted, unsure if she was talking about skiing or about the woman standing in front of her.

“Okay,” Tobin said, standing up straight again to look at Christen’s face. “Um...that’s okay. We can you want to shower? Or we could like meditate like yoga, right?” she asked, scrambling for something helpful to say. “Just tell me what you want and I’ll do it.”

Christen’s eyes flew open and met Tobin’s, a small shiver running down her spine. 

“Tell you what I want?” Christen asked, her hands moving to hold the part of the towel over Tobin’s hips. 

She knew Tobin had meant it innocently, but she was floundering. She was off-kilter and she needed to feel like she was back in control. She needed it and she was hopeful that Tobin would help her get it back.

“Anything you want,” Tobin nodded. “I’m free for the rest of the night.”

“Get on the bed,” Christen said softly, squeezing Tobin’s hips.

“I can do that,” Tobin murmured, already making her way across the room, her towel forgotten on the bathroom floor. “Maybe you should hang your clothes on the doorknob this time,” she added with a tiny smile. 

Christen managed a small smile in return, pulling off her sports bra and sticking it on the door before closing it again and locking it. She made her way over to the bed and stepped out of her underwear before settling next to Tobin.

Christen propped her head up on her hand and pulled her bottom lip between her teeth.

“Just tell me if it’s too much and we’ll stop,” Christen murmured softly, ghosting her fingertips along Tobin’s sensitive hip bone as she spoke.

“Okay,” Tobin said, her mind already running wild with what Christen could have in mind. 

“Will you touch yourself for me? Will you do exactly what I tell you to?” Christen asked, removing her hand from Tobin’s hip as she kept her eyes locked with Tobin’s.

Tobin raised her eyebrows slightly, having not thought of that possibility at all. She felt her cheeks flush at the idea, a tiny seed of embarrassment sprouting in the back of her mind at the idea of Christen watching her touch herself. It was one thing to have Christen touching her, sending her over the edge and making her moan. It was another thing for Christen to witness what she did alone behind closed doors. 

“Please,” Christen whispered, her green eyes flashing with the same worry and fear they’d had when she walked into the room a few minutes ago.

“I can do that,” Tobin mumbled, deciding that if it was something Christen wanted it wouldn’t be quite as embarrassing as it sounded. 

“Start slow. Teasing,” Christen murmured, wetting her bottom lip with her tongue.

Tobin’s breath caught in her throat as she heard Christen’s request. It wasn’t the request itself. It was the way Christen’s voice was already husky and deep and the way Christen was looking at her with complete desire. Suddenly, this didn’t feel embarrassing at all. Tobin moved her hand down her own body, brushing her fingers over her hips before she moved further downward. 

“Not there yet,” Christen chuckled breathily, using a light touch on Tobin’s left wrist to guide her hand up. “Here,” Christen said softly, leaving Tobin’s hand right below her breasts.

Tobin narrowed her eyes slightly but did what Christen asked, relishing in the hooded look Christen was giving her. She brushed her fingers along the swell of her own breast and over her already hardened nipple. 

“Roll it between your fingers. Gently. Not enough pressure to make you gasp. Not yet,” Christen commanded, squirming slightly on the bed as she watched Tobin’s eyes get darker at her request. 

And Tobin did just that. She took her own nipple between her thumb and her forefinger, rolling it with enough pressure to make her mouth fall open slightly but not enough to make any noise. 

“Harder now,” Christen murmured. "Gasp for me."

Tobin added pressure, letting out a quiet whine as she felt pressure build between her legs. 

“Other one now, Tobin. Don’t stay gentle anymore.”

Tobin nodded, moving her hand to her other breast with steady pressure, coaxing a few more noises out of her lips as she stared up at Christen. 

Christen continued to whisper commands, watching, completely transfixed, as Tobin followed every single one. She watched as Tobin listened to her and danced her fingertips across her own hip bones, as Tobin raked her fingers up her own thighs, as Tobin tentatively dipped her finger inside before pulling back out with a strangled moan.

“You’re doing so good, baby. So good,” Christen husked, pulling Tobin’s left hand to her mouth, licking Tobin’s middle finger clean before dropping it back onto Tobin’s stomach. 

Tobin’s eyes fluttered open at the sound of that word, her stomach clenching in slight anticipation. She wasn’t sure if Christen was about to freak herself out and leave the room or if Christen would just pretend it didn’t happen. But there was no denying that hearing Christen call her that made Tobin’s stomach flip. 

“Use two,” Christen whispered, reaching up to wipe away the bit of sweat gathered at the top of Tobin’s brow with the gentlest touch, seemingly unaware of the term of endearment that had just left her lips. 

Tobin clenched around her two fingers as she slipped them inside of herself, already curling them and making her hips jerk slightly. 

“You want it fast, don’t you?” Christen asked with a knowing smile.

“Yes,” Tobin choked out. 

“Fast and hard?”

“Mhm,” Tobin hummed, swallowing thickly. 

“Go slow,” Christen replied.

“You’re mean,” Tobin whined, following Christen’s instructions exactly. 

Christen laughed, the sound free and uninhibited. “You can go fast next time,” Christen hummed, her eyes moving away from the rippling pleasure on Tobin’s face and down to watch Tobin’s fingers move between her legs at an achingly torturous pace.

“Or you could,” Tobin panted, forcing herself to keep her fingers moving slowly. 

“Oh I will,” Christen murmured, wetting her lips when Tobin slid her fingers all the way out before slipping them back in. “Fuck, Tobin,” she whispered, shaking her head just a bit at the sight of Tobin’s fingers buried inside of herself.

“Yeah?” Tobin husked, continuing to fuck herself as she looked at Christen. 

“Keep going,” Christen managed, swallowing thickly.

“I didn’t realize you’d be into watching,” Tobin mumbled as her hips bucked up into her own hand. 

“I never have before,” Christen replied, looking back up at Tobin. “Three, now. You can take it. Use three.”

“Fuck,” Tobin gasped as she slid in a third finger. “I’m so tight, Chris.”

Christen was in no place to stop the moan that spilled from her lips. “You can go faster. Fuck yourself like you want me to,” Christen rasped.

Tobin didn’t need to be told twice. She sped up, sending keening moans from her lips as her back arched and her free hand tangled in the bedsheets beneath her. She was completely sure that she’d never felt this good while touching herself and it was all because of Christen Press’s words and the way she looked at her the entire time. 

“For me. Come for me,” Christen whispered, watching as pleasure played across Tobin’s face, as a crinkle formed between her brows and her lips parted.

“It’s for you,” Tobin choked out as she lost control, her legs twitching and her body spasming, completely falling apart under Christen’s gaze. 

Christen let herself linger in the look of complete ecstasy on Tobin’s face for a moment before she was moving down the bed, finding her favorite spot between Tobin’s thighs. She pulled Tobin’s fingers away and swiped her tongue through Tobin, still feeling Tobin tremble beneath her.

“Chris,” Tobin moaned, her entire body twitching and shuddering against Christen, still dealing with aftershocks. 

“This next one’s for you,” Christen murmured. She built Tobin up quickly, with swipes of her tongue and gentle sucks. She built Tobin up and finally felt at peace after a day wholly lacking in peace. As she tipped Tobin over the edge, as she smiled softly at the way her name fell from Tobin’s lips as Tobin came, she finally felt at peace. 

And after Tobin had taken her time returning the favor, after Christen had collapsed down onto the bed, sated and spent, curling into the warmth of Tobin’s side, she felt at peace here too.

“Oh shit, dude,” Ashlyn hissed across the room. 

“Shut up,” Tobin growled, pulling the sheets over her and Christen’s bodies. “Get out.”

“Team meeting in ten,” Ashlyn chuckled.

“I’m sick,” Tobin shrugged. 

“Looooove sick,” Ashlyn teased, pulling open the door to leave.

“Stop it. Go bother Ali,” Tobin grumbled. 

“Ten minutes, Tobs,” Ashlyn called over her shoulder, leaving the room.

Tobin looked down at the woman still in her arms. She tried not to smile at the way Christen’s hand was gripping her hip or the way Christen’s nose had been buried in her neck when Ashlyn had first walked in and woken her up. She tried not to let the fact that Christen had unintentionally broken her no sleepovers rule warm her heart and send butterflies through her body. 

She didn’t want to wake her up or ruin the moment. She never wanted to leave this room. But she was painfully aware that her coach would kill her if she missed the last meeting before quarterfinals. She’d probably send Ashlyn back upstairs to get her out of bed, and Tobin didn’t want anyone else to wake Christen up, not when she knew waking up in her bed would freak Christen out by itself. 

“Chris,” Tobin whispered, running a hand up and down Christen’s back in what she hoped were soothing strokes. 

“What?” Christen grumbled grumpily, burrowing closer.

“I’m sorry,” Tobin hummed gently, keeping her hand moving along Christen’s back. 

“You should be. You woke me up,” Christen replied. And then Christen shot up in bed, her eyes open and alert. “You woke me up,” she repeated, realizing what that meant. 

It meant Tobin Heath had made her break another rule.

“Um...yeah,” Tobin said, cringing slightly and awkwardly messing with the sheets around her waist. 

“Huh,” Christen replied, a million thoughts running through her mind as she ran a hand through her hair.

“You don’t need to freak out. It uh- It doesn’t have to mean anything. I mean you can sleep in here. It’s cool. I just have a meeting downstairs, and I feel like ditching someone in a room that isn’t theirs is kind of a dick move, especially after having sex, so-”

A slightly amused smile made its way onto Christen’s face. “I think the only one freaking out here is you,” Christen said.

“Right,” Tobin nodded, pushing the sheets off of her legs and moving off of the bed enough to reach her suitcase. 

Christen reached out and caught Tobin’s hand in a gentle grip, causing her to turn around. 

“Yeah?” Tobin mumbled, slightly flustered at the way this morning was starting. 

Christen lifted her free hand and traced it along the dark hickey she’d left on the side of Tobin’s neck.

“Try a turtleneck. And some deep breaths,” Christen offered with a small smile. She then got up and started to get dressed, looking completely unfazed about the broken rule.

“Why are you being so chill right now?” Tobin asked, pulling on a sports bra and a pair of boyshorts. 

Christen shrugged and pulled on a t-shirt that looked suspiciously like one of Tobin’s. 

“Maybe I’ll tell you someday,” Christen teased, running her fingers through her sex-mussed curls.

“You’re sexy in the morning,” Tobin mumbled quietly, tugging on a turtleneck sweater before digging through her bag for a pair of leggings. 

Christen paused with her room key between her teeth and her hands pulling her hair into a ponytail. She arched a brow in Tobin’s direction, a slight blush heating her cheeks at the whispered compliment.

“Just thought you should know,” Tobin shrugged, pulling her leggings on and slipping into a pair of slides. 

And then Christen broke another rule. 

She pulled the room key from her teeth and moved into Tobin’s space. She helped Tobin pull on her jacket and then pressed a quick kiss to Tobin’s cheek before she could think better of it. 

“Have a good meeting,” Christen murmured before grabbing her phone and leaving the room, shutting the door softly behind her. 

Tobin stood frozen in her room, completely forgetting that she had a meeting and instead pressing her index finger to her cheek as her skin tingled. 

“Oooh your lady lover is here,” Ali whispered, squeezing Christen’s elbow. 

Christen rolled her eyes but a small, barely-there smile made its way onto her face. “It is dinner time. People eat,” Christen replied, going for nonchalant.

“You don’t want to join them?” Crystal asked, looking over at the snowboarders’ table. 

“I didn’t say that,” Christen replied, leading the way with her tray over to the table. Ali sat in front of Ashlyn, Crystal dropped down next to Lindsey and she sat down across from Tobin, stealing a sweet potato fry from her plate.

“You’re lucky you’re cute,” Tobin sighed, her smile growing immediately. 

Christen winked and stole another fry. “How were your practice runs today?” Christen asked, ignoring the slight fluttering in her stomach.

“Okay,” Tobin shrugged. “I was a little shaky on some tricks, but that’s what practice is for, right?” 

“Any particular reason you were shaky?” Ashlyn quipped, earning her a smack to the back of the head from Ali.

“Must’ve been you watching. It really makes me anxious,” Tobin huffed, trying to will away the blush on her cheeks. 

“You sure it wasn’t me watching? I often fluster people,” Crystal teased.

“No way, I fluster people!” Lindsey laughed, launching the two of them into conversation.

“Did you manage to practice unscathed?” Tobin asked, glancing down at Christen’s arm that was covered by her sweatshirt. 

Christen nodded with a small smile. “No additional bruises to report.”

“Do you feel better?” Tobin asked softly, keeping her voice low enough for just Christen to hear. 

Christen swallowed thickly but didn’t let herself look away from Tobin, away from the warmth and understanding in her eyes. 

“Much,” Christen whispered. “Thank you.”

“Thank you,” Tobin hummed, nudging her plate of fries closer to Christen. 

Christen took another sweet potato fry from the plate with an easy smile, sliding her foot next to Tobin’s beneath the table and knocking her sneaker against Tobin’s softly.

“I swear it was the best sex of my life. Just ask,” a woman from the biathlon team muttered, nudging her friend and gesturing at the table where Tobin and Christen were sitting. 

“Not right now,” the other woman hissed. 

Tobin looked down at her wrap, trying to block out the two women behind her and not think about Christen with someone else. She knew that was still quite possibly happening. They hadn’t really made any new rules or even discussed what they were doing. She hadn’t asked Christen to only sleep with her. She probably wouldn’t either. She didn’t feel like that was something she could ask, not when she went to Christen for casual sex, only to end up enjoying her as much as the mind-blowing sex. Even still, she didn’t like the idea of Christen with someone else. 

Christen leaned to the side and looked past Tobin at the two women, her eyes narrowing. Recognizing the blonde, she let out a short breath and leaned back in her chair.

When Tobin’s eyes remained downcast, when not even knocking her foot against Tobin’s got Tobin to look up at her, Christen crossed her arm on the table and leaned toward Tobin. 

“Two years ago at an event in Italy,” Christen whispered, feeling the need to explain herself and chase away the slightly kicked puppy look on Tobin’s face.

Tobin glanced up and shot Christen a small smile, nodding at her words to show that she’d heard her. She focused on her drink, taking a sip of her recovery shake that she hadn’t fully finished in the team van. 

“I haven’t- I mean,” Christen tried to say.

“It’s okay,” Tobin shook her head, putting her drink down and wiping her mouth with the back of her hand. 

Christen reached out and laid her hand on top of Tobin’s, surprising herself with the contact.

“I haven’t. Not for almost two weeks,” Christen murmured. When she realized what she was doing and what she was saying without really saying it, she removed her hand from Tobin’s and cleared her throat. “Just thought you should know.”

“Thanks for letting me know,” Tobin said, careful not to react too positively or too excitedly. “Are you excited for your run tomorrow?” 

“Better question. Are you excited to watch my run tomorrow? I’m wearing my nicest spandex,” Christen grinned, thankful for the change of topic and the retreat to the easy banter they always shared.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Tobin answered, her smile growing as she watched Christen from across the table. “I’m especially excited for after your run,” she added under her breath. 

“Maybe you’ll get to watch twice,” Christen winked.

It took Tobin a second to pick up on what Christen was suggesting, but then she realized that Christen was offering to let her watch, just like Christen had watched Tobin the other night. 

“Lucky me,” Tobin said, swallowing thickly at the idea. 

Christen slid her glass of water toward Tobin and swiped the plate of fries for her trouble. 

“You look a little parched,” Christen teased, grinning as she munched on a stolen fry.

“You two are gross,” Ashlyn teased, ruffling Tobin’s hair and getting an annoyed whine from Tobin. 

Christen threw a french fry at Ashlyn, hitting her in the forehead.

“Hands to yourself, Harris,” Christen said. “And you owe me a french fry,” she added before settling back in her chair and winking at Tobin.

Tobin was freezing. Other than for Christen and a few of her friends, she’d never been a spectator. Not for winter sports. She tugged the zipper on her puffer jacket all the way up, sealing up her neck. Then, she pulled her beanie a little lower on her head, hoping to cover her ears. 

She was dressed to go practice her own course after watching Christen, determined to land the tricks that had felt a little off the day before. So, even though she was cold, she knew that the spectators around her were even colder. Plus, watching Christen race down the mountain was worth the temperature. 

Her eyes found Christen easily in her navy blue spandex with white stars on the sleeves, her white helmet shining against the sunlight and her body moving easily down the mountain. She was flying faster than Tobin had seen her move, weaving down the mountain at an exceptional time. 

“I wanna be like her when I grow up,” a little girl next to Tobin said in a quiet voice to her mom. “She’s so fast.”

Tobin couldn’t help the huge smile that spread across her face as the little girl practically lifted herself up on the barricade, trying to get a better look at Christen as she came down the mountain. 

For the entirety of her time at the Olympic Village, Tobin had heard people talk about Christen in only one way. She was talked about solely as someone who could help people out sexually. She was objectified by strangers and asked for favors. And Tobin felt a tiny pang of guilt for being one of them. Even if she felt like she knew Christen better now, like she’d given her the time that she deserved to show herself a little more, she still had been one of them. 

And Christen was more than that, more than people’s opinions, more than her own body. Tobin watched the impact she had on a kid, on a little girl who wanted to ski, and her heart warmed up in her chest, completely in awe of the woman who for some reason wanted to spend time with her. 

“Someday, I’m gonna ski like her,” the little girl beamed, ringing the bell in her hands as Christen flew by the finish line. “YES! GO CHRISTEN PRESS!”

“GO, CHRIS!” Tobin yelled, adding to the cheers coming from the crowd. 

Christen skidded to a stop and collapsed to the snow, a huge smile on her face. She dropped her poles and pulled off her helmet and goggles, looking up at the board for her time.

She collapsed back into the snow and laughed when she saw that she’d come out on the top of the leaderboard, making her a shoo-in for the semifinals in four days. After taking a moment to ground herself in the run she’d just had, in the thrill of doing so well, Christen sat up and unclipped from her skis. She waved at the crowd, grabbed her gear, and immediately found Tobin in the crowd. 

“Fancy seeing you here,” Christen grinned, leaning against the barricade in front of Tobin. 

“You have a fan,” Tobin whispered.

Christen followed Tobin’s gaze to the little girl all bundled up next to Tobin, looking up at her with stars in her eyes.

“Thanks for braving the cold to watch me and cheer me on,” Christen hummed, handing the little girl her helmet.

“Oh my goodness,” the little girl gasped, clutching the helmet close to her chest. “Thank you!” 

“See you on the slopes someday,” Christen added with a wink.

“Yes, you will,” the girl nodded, leaning into her mom’s side. 

Christen then looked back at Tobin. “See you at the lodge?” she asked quietly.

“Yeah, I’m gonna get a run or two in,” Tobin nodded. “You were really amazing,” she added, backing up with a large smile on her face. 

Christen blushed and ducked her head at the compliment. “Thank you,” she said softly, knowing Tobin couldn’t hear her, but needing to say the words anyway. She had more than just the compliment to thank Tobin for. She had everything to thank her for and she was starting to realize that wasn’t such a bad thing.

“You’re popping the clutch!” Lindsey yelled, shaking her head when she saw Tobin stumble off the end of the rail and end up on her butt.

“Don’t quote Stick It at me,” Tobin grumbled, wiping snow off her pants. 

“Christen isn’t here, no need to show off!” Lindsey called out with a grin. “Take it easy, land your tricks, and let’s go!”

“Yeah, yeah, okay!” Tobin called down the course, throwing a few easy tricks before approaching a jump and prepping for one of her most difficult ones. She set up for it perfectly, leaving the air and flipping her body backward. 

And then her hand slipped from her board, something that hadn’t happened since she was a teenager, something that caught her off guard as soon as it happened, making her freeze in midair instead of flipping a second time. 

“Tobs!” Lindsey yelled, vaulting over the barricade and running up the hill after seeing Tobin try to land after not rotating a second time. She’d hit the snow on her stomach, her board popping free and sliding the rest of the way down the slope.

Christen had been right. Ice was hard. 

Tobin was busy trying to catch her breath, her chest pressed against the ground and her jaw clearly scraped. She wasn’t sure if she was bleeding, but she knew that it would bruise. She held up a thumbs up to keep Lindsey from panicking. 

“What happened?” Lindsey asked, falling to her knees in the snow, a hand falling to Tobin’s back. 

“I-” Tobin wheezed, still forcing breath down her throat in the hopes that she could get some in her lungs. “I slipped.”

“Lemme get the doc,” Lindsey rushed out, panic evident in her voice.

“I’m good,” Tobin groaned, rolling onto her back and looking up at the sky. 

And that was when Lindsey saw the gash along the bottom of Tobin’s jaw and the blood dripping down her neck.

“DOC!” Lindsey yelled, gesturing the medics over.

Christen tapped her feet on the carpeted floor of the lodge. She was showered and changed into a sweater and jeans, and she’d been patiently waiting for Tobin for an hour. She’d been impatiently waiting for Tobin for an hour longer.

Standing up, she looked toward the doors to the locker room. Maybe Tobin was just taking her time. Maybe she was still out running the course. Maybe-

“Christen!” Lindsey called, pushing through the lodge’s front doors. 

Christen whipped her head around, concern immediately blooming in her chest at the alarm on Lindsey’s face and in her words.

“Don’t freak out,” Lindsey said, walking over to where Christen was standing. 

“What happened?” Christen asked, grabbing onto the back of the chair as her mind jumped to the worst-case scenario.

“Well...she crashed a little bit,” Lindsey answered with a grimace. 

That knocked the breath from Christen’s lungs. She was thankful for her grip on the chair because she was sure she wouldn’t still be standing without it.

“She’s fine, though. Getting some cool stitches as we speak, and complaining about it taking so long,” Lindsey added, hoping to quell the panic she could see on Christen’s face. 

Christen was moving by Lindsey without answering, already heading out of the lodge and toward the med tent set up nearby. She shoved her way through the tent flaps and marched by medics and athletes, headed for the bed at the back, where she could see Tobin’s snowboarding boots sitting at the end of a bed. 

“You’re lucky you aren’t concussed,” a medic mumbled as he finished the last of three stitches on Tobin’s jaw. 

“Guess the helmet did its job,” Tobin sighed, flicking her finger against the helmet lying next to her. 

“You might be sore for a few days and if those stitches open, go see someone else. I’m rooting for Canada’s boarder,” the medic said with a joking half-smile.

“I’ll make sure to ask for you specifically,” Tobin teased back, wincing a little when she let out a soft laugh. 

Christen pulled back the privacy curtain and looked at Tobin sitting on the bed, laughing while the neck of her sweatshirt was covered in blood, and nearly felt herself lose it.

“Friend of yours?” the medic asked, packing up the stuff he’d used to patch up Tobin and tossing away the trash he had from cleaning her gash. 

“Yeah,” Tobin replied, looking over at Christen with apologetic eyes. 

The medic took one glance at the look on Christen’s face and decided to vacate. “I’ll get out of here,” he mumbled, pulling the curtain closed to give them some privacy.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t think it would take so long. I sent Linds. Did she find you?” Tobin asked. 

Christen still didn’t speak, her eyes locked on the stitches along Tobin’s jaw, one of the spots she often lavished with attention, whether with her tongue or her lips or her teeth.

“I know it’s kinda ugly. I mean, I don’t know. I haven’t seen it, but it feels gnarly, so I’m sure it’s not the most visually pleasing. They said I could get the stitches out in a weekish,” Tobin added, trying to fill the silence. 

“Stop talking,” Christen said quietly, her voice hoarse as her eyes blinked rapidly. She rubbed at her sternum, hoping to dislodge the tight knot of worry sitting there and making it hard to breathe. 

Wrecks happened. They happened all the time. And while she never wanted to see an athlete go down, she’d never had any stake in the game. Unless it was Ali or Crystal, she wasn’t all that broken up by a fall or a crash. It was a part of the sport. 

But standing here, faced with the blood and the stitches from a wreck, the evidence of an injury on someone she had foolishly deluded herself into thinking was just a friend or a fuck, she realized she did have stake. She did care. 

Tobin’s mouth snapped shut when she heard Christen’s voice. She wasn’t sure why Christen didn’t want her to talk, but seeing Christen this upset did make her stomach twist slightly, especially when Christen wasn’t filling the silence herself. 

“Um...I’m sorry?” Tobin tried again. 

“Not here,” Christen choked out, giving the blood on Tobin’s sweatshirt one last look before turning around and walking out.

Tobin scrambled to her feet, nearly forgetting to grab her helmet and slip on her boots as she hurried after Christen, trying to ignore the slight throbbing in her face and focus instead on the woman in front of her who looked distraught.  

Christen walked through the snow over to the now-empty course. She stopped at the foot of the slopestyle hill, looking up at the tricks and jumps and rails, wondering which one it had been that Tobin had wiped out on. She wrapped her arms around herself and saw the first few snowflakes fall from the darkening sky.

“It was just a fluke. Just a random mistake,” Tobin tried once more, motioning up at the course. 

“Flukes and mistakes aren’t supposed to hurt like that. I should know. That’s what you were supposed to be,” Christen said with burning eyes, looking up at the course. 

Tobin’s eyes widened and her heart dropped at Christen’s words, suddenly feeling like smacking her jaw on the ground was the second most painful thing she’d done that day. The ache that suddenly overtook her heart was much worse. 

“You made me break my rules. You made me care. You made me feel like this. And it wasn’t supposed to be like that,” Christen continued, pushing her hand against her chest.

“I didn’t make you do anything,” Tobin argued, feeling frustration heat up her cheeks. “You broke your own rules. You could have told me to leave you alone, and I would’ve stayed away.” 

“You might have, but I wouldn’t have been able to,” Christen replied softly, her eyes falling shut as her chin dropped to her chest and the burning behind her eyes became too difficult to ignore.

“Hey,” Tobin said softly, whatever frustration she’d felt deflating as soon as she saw Christen’s shoulders shake. She reached out and rested a hand gently against Christen’s back. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you feel bad, or to upset you.”

Christen choked out a wet laugh, shaking her head slightly. “That’s the problem. You didn’t make me feel bad. I-” Christen faltered, turning away from the course to face Tobin, her green eyes shining with unshed tears. “You make me feel good, Tobin.”

“Well, yeah. We established that a while ago,” Tobin said with a soft smile. 

Christen let out an amused huff. “Not just in that way,” she said at a whisper, her face flashing with nerves.

“You make me feel good too,” Tobin replied, reaching down to brush her fingers along the back of Christen’s hand. “And not just in bed.”

Christen let out a shuddery breath and closed her eyes, taking a moment before tangling her fingers with Tobin’s.

“Will you pretend to be a speed skater for a second?” Christen whispered.

“Sure,” Tobin laughed, ignoring the ache she felt when she smiled. 

Christen used her free hand to cradle the good side of Tobin’s jaw. Just like their first time, she tilted Tobin’s head up and to the side, ghosting her lips right next to the stitches on Tobin’s jaw. 

She then moved her lips up Tobin’s cheek, across her closed eyelids, down her nose, over her forehead, and across her other cheek, before finally hovering right in front of Tobin’s lips. 

“Fuck it,” Christen whispered before placing her lips on Tobin’s, breaking her final rule.

Tobin wrapped her arms around Christen, pulling her flush against her own body and kissing Christen just like she’d wanted to since sleeping with her for the very first time. Her lips were softer than she’d expected, and she kissed gently, not quite as confidently as she touched with her hands. Tobin brushed her tongue against Christen’s bottom lip, tasting it for the first time and sending her heart beating in a frenzy, her hands tightening around Christen. 

With a shaky breath, Christen pulled out of the kiss, leaning her forehead against Tobin’s. She ran her thumb along Tobin’s cheek and tried to work through the thundering in her ears and the fluttering in her heart. 

“Umm, was that-” Christen began, a little flustered as she tried to ask if their first kiss was okay, if the first time she’d kissed anyone in three years was okay.

“You’re a really good kisser,” Tobin hummed, running the tip of her nose along Christen’s. 

Christen beamed at the compliment. “So are you,” she murmured, leaning back in for another kiss, already addicted to the taste of Tobin’s lips and the way they fit against hers perfectly.

Tobin knocked on Christen’s door with her sneaker, balancing a bag of food and two drinks in her hands. She’d spent most of the day with Christen, the two of them spending hours in Tobin’s room napping and talking and kissing. But then Christen had a team meeting and Tobin finally decided to try and wash her hair while avoiding her stitches, something that ended up involving Ashlyn and their bathroom sink. 

And now, all she wanted to do was eat dinner and curl up in bed with Christen, hopefully dulling the pain in her jaw and the nerves in her stomach about her quarterfinals in the process. 

“Chris?” Tobin called through the door, knocking her foot against the door again. 

Christen pulled open the door with a smile, dropping her eyes to the food in Tobin’s hands.

“Really taking advantage of the no rules thing, huh?” Christen teased.

“Mhm,” Tobin nodded with a dopey smile. “Unless you want me to eat in the hallway and knock on your door again.”

“Get in here,” Christen chuckled, pulling the door open wider so Tobin could come in.

“Cool,” Tobin grinned, pressing a kiss to Christen’s cheek as she passed. 

Christen shut the door and locked it before following Tobin into the room and over to her bed.

“How are you feeling?” Christen asked, grabbing the drinks from Tobin’s hands and putting them on the bedside table.

“Ashlyn had to wash my hair and saw everything in the process, so I’m great,” Tobin replied, motioning to her entire body and shuddering slightly at the way Ashlyn had compared their boob sizes. 

Christen cocked her head to the side and trailed her eyes up and down Tobin’s body slowly before meeting Tobin’s gaze.

“Not a bad view though,” Christen grinned. 

“You can tell Ash,” Tobin chuckled. 

“I’m sure she knows,” Christen replied with a laugh. “And I would have washed your hair for you,” she added quietly, turning around to the bedside table and fiddling with the drinks.

“Yeah?” Tobin asked shyly, reaching out and wrapping an arm around Christen’s waist. 

“Yeah,” Christen confirmed quietly, sinking back into Tobin’s embrace.

“Maybe tomorrow after I finish my run?” Tobin asked, pressing a kiss to the back of Christen’s neck. 

Christen shuddered at the feeling, her eyes fluttering shut. “My shower has a detachable showerhead,” she hummed, rolling her head to the side as Tobin’s lips moved along her neck.

“Figures they give skiers the nice rooms,” Tobin scoffed. “The...speed skaters have to suffer.”

Christen let out a breathy laugh that morphed into a low hum when Tobin’s hand slipped beneath her sweater and slid across her stomach. 

“I brought you fries,” Tobin whispered, resting the good side of her jaw on Christen’s shoulder. 

“I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but they can wait,” Christen replied, reaching behind her to grab onto Tobin’s hip.

“Wooow, that’s pretty serious. You know fries aren’t as good cold,” Tobin said, her eyes growing wide. 

“Cold fries, but a warm bed,” Christen chuckled.

“You look really pretty in this sweater,” Tobin murmured, slipping her other hand underneath it. 

Christen blushed and sank into the feeling of Tobin’s hands skirting up her sides. She felt another sigh spill from her lips when Tobin brushed her fingertips beneath the band of her bra, unable to keep it in and unwilling to any longer. There was no point in pretending like Tobin didn’t drive her crazy, like Tobin’s touch didn’t make her feel more than anyone else’s.

“Can I undress you?” Tobin asked, placing another kiss behind Christen’s ear. 

“Yes,” Christen whispered with a smile.

“Sweet,” Tobin teased, pushing the sweater up Christen’s torso. 

Christen snorted and shook her head, lifting her arms so Tobin could pull the sweater off.

“Wooooah,” Tobin said dramatically, turning Christen around to look at her. 

“What?” Christen asked with a light blush and a breathless laugh.

“You look pretty out of the sweater too,” Tobin hummed, a smirk spreading across her face. 

Christen softened and stepped into Tobin’s space, catching her lips in a gentle kiss. She felt her heart flutter in her chest at Tobin’s dorky words.

“Can I undress you?” Christen whispered against Tobin’s lips, her hands hovering at the hem of Tobin’s t-shirt.

“You’ve done it before, and you’re more than welcome to do it again,” Tobin answered. 

“It feels different now. To undress you,” Christen hummed with a small smile.

“Yeah,” Tobin mumbled, pressing her lips against Christen’s again. “I really like you.”

“I really like you too,” Christen murmured, pulling Tobin’s t-shirt off gently, careful not to hit her jaw.

“Can you maybe keep your schedule clear?” Tobin asked, running her fingers over Christen’s sides. 

“You’re the only one I want on it,” Christen replied, placing her lips back on Tobin’s, slipping her tongue between Tobin’s parted lips, flicking it teasingly against Tobin’s.

Tobin let out a soft moan, wrapping her arms around Christen and pulling her as close as she could. She let her tongue slide against Christen’s, sinking into the warmth that her mouth had to offer and the way Christen would sigh into her mouth when Tobin’s hands brushed over her chest. 

“You’re the only one I want on mine,” Tobin mumbled, running her hands down Christen’s stomach and tucking her index fingers into the waistband of Christen’s jeans, waiting for Christen to nod or give some kind of affirmation. 

Christen groaned into their next kiss, her hips jumping beneath Tobin’s touch, giving Tobin the green light she was looking for.

Tobin unbuttoned Christen’s jeans and shimmied them down Christen’s legs, kneeling down on the ground to help Christen step out of them. She glanced up at Christen before leaning forward and pressing a kiss to each of Christen’s knees. Tobin loved Christen’s legs. She’d known that when she first met her, and now she took her time, peppering kisses along Christen’s legs, pausing to lavish her quads with kisses. She reached up and hooked her thumbs in the waistband of Christen’s underwear, pausing again to look up at Christen. 

Christen pulled her bottom lip between her teeth and nodded jerkily, already feeling impossibly worked up, impossibly wet, impossibly into the woman on her knees before her.

Tobin pulled the underwear down Christen’s legs, reaching up and holding onto Christen’s waist as Christen stepped out of her underwear. And then, without fanfare or hesitation, Tobin kissed her way up Christen’s legs and slipped her tongue between them, finding the molten warmth at the apex of Christen’s legs. 

“Oh- oh fuck,” Christen gasped, gripping tightly onto the hair at the back of Tobin’s head as her hips jolted against Tobin’s mouth.

Tobin swiped her tongue through Christen’s folds, groaning as she tasted Christen. She had no idea why she’d wasted so much time not doing this, why she hadn’t been more open four years ago and found Christen then. She couldn’t rewind time, but she was prepared to enjoy the time she did have, making Christen feel as good as possible. 

She teased Christen’s entrance with her tongue, poking it inside before running it through Christen again, wrapping her arms around Christen’s waist and pulling her closer. It wasn’t until Christen’s legs were shaking slightly, enough that she was swaying against Tobin’s grip, that Tobin pushed gently on Christen’s hips and pulled her mouth away. 

“What- what’s wrong?’ Christen asked breathlessly, looking down at Tobin.

“You have two more events to ski,” Tobin hummed, licking her lips as she looked up to Christen. 


“I don’t really think you falling due to sex is a good idea,” Tobin smirked, pushing Christen back until her legs hit the side of the bed. “How would you explain that to your coach?” 

Christen chuckled and dropped down onto the bed, crawling up it as Tobin followed step for step.

“Soap in the shower?” Christen grinned, reaching down to cradle the good side of Tobin’s jaw.

“Hmm...that’s a good lie,” Tobin murmured, settling between Christen’s legs again and sucking on her clit. 

Christen threw her head on the bed, her legs falling open wider as a moan was wrenched from her chest.

“You’ve been holding that in this whole time?” Tobin asked, pressing a kiss to Christen’s clit before she licked through Christen’s folds again. 

“I don’t mind if you hear. I don’t mind if you break me,” Christen gasped, arching under Tobin’s touch, fisting her free hand in the bedsheets.

“I’m not gonna break you,” Tobin whispered, the promise settling in her heart and warming her entire chest. She worked Christen up with deft touches and flicks of her tongue, all the while feeling herself get wetter with each noise that slipped from Christen’s lips. 

“I love hearing you,” Tobin mumbled, pressing her tongue against a spot that made Christen’s hips jerk up. 

“I love how good you are at that,” Christen panted, writhing around on the bed under Tobin’s torturous ministrations.

“Some woman taught me,” Tobin shrugged, blushing slightly at her words before she flicked her tongue at a quicker pace. 

“Oh, fuck Tobin. Right there. Oh, god, right there,” Christen moaned.

Tobin groaned against Christen, working her over the edge with her tongue and enjoying every second of it. It wasn’t until Christen was twitching with aftershocks, until Tobin had slowed her tongue and was just lightly tasting Christen a few more times, that Tobin spoke again. 

“Hey, baby?” Tobin whispered, testing out the pet name that Christen had used on her, her stomach flipping when she said it. 

Christen let out a low moan and pushed her hair away from her face, gazing down at Tobin with a soft look in her green eyes.

“Yeah?” Christen wondered, a smile lighting up her face. 

“Was that okay?” she asked with a tiny smirk, pressing a kiss to Christen’s inner thigh before moving her lips up to Christen’s hip bone.  

Christen laughed and gently tugged on the back of Tobin’s head, pulling her up the bed so Tobin was hovering above her.

“That was adequate,” Christen smirked, winking up at Tobin.

“Phew,” Tobin teased, wiping her forehead. “I’d hate to surprise you too much by being better than adequate.” 

“You are lovely. Every single time,” Christen murmured seriously, running her fingertips through the baby hairs at the top of Tobin’s head.

“Lovely sounds really mind-blowing thank you,” Tobin chuckled. 

“It does to me,” Christen whispered, leaning up to catch Tobin’s lips in a soft kiss. “I’ve never- I’ve never said that to someone before. Anyone can be great or mind-blowing. But not everyone can be lovely. You’re lovely.”

“You’re lovely too,” Tobin replied, a smile slowly growing on her face. “Do you want your fries now?” 

“I have something else in mind,” Christen grinned, slipping her hand beneath the waistband of Tobin’s joggers and feeling her eyes widen in surprise. “You came prepared,” she smirked, her fingers already sliding through the wet heat between Tobin’s legs, not having to navigate around underwear because Tobin had graciously failed to put some on.

“I thought it was optional,” Tobin shrugged. 

“It always is with us,” Christen replied, sliding two fingers inside of Tobin easily and swallowing Tobin’s moan with a heated kiss.

Tobin pushed her fries across the table, knowing that Christen wanted them and was trying to refrain from taking them. 

“You shouldn’t know me this well this soon,” Christen teased, pulling the plate of fries closer to herself.

“I think I still have a lot to learn,” Tobin hummed. “Like I never realized just how much you love Bangerz. I never thought I’d have sex to that album.”

“Banging during Bangerz, babe,” Christen winked, popping a fry in her mouth with a smile and reaching across the table with her other hand to tangle her fingers with Tobin’s.

Tobin shot a huge smile across the table, loving this alone time they were sneaking in that wasn’t in a bedroom or a shower or naked. 

“What’re your plans for-”

A loud scoff traveled across the room, making Tobin’s jaw clench and ache. Christen’s grip on Tobin’s hand immediately tightened when she recognized the scoff as well.

“Heath? Really, Chris? That’s predictably sad,” Vonya laughed. 

Christen turned to glare at Vonya. “You barely making it into the semis is even more predictably sad.”

“How you doing Scarface?” Vonya asked, ignoring Christen. 

“Peachy,” Tobin grumbled. 

“You enjoying my sloppy seconds?” 

“Excuse me?” Tobin hissed, pushing her chair back with her legs as she stood up from her seat. 

Christen got up as well, stepping between Tobin and Vonya. “Walk away, Von,” Christen said coolly.

“See you in the semis. Don’t choke. She might not like a second scar,” Vonya smirked, spinning on her heel and leaving the cafeteria. 

Christen sighed and turned back to face Tobin, taking in the furrow between her brows and the tightness in her jaw.

“I’m gonna guess that’s why I pretended to be a speed skater?” Tobin huffed. 

“I’m sorry,” Christen whispered, cradling Tobin’s cheeks between her palms, gently tugging Tobin’s head so that their eyes met.

“Why apologize for a past lapse in judgement?” Tobin tried to tease. 

“Everyone has flaws, and I’m sorry mine’s such a bitch,” Christen sighed.

“” Tobin shuddered, wrapping her arms around Christen and burying her face in her neck. “That’s really gross to think about.”

“We can go back to my room, turn on Bangerz, and try to give you something better to think about?” Christen offered, dropping a kiss to the side of Tobin’s head as she looped her arms around Tobin’s waist.

Tobin let out a laugh and tightened her arms around Christen. “Maybe I can convince you to like snowboarding,” she added. 

“I don’t think you’ll have to work very hard,” Christen murmured.

“I’m sorry you had to deal with her,” Tobin whispered, pressing a kiss to Christen’s neck. 

Christen sagged a little in Tobin’s arms and stepped back, offering Tobin a sad, half-smile. “Like I said. Everyone has flaws,” she repeated, dropping back down into her seat.

“She’s the reason you...had so many rules?” Tobin asked gently, taking the seat beside Christen instead of across from her. 

Christen smiled as Tobin’s arm dropped onto the back of her chair. She nodded, that single gesture being enough of a confirmation.

“I’m sorry, baby,” Tobin murmured, moving her hand to the back of Christen’s neck and massaging the muscles there. 

“I called you that last week on accident,” Christen mumbled, a light blush heating her cheeks.

“I know,” Tobin hummed. 

“In my defense, you’re really hot,” Christen replied with a small smile, leaning into Tobin’s touch.

“In your defense, I really liked it,” Tobin added, pressing her thumb into a tight muscle on the slope of Christen’s shoulder. 

Christen felt her eyes flutter at the wonderful magic Tobin was working against the tense muscles in her shoulders and neck, the ones she hadn’t noticed she’d been carrying around until Vonya walked in. 

“I don’t like her either, clearly,” Tobin hummed, feeling Christen’s tense muscles start to relax. 

“I’ll kiss you real good before your semifinal run tomorrow,” Christen replied. “Make sure she’s watching,” she added with a small chuckle.

“She might shove me down the slope,” Tobin laughed. 

“That’s the only way she could possibly beat you to the podium,” Christen said softly, reaching up to tuck a strand of hair behind Tobin’s ear.

“Mmm, I don’t know. She’s really determined after I took her podium spot last Games,” Tobin hummed, not wanting to jinx anything by speaking about the outcome. 

Christen understood the hesitation and leaned forward to kiss Tobin quickly. “I’ll believe it enough for the both of us until then,” she whispered, kissing Tobin once more before leaning back. 

“You know what I really want to do right now?” Tobin sighed. 

“Oh goodness, the possibilities,” Christen teased with a laugh.

“I really want to take you to your room and take off some layers and then cuddle, maybe take a nap, finish this backrub,” Tobin murmured. 

Christen’s smile grew with every added idea Tobin tacked on. She stood up from the table and held out her hand, ready to lead Tobin back to her room and do all of the above.

“We’re very supportive of this change in pace for you,” Crystal said with a grin, knocking her hip into Christen’s as they stood next to Ali at the barricade.

“No speaking while Ash is airborne, thank you,” Ali muttered, her eyes tracking every twist and turn that Ashlyn took on the half-pipe.

Christen chuckled and then turned toward Crystal, lowering her voice. “Thank you. I’m glad one of my drunken make-outs supports me.”

“I support you. I’m stressed,” Ali argued, sucking in a deep breath of air when Ashlyn flipped upside down in the air. 

“I won’t be this bad,” Christen promised, giving Crystal a somewhat confident look. They were going over to watch the slopestyle semifinals after Ashlyn’s run, and to be honest, Christen was nervous. She’d never watched someone like this. Never someone she cared about, someone she was in danger of caring a lot about.

“Yeah, right,” Crystal snorted. “You’re mushy for Tobin.”

Christen rolled her eyes but didn’t have it in her to disagree. It had only been a few days since they kissed, only two and a half weeks since they’d started this dance, but already she was mushy. She was all mushy feelings and even if it scared her a little bit, it felt good.

“Yes, yes, yes!” Ali cheered, banging on the barricade. “That’s my girl!” she yelled as Ashlyn landed her last trick and pumped her hands in the air, boarding down the rest of the way to where the barricade was. She stopped right in front of Ali and pulled her in for a celebratory kiss.

“The stress is worth the kiss at the end, huh?” Crystal laughed, patting Christen’s back. 

“I’ll say,” Ali called out breathlessly, running a hand through her hair as Ashlyn backed away and waved for the rest of the fans there.

Christen pushed Tobin against the snowmobile parked behind the medical tent, tugging her bottom lip between her teeth.

“You’re gonna do so well, baby,” Christen hummed, sliding her hands into the back pockets of Tobin’s snow pants.

“You’re gonna make me want to miss it,” Tobin husked, letting her hands travel over Christen’s body. 

Christen chuckled and left one final kiss on Tobin’s lips before leaning back, resting her forehead against Tobin’s as she caught her breath.

“Go have some fun,” Christen whispered with a smile.

“I’ll try and keep my face looking nice,” Tobin murmured, pressing another kiss to Christen’s lips. 

“I’d like you even if you got another one,” Christen hummed, using a gentle touch to trace the skin beneath Tobin’s stitches on her jaw.

“I think I’d rather go down on you tonight than lie on your bed with an ice pack,” Tobin said with a grin. 

Christen groaned and pulled Tobin in for another kiss, almost ready to make Tobin miss her event and make good on that promise right now.

“Tobs! Get your ass up there!” Ashlyn yelled, throwing a snowball at Tobin’s back. 

Christen broke their kiss with a laugh. “Better listen to her,” Christen whispered.

“I’ll meet you at the bottom,” Tobin replied, taking a few steps backward. 

“Good luck,” Christen offered, smiling softly at Tobin.

“I’m feeling really lucky,” Tobin mumbled, picking up her board and hurrying over to Ashlyn. 

Christen just shook her head and watched Tobin get taken up the slope by a snowmobile. She walked back down to the barricade and took her spot between Crystal and Ali, feeling her stomach tighten as a few snowboarders all went, some successfully and some unsuccessfully.

“You shitting your pants?” Ali asked, wrapping an arm around Christen’s shoulder. 

“Oh my god, yeah,” Christen mumbled, gripping tightly onto the barricade. When she saw that Tobin was up next, she let out a shaky breath. “I don’t think I can watch this,” she huffed, dropping her head into her gloved hands.

“Tobs says that when she watches you,” Ashlyn chuckled, leaning against the barricade and focusing on her roommate. 

Christen forced herself to watch, feeling tense the entire time, wincing at one point when Tobin over-rotated and almost ended up on her face again. But Tobin saved the trick and righted herself, ending with an unreal series of flips, landing each of them perfectly. 

“Thank god,” Christen whispered under her breath, a relieved smile making its way onto her face as she watched Tobin board through the finish line.

Tobin stepped out of her board and fist-pumped when she saw that her score put her in the lead. She returned some offered high fives, making her way to Christen with a beaming smile. 

“Sorry if I scared you there for a second,” she hummed. 

“You scared me the whole way,” Christen chuckled, pulling Tobin in for a tight hug.

“What a coincidence,” Tobin sighed, sinking into Christen’s arms. 

“You’re going to the finals,” Christen whispered.

“Another thing we have in common,” Tobin whispered back. “I’ll believe it enough for the both of us until you make it to the finals too.” 

Christen grinned and pulled away, her lips finding Tobin’s easily, kissing her soundly and with every ounce of pride she felt when she watched Tobin complete the course.

“Let’s watch Lindsey and then go back to your room,” Tobin murmured, tucking a strand of hair behind Christen’s ear. 

“Can’t wait to show you how proud I am of you,” Christen said softly, winking at Tobin.

Tobin rarely woke up before Christen. Christen had told her on their first night sleeping in the same room that she woke up at 6. And she hadn’t been exaggerating. But today, Christen had set a clock for 7:30, deciding to sleep in a little bit in preparation for her semifinals later today. 

She and Tobin had celebrated Tobin’s successful semifinal run and then gone to bed early, wanting to get as much sleep as possible. And now Tobin was up early for a meeting. She and Lindsey were both through to the finals, and their coach wanted to go through a few scheduling changes for their last couple days of practice. 

Christen was tucked against her in bed, her hands shoved in the sleeves of Tobin’s t-shirt and their legs tangled together. And Tobin didn’t have the heart to wake her up before her alarm went off. She didn’t want to be the one to interrupt the peaceful look on Christen’s face, so she placed a kiss on Christen’s forehead and slowly slipped from the bed. She pulled on her joggers and slides and made sure that Christen’s alarm was on for sure before leaving the room and heading to Lindsey’s room to meet up and walk to the meeting. 

“I said I wanted to see her after the Olympics are over, and I woke up alone,” Christen hissed, pushing her curls away from her face. “And I haven’t seen her all day either. Not in the cafeteria or in the halls. She sent me a text that said ‘Good luck.’ No emojis, no sexual innuendos. Just ‘Good luck.’ Like what is that?” she added as she paced around Crystal’s room.

“Umm...she’s got a lot going on today?” Ali guessed. 

“She’s got a lot going on? I’m going to be flying downhill at 80 miles per hour today to try and get the chance to go for Gold and she’s got a lot going on?” Christen asked, narrowing her eyes at Ali as she paused her pacing.

“Have you texted her? Tell her to get her butt over here,” Crystal said. 

“Seven times,” Christen grumbled, collapsing onto the edge of the bed and dropping her head into her hands. “What the hell am I doing? I’m not the girl that gets bent out of shape about not getting a text back or being left in bed alone. That’s not me.”

“It’s okay to have feelings,” Ali said softly. “And it’s okay to tell Tobin to step up and do what you need her to do, including texting back regularly and waking you up before she leaves.” 

Christen just grumbled and kept her head in her hands. She might have gotten an extra hour of sleep, but she felt exhausted and drained and the fact that she had less than an hour before she had to show up at the slopes just made her even more tired.

“Ooook text from Ashlyn. Tobin’s jump-starting a car,” Ali mumbled, holding the video out for Christen to watch. 

“Whatever,” Christen replied, standing up from the bed, not even bothering to look at Ali’s phone. “I’ll see you guys there.”

Christen knew it was an off run from the start. As she shoved through the starting gate and dug her poles into the snow, she knew .

She tried to make up for it. She tried not to veer too far off course or miss any gates. But overall, it was just slow. It was her slowest time all Olympics and by the skin of her teeth, she made it to the finals. Thanks to a disqualification for the German skier, she made it to the finals.

And boy, was Christen livid.

“Hey, you-” Tobin greeted at the base of the mountain. 

“Not here,” Christen growled, ripping her helmet off and walking off with her gear in tow.

“You’re in trouble,” Ashlyn whispered, shoving Tobin in the back. 

Tobin ignored Ashlyn and Christen’s friends and hurried after Christen, a little confused about what she’d done, especially since they’d had such a nice night before, kind of discussing seeing each other after they got home. 

“This is why you have rules, Christen. This is why you don’t do shit like this. This is exactly why,” Christen mumbled to herself as she tore off her gear in the thankfully empty locker room.

“Baby?” Tobin breathed out, shutting the door behind her. 

“What?” Christen snapped, pausing with her spandex halfway down her body, her hands falling to her hips.

“What happened?” Tobin asked, her eyebrows furrowing in confusion. 

“Where do I start,” Christen huffed, starting to gesture with her hands as she spoke and got more and more worked up. “First, I wake up alone after a wonderful night. After a lovely night. After asking you if you wanted to go to Mexico with me after the Olympics are done and not really getting an answer. And then-”

Tobin cringed as she listened, opening her mouth to respond, to apologize for not waking her up and explain why she didn’t. 

“Oh, I’m not done,” Christen interrupted, holding up a hand. “And then after waking up alone, which is actually my least favorite thing in the whole world, I don’t hear from you all day. I get a stupid text wishing me good luck before one of the biggest races of my career, and I blow it. I sucked out there. I barely scraped by to sneak into the finals. That was the worst run I’ve had in years and it’s all because I couldn't get my head out of my heart and stop thinking about you,” Christen rushed out, pointing at Tobin. 

“I’m sorry,” Tobin said quietly, not daring to take a step closer and knowing that Christen would only get angrier if she reached out to touch her. 

“And now you’re standing there and you’re looking at me with that same look you had when you showed up at my door and I had someone else in bed and it’s not fair. It’s not fair because it just- it makes me so-” Christen groaned exasperatedly and ran her hands over her hair, smoothing it down.

“Chris,” Tobin murmured, taking one step closer to Christen. “I’m sorry I didn’t wake you up this morning. I didn’t want to interrupt your sleep before the semis, but now that I know it’s your least favorite thing in the world, I’ll make it a rule that I’ll always wake you up if I have to go somewhere.”

Christen nodded, her fight all but draining out of her as her lower lip started to tremble.

“I had a meeting, and our coach decided to take us out for breakfast. My phone was dying, so I sent a short text. I’ll bring my charger with me to your room this time if you aren’t banning me from your room tonight,” Tobin continued, taking another step closer. 

“I’m not,” Christen managed to reply, her voice thick with unshed tears.

“And it was kind of like a marathon of errors. Lindsey left her wallet at the diner, and we had to turn around, and then the team van broke down. But I probably should have called you from Ashlyn’s phone or something,” Tobin added with a tight smile, feeling stupid for not trying to get in touch. “That would have been smart, and I didn’t think about that. I didn’t know you’d be nervous about the run this morning. You’re a very confident woman, and I guess I forgot that you’d get nervous. That’s also something I’ll remember for the future.”

Christen nodded a little jerkily and dropped her gaze, her arms crossed over her chest.

“And I do want to go to Mexico. I thought I said that last night,” Tobin said, her voice getting even gentler as she took another step closer. 

Christen looked up sharply at that, her green eyes swimming with tears of frustration and confusion and worry.

“When I asked you if you wanted to spend time in Mexico, you said ‘they have good margaritas there.’ How is that a yes?” Christen asked in a shaky voice.

“It’s a very sad, wimpy yes,” Tobin cringed. “I think I was trying to be funny. I’m sorry. I would love to go to Mexico. More importantly, I want to go with you.” Tobin took the last few steps to stand in front of Christen, her heart aching at the tears in Christen’s eyes. “I’d really like to give you a hug right now if that’s okay.”

Christen nodded, not trusting her voice not to break as she uncrossed her arms.

“I promise to kiss you before the finals. I’m not going anywhere, even if Coach tries to put me in a van and buy me breakfast again,” Tobin mumbled against Christen’s hair as she wrapped her arms around her. 

“I missed you, which is ridiculous because we spend every minute of every day together, except when we're competing. But I did,” Christen whispered, burying her face in the crook of Tobin’s neck and gripping tightly onto Tobin’s puffer coat.

“I missed you all day today,” Tobin hummed. “I was extremely stressed out about not making it to see you ski. I’m sorry I didn’t call.”

“I’m sorry I yelled at you,” Christen mumbled.

“You looked really graceful today,” Tobin whispered, twirling a curl around her finger. 

“I didn’t feel like it,” Christen replied, sagging in Tobin’s arms as the weight of the almost elimination from the competition weighed on her.

“I thought you looked extremely graceful and strong. Plus, I still got that anxious feeling in my stomach while I was watching, so you had to have been pretty fast,” Tobin said, moving enough to sit down on a bench and pull Christen into her lap. 

“I almost didn’t make it,” Christen whispered, her grip on Tobin’s jacket tightening. “And I was more upset about you leaving me in bed than almost not making it…which scares me a little bit.”

Tobin felt her heart ache for Christen and the fear she had, fear from past experiences. She felt her own guilt for not waking her up, for not thinking about how Christen would feel alone in bed. And she felt extreme care for the woman in her arms, a sense of care that she hadn’t felt for another person before, at least not someone she was romantically involved with. 

“I know this morning sucked. That’s not gonna happen again. But you don’t need to be scared about me. I’m not gonna break you,” Tobin whispered back, running a hand over Christen’s helmet hair and pressing a kiss to her temple. 

“Please don’t,” Christen replied weakly.

“Baby, I’m not going to. I was really really hoping you’d want to see me after the Olympics. You have no idea how absolutely perfect last night was and how much I want that all the time,” Tobin said softly. 

Christen clung to the conviction in Tobin’s words, believing them completely. Even if it was a little foolish and a lot reckless, she believed them. She believed them and for the first time in hours, she smiled.

“Ash, you have to look more comfortable!” Tobin yelled, holding the camera in front of her face. “Ali looks great, and you look like you have to shit.”

“You try smiling after getting snow shoved down your jacket!” Ash yelled back, flipping A.D. and Lindsey off as they ran away cackling.

Ali stepped up on one of the lower rings and pressed her lips to Ashlyn’s to make her feel a little better. Tobin, of course, snapped a dozen pictures, getting Ashlyn’s beaming smile and Ali’s smirk, and both of their slight blushes. It was adorable, and Tobin couldn’t help but be happy for one of her oldest friends. 

“Want one?” Christen asked softly, winding her arms around Tobin’s waist from behind and dropping her chin on Tobin’s shoulder.

“With you?” Tobin asked, turning her head enough to glance at Christen. 

Christen just shrugged, but the blush in her cheeks gave her away.

“I’d really love one with you,” Tobin hummed, placing a kiss on Christen’s cheek before pulling her camera off of her neck and holding it out for Ashlyn. 

Christen beamed and led Tobin over to the Olympic Rings. They took a few with them sitting in the Rings, a few standing close together in front of the Rings, and one where Tobin had jumped on Christen’s back, and the two of them had almost slipped.

Before they could annoy their friends by asking for too many pictures, Christen announced it was the last one. 

“Close your eyes,” Christen whispered to Tobin with a sweet smile.

“Uh...okay,” Tobin mumbled, closing her eyes and patiently waiting for whatever Christen was planning. 

Christen kissed Tobin quickly and then waved her hand in front of Tobin’s closed eyes to make sure they were closed. When she got no response she grinned and winked at Ashlyn who was holding the camera.

“Want to try something new?” Christen asked in a quiet voice.

“Not in public,” Tobin snorted. 

“Too bad,” Christen chuckled, sticking snow down the back of Tobin’s jacket and jumping away from her quickly.

“CHRIS!” Tobin yelped, racing down the steps and wrapping her arms around Christen. 

“Try smiling now baby!” Christen giggled, half-heartedly fighting against Tobin.

“You really want to start this?” Tobin asked. “We do winter sports. There will always be snow around to shove down your shirt.”

Christen gave up trying to squirm away, happily being caught. She looped her arms around Tobin’s neck and pouted. “But you wouldn’t do that to me, would you, baby?”

“Snow down your pants,” Tobin warned, her huge smile completely taking the sting out of the threat. 

“You wouldn’t do that either,” Christen said, her powerful pout still in place. 

“I-” Tobin let out a sigh, tugging on the back of her coat to let out the bit of snow that hadn’t fully melted against her skin. “You can’t do that.”

“Do what?” Christen asked innocently.

“The pout. You can’t do the pout. You know it always works,” Tobin grumbled playfully. 

“I have no idea what you could possibly be referring to,” Christen replied, a smirk playing at her lips.

“Last night…” Tobin tried to hint, raising her eyebrows slightly. 

“I thought you enjoyed that,” Christen grinned.

“Okay, let’s not,” Lindsey cut in. “Tobs is like my big sister, and I don’t want to think about...that.”

“Look away, Lindsey!” Christen called out, leaning forward and capturing Tobin’s lips in a not-so-chaste kiss.

“Tell me you got that,” Ali chuckled, leaning against Ashlyn’s side.

“The whole thing,” Ashlyn grinned, holding up the camera to show Ali the series of photos she’d gotten of Tobin and Christen laughing and smiling at each other and sharing a kiss in front of the Olympic Rings. “Yo, Tobs! Did that snow ruin the nice  underwear?”

“The what?” Christen asked, breaking the kiss and giving Tobin a confused look.

“Nothing,” Tobin lied, her cheeks flaming a deep shade of red. 

“There’s nice underwear?!” Christen asked, her lips pulling into a surprised smile.

“Tobs bought it for your first time. How have you not seen it?” Ashlyn laughed. 

“Stop,” Tobin hissed, pulling the hood of her jacket up and over her head, hoping to disappear from this conversation. 

But Christen didn’t let her disappear. She pulled the hood away from Tobin’s face and arched a brow, her eyes crinkling as she smiled.

“Our first time did not feature anything like that,” Christen murmured quietly.

“Yeah, that’s because I came by earlier and dipped,” Tobin mumbled through a nearly closed mouth, her entire body hot with embarrassment. 

“When- oh,” Christen paused, pressing her lips together to keep in a small laugh. “Baby,” she cooed, framing Tobin’s face with a gentle touch. “You wore lingerie and didn’t even know my name.”

“It was not lingerie. It just wasn’t athletic wear,” Tobin argued, her words coming out quickly. “And technically, I was searching for Christen Press and didn’t know she was you. You were her. You’re the same- You’re Christen.”

Please tell me you got that too,” Ali giggled.

“Turned the video on right when I asked the question,” Ashlyn replied with a shit-eating grin.

Christen ignored their friends and kissed the twin blushes in Tobin’s cheeks softly. 

“Maybe after we win Gold medals I could see it? Since I’m still Christen Press and all,” Christen hummed with an amused smile.

“Yeah, maybe,” Tobin muttered, burying her face against Christen’s neck to hide from her friends who were losing it as they rewatched the video. 

“Sorry, I still don’t get it,” Christen shrugged, finishing her bite of pancakes.

“Baby, try them again. Try them on their own with a spoon,” Tobin said, shoving the fancy syrup Christen had gotten her closer and moving the Log Cabin syrup out of the way. 

Christen narrowed her eyes at Tobin as she smiled. “That’s a lot of sugar to consume.”

“I’ll help you work it off. You can’t seriously think they taste the same. This is really important. I think- I think I’ll have an existential crisis if the woman I’m…”

Christen arched a brow as Tobin trailed off, waiting for her to finish the sentence as she pulled the syrup closer.

“If I’m spending so much time with someone who doesn’t know good maple syrup,” Tobin awkwardly backtracked. 

“That whole thing you just did? Adorable,” Christen grinned. She picked up her spoon and poured out a little bit of syrup on it. She then took her time before tasting it, earning her a few exasperated sighs from Tobin. 

“Mmmmmm,” Christen hummed dramatically after tasting the syrup. “Mapley.”

“I need to go lift weights or run or something,” Tobin huffed, shoving her chair back from the table, even though she had no intention of leaving the table. 

Christen smiled softly and reached out to grab Tobin’s arm, stopping her from going.

“I tasted the difference the first time,” Christen admitted with a laugh.

“You scared me for no reason?” Tobin sighed, narrowing her eyes at Christen. 

“You got very worked up over maple syrup, and I had to see how far I could take it,” Christen replied, her laughter growing at the dumbstruck look on Tobin’s face.

Tobin pouted and crossed her arms over her chest, loving this playful side of Christen that she didn’t seem to share with that many people. 

“You agree that the fancy one tastes better?” Tobin asked one final time. 

“Do you know how much that thing cost me to get priority shipped from Vermont? Of course, the fancy stuff tastes better!”

“You got that shipped here?” Tobin asked, her voice suddenly reverent and soft. 

“They don’t sell that in the Village shop, Tobin,” Christen admitted with a light blush. “It’s no big deal, I-”

“You like me,” Tobin said as a face-splitting smile spread across her lips. 

Christen’s blush deepened and she ducked her head. “Eat your waffles with your fancy syrup, Tobin,” she mumbled.

“But you really like me,” Tobin repeated as she scooted closer to the table and pressed her foot against Christen’s under the table. “You liked me a while ago. You liked me enough to priority ship syrup to the Olympic Village.”

“Don’t let it go to your head. You need to fit into your helmet tomorrow,” Christen teased, still blushing.

“I really like you,” Tobin hummed before she focused back on her plate and stuck her fork into a bite of her waffles. “I’d priority ship syrup for you too.”

And there went Christen's heart fluttering again, something she was starting to expect around Tobin.

Tobin wasn’t shaky at all on her last run. There wasn’t any hesitation or thought to her tricks. It was almost like her mind went blank, only processing the music that was blaring through her headphones as she went through her last run on the course. 

She’d credit Christen for that. They’d spent the night in Christen’s bed laughing as they compiled a playlist for Tobin to enjoy on the day of. Some songs were tried and tested songs that Tobin always listened to, and others were some favorites of Christen’s that she insisted would rock Tobin’s world. 

And she wasn’t wrong. Tobin knew she’d get shit from her friends, but she also couldn’t stop the huge smile that was stuck on her face throughout the whole course, especially when the closer she got to the base of the slope, the more clearly she could see Christen’s bright red mittens. 

She didn’t even wait for her score. She didn’t care about the camera following her every move and broadcasting it for fans and her family back at home. All she wanted to do was wrap her arms around Christen, so that’s what she did. She hurried out of the barricaded area, keeping one foot on her board and maneuvering past people until she was pulling Christen against her and burying her face in her neck. 

“You’re Golden,” Christen whispered, kissing the side of Tobin’s helmet.

“Another thing we have in common,” Tobin mumbled. 

“Not yet,” Christen chuckled, squeezing Tobin tightly against her.

“Technically you’re going for your third gold medal, so yes. And I’ll believe it enough for both of us until tomorrow,” Tobin sighed, leaning back and glancing at the scoreboard that had her at the top of the group, ensuring that she’d be wearing the gold medal later that evening. 

“See. Golden,” Christen murmured, beaming at Tobin with unshed tears of joy in her eyes.

Tobin spun Christen around, holding onto her back. She dipped Christen carefully before leaning down and pressing a kiss to Christen’s lips, all the while ignoring the whistles and catcalls from their friends. 

“I hope you ski really fast tomorrow because I’m so ready for Mexico,” she murmured against Christen’s lips. 

Christen kissed Tobin again because she could and because she wanted to and because she couldn’t wait for Mexico either.

Christen leaned against the back wall of the media room, an enamored smile on her face as she watched Tobin give her tenth interview in the last hour. Everyone wanted a little face time with the USA’s newest Gold medalist, especially since the USA had also snagged Bronze with a lights-out performance from Lindsey. 

Christen might secretly be a little happy about the fact that Lindsey’s last run effectively kicked Vonya off the podium, shutting her out for the second Olympics in a row. 

“And what are you going to do now that you’ve won Gold?” the interviewer asked.

“Well, first I’m getting stitches out of my face tonight,” Tobin laughed, running her hand lightly over her jaw. “And tomorrow I’m watching the downhill skiing finals, and once that’s over, I’m getting margaritas in Mexico.”

Christen chuckled lightly, not wanting to interrupt the interview. She hid her laugh behind her hand and watched as Tobin shot her a quick wink.

“Anyone you’re rooting for tomorrow?” another interviewer asked. 

“Is that a question?” Tobin scoffed. “I only bet on sure things, and Christen Press is the surest.”

Christen felt a shaky breath escape her lips at Tobin’s words. This feeling in her heart, she knew exactly what it was. It was familiar, like an old friend passing you on the street and offering a wave. It was achingly familiar and she was terrified to feel it. 

It had only been a few weeks. A feverish, impassioned, very naked few weeks. But then she thought of the other moments. The maple syrup, the shared meals, the laughter before bed about the nighttime retainers Tobin wore proudly. Those other moments made the fact that she was racing down a downhill slope less scary. 

It was even less scary because she knew Tobin was waiting for her at the bottom of the slope. She wasn’t afraid to fall because Tobin was also the surest thing. 

“It’d be pretty shitty if I lost tomorrow after you called me a sure thing,” Christen teased, feeling her heart flutter as Tobin walked over to her, her hands tucked into her pockets and her signature goofy grin on her face.

“I wasn’t talking about your skiing,” Tobin hummed. “But I didn’t think Travis from NBC needed to know that.”

Christen just shook her head and felt her lips pull into a wonderstruck smile.

“I am pretty sure you’re gonna do well tomorrow, though. But no matter how you do, I’ll buy you your first margarita in Mexico,” Tobin added as she squeezed Christen’s hand in her own. 

“Take a walk with me?” Christen asked softly, inclining her head toward the door.

“Sure,” Tobin nodded, letting Christen lead the way. 

Christen took her hand out of her red mitten and tangled their fingers together, sticking their clasped hands into Tobin’s coat pocket. She led them aimlessly around the village, taking it in for the last time. Their flight was tomorrow night, not giving them too much time back here after her race.

“Can it be someday?” Christen asked softly, looking over at Tobin quickly, feeling more ready now than she had been before to answer the questions Tobin had asked of her, the ones she’d dodge with the answer of ‘maybe someday.’ 

“What do you mean?” Tobin asked, pulling her eyes away from the lights illuminating the village and focusing on Christen. 

“You surprised me right away,” Christen began, reaching out to fix the strap of the Gold medal still hanging around Tobin’s neck.

“Because I talk during sex? Yeah, not sure if that’s changeable,” Tobin shrugged with a goofy smile. 

“No,” Christen chuckled, affectionately fixing Tobin’s beanie. “Because you came to my door and you stayed. You helped me find something I didn’t realize I was looking for.”

“I always hated leaving,” Tobin admitted, her lips quirking up into a small smile. 

“It was hard letting you go. That’s why I was, in your words, chill after I slept over for the first time. Because I didn’t have to let you go the night before, and I was starting to realize I didn’t want to,” Christen murmured with a soft smile, turning away from the serious look in Tobin’s eyes. She let out a long breath and lifted her head to the sky, laughing just a bit when a few snowflakes landed on her face. “I didn’t have it in me to say those things before but now your hand’s in mine and snow’s falling from the sky, and I feel like I have it in me this time.”

“What were you looking for?” Tobin asked quietly, lifting Christen’s hand out of her pocket and kissing each knuckle. 

“I didn’t realize it then, but I was looking for you,” Christen hummed, looking away from the snow falling overhead to smile over at Tobin.

Tobin took a deep breath, trying to steady her racing heart and find the right words she could say to make Christen understand that she felt the same way, that she had been looking for Christen too.

“My friends have spent thirteen years telling me that I’m gay,” Tobin said with a tiny laugh. “And I just kind of figured that everyone thought women were attractive. Like that’s just facts. But, I didn’t have to sleep with you to know. Well, I guess technically I did, since I slept in your room in Ali’s bed that first night. But, when I saw you for the first time, even before I knew your name, I knew there was no way. I knew my friends had been right. You’re just this mix of extremely sexy, obviously, and incredibly adorable. And you have this, albeit somewhat guarded, heart that’s so big and full, and thankfully, you let me squirm my way in a little,” she added with a hopeful smile. 

“You’re sweet, and such a talker,” Christen laughed, tugging on their clasped hands and pulling them over to a bench.

“I am,” Tobin nodded. “It’s sometimes annoying.”

“It’s never been annoying,” Christen corrected softly.

“I know that I came to you for something really surface level and really not meaningful in the grand scheme of things. But, five minutes with you doing a crossword puzzle, and I already felt my world shift a little. And that’s serious but hopefully doesn’t freak you out. Because I’d really like to overtalk with you and answer the crossword questions that stump you for a while. So, maybe it’s freakishly fast. You can tell me to pump the breaks, but at some point, I’d really like to be more than just your friend, and-”

Christen interrupted the adorable overtalking with a kiss that could have melted the snow gathered around them if it was possible. She was almost smiling too much to properly kiss Tobin, but she didn’t care. 

“You can overtalk and be more than my friend for a long time, just as long as I get to stun you into silence on occasion,” Christen whispered, kissing Tobin soundly once more before leaning back and wiping a bit of her Chapstick from Tobin’s bottom lip.

“You stun me into silence a lot,” Tobin breathed out, resting her forehead against Christen’s. 

“I’m not afraid of freakishly fast. Clearly based on my choice of sport,” Christen said with a smile, nuzzling her nose along Tobin’s.

“I’d really like to be your girlfriend, then. Just in case that wasn’t clear,” Tobin replied, reaching up and cupping Christen’s face with her hands. 

Christen turned her head to kiss Tobin’s palm. “So, Tobin Heath. You’ve just won an Olympic gold medal and got a girlfriend all in one day. What’s next for you?” Christen asked with a teasing lilt in her voice.

“I bought a bell,” Tobin responded with a huge smile. “And I’m gonna ring it while my girlfriend is speeding down a mountain, and then I’m gonna celebrate with her before I get her in a bikini at the beach.” 

“I- I really like you,” Christen whispered, her eyes shining and her smile radiant.

“I really like you,” Tobin hummed, peppering a few kisses along Christen’s face. “A lot.”

“Enough to make a snow angel with me?” Christen asked with a happy, playful glint in her eyes.

“Of course,” Tobin laughed, looking down at the fresh layer of powder on the ground. “And then we can go get in your warm bed and get you ready for tomorrow.”

Christen slid out from between the sheets and moved to grab Tobin’s t-shirt from the ground. She slipped it over her head and padded over to the window, parting the curtains to gaze out at the sunrise.

She’d woken up on the morning of more big events than she could remember. She’d woken up for all of them alone. Even when she’d been with Vonya, she’d always woken up alone.

Maybe that was why this morning, why this event day, felt different. It felt different to wake up in Tobin’s arms and feel impossibly cared for. It felt good and lovely. It felt like she really had found what she was looking for. It felt right, like she was meant to wake up next to Tobin on the regular days, not just on the potential Gold medal days.

As she watched the sun crest over the mountains, making the snow shine and glow, Christen felt a smile grow on her face as her heart warmed in her chest.

It might be her last day in maybe her last Olympics, but it wasn’t her last day with Tobin and for that, she felt like she’d already won.

“Did I sleep through the alarm?” Tobin croaked, blearily squinting across the room as her hand slid across the bed where Christen had just been. 

Christen turned away from the window, her smile softening as she looked at Tobin. “No, I just couldn’t sleep any longer,” Christen replied softly, making her way back to bed. 

“Are you nervous?” Tobin asked quietly, pulling the covers aside for Christen to crawl back into bed with her. 

Christen shook her head and molded herself against Tobin’s side, slinging an arm across Tobin’s waist as she dropped her head into her pillow.

“I’m ready,” Christen murmured with a small smile. 

“I’m really proud of you,” Tobin hummed, pulling Christen nearly on top of her. 

“I don’t know what for,” Christen replied with a breathy chuckle, rising onto her elbow and propping her head up on her hand. She danced her fingers of her free hand up and down Tobin’s side as she gazed down at her girlfriend

“For being brave and talented and kind,” Tobin shrugged. “There’s a lot to be proud of.”

“Thank you,” Christen whispered, reaching up to run her thumb along Tobin’s smile lines.

“I have a really important question,” Tobin mumbled, her smile growing as Christen brushed her thumb next to her mouth. 

“Yes, I will go to Mexico with you,” Christen winked.

“It’s about Mexico actually,” Tobin replied, brushing her index finger over one of Christen’s cheekbones. “How big is the bed?” 

Christen laughed and dropped her forehead to Tobin’s chest.

“As much as I love cuddling, I’m not sure a twin bed is the move,” Tobin added, running a hand over the back of Christen’s head. 

Christen leaned back up and fixed Tobin with a look that spoke of just how much she’d fallen for Tobin, so quickly.

“It’s a king,” Christen chuckled, shaking her head just a bit as she grinned down at Tobin. 

“Okay, I’m still gonna be sleeping this close. It’s nice to know we get some wiggle room, though...for non-sleep activities,” Tobin said with a smirk as she squeezed Christen just a tiny bit closer. 

“I have an hour before breakfast,” Christen murmured, the corner of her mouth lifting into a playful smile.

“You have sex the morning of competitions?” Tobin gasped, placing a kiss on Christen's forehead. 

“Baby, we literally slept together the morning before the quarterfinals and the night before the semis,” Christen laughed.

“It’s probably good luck, then,” Tobin hummed, wrapping a leg around Christen and rolling them both over in the tiny, twin-sized bed. 

“I think I’m gonna throw up,” Tobin muttered, Lindsey’s arm around her shoulder not helping in the slightest. 

“Keep it away from our medals,” Crystal chuckled, winking at Tobin as she straightened the Gold medal around her neck and the Silver around Ali’s.

“Is that her? Oh...nope. Switzerland,” Ashlyn asked, voicing her third false alarm and making Tobin’s jaw clench. 

“Stop guessing, you always get it wrong,” A.D. joked, pulling down Ashlyn’s beanie to cover her eyes.

“She’s in navy blue. That’s red and white,” Tobin grumbled, squinting up at the top of the run. 

“Speaking of Switzerland, where’s everyone off to post-Games?” Ali asked, wrapping her arms around Ashlyn’s waist. “We’re going to Italy.”

“I’m going home to my wife,” A.D. said with a dopey smile on her face. 

“Linds and I are hitting up France,” Crystal added, fist-bumping Lindsey.

“Mexico,” Tobin mumbled, finally catching a glimpse of Christen getting ready to start. 

“Funny, that’s where Chris is going too,” Ali smirked.

“Funny, we’re going together,” Tobin hummed, ignoring her friends’ slight teasing. 

“You two are gonna be married by summer,” Ashlyn joked, knocking her fist into Tobin’s shoulder. 

“Settle down,” Tobin sighed, focused solely on Christen. 

“Babies by next Olympics,” Crystal cooed. “How adorable would Press-Heath babies be in little snowsuits?”

“Awww, yeah with the little mittens!” Lindsey gasped, scrunching up her face at the thought.

“She’s starting if you care,” Tobin huffed, rolling her eyes despite the dark blush that was already heating up her cheeks. 

“Focus up, ladies!” Ali said with a clap of her hands, setting her chin back down on Ashlyn’s shoulder and turning her attention to the course.

Tobin watched Christen move, just as graceful as always but maybe the fastest she’d ever been. Snow flew in arches as she turned around gates and made her way down the mountain. She looked just as strong and beautiful as she always did, completely free as she did what she loved doing. Her helmet gleamed against the sunlight the same way light reflected off of snow. 

And even though it was incredibly, uncomfortably, freakishly too soon, Ashlyn’s stupid words stuck in her head, and she had to push away the image that flashed through her head of Christen teaching a little kid to ski in a matching white helmet and matching red mittens. She shook her head, her smile only growing at the fleeting thought.

She pushed the image to the back of her mind, instead, shaking the loud bell in her hand and thinking about Mexico.  

“HELL YEAH!!!!!” she screamed as Christen skidded to a stop, sending snow flying, a large amount of it hitting Ashlyn and Ali. 

Tobin ignored Ashlyn’s grumbling and jumped over the barricade, nearly slipping as she landed in the snow. “CHRISTEN PRESS! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!” she yelled, fist-pumping on Christen’s behalf as she saw Christen’s time pop up on the scoreboard. 

Christen tore off her helmet and her goggles and stepped out of her skis right as Tobin tackled her down into the snow. They collapsed in a pile of laughter as the judge read out her gold-worthy score and announced the new Olympic record she’d just set.

“I’m buying you so many margaritas,” Tobin mumbled, peppering kisses over Christen’s face. 

“I told you I’m not afraid of freakishly fast,” Christen grinned, catching Tobin’s lips with her own and kissing her quickly.

“Hey, Chris?” Tobin breathed out. 

“Yeah?” Christen asked, the sounds of the crowd and the announcers melting away, leaving her suspended in this moment alone with Tobin.

“You’re Golden,” Tobin said with a smirk. 

“Baby!” Christen yelled, sliding her sunglasses up on her head and turning back to look into the beachside house they’d rented for the month.

“Yes?” Tobin called, appearing at the sliding back door with a blender in one hand and her orange bikini covering very little. 

Christen forgot all about her question when she took in the sight of her ridiculously hot girlfriend standing in front of her in that bikini, with that much skin revealed.

“Umm…” Christen trailed off, wetting her bottom lip subconsciously.

“You okay?” Tobin asked, tilting her head just slightly and padding out to the patio where their glasses were waiting. 

“I’m lovely,” Christen grinned.

“You want to swim? Or fall asleep on a floaty? The latter is my plan,” Tobin said, leaning down and kissing Christen’s lips before she set about pouring them both margaritas. 

“10 across. Cupid’s gift,” Christen replied, turning back to the crossword on her laptop.

“Arrow to the ass,” Tobin chuckled as she sat down in the chair next to Christen and let Christen put her feet in her lap.  

Christen snorted and shook her head, reaching out to run her finger along the bridge of her nose, tapping it in thought.

“Four letters,” Christen hummed.

“It’s really cute when you do that,” Tobin mumbled, motioning with her own finger on her nose. 

“Four letters, baby,” Christen chuckled, blushing just a little as she looked away from her computer screen and over at Tobin.

“Love,” Tobin answered, brushing a hand along Christen’s shin. 

“What?” Christen asked quickly, her eyes widening.

“What you’re looking for,” Tobin said with a light blush spreading across her cheeks, pointing at Christen’s crossword. “Love.”

Christen felt her heart still pounding in her chest as she looked down at the crossword on her screen, typing in the answer and seeing that it was correct. 

“Gold medal for Tobin Heath,” Christen replied softly, shutting her laptop now that the crossword was finished.

“So, we can get in the pool now?” Tobin asked, looking over at the ridiculously fancy infinity pool that overlooked the ocean. 

Christen nodded and watched Tobin hop up, giving her a goofy grin as she sprinted over and cannonballed into the pool. Shaking her head with a laugh, Christen realized Tobin was right, once again.

Love was exactly what she was looking for, and she’d found it with a snowboarder.