Chapter Six: Rigged

"He was adorable, Holly, I mean, those eyes," Sasha commented. We were sitting around the resort pool, and I was glad that Lindsay had not come. Jared sat on the edge of the pool with his feet dangling in, and Sasha and I had both jumped in.

"Alright, cut it out," I whispered to her as Jared coughed. "Why don't you come in?" I asked him.

"Don't really feel like it right now," he said in a tone that meant he was upset.

"You know I was just joking at dinner, right?" I asked him and he nodded. "So there's no reason for you to be pissed at me, right?" He nodded again.

"I'm not mad at you. I should have told you more about Lindsay, I just didn't want you to freak out and spit in her food or something."

"Or maybe throw her off a ski lift?" Sasha suggested. Jared, luckily, didn't hear her.

"She asked if we wanted to go up on the slopes tomorrow night. I told her I'd answer her back later," Jared said, the sparkle returning to his eyes.

"Of course." I bit down hard on my tongue. If I wanted this to work out, I needed to cooperate. That, unfortunately meant getting along with Lindsay. Of course, that didn't mean Sasha could reek havoc into Ms. Lindsay Williams' life.

"Good, I mean, I know you wanted to learn how to ski."

"I think I'll stick to learning how to snowboard."

"But how do I ride the ski lift with this thing dangling from my feet? I'll get pulled off by the force of gravity!" I protested as Jared strapped one of my feet into the boot of the snowboard.

"You wont fall, I promise," Lindsay assured me.

"Sorry, I think I just threw up a bit in my mouth," Sasha said. She'd been quietly complaining about having to take the ski lift with Lindsay for the past ten minutes. I'd told her she was not allowed to push her off. "Not even if I make it look like an accident?"

"Don't harm her, Sasha," I warned her, and she dropped it. For the moment, at least.

We'd spent all day on a simulator, basically. After I'd slept in, of course. The simulator must have cost big bucks, and I had half the mind to trash it because I knew Lindsay's dad would have to pay for it. That, however was a very evil thought and I didn't even want to stoop down to that level. I still wasn't quite used to the feeling of the heavy boot on my foot, but I was adjusting one minute at a time.

I jumped onto the bench of the ski lift, and felt my feet lift off the ground. For the first second and a half, my ankles felt like they were going to stay on the padded snow, but after that, I only felt a slight tug of the snowboard on my feet.

Jared put his arm around my shoulder and I tried to scoot closer to him, but our boards clanked together, I started to laugh, but as we got to the top of the hill, I saw a commotion out of the corner of my eyes.

"You knew that last stop was rigged! Don't tell me you didn't!" A male voice called out. He was dressed in full red boarding jackets, gloves, and helmet, so I couldn't make out an age, but he was still young sounding.

"Get over yourself, Groff," someone retorted.

Jared hopped off the ski lift prematurely, but managed to board over to the two boys that were yelling. I got off as soon as the ski lift temporarily stopped. I hobbled over to them, wishing Jared was there to help, instead of playing mediator. But then again, it was what he was best at.

One of them had taken a swing at the other; I'm not sure who started it. Jared was now in the middle of it all, trying to yell over their insults.

"Don't worry! I'll figure out how the hell you are doing this!"

"Groff, I'm not doing anything. So you can just take your-"

"HEY!" Jared's voice echoed above each of the others. They both stopped and stood heaving heavy breaths. It sounded like they'd been fighting for a good deal of time. The people who had been staring before now went on their way. "What is going on here?" Jared demanded. Both boys opened their mouths to explain. "Wait! Never mind!"

The boy in the red yanked his helmet off and let his shoulder length hair wave down. He bent down to take his feet out of the board's boot. The other boy snapped his goggles off and shoved them into his jacket pocket.

"You!" Jared said, pointing to the boy in the red, who I could now see was not a boy, but a guy about twenty years old. The stubble on his chin was coming in dark, as if he hadn't shaved in a few days, and his brown eyes were blazing. "What's going on?"

"Hey, what about-" the other guy tried to protest.

"In a minute!" Jared said. "What am I? You're mother? Wait a second," he ordered and the other guy stood silently. "What's going on?" he asked, turning back to the guy in the red.

"I'm Todd Groff," he said, and my jaw sort of slacked. He didn't notice. This was Todd Groff, professional snowboarder, standing right in front of me. I was shocked. I should have known, I mean, I'd seen enough pictures. The only thing that had changed from his magazine cover pictures had been the longer hair and the whiskers. "I'm boarding in the Open tomorrow."

The other guy was starting to look slightly pissed and was pulling off his gloves and undoing the boot.

"We've been boarding in a tournament, and he's been rigging the entire thing!"

"I have not!"

"Alright!" Jared said. "How has he been doing this?"

"He's been paying off the right people, that's how!"

"And who are you?" Jared asked, spinning on the other guy.

"No one who'd need to buy off a judge's panel. Hey, Groff, you ever think maybe I'm just better than you?" Guys and their egos. Don't bruise them, or they'll cry.

"I meant your name," Jared said through gritted teeth. I knew he was getting mad at playing the bigger person. He had about a foot on both guys, though, and he could keep control of the situation hundreds of times better than I could have.

"His name is Davis DeLancey," Todd spoke up.

"I'm so over this," Davis said, and started to walk away. Todd spat on the ground, and sighed, and started to walk away.

"Hey, wait!" I spoke up, intrigued by not only the snowboarder in front of me, but also the thought of an inner competition bribery.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone that's reviewed! I loved reading my comments both on Jail Bait and on here. This chapters kind of short. 3 more reviews and you'll get another. Loves and Hugs and Thanks.

Adios! - MDC