Spencer knew that tagging along with her friends to the local indoor ice rink would cause nothing but trouble... For her, at least. Kate and Teresa were very much aware that she was the most uncoordinated person they knew of, but that didn't stop them from trying to convince her to go. It will be fun, they said. Right now, the fun level was on par with her family's monthly dinners at her grandmother's house.
The fact that she was currently sitting on the sidelines watching her two friends having fun without her wasn't what bothered her. Oh no, Spencer's mind was more fixated on how she had fallen flat on her ass in front of about a fourth of the high school's varsity hockey team. They probably thought she was a joke. She hadn't taken three steps out onto the ice, then whoosh... It had come to greet her as she stumbled and slipped. With a bruised ego and most likely a bruised tailbone, she rushed back to the safety of the ice rink seats and returned her rental skates. Now, sipping on some hot chocolate, she waited for her friends and hoped that the hockey players hadn't seen her...
"Hey, Spencer, are you okay?" A masculine voice said, making her jump. Someone had sat down next to her so quietly that she hadn't noticed. Prepared to give the guy a piece of her mind, she turned and found herself face-to-face with none other than the varsity hockey team's starting right wing, senior Collin Samuels.
"I..." Spencer started, the shock of the moment taking a little while to wear off. "How do you know my name?"
"You're one of Kate's friends, how do I not know your name?" He had a point. To put it simply, Kate was well known amongst the male population at their high school, for all of the wrong reasons. If Spencer hadn't been best friends with her since elementary school, then Kate was the kind of girl she would try to avoid.
"Very true." She replied. "And yeah, I'll be fine."
"That was quite a fall you took there." Oh... So they had seen.
"You saw me...?"
"Yeah. The guys wanted to say something stupid to you but I talked them out of it." He confessed. "No need to thank me."
Why had Collin, Mr. Star Hockey Player, care at all to talk his friends out of poking fun at poor, clumsy Spencer? It was silent for a minute as she took another sip from her styrofoam cup of hot chocolate.
"Just out of curiosity, why did you do it? It would have been much easier to join in." She asked. He thought for a moment.
"Because you're a really nice girl, and you didn't do anything to deserve it. Slipping on the ice isn't a crime." Collin said, looking right into her hazel eyes. At least he seemed sincere.
"So any pity for my general lack of gracefulness wasn't a deciding factor?" He laughed at Spencer's comment.
"You're very graceful, don't worry." Collin said, recalling all of the times he had secretly watched her from across the hall, or from the other side of the room. He didn't mean it to be creepy or weird, he just couldn't help it. She had a certain fluidity to her movements that he could only describe as beautiful.
"You're telling this to the girl who's forever falling down the stairs of life." Spencer chuckled.
"Well if that's the case, then at least you look good doing it." He gave her a slight grin, and noticed that a light rosy blush was beginning to form on her cheeks. She couldn't bring herself to look anywhere but the floor.
"T-thanks, I think?" She stuttered. Collin nodded.
"I mean it." He said, thinking. "Why don't you try going back out on the ice?"
Spencer shook her head furiously, exclaiming, "To make a fool out of myself again? No way."
"Well this time you'll have me to help you." Collin smiled.
"Oh, but I returned my skates already... Sorry." She said, trying anything to get out of it. He wouldn't let her off that easy though.
"Not a problem, I'll pay for new rental ones." He said, grabbing her hand and pulling her up.
"Don't worry about it. I insist." His green eyes seemed to twinkle behind a few stray strands of his tawny brown hair. To Spencer, he seemed like a giant with his skates on. Without them, he stood at about six foot one. With them, he towered an entire foot over her. Upon reaching the rental counter, he asked, "What size are you?"
"Women's eight." She reluctantly answered.
"Can we please have some size six hockey skates?" He asked the woman behind the counter, pulling out his wallet. She brought back a pair and traded them for Collin's money. He handed them off to her and led her to the closest bench.
"Hockey skates?" Spencer questioned him, raising her eyebrows.
"More stability." He explained, waiting patiently for her to put them on. She just sat there.
"But they're a six..."
"...In men's sizes."
"Oh. Okay." Spencer accepted her defeat, there was no way she was going to be able to back out. After she finished lacing up the skates, she eventually got to her feet, almost toppling over. Collin held onto her arm and walked her over to the entrance of the ice. He stepped on first, his back facing the people casually skating by.
"Take my hands." He said, holding them out to her.
With a sigh, she grasped them. In the background, they both heard one of the other hockey players whistle, while another one shouted, "Yeah Collin, get it!"
Spencer felt the heat rise in her cheeks again, but Collin just rolled his eyes at them.
"Now you step onto the ice." She did as she was told. Collin made sure that she was completely stable before beginning to slowly move backwards, pulling her with him. "Don't let go."
Nervously looking down at her feet, Spencer began to wobble a little bit as she felt the fear of falling again creep up on her.
"Don't look down. Just look at me." Collin said softly, squeezing her hands slightly. They felt so tiny in his larger ones, so fragile and delicate. Their eyes met, and he told her, "Just relax."
Soon, Spencer began to match the movements of his feet, so he picked up the pace a little bit. He loosened his hold on her hands, but she grabbed them back with a force.
"Who said you could let go?" She said, giving a small smile, which Collin returned. All of a sudden he stopped moving backwards.
"Why did you stop, I was just getting the hang of it!" Spencer exclaimed. He shook his head, chuckling at her, not once breaking eye contact. Slowly and carefully, he pulled her in closer to him.
"Spencer..." Collin said in barely a whisper. He tucked a loose strand of her dark auburn hair behind her right ear, causing her to look down as a wave of shyness washed over her. His left hand gently tilted her chin up so he could look at her once more, while his thumb softly stroked the side of her pink cheek.
Before Spencer knew it, Collin had crushed his lips to hers. He moved his left hand to a spot on the back of her head so he could tangle his fingers in her wavy hair while his right hand found it's way to her waist. Her knees felt as weak as ever, a sudden sense of euphoria taking over her body. Collin was feeling the same way. He was finally kissing Spencer Bryant, and it was everything he ever imagined it would be. He wanted to lose himself kissing those soft lips he could only dream about until now. Too quickly, it seemed, he broke the kiss, but he didn't waste any time in going in for seconds. This time, Spencer met him half way.
Far off, they could hear their friends clapping for them, but they were too focused on one another to care. At last they broke it off to look at each other, smiling from ear to ear. Collin leaned in to place one last tender kiss on Spencer's lips before taking her hand and leading her off the rink.
That day, Spencer decided, she could learn to love ice skating.