| THE PERFECT SIX
Michael Waldich was irritated.
Of course, all that meant was that Michael was at his job. He spent
most of his time at his job being irritated. However, this was a
particularly irritating day because he had a tryout for a new partner. He
hated tryouts for new partners. He had been through them more times than
he cared to remember, and they were always a bitch. They had to be right
physically, they had to have his technical skills-which none of them ever
did-they had to be compatible emotionally-which none of them ever were-and
they had to be as committed as he was-which absolutely none of them ever,
And that was the problem, wasn't it? That's why he went through
partners like they were water. Because none of them could keep their eyes
on the prize-an Olympic gold medal. That was all that mattered.
That was all that mattered in Michael's line of work. Michael Waldich
was a figure skater-a pairs skater, to be exact. He had won National
championships with two different partners. He had won a World
Championship, although that was 5 long years ago. He had won lesser medals
at other World and National championships, but had never won a medal of any
color at an Olympics.
There was a simple reason for that: none of his partners stuck around
long enough to do so. And, here he was, less than a year away from another
Olympics-possibly his last shot, at age 26-and his last partner had walked
out on him. Second at Nationals, fourth in the world, within shouting
distance of that coveted gold medal-and out she went. Couldn't work with
such an asshole, she said.
Fuck that, he thought now, she just couldn't work. She didn't want to
put in the effort. She didn't know what this meant. She thought skating
was all fun, all glamour, all pretty costumes and nice music and gliding
around the ice. She had no clue. She didn't put in all the work in the
weight room that Michael did, so he could lift her up in the air when she
put on five pounds.
They were all like that. Nobody knew what that medal meant to him.
He knew very little about this one. Rachel Barrett, age 19. Cute, long
red hair, lots of presence on the ice. She had been part of a promising
young team up until a year and a half ago when her partner blew his knee
out, and decided to retire from skating. She had been partnerless since
then, and, when she heard that the best male pairs skater in the USA was
looking for a new partner, she just had to call and request a tryout.
She came onto the ice. She was tall for a pairs skater, about 5'2", but
that was OK because at six feet he was fairly tall, also. She looked like
she was in good shape, considering she hadn't competed in a while. She was
slim, with smallish and hips, but by no means anorexic. She looked
like a woman-a small one, but that was OK, since he did have to lift her.
And her pale skin, bright hair, and green eyes would make a striking
contrast on the ice next to him, with his olive complexion and and eyes.
She had skated over and introduced herself to Michael's coach, Yelena
Veranikova, and then skated over to Michael.
"You're Michael Waldich. I'm Rachel Barrett," she said with a giggle,
and held her hand out.
He took it, and shook, barely. "Nice to meet you. Let's skate.
Crossovers, to start with."
She was a little taken aback. She had wanted to tell him how happy she
was that he had consented to try her out, but he hadn't given her a chance.
She shrugged her shoulders, and started skating.
The crossovers were fine-their rhythm was a very close match. He called
out some steps, and they did them. He called for some lifts. He had to
adjust to her center of gravity being a bit different than his previous
partner, because she was taller-but he did it, and the lifts went fine. As
far as Rachel was concerned, they were more than fine. He was a superb
lifter, strong and sure, and she felt very safe and secure when he was
holding her high above head. Then he called for a throw triple jump-a
salchow-and that was fantastic. He gently launched her in the air as easy
as you please, and she whipped through the three revolutions and floated
back to the ice.
"Jesus Christ, you are good," Rachel enthused. "That's the easiest
throw triple sal I've ever done in my life."
His steely composure was cracked, just a bit, by her enthusiasm, and the
smallest hint of a smile crossed his face. But he quickly recovered.
"I don't suppose you can do a solo triple flip?" The flip was one of the
harder jumps, and pairs skaters almost never did it.
"No, but my triple toe is consistent." The toe is the easiest triple.
"That figures," he grumbled, "I'm the only pairs skater in the fucking
world that can do a flip. Ah, well. Side by side triple toes, then." They
"All right," he said to her when they were done, "You've got talent.
You want to skate with me?"
"Fine. Let me tell you what you're getting yourself into. I will
expect you to work your ass off. We have less than one year until the
Olympics, and I plan to leave there with a gold medal. Anything less is
unacceptable, and we have a lot of work to do. You've been living in
"Yeah." They were in Boston now.
"Fine. You have a week to move yourself out here. Yelena has an
apartment, a nice one, that she will rent to you, and it's very reasonable.
Then we get to work. See you in one week."
He skated off, leaving her a bit bewildered.
They spent the rest of the spring and the early summer on the ice
together, every day, trying to nail down their timing with each other and
working up new routines. He had to admit she worked her ass off.
Everything he did, she was always there, every step of the way. The first
day, she shocked him by joining him in the weight room.
"You lift?" he said incredulously.
"None of my other partners did."
"Well, then they were idiots. I've always trained with weights. You
might do the lifting and throwing, but I've got to have the upper body
strength to handle that."
On the ice, it kept getting better and better. They were well matched,
and her tireless work ethic made it easier for them to adjust to each
other. Yelena had told Michael after about a month, "You may really have
But, sometimes, her demeanor on the ice perplexed him. She was always
smiling and laughing. At one point, she went down in a heap on a death
spiral-a mistake that was his fault, and they both knew it-and came up
"What is so funny?" he asked her, exasperated.
"Nothing. Just that it was perfect until I went splat on the death
"I just wish you would take this more seriously."
"How much more seriously do you want me to take it, Michael? I'm
working my ass off, and you know it. I just refuse to treat figure skating
as a job."
"That's what it is. It's a job."
"Nonsense. I love to skate. A bad day on the ice is tons better than a
good day anywhere else. Michael, you really need to loosen up." And, with
that, she skated away, giggling.
For her part, she really didn't get him at all. How could someone with
his strong, gentle hands be so cold and businesslike? Did he enjoy
skating? Did he enjoy anything? She loved skating with him, and loved the
way his hands lifted and threw her on the ice. Then she would look up at
his face, laughing, and see his same no-nonsense stone face staring back at
The first crack in his armor came late in June.
Unbeknownst to Michael, Rachel had been sneaking in extra practice with
Yelena to try to learn the triple flip. She had finally started landing it
80% of the time over the past week, which was the benchmark she was looking
She beat him onto the ice that day. When he showed up, and stepped onto
the ice, she yelled, "Hey, Michael. Got a surprise for you." She stroked,
prepared, and launched herself into a perfect triple flip.
Michael had to blink twice. "Was that a flip?"
"Yup," laughed Rachel. "I've been working on it on the side."
"You have? Do it again." She did, as perfect as the first. "OK, now
side by side." They both did them.
"YEE-HAH!" Michael exulted. "You got the flip!" He grabbed her around
the waist and swung her around on the ice. Rachel thought it was
wonderful. "We are getting to the point where we are going to be tough to
beat, partner-o-mine," he said with a conspiratorial grin on his face. She
realized that she had waited two months to see him smile like that. She
also realized it was worth the wait.
The next few days of practice were the best they had ever been. He was
solicitous and even cracked an occasional smile. His warm, strong, gentle
hands were even more so. She started to feel like half of a pair again.
She had been good friends with Eric, her previous partner. Nothing
romantic-Eric was gay-but an easy, comfortable friendship that made the
skating part all that much easier and more fun. Maybe she could get that
Friday night, Rachel was bored and decided to go see a movie. While
waiting in line, she felt a pair of hands rest on her shoulders. She
turned. It was Michael.
"I see my partner's got a flick urge, too," Rachel said.
"A flick urge?"
"Burning desire to go see a movie." She giggled.
"Something like that. What you seeing?" They determined that they were
planning to see the same movie, and decided to sit together.
It turned out to be nice. It was a comedy, and they laughed throughout
the whole thing, reclined in the seat, sharing a box of popcorn. After the
movie ended, and they both walked out still laughing, they decided that the
popcorn wasn't enough and went down the street to grab a burger. It was
easy and relaxed, as they chatted about other skaters, politics, music,
movies, whatever. After they were done eating, he walked her home,
enjoying the warm night and the busy streets of Boston.
"Michael, I'm really glad you showed up. You're much better company
than me, myself, and I."
He laughed at that. "So are you. See you at the rink, Monday."
Rachel arrived at the rink, happy and relaxed, that Monday morning,
looking forward to getting back on the ice. I like Michael, when he isn't
being Mister No Nonsense, she realized. He's a nice guy, when he lets
himself be. Maybe we can be friends after all.
Her hopes were dashed, when she ran into Michael, and found out that
Stoneface was back, only worse. He was positively cold towards her. And
it got worse and worse that week. It was like skating with a statue.
Where was the guy she had seen a with? Where was the guy who had
been so excited when she landed the flip?
The week ended with her in tears on Yelena's shoulder.
"Yelena, I don't know if I can do this. What the hell is wrong with
"He took his eyes off the prize," Rachel looked at her blankly. "You
guys were getting closer. I saw it last week in practice. And he
mentioned Saturday when I talked to him that you had met up at the and had a good time. And, Monday, the armor was back in place. Which was
predictable. He can't get close."
"Why in hell not?"
"When he was very young, 16, he fell in love with his first partner.
Yes, they were young, but it was True Love, or as true as it gets at that
age. It lasted a year. When it broke up, the partnership also broke up,
which was worse from Michael's point of view. Because that was Ellen
Rachel realized right away. "The same Ellen Coughlin who won a gold
medal four years ago."
"Right. With another partner. So now Michael refuses to get close to a
partner. He still thinks 'that could have been me if I hadn't let my damn
emotions get in the way.' I tell him he's crazy, but he doesn't listen to
the Russian lady very well."
"Jesus, Yelena, I don't necessarily want a big huge romance with the
guy. I just want to be friends."
"Maybe he doesn't feel the same way. Maybe he realizes that, if he
opened himself up to you, he'd never be able to stop at being friends."
Yelena walked away, as the impact of her words sunk in to Rachel.
Rachel stuck it out, because she truly loved skating with Michael. The
hands never lost their touch, the sureness never left his step, and,
technically, they were as good as any team in the world, and they knew it.
But it was like skating with a robot. A robot with magnificent human
hands, but a robot nonetheless. July stretched into August-their first
competition would be in October, at the New England Regionals-and August
didn't get any better.
To make herself feel better, Rachel decided to delve into their
choreography. She was a natural, instinctive, choreographer, and had
always helped out with that in her previous partnership. Yelena
choreographed all their routines-always had, for Michael-but wasn't
possessive about it, and told Rachel, "You come up with something better,
you use it." She had already had some ideas.
Michael, however, was completely resistant. Anything she suggested was
brushed off. Especially anything that might have even hinted at the
slightest bit of affection between the two. He wouldn't even discuss it,
dismissing anything she suggested with a curt "It's fine how it is."
Rachel simmered. She tried everything. She tried to get Yelena to
suggest some of this stuff herself, as her own idea, but Michael saw
through that. Nothing worked. And, suddenly, one night when they were
working alone late at night, the only two in the building-Rachel, very
She was trying to get him to move his hand a particular way, to accent a
particularly passionate part of the music. He demurred, again. And she
"Dammit, Michael, skate with me like you MEAN it! Except for the fact
that you're skillful, you make me feel that you might as well be skating
with a sack of potatoes! I'm a woman, Michael. You are on this ice with a
woman. We are two people, a and a woman, creating something with our
bodies. Doesn't that mean a DAMN thing to you other than a fucking medal?"
Michael stared at her in shock.
"I have had it. I have tried everything I know how to do. I have tried
to be your friend. I have tried to understand you. I don't know if I can
do it anymore." She stormed off the ice.
He followed, and caught up with her on the way to the dressing rooms,
outside Yelena's empty office.
"Rachel, dammit, don't do this. You know we're good together. You're
the best partner I've ever had. Don't you want to win?"
She turned to face him. "Is that all you care about? Is that the only
thing that means anything to you? Yes, I want to win, Michael. You know
damn well I want to win. It would, however, be nice to find out if there
is anything else that you care a single whit about. Don't you have any
feelings behind that stone face of yours that don't concern a gold medal?"
"Of course I do," he said quietly.
"Oh yeah? Well I'm not quite sure I believe that. I haven't seen a
smidgen of evidence for it."
Michael looked at her, glaring at him in her fury, and suddenly felt
himself in the grip of something so powerful he couldn't control it. He
did have feelings, dammit. And they had reared their heads. He opened the
door to Yelena's office, grabbed Rachel by the arm, pulled her into the
office, and, before she could say a word, kissed her. Long, and deep.
To say she was stunned out of her wits would be the understatement of
the year. She stiffened, and froze, but it wasn't resistance, just shock.
Which quickly receded, and suddenly she found herself responding to his
kiss, their lips sliding over each other. She brought her arms up around
his neck, as his arms wrapped around her waist. His tongue probed into her
mouth, and she opened it, willingly, letting his tongue enter her eager
mouth. She felt his hands reach to the back of her dress, tugging at the
zipper, and she made no effort to stop him. Suddenly, the dress was at her
ankles, her bra was off, and she was naked from the waist up. He went to
tug on her nylons, and she giggled and whispered in his ear, "Sweetheart,
this would be a lot easier if we took off our skates."
He laughed, broke the embrace, and tore his skates off. She did the
same, and they renewed their embrace, their tongues dancing around one
another as he pulled her nylons and off. She quickly pulled off
and discarded his shirt, then went for his belt buckle. His pants dropped,
and he stepped out of them. They were still locked in their embrace; lips
moving all over each other, as he dropped his hand and let it rest lightly
on her breast. She giggled a little, and then sighed as he increased the
pressure, kneading his fingers into her breast. She wasn't very large-most
figure skaters aren't-but her were tight and firm, and, as Michael
was finding out, very responsive, as her breathing got ragged and her
nipples stood at attention. He tweaked a nipple with a thumb, and she
shuddered. She felt the blush rise on her fair skin as his hands had more
and more of an effect on her. She knew the hands were talented from their
skating together. Now, she was figuring out just how talented.
She felt his erection up against her stomach. She reached out and
wrapped a hand around it, and Michael groaned softly. She worked her hand
up and down, her touch light and delicate, and had him raring to go in a
minute. He didn't want that, though-not yet.
He grabbed her by the hips, and steered her over to the desk in the
office. She looked at him questioningly, but he lifted her by the hips and
placed her sitting on the desk. She smiled at him, which he returned, and
suddenly knelt down before her and dove into her drenched pussy.
She was not expecting that. She yelped in surprise as his tongue ran
the length of her lips, and then groaned. She started panting, each
breath ending in a little groan. She moaned and hissed as his tongue
probed her opening. Then, he brought his tongue up the length, ending
right on her clit.
She yelped. He kept working on her clit, as her ragged breathing turned
into a steady stream of "Yi! Yi! Ayeee! Ayeee!" as his tongue kept
making contact with her hot button. Her hands roamed to his head, as she
ran her fingers through his hair wildly. Her legs curled around his
shoulders, locked at the ankles. She had started bouncing up and down on
the desk, and Michael had his hands locked on her hips to make sure she
didn't buck herself right off the desk.
"Ayee! Ayee! Oh my God Michael this is so good I can't fucking stand
it. Ayee! Ayee! Ayee! Oh my God I'm CUMMMMIIIIIINNNNGGGGGG!!!!!"
She grabbed the back of his head and pressed him against her bucking,
spasming as she climaxed. She bounced up and down on the desk,
Michael desperately trying to keep her on the desk while at the same time
breathe as she jammed her into his mouth.
Finally, her explosive climax subsided, and she released her death grip
on his head. He looked up at her, and she was flushed straight from her
head to her navel. Her long fell in unkempt bunches all around
her head. Little beats of sweat had formed on her and stomach.
Her eyes were closed, and her attempts at breathing came out as low, ragged
gasps. Michael looked at her, and couldn't believe it. He had done this
before, to other women, but never had gotten a reaction like that. And
from his sweet, demure, vulnerable pairs partner. Just then, he realized
something-he was not the only person in this partnership who had kept their
passions very tightly under wraps.
He stood up and looked at her, grinning, his face dripping with her
juices, until she finally opened her eyes and looked up at him. She
grabbed him around the waist, pulling him toward her, and snuggled her face
into his chest. "Oh, Michael, you made the earth move."
"Glad you liked it. That had to be one of the most explosive orgasms
I've ever seen."
"Certainly the most explosive one I've ever had, I can tell you that."
She reached up, grabbed him by the neck, pulled him close, and whispered in
his ear, "Michael, I want you to fuck me."
"I'm not prepared for that," he told her.
"I'm on the pill, if that's what you mean. So fuck me, now, please."
She spread her legs, and leaned back on her hands, sitting on the desk.
He didn't have to be told twice. He lined up the tip of his cock with her
opening, and pushed.
Oh my GOD she was tight. It's a good thing she was so wet, because
that's the only thing that allowed him to make any headway at all. He got
the head through the opening, as she groaned. He slid a little way in, and
Because he had hit something.
He looked at her incredulously. "Rachel......you're a virgin?"
She smiled up at him. "Never got the opportunity. I'm not
inexperienced, God knows I've fooled around enough, but never got that far.
Remember, I spent all of my adolescence in ice rinks. And my previous
partner would have been much more interested in you than me."
He laughed, then sobered again. He was amazed. She was giving him her
virginity, at 19? Did he deserve that, after how he had treated her the
past few months? "Uh, Rachel," he stammered, "I'm sorry, I...uh....If I
had known, Imean.....I had no idea you were a virgin......."
She looked up and him, fire in her eyes, and interrupted him. "And I'm
gonna keep on being one if you keep dawdling! Now, PUSH, Michael!"
She screamed in pain as he tore through her maidenhead. It took more
effort to get all the way in to her tight pussy, but he managed, and was
buried to the hilt-but she was crying from the pain.
"Oh, Jesus, it hurts," Rachel said.
"I know. It'll stop. You did tell me to push."
She managed to smile at him. "Yes I did. And I know it will stop
hurting. Just, don't move for a minute, OK? Let me get used to this."
"Of course, darling." Darling. She did like the sound of that.
He waited until her crying stopped and her breathing got a bit more
normal. "Still hurt?" he asked after a while.
"No. I can't describe the feeling, but it's not pain."
"Ready?" he asked. She nodded. He slowly slid his cock almost all the
way out of her, and then slid slowly and deliberately back in. She
grunted, as he repeated the process. The first couple of strokes felt,
well, strange to Rachel. She wasn't quite sure how she was feeling. By
the fourth stroke, however, she knew exactly how she was feeling. Very,
"Oh God Michael, it's so good, ooooooooh it's so good..ungh! ungh!
Ungh! Aaaaaa! Oh Michael oh Jesus..." she groaned and babbled, completely
lost in what was happening in between her legs. "Aaahh! Aaah! Aaah!
Michael, for his part, was desperately trying to hold on. She was soooo
tight, and the way she was reacting was the biggest turn on of all. He
knew he couldn't last long.
"Rachel, are you close?"
He picked up the pace, and she started emitting strangled little yelps
as she got closer. Then she reared her head back, thrust her into
the air, and screamed, her spasming against Michael. Which was all
it took, and Michael joined her in a spectacular orgasm.
They were on the floor. Rachel had gone limp from her orgasm, and had
fallen forward instead of backward, and Michael had just managed to catch
her as she slipped off the desk. He certainly didn't have the energy to
lift her back up there, so they settled on the carpeted floor, catching
Michael broke the silence. "I still can't believe you gave me your
"I was caught up in the moment."
"Oh, is that all it was?" he grinned at her.
"Well, after that kiss.....I was putty in your hands. I'd only been
waiting three months for that."
"You had?" he asked incredulously. "After the way I've treated you?"
She smiled at him. "I saw enough glimpses through that steely exterior
of yours to keep me very interested."
He looked around. "I told myself I'd never do this."
"I know," Rachel said. "Yelena told me about Ellen Coughlin." Michael
looked up, surprised. "Fuck it, Michael, I'm a better skater than she is,
anyway, gold medal be damned."
Michael couldn't help but laugh at that. "You're right. You're the
best skater I've ever skated with."
"You're also the best at something else, I found out tonight." She
blushed deep at that. "But, I can't help but worry. I know now that
I'll never find another partner like you. What if it all blows up in my
"First of all, Michael, you're not sixteen any more. Second of all,
don't separate them."
"What do you mean?"
"I want to be your partner, on and off the ice. The one will take care
of the other. Michael, I love you."
"I love you too, Rachel. And you're right."
Rachel smiled at him, and looked around the room. She grabbed his
practice clothes. "Here. Get dressed. Wear these, go to the dressing
room and grab your shoes, and hurry." She grabbed her own clothes and
started putting them on.
"What's the big rush?"
"I want you again, and if we don't get out of here, I'm gonna just
attack you, and I'd rather do this in a bed this time than on Yelena's damn
He cracked up. "Which house?"
"Whichever one's closer, you stud, and don't spare the damn horses!"
Six months later, Rachel and Michael stood on the podium at the awards
ceremony during the Olympic games. As they waved to the crowd at the end
of the ceremony, they proudly looked down at the medals hanging from their
They had skated great. They were very happy when they came off the ice.
The judging had ended up being very close, but there were two couples that
had skated just a little bit better. So Rachel and Michael had to settle
for a great performance and bronze medals.
That was OK, though, because they had the gold, too. It was on Rachel's
finger, topped with a diamond.
As they skated off the ice, Rachel turned to her fiancé and said, "You
know, Nikolai Maniachenko just won the gold, and he's 32. You'll only be
30 in four years."
"I was thinking about that myself."
"And I guarantee that, at the next Olympics, you will be skating with
the same partner that you skated with at this Olympics."
Michael grabbed her and kissed her. "Darling, that's a guarantee that
I'm going to hold you to!"