“Colin?” The name instinctively sprang to her lips. Luckily, her anxiousness could easily have been taken for surprise.
“Yup, I’m here!” He grinned widely and leaned over to kiss her. Of course, she automatically smiled and returned the kiss... she knew she had to... but all the while, she was beating herself up inside.
“What kind of a person are you?” her conscience berated her. What kind of a person let a guy kiss her after spending the night with another?
She didn’t know her partner was watching her from the other side of the rink. Jason’s heart knotted the second he saw Belle with Colin. He should’ve known it would be like this. He should’ve braced himself... but it didn’t stop the pain. It didn’t make ithurt any less... knowing, seeing that she belonged to Colin, in all eyes but his. And maybe - just maybe - in hers...
Meanwhile, Belle was trying her best to make it appear like everything was normal, that she was excited to see her boyfriend, but underneath the facade she was just as messed up as her partner. Her heart was jut as twisted...
“So,” Colin said softly, sitting down beside her and slipping an arm around her shoulders. “It’s been awhile, eh?”
“Yeah,” she replied, wracking her brain for something to say. What would have she said... before? What did she used to say?
“Four months,” he reflected.
By then, she’d finally thought of something to say.
“Too long,” she murmured, leaning against him.
“You fake, manipulative, horrible cheater!” a voice in the back of her head spoke up. “How could you do this? How could you?!”
But Colin was buying her little act perfectly.
“I missed you,” he whispered, bending down and kissing her.
Easy answer. “I missed you, too,” she responded sweetly, while her mind was racing with thoughts. Had he missed him? She’d certainly thought about him a lot, but it had been more worrying, more confusion, more... just more. And she’d been too busy keeping secrets, lying, covering up to think about what she really felt...
“So, how’s it been?” he asked. “The tour, everything. Tell me.”
“It’s been... great!” she answered brightly. “The shows have been amazing, and the audience response has been incredible so far...
She chattered on about the tour for awhile. Talk skating. It was always safe. What else could she say? “Well, Colin, things aren’t going too well. I’m cheating on you with my partner, I’m confused as hell, and I can barely skate without worrying I’ll give myself away. My best friend is sneaking out at nights and I have no idea why, and speaking of nights, I haven’t been sleeping much. Why? Well, because even though Jason and I swore we’d try to stay apart on tour, it was easier said than done. We couldn’t. And when he’s not with me, I’m too twisted thinking about him to get any sleep...”
God, she was a mess! How is heaven’s name was she going to get through three weeks of this? It hadn’t even been twenty minutes yet...
“Belle?” Colin’s voice broke through her thoughts. “Belle? Hello, Belle...”
“Huh?” She suddenly looked up.
“Where did you go?” he asked, laughing. “You were out in space for awhile there.”
“I... um, I...” Belle trailed off, blushing.
As she cursed herself for letting go, even for a few seconds, he took her response to mean something completely different.
“You’re blushing, Belle,” he teased. He kissed her yet again, then leaned over to whisper in her ear. “Don’t worry... tonight will come soon enough.”
She almost sat bolt upright, but managed to contain herself. Tonight.
Oh, God. Tonight. Colin... tonight... Jason... everything was suddenly one enormous, tangled jumble in her head. How? Would she... could she? Her heart was already being pulled in two. How?