The Promise

She steps off the ice, her legs like jelly, collapsing gratefully on a bleacher to unlace her skates. She has to go to school, but she’ll be back in far too few hours. At this rate, her coach’s punishing training schedule will kill her before the competition can. But he’s the expert.

He’s also merciless. He forgot ages ago what exhaustion feels like. And pain. And love.

She shoulders her bag and drags herself to the bus, glaring at the shadowy figure sailing above the ice who promised to make her a champion. It’s impossible to please the dead.

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