Out of Bounds (The Summer Games #2) - R.S. Grey Page 0,1

way. The view of the dilapidated apartment complex and our less than savory neighbors was better left to the imagination.

The internet browser was already pulled up on the computer as I took a seat; I’d been looking at my bank account the night before and had forgotten to close the tab before heading to bed. Even though I tried to avoid it, my eyes still caught on the account balance frozen on the screen: $467.32.

I closed the tab, ignored the dread filling my stomach, and typed Erik’s name into the Google search bar. I was curious about my new coach.

It wasn’t hard to find information about his gym, Seattle Flyers. It was one of the most well-known training facilities in the nation. There were articles highlighting Seattle Flyers’ rise to notoriety, the gymnasts Erik had coached, and the type of training one could expect at his world-class facility. Yet, there was hardly any information on Erik himself.

I gathered from a Wikipedia page that he was 29, unmarried, and an ex-gymnast. Beyond that, there was nothing.

I clicked over to the images page, expecting the same result, but sprinkled in among photos of his gym, I found a single professional headshot dated back a few months. I clicked to expand the image and the moment his face filled my screen, my gut clenched and I tightened the towel across my chest. I’m not sure what I’d been expecting—maybe someone more similar to the grizzled Soviet-era coaches I’d had growing up—but the man I saw staring back at me made my stomach clench and my heart pound a heavy rhythm against my breastbone. I let myself linger over his features, inhaling his ink-black hair and sharp jaw before settling on a pair of blue eyes that seemed to reach right through the computer screen and see me, alone and naked, still wrapped in my towel from my shower.


I exited out of the page so fast I nearly broke the mouse, and then I stared at the blank computer screen, trying to slow my heart. When I blinked, I could still see the remnants of his face burned into my vision. His appearance was shocking, unnerving. I tried to shake away the feeling, repositioning myself on the chair and adjusting my towel.

Igor had explained that I needed to book a ticket for Seattle, that I would be leaving in two weeks to train with Erik, but after seeing him, I wanted to protest. Surely they’d made the wrong choice. He was too young, too handsome, too much.

Voices outside the apartment window drew me out of my thoughts and I loosened the fist I had clenched in my lap.

What does it matter that Erik looks like that? A coach was a coach, and if the Gymnastics Association had picked him to take over for his dad, then I’d trust them.

As if to further drive home that point, I had an email waiting for me in my inbox from a representative of the Association. There was an information packet attached that was generic and short. It outlined where we would be training in Seattle and what kind of accommodations Erik would have for us. I skimmed through the packet briefly; the only detail I paid close attention to was the date and time I was supposed to arrive in Seattle.

June 29th at 2:00 PM.

I looked up flights to Seattle-Tacoma, and the only options that fit the itinerary were completely out of my budget. Way, way out of my budget. My only option was to book the earliest, cheapest flight of the day, which would put me in Seattle at 8:30 AM. I booked the early flight and then clicked the hyperlinked email address I’d found in the information packet. My hands shook as I typed, though I tried to convince myself they didn’t. This would be my first interaction with my new coach and for some reason, I wanted to come across as mature and confident. I wanted to impress him.

To: EricWinterSeattleFlyers

From: BrieLWatsonGmail

Subject: Early Arrival


My name is Brie Watson and I look forward to training with you this summer. I’ve just received word about your dad and I’m very sorry to hear he is sick. I’ve only had the honor of working with him a few times, but he is a wonderful coach. I’ll keep him in my thoughts, as well as you and your family.

I know you must have a lot on your plate, but I just read the information packet and saw that I