"Oh, it's you." Of course, I'd end up in an elevator with Jack Frost.
He merely rolled his eyes in return. What a jerk.
I glanced at the elevator buttons, seeing that the third-floor button had already been pressed. That meant Jack and I were saying on the same floor. How perfect; training hadn't even begun yet and I was already running into him.
I shook my head slightly, trying to focus on something else. Even Jack Frost couldn't ruin this for me. The chance to train with professional ice skaters was a dream come true. It didn't matter if Jack would be training here too. I needed to take advantage of this summer program to guarantee I do well in my competitions this coming school year. That, in turn, would ensure a scholarship to the College of Arendelle.
The elevator jolted to a stop, snapping me from my thoughts. There was no way this was actually happening. I glanced over at Jack who had a slightly fearful expression on his face.
Okay, no biggie, I pressed the emergency button on the elevator. Nothing happened. "How do we know if this button works?"
Jack rolled his eyes yet again. "You can't even work an elevator." He went over to where I was standing, nearly pushing me out of his way to push the same button I had just pressed.
"You're just doing what I did." I protested.
"Excuse me for making sure you had done it right." Jack grabbed out his cellphone. "I'll just call the front desk. Wait, crap, no service in here."
He thought I was the dumb one. I pointed up at the sign stating there was poor connection in the elevator.
"Looks like we're stuck here for a bit."
"Clearly." I felt my jaw clench as I sat down against the wall. It just had to be him. I was about to grab out my phone to play a game when I realized how weird Jack was being
He was still standing while staring intensely at the door.
"Do you think you can open it with your mind or something?" I scoffed.
I was surprised when Jack didn't offer some kind of sarcastic response. Instead, he just kept staring, biting his lip slightly.
That was when it dawned on me. "You're scared, aren't you?"
Jack finally tore his eyes away from the door, only to stare at the floor instead. "What is there to be afraid of?"
I shrugged lightly. "Oh, lots of things." I pretended to be pondering it. "The elevator cables could snap and we could plummet to our deaths for one."
Eyes wide, Jack glanced up, as if trying to see if the cables were alright.
"Oh, um, I was just kidding. I didn't realize you were actually this scared."
"I'm not." Jack crossed his arms.
"Yeah, keep telling yourself that." I rolled my eyes slightly before gesturing to the place on the floor next to me. "Sit down."
Jack shook his head. Always so stubborn.
"I don't bite. Sit down."
Reluctantly, Jack took the seat next to me. His eyes were still on the elevator door, however.
"Let's do something." I waited until he focused his attention on me before continuing. "Who knows how long we'll be in here."
"I'll pass," Jack replied with the shake of his head.
I felt my eyes roll yet again. This was going to be exhausting. "Oh come on. I don't like you and you don't like me but this is boring." In all honesty, it was just driving me crazy how scared he looked. "We're both going into the same profession so we might as well get used to spending time together."
"Lots of people ice skate." He began. "We may never run into each other again."
I huffed slightly in return. I could hardly even believe I used to be friends with this asshole. "Well, we'll be seeing each other for the next two weeks. Excuse me for trying to be civil."
I was sure Jack was going to respond with another annoying remark. However, a sudden gurgling sound caused Jack to glance up at the cables again. Suddenly, I felt like the asshole for putting that thought in his head.
I never liked fear. I tended to ignore the emotion entirely. Skating was terrifying. There was always the chance of making one little mistake and crushing every bone in your body.
Skating was also beautiful and elegant but it could take just as much as it could give. I guess that's why I liked it. It made me feel bigger than the fear that used to consume me.
Perhaps that was why looking at Jack as he sat there wide-eyed with his lips trembling that I felt a feeling I just couldn't ignore. I wanted to make him feel better.
"Okay, um, how about a throwback?"
Jack stopped glancing at the ceiling in order to look at me with an arched eyebrow. "A throwback?"
He made it so hard to help him. "Yes, a throwback," I repeated. "We used to play that one story game all the time. You know, the one where we take turns saying sentences?"
Jack rolled his eyes slightly, staring at me a moment as if to see if I was serious. "Okay, whatever. You start."
"Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess named Holly."
Laughter erupted from Jack and I couldn't help but smile as the fear left his eyes. "It's been, what, 6 years maybe, and you're still starting the story the exact same way." He smiled at me. "Why Holly? You could at least have picked a better name this time around."
"Holly is a great name." I declared, faking a glare. "Now add to the story."
Jack laughed again, rolling his eyes. "Okay, fine. Um, Holly needed to slay a dragon in order to become ice queen."
"Ice queen?" I laughed. "And you criticized me for naming her Holly."
"Shut up and add a sentence."
"However, that proved to be quite difficult considering she hadn't seen a dragon in many years."
Jack smirked. "Holly knew she needed to venture out of her kingdom if she wanted to pull this off."
I smiled. "That is why Holly asked her best friend, Polly, to help her on this journey."
"Polly?" Jack sighed dramatically. "You're the worst, Els."
A wave of sudden nostalgia passed over me and I felt my heart clench. "I never thought you'd call me that again."
I remembered the days when Jack and I would skate side by side: the days when we were skating partners. Back then I was naive enough to think he would always be my partner. I suppose that's why it hurt so much when he wasn't mine anymore.
"Me too." Jack smiled slightly before continuing the story. "So the poorly named Holly and Polly decided to start their quest in the enchanted forest."
"There they met a local dwarf."
"Naturally, they asked him if he had seen a dragon recently."
I could feel myself smiling as I continued with the story. "The dwarf only laughed as he himself turned into a dragon, shooting ice out of his mouth."
"It's supposed to be fire." Jack corrected.
However, I knew he was mistaken. "If she's going to fight a dragon to be ice queen then it should be an ice breathing dragon."
"Fine, fine." Jack laughed. "Well, Polly realized she could not help with this part and that it would have to be Holly."
"Some best friend." I scoffed. "Luckily, Holly was well prepared with ice skates built in her shoes."
Jack raised a brow slightly but didn't comment on it. "Holly was able to glide on the ice the dragon was shooting out."
"However, she quickly realized it wasn't working because she was used to skating with a partner."
I could tell Jack seemed confused about what I was doing. "A partner?" Jack thought a moment. "That is why she asked Polly to be her partner."
"That was when Holly realized her so-called best friend was already gone and off skating with someone else." I huffed, my tone becoming more annoyed.
Jack, too, seemed to be adding more emotion to the story. "Well, maybe that's because Holly didn't appreciate Polly enough."
"Oh yeah!" I felt anger course through my veins. "Or maybe it's because Polly just doesn't care about Holly all that much."
"That's ridiculous!" Jack snapped back. I hadn't realized how close we had gotten until he took a sharp intake. I couldn't help but notice our proximity as the sound hit my ear.
"Polly loved Holly!" Jack continued and I felt tears threatening to fall.
I glanced away. "No, Polly was all too quick to leave Holly when it seemed she wasn't a good enough partner anymore."
"Els." Jack placed his hand on my shoulder, waiting for me to turn back to him. All his previous aggression seemed to have melted away. "You were the best skater at our school, still are. I never thought you weren't good enough for me."
"Then why did you replace me?" I could barely get the question out, something I had been wondering for so long.
I had gotten sick for a week and hadn't been able to go to our skating lessons. When I finally did return I had walked in to find Jack gliding across the ice with Merida.
Merida and I had always had a healthy competition going for the best female skater at our school. It was at the moment I had realized she had won though. Jack thought she was better.
He had looked so happy skating on the ice with her. They had come up with a whole routine in the week I had been gone. It was like he had never needed me.
"I didn't replace you; you left me." Jack exhaled slightly, glancing at the wall of the elevator. "After you came back from being sick it was like you didn't want anything to do with me anymore."
"That isn't true." At least, I didn't think it was. He was the one who had kept skating with Merida, leaving me on my own.
"You started skating individually." Jack glanced at me, forcing my eyes to meet his. "And yeah, maybe I didn't exactly fight to skate with you again, but Els, you were so good on your own. You scored first in nearly every competition. I was holding you back."
"I wanted a partner." Skating alone had felt so terrifying at first. "I trusted you, Jack. You made me feel safe, confident." Learning to skate alone made me feel vulnerable, isolated. I had hated it at first.
I had gotten lucky though. My instructor still had me practice partner skating and then when high school started I was able to skate both individually and with a partner. Hiccup was no Jack, but we did skate well together.
"You seemed to do just fine without me." Jack scoffed. "Your boyfriend happily took my place."
It was like my eyes suddenly opened to a whole new perspective. While I was glaring enviously at Merida who was able to skate with Jack, had he been looking at Hiccups the same way?
"He isn't my boyfriend." I felt my lips widen slightly. "Instructor North said we would experiment with partners during this two weeks training session." My pulse quickened slightly. The idea of skating with Jack again made me feel too excited.
It was at that moment I realized what the hate I had felt for him all the years really was. I guess I always knew the line between love and hate was a thin one.
"Skate with me, Jack."
Jack glanced at shoes a moment before responding. "What about Hiccup?"
I heard myself laugh slightly as I realized I was being a wingman to Hiccup. That boy talked about Merida nonstop. "I think he'll be fine with skating with Merida. Besides, now is a good chance to see who we really skate the best with."
Jack glanced at my lips and for a moment I almost thought he'd kiss me. "I've always skated best with you."
"Prove it." I laughed.
Again, Jack stared at my lips. "Els…" His voice trailed off slightly as he leaned forward slowly. I knew he was giving me time to pull away if I wanted to; I didn't though.
I copied his motion and leaned in as well, our lips hesitantly coming into contact. It should have felt wrong to kiss him, especially after all this time. Instead, nothing had ever felt so right.
"I think Polly came back and skated with Holly." As soon as I said it I felt my cheeks redden. That was probably not what someone should say after a kiss.
Jack merely chuckled, seeming amused. "I know she did and then they slayed the dragon together making Holly the ice queen."
"Ice queen, huh?"
"That's what you've always been." Jack leaned in again, placing his lips on mine. He wrapped his hands around my waist, deepening the kiss.
I felt myself telling him how much I'd missed his company through the kiss and he was returning the favor. I began running my hands through his hair when a sudden noise caused Jack to jerk back.
The elevator door had opened and a mechanic of some sort was staring at us in amusement. "I was going to apologize for the wait." He chuckled slightly. "It seems you guys found a way to pass the time though."
My already flushed face seemed to burn even more. I was glad to see Jack also seemed flustered.
I grabbed my bag off the ground, shuffling past the worker. "Thank you," I mumbled.
He chuckled again as Jack and I walked past him.
As embarrassed as I felt, I couldn't help but smile. That last time I had skated with Jack was right before I had gotten sick and I hadn't even known it was our last day as partners.
Even if I wouldn't admit it out loud, I had wished every day that it wasn't actually our last day. I wished we'd get the chance to skate together again.
Glancing at Jack again, I smiled. I knew we were meant to be partners, maybe off the ice as well.
"Does this mean you'll unblock me on Instagram?"
I rolled my eyes slightly, punching Jack's shoulder. "Shut up."
Immediately, Jack stopped despite the fact we were in the middle of the hotel hallway. "Make me."
Just like that, we were making out in the middle of the hallway, the amused worker's eyes still on us. I didn't care though. At this moment, it was like everything faded away: it was just me and Jack together again.