Cal looked out the window at the night sky. They were on their way to Norway for their first official game as the United States Hockey Team. Most of the players were asleep. She was alone in her section, and had her overhead light on so she could go over some of the charts that Doc had given her. Cal could hear some of the players whispering from their seats behind her. She looked over her shoulder to find OC and Silk leaning over a sleeping form with something in their hands.
Coach Brooks, Coach Patrick, and Doc were all sleeping several rows up. Cal shook her head at the antics of the young men. She was going through Buzz Schneider's chart when chaos broke out. There was a loud thump, and an angry voice.
"Damnit OC, I'm trying to get some sleep." the man said loudly. The other guys started snickering. Cal heard shuffling about, and a figure wrapped in a blanket loomed up beside her to sit in the seats next to hers. He was grumbling, and seemed seriously annoyed. She was amused to see Jimmy Craig huffing into the seat next to hers. He looked at her through bleary eyes, and looked sort of pathetic. The other guys were openly laughing at him now.
"You have tape in your hair." she told him with an amused smile on her face.
He sat up quickly, looking back at his teammates with a scowl on his face. "Funny, real funny guys!" he yelled, his face turning red. This outburst caused the guys to start laughing even harder. Jimmy slumped down in the seats.
Cal sighed and reached over, pulling the tape out of his hair. The dark brown locks were soft and silky to the touch. His sulky blue eyes stared at her. She gave him a half smile, "I'm sure they were just trying to have fun, and keep from being bored." Her fingers burned from where they brushed his forehead, and she pulled her hand away quickly.
"Get some sleep." she told him and went back to her charts.
It took her several minutes to be able to concentrate on her work. The attraction to Jimmy Craig was unexpected. She'd never really been into athletes. The roughest sport Andrew had played was tennis, and that was mainly to network with his business associates. Cal sighed, she was going to have to work through this before she ended up making a fool out of herself.
Cal watched the team skate along the ice. She winced as two players crashed into each other. They were not playing to the best of their abilities. It was almost like they were distracted, and not being as serious as they should be. Cal thought they were treating the game like a college game; not quite on the same level as they should for the Olympics.
Behind her, she could hear some of the guys talking about blonde spectators, and the dates they had arranged after the game. Cal saw Herb's lips tightening, and knew he wasn't pleased at the inattentiveness of his team.
After what seemed to be a lifetime, the game ended in a tie three to three. The boys had started to skate off the ice, all the while laughing, when Cal heard Coach Brooks speak to Coach Patrick. "Get a whistle."
She saw the looks of surprise and trepidation on the boys faces as he called them back out onto the ice. He was telling them that teams that tied didn't win against the Russians. The players were racing between goal lines, their muscles starting to strain. Cal stared with a grim look on her face. Doc and Craig were muttering, and she could tell they weren't happy with Herb's actions. Perhaps now, she thought, perhaps now they'll figure it out.
"Again." Herb called, and the whistle blew. It seemed to go on for an interminable amount of time. The rink custodian had shut off the lighting, and still Herb kept them working. Several of the boys had fallen, and were coughing, close to choking. Their faces were red, and sweating profusely. "Again."
Cal was about to intervene, knowing that while some of the strenuous exercise wasn't dangerous, too much was, when Mike Eurizione spoke.
"Michael Eurizione," he gulped, trying desperately to catch his fleeing breath. "Winthrop Massachusetts."
"Who do you play for?" Herb asked, his eyes narrowed in contemplation.
"I play for..." Rizzo was paused, still catching his breath, " The United States of America."
Cal saw something enter Herb's eyes, and he dismissed them.