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Authors: Graysen Morgen

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BOOK: Crashing Waves
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"Thanks. I haven't checked me inbox yet. I'm hoping to sneak in a chat with a few other people while I'm here. Mainly, Adler Troy. I really don't want to fork out the money to buy her out of her contract, but she's the damn face of women's snowboarding. She could be the greatest investment I ever make."

"I definitely agree with you. She's at the top of her game and she's easy on the eyes too. Wait until you see her."

Rory huffed. "She's married, Martie. Keep your mind on business and out of the gutter."

"No she's not. I think I read somewhere that she got divorced recently."

"Either way, I'm not here to sleep with her. I just want her using our equipment and I want her name affiliated with my company."

Rory finally got off the phone and set up her laptop on the desk. She read the information from Martie, remembering that she had already received an email from Austin and had not responded to it.
Oh get over it, Rory. She's stuck on your past. There's nothing you can do to change it. Find her a trainer and move on.
"Well, I guess I could actually call her. Like that's going to help. Find someone for her and be done with it."  

 

~ ~ ~

 

Rory met with her riders first thing Saturday morning then spent the rest of the day watching the practice runs and prelims. She'd also had a few interviews and photo ops for several snowboard magazines as well as ESPN shots. At the end of the day, Byron drove her back to the hotel. Rory stood outside on her balcony staring out at the snow covered mountain. The way the moon shone down on the snow was breathtaking. Amidst a beautiful white covered backdrop, the only thing on Rory's mind was Austin and the gut wrenching idea of someone else training her.

The next day, Rory was on the mountain early to watch the qualifying for the Superpipe. A few of the riders who had contacted her company about sponsorships were standing nearby, awaiting their turn on the pipe. Rory had watched them all the day before, but she zeroed in on the only rider in her sights, watching as Adler Troy made her way over to the group with her long, curly blond hair flowing under her ski cap. She was beautiful, Rory couldn't deny that, but Adler Troy was a whole lot more than good looks. She was a fierce competitor, a star in her sport and a headstrong woman with a fire in her eyes that reminded Rory of herself many years ago.

"Excuse me, Adler? May I speak with you a minute?" Rory asked.

"Sure," Adler said, walking over to her.

"I'm Rory Eden, with Eden Boards," Rory stuck her hand out.

"Yes. Hi, I thought that was you. I saw you yesterday, I think."

"I was here, yes. I was hoping you and I could sit down and talk sometime before this weekend ends," Rory said.

"I'd love to. How about tonight?"

"That sounds great. I'm staying at the Premier Aspen Hotel. Would you like to meet there? I know there are a lot of spectators around town. I'm in a private suite."

"That's probably better than trying to go somewhere local." Adler smiled. "I can be there at six."

"Great, I'll have Byron escort you in when you get there," Rory said, nodding towards the man standing a few feet away.

"See you this evening then," Adler replied, walking back over to get in line for qualifying.

Rory went back to the bottom of the pipe to join the other spectators as each rider made three attempts at a clean pass down the pipe. She watched as Adler dropped in, carving across the bottom of the pipe to the other side into a back-nine, spinning nine hundred degrees, before landing and carving back across to the opposite wall. She maintained her height, staying at least ten feet out of the pipe as she did trick after hair-raising trick, all the way to the bottom. Rory cheered with the rest of the crowd. Adler Troy had qualified first with that run, to no one's surprise. She was on top of the world and at the top of her game.

 

Chapter Six

 

 

Rory spent the rest of the day talking with other sponsors and watching a few different events that she had riders participating in. She also made her way over to the snowmobile track to watch the daredevil guys doing crazy tricks and flipping four-hundred pound snowmobiles off the end of huge ramps. The adrenaline rush she got from just watching them was incredible. She could only imagine what the riders actually went through while performing some of those tricks.

True to her word, Adler arrived at six and Byron took her through the service entrance of the hotel and used the service elevator to sneak her up without the people in the lobby seeing her. Rory had already called ahead for a bottle of wine to be brought up which had arrived at her door at the same time as Adler.

"Come in," Rory said, waving her in as the waiter set the wine on the coffee table, opening the bottle and pouring both glasses. "I'm glad you could join me."

"Me too. I used to watch you surf when I'd catch it on TV and I've actually seen you surfing live a few times too," Adler replied, sitting down on the couch.

"Oh really?" Rory asked, taking a seat in the adjacent chair. "You do drink wine I hope."

"Oh, yes." Adler smiled, taking the offered glass. "So, yeah, I surf a little in the summer between traveling around chasing the snow. I always go to California for a few weeks. I have a little bungalow near Huntington Beach."

"Wow, yeah, I definitely surfed that area back in the day. So, are you any good at surfing?"

"Oh, no way. I can hold my own with the local cronies, but snowboarding is my passion."

"I can certainly see that, which is why I invited you here. I know Stephen Silver has spoken to you about what our company has to offer, so I won't go into all of that. You know as well as I do, that you're the face of women's snowboarding right now and my company is up and coming and fighting for the top manufacturer spot. I'm here to talk to you about what we need to do to join forces and make Adler Troy the new face of Eden Boards."

Adler smiled. "As I told Mr. Silver, I actually own a few Eden Boards and bindings that I've purchased personally. Don't get me wrong, my current board sponsor is great and so is my clothing sponsor and so on, but I do like the idea of having the entire package and being the best of the best and using the best equipment. Mr. Silver mentioned that your company is looking for a lot more than just a snowboard sponsorship, am I right?"

"Yes, we're looking at covering you one-hundred percent from your clothing to all of your equipment."

"This is exactly what I've been looking for, but I'm bound to multiple contracts," Adler said, sipping her wine.

"I'm well aware of those contracts," Rory sighed. "I've been in contact with all of those companies in regards to you and since you manage yourself, I'll tell you that they think I'm going to pay millions to get you out of those contracts."

"Oh my God, that's ridiculous."

"Yeah, you're telling me. I will keep working on it until something changes their minds I guess. On a good note, we still have a few weeks before the Olympics. So, hopefully we will figure out a way to have you on our boards and wearing our clothing line before then."

"Rory, I know your story and I really like the way your company operates. I try to live my life as green as I can, and I know your company does a lot of donating and things like that for the environment as well as for injured riders and their families. You're not in it for the money or the fame, otherwise you wouldn't be sitting here right now talking to me. You'd have some peon doing it. I respect that. I'd like nothing more than to be the face of the snowboarding side of Eden Boards. Who knows, maybe I'll figure out a way out of those contracts sooner rather than later."

Rory poured them both another glass. "Well, now that we have all of that out of the way, tell me about Adler Troy. What made you start snowboarding? I've never been on a snowboard, just so you know, but I'll deny it if you ever tell anyone. It probably doesn't look so good if the owner of the company can't snowboard," she laughed.

"Yeah," Adler laughed too. "I've been snowboarding all of my life. How about I teach you to snowboard and you teach me some of those surfing moves of yours?"

Rory felt the smile fade from her face. She thought of Austin and who might be teaching her surfing moves. She took a long swallow of wine. "Oh, I stopped surfing a long time ago. I'm afraid I don't remember many of those moves anymore," she replied. "But, I'd be willing to ride a snowboard, at least once." she smiled.

 

~ ~ ~

 

The next day, Rory watched different final events on the mountain, saving the best for last. She arrived at the superpipe in time to see the start of the women's half pipe final. Each woman took their first run down the pipe. Adler played it somewhat cautiously, moving down to second place with another rider, Amy Hendricks, sitting in first place. The women only had two runs and it came down to the final two. Adler dropped one of the best runs of her life, doing trick after trick flawlessly, moving down the pipe, throwing her hands in the air as she finished. Amy prepared to come down the pipe for her run as the crowd cheered loudly for the hometown favorite. Adler quickly unhooked her bindings, dropping her board in the snow as she ran over to the spectator line, pushing her goggles and helmet back. Rory was on the other side of the large crowd, but she watched, along with everyone else, as Adler threw her arms around someone, kissing them like a lover, causing the crowd to cheer even louder.

The final rider came down the pipe setting up for a great run as well, until her board slid out from under her on a landing, causing her to fall on her last trick. Adler had won another X Games gold medal. She ran over to hug the other riders and wait for the podium to be set up as the ESPN reporter caught up to her.

"First, let me say that was an awesome run. You have another gold medal for your wall and a fifth gold here at X Games," the reporter said into the microphone on live TV and over the loudspeaker for the crowd to hear. "Now, we all want to know who you ran to for a not so quick kiss when you finished your winning run." She smiled.

Adler looked back towards the spectator line. "That’s my girlfriend. I love her so damn much," she answered, smiling brightly. Seeing the shocking look on the reporters face, she continued, "I just came out, didn't I?" She grinned and laughed.

Rory's jaw hit the ground. That was definitely something she hadn't see coming. She watched as Adler received her medal and took photo after photo as she made her way through the crowd. She spotted Rory, waving her over.

"Rory Eden, this is my girlfriend, Dr. Cason Macauley."

"Cason, this is the woman I told you about, whom I met with yesterday."

"Oh, right. It's nice to meet you," Cason said, sticking her hand out.

"It's nice to meet you too," Rory replied. "So, it looks like you just stirred the hornet's nest," she said to Adler.

"Yeah, well, I told you I'd figure a way out of those contracts." She smiled. "Honestly, I've been through so much in the past year. I'm finally ready to live my life and be happy. I don't care what anyone has to say about that."

"That's great. You won't have any problems from me. You and I have a lot more in common than you think," Rory said, winking at her.

Adler raised an eyebrow. "I'm not sure I…" She looked at Rory, and then focused on the man standing a few feet away. "Isn't that your husband?"

Rory laughed. "God, no. He's sort of my security and driver all rolled into one, but very few people know about me and I'd like to keep it that way, at least for now anyway."

"Your secret is safe with me." Adler grinned.

"Good. Well, I'm sure you want to go celebrate your gold medal and everything else. Give me a call if and when it heats up, which I'm sure it will."

 

~ ~ ~

 

Cason watched Rory walk away. "I can't put my finger on it, but there's just something about her."

Adler laughed. "You better not be putting your finger on it," she teased. "I know what you mean. She's really down to earth and someone I could definitely see as a friend. I think it's because she's been in the game, you know what I mean? She was a pro surfer and had a horrible accident that just about killed her. I remember hearing about it all over the news. I guess you could say the person she is now it what was resurrected from the ashes when her career went down in flames. She told me she hasn't surfed since. That's sad. I couldn't imagine never having the drive to snowboard again. It would kill me."

"Maybe that's what it is. She's genuine and you rarely see that anymore, especially with business people. Most of them are money grubbing assholes, like your current sponsors for instance."

"Exactly," Adler said, wrapping her arms around Cason's neck. "Let's sneak away before those assholes find me. I'll deal with them tomorrow. Right now, I want to be naked with you by the fire."

"If that's how you want to celebrate tonight, then I have absolutely no problem with it whatsoever," Cason replied, kissing her softly.

 

~ ~ ~

 

Rory spent the next two hours, posing with her riders for a few more magazine photos, and taking them to dinner to celebrate. Afterwards, she met up with a few people she knew from On The Edge magazine for a drink at Club Chelsea. When she'd been asked what she thought of Adler Troy coming out, she simply shrugged and said it didn't bother her. She'd overheard one of Adler's sponsors, who'd had a little too much to drink, talking about Adler. She stepped a little closer in time to hear him say that she was done in the snowboarding world because no one wanted a dyke representing their company. Rory left the club with a smile on her face.

Martie had called Rory's cell phone while she was at the club and left her a voicemail, so she'd returned the call when she got back to the hotel.

"Hey, Martie Mouse, I just got your message?"

"It's two thirty in the morning, Rory. Where the hell are you?"

Rory laughed, knowing her best friend was probably just getting home as well.  

"I went out for drinks with a few of the other sponsors and ran into some people from On The Edge. I had to celebrate. Did you watch the snowboard superpipe finals?"

BOOK: Crashing Waves
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