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At least, Max tried to comfort himself, he had free time until Christmas to do what he wanted. 

He had half-hoped the deal with cologne-reeking Braham's catering would run into complications (or rather be off completely), forcing his mom to stay home for the holidays and fix stuff, that hope was in vain. His parents had done what they said they would do, and had booked the flight, the jeep, and a cosy apartment in Iceland. Max had looked it up on the map. Would there even be internet there? 

Max's watch beeped, indicating his break was over. 

With a sigh he got to his feet, placing his phone on the floor next to the pull up bar. Pulling himself up, he saw Percy, the girl from the Lounge6, looking. Or, admiring, more like. 

The corners of his lips tugging up, Max winked. Percy promptly turned beet-red and averted her gaze to the ground with a shy smile. Cute. 

Suggesting for Selene to bring girls interested in her wrestling club to his parents' hotel gym had been the best idea ever. To be honest, he hadn't expected Percy to actually go, especially since she'd told him she wouldn't, but it was a pleasant surprise that she did. 

Percy didn't need to fear being more out of shape than the rest of them either Max thought, grunting in effort as managed to get his chin above the bar again. 

While Percy wasn't particularly muscular, a few of the other girls looked like they had never seen the inside of a gym, ever. They huddled around the small 5 lb weights, giggling and discussing among each other what kind of things they were supposed to do with it. Selene's eyebrow twitched, but she managed to keep smiling, offering a brief explanation of possible exercises, pointing at the instructions which were pinned to the wall. 

Still, as Max hopped down from the pull up bar, Selene approached him with puffed up cheeks. She exhaled deeply. 

"They any good, Sel?" Max asked. "Are we looking at Ackerley's brand new winner and all female wrestling team?" 

"Beth is great," Selene replied, and Max assumed she referred to the only girl aside from Selene who was already able to do full triceps dips. "Lorraine and Savannah, too. As for some of the others..." Selene paused. "I have faith in these girls. They're willing to try, and they got themselves started. The first threshold has been crossed. Let's see if they can keep up. I won't go easy on them." 

"Truth," Max agreed. He could respect the girls for going to the gym. He'd heard it could be daunting to go for those out of shape.

"How about you?" Selene asked. "What's the damage on your polar expedition?" 

Max made his face scrunch up. "Don't get me started. I'm already bored out of my mind looking a the image of the apartment. But that's not the worst part. Cortés will be there." 

Selene raised her shoulders. "I can appreciate Axel. He gets what he wants with his goodie two shoes attitude - the captain title and people supporting him because he's nice. Doesn't work for everyone, but he pulls it off convincingly. Gotta be those big, Bambi brown eyes." 

"Ugh." Max exaggeratedly gagged. "Let's do something useful with our time. I'll race you on the treadmill. Come on." 

Selene just laughed at his expense, but she did follow. Max took the treadmill next to Micah who was already doing his cooling down and acknowledged him with a nod, and Selene took the treadmill next to his. 

"Gabrielle! Keep your back straight!" Selene yelled at a girl who was apparently named Gabrielle and was about to lift her way to a hernia. 

Max shook his head, setting the treadmill on a comfortable warm up pace. Selene would have a day job getting these girls in shape. But if anyone could do it, it was her. 

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