Chapter 22

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"Are you really gonna do that?" Nelson asked, stopping the fork midway to his mouth.

"Yes!" Cris answered with a bright smile.

"Join me on my session?"

"Yep!" He nodded.

Nelson's expression of disbelief only grew. "Just to keep an eye on me?"

"That's right!"

"Even though you know the professional will be there by my side all the time so there's no chance of me... getting all worked up again?"

"Yes!"

"You know it'll be boring for you?"

"Probably!"

All this time, the smile hadn't left Cris' face. Nelson opened his mouth to say something else, but then he gave up, blushed, and averted his eyes.

"Thanks," he mumbled, focusing on his breakfast again. But through the corner of his eyes, he saw his manager's smile growing.

"You're welcome!" he exclaimed in an energetic voice despite how tired he looked.

Those are some dark circle under his eyes, Nelson thought, a feeling of guilty stabbing him. If I had freaked out 'cause of my lap yesterday, he wouldn't be worried and woke early today... I really rely on him too much...

"Thanks... for everything... and sorry for before," he mumbled again, staring at his food as if it was the most interesting thing in the world.

But even so, his curiosity on his manager was too much. Soon he was looking at Cris.

The manager had stopped smiling and was tilting his head with an intrigued expression.

"You're sorry for what?"

Damn it, Nelson thought, pressing his lips to stop his smile. He knows what I'm talking, but he's gonna make me say it anyway... "For freaking out on the tracks earlier..."

Cris' intrigued expression turned into a grin.

"No problem. Just doing my job. My it's hard to call it a job when I get to sit on top of you," he said, the grin turning sly.

Nelson couldn't help but smile too. But soon he stopped. No, Cris... you're not just doing your job... you're doing much more. He wanted to say that to his manager but kept quiet.

I've never seen a manager care so much for the athlete... It's rare for a manager to have this much contact with the athlete actually... normally the relationship is restrained to informing the schedule, answer calls regarding publicity, which is passed to the club, and organizing the materials during competition...

But for me, Cris... Cris is much more than just my manager... he's... what is he to me...? Nelson shook his head, not wanting to think about that at the moment.

"Yeah, I needed some tough love, but there was no need to throw me down like that," he complained, rubbing his back where Cris had sat. Then his fingers ended up where he felt a growing bulge and pulled his hand right away.

"Oh, no, no. That's where you're wrong, my dear athlete. That was totally necessary, not just fun." The manager chuckled and smiled with a condescending expression. "Every time you do something stupid or go off the right path, I'll be there to put you on your back and climb on top of you."

"Don't say in the worst way possible!" Nelson said in a hushed voice, looking around to make sure no one had heard his manager.

That made Cris laugh.

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