The music began; as did we ... The voice of Mr. Armstrong is raspy, but melodious. Our (Ken/Julie) routine was the same, doing simple steps, but did them very well. Our early triple, a Salchow was as perfect as we knew how. The death spiral was not the hardest, but it was our best ever. We ended with a new move. I picked her up and pinned her to my waist, and I did a variant of a sit spin, with her legs sticking out behind me. With each revolution I made, she came off my waist and ended up above my head as the music ended.
The crowd loved it. Socco was a little worried, but her smile said that we pulled it off. We bowed and curtseyed to the judges, then waived to the crowds who now loved us.
We headed to the Kiss and Cry area satisfied that all went well. After seconds of anticipation, the judges awarded our originality with the best scores of the night. As long as I don't tell anyone that I thought of this while making love to Julie.
We stepped away, and Kimmee was so happy ... she was crying. "Was that supposed to look like you were making lo... ?"
"Sssh," I said. "Yes, it was!"
"Can I learn that move?" she continued with a wicked smile.
"Not for a few years. It's kind of a grown-up move," I said.
Kimmee giggled and gave me a kiss on the lips. I put her down. After the last skaters finished, we were in second place, with USA Pairs ready to sweep this event in two days.
They were calling our move 'the Richards Lift' as the people left for the night. I wasn't intending to have it named after me, but sometimes there are unintended consequences.
The next evening was a long night, starting with the Ice Dancers SP routines. When it was all over, the two American couples were stagnant in sixth and ninth.
The Ladies Free Skate was next. Despite a fourth in her Free, Juliana Cannarozzo ended up winning first place, with a Japanese and South Korean coming in second and third. Molly had a good Free Skate, just not good enough.
Lastly, the Men took the ice. Elliot Halverson, who was in first place had a messy landing on his triple toe loop and tumbled to fourth in the Free, but ended up in third place beating a Canadian by only four points. Stephen Carriere, another American, placed first with a Japanese skater in second.
The long night was over. Kimmee was asleep in my arms, as we got in the rental and went to our hotel. I asked Julie to change her into sleepwear and we all went to bed, exhausted.
The final evening started with the ice dancers. The Americans performed early and pretty cleanly. The Russian couple was so much better than anybody else, it hardly seemed fair. He was 17 she was 18 ... they finished first, with Canadians second and another Russian team in third.
Leaving Kimmee with the moms, Jules and I found a quiet space and visualized our 'Papa' routine. We touched foreheads and I said, "Win this or not, know that I love you more than anyone loves that special person in their lives. Are you ready?"
"Damn straight," she said giving me a kiss for luck. We were first out of the box tonight -- Clean ice and clean slate!
Our draw was called out for ice warm-ups and there was a big crowd of people with American flags in their hands ... those little ones.
I had removed the piano solo before the song began. We were 15 seconds under the limit. 'Badonkadonk' showed we could wrap ourselves inside our music, the 'Superman theme' showed we could innovate. This piece will show ... we can skate.
The rest of them cleared the ice, we stayed put.
"Performing to Nina Simone's heart-wrenching rendition of 'Papa, Can You Hear Me?' is America's favorite Pair Skaters, Julie Satawa and Ken Richards!"
I raised my hand.
We skated to her singing, and we performed side-by-side Choctaw turns. Not usually done in Pairs. We went straight to our outside edge Death Spiral, coming out of it precisely when we wanted. We went on to our usually difficult step sequences, the entire length of the ice, doing crossover stepping to get up the speed for our side-by-side double Axels, following it with mirrored Layback spins transitioning into our opposite direction camel spins.
Our Richards lift was next, coming out of it to scratch spins, again side-by-side. We finished cold with the music.
Our first deep breaths in over four minutes were to a standing ovation. Only the judges were sitting. We waved to all and skated over to the K&C area.
After an interminable length of time, we score over 100 points, putting us not only in first, but a good deal as well. Ten skaters to go ... how I hate waiting!
Kimmee had me pick her up, and she gave me an open kiss on the mouth. It surprised me, and Jules saw it.
Nearly a half-hour later, only one pair passed us, USA skaters Keanu McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker. We got a Silver medal, enough to guarantee us a spot in the finals in Bulgaria in three months. We did sweep the podium.
All in all, we got six medals out of the twelve given out ... a good week's work.
The next Grand Prix event we attended was in Oslo Norway. Not needing to medal gave us an opportunity to try some new routines on the international Judges.
In Oslo, we did our SP to 'I'm a Survivor' by Reba. It got great scores; our Free was 'The Prayer' by Josh Groban and Charlotte Church. We came in fourth.
In Taipei City, we danced our Short Program to 'You Light Up My Life' by Debby Boone and our Free was 'Badonkadonk, ' which they loved, and we came in third.
Next up were Kimmee and my turn as partners. After we arrived in Liberec in the Czech Republic, Socco found us some ice to practice at. 'Young at Heart' was still in good shape, but we needed to tighten up the routine to Shania's 'Man! I Feel Like a Woman!' Kimmee was stressing, and her skating reflected it. I pulled her aside from our group and said, "I'm not sure how to motivate you, but maybe I could tell you how beautiful you look in the outfit. You look thirteen years old!" I gave her a nice kiss. I heard her take an intake of breath as she grabbed my hand, and we skated out to center ice.
I raised my hand.
Her butt looked almost as good as Jules as we performed this for a second time. Her expressions were better, her edges were really good, and we finished with me throwing her to a throw triple Axel, which she hit ... perfectly!
Three days later Kimmee shocked the world and me. We came in fourth and qualified for the Finals in Bulgaria. I had Socco check on that and there was not any regulation against it. There would be no way of knowing in advance if I skated with both girls in the same draw or not.
If there weren't rules against it, there would be soon enough.
Kimmee and I had no more prepared routines. I told her the problem and she just said, "How about 'Holloback Girl' for our SP and the 'Ice Castles Theme' for our Free?"
"Do you know all of our routines?" I queried.
"Yeah, is that a problem?" she questioned.
I laughed and said, "You must have a photographic memory."
"I do seem to remember whatever it is I see done," she said.
With her hands on her hips, Julie asked, "and what are WE performing to?"
"Donna Summers 'Hot Stuff' will be our Short and our new routine to 'Like We Never Loved at All' by Faith Hill and her hubby Tim McGraw will be our Free!"
We practiced for two solid days, and then took two days off to rest. I needed to use the same outfit, in case we are in the same draw.
I could be very busy these next five days!
The Grand Prix finals were in Sofia Bulgaria starting on Thursday, December Seventh, 2006 and going through the Tenth. They were being held in the Winter Sports Hall.
The first night of Finals was the Men's Short Program. Of the eight, five were from the USA, and our guys had a wide broom, sweeping the top five positions.
That same night was the Ice Dancing compulsories. The two USA couples were in second and third when it was over.
Pairs started the second night; fortunately, I was in two separate draws, first with Julie then with Kimmee. The first draw included four of the five USA teams. The second draw was Kimmee and I, two Russian teams and a lone Canadian Pair.
In the first draw, Julie and I were last.
We were announced and went out to center ice hand-in-hand. I raised my hand.
We broke two different directions meeting up fifteen feet behind where we started as the disco beat of 'Hot Stuff' with Miss Donna Summer singing.
The crowd was into it in a big way, as everything we did was big and broad. Our early triple throw landed on the beat perfectly, and our final triple Axel ended cold with the music and the routine in the classic 'Saturday Night Fever' pose. They crowd got up as one person and made tons of noise. We bowed to the judges and waved to all of our fans. We got a great score, over 90 points, putting us in second place.
The ice was resurfaced. The second group went out to warm up. Kimmee grabbed me tight as we found a corner to warm up in.
"Sis, you may be only nine years old, but you can be a star tonight. How does that sound to you."
"Bitchin," was her answer
We were asked to clear the ice, and my little sister and I were first to perform.
I raised my hand.
We started with her skating around me two complete times, and then took my hand as she wrapped her arms around me, and we began to skate. We didn't have too much difficulty in the first half of this. There were some nice step sequences and some mirrored single toe loops that were pretty good. I took her and we did a mobile waltz move, usually used by the ice dancers. We picked up some speed, and I readied our throw triple Axel. Our speed was good as was our handhold, and I ramped up and threw her.
Usually a pair skater goes about 12 feet in the air before she lands. It wasn't a gust of wind, but she stayed up enough to make our throw triple Axel, a quad ... with a perfect landing, 20 feet away. We were done, and she cried as we embraced to cheers and applause unheard of in ice-skating. She got it together as we bowed to the judges and waved to the crowd.
Kiss and Cry took on a whole new meaning. Going into the routine, I would've been satisfied with a good clean routine, but we got 133 points! My little sister and I! The quad won't be recognized because we were expected to do a triple. Julie has got to be pissed at me right about now.
Sure enough, when all was done, Kimmee and I were in first. Jessica Paetsch and Jon Nuss were second and Julie and I were in third. You know that by next season, the by-laws of the ISU will be changed to keep this from happening.
Anyway, the Ladies were next, again with five Americans in the field of nine. At the end of the night, we were in a position to sweep the medals in this category.
Back at the hotel, Kimmee was so excited.
"We're in first place ... can you believe it Julie? Kenny and I are in first place. My gosh, I can't believe it!"
"Mom, can Kimmee sleep in your room tonight? Julie and I need some personal time together?"
She saw the glances between Julie and me, and nodded acquiescence. Kimmee may have understood what was going on, but showed compliance anyway. I gave her a kiss for her marvelous skating.
I took Julie by the hand, closed and locked the connecting door.
"I suppose you think you can charm me back into your good graces, Kenneth Richards!"
"I thought we were a couple on and off the ice, Julie. It's been too long, but I think we're overdue for a romp between the sheets, my dear," I said taking off my shirt, socks and shoes.
I went over to her and took off her blouse and skirt. I went down and un-strapped her shoes and slid them off her. I stayed there and put my hands on her panties and panty hose.
She put her hands on mine, and together we got her naked from the waist down. She took off her half-slip and bra, causing her to be nude.
I stood, and she went down and unbuckled my belt and pants. She removed them and my boxers causing me to be naked. I saw her take my almost totally erect penis and she licked the tip.
With her hand still on me, I crawled up on the bed, and she began the most loving blowjob that she had yet given me. I was enjoying this so much ... I came without telling her and she got it all in her mouth, then swallowed it and smiled at me. She lowered herself on my still hard erection and the look on her face was angelic.
I came inside her three times that evening. We made up, and I promised that I wouldn't let Kimmee fall in love with me. At least to the point, that we wouldn't do anything more than the occasional kiss after a routine.
After a marvelous 10 minutes in the shower, we changed into some casual clothes, and, after knocking first, we entered together. Kimmee rushed past us into the room.
Fifteen minutes later, she was showered and changed coming back in. She went over to Julie and asked to speak to her privately. They went into our room and came back out crying and holding hands.
"Is everything all right between you two?" I asked.
"Yup!" they said together.
"Tonight is the Short Program for the Ice Dancers and the Free Skate for the Men and Ladies," I said.
"Do we need to practice today?" my little sister asked.
Everyone looked at me, so I said, "Hell no ... we're about to do something that will likely never happen again in our lifetimes. Let's enjoy ourselves today!"
Kimmee, Julie and I took a leisurely cab ride with a cabbie that spoke very good English. He drove us to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, which was jaw dropping beautiful. He showed us the Boyana Church, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The National Archeological Museum, built around the late 1400s, was also on our 'tour.' The final place we went was the National Museum of Military History. There were tanks, aircraft, and vehicles of all ilks are to look at. Vladimir, our cabbie, refused payment. He was a fan of ours. Each of the girls gave him a nice hug after he took us back to our hotel.
After a light meal, we all went back up for a rest. Kimmee, who should have been all worn out, was being fidgety.
"You know what, Kimmee? Now that I have a little sister, I can read her bedtime stories. But they are only interesting if everybody is laying down and resting."
"You know bedtime stories Kenny?" she said with a twinkle in her eye.
"That's OK, I guess I'll have to wait until Julie and I have our own babies," I said trying my best to sound disappointed.
"Kenny, I'm sorry. Let me change into something more comfortable," my sister said.
I stepped out so both girls could change. Mom came up to me and asked, "You will make a marvelous father. Are you telling her the Soup Princess story?"
"Only one I can remember. I suspect she will be asleep quickly," I hoped.
"Come in!" I heard both girls say.
I walked in, and took off my shirt, socks and shoes. Kimmee covered her eyes.
"Don't worry, little one. He was just getting comfortable," Jules said to her. Kimmee peeked out between her fingers and said, "Isn't my big brother a hunk?"
I blushed a little and lay down and started the story.
"Long, long ago, in a kingdom far away, lived the beautiful Princess Effy, who lived with her widowed father the king in a palace on top of a hill.
Effy was just as a princess should be, beautiful, clever, polite, a little smaller than most girls her age and maybe just a little stubborn (if she felt she wasn't getting what she wanted), and there was one thing she wanted more than anything in the world ... more than her five white horses ... more than her 20 silk dresses ... even more than her 50 pairs of hand-made shoes ... SOUP!"
(Both girls giggled)
"The beautiful Princess Effy liked soup ... no ... she LOVED soup ... vegetable soup, meat soup, thin soup, thick soup, hot soup, cold soup, spicy soup, bland soup, cream soup. (Well you get the idea).
Now no one really knows why Effy liked soup so much – but many say it was because of what happened to her when she was a little girl."
(Kimmee looked worried, Julie took her hand)
"Effy had sneaked out of the palace and was playing on a frozen lake nearby ... as she played, she slipped, and fell through some thin ice, into freezing water.
(Kimmee started to cry, Julie calmed her down)
She would have drowned too, if two little boys, who dragged her to safety, hadn't saved her.
(Kimmee said "Yippee!")
The three would have become great friends, but the boys began arguing (totally ignoring the shivering princess) and before the princess could thank them, she was rushed back to the palace and given a pot of soup to keep warm.
As she ate that soup she thought of the two boys that had saved her and enjoyed the soup VERY much ... ever since that day, she would have soup whenever she could.
The years passed by and as it approached her 21st birthday, the King thought – as Kings often do – turned to the marriage of his only daughter and finding a suitable prince for Effy."
I looked over and saw Kimmee's eyes closed. Julie mouthed, 'I love you' as we all fell asleep.