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All characters are at least 18 years old except where is stated otherwise. There is no sex in this chapter so be advised. Thanks for reading.
The August heat beat down on the varsity football team of the Carter High School Wildcats as they jogged their way around the track.
“Keep it up guys!” Coach Yates yelled as he jogged along with the lead pack of kids.
“Yes Coach!” The kids shout back.
“Come on guys, let’s show’em that first team leads the way!” Patrick Green the starting quarterback barks from the front of the pack. He gets another chorus of cries from his teammates and the pace increases.
“Easy to lead when this isn’t your second practice of the day,” I mutter under my breath from my second place position.
Antoine “Tank” Adams finds himself drifting back, sweat pouring off his bronze skin and his breath coming in painful gasps. Tank had put on about forty pounds of muscle over the summer to bulk up to try and win the defensive captain spot this year. Now he was now feeling the extra weight dragging him down under the hot August afternoon sun.
I notice that he’s not looking so great and start dropping back with him.
“You doing all right big guy?” I ask.
“Jake?” He asks surprised to find the usual “number two” guy not in that position. “I… I just can’t… keep… up.”
“With all that muscle you added over the summer, I’m not surprised. I’m already regretting when we slap the pads on and you light me up.”
“I’ll… try and… go easy… on you.”
“Less talking, more running!” Coach Jim Yates yells as we pass the coaches.
“Notice how he didn’t say anything to Captain Wonderful when he opened his mouth,” I point out to Tank.
“Can’t… yell at… his meal… ticket,” Tank answers.
“Don’t I know it. All he yelled about at practice this morning was how a winning season would break records. Like any of us on second team will be any part of it.”
The main pack has pulled ahead of us by a decent margin already and soon the coaches are going to take notice.
“Hey, is it cool if I hang back with you? I could probably catch up with Mr. Wonderful and pass him with ease but if I did that after a two hour practice already under my belt today Coach would test me for steroids.”
“Hell, I think… I’d like to… see you… do that. Thought you wanted to be… the stud QB this year?”
“Have you seen that fucker smile? He already has an agent signing him up for toothpaste commercials and car dealership ads. There’s no way I’m going to be the guy with him around.” I say looking to the front of the pack where Captain Wonderful aka Patrick Green is putting distance on them with each step.
“Fuck… don’t make… laugh… man…”
Coach Pennington, the defensive coach, noticed as his star middle linebacker had started struggling and was falling pretty far behind the pack of runners. When Antoine showed up this afternoon for the first team practice, he was worried about the kid. He looked like all he did was hit the weights all summer. Apparently, he forgot to work on his cardio though. Coach Pennington started jogging to catch up to the faltering pair of kids that were letting the main pack get further away. He was surprised when he found the back up quarterback jogging along with “Tank” as the kids called Antoine.
Jake Gibson was usually right on Patrick heels.
“Are you two doing all right?” Coach asks the two youths as he reached them.
“Sorry coach… I wanted to be… stronger… this year…,” Tank answers. He stumbles forward nearly falling over until I catch him.
The coach helps me keep Tank upright. “He needs some water.”
“I’m on it coach,” I state taking off across the field dodging the marching band practice and the cheerleaders like a halfback in the open field.
“Damn, I thought Gibson was slowing down because of all the running from this morning.” Coach Pennington says helping Tank take a seat on the bench.
“Jake’s pretty… good this year… huh coach?” Tank asks.
“Hell of a lot of stamina, that’s for sure. Patrick better keep his eye on him this year.”
Jessica Golden stood in the Carter High office going over her transfer papers with her mother and Principal Owens and hating every second of it.
“Everything looks to be in order here Ms. Golden.” He states looking up at the tall and pretty girl with pale blonde hair. “From looking at your records I can see that you will be a tremendous academic asset to our little school. Your GPA will put you near the very top of the senior class and I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention how you led your school to the state championship in volleyball last year.”
“It was a team effort sir but I’m looking forward to trying out for the team here and checking out your drama club.” Jessica answers politely. She loved playing volleyball for her old school in Charlotte but the drama club was a new interest, suggested by her father in the hopes that it would help her come out her shell a little.
“She’ll be an asset to bahis firmaları them all.” Her mother Dr. Victoria Golden tells him beaming with pride.
“Mom,” Jessica says in a lowered voice wishing her mother wouldn’t embarrass her.
“No, it’s fine.” The principal laughs. “It’s refreshing when the parents show so much interest in their children.”
While her mother and the principal talk Jessica walks around the office pausing at the trophy case. Each school sport seems to be represented but the football team has the most trophies. The past seven years the schools program has produced the state champion.
“We’re very proud of our boys.” Principal Owens tells her when he mistakes her boredom with interest. “State champs for seven years running and if you don’t mind a little bragging I think we’re set for an eighth and a state record for Coach Yates. The kids love him.”
“I can tell the school is very proud of them.” Jessica says trying to sound like she cares. In her experience, most football players were mouth breathers who skated through classes because they played a game well. The ones who seemed to have a brain only used it to get alcohol, drugs or girls into their beds. The few football players she knew at her school had made sure that she wasn’t a fan.
“If you’d like to have a look at the team they’re down on the field now. The second practice of the day has “kicked off” so to speak.” He chuckles at his little joke.
“I’m good, thanks.”
“Other than volleyball, Jessica isn’t really interested in sports.” Her mother states while patting her daughters shoulder. She wished that she’d at least go have a look to show a little school spirit.
“Well maybe our boys can change your mind on that. They are a real fun bunch.” Principal Owen states.
On the way to their car Victoria notices Jessica glancing towards the stadium and smiles. “Jess, why don’t you head to the stadium to watch practice? I’ve got to run by the house, pick up your sister and go to the elementary school to fill out her paperwork.”
“I really don’t feel like checking out a bunch of mouth breathers, oh excuse me, I mean the “fun bunch,” She states making air quotes around “fun bunch.”
“You might make some new friends.”
“I don’t need new friend’s, mom.”
“Baby, we talked about this. I know this move has been hard on you but we…”
“Had to move because of Dad’s job, I know mom, I’ve heard this a dozen times but it doesn’t make this any easier.”
“I know baby and I’m sorry about that. The move has been hard on all of us.”
Jessica sighs. “I know mom and I’m sorry. I think I will head to the stadium and check out the marching band at least. They sound pretty good.”
“Okay baby, I’ll be back in about an hour unless you call me before then.”
Jessica nods and heads towards the stadium.
“You feeling all right now big guy?” I ask Tank after he takes another sip of water.
“Better. Thanks man, I appreciate it.”
“I just hope that you remember how kind I’m being next time coach has us play Bull in the Ring.” I jokingly say.
“I make no promises,” Tank chuckles.
“Tank, you feeling okay,” Coach Pennington asks as he joins them after Coach Yates sent the rest of the team to the showers.
“I’m better now coach.”
“We’ll work on some conditioning drills and get you back in shape in no time. If you had to do two a days I’d already have you halfway there.”
“Think you can make me as good as Ken here?” Tank asks.
Coach Pennington laughs. “I can give it a try. I need my star linebacker in tip top shape in time for the season.”
“I’ll be ready coach.”
“Jake, you’re free to hit the showers with the others if you want. Your two a days are officially over.”
“If I thank God for many more laps does that get me?” I ask.
Coach Pennington chuckles. “None from me but you’d better watch it around Yates. He’s hungry for that record setting season.”
“Thanks coach,” I say then turn to Tank. “You sure you’re all right big guy?”
“He’s being nice to me so I don’t knock his block off when we get to Bull in the Ring.” Tank jokes.
Coach smiles, “Sounds to me like you just volunteered to be the first Matador Mr. Gibson. I want to hear those pads pop when I call your number Tank.”
“You got it coach… I’m gonna miss you white boy.”
“Is it too late to go out for track, ya think?”
“You ain’t running track Jake; we need your arm on the team this year. Captain Wonderful is getting too damn cocky and it’s gonna catch up to him.”
“When he’s thirty and overweight maybe. Coach, if it’s cool with you I’m gonna run the steps for a while.”
“Glutton for punishment Jake,” Coach asks.
“Come on Coach, our band wins competitions and stuff. They can’t be that bad,” I joke before taking off towards the stands.
“Damn coach, what did you give that guy after practice this morning?”
“Other than the playbook and water, nothing special,” Coach Pennington answers. “He’s been doing a lot of kaçak iddaa running these practices, guess it is paying off for him.”
Jessica sits alone on the topmost bench but there are random groups of kids spread throughout the stands; some watching the football jocks whose practice looks like just broke up and others watching the marching band practice.
“Not bad huh,” a voice asks from behind her. She turns to find a handsome blonde haired boy flanked by a couple other guys, they all look freshly showered telling her that they’re all on the football team.
“Pardon,” She asks.
“I said not bad huh,” The boy repeats.
“The band’s pretty good,” She states and he just laughs.
“Sorry, I meant me.” Patrick Green states. “I’m Patrick, quarterback and the guy that led all the laps you just watched.”
“I’m here for the band but congratulations on leading the laps I guess.” She states already feeling annoyed at the intrusion.
Shelly Marsh is sitting with her friend Jody Mabe when she looks up and notices Patrick and his crew standing around a new girl.
“Hey, do we know her?”
Jody turns her head and looks. “I don’t think so, never seen her before but she’s in our lunch spot.”
“Should we go and save her from Captain Wonderful?”
“It does seem like it’s our solemn duty as Wildcats.” Shelly states and follows her friend up the steps.
“Hey,” Jody says stopping in front of the new girl.
“Hi,” Jessica answers looking at the stocky girl with dirty blonde hair and a orange and blue Wildcat t-shirt.
“Jody, we were talking here.” Patrick states.
“We could see that Patrick,” Shelly answers giving him a cold smile before turning back to Jessica. “Hi, I’m Shelly and this is Jody.”
“Hi, are you new here?” Jody asks.
“Hi Jody, yes I’m new here. My name’s Jessica.”
“Jessica, that’s a pretty name for such a pretty girl.” Patrick flirts. She blushes slightly at the handsome boy’s compliment.
“Thank you Patrick.” She says flattered despite herself.
“Hey Patrick, check it out.” Jamie Hicks, outside linebacker and friend of Patrick points to where Jake is running the stadium stairs. “Looks like your shadow is finally catching up to you.”
The group of guys all laugh as Jake reaches them.
“What happened out there Shadow? I expected you to finish right behind me as usual.” Patrick teases as he makes sure he gives Jessica his best smile.
“I guess I lost a step or two since last year.” I answer noticing how pretty the new girl is.
“That ain’t all you lost last year,” Jamie snickers.
“That’s bull and you know it Jake. You’re running the stairs after having two practices today. I saw you checking on Antoine. Is he all right?” Shelly asks butting in.
“Just a bit winded but Coach Pennington will have ready to lay me out when we pad up.”
“That’s gonna be fun to watch. Do you think he’ll play nurse once he knocks you out? God knows you’ll need someone to do it.” Patrick chuckles.
“He’ll have to take care of himself now that Jennifer has changed schools.” Jamie smirks as he makes a jerking off motion.
“Don’t be dick Jamie,” I warn him trying not to get into a fight in front of the new girl.
“Oh I’m a dick huh,” the larger boy says then angrily shoves me causing me to stumble backwards a couple of steps. “Do something bitch. Do something!”
I ball up my fist ready to punch that smirk right off his face but when I look at Shelly, she shakes her head. Jody is doing the same while the new girl just looks shocked at the turn of events.
“Fuck you Jamie,” I state then turn and head away from the group.
“Not likely, you fucking virgin,” Jamie shouts behind me but I don’t turn back. Their laughter chase me down the stadium stairs.
“You guys are such jerks.” Shelly says. She gets to her feet and goes down the steps after Jake. Jody gets to her feet to follow her but pauses and looks at Jessica.
“You should come with us Jessica.” She tells her.
“Jessica is fine with us, Jody. How about you walk us to my car and we can all go for a little ride around town? I’ll show you all the cool places to hang out.” Patrick says reaching for Jessica’s hand.
Jessica looks up at the attractive boy and gets to her feet. Patrick smiles his eyes drifting over her figure, already feeling himself fucking this hottie in the back of his Camaro.
“My mom should be back to pick me up so I should be going.” Jessica states. Patrick grabs her hand and gives her a smile.
“Well at least let us walk you over. I’d like to welcome her here too.” He states. Jody frowns as she watches the group walking away.
“Not a good call Jessica,” She thinks then hurries to catch up to Shelly and Jake.
“I am so fucking sick of them Shell,” I say while we watch from the field as Patrick walks away with the new girl.
“I know you are sweetie, believe me I know, but punching that Neanderthal will just get you beat up and they’d probably end up kicking you out of school for kaçak bahis it.” Shelly states.
“Some day’s it feels like it’d be worth it.” I tell her.
“Jessica left with them.” Jody announces as she joins them.
“Of course she did,” I sigh.
“Are you going to be all right Jake?” Shelly asks.
“I didn’t even know her name until Jody just said it, it’s not like I had…” I begin but stop when they start giggling.
“I meant the whole Jennifer thing.”
“Oh… yeah that,” I answer trying not to blush.
“Forget that, I want to know what your level of interest is in Jessica?”
“I’d like to know the answer to that as well.”
“I’d ask you both to drop it but I know that’s not happening.” I tell them.
“You know us too well and we’ll be sure to find out more about this Jessica girl too now that you’re showing interest, right Jody?”
“Oh definitely,” Jody answers with a giggle.
“Thanks, it’ll be nice to know more about who Patrick’s going to be flaunting over me for the foreseeable future.”
“I know things haven’t always gone your way Jake but give this one a chance. Maybe this time things will be different.”
“Those boys seemed awfully nice,” Jessica’s mom says as she drives them back home. “What were their names again?”
“The one doing all the talking is Patrick. He’s the starting quarterback apparently.” Jessica answers.
“He sure has a lot of teeth,” Sarah, her little sister announces. “I don’t like him.”
“The starting quarterback you say,” Her mom, ignoring Sarah, says. “He sure is a handsome young man and I’d guess pretty popular as well.”
“Not with everyone it seems but he sure knows that he’s handsome. There’s a reason I don’t date jocks.” Jessica states.
“Boys are icky,” Sarah adds.
Jessica smiles back at her little sister. “Agreed. When did you get so smart?”
“I take after my big sister,” Sarah answers and Jessica giggles at her cuteness.
“Did you know that your father played on the baseball team in high school? He looked so cute in his uniform.”
“I’m sure he did mom.”
“Did you meet anyone else while you were there?”
“A couple of girls came up to say “Hi” when Patrick and his crowd were talking to me. They were nice, the girls I mean. I wasn’t very impressed with those guys but I’m not looking for any dates. I’m just going to concentrate on my education.”
“Yes dear, I’m glad that you have your priorities straight,” Her mom states patting her daughter’s leg.
“You need to get your priorities straight son,” My dad tells me once I get home. “Football is the only way you’re going to college.”
“They don’t give scholarships to back up’s dad.” I argue back. “I’ve got a better chance at an academic scholarship than I do for football.”
“I thought you worked hard over the summer to get ready for this season?”
“I have but it’s not going to change a thing. Patrick’s always going to be the number one guy and I’m just his Shadow.”
“You can show them something in practice that could change their minds.” He suggests.
“All I’m showing them is how many laps I can run before I throw up or pass out.” I tell him.
“Well maybe this year’s gonna be your year.”
“Maybe so Dad,” I answer just to end the conversation but I’m thinking “Fat chance,” as I head to my room. I don’t know why dad thinks this year will be any different. Ever since kindergarten I’ve been in Patrick Greene’s shadow hence the clever nickname I earned from Patrick and his cronies back in middle school. I go over to the heavy bag I put up last year when I needed a way to work out my anger without getting in trouble and begin throwing jabs when I hear my dad shout from the living room “And think about getting a hair cut!”
First Day of School
“There she is,” Jamie states pointing towards the far end of the hall where Jessica just entered.
“There’s who,” Staci Daniels asks straining to see who Patrick and the others are looking at. Staci is a cheerleader with honey blonde hair and has been Patrick’s on and off again “girlfriend” since freshman year.
“The new girl,” Patrick tells her. “We met her yesterday after practice and I want.”
“I thought I was going to be your girl this year? We were going to do the whole Prom King and Queen thing.” Staci asks as she turns to size up this new girl.
“We can still have fun baby but we’re seniors this year and you know how our thing is. We both have fun whenever we can.” He states then points towards Jessica. “And that is going to be fun.”
Staci looks Jessica over, “She’s tall, not gorgeous, but pretty enough I guess,” She thinks as Jessica gets closer.
“Hey Jessica,” Patrick says. “Finding your way around all right?”
“Um, okay so far.” Jessica answers looking up from her schedule to see that Patrick’s smiling face.
“If you have any trouble, you just let me know.” Staci states giving her a big smile, “I’m Staci.”
“Hi Staci, I’m Jessica. It’s nice to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you,” Staci begins but Patrick cuts her off.
“What’s your first class Jessica?” Patrick interjects.
Jessica looks at her class schedule before answering, “Um, Room Two Forty Three, AP English with Ms. Simpson.”
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