Fallen Fourth Down

Page 17

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Their shoulders dropped.

“Oh. Still. And didn’t he marry into a family who comes from old money too? Like he’s the poor one in the marriage?”

“Yeah,” I flashed her a hard smile. I don’t do personal. “They’re divorced and he’s now engaged to a psychopath. Again, I do everything opposite of my dad. We don’t get along.” Drop it. I wanted her to get the message without saying it.

Matteo cleared his throat. He gave me an uneasy grin, then patted her on the hip. “We should get going. Lunch later?”

She broke eye contact with me and turned to face her man. They moved to the side as they said their farewells, leaving Drew and I alone. I felt his perusal and sighed. “Yeah?”

He was grinning. It widened at my question and he shook his head. “You really hate your old man, huh?”


“Me too.”


“Yeah. He banged three of my girlfriends from my first two years here. The last one was the worst because I actually loved her.”

“Shit.” I grimaced.

“And he likes to act like he and I are the best of buddies. Your old man know how much you hate him?”


He nodded, a tone of respect in his voice, “You got balls, Kade. I knew you had them before, but that’s cool.” He pointed to the couple, who were kissing. Their mouths were opened and tongue was being shared. “If we don’t break them up, he’s going to take her back to the house. He’ll skip class for her. The guy is nuts about her.”

“What do you suggest?”

“A rough extraction.” As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he moved forward. Grabbing Matteo around the shoulders, he propelled him forward, away from Georgie. They protested, but Drew flashed her a grin. “Sorry, Georgie. You two can bang later. We’ve got a class and your man has to go, or Coach will not be happy with us.”

She started for them, but Drew kept moving Matteo forward. I jetted forward, blocking her with my body. She stopped and her mouth fell open. “Hey.”

“Sorry.” I looked down at her. “Drew’s the boss on the field and off. I gotta do what he says.” Then I heard Drew call out, “Kade.”

I started walking backwards and said again, “Sorry.”

Her hands went to her tiny hips and she rolled her eyes. “Whatever. You two are on my shit list for interrupting, but you’re lucky I have my own stuff to deal with today.” I kept moving after my teammates. She raised a fist in the air, laughing, as she called out, “Do you hear that, Drew? You’re victorious for today, but make no mistake. I will prevail. I will make out with my boyfriend one of these days.”

A girl with almost white blonde hair came up to her and watched us leave. “For real? He didn’t even try to come and talk to me?”

Georgie turned towards her friend, but we were too far away to hear anymore. Matteo didn’t say anything. He didn’t seem to mind. We went to our classroom in silence again. Walking up behind them on the steps, I sensed the comfort between the two. It reminded me of Logan and me, except Logan would’ve made a bigger spectacle than those two did back there. At the thought of it, I couldn’t wipe a grin from my face. Then we got in the classroom and it faded.

The room was small, packed with chairs with fold-up desks, and the only three that were open next to each other were in the front row. All the chairs were side by side, separated by one aisle down the middle of the room.

Drew turned to us, then looked at the chairs.

Matteo shrugged. “Whatever, man. I’m not getting split up.” He plopped down first, taking the middle chair. When we began to sit in the other two, he held up a hand. “Hold on, mofos.” Reaching over, he folded his desk up. It wouldn’t lay flat. His stomach was in the way so he groaned, but folded it back down. “I had to try.”

Drew laughed, took the seat on his right, and folded his desk up. “You can share mine.”

“I’m bringing a lap tray with me. I should’ve remembered from last year.”

I took the seat on his left. A girl was beside me. As I brought up my desk, she leaned over so it wouldn’t graze her arm and went back to typing on her laptop. It wasn’t long before the professor came in, wearing a grey business skirt and a loose buttoned down pink shirt with her hair pulled up in some bun. She paused as she took us in. She was young, probably early thirties. Pressing her lips together in a flat line, she grunted and walked to the aisle between the two groups of desks. There were a bunch of students behind us. All three of us remained silent. We knew we were blocking their view.

The professor moved back so she was right in front of us. She waved a finger in the air. “Something’s not going to work here.”

Drew shared a grin with us.

Soft laughter filled the room at her statement.

Drew said, “We got in last. What can we do?”

“You three don’t have to sit together.” She scanned the room. “I see a couple other empty chairs. Gasp. Shudder. The football team might have to sit apart for once.”

Drew frowned. “We’d rather not.”

“I’m gathering that.” Her hand rested on one hip, the other went to scratch behind her ears. “You three are going to have to split up. I won’t have nine other students sacrifice seeing the board for your comfort levels.”

Matteo grunted. “We’re not comfortable, ma’am.” He gestured to his desk and let his shoulders fall down. His arms fell against mine and Drew’s. He’d been holding himself in, scrunching his shoulders up. “I wouldn’t use that word at all.”

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