Fallen Fourth Down

Page 20

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I grinned. Natalie was harmless to me now. I felt it. There wasn’t any heat behind her words. I could feel how empty they were. “We could go another round? Maybe it’d lessen your sentence, although, think about all the fines you would’ve had to pay.”

“Yeah, that sucks.”

She rolled her eyes. “Go. Stop torturing me. My life’s already pathetic as it is with me behind this table.”

I laughed and headed towards the football field. A large crowd spilled out from two sets of bleachers. There was one on either side of the field and enough people lingered at the end of them to form one large crowd that circled the south end of the entire field. Fallen Crest Academy fans mingled with Fallen Crest Public fans. It was a sea of red and black mixed with the occasional neutral normal clothing. I didn’t want to run into any of the Fallen Crest Academy Elite so I hightailed it to the FCP bleachers. When I got there, it was packed.

I hadn’t counted on that. I thought there would’ve been a few empty spots. I was missing Heather. She would’ve waved someone over and voila, we would’ve had a perfect seat.


I instantly groaned, but couldn’t ignore Kris. She stood from the far end in the student section and was standing in the second row. The first three seemed reserved for the most popular people in school. She was second row. That meant she already had higher status than I ever would, if I’d been social. With her hair split and woven into two side French braids, she waved at me, holding an extra sized liquid cup in the other, gesturing beside her. She yelled, “Come on. I saved you a seat.”

Uh…I had no choice. Trying to smile at her, I walked past the entire bleacher and stepped up to her row. The girls in her row stood up and filed out without a single complaint. My eyebrows shot up. I’d been prepared to look like an ass as I stumbled over everyone. They continued to watch the game and waited until I went in.

“Hi!” Kris’ eyes were lit up. Her free hand grasped mine and she pulled me down to the seat. The others filed back in. The one next to me was one of the most popular girls in Kris’ grade. From what I could recall, most of them were on the drill team. Kris patted my arm and her smile stretched wider. “Logan told me you’d probably be late because you were running. He was right, huh? Tabitha,” she leaned across me and said, “when you guys come back from your routine, you know what to bring.”

The girl gave her a thin smile. “We know. It’s not our first rodeo.”

Kris giggled, falling back into me. That was when I got the first whiff of booze. “Whoa. When did you start?”

She pointed to Tabitha and her cheeks got redder, along with the tip of her nose. “We had a few in the bathroom.”

Tabitha gave her another cold smile, but Kris just clutched my arm. “You were so much fun at that one party. You should drink with us more often, Sam. Yeah.” Her eyes lit up again and her mouth fell open, like she had the most wonderful idea in the world. “That’d be amazing. Let’s both get drunk.”


“Oh, come on. Logan will take care of us, and you’ll see your man tomorrow. You have no worries, none whatsoever.” She bent over, giggling into her lap.

I asked Tabitha, “Did you slip her anything else?”

She shrugged. “Just a good dose of Jack Daniels, not what you’re suggesting.”

“Why are you the Ice Queen and she’s Giggling Rudolph?”

She lifted another shoulder. “Because she insisted on drinking a third of the bottle. That’s on her, not me. We have a few during the game, but we have to get to the party. That’s when we only do shots and nothing else. We’re not stupid.”

I gritted my teeth. “You’re stupid for talking to me like that.”

She opened her mouth, a hot retort on the tip of her tongue, but she caught the warning in my gaze. She closed her mouth and shook her head. “I don’t know what you’re problem is. We didn’t do anything. We like Kris, unlike you.”

I grunted. That was fair. Turning my back, I patted Kris on the arm. “Okay. You might want some coffee at halftime or Logan will be putting you into bed before he goes and parties after the game.”

She grimaced. “Oh my god. You’re right.” A pained expression came over her face. “No more, Jackie, not until the party anyway.” She sighed and rested her forehead against my shoulder. Her hand reached for my hand. “I’m so glad we became friends. You’re not stuck-up like I thought you might be. Anyone else in your position would have the head of a Uranus.”

Really? That planet? Catching a small grin from Tabitha, who must’ve overheard, I shook my head. “Okay. Let’s keep that one between us.”

“I think you’re so cool.”

“Yep.” I was not commenting on that one. “Let’s watch the game.”


For the most part, Kris tried to watch. When Logan scored, she stood up because everyone was standing up. When FCA punted, she stood up again. I tugged her down, and she started another giggling fit. She clamped her hands over her mouth and whispered in my ear for everyone else to hear. “It’s so weird for me because I dated the one quarterback and now I’m with the other quarterback.”

“You dated the second string quarterback also.”

She gasped. “I did. I forgot about Jeff. I shouldn’t have. He’s a sweetie.”

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