Fallen Fourth Down

Page 44

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He winked and held his hand out to me.

I glanced at it. “What’s that?” As soon as the words left me, I knew I didn’t want to know.

He looked at it, back at me, and raised his hand higher. “It’s for you to pay the fee. No one enters Logan’s Arena of Awesomeness without paying my interest rate. Don’t worry. It’s only sex percent.” He paused and waited.

I got it, grunted, and began moving down the hallway for the lockers. “Seriously, Logan.”

He hurried back to my side and threw his arm around my shoulder again. “Get it? Sex percent?”

I didn’t look at him, but I could imagine the wide smile on his face, waiting for some reaction from me. My reaction was an elbow to his gut. He grunted, but laughed at the same time. “You think Mason would kick my ass if I enforced that? Huh, huh?” Wiggling his eyebrows, he grabbed my elbow and pulled me to a halt before I disappeared into the women’s locker room. “Our coach is going to be late. I’ve got time.”

Placing a hand to his chest, I moved him back a step. “Sure.”

His eyes got wide. “Are you serious?”

I grinned at the person coming up behind him. “Your boyfriend just threatened to make me have sex with him.”

He barked out a laugh and he smiled at Kris. Holding onto her bag, she narrowed her eyes, as she studied both of us with her lips pursed together.

“Hey there, girlfriend. You have time to step into Logan’s Arena of Awesomeness for five minutes?”


Another laugh ripped out of him. “Nothing.” He started for the men’s locker room, but turned around and pretended to shoot both of us with his fingers. “Catch you two later.”

A stream of guys were moving behind him into the locker room. One of them threw his arm around Logan’s neck, bent him over, and pretended to tighten his arm in a chokehold. Logan was dragged inside, but it wasn’t long before a roar of laughter filtered from the room into the hallway.

Kris sighed. “My boyfriend can be really weird.”


Turning as one, we both went into our locker room.

Once we got inside, we parted ways. She went to her locker, surrounded with her friends, and I went to mine in the back row. Coach had kept me running with the guys who were sent off first so I hurried into my running clothes, grabbed my iPod, and was heading out the door when one of the team captains came in. She was standing in the doorway and said, “Hold up, Strattan. Girls are going first today.”


She nodded. “Yeah, he wanted me to spread the word.” Cupping her hands around her mouth, she yelled, “GIRLS, GET YOUR ASSES MOVING! WE’RE RUNNING FIRST!”

There was silence for a split second and then the room filled with shrieks. A couple girls came around to the door. “What?”

She motioned for them to hurry up. “Come on. The guys are running with the football team so we have to take off first. We’re all doing the same trail.”

“Shit,” one girl said. “They’re going to lap us.”

“Exactly. Let’s go. I don’t want to hear the crap they’ll give us if they lap us.” She glanced at me. “Sorry, Sam. You’re supposed to wait fifteen minutes before going, but you could stretch with us if you want?” She didn’t wait for a response and headed back out.

The other girl had darted back to her locker and told the rest what was going on. It wasn’t long before everyone was in a frenzy. Lockers were slammed shut as the girls got dressed in record time, and I stepped back, pressed against the wall, as the girls ran past me. Kris was one of the last. She paused before pushing through the door. “You’re running with the guy’s team and the football team?”

“I guess.”

“I don’t know if I should be jealous or sympathetic.” She started through the door, but tossed over her shoulder, “I’ll settle with, ‘don’t trip my boyfriend.’”

The door shut behind her, and I muttered to myself, “Why the hell would I do that?” I shook my head and cleared my thoughts. It didn’t matter who I was running with. The guys had calmed down eventually and I had been incorporated as one of their own. I wasn’t nervous about running with them and the whole football team. That would be an adventure, one I planned on having them eat my dust. I was going to run faster than normal. I was itching to go on a long run, all by myself, and had been holding back. Coach wanted the majority of my running with the guys, so I didn’t go on the long ones by myself, as much.

After using the bathroom and grabbing a second bottle of water, I started out. The girls should’ve taken off by now. When I went outside, the lawn was covered with guys. There must’ve been thirty of them. The entire football team was spread out, all stretching, and I saw the cross country team in one corner, looking at the players with something akin to disgust. Hayes caught my eye and waved me over, but Logan intercepted me a few feet from them.

“Sam.” He patted the ground next to him. His knee was pulled up and his leg was over his other leg. He leaned forward, stretching his back. “Sit. We get to run together.”

Hayes stood from the ground. “She’s running with us.”

Logan looked up. His slight grin had faded as a dark, ominous expression replaced it. “We’re running with you too.”

Hayes hesitated, but lifted his chin an inch. “No, you guys are running behind us. If you start off in front of us, you’re only going to impede our times. Be considerate. There’s no way you guys can keep up with us.”

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