Wednesday Briefs: Second Shot – The Senior Year – 17
Watching his finger slowly move off the doorbell, Blake wondered if he should have called before coming over. Problem was, he knew if he had to call first, he’d probably not follow through. No, he told himself. He needed to do it, and no time would ever be right.
Peter opened the inner door and his eyes flicked wide. He opened the screen door and stepped back. “Blake.”
“Hey Pete. Is Jason here?” He wondered what Peter thought of all the time he spent alone with Jason. Probably nothing, he decided. Jason would sooner cut off his leg than cheat on Peter. It seemed the one constant since he got to school; Jason loved Peter in a way Blake hoped to feel about someone someday.
“Yeah, we’re just finishing dinner.”
Blake shook his hand and stepped back. “I’m sorry, I should have called first. I’ll come back.”
“No, it’s cool.” Peter opened the door wider. “We’re almost done. Well all but Darryl and Dean bitching.”
Blake had started to move back toward the door and stopped. Maybe it wasn’t a good time after all. “Huh?”
“The proverbial cupboard was bare, so they left me to go buy dinner.” Peter shrugged then waved Blake in. “Let’s just say they didn’t appreciate eating healthy.”
With a quirk to his lips, Blake stepped over the threshold. “Vegetarian?”
His question drew a quizzical look from his host. “How’d you guess?”
“Dean mentioned something about you trying to kill him with healthy food.” Laughing, he remembered that first day of practice. “He said you bought vegetarian food and he had to go out for a burger before he starved to death.”
Peter’s amusement turned into a frown. “Figures. He’s making plans to make a ‘chow run,’ as he called it, in a bit so there’s plenty left.”
“Um…” The idea of eating right now made his already churning stomach start doing flips. “Thanks, but right now my stomach isn’t doing so well.”
“Yeah, just…just have some things on my mind. That’s kinda why I came over to speak to Jase.”
The look of concern faded with a glint of understanding. “Ah.” Peter turned and led the way.
The voices from the kitchen turned into laughter just as they arrived. Dean looked like he’d swallowed a bug as he reached for his glass.
“Ut ut ut.” Darryl stopped Dean from grabbing his water. “The bet was you’d eat it all without any help. Drinking is definitely outside help.”
With a pained expression, Dean turned toward his older brother. Jason shook his head.
“Sorry, little bro, Darryl’s right.” Jason’s grin almost matched Darryl’s in size. “You can’t wash it down with water.”
“What now?” Peter asked as he took the seat next to Jason.
Without looking up, Jason slid his hand onto Peter’s leg. “Dean bet Darryl he could eat the rest of his dinner without any help.”
Watching Peter cover the hand with his made Blake more than a bit jealous for the easy ‘coupleness,’ as he called it, that they shared.
“And what did they bet?” Peter used his free hand to pick up his glass.
Before answering, Jason freed his hand and stood. “Blake, you want something to eat?”
“I asked already, he’s not hungry.” Peter looked from Jason to Blake. Jason’s eye opened just a bit wider as if he picked up on a hidden meaning.
“Oh. Did you want something to drink?”
“Ha!” Dean pointed to Peter. “See, I’m not the only one who thinks rabbit food isn’t meant for human consumption.”
“Um…” Jason’s eyes darted toward Blake for an instant before settling back on his brother. “I don’t think that’s the issue.”
Dean stabbed a piece of what looked like tofu and turned his gaze on Blake. “Sure it is.”
Blake froze. What he did next would decide a host of things, not the least of which could be his friendship with Dean and Darryl. But he’d come for a purpose and backing down now wouldn’t help. “Sorry, Dean, I actually like vegetarian food – well most of it, anyway.”
“Oh.” Dean stared at the food on his fork before he reluctantly pushed it in his mouth.
“So what’s up?” Darryl pushed his chair back and shifted his attention from Dean to Blake.
His resolve started to fail as he stared at his co-captain. Telling Jason his plan seemed easier, but the others would find out soon enough. “I wanted some advice on how to handle something with the team.”
Jason’s face gave away nothing as he pushed his plate a bit further away. “Did you want to talk to all of us?”
“No…I mean, I didn’t plan to, but it’s fine.” If he couldn’t talk to these four, how could he address the team?
“Does this have anything to do with Ethan?” Dean’s question drew surprised looks from the other three housemates. Noting the silence, Dean scanned their faces. “What? Like I don’t know what’s up? I mean they were in the room next to me and I wasn’t so drunk that I couldn’t hear.”
It felt like a fire exploded on his face, but Blake nodded. “Um…yeah, Dean it does, sorta.”
“Cool. Ethan’s a good guy.”
“If it means anything,” Darryl said, drawing everyone’s attention to him. “I figured it out too, but not because I heard anything from the guest room. You know it’s not a big deal right?”
“Well it kinda is.” He didn’t know how much to say about Matt, not that it had been a problem since the day they nearly came to blows.
“You mean Matt?” Jason asked.
“Has there been a problem since Monday?” The concern in Jason’s voice had Blake shaking his head.
“No, but that doesn’t mean he’s fine all of the sudden.”
“Actually,” Jason suddenly looked embarrassed. “With the trial and everything I totally forgot to tell you that he and I talked.”
Although he assumed they had, hearing it from Jason still surprised Blake. “And?”
“Let’s just say if you’re planning to come out to the team, he won’t be a problem.”