Wednesday Briefs: Second Shot – The Senior Year – 27
Okay so it’s been a hot minute since I last wrote this story line, but I think I’m going to keep to it of a bit now while I finish up, My Guardian Angel is a Cockblocker. For those reading that one, I’ve not forgotten it, but I need time to finish it AND get it all edited a bit so I can turn it into an eBook. So give me a few weeks and I’ll get it done. In the mean time, hopefully you’ll enjoy a return to this. -AQG
The bus jostled and the icepack rubbed against Jason’s already sore eye. He’d played nearly fifteen years and never got a black eye like this one. Maybe Darryl was right and the other teams had marked him this year. The defender had, however, seemed genuinely sorry, especially when he and his teammates came over to check on him after the game. The game they lost because Jason scored three times.
“Are you sure they weren’t trying to take you out?” Darryl sat in the seat next to him, just like he’d done since freshmen year. “I mean, that’s some shiner.”
“You saw it better then I could.” Jason shifted the bag and sat up. “I didn’t feel the hate.”
Matt twisted in his seat. The lone junior among seniors, he was a shoo in to be the next team captain. “Nah, they weren’t like that. I was watching them for some sign.”
“Ready to charge in like my defender in shining armor?” When he smiled it hurt, but he couldn’t take it back.
“Fuck no! Peter would kick my ass if I tried to take over his role.” Matt’s smile spoke of how comfortable he was with Jason having a boyfriend. He knew there were some on the team who didn’t approve, but with people like Matt and Darryl on his side – and Blake’s – no one was going to say anything.
“Did you tell Pete you got hurt?” Darryl asked.
“No.” He probably should, but he knew what would happen.
“He’ll be upset either way.” Darryl shrugged. “It’s your choice, but tell him now, he won’t be mad you kept it from him.”
Jason held up his hand. “No phone. It’s in my bag.”
“Oh right, I forgot it’s inaccessible.” Darryl stood up and pulled Jason’s bag down from the overhead bin. “Well, well, well. Look what I found.”
He started to toss the heavy black bag across the seat, but stopped short and pulled it back when Jason took the icepack off his face. “Whoa, sorry, Jase.”
“No foul, no harm.” He returned the cold bag to his already numb face.
“I’ve got my phone.” Matt pulled a white iPhone from his sweatpants pocket and pointed it at Jason. “Take the ice down and I’ll take a few pictures.”
For an instant he thought about saying no, but slowly lowered his left hand.
“Say ‘cheese.'” Matt snapped off four quick pictures. It might have been five, but Jason lost track after the second flash.
He didn’t need to look at the pictures to know he’d glared the entire time. Peter was going to freak.
“Can we not send him one of those? I’m sure I looked angry and that won’t help Pete’s mood.”
Matt swiped the screen left to right a few times then right to left. “Yeah, we should probably retake these. He might end up chasing us down on his bike.”
“Just give me a few, I’m still seeing spots from those.” He gently placed the ice back on his face. “I hope this doesn’t look too ugly. We were going out to eat tonight.”
“Great. What about Dean and me? What are we supposed to eat?”
With the pack over his left eye, Jason couldn’t see Darryl, but he knew what he’d see if he could. “Lose the fake scowl, D. Your problem is Pete spoils you with his cooking.”
“Me? You’re the one who whines the most when someone else at the house cooks.”
“Yeah, but he’s my boyfriend. I’m allowed to like him to cook for me. Besides, you’re on your own tonight. Dean’s got a date.”
“A date?” Darryl’s voice told Jason something didn’t sit well with his best friend. “With who?”
“Hanna. They’ve been dating for a week now.” With his one good eye, Jason saw Matt staring at Darryl. Taking the ice away, he turned to his left. “What’s wrong with Dean dating Hanna?”
“He didn’t tell you, did he?” Darryl peered down the dark aisle toward the front.
Sitting up a bit straighter, Jason tried to locate his brother in the crowd. “That’s a stupid question. Tell me what?”
Matt and Darryl looked at each other again until Darryl sighed. “Hanna isn’t the most gay friendly person on campus.”
“What’s that mean?” Clearly something happened that no one had mentioned. “What’s going on?”
Shaking his head, Darryl crossed his arms and sat back. “That’s for him to tell you.”
“Seriously?” Jason waved the icepack spraying water on himself and Darryl. “You drop a bomb on me, then when I ask you to explain, you tell me it’s not your place to say? That’s BS, man.”
Darryl glanced to his left. When Matt shrugged, Darryl let his hands drop into his lap. “She and Dean were at dinner and Ethan and Blake walked over, holding hands. When they left, she said something like she didn’t understand how he could be okay with a gay teammate.”
Jason felt like someone kicked him in the gut. He felt the cold on his thigh and absently brought it back to his face. “Oh.”
He stared straight ahead and no one spoke. Darryl probably knew he’d need a moment to sort things out. “How’d you find out?”
“Dean told me because he wanted my advice. Not that he followed it.”
“What did you tell him?” He had an idea given his friend’s reaction.
“Just what you think I’d say, that she won’t change.”
He closed his good eye and rested his head against the seat. If Dean knew what she’d said and he still went out with her, he must believe she…he didn’t know what Dean thought. Yes he did, Dean thought Hanna was hot.
“You gonna say something?” Matt asked.
“You need to.” He heard Darryl shift in his seat. “Jase, I never pushed you with Jordan and I should have. I’m not saying Hanna is anything like him, but if I hadn’t bitten my tongue maybe things…maybe he wouldn’t have cared about you and Peter enough to act.”
“You can’t compare Jordan to Hanna, we barely know her.” The ice back shifted causing him a twinge of pain and he tossed it to the ground. Darryl bent over and picked it up.
“Keep it on, it helps.” Once Jason reapplied it to his face, Darryl continued. “I agree we don’t know her that well, but don’t do what I did. Don’t ignore what your gut tells you is true. She isn’t going to magically change. Think of how difficult it was to be friends with Jordan and me. Always trying to balance the two, keep the peace, defend one to the other. That’s what Dean is going to end up dealing with. Only he’ll be doing it with his brother and his girlfriend, not two friends.”
What Darryl said made sense, but he barely knew Hanna. And since Dean hadn’t confided in him, how did he approach it anyway? Peter might have a suggestion.
“Send one of those pictures to Pete, Matt.”
“Are you sure?” Matt looked at his phone then back at Jason.
“Yep, I’m sure. I want to talk to him and seeing one of those will get him to call me right away.”
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