Clear Eyes Full Heart

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Chapter 4

Drake sat in the hot tub on the patio in his backyard. He was looking at the night sky. Katrina had been very excited when Drake walked in the house last night with his inheritance. She had quit her job as a secretary at some office with relief first thing Saturday morning. Drake was happy as well cause Katrina told him that her boss had kept hitting on her and kept trying to get her to date him. Drake had spoken to the guy a few times and warned him to stay away from Katrina to no avail. Drake heard the back door close and smiled as he saw Katrina walk toward him with a towel wrapped around her slender body ” and what do you think you’re doing?” Drake asked. Katrina grinned, “I was hoping to come check out this hot tube that I was able to talk my awesome boyfriend into buying today.” Drake raised an eyebrow ” I dunno. . . I don’t think you should come in here.” ” But I want to!” Katrina said pouting. Drake chuckled “I suppose I can be convinced. Try it.” Katrina gave him a seductive look and slowly opened her towel to reveal a white bathing suit. Drake was stunned into silence for a few moments before smiling, “alright you can come in.”

Katrina slowly got into the hot tube and sat on Drake’s lap. She pressed her body against his, wrapped her legs and arms around Drake’s body and neck and pressed her forehead against his “I’m so glad I no longer have to work at that hell hole, and it’s all thanks to you” she whispered, ” you deserve a reward.” The two started making out with things getting more intense with each passing moment. Drake leaned back as Katrina began to rapidly kissing his neck. He then heard a whine and looked behind him to see Sierra looking at him with her eyes stretched wide. She started crying and barking as she walked around the hot tube. Drake laughed as he and Katrina watched the young German Shepard ” I don’t think she likes the fact we’re in the hot tub” Katrina said. Drake nodded as he held Katrina tightly ” looks like Tundra and Fly feel the same way.”

The other two dogs had started barking and whining as they looked at their owners sitting in the hot tub. Katrina laughed harder and pointed at Sierra who was standing on her hind legs and had her front paws on the side of the hot tub ” she’s like, should I help or?” Drake laughed as well and sighed, ” I guess we better get out before their barking disturbs the neighbors. ” Katrina nodded and stood up ” don’t worry, we’re getting out,” she told the anxious dogs. The three dogs started sniffing their owner’s bodies whining and crying when they got out. Drake and Katrina laughed as they pet the dogs. Once they finally calmed down, Katrina walked behind Drake and covered his eyes with her hands ” I have a surprise for you,” she whispered in his ear. She grabbed his hand and started tugging on Drake’s arm ” keep your eyes shut,” she said as she led the way to the bedroom. Drake chuckled but complied, already guessing what the surprise was. He heard Katrina open a door ” you better have your eyes closed!” Katrina warned as she pushed him down on what felt like a bed. He felt Katrina lay on top of him ” we might as well finish what we started. Go ahead and open your eyes, trust me you’re not going to want to miss this” Katrina whispered.

A few hours later, Drake woke up with a start to the sound of thunder. He groaned as he sat up and looked at Katrina as she opened her eyes as well, sitting up using a blanket to cover herself ” thunderstorm,” she whispered, pressing herself against Drake. He wrapped an arm around her body and kissed the top of her head, ” yeah, and you know what that means.” As if on cue, loud scared barking sounded from the living room, and the bedroom door flew open. Tundra, Sierra, and Fly ran into the room and jumped on the bed barking and crying. Katrina and Drake laughed as they tried to console the frantic dogs ” guys it’s just thunder. Thunder can’t hurt you” Drake told the dogs who were licking their owner’s faces frantically. Katrina held Fly close to her ” don’t worry you guys are safe here. The big bad thunder can’t hurt you.” Eventually, the three dogs hopped off the bed and laid down at the foot of the bed, still whining. Drake sighed as he looked at the bedsheets that had been thrown off the bed by the dogs ” I’ll get them.” However, Katrina held him back and smiled ” the only cover I need is you” she whispered, pulling him on top of her.

Wednesday

Drake sat in the passenger seat of his Mustang waiting for the light to change ” We’re going to be late meeting King for dinner. I wonder whose fault that is” he remarked looking at Katrina who was driving. She made a face at him ” what are you saying?” ” You took half an hour to get ready, and then when I got in the shower, you decided to join me. Which took up nearly another hour.” Katrina shrugged, ” I get worried when you’re not around. You’re hopeless without me.” “Is that why you stole my keys and insisted you drive?” ” You know I hate it when you drive. I get scared,” Katrina said. ” Ha. Haha. You’re very funny,” Drake said, looking out the window as the light turned green. However, as Katrina was turning right, someone came speeding past in a blue Sedan. “What the hell?!” Katrina yelled as she honked the horn. She stepped on the gas and started to give chase. Drake sighed and pulled out his phone ” We’re gonna be held up,” he texted King. ” Why, what’s up?” came his reply a few seconds later. ” I can’t really tell you, I’ll just have to show you soon” Drake texted back as he could only watch Katrina chase after the Sedan, yelling every cuss word in existence with her head sticking out the window.

Finally, the Sedan pulled over in a gravel lot, and Katrina stopped the Mustang. She got out of the car and marched to the Sedan. Drake started to record a video using his phone as the female driver of the Sedan got out of her vehicle, yelling back at Katrina. Drake sighed as the other woman pushed Katrina ” she really shouldn’t have done that,” Drake said. He started laughing as Katrina shrieked and tackled the other woman. Lots of screaming followed, Katrina’s angry, the other woman’s terrified. The other woman scrambled up and tried getting away from Katrina, but she was relentless, throwing the other woman on the hood of Drake’s Mustang and started raining fists on her opponent’s face. Katrina finally got in the Mustang, and after screaming some more, she backed up and drove away. Drake stopped the video and sent it to King with the message ” someone cut us off.” King waited for a few moments before replying with ” . . . my sister is crazy.” Katrina pulled the Mustang over and looked at Drake with worried eyes ” is my little Drakie okay?” she asked. Drake sighed, ” how many times do I have to tell you not to call me that?” ” I’ll call you that if I want! Now answer my question!” Drake rolled his eyes ” yes Katrina, I’m fine. Can we just meet King now?” She nodded, ” fine,” she said as she resumed driving.

Friday Night

“Good evening Panther fans and welcome to the matchup between the Snake Canyon Outlaws and the reigning Texas 6A State Champions, the Easthaven Correctional Panthers!” Drake sat in the locker room as his mind flashed back to last year when they played Snake Canyon. It had been a total nightmare and had been thrown out due to the dirty tactics of the Outlaws. Drake was hungry for payback as were his teammates. Drake had his headphones in and was listening to Eminem full blast with his eyes closed. Besides him, King was looking at his playbook. The atmosphere in the Easthaven Correctional locker room was hostile as the team anxiously awaited game time.

Coach Miller gathered his team together after what felt like an eternity ” gentlemen; I’m not deaf. I know exactly what’s going on. You want revenge for last year. Listen to me. That mentality will only come back to bite you in the ass later. Stay away from dumb gentlemen. I want you boys to play smart, Understand?” ” Yes sir” the team muttered, but Drake and King caught each other’s eye, and an understanding flashed between them. Tonight the ground will run red with the blood of the Outlaws. The team captains led the Panthers out on their home field and stopped short. The Snake Canyon fans were large and numbers and were most certainly rowdier than the home crowd. The Outlaw fans had homemade signs such as ” Shoot the kitties down!” and ” Put the house cats down!” A paper mache panther was destroyed with baseball bats by the Snake Canyon cheerleaders.

" I thought this was a home game” King mumbled. The rest of the team started grumbling, but Drake was cold as ice ” steady boys. This is our house, and these are unwanted guests. Let’s send them home early. I don’t like playing with scrubs.” Coach Miller nodded his approval at this as the announcer prepared to introduce the teams. ” Introducing first, the Snake Canyon Outlaws!” A roar came from the visitor’s section, and many mocking insults were heard. Drake narrowed his eyes. I’m going to enjoy this far more than I should. ” And now, the reigning, defending, Texas Triple-A State champions of the woooorrrrrllllldddddd, the one, the only, the Easthaven Correctional Panthers!” ” Let’s go!” King said as a war cry as the Panthers raced on the field.

The cheers from the Panther fans were drowned out by the hateful boos from the Outlaw fans. Drake stopped when he saw who was going to referee the game, ” oh, you have got to be kidding me!” King stopped by him and kicked the turf” this is not good” he muttered glaring at the refs ” these are the same pricks from last year.” Drake and King both walked back to the sideline, less than happy. They joined the other captains by the fifty and linked hands as they walked to midfield. The Snake Canyon captain went to meet them, wearing a cocky smirk. He refused to shake the Easthaven Correctional captains hands and just waved them off. Drake just eyed him coldly as the referee began to speak to them. ” Alright boys, shake hands and let’s keep it clean.” The Snake Canyon captain looked at Drake ” you’re in for a rough night Solace” he sneered before walking away. The Panther captains walked back to their sideline, Drake really wanting to take these guys down.

Finally, it was go time; the Outlaws lined up to kick-off. The referee blew his whistle,” and they’re off! The kick-off is caught by King Sawyer who’s at the twenty, the twenty-five and is going to be brought down at the twenty-eight. Drake jogged to the huddle, ready to demolish Snake Canyon. His discontent for them was beginning to evolve into hate. ” Alright boys, these guys have already overstayed their welcome, and now it’s time to show them they aren’t welcome here. Halfback Go on two. Ready?” ” Break!” The Panthers lined up in the single back formation ” Down! Blue 42! Blue 42! Set Go Go!” ” Drake takes the snap and hands it off to King,” Drake growled as his friend got taken down behind the line. The Panthers huddled up once more ” Anyone want to tell me what happened on that play?” Drake asked angrily. ” They were just too fast for us!” An offensive lineman said. ” Drake frowned ” fine. Let’s go QB Go on set. Let’s see how fast these boys really are.”

The Panthers lined up in the single back formation again, ” Down set!” ” Drake takes the snap and runs up the middle, and he’s going to gain five on the play. Going to be third and eight for the Panthers.” Drake got to his feet to find himself face to face with number 13 on Snake Canyon, the Outlaw captain ” I warned you Solace. You’re in for a rough night.” ” We’ll see scum,” Drake said coldly as he walked back to the huddle ” Okay guys let’s get it together. Wingman Pitch on one. Ready?” ” Break!” The Panthers lined up in the Shotgun formation ” Down! Gold 69! Gold 69! Set Go!” ” Drake takes the snap and give it Vince Newman.” Drake grunted as he was hit from behind and sent face first in the turf ” and this play is going nowhere as Vince is going to be brought down five yards. ” Drake and the offense ran off the field as the punt team ran on ” Hey Drake, shake it off man shake it off man,” a teammate said.

Drake just kicked the bench angrily as Snake Canyon’s jeering got even worse ” Let’s go Outlaws! Panthers suck! Let’s go Outlaws! Panthers suck! Let’s go Outlaws! Panthers suck!” Drake gritted his teeth as Coach Miller walked over to him ” breath. It was one bad offensive series. Shake it off.” The Panthers punted to the Outlaws which number 13 caught around the Snake Canyon thirty-five. ” Issac Sipes is at the forty, the forty-five, he is slipping by defenders folks and is going to be brought down at the forty-nine. The Outlaw quarterback got under center ” Down! Set! Hut one! Hut!” ” Alex Olson takes the snap and drops back to pass, he’s got Issac wide open, and he throws. . . and it’s caught at the Panther thirty-three, and he’s off!” Issac is at the thirty, the twenty-five, the twenty and he’s not going to be caught as he runs it into the end zone. Touchdown Outlaws! And it’s not too often our Panthers are the ones who bleed first!”

Drake frowned, ” wait something’s wrong here.” Tyler snorted ” I don’t know what you’re talking about. You guys won last time because of their antics. If it weren’t for that, you would’ve lost.” ” As I remember it we beat Goldenfield too, but that’s not the point,” Drake retorted. ” These guys are all about speed this year. That’s never been their strategy. And those refs have been giving them extra time on whistles. Something is going on.” The extra point was good, and the score jumped up to 7-0. The Outlaws kicked off to the Panthers who were able to return it to their own thirty-seven. Drake took a deep breath and ran out to the huddle ” okay boys, now I’m mad. No one scores on us on our field. This is our house they do not push us around! Slot Right Triple Gun on one. Ready?” ” Break!” The Panthers lined up with three receivers on the right side ” Down! Blue 15! Blue 15! Set Go!” ” Drake takes the snap and drops back to pass. Looking, ” Drake’s eyes widened as he saw two Snake Canyon linemen rush at him. He tried to break away but was quickly brought down for a loss of eight. ”

" Hey Solace what happened?!” ” Forget how to throw?!” ” Solace sucks! Solace sucks! Solace sucks! Solace sucks!” came the chant from the Outlaw fans followed by ” We all hate you! We all hate you! We all hate you!” Drake ignored the chants, knowing they’d love it if they got a rise out of him. He got back in the huddle ” This is really getting old. Panther Streaks on four. Ready?” ” Break!” The Panthers lined up in the single back ” Down! Blue 84! Blue 84! Set Go Go Go Go!” ” Drake takes the snap and drops back to pass. He throws, and it is picked up by Issac Sipes! He’s at the Panther forty-six, the forty-three, the forty” Drake ran as fast as he could towards Issac. Bad enough he had thrown an interception; he was not going to let it become a pick-six. ” And Drake tackles him out of bounds at the Panther thirty-four.” Drake ran to the sideline, and his eye began to twitch as the hostile Outlaw fans continued to jeer at him ” Drake is gay! Drake is gay! Drake is gay!”

Coach Miller walked up to Drake who was trying to remain calm ” what world are you on tonight? Is your head on straight?” Drake sighed, ” I’ll be honest coach; these guys are really starting to piss me off.” ” Hey, it’s fine son. Have a seat on the bench. Relax.” Drake nodded and sat on the bench and had a drink. He watched as the Outlaws marched downfield, making light of the Panther defense as they got to the Panther ten yard line. ” Sipes cuts across the end zone and catches the ball. Touchdown Outlaws!” Drake muttered curses under his breath as Snake Canyon kicked the extra point to make it 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Outlaws kick-off was returned to the Panther fourteen. Drake stood up and took a deep breath. He got the play from Coach Miller and ran to the huddle, the boos from Snake Canyon reaching the most deafening yet. He joined the huddle ” Wideout Reverse on two. Ready?” ” Break!” The Panthers lined up in the Shotgun Formation. ” Down! Gold 33! Gold 33! Set Go Go!” ” Drake takes the snap and hands off to James Ferguson and ooh!” Drake swore in Celtic as he watched James get hit by an Outlaw linebacker, knocking the ball loose. Before he could dive for it, he was blasted from behind, sending him to the turf ” aaaaannnd. . . it is Snake Canyon ball!” ” That is it!” Drake yelled, getting into his safety position but sighed as he watched Coach Miller beckon for him to get off the field. Drake ran off the field and walked to the bench eyes down as he heard the Snake Canyon fans continue to mock him ” Nanana! Nanana! Hey hey hey goodbye! Nanana! Nanana! Hey hey hey! Goodbye! Solace sucks!”

Drake sat on the bench glaring at the ground angrily as for the first time Easthaven Correctional held the Outlaws to a field goal. “Tyler! Drake needs a rest; get us out of this hole!” Tyler nodded and gave Drake a sarcastic wave, ” Don’t worry, the bullies will leave you alone now!” Drake crushed the half-full paper cup in his hand, ignoring the red Gatorade that ran down his hand. Tyler looked around, ” Ready! Blue 18! Blue 18! Set Go!” Tyler takes the snap and pitches it to King. He’s at the Panther twenty-five, the thirty and will be brought down in the thirty-one. This is the first time the Panthers have gotten a first down. ” Drake sighed as he watched Tyler lead his team, his team down the field. He belonged out there, with his comrades. His brothers that would die for him, he had let them down. ” Touchdown Panthers!” The announcer said suddenly. King had run the ball in for the Panther’s first score and ran back to the sideline straight to Drake ” that was for you brother!” he said. The Outlaws got the ball back but failed to do anything with it. They punted the ball, and the Panthers returned it to their own forty. Tyler ran out on the field again and once again led the way down the field capping off the drive with a thirty-yard touchdown pass. The half ended soon after with the score being 17-14 Snake Canyon.

Drake stormed in the locker room, anger and disappointment in his eyes. While Coach Bud talked to the team, Coach Miller spoke tom Drake in his office privately, ” you need to show up to play Drake. I know these guys have it out for you. I can tell that you’re angry. At those loudmouths, at yourself. You need to shrug it off, suck it up and be the one of a kind Quarterback you are. ” Dake nodded ” I’ll do better coach.” ” I don’t want you to do better. I want you to start playing to your fullest potential. I see so much freaking talent in you, and you don’t even realize how good you are! You have an uncanny ability on that field, something that can’t be taught! You are a master of controlling the pace of the game.” Drake looked down but said nothing. Coach Miller’s voice was gentle but firm ” look at me, Drake.”

When the young man obeyed Coach Miller looked him directly in the eye ” Do you know why I got into football?” Puzzled Drake shook his head ” I got into football because I had so much pent up anger in me because my dad beat my mom, my sisters and me every day. As a result, I would go out in my local neighborhood, got into fights before I got in trouble at school. I was good friends with the high school coach who convinced me to try football. And because of all the anger and hate in me, I was able to stand out. But I was playing for all the wrong reasons. It wasn’t out of love for the game; it was so I could get stronger so I could stand up to my father.” ” Why are you telling me this?” Drake asked. ” ” Cause you refuse to let that anger out. I know you try to be above retaliation and I can tell you’re fighting to stay in control and that’s why you’re playing like you are. What are you running from?” Drake gulped and even though it was just him and Coach Miller, he looked around to make sure no one was listening. ” You can tell me. It’s okay,” Coach Miller said.

Drake sighed ” It’s just, I don’t want to be like my mom. My mother has always been angry at me. I’ve seen what being pissed off the whole does to someone. My mother is a sick and vile woman, and I’m scared if I get too angry, I’ll always be like that. I try to be above it because I don’t want to lose myself.” Coach Miller said nothing but put a hand on Drake’s shoulder ” I’m sorry, but you are at a crossroads. Your team needs you to man up and overcome this boundary you’ve set for yourself. These guys we are playing, they don’t care if they hurt you. They want to take you out. They want to hurt you. This team looks up to you. Allow yourself to snap and use it on the field. I consider it a privilege to have you on my field, wearing my uniform. Allow yourself to remember that fateful day, let your anger manifest on the field. Can you do it?” Drake took a deep breath and nodded, ” you can.”

When the Panthers raced back on the field, Drake had a new look in his eyes. He paid the hateful taunts no mind as he paced the sideline. King looked at him worried, ” Drake, you still here man?” Drake gave his friend no answer, and Coach Miller walked up to King and whispered in his ear. The Panthers lined up to kick-off as Drake just stared blankly ahead, preparing himself. The Outlaws returned the kickoff to their twenty-two. Drake ran in and got into the Corner Back Position. The Outlaws lined up, and the Quarterback started his cadence. ” Set hit!” Before the Wide Reciever could even begin his pattern, Drake sent him flying and went for the Quarterback. The Outlaw QB’s eyes widened in shock as he saw Drake charge at him ” And Solace blows up that play before it even gets going. Where did this Drake come from?!” Drake turned his back on the Outlaw Quarterback who was struggling to breathe from the hit. He brushed shoulders with Issac. He opened his mouth to say something but Drake shot him a look sharper than flint. He got back into position, not even bothering with the defensive huddle. He heard Tyler call indignantly ” who does he think he is?!” but ignored him.

Drake shot down the next two plays as well making it fourth and thirty forcing Snake Canyon to punt. King returned the ball to the Panther twenty-one. Drake joined the huddle ” Tight End Screen on one. Ready?” “Break!” The Panthers lined up in the Single- Back formation. Drake got under center ” Down! Gold 64! Gold 64! Set Go!” ” Drake takes the snap and fires to Seth Rogan whose going to take it to the Panther thirty-six; Bringing up a first down for the Panthers. ” Double Pass on two. Ready?” “Break!” The Panthers lined up in the Pro Set ” Down! Blue 11! Blue 11! Set Go Go!” ” Drake takes the snap, throws it to King who also drops back to pass, under pressure, he throws. . . ” Drake jumped up and caught the ball. He landed, juked an Outlaw defender and took off. ” Drake dodges another defender as he reaches the forty, the forty-five with no one around him. He is going to take this one down the field, touchdown Panthers!” Drake ran off the field with a small smile on his face after giving the Outlaw fans a sarcastic bow at the waist. The Panthers missed the extra point to make the score 20-14 Easthaven Correctional.

The Outlaws returned the ball to their own thirty. Drake ran back on the field and got into his Corner Back position. The Outlaw receiver ran a fade route when the ball was snapped. Drake stuck to him like butter on bread but fell behind for a half-second. He narrowed his eyes as he caught up and jumped in front of the Outlaw Reciever, ” and Drake picks it off! He’s at the fifty, dodges several defenders as he keeps going. He’s at the thirty, sheds a tackle, look at this kid go! He’s at the twenty, the fifteen, the ten, touchdown Panthers!"

The extra point was good to make the school 27-14 Easthaven Correctional. The rest of the game was uneventful, and the final score was 27-14 Panthers. Drake celebrated with his team on the field and grinned when he saw Katrina hurry to him. She wrapped him in a bearhug and squeezed him tightly ” I’m so proud of you,” she said. Drake grinned ” thanks,” he said holding her. After he went back to the locker room with his team and showered, he left to rejoin his girlfriend. He saw Tyler talking to Katrina, and as he walked closer, he heard what he was saying, ” So how about you bring your pretty self over to my place? I’m having a party, and I’d love to get to know you better.” Drake raised an eyebrow as he waited for Katrina’s response. Katrina gave just shrugged ” sorry, but me and my boyfriend have things to do.”

Tyler backed up with an injured look on his face before walking away. He bumped shoulders with Drake and flashed him a look of malice over his shoulder. Katrina walked to Drake and wrapped her arms around neck ” you have made me one happy girl,” she said. Drake grinned, ” well, I do aim to please.” Katrina chuckled, ” come on; let’s get you home.” Drake walked hand in hand with Katrina and stopped when he caught Coach Miller’s eyes, who gave him a nod. Drake returned the nod. Thank you, Coach. Thank you.

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