Yesterday's tryouts were brutal. I woke up the next morning aching everywhere. I could hardly move, but it was definitely worth it. I showed all of those sexist, conceited, worthless, asshole-ish, stupid, annoying, stupid, sexist, worthless, STUPID boys - and Coach - that girls can play basketball just as good - if not better - than any friggin' boy. Even Fang seem impressed by my skills, but he wasn't half bad himself. He was, dare I say, a pro. When we were playing each other he threw the ball up with ease and it made it every time. He looked so hot with sweat dripping down his-
Oh my god. I did NOT just think that.
Forget that last line, Fang is not hot.
Good. Er, moving on...
I walked into my first period class with Coach Ski and slumped down in my chair, my legs practically collapsing beneath me. God, my muscles hurt. I didn't even realize some one was sitting next to me until they spoke up.
"Hey there, sunshine," a deep, sexy voice whispered in my ear.
I stifled screamed and nearly jumped four feet out of my chair. I heard a slight chuckle and turned to glare at the owner of the voice. Fang.
"Will you quit doing that!" I asked/ordered, as I slapped him upside the head.
"Doing what? Breathing?" he retorted with a cocky grin.
Boy did I want to slap that grin right off his face. That'd give him something to friggin' smile about!
"You know what I mean, Fang!" I hissed. "Stop sneaking up on me." Jeez, who knew talking could wear you out, I thought, resting my head on my folded arms and turning to face Fang.
"How do you think try-outs went last night?" he asked, coming a little closer to me. Not that I minded...
I picked my head up to look at him and groaned, "Brutal. Is he on crack or something? What was he thinking giving us 20 SUICIDES? I wouldn't be surprised if 20 of his players committed suicide last night after that. I freaking ache everywhere."
Oh, God. I sound like Nudge when she is on one of her rants. Which reminds me, I hadn't seen her for a while... I ought to see what she's up to nowadays...
I was brought out of my thoughts when I felt someone rubbing circles into my aching back. At first I stiffened at Fang's touch, but then I relaxed; it felt too good not to. I let out a content sigh and laid my head back on the desk.
"Don't worry, practice will get better from here on out. He only does that to weed out the weaklings and complainers. Plus teams are announced today so he will be focusing more time on plays since we have our first game this Friday," he replied in a soft, comforting voice while he continued to rub my back and work out the knots that had formed from last night's wonderful (NOTE THE SARCASM!) practice.
Jesus, his hands work magic. I caught myself sighing a few time and I almost let out a moan, but I stopped myself just in time. That would have been embarrassing, and, knowing Fang, I would have never heard the end of it.
I lifted my head up to look him in the eyes. His beautiful, sexy, deep - forget I thought that.
"Who are you and what have you done with Fang?" I asked him, using all my will power not to swoon at this very attractively confused face.
He winked at me, but didn't answer as Coach started roll call.
The rest of the day went by as a blur, teachers lecturing us, students getting sent to detention, me not playing the least bit of attention and staring off into space. The normal stuff.
It was finally the end of the day and the lists would be posted for teams. I had to admit - I was a little excited. I know coach said I had a spot on the team, but it is still exciting to see your name on the final list.
After shoving my useless notebooks and assorted items in my locker, I made my way over to the bulletin board that held the Dreaded List. There was a swarm of people huddled around the list, some looking defeated and disappointed while others were beaming with happiness. Uh, as much as stupid, beefy jocks could beam with happiness... When I finally got close enough to get a glimpse of the list I saw my name in bold on the Varsity list. I couldn't help but smile to myself.
As I started to walk away I felt a strong, rough-yet-soft hand grab mine to stop me. I felt tingles shoot through my body to my hand. That was odd.
I turned around and came face to face with the one and only Fang Venom. I felt my breath get caught in my throat as he gave me his signature smirk.
He dropped my hand and brought it up to his face pretending to hold an imaginary microphone. He gave me one of those cheesy fake news castor's smiles and I could help but laugh. "So, Ms. Ride, how does it feel to be the only female to make it on the varsity basketball team in history at Pacific Coast Academy?" He grinned and held the "microphone" near my chin, nodding at me to answer. I rolled my eyes at his antics, biting my lip to keep from laughing.
Using all my willpower, I did my best not to bust up laughing and answer the damn question. "Well... I'd be even better if I could get rid of my crazy emo captain..."
He stared at me, eyebrows raised, and for a split second he let his emotional walls down and I saw shock, hurt, and disappointment but he quietly regained his normal no-emotion mask.
I couldn't help the smile that crept up on my face and I winked at him to let him know I was just kidding.
I watched the corner of his mouth quirk upward, making him look oh-so-hot. He opened his mouth to say something, but he didn't get the chance because a tall, lean strawberry blonde and a slightly shorter blonde boy came running full speed towards us, showing no signs of stopping. They seemed familiar; I was sure I had a couple of my classes with them.
They had huge grins on their faces as they ran into a very unprepared Fang, knocking him over causing him to land flat on his butt.
I busted out laughing at the sight of Fang being sprawled out on the floor - NOT something you can see everyday, I assure you - confused and angry with two teenage boys piled on top of him. I was laughing so hard tears were spilling out of my eyes and making their way down the side of my face.
"What the hell guys!" Fang demanded, looking EXTREMELY P.O'd.
"Sorry, man," the two boys snickered unanimously.
"Get the hell of me!" Fang ground out, narrowing his eyes dangerously. Oh. My. God. Swoon.
They scrambled off him, and jumped to their feet, backing away from him slightly. Fang got up and brushed the dirt off his pants. He looked like he was about to ring someone's neck. Note to self: Never make Fang angry unless you have a death wish.
"Sorry dude, we were just excited and wanted to tell you we made the team," the tall strawberry blonde said with a goofy smile plastered on his face. Fang's eyes softened slightly, and a slight grin reached his lips.
"Yeah, man, we didn't mean to knock you down. Sorry," the shorter boy apologized, grinning. He looked like a kid in a candy shop.
"It's okay," Fang assured them, and, though they had been smiling, I could see them relax slightly. "Congrats, guys," he added, flicking a lock of hair out of his onyx eyes. Mmm... God, he looked good...
"Guys, this is Max she's on the Varsity team, too. Max, this is Iggy and Gazzy." Fang nodded, pointing to the strawberry blonde and the shorter guy respectively. I took it the taller one was Iggy, the other Gazzy.
"Hi," I said, nodding at them. They looked a bit worried, and the taller one even glanced around a bit, but they otherwise greeted me somewhat warmly. Huh. Wonder what the paranoia was about...
"But be warned, they tend to blow up anything they can get their grubby little hands on." Fang grinned at them, and, despite his words, he looked at them with slight affection. But then his face darkened, and he added to me sourly, "They also tend to blow up personal possessions. I know from experience." He shot the boys a dark look, but they just grinned. I smirked.
That's when it hit me like a freight train. I turned to the boys slowly, my eyes narrowing in anger. "You two are the idiots that blew up out school!" I accused, spitting out my words. My voice rose, and I gave them both my best glare. The wimps, they cringed back.
"Just be glad you put me into a surprisingly good mood after seeing Fangy-poo over here fall flat on his ass, or, I swear, you two would be being beaten to a pulp right now."
Fang glared at me for his new nick name and Iggy and Gazzy backed away from me, afraid I would go all crazy white girl on their sorry pyro asses.
"Okay, let's head off to another exciting night of basketball practice," Fang said, breaking the silence - which was thick with my pissed-offedness - in a voice dripping with sarcasm.
-Two long hours later-
"Okay, guys. This will be our last play scrimmage for the night. Give it your all and then we can go home," Coach yelled at us.
We were all pooped from a long, hard practice and we were counting down the seconds until we could leave.
Fang passed me the ball and I dribbled it up the court, my eyes moving franticly back and forth, looking for an open player to pass it to.
Finally, I sought out Iggy, who was wide open; I passed the ball to him, putting a helluva lot of fore behind it. It shot out of my hands, an orange blur, going at lightning speed.
Apparently, lightning speed is an itty bitty bit too fast for poor Iggy to comprehend. When he finally realized the ball was coming to him, it was too late. The ball hit him square in the nose with full force, causing a stomach-turning crack. He lost his balance and fell backwards.
We all rushed over to his aid. He was laying flat on his back holding his face, scarlet red liquid dripping from his swollen nose down his face. He was groaning in agony.
"Oh my god Iggy! Are you ok? I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to do that! I thought you were ready. Sorry, sorry, sorry! And if it helps, I almost never apologize, even ask my brother. I am so sorry, I really mean it! Oh my god, now I'm starting to sound like Nudge." My rant finished, I shut up, out of breath.
He held his hand up at me signaling me to stop, "It's okay, Max. Chill. And yes, you are starting to sound like Nudge," he added, getting up off the floor while holding a tissue to his broken nose. I winced a little when I saw it.
"Wait, you know Nudge?" I asked, a little taken aback by his comment.
"Yeah, she's in my history class, she never shuts up. But she is pretty cute." He grinned, but then groaned in pain when his face muscles moved, jolting his nose.
"YOU LIKE NUDGE?" I practically screamed at him, my eyes wide in shock. Who cared if the damn boy had a broken nose? If he messed with her heart, I swear...
He shrugged and replied, "Yeah. But she would never go for me." He winced again when his nose moved a bit. Coach had gone to get some ice for it, and the other guys were back on the court, giving us the occasional glance. Fang smirked at me, winked, then went back to playing.
I grinned, but then thought about what Iggy said.
I mulled it over. I could set them up on a date. But I didn't want Iggy to hurt Nudge. Then again, I broke the poor dude's nose... "I could get you a date with her if you want," I offered grudgingly.
"You would do that?" he asked, looking hopeful.
"Sure," I shrugged. I cocked my head at him and leaned in close. "But if you hurt her, I swear it, I will tear you limb. From. Limb."
Iggy swallowed. "Right. Thanks, Max."
I smiled at him. "Glad to know we're clear. And you're welcome. Consider it a peace offering. I did break your nose..."
"Okay, thanks," he said, a little warily, but he still had a goofy smile plastered on his face.
Coach walked over to us with a bag of ice on his hand and gave it to Iggy, who gratefully places it on his swelling nose, grimacing as he did so.
"Okay, guys. I think we should call it quits for tonight. I want everyone to go home, soak in a nice cold bath to relax your muscles, and get a good night's rest. I saw some good plays out there today, and if you play like that Friday we'll win for sure. We don't have any practices the rest if this week until Friday. We'll have a practice right before the game, so be here two hours early. Tomorrow. come to my room at lunch to get your uniforms. Okay, that's it. Go ahead and head home," Coach said, smiling slightly.
We all said our goodbyes and made our way outside. I looked around the parking lot for Ari's midnight blue mustang but I didn't see it anywhere. I sat on the curb and pulled out my phone to text him.
Hey, where the heck are you? Practice let out twenty minutes ago.
I dropped my phone in my lap and leaned back on my hands. Another twenty minutes passed and still no Ari. I can't believe he forgot about me.
I was just about to get up and start walking home when someone plopped down next to me.
"Hey," Fang greeted, leaning back on his hands, his hair in his eyes.
"Hey what are you still doing here?" I asked, mimicking his position.
"I could ask you the same thing," he returned, raising his eyebrow at me in an extremely sexy way.
I gave him a don't-turn-this-around-on-me look.
He sighed and replied, "I always stay after practice and shoot hoops, it clears my mind."
"Oh, well my big, bad, over-protective asshole of a brother forgot about me. I swear, if he is with some girl I am gonna beat him to death. That'll teach him for ditching me for a stupid girl." I closed my eyes, reveling in the violent images my mind conjured up, grinning at the different ways to kill - and torture - Ari.
"I can give you a ride if you want," Fang offered, sitting up.
"Oh, you don't have to do that. I've texted Ari enough times. I'm sure he got the message." Why was I feeling heat rise to my cheeks?
WHY? Thank God it was too dark for him to see me... blush...
Wait, what? Why the h-e-double hockey sticks am I blushing?
He sighed, stood up and grabbed my hands, pulling me to my feet in one smooth swoop.
"Don't be stupid, Max. I'm taking you home. Now get in the damn car," Fang ordered, motioning over to his black (big surprise there) convertible corvette.
"No," I protested, stubbornly crossing my arms over my chest.
"Max," he said in a warning tone, "Get in the car now, I'm not letting you sit out here all alone waiting for your brother. Now we can do this the easy way or the hard way, you pick. But either way you're getting in the car."
Oh no he didn't. NO ONE tells me what to do.
"Make me," I hissed, standing my ground. I raised my eyebrows, telling him to bring it.
"Fine, but remember, you asked for it," he said, grinning wickedly and shrugging.
Before I could comprehend what was going on, Fang had swooped me up in his arms and threw me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Not a nice metaphor...
"FANG FRIGGIN' VEMOM, PUT ME DOWN RIGHT THIS SECOND!" I shrieked, struggling against his arms.
He stopped, and pretended to think about it, "Um, lemme think... tempting, but no. Sorry, sweetheart." I growled in his ear at the pet name, and he snickered.
He continued to carry me to the car and I was limp, slumped over this shoulder in defeat. When we arrived at his car, he switched me so he was holding me bridal style, and then carefully placed me into the car, laughing his ass off, while I sat, pouting.
"I'm pretty sure this counts as kidnapping," I murmured, glaring at him. "Plus, you manhandled me. That earns you about a ten year jail sentence."
He just grinned, and reached over, buckling me in. I stopped breathing, but had enough sense to snap, "I can do that, you know. I'm a big girl, you know. I even have the pull ups to prove it."
"Really? I would have never guessed. Are they the ones with the Disney Princesses on them?" he asked, the sarcasm in his tone matching mine.
"No!" I said defensively, narrowing my eyes dangerously. "They are the ones that glow in the dark! Get it right, doofus." Okay, not my best insult, but... I was a bit light-headed from his proximity. "Jeez," I added in a mock exasperated voice, trying to ignore my racing heart.
He smirked at me and slammed the door shut, making his way over to the driver's side.
"Well excuse me. I didn't know you were so defensive about your pull ups. My apologies," Fang retorted, starting the engine.
I couldn't help but smile. Fang and I had only been friends for less than a week, and I already feel like I'd been best friends with him my whole life. I had never felt this way with someone before. Fang just got me, he always knew exactly what to say and could read me like an open book. Not to mention he has a smokin' hot-
Wait! Bad Max! Stop thinking that way, you idiot! I scolded myself. I really ought to stop thinking this way... But jeez, what had come over me lately? I blame it on the hormones. My body must have gone into shock from being around so many guys, when I was used to only being around girls and my brother. Yep, that's it.
Oh, who am I kidding?
We drove in a comfortable silence and I was enjoying every minute of it, despite the battle going on in my head.
We were almost to me house when I realized I never told him where my house was.
"Oh, my house is on the next right, house number-" I was cut off by Fang.
"Max, I know where you live," he said as a small smirk played on his face.
I stared at him. "Creepazoid," I accused. He snickered. "But seriously, how did you-"
"Max, I play sports. Ari is like the number one jock at our school. We have sports meetings all the time at your house. Granted, you're never there. I know where you live," he said in a 'duh' tone.
"Oh," was all I said in response.
About two minutes later we pulled up to our mansion on the beach. Oh, did I mention before that we - my family - were kinda... sorta... rich? No? Must have slipped my mind...
He eased the car to a smooth stop and put it in park.
I gathered my belongings and opened the door to get out. As I was about to get out, I had a sudden urge - fuck you, hormones - and, giving in, I leaned over and gave Fang a big hug. At first he was stiff but after a few seconds he loosened up and hugged back.
"Thanks Fang, you're a good friend," I whispered in his ear, and I could have sworn I saw him shiver.
I grabbed my things walked to the front door and gave Fang one last wave good bye before I went inside.
After Fang was out of sight, I let out a deep breath and opened the door.
Ari had a lot of explaining to do.