Chapter 37: "Yes! You Are Our Florence Nightingale"
We pile out of the car dragging our travel bags towards Dylan and Ian. They were standing outside our school bus. Rest of the football team was also there, half the boys were already seated, half were running around and playing. Max had offered to give me and Julian a ride.
“Hey baby doll” Dylan smiles, coming forward and kissing my cheek.
“Hello sir” I smile, masking my surprise.
He’s never done that before..
“Where’s Luke and Alex?” Julian asks.
“Alex is talking to the bus driver and Luke will be here shortly” Ian answers fixing his hair using his mobile front camera.
“Why bother when it’s going to get messed up again?” I ask, stretching my hand and making few strands fall into his eyes. Ian gives me a pleased look.
“They appointed a new traffic police-lady and she is really pretty” he explains as his cheeks redden adorably.
"And she is happily married” Max says standing beside me and messing up Ian’s hairstyle. Ian tries to stop him, but sadly it looked like a mouse trying to fight an elephant.
My attention turns towards the Lambhorgini Urus stopping near the bus.
“Wow, he must be rich” I muse seeing Luke and his father getting out of the car.
“He is. But-” Julian says putting his hand around my shoulder. “-Alex is the richest. I mean richest in the whole school. His grandfather actually funded for this school’s construction.”
“I never knew that.”
“Yeah, you can say Alex practically owns the school. But he is way too nice to brag or misuse his powers unless it’s terminal cases. Goodness Lia, you should see the pool in his house” Julian gushes excitedly. I smile at him. Luke and his father are walking towards us. Even though Luke is very tall he is shorter compared to his father. His father was looking at someone behind us.
“Hello Luther, came to drop by Luke I suppose?” a man walks up and shakes Mr. Wright’s hand.
“Yes. How are you Martin?” Luther asks, being civil. Luke quietly stands beside his father like an obedient son.
“I also came by to drop off Nathan” he says as a boy comes and stands beside him. He had brown hair with blond highlights, with beautiful hazel eyes. If I wasn’t so smitten by Luke I would have made a move on him. My lips twitch on seeing him crossing his arms trying to intimidate Luke, while Luke just looked bored out of his mind not bothering to spare a glance at Nathan or his father.
“I heard about your plan of offering job placements to beginners, having no previous experience?” Martin says as if he could not believe it. Something about the way he spoke, gave me the feeling like he was making fun of Luther.
Luther didn’t in the slightest look offended, but Luke did cause he stepped forward, but Luther put a hand on his shoulder stopping him. “Well country’s got a lot of unemployed youth. Why waste talent?”
“I think you are being absolutely foolish. You should employ people with at least 4 years working experience to get the best results. Quit trying to be Mother Teresa” he scoffs. Luther just politely acknowledges him with a head bob.
Martin looked pissed on not getting a more violent reaction. Hell, we all were patiently waiting to see Luther at least frown. But nada.
“C’mon Nathan” Martin marches off with Nathan on his trail.
“How could you let him talk to you like that?” Luke turns towards his father, dropping his bag on the ground. I could see he was trying to hold back a scowl.
“What can I say” Luther shrugs. “It’s his opinion. I respect it.”
Luke lets out an impatient breath and glares at Martin and Nathan’s disappearing form.
“Now, I don’t want you doing anything to his kid” Luther warns.
Luke groans, “You gotta give me something.”
“Don’t mess your head with unwanted stuff. Focus on your game.” Luke is openly scowling at his shoes now.
Luther sighs at his sulking form, “Son, if you let everything people say, get to you, you won’t be able to do what you want in life.” Luke gives a gloomy nod.
“I thought you of all people should know that” Luther says with a hint of smile, making Luke’s head snap up in surprise.
“All the best for your game” he pats Luke’s shoulder. “Travel safe you kids” he says to us and walks towards his car without waiting for a reply.
“We will Mr. Wright” all of us call after him while Luke smiled to himself.
I used to think there would be bitterness between Luke and his father, but Luther just admired his son for standing up for himself.
What a confusing world..
“Wright I need you in my office” Coach Denfry loudly calls him from the school entrance.
“Dude make sure the Coach brings school flag” Max says hurriedly. He nods and runs off. Max had to go with Coach last night to make sure of all facilities. He looked beat up.
“I also need to get the First-Aid box” I say to no one in particular.
“Yes! You are our Florence Nightingale” Ian says clasping my hand in both of his and looking at me with puppy-eyes.
The boys locker room is empty. I mean, of course the rotting smell was there but otherwise really empty. It was still dark outside giving the whole room a creepy look.
I immediately run and get the first-aid box from Coach’s office. While leaving, I still suddenly on hearing a chair creak.
Run you dumbass. RUN!
Gulping I turn around, my eyes wide, ears alert for creatures suddenly jumping out on me. Everytime I watch a horror movie I promise myself not to turn around and inspect creepy noises. But here I am..
At least you could have died looking fashionable.. my inner-self tuts.
I like to travel comfortably.. I growl back.
I was wearing yoga pants and a white tank with loose lace cardigan. The funky bangles on my wrist jingle as I tuck my hair behind my ears, monitoring the locker room.
If you are a ghost, I dare you to come out! I shout in my head.
“Fucking mother of-” I jump around exclaiming but stop as I see Luke.
“Oh hey Luke” I grin nervously, running a hand through my hair.
“Are you okay?”
“Of course” I laugh uneasily. Then I shudder involuntarily.
“This room is creepy” I shake my head going near Luke. His presence made everything way less creepy.
“You must have heard the Coach’s chair creak” he offers sympathetically. He chuckles on seeing my dumbfound expression.
“Chill, it happens all the time” he says brushing his knuckles on my neck. Now, I get goosebumps for completely different reasons.
“Are you okay?”
“Why ask me that?”
“That Martin guy, trying to mock your father..”
He shrugs, “I can’t do anything about it.”
“Do you want me to mess him up for you?” I ask like some club bouncer. “Because your father never said anything to me..”
Luke laughs pulling me towards him and kissing my eyes.
“Really, you just have to say the word” I say seriously.
“It’s okay sweetheart” he smiles. “Martin has always been jealous of my father’s success. I highly doubt doing him physical damage would change anything.”
“Aha! You’re genius! We should do mental damage! Now let’s see, we can scare his-”
I stop as I see Luke looking at me in enjoyment.
“It’s at times like these that I am reminded, my girlfriend is a freak-show.”
“I was just trying to..” I begin indignantly but stop as I see Luke already playing with my hair looking weirdly fascinated.
“Forget it. Let me know if I can help” I sigh. He gives a small nod, slipping his fingers through my curls.
“Honey” I coo lifting his face. “Aren’t you forgetting something?” I give him a catlike smile.
“What?” he mumbles poking my bangles.
“This” I mumble against his lips loosely draping my arms around his neck. He smiles against my lips as his hands settle on my small back. I step into him and press my mouth more firmly against his. An impatient noise escapes his throat as he speeds up the kiss, pressing our bodies closer. His mouth was soft yet unrelenting making me crave more.
He picks me up by my thighs and pushes me against the lockers deepening the kiss. My ankles lock around his waist as we hungrily molest each others mouth. We are kissing like our lives depend on it. Maybe we both know in the back of our minds that we won’t get to be alone once we are there. It was like we were memorizing how it felt to kiss someone.
“We have to stop” Luke whispers pulling away and putting me down.
“I have an idea” I pant. “Let the others go. We should hide, and then later make some excuse. That way we will have so many days alone with each other.”
Luke is watching me with reluctant amusement. “As much as I love that idea” he smiles. “But no. C’mon let’s go before I change my mind.”
“Would it matter if I say my mind is made up?”
“Lia” Luke warns. I pout unhappily. He entwines our hand and softly kisses my pout.
“You look beautiful” he says kissing my hair. Treacherous blush creeps up my cheeks. Luke grins wider on noticing.
“Let me fix your hair” I mutter trying to change the subject. I comb my fingers through his hair setting them back since I made a mess when we kissed. He closes his eyes and hums in approval making my belly clench deliciously. Some stubborn strands still fell on his eyes but I let them be because they looked too adorable.
“All good” I announce stepping back to look at him. He looked more than good, in his thin blue sweater. He wore a full sleeve white shirt underneath. The collar and folded sleeve cuffs peeked out.
“I’m going to miss this” I say sadly, tracing the frame of his glasses.
“Yeah, I mean once we are on trip I don’t think we can..”
“Lia, all I think about is kissing you, and ways of getting to kiss you. So trust me, I’ll come up with something.”
God, he’s making me feel shy..
I hide my face in his neck crossing my arms around his neck.
“Don’t worry, we’ll be just fine” he whispers hugging my waist and softly swaying us.
Okay I don’t just like him, I adore this guy.
While leaving I spot a ceiling to floor mirror. Wow, I can picture boys checking out their asses here. Suddenly I have an idea.
“Lets take a mirror selfie” I turn excitedly towards Luke.
I must really not want to go..
“Another chance to touch you. Why not?” he shrugs making me chuckle.
I expected him to stand beside me but he went and stood behind me. One hand tightly wrapped around my tummy making me feel every muscle of his body on my back.
Dear Lord, even selfie session is turning me on..
His other hand hugging me above the chest as he adorably placed his face on my shoulder. I run a hand through my hair making them fall effortlessly on one side as I clicked few pictures.
“Give me smile sweetie” I pat his cheek. He catches my hand and presses soft kisses along my arm and wrist, feeling my racing pulse against his lips. I unconsciously blush. As if achieving what he wanted he let go of my hand and finally gives me a lovely smile. Soon enough he gets bored and starts kissing my neck. I click a few pictures of those too.
“Now some decent pictures” I smile unwrapping him and making him stand beside me. He did not look happy.
“C’mon just one more” I coax. I finally get a picture of us standing side by side. Me leaning into him and Luke reluctantly smiling and holding my hand. His other hand in his pocket.
I am almost done as he pulls me towards him and kisses me. I take a few snaps of that and then forget everything and kiss him back.
Coach was deep in discussion with Max, as everybody stood in front of them while few boys were still in bus their heads hanging out. I spot Luke and Dylan gravely talking while I silently go and stand beside Ian and Julian. I hear Julian telling Ian, that he was willing to divert the traffic officer’s husband, but he’ll have to buy him lunch. I roll my eyes at their stupid banter.
“Boys, I talked to the other coach. Calm down, the rumors are false. We are getting the Skip” Coach says loudly over the buzz of talking. Everybody hums in approval.
“It’s 5.45. Everybody in the bus. Max you count the players, make sure everybody’s got everything then report to me” he says lazily stretching his arms, as everyone started to climb in.
“What’s Skip?” I ask Julian as we wait for our turn.
“Previous year Trophy winner’s get to skip few of the starting matches. We are going three days late, because due to this Skip we don’t have to play with amateur teams.”
“Right, cause you guys are straight up professionals” I say sarcastically walking towards our seats.
“You know what I mean” Julian smiles. “Oh right, Lia you are going to sit here” he says pushing me down in an empty seat next to Luke. My body stiffens in alert.
“What?” I ask laughing. “I thought we are travel buddies” I ask maintaining my cool.
“Sad” Julian pouts. “I thought, you are well used to everybody except for Luke. You guys barely talk or know each other. So this bus trip is for you both to bond” Julian grins. Alex, Dylan and Ian are laughing looking at me. Hell, even Luke was chuckling.
“Don’t bond too much, okay children. I don’t want to pick up your clothes from the floor in the morning” Alex pats my head affectionately.
“You’re lucky Max isn’t here” I narrow my eyes at him. His smile falters as he withdraws mumbling a “Touché.” The boys lose interest soon, and are settling in their seats. The bus was lively, everyone was chattering loudly. It was hard to believe it’s early morning. Everyone was in high spirits.
I also settle down and turns towards Luke with a grin. He was opening the window to let in fresh morning breeze.
“Hi, I am Natalia Anderson” I say, making him turn towards me. I take his hand shaking it, “You can call me Lia. You must be Luke Wright.”
“I thought my name was Luke the-orgasm-dealer?” he asks seriously. My lips twitch as I also remember the first time we met.
“Well I changed it-” I say continuing in a whisper “-since you won’t put out.”
Luke bites his lower lip to stop his grin. “We’ll see” he mutters mysteriously raising an eyebrow. I sit straighter in surprise, “Does that mean, you will finally-”
“Hey Max” Luke greets looking up behind me. I turn around to look at Max.
“You got everything?” he asks. He had a clip-board and a pen.
Luke nods. “I put the bag with extra kits along with the rest of the bags.”
“Good good” Max says absent-mindedly scribbling something on the clip-board.
“Luke and Lia are sitting together to improve their friendship” Dylan reports leaning behind my seat. Max shrugs casually, flipping through pages.
“Maxie, don’t you wanna go all over-protective big brothery” Ian coos teasingly.
“You got the first-aid box?” Max asks me studiously ignoring them.
“Yep, kept it near the driver” I nod.
“Good. You boys got everything?” Max asks turning towards the rest. We all were occupying the last portion of the bus.
“Aye aye captain” they respond immediately as they see Max was not in playful mood.
Max turns around and booms, “Coach, we’re all good.”
Coach Denfry was sitting in front with the driver. Hearing Max, driver starts the bus. Max goes in the middle aisle.
“Okay boys” he says loudly. “Like we decided. We. Will. Give. Them. HELL!” Max thumps the bus ceiling like a warrior going for battle. All the boys hoot and punch at their seats making rhythmic sounds shouting and hyping themselves up. I too feel energy coursing through me as all strands of sleep disappear and I find myself jumping along with Alex.
“Calm down boys” Coach announces over the voice. He was smiling wickedly. “That’s enough Max. I need this energy on the field tomorrow.”
All the boys hoot again in response and cheer madly as the bus takes on the road.
“Luke do you have a power bank?” Dylan interrupts my game with Luke. Rest of the boys were playing among themselves and I was having the time of my life asking stupid made-up questions to Luke. It was so amusing to see his reactions.
“Here” Luke throws his bag towards Dylan and turns back to me. I am about to ask him my next question but sadly I get interrupted.
“Yay! You have sandwiches! Why didn’t you tell me earlier” Dylan squeals and takes a huge-bite of the said sandwich.
“Okay, that’s not Jane’s cooking” Dylan frowns chewing.
“Lemme see” Alex takes one sandwich. “Yep, he’s right. Jane always layers the sandwich. This is mashed stuff.”
“My mum’s friend gave it. As a good luck” Luke answers taking off his glasses and rubbing his eyes.
I was about to coo how adorable he looked but Julian dived in, “Oh was it Heather?”
I look at Luke only to find him nodding at Julian.
“Aww, please tell me Ivy came to give them to you” Julian gushes.
“Yeah, so?” He asks not understanding what the hype was about.
“Wait who’s Ivy?”
“Bro why haven’t I seen her?”
“Is she hot?”
“Can I have her number?”
Suddenly all the boys were leaning over our seat excitedly looking at Luke.
“Allow me” Julian bows and makes space for himself. “First, Ivy is Luke’s friend. Second, you haven’t seen her because she goes to a different school. Third, yes, oh my Lord yes she is beautiful. Fourth, you’ll have to ask Luke for her number Alex.”
“Don’t you have a girlfriend. Go suck up to her. I am getting this Ivy” Max shoves Alex’s face.
“Woah man. Not so soon” Ian laughs mockingly.
“Let Luke decide” Dylan shushes everyone.
Luke is wordlessly watching the entire scene leaning against the window.
“Ivy’s mother and mine are good fiends. So sorry, I can’t help you.”
The boys groan and grumble among themselves. Luke warily looks at me.
“It’s fine. I am fine. As corny as this sounds, but I trust you” I mumble sheepishly. He gives me a pleased look.
“It’s official, we are stuck” Max sighs dropping in his seat pausing our game. He was returning from the front.
There was a traffic block outside the city and we were waiting for at least two hours. It was hardly noticeable as we had put on music and were goofing around with each other.
Max, Alex and Dylan were sitting in the last seat that could fit 10 people at once. Few bags were stuffed at the sides as they spread in the middle. Julian and Ian were sitting in the seat beside me and Luke.
For most of the ride we all were on our knees turning back towards Max and Dylan. Alex had a new girlfriend so he would scooch away from us time to time to give kisses to his lady on the phone. According to Dylan, Alex was blinded with love.
“Hey Max, when will this baby get moving?” a boy hollers few seats ahead of us.
“I don’t know mate. Hopefully soon” he replies.
“Coach said he knew this would happen, that’s why we started so soon” Max says to us. “There’s a new road system implemented on this town. And it has been causing troubles for over a week.”
“Couldn’t we have taken a different route?” Julian asks.
“They are way too long. This is the direct route.”
I shiver as a cold breeze flows in through Max’s window. I had asked him to close it but he just teased me about being a big baby. Luke inconspicuously shifts closer to me so that our sides were touching. His sweater-clad arm sent a warm wave through me making my shivering stop. I shoot him a grateful look, but he was solemnly listening to Alex explain something. My face lifts in a smile at his unconscious actions.
We stumble into the hotel at 7 pm, exhausted out of our minds. Firstly there was that block on the road, and after that just when the vehicles had started moving there had been an accident. We wanted to take the other route, but we were stuck in the middle of the road with cars surrounding us. Staying inside the bus for that long had tired everybody.
“Good evening sir, our Coach won’t be here since he’s busy. We’ll be showing you the rooms” a red-haired guy along with his friend greeted us. They were wearing matching shirts saying ‘Blue Valley Hospitality Group’.
We dragged our suitcase and followed them to the first floor. The boys quietly nudged each other, gawking at the hot receptionist. I was too busy dying to take a hot shower to notice anything else. Half the team went in the elevator with Coach and the red-haired guy. Max, Luke and Alex had gone with the coach as they were discussing something.
With further bad luck, I was stuck with stairs. I was in the front leading with the other guy.
“You in the team love?” he asked openly checking me out. He had black hair and hazel eyes. I resisted the urge to frown as he called me ‘love’.
“Sort of” I give my clipped reply.
“Hmm, playing hard to get?” he smirked. I’ll admit he was quite a pretty boy giving me fuckboy vibes. But right now, he just ticked me off.
“I know by the time you go from here, I’ll have fucked you good at least twice” he whispers huskily near my ear. Thing is that, I am all up for hook-ups. Alright, I WAS all up for hook-ups, but whatever be the guy, I would not tolerate disrespect. And this guy right here was disrespectful. I understand flirting, I might even tolerate some offensive pick-up lines if I am in a good mood. But I can never take some stranger commanding and talking to me like this.
"Really-” I drawl out “-you don’t say” I sarcastically smile.
“I know it hotness” he winks. I mentally gag.
We were walking towards where the Coach was standing alone. Many boys were going in the rooms.
I stay back holding the boy’s wrist making him wait with me, as rest of the group went forward. Julian thumped my back, chuckling and whispered, “Don’t traumatize him.”
Once we were somewhat alone I turned to him. He was wearing a smug arrogant look.
“Look, I am sure we could have worked out” I say with a sad look. “But I can’t spend my time here teaching some desperate wanker, how to wear a condom.”
He looked shocked, embarrassed and above all angry. “I know how to-” he growls.
“Question, have you been wearing this pants since you were in kindergarden?” I interrupt pointing at his jeans that was hanging so low at his hips that I could see his belt and his underwear. It was like he had fastened them at his thighs.
“I-You..” he stutters angrily.
“Stay away from me asshole” I snap, dropping my happy face and walking towards the rest.
“Choose one friend to share the room” I hear Coach saying. “Natalia, you will get your single room” he informs on seeing me.
Soon, we were all set. Max and Alex were in one room. Luke and Dylan were in another and Julian and Ian were sharing a room. I was between Julian and Max’s room.
I wish I could share my room with Lukey boy..
I know, I know..
Y’all must be hating me right now. I was gone for so long. But oh my gosh! My exams were fucking nerve-wracking. In my house, grades are sort of a big deal so I had to focus (not that it made much difference, my papers sucked monkey balls). But hey! I am back and Lord I missed writing this story. So here you go, three chapters together as my apology. Hope you guys enjoy it.
PS: You all are too cute. Your comments make me feel I am good writer. Thank you sweethearts!
PSS: 19k reads?! Wow, I mean I feel completely shocked. Because I can’t actually believe people choose my book, and then decide to go through with it. Thank you again so much! You guys make me happy. I hope I do the same for you with my story <3