I didn't expect to be versing them so soon. I thought I would have more time.
"Okay guys, enough with the long faces" Coach cut in and for once I was happy not to have all their attention on me. "Let's get to practice, take a warm up lap of the oval"
As the team took off in a jog I couldn't get my mind to focus. Instead I just kept my legs moving and my breathing even. It was all I could do. My future was hanging in the balance and I couldn't risk getting distracted. Memories were already clawing at the back of my mind.
"Ashton!" Xavier screamed, his voice echoing across the pitch. The grounds were silent.
"Holy fuck" It was Alistair who made it to my side quickest, he'd been on the sidelines, sitting on the bench with the team. "Dude, dude, you're fucking bleeding, shit. Coach!"
"Back up back up!" Coach's voice shouted, urgency becoming clear despite his deep voice, Xavier was there now, his face briefly flashing before my eyes. Alistair didn't back up, but he also didn't know what to do. The pain was horrible. It started out numb and grew till I was screaming and didn't stop there. Searing agony burned through my veins, the horrible snap echoing in my ears over and over again.
I don't know where the other player went, he'd been here one second, and gone the next. But I really couldn't bring myself to care as pain drilled into my head, my arms burned and my legs stun. But it was my ankle that felt like it was being ripped off.
Sirens blared in the distance but they were barely heard of my endless screams. I could feel the fence against my back, the wires digging in through my shirt. I don't remember how I had gotten here but the fence was no longer cool against my burning skin. The air was humid and the smell of blood was everywhere, sticking to my skin and drowning the air.
My screams were only ended when the pain was cut short by breathes of pain reliever. The world slowly dipping into a nonessential nonsense.
The memory was harsh and glancing to the left I noticed Soraya eyeing me suspiciously from the side and shot her a smirk.
"Notice something you like?" I asked around a breath, chasing the memories away with the present.
"Just a little bit of whore still on your face" She responded and I let out a breathy chuckle.
"Well that's a little bit mean, she's not that bad" I replied, half-heartedly defending the girl whose name I honestly didn't even remember.
"I was actually talking about you"
"What happened to Vanhooker? I thought you guys were a thing anyway" she stated, her hair up in a ponytail and trailing behind her. I liked the colour better, it suited her more than the pastel ones previously did.
"It's sort of a casual arrangement I guess you could say" I winked at her. Jessica and I really weren't a thing, but I don't think she saw it that way. She was the kind of girl that ripped apart those in her way just to get to the top, popularity was all and I was a way for her to get it. I didn't mind, because, despite her lack of personality she was gorgeous, and quite frankly, she was easy.
"You're a pig, you know that right?" Soraya replied, her tone flat and I rolled my eyes,
"I never claimed to be a saint" I finished and Xavier dropped back to run beside me, shooting me a curious expression.
"You okay to play this game man?" He asked, his eyebrows drawing together in the middle, his question instantly discarding my efforts to think of something else.
"I'll be fine" I replied, voice tight, I couldn't not play, if I sat this one out then the Mavericks will know they got to me. They would win. And I was not going to let that happen.
"You can sit this one out, Coach will let you I'm sure" He tried and it was obvious he was worried, after all he'd been there. He knew the story. He'd been on second base at the time. I'd ran for home on his hit.
"Wait, what's this about? Why would he be sitting this one out?" Soraya cut in, obviously confused by the situation, we were more than halfway around the oval by now.
"I won’t be" I cut in before Xavier could say anything, although he shot me a confused look,
"Dude, you do remember what they did last time, right? Or did the drugs they gave you short circet your brain?" He asked, stopping me from running with a hand on my arm,
"I'll be find"
"Ash, if you get hurt again you won’t get your scholarship"
"Xavier. Just leave it"
“Willow, it's Monday, which means it’s a school night which means you can’t sleepover because I actually need to sleep.” I told Will over the phone, she didn’t seem to be listening to my very important point. Sleep was essential unless I wanted to be a zombie tomorrow morning.
“But I'm driving down your street.” She complained, obviously she had me on speaker while she drove. I don't know how she got her license, I really really don't. I drove with her once and I almost threw myself out of the car when she parked, I’d nearly kissed the ground too.
“Then turn back.” I replied bluntly, but clearly she didn’t do what I told her.
“I'm parking in front of your house…” she trailed off. “Actually I'm parking in your driveway because no one’s there.”
“Willow I swear to god-”
“Is your front door unlocked?” she asked me next.
“Good because I'm walking into your house.” She stated, and I groaned. I was on my bed upstairs, playing a video game (the phone on speaker while sitting on my leg), so this was kind of awkward.
“Willow, what the flying fuck are you doing?” I queried, needing to know why she was doing this.
“Currently, getting a bag of chips from… never mind that, I'm getting gooey cookies or whatever the hell these things are.” She said, she wasn’t lying, I could hear someone in the kitchen. “Hey, where are you?”
“I'm in my room.” I answered, before I was shot dead by a bastard on the opposing team. “Motherfucker!” I shouted in retaliation before shutting my laptop in an angered movement.
“Shot dead?” She asked me.
“Yep.” I answered, she sighed.
“I'm getting the block of chocolate and a bottle of soft drink by the way.” She told me, I then heard footsteps coming up the stairs. “And I'm gonna open… I can’t open your door, can you get it?” She asked.
“I'm coming.” I stated, standing up and walking to the door while hanging up my phone. Sure enough I opened the door and found my red-head friend standing with her phone tucked in between her ear and her shoulder, a packet of icing filled cookies in one hand with a block of chocolate in her arms and the other hand holding a bottle of soft drink with a death grip, whilst her duffle bag was slung haphazardly over her other shoulder.
“Hey! It’s been so long since I saw you last and we haven’t hung out in ages and I thought ‘it’s a Monday, I'm bored, you're probably bored, let’s have a sleepover, why not?’ and so here I am with my stuff and food.” She said with a smile.
“You’re here with an almost empty bag, which means you’ve probably forgotten half of your stuff and you’ll have to borrow mine, you’ve actually got some of my food and where the hell are you gonna sleep?” I pointed out all the flaws to her plan. She wasn’t even in nice clothes, she was wearing a stained Beatles shirt with ripped denim shorts (they're not supposed to be ripped, she got caught on a fence… at least that’s what she told me anyway).
“I thought I could just share your bed with you, since you’ve got a lovely king size double and-”
“No. I'm not sharing a bed, you should know that by now.” I cut her off.
“I know… that’s why the only things I brought were a pillow and an air mattress.” She responded, chucking her bag on the floor, jumping onto my bed and dropping the food she had grabbed as well as the bottle of soft drink.
“You disappoint me on so many levels.” I rolled my eyes as I lay on my bed, face first into the mattress.
“Hey, my Mum says that… constantly.”
“And you wonder the fuck why?” I questioned, earning a slap on the arm.
“That was a tad rude, jeez.” Will scolded me. “So, what are we gonna do? Talk about boys? Yes? Good.”
“Will, I don't want to talk ab-”
“Oh my god, Alistair today, was he a cutie or what? Like, when he bumped into me and then he like held me up and-”
“And you lost your shit?” I cut her off after she cut me off. I then heard the doorbell ring, and I walked down the stairs to open the door, Will hot on my heels.
“I did not lose my shit thank you very much, I kept very… oh my god is that him?” She asked, I looked out the door to see the three people I would least expect to find.
“Mhmm.” I said in annoyance, I turned around to see Willow’s red hair flying back up the staircase. I opened the door and three boys stood within vision, each holding a pillow and various food and drinks. “What the fuck are you doing here?”
“Well… you see, um-” Alistair started, Ashton cut him off.
“We’re here because we decided we want to play games and shit and then we decided that you should join and then we decided we could come here and do it and then we decided that we would just stay overnight.” He stated before trying to walk in, I shut the door on his foot.
“And when did Soraya agree to any of these decisions?” I asked in third person.
“Dude, I told you she wouldn’t go for it.” Xavier said the obvious, my eyebrow raised at the shocked expression on Ashton’s face.
“Secret weapon time?” He asked Alice, the other teen nodded in response. “We bought this for you.” Ass held a Tampa Bay Rays playing shirt out towards me, I took it from him and looked at it closely, eyes wide.
“Is this signed?”
“You’re the one who’s looking at it, you tell me.”
“It’s signed by the Rays… for me. Where the fuck did you get this?” I queried, I was holding a button-up playing shirt signed by my favourite bloody Major League Baseball team and I was struggling to breathe steadily, a scream threatening to escape.
“We went to their home game the other weekend while you were at work so we got them to sign a shirt for you.” Ass told me. “Can we come in now?”
“You will always be welcome in my household.” I stated as I continued to stare at the shirt and walked into my lounge room. My eyesight never left the shirt as I spoke to them again. “Leave your stuff here, I’ll be back in a second.” As my feet carried me to my bedroom I walked into Willow trying to squeeze into a pair of my jeans. To be honest I had completely forgotten she was here for a solid five minutes.
“What in the name of holy hell are you doing?” were the words that slipped out of my mouth, her eyes snapping to look at me.
“Alistair is down those stairs and I'm in my shitty clothes, I am not going down there until…” she trailed off as her eyes widened further before falling to the ground and trying to hide herself by pulling my quilt over the top of her body, my feet turned me around to find Alistair standing at the still open door, eyes wide.
“I was just gonna-”
“Get the fuck out you pervert!” I shouted as I slammed my bedroom door on his face.
“I just need to know where the bathroom is!” he shouted.
“Second door on the right!” I shouted back, turning to face Will again, well the quilt covered lump that was on the ground.
“Can I just die now please?” She asked, I removed the quilt from her, finding her eyes red and tears on her cheeks.
“It’s not that bad, think of all the sensual thoughts in his mind right about now. This is good for your non-existent relationship.” I tried to comfort her. “Now, come on, Let’s get you some clothes you might actually fit in.” I stated next, standing up and looking through my closet. She wasn’t that much different to my size, but she differentiated just enough to need bigger clothes. I grabbed a black, ‘Marvel’ shirt and a pair of acid wash, skinny jeans. I threw them at her before getting a jumper for myself, it was quite cold downstairs actually.
Just as both Will and I sat down on the couch, the front door opened and everyone’s eyes turned to look at the new arrival at the same time.
“What the actual fuck?” Ezekiel asked before his eyes landed on Xav. “What are you all doing here?”
“They wanted to play games but I can’t be bothered so movies it is.” I answered for everyone present.
“Really, movies? Are we going to be watching some kind of chick-flick shit bec-”
“Annabelle. I was going to watch Annabelle.” I cut Ashton off, his face nearly went white. “But I suppose we can put that off until after a chick-flick. What does everyone wanna watch?”
“Oh, can we watch… Fifty Shades of Grey?” Again my eyebrow rose without my control at Ashton’s question.
“What? Don't you have it? Isn’t it just a normal thing for girls to own that movie?”
“Not necessarily normal for someone to ask to watch it.” I retorted while grabbing a USB and opening my computer. I'm good at getting movies, I mean why would you buy one when you can pull it from the internet? Especially when you can find something with as good quality as I can.
Conversation flowed while we waited for the movies to copy, everyone talking about everything imaginable. Some comments kind of worried me like when the boys were talking about some of the girls they got with or what kind of porno was the best. But I’d learnt to expect that when it came to the baseball team. Willow on the other hand, was as red as a beet the whole time.
Finally the two movies copied and I plugged the USB into the TV, selecting the movie that Ashton apparently wanted to watch. After witnessing the weird ass relationship bloom and crash between Anastasia and Christian (with awkward coughs and diverted eyes during those awkward scenes… well the guys were fully into it, their eyes were practically glued to the screen the entire time.) I screamed with excitement, I finally get to watch Annabelle again. I laughed as I clicked ‘play’ and I told everyone to pick a cuddle-buddy.
Well I basically told Alistair to get his ass over to Willow so there could be a half-assed excuse for hugging her. After ten minutes of the movie beginning I realised something… Zeke had basically been staring at Xav all night. My brain started ticking overtime as I realised it wasn’t a hateful stare, it was more of an ‘I wanna fuck you’ stare.
Oh my god, hold up.
All those remarks about guys and cut abs and popping booties, how did I not see this before?
I grabbed my phone out and my fingers flew over the touch screen.
‘Dude, are you damned well gay?’
That was the message I had sent him, after he checked his screen and looked over to me I think he realised that his cover was blown.
‘What gives you that idea?’
Was what I got back, with an angry face I texted back.
‘You’ve been staring at Xav all night, so are you or not?’
This insufferable bastard hadn't told me that he likes guys, he better not lie to me now.
‘I'm bi, okay?’
I sighed, he tells me over text that he likes guys and girls. Over a text.
‘I'm perfectly okay with that but why didn’t you fucken tell me!’
‘Because… I don't know, can we just watch the movie now?’
My breathing became heavier as I read the message, why wouldn’t he tell me? Did he think I would actually care?
I sent back, my eyes turning back to the screen before looking at a pale-faced Ashton who was seated next to me, I had my legs curled up on the couch between us. I hadn't even noticed he was holding my leg with a death grip, I don't think he had either. I tapped his shoulder, making him jump with a start.
“Are you okay?” I whispered to him.
“I hate horror movies with a passion.” He whispered back, and I tried my best not to laugh. By trying my best I mean that I’d managed to restrain it to a grin.
“Do you need a cuddle-buddy?” I asked him, wondering if I would even be okay with that. He nodded. All toughed up, player, baseballer, muscly and 6’1” Ashton needed a cuddle-buddy. Now that is weird. I sighed as I changed my positioning so he could lean on me, my arms wrapping around his shoulders after making sure the sleeves on my jumper were pulled down over my hands. One of his arms was tucked behind my back and under my waist while the other was around the front of my torso, his head resting on the front of my shoulder.
He seemed awfully close, a bit too close, but seeing someone this scared brought on my motherly instinct and soon enough I was falling asleep with Ashton uncomfortably in my arms.
At some point during the night the others fell asleep, and I remember Xavier falling first, his boredom clear. Although, none of the others noticed as he fell asleep between Zeke’s legs, and I don’t think even I was supposed to notice the hand playing in his dark hair. In fact, I don’t even think Xavier himself knew.
Will had managed to steal most of Alice’s attention from the movie as she let him lay his head on her thighs. Although, by the time she fell asleep they were doing the equivalent of spooning, Alistair being the little spoon as Willow wrapped around him like a back pack.
It was cute. But none of us got to see the end of the movie.