Autumn's Light

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Game Day

‘Breathe in and out. In and out.’ I was sitting in the locker room before the game, lacing up my shoes.’ In and out.’ I picked up my pom poms and stood. ‘In and out.’

Harley had just finished putting warpaint on my cheeks for the game. In yellow and black. I swear our mascot should’ve been a bee but nope it’s a Mustang. To be fair, the yellow is more of a tan yellow. Reminded me of the horse movie spirit. Wow, that’s a flashback.

Anxiety was peaking its ugly head to the surface of my brain. I was breathing. The therapist told me I could have ptsd with that happened. I haven’t been on a field since cheering, tonight was the night to see if I could do it. I haven’t told Harley or anyone on the team about the incident. I wanted to have a fair chance and fair treatment.

Ding. My phone went off beside me as the rest of the girls got their cheeks painted.

‘Can’t wait to watch my cheerleader cheer me on ;) ’

Oh the blushing happened again. Hendrix was making moves and making moves big time after our talk. The kisses on the hand were the first, now he has sent me cute texts over and over again since I went to the locker room. Harley came to me and read the text and we both giggled.

“My god, okay. Even I would forgive him with those texts he’s been sending you.” She winked at me then smiled.

“Okay girls! Gather round gather round!” she screamed.

The squad gathered around her, Hazel on my right and Jane on my left making a circle.

“Now, we’ve done this before but we have new members and new cheers to do. We can do this. We can make those boys play this game right. Without us who would they win for??” She winked at me again and everyone giggled. “Lets show those stupid Tigers that we got this in the bag! Hands in!”

We all put our hands in with our pom poms attached.

“Squad on 3, 1-2-3!”

“Squad!”

We all screamed and hollered as we heard the boys locker room start chanting and roaring with excitement. We should get out there and get the crowd going. Football was a major thing in this city and the stands were usually packed with fans. I put my phone in my locker and we all ran out to the field.

Once we got to the opening of the field my mind flashed with images. The fans were screaming and clapping for our arrival. Yet, I froze in place. I shook my head as Harley looked over her shoulder at me. I smiled and continued running shaking the thoughts from my head.

We got in our positions on the track. Stood there with smiles on our faces and hands behind our backs. The announcer came over the speakers. I was still trying to breathe correctly.

“And now lets welcome our away team the Trenton Tigers!”

We shook our pom poms at the opposing team’s side as their team ran in and got on their benches and coaches ran out to the field.

“And they need no introduction but here is one anyway, Our home team the Jackson Mustangs!”

The squad burst into scream and hollering and clapping our hands together. The team ran by us on the track and into their spots. As Bryce came into view he gave me a high five and so did Ryder, Carter, Wynn, and Jason. Hendrix wasn’t on the field yet. I was wondering why.

“And finally the men that need no introductions, But here I am doing one anyway. They have led this team to a 4-0 season so far. Help me in welcoming our quarterback, Hendrix Heart and coach Kent Smith!”

Well there was my answer, he got his own introduction with Coach Kent. They both ran out onto the field from the entrance. He turned his body towards me running a bit backwards and I blew him a kiss. Why I did that? I have no idea. He pretended to grab it and put it on his heart. Even when the stands were cheering and roaring he was only staring at me. What is this boy doing to my heart?

The game started and we sat on our knees watching the plays. When it was a time out we got to our feet and did our first cheer.

B.E.A.T Beat Um’
B.U.S.T Bust Um’
Beat Um’, Bust Um’
Cuz that’s our custom
So come on, Boys
Lets Ugghh! Readajust Um’!

The crowd cheered and stood up. We cheered back. “Go” Clap “Fight” Clap “Win”

We crowd was cheering along with us. This felt like I never left. This was my zone. We knelt back down to watch the game. When I turned around to face the field I noticed everyone of my boys turned around watching. I made a motion with my hand to turn around and they laughed and did, putting on their helmets.

Halftime came and the boys got into a huddle around the coach. They rarely went back inside the locker rooms I was told. They said it made them more nervous to get back out there. I looked at the score board. We were up 8-0.

I knew our halftime dance was up after the dance team did theirs. They came onto the field and did their dance, with us watching on the sidelines. I heard a whistle behind me and saw Axle standing there on the first row of bleachers. I ran over crossing paths with a couple people walking, then jumped on onto the railing.

“You come to football games?”

“Maybe I do, and maybe I just came to watch a certain someone cheer.” He winked at me.

So this is why Hendrix was so jealous. Boys are such, well boys. “Uh huh, well this certain cheerleader has cheering to do.” I jumped down and ran to my squad just in time to get in line to walk out to the field.

Half of us went out to the field, the other half stayed on the track. We had a method to this madness. The music came on. The cupid shuffle, with our own spin on the moves. The ones left on the tracks were getting the crowd involved in the dance too. I was lead on the field. The crowd got into it and danced with us.

My eyes went to Axel in the stands and he was clapping and whistling with every move I did. I smiled a little harder. Then the song was done and our music mixed up. Bangarang by Skrillex came on. We started clapping to the beat as the girls from the track came running to us on beat to the song. The crowd was clapping along with us, till the beat dropped and we all did a back flip. Then got into our positions for stunts. Here we go.

One after another we landed them, I was caught stunt after stunt. The last stunt was the end of the song. They flung me in the air and I landed on hazel and Jane’s hands and they tossed me back in the air and grabbed my leg as I grabbed my ankle above my head and put the other first in the air. The crowd cheered like crazy. They dropped me down and we all cheered and clapped.

The boys came from the sidelines and got on the field, we knelt again. Out of the corner of my eye I saw my dad standing on the sidelines with Hendrix’s dad I would assume. They looked the same. I smiled when he noticed I caught him watching us. He waved and I waved back.

Harley looked over. “Is that your dad?”

“Yeah, he must’ve came here to see us.” I smiled to myself.

Touchdown after touchdown happened. The last play was now happening and my heart stopped for a moment. I turned to Harley and she gave me a look. I turned and looked at my dad and it was like he knew. He mouthed. ‘I’m right here.’ Pointing to the ground to make his point. This is when Sam was killed.. last play of the game. I kept breathing and staring at the ground I didn’t even see the play happen. We won a clean victory of 25-8. We got up and cheered as the team went and sat down at the benches. The people started clearing the stands and crowding the track area. I leaned back against the railing and was trying to breathe. I felt a presence in front of me and I opened one eye and Axel and Blake were standing right there.

“Here to gloat on how bad I was?” I smirked and adjusted myself to be standing straight on again, opening my other eye.

“Quite the opposite actually..” He smirked back at me and Blake was standing there brooding like always.

“OTT!” Bryce came running over and grabbed me away from Axel and Blake, I waved the best I could because I was being smothered with football gear to the face. I pushed Bryce off me when we got to the entrance of the locker rooms. “Okay okay! Enough!” I laughed and gave him a high five. “Good job out there brotha.”

“Thanks” he was standing a little taller. “I can tell you a certain someone was watching you the whole halftime.. he almost messed up the first play after because he wasn’t paying attention..”

I giggled then covered my mouth with my hands. “Opps..”

He smiled and ran into the locker room. People were filling the hallway now to congratulate the team when they came out. I ran into the girls. My squad was already in there giggling and talking to themselves.

“Autumn there you are! We’re all going to Ryder’s party. You comin?” Hazel asked.

“You betcha! I’m taking my brother, so you girls go ahead, I still gotta change.” I looked down at the uniform and made a face. They were already changed into street clothes and cute ones at that.

They walked out and agreed to meet me there. I got changed into ripped jeans, brown combat boots, and tie up v neck camo shirt. I grabbed my phone and bag and walked out of the locker room. I checked my phone and saw that Bryce was gonna meet me at the car.

I jogged to the jeep with the keys in my hand. I rounded the corner of the school when a body came directly into my path and I stopped before running into it. Axel’s face showed up.

“Shit, Axel. You gave me a heart attack.” I said grabbing my heart and making myself actually calm down.

“I’ll take that as a compliment about my looks..” he smirked and walked closer to me.

“You’re just as bad as Ryder I swear.” I pushed past him.

“hey hey! where ya goin?” he asked looking sad.

I turned back around to face him still walking. “Party. Brother. Duty calls.” I saluted him and took off jogging again into the parking lot.

I noticed lots of cars were still in the parking lot. I noticed Hendrix’s truck was still there and a couple of the other football guys car’s. They must not be out yet. I got out my phone to text Bryce.7

‘I’m out here slow poke.’

I opened the jeep and threw my bags in the trunk and climbed ontop of the hood and sat there. I had the top off too. I stared at my phone and texted Harley.

‘killed it.’

Ding.

‘you mean nailed it! *air high five*’

I rolled my eyes. She would say air high five on a text message.

Then I remembered my dad was here but I never saw him leave. I looked around the parking lot but didn’t see his vehicle. I shrugged and kept searching through my phone.

Ding.

‘Grabbing food. Want some?’ Harley asked.

‘You know it!’

I saw the group of guys rounding the corner. Bryce, Ryder, Wynn, Carter, and Hendrix.

When Ryder saw me he cam running up and dropped his bag and did a square with his fingers. “no no, stay right there this angle is perfect.” He was acting like I was a model for the car.

I rolled my eyes and slid off the hood on to the ground. Bryce came over and dropped his stuff in the back of the jeep.

“Hey Ott, mind if I drive? Wynn is hitching a ride with us. “

I shrugged and tossed him the keys. “I don’t care.”

Hendrix reached me and dropped his bag on the ground. “Actually, Autumn would you like to drive with me?” His eye was still bruised.

Ryder pouted. “I thought I was riding-…” he cut himself off when Hendrix sent him a glare.

“Thought I was riding with Bryce anyway, yep that works out great. Crowded back seats suck.” He tossed his bag into the back of the jeep and jumped in.

I stared at Hendrix then smiled a bit. “Looks like your stuck with me!”

“Damn..” His voice was so smooth when he said that. He had this look on his face that made me blush right then and there.

Carter went to his car and we all agreed to meet at Ryder’s. Hendrix tossed his bag in the backseat of his truck then shut the door, only to open the door for me on the passenger side. “M’lady.”

I smiled at him while shaking my head. He helped me up into the seat. He had to have a lift kit on the damn thing, me being only 5’6 was not my strong point right now. Luckily he had steps that came out. But it was still a climb for me.

He shut the door and went around and jumped into the drivers side. He made that look so easy. He flipped the console to face the backseat and created a middle seat next to him. I got the point and slid next to him. I guess he didn’t realize I got the hint and smiled really big at me.

We both buckled up and he started the truck. The radio came on to the typical country station.

We started driving and he slowly put his hand on my thigh.

“You were great out there you know.” I said to end the silence.

“Me? Did you see yourself?” He asked, and I smiled and leaned onto his arm.

“Nope, I didn’t have an out of body experience sadly.” I wore I felt his chest grunt and I knew he was smiling at that one.

He started playing with the rips of my jeans with his fingers.

“Too bad, you would’ve seen how hot you were.. every guy in there had their eyes on you.”

We stopped at a red light. He leaned his head towards me and I knew instantly what he was doing. I straightened my back and met him halfway. The kiss was intense but gentle, his lips made one kiss turn into two then three, never breaking free. The heat rose in my stomach, the butterflies exploded and my cheeks burned. He grabbed the fabric of my jeans with his hand.

Out of no where a horn went off and Hendrix broke free and looked in his mirror then the windshield. He laughed a bit then took off again at the already green light.

“You’re a distraction…” he mumbled, side eyeing me.

I crossed my arms. His hand never left my thigh.

“I don’t see you complaining.” I made a smug face at him. He half smiled back at me as we pulled into Ryder’s driveway. Our first kiss just happened.

He got out his side then motioned for me to come out his way. I did and I slid off the seat and he caught me against him. We both sat there for a moment staring at each other. The sexual tension now was so high, luckily Carter broke the moment.

“FINALLY!” he clapped Hendrix on the back and Hendrix let go of me. I noticed there was a ton of cars here now. How did we get the driveway? Unwritten rule? Maybe?

We walked into the house and saw the house party taking shape. Everyone was drinking, the music was loud, people were dancing. Thank god my dad was on duty tonight. If he caught us he’d go easy and he’s not home to know about it. Without knowing it, Hendrix grabbed my hand and led me through the crowd. Those butterflies went off again.

He led me to the kitchen were Ryder and Harley were standing arguing about something or another again. Cat and Dog those two.

“NO! you don’t put pineapple on pizza.” Harley was yelling.

“Your insane, Pineapple goes on pizza and on Hamburger..” Ryder argued.

“Please tell me your NOT arguing about pineapples..” I chimed in with input.

They both stopped and stared at me and Hendrix. Mostly because Hendrix didn’t let go on my hand when we got to the kitchen. I didn’t even notice, but I kept it there.

They must’ve just accepted it because a second later..

“OTT! Tell me I’m right!?” he pouted and motioned to Harley. “She’s crazy..” he did the crazy symbol with his finger.

Harley punched him. “Excuse me! I saw that!”

Ryder just bounced out of the room laughing. “RETREAT!”

I rolled my eyes at him. I swear to god that boy. I could see why him and Bryce got along so well. Speaking of, where was that brother of mine?

I scanned the room and didn’t see him.

“I’m gonna find my brother.” I said to Hendrix next to his ear. The music was getting louder and louder. He nodded and led me around the house. I didn’t see him anywhere. I found Wynn and asked him where he was.

“He might be upstairs.” Was all he gave me. Why would he be upstairs?

We started heading to the stairs when Bryce and Carter came through the front door almost smacking me in the face, but Hendrix grabbed it in time.

“Hey watch it!” I yelled and smacked Bryce on the back of the head.

“Whoa whoa whoa girl chilllll.” He said while rubbing the back of his head. They all had their letterman’s jackets on now. I missed a lot of details. Bryce’s didn’t have his name on it yet, since he’s so new.

I sighed and let him join the party. I peaked into the room again and all the cheer girls were on the dance floor dancing with random guys from our school and a couple football players.

“You go on.” Hendrix whispered in my ear. I smiled and turned to him.

“You don’t have to tell me twice!” I screamed and ran straight to Harley and Hazel.

They squealed and hugged me, as we began to dance together and laughing. Hendrix leaned on the wall and watched me with a smile on his lips. Miley cyrus came on with her hoedown throwdown and we led the dance moves to it. Pretty soon those who were drunk were making the dance moves so much funnier. Kesha came on with Take it off. We all jumped up and down and sang along. Harley downed another beer and Hazel took a shot. I wasn’t one to drink. Not after what happened with my mom. I laughed and jumped off the make shift dance floor over to Ryder who was sitting on a chair. Hendrix disappeared somewhere, so I sat on Ryder’s lap and sighed.

“Umgh. Jesus Ott, lay off the ice cream.” He laughed and poked me.

“HEY!” I poked him back several times. He was laughing, he was ticklish.

“Okay okay mercy mercy!” He yelled.

I laughed and crossed my arms in victory. “Don’t insult the ice cream.”

He did a tiny salute. “yes mam.” He took another gulp of his beer and grabbed my shoulder.

“So you and Drixie huh?”

I rose an eyebrow. “Drixie?”

He laughed. “Yeah no stealing.”

I put my arms up in surrender form. “No protest here, but yes.”

He smiled and hugged me to him. “I wouldn’t let just anyone near my little Otty ott.”

He was getting drunk I could tell, so I patted him on the chest. “Okay dear, I have to go find Drixie now.”

“HEY! Copy right!” I laughed and jumped off his lap and walked around the house. I ran into everyone but Hendrix. Where would he have gone?

I reached the stairs again after doing a circle. I shrugged and went back to Harley. We started dancing till arguing started happening near by. I turned my head to see the boys from the Tiger’s walking around the house. Were they crashing the party? I saw Carter go up and tell them to get lost if they were gonna cause trouble. I guess they decided they weren’t going to. I shrugged and got back to dancing. I felt eyes on me but didn’t think anything of it.

Me and Harley exited the now super crowded floor and into the kitchen. I grabbed a water and a pizza slice and so did she. We finished eating when two guys came in the room with us from the Tigers.

“Oh, aren’t you the cheerleaders from today?” One guy asked.

Harley nodded. “Yes, I’m the captain!” she was drunk. Good god. I put her hand down she was now raising in the air.

“And she’s drunk. So go away please.”

The other guy raised his brow at me. “So that means your either co captain or a cock blocker.”

The smirked at each other then back to me.

“She’s my co captain you ass hats!” Harley yelled. She wasn’t wrong.

“Yeah I saw her out there.” He was eyeing me down like a piece of meat. Up and down with his eyes.

“Didn’t you see her moves out there too?” he asked his friend.

The friend nodded. “Yes, she sure is flexible..” They stepped closure to us.

“Oh hell no. Back up! Go back to where you came from.” I stepped in front of Harley, suddenly becoming protective of her. Even though they were talking to me.

I glared them down. “I mean it back off.” I spat out harshly. I wasn’t taking their shit today.

Hendrix’s body appeared at the side of mine, along with Carter’s, he came around and led Harley out of the room. I knew he was taking care of her. Hendrix pushed me behind him gently.

“You heard her, get lost.” His eyes were straight scary right now. His glare was intense. His body was tense. Carter was now standing there too. “Now.” He commanded with his deep voice.

“Whoa lookie here, she must be mister star quarterback’s pick of the week..” he spat on the ground in front of Hendrix. “lets go. Slut isn’t worth the effort.” He mumbled to his friend.

They took off down the hallway and out the front door, along with the other boys they brought with them.

I finally let out my breath. I didn’t even realize I was holding it in. Hendrix turned around and grabbed my arms. “You okay?”

I nodded. I was fine. Those are the jocks I was used to. “They don’t get to me.”

Carter turned. “I can see that. You just told their biggest player to basically screw off to his face.”

I shrugged. “He was upsetting Harley.”

Hendrix shook his head and cupped my face with his hands. “You.” He leaned down and kissed my forehead. I almost melted right there. He pulled me into him. I hugged him back. Carter made kissing noises and Hendrix shot him a look.

“Oh you shut it.” I came out his embrace and pointed at Carter. “Your time will come mister.”

Carter threw his hands in the air. “Whoa Whoa, your not a miracle worker.” He laughed and left the room, leaving only me and Hendrix in the room.

He spun me into him again when a thought went across my mind.

“Where did you go?” I asked looking up at him.

“I was with Wynn outside. I was helping him work up the courage to talk to Hazel.”

I made a face. “Hazel?!”

“Shhh!” he covered my mouth. “It’s a secret!”

I took his hand away from my mouth. “Sorry, jeezz..”

I checked my phone it was already 1 AM. I yawned a bit.

“Think this party will wind up soon?” I asked.

“Probably, the party has to shut down by 2 anyway, here lets get you home.”

I didn’t argue and let him lead me out of the house. People were slowly leaving and not dancing anymore. We got to my front yard next door and I paused.

“Wait, what about the girls? They drank…”

He laughed a bit. “Oh don’t worry. They crash at Ryder’s all the time with parties.”

“Where was Adrian?”

Hendrix shrugged but I knew he knew. She wasn’t even at the game. “She went out of town with Ryder’s parents after school today.”

“That makes sense.”

We reached my front porch and I got my keys out and opened the front door and turned back to face him.

“Thanks for everything tonight… I-“ before I could finish, Hendrix’s lips were on mine. I was pushed back on the door’s frame. He grabbed the back of my neck and deepened the kiss and I parted my lips to let his tongue in, while wrapping my arms around his neck. His Cologne was still strong and made my senses go wild. I took my hand up his neck to the back of his head and ran my hands through the back of his hair.

Police Sirens broke us apart. I turned to see two police cars pulling up to Ryder’s house. ‘shit’ we both took off towards the house. I had to get Bryce out of there. I jumped the fence as did Hendrix and we slid in the back door. I found Bryce on the couch with Ryder.

“COPS!” I ran in screaming. Ryder jumped up and locked the front door and turned off the lights. I grabbed Bryce and Hendrix followed us out the back door and across the fence in record speed. We got to the front porch before a flashlight went on us. Bryce shielded his eyes.

“Damn, could you not.”

A police Officer appeared in the lights place. He was staring us down.

“You’re on private property. What are you doing up this late and out?” he questioned.

I sighed. “I’m Chief Greene’s daughter and this…” I smacked Bryce. “is his son, and this is Hendrix. Mayor hearts son.. you’re actually on our property..”

The officer looked at each of us and then started backing up. “Sorry for intruding. The party next door was getting a little out of hand.”

“Yeah, we just told them to chill out.” I smiled at him.

“Oh, well that’s good. Looks like they listened.” The officer replied.

“Mmhmm” I nodded.

“Well have a good night.” He tipped his hat at us and went off the property.

We all sighed at the same time.

“That’s nothin. She one time talked me outta tickets...”

I glared at him. “Annnnd you're drunk, lets go bro.”

Bryce shrugged. Clearly drunk and slumped into the house and up the stairs. I knew I was going to be in for a night with him. I turned to Hendrix. He was just smiling at me.

“What?” I asked.

He stepped forward and grabbed me again. “You.”

He kissed me again lightly but full of longing. “You again amaze me.”

I blushed. “Tell me when you get home will you?” I changed the subject. Hopefully it worked.

He smiled and kissed my hand again then my forehead. “Of course.” He murmured to me.

I grabbed his hand for as long as I could, then he broke free walking backwards. He left the yard and over to his truck. I saw it take off down the street.

My stomach was turning in and out on itself. These damn butterflies. I heard Bryce groan from inside. Well here goes my night. Babysitting brother time. I went in the house and slammed the front door.

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