Colliding Hearts

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Chapter 5 | The Football Game


“Let’s go, Trojans! Let’s go!”

The cheerleaders chant, cheering and performing down on the sidelines of the football stadium. Facing the crowd in the bleachers, where each seat is full to the brim with football fanatics and adoring fans, they perform their routine. Throwing girls up into the air and energizing the stadium. The point? To get the crowd ready for when the players come out. Not like they need any more spirit in them as they wave their homemade signs around with paint on their faces or somewhere on their bodies. Shaking my head at the enthusiasm of the fans, I make my way up the bleachers, heading back to my friends.

“I swear to god if the girl behind me screams in my ear one more time I will punch her in the face,” Sierra huffs as I sit back down next to her. Offering her some nachos I had gone to buy. Although watching football isn’t my favorite thing in the world, they serve amazing food.

“I understand this friendship. You all have violent tendencies,” Sebastian realizes as he reaches over to pinch some of our nachos until I slap his hand away. “Some more violent than others.”

“How much longer before this game starts? These lights are going to blind me,” Sierra mutters, referring to the flood lights beaming down on the field, illuminating both that and the bleachers.

“Shouldn’t be much longer. They usually get the crowd riled up before the players come out,” Liv explains.

“How do you come to every game? And not get bored or confused,” Hannah asks, bewildered.

“Nick played in high school as well and believe it or not, I was a cheerleader back then too, so I’m used to being at the games.”

Sierra chokes on her nachos, before looking at Liv “You were a cheerleader?”

“I didn’t know this, but then again Nick has said before how overboard you can go with cheering at the games,” I smirk, and she smiles sheepishly.

“Oh god don’t even. There was this one time where I guess the girlfriend to a player on the team. They were playing against was saying things about Nick because Nick was either tackling the guy or doing a hell of a good job to make sure the ball didn’t get to the end zone. Let’s just say I had a friendly chat with her,” Liv bites her lip as we all chuckle.

“I knew there was a sassy girl in there somewhere,” Hannah nods proudly. “There’s hope for you yet.”

“Games starting,” Sebastian nods to the field where both coaches walk into the middle of the field with a commentator.

“Please welcome to the field, the away team UCLA Bruins!” As the commentator announces them, the team runs onto the field as both sides cheer. Although our side is more polite cheer than we want you to win cheer. “And the home team USC Trojans!” Our side goes crazy as soon as they’re announced, making Sierra jump and cover her ears as I laugh, throwing my head back. We all clap as they run out.

After both teams run onto the field, they head towards the benches and I see Nick look up to the stands to wave to Liv. I nudge her side and smirk as she rolls her eyes, but the blush is prominent on her face. Down on the field, a little in front of us since we sit quite close, I see Dylan roll his eyes before fluttering his eyelids and jumping on Nick. We all laugh, watching as Nick pushes Dylan off him and I see Noah look up, his eyes locking with mine. Liv nudges me back, making me roll my eyes at her insinuation.

Once coach shouts to Dylan to knock it off, scaring the crap out of him if how far he jumps and hides behind the guys in any indication. The players’ head to the field, getting into position, everyone eagerly awaiting the start. As soon as Noah calls it, the game begins, and the field erupts into chaos. I have never seen the team play before besides in practice, but I know how good they are. They may joke around in practice, but the seriousness that covers all their faces, including Dylan’s is clear in the way they play. All throughout the game we stay in front of the Bruins who are close to catching up a few times.

It doesn’t surprise me that coach is worried about the new Bruins player considering the hits he put on some of our players throughout the games. I would not like to be them right now. As the game comes to an end, the crowd cheers as our team pulls through and wins. We all stand up and cheer seeing the guys on the field jumping around and on top of each other as they celebrate. As the celebration calms down, the rest of us head down the bleachers and out to the parking lot to meet up with the guys once they’ve finished.

“What did you guys think of the game?” Liv asks as we stand by the cars waiting.

“They were good, I’ll admit the energy in there gets you excited even if you’re not a huge football fan. I was also secretly happy when Colton got tackled by the new Bruins recruit,” I chuckle, remembering when he went down.

“Secretly? Ava, you were smiling,” Sebastian tells me, and I shrug my shoulders. “There was nothing secret about that.”

“Sure you don’t want to come to the party at the football house with us, Liv?” Hannah questions.

“Yeah, I’m good. Nick and I are going to head home and watch a movie.”

“Way to make me and Ava feel single,” Sierra throws her arms into the air making us laugh. Soon enough the guys come bounding outside, all showered and dressed for the party.

“WE WON!!!!” Dylan screams, running towards us, picking me up and spinning me around as I squeal in shock.

“AH! DYLAN PUT ME DOWN!” I scream hearing everyone laugh, and he puts me down, where I immediately hold on to a car. “Dizzy.”

“Probably should have warned you he gets more hyper after a win,” Noah warns me too late and I shoot a glare his way. As Aiden and Nick get to us, Nick goes straight to Liv. Wrapping her in a hug as the rest of us shoot congratulations the guys’ way before introducing them to Sebastian.

“I really thought that big guy would knock someone out,” Sierra voices her opinion.

“Some faith you have in us then,” Aiden feigns offense as Sierra smirks at him.

“Ok, can you two stop making sex eyes at each other so we can head to the party. I need a girl, I’m like seventh wheeling right now,” Dylan throws his arms into the air as he walks off.

“You’re clingy, you know that!” Aiden shouts after him and Dylan flips him off before we all start making our way to the football house.

“How was your first football game?” Noah asks as we fall in step with each other behind the rest of the group. His arm brushing mine as we walk close together.

“Loud,” I laugh, and he joins in. “And if you’re waiting for me to say you played good. I don’t want to inflate your ego, but I guess you were ok,” I joke, nudging his side as he chuckles.

“Gee, thanks. Did you at least enjoy yourself?”

“Yeah, it wasn’t so bad watching you guys play. It’s different to what I see in practice, but the best part of that entire game was definitely the nachos.”

He laughs. “I can’t compete with nachos in your eyes, can I?”

“We’ll see you guys later,” Nick says as he and Liv say goodbye to us before heading a different way. The rest of us carry on making our way to the football house. The warm L.A air makes it easy to dress in a denim miniskirt, loose off shoulder crop sweater that shows off my black bralette and boot heels. The closer we get to the football house, the louder the music gets and soon enough we round the corner, the house coming into view.

People scatter across the lawn and the front of the house, drinking, smoking and random couples making out in the open for everyone to see. Clearly some of them are too drunk to remember where they are as a guy attempts to take a girl’s top off. Walking up to the house, everyone greets the guys. Patting them on the back and chanting their names as if they’re gods. Which I guess at USC they kind of are.

“Welcome to the world of football parties!” Dylan walks through the already open door.

“Also known as let’s see how pissed Dylan can get,” Aiden corrects, making us all laugh and head inside.

The answer...very.

Bringing the cup to my lips, the bitter alcoholic taste tingles on my tongue as I swallow down the remaining contents. Brushing my hair away from my face as I make my way through the crowd, heading to the kitchen to get another drink and I smile at passing football players. Music blasts through the house, and cheers come from the beer pong table where a lot of the players stand around with girls flocking at their sides. Pushing past the last of the crowd, my boot heels tap against the floor as I make my way to the counter where all the drinks sit. Smiling at Noah, who stands off the side with a couple of guys, I make myself a drink.

“Hey Princess, you enjoying yourself?” Noah asks, walking over to me, now alone, and he leans on the counter, his eyes flickering over to where I’m making a drink.

“I have to admit you football players throw good parties, want one?” I ask, nodding my head towards the drink I’m making.

Noah leans in, peering into the glass. “What is it?”

“The Avalon Miller speciality, try it.”

Handing over the drink I’ve made, he eyes it warily before taking a good sip of it before nodding his head appreciatively. “Woman of many talents, this is good.”

“I see Ava made you her speciality. Don’t drink too many of them. She makes them strong and you don’t realize how strong until you’re stripping on a table,” Hannah glares my way as she stands in front of the counter.

“One time,” I mutter, making one drink for myself, and Hannah shakes her head when I offer her one. “Where is everyone?”

“We’re about to play beer pong. We convinced the players and their groupies they can play strip beer pong later. Which Dylan wasn’t happy about,” Hannah explains, pointing to the main area.

“He’ll be drunk soon enough that he’ll pass out and forget about strip beer pong,” Noah assures as we make our way to the main area and over to the beer pong table where our friends are, aside from Dylan, who disappeared after strip beer pong was moved to later on. Sierra stands on the other side of the table with Noah and Aiden, while Hannah, Seb and I stand at the other side.

People stand around, watching if we can out beat two of the football players all the girls are fawning over. Ready to offer them company if they lose. Throwing back and forth, alcohol sloshes over the table as the ping-pong balls land in them. Drink by drink both sides quickly lose cups on both sides. Noah stands at the other side, lining up the ball before throwing, and it lands perfectly in the cup in front of me. He sends me a wink and I roll my eyes before taking out the ball and drinking the alcohol all in one.

“Get ready to have this right? Cause I kind of just hyped up that we’re gonna win,” Hannah whispers to last part to me and I chuckle.

“Thanks for that pressure Han,” I tease, and she shrugs, her eyes glazed over it’s clear she’s borderline tipsy. “Drink it and weep, quarterback.” I wink at Noah before throwing the ball watching nervously as it lands in the last full cup they have. We cheer, watching as Noah chugs down the last drink and Aiden shakes his head.

“Next time we put Seb with the guys,” Sierra walks over, a pout on her lips making us laugh.

“Hmm, don’t think we didn’t notice Aiden taking drinks for you,” I nudge her hip and she waves us off. The guys walk over to us and congratulate us before Colton comes bounding over.

“We have a problem, the hockey team is here,” Colton tells the guys, his jaw clenched.

“What’s going on?” Sebastian asks, as confused as us girls are.

“The ice hockey team here at USC and the football team have a long-standing rivalry. Always have done even before we were here. Football is a big sport here, so we get the cheerleaders, the fans, the budget and everything they don’t like,” Aiden explains.

“They’ve caused trouble in the past to piss us off and make us lose. When we lose and they win, they become the stars. They’ve trashed our changing rooms, cars you name it,” Noah shrugs.

“Why are they here then? I mean, if they hate you and you hate them, why come here?” Hannah questions.

“The only reason they’d be here is to cause trouble,” Noah clenches his jaw, noticing a group walk over to us.

“Jackson...heard you guys won although the Bruins aren’t that good, you could have won by more,” A guy smirks at Noah. Standing in front of him, as they square up to one another and I can feel the tenseness radiating from Noah as he stands near me.

“Why are you here, Brooks? This party is for football players, you know, real athletes. You’re not welcome here,” Aiden informs.

“Actually, we were invited by Kelsey,” Brooks smirks before his eyes flicker over to us. “Met some new friends, have you?” He asks. Sebastian tightens his arm around Hannah’s shoulder, and I see Aiden take a step behind Sierra as if warning the guy as his sleazy eyes move from one of us to the other. Brooks rolls his eyes at the guys’ actions before landing on me. “And you are?”

Brooks walks closer to me, and I raise my eyebrow. “Not afraid to kick you in the balls if you get any closer.”

“Huh? Someone’s feisty.”

Brooks licks his lips as I screw up my face in disgust before Noah moves to stand in front of me. Hiding me from the gaze of Brooks, which he catches onto. “You weren’t invited, Brooks. This party is for real athletes, not figure skaters.”

“Babe!” A high pitch voice purrs, making me cringe as Kelsey runs up to Brooks, throwing herself into his arms and kissing him. I see some of the others pretending to gag. “I thought I’d invite the hockey team,” Kelsey smirks, but it drops when she sees me standing behind Noah.

“Kelsey, you know they’re not welcome here and if you carry on neither are you,” Colton warns and I furrow my eyebrows. My gaze flickers to Noah and Aiden seeing agreement on their faces. I guess even though Colton isn’t their favorite person, I guess they have the same common enemy.

“Come on, man. We came to enjoy the party. No trouble here,” Brooks holds his hands up in defense before he winks at me and walks off with Kelsey under his arm, with his friends following.

“What the fuck is Kelsey thinking?” Aiden huffs, an annoyed look covering his face.

“Isn’t it obvious? She can’t have Noah because he has common sense and won’t go for her. She doesn’t like it, so why not invite those idiots so she can think two guys will fight over her. When really, they hate each other, she’s psychotic, can I hit her yet?” Sierra asks me.

I shake my head. “Not yet. What are you guys going to do?”

“Leave them and hope they don’t cause any trouble tonight,” Noah sighs before Dylan stumbles over to us.

“Hey! Did you know the ice hockey pansies are here?”

In the early hours of the morning, so far, the hockey players have caused no problems, they mostly stick to themselves. Yet, it feels like they’re up to something considering they keep staring over at us. Feeling uncomfortable under their stares, I get up from the couch where we all sit and make my way to the bathroom. Freshening up a bit, hoping the uncomfortable stares will stop by the time I’ve returned. I make my way back down the hallway to the stairs, deciding to get another drink before I head back. Sighing, as I see Brooks’ figure walk up the stairs preventing me from walking down.

He stops in front of me. “You know I didn’t get the chance to introduce myself earlier. Jason Brooks.”

“Ava, can you move? I want to get a drink,” I ask him, and he smirks leaning against the railing to stop me from going around him on the stairs and I sigh. “Can I help you?”

“Well, you seem important to the football team. So, I asked around and apparently, you’re writing about them, but you’ve gotten close to them. I bet they’d be pissed if something happened to you,” He licks his lips and I cringe in disgust. “So...” He adds and grabs my arm, and instincts kick in as I knee him in the balls. “Bitch.”

Pushing past him, I speed down the stairs and into the kitchen seeing Noah talking to one of the cheerleaders on the team.

“Noah,” I say but it ends in a squeak as Jason roughly grabs my arm pulling me back. “Let go of me you dick!” I shout trying to knee him again, but he digs his fingers into my arm.

“Brooks, what the fuck! Let Ava go!” Noah fumes, storming over to us as I try to get out of his grip.

“Here’s an idea, Jackson. Go back to your conversation with the cheerleader, who knows maybe you’ll end your whole celibacy streak and I’ll take your precious Ava here. We can have some fun together.”

“Sicko,” I struggle against him as his other hand holds my shoulder, Noah’s eyes catch mine, and he nods his head downwards telling me to duck, which I do as Noah steps forward throwing his fist into Jason’s face.

Holy shit.

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