Chapter 1. Are All Jocks Morons?
A/N: Beware of some mistakes. I haven't edited this book. I might later on. This isn't one that I'm going to ever publish as a paperback or ebook, but this story was well-liked on Wattpad so I thought I would put it on here.
“You’re kidding me?” I arched a brow.
“Sorry, cupcake, but no,” Avery said and rolled his eyes. He took my duffel bag from me and slung it over his shoulder.
“Where the hell is Mason?” I asked.
“I’ll explain on the way, come on,” he said.
“Sure,” I muttered and followed him out of the airport.
Avery’s Dodge was parked out front. He threw my bag into the box of the truck.
“Damn it, Avery!” I snapped.
He turned to face me. “What?” His green eyes pierced mine.
“Are all jocks morons?” I tilted my head. My blond hair flapped in different directions from the wind. It was sunny and eighty-three degrees in Dallas, Texas.
He snorted. “I have a three-point-nine grade point average, shortie.”
“It’s Stormie. My laptop is in there,” I said. I crossed my arms over my chest. Avery knew that I hated it when he called me shortie. I was only five feet and two inches tall, and I hated it. Mason was tall like our father, but I was short, like my mother.
He sighed and shrugged. “Sorry?”
“Wow, what a great apology,” I retorted.
“And it is the only one you are getting, brat,” he said. He flashed me a broad smile, showing me all of his perfect white teeth.
“Dick,” I grunted. I turned away from him and climbed into the front seat of his truck. Getting into Avery’s truck could be almost compared to rock climbing. I huffed when I finally got in and closed the door.
“Was that very difficult for you, shortie?” he chuckled and wiggled his eyebrows.
Most girls would have swooned at Avery for wiggling his eyebrows like that. Then there was me, the one girl who knew every real side to him. Avery Prince, my brother’s best friend, was an asshole.
“Shut up and drive,” I muttered.
“’Cause it’s zero to sixty in three-point-five! Baby, you got the keys! Now shut up and drive, drive, drive!” Avery shrieked.
“Don’t quit your day job, buddy,” I said. “Your singing sucks.” I knew he wasn’t trying to sing. He was shrieking to annoy me, and it sounded horrid.
“Like you can do better,” he challenged.
“You’ll never know,” I said and smirked.
He laughed. “I’ve heard you singing in the shower.”
“You’re so full of shit, Avery. I don’t sing in the shower,” I said and rolled my eyes. I rolled the window down.
He rolled my window back up from his side.
“Ugh, seriously?” I spat. “It’s hot in here.”
“That’s because I’m in here,” he said and smiled.
“Yuck,” I muttered.
He reached over and turned the air conditioner on high. “What is the point of having AC, if one doesn’t use it?”
“Why the hell didn’t Mason come to get me?”
“Your mother is working,” he started.
“What else is new?” I snorted. “It wasn’t my mother that I asked about.”
He rolled his eyes. “If you would let me finish,” he muttered. “Your brother sprained his ankle yesterday. They said it would take about four weeks to heal. He can’t drive.”
“And you were so kind as to come to get me to annoy me to death, right?” I asked.
“Exactly,” he said. “I spend nights awake, trying to find new ways to piss you off.”
“I figured it was something like that,” I said.
“Wow,” he said. “You’re gullible. Do you really think that I would spend a night thinking about you at all?”
“God, you are such an asshole. How can girls even stand you?”
“I’m charismatic; you just have no sense of humor.”
“I do, too,” I said. “I just don’t find you funny.”
“Good for you. I don’t care. Your brother needed me to come to get you, okay? Take a nap or some shit,” he muttered. He grabbed his sunglasses off the dash and put them on his face. He turned the radio up so loud the music made my ears hurt.
An hour drive back with Avery would be a nightmare. Dallas was the closest place with an airport. I reached up and turned it down slightly.
“What the hell is wrong with you? Don’t ever touch a man’s radio,” he said.
“You’re going to make me go deaf,” I said over the roar of the radio.
He rolled his eyes but smiled and accelerated as we hit the highway. The sun faded behind some clouds. The sky darkened.
We were quiet for a long time. I refused to break the silence. We never made much for serious conversation, and I wasn’t going to make an attempt now. Avery and I often fought any time we tried to get on a normal topic.
“How was California?” Avery asked.
To my surprise, it sounded like he was interested or curious. Avery never took much of an interest in anything I did. Avery and I had a similar relationship to a mean older brother and younger sweet sister. I used to try to be nice to Avery, but I gave up a long time ago.
When I didn’t respond, he glanced down at me. He raised his eyebrows. The black sunglasses slipped down his nose just enough that I could see the top of his green eyes and thick eyelashes.
“Why do you care?” I asked.
“Why the hell do you got to be like that?” Avery shook his head in irritation and looked back out the windshield. He gripped the steering wheel tighter.
“It was dog shit, okay? It’s nice to be back home,” I said. My arms crossed over my chest.
“That bad?” he asked, worriedly.
“That bad,” I murmured. “I’ll never go back. I don’t even know why the hell I went. It isn’t as if he gives two fucks about Mason or me.”
“Come on, Storm, he is your dad. Some part of him loves both of you. He is just a bit of a hardass, that’s all.”
“No,” I said. Tears pooled up in my eyes. “He barely even looked at me or said more than a yes or no when I tried speaking to him.” I refused to let Avery see me cry. I kept my face turned and stared out the window. My hands folded in my lap.
Avery sighed. “I’m sorry.”
I gasped slightly and jumped at the touch of Avery. My gaze met his.
He swept my hair behind my ear. His thumb brushed my tears away. “Don’t cry. It’s his loss, not yours.”
My mind reeled at his touch. I wasn’t used to Avery being sweet. Usually, when he was, he was only kidding. However, I knew he wasn’t quite that cruel.
“You’re never sweet to me, don’t bother starting now,” I said and looked away.
“You act like I’m the meanest person to you,” he said.
“Second, actually,” I said and wiped the tears away again.
“Whatever,” he said. “Sorry, I asked.”
By the time we reached Granbury, Texas, the sun had gone down. The street lights were on, and businesses were starting to close down for the night.
“Welcome home,” Avery said.
A smile stretched across my lips, and I turned to him. “You have no clue how good it is to hear that.”
He chuckled. “This little town to San Francisco, seriously?”
“Seriously,” I said.
We drove through town and took a dirt road off the main highway. The dirt road didn’t have many houses, and it wasn’t too far out of town.
Avery passed his house and turned into the next drive that was mine. Not only was Avery Mason’s best friend, but he was also our neighbor all of our life.
“Are you staying?” I asked in an uninterested tone.
“Just to piss you off,” he smirked.
“Great,” I muttered.
He threw his head back and laughed. “Unless you want to help your brother...” Avery trailed off.
“No, thanks. Please, stay,” I said with real worry.
“Damn, you don’t have to beg,” he teased.
I rolled my eyes.
We headed up the steps into the house. We kicked our shoes off in the mudroom and hung up our jackets. Avery stumbled into me, and I was sure it was on purpose.
“Jerk,” I said and gave him a hard shove.
“Damn, were you working out in California? You got tougher,” he said. “Not bad for five feet.”
“I’m five feet two inches!” I snapped.
“Damn, the attitude that comes with you short girls,” he said and laughed.
“I hope you hit your head on everything,” I said and narrowed my eyes.
“You two are already fighting?” Mason asked. He had crutches under both arms. Mason’s blond hair matched mine along with his blue eyes, but none of the rest of our features were the same.
“What the hell are you doing up, man? You were supposed to stay in bed the first week,” Avery scolded Mason.
“I got hungry,” Mason said and shrugged.
“You couldn’t wait until I got back?” Avery raised a brow.
“Sorry, mom,” Mason muttered.
Avery sighed. “Seriously, Mason. You are my best receiver. If you don’t get better, this entire season is going to be fucked. What if you fell and broke your fucking leg, bro?”
“Yeah, sorry. I won’t get out of bed again. It would suck to miss the season...” Mason looked away worriedly. Mason didn’t like to express emotion, and neither did Avery. This was an awkward moment for both of them.
Of course, I was put on this earth to make that moment more awkward. “Awe, tear,” I said, jutting out my bottom lip. “Football, oh god, glorious football! How will we ever go on?” I threw one arm around Mason and one around Avery.
“Get out of here, you little freak,” Mason said, shrugging me off.
“Let’s go,” Avery muttered. Avery helped Mason up the stairs.
“Wait,” Mason said. He and Avery turned back to look at me. “Welcome home, geek.”
“Thanks, loser,” I said and rolled my eyes. “I’m going to go get my bags.” I ran back out to the truck and grabbed my bags from the truck.
A car pulled up the driveway. The lights blinded me. I squeezed my eyes shut and looked away. The motor of the vehicle died, and two doors slammed shut.
The familiar laugh of my mother echoed through the dark. “Oh, baby. Come on. The kids might be home! Wait until we get upstairs,” Mom slurred. She stumbled around.
Her boyfriend, Richard, kept a tight hold around her waist and steered her toward the house. He started fondling her and kissing down her neck.
“Would it fucking kill you to do this shit when we aren’t around?” I sneered.
They both gasped and turned to face me.
“Oh, baby. You made it back,” Mom said and smiled.
“And not a moment too soon.” Richard narrowed his eyes at me.
“Oh, stop,” Mom said to Richard.
“Hey, Dick! How’s it goin’?” I asked. My voice thick with my southern accent.
“I prefer Rich,” he said.
“I don’t care what you prefer,” I said and shrugged.
“Little girl, you did not get your ass whooped when you were younger, and it shows. You’re lucky, Mason, and you aren’t my kids,” he said sharply.
“That’s enough. Can we just go inside?” Mom pleaded.
“Are you gonna whoop my ass, Dick?” I arched a brow.
“Nobody is whooping anyone’s ass,” a deep voice came from the porch.
We all looked up to see Avery.
“Avery,” Mom sighed. “I think you should go home.”
“Sure, are you going to take care of Mason?” Avery asked.
“Are you implying she can’t take care of her kids?” Richard asked.
“Well, her son is upstairs and was injured just yesterday, and she comes home drunk! What do you think?” I shouted and threw my arms in the air.
“You better watch the way you talk about your mother,” Rich said.
“Who is going to stop me? You? I’d love to see you try, asshole,” I spat. I wasn’t even trying to hide the insults now. I stepped forward as adrenaline shot through my veins.
Rich twisted out of my mother’s grasp and stormed toward me.
“Richard, no!” Mom shouted.
He raised his hand.
I stood my ground. It was worth one good slap to the face to put his ass in jail. I knew I couldn’t win a fight with Rich, but he would be the one in trouble. A devious smile spread across my face but faltered when a hand caught Rich’s wrist.
Avery spun Rich around, holding so tight onto Rich’s wrist that Rich’s knees buckled. He was on his knees in front of Avery. Avery stared down at Rich with a murderous look. His breathing was steady. He was so calm it was hard to believe he was angry. The look in his eyes couldn’t be mistaken, though.
“If you ever put hands on her, I’ll break every bone in your body one at a time, and then I’ll feed you to my pigs,” Avery murmured. Avery bent Rich’s wrist backward.
Rich groaned in pain. “Please, stop.”
“Alright, that is enough!” Mom shouted. “Come on, Rich.” She pulled Rich to his feet.
Avery stood in front of me with his arms crossed over his muscular chest.
I peeked around Avery and watched them stumble into the house. “I hate him,” I mumbled.
Avery turned around and looked down at me. “What the fuck were you thinking? They were drunk, Stormie,” he snarled. “That bastard was going to hit you.”
“Being drunk is an excuse to get away with treating me like shit?”
“Of course not,” Avery said.
“I wanted him to hit me. You fucked it all up!” I snapped.
“What? Why the hell would you want that? Are you insane?” Avery grabbed my arms and pulled me closer.
“He would have gone to jail,” I hissed. “Then I could have been rid of him, at least for a little while!” My jaw clenched in anger.
Avery stared at me, dumbfounded. “Don’t ever encourage any man to fucking hit you,” Avery snapped.
“Why does it matter?” My eyes searched his for the answer.
He dropped his hands and gritted his teeth. He turned and began to walk away, but I could have sworn I heard him say, “I’d like to go to college instead of prison.”
A/N: This is one of those books that I originally had on Wattpad but I've decided to fully switch to Inkitt. My wattpad profile is still up, but I don't intend to use it for writing.
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