the state of being infatuated by another person.
All the boys rushed the mound at the end of the game as I pitched a no hitter to win. Two of my teammates picked me up and placed me on their shoulders as they all started chanting our school's song.
I glanced over at the stands and saw Elliott standing, jumping up and down with Benjamin while Kingsley stood there clapping. I smiled as her head turned in my direction and I held the ball up in the air. I saw her shake her head but the smile never left her beautiful face.
"Party at the baseball house," one of my team members yelled. Everyone in the stands cheered a little louder while the boys ran into the dugout to head into the locker room and change or shower. Instead, I slowly made my way over to the bleachers where Elliott was standing.
The stands were slowly starting to clear out but the three of them stood there waiting for me. As I approached, Elliott noticeably bit her lip and I caught her scanning me before I took the stairs two at a time to make it up to them.
"You were amazing," Elliott gushed as she surprised me by jumping into me. I wrapped my arms around her waist and basked in the fact that she initiated this.
"Thanks, beautiful," I said as I sat her down. Glancing over Elliott's head, Benjamin smiled devilishly at me which caused me to roll my eyes. She stayed standing with one arm around my waist so I kept one around her shoulders and used the other to clap Benjamin's hand.
"Great game, Coop. You finally listened to my pointers," he teased with a wink but before I had the chance to respond, Elliott spoke up.
"And if I had a chance to give him pointers before the game, maybe it wouldn't have gone into extra innings."
I glanced down at her with a small smile as my eyebrows bunched together, surprised as I stood and listened to Elliott and Benjamin's banter. I was glad they were becoming close but I could see lots of bickering between them and their dominant personalities in the future.
"I should go shower and change," I said as I interrupted their game talk. "I'll meet you guys at the party?"
"We can wait for you," Elliott said instantly as she looked up at me with a smile. "We don't mind."
I smiled and bent down, pressing a kiss to her forehead before I slipped out of her grasp and disappeared back down the stairs and into the dugout.
I think that was the quickest shower I had ever taken in my life.
We pulled up to the baseball house and could already hear the loud music. Elliott and Kingsley didn't bring a spare change of clothes but that was fine with me – I loved seeing her in my jersey.
As we climbed out of the car, Kingsley and Benjamin headed straight for the door but Elliott hung back a little bit. I turned to her with a reassuring smile and reached for her hand.
"Want to go somewhere else? We can go grab some half price appetizers somewhere if you'd rather," I told her, but she shook her head as she rubbed my arm with her free hand and smiled up at me.
"No, it's just that I've left plenty of parties with guys before but I've never actually showed up with one," she said sheepishly as she let her hair cover her face slightly. "Come on."
Elliott and I walked hand in hand up to the door and were greeted by one of my teammates who was already drunk.
"Hey man," he said as he slapped my shoulder. "Great game tonight. This your girl?"
"Something like that," I said as we slid past him and headed into the party.
Making our way into the kitchen, I poured her a vodka cranberry before I went into the fridge and grabbed a beer. Reaching for her hand once more, I lead her out of the crowded house and into the backyard. Finding two empty chairs close to the beer-pong tables, we both took a seat.
"Ever play beer pong?" I asked her as she sipped her drink.
"Not with beer," Elliott said quickly as she made a disgusted face. "I can't stand beer."
"Noted," I said with a smile as I took a sip of my own drink. Kingsley suddenly appeared out of nowhere and hugged Elliott from behind, rocking her side to side.
"I need to pee," Kingsley said as she removed her arms from around Elliott's neck and walked around to stand in front of her. "Come with me."
Elliott rolled her eyes but let Kingsley pull her to her feet. They linked hands and she started to drag Elliott back toward the house but not before she stopped by me to whisper in my ear.
"I'll be back. Don't miss me too much," Elliott teased.
"I'll try not to," I told her as I pushed a quick kiss to her cheek. Smiling as they walked away, Benjamin fell into the lawn chair Elliott was previously sitting in.
"She likes you, man," Benjamin said as he gestured his red solo cup toward the door in the girls wake. "Told me herself at the diner. So when are you going to finally make your move?"
Before I had the chance to answer his question, someone suddenly fell into my lap. Startled, I glanced up and scowled as I saw Laura twirling her extension ridden hair around her finger. Benjamin jumped up and grabbed her hand, yanking her off me before I had the chance to push her away.
"Okay, calm down," Laura snapped at Benjamin as she rested her hands on her hips. "I come in peace. In fact, I come with information."
"Not interested," I informed her dully as I turned my attention back to Benjamin.
"Are you sure? It involves your precious little Elliott."
I turned to her with narrowed eyes, growing more annoyed with her by the minute. Benjamin audibly groaned as he threw his head back against the chair.
"When will you let it go, Laura?" He snapped as he lifted his head to glare at her. "He's not interested anymore. He's moved on, you should, too."
"This doesn't concern you, Benjamin," Laura retorted as she crossed her arms over her chest.
She reached into her purse and pulled out her phone before holding it out for me to take. Rolling my eyes, I knew the quicker I obliged the sooner she'd leave.
I narrowed my eyes at the tweet that was there and the picture attached to it. Clicking it open, I zoomed in on a picture that showed a blonde girl and one of the professors on campus kissing in his office. I rolled my eyes and held the phone back out to her.
"Have a good night, Laura," I said simply as I picked up my beer and took a swig. I felt a presence behind me followed by a hand resting on my shoulder. Looking up, I saw Elliott standing there with an irritated expression covering her features as she stared down Laura.
"What's going on here?" She asked as she kept her eyes on Laura. Kingsley slowly walked over to sit on Benjamin's lap, a look of nervousness on her face.
"Oh nothing," Laura tried to say nonchalantly, a smile plastered on her face. "Just showing Cooper here your little escapade you had with one of the professors."
Elliott caught me off guard as she burst out laughing and shook her head before she fell into my lap. I smiled as I wrapped my arms around her waist and one of hers went to loop around the back of my neck and over my shoulders.
"Look, even if that were true, which it's not," Elliott started to say as I placed a hand on her thigh and she instinctively placed her free hand over the top of mine. "You're so fucking petty to act like it wasn't you who took that photo in the first place."
"I did no such thing," Laura snapped, growing visibly defensive. "Cooper, her sleeping with a professor doesn't bother you?"
"She says it didn't happen, then it didn't happen," I said with a shrug as I started to rub small circles on Elliott's back. "But even if it did, no it doesn't. I don't care what she did before me, she's mine now."
Elliott looked at me with a small smile on her lips and a blush tinting her cheeks. She pressed a kiss to my temple before turning her attention back to Laura.
"Look, honey, I don't know why you seem to be so obsessed with Cooper, but I think it's time you let it go. It's not going to happen so quit trying to split us up."
"It's not going to work," I followed up before Laura stormed off. I sighed and rolled my eyes as Elliott turned to face me once more.
"I'm sorry about her," I whispered as I brushed some loose pieces of hair back behind her ear. "But you don't have to worry about her coming between us. I'm with you."
"I know," Elliott said with a smile as she rested her forehead against mine. "Now, how about some beer pong without the beer?"
Benjamin quickly stood up, picking up Kingsley in his arms as he darted over to the table while she laughed loudly. Shaking my head, Elliott climbed off my lap and allowed me to stand before she wrapped her arms around my waist and rested her chin on my chest so she could look up at me.
"Thanks for believing in me," she said quietly. I cupper her cheek in my hand and placed another kiss to her forehead as I grinned down at her.
"I always will."