How it all began: First several chapters will be about their life together before the drama.
Carrie Dunn, Dante Matthews and Hal Cooper all went to the same high school in South Carolina. She was starting her second year of high school when she and her parents moved here from Washington DC, the two guys were seniors when they met. Dante and Hal were on the same football team and it was at one of the games where he first saw her. Dante had just scored a touchdown when he looked into the bleachers at the cheering crowd. His eyes went to a petite brunette, one he had never seen before but he felt drawn to her. When the game was over he placed his hand on Hal’s shoulder and had him look over to where the brunette was sitting with another girl.
“Who’s that girl? he asked, staring at her.
Hal shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know, she must have just started here but she sure is pretty.”
“I’m going to go over and say hi to her,” he said, shoving his helmet into Hal’s hand. As he walked over to the bleachers some of the cheerleaders kept stopping him. He was always getting hit on by them and the other girls from school. When he was finally able to get away from them his heart dropped when he found that she had already left.
Back in the locker room and after they were showered and dressed Hal went over to him. “So how did it go with the new chick?”
“I didn’t get a chance to talk to her, by the time I got away from those damn cheerleaders she was gone. I’ve got to find that girl and ask her out before some other jerk does. It shouldn’t be hard if she goes to this school.”
Since it was Friday he would have to wait until Monday to see her again, he was hoping she went to the same school. He would have asked the girl she was with if he knew her, the problem was he didn’t know her either and she too had disappeared.
“Hey, are you going to the after-game party at Freddie’s?” Hal asked, nudging him in the arm.
“I don’t really feel like it,” he replied, shaking his head.
“Oh come on, you scored the winning touch down, you have to go. Dante, you can’t mope around all weekend thinking about a girl you might never see again. She might not even be going to this school. There’s going to be a lot of hot babes at the party, if you come I’ll let you have the first pick,” he said, laughing out loud.
“Oh what the hell, why not?”
“I’ll borrow my old man’s car and we’ll leave around eight,” Hal said, waving goodbye to him as he headed out of the locker room.
Later that night he put on a pair of jeans and a white t-shirt along with his black leather jacket and met Hal outside. Getting into the vehicle they drove off. “I don’t plan on having more than one beer so if you drink then I’ll drive us home.”
“Damn this party is already rocking,” Hal said when they got out of the car and went around back. Empty beer bottles were scattered all around and couples were necking. He grabbed two beers, handing one to Dante.
They no sooner took a sip of their beer when some girls walked up to them. Hal put his arm around the one girl. “What say we find a quiet place to get acquainted.” When the girl smiled at him and nodded he turned back to Dante. “Excuse me for a while, go mingle,” he said, and with his arm around the girl, they headed off.
A cute blonde touched his arm, smiling at him. “Would you like to find somewhere quiet where we can talk?”
He looked at her, knowing that talking was the last thing on her mind. “No thanks sweetheart, but I’ll see you around,” he said as he walked away.
Two hours later he was getting bored, it was hard trying to talk to a bunch of drunks and dodging the girls who kept throwing themselves at him. He went looking for Hal and found him standing with some other guys so he went over, wanting to leave the party. “Hey Hal, let’s get out of here.”
He gave Dante a drunken grin. “I would have thought you’d want to hang around since your little brunette is here.”
“What, where is she?” he asked, feeling a bit excited.
“I don’t know, last time I saw her she was inside talking to Cal.”
He rolled his eyes at him. “Why didn’t you come and tell me she was here? I can’t let her be alone with that jerk,” he said, taking off rushed towards the house.
Inside there were more people and he had to go through the rooms to find her. He was about to give up when he spotted them. Cal had her cornered, trying to get her to drink some whisky straight from the bottle.
“I don’t want any,” she cried out, pushing the bottle away from her mouth.
“Come on baby, just one drink to loosen you up,” he said, trying to force some into her mouth but the bottle got knocked from his hand. “What the fuck,” he cursed out loud, slurring his words.
“She said she doesn’t want any, now get lost before I lose my temper.” He hated it when guys treated girls this way, it made him want to pound the guy’s head into a cement wall.
Cal staggered backwards. “She’s not worth it,” he said and walked away.
He turned to her, seeing she was upset. “Are you alright?”
“Yes. I shouldn’t have come here, I want to go home,” she said, looking at him. She recognized him from the game and was told he was the star player. He was even better looking up close, and she felt as though she could get lost in his green eyes.
“Would you like me to drive you home?”
“No thanks, I came with Carla so I’ll go tell her I’m ready to go home.”
“Carla Foster, I don’t think she’ll be wanting to leave,” he said, pointing over to the sofa where she was necking up a storm with another guy. “I’ll be happy to drive you home, just let me get my buddy and we’ll go.”
“Your buddy, no thanks.”
“Why, what’s wrong?”
“I’ve heard stories about how a girl gets in a car with two male strangers and she gets raped. I’m not going to be one of them.”
“First, my buddy is too wasted to try anything and second I’m not that kind of guy. Now I could take you home or you could stay here and wait for Carla who from the looks of things won’t be going anywhere for a long time.”
She looked over at her friend and knew he was right. She couldn’t call her parents to pick her up as they didn’t know she was going to a party. They would never have let her go, they were a bit strict and her father was the new minister in town. “Alright, but you better not try anything, I know self-defence.”
“I’ll keep that in mind, wait right here.” He left her while he went to get Hal, finding him he had to keep his arm around him to stop him from falling over. Going back to her he motioned for her to follow, which she did. He managed to get him into the back seat, shutting the door he turned to her before opening the passenger door. “By the way, my name is Dante Matthews and yours?”
“I know who you are.” When she saw the way his eyebrows shot up and looked at her she didn’t want him to think she was asking people about him. “I mean everyone knows you are the school’s football hero.” She cleared her throat nervously. “I’m Carrie Dunn.”
“Dunn, are you related to Reverend Dunn?”
“Yes, he’s my father.”
He opened her door for her to get in. “I doubt he’d be happy knowing you’re here so I better get you home.”
“Is your friend going to be alright?” she asked, looking into the back when Hal let out a loud groan.
He chuckled. “Yeah, but he’s going to have one hell of a hangover in the morning. Does your father know you went to a football party?” He kept looking over at her, she was so cute with her long brown hair pulled into a ponytail.
“No,” she answered, looking at him horrified. “You won’t tell him will you?”
“I won’t, but you really shouldn’t go to those parties on your own, they can get a little out of hand. So how do you like living here?”
“It’s alright, haven’t met many people yet.”
When they got to her place he got out of the car and walked her to the door. He had an urge to kiss her but knew if he tried she would probably slap him, so he would wait until she got to know him better.
At the door, she stopped and turned to him. “Thanks for bringing me home and rescuing me from that guy.”
“Anytime, so I guess I’ll see you at school.” He turned to leave but stopped and turned back to face her. “I was wondering if you’d like to go see a movie tomorrow and go for a bite afterwards?”
She blushed when she looked into his eyes and had to look away. “I can’t. It’s not that I don’t want to it’s just that my father thinks I’m too young to date.”
“Then perhaps I should talk to him, maybe get him to change his mind.”
“He won’t,” she said, wishing she could go out with him.
“What time will he be home tomorrow?”
“He usually gets home around five.”
“I’ll be here,” he said, giving her a smile as he walked back to the car. Getting inside he started the engine.
“So did you kiss her?” Hal asked, sitting up and looking out the window and watching as she went inside. “She sure is pretty.”
“Yes she is and no I didn’t kiss her.”
“Well, why not?”
“She’s not that kind of girl and I want to take it slow with her.”
“Why?” he asked, slurring his words.
“Because she’s the girl I want to spend the rest of my life with.”
“You’re crazy man, you’re too young and you have college to attend soon. Damn you got your whole life ahead of you so stop talking crazy. Oh God, you better pull over now, I’m going to be sick.”
Finding a deserted spot he pulled over just in time as Hal opened the door and jumping out spilled his guts. Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand he looked at Dante. “What’s so special about her anyway?”
He leaned against the car, staring into space. “It’s kind of hard to put into words. It’s like when I look into her eyes I get lost in them. When she looks back at me my heart starts beating so fast and I get this warm feeling inside. I just know she’s the one for me.”
Hal stood next to him, leaning against the car so as not to fall over. “You just met her today and you sound as if you’re in love with her. You do know how crazy that is don’t you?”
“I know it sounds crazy, but I do think I’m in love with her.” He looked over at Hal. “I better get us home,” he said as they both got into the car.
“When are you going to see her again?”
“I’m going over to her place tomorrow and ask for her father’s permission to take her to the movies and pizza.”
“Are you kidding me? Who asks for permission these days?”
“Her father is old fashion and a minister. I’m doing it out of respect, hoping he’ll see that I’m a good guy and will let me take her out. You know Hal, it wouldn’t hurt you to be more respectful towards the girl’s father that you go out with.”
Hal shakes his head. “Sometimes I swear you belong in a different time, one where you had to court a young lady with a chaperone following you around. You’re just way too nice for these times.”
“I respect the opposite sex, you ought to try it.”
When they got home he pulled the car into the driveway and made sure Hal got inside safely, he then went next door to where he lived with his parents and two sisters, ten-year-old twins, Jane and Joyce.
He went around back, entering through the kitchen. His father looked up from his paper when he saw Dante walk in.
“You’re home early son.”
“Yes,” he answered, taking a juice box from the fridge. “Can I ask you something?”
“Anything son, take a seat.”