Lane (Made From Stone Book 1)By: T. Saint John
“Glad to hear you’ll be fine,” I reply awkwardly, as she limps out the door and is on her way. I’m going to ask Ms. Stovall to start practicing indoors. Mallory Carter is a distraction and not only to Chad.
Chad Jones is hot. Even though I've been avoiding him at lunch, he asks me out constantly, but I always say no. My dad always warned me about the distraction boys can be, which is the last thing I need, and for some reason Tiffany's words felt sincere. Still, I do like the view from the sidelines. Well, there are two views if I’m telling the truth—Chad in his tight football pants that hug every, and I mean EVERY feature. Then there’s Mr. Stone, I can still feel his strong arms around me as he carried me with such ease and I can’t help but wonder what it would be like if he were to carry me off to his bedroom instead. I almost drool at the thought of him, especially on Friday nights.
He has two different sides: there’s the passionate and fiery 'Coach Stone' who radiates 'alpha male' off every inch of his body, and then there's the gentle side who has been the first responder every single time there has been an injury. He shows such honest concern, not just concern that they lost their starting quarterback, but concern that they’re truly hurt. It's the same look he gave me when I was hurt.
God, it felt so good to be in his arms, to feel the way they wrapped around me. When my head was on his chest, I swore I could’ve lived in his scent. It was like a forbidden Stone cologne mixed of sweat, aggression, power, and warmth. I didn’t know those personality traits could have an aroma but they do, and it envelops Mr. Stone. If someone were ever to find a way of bottling his scent, I’d be first in line to buy it.
The cheerleading squad turns to watch the final few minutes of the final game, and I can’t help but feel sad. Am I sad this is all ending, or am I sad because it’s the last time I get to see Mr. Stone’s personality so exposed? I kick myself mentally because I know I’m being silly. He’s too old for me and I think, but I’m not certain, that he and Miss Conley have a thing going. I try to force my eyes to Chad, but every time I hear Coach Stone's whistle, my attention breaks and I find myself lost all over again. All right Mallory, focus on Chad. Focus on Chad. Focus. On. Chad.
We are in the last few minutes of what appears to be our last game of the season. I can't lie, I’m a little upset we didn’t make it further but I’m proud that we got our first district champ title in over twenty years.
“We have nothing to be ashamed of boys! Look how far we’ve come. I couldn't be more proud. It’s been a good year, now let's go back out there and play our hearts out! Go show them who we are and what we’re capable of!” I say to my team that is looking increasingly disappointed. We’re trailing by twenty-one points to last years state champions, and it looks like the Riverview Tigers will win this year as well.
“Don’t walk off this sideline with your heads down. Hold them high! Hold them high, boys!” I say, trying to motivate my team. They do as I ask and put their game faces on before they head back onto the field.
As I stand on the sideline in this freezing November weather, I feel a stab of disappointment that football season has ended. I rush out onto the field to shake Coach Moore’s hand and congratulate him and his team on their success this season. While running back to the sideline, I look to the stands and see some of my family. It always reminds me of my high school and college football games; someone was always there to watch me play. I can see my dad clapping and even though we just lost, I feel very proud of what we accomplished this year. I wave to the stands in thanks for all of their support. As my eyes sweep back to the sideline, they meet Mallory’s. I can’t help but stop and look her over. Beautiful. All the other cheerleaders have walked off but she’s still standing there clapping. I nod in her direction to acknowledge my appreciation.
We head into the locker room so I can give words of encouragement to graduating seniors and motivation to the young men who’ll be returning next year. It’s always hard to say goodbye to the seniors. They’ve become family to me throughout the daily practices and the hard-fought battles we faced during the season. I can only hope they stay on the right path. Who knows, maybe one of them will make it to the NFL.
After I get my speech out, I decide to wait a little longer to let the crowd dwindle. I’m usually bombarded with fathers telling me what positions their sons should play and single mothers who’ve made me some sort of bake goods, and I’m not in the mood to deal with either of those situations tonight.
I’m meeting my brothers and cousins at Hansons, an old bar my parents still hang out in. My Aunt Kerrigan bought it a couple years back and revamped the place to what she referred to as its "former glory." She refused to change the name because it holds so much meaning to her and my Uncle Maddox. It's where they first met and fell in love. I glance around the locker room and as I start walking toward the door and overhear a couple of the guys talking.