Home > The Field Party #1 - Until Friday Night(9)

The Field Party #1 - Until Friday Night(9)
Author: Abbi Glines


I nodded and reached into my pocket to pull it out. I had been given a phone by my godmother, Jorie, when I moved in with her after everything had happened. Two years with Jorie had been anything but comforting. I was in her way, and she had no idea how to deal with me. When I continued not to speak, she finally gave up and called my uncle Boone and asked him if he still wanted me. He and Aunt Coralee had responded immediately. It wasn’t even one week before Jorie had me all packed up and ready to move. Since then, she hadn’t even called to check on me. It’s not like my number had changed; it was the same number she’d gotten me. The only difference was now my aunt and uncle were paying the bill. Nash held out his hand. “Can I put my number in it?” Again I nodded and let him take my phone from me. He took a picture of himself then added his information. I heard a ding, and he grinned at me. “I texted myself. Now I have your number too. Can I take a picture of you to go with your contact info?”

I didn’t really like the idea of him taking a photo of me, but I wasn’t going to tell him no. I gave him a small nod, and then he held the phone up. “Smile,” he said.

I didn’t smile, but he took the photo anyway.

He chuckled. “That’s okay. No need to smile.”

The door opened, and we both turned to see Brady walk inside with a furious expression. “Get the hell out of here, Nash,” he said, pointing at the door and glaring at his friend.

Nash held up both hands. “Calm down, bro. I was just talking to Maggie. We’re friends aren’t we, Maggie? Nothing more. I wasn’t doing nothing else, I swear.”

“Don’t care. Get out,” Brady repeated, still pointing at the door.

Nash stood up and glanced back at me, then held up his phone before winking and walking out the door.

Brady didn’t say anything until Nash was gone. But once the door closed behind him, Brady turned to look at me. “Be careful, Maggie. These guys are my friends, but they don’t always treat girls right. Hell, I don’t always treat girls right. You . . . just keep your distance. Okay?”

He barely spoke to me, but now he seemed to think he had to protect me? I didn’t need him telling me who I should be careful around. I understood others more than he did. If he didn’t want me around his friends, that was fine. But demanding it of me wasn’t fair. I lifted my chin and shot him a challenging glare. I had done everything to keep his parents from foisting me on him at every turn. But I wasn’t going to take this behavior from him.

Brady’s gaze found the notebook that Nash had left on the bed. Before I could reach it, he snatched it up. I waited while he read what I had said to Nash. It was meant to be nice and to thank Nash for today, but I knew Brady wouldn’t see it that way.

He threw the notebook back down and let out a hard laugh that didn’t sound amused at all.

He ran a hand through his messy hair. “I have a game to win Friday night. The whole damn town is counting on me to win it. But I can’t focus on the game and make sure you’re safe at the same time. I didn’t ask to be anyone’s guardian. I don’t have time for this shit. So just please stay out of my world. Find friends who aren’t on my team. And news flash: No guy is going to be your friend. Find some girls to be friends with. Jesus, how naive are you?” Then he walked out, closing the door hard behind him.

I wanted Brady to like me. I had tried to stay out of his way. I understood that my invading his life was unfair. But I wasn’t okay with him speaking to me that way. Fine, I would keep my distance from his friends. Not because he ordered me to. Simply because, if they all were prone to acting like major jerks, I wanted nothing to do with them. I didn’t need friends. I had survived without them long enough.

She Was All Over Me,
So I Let Her Enjoy Herself

CHAPTER 6

WEST

Raleigh wasn’t waiting at my locker when I got to it today. I was relieved not to have to deal with her. Sometimes she was a nice distraction, but this morning I had been up since three with my dad. He’d gotten sick again, and I had woken up to the sound of my mother running down the hallway to get him a glass of water.

I had gone to help her, and we had all stayed up together. I was afraid to sleep. What if I went to sleep, and those were the last moments we had together? He was getting so thin and weak. The doctors couldn’t do anything else. Last month they had sent him home with no hope. Just pain medication to ease him.

Facing school as if my life wasn’t falling apart wasn’t easy. And pretending like I wanted Raleigh around was something I definitely had no patience for right now.

I had just started pulling out my books when a dainty hand with cute pink fingernails touched the locker beside mine. It was Maggie. Someone who kept finding her way into my thoughts. Even though I was trying like hell to forget how she looked at me, like she saw something deeper than the asshole I’d shown her. Or how perfect she felt in my arms.

I glanced up to see her profile as she studied the lock and worked the combination. She really was something to look at.

With a small turn of her head, she peeked at me before angling back to her locker. I stood there, waiting for it to open, but after three tries she still hadn’t gotten it.

“Move. Let me get it,” I said. “You got the combination?”

She gave me her complete attention. Then she handed me her cell phone. I glanced down to see her combination on the screen. “Thanks. Now move back.”

When she was out of my way, I quickly entered the combination and opened her locker. “There you go,” I said just as her phone buzzed in my hand. Glancing down I saw Nash’s face and the text Good morning, beautiful.

What the hell? Why was Nash texting her, and how the hell had she gotten a picture of him on her phone? Brady had said she was off-limits.

I held the phone out to Maggie. “We got a lot riding on us this year to win State. We can’t do it if our quarterback’s cousin is messing around with the football team and screwing with our mojo. Back off.” I sounded harsher than I’d meant to, but fuck that. I was exhausted.

She jerked the phone from my hand and glared at me. The whole point of acting like an asshole was so she’d hate me and stay away. But seeing that flash in her eyes made me regret the shit that had just come out of my mouth. Angry with myself, I turned and stalked off. Really it was Nash I was mad at. Nash, I should have corrected. Not Maggie. I had already made sure she kept her distance from me. She wouldn’t even make eye contact with me now. I didn’t have to keep being such an ass to her. Fact was, if I didn’t act like a jerk around her all the time, I might forget and say something I shouldn’t. Something true.

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