Excerpt: Fate Lends a Leg by Jax Cordoba
On Saturday, Calvin grumbled as much as the other players when they showed up on the school field for football practice. One of the week’s earlier practices had been rained out, so Coach insisted they make up for it on the weekend. Cal hoped Coach wouldn’t keep them there all day. The cloudless sky allowed the brilliant sun free rein and threatened to heat the early September afternoon miserably.
Cal felt the team worked well together, and he liked most of the other players. He only really disliked one guy, Dirk Finch, whose bad attitude sometimes dragged down the team. Dirk continually reminded everyone his dad was the chief of police, like that was supposed to give him some kind of special status.
The team finished calisthenics and had just started some scrimmage plays when Cal noticed three girls, probably cheerleaders, gathered on the bleachers. The girls sat at the far side of the field, watching the team while talking among themselves. They ran a few more plays, and when Cal glanced up at the bleachers again, several more girls had shown up to join the gathering.
Bill first got a text from Kaley, followed almost immediately by a text from Trishia. Both texts invited him to the impromptu hang-out at the school. He waited impatiently for his mom to give him a ride. After she dropped him off, he spotted the girls on the bleachers and ran up to join them, sitting down next to Patsy.
Trishia waved hello. “Have you seen the new guy? He’s really fast.”
“No,” Bill said, looking down at the field. He didn’t really see anybody he didn’t recognize from last year.
Patsy pointed. “He’s the one playing center right now.”
Bill looked, but they were sitting so far away it was hard to see. “If we’re here to scope out the guys, why don’t we sit closer?”
Kaley rolled her eyes. “Because we don’t want to make it obvious.”
Bill chuckled. “I’m sure they think that’s what we’re doing, scoping them, I mean.”
“Exactly,” Kaley explained. “The guys can think it as long as they don’t know it.”
Everyone laughed at that.
Cal was glad he chose to wear a cup in his jock for practice. Paul, the quarterback, had no qualms about touching and rubbing his huge hands against Cal’s thighs while standing close behind and waiting for his snap. The cupped jockstrap helped hide how aroused Cal felt; his secret pleasure of playing center.
Bill watched the action on the field. He noticed the center looked much leaner than the rest of the team, who mostly had nicknames like Refrigerator and Dump Truck. He didn’t seem to fit in with the other players somehow. But then Bill saw the next play after Coach changed the roster and put the guy on the outside. After the center snapped, the new guy faked left, took two steps right before a quick left, then pushed deep with his long legs, and seemed to scoot instantly fourteen yards downfield to catch a pass. After seeing such a great play, the girls jumped to their feet and cheered as though it were a real game.
Cal felt great. He floated so in the zone that he ran the maneuver and snatched the ball flawlessly. He heard the girls cheer in the stands. Calvin turned around to face the bleachers and take a stage bow.
Bill stepped down to the railing. He thought he saw something familiar in the way the player ran, and when the guy turned to face them, he recognized the sprinting runner he had seen at the fitness center track. I’ll be damned, he thought merrily to himself. The dude’s not in college, he’s in high school. My high school.
Calvin rose up with a flourish and saw Bill admiring him along with all the girls. Bill looked right at him in a way that felt like more than just simple admiration. Cal met Bill’s gaze. Their eyes locked together. Each looked deeply into the other, searching for something. A quick flash of desire jumped between them before Bill suddenly fled down the bleacher stairs and disappeared.