Michael has enough love for all of them, but Caela’s not quite ready to share him.
Brooke’s gonna get more chances to realize that things are gonna be okay… and some of those reassurances might come from some unexpected sources.
Michael and Maria are finally stable and they know what they want and where they’re going.
More chaos on the menu!
Yes, it certainly does!
Very good possibility that the kids will be great friends one day – it often works out that way, lol.
We’re pretty sure the nightmares won’t serve as a premonition… all is still silent on the Hank front. Lol, soap opera, huh? Must be time to begin wrapping things up then, lol.
You could be right… you just never know.
Michael and Maria should probably consider building a HUGE house with lots of guest rooms and a LARGE dining room.
Yup, a big clan!
It’s taken her a little while, but she’s coming around.
Yay, we’re glad they make you happy! Like Michael, Brooke tends to keep things close to the vest, but maybe she’ll learn from his growth. It’s utter chaos, but this extended family will provide our group with safety and love.
Michael’s definitely popular with the girls! Lol, yeah, he wasn’t expecting Caela’s reaction to him paying attention to his baby sister.
Yup, we agree… the Brooke/Michael relationship does make ya wish for an older brother like him. Brooke will eventually realize that she’ll never be alone with this group… she’s not losing her brothers, she’s gaining more family.
Tony… ya gotta love him!
Already picturing their wedding, huh?
We’ll get a glimpse of Brooke and Luke in this next part.
Might just be more of that sweetness to come…
Yup, there’s nothing like a little familiarity to let ya see that some things are the same.
Caela wasn’t happy about sharing her Ki-Ki. There’s a very good chance these two could be good friends down the road.
There will be some Max and Liz moments coming up. Hmm… next to be engaged? They could be.
Wow, that’s saying something considering we’ve passed the 1,700 page mark, lol! This group has come a long way and they’ve grown as the time has passed.
Yup, we would’ve pegged your vote for Max and Liz.
Ah, well… you obviously chose ITCOAL for the last to catch up on… good choice, lol. You’ll see why after the next update!
Part 130 – Looking Back
Alex was slouched down in his deck chair watching Brooke as she bossed the younger kids around and they mouthed off in response. Shane and Callie were doing their level best to let her know in no uncertain terms that she wasn’t the boss of them and it was making for some comedic entertainment. He had no idea what she was trying to organize but he had a feeling if she didn’t watch it she was going to end up taking another unexpected dip in the ocean.
He turned his head away from the action on the beach to look at the adults sitting around the deck conversing with each other. Karen was sitting on Brendan’s lap and they were talking to Rosie and Nicole while Caela played on the deck between them. Max and Liz were sitting on the glider talking to Jeff, Sean and Sherry. Isabel was talking to Amy and Tony, catching up on news from back home, and at the opposite end of the deck, Adam was leaning against the railing with his youngest daughter in his arms, taking it all in.
He dropped his head back against his chair and turned his head to the side so he could study Adam without being obvious about it. He could remember going to the zoo when he was little and he could remember his fascination with the gorillas, so why couldn’t he remember the man in the picture? Even now, being face to face with the man, he couldn’t recall ever spending time with him.
“It bothers you, doesn’t it?”
He jerked, startled when the man he had been staring at appeared in front of him and spoke. He had gotten so lost in his thoughts that he had never seen Adam move. “What?”
“It bothers you that you can’t remember me.”
Alex shrugged. “Little bit, yeah.”
“You were four years old, Alex.” He gestured to the deck chair on the younger man’s other side, waiting until he nodded to sit down.
“Still, I can remember other things that far back and I’m sittin’ here askin’ myself, why not you?”
“You remember goin’ to the zoo when you were little?”
Alex nodded dumbly.
“Do you remember ever goin’ to the zoo with Hank?”
“No... no, I guess not.” He shrugged. “He wasn’t around all that often anyway.”
“Do you know that I still have pictures you drew and colored when you an’ your mom would come over?”
“Really? What’d I draw?”
“If you’ll hold her for a minute I’ll go get ‘em.” He grinned. “They’re in my bag.”
Alex nodded and took Antonia from him, chuckling when the little girl watched him with big eyes.
Adam smiled at his wife when she caught his eyes as he was hurrying inside. He found his bag and unzipped it, pulling a folder out and carrying it back outside. His gaze roved over the beach, doing a quick head count to make sure all of his kids were accounted for before sitting down again.
“She’s a cute girl,” Alex said, rubbing Antonia’s belly since she seemed to like it a lot.
“Yeah, and she knows it too. She’s just like her mama.”
“Are you guys planning to have more children?”
“Nicole and I didn’t actually plan for any of our kids after Shane,” he said, shrugging. “We discovered that planning it just made it a lot more stressful for both of us. Too much planning takes all the fun out of it.”
“Tell me about it,” Alex muttered.
“No plannin’ for you two?” he asked.
“No, not really. It took us by surprise, but I wouldn’t wanna change it even if I could.”
He nodded. “The first one’s the scariest,” Adam confided.
“I bet,” Alex said, glancing at Isabel. For now anyone who didn’t know couldn’t really tell she was pregnant, but that would change pretty soon.
He chuckled. “God, when Shane was born, I was terrified. It’s like you have no idea what you’re doin’, you’re scared to death you’re gonna do somethin’ wrong, you’re paranoid about everything. One of the things that’s stuck with all of them though... I have to get up and check on them every night without fail.”
Alex chuckled. “Now imagine if you’d known about the twins, that would’ve been two at a time.”
“I’ll bet they were a handful when they were little.”
“They were pure chaos.”
Adam laughed. “I can imagine.”
Alex glanced at the folder. “Show me?”
“Oh, right. Sorry, I got side-tracked.” He held the folder out to the younger man and took Antonia back so Alex would have room to move.
Alex opened the folder slowly, glancing at the first picture that showed a black car and two, no three people sitting in it waving. Well at least that was what it looked like.
Adam leaned over to tap the picture. “You drew this after a trip to the Empire State Building. We spent the day just going around the city so I could show you some of the architectural wonders.” He chuckled. “You weren’t terribly impressed with the history of the buildings but you loved riding on the elevator. We must’ve ridden it bottom to top several dozen times.”
“Guess you had a black car back then?”
“Yeah, a black Toyota Celica; it was a total piece of crap and I spent more time trying to keep it runnin’ than actually drivin’ it.”
Alex went on to the next picture. It showed a small person and two bigger ones in a wooded area or a park.
“That one... we went out to a park outside the city and spent the day picnicking, hiking, and you caught a lizard that about scared ten years off of your mom’s life.” He laughed at the memory.
“Seriously? Just because of a lizard?”
“You stuck the thing in the pocket of your jacket and it got loose in the car... your mom wasn’t expecting it to come crawlin’ out from under her seat.”
“Oh my God,” Alex said suddenly, “I remember that.”
Adam grinned. “It figures you’d remember the lizard. Your mom screamed loud enough it probably should’ve shattered the windows.”
Alex laughed, “She was always afraid of every little animal.”
“Yeah, she wasn’t fond of the critters.” He tapped on the next picture. “This one... you drew this after we went to Staten Island to see the Statue of Liberty... poor kid, you were seasick all the way there and back. You just lay in my arms and cried and I felt so horrible.”
“How come Hank didn’t figure it out faster than he did?”
“Hank was out of town on business so much back then. He was really getting things rolling and he was pushing hard for overseas contracts.”
“He should’ve stayed overseas with his contracts then,” Alex muttered.
“I hope you didn’t suffer for what your mom and I did, Alex.”
“Hank was an ass no matter what.”
Adam nodded. “How’re things goin’ with Brooke? Is she adjusting any better?”
“You should probably ask Michael; he’s the only one who gets through to her right now, at least that’s what it seems like.”
“Yeah, he expressed some concerns about her ability to accept all of this.” He paused before he looked up to meet Alex’s gaze. “He was worried about you too.”
Alex shook his head. “I’ve accepted the changes, it just needs some time to sink in, ya know?”
“You’ve worked hard to pull your family together, Alex... I’m not tryin’ to do anything that’ll take that away.”
“You’re part of the family now as well.”
Adam smiled and nodded. “So, when’s your baby due?”
“Still got about 6 months to go.”
“Good timing... pregnancy during summer can be hell.” He winked at his wife when she cleared his throat. “On a woman... that’s what I meant.” He stuck his tongue out at Nicole when she just rolled her eyes at him.
“Well, guess we did something right then, huh?”
Adam chuckled. “You guys already picked out names?”
“Other than callin’ their baby Hector, ya mean?” Brooke asked as she passed them.
“That was just for fun and the baby got stuck with it,” Alex admitted. “We won’t really call him Hector, of course.”
Nicole laughed and glanced at Isabel. “Tell me Alex came up with that name.”
“Hector,” Tony mused. “That’s great.”
“It’s sick,” Michael shook his head when he and Maria got back and realized what they were talking about.
“It’s not sick,” Alex denied. “It’s cute.”
Max snorted. “Cute?”
“Sounds like somebody left his nuts at home,” Kyle said as he and Tess came around the back of the house.
“Hey,” Maria greeted, “how was lunch?”
“Lunch was great,” Tess answered. She turned and pointed at the older couple behind them. “Kyle’s parents came with us since the guys will leave for the game from here and we’ll follow not long after that.”
Michael looked down when a small pair of arms wrapped around his waist and he grinned at Kyle’s little sister. “Summer, look at you!”
“Uncle Mike,” she cheered happily.
“Hey!” He scooped her up in his arms and kissed her cheek noisily, making her laugh.
Kyle shook his head. “The moment she saw me she asked when we were gonna go see Uncle Mike.”
“That’s ‘cause she loves me,” Michael said with a grin.
“Every kid loves him,” Maria said to Adam.
“He came by that honestly,” Nicole said.
“Hey, Michael,” Jim greeted his son’s best friend, “good to see ya again.”
“It’s been a while,” Sharon admitted next to him.
He nodded and shook Jim’s hand and gave Sharon a one-armed hug. “Yeah, sorry I couldn’t make it for Thanksgiving.”
“Don’t be sorry. We understand.”
“Hey, lemme introduce you to my family... you guys have never met any of them. Well,” he collared Brooke when she breezed past him, “except this little troublemaker.”
He introduced his family and friends to Kyle’s parents and as he looked around he realized just how much his life had changed in the past few months.
Sharon watched him after he had made the introductions and she reached out to squeeze his arm. “You’re happy... it’s a good look on you, Michael.”
“There’s um... there’s one other introduction that I wanna make,” he said as he released Brooke and reached for Maria’s hand to pull her up against his side. “This’s my girl, Maria DeLuca.”
“Hi, nice to meet you,” Maria said, smiling.
Sharon glanced between the two of them. The difference in Michael was like night and day and it was obvious that the girl next to him had a lot to do with it. “It’s very nice to meet you, Maria.”
“We’ve heard a lot about the mysterious girl who’s managed to get through Michael’s thick head,” Jim joked. “Good to finally meet you.”
“He does have a thick head,” Maria agreed, laughing.
“Huh-uh. I think that’s both of us.”
Maria snorted. “Takes one to know one.”
“Ki-Ki,” Caela suddenly screamed from the other side of the back deck when she saw Summer resting against his side.
“Uh-oh,” Maria said when she saw that Caela had noticed her Ki-Ki paying attention to yet another little girl.
Brooke laughed. “Someone’s in trouble.”
Brendan stood up and caught Caela as she ran across the deck, headed for Michael with a very determined look on her face.
“Ki-ki,” she screamed again, when Brendan lifted her up.
“You’re gonna throw a fit over this?” Brendan asked. “Really?”
She looked at Daddy with trembling lips.
“Hey, Ki-Ki’s not goin’ anywhere.” He turned so she could look at her uncle. “See that? He’s right there and you need to remember that there are other people who wanna spend time with him too.”
She rested her head on his shoulder, glancing at Michael as she calmed down a little.
The afternoon had passed by quickly and the back deck of the beach house had been pretty loud and crowded. Michael glanced down on the beach where Karen and Nicole were sitting with Caela and Antonia under a large umbrella. The older women were talking while the two little ones tried to build up a sand castle together.
“Seems like they’re getting along pretty nicely when Uncle Ki-Ki isn’t around,” Brooke said as she came up next to him.
“Yeah, seems so, huh?” He smirked when Summer joined the two other kids as well.
“So, are ya okay with Luke being here?” she asked carefully. She had been surprised that Michael hadn’t said a single rude word to Luke yet.
He shrugged. “Sure.”
She glanced at him doubtfully. “Sure...” she repeated slowly. “And this isn’t just because ya know... earlier on the beach...”
Michael turned to look at her. “I already knew he was comin’. I was the one who called him yesterday and asked if he had any plans.”
“You did?” she asked excitedly, hugging him from the side.
“I trust you, Brooke. Just don’t make me regret it.”
She groaned at his parental tone. “I won’t.”
He sighed as he watched her. “I’ve never stopped watchin’ over you but somehow you grew up and I missed it.”
She shook her head. “No, I’m glad that you were always there, Michael. Even if you are too overprotective sometimes.” She winked.
“Sometimes, I think you’re a helluva lot more grown up than I am.”
She chuckled. “Well, in some ways I am.”
He snorted and shook his head. “I knew the second those words came outta my mouth I’d regret it.”
“Can Luke come to the party tonight as well? I mean, not that you could forbid it since it’s a party that’s open to everyone.”
Michael rolled his eyes. “I like how you ask and then inform me that it really isn’t up to me. I don’t care if he comes to the party, brat.” He grinned and motioned around them. “It’s not like you’re gonna be able to get away with anything with all of us there.”
“Yeah, the family will probably make up half of the guests at the party.”
“Yeah... who knew, huh?”
“Crazy.” She shook her head.
He looked around and nodded. “You guys had better be the loudest cheerin’ section in the stadium today.”
“I don’t have any doubts about that.”
“So, you doin’ okay at home? Ya know, with the baby comin’ an’ all that?”
“Yeah, sure. Isabel’s more of a mother to me than our real mother ever was.”
He chuckled softly as he glanced to the side where Isabel was fussing over Sean and Brendan. “Yeah, she really is. It’s kinda nice though... to know what it’s supposed to feel like.”
“Yeah, Alex and her will do great as parents. They do their best to reassure me that I’m not gonna be forgotten just ‘cause they’ve got a baby on the way.”
“So... you had a chance to talk to Adam yet?”
“No, not more than a few words. Too many people around.”
“Yeah. Who would’ve ever thought we’d be sayin’ that about our family?”
“Yeah, it’s still hard to believe.”
“I’ve seen you talkin’ to Shane an’ Callie... I know they’re both younger than you, but ya find any common interests?”
She shrugged. “They seem to be cool from what I’ve seen so far.”
“And that antagonistic thing you and Brian seem to have goin’ on?”
“Just fun, bro.”
“The little guy seems to have latched onto Bren,” he said, nodding at Tyler where he was sitting in Brendan’s lap, watching as his older brother showed him how to play some handheld video game.
“Yeah, just like all the little girls love you.”
He laughed quietly. “No clue why.” He looked up when Luke joined them with a couple of soda bottles in his hands. “What’s up?” He nodded and accepted the drink even though it wasn’t a flavor he cared for.
“I thought I’d see if you’d mind if I go for a walk with Brooke.”
“No, he doesn’t mind,” Maria answered for him as she sat on the railing next to him and reached around him to pluck the drink from his fingers.
“Great,” Luke said and swallowed hard as he took Brooke’s hand.
She giggled and led the way off of the deck, pulling him behind her. “Oh, stop lookin’ over your shoulder, they’re not comin’ after us,” she said after they had been walking for a few minutes.
“I’m not sure my life is any safer with them lettin’ you see me.”
“First off,” she informed him haughtily, “my brothers do not let
me do anything, Luke. I do what I want to do.”
“Uh-huh, well, let me remind you that Alex is your guardian and you’re 16, so that means for the next couple of years they kinda have a say in the things we do.”
“Sometimes I hate that you’re so fuckin’ rational,” she grumbled.
“No, you don’t,” he teased. “It keeps you in line. You like to push the limits of everything you do and while I do kinda like that…” He groaned and rolled his eyes. “You have no idea how much I like it. But, they’re lettin’ us date as a show of trust and if we screw it up you’re gonna regret that.”
“You do realize guys are not supposed to be like this, right?”
“Like what?” he asked, frowning.
“Like… like… you.” She dropped his hand and turned around to face him. “Why is it we don’t sneak away to make out or anything?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know… guess I just figured we should wait till after we’ve at least shared one real kiss.” He rolled his eyes at her. “What’re you in such a rush for, huh?”
“I’m not in a rush,” she denied. “I’m just not used to guys like you.”
“So enjoy getting to know me ‘cause I’m not goin’ anywhere, Brooke.” He took his baseball hat off and ran a hand through his short hair before he put it back on and shrugged. “I know it’s not exactly popular behavior for a guy to be decent these days, but I’m disgustingly decent.”
“So, can I expect that real kiss anytime soon?”
“I’m not a trained monkey, girl. I don’t perform on cue.” He grinned and shook his head, his annoyance with her evaporating as quickly as it had erupted. “Stop rushin’ it. C’mon, let’s walk a while.”
Brooke took his hand when he held it out to her again. “I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone like you, Luke.”
She cringed when she heard Callie’s voice coming from behind them and she sighed as she turned to look at the younger girl. Her dogs were running around the girl’s feet, barking and growling as they played their game. “Oh, my God, what does she want now?” she grumbled.
Luke snorted and shook his head. “You’re getting way too uptight about this.”
“They’re everywhere. I can’t turn around without them bein’ in my face.”
“Hey, Brooke, can I ask you a quick question?”
She controlled her expression and forced a smile when Luke squeezed her hand. “Sure, what’s up?”
“My parents got the guys a gift for their birthday… kinda gonna be from the whole family and I was wonderin’ what you think they’ll think about it.” She wrinkled her nose. “Ya know, me an’ Shane were talkin’ and we don’t wanna be the ones responsible for getting them a lame gift.”
“Oh, you need advice?” She straightened up. “About a birthday present?”
“Yeah… is that cool?”
“Of course. I do know Michael and Bren better than anyone else.”
Luke smirked at her self-important tone and listened to the girls as they carried on a conversation about the birthday gift. Brooke was in her element as she shared her advice and told the younger girl the best way to give the boys the gift.
“And you don’t think it’s lame, right?”
“No, it’s totally cool. They’ll love it.”
“Cool, thanks. I’ll leave you guys alone now… just wanted to make sure Mom an’ Dad aren’t gonna totally humiliate us.”
“Oh, hey, um, Callie? Remember to tell your parents not to give it to ‘em in front of everyone… it’ll make Michael really uncomfortable.”
The girl rolled her eyes. “Duh.” She ran back towards the beach house and the dogs watched her for a moment before walking over to Brooke and throwing themselves down on the sand.
“Traitors,” she hissed at them.
Spike rolled over on his back and wiggled around, barking just for the joy of it. Brooke shook her head at the little dog’s antics, calling both of them as she took Luke’s hand once more and they continued their walk along the beach.
“Hey, Guerin,” Kyle called him. “It’s almost time to leave.”
Michael raised a hand to let Kyle know he’d heard him. “You’d better go find Evans and remind him that Coach doesn’t like it when we’re late.”
“Where is he?”
“Hell if I know, man. When I said you’d better go find him... it was because I don’t know where he is.” He rolled his eyes. “He’s been missin’ for a while now.”
“So has Liz,” Tess said, amused.
“Yeah, so you’d better go find ‘em.” Michael shook his head when Kyle just looked at him expectantly. “Hell no, I’m not goin’ lookin’ for ‘em.”
“Great, now I have to look for the horndogs,” Kyle said, grimacing. “Ouch,” he yelped when he felt Tess’ elbow dig into his side. “What the hell..?” He fell silent when he noticed the look at Jeff Parker’s face. “Yeah, um… nevermind.”
“Way to stick your foot in it, dude,” Tony muttered.
Michael snickered. “Maybe you’d better hurry, Valenti.”
“Great,” he muttered quietly and made his way down to the beach. “Evans?” he shouted out.
Maria was sitting in the sand talking to her mom when she heard Kyle and she leaned back on her hands to look up at him. “You might wanna head that way,” she said, pointing to her left. “They took off in that direction about... oh, 45 minutes ago.”
“You’re kiddin’,” Kyle complained.
“Nope.” She grinned. “Chances are good that they’re not all that far away though... they were just lookin’ for someplace to be alone for a while.”
“Ya think this’s helpin’?” He shook his head at her.
“Want me to be more descriptive?” she asked with a smirk.
Kyle bit his lip to not say anything rude in front of her mother. Instead he just started to walk in the direction she had suggested. “Evans! Get your ass back here!”
Maria just grinned when he walked off without another comment. “Sometimes these guys are so easy.”
Amy chuckled. “I doubt that Michael has been all that easy in the past.”
“No, Michael and easy don’t go together.” Well, unless sex was involved,
she thought to herself.
“You managed to get through to him though.”
She smiled. “He let me in... that’s the thing about Michael though, he’s got so much love to give and the people who are important to him... he’ll do anything for them, but he doesn’t understand it when they wanna do somethin’ for him.”
“It’s hard to accept love if ya don’t get it from your family when you’re a kid.”
“Yeah... I just hate that they hurt him so badly.” She turned her head to glance at him where he was hanging out with Brooke on the back deck.
“How’d ya find his father?” Amy asked. “I mean, you don’t have to tell me since I know Michael’s uncomfortable with all this, it’s just kinda confusing to me, you know?”
“I think he’d be okay with me telling you about this. We recently found out from his mother that Hank wasn’t his biological father and Alex’s lawyer started digging around, looking for him. He found him while we were up in Tahoe for Christmas.”
Amy shook her head. “She kept it a secret from them for all those years?”
Maria nodded. “Yeah, and now he doesn’t really know what to think. He and his mother have never really had much of a relationship to speak of, but finding out that she knew all along that he and Bren weren’t Hank’s?” She shook her head. “He doesn’t know how to deal with that beyond being angry with her.”
“I can understand that. You shouldn’t keep a secret like that for so long. Especially since he didn’t get along with his mother’s husband. From what I’ve heard so far it sounds like they didn’t get along, right?”
“It was so much worse than just not getting along, Mom. Without going into any details, let’s just say that Hank is an abusive asshole and Michael got the worst of it.”
Amy winced, tears in her eyes when she thought about it. She would have never let any man hurt Maria, no matter what. It explained a lot about why Michael had always been so dismissive when she had tried to get anything out of him about his family. “I think Adam will be a good father to him. The man seems to care a lot about his children.”
Maria nodded and smiled. “Yeah, he’s already made quite a bit of progress with the twins.”
“Hey,” Michael said as he approached the women on the beach and crouched down behind them. “We need to leave for the game now. I’m gonna ride with Max or Kyle.” He placed his car keys in her hands. “Don’t let Tony drive.”
Maria grinned at him as the weight of his keys settled in her palm. “I would never let Tony drive the Charger... no other man gets to sit in the drivers’ seat, baby.”
He nodded in satisfaction and leaned forward to kiss her briefly. “That’s my girl.”
Amy smiled at them. “Good luck today, Michael,” she said when the couple separated.
“He doesn’t need luck, Mom,” Maria said.
She chuckled at her daughter’s matter of fact tone. “Is that so?”
Maria nodded. “Yeah.”
“Alright, if you say so.”
“You’ll see, Mom. Last time he asked me to wish him luck he ended up in the hospital,” Maria said.
“I see, so wishing him luck is like a bad omen?”
“Uh-huh, so we’ll pretend you never said it, okay?”
Amy snorted. “Okay, if that’s what ya want.”
“Seems like Kyle found them,” Maria said as she saw Kyle together with Max and Liz coming back up the beach.
Amy shook her head. “Someone should tell her that her bra’s still open.”
“What?” Maria leaned back to have a better look. “Parker, come over here.”
Liz brushed her hair back, trying to look like everything was perfectly normal and she and Max had just been out for a walk on the beach. “What’s up, Maria?” she asked, eyebrows lifted in question as she moved away from Max to join her friend.
Maria got up. “Turn around girl.”
“What?” Liz tried to see behind herself even as she did as Maria had directed her to do. “Why?”
“Because your bra’s open, girl and I’ll bet you don’t wanna face your dad like that.”
“What?! No, it’s not!” She flushed crimson when she felt Maria tugging on it and she realized she was right. “Oh, my God, I’m gonna kill him!” she hissed under her breath.
“Oh, relax, nobody else saw.”
“Yeah, ‘cause you happened to be out here. Can you imagine if Tess had been the one to notice?”
Maria chuckled at that thought. “We’d better not think about that, huh?” She closed the clasp on Liz’s bra and gave her a playful smack on the ass. “Alright, girl, you’re good to go. Go on an’ kiss ya boy good bye.”
The noise of the crowd around them had settled to a dull roar as the guys walked out onto the field, waiting for the coin toss and mentally preparing for the first play. Michael glanced up into the stands, his gaze automatically zeroing in on the lower level at the 50-yard line. He grinned as he took in his family and friends gathered together and taking up a pretty large chunk of that section.
“Why don’t you focus on the game and get your mind off of that piece of ass you’ve been nailin’?” Lance snarled.
“Maybe you’d better watch your mouth before you’re forced to spend the next 20 minutes lookin’ for your teeth,” Michael snapped.
Max elbowed his way between them before they came to blows on the field before the game had even officially started. “So, you all ready for the game?” It was an absurd question, but one he knew would get Michael’s attention off of Lance long enough to distract him.
“What kinda question is that?”
“Hey, Evans, you got that shy little bookworm of yours on her knees yet?”
“Okay, maybe you should just shut up before you wind up as part of the field,” Kyle advised as he got between them to stop Max from going after Pruitt. “We’re about to toss the fuckin’ coin to get this game started and you’re not helpin’. You either shut your mouth or you’re not gonna play in today’s game. I don’t know what side you’re playin’ for, but if you’re gonna keep this attitude you’ve got then it’s not gonna be ours.”
That shut Lance up and he glared at Kyle as he moved up to take his place facing the other team’s quarterback for the coin toss.
“Hey, you guys chill out,” Ed Mathews said as the Ref made the coin toss. “If the douche-bag starts any shit we’ve got your back, got it?”
Troy Jansen muscled in between the guys, intentionally shoving Lance aside. “It’s called a team for a reason, Pruitt, so either be part of the team or get off the fuckin’ field.”
The Ref called the toss and pointed to the visiting team, indicating that they would be the receiving team and they would have first possession of the ball.