Chapter 16 – Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes

Posted: 2011-03-08 00:40:22
Modified: 2011-03-08 00:40:22

Rebbecca

Okay, maybe I am lovestruck, but I can still see. Well trained observer, you know. My Mountain is a natural leader. He didn’t ask for the job, yet he was given the job of Coach unanimously. Then he let his team go to work while he went to work managing the team. But, his happiness was dimmed, I could see it in his eyes and feel it in him. My Mountain was in pain. What was causing it?

This was definitely the most interesting lunch I’d ever had at school, naked or not. Naked! Oh-My-God! I’m still naked! Only a day and a half of parading my naked ass around school and I was getting used to it.

When speech time came around, he asked Tim if he would do the honors. He wasn’t getting out of something, but deploying the best person for the job. Tim didn’t hesitate. Shirley and Sherri had already written an outline and presented it to Luis. He’d made a couple of suggestions. The Ss went to work on their brand of magic and Tim ran with it. I felt My Mountain’s energy shift through the spectrum—pain to joy and part way back to pain. What was it?

I have a whole new respect for actors. Tim studied the script for a minute. He nodded, stood, and gave as impassioned a performance as Luis. Sorry, soon to be lover, Tim was better. He was flawless, yet it felt as if he was speaking off-the-cuff—metaphorically, since he was naked. I was in awe as he presented for the team and still managed to speak so deeply from his heart. I felt My Sweetie settle into himself. Accepting. Growing stronger. WOW!

At one point, Tim had Luis and me stand. Needless to say, My Mountain towered above me. He casually grabbed my waist and held me up! When Tim was done with us, Luis spun me around and gave me a very wet, sloppy, public kiss before setting me down. I heard a splash of music just as I sat. Flock of Seagulls or Phil Collins or something like that. Not as good as Luis’s selections.

I was in shock from the suddenness, wobbly from the intensity, embarrassed by the public display, and very horny from the show of strength. Yes. HORNY. I don’t want an orgasm, I NEED one!

I managed to sit again. My Mountain sat next to me. I offered my hand to hold, which he readily took. Then I placed it between my legs and pressed it to my very wet pussy. Yep. I can still say pussy. Not cunny, pussy!

“Sweetie? I need you to get me off, please? Now?” I swear I found myself batting my eyelashes at him. Who was this strange person that had taken over my body?

“Get you off? Off of what?” He had a completely innocent look in his eyes. That was about the time he gave my clit a little squeeze.

“The puddle I’m about to be sitting in when you keep that up!” I tried to muster up my innocent face. I think I achieved wanton.

“Well, knowing how vocal you are, are you sure you want me to do this? Here?” Right as he said that, he thrust a finger into me. Phil Collin’s was saying something about in the air tonight. With his thumb, he teased around and occasionally attacked my clit. When his finger tip inside hit the soft ridges, that was it. Lightning bolts!

I really, really, really, really did my best to be quiet and composed. Honest. I did. I’m not sure who was driving the car, though. If Tim hadn’t made a point that drew a lot of comments and applause, everyone in the cafeteria would have known what I was doing.

‘Oh, what are you doing?’ My Muse asked.

‘Ah… Um… Watching the world disappear into this… Ah… huge fireworks display, then go quite black. Oh, shit!’

‘And, why?’

‘Leave me alone, Damn it! Ah… YES!… Right there… I’m having the best cum of my life.’

‘Hope no one slips on the puddle!’ My Muse said this with a giggle just as I blacked out.

When I came back to the cafeteria after a tour of the known universe and a short meeting with my creator, I found myself in the arms of My Mountain. On his lap. Deliciously snuggled in. In the background, Zeppelin was talking about the juice running down a leg and lemons. No lemons. Lots of juice running down my legs.

Tim was speaking to the crowd. “She’s fine. Just the stress of today finally caught up to her. Luis is taking good care of her…”

There was another hand on my face. A soft, female voice penetrated my fog. “It’s okay, Rebbecca. We’ve got your back. You needed that. We’re taking care of you.”

“And the puddle!” Luis actually chuckled. Note to self: take the Charles Atlas course. Put on two hundred pounds of muscle and punch him. For the moment, I’ll just snuggle here and love him.

That was just his finger. What about when we make love the first time? It had better be in a bed and I have to plan on not moving for a few hours. YES!

“Sweetie?” I said more to his chest than his face. It was like chiseled marble, but warm and alive.

“Yes, Becca?”

“Just putting you on notice. Before dinner tonight, I already know what my appetizer is.”

“Notice?” He’s cute when he is confused. He scrunches his brow and bites the corner of his bottom lip. Yep. Cute.

“I’m going to drain Junior’s balls down my throat.”

“You don’t have to.” Junior let me know his opinion with a healthy twitch.

“I know, sweetie. Just warning you. I’m going to make you feel like I do right now.” He actually shivered. Yes. GIRL POWER! No… doing my man proud. Okay. Something. I just wanted Junior in my mouth. I wanted him to give me his essence. I want to taste and savor it. I just don’t know how!

Promise to self: I’m going to take him all the way down, eventually. I don’t know how or when. I’ve never had a penis in my mouth, why now? Whatever the reason, I need to learn. I know a potential coach. Now to find Shashawna and learn!

Okay, that would mean both of us using Luis or someone else. Was I that committed to share? That comfortable? That loving?

YES!

I want this for my love. I want this for me.

“God, I’m so envious of you, Rebbecca.” The voice from the fog was back. Rosalee.

“Why?” I felt hurt. Envy of me?

“You’ve got that marvelous cock now.”

I reached out and found her face. Held it, pull her close, and kissed her closed lips. “No need to be envious. I believe in sharing.”

She put her hands on my face and looked in my eyes. “Why?”

“Because I love him. I want to please him. And… I don’t really know how.”

She stared me in the eyes. Her eyes misted. The tears leaked out. “I’ll do anything I… can.”

“What’s…” I almost said something wrong. “What’s going through your head right now? Honesty, please?”

“Seeing what Luis is doing, for all of us and for Will… Well, it has me thinking. Then, you and Luis. There is so much love there. And you not wanting to impede his happiness. I’m blown away. Plus, I find you… Oh, hell! I find you attractive.”

“Wow!” She was attractive. Was that post orgasmic bliss speaking, raging hormones, or real interest?

“Would Luis share you? Would you want me?”

I stroked her face, gently. “I can’t answer for Luis. As for me, I honestly don’t know. I’ve never thought about it. Of course, I never really thought about boys either! Look at me now!”

“I can’t believe Luis did that to you at lunch!”

“He didn’t start it.” We both giggled. Okay. I said it. Giggled. Better than snorting.

“Well, aren’t you the little slut.” She had a twinkle in her eye. From anyone else, I would have been insulted.

“Scared of the competition?” The music in the background drifted into focus for a second. David Bowie agreed about changes. So I turned and faced the stranger—well nearly a stranger—and winked at Rosalee.

“Not really. The more the merrier!” Her grin was infectious.

“So, you are your act?”

“I try to be. I am discreet, which is why there are no stories about me other than the ones I spread.”

“Smart girl.” That got me a quick kiss. Soft. Sweet. Completely different than Luis’s. Not better, different. I kissed her back. Her lips parted. Mine weren’t far behind. She tasted nice. My eyes closed, melting into the feeling. She put one hand behind my head and one more on my waist. It felt so good and so right. I did the same to her. We kept exploring each other’s mouth. No hurry. No pressure. “This is ground control to Major Tom…” drifted through my head when I felt a very large, strong arm across my back.

“You two look very good together,” Luis whispered in my ear. SHIT! I’m caught cheating, with a girl, after less than a day of being his girlfriend. I’m a slut. I tried to pull away. Luis wouldn’t let me, neither would Rosalee.

“It’s okay, sweetie. Finish what you started.” He held us together with a loving hug. Rosalee went back to the kiss. Who was I to refuse, after all, I am a slut. Rosalee took it up a notch, her hand slid up from my waist and cupped my boob. She was tender and gentle. I was… stimulated. I got lost in her kiss and Luis’s arm around me. I had his approval, at least in the moment. Oh, to hell with it. I’ll worry about him in a minute. In the now, I moved my hand up and touched my first female breast other than my own. I explored, experimented. Felt the tightening of the aureole, the hardening of the nipple, and the rise in heat. Damn, no wonder guys like to touch us there. It’s nice, both ways.

“Before anyone else notices, I’d suggest we take this elsewhere.” Luis’s voice penetrated into my new playground.

Rosalee and I broke apart. I opened my eyes and looked into hers. “Thank you.”

She smiled, “You’re welcome. Thank you.”

“I’d like to do that again.” WOW! I can do better than that. I need to be seducing her. WHAT?

“I know this sounds weak, but… me too. That was incredible. Thank you.” Her eyes were soft, sweet, and loving. A Rosalee I had never seen before. I felt that few ever saw this side of her.

“That WAS incredible, thank both of you!” Luis’s voice again invaded our private little world. Yet, it wasn’t an intrusion. His lips touched my ear, “Thank you, sweetie.” He leaned over to Rosalee’s ear and whispered something. Her smile warmed my heart.

We completely separated with a quick kiss with promises. We both kissed Luis.

“Sweetie, I’m so sorry…” I started.

“Luis, I apologize…” Rosalee said over me.

“Whoa!” He put his arms around both of us and hugged us in close. “Becca, did you discover something new about yourself?”

“Yes, but…” I hung my head, ashamed. Disgusted with myself for being so self-centered and such a little slut. He lifted my head gently with one finger on my chin and looked me in the eyes.

“Fantastic!” Wha…? The positive energy he was sending—confirmation, validation—overrode my building feeling of guilt. God, I could cum just looking into his eyes. Appropriate.

“Rosalee? How did you feel?” He lifted her chin up with his other hand. I could feel the positive energy he sent her way. For a second, I could see her through his eyes and him through hers. As quickly as that happened, it went away. Yet, I felt the love and, while I can’t explain it, it felt right.

“Attracted. I’m sorry, Luis. I came on to her and…” She didn’t finish, but looked down.

“So?” She looked up surprised. I could feel the love for me in his touch and see the compassion for her in his eyes. “Did you force her?”

“NO!” I almost shouted, then remembered where we were. Luis patted my back.

“Did you enjoy it?”

“Very much!”

“So, why is anybody apologizing to me?” We both attacked him. ‘Thank yous.’ Kisses. Lots of kisses. A few were just between Rosalee and me.

Rosalee held Luis’s massive head in her petite hands. Hands that had recently been driving me wild while she played with my nipples. She bored into his eyes with her look and had his full attention. “Take her. Soon. Be as kind, loving, and gentle as I know you will be. Make it incredible. Then, can I have my turn?”

“Me or her?” He managed to squeak.

“Yes.” We both answered.

“Together.” Rosalee added with me nodding my head.

“Why?” My Mountain asked. A Paesano in the headlights!

“Coach, you talked about making promises—commitments. Finding ways to team, grow. Am I right?”

“Yes.”

“Honesty, as you both have asked me?”

“Yes.” We both said.

“I know the joys and pleasure of sex. Yet, I see in you two love. If I can learn anything, that’s it. I also see something else. What you, both, did for Will, what you’ve done for everyone around you…” She sobbed. Tears were flowing down her face.

I took her in my arms. Luis’s wrapped around both of us. Something inside said I should be jealous. My Muse appeared, pulled out a gun, and shot the feeling.

‘You’re doing great!’ It seemed she was grinning and blowing the smoke from the gun barrel.

“Rosalee, Luis and I have talked about this. I want to explore. You asked if Luis would approve? Yeah.”

I turned to him, “Thanks, sweetie.” He kissed me thanks.

I turned back to the very cute Rosalee. “Yes, I want to. I want you.”

Luis, in that moment, sealed it. “Then go for it.”

Rosalee looked at both of us. “After Luis and you. Not before.”

A fine example of Nakeds we were being. Slobbering happy tears everywhere! Yet, that’s what we were being! Being open. Being honest. Exploring. Luis has added compassion. I want to understand all this deeper. Much deeper.

“Later.” All three of us promised each other.

Eventually, the group came back together and the conversations of the Program began again. After rattling around a bit, it was Rosalee that brought up a critical point.

“Something I want to ask all of you. What is a Reasonable Request? I mean, the rules are vague. At best! I want to understand the limits.” She looked more serious than I’ve ever seen her. Troubled.

“Rosalee,” I asked her softly, “did something happen?”

“No one thing. It’s the whole hallway scene. Look, I don’t mind someone coming up to me, asking, and then feeling me up. I do mind uncaring, rough, anonymous hands. Worse, penetration without permission. I enjoy sex, but that’s not. It’s loss of control and, quite frankly, an invasion of my person.”

“I had something like that happen not long ago,” My Mountain said. That made my head snap around and I’m sure my look was not as loving as it should have been. Did he mean me and Rosalee? He looked at me, saw my expression, and gave me a quick kiss. “In the halls between lunches, I was headed to the office. I got stopped for a request and refused it.”

“What was the request?” Rosalee beat me to it. I realized I had jumped to the wrong conclusion. Leapt, actually. I need to listen first and then use compassion.

‘Yep!’ Thanks,. Muse.

“To cum on them.” He looked a bit disgusted. Talking about it seemed to drain the pain from him. “It made me feel like a machine to be commanded for someone else’s entertainment or pleasure. It was not about learning or exploring together.”

Before I could ask who, the group started debating Reasonable Requests. Everyone one of the Nakeds had something to contribute. Some incident that stood out or a general feeling like Rosalee’s. Everyone but Ginny. Before lunch came to an end, all we could decide was that something needed to be done, but not exactly how.

“Would all the participants in this week’s Program report to the office.” The PA system blared in Mrs. Grant’s voice.

As a unified group, we got up and headed towards the cafeteria doors. Margie was giving Luis a rundown of our discussions. Shirley and Sherri were handing him hand written pages of notes and points. Tim was giving advice on presentation. My Mountain was trying to process everything but becoming agitated.

“Margie, what are the key points?” I asked while I squeezed his hand with all my love. That shut everyone up. She listed them.

“Shirley and Sherri – on the top one, what do you have?” They gave him the spin points and arguments.

“Tim, recommendations on how to present it?” He helped Luis with how serious, how light, and how forceful to be while suggesting hand movements, posture, and such.

By the time we got to the Office, we’d walked through every point, the spin, and strategies to present it. When we got to the door, I stopped us. I stretched up and grabbed My Mountain’s head. I could see in his eyes, he was ready. Centered, he calls it.

“Go get ‘em Tiger.” And I kissed him, hard. Shirley and Sherri followed my lead, although their kisses were a bit more reserved. They’ll learn, he kisses great! Rosalee laid a scorcher on him that caused MY toes to curl. Tim grabbed his hand, then changed his mind, and hugged him. That turned into a group hug with sixteen naked people. Then a light went on in my head. Team. Unified. We have a purpose and a goal. We had some measures for progress and a commitment to develop more. There were consequences, both for succeeding and failing. We were a team and committed to something larger than any one of us. And, we could make it happen. I felt a feeling of fullness and pride.

We entered the Office, Luis leading the way. Mrs. Grant smiled and pointed towards Doctor Cavenaugh’s office. She winked at Luis and said, “Go right in. Best of luck.”

We filed in, taking our positions from the morning before with Dr. C at one end of the table and Ms. Carlisle at the other. Doctor Cavenaugh started, “I believe you have something to present to us?”

He was looking right at My Mountain. I now understand the word pride. It was flowing out of me and didn’t seem to empty me at all.


Luis

Breathe, Luis, breathe! Let the positive energy flow from the ground and through the body powered by the pump in my core. Let my breathing turn that pump and expel the poisons within my body including negative thoughts. Come down into center, feel the roots move into the earth, deep. Breathe…

I opened my eyes and scanned the table, recalling all that had been said at lunch. Feeling the commitment of each member of the team; playing each comment over in my head. When I looked down at Becca, I felt awe at the incredible job she had done getting us organized as we walked down the hall. A hidden talent? Damn, she was good.

Pretty as hell, too! That make out session with Rosalee… Better not go there. Junior was already a bit full.

No, I don’t mind sharing. When I look in her eyes, I know what we have. I have no fear there. Nothing to generate jealousy.

Looking around the room, it was just like yesterday morning, yet so different. I felt different, I assume everyone else did as well. Becca was a whole different person, more than I had ever hoped for. I knew I loved her without reservation.

I also had a new level of respect and admiration for everyone at the table. Plus, a new sense of closeness with them. A growing love for each of them as a person. As I went from one to the next, looking them in the eyes, I thought of something I wanted to say to each and ask about each. It all felt very positive, until I came to Ginny. I felt her pain and in an instant knew we all had to do something to help her. I just knew this group was the key to unlocking some door to her heart and allowing her wounds to heal.

At that moment, I came back to center. I knew that what we were embarking on was not only important, it was crucial to us, the school, and the program. For once, there was no song in my head. Just the moment.

“Thank you, Dr. Cavenaugh and Ms. Carlisle for seeing us.” They chuckled. As I realized what I had said and how we were all dressed, I blushed. Damn it! Settling down and breathing again, “We know today has been a trying day for everyone. We,” I swept my arm around to all the Nakeds—thanks Tim—they all nodded like some wave, “would like to take the incident this morning and turn it into something positive.”

I could see Dr. C wanted to say something, so I nodded to him. “Luis, we’ve heard what you said at lunch and, later, Tim carrying on the message. I want you all to know the Allen’s have heard as well. They wanted me to convey their thanks. The school does as well.”

My heart soared with this news. It made me feel stronger and closer to this team.

“Thank you, Doctor Cavenaugh.” He gave me a look but nodded to the formality. “I know I have some work to do before I regain your respect. Be assured, I will.”

He looked stunned. Almost as if I’d hit him!

“Luis, you have my respect. To be honest, all I am is a bit rattled. I have never felt physically intimidated by anyone before. I’d just ask you to reserve that for East in the future.”

“Will do, Dr. C.” We shook and I could see in his eyes we were okay. They twinkled with joy.

“I understand a bet was proposed today?” He was back in School Mode, but his tone was light, fun.

We all chuckled. “Yeah, me and my big mouth.”

“Everything is big about that boy!” Count on Rosalee. “Even his heart.” That wasn’t expected. I blinked back some moisture in my eyes. Becca squeezed my hand in support. I caressed her shoulder in acknowledgment. We both turned to Rosalee and simultaneously blew her a kiss.

Before anyone could react, I came back to the moment.

“I’ve declared I would stay naked until everyone developed some real, serious connections with everyone else in this school.”

“We’ve declared.” Tim, Rosalee, Becca, and Margie all spoke at the same time. Everyone else agreed.

“We need some help setting up the bet and monitoring it.”

“Your thoughts?” I could tell from his eyes and posture he was being open, receptive. Not in the least trying to shut us down.

“The goal is to make sure that every student has a real connection, several in fact. That would be highly costly to measure with any degree of accuracy. Yet, our resident expert on Freud,” I looked at Becca, “suggested that a random sampling made throughout the day of how well two students know each other would allow us to set a baseline and measure progress.” No one but Becca and Ms. Carlisle got the twist of my statement. Freud was not statistically oriented at all!

“What would this sample entail?”

“You or Ms. Carlisle would randomly stop two students. You ask Joe Doe if he knows Mary Smith and if he’d care to share something about her. Based on the reactions of both students, rank the meeting as a zero for don’t know each other at all to a five for best friends. Both names and the score would be entered into the model and a weekly analysis would be generated and reported.”

“This model. Developed by?”

“All of us.” I swept my arm around the Nakeds. “We all have unique skills, talents, and interests. Everyone wants to contribute.”

“The reasoning behind this?”

“Social networks are the basis of human interaction.” I looked at Becca for confirmation. I got such a nice smile that I almost forgot what I was saying. Damn, here comes those rubber legs again. Breathe!

“Once we understand the size and power of individuals in their connections to others, the network will emerge and be measurable. We need to do a lot of research and some of it is in the optimum size and strength of connections for a healthy community. That’s the foundation. We figure that everyone should have a very close network made up of best friends and lovers. They have a wider circle of friends they consider close, but not as close. Then, they have a much wider circle of acquaintances. The goal is to expand and diversify the close circles. Those are the kind of networks that could have been there for Will.” I paused for a second and went for it. “Or, Becca before yesterday morning. Who knows how many others.”

Gathering strength from the team through their eyes, processing it through my “pump” and letting it fill my heart, I continued. “Or, provide a safe place to learn about love.”

I looked at Rosalee. She got it and nodded. “Like Rosalee is seeking.”

I let the next wave wash through me, giving me the strength to continue. “And, someone you know that needs help, but isn’t so public…”

I watched Dr. C’s eyes. After a second—that Relativity thing again—they flashed and I saw Ginny in them. A second later, he smiled.

“Well, I’d say you, and I mean all of you, have come up with a very noble project. I’ll also confess my spies informed me after first lunch. Before I say anything else, Ms. Carlisle, do you have anything to add to this?”

“Thank you, Dr. Cavenaugh.” She turned to Becca and me. “First, let me say, when we put this group together, we had hopes for some good to come out of it. Now, I’m blown away and can’t wait to see what unfolds.

“To help, I already have a stack of research in my office and a bunch of references for more on social networks. Since I’m the Program Sponsor and this does involve the ‘Nakeds’ as well, I’m going to sponsor this initiative. Dr. Cavenaugh and I have already talked. Based on the performance, which means research, theory, testing, modeling, math, analysis, and so forth—we will award extra credit in related classes.”

I looked around at my team. Yes! Team! I connected with each set of eyes. What I saw was resolve to do our very best and I also saw delight at the rewards and recognition. Beyond I saw a glow of awe. That we, as a team, could do this, do it well, and really make a difference.

“We thank you, Ms. Carlisle. That was more than we were expecting. We will not let you down.”

“All I want to add is that you have the school’s full support. I would like to be an advisor on the project as well.” Dr. C looked positively proud at that moment.

“Thank you,” I said. “Before we end this, we also started talking about Reasonable Requests and where the boundaries are.”

Both Dr. C and Ms. C looked guarded. She ventured into the minefield first. “What about Reasonable Requests?”

“There are a lot of things happening in the halls that have nothing to do with the spirit of the program. When there are requests, many are not reasonable.” I could see the responses coming, before they did, I held up my hand and went on. “We know the program is about discovery, learning, growing, and being open. But, does being put into the position of just being a sex toy for someone else fit with it?

“It’s one thing to be there as a tool for learning. Or, even being compelled to learn. It is quite another to be there as an unwilling actor in someone’s fantasies or a victim of their hormones—or worse, their frustrations. At the far end of the scale, it is unconscionable that we are required to be the object of other’s desire to abuse, control, subjugate, or rape.”

Ms. Carlisle thought for a minute. “I can see what you are saying. Perhaps the rules are a little too open and it has strayed from the goals. But, tightening them down…”

“We don’t necessarily have to tighten the rules, but maybe change the enforcement.”

“Explain,” Dr. C said.

“We talked about this, briefly, at lunch. In just a day and a half, each of us has felt invaded, subjugated, and humiliated. All of us have had to perform with no request. While being open is a good thing, at what point do we surrender ourselves?”

“Hmm…” Dr. C stroked his chin with a massive hand. Yet, the action was slow, deliberate, not at all an act of power. “What do you suggest?”

“I think it ties to networks. We’d like to work with you and Ms. Carlisle to help put both reasonable and request into Reasonable Request—without undoing the purposes of the Program.”

“Okay, let’s tie them together, that okay with you, Joan?” Ms. Carlisle nodded. We all agreed and started getting ready to go.

“Good. Now, if we hurry, I can make it to my next class, which a few of you are in. I’ll stop by my office and bring the materials. I expect something from you by Thursday that we can announce to the school at the Pep Rally that night.”

I checked with the team using my eyes. Everyone seemed willing, yet looked at Margie. Okay, I need to get to know the Tornado better this week. Another commitment! Shit! Physics, Math, Football. Political Science. Trying to get laid, okay—make love. Now, so many more. Girlfriend. East. Program. Scholarships. Leader. Grades. Classes. Family. Friends. ARGH! Yet… Becca! Worth it!

Margie did some scribbling, looked back at each person on the team, got nods, then looked at me and smiled, nodding her head. She also gave me a thumbs up.

Did I trust this team to perform and succeed? Yes. I turned to Dr. Carlisle. “Done.”

To my delight and wonder, everyone nodded in agreement.

As we were moving to the door, Dr. C stopped me. “Luis, one thing I have to know. Could you have picked me up without the… stimulus?”

“Sir?” Where was he going with this?

“Could you lift me now?”

“Sir, I leg lift over twelve hundred pounds. I bench press over four hundred.” I down played my peaks.

“Just lift me, okay?” Damn.

As gently as I could, I latched on to his waist. My breath automatically fell to my center. Two seconds later, he went up two feet in the air. I could have easily put his head through the ten foot ceiling. I gently turned 45 degrees and set him down.

“Sorry.” I really felt bad about what I just did.

“Why? With your strength and you character, East doesn’t stand a chance!”

“I just need time this week to get ready.” It really hit me when I said that. Today was my last day to torture my muscles to make them stronger. I needed time to rebuild after breaking them down. I was behind in my program.

“Coach, who is also my Really Big Brother, your job this week is to beat East. When we need you, we’ll call you.” Everyone started to agree.

“And take care of Rebbecca!” Thank you, Rosalee. That got a kiss from Becca for her and me. Plus, more than a couple of catcalls. Hell, even Dr. C and Ms. Carlisle were beaming and laughing. Becca was turning beet red. Somewhere in what little functioning brain I had left, it registered that if my blood pressure got any higher I might have an aneurysm. Not good for football or my love life.

Then a thought hit me and I said in my best caveman speak, “Beat East. Love Becca. Prevent attacks. Ugh.”

After the initial round of laughter, the team tried to pick me up. Even with that small failure, we walked into the halls in high spirits.

Despite our positive mood, my joy was clouding. East… Susan!?! Becca!!! Rosalee… College? Scholarships… Future… East. Ginny??? The Bet…

My heart was bursting with joy. My head was clouding with worry. My being was glowing with love. My body becoming weary with doubts.

I squeezed Becca’s hand, suddenly realizing she’d been holding it the whole time. I smiled and did my best to send her my love. Yep, the big, dumb jock being mushy.

She and Rosalee were holding hands as well. As much joy as I felt looking at them, I knew I was just in the eye of the storm. I felt the wall of wind and rain approaching.

“On to Ms. Carlisle’s class!” A very happy Becca said, pulling me down the hall as she and Rosalee began skipping along.