Posts tagged “unsettled

Her Champion: Chapter 30

Posted on 22/08/2013

footballpractice

“Found her,” Bekah announced as they strolled over to the benches.

“Hi guys,” Tamar said breathlessly, plopping beside Crystal.

Crystal pushed up the brim of her school hat to smile at her. “Hey! It’s about time you got here. The game’s gonna start soon.” She glanced down at Tamar’s shirt. “We really need to get you a jersey.”

“Meet Dylan’s fan club president,” Tonio drawled with a grin. “That might as well be her name when we’re at a game.”

“Umm hello? She’s his girlfriend. She should totally have a jersey. She’s vice president by default.”

Bekah smirked at Crystal. “Shouldn’t the vice president know something about football first?”

Tamar narrowed her eyes at her cousin, feeling a little better. “I know some stuff,” she mumbled softly, her voice barely audible over the loud chanting around them.

“Besides the tossing of football across the field, what else?” Bekah challenged playfully.

Tamar was silent for a few seconds and cleared her throat. “The quarterback is the star of the game,” she answered proudly, grinning.

Bekah only scoffed in laughter. “See?”

“Hey, she knows Dylan’s position is important. I can work with that. I can work with anything.” She plucked her hat from her head and placed it on Tamar’s. “There. That’s a little better. The vice president has to show team spirit for the man’s team.”

Tamar lifted a hand to brace the cap over her head and she gave Crystal a gracious smile. “Thanks.”

Bekah nudged Tonio. “Where’s mine?”

“You’re not the president or the vice president. I’m not responsible for outfitting you,” he explained casually, his eyes on the field. Just moments later though, he removed his own hat and settled it over Bekah’s hair. “But since I’m such a generous guy…”

Bekah’s teasing smile waned at his tone but shrugged, facing the field in front of her. No one was going to ruin this moment for her. Not even him.

Tamar adjusted the hat on her head and peered over at the empty field. “When does Dylan come out?” she asked Crystal.

Tonio leaned in and nudged Bekah when she didn’t respond. “Lighten up, Princess.”

Crystal glanced down at her watch. “In about a minute. I can’t wait to see if he’s at 70 percent completion. That would be amazing. Are you excited? I mean not about his completion percentage but the game.”

Tamar had no idea what Crystal meant but she knew Dylan wouldn’t disappoint his fans. He’d worked so hard for this moment. Her heart skipped a beat in anticipation and she craned her neck to look out onto the field, awaiting his entrance.

Bekah rolled her eyes at Tonio’s nudging. His mercurial behavior toward her was annoying. She was too old to entertain the confusion he brought up in her.

“Do that too often and they might get stuck,” he warned with all the wisdom of an old man. “If I promise to take over your outfitting for the next game you gonna smile at me?”

Bekah raised a brow at him before smirking derisively. “It’ll take more than giving me your hat to bribe a smile out of me, dude.” She rolled her eyes for good measure and turned her attention to the field as the crowd’s cheering got louder.

“It looks good on you though,” he said as he rose to his feet. “That should be worth one of those pricey smiles of yours.”

Crystal rose up on the tips of her toes, screaming at the top of her lungs as the football team ran out onto the field. She grinned at the way Tonio made a show of rubbing at his ear and reached around to shove him playfully.

Tamar cringed at Crystal’s screeching beside her and when Bekah grinned full-on at her, she responded with a smile of her own. Directing her gaze to the field, her heart went pitter-patter as the players ushered onto the field and her breath hitched at the sight of Dylan trailing behind. His long legs and his broad shoulders sent her heart racing, she could hardly breathe.

Bekah cupped both hands around her mouth and cheered once she spotted Dylan on the field.

The crowd erupted in a frenzy as Dylan and a few of the other players bounced around the field, hyping everyone up before the start of the game. Finally the team settled down as the special teams took the field in preparation for the kickoff.

Crystal locked her fingers together in anticipation as the ball went airborne.

“Nice catch,” Tonio murmured appreciatively as one of the players began racing back up the field, ball in tow. He weaved out and around the other players. His teammates threw up block after block as he ran.  He was finally tackled just inside the 50 and Crystal jumped in excitement.

“This is gonna be good. I feel it. Last time Jones had a return that good, we got a touchdown on the next play!”

Tamar could only see Dylan. Saw his number and latched on for the entire game. She smiled with uncontainable pride at the expert ease to which he moved across the field. He commanded the entire team without a word and her entire body shivered with the thrill of knowing that he was hers.

Bekah grinned like a proud mother when she watched Tamar’s face enraptured with the scene before her. She was like a dazed but joyful child in a circus, her eyes dancing with joy. Shaking her head in amazement, she turned back to the game.

Crystal was a live wire the entire game. She jumped, cheered, yelled, groaned, and complained throughout the night, leaning into Tamar every so often to explain a play or a call. She was engaged until the very last second ran down on the clock and then she exploded into cheers with the rest of the stadium as the Covington Cheetahs won the game.

By the end of the game, Tamar was clapping and cheering as the others in the stadium. She couldn’t stop grinning from ear to ear, her gaze zoned in on Dylan as he high-fived the player next to him. The adrenaline that had kept her up on her feet and cheering pulsed through her and she jumped like an wired teenager in a concert. She couldn’t wait to hug Dylan.

“Great game!” Bekah cheered and whooped aloud, waving Tonio’s hat in the air.

“He had to be sitting on at least a 65 completion percentage. Had to be. Oh my gosh and Clayton was on fire tonight!” Crystal brought her water bottle to her lips as if she just realized she held it. “Man what a game!” She smiled at Tamar. “See, total vice president material.”

Tamar grinned at Crystal. “That was about the most exciting thing I’ve ever witnessed,” she confessed, still breathless.

“Looks like you enjoyed yourself too,” Tonio said to Bekah, smiling as he watched her wave his hat around with abandon. It bothered him how much pleasure he got simply from watching her.

Bekah laughed freely. “It was fun,” she admitted, lowering the hat. Then thinking again, she shoved the hat against his chest. “Thanks for the loan.”

He didn’t lift his hands to take the hat. “Keep it. I like it on you.”

She smirked and flipped the hat on top her head without question. “Don’t ask for it back later. I won’t give it to you.”

“Didn’t think you would. You’d let me borrow it though, right?” he asked with a smile.

“We’ll see about that,” Bekah tossed back.

Tamar stood on her tiptoes, peering between the standing crowd for Dylan. “Is it over?”

“Yeah. We can go meet him out front but it’ll be a few minutes before he comes out. And then there’s the fans,” Crystal explained. “He’ll sign autographs and all that.”

She nodded and smiled. “I’ll probably have to get in line too, right?”

Bekah chuckled softly. “You want an autograph too? Heck, why don’t we all go meet him?”

“We’re the fan club. We’ve got special privileges,” Crystal said mischievously. “Let’s go.”

Tamar grinned in excitement as she followed Crystal and Bekah down the steps. She was practically bouncing on her heels as they nudged between distracted students, barely noticing how Bekah stayed close to her side as a barrier between her and the hyper fans.

<<Chapter 29 || Chapter 31>>

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Her Champion: Chapter 29

Posted on 20/08/2013

rowhouse

Tamar settled down beside him, propping her cheek against his shoulder. “That’s because you’re not distracting me like you should.” She peered up at him. “Do your part and I’ll gladly do mine.”

“So it’s my fault? Got it.” He turned his head to kiss her forehead and then the tip of her nose. “Guess I better get to work.”

“Uh-hmm,” Tamar purred, snuggling against him. The scent of him made her feel dizzy and warm.

“You’re a little slavedriver.” He murmured the words seconds before he took her lips in a soft, gentle kiss.

Snaking one arm around his shoulders, Tamar pressed her mouth against his own. The way he held her, kissed her made her feel like she was home in his arms. Strengthened by this thought, Tamar inclined her head and parted her lips, nipping at his own.

Dylan knocked the ice pack from his chest. Pushing up onto his elbow, he leaned over her to draw out the kiss. She was the only one who could suck in his focus this way. It was criminal.

Her other hand slid up his back, bracing him over her. She wanted to pull him over her, to never let him go. To breathe him in so she’d never forget this moment in all of her life. She could hear her heart pounding violently in her ears as she reveled at the feel of his firm mouth pulling at hers.

“Still worried?” he challenged as he trailed over her jaw and down along her neck.

Tamar bit her bottom lip against the delicious shiver that skittered down her spine all the way to her toes. His lips smothered her throat with warm kisses that weakened her knees. “A little…” she squeaked out, pressing his shoulder as her whole body went warm and gooey under him.

“Guess I’m not working hard enough.” He gently took the skin of her neck between his teeth, nibbling his way toward her collarbone.

She wriggled under him as his lips left a warm, tingling trail on her skin, gripping his arm. “Not… nearly… enough,” she said in mid-gasp.

“Gotta love this job. It’s like being a kid in a candy store, all you can eat.” He rained kisses all along her skin. “Delicious.”

Tamar smothered a strangled giggle as she bit her bottom lip. “At least one of us is having fun.” Her fingers loosened over his taut muscles.

He lifted his head. “Are you saying you aren’t having fun, woman?”

She wrinkled her nose playfully, trailing her fingernails along the lines of his muscles. “Enh…”

“You little liar.” He dipped his head to kiss her fingers. “Tell the truth.”

Tamar shivered at the warmth of his breath coercing her. She bit her bottom lip, closing her eyes. “Maybe a little.” She could feel the warmth all the way down her toes. “Yes.”

A wide grin curved his lips as he spoke into her hand. “Better. I like you like this. All soft and warm.”

She giggled, her toes curling at his deep voice caressing her. “Uh-hmm, of course you do.” She peeked open one eye and gave him a gentle smile. “I like me like this too. Wanting only you.”

“You say stuff like that and it’ll go to a man’s head.”

Sighing blissfully under his attention, Tamar snuggled against him, careful not to rub against his bruises. “You deserve it,” she whispered against his bare chest.

He laughed as he wrapped an arm around her, holding her close. “You spoil me.”

She could only smile, knowing he’d given her more than she could ask for. His love. Shivering, Tamar shut her eyes and held him close.

Dylan’s gaze landed on the ceiling but his thoughts stayed focused on the woman in his arms, the one who’d brought him more peace and happiness than he’d ever thought possible for another person to give. It was those thoughts he drifted off to sleep with.

Tamar rolled her shoulders as she took one tentative step over onto the sidewalk. She could already hear the muffled roaring from the other side of the stadium doors and could picture the cramped stands of excited fans ramped up on sugar-laden drinks and adrenaline. This was her very first football game in Covington University and she would have never been caught strolling past the stadium, much less stepping inside it. But she’d promised Dylan she’d come. She had to come. It was the most important game of the season.

A cold shiver skittered down her spine as she approached the painted doors, the cheers slamming against her eardrums. She squeezed her fingers and took in a deep breath. As Dylan’s surprised expression crossed her mind, Tamar smiled. He would be pleased to see her. Anticipating the pleasure in those gray eyes of his propelled her forward. Just as she reached for the door, it flung open, almost causing her to stumble forward and into one of the uniformed ushers.

“Oops, sorry,” the college student said distractedly as he sidestepped the stumbling Tamar.

“It’s… okay,” Tamar mumbled and righted herself, not bothering to look up at her assailant. She blinked at the open hallway, hearing the echoing cheers and stomping of feet reverberating along the walls and through her. Tamping down the shivers, she took another brave step forward toward the stands, hoping to find Bekah and Crystal before she was trampled again.

Thankfully, Bekah was standing by one of the doors, a camera slung over her shoulder. She turned to Tamar, a worried expression frozen on her face until she eyed her cousin. “Finally,” she breathed, stepping forward to reach for Tamar’s hand. “You okay?”

Tamar managed a smile and nodded. “Sorry I’m late.”

Bekah gave her an encouraging smile and squeezed her hand. “Come. We’ll sit where you can see all the action, up close and personal.” She tugged Tamar forward, not waiting to hear her cousin’s protests and dragged her down the hallway and out onto the stands.

The noise reverberated louder than in the hallway, people cheering and chanting the school’s song as they waited for the players to gather.

Tamar barely had time to take in the different colors mingled in the stands or the fact that she and Bekah seemed to be the only ones not decked out in the school’s fan apparel. She only focused on climbing the stands and crossing the benches, gripping Bekah’s hand tight as her cousin maneuvered through the excited fans. She told herself to breathe as they squeezed and ducked around a few boisterous college students who were shouting across the aisles, hurling insults and jeers to the other side.

It wasn’t until she saw Crystal and Tonio seated a few benches from the fence in front of the mid field that the tightness in her chest eased up.

 <<Chapter 28 || Chapter 30>>

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