I've replaced Professor Danes with a high school version of the teacher student relationship except Luke is a coach. I still plan on having a Professor Danes story just a better version that I will post later on.
Lorelai Gilmore carefully made her way through the crowded school halls. She had never felt as much like a fish out of water as she had for the past three months. Before that everything had been perfect. She was a senior, she had been on the cheer squad, and she had been popular plus had had a bunch of great friends. Well, she thought that they had been great friends. But then they had turned their backs on her the first chance they got and never looked back. Lorelai didn't understand why they had refused to believe her side of the story even when she had had proof.
Ever since the horrifying experience, Lorelai had only trusted one person that existed outside of her family. That person, Gwen Richards, had gained her trust when she had been just about the only person in the whole school who had stood up for her, who had believed in her. And even to the present day she couldn't understand why Gwen had done what she had done. Lorelai had never given the other girl a reason to.
Gwen was considered a geek; she had been since the first day of high school four years earlier. Lorelai, being a cheerleader and a total snob, had joined her friends in making fun of her. But, when Lorelai had really needed a friend, Gwen had stepped in and they had been best friends ever since.
Lorelai shook her head, remembering the shock that she had felt when her friend had followed her into the bathroom that awful day and had handed her a tissue, saying, "They're all jerks, you shouldn't listen to them."
Now, when Lorelai was scared to death of most guys and not feeling like she could trust most girls, Gwen was there for her, and Lorelai couldn't be more grateful.
Speaking of the angel, she thought and turned to see her friend making her way through the school crowd until she was standing by her side.
"Hey, Gwen," she greeted, a smile pulling at the corners of her lips as Gwen juggled the pile of books in her small arms.
"Do you need some help carrying those books to your locker?"
Gwen studied Lorelai's relatively empty arms and shrugged. "If you don't mind."
Lorelai took two of the books and read the words that were printed across the front. She noticed that they were both from previous grades and her eyebrows knit together in confusion. "Why are these from ninth and tenth grade?"
"I asked the teacher if I could use them to study for a paper I'm writing for my online college course," Gwen explained as if it was the simplest answer in the world.
Lorelai admired her friend. The girl did extra credit classes for high school and then went home every day, did her homework, and then went on the computer to do an online college course that she was taking. How she managed it all, Lorelai had no idea.
They reached their lockers and she quickly gathered her books for her first class. She didn't enjoy being in the halls very much. Too many people who bumped into her and too many boys that eyed her more than she would like. When she had complained about the latter to Gwen once, the other girl had said, "Look, Lorelai, I know you're scared of them, but it's not their fault that you're the prettiest girl in school."
Lorelai had sighed and just shrugged of her friend's compliment. She didn't care that their intentions might be harmless, it was the possibility that they could be harmful that scared her.
Luke Danes pushed open the gym doors and surveyed the area. Two boys were already tossing the ball around and about five others were scattered in the bleachers. He glanced at his watch and found that it was about thirty minutes before practice was set to start.
He set his stuff down and spent a few minutes checking out the gym. When he had taken the job he had gotten a quick look at the place, but he hadn't been able to check it out very thoroughly.
Wooden bleachers ran across both sides of the large room. A good sized stage sat at one end, while blue mats covered the walls at the other end. The school's mascot, a panther, was painted across one of the walls and on the center of the gym floor.
Luke considered the gym to be a pretty good size. Especially compared to the one that he played in when he was in high school.
A sound at the door broke him from his thoughts and he looked up to see a group of boys come in. He was pretty impressed with his team so far. A good many of them were over six feet tall, exceeding his height of 5'11, and they all seemed to be in pretty good shape.
This was Luke's first day at his new job. He had taken the job as coach at the high school when the former coach retired suddenly because of a back injury. He had previously worked as an intern for a large company, but was fired after a misunderstanding. Desperately needing a job to pay for the culinary school he was attending, he had seized the chance to coach the basketball team. Luke had played a lot in high school and had even received a scholarship for it. But, the scholarship didn't do him much good when he decided on culinary school instead of college. This decision had actually angered his dad so much that for the past seven years his dad was always cold to him, never engaging in conversation with his son. His father had rather had him work at the hardware store with him and taken the scholarship for basketball. But Luke would show him. In a year when he graduated from culinary school and became a very successful chef, he would see if his dad still felt upset over his son's decision.
When the rest of the boys had meandered in and practice reached starting time, Luke walked towards the center of the gym, scowling at the pain in his 27-year-old shoulder. He had had problems with his shoulder ever since he had been in a miner car accident three years earlier. He always tried to ignore the problem, but he had to admit that the pain was really good at nagging him.
Luke managed a smile for the teens as he began to speak. "Hello. I'm Coach Danes. I'm sure that you all have heard that Coach Mitchell has retired because of a back problem." Nods followed his statement, so he continued, "I know it's going to be different having a new coach this far into the season, so I'm going to do my best to make the change as easy as possible. I have discussed a lot of issues with Coach Mitchell so that I can make practice similar to the way that he did it." Luke quickly finished up speaking and began running drills. He soon discovered that the team was in as good a shape as he had assumed they were.
Practice ran as smooth as he could have hoped for. Most of the team bonded quickly with their new coach, excited to have someone newer and closer to their age to work with.
When Luke exited the gym later that afternoon, he couldn't be more satisfied with the results of his first practice. He walked out the back doors of the school and welcomed the cool breeze. It brushed against his sweaty forehead and he closed his eyes and to enjoy the feeling.
When his eyes fluttered back open he caught sight of a figure running on the track. Curiosity nagged at him and he walked in that direction.
Luke watched as the person practically sped around the track, their movements so swift and smooth that they almost could've been flying.
When they came closer, he realized that it was a female and he was even more impressed by their speed.
From where he was standing, he could tell that the girl's head was down as she ran and she seemed completely concentrated, not even listening to music as he had seen so many teens do while running.
He continued to study her movements and, as if sensing she was being watched, she looked up. When here eyes caught on him, she abruptly stopped running and took a step back. Luke's eyebrows furrowed at her nervous action. Was she scared at him?
Hesitantly he lifted his hand and waved at her. But she just stood there as if her feet were glued to the gravel that she stood on. Her eyes watched his every movement cautiously.
Seeing how frightened she seemed by him, he almost turned and walked back to his car, not wanting to scare her anymore. But his curiosity stopped him from doing so.
Carefully, he began to walk towards her. She stepped back again, her eyes having that "deer in the headlights" look.
Stopping a few feet away from her, he offered a small smile. "Hi."
She studied him for a second, her eyes keeping the frightened look. "Uh….hi," she greeted, her voice quavering uncertainly.
Luke frowned slightly. Was he really that scary? "Sorry if I scared you, I just couldn't help but notice how good you look when you're running."
She tensed visibly and took yet another step away from him.
Realizing what his words could've sounded like, he quickly explained. "I mean, you're really fast and your movements are so smooth. Do you run track?"
She relaxed a little at his words and she shook her head. "No, I don't care to."
Luke wanted to ask her why, but didn't really think that it was much of his business. He had run track during his time in high school, but only received a basketball scholarship since he was better at it.
He studied the girl's profile. Her chocolate brown hair was pulled up in a ponytail that hung down over her shoulder and she wore a T-shirt and some wind pants that were similar to his own. Her light blue colored eyes were so piercing that they were hard to miss. But he wondered why they were so filled with fear as they studied him.
"I should probably introduce myself. I'm Luke Danes, the new coach for the basketball team." Holding his smile in place, he offered his hand, not really sure if she would even take it.
He could tell that she was reluctant to do so, but she did briefly clasp his hand in her own, shaking it timidly.
Luke felt the trembling that shook her small hand like a baby might shake a rattle and he frowned. What was wrong with the poor girl?
"Lorelai Gilmore," she offered quietly after pulling her hand away. "I'm a senior here."
"Nice to meet you, Lorelai."
"Likewise," Lorelai replied, but Luke could tell that she had hardly enjoyed meeting him.
Lorelai pulled her hand from the man's grasp and dropped it to her side. When she had shook Luke's hand something had told her that he meant no harm. But Lorelai rarely trusted anyone or anything, even her own instincts.
She couldn't help but notice how handsome the guy was though. He stood about six feet tall and his long dark chocolate hair seemed to compliment his soft bluish gray eyes. Those same eyes held a concern as they looked at her. That concern both surprised and pleased Lorelai. Not many people ever seemed to worry about her, especially people that she barely knew. Without even thinking about it, she allowed a smile to appear on her face and she shocked herself by walking a little closer to him. "You said you took over for Coach Mitchell?" she asked, not wanting to see the guy leave just yet. There was something about him that put her at ease and no man had ever been able to do that to her. Well, at least not in the last three months.
Luke's eyes lit up as if he was delighted to talk about his new position. "Yeah, I just started today. I have to say that I'm impressed by the guys in this school."
Lorelai sighed. Maybe he was nice, but he must have poor judgment if he was impressed by the teenage boys at the school. Well, maybe the guys on the basketball team weren't like Christopher Hayden, but still most of them had been cruel to her along with almost everyone else in the school.
When she didn't say anything in reply to him, Luke changed the subject. "Do you mind me asking why you're running at the track two hours after school has let out?"
His tone wasn't an accusatory one, just curious and she quickly explained. "My friend, Gwen, and I do tutoring over at the middle school everyday," she motioned towards the middle school building that was adjoined to the high school, "and then I come over here and run after we're done."
Luke's easy smile tugged at her heart in a surprising way and she quickly looked away.
"Do you play any sports?"
Lorelai felt herself tense and from the slight wince Luke made she could tell that he knew that his question had hit a spot that he hadn't wanted to hit. She merely shook her head and said, "No. I used to cheerlead, but I don't anymore." She made sure that her tone told him that that was a matter she wasn't interested in discussing.
He glanced at his watch, before looking back up at her. "I'm sorry, but I've got to run. I've got classes at six o'clock."
"Yeah, I'm a Culinary student," he replied, clearly proud of his choice in career study.
She had to admit that she admired him for his choice. It showed her that he was a good cook which she loved to see in a guy. "Wow. That's great. I couldn't cook if my life depended on it."
"I'm sure your not that bad, I could teach you how to cook something sometime if you'd like," Luke announced, his smile widening, which Lorelai was beginning to love to see him do.
Lorelai laughed shaking her head. "If you could trust me enough to not burn down the kitchen." Lorelai joked. Luke smirked not believing she was that terrible.
Lorelai and Luke finished their conversation and she watched him walk back to his car, almost sorry that the conversation had to end. It had seemed like forever since the last time she had been able to talk to a man without being afraid of him. And Lorelai sincerely hoped that that wouldn't be the last time she spoke to Luke Danes.
Review please and tell me what you think.