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Chapter 14: Aftermath

Julie smiled sitting on the steps of the dorm kissing Adam the next afternoon. Ms. McKay had mercifully cancelled their practice after they all were practically fallen asleep in class that morning. So they were free to spend the entire afternoon enjoying the exploration of the French kiss, and they were both enjoying this much more than they would have enjoyed hockey practice.

"Hey you two," Charlie and Jesse walked over. They pulled apart and looked down, both blushing, "Come on, we're heading over to the track to work out."

"Uh, we'll pass," Adam said.

"Not optional Cake Eater," Jesse shook his head. "We've got a game, let's motor." The two other boys walked away snickering.

"Sorry about that," Adam said. Julie shrugged and kissed him again.

"We should get moving." She smiled. They walked away holding hands.

"And then we got dinner," Tammy gushed as Connie got changed for the unofficial mandatory work out. "And he didn't kiss me, not yet, but I think he will."

"Uh huh," Connie nodded, barely listening. She knew that the whole Tammy and Portman going on a date thing was a direct result of Julie and Adam making out all of a sudden. Portman was trying, and successfully to make Julie jealous. She wasn't going to tell Tammy this though. Her friend was far too happy.

"He's so cute," Tammy sighed, "We had so much fun Connie! And he said he really liked my skating, and did I tell you we held hands?"

"A couple times," Connie said, "Like seven."

"I'm sorry," Tammy said, "I'm boring you."

"Nope," Connie said, "I have to go though, we're doing a team work out."

"That wreaks of Charlie," Tammy raised her eyebrows.

"You guessed it," Connie said. "I'll see you later. You're coming to the game?"

"Well of course," Tammy giggled, "My new boyfriend is playing." Connie sighed and looked at her friend. Tammy had a tendency to count her chickens before they hatched, like she had with Fulton the summer before. It seemed excessive to call Portman her boyfriend at this point since they got some French fries and held hands. But Tammy would be Tammy.

"Right," Connie said. "Well then, see you," She walked out.

"So," Fulton said as Portman laced his sneakers, out by the field where the team was meeting up. "Uh, you hung out with Tammy?"

"Yeah," Portman said, "She's cool, but she talks, like a lot"

"Yeah," Fulton laughed. "Have fun with that." Portman looked at him. "She is really cool. She liked me last summer. Or I think she did. She kissed me."

"Really?" Portman said.

"Yeah," Fulton shrugged, "I just don't see her like that though, never really did." He laughed. "Just don't like use her or anything."

"Use her?" Portman asked. "How would I use her?"

"Oh I don't know," Fulton said, glancing over and seeing Adam and Julie still in a lip lock. "That might have something to do with it."

"Like I care," Portman snorted. "She can do whatever or whoever she wants."

"I don't think she's doing him," Fulton said, "Banks isn't like that, not really. Not at all, actually, he's a pretty great guy, if you give him a chance."

"Whatever," Portman mumbled. Julie walked over. "Hey friend."

"Dean, um," She sighed, "I wanted to," He was staring at her coldly. "Forget it." She walked away.

"Aright!" Charlie said. Everyone looked at him. "Come on." They started stretching. It was all a little ridiculous, and that their big strategy was calisthenics. But it was just a warm up.

"This is stupid," Connie grumbled. Guy looked at her. She was in a mood about something, that was for damn sure. "Coach isn't here why do we have to be."

"We have a game tonight," Charlie said, "We have to work out."

"I say mutiny," Goldberg shrugged. Everyone looked at him. "Who's with me?" He would be just that dramatic, everyone else kind of groaned and rolled their eyes.

"Goldberg," Dwayne said. "I'm too tired to mutiny."

"Come on guys," Julie sighed, eager to just work out and stop thinking for a minute. "It's not like we couldn't use the conditioning." They'd barely done any dry land. And it would help their stamina to run some laps, do a few crunches.

"Speak for yourself, babe," Portman sneered at her. She stared at him, her eyes getting big and filling with tears. She used to enjoy his stupid little sexist pet names. They were misguided but sort of sweet. This time it just seemed mean. Adam looked over and saw how upset she looked, and assumed, wrongly, that she was fed up with him.

"Her name is Julie," He said, "Not babe." Julie froze. This was bad. Massively, hugely, horribly, bad. Those butterflies in her stomach started going full force.

"Don't tell me how to talk, rich boy!" Portman charged at him.

"Portman!" Fulton jumped in front, "Chill!"

"You stay out of it Fulton," Portman said. "My problem is,"

"Your problem is with me," Julie stepped in front of him, but everyone was bickering now, there was no way to hear what anyone was saying.

"Hey!" They all turned and saw a kid standing at the gate. They all recognized him. He'd been heckling them for weeks. "Team USA, what are you going to do today, a million jumping jacks?"

"Forget about this guy, he's crazier than me," Portman said, "Listen, I,"

"Hey, I'm getting sick of you," Jesse stepped up. The old Ducks smiled. This was the Jesse that they all remembered. All attitude, little control.

"Yeah," The kid laughed, "I'm getting sick of the USA being represented by a bunch of whiny babies!"

"Too bad you can't back up that mouth!" Jesse said, crossing his arms.

"Please," The kid laughed, "Me and my boys could take you any time, anywhere."

"I don't see no boys," Jesse snorted.

"I got them waiting," He smiled. "Grab your gear and let's go play some school yard puck! Or maybe you forgot what it was like to play for real pride!" A couple of security guards walked over and started pulling him away. "Hey get off of me!"

"Should we go?" Luis said. Everyone looked at each other.

"It's not like we have anything to lose," Charlie shrugged. "You guys up for it?"

"I just want to shut this kid up," Jesse said marching away. Everyone followed.

"Dean," Julie said. He looked at her. "I'm sorry."

"Whatever," He shrugged, "Let's get this done, I told Tammy I'd meet up with her before the game." Julie frowned as he walked away. Adam walked over.

"Are you OK?" He asked.

"You really shouldn't have said anything to him," She said softly. "I could have handled it."

"I just thought," He blinked, "I mean, that's what boyfriends do."

"Who said you were my boyfriend?" Julie mumbled. He looked at her.

"I just kind of figured," He shrugged, "I mean, all the kissing." She kissed him again. "So you're not mad at me?"

"Of course not," She said. "I like you."

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