III

Prelude to Cheating

His presence at school was definitely noticeable now that I'd met Mr. Vaughn Trager. I on the other hand appeared a little less than noticeable. He took ignoring me and made it into art form. Vaughn had six classes with me and unless prompted by Jett or J.B. (three musketeers recently), sat far, far away. This, in all respects, got frustrating. Not because he wasn't speaking to me, or he had become one of my boyfriend's best friends, but because I couldn't speak to him. What would I say if he actually contained himself for a moment long enough for apologies? Vaughn made me nervous and queasy and all those other things come along with guilt. I wasn't supposed to feel guilty but I did. I like Vaughn, if it hasn't been evident enough. This only made it harder for me to speak to him. When I saw him, I thought of Jett. This bothered me. My mind didn't get occupied with thoughts of love and cuddles, but of what Jett would say if he knew what I thought of- about Vaughn. God, what would Vaughn say? The guilt got heavier, until one afternoon when something happened to make it unbearableā€¦ unbearable and fun.

The after school meeting of student council cleared from the vacant classroom and I, as president happened to be the last one out the door. I rushed to my locker, packing and repacking all the books I either didn't have a chance to stuff in earlier, or take out earlier. Either way, I was there, witness to the end of football tryouts.

The football rushes trudged the halls, apparently victim of Brunes, Wilsted High football coach. The man was a monster whose intent was clearing the riffraff. At the moment the team had about four players of jerky, over muscled jocks.

The new players still rushed and who do you think I saw at the end of mob? He stopped behind me and I turned to see him winded. He hunched over a little before straightening up and controlling his breath. I raised a brow. "Football?"

"I didn't really tell you that much about me."

"How could you if you weren't speaking to me?" He opened his mouth to say something but closed it and reshaped it. "Wait for me."

"What?"

"Ten minutes." I swallowed my words. He was staring intently now, waiting for me to say 'yes'. Predictable as I was, I agreed.

He blinked as he smiled at my predictability. He nodded and ran a hand through his loose hair before following the others. I zipped up my book bag, and waited.

He came from the locker rooms and down the hall to meet me slouched against my locker.

"Hey," he ran a hand through his frayed brown hair. Weak smile, "Hey."

We walked down the hallway, past the lockers, and out the door. "I'm sorry." We stopped and he turned to me. I raised a cynical brow. "You're sorry?"

"That's what I said." He started walking and I followed.

"Just making sure- being a small town hick you wish you'd never met."

He wiped a pink cheek with his hand. "Sorry about that too."

"What changed your mind?"

"Jett."

"Really?"

"Yeah. Really. Obviously noticed the complete lack of words between us, decided to say something."

I kicked a stone by my foot. "Always the superhero."

"There was just one problem with that though." He grabbed my arm making me look up at him.

"Yeah, what's that?"

"Even Silverstone can't get his desired results." With that he kissed me, and I couldn't help but kiss him back, not pausing to let go."

--------------------------------------------------------------------