Just a Small Town Boy

I do not own Twilight, no copyright infringement intended.

This was my entry for the first ever Twi Network Iron Pen Contest.

~X~

Billy passes me another beer out of the bucket full of melting ice by his side, and then goes back to giving us a play by play account of the game we'd missed. Coach Williams thought that watching baseball took away valuable training time and focus, and he was not a Mariners fan. It wasn't the first time he'd made sure we missed the game due to a badly timed practice.

"So, all the bases are loaded, and then Olivio—"

He is cut off abruptly when the theme to Mission Impossible starts blaring from my jacket pocket.

"Oh, crap." I get to my feet and quickly walk out of the room, not wanting the guys to overhear this conversation.

I click "answer."

"Mike Newton, where the hell are you?"

"Oh, hey, Jess—"

"Don't you "hey, Jess," me."

"Sorry, I—"

"You need to be home, like, ten minutes ago. Lauren is waiting for me."

"You're going out? Then why do I need to come home."

Her response is a scream, and then she hangs up. I don't want to risk being deafened by calling her back.

Walking back into the room, I grab my bag. As I say my goodbyes, my team mates jeer at me and give me the "under the thumb" gesture, amongst others. The way she speaks to me in public isn't good for my image, and I'm lucky that being a football player makes you instantly popular, because otherwise, I'm sure I'd be seen as a lily-livered geek.

After putting on my red Cougars letter jacket, I leave Mark's messy apartment and start heading for home.

This is my final year at Washington State; I'm majoring in Business, and I'm starting quarterback. Things could have been better—everyone praises my arm, but more and more, I have to sit with bags of frozen vegetables on my knees after a game or practice.

So, playing professionally is out of the question, but it always was a long shot. Dad wants me to take over the family business, and I'm going to start learning the ropes once I move back to Forks. Part of me is hoping Jessica doesn't move back with me.

I never thought it was a coincidence that Jessica's schedule mirrored mine all the way through college—well, apart from the football. I was glad of it to start with, but now we live together, and she's changed from the girl that did anything and everything to catch my attention, to the shrew that does nothing but screech in my ear, telling me where to be and when.

With only months left, I'm hoping that leaving college will send us our separate ways, and we won't have to do the whole ugly break up thing. My parents pay for our studio apartment, and I don't know where she would go if we split now. Lauren's place? She seems to spend a lot of time there lately.

Suddenly, I stop. I'm halfway up North East Oak Street, where we live, and I think I'm being watched—that creepy feeling when you feel there's eyes following your every move. That same skin-crawling sensation I had in my final years of high school when I had to share my lunch table with the Cullens.

I look around and see nothing, so I continue.

As soon as I walk through the door, Jessica is pecking at my head, and her bombardment is so intense that I'm not even hearing what she's saying. Something about Lauren, she told me she was going last week, and did she say I needed to do something while she was out? I'm sure she said that if it was still there when she came back, she'd kill me.

Maybe I should work on my will while she's gone?

Finally, the one woman tornado heads out of the door and I'm left on my own. With a sigh, I walk over to the fridge, and for my own amusement I make a mock will.

I, Mike Newton, of reasonably sound body and mind, bequeath all my worldy goods to my Mom's dog, Pooky, as it seems that Jessica Ann Stanley is about to be the cause of my untimely demise.

I sign it and add a smiley face on the end. Laughing and crumpling up the note in case Jessica returns home to pick up something she's forgotten, I drop it in the trash. Heading into the living room, I settle down and watch ESPN with another beer, bringing a couple of bags of frozen corn for my poor battered knees.

I'm having my fourth beer of the evening and the pain is almost forgotten, when there's a knock at the door. Removing the corn, I get to my feet to answer it, taking a few moments to get moving as I wonder who it could be. We never get visitors, and mom paid the month's rent last week.

I look through the peephole and there is a tall woman standing there admiring her nails. She looks very out of place in College Hill, which is overrun by students. This woman is definitely not a student. She looks too slick for this area.

Struggling to open the door through my beer haze, I smile. "Hey, can I help you?"

"Michael Francis Newton?" she asks, and I notice she has a European accent. I'm no fashion expert, but her clothes look expensive.

"Yep. That's me."

"I have a proposition for you that you might be very interested to hear."

She smirks and something tells me she's kind of dangerous—like some kind of kick-ass Bond girl, or a former high-class call girl turned assassin. I'm trying out the line "the name's Newton, Mike Newton," in my head, but then I come back to reality. Knowing my luck, she'll be here to sell me something, and as slick as she is, I'm about to buy it.

"Oh. Um. Then come on in." I step aside and the strange woman enters, swaying her hips. Her hair is dark and in some kind of classy up do. I wonder what on earth a woman like that wants with me?

"Can I get you something, Mrs…um…"

She turns and I notice her white skin and purple eyes. I double-take before I remember that she's obviously rich, and maybe she's had the same plastic surgery as the Cullens and Michael Jackson. Colored contacts, too.

"You can call me Heidi," she drawls, and it sounds almost like a purr. "I don't tend to use my surname—it's a little old fashioned and I find I much prefer the personal touch." The strangely beautiful woman grins and I'm equally creeped out by the brightness of her teeth and distracted by the way it makes her seem even more attractive.

I'm about ready to go get my check book and tell her to name her price before she even opens her suitcase and shows me the latest household gadget or a brochure for a holiday home in Florida. Then I notice she doesn't have a suitcase, or even a bag.

"Er, yeah. Can I get you something?"

"No, I'm fine darling. I drank far too much earlier." She appears to take a deep breath. "And it seems you have had a drink or four, too. Still, I'm sure there'll be no ill-effects if you get frozen in time as you are now permanently."

I don't really know what to say, so I just give a nervous smile.

"I know a lot about you, Mike Newton, and the company you've kept in the past." Heidi leans back against the countertop, in a pose that seems both inviting and threatening. "You could say that I'm almost an agent, and that I've come to recruit you for my team."

"A team? You're an agent."

"I said almost. Now, why don't we discuss some…terms, and we'll see if you're interested in what we have to offer."

"Okay." I'm confused, and I know that if this is real, I should really come across more cool, but I've had a couple of beers and there's something about Heidi that really isn't helping me think straight.

I lean against the fridge for support, wondering if I'm dreaming. It won't be the first time I've fell into a drunken stupor in front of the TV, and imagined myself being handpicked to go pro, with hot women without anger management issues hanging on my arm, only to wake up when Jess comes home and hits hell out of me.

Part of me knows that I'm not professional material, while another part of me dares to hope. I pinch myself, and I don't wake up.

~X~

THE MOSCOW-PULLMAN DAILY NEWS

LOVER ARRESTED OVER RISING STAR'S DISAPPEARANCE

Promising Cougars Quarterback Still Missing

Earlier today, Jessica Stanley, live in lover of college football star Mike Newton, was arrested and charged on suspicion of involvement in his disappearance. Weeks after he returned home after a post-training get together with his team, no sign has been found of the talented Quarterback. Recorded on CCTV, Mr. Newton was last seen entering the building where the couple shared an apartment, and Miss Stanley leaving soon after, apparently in a very agitated mood.

Witness testimony and phone company records show that Mike had promptly returned home after receiving an angry telephone call from Miss Stanley, and his blood-stained Cougars jacket was found hidden behind a dumpster of another apartment building blocks away.

Blood evidence was collected from the apartment, which matched up to the time frame of the incident. A crumpled sheet of paper was also found in the trash can in the apartment which appears to incriminate his lover, as it states implicitly that he believed Miss Stanley might murder him at any time.

It has since come to light that building where the jacket was found abandoned houses an apartment belonging to Miss Stanley's best-friend, Lauren Mallory, where Miss Stanley claims she headed immediately after leaving home. She also claims that she left Mike unharmed before spending the rest of the evening with Miss Mallory in a number of bars. Footage and candid cell phone photography has been released showing Miss Stanley dancing suggestively with a number of young men that same night.

Fellow students have been quick to voice their opinions on the situation, with a number of Mike's team mates stating that they got the impression that Miss Stanley was a very controlling and domineering girlfriend, often belittling Mike in front of his peers.

Lauren Mallory, Miss Stanley's close friend and alibi, said that Miss Stanley believed her football star boyfriend wished to end the relationship, and that she'd had a history of spending time with unsavory types since high school. Looking back, Miss Mallory believes her friend seemed angry enough with Mr Newton to have committed murder on the night in question.

Mike Newton's parents have offered a considerable sum for anyone offering information that helps discover his whereabouts. In a statement released on behalf of the team, Coach Williams states that such a promising player will undoubtedly be missed, and that they can only hope he turns up safe and well. Miss Stanley continues to protest her innocence despite the growing case against her.