A young woman of the age of nineteen sprinted past the leaping man and narrowly dodged another, as she gasped for breath and ran with everything she had. Finally... she was home free.

Or so she had thought. Heavy footsteps thundered behind her."Don't think you're out of this yet!" A deep, smooth voice shouted.

"Oh nuts!" She gasped as she silently urged her legs to move faster. Her target quickly grew closer, but so did the footsteps. She didn't dare look back to see how close her pursuer was.

The pursuer was right on her tail and she knew it, so she decided to test fate. She muttered a quick prayer, closed her eyes, and slid down into the grass at the same time arms grabbed her legs. They slid and rolled a few meters until coming to a bumpy stop.

A painfully huge weight was on her back, and the weight was panting heavily. The young woman waited for a sign to either cheer or stay on the ground in defeat.

"Wooooooo!~ Yeah, Ashley! Way to go!"

She opened her eyes and raised her arm in victory with a weak grin, calling back, "That's how I roll, baby!~" before pushing off the exhausted, way-heavier-than-her guy and throwing the football onto the grass. The rest of the guys jogged over, some gloating and cheering, others making up excuses or accusing her of cheating somehow.

The girl looked over at the guy next to her on the grass who, by the way, had claimed that 'girls can't keep up with the boys in football,' and smirked. He groaned and held his arm over his eyes as Darius, or 'Big D' came over and picked her up, sitting her on his shoulders.

Big D... was a giant. Almost seven feet tall, and half as wide. He was black, with some chin scruff and light brown eyes that reminded Ashley of coffee with creamer in it. And he never talked. Ever. Ashley had not the slightest clue why, though- she'd never asked. He probably wouldn't have answered her if she did, anyways. He and Ashley had just clicked, right away. When she asked them if she could join their game, Darius had let her on his team right then and there. He was a damn nice dude. He just never talked.

Ashley patted his shoulder and looked down at the rest of the guys smugly. "See? I told you guys I'd keep up, didn't I?" Various mumbled apologies, weak 'we were just playing' excuses and groans voiced. She laughed, fist bumping Big D as she looked over at the sidelines.

Zach, her step-brother, was waving and cheering as loud as he could. She waved back, and patted Big D's shoulder. "Thanks for the lift, D. Might I get down now?" He nodded and set her on the ground gently.

Once she got on the ground, a barrage of questions and comments were shouted out, ranging from how she got so good, if she wanted to play with them again, the general 'good game's, and she was pretty sure she heard someone ask if she would marry them. She laughed and told them all 'thanks' and 'maybe,' jogging past them to get to her boy. Zach ran to meet the exhausted girl and gave her one armed hug, using the other to hold her jacket around himself. His light brown hair was messy, and he protested lightly as she ran her fingers through his hair to fix it.

"It's okay, really! I like it this way!" She scoffed and playfully slapped his hand away.

"Well, you shouldn't," she replied, "Because it makes you look like a hobo." As soon as she said that, a cold chill ran through the field, and Ashley shivered. Weird... It got cold awfully quick. Oh well.

Zach rolled his eyes playfully and nuzzled her stomach, shivering. Apparently, he'd felt the chill as well. "You think everyone looks like a hobo."

"Nuh-uh!" She retorted, "I look classy! Always!"

"You're in a grass-stained tank top and holey sweat pants. You're also sweating like a pig." He quipped. She faltered and narrowed her eyes at her half-minion.

"I think..." She said slowly, "I think I taught you a little too well." They stared at each other for a few seconds before breaking out in laughter. Ashley made a monster noise as she picked him up and threw him over her shoulder before walking to her car.

As the two walked on (well, she walked, he was carried), it struck her just how much has changed since she had first met her step-brother. She was now almost twenty, and he was eleven. It was hard to believe that they had once been at each other's throats. When her dad had married Zach's mom, she had gotten jealous of him because he spent so much more time with her dad than she got to, and he was jealous of her for spending so much time with his mom. It escalated into more than that, though. They became mortal enemies. Or so she had thought...

Once she had moved out two years ago, her father had called her and told her that Zach was acting really... different. More quiet, reserved. Her father had insisted that Zach had missed her, but she had shrugged it off as puberty. She really didn't have the time to be worrying over a little snot that hated her anyways... Too busy working and what not. Every once in awhile, though, she would think about the little bugger and not even realize it. Once she did realize it, she had to tell herself that she did not miss him.

It didn't work. Another call from dad not too long later, after hearing about how Zach's grades had dropped, she decided to come around and visit, see what the hell was going on with the kid. If someone had been messing with him, oooh no... They would have to be killed. The only one who messed with Zach was her, and only her. The second Zach saw her, he'd tackled her into a hug, and things between them shot off like a rocket. Now they're best buddies, and she wouldn't have it any other way.

She set down Zach, and tossed him the keys to start the car and the heat while she guzzled down the rest of her drink. It was starting to get pretty dark... She hadn't even noticed. Whoops...

As she was drinking, a familiar face walked over. It took a few minutes for it to click, but when it did, she smirked. This guy. The guy who tackled her near the very end of the game. He had been the worst when she asked to join their game. He was a few inches shorter than her, but a hell of a lot thicker. And by thicker, that means more muscular. A lot more muscular than her. As well as pretty much all the other guys she had seen during the football game. His hair was short and black with the tips teased up, and he had a longer, rather unkempt patch of hair growing from his chin that was dyed dark red. Ashley wasn't going to lie to herself, he was a pretty good looking guy.

But he was still an ass.

As he got closer, her smirk widened. "Ho' there, friend!" She said, strong sarcasm lacing her politeness, "Mayhaps you have come to... Oh, I don't know... Apologize to little ol' me?"

He rubbed the back of his neck and shuffled. "Yeah, yeah, I know," He defended quietly, "I was a bitch." She nodded and motioned for him to keep going. "And was being really sexist." He looked back up at her to see if she was satisfied yet. She wasn't, and he bit his lip. "And just an all-around ass... And I'm really sorry. I was wrong, and you proved that. Do you forgive me?"

When he finished, she pursed her lips in thought before shrugging. "Yeah, I guess I forgive ya." She held out my hand for him to shake. When he grabbed it, she squeezed it as hard as she could and narrowed her eyes. "But if you ever try to pull that crap on me again, you'll regret it. You sure as hell did not need to pick me up when I didn't even have the ball, and slam me onto the ground as hard as you could."

Once he winced and nodded, she let his hand go and let a genuine, not-ass-holey smile spread across her face, and he breathed out in relief. "Thanks... I'm uh... I'm Gerad Stock, by the way."

She nodded and was about to answer, but was interrupted by her car's horn. She jumped and looked over, only to see Zach hanging out the window.

"C'mon Ashley, I wanna go back home and beat your butt at Guitar Hero!"

Said girl scoffed and waved him off. "Boy, you can't even beat me in your dreams! Now sit yo' booty in the seat- patience is a virtue!"

Zach frowned and furrowed his eyebrows together. "... Really? That's a stupid thing for a virtue to be..." She raised an eyebrow and gave him a look, which snapped him out of his thoughts, and he hopped back into the car, rolling up the window. Zach looked back at her through the back window, and she gave him a smug look as she took another sip of her powerade.

Gerad snorted and laughed at their exchange. "You and your son are funny."

Needless to say... when he said that, she spit out her powerade. She would have been a little upset over the wasted drink, but she was freaking out over the fact that he thought she was a mother.

"I'm only nineteen!" She choked out defensively. Gerad chuckled and patted her back as she tried not to suffocate on her drink.

"Yeah... That's not really all that surprising where I come from," He assured her, "I won't think you're a slut or anything, honest. You don't have to lie to me."

She gave him a bewildered look. "What in the- where in the... I'm not lying! He's my step brother! Where in the hell do you come from?!"

Gerad gave a sheepish grin and rubbed the back of his neck. "Southern Georgia. Redneck country, basically."

Ashley grinned and cocked her head to the side. "Oh yeah? That sounds, uh... Interesting. What was it like?" Maybe it was a little nosey to ask, but hey, she had never been outside her lovely little town of Burgess. And very few people come from the outside, so... If someone comes from anywhere that isn't Burgess, she wants to know what it's like.

Gerad wrapped his arms around himself and smiled apologetically before looking at the ground. "I'd love to tell ya, honest, but... I'm freezin' my arse off out here." He paused and looked up at her meekly, "Maybe I could tell ya... over tea or coffee sometime...?"

She snorted and nudged him. "Can't take the cold, Mr. Redneck?" She teased before answering, "Yeah, sure. I haven't been out anywhere without my little bro in a while, it'd be good to have a little me-time. When's good with you?"

Gerad exhaled with relief and beamed. "Great! How's this Friday? Maybe around... noon-ish, at the Starbucks by that bookstore, Barnes & Nobles?"

"Sure, sounds good. I'll meet you there." She said before glancing back at her car, "Now I really should get the kid back home before he ends up breaking my radio, and before you freeze to death. I'll see ya Friday."

He nodded vigorously, almost like he was snapping out of a daze, Ashley noticed. Maybe he has A.D.D. "Yeah- Yeah, you will!" He said with a goofy grin before jogging back to the field.

Oh, yeah... He definitely had A.D.D. That was okay, though, because one of her coworkers in GameStop has A.D.D. She could deal...

Once she got into the car and started driving, it hit her.

She slammed the brakes, throwing her arm out in front of Zach, even in her shock. Zach gave her a worried, bewildered look.

"What is it?! Did we almost hit someone?!" He all but yelped. Ashley shook her head in a daze.

"No, I... I think I just got asked out..."

Zach's face fell, and and he stared at his sister with an unamused gaze. "Really...?"

She nodded slowly and looked up at herself in the rear view mirror. Her auburn hair was messy, and sweat was still trickling down her forehead from the football game. The bags under her eyes seemed awfully prominent in the mirror, and her light brown eyes stared back at her. She was on the muscular side, and her shoulders were bit wider than most girls she saw in Burgess that were her age. She never wore make up, her nails were chewed to stubs, and her nose had a bump from when she had gotten into boxing.

Pointing back at Gerad's general direction, she implored, "How did I get a date with that?!"

Author's Note~

Okay, my next new story! Let me start this off and say that the romance part is gonna take a while to start up. Sorry, if you were looking forward to that.

If I make any mistakes, please tell me. Also, this is the first time I've done anything in this kind of POV, so if it's worded oddly, tell me about it/tell me how to fix it, please.

So, yeah. That's about it. I hope you get a few laughs out of reading my dumb little story C: