Chapter 24 – Updated 1/3/17

“That has to be the stupidest plan yet,” I laugh at Ashley’s most recent plan for “the breakup”. “You don’t have to actually hit her with the car!” She rolls over on the landing where she’s “sunning” in her bathing suit.

Jesse walks up behind us and starts laughing, “Please tell me you’re not talking about me.”

Ashley shoots her a look, “I’m still not convinced you’re reformed, so don’t tempt me.”

“Aw, Walker, don’t exercise self-restraint on my account. I wouldn’t want you to explode,” she picks, but she’s smiling.

I eye Ashley but speak to Jesse, “She’s just jealous, Jess. You see, she was the one who was very eagerly anticipating your addition to the team.” The look my best friend gives me could melt steel and I can only giggle.

Jesse, with her hand over her heart, gasps, “I had no idea, Ashley. You never said anything! You never made a move on me or anything!” She looks quickly at me and then back, “Do you think for a minute that I’d be dating her,” she points at me, “if I’d known you wanted me?”

“Go to hell, Cooper. And you can kiss my ass, too, Mayze,” Ashley pouts and flips us both off.

“Aw, Ash,” I move to sit by her and she twists away from me. But I wrap my arms around her anyway, “But you’re just so cute when you’re half-naked, sun-burnt, and mad!”

Jesse turns her back to us and Ashley sees a chance to get back at her, “What’s wrong, Coop? You don’t like seeing Sara with another hottie?” She turns and puts her head in my lap as I shake my head and chuckle, “I bet you’d hate to know how many times my head’s been in her lap.”

With a smile, Jesse turns and eyes the girl, “No, actually, I don’t.” She covers the one step between her and the spot where Ashley’s laying on the sidewalk. She kneels and whispers, “I’m actually trying to not think of all three of us together and how much fun that might be, baby.”

Ashley’s face blanches and she can’t form a word. She blinks and gasps, though.

I smile at Jesse, “I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen her speechless!”

She twists and sits behind us, forming a triangle on the sidewalk outside our dorm building, “She’s kind of cute when she’s not talking.”

“Yeah,” I look down at a still wordless Ashley, “she is, isn’t she?” When I look back at Jesse, the sun’s shining in just the right spots on her skin to make her eyes look almost honey colored and see-through. I sigh deeply and try to memorize how she looks. Her tank top, basketball shorts, and sneakers are simple, but she doesn’t need much to make her beautiful. I playfully pull a shoestring and untie her sneaker. I don’t look back at her face because I don’t want to laugh out loud, but it’s really hard.

She leans forward and half-whispers, “What did you do that for?”

I turn to her and shrug, “Because I wanted to.”

“If we all went around doing things we just wanted to, you’d never wear clothes around me.”

I open my mouth to speak, but blush too hard, so I look away from her and bite my lip with a huge smile on my face, “Damn you.”

She breathes, “I miss you.”

Before I turn and look at her, my smile falters just a bit. I turn, though, and smile at her, “I’m right here.”

“I know,” she sighs. She studies my face a moment and then smiles softly, “You are so beautiful.”

“You’re making me blush.”

She leans forward, “I know,” she tries to look down my shirt, “how far does it go?”

I laugh loudly and Ashley sighs, “Y’all make me sick. We have to get this plan under way.”  She thinks out loud, “So what would get under her skin to the point of breaking up with you?”

Jesse’s looking at me and I can’t stop blushing. So Ashley throws a little rock at me to snap me out of my stupor, making me gasp, “What?”

“What could you do to get her to break up with you? If we make it her idea, that might be even better.”

“Hey,” Jesse smiles, “that’s not a bad idea, Ash.”

In a very sarcastic tone, Ashley responds, “Yes, Cooper, sometimes I do have good ideas.”

Without a thought, Jesse jabs at her, “Yes, but this is the first one I’ve ever heard about.” She addresses me, “What could you do that would really piss her off? Or upset her to the point of breaking up with you?”

“I don’t have a clue,” I shake my head. “Cheat on her?”

Ashley snorts, “Been there… done that.”

Jesse and I, together, respond, “Shut up.”

“Oh, great! Now the perfect couple thinks with the same fucking brain!”

Jesse reaches out and brushes her thumb over my bottom lip and mouths, “I love you.”

I hold her hand still and kiss her palm softly before mouthing back, “I love you, too.” I say the words but for some reason, they feel more hollow every time I say them.

Ashley speaks, “I know you’re exchanging sweet glances and goo-goo eyes. So just stop it right now.”

I tap her head, “Come on, let’s get up, I need to change for practice.” She moves her head and I stand.

Jesse reaches her hand out, “Help an old lady?” I grab it with a laugh and pull her to her feet. She bumps against me softly but makes out like she practically knocked me over, “Oh I’m sorry, did I hurt you?”

“No,” I giggle.

“Are you sure you don’t need me to kiss something?” My mouth opens in a gasp at her bluntness and she chuckles, “Your face is priceless right now.”

“Well,” I begin, “since you’re offering…” I can’t finish for giggling.

There’s a loud sigh from Ashley followed by, “If you two don’t stop with the lovey-dovey I’m going to hit the girl with a car myself just so you two can get some.”

Jesse holds up her water bottle and makes a motion to me. I grab mine and slip my backpack on with a nod to her. At the same time, we open the bottles and dump the water all over Ashley, causing her to jump up with a scream and us to take off running.

I call over my shoulder, “We’ll see you in practice, Ash! Love you!”

Jesse reaches out and grabs my hand as we run to the gym. We enter through the back and slide, unnoticed, to the little office just off the training room. As she turns the lock, I slide my backpack off, “I love you.”

She slides up against me, “I love you.” Her lips take mine quickly and she slides her hands around my waist to help me slide onto the desk behind me, “I want you so bad, Sara, God.”

I arch into her but she’s controlling herself well, “Trust me, I want you just as much.” We’d decided not to do anything more than heavy petting and lots of serious making out.

“I don’t know, baby, I want you pretty fucking bad,” she murmurs against my neck. We kiss for several minutes before she pulls away from me. “Fuck,” she sighs and hangs her head. “God, I just want to touch you.” She puts her hands on the edge of the desk on either side of my thighs and tries to get control of her breathing.

Peeling my shirt off, I breathe, “Touch me, Jesse. Please.”

“Girl,” she backs up several steps, her hands shaking with pent up energy, “you better put that shirt back on because if you don’t stop me, I can tell you that I will not be able to stop myself.”

“I don’t want you to stop yourself,” I slide off the table but she backs away from me.

“No,” she says firmly. “The first time I was able to touch you was in a situation like this and I don’t regret a moment of it. But the next time I touch you, I want to be able to take my time. I want to treat you the way you should be treated.” She swallows hard, “Please, Sara, put the shirt back on.”

“Okay,” I pull my shirt back on, “I’m sorry.”

She comes to me quickly and holds me against her, “I’m sorry, too. I don’t want you to think that I don’t want you because, I do.”

I pull back, look into her eyes, and laugh, “Should we hit her with your car or mine?”


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