* * *By six in the morning, I’ve drained the bottle and sway in my seat. With bleary eyes, I email the piece to Warren along with a brief message that I want to be removed from the football games, reminding him that George is due back. I won’t step into that stadium again.27I flip the channels on the TV. I’m not really watching, my head full of cotton from a horrible night of sleep. I rub my temples.
It’s been over a week since the formal, and Serena won’t answer my texts or accept my calls. Meanwhile, we lost to South Carolina, where I threw two interceptions in the last quarter. Sinclair never even got the chance to go in. I fucked it up that fast. At this point, Coach hasn’t said who’s starting this weekend against Alabama.
The front door opens and I stand up. I keep hoping for Serena to show up. I’ve tried with her. I’ve gone to her house. Her car is there, but no one answers. She’s cutting me from her life, and I can’t keep chasing her. I have a little pride left. A lonely feeling crawls over me.
Exhaustion hits me when I see who it is, and my shoulders dip.
“What do you want?” I snap at Ashley in a raspy voice. She’s the last person I want to see.
She smiles brightly. “Just checking in on you. Heard you guys were back from South Carolina. Bad loss, but you’ll bounce back, Babycakes.”
“Don’t act like you care about me. The Theta thing is finished. I played my part for the team. In case you didn’t notice when I left you at the dance, I’m done with you.”
She pauses, her eyes narrowed. “You can’t still be upset over that girl—”
“Shut up, Ashley. I’ve wanted that girl for three years,” I snap. My head throbs and I clutch it. I had her and I screwed it up.
She holds her hands up. “I can see you’re upset. I can grab us dinner—”
“Dillon…” she cajoles.
I keep my voice calm though I’m itching to lash out. She acted horribly at the dinner, and I haven’t forgotten it. “Get out.”
“I’m the Theta president. You’re being rude.”
I’m being pretty damn nice considering…
I sit back on the couch, shut my eyes, and say, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Madame President. Oh, and don’t come back.”
She leaves in a huff, and a few minutes later someone else walks in and sits next to me on the couch. “Grand Central,” I mutter as Sinclair fidgets. He’s taken to hanging out in the afternoons after practice.
“Yo, D, put on that LSU game. Tell me where I screwed up.”
Myles used to call me D. I toy with the leather cuff on my wrist, ghosting my fingers over the quartz.
My chest twists.
Loving a girl, being at her mercy, is new to me.
“Alright, I’ll cue it up. You just talk,” he says when I don’t say anything. “I miss us running. I can beat your ass now. Been going on my own.”
I grunt. I missed every day last week. “Good.”
The TV rolls the game, and I wince when I see me getting tackled, then the fumble.
He elbows me. “Shouldn’t have waited in the pocket so long.”
“Yeah.” My tone is lackluster.
He exhales and stands up in front of me, blocking the TV. “I’m gonna give it to you straight: you suck right now. You’ve thrown some shitty passes, the press is eating you alive, and our rank has dropped five spots. Twitter is calling you the worst quarterback in Waylon history.”
Anger shoots through me and I rear back. “Who said that?”
He gives me a smile. “Me.”
“Dick.” I go back to playing with my cuff.
“I didn’t really say it on Twitter. I’m telling you to your face.”
I huff out a laugh. “It might be true.”
He paces into the kitchen, opens the fridge, and comes back with a Fat Tire. My stomach drops. Serena swiping all the beer then giving it back to me, realizing who she was…
“Make yourself at home,” I murmur.
He shrugs and eases back down beside me.
Sawyer comes out of his room, notes the game on the screen, and plops down in the recliner. I can feel him looking at me, the uneasy weight in his gaze. I talked to him and Troy about what happened. They know everything.
He exhales. “Dillon, dude, I’m sorry, again. I didn’t realize…” how much you loved her. He sighs. “My granny is turning over in her grave over this. What else can I do? I went to her house to apologize, but she didn’t come to the door. I left her a note and said I was sorry. I said that challenges are belittling to women and called myself a pig. I swore I would never run my mouth again about your relationship with her. I said I’d take a class in the women’s studies department next semester. I suck. Have you heard from her?”