Intended for Bristol

By: L. P. Dover

Chapter 1


“This is fucked up,” Derek grumbled, his tone just as discouraged as we all felt.

“No shit,” I replied, adding my two cents.

We’d just gotten the news that our star quarterback, Cooper Davis, wasn’t going to be returning. During our game a couple of weeks ago, he was sacked by a Denver cocksucker who felt the need to go at him full force, resulting in a broken tibia when he rammed into Cooper’s legs. A fight ensued on the field and it turned into a huge clusterfuck. If I were out on the field, I would have beaten the shit out of that bastard.

Unfortunately, no amount of fighting was going to help him. After he fell to the ground, we all knew it was over for him. A hushed silence fell over the crowd, because not only did we lose one of our most valuable players, we knew our chance of getting to the Super Bowl again in a few months was now out of reach. Our season of undefeated wins had come to a close. Samson Allen, our backup quarterback, just wasn’t going to be good enough to get us there. It fucking sucked. I wished I could take on the task myself, but I wasn’t a quarterback…I was a kicker. The best goddamn one in the league.

Joel Harris, our coach and Cooper’s uncle, stood by the locker room door, his expression glum. He was a middle-aged man with more gray in his dark hair than ever before. I guess that was what dealing with us football players did to him. He ran a hand through his hair and sighed heavily before lifting his gaze to ours. We all knew what he was about to say—especially after we’d just had our asses handed to us by New Orleans, a team we should have been able to beat with our eyes closed.

“Boys, I’m sure it’s come as no shock to you, but Cooper won’t be returning…ever.”

All heads lifted and the room fell into complete silence. I’d had a feeling he wasn’t coming back for the rest of the season, but I had no clue it was going to be permanent. Everyone stared at Joel as if he’d just spoken in a foreign language. No one wanted to believe this was it.

“So that’s it?” Blaine McCarthy hissed. He turned his platinum-blond head toward Samson and jabbed a finger in his direction. “We’re stuck with this fucktard who can’t even throw a ball straight.” All I could see was red.

“Why don’t you shut the hell up, McCarthy,” I spat. His fiery blue gaze turned to me, but Coach Joel stepped in his way, blocking him from view. I hated McCarthy. I used to be the most hated player on the team until that bastard joined us. Samson’s jaw clenched and he averted his gaze, clearly not wanting the fight. That was why he wasn’t going to get us the wins; he wasn’t a fighter.

Joel glared back and forth between me and McCarthy. “Enough of this bullshit. We don’t have time for that. I wanted to give you an update on the changes about to occur.”

Derek slid closer to me. “And we all know what that means,” he whispered low. I didn’t even want to listen to what Joel had to say. The thought of not having Cooper put a sour taste in my mouth. I didn’t want to be remembered as being on a losing team, and that was exactly what was going to happen if a new quarterback was brought in.

“I can’t believe this shit. I don’t want to imagine who they’re going to bring in as a replacement,” I replied.

Derek shrugged a shoulder and slid his worn-out Tennessee hat over his auburn hair. “Don’t know, but I hope it’s someone good.” His focus landed on Blaine and he snarled his lip. I wasn’t the only one who hated him. “Just do me a favor and stay the fuck away from McCarthy. The last thing you need is to be on everyone’s bad side again. I’ve worked my ass off trying to get you back in the team’s good graces.”

I slid a T-shirt over my head and huffed. “I know, but that guy just pisses me the fuck off.”

“Same here,” he agreed.

Derek McLaughlin was our star outside linebacker and one of the best in the league. He was the only one on the team who actually didn’t loathe me after everything I’d done to his best friend, Evan Townsend, our best wide receiver. I hated Evan for being so damn good, and I admit I was a douche and tried to steal his girl by putting together a whole scheme. I had one of our cheerleaders, Lindsey Rink, try to slip into bed with Evan so Summer could catch them together. It was a dick move, and of course, it didn’t work. I went about it all the wrong way and landed myself in a shit ton of trouble. My dislike for the golden boy didn’t go unnoticed and I was questioned by the police when someone ran Evan and Derek off the road, killing Derek’s girlfriend, Brianna, in the process. No matter what I did, no one believed my innocence and I was shunned by the team, suspended until the investigation came to a close. Once I was cleared, the damage had been done; everyone hated me when I returned to the team. Over time, I’d been welcomed back…but not by Evan. He still hated me for trying to take Summer away. Now they were married with a family of their own. Before, I never cared much about the consequences of my actions, but I truly felt bad for hurting Summer. She was a good girl and didn’t deserve the shit I had put her through. Now Evan, on the other hand, was a different story. We had some bad blood before everything with Summer went down, but I was hoping to change all of that. Karma was certainly a bitch and it had bit me in the ass.