Junior Year
Chapter 2: The Games That Play Us

Caution: This Coming of Age Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including mt/ft, mt/Fa, Humor, Sports, School, Slow,

Desc: Coming of Age Sex Story: Chapter 2: The Games That Play Us - David's Junior Year is beginning with a sharp edge to it. His best friend is dead. The girl he'd thought he would spend the rest of his life with is now lost to him as well. He's facing new challenges and pressures due to his rapidly increasing fame. He doesn't just want to survive - he wants to excel. He'll have to reach deep inside himself and find the inner strength and toughness, the resolve and focus, to achieve his dreams. The continuation of the award winning Stupid Boy saga.

Monday August 24

I woke and was greeted by my trusty hound looking me in the eyes. He was absolutely not allowed on the bed, but I guess it was my fault because I had allowed him up when he was scared of the thunderstorm yesterday. When he saw I was awake, his tail thumped against the bed. I gave him a stern look.

“What do you think you’re doing?” I asked.

He answered by licking me in the mouth!

“Yuck! Off! Get off the bed right now!” I ordered.

Duke thought I was playing and swatted me with his paw. I grabbed his collar and led him to his crate. I had to stuff him in, and I locked the door as I went to get dressed. I had read an article that said it takes twenty-some straight days to make something a habit when training your child, so I figured the same thing applied to Duke. Apparently it only takes one day if they really liked something, like sleeping on my bed. I heard him complain and rock his crate as I shaved and brushed my teeth to get rid of any remnants of dog kiss.

I didn’t plan to run today because I was sure Coach Hope would run my ass off on the first day of practice. This was always my favorite time of year. I didn’t have any injuries and felt great. Plus, this was when every football player across America thought they were going to have a great season. The first day of practice was always filled with optimism. I decided to go ahead and dress for practice, instead of waiting until I got to the locker room. I put some street clothes into my duffle bag, and set my slightly upset dog free.

If you ever want a Lab to come to you for affection, just ignore him. Duke was a people-pleaser to the nth degree and couldn’t stand it if you pushed him away. I rolled my eyes as he acted cute and nudged my hand so I would scratch his ears. I couldn’t stay mad at him, so I complied. I had to chuckle when I realized he had me trained pretty well. Who was in charge here, anyway?

When we reached the bottom of the stairs Duke became alert. This told me the Callahan’s cat, Precious, was lurking somewhere outside. Precious was the terror of the neighborhood who had somehow adopted my pup. She seemed to keep an eye on him, but made a point of stalking him and putting him in his place on a regular basis. Duke was almost quivering with excitement when I opened the back door. He went from zero to sixty in a second as he bound straight at Precious, who had her back turned to him. I tried to grab his collar to save him, but he wasn’t passing up this opportunity to roll his friend/nemesis.

Ever watch National Geographic where the lion stalks its prey only to have events turned on him? Precious had laid the trap perfectly. When Duke was just a couple of lopes from success she flipped around and let out a yowl that froze me in terror. No normal cat sounded like a bobcat in attack mode. Duke realized his mistake and tried to dodge the leaping feline, but went sprawling. Precious sailed over him, which saved Duke from certain death, or that was what it looked like. He got up with as much dignity as you could muster in a situation like that, and Precious walked up to him and rubbed up to his side.

I shook my head as they bounded into the back yard so Duke could take care of his initial business, and then do his main job: squirrel patrol. I let them chase each other and run off some energy before I called Duke and sent him in to get his morning loving from my mom and dad. I about shit when Precious darted into the house after him. I reached down to stop her, but she took a swipe at me and I jerked my hand back, and she was out of sight before I got to the kitchen. My mom was going to be pissed.

“David Allen Dawson!” Mom yelled.

I grabbed a towel to protect myself with and quickly walked to my parent’s bedroom. I had to cover my mouth to keep from laughing when I saw Duke had claimed my mom’s pillow and Precious had my dad’s. Both my parents had a healthy respect for the damage Brit’s cat could do, and were pressed against the wall.

“Get that cat out of my bed!” Mom ordered.

I tossed the towel to Dad.

“Throw it over her and then you can pick her up,” I suggested.

Who would have believed your own parent would say such things about you? Ever since I saved Precious from the mastiff she had been okay with me. Well, okay might be too strong a term; she tolerated me. I told Duke to get off the bed, and I reached down and Precious let me pick her up. She eyed my dad and hissed. For some reason she hated men. I suspected Brit’s brothers had done awful things to her, which pissed me off. She might be the cat from hell, but she was still a pet and someone loved her. Duke and I took Precious home while my parents got their day started. Brit answered the door and smiled when she saw what I had in my arms.

“What did she do this time?” she asked.

“She followed Duke into our house this morning and chased my parents out of their bed,” I said with a big smile.

I needed to wipe the amused look off my face before I got home, or Mom would skin me alive. I started to leave, but Brit touched my arm to stop me.

“I need to ask you something,” she said and looked down nervously. I just waited her out. “They’re having cheerleader tryouts today. I’m on the fence as to whether or not I should go out. My brothers are against it. They say you only date cheerleaders, and that there’s no way they’d allow that.”

I cocked my head in confusion. Did she want to go out with me, or be a cheerleader? I reached out and caressed her chin so she would look up at me. I saw her blush as she looked me in the eyes. While attractive, in a blonde, big-breasted Nordic Goddess sort of way—which I was totally into—I had never made a move on her because I knew her brothers wouldn’t approve. They would be blocking for me, after all, because they had been penciled in as starters on the offensive line.

“First of all, I’m dating Mona. IF we break up, I’ll let you know. Second, I’d be willing to date a non-cheerleader without a problem. Finally, it’s up to you if you want to be a cheerleader. They’d pick you without a problem. You’re athletic, cute and I’ve seen you dance. If you want, I can put in a good word with the head cheerleader. She might be willing to listen to me if I suggested someone,” I offered.

“Oh, I didn’t know about you and Mona,” she said, and her voice trailed off.

“She asked me out last night, so there was no reason you’d know.”

Of course there was the announcement she’d made on Facebook. I had gotten a few text messages about it already. The one I had been worried about was Pam, but she sent me a congratulatory message, confirming we were just friends in her eyes. To be honest, I didn’t really consider Mona and me as a couple. I looked at it as an arrangement where we both benefited. Brit was a perfect example. While I would normally be flattered and really into her, it was too soon after Tami left me again for me to want to get serious with someone.

“Thanks for not letting me make a fool out of myself. Your friends were right, you’re a nice guy,” she said as she closed the door.


“You keep that scary cat out of my house,” Dad told me when I got home.

“Blame Duke! He let her in. I was the good son who took her back outside,” I explained.

Whack!

“Ow!” I complained, as I rubbed the back of my head where Mom hit me as she entered the room.

“What did I tell you about letting that cat in my house?” Mom asked.

I pointed at Duke and he just wagged his tail. I suddenly realized my parents were scared of my little Precious. I rubbed my hands together.

Whack!

“Don’t even think it, Buster,” Dad said with a satisfied smile on his face.

“All right!” I said in surrender.

“What are you cooking us for breakfast?” Mom asked.

I knew better than to argue at this point and made omelets to order. I would bet that I would get hit more at home today than I did on the football field.


Our new locker room was in the Lincoln Field House. I was impressed when I saw the huge lockers each of us had. Everything looked shiny and new. I knew that by the end of the day it would smell a lot different. Coach had arranged it so players were roughly put together by position. I smiled when I saw Mike waiting for me. His locker was next to mine, since he would be my backup this year. I had just put my duffle bag away when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and suddenly I was looking at my twin. Mike and I looked at each other and the guy smiled at me.

“David Dawson, it’s good to finally meet you. I’m your uncle, Phil Prince.”

I just stared at the poor kid, who broke out into a big smile. I got a closer look at him and he was obviously younger than I was and not as big. I would guess he was five-eleven. I had a million questions go through my head. Did he have any brothers and sisters? Did he know of any other aunts and uncles I might have out there? Uncle John had alluded to there being more than one indiscretion by my grandpa. Why was I just now meeting him? Why did he show up here and for practice today? I knew he couldn’t have been from here, because our town was too small for a dead ringer like Phil to be running around town and no one mention it. What did Phil expect from me and my family?

Mike nudged me and I snapped out of it.

“I’m sorry, you took me by surprise. There’s no mistaking the Dawson resemblance. If you’re my uncle, I take it your dad was Davey Dawson,” I said.

“Yes, he was my dad.”

“Okay, I had no idea,” I said not knowing how to handle this. “Could we get a picture, so I can send it to my dad and uncle?”

“Sure!” Phil said.

I reached into my locker and grabbed my cell phone and had Mike take a picture of the both of us. I sent a text to my dad and uncle. I didn’t want them to find out about this from anyone else.

“Move it! I expect everyone to be on the football field in five minutes,” Moose told us.

“Call me Prince, all my friends do. I can’t wait to tell my mom that I finally met you. Maybe we can get together after practice,” Phil said.

“Yeah, I’d like that,” I said.

As we walked out everyone looked at me and Phil. I saw Roc Pearson, the formerly home-schooled guy I’d run across yesterday. I was glad he and his sister would go to public school this year. I waved at him and he came over. He had three guys with him. Two of them looked like mountains and the other was a skinny kid.

“My man, I see you worked it out to be able to play,” I said, giving him a fist bump.

“I didn’t know you had a little brother,” Roc said.

“Actually, I just met him. This is Phil, my uncle,” I said.

Phil seemed to get a little taller and was walking on air when he heard what Roc had said. I was conflicted. What did I know about this kid other than that he looked like me? If he really was my uncle, I would want to get to know him better. Family was important to me, and if he was my grandpa’s son he probably had some resentment for not being included in our family. It had to be hard to grow up in a one-parent home. I wondered if Grandpa Dawson had provided for his other children. I figured I just needed to be open and friendly until I had more answers.

It was funny how ten minutes ago I was focused on football, but now it was the furthest thing from my mind. Coach Hope made sure I was brought back to what I was supposed to be doing.

“Dawson, Ball, Foresee, get your butts up here,” he said, and the three of us came to the front. He turned to the team as he continued. “As of now these three are your team captains. At the end of two-a-days the varsity will vote to either confirm or replace them. If you have any questions, either find one of the coaches or one of these three.

“Now, before we get started, I want to announce some changes to the coaching staff. We have a new position that was created: student assistant. Many of you know him. Alan Douglas, come up front so everyone can see you. Just so we’re clear, just because Alan’s a student does not mean he doesn’t have the authority of any of the other coaches. I want to thank Alan for the work he did to help you get ready over the summer. We were impressed with his work, and he has an interest in coaching. We felt he’d be a good addition to the staff. He’ll be a big help with the new software we’ll be using to help you learn plays and scout other teams.

“Next I want to bring up the Defensive Coaches,” Coach Hope said as Moose was joined by two young guys who looked familiar. “Most of you know Moose. He’s been put in charge of the secondary. Our new Defensive Coordinator is a personal friend of mine, and coached for me when I was the head coach at Beverly. Last year he stepped in and became the head coach after I left. Our Booster Club raised the funds necessary for us to attract one of the brightest defensive minds in high school football. I would like to introduce Coach Zoon.”

He was in his late 20’s and had the same bearing as Coach Hope. I would guess he may have served with Major Hope when he was in the Marines. He just gave off that vibe. Kind of like you can normally spot a cop, even in normal clothes. There is just a way they carry themselves and seem to be more observant than other people.

“Next we have Coach Stork, also formerly of Beverly. He’ll be in charge of the defensive line, linebackers and coach the freshman team.”

He looked fresh out of college and was a big boy. He had obviously played some college ball.

“Now I want the offensive coordinators to come up. Coach Diamond will continue as our Offensive Coordinator and will be in charge of the skill positions. Coach Stephens is returning as our Offensive Line, Special Teams and JV Coach.”

“Today is about conditioning. Last time we did this it was for team-building experience, and if I remember correctly a couple of smart-asses worked as a team to get the freshman and sophomores off easy. That is not happening this time, gentlemen! Mr. Dawson, get up here!” Coach Hope barked.

“What is our goal for this year?” Coach Hope asked.

“To win State, Sir!” I barked back.

“To do that do I need you to give me your best effort in everything you do?”

“Yes Sir!”

“Do you think you’re the best athlete on this football team?” he asked.

I thought about it for a moment, trying to figure out what he could be asking me. Did he expect me to give a team-oriented answer, or did he just challenge me? I decided he wanted to make an example out of me, so I answered truthfully.

“Yes Sir!”

Coach turned to the team and looked at all of them in turn.

“Do any of you think you can outrun Mr. Dawson?” he asked.

Ty, Ed, Mike and Kelly all raised their hands. I was worried about Ty. He might have a step on me.

“Mr. Dawson, are you willing to put your money where your mouth is, so to speak?” Coach Hope asked.

“Coach, I can beat any or all of them, so I’m up for the challenge,” I shot back.

Coach Diamond brought out a duffle bag and handed it to Coach Hope. He gave me an evil smile.

He pulled out a pink skirt and matching t-shirt.

“Would any of you like to see Mr. Dawson wear this outfit all day tomorrow?” Coach Hope asked.

Wow! I thought these guys were my friends.

“I don’t think they like you much, Mr. Dawson,” Coach Hope said, and I had to agree. “Would you like to get a little payback?”

“Yes Sir!”

I think some of them regretted joining in on the jeers. I saw Tim and Jim had worried looks. They knew if I got serious about it, I could do some damage.

“Good, so you aren’t going to go easy on them?” he asked.

“No Sir!”

“Lead them in sixty minutes of hell!

“You heard Coach! Jim, Tim, line them up, and let’s get started,” I directed.

I hid a little smile when I saw all the coaches find a shady spot and kick back and watch as I ran the routines Cassidy had taught us. Cassidy Hope had grown up on Marine bases all her life. She had learned the exercises they used to turn recruits into Marines. Most of us had been doing what she called sixty minutes of hell for the past year and a half. I didn’t expect this to overtax any of the people who had worked out during the summer. I suspected Coach Hope had done this to get us warmed up for what he planned for us next.

Since I knew morning practice was scheduled for three hours, there would be two more hours for Coach’s evil plan to unfold. When we finished, he sent us to get water and then had us do some stretching to warm down. I noticed that my uncle had lost his breakfast two-thirds of the way through. I was happy to see Roc looked to be in shape, and the guys he had brought from the farm looked okay. It was now time for Phase II of our first day of conditioning.

“Mr. Dawson, I want you to take them on a thirty-minute run. If any of them beat you, I have a skirt you can wear. I want you to go as far as you can in that timeframe. However far Mr. Dawson runs is how far you all have to run,” Coach Hope announced to the groans from most of the team.

We went to the track and I was given front inside position. Coach Steven blew his whistle and I settled in for a solid pace. I wasn’t surprised when Tim eased up beside me as we ran. There was a lead group of about ten guys that were with me for the first eight laps (two miles). I glanced over at Tim.

“You ready?” I asked.

“Fuck, David!” he complained as I began to push a faster pace.

Over the next eight laps, I had lost all but two runners. One I didn’t recognize, and the other was, surprisingly, Roc. The guy I didn’t recognize was a smaller guy who looked suspiciously like he could be one of the members on the cross-country team. I suspected he was a ringer Coach Hope had brought in.

The thing that confounded them was that I used my speed training drills where I would run at a steady pace for a period of time, and then increase the tempo by ten percent. I would then slow back to my normal pace. If you hadn’t practiced it, your legs would soon be gone. It was designed to push your limits and improve your speed. I could tell at the twenty-five minute mark that Roc was done. Cross-country boy was breathing hard. That was when I began to really push it.

According to the unwritten rules, if you were a slower runner you had to stay out in the outer lanes, so by now the whole track was covered in football players in various forms of distress. Cross-country boy lasted two laps at my new pace before he collapsed on the side of the track. Coach Hope just shook his head when I came around alone. I’d forgotten to ask what I got, besides some payback, if I won.

I knew we had more conditioning in store, and I suspected it would be sprints, so I eased back and ran the last few minutes at a leisurely warm-down pace. I went and got water and stretched while everyone else finished. I was proud of Jim and Tim when they went back out on the track after they finished and helped the guys who struggled. When everyone was done, Coach Hope announced forty-yard sprints.

They had it set up so we would do two timed sprints. The top eight would then run two more. The top four another two, and then the top two would run head-to-head. As I predicted, Ty and I were in the finals. His best time so far today was 4.55, while mine was 4.62. I was worried I would lose, and everyone had gathered around to watch just that. Moose got everyone fired up.

“I know you’re tired. Your legs have to be hurting. I want to remind you of something. Fourth Quarter, Baby! We’re down by a score and need you two to get us home. Are you going to run your best time of the day?”

“Yes Sir!” we both yelled and lined up.

I took a couple of deep calming breaths to help me relax. It was counterintuitive, but the more relaxed you are, the faster you can run. On the whistle Ty got a slight jump on me. I watched him dig hard to beat me. I focused on my form and what I had been taught by my speed coaches. I had a longer stride and my training kicked in. Soon I was even with Ty. I knew I had him when he glanced over. With ten yards to go it was all over and Ty knew it. Coach Hope made a point to high-five me.

I had matched Ty’s best time of the day at 4.55, a personal best for me. At the Elite 11 Camp I had run a 4.69. I attributed the improvement to my working out with the weighted vest Bo Harrington had given me. Running in just shorts and a t-shirt made me feel like I was flying.

When we were done I was exhausted. I almost dreaded seeing what they had in store for us at this afternoon’s practice.


After I showered, I checked my cell phone. I had eighteen messages. I needed my personal assistant to take care of something like this. I saw he had called, so I returned his call first.

“This is Brandon,” he answered.

“Hey, I saw you called.”

“Yes, thanks for calling me back. Kendal received an offer for you to do a movie over Christmas Break called Secret Circle. They need someone who can pitch for some baseball scenes and act like a jerk. Kendal said it was right in your wheelhouse.”

“Tell Kendal to bite me and remind her we have to do the publicity for Star Academy, so it can’t conflict with that,” I said. Then it came to me where I had heard that title before. “Wasn’t Secret Circle a TV show a couple of years ago? It had something to do with witchcraft, if I remember correctly.”

“It lasted one season. The ratings dropped the second half of the season, and the cost of the special effects caused the cancellation. The unofficial reason was one of the executives said the guys in the show were not good-looking enough,” Brandon said.

“That must be why they want me,” I said, tongue firmly in my cheek.

“Uh, sure,” Brandon said, not catching the sarcasm in my answer.

“Why don’t I have to audition for the part?” I asked.

“Kendal said one of the leads wrote it in her contract that you had to appear in the film. She also said it was Halle James. She worked with you on the Star Academy film.”

Halle had a special place in my heart. In many ways she was like Kara Tasman: if either one of them was around, I would move heaven and earth to date them. Halle was the daughter of movie star Rita James. Halle’s brother was Trip and I had read on TMZ that he currently had some drug troubles. His family would be sending him to an undisclosed rehab center. I knew he and Craig Wild, the lead in Star Academy, were close.

Brandon and I wrapped up our call as I reached my car. I put my cell phone in the car cradle and used the Bluetooth connection to call Mona next.

“Hey, Boyfriend,” she answered.

“Easy, Killer,” I shot back, which just caused her to laugh at me.

“Are you taking me out tonight?” she asked.

“If you want to meet my new uncle, we can.”

“What are you talking about?”

I explained how Phil Prince shown up at practice and claimed to be my uncle. She was curious and couldn’t wait to meet him.


When I got home for lunch I saw both my mom’s and dad’s cars in the drive. I had noticed ten of the calls were either from them or my Uncle John, so I guessed my text had knocked over a hornet’s nest. I went in and Mom put a plate of poached chicken breasts, sliced tomatoes and broccoli in front of me. I craved some carbs, so I put a potato in the microwave to cook.

I told them what I knew about Phil and how he preferred to be called Prince. We all agreed that wasn’t happening.

“He suggested we get together for dinner tonight,” I wrapped up.

“Your uncle and brother are joining us. Everyone wants to meet Phil,” Dad said.

“I’ll call Brandon and have him set something up for everyone tonight. Do you know if Aunt Bonnie is coming also? I need to know for the reservation,” I said.

“Planning on something fancy? I would think Monical’s would be fine,” Mom said.

“I hate to say this, but I’m trying to stay on my high-protein diet as much as possible. If there’s pizza around I’ll want to stuff myself. I was thinking a steak sounded good,” I said.

“If we’re doing that, why don’t I have your Uncle John bring steaks and we do them on the grill? It would be more relaxed,” Dad suggested.

“Sounds good, I’ll talk to Phil before practice to get a head count. I almost forgot, Mona will be coming over for dinner,” I said.

Crud! Mom’s head snapped up at that news. I swear she is the biggest bloodhound when it comes to relationship gossip concerning her sons. Now that my Casanova of a big brother was no longer at home, I, unfortunately, was the sole source of her entertainment. I tried my big-boy-now stare, but she was having none of that.

“Why would Mona be coming over for dinner?” my mom innocently asked.

“She and I are dating,” I said with a sigh.

I saw my dad bite his lower lip as he watched my mom pounce.

“What about Tami? I thought you gave her a promise ring. I even saw she was wearing it.”

“Apparently it doesn’t mean anything to her,” I snapped back without thinking.

I saw my mom flush, and Dad was suddenly finished eating and had to go call my uncle about some meat. I really wished I had gone with him.

“David, is Mona someone serious?” Mom asked after she took a moment to calm down.

“I made her a deal. She wants to be Homecoming Queen, and I want a cover so I can get over Tami.”

“You didn’t answer my question. Is she someone serious?”

“Define serious. I don’t know. Besides Pam and Tracy, I would say I like Mona the best as a friend. I would think that would be a good start. She’s fun and we converse fairly well. I’ve been told I only date cheerleaders, so she has that going for her,” I said with a smile.

“Do Mona and I need to talk?”

I knew what my mom was asking me. If a girl might someday be more than just someone to date, she was famous for what Greg and I called, putting her to the question. I think we were more nervous when she got up close and personal with one of our dates than they ever were. Somehow we took the brunt of the interrogations. I would bet with my extended family here and my new family, it could be quite painful.

I just smiled and shook my head. I figured I had a fifty-fifty chance of surviving tonight.


The afternoon practice was geared for fundamentals. Preseason practice had been shortened by the HSAA starting this year, due to concerns for player safety. We only had two weeks to get ready for the first game. Of course Coach Hope had run our butts off. I actually felt sorry for the players who hadn’t participated in our summer workouts, because they struggled.

Before practice I talked to Phil and filled him in on the plans for dinner tonight. I didn’t want to freak him out too much by not being prepared to meet the whole Dawson clan. He called his mom and he confirmed the three of them would be happy to attend. I was curious who the third was and he told me his dad. I don’t know why I would expect his mom to be single, but I had. I admitted to myself I would expect the mother of my child to not be with other men. I was glad neither my mom nor Tami was around to read my mind on that one.

After practice I went straight home, following Mom’s orders, to help get ready. I found Peggy in my apartment, cleaning. She had just been here on Friday, her normal day. She was five or six months into her pregnancy, and she looked exhausted when I walked in.

“What did Mom do to you?” I asked.

“Nothing, I’m having a bad day is all. I ache all over and my feet are killing me.”

“Stop what you’re doing and go take a hot shower. When you come out I’ll give you a massage,” I ordered her. “Do you prefer vanilla or lilac massage oil?”

I could tell she wanted to, but something was holding her back. Finally she seemed to relax and went to take her shower. While she did that, I terrorized my hound with the vacuum cleaner (i.e., I turned it on). He was in his crate in a flash. I just shook my head at what a baby he was sometimes. I had to remember he wasn’t yet a year old, even if he looked like a small pony. His daddy was a big boy at nearly 90 pounds. Duke already tilted the scales at 62 pounds and was growing like a weed.

When I was done with the vacuum I found a big fluffy beach towel to put on my bed. I didn’t want to get massage oil on my comforter. Peggy came out and I was surprised when she acted bashful. Then it hit me, she was worried about me seeing her baby bump and expanded hips. I gave her a leer and waggled my eyebrows.

“You have never been more beautiful to me. May I kiss you?” I asked.

I must have said the wrong thing because she burst into tears. Angie had done some crazy things like this when she had both Kyle and Nate. I had watched how Greg handled this. He didn’t say a word and took Angie into his arms and let her cry it out. I put my arms out and Peggy rushed into them.

Talk about horrible timing. When Peggy finally stopped crying I turned and saw Mona leaning against my bedroom door with a neutral expression on her face. I guess if you just started dating someone and found a naked pregnant gal that your new guy had a history with crying in his arms, you might have an issue or two. I winked at Mona and rubbed Peggy’s butt. Either she was going to accept it or we were done before we started.

“Hey, Peggy, how’ve you been?” Mona asked.

Peggy jerked her head off my chest and gave her a sheepish look.

“You want next? I’m giving out massages,” I offered.

“Sure, why not,” Mona said, which caused me to smile.

By the time Mona came out of her long hot shower, Peggy was putty in my hands and moaning. If you had only heard her you would make some inappropriate assumptions.

“I hope he makes me feel as good as you sound,” Mona teased Peggy.

“Just wait, someday you’ll be pregnant and ache all over. You’ll be lucky if Magic Hands is around to make you feel better. Uh, yes, right there,” Peggy groaned.

When I was done with Peggy, Mona lay down next to her, because my first victim was sound asleep. Mona’s massage was a little more sexual. I think things might have gotten out of hand if my mom hadn’t called us to dinner over the intercom. Of course I insisted that Peggy join us, because Uncle John must have brought half a cow for us to eat tonight, so we had plenty of food.


I hadn’t thought what it would look like when I was the last one to join our expanded family get-together with two girls on my arms and one of them obviously pregnant. The kicker was they both looked like we had just had sex, or that was what Angie told me afterwards. I guess I could see her point, since they were both freshly showered, with damp hair, and were both very relaxed. Mom gave me a look that told me I was lucky we had guests, or she would have made some comments.

My new uncle, Phil, had a big smirk on his face. I got a look at his mother, and she must have been young when she had him. His stepdad was older, closer to my parent’s age. Phil’s mother had a shocked look on her face. I pointed at Peggy’s baby bump.

“Not mine,” I blurted out, which got Angie and Bonnie to laugh.

Phil brought his parents up and hesitated. I could tell he was nervous, so I took over the introductions.

“Hi, I’m David, and this is my good friend Peggy Pratt,” I said as I turned to my cute redheaded housekeeper. “This is Mona Wingman, my girlfriend and head cheerleader at Lincoln High.”

“You’ve met my son, Phil. I’m Victoria Wesley-Prince. I’d like it if you called me Vickie and this is my husband Carl,” she said.

I shook their hands. I couldn’t get over how young she looked. She had to be my age or younger when she had Phil. That would have made Grandpa Dawson close to fifty at the time. I had a hard time wrapping my head around an attractive woman like Vickie sleeping with a man more than twice her age.

My thoughts were interrupted when I heard Duke give a soft warning growl. He only did that when one of the kids was abusing him. I saw he was laying down on the edge of the patio, and Mac was sitting next to him with a handful of dog ear. I quickly went and rescued Duke, and Mac began to cry because I had stolen her toy. Of course Kyle then wanted to be held too. I scooped him up. These two little rug rats were growing like crazy. I kissed Mac on the forehead to get her attention; she immediately stopped crying when she saw that her Uncle David was holding her.

I turned around and Peggy, Mona and Phil had followed me. I heard their brother Nate start to fuss. Angie was busy in the kitchen, so I handed Kyle to Peggy and Mac to Mona. I’m not sure who was more unsure of the sequence of events, Mona or Mac.

“She won’t break,” I assured Mona, as I picked up Nate out of his car seat.

He made a happy gurgling sounds and I put him into Phil’s arms. Phil looked like I handed him a hand grenade.

“Nate, meet your new great uncle, Phil,” I said.

“What do I do?” Phil asked.

“Just talk to him. He needs a little attention,” I said.

Nate was pretty good with strangers, so I wasn’t too worried he would throw a fit. I think everyone watched Phil and Nate. He took him over to his mom to show her his grandnephew.

It was a beautiful summer evening so we ate outside. Mom had set up several tables and she directed the guys to one. I was sure it was planned so that my dad, uncle, brother and I could get to know Phil and his stepfather better. Phil made a point to sit next to me instead of his stepfather. I saw Uncle John’s eyebrows scrunch up for a moment, and then he had a practiced blank look on his face. I knew something was up, because he had used that face on me many times. It was his professional psychologist face.

I cut into my steak and it was a little raw. With good-quality fresh meat, like my uncle’s Angus steaks, I liked it cooked medium rare instead of my normal preference to medium, but this was rare.

“Excuse me, but I need to cook this a little bit more,” I said as I got up.

“Me too,” Phil said and he followed me to the grill.

I put our steaks back on the grill and I could tell Phil wanted to say something.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“I know we don’t know each other very well, and I’m only a freshman... ,” he trailed off.

“I won’t hold that against you. I was a freshman once also,” I said. “Look, I know this is all new to you.”

“Actually, it’s not. I’ve known about you all my life,” Phil said, which shocked me. “One of the reasons my dad took the job at the university was because I wanted a chance to get to know the rest of my family, especially you.”

“Did you know my grandpa?” I asked.

“Of course I did. He loved my mom and me, but we always knew we couldn’t meet you. He told me he had too much respect for his wife. I was always a little jealous my real dad had another family and couldn’t be with us all the time. I think when Mom met Carl it was probably for the best. At least with him I got a full-time dad, but that didn’t stop my real dad from seeing me. Mom says he has a college fund for me, because he believed in a good education.

“When he died, I wanted to meet the rest of my family, but my mom was against it. She was afraid how you’d treat us, but I watched you play football and the interviews you did. I convinced her you were a good guy, and if you were, I knew everyone else would be. Now that I’ve met you I hope we can be good friends,” he said as he looked down at his shoes.

I saw a nervous kid who yearned for acceptance. He was at that age where he wasn’t yet quite sure of himself. I recognized it because Uncle John had pointed it out in me when I lived with him for the summer. With some guidance Phil would grow and get past this. Football would be a good start. I wasn’t ready to commit to being his friend just yet, I hardly knew him.

One of my life’s goals was to be better at saying no. In a lot of ways, I was a people pleaser. Most of us are. We want to be accepted by people. If I wanted to be a better man, I needed to be able to be honest with someone and say no when I wasn’t willing to do something. I wasn’t willing to accept Phil as a good friend just because we shared DNA. If my word would ever mean anything, I couldn’t make a promise like that, and then if he turned out to be a jerk, walk away. Well, I could, but it was the promise I had the problem with. I put my arm around his shoulder and gave it a slight squeeze.

“Tell you what. Let’s get to know each other and see where the friendship thing goes. I mean heck, you might find out I’m a jerk,” I said.


I thought the first meeting went well. My mom talked to Peggy and Mona and they went home, because she called a family meeting. We hadn’t had one of these in a while. The last two had been because of the stalker and then we had one because my relationship with Tami had changed. I guess uncovering one of my grandpa’s love children was good enough reason to have one.

“I’ve got some concerns,” Uncle John said as he shocked us all. “Phil was mirroring David all night.”

My dad was the only one who didn’t have a confused look on his face.

“I thought I saw that too,” Dad said.

“What are you talking about?” Greg asked.

“Mirroring is the behavior in which one person imitates the gestures, speech pattern, and attitude of another. It’s used to build rapport with someone. It’s actually taught as a sales technique. People tend to like someone like them. That’s why you will see cliques form of people who look and act like each other. I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, but Phil is trying to be just like David,” Uncle John said.

“I think he was just worried about being accepted,” I said.

“No, this was more than that. He was actively trying to win you over,” Dad said.

“He did say he wanted us to be good friends,” I admitted.

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mt/ft / mt/Fa / Humor / Sports / School / Slow /