Junior Year
Chapter 34: Don’t Take Me For Granted

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 34: Don’t Take Me For Granted - 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.

Saturday December 26

Pam, Tracy and Lacy were flying in for the wedding. I’d almost forgotten that part of the settlement prohibited Cal from being anywhere near Pam. My dad called me to let me know they had worked it out so he could go to most of the events as long as he paid for security for her. Rita had volunteered one of her people to accompany Pam and her mom when Cal would be around.

Devin, Cora and Sandy were also coming in today. They’d coordinated the wedding so it coincided with their annual corporate get-together. They’d scheduled it for New Year’s Eve. Caryn had joked that she was sure that the banquet was a business-expense write-off. I actually thought it was a clever idea, if you could get away with it. I figured I would want advice from my accountant before I tried a similar stunt.

I saw Fritz pull in and I went bouncing out to greet him. He gave me a sideways look and smiled.

“Did you come to help me unload my car?” he asked.

“Uh, sure,” I said.

He made me make three trips as he ‘organized’ things in his apartment. When I was done he looked around, satisfied everything was where it should be.

“I was thinking about going surfing. Would you want to go with me?” he asked.

“Sure, if it’s no trouble.”

I think he saw through me, or he was getting better at reading me. It might have been the bouncing-around part. Anyways, I was going surfing!

When we got out on the water, I found one of the high school guys who gave me an update on the ‘Baby Dick Gang’, as he called them. They’d been charged and would have to face a grand jury after the first of the year. They’d all made bail. The rumor was that their ringleader’s parents had to remortgage their home.

He told me about a couple of parties, one on New Year’s Eve. I told him I had a wedding that night and he perked up.

“You mean Cora Bell’s wedding?” he asked.

“Yeah, do you know her?” I asked.

“I know Pam better. She and I were in the same class.”

“She’s actually going to be in town today,” I said.

He smiled.

“Actually, I used to date her,” he smirked.

No shit. This was the guy she’d pined over. He’d started dating her best friend as soon as she left town. The smirk irritated me. I felt my territorial self start to come to the surface.

“Really,” I said, to see if he’d tell me more.

“She had it bad for me. I’d like to see her again. Someone said she got herself knocked up. I’d like to get another go at her. It’s not like she can get any more pregnant,” he said.

“Maybe you should call her and invite her to the party tonight,” I offered.

“I think I will.”

There were too many people around to just drown him right then and there. When I kicked his ass I would have to be careful there were no cameras around. I also didn’t want to be the one to tell her what a shit her ex was. I’d see if Halle would go with us to help me keep an eye on her. I knew Tracy would help, but I figured the more help, the better. I planned to let him make an ass out of himself before I killed him. Pam needed to get over this dick once and for all. She was too good for him.

On the way home, I talked to Fritz about the party tonight, courtesy of a talk he’d had with me after the fight. During that talk, he’d confirmed a lot of what I suspected. He was aware that Halle and I were sexually active. He even knew about me being with Rita. He said it wasn’t his job to pass judgment, his job was to keep us secure. He impressed on me that if he didn’t know of a potential problem, he couldn’t do his job.

As a result of that last comment, I made sure to talk with him about what might happen at the party. He surprised me when he offered to have a talk with Pam’s ex. I think he understood how I felt about her, and I could tell he was serious. I’d never thought to ask him to do something like that. It might come in handy if I had to deal with Al again.

He also had a new app he thought might be helpful. It was equivalent to a panic button. He wanted to put it on all my devices, including my iWatch. He reasoned that if I’d had it during the fight, I could have hit the alert and things might have turned out differently. What the app did was send an alert to a distribution list to let everyone know there was a problem. It was customizable, so the message would be unique to the person it was sent from. He would combine that with the ‘Find Me’ app so the device the message came from could be found. He planned to add both apps to everyone’s devices this week. He would make sure Pam, Tracy, Halle and I all had them for tonight’s party. He would also bring an extra security person, one of the women, to help him keep an eye on things.

I realized Fritz hadn’t tried to talk me out of my plan. Instead he’d looked at ways to assure everyone’s safety.

Halle and I went to the airport to help pick up everyone. Pam spotted me first and almost knocked me down when she ran up and put me into a bear hug.

“I missed you. I have so much to tell you. I went and got an ultrasound done and I brought you a picture. I also found the perfect dress for the wedding, but we’ll have to go shopping for something for the rehearsal dinner...”

Halle and Tracy both smiled at me when I was suddenly overwhelmed with rapid-fire girl-speak. My head was spinning with all the information she could impart in machine-gun succession. Pam finally relented on the ride home. She and I sat in the back together. When she’d gotten it all out, she seemed relieved and hugged me.

“Want to see a picture of our baby?” she asked.

She pulled out her cell phone and showed me a black-and-white image of our baby’s sonogram.

“It’s a boy,” she blurted out.

“Is he okay?” I asked.

“Yes. Everything looks normal, and all the tests tell them everything’s okay. He’s been pretty active today. Want to feel?” Pam asked.

She took my hand and put it on the side of her tummy. I felt him move.

“Does it hurt?” I asked.

“No. It was weird at first. All I could think of was that thing that shoots out of your stomach in Alien. Tracy thought we should watch it,” she said as she glared at her friend.

“She needed to know what she was getting into,” Tracy said.

“I see he’s hung like a Dawson,” I said with pride.

Lacy shook her head.

“That’s the umbilical cord, ‘stupid boy’,” Pam said.

I didn’t believe her. He was hung like a horse.

I helped them take their things to their rooms. Pam wanted to eat and then take a nap. Tracy convinced me I didn’t need to help Pam with her nap. Mr. Happy was disappointed. He’d missed her. I overruled him, and instead Tracy and I went out to the patio where Rosy had left us cinnamon iced tea and snacks.

“How are things back home?” I asked.

“Good. Cassidy is keeping the boys in shape. They brought in a specialist to help with training. Alan made sure everyone studied and got good grades. Tim, Ty, Yuri and Johan have taken over for you while you’re gone. Dad said he expects you’ll repeat as State Champs next year. They’re taking everything seriously.”

“How are Brook and Zoe?”

“Zoe is busy with family and her church. They were involved with ‘Toys for Tots’. Coach Hope and another Marine reservist collected gifts for needy children. Zoe was busy wrapping gifts. She convinced the cheerleaders to help. It was actually a lot of fun. Her mom is hysterical. She had us all in stitches, telling us stories.

“Brook misses you. She needed you to do something like you did. That was very thoughtful to invite her to your premiere,” Tracy said.

“How’re your mom and dad doing?” I asked.

“Dad’s worried about the firm. I know you didn’t intend it, but he thinks it’s only a matter of time before they fold up shop. Some of the better lawyers have already found other positions. Dad’s been talking to Ms. Dixon about possibly working with her firm, but that would mean he’d have to move. Mom’s not happy about that. She wants to stay where we are, at least until I graduate.

“Speaking of which, I need to know where you’re going to college,” she said.

“Why’s that?” I asked.

“I’ll graduate this time next year. I lost a semester when I was crazy. I want to stay close to you, even if we’re just friends. I know Pam also wants to keep close. Personally, I need my two best friends to be nearby.”

Tim and Wolf had expressed similar desires. For a moment, I wondered how Alan felt, but then I remembered him and Tami in bed together. It was funny how one decision had changed so much for my two best friends and me. Just a few months ago I’d be adding them to the equation. I knew I wasn’t ready to pick a college, but at some point we all should get together and at least make a list. If nothing else, we would need to get college applications sent out for the acceptance process. Tracy was right, she would have to start this spring.

Pam joined us and looked refreshed. She wanted to go surfing. Tracy wanted to lie out and work on her tan. I thought it was a little cool out, but she told me she wasn’t going home without some sun. Lacy, Rita and Halle decided to join us for the trip to the beach house.

Before we left, Fritz sat the newcomers down and discussed security. He explained things like not getting out of the car until they opened the door, and other common-sense stuff. He also nabbed all our devices and installed his new apps.

He made everyone test the panic button on all their devices. I felt better knowing they could call for help if needed.

We had a blast at the beach house. I was ready to brave the extra beach-goers, but they seemed to be intimidated when they saw Rita James with me along with Halle, Lacy and Pam. I was impressed with the older ladies. They were good surfers. Even at four months pregnant, Pam was in a league of her own. She’d been surfing since she was old enough to walk. I about killed myself trying to duplicate some of her moves.

Tracy decided she’d relax and tan on the roof. She warned everyone about what salt water would do to your hair. She caught me off-guard sometimes when she went all girly-girl on me.

Pam and Lacy were exposed to their first taste of paparazzi. I was impressed when they acted like they didn’t know the three of us. I teased Rita and offered to give them something to talk about, but she pointed to Fritz, and I got the idea she could probably get him to give me a bad day. I think I could take him, but it wouldn’t be fun.

Trip showed up with barbecue for dinner. We ate on the roof. During dinner, Pam received a phone call. When she came back, she was excited.

“Aly and Dan want us to go to a party tonight,” she announced.

I assumed that Aly and Dan were her ex-best friend and ex-boyfriend. The look on Lacy’s face confirmed it for me. She grimaced for a moment, and then presented a neutral expression.

“You might want to stay in tonight until you’re used to the time change,” Lacy said.

“Oh, Mom. I haven’t seen them since this summer,” Pam said.

What she was leaving out was how hurt she’d been when she came home.

“Sounds like fun,” Halle said.

Lacy found me as I helped clean up after dinner.

“You do know who Aly and Dan are, don’t you?” she asked.

“I’m sure I do. I’ll make sure she’s okay. We’ll also bring Fritz and Flo, just in case,” I said.

“You don’t think she’d be physically hurt, do you?” Lacy asked, with real concern in her voice.

“No, our security will be there in case I decide they all need to die,” I said with a lopsided smile.

I was immediately kicking myself for suggesting anything to her mom. Lacy had been through enough. Actually, she was still going through it. Even though she and Cal were separated, their divorce was still not final. I wondered if I should just kick Dan’s ass and get it over with, but from Pam’s reaction, I needed to let him show his true colors first.

The party was held at what looked like a normal home, and the kids at the party also looked normal. It was refreshing not to walk into a mansion and mingle with all the ‘beautiful people’ of Hollywood. The only problem was they all recognized me from my fight with the ‘Baby Dick Gang’. The only thing that stopped them from mobbing me was that I was with Pam. They all knew her, and I could tell she was enjoying introducing me to her friends, especially Aly.

Dan was an idiot. Let’s be kind and just say that Aly wasn’t Pam, because it wouldn’t be fair to compare the two.

“Pam!” Aly squealed.

Dan hurried over and started to look a little nervous when he saw I was with her.

“Aly, Dan, I would like you to meet my good friend David,” Pam said.

“I actually know Dan. He and I surf together,” I said.

“Let me get you both beers,” Dan offered.

“Sorry, neither of us drink,” I said, to give Pam some cover.

“We’ll have one,” Tracy said as she and Halle stepped forward.

I went with Dan to get the beers and soft drinks.

“Uhmm, about what I said while we were surfing...” Dan started.

“Is just one more thing you’ve said or done to her,” I said.

I saw his eyes harden, but I didn’t care. I stared him down, and he looked away. We got the drinks, and he had somewhere else to be once they were delivered. Pam was holding court, with Tracy at her side, so I nodded to Halle and we made our escape.

That was a mistake. Living in LA, they’d seen much more media coverage about both Halle and me. I really hadn’t come to the party to have to talk about what it was like to make movies and get pictures taken with everyone. I noticed Fritz had stationed himself just to the side of Halle. Flo was tracking Pam for me. She didn’t seem to be getting the attention we were, plus Tracy was with her.

I think Halle could see the movie-star thing was getting old for me, because she reached over and pinched me hard just behind my elbow. That hurt, and it was accompanied by a look. I got the message, put on a happy face, and sucked it up. I started to crave a real drink, though.

As the party went on the partygoers started to become drunk. Halle was pretty much over it by now, and the guys were getting their beer muscles. Fritz suggested that she go home. He wasn’t as worried about me, but the boys had enough in them that they were making bold advances towards Halle. If Fritz hadn’t been there I might have smacked a few of them. I think that was another reason he wanted her to leave. Fritz drove Halle back to the house in the hills.

I went to find Pam and Tracy. I found Tracy talking to Flo.

“Where’s Pam?” I asked.

“Pregnant girls have to use the bathroom all the time,” Tracy said as she rolled her eyes.

“I thought you all went together,” I teased.

“Aly went with her,” Flo volunteered.

“How is Mr. Popular?” Tracy asked.

“Being this popular kind of sucks.”

“Oh, please, David. What did you expect?” Tracy asked, and saw my confusion. “What would it be like if Logan Lerman showed up at one of Mona’s parties?”

Logan played the title role in the fantasy-adventure Percy Jackson films. I grudgingly admitted it might cause a commotion.

Then my iWatch vibrated, as did Tracy’s. Flo’s phone also chirped. I looked down and Pam had hit her panic button. When I hit the ‘Find Me’ button, it showed me she was in the back of the house.

I bolted to where she was, with Flo and Tracy following me. I found the hall where there were two bedrooms. I tried one door and no one was in there. The second was locked. I stepped back and kicked the door, causing the cheap hollow-core door almost to explode. Everyone inside froze when they saw me looming in the doorway.

Dan was with a friend, and they had Pam sitting on the bed. I was caught off-guard when I saw Aly in the corner, looking on. I recognized the look Pam had. It was the one I’d seen at the bar at State when the frat boy had hit on her. She’d frozen. I’d worried that someday she could get into real trouble. I was happy she had at least hit the panic button.

I blocked Flo and Tracy from entering the room.

“Pam!” I boomed. “Come here!”

Her head snapped up and she quickly came to me.

“You are mine. Is that clear?” I asked in a much softer voice.

I could see her whole body relax as she looked up at me and nodded. I put my hand on her waist and pushed her into Flo’s care.

As soon as she was behind me, I entered the room and went for Dan. I think he thought he was tough. I knew Cassidy wasn’t going to be happy, but I needed him to learn a lesson. I picked him up by his neck and pinned him to the wall. His friend picked that moment to try to save him. I dropped Dan, dick-punched his little douchebag friend, and as the friend started to curl up, I planted an elbow in his ear.

I heard a girl cry out in pain. I looked over to where Tracy had ahold of Aly by the hair. She threw a huge right hook into the cow’s gut. Dan decided to make a run for it. I swung around and clotheslined him.

I would have jumped on him and finished him off, but just at that moment Tracy sprayed Aly with pepper spray. When was that girl going to learn that pepper spray was not meant for the indoors, especially small, enclosed spaces like this bedroom? All I knew was my desire to kick Dan’s ass was cut short as my eyes teared up and it became hard to breathe.

Tracy and I exited the room as quickly as we could. The commotion had drawn people’s interest, but when Tracy used her pepper spray, everyone started exiting the house. I would have to remember that the next time I needed to clear a party.

We found Pam and Flo on the phone. Pam’s mom had gotten the alert when she’d gotten into trouble. Flo was talking to Fritz. I saw Tracy shaking and breathing hard, and wrapped her up into a ‘crawl inside me and be safe’ hug.

“That was a pretty good punch. Remind me not to piss you off,” I gently teased.

“I just knew you wouldn’t do it, and the smug bitch was trying to hurt my friend.”

“I know.”

I could tell she was on an adrenaline rush and needed to calm down.

Pam got off her phone, looking both relieved and perplexed.

“I’m hungry.”

Tracy and I thought that was the funniest thing we’d ever heard. We convinced Flo to take us somewhere where we could get our pregnant girl pancakes. I admit it, I was hungry, too.

While we were eating, I found out it was Fritz who’d given the pepper spray to Tracy. I would have to thank him later. I was about to make a mistake with Dan. If he’d done anything to actually hurt Pam, it would have been a different story. Then I would gladly have made a huge mistake.

Tracy found her way to my room at bedtime. She and I did what we did well together.

Sunday December 27

I woke up to find that Tracy had left me during the night and now Pam was in bed with me. I loved how she helped me get my day started. I then went and ran. When I came back, Bandit and his mom were in my bed. After she had her way with me, I was worried I might not survive the week to come. Mom and Dad arrived late afternoon. They were staying at the beach house, so I packed up some of my clothes and moved to be with them. We spent the afternoon catching up. Before dinner, everyone showed up to go surfing. Dad actually went out with us, and Fritz taught him how to get up. He actually had a nice run.

When we were done, we found that Mom and Tracy had gone to the grocery store and made dinner. I watched in amazement as Pam ate as much as I did. I was smart enough not to comment on it. After dinner everyone went home, leaving me with the chance to finally talk to my parents in private.

“Rita tells me that you’ve been doing well on the set and that you haven’t caused her any problems,” Mom said. “I did get a call from Tami that said you told her you’d give her a debit card if she’d get pregnant.”

Dad actually shot beer out of his nose.

“Yes, ma’am, I did.”

“She also said you’d told her you were my favorite son.”

“Everyone knows that,” I said.

She just smiled at me.

“Caryn seems to be doing well. How’s she working out with you one-on-one?” Dad asked.

“I think she’s overqualified for some of the things she does for me. When the farm closes, I want her to work with Grandma Dawson and Uncle John to get it up and running. I may need to hire someone like Kendal to be my personal assistant down the road.”

“I was talking to Tom about some other things and he mentioned that he was worried about the firm. Kendal might be looking for something soon,” Dad said.

“My only concern is whether I’d have enough for her to do,” I admitted.

“Why don’t you talk to Caryn? I know Angie and I aren’t doing enough with the nonprofits. Maybe Caryn could use her for other things,” Mom said.

“Shouldn’t I let Caryn decide? She’ll have to work with whoever is hired,” I said.

“I know I’d be resentful if my boss hired someone to work with me without my input,” Dad admitted.

“I was thinking about opening my own real estate company. I wanted to see if you’d partner with me,” Mom said.

Dad got quiet, so I knew Mom was serious.

“What would you need?” I asked.

“We’d need office space for three or four agents. There are a couple of the better performers in the office who aren’t very happy with how things are run. I thought we could get one larger office and share a receptionist and equipment. Maybe Caryn could be the office manager,” Mom suggested.

“You know I’d do anything for you, but you need to talk to Caryn about this. She would need to run the numbers and agree that it makes business sense, if you want me to be a part of it. Otherwise, I could just give you some money to help you get started,” I said.

“Well done. I told her you were learning things, and wouldn’t just accept her proposal at face value. You’ve been listening,” Dad said.

“I learned a hard lesson,” I admitted.

I told Dad about giving my word to my fellow lead actors in Star Academy. I went on to tell him I knew Mom had time to do it right, so she didn’t need a firm ‘yes’ as of yet.

Then my mom wanted to talk about the wedding. Dad and I cut her off and told her to call someone who cared. We both laughed when she made vague and ominous threats. I was sure I would lock my door tonight.

Monday December 28

Fritz showed up early so we could run. He took me along the beach. Running the hills around Rita’s house made my thighs and butt work overtime. Running in sand made that feel like child’s play. It was a good thing I brought my Bo staff or I might have fallen down when we finally made it back. Fritz just collapsed.

“Whose idea was that?” I complained.

He just grunted.

Mom and Dad wanted to go to the studio with me today and watch me work. I was in the first scene of the day, so we went to makeup and then the set. I saw Dad was going around meeting everyone, with Mom in tow. I was probably going to regret letting them come with me.

Rita showed up with Tracy, Pam and Lacy. I guess they also wanted to watch. I had several scenes back-to-back. Watching a movie being made is a lot like watching a play rehearsal: after you’ve seen a few scenes, you’ve had enough. When I was done everyone but Tracy had abandoned me.

“Where is everyone?” I asked.

“Your mom wanted to talk to Caryn about some business idea, and your dad went with her. Cora called and there’s some wedding emergency, so Pam and her mom went to deal with that.”

“I’m going to hitting practice. You can either go with me or hang out with Halle,” I said.

“Zak offered to show me his trailer.”

“Take your pepper spray. You’ll need it,” I warned her.

“Halle said to just tell you, and you’d make him stop his unwanted advances.”

“I changed my mind. You’re going with me.”

Coach Camarillo wanted to meet at USC’s baseball field. Coach Boyd was back with two more pitching prospects. One was a moose of a boy they’d just signed to their Single-A club. The coaches wanted to work on situational plays. Things like two outs, two on, and tied. Then it would be down one or two. Coach Camarillo would explain what types of pitches I should look for and where to hit the ball.

The big kid just reared back and threw the heat. The only problem was he didn’t have full command of his pitch. The first one landed a foot in front of home plate.

“Shit! Fuck! Son of a... !” he cussed.

The second pitch caused me to hit the dirt in self-defense.

“Sorry!” he called out.

The third one he grooved. Coach Camarillo had asked that I put it down the first base line, but when I saw the fat fastball sail right down the center of the plate, I took a healthy rip and put it over the center field fence.

I must have pissed off Coach, because he changed it to no outs and made me bunt. Not that I don’t mind bunting, in principle; anything for the team, and all that. But every other pitch I heard ‘Sorry!’ and had to dust myself off. I saw Coach Boyd’s smirking face each time I hit the dirt, which pissed me off. I figured the best way to get even was to focus and send this kid back on whatever bus he’d arrived on.

I stepped out of the box, took a couple of deep breaths, and felt myself drop into the zone. The next pitch was low and inside. I saw it release from his hand and was on it early. I drove it down the first base line. The next pitch was on the outer corner and I did the same thing.

“Third base line,” Coach Camarillo called out.

The kid put everything into the next pitch. He planned to throw it high and inside, but it was right at my head. I don’t know what I was thinking, I just reacted. I threw up the bat and somehow hit the ball down the third base line. I guess I’d channeled my inner Jedi or something. The look on the kid’s face was priceless. Coach Boyd just shook his head.

Up next was another Single-A pitcher, but he was ready to move up. He’d had two years in the minor leagues and was in control of all his pitches. I had a lot of fun battling him. He had me guessing more than I wanted to admit, but that didn’t mean I didn’t also win sometimes.

Coach Camarillo was happy with my progress. Wednesday would be our last day working together. He promised to use that time to prepare me for the upcoming season.

Tracy teased me all the way back to the studio. She said I looked sexy in my baseball pants. I was just glad there was someone out there who didn’t think my butt was too big!

When we got back, I had plans to take Tracy to my trailer so she could see how nice my butt actually was. I was disappointed when she jumped out of the car and went to Halle’s trailer. I almost followed her there, but I needed to get a shower before I was to be back on set.

When I opened the door I found Pam.

“I’m horny,” she pouted.

Fuck! Me, too!

Clothes went flying as I chased her to the bedroom. I went to go down on her.

“No,” she whined. “I need it right now.”

I agreed and slotted Mr. Happy and pushed home. She felt perfect. Warm, wet tightness enveloped my throbbing shaft. I leaned down and we joined in a lip-lock. I began the old in-and-out when I felt a surprise. My balls tightened and I came hard. What the heck just happened? I rolled off Pam, and she gave me a curious look. She discovered that I’d just spermed her, and good.

“Oh, Baby, that was the best one ever,” Pam cooed.

Yeah, right.

“You’ve never done me better. I’ll be a satisfied woman for a long time after that. The girls are going to be so jealous when they hear how well you did me. God you were good,” she simpered, looking pleased with herself.

If she was happy, I got mine! I got up to take a shower.



“Where’re you going?”

“To take a shower,” I said.

“You do and I’ll never talk to you again.”

Oops. Angry baby-mama was not good. It was a good thing I was a teenager and able to get it back up. I made sure she was satisfied before I came again.

After I was done for the day, I found Halle, Tracy and Pam waiting on me.

“We got you something for Christmas,” Halle said. “It’s from all of us, including Brook and Zoe.”

They made me get into the car and wouldn’t tell me where we were going. I smiled when we pulled into High Performance Driving School. The moment was almost ruined when I saw Devin and Cora waiting for us. Pam grabbed my hand.

“You’ll understand in a moment,” she soothed me.

I checked my emotions and I found I was feeling hostile towards Devin. I think seeing him so unexpectedly hadn’t allowed me to prepare for it. I put on a happy face and got out of the car.

“When I heard what your friends had gotten you for Christmas, I had to tag along,” Devin said as he smiled and held out his hand. “How’ve you been?”

“Good,” I said as I shook his hand. “I’m not quite sure what we’re doing, though.”

“We thought since you had the Charger, you might want to learn what it can really do,” Halle said.

Now that put a smile on my face. Devin and I went in with Fritz. The girls all left us. Sandy was flying in, and they planned a girls’ night out. Devin and I were directed to a classroom to start our training.

“I hear Caryn is working for you now,” Devin said.

“She’s been exactly what I needed. I was sorry to hear that things didn’t work out for her at Range Sports. When I heard that she was open to possibly moving, I had to grab her up.”

It was a good thing our teacher came in then. Devin didn’t seem happy to have lost Caryn.

“I’m Bill Scott, and you must be Devin Range and David Dawson. I was led to believe that you’re both wanting to improve your driving skills and have security needs,” he said before starting.

“I’m an actor, and Devin owns a sporting goods company,” I said.

“I also understand you both drive Dodge Charger Hellcats. That’s a lot of car,” Bill said.

We both nodded and smiled.

“The average driver only uses about forty percent of a car’s capabilities. We only have three sessions to get you improved. Our goal is to get you to sixty percent or better after three days. We’ll start with a short classroom session, and then get you behind the wheel with a personal driving instructor. We believe you’ll learn best by doing. Does that sound good?” Bill asked.

He then showed us a PowerPoint presentation of the Security Driving Triangle. The three pillars of driving it described were the driver, vehicle, and environment, and how those three things are critical in the real world. What the presentation highlighted was just how technical the act of driving was. We were immersed in a better understanding of the three components—the factors of success or failure in behind-the-wheel emergencies.

After the classroom session we were taken out to the track. Bill was going to be my one-on-one driving instructor. They had a Charger just like mine. I now understood why Devin was here. He’d provided the cars.

“We talked about several things in the classroom. What we want you to learn is how to handle this car. You’ll see that there are only orange cones on the track. That’s so if you make a mistake, it doesn’t have to be serious,” Bill said.

“I’ll try not to run any of them over.”

“What would be the fun in that?” he asked with a smile.

The first thing he taught me was how to smoke the tires. I was in heaven. The Charger wasn’t designed to be anything but what it was, an American Muscle Car. It was a throwback to when people wanted to go fast. Bill showed me how to handle the beast and what to expect. He gave me the confidence not to hold back. That’s not to say some of the big orange cones weren’t toast, but Bill made driving fun.

My fear had always been that with as much power as there was under the hood of the Charger Hellcat, I might lose control of it. Bill pushed me until I did, and taught me what to do when it happened. It’s one of those things where knowledge breeds confidence and that translates to performance. By the end of class I had us screaming around the course. I could hardly wait for tomorrow’s class.

Fritz met me at the car.

“Let me drive,” I said.

“Not only no, but Hell, No! I just saw you driving. Rita would kill me if I let you loose on the streets of LA,” Fritz said.

We were giving Devin a lift to his hotel. He came out.

“He won’t let me drive,” I complained.

“Thank you,” Devin said to Fritz. “Did you see that maniac?”

“You both suck,” I said, and got into the car.

On the ride home, Devin wanted to talk about us.

“I was hoping we could be friends again,” Devin said.

“You have a strange way of being my friend. I bring a girl with me and you try and snake her from me. I don’t have any friends that would do that,” I snapped.

“Nancy was all wrong for you, and you know it. When you get older, you’ll understand things better. You need to get over your snit. I was doing you a favor. I think she’s going out with one of your other friends now. I don’t see the big deal,” Devin shot back.

“Don’t take me for granted. That ‘I’m older and wiser’ line is just bullshit. I don’t care what age you are, you don’t go after someone else’s woman and expect them to just take it. You didn’t just do it only once, did you?”

“David, I’m sorry about Nancy. I shouldn’t have done that,” he admitted.

“Why didn’t you say that at the time? Why did you tap-dance around it, and blame her for misunderstanding your intentions? If you’d apologized and manned-up, I’d still trust you.”

“I agree, and I’m sorry. I don’t have a good excuse for what I did. I felt awful when you left, and Sandy was all over my ass about it. I honestly didn’t know how to fix it. The worst part was Nancy would have been the perfect woman for me, but I messed that up, too.”

“I agree; when you pushed your attentions on her, you were never going to win her over. Nancy saw the light, and was embarrassed when she realized how you’d played her. There was no coming back from that,” I said.

“I did it again in New Orleans, didn’t I? But we both know that you had no feelings for Cora,” he said.

“You know that now, but at the time you thought you could just snake another girl from the dumb high school kid,” I said.

“I never thought of you that way. You’re far from dumb. Truth be known, I was a little jealous. You always seemed to have the perfect girl on your arm. I handled the whole thing badly. I had a near-revolt on my board when they found out I’d fired you. That was an expensive lesson.”

“I bought a farm with that money,” I said.

“Can we talk about Caryn?” he asked. “Did you go after her to hurt me?”

“A little bit, but I really needed someone. You letting Cora treat her like dirt made it easy.”

He looked out the window, and we watched the traffic.

“I messed that up. She was way overqualified to be doing what I had her do. She has a ton of potential. Do right by her,” Devin said.

“She’s shown that I need her for far more things than just to manage me. I plan to put her in charge of everything as soon as she’s up to speed. I have big plans for Caryn,” I admitted.

“So, she’s happy?”

“Yeah, I think she is.”

“Do you think we can work at being friends again?”

I thought about it. I’d always liked Devin. It was his immaturity when it came to women that caused friction between us. He would be so busy with his divorce from Cora I was sure he would leave my women alone.

“Yeah,” I said. “Do you have an ironclad prenup in place?”

“Why does everyone ask that?”

My eyes got big.

“If everyone’s asking you something, shouldn’t you at least wonder why? Did you at least have her investigated?” I asked.

“You’re just being a dick,” he pouted.

“If I hadn’t asked, I’d feel responsible if something happened. I really hope that ‘everyone’ is wrong,” I said.

“Yep, dick,” Devin said.

“Just saying,” I said, and held up my hands.

I’d tried. Only time would tell for both Cora, and me, as far as Devin went.

Tuesday December 29

I found Mom and Dad sitting on the patio drinking coffee when I came back from my run. The paparazzi had figured out I’d moved to the beach house. I took my shower and met my parents and Fritz for breakfast. Mom had made a huge Spanish omelet.

“Do you have to deal with that all the time?” Dad asked.

“It’s a daily occurrence. I just assume that someone has a camera on me whenever I’m in public. I should’ve listened to Uncle John’s warning. This really has changed things,” I admitted.

I spotted the goofy guy from TMZ.

“Want to see how this works?” I asked.

Mom and Dad gave me funny looks. I went down and let him up the stairs.

“Here’s the deal: I feed you breakfast, and you don’t film inside the house or my parents,” I said.

When he saw what we were eating, he put his camera away. Mom and Dad were going to play tourist today. I’d arranged for them to go to Catalina Island with Sandy, Pam and Tracy. Lacy had to help Cora. I’d signed Dad up for a fishing trip while the girls went shopping. I was kicking myself because both Pam and my mom had debit cards. They could do some serious damage, since I’d upped their limits for the trip.

After breakfast I took the TMZ guy out front so he could do his interview. He asked about the shark, and I told him the footage had been much too real. Then he hit me with a question from left field.

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