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Boyfriend Game, The MSR
The afternoon sun was beating down on my shoulders as I watched an evil leer light up the face of my best friend, Sara Myers. Her long legs were like sticks below her shorts, and there was the faintest gleam of sweat over the upturned nose that she swore was her only decent feature. "Just try and stop me, Trisha," she taunted, her dark curls bouncing with each step.
"Just try and get by me," I shot back, grinning as she got closer. It might be just a routine one-on-one drill on a Thursday afternoon of JV soccer practice, but it was always a lot more than that when I was going one-on-one with Sara.
Sara was better than me at soccer. And she didn't even try. I busted my butt. And she was still better. Totally bugged me.
But she hated the fact that over the summer, I'd gotten a real figure and she was still as skinny as ever, so we were even. Especially since we'd totally make the trade if we could. She'd take all the attention I got from guys in a heartbeat, and I'd give that up in a minute if I could have her soccer skills. Actually, I'd give it up in a minute for free, if I could. Only six weeks into my freshman year of high school and already I was tired of the boys treating me differently than they used to. Hello? What was wrong with noticing I played good defense, instead of commenting on how my shirt fit?
Sara's smile faded into concentration, and I focused on every angle of her body, trying to anticipate what move she'd pull to try to get past me. My muscles tensed, and I felt the zip of adrenaline that I loved, the sensation of power that had me running for the soccer field every afternoon, totallypumped to sweat and yell and forget about all the baggage of my day at school. On the soccer field, it wasn't about boys and girls or how I looked. It was about how good you were. It was my favorite place to be.
"Hey, Trisha! Looking good out there!"
Sara sucked in her breath, and I scowled at the sound of Kirk Nichols' obnoxious voice, not even bothering to glance at the sidelines where I knew he'd be standing with his loyal shadow, Ross Crane. Probably wearing Nike sunglasses, baseball hats, and faded jeans, like they always did, knowing just how to dress to look good.
Well, they were cute, but they were also idiots, so I shut them out and concentrated on Sara. Her gaze flicked toward Kirk, and I grinned. Oh, she was so busted. Keep yelling, Kirk. One little distraction was more than enough for me to take her out.
"Trisha! Hey, Trisha Perkins! You gonna come to Pop's tonight with me, or what?" Kirk shouted.
Sara scowled at me. I bit my lip and quickly adjusted to her sudden increase in intensity. Great. So now she was going to take it out on me that Kirk was yelling my name and not hers. Classic Kirk. Always screwing up my life.
"Sara! Tell her she has to come!" Kirk shouted.
Sara's cheeks turned pink and she shot a quick look in his direction. I lunged forward to take advantage of the distraction, my cleats grabbing the turf as I plucked the ball from between her feet. She spun around, and I dodged her, making a snarky face at Kirk, who was yelling something about how he liked my new haircut. He should be shouting about my great steal, not making some stupid comment about my hair. So typical of Kirk, and of guys in general. I turned my head to glare at him . . . and noticed a guy standing next to him and Ross.
The guy was taller than them, had short dark hair, and was wearing soccer cleats. And shorts that showed off his oh-so-muscular soccer legs. He was holding a soccer ball against his hip, his arm hanging loosely over it. Who the heck was he?
Before I knew it, Sara was next to me, her feet were on the ball, then I went flying. I threw up my arms as I went skidding on my left hip and wound up in a face-plant in the grass. Sara crowed in victory and I rolled to a sitting position, spitting grass out of my mouth.
Kirk and Ross howled with laughter, and I immediately glanced over to them. To the guy.
Who was gone.
I made a quick scan of the fields, but I didn't see him anymore. Where'd he go?
My other best friend, Beth Stevenson, walked up and peered down at me. She was wearing cleats and a tee shirt like I was, but she was still clean. No sweat and no dirt. Not that it was a surprise. She only played JV soccer to hang out with us. I played to play. Sara played . . . well . . . I was never quite sure with Sara.
"You almost had her," Beth said.
I sighed. "I know." It was always almost when it came to beating Sara at soccer.
Beth held out her hand and pulled me up. "I mean, you did have her, and then you let her come back and get you. What was up with that?"
As if I were going to tell her that I'd let a boy distract me. Ha! That was a Sara move, not something I would do. Actually, it was totally embarrassing. So I shrugged. "I felt bad for her. Didn't want to show her up with Kirk watching."
Beth snorted. "Yeah, right. You have no mercy on the soccer field."
"You say that like it's a bad thing." My thigh was burning big-time, so I hiked up my shorts and inspected the raspberry that started up by my hip and went halfway down my thigh. It was already bright red. I grinned, loving the badge of honor it gave me. Despite what Kirk might think, there was so much more to me than what I looked like. I was a warrior! "There goes my plan to wear a miniskirt tomorrow," I joked.Boyfriend Game, The MSR. Copyright © by Stephie Davis. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.