In the city of Easthaven Texas football is everything. The city is home to two football teams. The Easthaven Timberwolves and the Easthaven Correctional Panthers. Easthaven Correctional, a school for those who've had brushes with the law and Easthaven are bitter rivals. Both teams are good but only one can be champion. Drake Solace is a 17 year old young man who attends Easthaven Correctional. He has a heavy burden upon his shoulders for he is the sole quarterback of the Easthaven Correctional Panthers. Can he carry the team to victory or will he crumble under the weight?
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" Good morning Easthaven football fans! This is Deacon Paul, the minister of Easthaven football. Today is the day we all look forward to here in Easthaven Texas. Our beloved Easthaven Timberwolves and the more disreputable Easthaven Correctional Panthers will have tryouts this week, better known as Hellfire and Brimstone week. Where the weak get cut and the strong get the privilege of playing for one of the two mighty Easthaven football teams". Drake Solace sat on his bed as he listened to the radio. The early morning sun was glaring through his window, bathing his room in light. He was tying up his cleats when he heard a knock on his bedroom door " come in" he said in his thick Celtic Irish accent.
His aunt slowly pushed the door " Drake? Drake honey, you better get going". Drake looked at his blonde haired green eyed aunt " I'm moving Susan". She smiled at him " You're going to enjoy Easthaven Correctional much more than Easthaven High. It'll be a good fit for you after what happened." Drake nodded and stood up " I'll be back soon. Don't forget to take your meds" he said. Susan nodded and left. Drake grabbed his keys off his dresser and took one last look at himself in the mirror. Deep brown eyes, pale white skin and light brown hair stared back at him. He made sure he had what he needed and headed out to his Buick Park Avenue. Drake took one last look at his aunt's run down two bedroom home, enjoying the cool August morning before getting into his car and driving away.
" Coming back to lead the Easthaven Timberwolves is number three nationally ranked Quarterback Lance Solace. Now, this is his senior year with every top school in the nation looking to recruit him. I'm curious to hear what you people think, let's go to the phones. Caller number one, you're on the air, what do you have?" Deacon Paul asked on the car radio. A gruff man's voice answered " Hey Paul how ya doing? Now there's no question that Lance is headed to the NFL one day but doesn't he have a younger brother whose headed to that hell hole Easthaven Correctional?" " You must mean former Timberwolf backup quarterback Drake Solace. Yes, he got busted this past winter with breaking and entering and will be going to Easthaven Correctional this year. Which should make the annual tune-up game between the Panthers and Timberwolves more interesting than usual. That game will take place-"
Drake stopped his car and got out. He slowly made his way to the locker room and noticed a line of other teenage guys. He quietly got in line and waited to get weighed on the scale. When it was his turn he nodded a greeting to a middle-aged African-American man who appeared to be the head coach " you're a new face here. What's your name?" " Drake Solace" he replied as another coach adjusted the scale " 207," he said. The coach looked down at the clipboard he was holding and made a note " what position you want to go out for?" Drake waited a moment " Uh, I played quarterback last year so I guess that". The coach looked up at him " QB huh? We'll see about that. I'm Coach Miller. Welcome to hell". Drake gasped for air as he and the rest of the team ran up and down the stadium stands a few moments later " come on boys, I ain't got all day!" Coach Miller barked. The stair running was followed by running through the tires and other basic football drills. This continued for a while before Drake was led away with two other guys and was given a football. He started lobbing passes towards receivers running random patterns. After two hours of drills and conditioning. Coach Miller had the team gather around " Alright boys, that's enough for today. I want you back here same time all week. Trust me when I say that not everyone is gonna make it to become a Panther. I want you to go home tonight and ask yourself if you want this. If you really want this. If you don't that's fine, no reason to be ashamed. I don't you wasting my time and I don't want to waste yours. Trust me gentlemen, by the end of the week, I'm going to know who wants this or not".
The next morning Drake stood in front of the Easthaven Correctional High School doors, waiting for a guard to search him and give him the okay to go on in. When it was his turn a guard asked him for his ID. When Drake presented it to him the guard waved him through. Drake noticed that the hallways were a total zoo, students fought and shoved to get somewhere. Drake hurried to his homeroom where he was greeted by an old woman who seemed really tired. She looked at him wearily " and who are you?" she asked. " Uh, I'm Drake Solace". The teacher raised an eyebrow " oh yes, I've been expecting you. You're late but I'll excuse it this time. I'm Miss Hawk. I couldn't help but notice you've got an accent. Where are you from?" " Belfast Ireland" Drake answered looking around the class.
From the back of the classroom, Drake noticed he was being intensely stared at by a brown eyed black haired Latina. Something about that stare made Drake feel like he was a fly in a spider's web " well, take a seat anywhere you like" Ms. Hawk said. Drake nodded and took a seat in the back, aware of the eyes trailing him the whole time. The rest of the day went by in a hurry and before Drake knew it, it was lunchtime. After getting his food, Drake just sat at an empty table and was about to dig in when someone sat down next to him. Drake jumped a little and looked to see the Latina from before " I think you're lost" he said. " No I'm right where I want to be," she said in an Australian accent " So what's your story? " Drake was a little put off " I ain't got a story," he said. " Bull," the Latina said staring at him. Everyone in this place has got one".
" Really? What's yours then?" Drake asked. " I asked you Irish boy". Drake sighed and was about to speak when he was violently thrown from his seat. He scrambled up to see the Latina holding back a massive white guy with a scar over his right eye " you talking to my girl?" he yelled at Drake. Drake's first instinct was to start throwing punches but held back " she sat at my table and started talking to me". The guy clearly didn't like that as he pushed the Latina out of the way and started to advance on Drake who readied himself. However, before a fight could start a Native American male stepped between the two " Oscar Oscar chill out man. My sis was just talking to him. No harm done." The guy angrily looked him " whatever. I see him doing it again, he's dead" he said storming away." All right people show's over!" The Native American shouted to the crowd that had gathered.
The crowd groaned, clearly hoping to see a fight but started to break up " hey Katrina, how bout you tell your man to cool it on the steroids" the Native American said. " Screw you King!" the Latina snapped and walked away. The Native American looked at Drake " sorry about that man. Oscar just gets heated sometimes but he's good people. My name's James but everyone calls me King. And that girl you just saw is my adopted sister, Katrina." Drake shook his hand " Name's Drake. I saw you on the field yesterday". " Yep. I play Running Back and Middle Linebacker. You're going out for QB right? You looked like you knew what you were doing. Anyway I gotta go. I'll see you on the field".
The rest of the day passed without incident and after another day of tryouts in the late August heat, Drake walked back to his car to see Katrina sitting on his hood " What are you doing?" he asked. " Nothing just hanging out" she replied. Drake looked her over " you're kinda on my car so if you don't mind-" " Actually I do." She replied hopping off anyway. " Your motor was having issues so I gave it a little tune-up". Drake raised an eyebrow " You started my car?" " Hotwired is more like it. Only to see how it sounded". " Why?" Drake asked.
Katrina grinned" I love cars and I knew you weren't going to do anything about it." " What makes you say that?" Drake asked folding his arms. " Cause no one is gonna get steamed about someone who helped them for free. Drake rolled his eyes and grabbed his wallet " all I've got" he said handing her two twenties. " keep it" Katrina said. " Not happening. Take the money" Drake said. Katrina stared at him for a moment but took the cash " I gotta go. Thanks again mate" Drake said before getting in his car. He spent the rest of the week going to class and to tryouts. Friday after practice everyone was gathered around Coach Miller " This weekend, I'll be calling all of you to inform you if you made the team or not. Get some rest, cause if you made the team, you're gonna need it". Drake spent some time at the local gym before heading home. When he got out of his car he was eyed down by three people. Drake returned their stare and slowly opened his car door, eyes not leaving the three guys.
Suddenly he heard a gunshot and instantly dropped down. Glass shattered around him. Drake reached under his driver's seat and grabbed his Glock. He cocked and returned fire. A searing pain entered his right hand " Ah! Son of a!" Drake yelled as he dropped behind the other side of his car again. He looked as a trickle of blood oozed from his hand damn it! Drake tensed when he heard sirens. The three people ran off and Drake leaned his head against the car and heaved a sigh of relief. He stood up to face the cops " officers" he said. " What happened here? Who are you? a cop asked. " Drake Solace sir. I was attacked by three men with guns". " Were you hit Mr. Solace?" the other officer asked. Drake looked at his hand " My hand was sir". The cops looked at his hand " We'll take you in, get you patched up. You got a record Solace?" Drake nodded " yes sir I do".
One of the cops went back to the cop car for a few moments as Drake gave a description of his attackers. The other cop came back " you own a gun Solace?" " Yes sir," Drake said, knowing where this was going. The cops looked at each other " Okay. Come with us, sir". Drake nodded and followed the cops, getting a good look at his aunt's face as he got into the cop car. Drake sat in the hospital as he looked at his bandaged hand. He was waiting for the cops that had brought him there to come back and most likely to jail for violating his probation for owning a gun. " Drake! Drake, you okay?" He looked up to see Coach Miller looking at him " Coach? What are you doing here?" 'Never mind what I'm doing, are you alright?" Drake nodded " yes sir. Just got shot at a little. I'm fine though."
" Coach, can I speak with you?" a cop asked. Coach Miller nodded and patted Drake on the shoulder before following the cop. The officer looked at Coach Miller " I'm afraid I'm going to have to take him in. He violated his probation". " Now wait, hold on," Coach Miller said " Now I understand he was on probation but he was attacked. What was he supposed to do, let himself get killed?" The cop sighed " I don't want to have to take him in. I understand the situation he was in, I'm in it nearly every day. But the law is the law and he's not the only one of your guys going to jail tonight".
Coach Miller frowned " what do you mean?" The cop sighed " Paul Owens and Joe Hook got picked up for armed robbery a few hours ago." Coach Miller groaned " great! Those two were my Quarterbacks! If you take Solace, I don't have a QB this season. Has the kid made mistakes? Course he has. But he's a good kid. He shows up on time, he does whatever I ask of him and he's not half bad on the field. All I'm asking is to give the kid another chance". The cop stared at Coach Miller " you'll vouch for him?"
Drake stood up when he saw Coach Miller " what's going on Coach?" " Never you mind, just come with me," he said. Drake nodded and followed him, looking over his shoulder to see the cop nod at him. Drake got in Coach Miller's car and kept silent as he started driving " how's your hand?" Coach Miller asked him. " It's fine" he replied. Coach Miller stopped at a small diner " let's go, I want to talk to you". Drake nodded and followed him in " Sir, I don't have money to pay for this so-" " Don't worry about, I'll pay your bill" Coach Miller said.
Drake nodded and sat across from the coach. After they got their food Coach Miller stared at Drake" Trey and Joe got locked up. I got no Quarterback now. You're all I got but before I trust you I need you to tell me about yourself. I know this wasn't your fault but I need to know if your gang-related or if this is gonna happen again". Drake sighed " alright fine. Okay so, me and my brother were born in Belfast Ireland. I don't remember too much about it. We moved after my old man got shot and came here to Easthaven. It was here that me and my brother started playing football and my mom met Brian Solace, our stepdad. Life pretty much sucked after that. The guy is typical Easthaven trash. No offense. Lawyer. Thinks he's God's gift to the world. Always preferred my brother over me due to his athletic skill. You probably heard of my brother. That insufferable prick, Lance Solace. Then I got myself in trouble for breaking and entering. After I got out, he convinced my mom to disown me and I went to go live with my aunt who has dementia".
Coach Miller was silent for a moment " I'm sorry to hear that. Why'd you do it?". Drake sighed " That is easily the biggest mistake of my life. it was in the winter of my sophomore year. I was hanging out with a few guys. We wanted beer but of course, we couldn't buy it. So one of the guys directed us to a house that always had some and the owners were never home. So we went there. Except they were this time. We surprised them and one of the guys had a gun. He shot them both while I just stood there and watched. They didn't make it. I was found and arrested. I regret it to this day, and I doubt I'll ever be able to look myself in the mirror again."
Coach Miller looked down " You made a mistake and it's important you understand that. I appreciate your honesty. I'll be honest with you. Originally, you did not make the team. But now I need you. You're all I got for a quarterback. Can I trust you?" Drake thought and nodded " yes sir".
" Down! Green 33! Green 33! Set Go!" Drake took the snap and handed the ball off to King who ran up the field thirteen yards before bringing brought down. " Alright that's enough for today." Coach Miller said. The Panthers circled around Coach Miller " alright boys listen up. Tonight we have the family dinner where you bring your families here to the school, we have a dinner and you find out what number you'll be wearing this season. You remain on your best behavior and you dress well, you understand me?" " Yes sir!" The team said. " Alright, get out of here" Coach Miller said. A few hours later Drake was wearing a pair of dress pants, and a black button up. He was by himself as he looked around. His aunt had eaten something bad last night and was too sick to come. Since Drake didn't have anyone else, he was sitting at a table by himself watching everyone else. Being alone didn't really bother him, he was alone for most of his life anyway. He was just minding his own business when King walked up " what's going on QB? Where're your people?" " Sick," Drake said, taking a sip of water. " Ah man that sucks" King said," So what you're just gonna sit by your lonesome?" " Sure looks that way."
Just then Katrina walked up to them wearing her black and red cheerleading outfit " Why don't you come sit with us?" " Pretty sure your boyfriend wouldn't like that" Drake responded. " That idiot isn't my boyfriend, I can't stand that pig!" Katrina said making a disgusted face. King chuckled " My sis here likes to castrate men more than she likes to kiss em" " Shut up before I knock you on your ass!" She hissed. Drake chuckled " alright, I'll come join you. Should be entertaining at the least" he said standing up. Drake followed Katrina and King to their table where he met their Native American parents, Henry and Trisha Sawyer " Mom dad this is Drake Solace our new QB" King said. Drake shook hands with them both " hi nice to meet you" he said. They smiled and returned his greeting " you here by yourself? Henry asked. Drake nodded " my aunt ate something funny so she couldn’t make it. Shame too, she loves football". Finally, it was time for the coach to call the players up to get their jerseys. When King was called he made a big show of walking up to Coach Miller " he's such a spaz!" Katrina said. " Gee I wonder who else in his family is like that" Drake said with a smirk. Katrina shoved him " Shut up! You aren't even here legally!" " Oh and you are?!" Drake teased back. King came strolling back " Number 21 baby! That ain't even close to how many touchdowns I'm gonna score this year!" " Well if you run the ball in the game like you do in practice, we ain't scoring period" Drake teased. " Man shut up!" King said throwing his jersey at him.
The night wore on and on until " Drake Solace! You're up!". Drake stood up and walked over to Coach Miller " ladies and gentlemen, our starting Quarterback, number six, Drake Solace!" Drake took the black and red with silver trim jersey and shook the coach's hand. He walked back to King and his family " I thought you were gonna cry man" King said. " Only cause I've been staring at your ugly face all night" Drake said. King made a fist and shook it at him but smiled. When the night was over King looked at Drake " me and a bunch of the guys from the team are headed to a party. You should come QB". Drake thought a little than " sounds good, I don't have anything better to do". " That's what I like to hear man, that's what I like to hear" King said. " We'll take my car."
They arrived at the party half an hour later. Drake got out and waited for King " hey man, put your jersey on QB. No one will mess with you that way. No one on this side of town screws with a Panther. We take care of our own." Drake nodded and put on his Panther jersey. While he was doing this an African American girl walked up. King brightened up " hey there! I thought you said you weren't coming" " Yeah well I changed my mind" She replied. King looked at Drake" this here is my lady, Claire. Babe, this is our QB, Drake." " How are ya?" Drake asked extending a hand. She looked at it then at Drake with a disgusted look and walked off. King winced " sorry about that, she's a little uptight." Drake shrugged " that kind of thing doesn't really bother me. Let's just go in". Inside the house people were drinking, smoking and a few were doing drugs. Drake just stuck with King as the running back talked to everyone. King walked over to a large white guy with black hair and blue eyes " this here is Grant Williams, our Tight End. Grant, I thought that you might as well meet the new QB". Grant looked Drake over with disinterested eyes " Just as long as he knows how to call the plays and throw the ball, that's all I care about" he growled before turning away. King just shook his head " Grant just thinks about football, that's it. I don't think he has the capacity to think about anything else. And this here is our Fullback, Kevin Long" he said pointing to a stocky Asian." Kevin looked around " Ey King! I see Claire finally let go of your balls for once". King chuckled " at least I've got someone to holds my balls man. But that's beside the point. This is our QB, Drake Solace". Kevin smirked and punched his shoulder " In that case, don't get too drunk and do something stupid. Welcome to the team man. To be honest I prefer it to be you. I hated Paul and Joe was an idiot. Racist ass."
King introduced him to the rest of the team including an African American guy with a BLM tattoo on his cheek who King had introduced as Marcus Jackson, a Wide Receiver. Claire walked up to King and started rubbing his chest " I've been looking for you" she said. " Oh really?" King asked. " Yeah. I'm bored. I need you to keep me company". King looked at Drake with an awkward smile " hey man. . . uh. . . I gotta-" " I get it. Go have fun man" Drake said chuckling. King smiled " I'll make it up to you," he said as Claire led him away. Drake wandered around before sitting in the kitchen and drank a beer. And another and another. Just then, Katrina walked up wearing a pink top and a black short skirt with heels " Where's King?" She asked. Drake smirked " King and Claire are. . . making memories". Katrina looked confused at first then started to look ill " why did you tell me that?" " You asked me where he was," Drake said. " Yeah, I asked you where he was, not what he was doing!" " Pretty sure you mean who," Drake said with a smirk. " Oh shut up you stupid Celt!" Katrina said with a look of disgust
Drake and Katrina kept talking and laughing until Drake felt a hand roughly grab the back of his neck and throw him off his chair " looks like you don't listen well do you?!" Oscar snapped. Drake narrowed his eyes " oh it's you again" he said as people watched in interest. Oscar growled and roughly shoved Katrina out of the way " It seems as though you need to be taught a lesson about messing around with my girl!" " We went out once Oscar!" " Shut up!" Oscar yelled and advanced on Drake who reached into his pocket and brought out a knife " try me". Oscar stopped and pulled up his shirt to reveal a gun. Drake acted fast and rushed Oscar. There was a small struggle for the gun with a bullet fired into the ceiling. Drake was finally able to wrestle the gun away and bashed Oscar in the nose with the gun. He cupped his nose with both hands and glared at Drake" watch your back boy" he muttered before stumbling off.
Katrina grabbed Drake's arm " come on. Come on." Drake dropped the gun and allowed himself to be led away. Katrina dragged him outside and turned to face him " are you crazy?!" " I've been accused of it a time or two". " You rushed a guy who had a gun!" Drake shrugged " who kind of idiot shoves a gun into his pants? He probably hasn't even fired that thing before". Katrina rolled her eyes " I just possibly saved your ass. A thank you would be nice". Drake sighed but nodded " yeah you're right. Thanks". Katrina smiled " it's okay. You need a ride home?"
Drake shook his head " Nah, it's a nice night. I 'm just gonna walk" he said turning around and disappearing into the darkness. He walked to the school parking lot and unlocked his car. He paused as he heard a car pull up behind him. Drake turned around to see Oscar with a swollen nose with two other guys " Really? You need your boyfriends to help teach me a lesson?" Oscar said nothing but punched Drake in the face. The other two joined in and the three beat Drake into the ground " stay away from her if you know what's good for you!" Oscar yelled as his friends got back in their car and drove away. Drake groaned in pain as his phone rang and rolled over in his bed as his phone rang " No!" he said opening an eye and looking at his alarm clock. 7:30 A.M. He reached for his phone and answered " hello?" " Hey man, what's going on?" King's voice answered back " King, why are you calling me so early?" " Early? Man this is perfect running time. What are you doing sleeping, we have a tune-up game this coming Friday. Look, that ain't the reason I'm calling you. My sister told me what happened at that party?" Drake rolled his eyes " oh yeah. That". " Anyway she told me what happened, how are you doing after all that?" Drake yawned before answering " It didn't bother me. I don't let stuff like that affect me". "I just want to apologize for that. If I knew all that shit would happen, I would have stayed with you". " It's fine my friend.". King chuckled " this is why I like you man. Nothing bothers you. Why don't you come over to my place for dinner tonight?" Drake raised an eyebrow " What time?" " Around six. Give me your address and I'll pick you up. What do you say?" Drake smiled" 245 Oakland Road. You know it?" " Yeah, Yeah I know it". " Alright cool, I'll see you then," he said then hung up.
At a quarter till six Drake sat on his doorstep in a leather jacket white t-shirt jeans and tennis shoes. He held an apple pie in his hands and nearly dropped it when King honked his horn. Drake grinned and approached his friend's Honda Civic " thought you told me you had a pimping ride" he said as he got into the passenger's seat " man, what'chu talking about? This ride is better than your Buick." " It was the only thing I could afford" Drake said. " That's because you're a poor ass white boy" King said as he started driving. He sniffed the air " man what smells so good? I know it aint you".
Drake smiled " oh no, its just the pie I baked." " You bake?" " Yeah. I cook all the time". King chuckled " You're gonna make somebody a fine young wife someday" he joked. Drake rolled his eyes " Don't hate me because I'm pretty alright?" " Says the man who doesn't have a woman. You know you're the only single man on our team right? We gotta get you a main squeeze." " Now you know damn well there's a better chance of me being All-State then me finding someone". The two young men stepped out of King's car and walked up to his house where his parents were waiting. King smiled at his parents " mom, dad you remember Drake right?" Drake extended a hand which both of his parents shook " nice to see you two again.. I brought a pie for you " he said handing it over. Tasha took it" thank you young man. The food still isn't ready yet but King I know you wanted to work with Drake on some of the plays". King nodded " hey man you have your playbook?" Drake looked around " oh no man sorry." " It's cool we can just use mine. let's head in the backyard and get to work."
Drake and King dived into the playbook with Katrina watching from the kitchen " alright let's go with Panther Option on two." Drake said. " Sounds good" King said as he got into his Running Back stance. Drake bent over " Ready! Green 34! Green 34! Set Go! Go!" He barked. He ran alongside King and pitched the ball to King " not bad QB not bad!" he said. " What's next?" Drake looked through the playbook. " Pro 28 Gun Sweep Pass on one" He and King got into their stances " Ready! Red 90! Red 90! Set Go!" He pitched the ball to King and went out for a pass which he had to jump up to catch." " So white boys can jump" King said. " You sure can throw King. Maybe you should have my job". " Now how am I gonna play Running Back and Quarterback at the same time?" King asked. The back screen door opened and Katrina stepped out " hey King! You better get your ass on them weights before I do!"
King smirked " don't you dare girl!" he said before taking off. Drake laughed before following him to a bench press. " Hey Solace, you can do pushups or something while the King does his thing". " Just don't hog the weights man," Drake said. Katrina showed up " I'll spot you baby brother," she said. " Thanks sis," King said. Drake nodded at Katrina " thanks again for the other night" he said. " if you're wondering how you can repay me, you can get to work on them pushups. I don't want to lose to those Easthaven punks" Drake nodded " yes ma'am" he said before dropping down as King got to lifting " Hey Solace you need to pick it up man. Those push-ups are weak." " Maybe you should add more weight," Drake said. " Oh, you saying you can do better?" King asked.
" How about you two jocks quit flapping your gums and focus? I could do better than both of you combined," Katrina said. " She keeps you in line huh King?" Drake asked smiling. " yeah she does, she's like a second mother" King said. " Oh be quiet and you, Solace. Let's see how you do." Drake smiled and walked over to King " My turn boy" he said taking his spot. King smiled " let's add on some more weight, see if you're more then all talk." " just watch and take notes," Drake said as he started lifting. After 15 reps, Tasha walked up to the teens " hey y'all the food's ready" she said. King grinned " you're in for a real treat Solace. My parents are amazing cooks". " It's true," Katrina said. " You better not be lying," Drake said as they went inside. Turns out they weren't. Dinner consisted of ribs, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and dinner rolls. The people ate the table joined hands as Henry started to pray " Dear God we thank you for this time we have now. We thank you for our new friend here and just pray that you watch over these boys. Not just on the field but in all aspects of life and that you bring them up to be good men. Amen". They started digging in their food " so what part of Ireland are you from?" Henry asked. " Belfast sir," Drake said. " We came here when I was a child. Me, my brother and my mom when she met that guy, that. . . " Drake paused for a minute " sorry, I just... .anyway she married someone else and that's that". " Sounds like you're not a fan. He's your stepdad?" Drake nodded " yes ma'am". " What happened to your biological father? If you don't mind me asking that is."
Drake sighed " got shot one random night and died. That's why we came here". Tasha looked down " I'm sorry to hear that, I didn't mean to bring it up." Drake smiled " It's fine ma'am. You didn't know". " So, you plan on beating those pricks from Easthaven in the tune-up game?" Katrina said. Drake nodded " you got it. That is if King here shows up ready to play and show those idiots how football is really played. He is our main guy after all". King slugged his shoulder" come on man" " What you know it's true! You're going all the way King. Aren't colleges already showing interest in you?" " Yeah, but it won't be long before they start looking at you too". " Yeah whatever". They finished dinner and had some of the pie Drake brought too. After a few hours of talking Drake stood " I hate to be a bore but school's in the morning. So I should get out of here". " Alright man I'll drive you," King said standing up as well.
Katrina, Tasha, and Henry followed them out. " hey, young man, can I ask you something?"Henry asked. Drake nodded " yes sir" he said. " King told us you live with your aunt but he doesn't know why. Now I know it ain't none of my business but it's clear that they are still alive. You wanna tell me what's going on?" Drake nodded " yes sir. See, it's embarrassing but my parents are White Supremacists and I hate them for it. My brother is no better. When I got arrested they disowned me and I was taken in by my mentally ill aunt. Luckily she was still deemed as able to be my legal guardian, although since then I've become an Emancipated Minor. She's always strung up on medication."
Henry nodded " can I give you some advice?" " Yes sir". Henry took a breath " I think you should look past all your parent's flaws. You should never hate your family, even if you disagree with them. Now you are always welcome here young man." He said extending a hand. Drake shook it " thank you sir. I had fun". Tasha walked over " now Drake, I got you some leftovers. you gotta eat a lot so you'll have plenty of energy to walk all over Easthaven High". " Thank you ma'am" Drake said taking the sack. Katrina walked over " be sure to tell King not to fool around" " You're the boss," Drake said" see you at school Katrina. Thanks again for tonight Mr. and Mrs. Sawyer" he said then got in King's car. King sped all the way home and parked " hey thanks for joining us for dinner man" he said. Drake grinned " thanks for having me. I enjoyed it." King took a breath " look, I heard what you said about your parents, being White Supremacists and all. All I want to say is that you're a good guy. Don't let those ignorant sons of bitches get up in your head. You're good people. You and me. . . we gonna take this team all the way to State this year. " " Damn straight," Drake said. King reached under his seat and pulled out two beers, handing one to Drake who took it " thanks man" he said. The two slammed their cans together and silently slammed their cans together and started drinking, no more words needed to be spoken.
Drake sat in the Easthaven High School locker room in his white and red with black trim uniform with the number six, going over his playbook one last time. He had butterfly's doing a mosh pit in his stomach and jumped when King slapped his shoulder pad " what's going on Solace?" he asked. " Oh hey man" Drake muttered, scanning the pages. King shook his head and ripped the playbook out of his hands" Hey!" Drake said. " You already know all this man. Just relax".Drake silently nodded and King smirked " my sister told me to tell you that she'll be watching you" Drake looked at him for a moment then laughed " stop!" he said. " What?" King asked also laughing. After the two young men had their little laugh King slapped his shoulder pad again " there's that smile I've been looking for."
" Alright gentlemen listen up!" Coach Miller said, silencing the team. " Now look, this is just a tune-up game. I know that some of you aren't taking this seriously but you should. Because I'll be watching very closely. Not to mention these are the same guys who think less of you just because of where you come from. That should piss you off, it pisses me off. These guys are gonna take shots at you, they're gonna try to start fights with you and don't expect the refs to be fair. I don't want you guys to buy into the bullshit. Show you guys that you play with class. You play with honor." Yes Sir" " Okay King lead us out".
King nodded and bowed his head. The rest of the team followed suit " Dear Lord thank you for this Friday night you've given us to play for you God. Help us to go out there and guide us on that field. Allow us to have a good game Lord. Protect us from injury. amen" " amen" the team answered in unison. Coach Miller looked at his team " now let's go kick some ass" he said. " Let's go!" King yelled and the rest of the team yelled as they headed out of the locker room. Coach Miller grabbed Drake's arm " I want to talk to you. Your brother may be the opposing quarterback but I don't want you to focus on that. Now you are gonna be harassed by both sides. I just want you to focus on winning. You understand me?" Drake nodded " yes sir". Coach Miller smiled" alright let's go play ball!"
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