***All characters are 18+ years old***
Buckle up! That’s all I have to say. Hope you enjoy this chapter my lovelies! 🙂
“Alright team, huddle up!” coach called out, all of us grouping up in the locker room. There was a buzz in the air. This was our last playoff game, the chance to get to the championship, and the excitement was palpable. “I’m proud of our season, of this team, for really pulling together and doing their best this year!” he started, Bruno smiling at me from across the huddle. I’d do anything to always see that look in his eyes; it was a warm, proud look that seemed to filled with so much love and happiness.
“Let’s get out there and play like this is just any other game. We’ve beat this team before, so let’s go out there and do it again. No pressure, nothing is riding on this. Our season has been fantastic up to this point and you all should be proud to hang your hats here, no matter the outcome tonight,” he insisted and I laughed once, shaking my head.
“I don’t know about anyone else, but I want to win tonight. I won’t be happy or satisfied unless the next time my cleats touch a field after tonight is for the championship match,” I looked around at the team, all of them beaming as they nodded and murmured agreement.
“I won’t let a single ball into our net,” Devon held his hand out and I smiled.
“I’ll go for every pass interference I see,” Chris threw his hand onto Devon’s, my heart racing.
“I’ll call out every defensive rotation!”
“They won’t touch my passes.”
“I’ll get the ball to you and Zack for every open shot,” Bruno put his hand on the pile, everyone stacking their hands up. We all looked at Zack who was staring back at all of us.
“I’ll go for every shot I can,” he sighed, putting his hand on top. I nodded once, glancing at coach who looked a bit shocked.
“I’ll go for every goal I can too,” I agreed, putting my hand on Zack’s. He glanced at me awkwardly and I ignored it, coach putting his hand on mine.
“Let’s do this! Warriors on three,” he barked loudly. “One! Two! Three! Warriors!” everyone cheered with him, filling the locker room as the coaches clapped. We left for the field to warm up, and I was hoping to get the jitters out. As we warmed up I thought I heard my name and glanced around, hesitating. I saw coach flagging me down and jogged over, slowing down as I put my hands on my hips.
“What’s up coach?” I asked and he smiled.
“There are a few scouts here tonight. I just met up with them and the other coach. You’re on their list. Why didn’t you tell me you were invited to the MLS Combine?” he demanded happily and I sighed, hanging my head.
“I’m still contemplating it,” I grumbled and he sighed.
“Clay you have less than a month to submit your paperwork. Why not just submit it, go and then decide if you accept a contract or not?” he pressed and I hesitated, pursing my lips. If I did that Bruno would definitely get off my case about it.
“Yeah I’ll think about it,” I conceded as he pat my shoulder.
“And look alive today, the team usually plays well when you’re playing well. A lot of them look up to you,” he continued and I took a deep breath, squeezing my hips a bit.
“Coach I don’t need the pressure,” I huffed and he chuckled.
“Look, I’m only saying this because with this season this whole team, myself included,” he looked like he was getting emotional. “Have grown and learned a lot because of you,” he gruffed, clearing his throat and I shook my head.
“If you want to credit anyone, you have to credit Bruno,” I shrugged and he chuckled, looking out at the field. “But thanks coach, I appreciate you coming around these last two months,” I admitted and he smirked, crossing his arms.
“Well being threatened nearly every day about how the fate of my career stood in the hands of some bratty 22 year old really made me evaluate my perspective. And you’ve made me a better coach and a better man because of it,” he looked sincere as he smiled at me.
“I just hope this lasts longer than our time together. You’ll never know who your future athletes are and what they’re going through. And they may never want to tell you,” I grumbled and he nodded, grabbing my shoulder.
“Now get out there and get us to the championship!” he nudged me and I laughed lightly, shaking off the nerves as a weird weight settled on my shoulder. The last thing I needed was a pep talk reminding me how important this game was. Halfway to the field to re-join warm ups I heard someone scream my name and I turned to see Katie leaning on the front fence of the bleachers, waving her hands frantically. I laughed and waved back, shaking my head as I noticed a few of my other cousins joining her. They all waved and I took a deep breath, turning to the field.
Bruno was jogging to the back of a warm up line and smiled at me. “My parents were coming today too. I haven’t spotted them yet, but I trust they’re here,” he breathed and I nodded slowly.
“Katie just showed up,” I gestured over my shoulder and he looked shocked Pendik Escort but excited as he looked out at the stands. “And a lot of my other cousins too. I guess everyone understands how big this game is,” I muttered and he nodded, grabbing my hand and squeezing it gently.
“It’s just a game Clay. There’ll be plenty more ahead of you, you know that right?” he asked softly and I sighed, hanging my head. “I know scouts are here. I saw coach talking with some guys earlier. Please don’t throw something like this away without really considering it,” he grumbled as I pulled my hand away.
“Why are you so eager to get me to go pro?” I demanded and he flinched, taking a deep breath and hanging his head.
“You know why. And we can talk more after the game. Let’s not think about it. I’m sorry,” he grabbed my shirt and pulled me down for a quick kiss, making me freeze up. “So look alive captain, because your team needs your head in the game,” he teased and I scoffed, ignoring how cute I thought that was as I nudged him away. We finished warm ups and hurried over to the bench to talk about some plays we wanted to run with this game.
Soon enough captains were called for a coin toss to get kick off, and after we lost the coin toss, I went to leave with Zack when the guy behind me chuckled. “You’re the faggot who almost got their coach fired right?” I heard from behind me and flinched, glancing back as I felt my face wrinkle with frustration.
“Why do you care?” I asked, crossing my arms as I ignored Zack’s hand tugging at my elbow.
“Clay. The high school athlete who almost went pro instead of going to college. And he turns out to be a damn fag. How the mighty have fallen! You know I used to follow your matches, looked up to you even. You were a true inspiration. Now I can’t even stand the sight of you,” he snorted and I smirked, shaking my head as I turned to walk off. “You go pro and you’re going to ruin this sport for so many people, myself included!” he called out and I hesitated, glancing back at him over my shoulder.
“Clay come on, ignore him,” Zack grumbled and I rolled my eyes, pushing past him to head back to the bench.
“We know the minute you join a pro team the sport is ruined! No one wants to see a dick fairy prancing around on the field! You’ll kill the pro scene!” he yelled and I grit my teeth, turning and walking toward him. He crossed his arms, smiling as I grabbed his jersey and pulled him close to me.
“You know nothing, and you’re worth nothing. And if I go pro, I’ll smile and remember this day while you disappear into nothingness,” I grumbled through gritted teeth.
“That’s if you can even get through MLS Combine and get an offer. What fucking team in their right mind wants a problematic little drama queen of a queer who can’t help but cry anytime some one looks at him funny,” he pressed and I clicked my tongue, pushing off him as I stormed away. A rage was brewing inside me, Bruno looking worried as I got back to the bench.
“What the hell was that about?” Tyler demanded, grabbing my arm as I glared off toward the other bench.
“Fucker had some shit to say about me being gay,” I grumbled and Bruno tossed his bottle onto the turf pushing the sleeves up on his jersey.
“Bull fucking shit he did,” he went to walk over there and I sighed, grabbing his hand and pulling him back to me. “Clay you can’t hit him because of your future. Nothing’ll happen to me except being benched,” he insisted, trying to pull away and I sighed.
“I want you on the field with me to end my senior year Bruno. When can we play soccer together again?” I asked gently, his anger already calming me down. He was too damn adorable and sexy when he got fired up and defensive over me.
“That asshole’s gonna learn a fucking lesson!” Bruno snipped, glancing at me with a wild passion in his eyes. Devon laughed, slinging his arm over Bruno as he slapped his chest a few times.
“You’re a feisty fucker Bruno, for being smaller than him,” Devon gestured off toward the other captain, Bruno rolling his eyes as he crossed his arms.
“Guys like that are all bark and no damn bite. Just one good punch?” he demanded, studying me eagerly.
“Not worth it!” I chuckled, grabbing the front of his jersey. Devon nudged him toward me, Bruno stumbling with a cute blush on his cheeks as he glared off toward the field. “Now find a way to make me not mad so I can get my head back into the game,” I muttered quietly, his ears going red as he pressed his lips together.
“Clay cut it out,” he grumbled, as I went to wrap my arms around him.
“Everyone knows we’re dating. Why are you so embarrassed?” I teased and he sighed, his hands resting on my shoulders as I pressed my lips to his jaw. “Now kiss me!” I chuckled, squeezing him against me. He sighed, turning his head and giving me a cheap peck. “Hey,” I slapped his ass and he grumbled, hitting my chest and trying to push away. “A good kiss,” I insisted with another laugh and he frowned.
“You’re pushing it Clay,” he warned and I shrugged.
“Might Tuzla Escort as well be the faggot everyone sees me as, right?” I sneered, taking a deep breath. He sighed and grabbed the back of my head, kissing me sweetly. It was a nice kiss that lingered before he pulled away.
“Alright! Let’s line up!” coach called out and I was excited now. The urge to win was fueled by the thought of seeing the look on that smug asshole’s face when a fruity little fag crushes his hopes of getting to a championship. Let’s see how fast I can kill this damn sport for you prick!
We were down to the last few minutes of the game, we were up 1 to 0 on the score board, and we had the ball! Tyler passed the ball off to Bruno as we worked up the field and I jogged forward, watching my defender and trying to get to an opening. Bruno was about to pass the ball forward when out of nowhere a player slid foot first into his ankle. The scream I heard from him as his leg crumpled from under him made my stomach lurch. A whistle sounded, my heart racing as a panic filled me. I hurried over seeing a smug smile on that damn asshole as he hurried up off the ground. He glanced at me and pursed his lips into a kiss before he winked.
“You fucker! You did that on purpose!” I growled, shoving him violently. He nearly fell over, his teammate catching him. He turned to me, an evil grin on his face as he pushed me back.
“It was just a slide to try and get the ball!” he insisted. “I didn’t mean to hurt him,” he breathed. I turned to Bruno, who was groaning and gasping, clutching his leg as he pressed his face into the ground.
“It hurts so fucking bad!” he cried out, his neck straining as he choked and panted on his sobs. My hands were shaking as I looked at his foot. It was just dangling limply from his leg, a fear filling me. The medics and coach were just getting to us and I shot up from the field, looking for a ref. I hurried over to one, feeling so angry it was overwhelming.
“That asshole did that on purpose! He slid right into Bruno’s leg not even aiming for the ball. Watch the replay!” I insisted, the ref looking worried.
“That’s a serious accusation,” he grumbled and I nodded.
“It’s because he’s gay. The fucker called me a faggot at coin toss and he must know that Bruno, the guy he hurt, is dating me! Ask that ref,” I gestured to the one who was nearby and did nothing. “He hates that I’m gay, that Bruno’s my boyfriend, and he slid into him to injure him. Watch the replay!” I insisted. “We’ll force the call anyway!” I threatened when he hesitated. He sighed, taking a deep breath and nodding once.
He got the other refs and discussed a review as I turned around to see Bruno being eased onto a gurney. My stomach knotted uncontrollably as I hurried back over. I almost got to him when Tyler caught me. “He has to get checked out Clay. And we have to finish the game,” he grumbled, my heart racing as I watched him covering his face. I could tell from here he was still crying.
“Fuck!” I bit my lip, pushing away from Tyler. Coach hurried over to our team as we huddled up. I was feeling sick to my stomach and rattled. All I could see was Bruno crumpling, thinking about how he screamed in pain.
“Clay!” Coach grabbed the back of my head and I glanced at him, feeling panicked and off-center. “Bruno told me to tell you to finish this fucking game. He said you can’t change anything or make him better, he wants you to get to championships. So just win this damn match,” coach insisted and I took a deep breath, nodding once. “No way,” coach smiled suddenly and I glanced over my shoulder to see a ref walking out on the field with a red card. I smirked, glancing at the asshole. The ref pointed to him and ejected him from the game, some cheers getting called out from the fans.
I glanced up to see Katie standing and whistling loudly from the stands as the asshole was walked off the field. “Alright guys, let’s finish this game out!” Zack’s voice pulled me back to the huddle and I turned putting my hand out.
“For Bruno,” I breathed, looking at the whole team. They all put their hands in, Zack sighing heavily and rolling his eyes while throwing his hand into the pile.
“For the fucking championship,” he grumbled and I grit my teeth, holding back my thoughts as he broke. Chris jogged onto the field as Bruno’s sub, and we finished the game out winning at the final score of 1 to 0. The victory felt sour as I got back to the bench after the match and still didn’t see Bruno anywhere.
We went into the locker rooms and I saw a door closed, labelled medical room, and my heart sunk. I wanted to go in there, to see if he was there and if he was ok. I felt like a zombie, prying my jersey off and then yanking my cleats off. I tossed them into my bag and took a deep, shaky breath as I leaned over pressing my hands onto my knees and glaring at my bag.
“You guys don’t know how proud I am of you all!” coach walked into the room, the other coaches clapping. Everyone started clapping but I could only cross Anadolu Yakası Escort my arms and glare at our coaches. “We’re going to the championships!” he called out, everyone cheering and laughing.
“How’s Bruno?” I demanded, people quieting down immediately. “Or are we going to pretend his ankle probably isn’t broken?” I pressed and coach sighed looking upset.
“Clay we can’t help Bruno right now,” he breathed and I scoffed, glaring at the ground as I shook my head. “What’s wrong?” he asked and I sighed, taking a deep breath.
“That asshole called me a faggot after the coin toss. Said some nasty homophobic shit, then does this to Bruno? Am I supposed to be ok about it and act like it isn’t just a blatant act of hate?” I demanded angrily, the team seeming uncomfortable.
“He got his penalty and their team lost because they were down a player due to his actions. I’m sure he’ll get his,” coach insisted and I snorted, shaking my head. “And I’d much rather celebrate our win, get ourselves mentally prepared for championships, instead of worrying about something we can’t change. Of course I hope Bruno isn’t hurt, but if he is I can’t change that!” coach continued and I took a deep breath, sitting down as I pressed my face into my hands.
“He got hurt because of me,” I grumbled, feeling that pit of despair consuming me again. I felt someone sit next to me, putting their arm around me to rub my shoulder.
“He got hurt because some homophobic fucking asshole couldn’t handle losing a soccer game to two gay men,” Devon grumbled next to me and I sighed, glancing at him with a weak smile. “He got hurt because he played his damn fucking heart out to make sure we won and it pissed that fucker off. He got hurt because he’s a damn good player and that unfortunately made him a target,” Devon shrugged and I sighed, rubbing my forehead.
“Do we know if he’s ok?” I demanded then, studying coach. He glanced toward the medical room and took a deep breath. He walked over and knocked on the door. It opened and he disappeared inside. The wait was agony and when he came back out the look on his face made me sick.
“They’re waiting for his parents since he insisted on not taking an ambulance to the hospital. He needs x-rays,” coach muttered, his hands on his hips as he shook his head.
“Can I be excused from the bus ride back and go with them?” I demanded, coach looking uncomfortable.
“Clay I can’t do that without medical reason. My hands are ti-“
“Fuck, coach please?!” I begged, feeling my chest tighten as my heart raced.
“Why don’t you just go hang out with him until he leaves,” Devon offered gently and I glanced at him, pressing my lips together as I looked at coach again. He sighed and gestured toward the door. I sprung up, collecting my things and hurrying toward the door. I knocked on it and it opened.
“Can I help you?” an older man looked at me skeptically and I sighed.
“I’m Bruno’s teammate. I came to check on him,” I grumbled and he hesitated.
“Let him in please,” Bruno’s voice put me at ease. The guy pulled the door open and I walked in to see Bruno on a table. His leg was up on some weird support thing with a towel and a ton of ice on it. His foot already looked black and blue where it was visible, his toes swollen.
“H-how bad is it?” I asked weakly, dropping my stuff as I put my hand on his thigh. I squeezed it gently and he sighed, glancing at me with a weak smile. He looked pale, his eyes a bit bloodshot.
“It’s probably broken,” he muttered weakly, cringing as he covered his face and started crying again. It broke my heart to see him like this. I leaned over and grabbed his hands, pulling them away from his face. “Clay it hurts so fucking bad,” he whimpered and I sighed, wanting to cry as I kissed his forehead.
“I wish I could trade places with you,” I muttered and he scoffed, shaking his head. I chuckled and bit my lip, nodding as I smiled and admired him. “You didn’t deserve this. I don’t even care that we won, it feels like a loss to me,” I grumbled and he sighed, looking down toward my chest then.
“Why are you shirtless?” he laughed and I stood upright, my hands on my hips as I shrugged.
“I was halfway through changing when coach said you had to go to the hospital. You think I was going to waste any more time?” I demanded and he sighed, rolling his eyes as He adjusted the pillow under his head.
“My mom and dad are bringing their car around toward the side entrance. They’re going to wheel me out there,” he mumbled and I nodded, studying his leg. “Fuck Clay, if it’s actually broken,” he whimpered and I pushed his hair back, kissing next to his eye to stop a tear.
“I’ll take care of you,” I whispered and he laughed once, wiping his face as he glanced at me. The smile was both pitiful and cute.
“That’s not what I’m worried about. We won, which means the last game, we can’t play it together,” he looked so devastated as his lip quivered a bit. “This fucking sucks!” he threw his arm over his face and I let him cry, just rubbing his thigh lightly. His phone went off and he snatched it up, putting it up to his ear. “Hey mom,” he sniffled, wiping his nose and eyes. “Yeah, ok, it’s a door marked with a big ‘C’ on it,” he nodded slightly and glanced at me. “I don’t think he can come,” he pouted and I shook my head slowly, my heart breaking as he frowned.