Spirit of Steel 7

It wasn't a disappointment really when the Grizzlies lost the game.  Justin downed the rest of his beer as people started to file out of the place.  A few people noticed him and he waved along with JC, but instead of leaving with the crowd, the guards surrounded the boys and they sat for a while waiting for most of the crowd to get out before they made their way out to the car.  It was all very chaotic and Carolina was glad that she was in the middle of Justin and JC instead of on the outside of the group.  Even Trayce seemed a bit nervous, but the two guys and the guards treated this as if it happened every day.

"Next time we'll go and meet some of the guys," Justin said with a tired yawn.  He put his arm around the back of her chair and leaned and kissed her cheek.  "You're such a trooper for sitting through this.  I'm sure it wasn't that exciting for you."

"The guys?" she asked and scooted more towards JC.

"The team," JC said, "He now can brag because he's got press passes and can get into any locker room in any city in the united states."

"Really?" she asked, "How's that?"  Sports-casting always seemed to be on everyone in the fencing world's minds.  At her level of competition people knew that they were all just a few years away from retiring and the most local thing that came to them was sports-casting jobs that kept them involved in sports but wasn't something that their body couldn't take.

"You ready?" the guards asked.

Everyone nodded and soon they were out into the walkway and moving back towards where the car would be picking them up.

Justin hobbled along next to her slowly.  "I'm doing some reporting for some of the networks covering NASCAR and the NBA and some other stuff that they knew I'm interested in."

She nodded and hoped that he would tell her a little more.  "That sounds amazing."

Justin shrugged, "It's kind of a pain in the butt--but I guess it's better than working at Mickey D's."

Her arms immediately crossed across her chest.  "You're such a brat," she said, "Do you even know how many people would want that job?"

"Damn J," JC said, "She really is on your case tonight."

"Always," she said starting at Justin then turned back to JC, "He's a spoiled brat and needs to get cut down a little bit off his high horse.  There are a million people that I know that would kill for a broadcasting job."

"In Fencing?" Justin rolled his eyes.

"You are such an asshole sometimes," she said, "I swear if you didn't already have a broken food I'd break yours right now."

"Snap!"  Trayce said and started laughing.  "Your momma doesn't even talk--"

Justin started to swing his foot to kick Trayce, but she grabbed his arm and jerked him back, "Don't do it."

Justin made a face and instead growled at his friend.  "Shut it."

"First you tell him that you're going to break his foot then you tell him not to break it himself--"  JC sighed.  "I don't get it."

"Thanks," Justin said with a roll of his eyes.

She let go of his arm and moved away from him a little.  "You'll thank me when you don't have to wear that brace for another three weeks because you break your foot again in a stupid rage."

Justin kept moving and didn't look at either of them.  Carolina lingered a bit and watched his back at he walked.  She was just about comfortable again when JC walked slower and slung an arm over her shoulder.  "He's a stubborn little bastard, but really I'm sure he's glad you kept him from going back to the hospital and will let him get out of that cast thing when he's supposed to."

"Thanks," she said and watched Justin climbing into the car.

JC climbed in and Carolina piled in after him and sat in the way back while the guard sat next to Justin.

Justin turned around and pointed  at the two of them.  "Keep your hands to yourself."

"Damn," Carolina said and reached over and massaged his shoulders, "I thought I would molest you on the way home."

"Well," he said and held onto her hand for a moment.  When she stopped moving her hand he brought it to his lips and kissed her hand.  "You can lay your hands on me anytime."

Trayce made puking noises from the front seat.


When the car pulled into the driveway of Justin's house, both his house and his grandparent's house were both completely dark and even Carolina's house was silent and looking deserted.  When they went up to the back door of Justin's house the place was deserted.  Justin let everyone in and JC escaped to put his bag upstairs and Trayce said he was going to go use the restroom so it was just the two of them in kitchen.

"Come on in," Justin said, "I think my parents went to go over and sleep next door so we could hang out tonight."

"They left?" she asked finding the fact that his parents had left their home so that Justin could have the place a little more strange than it should have been.

"They did it for their own good," Justin said, "With Trayce and JC over it gets a little loud a little too late so they normally sleep over with my grandparents so they don't get kept up."

"That is the strangest thing I've ever heard."

Justin leaned his crutches against the counter and hopped around a minute to get a drink.  "So do you want to stay over too?"

"Are you guys just going to watch movies or something?" she asked.

"Yeah," he said, "The guys will probably play some video games and maybe catch a movie."

"Ok," she said with a shrug.  She probably was going to confuse the hell out of him by coming over, but the more confused he was the easier it was to deal with him.

"Cool.  Want some popcorn or something?"

"No," she said, "The beer and hot dog you made me eat are still in here."  She patted her stomach.

"Better head upstairs and get a seat.  It's gonna take me awhile to get up there and I'm sure JC and Trayce won't save you one.  They have to give one up to me cuz I'm crippled."

"You sure you're gonna make it?"

"Can you take this?" he asked and held out his drink to her.

"Sure," she said.

She took the drink from him and waited as he grabbed his crutches and she walked with him up to the loft to where Trayce was already setting up the television and JC had joined him.  They were already sprawled out on the couches and not looking like they wanted to move which lead for only a few alternatives for seating space.

"You guys are gonna play?"

"Yeah," Trayce said.

Justin turned to her and pointed towards his room, "Wanna go watch a movie in my room?"

"Sure," she said with a shrug.

Justin lifted his shoulders a little. "These guys are gonna be here for a while."

"Lead the way," she said.

His room was dark and she wondered for a moment if she might trip over something, but instead of letting her walk through the dark he flipped on the light.  "Have a seat.  It's pretty clean, but I'm sure that something might come out and bite your toes if you have them on the floor for too long.

She smiled at him.  "It's not that bad.  better than I expected.


It had been at least an hour since JC and Trayce had shut off the X-box and had taken their beers out to the back porch.  He could hear them through the slightly open window still talking relationships since both JC and Trayce had been dating the same person for a while.  Not at the same time of course, but they were swapping stories anyway.

The sound of the television mixed with their conversation and the light in the room changed every so often when a scene would end and a new one would begin.  His eyes had stayed on the television for the longest time--he willed them to stay put instead of drifting to her half sleeping form next to him--but he didn't have a clue what was going on in the movie.  It was going to be trouble if he did more than just watch the television and hold onto the remote.  He knew that from experience with other girls and wasn't sure that he wanted to see her reaction to the thoughts that he was trying so hard to repress.

When she curled more into the pillow that she'd grabbed from next to here his pillow was, the movement caught his eye and he finally let himself look at her.  It was just to make sure that she was comfortable, that was it.  He wasn't going to watch her sleep, let his eyes flow freely over her body or even spend a moment trying to picture her naked in his mind.  He'd done that enough over the last few days and nights, but if he did it now it would only lead him to do something that was sure to offend her and end their--at best--rocky friendship.

When she moved again and curled even more into the pillow he scooted over and pulled the pillow from her arms, wrapping her around his chest so that he could hug her to him.  He knew he shouldn't do it, shouldn't even touch her, but it was such an easy moment to take advantage of her sleepy state that he couldn't pass it up.

"Justin?" she said sleepily.

"It's ok Carolina," he said in a whisper, "The movie isn't over.  Just go back to sleep."

She nodded against his chest, her cheek pressing against him through his t-shirt.  He felt her automatically shift her leg to slid over top of his and as she moved her breasts and most of the rest of her body soon became pressed against him.  He sucked in a breath of air when her thigh pressed up against his crotch, but when her leg stopped moving and just stayed there he let his breath out and tried to move away a little.

"You're warm," she said sleepily.

"You cold?" he asked.

"A little," she said.  He looked down and her eyes stayed closed.

"Sit up for a sec," he said.

She moved away from him a little and sat up.  "Why?"

"Crawl under the covers," he said.

Her eyes popped open.

"Just under the comforter," he said, "I was getting cold too."

He expected her to get under the covers and go lay on her own pillow, but when he was lying on his back she curled up against him again, the way she had been on top of the covers.  He moved the comforter up and over her shoulder then sighed, "Better?"

"Hmmm," she said and he looked down and her eyes were closed again.  "You feel good," she said sleepily.

"Really?" he said.

"Hmmm," she replied.

He stared up at the ceiling and watched the lights on the ceiling from the television.  His throat was dry, but he finally got the words out, "You feel good too."

Her eyes stayed closed and she smiled at him.  "I've been wondering something."

"What's that?" he asked.

"Will you kiss me?"  She looked up at him and was instantly fully awake, "I kissed you a few days ago and you haven't--well you haven't returned the gesture."

"I thought you'd smack me if I tried something," he said.

"Well I'm giving you permission--a no smack guarantee--"  She moved so that she was now looking down at him as he was lying on his back.

"You're serious?" he asked and turned his head away and lay his arms onto the bed instead of keeping them around her.

She put a hand to the side of his face and turned his face to look at her.  "Justin, just kiss me."

A smile curved onto his lips for a short moment before he lifted his head off the pillow to meet her mouth.  He had planned to only kiss her for a short moment, but when the hand that had been on her cheek slid around and cupped the back of his neck he leaned even more towards her and finally pulled his heavy arms from the bed to pull her against him.  His hands roamed over her back and pulled her so that she was lying on top of him straddling him with her legs so that he could press her all the way against him.

When she moved her hands away from his neck and moved to get more comfortable he held his breath then pulled away.  "Carolina--" He didn't speak her name, but more breathed it out.

"What?" she asked in a hushed tone.

"My belt," he said.

"Oh," she said.  "Sorry."  She sat up and scooted down a little and he was about to move to remove his belt when he felt her hands do it for him.  His eyes closed and he lay there trying not to take a breath because his stomach would touch her hands if he did.

"Better?" she asked as she moved back into place after removing his belt and throwing it onto the end of the bed.

He nodded, not trusting his words, that and the fact that when he went to answer she put her full weight into him, pressing against him in the most intimate way that he thought he'd truly been dreaming all of this.  "Carolina--"


"You're killing me?"

"I am?"  She stopped and moved away from him a bit.  "Is it your foot?"

"No," he said with a snicker, "It's about three and a half feet north of my ankle."

"What?" she looked at him with a confused expression.

He moved his hand to adjust himself between them and she started to blush.  "Oh."

"Wait wait wait," he said and put his hands on her hips.  "That didn't mean I wanted you to move.  Actually if I could sit here like this for the rest of my life I think I'd die a happy man."

"Oh really?" she asked.

"Yeah," he said.

"So we'll just sit here?" She crossed her arms across her chest.

"I didn't say that," he said and pushed himself up so he was sitting with her facing him on his lap.  "I didn't say that?"  He laughed.

"You didn't?" she asked.

"Nope," he said and smiling he leaned towards her and kissed her.  "Not at all."

"So do I get to stay here with you or are you going to kick me out?"

"I've never kicked a woman out of bed," he said moving his hands from her hips up her back and around her to pull her closer.

Their lips met and she breathed him in and for the first time since they'd met they were both completely comfortable.  When his hands moved she anticipated and soon they were in the middle of a full on make out session that was sure to lead to something else that she probably didn't want, but wasn't about to pass up.

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