Love In the Red Zone (Connecticut Kings Book 1)

BOOK: Love In the Red Zone (Connecticut Kings Book 1)
13.05Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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Love In the
Red
Zone

book one of the
Connecticut Kings
series

 

by
Love Belvin

 

 

MKT Publishing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2016 by Love Belvin

 

All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without written permission from the author. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidences are fictitious and a product of the author’s imagination.

 

Cover design by
Visual Luxe

 

~
One

The whistle blew from behind me, calling the close of practice, but these three knew it wasn’t over until I called it.

“Legs up high, R.J.!” I yelled to the tiring eight year old.

He attempted it for a few feet before dropping back to low pushes off the ground. Sprints were the last activity of the night. The other player, Micah, had begun slowing, too. Only number one, Kyree, kept his high pace at this late hour. It was indeed time to call it quits. He’d always worked from an endless resource that sprang from the heart, which was why at age six, he played with the seven and eight-year-olds on his Midget football team. It was also why when the team was split to work on play strategies, he’d gotten assigned to me. Under the bright night lights of the field on this cool evening, at the end of September, this boy was still wired to put in work.

I remember that focus and determination

“Aaaaand stop!” I yelled into the night breeze, my voice traveling across the field.

R.J. was the first to drop his stride. Micah came after him, trying to slow his tread where his little helmet led his cleats. It took a few seconds of comprehension, but Kyree broke his run. I eyed him closely, something I did often with this kid. The moment he slowed, I saw the predictable slump in his shoulders.

Here he goes

“Last words!” I ordered them to me before dismissal.

I turned to gauge where the other players and official coaches were, knowing we were out of time. The field had begun to empty and cars started to pull out of the park. It was almost nine at night. When I turned back to check on the three tikes, I caught Kyree ramming into Micah so hard his neck rocked back before his body gave out and face fell into the ground.

“Yo!” I shouted before starting my lunges toward them.

Micah began to wail, a reminder of why I preferred not to work with small kids. The only reason I did was because most were too young to identify me. It was their parents I had to worry about.

I made it close enough to the boys.

“R.J.,” I called out to the eight year old while pointing behind me. “Your grandmom’s over there waiting with your cousin. You did better tonight, but your knees stay too low. Work on it,” I advised, dismissing him.

Oh, those little kneecaps raised high enough to carry him off the field in record time. I shook my head, turning back to the last two. Micah was standing up on his own, which was a good sign. I didn’t want to touch him, and didn’t want to have to cause a ruckus back here. Kyree, pouting, had continued to the end of the field where everyone was exiting.

“Hold up, lil’ man!” I demanded.

I observed Micah as he wiped the dirt from his hands and knees.

“You good, man?”

“He pushed me for no reason! That’s not fair!” I could hear the rip in his vocals.

Little man was trying to stay cool, but he was in pain from the fall. Kyree remained quiet.

“Helmet off!”

Kyree obeyed right away. I shook my head before going back to Micah. 

“I’ll deal with him, but are you okay?”

“Yeah,” there was that crack again.

But that told me the primary hurt wasn’t in his body, it was his ego, and understandably so. Nobody likes to be the sucker.

“Go ‘head with ya moms while I deal with Kyree.”

Micah limped off the field, still holding his pride. I turned to find Kyree standing on one hip, his helmet in the crook of his arm, between his rib cage as he waited.

“Yo, man, what’s good? This is your third time hitting somebody off play. You can’t keep doing that.” I kept my tone appropriate for his age.

He wasn’t my kid and I technically wasn’t his coach, though I’d been with him since the start of practice this season.  Kyree didn’t move or answer. His scowl was set out toward the leaving cars and last few players scrambling on the field behind me.

“Okay. You don’t wanna answer? I told you the other day next time I was gonna talk to coach. He’ll talk to your moms and see what she has to say.”

I turned on my heel and started toward the end of the field. From a quick glance over my shoulder, I could sense him following. This was bugging me out. Kyree was a good kid. He took instruction well and his execution was like none of these other little guys out here. I was no rat. I knew I didn’t like teachers and coaches telling my moms about my foul behavior, but something was off with little man. Since last week, each time we dismissed, Kyree would do something mischievous to get him extra laps while everyone left. The past two incidents, he took his laps like a G, but today, I didn’t have the extra time.

“What’s up, man?” Jason, the real head coach and long-term friend of mine, asked as we neared him.

“He did it again,” I answered, frustrated by this part of the “job.”

“What he do this time?” His face turned hard as he looked upon the little guy.

“Rushed Micah out of nowhere.” I sighed with relief. “He didn’t look hurt beyond his lil’ feelings, but something’s up with this one,” I attempted to whisper.

“Damn,” he swore under his breath. “All right, Kyree. Mr. T, here is gonna tell your mother about your behavior.”

Me?

My eyes bugged out of my head. Me? I asked Jason with them.  I wasn’t even a coach, just helped out. Now, I was a rat?

“My two year old just wet his pants. The wifee is ready to pull out.  I mean, if you’re concerned about being found out, I could tell her to hold up, but like Kyree, here, is with you, I’m on the outs with the old lady already, and was hoping I could get a lil’ taste tonight.” He nudged me with his elbow and snorted a laugh. “You may not know how it is to have to walk a tight line to get laid,” he whispered.

I sighed, cooling myself. Kyree was not too far from us and needed to be dealt with. He was six and I was sure, exhausted. I pulled on my hood being sure it covered all of my head, hiding as much of my face as possible.

“C’mon, lil’ man,” I called out to him before turning back to Jason. “Move slow. If you see ruckus, come help out.”

I would haul ass out of there if this turned out to be a spectacle. This is why I questioned my involvement in this.

“Which car, Kyree?” I grunted, much like a kid myself.

I turned back and saw his little arm extend, his index finger pointing to a throwback navy Beamer. I huffed, continuing my stride there. The car was off, but there was a flashlight going inside. I could make out a woman, talking on the phone. Notebooks and papers strewn around the front seat between her lap and the passenger seat.

“Shawnie,” she droned as though bored while she shuffled through the pages. “Not that I don’t believe you, but isn’t that hash tag team-too-much?”

I could hear what sounded like a woman on the other end replying. Not wanting to look like a damn peeping Tom, I decided to speak.

“‘X’cuse…” I cleared my throat. I didn’t even know what tone a snitch takes on. “Excuse me.” I glanced back to see Kyree tailing behind me. Little dude stopped just above my damn calves.

“Oh, damn!” I heard shrieked from the car. I turned back to her and saw her eyes—golden eyes—wild and cell clutched to her chest, panicked. I scared the hell out of her—I’d hoped.

We stared at each other for a minute. She was regaining her senses, and I was trying to decipher if I was correct on that assumption, caught in the web of the exotic irises. Even in the shadows that only seemed to cover the top of her face, I could see her eyes narrowed into a scowl. After that I decided she was just startled and not star-struck.

“Oh, my bad. Didn’t mean to scare you. I was just…” I twisted to bring little Kyree into her view. “I just wanted to talk to you about Kyree. You’re his moms, right?”

Still shooting daggers for a while, she shot a suspicious eye over to the kid. She raised the phone to her ear.

“Shawnie, let me call you back.”

Not even waiting for a response, she tapped to end the call. Why did I all of a sudden feel
I
did something wrong?

“Yeah, I’m his mother.” She tossed another glance over to him.

“C’mon over here, man,” I muttered.

I didn’t want to alienate him. Or her. Kyree drug himself to my side by his shoulders. His eyes were now as long and remorseful as his pout.

Damn.

“I help out with the team, and Kyree has been in my group since they split to work on defense. For the past three practices he’s picked fights with other teammates right after dismissal.” I licked my lips to keep from rolling my damn eyes at what I was doing. “It’s really not his style, but I told him after the last time that I would tell you if he did it again.”

She shifted in the car so her head was out the window where she could see her son clearer.

“Did he hit you first, KyKy?”

“It was three different kids. And no, they didn’t bother him.” He’d targeted them randomly, which is what I found weird.

She shot those eyes to me again that I could now make out were hazel under the field lights. She was telling me to back off; she’d posed that question to her kid. I looked upon Kyree who shook his head, unable to speak or look at her.

“Get in the car,” she damn near growled at him, eyes squinted.

That was a striking sight I shook off as quickly as I’d caught it.

Kyree shot to the back passenger side. Seeing that reminded me of his age. On the field, he was a focused warrior, walking off these past three practices, he was a damn antagonist, and here, under his mother’s wrath, he was a six year old. I kind of felt sorry for him.

“Look,” I tried again, stepping closer to the car, “usually he’s my best player, a leader out there. I just thought this was strange. I didn’t want to hold you up with him doing extra laps tonight as punishment,” I lied.

I didn’t have the time tonight, unusually.

“It won’t happen again,” she informed before snatching herself back in the car and turning to address him in the back seat.

I couldn’t hear what she said, but it sounded no different from what any other scolding a mother would give. I hated to do it, but the kid really needed to cut that nonsense out. I turned for my pickup that was at the end of the parking lot. A car rolled up in front of me, cutting my path.

“Everything good?” Jason asked, peeking his head over his wife from the driver’s seat.

I gave a quick look over my shoulder and saw the old model Beamer pulling off.

“Yeah, man. I hope for the little man.”  I cracked a dry smile.

“Oh, well. Dude gotta be handled. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

I nodded just before he pulled off. Continuing to my ride, I felt relieved. Why that had been such an ordeal for me, I had no clue. But for now, Kyree was his parents’ problem. My volunteer work was done for the day.

BOOK: Love In the Red Zone (Connecticut Kings Book 1)
13.05Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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