Evening with El Diablo Ch. 05

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A mild bit of editing and combining two chapters. Parallel to real folks but for entertainment purposes only.

******************

Carey:

I took off during the two hour lunch of the quarterback camp to be by myself and have some time to think. I sat in the corner of LSU’s third cafeteria pretending to read but I really wasn’t. ‘I didn’t mean to have it go this far,’ I sighed. ‘I don’t-what are you feeling, Carey? You can’t be having actual feelings for them. Pray, pray and maybe it’ll become a bit clearer.’ Truth was, I doubted it would for the first time in my life but my faith in God was too absolute to not try.

I was mid way through asking God’s forgiveness for laying with another man when I heard footsteps and opened an eye. “Well, can’t sneak up on you, can I?” Edward Collins said and gestured at the seat opposite of me. “Taken?”

“No, no Mr. Collins, go ahead,” I offered, forcing myself not to wince or otherwise make it apparent I was not in the mood to talk. ‘Accept all, just like you accept Christ in your heart,’ I reminded myself but honestly, it was hard. After putting his foot in my rear end 45-10 during the playoffs, he tried to appear gracious but came off instead as, “Atta boy, maybe next time kid” and I didn’t appreciate it. I’d never say anything out loud to anyone but I didn’t like that in the least. I was an adult, maybe not as good as Ed, maybe never will be but as I man I was his equal. He didn’t treat me like that.

“Thanks,” he said, sliding in and re-tying his hair up into a pony tail. “Mighty hot out there.”

“There’s a heatwave all over. I think only Seattle is safe,” I said, attempting to smile, toying with my water. “Is there something I can do for you?”

The look on Ed’s face was similar to Richard’s but more…dark. I couldn’t place it exactly but it made me uncomfortable. “Oh, just wondering how you were doing. We’ll be seeing each other a fair bit now,” he reminded me. “Which I feel you should know about the Games we play. It’s only right for me to tell you.”

I wouldn’t lie but I feigned ignorance by tilting my head like a confused dog which made him grin. “You telling me Richard sent you out of Denver without letting you know? He’s getting sloppy in his old age,” Ed snickered.

I frowned. I didn’t like the way he said that but what could I do about it? ‘Maybe they have some history but I’m not going to sit here and let him talk about Richard like that.’

“Mr. Williams did inform me of…a Game. Handed me a book with the Rules which I read and signed,” I said carefully. “My name is in the Non-Members column and I don’t start. I’m not eligible for betting.” It’s true, it was. I had invoked Trust and therefore only had David, Richard, and the conflict between them and my Faith to worry about. So I wasn’t lying, I was just omitting a vital piece of information.

Ed didn’t stop smiling. “You know, last year the East was the only division that every quarterback participated. If your first string Mark happens to go down or he just is quite frankly awful…you would break that,” he said almost nonchalantly.

I bit down on my anger, swallowing. “I have other obligations to powers bigger than some game or the league,” I said firmly and he shrugged.

“What’s your faith worth? Four games against myself?” Ed offered quietly. “I just happen to have four of the worst games of my life against you, what would that do for you, your image?”

“I wouldn’t have earned it so nothing tangible. Look, I appreciate-I think-the offer but I can’t,” I said, standing. “If you can’t understand it, can you at least respect it?” For a second, Ed looked like I hit a nerve but the smugness was back almost instantly like an armor. He stood and leaned in close, smelling like cologne and to the outside world it probably looked like he was telling me a secret. I knew he intended the movement to seduce but all it did was make me more angry.

“Respect is earned, not given. I’ll see you around, Carey. Sooner than you think, actually,” Ed muttered and I walked past him, not responding to the comment. I didn’t intend to bait him and I wasn’t scared of him. I was only scared of the fallout that could and more than likely would happen.

***************

Richard:

When David finished his camp, I flew to New York under the pretense of a foundation fund raiser so I had at least four days to give the receivers a break from me and me a break from football. I scared some of the younger ones with my…intensity but I expected nothing but the best because I gave nothing but the best. Terrible habit.

I had to break some of them out of calling me “sir” though-I was intense but I wasn’t a geriatric. Sadly, I had some rust, unacceptable amounts of rust, and I practiced so hard that my trainers were worried I might tear something or mess with the surgeries I had but I couldn’t stop.

Carey and David sat upstairs, talking in what looked like a serious conversation and I started to back up to give them some time when David saw casino oyna me. “Richard, what’s up?” he said and I walked in, scratching the back of my head.

“I don’t want to interrupt anything,” I said softly. Carey looked a bit confused, my brother mildly panicked and I got the jist immediately. ‘So he went there. Poor kid. Not kid, adult. He’s a grown man,’ I mused sadly, sitting on a stool at the bar. The thought crossed my mind that this might happen but I didn’t think it actually would.

The backup quarterback appeared strong in his faith but I knew then we were eroding parts of it every time we had an encounter. I felt a bit bad at that but his relationship was God was just that: his relationship. It wasn’t my place to tell him what he should and shouldn’t do. I always gave him an out and I meant it every time; if he said “stop”, my hands and lips would not touch him.

“No, it’s cool, everything ok?” David asked, standing but not before giving Carey a pat on the shoulder, walking to the fridge.

I slouched against the counter, a posture I had been warned against due to my neck but it was another habit I knew I wasn’t going to give up soon. “Yeah, got in twenty minutes ago. How was camp? Learned a lot, you two?”

“I learned I probably was the most obnoxious twenty one year old ever,” David snorted, grabbing a water and then a bag of Oreos from the top of the cabinet. “Also that rookies come in twice as prepared as we were. Even Jones from Miami was showing some people up. I expected him to be on a college Sophomore level but he actually surprised me.”

Eyebrow raised, I pilfered an Oreo, taking it apart and licking the center. “That’s shocking, I guess their draft folks might not be as inept as we thought. Carey, what about you?”

The younger quarterback thought for a moment and started to crack his knuckles before deciding against it. “I learned that I have a lot to learn,” he said with a small smile but it looked forced. ‘Something else happened there, something Carey is not telling either of us,’ I thought and looked at David for confirmation. He gave it to me with the slightest nod and then a shrug, saying he agreed with me but that he didn’t know.

“We never stop learning,” I said simply and finally ate the cookie part when Abby called from downstairs.

“David! You have a visitor!”

My brother frowned. “Coach?”

A pause. “No,” his wife said and it sounded not happy. “I’ll send him your way.” All three of us looked at each other, confused until Collins walked in the door in a pale yellow and black tie, dress shirt and black pants that I knew had to be sweltering.

“Looks like we’re having a quarterback pow-wow,” he grinned. I barely was able to contain a groan. Edward seemed oblivious that most of us, while we respected him, fucking hated him. Hated his smug sense of entitlement because we all knew that he was lucky on top of having skill. Give me or David his team and front office and we’d have about eight championships. It was a system, a coach, and drafting good and only part of it had to do with Edward. He didn’t exactly see it that way though and that would’ve fine if he just wasn’t such a smug asshole about it.

“David’s updating me on his camp,” I interjected. “Carey went so he was here. Is there something you need?”

Edward smirked, walking closer to us and I saw Carey glance at him warily. My blood instantly started to boil. ‘Shit, if what I think it is…I will end him. I will fucking destroy him.’

“I was wondering how ‘poorly’ it would end for me,” he sneered at David. “Because I’m sure Timmy didn’t tell you about what we-“

I didn’t know exactly what was happening but I did know that David moved astoundingly quick, grabbing Edward by the tie and slamming him against the wall with a loud thud, leveling a quick and hard punch to his face. “You son of a bitch!” he yelled, gripping tighter until Edward gasped for air. “I told you-warned you-that if you laid a hand on him and broke the Rules I would fucking-“

Carey vaulted over the couch, panicked and tried to intervene, running to their sides. “No! He didn’t! He never touched me!” he cried out, almost grabbing David but the look in his eyes was something I had barely seen before; pure rage made them almost black and we both balked a bit. ‘Little brother has a dark side too,’ I realized and started to slowly walk closer.

“Someone is going to tell me what the fuck is going on and they’re going to tell me right now,” I said simply and Edward glanced between David and I, still trying to suck in air and barely succeeding, red blood running down his chin and staining the collar of his shirt.

“Mr. Collins’ trying to say that I played the Game with him,” Carey blurted but then knelt on one knee and I knew he was praying. For what I didn’t know. Perhaps David’s soul, perhaps Edwards’, perhaps for all of us to see reason but whatever it was he did so with his eyes closed and head down. “Trust me. Bless me, Lord and forgive all of us. He didn’t slot oyna hurt me. I swear as Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, nothing happened. I’m still a virgin. I would’ve said something, you know I would’ve.”

Some form of calm bled back into David’s eyes and he snorted, giving Edward a final shove before letting him go. “Get the hell out of my house,” he hissed, turning to walk away as the assaulted player attempted to get back some form of composure, wiping blood from his split lip.

“Who are you going to believe? Him or me?” Edward countered. “Just because he went all Biblical on you? Who are you going to place your trust in?”

“The last person I would place my trust in is you,” David replied, barely looking at me before going to the sink to wash his hands of blood.

He looked at me this time, laughing, his teeth red. “Waiting on big brother to save you?” he coughed. “Isn’t that all you’ve ever done? Suddenly the older Williams would just show up and make it better-“

“You won’t talk to him like that,” I stated, moving closer. “Or me. You should know better by now.” The tension in the room had every note of violence possible and it was only through the very devout man that was still kneeling that it hadn’t turned into a free for all with Edward on the losing side.

“Mad, Richard? This is a failing on your part, Mr. Game Master. I could’ve had Carey and no one would’ve been the wiser. You’ve played your intimidation ‘master top’ card too hard; how many quarterbacks are scared of you, too scared to come to you when the Rules are broken? It took me breaking at least two of them before they even said anything and by then it was too late. You brought this on yourself,” he accused. “And you brought this little lamb of God to the slaughter all. By. Yourself.”

I barely stopped my fist mid air and it really only Carey shouting, “No! Listen! Please! He wants you to get mad!” that stopped me. He still knelt and I wanted to tell him to stand the fuck up and watch so he knew he had nothing to worry about, noting to be scared of as long as David and I were around. ‘I’d do this for anyone but especially for him-Richard, you should’ve known better, should’ve paid more attention last year but rehab pretty much became top priority. Goddamn it.’

“He’s doing a damn good job,” I growled and Edward swallowed, realizing he was penned in between Carey and myself. “I’ve made allowances for things but you owe me one. Those Tributes-don’t think I forgotten that you’ve backed out on me more than once-don’t come free when you and I are involved and I warned you about that. And now I’m going to stick it right in your ass to remind you who the fuck you’re dealing with.”

Carey stood, frowning, blinking, before realization crossed his face. “You said the last time you…Played, you interfered with him working out. And perhaps you are a bit…heavy handed from what I understand,” he said carefully. “But he wants that from you. He just can’t bring himself to say it.”

“And what the fuck do you know, altar boy?” Edward spat. I grabbed his tie and jerked him forward.

“Don’t talk to him like that, either,” I warned him. It was quiet, barely controlled, almost a whisper and Edward fell silent. I didn’t break my gaze, angry hazel squaring off with one another, one cut with a flash of fear, but I was listening fully to Carey. “What are you talking about?”

“I can understand,” the young man whispered, guilt twisting his features. “You don’t want to say it, you don’t want to come and admit it-that you want…that. So you put yourself in a situation, find a way…then it’s not your fault. No blame for yourself. It’s them. It’s all them, not you. I know that feeling, Richard. I face temptation more often than I ever expected. This is what he wants. He wants you but he can’t bring himself to say it.”

It clicked in that moment and I let Edward go, laughing derisively. “Out of the mouth of babes. Thank you, Carey,” I said and smiled, rubbing my chin. “That was your intention, huh? Piss me off so I’d cash in? Rail you until you couldn’t see straight, when I wouldn’t hold back because I was so angry. So you could bring me down to your level and finally pull even with me. It almost worked. Would’ve worked too. There were just two things you didn’t count on.”

“What?”

“The Peace of a child of God and the Wrath of another,” I replied, looking over at David who sat on the arm of the couch, staring at his quickly bruising knuckles. Carey walked over and hesitantly put a hand on his shoulder, startling him a bit but he looked up and nodded as if to say, “I’m ok.”

It was cute though the implications of them making such a scene in front of Edward was heavy so I decided to keep his attention by grabbing his chin. “The only way Edward-and I mean the only way-I have sex with you is if you beg me. Get down on your knees and beg like a dog. And when you do? I will make it so you can’t go to camp for at least three days. And if you touch a hair on Carey’s head, I swear upon all canlı casino siteleri that are good and righteous that he believes in I will hurt you. I won’t just cause pain. I will hurt you. Understand?”

Almost petrified, he freed himself from my grip and headed for the door, blood still running down his chin. “Cold day in hell, Williams . I don’t beg for shit,” he bark. It was an attempt to be menacing but it just sounded sad, all bluster and bluff full of bitterness.

“It’s snowed in Florida before. And you have-for me to go harder and faster, to not stop and please, always please, don’t stop,” I reminded him sweetly. The remind made Edward flinch and gestured at the door. “Let yourself out. You’re making a mess.” I turned around, effectively dismissing him and letting him know that the conversation was over. When I looked back, he was gone and I heard a door slam, signaling that Edward had left and left quickly.

“You think he’ll need stitches?” David remarked, blandly and I did the only thing a brother could do-I hugged him, tight, and kissed the top of his newly cut hair. He hugged me back just as tight before letting go, sighing. “Thanks, sorry, I didn’t mean to lose it like that.”

“No, you didn’t but it served it’s purpose. Edward will need stitches but he’ll go to a trainer, not a hospital. Explaining the fact David Williams punched you in the face is a shot to his pride after the last two titles.”

Carey shook his head sadly. “The man is full of sin-lies, pride…I didn’t want this to happen. I don’t know what I could’ve done to stop it though,” he said remorsefully.

Now was the time to investigate and I pulled up a chair, sitting across from the two of them. “What did happen? And I mean everything, don’t leave anything out. It all matters.” They both spoke and my mouth formed a line as I got more angry. “David, why not come to me? This is some serious shit, as serious as it can get.”

Rolling his eyes, he stood up, crossing his arms and pacing. “Because I felt I could handle it,” he admitted and looked down at his quickly bruising knuckles. “But I don’t have a reign on my own temper. Well, I do but not when it comes to…him. I have to be able to handle it for when you leave. And you have more things to do than I can count. I wasn’t expecting Ed to act like a complete asshole. An asshole, sure but not like this.”

“You did fine-I almost punched him too-though I dare say Edward is probably more scared of you than me at this point,” I chuckled and turned to Carey. “Are you ok?”

He bowed slightly, looking at my baby brother appreciatively. “I am, promise,” he said before his phone rang and he looked at it groaning. “That’s my agent. I’ll talk to you guys later, ok?” David and I nodded as he gathered his stuff to leave. When he answered the phone, I could hear him sigh as he walked out the door. “I told you, I’m not doing ‘The Bachelor’, do you think I could-my mom would kill me!”

When he was out of ear shot, I cleared my throat, causing David to look at me. “I know,” he muttered. “I see it too. I had a talk with him before you came.”

“And?”

“And what? He apologized. But you’re asking a man with deep emotions to stop how he feels when he’s not even sure what he’s feeling. He just needs time. I think.”

Ok, I was right about that at least. “Now what about you?” I prompted. “I’ve never seen you react that way, period. Are you sure this is one sided?”

David had the good grace to look offended and sat on the couch before laying down. “I love only Abby in that way, you know that,” he sighed, throwing his arm over his eyes. “I promised Carey I would protect him even though it was in the heat of a moment. It was a promise I thought I didn’t uphold when Ed said what he did. And I knew somewhere deep down that he was trying to hurt you by making you look bad. On top of that he shows up here? Around my wife and daughter? I wasn’t going to let that-all of that-stand. Still, Carey almost took what I said the wrong way. I feel bad about that.”

Doubt crept in and I sat down on the other couch heavily. I pinched the bridge of my nose and tried to think. “I miscalculated,” I admitted. “I shouldn’t have involved Carey. Now he’s even more confused. You heard him-he places himself in situations so he can rationalize it by saying it wasn’t him, it was us. I don’t like being boogy-man-ified when that wasn’t my intention.”

“If you hadn’t talked to him that night, Ed would’ve gotten him,” David said soothingly, looking at me briefly before putting his arm back in place. “I was mad at you for it too but after this, I know it was the right thing. Now what are you going to do about him?”

“Which one?”

“Both.”

“Well…I’ll just wait and see who prostrates themselves before me or God. Then I’ll go about being judge, jury, and perhaps executioner.”

**********************

David:

After the awards show, I told Carey to get back to work, gently, like a friend of course and he didn’t object, didn’t even look sad, just smiled. “I know you’re looking out for me. Thanks, David,” he’d said. That was a relief. I didn’t want to upset him by appearing to push him away when that was the last thing I wanted especially after what happened a few weeks ago.

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