Page 52

Author: Kirsty Moseley

We just needed to get through one more practice with him not being hurt too badly and then the weekend could start. I kissed his lips one last time and skipped off towards the library ignoring the wolf whistle that he sent as I walked away. I smiled to myself and pushed the door open looking back over my shoulder to see him standing there at the other end of the hallway with his hand on the door, making sure I went in ok before he went to practice.

"Go." I mouthed pointing to the door trying to look stern.

He smiled, "I'm going." he mouthed back still standing there waiting for me to go in. He was so overprotective still that it was plain ridiculous but it made him feel better so I didn't keep complaining about it. He raised an eyebrow at me and smirked looking so hot that I had to bite my lip. An hour and a half and counting and then the weekend would start and I couldn't wait. I sighed and headed in knowing he was going to stand there until I went in so I might as well concede and let him win.

Mrs. Sing smiled at me warmly as I walked in. "Hi Riley."

"Hey, so what shall I do today?" I asked looking at the stack of returned books that were sitting there ready to be put away.

She smiled and nodded, "Returns if you don't mind." She looked at me apologetically but to be honest it was quite fun in a bookworm kind of way. Much better than sitting in the cold listening to Clay get shouted at and smashed to the floor so I was grateful for whatever I could do.

I loaded them onto a trolley and set to work putting them in the right places, taking my time with it so in case she didn't have anything else for me to do and sent me to the field or something. Just before four o'clock I couldn't string it out any longer so I headed over to the desk looking at her hopefully.

"Anything else need doing?" I asked desperately looking around for a job.

"Actually I have a lot of orders that students have placed that I need to order from the central library. Would you mind doing that for me?" she pulled up another chair next to me and flicked on the laptop.

I breathed a sigh of relief and headed round to the desk sitting in the chair next to her filling in the form for the requests. After about five minutes the library phone rang. She answered it smiling and I tried not to listen to her conversation but I couldn't exactly help it, she was sitting next to me. Something about an order that she'd placed being over budget, but she was adamant she'd checked it and that it was within the limit that she was given. Finally after a few minutes she agreed to go and speak to the principle about it in person rather than over the phone.

She looked at me apologetically, "Sorry Riley but I can't leave you in here on your own because of health and safety. It's after school hours now so the school could get in a lot of trouble if you fell and hurt yourself and no one was here with you."

I groaned internally but nodded putting on a brave face, there was only twenty minutes of practice left now so at least I wouldn't have to watch for that long. "It's ok, I'll go see how Clay's doing." I shrugged, reluctantly pushing myself up from the chair and grabbing my school bag.

"Have a great weekend Riley, you have anything planned?" she asked as she grabbed her purse and followed me out of the library flicking off the lights and locking the door behind her.

I smiled happily, "Nope and it's going to be awesome."

She laughed and rolled her eyes, "Young love, I remember those days. You make the most of it while you can because the honeymoon stage doesn't last forever."

I grinned, "I know, but whatever stage comes after that will be fun too." I skipped off towards the parking lot making her laugh and head in the other direction towards the principle's office.

I squinted when I got outside, it was a lot brighter than the dingy library so I needed to adjust my eyes. I set off walking through the parking lot towards the school field on the other side. I heard footsteps behind me so I stopped and looked around wondering who on earth could be here at this time of day. The whole school usually left this place as soon as possible, no one ever hung around after unless there was a club or sport on that they were attending. I flicked my eyes around the parking lot but couldn't see anyone at all, it was deserted. I was just being stupid, I knew that but I couldn't slow my heart beat down as I turned back and walked a little faster towards the field.

Suddenly someone grabbed me from behind, an arm wrapped around my waist and another clamped over my mouth muffling my scream.

Chapter 24

Finally coach blew the whistle signally the end of practice. I smiled gratefully and rubbed my sore hands together brushing off the dirt from the last tackle I'd taken. Coach Bradley wanted to run through all of our plays, and lucky me got volunteered to play the opposition for most of them so I'd spent a lot of the last hour and a half pushing myself up off of the floor. I silently thanked God that Riley was inside because she would have been freaking out today, that was brutal.

I guess Coach needed to work us hard, next Saturday was the final of the State Championship and we wanted to win. It meant a lot to the whole school not just the players and I was pretty sure we were ready for it, as long as none of us got injured in the week leading up to it then we should be able to walk an easy victory.

Coach Bradley waved me over as everyone headed in to shower, I lagged a little behind letting the rest of the team head in so he could speak to me in private.

He smiled as I got to him. "Great practice Clay, I just need you to keep your eye on Andy, he's still lacking in confidence and I need him to be top of his game ready for Saturday." He patted me on the back looking at me hopefully.

"I'll talk to him don't worry Coach, everything will be fine. It's going to be a breeze." I said waving my hand dismissively, we definitely had the better team and our record this season was relentless and would have The Crows scared of us ready for the match next week.

"Clay I just wanted to thank you for all of your hard work over the last year, I know you always put in a hundred percent but this year you've really made my job easy for me. You're one hell of a captain, you're definitely sure you don't want to try out for college ball? I know I could get a couple of scouts to come and look at you, I could pull in a few favours." he offered looking at me quizzically.

I smiled gratefully but shook my head, I didn't want to play professionally, that was never my intention and I wouldn't have the commitment or the dedication for this to be my life full time. My interests were more mechanical, since I was a little kid I'd always had a fascination for all things robotic or machine. Riley used to tease me about it because I would get a new toy for my birthday and then immediately take it apart to see how it worked instead of playing with it. The engineering apprenticeship I had been offered was actually more like a dream job to me and I knew I would enjoy going to work everyday. Well unless I had to leave Riley n**ed in the bed in the morning then I'm pretty sure my job would become a pain in the ass!

"I'm sure thanks Coach. I don't want to do this forever, it's just fun for me." I shrugged.

He smiled sadly and nodded, "I wish I had your talent Clay, it's nice for me to be able to teach such a mature talented young man so thank you." He squeezed my shoulder and nodded towards the changing room door. "Go get showered and take your girl home, I know that's the only thing you're thinking about right now." he teased.

I smiled gratefully, I'd been waiting for practice to finish since I put on my practice uniform an hour and a half ago. This weekend Riley had promised it was just us and I was so making the most of my wife for the next two days.

I stood under the spray of the shower letting the hot water pound onto my shoulders and back, damn my whole body hurt and I needed to try and get rid of all these aches and pains before I saw Riley, she was like some freaking mind reader sometimes and always knew when I was hurt.

I dried and changed quickly and headed to the library to meet her. When I pushed the door it didn't open. I looked at it confused and tried it again but it was locked. What the hell? I squinted through the door but even the lights were off, why the hell would the library be locked? She always waits in there for me.

Maybe she finished early, Mrs. Sing might have had something to do tonight and need to leave off early. I sighed and headed back towards the field, she must have come out while I was showering and we crossed paths or something. I bet she was sitting on the bleachers reading or starting her homework or something. When I got to the field I scanned the bleachers for her but there was no one there at all. Where the hell is she?

Coach walked out of the changing rooms and looked at me confused, "I thought you left already." he said frowning.

"I can't find Riley. Have you seen her come back here? The library's closed." I was starting to get a little worried now. She knew I would be stressed if she wasn't there so she wouldn't have gone too far without getting me a message or something.

Coach shook his head, "I haven't seen her, she hasn't come back here. She's probably waiting in the car for you." he shrugged.

I tried to make myself relax, he was right she was probably waiting at the car listening to music or something. I nodded and turned and ran off back towards the parking lot again. Even as I was running towards it I could see she wasn't in the car. I started to feel sick, she wouldn't do this without good reason, not with the whole Blake thing hanging over our heads, she didn't like to make me worry.

I pulled out my cell phone and called her but it went straight to voice mail. My heart was starting to beat a little too fast as I turned in circles scanning for her. Suddenly I spotted something off to one side over along the side of the school, I took off in a sprint towards it and before I even got there I knew it was Riley's school bag. I grabbed it off of the floor with shaky hands.

"Riley!" I shouted as loud as I could, hoping she had just dropped her bag or something and was just playing some sort of trick on me. If she was there was seriously going to be a huge argument because this was scaring the shit out of me. "Riley!" I shouted again as I pulled out my cell phone, trying again to call her as I sprinted back towards the office to see if anyone had seen her.