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 Category:  Romance Fiction
  Posted: May 9, 2021      Views: 241
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Mrs. Wilkey's first novel, Two Tattered Hearts, was published by G and J Publishers and can be found at It's a novel about how Anna, an abused spouse escapes, with her son, the man-made hell she lives in and finds love. < - more...

She is an accomplished novelist and is currently at the #4 spot on the rankings.

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Chapter 34 of the book Football - A Novel
Katherine helps Gabriel process fears.
"Football Chapter 17 part 1" by barbara.wilkey

Katherine struggles raising her four sons by herself. Is Gabriel the father figure the boys never had?


After dinner, Katherine and Gabriel cleaned the dishes, while Jeremy took his bath and the rest of the boys finished homework.

Folding a dishtowel, Katherine said, "I'm sorry about Jeremy. He really enjoys having you around."

"Don't worry about it. I enjoy being around."

"I'm glad you feel that way." She paused. "How many times do your boys run the hill?"

"Five, but that being said, the linemen never make it five." Gabriel laughed. "I'm not sure some of them make it three. I'm surprised you tried three times on the first attempt."

"Had no choice. Our first meet's Saturday. I don't want the girls to be embarrassed." Her eyes searched his brown eyes. "In case you're wondering. I made it three times. Angie almost did."

"I wasn't wondering. I knew you would. Angie runs with Bill every day. That's why I asked her to help. I knew she was a runner." He avoided her eyes. "To be honest the first time we met I noticed your form. I could tell you were a runner."

Before Katherine could comment, Jeremy called, "Mom, story time."

Gabriel nodded. "You'd better get to that story." He watched her walk up the stairs. As much as I enjoy being around her, I can't have dinner here every night. That P.I. is out there taking pictures. Until she works out her schedule, I'll have Bill bring Jordan home.


Chapter 17 part 1

Katherine peeked out the window. When she didn't see Gabriel, she did her stretches inside. It's already Wednesday. Every day's pretty much the same. I jog, teach math, coach cross country, come home feed the kids, go to bed and start all over the following day. I think I need to get a life. The only thing that changed is Bill brought Jordan home last night, instead of Gabriel. What's wrong with me? I missed him. That can't happen.

When she opened the door, Gabriel and Reggie still weren't waiting. I wonder if something's wrong. I'll wait a few more minutes. If he doesn't show, we'll start. She petted Daisy's head.

As she did one last stretch, she noticed a figure turn the corner and smiled. "I started to worry."

"You were actually concerned?"

He got closer, and she asked, "Are you okay? What's wrong?"

"I'm fine. I didn't sleep very well last night."

"Anything wrong?"

"Want to run or want to talk?" Gabriel motioned toward her watch. "Set the timer. Maybe a good run will help."

Katherine set the timer. "Okay." She chewed on her lower lip. "It seemed strange Bill bringing Jordan home."

Gabriel stopped. "That's sort of what kept me up last night. It bothered me that I didn't come by." He faced her. "The reason I didn't;" he released a deep breath, "I was afraid if I kept coming around it'd look bad. I never want to do anything that would reflect poorly on you." Katherine started to speak, but he held up his hand. "Let me finish." He hesitated. "Then I got angry for allowing Frost to dictate my actions."

"Thank you for being concerned. First, you only come by during normal hours. You never stay past nine or the latest nine-thirty. During this time we are out in public. Everybody can see what we're doing, we're jogging. We've never done anything that could be considered even slightly immoral."

"I know, but with my past I worried."

"Please stop. One question, do you feel we've done anything wrong or should be ashamed of?" She paused. "I don't."

"You're right. Thank you for putting things into perspective."

The timer went off. "Glad I could help."

As they turned around, Gabriel said, "Your race's Saturday morning. Are you going to run the hill all week?"

"You're questioning my coaching skills." He started to respond, but she continued, "I know what I'm doing. The short answer to your question is no. Do you want the long answer?" When he nodded, she added, "Since today is Wednesday, I thought we'd run up the hill one and a half times, and then come back. At the school, maybe run some knee highs and butt kicks. Then slowly jog the track. You don't use the track, do you?"

"No. What do you have planned for Thursday?"

"We'll go once up the hill and then maybe skipping and controlled sprints. Again, slowly jog the track. I'm thinking bringing them together Friday just to stretch after school. Nothing else."

"Sounds good."

"So you approve of my coaching skills?"

Gabriel chuckled. "I'll reserve my opinion until after Saturday's meet." He glanced toward her house. "We're back. Thank you for putting things in perspective."

"No problem. Glad I could help. If you stopped coming by, the boys would miss you." Katherine walked up the sidewalk to her house and said under her breath, "And so would I."

"I heard that."

"You must be hearing things. I didn't say anything." She ran up the steps and into the house.

"I'd miss you too." He turned. "Come on, Reggie. We need to get back to school."



Katherine Riley: age 33 - widowed: husband died 6 months ago. She moved to Texas from NYC with her four sons.

Daisy: Katherine's yellow Labrador

Gabriel Hudson: High School football coach and former NFL defensive lineman

Reggie: a very large English Mastiff

Jeremy: Katherine's six year old son. He's in first grade.

Jordan: Katherine's fifteen year old son. He's a sophomore.

Joshua Katherine's thirteen year old son. He's in 8th grade

Joel Katherine's eleven year old son. He's in 6th grade.

Paul Edwards: High School principal and Gabriel's friend.

Rodney Frost: Math department head, at least for now.

Angie Brooks Math teacher and Katherine's friend.

Frank Collins Math teacher.

Rebecca and Harold Hudson Gabriel's parents

Sarah and Bob Beck Katherine's parents, Bob is deceased

Frank Collins math teacher

Alan Green an Assistant Principal

Sandy Frost Rodney Frost's wife

Sam Auto repair shop owner

Bill Brooks Assistant football coach, Gabriel's friend, and Angie's husband.

Harold Hudson Gabriel's dad and football announcer.


The book continues with Football Chapter 17 part 2. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
Thank you google images for the photo of a couple jogging. I also want to thank everybody for the helpful reviews. This novel is not actually about football, but is part of the background. High football is a national pastime in Texas. This post is a little over a 600 words. Thank you for having patience with me.
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