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 Category:  Romance Fiction
  Posted: September 5, 2021      Views: 174
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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 #5 spot on the rankings.

She is also an active reviewer and is holding the #7 spot on the top ranked reviewer list.

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Chapter 51 of the book Football - A Novel
Jordan gets a diagnosis.
"Football Chapter 26 part 1" by barbara.wilkey

After Katherine's husband dies, she struggles raising her four sons by herself. Is Gabriel the father figure the boys never had and the husband she deserves?

Katherine and Gabriel have known each other for 29 days.


Dr. Martin faced Katherine. "I need to examine the patient, but it appears he's doing fine. He just gave us a scare."

Gabriel left the room.

A few moments later Katherine left and walked to Gabriel. "Why didn't you tell me that play was Jordan's idea?"

"Two reasons, first you didn't give me a chance and second, you weren't in any mood to listen to anything I had to say."

Katherine walked away. "You're probably right."

Gabriel started to say something, but stopped. She needs more time.

As the doctor left Jordan's room, he said, "I want to keep him the rest of the night for observation and re-examine him in the morning. All indications are that he'll make a full recovery."

Gabriel had been standing off to the side, but stepped forward. "Is there any way his mom can remain in the room with him?"

Dr. Martin faced Katherine. "I'll make that happen.

Katherine chewed on her bottom lip and then whispered, "Thank you."

Gabriel nodded and backed away.


Chapter 26 part 1

Early Saturday morning, Dr. Martin came and examined Jordan. "When I finish, I want a MRI done to make sure I'm not missing anything. If all goes well, you both should be home by early afternoon."

As Katherine left the room, Gabriel stood. "How's Jordan this morning?"

She studied him a few moments before she placed her hands one on each side of his cheeks and felt the roughness. "You spent the night here?"

A nurse walked by. "Good morning, Coach. Spend another night at the hospital?"

Katherine turned. "Excuse me, but he does this often?"

The nurse smiled. "Any time a player of any sport comes here we can expect Coach taking up residence until that player's released."

Facing Gabriel, Katherine's eyebrows rose. "Any sport?"

He nodded. "I feel it's my job as Athletic Director. It's my responsibility to be there for all the athletes and their parents, no matter what the sport." He hesitated. "I care about all kids, not just the football players."

"Gabriel, I've said and thought some horrible things."

He cupped her elbow in his hand and led her to a waiting room chair. "I know." He hesitated. "I'm used to it. Moms don't handle their children getting injured well."

Katherine swallowed. "I know you. I should've trusted more."

"Under the circumstances, I understand." He used his finger to caress her cheek. "Growing up you felt your dad loved football more than you. Am I right?" When she nodded, he continued, "So that led you to marry George, the complete opposite of a jock. He treated you horribly."

Her eyes met his. "Then you came into my life. You're a bigger than life jock, arrogant, pushy, incredibly handsome, everything I despised in a man." She inhaled and held it until she couldn't anymore. "And I'm falling in love with you. It scares me."

"Understood." Gabriel held her hand. "If it makes you feel any better, I'm falling in love with you. My bachelorhood's in jeopardy. I have no idea what to do or how to handle it. I'm used to always being in control of every situation. Now, I'm not."

Gabriel's phone rang. "It's Mom. Sorry, I need to take this." When she nodded, he continued, "Hello." He listened and then filled her in on Jordan. A silence followed. "Mom, just a minute. Let me discuss it with Kate." He faced Katherine. "We have a meeting at three o'clock with the lawyer. Should she keep the boys until after that?"

"Probably, but that's a long time for your parents. Tell them thank you, but..."

"Mom, keep the boys until about dinner time," interrupted Gabriel. "I'll supply dinner, don't lift a finger. I mean it. You have to promise not to fix dinner."

When Gabriel put the phone away, Katherine studied him. "What are you fixing for dinner?"

He shook his head. "I have no clue." He glanced at his watch. "I have about nine hours to figure something out."

Katherine covered Gabriel's hand with hers. "I owe you an apology."

He grinned. "Probably. But I understand. Look at all the pressure you've been under since getting the custody notice. How many hours of sleep have you had since Tuesday?"

"Maybe four or five."

"I'd like to believe that played more into it than anything else."

"You're being generous."

Chuckling Gabriel added, "Remember that the next time you're ready to thrash me."

"I'll try." He studied her hands covering his and placed his other hand on top. "I believe together we can get through anything. We need to lean on each other's strengths. We can't lose sight of that."

"But I do most of the leaning."

"Because of you I strive to be the best I can."

An orderly rolled Jordan back into his room. Once he was set, Katherine and Gabriel walked into the room. Jordan sighed. "Can I go home now?"

Katherine took his hand. "It depends on what the tests show. We have to wait a little longer."

"I can't wait to get home." Jordan released a deep breath and then his eyes met his mom's. "I messed up your cross country meet. I'm sorry."

She hugged her son. "You're way more important than any sporting event. Please don't ever think differently."

Gabriel held up his phone. "Bill texted me a few minutes ago. The girls won their meet." He shook his head. "I guess I forgot to tell you. Bill and Angie coached it."

"I'm sure they did a great job. Probably better than I could do."

Gabriel put his hands on her shoulders and turned her around. "You're a great coach. You have a special connection with the girls. I don't want to hear you cut yourself down anymore. Understand?"

She nodded. "The self-esteem issue?"

"Yes. We need to change that."

"Just ignore the teenager in the room," teased Jordan.

Katherine faced her son. "I'm sorry."

All heads turned when Dr. Martin walked in.

Jordan was the first to speak. "Can I go home?"

The doctor held up papers and smiled. "You can with a few restrictions."

"I can still play football, can't I?" interrupted Jordan.

Gabriel walked over and put his hand on Jordan's shoulder. "Don't rush things. Listen to what the doc has to say."

"Sorry, Sir. What are the restrictions?"

With a wink at Gabriel, Dr. Martin continued, "Yes, you can continue to play." He faced Coach. "I have a special helmet ordered. Hopefully, you have it by the end of the week." He glanced at Katherine and then focused back at Jordan. "I want you to completely rest for the entire weekend. You can go to school Monday morning. As for football practice, only light conditioning."

When he faced Gabriel again, coach nodded. "I'll see that happens."

Jordan released a deep breath. "But if I don't practice, I can't play in Friday's game."

Katherine gasped, and then Gabriel reached over and put his arm around her waist. "I got this. Don't worry."

Dr. Martin grinned. "As for playing Friday, that's between you and Coach. But, and it's a huge but, you have to be headache free for at least twenty-four hours before you play. And I mean headache free, no pretending there's no headache, no taking OTC pain medicine and saying there's no headache. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Sir."

He handed Katherine the paper he had been holding. "Here's a list of do's and don'ts. He should make a full recovery. If you have any questions, I highlighted my number. I think Coach has it on speed dial, anyway." He pointed to a section of the paper. "If you see any of these symptoms, call me and bring him in immediately."

Katherine nodded. "Thank you, Sir."

"If there aren't any questions, I'll send the nurse in to get this young man checked out."

Gabriel offered his hand. "Thank you. We appreciate it."

The doctor leaned in and whispered, "I take it Mom isn't a huge fan of football."

Grinning, Gabriel answered, "She was warming to it and then this."


Katherine Riley: age 33 - widowed: husband died 6 months ago. She moved to Texas from NYC with her four sons. She teaches high school math and also coaches girls cross country.

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.

Sandy Teenage girl on cross country team.

Judy Teenage girl on cross country team.

Rhonda Morgan Teenage girl on cross country team, and victim of dating violence.

Mr. and Mrs. Morgan Rhonda's parents.

Kenny Clark Teenager - Rhonda's boyfriend

Grace Former friend of Gabriel and featured in porn magazine

Janette & Jackson Riley Katherine's in-laws

Dr. Martin Jordan's doctor

Book of the Month contest entry


The book continues with Football Chapter 26 part 2. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
Thank you google images for a photo of a hospital room. I also want to thank everybody for the helpful reviews. I reread it all the time and still can't get it the way I want it. I hope it's okay. Again, I hope I didn't make it worse. 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 under 1,200 words. Thank you for having patience with me.

Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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