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 Category:  Romance Fiction
  Posted: September 19, 2021      Views: 72
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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 #6 spot on the rankings.

She is also an active reviewer and is holding the #6 spot on the top ranked reviewer list.

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Chapter 53 of the book Football - A Novel
Katherine and Gabriel go grocery shopping
"Football Chapter 27 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 30 days.


After Troy and Gabriel shook hands at the door, Gabriel stared at Katherine's bedroom door. Now, what do I do? She's hurting and needs me. Will I make it worse if I go to her? This being a nice guy's hard work. He tapped his knuckles a few times on the door. When he didn't hear a response, he cracked it open. "Katherine, can I come in?"

"Yes." She stood and pointed to the bed. "I guess we'd better get it over with and have sex, since everybody believes we already have."

Gabriel glanced at his watch. "We really don't have time. My parents and the boys will be here in about twenty minutes. Besides I never did get home and shower." Katherine's eyes widened and he drew her into his arms. "As enjoyable as it'd be to make love with you, I'm willing to wait until the time's right. We both know that's not now. So how about we wait?"

"Sounds like a good idea."

He kissed her. "I thought so." A second kiss followed.

"Have you decided what you're fixing for dinner?"

The doorbell rang, and Gabriel grinned. "That should be it, now. I ordered an Italian Buffet."

"You didn't need to do that. I would've fixed dinner."

"I know, but there's no way with everything you have going on I would've allowed it."


Chapter 27 part 1

Early Sunday morning, Gabriel and Reggie waited inside his pick-up until he saw lights in Katherine's house. He petted the large dog's head. "Okay buddy, let's go. She's up."

After Gabriel knocked on the door, Katherine answered it. "What are you doing here so early?"

"Last week, I missed grocery shopping and didn't want to risk that again. Are you going to invite me in?"

Katherine held the door open. "Of course." She shook her head. "Why would anybody want to go grocery shopping?"

"I don't want to go. I want to help. I eat most of my dinners here, so it's only right I help." He glanced around. "When we going?"

"I need to feed the boys. Have you had breakfast?"

Gabriel scanned the area. "The boys aren't up." When Katherine acknowledged he was correct, he continued, "Why don't I do the shopping, and you take care of the boys?"

"I doubt you know what I'm planning for meals. How will you know what I need?"

He grinned. "Why don't I make a pot of coffee and be patient?"

"Back to my original question, have you had breakfast?"

"I ate a little. What you making?"

"Sundays I usually make pancakes and sausage." When Gabriel licked his lips, she continued, "I'm guessing they're one of your favorites."

About the time the pancakes were finished, Jeremy came downstairs. "Hi, Mom." He immediately hugged Gabriel. "I'm glad you're here in time for breakfast."

Gabriel returned the hug. "I'm glad I'm here too. Pancakes are one of my favorites. How about you?"

"Mom makes the best." He sat in his spot. "Do we need to wait for my brothers or can we start?"

Katherine put three pancakes on Jeremy's plate. "Go ahead." She passed the platter to Gabriel. "You can begin too. Ready for more coffee?" She headed for the kitchen. "Never mind. I know that answer."

After Katherine refilled his cup, Gabriel pointed to her spot. "Sit and eat. You don't need to wait for everybody. Enjoy your meal. When they arrive, I'll take care of them."

Moments later, Joel came down. As he began eating, Joshua joined them.

Katherine waited, but kept glancing toward the stairs. Gabriel stood. "I'll check. I'm sure he's just sleeping late."

Minutes later when Gabriel entered the dining room, Katherine stared at him, and he chuckled. "Jordan was sleeping. When I checked his pulse to make sure he was all right, he woke up and wondered why I was holding his hand. He'll be down in a few minutes." He glanced toward the stairs. "When he gets here, let him know I was checking on him for you."

She held the platter of pancakes. "Anybody want more? If not, I'll warm these and won't make any more."

After the kitchen was cleaned, Katherine and Gabriel went to the grocery store. On the way, Katherine asked, "Was Mr. Elder upset over the way I left our meeting?"

Gabriel took her hand. "Not at all. He understood and told me to let you know he didn't believe Frost. He wanted me to send his apology, but he had to ask. He's doing more research and then he'll set up a strategy meeting. He said he promises you won't lose the boys."

"Do you believe him?"

"I do. If I didn't trust his ability, I wouldn't have suggested him." He parked the pick-up and stared at the grocery store. "What's our strategy?"

Katherine's eyes widened. "To get groceries."

"You don't go in with a strategy?"

She watched him walk around and open her door, and then asked, "You do?"

He released a deep breath as he helped her down from the seat. "Not anymore." He put his hand on the small of her back and led her into the store.

As they proceeded through the store, the other shoppers watched and whispered to each other.

Katherine exhaled. "I feel like a zoo exhibit. Is it my imagination?"

"It's not. I didn't think about how popular I am in town or how small this town is." He pushed the cart forward. "If you want to wait in the truck, I'll finish."

"Grocery shopping together confirms we're in a relationship. We'll be the talk of the town."

"We already are."

"I guess that's true."

His eyes twinkled as they met hers. "I'm still not sleeping with you until the time's right."

Katherine released a deep breath. "Sorry about that. It wasn't one of my more logical moments."

When they got to the check-out line, Gabriel moved ahead of her and unloaded the cart. After the groceries scanned, Katherine took out her check book. Gabriel slipped his bank card into the scanner. "I got this."

"No. I have four boys." Katherine's eyes met the cashier's. "Please cancel his card."

The cashier glanced at Gabriel. "Coach?"

He grinned. "Molly, please continue."

As they continued to the pick-up, Katherine said, "It's not right you paid for all these groceries. It's way too much. You shouldn't have to pay for all my kids."

Gabriel unlocked the door and assisted her inside. "I would kiss you right now, but everybody's watching."

"You're incorrigible."

He grinned. "I'll put the groceries in the back."

"I'll help."

Gabriel glanced at the truck bed. "You're not tall enough." He laughed as she folded her arms across her chest and frowned.

Back at her house, Gabriel went around and helped her out. "Go on inside. I'll get the groceries."

"I can help carry."

"You can't reach them. Send the boys out. You can put them away." He teased, "Some of the taller ones. Jeremy's probably too short."

Katherine headed toward the house. "Ha, ha."

After the groceries were put away, Gabriel sat beside the boys. "What should we do with the rest of the day?"

Joel was the first to speak. "I like bowling."

Gabriel thought a moment. "I do too, but I'm pretty sure it's not on Jordan's approved list. He's supposed to rest. We need to come up with something he can do."

Jordan frowned. "All I can do is sit here. That's no fun."

Joshua stood and walked over to the TV. "We can re-watch the video of my football game, and then how about a movie marathon? We could have chili dogs and chips for lunch, eat tons of popcorn, have pizza for dinner, and drink soda."

Joel and Jordan said together, "Good idea."

Looking at Katherine, Jordan asked, "Mom?"

"It's possible, but can we agree on what to watch? Plus, I didn't get the makings for chili dogs, pizza, chips, or soda at the store. That would require another trip."

Gabriel stood and teased, "Should've had a strategy. I got this." He glanced at Katherine. "Any restrictions on chips or soda?"

"Not really, but try to get some non-caffeinated soda for dinner."
He nodded as he walked out the door.

When Gabriel returned, he studied the boys and Katherine. "What did I miss?"

Joshua pointed at Jeremy. "We have to be careful what we choose because of the munchkin. All the good movies are overruled."

Gabriel nodded. "I see. Katherine, what do you suggest?"

Jordan adjusted himself on the couch. "Do you really want her to choose? She'd choose a mom-movie or a musical."

"Musicals are mom-movies with music." Joshua's eyes met Gabriel's.
"Coach, we need a voice of reason. I'm sure you don't want to watch Barney."

Jeremy yelled. "I don't want to watch Barney either. That's for babies. I'm not a baby."

Gabriel studied Katherine. "I never knew choosing a movie would be hard."

"Welcome to a family." She released a deep breath. "Okay, I'll narrow it down. I doubt Jeremy will watch much of it anyway, so maybe the Indiana Jones series or the Star Wars series. You guys figure it out. I'm fixing lunch."

Sneaking into the kitchen, Gabriel said, "What about the National Treasure series? I think it's PG."

"Fine. You fight it out with the boys. I'm too tired to argue. As long as it's not 'Debby Does Dallas', I don't care."

"I'm surprised you know about that movie."

She glared at him. "You're..."

"Incorrigible." He leaned over and kissed her cheek. "It's part of my charm.

As the first movie of the 'National Treasure' series began, Katherine set chili, hotdogs, buns, chips on the table. "Help yourselves. There are paper plates on the side. Also clean up after yourselves." She turned toward the kitchen. "I forgot the shredded cheese."

After everybody ate, Jeremy got toys and sat on the floor and played, only glancing at the movie once in a while. Katherine curled up on the couch beside Gabriel with Jordan on the other side. Before long she was asleep and her head fell against Gabriel's arm.

He moved and put his arm around her. This will be more comfortable. She's completely worn out.

When it got time for dinner, Joshua said, "Should we wake Mom?"

Gabriel stretched so he could get his phone from his pocket. "I'll order pizza. Your mom needs sleep."

After dinner and the final movie, Gabriel glanced at his watch. "Jeremy, bath time. Jordan, can you do his story? I'd do it but I'm stuck."

"Sure, Coach."

When Jordan returned from reading the story, Jeremy followed him down stairs. "I didn't get to kiss Mom, good night."

Gabriel nodded for him to go ahead. He grinned as Jeremy kissed his sleeping mom. Then Jeremy motioned for him to lean forward and kissed Gabriel's cheek. Gabriel returned the kiss to the young child's forehead. "Good night, Jeremy."

"Good night, Coach."

After Jeremy went upstairs, Gabriel glanced around. "Guys, you need to clean up. I don't want your mom, waking up and having to do it. If you hurry, we'll watch another movie. Deal?"

As the next movie ended, Gabriel sent Joel up for a bath and bed. After Joshua went upstairs, Gabriel said, "Jordan, can you get your mom a blanket?"

Gabriel stood and then covered her. He leaned over and kissed her cheek. "I need to leave. Jordan, if she doesn't wake up in time for morning practice, don't worry. Just make sure you and she make it to school in time. I'll come by for our morning jog. If she doesn't show up, I'll know she's not awake."

"Coach, thank you."

"What for?"

Jordan studied his feet. "Everything."

He patted the teenager's shoulder. "Not a problem. I enjoy being around you guys."

I wanted to let you know I'm going on vacation from September 23 - October 5. I'm going to see two of my boys and their families. They both live in the Midwest, but in separate areas. My youngest granddaughter was born July 29, 2020, but because of COVID I wasn't able to visit her until now. Yes, I am fully vaccinated. I will also get to visit with my mom, who is 89 years old. I have not seen her for a year either. I won't be on the site as often because Mom lives in the middle of nowhere in Missouri. I know this is hard to believe but there still are places in the US where there is no Internet in 2021. When I'm visiting with my children, I will have Internet and will drop by, but plan on spending most of my time with my grandchildren.

Thank you Lee Brice, There's a Rumor Going Round Please enjoy!!


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

Troy Elder Lawyer and friend of Gabriel from his pro-football days


The book continues with Football Chapter 28 part 1. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
Gabriel will NOT be having a baby in this novel. I have had this novel completed since December, but my muse woke me up around 2:30 AM and informed me that Katherine and Gabriel will NOT be going to Austin for a weekend. This is much later in the book. So I need to change that part, but my muse gave me another idea.
Thank you google images for a photo of pancakes and sausage. 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 1,700 words. Forgive me for the length. Thank you for having patience.

Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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