Romance Fiction posted January 10, 2021 Chapters:  ...15 16 -17- 18... 

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The moves conitnues.

A chapter in the book Football - A Novel

Football Chapter 9 part 2

by barbara.wilkey

Katherine struggles raising her four sons by herself.

Gabriel examined her hand. "I don't think you broke any bones." He took the ice and placed one on her hand. "Put this on your cheek. It'll help keep down the swelling and bruising." He motioned to Jeremy. "Hold it on your mom's cheek."

Jeremy grinned. "I get to help."

Officer Rolland looked behind him. "Mr. Holland, why don't you show me the dead cat?"

After they left, Gabriel said, "Joshua, watch from the window. I bet there's no cat."

Katherine attempted to stand. "Thank you, your pushiness was needed this time."

Offering his hand, he asked, "What happened?"

"The movers refused to honor their contract. They said they didn't have any tools, never put anything in the rooms, and it's my job to dispose of the boxes." Katherine set her jaw. "I have it in writing. I even called their front office, but got nowhere."

Taking out his phone, Gabriel said, "I got this." After he put the phone away, he continued, "A few friends and some players are on their way. Jordan and I'll set up the beds. You direct traffic. I mean let them know where to put things."

He glanced out the window. "I guess we have an hour and half, maybe two before it rains. Until they get here, take a break and keep the ice in place. Jeremy, keep it on your mom's pretty face. We wouldn't want it to bruise."

"You're incorrigible." Katherine turned and left.

Gabriel chuckled. "At least she didn't say I butted in."

"I heard that, and you did."


Chapter 9 part 2

It wasn't long before Coach Brooks knocked on the door. Katherine answered, "Hello, you're Angie's husband, right?"

"I am. A few more coaches and players are on their way. I see they left you in a mess, and there's rain headed this way." He scanned the area. "I suggest we clear the living room." He motioned to two players. "Mrs. Riley, tell these gentlemen where you want the boxes and they'll take them."

Katherine looked at a box. "That goes to Jeremy's room." She paused, "Joshua, was there a cat?" After he shook his head, she continued, "You stay in the upstairs hallway and direct traffic." She pointed to the side of the box. "On the boxes, it should say where it goes." She looked back at the boys. "Stack them against a wall. We can unpack later."

Bill grinned. "May I suggest they unpack as much as they can, break the boxes down, and stack them in the garage?" He eyed the boys. "I mean neatly stacked, not just thrown in there."

"Yes Coach," they said in unison.

Katherine petted Daisy's head. "That's a good idea. I hadn't thought of it."
Joel answered the door. "Mom, more help."

"Thank you. I don't know what I'd do without you.

Bill motioned to the other coaches. "I think we need to put together as much furniture as we can. The players can carry boxes."

They all agreed it would be the best use of resources.

About nine o'clock, Gabriel came downstairs, with Reggie by his side, and rubbed his stomach. "Anybody else hungry?"

The boys shouted, "Yes Coach!"

Katherine chewed her lower lip.

Gabriel grinned. "I'm butting in again, but I got this. Bill, how many players and coaches do we have?"

"Total of five coaches and six boys, ten counting Mrs. Riley's boys." He nodded at her. "Of course, Mrs. Riley."

Quickly, Gabriel did the math in his head. "That's seventeen total counting me." He removed his phone and ordered nine large pizzas, four with pepperoni and five with extra cheese and drinks. His eyes met hers. "Yes, I just did it again, and it's already paid for."


He headed upstairs. "But nothing. I have two more beds to finish and then yours." From the top of the stairs, he said, "Yes, I'm incorrigible. Mom's mentioned it numerous times while I grew up." He chuckled.

Katherine put her hands on her hips and glared at the stairs.

Bill came up behind her. "I know he's frustrating. Just so you know; he's like this all the time. Not just around you."

"But he just came in and took over."

"It means he cares."


"I need to get back to work." Bill left.

After the pizza delivery, work stopped and everybody grabbed a slice, ate it, carried in another box, grabbed another slice, and ate it. This was repeated until the pizza was gone.

The wind picked up and it started to drizzle. As the last three boxes were lifted, it poured.

Katherine went to the door and held it open for the boys. "Thank you. We made it. I couldn't have done it without you."

The teenagers grinned as they acknowledged a job well done. The one who'd entered first, asked, "Is there anything else we can help with?"

Glancing at her watch, Katherine said, "It's getting late. Take these boxes to their rooms and then you'd better get home. How'd you get here? I don't want you walking in the rain."

One of the boys said, "I drove. I can take them."

Bill joined the discussion, "I want you guys going straight home. Understood?"

In unison, they answered, "Yes Coach."

As they walked away, Katherine faced Bill. "You guys are strict."

Grinning, Bill said, "What makes a good football player doesn't necessarily make a good citizen. They're good boys, but tend to find mischief or at least it finds them."

"I get it." Katherine's head turned as Gabriel joined them. "We just sent the boys home."

Reggie nuzzled Daisy.

"I think they like each other." He checked his watch. "Good. I didn't realize it was this late."

His eyes met Bill's, and Bill answered, "I warned them to go straight home."

"Good. Jordan, let's get your mom's bed put together." Gabriel glanced at Bill. "I'm almost finished. You and the others might as well leave." He and Jordan went to Katherine's room.

Katherine thanked and said good-bye to the coaches. They offered to help tomorrow. She assured them she and her boys could finish.

Just as she finished putting the younger boys to bed, Jordan came to her. "Coach wants to know if you want that ruffle thing on the bed before we put the mattress on."

"What ruffle thing? I'll be down in a minute."

Within minutes, Katherine walked into her bedroom. Gabriel held up a ruffled ivory bed-skirt. "Do you want this on before we put on the mattress?"
Her eyes widened. "I do. I'm surprised you know what it is."

"Not sure its official name, but I do have a Mom who likes rufflely things. I do come out of my cave once in a while."

"Sorry, I didn't mean."

He chuckled. "Yes, you did." He tossed a corner to her. "Help me adjust it on that side." After it was on, he motioned to Jordan. "Let's get this mattress on and then we're finished."

After the mattress was adjusted, Jordan sighed. "Mom, am I done for tonight?"

She gave her eldest son a big hug. "Yes, you were a huge help. Thank you." She reached over and picked-up a fitted sheet.

Gabriel held out his hand. "I'll help. You have to be tired."

"I'm doing all right. I'll admit it will be great sleeping in my own bed tonight."

"I can't even begin to imagine."

After the bed was made, Gabriel walked around the living room. "It looks a lot better than it did when I arrived. It's almost manageable."

Katherine touched his lower arm. "Thank you. I really mean it. I couldn't have gotten everything inside before it rained. There's no way I would've gotten the bed frames made."

He touched her cheek. "It's only slightly bruised. I'm sure you can cover it with make-up." He held her badly bruised hand and shook his head. "There's no hope for your hand. It may be really sore in the morning."

"Along with my entire body. Tomorrow will be another hard day."

Gabriel motioned to Reggie as he walked to the door. "I need to get home. If you need any help tomorrow, you have my number." He held out his hand. "Give me your phone."


"You have my number on the staff roster, but I'm putting it in here so you have it readily available." He added it. "How do you want me to identify myself?"


"I'm pretty sure you have a few choice names for me."

"Why don't you just put it under Gabriel Hudson? I think I can find it."

He handed her phone back and grinned. "You sure?"

"Yes." She hesitated. "Really, I'm indebted to you. I hate to admit it, but this is one time your pushiness was needed. Thank you."

He cupped her hand in his. "You're welcome and thank you for saying it."
"You're still incorrigible," she teased.

"Like I said, Mom would agree." He opened the door. "Good night."

"Good night."


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 and Gabriel's friend.



HEY!!!! It's snowing in Texas. WOW!!! Thank you google images for a photo of pizza. I also want to thank everybody for the wonderful reviews. This novel is not actually about football, but is part of the background. High School football is a national past-time in Texas. This post is a little over 1200 words and is an information post. I'm sorry about the length. Again, I made changes as I posted. I hope it works.
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