General Fiction posted January 24, 2021 Chapters:  ...17 18 -19- 20... 

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Katherine asks Angie about Gabriel.

A chapter in the book Football - A Novel

Football Chapter 10 part 2

by barbara.wilkey

Katherine struggles raising her four sons by herself. Is she getting some help?

As she set her jaw, he added, "I know I over stepped, again, but you need help. Accept it, please?" He grinned. "There's a benefit. I'll be out of your hair all day."

She shook her head and laughed. "Okay, that's something positive." She scanned the boxes. "And you're taking the boys with you?"

He nodded. "I told Bill to bring some lunch. After they eat, we'll be out of the way."

"You know I can feed my own kids."

"I know. Matter-of-fact, I happen to know from experience that you're a good cook. Dinner Wednesday evening was very good." Gabriel turned his head as he heard a knock on the door. "It's probably Bill and Angie." He started toward the door. "I'll get it."

Katherine exhaled. "It's my house, but I'll let you answer it." She headed for the door with Daisy by her side. "Is it okay if I follow?"

He paused. "No, it's not." Placing his hand on the small of her back, he added, "It is okay if you walk beside me." He stopped and his eyes met hers. "I never want to give you the impression I think you're less important than me. If I ever give you that impression, please tell me."

After swallowing, she said, "I will."

"I'd never degrade you."

After Katherine nodded, they continued to the door. Gabriel waited until she opened it, and they both greeted Bill and Angie.

Bill shook Gabriel's hand. "I began to think nobody was going to let us in."

Gabriel glanced at Katherine. "I acted like me again and gave an impression I had no intention of giving and had to quickly correct it." He hesitated. "We good?"

Katherine touched his arm. "We're good."

Angie held up a large bag. "I have sub sandwiches and chips for everybody. Anybody hungry?"


Chapter 10 part 2

Once the men left, it was agreed that Sarah and Rebecca would unpack the kitchen and set it up. Katherine would work on her bedroom and the den. Angie would put the living room together. Each area was close enough they could visit as they worked.

Katherine walked into the living room but avoided eye contact with Angie. "I shouldn't ask, but I have to. How well do you know Gabriel?"

"I wondered when you'd get around to asking."

She turned and went into the bedroom. "Never mind. I shouldn't have. Besides you're Bill's wife."

Angie followed and sat on the edge of the bed. "I'd never share our conversations with Bill. That being said, I've known Gabe for three years. He has faults, he's a man, but he's a good guy."

Katherine refolded a sweater, twice. "I guess I'm wondering about his life when he was a pro player. He says he's changed, but I'm not sure." She set it in a drawer.

"I didn't know him back then. All I know is the stories I've heard. He supposedly fell into the rich, playboy trap. He went to and hosted wild parties and had numerous women. Many of his escapades were mentioned in tabloids." Angie took a few pairs of shoes out of a box. "Where do you want these?"

After Katherine pointed to a place in the closet, Angie petted Daisy and continued, "Now, he's a homebody; just him and Reggie. I've only known of him dating three women and none of them went past a second, maybe a third, date. I've known women who made ridiculous plays for him, but he wasn't interested. It seems he's honestly turned his life around and content with it."

Katherine took a stack of books from a box. "These belong in the den." She went to the den and then returned. "I've made a few comments about his pushiness and arrogance. Those comments seemed to bother him. Earlier today he just walked into my house without knocking. He said he knocked; he came on in when he heard Joel and Jeremy fighting. Later on, when everyone arrived, he headed to the door first, giving the impression I might just follow him to my own door. I made some little comment and he seemed truly upset."

"I wondered what was going on." Angie paused. "I don't know where it comes from but he's a huge advocate for women. He wants to make sure women are treated equally and they should come to expect it."

Angie picked up some books. "You want these in the den too?" Katherine nodded, and Angie continued, "He's not really pushy, well...yes he is, but he sees something that needs to be done and does it. He doesn't think about the consequences until it's too late. That's a problem but also part of his charm. He's always willing to help. Just so you know he does it to everybody, not just you. Does this help?"

After Katherine nodded, Angie added, "I better get back to the living room." Over her shoulder she said, "Please ask me anything. I think you two would make a great couple."

Katherine replied, "I have no desire to be in a relationship with anybody. I've only been widowed six months. I have children who need me." Under her breath she added, "Especially a relationship with a self-centered jock."

When they arrived at Gabriel's parent's farm the boys and Bill readied the fishing poles, while Gabriel and Reggie went inside. He noticed his mom and dad cooking. "What's going on? This looks like you're cooking for an army."

Harold grinned. "We are."

Rebecca kissed her son's cheek. "When you're finished fishing, you're going to bring this for dinner."

"Mom, I didn't ask you to do this. Kate will think I've pushed my way into her life again. She doesn't like it when I do."

"I know you didn't ask and I'll tell her that. Moving is hectic and I wanted to do it for her. I like her, a lot. But more importantly, I like her for you. I think you two are good together."

"Mom, we barely know each other, and most of the time she's upset with me."

"You'll work everything out and realize how right I am. Now get, and take those boys fishing."

When Gabriel walked outside, Bill asked, "We ready?" He studied his buddy. "What's wrong?"

"Mom's matchmaking." He grabbed his pole. "Let's do this."

They walked to the pond.

As Jordan showed Jeremy how to put a worm on the hook, his youngest brother asked, "When you were my age, did Dad teach you to do this?"

"Nope, Dad never had time. He was always gone."

"Who taught you?"

"Mom sent us to camp for two weeks every summer. You're getting old enough to go. Maybe she'll send you next year."

Both Bill and Gabriel looked at each other as they listened to the boys.

Bill leaned over and whispered, "These boys never really had a dad."

Gabriel grabbed a bobber and fingered it. "Paul alluded to it, but I didn't realize the depth of his comment." He took the bobber to Jeremy and added it to his line. "I think this'll help. If it goes under water, you've caught a fish. Why don't we go over here?" They walked down the bank a little farther. "I think there's more fish."

"I can't wait to catch a huge one. Think Mom will cook it?"

"If we help her, I'm sure she will."

After about an hour of fishing, Gabriel went to the truck to get snacks and drinks. As he carried them, Bill met him partway. "I'll give you a hand." He took an ice chest. "Hey, is your mom trying to match you and Katherine?"

Gabriel nodded. "Ever heard of anything so ridiculous?"

Bill chuckled. "I think she's right. Katherine's a good match for you."

As his eyebrows rose, Gabriel said, "Are you forgetting how often she's angry with me? Most of the time we're barely speaking."

Setting down the ice chest, Bill said, "That's a mark of a good relationship." He grinned. "Guys, want drinks and a snack?"

Gabriel put down the second ice chest. "Chips and cookies over here." He held up an apple. "And if you want to make your mom happy fresh fruit."

Jeremy walked to him. "Coach, you're funny. Why'd I eat an apple when there's cookies?"

Grinning, Gabriel answered, "Good point. Just trying to stay on your mom's good side."


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.



Thank you google images for the photo of fishing. 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 1000 words. I'm sorry about the length. Again, I made changes as I posted. I hope it works.
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