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 Romance Fiction posted April 11, 2021 Chapters:  ...28 29 -30- 31... 


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Katherine and Gabriel talk.

A chapter in the book Football - A Novel

Football Chapter 14 part 2

by barbara.wilkey




Background
Katherine struggles raising her four sons by herself. Is Gabriel the father figure the boys need?
ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

When Katherine and Jordan arrived home, she had the boys follow their nighttime routine. I wonder how much time I have before Gabriel shows up.

She answered her ringing phone. "Hi Angie. He's not here, yet." She listened. "I have no idea what I'm going to say." Again, she listened. "I'm positive the truth is out of the question. I'm not going to tell him that I find him incredibly attractive. His ego barely fits on the football field as it is." After listening, she said, "Just because I find him attractive doesn't mean I have feelings for him." She was silent. "There are headlights outside. Wish me luck."

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 14 part 2

After Katherine answered the door, she knelt, greeted Reggie, and adjusted his bib. "Hi buddy, I didn't notice you in the gym. I'm sure you were there."

"He stayed in my office and slept." Gabriel hesitated. "Hello."

"Hello."

"Are you going to invite me in or are we having this discussion in the doorway?"

She moved aside. "Sorry, please come in." She pointed to a chair. "Have a seat. Can I get you anything? Maybe a drink?"

"I'm fine."

Katherine walked toward the kitchen. "I think I'll get some water." She returned with a pitcher, two glasses with ice, and sat a distance away. "In case you change your mind."

Gabriel stared at her. "Thank you." After a few silent moments, he asked, "Are the boys upstairs?"

"Jeremy and Joel are in bed. Jordan and Joshua are in their rooms. Daisy's in bed with Jeremy."

"I'm glad everybody's accounted for." Gabriel continued to study her. "Please explain why an incident where two adults should've had a slight embarrassment and then laughed at it has turned into a situation where you won't talk or even look at me? Help me understand."

"I told you I don't have an answer. That hasn't changed."

He reached for the pitcher, poured a glass of water, and handed it to her. "The drink you needed."

Katherine swallowed. "Thank you." She stood. "Maybe some..."

Gabriel got up and took her hand. "You don't need anything else." He motioned her to sit beside him. After she did, he continued, "You're a nervous wreck. Why?"

When she remained silent and tears threatened to spill from her eyes, he said, "Katherine, in Paul's office you said you knew I wouldn't do anything to hurt you, what has changed?"

"Nothing."

"Then why won't you trust me enough to talk to me?"

Katherine got up, walked to the fireplace, and touched a photograph of her family. "I got married at seventeen. I immediately got pregnant with Jordan. I was a mother before my eighteenth birthday. Before Jordan was two, Joshua was born, fifteen months later, Joel. Four years later Jeremy."

Gabriel stood beside her. "What are you saying?"

"By the time I was twenty-four, I had four young children."

"That had to be difficult, especially with the added stress of George being gone."

She wiped a tear rolling down her cheek. "Don't get me wrong. I love my boys and nothing could make me happier than to be their mother."

Gabriel turned her and put his arms around her. "I know. It's obvious watching you with them."

As she cuddled into his chest, the tears flowed. "I'm sorry. I don't know why...."

"Whatever you're trying to say is safe with me," interrupted Gabriel.

She nodded and then backed away. "George was not affectionate." She used both palms and wiped her cheeks. "The first time I was ever with a man was on my wedding night. That's when I got pregnant with Jordan."

Silence continued, until she released a deep breath. "I was married for sixteen years. You're not going to believe this, but I've only had sex five times. I've never really seen an adult male partly dressed." Before Gabriel could speak she added, "I've never been in an adult relationship and you're incredibly..."

"Don't say anymore. I get where you're going," he interrupted as he took her in his arms and held tightly. "Thank you for sharing. I'm sorry I pressed the issue."

Katherine remained in Gabriel's arms, until her confidence returned.

When she backed away, he asked, "You okay?"

She nodded. "I think so." She walked to the couch. "Let's sit." She took a long drink of water. "I bet when you asked you never expected all of this, did you?"

"Not in my wildest dreams." Gabriel cupped her hand as his eyes met hers. "Thank you for trusting me. I promise it's safe with me." He scooted closer and hugged her. "I was serious this afternoon when I said I care."

"I know."

From the top of the stairs, Joshua called, "Mom?" After both Gabriel and Katherine jumped up, he asked, "Is everything all right?"

"Of course. What do you need?" asked Katherine.

"The first football game's tomorrow. You're planning on going, aren't you?"

Gabriel teased, "I'm planning on her being there."

Katherine shook her head, "You're incorrigible." She laughed at his grin. "Yes, Mr. Edwards asked me to supervise section C. He said you guys could come and sit with me." She eyed Gabriel. "You had something to do with that, didn't you?"

"I figured you'd be there anyway, so why not put you to work." When she frowned, he stood. "I think I've worn out my welcome. Come Reggie, it's time to go."

Katherine walked him to the door. As he put his hand on the doorknob, he turned. "We good?"

"Yes. I'll see you early in the morning. Good night."

"Are you going to sleep all right?"

"Better than I did last night."

"Good."




CHARACTERS:

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.



Recognized

#12
April
2021


Thank you google images for the photo of a couple having a discussion. 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 800 words. Thank you for having patience with me.
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