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Derek's lips are warm against mine and I seem to always melt into him when we kiss. I don't know how long we sit in this position but in the distance I hear a loud buzzer go off and I think that means the game is over.

"Derek," I mumble against his lips. "I think the game is over."

We keep kissing and he mumbles. "Just a sec."

A laugh against his lips and it just makes him pull me closer. To my despair I unattach our lips. Our faces are still close though, and his warm breath fans my face. I lightly touch the bandage on his nose. "I have to go before your teammates get back."

He groans and rolls his eyes but releases me. I stand up and hold my hand out to pull him up. Once he gets up I get on my tiptoes to kiss him on the cheek and say goodbye. He tells me to wait outside for him.

After I leave Derek in the locker room, I make a hunt for Daphne outside. I walk up to her and tap her shoulder.

"Ash! What the heck!" She exclaims. "How did you get here?!"

I laugh. "I took an Uber. I saw that guy hit Derek and I..." I trail off, hoping she can connect the dots.

Realization comes into her expression but she frowns. "But he made out with Stacey. Ash, I will not have you going back to some cheater."

I shake my head. "He didn't cheat on me. She came up to him and kissed him out of nowhere."

She raises her eyebrows. "And you believe him?" She asks, shocked.

I nod. "I do, I trust him well enough and I really do think he's telling the truth. I wouldn't have come tonight if I didn't think so."

Daphne frowns. "Are you 100% sure? Brooks and I saw it happen, I mean not the whole thing but I saw it with my own eyes, Ash."

"I know but he says you didn't see him push her away."

Daphne seems to think for a moment. "I mean there were a lot of people in the room and right after I took that picture I lost track of him so... I guess I believe him too."

The door to the arena then opens and the players come out. I see Brooks watch Derek cautiously as he makes his way toward me. Derek smiles and I smile back.

"Derek," Brooks warns.

"Brooks, I told you what happened." Derek says. "I don't know why you can't believe me." Derek frowns.

Brooks just shakes his head. "It's because I know you Derek." He says in a harsh tone. "Your history-"

Derek interrupts. "Means nothing, I know what I did and who I was. This isn't that Brooks. I-" Derek stops seeming to hesitate on his next words. "I care about Ash more than you will ever know. This is for real this time and I'm not going to mess it up."

I stare at Derek in a sort of awe and I watch Daphne smile at him. She touches Brooks' shoulder. "Brooks, it's okay."

Brooks doesn't take his eyes off of Derek but sighs and nods slowly. "Okay, I believe you."

Derek returns the thanks in a sharp nod to which Brooks returns it. We say goodbye to Daphne and Brooks who leave in Daphne's car to our dorm. Derek looks back at me.

My expression softens when I see the guilt in his face. I get close to him and grab his hand. "Come on, I'm hungry."

His lips turn up into a smile and he pulls me to his car.


Back at the boys house, Derek and I eat some pizza with Tyler as he recalls the moment Derek got hit. "Dude he hit you so hard. You were out." He winces at the memory.

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