Chapter 14 iHave the Chicken Flu

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"You're going to have to bum a ride home today," Zach informed his sister as he drove them to school the next morning.

"No need," Keeley said, dismissing the idea. She tapped her backpack. "I brought a book to keep me entertained. I'll just hang out at the bleachers till your football practice ends."

Over the past three years, Keeley had gotten use to waiting for Zach. His football practices usually lasted an hour after school was let out. At first, Keeley resented having to wait for him, but gradually, she came to like it. She used that time to either finish her homework or read a book.

Zach ran a hand through his brown hair. "Coach is making practice extra long today."

Keeley shrugged. "So? It's not a big deal. I don't mind waiting."

His eyes darted over to her. "But it's the first day of school. You won't have any homework to work on. Won't you be bored?"

Keeley looked over at him in surprise. "Since when do you care if I'm bored or not?"

"I've always cared," Zach quickly protested.

Keeley raised an eyebrow skeptically. "You have?"

"Of course. You're my sister."

"So, all those times when it was pouring down rain, and you wouldn't let me use the car, it was because you cared about me?" Keeley drawled.

Zach nodded his head so quickly it was almost comical. "Exactly. What kind of brother would I be to let my only sister drive on wet, slippery roads?"

"The kind of brother that hogs the car," Keeley retorted as she crossed her arms over her chest.

Zach flashed her a winning smile. "So, it's agreed. You'll catch a ride with Nicky or someone else."

Keeley eyed him suspiciously. Why didn't he want her at his football practice? She turned her body, so she could fully face her twin. "What's going on Zach? Why do you want to get rid of me so badly?"

"I can't tell you."

"Can't or won't?"

Zach kept his eyes on the road, refusing to answer her. He was gripping the steering wheel so hard that his hands were turning white.

Keeley leaned back in her seat with a sigh, speculating what he could be hiding. "I know," she suddenly exclaimed, the answer coming to her.

Startled, Zach looked at her, all the color draining from his face. "You do?" he asked faintly.

"You're going to haze the freshman football players, aren't you?"

He exhaled the breathe of air was holding, looking relieved. "Don't tell anyone. It's a secret."

Keeley smirked. "Have no fear. This mouth is a locked vault," she kidded. "Just don't haze Gavin too badly. He seems like a good kid."

"He seems kind of like a pu$sy to me," Zach muttered.


"What? He does!"

"Have you even seen him play? I thought freshman weren't allowed to practice till their first day of classes."

"No, I haven't seen him play," Zach grumbled. "But you saw him! The kid is all skin and bones. He's one tackle away from being pulverized into fertilizer."

"Don't make snap judgments, Zach. Some people may be more than they seem," Keeley warned, thinking about Talon.

She glanced out the window, wondering what he was doing right now. Probably waking up with a massive hangover. Why was he even drinking last night? Didn't he have school today? All the high schools in the area started on the same day. Her fingers itched to grab her phone and text him.

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