Chapter 11: The Other Side

Author's Note: This chapter is being told from Brandon's POV.

I can't believe I opened my big fat mouth and said…that.

Not how cute his ass looked, not how the first time I saw him from across the bar he was the only one who was genuinely cute and not putting on some stupid act and how I wanted to come up behind him and rail him so damn hard everyone could hear.

I can't even bring myself to call him now. Because instead of telling him all the things I should have instead I go from zero to crazy in three seconds and ask him to be my boyfriend. After a really fucking disastrous date (because I'm such a fucking idiot) and a really good fucking. And he said yes.

He said yes to that. I should be more excited about it, but seriously…what was he thinking answering that question. What the hell was I thinking when I asked it?

Damn my cock and its ability to think for me.

So here I am, at the bottom of the eighth inning. We're behind, 3 -2 against our cross-town rivals in red and white, and I'm too busy thinking about the sensational sex we had almost a week ago and when I can get more and why I just went ahead and scared him with my crap conversation to even pay attention to this game.

"Parnell, are you even paying attention?" Shit. My coach noticed I'm spacing out into the horizon. He's a bastard, but hey, we win games. "You look like you're forty fucking miles away there."

"No, sorry Coach. I was going over hittin' patterns in my head, got a little bit too intense about it." Hitting patterns indeed.

God, what is wrong with me? Why can't I stop being so damn horny? Jesus, in the last week I've masturbated so damn much I'm pretty sure my dick's red as raw right now.

…Like that's ever going to stop me.

"Well get your head out of the clouds and back onto this game! We need two runs and I'll be damned if we lose to the fuckin' Phils and I have to owe Charlie Manuel another damn drink. So snap the fuck out of it!"

That certainly got my attention. "Yes, sir. Sorry, sir." No one gets on the Coach's bad side and gets away with it.

Seconds later, I get an elbow to my right. "Dude, if you seriously are spacing out that much to pussy you seriously need to get laid." My buddy Bill Burke, left field with a slugger arm, can't stop obsessing over my love life, and more importantly, my need to bang chicks at the speed that he did. Which is to say, a whole lot.

Dude is a hounddog.

I would be right next to him at the clubs mackin' on the same girls if I was at the same clubs he frequented. But as far as he knows, I am a player who just likes to keep my love life and my girlfriends on the down low.

"Shut up, douche." I elbow him back. "I just got laid, for your information."

That perks him up. His eyebrows go up and down as he makes his usual I'm-talking-about-chicks-dirty-face. "Oh, yeah? What's her name?"

"Melody…something." I always make up names that end in a y-sound. Misty, Candy, Melody. I sound like I'm getting my girlfriends from the strip club, but whatever, it works. "Blonde hair, blue eyes. Nice tits. Met her at the club last weekend and took her back to my place. Probably won't see her again."

Give as little details as possible but give enough and say them crass enough so that Bill can get a picture.

"You always go for the blondes, don't you?"

I say nothing and turn my attention back to the same. I hear Bill chuckle in response to my non-response.

But all that's going through my mind is don't think about Will, don't think about his hot lips or his tight ass, don't think about his cuteness, don't think about the hot sex, don't think…my mind's concentrating so hard on the game and not thinking about all that stuff that I just want to explode.

But the third strike-out in a row sets me back to reality. Damn it. One more inning of crap like that and we're gonna lose against the Phillies. And that's not acceptable.

We all get ourselves out of the dugout and I head over to third base. It's the most on-edge position in my opinion, because you have to worry about the guy on your base somehow making it back to home plate and you gotta get that ball over to the catcher as fast as humanly possible, otherwise you're down another point and now everyone hates you. But I like being the hero sometimes, especially when you know that what you've gone contributed to your win.

So here I am, on third base, as our big closing pitcher Takumi Hosojima (don't ask me to spell it again) came up to the pitcher's mound. I have to say this about the guy: he may be quiet and not really talk to anyone, but boy can he pitch a good inning. It's a great thing to see bat after bat being thrown on the ground in frustration. I'm just glad he plays for the A's.

First guy up to bat. Takumi takes the ball and throws it right over the plate. One, two and three, right over the plate like a freight train. Player Ryan Wilkies takes the bat and throws it onto the ground, and from my vantage point I can see Charlie Manuel chewing away on that gum-tobacco mixture that he likes so much without a single change in facial expression.

Second guy up to bat. Takumi throws a ball for the first pitch out, and I see Coach starting to sweat. Coach doesn't do that incredibly well when it comes to tough situations. His second pitch does a whole lot better, soaring right over the plate and past the batter's wild swing. The third one, you heard a small little crack, and I saw the ball far to the right, on the right of the first base foul line. Two strikes and one ball. By this point the batter seems overly stressed, and it is painfully obvious when he swings and misses a ball completely, causing him to be out as well. I smirk a little as Eric Carr (asshole) walks his sorry ass back to the dugout and I think, good, this half-inning is going splendidly well. At least we don't have to make up any more runs.

The third guy up to bat misses the first two pitches, and Takumi takes a breath and you can tell the guy's focusing as hard as he can. He doesn't want to mess this up. But sure enough, the third pitch brings with it a crack and the ball flies straight out between second and third base. There's no way for the pitcher to get to it; it's flying too far out of his reach. I look at the shortstop, Matt Kamp, a short little guy who we should have gotten rid of last year, for a quick quarter of a second and I know he's got it but I make a run for it anyway. I make it about halfway to where he is and I know that it won't matter. But before I get there he reaches out for it and it bounces out of his hand.

Shit. The runner's coming around first now, and the ball is starting to fall towards the ground. Fuck it. I run at the ball and quickly extend my glove hand, and thank you to Jesus that I did, because the ball fell right out of his glove and landed in mine.

Three outs and we switch. Bottom of the ninth and the last possible moment to pull a victory out of the jaws of defeat. I'm a little worried, obviously, but also because I get a quick pep-talk from Coach before I go out to practice, since right at the start I'm on deck.

"Okay, their closer's a little sloppy. If he's riled up he'll throw a ball you can definitely hit." Coach's veins are popping. It would be funny if it wasn't so scary. "Just remember to hit it so you don't get any pop-ups. We can't afford to get an out from a pop-up." Okay, I do have to let you know that in high school my nickname was Pop-Up, but I have gotten a whole lot better since then. I mean, I was on the cover of Sports Illustrated for crying out loud! But yeah…I'm scared I'll hit one too.

After Coach is done with me, he turns to the team. "Okay, guys, it's the last battle. This one'll decide whether we win or lose the war." He always likes to make it sound as serious as a World War. "Go out there and show those Phils who's the boss here in Philly. You got me!" Lots of guttural "Yeahs!" and barks end the pep-talk, and I follow Bill and Matt Kemp out onto the field, the three of us the last hope for a win.

Bill and I practice as Matt goes up to bat. I look at him and make a slight face of pain, and Bill knows what I'm thinking. We're screwed.

"Dude, chill the fuck out," he says back to me. "We'll be fine."

I hate feeling so under pressure that I'm about to burst. It certainly doesn't help that we watch as Matt hits the ball so high up in the air I think it's about to hit an airplane. And Coach was worried about me hitting a pop-up.

As the Phillies catcher takes hold of the descending ball I gulp. Okay, breathe, Brandon. You can do this.

"Number 24. Brandon Parnell." I step up to bat and stare directly, not at the pitcher, but at the ball in his hand. I psyche myself up. I can do this I can do this.

He makes the first pitch. It's a little too far to the right, I think, so I don't swing. But I was wrong.

"Strike!" Fuck you ref. That was a ball and you know it.

The catcher throws the ball back to the pitcher for round two. I can do this. I can do this. I stare at the ball again, but somehow I get distracted and the ball goes right over home plate. I take a millisecond too long to swing the bat and it ends up on the catcher's mitt. "Strike two!"

Okay, concentrate. Imagine that the ball is something sexual and if I want to get laid I'm gonna have to hit the ball and make it all the way around to home plate again. I watch the ball leave the pitcher's hand and it almost makes its way to the catcher's hand once more.

Too bad for them, though, because I slam the ball against my winding bat. The ball flies just to the right of the pitcher, and between the legs of the shortstop.

As my coach, Bill and the rest of the team scream, "RUN," I book my ass so fast I'm pretty sure I've left my stomach at home plate. I better get it back, I think as my right foot slams down on first base as I make my way to second. My feet are killing me, my calves are starting to give way but I don't care. I'll put a heat pack on them when I get home. I realize about halfway to second base that my calves may hurt for no fucking reason when I see the ball leave the right fielder's glove towards second base and wonder if I'm gonna make it.

Slide, Brandon. Slide for your life.

I'm not sure what happened, but I'm ecstatic. The second baseman, asshole Eric Carr, grabs the ball, but drops it before his foot can make contact with the plate. My wrist rests on second plate right before Eric touches me with the ball. I hear "Safe!" and I take a huge sigh of relief as Eric curses under his breath. I can hear it and I just laugh to myself. Sucks to be you, Matt.

Okay, Bill, I've done all I can. It's your turn to bring it home.

"Number 13. Bill Burke." Bill steps up to the plate as I give him the war look, and he does not disappoint. The first pitch out, Bill hits the ball so hard it flies up and over the heads of every single person on the Phillies. As I make the run towards third plate, I see the ball land somewhere near the seats in the far back of a 100 section.

Thank the Lord above. As I run towards home plate, thankful that we managed to eke out a win, I see Bill's face over towards second smiling his head off. He always likes being the hero, and I'm happy to give it to him. He gives better interviews anyway.

I step onto home plate and hug the rest of my teammates. Without them we would never have gotten the 4-3 final score. We go out and quickly shake the hands of the Phillies as we make our way off the field and into the locker rooms. Hey, they played a good game. Even asshole Eric Carr. But right now I'm looking forward to getting undressed and taking a shower. I'm pretty sure I still have dirt in my hair and all over the rest of me.

"That…was close." Bill slaps my exposed back as the team undresses. He had just came back in from doing a quick ten minute interview with Coach while the rest of us carried on in the locker room. I gave Matt a piggy-back ride in the meantime because frankly it was hilarious and then quickly undressed and covered myself with a towel even though I don't really care who the hell sees. I just wish I had my camera.

I scream at him as I open my locker to throw my undergarments into my bag, when I notice that the LED light on my phone is flashing. I've got a text. I grab it and take a look to see who it's from, and when I see that it's Will, my mind quickly goes to somewhere else. Somewhere far away where Will and I are sitting back on the outdoor couch, cuddling as Will fondles each and every pack of the six that I have, tracing my Adonis lines. My blood flowed right down to my cock when he did it a week ago, and I can sense that it's starting to do that again. I shake my head, snap back to reality and examine with the text actually says.

If I wasn't brought back to reality by the shake of my head, reading the text is the equivalent of reality hitting you over the head with a frying pan.

Free 2morrow? We should probably talk re: last date. That's what the text says. Nothing good can come of this. I decide to call him right then and there, agreeing that we probably should talk. I wonder what's going to say, and I'm wondering what I'm going to say.

But all I get is his voicemail. Damn it, Will, why aren't you available when I call you?

I throw myself into the shower, feeling a multitude of emotions. A little bit scared, a little bit sad, a little bit pissed off, but mostly really horny. I've been horny the last several days, why should this night be different than any other night?

I wash all over, but I spend a lot of time in my nether regions. Bill tells me I'm spending far too much time pleasuring myself and thinking that he needs to take me out to the strip clubs tonight. I move my hand out of that area and tell him that I've been to enough strip clubs this week, thank you very much even though that's a lie, and that he should take eager Matt instead. I turn the shower off and head back into the locker room.

I un-robe and start to get dressed in normal clothes again when my phone rings. It's Will.

"Hey, sorry, I was in the movies with Becca and Jake. What's up?" He sounds really cheerful. Either he saw a really good movie – probably the one with the male strippers – or he's completely forgotten about the text that he sent me.

"Hey. I wanted to know if you wanted to meet up tomorrow and talk about your text." I say it so fast that I'm not sure he even heard me. I wanted to get it out as fast as possible because otherwise I wouldn't be able to say it at all.

"Oh. Oh, yeah. Tomorrow works for me."

I have a game tomorrow night and need to get to the baseball park by four at the latest, but I definitely want to meet up with him at some point. "Maybe tomorrow morning?"

"Works for me. I'll make coffee and some pancakes, come over around ten-thirty or so and we'll talk. The roommates sleep until noon on Sundays, anyway."

"Got it. See you then." I hang up the phone with Will and wonder if I've written my own funeral dirge.

## ##

"So, we both agree. We're going too fast, yeah?" I ask him, and he shakes his head. His reaction is hard to read; he's a bit stoic if I would ever use that word. He also responds to the question a little too quickly for my taste too, and I get a bit annoyed at it.

But he can tell, probably by my facial expression, that my emotions are a little off. "Not that I don't want to spend more time with you. On the contrary, I'd love to keep seeing you. But, well, with your schedule and my studies, and the fact that we've only gone on one date…which by the way wasn't so great…" He pokes my arm and makes a goofy face at me, to which I laugh.

"Hey, I apologized for that!" I know I should be madder that he brought that up, but it was my fault that I was acting so damn weird in the first place. "But I'm glad to hear that. Maybe sometime this week we can attempt to get a much better date in."

"Sounds good to me. What day?"

"It's preseason, so I don't have as many games. But Wednesday you can come back to my place if you want. I don't have a game until Friday."

Will thinks about it for a second, and then shakes his head. "I don't think going back to your place again right now would be the smartest thing. After all, that's what caused this problem in the first place."

"Point taken. Well, how about Thursday?"

"Thursday sounds great. Thursday it is."

I eat the last of my pancakes, I drink my coffee and I say goodbye to him as I head out the door. But as soon as I closed the door behind me, I felt a surge of sadness. I know I opened my big fat mouth when I shouldn't have to ask him to be my boyfriend, and of course I expected that to be cleared up. But for probably the first time in my life…well, I wish we had lived with the mistake.

And even though the moment's passed me by, I still can't turn away. ~ Goo Goo Dolls, "Name"


Author's Note: Yay! I'm finishing up a chapter well within a month of the last one! That's a record I can be proud of! To think, I've posted two chapters of this story and a chapter of my new story Intern on the Hill. If you haven't read it yet, please go and do so. You can find the link in my profile. AND PLEASE do comment on it; it's written in a much different style than this story and it's how I usually write, so please let me know what you think.

Is it sad that I'm going on these online dating sites and not even attempting to find someone now? I mean, yeah, it would be great to find someone, but I'm just too much of a chicken to actually go ahead and e-mail these people and tell them I'm interested because I can't take a good enough picture. I SUCK at taking pictures.

Well, anyway, you didn't come here to hear about my problems. Read and comment, oh wonderous readers you. If you haven't commented before, please do, because as anyone can probably tell you I so enjoy comments. They brighten up my day.

Yeah, I'm a comment whore.

Drew