Importance of Pocket Placement | Universal Lacrosse Blog
You ever see that kid with a really high pocket that probably doesn’t throw and ask why its strung like that. Chances are he couldn’t give you a straight answer. The reason being because he doesn’t even know himself. A lot of people don’t know the importance behind the pocket placement in their sticks. People think high pockets are awesome and will make you shoot so much faster, but if you have no clue how to adjust for the way it performs, it will detrimental to your game.
A high pocket is mostly what offensive middies and some attacks use. The ball stays nice and high in the stick ready for a quick feed to the crease or a quick step down shot. A high pocket should be used by a player that wants the ball in their stick for the shortest amount of time. Defenders use them as well for long clear balls and quick passes so the ball doesn’t take so long to get out of their stick. The downside of a high pocket is that it is very hard to one handed cradle with it.
A mid pocket is a pocket that can be used by anyone really. A middie, attack, defenseman can use them. They are the most versatile and perform the best in my opinion. You don’t have to worry about taking one hand off the stick or anything like that. The release is still pretty quick and with most heads you will get the best looking pocket with a mid.
A low pocket should really only be used by a power attackman that cradles one handed often. A low pocket will hug the ball in the lower part of the head and take a long time to release. Lower pockets tend to have tighter channels so this adds a little extra drag to the ball too. These are not my favorite pocket because of how long it takes to get the ball out of the stick, but if you’re a player that initiates contact frequently, then this type of pocket is right for you.
How to Adjust Whip in Your Men’s Lacrosse Stick
Having a well-strung stick is crucial in lacrosse. It can have an effect on the accuracy of your shots and passes, your stick-handling skills and also the ‘whip factor’ of your stick. These tips will help you understand what whip is and how to adjust it.
Whip is how high or low your stick is throwing the ball while you’re using a normal shooting motion. If your shots are traveling too high above the goal, that can be a sign that you don’t have enough whip. Meanwhile, if your shots are unintentionally traveling to the ground, that can be a sign that your stick has too much whip. The amount of whip in your stick is primarily determined by how your pocket is strung and, ultimately, is a preference for each player.HOW TO ADD WHIP
If you’ve decided that your stick has too little whip and you need to add more, there are a couple areas of your pocket you can adjust to make that happen.
- Bottom String – Your first course of action should be to try to loosen the bottom string. This can help give your pocket more depth. Be sure that you are familiar with the legal limits for pockets in your league and stay within those guidelines.
- Shooting Strings – If you still feel like your stick doesn’t have enough whip after adjusting the bottom string, you can also tighten the shooting strings. Begin with the top one and work your way down. Remember that shooting strings should be loosest at the bottom and tightest at the top. Adjusting the shooting strings can help the pocket grab the ball better.
Just like increasing whip, if you would like to loosen your pocket’s grip, you can adjust the bottom string and shooting strings.
- Bottom String – Pulling the bottom string a bit tighter can make the pocket more shallow and help make your release nice and smooth.
- Shooting Strings – Loosening the shooting strings can help your ball roll over them more freely and not get caught or stuck while you’re shooting.
How much whip you want may change by what position you play. Offensive players may prefer more whip for increased speed and harder shots, while defensive players and goalies may want less whip so they have more control and can throw longer passes. If you have multiple sticks, be sure to use a stick with similar whip so that your mechanics stay consistent and are not thrown off.
STX Blog | #StringingHacks: How to Optimize Your Pocket for Your Position
Stringing wasn’t always a priority for Will Madrid. In his early years as a defenseman, Will used a factory-strung stick to protect his team’s net.
It wasn’t until his college coach encouraged him to string his pocket a little differently, based on his playing style and the demands of his position, that he realized stringing was a game-changer — literally.
“The modifications were like night and day. If I had known years before, the game would have been so much easier.”
Yup, that’s the voice of a stringing atheist turned stringing nerd #preach.
After discovering the massive impact of stringing, Will started learning everything he could. He’d practice on pocket after pocket, learning all the nuances based on type of stick, player and position. Pretty soon, he was stringing sticks for the whole team. He started hosting classes and clinics, and today he’s one of the top stringing experts at STX.
We chatted with the string doctor himself to get the scoop on his magic touch. Here are our biggest takeaways, broken down by position – helping you to dominate and #PlayHuge no matter where you line up on the field:
As a defenseman, playing with a long shaft is a completely different ballgame. You’re constantly battling for ground balls to disrupt the oncoming attack. Because of this, you want to make sure you have a pocket that will help you win the ball every time.
That means you need a high pocket – its deepest point should be closer to the scoop, allowing you to move in swiftly and gain control of the ground ball. Not only will this approach help you to dominate the loose ball, but it will put greater accuracy behind your pass, creating the opportunity for a counter-attack.
For these pockets, I recommend sidewall strings that go from the scoop tip to the throat of the stick. Keeping the top string consistent, create slack by either combining diamonds and stacking them on top of each other sooner, or using more sidewall holes to create a deeper pocket with more mesh in that area. The distance from throat to pocket should be between 6 ½ to 8 inches.
As a midfielder, you want to have a more versatile pocket. While you still need a high pocket to facilitate ground ball play, you also need to be prepared for vertical play more than any other position on the field.
To create a versatile pocket, it should be dropped ½ inch to an inch closer in comparison to a defenseman’s pocket – around 5 to 6 inches from the throat. Tighten the mesh by pulling it ½ inch to 1 ½ inches further down the head, creating a more defined channel for scooping ground balls, while still maintaining accuracy for passing and shooting.
As an attacker, the pocket requires a little more imagination. If you’re the dodging attackman, you’ll take more checks than others. To combat this additional pressure, you want to deploy a pocket that is closer to the throat (4 to 5 ½ inches), giving the ball a secure resting place. With the low point closer to the throat, the ball has a better chance of staying in the pocket, even against the long shaft of a defenseman.
If you’re a crease attackman who spends most of his time in front of the cage, you want a pocket that’s shallow and closer to the middle of the head. This will allow you to move the ball out of your pocket with greater speed and momentum, into the back of the opponent’s net (you don’t want the ball lodged in your pocket so deep that a defender has time to disrupt the play!).
Last but certainly not least – the outside shooting attackman. Like the defenseman, you want a higher pocket. However, compared to a defenseman’s pocket, you want to add additional whip. By adding whip, you’ll have a harder shot on target, making it more difficult for the goalie to stop the ball.
Looking for some stringing inspiration? MLL athletes share their preferred stringing styles here.
Ahead of its matchup against No. 24 Rutgers, No. 8 Maryland men’s soccer’s defense continues to roll
The No. 8 Maryland men’s soccer team was a shell of itself when it hit the road to play the top-ranked Georgetown Hoyas on Sept. 11. Most notably on defense, the Terrapins struggled to contain the Hoyas en route to allowing 21 total shots in the loss.
Despite a three-goal blip against UMBC, the Terrapins had shut out two of its first four opponents, but the collapse versus Georgetown hinted that the defense needed some major reworking.
Head coach Sasho Cirovski looked to inject a spark into the backline, and changing up the defensive scheme did just the trick to make a huge impact.
Transitioning to a 3-4-3 with mainstay defenders Brett St. Martin and Chris Rindov being joined by starting lineup newcomer William Kulvik, the Terps got off to a solid start to their conference schedule with a 2-1 victory over Michigan on Sept. 17.
Although it wasn’t flawless, with Michigan forward Derick Broche ending the shutout in the 73rd minute, the new look Maryland defense limited the Wolverines to just six shots in a much-needed rebound from the disappointing showdown versus Georgetown.
Growing pains were to be expected with the formation change, but the effort and heart shown by the Terps would only be the start of their recent string of success.
That heart showed its true colors when sophomore goalkeeper Jamie Lowell exited in the 66th minute against High Point. Junior goalie Niklas Neumann was then thrust into action up one goal, leading to the desperate Panthers to pressure the Terrapin’s defense more than it had all night.
The Panthers saw a chink in Maryland’s armor and attacked, nearly swinging the momentum in its direction had it not been for the Terrapins’ improved firepower on the defensive end.
Neumann was caught off guard on a strike by the Panthers in the 78th minute, but Rindov came soaring in in front of the goal and kicked the ball out and over the end line to fend off High Point’s most legitimate shot at scoring all game.
That heart and determination from Rindov translated to the rest of the team as they bunkered down the rest of the way to earn its second victory with its three-man backline.
“We’re developing stronger relationships on the field,” Cirovski said. “I think it’s allowing us to be a little bit more fluid in our movement.”
With two games worth of experience under its belt, Maryland’s new defense faced its biggest test yet as they hit the road to play a feisty Ohio State program last Friday.
The pillars of the defense remained true, with the trio of starting defenders playing every minute. But Neumann’s impact was the catalyst in the team’s inspired effort.
Facing a much more aggressive Buckeye attack in the second half, Neumann saw eight shots in the closing 45 minutes of play. Ohio State was able to register a goal, albeit off of a penalty kick, but Neumann made several key saves to prevent an equalizer late.
While Neumann was the standout hero, the rest of the defense played on its heels for practically the entire second half and held strong. It’s all about a collective team effort.
“I think we have a very talented team and I feel like every game, somebody gets the opportunity to step up and use their strengths wisely,” Neumann said.
Maryland’s next test lies in a team that matches its defensive prowess. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights have suffered just one loss this season, a matchup in which starting goalkeeper Oren Asher was absent due to a non-coronavirus-related illness.
The Terrapins can expect Asher to be back in net on Tuesday, where the sophomore will search for shutout number six on the young season. He isn’t alone either, as the Scarlet Knights boast a tremendous backline filled with polished players such as Thomas DeVizio and Vincent Borden.
It will be a true battle of Goliath vs. Goliath. Maryland and Rutgers are both top-three in the Big Ten in goals allowed per game (0.89 for Maryland and 0.67 for Rutgers). Furthermore, the defense has translated into offense for both teams, as both programs are ranked in the top three in offensive efficiency in the conference as well.
What it will ultimately come down to, however, is which team can hold down the fort the longest as patience and poise will play a huge role down the stretch in this one.
Mailbag 9/22 – From The Rumble Seat
Is this the first time ever that there is such a thing as a “moral” victory? Even if it is moreso the result, than how we played versus Clemson? – Partywaggin
Ben: This is the first true moral victory that I can remember. This game was enough to instill at least a little bit of hope in parts of the fanbase who are tired of watching what we’ve been told over and over is a talented team underperform. For me, I’ll give this moral victory a whole lot more weight after the game against UNC this week. I think it’s vital that Tech not backslide against the Heels. If they go and lose by 20-30 points, that makes the Clemson game look like a complete fluke. I think if they can keep it within a score or even win—which is absolutely doable—I think it would go a long way in inspiring confidence in the team and the fanbase.
Chris: Agree with Ben, this is the first one I can think of in a while.
Jake: It’s only a moral victory if progress (or, heck, even staying in that same place) happens this week and the rest of the year. One game at a time. So, in more words than necessary, I agree with Ben.
Jeff: I will disagree a bit here and not claim it as a moral victory. First, I’m not a fan of them. Secondly, I’m also of the mind that Clemson has major issues on the offensive side and we benefitted from that. I saw plenty of plays that Clemson just missed on. Not to say Tech didn’t show some good things but the whole product wasn’t there.
Sammy: I do agree that this is about as close to a moral victory as we’ve had in a long time. That being said, I think it has something to do with the opponent. I would never say the same about a close loss to uga…
Logan: Moral victory… Does the Miracle on Techwood count for the season it was associated with? I know that was an actual victory but given that we went 3-9 on the year that season that game felt like a huge boost to morale. If beating FSU that season does not count then I would say this is probably the first moral victory for Georgia Tech that I can remember clearly. Usually your team is not in a bad enough spot where you have to consider losing a close game to a good team a “moral” victory.
What is the reason for our terrible red zone offense? What do you think would be the easiest way to make large gainez in that Dept? (Not looking for a Madden ‘just put it in the end zone’ response) – Borojacket2
Ben: I think a lot of it starts up front on the offensive line. The line is improving in parts, but as a whole, it’s still not that great. They have trouble getting push up front, and that leaves nowhere to run for the running backs. Against Clemson, the receivers weren’t able to get separation against the Tigers’ talented secondary, which means they couldn’t pass for a touchdown either. That’s one reason I’m actually coming around on the shovel pass on fourth down at the end of the game. At that point, Tech had tried unsuccessfully all game to get the ball in the endzone. Nothing was working, so they set up an option play to try and pound it in. Unfortunately, a block was missed and Deveney got tackled short. To do better, I think the offensive line needs to do a better job getting push up front.
Nishant: Honestly, after watching the fourth down shovel pass a few times, I can’t hold it against the missed block so much. It was a clever call, and a fifth-year veteran linebacker just made a great play to sniff it out and snuff it out. More broadly, don’t judge the red zone offense too harshly from this game alone—Clemson’s speed on defense and the smaller field near the end zone are a challenging combo for any offense. I think the biggest thing that would help is better interior run blocking, because as Ben said, it hasn’t been where it needs to be. Once you push all the way into the red zone, if you can get four or five yards up the middle a couple times, it becomes a psychological gut punch for a defense that’s already frustrated at giving up so much ground.
Chris: Agree with Ben again, I think a lot of it comes down to the OL. I think another part of it is that a lot of our offense relies on open field (think about what Gibbs is so good at) and that becomes harder to scheme for in the red zone.
Jake: I mean, the holding call on the doorstep of a touchdown before the rain delay was certainly something, and, again, this is a veteran, proven, loaded Clemson team. I would agree that the interior run (particularly with this talented group of running backs) is a huge opportunity waiting to be unleashed. If we can get opponents to respect that as the legitimate threat that it is, I think that goes a long way, too.
Jeff: I don’t dislike the playcalls but I think the goal line is where people get too cute trying to score. The OL certainly needs to be better but Cochran has been excellent at the left tackle position. It’s cliche to say punch it up the gut but at least design something behind your tackle who can get you space to dive in.
Sammy: Jeff took the words out of my keyboard… I think we try to get too cute. We had a couple nice gains on the ground and short passes through the air right before getting stuffed and trying the shovel pass. Clemson’s defense was tired. Our OL hasn’t shown a consistent push all year, so I understand not wanting to go up the middle, but our strength is in our RB group and I’ve been impressed with our WR blocking so far this year. Would love to see some more jet sweep or read option down close. OR — just let Jordan Yates roll out/sprint and make a play. His decision-making has been stellar this year.
Logan: Based on all the anime I watch, I’m gonna say we aren’t believing enough in the power of friendship.
Who have been the biggest Tech “villains” of recent history? People who have just been a thorn in Tech’s side. I’m thinking guys like Hunter Renfrow or Jeremy Cash (Duke safety that single handedly shutdown the option a couple of times). Of course Public Enemy #1 has got to be Mark Richt. – thebugman10
Ben: Pittsburgh kicker Chris Blewitt. I would also posit Duke head coach David Cutcliffe.
Nishant: Just going back ~10 years… Jeremy Cash, Jaylon Smith, Kyle Fuller, and Logan Thomas rise to the forefront. Maybe Alec Ogletree and George Pickens too, each for one specific moment. If we’re throwing in coaches, Cutcliffe and Narduzzi stand atop the list. (Richt too, but he’s been such a lovable persona on the ACC Network that he’s done a heel-face turn in my book.)
Ben (again): Damn it Nishant, I forgot about Jaylon Smith, Kyle Fuller AND Logan Thomas. Thank you for bringing back those memories.
Chris: Lol my first thought was also David Cutcliffe.
Jake: Jose Alvarado’s arm breaking will make me see red for as long as I live, and I still don’t think Steven Williams’ three run bomb to walk off Tech in our own park has landed, but I think the question here implies it is about football. In that case, I think the logical answer is the man who played his punter at QB and still ran up the score, Mr. Dabo Swinney.
Jeff: Charlottesville, Virginia… seriously. We’ve beaten Uga more times since 1990 than we’ve won there.
Sammy: I’m well aware that this answer is the equivalent of playing as the Patriots in Madden ‘12, but…. Gotta be Clemson, Dabo, and more specifically, Brent Venables. Over the past six matchups (all losses), Tech has only scored 67 points against Clemson. Sick.
Logan: Playing games on Thursday night. Its been a thorn in my side at least.
Just how good is Clemson this year, and what does that mean for Tech? Is their defense truly still lights out, and does it look like we have a shot to score enough to keep up with UNC this week? Is their offense that bad, or do we have a chance to shut down contain UNC just enough? Can we draw any conclusions so far about how we will do overall this season, or just hang on for the ride? – SullyGT
Ben: I think Clemson’s defense is absolutely one of the best in the country. I have no reason not to believe that. I think Clemson has a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball, but they haven’t quite clicked yet. I think a lot of that hangs on DJ Uiagalelei, who has struggled mightily to begin the season. He’s got a running game with Will Shipley and a lot of talent at receiver. There’s no reason they shouldn’t be playing better.
As for how Tech looks against UNC, I think this will certainly be a tougher test for Tech’s defense. The biggest key will be keeping Sam Howell off-kilter. If Tech can cause some disruption and force Howell to make mistakes, I think Tech contains the Heels’ offense. I think this game will do a lot to really gauge how Tech can do the remainder of this season. Right now, the only team I feel comfortable saying Tech can beat is Duke. A win (or even a competitive loss) would certainly change that opinion.
Chris: I think we’ll discover they’re definitely not up to their standards of recent years, but they’re still the bar-setter of the conference. They’re gonna win at least 10 games easily. The defense is easily still their biggest asset; it’s more the offensive side of the ball they’re struggling with. Personally I’m feeling pretty good that we were able to hang 300 yards on them (more than UGA), so I’m decently confident about our ability to turn those yards into points against UNC.
Jake: This is the challenge with only being three games into the year. I honestly don’t know. Are the boys from Athens secretly bad? Have they come light years from game one? I just don’t know how to make solid conclusions from what we seen, considering Michigan at this point would transitively blow the doors off of Clemson by way of them beating NIU and NIU beating Tech. I know, very analytical. Giving the real numbers is Robert’s job. Getting into a boatrace with UNC terrifies me, though. It’s got to be up to the defense to tighten the screws on Sam Howell and the North Carolina offense, because what we’ve seen from our offense hasn’t exactly inspired me of late.
Jeff: That Clemson is bad. Shipley is about their lone bright spot and for some reason they quit running him after he shoved the ball down Tech’s throat on their first TD. That’s also a testament to how good Clemson’s defense is for having to deal with that and not give up an offensive touchdown through three games.
I think UNC scores pretty easily on Tech this week. They like to push tempo and have a speedy WR in Josh Downs and Tech has struggled to deal with tempo.
Logan: tough question… part of what makes college football great is that teams can change performances wildly from week to week, even though each game matters. Despite their performance last week (which oddly enough we view as a good thing for Tech) I view Clemson as still being the best team in the ACC at the moment. That probably says more about the ACC than it does about Clemson but that’s my opinion. What the performance for Tech meant last week is a good showing for Yates as a leader and ability of our defense to step up in crucial situations. Week to week though we have not proven that we can be consistent. I think we’re gonna learn more about Tech’s future this week than seeing one good performance last week.
If you could reverse the result in one game in the last 20 years for tech, which would it be? – ramblin gooner
Ben: I’m going to slightly not answer your question while also answering your question. I would reverse a result of the 2010 Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech game. The final score isn’t what I would change that. What I would change is that Joshua Nesbitt would not get injured in that game. After losing to Virginia Tech, and more importantly losing Nesbitt, the Yellow Jackets dropped three of their last four games, including a close loss to UGA and the bowl game. If Nesbitt stays healthy, I think Tech beats the Hokies and UGA (and maybe Miami).
If I have a second choice, I would reverse the result of the 2012 ACC Championship Game. Tech [Foreigner]ed around and ended up in that game. In that game, Florida State jumped out to a 21-0 lead, and it looked like Tech really didn’t belong in that game. But then Tevin Washington started engineering a comeback. The defense locked down and didn’t let the Noles score another point. With the score at 21-15, Washington was leading the Jackets down the field, but unfortunately, he threw a game-ending interception. I remember watching this game, cutting it off at halftime, and then coming back during the fourth quarter, and it would have been incredible to see Tech pull that off.
Nishant: If it’s just the one game: 2012 ACC title game, not because of what Ben said but because I’m still sad that we were denied a BCS bowl matchup between a 7-6 ACC team and Northern Illinois. If we’re allowed to account for long-term consequences: 2009 UGA, and it isn’t remotely close. It was a chance for Tech’s biggest win in the series in decades, a chance for Paul Johnson to plant his flag with two straight wins over Mark Richt, a chance to make a statement to recruits all over the state that the tide was turning. In the end, it was one of the most embarrassing and damaging losses in program history. (And for the record, everyone who pins that loss on Demaryius Thomas for his drop at the end is full of [Steely Dan]. He’s one of the last people who should be held responsible.)
Chris: Probably the 2014 ACC Championship Game. We were so close, and having to watch FSU get absolutely smoked by Oregon afterwards kinda sucked. A win in this game probably puts us into the Playoff conversation and that could’ve been huge for us as a program. As a bonus answer, I’ll say the Duke game of that same year. I’m convinced that Fall Break screwed us over there and that we only lost the following game to UNC because we lost to Duke. So in my mind, a win against Duke means an undefeated regular season. And who knows, maybe that’d be the difference maker against FSU in the title game.
Jake: I am forcing myself to pick a game I actually watched live, so, really, a game since I became a student at Tech. For that, I pick the Tennessee vs. Tech Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on Mercedes Benz’ opening weekend. Setting aside the emotional gut punch that the specific game was, because it was truly awful, a win there makes it four in a 12 month span for Tech over SEC teams and sets the tone for Tech early in the season. It really felt like that game took a ton, if not all, of the air out of the sails of a 9 win season and rattled the confidence of a team looking for a new identity in the post-Justin Thomas era. Who knows? If the defense is slightly more competent in that game, then they probably could be in the Miami game, too. By the time Duke rolled around at the end of the year, especially off a heartbreaker in Charlottesville, the 5-4 Tech team just seemed out of steam. Flipping Tennessee already makes them 6-3, and a 0.01% more lucky/invigorated defense turns Miami, making them 7-2. With more to play for, I’m not saying that Tech beats Athens, UVA, or Duke necessarily, but has momentum, confidence, and success to turn what was, in the end, a mediocre 5-6 finish into at least 7-4 or 8-3 and giving Tech the opportunity to fight for another 9 win season and reload once more in the Paul Johnson era.
Jeff: I’ll go back to 2008 and the third game for Paul Johnson, at Virginia Tech. The lead in all year was how bad this team was going to be running the option for the first time. I remember most estimates were predicting two wins. Had Georgia Tech won that game, and they probably should have except for a bogus late hit call, then GT would have claimed the Coastal in year one and gotten a very beatable BC team they beat week 2 in the title game. Imagine two back to back ACC titles in the first two years. The perception of the option would probably be different to recruits.
Sammy: See Nishant’s answer. THWg.
Logan: Oh man, the last 20 years? I was gonna pick our 1980 game against the dwags to block them from a championship. 2006 ACC championship game, because that was the most miserable game I have had the misfortune to watch us lose.
I’ve always thought the 2015 season was one of the biggest missed opportunities in Tech history. What happens if instead of the disaster it was, we rattled off another 9 or 10 win season? We would’ve really established ourselves as a real contender in the CFB landscape, instead of 2014 now being a fluke year. – thebugman10
Ben: The 2015 season was plagued by injuries and the loss of Shaq Mason on the offensive line. Losing Mason shouldn’t have tanked Georgia Tech’s offensive line, but unfortunately, that’s what happened. If Tech had performed better that season, I think it would have done a lot to help recruiting by showing that Tech can perform at a high level more consistently. I don’t know that Tech would have been established as a real contender in the CFB landscape, but they would have been a whole lot closer.
Carter: I looked back at that schedule yesterday, and would you believe five of that teams’ losses were by a touchdown or less? (Not including the Notre Dame game, which only finished close.) That team, with all the injuries it faced, was incredibly close to being 8-4. Winning 28 games in three years would have been huge for Paul Johnson and Georgia Tech as a whole.
Nishant: I think this misses one of the reasons that 2014 was so successful, which was that the offense was packed to the brim with smart and disciplined seniors. Guys didn’t really miss assignments, and that allowed Justin to play more confidently as a first-year starter and bring out his own skills in full force. It was easy for all of us to ride the 2015 hype train at the time, but looking back, it wasn’t reasonable to lose that much skill talent (think something like 97% of WR/RB production was from guys who graduated) and expect to sustain things. Granted, that doesn’t explain why the 2015 OL with four returning starters and three seniors was a sieve, or why the 2016 OL with three true freshmen was weirdly good, so… (shrug)
Chris: I’ve thought about this way too much. To Nishant’s point, I think 2014 represented pretty much an absolute high point, so it’s probably reasonable to think we would’ve backslid a bit in 2015 anyways. But to your question, 9 or 10 wins feels reasonable. I honestly don’t know. It seems like CPJ still would’ve retired in 2018 but who knows. College football tends to be a sport of momentum, so maybe two back to back stellar years would have boosted recruiting enough to mean the success continued into 2016 and beyond. Maybe we could’ve risen to the top of the Coastal Chaos Machine and been a consistent opponent for Clemson in the title game. I still doubt we could’ve really competed with Clemson at that point given how good they started becoming, but certainly I feel like we could’ve had a few straight years of being a top 15 team. And who knows where that would put us in 2021.
Jake: See my previous comment, but adjusted for the 2015 season. Tech lost 6 one score games in 2015. Even given the attrition the team faced from 2014, there was absolutely a path to a bowl and that goes a long way to showing sustained success. If that string from 2014-2017 looked something like 11-3, 7-6, 9-3, 8-4, then I think the team probably has the clout to sit on top of the morass of mediocrity that is the rest of the Coastal in the intervening years.
Jeff: I believe Paul would still be here had we won a few more of those games. The naysayers really came out after that. Paul got shafted a lot when it came to paying his staff and upgrades he felt was needed. Sitting among the top 15 and beating uga three straight years would have made him golden.
Sammy: Agreeing with the sentiment that CPJ would still be at Tech for a few more years, we would be running the triple option and still winning 7-9 games most years. I miss bowl games 🙁
Logan: I’m not a big one on speculation. It definitely means better things for the program if we do well that year. 2015 was a turning point for us and for Florida State. That season redefined a few things in the ACC. If we do well that year I wonder how the ACC looks in general in the present.
OOC games about over, do you feel this is a down year for the ACC? If not what have you seen in the first weeks to suggest otherwise? If you’re like me and see this as a down year, should the win expectation be increased as the schedule doesn’t seem near as tough (ND struggled with juggernauts such as FSU, Toledo, and Purdue) or do you worry about the offensive generating enough points given against fbs opponents tech is next to last in scoring, last being Clemson (though of course they managed a win)? – gtbadcarma
Ben: Interestingly, I don’t know that it is out of the ordinary. David Hale tweeted this out the other day:
ACC has been bad. This is not new.
ACC vs. non-conference FBS through 3 weeks…
2021: 13-10— ️♈️ (@ADavidHaleJoint) September 20, 2021
I think it’s far from unordinary. Sure, there are some losses that are worse than others (here’s looking at you, FSU), but I don’t think that’s enough to call it a down year. I think what hurts the ACC right now is that there isn’t a title contender. Normally, the ACC shows poorly in OOC play, but Clemson is still really good. This year, Clemson’s defense is really good, but their offense has yet to click through three games this season. I think if Clemson can get their offense clicking, it turns into an average season for the ACC. But right now, I’d say the ACC is slightly below average.
Chris: I kinda think it is a down year. Clemson is a bit off their normal pace, and there isn’t really a great next team. Miami and UNC both have their problems, and the rest of the conference is just meh at best.
Jake: Feels like a down year, but, quite honestly, that is good for us. If everyone else stinks, perhaps there’s more wins on the table for the Jackets. I get that it’s good for the conference to be perceived as good, but, right now, I care more about us getting some hacks at winning football games. The rest will work itself out through the natural process. If we start putting up more clunkers, then, yeah, I’d probably be even more upset that the conference is down, haha.
Jeff: It’s a mess in that the teams predicted to be good aren’t. Wake and BC could probably pop a few top 25s in the mouth. Louisville just shut the space cowboys up for a week. UNC has issues but could win some shoot outs. Honestly, a lot of teams across several conferences who are usually good don’t look as hot this year.
Sammy: So far, there have been some pretty ugly losses throughout the conference, but whenever the team at the top is struggling, it exacerbates the problem. The narrative that the ACC is a weak league will always hold water until there are at least two/three teams in the playoff conversation near the end of every year. In terms of Tech’s win total, I want to see how we perform against UNC first… If we can’t pull off the upset but it’s another close loss with some offensive production (say 38-35 or 28-24), I’ll feel pretty good about 5-6 wins.
Logan: One thing I have consistently seen out of the ACC in my years as a college football fan is complete chaos. Does that necessarily mean the teams are bad? No, maybe inconsistent but I wouldn’t call them bad. This is a pretty standard year for the ACC, some teams you expect to do well don’t perform how you expect and some teams you expect to do poorly overperform against opponents… Now that my being a proud ACC fan spiel is out of the way, it definitely feels like a down year based on the bigger teams (Clemson, Miami, VT) OOC performances. If you look back though this is a pretty standard year for OOC performance.
How good is the UNC defense? And if you are creating a game plan for this game what does it look like to? UNC will be hard to stop. I imagine we will have to play super clean on offense and finish drives to be able to score. – DTGT
Ben: You know, that’s an interesting question, and I don’t know that I really have an answer for you. The Tar Heels have held both ACC opponents to season low outputs this season, but those are very different numbers. Virginia Tech only managed 17 points, but Virginia scored 39 and let Brennan Armstrong through for more than 500 yards. I decided to watch the condensed game for Virginia-UNC to see what I could find.
I think there are some things they do well and some not so well. I think they did a good job of pushing the OL, but Armstrong was able to stay upright in the pocket and make his passes. And he made some good ones, despite pretty solid coverage from UNC defensive backs. The Heels defense also managed to get a couple turnovers. It’s tough to say how they did against the run because Virginia doesn’t run the ball.
If I’m Davey P, that’s the first thing I’m gonna do. I would argue that Georgia Tech has a better rushing attack than any other team the Heels have faced this season, and I don’t know that it’s particularly close. I think a steady stream of Gibbs, Mason and Dontae Smith will keep the defense off balance and give Yates plenty of breathing room to work in the passing game.
Jake: More points and pray the defense that showed up last weekend in Clemson made it onto the bus home (unlike the equipment dudes that the Hokies left in Morgantown – oops).
Jeff: UNC doesn’t seem to have a dominating defense rather than a few guys who really fly to the ball. You can have success if you scheme around them. Like Ben said, the running game is our strength and seems to be something the Heels really haven’t had to deal with yet.
Sammy: Similar to the Clemson game, running the clock as much as possible and limiting the amount of time the UNC offense is on the field will be a key to success. Short passes early, let Jordan get into a rhythm. This defensive line won’t be nearly as scary as Clemson’s, but they do bring pressure from all over, so we should be able to set up some nice screens or quick passes to empty areas. UVA threw for 553 yards against UNC. I had to check multiple sources, but it’s true. We’ll need a more balanced attack, but we can beat them through the air.
Logan: Power runs, screen passes, and short passes. Don’t try to take everything all at once. Dip and dunk it down the field and hold onto the ball as long as possible. The only game I really watched of UNC was the VPISU game, and the Hokies used that strategy. I think the game will ride more on our defense performing, but hopefully the offense can get enough scores this way to stay ahead.
I caught “Muhammad Ali” on PBS last night; excellent! What sports documentaries make your all time top 3 list? Yeah, I guess we can include “30 for 30’s” by ESPhrickN. – DressHerInWhiteAndGold
Jake: Oooooooh, this is tough. Personal top 3 are probably The Last Dance, Catching Hell, and The History of the Atlanta Falcons, but that’s only because I’m on the spot right now. There’s plenty more that I’m just not thinking of. If you’ve never heard of the last one I mentioned, you can check it out here. It is a 7 part series made by Jon Bois, who is perhaps the most interesting man in sports coverage. I mention his stuff here kind of a lot, but whether it’s a serialized science fiction fever dream of what college football looks like in the far future, short snippets about history, like the Cumberland Game, or the multi-part documentaries, Jon does such excellent work.
Sammy: The Last Dance, The Battered Bastards of Baseball, and The Four Falls of Buffalo. Honorable mention – Untold Stories: Malice at the Palace. Honorable, honorable mention – Untold Stories: Crime and Punishment. I tried to stay away from picking a 30 for 30, but I love all of them. Four Falls of Buffalo makes me feel a little better about being a Falcons fan.
Logan: 1) The Last Dance, because it just covered everything regarding Michael Jordan and the players around him on the Bulls team and was so well directed. I both learned alot and enjoyed the humor, music, and attitude that the documentary brought.
2) History of the Seattle Mariners by Dorktown on youtube. Same guys who did history of the Atlanta Falcons. It covers everything in the Mariners history. It is such a wild ride, starting from 140 acts of arson through the modern era. This one is more interesting because of how insane the facts behind how the team continued running are. The visuals aren’t the best but I love having it on in the background as a sort of podcast.
3) Fantastic Lies 30 for 30. More of an off the field drama than a sport documentary. It’s a heavy subject around the rape scandal for the Duke Lacrosse team, but is a fascinating look at the justice system, politics, and how misrepresented news can quickly get out of hand and risk ruining the lives of others.
Carter: I’m struggling to name specific docs at the moment, but just this morning the YouTube algorithm recommended I rewatch Fighting in the Age of Loneliness. I’m not a big MMA person but I thought it was a fascinating look into the history of the sport.
Who’s your game ball for the last game? And who’s your X-Factor for the game against UNC? – Anuj Bhyravabhotla
Ben: For me, it’s Charlie Thomas. He’s been the best player on defense all season, and he’s playing all over the field. I think he’s easily the best linebacker Tech has had in a very long time.
Chris: Agree with Ben, I’d go Charlie Thomas. Maybe Jordan Yates.
Jake: My game ball goes to Kyric McGowan and the X-Factor is pressuring Sam Howell. Let’s get at it.
Sammy: Charlie Thomas for the game ball. Malachi Carter is the X-factor for me – he’s had some solid performances but hasn’t had that breakout game yet this season. Would love to see him go for 100+ and a couple TDs to compliment a solid outing from Kyric.
Logan: Yates and Yates… no I have no real justification for this. The team has looked better with him at the helm, and I want to continue congratulating him for it. If he performs well against UNC who know what happens down the line.
You ever notice that every pic of Jordan Yates in game looks like he’s running for his life from some disaster? – DTGT
Ben: Yeah, the offensive line has improved, but it’s still not amazing. Yates does an incredible job of avoiding pressure while keeping his eyes downfield, so the offense has been able to keep moving.
Carter: Yeah, it’s not great! Brent Key should do something about that.
Chris: Uhhhhhhh huh.
Jake: And yet, not everything is a complete disaster. Not the worst it could be.
Jeff: Yep, and I watched the sequel with Matt Ryan the next day too.
Sammy: I want to see his “Catapult” readings… dude probably runs 5 miles a game.
Logan: The O-line just wants to make sure Yates gets his cardio workout in for the day.
Ryder Cup: ‘Murrica or TechnoPopEuroTrash? – DressHerInWhiteAndGold
Ben: I don’t know much about golf, but I recognize more people on the U.S. Team, so I’ll go with them.
Sammy: Bryson and Brooks get in a yelling match on the 18th fairway because Bryson shanks one out-of-bounds trying to drive the ball 500 yards and USA ends up losing by one point. JK they won’t get paired together. USA by a million.
Hello my Dudes,
Honestly pretty happy with the game last week despite the loss. I don’t know that the game had much to do with us being good, as much as it had to do with Clemson being a bit overrated this year, but it was a nice surprise either way. Yates looked good and I’m glad he got the opportunity to start. The Defense seems to be figuring something out in terms of team cohesion. Overall not a bad loss, not sure I would’ve paid money to see it in person but it was a nice surprise.
The standard Coastal chaos is appearing more consistently than the weather at this point. Pitt and VT lose, Duke proves their the biggest nerds of all, and Miami wants to bury their head in the sand. This does seem to bode well for the rest of our season (outside of Duke and UNC looking good).
With that in mind, my question this week is “which team that you previously thought we would lose too, do you think we matchup well against right now?”
It’s a bit messier than some of my other questions, but take it as you will. I hope it makes the fans happy.
Naughty Fred (submitted via email)
Ben: Until I see the results of this week’s game, I’m not ready to say I feel comfortable picking Tech to beat anyone on the schedule not named Duke. I think there are certainly some beatable teams on the schedule, specifically Miami and Notre Dame, but I’m far from confident Tech can win those right now, so ask me again next week.
Chris: At this point I’m somehow confident we can always be a thorn in Miami’s side.
Jake: Echoing Chris, Miami hasn’t beaten us in a game that wasn’t COMPLETE nonsense since 2015. I’ll believe they can do that when I see it. Elsewhere, Boston College minus their starting QB, along with shaky performances from Notre Dame, Pitt and UVA make them look rosier than they did, and who the heck knows about Virginia Tech. Please, let’s still beat Duke. Oh dear, now I have a dangerous thing called hope.
Jeff: Miami, I gave them a pass against Bama but they don’t look like they could beat a wet paper bag right now. Their whole offense is King and he may have some injury issues as much as he is getting hit.
Sammy: Miami, partially because I don’t think there will be much of a home field advantage against them. ND will probably still be Top 15 or Top 20 and their fans will show out in November. Plus it’ll be cold…
Logan: I also think Miama, but I’ll take a wildcard and say getting Pitt at home felt a bit daunting until I saw their game last week against Western Michigan. Now I feel a win is at least possible if we bring our A game.
Save Me read online by Mona Kasten (Page 7)
Doesn’t concern me, doesn’t concern me, doesn’t concern me!
– Yes, I don’t want your money. – Maybe he will believe me if I confidently repeat this several times, looking into his eyes.
He seemed to be looking at me for ages, studying my face and guessing my intentions. Then he examined my mouth, chin and neck. His gaze dropped lower and lower.
When he looked up again, understanding was reflected on his face.He stepped back a little.
– Ah, then it’s clear. He sighed and looked around. – Where do you want it?
I didn’t understand what he meant.
– Where do you want? He scratched the back of his head. – I think there is a free teacher’s room. There is a suitable key. – He looked at me probingly: – How are you, very noisy? There’s Mrs. Wakefield’s office next door, and she usually stays up late.
I kept staring at him, trying to figure out what the hell he wanted.
– I have no idea what you are talking about.
He raised one eyebrow with a grin:
– Come on. I know this trick “I do not want money.”
He suddenly grabbed my hand and led me along the corridor. In front of the necessary office, he found a key in his trouser pocket and opened the door. James loosened his tie with his free hand as he walked.
Where do you want?
When it became clear to me what he meant by “this,” I caught my breath in horror.Gripping the doorframe, I pulled my hand away.
– What are you doing? – I pounced on him.
“Let’s negotiate again,” he replied and looked at his wristwatch. They looked gorgeous: a bronze case on a black strap. Probably insanely expensive. – Today is still training. It would be great if we hurried.
Having untied his tie, he began to unbutton his shirt, holding the door in front of me and with a glance inviting me to go inside. When I saw his chest and shamefully froze on the expressive muscles, there was a short circuit in his brain.My throat was dry as in the desert.
– Have you lost your mind? I croaked and took a step back until he took off his shirt.
James gave me a piercing look:
– Don’t pretend you don’t understand what’s going on.
I snorted contemptuously:
– You do not have all the houses, if you think that you will silence me with your transcendent attractiveness. Who do you think you are?
He blinked, obviously surprised by the situation.Then he shrugged.
Cheeks burned. I don’t know if it’s disgust or shame. I think I’ve experienced both.
– You are absolutely insane.
– Everyone has a price, Robin. Name yours.
– My name is Ruby, damn it! I hissed and clenched my fists. – Get off now – that’s my price. I cannot afford to be seen next to you.
He flashed his eyes:
– Can’t you be seen next to me ? – He placed emphasis, mocking their meaning.
This mockery should have pissed me off, but I felt only compassion. Almost.
– It is enough that you came up to me in the dining room. I don’t want to be part of your world.
“My world,” he repeated dryly.
– Well, you know … your parties, drugs and stuff. I don’t want to have anything to do with it.
Suddenly footsteps were heard in the corridor. My heart stopped at first, but then it beat very quickly. I pushed James into the office and slammed the door behind us.Holding my breath, I hoped that the steps would follow the study.
Not here, just not here, just not here.
The footsteps grew louder and I closed my eyes. They stopped in front of the door, but then began to move away and soon finally subsided. I sighed with relief.
– Are you serious? – James’s intonation was somehow mysterious, like his gaze.
“Yes,” I replied. – Button up your shirt, please.
He slowly fulfilled my request.It was like I wanted to see the loophole I left, but I couldn’t find anything.
– Okay, agreed.
A stone fell from my soul.
– Okay. Wonderful. Well, I have to go home, my parents are tired of waiting. With my thumb, I pointed over my shoulder to the door. He said nothing. I awkwardly raised my hand, saying goodbye, and turned to leave.
– I still don’t believe you. His low voice gave me goosebumps.
I pressed the doorknob:
The atmosphere in the dressing room was tense, the air seemed to be electrified by the overwhelming adrenaline. These minutes before the coach says his parting words and we finally enter the field are terrible and at the same time they are the best. Any outcome seems possible: victory and defeat, pride and shame, triumph and disappointment. At this time, the team spirit is strongest and the motivation is higher.
Outside, one can hear the chants of classmates, as well as of the enemy’s fans.It’s hard to believe now that just five years ago no one was interested in lacrosse at Maxton Hall. It was then a sport for losers. Those who did not excel in rugby or football were sent to the lacrosse team, so it was very weak. A crowd of skinny teenagers with pimply faces and long limbs that they didn’t know what to do with.
Then I thought: it will be fun to sign up there. First of all, I hoped to bring my father to white heat. And I never expected that I might like it.Or that within a few weeks, out of vanity, you will want to do something from this team. I convinced my friends to join us, thoroughly intimidated the rector of Lexington with the wrath of his parents if he did not get us a good coach, and ordered the development of a sports uniform from our best designer.
For the first time in my life, I was so passionate. And my efforts paid off. Now, five years later, after many hours of weekly training, blood, sweat, tears, broken bones and three championships won, we are finally worthy of the front sign of our fucking school.
We went out of our way to achieve all this. And I am filled with pride whenever I see the determined faces of the team before the game.
This is how it is now.
True, today another feeling resonates within. Dark and painful, which made it difficult for me to put protective gear on my head for the first time in all these years.
This will be the first game of my last school year.
When the season is over, it will be over for me too.Lacrosse is just going to be part of a slow countdown that I can’t stop. No matter how hard I try, it’s all in vain.
– So what? Ren pushed his shoulder.
With difficulty, I dropped my thoughts. There is still time – there is a whole year ahead, during which I can do what I want. With a strained smile, I turned to him:
– We’ll show them, those Eastview assholes.
– Chur, McCormack is mine, – Alistair reacted quickly, as if he was just waiting for a prearranged signal.- I have to get even with him.
– Alistair, – began Kesh. He was rubbing the bridge of his nose, in the very spot that had been broken last year. – Fuck him. – Alistair’s intonation and meaningful look left no doubt that it was not the first time they had spoken about this.
“No,” he replied succinctly.
McCormack, who, unfortunately, had the same name as me, deliberately hit Kesha in the face with the stick during the last game as soon as he took off his helmet. I still remember the shock when Kesh fell to the ground.His nose was bleeding onto his tights. And I remember those minutes when he lay unconscious in front of us.
Although McCormack was suspended for the next three games, the thought of his friend’s broken face boiled anger in me – as, obviously, and Alistair, who was still looking resolutely at Kesh.
“Just don’t do rash things,” Kesh said, pulling on his blue tights. Then he tied his hair in a high, casual bun and closed the cabinet.
“You know him,” Ren said, leaning his elbows against the locker room with a grin.
– I don’t care if I get banned from the game for the rest of the season. McCormack will be responsible for everything. – Alistair patted Kesh on the shoulder.
– Say thank you that I will stand up for your honor.
Before he could remove his hand, Kesh grabbed it and held it for a moment:
– I’m telling you seriously.
Alistair narrowed his amber eyes:
– Me too.
They stared at each other for too long, and the atmosphere grew even more intense.But time intervened.
“Save your strength for the game,” I said in such a tone that it immediately became clear that I was addressing them not as a friend, but as a captain. Two pairs of angry eyes rushed at me, but before the guys could reply, I clapped my hands loudly.
The team immediately gathered in the middle of the dressing room. I pulled the number “17” leotard over my head. The fabric was so familiar that it was part of me. That dark feeling came back to me, but I suppressed it and tried to focus on Coach Freeman, who came out of his dressing room and headed towards us.He was a tall, lanky man who, because of his long limbs, was mistaken for a distance runner or athlete rather than a lacrosse player. He put a cap on his thinning blond hair, straightened his visor and put his arms around the shoulders of me – the captain, and Cyril – the deputy.90,000 Read “After Our Breakup (LP)” – Regnery Cathy – Page 35
– Yes. All rich, neat assholes. ”The guy rhythmically tapped his thigh with his fingers. He was playing something. She couldn’t tell if it was a guitar or a piano.Anyone. Both. – Look at this one.
A tall, blonde-haired, blue-eyed guy dropped his bag near a tree trunk and pulled his lacrosse stick out of the bag’s handles, joining the game that had already begun.
– I’m open! I’m open!
He caught the incoming ball, rocking it lightly in the net before throwing it back. Violet knew this guy. Shepard Smalley. They studied together in an English literature class, but fellow student Violet Smith and Shepard Smalley moved in different circles.
– I know him. We have a joint literature class.
– My condolences.
Violet chuckled at Zach’s dry, condescending tone. Looking at the rips in the knees of his jeans, she could see the dark, coarse hair on his legs. The girl thought about touching his skin, putting her hand on a warm thigh, but she did not know the rules yet. She felt that the guy was afraid of what was going on between them, and despite her impatience for answers, she did not want to do anything that would put pressure on him or push him away.
Because it felt so right to sit next to him, to be with him like his girlfriend and not just a friend – not that Zach ever used the word “girl.” They were two creative people, two rebels, two ordinary children from the middle class, combining words and music into something beautiful. They understood each other. Deep down, Violet was sure they were made for each other. The girl just wasn’t sure if Zach’s heart was on the same side as hers.
The guy hugged her, and it surprised her, and made her tummy flinch.This gave her hope.
– Hmm? – he did not look at her, but with his index finger slid under the hem of her blouse, lightly stroking the skin of her shoulder, and she shuddered.
I had a great weekend.
I want you to call me your girlfriend.
I need to tell you how much I love you.
“I, um, I… I thought I’d write something tonight.” She sighed, losing her composure. Coward.
– “Fall (en) Days”? He smiled at her, and her breath caught in her throat as she saw the cold beauty of his steel-gray eyes.
Without any warning, the guy put his lips on hers, and although Zach kissed her countless times over the past three days, Violet still wasn’t used to it, and it shook her like a shock from something wonderful. It still seemed like a miracle. The blood rushed to her head and she felt dizzy. She turned to bend over to him as Zach slid his hands over her back, over her bra, and left them over her ass.She felt his tongue touch hers, lighting fireworks in her head and between her thighs. Violet was still a virgin (though hardly, after last night) and she wondered if sleeping with Zach could seal the deal between them.
If, having slept with him, she can squeeze the words “I love you too” out of him, the girl was ready to do this every day and every night for the rest of her life.
The guy pulled back, leaning his forehead against hers.
“Violet is like a flower,” he muttered.
The girl opened her eyes, her heart beat wildly at the sound of a new affectionate name. He kept his closed.
– Something beautiful. Write me something beautiful, – the girl whispered.
– I’ll write, I … I … Violet, I think I … – He slightly gasped against her lips before opening his eyes. – I think we should go and write this song.
Coward. You’re a fucking coward, Zach.
He watched as Violet smiled faintly and nodded to him, pulling away.It took him a couple of seconds to straighten his boner in his underpants before getting up and pulling his T-shirt over his jeans. Violet stepped next to him, and it made him angry that she looked back at the blond man playing lacrosse.
You should have tried to tell her how you feel. You just had to say it, for heaven’s sake.
Zak told his heart to shut up and pushed those determined words away. His palms were sweaty as Violet’s shoulder touched his arm and he shoved them into his back pockets.Zach had no personal experience of love, but everything he read, everything he ever saw, listened to, or understood indicated that he was in … No. He didn’t even allow himself to think about it. The guy clenched his jaw, desperate to get rid of the seriousness of the words, their pressure and categoricalness.
I don’t know how I feel. Throughout my life, I have hardly felt anything. I just know it’s nice. It’s so damn good it scares me to death. It’s much safer to be numb.Can’t we just be friends fooling around too?
The reality was that Zach just didn’t have much experience in personal relationships. From early childhood, his parents filled every free minute with musical training, rehearsals and summer camps dedicated to the development of talent. He was not allowed to play team sports or attend social events. He had to practice, compose, or perform when he was not in school. He spent every summer at the age of twelve at Juliard, and although he saw very kind and dedicated teachers, the other children were competitive, determined, and uncommunicative.By the time he reached his teens, Zach was a true virtuoso playing piano and guitar, but socially awkward, especially around girls with whom (with the exception of his twin, Cora) he never spent much time.
In his first year at Yale, he failed to violate the conditions of his upbringing and spent all of his time in class or in practice. Zach noticed girls, especially smart and artistic, but did not know what to tell them first.Not to mention the fact that he was not from some rich family, did not drive an expensive car, and he had nothing else to prove himself. The guy did not know at all how to strike up a conversation with them. Plus, there wasn’t a single girl who captured his imagination – until he read a poem by freshman Violet Smith in Yale’s literary magazine, and it ripped out his heart. As if she wrote it about him.
It was a poem about an old man who was going to play the guitar.Violet described his gnarled fingers, yellow teeth, crooked nose and Einstein’s hair. She talked about his ugliness, about how painful it was to watch him. And then he moved his fingers along the strings, and she wrote that her heart broke, and suddenly everything, , all in this man became beautiful – in an instant he became not her curse, but her muse. The man was beautiful and magical, as if the heavens had opened wide, deigning to share with her something absolutely perfect. The first time Zach read her words, his eyes began to burn, as if someone had thrown sand in his face.Because the music somehow made the old man worthy of love, and in some strange, pathetic way, it was as if she had written a poem about him.
Soon after, he dropped in at the poorly attended poetry reading of the University Communities, sitting in the back row, bored as hell, until she got up to read Mr. Guitarist. When Zach silently spoke the words in tune with her reading, he felt something shift inside him. Violet was the first person he ever craved, dreamed of, and her Maine accent figured prominently in his fantasies after that night.
Until the end of the first year, the guy secretly watched her, was interested in who she was, where she was from, and how such a girl saw the rest of the world. She didn’t get together with a large group of other girls, but she seemed to get along with everyone, glowing and cheerful, offering smiles as if they cost her nothing. Her wild, wavy hair framed her pale face, and she dressed like a sixty-seven fugitive. But Zak didn’t give a shit about how she looked and how she dressed – her words threw a net over his heart. He was in love with her soul from afar.And now, by good luck or by the will of fate, she was here, with him, with of him. And the guy was so scared by the growing feelings he had for her, feelings he barely knew, let alone name them, he didn’t know what to do about it.
IIchan Archives – Rozen Maiden
Dear Diary, another day has passed. Only one day, but it contained two whole steps on the way to the cherished goal.Yes, I know – it’s funny, stupid and petty to flaunt your feelings, to boast of suffering, joy, despondency, happiness, confusion, love. Oh, how shallow are human hopes and experiences, reflections and views on life, how scarce we, human beings, are at the highest manifestations of beauty, how grounded are our motives, how primitive our motives are. And yet, diary (see how presumptuous your Odile is!), I am not ashamed even now to entrust you with a few more lines.
Today we – Mitsu Kusabe and I – did something, without exaggeration, wonderful.Diary, you have no idea how beautiful the evening Tokyo is! It is beautiful and fresh, but not that sterile, lofty European charm, no – in its own way, in a special way. Here you will not find the deserted cobbled streets that are hidden behind the winding turns of the ancient facades that have seen Napoleon. Here, small open-air cafes do not sit decorously, sedately by the old walls, with the bent legs of Viennese chairs, clinging to the swept pavement to a shine. In the center of Tokyo at night, you will not meet that lifeless, safe antiquity, which our native, but already familiar Paris, harasses us so much.Oh no, diary, here – life exists primordially, as it is, here – Asia, and even more – its quintessence, its very edge, Eastern Eden – Tokyo – at the same time charming and terrible, refined and disgusting, calm and crazy place. I don’t know, diary, how to describe to you this whirlwind of night Ginza lights, this is a mess of smells of traditional semi-basement restaurants, this veil of sounds, cozy, with a head, enveloping, and yet – waves of human bodies that wash the neon gorges of the streets, pick you up and carry you , they carry, I don’t know, a diary, how to tell you why these two in impeccably ironed white livery brought us to a small office behind the screens, I don’t know, but there seemed to be several people at the table, they didn’t say, they didn’t say anything, not a word, diary, I only remember pushed, so painful, in the back, so unexpectedly, they hit me, I bit my tongue with my teeth, it hurt, and the glass flew out of my hands, and Mitsu was also beaten next to him, with deaf slaps, they ripped everything off her , and she was silent, silent, so quiet, and I fell at the feet of some man in a suit, and he didn’t say anything either, he got up from the table only, such low tables, low, there are many small cups, it smells strange , and he got up, and then I saw only all the shoes, lakiro bathrooms, and I got burned, it hurt – they poured something on my head, right on my hair, probably soup, little octopuses, such tentacles, with small suction cups, like they were small in childhood, like in a cartoon about a little mermaid, the little mermaid went out on land, and It hurt her to walk, and it hurt, it hurt, it hurt so much, diary, only patent leather around, and Mitsu was thrown next to her too, she was silent, and I wanted to scream, but they put something in my mouth, it smelled so disgusting, toilet, and a diary, I was vomiting, so hard, there was nothing to breathe, then I woke up, poured something, they were all on top, in a semicircle, I was lying, and they laugh so dully, as if Mitsu were barking right there, holding her on top, and these are shouting something, I did not understand, they very quickly, very much, only she vomited here so thickly, sourly, at me like that, in lumps, they laugh again, then they raised them, threw them on the table, I twisted my hand, fell wet, and a burning sensation, a burning sensation, the whole stomach seems to be twisted on a spit, as if pierced, woke up again, spat in the face, and one in his mouth puts this in his mouth , smelly, so salty with him, and shouts something like: “Swallow, swallow bitch gaijinskaya!” , the end, the blood, I think, the diary, not long left, I’m afraid to move, it hurts, I look out of the corner of my eye, Mitsu is nearby, like lifeless, in front one rapes, only the head dangles back and forth, and from behind one rapes her and whips, whips, and her eyes are already closed, killed, I think, killed Mitsu, killed, the diary, and now they will kill me, and then I lost consciousness again, my eyes burn, it is difficult to look, it smells of bitterness, someone laughs: “A very gentle whore! Let him swallow as it should! ”
Cigarette smashed to filter – Neil Josten didn’t take a puff.He needed not nicotine, but acrid smoke that reminded of his mother. If you inhale slowly, you can almost smell gasoline and burning. The mixture aroused disgust and pleasure at the same time; a stinging shiver ran down my spine. A painful wave swept to her fingertips and pushed down a lump of ash. He fell at the feet of the Nile, on the stands, and immediately disappeared, caught in the wind.
Neal looked up at the sky, but the stars faded in the powerful spotlights. He – not for the first time – wondered if his mother was looking at him from above? At least not.She would not have left a living place on him if she had seen him sour and toil here.
The creak of the door brought him out of his reverie. Neal pulled the duffel bag closer and turned around. Leaving the locker room door open, Coach Hernandez sat down next to him.
“Didn’t notice your parents at the game,” he said.
“They’re away,” Neal replied.
– Still or again?
Neither one nor the other, but it is better to remain silent about it. Neal knew how tired the coach and teachers were of hearing the same excuse every time, but for him the lie was as easy as he was used to.A convenient explanation of why the Jostens are not visible in the city and why Neil spends the night at school most of the time.
Not that he had nowhere to live; it is rather a matter of his illegal status. Milport is dying out, which means there are dozens of homes for sale that no one will ever buy. Last summer, Neil surreptitiously took a liking to one such house in a quiet neighborhood populated mostly by retirees. The neighbors rarely looked up from their cozy sofas and daily soap operas, but Neal still risked getting caught as he walked in and out.As soon as people realize that he has occupied the house illegally, uncomfortable questions will immediately begin, so it is easier to get into the locker room and spend the night there. Why the coach turns a blind eye to this and does not knock on the school administration, Neil did not know and preferred not to ask.
Hernandez held out his hand. Neal handed him a cigarette. The coach put it out on the concrete step, tossed the crumpled cigarette butt away with a click, and turned to Neal.
– Thought they’d make an exception today.
– Who knew this game was the last one? Neal responded, looking at the field.
A home defeat knocked Milport’s team out of the state championship two games before the final. Come so close and roll so far. R-times – and the season is over. Workers have already begun removing transparent plexiglass shields and spreading artificial turf. When they finish, the eyes will once again be presented with an ordinary football field and nothing will remind you of the Exies until the fall. It hurt to watch, but Neal didn’t look away.
Axi is a hybrid game, a cross: something like lacrosse on a field the size of a football – and in terms of rigidity is not inferior to hockey.Neil loved everything in this sport, from the high theme to the aggressiveness. Exie is the only part of his childhood that he could not refuse.
“I’ll call them later, I’ll tell them the bill,” he added under the coach’s gaze. – I will say that they did not miss anything interesting.
“Until, perhaps, they didn’t miss,” Hernandez said vaguely. “Someone came to see you.
For someone who has been running away from his own past for half his life, these words sounded like a phrase from a nightmare.Neal immediately jumped to his feet and threw the bag behind his back, but the sound of footsteps from behind suggested that it was too late to scramble. Turning with a jerk, he saw a tall, large man in the doorway. The stranger’s torso was wrapped in an alcoholic T-shirt, naked shoulders and forearms were covered with ethnic tattoos depicting curly swirls of flame. He kept one hand in his jeans pocket, with the other clutching a thick folder. His posture was relaxed, while his brown eyes were intent.
Neil did not recognize him, which means that the men were not local.Milport could not boast even nine hundred inhabitants. Here everyone knew everything about everyone. For Neal, with his secrets, such an annoying curiosity, which became second nature to the inhabitants of the town, made life noticeably difficult, but he hoped that the local mentality would also serve as a protection: in theory, rumors about a stranger should have reached him earlier than the stranger himself. But Milport had failed him.
“I don’t know you,” Neal stated.
“He’s from the university,” Hernandez explained. – I came to see how you play.
“Nonsense,” Neal snorted. “Nobody is recruiting players in Milport. People don’t know where it is at all.
“There is such a thing called a card,” the stranger said. – Maybe you heard?
The coach gave Nile a warning glance and stood up.
– This person came here because I wrote to him about you. His team has a problem with the attackers, so I decided that it was worth showing you. I didn’t tell you, so as not to reassure me ahead of time.
– What, what? Neal’s eyes widened.
– When we made an appointment, I tried to contact your parents, but they never answered my messages. Did you say they would try to come to the game?
“They wanted to,” Neal muttered. – Did not work out.
– I can’t wait any longer. The stranger walked over and stood next to Hernandez. – Of course, it’s stupid to recruit players at the end of the season, but we had technical difficulties with the last recruit. Coach Hernandez said you haven’t decided on the choice of school for next year yet, so everything is going very well, huh? I need a striker, you need a team.You sign the papers, and for the next five years you are at my disposal.
On the second try, Neal squeezed out:
– You are not serious, are you?
– How serious. Besides, I’m in a wild hurry. The stranger tossed his file onto the podium where Neal sat.
Neal’s first and last name were boldly printed on the cover in black marker. He already wanted to open the folder, but then he thought: what’s the point? The person whom this visiting coach has studied and is now trying to recruit does not exist at all.In five weeks Neil will graduate from high school, and in six weeks he will be far from here, will change both his place of residence and his name. It doesn’t matter that he liked being Neil Josten. He was already here too late.
By and large, Neil is no stranger to this lifestyle. He has spent the last eight years on the run, stringing one lie upon another, confusing his tracks. Twenty-two false ones separated him from his real name, and he knew what would happen if someone did trace the connection between them. Becoming a member of a university team is not just getting stuck in one place, but being the center of attention.Prison won’t keep his father long, and Neil simply won’t survive in a rematch.
Arithmetic is simple, but it doesn’t make the choice any easier. The contract is a sure ticket to the future, which does not shine for him and about which he painfully dreams. For a brief moment, Neal hated himself for the decision to play for Milport. It was impossible for him to return to the field. The mother said that he should give up with the Exs. I warned him to “get sick” from afar, but he would not listen. But what else could he do? After the death of his mother, Neal stumbled into Milport, because he did not know how to live on, that’s all.He had nothing left but an exi, and now, having re-experienced the taste of the game, he no longer knew how to give it up.
“Please go away,” he said.
– I understand this is all a little unexpected, but keep in mind, I need the answer today. After Janey was taken to a psychiatric hospital, the committee does not leave me.
Nile’s heart leapt. He looked up from the folder and looked at the stranger.
– Foxes. Palmetto University.
The man – Neil had already guessed that this was the coach of the “Foxes” David Wymack – was noticeably surprised at his ingenuity.
“So you saw the story on the news,” he said.
Technical difficulties, Weimak said on TV. This veiled expression meant a suicide attempt by Janey Smalls, the new player on the team. Her best friend found her with open veins in the bathroom and, fortunately, managed to take her to the hospital. The last thing Neal heard was that Janey was placed under the supervision of psychiatrists. “Typical of ‘foxes’,” the news anchor blurted out tactlessly, although, admittedly, he was not exaggerating.
“Foxes” from the University of Palmetto were a bunch of talented scum and homeless children: Wymak recruited his team exclusively from dysfunctional families. His intention to make “Fox hole” something like a rehabilitation center in theory looked great, but in fact, Waimack’s wards were a group of lonely, broken by life, unable to rally even during the game. In the National Student Sports Association (NCCA) “Foxes” were listed as the smallest team and a hopeless outsider, trailing in the tail of the ranking for three years.They’ve improved a lot over the past year – all thanks to the captain’s tenacity and the strengthening of the line of defense – but critics still didn’t take them seriously. The persistent bad results began to annoy even the CRE – Exci Regulations Committee.
And then the team was joined by Kevin Day, who once won the title of champion of the country. For the Foxes, it was the best thing that could happen to them, and for Neal, the reason why he could not accept Wimack’s offer. Neal hadn’t seen Kevin in almost eight years and wasn’t eager to see him again.Not all doors are worth opening; in Neal’s case, his life depended on it.
“You shouldn’t have come,” he said.
“And yet I’m here,” Vaymak retorted. – Give a pen?
“No,” Neal replied. – I will not play for Lisov.
– I misheard?
– You took Kevin.
– And Kevin offered to take you, so …
Further Neal did not listen – he rushed up the stands to the dressing room. The rattling of metal underfoot did not drown Hernandez’s surprised voice.Did the coaches rush after him? Neal didn’t look back. Fuck graduation, fuck Neil Josten. He will run away today and run until the words spoken by Wimak are completely erased from his head.
He was late.
Halfway to the exit from the locker room, he realized that he was not alone in the room: someone was blocking the way to the door. A bright yellow club flashed – the one who was standing swung – and the Neal had no time to slow down. The wooden hilt hit him in the ribs, nearly pressing his lungs into his spine.He didn’t remember how he fell, and just found himself crawling on all fours helplessly on the floor, gasping for air. If Neal managed to breathe, he would immediately vomit, but for some reason his body did not obey.
It turned out that the tinnitus is the voice of an angry Wimak, only it sounded unintelligible, as if from a great distance.
– Damn it, Mignard! This is why we fail to get decent people.
“Come on, coach,” someone boomed over Neil’s head.“If he were decent, we wouldn’t need it, right?
– It won’t come in handy if you break it!
– Do you think it was necessary to let him pull off? Put a plaster on it, and it will be as good as new.
Darkened in the eyes of the Nile, then the world around him acquired a painful clarity – air finally rushed into his bruised lungs. He inhaled so sharply that he coughed. It seemed that from this excruciating cough, he was about to fall to pieces. Gripping himself with both arms, Neal cast a fierce glare at his attacker from under his brows.
Vaymak had already named him by his last name, but Neil did not need it. Too often he looked at this face in newspaper clippings not to recognize it in person. Andrew Mignard didn’t seem to be anything special — a fair-haired boy a mere fifty-two feet tall — but Neal knew how deceiving appearances were. Freshman Andrew was the Fox’s goalkeeper and deadliest acquisition. Most of them hurt themselves, while Andrew lunged at others. He spent three years in a juvenile colony and narrowly escaped a second sentence.In addition, Andrew was the only one who turned down the invitation to the team of Edgar Allan University – the reigning champions of the country. Kevin and Rico even hosted a reception in his honor, but for some reason Mignard preferred the losers, the Foxes. He did not comment on his choice, but everyone explained this by the fact that Wimack had agreed to accept his entire family into the team: in the same year, Aaron, Andrew’s twin, and their cousin Nicholas Hammick joined the Foxes. Well, Kevin’s recent move was also attributed to Andrew.
Kevin played for Edgar Allan’s The Ravens until last December, when he broke his dominant arm while skiing.The injury cost him a sports contract with the university. It was assumed that he would recover and return to his home team, but instead, Kevin suddenly moved to Palmeto, where he became Wimack’s assistant. And three weeks ago he signed a contract and since the new season he officially joined the Lisov.
Losers like the Foxes could only offer Kevin one thing: the goalkeeper who once contemptuously rejected his offer. Throughout the spring, Neal has been collecting information about Andrew, wanting to understand what Kevin saw in this man.Meeting Mignard face to face was not only unexpected, but also painful.
Touching his temples with his fingers, Andrew saluted Neal with a smile:
– Nothing, I’ll be lucky next time.
“Fuck you,” Neal said. – Who stole the club?
– Not stolen, but borrowed for a while. Andrew tossed the club to Neal. – Here you go.
– Jesus, Neal, how are you? Hernandez came up and grabbed him by the elbow and helped him up.
“Our Andrew’s upbringing is a little lame,” said Wimack, standing between the guys.
Mignard has perfectly decoded this silent warning. He threw up his hands – they say, I mean – I’m nothing – and left. Following him with his eyes, Vaymak examined Neal.
– Did you break anything?
Neal gently pressed his palms to his ribs and inhaled; the muscles flared in protest with pain. He suffered enough fractures to know that he got off easy this time.
– Everything is fine. Coach, I have to go. Let me go.
“We’re not done yet,” Vaymak objected.
– Coach Vaimak … – Hernandez began, but he interrupted him:
– I’m not long, okay?
Hernandez looked from his colleague to his charge, then released him.
– I’ll wait outside.
Neal listened to the receding footsteps. A knocked down door post banged, and the back door slammed shut with a disgusting creak. After clicking the lock, Neal spoke:
– I have already given the answer. I will not sign a contract.
“You didn’t even listen to my proposal in full,” said Vaymak.“Since I paid for three to fly here and see you, you could at least give me five minutes, huh?
The blood drained from Nile’s face so suddenly it made his head spin. He staggered back from Wymack, desperate to regain his balance and gasp for air. The duffel bag hit him in the thigh, and he looped the belt around his palm, wanting to grab onto something.
– Don’t say you took it with you.
Vaymak stared at him sternly.
– Any problems?
Neal could not reveal the truth, so he said:
– I am not worthy to play on the same field with the champion of the country.
“Exactly, although it doesn’t matter now,” came a voice, and Neal’s breath caught in his throat. He turned around – against his own will.
Should have guessed sooner, as soon as he saw Andrew. Why would a goalkeeper look at a potential rookie if he plays offensively? Andrew is only here because Kevin Day never walks alone.
Kevin settled himself on a television stand against the back wall. He pushed the TV to the edge to make more room for himself, and covered both sides with papers. Judging by the calm gaze with which he watched the performance, he was not impressed by Neal’s words.
It’s been years since Neal and Kevin were in the same room; since they watched Neal’s father shred the screaming man into a hundred bloody pieces. Neal knew this guy’s face like his own, and all because he was closely watching the growing popularity of Kevin, albeit from afar.Kevin Day has changed in everything. And he remained the same – also in everything, starting with the green eyes under the dark hair and ending with the black number two tattooed on the left cheekbone, the mere sight of which made Neal sick.
Kevin went with her and then, for a long time, he was just too young to get a real tattoo. He and his half-brother Riko Moriyama used a black marker to draw two and one on their cheeks, and when the numbers began to wear off, they redrawn them. Neil didn’t realize at the time that Kevin and Rico had been striving for fame since childhood.Thus, they promised that they would become stars.
And they were right. Both played in a professional team called The Ravens. Both were accepted into the national team last year. Both won the championship title, and Neil … Neil was entangled in a ball of lies and despair.
Kevin couldn’t recognize him, that’s a fact. Too much water has flowed under the bridge, now there is a whole abyss between them. In addition, Neil camouflaged himself with dark hair dye and brown contact lenses. But then why would Kevin Day come to gaze at him? No varsity team will fall so low, not even the Foxes.In the personal file of Neal it is indicated that he has been playing Exxies all year, and all this year he carefully mowed under the “teapot”, last fall he even stocked up with various manuals and dragged them everywhere with him. Considering he hadn’t held a golf club in eight years, pretending was easy at first. It also helped that in the Minor League, Neil took a different position on the field and now he had to practically retrain on a new one. His learning curve was enviable upward, but he still put in a lot of effort not to stand out.
Has he pierced somewhere? Did the previous experience, which he was silent about, still come out? How was it that, despite his best efforts to keep a low profile, he caught the attention of Kevin Day? If Kevin spotted him with such ease, then Neil Josten must be a living target for his father’s people.
– What are you doing here? – he hissed through numb lips.
– What are you doing? Kevin asked.
– I was the first to ask.
“The coach has already answered you,” Kevin said with slight irritation.- We are waiting for you to sign the contract. Stop wasting our time.
“No,” Neal said. – Listen, thousands of attackers only dream of such an offer. Maybe it’s better to contact them?
– We looked through all the profiles, – Vaymak entered the conversation, – and chose you.
“I won’t play with Kevin,” Neal muttered.
“You will,” Kevin said.
Vaymak shrugged indifferently.
– You probably did not understand, but we will not leave here until we reach your consent.Kevin thinks the team needs you, and he’s right.
“I should have thrown away your coach’s letter without reading it,” Kevin continued. – Your profile is complete squalor, and I don’t need a rookie in the team. This goes against our plans for the new season. Fortunately, your coach was smart enough to send not statistics, but a video recording of the game, so we saw you in action. On the field, you fight for life and death.
Salaga? If Kevin had recognized him, he would have realized that the information in the questionnaire was a complete lie.He knows that Neal played in the Minor Leagues, and he could not forget that tough match, interrupted due to the murder.
“Ah, here’s the thing,” Neal said quietly.
– This is the only insider we need.
Relief nearly twisted his stomach. So, Kevin did not recognize him and all this is just a stupid coincidence. Probably, in this way, the world shows him what can happen if he stays in one place for too long. Next time Kevin won’t come after him. Father will come next time.
“In fact, we even play into our hands that you are from such a wilderness,” said Vaymak. “No one in the team or in your school knows that we are here. We don’t want your name to be on the news this summer. For the near future, we have our own worries up to the throat, and we are not going to drag you into all this until you get settled in the hostel. There is a confidentiality clause in the contract – therefore, until the start of the season in August, you are obliged to keep silent about the fact that you joined the Lisov.
Neal looked into Kevin’s face again: maybe he did?
“This is a bad idea,” he said.
“Your opinion has been taken into account,” Vaymak said dryly. – Any more questions or will we finally sign the papers?
The best way out is to disappear. Even if Kevin didn’t recognize him, the idea is still bad. The Foxes get a lot of attention in the news anyway, and with Kevin’s transition they will get even more attention. Neal doesn’t need to get into focus. It is necessary to break Vaymak’s contract into small pieces and topple.
Escaping means surviving, but the Neal is already preoccupied with survival. His life is a constant change of names and places, a constant flight without looking back.As soon as there is a donkey somewhere, you pack your things and get blown up. And last year, when his mother died, he was left completely alone and since then he just drifted aimlessly, not knowing where he would take him.
He also did not know whether he would be able to give up the exi a second time. The game is the only thing that made him feel alive. The contract with Vaymak will give the opportunity to play and pretend to be normal for a while. Wimack said it was for five years, but Neal doesn’t have to stay for the entire term. He can leave as soon as he wants, right?
Neal looked at Kevin again.He did not recognize him, but perhaps somewhere in his subconscious he remembered the boy he had known many years ago. His past is locked in Kevin’s memory. This is proof of the existence of the Nile, as well as the Exi. Kevin is a confirmation of the reality of Neal and, perhaps, the most accurate reference point: if Neal is next to him, if they play in the same team, he will not miss the moment when Kevin starts to suspect something. As soon as there are unnecessary questions or sidelong glances, Neal will disappear.
– So what? – hastened Vaymak.
The instinct of self-preservation fought fiercely against desire, and this struggle plunged Neal into impotent panic.
“I need to talk to my mom,” he said simply because he couldn’t find another answer.
– Why? – Vaymak did not understand. – You’re an adult, right? The personal file states that you are nineteen.
Actually eighteen, but nineteen times are written in the false questionnaire, so be it.
– You still need to consult.
– She will be glad for you.
“Probably,” Neal agreed quietly, although that was also not true. If his mother knew that he had even thought about this proposal, she would have been furious. Maybe it’s for the best that she doesn’t know anything, but is it really for the “best” that an unbearable pain in her chest should be felt, as if she were stabbed with a knife? “I’ll talk to her tonight.
– Throw up to the house?
– Don’t, I’ll do it myself.
Wymack turned to Kevin.
– Wait for me in the car.
Kevin gathered up the paper and slid off his perch.Andrew, standing outside the door, left the locker room with him. After they left, Wymack looked at Neal in all seriousness.
– Do you want us to talk to your parents? He suggested.
“Don’t, I’ll do it myself,” Neal said again.
The next question sounded deadly straightforward.
– Do your parents beat you?
Neal stared at him in utter confusion. It sounded so tactless and in all respects rude that it was not worth trying to answer.Vaymak obviously understood this and immediately continued:
– Let’s clarify everything. I am asking this for a reason. Coach Hernandez suspects you sleep here several times a week. He thinks that things are not going well at your house, because you do not leave with everyone and do not allow anyone to meet with your parents. That is why he wrote about you – he decided that you would suit me. Do you understand, right? You know what kind of guys I select for the team. I don’t know if Hernandez is right in his guesses, but something tells me that he is not far from the truth.In any case, the locker room will be closed for the summer. If you’re in trouble with your parents, we can arrange for you to move to South Carolina early.
– What do you mean? Neal didn’t understand.
– Andrew and his brothers stay in town on vacation. They live with Abby, our team medic. She has no extra space, but a hostel opens in June, and until then you can turn over with me. The apartment, of course, is cramped, but there is a sofa – everything is softer on it than on bare ground. Let’s say you’re on probation.Half will believe, half will not, but it doesn’t matter. In “Foxes” who is not taken in vain, and everyone understands that if you were a mediocrity, we would not have contacted you. The details of your life do not concern me, and I myself will not pester you with questions and, believe me, I will not talk.
Neal managed to find his voice only on the second try:
– Why do you need it?
Vaymak was silent for a minute.
– Do you think I put together this team for PR? No. I’m just ready to give the person a second chance.The second, third, fourth, and even the twentieth – the main thing, one more than everyone else will give you.
Neil had heard more than once that Wimack was considered a crazy idealist, however, listening to him, it was hard not to believe in his sincerity. In Neal’s soul, disbelief mingled with contempt. It did not fit in my head why Vaymak again and again voluntarily doomed himself to disappointment. In his place, the Neal would have given up on the Foxes long ago.
After a short pause, Vaimak asked:
– So you still have problems with your parents?
Neal understood that he was taking risks, but the temptation overcame.Nodding, he received a painful prick, but the fatigue that showed in Wimack’s gaze even more sharply stabbed him. It was not the pity that Neal sometimes caught in Hernandez’s eyes; Wimack seemed to understand what it means to be Neal, at what cost he forces himself to get up and move on every day. It is unlikely that Vaymak even remotely imagined his life, but from others Neil did not receive even such a little. He had to turn away.
“Your coach said your graduation is scheduled for May 11,” Vaymak finally broke the silence.“On Friday, the twelfth, I’ll send someone to meet you at the airport.
Neal almost blurted out that he didn’t agree to anything, but the words stuck in his throat: he suddenly realized that everything was decided.
– Leave the papers with you. Wymack handed him the folder again, and this time Neal took it. “On Monday, Coach Hernandez will fax me signed copies. Welcome to the team.
It was supposed to say “thank you” here, but Neal could not squeeze out a sound and continued to drill the floor with his eyes.Vaymak did not wait for an answer and went to look for Hernandez.
The back door slammed shut with a clang. Nile’s nerves lost. He dashed to the toilet and barely had time to fly into the booth before he was turned inside out, although his stomach was empty.
Mother would just be pissed if she knew what he had done. The memory of how he tore his hair was still fresh. For so many years they hid, moving from place to place, and now, thanks to Neal, all their work will go down the drain. He knew that his mother had not forgiven him for this, and therefore his chest was tightened with a hoop even more.
– Forgive me, – he whispered, choking and coughing, – I’m sorry, I’m sorry.
Stumbling, the Neal made his way to the sink. After rinsing his mouth, he looked up at his reflection in the mirror. Black hair, brown eyes – ordinary, ordinary appearance; in the crowd they won’t notice, they won’t remember. This is exactly what he wanted, but will camouflage work against reporters’ cameras? Grimacing slightly, he leaned closer to the mirror and pulled back a few strands. He made sure that the light roots had not yet grown, exhaled with relief and leaned back.
“University…” he muttered to himself. Sounds like a dream, but not like ashes.
Neal tugged at the zipper on the duffel bag and slipped the contract into it. Both coaches were waiting for him in the locker room. Without a word, he headed for the exit.
As he walked past the parking lot, Andrew Mignard leaned out the back door of Hernandez’s SUV; his lips parted in a mocking smile.
– Too cool for people like us? Can’t you even sit in the same car with us?
Neal glanced over him and quickened his pace, and when he reached the end of the parking lot, he started to run.The stadium, the Foxes and their tempting promises were left behind, but the unsigned contract in the bag crushed with a heavy load, bent to the ground.
Neil had long since lost count of the airports he had seen, but he still felt uncomfortable there. It was full of people around – just have time to look around, and flying with false documents is risky. After the death of his mother, some connections remained, so passports were made to him conscientiously, and nevertheless, with each check, his heart still pounded frantically.
Although Neil had never been to Sky Harbor or an airport in northeastern South Carolina before, there was the usual rush of any air harbor. After passing through the terminal, he stood aside for a minute, letting in the people – some were in a hurry to the arrival area, others for a transfer. The crowd, as usual, consisted of vacationers, business travelers and students returning home for the holidays. Neil did not expect to meet acquaintances, since he flew to South Carolina for the first time, but it never hurt to be vigilant.
Finally, following the signs, he passed the corridor, up the steps and out into the arrivals hall. Of course, the small lobby was crowded on Friday night, but finding the greeter sent by Wimack was easier than Neal had expected.
His new teammate’s gaze caught his eye almost immediately. It was one of the Mignard twins – clearly not Andrew, judging by the peaceful expression on his face. “The one who is normal,” was often said about Aaron Mignard, although after this statement there was usually a debate whether a normal person could be with the same set of genes as Andrew’s.
Neal moved towards him. In the Milport Dingos, Neil was considered the shortest player, but Aaron was seven centimeters behind him, and in his black clothes he looked even smaller. Put on a long sleeve jersey at the end of May? Neal was already sweating at the sight of her.
– Neal, – instead of greeting, Aaron threw and pointed with a finger: – They get their luggage there.
– That’s all. Neal tapped the strap of the gym bag that hung at its side — small enough not to be checked in, and large enough for all of her belongings.
Aaron walked away in silence. Following him through the sliding glass doors, Neal stepped into a warm and humid spring day. Several people were standing at a traffic light at the crossing, but Aaron pushed them apart and jumped out onto the road without waiting for the green one. The brakes squealed as a taxi swooped down, inches from the small figure of the intruder. Aaron Mignard flicked his lighter as if nothing had happened and stuck a lit cigarette in his teeth. He did not even pay attention to the angry abuse that the taxi driver burst into his address.Neal threw up his hands guiltily and hurried after the companion.
An elegant black car was waiting for them in the back of the paid parking lot. Neal didn’t know much about cars, but the expensive thing was immediately visible. For a moment, he decided that behind this car was hiding another, smaller and more modest, but Aaron pressed a button on the key fob and unlocked the doors.
– Bag – in the trunk, – he commanded, sitting sideways in the driver’s seat and continuing to smoke.
Neal obediently complied with the order, and then jumped off the step into the front passenger seat.Aaron slowly finished half of his cigarette, clicked the butt onto the concrete floor and, pulling the door toward himself, turned the key in the ignition. The engine hummed regularly. Aaron glanced at Neal; the corner of his mouth curled slightly into a smile, but she was definitely not friendly.
“Neil Josten,” Aaron said, as if tasting the name. – You say to us for the summer?
Mignard turned on the air conditioner at full capacity and backed up.
– So, together with you there are five of us.True, I heard that you will join the coach.
Wymack mentioned that three brothers – Andrew, Aaron and Nicholas – spend the summer in the city, but the figure still did not agree. Neal guessed who the fifth was. Of course, this was to be expected, but I didn’t want to believe it anyway. Kevin has stuck to Andrew since the day he joined the team.
Just in case, Neal decided to clarify:
– Did Kevin stay in town?
– Kevin is always where the field is. He can’t live without training, ”Aaron said mockingly.
“I doubt it’s about training,” Neal said.
Aaron didn’t react to this. At the exit from the parking lot, he handed the controller money and, as soon as the barrier rose, he drowned the gas pedal to the floor. The car flew into the general stream under the indignant signals of other cars, and Neal decided to unnoticeably buckle up. Aaron either didn’t notice or didn’t care. As he drove out onto the track, he glanced sideways at Neal.
– Rumor has it that you and Kevin didn’t get along very well last time.
“I was not warned about him,” Neal replied, looking at the landscapes sweeping past the window. “I’m sorry I didn’t meet him properly.”
– Nope, I won’t forgive. I do not believe in forgiveness, besides, you did not clash with me. You’re the second rookie to fuck up Kevin. If not for his arrogance, from such a blow to pride, he would have strangled himself. And he was simply disappointed in the intellectual abilities of university athletes.
– Surely Andrew had his reasons, as did me.
– You said that you were not good enough for our team, and nevertheless, you are here. Looking to upgrade over the summer?
– No. I just couldn’t refuse.
– The coach knows how to find the approach, huh? Although you’ll make life difficult for us. Even the Milport team took a big risk with you.
– Milport doesn’t have much to choose, there are not enough players there anyway. I didn’t lose anything when I decided to try myself in the team, and they had no reason not to accept me.I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
– Do you believe in fate? – In the voice of the guy slipped a barely noticeable note of contempt.
– No, what about you?
– Good luck then? – Aaron ignored the counter question.
– Rather, in bad luck.
– We are fucking flattered by your high opinion.
Aaron turned the steering wheel and sharply changed to another lane, not bothering to assess the road situation. They buzzed angrily from behind. In the side mirror, Neal noticed several cars swerving to avoid a collision.
– Wouldn’t it be a pity to break such a beauty? He asked tartly.
“Don’t be afraid to die,” Aaron said as he guided the car toward the exit of the four-lane highway. – And if you are afraid, you have no place among the Foxes.
– Actually, an exi is a sport, not a mortal battle.
– No difference. You play for a top team alongside Kevin Day himself. The people are ready to bleed for him. Well, you saw it on the news.
Aaron snapped his fingers as if it was proving him right.Neal found it difficult to disagree with him, and therefore remained silent. Kevin Day and his half-brother Riko Moriyama were often referred to as the “sons of the exi.” Kaylee Day, Kevin’s mother, and Tetsuji Moriyama, Riko’s uncle, invented the sport about thirty years ago when Kayleigh was studying at the University of Fukui, Japan. Beginning as an experiment, the game went off campus and into city streets, then stepped across the ocean. After completing her studies, Kayleigh brought her home to Ireland, and soon after that the game conquered the States.
Kevin and Rico grew up exi. When Evermore Castle, the huge stadium of Edgar Allan University (and the first NCCA stadium in the States to host Exxies), was still in the draft, Kevin and Rico already had custom golf clubs. After Kaylee’s tragic death in a car accident, Tetsuji took Kevin to his place, but the new Ravens coach had no time to raise children. And so it happened that Rico and Kevin spent their childhood and early youth at the stadium, being considered the unofficial mascots of the Ravens.They were constantly trained – if not Tetsuji, then the team members; teachers were brought there, to the stadium, so that the boys did not waste time on the way to school.
Kevin and Rico were in the camera lens from an early age, but only in connection with the exies and always together. Before Kevin moved to Palmetto University, the stepbrothers were not apart for a minute. Such an unusual childhood raised many questions about the psychological well-being of the guys and at the same time made both wildly popular. Riko Moriyama and Kevin Day were considered the faces of the Crows, and many saw them as the future of a professional exi.
Last December, the brothers disappeared from the public eye for several weeks. In January, when the spring series of games began, neither one nor the other were announced in the starting line-up of “Ravens”. It wasn’t until the end of January that Tetsuji Moriyama raised the topic at a press conference, and the news he announced came as a cruel blow to all Exxie fans: Kevin Day was skiing and broke his arm. According to Tetsuji, both Kevin and Riko are so depressed that they are not yet ready to meet their teammates or their saddened fans.
The next day, David Wymack told the press that Kevin Day would be recovering in South Carolina. It was hard to find out that the idol would no longer enter the field, but the news that he had left the Ravens caused a real storm of emotions among Kevin’s obsessed fans. If he had degraded himself to the role of assistant coach, he could at least retain his prestige and experience for his home team. The fans were offended for their beloved “Ravens”, although almost everyone was sure that as soon as his hand healed, Kevin would return.And in March, Kevin took and signed a contract with the Foxes, and not as a coach, but as a forward.
The news broke the hearts of the fans. The grief turned into a rage, and it all splashed out on the University of Palmetto. Vandals repeatedly smashed the university buildings and the stadium, and fights broke out on the campus every now and then. It was clear that with the start of the season, when Kevin entered the field in Fox uniform, the situation would escalate even more, and Neal did not really want to get caught in the distribution.
The apartment complex where Vaymak lived was located twenty minutes from the airport.There were almost no cars in the parking lot – it was mid-working day after all – but three figures loomed on the sidewalk near the house. Aaron was the first to get out of the car and pointed the keychain at the trunk without looking. Jumping off the step, Neal heard the lock click open. while waiting for him to take things, Aaron went to his. Neal slung the duffel bag over his shoulder – feeling the familiar weight immediately felt a little lighter – and slammed the trunk, and when he looked up, he found himself in the center of attention.
The twins stood on either side of Kevin. Despite the same clothes, it was not difficult to distinguish between them: Aaron, having completed his task and brought Neal to his place, with all his appearance portrayed boredom, while Andrew smiled. However, Neal knew that this smile did not mean good intentions. Likewise, Andrew Mignard smiled when he punched his club in the stomach.
Only Nicholas Hammick was sincerely delighted with the arrival of the newcomer. He stepped forward to meet Neal, and he happily shook the outstretched hand, especially since it allowed him not to look at Kevin.
– Great. Without letting go of his hand, Nicholas pulled Neal onto the sidewalk. – Welcome to South Carolina. How did you get there?
“Fine,” Neal replied.
– I am Nicky. Hammick squeezed his hand firmly again. – Andrew and Aaron’s cousin and the world’s best defender.
Neal looked at the Minyards, then back to Hammick. Unlike the blond twins, Nicky was black-haired and brown-eyed, and his dark complexion seemed too dark for tanning.In addition, he towered over the brothers on a good head.
– Are you really blood relatives?
Nicky burst out laughing.
– Doesn’t look like it, huh? I went to my mother. Her father pulled her out of Mexico on some ostentatious ministerial trip. He rolled his eyes in annoyance and pointed his thumb at the others. – You seem to know them already? The coach was also going to drive up, but he had to rush to the stadium. They called from the committee – most likely, they will again drip on the brains due to the fact that we still have not announced the change in composition.So while you hang out with us. But the trainer left the keys for you. Suitcases in the trunk?
“I only have this,” Neal said.
Nicky raised an eyebrow in surprise and turned to the trio.
– This is what it means to travel light. I wish I didn’t carry a mountain of clothes with me, but I love them too much.
“This is still poorly said,” commented Aaron.
Nicky grinned and, putting his hand on Neal’s shoulder, led him to the entrance.
“The coach’s apartment,” he explained for some reason.- He has all the money, so he can afford his own housing, but we, rogue, huddle in strange corners.
“You have a pretty cool car for a rogue,” Neal chuckled.
“That’s why we are rogue,” Nicky said dryly.
“Consider Aaron’s mother bought the car for us,” Andrew explained. – For the money that was paid by the insurance after her death. At least some benefit from a person.
“Hey, take it easy,” Nicky warned, glancing not at Andrew, but at Aaron.
– Come on, okay. Andrew threw up his palms indifferently. – Don’t strain. The world is cruel, right, Neal? If it wasn’t true, you wouldn’t be here.
“It’s not the world that is cruel, but the people,” Neal objected.
– To the point.
While the elevator went up to the seventh floor, all four were silent. In order not to look at Kevin’s reflection in the mirror, Neal looked at the board with changing numbers, although climbing to an unpleasant height was distracting in itself. Neal preferred to be close to the ground, so that in case of something he could be pulled.On the seventh floor, you can’t jump out the window, of course. He made a mental note to scout the location of all fire exits.
Wymack’s apartment was numbered 724. The guys crowded at the door, and Aaron patted his pockets for keys. At what moment he pulled them out and unlocked the locks, Neal did not notice – he was so carried away by examining these very pockets. Judging by the flat shape, there were clearly no cigarettes in them, but Neal saw with his own eyes how Aaron put the pack in his pocket while still at the pedestrian crossing …
“Here we are,” Nicky announced, and Neal forced himself to look up.Hammick gestured him forward. – As they say, home, sweet home – of course, if at least something related to the coach can be nice.
Neal had known since April that he would spend several weeks at Wymack, and from the very beginning he resigned himself to this inconvenience, but now everything inside him shrank. He had lived alone since his mother died, and of the men he had to coexist only with his father. How could he calmly watch Vaymak lock the door in the evenings? And you will not be able to sleep: with every breath of Vaimak, Neal will catch up and think that they have come for him.Wouldn’t it be better to try to replay everything and rent a hotel room? On the other hand, how do you explain this to the coach? And do I need to explain? Wymack is convinced that Neal is mistreated by his parents and is likely to find an explanation for his reticence.
Absorbed in his thoughts, Neal suddenly found himself too hesitant at the entrance. He caught sight of the look Nicky sent to Aaron – a mixture of curiosity and bewilderment – and realized that he had made a mistake. Despite this, he only moved from his place after Andrew pushed through the guys to him to find out the reason for the hitch.Andrew smiled, but his light blue eyes remained cold. Neal met his gaze for just a second and immediately realized that crumpling in the doorway was more dangerous than stepping out of the door. He will not think about the hotel here and not now, not in front of witnesses. Entering the apartment, Neal looked around. The first door led into the living room, where the coach prepared a sleeping place for him. All unnecessary items had been removed from the couch that Wimack had mentioned, and the sticker on the sticker indicated that the linens were stored in a drawer of the coffee table.The rest of the room was littered with papers and dirty coffee mugs. In addition, there were overflowing ashtrays everywhere, which did not add freshness to the air.
Neal was about to look out the window and had almost crossed the room when Nicky’s voice came from behind:
– So what was that?
Josten’s blood froze in his veins. It was not the words that brought him into a daze, but the language in which Nicky spoke them. Thanks to his three years in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, Neil spoke German well.He remembered Europe more than he would have liked – too many things happened there. Realizing that the taste of blood in his mouth only seems to him, he almost choked anyway. The pulse was felt by every cell; my heart was pounding so quickly that a tremor seized the whole body from head to toe. How did they know that Neil understands German?
He almost decided to run, but at that moment Aaron responded, and Neal seemed to burn: with belated relief, he realized that the question was not addressed to him. The guys talked among themselves, discussed it, encrypted using German.
Neal forced himself to the window. He parted the curtains and put his palms on the glass, waiting for his heart to return to normal rhythm.
“Maybe he was enjoying the moment,” Aaron said.
“No,” Nicky objected. “It was a typical fight-or-flight response. Andrew, what the hell did you get him in there?
Neal turned around. Nicky did not look in the direction of Andrew – apparently, he already knew that he would not receive an answer to his question – but he was looking at Neal. When he turned, he flashed a smile and switched back to English.
– How about a tour of the house?
Neal was about to say something, but decided that he had already given himself away enough.
– Come on.
There was practically nothing to watch. The kitchen and the bathroom were located opposite each other, the rooms were at the end of the corridor. Vaimak converted the second bedroom into a study. Unlike the bare walls of the living room, the walls in the office were full of newspaper clippings, photographs of the team, old calendars, and various certificates and certificates. One of the two bookshelves was occupied by Exci literature, the other was occupied by all other books, from guidebooks to classics.Wymack’s desk was littered with documents so that the wooden tabletop was not even visible underneath, and Neal’s personal file lay on top of it all. On the edge of the paper, he pressed a massive pharmacy vial. Nicky grabbed it with a joyous cry and unscrewed the lid.
“It’s not yours,” Neal pointed out.
– Painkiller, – stated Hammick, ignoring the reproach deafening. – A couple of years ago, the coach broke his leg, do you know? So I met Abby. She treated him, and then he arranged for her to be a medic with us.Our people are still arguing whether they spire or not. Andrew does not participate in the dispute, which means that the decisive vote will be for you. Let’s decide as soon as possible, I put my grandmother on the line.
Having poured a few tablets into his palm, Nicky screwed the lid back on and returned the bottle to its place. Neal jerked his head around, wanting to find out the reaction of the others, but Andrew and Kevin had already disappeared. Only Aaron remained, who, judging by his appearance, clearly did not care.
“Meet Abby at dinner tonight,” Nicky promised as he shoved the pills into his pocket.- Until the evening we have to kill time, so for now we can show you the field. We now have the perfect number of people for training games. Kevin is probably already pissed with boiling water from impatience.
“Doubt,” Neal muttered, remembering Kevin’s impassive face.
– Kevin is a restrained guy, – Aaron agreed, – but since he is not interested in anything in this life except exi, he is waiting most of all for you to enter the field.
Neal wanted to answer, but the words stuck in his throat – it suddenly dawned on him.In the car, Aaron said much the same thing, but then it sounded contemptuous, and now it sounded indifferent. Add to this sudden change of mood the same clothes and the disappeared pack of cigarettes, and the conclusion suggests itself. At first glance, these are trifles, but it was thanks to the attention to trifles that Neal has so far managed to survive.
– Is it difficult to play with Kevin? – he changed his remark on the fly. – The champion of the country, after all.
“Strictly speaking, we haven’t played with him yet,” Nicky replied.- He only started training since last month. If he plays as hardcore as he trains, you can immediately go hang yourself. – Despite the threat in the words, Nicky said it almost cheerfully. “But it’s worth it.
– What, and fights too? Neal chuckled. “Like that carnage that Aaron was talking about? How many victims did you say?
Aaron thought for a second, and Neal already decided that he was imagining everything, but then Aaron replied:
That’s right, Neal had read about this scuffle, but he hadn’t discussed anything with Aaron in the car, and Aaron should have remembered it.Hammick’s annoyed rebuke belatedly resurfaced in my memory: “Andrew, what the hell did you get him in there?” Then Neal thought Nicky was talking about their first meeting in Milport, when in fact it was about a ride from the airport.
Neal was angry at the deception, although he was glad that he had been able to figure it out, and yet he remained silent, realizing that caution was above all. Andrew’s gaiety was unnatural, and the explosions of temperament were due to taking medications prescribed by the court. Two years ago, some guys attacked Nicky near a nightclub, and Andrew rightly stood up for his friend, however, at the same time he almost beat four to death.The judges considered this “excessive use of force” and tried to put him behind bars, but the lawyers managed to get a suspended sentence. Andrew was prescribed a course of intensive care, followed by weekly consultations with a psychotherapist and regular intake of special medications. It was assumed that after three years, the drugs will be canceled in order to assess his condition. However, a premature refusal to take pills will be considered a failure to fulfill the duties imposed by the court. As soon as the team physician, university psychotherapist, or forensic psychiatrist suspects something is wrong, Andrew’s urine will be tested, and if the correct concentration of drugs is not found, he will go to jail.
Andrew had only to hold out until next summer, but apparently he was not going to suffer for so long. Neal wondered how it was possible to take risks, knowing how serious the consequences awaited you? Was Andrew influenced by Neil’s arrival? Maybe he decided to meet a new team member with a clear head? Or maybe he just didn’t want to spend the holidays extinguished?
At that moment Andrew, as if on cue, rose in the doorway; in his hands he held a bottle of whiskey. Kevin loomed behind.
“Winter Naked Defender” – Read stories online
Showing 1 … 10 of 10 stories… called condom. I think this is wrong. A condom is a means of protection, and a condom is a way of life. Who is in charge? Come on, raise your hands. There is. Two? …
… nodded, commenting on her nods: “I think you can even walk completely naked. In the house, thank God, heat, chill anything. At the same time take a closer look friend …
… I like to walk naked – the flag is in your hands.If you don’t like it, dress like you are wintering. Well, we are not a village to wrap up. All together decided that they were definitely not …September 9, 2021 6 pages Not porn
… —Zakhar raised his pointing finger to the ceiling. – Much better, this is an active defense. But the customer doesn’t like noise. “Then I don’t know,” said the second. – We need …
… tiny needles. Zakhar lifted the blanket and, honest mother, found himself naked! So he danced. He pulled the blanket off Lena, wrapped it up and then noticed that …
… and threw it.During the day, nothing else, and in the evening it was scary to walk by, and even in winter, and even in the moonlight, when the shadows were even darker, and it seemed that from the depths of the pit …July 31, 2021 7 pp. Case Elderly 1
… photo, then I will have a million subscribers. It’s good that he now has a diploma and he stayed in a stuffy city, and his parents weren’t greedy and paid for a house near …
… for papillae. – Let’s go to the other side of the lake for the whole day tomorrow.Let’s sunbathe naked, otherwise your tan is not even. It’s all white here, – the hand slid on the sides to my …
… threatened to come and fuck us together. I frowned angrily, I remembered how in the winter he took possession of me in a hotel room in the mountains (story Rest in the Carpathians). Have fun with them …21 July 2021 18 pages In the ass Group 2
… and I envy you for your husband. – Dad?! – Karina was embarrassed.The best defense is offense, – the famous saying came to mind, and Edgard continued: – No …
… all night, and therefore it is not worth delaying the plan. Soon Edgard was standing naked in front of his half-naked daughter. His penis was excited from the first kisses and now proudly …
… turned eighteen, the opportune moment has come. The winter weather turned out to be unseasonably cold, and Karina fell ill. High fever, aching pain on …July 9, 2021 10 pages Under duress Incest 1
… took a condom out of his jeans pocket, coped with the packaging, put the protection on his stake.- Where to start with? – he inquired, pulled off Yana’s gray …
… I forgot that there was a terrible heat outside. I went back to my room. Andrei lay naked on Yana’s bed, put his hands under his head and looked at me contentedly …
… He included me in the group for a trip to Poland, helped with the hostel, suggested spending two weeks in a student dispensary in winter. There were rumors that he was my lover …July 1, 2021 21 pages Ass Group 2
… let’s eat and I’ll show your bedroom.You won’t leave two poor women unprotected, will you? – Never! – fervently assured the master. – Ready to cover with my body! And he added: – …
… wet his hand. The sight was impressive. A crowd of young peasants jumped naked over the fire, their limbs and eggs jumped, and their heavy poured breasts shook and jumped …
… into the wall. “In that case, my valet is right,” sighed the master. – You sit in the estate all day long in winter, there is snow all around, a blizzard, and so on. – Oh, half the village! And how? -…April 27, 2021 7 p. Loss of virginity Elderly
… and more physically developed, but in the work of a pimp you need strength in order to protect a girl if something happens and fight back too much of an arrogant client. – Yes, we do not need any money …
… I quickly took off my leotard and T-shirt and stood in front of Vitka’s daughter naked with a mad boner. – You are not my uncle Kostya, but my brother. After all, you are the son of my mother, and it became …
… peas. And potatoes in the nineties made up a significant part of our diet in winter.So we went to Ivanovka early Saturday morning four of us to weed potatoes …April 6, 2021 14 p. Group Incest 1
… you need to pull on yourself and your friend gas masks, but better immediately chemical suit protection (just kidding). And there were also such, seemingly pretty sexy, decent …
… women of Soviet times, when in my childhood I spied on adult naked women, when my mother took me with her to the women’s bathhouse.well, of course, with …
… disgusting to drink, well, mixed with cold cola, it’s just gut. At that time in winter there were no problems with alcohol on the railway where I worked at that time it was issued …February 13, 2021 16 pages Loss of virginity Case 1
… in life for no one stood up for her. In John’s face, she felt a real protector. In her free time from work, Cecilia happily ran to meet her …
… pulling the hem of her shirt, and the poor-quality material immediately spread, exposing her naked torso.Only now John realized what really confused him in this teenager …
… the girl’s story. – How old are you now? John asked. – In winter, 18 will be. – Wow, she is exactly the same as Cecilia was when he saw her in …January 13, 2021 14 p. Erotic tale Romance 1
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… at home until he saw the pool deck.They were there Lynn and a skinny guy, naked. He was young, 28 years old, tall and had a long, skinny dick that couldn’t help but …
… meeting friends or traveling, skiing on weekends in winter and swimming in the Caribbean during summer holidays. – I have to say, Tom, I have become …December 29, 2020 20 pages Translated from English Non-porn