The Wrong Type of Redemption

20 Monday, Lunch Time


20: Monday, Lunch Time

Jerry left his class ravenous. Grateful to his father for fixing his lunch last night, Jerry had an extra-long sub sandwich in his backpack waiting for him. All it needed were some chips and a drink. He went to the canteen and grabbed a large bag of chips and a drink when he noticed Bailey sitting across the courtyard at the campus grill. The man looked like he was trying to eat while some woman was talking to him… And that woman wasn’t his girlfriend. Jerry just shook his head knowing there would be another issue if the guy wasn’t careful. Items paid for, Jerry was about to head to a sunny spot near the stadium, when he noticed just who Bailey was talking to.

He groaned. Why the fuck didn’t anyone warn the guy?

He didn’t want to get involved. But he really didn’t need Dave’s slutty girlfriend causing shit between the team again. While Cara was pretty, she liked drama. And usually the drama always centered around her. Two bad things were destined to happen if Cara fucked with Bailey. One, she’d divide the team again, vying for their attention or some closely related annoying scenario. Or she’d earn Tyler’s wrath, and that might involve Jerry again. Both scenarios had bullshit written all over it.

Before he’d finished thinking through his plan, he was sitting down at the table with Bailey and Cara. He said nothing as he unzipped his bag and pulled out his sandwich.

“OMG, Sixty, where you invited?” Cara asked trying to sound light and playful as she smoothed her bleached hair behind her ear.

“Nope. Public table,” Jerry said unwrapping the smoked turkey, southwest chicken, Swiss, provolone, with banana peppers, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and mustard. His mouth salivated.

“It’s rude to join a table with other people when you’re not invite.” She sighed as if he was hopeless.

“Is it alright, Bailey?” He asked not looking up at the guy too focused on the honey wheat bread going into his mouth.

“It’s cool.” Bailey sounded relieved. Of course, he was. Cara probably weaved an impressive web that would have Bailey agreeing to something he wasn’t sure he understood.

“Well, I had something to discuss with Bailey alone, so you wouldn’t mind if you give us a few minutes-“

“I mind.” He took another bite.

“Sixty.” She pouted and batted her lashes. “Please?”

“That shit didn’t work with me when you tried to fuck me last year, it won’t work now,” Jerry said finally looking at Bailey whose eyes widened.

Cara gasped as if shocked. “I never-“

“Let me give you some advice, Bailey. Stay away from Cara. She might be Dave’s girlfriend, but she has her claws in several guys that only think with their dicks.”

Cara stood, looking outraged. “Sixty, that’s going too far!”

“Why? Cause I’m telling the truth? Because of you, a good quarterback was kicked off the team. Are you trying to do the same to Bailey? Did Dave put you up to this or are you just a slutty manipulator by nature?” Jerry asked before taking another bite of his sandwich. He chewed as he watched her bluster, face reddening. Gathering students in the area watched and whispered.

“You’re an asshole.” She stamped her foot.

“Since we’re clearing the air, you’re a ho. Any other divine truths you want to impart? No? Good.” Then Jerry continued eating.

She reared back as if to smack him and Jerry was on his feet hovering over her.

“Do it. I dare you. I’m not above fucking up your pretty face.” He hinted violence, when in actuality he would only slather her face with his mustard and mayo. As much of an asshole as he was, he’d never hit a woman. But the look on her face told him she believed every word.

Tearing up, she ran off crying loudly for all to hear like a perfect actress.

Jerry sat back down, picking up the sandwich that dropped on the sandwich wrap.

“Jerry, did you have to threaten her?” Bailey asked getting up looking worried.

“Sit. If you follow her, she gets just what she wants,” Jerry said pushing his bag of chips toward Bailey. “Have some. You need to know a few things about Cara. And none of them are pleasant.”

Bailey scowled and looked back to where Cara ran off.

“Eat, Bailey, because if you get involved with her, your brother’s going to have a field day with her.”

That sat the guy down with a hard bump. Jerry continued to eat as he felt Bailey’s eyes on him. When Bailey didn’t open the bag of chips, Jerry did and began eating them with his sandwich.

The guy had so many questions in that strong face, yet he just sat there wordlessly. How did a guy as clueless as Bailey ever keep up with Tyler?

“Thank you,” Bailey finally said.

“Don’t thank me. I just made myself a target of her idiot boyfriend.” Jerry shrugged. “I’m not happy about that.”

Bailey blew out a breath and began eating. “For what it’s worth, I owe you.”

Jerry just shrugged. 

“What you said about Tyler…”

Jerry grunted.

“Has he done something I need to know about?” Bailey asked, but it sounded like a demand. And if Jerry was a simple minded idiot, he’d probably have spilled his guts.

Instead, he watched that dominating presences carefully. Bailey’s hard gold eyes pierced right through Jerry, his strong jaw clenched in anticipation, and his fist balled. The guy might have been a rookie quarterback but he wasn’t to be underestimated.

Jerry thought about Gerald and then frowned. Tyler reminded him too much like Gerald. He wondered if Bailey felt trapped by his brother, too.

“Can I ask you…” Jerry didn’t want to pry, but he needed to know. “Does Tyler… Do you fear Tyler would ever hurt you?”

Bailey’s eye popped wide. “What?”

“Sorry, none of my business.”

Bailey shook his head and leaned in, with a low whisper. “Tyler might be a lot of things, but he’d never hurt me…Unfortunately I can’t say the same about those around me. Has he…” Bailey’s features morphed into something damn near murderous. “Has he tried to hurt you?” 

“No,” Jerry said honestly not sure whether to fear Bailey’s sudden intensity or be grateful it wasn’t directed at him.

“If he tries something, come to me immediately.” Bailey demanded as if he was ready to hunt Tyler down and exact capital punishment. He wasn’t sure what he did to gain Bailey’s protective instincts, but he was glad to see the quarterback wasn’t letting Tyler get away with shit… Okay so maybe Jerry should worry more about Tyler instead of Bailey.

With the conversation turning dangerously tense, Jerry steered it another direction. “I’m… surprised no one told you about Cara,” he said before crunching on a chip.

Bailey just stared at Jerry, clearly seeing that he changed the topic. Instead of questioning it, he said instead, “I don’t usually listen to gossip.”

“Smart, however, Cara’s not gossip, she’s bad news. She plays the sweet lovable victim while twirling guys around her fingers. Most of the guys on the team try to stay away from her because she’s Dave’s girlfriend. But the last rookie was so stuck on the actress, he lost his head. First, he began screwing up during practice. Then games. Then Dave found out he was sleeping with her. Some of the team took the rookie’s side, saying she came on to him. The other half took Dave’s saying you don’t fuck another teammate’s girl. All the while, Cara was playing innocent and still fucking three other guys.” He finished off his sandwich just as one of the team came to the table.

“Thanks for the warning,” Bailey said.


“Hey…Sixty. Weird seeing you here,” the guy who joined them said sitting down with his food.

“I’m just leaving. Do us all a favor and warn the rest of the team that Cara is trying to take a bite out of Bailey,” Jerry said getting up, grabbing his bag of chips.

“Shit,” the new guy said shaking his head, “Yeah, I’ll spread the word.”

Jerry continued eating his chips as he headed to his next class, fully aware of the eyes following him.

The rest of the day, it was like that. People watched him, whispered, but no one asked him anything directly. By practice, his skin was irritated. His nerves flaring because of the attention. He was changing in the locker room, about to leave to go out on the field when Dave stormed in looking ready for a fight.

“Sixty!” He raged.

“Dave.” The coach, who Jerry forewarned, was coming out of his office.

“You threatened my girlfriend?” Dave asked trying to get into Jerry’s face. Too bad Jerry was significantly taller.

“The better question should be, why was your girlfriend flirting with Bailey if you two are so in love?” Jerry nearly yawned into the reddening face.

“She’s just friendly. You didn’t have to threaten to beat her up.”

“Friendly?” Jerry laughed. “And is that what she told you I said?”

“What the fuck’s so funny?”

“I believe I said I was going to fuck up her pretty face, but a little mayo from my sandwich was hardly a violent threat.” He looked Dave over coolly.

That jaw began grinding in rage.

“Are you done, Dave?” The coach asked. “Because if you insist on making this an issue, I’m calling campus security.” 

“Yeah, as long as this hairy ape stays away from my girl, all is good.”

“Keep your girl away from the team and we won’t have a problem…otherwise,” Jerry stepped closer, looming over the guy who narrowed his beady eyes. “Who knows what could happen to poor little Cara.” He winked.

“Jerry…” The coach warned.

Some of the guys in the locker room watched while others looked ready to pull them apart.

“Back down, rich boy. I have nothing to lose…nothing at all.” Jerry murmured.

“I don’t have time for you anyway.” Dave brushed past him walking to his locker to get changed.

As if the tension lifted, the room seemed to breath.

“Shit, Sixty, you’re nuts.”

Jerry ignored it, closed his locker and left to take a bench on the sidelines to wait for the rest of the group. When did my life get so complicated? This is why I don’t get involved with people…


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