Copyright © 2019 DouglasDD. All Rights Reserved.
THE TITANS (1)
Aiden’s first year of school baseball had started slowly. The Mayfield Middle School Titans JV team lost both of their games before spring break by a combined score of 25-6. The team had a couple of practices during the break where the boys worked hard and showed a lot of spirit. They agreed with the coaches that they were good players but needed experience. The coaches told them part of developing that experience was learning how to do a better job of focusing in practice.
One thing that Aiden noted during practice was the players who had played for Scott and Connor on the Yard Goats worked the hardest and had the best attitudes and fundamentals of the players on the JV team or the varsity team. Since most of the players on the JV team were Goats, Aiden had told his dads that he knew the Titan JV team would get better.
The varsity, under Coach Ecklund, had started out the season winning both of their games, 5-4 over Chinook and 7-3 over Evans. The Titans’ first games after break would be the JV playing at Meadow Park and the Varsity playing Meadow Park at home.
MONDAY, APRIL 14
At the start of the English lesson for Aiden’s Core class, Mr. Lawrence announced that he had the class’s creative writing papers graded. The day before Spring Break began, he apologized for his tardiness and assured the class the papers would be graded when they returned from vacation.
“I’ve had a lot of things going on and haven’t been able to put the time into the papers that I would have liked to,” he told the class. “But, with a week to grade yours and the afternoon group’s papers, you will see them on the Monday you return from break.” True to his word, he had the papers graded when the students returned from spring break. The class knew what had gotten in the way of their teacher’s work. It was the presence of a newborn boy, Casey Lawrence.
As the teacher passed out the graded papers he stopped at Aiden’s desk, but didn’t hand him his paper. “I want to see you after class, please,” he said quietly and moved on.
As soon as Aiden heard that his blood pressure shot sky high. He was furious. He knew he was going get graded down again because he didn’t follow the directions to the letter. This time, I’m not waiting to talk to my dads about this, Aiden fumed. I’m going to tell Mr. Lawrence exactly what I think of his stupid ideas about what creative writing means. If he doesn’t like it, he can talk to my pop, and when Mr. Michael Lawrence meets Mr. Lawrence Sanders I know who’s going to win and it won’t be my idiot teacher. What Aiden didn’t notice was Mr. Lawrence telling Heather Gardner the same thing he’d told Aiden—to see him after class.
Aiden started playing out the scenario again, adding even more to his argument. In his imagination his stupid teacher was unable to defend himself. He had just won his argument again when he realized Mr. Lawrence was saying his name.
Aiden was surprised to see that Mr. Lawrence was squatting next to his desk and looking him right in the eye. “Hello, Aiden Miller, anybody home?” the teacher asked in a quiet tone of voice while the rest of the students either looked over the teacher’s corrections on their papers or pretended they were. Aiden glared at him. “I just wanted to make sure you understood you did nothing wrong. I want to see you about something positive.” While Aiden didn’t believe him, he calmed down enough to decide to wait until his teacher had his say and then he’d lose his temper. What he didn’t know was that Mr. Lawrence didn’t realize he’d set Aiden off until he returned to the front of the room and saw Aiden’s red face and dark stare. “My choice of words could have been better,” Mr. Lawrence continued, his voice still low, “considering our earlier differences about your creative writing talents.”
“Why can’t you tell me now?” Aiden asked in a sullen tone of voice. The fact that he was still feeling threatened was affecting his response to the teacher.
“Fair enough. Let’s go out into the hall.” In the world of middle school students, it seemed that nine times out of ten being invited into the hall by a teacher was bad news, a “fact” that did not help Aiden’s peace-of-mind at all.
Aiden sulked all the way into the hall. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“I never said you did. What I did say was that I didn’t do a good job of telling you why I wanted to see you, and that it was for something positive. Now, let’s get rid of that frown on your face. Take a deep breath and think of the best thing that could happen to this story.”
Aiden stood silently, using the pause techniques Marty, Eric, his dads, and his coaches kept drilling into him. Mr. Lawrence waited patiently for Aiden to say something, knowing that pushing his student into talking right then would be a very bad idea. Finally, Aiden snatched at the only good thought he could come up with and said, “I got an A?”
“Better than that.”
“Better than an A?”
“Well, you did get an A. Your story is one of the best I’ve had a student write. It was beautiful. I admit to fighting off tears as I finished it.” Aiden remembered that his dads both had tears in their eyes at the end. “I wanted to talk to you about getting your okay to submit it to the Lewis County Middle School Arts Festival. What I did not tell the class is that the theme I used is the theme for the sixth-grade short story category.” Mr. Lawrence didn’t want his students to write with the idea they were in a competition.
Aiden knew that the Art Festival was truly a big event in the spring with singing, instrumental music, art, writing, acting, and dancing. Teachers entered only their students’ best work. The event culminated with a vote for best events. “But, I didn’t totally follow your rules.”
“Aiden, you father was right,” the teacher said, referring to Larry. “While you didn’t work within the exact format of the assignment you did work well within the spirit of the assignment. In other words, you were creative. Now, are you okay with my entering the story?”
“Yes, yes, that sounds totally awesome.” Aiden’s mood had undergone a complete turnaround.
Mr. Lawrence handed Aiden a form. “Have one of your fathers fill this out and return it to me as soon as possible. Also, I will need a clean copy of the story with my suggested corrections, and since there were only two errors that I saw, that should be a quick task. With your permission, I’d like to read the story to the class before we start Social Studies next period. I will be reading Heather’s story as well since I am also sending it in.” Each middle school English teacher could send up to three stories per class and while Mr. Lawrence had received several good stories there were only two in Aiden’s class that he felt were well-written and imaginative enough to send in. He had only selected one story from his afternoon Core class.
“It’s all good. Except, can I read it to the class instead of you?” Aiden asked.
“I think the class would love to hear you read your work. I know I would—good authors love reading their work.” Aiden beamed at the praise.
When Aiden re-entered the classroom with a big smile, everyone in the class let out a deep breath; Aiden wasn’t in trouble.
After the break between classes, Mr. Lawrence explained how the story assignment related to the Middle School Arts Festival. Before starting Social Studies, he read Heather’s story to the class and then Aiden read his own story.
Heather’s story was about a little girl who thought that thunderstorms were caused by giants in the sky fighting wars against each other. It finished with the girl being disappointed that it was just a weather phenomenon instead of something genuinely scary. Heather had told Mr. Lawrence at the break that she preferred that he read the story.
Aiden came to the front of the room and sat on Mr. Lawrence’s stool, which was a special privilege all by itself. The class listened raptly as Aiden read “The Real Unreal Dragon.” Aiden not only was a good writer, he was a talented oral reader. After he read the words “The End” there was a momentary silence as Aiden’s classmates soaked in what they had just heard. Then they broke out into spontaneous loud applause, cheers, and whistles. After the noise died down, everyone agreed that Aiden was going to have the best story at the festival.
After Aiden showed his dads the A at the top of the first page of his story along with the application form for the festival, he had to endure the back pats, hugs, and hair mussing of his dads. He relished every moment of the attention; it was almost as good as winning a league championship.
TUESDAY, APRIL 15
<at Meadow Park>
“Why can’t the girls’ JV team be on the bus with us to the game?” Gordy asked Aiden as the boys’ JV team rode with the varsity girls to Meadow Park.
“Why, so you can sit with Kalie?” Aiden asked.
“That’s probably why we ride with the varsity, so guys won’t be trying to flirt with their girlfriends—or girls won’t flirt with their boyfriends, either. And besides, shouldn’t you be thinking about baseball instead of sex?”
“I wasn’t thinking of sex,” Gordy protested, “I was thinking of Kalie.”
“Same difference for you.”
“Well, you get to see your boyfriend the whole game.”
“Yeah, while he plays for the other team. Dang, Gordy, why are you being such a dork today?”
“I dunno,” Gordy shrugged. “I guess I’m scared of us losing again.”
“Just focus and play your best and everything else will take care of itself.” Aiden thought he was sounding like Marty, but he didn’t care; Marty was usually right.
Aiden and Nolan didn’t have a chance to socialize before the game. The Titans got off the bus, went to the baseball field, and got into their pregame routine. Aiden knew that Nolan would be starting at shortstop and found out before the game that he would be starting at second base.
Coach Randall told Aiden he thought the throw from third on the bigger field was a little long for him. “Just keep working at third. You’re growing and getting stronger and you’ll be firing bullets from there.” Aiden disagreed with his coach, he hadn’t had a throw come up short in either game. But he knew better than to protest in front of the team. There were times to KMS (Keep Mouth Shut) as Marty put it, and this was one of those times.
Everybody knew that Yonder would be the starting pitcher and Max would be starting at catcher. The starting battery (pitcher and catcher) was always announced the day before a game. Aiden knew this was a change from the previous Mayfield policy of just announcing the pitcher. After long discussions with the high school and middle school coaches, Larry agreed to the change. He realized it was a change he should have made long before.
Yonder pitched better than he had in the first game and the Titans hung with the Cougars through the early going. After four innings, the Titans held a 2-1 lead and were confident that they could hold on to win. But, it wasn’t to be as Ken Martin, a six-foot seventh grader who was already shaving, held their offense in check and Yonder tired in the fifth.
Yonder walked the first three batters he faced that inning. Jared came into the game in relief and gave up a two-run double to Nolan before he settled down and got two outs. But a hard single to right scored two more runs and the Titans found themselves down 5-2. Jared shut the Cougars out over the last two innings. Ken hit his pitch count after six innings and a relief pitcher started the top of the seventh for the Cougars.
Aiden led off the seventh with a single. He stole second and scored on Muddy’s single to make the score 5-3. Miles came to the plate as the tying run, but the scoring for the Titans was finished. They had played well but were now 0-3.
After the game Aiden and Nolan had a moment to talk before Aiden boarded the bus. “I wish we could sneak a kiss in somehow,” Nolan said.
“Don’t forget, you’re spending the night after you play us at Mayfield. We’ll be able to do a lot more than kiss,” Aiden grinned.
“I can’t wait.” Aiden put his right hand on Nolan’s left shoulder and said, “You guys played good today. You should beat Clark Pass real easy.”
“Everybody beats Clark Pass,” Nolan reminded him. “Which is why you should win. I mean we beat them 9-0, so it should be cake for you.”
When Aiden got home from his game, Phil was cooking up dinner. Work forced him to miss Aiden’s game. Larry hadn’t been there because the Mustangs had a home game which had just finished. Phil and Aiden each received a text from Larry that read “Mustangs 8, Royals 3”. The Royals were the Kentburg High School team. Both teams had been undefeated going into the game, so it was a big win. The Mustangs were now 6-0 for the season.
As soon as Larry got home, they sat down to eat a hearty meal of homecooked beef stew. “It’s been awhile since any Mayfield school baseball team has started the season off 0-3,” Larry mused.
“It’s not like we’re trying to lose,” Aiden said defensively, although he knew it was a rather childish comment.
“I know that, son. I wasn’t being critical, I was just stating a fact. This gives you more of a challenge to overcome.”
“We’re playing Clark Pass. They’re 0-3, too.”
“Well then one of you is going to win,” Phil said.
“Unless it ends in a tie, since JV games can’t go longer than nine innings,” Larry reminded him.
“Another challenge. No tie, and a big W. Who will be pitching?”
“We’ll find out tomorrow,” Aiden reminded him. “You know that.”
“Coaches have been known to bend that rule.” Phil looked at Larry. “Even the big cheese over there has been known to reveal his starter early.”
“Only when I have good reason,” Larry reminded him.
Before going to bed, Aiden sent Marty an email giving him the score.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16
After showering, Aiden checked his email. As expected he had one from Marty. “I can’t remember the last time a Mayfield school team started the season 0-3,” the first sentence read.
“Damn, Horace, Marty must have cameras in here or something. That’s what pop said last night.” Reading that opening sentence depressed Aiden a little, but reading that the Rainiers had defeated El Paso 6-0 and Marty had gone two for five with a two-run homer cheered him up some.
Not bothering to put on any clothes he went downstairs for breakfast. Phil had already left for work and Larry ignored Aiden’s state of undress, which had been his usual reaction to breakfast nudity since the start of the year.
That afternoon, Aiden learned at practice that he would be the starting pitcher the next day and that Muddy would be his catcher. For Aiden it felt like old times. Aiden felt even more at home when Mason told him that he would be giving Muddy a blow job at Miles’ house that evening.
“We’re supposed to be doing homework together, but Muddy needs a good BJ so he can sleep better tonight.”
“What about me?” Aiden asked. “I need help sleeping, too.”
“Yeah, but Muddy is having wet dreams and they wake him up if he doesn’t have a good cum before bed.”
“Well, when I start getting wet dreams you better take care of my dick.”
“It would be easier if you lived in town.”
“I guarantee we’ll figure out a way, so no excuses, Mason.”
“Since you’ll probably have the best tasting cum at Mayfield Middle School, I ain’t gonna need no excuses,” Mason grinned.
THURSDAY, APRIL 17
Aiden didn’t feel right when he woke up. The alarm clock had been annoying when it went off, but it was always annoying, so that wasn’t the problem. He didn’t feel sick. He didn’t feel out of sorts or depressed. He just didn’t feel right. He tried to focus on his pitching zone, but he couldn’t get his mind to stay still long enough to concentrate. He wondered if he needed that blow job from Mason worse than Muddy did.
He got out of bed, showered, dressed, and went down to eat. As soon as he saw that Aiden was dressed for breakfast, Larry knew that Aiden was off his game. He elected not to ask about it, figuring Aiden would tell him whatever he needed to say when he was ready. That was how his son usually operated, although there were times when he needed to be prodded to open up.
Larry theorized that Aiden’s mood had to do with the game that afternoon. As hard as it was to imagine, the game against Clark Pass was a big one for the two winless teams. Only one of them would be able to celebrate its first win of the season.
Aiden muddled through classes in the morning. At lunch, he was happy to see that Collin and Rusty were sitting together for the first time that week. Rusty socialized only with Collin and wouldn’t do that every day.
When seventh period PE came, the boys on the baseball team knew they wouldn’t have to dress down for gym class. Instead they got ready for the game and were out on the field at the time Coach Randall had set: forty minutes before game time.
About five minutes after the Titans started warming up, the Clark Pass bus arrived. To Aiden, everything looked routine on the outside, but he knew it wasn’t right on the inside of him. When he started warming up with Muddy in the bullpen area he still couldn’t focus on finding his zone.
Aiden was happy that Muddy was his catcher. He and Muddy had been a battery many times and usually worked well together. Aiden didn’t care much for Max Robinson. His feeling was that Max thought he was better than the sixth graders because he was a seventh grader. Aiden’s opinion was close to on the mark. Aiden knew that his dad was taking the afternoon off to watch the game and was happy to see him in the stands just before the first pitch.
The game did not start well for Aiden. While he was used to the longer distances, he still wasn’t as proficient as he’d been the year before. He ended up walking three of the first four batters he faced. He wasn’t missing the plate by much, but he was missing it. By the time the Titans got the third out, the Clark Pass Eagles had a 3-0 lead. Aiden had thrown 26 pitches in the inning, almost a third of the 90 he was allowed.
Aiden managed to get into a rhythm after his wild first inning and allowed no more runs. Coach Randall had Jared Finn start the fifth inning. Aiden had thrown 75 pitches over his four innings. Coach Randall felt that a third of those had been high stress pitches and Aiden had thrown enough for the day. The Titans were down 3-2 when he left the game.
Jared was a seventh grader and was used to the field size. He simply didn’t pitch well. He was wilder than Aiden had been in the first inning and the Eagles put up another three-spot to take a 6-2 lead.
Scott Keller pitched the sixth and seventh innings, putting down all six batters he faced, four of them via strikeouts. Coach Randall had seen a lot of improvement in the seventh grader and was beginning to think it might be time to give him a bigger role on the mound. The two scoreless innings weren’t enough for a win. The Titans managed to score only two runs over the last three innings and lost 6-4. The were now 0-4 while the Eagles had their first win of the season.
Nobody, including Coach Randall, said much in the locker room after the game until Aiden threw his glove against a locker and screamed, “Nobody loses to Clark Pass.” That’s what Nolan had told him and it turned out not to be true.
“Tough loss, kid,” Phil said as he and Aiden drove home.
“There was nothing tough about it,” Aiden grumbled, “it was a sucky loss.”
Larry already knew the score when he arrived home from practice. During dinner he elected to remind Aiden to look at the future since they still had eight games left. He tried successfully not to look glum since the Mustangs had lost 6-1 to Winston for their first loss of the season.
“Big deal,” Aiden groused. “We can’t make the playoffs, so why bother?”
“You bother because that’s the kind of person you are. That’s the kind of player you are. You’re the person whom your dad, and Marty, and I have been teaching you to be,” Larry said sternly. “We haven’t been teaching you to be a whiner, we’ve been teaching you to be a winner.”
“We’re oh and four. Basketball was way more fun.”
“You aren’t going to win league championships every time you play on a team.”
“Don’t you get it, we’re in last place and we lost to Clark Pass!”
“Son, I totally get it. The person who doesn’t get it is you. You think crying about being in last is going to solve the problem. Maybe, working harder to be as good as you can be and to help your team be as good as it can me would be a bigger help. I seem to recall the Yard Goats losing their first three games last spring and going something like 14-3 to make the league playoffs.”
“I told you that you don’t get it. That’s not the same thing at all. I’m not hungry any more. I’m going to my room.” Aiden left a half-eaten plate of spaghetti behind as he stomped to his room so he wouldn’t have to explain what he just said since he wasn’t sure it made any sense.
“Are you going after him?” Phil asked.
“Not tonight. We’ve said what we have to say. Now it’s up to him to digest it and see if he wants to act on it. If the attitude continues, then we’ll have to amp up the schooling. Right now, I’d bet he’s going up there to try to wring some sympathy out of Marty.”
“And Marty will be all ready for him with some of his tough love,” Phil said with a grin.
Larry grinned back at his husband. “Yeah – and we both know Marty’s a past master at dishing out tough love.”
Aiden stripped naked and sat at his computer. He loaded his email and wrote to Marty, detailing his day from his lousy morning to his being “yelled at” by his pop. With all the games Marty had played in his life, Aiden was certain that he would know more about bad games and bad days than his dads did.
When it came time for bed, Aiden stood on the landing and yelled good night to his dads, telling them they didn’t need to come up and read to him and tuck him in. Even though he cuddled with Horace, he had difficulty falling asleep. He thought about putting underpants on and going downstairs to sleep with his dads. He decided that if he did that, he would be admitting they were right and that he and the team needed to work harder no matter how bad they were. Aiden wasn’t about to do that. He finally fell into a fitful sleep that was interrupted rudely by his screeching alarm.
FRIDAY, APRIL 18.
After shutting off the alarm, Aiden checked his email. He was pleased to see a reply from Marty. Reading the reply did not please him. Marty told him what his dads had told him, only he used MUCH stronger language. After getting through the damns, and fucks, shits, and sons of bitches, Aiden was furious when he reached the end of the email.
“I think what I’ve been saying,” Marty wrote, “is that you quit behaving like a spoiled little asswaffle and do what you know. And what you know, is what you’ve been taught by your dads, who know more about winning and playing to win than anybody I know. Quit whining and crying and bitching around and act like the kid who is my big-time little bro, not my little fucking little crybaby who decides to quit being great because things don’t go his way. The Mayfield Titans and the Mayfield Mustangs have been about winning since I was your age, and no matter what their record is, they will always be about winning. Your uniform says you’re a Mayfield Titan; now it’s time for you to actually become one.” Marty did close his email by saying he loved Aiden but that didn’t take any of the sting out of what he’d said.
Aiden swiped at the tears flowing down his cheeks. Deep down, he knew his dads were right, but his young adolescent mind frame had hoped that Marty would see the world his way and say they were wrong. When he thought about it, he was not surprised that Marty chewed him out in what seem to be ten times as bad as his pop had. And he knew he deserved it. The last sentence said it all.
Because of a bye at the start of the week, the Titans didn’t play again until the next Friday. Aiden was still crying as he headed for the shower, filled with a new determination. There would be no more getting up in the morning not ready to focus and not ready to play. There would be no more whining about how bad things were going. What there would be was his working to be ready for his next game, no matter who the team was playing.
After his shower, Aiden went to breakfast naked, which told his pop that he was in a better mood. Aiden poured his cereal and looked at his dad. “Sorry you lost, yesterday.”
“So am I son, but we’ll work to win the next one.”
“I’m even sorrier I was an asswaffle last night.”
“You were right, the Yard Goats turned things around and the Titans can do the same thing, even if we are young.”
“Being young is just an excuse,” Larry said. “You have four games of experience under your belt. You should be building on that.”
“I’m going to work hard to be a winning Titan.”
“I would expect nothing less from you son. I love you.”
“I love you, too, pop.”
That night Aiden and Horace found their way into Phil and Larry’s bed. Aiden’s sleep was much sounder than it had been the night before.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23
“Nobody loses to Clark Pass, except for Mayfield and Monte, and Monte’s gonna lose to Mayfield,” Barry Bender said at lunch.
The news that Clark Pass had knocked off Monte 8-5 the day before had put the Mayfield players in a good mood. They worked hard at practice with Aiden, Yonder, Muddy, and Mason leading the way with their hustle and cheerleading. And now, the fact that Monte also lost to Clark Pass gave the Titan JV cause for optimism. They would be playing the Bulldogs at Monte, while the undefeated varsity would be playing the Monte varsity at home.
The other big news was Evans Middle School beating Chinook 6-2 to give Chinook their first loss. As a result, Evan, Chinook, and Meadow Park each had one loss.
FRIDAY, APRIL 25
Larry’s varsity Mustang team had played the afternoon before (4-2 win over Kentburg.) He gave both teams the day off and then traveled to Monte to watch Aiden and the Titan JV team play.
When Aiden woke up that morning he could tell he would be able to get into his zone. Larry knew it too when Aiden ate breakfast in the nude. Aiden wasn’t alone in being mentally ready. Yonder was the starting pitcher. Aiden started the game on the bench. He came in to play third at the start of the third inning, replacing Barry. He made two routine plays at third, firing hard, accurate throws to Muddy at first for outs. He also went two-for-two with an RBI double.
The Titans scored first in the game, plating a run in the top of the first. The score remained 1-0 until the seventh when Aiden’s two-out double knocked in Brody, who was pinch running, and Jared Finn, who had singled, to give the Titans a 3-0 lead.
Yonder pitched six dominant innings, giving up only two hits and walking nobody while striking out seven. He finally pitched up to his ability. Since he had thrown only 77 pitches, Coach Randall decided to leave him in the game. Yonder needed only eleven pitches to get three quick outs and earn a complete game shutout. The Titans had picked up their first win of the season, 3-0.
That night, Gordy, Miles, and Mason spent the night at Aiden’s. The win made life look better, and even seemed to make the sex feel better. Aiden and Mason traded blow jobs. Gordy and Miles started out jerking each other off, but soon Gordy was on top of Miles dry humping him until he shot his clear cum on his friend’s belly and hard cock. Mason then sucked Miles to bring him to a quick climax.
MONDAY, APRIL 28
When Aiden approached Kalie’s seat on the bus Monday morning, she turned in her seat to let Aiden ease in front of her and take the window seat. “This is different,” Aiden said.
“I’m tired of those two looking at we do in the morning.” Kalie was referring to the two freshmen who sat across the aisle from them most mornings.
“So? We haven’t done anything like that since Spring Break ended.”
“Well, you won on Friday, so I want to give you a reward.”
“You guys won, too,” Aiden pointed out. “And you were the winning pitcher.” Like the boys, the girls’ JV softball team shut out Monte. They won their shutout 5-0. Kalie pitched all seven innings just like Yonder had done for the boys.
“I know, but we’ve won four out of our five games and this was your first win, which makes it extra special. Now you guys are gonna win all the rest of your games.”
Kalie started rubbing Aiden’s hardening cock through his shorts. Aiden might not be my boyfriend, she thought, and he might have a boyfriend of his own, but he really likes it when I rub him like this.
Aiden glanced at the freshmen across the aisle. The girl was straining to see what had been easy to see when he sat in the aisle seat. He wondered why it took so long to figure out that he should be sitting by the window. Kalie unzipped Aiden’s shorts and worked her fingers inside, rubbing his now hard cock through the cotton of his briefs.
“I’m gonna cum if you keep going,” he whispered.
“So? Nothing comes out, so who cares?”
She worked two fingers into the pee hole, feeling the hot skin of his pubescent erection. Aiden stifled a moan before pulling her hand out of his pants. “I don’t want to do it here today,” he said.
“I just don’t.” Aiden zipped his shorts.
“Would you do it if it was Nolan instead of me?” Aiden said nothing. “I thought so, but I still plan on making you cum on the bus before the year is out.”
Aiden surprised her by saying, “I hope you do.”
“Yeah, I just don’t want it today. I want us to set up the day before, too, and tell Gordy we’re going to do it.” Aiden looked at his friend and said, “Why do you like feeling me up like that? You never get anything out of it.”
“Yes, I do. I get to make you feel good.” While Gordy might be Kalie’s boyfriend, she still had a gigantic crush on the freckled blond in the seat next to her.
TUESDAY, APRIL 29
The Titans played the Kentburg Royals at home that afternoon. The game marked the half-way point of the season. They would have six more games against the same six teams over the second half.
The Royals were 2-3. The weekend before, seven Kentburg players, most of them on the varsity, had been caught at a drinking party and were suspended for the season. Four of the players were eighth graders and three were seventh graders. That made the Royals even more inexperienced than the Titans. When he heard what had happened, Aiden was relieved that Keith wasn’t one of the players at the party.
“we got the dumbest players in the world,” Keith had texted Aiden after the shit hit the fan. “do your drinking after the season. everybody knew they were going to that party.”
Jared Finn was slated to be the starting pitcher for Mayfield. David Gunn, a sixth grader, was the starter for Kentburg.
Aiden was happy to be playing third base for two reasons. First, he loved third base because it was Marty’s position. And second, it gave Mason a chance to start. Jared pitched the first four innings and left with the Titans leading 4-2. Scott Keller pitched the next two innings and Collin finished the game, a 6-3 win for the Titans.
Aiden fielded two grounders at third. On the second grounder he moved to his right and shagged a hard-hit ball hit up the foul line. He turned, set, and fired a bullet to first to get the Royals’ runner by a half-step. Aiden knew that Coach Randall liked Aiden and at second base better than third because he didn’t think Aiden had a strong enough arm to play third. He still had some growing to do.
I might be little, Aiden thought after he got the out, but I’ve got a good arm. As he watched Aiden in practice, Coach Randall had been changing his mind. He had the same thought about Aiden that Aiden had just had about himself. The boy might not be the biggest player on the field, but he was a slick fielder and had a rifle for an arm.
“Good game, dude,” Keith told Aiden as they exchanged high fives in the handshake line. He leaned in close to Aiden and said, “That Lenny twin is fucking sexy.” Aiden gave him a grin and he and Keith continued down the line.
The Titans were 2-4 at the half, tied with Kentburg for fourth. The top three teams in the seven-team division would make the playoffs. In the locker room the Titans agreed they were long shots for the playoffs, but over the second half they were going to show everybody how good they could be.
One thing that made Aiden happy was that when he found out all the scores for the day, he learned that Meadow Park had defeated Evans 4-3. The two teams had gone into their game tied for first at 4-1. With the win, Nolan was now playing on the first-place team.
Next: The Titans (Part 2)