Keiran's Dilemma Pt. 5



I was standing in front of the door of Mrs. Connors’ class when I considered turning back and running to his side. How could he send me away?

How could I let him?

The promise of pleasure in his eyes and voice had made me forget what he was risking by confiding in a town who judged and feared him. If possibly, the lengths he was willing to go to for his team made me love him even more. Sacrificing wasn’t the word anyone would usually use to describe Keiran. But I had to admit... the reality of him being so selfless stirred something hot and needy inside me. I’d never tell him this because he’d hate it, but he was my personal hero.

My knight in shining armor.

My dark prince.

It was an hour before the door opened and mere moments later I felt his fingers gently wrapping around my throat and lifting me from my seat. “How did it go?”

“It was brutal,” he murmured, causing my breath to catch. Dread replaced desire even as his fingers skimmed my hip. It was hard, but I managed to move away from his touch.

“So what happens now?”

He turned, and I tried not to admire the muscles underneath his shirt as he moved for the door. I watched as he closed and locked the door before turning to face me again. His gray eyes darkened as he said, “Now I’m going to fuck you. Hard and fast. Against that blackboard.” My gaze slid to the blackboard with writing over every inch of the surface from Mrs. Connors English lesson. “And then I’m going to take you home,” he continued, capturing my attention again, “put our kids to bed…” He stalked me like a predator as he removed his black tie. “And take you again.” He moved closer still. “And again.” Closer. “And again.” His promise kept me rooted and heated my blood all at once. I felt thirsty. Ravenous. Captured.  

“Don’t toy with me, Keiran.” I sounded stronger than I felt as I stared him down. “What about coaching?”

“The job is mine and so are you.” There was no longer any space between us as he towered over me. I could feel every breath he took and even the heat of his skin.


“You’re not allowed to talk in my classroom,” Mrs. Masters. He forced me backward. My back hit the chalk-covered board with a thud. “First warning.”

“What happens after my final warning?” I flirted despite my confusion. I wanted him to tell me about the meeting, but I wanted him just as much. Maybe even more.

“I’ll bend you over Principal Lawrence’s desk and spank you.” He nipped my chin. “And that’s your second warning.”

Oh, God.

His hand moved under the hem of my dress seeking my panties and then slowly dragging the blue lace down my legs once he’d found them. I could hear car engines in the parking lot as the parents left but it didn’t quell my nervousness. We were no longer teenagers risking suspension. If we were caught, we’d lose our jobs. Of course, I didn’t voice this or push him away. Instead, I kissed him back when his lips found mine and wrapped my arms around his neck and my legs around his waist when he lifted me.

“You…” I could hear the jingle of his belt as he opened his pants. “Only you…” I whimpered at the feeling of his cock teasing my entrance. “…I couldn’t survive losing,” he whispered incoherently. His voice was thick with emotion and lust. “Do you understand?”

I nodded quickly, needing him inside me. Needing him to be deep and relentless.


He slammed inside me then.

Every muscle in my body tightened as my cry of pleasure ripped from my throat.

“You’re mine,” he groaned as he pumped his hips, fucking me deep and hard. His belt buckle jingled noisily in a steady rhythm as it hit the board. “You, Trey, Phee… You’re all I’ll ever need.” He was merciless. “Are we clear about that?”

“Yes. Yes! Fucking yes!” I screamed as my orgasm overpowered me. My head weakly fell back against the chalkboard, my limbs feeling like jelly, as he thrust deep and roared his release. We were still trying to catch our breath when he moved us away from the blackboard. Gently, he laid me on the teacher’s desk and collapsed in the chair with his head lying tiredly on my belly. My body was still quivering from the aftershocks of my release.

When my heart finally returned to a normal rhythm, I sat up slowly. He'd kept his head lowered, so I dug my fingernails into the soft strands of his dark hair and lifted his head. His gaze was clouded as he stared back at me. Lowering my head my lips met his, and our kiss deepened almost immediately.

“Let’s go home,” I moaned after tearing my lips from his.

“We will, baby, but first we’re going to take a trip to the principal’s office.”

“But… why?” He stood and fixed his clothes, his grin bright and beautiful.

“Yes. Yes! Fucking yes!” he mocked as he took my hand. I gaped at him in disbelief, wanting to knee him in the balls, but instead letting him drag me off to the principal’s office.

What. An. Asshole.

The End!

Keiran's Dilemma Pt. 4




Kennedy’s delighted squeal somewhere in the distance forced my lips from Lake’s and my hand from under her skirt. The soft red material wrapped around her ass and thighs like the finest made glove. My fingers tightened around her hips with the need to haul her up on the counter.

Unfortunately, Keenan chose that moment to enter the kitchen with Kennedy wrapped around his torso. He was smiling down at her as he said, “Did you miss me, princess?”

“Not really, daddy.” I held in my snicker when his smile fell. If Ken noticed her father’s crushed expression, she didn’t care as she began to tick off our names with fingers still sticky from maple syrup. “I had fun with Uncle Keiran and Aunt Lake and Trey and Phee.”

The sound of morning cartoons drifted from the living room capturing Ken’s attention. The moment she ran off Keenan’s eyes narrowed with accusation. “What did you do to my kid?”

“I’m going to pretend that was gratitude,” Lake mumbled as she reapplied the lip gloss I smeared. Keenan’s crossed his arms across his chest, but as soon as she stood on the tip of her toes and kissed his cheek, he melted. She turned on me with still flushed cheeks. “Are you sure you don’t need me there?” Her turquoise eyes were dim as she studied me.  It had taken me almost an hour of soothing to convince her that I could handle Lyons alone.

“I’m sure, baby.” She nodded once despite herself and kissed my throat near my Adam’s apple before leaving.

I grabbed my keys and phone from the counter and shoved them in my pocket. “I should be back in a couple of hours,” I said to Keenan. I moved to walk by him when he suddenly reached out and gripped my arm. He didn’t say anything, and neither did I, but I could read the question in his mind as clearly as if he had spoken it. “Whatever he decides I know what I have to lose,” I offered.

He swallowed hard and nodded. “That’s all I needed to know.”

* * *

“I don’t understand,” Principal Lawrence pronounced slowly. “You’re quitting?”

“Retiring,” Lyons corrected from his seat in front of the large oak desk. “I think it’s about time, don’t you?”

Lawrence’s gaze slid to me as I leaned against her office door before quickly moving back to Lyons. “Are you sure this is what you want?”

I didn’t react as we both waited for his response. I may have done what she suspected, but for once it didn’t make me the villain.

“My wife wants to travel and take couple’s painting lessons.”

“But this is so sudden.”

“It’s true I planned to coach for another year or two but I’m well past retirement, and my wife won’t put up with my stalling any longer.” He forced a chuckle that no one in the room believed. 

“Well, we’ll need you to stay on until we can find a replacement.” Her gaze once again shifted to me disapprovingly before retargeting Lyons.

“I think you and I both know you don’t need to look far. Keiran has been my pupil for five years and one of the most talented players I’ve seen in my thirty years of coaching,” he said, laying the truth on thick.

“Yes, his credentials are up to par, but given his reputation, I don’t think hiring him as head coach would be acceptable to the board and frankly the entire community of Six Forks.” Her mouth tightened, straining the wrinkles around her thin lips. Her gaze was nervous as she studied me once more, expecting me to pounce or threaten. I did neither. Instead, I passively stood by as Lyons fought to save his skin.

“That was your argument when I brought him on as an assistant volunteer. After a blemish-free five years, it no longer holds merit.”

“What would you have me do, Coach Lyons?”

“Give him a chance.”

“And when the parents call threatening to remove their sons from the school?”

“They won’t,” I finally spoke. She was startled as if only just remembering I was in the room.

“How can you be so sure?”

“Because I’ll convince them.”

* * * 

Lake moved to readjust my black tie for the fourth time when I grasped her hands in mine. “You’re worrying,” I remarked.

“You don’t have to do this. The job is already yours.”

“We both know it won’t be for long if I don’t do this.”

She scoffed. “But you don’t owe them an explanation. You were a child. Anyone would have been screwed up after that.” Her eyes widened at her slip. “N—not that you were screwed up,” she quickly stumbled to lie. We both know I was messed up. I felt my lips twitch as I held in the laugh that threatened to spill. Five years of marriage taught me that she wouldn’t appreciate being laughed at right now.

Instead, I moved my hand down to cup her ass and bent to nuzzle my face in her neck, distracting her. My lips skimmed over her neck, and I felt her shiver in my arms. “Do you remember the classroom we were in the first time I tasted you?”

I could hear her breath catch and feel her fingers digging into my shirt, wrinkling the white material. “Yes,” she answered on a shaky breath.

“Why don’t you go there and wait for me.” I kissed her throat. “This won’t take long.”

“But—” She whimpered when I gripped her ass hard and bit her flushed skin.

“I wasn’t asking, baby.” She shivered again and released a sweet moan. “Go.” She pecked my lips and with a hand pressed against her stomach turned. I watched her move down the hall on shaking legs.

When she finally disappeared, I slumped against the locker and closed my eyes tight. My false confidence had been to keep her fear at bay but to be honest I was fucking terrified myself. There were only a handful of people who knew the truth about my past, and sometimes I think even they wished they could forget the ugly details. I was about to snatch off their rose-colored glasses in the hope that they would accept me.

With a racing heart, I opened the doors to the gym and promised I’d never look back again after today.

End of Part Four

Keiran's Dilemma Pt. 3


As Kennedy chattered about school, I told myself I was silly to worry. He promised me he’d never give me a reason and I believed him. Forever was ours and there was nothing anyone could do to take it from us.

Even so, I’d completely bitten off three fingernails by the time I heard the sexy purr of his engine. When the door opened, I tried to appear casual while the kids screamed their excitement. My heart pounded as it always did when he entered the room, but this time for a different reason. With my back turned I could feel his presence and his gaze as he greeted his son, daughter, and niece. They fired questions at him as I turned off the oven and removed the meatloaf. It wasn’t long before I heard chairs moving around the table and then felt strong hands sliding around my waist a moment later.

“I’ve been in the room for five minutes, and you haven’t looked at me once. Should I be worried?” There was humor in his tone that I could tell was forced.

“Should I?” I couldn’t stop from returning. I felt him stiffen and wished I could shove the words back down my throat.

I waited to feel the heat of his anger that I doubted him as disappointment flowed through me. Instead, I felt his breath against my neck when he exhaled. “Never.”

Meekly I whispered back, “Okay then.”

He chuckled and then nibbled on the skin along my jaw. “Tonight, I want you alone.”

I shivered in his arms. Keiran didn’t make promises he wouldn’t do anything to keep. He kissed the spot where he nibbled and skimmed a finger on the sliver of skin between my lounge top and shorts. When he backed away, I wanted to call him back. “Dinner smells good,” he complimented as he helped me carry the plates to the table.

“I made the macaroni!” Kennedy announced unnecessarily.

“So I’ve been told,” Keiran quipped playfully. He pulled out my chair and indicated I sit with a dip of his head. After serving everyone, he took his seat, and we dived in.

The kids made a mess, and Kennedy demanded to know if it was the best mac and cheese ever.

We tried to keep our gazes from lingering as we answered their questions. Phee attempted to feed her father meatloaf which ended up in his lap. It didn’t deter her, however. Her giggle was infectious as she offered another chunk of meatloaf, this time with her fingers, which he gobbled up fingers and all.

Dinner lasted much too long. Keiran volunteered to clean up while I bathed the kids and dressed them for bed. It would be another few hours before they tired themselves out for the night.

We spent the time on the couch ignoring the movie playing as we competed to see who could last the longest without air.

Keiran won.

“Why are you so much better than me at making out?”

“I’ve had a lot of practice.” His grin widened at my look. “Jealous?”

“Why would I be?” I crawled into his lap and wrapped my arms around his neck. “I got it all.” He tried to kiss me again, but I pulled back, earning an impatient growl. “I want to know what happened this afternoon,” I said, suddenly serious.

His brows furrowed and then he exhaled and leaned his head back against the cushions. With his eyes closed, he muttered, “Lyons has been forcing the team to take steroids.”

My gasp made him wince, and I immediately tucked in my lips. When he didn’t say anything for several moments, I found myself saying, “You didn’t know?” I immediately regretted it when his eyes popped open.

“Of course not,” he bit out. His gaze was stormy as it connected with mine. His unwavering stare made me feel as if I were under a microscope.

“I just thought maybe it was the reason you've been struggling all this time,” I explained, answering his silent demand.

He exhaled through his nose. “One of the players told me everything after practice. None of them trusted me. I doubt Jeremy even does, but today was a breaking point.”

I could tell it bothered him and I found myself running my hands down his chest soothingly. “He had every reason to trust you.” My assurance seemed to hit a wall of doubt. “What are you going to do about Lyons?”

“I already took care of it.” He watched me for a reaction. My hands curling into his shirt was the only one I offered. “In the morning,” he continued, “he’s going to resign and convince Principal Lawrence that I should take his place as Head Coach.”

“Do you think he’ll do it?”

He shrugged as if it didn’t matter and tapped my hip, a silent request for me to move. Once I did, he wordlessly rose from the couch and headed upstairs.

I took a deep breath before following him upstairs. I stopped to check in on the kids and found them fast asleep among their sea of toys. After putting them to bed, I took my time entering our bedroom. I had no idea what to say or do. Keiran assured me the problem was taken care of, but confidence didn't put that weight on his shoulders.

I followed the sound of the running water from inside the master bath. My pulse spiked when I glimpsed his tall, muscled body through the steam covered glass. His head was bent under the hot spray as he appeared deep in thought. I admired him for a moment, in awe that he was mine before I stripped out of my clothes and slipped inside the stall. He tensed when he became aware of my presence but kept his back to me.

“Look,” my hand curled around his bicep. I tugged until he conceded and faced me. His face was somber as he stared down at me. Water dripped from his dark hair and tan skin. I tried not to ogle. “We can spend the night worrying about the decision of a man who doesn’t deserve a second thought…” I let his bicep go and took his cock in my hand, stepping closer until our bodies were flush. “…or we can have that alone time you promised me.”

A grin tugged at his lips until he could no longer resist it. His cock was now hard in my hand as I stroked him. Nuzzling his head in my neck, he purred, “Did you think I would forget?”

“You wouldn’t dare.”

He growled, and I yelped when he slapped my ass. I glared up at him, promising retribution, as he massaged the sting. “You looked so fucking hot in that dress today, Mrs. Masters. I wanted to fuck you against the blackboard for extra credit.”

Oh, God. Memories from a particular time on a classroom desk played vividly in my mind, and I realized I would let him do it again no matter how wrong and dirty and hot it was.

“If you do well tonight, Mr. Masters, I’ll give you an A.” He had been kissing his way down my neck when he froze. The next second he was reaching behind me and shutting off the water. I stared, trying not to let confusion kill the mood. “What—”

He silenced me with a deep kiss. “Put on the shortest skirt you can find and meet me in the garage.”

I felt the look he gave me between my legs and then he was gone before I could question him. There was no way we were going anywhere without the children, so I was left confused and a little excited as I did what he ordered.

Feeling sexy and exposed in a gray pleated skirt and a white crop top, I followed him into the garage. It was dark and a little cold. Wrapping one arm around my middle, I reached for the light switch.


My heart rate instantly picked up speed. He was close, yet he sounded so far out of reach. His tone was one I hadn’t heard in a long time.

I felt eighteen again.

Fear flooded me at the same time my arousal slickened my sex. “Where are you?” I whispered as my eyes took its time adjusting to the dark.

“Come find me.”

I scanned the length of the garage but came up short. Gingerly, I moved down the steps, shivering at the cold air. I wanted to demand he end the game but the part of me that answered to my need to be filled appreciated the anticipation.

“Come out, come out, wherever you are.” I toyed with him as if I weren’t the one being hunted.

His answering chuckle echoed around me. I swung around, thinking I pinpointed his position when arms closed around me from behind. I gasped and kicked, real fear taking over.

“What sexy prey you are.” His breath fluttered over my skin, covering me in goosebumps as recognition dawned.

“Keiran…” He began walking backward, taking me with him. I heard a door open, and then we were inside his backseat, surrounded by his scent. I willed my heart to slow as I said, “Why are we in your backseat?”

“Because you’re the prettiest girl around.” My head swam at his sudden change in tone and though it was just a part of the game, yet my heart still skipped a beat.

“Me?” I played along, blushing.

“You," he confirmed, making me hot all over. "Want to go steady?”

“I’ve never done this before.” I was the innocent virgin again, and he was the bad boy I couldn't stay away from.

“Don’t worry.” His hand slid under my thigh, lifting it until my knee touched the driver’s backseat. “I’ll show you how.” I could feel the door pressing into my back as my breathing became uneven.

My cotton panties felt too confining, my nipples pushed hard against my thin t-shirt, and the material of my skirt felt abrasive against my skin. He leaned in, as if sensing my discomfort, and kissed my lips.

“Have you ever had your pussy kissed?” I shuddered against the door. He was going to destroy me with a simple game.


His smile was wolfish. “And if I wanted to?” He removed my white sneakers. “Would you let me?”

“I– I don't know.”

His chuckle was dark and rich. “If you don’t like it, I’ll stop.” His hands slid up my legs, under my skirt, to the band of my panties. “But I promise you’ll like it.” He pulled them slowly down my legs and whispered, “So fucking much.”

“Somebody will see.”

“Impossible. No one else exists.” He brushed a thumb over my knee soothingly. “Do you want to stop?” He watched me through the dark, waiting for my answer.

On the contrary, I wanted to scream at him to end the game and fuck me. I shook my head. He slid closer, his lips moving to my neck when I needed him much lower. “What else haven’t you done?” he questioned as he sucked on the skin of my neck.

“I…” I couldn’t form a complete thought when his fingers found their way under my skirt again.

“Have you ever come?”

I nodded my head yes without thinking. He stopped sucking on my neck, and I was perversely excited by the jealousy darkening his gaze. “Who made you come?”

“I did.”

Slowly, the corner of his lips tipped up. “Yeah?” As I nodded, I felt his fingers skirting higher. “How?”

“With my fingers.”

“Here?” I gasped and trembled when his thumb brushed my clit, sending the bundle of nerves into a frenzy. “Answer me,” he ordered gently. I nodded, wanting more of his fingers. “Did you put them inside you?”

He teased my sensitive entrance with his fingers. “Yes.” I inhaled and finally, mercifully, he filled me. I exhaled little breaths of air the deeper he explored.

“Kiss me.” I didn’t hesitate and leaned forward. I kissed him deeply as he pleasured me with his fingers.

“Keiran,” I gasped when I felt my orgasm building. He was torturing me slow when I needed him fast and hard.

“Do you need more?”


“I’m going to fuck you. Would you like that?”

“God, yes.”

“First things, first, baby.” He slid down, and the very next moment his mouth was on me, sending me to a place I never wanted to escape.

Brokenly, I moaned, “You’re going to ruin me, Keiran.”

“I’ll piece you back together,” he promised before making me come on his tongue.

It seemed for a moment that I would never stop coming. I felt his hands on my hips, tugging me lower until my back met the seat. I was floating somewhere far away, and in the distance, I heard his zipper lowering, felt his breath on my skin, and then him… deep inside me.

He moved slowly. I was no longer a virgin being deflowered. I was the second half of one soul finding love all over again.  He was the other.

When we came together, and our breathing returned to normal, I sighed happily and wrapped my body tighter around him. He peeked one eye open and grinned. “That didn’t go as I expected.”

“You were supposed to ravish me.” I pouted, faking disappointment.

He slid his hand around the curve of my ass. “Next time.” 

There was a lingering ache when he left my body. I quickly cupped my hand over my pussy to keep his come from leaking onto the seats. Noticing, he used his discarded shirt to clean me up. He wore a faint smile as he did.

“I think you like getting me dirty.”

“I was thinking about getting you pregnant.”

I frowned even as I felt a blissful flutter and longing in my lower belly. Playfully, I nudged him away with my foot. “We discussed this.” Since Phee came so soon after Trey, we agreed to wait a few years before trying again. I could feel him staring me down, but I refused to meet his gaze. I knew he’d break my defenses if I did. Snickering because he knew it too, he helped me out of the car. I gasped when my bare feet met the cold concrete. I hadn’t bothered putting my shoes back on or my panties for that matter. He lifted me up and carried me inside. “I’m going with you tomorrow morning.”

His surprise was evident as he moved us through the kitchen. “Why?”

“Because if Lyons bitch up I’m going to punch him.”

He snorted and carried me upstairs. “So everyone can say I need my wife to fight my battles?”

He didn’t sound the least bit worried, so it was my turn to snort. “You’re my damsel.” This time he looked genuinely affronted. “Aw,” I cooed, “you’re so cute when you wear your ego.”

Shaking his head, he entered our room and tossed me on our bed. I watched him pull his clothes off. He jerked his chin, ordering me to do the same. I got as naked as he and then we crawled under the covers.

Silently, he pulled me close. I was wrapped in his arms and blanketed by his heat. The rhythmic beat of his heart was a lullaby, and as I fell under I knew there was nothing left inside it I had to fear.

End of Part Three

Keiran's Dilemma Pt. 2


Lyons had been forcing drugs on the team right under my nose for months. Rage unfurled, threatening to turn my heart black again, but it was guilt that worried me the most. They hadn’t just been wary of me. They feared me. The power I once drew from fear didn't consume me now. 

Coach’s small office came into view. My steps slowed, and I realized for the first time since leaving the parking lot that I had no idea what I would do once I confronted Lyons.

You can always kill him. 

The monster whispered in my ear and licked at my skin, seducing me into letting it free. What surprised me even after five years was how little I was tempted.

There was only one way I’d know for sure.

I walked in his office before doubt could make me turn away. The door closed behind me with a soft snick. There was no turning back.

Behind him, the wall held photos of the school's former teams, college trophies, and accolades he didn’t deserve. “Masters?” His bushy brows pulled in tight as he slowly pushed closed the desk drawer he’d been intently looking inside. “What’s this about?” he questioned. His tone wasn't welcoming.

“You’ve been giving the team steroids.”

Guilt flickered in his eyes before disappearing. “I’ve done no such thing.” He tried hard to keep his voice level and his hands steady as he pulled his keys from his khaki pants pocket and locked the drawer. The move was meant to be subtle, but instinct screamed at me to push.

“You’ve been forcing them to take it since the championship. You’re telling me that’s bullshit?”

“I’m telling you to get the hell out of my office," he frigidly replied.

My chin jerked toward the desk. “What’s in the drawer?”

“That’s none of your business, and you have ten seconds to leave my office, or I’m calling the police to have you removed.”

“Call them.” I leaned a shoulder against the cold glass window in the door. “I’d be willing to express my concern. Suspicion of drugs on school grounds will force a thorough investigation.” My smile was wide. “I should know.”

“Leave,” he ordered again as he sat back and calmly laced his fingers over his paunchy stomach. “And don’t bother coming back. The team doesn’t need another coach.” He may have thought I was bluffing, but the sweat trailing from his hairline down his forehead was a reminder that I never bluffed.

I shrugged and pulled my phone from my pocket. “You won’t mind if I make a phone call first, do you?”

“You're trespassing, Masters.”

“You're guilty, Lyons.” I dialed nine.

“You don’t have proof,” he sputtered. His face turned red as he watched as I dialed one.

“I have a witness, a team who will piss hot, and the evidence sitting in your desk drawer.” I waved the phone tauntingly. “Shall I finish?” My finger hovered over the number one.

“So what if I gave them the drugs?" He pounded a fist on the scarred wood. "We need an edge to bring home the championship this year. You’ve seen them play!”

I shook my head, hating to agree with him. It was true that the team’s skill was lacking, but with effective training and leadership they could pull together and bring home trophies without the drugs.

“It’s over, Lyons. You’re done.”

“Who do you think you are?” He surged to his feet, sending his chair crashing back into the wall, and causing the frames attached to it to rattle. “I made you.”

I laughed at that and pocketed my phone as I stepped further into the room and closer to temptation.

“There are people out there, some of them I had the pleasure of killing, who would have made you look like a boy scout. They made me.” I was close enough now to grab him. Threaten him. Hurt him.

I didn’t.

“But you did see something in me when no one else did. You gave me a chance and an outlet. If you hadn’t, I would have reached the end of a path I would have never come back from.” I reached out and ignored his flinch as I clasped his shoulder. “This is me returning the favor.” Like lightening, too quick for him to anticipate, I forced him against the wall with an arm pressed against his throat. I used enough force to detain him but not cause pain as I dug into his pocket and pulled out his key ring. I let him go as soon as they jingled in my hand. He gasped and clutched at his throat.

It took a few tries before I found the right key and unlocked the drawer. “Don’t!” It was a weak protest, one that went ignored as I yanked open the drawer. Rage twisted like vines around my heart as I took in the syringes and vials.

My fist curled.

See? He deserves to die. Kill him. 

Calmly, I closed the drawer and turned to face a man I no longer admired but still owed a great deal.

“Tomorrow morning you’re going to speak with Principal Lawrence and inform her that you're retiring.”

“Excuse me?” His face resembled a wrinkled tomato.

“Don’t question my mercy, Lyons. I’m offering you to keep what little dignity you have as well as your freedom.”

“No one will believe you if I deny it. You’re the one who should be in prison.”

“Maybe so, but I’m not, and you will be if I show anyone this.”

“I’ll tell them you planted it to force me out.”

“And what about the team? What will they say?”

“They’ll damn well say whatever I tell them.”

“How do you think I found out about the juice?” I watched him, letting the facts sink in.

“I don't believe you," he lied. Panic made his eyes wild.

“Doesn’t matter." I knew he wanted a name but giving up Jeremy wasn't part of the plan. "All it will take is one little tip. It won’t matter if it comes from the resident black sheep. The school will be forced to launch a full investigation. When they test the team, and their dreams are suddenly over, how many of them will keep quiet then?

“I should have never given you a chance,” he snarled. “You’re nothing but trouble, just like they say. You’re worth nothing, and you’ll die nothing.”

“Go home, Lyons.” My phone chose that moment to ring. He watched me wide-eyed as I answered the call. “Yeah?”

“Uncle Keiran,” my niece huffed once she heard my voice, “what’s taking you so long?”

Damn. I’d forgotten tonight was date night for my brother and his wife, Sheldon. Kennedy was staying overnight which meant getting Lake into my backseat tonight became next to impossible. “I’m on my way. What’s wrong?”

“I made macaroni, and you’re not here.” I bit back a laugh knowing she was pouting. Keenan had created a monster. I could hear my wife’s snicker in the background as Ken continued to fuss over cold mac and cheese.

“I’ll be there soon. Save me some?”

She huffed again. “I suppose, Uncle Keiran.”

There was shuffling on the other end which meant Kennedy was done scolding me. “Hey,” Lake breathed into the phone. I could hear the worry in her simple greeting and knew she was also curious, if not nervous, why I wasn’t home yet.

“I had a meeting with Coach, but I’m on my way home now,” I offered as I stared down Lyons.

“Is something wrong?”

I hesitated and could have sworn I heard her breath stop. Deep down did she also fear that I’d hurt Lyons? “We’ll talk about it later.” My tone was final, telling her not to push.

“Kennedy is going to pace a hole in our kitchen floor so be quick about it,” she chuckled nervously. “I love you."

“Forever, Lake.” Her sigh filled my heart, erasing the blackness that tried to fill it. I hung up and turned my back on Lyons as I pocketed my phone. In the far-right corner sat a green and gray team duffle bag. I picked it up and then strolled back over to the desk. I ignored the man trembling behind his desk as I removed the drawer completely from the railing and dumped the syringes and vials in the bag. Once the bag was zipped up, I gave Lyons my full attention.

“Along with your letter of resignation, in exchange for my silence, you’ll write a glowing recommendation to hire me as your replacement.”

“Why don’t you just kill me, you murdering shit.”

I smiled. For the first time since I took my first life, my monster was silent. I didn’t feel it lurking, waiting for the chance to free itself. 

“Because this isn’t a negotiation and I’m late for mac and cheese.”

End of Part Two