When Brandon took his shirt off, Amber tried not to notice. Yet his physique was the result of years of intense training. With none of the soft show muscles that she was starting to see on other high school seniors, every detail in his arms, abs, or back revealed rock hard definition. His smooth, evenly brown skin nearly matched the tone of his golden, sun-highlighted medium length hair, now damp with sweat. “Hey, Brandon!” one of the other cheerleaders yelled from behind Amber, getting his attention. “Aren’t you cold?” Sharon yelled. It must have been 85 under the bright sun. Amber turned away instantly, but she could tell that the male athlete had noticed. That, she realized, was the other girl’s intent.“I’m good,” he casually yelled back, his chest aglow with sweat. Glancing down at her cheerleader miniskirt, he came back with, “Aren’t you one to talk.” He’d said it for Amber’s benefit. He knew the tactics that Sharon was famous for.Brandon had been on Amber’s mind all year, but no more than a few other track and fielders. Now he was walking confidently towards her. “Don’t mind them,” he consoled. “It’s one of their little games.”
“One of?” Amber replied, implying that she was well aware of the other girl’s deceitful nature.
“Uh…” caught off guard. “Yeah,” he stated, almost laughing. “I never let them get to me, and I always have fun.”
“Oh.” She noticed a long, uncomfortable pause. It was so clearly her turn to reply, but she just didn’t have anything to say_. Wasn’t it the guy who was supposed to talk? Guys show off, women judge, or something like that, she remembered her mother saying. Don’t look too desperate–you’ll give him the wrong idea. But maybe she did want to give him the wrong idea right now. He was being too much of a gentleman–or maybe he just wasn’t that interested in her. Could that be? Amber knew that she drew attention everywhere she went, but this guy just didn’t seem to notice. If it were an act, you’d think that he’d let on just a little. “I hadn’t noticed,” she replied cryptically, falling back on old habits.
“Falling back on old habits?” he retorted flirtatiously.
He’d caught on instantly, catching her off guard. She needed to come up with a clever shootdown that would not personally offend him. “Some guys get off on old habits.” What did that even mean, she thought.
“If you mean the Johnson brothers, I’ll stay away from that.” He was quick. She needed something fast to stay in the game.
“Everyone stays away from that. What are you on… to?” The pause was deliberate–and clever.
“Apparently…” she paused, unable to think of anything cool and crafty to say. He sensed it instantly and surprised her with a kiss on the lips.
“Whoa!” some of cheerleaders shouted, watching the entire volley from afar.
“Hey, that’s my girlfriend!” one of the football players shouted from behind the girls, squinting and holding a hand over his eyes.
“Hey, Mike,” Brandon responded.
“Oh, Brandon! I couldn’t tell that was you from way over there. I was wondering why my girl had her shirt off!”