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Eyes Like Fire Chapter Three - The Day's Conclusion
Out of all the classes that could ruin my good day, Gym was the only one guaranteed to. At least when it was my fourth period I had the rest of the day to cheer up. Today would be especially unpleasant, the class was going to be dedicated to tryouts for the Swimming and Diving team. See, here at OFS the swim team was the first priority, we were the reigning champions, undefeated for seven years. Naturally the coach got quite a hefty pay for this reason, which is why he continued to push the team so hard, he was actually very selfish. To add on to the torment all upper classmen had to tryout, it was a requirement, something about “Showing pride in being a student at OFS” which I find ridiculous.
I got changed into my swimming attire in the locker room and joined the rest of my class. The worst part of this was Raven wouldn’t stop checking me out. I hated his smug look, just because he was the team’s best he thought he was some sort of god in this school. I did however notice surprisingly that Ethan was in the Gym period, he still had his shirt on, I guess not all guys are as show offish as Raven. The rest of the girls, even the ones who’d been swimming since freshman year looked pretty moody, I figured they either didn’t want to swim today or just didn’t want Raven and his boys staring at them, which I can understand.
The coach finally arrived and gave his usual pep talk which I’d heard on my first day. “Alright, as you know OFS has the finest swimming team this side of Virginia, and you, the upper classmen are just the folks to help propel us once again to first place!” He looked at Ethan, “Now I know you, for one were not able to take my class last year due to your scheduling, but this may be your chance, if you’ll take your shirt off already.” I heard Raven snicker and whisper “Bet he’s a scrawny sinker.” He soon shut up as everyone’s eyes became fixated on Ethan. He’d tossed his shirt off and God forbid if every girl’s heart didn’t melt. His entire upper body was lined with muscles, it made Raven look like nothing.
The coach even seemed impressed as he asked “Is that an eight pack, kid?” Ethan looked at him and spoke in the same monotone voice he’d used earlier “Ten actually, sir.” Upon closer inspection I did notice the muscles on his sides, and of course every girl besides me squealed after he said that, I preferred not to be caught staring. I loved the look on Raven, Jackson and Raymond’s faces, it was about time someone brought some humility upon them. “Well now! I hope you’ll be on the team! Anyway, everyone warm up however you need and we can begin, if no one volunteers I will just select four people.”
I of course didn’t care to warm up since my body was just going to get cold again once I hit the water. I noticed Ethan meditating by the water as Raven went up to him, this couldn’t end well. “So hot stuff, I supposed you think you’ve got a spot guaranteed for you, huh? Well guess again, I’m the top swimmer here and no one is taking that away from me! Especially not a steroid pumping freak!” Ethan looked up at him, unalarmed and responded “I love how greasers like you assume everyone with muscles uses steroids, just because you are a wuss do not assume I cheated to get this strong.”
This really angered Raven, he was about to hit Ethan but then the coach intervened. “Now now boys! If you must do this then just race in the pool, but no fighting on campus you hear me? It‘s for your own safety!” He wasn’t fooling anybody, we all knew he just didn’t want his top swimmer and newest hopeful to be banned from the team. Although this was not what Raven wanted he still smirked eager to beat Ethan, which was most likely one, because he was much taller than Ethan, and far more experienced.
“And with that, who will volunteer to go first?” Ethan rose and took his place as Raven did the same, and naturally Jackson and Raymond tagged along. The coach seemed unsurprised and took a fest steps back. “Alright then, I want you all to do one full lap of Freestyle, understand? I’ll then give you a minute to catch your breath and prepare for Butterfly, these were the two weakest competitive strokes on our team last year and I intend to rectify that error.” The four boys readied themselves and at the sound of the whistle they shot out into the water.
It was unreal, everyone had bet on Raven but Ethan’s powerful arms catapulted him through the water at speeds Raven could only dream of reaching. Ethan had finished before Raven was even halfway back, Jackson and Raymond tied with each other as expected. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the whistle drop right out of the coach’s mouth as he stared wide-eyed at Ethan. As Raven got out of the water he looked at Ethan surprised. “When did he get here?” The coach took a minute to respond, still completely dumbstruck “He got here about ten seconds before you did.” Actually it was twelve to be exact.
Raven looked at Ethan completely blown away by this, I could see him begin to shake with anger. The amazing thing was Ethan didn’t even appear to be tired like Raven was, as if he hadn’t even exerted himself, he also didn’t seem to be wet at all, of course I figured that was just my imagination going wild. “Well then, Ethan, very impressive! I know Raven is probably good to go but I’ll give you a few minutes to catch your breath before-” Ethan cut him off and took his place once again, “I’m good to go” his eyes looked very intense as he looked at the water, “and this time there’s no holding back.” his muscles tensed slightly and all the girls melted once again.
Still slightly dumbstruck Raven took his place hoping to redeem himself, but clearly not confident he would. Once again the whistle blew and Ethan was off, plowing through the water I think he even beat his last time, despite what we had seen before we were all still in shock as he rose from the water with plenty of time to stretch his neck and his arms before Raven made it back. The coach looked at him like he was pure gold, “My boy, you have earned yourself a spot on the swim team! I would love it if you’d accept! I’ll even make you the captain if you do!” Ethan smirked -it still amazed me how different he looked when he showed emotion- and just nodded his head then walked by the coach.
None of the other tryouts were anything to brag about, I’d actually beaten the other girls and had been invited to join, I told the coach I would consider it, of course as usual Raven, Jackson and Raymond had their own spots, and then there was Ethan, still standing there shirtless. I decided to go congratulate him seeing as the guys had given him such a hard time. I walked over smiling and spoke very politely “Great job on making the team, you were amazing!” He smiled at me and responded in this very soft, yet beautiful voice “Thank you, I thought you did well too, if you join I could train you, maybe you could make captain next year.” I barely even heard what he said, his eyes were so… Dreamy. I tried to compose myself so that I wouldn’t embarrass myself in front of him but he was so gorgeous, I was hypnotized.
“Thanks” I said in a breathless voice, my little blonde moment continued until I noticed something appalling “Your skin isn’t wet at all! How is that?” His smile quickly faded and he mumbled very quietly “I must be going.” He tried to make his way back to the locker room but Raven got in his way. “So, think you can just show up and upstage me huh?! Well think again, pretty boy!” Ethan spoke in a very angered voice “Get out of my way, before I drown you in that pool!” The other kids gasped as Raven’s expression turned to fear but then quickly became anger, he quickly flung his fist at Ethan but was soon flat on his back. Ethan had grabbed his arm and flipped him then quickly made his way into the locker room, glaring at Jackson and Raymond almost instantly making them fall flat on their butts.
Everybody laughed as Raven groaned, he was clutching his arm and I quickly saw why. There was a very deep red mark on it which actually resembled a burn, I looked back but Ethan was already gone. There was no way, even someone as strong as him could just leave a mark like that on somebody, Raven must have slid on his arm, he must have skinned it, that’s just blood I was seeing! There was no way that any man could have done that! Them again, Ethan was no ordinary man clearly, but that meant nothing! I had to get dressed, this was all too bizarre and I was going mad just thinking about it. In the locker room all the girls were talking about how hot Ethan was and placing bets on who would get to take him to prom, I got out of there as soon as I could, I didn’t want to think about Ethan, I’d already done enough thinking for one day.
Finally the bell rang and I ran to my bus taking my usual seat next to Gerald who gave me the window side today. As he rambled on about his essay paper I stared out my window uninterested, then I saw him, standing outside the woods right next to our school, I pondered what he was waiting for until Gerald interrupted my thoughts. “Are you even listening, Mychaela?” I turned quickly to him and replied “of course!” Whether I was or wasn’t he didn’t seem to care, he continued on without another word about my attentiveness. I looked back out the window but to my surprised Ethan had disappeared, definitely not good for my sanity which I was already questioning.
I was actually very grateful to just be able to lie in my bed, no Raven, no Ethan, no swim team, no confusion for just a few good hours which I would savor. In that time I had decided I would join the team, I wanted to learn more about Ethan, plus it’d be a nice change, although that would mean twice as much harassment from Raven, but maybe he’d leave me alone if I was with Ethan. I didn’t want to think about it any longer so I decided to go to sleep, my homework completed and my hair washed.
“I could train you…” I blinked a few times “Wouldn’t you like that? It’d give you so much time to figure out what I am.” He spoke so oddly, almost sinisterly. “Oh, but be careful Mychaela, you may not like it.” He smirked at me and I backed up a little but he quickly closed the gap placing a fiery hand on my cheek, “So beautiful… I haven’t seen one as gorgeous as you in-” I didn’t hear the rest, I shrieked in pain as my skin began to burn underneath his. He spoke once again as he pulled away from me. “I will kill Raven if that will make things easier. I’m sure having two men after you is pretty stressful.” I didn’t respond, I couldn’t, my voice failed me and suddenly he vanished, just as he had done before.