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The Shower Scene
I do not have to take this, I thought to myself. Even though I knew I wasn't actually going to do anything about it; I was too polite, as he always put it. But the reporter was too pushy and she was beginning to make me feel very uncomfortable.
"So, have you guys ever had sex?" she asked with a wink and a knowing smile. Like she was my best friend and I was about to divulge a secret she already suspected was true.
"Um no", I said, rubbing my arm as I tried to hide the blush creeping up on my cheeks. "He's my best friend," I said, trying to be convincing. "It's not like that." She pursed her lips. Apparently that wasn't satisfying enough. I hated reporters.
She turned around as another unlucky basketball player came into view and I just about sprinted to the locker room. I felt momentarily bad for leaving Andrew there alone with her, but the guilt passed, as it was the reporter's job to interview him and not me. I pushed open the heavy door to the locker rooms and smiled once the hot, steam-filled air hit my face. Technically I was not supposed to be in there, but I'd broken that rule countless times. I walked past Jordan, who nodded in my direction. I passed a few other guys, some of whom waved or smiled. Coach Vinnie was sitting in his office, no doubt already watching and re-watching tonight's game's footage. I made my way over to him as to not start up a conversation with the many half-naked basketball players who would surely make it into a big deal with Blake later. I walked into his office just as he hit pause on his computer. Sure enough, a still picture of Blake was on the screen, about to make his ninth 3-pointer that night. "How are things, Grace?" Coach asked with one eyebrow raised and a smirk on his face. I knew better than to think he was asking about my life in general. He was referring to Blake. I shrugged. "Great game tonight," I said, in an attempt to change the subject. Coach laughed for a few seconds, his eyes twinkling. He was always in a good mood after a great game. "Why thank you, but you know, it was your boy who really should be congratulated," he said. "Thirty-two points against the Heat. Now that's remarkable," he continued, looking off into the distance and stroking his chin. And not in the ironic I'm-stroking-my-chin way. I stifled a giggle. "We may even have a shot at winning the playoffs this year..." he went on, still talking to himself.
After chatting for a few minutes, I looked out his office window to the locker room and tried to quickly advert my eyes. Again, half-naked basketball players. But before I could look away, the locker room door swung open and the same reporter who not ten minutes ago was desperate for details about the strictly platonic relationship between Blake and I strut in. I panicked. If she caught me in here, with a bunch of NBA players who were showering and, well, half-naked, she would without a doubt blow it way out of proportion; magazines, news reports, ESPN coverage etc. The sports world is even more susceptible to gossip than the Kardashians. That also meant that the NBA's very well-paid PR team would be called in to do damage control, and that would likely take some money out of Coach Vinnie's paycheck. His player, his money, as they always say. Coach wasn't always as fond of that rule as he pretended to be. I ducked. Coach looked worried for a second, but hid it well, arranging his features into their usual place to form a cool smile. Sensing my hesitation, he gently shoved my head all the way down until I was no longer visible from the window.
Crawling towards the showers, I noticed how dirty the floors were. For multi-million dollar basketball players, they sure were disgusting. I was out of the reporter's sight, but only for now. I looked up, and spotted Jordan a few feet away, staring at himself in the mirror. Of course. I crawled towards him quickly. When he saw me on the floor, he laughed. But I must have looked alarmed, because he quickly shut up. I nodded my head in the direction of the reporter. She was talking to Coach Vinnie, standing right where I had been seconds ago. Coach seemed to be trying to distract her. His hands were waving sporadically, as they always did when he told one of his not-so-interesting stories. I shot Jordan a wordless plea. He pulled me up, winked, and then shoved me, fully dressed, into one of the many showers. At first I thought he was a genius, but then I realized that the shower he had pushed me into was occupied.
I stumbled in and quickly shielded my eyes as a wet pair of hands caught me just before I slipped on the tile.
"What the?" a gruff voice mumbled. I was thinking of all of the ways I was going to kill Jordan when I realized that the voice belonged to Blake. As did the hands that were preventing me from falling. Now I was really going to kill Jordan. I wriggled out from Blake's grip, and he let go of me, but then I was back in his arms a few seconds later as I slipped on the soapy floor. He chuckled softly. I kept my eyes closed as I tried to avoid getting drenched by the still-running shower. Blake attempted to pull me under the water completely, his arms still around me.
"You know, if you had wanted to take a shower with me, you could've just asked," he said confidently. I heard Jordan burst out laughing on the other side of the curtain. I was tempted to jump out and strangle him but I thought better of it. Not worth my time. I put my fists on Blake's wet chest and pulled away, making sure this time I would be able to stand on my own.
"Will you just turn the water off and put on a towel," I asked, my voice shaking. "Please," I added, though it was anything but polite. I could feel him looking at me and it became increasingly challenging to keep me eyes closed.
"Gracie," he said slowly, "I was in the middle of shampooing; I guess you'll just have to wait."
"Are you being serious right now?" I whisper-shouted. He chuckled again.
"What are you doing in here anyways?" he asked. "Not that I mind." I rolled my eyes. I relayed the previous events that landed my in the middle of his shower, highlighting the part where Jordan pushed me into his arms. He laughed.
"I'll have to thank him later," he said. I scowled, which only made him laugh harder.
"Gracie, you're getting soaked. And your shirt is see-through anyways," he said with what I imagined was a smirk. "You might as well take off your clothes." I blushed and was about to punch him wherever my fist happened to make contact with first, but I was shivering in my water-drenched clothes and he'd seen me in my underwear before. So I stripped down to my bra and panties and whipped my clothes over the curtain and in the direction of where I last saw Jordan's face; they landed with a wet smack on the floor. He probably wasn't even there anymore, already bored with the trouble he'd caused. I was still shivering, partly because of the water bouncing off my newly exposed skin and partly because of Blake. I felt him looking at me, but I still refused to open my eyes. He turned back and continued on with his shower as I just stood there, leaning on the wet wall. I took those moments to imagine what I was going to do to Jordan once the reporter was gone. That made me smile. Apparently Blake thought I was smiling because of the situation and he laughed. I finally heard shower turn off and him shuffle around me to grab what I assumed was a towel.
"Can I open my eyes now?" I asked impatiently. He sighed.
"Yes Gracie, you can open your eyes now. I'm all covered up."
I slowly peaked through my lashes. Yes, Blake did have a towel covering the lower half of his body, but the upper half was exposed. His chest, and abs. His huge, strong arms, which how somehow found their way around my waist again. His cocky smile. The arms around me and cocky smile were not an unusual occurrence, but his wet, slippery skin mixed with me almost nakedness was what made this moment so different. He was still staring at me, and I couldn't help but stare back.
"BLAKE MITCHELL! WHERE IS BLAKE MITCHELL!? SOMEONE TELL ME WHERE I CAN FIND BLAKE MITCHELL!" screeched a crude voice. A crude woman's voice. A crude woman's familiar voice. My eyes widened with the realization that it was the reporter. Blake poked his head out of the shower curtain ever so calmly.
"Yes? I heard you were looking for me?" he said even more calmly.