Continued from Friday Night Lights
A month later and Kristin still hadn’t sorted out what to do with her Friday nights. What was that saying about the devil and idle hands? Everyone she knew was at the game where she could not show her face. Her Mom had gone into Pittsburgh for a work thing. To think she would miss having her around! She was just hanging-moping actually. The football field was on a hill a mile out of town and when the air was right you could hear parts of the game from everywhere. And could see the bright glow from the field on the horizon. And, critically, she was out of pot. Which she really needed right now. Randy or Sheryll would both be holding but they were at the game.
She had in mind a place to try. Her ex-best friend Lynette Talbot usually had pot in their garage. They used to get high out there when they were friends. They had broken up over the summer. It was the usual: one boy, two girls thing; laid over that “other stuff” that Kristin didn’t want to think about right now. They’d each moved on to different crowds since then, and Kristin would have been happy to put whatever it was behind them-God knows she could use a friend or two now-but Lynette was beyond bitchy and seemed to enjoy keeping Kristin as an enemy. Being here in this garage made her a little sad and nostalgic for the times they had together. She had her new pack of tough girls though and was completely lost to her. .
The two car garage was across the backyard from Lynette’s house. Kristin had been such a fixture at the Talbot house that she would have known her way around blindfolded. There were no trees or shrubs in the yard so the garage’s man-door faced the house in plain sight so that anyone in the kitchen would see her. Did her parents even know she and Lynette were on the outs? If she got caught skulking around could she just bluff her way through with a story about looking for Lynette? Maybe…but she was pretty sure everyone was at the game. The house was dark with the lone porch light glowing wanly.
Still, she was as sneaky as she could be, playing it like a caper movie. She even flipped up the collar of her jean jacket. The garage was locked, of course. It was always locked but she knew where the key was hidden. She picked up the half brick beside the walkway and snatched the key from the dirt as she had often done. After wiping it on her jeans she slipped it into the knob and paused. She heard the pounding of the drums, then the marching band from the stadium. It must be halftime. She shook her head rapidly to avoid thinking about the routine that she wasn’t doing in front of a stadium full of people with all eyes on her. She would cry if she thought about it.
She went inside and closed the door gently behind her. The light switch was just to her right, but why chance it? There was enough street light filtering through the glass block windows to see by. On shelves above where the front of the car would be were oil cans behind which would typically be a small baggie with a couple of joints or some loose buds. That’s all she needed to get her through the night. On tiptoes she felt around. There was something there…but… her heart almost stopped when she found the bag. It was not the small, fit in your fist baggie she had expected. When she pulled it from the shelf she needed both hands to cradle the gallon sized ziplock bag filled to bursting with what looked to be deep green buds. She was far from an expert but Kristin knew she was holding something special and probably valuable. This couldn’t be just Lynette’s. Her first thought was to replace it and sneak out the way she came in. She was suddenly nervous and in over her head.
Kristen was so focused and intent on what she was doing that she didn’t hear them until the overhead fluorescent flashed on. And by then most of them were inside.
“Kristin!” yelled Lynette, hand on the light switch and obviously startled “What the fuck?”
Lynette’s pack this evening included Cassie Lawton, senior softball star who led the district in home runs for the last two years. Which meant little in the context of the garage that night, but what did matter was that she was as tall as Kristin and outweighed her by thirty pounds of muscle. Her arms were as thick as Kristin’s thighs.
“Get her, Cassie” growled Lynette. The big girl needed no direction, she had already circled to her left and grabbed Kristin by the arm in a grip that virtually paralyzed the slim brunette. Kathy Lugar, another, but less fearsome, softball player circled to the other side and grabbed Kristin by the other arm at the wrist, causing the bag to fall to the floor. It bounced softly, unharmed.
“Watch that for chissakes!” Lynette ordered. She was a tall, lanky girl with hair the color and seeming consistency of straw bunched in a rough ponytail.
Kathy bent and picked it up, hefted it. “It’s OK.”
“You’re ripping us off? Lynette asked loudly, surprised.
Kristin went from startled and nervous to frightened pretty quickly. She hadn’t been in a fight since grade school and she was poorly equipped to be in one now. The six girls who followed Lynette into the garage weren’t all softball players but they were all tough girls who ran in a completely different circle. This wouldn’t be a fight, it would be a slaughter. She recognized Glenda Thomas who actually worked in her dad’s gas station nights and weekends. Kristen didn’t think she was better than any of these girls, but she was different. At least she had been once. She had no idea who she was now. Her stomach gurgled as she tried to imagine what it would feel like to get punched in the face. She needn’t have worried. Lynette stepped close, balled her fist and punched her hard in the stomach.
Kristin gasped a loud “OOF!” and would have bent double but for the girls holding her right and left. She squeezed her eyes tightly and tried to pick up her knees to relieve the pain in her middle. One of the girls holding her yanked her hair hard, lifting her face. Lynette punched her again and she gagged. When she regained her breath and opened her eyes she saw a familiar and maybe friendly face walk through the door.. It was Ben Bodine who everyone called Benji. A cutesy name for a pretty badass all-district wrestler. He wasn’t a towering beast like Frank Orsatti, their heavyweight, but one of the middle weights-around one hundred fifty tightly muscled pounds.
She and Benji had shared freshman homeroom and a couple of classes. There was a time when she had helped him in Chem Lab and had gone to a couple of wrestling matches. He kept to himself and despite her gentle flirts had never taken the bait. He kept his hair super short and except for the bent nose, had soft features. What was he doing with these animals? Their eyes caught and she saw something; disappointment, disgust, disdain, one of the dis’s. She wanted to look away but dared not, hoping to message a distress signal. Would he care? Was he one of them?
Lynette motioned as if to punch her again and Kristin sucked up her legs trying to shrink. “Please Lynette. No more.”
“No more? I’m just getting started.” Eyes flashing, Lynette stepped nose to nose with her captive and yanked her hair while staring into her eyes. .“You’ll wish I kept punching you”, she said menacingly before striding off to a corner of the room where she rummaged through a pile of what looked like debris and wood scraps against the near wall. Finding what she was after, she straightened and turned, holding a stout little board about two feet long and as wide as the palm of her hand. The way she brandished it moving toward Kristen left no doubt about her intentions.
“Turn her around”, she ordered. Kristin was alarmed at how easily the two girls handled her.
“What are you doing?” she asked unnecessarily over her shoulder, her hair cascading over her eyes.
“I’m going to beat your ass for ripping us off.”
“NO! Whatever I took I was going to replace once I hooked up.”
“You’re not going to replace this stuff”.Cassie growled in her ear.. Nobody has it. I had to go all the way to Morgantown for it..Too much time and money went into this to allow some baton princess to walk off with it.
Oh God! thought Kristin. They’re all in on it. They’re going to kill me. “I wasn’t! I swear, I just wanted to get a little. I remember how Lynette kept a stash here. I just wanted to catch a little buzz. I didn’t know it belonged to all of you or I never would have…” She desperately pulled her arms and rolled her shoulders trying to loosen their grip, but it was useless.
“Stealing from me is fine, huh? Just not from all of us”
Lynette pointed the paddle at her menacingly. “This is breaking and entering…”
“I didn’t break in. EVERYBODY knows where your key is Lynette.
“Enough of your shit. Bend her over the workbench.”
Again, Kristin could offer only token resistance as, feet barely touching the floor, she was moved to the workbench. The edge dug into her hips as they pushed her over and flattened her onto it. She heard someone say “Get the phone out of her pocket. Her jeans were tight so whoever was digging around had to struggle to pull it out. Then Cassie said, “We should take her pants down.”
Kristin panicked and tried to kick backward. Someone dropped to the floor and grabbed her legs. With Cassie draped across her back and Kathy holding her wrists she was effectively immobilized. She had a vision of being mauled by dogs as what seemed like fifty hands clawed at her. Someone reached around her waist and yanked at her belt, unbuckling it. There was absolutely nothing she could do to stop them from pulling her pants off. From stripping her naked if they wanted.
“NO! PLEASE LYNETTE, DON’T DO THIS”. Her voice was ragged and breathless.
“I’m over here sweetie”, said Lynette slipping into Kristin’s sightline and waving the paddle. “It’s not me…I’m just watching the show.”
She screamed in frustration. Her zipper was down and she felt her waist loosen. Her jacket and T-shirt had been pushed up so her lower back was exposed. Feeling the air on her flesh-even her back-heightened the panic as she struggled. Whoever was on the floor reached up and began tugging at the beltline on one side while someone else was pulling on the other side.She would be bare ass in seconds.
“O PLEASE DON’T!….”, she was crying now, something she had hoped to avoid.
“Stop!” The only male voice in the garage cut through the rabble and all hands pawing at Kristin’s clothes froze in place. Kristin opened her eyes but couldn’t lift her head as there was a strong forearm across it pinning it to the bench.
“Stop what Benji?” Lynette fairly snarled.”I AM going to beat her ass.
“Leave her jeans up”, he said evenly. He hadn’t liked Lynette punching her while she was being held. He thinks he might have stopped it if he was inside when it happened. Whatever, there wouldn’t have been a third punch.
Nobody spoke for a moment and Kristin could feel the tension in the room and hear feet shuffling.
Lynette said, “Tell me you don’t want to see this little thief’s bare ass.”
“Why don’t you describe it for us? I’m sure you have fond memories.”
There were a smattering of “ooohs” and a giggle or two. Kathy Lugar scoffed.
“You forget who’s holding the paddle.” Lynette said, trying to maintain control.
“That can change in a fucking instant.” Again, his voice was devoid of emotion which chilled the garage further. Kristin held her breath.
“I don’t know what your game is Benji. You think she’s going to thank you for this?. Give you a friendly blow job or a little fuckey-fuck” She jabbed the paddle roughly up between Kristin’s legs. “This princess is too stuck up for you. And us. We’re ok to steal from….”
“Her jeans stay up,” he said in a tone that ended the conversation.
“Alright. Fine! I’ll just hit her harder. Pull her jeans up tight”. Kathy and Cassie pulled her jeans up higher than they’d been and held them there, the seam splitting her uncomfortably. Someone patted her cheek firmly “There you go,” Her jeans clung to her butt like denim paint.
Kristin didn’t have time to be relieved about not being stripped. .She was too conscious of her bottom being set up like a target. After an anxious moment, the first swat landed with a ferocity that blew all breath out of her open mouth. She was too stunned to make a sound. The next was equally solid. She yelped a loud “OWWW” following the third. She had in the back of her mind thought that her mother’s hairbrush might have prepared her for this, but she was sorely mistaken. That had been a spanking from someone who loved her.. Sound, but still a spanking. This was a beating by someone who only wanted to hurt her, and struggle as she might, she couldn’t avoid or stop it. Cassie felt her rocking back and forth, struggling to lift herself off the bench. “Don’t fight”, she whispered into her ear. “Don’t tense-don’t clench your ass it will be worse.”
Kristin heard the words from far away. She howled pitifully. She tasted blood and knew she had bitten her lip but really couldn’t feel it. She could barely breathe and feared she might pass out. The pain had settled to an overall numbing burn, accented by the relentless impact of the board, swat after swat. She tried to gag hoping to puke which she saw as her only defense right now. Maybe if she could pee herself, they’d stop but she had no conscious control of anything.
Then suddenly, it stopped amid a shuffle of feet and a loud “Hey” from Lynette. What Kristin couldn’t see was Benji stepping up and grabbing the paddle on the backswing. “Enough”, he said, wrenching it from her hand. “Owww”, she whined, grabbing her wrist.
“Enough. You made your point.” Reacting to the change in the room, Cassie, careful not to push on her, rose, giving Kristin the first full breath she’d had since she was pinned. Kathy Lugar released her wrists then strangely patted her head and slipped a lock of hair, damp with tears and sweat off Kristin’s face and behind her ear. “Sorry”, she said, a tiny puff in her ear. “That was efff’d up,”
She Lay where she was, crying softly as the drama played out behind her out of sight.
Lynette was clearly enraged but not unhinged enough to make the mistake of getting up in Benji’s face. His glare put her back on her heels. His eyes never left hers as he reached out with his empty left hand and said, “Gimme”.
Shayla Brooks, a solid little girl in a leather jacket and biker boots handed him the pillow sized bag of dope. His eyes slowly surveyed the room,
“We’re all friends here, ” he said in a flat tone that indicated the opposite might be true. It was lost on no one that he was still holding the paddle and pointing it generally at everyone as he spoke, lingering on the softball players who had held Kristen down. Cassie, never one to back down, shrunk a little as her cohort Kathy shuffled a half step behind her.
“We’re supposed to split that up!” Lynette complained, trying to keep the shrillness out of her voice. Benji looked at her as if trying to place a stranger who might have looked familiar. “I recall”, he said slowly. “Thank you. This pot belongs to all of us, but it was my cash that fronted it. I might be starting to doubt somebody’s judgment…or temperament to manage this deal.”
He pointed the board directly at Cassie and Kathy. “You remember what we talked about, yes?”
“I do”, said Cassie.
“You’ll take care of it, right?”
He tossed his head, indicating Lynette. Go with her, she has my scale. Do what we discussed.”
“You got it, Benji”, the big girl nodded.
He was about to toss her the baggie but pulled back. “I’ma take a little off the top..if nobody minds.” he opened the baggie and stuck his nose in. “Ahhh, this is the shit.” He sighed, performing a little. “ I need a bag.”
Marie Quintana petite, brown and beautiful green lipstick matching her eyes,stepped from the shadows and pulled a baggie holding a single joint, out of her back pocket. She tucked behind her ear where it disappeared behind a fall of tight black curls. She handed Benji the baggie. He smiled his sweetest thank you and reached into the big bag, pulled a small healthy pinch out, stuck it into the smaller bag.
“You realize you’re already getting your cut”, Lynette said, not being able to help herself.
“Yep. This isn’t for me” Slipping the paddle, which all the girls at least glanced at, under his arm, he wrapped the bag tight, licked the top and folded it over. He closed the big pot pillow and tossed it to Cassie. “See you at my house sometime tomorrow.” She nodded.
Lynette, frustrated and steaming, left first banging through the door followed by her doubting minions heads down except to nod at Benji. The softballers left last with a nod then a look toward Kristen who was standing uncomfortably in front of the workbench her back still to them. “Kris”, said Cassie, which some people called Kristin. The beaten girl raised a hand in acknowledgement of the gesture and the last two girls left.
“All gone”, said Benji and she turned stiffly, taking tiny shuffling steps. Her face was a mottled ruin of tears, snot and blood below her lips. Benji handed her a bandana from his back pocket. “It’s clean”, he said. She wiped, dabbed and blew and went to hand it back.
“Keep it”, he said.
“Thank you…I guess.” she said.
“No, really. If they would have gotten my pants off….” She shuddered.
“Yah, that was a tough one.
“Lynette was right. I REALLY wanted to see your bare ass.”
Kristin pulled a face that was equal parts grimace and grin. “You missed your chance. I’m sure you don’t want to see it now.”
“Now I have to see it. See what kind of damage she did back there.”
“There’s something for sure…burning and squishy” When she tied to straighten to her right, she winced and caught herself back on the workbench.
“Why did you let them do that to me?” she asked on the verge of crying again.
“Took me a few minutes to get the lay of the land. My thought, ok? Walking in on this? Was some kind of lover’s spat.”
“We’re not…! she protested.
“….I know you guys are a thing-at least you WERE-I’m not up on the latest jib-jab. But you broke in. You were taking her shit. You deserved something, you know? Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time…So she wanted to swat your ass, fine. But she was taking it way too far. But it only happened because you came here to steal from her.
“I wasn’t…Then she caught herself and started sobbing raggedly. “My life is so fucked up right now Benji. I don’t know what I’m going to do.
As smoothly as he would have on the mat, he took a quick slide step and was immediately in front of her. He underhooked her arms and gave her a firm hug-across the back and shoulder blades-all warmy friendly and not lusty pervy. “Your life is what you want it to be. Past is not prologue. You will write your own story starting tomorrow.” he said into her ear.
She sniffed. “I got snot on your shoulder.”
“Are all wrestlers philosophers?”
“Hell’s yeah-we try to keep it a secret though”. When she looked into his face, beside the naughty glint in his eye she saw real concern. And that was the look she responded to.
“Now”, he said stepping out of the hug, “lets have a look at your butt.”
To Be Continued…