Hey! Okay, so I totally have an excuse for that severe lack of updates for TWO years… I got a really severe case of writer's block (seriously, it was AWFUL). I'm still suffering from a bit of it, but it's not nearly as bad as it was. Thank you for being SO patient with me! Thank you to all my reviewers: , CoHOCD and HelgaBertoni!

Here is chapter 4, Enjoy:

I ignored Jared as best as I could for the rest of the day. I was still pissed at him for that lesbian comment he had made earlier.

The bastard kept taunting me; and he was just asking for trouble with some of the stuff he was saying. Though, the taunting all came down to the fact that I apparently couldn't play, but I was doing better than he was.

"You know, Peterson, I'm starting to wonder if your insults are just a defense mechanism because I'm doing better than you. I think you're actually scared that I might be better than you." I told Jared in the dugout during one of our breaks.

He snorted, but didn't comment.

"Okay, good job so far everyone. I'll give you five minutes to rest and then we'll split into teams and we'll play a small scrimmage game." Coach announced before he left the dugout and made his way off the field.

I took a long drink from my water bottle. It was ridiculously hot out, which was common in South Georgia especially in the last days of July. The water helped quench my thirst, but it didn't do much for the actual heat.

"You know, if you're tired, Clark, you could always leave and be the team's cheerleader. I think that's a position that would much better suit you anyway."

I lifted my eyes to see Jared smug face staring at me from across the dugout.

"I'm not even taking your insults seriously anymore, Peterson. I really do think that it's all just a defense mechanism because you're scared that I actually will make the team and you just can't stand the idea of a girl being on your team."

"I'm not scared."

"Sure, keep telling yourself that." I said, "You know I'm good; you're just too much of a bigheaded moron to recognize talent in anyone, but yourself. Kind of sad really." I shrugged, "but, I guess we all have our flaws."

"Yea, and I guess yours is your sexual preference."

I glared at him, "Just because I've never had a boyfriend, doesn't mean I'm gay, you fucking moron. It just means that I have high standards; it's not my fault that no guy at school can meet them especially a guy like you."

"A guy like me?"

"Yes, a guy like you! You're the male chauvinistic pig whose head is far too big for his body; I'm afraid that if it gets any bigger you may just float away. Confidence isn't a bad thing, but the cocky attitude that you have makes you extremely unattractive; at least to those of us who don't like cocky jerks. Fortunately, I'm more into someone with a personality than good looks. Good looks fade with age, but personality never does. You may be good looking to some people, but you will always be a rude and cocky asshole."

With those words, I shoved past him to get out of the dugout. I decided that I would rather wait outside the dugout since it was getting crowded in there. Jared and his large ego took up twice as much space and it wasn't that big to begin with. That and I was seriously about to strange him and since I would rather not get sued, I figured the best thing for me to do was to get away.

That's where Coach found me a few minutes later.

"Is everything okay, Victoria?" he asked.

"Yes, I'm fine… I just had to get away from Mr. Bighead in there." I jerked my heads towards the dugout.

Coach snorted, but made no comment as he walked past.

I stood up against the fence as he called the boys out of the dugout and began separating everyone into two teams.

I was rather surprised when I got stuck on the same team as Jared, I would have thought that he would have split us up. Though, when I really thought about it, I realized that Coach probably figured that we would be more likely to cooperate with one another if we weren't on opposite sides. It made some sense since if we both made the team we would have to do so.

"Now… Jared, Victoria. I expect you two to stop fighting long enough to get through this little scrimmage. If you guys can't stop fighting then I can't see how either one of you will make this team."

It wasn't like Coach to make such a threat, but I wasn't that much surprised since he had a point. A team is not a team if not all the players cooperated or at least pretended to get along for the sake of the whole team.

"Don't worry, Coach. Jared and I will be just fine, won't we?" I asked, glaring at the boy in question. I would not let our fighting prevent me from making this team.

"Of course," he grinned at me; the look clearly said that he had every intentions of going back to the arguing at the end of this. I would expect nothing less from him.

Coach had us flip a coin to see what team would bat first. My team lost; mostly because Jared doesn't know how to call a coin properly. I didn't tell him that though… since I was determined to play nice with him so Coach didn't get mad at us. I really had to bite my tongue to prevent the comment from leaving my mouth since it desperately wanted to.

He caught my attempt to not saying something rude, "Got something to say, Clark?" he asked as we headed back into the dugout to get ready to bat since Jared had lost the toss we got to bat first.


"Nope." I said as I walked passed him and headed into the dugout.

He looked at my suspiciously, but made no comment.

Besides Jared and myself, Thomas was also on our side and a few other players from last year that I couldn't remember the names of at the moment. A freshman or two was also on our team as well. It had been several hours since tryouts had started and they still looked terrified.

"We need to decide who's going to hit first." I noted to anyone who would listen as I sat down.

"Well, ladies first." Jared said, mockingly.

I turned to glare at him, but didn't say anything.

"Man, you're taking what Coach said really seriously, aren't you, Clark?"

"I'm not going to let our constant arguing prevent me from making this team, Peterson. At least I can be the bigger person and be mature."

I didn't even wait for a reply; I just got up, grabbed my bat and my helmet and left the dugout; and made my way towards the batter's box, putting the helmet on as I went.

I wasn't surprised to see the boys moving in a little bit. It was still annoying though. I was a bit nervous though since it had been awhile since I had hit a baseball. It was smaller than softball and thrown at a faster speed, but I think with a few adjustments I wouldn't have very many problems.

I pitch was low and outside; just the way I like them. But I was too anxious and swung and missed the stupid thing.

I could hear Jared's taunting voice in the dugout, but I ignored it, deciding that this was much more important than him making fun of me.

I took a deep breath as the pitcher began winding up to the throw the ball. I wasn't going to miss this one. It would make Jared all too giddy with happiness and Lord knows he didn't need that. At all.

The next pitch was beautiful. It made a beautiful crack sound as my bat came into contact with it. The ball flew down the third base line, the third baseman couldn't move fast enough to get to it so it made it all the way into the outfield before it bounced. I managed to make it to second base before they throw it in.

Once the boys got over the shock of me actually being able to hit the ball the game continued as normal.

We ended up losing by only a point which wasn't bad considering we had more of the freshman on our team. It didn't bother me really because it wasn't like it counted; as long as we didn't start losing when it really mattered. I didn't care. I was just glad that Jared was on my team so he couldn't gloat about beating me.

"Nice job everyone!" Coach Wilson congratulated as we all hung out in the dugout after the scrimmage, "the final roster should be available when school starts on Monday. It'll be posted by the main office and announced over the morning announcements. We only have room to field a varsity team this year so we're looking to fill fourteen spots. For those of you who make the team, our first practice will be the first day of school; Monday afternoon from four to six. I'll be giving out practice and game schedules then. Hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer. See you all soon." With those words, Coach left the dugout.

I gathered my stuff together; shoving my glove into my bat bag before zipping it up.

I felt his presence above me before he spoke, "I bet Coach is off to call your father to let him know you didn't make the team." Jared spoke from above me.

"Oh, would you just shut up already." I spat as I grabbed my bag and my water bottle and got to my feet.

I attempted to move past him, but Jared and his friends were currently blocking the only way out of the dugout.

"Get out of my way, Peterson, some of us actually have things to do after this."

Not only was the jerk blocking me, but him being in front of the door prevented anyone from actually leave the dugout.

Since Jared was a senior, he was a bit intimidating to most of the freshman that were trying to get out. Good thing I wasn't scared of the jerk or we might have been stuck there all night since Coach was way out in left field picking up the baseballs that hadn't been fielded in earlier.

Somehow during my mental rambling, I had ended up near the back of the dugout and after watching the freshman's interaction with Jared and his friends I knew I would have to step in if I ever wanted to leave this dugout. So, I shoved my way to the front of the group until I was nose to nose with Jared; well, more like nose to mouth since he was few inches taller than me.

"What the hell are you and you and your little friends doing, Peterson?" I asked, "Get out of the way!'

"I will, once I've made my announcement, Clark."

I rolled my eyes, "What is so important that you have to block all of us in here to say?"

"Oh, nothing much… just that I wish all the little freshman good luck…"

"Well, it's a little late for that, moron. The tryouts are already over."

He ignored me, "And, to say that to any one of them that makes the team will have to go through a little 'ritual' to actually be accepted as a full member."

"What is this? Some kind of cult?" I asked.

Jared just gave me a knowing little smile.

"Don't worry though, it's nothing much. Just some harmless fun."

With the way he was grinning, I highly doubted that the fun was harmless. Knowing him, it was something that was dangerous and probably illegal.

"If you make the team, stand by for more information. If not, well I wish you luck in trying out next year." he glanced pointedly at me.

It took all my will power not to reach my hand up and smack that smirk off his face.

"Well, that's just great, Peterson." I said, "Now, get out of the way." I ordered.

When that got me nowhere, I chose to turn my stare towards Thomas.

"Would you be so kind as to move out of the way?" I asked.

Jared scoffed at that, "You can't ask me nicely like that?" he asked.

Thomas moved out of my way; mostly because I was the best friend of his current girlfriend. And, if he didn't want her mad at him then he would have to be nice relatively nice to me. He and I both knew that.

I moved past Jared who still stood dumbstruck in the dugout doorway.

"No." I said simply before I headed off the field; bat bag and water bottle in tow.

Once I was off the field, I spotted a familiar car pulling into the parking spot close to the field.

"Hey sweetie!" my best friend and former softball teammate called as she left her car and headed towards the field.

I glared at her, "I'm not speaking to you."

She paused in mid-stride to stare at me incredulously, "What? Why?" she asked.

"Oh, don't play dumb with me, Sam. You promised me that you would try out with me today."

"Did you not get my text then?"

I just stared at her, "What text?"

She sighed, "I guess you didn't then. I sent it to you last night… it said that I wasn't coming to try out. I couldn't do this and the fall play this semester so my mom made me pick. Don't give me that look, Vic! I tried my hardest to convince her that I could do both, but she wouldn't believe me since she had the fact that my grades weren't all that good last year to go by as proof."

"Well, what am I supposed to do now?" I asked her, "When I make the team, how am I supposed to survive around a bunch of testosterone driven males some of whom I just know I'm going to strangle by the end of the season."

Samantha snorted at that comment, "I'm assuming you're talking about Jared, right?" she snorted again when I gave her a "what do you think" stare, "I'll take that as a 'yes' then… what did he do this time?"

I rolled my eyes, but before I could reply to her, her boyfriend decided to answer for me, "He called her a lesbian."

I turned to glare at Thomas, who was walking towards us, his bag thrown careless over his shoulders. Once he reached us, he greeted Samantha with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. They were so cute, it was kind of disgusting. I hid my look of disgust as they both got googly eyed over the other; they'd been together since freshman year and had been through this puppy dog love stage ever since. Seeing my best friend fall in love with practically the first guy she saw (not to mention the best friend of the boy that I completely despised) made me a bit peeved and lose some respect for her. To see her succumb so easily to love with a boy was disheartening and I would be damned before I fell in her footsteps.

I rolled my eyes as they exchanged all sorts of lovey dovey names and I tried not to vomit or make it that obvious that I was disgusted since Sam hated when I did that. We hardly ever had fights, but when we did… it was usually about my reactions to her and Thomas' "love" (I used quotations because high school love, isn't really love anyway… it's just infatuation and I knew that they wouldn't make it past graduation in the spring). Sam didn't like it when I said things like that so I kept it to myself, but I knew that was all she felt for Thomas anyway. I know I'm a cynical bitch when it comes to love. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for it in later years and I do want to find someone some day, but high school is just not the place to do it.

"What?" Sam's surprised voice knocked me from my inner ramblings.

"You heard him. He called me a lesbian because according to him and his screwed up logic since I've never had a boyfriend, I must be gay. It never occurred to the moron that I might not want a boyfriend because I have high standards when it comes to who I date and no guy at our school comes close to them, especially Mr. Big Head."

"For someone who hates me so much… you sure do talk about me a lot."

Well, if it wasn't Mr. Big Head himself.

"Don't flatter yourself, Peterson. I was just saying how big a moron you are for not realizing that I might not have a boyfriend because no guy in school can measure up to my high standards. Especially not a guy like you."

He snorted, "Like I would ever want someone like you. Please, Clark… you are not my type."

I scoffed at that, "Oh… yea, my bad. I forgot that your "type" is any slut who throws themselves at your feet like you're some gift to females everywhere."

He shrugged, "Not my fault girls can't keep their hands off me; I'm just that good looking."

"No, you're just that much of an arrogant, chauvinistic pig." I retorted, "You couldn't get a nice girl who didn't want you for sex even if your life depended on it since you're personality pretty much sucks."

He cocked an eyebrow, "You wanna bet?"

I stared at him, "I have better things to do with my time than stand here and play childish games with you, Jared."

"Aw… what's the matter, Victoria? Afraid of a little bet?"

"No, I just know that anything to do with you is really nothing more than a game anyway."

"I just think you're scared that you might actually lose a bet if you were to make one."

I snorted, "I'm not scared of anything or anyone, but I am especially not scared of you."

"Then why won't you make a simple, harmless little bet with me then, hmm?" he asked

"Because I don't trust you, that's why." I explained, "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have more important things to do then stand here and argue with you." I said as I turned to walk away, pulling my bat bag strap higher up on my shoulder as I went.

"Are you still angry about the 'lesbian' comment?"

I stopped dead in my tracks at his voice and turned to glare at his taunting face.

I took a deep breath to calm my anger at his blatant rudeness since if I didn't; I knew I would strangle him for being such a douche bag. Once I was calm enough to speak clearly, I let the bastard have it, "You are a fucking prick, Jared Peterson and you have zero compassion for anyone but yourself. And, you quite frankly, make me sick. If and when I make this team, I sure as hell know you'll make it too, and I fucking swear to God, if you make me angry too many times, I will make you regret it. Just stay the hell away from me and grow the hell up! You're a fucking senior in high school; start acting like it and stop acting like an eighth grade boy going through puberty too soon and too fast. Get over yourself; the world doesn't revolve around you and I think that is something that you really need to learn."

By the time I was done, everyone that was still hanging around the field was staring at me in wide eyed shock. Not that I blamed them, I was just as surprised as they were; I normally wasn't one to get so vocal about my problems, but that had been brewing the entire tryout time and if I didn't let it out, I was probably going to explode.

"If you want to make a bet so badly, I'm sure you can make that kind of bet with one of your lame little friends. I know they all follow you like mindless zombies anyway; wouldn't be too hard to get them to do what you want."

"Hey!" Thomas sounded a bit offended; not that I'm surprised since as Jared's best friend I had pretty much just insulted him.

The sudden loud vibration of my cell phone coming from deep inside my bat bag surprised me and I mindlessly grabbed for it I spoke to Thomas, "Well, sorry Tommy boy, but you do on occasions follow Jared around like some kind of helpless puppy."

He glared at me while Sam just looked kind of shocked.

"Hi, mom," I said quickly in the phone before anyone could actually say anything else to me. I knew it was her with just a quick glance at the caller ID.

"Don't you 'hi' me in such an innocent manner, Victoria Julia Clark," the shrill and angry voice of my mother made me wince slightly, "your father told me what you've been up to today and I must say, I don't approve at all."

I glanced at Jared who was still staring at me, "Yea, well you're not the only one… so you're more than welcome to join the club of people who are against me doing this."

"I was under the impression that your father approved of you doing this! That is the only reason that I caved in about it at all, but how was I supposed to know that you would lie to me about his approval and then proceed to go and tryout when you very well knew neither one of your parents approved at all."

I groaned, I knew the lie I told my mom about my father's approval of me trying out for the baseball team was going to backfire, but I didn't think it would happen so soon. My parents were divorced and even though I lived with my mom; she told me that even if she had disapproved of me trying out for the baseball team that if my dad had been okay with it, she would be willing to change her mind. Her reasoning being that my father would have a better understanding of whether I could handle it or not. But, my dad had said 'no' too since he didn't like the idea of his only daughter playing a male's sport so I had done the only thing I could think of at the time. I had lied to my mother to get her to sign the papers and the only reason it worked was because she trusted me enough to not call my father for conformation. Yea, I think I totally just lost that trust.

"Mom, can we talk about this later, please?" I asked "I would rather not talk about this when I'm within a few feet of what could possibly be the evilest person to ever live."

My mother snorted, "I highly doubt that Jared is that bad, Victoria. This is just the beginning; I still have a lot I want to discuss with you and we will do so when you get home, understand?" she asked, "Your father is on his way over right now and should be here by the time you get home."

I groaned, I really wasn't looking forward to facing both of my parents at once since they always used each other's presence against me. And, being ganged up on was never fun. I would like to put off the meeting as long as possible. "Fine, I'll be home soon then."

"You better be home within an hour, Victoria, or I'll come and get you and drag you home if I have to!"

"Mom! There's no need for threats. It's four now, I'll be home no later than five, I promise!"

"You better be, Missy." were the last words my angry mother spoke to me before she hung up.

"Well, goodbye to you too…" I muttered under my breath as I closed my phone and turned around, "What the hell are you all staring at?" I snapped when I noticed everyone in the general vicinity was staring at me.

Sam just continued to look at me, "That was your mother, wasn't it?"

"How do you know?"

"Because I could hear her voice clearly through the phone, Vicky, I've been telling you for weeks that you need to turn the volume down on that thing before you start losing your hearing."

"Yes, mother," I spat sarcastically.

Sam ignored me as she continued speaking, "It's so loud that probably anyone within a couple of feet could clearly hear the other end of the conversation especially with how loud your mother was yelling." Sam gave me a knowing look, "I told you lying to her about this wasn't going to work."

Remind me to smack my best friend later for so blatantly announcing this to my sworn enemy. No, scratch that… I was totally going to kill her after seeing the little smirk grow on that bastard's face. I could see the little wheels churning in that giant head of his. Made me want to strangle something; preferably him.

Jared tsked me, shaking his head, "I am truly ashamed to see you stoop this low to get what you want."

I snorted, "Oh please, Peterson. You're acting like I killed someone. All I did was tell a little fib to my mother to get her to sign the release papers. There's nothing wrong with that. Plus, don't sit there and tell me that you wouldn't do that exact same thing if you were in my shoes because I know you would."

He snorted, "Judging by the fact that the baseball team will never have to worry about losing funding or interest, I don't think I would ever be in your shoes."

"I was talking hypothetically, you moron."

He shrugged, "I'll give you that, I suppose, Clark. But, judging by your mother's very loud yelling, I have a feeling that you won't be on the team after all. Not that you actually had a chance of making it anyway."

I snorted, "We'll just see about that, Peterson. You don't know how reasonable my mother can be when she's not pissed off. I wouldn't count me out just yet." I said turning towards Sam, "Hey, did you bring your softball stuff with you?" I asked, there was really no point though since her softball equipment never left her car.

She nodded.

"Great, do you want to throw for awhile?" I asked, "I need to throw with someone who can actually handle it." I shot a glare at Jared.

"Shouldn't you be getting home, Vicky?" she asked, "Your mom sounded really pissed."

I shrugged "I told her I'd be home by five; I only live ten minutes away. I got a lot of time to kill. Plus, I would rather put the meeting her until exactly five since it'll give her a chance to calm down."

My mother was much more logical and understanding when she wasn't pissed off.

"Alright, let me get my stuff," she said as she let go of Thomas and made her way towards her car, "I've been aching to get back on the field for awhile now anyway."

While I waited for Sam to get ready, I noticed Jared, Thomas and a few more of their friends huddled up in a group a few feet away from me. I didn't get too suspicious until I noticed that they all kept discretely glancing at me.

"You know, if you take a picture, it'll last longer." I finally said when Jared glanced at me for the third time.

"Too bad I don't want a picture," he smirked at me. I didn't like that little knowing look that passed over his face; as if he knew something that I didn't know. I had a weird feeling that that something involved me.

The group disbanded after that and Jared headed towards the parking lot, "See you Monday, Clark."

I glared at the back of his head.

"What the hell are you planning, Peterson?" I asked; well, more like yelled at him because he was far enough away that I had no choice if I wanted him to hear me.

He didn't even respond; he just kept walking as if I hadn't just yelled at him. At the top of my lungs.


What the hell was he hiding?

Well, there it is! I hope you like it! Like I said above, I had major writer's block with this story which lead to me not being able to update in over two years. I still have slight writer's block, but I hope I can work through it. This story is going to start going at a faster pace; it's going to cover most of their senior year. Anyway, if you have any comments, suggestions or questions please feel free to share! And, if you noticed any errors please point them out to me! I proofread, but I always miss a few errors! Anyway, I hopefully will have the next chapter up soon! So, until then see ya and review!