Deeply Destructive
Author:Lucy Covington

“Trust me,” I said, looking down at him. “I’m promising you it will get better.”

 

He shivered, closed his eyes. “I do trust you, JB. You’re the only one left. The only person who hasn’t given up on me yet.”

 

“I’ll never give up on you,” I told him.

 

I felt my phone vibrate, and the first thing I thought was that Lindsay was texting me. I started to smile as I anticipated what she might have written.

 

Hopefully something sexy.

 

I checked my phone and my smile faded. It was a text from Coach Jansen.

 

I want to talk to you. Meet me in an hour at Suffolk Downs Raceway.

 

Not exactly what I was hoping for. And I wasn’t at all sure why he would ask me to meet him at the track instead of at the gym. Was I still kicked out of the gym, even though Drew Ellis had just told me he wanted me to be training hard for my next fight?

 

“Nothing’s ever easy,” Gil muttered from the floor.

 

I glanced down at him. “That’s right. But you won’t appreciate anything unless you work hard to get it.”

 

“Speak for yourself,” he groaned, and rolled over.

 

“Look, I’ve got to head out for a little bit.” I waited for Gil to respond to that, but he didn’t say anything. “If you wake up and get hungry, there’s some stuff in the fridge.

 

Just wait here until I get home, okay?”

 

Gil just groaned and seemed to curl his body up even further, as if trying to escape my voice.

 

I shook my head, hating to see my best friend acting like something out of a bad TV movie of the week. I couldn’t forget the way Gil used to be, the kid who had given speeches before big wrestling meets, who had trained harder than everyone else, who had been smarter and funnier than anyone I knew.

 

He was supposed to be inspiring me, helping me, keeping me on the straight and narrow—but now I was on my own, trying to look out for him and me both. I consoled myself with the fact that he was going to be okay. At least this time.

 

As I went to get dressed for the day, it occurred to me that life really could twist and turn in some unexpected directions. And that made me think of Lindsay.

 

I pulled a t-shirt over my head and grabbed a pair of jeans from my closet, remembering how we’d been in my bed together not so long ago. Her body had been inches from mine and I had barely been able to restrain myself from ripping her clothes off.

 

She had a body that was built for sex—anyone could see that. Underneath that goody two shoes vibe, I knew there was a wild girl just waiting to come out. I could see it in her eyes and feel it in the way she sometimes touched me, the way her mouth opened a certain way when I caressed her and held her.

 

It drove me insane that I’d made a vow not to get romantically involved with her.

 

I kept asking myself what the big deal was, why couldn’t I just screw her and get it over with?

 

I examined my face in the mirror, noting that the cut over my eye was already substantially better than it had been even a day ago. In four or five days, I could probably do some light contact sparring if I was careful.

 

What I really wanted to do was some heavy contact with Lindsay. I wanted to climb on top of her and inside of her, I wanted to let her know what I was feeling in ways she could never mistake—show her how badly I wanted her.

 

But something kept holding me back. No matter how much I wanted her, no matter how much I was tempted by the flashes of skin, the lure of her perfect breasts, her tight ass, those legs that went on forever—I couldn’t bring myself to do something that I knew would ultimately hurt her.

 

Lindsay had big goals in life, that’s why she was going to Cambridge University and not Bunker Hill Community College. Not that there was anything wrong with community college, but girls like Lindsay didn’t attend that sort of place. She was going to do amazing things that an ordinary person couldn’t even imagine. I wasn’t going to mess that up for her.

 

I had my own big plans, and those were most definitely not compatible with the kind of life Lindsay was trying to make for herself.

 

Speaking of big plans, I needed to get out to the track before Coach Jansen had yet another reason to be pissed off at me.

 

***

 

I hadn’t been to Suffolk Downs in years. I used to go all the time with my dad when I was little, and at the time I’d thought it was the coolest thing in the world.

 

Everybody at the track knew him, and he knew them. They even called him “the mayor,”

 

and I’d thought that was so awesome—almost like my dad really was the mayor, and not just some burnout that had gambled away every dime he’d ever made.

 

Walking from the train to the track brought back so many memories of those old times. I could practically smell the smoky gray coat my dad always wore, could almost feel his rough hand holding mine as we made our way to the racetrack together.

 

I was broken out of my memories when I saw Coach Jansen standing by the entrance to the clubhouse, waiting for me.