by Victor Thomas

Chapter 3

Paxton and Wyatt eyed me warily the next morning, as well they might after the stunt they'd tried to pull. I guess I couldn't blame them. If someone was blackmailing me, I'd sure be looking for a way out. I knew I'd have to play this game carefully. If I pushed Wyatt too far, he might crack and simply turn himself in for steroid use and end my control of him. The problem was that he might take Paxton down with him, and I didn't want to lose my control over that boy. Paxton was my main competition, and keeping him on a short leash made my life much easier.

Some might call me a coward for blackmailing him instead of beating him the old-fashioned way. Some might get their asses kicked for daring to say such a thing, too. The way I looked at it, life was a game and everything was a part of it. Paxton had chosen to build himself up with illegal drugs, and now he was paying the price. I could also argue that without the steroids he wouldn't be such a force to be reckoned with. He wouldn't be nearly as strong and therefore wouldn't even be in the same league as I am. I built my body without the help of drugs. I made my choices and he made his, so he had only himself to blame for his predicament.

He had far more to lose than Wyatt, so I could push him a good deal harder. I had no intention of making his life a living hell, but I was going to enjoy myself. He was my toy, and I intended to play with him. The main benefit, of course, was that he was out of the running for quarterback and team captain when next year rolled around; it would all be mine.

"Hey, any of you guys seen Carson today?" I asked as I sat down in my usual spot in the cafeteria for lunch.

No one had seen him.

"I think he's home sick," said Dustin.

"Maybe I scared him too bad last night."

"What did you do?" asked Paxton, nervously.

I told the gang about the little joke I'd played on him with Ms. Sanchez.

"Aww, you shouldn't mess with Jack's woman," said Devin. "He might get jealous."

Jack actually blushed, which made me wonder if the rumor about him and Ms. Sanchez was true. Damn, someone could base a soap opera on C.H.S.

"I wasn't messing with her. I was messing with Carson's mind."

"With a friend like you, who needs enemies," laughed Devin.

Paxton actually flinched when I reached out for the salt. I'd sat down right next to him, and he acted as if I was a bomb that might go off at any second. While I derived a sense of satisfaction from his fear, I was going to have to tell him to chill out or the guys might start wondering what was up. Our new relationship needed to be kept low key for it to work, at least for the time being.

Keeping things toned down was insurance against him turning on me. If I treated him like my personal slave in front of the guys and he later exposed the fact I'd been blackmailing him, I'd look guilty for sure. If I treated him as I always had, they'd just laugh at him if he made such an accusation. You see, I've thought this through. I'm not a dumb jock like you've been thinking. As if I care what you think! Don't bother trying to analyze me, just keep reading and wishing you were me. Yeah, you know you wanna be me. Who wouldn't?

I motioned to Paxton and Wyatt with my head as the guys began to wonder away from the table. We dumped out trays, and I walked outside. They followed like two faithful dogs. Once we got outside, I turned on them.

"Will you two knock it off?" I said. "Every time I get near you, you act as if I'm going to belt you in the face. Make no mistake, I own both of you, but I'm not going to harm you or humiliate you in front of the guys, or anyone else for that matter. I'm not out to ruin your lives or your reputations."

"Yeah, right," said Paxton.

"Do you really think I want to fuck things up for you? Do you think I want to ruin your chances of getting that football scholarship and maybe turning pro? Use your head. It's in my best interest to do nothing that would hurt your chances. Hell, I'll even help you if I can, because the better chance you have at succeeding, the surer I am that you'll remain my little bitch."

His countenance was an essay in surprise.

"What happens between us stays between us," I said. "As far as the guys and everyone else are concerned, nothing has changed. Got that?"

They both nodded.

"So quit worrying like a couple of girls. You do what I want and you'll have nothing to fear."

"What… what do you want?" asked Wyatt.

"Your cooperation."

"Yeah, but I mean… what will that involve?"

"For the most part, I don't know yet, but when the time comes, I expect you to do what I say."

He didn't look pleased.

"I want the two of you to come to the gym tonight before closing. We have a little business to attend to."

"I don't think my parents will let me go out that late on a school night," said Wyatt.

"Then leave well before that and just stay out. It's easier to obtain forgiveness than permission."


"Do it!" I said.

"Okay, okay."

"I'll see you guys at practice and tonight," I said. "Now, let's go back in. It'll be time for class soon."

We walked back inside, all friends as far as anyone else was concerned. Man, I loved my life!

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