Romance Fiction posted August 8, 2021 Chapters:  ...45 46 -47- 48... 


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Katherine and Gabriel discuss the lawsuit.

A chapter in the book Football - A Novel

Football Chapter 23 part 3

by barbara.wilkey




Background
Katherine struggles raising her four sons by herself. Is Gabriel the father figure the boys never had and the husband she deserves?
Katherine and Gabriel have known each other for 25 days.

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

As she answered the door, a tall slender man wearing a gray three-piece suit asked, "Are you Katherine Sarah Riley?"

"Yes, how can I help you?"

He handed her an envelope. "You've been served."

"What? I don't understand." Katherine watched the man walk away without further explanation. She shut the door. Standing by the door, she opened the envelope, slipped a folded paper out, and read. "No!"

Gabriel rushed to her side. "What?" He put his arms around her. "Let's go into the den." As he turned toward the boys, he said, "Jordan and Joshua take care of things." He shut the door and led her to the love-seat. "Sit." He sat beside her. "What's wrong?" Tears streamed down her cheeks as she held up the letter. "Can I read it?" She handed it to him.

After reading, Gabriel exhaled a deep breath. "Now we know what they're doing next." After a few moments of silence, he asked, "How can I help?"

"I need to be held."

"Just a second." After Gabriel closed the window blinds and curtains, he sat, and then drew her close. Kissing her forehead, he said, "I'll hold you as long as you need me."

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 23 part 3

Later that evening, Jordan knocked on the door and then cracked it slightly. "Mom, the dishes are done. There's a plate in the fridge for each of you. Jeremy took his bath, Joshua read him his story, Reggie's in bed with him. If there's nothing else, I'm going to my room." He closed the door.

Katherine raised her head and placed her hand on Gabriel's damp shirt. "I'm sorry I got it wet."

"My shirt's the least of my worries. How can I help?"

She ignored his question. "I guess I need to check on the boys. I'm sure you're starving by now."

His arms remained around her. "Katherine, I know you're hurting and scared. Please talk to me. Don't block me out. Let me help."

"I can't believe they want my boys. Do they really think I'm a horrible mother? Why is this the first time I'm hearing it?" Tears crept from her eyes.

Gabriel drew her tighter. "You're a great mom. It has nothing to do with your mothering skills. It has to do with money."

"If they'll forget this nonsense, I'll hand over the money." Katherine glanced up at him. "Think if I give them money, they'll forget about taking the boys? They've never shown any interest in them."

"They'll go through that and want more. This'll be a continuous problem."

Katherine reached for a tissue and blew her nose. "Sorry. You're right. Any ideas how I should handle this?"

"I might be able to help in two ways." Gabriel's eyes met hers. "First, from my pro-days I have access to lawyers. Some of my friends needed good custody lawyers. I can help with that." He released a deep breath. "From the conversation with them Sunday, they're going to use our relationship against you. They're going to say I'm a bad influence on the boys. As long as we're together, I'm a liability."

Again tears rolled down Katherine's cheeks. "Are you breaking up with me?"

"I don't want to, but..."

"No, that's not the answer," interrupted Katherine. "You're a good influence on them." She thought. "Are the lawyers you mentioned good?" After he nodded, she continued, "We'll go that route.

"I'll come to your room during tomorrow's break, and we'll make that call." His stomach growled.

"We'd better get you fed." Katherine leaned into and tightly held him for a few moments. "Okay, I'm ready."

"If you're sure?"

Her eyes met his. "To be honest, I'm not sure of anything right now." She stood. "I'll check on the boys then reheat dinner."

As Katherine started up the stairs, Gabriel followed. "I'm coming too."

They both smiled as they checked Jeremy's bedroom. He and Reggie were asleep, and Jeremy's arm was around the large dog's neck.

They checked on Joel and Joshua. When Katherine knocked on Jordan's door, he said, "Mom?"

She opened the door.

He motioned for her to come in. When he saw Gabriel standing in the hall, he said, "Coach, you can come in too." After they entered, he continued, "I know something's going on and I know it's big. Mom, you were crying. What made you cry? Are you okay?"

She sat on the bed beside her eldest son. "I'm fine."

"You're not fine. Your eyes say you've been crying a lot." Jordan's eyes met Gabriel's. "Coach, you tell it like it is. What's going on?"

Gabriel studied the ceiling. "It's not my place to say. It's your mom's decision."

"Mom?"

Katherine glanced at Gabriel as he nodded. "He already knows something's wrong. He'll eventually find out."

"Jordan, please don't say anything to your brothers, at least not now. We don't have all the information." When Katherine released a deep breath, Gabriel came closer and put his hand on her arm. She added, "Your grandparents have filed for custody of you boys."

"That's why they had all those boarding school pamphlets, isn't it?"

"I don't know, but probably."

"They don't even like us. Why'd they do that?"

"My guess is they want your trust funds."

"Since they want our money, why don't you just give it to them? I don't want the money."

Gabriel stepped closer. "Your mom has already offered that as a suggestion, but once they go through that, they'll try again. We probably should stop it now."

Jordan's eyes met Gabriel's. "Like you always say, we need a strong offense and a stronger defense to win the game. We can't just have one or the other." He sighed. "Mom, you're going to fight for us, aren't you?"

She hugged her son. "I'm going to fight with every ounce of strength I have. Tomorrow Gabriel's going to contact a lawyer and ask if he'll help us." She squeezed her son's hand. "Don't worry about this. We're on it." She leaned over and kissed his cheek. "You need to turn off your light. It's getting late." She started to leave the room.

Jordan called, "Coach?" After Katherine left, he said, "Please be there for Mom."

Gabriel patted Jordan's shoulder. "Don't worry. I will."

At the bottom of the stairs, Katherine asked, "What did Jordan want?"

"He wanted to make sure I'd help you through this." Gabriel put his arm around her waist and led her toward the kitchen. "I've heard rumors of food."

After they ate and cleaned up, Gabriel said, "I noticed you didn't eat. With everything going on, you need to eat to keep up your strength."

"I know. I'm not hungry right now."

"Okay." Gabriel turned toward the Grandfather clock as it chimed. "It's eleven." He hesitated. "Are you going to be all right? I'll sleep on the couch if you need me."

"I'll be fine. That'd be all the ammunition my in-laws needed."

He chuckled. "We could leave the front door open, so the P.I. could see me."

"Really, I'll be fine."

"Since Reggie's already asleep, I'll leave him. Promise you'll wake him for our run. He'll sleep through it if he has his way."

"I promise."

He leaned over and kissed her cheek. "If you need me, I'm only a phone call away."

Katherine nodded and whispered, "I know."





CHARACTERS:

Katherine Riley: age 33 - widowed: husband died 6 months ago. She moved to Texas from NYC with her four sons. She teaches high school math and also coaches girls cross country.

Daisy: Katherine's yellow Labrador

Gabriel Hudson: High School football coach and former NFL defensive lineman

Reggie: a very large English Mastiff

Jeremy: Katherine's six year old son. He's in first grade.

Jordan: Katherine's fifteen year old son. He's a sophomore.

Joshua Katherine's thirteen year old son. He's in 8th grade

Joel Katherine's eleven year old son. He's in 6th grade.

Paul Edwards: High School principal and Gabriel's friend.

Rodney Frost: Math department head, at least for now.

Angie Brooks Math teacher and Katherine's friend.

Frank Collins Math teacher.

Rebecca and Harold Hudson Gabriel's parents

Sarah and Bob Beck Katherine's parents, Bob is deceased

Frank Collins math teacher

Alan Green an Assistant Principal

Sandy Frost Rodney Frost's wife

Sam Auto repair shop owner

Bill Brooks Assistant football coach, Gabriel's friend, and Angie's husband.

Harold Hudson Gabriel's dad and football announcer.

Sandy Teenage girl on cross country team.

Judy Teenage girl on cross country team.

Rhonda Morgan Teenage girl on cross country team, and victim of dating violence.

Mr. and Mrs. Morgan Rhonda's parents.

Kenny Clark Teenager - Rhonda's boyfriend

Grace Former friend of Gabriel and featured in porn magazine

Janette & Jackson Riley Katherine's in-laws



Recognized

#19
August
2021


Thank you google images for the photo of a lawsuit. I also want to thank everybody for the helpful reviews. I made many changes as I posted. I hope it's okay. Again, I hope I didn't make it worse. This novel is not actually about football, but is part of the background. High football is a national pastime in Texas. This post is a little over 1,000 words. Sorry about the length. Thank you for having patience with me.

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