Status: One shot

Playing by the Rules.

The beach.

The roar of a motorcycle tore the boys’ attention away from their game of soccer. They paused in the midst of chasing Andrew who currently had the ball to turn and look at the bike pull up on the edge of the sand, right where the parking lot ended.

The motor got shut off and the rider unstraddled the seat, kicking up the stand, before reaching up to pull the helmet off. Jo shook out her long hair as she strapped her helmet to the bike. She ran her fingers through the lushes golden mane of hair, trying to rid it of any tangles caused by the helmet.

John let out a low whistle, expressing all the guys’ thoughts.

“Think she’ll give me a ride?” Halvo asked, making John cackle, slapping him lightly in the stomach with the back of his hand.

“Hey!” John called out as he saw Kennedy jogging towards the girl. “I saw her first!”

“Hi,” he greeted her with one of his charming smiles.

“Hi yourself,” she replied as she unzipped her leather jacket. “Sorry I’m late; there was a crisis at work.”

“No worries, you’ve already made quite the impression on the guys,” he winked, prying the jacket from her fingers as well as her knapsack. He pressed his hand to the small of her back as he guided her over to where his things were, dropping hers along with them in the sand.

His friends stared at him, slightly shocked. They knew Kennedy could score, but since when could he do it so fast?

“Guys,” he said, waving them over. “This is Josephine.”

The girl rolled her eyes and hit his bare chest lightly. She knew he knew that she hated it when people called her by her full name.

“Jo, these are the guys,” he introduced; “Halvo, John, Garrett, Jared, Pat, Andrew C, Nick, Peter and Andrew D.” She smiled and waved slightly.

“This is Jo?” John asked, impressed. He’d heard a little about Kennedy’s new girlfriend, or well, girl he was seeing as the guitarist like to specify, but he hadn’t heard that much. No wonder Ken had been putting off introductions. “Nice to meet you.” He reached a hand out and the blonde tentatively put her in his, slightly confused by how formal he was being until he brought her hand up and pressed his lips to her knuckles gently.

“Watch it O’Callaghan,” Kennedy warned as the singer smirked, dropping her hand. Oh, he would be having a lot of fun with this today.

“Shall we get back to our game?” he suggested. “Jo, how about you join our team? We’re down a player.”

“No man!” Kennedy interjected. “You guys take Halvo, Jo can play with us.”

“I don’t want Halvo,” John groaned.

“Thanks man!” the boy replied, flipping him off.

“It’s okay,” Jo assured Ken. “I’ll play nice and make friends with everyone.” She pressed a kiss to his cheek gently before shedding her shirt, dropping it with her bag, leaving her in shorts and her bikini top. No one could help as their eyes drifted towards the girl and grazed her body. Kennedy couldn’t decide if he wanted her to stay like that of if he wanted her to cover up. Thankfully, she kept her shorts on.

“So are we going to play?” she asked, strutting towards their makeshift field. “Who am I with? Other than John?”

They got quickly acquainted before diving back into the game. Jo was proving to be quite the player, not to mention she fit right in with the guys. Her team hollered as she scored another goal.

“What’s that now?” John taunted. “Six to four?” Kennedy’s team had been leading before the girl had arrived.

“Don’t get cocky O’Callaghan,” Halvo warned, but the taller of the two simply rolled his eyes. He wasn’t the least bit intimidated by the boy. Jo came to stand next to Kennedy, smirking, as they waited for Peter to put the ball back into play.

“I think your friends like me,” she said to him. She’d been worried earlier that maybe they wouldn’t. It was silly, they were such a bunch of goofballs and were all as friendly as Ken; of course they made her feel welcome.

“I think they like you a little too much,” Kennedy muttered. He couldn’t stand that they wouldn’t keep their eyes off of her. She was his for goodness sakes! They should find their own girls to stare at.

“Aw, are you jealous?” she teased, poking him lightly in the side.

“No,” he muttered, kicking some sand up with his foot. Even if he had been the type of person to admit that he was jealous, with their status, he didn’t think that he could permit himself to say anything. He wasn’t allowed to be jealous.

“Good,” she replied, although she didn’t believe him for one second. She kissed his cheek, distracting him sufficiently to steal the ball that Peter had just thrown in his direction.

“Not fair!” he called out as she quickly ran away with it. Her giggles were her only retaliation. “That’s it,” he muttered under his breath as he pushed through the sand to sprint after her.

She laughed, glancing over her shoulder as he gained ground and quickly caught up with her. It wasn’t too hard seeing as his legs were longer than hers; he had an unfair advantage. He didn’t even bother trying to get the ball away from her. Instead, he reached out, grabbing her by the waist and pulling her down into the sand with him.

She squealed out in surprise as she thudded down into the sand. Halvo quickly took the ball and started off towards the other end of the field.

“That’s cheating,” Jo laughed, rolling over so that she could face Kennedy.

“I don’t care,” Kennedy replied, shifting so that he could hover over her. “I do what I want.”

He leaned down, pressing his lips to hers gently. He brought his hand up, cupping her chin, while his kept the other the sand, keeping him propped up over her.

“Alright love birds, break it up,” Garrett chuckled, walking past them. Ken didn’t bother pulling away, he simply raised his hand to flip him off, enjoying the moment a little longer. Finally, Jo pushed him away gently; she could feel eyes on them. The boy grinned at her, pushing himself up off the ground and extending a hand for her to take.

She did, letting him pull her, a little too forcefully, into a standing position, making her crash into his chest. He caught her by the waist, keeping her there, and took advantage of the time to lay another kiss on her. She grinned into his lips, wrapping her arms around his neck. They separated after a moment, resting their foreheads against one another and they gazed into each other’s eyes and smiled.

“Are you guys still playing or are you going to make out all day?!” John called, bursting their little bubble.

“We’re playing,” Jo called back. “I’m not done kicking your ass.” She poked her index into Kennedy’s chest, grinning mischievously.

“You’re on!” Kennedy called back, as the two separated and made their way to their respective sides of the field.


“Finally giving up?” Jo asked a little while later, trudging across the sand to plop down next to Kennedy and the cooler. His team had manager to tie the game at eight to eight, but the guys seemed to be getting fed up. They wanted to call it quits, move on to something else, but Ken relentlessly wanted to successfully beat the other team.

“Nah, just need a breather,” he replied, taking a sip out of the can of beer he’d just opened. He extended it to her, offering her a drink, which she graciously accepted, taking a generous sip before handing it back.

“Old man,” she teased, leaning back on her forearms, lounging in the sand while she looked out at the water.

“Hey now, I’m not that much older than you!” Kennedy argued. His twenty-six years were merely two years ahead of her twenty-four.

“But still older,” she smirked. He rolled his eyes, and let his gaze drift towards her. They sat in silence, contemplating both the water and each other as the finished the beer.

“Come on,” Kennedy said, discarding the can and pushing himself up to his feet. He held out a hand and helped the girl up from the sand before keeping a firm grasp on it and leading her down to the water. “I didn’t know you could play soccer like that,” he said casually as they walked along the wet sand, away from the group of guys. The water occasionally washing up onto the shore, crashing against their feet.

“High school team, center forward,” she replied proudly with a grin. Kennedy seemed impressed. She didn’t seem like the athletic type, but then again this girl wouldn’t cease surprising him.

They continued walking down the beach, hands swinging in between them, Jo gently kicking up the water as it ticked her feet.

“Stop,” Kennedy chuckled, flinching away from the cold water as it hit him in the shins. This only made her kick some more up. The boy raised an eyebrow at her.

“You just enjoy being cheeky, eh?” he chuckled reaching down as another wave hit the shore. He cupped his hand, catching water in it to splash the girl. She squealed, dropping his other and as she backed away from him. “Oh, you don’t like it so much now, do you?” He stepped further into the water so that he could kick up so more water in her direction.

“Ken, stop it!” she laughed, trying to splash him back without getting too wet. She finally kicked it high enough to spray him in the face. He paused, his mouth hanging open in surprise. “That’s it.” He lunged forward grabbing her by the waist and hoisting her up onto his shoulder. He ventured into the water, the girl pounding on his back, begging him to put her down.

“As you wish,” he grinned, shifting her forward, dropping her into the water.

“Ken! I still had my shorts on!” she exclaimed as she resurfaced, spitting and coughing up water.

“Oups,” he grinned with a shrug. She ran a hand through her soaked hair, pushing it out of her eyes. She held a hand out for Ken to help her up and he obliged, only to be pulled down into the water. He laughed as he surfaced, feeling silly for falling for the oldest trick in the book. He pushed his own hair out of his eyes and stood up, pulling the girl to his chest. “Happy now?” he asked. “We’re all wet.”

“No thanks to you,” she laughed, wrapping her arms back around his neck. He scoffed.

“Need I remind you who started it?” he asked. “Come on, let’s go dry off, it’s getting cold.” Rather than following along next to him, she jumped up onto his back, requesting him to carry her back to shore. She wrapped her arms and legs around his body, resting her chin gently on his shoulder, whispering into his ear and kissing his neck as he made his way back to the towel. She jumped off his back, shedding her soaked jean shorts, leaving her in her bikini before she grabbed her own towel out of her bag and wrapped herself in it, trying to keep warm.

“Scootch,” Ken muttered, sitting down next to her, slithering his way into her towel so that they could both be wrapped in it. Despite his cool damp skin, his body was radiating heat, preventing her from shivering. The sun was slowly dipping into the horizon, making it seem as though the water was extinguishing it.

Jo rested her head on the boy’s shoulder as they watched the sunset, the exhaustion of the day suddenly setting in.

“The guys are starting a fire,” he murmured a little while later. The girl opened her eyes to see that the sun was completely gone and the beach vacant other than the group of guys she was with. She hadn’t realized she was asleep, or that the damp towel was now making her shiver. “I think I have some extra clothes in the truck that you can change into.”

He helped her up and led her over to his Jeep before starting to root through a duffle bag on the backseat. “Those are clean,” he said handing over a pair of sweats. “Is your suit still damp?” he asked. “I don’t have a bra for you to borrow but you can have these, clean as well,” he handed over a pair of the boxer’s that he’d been planning on wearing tonight, but he could survive without. He continued digging through the bag; he should have a shirt and a hoodie somewhere in here. He handed the sweater over once he found it and he finally dug out the 8123 shirt. He sniffed it, making sure it didn’t smell foul before handing it to the girl. “Change in the truck.”

“What are you going to wear?” she asked as she climbed into the back seat.

“I have the shirt I came in with my stuff on the beach. I’ll be fine, I’m not the one shivering.” He shut the door behind her and stood guard for good measure to make sure none of the guys tried any funny business.

She immerged moments later, the clothes hanging off of her tiny frame, making her look cute as a button.

“Come on, they’ve got food. I’m starving,” he clasped her hand and brought her back down to the beach where he grabbed his shirt and she discarded her wet clothes. They took a seat on a log next to Garrett and Pat who immediately struck up a conversation with her. They wanted to get to know the girl that seemed to mean a lot to their friend. The few times he’d spoken about her, he’d only had great things to say. Not to mention they’d all noticed the way he’d been acting around her today.

They grilled up some hot dogs on some sticks as well as marshmallow’s for smores. Bottles of beer were passed out and a bottle of Jack was being shared. Jo cuddled back up to Kennedy, sharing the warmth. She very much enjoyed the afternoon she’d had as well as the evening.

The fire finally dwindled down and everyone decided to call it a night. Kennedy and Josephine grabbed their stuffed and the boy walked her over to her bike.

“Are you sure you’re okay to drive?” he asked.

“Yeah, it’s not too far from home, and the only thing I drank was that beer we shared before we went swimming.” She shrugged into her knapsack and grabbed her helmet.

“Are you um…busy tomorrow?” Kennedy asked, reaching up to rub the back of his neck. “You could stay the night at my place if you wanted to….”

A small smiled tugged at her lips, wondering if this meant what she thought it did. She had to make sure, though.

“You know my rule Ken,” she reminded him, although she didn’t budge. She stayed rooted in her spot, smiling lightly up at the boy, waiting for what he had to say.

“No, I know. I haven’t forgotten your rule,” he replied. When they had started seeing each other two months prior, Kennedy had warned her that he just wanted something casual. He was a touring musician and didn’t have time for a serious relationship. Besides, he didn’t want to put himself through the pain and suffering that long distance relationships induced, not to mention he didn’t want to put anyone else through that either. His last relationship had ended horribly because of it and he didn’t want to put anyone else through that. After, she’d proceeded to tell him about her rule that she wouldn’t put out unless she were in an exclusive relationship. It hadn’t scared the boy away, like she thought it would. He liked her company, so he stuck around and the two of them had started seeing each other casually regardless of their rules and restrictions.

“And I wanted to know if you wanted to spend the night….I mean, we don’t have to do anything, but I would like it if we, you know, were exclusive, regardless….” He shot her a sheepish smile, waiting for her reply.

She broke into a grin. “What made you change your mind? Was it John flirting with me?” she teased.

“No,” he answered far too quickly. “Well…maybe…It just made me realize that if I go away on tour, I won’t be able to stop guys like that from flirting with you…And you’d have no reason not to flirt back, and well I don’t want that. So, I’d like to try and make this, us, work out. If that’s what you want,” he quickly added at the end. She hadn’t given an official answer yet, but the smile on her face a big enough clue for him to guess what she was going to answer.

“I would love to be your girlfriend, Kennedy,” she replied, placing her helmet on her bike and wrapping her arms around her neck.

“It’ll be a lot of work though,” he warned, wrapping his own arms around her waist. “And a lot of time apart and it won’t be easy.”

“I like a challenge,” she pointed out. “And I like you. I want this Ken; don’t try to scare me away. I’m not easily scared.” He chuckled, knowing very well that she wasn’t one to scare easily.

He leaned down, closing the space between their mouths, gently resting his over hers. She responded immediately, holding onto him tightly and pulling herself into his chest. He smiled into the kiss, tightening his hold as well as he deepened the kiss. He let one of his hands slide from her waist down to her bum, giving it a squeeze. She hit his chest lightly, but certainly didn’t oppose to it.

“So, I’ll follow you back to yours?” she asked, breaking away so that she could breathe.

“Sounds like a plan,” Kennedy grinned. He gave her a final kiss, slapping her butt gently before going to climb into his Jeep. His boldness made her laugh lightly as she shook her hair out of her face and pulled her helmet onto her head. She had a feeling that this next step would bring out a new side of Kennedy, and she could not wait to discover it.
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