Authors: C.M. Doporto
A Different Side
Book 4 from
The University Park Series
By CM Doporto
A Different Side
Book 4 from
The University Park Series
Copyright © 2015 CM Doporto
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portions thereof, in any form without written permission except for the use of brief quotations embodied in articles, reviews, or posts.
Cover design by Cora Graphics and Indie Solutions
Edited by Monica Black
Copyright 2015 by CM Doporto
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, educational facilities, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental. Any trademarks mentioned herein are not authorized by the trademark owners and do not in any way mean the work is sponsored by or associated with the trademark owners. Any trademarks used are specifically in a descriptive capacity.
I’d like to thank my husband, son, and mom for their continued support. Lord knows I couldn’t do this without each of you.
Many thanks to the guys (Louis, Marcos and E) who helped me understand what happens on and off the field for both college and professional football. Your knowledge and information has made this book more realistic and I’m grateful for your help!
Thanks again, Sam, for critiquing my story. You’re wonderful and I’m glad we work well together. Thanks to Beth, Jennifer, and Michele for beta reading Raven’s story and encouraging me along the way. Many thanks to my fan club/street team. I appreciate your dedication and time with supporting my books and getting the word out. Where would I be without you guys? A big thank you to all the blogs that support my books and share my post. Your support of indie authors helps get the attention of readers we work hard to obtain.
Thanks to Cora Graphics for creating another beautiful front cover! A huge shout out to Murphy at Indie Solutions for coming to the rescue and creating the back cover on short notice. Many, many thanks to Monica for the edits on this book. It was a big job!
A heartfelt thank you to you, the reader. Without you there would be no one to enjoy my story. I appreciate you taking the time to read it. I hope you fall more in love with The Raven.
Most of all I want to thank our Heavenly Father for providing me with the opportunity to do what I love, write.
Don’t give up on your dreams.
Table of Contents
The difference between a successful person and others is not lack of strength,
not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.
I dug my fingers into the thick turf. Perspiration trickled from my face and I took a deep breath, inhaling the sweat and funk all around me. I lived for this.
I lived for the rush.
Football was my life and I didn’t know anything else. Without it, I was nothing. Nothing but a wasteful piece of shit. In reality, I had screwed up so many times, I had no business playing, but Coach Anderson apparently saw something in me I didn’t. He was determined to see me succeed.
“Hut one, two.” Matt Russell, center, grunted as he passed the ball to me. My hands gripped the leather and I sprang into action, surveying the burgundy and white jerseys struggling to come at me while the defense held them at bay. Immediately, I spotted Shawn, one of the best wide receivers on the team and my good friend, wide open. My arm retracted and I hurled the ball toward him. Just as the ball left my hands, I took a hard hit — a debilitating
that took the air from my lungs for a second. Cheers and yells filled the air and I shoved the fat ass linebacker off me to get a clear view.
“Hell yeah!” I shouted as my teammates surrounded me, congratulating me once again for a victorious throw. And I loved it. It was the best feeling in the world. Nothing compared to the exhilarating feeling of conquering the opponent and gaining a win for the team — a win they deserved.
“Way to go!” another player yelled.
“Oh yeah, The Raven’s back!” Josh roared as he high-fived me. He was right. I definitely had my game on.
“We showed ‘em.” Shawn slammed his chest against mine and I grunted.
“You’re damn right,” I replied, slapping my hand against several other team members.
Shawn had scored the winning touchdown, taking us to a six and one record. We were halfway through the season, and it had promise written all over it. I was glad to be back after Jared Harrington, a teammate, and I, were expelled for being caught with marijuana. I didn’t have a drug problem — or so I told myself. Demons clouded my mind and getting high seemed to help me forget about all the shit in my head.
I found myself making bad decisions constantly, even though I knew I was taking a risk every time I did. Those devil voices reminded me I wasn’t worth anything, and I’d never make it to the pros. Time after time, I’d give in and regret it the next day — hoping and praying I wouldn’t get caught. Living on the edge was all I knew, but deep down, I had to change. I couldn’t keep going on like this. Eventually, I’d run out of second chances, and then I wouldn’t have anything. All hope would forever be gone. Then again, maybe there was no hope for me.
Reporters and cameras surrounded Coach Anderson as he trekked across the field to shake the hand of the coach from the opposing team. Next thing I knew, they headed in my direction. Field security kept them at bay as they begged for that two-minute interview with me. It was so effin’ great. It was even sweeter when the reporter was a hot girl, and the one making her way toward me was definitely tight. Being Park Hill University’s quarterback certainly had perks. I unhooked the chinstrap from my helmet and pulled it off.
“Congratulations on the win! How does it feel to be the leading team in the South Central Conference?” The petite blonde with short wavy hair held a microphone up to me.
My eyes skimmed down her chest, lingering for a second longer than necessary to see her name on the university media badge. “Well, Jenna, it feels great.” I flashed a grin and her blue eyes sparkled.
She hesitated a second, as if trying to keep her focus. I loved it when I had that effect on women. After she took a hard swallow, she said, “With twenty-three seconds left in the third quarter, the game was tied and you ran the ball in for a touchdown after the defense nearly took you down. What was going through your mind?”
Aside from the softball question, I knew what was going through my mind, but I was on live TV. Admitting my raucous thoughts would be stupid. I wiped the sweat from my forehead with the back of my hand and took in a breath. “I had to think quickly. Josh Marshall slipped and fell, and Shawn Jackson was covered. We needed a touchdown, so I went for it.”