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It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo!; Open
Topic Started: Apr 18 2012, 06:49 PM (2,758 Views)
MurderWeasel
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((Adam Morgan continued from Set Lasers to Fun))

As was the case on an average of one hundred and forty days per year in Seattle, it was raining lightly as Adam sat in the gazebo, examining a pastrami sandwich. He was out here in the mildly chilly air because it was better than being stuck in the school for even more time. It was sure better than listening to the radio in the lunch room. The DJs on the stations that got played had apparently never heard of Led Zeppelin, let alone anything younger than Adam—and that was assuming there wasn't talk radio playing. Adam didn't have anything against talk radio. It was important for people to get information, and, hey, some people liked extremist talking heads screaming at each other about the economy or the primary or whatever. It's just, the whole thing wasn't Adam's scene, not even a little, and school was pretty much already a bunch of extremist talking heads venting their enthusiasm for their own special little niche subjects. Lunch was supposed to be a respite from all of that, a brief moment of freedom to give the students just enough hope to carry them through the rest of the day's classes, kind of like when battleships pulled into ports and disgorged hundreds of sailors all eager to blow through their pay checks before shipping out again. Adam wasn't about to blow his shore leave listening to talk radio, no way.

So lunch outside, even on a rainy day, was overall preferable. Adam was also enjoying the solitude. Nobody was screaming at anybody else over petty nonsense, which made it a real pleasant change from the usual routine. It was moments like these that made Adam even more excited about graduating and never being forced to set foot in a high school again.

He took a deep breath and a big bite out of his sandwich, looking out at the world. It was gloomy and grey. Afternoon classes would be beginning before too long. It was an awful shame. He took his water bottle out of his backpack and washed down the mouthful of fairly-dry sandwich with a nice long swallow. Outside, the drizzle continued. Adam took another bite, another swallow.

So, okay, maybe being out of the school was a nice break from everything, but it was also fairly boring. Adam hadn't brought his ipod today, either. No music was an improvement over bad music, but only in the most marginal of ways.

Without anything specific to draw his attention, Adam was even beginning to fear that he might be forced to study to pass the time.
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[[Pregame Start: Lahela Nakoa - Commence]]

"Oh, gosh it's so cold."

Okay, maybe she was exaggerating a little bit, as no one else seemed bothered by the gloomy Seattle weather. The young Hawaiian girl was just not accustomed to the mainland's 'spring time' temperature. She pulled her hood tightly and curled her arms against her jacket closely, shielding her ukulele from the rain. Why didn't she just stay indoors and find Emily or something?

Simple answer really: Lahela Nakoa preferred the outdoors.

Even if it was lightly drizzling, it felt a lot nicer being outside of the stuffy school building and out into the fresh air. She had personally never attended a school like Aurora before. Aurora High School was a single large building, with everything inside. She compared that to her old school where everything felt more 'open' with many outdoor hang out areas decorated with fine trees or flora, hallways set with windbreakers and separate buildings dividing the school into different sections by subjects and what not.

The school was too crowded and loud inside, plus she felt awkward being alone and being stared at by random kids she didn't even know in the hallways or the lunch room. So, the more relaxed feeling of the surrounding campus became the more inviting choice for today.

Momentarily, the weight of the drizzle lessened significantly into barely noticeable droplets. Lahela took the opportunity to quickly scan the area for a shaded area to sit as the rain would undoubtedly start up again at any time. The closest gazebo already contained a person, but she wasn't going to risk getting trapped in the rain to find another one.

She followed the short path up to the gazebo, casually strumming the strings on her ukulele.
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MurderWeasel
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As Adam sat, the rain momentarily let up a little bit. It was almost certain to be a very temporary state of affairs. He almost got up, but, no, he still had nothing to do, and doing that nothing outside the gazebo just meant that he'd get drenched maybe forty-five seconds from present. He sat as still as he ever sat, fiddling with his backpack's zipper. He was just about to see how few bites it could take to finish his sandwich when, like a divine miracle spilled from heaven itself, some chords that at least had a vaguely musical tone about them floated through the humid air, reaching Adam's ears. They seemed, in fact, to be headed his way.

Okay, yeah, the music wasn't exactly the Smashing Pumpkins, but it wasn't Dueling Banjos sneaking up behind Adam either (Bowie knife drawn and ready for trouble, no doubt), and for that he was thankful. In fact, the mystery of the music was so perplexing that for a few instants he managed to restrain himself from turning around, savoring the uncertainty. Adam wasn't the best at savoring, so he took another bite of his sandwich, submitted to curiosity, and glanced around, eyes settling on the girl heading his way. She was holding a ukulele, which was about as un-badass as something that generally resembled a guitar could get, but Adam wasn't gonna judge.

This was especially true because he recognized the girl. She was New Girl. Specifically, she was New Girl from Hawaii, complete with a name Adam hadn't had nearly four years to memorize and hadn't had the cultural upbringing to pronounce even had he recalled it. He knew a little bit about her, knew she'd gotten here over the summer and was living with her cousin, because while Adam didn't do drama or gossip he did do knowing new kids. New kids were cool. They were a break from the monotony. They were usually not dicks, either, because they couldn't count on much in the way of backup and everyone loved them anyways. Unless they were into pecking order bullshit, everyone was happy to help them fit right in, and Adam couldn't quite imagine New Girl throwing down at a backyard UFC match or something like that, beating some dude in the face with her ukulele. He didn't figure her for the cutting insult sort either, not with something like a music hobby just begging to get turned on her if she made anyone else's life unpleasant.

It helped that New Girl was kinda cute. Normally, Adam would've dug up a cigarette and lit up to impress her, but he didn't feel like calling down the thunder of the school authorities, since that was't impressive at all. Yeah, no officials were in sight, but who knew if they had cameras pointed in his direction? The parking lot was sure surveilled closely. Instead, he settled for smoothly choking down the entire half-chewed bite of sandwich in his mouth before she got too close, swishing his tongue across his teeth to remove any residue of crumbs, and then setting his sandwich on top of the plastic baggy it had been packed in, on the bench next to him.

He waved, trying to be welcoming, and called out, "Hey," to the girl. She sure seemed to be coming into the gazebo, probably because it didn't take long at all in Seattle to figure out that little lapses did not equate to long-term relief from the drizzle.

"Some weather, huh?" he added, nodding at the sky. For a Seattle native, it'd have been trite and inane, but Adam figured the constant rain might still retain a bit of novelty for New Girl.
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((Cooper Komorowski pregame start))


Cooper rolled his right shoulder in the vain hope that it would somehow stop the pain in his back. It was disgusting that months of fighting with the guys had done nothing to him, but carrying in groceries from the trunk of his mom’s car tweaked something. “Stupid box of Tide,” he muttered as a sharp twinge prodded his spine.


He could see Adam chilling in the gazebo, methodically downing his lunch. Cooper stood up a little straighter and worked get hard to his expression as neutral as possible. It wouldn’t do to show his weakness to a fellow wrestler. If he grimaced or complained, Adam would ask what was wrong. And what could he say? ‘I’m such a puss that bringing in the groceries injured me?’ The other guys would laugh themselves sick.


Just as he was about to call out to Adam, an unfamiliar sound caught his attention. A quick scan revealed the source of the light plinking. Some girl was fooling around with a ukulele. The girl’s semi-familiar features, combined with the instrument, clicked for Cooper. She was Lahela, hot-ass Emily’s cousin from Hawaii. And judging by his comment, Adam had noticed her as well.


‘Ooooh, two’s a party but three’s a crowd,’ he silently acknowledged. He was torn between heading over or taking off. No one needed a wingman when it was a one-on-one situation. Although if Emily was the grenade, he would have happily hopped on her for Adam. Maybe if he made nice with the new girl, she would put in a good word on his behalf with Emily. Plus, anyone who played music automatically rated in his book.


“Hey Adam, Islander,” he called out in greeting as he approached. “Sup with the two of you?”
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"Oh. Hey there."

As soon as she walked up the gazebo's miniature staircase, the boy already sitting there greeted her with a wave of his hand and asked her about the weather. She smiled at him and chuckled a little while pulling her jacket's long sleeves closer to her hands after being reminded of the cold weather.

"Ho yeah, you're telling me!"

Lahela placed her bag and instrument onto a seat opposite from her acquaintance and rubbed her bare hands together to emphasize the point before taking a seat herself. Now that there was a form of shade overhead, she could finally drop her hood. The jacket itself was one of Emily's old purple colored ones that she had given over to Lahela before the rainy season had begun. It wasn't exactly her favorite color or style, but it would do, given that she wasn't exactly in the position to complain or buy any of her own clothing. Lahela sighed and pulled the hood off her head, freeing her long, dark hair. She adjusted her floral headband and brushed the hair out from her face and over her shoulders.

A slight gust blew past and Lahela shivered as the wind caused her hair to stream back in unison. It was a good thing she had some warm home lunch packed in her bag to eat then. She dug through it and pulled out a small brown paper sack. Inside that she pulled out one of four saran wrapped musubis which she made herself before school began. She quickly unwrapped the plastic just a little bit, so she could hold onto the still wrapped end and prevent her hands getting sticky off the rice or nori. Then she took a bite.

"Mm mm. It's still hot." Lahela spoke through a half full mouth, maybe to herself, or maybe as an instinctive way of making small talk with her gazebo buddy.

Quietly, Lahela observed the boy, wondering where she had seen him before. Well, at school of course, but she tried thinking about whether they had class together or something, since he seemed fine with speaking to her in a way which hinted that he already knew her in some way. Then a few seconds later another boy walked up.

Cool. Looks like she was going to hang around and have lunch with a few boys today.

The second boy must've been a friend of the one already there who she now knew as being named Adam after being addressed as such. Lahela chewed her food and lifted a hand to wave at the newcomer. She took in their appearances: Adam had long, blonde hair kept in a ponytail and looked like he had that 90's style garage rocker look about him. Boy number two looked like he was mixed blood; definitely white and something else which she couldn't guess. He had a faux hawk, a stud in his ear, a gold chain and pants sagged down so low that most of his boxer shorts were clearly visible. Gosh, he looked like a douche-bag.

Lahela suppressed a laugh building up in her throat by taking a sip of her stored Arizona Green Tea drink which she had also packed that morning.

Both were punk looking types and in one boy's case, it looked like he was trying way too hard. They weren't her "type" when it came to how she liked her haole boys but that didn't mean she couldn't be a friend. After all, she tended to get along rather well with her guy friends back home. Guys were usually a boat load of fun and didn't get concerned over things that girls did, like how they dressed or anything silly like that.

She raised her eyebrow and finally spoke to the boy, adding a little wink at the end of her statement.

"Just chillaxing, Mister Washington State."

Her answer was short as she was still eating and figured the two friends would prefer talking amongst each other. Maybe they were cool guys too, but that was something she'll have to see for herself.
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It seemed like the weather was a safe enough bet for a conversation topic. Good. Adam wasn't anywhere near familiar enough with New Girl to know what would pique her interest and what would bore her to tears. It wasn't like he had any great attachment to meaningless small talk or anything, but it was a good way to get some interaction going and get to know new people. No one fought honor duels over the weather. It wasn't a topic you could go off and die in a glorious war for without feeling a little bit silly about the whole thing. That made it an excellent place to start things off.

Unfortunately, there also wasn't all that much you could say about the weather before running completely dry. Silence returned as New Girl sat down and started on her lunch. Adam couldn't quite figure out what it was. Something with rice and seaweed, kind of like sushi, which Adam didn't have much personal fondness for. He preferred his fish cooked, warm and not slimy. Whatever New Girl had, it didn't really look like raw fish, and her comment about its heat solidified that impression. Okay, neither of them was eating raw meat for lunch. That was common ground right there. Adam took another bite of his cold pastrami sandwich and was half a second from making a complete idiot of himself by saying "Mine too" when another voice rang out, startling Adam for just long enough for his thoughts to catch up to his mouth and spare him the indignity.

Fortunately, he was no longer lost digging for words or worrying that there'd be nothing to talk about. The boy who turned up was Cooper Komorowski. Adam knew Cooper pretty well. The boy had some pretty slick moves in the ring, even if he didn't end up on the winning side as often as some of the others. He didn't really even participate unless they were short on people, which was fine with Adam. He could respect someone who knew how to pick their battles, ven if it did kind of come off as a bit wussy from time to time.

"Hey, Cooper," he called, gesturing to his friend to come sit down. "Just sitting, eating lunch."

This was the part where he was supposed to introduce New Girl, whose name Cooper had conspicuously not mentioned, but Adam figured he could get away with avoiding it since Cooper had already greeted her. She also responded to him, and just like that they'd moved beyond the awkward introduction stage and had gotten on to the part where they could actually talk about interesting things. New Girl was busy eating, so Adam had the opportunity to move the conversation along. It was up to him to present some startling insight or brilliant joke.

" 'sup with you?" he said.

While Cooper was responding, Adam figured he could probably polish off his sandwich.
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“Great! I love chillaxing. It is an activity I do well,” Cooper said with a cocky grin as he dropped onto a bench near the duo. The smile slipped from his face and was quickly replaced with a grimace. “Unlike the test I have coming up with Mrs. Havok, that crusty old bitch. Swear to God, she gets off on making us miserable. When I am I ever going to have to graph a quadratic equation, man?”

A cold breeze blew across his neck as he mentioned her name. For one second, he feared that if he turned around, he would see Mrs. Havok looming over him. Well, attempting to loom over him. She wasn’t very tall. Like Bloody Mary, he absently wondered if speaking her name three times would somehow conjure her here to the gazebo to harass him. She’d probably have Hell’s Pop Quiz in her hand, with a flaming red correcting pen.

As he watched the others chew their food, a horrified thought crossed his brain. He hadn’t said any of that out loud, had he? If Emily’s cousin thought that he was some kind of head-case, she would never put in the good work for him. Better to switch to a safe topic and get the lady involved in the conversation before he completed blew his chances. “Let’s talk about funner stuff,” Cooper announced as he eyed the ukulele sitting on the bench. “I know Adam doesn’t play, so I’m pretty positive that instrument must belong to you, .. er.. emm….”

It occurred to Cooper that he didn’t know what to call the girl calmly eating her lunch. It certainly wouldn’t earn him any points if he just continually addressed her as “Hey you, Emily’s cousin.” Trying to chat up Priya’s friends had taught him that lesson early on. This whole thing was not going the way he had hoped it would. Feeling a blush start to work its way up his cheeks, he sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck. Clearing his throat, he decided to try again.

“I, uh, I have to admit, I didn’t catch your name. I’m Cooper, by the way. Cooper Komorowski. I know you’re Emily’s cousin, but I figured I should ask before we’re stuck in a loop of ‘Islander’ and ‘Washington State’. Soo…yeah. Hi.” He waggled his fingers in greeting. “Sweet baby guitar, by the way.”
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((Paulo Abbate continued from From Sao Paolo to Seattle; Assume a day change as this is a different lunch period for him))

"Chuva maldito"

Like Seattle liked to do all the time, it was raining. For whatever reason, Cooper had said he was going to eat in the gazebo. Outside. In said fucking rain. Paulo was Brazilian. He was allergic to water that wasn't in a pool. Or the beach. Most preferably a beach with a bunch of cadelas in thongs with bangin' asses and loose morals. He was going to have to choke the shit out of Cooper, in the interest of "showing him a new move".

It was chilly out, so he was glad he brought his hoodie. The one with the big TapOut symbol and the skull with the bleeding eyes emblazoned across the back. If he was going to be cold, he was going to look like the shit while he did it.

When he made it out to the gazebo, he saw Cooper already entrenched, and there with Adam, another one of the backyard fighters, which was cool. He had to let them both in on the next fight anyway. The weatherman predicted a clear day this weekend.

And what was this? Between them was a fine cadela, looking Asian or Polynasian or some shit. Hotter than she had a right to be, with a little guitar.

"Aye, mami." He said to himself, feeling a few degrees warmer. Then, louder, he called out to Cooper. "Cooper, Adam, amigos! What you motherfuckers doing out here?"
Edited by Outfoxd, Apr 26 2012, 12:05 AM.
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Hmm. It looked like she had stumbled into some sort of MMA fan-boy meeting, once she spotted the third guy who was now making his way up the path into the gazebo, surly to join the other two. She'd seen the type back home before, with their Tap Out or Affliction brand shirts and easily identifiable rowdy tough guy persona.

The boy Adam called Cooper started speaking directly to Lahela after funnily complaining about scary old Mrs. Havok. Cooper was seemingly more interested in talking to her than to Adam for some reason. He introduced his own name himself, commented on liking her 'baby guitar' and talked about how he knew her as Emily's cousin. With that, Cooper's interest in talking to her over talking to his own friend suddenly made a whole lot of sense. Both Adam and Cooper seemed like nice enough people, though.

"Thanks. Good to meet you Cooper, you too Adam. I'm Lahela. Sorry, La-hel-a."

People always had a tough time saying her name, in Seattle. It became a new habit for her to slowly pronounce her first name, syllable by syllable so they'd get it right the first time.

Right then, the other boy from earlier began to greet them. She heard him whisper the word: mami to himself. Was the third boy Mexican or something? She was sure she'd heard that phrase during one of those Cheech and Chong movies before. Then he said amigos, which made it very clear that he was Mexican, from what she could tell. For this loud third boy, she simply waved hello.

Lahela finished up the last few bites of her musubi and Arizona Green Tea. The way things were looking, made it seem like she would probably have to go soon and leave the boys be to their MMA business anyway. Maybe she'd use the "girls’ room" excuse to make a clean getaway.
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Cooper had a test with Mrs. Havok, which meant he was pretty much doomed. Adam had never experienced her particular brand of torment, though the stories he'd heard from buddies were enough that her name still made him tense up a tad. Adam had actually managed to dodge the twin bullets of math and science for his senior year, instead getting to sit back and enjoy classes that actually had some practical application and were enjoyable, like psychology. Cooper hadn't fared quite so well. Granted, he'd probably actually know what he was doing come college, if he was even planning on going. Adam didn't actually know Cooper's plans for the future.

That wasn't worth thinking about. Cooper did Adam a big favor by coaxing New Girl's name out of her. She was Lahela. Adam would've probably stumbled over that had she not been prepared and sounded it out for them. He wondered if his name was tricky for people from other cultures. It seemed rather unlikely, being only two syllables and all. As it was, Adam mouthed her name silently. He was pretty sure he could get it right, so he gave it a shot.

"Hey, Lahela," he said. "It's good to meet you too."

Then there was another shout. Adam kept his face fairly neutral, in part just to keep up his practice, but he was grinning on the inside. Paulo and Cooper, randomly stumbling across him? A cool girl with an instrument? It was like fate itself had determined that this was going to be a rocking lunch period. With this sort of company, even gloomy weather didn't stand a chance of dulling Adam's spirits.

"Hey, Paulo," Adam called. "I'm having lunch. 'sup with you? By the way, this is Lahela."

He hoped he'd pronounced it close to right. It had sounded right.
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La-hel-a. Cooper rolled that around in his mouth a few times. He was used to slightly unusual names. His extended seemed to have really weird old country names like Taizeen, Stosh, and Tobias. His poor cousin Raj, whose full name was Rajatshubhra since his aunt was slightly cruel, went by Raj unless Great Aunt Paridhi was talking to or about him. In the scheme of things, Lehela was pretty easy to remember.

Cooper had to fight a wince when he heard Paulo’s voice. He loved his bro in a totally platonic and not-at-all-gay way, but sometimes Paulo came on a little too strong for the ladies. Sort of like that time in junior high when Cooper used a whole can of Axe in preparation for a dance. Paulo and Axe spray: a little bit went a long way.

He needed to work fast to lay down his ‘I’m not a douche’ groundwork with Lahela before Paulo came over and blew it all away. “So what can you play on your baby guitar? I play the piano, and I’m always glad to meet a fellow musician.” Cooper leaned forward and gave Lehela his best winning smile.
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Paulo looked the girl up and down, trying out the name Lahela on his tongue. "La..hela?" He probably slaughtered it, but fuck it, it was all good. No shit; the girl had her a body. And she had a nice tan look to her. Not like most of the pale-ass cadelas running around under the Seattle clouds around here.

If Paulo recognized that Cooper was trying to run some game on this fine young thing, he wasn't paying any attention. He had some game of his own to run, misguided or not.

"Coop here ain't just a musician. He-all three of us, we're fighters. UFC stars in training. Vale Tudo and everything." He used the old-style Brazilian term to gain credibility, although he really had no idea what it really meant in the grand scheme of things.

"I got some new moves I gotta show y'all." He said, addressing both his friends. Hopefully the girl would stay behind, watch, and be impressed.

She should've been impressed.

He was hot merda.
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Oh a piano player? That was certainly impressive. Looking at Cooper, she would never have guessed. There was always a case that he might be lying, but Lahela was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Lahela made a quick grab of her own instrument and was about to respond to Cooper's question when the boy she knew now as Paulo, thanks to Adam's greeting, interrupted to speak up and hype Cooper, further.

Paulo enthusiastically confirmed her assumption that the three boys were the MMA type. He said they were UFC stars in training in fact, so apparently Mr. Washington State wasn't just a piano player, but multi-talented as well. If only he could figure out how to pull his pants up too.

Lahela slowly rested the ukulele onto her lap and raised one eyebrow when Paulo confidently insisted on showing them all some of his "new moves." Lahela leaned forward, all traces of digging out from the gazebo immediately left her mind. Her knuckles covered her mouth to hide her growing amusement and need to giggle out loud.

She just had to see this.
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The conversation turned to music. Cooper played piano. Funny. Adam had never really known that about his friend. It was another weird little similarity between them, except that Adam had quit piano ages ago. He'd have to ask about that some other time, when there weren't any girls around, just in case it was bullshit or Cooper actually sucked or something. Right now, though, Cooper was smiling at Lahela and Adam figured maybe it was time to sit quietly out of the way and let Cooper attempt to work his charms.

Of course, Paulo wanted to involve himself in the conversation, so he brought up the one thing they all had in common: their backyard UFC group. It was something Adam was pretty into, but he also realized there was a good chance it wasn't at all the angle Cooper was trying to work with Lahela. Well, that was on Cooper to work around. Adam was interested in hearing what Paulo had to say. He hoped it'd be good. He really hoped there wouldn't be any practice right now, though. Adam loved working out, loved messing around with the guys, but he didn't want his parents finding out about this stuff, especially not from the school. Getting busted by Howie wasn't exactly what he felt like doing today. Worse still, the ground was wet, so any action would end with everyone soaked and muddy.

"Cool," Adam said. It was sufficiently non-committal that he could probably shove any participation off on Cooper. Maybe he could beg off to wander over to the bus stop for a smoke if it became absolutely necessary.
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Shit. This was not going according to plan. Cooper kept his friendly smile plastered on his face. He never had managed to best Paulo in any of their sparring matches. In fact, it usually ended up with Paulo putting a hurt on him. So not the way to impress Lahela, getting his shit rocked by Paulo. Girls didn’t want to date losers. And they probably didn’t recommend that said losers to their hot-ass cousin, either.

But if he didn’t take Paulo up on his offer, he would look like a total pussy. And on the scale of unacceptableness, he was pretty sure that being a punk-ass bitch was worse than losing a fight. Especially when the other fighter was a Brazilian who was using BJJ.

Steeling himself, Cooper nodded confidently at Lahela. Girls dug confidence, right? He could do this. He would go toe-to-toe with Paulo and let Lahela see that he was all buff and trim and it could still be cool. When he lost, he would use his ‘I’m a sensitive musician but I am also manly’ routine to score points. “I’ll volunteer to be your sparring partner, bro. Whatchu got?”

Rolling his shoulders, he turned to Paulo. The movement made his back twinge, and it suddenly hit Cooper *exactly* what a bad idea this was. But if he backed out now, he’d really look like a bitch. Shit. Not a damn bit of this was going according to plan.
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