An excited cry, OOH! OOH!, shot from behind Coach Dan. Who turned, and saw Double-J jumping on his heels, right hand raised high, his moustachioed face brimming with mock enthusiasm.
“Lemme guess, lemme guess!” Double-J lowered his arm and stepped forward, past his teammates, past Coach Dan’s outstretched reach, all pretense of enthusiasm dissipating with each step towards Myles. “That fencer would be you, right? Mr. All-Star, Bark Bay’s Golden Boy.”
Myles grinned. “As a matter of fact — ”
“Adrienne called me the other day.” Double-J’s tone was quick and biting, like the head cut he used so often when competing in sabre. Myles’ grin fell as Double-J continued. “Said she was worried about you, wanted to know what was going on.”
Coach Dan placed a hand on the back of Double-J’s shoulder. “Enough — ”
Double-J thrust the shoulder forward, away from his coach’s hand. “The Rat doesn’t let you compete if you cut class.” Karl Ratzenkeller, fencing coach at State for a decade, had a reputation for being fair but firm. “And what you said about State being on break, it’s the middle of the week, middle of October, that’s B.S.”
Myles raised his chin, pointed a finger at Double-J. “Asshole — ”
“Are you flunking?”
Coach Dan stepped between the two teens, catching Myles as he stepped forward. “That’s ENOUGH!” he cried, pushing both away from him.