Our first game was the next afternoon so the guys all met in our cabin to go over plays that Logan had come up with. We were sitting on the floor with a drawing of a court in between us.
"I'll be post," Logan said.
"I hope so," I said. "You're fucking tall."
The guys all laughed. After dinner yesterday, I felt even more comfortable around them. They were all really kind to me but I was worried about Logan's outburst. I doubted it had anything to do with his birthday. Had I made him angry?
"You'll be guard," Logan told me. "You're one hell of a good shot so that'll be your focus. I have a few plays that we'll run through. Here's the roster," he added.
He got out a second piece of paper and we leaned over it, my shoulder touching his. He didn't move, though, so I didn't, either.
Today we were playing against an all werewolf team. If we won today, we'd play against some vampires. After that it was an all human team then a fairy and human team. The final match would happen in a week on the full moon.
"Don't you guys have to transform on the full moon?" I asked, lacing up my shoes.
"Nah," Logan said. "Another myth. We can transform whenever we want to."
"Oh. And do you hunt like they say?"
"Yes," he said. "We bury the remains, though. Humans hunt, right?"
"But we use guns instead," I nodded.
I was about to walk out when I remembered the issue with my scent.
"Hey, Logan?" I asked and he stopped at the door. "Is there anything I can do to make my scent less... distracting?"
He thought for a while. "What we smell is your natural scent," he explained. "Sometimes it's the perfume or deodorant humans wear. When prisoners try to escape from guards with dogs, they jump in streams but that won't help here...."
"Oh!" I said. "I have an idea. Where's your deodorant or cologne?"
He looked confused but handed me a bottle of spray on deodorant.
"Old Spice," I commented, stepping back. "Good choice. Plug your nose."
He was still looking confused but did so. I shut my eyes and did an 'X' on my front. I had him do the same to my back and we went outside.
"Did it work?" I asked and he looked around.
A wolf was walking by and, though I probably still had a trace of my scent, he just kept walking and Logan nodded. I felt relieved as we walked to the court. Although my scent would distract the other team of wolves, I didn't want to distract our team. I remembered the look on the guys' faces and the almost pained tone in their voice. It made me feel guilty.
When we got to the court, everyone was already assembled. The guys stared.
"You don't smell like you," Ivan said. "You smell like Logan." His eyes went wide. "Dude! Did you guys-?"
"No!" we said in unison and I blushed.
"No," I repeated as Logan cleared his throat. "Er... I was trying to think of a way to mask my scent, you know? I didn't want to distract you guys. Once the game's over, it'll wash off in the shower."
Garth nodded. "You're a clever one, Annalise."
I looked over at the other team and got nervous. They were huge. Of course, Logan was larger than all of them but I was small. They could crush me. And judging by some of the looks I was getting, they'd try the first chance they get. Patch put his hand on my shoulder.
"Don't look so worried," he said. "Pierre sent out rules. If they hurt you, they'll be punished."
I chuckled. "I was on a girls' basketball team, Patch. I know that sometimes, 'accidents' happen."
"Well, hopefully we can keep any from happening," Ivan said.
"Okay team," Logan said and we gathered in a circle. "According to Pierre, things will be different this year now that we have humans on our teams. As we saw yesterday, we need to keep her hydrated which means we may have to use our time outs for that."
"Sorry," I mumbled.
"Don't apologize," he said. "We never really used our times outs last year anyway. Let's go traditional today. You'll be our secret weapon, though, Annalise."
I frowned. "How?"
"You're super tiny," Ivan said.
"And fast," Garth added.
"I know they're strong but you can slip through them if need be," Logan said. "Don't even bother checking with us. If you have the ball and you see the chance, go for it."
"Okay," I breathed. "Shit. I forgot to put my hair up."
"You'll be okay," Patch said. "The game should be done before it gets too awful hot. How many points are we going for?"
"The first to reach 30," Logan answered. "So, Patch, any three pointers you get the chance for, get 'em. Ivan, you're the best at fouled shots. Make sure you get fouled."
Ivan rolled his eyes. "Thanks, cap."
We laughed. Ivan put his hand in the middle and we put our hands on his. Logan's was on top of mine and he squeezed it once before we threw our hands into the air and got into position. We started on defense and I went to the center guard spot, getting ready.
Our opponents were ready a few smirked at me. They did that stupid sexy man nod and made kissing faces. I ignored them, knowing they were trying to work me up. I wasn't going to get distracted; especially since the whole camp had come for the game. Not only was it required, they wanted to see how a human would fair against werewolves.
Pierre was the referee and he blew on his whistle.
"All right," he said. "Today we start the first game of our basketball tournament. The first game is Logan Wolfe's team against Orvil Moon's team. I want a clean game," he added, his eyes lingering on all of the wolves. "Remember: we may all be equals but... some of us have weaknesses that will not be taken advantage of."
"Yes, Pierre," we said in unison and he nodded, tossing the ball to the largest of them all who I assumed was Orvil.
Pierre backed off the court then blew the whistle. I took a deep breath as they started for our side. I fell back to the net. Logan didn't want me rushing for the ball since they were so much larger than I was. I pushed my hair out of my face as the ball was passed between the players. I was intimidated; it was like a blur.
"Now!" Logan shouted and I took the cue.
A wolf was coming on the left for a layup and I jumped with all my might and intercepted, hitting it toward Logan who caught it. The wolf glared at me as I chased after them. Logan was fast, though, and scored the first basket. Everyone applauded and he gave me a high five, grinning.
"Nice!" Ivan shouted to me.
I was passed the ball and stopped so I would have the chance to move again. I dribbled the ball slowly. The wolves were all closing in on me. They were using intimidation as their tactic, huh? I saw a small gap between two of them and I grinned.
"Thanks for the help, guys," I taunted and smirked at their confused faces.
I slipped through them and stopped at the free throw line, tossing the ball into the net. More applause as I fell back into defense. The wolves were furious now. My fear was gone, though, for I was in my element. Things were going wonderful until about halfway into the game.
We paused for a water break and I wiped the sweat off the back of my neck. My teammates all cringed and I sighed.
"It's wearing off, isn't it?" I asked.
"We'll be fine," Logan said quickly. "Don't worry about us. Just keep playing like you have been. You're doing great. You all are."
We nodded and went back onto the court. The other wolves were picking up on my scent now, too. Instead of stunning them, though, they started to growl at me. Shit. They thought I was trying to distract them.
I was passed the ball and I dodged around a wolf. I was about to shoot when one of them tugged on my hair. I screamed in pain and my feet stumbled out from underneath me as the wolf pulled.
"Foul!" everyone shouted and Pierre blew his whistle.
Logan helped me to my feet, looking furious.
"Are you all right?" he asked and I massaged my scalp.
"Yeah," I panted. "I've never had a tender scalp so it just hurts a little."
"What about your back?" Patch demanded while Pierre lectured whichever wolf it was that grabbed me.
"Are you a doctor?" I asked curiously.
"Yeah, I am," he laughed. "Now answer the question."
"I'm sure it's just a bruise."
"I have half a mind to make you forfeit!" Pierre shouted and I shook my head, running to him.
"I'm fine," I told him. "Just let me take the shot."
He frowned at me. "Are you sure?"
"Positive," I said.
He sighed. "All right."
I took my spot at the line and focused on the basket. We were four points away from winning. If I made these two foul shots and Logan managed a layup, we'd win and I could get ice on my back. Pierre bounced the ball then passed it to me.
I took a deep breath and shot just as one of the wolves behind me barked. I clenched my teeth in irritation as the ball hit the rim.
Pierre passed it back and I took another breath. This time I was expecting the bark and made the basket. Everyone applauded and we fell back into position.
"I can't charge or shoot," I panted to Logan as we ran down to our end of the court.
Each step made me wince.
"That's all right," he said. "Linger back here."
I nodded and obeyed. However, it soon became obvious that they were getting overwhelmed. I was set up for a three point shot and I waved my arms to Logan. He looked doubtful but passed it. The wolves all snarled and I took advantage of their distraction to shoot.
Everyone watched and held their breath as it soared through the air. It hit the backboard then the rim and I grinned as it went through the basket. People cheered and, at first I thought I was being hugged from the side. Then Logan's eyes widened and he ran forward as I was slammed onto my back. The force of the collision knocked the wind out of me.
The last thing I saw was Pierre's fangs extended, shouting at someone, as Patch tried to talk to me before I passed out.