”You ready for this, Dannon?” my friend and crush, Johnny Knoxville asked from next to me as we stood in a security building wearing bulletproof vests and held helmets in our hands at our sides, waiting for the signal to get ready.
”No,” I replied shakily. I didn’t know why my name was the one to get tossed up to be a part of this asinine stunt, but it was and, for some reason, everyone thought it was a good idea. When it was pitched to me, I freaked. There was no way I was going to do the stunt. The last thing I needed was a bruise the size of Mississippi ruining my figure, and the possibility on internal damage done to my body.
“It’ll be okay, D. I’m here,” he assured me, grabbing my hand and holding it tightly. I nodded and we were instructed to put our helmets on as the safety was taken off the guns we were going to be shot with. ”I’m Johnny Knoxville, and this is Riot Control Test.” He put his helmet on after I’d already had mine on and we stood with our hands behind our backs, waiting for the call to be made that they were firing.
”In three, two, one, fire!” they called out. I could remember hearing the gun go off, and then I was on the ground. I couldn’t remember being hit or falling. All I knew was that my thigh was killing me and I could feel tears threatening to pour from my eyes. I ripped the helmet off of my head and immediately undid my belt and pushed my jeans down to see the damage that had been done.
It looked horrible. There was a huge red mark from the bean bag and it was bleeding already, while a nice blue and purple bruise began to form. I didn’t think I was that fragile, but apparently I was.
”Fuck!” I cried out, lying on my back as the pain began to register with my body and I could feel my thigh burning and contracting to try to deal with the pain. The tears were flowing freely now and my hands were covering my face as I attempted to calm myself down and stop shaking. The guys had rushed over to me and Johnny to see if we were okay, but since Johnny insisted that he was fine, they came over to me and I could feel hands on my shoulders and arms.
”Dannon, it’s okay,” Ryan soothed me, grabbing my hand and holding it.
”You did good, kid,” Johnny complimented. I looked up at him, glaring, fire of rage burning in my eyes as tears continued to fall.
”You took that like a man,” Dico said. I punched him in the stomach and he laughed, backing away from me.
”Fucking hell,” I cursed, breathing in deeply and still attempting to regain my composure. I felt someone pull my jeans back up, so I lifted my hips so that I could take the reins and button my pants back up. I could hardly sit up, I was in so much pain, that Johnny had to pick me up bridal style and we left the building, thanking the officers on our way out. We made our way to the vans and Johnny put me down, allowing me to climb into the back seat, even though I knew I’d have to share it with someone else. Preston, my teddy bear, joined me in the back and let me rest my legs on his lap while Johnny, Bam and Ryan sat in front of us.
When I was younger, my mom had gotten hit by a softball in the thigh during a game of hers and I could remember the size of that bruise. Granted, mine wasn’t going to as big, but it was going to be just as colorful and painful, I was sure, as my mother’s was.
It felt like it had only taken five minutes to get back to the base, but it had to have been more like twenty or twenty-five. Preston helped me out of the car and handed me off to Johnny, who put my arm around his shoulders and he helped me inside. Once I was lying on a couch with an ice pack on my leg, he came over and stood next to me.
”Where’d you get it, Knoxville?” I asked him, my hand on my forehead.
”Just above my dick,” he laughed. I looked up at him skeptically, so he lifted his shirt and pulled down the rim of his jeans to reveal a red mark just where he had said it would be. his looked so much better than mine did, I couldn’t understand. I sucked air in through my teeth, letting him know that I felt his pain. ”Yours looks worse,” he observed.
”I’m just a delicate little flower,” I joked with him, causing him to laugh.
”We’ll have to remember that,” he smiled, kneeling next to me. He put his hand on my forehead and caressed it, looking into my tired eyes. He rested his hand on my cheek and ran his thumb over it; I wrapped my fingers around his wrist and closed my eyes, sighing deeply. When I opened my eyes again, he was a few inches from my face.
”You did well today, Dannon. Really. You’re a trooper, better than some of the guys— they didn’t even want to do this because they’re such pussies. You’re more of a man than them.”
”That’s very comforting,” I said softly, smirking. All he did was smirk back and I noticed his eyes dance to my full lips, causing me to smile a little bit more. He looked back up at me and I ran my fingers through his James Dean-like hair and pulled his mouth to mine, stretching my neck to reach him. He took control and gently pushed my head back down onto the pillow and put his arms on either side of me, deepening the kiss and running his tongue over my bottom lip. I slowly let him in and our tongues danced together, neither one of us fighting for dominance. After a few minutes, he pulled away, my eyes still shadowed by my eyelids. I finally opened my eyes a little more and looked up to him, raising an eyebrow in the process.
“You like that?” he questioned cockily. I laughed a little and shoved his shoulder back playfully, rolling my eyes. He put his hand on my stomach and then ran it slowly down to my bruised thigh, looking down at it. I kept my eyes on him and when he looked back up, I smiled, reaching out to place my hand on his cheek. He turned his face into his palm and kissed it lovingly, bringing his hand back up to my hip and leaning forward to kiss my neck. I notice someone out of the corner of my eye standing in the doorway and saw that i was Dave England watching, almost stunned that he was witnessing it. His eyes caught mine and I winked at him, which caused him to smile and move on, pulling the door almost closed to give us privacy.
”So, Mr. Knoxville,” I started.
”So, Miss Callaway,” he sated back, half-smiling. I mocked his smile and dropped my hand to his shoulder.
”What’s this mean?”
”I think it means that we want to be together.”
”What makes you think that?”
”Because I know I want to be with you and I’m pretty damn sure you want to be with me too, because you’re not very good at giving subtle hints.”
”Never have been,” I winked. He laughed his beautiful laugh and pecked me on the lips, taking my hands in his and pulling me up.
”Be mine,” he said. It wasn’t a question, but more of a statement. I guess I really didn’t have a choice.
”Whatever you want, Johnny,” I smiled down at him, as he was kneeling at a lower level than me.
”Yeah, dude!” Steve-O said from behind Johnny. I hadn’t even noticed that he and the rest of the guys were standing there watching us almost the entire time. I laughed, my hands still in Johnny’s and he threw a few lacrosse balls in their direction, causing them to scatter. I couldn’t help but join in, grabbing anything I could and hurling them at the boys, laughing with Johnny the entire time, I had a feeling that this was going to last for a long time.