Power to the Players

By Tori M. Pack All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Drama

Am I Ready For Love?

I walked. Can you believe it? I walked out of the school in utter despair. I tried my best to avoid Melody and I just didn’t feel like talking to anyone. Sasha had signed up for the elections and I decided it would be in my best interest to avoid her as well. What I didn’t expect was for Jessie to pull up next to me and invite me in for a ride.

“Why are you walking down the street instead of riding with Melody? Do you need a ride?” she asked, turning off her radio.

I opened the car door, sliding in the passenger seat before buckling my seat belt. Jessie began driving, glancing at me at every stop sign.

“I broke up with Melody,” I replied sullenly. She glanced over at me with a frown.

“I’m sorry, Beck. What happened?” she asked in genuine concern.

“I'm tired of always coming second when Sasha is involved. I mean, she was my girlfriend but she still cared more what Sasha thought about her. I guess, I was kind of hoping that things would be different,” I said sighing.

“Hate to say I told you so.”

“Then don’t say it! God, you know what. Just pull over here, I’ll walk,” I growled, unbuckling my seatbelt.

“Beck. Wait. I’m sorry, that was wrong of me. I’m still upset about what happened this morning” she said softly.

I looked over at her and groaned. “Yeah, I’m sorry about that too. Natalie and I should have never said anything.”

“He was going to find out anyway. It was bound to happen,” she replied bluntly.

“But why did you do it? Getting even isn’t going to fix the problem."

“I know that Beck, but Chase is a really sweet guy. I can’t just knock him off like that. He’s smart, he’s funny, he’s-"

"Exactly like Lee.”

She glared at me as I shrugged. “You know it’s true. He acts exactly like Lee. He’s like a Lee clone. He’s even in the same damn club as Lee. You knew this was going to kill him,” I explained.

“Beck, I’m not the one in the wrong here! It’s like everyone has forgotten what he did to me!”

“Emphasis on the ‘did’ part, Jess. It was two months ago and he feels like shit for it. I think it’s about time you let it go. I know he was wrong; we all do. That doesn’t mean you can walk around playing victim all the time. I’m sorry he cheated on you. People make mistakes. You would be lying to yourself if you looked me in the eye and said that you no longer had any feelings for Lee because I know you still love him."

Jessie stared at me and we held eye contact until she sighed. She pulled from the curb and started to drive again.

“I’ll drop you off home,” she whispered.

“Please think about it, Jess. Everybody deserves a second chance,” I said, leaning back against the seat.

I slammed the front door and Brandon jumped when he noticed it was me.

“Geez, anger issues sis. What’s wrong with you?” he asked, arching his eyebrows at me.

“I broke up with Melody today,” I replied through gritted teeth. His jaw dropped and his eyes widened.

“Say what? You finally broke up with her? Do you want me to call Natalie for you because I’ll call Natalie for you” he said giddily.

I glared at him. “Brandon, believe it or not, but I’m actually kind of upset here,” I groaned.

He noticed the way I was looking at him. He walked over to me, sitting down on the couch that I had collapsed on when I first walked in the door.

“I’m sorry to hear that, Beck. Was it something she did?” he asked. I nodded, staring up at the ceiling.

“It wasn’t meant to be, I guess. Although, I am glad I gave things a try with Melody,” I replied.

We were both silent for a minute until my dad walked in the door. He held groceries in his hands as Brandon quickly jumped up to help him.

“Hey guys! I’m home!” he yelled, looking around the house until he spotted me on the couch.

“What’s wrong, little foot?” he asked, frowning at me. I smiled a bit at the name but then remembered my current situation.

“Dad, remember when mom told you I was gay and that I was with Melody?” I asked.

He nodded. “We broke up today,” I said, staring down at the ground.

Dad sighed before sitting down next to me. “You know, I always thought I would have this whole ‘girl talk’ thing with your brother,” he said honestly.

“Hey!” Brandon yelled from the kitchen. Dad chuckled a bit but then looked back at me.

“When your mom told me, you know I wasn’t mad. I was just…shocked. I couldn’t believe that you would hide something like this from us and neither could your mother and I know you’re upset now, but you need to hear this.”

“Sometimes, when you think you’re doing the right thing, you’re actually doing the wrong thing. And sometimes when you think you’re with the right person, you’re actually with the wrong person,” he continued.

I arched my eyebrows at him and frowned. “Dad, I don’t know what you just said” I groaned, pulling at my hair.

He laughed, placing his hand on my shoulder. “Just think about it, Beck. You’ll understand soon. Now, go help your brother unload the groceries. Your cousins are coming down for Christmas and I want this place loaded with food before then,” he said, getting up from the couch and walking upstairs towards my parent’s room.

My head was hurting from my father’s wise words and I looked over at the clock.

3:37 pm

Wasn’t I supposed to be somewhere at 3:30? Oh shit! Work! I jumped off the couch and ran toward my room, quickly throwing on my clothes, and dashing back down the steps.

“I’ll be back later!” I yelled, grabbing my dad’s keys. “Drive careful, Beck. I know you just got your cast removed but I still want you to be safe!” Mom yelled after me.

“Alright! See you later!” I ran across the yard and jumped into the driver’s seat of my dad's car. The car started up and I peeled off the curb toward my job.

“I’m here. I’m here. Sorry, I’m late” I said breathlessly, leaning against the counter.

I saw Mark, Hope, Lee, and Natalie all looking at me weird. “What? Is there something on my face?” I asked, running my hand over my jaw.

“No, Beck. Why didn’t you tell us about Melody?” Hope asked.

I sighed, jumping over the counter next to Lee. “I didn’t want to bother you guys, plus I was upset,” I replied.

Lee nodded his head before quickly picking up the phone. “Glen, to the front,” he said over the loud speaker.

I arched my eyebrows at him, wondering why he was paging Glen. Lee noticed I was confused and laughed a bit.

“I told Glen I would page him when you came in” he answered. I nodded and glanced over at Natalie.

She smiled at me while pointing over to the ‘Starbucks’. I groaned. “Are you serious?”

She nodded and pretended to zip her lips shut. Lee laughed as I trudged over to the coffee shop. Buying her coffee everyday was starting to hurt my wallet but if it kept Natalie around, I would do it.

“Beck, it’s nice to see you here on time."

I expected to see Glen but to my surprise, Rachel was standing there, smirking at me.

“Rachel, I’m sorry I was late. You see, my car got destroyed and I totally forgot I had to work to-"

"Beck. It’s ok. Don’t worry about it. Besides, you’re here now and that’s all that matters,” she said, walking closer to me with that same smirk plastered on her face.

I didn’t like the way she was looking at me. Like a fox circling its prey. I knew what she was trying to do and it wasn’t going to work with me.

“Yeah, I’m actually trying to get something right now, so if you’ll excuse me” I said, walking past her.

“Wait. What’s the rush? Can’t we just talk for a minute?” she asked, running her hand up and down my arm. Even her smallest touch felt sensual.

I pulled away from her and walked/ran towards the ‘Starbucks’. I asked Candace for the usual and almost jumped out of my skin when I felt something touch my arm.

“Whoa! Beck, it’s just me,” Natalie remarked, jumping back a bit. I sighed in relief before pulling her closer toward me.

“God, you scared me. I thought you were Rachel” I said, smiling at her.

She arched her eyebrows and crossed her arms over her chest. “And why would you think that? Did she touch you?” she asked, her anger starting to rise.

“Well, yes kind of but I’ll take care of it, Natalie. No worries” I replied, holding her against me to calm her down.

She sighed before returning my embrace. “I don’t like the way she looks at you,” she confessed softly.

“Wait. She’s been looking at me? Since when?” I asked, getting kind of worried now that I knew she’s had her eyes on me.

“For a while. I think it was after she hooked up with the night guards. I told Lee about it and he said I should be careful too. Apparently, she’s had her eye on a couple of people. I didn’t think she would approach,” she replied.

I frowned, glancing back over to where Rachel was standing. She was talking to a customer and when she saw me, sent a wink my way.

I shivered as I paid for Natalie’s coffee before handing it to her and taking her hand.

“Come on. I don’t wanna be in her sight right now,” I said, walking back toward Lee.

“I’m not liking our manager right now, Lee” I growled behind clinched teeth.

“Hmph! You’re talking to the president of that club right now, buddy. I wish I could file a sexual harassment charge against her but I can’t because…well, you know. If I had more evidence I’m sure someone else could,” he said, glaring over at her.

“What about the night guards or someone she’s been messing with?” Natalie suggested.

“I’m sure the night guards are fine with getting a piece of ass every now and then while they work. They’re not gonna say anything about it. And so far, she hasn’t messed with anyone besides them,” Lee said, dismissively.

“What about me? What if I could somehow trick her into something?” I said, looking over at him.

“You mean like, make her flirt with you and stuff but then pull a sexual harassment charge on her ass!” Lee exclaimed.

“Yeah, except without all of the excitement” I said slowly, arching my eyebrows at him.

He smiled sheepishly and Natalie shook her head. “I don’t really like the idea of her touching you, yet alone you allowing her too,” she said, sadly.

“Natalie, I wouldn’t be allowing her too. I just need her to make a move so that we can get her out of here. I’m actually missing Patti right now even though she was stone-cold bitch” I said, sighing.

Lee nodded in agreement. Natalie frowned. “I still don’t like it” she pouted. I laughed.

“I promise you, I won’t let her touch me anywhere that you haven’t, Ok?” I said, smirking at her.

She blushed a little but nodded. I kissed the top of her head and Lee gazed at me, smugly.

“You want Natalie, don’t you?” he mouthed. I thought about it for a minute.

We had grown closer since I started going out with Melody and the idea of being with Natalie always excited me.

Maybe it was about time to take my father’s advice.

"Sometimes, it’s best to go in full force and show that you’re ready for this.”

Well, I was ready for this. I was ready to be with Natalie.

I looked over at him and nodded.

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