Power to the Players

By Tori M. Pack All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Drama

Christmas Time is Here

I looked out the window at the snow that seemed to harvest every part of the ground. Brandon was helping my father get the Christmas tree up and my mother was somewhere in the kitchen.

I had spent the whole week thinking of ways that I could get Rachel to “act inappropriately” around me. Lee suggested that I flirt with her but if I did that, then she would say I initiated things. Natalie was still against the entire idea but after talking to her about it, she opened up slightly.

I’ve been working eight hours shifts ever since Christmas break started and I haven’t talked to Melody since we broke up two weeks ago. I knew I was going to have break the ice first, even though our break up wasn’t my fault.

My cousins were coming to visit today and my mom had requested that I take the day off. The only good part about having Rachel as our manager was that I could take off anytime I wanted too; she was that laid-back. I was going to miss that when she got fired. Oh well, I guess.

There was a knock at the door as I quickly looked up, glancing over at Brandon. He was admiring the tree they were starting to decorate and when he heard the knock, he looked my way as well.

“They’re here early” I mumbled, pulling myself off the couch and walking toward the door.

“Hey Alexi…Natalie?”

I arched my eyebrows as the Hudson family, minus Natalie’s father, stood at the door. “Sorry to bother you but we were wondering if we could spend Christmas here with you,” Elizabeth asked, smiling at me.

“Uh, mom?” I yelled through the house, watching as Natalie shifted nervously. I knew something was up but I decided to talk to her about it later.

My mom walked to the door, smiling brightly when she saw our guests. “Elizabeth! Always a pleasure to see you. What’s going on?” she asked.

“I was wondering if we could possibly spend Christmas with your family. Richard left on a last minute business trip. He always seems busy. The house was empty without him. So, I was wondering, if it wouldn’t be a problem, if we could spend it with your family” she replied.

My dad walked over to the door as well. He nodded his head at my mother. “I don’t think it’ll be a problem. Although, Betty’s sister and brother-in-law are coming in town today with their children” he replied, crossing his arms over his chest.

“I don’t think that will be a problem. Thank you Rory."

I moved out the way so they could step inside. Kylie ran over to Brandon, embracing him as the two of them started to chat. I grabbed Natalie, pulling her upstairs and closing the door behind me.

“What’s wrong?” I asked softly. She stared at me for a minute before looking down at my floor.

“He’s always gone” she replied in a whisper. “That’s why my mother divorced him, you know. He’s never here. He's always off doing something at some meeting. I’m surprised Kylie even knows what he looks like. Elizabeth just takes it! She lets him leave for days at a time and then welcomes him back with wide open arms. I knew I should have stayed with my mother. I knew it! But I wanted a fresh start so bad. I just…thought things would be different here” she yelled, collapsing on my bed after she let it all out.

I sighed before laying down next to her. “Is that why I’ve never met your dad? I mean, it’s been a while and I still haven’t met the guy” I said, folding my arms beneath my head.

She nodded and rolled closer towards me. “It’s just weird, you know. Sometimes, I feel like a stranger in my own home. I love Kylie and Elizabeth…but it feels like, I don’t belong there” she sighed, resting her head against my shoulder.

“You belong here, Natalie. Don’t think that you don’t. How do you think I would feel if you just disappeared? Or how scared Elizabeth would be if you didn’t come home from school one day? We care about you. I’m sure your dad does too” I remarked, placing my hand against her cheek.

I stared into her beautiful green eyes that I fell in love with all those months ago. I wanted to tell her my feelings for Melody never matched what I feel for her. She needed to know. She deserved to know. I mean, she was still wearing my sweater for God’s sake. I love you, Natalie. I love you.

“Beck! Uncle Adam and Aunt Barbara are here!” Brandon yelled from downstairs. I groaned and hid myself against Natalie’s arm. She laughed, looking over at me.

“Beck, come on. I want to meet your cousins. What’s wrong?” she asked, smiling at me.

“I hate Alexis!” I growled, holding her closer to me. She arched her eyebrows at me and then smirked.

“Is that your cousin? I want to meet her!” she exclaimed, hopping off of my bed.

“Natalie! No” I yelled, pulling her back to me. She laughed and tried to get out of my grasp.

“Beck, what’s so bad about her?” she asked, squirming as I tickled her. “She calls me Becca. Can you believe that?” I replied.

“Um, not really. Even though Becca is your real name” she said sarcastically. I frowned at her when she got loose and reached for the door. I grabbed her hand, wrapping my arms around her waist, picking her up and tossing her back on my bed.

She shrieked and tried to push me off of her. “You need to see your cousins!” she yelled, laughing when I bit her shoulder like she had bitten mine.

“No I don’t” I mumbled, lying on top of her. “Yes you do. Your mom will think some thing is going on if we don’t go downstairs” she said, crossing her arms over her chest and looking up at me.

I paused for a second. “No she won’t” I said, nervously. “I don’t know. We have been jumping on your bed a lot, plus…I did scream just now” she countered, grinning at me playfully.

I groaned and climbed off of her. “Fine, but don’t blame me when you find out how mean, cruel, and…mean Alexis is” I pouted.

“You said mean twice.”

“She’s extra mean!”

Natalie started laughing again as I put my hands in my pockets before slowly walking downstairs. So much for having a peaceful moment at home.

My Uncle was the first one to notice me and he smiled as soon as I walked in the room. “Beck! Long time, no see! Man, you’ve gotten tall on me, haven’t you? Come here and give your Uncle a hug” he said, opening his arms for me.

I smiled back as he pulled me into one of his ‘bear hugs’. Picking me off the ground and dropping me back gently on the floor.

“Looks like I’ve still got it,” he said flexing. I laughed as he glanced at Natalie.

“Oh yeah. Uncle Adam, this is Natalie Hudson. She’s a good friend of mine and she lives in the neighborhood. Her step-mother and her sister are her visiting,” I introduced.

“Well, aren’t you a pretty thing? I hope Beck’s been treating you well. If she hasn’t, just tell me and I’ll set her straight” he said, pointing a playful finger at me.

I chuckled a bit at his pun. Set her straight? I’m gay? Come on! That was funny. Natalie must have known what I was thinking because she rolled her eyes and smiled at me.

“She’s been perfect, Mr. Adam. No problems at all” she said. “Oh, don’t call me Mr. Adam. Makes me feel old. If you want, you can call me Uncle Adam or just Adam” he said, smiling at her.

Natalie smiled back and I was attacked by my Aunt as she walked in behind my mom.

“Becky!” she yelled, hugging me. I hugged her back, laughing when she kissed my forehead. “How have you been, Becky?” she asked.

“Good. I've been working a lot but so far, so good. What about you, Aunt Barbara?” I asked, letting her go.

“Oh I can’t complain. Who’s your friend? Is this Melody?” she asked, looking over at my mom.

I shook my head quickly and corrected her. “No, no! This is my friend Natalie."

“Oh! So you’re Elizabeth’s daughter?” she asked. Natalie shook her head. “I’m her step-daughter. I no longer live with my mom” she replied.

"Well, your step-mother is a very nice woman. Your step-sister as well. Becky, I want to talk to you tomorrow morning, okay?” she asked, running her hand over my head.

I nodded as she smiled before walking in the living room with my mom. I arched my eyebrows and shrugged, walking in the game room with Natalie next to me.

“Your Aunt and Uncle are nice” she remarked, smiling. “Yeah, I’m not worried about them. It’s Alexis I’m watching out for” I groaned.

“Beck, how bad could she be?”

“Hello Becca.”

I cringed and slowly turned around to see Alexis Fellows. She was 5′5" and had tan skin. Her eyes were brown like mine but her hair was down to her butt and perfectly straight. She was wearing her steel-brimmed glasses along with hip hugging blue jeans, a yellow ‘Hollister’ shirt and a white snow jacket. Since my Uncle Adam was part Indian, her facial features were slightly different from mine but besides that, it was easy to tell that we were related.

“Hey Alexis. Nice to see you,” I mumbled. Natalie looked at me and then at Alexis.

“Is this your girlfriend?” she asked bluntly. “What?” I shot back. “Your girlfriend? She was on your profile picture a couple of months ago. I sent you a message about it, remember?” she questioned, putting her hands on her hips.

My eyes widened and I glared at her. “That was you?” I asked. She nodded. “You still haven’t answered my question, Becca” she said, smirking at me.

I shook my head and decided to attack Alexis later on once Natalie left. “No. She’s my friend,” I replied.

“But she’s gay too?” she asked, motioning to Natalie as if she were a thing.I didn't respond and Alexis smiled before walking over to me, wrapping her arms around my neck.

“It’s nice to see you too cousin” she said, walking past me. I clenched my fist and watched her walk away.

“Okay, what the hell was that?” Natalie asked, frowning after Alexis. “That, was Alexis Fellows. My cousin” I replied.

Natalie ran her hand down my arm and I quickly looked at her. She smiled at me and gave my arm a squeeze. “If you want, we can play with her a little” she said mischievously.

I smiled back at her and took her hand, interlacing my fingers with hers. “What do you mean by ’play?” I asked. She leaned in slowly, running her hand over my neck as she moved her lips towards mine…

Before going toward my ear and gently biting it. “Wouldn’t you like to know” she whispered.

Natalie pulled away and walked back toward the game room. “Natalie, that wasn’t funny. Come on. You can’t play me like that!” I groaned, listening to her laugh as I closed the door.

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