Power to the Players

By Tori M. Pack All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Drama

Thank God for the Beach

I groaned before leaning over and reaching for my cell phone as my ringtone echo’d around the room. I sat up in my bed before looking over at the time.

2:39 am. Somebody better be dead.

I looked at the caller ID and smirked when I saw Melody’s picture pop on the small screen. I answered the call and held it to my ear.

“You have 30 seconds. Begin.”

“Why’d you punch Sasha in the face?!”

“Why are we discussing this at 2:30 in the morning? Couldn’t you have called me earlier or maybe when it was a more reasonable time?”

“No, I couldn’t. I’ve been trying to reach you all day but your phone must have been off.”

“It was. I was hanging out with Natalie all afternoon after we got suspended for three days.”

“You got suspended?”

“Yeah. For punching Sasha when she threw her drink on Natalie.”

“Beck, it wasn’t your fight.”

“Hell yes it was! She threw her drink on her, Mel. Her drink. I think I had every right to throw at least one punch.”

“You broke her nose!”

“I don’t see how that’s my problem! I’m sorry. I know she’s your friend and all, but I also have to defend my friends too.”

“The way I saw it, she didn’t need any help defending herself!”

“Yeah. She was kicking ass, wasn’t she?”

“Beck! I’m serious here. You’re my best friend but this girl just got here and she’s already getting you into trouble.”

“She didn’t do a Goddamn thing. I wanted to punch Sasha, so I did. She didn’t force me.”

“Beck, that’s not the point…”

“No. Do you know what your little smug ass friend said about me? She called me a dyke and yes, I normally don’t get pissed about her saying stuff like that because I know she’s a dumb bitch but Natalie was defending me. She stood up for me against Sasha and look where it got her. If anything, Sasha should be glad the security guards hauled us away.”

“…Beck?”

“Yeah?”

“…I don’t wanna lose your friendship.”

“Melody, you won’t. It was just a fight and we all know Sasha’s a bitch.”

“No. I mean, I don’t want there to be any distance between us. It feels like you’re pushing me away.”

“I’m pushing you away? Melody, every time I try to talk to you around Sasha or Mary, you shut down and walk away from me. If anybody’s being pushed away, it’s me.”

“…I’m sorry.”

“It’s alright. Just…tell me what’s going on with you. You act like you can’t talk to me and you try to avoid me lately. What’s going on with you?”

“…Nothing. I’m fine. Don’t worry about it. I’ll talk to you when the sun is up. Good night.”

She hung up before I could say anything else and I just stared at the phone. Something was definitely off about Melody. Maybe Lee was right and she does love me. But that wouldn’t make sense because she was hitting on that one dude…what’s his name again? Duncan? Yeah, Duncan.

Melody was acting strangely and I was going to figure out why. I mean, she’s still my best friend even though the people we hang out with now don’t like each other and can’t seem to get along.

I put my phone back down on my nightstand and dragged my body back under the covers. What ever is going on, I’d worry about it when the sun came up.


“How come Beck doesn’t have to go to school?” Brandon whined from the kitchen as I sat on the couch, watching some show on HBO.

“Because Beck got suspended for punching a girl in the face,” my mother replied, handing Brandon his bag lunch.

“Again?” he asked, glancing over at me with his jaw dropped. “Hey! I had a good reason this time,” I protested, turning my attention back to the TV.

“Come on Brandon. I have to drop you off before your father heads off to work,” she said, grabbing the car keys and walking toward the door with him following behind her.

“Bye Brandon. Have a good day at school” I teased, smirking at him. “Bite me” he growled. I sat there and nodded my head. I seemed to be getting that response a lot lately.

My dad walked down the steps, dressed in his navy blue suit and red tie. He grabbed the coffee pot and started pouring it into his coffee mug before he noticed me.

“School?” he asked, taking a sip from his mug before putting the pot back.

“Suspended” I replied. “What for?” he asked, arching his eyebrows at me.

“Breaking a girl’s nose for throwing her drink on Natalie” I replied bluntly.

He just chuckled before leaning over and kissing me on the forehead. “Try not to stay inside all day. It’s gonna be at least 80. Go for a walk or something” he said, grabbing his suitcase and heading for the door.

“I’ll try,” I yelled to him as he left. When I heard his car leave the driveway, I ran upstairs and into my closet. I took off my pajamas and threw on some clothes before quickly getting my hair in place. I headed back downstairs, turned off the TV I was pretending to watch, and grabbed my car keys.

I saw Natalie waiting outside for me. She had on a plain yellow tank top and some white shorts. There was a yellow bow in her hair and she had studs in her bottom lip instead of her usual hoops and, as always, had on flip-flops.

“Took you long enough” she teased, walking toward me and pulling me into a hug. “Dad took a long time getting ready. Besides, you should be glad I’m spending my day driving you to Ocean City,” I shot back.

Her jaw dropped and she playfully shoved me. “You wanted to go too!” she exclaimed, smiling at me.

“Well, yeah but I still have to drive there” I said, jiggling my keys in front of her face. She raised her brow at me and quickly grabbed my keys.

“Natalie…” I growled, reaching for them. She moved out the way and ran around my car. I laughed and ran after her.

“We’re too old for this!” I exclaimed, chasing her around the front yard. “We’re seventeen! That is nowhere near too old for this!” she yelled over her shoulder.

“Smart ass!” I yelled back.

“Slow poke!”

“Slow poke? I’ll show you a slow poke!”

I wrapped my arms around her waist and tackled her to the ground, laughing when she screamed in surprise. I tickled her and she started gasping for breath.

“Do I get my keys now?” I asked, looking down at her slightly red face. She nodded before leaning up and pushing me backwards.

My back hit the ground and she straddled my waist. “If you don’t want to drive, you could have just said something,” she muttered, playing with the ends of my shirt.

I looked up at her as the sun shined through her hair. She looked absolutely stunning and I kicked myself for not having my camera with me.

“It’s fine. I d-don’t mind really” I said, stuttering a bit when her fingers ran over my stomach. She smiled and dropped my keys on my chest before standing up.

“Hurry up or we might hit some traffic,” she yelled over her shoulder as she sauntered toward my car.

I smirked at her and watched her hips move as she walked away. She knows exactly what she’s doing to me. But that’s alright Natalie, two can play this game.


“I’m so hungry. Please stop somewhere Beck” Natalie groaned as I glanced over at her from behind the wheel.

“No way. How about back when we got on the highway and I had to go to the bathroom but you wouldn’t let me pull off somewhere?,” I teased, glaring over at her.

“We had just gotten on route and you know you could have used the bathroom before we left. Besides, I didn’t eat breakfast today” she moaned, pouting at me.

“You could have eaten breakfast before we left,” I mocked, sticking my tongue out at her. She did the same and I laughed.

“At least we stopped so you could go!”

“Yeah! Right before my bladder exploded in my own car!”

“Look, there’s a McDonald’s over there. Please Beck! I promise I’ll be good the rest of the trip.”

I looked over at her and smiled when I saw the pleading look in her eyes. “Alright. Alright,” I teased.

I sighed and she smirked at me. “Yes!” she exclaimed, pumping her fist in the air. I laughed and moved over to the right lane so that we could get off.

“You’re so spoiled,” I laughed. She just looked away from me with a slight blush on her face and I smiled at her.

I parked behind the McDonald’s and we both got out of the car. I locked it before following behind her. The place was pretty packed but I hoped we could just get our food, eat, and get back on the road.

Natalie went up to order and I walked behind her. I looked around and noticed some guy checking her out. I don’t know why but I felt a little protective of her, so I put my arm around her waist and held her closer to me.

She didn’t notice but at one point, her voice jumped an octave and I chuckled to myself at her reaction.

She asked me what I wanted and I ordered a large fry.

We walked over to one of the empty tables and sat down. She started unwrapping her burger and I took off the top of my sauce. She smirked at me and I arched my brows in her direction.

“What?” I asked, dipping my fry into the sauce and popping it in my mouth.

“What was that little stunt you pulled up there?” she asked, biting into her burger contently.

“What stunt?” I asked, playing coy. She raised an eyebrow at me and laughed.

“The one where you put your arm around my waist” she replied.

“Oh that! Well, you looked a little cold.”

“Uh huh.”

“And that guy was acting like a creeper.”

“Right.”

“I mean; I can’t just let random people try and leech on you.”

“I completely understand.”

“Natalie…”

“Beck…”

We stared at each other, challenging the other to come back with something. I tried to keep a straight face and I could tell she was trying just as hard.

I couldn’t help it anymore and we both burst into laughter. I leaned against the table to support myself and she leaned back against her chair.

“What time is it by the way?” she asked, trying to eat the rest of her food. I looked down at my cell phone and flipped it open.

“Uh…12:34” I replied. “Great, that gives us enough time to swim a little, walk the board walk, and then drive back home” she said.

I nodded and watched as the guy who was looking at Natalie left with a girl draped around his waist. Pssh! Dick. Of course he had a girlfriend. He wouldn’t be a creeper if he didn’t.

I finished the rest of my fries and waited patiently for Natalie to finish her food. I looked over at the TV and my eyes lit up when a commercial for a new ‘Grand Theft Auto’ game appeared on the screen.

Natalie followed my eyes and laughed when she realized what I was looking at.

“Are you going to buy it?”

“What?”

“The game you’re staring at on the TV.”

“Oh! Uh, probably not. I’m interested but I don’t need anymore games.”

“Glad to know you don’t have an addiction.”

“Ha ha. Very funny. I’ll have you know that when I was 10, I did have an addiction. I was actually a pretty chubby kid because of it.”

“So, what happened that made you want to lose weight?”

“Three things. One, my dad forced me to run on the track and field team at my middle school. Two, my X-Box was destroyed. And three, my mother offered money if I got out of the house for thirty minutes a day.”

“That’s a horrible addiction, Beck!”

“I know. But I was ten! Ten-year-olds are supposed to be addicted to stuff.”

“True. I sometimes think Kylie loves jumping rope more than anything in the world.”

“And Brandon is a beast when it comes to any type of card game. Uno, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, that dumb ass Chaotic. He even beat me in Poker and BlackJack, and he didn’t know how to play!”

Natalie burst in laughter and I started to laugh with her. “That’s sad,” she teased, getting up to throw anyway her food and put back her tray.

I threw away the McDonald’s box and walked behind her towards my car.

“Hey there!”

We turned around at the same time and I groaned when I saw the guy who was creeping on Natalie once again. He was leering at her and I glared at him.

He had jet-black hair, similar to Natalie’s, that stopped around his ears. I normally would be fine with random dudes coming up and trying to start a ‘friendly non-leery’ conversation, but that’s not what he was trying to do.

“Um…hey” Natalie said, stepping a bit closer to me. “I’m Dylan. I saw you inside there and was wondering if you two were headed to O.C. like my friend Gloria and I” he said, motioning towards himself and the person in his car.

“Uh, yeah we are. I’m Natalie and this is Beck,” she answered, taking my left hand and interlacing our fingers.

I raised my eyebrows at her and she just winked at me. I didn’t know where she was headed with this but her hand was smooth and felt warm to the touch.

The guy, Dylan, looked down at our hands and scratched the back of his head in confusion. “So, you two are together?” he asked, pointing between us.

Natalie smiled and wrapped her arms around my neck, pecking me on the cheek. Dylan chuckled and I looked over at him.

“That…is so hot! Dude, you have to meet me in O.C. somewhere so that we can hang out” he exclaimed. Natalie looked at me and I laughed a little at Dylan.

“Uh, sure. It’s alright with me. Natalie?” I glanced down at her and she just nodded.

“Alright. See you later. It was nice meeting you two!” he exclaimed, jogging over to his car.

Natalie and I burst into laughter and she leaned over and put her lips next to my ear.

“You’re a very protective girlfriend, Beck,” she whispered huskily. I groaned aloud and she laughed before realization hit me.

“Did you just moan?” she asked, smirking at me. I looked away from her and blushed a little.

“N-No” I replied, letting her go and walking toward the driver’s side of my car.

“Yes you did! I’m sorry for turning you on, Beck” she teased, sliding into my car.

I blushed harder and tried to avoid her gaze, which was fixed right on me.

“You didn’t. Let’s not talk about this,” I said, trying to get her to stop staring at me so hard!

She laughed before putting on her seatbelt. I started the car and pulled out of the parking lot. Natalie smirked at me, glancing out her window.

We drove in silence a bit until she put her hand on my thigh. My entire body was focused on her hand at that moment and it was getting a little difficult to drive.

I felt like this was the first time we met again. Her hand on my thigh as she tried to pretend she was doing something ‘innocent’ regardless if we both knew it wasn’t.

I smirked over at her and took her hand in mine. “I bet you’d like that, wouldn’t you?” I whispered in her ear. She bit her lower lip and I laughed at her.

“Didn’t mean to turn you on,” I mocked. She flipped me off and I pouted at her. “Don’t be mad, Natalicious” I whined. She looked over at me and laughed.

“Eyes on the road, Beck” she teased, turning my head back toward the road. I smiled and put on my turn signal, getting on the next exit.

Thank God for the beach.

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