Damage Control

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Deal With the Devil

“Nothing good happens if you just hold back how you’re feeling. Let him know that you don’t feel comfortable with his actions so there isn’t any form of miscommunication between you two” I said to an anxious Genesis who looked like she was going to be sick. Genesis was a sweet girl that used to live a couple doors down from my house when we were in middle school before she moved to another neighborhood. Though we didn’t hang out much seeing as she was usually surrounded by her fellow cheer mates, we were still incredibly friendly with one another and she often turned to me when she needed a helping hand or some advice.

“You know how Charlie is, it’s like everything I say goes in one ear and out the other!” She exclaimed as she threw her hands in the air out of frustration. I remained silent and let her have a moment to herself as she ran a hand through the ends of her strawberry blonde locks while taking deep breaths to calm herself down.

If I was being completely honest, her boyfriend Charlie was sort of a meathead.

I don’t mean to sound judgmental or anything but he was quite literally the living breathing version of the typical high school jock that did everything with a football by his side.

Now don’t get me wrong, he was a great guy and didn’t really mess around with anyone, but he wasn’t exactly the brightest crayon in the box. Genesis also wasn’t on the road towards being valedictorian either, but it still surprised me when I found out they were dating.

Not exactly the pair I had in mind.

“Well, this time you need to make it clear to him that what you’re saying has to be taken seriously. If he can’t respect your decisions, then you’re better off without him.” I bluntly said as I pushed in my locker combo and began taking the extra notebooks out of my bag to store for the rest of the day. The sound around the hallways soon began to dim as everyone made their way into the cafeteria for lunch. I could feel my stomach rumble lowly as I began to shuffle through my bag looking for my wallet to see if I had enough money to pay for lunch.

Avery had rushed me this morning to get her to school earlier than usual for reasons still unknown to me. Because of this, I was unable to pack my precious lunch for the day and would now starve because all I had in my wallet was a nickel.

I really needed a job.

Glancing up at Genesis who had been relatively quiet since I had spoken, I saw that she was rapidly moving her fingers across her phone screen. I could see a slight smile cloud over her face at the response she had received before she finally looked up at me.

“I don’t know what I’d do without you, Mallory! I’m going to go speak to Charlie now and he promised to take whatever I said seriously.” She informed as she picked her backpack up from the floor. The frown that had been on her face earlier was now gone as she beamed up at me.

“No problem. Good luck!” I hollered to her as she hurriedly made her way down the hall. She slightly turned around and gave me a quick wave before entering the doors of the cafeteria.

Letting out a deep sigh, I glanced around at the few students lingering in the hallway before shutting my locker and trudging down the hall towards the cafeteria where Sienna and Sebastian were waiting for me.

I was caught up in my thoughts and humming a random song to myself when the sound of someones voice echoing down the hall caught my attention.

“Mallory! Wait up!” The familiar sound of Cole’s voice said as I turned back around to where he was. A bright smile coated his handsome face as he quickly made his way over towards me. Like it always did when he was around, my traitorous heart began to beat irregularly as he finally reached me.

“Hey.” I breathed out as I flashed him a bright smile. I could feel my palms become clammy as I stared into his eyes and quickly began to rub them against the sides of my jeans to ease the nervousness I was feeling.

Why did he always make me feel this way?

Anytime he was around, I suddenly felt like I was out of breath and couldn’t think straight.

Man up, Mallory! He isn’t your boyfriend so quit acting like he was!

“Hey, I saw you headed towards the cafeteria so I thought I’d join you.” He explained as he pulled his bag farther up his shoulder.

I was still at a loss of words and continued to stare at his smiling face like a complete idiot.

Say something and stop staring at him like some pervert on the street!

I let out a nervous chuckle and tucked a piece of blonde hair behind my ear as I finally opened my mouth to respond, “Actually, I need to return a book to the library, but I’ll meet you there. as soon as I’m done” I responded slowly as I pinched the side of my thigh.

Really Mallory? That’s the best excuse you could come up with?

It’s not that I had a problem with Cole or anything but I wanted to try and put as much distance as I could between us. The more time we spent alone only messed around with my one sided feelings towards him and intensified what I felt.

His smile slightly dropped at my response before he nodded his head in understanding.

“Well, I’ll see you later then.” He replied as he gave me one last look before walking down the long hall towards the cafeteria. I stared at his fading figure before letting out a deep breath I didn’t know I was holding. Just as I turned to make my way to the bathroom to kill some time before entering the cafeteria, I was once again brought to a stop by the sound of another annoyingly familiar voice.

“Woo, that was quite the show.” His infuriating voice said from behind me as I heard him let out a slight chuckle.

What the hell did he want from me now?

Turning to face him, I plastered a sickeningly sweet smile on my face before cocking my head to the side, “Oh, you still exist? And here I was hoping that someone had finally put you out of misery.” I deadpanned as I crossed my arms over my chest. Easton simply chuckled at what I said before pushing off the locker he was leaning against. He took short steps towards me as he looked at me with a mischievous look in his eyes.

It was that same look I saw in his eyes in the cafeteria yesterday.

“Don’t change the subject sweetheart...how long have you liked Ken?” He questioned as he nodded his head toward the direction that Cole had just walked down. He stared down at me with a devilish glint in his eyes as he shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans.

I felt my heart lurch in my chest at his words as I gripped my bag tighter.

How did he know I liked Cole?

There’s no way anybody could have told him, I hadn’t uttered word of this to a single soul!

Letting out a deep breath to calm myself down, I played it cool as I scrunched my nose at him in mock confusion, “Really? Ken? How original.” I insulted as he simply gave me a smile as if he knew what I was up to.

He leaned in so his face was eye level with mine before lowly saying, “Answer the question, love. You’re not fooling me.” He persisted as his minty breath fanned across my face. Turning my head slightly, I stared into his hazel colored eyes that were locked onto mine. I remained silent for a couple of seconds before placing my hands on his chest and pushing him away roughly.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, and I don’t want to know either.” I angrily huffed at him as he held his hands up in surrender.

“No need to play dumb sweetheart.” He started to say as he leaned against the lockers once again. “Its clear as day that you like the kid, but correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t he with that dark haired friend of yours?” He questioned comically as a slight smirked made its away across his face.

I could feel my eyes slightly widen as I sucked my cheeks into my mouth.

I don’t know how the hell this happened, but it did and now I was left to face the worst dilemma possible.

Easton Davis, the infuriating sleep wrecker and sad excuse of a human knew my secret, and there was nothing I could do about it.

I needed to come up with a Plan B but for now, denying it would do.

“Like I said before, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have somewhere I need to be.” I said with as much finality I could muster in my tone before sidestepping him and walking back down the hall.

“It’d be a shame if she were to find out!” His voice yelled as I stopped in my tracks. Silence enveloped the hallway as I turned to stare at him. He gave me an innocent look and shrugged his shoulders as he watched me closely for a reaction.

There was no way in hell Sienna could ever find out abut this. It would destroy our friendship and I didn’t want to lose her.

I suddenly felt my blood boil and anger course through me at what he had just said.

Who the heck did he think he was trying to threaten me?

I thought I had disliked him before, but now he had definitely earned a spot as #1 on my hit list.

“What the hell do you want from me?” I asked him angrily as I stomped down the hall towards him. His eyes scanned over my angry face before he flashed gave me a wolfish grin. The look in his eyes screamed mischief and I knew the wheels in his head were turning.

“I want to make a deal.” He revealed as I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion.

What could he possibly need from me?

The only skills I had was the ability to dial the pizza place without having to look up the number and balance a pencil on my forehead for a solid ten second straight.

I remained silent and stared at him as he let out a deep breath before responding, “I’ll help you with this situation you have going on with your friends boyfriend if you’ll do something for me in return.” He slowly said as my eyes narrowed into slits.

There was no way in hell I would be making a deal with him.

It’s basically selling my soul to the devil!

“No thanks, I don’t need or want your help.” I coldly said as I pushed my hair behind my shoulder before checking my phone for the nth time. Lunch was nearly over and I wanted to at least try and reach there in time to steal some of Sebastian’s food.

He simply held his hands in the air and kept the smile on his face before replying, “Suit yourself, Mallory. The deal will still be on the table.” He concluded before pushing off the lockers to stand up straight.

We stared each other down wordlessly before I gave him a final look and turned on my heels. I strode down the hall with only one thought running through my mind,

There is no way in hell that I would partner up with him.

It’ll only come back to bite me in the end.

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