Damage Control

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Kidnap Me On A Thursday Instead

I tightly gripped the back of Sienna’s jean jacket as we pushed through the crowd of screaming students. Due to our close proximity, I couldn’t catch a break from the various strands that would hit me smack dab in my face as we squeezed past the groups of students and families that had come out to watch the game.

“Excuse me, comin’ through!” Sienna repeatedly yelled as she plowed through the crowd so we could get to our usual seats. She was completely oblivious to the glares she was receiving from the people she was shoving out of her way as she pulled me along towards the bleachers in the very front row.

As soon as she pulled me down to the seat beside her, I let out a loud breath of relief as I began to tame my mess of a hair. I hated arriving late to games for this exact reason. Not only was it a complete mission to get through the crowds, but there was no garuntee whether we’d even find seats.

Thankfully today, nobody had claimed the front row seating that was unofficially assigned to Sienna and I.

Upon settling into my seat, my eyes unconsciously began scanning the field for Easton’s number. While walking me to my car after school, he had told me he had chosen the number 7 because it was, and I quote, ‘The number of seconds it takes for a girl to fall in love with me’.

His comment not only got a dry look from both Avery and I, but also earned him a thump on the back of his head from myself.

He claimed it was abuse, but I just think it was me doing justice to the world.

“Found them!” Sienna happily stated as she pointed over towards the three boys huddled in the center of the field beside their coach who was waving his arms in the air and speaking as the boys stared down at his clipboard.

Coach Stephens was a little too determined about winning games. He always had a crazed look in his eyes on game day and was pretty strict on the guys during practices. Although Easton and Sebastian may get on my nerves at times, I pitied them when their coach would scream in their faces, spit flying in every direction.

Because it was the first game of the season, their coach was particularly stingy about how they would perform at the game.

Easton claimed he wasn’t scared of what would happen if they lost, but deep down he knows that there would be no escaping Coach Stephen’s wrath.

My eyes completely skipped over Cole and Sebastian and zeroed in on Easton who was concentrating on what the coach was saying to him. As much as I didn’t want to admit it, Easton looked good in his uniform. His white jersey with red accents fit him perfectly, accentuating his athletic and lean build. His hands rested on his hips and he occasionally lifted his hand to run a hand through his messy hair.

As if he felt my eyes on him, he lifted up his head and locked his eyes with mine. I could feel my face burn up in embarrassment for getting caught staring him down, but felt it all wash away as a grin enveloped across his face as he lifted his hand up to wave at me.

Returning his smile, I waved back at him and watched with amusement as his coach stopped what he was saying to stare over at Easton who was oblivious to the dirty look his coach was giving him. I snickered to myself as his coach crossed his arms across his chest and stared over at Easton with an incredulous expression as Easton made weird faces at me. Lifting a hand to my mouth to conceal my laugh, I pointed the left of Easton’s side to let him know that we now had an audience. I continued watching as Easton’s eyes widened in realization before he slowly turned to face his coach with a sheepish smile on his face. His coach held his hands up in the air and I cringed to myself as I watched Coach Stephen’s mouth moving rapidly as he waved his arms in the air wildly, most likely yelling at Easton for not listening to him.

My body shook with laughter as Easton’s smile vanished and he stood up straight while nodding at the coach. I could see a ghost of a smile on his face, as if he knew I was still watching the altercation, but his face remained stoic as he listened to his coach reprimanding him.

Just as I turned to face Sienna who had been talking to another classmate on the other side of her, my eyes locked onto Cole’s who had his gaze fixed in our direction.

Moving my eyes to the side, I glanced over to see if he was staring at Sienna but as I looked closer, I realized that he was staring at me. His face had no expression on it, but I could tell he was deep in thought as his eyes moved back and forth between Easton and I.

Had Cole been watching Easton and I the whole time?

And more importantly, why did he suddenly have a frown on his face?

Just as I was about to raise my hand to wave at him as an attempt to break him out of the trance he was in , I heard a familiar voice call out my name.

“Hey, Mallory!” I heard someone say as my eyes landed on Michelle who was standing below the railing that was situated in front of the bleachers. She was dressed in the same uniform she had been wearing earlier, except now, she had dots lining above her eyebrows representing our school colors. Scooting up in my seat, I flashed her a smile and a wave as she turned to the group of cheerleaders near her. She quickly muttered something to them to which they all nodded, before she turned and jogged up the stairs towards Sienna and I.

Her face radiated happiness as she flashed both Sienna and I a grin. “Hello ladies!” She greeted as soon as she reached us. Scooting over in my seat to make some room, I ushered for her to sit down beside me. She flashed me a grateful smile as she took a seat beside me before turning to face us.

“What’s up, Michelle?” Sienna asked as she looked up a Michelle with a questioning expression on her face. It was rare for cheerleaders to be up at the bleachers right before the game began because usually they’d be running through routines or cheers one last time.

“I just wanted to ask if you guys had my address for the party later tonight?” She asked as I nodded my head at her.

“Yeah, Seb has it and I think he’s driving us all.” I causally mentioned while carefully watching Michelle’s face for any reaction upon hearing Sebastian’s name.

To be quite frank,

I didn’t even know if Seb had her address.

He probably did seeing as Michelle was no stranger to throwing parties, and wherever there was a party, there was Seb. Not to mention, any party thrown by Michelle would no doubt be graced by Sebastian Torres’s presence.

But, being the sly matchmaker that I am, I just wanted to see if Michelle would say anything if I mentioned Sebastian’s name around her.

Just call me cupid at this point.

“Oh really.” Michelle murmured as her eyes slowly wandered over to the field where the team was doing warmups before the game began. I closely watched Michelle as her eyes zeroed in on Sebastian who was kicking the ball and goofing around with Easton. I watched as a small smile grew on her face as she watched Sebastian laugh loudly when Coach Stephen’s began stomping over to both him and Easton. I couldn’t help but feel my own smile take over my face as I watched the interaction.

I think it was safe to say I was on board the Michelle and Sebastian ship.

Locking eyes with me, a puzzled expression marred her face as she came to the realization that I had been watching her the whole time. I gave her a knowing smile but didn’t say anything as I watched her get up and smooth her uniform down, “Well, I should get going but I hope to see you guys later tonight.” She said before giving Sienna and I one last smile, and a sly wink my way before making her way back down to the sideline of the fields where the cheerleaders were getting ready.

“She and Sebby just need to get together already. They would be adorable together.” Sienna gushed as she pulled her jacket closer to her as a strong gust of wind whisked past us. Humming in agreement, I turned my attention back to the field where the referees blew their whistle, signaling the start of the game.

~

“Cole just texted me asking if I wanted to drive with him so we’ll see you guys there. Did you need a ride from Cole too or will you be coming with Sebastian?” Sienna inquired as we made out way out of the stadium. I felt my heart sink slightly as I thought of Cole and the odd looks he had been passing my way ever since Easton and I had begun hanging out. Ignoring the heap of thoughts that threatened to come my way, I turned my attention back to Sienna who was waiting for my response. I knew for a fact that there was no way I’d be getting into a car with my best friend and her boyfriend who I was currently crushing on.

No way Jose.

Things had been weird between Cole and I and he felt more distant than usual. Maybe I had Easton to thank for that seeing as he had been keeping both my thoughts and life occupied with his childish antics.

Despite his irritating, and sometimes amusing behavior, he was actually keeping up with his end of the deal and shockingly enough, Cole wasn’t always the only thing on my mind now.

My crush still hadn’t gone away but Easton had been serving as a good distraction lately and it made me feel better about things, especially when I was around Sienna.

We both hadn’t really had much time to hang around with each other, but tonights game reminded me of how much I missed being around her. Not only were we able to catch up on life, but she and I nearly lost our voices cheering for the guys.

The team had won their first game with Easton scoring two of the three goals. I had gotten so invested in the game that I hadn’t even realized how loudly I had been cheering for Easton each time the ball came his way.

This obviously brought Sienna lots of joy and for the remainder of the game she listed out at least twenty five reasons of why Easton and I would make the perfect couple.

She didn’t take it lightly when I told her that “having abs” wasn’t a valid reason.

“No, it’s okay. I’m going to go with Sebastian, thanks though.” I answered her as I flashed her a small smile. She nodded her head and pulled me in for a short hug before we bid our goodbyes and walked off in opposite directions.

Shoving my hands into the pockets of my jacket, I began walking over towards the nearly empty parking lot. Most of the people that had come to the game had left but Sienna and I had stuck around since the guys were our rides to the party.

Typically after every game, the team would go to the locker room where they would shower and freshen up.

What that meant for me was that the school was almost completely empty, leaving me wandering the perimeter of the school alone.

I had just passed by the locker room and was making my way towards the exit to the parking lot when I felt an arm wrap around my waist and another cover up my mouth. I felt my eyes go wide as I attempted to push the hands of me. Kicking my arms and legs anywhere I could, I tried my best to remove the hand so I could make a sound in hopes of someone hearing.

This is it Mallory.

This is how you’re going to leave the world.

At the hands of some idiot who clearly didn’t know that it was Friday and the weekend was coming up.

Seriously, if anyone wanted to kidnap me, why wasn’t it on a Thursday or on the day of an exam I hadn’t prepared for?

At least do me a favor if you’re going to kidnap me.

With one last effort, I put all my strength into my leg which I streched out before bringing it backwards right into the shin of my attacker who immedtaltly released me while letting out a loud groan.

Wait, kidnappers don’t sound like arrogant sleep wreckers who make me want to throw myself off a cliff.

Turning around slowly, I felt my anger spike as I came face to face with a very familiar figure who was currently hunched over as they held onto their lower leg tightly.

“Jesus Mallory, have you ever considered joining the soccer team?” Easton groaned as he took deep breaths in and out like a pregnant woman in labor. I watched him with no remorse as he stood up straight while placing his hands on his hips. His hair was visibly wet from his shower and he was now dressed in a pair of dark washed pair of jeans along with a grey t-shirt.

“Are you serious? I thought you were trying to kidnap me!” I angrily said as I placed my hands on my hips and huffed loudly in frustration. My heart was still pounding from earlier and that stupid smirk that was edging its way onto Easton’s lips wasn’t making the situation any better.

“Does a face like this look like it needs to kidnap a girl to get her in a car with them?” Easton retorted as he flashed me his usual smirk. I stared at him with a stone cold expression as he made no move to remove the smile off his face. His lack of reaction to my blatant irritation must have sparked some type of demon in me because before I could stop myself, I rammed my body straight into Easton.

Maybe it was the adrenaline rush or those five minute workouts I do when I’m bored, but Easton stumbled back a couple steps and nearly fell as he waved his arms in the air as an attempt of regaining his balance from my shove. I felt a satisfactory smile enclose my lips at my strength and watched with a evil smile as he straightened himself up before making his way back over to me.

“Forget about soccer, how about wrestling?” He coughed out as he towered over me. I shrugged my shoulder nonchalantly and ignored his suggestion before trekking back to the parking lot where Sebastian’s car was parked.

Because I was still annoyed at Easton, I was walking way ahead of him and keeping my pace faster than usual, “Have you considered cross country?” Easton jokingly asked as he jogged up to me. Flashing him a glare, I raised my hand and swatted his shoulder causing him to let out a loud laugh.

“Haha, so hilarious.” I coldly mocked as Easton continued to laugh like a school girl beside me.

“C’mon grumpy pants, you know you want to laugh.” He said grinning down at me as we walked towards Sebastains car. I remained quiet and only huffed loudly as I crossed my arms across my chest.

If you ignore it, it’ll go away.

I mean, that’s what my mom always told me so I’m hoping it would have have some type of affect right now.

Looking around the nearly empty lot, I scrunched my nose in confusion as I looked for any sight of Sebastian. Pulling out my phone, I clicked on Sebastian’s contact to ask where he was but felt a frown come across my face as the call went to voicemail. Letting out a huff, I turned around only to bump into Easton who had been standing directly behind me.

“Oh yeah, did I forget to mention? You and I are driving together to the party.” Easton informed with a smirk as he held up Sebastian’s keys in his hands.

Pinching my eyes shut, I sent out a prayer up above to help me stay sane before the end of the night. Not only did Easton nearly give me heart failure, but Sebastian had ditched me and left me alone with him.

I was at least hoping that with some persuasion, I could convince Sebastian to leave Easton stranded here alone.

He deserved it after the stunt he pulled tonight.

“Stop acting so upset, you know you’re excited deep down.” Easton chastised as he wrapped an arm around me and ushered me over towards the other end of the parking lot where Sebastian’s car was hidden behind another car.

“Deep deep down.” I muttered loudly enough for Easton to hear as we reached Seb’s car. He let out a slight chuckle at this before opening up the door to the passenger seat of Seb’s car and leaned against the side as he waited for me to get in.

“How kind of you.” I sarcastically said as I slid into the passenger seat. Bending down so he could have a clearer vision of me, he poked his head into the car as I looked up at him.

“Chivalry isn’t dead, love.” Easton simply said before tapping his finger lightly on my nose and shutting the door. I watched as he jogged around the front of the car before sliding into the drivers seat and placing the keys into the ignition.

As he was backing out, I leaned forward and turned on some random station to fill the empty silence in the car, “Where did Seb go anyways and how did you convince him to give you his car?” I inquired as I leaned back in the seat while blowing air onto my hands as an attempt to warm them up. The temperature had fallen to around 49 degrees tonight and I wasn’t prepared for it at all. I had been shivering the whole time at the game and mentally bashed myself for not bringing a jacket.

Easton glanced over at me warming up my hands and said nothing as he began tapping random buttons on Sebastian’s dashboard. I opened my mouth to ask what he was doing when I suddenly felt a rush of warm air release from the tiny vents and onto my face. I felt a small smile crawl onto my face and turned to look over at him with a grateful expression on my face before getting comfortable in my seat and holding my hands up to the heater to bring some color back into them.

“A couple of the guys asked Seb to come with them to pick up some drinks so he asked me to bring you to the party.” Easton explained as he made his way out of the parking lot and onto the roadway. I hummed in response before turning the dial for the music up so that I could sing along to whatever songs were playing on the radio.

Just as the chorus to one of my favorite songs was coming on, Easton turned down the music and looked over at me.

“Hey, that was my favorite part!” I whined as I reached over to turn the volume back up but before I could, Easton’s hand covered the dial as he kept his other hand on the steering wheel.

“You ready for the commencement of step 2?” Easton asked as a wicked smile appeared on his face. Slumping back down into my seat, I felt a hint of fear and excitement course through me as my mind ran through all the possibilities.

“Don’t tell me we’re doing anything illegal tonight.” I asked as I stared over at him with raised eyebrows.

“I guess you’ll just have to wait and see.” Easton responded with a grin on his face as he pulled up to Michelle’s house that was bustling with students inside and outside of her residence. I let out the deep breath I had been holding in before unlocking the door of the car and stepping out.

Here goes nothing.

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