A Game Called Love

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Chapter 9

"I think I'm going to kiss him again." I said at lunch after telling Mason and Alyssa about my date last night with Jacob.

Mason didn't react to my words but Alyssa looked interested.

"It doesn't say anything in the game rules that I can't initiate another kiss. Maybe if I kiss him a few times he'll be more likely to initiate a kiss and then I'll finally be able to get kiss number two done." I explained, swirling a french fry around in ketchup as I spoke.

"It also doesn't say anything in the rules about doing the kisses in order, you could get kiss three done by initiating a kiss." Alyssa pointed out.

I never thought about that before.

"Hey guys." Jacob greeted us as he walked up to the table. I hope he didn't hear what we were talking about.

"Where have you been?" I asked as he took the seat across from me and beside Alyssa. I suddenly felt the urge to sit beside him, but I always sat beside Mason. I couldn't just change that now.

Jacob sent me a bright smile, "I was just at a basketball meeting, I made the team."

I matched his smile with one of my own, "That's amazing, congratulations!"

"We finally have a reason to go to basketball games now!" Alyssa cheered, giving me a cheeky smile. She always wanted an excuse to drag me to school sporting events.

"Thanks Jacob." I sarcastically drawled, acting like going to a basketball game was the worst thing in the world. I don't think I'd actually mind going to cheer him on though.

He rolled his eyes at my dramatics just as the bell rang. Soon we were all going our separate ways to class, except Jacob was walking with me.

"Isn't your class on the other side of the school?" I questioned, giving him a confused look.

He shrugged, "Yeah, but I wanted to walk you to class."

My heart squeezed at the thoughtful gesture, he wanted so spend a little more time with me even though it would make him late for his own class.

Soon we stopped outside of my classroom and I turned to him, a smile playing on my lips.

"Thank you for walking me to class, I'm glad you did."

He shrugged like it was no big deal, but I could see the happiness lighting up his grey eyes.

Before walking into class I gave him a quick peck on the cheek. If I can get him used to the idea of cheek kisses, an actual kiss won't be so out of the blue. Baby steps, I want to get this right. And not just to win the game, I want to see how things play out between us.

For the whole class period I thought about the endless possibilities I had with Jacob, and how excited I was to see him in my last class of the day.

To: Jacob

Why weren't you in class?

As soon as the bell dismissed everyone from our last period of the day I took out my phone and sent Jacob a text.

It would be an understatement to say I was disappointed when he didn't show up. History was a pretty boring subject and he was a nice distraction to have.

As I opened my locker to put my textbooks away I waited for the buzz in the back pocket of my jeans to tell me I had a text, but my phone never went off.

"Did you hear about the fight third period? I heard it was outside during gym class." I heard the girl a few lockers away from mine gossip with her two friends.

"Yeah, crazy right? I never thought the new guy would be a fighter." One of the friends responded, which caught my interest. There was only one new guy.

Jacob got into a fight? That would explain why he wasn't in class, but why?

"It kind of makes him hotter." The first girl spoke again.

I closed my locker and began to walk towards the exit of the school as I took my phone out of my pocket, quickly typing up another text.

To: Jacob

You got into a fight? Are you okay?

I hope whoever picked a fight with Jacob got their butt kicked. And I hope he wasn't hurt in the process.

Just as I walked out of the building Alyssa ran up to me.

"Did you hear about the fight?" She asked in a jumbled rush, her dark eyes shining with excitement.

I furrowed my eyebrows at her enthusiasm, "I heard Jacob got into a fight."

She gasped, "You don't know who the fight was with?"

I shook my head no. Why did it matter? All I cared about was that Jacob was okay. My worry only grew as the minutes ticked by without a texted back back from him. What if he was actually really hurt?

"Mason was the one he fought with."

Alyssa's words were like a bucket of ice water thrown on my face.

That can't be possible. Mason doesn't fight. Ever.

I rolled my eyes at her failed attempt at a joke, "Very funny."

Her face got dead serious, "I'm not joking."

"Where's Mason? Do you know?" I asked, my tone very serious. I needed to find him and figure out what happened. And I wanted to make sure he was okay.

Mason is completely against violence, seeing as his dad uses violence every chance he gets, Mason doesn't want to be anything like him. If he fought, there was a good reason for it.

"Home maybe? I think him and Jacob were suspended for the rest of today and tomorrow." Alyssa answered, her expression morphing into one of concern when she saw how serious I was being. She doesn't know Mason as well as I do so she wouldn't realize how strange it was for him to fight.

"I'll find him." I told her, and then put my phone up to my ear after pressing call on Mason's contact.

Please pick up I silently chanted in time with each ring.

"Jenny?" Mason asked, his voice quiet and confused.

"Can you pick me up from school? I want to talk." I asked, hinting at my reason for calling.

"I'll be right over." He replied, not giving me a chance to say anything else before he ended the call.

Sure enough, ten minutes later his familiar black car was pulling up in front of me. I quickly got in and buckled up before glancing over at him.

I gasped when I saw the bruise and cut on his left cheek as he looked back at me, his expressionless face hiding what he was thinking and feeling.

"Let's go back to my house." I suggested, and he nodded in agreement, beginning the drive back home.

It was quiet and tense in the car as we drove, I wanted to bombard him with questions but I knew it wasn't smart to do that while he was behind the wheel. Thankfully we got back to my house quickly and before I knew it we were in my kitchen where I got him an ice pack for his injured cheek.

"What happened?" I finally asked.

"I got into a fight with Jacob. It was stupid, can we just forget about it?" He replied vaguely.

I shook my head, "Why did the fight happen? You never fight."

He sighed and looked anywhere but at me, "It doesn't matter."

"Yes it does." I argued, growing frustrated. A fight happened between two important people in my life, of course the reason why mattered.

It was silent for a good minute and I was about to push him for answers again but he spoke up before I could.

"Some of his new basketball teammates were talking bad about you and he wasn't stopping them. It wasn't right and I got mad and punched him."

I was at a loss of words. Mason started the fight because Jacob didn't defend me?

"Maybe he was just trying to get his teammates to pile him." I reasoned. Jacob is still the new kid, he doesn't really have friends apart from Alyssa and I. I shouldn't hold this against him when he was just trying to make some more friends.

Mason inhaled sharply, recoiling away from me as if I had just slapped him, "You're defending the guy after he took part in making fun of you? Seriously Jenny?"

I shrugged, "Being the new kid is hard, give him a break."

He stood abruptly, dropping the ice pack I had given him for his face, "I have to go." And without waiting for my reply he stormed out of the kitchen and I heard the front door slam shut a second later.

What just happened?

I didn't have much time to think about it because my phone started buzzing in my pocket.

"Hello?" I answered without checking the caller I.D.

"Jenny! I have more news about the fight!" Alyssa exclaimed though the phone. Leave it to her to always have the latest gossip on everything.

"So some guys were making fun of you and Jacob didn't do anything about it. And it turns out Mason is in the same class and overheard it, so he called out Jacob for being a bad boyfriend. And guess what Jacob said?" She paused, waiting for me to show interest in the story she was telling.

"What did he say?" I asked, playing along.

"He said 'And yet I'm the one she's kissing.'." Can you believe that? So Mason punched him. I guess they exchanged a few blows before anyone could break them apart and then they got sent to the principal's office." She finished her story.

"Wow." Was all I could say. My head was spinning from everything she told me. I can't believe Jacob would say something like that.

"The boys were fighting over you, isn't this exciting!" She squealed.

"It's awful, I just want them to get along." I sighed, having the complete opposite reaction to the situation.

Sometimes I don't know how we're such good friends when we're so different from each other, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I like that she shows me a different way of thinking and living.

"Well that's all the news I have for you. If any more information comes my way I'll let you know. Bye Jenny!"

I rolled my eyes at her persistent upbeat attitude, but a smile made its way onto my face. "Bye Lyssa."

When I woke up this morning I never expected the day to turn out like this. What am I going to do about Jacob and Mason? At this point I can't just sit them down and talk things out, their dislike for each other is deeper than I expected. Why couldn't they just be friends?

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