The Road Less Traveled

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Chapter 3

Walking up to the door he hesitated and started thinking about bailing but deep down he just couldn’t seem to do it, thinking of his mama’s voice on the other end of the phone sounding all disappointed the guilt made him open the door and walk in he noticed he was the last one in. Looking around to see Damien talking to Cameron and his dad. His mama in the kitchen talking to his uncle and his aunt. His sister was coming down the stairs. “Mama I’m leaving Natalie and Sara are already waiting for me I promise I will swing by later this week and we can go do our nails.” Aria said. “I don’t know why you hang around them girls, Ari I told you they aint nothing but trouble. Guess you just love learning things the hard way though. You better make sure you call in.” His mama warned pointing her finger at her. “I will.” Aria said rolling her eyes.

“What is you tired ass looking at?” She asked staring at Xavier. “I want to say the devil, but I hate to insult the fallen in such a way disgraceful way. Why you hanging with them creepy ass girls anyway? Don’t you ever get tired of their desperate, thirsty ass. Fawning over Carter, and Nathan who by pass and string they dumb ass along?” Xavier asked. “Why you hating on my friends for it sounds like you just jealous no one making a play for you.” Aria said with way to much attitude. “You going to be eating them words cousin. Not only does he got someone biting on the end of his hook, he snagged this little catch straight from Carter it is so freaking awesome.” Damien said laughing deeply.

“Hold up Carter is making moves on that new girl? Is that the one Ellie was talking about?” Aria asked him. “Yup she straight up shot his ass down like an old war plane.” Damien said laughing. “I think maybe It’s time me and the girls introduced ourselves to the new girl.” Aria said with an evil smirk. “You going to keep your ass away from her. You and that little band of sluts you rolling with.” Xavier said flatly. “Why you so uptight about this aint dating her.” Aria asked raising an eyebrow crossing her arms. “That’s not true they went to lunch yesterday.” Damien said smirking again. “Damien man do you ever shut the hell up?” Xavier asked. “You went on a date?” His mom and dad said at the same time everyone staring at him they don’t ever remember him ever having a date. “I hate you both so much right now.” Xavier said looking back and forth from Aria to Damien. “Welp I will see you all later.” Aria said leaving. Shutting the door behind her.

“You going to answer me or not boy?” His mama asked. “It wasn’t a date, it was a lunch that helped score me a date for this Saturday.” Xavier said looking anywhere but his mama. “What she like? Do we know her?” His dad asked. “I don’t think so, she comes in and out of town hanging with the girls the guys like. Except she moved here now.” Xavier said. “Is this the same girl you been crushing on for like what is it Damien four years?” His mama asked. “Sure is auntie.” Damien said proudly. “Seriously this close to whooping your ass.” Xavier said looking at his traitorous cousin. “Wow. You actually scored with a girl you like. Congrats bro.” Cameron came up hugging his brother. “Besides what are we talking about me for? This man got a free ride wherever you want to go. SO have you thought that about where you want to apply?” Xavier asked him. He loved his brother. Xavier being twenty-six and his brother just turning eighteen. Aria is just a year younger than Xavier just turning twenty five. Which only left Xavier as one year older than Bella.

“I have a couple of places in my mind. I have no idea really I kind of just want to apply everywhere on the off chance someone will accept me, but I got this based on football skills I don’t even know how to ask the college coaches to come down to check us out to see who would even want us.” Cameron said scratching the back of his head. “Did the lady tell you it was specifically just for football?” His dad asked. “Well no, she didn’t I just assumed. The letter doesn’t specify either.” Cameron said looking confused now. “Maybe you should call and ask about some of those details what did they say when they called to tell you guys?” Damien asked. “Well it was an assistant and he told us when we have confirmation about where he is going to go he needs to get in contact with them so they know where to send the checks. They told us that she looked at about two hundred and fifty athletes in various sports and she narrowed it down to just the boys. I am just so proud of my baby working so hard.” His mama said kissing all over his forehead. “Now listen to me I know how excited you are about this and you should be. I just want to stress out how important it is right now to keep those grades up in these last couples of months, this will be the ending point of the your GPA if you want a decent place to take you, you need to keep them the best you can to finish strong. You only got like what maybe two months. Also keep your nose clean everyone is always posting stupid shit on social media don’t get caught being dumb schools check you thoroughly and you don’t want to ruin your chances at something great because of something s stupid right?” Xavier asked him.

“Hell no. OW!” Cameron said as his dad hit him in the back of his head. So let’s eat dinner is done. Gathered around the table Xavier looked up at his mama. “Something on your mind mama.” He asked sitting next to her as the table was all talkative. “You just seem so different and I can’t put my finger on it. You got some kind of I don’t know glow or something. Son are you safe while you being active.” His mama asked. Choking on his drink. “Mama! I don’t have any damn after glow. Aint nothing like that going on right now. Geez mama. I’m just I don’t know happy I guess, or excited.” Xavier said looking a this drink. “You been waiting this for a while. It’s ok to be nervous and excited about it.” His mama said covering his hand with hers. “Promise you’ll bring her around. I want to meet her.” His mama said. “Mama I just got the one date with her, she still has plenty of time to back out and or change her mind about getting more than just this one.” Xavier said in a sad realistic tone; that made his dad look at him sadly. “I think she’ll stick around.” His mama said.

The night went on and after saying goodbye to his family his dad saw him out. “Son, when you going to stop being so damn hard on yourself?” His dad asked crossing his arms. “What you mean?” “You know what I mean. You been chasing some girl for about four years nothing else ever catching your eye. You finally get a date that you stole form Carter no less, and you sound like you already half way gave up on her in there talking to your mother. What’s that about?” “It’s just I’m not good with words, or have the looks that you know Carter has. I don’t have the fancy ass job, I have just enough funds to keep me and the guys a float and the doors open. I mean this girl is incredible hell she makes way more than I and hell even Carter make combined. What the hell do I have to offer her?” Xavier asked shrugging his shoulders with his hands in his pockets.

“Damn boy see this is what I am talking about. You so damn hard on yourself. You have a great job and you own it. It’s yours you built something great that your amazing at you did that all on your own. You don’t have to be a man of words, because when you with the right girl conversation will just flow out. A wise man doesn’t always speak but knows when he needs to. The trick isn’t about having the right way with words, the trick is knowing when to just be there. Carter’s looks is all smoke and mirrors you have heart. From what I have heard from Leah your girl is here to make a new start. Son she sounds lonely to me. You can give her a friend, a shoulder, a hug, your time, hell son all you gotta do is just give a woman your love and time and that’s going to be the best thing you can ever give her besides your name of course.” The both laughed lightly. “You have more than enough to give in ways money can never come close to.” His dad took a breath and a deep look at him.

“Son let me ask you doesn her job or how much money she has bother her?” “No. I mean she doesn’t sound to fond of her job but she’s to invested to quit.” OK, does your job or how much you make bother her?” “No, she think’s a cool thing to be able to do something I love for a living, howd she say it. That damn quote. I think she said if you do what you love for a living you’ll never work a day in your life.” “Smart girl. So she is unimpressed with job titles and how much one makes. So if it’s not bothering her why does it bother you? Does it bother you what you do, or how much you make?” His dad asked. “Honestly I love what I do. I just want to make what I can. I don’t need nothing fancy. It’s just I start thinking about the future and I want a family one day. I want ot be able to give them things they want. What if I can’t do that?” “Oh son money will always be a struggle with a family but it will always work itself out in the end. You’ve always been really smart with your money. Maybe you can take a page out of her book and put it in the stock market or something. Look you will always have us to help spoil whatever family you make don’t worry so much; because what’s going to happen is your going to get in your ow way and make things awkward for no reason but your imagination. Take it one day at a time and just let yourself be happy. Just be happy in the moment. Can you do that for me?” His dad asked. “Any woman is going to be lucky to have you to have to spend any of her time with.

“Yeah dad I’ll do my best to let go a little. It’s just so weird to have someone as beautiful as her excited to go out with my scarred ass mug.” Xavier said. “There aint a damn thing wrong with your face.” His dad said with a stern voice. Alright I’m going to run home I think I’m going to try to hit her up before I get to bed.” “Good plan son. GO lay down that ground work.” His dad said happily waving him off. The drive home Xavier thought about everything his dad said and he was right. Money, job titles, all that crap didn’t mean a damn thing to them. So why did he let it get to him so deeply. Carter it’s always fucking Carter who gets under his skin. Bellz hated egotistical men and material dudes. So if he play his cards just right he can just sit back and let Carter blow his chance on his own. Smiling to himself with his new game plan.

Meanwhile across town. Bella walked in to the Chinese food place to her pick up her call in order. Chinese was her favorite. “Bella!” Carter yelled happily across the restaurant with his three other friends, and two other girls. After paying for her food, she walked over to the table. “Hey guys how’s your night going?” “It’s going good. Looks like great minds think alike right? Hey do you want to join us?” Carter asked eyes all lit up which caught Natalie’s attention and making her hide her cringe. “No, that’s ok I’m actually looking forward to grabbing my food and getting fat on my couch watching tv and catching up on my reading. Besides it looks like you guys are all done anyway I wouldn’t want to hold any of you up anyway. Oh I’m sorry how rude of me. I’m Isabella.” She said holding her hand out to the other two girls.

“I’m Natalie and this is Sara. We have another friend who was here but she got called into work. So are you new in town or something?” Natalie asked nicely with a huge fake smile on her face. “Yup. Is that obvious do I like have a sign or something stuck to me?” “No it’s just small towns everyone knows everyone there are secrets here.” Sara said with a smile trying to hug up on Nathan who made sure to adjust him self away. “Hey while you’re here the department is going to be having a charity event next Friday if your available how would you feel about going with me?” Carter asked with his million dollar smile that made Bella feel all weird. “Well actually I got the invite to that and I was going to actually ask Xavier if he was free. The girls all bought tickets and I think they already asked the guys.” She said putting her loose hair behind her ear. “Your order up.” She heard. “Well maybe we can all get together not this week but next week maybe we can play a sport or go bowling like you suggested before. It would be fun.” “Ya that sounds like lot of fun.” Natalie said to make her voice stand out happy the new woman in front of her was showing no interest in Carter but yet still irritated that Carter is trying every opportunity to get time with her.

“Well you guys have a great night. It was lovely to meet you.” Bella said waving off and getting her food. “Isn’t that a lot of food for one person, I mean like come it would hurt to cut back a few.” Sara said mumbling to Natalie. “I think she looks great. I hate women who to scared to eat.” Carter said in a rude tone. “Yeah aint no man want no skinny chick who aint got nothing to hold onto.” Liam said. “Right, what the hell you going to cuddle up to a bunch of damn bones. Need a thick chick. Man she perfect in every way though curves in the right places. Smile light up a room, an da personality to make you heart smile. How the hell does someone like Knight score a chance with her.” Carter asked in an angry tone squishing his fortune cookie.

“Well You know Carter I’m free for the charity event if you want to go with me?” “No, that’s ok. Thanks for the offer. You know she almost thought Natalie and I were a couple thanks to that damn Knight. I had to make sure I cleared that up I am not losing a good chance because he playing with low ball moves. I just got to think outside the box.” Carter said. “Hey how about you just ask her out as friends that way theres no pressure on her and she’ll feel more comfortable knowing she’ll be in a safe place and you get to know her a little better?” Eli said. “That’s a great idea.” Carter said. “Doesn’t she have a date with Aria’s brother coming up and if she asks him to the charity event I think it’s pretty clear she’s interested in Xavier maybe we should let her take that path and see what happens if Xavier is as bad as you think he is, than he will blow his shot eventually right?” Sara asked. “You know some girls don’t notice a man until he is off the menu what if you pretended to be in a relationship with me so sh e can see just what she’s missing. All women get a little jealous you know the whole wanting what you can’t have thing, not knowing what you have until you can’t have it.” Natalie said trying to work her way into an opening.

“She’s not that type of girl though. I highly doubt she is into those types of games.” Nathan said. “Yeah I don’t see any good coming from that.” “Eli said. “Seen enough after school specials to know that’s dumb.” Liam said starring at her like she lost her mind. They all know she’s hard up for Carter but damn, now she just starting to let her thirstiness show. “Well I’ll catch you guys later I got some thinking to do.” Everyone got up and the guys all paid for themselves. Leaving the girls to pay for themselves. Both getting mad that they are not getting anywhere with Carter, and Nathan. “What do you think we should do to her?” Sara asked. “That’s the beauty of this all we have to do is be supportive of her pursing Xavier. She wasn’t showing any sign of interest to my man so therefore I just got to make sure Aria’s brother claims that fugly little troll before Carter can gain her attention. Please she aint got nothing on me did you see what she’s even wearing. Natalie said laughing deeply. Sara worked on the school office. Natalie worked as a successful lawyer. Born from old money, and was queen bee in the high school but never could get the attention of Carter who was always to busy competing with Xavier neither has ever showed any attention to any female until this girl popped up. All she had to do was just make sure Xavier won, or plan B she went back where she came from Natalie said to herself.

Putting her food away and picking up her book watching the sunset on her porch swing and a light blanket. Her phone rang and she picked up with out even looking at the caller ID. “Hello.” “Oh so you are alive?” She heard his voice come through. “Jaxon it’s good to hear form you too.” Bella said smiling deeply. “Oh so she even remembers my name. Could have fooled me.” He said faking the sound of being hurt. “How are you Jax?” “I’m good, we have a meeting Thursday morning not long you should be done by eleven.” “Ok I will be there bright and early I swear. HOW are you guys doing?” “Well mom and dad miss you, but their fine. I miss you Bellz I really do. It’s not the same without you. It’s like my heart is lonely. How are you doing? Do you miss me yet you know I can come pack you all up right now if you changed your mind yet.” Jax said in a hopeful voice. “No Jax I’m actually doing really good. Maybe in a couple of weeks you can come down here and check it out for yourself.” She said happily in a content voice. “Alright, in a couple of weeks I will come down and see what’s so damn special about the damn country to steal our girl away.” He said. “Hey I got another call I’ll text you later.” “YOU better.” Jaxon said hanging up.

“Hello.” “Hey Bellz.” She heard that voice that made her stomach turn and heart skip a bet. “Hey Knight how’s it going?” “It’s going good. Just wondering what your up too” Xavier said. “Well I’m sitting on the porch swing not doing anything. How was dinner with your family?” She said happily. “It was something usually is though.” HE laughed. “Hey um, I was wondering I got invited to go to the police departments charity event and I got four tickets which means I only have one extra ticket, I was hoping if your free you could be my date. It’s this Friday night. It’s some kind of dress classy party. The girls are asking the guys so there should be plenty of friendly faces.” She was rambling good things to try to make it sound appealing. “Bellz.”Xavier said laughing trying to get her attention. “You had me sold on it just knowing I get to spend some time with you. You said you got four tickets I assume that would be for Leo and Dimitri right? I won’t leave to be like a sixth wheel. Besides I bet you look gorgeous all dressed up.” He said in a cute voice. Making her blush deeply. “Your red right now aint ya?” He teased. “Shut up.” She said playfully.

They talked for almost three hours in a blink of an eye it wasn’t until she was in bed she told them they needed to get off phone he had early mornings. She laid there letting herself be happy in the fact that she got two dates with an extremely handsome sexy man who she was sure out of her league. Meanwhile Xavier was reveling in the fact that he got two dates with his angel. The best thing was she was already planning future things with him in it, and the fact that it pisses Carter off is a bonus. For the first time in a long time he was genuinely happy. Nothing was going to ruin this week, as long as he kept getting to know her, the more sure he was he wanted to chain her.

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