Again

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Chapter Eight

“You ain’t serving properly,” Stef accused Josh when he missed hitting the tennis ball for the second time.

“Trust me, it’s way lot easier to just accept you’re not as good as me at table tennis than to blame me,” said Josh smugly.

“Just because I got the last Ferrero Rocher that Eleanor had and not you, you’re taking revenge against me,” frowned Stef.

“What rubbish is this! I....”

I didn’t quite hear after that. My mind came to be occupied with something else. I couldn’t rid myself of that horrible nagging feeling yet. I was so confused to the point where I didn’t know how to hold myself together anymore.

There was this unsettling thought gripping the roots of my conscience.

Was I upset because Luke was very busy training to save his quarterback position that he almost had no time to see me. Or was I upset because Devon was apparently pretending to like me?

“Eleanor,”

I heard Josh’s voice calling out to me in deep grudge which broke the trail of my mind.

“Huh..?” I blinked.

“Where is your attention? You just missed the ball!” he said disapprovingly, “We’re losing the match!”

The four of us were at the sports club playing table tennis in doubles, Josh and me against Stef and Adam.

“Weren’t Stef and you fighting?” I muttered, picking up the tennis ball.

“Didn’t you see and hear the part where I played peacemaker between these two warring souls?” asked Adam.

“Um...”

“Nope. She didn’t,” said Stef, reading my blank expression. “I don’t know what’s wrong with you, El. Don’t you think you’re zoning out a lot today?”

“Nothing like that. I’m good,” I said.

“Speaking of losing focus,” Stef smirked at Josh, “Girls in school no longer know about your existence because they just can’t get their hormones off Devon.”

Josh gave her a disgruntled look.

“Stef, drop it please?” Adam said, dissuading tone.

“What? I’m not speaking against Josh but for him,” responded Stef innocently which made Adam sigh.

“So, do you guys know Rhea, one of those hot cheerleaders?” began Stef conversationally, “She, like many other girls, tried to seduce Devon today in school. I was so sure she would succeed but Devon plainly ignored her and walked off as though nothing happened!”

“Parker has average looks. I don’t know what attracts girls to him,” said Josh, doing poorly at hiding his jealously, “If it were me, I would have made out with Rhea a couple of hundred times by now.”

Adam laughed. “But seriously, have never come across a guy like Devon,” he spoke in a tone of amusement, “He turns a blind eye to all the female attention around him and is extremely blunt and unabashed in speech with everybody. To say the least, he is very lucky that words don’t actually kill.”

“I know right,” piped in Stef, “I--”

“Can you guys please stop talking about Devon?” I huffed, “It’s so damn annoying! I’m sure as hell there are better topics to converse about.”

All the three gave me startled looks. Adam stopped from serving the ball.

“Okay, you seem to get really pissed at the mere mention of Devon these days,” said Stef, “What’s up?”

“Nothing. Didn’t I tell you I find that guy extremely overrated and overhyped?” I fixed her with a plain look.

“Bet there’s something else too,” said Josh thoughtfully.

“Exactly,” nodded Stef, “Like Josh has a reason to hate Devon ’cause he’s jealous of him---”

“I’M NOT JEALOUS OF PARKER!”

“---while Adam and I find Devon very amusing. What’s your reason behind hating him?”

“I already told you guys,” I said, averting my gazes.

“Listen, if you hold a grudge against Devon just because Luke has issues with him then it’s very wrong of you,” said Adam solemnly.

“You have my vote, Blondie.”

That flippant tone startled us and we looked sideways to see Devon stood wearing smug expressions.

I glared at him.

“It’s not my fault that the quarterback guy is not as good as he thinks he is,” shrugged Devon, ” So if that lousy quarterback is not the best, he is most likely to get his pathetic ass kicked out of the team by me. But then there are slow learners who just can’t understand that two and two make four.”

Devon eyed me with a lopsided smile.

“It’s very easy to shut the fuck up and get lost. Try it once. I swear it’ll come naturally to you,” I smiled sweetly.

“Remember you had said my nose is a part of your business now? I can’t possibly get lost without it then,” he returned casually.

My lips thinned in distaste and I gave him a pointed look. Wish I could chop all his hair off and give him a hard tap on his audacious head.

“Devon, I swear I will---” I began.

“By the way, haven’t you told these bunch of dull creatures, whom you label as friends, about us?” he asked, feigning surprise.

“What??!!” The three of them blurted out together in shock at his words, looking from Devon to me.

“You’ve no right to speak shit about my friends!” I admonished him strongly. To Stef, Adam and Josh, I said, “Ignore him. He has the nasty tongue of a vile snake.”

“So are these people so lame and gullible that you didn’t find them worthy enough to be told about what’s going on between us?” Devon asked me as though he just didn’t hear me out.

“Watch your words, dude!” Josh shot back, offended.

“I’ve watched my words. There’s nothing wrong in them,” Devon drawled, giving him an unimportant look.

“Calm down, Josh,” coaxed Adam, when the boy’s cheeks swelled up in anger. Turning to Devon, Adam spoke affably, “You can honestly call us whatever names you want but can you please tell us what exactly you mean?”

“I was right. You are surely not wasted unlike some souls here,” said Devon callously, casting a dismissive glance at a fuming Josh and a confused Stef. “But I’ll make myself precise to the three of you anyway.”

Devon looked at me and continued in a deeper tone, “I really like Eleanor. I’m damn crazy for her. She likes me too. Yet she repels to my every touch and makes me all the more desperate for her. She’s a sadist.”

I felt my nose flaring up in rage. I can’t fucking believe he really fucking called me a sadist!!

My friends’ jaws dropped in shock hearing that and next, I had six pairs of eyes looking at me inquiringly.

“I would understand if you guys want to throw up after the dog poop he fed you. I, for one, definitely want to,” I said with a sass, giving Devon a frosty look while he chuckled in return.

“You didn’t tell me that Devon’s been chasing you!” whined Stef, looking at me.

“Neither me!” complained Josh, looking somewhat delighted.

“I honestly don’t know what’s going on,” said Adam, scratching his head.

“I’ll tell you what happened,” drawled Devon, “Sanchez broke all your trust. Sanchez broke all of my heart. Simple.”

Crawford Lane will soon have a cold-blooded murder. Soon.

“Relax, people,” I told my friends in a flat tone, “Do you guys ever discuss about that annoying insect that’s been buzzing near your ears and how you just shoo-shoo it away with one wave of your hand? No, right? Same is my case.”

Devon chuckled at that insult. “What’s your name?” he asked Stef, out of the blue.

“Steffy,” she responded, smiling widely at him, “But my friends call me--”

“They can call you whatever they want,” Devon interrupted in a bored tone, “Are you single?”

Stef was completely taken aback by that, “I-I....” she stammered, casting a fleeting glance at Adam, she blushed.

Adam too grew rather awkward. Devon seemed to have noticed them because he said, “Okay, so the boat is sailing from both the sides. Damn my rotten luck! I’d read somewhere that in order to make your girl jealous, get close to her best friend but looks like I can’t do that now.”

I frowned hard at him. “Excuse me? I am also in a relationship. With Luke. Why can’t you understand that?”

“Your case is different,” Devon answered nonchalantly, “Asking a pig to take you for a ride doesn’t mean being in a relationship.”

What the hell!

Stef burst out laughing at his words. “O. My. God. I so agr--” I fixed her with a glare. “---I-I mean I don’t agree with you. I mean how can you say something like that? Right, Adam? Right, Josh?”

Josh, who didn’t seem to hear her, spoke way too eagerly, “Can I announce in school that Devon is interested only in Eleanor?”

“Josh,” I shot him a dark look.

“And you,” I turned to Devon with a sharp look, “Go to hell.”

“Alright,” he said, raising his hands in surrender, “I only called you a sadist. But you’re making my words come true.”

I was literally about to hurl my tennis racquet at him but Stef held me back. Devon smirked and left. Finally.

Right then, my phone buzzed.

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