Of Families and Friends

(This takes place after school.)

Class was over for the day and Zander had headed back to his dorm room. He got to the hallway that would lead to his room.
"Hey, Zander"
The voice made Zander stop in his tracts and turn around slowly.
Zander took a deep breath as he spotted Doug standing there.

The two brothers just stared at each other for a moment before Zander asked "What do you want, Doug?"
Doug walked closer to Zander and circled him once; like an animal surveying it's prey.
Doug looked down on his brother.
"You and Dawn shouldn't have come. But now that your here. You get to me my favorite target. Don't think for one minute anything is going to change."

"I wasn't expecting it would." Which was only true. There was no love lost between them.

Doug raised a brow then shoved Zander so hard the boy fell back against the wall. Zander wished for almost anyone to walk down that hallway because this was starting to go south quickly.

Sitting in his room Conner heard something hit the wall. “What the hell was that?” He mumbled to himself. He stood and walked into the common area of his room. He could hear people talking, one being his roommate. The other he did not know but the tone of the other was angry and condensing. He walked closer to the front door to their dorm room.

Doug put his arms on either side of Zander pinning him to the wall.

"Zander, you made a huge mistake coming here. I know you and Dawn well enough to know what you are going to try to do. Don't. " He leaned in close enough that he could whisper, "Don't try to rescue Melissa or this will be much worse."

Zander gritted his teeth. "She doesn't deserve the way you'll treat her. No one does."

Doug clenched his fist; and looked like he really wanted to punch his brother. "That's none of your business." Still at a whisper. Then he moved back slightly and said louder "Nerd." Grabbing Zander by the shirt collar.

Conner heard some talking and whispering and a slight scuffling. He knew deep down something was not right. The door was barely cracked open. Well, it is his roommate out there and a nerd Conner knew the bullying had started early this year.

He thought for a moment JD said every engagement, as he called it, was like a book that whoever opens it gets to write the outcome. So, I have to start a new chapter. He reached up and opened the door to see Doug grabbing Zander by the shirt collar.

Conner looked surprised to see Doug. Not so surprised to see what he was doing. "Doug put him down." He looked up. "They have cameras everywhere in the halls, dumb ass." He leaned lightly on his door frame. "And that’s my roommate and I don't want this to affect my reputation, Doug" warned Conner.

Zander heard Conner's voice. Doug looked towards Zander's roommate and put Zander down.
"Whatever. Later nerd." The last part said as more of a warning. Doug then walked away.

Zander stood there for a moment taking a breath before he walked towards the room. He walked past Conner and said "Thanks" as he entered their dorm room.

Conner followed him in walking over to his desk he sat on the edge. "Zander, what was that all about?" he asked.

Zander sat down on his bed not really that surprised by the question. After all, there was normal bullying and there was what had just happened. Zander thought for a moment then decided to just tell Conner what was going on. "You think if I tell you something you can keep it to yourself?" He didn't know Conner that well after all.

"Sure, I have kept a few secrets in my life, Zander," replied Conner. "Is it that bad?" asked Conner.

"Doug thinks it is." Zander paused for a moment. "Ok, you already know Dawn is my twin. We were adopted. When our moms adopted us; they already had an adopted child. Our older brother, Doug." Zander kept going because the gate had now been opened. "Doug has always hated both of us. He's made my life miserable since I can remember. He doesn't really care about Dawn, either but she's harder to pick on. " Something Zander was glad about. "Anyway, our moms and Dawn and I noticed that Doug has changed. They are concerned so I agreed to come to school here to keep an eye on him. Dawn wasn't supposed to be here but she now is." He hoped this was making sense. "Anyway, Doug doesn't like that we're here because we know him and will probably figure out what's going on. Also, now he seems to have his sights set on Melissa. We know the way he treats girls. So, he hates us even more, now, for coming to school here."

"I see, sounds like a family matter I don't want to get in the middle of but I can't just let him beat you up either. I don't know if he will bully you if I am around but if you need help let me know. As for Melissa, what would he do to her?" asked Conner.

Zander nodded as he understood the comment about it being a family matter. "Thanks. I'm really hoping he continues to leave Dawn alone." As for Melissa. "Doug tends to use girls to get what he wants then throw them away. He can also be manipulative. Getting them to do what he wants. When they don't he tends to not treat them well. He's pretty possessive and likes to be in control." He paused. "Melissa is a freshman and my brother knows she hasn't had a chance to make friends so he's using that to his advantage."

Conner nodded at Zanders' reply. "I have a girlfrie..." He did not want Zander thinking the wrong thing. A girl that is a friend. that I could ask to help Melissa or look out for her some. I have never liked Doug much and now even less than before." he said; popping the door open on the fridge “OJ or soda?" he asked.

"Coke, thanks". As for Conner's comment. "If you could ask her that would be great. Dawn is trying to get to know Melissa better, as well. It's going to be hard to convince her, right now, about Doug because I'm sure he's currently treating her incredibly well. It's all part of his manipulation."

Handing Zander a coke. "I will still not say anything to anyone but she is becoming part of my group. I hope that will help in the end" said Conner.

Zander took the Coke, opening and sipping it before responding. "I hope so. I hate to think of any girl being subjected to my brother for long." He then added. “If Courtney is going to help you I think you can tell her what you need to.” There was really not much else to do about it right now and a few hours before dinner. "Hey, are you into online gaming? "

"Ya sure, let's see what you got. Do you want to link systems? Do a few online teams stuff?"

"Sure" He pulled out one of the systems. "Do you have a game preference?"

"I will let you choose first. I am good at most games I guess" he replied

"How about Call of Duty, Black Ops or "Raid Shadow Legends/"

" Black Ops would be great. I will start up my stuff here" said Conner walking over to his PC.

Zander nodded and headed over to his set up to get started

" Logged in! I will make the team, just send me a PM, I will add you to my friend's list and to the team," said Conner. “Oh, my handle is 67Ford" Conner informed Zander.

"I'm logged in, as well. PM sent." Zander was SkywalkerQ145.
The two roommates started playing Zander always found gaming to be a good release after dealing with Doug.

"Oh man, you’re good at the game" Conner commented as they came first in the match. "Hey, I bet you are good at programming. I was wanting to do some stuff after you moved in. I am a script kitty at best. So the science project; want to maybe work together in robotics, maybe?" asked Conner.

"Thanks. You too." The offer of working on the Robotics project came at him. "Sure. Have you thought about the design, yet?"

"I will get on my computer and draft something soon so you and I can work on the design. Nothing too crazy but cool. I think we should mix some techs like mars or moon rover with gadgets that can be controlled and autonomous. do you think we can pull that off?" he asked.

"I definitely think we can. Especially since we have several months to work on it." Zander replied. "Yeah, just let me know when you have a draft of the design then we discuss more specifics."

"I will work on it this week, get some type of outline and ask my dad if I can get some materials for it," said Conner.

"That would be great. I can start looking for parts we might need." Zander then looked at the clock. " I need to get ready. I'm meeting some people for dinner." He got his stuff together and got ready before saying. "See you later." And heading out to dinner.

Conner did the same thinking on the Melissa issue

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