Things Said, Things Overheard

Trigger warning: Verbal and some physical abuse.

Right after the volleyball game:

Doug was not happy that the scholarship kids won and frankly it took all of his power to not laugh when JD got hit in the face with the volleyball. He kind of wished it had been Conner instead as he hadn't been informed of JD talking much to Melissa. However, he also noticed the look on Lance's face and he decided to just keep the laughter to himself.

Though once most people, except his entourage, had left the group of them had a laugh at JD's expense. He had also noticed Riley at the game but she ignored him, he didn't like being ignored, but he also knew she was well protected and he had someone he could more easily manipulate. He had given Mel's spies the day off because she had been with him for a good portion of it and was now in a closed practice. The idea it was closed was really bothering him as he had no idea who she was practicing with. He had warned her over and over about who to stay away from and he'd be pissed it was one of them. Logically, he knew that Melissa hadn't chosen whoever it was but still, if it was one of them, he wouldn't like it.

He walked over to Sadie who had just sent a few of her entourage to get drinks. "Hey."

Sadie looked up and through her sunglasses could see it was Doug who was talking to her. She didn't know much about Doug despite them hanging out in the same group and she hadn't seen his concerning behavior. She knew he was a football player, rich kid, and he was also fairly attractive. The other thing she had found out was he was dating some Freshman cheerleader.

"Hey," She returned the greeting. "I see the school is still divided."

"As always but you know as well as I do those scholarship kids aren't good enough to be here."

"Oh." She had scholarship students and their friends that watched her online so she didn't want anything getting back to them about she had agreed with that comment. Did she agree with it? Yes, to a point. The scholarships students had one thing going for them they brought a lot of talent to the school. It's hard to believe a school of a little over 600 students would be nearly as competitive as it was without them.

Doug though had made his feelings on the subject clear and she just figured it was best to not say anything either way. Doug didn't intimidate her, she just didn't feel the need to get into it right now.

Doug sat down beside her without being asked and grinned. "It was so funny when that JD kid got hit in the face."

"No, it really wasn't," Sadie replied. "Even Lance didn't seem like he thought it was funny."

"Oh, come on. It was the funniest thing this entire weekend and you know it. It's just us so you can admit it."

"It's never just "us" you have your entourage, I have mine though clearly mine are better at that title. I would never think someone getting hurt was funny unless they deserved it." Sadie sighed. "What the hell did ...what did you say his name was...JD? What did JD do to deserve it?"

"He's a scholarship kid?"

"So?" Sadie asked. "Is your ego that fragile that you think that losing a pickup volleyball game that you weren't even playing in amounts to hitting someone in the face with a volleyball?"

"My ego isn't fragile." He was starting to get pissed at Sadie now. "What are you? On their side? Because I certainly don't remember that being the case last year."

"No. I'm not on their side but there is a difference between not liking someone and physically hurting them."

"Yeah. Well, I still think it's funny."

"What does violence solve things for you or something?"

"Yes." Doug spurted out before he could stop himself. He had just gotten so aggravated. He had expected her to side with him.

Sadie raised an eyebrow. "I feel sorry for your girlfriend."

"What did you say?"

"You heard me. I feel sorry for any girl that dates a guy who thinks violence is always the answer."

"I didn't say that." Doug tried to backtrack before she got too suspicious.

"Yes, you did. I mean not in those words but you said it." Sadie then noticed the girls she had sent off to get drinks coming back. "If you will move you're in her seat." Pointing to one of the girls. "I don't make my entourage stand around like you apparently do."

Doug moved off the seat not looking back at Sadie told his entourage. "Let's go." That didn't turn out the way he expected and Doug had now tagged Sadie as a bitch. He was going to add her to the people that Melissa couldn't associate with, well, as much as possible.

(later: Takes place after dinner, right before the talent show)

As promised Melissa had gotten out of practice when she said she would and they two had gone to dinner to give her enough time to get ready for the show. Sadie had come over and introduced herself to the new people at the rich table, something, Doug figured would happen but he wasn't happy about it. Once Sadie left he leaned into Melissa and said "She's on the no list."

Melissa sighed but nodded, Doug's list of people she could actually associate with when he wasn't with her, was growing shorter by the day, and pretty soon she was thinking she might have to become a hermit to comply with it.

They finished dinner, she went back to the girls' guest house and got ready, along with other girls who were performing and then she met Doug outside and the two walked to the backstage door together but before he let her go, he pulled her aside, near some bushes. "You are going to make a fool of yourself up there. You don't have any talent. I don't know why you are insisting on doing this. Is to make a fool of me, too?" He grabbed her wrist. "That's it, isn't it."

"No, Doug. I'm only doing this because Ms. Kopper asked me to." Melissa winced a little as he squeezed her wrist but he then loosened his grip.

He looked over the dress she was wearing and said. "You look fat in that. You should have worn something else."

"I thought you said you liked this dress."

"Are you trying to start an argument? Because we can go someplace more private if that's the case."

"No, Doug. I just ...."

"Just what...?" He snapped at her.

"Nothing," Melissa said softly.

"I didn't think so." Doug released her wrist and looked around, they had been off where others headed to the door couldn't see them but he then spotted Courtney, Kaylee and Matt coming and he wanted to look good so he said loud enough for others to hear. "Well, break a leg. I'm sure you'll do fine." He leaned over and kissed her cheek then walked away.

Melissa just stood there for a moment; that last part she knew had been for show and while his words and tone said one thing, his eyes had glared at her the entire time. She thought for a moment about backing out, saying she wasn't feeling well because that wouldn't have been much of a lie but instead she took a deep breath that's when she heard her name.

" ok?" Courtney had moved closer to her, telling Matt and Kaylee that she would be inside in a moment.

"Yeah," Melissa lied. "I'm fine."

Courtney didn't believe her but she let it go. "So, that's a great dress. I assume your performing tonight."

"Yes." She looked over Courtney's old fashioned bartender's uniform "I assume the same thing about you?"

"Yes, I'm dancing only though seriously I think Conner is one of the only people that could talk me into it." Courtney smiled

Melissa let a smile grace her lips. "He's pretty good at talking people into things."

"You ready to go in?" Courtney asked.


The two girls went into the backstage area.

(Meanwhile in the bushes)

Carter had been a member of Doug's entourage since last year, he was in one of the more trusted positions. He wasn't one of the spies but sometimes acted as a backup. Doug however had told him to take the night off and have some fun.

He had done that and met up with one of the cheerleaders so they could make out behind the bushes. So, there they were in the sand behind the bushes getting some alone time when he heard Doug's voice. "You are going to make a fool of yourself up there." The girl with Carter tried to say something and he put up one finger to hush her. He listened to the next thing that Doug said and then very quietly told the girl that she needed her to go; if he was caught by Doug he didn't want her in the crossfire was the part he didn't explain but she left anyway. He continued to listen hearing the entire conversation between Doug and Melissa.

He knew that the two argued a lot but he had missed, until now, the verbal abuse. He knew Doug had a temper but the way he could see Doug grabbing Melissa's wrist was concerning. He felt kind of stupid having completely ignored the signs, until this moment, but right now it was right in front of him. He listened as Doug walked away and Courtney and Mel talked then left before he pulled out his cell and scrolled through his pics to the one he was looking for, stared at the two girls one with red hair, one with blonde hair, a few years younger than him. How would he feel if anyone talked to his younger sisters that way? That thought played through his mind but what to do. Was Melissa really in that much danger? Maybe, Doug was having an off day but still, that thought of his younger sisters was eating away at him. If he went against Doug that could completely destroy him at this school, if he did nothing it might still destroy him. He got up and went to meet the cheerleader he had just been with as those thoughts ran though his mind.

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