The Bear Having Been Repeatedly Poked

Doug watched the performances come and go; when Elena started asking him if he had bought anything for Melissa he wanted to say that he kept her secret that was payment enough but he didn’t. No, instead he watched Melissa perform with Conner and grew angrier by the moment when Lance said that Melissa was good and that she was getting popular. It took every ounce of control to not go off or just leave instead Doug nodded and only said. “Yeah, she is.” He didn’t want to look bad in front of Lance and Elena but if he had to actually speak, more than that, he might just lose it on them. He wasn’t paying much attention to Roxy and that group his mind still on the fact that Melissa had performed with Conner. Part of him wanted to leave but as he started to turn; Dante’s band came out. Doug decided to wait for part of him wanting to see if Dante would suck so he could throw it in his face but the man had his own band with Nix; who Doug sort of knew who she was but didn’t pay much attention beyond that to her.

Then the music started; the song...that song...with Dante looking directly at Doug. That song was directed at him. ‘What the hell?’ Doug thought to himself. His mind went in a million directions about what Dante could possibly mean. Was Melissa cheating on him with Dante? No, he had his spies and he would know about that, he thought anyway. Was it to make him look like a fool? Was Melissa in on it as well? First the duet with Conner, now this? But even in Doug’s rage; something in the back of his mind made him think Melissa didn’t know about this. Still, he wanted to get on that stage and beat the hell out of Dante and then his mind went back to Melissa… even if she didn’t know she probably had led Dante on. That had to be it, right? It had to be Mel’s fault as well. His mind twisted into forming why this was Melissa’s fault, why he needed to do something about this, why he needed to make Melissa pay, and why Dante, maybe, needed to pay later.

The second song started and Doug stood there till the end, people applauded, cheered. Doug just stood there glaring at the stage, Another skit, and the theater kids came out for one last performance of We're All In This Together from High School Musical. Doug wasn’t really paying attention to any of it. A chaperone came out and thanked all the acts and the people that helped with the set up that morning. He made an announcement about the bonfire starting soon but Doug had already left during the theater, kids singing another song he really cared less about, and was waiting outside the backstage area to catch Melissa on her way out. As for Dante, he might have to deal with him later, when there were less people around.

Melissa was excited to see Dante perform and she smiled as he took the stage. He seemed different on stage, somehow. Like it was still Dante but not at the same time. Apparently she wasn’t the only one as a few of the girls and some of the guys in the audience seemed very intrigued by the change. Then she noticed it or thought she did. It seemed like he was directing the first song at someone in particular and Melissa’s gut told her who that might be. She moved herself backstage so she still could not be seen by the audience but had a better view of them and her stomach suddenly sanked. He was looking at Doug well during specific times of the song and it might have only been Doug, Dante and Melissa who really knew this but yes the song was directed at Doug.

Melissa, maybe, by this point didn’t need to ask why but she had a bad feeling that she would be the one paying for this later. She didn’t think that that had been Dante’s intention and truthfully it’s not like she had told anyone that Doug had gotten physical with her but still she knew this was not going to play out well, at all. She continued to watch Dante and sometimes she’d focus on Doug’s reaction to Dante. The second song ended and she could see Doug turn and leave, probably, to wait outside for her.

She backed away further into the backstage area as the sounds of the theater kids on stage could be heard. Part of her didn’t want to go outside; part of her knew it might be better to just get it over with. What would really happen when she got outside was up for debate but she could guess and her guesses were that is was nothing good.

The door to the backstage area opened and Melissa stepped outside; as she suspected Doug was standing there, arms crossed in front of him, hands clenched into fists and she could tell he was angry, actually she had never seen him quite this angry and it scared her. No one else had gone outside because she left right as the theater kids were finishing up and no one was paying much attention to her, or so she thought.

She walked over to him and the words she had become far too accustomed to saying to him, came out of her mouth. “Doug, I’m sorry. I didn't know Dante was going to do that.”

“Oh, I believe you about Dante. I’ll get back to that. However, you didn’t tell me about Conner. That duet. You conveniently left that out when you told me what you were going to do tonight. So, tell me was that always there or did you decide it today, when you found out you’d be performing with Conner?”

“I..I..” There was no good way to answer that. Either she had to lie to him or she had to tell him the truth and either way he wasn’t going to be happy with her response.

“That’s what I thought. As for Dante.. You might not have known but I bet you led him on. You are nothing but a …..” But his words were interrupted as he heard his name being called.

“Hey, Doug.” Carter had seen the other boy leave and had a bad feeling about it, considering what he had overheard in the bushes earlier. He made his way closer to the couple and even he could feel the tension between them. “Hi, Melissa.”

“Hi,” She responded, managing to keep her voice from breaking.

Carter turned his attention back to Doug. “The poker game is getting ready to start. Are you in?”

While Doug still wanted to deal with Melissa, the overwhelming desire he had to gamble won out. “Yeah, I’m coming.” He went up to Mel and for show gave her a kiss then whispered in her ear. “This isn’t over.”

Melissa then watched as he walked away with Carter. It wasn’t over but she had a reprieve. What she hadn’t noticed in all of that was Courtney had come outside and seen Carter come get Doug. Maybe, it was just coincidental but Courtney had been ready to step in herself. She walked over to Mel. “Hey, that was fun but I really can’t wait to get out of this outfit.”

“What?” Melissa’s mind had clearly been elsewhere. “Oh, yeah, I should really get changed as well.”

Courtney had also seen Dante’s performance and she wasn’t sure, exactly, what was going on with all of that but it made her want to talk to Dante even more and try to recruit him into joining forces to help Melissa. That was for later though, right now, the girls walked back to the guest house to get changed.

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