Midnight In The Path Of Good and Evil (Part 1)

JP with Redsword, LSP and Cindy

Around midnight:

Melissa had received a text, not long after she arrived at the bonfire, explaining very clearly who she could associate with for the next few hours as Doug was going to be a while at the poker game. Needless to say, the list from Doug was extremely short. Even Courtney wasn't on it. Not that it mattered, Courtney was hanging out with the Single Ladies Club, and Melissa was anything but that. Dante, clearly, was not on the list nor was Conner but neither were almost anyone they associated with. So, who was on the list? The cheerleaders. In particular, the rich snobby cheerleaders who Melissa didn't particularly like because she thought they were mean but her choice was to spend time with them or, pretty much, no one.

So, there she was sipping her cafe mocha while the cheerleaders talked about clothing, makeup, boys. How they really felt about the SLP with all the scholarship students. How they "soooo" didn't understand why Rose was "soooo" into JD. On and on it went with Melissa only contributing to the conversation when she absolutely had to. Maybe, she could feign being ill, go to the girls' guest house and just be alone. She couldn't get in trouble for that, right?

Doug had been playing poker now for several hours. What started as a game of $2000 buy-in’s had quickly escalated and the buy-in's were now at "20,000. Many of the football players had opted out and were more interested in watching the high-stakes players play. Many but not all. No, there were seven left. Seven who, like Doug, were making crazy bids. Doug who had started out winning was now among the losing group and with every loss, he got further into the hole. Just one more hand and he could win it back, was the only thought running through his mind. Every time he lost, he would get a little angrier. He was dealt one more hand and that hand put him out of cash. He reached into his pocket and put his car keys on the table.

"No," The football player that was dealing said, "We all agreed, cash only."

"You know I'm good for it." Doug's anger coming more to the surface.

"Cash only," The dealer said.

Doug stood up and kicked the chair he had been sitting in. He went to flip the table but Carter, who had been out several hands ago, stepped in his way.

"Stop. Just go cool down and come back." Carter said.

Doug stormed off, slamming the door behind him.

Melissa had left the cheerleaders to get another drink. That's when she ran into one of the scholarship football players who was nice and not part of the poker group. Melissa didn't think that Doug was going to be outside for a while and not wanting to be rude so she said hello to the boy. Hello, was about all she managed to say.
Doug went outside in his anger to see Mel talking to another football player, one that Doug didn't particularly like, one that certainly wasn't on the list he had sent her. The entire day, everything that had happened flashed in his mind, and then all he could see was red. "Melissa, I need some air. You coming." It wasn't a question but to the untrained ear, it might have seemed that way. Melissa, however, knew it was a demand. She said goodbye to the football player and went off with Doug, feeling she had no other option.

Some time went by and Carter started to get a bad feeling. He wandered outside to find Doug and noticed that he couldn't find Doug or Melissa, this wasn't good. He wandered around a little but had no idea where they went. It was then he spotted Courtney walking back from the girls’ guest house.

Courtney had been having fun at the bonfire but the night air had started to grow a little chilly. She had gone back to the guest house to get a jacket and that's when she spotted Carter approaching her.

"Have you seen Melissa or Doug?" Carter asked, clearly concerned about something.

"No, I saw Melissa earlier with the cheerleaders but ...is something wrong?" Courtney asked.

"I...I can't look for them. Melissa wouldn't trust me anyway. But I think he took her someplace. He was really mad. He was mad earlier because of the show and at the poker game he lost a bunch of money." Carter sighed. "I know you'd have every right not to believe me but I'm telling you the truth."

Courtney did believe him but she understood him saying that considering he had been with Doug's entourage for a year. Still, there was something about the urgency in his voice and she wouldn't be looking for them alone. "I'll look for them." Was her response.

Carter nodded and headed back to the boys’ guest house.

Courtney looked near the bonfire on her own but it didn't take long for her to realize that they weren't there. She had to figure out where they had gone and had no idea where to look.

She also couldn't see Conner from where she was. Remembering the promise she made to Conner, earlier about not going alone and really needing his help she texted Conner:

She then quickly explained where to meet her. Looking around once more she spotted someone. He might be of help as well. A look of concern seemed etched on her face as she approached the boy. " Hey, Dante, have you seen Melissa or Doug, recently?"
"No?" He cocked an eyebrow. "I was down the beach. Talking with Jocelyn. Is something wrong?" He asked, "Do we need to go?" He questioned her.

" I was told he was angry. I think he took her someplace and she might be in danger." There wasn't time to explain why she was telling him this. She looked a little past him. "Wait here a sec?" Courtney ran over and talked to one of the cheerleaders. There was some pointing and the cheerleader shrugged before Courtney came back over. "She said she saw them go off on the trails."

Dante turned to Jocelyn, "Hey, I need to take care of this." Dante said, "Go find Nix, really tall girl green and blue hair." he explained, "Oh and..." he took off his glasses "Keep these safe, I can't afford for them to get broken." Dante then turned to Courtney, "Okay, we gotta go."

Conner was talking to Kaylee when his phone vibrated he pulled it out and took a look at it. Conner sighed "sorry to cut the conversation short but got to go deal with something. Hopefully, we can hang out later." he said with a smile. he walked off in a hurry.

Arriving at the place that Courtney specified. "Hey, what's going on." he asked Courtney.

Kaylee responded with a smile and said, "Sure." With the way he walked off, though, she hoped nothing was wrong.

Courtney noticed Conner arriving and quickly caught him up. "I think Doug took Mel someplace and I think she's in danger. I was told he was really angry when he left the poker game. They were seen going into the trails. Dante is going to help us." There wasn't time for much more. Questions could be asked later. "Let's go."

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