#Chapter 34: Tournament — Part I
I watched Nina walk away with a frown on my face.
Just a couple of days ago, it seemed like everything was going to be fine. She seemed to really want me at the party, and we even started to have sex — but I’ve hardly been able to get her to talk to me for more than thirty seconds since then.
A few moments after Nina walked away, I saw Luke trailing behind her from a distance. He saw me sitting on my motorcycle and came over.
“What’s going on with her?” I asked, nodding my head toward Nina as she disappeared down the street.
Luke shrugged. “I dunno. She met up with someone at the coffee shop just now .
#Chapter 34, Tournament-Parti
“Who was it?” I asked.
Luke shrugged again. “I didn’t get a good look since she made me wait across the street, but when she told me she was meeting someone she did refer to them as ‘he’. Said she met him on the internet.”
I felt a pang in my chest as I realized what Luke was saying.
Was Nina going on dates with guys she met on a dating app? She had seemed flushed and nervous when I ran into her in the quad yesterday — had she just been on a date? Even though we weren’t technically together, it still hurt me immensely to think about her being with someone else.
Maybe it was revenge for kissing Lisa, in which case I would have to talk to her tonight and set things straight. I wasn’t going to go around any longer and let Nina think that I would ever #Chapter 34 Tournament Part
choose Lisa over her. Eventually I’d have to finally put my foot down with Lisa as well, because she also seemed to be under the impression that we were going to get back together after I saved her.
But first, I would put on my best show at the hockey game to show Nina that I was superior to whatever strange men she was meeting on the internet. After the game, she would be mine.
Later that night, as I was getting ready with the team in the locker room, I was hyping myself up internally to play harder than ever. Nina was here on shift with Tiffany in case there were any injuries, so I knew she’d be watching closely from the sidelines.
While I got ready, Justin walked behind
me and caught my gaze in the mirror. I
narrowed my eyes at him and turned arround.
achapter 34 Tournament Port/
“Staying out of trouble?” I asked.
He nodded, avoiding my eyes.
“Good,” I said, slapping him hard on the shoulder. “Keep it that way.”
I turned to walk away, but Justin called
“I know you fucked her on Saturday
I slowly turned back around to face him, feeling Fio start to growl inside of me. I quieted Fio, calming myself at the same time, before I answered Justin.
“And what of it?” I asked. “You guys
Justin looked more hurt than angry. “] know we’re not together anymore,” he said, “but it’s still pretty fucked up that you fucked her last night.”
I walked toward Justin, my fists curled
up at my sides. “You should’ve thought about that before you threw away a really amazing girl,” I growled, glaring at him. The rest of the team had grown quiet by now and were standing nearby, watching. “She deserves better than you.”
Someone on the team cleared their throat abruptly to get my attention. I turned around to face whoever it was; it was Matt, and he was cringing and pointing subtly at the locker room door.
Nina was standing in the doorway holding a clipboard.
Had she heard everything?
“Um,” she said sheepishly, looking at the floor and pushing her glasses up on her nose, “I just wanted to check in to make sure that no one needs anything before the game.”
The rest of the team shook their heads
like a flock of stupid sheep, and before I Chapter 34 Tournament Parti
had a chance to ask her to talk in private, she slipped back out of the locker room.
I turned back toward Justin. His eyes were red, but he didn’t say anything else or instigate a fight.
“Alright,” I said, addressing the whole team now as I heard the announcer start talking in the arena. “Let’s play like hell tonight.”
Despite my argument with Justin in the locker room, we did all play like hell. Throughout the entire game, only two things were on my mind: the puck and Nina. I kept her in my peripherals at all times as I gave my all. That night, I skated faster and harder than I ever had in my entire hockey career. I even
took some of Fio’s strength to perform
some difficult tricks, which caused the
crowd to erupt in cheers.
I didn’t care about the crowd, though. Every time I accomplished a great feat #Chapter 34 1ournament Part)
during the game, my eyes only went to Nina. I just wished I could read the expression on her face, because I couldn’t tell whether she was amazed, afraid, or angry. Never in my life had I seen someone with such an impressive poker face.
The game was an easy win with all of my extra effort. The other team skated off of the rink in shame while my team pumped their fists at the crowd and the cheerleaders went wild. I started to skate toward Nina, but as soon as I stepped off the rink, Lisa came barreling toward me and threw her arms around my neck, jumping up and wrapping her legs around me like a parasite.
“Babe! You played so well!” she yelled, loud enough for everyone in the vicinity to hear. I could tell that there was a tone to it that intended to hurt Nina.
Before I was able to pry Lisa off of me, I saw Nina dip into the crowd as people started to filter out. I had to go after her.
“Get the fuck off of me, Lisa!” 1 shouted, yanking her off and putting her on the ground. “We’re not together. Stop calling me babe, and stop clinging to me like a monkey.”
Lisa’s face turned red and tears welled up in her eyes. With a hmph, she stormed off to go be with the other cheerleaders, who took her in like a sad orphan and glared at me while they comforted her, but I only cared about finding Nina.
I scanned the crowd, thankful for my height as I quickly spotted Nina’s black braids bobbing away, and went after her.
“Nina!” I called, but she didn’t hear me over the crowd. “Nina! Wait!”
She didn’t turn around. In fact, it
seemed that she was headed toward
someone entirely different altogether.
Standing near the doorway was a tall, lanky guy in a sweater vest. He had a leather satchel on his shoulder and was smiling at Nina, who walked right up to him. I stopped in my tracks and watched as he said something to her, gesturing out the door with his thumb, then the worst scenario I could have
She left with him.
I felt a mixture of rage and heartbreak wash over me. Was this the guy she was seeing? Were they going somewhere to be alone together?
At that moment, my team rushed up to me and jumped on me, excited from our landslide victory while Nina and that guy disappeared before I could run to her.
I couldn’t bear to see Nina with anyone else. I had to win her back, but how?
Just then, as I caught a glimpse of Lisa glaring at me from the sidelines, I had an idea that could test Nina’s affection for me.
I could make her jealous by pretending to get with other girls.
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