You make me wanna shut it all down, throw it all away,
Because I'm nothing if I don't have you
What's the point of being on top, all the money in the world
If I can't blow it all on you?
Chapter 16 – I Signed Up for the Personal Slave Department
“Now guys, as much as I’m so grateful that you’ve supported all my dumb plans, you should go,” I barked to Chuck, Reed, Ricky and Nathan who were wreaking havoc in the living room.
For three seconds, they quit throwing popcorn and jelly beans at each other to gape at me. Then they picked up where they left off. Sarah would probably come in a few minutes. And I needed the house just for the two of us.
“I said, you have to go!” I yelled at them. No response. “Okay, don’t mind me. I’d just… sit here and kill myself… or something.”
Nathan snorted with satisfaction and clicked his tongue. The boys froze like someone just pushed pause on an invisible dummy remote. Like a pack of dogs suddenly attentive for orders from the pack leader. Nate just loved that—having people on the palm of his hands and using them in his own little evil ways.
“This is my house too, you know,” he muttered with a sly grin.
“And we haven’t got any cash to hang out at Gil’s,” Chuck whined, lying on the floor and making invisible snow angels.
Reed just shrugged. “Plus, Mom would keep at us to get a job if we go home,” he said shuddering at the mention of the word job.
“And—“ Ricky started to say but I cut him off before he could rant away about his Grandma.
Sighing, I fished a key from my back pocket. I narrowed my eyes, throwing the key then catching it again. It seemed to catch my Nathan’s attention. I grinned lopsidedly. He wasn’t the only one who could manipulate people.
“The key to the basement,” I muttered.
Ricky just scratched his head, throwing looks at Reed and Chuck. They didn’t mind the curly-haired chess geek. They were busy drooling at the key. Which told me that Nathan already broadcasted what waited in the basement.
“You won’t,” Nathan snorted, sporting a casual smile. But with the way his eyes twitched, I could tell he was taking my bait.
“Oh, but I will,” I bluffed.
“Alright. That changes everything,” he replied, scooting up from his seat. “Give me it and you won’t hear a peep from us. You and Sarah can do whatever the hell chumps do. Alone.”
“Deal. First, clean up. In ten seconds.” I grinned. “Ten!”
“Dude! You can’t be serious!” Chuck whined as the rest of the boys scuttled to grab whatever they can and shove the trash in a trash bin.
“Nine! Eight!” I turned away. Sat comfortably on the sofa. Put my feet up on the coffee table. Humming a tune I made up in my head. Wow! A tune. Finally. I should do this blackmailing thing more. Maybe I’d make a whole album out of it!
Nathan was dying to get in the basement—A.K.A. my private recording studio, slash man-cave. Dad was not so keen on letting him loose on the equipment. And I knew he’d do anything to get a hold of my stuff. And unleash his wrath on them. Because he won’t settle scores with me fair and square. I must admit he was smart to not try. Whatta wimp!
Ricky passed by me with an armful of empty soda cans and a popcorn bag dangling from his mouth. Chuck and Reed were nudging each other to scoop up the popcorn from the floor. Or eat some.
“Five… Four… Three!”
“Oh, man! D’you really know how to count?” Reed asked, running across the room. He tripped on a soda can and disappeared skidding into the kitchen. Then we heard a loud bang and a series of metallic clattering.
Chuck shivered flinching. “Awesome, bro!” Then he turned to the rest of us, lowering his voice. “That has got to hurt.”
“I’m okay!” Reed shouted while staggering back to the living room. After three seconds, he dropped to the floor with a thud.
“Two… One… Time’s up.” I stood up and looked around. “Not bad,” I said, beaming at Nathan. He looked annoyed which was just precious! And Leon won this round! Nathan, zero. Staring intently at them, I pitched the key to Nathan. “Now, break anything and I mean anything, I dunno… My tongue might just slip a bit and who knows? Dad might have an idea who broke the coffee maker. You know how he loves his coffee.”
|Saoirse Ronan||as Sarah Littman/Nerdy|
|Logan Lerman||as Leon Walden/Nathan Walden|
|Dakota Fanning||as Becky Tyrone|
|Avan Jogia||as Matt Adams|
|Amy Adams||as Emma Littman|
|Gerard Butler||as Freddy Byrnes|
|Paul Walker||as Arthur Walden|
|Michael Cera||as Ricky Burns|
|Rachel Nichols||as Claire Downing|
|Selena Gomez||as Louella Cole|
|Cody Linley||as Chuck|
|William Moseley||as Reed|