CHAPTER SEVEN: MAKING A DEAL

"You did a SPLAT vote without me? That's not fair, I haven't been able to put my opinion on things forward!"

"We conducted one, yes, and Ingrid, we all know your opinion. But you have to come, we all support one another. She's our friend."

"Not at the moment. I don't want to speak to any of you. You were all rude to me yesterday and I bet when Dinah got news about the competition, she went all weird cause the competition is related to that stupid Octopus!"

At her words, Lloyd's expression shifted to one of uncertainty. "Well, she did go a bit crazy when she received the invite. She needed a new computer, one of those Salamanders, and she was nagging Mum to buy a new one."

"Dinah doesn't nag." Ingrid pointed out.

"I know, and those computers cost a lot."

"How much?"

"About a grand."

"Jesus. Never realised how much of a spoilt little brat she was, begging her Mum for an expensive computer for a crappy competition."

"She's not a brat!" Lloyd was back to glaring. "Mum's buying her the computer and we are all going. Dinah never drags us to any of the stuff she wants to do, so I feel like we all owe her a favour. You know I'm speaking the truth."

"She likes going to museums on her own! And I don't want to go! I hate the Octopus game! You three can go and support her, I'll stay home and do my own thing."

"Stay home and wait for Harvey?"

"No," She glowered at him. "I do have independence, you know. I don't need a boy hanging off of my arm all the time."

"So, come!"

"No!"

"Ingrid, I'm ordering you to come with us! SPLAT have decided!"

"NO! I SAID NO, ARE YOU DEAF?! GET IT INTO YOUR THICK SKULL! I AM NOT GOING!"

"Yes, you are! Stop being spiteful and support your friend!"

"NO! I'M GOING TO FEEL LIKE AN OUTCAST CAUSE YOU'LL ALL BE WORSHIPPING THE OCTOPUS! COUNT ME OUT!"

Lloyd stepped over the threshold, and no matter how much Ingrid tried to keep him out by using the front door against him, he was stronger and managed to slip past the youngest member of SPLAT. Waiting for Ingrid to slam the front door shut in defeat, he snapped:

"Friends are meant to stick together! We apologise if your feelings were hurt, but you were mocking the game we like to play! Maybe we were both cruel, but you're being ungrateful! You need to support Dinah!"

"I AM! FROM HOME! I'M NOT COMING AND THAT'S FINAL!"

"What the hell is that racket?!" Mr and Mrs Smith appeared in the hallway, faces red from the heat of the oven.

"Nothing Daddy, Lloyd was just leaving." Ingrid gave Lloyd a pointed look. "Weren't you?"

"Erm…" Lloyd's face flamed in humiliation. He hated feeling uneasy, particularly around adults. "If you want me too. Sorry I interrupted your evening, Mr and Mrs Smith."

"I think it's best that you go. You've upset Ingrid."

Lloyd was not used to seeing Mr Smith in a bad mood. He was so laid back and chilled, even more so than his own father, that it was a real shock for Lloyd to see him act all protective. Then again, he had barged into the house and had a row with the man's daughter, so he could understand his stance on the situation.

"Daddy, Lloyd's trying to make me to go to London, because Dinah's won a competition."

Mr Smith frowned. "I don't see the issue?"

"Russ, it's to do with that damn Octopus game."

"Oh shit yeah." He smiled at his daughter. "You don't have to go if you don't want to. You can wish Dinah good luck before she goes off."

"Exactly!" As she beamed in happiness, Lloyd was mentally marking down where Ingrid's potty mouth stemmed from when he found himself the centre of attention once again.

"So you're definitely not going?"

"Nope." Ingrid flapped her hand at him. "Now go, I'm starving and we gotta finish off dinner."

"Fine," He sighed and turned towards the door. "Shame as Harvey would have gone if he was here. He might hate the Octopus game as well, but I know that he's selfless enough to come along and give his support, even if he did hate the game. I think he would be disappointed that you weren't actually coming with us. But it's your choice."

"My daughter is selfless. Arrogant kid you are, assuming things you don't know."

"Amelia, we're all worked up over this. Lets calm down and finish off dinner."

"Alright, but that remark pissed me off."

Her parents were making their way back to the kitchen when Ingrid piped up:

"I'll go."

Mr and Mrs Smith turned back to their daughter with shock sprawled across their faces, Lloyd turning back with joy in his eyes.

"Really?"

"Yeah." She shrugged. "I'm going cause you're right. Only about Harv-Harv lending his support if he was in my position. So I'll do it for him."

"Thanks, Ingrid!"

Lloyd punched her shoulder, grinning. Ingrid rolled her eyes, before smiling sweetly.

"But I'm allowed to go to the arcade when we're in London though, that's my side of the bargain!"