Well, I know it's been way too long. I was in a funk for the last month and couldn't write ANYTHING! I hope you still want to know what happens. In this chapter, Destiny deals with her conflicting feelings about Matthew and Jack (sort of), Jack digs himself in a deeper hole and Matthew faces some of his past sins. Next chapter, Jack's past and his legal woes take front and center. I hope you enjoy.
The Plan – Chapter 15
"I don't know what you see in that guy." Matthew stated matter-of-factly as he grabbed a fry off of Destiny's plate. The two of them sat in the crowded cafeteria without Shane and Neela, who had snuck off for some alone time. With football playoffs approaching, the coach called the team in for a lunchtime meeting.
"That guy, as in my boyfriend, Jack?" Destiny smacked his hand as he reached for a second fry. "You know the one who was holding my hand and looking after me while you were going through?"
"He only did it so he could get in your pants." Matthew mumbled. He then began pushing a left over crust of bread around his plate with his fork. "Besides," his voice grew soft, "I've already apologized for that, Des." He never lifted his eyes from his plate.
"I know you have." Destiny placed her hand on Matthew's. She knew in her heart he was a good person and she felt bad for the hard time he was having. Still, she'd seen the toll Matthew's presence back at school was taking on Jack. So, she decided that she would have to start helping him get used to the idea that she and Jack were together now. "You're all wrong about Jack, though. He's been a perfect gentleman and the perfect boyfriend."
"Yeah, but he's not me." Matthew stared at her practically without blinking. "You know what we mean to each other Des."
Across the cafeteria, Jack's blood began to boil as he watched Destiny and Matthew alone at a table, practically holding hands. She must have felt him watching her because she quickly moved her hand from Matt's. Matters only got worse as Chase walked up beside him. Because Chase was just about Jack's height he could speak to Jack quietly without Jack needing to lean over to hear.
"Looks like the star-crossed lovers are going to be reuniting soon."
Jack knew Chase was referencing the play, Star-crossed Lovers, which Destiny and Matthew were cast in the year before and in which they first kissed. And yet, he knew that if he gave Chase even the slightest inkling that Matthew's proximity to Destiny bothered him, Chase would never let him live it down.
"They're friends. They have been forever. It's no big deal."
"Yeah, but if it's anything like before, their friendship comes with benefits."
"Whatever." Jack shrugged even though he hated what Chase was implying.
Chase began to laugh. "Oh my gosh, she never told you that she let Matthew hit it."
"Shut it, Chase or you won't be able to throw a pass for the rest of the playoffs. Besides, how do you know what Destiny was or wasn't doing with Matt? Are you just trying to start some stuff?"
"Calm down, Jacky. Taylor told me. She aid Matthew told her himself. Besides, as long as you are keeping Destiny satisfied. You've got nothing to worry about."
Jack gave Chase a disgusted look and then he stormed over to the table where Matthew and Destiny were sitting. "Destiny, I need to talk to you. Now."
"Oh look, it's Prince Charming," Matthew snarked at Jack's arrival.
"Why don't you shut it, Buchanan?" Jack's voice was loud enough for the cafeteria to hear. It was bad enough Matthew's mouth had people talking about Destiny behind her back.
"Why don't you make me?" Matthew's voice matched Jack's in intensity as he stood up.
"Stop it!" Destiny yelled. She looked at Jack first then to Matthew. Jack rolled his eyes as Shane walked up. He suspected that Shane was thrilled that Matthew was going to take his girl. It wasn't fair. Destiny was all he had.
"I can't believe you're taking his side." Jack yelled. This time he directed his anger at Destiny. "Do you even know who you are defending?"
"I'm not taking his side. And you need to calm down." Destiny snapped back at Jack. When she saw the smirk on Matthew's face, she lowered her voice. "We need to go."
Destiny grabbed Jack by the hand and pulled him toward the door of the cafeteria. She dragged him into the first empty classroom she saw. "What is your problem?" She said each word sharply as if it was it's own sentence.
"My problem is my girlfriend was sitting in the cafeteria practically making out with her ex-boyfriend."
"I was not!" Destiny was so angry that she felt the water begin to rise to the brims of her eyelids.
"So you weren't holding hands just before I got there?"
"No Jack, we weren't. I touched his hand because I was telling him something he didn't want to hear."
"Like how much you mean to me. And how you are the perfect boyfriend…you didn't exactly help my credibility with that little performance you just gave."
"Tell me what I'm supposed to do Destiny. Everything has changed since Matthew's been back. He's always around. And people are talking about how you and Matthew…"
"How me and Matthew what?" Destiny arched her eyebrow defensively.
And though Destiny looked angry, he knew she would be horrified if she knew people were talking about how she and Matthew hooked up before he was gone. So, he decided not to tell her. "They're always talking about how you guys belong together."
"Stop listening to other people!" She practically yelled. "Listen to me when I tell you how much you mean to me."
"You can say that as much as you want, but how am I supposed to feel when I see you all over him."
"I wasn't all over him, JJ. " Destiny took Jack's hands in hers. "I'm just trying to be his friend."
Jack pulled his hands away. "Yeah well, with the playoffs and court, maybe you need to focus a little more on being my girlfriend." He stormed out of the classroom and slammed the door behind him.
That evening, Dani stopped by Destiny's house. When she arrived in Destiny's bedroom she found her sitting on her bed in tears.
"Des, what's wrong? Did Jack do something to make you cry?"
Destiny wiped the tears from her eyes. "Can I talk to you as my best friend and not Jack's sister?"
"Of course, Des. What's going on?"
"Jack and I had a huge argument. He's jealous of my friendship with Matthew. "
"Does he have reason to be?"
Destiny twisted her mouth into a frown. "Of course not. Matthew and I are friends. Very good friends who have been through a lot together. I can't walk away from him after all he's been through."
Dani stared at Destiny for a minute without speaking. "Des, how would you feel if Jack decided that he needed to help an ex-girlfriend get used to Llanview High and the whole time he was showing her around everyone talked about their history?"
"People are talking about me and Matthew?"
"Duh, this is high school." Dani shook her head to illustrate her disgust with teenaged gossip. "Of course Jack is going to be upset."
"I thought you were talking to me as my best friend." Destiny sighed. She pulled her legs in tightly to her body and wrapped her arms around her knees.
"I am. And I'm on your side. I heard about Jack's little temper tantrum. I totally expected to come in and blast Jack's behavior. " Dani joined her on the bed. "But Des, I've been where Jack was. I heard whispers about you and Matt when I started dating him and it's part of the reason I ran straight to Nate. " Dani touched her friend's hand. "It's a good thing I did because you and Matt got together a year later."
"And it was a train wreck. I didn't like myself very much when Matthew and I were together. I did things that I talked smack about other girls for doing. But with Jack, things are great…at least they were great…"
"Until Matthew came back?"
"Yes and I feel like I'm being pulled apart. I've been honest with Matthew about what Jack means to me. And I told Jack what I said, but he's still mad at me."
"Maybe instead of telling Jack, you need to show him."
"Dani," Destiny blushed, "Jack and I are not ready to have sex."
"Ew," Dani shook off an imaginary chill. "That's not what I meant. And if you ever decide you are ready to have sex with my brother, please think of me as Jack's sister and not your bestie, ok?"
Destiny chuckled. "Ok, so what do you mean?"
"I mean before Matthew came back, you and Jack held hands all of the time. You even kissed him in public."
"It's weird kissing Jack in front of Matthew." Destiny sighed. Still, as she looked at Dani, she remembered that Matthew had no problem kissing Dani in front of her.
"Why? Is it because you still have feelings for Matthew?"
Destiny let her feet drop to the floor and she began to pace. "Dani, don't you get it? Matthew's been through so much. The last few months of it, when he was confined, are completely my fault."
"Des, that's not true."
"It doesn't matter. Besides why should I rub the way I feel about Jack in Matthew's face when I've already told him how I feel about Jack?"
"Because for the first time since I've known you, maybe you need to be more concerned about what you need than what Matthew you needs. If Matthew is truly your friend, he is going to accept and respect your choices…just like you've always done for him."
Destiny fell backward on her bed. "When did life get so complicated?"
After football practice, Jack went straight to the health club. He put on some boxing gloves and immediately went to the heavy bag, where he imagined Matthew's face every time he punched. Buchanan was the last thing he needed with the upcoming court proceedings. So, he decided to take it out on the bag,
"Great." Shane's voice came from somewhere behind him. He turned and saw Shane looking at him with great disgust.
"As if my day wasn't bad enough," Jack muttered to himself. "What do you want Morasco? You want to gloat about your cousin Matthew coming back and stealing Destiny from me?"
Shane smirked. "As much as I wish that was possible, no. I'm here to ask you to not let Matthew coming back turn you into the jerk you were before he left." Jack stared at Shane blankly. So, Jack continued on, "Look, I don't expect us to be friends…I don't even want us to be. But you were decent before and you made Destiny happy. So try not to blow it and make me sorry that I even gave you half a chance or that I'm considering telling the judge to go easy on you."
Jack watched as Shane walked away. He was stunned at Shane's words. Part of him knew he should be grateful, but ever since Chance taunted him in the cafeteria, he couldn't get the idea of Matthew and Destiny out of his head. He tried to think things through. Something was off. How did Chance know about Matthew and Destiny sleeping together before Matthew was busted? Although Matthew had loudmouthed his sister's personal business in front of a gym full of people, he knew what Matthew felt for Destiny ran deeper. He doubted that he would tell just anyone that they were sleeping together. And then…it hit him.
The next morning in school, Jack practically raced to find Matthew. He tapped him on the shoulder and greeted him.
"What do you want, Jack?"
"To tell you to stay away from my girlfriend." Jack took a step closer to Matthew.
"Or what?" Matthew stared at him without backing away.
Jack lowered his voice, but kept his eyes fixed on Matthew. "Or else I'll tell her that you were sleeping with Taylor the whole time the two of you were together. " It was just a well-formulated guess on Jack's part. Taylor was the only way Chase could have known about Matthew and Des. The dumbfounded look on Matthew's face convinced him he was right. "Aren't you going to deny it?"
"Why should I? And why should I care if you tell her? Des knows I was in a really bad place before and she's forgiven me."
"Really? So, you've told her about you and Taylor? And she knows that because of what you told Taylor when you were screwing around with her, Chase is now telling anyone who will listen that Des was sleeping with you."
"Yeah. You proud of yourself?"
"No, I never meant for Destiny to get hurt."
"Then leave her alone." Jack said softly. "You and I both know that if I tell her what you did; not only will you lose any hope of ever getting her back, she'll never talk to you again."
Jack was staring so hard at Matthew that he didn't hear Destiny approach.
"Jack, Matthew, what are the two of you talking about?"
Jack shoved his hands in his pockets and continued to stare at Matthew. "Well Matthew, are you going to tell her or should I?"