Bettina was walking to class when she saw one of the seniors shove that same Sophmore into the lockers. She stomped over, unafraid of what might happen to her. In her mind the people that just walked by and never helped this kid were just as bad as the bullys themselves. She thought even less of the teachers that never bothered to step in. “Leave him alone!” She said in a demanding tone to the boys. “This is none of your business bitch, get to class”
“I will not pretend this isn’t happening. Let him go you assholes.” The man pinned to the lockers by his throat said “Please, don’t get hurt because of me. Please” He seemed almost desperate for her to move on but she wouldn’t “No, I’m not leaving you to endure this. I’d be just as guilty as them.” She barely got to finish her words when the largest senior grabbed a handful of hair and slammed her into the lockers.
Her head throbbed and she could have sworn she heard the growl of a majorly pissed off dog. She wondered if it was maybe the fault of her head being slammed into somthing, that couldn’t have been what she heard but suddenly the defenseless Sophmore she had heard so much about was kicking the other boys tails easily. She wondered if she was hallucinating. He always took their crap and now he was handing them their asses for hurting her.
“Are you alright?” The question was spoken softly, the voice full of concern as she was helped to her feet. She didn’t remember falling. She looked up into the Sophmore’s eyes.
“Yes of course, are you alright?” She stepped away from him and looked around. The boys were gone, having run away.
“I’m fine, my name’s Rikkert.”
“Oh, I’m Bettina. Why didn’t you do that earlier?”
“I didn’t want to hurt anyone.”
“There’s nothing wrong with defending yourself. My head really hurts, those assholes.” She rubbed the side of her head with a frown on her face.
“Lets get you to the nurse’s office.”
“I’m fine, I can handle a little headache.”
“Please, you got involved because of me.”
Basile was alerted to the fact something had happened to Bettina when a girl from her class came running up to him, a worried look on her face. His heart nearly stopped when he was told she was hurt and had been seen being taken to the nurses office. He slammed his locker closed and rushed down the hall, not caring if he got yelled at or was late for class. He slid to a stop in front of the nurse’s office, relieved when he saw Bettina wasn’t seriously injured. “Bettina, are you alright?” He was next to her in an instant, taking her hands in his as he dropped down next to her.
“I’m fine, I only came because Rikkert insisted. I can’t believe how easily he whipped their butts since he’s always taking crap. I bet they wont mess with him now”
“where is he?”
“Nurse made him go to class.”
‘I’ll have to thank him” she smiled “you silly boys. I was fine”
“You sure, maybe you should go home?” The nurse giggled “Basile she’s fine, she can go home if she wants but once that headache medicine kicks in she can stay”
“I’m staying” she turned her attention back to Basile “still coming over after school?’
“Of course, who are you going to lose against in video games if I dont come?”
“Oh please” The nurse let them joke around a few moments before saying Bettina could go. She gave Basile a note so he wouldn’t get in trouble for walking Bettina to History and being late. “thanks Mrs Benson”
‘No problem sweetheart” she said as the teens left.
“Are you sure you’re alright?” He asked once they got to her class.
“Yes Basile, I promise.”
“So who hurt you?”
She smiled warmly at him. “You know I’m not going to tell, I don’t need you getting in trouble.”
She kissed his cheek and ran into the classroom, leaving him standing there speechless and blushing. When he finally snapped back to his senses he walked to class. He could still feel her lips against his cheek as he handed his teacher the nurses note and took his seat. Time always seemed to stop when she kissed him. “Basile, pay attention before you get yelled at.” The kid next to him said and he blinked, bringing everything back into focus. He had not realized his teacher was talking.
When lunch came around he listened to the conversations going on around him to see if he could somhow hear about who had been picking on Rikkert again so he’d know who hurt Bettina but sadly if anybody was talking about it none of the chat reached his ears. When leaving the lunch room he decided it was for the best anyway since Bettina would scold him for fighting when there wasn’t a reason to. For him there was a reason but to her it would be no reason at all.
When all classes were done he excitedly walked out to where he would wait with Bettina to be picked up by one of her parents. It was always whichever one of them wasn’t doing somthing at the time. Bettina flashed him a jaw dropping smile when he ran up before saying “I’ve got English homework. Shouldn’t take me long though”
“Okay, I’ll help you if you need it so we can get to gaming sooner. How’d the rest of your day go?”
“Uneventful, I hope yours was the same”
“Good, I don’t want you fighting”
“I hate seeing you hurt Bettina, I should have been there to protect you.”
“You can’t be everywhere at once silly and besides, Rikkert fought them off.”
He didn’t know why he felt jealous over Rikkert, especially when he had defended Bettina. “I still need to thank him.”
She smiled and rested her head on his shoulder. “You are the sweetest man in the world Basile.”
He blushed and stayed silent, just soaking in her warmth and beauty. He could stay like this forever and would have, but Max pulled up. Bettina ran to the car and he followed, climbing into the back seat while she she got in next to her dad. “How’s your head?” Max asked.
“Ah, Aldo told you?”
“Of course he did, he’s your brother and worries about you when you get hurt. I’m sure he’ll take care of them at football practice.”
“You men and thinking you have to take care of us women.”
“One, I will always think I have to take care of you and two, you will always be my little girl.”
“See, it’s not just me and Rikkert, your dad and Aldo feel the same way.” Basile chimed in.
“Hey, I wonder if we should invite him over some time to game with us.”
“How? We’re already leaving school” Basile answered then Bettina said “He gave me his number before going to class”
“oh” Basile said, a little jealousy flaring again. Bettina unlocked her cellphone and texted the number Rikkert gave her. They were at the second to last stop light before they arrived home when he said he’d be there after he did his homework. Bettina told her father and Basile so her father assured her they’d make enough dinner for Rikkert aswell if he was interested in eating with them. Bettina told Rikkert he was welcome for dinner then slid her phone in her pocket.
Inside Basile helped Bettina quickly do her homework before they went to her room to play while waiting for Rikkert to arrive. Rikkert was welcomed by Penelop when he arrived, wrapped in a tight hug which surprised him since this was their first meeting. “thanks for sticking up for my daughter” she said as she let him go “well she stood up for me first”
“Bettina is just like my Penny.” Max said as he came up behind his wife and wrapped his arms around her waist. He kissed her cheek and she smiled lovingly up at him.
“Sir, if you don’t mind me asking, what happened to your eye?”
Max gave him a confused look. “I have no idea what you’re talking about?”
“Oh, sorry, it’s just…”
Max cracked a smile, looking very amused. “I was just kidding, I was in a car accident a long time ago.”
“Why don’t you go on upstairs to Bettina’s room. She and Basile are up there playing games. I’m sure you’ll hear them once you’re up there.” Penelope said, giving him another warm smile.
“Bettina why do you always win?” Basile asked, feeling a bit exasperated.
“Because you never pay attention. Half the time you’re looking at me.”
His face warmed and his heart gave a little flip. “I’m probably just marveling at how goofy you look.”
She laughed and elbowed him in the ribs. “Me, what about you? I mean look at that silly face you’re making.”
He laughed happily until Rikkert lightly knocked on the door as he entered “hey guys” Bettina got up and hugged him “thanks again”
“I avoid fighting at all costs unless jackasses involve women. Pissed me off is all. It wasn’t anything big”
“Men, I’m hoping my brother doesnt kill anybody over it”
“When I was still at school I heard he was going ot do somthing about it after practice today.” she sighed ‘good god, I got slammed into a locker once, not maimed” He gave her a humorous smile “be happy you have people who love you. Not everyone is as lucky as you are” Basile sat on the bed awkwardly as this exchange was going on. he didn’t know what to add and honestly wished it was just him and Bettina. He realized he would be a massive asshole though if he told the guy who stuck up for Bettina to leave them alone right after he thanked him. When Rikkert came over to sit down Basile said ‘thanks”
“so why do you never defend yourself when you fight that well?”
‘Family secret” he winked as he said it. It wasn’t a lie, just not the whole detailed truth of the matter.
“Nothing that’s going to get Bettina hurt I hope?”
“No, nothing like that.”
“Then I won’t pry.”
“Do you want to play this game or something else?” Bettina asked as she sat down between them.
“What all do you have?”
“Look in my bottom drawer, pick whatever you like. We can all take turns if it’s a single player game.”
Rikkert went to her chest of drawers and pulled the bottom drawer open and Bettina rested her head on Basile shoulder while they waited. “You two be friends okay?” She said under her breath.
“We will be, I promise. Besides, he kept you safe, that means a lot to me.”
She smiled and tilted her head back to kiss his cheek. His heart did a little flip and he felt his face reddening. “You look like a tomato.” She teased. “You would think after all these years a kiss on the cheek wouldn’t make you so red in the face.”
“I can’t help it, your kisses are special. They’re magic.”
She giggled. “Ah yes, the magic to make boys embarrassed.”
He smiled mirthfully until Rikkert selected a game for them to play. When Aldo came home Penelope and Max looked at him. “asshole wont be touching my sister again. Is she okay?’
“She’s fine and is probably going to fuss at you for taking care of him”
“I don’t care, hes a bastard in general” He went to his room, obviously still upset. Bettina saw him walk past hers “I’ll be right back boys” she said as she got up and left Rikkert and Basile. He slammed his door shut before she could make it so she knocked “Aldo?”
“Come in” She opened the door “you didn’t did you?’
“I did and I don’t care what you say about it. You’re my sister and I’m going to stick up for you no matter what you want. He’s a jerk and even if not just for you he torments everybody. If today sank in he wont be messing with anybody anymore, especially not you” she sighed and walked over to hug him “thank you”
“thank you? Really?”
“I don’t really approve but I know you did that with love in your heart for me. He is a jerk to most everyone anyway.”
“You’re sure your fine?”
“It was a locker, not king kongs fist”
“It doesn’t matter Bettina, no one touches you like that. Hitting a woman is never okay. The only reason Basile didn’t go after them is because I’m sure you refused to tell him.”
“You should just let him protect you.”
She tussled his hair. “I don’t want him fighting.”
“Guys feel helpless when they can’t help the ones they love, so just let him help.”
“I’m not a baby you know?”
“Never said you were, but even the strongest people need help sometimes. Stop being so stubborn.”
“I’ll consider it.”
“Good, now get, I’m sure Basile and that kid Rikkert are waiting for you.”
She left his room and smiled when she stepped back into her room at the sight of Basile and Rikkert playing All Zombies Must Die. Basile noticed her and looked away from the TV and smiled. “Want to jump in with us? You can be Rachel or Luxo.”
She smiled cheerfully then jumped on her bed to play. “dinner” her mother Penelope called much too soon. Ghislain and Rainer seemed to developed super human speed as always and rushed past her room. “I didn’t know you had more siblings?” Rikkert said and Bettina answered as they went to the table “they are still in middle school, thats why. You never see them in my parents car when they come to get me because they prefer to ride the bus so they can talk to their friends.” At the table Bettina introduced everybody before they had prayer and ate.
“We heard you kicked the crap out of the kid who hurt our sister.” Rainer said.
“I only hit him a couple of times. Your brother is the one who really did the ass kicking. Pardon my language.” Rikkert replied.
“Everybody cusses, don’t worry about it.” Max said.
“What did you do to him anyway?” Ghislain asked Aldo.
“A little of this and a little of that. I know he’ll be treating people with respect from now on, especially you Bettina.”
“What would I do without you?” Bettina said.
“Probably be really bored. You need a twin to keep you on your toes.”
“They say twins share a very special connection.” Rikkert chimed in.
“I would have to say that statement is true. When Bettina and Basile were kidnapped, Aldo broke down. All he wanted was his sister back.” Penelope replied.
“Kidnapped?” Rikkert asked. Max filled him in while they ate. “wow” he said when Max was done talking about it. “are we going to see a lot of you now Rikkert?” Rainer asked. “Yep, he’s my friend now” Bettina answered. After dinner Rikkert and Basile hugged Bettina then left with Max so he could take them home. In the car Rikkert texted somthing on his phone and handed it to Basile. It read “Don’t worry, I’m not after Bettina. I can tell how much you love her. I’m really just going to be her friend” Basile handed the phone back and nodded with a smile.
Basile felt a little bad his feelings had been so obvious to Rikkert. He had been so nice and yet he had made Rikkert feel the need to let him know he wasn’t going after Bettina. Basile got out of bed and opened his laptop to find Rikkert on facebook. It was easy since they had mutual friends. Basile sent a friend request along with a message “If I came off as disliking you I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be a jerk. I really am glad you protected Bettina and that we’re going to be hanging out” With that he closed his laptop then slid back into his bed.
Bettina was woke in the morning by her brother as usual. She stretched, smiling happily. She dressed quickly and hurried downstairs for breakfast. Everyone seemed like they were in a good mood, easily putting the previous day behind them. It had been dealt with and they didn’t want to dwell on it any longer. Max drove Bettina and Aldo to school while the twins took the bus and she was delighted to see that both Basile and Rikkert were waiting for her. They were talking and she was almost afraid to get out of the car and break up their conversation. She was so happy they seemed to be bonding. Basile looked up, noticing her and smiling. Her heart flipped and she felt butterflies brush her insides. “By daddy.” She said as she got out and went to him.
“Morning Bettina.” He said.
“Good morning Basile and you too Rikkert. What were you two talking about so animatedly?”
“Which we like more between Far Cry 3 and Dead Island.” Rikkert answered.
“And what did you decide?”
“Far Cry 3 is far more superior.”
“Good call.” She hooked an arm into each of theirs and they walked up the front steps together. Basile had not only been talking about video games with Rikkert, but also his insistence that he just tell Bettina how he felt. After a brief argument about why that was a bad idea he had sworn Rikkert to secrecy then they had fallen into a conversation about video games. His heart had nearly exploded out of his chest when he realized Bettina was watching them.
In his first class his mind was on talking to Bettina. He had afterall promised himself he would ask her out before he graduated and that was only months away. “Basile!” the teacher yelled and he looked at her “stop day dreaming and pay attention”
“Sorry Mrs Bear” At lunch Basile was surprised when Rikkert came over to sit with him “yeah, I was surprised when i was able to find you in the lunchroom too. Cant believe we’ve had lunch together all this time. You look deep in thought”
“Thinking about what you said and the promise I made to myself that I’d tell Bettina how I felt before I graduated”
“well damn man that isnt far off”
“then you need to tell her, you’re a man of your word right?”
“oh hush and eat your lunch’ Rikkert shook his head “come outside with me so I cna talk to you about somthing. You have to keep an open mind though” Basile gave him an odd look adn Rikkert smiled “just come on” Basile stood with his tray and followed Rikkert outside until they found a place they could eat alone “so?” Basile asked. “Do you believe in like ghosts and stuff like that? I mean, do you have an open mind?”
“well, you might think I’m crazy but I’m a wolf shapeshifter” Basiles face asked the question “did I just hear you right?” so Rikkert said “yes, I am a wolf so I have high senses. Its how even though you were nice yesterday I knew you didn’t like the thought of another suitor around Bettina. Hell I’d show you if we werent at school. I am trusting you’ll be discreet with this information”
“well, saying I do believe that why tell me?”
“she loves you too. Just as I can sense you love her I know she loves you. Stop wasting time and ask her out”
‘if she says yes I’ll believe your story”
“fair enoughm just ask her soon. When are you going to see her again?”
“I’ll call her parents real quick and see if I can come over after school” he quickly dialed Penelope who gave him permission. “First step taken care of, I can see her today”
“Message me on facebook and tell me how it goes”
By the end of the day he was so nervous he kept glancing at the clock. He missed most of what his teacher said, but it was just a review for their economics class and he was sure he would get a good grade. When the bell rang he grabbed his things and ran to his locker. He put everything away and then went out to meet Bettina. She gave him that heart stopping smile and he felt himself blush. “You coming home with me again?” She asked.
“Yes, we need to talk about something important.”
“That doesn’t sound good.”
“No, it’s really good actually, I promise.” He knew he was talking to fast, but he was so nervous. His face was red and his heart was beating in overdrive.
“Are you sure, because you’re as red a cherry.”
“I’m very sure.”
She talked to him about her classes because she knew it would be too awkward to wait in silence with a big talk looming over their heads. When her dad pulled up she was relieved to be that much closer to discussing whatever he needed to talk about with her. Upon arriving they went straight to her room “so, um, what is it?” Bettina asked. He had gone fully red again. He wasn’t sure how he wanted to say it so just decided to talk and hope it came out right. “I promised myself I was going to tell you this before I graduated and now Rikkert has kind of nudged me so I cant keep it to myself any longer Bettina. I, well..what I’m trying to say is I love you. Its honestly insane how much I love you. I want to be more than your friend. I cant go away to college worrying some guy is going to take you from me”
Bettina glomped him “God I thought you’d never ask! Of course, I love you too knuckle head” He held her, his body filling with happiness. “you’re going to have to skype me every day after school when I go”
“Thats months away”
“still, I think about it so much”
“worrying doesnt change anything and nobody is going to take me from you. I love you so much Basile” He sighed with relief before lifting her chin and planting a soft kiss on her lips. His eyes were warm when they opened and it caused her to flush. “dont look at me like that” she said when he began to struggle not to chuckle. “you’re going to have to get used to it Bettina. i cant help it. I love you and I dont have to hide it now”
“You didnt have to hide it before goofball”
“I didnt know that monkey brains”
“hawk nose” Bettina heard her younger twin siblings laughing “shut up you two!” she yelled.
“We were just watching something funny.” Ghislain yelled back.
They laughed again and Bettina started to pull out of Basile’s arms to go give them an earful, but he pulled her tighter against him, laughing himself. “You’re pretty cute when you get all flustered.” He said, looking down at her adoringly.
“Well you’re pretty cute when your face turns all red when I kiss you.” She kissed the tip of his nose and he immediately started to blush. He planted another kiss on her lips and they only broke apart when they heard tapping on their door. Penelope pushed the door open and covered her mouth to keep from laughing.
“My goodness you too look like you just got caught stealing. I take it he finally asked you out?”
“Well, if you’re done smooching I made cookies.”
“Thank you mom, we’ll be down in a second.”
Penelope left and Bettina smiled up at Basile “I really do love you goofball”
“I love you too Bettina. We’ll make the distance work while I’m at college”
“I know we will. I’m not worried in the slightest.” He smiled and kissed her one more time before they walked out to enjoy cookies with her family. All he could think about was how happy he was he finally asked her out and how amazing their future would be.
~ The End ~