Even If.

"You'd love me? Even if it's not you who I choose?" I whispered to him.
"Even if," he swore.

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3. Three.

Song of the Chapter: Catch My Breath by Kelly Clarkson. Play the song when you see this symbol #

-

I hear the hollers from the crowds and can feel the tension from the game, not that I was paying any attention to it. I was too busy thinking about the horrible things that he was going to do to me after the game. So there I was, teeth chattering from the cold, a bag of low quality popcorn clung to my chest, uneaten of course, with the expression of a lost child.

The whistle blew. Who won? I didn't even care. I just wanted to get out of there as fast as possible. I got up to leave, but had to wait, as I was the seat at the top of the bleachers.

A sea of people were trying to leave at the same time and there was so much going on, I felt sick to my stomach.

That was when I realized that everyone had stopped and turned around. Every pair of eyes was on me and I felt extremely paranoid, like each of their eyes were a weapon that was being used on my heart that was already beating as fast as a drum at a rock concert.

That was when I felt the cold hands at my side, pushing me off of the bleachers.

|------|------

I woke up with a startle, sitting up right away, as if the fall in my nightmare materialized and hit me right in the chest. Hard.

Sweat was trickling down my forehead and I felt like bursting into tears.

"Why won't you go away!" I screamed at the memories, grabbing my head and plunging face first back into my mattress dramatically.

Just a normal morning.

I could hear Zeus breathing in front of me, like he could read my mind and was telepathically sending me a message, asking me what's wrong.

"I'm going insane," I telepathically answered back in my head, thinking that maybe somehow he could understand.

"Alright, enough of Captain Insane. Time for breakfast," I laughed cheerily and patted the fat dog on the head. He responded by cheekily licking my arm.

"Come on Chubs," I laughed and started walking into the kitchen.

All the memories of the day before flooded back to me once I saw the food I bought at the market the day before in my icebox.

Moving in. Unpacking. Grocery shopping. Alfie. The Grind. Open Mics. Oh my.

I started to think about what song I was going to sing tonight while I poured myself a bowl of cereal. I had a couple ideas, and my OCD self sorted them into two categories; slow and fast. I thought that I would decide which mood I wanted to set once I got there. If they needed to get a party going, fast was the best bet. If they should sit down and enjoy their food, slow was a good choice.

Zeus whimpered at my feet while I stared into my bowl of cereal like a madman.

"Alright, alright. Chill," I muttered and get up to get him his dog food.

The whole of the afternoon droned on, uneventfully. Unpacking galore. In fact, the highlight of my afternoon was killing a rather frightening spider that was vacationing on my toilet seat. How great.

The part of my day that I was most excited about was, of course, the evening.

As I browsed my closet, my eyes locked on my leather disco pants that I bought earlier that year on a whim, that have never been worn. I never thought I could pull them off, but I knew that tonight was the night I was going to try.

But what to wear them with?

A tailored leather jacket caught my eye and I knew it was risky to put leather on leather, so I scanned my array of concert tees to tone it down a bit. I decided on a faded grey Ramones shirt, and the familiar feel of the insanely soft shirt gave me all the confirmation that I would most definitely be wearing it.

After I was dressed, I skipped into my bathroom to try and make myself look presentable. I curled my chocolate brown hair and did my eye makeup dramatically, with a touch of sparkly gold eyeliner at the end of my black eyeliner that flicked at the end.

I can honestly say that I was ready for a party.

Once I was done putting on my mask for the night, I grabbed the most priceless accessory I own; My Union Jack Chanel bag. It took me a whole year of saving to buy it and I intended to use it until it couldn't be used anymore. The last thing I added to my look was some big, dark sunglasses that made me look extra glamorous, my six-inch black combat booties with silver studs at the end, to bring back the edge of the look, and a nice red watch that read 6:30.

Before I left, I did my little ritual that I do every night that I go out. I walked over to my oval mirror and looked myself in the eyes.

"You are beautiful inside and out, no matter what anyone else says," I said to myself.

Then I grabbed my guitar, called Zeus, and we were off.

There were good and bad things about the walk. It was good that Zeus got his needed excersize and so did I. It was good that I could enjoy the scenery and plan what I was going to do that night.

The bad part was that I had too much time to think. When my mind wanders, it goes to dangerous places; hazardous memories.

Fortunately, that night my mind didn't go into the danger zone, as my psychologist used to call it. Before I knew it, I was walking into The Grind.

The place was dim lighted and completely rock themed. Vintage band posters plastered the wall. There was a bar, that I wouldn't be using, an eating area, a stage, and a dance floor that was currently not in use. It just stared at me, emptied, begging for people to have a good time dancing on it. That's when I decided that this place definitely needed a party starter.

I noticed the signup sheet for the karaoke first thing, and I walked confidently, pulling a pen from my bag. I signed my name under the 7:30 PM slot, in curly calligraphy.

I checked my watch to see it read 7:10, so I decided to sit down at the tables and maybe order a cola.

As I sat, a nervous boy in a sweater vest came out on the stage, his forehead gleaming with sweat and he was pulling at his collar. He made his way toward the microphone.

"I---I uh... I'm gonna sing S--S-Summer L-L-Lovin' from the movie G-G-Grease," he stuttered out of nervousness. Then the lights shined brighter and the music started. He looked like he was about to collapse any second as the first beats of the song blared through the speaker.

I was sat there alone for the first bit of his horrid singing and I felt a wave of compassion for the kid as my waitress came over. She was wearing black jeans, an old black Nirvana tee shirt, and red converse and her name tag read "Hello, my name is Max". Her hair was sleek and straight, while the color was a fiery red. She looked around my age.

"Sup, I'm your waitress Max," she smiled.

"Sup Max," I laughed.

"What will you have?" She said in a friendly voice.

"Just a Diet Coke, thank you."

"Alright, I'll be out with that in a bit," she said and walked off to the kitchen, returning later with my drink. She set it down gently.

"Will you be singing tonight?" She asked in her Central London accent.

"Yeah actually. I'll be up at seven thirty," I told her and took a sip of my drink.

"That's great! It's gotta be a step up from this guy. It makes me sad to say it, but he is not good."

"I agree. Has he ever come here before?" I asked.

"Yes. His name's Will. He's here every Wednesday with high hopes that he'll suddenly be amazing, but once he's on stage, he acts like a scared rat," she informed me.

"That's sad," I said, truly meaning it.

"Tell me about it. Well I better leave or my boss will chew my head off. Good luck tonight-" she said, stopping.

"Beth," I filled her in with a smile.

"I'll see you around. Don't worry about the soda, it's on me. Make sure to come back in my section, I'm in desperate need of someone cool to talk to in this job," she smiled and tucked her notebook in her apron.

"Thanks. I'll definitely come around, that is, if you really wanna waste your time talking to a lunatic like me. See you around," I laughed and she did too.

"Well, at least this lunatic has got an adorable dog," she said and patted Zeus on the head before she walked back to her station.

By then, it was 7:20 and the boy was finishing up.

That's when the nervousness kicked in, like it always did before I performed. Zeus seemed to notice my uneasiness and cuddled up against my leg.

Well, I knew I wouldn't need my guitar because I decided on a fast song.

I waited for what seemed to be 20 seconds, but turned into about 10 minutes until I was snapped out of my thoughts when I heard, "Okay everybody, give it up for my girl Beth!"

My mind told my legs to stay, but they seemed to move anyway.

You see, I had stage fright.

What a tragic thing for a musician to have, but it was true. Before I went on stage for any performance I would freak out.

But some unknown force was pushing me on stage and I could not resist.

"Catch My Breath by Kelly Clarkson," I barely whispered to the DJ- or at least I thought I whispered. He seemed to have heard it quite clearly over the new found chatter of the crowd.

"I'll start it when you give the que. Go give an intro," he instructed. I nodded and walked up the stairs, tripping a bit on the last one, causing me to fumble on stage. I heard a few snickers, but then it died down.

I didn't ever realize how many people were really here until I saw it from this angle. I knew that it would make some party if people would just get up and dance on this empty floor.

"Hey guys, I'm Beth Stark and I'm going to be singing a little Kelly Clarkson for you tonight. Don't worry, this isn't the only type of music I listen to, or I would be pretty lame, but let's face it, this place could use a pretty awesome party and Kelly is perfect to get it started. So I beg you, get up and dance, or I would feel pretty stupid up here," I laughed as the fears melted away.

People were looking at me with a curiosity that I never saw with Will, and it made me freaking excited.

I gave the DJ the que and waited, microphone in hand, ready to sing one of the hardest songs to sing.

#

The familiar beats entered my mind and I let the music take control of me. There was no turning back. I breathed in and out and began to sing.

"I don't wanna be left behind, distance was a friend of mine," I began to sing. Hey, that sounded pretty good, I thought to myself.

"Catching breath in a web of lies, I've spent most of my life, riding waves, playing acrobat, shadowboxing the other half, learning how to react, I've spent most of my time," I sang and prepare for the chorus. I noticed that people began to take interest. Some were even standing up and walking towards the dance floor. Good, let's get the party started.

"Catching my breath, letting it go, turning my cheek for the sake of this show, now that you know, this is my life, I won't be told what's supposed to be right," I sang and hit every single note on the dot. The raspiness of my voice totally added to the song, making it sound amazing. Man, I wish someone was recording this.

"Catch my breath, no one can hold me back, I ain't got time for that. Catch my breath, won't let them get me down, it's all so simple now," I sang and looked up to see a dancing crowd. It looked like more people came from outside, probably hearing the song and wondering what was going on, but I didn't care. The more that were up and dancing, the better. They were all jumping up and down to the beat of the song, some fist pumping, some just having fun, and it all made me smile. That was the best part of performing, making other people happy.

I began to take full use of the stage, walking around, really getting into the song. The stage lights were hot on my skin, and made me feel invincible.

"Addicted to the love I found, heavy heart, now a weightless cloud, making time for the ones that count, I'll spend the rest of my time, laughing hard with the windows down, leaving footprints all over town, keeping faith kinda comes around, I'll spend the rest of my life," I sang with a grin on my face. The reaction I was getting was absolutely insane. Every single person in the room was jumping around and having a good time, and there were a lot of people. Even the workers were having a good time.

"Catching my breath, letting it go, turning my cheek for the sake of this show, now that you know, this is my life, I won't be told what's supposed to be right. Catch my breath, no one can hold me back, I ain't got time for that! Catch my breath, won't let them get me down, it's all so simple now!" I belted it out just like Kelly, hitting every note, hitting every accent word, getting everything right. I started to get worry about the high note that was coming up, and it seemed that everybody else was too, because they were all looking at me in wait.

"You help me see, the beauty, in everything!" I hit the high note and throw my head back to sing it. After I hit it, I hear cheers from the crowd. I guess the DJ was getting into it because the stage lights turned off for the next breakdown in the song. It was just me, barely lit in the dim light, doing what I loved.

"Catching my breath, letting it go, turning my cheek for the sake of this show, now that you know, this is my life, I won't be told whats supposed to be right," as I sang the last notes, the lights blared back and I jumped up as the chorus began again.

"Catching my breath, letting it go, turning my cheek for the sake of this show, now that you know, this is my life, I won't be told whats supposed to be right, catch my breath!" I sang with a smile as I did the things that pop stars to. The classic point to the ceiling, reach out for the crowd, you know what I mean. I was having a blast.

"Catch my breath, no one can hold me back, I ain't got time for that, catch my breath, won't let them get me down, it's all so simple now! It's all so simple now."

I began to look more closely at the audience for the first time, wondering who was there. Out of the corner of my eye, I spot Alfie and what I guessed to be the rest of his crew, dancing to the beat and having a good time. Oh geez. I was embarrassed.

But I couldn't just stop the number, So I let go and kept going to the end.

"Catching my breath, letting it go, turning my cheek for the sake of this show, now that you know, this is my life, I won't be told what's supposed to be right! Catch my breath!" There were so many things going on in my head, and they all were jumbling around, but when I sang, I forgot about it all.

"Catch my breath, no one can hold me back, I ain't got time for that, catch my breath!"

"Catch my breath, won't let them get me down, it's all so simple now!" I belted the last notes with certainty that I had done my very best, and the crowd agreed as the notes of the song came to an end, and they only sound was the sound of cheers.

After a while of cheers, Max ran up the stairs.

"Everybody give it up for Beth! When will you be back? We could use a good party every now and then,"Max said into the microphone.

"Soon," I smiled and meant it completely, before walking off the stage. A bunch of people were giving me high fives and pats on the back, and I smiled back and said thanks as I made my way back to my table. I pet Zeus and he barked back happily. I saw that my drink was still there, so I took a sip and wiped the thin coat of sweat off my forehead. It was hot on that stage, and it didn't help that I was wearing almost all leather and it was the end of October.

I was sat there for all of 20 seconds before I was ambushed by Alfie and friends. I stood up so I wasn't the only one sitting.

"Alfie! What are you doing here?" I laughed and hit him on the arm.

"We wanted to see you perform!" He said, feigning hurt from my small slap.

"Ew, sorry you had to see that," I sighed sarcastically.

"Are you kidding!?" two guys behind him said in unison. They appeared to be twins. I wished that I had known who all of them were, but I was new to YouTube.

"You were brilliant!"

"Amazing!"

"Phenomenal!"

"Freaking mental!"

All these people were shouting encouraging words and it made me blush.

"Why thank you," I smiled.

"We have to get somewhere quieter so we can initiate you..." Alfie smiled mischievously.

"Let's go to the park!" A blond boy with a South African accent said like a child.

"Sounds good I guess. What do you think Zeus?" I asked Zeus and he barked back happily.

"Your dog is so great!" A girl with ombré hair told me.

"Thanks. Lets get out if here, I'm so hot!" I whined. They all agreed and we walked out into the chilly night air.

They all came in 2 separate cars, since there were so much of them in the group. Zeus and I piled into a car with the twins, Alfie, the South African boy, Tanya (I watched her makeup tutorials a lot, so I knew her name), a tall blond boy with glasses, a really funny boy with black hair and a beanie on, and another blond boy wearing fake glasses.

"Everyone introduce themselves," Alfie said like he was the only adult in the car.

"Hi, I'm Caspar Lee. We should make out, because you're hot," the blond South African smirked.

"Caspar! Stop being such a man tramp! I'm Tanya Burr, by the way," Tanya smiled.

"I'm Dan Howell, probably the coolest person you'll ever meet," the funny boy with the black hair and beanie said from the backseat.

"I'm Marcus Butler, the most incredibly handsome man alive," the blond boy with glasses said.

"I'm Joe Sugg, and I like Poptarts. Zoe in the other car is my sister," the boy with the fake glasses said.

"I'm jfiackncnc," I heard both the twins try at the same time. They laughed and shook their heads.

"I'm Jack Harries," the one driving said.

"I'm Finn Harries," the other smiled.

"I'm Beth and I want to be in the Crew," I laughed.

"Well, if you want to be in our exclusive club, you must go through initiation," Jack said.

"What do I have to do? Quit teasing!" I laughed.

"You have to think of something that is mind blowing-ly fun and completely mental. You must supply the entertainment. If it's not fun, you don't get to get in. If you're fun and awesome, you can call yourself a part of the crew," Joe explained.

"Hmm," I pondered of what we should do.

Then it hit me.

"I got it! Don't go to the park, turn around and take us to ASDA. Alfie, you call up the other driver and tell them the news," I ordered.

"Aye aye captain!" Alfie saluted.

"Your wish is my command," Jack said in a manly voice as he turned the car around.

"What are we going to do Beth?" Tanya asked quizzically.

"You'll see!" I laughed mischievously.

"They're all set and turning around," Alfie reported.

"Awesome," I smiled as we pulled into the ASDA.

We all hopped out of the car and everyone looked to me to figure out what to do next. Once the second car arrived and everyone was listening, I began.

"First, I need to know the rest of your names. I'm new to YouTube, so forgive me if I'm not familiar with you yet. Keyword being YET," I said.

"I'm Jim Chapman," an older looking one said and put his arm around Tanya.

"I'm Sam Pepper," a tattooed one wearing a snapback said.

"And I'm Zoe," Joe's sister smiled.

"Hello everybody, I am Beth Stark and this is Zeus. Alright, now that the introductions are done, I would like to commence my initiation. I'm going to split you up to do different jobs. Jim, Tanya, Caspar, Finn, Dan, and Sam, you guys get some sweets. Get good stuff, but go easy on the prices, I'm no millionaire. Alfie, Zoe, and Joe, you guys get 2 movies. One a chick flick and one comedy. Jack and Marcus, come with me to get the special surprises. Ready, and, GOOOOOO!" I yelled. Everyone scrambled inside the store. Jack, Marcus, Zeus, and I ran inside toward the back of the store, Jack and Marcus following behind me.

When we reached the paint isle, I walked toward the primary color section. I got a gallon of red, blue, yellow, and green and handed it to the boys, their faces priceless, wondering what on earth we were going to do with all of this.

"Don't worry, this will be a blast!" I assured them.

"Ow, these paint cans hurt! They're cutting of my circulation," Marcus whined.

"Oh, shutup Marcus. If Beth says this is going to be fun, this will be fun. Be a man!" Jack said and puffed out his chest, as if there were any muscles there. We all laughed as we made our way toward the game section.

"You guys can't look or it will ruin the surprise!" I said to them. They understood and turned around as Zeus and I walked towards the games, my hands grabbing Twister from the shelf and hiding it behind my back.

"Alright, let's go to the front, I'll bet they're done," I said as we walked towards the front. Jack and Marcus started playing a game where they tried to shove each other into the isles, and it was hilarious to watch.

We got up to the front of the store to see everyone else panting, holding all different kinds of sweets and candies, and movies. The movies in Caspar's hand were Parental Guidance and The Notebook, and I approved of their choices. I also kept Twister behind my back so nobody would guess what we'd be doing.

"Let's check out!" I said. We all ran towards one of the registers and set everything on the conveyor. Once the old lady was done ringing all the items up, it came to a surprising total.

My eyes bugged out as I saw the price. I dug for my wallet, knowing I couldn't afford that total on random things I didn't need. Everyone else took notice.

"Don't worry, we'll pitch in," Zoe said and everybody got their wallets out and offered a five pound bill to a growing pile. I looked to Zoe with silent appriciation as I handed the bills to the lady. She finished our transaction in silence and we all grabbed our bags and ran towards the cars, stuffing everything in the back of whoever's car it was that was being driven.

We all stuffed inside the car excitedly and Jack turned the radio on to "I Don't Care" by Icona Pop. We all danced and sang and laughed as I directed Jack to my house and the car behind us followed him.

I could tell Zeus was getting tired when he was lying on my lap, exhausted from all the excitement.

"Oh my gosh,your place is adorable!" Zoe squealed as we were getting out of the car.

Everyone helped take everything inside whilst Dan was telling everybody a story about how much his life sucks. It involved buses, panic alarms, and clingy women, but I got lost in the story because I was thinking about my initiation.

"WAIT! I have to vlog this," Caspar said and pulled out his camera. Once all the stuff was set on the counter, almost everybody did the same. I even got out my camera for a good little vlog.

"Hey guys! I'm hanging out with a ton of other Youtubers right now! Say hi!" I said and waved the camera around. Everybody waved, even though they were in the middle of their own vlogs.

"Look guys, Zoe's vlogging too! Vlog-ception," I said and zoomed into Zoe vlogging. She laughed.

"Alright guys, I'm gonna go in the back and get everything ready. Make yourselves at home," I said to the guys.

"That's all I needed to hear," Joe said and flopped on my couch next to a sleepy Zeus. I laughed and carried all my stuff outside. I made sure to close the door so the crew wouldn't hear me telling my camera what we'd be doing.

"Okay everybody, so for my initiation into the crew, I have to provide some mental fun, so we're going to play messy Twister. I'm going to pour this paint on each dot and then we'll play Twister. Super fun. Then we're watching movies and eating tons of junk food. I'm pretty sure I'm getting in. I've gotta go set up the stuff, I'll be back!" I said to my camera and then shut it off. I looked over to the paint cans and realized that I was going to need help. My hands couldn't take it by myself.

I popped my head through the door.

"I lied. I need help from a big strong guy. Who volunteers?" I asked.

"I'll do it!" Finn volunteered.

"Great, would you grab a knife from the kitchen?" I asked. He nodded, grabbed a butter knife, and popped outside.

"Now, you are very lucky, sir, because you get to know what we're doing before everyone else does," I said.

"I'm honored," he put his hand to his chest dramatically. I chuckled.

"We're playing messy Twister," I explained as I held up the board game. His mouth formed a giant O as he understood why we needed all the paint.

"That's mental!" He exclaimed, happy about what we were doing.

"I need help pouring the paint," I said.

"Or course," he offered like a true gentleman. I smiled and tore the clear packaging off the game.

"You grab one side," I instructed as we pulled out the Twister mat. His hand brushed mine as he reached to grab the edge of the mat, making my face redden. Good thing it was starting to get dark.

We laid the mat down on some grass that was hard enough to hold the mat and squishy enough so we wouldn't fall on a hard surface and get hurt.

"So what do you do on YouTube?" I asked him as we opened paint cans with the knife.

"My brother started the channel in his gap year, so he called it JacksGap. It first started as just a silly little thing, and I think he was mostly doing it for himself, so he could document what he was doing. But then, it started to grow in viewers and subscribers and it was totally insane. He wanted me to be in one of his videos, so I did one with him and everyone loved both of us doing it, so it escalated into just that. Now we own the channel fifty -fifty," he informed me while I popped open a bright blue.

"That's actually really cool. Are you really close to him?" I queried.

"He's like my best friend. He can get under my skin sometimes, but we'll always be brothers. I think doing videos together actually made us get closer. We do everything together now," he said and took all the open cans to the mat.

"That's amazing. The Internet really CAN do anything," I joked as we poured paint onto the dots. He laughed.

"What about you? Do you have any siblings?" He asked.

"Nope, I wish I did. It was just my mom and me, though she hardly counted as a guardian. My dad left when I was 4 and she's been a lunatic ever since," I told him, not expecting much in response.

"I would say sorry, but I'm pretty sure that everything that's happened to you has made you who you are now, which I would say is a pretty good thing to be," he said.

"Wow," I blurted out.

"What?" He smiled.

"That really surprised me. You see, normally, people just say sorry and awkwardly change the subject. But you didn't."

"I'm kinda screwed up," he laughed.

"How so?"

"I'll tell you when I figure out myself," he laughed and got up. I checked to see that every dot was covered in paint of that color and then got up myself.

"We did a good job, you can't even tell that there's paint on it!" I said and gave him a high five.

"Let's go get them, I'm psyched to do this!" Finn said and we ran in to get everyone.

"Alright everybody. Rid yourself of any valuables. You can bring a camera, but I suggest nothing else. If you care about your clothes getting dirty, tell me now, and we can change," I instructed everyone in my living room.  

Zoe and Tanya raised their hands, as expected. They were both wearing nice clothes.

"We will be back shortly. In the meantime, DO NOT LOOK OUTSIDE!" I said and led Zoe and Tanya to my room.

"Beth, are you going to Playlist Live next year?" Zoe asked me.

"Only if they want me there," I said and searched my closet for clothes they could wear. I gave them both grey shirts that I usually wear to bed and some cutoff sweatshorts, and I grabbed the same for myself.

"Of course they'll want you to come!" Zoe said.

"And if they don't, I can sneak you in my suitcase," Tanya laughed.

"That would be really fun, actually. I've never been out of the country before," I said.

"You should definitely come with us," Zoe said. We each put on the clothes I gave them.

"Oh my gosh, we have to go shopping soon!" Zoe squealed.

"We should!" I squealed back.

"Oh my gosh, we simply have to," Tanya added as we walked back to the crew.

"Alright, now who is going to be the sexy announcer?" I asked everyone.

"Me! Me! Pick me! I'm sexy!" Caspar said.

"Alright, Caspar, you will be our first announcer. We'll need many, because you've got to have a turn too. Lets go outside!" I squealed and we all ran outside. I turned some One Direction on my phone and plugged it into the speaker so we could party properly.

"This is awesome!" Marcus exclaimed. Caspar grabbed the spinner.

"Alright, your first move is... Left foot blue," Caspar said in a deep announcer voice. We all stomped our feet on the blue, and paint went squishing everywhere. Since there were eleven of us playing (which was completely ridiculous), some of us had to share dots, which would make this even more interesting.

"Right hand red!"

We were all exclaiming as we bent over to put our right hands on red.

After a couple more moves we were literally on top of, under, and curving around each other, tangled up, trying not to fall. It was probably the most hilarious thing I've ever witnessed, and everyone else agreed, as everyone else was constantly laughing their heads off.

"Left hand yellow!"

This move was tricky, as I had to snake my hand through everybody to get to a yellow, but I tried it anyway. As my hand was almost touching the yellow, my foot slid on the red paint, and I fell down, splashing paint everywhere. The only thing was that Jack was under me, so I caused him to go down with me. Everyone burst out laughing and some others fell down as well.

I looked down to realize that I was literally lying on top of Jack, yet he wasn't trying to move at all. My face turned the exact shade of red that was mixed into Jack's hair.

"So, uh, I'm kinda on top of you... I'm gonna get off now," I said awkwardly and rolled onto the grass while Caspar continued the game.

Could I have been a bigger spaz?

Once Jack and I got to our feet, we burst our laughing again at how we were all covered in paint, and my stomach started to burn from laughing so hard. I literally felt like I was getting a six pack from laughing.

The next move sent everyone tumbling down, and we all laughed so hard, most of us started to cry from laughing.

"By the way guys, I got that all on film so we can all use it for our vlogs," Caspar said, out of breath from laughing.

"Thanks.... Caspar..." Zoe wiped her eyes, still recovering from the laughter.

After we all calmed down, they all helped me re-paint the mat so we could do it again, even though it was getting harder to see in the evident darkness of the night.

"Who's the announcer this time?" Caspar asked. I volunteered, so I could avoid another awkward "I landed on top of you, I'll just get off now" moment. I filmed every bit of the second game, for more vlog footage, and I was laughing almost the whole time.

We started winding down when we couldn't even see which color was which anymore.

We were all sat down on the grass, telling really funny stories to each other, though I didn't have any to contribute. We laughed and felt bad for the embarrassing times we'd had, until suddenly, everyone else in the group looked at each other, nodded, and stood. Caspar and Marcus disappeared and I was extremely confused when everybody started taking their cameras out.

"Elizabeth Stark, would you like to know if you've been accepted into the crew?" Alfie asked.

"Yeah..." I said, confused. The back porch light flickered on and moment later I felt a presence behind me.

5 seconds later I'm covered head to toe in blue paint.

"Welcome to the crew."

__\\____\\

We took so many pictures before going inside to get cleaned up. Jack even got a picture of me as the paint was being poured onto me, my mouth shaped in a giant O and my eyes full of shock. It's the coolest picture I've ever seen. I posted it to Instagram and added a cheeky little caption: "I'M BLUE DUBADEE DUBADI DUBADEE DUBADI DUBADEE DUBADIIII! If you want to know why, watch tomorrow's cheeky video;)" I also posted a picture of all of us smudging our faces so we could all fit in the square frame, cause we we're all covered in multicolored paints, mine being mostly blue.

The crew decided me to get the first shower, since I suffered the most damage. I didn't complain. I made sure to grab clean pajamas, so I wouldn't be stuck in just my towel, searching for clothes to wear, cause the crew would mock me to no end.

It took about a 5 minute scrub to get all the paint off of my body and a solid 10 minutes to shampoo it out of my hair. I then decided I was taking too long, and I got out.

I threw on my grey Henley and some short blue and grey plaid boy shorts. I quickly added on some mascara and a thin line of soft grey eyeliner pencil, so I wouldn't go out there all exposed. I'd scare them away. Zeus was sleeping on my bed when I left to go to the crew, holding my multicolored sweats and shirt. I grabbed a laundry basket and set it down in front of them.

"This is for dirty clothes," I said. They didn't respond.

"Come on, you can't go home with dirty clothes. Throw all shirts in here, girls excluded," I said. I knew I didn't have to, I honestly just really wouldn't mind seeing all the guys shirtless.

The guys responded one by one, beginning with Caspar, which wasn't surprising.

Caspar stripped his shirt off.

"Don't enjoy this too much sweetheart," Caspar smiled mischievously and wiggled his eyebrows. I hit him on the arm and laughed. The boys followed until the last was Jack. When he took his shirt off, all the guys whistled.

"I got no shame," he joked as he tossed his shirt in there.

Honestly, I was having a great time right then.

I told Zoe to take the next shower and handed her an outfit similar to mine to put on after she was done. Then I did the same for Tanya, but when it was the guys' turn, I jut gave then towels and let them have at it.

I just couldn't seem to take my eyes away from Jack and Finn, them looking particularly sexy at the moment. They were both shirtless, of course, and their hair was disheveled and slightly still wet from their showers.

"Should we start the movies?" Jim said, but I could barely hear it over my thoughts of Jack and Finn.

"Yeah, pop em' in," I said, still swimming through my own thoughts.

The thing was, I couldn't decide which twin I liked the most. I obviously didn't know them well enough, but first impression wise, they both were winners.

I absentmindedly walked over to the chest with all my blankets and pulled them out so everybody could have a blanket.

The thing was, there weren't enough blankets. I was going to have to share with the person sitting next to me, which just so happened to be Jack. I didn't complain.

Jim, Tanya, Alfie, Zoe, Jack, and me were all squished on my couch, while everybody else was on the ground in front of us as we started Parental Guidance.

I couldn't concentrate the whole movie.

Why?

Oh, I don't know, maybe because I was so squished up against Jack Harries- a shirtless Jack, may I add- that it could almost count as cuddling.

Tell me, who in this entire world wouldn't want that?

Before I knew it, the movie was over and Finn popped The Notebook into my DVD player.

"Don't you think that was a good movie Jack?" Caspar asked Jack in a mocking voice. Jack seemed to snap out of his thoughts.

"Oh, yeah, it was awesome," he says fakely. 

"What was your favorite part then?" Sam laughed.

"Oh, uh, you know.... the part in the baseball arena," Jack offered.

"You mean the beginning?" Joe said.

"Yeah, I guess," Jack stammered.

"Silly Jack, thinking about other things during a perfectly great movie," Caspar joked. Jack blushed furiously.

As the movie was beginning, I looked over to Finn and he looked sick to his stomach. I decided to ask him about it after the movie.

I tried to ignore the burning sensation on my neck that was being caused by, you guessed it, Jack Harries' arm. I swooned on the inside.

I tried to pay attention, and I did enough so that I cried on all the sad parts. I wasn't alone though, everyone in the room was wiping tears, believe it or not.

I was relieved though, when the movie ended and Caspar had finished off all the snacks.

I looked to the clock in my micro-oven to find it fifteen minutes past two in the morning, but it didn't seem that everyone wanted to leave. In fact, we were just getting settled.

"I need some fresh air," Tanya stood up and stretched her arms.

"I'm in," Marcus hopped up. We all agreed and walked into the chilly night air.

The Crew and I sat down in a little circle outside, all our blankets laid on top of us.

"I keep thinking about your performance, Beth. That was literally amazing," Zoe marveled.

"Thanks," I smiled.

"Did you perform a lot in Cheshire?" Dan asked.

"Not really actually. I was in a couple school plays, but being booed off the stage isn't exactly a confidence booster, so I mostly played on the streets and mooched people's money. But hey, it pays the bills," I shrugged.

"I can hardly believe anyone booing you off a stage," Finn said.

"You can look it up on Youtube. 'Elizabeth Stark, the Bad Witch'. Over 20,000 views." I laughed at something that I cried about for months.

"Are you being serious?" Sam said in disbelief. I nodded.

"That's stupid. They should see you now," Jim said.

"I wish they could," I chuckled.

There was silence for a couple moments.

"You know Beth, I think a certain someone in this group has a little something to ask you, if you know what I mean. Not like a date or anything. Definetely not," Caspar said.

"What?" I said, clueless at the time.

"Oh, I see it too. You should see the way he's been looking at you all night. A little lovesick puppy," Alfie said.

It was silent again, until...

"Will you go out with me?" The twins said in unison, Jack on my right, Finn on my left.

Both of them.

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