Slave Auction 2: The Boys' Story

While Jenna is helping Liam pack for college, she comes across an old photo of Niall, Zayn, Harry, Louis, and Liam in the slave auction when they were freshman. Determined to find out the truth about why boys are no longer allowed in the slave auction, Jenna gets the five boys to tell her each of their stories: Niall and his confidence problem, Zayn and his rejections, Harry and his hookups, Louis' part in a big plot, and Liam's head cheerleader girlfriend. So now, not only does she have to worry about what will happen when Liam moves across the country in one week, but she may also discover some things that were meant to remain secrets.
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4. The Auction

 

~~~

 

“You excited?” I ask Zayn as we walk over to the theater in the crowd of others going to watch the slave auction.

“Not really,” he says in a flat voice.

I look at him confused, “Is something wrong?”

He shrugs. “I just have a bad feeling that this will lower my self-esteem. I mean, are people going to really bid on us? Everyone will probably just fight for Harry.”

“Oh, dude, don’t stress about it. Haven’t you seen tapes of other auctions on YouTube? People always fight on the last three guys and girls.”

He shrugs again. “Well, we’ll find out.”

We walk the rest of the way to backstage in silence and I wait as the others get dressed. There was no point in putting other clothes on this morning. Since I was going to have to wear the special shirt anyway, I thought I might as well wear it to second period.

Harry walks up to join me in the corner of the room. His shirt has a red paw print on the front, unlike the rest of us, since he was the last boy. His pants are sagging lower than mine and I know Andreah will yell at him for that. He moves his curls out of his eyes.

“You nervous?” I ask him.

He shakes his head instantly. “Are you kidding? I’m pumped!” I roll my eyes at his completely opposite from Zayn’s answer. I can only imagine how Niall must be feeling right now.

“Looks like Louis decided to dress normally today,” Harry says, nodding his head in the direction behind me. I turn and see Louis walking towards us in the regular white shirt, with no red bra underneath.

“You decided not to stand out today?” I ask, half laughing.

He shakes his head. “I’m okay with doing weird stuff in front of a few people. I’m not okay with doing weird stuff in front of the entire senior class.”

We laugh and Zayn joins. “Liam, Niall asked me to tell you to go to his curtain.”

“Why?”

Zayn just shrugs. I make my way over to curtain number nine which is on the other side of the room. I see Andreah standing in a group of cheerleaders right at the entrance to the stage. They all look really serious. As I pass by, I manage to pick up a part of their conversation.

“Andreah, you can’t. We’ve all been saving!” one says.

“I know,” I hear Andreah reply. Her usually happy tone was now sounding a little upset. “But, what am I supposed to do? Let them bid on him?”

What’s all that about?

I tap on Niall’s curtain and he pulls it back. “I don’t know if I can do this. All those people will be watching and no one will stand up to bid.”

“Niall,” I say as calmly as I can, “everyone gets bid on at the slave auction. You aren’t an exception.”

“You don’t know that!” he argues.

I am about to open my mouth to protest some more when I hear clapping behind me.

“Okay, everyone!” Andreah yells over the other conversations in the room to get them to die down. Her voice was less stressed and more full of sorrow. “The auction is about to start, so can you all please line up in order in front of me?”

“Come on.” I nudge Niall out of his curtain and push him towards the forming line. I get in my spot behind a girl with long blonde hair that reminds me of Rapunzel and wipe my palms on the side of my pants. Now I’m getting nervous.

Andreah walks on stage and gives an introduction. She explains the rules in her normal happy voice. I can almost see her smile. I can feel her last sentence coming soon, as her speech becomes slower and slower, causing my heart to beat faster and faster. “Let’s bring out the bids, shall we?” she asks, happily. One of the cheerleaders tells Tom to go and the line starts to move. One by one we step out. Finally, I walk out on stage behind Rapunzel and the first thing I think is: Wow, these lights are bright.

My eyes begin to adjust and I remember that Andreah told us guys not to look super bored or nervous. The boys aren’t supposed to smile unlike the girls for the fear of looking fake and odd. We are just supposed to look at ease and peaceful. I drone out Andreah’s talking, allowing myself to look out into the crowd. Surprisingly, I can’t see much. All I can see are outlines and a few faces in the front row.

“Let’s start the bidding!” Aandreah calls and the room erupts in applause. A cheerleader from the side of the stage gestures for Courtney to walk back and we all follow. As soon as I am out of the light, I breathe normally and my back slumps back to normal. I turn to Niall. “That wasn’t so bad.” He shrugs in reply.

“I did not realize how many seniors there are,” Zayn laughs.

The five of us sit on the side of the stage and watch. The first couple of bids are pretty boring. They are sold between the ranges of $50 and $150 and less than five people bid on each of them. It gets more interesting when number eight goes out and people fight until the price gets to $200. I gulp knowing what comes next.

“Number nine, Niall Horan!” Andreah’s voice calls. Niall blinks a few times and walks out onstage slowly. When he is more than halfway to the front, he stumbles a little. I close my eyes instinctually and then open them slowly. I relax when I see that he didn’t fall all the way down and regains his balance to make his way towards the center. “Number nine starting at $100. I see Niall’s fists squeeze tighter by his sides- a reaction from his nerves. As soon as Andreah closes her mouth, I see a figure in the fifth row stand up.

“$350!” A girl calls out.

Zayn’s jaw drops. “What the hell?”

Andreah leans closer to microphone. “You know the bidding starts at $100, right?”

“I know,” the girl says, walking towards the stage. “I still bid 350.” She steps into the light and I can see her properly. She has brown hair that ends above her chest and her eyes are such a bright blue color that I can see them from all the way where I am sitting. She pulls her light purple skirt down a bit as she walks up the stage steps. Her white tank top clings to her body in all the right places, showing off her curves. Harry’s and Louis’s jaws drop just like Zayn’s did. She was pretty and all, but I don’t see why everyone’s jaws are literally dropping. There is something about her that isn’t really my type.

“That lucky bastard,” Harry murmurs from my left.

“Uh, okay then. Number nine, going once, going twice, sold to Veronica Withers!” Andreah yells. Veronica flashes Niall a playful smile before paying the money to Andreah. Niall turns back and I can finally see his face: stunned. It is apparent that Veronica had left the same effect on him as she did on the others. He plops down besides me and shakes his head.

“I have no idea what just happened,” he says, dazed. All I can do is pat him on the back.

Louis is the next boy out and two girls begin to fight for him.

“100!”

“150!”

“200!”

“250!”

“350!” a deep voice calls out. All the heads in the room, including the two girls who were fighting, turn their heads to the source of the voice. A tall, bulky figure stands up in the first row wearing a football jersey.

“Well, this is unexpected,” Harry laughs.

“Number eleven, going once, going twice, sold to Richard Brady!” The guy makes his way to the stage as some of his teammates high five him and laugh. Louis turns around and a look of utter confusion washes over his face.

“The football players who just high-fived him are the ones who have been hassling me,” Niall whispers in my ear. Well, that can’t be good.

Louis doesn’t join us on the side of the stage, and instead walks back to the changing room. None of us really know what to do, so we stay seated. I wonder what it means that a football player just bought Louis until Zayn is called out. He walks on stage slowly with his head up. “Bidding starts at $250,” Andreah says, happily. I listen as a few girls call out numbers. It wasn’t a bidding war like some of the others were, but about five girls made bids until the price got to $450. A girl with black hair and tight skinny jeans named Natalie Walker walks onstage to pay. She was pretty, but nothing compared to Veronica.

“Well, that was sort of a dud, wasn’t it?” Zayn says as he walks back to join us. “It was really slow compared to the others.”

“Are you joking?” I ask. “Five girls bid on you up to $450 and you are saying that’s slow?”

He shrugs and then doesn’t say anything for a few seconds. “I guess you’re right.”

“I know I am,” I smirk. That’s when it hits me: I’m the next guy out. This will be… interesting.

I wait as guys bid on the girl before me before my number is called. “Number 17, Liam Payne!” Andreah calls, and I notice her happy tone drop a little. I walk out on stage, keeping in mind everything Andreah told me. Back straight and head up were my main critiques. I make it to the front of the stage. “Bidding starts at $300.”

I smirk slightly to myself as girls from all over the theater jump up. I try to track all the voices, but it becomes too hard so I give up. There are just too many.

 

~~~

 

“Well, look at you,” I giggle. “Apparently, every girl wanted you, huh? Your walk must have been super amazing.”

“Shut up,” Liam murmurs.

 

~~~

 

After a bit of the bidding wars died down, it is down to two girls.

“450!”

“500!”

“$600!” A male voice calls out. I look down as a football player in the front row stands up. Oh God no.

Andreah looks shocked for a second before clearing her throat and speaking. “I bid 700.”

I feel my head turn to her direction and she smiles.

“800,” the guy replies, looking a bit surprised.

“900,” Andreah retorts.

“1,000?” He sounds like he is asking a question more than stating a number.

“12 hundred. Are we done now?”

The football player sits back down, giving Andreah an icy glare.

“Number 17, going once, going twice, sold to, well, me,” she laughs lightly. She nods at me and I turn around, stunned. I see Harry and Zayn glare at me.

“You son of a bitch,” Harry says when I come into earshot.

“Do you even know her?” Zayn asks, annoyance in his voice.

I shake my head and sit besides Niall. I am relieved when they turn their focus back to the stage. I don’t want them being mad at me for this. How did this even happen? $1,200?

 

~~~

 

“The head cheerleader bought you?” I ask.

“Well, this isn’t that surprising. I mean, look at me.”

I laugh trying to push the worry out of my brain. “Well at least I know one good thing from this.”

“What?” he asks.

“I know I’m worth more than you are.” I wink.

 

 

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