Chapter Twenty-Four: Tates Attack
Charlie was worried. Belle was avoiding him as much as she could, and he didn't know why. It stung, she'd never treated him like this before and it put a nasty damper on his new relationship with Sunny.
“Maybe she's just busy, you know she's had a lot of work to do for uni.” Sunny stroked his hair as they sat down for lunch one day, a week or so after the first kiss. Belle had scooted off to the Library almost the moment Double English had been dismissed.
“It can't be, she'd ask for my help if that was it.” Charlie groaned.
“I think criminal law is a littlebit out of your reach Charlie.” Sunny chuckled, tickling him.
“Hey, I'm plenty smart enough to handle it thank you!” Charlie laughed, tickling her back.
Belle caught a brief glance of them out of the window as she put a book back on the shelf, and it cut her like a knife. Then the mere fact that she felt like she was cut started to stab at her. Charlie was HAPPY. How on earth could she call herself his best friend if she couldn't be happy for him?
The constant struggle of her emotions followed her to uni the next day, where Maddy noticed she was a bit quieter than usual.
“What's up chickie?” Maddy asked, popping a piece of chicken in her mouth.
“There's a reason cutlery was invented.” Webster frowned at her.
“Bite me.” Maddy sassed back. Webster smirked.
“I'm in love with someone who's already got a girlfriend.” Belle sighed.
Webster suddenly looked mock-serious.
“Belle. You know I'm far too old for you, and I'm too in love with Maddy.” He took one of Belles hands in his, making both girls laugh.
“Webster, sweetie, I'm sorry, but it's certainly not an old man like you I'm interested in.” Belle replied with the same mocking seriousness. Webster feigned heart-break while Maddy roared with laughter.
“Forget him Belle, seriously. You deserve someone who will love you so completely that he won't even see another woman even if he's about to walk into her.” Webster continued.
“Thanks.” Belle smiled.
“You're still young, and I bet your friend is too. There's still plenty of time for him to grow up and smell the roses. It's not like he's married or anything right?” Maddy nudged her. Webster rolled his eyes.
“Horrible.” He kissed Maddy.
“Seriously?! GROSS!” Belle pretended to spew up while the couple made out.
While this was happening, someone was watching them from a distance.
Tate missed her boy. She wanted to see him – badly. So she'd snuck onto the campus and stalked her prey for the day.
But she hadn't expected this. Not for him to have someone else. To be in LOVE with someone else.
Pain spread out from her chest. Jealousy. Grief.
She was going to make sure he had to come back to Brisvegas. To her.
She had built a small business empire trying to lure him back. She had made so much money over the past year that neither of them would have to work again if they so desired. She thought of all the things she'd tried to make him love her – growing out her hair, working out, encouraging him no matter what, paying for him to take the entrance exams to the University in Brisvegas…
Belle felt someone watching them and turned around, but couldn't see anyone. She tried to shrug it off, but the feeling lingered.
Tate could feel the tears stinging her eyes, but she fought them back. He was hugging her, kissing her, looking at her with such love that Tate wanted to vomit.
A sense of helplessness came over her. She HATED Pleasantville! It was a dinky little town compared to the majesty of Brisvegas! Brisvegas had decent public transport for a start, and crime was almost non-existant there. There were spacious parks and a beautiful river and the shops were open 24/7. Why did Webster want to live HERE of all places?!
She turned away and headed back to the hotel where she was staying. She grabbed her phone and called Master Revolver.
“Miss Tate! Lovely to hear from you. What can I do to help you today?” Master Revolver answered the phone, sounding so sickly-sweet that Tate was disgusted. She knew he was just buttering her up and would turn on her in an instant if it would benefit him.
“I want the University gone. Wiped out. Off the map. Completely destroyed.” Tate said bluntly.
“Oh now you are talking my language!” Master Revolver laughed. “How shall I do it? Explosives? Arson?”
“Whatever way you see fit. Make sure it's in the middle of the day where people will KNOW what happened.” Tate commanded. “I want them all to be afraid.”
“You DO realise that runs the risk of provoking those pests Chuckles and Giggles?” Master Revolver pointed out.
Tate grinned. She knew that if she took out the heroes of Pleasantville, it wouldn't be long before the rest of the city fell. Then Webster would come back to Brisvegas, because there would be nothing left here for him.
“Maybe she's busy with her new uni friends?” Petunia suggested.
“Belle wouldn't ditch us like that though.” TJ replied.
“Charlie's distraught. She's his best friend and now she isn't talking to him at all.” Sunny sighed.
“She could be jealous.” Daniel piped up.
“Jealous?” Sammy asked.
The Knights of the Last Order were sitting at the tip that Saturday morning. They were supposed to be sparring, but instead were talking.
“I think Belle might have had feelings for Charlie. They've been inseparable since the day they met.” Daniel explained. “Now Charlie is with Sunny, who, if you all remember correctly, coveted everything that Belle had and made her life a living hell.”
Sunny looked down. She hadn't meant to hurt Belle. It was just that she had so much in common with Charlie, and got along with him so well.
“Don't feel too bad Sunny. Belle will get over it.” Sammy said brightly, while Tammy took her hand. Sunny tried to smile but it faltered.
“Belle is almost like a sister to me now. I can't believe I didn't think of her before I acted. Oh lord, we were even TALKING about Belle before I kissed him! How insensitive am I?!” Sunny buried her face in her hands.
“Sunny, it will be okay. Belle loves Charlie. She'll want him to be happy, even if it's with you. She just needs some time.” Petunia tried to cheer her up.
Sunny still looked downcast.
“Let's spar.” Sammy jumped up. “I'll pretend I'm Master Revolver and you guys can try and take me out.”
“Master Revolver huh?” Daniel looked at him, amused.
“Duh, I'm Master Revolver, I like guns although I don't know how to use one.” Sammy put on an exaggerated voice and crossed his eyes. Even Sunny had to howl with laughter at that one.
“I'll be Mobster Marion.” Petunia got into it. “Oh, I'm so beautiful, I'll just stand here and look at my reflection all day long.”
“Oh Marion, your beauty is so magnificent! But it's nothing compared to this shiny object I stole!” Sammy continued.
The group roared with laughter. Suddenly Sunny perked up.
“Hey Charlie!” She bounded over to her boyfriend who had just walked over. He smiled as she hugged him, and gave her a kiss on the nose.
“I heard laughing, what are you guys up to?” He asked as he walked back to the group with Sunny on his arm.
“Mocking Revolver and Marion.” Daniel chuckled.
“We think we might have figured out why Belle is MIA.” TJ said as Charlie sat next to him.
“Oh? She completely ignored me this morning and rushed off to her stupid open day at the uni.” Charlie looked upset.
“She's jealous of you and Sunny.” TJ said.
“You what now?” Charlie looked confused.
“Seriously Charlie, you're thicker than you look. Did it never occur to you that Belle might have liked you more than a friend?” Petunia shook her head at him.
“Ah…no?” Charlie looked sheepish. “Whoops.”
“You moron.” Sunny poked him.
“She'll get over it though.” Charlie said brightly. “She's bouncy like that. Once she gets used to it then she'll be okay.”
“I hope so.” Sunny looked downcast again. Charlie hugged her.
“I know so. She's pretty awesome like that.” Charlie bragged. As much as he loved Sunny, he was still very proud of his Belle.
“Do you think we should go see her at the uni? Make her feel a little less excluded?” Daniel suggested. “She probably feels left out.”
Tammy jumped up immediately. Sammy grinned too.
“Let's go!” He ran off.
The others followed, all laughing.
It was a good thing they decided to head to the University, because Giggles was in trouble.
Belle had just finished watching a presentation done by the art department, and was walking back to the Legal facility with Webster and Maddy when the Death Valley Mobsters struck.
“Oh NO!” Belle ran into the toilet block with her friends at her heels.
The Death Valley Mobsters had gotten a hold of some bulldozers, and were chasing the attendees around. The Science building was quickly destroyed, and several others were badly damaged.
“Why are you hiding in here when they're destroying the buildings?!” Webster cried as a loud bang sounded outside.
“Can you keep a secret?” Belle got into a cubicle and quickly pulled her Giggles gear out of her bag. She got into her gear as quickly as she could.
“Of course we can keep a secret Belle, we're your friends! What's up?” Maddy asked.
Belle holstered her guns and grabbed the Backpack and her helmet. She then opened the cubicle door.
“Just call me Giggles.” She said, pulling on her helmet and running out to fight off the bad guys.
Webster and Maddy ran
“We'd better find a better hiding spot!” Webster dragged Maddy away.
“We've been friends with Giggles this whole time?” Maddy was impressed.
Giggles ran up to one of the dozers and jumped up to the cockpit.
“Hi there. Where's Revolver?” She asked of the Mobster that was driving it.
“None of your business! He's left Miss Tate in charge of this one!” The Mobster replied.
“Miss Tate?!” Giggles stepped back. “Who on earth is Miss Tate?!”
“Some rich chick from Brisvegas.” The goon replied. “Now rack off!”
Tate? Brisvegas? Rich?
Giggles didn't want to believe it. She kicked the windshield of the dozer in, knocking out the Mobster. She then turned off the dozer and took the key out of the ignition.
“Only about twenty more of those to go…” She muttered. She saw another dozer heading for her, and quickly flew upwards to dodge the collision.
Webster was running hand-in-hand with Maddy, looking for an exit. He finally got to the front entrance, when he stopped dead in his tracks in shock.