Benji made a face. “I need to catch up, y’know. The other guy is way ahead of me.”
“He’s got this great girl… I have to find someone like that too!”
“Who has what?”
“My rival!” He suddenly stood up and fisted a hand in the air, the pain forgotten and a new grin on his face. “He’s cheating, I’m sure of it! But I can still win!”
“Are you talking about the guy who kidnapped Sam?” Julian said. “It’s a competition?”
“Kidnapped?” Benji said. “Competition? Not really. But I want his job. The boss might put me ahead if I can bring a really great girl.” He spun around towards Melody. “So please come with me! You’re not dating one of these guys, so you might as well go with me!”
Seeing that he was about to get another elbow, Julian grabbed his shoulders and turned him around again. “This guy, could you take us to him?”
Benji snorted. “Why would I?”
“How about you get a date with Melody if you do?” Julian proposed.
Ray made Melody stand still and be quiet while Julian did his best to make the deal look more like an opportunity and less like the instant death he figured it might be. Benji thought about it. “Alright,” he said. “I’ll show you there if you pretend you’re with me at Christmas. Deal?” After some convincing Ray and Julian managed to get Melody to at least pretend to agree to pretend.
“I can’t help but get the feeling this guy got it all wrong,” Julian said.
Ray shrugged. “Guess we’ll find out.”