-First off! This little chapter is dedicated to @vintagelovestories. I hope you’re feeling better, sweetness. <3 and to @vehronicalodge, I hope this chapter is worth chugging coffee over! ;)
- My good friend, @itstenafterfour, sent me a video to help me out while writing the training scenes with Betty and Jughead. It’s a really helpful video in case you’re ever in a situation where you have to protect yourself against sexual assault. I encourage everyone to watch the video, which you can find here.
-Also thank you to @itstenafterfour for proofreading this for me and for giving me so many great ideas and making this chapter better! You’re the greatest beta. <3
-We have also made Every Breath You Take by Chase Holfelder the official theme song of Wicked Games. Seriously. Go listen to this song on YouTube. It’s hella creepy. And a good song to go with this chapter is Run by Elsa & Emilie.
-I may or may not have given Betty a fucking praise kink, lmao. So like… I’m sorry I’m like this.
-The commercial that Betty does in this chapter is based off of the Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue fragrance commercial.
-There’s a lot of freaking pining and scheming starting now and these two losers in love being really dumb. :)
ALSO! It mentions that there’s an article about Betty’s bodyguard being the one who saved her from Nathan. The article does NOT mention who her bodyguard is, therefore no one knows who Jughead actually is to her.
This chapter is kind of long (the longest so far at over 7,000 words) so if it cuts off or crashes, you can also read it over on my AO3.
Jughead straddles her waist, her hands are pinned to the floor by his larger ones and he’s panting in her ear. If she focuses, she can feel the way his chest contracts against hers, and how heavy his breathing is. She can feel his heartbeat against her own. She tries not to focus on it, but she can’t help it.
“You’re unfocused,” he pants in her ear. He’s so close to her, his lips are grazing her ear and she wants to scream at him to get off and pull him closer against her at the same time. He tilts his head closer towards her, his lips are near her neck now and she wonders if he’s doing this on purpose. There’s no way he doesn’t notice what he’s doing, but he’s the one who said he didn’t have feelings for her. She’s confused; confused and slightly turned on. “What’s got you so unfocused? This is really serious stuff.”
The fact that if I pick up my hips, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to feel your dick against me.
“Nothing,” she grunts out instead. “You’re crushing me!”
“That’s the point, Elizabeth.” She glares at the use of her full name. “I’m supposed to be crushing you. You’re the one who needs to make sure that we don’t get to this point.”
“This isn’t fair! I’m a beginner.” They’re starting their self-defense classes and Betty’s taking it as seriously as possible, but she would be lying if she said that she doesn’t sometimes purposely mess that one move up so that way she and Jughead end up in the exact position they’re in right now. She said she’d move on from him and the little crush she’s harboring, and she will, but for now, she’s kind of content pining.
“Do you think your attacker is going to go easy on you because you’re a beginner?” He tosses back at her, sounding pretty annoyed actually and Betty blushes in embarrassment. She closes her eyes and sighs in disappointment. He can feel her breath on him and tries to ignore the shivers he can feel go up his spine.
“No,” she whispers.
“Exactly. Look, when sexual assault happens, the assailant is usually like this.” Jughead puts his hands on her shoulders and leans up against her chest. “Usually touching really inappropriately and whatnot.” She should not be thinking of Jughead touching her inappropriately but she is. He then climbs off of her and she has to stop herself from pouting. She sits up, placing her hands on the ground but Jughead puts the tip of his Nike shoe on her chest and pushes her back down gently. “Did I say for you to get up?”
“What?” She asks, bewildered. “I thought we were done here.”
“Not just yet. Lay back down.”
She would be embarrassed about how quickly she does as he says, but she isn’t. She’s sure she’s not the only woman out there who would gladly lay down if Jughead told them to.
“You with me?” He asks her and she just nods silently. Hell yes, I’m with you. “Okay, we’re going to do the shrimp technique again and then we’ll call it a day.”
The shrimp technique. It had been the first move Jughead had shown her and she had mastered it pretty easy. Jughead kneels back onto the floor in front of her and she widens her legs for him. She tries to ignore the throb she feels just looking at Jughead position himself between her legs. She’s never been the one for kinky stuff during sex, but Jughead is so much bigger than her and he completely covers her as he leans over her; she can’t help but think what he’d be like in bed. Kevin had said that he looked like he was into kinky shit. Would he hold her down, make her beg for it? Would he make her beg for it and bring her to the edge only to pull away at the last minute? Was he slow and sensual or rough and dominant?
“Betty?” He questions out.
“You just moaned.”
Her eyes snap open and she looks at him in horror. She hadn’t realized where her mind had been spiraling off to, and she definitely didn’t want to admit it.
“Am I hurting you?” He asks her and she notices that he looks worried instead of freaked out. “I’m trying not to put too much pressure on you.”
“No!” She reassures him. “Sorry, I got a cramp. You can put more pressure on me!” Way to be subtle, Betty. She feels anxiety bubble in the bottom of her stomach, thinking her comment made her sound way too easy. “It’s what an attacker would do, right?” She added rapidly, hoping to diffuse the possibility of him misconstruing her voice.
“Okay, let’s do it quick. I’m going to act like I’m actually your attacker, okay? Show me you can defend yourself.” His voice practically growled at her. It’s funny, she thinks to herself, the way she feels an undeniable need to impress Jughead. She’s supposed to be learning all this stuff for herself, and she is, but she loves the praise he gives her when she does something right. She’s used to people praising her because she has a pretty face or a nice body, but Jughead does it because she’s done something good, because she’s impressed him. It’s a feeling like no other.
It’s quick, but she’s expecting it. He bucks into her a bit roughly and brings his chest down to put all his weight on her and hold her down. Betty extends her arms out, completely straight, and pushes him up and off of her. When she pushes up, he slides back a little away from her and she picks up her right leg and places it onto his thigh, pushing him as hard as she can, clearly throwing him a bit off balance. When she pushes him far enough, she brings up her left leg and positions it on the side of his body and uses both legs to push him off of her. She puts her legs into a kicking position and acts like she’s about to kick him in the face. Jughead grabs her by the ankle and smirks at her, more out of pride than anything else.
“Good,” he tells her. “That was really good.”
She bites her lip as she tries to hide her cool, but she’s beaming on the inside.
“Proud?” She asks him with a smirk.
He smiles and squeezes her ankle. “Always.” He then lets go of her ankle and stands up, holding out a hand for her to grab onto as he helps her up. Jughead puts his hand on her waist as he helps her to her feet, making her feel like she could practically melt into his arms. Even though they were practicing self-defense to prevent a rape of all horrible things, she felt strangely turned on by the whole practice, and more than a little hot and bothered. He had been pressed against her chest and hips, could you blame her? He moves his hand off of her waist, and she tries not to show her disappointment on her face.
“Cheryl’s coming by today,” she informs him. “I think she said she found a new shoot for me to do.”
“Any idea what it is?” Jughead always seems wary when she tells him she has to do photoshoots. He’s been on edge lately and Betty can completely understand why. She likes how protective he seems to be over her. She just wishes it was for other reasons besides just being her bodyguard.
“No, but I hope it’s good.”
“Please tell me you’re playing a really sick game on me right now.”
“No. You said you wanted to get into commercials. This is the perfect time for that.”
“I thought you said this was a photoshoot! And I didn’t know this was what I’d be getting!”
Betty is not being dramatic, she’s not. Anyone else would be acting the exact same way if they have just gotten told the news she did. Or well, maybe not actually. She’s sure there were a lot of girls out there who’d kill to be in her place right now.
Shooting a Dolce and Gabbana commercial was kind of a dream. It was something that she had only ever dreamed of doing as a kid and then as a rising model. But now that the opportunity had presented itself to her, she wanted absolutely no part of it.
“He’s not that bad,” Cheryl tries, but the grimace on her face shows that not even she believes her own words.
“Right, he’s a freaking nightmare, Cher!”
Chuck Clayton was the point guard for the Los Angeles Clippers and he was one of those guys who acted like and pretty much swore he was God’s gift to women just because he was semi-good-looking and knew how to shoot a basketball. Betty had had the misfortune of meeting him once, two years ago and she was still trying to get the overpowering stench of his cologne out of her head.
“It’s Dolce and Gabbana, Betty. Do you think you can get over your annoyance of him for a couple of hours? If you don’t want to do it, I won’t make you, but I think you’d be missing out on something great here.”
Betty groans. She knows that Cheryl is right, as much as she wishes she wasn’t. She’d be an idiot to turn this down. She supposed she could get over the sketchy vibes Chuck gave her in order to film the commercial.
“When are we filming?” She sighs and Cheryl grins, knowing she’s officially caved in.
“This Saturday. You’ll need to be on site by ten so I’ll set up James for you.” Cheryl begins tapping away at her phone and Betty just rolls her eyes, taking another bite of her pancakes and regretting the idea already.
“Can you ask James to get me a cinnamon and raisin bagel before he picks me up?” James is her personal driver. She doesn’t really use him that much these days, because Jughead’s usually driving her everywhere, or she just won’t leave home. James is a really good guy. He’s been with Betty since the beginning of her career, and although they don’t talk much at all, he’s always comfortable to be around during long drives.
“Looks like you have enough sweets, don’t you think?” Cheryl raises an eyebrow at the gift basket that’s sitting on her counter. “Who sent you that? Who even knows where you live?”
“Officer Matthews.” Cheryl gives her a confused look. “He was on duty each time my uh, stalker decided to grace us with gifts. He was one of the officers who came over here when Nathan attacked me. He’s nice.”
“Nice, huh?” Cheryl smirks at her. “Is he cute?”
“Oh, my God.”
“It’s a serious question! He’s cute, isn’t he?”
“Well, he’s not… ugly.” And he wasn’t. He was a tall blonde haired Adonis if truth be told, but Betty didn’t get that sort of vibe from him. He was kind when he talked to her and he never so much as hinted at trying to flirt with her. He was always more interested in if she was okay or if there was anything he could do to help her out. Although he was a cop, so that was kind of his job. It was nice though, and she appreciated any bit of consistent kindness these days. Everything with Jughead had been hot or cold.
“So he’s totally hot.”
“Maybe,” Betty shrugs. “But it’s not like I’m going to go after him. He’s a cop! And he’s not my type.”
“What is your type?” she questions teasingly.
Betty just shrugs again. She could tell Cheryl exactly who her type was, but she’s sure the redhead wouldn’t exactly be all for the idea. Her dating history’s been less than discreet, and there are some obvious patterns Betty had picked up on over the years. And god, her type lived with her 24 hours a day and she did not want to bring it up again.
“I can set him up with you,” she jokes, trying to get the subject off of herself. “I’m sure he’d be your type.”
Cheryl just rolls her eyes before standing up from where they’d been sitting at the bar.
“I’ll let them know that you’re in for the commercial.” She must notice the way Betty’s face contorts because she gives her a small smile. “It’s just one day of shooting. You can do this and then you’ll never have to see Chuck Clayton again.”
Betty doubts that but she nods anyway and watches as Cheryl walks out of the apartment. She should be over the moon about the commercial, but she isn’t. She really does not want to work with Chuck. He has a reputation and Betty hates having to play nice with people she knows are no good.
“Dolce and Gabbana, huh?”
She jumps as Jughead walks out of his room and into their living room. He sits on the couch and grabs one of the pillows on it, placing it onto his lap.
“You were listening?”
“Just towards the end. Chuck Clayton, huh?” The look on his face is unreadable and Betty just nods. “I didn’t know that Officer Matthews was the one who sent you that gift basket.”
“Well, you never asked. Did you assume I just decided to go out and buy myself a gift basket for the hell of it?”
Jughead shoots her a glare. “You shouldn’t eat anything in it. You can’t trust anyone.”
“Are you serious? He’s a cop, Jughead!”
“A young cop that just so happened to be on every scene with you so far? That’s kind of suspicious, don’t you think?”
Betty just looks at him, annoyed, before rolling her eyes and standing up from her chair.
“Where are you going?” He yells at her retreating back.
She ignores him as she goes into her room and closes the door behind herself, throwing her body onto her bed. She’s trying not to be annoyed. She knows that she doesn’t have any reason to be annoyed with Jughead at all. He’s just doing his job, but she’s annoyed by the fact that he’s telling her not to eat a gift basket that a police officer (of all people) gave her. That’s going a little too far. She wishes that he was doing it because he was jealous and he felt something for her, but she knows that’s not it. He’s made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t feel anything for her.
There’s a knock at her door and she doesn’t even answer before Jughead walks inside quietly.
“I upset you.” He doesn’t ask her, he’s stating it as a fact. “I’m sorry. I know we’ve talked about me being a little too much about this stuff. I don’t know why I got so worked up over a gift basket. You’re right, Officer Matthews has been more than helpful.”
“It’s fine.” The whole conversation is stupid to her and she’d rather not have it. “I don’t want to do this commercial with Chuck Clayton.”
“Then why are you?” He sits on the end of her bed away from her, but she still smiles at the sight of him on her bed.
“Cheryl’s right. It’s a really good opportunity. I’ve been wanting to get into commercials and this is kind of the best way and a dream come true. I just wish it wasn’t with him.” Her dislike for Chuck might be a little too extreme, but she doesn’t care. She has a good judge of character. “Will you come with me?”
Jughead gives her a funny look. “Do you even have to ask? Haven’t I gone to all your shoots so far?”
“Don’t you ever get bored? I wouldn’t mind if you didn’t want to go, you know.”
“Trust me when I say that bored is the last thing I feel with you.” He smiles at her and squeezes her leg gently before standing up and leaving her room. She’s so happy with his words that she doesn’t think to ask him what all he feels around her.
Saturday seems to come too quickly and she doesn’t feel any less annoyed than she had when she first found out about the shoot. She knows she should feel happy, she’s living the dream of countless models who fight tooth-and-nail to get even this chance.
She and Jughead are sat in the back of the black Lincoln Continental. Jughead’s been glaring at James the entire time and Betty has no idea why.
“How have you been?” Betty asks James as she tears a piece of the bagel he’d gotten her. “It’s been a while.”
“I’ve been good, Miss Cooper.” James was always professional with her, refusing to call her Betty even though she’d told him several times that it was okay. “Is everything okay with you?”
She doesn’t think that James knows about her stalker. Betty doesn’t want him to. She sure hasn’t said anything so unless Cheryl’s said anything then he’d be clueless. Although he’d probably know about Nathan. She didn’t want to talk about that either.
“I’m good,” she tells him. “I’m getting better. Mr. Jones here has been teaching me some self defense.” She smiles at Jughead, finding it funny that she’s referred to him as ‘Mr. Jones’, however, he doesn’t smile back at her. He just stays stoic as he stares ahead at James.
“That’s good,” James says but he sounds a bit sarcastic about it. Betty has no idea what the hell is going on so she just stays quiet. He’s never acted like this, in all the years of driving her around, he’s been warm and welcoming, and now his even, slight coldness is enough to make her shiver.
She tears off another piece of the bagel and offers it to Jughead. He just shakes his head, but he doesn’t look her way. She frowns and eats it herself.
They finally arrive at the location and she’s never been more happy to get out of a car before.
“Thank you, James,” she says as Jughead gets out of the car.
“Anything for you, Miss Cooper.”
“Betty,” Jughead says in the smuggest tone she’s ever heard before. She turns towards him and he’s holding the door open for her while extending his hand out to her for her to grasp onto. She gives him a funny look but she can’t help the way she swoons at the sweet gesture. He may have been joking, but she couldn’t help but think of how he’d treat any girl lucky enough to date him.
She grabs onto his hand and gets out of the car. Jughead slams the door behind them, but Betty just ignores him. He must be in a mood.
“If you wanted breakfast you should have told me,” Jughead grumbles. “I would have gone out before we left and gotten you some.” Is he really bitter about not getting me a bagel?
“Oh, no. Don’t worry about it!” Betty says with a smile. “James knows this place that has the best bagels around. He always goes for me.”
“Doesn’t he have a wife or something to get bagels for?”
“No?” Betty says, giving him a weird look. “He’s single.”
She doesn’t understand why he’s single. James is a very attractive guy and he’s only in his mid to late thirties. He’s really handsome too in a very serious sort of way. He’s muscled, a bit more than Jughead, and has a military haircut with dark green eyes. He’s definitely a looker if you’re into the whole serious clean-cut look.
“Of course he is. So where are we going?”
She ignores his attitude and leads him inside of the building. Although she’s in front of him, his hand stays pressed against her lower back as if he’s making sure she doesn’t get lost or something. Everyone is already on set by the time they get there. People are running around acting like they’re doomed to run out of time before the world blows up. She spots Chuck sitting in front of a mirror as his makeup is done. He’s naked except for a tiny towel covering his private areas. He spots Betty in the reflection of the mirror and sends her a smirk. It gives her a strange feeling of disgust and discomfort.
“Betty Cooper, it’s about time! Come sit with me.” She’s about to act like she never heard him, but another makeup artist sees her and drags her over to the empty chair next to him. “How have you been? I heard about what happened to you with, you know,” he looks at her and she expects to see pity on his face, but she doesn’t. Instead, he looks genuinely sorry. It’s a look she isn’t used to seeing on him and it confuses her. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” she tells him, meaning it. “Nothing happened. It was just scary to think of what could have happened.”
“I heard your bodyguard was the one who stopped it. That’s good.” He nods like he’s accepting something. “And I heard what happened to the guy… are you okay about that?” It’s a question no one has asked her and it takes her off guard.
“I don’t know,” she answers him honestly. “I didn’t want that to happen. I never wanted that to happen.”
“I know you didn’t. Most people would preach about how he got what he deserved but not you.” Chuck smiles warmly at her. “You’re different from everyone else.”
Betty tries to gather her thoughts together. The Chuck in front of her is so different from the Chuck she met two years ago. He’s different from the things she’s heard about him. He’s being kinder in this one conversation than he’s been in the past two years she’d worked with and heard about him. And she doesn’t know what to think. Has something happened in the past few years to make him change? She’s always believed that people could change if they really wanted to, she just didn’t think Chuck Clayton would be one of those people. He wasn’t incapable of change, Betty just didn’t think he’d want to.
“Thank you,” is all she says. She looks into the mirror in front of her. Her stylist is wetting her hair. Her makeup artist is pulling out an eyeshadow palette to use on her. She catches Jughead’s eye in the mirror and his reflection sinks into a frown, just like he has been all day. She gives him a forced smile, hoping he’ll smile back, but he just turns away.
The commercial is just as sexy as she thought it would be. She’s currently standing in a pool of heated water in a tiny white bikini. She would feel a little embarrassed but she’s used to this by now and Chuck’s sporting what can only be called fashionable tighty-whities so she feels fine.
“I want to get one more shot of you coming out of the water,” the director yells over to her. She gives him a thumbs up and waits for the okay to start. For what seems like the hundredth time, she goes underneath the water and emerges in a way that rivals Ariel’s in The Little Mermaid.
“Cut!” The director yells out. “That was beautiful, Elizabeth! Absolutely stunning! I told my people that I would work with no one else but you.”
“She does have that certain poise in her that you can’t find anywhere else,” Chuck says from where he’s sitting on the makeshift pier. Betty just smiles at both of them and makes to get out of the water.
“You know,” Chuck says as she nears the pier, holding a hand out for her, “I’m having a party tonight. A lot of people are going to be there. You’re invited. You can bring whoever you want with you.” He glances behind her at something before turning his attention back to her. “You don’t have to come, but I thought I’d invite you. I understand if you don’t, though especially after everything you’ve been through.”
She knows the last place she needs to be is at a party, but it sounds inviting. She remembers back to the last time she decided to do something fun, though and how that had worked out for her. Tonight will be different. If she goes, she’s not going to drink and she’ll be in better control of herself. She just needs a change of scenery from her apartment.
“I’ll be there,” she tells him.
They say their goodbyes and he gives her his address before leaving. She walks over to Jughead who has been standing in the corner of the room all day.
“What’s wrong?” She asks him, concerned. She doesn’t know what’s bothering him, but it’s starting to bother her. “You’ve been in a mood all day. Are you okay?”
“Don’t do that,” she tells him and he looks at her in question. “Remember when you told me that you wanted to be here for me? I want to be here for you, too. You’re my friend, Jughead. You can talk to me.”
He’s quiet as he just stares at her. Finally, he sighs out and slouches a little, losing the tense stance he’d been in all day. She smiles inwardly, having finally broken today’s cold exterior.
“It’s just one of those days,” he tells her vaguely. It doesn’t answer anything and it leaves her just as clueless, but she’ll take it. Everyone’s entitled to have their own off days. “I know I’ve been rude. To you. Everyone. I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay,” she shrugs as she links their arms together in a comfortable fashion as they begin to walk outside. “I got invited to a party Chuck is throwing tonight.”
“Mhm, you don’t have to go with me.”
Jughead stops in his tracks, making Betty come to a halt as well. She looks up at him confused and he’s staring down at her in disbelief.
“Are you serious?”
“Well… yeah,” she shrugs. “I know you’re probably sick of having to hang around me 24/7 and after my whole confession to you the other night–.”
“Betty,” Jughead cuts her off, “I’m not sick of you, and we don’t have to talk about this.”
“We do. It happened and that’s that, but I’m not really trying to bring it back up. I’m trying to say that going to this party might be just the thing I need to get over the whole thing, you know? I can meet someone there. I’m sure tons of eligible guys will be at his party.” She doesn’t know why she’s saying this, okay yes, she does know why.
Half of her is telling him this so that he knows she’s trying to move past her crush on him, she doesn’t want him to have to worry about her or hurting her feelings. The other half is pure pettiness and she’s telling him in the hopes that he miraculously gets jealous at the news, and fights for her. She wants that to happen, as silly as it sounds.
Whatever he feels, he doesn’t show it. He just stays serious as he starts walking again, dragging her along with him as their arms are still linked.
“I’m going with you,” he tells her. Her heart races at that. Could it be because he’s jealous of the idea of her trying to find someone else? “You never know who could be there,” the next part of the sentence sounds rushed and fake, like the kind recited from a script. “For all we know, your stalker could be someone just as famous as you.”
Her entire mood deflates like a popped balloon.
“Right,” she says. “Of course.”
Chuck Clayton has a huge house just like everyone else Jughead has met so far. It’s located in Beverly Hills and he would laugh at the complete pretentiousness of it all, but he just bites his lip and decides not to make any snarky comments. His face must say it all though, as Betty and him get dropped off in front of the house, because the tiny blonde is looking at him uneasy.
“He’s a decent guy,” she says as if Jughead even cares, as if that’s somehow going to make him want to be here. It doesn’t. But I need to make sure she’s safe.
“Didn’t you say he was an asshole just this morning?”
He hasn’t known Betty that long, just about two months but he knows that she’s a girl who trusts people way too easily. If he had his way, he’d leave her in the apartment all day where he knew she’d be out of harm’s way. He has this undeniable need to protect her. He’s fully aware that it’s technically his job, but it feels like more that that these days. Less-than-innocent ideas shouldn’t be blooming in his stupidly unprofessional mind when he’s practically pressed against her every day, teaching her to fight. The way she’d lied down for him in a split second, and the sound she made the other day had still been replaying in his mind like the most sensual soundtrack to an otherwise bland day in the life of a 24-hour bodyguard.
Betty’s not the first woman he’s had to step in and protect. He’s been a bodyguard for actresses, models, personalities, and he’d felt never felt this protective over any of them before. He blames it on the fact that her situation is a bit more serious and she doesn’t seem to realize just how serious it all is. Going out to concerts and parties while her life was quite literally on the line? It was reckless and stupid, something Jughead would never allow had she been his, but she isn’t his. She’s just the girl he’s paid to protect. It’s what he repeats to himself constantly, branding it into his brain.
“He was nice during the shoot,” she defends but he sees the way her cheeks redden. She does that a lot around him. He wonders if it’s because she’s embarrassed or if it’s something more.
“Just because he’s nice once doesn’t mean he’s a nice guy.” Betty doesn’t knock as they reach the front door and he wonders if that’s just common around here; people just letting themselves into other’s homes. Is that how things work with celebrities? He doesn’t know, he wouldn’t know. He doesn’t necessarily like it though.
Betty ignores his words as they enter. She does that sometimes, he’s noticed. When she knows he’s right she just won’t answer him. It annoys him to no end, but he’s not about to bring it up to her. He has no reason to be annoyed at the fact that she doesn’t answer him sometimes. He had never talked this much to any of the other people he worked for, but Betty had been insistent that they be friends. It was ridiculous. He had tried to be cold towards her, to show her that he has no interest in being her friend, but Betty Cooper seemed like the type of girl who always got her away. That’s what happened with him at least.
Jughead had his days with Betty. Some days it seemed like they were truly friends and they’d laugh and joke about things and he’d forget he’s being paid to guard her life. Other days things seem tense between them and he knows that he’s being closed off with her. He’s not trying to, he doesn’t want to act like that around her, but he can’t help it. He’s aware what things look like in the public eye and the last thing he needs is her getting hurt over him because they were a little too close.
As soon as they get through the front door, Jughead wants to walk right back out. He could hear the music from outside, but now that they were inside of the house, it was so much louder and ringing in his ears. It was something that he’d never listen to if he had a choice and he grimaces at it.
“Oh, I like this song!” Betty tells him, a grin on her face. “My friend’s the one singing!”
Of course he is, Jughead wants to say. He doesn’t though. He just nods and gives her a smile that he’s sure makes him look like he’s ready to die.
“Hey, man!” Some guy yells from behind him. “So glad you could make it!” The guy brings Jughead in for a hug and Betty gives him a confused look, while he’s sure his face mirrors her own.
“Uh, thanks,” he says back uneasily but the guy has already ran off to someone else. “I’ve never seen that man before in my life.” His voice speaks right into her ear, so she could hear him over the music.
Betty laughs and he has to admit, it’s kind of funny.
“Welcome to Beverly Hills,” she says with a smile and Jughead smiles back at her. “We should find Chuck and say hi. It’s his party after all.”
The idea doesn’t sound appealing to him at all. This house is big enough that he could probably live here and never run into Chuck, so why do they have to go search him out willingly? This would be the one custom that these people decide to stick with. At least they’re polite, he thinks with a snort.
“And I’m kind of thirsty,” she tells him. “Could you get me a drink?”
He looks at her with a frown. Betty’s been better about drinking especially after what happened the last time and the talk they had. He doesn’t want this party to be something that sets her back.
“A Coca-Cola, please, I’m not going to drink tonight,” she confirms for him but she looks a little bummed out now and he realizes that she probably noticed the way he was looking at her. He doesn’t want to treat her like she’s a kid and he’s not trying to. It’s something he needs to work on and he knows it.
There’s a full bar inside of the house because of course there is. Betty walks over to it with him and stands by as he gets her a coke.
“Give me the can,” he tells the bartender. He’ll be damned if he lets this man pour the drink into the glass himself. “I’ll pour it for her.” The bartender gives him an ugly look, clearly offended, but Jughead couldn’t care less. When it comes to her, he isn’t taking any chances. He pours the drink himself and hands it over to Betty who takes it with a gracious smile. It was the little things, like an appreciative smile, that made it all worth it.
“He might be out by the pool,” she says randomly and it takes Jughead a minute to realize she’s still talking about Chuck.
“Okay.” He follows her outside, thoughts racing the entire time. He doesn’t trust Chuck at all. He’d only just met him today at the shoot and even then he hadn’t actually met him at all. He’d only seen him from a distance, but something about him was off. The way he stared at Betty was nearly predatory. His eyes would linger on her like an animal stalking its prey and he had made more than enough comments about her “poise” and “grace” all damn day. It had been exhausting to listen to and Jughead had wanted to yell at him to shut the fuck up several times. Why couldn’t the guy just do his damn job and keep his trap shut without hitting on Betty? It was obnoxious and it annoyed Jughead that Betty seemed to be falling for it.
Sure enough, Betty was right. As soon as they get outside they spot Chuck. He’s standing by the pool in white pants with no shirt on. He looks like a douchebag. It’s not even hot outside to be swimming so why the hell is he shirtless? Jughead gives Betty a sympathetic look she doesn’t catch, when she shudders from the chill in the air.
Jughead’s wearing a black long-sleeve shirt and black jeans with boots because it’s cold outside. Even Betty is wearing a pair of white jeans with a blue sweater on. He decides that Chuck is an idiot and it’s a wonder how no one else seems to see it.
“Betty!” Chuck yells out as he sees her, walking over to them and leaving the girl he had been talking to before. The girl looks annoyed and Jughead wonders if he’s wearing the same expression she is.
“Look at us,” he says as he nears them, “Matching pants! It was meant to be.” Betty laughs at his words as she looks down at their jeans. Jughead has to refrain from getting her Coke and throwing it on Chuck’s jeans.
“I’m so glad you could make it.” He brings her in for a hug and his hand rests a little too closely to her ass. Jughead glares at him. Chuck smirks back, to his annoyance.
“Thank you for inviting me,” she tells him. “I brought a friend.”
“Hey, man,” Chuck says offhandedly, not even looking at Jughead as he says it. Jughead doubts he would have even said anything if Betty hadn’t mentioned she’d brought him along. Jughead doesn’t say anything back, he just nods in acknowledgement.
“Come on, Betty,” Chuck says as he grabs Betty’s wrist rather tightly and leads her over to a group of people standing by a bar. “I have some friends I want you to meet.”
Jughead follows behind them, suddenly feeling like a third wheel although he knows that he has no right to. He’s Betty’s bodyguard, this is how things are supposed to be; him in the back, following and watching, but never actually being a part of anything. He’s not supposed to want her to hold his hand, or drag him off places to do indecent things…..
Chuck introduces her to some guys that are on the same team with him. In any other world, in any other scenario, Jughead would probably be freaking out over standing in front of NBA players, but not now. Now he just feels annoyance as they all fawn over Betty, talking about how much they love her work and how she’s even more beautiful in person. No shit, he thinks to himself. He’s told her that before, how beautiful she is, but he doesn’t say it the way these guys do. He says it and he means it. He means that she’s beautiful on the inside, even more so than she is on the outside. She’s different than anyone he’s ever met before, with a kind heart and eyes to match. She’s the type of girl who would do anything for the people she cares about and that’s what makes her beautiful. These guys though? They tell her she’s beautiful as they stare her up and down. They don’t mean it, Jughead thinks bitterly.
A couple of the guys have girlfriends with them and they still smile a bit too much and for a bit too long at Betty. They don’t seem to see the way their boyfriends are looking at her. Jughead wonders if he’s the only who here who can actually see what’s going on.
They’ve been there for a while, Jughead’s just off to the side and Betty’s talking to one of the girls that had introduced herself as Marisol. He’s bored. He doesn’t get bored easily, but right now he is so bored that the pool looks really inviting to him. He’s clocked out on all the conversation around him and is taken by surprise when Marisol puts a hand on his arm.
“What’s your name?” She asks him, seeming genuinely curious. “You didn’t introduce yourself.”
“No,” he says blandly, “I didn’t.” Just as he’s about to turn away from her, Betty stumbles over to him.
“This is Jughead!” She waves a bit on her feet and her words are slow. Jughead looks at her in confusion. She’s drinking a Coke, what the hell? There’s no way she’s drunk.
“Jughead?” It’s Chuck who says his name, sounding like an asshole as he snorts. “That’s an interesting name.” He places his hand around Betty’s waist and brings her closer to him. She falls into his chest, but the action looks weird. She smiles and lets out a delirious laugh. Something’s wrong.
“Betty, are you okay?” He moves forward, ignoring Chuck as his focus turns back towards Betty.
“She’s fine, man,” Chuck says, pulling Betty back and stepping away from Jughead. “Aren’t you, Betty?”
Her eyes close slowly and she opens her mouth twice, moving it but no sound comes out. “J–j–…”
“What the fuck?” Jughead yells out. He looks around and sees Betty’s drink, half empty and left alone on the bar top. His entire body feels hot in anger as he realizes what’s going on. “What the fuck did you do to her?”
She sways in Chuck’s arms and now his friends turn their attention towards them as they hear Jughead’s words.
“I didn’t do anything to her,” Chuck says, anger growing. “She’s fine!”
Jughead ignores him as he reaches forward and grabs Betty’s arm. “Come on, we’re going home.”
“Home?” Chuck says. “What are you? Her boyfriend?” He says it so sarcastically and the look on his face is so smug that the words come flying out of Jughead’s mouth before he can even stop himself.
“Actually I am, asshole.”
Chuck looks taken aback before he smirks again. “Funny. She didn’t seem to think to mention that to me. You must not be that important, giving the way she’s hanging on me right now.”
Betty tries to talk again, but nothing comes out and her head drops to one side, her eyes half-lidded.
“What did you do to her?”
“It’s not what I did to her,” Chuck laughs. “It’s what I’m going to do to her. She doesn’t look like she’s complaining, does she?”
Jughead doesn’t think after that. He pulls Betty away from Chuck and hands her to Marisol who looks completely shocked.
“What the fu–?” Chuck doesn’t have time to finish his sentence before Jughead lunges towards him, punching him right in the face. He staggers backwards, but doesn’t go down. “You’re going to fucking pay for that,” he spits out and lands a punch to Jughead’s cheekbone.
Jughead tackles him to the ground and begins to punch him in the face repeatedly. They both roll around on the ground, gaining power over the other before losing it again. He can’t feel his face or his knuckles, he doesn’t know how long he’s been fighting with Chuck for. All he can focus on is making sure that Chuck pays for whatever he did to Betty.
“Hey, Betty, stay awake! Come on! What happened?” Marisol screeches.
“Betty?” He yells out to her, taking his attention off of Chuck as he runs over to Betty. He’s scared to touch her and he watches in horror as her eyes roll back and her legs stop supporting her weight. She drops to the floor, as people stare and take pictures.
“You roofied her? Are you fucking kidding me?” As much as he’d love to pound Chuck’s face in, Jughead turns to Betty instead, and drops to his knees next to Betty on the ground. There are tears falling down his face as he starts crying. He doesn’t know what to do. He’s supposed to protect Betty, but he doesn’t know what to do. He feels for a pulse, but it’s faint.
“Betty? Betty, you’re going to be okay. I swear to God, you’re going to be okay.” It falls on deaf ears though, she’s too far gone to understand a single word of anything he’s said. Color had drained from her face as air rushed in and out from her parted lips. He’s never felt so desperate to see her blink, at least.
“Betty?” He yells. “Hey, hey! No, wake up!” He touches her face, she’s sweating and her hair is damp. He places his hands on her chest. He wipes at his face again, ignoring Chuck’s snickers behind his back.
“Please stay with me, wake up,” he whispers out desperately. She won’t react but he’d do anything to hear a single word.
He knew roofies usually weren’t dangerous. Chances are, since it wasn’t mixed with alcohol, she’d likely recover just fine after being sick for a while. But part of him couldn’t bear to imagine the what if.
I’m so sorry, Betty…please, I just need you with me.
are you ready for this because i dont think you are. okay so about two years ago my depression was really bad. [and it hasn’t gotten any better aha amazing] and it was and still is to the point where suicide was my main option, and plans were made. i heard wmyb, but tbh, i thought it was dumb. anything that made anyone happy to me was stupid and a waste of time. i just hate/d life. and one day i heard the release to one thing. i heard it was one direction, so i gave it another try because idk everyone was making such a fuss about them. and i started to cry??? i was like okay i really like them, but i was so confused because i was actually feeling happy inside for once. so that night i reasearched them, all of their stories and backgrounds, the x factor uk, everything. i listened to everything and watched every youtube video possible, i got obsessed. im pretty sure every fan went through that lmao. but zayn stood out. i specifically liked him. the day i was planning to end my life, i was just totally at my all time low. my friend was unaware about it, but she came over that day and showed me zayn’s youtube video dance with ant and danny. i fucking cried omfg it was beautiful. but my life had been shit. my sister had been in jail multiple times, her being dragged out screaming my name to help her as the cop cars drive away, getting phone calls during class from a jail, telling me my sister was locked up, again. my dad had been cheating on my mom, meanwhile i just found out recently he’s a pill head and an alcoholic. my mom had cancer. my sister was into every bad drug out there, my life was shit, me trying to hold this whole family together. being 15 at the time was really hard. my best friend OD’d and died, i had no one. i got bullied hardcore. nobody liked me, and i was neglected. i almost got taken away. but something made me hold on? it was just zayn. i wasnt sure why, but he made me feel good. so i didnt kill myself. it sounds crazy but yeah, that one thing can really make someone hold on if it’s powerful enough. i’m still facing my depression, and anxiety, and now i’m being checked for adhd. and suicide is creeping into my mind recently. i have an eye problem, when i literally can’t read easily at all. my eyes can’t concentrate that way. i have what the doctor explained to me as “eye dyslexia”, i just cant do it. i’m in every slower paced class in my school and it sucks. i try so hard to do well and make others proud, but i can barely get a D on a test i study three weeks for. i relapsed cutting the day before my one direction concert, all over my fucking arm. my eatind disorder is screaming at me everytime i walk past a mirror. i’m so fat but my parents are making me eat and its pissing me the fuck off. im on suicide close watch now. and my life fucking sucks. i just want to meet zayn. and thank him, for keeping me alive this far. i still cry because zayn doesnt know me. but if i didnt know him, i wouldnt know you guys. because i would be dead. but zayn makes me want to live. its the fucking music. you probably dont understand this, but zayn is the only reason im here, and i want to thank him. but nobody understands. hes more than just a beautiful face to me, hes my life. and im really sorry you read all of that if anyone did. a lot of people laugh at me, when i say i love him. but you don’t realize that when someone saves your life, theres this emotional connection you now have with them, whether its mutual or not, and it’s so strong, you can’t just let go. what do i love bout him? when you love someone, you don’t just love one little thing, its everything about them. every thing they do. you just don’t lose hope in them, no matter the rumors you hear, actions they do, anything, you’re stuck. he saved my life. he is the reason i’m here. from the way he crinkles his nose when he laughs to his bad boy image acting like a hardass meanwhile he’s in a pop boyband. and i will spend the rest of my life thanking him. all i want to do is meet him, let him know. so when people ask “why do you love him, you don’t even know the real him.!” you could be right. but all i know is the loving boy i see, whos so dedicated to music, he has a passion to helping people. all of the charity work he does that goes un recognized, how he devotes his life to his family giving back, his friends, and his fans, i feel like i do personally know him. although i may know jack shit about him. he’s the reason i’m here, so ill be right here, right beside him. through everything. forever. zayns special because of his little quirks, his interests, how he seems so hard on the outside but when you know him you see he’s soft and loving, and loves art and i just get so infatuated with him. when he’s happy i’m happy. and he’s just an amazing guy. and if you can’t see that, i’m really sorry for you.