Confrontation

The room became suddenly silent as Jesse swiveled around, his eyes glancing at the table before making contact with Hal, who was casually seated on the other side of the table.

“Don’t you even think of taking it,” Jesse growled.

“You think that you can stop me?” Hal asked, placing a hand on the table.

Lightning flashed as Jesse crossed over to the table, sitting himself down in a chair opposite from Hal. They heard the patter of the rain colliding with the roof above their heads and with the windows to the side. Jesse squinted severely at Hal, letting the silence drag on for a moment.

“I know I can,” he said at last. The thunder finally reached the building, rocking the air but getting no reaction from either person.

Hal laughed. “Come now, you were the one who was talking about sharing earlier. Has that plan suddenly gone out the window?”

“That was assuming both of us took our fair share. You did not.”

Hal shrugged as lightning flashed again, casting dark shadows over their faces.

“I thought we were friends,” Jesse continued, leaning back in his chair. “I thought we could work this out, but no. You had to go ahead and take what wasn’t yours.”

“You would have done the same in my position.”

“I’ve been in your position, and I still stayed to the rules I had laid down.”

Lightning again. “Well, that’s because you’re a greedy two-shoes who doesn’t know when to take a good opportunity.”

“Opportunity? You’re a greedy hog who doesn’t know when to stop taking.”

They stared at each other, silent, livid, while the thunder summed up their conversation in a single, building shaking, boom. Neither said a single word as each one tensed, leaning forward in preparation of action. Hal glanced at Jesse’s eyes, then down at the table, then back to Jesse’s eyes, which he just barely caught also returning to his own.

Jesse scooted his chair closer to the table, his eyes fixed on Hal, who’s frowning face was leaning about as forward as it could from his seat. Jesse’s eyes flashed down and then flashed back at Hal’s face. His hand crawled up the table in preparation of action. Hal brought his own chair closer to the table; his eyes pierced Jesse’s with dark ferocity. His own hand came forward, keeping Jesse’s in check.

Jesse could feel sweat building. He glanced at Hal, glanced at the table, then glanced at Hal again. His hand twitched. Hal twitched in response, but held steady. Jesse’s eyes darted from the table to the hand to Hal’s eyes. Then all over again.

Lightning flashed and thunder rolled as they sat there, waiting for the other to make a move. Jesse flexed his fingers, and Hal lost it. But Jesse was too quick, his hand reached the center of the table first. A smile of triumph spread over his face.

“I think you’ll find the last donut is mine,” he said as he bit into it.

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