“This isn’t good,” Gene sighed. “Deacon’s up to something.”
“Deacon’s always up to something,” Tegan spat.
“Guys, you’re not going to believe this,” Nick said.
“We saw it and we don’t believe it,” Jeanne said. “What did you say to make him leave you alone like that?”
“I didn’t say anything,” Nick said, taking his seat next to Gene. “It’s the weirdest thing. You know how Deacon’s getting votes, right?”
“Threatening other kids, I bet,” Gene said. He pointed to the monkey bars. “He hurt Tommy and Chuck.”
“Well, it’s weird,” Nick said. “He hurt Tommy, yeah, but he said he wasn’t gonna do that to me. He just told me how he wanted me to vote.”
“He can go to hell if he thinks he can force you to vote for him,” Jeanne said.
“No, no,” Nick said. “That’s what’s so weird. He told me to vote for you, Gene.”
The news stunned them all. “Wait, what?” Gene said. “Why? What’s he doing?”
“He says he knows he can’t get everyone to vote for him,” Nick said, “or Mr. Walsh will get suspicious. So he has to have some people vote for you and Fran, so it looks like he won fair and square.”
“He hasn’t bothered us,” Gene said.