THE GAME

Lauren cuts off things with Michael now that she is officially a fiancé. Naturally he reaches out to his ex of seven years certain that she will never go anywhere. She takes him back with open arms, and doors. Michael effortlessly wins again.

Natalie decides to seek immediate payback against Michael by pursing his boss, Matthew, the kitchen manager. As for Lauren, she settles upon revenge being best served as a cold dish. Natalie is just evil enough to wait until she is closer to that dream wedding of hers.

Despite rumors of Matthew being married, Natalie goes along with his reception of her flirting and starts going out with him after work every night for drinks. After a few casual “dates”, Matthew confides in Natalie that he is legally separated and living with his mother. She senses he isn’t telling the whole truth but accepts his story to justify her own arising guilt.

After a few months of spending time together, Natalie decides she has nothing to lose by sleeping with Matthew after a basketball game they plan to attend the upcoming weekend. The day before the game she gets a weird and distant vibe from Matthew. After such a busy day at work for the kitchen, she feels that there is no reason to take it personal. At the end of her shift, Matthew asks her to stay so they can chat about scheduling next week. This unnerves her because he doesn’t do the server schedule, but she agrees anyway.

When the restaurant is empty he sits her down and tries to make small talk. After a few too many awkward moments, he blurts out that his wife is pregnant and they have decided to work things out. They are also planning a ceremony to renew their vows, to which his not so naive wife has requested the presence of the entire Earth & Sea staff. He apologizes and claims it was completely unexpected and he just wants to do right by his family.

Just as Natalie is about to explain how she genuinely understands and wish him the best, he slips his hand under her apron and asks if they are they still on for the game tomorrow. She violently grabs his hand which is now conveniently dressed with a wedding band and bends his fingers back until he is actually about to cry. She rips up the basketball tickets on his desk and storms out of the restaurant, snatching a bottle of bourbon from behind the bar on her way out. That is the last time her and Matthew acknowledge each other’s existence.

When Natalie gets into her vehicle, she pulls out her cell phone and dials Michael’s number.

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