For those who haven’t already read them, you can find links to the previous chapters here:
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9
Chapters 10 and 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20 Chapter 21
It had already been one hell of a rough day, and I couldn’t have hoped for a better reaction from Weed so I hated to press my luck, but when we were both properly baked, I decided to anyway.
“So you know how Buck was Finkenbine’s last assignment?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Weed replied, while staring at his own hand.
“‘Cause he’d done stuff that made it possible for him to be a target?”
“And Finkenbine said Lucifer likes to do shit like that, trying to get you to break the deal?”
“Yeah,” he said again, moving his hand closer, then further from his face but never looking away.
“I don’t want to be put in that situation.”
“Damnit, can’t you say anything else?”
The anger in my voice seemed to break Weed from his trance.
“What are you trying to say?”
“I’m not trying to say anything, I’m trying to ask if there’s anything I should be worried about.”
“Wait, What? Your deal was for murderers, rapists and child molesters, right? Do you think I would do anything like that?”
“No, of course not. And I told Finkenbine that, but he insisted that Lucifer always has a plan to mess with you, especially on the last assignment. He said it’s always someone close to you, and you know, I’m not really close to too many people…”
“Not if you’re going to accuse them of that sort of stuff.”
“I’m not accusing you of anything, I’m just trying to figure out who Lucifer has in mind for me.”
“Well it sure as Hell ain’t me,” he replied.
“Good,” I said, laying back down.
Several minutes passed before Weed broke the silence.
“You don’t think…” he said before stopping himself.
“No, don’t give me that. Tell me where that messed up mind of yours went.”
“I was just thinking…”
“That’s always dangerous.”
“It’s just, like you said, you aren’t really close to anyone but me and Shawna.”
“And like I said, it sure as Hell isn’t me, so…”
“I’m just saying…”
“There’s no way that little miss straight A’s has done anything even remotely close to….”
“Maybe we don’t know her as well as we thought.”
“No chance. We’ve known her forever.”
“We don’t really know what she might have done this summer. I mean she came back with that jerk in the red ‘vette….”
“Wait, you might be onto something.”
“What? You think she and that guy might have killed someone?”
“No,” I said, suddenly sitting up straight. “I’m talking about whatever he did to her. It was bad enough for her to say she was going to ‘take care of it.”
“So what, you think she killed that jackass and then just acted like nothing happened?”
“We haven’t seen him since.”
Weed looked at me with a sudden understanding.
“And she’s kind of been avoiding us, like she has something to hide.”
“It couldn’t be, could it?”
“There’s only one way to find out, you’re going to have to ask her.”
“Oh yeah, just stroll up and say, hey, I know the guy was a jerk, so did you off him?”
“Yeah, that may not work so well.”
“We’ll just have to do a little detective work.”
“Or I could just wait until Lucifer gives me my last assignment.”
“I thought you wanted to know before so you could be prepared,” Weed said with a smug look I just wanted to smack from his face. But he was right.
“Okay, so tomorrow we’ll start snooping around.”
“Agreed,” he said, “but tonight we try to just forget everything.”
“Agreed,” I said, taking the bowl from his outstretched hand. A couple more puffs, and everything felt alright.
The next morning I wasn’t feeling too bad, except for a little cotton mouth. A glass of water would have helped a little but as I walked down the stairs my mouth started watering on it’s own thanks to the smells wafting up from the kitchen.
“I knew the smell of bacon would get you down here,” Weed’s mom said, “but it seems to have lost its effect on my son. Do you want to help with that?”
I thought about everything Weed had been through and everything he’d done for me. It was almost enough for me to turn down his mom’s offer, but then I saw the oversized water gun in her hands. I mean, he would do the same to me, or at least that’s what I told myself as I grabbed the weapon from her.
I could feel the icy water through the plastic as I made my way up the stairs and it brought a smile to my face. There was no way Weed would be able to sleep through that water hitting his face, if I could manage to find it beneath all the blankets covering his bed.
At the foot of his bed, I took a second to shift my grip on the gun to one hand so I could grab the covers in the other. I braced myself for any resistance, then pulled with all the strength. Surprisingly, the blankets came off easily but as I swung the water gun to point right where Weed should have been, I realized I’d been set up.
The firecracker exploded at my feet before I could jump over the bed for cover. Thankfully I managed to get to the otherside before I was hit with too much freezing cold water. Once behind a little protection, I gave the water gun a couple pumps for a little added pressure then popped up spraying anything that moved.
Weed had apparently been hiding in his closet, because the door now stood wide open, but he was smart enough not to get trapped in there and took the opportunity to make his escape while I scrambled for cover. And he’d almost made it too, but I managed to point the icy stream of water right at his bare back before he could get all the way through the doorway.
“Holy crap that’s cold!” he screamed, before turning back around, returning the favor with an identical water gun.
We were both soaked and out of water within a couple minutes, but we couldn’t stop laughing for several more. By the time we were able to compose ourselves the food had grown cold, but neither of us cared; it was worth it.
“So now that you two are done soaking everything in my house, do you think you can get your asses in gear and get to school on time?” Weed’s mom asked.
She was right, I really didn’t want to jump right back onto Principal Rooney’s shit list so I scarfed down a plate of food and headed back to my place to get showered and changed before rushing towards the school. Weed must have been taking his time because he pulled his chevette into the parking lot right behind me.
“Hey,” he said, as we both made our way towards the front doors. “About last night.”
“Yeah?” I asked, not really wanting to rehash the whole Finkenbine thing.
“You weren’t really serious about Shawna….”
“Oh, that. No, of course not.”
“Good, me neither. It all sounded so logical last night but this morning….”
“Yeah, I know what you mean. I guess I’m just going to have to wait and see.”
“Are you worried?”
“Maybe… kinda…not really. I’m just ready to get it over with.”
“Me too,” Weed said, “Then we can get back to what’s important.”
“And what would that be?”
“Finishing up Pamela so we can start on the Weed Wagon.”
I really shouldn’t have expected anything else from him.