Saturday, December 13, 2008
New Kid in Town: Chapter 6
Sam Deveroux sat up quickly. He gasped for breath and looked around. The morning light bathed the porch he was sitting on. He had his sleeping bag draped over him. The memories of what had happened flooded back to him and he quickly clutched at himself. His shirt had been removed, and much to his surprise, he was fine. He remembered being stabbed, but there wasn’t a mark on him.
“What the hell?” He said astonished. He went to stand up, but felt his legs give under him. He felt a firm grip on his arm. It was Adrian.
“Easy, Sam.” Adrian helped Sam to his feet. The uneasiness quickly passed and Sam steadied himself. “How are you feeling?”
“Tired.” Sam admitted. “What the hell…”
“Later.” Adrian said flatly while looking past Sam. Sam turned to see his teammates approaching across the yard of the Krenshaw House. Randy Sullivan wearing his letterman jacket and a pair of beat up jeans was leading the pack. Sam looked down to see that all of his things were beside him on the porch. He reached into his pack back and pulled out the light jacket that he had packed. He looked at Adrian. Adrian was staring at him, his eyes pleading for Sam not to tell his friends what had happened last night.
“I’m going to want an explanation.”
“You’ll get one. I promise. Just…” Adrian’s voice trailed off.
“Not in front of them.”
“Alright.” Sam nodded and turned to his approaching teammates. He put on his best fake smile, and Adrian did likewise.
“Well, all right!” Randy bellowed with a smile and started clapping. The others joined the applause. It ceased soon and Randy climbed the stairs onto the porch. “Looks like you both made it.” Randy noticed that Sam’s shirt was missing. “Although I have to say, your lack of shirt is disturbing.”
“Ah, I ended up tearing the stupid thing. It got caught on something when we were crawling in through the window.” Sam answered calmly, and it seemed to satisfy Randy.
“How about you, Reese?” Randy asked with a smile. “You have as much fun as you thought you would?”
“Not really. Next time I’ll have to bring a more comfortable sleeping bag.”
“That dull, eh?” Randy inquired, only to be answered with a nonchalant shrug. Randy laughed. “Yeah. I was bored off my ass too when I stayed in there. Alright Reese, I still think you’re a weird-o, but you’re an okay weird-o.” Randy clapped his hands together. “Part of the tradition is buying you guys breakfast. Who’s hungry?”
“I could eat.” Adrian said and offered the best smile he could muster.
“Yeah.” Sam was growing more and more aware of the emptiness in his stomach. “I’m actually really hungry.”
There was a small restaurant just under a mile away from the Krenshaw House. I group spent the walk over there laughing and talking. Sam and Adrian were quiet for the most part. They responded well enough when spoken to. They did not laugh at any of the jokes that were being tossed around. Despite being the ‘guests of honor’ no one seemed to notice.
The restaurant was cozy and had a good selection for breakfast. The staff was expecting the group and they were greeted with smiles and quickly shown to enough tables to accommodate them. Sam and Adrian sat across from each other. They both ordered a hearty breakfast and both ate in near silence. Every so often they would look up at each other only to go back to their meals.
“Hey Adrian.” Randy called over from the table he was sitting at. “We cool? I know I gave you a hard time.”
“Yeah, it’s fine.” Adrian nodded as he answered.
“So, what’s up with that necklace? It’s pretty weird, man.” Randy’s gaze fell on the medallion that hung around Adrian’s neck.
“Family heirloom. It’s got a lot of sentimental value, and I like to keep it close.”
“Alright.” Randy nodded and finished his breakfast. The boys finished eating and settled their bill. They started for the door, when Randy noticed Sam and Adrian had not moved. “Yo Sam. You comin’? We’ve got practice in an hour.”
“I’ll meet you guys there.” Sam responded with a smile and a nod.
“Have fun with your new boyfriend!” One of the other players called. There was more laughter as the boys exited. This left Sam and Adrian staring at each other at the table.
“I don’t know who they were.” Adrian started.
“But they were after you.” Sam responded.
“No they were after this.” Adrian tapped the medallion with his finger.
“Why?” Sam demanded more than asked.
“Ok.” Adrian said after a pause. “I’m going to tell you the truth because you more than deserve it.” He held up the medallion. “This is a Heart’s Blood Medallion. There’s only five of them, so they’re valuable.”
“Those guys looked damn weird for dudes just looking to rob a couple of guys.”
“It’s also very powerful.”
“What do you mean ‘powerful’?”
“Sam, you saw those guys last night. You know they weren’t… right.”
“I really got stabbed, didn’t I?” Sam took a deep breath and remembered not being able too.
“How…” Before Sam could finish his question, Adrian tapped the medallion again with his finger. “I remember you saying something.”
“It was Latin. I know how to invoke the power in this thing. I was able to get rid of those guys. I was able to heal you.”
“If you could have gotten rid of them, then why didn’t you do it sooner, like before I got a knife stuck in me twice?”
“I don’t care.”
“Fine. The short of it is using the medallion is dangerous and could have killed me.” Adrian stared directly as Sam who fell silent. He struggled to take it all in. The lack of any other explanation made it easier. “You were dying. They would have killed me. Not much choice in the matter.”
“Alright.” Sam drummed his fingers on the table. One question was burning in his mind. He was sure he already knew the answer. “Someone killed your parents to try to get that thing.”
Adrian Reese paused and looked at Sam Deveroux for a moment.
“They same guys as last night?”
“So people… or whatever, are going to keep coming until they get it and probably kill you too.”
“Yeah, that’s about it. Sam, I understand if you want to stay as far away from me a possible after this.” Adrian said flatly as Sam stood up. Both of them were silent for a while as Sam pondered what had happened and all the information Adrian had given him. For a brief moment, Sam thought about walking out and never speaking to Adrian again. He knew that if everything he had been told was true then the young man in front of him was as good as dead as was anyone who was near him. The odds were horribly stacked against Adrian Reese. Sam hated that.
“You need anything: ask.” Sam said as he turned to the door to leave.
This month's artist: This month we get treated to the artwork of Dan Nokes. Dan is the creator of THE PARANORMALS from 21st Century Sandshark. Check him out!