Chapter Three: Confused and Slightly Worried

Previous: Chapter Two: Bite Me

It had been a rough week, thought Cade as he gingerly touched his eye. It still hurt, terribly so, but seeing the irritation on Noah’s face had been worth it. It was the highest point of his week.

He thought back onto their first meeting. He hadn’t earned nearly enough to pay off Joel’s debt and so had resorted to tracking down the nearest fights and placing bets. Who would have thought he’d encounter such an interesting character?

There was no way anyone could have not noticed the black suit clad man, who without having a suitcase was just short of stereotypical business man, stumbling into the brawl. Cade had wondered what the guy was doing there, but had lost interest as the fighter he had bet on was close to winning. After having spent nearly the whole day breezing from alleys to parks to even old garages, he had already managed to accumulate a whopping total of $1200 in bets and only needed about $800 more. If Shale won, he’d be about $200 closer. This with what he had already earned earlier this week would save Joel’s ass if only for a bit longer. He’d worry about how he was going to eat later.

He hadn’t expected the police to come interrupting nor had he expected his money to simply try and walk off. But he had managed, like he always did.

Cade would have liked to hang around longer and play with prissy business suit guy, but if he hadn’t left when he did he would never have made it in time to Tray’s, especially since he had to stop by his home to grab the rest of the money he needed.

He had briefly been disappointed at the prospect of never seeing the man again so when he had tumbled on top of a familiar faced man, he had been filled with glee. He would have rathered their next meeting not be when he was  punched for trying to shoplift, but anything was better than nothing.

Of course the store owner’s punch had stung as well but it was nothing compared to the blow he recieved from the older dark haired man. Feeling the throbbing in his eye begin to resume again, Cade winced. Ok, so maybe he had gone too far.

No matter though, he now had a name to work with and if this man was this easily irritated, Cade would positively enjoy seeing him again sometime soon.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Noah.”

“Noah.”

“Noah!”

“Hnn?” mumbled Noah as he lifted his head and opened a bleary eye before closing it again.

Rolling his eyes at his best friend, Levi placed his hands on Noah’s shoulders and shook him hard. “Wake up!”

“Noooo” Noah wined childishly, “Lemme sleep..”

Levi promptly pushed him out of his chair. Then kicked him. Hard.

“Levi!” Noah curled up into a ball, protecting the rest of his ribs.

“What’s wrong with you? You’re acting wrong.”

“Wrong?”

“Yes, wrong! You’re twenty three now. You can’t act like this. You can’t give these guys incentives to fire you.”

“They won’t fire me. They can’t fire me.”

“They can fire me and Yanez.”

At that, Noah sat up, wide eyed and alarmed. “They wouldn’t dare.You both are some of the best they’ve got.”

“Who’s to stop them? Sure we’re great at what we do, but we’re still in our early twenties. Positions like these are not held by people this young. If it wasn’t for your dad, we would be at the bottom of the corporate food chain and not making this much money.” Levi shot a sharp glare at Noah. “Due to our ages, we have to work harder for respect here. It’s not just about our results and thanks to your little nap during this meeting, we’ve lost some of that.”

Noah looked down. Levi was right. There was a lot at stake here and it was very unprofessional of him to fall asleep during a meeting, even if it was one so late in the day. “I’m sorry.”

“Let’s just get out of here. You’re done for the day, right?”

Noah nodded and got up. He fixed his tie and combed his hair with his fingers, then followed Levi out of the conference room.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cade was bored. Very bored. He hoped to God it was worth his time waiting this long for Joel. Not only was it very boring for him to wait in the lobby but it was very uncomfortable as well. He kept recieving strange looks from strangers and more than once people had gone out of their way to keep at least a 3-foot distance between him and themselves. Truth be told he was starting to feel a prickling of hurt build up within him at the obvious ‘he was not wanted here’ vibe he was recieving from the others.

But this was for Joel. And for Joel, he stayed seated with his arms folded and his feet splayed out in front of him.

He sighed.

Joel better get this job.

Three days ago, after freeing Joel from Tray’s grasp, Joel had promised Cade that he’d stay clean.

“I swear, Buddy, this time it’s for real. No more drugs.”

And so Joel started looking for a real job. He had it lucky, considering. He had gone to college and had graduated with a business degree. It would not be too hard to find a suitable job to get him back on his feet. If he hadn’t been sucked into the drug world, he probably would have been livin’ the good life, Cade mused. Still, better late than never.

It was pure luck that Joel had managed to score an interview on the third day looking. He had donned his one suit that while old still looked presentable enough, dragged Cade along for support, promising him a meal afterwards (which Cade highly doubted he could afford at the moment), and had promptly been ushered into one of the lower level rooms upon nervously gving his name and asking where he was to go at the front desk.

Forty minutes had gone by before he groaned quietly. He shifted in his chair, debating whether he just ditch or not when he heard a familiar voice greet his ears.

“What do I have to do to get you to forgive me, Levi?”

“How about promising never to sleep again while at work?”

“I can do that!”

“And buy me lunch everyday this week.”

“You’re kidding right?”

“Oh and Yanez too.”

“What?! Why?!”

“Reflect over your sins, Noah. Reflect and regret.”

Cade grinned. Yup, just what he thought. It was Noah and it looked like he worked here. Interesting, very interesting.

As the arguing voices got closer, Cade sprung to his feet and swaggered over to the two men. He made sure to put extra emphasis on his swaying hips and jabbed his hands into his pockets. If this didn’t annoy a ‘proper’ gentleman then he’d slap himself silly. His smirk grew when he noticed a scowl grow across Noah’s face upon seeing him.

“Hullo there Noah.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Noah couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Not only did he have to buy Levi lunch, but Yanez as well. For a week.

“Be reasonable Levi!”

“I am being reasonable.”

“Not with those conditions!”

“Would you like me to make them worse…”

Noah turned to see what had caused Levi to trail off, fully expecting to see a beautiful woman but instead seeing a blonde with what could be called an evil grin on his face.

Oh no.

“Hullo there Noah.”

No. No. No. No.

“What? Aren’t you happy to see me?”

No!

“Cat got your tongue?”

Stupid blonde.

“If I poke you, will you hit me?”

Finally Noah ground out, “Yes. Now leave.”

“I can’t do that Noah.”

“Yes you can, now leave.”

“I don’t think so,” Cade sung out.

“No one wants you here, now leave.”

Cade winced before going on, “I can’t and won’t leave.”

Noticing the brief hurt look, Noah backed off and turned to Levi. “Let’s go.” He ignored Levi’s questioning look and proceeded to pull his friend’s arm and walk forward before he could recieve a response.

Cade was about to protest when he heard another familiar voice. “Cade! Cade!”

He turned towards the very cheerful Joel. “What?”

“I think I got it. I’m pretty sure I got it. They’ll call me in a few days just to confirm but I’m pretty sure I got it.”

“That’s great, Joel.”

Noah paused in herding Levi out the doors, curious as to what was happening behind him.

“I know! Now as promised, I’m taking us both out to eat.”

“With what spare money?”

“Oh…right.” Joel’s face fell then brightened. “Well we can always..”

“No.”

“Bu-”

“No.”

“Listen I thi-”

“No.”

Joel’s eyes darkened and his smile dropped. “I want to celebrate, Cade.”

Cade hesitated a little while longer before nodding his head in agreement. It wasn’t like he’d never done it before. A little Dine an’ Dash wouldn’t hurt any one.

He was about to ask where they’d go when he felt a tap on his shoulder.

It was Noah, looking sheepish as he stared at anywhere but down into Cade’s eyes. “Here.”

A few bills were pushed against his chest and he quickly pulled his hands out of his pockets to catch them before they fell. He looked up, ready to hand them back but Noah had disappeared.

He glanced all around to no avail, trying to find where he had gone. Finally his gaze settled onto Joel’s wide eyes.

“That’s three hundred dollars, Cade.”

Three…hundred…dollars?

He lifted the bills to his face and peered closey, just to make sure. Three hundred dollars, just like Joel had said. Noah had just given him three hundred dollars. He narrowed his eyes. What the hell was up with that?

“What was that about, Cade?” Joel’s hard voice pierced through his thoughts.

“I don’t..really know..”

Joel stared at him for a few more seconds before abruptlty stating, “Let’s go.”

Both walked out the building and started heading south to eat at the first restaurant they spotted. One still confused, and the other slightly worried.

Next: Chapter Four I: The Wilson Gang

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Posted on November 25, 2013, in Despite The Odds, My Writings, Novels and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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