Chapter Five: Piece the Pieces Together Again
Previous: Chapter Four III: The Wilson Gang
It’d been a week since Noah had saved his and Joel’s ass. A week since Noah had punched him so hard he’d almost bit his own tongue at the pain.
And yet the words Noah had uttered hadn’t left his mind. Not for a second. Each word, each syllable, so imprinted that he could almost taste the minty breath he’d smelt when they were said.
“I don’t give a fuck about you, got that?”
It sucked. Terribly so. It wasn’t just the severity of the words that bothered him, but the tone in which they were said. Disdain, disgust, harsh, and yes, crushingly cruel. No one liked being told they weren’t cared about, least of all him. And while he certainly hadn’t earned himself any brownie points with the man, he had liked to think they were chums.
“Don’t bother me anymore.”
He chuckled. Chums. Sometimes even his crazy surprised him as well.
Cade looked over at the bucket of batteries peeking out from under his bed. After everything that had happened, he had been sorely relieved at having to wait in a long line at Walmart, hands full of packs and packs of batteries. It’d be a while before supplies ran low and it’d be awhile before he’d spend the night at Joel’s again.
Cade scowled. He was still a tad sore at him despite the fumbling apology the next day. It hadn’t been a great one and half of it had been asking about Noah. What was up with that? It wasn’t anyone’s damn business. And even if it had been Joel’s, how was Cade to respond to the query if he didn’t even know. So yeah, he wasn’t too happy with his best bud, but he reckons he’ll hang out with him tomorrow anyways. Cade could hold grudges, long ones, but he didn’t really see the point in doing so when eventually one always gives in.
Because, eventually he always gives in.
He grumbles and runs a hand through his already mussed bed hair. It was time to leave the den.
Standing up from his bed, he stretches then notices the crumpled shirt he’d thrown on the floor the other day in his clumsy haste to get to his sock drawer. He bends and picks it up, holding it between his thumb and finger. Takes a long sniff. It’s clean, thank goodness.
He pulls it over his head and smooths it over his chest and belly. It’s his mustache shirt and he grins at the irony like always. At nineteen, Cade still hasn’t shown signs of sprouting facial hair and it seems like he never will. He muses. Most of the hair he’s got is on top of his head.
The sole brown cartoon mustache displayed in the center of white makes him feel giddy and high; Cade-high, of course.
Before he leaves he pulls on his brown knitted gloves, his fingers pushing through the finger-holes, and positions his bear hat on top of his messy hair, serving both to tame and hide most of it. He feels like being obnoxious today and what he’s wearing, along with his cheeky smile, screams it.
He feels great, Noah realizes as he sits on the park bench. It’d been awhile since he had simply sat and enjoyed the scenery, both beautiful and quiet. He hears ducks quacking from the pond, but he doesn’t mind. A little noise is okay; it reminds him that he’s alive and breathing.
It had been a pretty great week so far. He hadn’t fallen asleep through anything important and had successfully reached an agreement with Levi on the budget he’d be allowed to have on his project. And most satisfyingly, he’d gone over to Emma’s with some designer purse in a bright pink bag with bow thing (all credit to Yanez) and gotten laid, almost immediately.
He smirks to himself. It had been damn easy and great. Emma had really outdone herself; he almost hadn’t left.
He then begins to wonder what he’ll do next, after the park. Where his feet will take him and if he will listen.
“Is this spot taken? No? Thanks.”
A lean body plomps down next to him and he eyes the swinging feet from the corner of his eye with distaste. Sets his jaw and stares stubbornly ahead. If he doesn’t acknoweldge it, maybe it’ll go away or something.
“Hullo? You in there?” A knucle raps his temple. “C’mon out, let’s play.”
Noah blinks wearily. He was trying here.
The bench creaks in protest as the body next to him scoots on over. He feels the warmth radiating and recoils slightly. All he wanted was peace.
“Oh, I get it now. You like to be broody and melancholic, dontcha? Have the tall, dark, and silent thing working for you, right?”
He turns to him and raises an eyebrow. “The fact you know what melancholic means surprises me.”
“See, there, I’m full of surprises. Now be a good boy and talk to me.”
Noah reluctantly nods. It wasn’t like he actually had somewhere to be. “What do you want?”
“Just a little of your time.” Cade’s feet begin to swing again. “I’m bored.”
“Bored, huh.” Noah leans back against the back of the bench. “And I suppose I’m the one to entertain you.”
“Mhmm..” A female jogger goes by and Cade pauses, obviously interested. “H-Hey, how are you doin’?”
Noah stifles a laugh as the brunette slows down, walks past Cade, and instead shoots Noah a flirty smile. He returns it with one of his own and then she’s off.
Noah’s still staring at her ass when Cade launched himself at him, flailing into his lap. “No fair! No fair!”
Breaking out into laughter, Noah desperately tries to keep them from falling off the bench. “What’s wrong? Not good with women?”
“I usually do the screwing if you must know.” His eyes twinkling with merriment as the blonde pounds his fists harder into his chest.
Enraged and face flaming, Cade swings his right fist up to smack Noah’s smirk away. “Sh-shut UP!”
Noah catches hold of Cade’s wrist and quickly grabs hold of the other. “Aww, a little shy about screwing?”
“NO!” Cade looks sharply away.
“Uh huh..” Noah transfers both fists into his left hand and grabs hold of Cade’s chin. Furious green eyes meet sparkling blue ones. “So the brat knows nothing about fucking, hmm?”
“I know plenty!” He glares hotly into a pair of amused eyes. “I know how it works!”
Noah traces Cade’s lips with his thumb, thoughtfully, as Cade stills his struggling. His face burns brighter red and his stomach twists uncomfortably. He suddenly feels very small and very scared at the predatory glint in Noah’s eyes. Frozen in fear, Cade watches Noah lean in closer. Closer. Closer. And then he feels the same minty breath from last week brush against his lips. “You’re pathetic.”
And suddenly Cade’s back hits the ground hard, his mind trying to process what the fuck had just happened, and Noah looms over him.
“You’re more of a child than I had thought. A real annoying one.” Noah’s smirk shows white teeth this time and Cade is reminded of a shark. “That’s what you get for trying to play with grown ups.”
Noah turns, his foot nudging something on the ground. It’s a hat. A brown knit beanie with round ears on it. He picks it up and brushes some dirt off it. “You really are just a kid, aren’t you?”
Then Noah decides he’ll take a souvenir this time. He doesn’t really know why, but he shoves it into his pocket. “I’ll be taking this by the way.”
Cade turns his head and watches Noah leave, his shattered mind scrambling to piece the pieces back together again.