Chapter 15 - The Fallout

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I came into work and found Tom sitting in the den alone.

"Aaron still not talking to you?" I asked.

"Have you seen him?" He answered.

"No. Why?"

"He hasn't come in yet" Tom explained.

Aaron was always first in to work with Steve being second, then Tom and then me. This order hadn't changed at all since I started working there, so alarm bells were ringing in my head. Maybe Aaron had quit because of the chicken debacle?

"I'm here" Aaron called. His voice was definitely in the room but none of us could see him.

"Was that a ghost?" Tom asked.

"No you idiots" Aaron replied, still invisible to us.

"Where the hell are you?" I cried.

"Here" Aaron sighed, as he sat up inside one of the vacant coffins. He was like a zombie rising up.

"Jesus Christ!" I shrieked.

"What the hell are you doing in there?" Tom asked, holding his chest to make sure that his heart was still beating.

"Me and Vanessa had a fight last night and she kicked me out last night so I crashed here" He answered, sleepily climbing out of the coffin.

"What did you fight about? I asked.

"We were wedding planning but I was too stressed out over the fucking chicken suit so I lost it at her" He explained. He told us that he thought they'd work it out and that some space would be good for them.

"You know what else would be good?" Tom asked. "We've got to get drunk again; it's been way too long"

"I'm up for that" I shrugged.

"I guess I could be tempted" Aaron smiled at Tom, suggesting that he had forgiven him for yesterday's argument. The reunion was short lived though, as Steve came charging into the den.

"What did you do?" He asked us all. I could almost see the steam coming out of his ears.

"What are you talking about?" Tom asked, pleading ignorance again.

"This is what I'm talking about!" Steve threw down the newspaper on the table. There was an article about Christian's funeral with the headline reading "Chicken Costume Leaves Funeral Director with Egg on His Face".

"That's actually a pretty good headline" I admitted.

"I told you to leave this alone! Why didn't you listen to me?" Steve asked.

"Just looking out for you, buddy" Tom smiled. The smile was wiped off his face though when Steve spoke again.

"Well stop it! I covered for you last time but I can't keep doing it! Now if you don't mind, I have to go and speak to the family of the chicken so just stay here!"

"Yes sir" Aaron nodded.

I decided to take the opportunity to continue reading the article in the newspaper and was stunned to see that this incident had also forced a closure within Christian's empire.

"Should we feel bad?" Aaron asked.

Whether or not we should have, I felt bad. Yes we were trying to help Steve but we were ruining Christian's business. Sure, he was evil but was he THAT evil? Did he deserve everything we were doing to him? Answer me this question. Were we the good guys or were we the bad guys?

"I don't feel bad. I feel pretty good" Tom shrugged. I just ignored his opinion.

We stayed out of Steve's way for the rest of the day, but we still had nothing to do. Naomi sent me a text message asking if I wanted company at work, which I thought was a little weird but I was more than happy for her to come over. I told Aaron and Tom to behave themselves and they both agreed. It seemed like our recent days spent as brothers in arms had earned me some respect from my fellow soldiers.

It was a good afternoon, spent with my girlfriend and two best friends, and not to mention all the dead bodies.

"Naomi, you know the guys I work with?" I asked, introducing them. I wasn't sure if she remembered them from her grandma's funeral.

"Fat Tom and sexy Aaron, right?" She asked. Aaron smirked mischievously whilst Tom's face fell.

"You call me fat Tom?" He gasped. I just shrugged. "What are you smiling about?" He then moved on to Aaron. "Doesn't it freak you out that he calls you sexy Aaron?"

"Everybody calls me sexy Aaron" He shrugged as well.

Thankfully I didn't have to explain to Naomi the rules of Casket Shuffle so I didn't need to worry about her thinking we were weird. I mean, we were but I didn't want her to know how bad it was.

The only thing that could ruin it was Christian Goldstein.

He stormed into the den once more, still wagging his finger at us.

"I'm going to kill you bastards!" He yelled.

"Why? So you can dress us up as farm animals?" Tom asked, creating a ripple of laughter around the room.

"I told you that I would make you pay, and you haven't seen anything yet!" He hissed.

"Whatever Goldstein" Aaron sighed.

"I'm going to teach you all a lesson that you will never forget!" Christian ignored him. "You are all nothing but a bunch of –"

"Who are you?" Naomi asked, interrupting Christian. I don't think he'd even noticed that she was there until then.

"I'm Christian Goldstein" He bragged as if he was a Hollywood A-lister.

"I don't know who you are" Naomi burst his bubble. "But you can't talk to people like that. No matter who you are"

"And who exactly are you? I've never seen you before"

"It doesn't matter who I am, I'm not going to tell you anything until you apologise to these guys" She told him defiantly. It was only then that I really knew how awesome Naomi really was.

"I'm guessing that they haven't told you what they did to me, did they?" Christian snorted.

"I don't care! I've just met you and I can already tell you're an asshole so whatever they did to you, you probably deserved it" My girlfriend said.

"Hmph. Well I'm not apologising" Christian sulked.

"Well in that case, you need to leave" I told him, trying to act tough in front of Naomi. I loved that she was clearly tough but there was no way she was going to show me up in front of my friends.

Christian snorted again before slowly skulking away. "You're going to pay" He reminded us. "All of you!"

Once he was finally gone, Naomi turned to face us all.

"That was amazing!" Tom told her.

"What did you do to him?" She asked, ignoring the compliment. "And why is he threatening us all?"

We all shared a nervous glance before I decided to tell her. I think I'd lied to her enough recently.

"Naomi, you might want to sit down for this. It's kind of a long story" I told her.


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