KILLING ME SOFTLY - Teenage Assassin - Chapter 30

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CHAPTER 30:

GABRIEL’S  POV:

“I hardly ever play video games anymore,” I tell Jackson. 

“Whatever, kid.  Make all the excuses you want, but I’m still beating you,” Jackson says with a cocky grin, killing my character again on the video game.  “Booya!” he shouts and jumps to his feet to point a finger at me, “In your face, boy toy!”

Really, who even says ‘booya’ anymore?  Dorks like Jackson, that’s who. 

I toss my controller onto the cushion next to me, “Whatever, I’m tired of this game.  And you’ve obviously played it many times before.”

He looks all fake innocence, “Dude!  This is my first time, too.  I can’t help it that I have a gift.”

I mumble some curses as I get up and walk away, “Whatever, I’m going to go see what’s taking them so long.”

When I go into the ‘weapons room’, I see that Anna, Porky and Brent have been playing some games of their own. 

“Again!” Brent orders a moment before Anna shoots him with the paintball gun in the chest. 

He grunts, but manages to stagger back only one step before getting his footing.  If what Porky was saying earlier is true, Brent is going to be sporting some bruises. 

“Aim for the face,” I suggest.

Anna turns her head to look back at me with a smile.  “Miss me baby?”

I give her a sour look, “Your brother cheats at video games.”

She laughs while placing the paintball gun on a nearby table and walking all sexy-like over to me, “Aw poor baby.  Did Jackson beat you?”

“I’d like to beat him,” I mumble under my breath.  When she leans up to kiss me, all negative thoughts fly out of my head.  Damn, I wish I had her alone right now.  Unfortunately, the only place around here get some privacy would involve rust and dirt. 

I pull away from the kiss, sighing woefully.  From the look in here eyes, I can tell that she knows exactly what I’m thinking.  “Tonight,” she whispers meaningfully.  Can’t wait.

I hear the sound of a zipper closing and look over to see Porky hauling two large duffel bags over to us.  Brent grabs one from him as he passes by.  When he reaches us, I grab the other one from him before Anna does. 

She huffs in exasperation, “I can carry that.”

I ignore her and ask Porky, while using my free hand to point to a table against the far wall, “What’s up with the lab equipment?”  On the table is an array of science equipment.  Microscope, beakers, test tubes with tubing and even a stack of Petri dishes.

He smiles while shrugging, “It looks cool, huh?”

I give him a skeptical look, “But, what’s it for?  Do you make your own bombs?”

“No way, man.  That’d be too much work.  I have a wholesaler.  I just think all that equipment looks cool, like I’m a mad scientist or something.  Makes me look smart,” Brent answers. 

Anna laughs, “But you are smart.”

He shakes his head, “You just don’t get it.”

Brent slaps him on the back, “Don’t worry, buddy.  I get it.  Now what kind of food do you have around here?”

Porky grins, “I know of a really great place on the way back to Sydney.  My treat.”

Guy is probably starved for the company of other people.  From what I understand, he spends most of his time in places like this.  Alone and hibernating.  We agree to take his offer, all sensing that the guy needs interaction with the outside world. 

About an hour and a half later, as we follow Porky into a restaurant parking lot, I ask Anna, “Where the freak is he taking us?”

Following Porky in his SUV was a lot more comfortable than the ride earlier.  Brent went with him in his vehicle, so I got the whole backseat of this compact car from hell to myself.  The sign a mile or so back said that we are in Gosford, New South Wales.  This city isn’t too far from Sydney. 

The restaurant that we’re parking in front of is not exactly what I had in mind when Porky suggested dinner.  The sign in front of the place says the name “Romp and Stomp” in bright colors and there’s a dinosaur cartoon character next to the ‘p’ in ‘Stomp’.  This can’t be right.  He can’t seriously mean this restaurant. 

We park in the back of the parking lot next to Porky and all climb out.  Jackson beats me to it, asking Porky, “You can’t seriously mean this place?”

“They have video games,” Porky says in an enticing voice to Jackson.

“Hey, I don’t care what they have,” Brent says, “I’m starving.  No one told me it was going to take so long to get here.”  Rubbing his hands together in anticipation, “Let’s eat!”

Anna bumps her arm against mine, “Come on, baby.  I’ll win you a stuffed animal or something.”

“I want a squirt gun,” I joke with her. 

“Okay babe, but if there’s a pink one, then Jackson gets that one,” she says loud enough for Jackson to hear.  Without turning around, Jackson gives her the finger over his shoulder.

Upon entering the place, I imagine fire and brimstone would make this place my own personal hell.  There are kids screaming in delight, running around like maniacs and just acting all-around chaotic.  Damn.  I was in the mood for steak. 

The scrawny teenage boy at the front door asks if we have any kids with us, so that they can stamp our hands to prevent child abduction.  Kinda like they do at Chuck E Cheese’s.  I grab Jackson’s wrist and hold it up for a stamp.  He rolls his eyes and says his usual, “Ha, ha, ha.”  The teenager laughs and opens the velvet rope to let us in. 

We order our food up front, all of us getting the salad bar and two large pizzas to share.  I ask the girl who takes our order if they serve beer and she suggests root beer.  Yeah, a steak and beer would have been nice after all the time cooped up in the car today. 

We find a booth at the back of the restaurant, Porky insists, and from the way he’s eyeing the front of the restaurant where there is a wall full of windows, I’m wondering if he’s waiting for us to get attacked or something. 

Porky “Pssts!” Jackson and asks in a soft tone, “Did you see anyone following us?”

Jackson raises his eyebrows and asks in a teasing voice, “Like who?  Your girlfriend?”

Porky shifts uncomfortably, “I’ve been in Australia for four months.  I’m surprised she hasn’t found me yet.”

Brent shrugs and says through a mouthful of salad, “Maybe Diana didn’t think you were worth it.  Last I heard, she was undercover in Spain.”

I feed Anna a crouton and she gives me a smile.  A moment later, Brent holds up a crouton for her to eat too.  I stab at his hand with my fork and he yelps out in pain.  A little kid walking by stops at the edge of our table, “Why are you crying?”

Jackson starts laughing, “Yeah Brent, why are you crying?”

Brent scowls and gestures towards me, “See this ugly guy right here?”

The boy looks confused for a minute, but then says, “Uh-huh.”

“Well, he stabbed me with a fork,” Brent says in an offended tone. 

The kid looks at me curiously, “Why did you do that?”

Anna laughs from the right of me.  I smoothly tell the kid, “He wanted to steal my favorite toy.”  Anna pinches my leg under the table and I hear her grumble something incoherently under her breath. 

The kid glances back to Brent, then shrugs and walks away.  O-kay, guess he lost interest in us. 

Shortly after finishing our salads, the pizza arrives and we dig in.  Not steak, but Porky was right, the pizza is kickass.  Stuffed, we decide to try out some of the games.  Anna and I wander around, hand in hand, until she gets obsessed with some racing game.  Bored after watching her play ten times, I wander off on my own, finding an old school Pac-Man game.  Jeez, we could have done this at Porky’s shithole. 

When I find Anna again, she’ll still playing the same racing game, but instead of playing the game, she is now playing against a little girl who’s probably around ten years old.  The race ends and Anna kicks the machine.  Turning to the girl, she demands, “I want a rematch.”

The girl has a smug look on her face and shrugs nonchalantly, “Okay lady, if you want me to embarrass you again, but I’ve already beat you five times.”

Standing behind them, I have to muffle my laughter with my hand when the girl beats Anna once again.  When Anna starts to argue with the girl, I wrap my arm around her waist from behind and drag her away.  “What are you doing, Gabriel?”

“Preventing a disaster,” I tell her and kiss her on the neck. 

“I almost beat her that last time!” she exclaims and makes a move to walk back over to the now laughing little girl. 

“I thought we could play some skee ball together,” I attempt to distract her.

Grudgingly she says, “I’m pretty good at that.  I always beat Jackson,” and lets me lead her to the skee ball lanes. 

After a couple games, in which I make sure Anna scores higher than me, I notice Brent not too far away, letting kids throw balls at him in a huge ball pit.  He scrambles out of the pit and I smirk when a kid whacks him in the back of the head with a green plastic ball. 

Brent saunters over to us and I don’t like the calculating look in his eyes, “Gotta love kids.  They’re always ready to throw down.”  He nudges Anna, “What do you say, Annabelle?  Wanna breed with me?”

I laugh humorlessly and punch him in the shoulder, hard, in a mock-friendly gesture.  “Oh Brent, you’re such a joker.”

“What?” He asks innocently.  “I was being totally serious.”

“Back off,” I warn him with a glare.  I don’t care what kind of skills this jerk supposedly possesses, he needs to quit hitting on my girl. 

“So anyways,” Brent begins in a lazy tone, “I heard Annabelle put a bullet in your dad’s head.”

Instant rage hits me and as Annabelle shouts out, “No Gabriel!”, I am already ramming my body into Brent’s.  Unfortunatley, his fall is cushioned by the ball pit.  Kids scream and dash out of the way.  As soon as we land, I pull my fist back and connect with his cheek.  I get sadistic satisfaction from the small cut along his cheekbone. 

Before I realize it, he has me on my back and is pounding on my chest.  Over his shoulder, I see Annabelle trying to yank him off me.  All around the ballpit, parents are gathering their children with expressions or horror on their face.  I reach up and yank on Brent’s hair.  Anna finally wraps her arms around Brent’s neck and pulls him back. 

There is an overweight man in a ‘Romp and Stomp’ polo shirt yelling at us to leave the restaurant.  Jackson is assuring him that we’re leaving.  Dragging myself to my feet in the ball pit, I grab on to the ledge and hop out. 

We’re out of there in two minutes, the young punk up front glaring at us on the way out.  Porky is sullen in the parking lot, “You guys better not have gotten me kicked out for life.”

Anna goes over to him and hugs him, but I’m not jealous.  Porky just isn’t the kind of guy you get jealous of.  “Are you coming back with us to Sydney?”

“Naw,” he shrugs, “Maybe I’ll join you in a few days, after you’re done with the job.”  He suddenly brightens up, “There’s this really great restaurant you’d guys love in Sydney!”

“Er, sure,” I tell him distractedly.  “We’ll see you then.”  I’m still pissed at Brent’s comment about me and Annabelle’s past.  Everything was going so well, but now I feel tense, anxious and angry. 

Saying our goodbyes to Porky, we climb into our car as he gets into his SUV.  Feeling the need to separate us, Brent sits in front with Jackson and Annabelle climbs in back with me.  She sits close to me, not that she has much of a choice.  I can feel her staring at me, but I don’t glance her way.  I’m too upset right now. 

Annabelle and I have been through a lot and we don’t need reminders of everything bad that’s happened between us.  I’m guessing it was Jackson who told Brent about Annabelle killing my dad.  Thanks a lot fucker. 

Porky is in his vehicle in front of us, turning to go north on the highway, back to Newcastle, when we see a small figure pop up from the back trunk area of his SUV. 

“Oh shit!” Jackson calls out. 

“That looks like Diana!” Brent shouts in amusement. 

Annabelle turns her attention to the back of the vehicle in front of us, “Should we help him?”

Jackson is laughing, shaking his head, “Naw, let those two lovebirds work it out themselves.”

As we take the turn to go south, back to Sydney, Annabelle leans her head against my shoulder, “Are you alright?”

I tense, “I’m fine.”

“Still love me?” She whispers so Jackson and Brent can’t hear. 

I turn my face and kiss her forehead, “Always.”

********************************

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COMMENT!

So, what did you guys think of that one? 

I'm gonna point this out, cause some of you may not have noticed.  Sometimes Gabriel calls Annabelle, 'Anna' and sometimes he calls her 'Annabelle'.  Do you notice when he calls her one and when he calls her the other?  This has been going on for quite a few chapters, but no one has commented on it yet.

and oh yeah, VOTE!

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