Casey kept looking over his shoulder as if someone would be jumping out of the shadows to come at him. He had done the unthinkable, telling on PeeWee and Rick.
He had gotten home and changed, heading out of the house as quickly as possible. He was lucky no one had been home. No one was ever home at those hours, not even the twins.
Casey took the bus back to Summer Bay, something he was getting more and more used to doing lately. It was a twenty minute ride, but it wasn’t too bad.
Entering The Pier, Summer Bay’s diner, Casey was summoned over by one of Brax’s River Boy friends, Brody Upton.
“Oi Case! Casey.”
Casey looked over to see Brody sitting at one of the tables, seemingly playing with the salt and pepper bottles. Brody motioned him over.
“Brax is looking for you,” Brody said before Casey even took a seat.
A cold shiver ran up his spine. Brax knew. Brax had to know what he had done. Casey had conveniently left his cell phone off, and planned on telling his brother that the thing had died. It wouldn’t be the first time, so Brax would believe him.
His eyes widened.
“Oh yeah?” he asked, trying for relaxed and unfazed. “What did he want?”
“I don’t know,” Brody shrugged. “He’s your brother.”
Casey crossed his arms on the table. He tried to think about what Brax could want.
But that was the trouble. It could be as simple as asking him about his day or to babysit the twins. It could also be as bad as his brother finding out the truth and waiting to pulverize him.
“Did you steal a surfboard again or something?” Brody leaned in, teasing Casey.
But that was not a happy memory either. It had been almost two years prior, and it was by far the stupidest thing he had ever done.
This other kid, Lyle Hoedenfield, was a prick and a douche and a jerkass. It was no secret that he didn’t like Casey. He hated all of the River Boys, but Casey was the only one that seemed to take him seriously. Probably because he as the only one that the guy didn’t tower over.
Lyle had been parading around his new board. He was sixteen and full of himself and after about a week of this, Casey had had enough. He had talked two of his then-best friends into riding their bikes over to Lyle’s place. He had planned to TP it or something, but the stupid board had been there – unattended and on the front lawn. It was too easy.
Except apparently a neighbor had seen them and had called the cops.
Lucky for Casey, Lyle’s father had been pissed enough that Lyle had left the damn thing so stupidly out, he didn’t press charges. Lyle’s family was middle class, and his dad was a heavy drinker, but he didn’t go around beating on his family so as far as Casey was concerned, he had nothing to worry about.
Himself on the other hand?
Casey still didn’t know who had let Brax know. But as it often did, the word had spread fast. Less than an hour after he and his friends had stolen it, Casey was approached by two other of the Boys, Gordo and Mick, and had been informed that Brax was looking for him.
He had made like he was going to go find his brother, but instead he made damn certain to avoid his big brothers and their friends for the next four hours.
By the time he was nearing his curfew, he had already seen evidence of Brax’s growing frustration. His friends had had to go home, not wanting to warrant their own problems.
Casey had been walking across a parking lot, a half eaten slice of pizza in his hand, when he heard a particularly distinct whistle.
He wanted to just run off as fast as he could, but Heath had longer legs than him. And he ran a lot faster than him to boot.
Slowly, Casey turned.
Heath’s face had a dark smirk on it. It was never good when Heath wasn’t smiling. Especially if he thought Casey was in trouble. Brax on the other hand? Casey gulped.
“Don’t you dare,” his eldest brother had said.
They were a bit off from hearing range, almost clear across the parking lot, but Casey knew the look and could read his brother’s lips. He didn’t dare.
The second, the very second Brax reached him, he grabbed Casey by the elbow, turning him enough to place three incredibly hard smacks to the teenager’s butt, clear in front of anyone that dared to look their way.
Casey blushed from his ears to his toes. But he didn’t say anything. Brax could care less who saw him do anything. There was no law against his smacking them, and honestly Casey was just grateful it wasn’t more.
Heath had just stood there, glaring at him. Casey’s eyes glistened with a few tears and he wiped at the few that slipped out.
“Let’s go!” Brax groaned, yanking him back over to his car and the remaining three boys, Brody one of them. None of the guys said anything, thankfully, but they had all kind of given him this look that clearly told him they thought he was an idiot.
The car had been packed then, five grown sized men and his scrawny teenaged self. He sat in the front seat, on Heath’s lap, trying not to squirm. When he did squirm too much, Heath would smack his thigh and he would hold back a groan but would jam his elbow back into Heath’s chest, who then retaliated by pinching Casey’s bum. Brax glared at them the second go round.
Getting home had been much worse. He did not want a repeat of that.
“No,” Casey told Brody shaking his head. Brax had made it ultra clear that day what he thought of his little brother stealing anything.
Brody continued to tease him, but instead of becoming uninterested, it just made Casey more nervous.
“What are you even doing here?” Casey asked, changing the subject.
That’s how he found out that Brody had been questioned about Dexter, and that Rick had been taken in. They thought that it had been Colleen Smarts – a local, elderly woman who was also the town gossip.
“You serious?” Casey asked, now more interested. Had she spoken up? Had she put together the pieces?
Brody was never really serious about most things. He was there to bother Colleen, but he really wasn’t a bad guy. Colleen, however, didn’t help matters by continuously opening her big mouth.
Casey sighed, getting to his feet after Brody. So much for a snack.
He ushered Brody out and to the street.
Part Six ->