So for hitting 400 followers on my Tumblr blog ((koalamuffins.tumblr.com)), I decided to edit and post a scene from my current wip, The Finest Trick. This is not a complete scene, and all rights belong to me.
From Chapter Nine
Shayne grabbed his tray from the cafeteria’s conveyor belt and started towards the exit. He didn’t feel hungry, but took the food as an old habit. He scanned the room as he pushed through the crowds, and stopped halfway to the exit. Darrel was sitting alone, staring down at a book with an untouched tray of food in front of him. His eyes moved over the words without hesitation or break. Shayne’s stomach twisted painfully as he watched him.
Shayne’s tray smacked against the table as he sat in front of him. He jumped so high he almost fell out of his chair.
He looked at Shayne with wide eyes. “Jesus Christ.”
“Someone’s paranoid,” Shayne mused.
Darrel scowled and set his jaw. “What do you want?”
“Actually,” he shifted in his chair, leaning his elbows on the table, “that’s what I came to ask you. Tanner told me you were looking for me.”
“Nothing,” he murmured, looking down at his book. “Never mind.”
Shayne thought of getting up and leaving, but stopped. Where would he go? Back to his car? He’d rather sit with Darrel. “Do you always sit alone?”
Darrel didn’t look up. “Are you always this blunt?”
“No more than you,” Shayne pointed out.
He shrugged one shoulder. “Sometimes I sit with Rupert.”
Shayne scoffed. “You met Rupert, what, two weeks ago? Before that.”
“Why do you care?” Darrel looked up with a glare. “And don’t tell me you don’t. I’m sick of hearing it.”
He nearly rolled his eyes. Great job, Shayne. Keep telling the kid you hit how much you don’t care about him. I’m sure he doesn’t already know. He squared his shoulders and feigned casuality. “I’m curious. Are you always reading?”
Darrel shut his book and pushed it against his lap. “How are things with Tanner?”
He scowled. “Answer my question.”
“No.” Darrel folded his arms over the table and rested his chin on them. “Answer mine.”
Shayne crossed his arms over his chest. “You can’t tell me what to do.”
A certain smugness painted his words. “I’ll do whatever I feel like.”
Shayne watched him carefully. Was he not… Scared? Darrel took no defensive structure. His legs swung a little, he was smiling, he had his head rested on his arms. He looked at Shayne with the same look he gave everyone; Scepticism, and a little bit of malice.
He isn’t scared of you.
Shayne’s shoulders relaxed. He leaned one of his arms on the table, his body falling heavy. “We’re fine.”
Darrel furrowed his eyebrows. “I thought you guys were doing good?”
“For a few hours,” he muttered. Darrel snorted. “Hey, fuck off,” Shayne snapped. “I didn’t do anything this time.”
Darrel set the book on the table. He sat up, his elbows against the table, and cradled his chin in his hands. “Sure you didn’t.”
“It wasn’t my fault!”
Darrel rolled his eyes. “Stop yelling. I never said it was your fault.”
“Answer my question,” he demanded.
Darrel sighed, dropping his head. His hair fell in his face and brushed against Shayne’s arm. “Yeah, basically. Can we get back to you now?”
Shayne eyed the book. Fear Nothing splayed across the cover in all caps, ice blue letters. It was a Dean Koontz book. “Why?”
He lifted his head and shook it. “Not until I ask my question.”
“This isn’t a game,” Shayne said with a scowl.
“I never said it was.” He spoke casually, his eyes carefully scanning Shayne’s face. “It’s just the only way you’ll actually do this.”
Shayne paused, before sighing. “What do you want?”
“Did you see Tanner at all this weekend?” Darrel asked.
“Why are you always reading?” Shayne flicked his gaze to the book, then back to Darrel.
Darrel waves his hand dismissively. “Call it a distraction. Why didn’t you see Tanner this weekend?”
“Because he was with his other fucking boyfriend,” Shayne snapped. “Do you have a life of your own?”
He grinned. “Was that an insult or a question?”
Shayne dropped his glare and sighed. “I’m gonna go find him.” He pulled back, and suddenly the room was much bigger. He grabbed his tray and stood.
“Not a good idea,” Darrel said, staying in place.
“And why not?”
He spoke fast. “Because he’s probably looking for you.”
Though he was sceptical, Shayne stopped. “Why the hell do you think that?”
“Because I’m not a fucking moron,” he snapped. “Did you ever think that maybe Tanner feels bad about not talking to you this weekend? Let me guess: You’ve been avoiding him.” Shayne stayed silent as the anger took over Darrel’s expression. “Isn’t it fucking hilarious how I’m the only one who’s never had a relationship, yet I know how to operate them?”
“It’s not that easy!” Shayne clenched his fists.
“You’re all fucking idiots,” he spat. “You don’t pay attention. Is it really that hard? Seriously?”
“I didn’t sit by you to get yelled at-”
“Then why did you sit with me?”
Shayne looked at him with wide eyes. “Is that what this is about?” He asked in disbelief.
Darrel narrowed his eyes. “Answer my question.”
“No. No, it’s my turn.” He sat back down, leaning forward. “What are you talking about?” His heart raced in his fingertips, in his throat. “What do you mean when you say you’ve never had a relationship?”
Darrel looked away. “What the fuck do you think?”
“Answer me,” he said.
Shayne watched Darrel carefully. “Have you ever even had a friend before?”
“That’s none of your busi-”
“Oh my God.” Shayne leaned back.
Darrel stood and grabbed his book. He started to storm away, but Shayne shot to his feet and grabbed his arm. Darrel shot him a nasty glare. “What?”
Shayne paused, his mind jumbled, his grip tight on Darrel’s arm. “You’re starting to make sense.”
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