They say that you can’t deny a dying man his last wish…
Only problem was that this was Nicolas Hodgen’s, Adam’s father, third ‘dying wish’ in the past five years. It seemed like he came down with some new life-threatening disease every time Adam ended up on the front cover of one tabloid or another. Despite the fact that he knew that his father was far from dying and only using his age as a means to ‘reign’ his one and only son in, Adam always fell sucker to the old man’s scheme and ended up obediently following Nicolas’ orders.
This is the perfect example: Adam got one DUI and ended up in this middle-of-nowhere island to supervise the building of the vacation resort…
And now he was looking at a cow on the roof of the nearly finished central building.
Yes…after staring up at the sight for what felt like a disbelieving forever…there was no denying that there was a real, live, fully grown cow standing on the patio roof of what was supposed to be the hotel.
Filling the air with aggravated ‘moos.’
“You know, it kind adds a certain something…” Takahara Hiro couldn’t finish the thought, he was too busy laughing, bracing his hands on his legs with long-elegant fingers digging into the expensive material of his suit, as he gasped for air between shoulder shaking chuckles.
Adam glared down at Hiro, trying to remind himself that murder was still illegal. He had been friends with the lawyer since college and had brought him along to Yelson to help finish the legal matters of the resort. “I’m so glad that you find this amusing.”
Hiro straightened up, trying to regain his composure, “I don’t find this amusing…” He broke down into laughter once more, “I find it fucking hilarious.” He wiped away tears of mirth from his crescent-shaped eyes. “Come on, she got a cow on your roof! That is going above and beyond her usual pranks!”
“Yet again, so glad that you’re enjoying yourself.” Adam rubbed the bridge of his nose, looking away from the sight as he pulled out his cell. Over the last six months Fey, the impish bane of his existence, had been systematically stealing his sanity.
“What can I do for you Adam?”
Yes, it had gotten to the point that he had Sheriff Jim’s number on speed dial and that he had used it enough that Jim knew Adam’s number on sight.
“How would you go about investigating vandalizing a build via cow…and, for that matter, how would you go about taking said cow off a building’s roof?”
Adam could have sworn that Jim, stone face and stoic sheriff of the small Californian island, actually snorted back laughter. “I’ll send a crane down to the resort…as for the investigation; I could look into matters, though I have a suspicion on who did it.”
“Yeah, same here. Five-one and hundred pounds of pure evil.”
“You say that, but you have yet to actually press charges against her.” Hiro had finally gained control and didn’t miss the chance to make a jibe at his friend.
Adam rolled his eyes, covering the cell’s mouthpiece with his hand as he glared over at Hiro. “Yeah, press charges against the island’s golden girl…that will win them over.”
“I think she’s working in the kitchen at Drevan’s today…” There was subtle note of malicious humor in Jim’s voice, drifting into Adam’s ear and making a smile slowly stretch over his face. “And the lunch rush is in full swing.”
“Thanks Jim…feel free to join us there. I’m planning on hanging around for a while and, trust me, there will be enough food to go around.”
Jim’s wavered with a repressed chuckle, “I might just do that. It should be an entertaining sight.”
Laughing, Adam ended the call and turned to Hiro. “Hungry?”
Running his fingers through silken black hair, Hiro just shook his head with a rueful smile tugging at his lips as he gaze flickered to the cow once more. “Yeah…I could go for a burger.”
Over the half a year that he had been staying on the island, over looking the progress of the resort, Adam had endeared many, many…many pranks and harassments from one Shannon Fey. Ever since his first night on the island, which had led to the infamous bar fight, imprisonment, and then discovering that someone had let out all the air of his tires once he had been released, she had been a constant thorn in his side.
Mature…no…he had long come to terms that Fey was anything but mature.
Yet the island's populace loved her, so to remain on the locals’ good side he had refrained from taking legal actions against the infuriating woman. Instead he sank down from his moral pedestal and played by her rules.
For every prank she did to him, he would return an annoyance onto her.
Draven’s was the name of the one and only bar on the island…and also acted the one of the more popular restaurants, making the lunch-time hours chaos.
Servers in jeans and restaurant T-shirt zoomed around the crowded floor space, wild-eyed and serving out trays of food. Adam felt a prang of guilt for what he was doing, ordering everything off the menu just for the satisfaction of watching a frazzled Fey swear up a storm as she fought to complete the food, but he reminded himself that he would tip well.
“Thanks,” he said with a charming smile at the red-faced waitress. “And sorry for all the trouble,” he added with a wink.
The girl’s face turned a brighter shade of crimson and she almost tipped over the chocolate milkshake that she was placing on the mere sliver of empty table space that they had. They had ordered one of each flavor. The chocolate one was meant for a stern expression wearing Jim and almost landed in his lap, but he managed to save it at the last moment.
“Sorry!” She stuttered, dyed-blue locks of hair fell out of her short ponytail and into her eyes, which were outlined with thick lines of black.
Jim held up a hand. “It’s alright.” Surprisingly enough, since that first night, the Sheriff had been the most welcoming to the two outsiders.
“Don’t sweat it,” Hiro put in around a mouthful of strawberry milkshake covered French Fried. “After all, it’s Master Maturity’s fault that you’re so over-stressed.”
She snorted, easing some of the tension in her expression and straightening her hunched shoulders. “Fey’s just as much at fault. Heard about the cow.”
“How do you manage to get a cow on the roof of a building without anyone knowing?”
Dimples showed up at the one corner of the girl’s mouth. “Very carefully…And, well, it’s not like they haven’t pulled that stunt off before.”
Adam and Hiro’s eyes slowly went to Jim’s face as the waitress walked away.
“They?” Hiro asked right as Adam said, “you mean to tell me that she has managed to get at least two cows on the roofs of two seperate buildings on an island this small!”
Jim just shook his head. “Well, of course Cole helped. His family owns one of the few farms on Yelson. And they did this once before, with the high school. Fey wanted to graduate with a bang…so to say.” He snagged from potatoes skins off the appetizer tray in the center of the smorgasbord that took up two tables. Adam thought they were going to pull over a third one soon.
“It’s amazing that she didn’t get locked away before now,” Adam muttered under his breath, wiping his grease-covered hands on his napkin before stretching his arms over his head, trying to make room for the next round.
“Actually, before your memorable night there, Fey was the only person I had to put into that cell for many years now.”
“That does not surprise me.”
Hiro craned his neck to look back into the kitchen, where Fey was sliding across the floor to get from one side to the next. “Well, it does for me…a bit. I mean, yeah she’s on the odd side, but she doesn’t seem like the trouble making type.”
Jim just shrugged. “She’s mellowed out over the last couple of years…” His gaze flicked over to Adam. “That is until you showed up.”
“I’m honored to have been the one to bring out the darkness in Fey.”
“Honestly, I like her better this way.” The sheriff said more to himself than to the other two men.
“Diddo…When Adam dragged me here, no offense, I thought that I was going to die of boredom. Fey has kept me alive with entertainment.”
“So glad to be a source of amusement for you soulless cretins of capitalism.”
In dreaded unison, the three men lifted their heads and found cool blue eyes glaring down at them over the edge of a fresh tray loaded down with a new wave of food.
Hiro looked like he wanted to hide under the table. “Um…don’t mention it.”
She just smiled down at him, that evil angelic smile that Adam had grown accustom to, before tipping the tray over, causing a cascade of salads and their dressings to fall mainly upon Adam’s unguarded head. Some of the mess landed on Hiro, but she had dumped it in the way that the sheriff remained clean. “Still amused?” She snapped, turning on her heel and storming back to the kitchen through the silence that fell throughout the bar, which was broken by a snarl behind the counter.
“Alright, enough is enough.” Elena Draven, the owner of the bar that shared her name, threw down the rag that she was using to wipe down the counter and walked over to where Adam was sitting. Not the tallest woman, nor the most beautiful, Elena radiated an intimidating aura that completely petrified Adam whenever that middle-aged woman was near. “This damn feud between you and Fey has got to end!”
Adam wiped away ranch dressing from his eyes, mentally cinching at the thought of the clothes that had just been destroyed. “I would love it to end…She’s the one who won’t let this die.”
“Right…” Hiro rolled his eyes, brushing dressing-splattered lettuce out of his hair and off his jacket.
Both Elena and Adam ignored him.
“Here,” A ponytail of light-brown hair draped over the bar owner’s shoulder as she bent down to scribble something on a napkin. “Fey’s Kryptonite….Well, anything short of kidnapping Cole and holding him for ransom.”
Adam’s eyebrows rose as he looked the napkin’s contents over. “This…I don’t know…it seems a bit extreme.”
“Hon, you’re covered in salad and, I speak for everyone in town, this needs to end. I mean, it’s been entertaining, but…” She just shook her head, dark eyes drilling into his. “This has got to stop.”
“Amen!” was chorused throughout the room.
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