Chapter Nine – Food, Flirting and Friendship
Max eventually got home past the stalking Thieves, stomping up the stairs in exhaustion and, to his shock, finding Cindy outside his apartment. She also looked quite tired, her blue eyes drooping. Max only realised he was holding his console, games and DVD, which was obviously going to look odd.
“Cindy? What... what are you doing here?” Max asked with a slight tremble.
“My dad is busy tonight. He’s doing the weather and some other news reports. Working backstage, too, you know? Oh, and my mum. She’s on a plane to England. You know, science stuff.” Cindy replied lazily, giving a yawn.
By science stuff, Max knew that any scientist’s job was to simply experiment horribly on Thieves. Animal testing had been kicked out decades and decades ago, so Thieves were to fill in the form. Max nodded slightly at her, wanting more information.
“My dad told me to stay with one of my friends, but Mark was away to his aunt’s house in Richeon. That’s on the far side of Arcadia, and I’m certainly not spending an hour to get there. Henna wasn’t at home, for some strange reason. So, here was the only option.” Cindy added, twiddling her thumbs. “What are you doing with all that stuff?”
“Oh, these things got a bit faulty so I took them to the repairs.”
Cindy nodded, waving her hand in agreement.
“Um... ok. Well, if you’re gonna stay, I’ll just have to phone Daniel up and tell him.” Max muttered in annoyance, quite disappointed at her having to stay.
He dialled Daniel, only noticing that Cindy was glaring at him in a rather flirty way. He was snapped out of her daze when Daniel finally spoke up.
“Daniel... is it ok if Cindy stays over? Her dad's busy and her mum is in England doing your favourite work,”
“That's fine, Max. Don’t get up to anything with her or you’re grounded.” came Daniel’s exhausted, yet still snappy, voice.
“I won’t, my God. Bye.” Max said shortly, hanging up.
He turned to Cindy, who was trying to flex her bust at him. Max went pale, rushing past her. “Um, well, come on in.” he said nervously, opening the door as quickly as he could.
They entered Max’s room, Max trying his best not to gape at Cindy attempting to show her figure. Ignoring her, he put aside his board and pulled out a small role of red from under his bed. Once he had positioned it, it bounced out into comfy-looking, soft, red sleeping bag, pillow and all.
“Well, we’ve still got time to waste. What do you want to do now?” asked Max, rubbing his hands.
"Maybe we could, hm, make out on that bed for a while?" Cindy asked, putting her arms around Max's neck.
Max felt a horrid lurch in his stomach. “How about homework? I’ve got lots of it, haha. Well... come on." he whimpered, gently shoving Cindy away and power-walking away into the living room.
What felt like hours later for a traumatised Max, he and Cindy had finally finished their homework and had settled down with the TV. Cindy had insisted of going to the cinema to see the latest movie she kept blabbering about, but Max had refused one too many times (he would rather go with a random Thief off the street at this point).
“Hey, Max, do you have a thermometer?” Cindy asked suddenly, while in the middle of typing on a panel she had brought with her.
“Why a thermometer?” asked Max.
“Because I forgot about my double maths! Damn it!” she snapped angrily.
“Thermometers are so old. Why, what did he give you?” asked Max, glancing at Cindy's panel.
“The arts of old mathematics! Boring, as usual! There’s no point in that stuff! No one’s going to use it anymore!” Cindy cried stridently, shaking her head.
“Well, I think there’s one in my room under the TV set. Go have a look.” Max muttered, flicking his hand to change the channel.
With a smile, Cindy got up and left the room. She paced back into Max’s bedroom, scanning around for any sign of a thermometer. After thumping her head off the stand with a groan, she stood up growling at herself. Her eyes darted around for any sigh of it on his desk, but something else had caught her eye; the diary. She took a quick glance behind her, her eyes glinting with curiosity.
“Whispering password. Damn.” she muttered angrily to herself as she inspected it.
Silvia had kept watching Sean carefully. He had kept leaving the hideout and coming back again in a matter of seconds. It was as if he had gone insane. He paced around nervously, peering at the ground with sweat drooling from his head. Silvia had finally had enough of him when she raised her voice.
“How about we all go out and watch a movie tonight?” she asked, picking at her nails.
“Hello!? Is Silvia Grey still Silvia Grey? Public is not an option!” Barsy’s voice called from the kitchen.
“I know! But there is an outside cinema today I think. Behind the Metroplix!” Silvia called back.
“Oh, seems fair enough then, but where do we sit without being seen, eh?” Barsy asked, popping his head from the kitchen.
“At the back. Remember that little garden and the bush? We can sit behind it or in that tree. It’s up a hill near Arcadia Park. The Humans won’t see us.” Silvia said simply.
“Oh yeah,” Sean began, listening to his music on one of the hover chairs. “I remember that place! That’s where Sam lost the goddamn car!” he blared furiously.
“Don’t bring that up…” groaned Sam, picking at some doughnuts in a huge box.
Silvia only realised how incredibly lazy her band of hooligans were, except for Barsy of course. She wanted to keep her infamous reputation up, but without being planted onto Trano for eternity while doing so.
“What time does the movie start at anyway?” asked Sean.
“How To Be Human starts at nine, I think. It's a comedy.” Silvia muttered.
“Well, what do you want to do till then?” asked Sam, his mouth full of doughnut.
“Pizza? Me and Silvia will go and get some.” Sean sighed, putting his arm around Silvia.
Silvia nodded reluctantly, soon finding herself back into the alley. She and Sean mounted the silver bike she had stolen, speeding off without another word. Sean suggested they take the usual place in Neonia, but Silvia didn’t care much. She merely nodded with a sigh, thinking about how she said she wanted to leave. She still did. Trano and Arcadia were not options she wanted to stick with. She wanted to go to Solarous; a dream-world for every Thief in existence. Some had managed to steal “the special car” Barsy had spoken about and headed there with no hesitations. Because of the heightened skills, Thieves littered the entire Milky Way, which was like an outburst of mating rats for Humans.
And then there was Max to think about. She couldn’t just leave him. He needed her. Or was it the other way around? She didn’t know at the moment, because thinking about love was a lot of hard work. Soon, once Sean had parked the bike along an alley, the two clambered off in silence. They gaped longingly at the glowing pizza shop ahead of them.
“Right, Sean, monitors. Daniel has monitors. This needs to be quick, quiet and, above all, stealthy. I’m not in the mood for running.” Silvia muttered.
“I know, I know,” Sean groaned irritably, waving his arm. “There’s quite a lot of a people in there today,”
“Take the back room. There’ll be a hologram door and a dumpster.” Silvia whispered, just about to step onto the street.
But, Sean had seized her arm and dragged her back in with him. “Watch out!” he hissed.
Silvia felt herself going flying back into the alley, only to glare up and see two officers across the street.
“Damn it. What are they doing here?” she groaned, peering at the two enforcers pacing towards the restaurant.
“Well… this is certainly going to be hard.” Sean sighed, putting his hands on his hips.
Silvia would not let her mind be occupied to by something else than this. “Right, I’ll stay here and keep an eye on these two, you get over that road and into the back. There’ll be a counter with a small fridge, ok?” she ordered.
Sean agreed silently, sprinted over the road and into the alleyway as discreetly as he could. He thumbed up before disappearing through the back door. Silvia simply nodded, watching the officers chat away. She wished Sean would hurry up because, by the looks of them, they would be going back for a break any minute. Her impatience got the better of her. Without thinking, she pulled out a transmitter and contacted Sean. He appeared on the triangle and, looking furious.
“What!?” he hissed.
“Hurry up, set your transmitter on the counter and I’ll tell you if those sirens are near you.” she whispered.
There was a slight click and a sighing Sean then disappeared from the triangle. The officers stayed where they were, but Sean was struggling. He had four pizzas in one hand and four drinks in the other, his greediness swamping him. Surely he would drop something and be caught red-handed? Panic struck him violently. He had only one option. He set down the drinks and ran rapidly across the road with the pizzas, trying his hardest not to even let out a breath.
“Are you ok?” asked Silvia, snatching them off him.
“Yes. I just need to get the drinks and my transmitter. Keep an eye out for me.” he said glancing at the officers, who were still chatting mindlessly.
“Just be careful, Stars.” whispered Silvia.
Sean nodded with a smirk and ran back across the road. He hurried into the back, slipped the transmitter in his jean pocket and clutched the drinks. Silvia leant against the wall, wondering what the enforcers could be possibly talking about. However, horror filled her when they stopped their chatting. They both gave a glance down the street and then at each-other before pacing down the path towards Sean. Sean had only stepped out of the door when Silvia indicated with her hands to go back into the room, her teeth nibbling her lip furiously. Sean, thankfully, managed to see this and backed off. The officers were getting to close too close to him for Silvia’s tastes.
She watched them like a lurking cat preparing to bounce, hoping to the highest that they would wander by him. For her shock, they instead sauntered into the back, their pistols slowly hovering to their sides. They must have heard him, Silvia thought anxiously.
Scared out of her wits, she rapidly sprinted over and leaped onto an officers back, catching sight of a terrified Sean in the back room.
“It’s Silvia! Contain her, and Daniel will put our wages up for sure!” the other enforcer squealed.
He drew out his gun with a smile, but Sean seized his neck and thrashed him into the wall with a brutal force, knocking him out. Silvia was thrown to the wall by final officer, who cursing and mocking her viciously, only to then be knocked out by a punch of Sean’s tightly clenched fist.
“Let’s get out of here.” he hissed.
With their pizza, drinks and transmitter, they zoomed off on the silver motorbike and to the hideout, hearing the sirens blare furiously in the distance.
Max and Cindy had had enough of the TV and, eventually Cindy had convinced Max to see a movie, considering there was not much else on their hands to do.
“There’s an outside one, you know.” Max murmured as they counted their money.
“No... I would rather have an inside one. Don’t want to risk any filthy Thieves coming in and spoiling the entire film.” Cindy said worriedly, biting her lip.
“Um, ok then.” Max breathed, counting dollars on the kitchen table.
Cindy gawked at Max counting in intolerance. Max could see her from the corner of his eye, horror filling him that she had started twirling her hair again, as well as loosening her yellow jacket.
“Max, do you like me?” she asked quickly.
Max looked at her, confused. “As a friend of-course.” he replied quietly, peering at the money again. Cindy gave a grunt and shuffled in her seat.
Max knew she was aggravated about him not giving the wanted attention, but what was new for her? Cindy was the popular one at school and was bathed in attention and money growing up. But, to break the silence, he decided to dig into her thoughts.
“Is there anything wrong?” he asked carelessly, giving a quick look.
“No, no. Not at all, Max.” Cindy said, forcing a smile.
“Right, that’s good then… anything you wanna talk about?”
“Hm… do you ever think that B.B.Ds will one day be successfully eradicated?”
Max opened his mouth, a little startled at the question. “Um… no,”
“Because there’s loads of them. And they’ll keep growing. Who knows? Thieves might one day dominate the planet?”
Cindy banged her fist off the table. “How could you say that so casually!?” she hissed.
Max shrugged, slipping the dollars in his pocket. He wished Daniel was here to break the awkwardness. But, that might have been bad, too, because Daniel was rather fond of Cindy considering her loathing of Thieves and dream to be an A.P.D officer. Max kept his mouth shut, not noticing Cindy slide his hand onto his leg. Max looked down on her dainty hand for a few seconds, until she started to go further up his thigh. Max smacked her hand away, his mouth open.
“What are you doing!?” he snapped.
Cindy chuckled, winking. “Making moments.”
Max gaped at her as she kept giggling, twirling her hair around. He didn’t ever have much of a thing for Cindy. Maybe he would have, if she ever decided to keep her hands to herself and shut-up about Thieves.
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