― thirty-one: well, shit

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[ CHAPTER 31 : WELL, SHIT :uptown got it's hustlers, the bowery got it's bum. 42nd street got big jim walker, he's a pool shootin' son of a gun. yeah, he big and dumb as a man can come but he stronger than a country hoss. and when the bad folks all get together at night you know they all call big jim boss, just because. and they say, you don't tug on superman's cape. you don't spit into the wind. you don't pull the mask off that old lone ranger, and you don't mess around with jim.]


          IT'S LONG BEEN ESTABLISHED that Parker and Liam don't get along. So the mere fact he even lets her stand in his presence, is a bigger surprise than the fact he lives across the street from her. It was probably around midnight when Nico and her had gotten there―after searching for hours around his house for a cassette player―and the Korean boy looked exhausted with a split lip and scabbed knuckles. "What?" He spits directly at Nico, as he refuses to even look in Parker's direction.

          "Can we use your dad's cassette player?"

          Liam scoffs, "No," He moves to shut the door, but Nico presses his palm against the middle of it and uses most of his strength to keep it open. "Knock it off Nico," The boy demands, placing both his hands on the door to shove it shut; but still Nico continues holding it open, albeit only halfway. "Seriously, fuck off!" He slams his hand at the door but Nico withstands the force.

          "Dammit Liam, what the hell is your problem?"

          The boy's dark eyes transition to look off at Parker, instantly hardening at the sight of her. She tries smiling at him, but that only makes his eyes flash in pure rage, so much so that he flings the door open and takes two steps out to face them both. "My problem is her," Parker feels like scoffing the same way he had done minutes ago, but thinks against it considering how enraged he is. "Leo hates me because of you, why did you tell him about that day, hunh?" He blares, his hand reaches forward as if he's going to shove at her; but Nico blocks him from doing such.

          "What are you talking about?" Nico demands as he keeps his hands placed on the boy's shoulders. "Leo doesn't hate you."

          Liam shakes his head and pushes Nico off of him, "How the hell would you know? Neither of you talk anymore. And because of her," He points in Parker's direction again, and Nico flicks his gaze toward her. "He won't talk to me. Why the hell did you have to tell him? Why?" The boy's voice is so loud, it hurts Parker's ears, and she carefully slips her hands over them in response. Nico looks at her in question, like she's supposed to answer him about what Liam's talking about, but she has no clue. Before today, the last time she talked to Leo was when they broke into school and that was more than five days ago.

          "It wasn't her," A quiet voice murmurs. From the doorway behind Liam, Milk stands there. Her fingers lace themselves through her hair as her eyes stay focused on the ground. "It was me, I told Leo," Liam turns toward the Thai girl slowly, and as he does―Parker can spot a flash of hurt falling over his features. Milk tentatively takes a step out of the doorway, moving to stand off to the side beside Leo―Liam following her exact movements. "I didn't think he'd react as he did," The girl's lip trembles as her fingers grip desperately at the ends of her hair. "I thought, maybe, if Leo confronted you it'd snap you out of being so mean and angry all the time. Lately it feels like I can't even talk with you because I'm too afraid you're going to lash out at me."

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