Chapter 15

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It isn't difficult for the team to track down the stolen motorcycle and hand it over to Boss who plans to return it to Moose once he returns from his vacation.

Reed sighs as he leisurely hangs onto the back of Trip's bike.

"Man," Reed says. "I want a vacation."

Trip continues to pedal through the town as a gust of wind blows his dark hair into his eyes. He pushes his hair to the side before replying.

"What's stopping you?" Trip questions.

"Where would I go?" Reed replies. "A lone traveler like myself wouldn't get very far."

"Because you can't handle any adult things, huh?" Trip asks and his shoulders rise with laughter.

"Shut up," Reed jokes. But he knows Trip is right.

"Should I go with you?" Trip asks, grinning to himself as the jest escapes his lips.

"I'm not a fool, Trip," Reed says. "You'd never go with me."

Trip laughs as he rounds the corner to Reed's home.

"In another lifetime, maybe," Trip says as Reed hops off of his bike. He stretches out his legs from the burdensome ride and Reed looks down at him.

"Thanks for bringing me back," Reed says with a small smile.

Trip nods his head. "Yeah."

And with that, the two depart and Trip begins his short ride home.

———

The next day, Trip receives a call from an unknown number. He squints as he looks down at his flip phone and tries to decode the number. But he doesn't recognize it.

Even so, he presses the green button and answers the call.

"Who-"

"Hey," a voice says quickly. "Is this Trip?"

Trip raises an eyebrow when he's addressed by his nickname. Someone from the company must be calling him. But why?

"Yes?" Trip questions.

"Oh, hey," the boy on the other end says. "It's Moose."

Trip glances up at his ceiling.

"Your motorcycle-"

"Yeah," Moose cuts him off again. "I'm just calling to say thanks for getting it back."

"Oh," Trip says. "No problem."

"Uh," Moose says. "I was thinking I should pay you guys back for the trouble so I was wondering if you wanted to meet up for lunch this afternoon."

Trip ponders on the invite for a moment. "Have you called Reed and Gaze?"

"Gaze can't make it today but Reed said he'd be down for a free lunch," Moose says.

Trip laughs. "Of course he would."

"You in?" Moose asks.

Trip plops down on his bed. "I guess."

"Okay," Moose says. "Meet us downtown at Sadie's Place around one o'clock."

Trip agrees and hangs up his phone. He leans back in his bed and closes his eyes for a few brief seconds before he dreadfully gets up to prepare for his day, which of course, begins in the bathroom.

He's dressed and ready within an hour and heads downtown to the meeting spot Moose had suggested.

He locks his bike up to the rack and looks around for a sign of Moose or Reed. He finds it strange that Reed hadn't asked for a ride but shrugs it off. Perhaps he's become self-sufficient.

Trip highly doubts it though.

Anyway, while Trip straps his bike up, he hears an all-familiar voice sound close to his ear.

"Damien."

Trip slightly jumps and curses.

Reed laughs and Trip glares at him while another figure comes into view.

Despite his name, Moose looks like a mere mouse to Trip. He's scrawny and little, and his big brown eyes peer up at Trip like a puppy. His nickname doesn't suit him and it makes Trip laugh.

"What's so funny?" Moose asks, pouting.

Reed nudges Trip with his elbow and snickers.

"He's older than you," Reed whispers to Trip who raises an eyebrow.

"You're lying," Trip replies and Moose sighs.

"I can hear you," Moose says with a frown.

Trip mumbles a few words of apology to the fellow who shakes his head.

"I'd give you more of a tough time if you hadn't gotten my motorcycle back for me," Moose says. "I'll let you off the hook this time."

Trip isn't intimated though, and finds it difficult to retain a smile that threatens to appear at any second. He just thinks Moose is cute.

Well, the three make their way inside the restaurant and are seated by a girl with purple streaks in her hair.

"Gaze," Reed says with a smile. "Lookin' good."

A fierce blush spreads across Gaze's cheeks as she leads them to their table and mutters, "Shut up."

Trip notices Gaze and Moose have trouble making eye contact with each other and Reed just continues to laugh. It baffles Trip and he glances over at Reed with a questioning look.

Reed grins widely as Gaze takes her leave.

"Those two used to be lovers."

Trip looks over at Moose who keeps his eyes focused on the table.

"Shh," he hisses. "She's going to hear you."

Trip smiles back at Reed who raises an eyebrow.

"What?" Reed asks him.

"It seems like everyone in this stupid company falls for each other, huh?"

———
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