Chapter 29

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A bottle of beer hits a small, wooden table and a woman aggressively rises, pointing down at her tab. Many heads turn to stare at the middle-aged woman in the restaurant as she begins to slur her words and struggles to stay standing. She balances herself with her hands on the table and lifts her head as searches for a waiter or waitress.

"Bullshit," the woman growls. "I did not drink three bottles of beer and yet, you've placed it on my tab."

A younger woman in her twenties timidly walks over and attempts to explain that the woman had indeed ordered three bottles of liquor.

The older woman raises a hand off of the table and her arm is suddenly grabbed by a young boy who's barely twenty-years-old.

A second boy interjects and places himself between the two women, making sure neither one gets hurt.

"Calm down," Trip says to the drunken woman as he slowly brings her hand down.

"Who the fuck are you?" the woman asks and rips her arm away.

The other boy quietly talks to the waitress and hands her a hand full of cash. He tells her he's taking care of the woman's tab.

"Thank you," the waitress says as her face flushes at the handsome boy. He smiles back at her and turns to assist Trip.

"There's a cab waiting outside," Trip tells the woman. "And your bill is taken care of. It's about time you leave."

The woman huffs and turns away without a word of gratitude to the two young boys. She leaves the restaurant, glad she doesn't have to pay a penny out of her pocket for any of the services she's been given tonight and hitches a ride home in the cab Trip ordered for her.

Trip sighs and runs a hand through his dark hair as he exits the restaurant followed by his partner.

"That was something," the boy says to Trip and Trip nods his head.

Shoving his hands into the pockets of his shorts, Trip looks up at the taller boy. "I forgot your name."

The boy looks at Trip with such a warm smile that almost makes him jump. His hair is dyed a dark shade of blue that almost appears black and one of his eyebrows is shaved toward the end.

Like Trip's.

Trip stares at the boy's lip ring as he talks and the boy swipes his tongue across his lips.

"Nakota," he tells Trip, his voice surprisingly deep.

"What about your nickname?" Trip asks. "The one Boss gave you."

Nakota just shrugs. "I guess I don't have one."

"Weird," Trip replies as he unlocks his bike from the rack.

"Mhm," Nakota says as he nears Trip. "Are all missions random like this one?"

"Yeah," Trip says. "Though, we weren't criminals this time."

"What do you mean?" Nakota asks as Trip backs his bike up as he straddles it.

"Normally we become thieves or break into places," Trip says.

"I see," Nakota says. "Exciting."

Trip doesn't know about that. He begins to pedal away without another word to his new partner until he's halted.

"Wait up," Nakota says as he jogs over. Trip brakes and waits for Nakota to arrive beside him.

"You're nineteen too, right?" Nakota asks.

"Twenty," Trip says. "Today is my birthday."

"No shit," Nakota exclaims and softly pats Trip on the back. "Aren't you going to celebrate?"

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