twenty-eighth: sight

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"Xavier Easton."

I sighed softly. Another one of Harold's failed projects I assumed. It had only been a few years that I started working under him, but his schemes were quickly pissing me off with an increasing frequency. When would he finally understand that hormonally challenged teenagers were not the solution to our operations?

Harold shook his head as he led me through the drab hallway. He continued ranting about his recruit. "The kid is maniacal. Hasn't ever learnt to hold a gun and shot one. Although he claims it was a mistake and I do want to believe him. The implications-"

"Is he alright?" I asked, feeling a twinge of worry for the strange boy.

Harold was quiet for a while. "I suppose. We first need to drill some sense into his brains. This sort of behaviour-" he shook his head, clicking his tongue in frustration as we finally reached the metal door. He knocked and opened it gently.

I almost laughed.

A slender figure lay sprawled on the long bench. Resting on his stomach, his face turned away from us. It was astounding how relaxed he was in a police station where he had been dragged after shooting a fifty-year-old woman.

"Easton," Harold's curt voice called, cutting through the silence. The kid didn't respond, his back rising and falling gently as he dozed on, unconcerned by the seething man yelling at him.

"Easton!" Harold yelled loudly, his voice echoing around the room so loud that even I flinched. 

He got up with a start, wincing as he slowly turned to us. He messed his dark hair, raking a hand through it as his dizzying blue eyes finally focussed on us. "Man, what the fuck?"

It took all my strength to not laugh at his incredulous expression.

"Sit straight," Harold said.

"I'm flexibly gay. I don't do straight." He yawned, his eyes falling on me. Something flashed behind them and he seemed to deflate a little, a soft pink flush rising up his cheeks. "How come you're keeping all the hot ones for yourself and I get fucking Simon Pickett?"

I was amused by the kid's forwardness. Even more so at the expression on his face. It didn't look like he was flirting. He seemed genuinely angry that he was stuck with Pickett.

"You shot Melanie Rose," Harold reminded him matter-of-factly. 

"In her foot," he responded.

"You shot her."

"She was groping me."

Despite his seemingly nonchalant demeanour, I could sense some fear and sadness behind his words.

"You were supposed to pretend-" 

"She was disgusting. Smelled like dog shit."

This time I laughed aloud. Harold glared at me and I quickly disguised my laugh into a cough. Easton's amused eyes swivelled to me, a small smirk playing at the corner of his lips.

Harold sighed again, "Then you are allowed to extricate from the project. You can't go around shooting-"

He sighed, swinging his legs as he spoke. "I told you. I need the money."

Harold shook his head. "Another strike and you're off to juvie."

Easton sighed, leaning back against the wall and nodded slightly. Harold turned on his heel and walked away. 

I gazed Xavier for a while as he fixed his eyes on the ground, drawing the tip of his sneaker in an aimless arc on the floor.  I turned to leave the room. Just as I would, however, he tried to get up and his face contorted in pain as he let out a tiny whimper. I walked over to him, studying him carefully.

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