Sequel: Acrasia
Status: Da-da-da-da Da-da Done.



Hey little turd. Did you forget that you have a job? Do you know what partnership is? That means working together. George tells me that you're gone all week, but he doesn't know why. How could you leave without telling me? You guys had a job this week, which he did on his own to cut you some slack. You're lucky he's so incredible. I would've tracked you down myself. Knowing you, you won't respond. Just know that I covered for you, and you owe me.
-Marissa Anne Huntington

Chris read the email again, rubbing his temples. He had only told people who absolutely needed to know that he was leaving, but had completely forgotten about Marissa. He knew she would throw a fit once he got back.

He heard footsteps coming down the hall, and quickly deleted the email, pretending to examine spam email. Rae poked her head in, slipping inside the little guest room her parents had given them. She closed the door behind her, locking it with a click.

"Whatcha doing?" she asked, crawling on the bed next to Chris and looking at the screen on his laptop. "What are you hiding from me?"

"Hiding? I'm not hiding anything," Chris muttered, making sure the email wasn't still visible.

"'Women's sandals, pumps, and sneakers! Twenty-five percent off if you shop online!'" Rae read off the computer screen.

"I'm buying you new shoes," Chris closed the laptop. "Surprise!"

"I expect a brand new pair of boots when we get home," she laughed, moving the laptop onto the side table. "Really though, you weren't doing anything bad, were you?"

"I was reading a top-secret email about a person I was supposed to kill, because I'm actually an assassin and I've been living a double life ever since we met."

"Oh, really?" Rae poked him in the gut. "I doubt it. I know more about you than you think I do."

"Like?" Chris frowned, worrying for a minute.

"Like, how you act big and tough, but you're afraid of closets and heights," Rae started, looking Chris dead in the eyes, "And that the reason you hate it when people smoke in crowded places isn't because you hate the smell like you say you do, but because you recently quit smoking and you can't handle it. A year ago, maybe? Not very long, since you keep a pack of cigarettes hidden way deep in your closet for emergencies. Shall I go on?"

"I've been off for two years, for your information," Chris crossed his arms.

Rae laughed again, curling up in a ball next to him. Chris kissed her forehead, feeling relieved that he had gotten himself out of that situation so easily. Rae leaned over, giving him a kiss. He pulled her in by her waist, deepening the kiss. He felt her hand unbutton his shirt, but pulled away before she could do anything more.

"What?" Rae mumbled, pulling at his shirt.

"Not here," he said softly, giving her a peck on the nose. "Remember that time we got a noise complaint from the apartment under mine? I don't want a noise complaint from your entire fucking extended family."

"You're right," she sighed, running her hand down his chest. "You're really cute, though."

"I'd say you're cute, but then you would say 'no you are', then I would say 'no you', and then all hell would break loose," Chris grinned, pulling her back as soon as she moved away from him. "So I'll put it this way; I hate you, your hideous face, and your terrible personality."

Rae laughed softly, letting him pull her in. "You're a moron, but I love you."

Chris was about to kiss her again, when the door creaked open slightly. Rae didn't notice, but out of habit Chris defensively snapped his head up and move his hand towards his right pocket, where he always kept a foldable knife. It was a habit that bothered Rae, but one he refused to give up for reasons he couldn't tell her about. Rae rolled her eyes, getting off of him and opening the door all the way.

"There's nothing there," she gestured towards the empty hallway. "The door does that sometimes. In the world of us peasants, doors creak open randomly."

"We should go back down there," Chris said, buttoning up his shirt again. "We wouldn't want anyone to have to check up on us."

"Yeah, I guess. You sure you don't want to just play hooky?"

"If it were my family, I'd say yes because I know for a fact that they're used to it and couldn't care less about me because they know I'm already hopeless. However, I don't think that's the case with your family, and I'm trying not to get on your father's bad side."

Rae pouted, and Chris took her hand, leading her back outside where most of Rae's family was still crowded around the living room. Rae was sucked into a conversation with her weird looking ex-crush, and Chris was pulled into a quiet corner with Rae's father. The two of them stared each other down for a moment, beers in their hands. Paul Warrick spoke first.

"So, what do you think?" he asked.

"Nebraska? It's great. Different than what I'm used to, but I like it."

"What are you used to, then?"

"Less green, more black and white," Chris shrugged.

Paul grunted, scratching his chin. "How's Rae doing out there?"

"Better than most people do."

"She's not out partying, doing drugs, things like that?"

"No, sir. She's still the same wonderful girl you raised," Chris said, having rehearsed every possible question.

"A charmer," Paul smirked. "You're good, kid. I'm not going to lie. A real charmer. You're not fooling me, though."

"What do you see, then?" Chris grinned.

"I see a kid who spends too much time in front of the mirror, wears fancy brands, always out to impress. You were raised like that, I'd assume."

"My father was strict."

"I can tell. What does he do?"

"Marketing, but he's retired now," Chris lied, giving the alias his father once had.

"Brothers or sisters?"

"My younger sister works as a secretary," Chris didn't bother lying for her. Marissa always had it easier.

"And your mother?"

Chris froze, blinking stupidly. He was rarely asked about his mother, but it made him freeze up every time. Rae knew she was dead, but he hasn't ever directly told even her about it.

"She, uh, passed away four years ago," Chris said. He noticed Rae look over, listening in on his conversation without trying to make it too obvious.

"Sorry to hear," Paul scratched his chin, looking genuinely sorry for a moment.

"Stray bullet," Chris found himself say, surprising himself. He didn't know why he felt such a need to say it out loud. It wasn't a complete lie. Marianne Butler had been shot, but it wasn't truly a stray bullet. It was a warning to her husband. He hadn't spoken of it out loud since he had a meltdown at his mother's funeral. Part of it was needing Rae to know, but he couldn't bear to look her in the eyes and tell her. It made him remember that if he messed up, Rae was in the same boat. He didn't date for a good reason. "She was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Paul went silent, this time honestly looking completely sorry. He gave a sad smile, patting Chris on the shoulder.

"You're a good kid," he said. "Just a kid, though. Watch yourself, don't do nothing crazy."

"Yes, sir."

Paul got up and joined his wife on the other side of the room, and Rae took his spot on the couch. No one had overheard the conversation but her, which relieved Chris slightly. In fact, he felt light as air, as if he had just confessed to a crime.

"Are you okay?" Rae whispered.

"I feel great," Chris smiled, kissing her forehead.
♠ ♠ ♠
Sorry it took so long, but I was having a really crazy week. Finally, you find out what happened to the mysterious Marianne Butler.