Smog 3.5: Carter

“And how am I supposed to do that?” Eve asked. “I mean she’s so cool.”

I really didn’t see what was so cool about Olivia. I wasn’t even sure she was a lesbian. Even so, Eve was way smarter than me and I needed her help.

“I was thinking you could assist me in tracking down Red Eyes. As in, the guy who keeps trying to kill me and Raina. Think about it. If you were to find him and I were to beat him, Olivia might find that pretty impressive.”

“Maybe. But one part of that doesn’t make sense.”

“What part?”

Eve had a guilty look on her face and elevated her shoulders. “You being able to beat someone.”

Damn it Olivia. Just how many of my failures did Olivia tell her about while they were in the limo. In particular, I was really hoping that she hadn’t told Eve the specifics about my fight with Soup. There was already no way I was going to live that one down with Raina.

“Look, I know I’m not the best fighter in the world, but if you think about it, its safer for me to go into battle than them. I have a power that can actually harm Demigods and I heal. Neither of us wants Raina or Malcolm getting hurt.”

Eve put on the leather jacket she was holding and walked over to her motorcycle.

“Malcolm can take care of himself just fine. And Raina?” She chuckled and put her tongue to her lip. “I wouldn’t mind seeing her get roughed up a bit.”

Why were all of my friends so violent?

As Eve put her helmet on, I said “Let me come with you. We can talk about the case and get to know each other better.”

She smiled and tossed me a helmet.

“You are such a dork,” she said.

As we both got onto her bike, I said half seriously “If you guys keep calling me that, I’m going to end up in therapy.”

I’d never rode on a motorcycle before, and holding onto Eve for dear life was making me never want to do so again. They always made it look so cool in movies but I was absolutely terrified. My cheeks and clothes were flapping rapidly and my head was nodding back and forth uncontrollably. Thankfully, I’d been working on learning to keep my power in check so I wasn’t electrocuting Eve.

“You alright back there?” Eve asked.

I had more than a little difficulty responding.

“Are you sure its legal to go this fast?”

“Sure it is,” she responded. “Somewhere, I’m sure its legal somewhere.” She turned her head to me and noticed the state of panic I was in. Accordingly, she slowed down quite a bit. “Sorry.”

Now going at a practical speed, I saw the usual sights of Little Tokyo. There were the bright colored banners, the lanterns, and Asami the Median, making small fireworks in front of a thrift store I frequented. Shay and I had given our parents a number of boring reasons why we wanted our former apartment, but really, we just wanted to indulge our respective loves of sushi and udon soup.

I was grateful that she’d slowed down, but I really just wanted to stop moving.

“Hey, you wanna grab an early dinner? There’s a really good udon place right by here. Plus, it’ll probably be easier to talk over food than on a motorcycle.”

“Just saying, it was your idea to get on in the first place.”

Holding in my barf, I directed Eve to Samurai Udon. I was pretty sure it didn’t get more authentic than that.

After we parked on the street, Eve said “So spill it. What did you guys come up with?”

*

By the time our soup came, I’d told Eve everything I’d discussed with the others.

“So she actually said that I was nothing special?” Eve asked referring to Raina. “I swear if her dad didn’t sign my paychecks I would…you know what, not important.” She blew on a spoonful of soup and veggies and ate it. “Wow that’s good.”

“That it is,” I responded. “So, what do you think about the case?”

“Honestly? I don’t really care. I just felt like hanging out.”

I almost fell back in my chair. Really though ,I shouldn’t have expected her to be too much help. Eve was cool and she’d patched me up that one time, but she’d made it abundantly clear that she didn’t care about people who broke the law.

“But, uh, what about impressing Olivia?”

She giggled.

“Come on Carter. We both know Olivia wouldn’t find anything cool about me helping you. I mean she really doesn’t like you.”

I suppose I knew that last part, but hearing it out loud still hurt. I mean, she’d hurt me way more than I’d ever hurt her, so if anything I should have been the one who didn’t like her.

But I kind of did. I liked most people after all.

After eating another spoonful of her soup, Eve said “Oh yeah, you’ve got the bill, right?”

“Well, I…”

“You in the mood for saki? Lets get some saki.”

It was at this moment that I realized something important.

I had no control whatsoever over any of the relationships in my life.

Sighing, I said “Sure, lets get some saki.

*

“Damn it!” I shouted, slamming the table. “My healing factor… I can’t get drunk anymore.”

Her feet up on the table next to four empty bottles of saki, a drunk Eve said in an odd voice “You’ve only had one bottle. I think you just need to drink more. Unless…” I fucking blushed. “Oh my god. Does one bottle usually get you drunk?”

“Can we not talk about this please?” I asked, gesturing to a waitress that we were ready for the check, which I had a feeling I would be paying the entirety of, with money I really didn’t have.

“Sure.” She smiled. “Lets talk about how you wanna bang Raina.”

“What?!” I asked loudly, actually falling over in my chair this time.

As I got back up, Eve said “Come on. I know about the way you worked so hard to get her on the path to redemption and how you love having her around. I’m pretty positive you want a taste of her exotic jail bait ass.”

I remember reading in health class that what alcohol did was essentially just remove inhibitions. On the other hand, I once read on buzzfeed that it made you act like a giant douche bag. I really wasn’t sure which those sources had been right.

“Eve, I know you’re wasted, but please listen to me when I say that I not interested in Raina.”

“No need to defend yourself. I get it. Its because she’s hot and your a virgin, right?”

My entire face turned red.

“How did you know I was a virgin?” I asked, completely embarrassed.

“Come on Carter. Its pretty obvious.”

I’d never been any good at comebacks, so I let out something I thought Raina would say.

“Oh yeah, well your hair is obviously dyed.”

It was probably because she was plastered, but she started laughing hysterically.

Our confused looking waitress left the check on the table and walked away.

“Man Carter, if you knew why that was so funny, well, I’m not sure how you’d react.” Before I could ask about that, Eve’s phone rang. “Hey hey,” she said. “Glad to hear you decided to call, Liv…Actually, I just finished having dinner with Carter. And he’s paying. He’s such a gentleman…No, I haven’t had that much to drink. At least, I haven’t had more than I do on a usual night…Yeah, I think I’m up for some clubbing.”

Olivia had time off? I’d never heard of Raina giving her that before. The only reason she could have it is…

Shit! Raina had found Red Eyes and she was going to take him on alone.

“Eve,” I said. “Ask Olivia what progress Raina’s made on finding Red Eyes.”

After asking Olivia, a few moments passed before Eve said “He’s hiding out at a warehouse on 94th street, huh? Well for the sake of your job, I hope that slut doesn’t die. Now, how about we meet at Brawl Monkey? Its this awesome club where you get to watch people fight while you drink.”

There was a place like that in Bluejay? Either Eve was really out of it or it was someplace new.

“Alright, cool. See you there in 15 minutes.” She hung up.

“Eve, I’m happy for you getting a date and all, but you need to give me a ride over to 94th street.”

“Carter, remember what we were just drinking? Do you actually think I’m taking my bike over to Brawl Monkey.” She got up and started walking off. “Good luck with Red Eyes, and oh, thanks again for the meal.”

I didn’t have time to screw around. I dumped all the money I had on me, which was probably a little less than the bill, on the table and ran out of the restaurant.

Running as fast as I could, I started making my way toward 94th street. It was pointless to go home and change into costume seeing as how Red Eyes already knew who I was.

I just had to hope that I wasn’t too late, and that I could help finally bring down Red Eyes.

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One Response to Smog 3.5: Carter

  1. unclepulky says:

    A pretty short chapter this week, but the next few weeks will certainly make up for this. I’m still dealing with some personal stuff, so I apologize if that’s still causing a harmful effect on the grammar. Still, like always, I hope you guys enjoy.

    Remember to vote for Jolt on topwebfiction.com and be sure to check out and add to Jolt’s TV tropes page: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/Jolt

    See you next week.

    Like

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