|When The Smoke Clears
Author: SecondStarToTheRight18 PM
- ABANDONED - If everything you ever knew suddenly fell apart around you and you were left to pick up the pieces, standing in the war zone, just trying to find a piece of reality to hold onto, what would you do? Summary continued inside.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Hurt/Comfort - Bradin W. - Chapters: 7 - Words: 29,939 - Reviews: 34 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 10-25-09 - Published: 11-03-08 - id: 4634371
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I do not own Summerland.
Big SORRY for not updating for a month. And an even bigger shout out to my readers, acciodanrad9, JessesInMyVeins and Jmackarla! You guys rock! Seriously. Thank you so much for reading and leaving reviews! :)
Karla, haha Maybe you'll like Harry a bit better in this chapter? He's cleaned up his act a bit, if I do say so myself. Enjoy!! (PS I'm glad you liked the 'sex partner' joke! Lol I had a lot of fun writing that scene. And I love your reviews! They always get me excited to write because I know you're excited to read! So thank you. -huge smile-) "PS: Remember slow, painful, lonely, worst-case scenery death to Harry (LOL!)... unless he suddenly changes... here's to hoping!" hahaha We shall see.
JesseInMyVeins, thanks a million! Here's your update! (Sorry for the delay. Blame it on Writer's Block or Writer's Laziness, whichever you prefer! :P)
acciodanrad9, thank you soo much for reviewing each chapter as you read them! You're awesome. And I'm glad you're enjoying the story so much! Two things; First, yes, Harry is really, truly Bradin's father. Sorry. :( And second, I'm super happy you're 'hooked'! lol Oh, and whether Bradin and Fran will become a couple is, as of yet, a mystery (even to me.) just kidding. But you'll just have to keep reading to find out. Enjoy the update!!
Now, alas, I shall shut my big mouth and let you guys read! Hope you like it!!
Oh, PS, I didn't get a chance to proofread this chapter as well as I would have liked to so please point out any big mistakes or anything and I'll fix them! Thanks a million, guys! You have no idea how much reading your reviews brightens my day.
Bradin and Fran spent the rest of the morning and half the afternoon watching TV and talking about various nonsense. About 4:30pm Bradin's father, Harry, arrived home. Fran noticed Bradin tense when he heard his father's footsteps in the kitchen.
"Bradin, you home yet?" he called into the living room, appearing at almost the same moment.
"Yeah." Bradin answered. "Oh, and this is my friend, Fran. Fran, this is my, uh, dad, Harry." He introduced.
Bradin was thankful that Fran had already changed back into her own clothes after having run them through the dryer. He'd hate to have to explain that one if she hadn't been.
"Hello, Fran. It's nice to meet you." Harry said heartily, coming fully into the living room and shaking Fran's hand from where she sat on the couch next to Bradin.
"Ditto!" Fran smiled.
"Hmm..." Harry stroked his chin for a second then snapped his fingers. "You're the Wilkerson girl, right?"
Fran smiled. "That's me." She chirped. "And you drive that freakin' beautiful BMW that I wanna steal, right?" she winked causing Harry to burst into laughter. "You got a license?" he asked.
Fran shook her head disgustedly. "No! Argh, I wish."
"Yeah?" Fran smiled suddenly. "What are you getting at?" she asked suspiciously.
"Oh, I just thought I might let you take it around the block since you like it so much. You are the one that yelled 'I want your car, dude!' at me last Saturday, aren't you?"
Fran blushed. "Yeah..." She admitted.
Harry chuckled. "Well, since you're a friend of Bradin's, I wouldn't see the harm in letting the you give it a spin with me. If you think that'd be okay with your parents, of course." Harry added.
"Heck yeah! My mom doesn't care what I do and I'm not sure my dad even knows he has a daughter, he's so busy!" Fran laughed. "But seriously, they wouldn't mind."
"Okay then. Give me a second to change out of these dirty duds and we'll go!" Harry said with a smile before disappearing down the hall to his room.
"Wow. I've always wanted to drive that car!!"
"Always?" Bradin questioned with a laugh.
"Well, since he got it two years ago." Fran rolled her eyes slightly. "Anyway, though, how come he didn't offer you to drive?"
"I gotta get my permit." Bradin answered.
"You don't have one?"
"Sure, but it's California issued so I have to retake the stupid test here." Bradin laughed. "But whatever..."
"Oh." Fran laughed easily. Bradin could tell that she was excited about driving Harry's car. He rolled his eyes. Personally, he didn't even like the thing.
Harry reappeared at that moment and clapped his hands together. "Let's go!"
Fran jumped up, followed by Bradin and the threesome headed out the door and climbed into Harry's car with Fran at the wheel.
After a leisurely drive around the neighborhood, if you can call farmland a neighborhood, Harry instructed Fran to drop herself off at her house as it was almost 5:30pm.
Pulling to the side of the road in front of the Wilkerson's expansive farmhouse, Fran put the car in park and everyone got out.
"Thank you so much for letting me drive! Fran exclaimed. "It's a dream."
Harry chuckled. "No problem. Maybe you can take it out again sometime..." he hinted with a smile. Fran grinned. "I'd love that!"
"I'm sure you would." Harry winked and took the wheel. Bradin was switching to the passenger seat but Fran pulled him into a quick hug before he could get in the car. "Thanks so much for today, Brae." She whispered.
Bradin nodded, uncomfortable that Harry was watching them. "Sure. And, Fran, he's gonna be okay, don't worry."
Fran nodded mutely. "I'll text you later, okay?"
Bradin smiled. "Okay."
"Bye!!" Fran called over her shoulder, starting the not-so-short walk up to her house.
"Later!" Bradin called after her and got in the car, shutting the door and pulling his buckle over himself and snapping it.
"She's a nice girl, Bradin." Harry smiled, pulling the car back onto the road and heading towards town.
"Yeah, she is." Bradin agreed.
"Are you two more than just friends?"
Bradin laughed. "No. Definitely not." He and Fran? That would never, ever, ever work, he knew. Of course, she had kissed him and he hadn't protested. He laughed at himself internally. Well, it could work but it probably wouldn't.
"I see." Harry answered. "But do you like her?"
Bradin hated these kinds of questions. "Yeah, I like her." He said impishly. "Fran doesn't allow anyone not to like her."
Harry glanced at him, saw his expression and hit him in the back of the head. "Oh, get out of here." He laughed, making Bradin laugh back. "Nah, not really." He answered truthfully.
"Ah." Harry winked at him and Bradin laughed again. "Whatever." He rolled his eyes.
Two more weeks passed and November 17th, arrived. It was about a week before Thanksgiving and the air was turning bitterly cold as winter made her way into Kansas.
"Dude, it is so cold." Fran shivered and rubbed her gloved hands together in an effort to keep warm. It was Saturday morning and she and Bradin and Frank were going down to the river to spend the day doing nothing.
"We could've stayed indoors, you know." Bradin said for the 3rd time that day.
"Yes, I know. You've mentioned it. Like, a bunch already!" Fran pretended to be ticked off.
Bradin rolled his eyes. "Well, God, I moved here from California, remember? I hate the freakin' cold!!"
"But you're from Kansas!!" Fran reminded him.
Bradin rolled his eyes. "But I should probably have been from Cally." He laughed.
"Alright, surfer boy!" Fran took her turn at eye rolling.
"Would you kids please stop?" Frank pleaded, trying once again to get a signal on his cell phone. "I swear this damn thing never works!" he exclaimed, throwing it to the ground.
Fran scooped the phone up as she walked past it. "Frankie, Frankie." She chided. "Don't be so angry. It's just a stupid phone. Who're you trying to call anyway?"
Frank snatched the phone back angrily, "Never mind!" he shoved the cell into his pocket and marched ahead of the two younger teens. Fran turned questioningly to Bradin but he just shrugged, mouthing, "No clue."
Fran watched as Frank slumped under a tree near the riverbank and lit a cigarette. She and Bradin walked past him and along the bank.
"Wow, it's cold." Fran commented again, trying to make light conversation. However, her mind was really on her brother. Frank had overdosed on two weeks before and Fran still hadn't been able to get it out of him whether he'd done it on purpose or not. When she'd first asked him he'd just laughed and said, "Whoa, Francis, thinking a little darkly, aren't we?" And when she'd pressed him he'd said that of course he hadn't done it on purpose and mumbled something about having to meet a friend then walked off. Since then she hadn't really talked to him about it again but she still wasn't sure. And it scared the wits out of her not knowing if he might try it again.
"Fran?" Bradin's voice broke into the 15-year-old's thoughts. "You all right?"
"Yeah." Fran assured, forcing a smile. "You know, if we had stayed home we'd have just been bored to death."
Bradin side-glanced her. "Oh, I don't know..."
"What do you mean?" Fran asked curiously.
"Well, your parents aren't in town, right?" Bradin asked.
"Right..." Fran furrowed her brow. "So what?"
Bradin shrugged. "We could've kicked your brother out and..." he looked over his shoulder, pretending to make sure no one was listening before looking back and saying lowly, "You know."
"Bradin!" Fran started laughing. "Please, we could do that here."
"No way. It's too damn cold." Bradin said. "Your house would be much better."
"Why, pray tell, my house?" Fran wanted to know. Had he just said "would" be much better?" Not "would've"?
"Cause Harry's at his?" Bradin asked, being smart aleck.
"I thought he was your father? And I thought it was your house too." Fran giggled.
Bradin rolled his eyes. "No." he said. Fran knew he was just joking around but something in his voice told her he really meant it.
"So, mine. And what would Frank have done to us after we stole his drugs?" Fran knew perfectly well what Bradin had meant but she couldn't resist.
"Who's talking about drugs!?" Bradin exclaimed in mock frustration. "I'm talking about you and me. Somewhere quiet and... you know." Bradin raised his eyebrows suggestively. He knew Fran knew but the joking was too fun to pass up.
"Whatever are you talking about, Bradin Westerly?" Fran asked with big eyes.
"Removal of clothing." Bradin said flatly, pretending to be annoyed that she didn't understand.
"Why would we do that, hmm?" Fran asked innocently.
"So we could get to certain things underneath." Bradin ducked out of the way as Fran went to playfully hit him in the back of the head.
"Ha!" Bradin laughed at her when she missed.
"This ain't over, pretty boy!" Fran laughed back, taking a step towards Bradin and jokingly shoving him sideways. Bradin went to side step her but lost his balance, slipped and plunged toward the frozen river below. In the next instant there was a crack and Fran's shocked scream.
Nikki's nerves all twitched and she flinched. It felt like somebody had just stabbed her in the kidney.
"Nikki?" Ava Gregory turned toward he niece. She, Nikki, Susannah, Jay and Erika were all seated at the kitchen table drinking hot chocolate and talking about what to do for Thanksgiving, which was in a week. The weather had finally turned cool in southern California and everyone was enjoying it.
"Are you alright, sweetheart?" Ava asked.
Nikki started to say that she was but another sharp almost-pain cut her off. It wasn't that it hurt very much, it really didn't. It was that there was no reason Nikki should have just felt anything. She thought of the time almost a month ago when she'd felt something very similar and had talked to Bradin later that night only to learn that he had felt something like that once when Nikki had broken her ankle.
"I'm fine." Nikki assured with a smile.
Ava looked uncertain and by now everyone else was watching Nikki as well.
"Guys, really-" Nikki cut off as it happened again. "It's um, a girl thing…" Nikki lied quietly, pretending she didn't really want Jay to hear her. Ava nodded and the others chuckled softly. "Sorry, sweetie." Ava whispered.
Nikki smiled. "Nah, it's fine." She felt it again and excused herself.
Hurrying up to her room, Nikki grabbed her cell phone and sent a text to her older brother. There was no reply and Nikki felt sure she knew why.
"Bradin!!" Fran's scream pierced the crisp Kansas air.
"Holy shit, man!" Frank jumped up from the tree that he had been sitting under smoking and rushed towards the river, tossing his cigarette along the way.
Bradin had slipped off the edge of the river bed and hit the iced over waters. They weren't solid at this time of year so he crashed through, to the icy waters below.
"Hold on, man!" Frank called, carefully making his way down the side of the riverbank.
"Hurry! There's an undercurrent from hell down here!!" Bradin yelled.
"Oh, my God!!" Fran felt helpless just standing on the shore watching the scene play out. But she didn't know what else to do.
Frank made it down to the water's edge but stopped. He could go no further without stepping on the ice himself and Bradin was still a good 6 feet away from him. "Damn it…" he muttered under his breath while gathering some underbrush together in a fist full. Holding tightly to the weeds and vines, Frank stepped very cautiously onto the frozen river. He knew that close to the shore the water would be more likely to already be frozen solid since it wasn't nearly as deep as further out.
"Be careful, Frank!! It's not even winter!" Fran yelled from the shore.
"Fuck, don't I know it!" Frank yelled back, eyeing Bradin as he spoke. He had to get him out of there… Bradin was desperately clinging to the ice chunks that surrounded him and that which was still connected to the actual river. However, it wasn't working very well and he was, instead, mostly fighting against being pulled under and away by the strong currents beneath the surface. Frank could tell he was getting too cold to continue fighting much longer. He had to reach him before Bradin's strength gave out!
"Frank!! Frank do you have a knife on you!?" Fran yelled suddenly.
"Yeah!" Frank let go of the brush he was holding with one hand and fished the knife out of his pocket with the other. "Here!!" He threw it up on the bank. Fran snatched it up and ran off in the opposite direction, yelling over her shoulder. "Get him out, Frank! Hurry!!"
"Hurry…" Frank muttered. "I'm well fucking aware that I need to hurry!" He glanced back at Bradin who was still flailing in the waters, unable to swim any closer to the shore because of the current but also because he was unable to climb out because he'd just fall back through the ice.
Frank stepped further onto the ice but felt it cracking and quickly stepped back. "You're gonna have to try and climb onto the solid ice!" Frank shouted to Bradin. "I can't get to you…" he added.
"I can't, man." Bradin shouted back, though not with as much force. He was feeling more numb by the second and losing strength about as quick.
"Well, shit! I can't do anything either…" Frank replied in a shout. "Are you sure you can't?"
"I'll fall back through anyway."
"But maybe you'd fall through closer to me and I could grab you…" Even as Frank spoke, he knew this wasn't true. "Oh, fuck it. Never mind that."
"I'm gonna drown here if somebody doesn't do something!" Bradin shouted to Frank.
"I know!" Frank yelled, desperate for an idea to hit him.
"Here!!!" Fran's voice boomed over the edge of the bank as she sent a robe sailing down to Frank.
"Hell, yes, Fran!!" Frank snatched up the rope and threw one end out to Bradin yelling, "Catch!!"
Bradin got hold of the rope and held it with both hands saying loudly, "It's on you, man! I'm letting go of the ice."
Frank felt Bradin's weight on the other end of the rope and leaned backward, throwing all his weight into keeping Bradin afloat. "Fran!!" Frank yelled over his head. "Come help me!!"
Fran scrambled down the side of the riverbank to the solid ice where Frank stood she started to take hold of the rope but Frank stopped her saying, "No, try to break up the ice out to where Bradin is so I can pull him out!"
Fran grabbed a few large rocks from the shore and hurled them onto the ice yelling to Bradin, "Look out!"
Some of it cracked and floated but some stayed where it was. Frank pulled in rope as soon as there was more water to pull Bradin through. "Try climbing on that ice!" he yelled.
Bradin did so but the ice cracked and he was back in the water within a second.
"Good!" Frank pulled in more of the rope. Bradin was only 4 feet from the siblings now.
Fran watched breathlessly as Bradin tried climbing out once more only to fall in again. She realized this was what both he and Frank were aiming for. Frank pulled him closer and the two repeated the process. Now Bradin was only about 2 feet away and Fran got onto her knees and reached out for Bradin's hand. He let go of the rope with one hand and grasped Fran's with it. Frank grabbed his other hand, dropping the rope at the same time, and together the siblings pulled Bradin up and onto the solid ice. The teens then hurried to help Bradin up the bank and back onto solid ground lest something should happen and they all ended up in the perilous river.
"Oh, my God…" Fran breathed out as the three of them fell out in the dirt above the partially-frozen river below.
"Thanks for the push, Fran." Bradin joked, coughing on water and shivering even as he did.
"Fuck!! Don't even say that! I am so sorry!!" Fran exclaimed. "Like, you have no freakin' idea!!"
"Fran." Bradin stopped her. "I was kidding. It wasn't your fault." He coughed again.
"Yes, it was!" Fran practically yelled. "Oh, my God! Are you seriously saying it wasn't my fault!?"
Frank interrupted her. "Where'd you get the rope and where's my knife?" he wanted to know.
"Frank! Bradin almost freakin' drowned and you want your knife back!??" Fran threw up her hands in mock defeat. "You're hopeless!"
"Just give it to me, Francis."
Fran sighed. "It's over there." She said, sitting up and pointing towards the river's edge.
Frank stood up and retrieved it then disappeared down the side of the bank and returned a moment later with the mysterious rope. "So where'd you get it?"
"Oh. I climbed up that tree down by the natural pond and cut it out. You know, it hangs there cause in the summer everybody swims there."
"Yeah. Wow. Nice memory. I'd not only forgotten that pond existed, but I'd really forgotten there was a rope in that tree!"
"I go there a lot." Fran admitted. "But oh, my God. Let's get Bradin home. He's probably gonna like, get phenomena or hypothermia or something."
Frank rolled his eyes. "I don't know about that. But yeah, come on." He and Fran helped Bradin, who was shivering and weak, get to his feet. "Don't go to my house, please." Bradin begged. "I know H- Harry would absolutely flip out."
"We'll go to ours. Come on." Frank said.
"Bradin?" Harry's voice came from the darkened living room where a TV screen flickered, making distorted shadows dance across the walls.
"It's me." Bradin replied, stepping into the room and looking at his father who was laying on the couch. "You not feeling good?" he asked, noting that Harry looked as though he'd been asleep.
"'Eh, allergies getting to me. The lights were bothering my eyes. I guess I fell asleep." Harry said, sitting up and rubbing his eyes.
"Ah." Bradin sat down on the couch at the other end from Harry. "What's on?" he asked, indicating the TV.
"Hm? Oh, I don't know. I-"
"Fell asleep." Bradin finished for him, laughing. "Right, sorry."
"What time is it?" Harry asked, again rubbing his eyes.
"Almost 10." Bradin answered.
"At night?" Harry asked.
Bradin wasn't sure if he was serious or not but he laughed, saying, "Yeah?"
"Oh. Whoa, what's wrong with me?" Harry mumbled, standing up and stretching. "Did you just get home?"
"Yeah." Bradin replied slowly. "Remember, I called you about 3 this afternoon and told you I was gonna stay and eat dinner with the Wilkersons?"
"Oh, yeah, that's right. Sorry." Harry stretched again. "I think I need to sleep more than I do."
"Care for a snack?" Harry asked, heading into the kitchen and flipping on the overhead light.
"Sure." Bradin got up and followed. Leaning up against the counter, Bradin watched as his father dug around in the fridge until he had found a mostly eaten cherry pie. Somehow getting two pieces out of the leftovers, Harry put them each on a dessert plate and handed one to Bradin.
"So how would you like to do some night fishing?"
Bradin considered this. "I haven't fished since before-" stopped himself. "in a while." he finished quietly.
"Oh, I understand." Harry said softly, taking a bite of his pie. "I just thought you might enjoy it."
Bradin started to say he probably wouldn't but something stopped him. "Yeah, I probably would." he said, taking a bite of pie.
"Hmm." Harry was quiet for the remainder of the snack-time and put the dishes in the sink before turning to Bradin and saying, "How 'bout we go now? There's a lake not too far from here, maybe an hour's drive." He said.
Bradin looked at him. "An hour's drive..." he said slowly.
Harry shrugged. "I slept most of the day away, I doubt I'll be able to sleep at all tonight." He chuckled. "But if you don't want to, you don't have to!" he added quickly.
Bradin honestly didn't want to. Not that he didn't want to go, he did. But he was aching and tired from his ordeal of falling into the Arkansas River earlier that day. He'd gone back to Frank and Fran's house with them and Frank had given him some clothes to wear while their mother dried Bradin's. Thankfully, Mrs. Wilkerson was at home and quickly took care of Bradin in a way that only a mother could.
She had him go up and take a warm shower and then had him wrap up in a blanket while she got some hot soup ready for him. By the time Fran's mother was finished , Bradin felt much, much better. After that he just sat around with Frank and Fran playing video games and chit-chatting until Mrs. Wilkerson suggested he stay for supper, which he did, then the whole family watched a movie together and Mr. Wilkerson got home, insisting upon driving Bradin home instead of troubling his father to come get him since it was already nearing 10'o'clock, which he did.
Frankly, Bradin was just worn slap out. But the idea strangely appealed to him. Even though, he really didn't like spending too much time with Harry because he was always afraid he'd tick him off and make him mad. Harry, Bradin had learned, did one of two things when mad; he either hit you (at least, he had on 2 occasions anyway) or he got pissy and gruff. But still, fishing with his father sounded fun to him. Even if Harry still wasn't, and probably never would be, a real father to Bradin.
"No, it's fine. We can go." Bradin answered after a second.
"Well, not if you don't want to." Harry insisted, sensing the slight hesitation in Bradin's voice.
"No, really, it's fine. I do." Bradin said.
"Alrighty. By the way, why'd you call me from Fran's house today?"
"You called from her phone, I guess." Harry shrugged. "I just meant, where's your cell?"
Bradin thought about that. Probably somewhere in Oklahoma by now. Or at the bottom of the river. "I... lost it." He admitted truthfully.
"You lost it?"
"Well it just kind of got ruined." Bradin muttered.
"So I take it we're never seeing that device again?"
"No, I doubt it." Bradin glanced up at Harry to see if he was mad. However, the older man was only shaking his head and smiling. "Well, it was your aunt's phone plan, wasn't it?"
"Yeah. I'll call her tomorrow and ask her about it." Bradin said.
"Okay." Harry agreed, digging around in his pocket for his keys. "Let's go!" he said, heading for the back door.
"You didn't need to get anything?" Bradin asked, following his father out the door.
"It's all in the shed out here." Harry replied, locking the backdoor and leading the way over to the shed behind the house.
After gathering the necessary supplies and making a trip to the restroom each Harry and Bradin set off for the lake Harry had mentioned, fishing gear piled high in the back of Harry's truck. Harry said the it would work better for a fishing trip than the BMW would. Bradin, however, had his doubts that the thing would even stay running that long it looked so beat down. However, as it had the first day Bradin had arrived in the Kansas, the truck didn't fail them. In fact, the old thing seemed to run as good as the BMW!
A little bit of conversation and a lot of radio later the two arrived at the lake Harry had mentioned. Setting up on the bank to fish in the not yet frozen waters, the two threw out their lines and leaned back, relaxing for the wait that was sure to follow.
After a few minutes Harry spoke quietly, not wanting to scare off any potential bites. "Do you miss them much of the time, Bradin?"
Bradin was surprised by the question and took a minute to reply. "Miss who?" he asked, playing dumb.
"Your... mom and Bob." Harry chose his words carefully.
Bradin stared out across the lake. It wasn't all that big and he could see the moon hitting the tops of the trees on the other side. He wondered what the side he was on looked like from there.
"Bradin?" Harry asked gently.
"Huh?" Bradin jerked out of his reverie. "Oh, um... yeah." He admitted quietly. "I miss them a lot. But it's not like, you know, life-altering." He chuckled slightly.
"What do you mean?" Harry asked, looking over at his son.
"Sorry." Bradin laughed fully this time. "It's just, after the accident... I guess I was pretty distant for a while there and people started to suggest therapy for me. To 'treat my condition as it was life-altering', as they put it." Bradin explained.
"Ah, I see. Well, I doubt that. It's natural to miss somebody so much you just start to shut everything else out." Harry said knowingly. "I remember when my mother died it just kind of killed me too, you know what I mean?"
Bradin nodded. "Yeah." He bit his bottom lip. "It's like, some huge chunk of you goes with that person when they do. And then slowly you get it back."
"Yeah." Harry agreed, nodding. "Not all at once but little-by-little you start to realize you're getting your life back."
"You get it in little bits and pieces till one day you wake up and realize you're... okay." Bradin chewed his lip as he spoke but stopped on the last word. "I guess that's all I mean. I'm okay, you know? But I still miss them too." He said softly, looking down at the dirt and rocks on the waters' edge.
"I know you miss them." Harry put an arm around Bradin's shoulders and pulled him close, hugging him. "And I know you're okay too." He smiled at Bradin, making him smile back as Harry let go of his shoulders. "I'm glad."
Bradin looked back across the lake. "So am I." he smiled as he felt a jerk on his line.
"Reel it in!" Harry exclaimed, noticing it too. He helped Bradin as the teen started to bring the fish in. The fish, being much bigger than either of them expected, put up quite the fight and, at one point, wound up dragging half of the line back out into the water. However, after a good deal of fighting, and an even greater deal of laughing, man prevailed. Bradin fell back laughing as the fish jerked on the shore, so close to the water that his tail fin threw up a cloud of water and straight into Harry's face.
Harry laughed as well, looking down at Bradin who was laying on his back choking on laughter. He shook his head. "All right, kid."
Bradin just laughed worse.
"Bradin." Harry rolled his eyes.
Bradin sat up, still laughing some. "Sorry, but you gotta admit," he look at the fish, now limp on the shore. "he got the last word."
Harry looked at the fish as well. He looked back at Bradin and the teen nodded, getting to his feet and standing over the fish. Together, he and Harry lifted the slightly twitching fish into the air and tossed it towards the waters. It swam away quickly and Bradin smiled to himself. He was actually having a good time.
"So I think I've had enough fishing for one night, how 'bout you?" Harry asked, turning to Bradin.
Bradin nodded. "Yeah, I guess so." He stifled a yawn. "In fact, I'd say I completely agree."
Harry laughed. "Let's go then."
Together the two of them threw all their gear back into the old pickup and took their places in the cab. Bradin turned the radio on and Harry started to whistle along with the guitar solo. Bradin looked out his side window, resting his head on the back of the seat. Maybe he'd just shut his eyes for a minute. He was – yawn – so tired.
Harry drove in silence, save for the radio, for about ten minutes before he glanced at Bradin and realized that the teen had fallen asleep. Smiling to himself, Harry turned the radio down low and turned his attention back to the road. He was so glad he finally had his son with him.
Yes, I realize there's no cliffhanger. But I just couldn't fit one in. The next chapter's on its way soon though, so be ready! -wink- So please let me know what y'all thought!! Thanks!