Me: Hello my beloved fans and welcome to Chapter Two! I would just like to say thanks to several people for reviewing my story so far:
Lady Blade WarAngel – thanks for both and for being not killing me every time I bugged you about reading it!
xox-My-Chemical-Romance-xox – and thanks to you, too, for being able to put up with me!
YashaWolf – first to review! Yay!
Dogs4Me89 (aka Alex) – for e-mailing me and promoting my story! You rock!
Bleedingxrefuge – for reviewing. Hope you do so again!
Nora – for reviewing. Hope you do so again!
Colleen – for reviewing. Hope you do so again!
Jan – for reviewing. Hope you do so again!
Adam – for reviewing. Hope you do so again!
Mikey – for reviewing. Hope you do so again!
Hey, would you lookit that! I did get this up before Christmas! laughs It may only be ten minutes before, but it's still before! I haven't got Chapter Three started yet, but I'll work on it, promise! Anyway, read and enjoy!
Bob the Dustbunny: Ginny doesn't own Gone in Sixty Seconds or any of the characters, okay? She don't own shit! (Well, except for me… and Shi and Primrose… and her characters in this story and its plot.) Anyway, just don't sue her. She ain't got shit.
Atley Jackson and the Sphinx
The next morning, the overwhelming scent of eggs and bacon and the unmistakable sound of something frying awaked both Raines brothers. Kipling rose from his mattress, donning nothing but his SpongeBob Squarepants boxers and scrambled to the door opposite his bedroom, banging brutally on it. However, once he did that, he instantly regretted it; clutching his forehead he groaned, knowing those last couple drinks were haunting him. Kip wished great pain on Tumbler when he hollered that he would be finished promptly.
"Mind you Ps and Qs, little brother," Memphis announced his arrival, making sure his voice remained relatively quiet. Kip greeted him with a noise of perplexity, looking up at him from the hardwood floor. The first born, in explanation, whispered, "Pints and quarts, like drinking. Means don't exceed your limits. I learned that a couple weeks ago," a sigh of regret escaped his mouth, and to himself he added, "the hard way."
The wooden door swung open, revealing a shirtless Tumbler. The dyed-blonde tips of his otherwise brown hair drooped sideways slightly, and a few droplets of water trickled down his chiseled chest. He offered his hand to his best friend and, with a single, quick jerk, stood him upright. "Honestly, Kip, why do you wear those?" he inquired, indicating his colorful boxers. "They're for children."
"Oh, like you can talk," countered the addressee, pointing to Tumbler's Homer Simpson lounge pants. Memphis shook his head, certain that an argument was brewing, and grinned as he proceeded toward the kitchen, where stood the fourth housemate. Sitting at the small, circular table, he finally realized the horrific state the adjacent living room was in – clothes strewn over the backs of furniture, magazines atop the seats, several empty pizza cartons resting on the floor. He shook his skull disappointedly, noticing the filthy dishes stacked untidily in the sink.
The African American male was Kip's age, and was no taller that 5'9". He had very short dark hair and mischievous blue eyes, the corners of which cringed a little from the smile that was permanently glued onto his face. This friend of Kip's went by the name of Mirror Man, and nobody knew his original name – but nobody asked. He flipped the bacon, being careful no grease flicked onto the drooping, elbow-length sleeves his green and orange cotton robe. After completely tending to breakfast, he followed Memphis's gaze. "Oh, right. We kind of forgot to clean the dishes for a couple days. Don't mind it, though."
Memphis released a released a small chuckle, responding, "A couple days? More like a week, at the least." He stalked over to the sink and began running the water. Tumbler came into the kitchen then, and the threesome proceeded to clean the contents of the sink. When they were done five minutes later and their breakfast consisting of bacon and scrambled eggs was resting on the table, the dark-skinned boy stole a handful of bubbles from the sink. Waiting by the kitchen's entryway, he threw it in the direction of the oncoming, still-in-his-boxers Kip, but missed horribly due to the fact that he had no aim and hit Tumbler square in the kisser. Kipling laughed silently, some moisture shaking from his arm – a short wash always did good for him after a night of drinking.
"I'm going to hurt you, Man," snarled the boxer, grabbing a dirty sock and smacking the African-American right in the face. Both Raines brothers sighed – nothing had changed since Memphis's last visit – 'Hopefully it won't end like last time, though,' thought the younger, dodging a dishtowel. He sat opposite his sibling at the table and they dug into their first meal together. Soon, the squabble died down, food was consumed, and conversation was fluent.
All good things have to end sometime. This ended with a knock from the front door. The brawniest answered it.
After a moment of silence, Mirror demanded, "Who is it, boy?"
Tumbler returned, followed by a pretty, red-haired girl, whose hair was styled in practiced dreadlocks. She donned a black, elbow-length-sleeved shirt and leather pants, and was removing a pair of sunglasses from her face. The young woman appealingly hoisted her slender frame onto the countertop.
"Oh, dear, I do love topless hunks in the morning," she said, eyeing the three Caucasians. Then she turned to the other. "What's with the robe, Father?"
Mirror Man chuckled and shed it, unveiling his slim body, the only thing covering any part of him being his peacock blue tear-away pants. "Ta-da! You like this baby?" He grinned that playful smile he always seemed to wear.
Laughter escaped the girl's luscious red lips and, quoting him from three years ago, said, "Sexy, sexy!" The petite house was overrun with laughter from all but Memphis. He continued staring at the redhead's face; he felt as though he'd seen her somewhere before, but couldn't place her. Her smooth face, her sexy eyes, her oh-so-familiar sensual voice.
Kip arose, joined the female, and began examining her dreads, twisting one in his finger. "I dunno, red's just so different…"
She simply shrugged, and the eldest male became mesmerized by her feminine figure. The redhead noticed this and shot him an angered glare, one that he knew all too well. "Sway…?"
"Yuh-huh?" she responded in a drawn-out manner. When he remained silent, Sara began running her hand slowly along the elastic of Kip's SpongeBob boxers. "Hey, I bought you these, didn't I? For Christmas!" He nodded and she smiled joyfully before patting him on the behind once. "Shouldn't have, though. You're butt's too small, can't keep them up."
Memphis glared enviously at his little brother while Tumbler called to Sway, "Hey, you wanna feel my ass too?"
She shook her head, that playful, un-Sway smile roaming over her facial features. "Nah, maybe tomorrow. Anyway, what's taking you dumbasses so friggin' long?" Her hands traveled to her waist in a flippant pose, that foreign smile banished and replaced by a serious, 'Don't fuck with me' expression. "C'mon, honeys, get those cute asses in gear before Otto comes up here and kicks you there!" The corners of Memphis's mouth cringed into a weak smile – she was back, Sway, his Sway.
The group of five arrived in as many vehicles, since they didn't want to abandon their beloved 'ladies'. Memphis, second last to arrive, drew stares from his friends, new and old, as he parked his black 2000 Mini Cooper.
"Oh my God," muttered Donny, who was leaning against the outer wall. "Memphis, where's Eleanor?"
Randall sighed, a dreamy expression evident on his face. 'Eleanor…' he thought as he explained. "Sold her. When Sway and I separated, I was so pissed off that I actually sold her… I tried to buy her back, offered one hundred thousand, but the asshole wouldn't agree."
Just then, a beautiful blood red Italian pulled up, expertly stopping within mere inches of Donny. The noon Sun beamed down from straight above them and danced off the redhead's hair. Donny dropped the keychain he'd been twirling around his fingers, his mouth falling open in shock. "S-Sway?" he stuttered. "That you?"
She laughed. "Yeah, you like it?" Pushing passed Memphis, she made her way into Otto's garage, leaving the males in her wake. An older cinnamon-haired woman was standing near the hind of the garage by a coffee maker. She looked over at Sway, grinning, and called out to the owner.
"What is it, Sweetness?" inquired Otto, exiting his office. He was completely taken aback when he laid eyes on the younger female. "Honey? Is that you? What happened to you?" Otto was probably the only person in the world who could call Sway 'honey' and not receive a broken collarbone.
Both girls grinned at Otto's reaction before erupting in laughter. They joined together in a tight embrace before the older woman took a lock of the other's hair and intertwined it in her fingers. "Like it? My own personal work of art," replied the matured woman.
Otto simply stared at them for a moment. Running around his head was the question, 'What the hell's gotten into Sway?' Clearing his throat, he said, "It's… different. Why the sudden change, Sway?"
She hopped up onto the hood of a 1987 Chevrolet Nova, situating her feet on a stool, and rested her elbows on her knees as she sighed. "Out with the old, as they say. I've tried being a brunette, and something bad happened. I've attempted blonde, and a bunch of back things happened. Memphis returning," she said, as Kip, Memphis, Astricky, Tumbler, Mirror, and the newly arrived Toby entered, "was the last straw."
Silence followed that statement. Junie, Otto's spouse, walked awkwardly backwards and checked the coffee, despite that it was done five minutes before Sway walked through the door. Memphis gazed, shocked, at her, while his brother wore an expression that Sway had to avert her eyes from, knowing she'd caused it; it wasn't one of anger, hatred, or even resentment – it was disappointment. Both African-Americans, along with Toby, suddenly became extremely interested in their hands.
On the other hand, Tumbler, not realizing quite how thick the tension was, attempted to lighten the mood by adding, "Plus, like you said a while back, you always were a sucker for a redhead, right?"
All heads instantly whirled towards Sway, predicting her to blow a fuse. However, she looked at the brawny young man and smiled. "Exactly." She leaned back on the Nova's windshield and tried to shut Kip's face out of her head. When that failed, she turned to Otto. "Hey, when are the others getting here?"
"Atley said he'd be here around twelve-thirty," the old man answered. Glancing at the clock on the wall, he added, "That's in fifteen minutes' time. And Sphinx… well, you know Sphinx. He'll come when he wants. As for Freb, you'll have to ask Kip."
Just as the female was nodding in agreement, a sharp knock came on the door. Donny, who was the acting doorman, opened it wide to reveal a man just under Memphis's height with slicked-back dark hair. He donned a black, leather jacket over a navy shirt, along with jeans, and removed the sunglasses from his face, placing them in his pocket. He clapped a hand on Donny's thick shoulder as he passed him, walking with a limp towards the elder Raines. "Memphis Raines," the shorter greeting him, taking his hand in a firm handshake.
"Atley Jackson," countered Randall, smiling at his old friend. "You're early."
Jackson nodded affirmatively. "Yeah… I had nothing better to do. So I heard you left your job at that dealership. You quit or get fired?"
Subconsciously glancing over at Otto, he replied, "He fired me and then I quit. Then Otto dragged my ass back to Long Beach." The twosome suddenly noticed everybody staring at them, so yelled at the assemblage to get a life. They then sat on a couch and Memphis, half sarcastically, half angrily said, "Guess who else is coming to lunch?"
Atley studied his friend's eyes for a moment before it struck him like a punch to the stomach. "No," he refused, "not him. Not again."
Raines nodded solemnly as he absentmindedly began scratching Otto's precious mastiff behind the ears. "Afraid so. Sway's boyfriend. What's the deal with that guy anyway?"
"You still love her, don't you?" Jackson interrogated after a moment's silence, receiving a nod. "You want her to be happy, but she needs to be free, to be able to make her own decisions. If you love her so much, Memphis, you just need to let her go."
He sighed before stating, "I know, man, but I just… can't, because I know that if I do, something bad will happen to her. He'll hurt her somehow, and I won't let that happen. Somebody needs to get those two apart."
Atley quickly countered, "She needs to live her own life, make her own mistakes, otherwise she'll never learn from them. That's the only way to make her happy. You can't do everything for her."
Both men looked over to the back of the building, at the female they were discussing. She was seemingly staring at the floor, though her dreadlocks concealed her face, and Junie's arm was draped across her shoulders. Memphis sighed once again, thinking over what Atley said, and ran a hand through his hair.
Suddenly, the gathering heard an engine rev outside, and everybody – except for Junie – went to see what it was. By the side of the road was a handsome, black 1999 Hummer 2-door Pick-up at which Mirror had to stare, remembering when he'd boosted one nearly identical to that. Out of the passenger door came a man known simply as 'Sphinx', and the driver – an attractive female around Mirror Man's age – yelled out in a strong Irish accent, "Buh-bye Mr. Sphinx! See you Monday!" The younger crowd was shocked that a girl their age – and especially one of such beauty – would drive a vehicle like that, and least of all that she would talk so childishly and sweetly to Sphinx.
The Sphinx was a giant of a man, very tall and muscular and just… big – not 'fat' big, just big. He constantly appeared to be frowning, as well as looking severely pissed off. Most people took one glance at him and were frightened – some would say Sphinx liked that, since he wasn't usually very sociable, and hated company when he was boosting. His fierce, dark eyes flashed a greeting towards Memphis, and he nodded slightly to Otto and the others, showing off a bit of the short black hair on his head. He raised a large hand in farewell to the girl, causing creases in his long shadowy jacket, and internally snickered at the reactions from the younger ones.
"Hey baby," the young African-American called, "you wanna come join us?"
The look he received from Sphinx would've made most men piss their trousers, but Mirror Man was far too familiar with the man's glares to do so. He did, however, instantly shut his mouth. The girl laughed at this, replying, "No, I gotta get my baby home. Maybe some other time." With a last wave to the morbid adult, she drove away.
"Hey, Sphinx," Sway said, walking beside him towards the entryway, "she's pretty cute. Who is she?"
Atley answered for the large man. "She's and intern at the mortuary. Been there nearly three weeks now."
The group went back inside to find Freb sitting on a stool, amusing himself with a yo-yo. Most of the older generation shook their heads at his idiocy, and Tumbler strode over to give him an open-handed smack upside the head, adding, "Dumbass." He proceeded to seat himself on a stool and began his routine of bouncing a tennis ball against the wall.
Astricky wandered to the small refrigerator in the back of the garage and extracted several beers, tossing one to each person (except Junie) and opened one himself. "What a lovely little reunion. I hope nobody ruins it."
The younger generation muffled some chuckles and Sway glared at Donny, one of the ones who was normally more considerate. She was fairly disappointed – it seemed that, since Memphis's returned, her friends were boldly voicing their thoughts (which usually wouldn't have been bad, but given the subject they lashed out about…). "Donny, not you too," she moaned.
"I'm sorry, Sway baby, but that guy just don't seem right," replied he, after taking a swig of his drink.
A rather annoying voice, originating from the doorway, addressed the large black man. "Hey, Fatty, throw me a beer, now." Derek walked up to Sway, slapped her behind, and began French-kissing her. "Sexy girl," he breathed when he emerged for air.
Donny, who'd overcome his shock of being called 'Fatty', expertly threw a beer at Derek, smacking him in the back. As the unwelcome guest let loose a string of curse words and the rest of the guys broke into fits of silent laughter, the African-American shrugged a pair of broad shoulders and innocently said, "Heads up."
That comment did it. It was the final straw – Kip, Freb, Toby, Mirror, and Tumbler were so genuinely amused by Astricky's response that they burst into loud, uncontrollable spurts of chuckles. Donny, Otto, and Memphis had a little more restraint, as they were able to remain silent and somewhat straight-faced. Sphinx stayed in the shadows, surveying the scene with amusement, secretly proud of the elder African American. When Sway emitted a little laugh, Derek – very embarrassed by that time – rounded on her, grabbing her upper arm in a remarkably tight grip, forcing her against the wall.
"Derek, stop it. Let go," she calmly pleaded. All this did was cause him to tighten his grasp. She reached for his free hand, placing her thumb between the pinky and index fingers' bones in the back on his hand and her fingers on the fleshy part of his thumb. Sway applied pressure to it, and he dropped to his knees; he released her and, in turn, she released him. As she leaned against the wall, breathing heavily, Memphis noticed a tear roll down her cheek.
Then something happened that nobody could've anticipated. A noise came from somewhere, and everybody's gaze was drawn to Sphinx, who'd emerged from the darkness. Sphinx was clapping – and almost grinning! Sway idiotically smiled.
From the ground, Derek shouted, "Woman, help me up! Now!"
Randall stepped forward, rolling up his sleeves threateningly, but Sway held up her hand to halt him. One question ran rampant through his brain – 'What was she doing?!'
She looked down at her boyfriend and an evil grin challenged her features. "Oh, Derek baby –" at first her voice was sweet, high-pitched, but then it returned to its regular state, "– help yourself." There was an instant uproar of cheers, whistles, and hands being clapped together, and Derek stood up, turning around and glaring at all the males.
"You bloody idiots!" he shouted. "All of you, you're a bunch of friggin' wusses! Don't you understand that you should be screwing her, not congratulating her!" With that, he rushed out the doorway, shoving by the open entrance into the wall.
Otto started toward her and she nearly flew into his arms, happiness predominant on her face. "I'm sorry, Otto, everyone. Sorry I put you through that."
From the entryway came the accusing voice of Roland Castlebeck. "Was that Derek Hunter just now?"
Before she realized who it was, Sara nodded and affirmatively stated, "Yeah."
"Why was he here?" continued the detective suspiciously.
Memphis instantly replied, without thinking, "Sway's boyfri – ex-boyfriend. Why?"
Castlebeck wouldn't let up. "How much do y'all know about him?" Without giving them an opportunity to answer, he added, "Did you know that he's a two-time convicted sex offender?"
With that, everybody stared at the detective, taken hostage by stupefied trances, and Sway sank into the couch alongside Kipling, her face whitened. "How," she began in a slow, shaking voice, "how could I've been so stupid?"
"Don't blame yourself, Miss Wayland. He's a very smart man, he has ways of getting into people's heads and tricking them," Castlebeck reassured her. Kip embraced her, holding her close, until a spurt of anger came over her, causing her to jump up and kick a trashcan the length of the building. "Calm down, girl. Is there anything going on here that you crowd would like to inform me of?"
Otto disappointedly shook his head – he couldn't believe it. Every time Memphis came back to Long Beach – even for his mother's funeral – that detective was on him like butter on bread. "Castlebeck, have you no faith in our new-found goodness? Honestly, how long has it been since we actually did something?"
As he said that, the senior thought of how the group, in truth, hadn't been able to stay completely law-abiding. Kip and his friends often drove around doing twice the speed limit, for the adrenaline rush and so they wouldn't freak out. Sphinx… well, as everyone says, Sphinx is Sphinx. Even Sway, since her return, had broken the law a few times, by joyriding and nicking stuff from random cars so she could fix up her baby.
"Sorry Halliwell, but this is protocol," retorted the detective. He made his way around the building, checking for anything the old man might've been hiding. When he found nothing, he gave the recently returned adult a fake little salute, warning, "I'm watching you, and I'll be back," as he exited.
Memphis returned the garbage can to its rightful locale and took a sip of his beer. "You know what's ironic about all this?" Sway stared up at him from her spot next to Kip, and he continued. "I was saying to Atley, before that asshole arrived that if somebody didn't intervene, you would get hurt." He let loose a hollow laugh, but abruptly stopped when she sent him a glare. After clearing his throat, he inquired, "What changed your mind anyway?"
She grinned slightly, winking at someone. "Sphinx." Glances were thrown between the stoic male and the young female, and in response to the confused mutters, she explained, "We all desire to be praised by people, especially our friends and family, no matter how hard we disguise it. I know Kip's always wanted his brother to congratulate him on his accomplishments, and Tumbler loves it when we tell him he had an awesome fight. When Sphinx started clapping I just… snapped back to reality. I realized what was happening and why you despised that asshole so much."
The guys all took a moment to reflect on what she'd said, and many gulps of liquor were taken. Finally, Memphis spoke up. "Kip, I'm proud of you. How you've cleaned yourself up, how you've dealt with everything… you're strong."
Kipling grinned, and Sway pecked him on the cheek. "Thanks," he said to his brother, "but I couldn't have done anything without you."
There was a short pause, and after a moment Sway seized the opportunity to steal the boy's beer from his hand and took a long swig. Everybody laughed, and as the Halliwells went into Otto's office to retrieve something, Memphis shot the young female a meaningful look, which caused her to direct her attention away from him. "Kip," she said, suddenly flinging her arms around his neck in a mildly childlike manner, "thanks for sticking up for me that time those assholes were staring at my butt."
"Anytime," replied he, snatching his alcoholic beverage back and draining a few drops. "But you owe me bigtime."
Grinning, she jokingly answered, "Alright! If any perverted guys are staring at your butt, I'll beat the bloody piss outta them." Everyone in the room cracked up, just as Otto returned with his spouse, carrying a tray of chicken wings, steaks, and pork chops. Mirror Man clapped his hands together and went over to help, along with Donny, Sphinx, and Tumbler. "Nice, Otto. When did you cook all that?" inquired Wayland.
"Actually, Junie woke up at five o'clock this morning and started cooking. She's an angel, but crazy to boot," he explained, earning him a playful punch in the arm from the matured woman. "Sorry, Sweetness, sorry."
It took the crew about fifteen minutes to get everything set up, and by that time they'd all retrieved another Budweiser from the fridge and the younger men were into a hilarious conversation about their 'perfect chick'. As they sat down to the table in the back room, Kip began laughing uncontrollably.
Memphis eyed him as one would a crazy person. "What's wrong with you?"
Leaning back in her chair, Sway – seated between Toby and Sphinx – inquired, "Will we ever know the true answer?"
"Hey!" Kip replied when he managed to stop chortling. "That's mean… I was just laughing because Tumbler's description of his perfect girlfriend was so similar to Sway…"
Tumbler, face reddening, struck his buddy in the side, whilst everyone else muffled some chuckles. He distracted himself by digging into a plump steak, and the conversations continued well into the afternoon. Memphis was sure to stay away from anything concerning his relationship with Sway, although he was sure she was getting less angry with him now that he'd shown how much he truly did care for her.
Kip, meanwhile, was enjoying having his older brother back, although the animosity between Randall and Sara was beginning to take its toll. Tumbler and Mirror liked having another friend around – more money for beer and pizza, and more help with housecleaning.
Me: Sorry to end it now peeps, but I just figured, hey, it's gotta stop somewhere. Besides, I didn't know what else to write… I know the relationship between Sway and Memphis seems like it'll get better, but it may get worse… you never know!
Shi: Yeah, especially with Ginny here. She loves screwing up stuff. Finds an odd amusement in it.
Me: So, what of it? Hey, so what do y'all think of the story, huh? Any good so far? I know this chapter might've seemed kinda boring and drawn out, but it was necessary for the plot and contained some relevant information… I think. Anyway, I must depart, as Christmas Day begins soon and I must get to bed before 'Santa' comes and gives me presents…
Shi: If she's not too busy with people coming over and enjoying her Christmas presents, she might be able to get Chapter Three up before she goes back to school on January 4th. But that's only if she has the time –
Me: and if I get more reviews! Okay, I'm really sorry about this, but I live off reviews, okay? I tend to get bored of stories sometimes if nobody reviews them. As a reminder, I need a total of 25 reviews before I'm putting up Chapter Three. Anyway, I'll stop babbling now…
Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Everybody!
Seasons Greetings from Elven-Princess Ginny, Shi, Primrose, and Bob the Dustbunny!