Hi everyone, thanks for the reviews. I'm experiencing a bit of a block with Shrink II so I figured I'd post something.
Ps: Immi as always thanks for the input.
KGJ the answer on chap 6 is 42, the way I wrote it was as follow: (-30+('root square'81x78)) / (8x2). '-30' being part of the numerator of the division, and not a lone term for an addition afterward (hope I'm clear enough in my reasoning).
My sentence has finally come to an end. My tail has stopped showing up two weeks after my discussion with Jaz and Noodle, and just to be certain that he wouldn't come back I waited an extra week because in my opinion you can never be too careful.
Now, I'm free to go as I please, just like I used to. And I think it's more than time for me to skedaddle out of here. As I'm walking toward my tutor's office I notice a boy approaching the same door, our gazes meet for a few seconds but that's all it takes for me to know that I have his attention. He gives me a quick one over, and as we reached the door at the same time, he grins a bit.
"Ladies first," he holds his hand toward the door to invite me to go before he does.
I glance at him one last time before entering the office, as Casey – my tutor – invites me in.
Casey's brown eyes light up when he sees me. "Hey Trouble," he greets me. "A month and a half without seeing you, I was starting to get worried," he smirks.
"I thought I'd say hello to my teachers," I reply. I dig a hand in my backpack and pull a book out of it. I extend it to him with a wink. "Excellent thriller, especially the 13th chapter."
He grins widely "I can't wait to read it."
Casey is in his early twenty, working as a tutor here; he's also a college student. We've always had a relaxed, friendly relationship, I mean he tried to tell me how classes were good but eventually understood that it was the wrong angle with me. As chance would have it, we met outside of school at a party. We shared drinks, and some other funny things. Let me say here that he's handsome and I wanted him, so I made a move, we kissed… and laughed our asses off right after the kiss. The sexual tension vanished right then, the kiss was 'pleasant', but that was that. We've been great mates ever since.
As my tutor he should hold me in school, but I give him 'candies' and he covers for me while I run free.
"So what are you up to?"
"I'm going to make up for the wasted month… or not so wasted," we chortle at my pun.
"We ought to get out together, it's been long," he states and I nod. "I might have a plan for Friday."
"Even if you don't have a plan we can work it out," I smirk with a suggestive wave of my eyebrows and he rolls his eyes before chuckling. "There's… someone at your door," I inform him.
"I got it," he winks at me. He stands from his desk while I move to the door that is on my right. I can hear Casey asking the boy at the door to go see something for him in the next corridor.
"Alright, you got five minutes," Casey informs me as he comes back in.
"See you on Friday," I wink at him before entering the adjacent room. It used to be a class room but now for some reason it's used as a storage room for furniture. I close the door behind me and hear Casey locking it; I open the window and throw my backpack on the floor before following the same path.
Casey's office is the most strategic. It's close to trees, on the back side of the school and most importantly, there's a spot where the wire fence is broken. It's not a big enough opening to be obvious, but with a little wiggling you can get through without too much trouble.
I walk with a purpose, I feel exceptionally social today, so I decide to go see someone before hanging around in the city.
After a short bus travel and a walk I arrive in the heart of the city. I enter one of the buildings and spot someone I know before walking to them.
"Hey, Topher," I greet the young receptionist.
"Goldilocks," he smirks.
"You know, since I'm in a good mood, I'll let that one slide."
"Ooh, lucky me," he chortles.
"Announce me, smarty pants," I demand, with a small shake of my head.
He picks up the phone and dials one key. "A Miss Nichols is asking to see you, sir," he declares.
There's a reason why he called me by a name that isn't mine, they have the directive never to reveal my identity for I could be used as leverage for someone malevolent against their boss; and I have the strict order to only talk to the member of the staff that I know – four people all in all.
"Yes, sir, right away," Topher replies after a few seconds. He stands up and informs his co-worker that he'll be back in ten minutes or so. He comes on the other side of the counter then makes a slight motion with his head for me to follow him, we walk to the private elevator and get in.
"So… have you been reading lately?" a smile immediately splits my lips at his question.
I take a book out of my bag and hand it to him. "Yep," I reply.
He read the synopsis then cracks the spine of it and pretends to read the first page. When he gives me the book back it's slightly heavier than before. The more exciting part of 'talking books' with Topher is that it all happens inconspicuously in front of cameras. "It looks interesting, but let me know if it's any good."
I've always been an avid reader, but my passion has greatly increased ever since I learnt to enjoy the evasion they provide. Of course I have other ways to have fun, I'm still in control of everything, but 'reading' is one of my favorite. I can't wait to be on my own and see what little treat Topher provided me with.
The elevator comes to a halt with a ring and the doors open to the suite. Topher walks in front of me and as per usual I wait at the entrance of the living room. "Miss Nichols, sir," he states politely.
"Ah, thank you Topher," I can see a hand putting a bill swiftly into the front pocket of his jacket, then Topher turns around and winks at me on his way out. I walk into the wide and luxurious space, the thick carpeted floor muffle the sound of my footsteps.
"Fluff," an enthusiastic voice instantly greets me.
I growl a bit, granted he's the only one I allow to call me that; and it was either that or having him calling me 101 different sugary names so I let him pick one and stick to it.
"Gramp…" I sigh and roll my eyes even though it's mostly for show.
"Hey now, don't call me old," Sam Braun replies with a feigned scold.
"Yeah, yeah. You're still a young thing," I joke.
I let him hug me and kiss my forehead, then we sit onto one of his large and very comfortable couches. A man in an elegant suit comes out of a room next door. "Mister Braun… oh, hello there," he smiles at me.
"Hello, sir," I reply politely.
"Mister Braun, I wish to have a word with you about the new cameras we should get for the main rooms," the man pursues.
"It'll have to wait a little more Kenny, right now I have more important business to attend to," Sam winks at me.
"Yes, sir," the man replies before excusing himself and leaving the room.
Sam turns to me and gives me his undivided attention. "I am really glad to see you. It's been a while."
"I know, I didn't want to bother…"
"Now, now what did I say? You never bother me," he pats my head affectionately. "So, how have you been?"
"I've been good, I promise."
"How is school?"
"What? I'm just asking…" he raises his hand in surrender.
"We've been through this already, I showed you my scores, I have those grades by myself. I'm doing really good and I barely go there, so please let's not go down that road again."
"Calm down Fluff," he chuckles. "You know that as a responsible adult I have to make sure you do the right thing, which means going to school. As happy as I am to see you, I'm concerned about your future," he continues. "Now, I've been young myself and school wasn't my favorite place either, so as long as you keep your grades up I won't bring that subject up again."
"Deal," I smile "So how have you been?"
We start to talk about everything and nothing, I must say that Sam is the only adult in my life with whom I'm completely honest with. I'm not dumb, and I've heard mom said that he was a not so 'clean' businessman, yet when he's with me he's just my granddad. Sure I don't mention my recreational reading, but I do speak to him openly and he does advise me soundly.
I value even more our relationship because if it wasn't for me coming to see him I'd never get to have contact with him. He's kind with me and when I'm with him, he gives me his full attention, he's the only father figure I have and we can say everything about him, about his business, but he's a good man when it comes to family and that's all that matters to me.
"Can I ask you a favour?"
"Anything for my favorite girl," he grins broadly.
"Would there be any opportunity for me to work? Be a receptionist or even work within your staff, anything I can do outside of the casino area."
"How much money do you need?" he puts his hand in his inside vest.
"It's not what I'm asking. I'm asking if I could get a small job, not if you could give me money," I reply with irritation.
"I'm not going to let no granddaughter of mine work if I can help it," he informs me softly. "Just tell me how much money you need and I'll give it to you."
"I just want to make a little money for myself, but I want to earn it."
"Why do you need the money?" he frowns.
"Shopping," I say sharply before rolling my eyes. "I just want a little money to go out and buy CD, I don't know. I'm a teenager," I shrug.
He looks at me suspiciously then sighs. "I'm afraid there's nothing I can do. It's one thing for you to come here to see me, your mother will have my head on a platter if she ever found out. I can't let you work anywhere near any of my casinos, first you're underage and then your mother will torture me before killing me."
"Alright, thanks for considering."
"Listen, I could give you some kind of allowance and…"
"No thanks," I cut him. "I want to earn my money. You should know that nothing comes for free."
He looks at me with a little pride. "Fair point," he rubs his jaw, sign that he's trying to come up with a solution that will make the both of us satisfied. "You know I'm a demanding man, and if you work for me I need to know that you will take it seriously."
"I can live with those terms and you have my promise that I will work hard and seriously."
"I think the website of the casino needs to be upgraded; new design, new look, easy and clear access so that even people like me who aren't that into technology can be able to use it without feeling lost. Do you think you can manage that?" his tone is business like.
"Of course, it'll take time but I can do it."
"This way you can work, but you don't have to set a foot around here. Anything you need, software, computers, drawing artist, anything and anyone that can help you, you tell me and I'll provide. I want a full report twice a month to know how it is going. The first signs of you slacking off, you'll be fired; if your grades slip the slightest bit, you'll be fired. I'm firm but fair and I don't joke with my business, so if you feel that you won't be up to the task you say it now."
"I can do it, trust me and you won't regret it."
He seizes me up then extends his hand to me, he waits for me to grab it to speak again. "We are now officially in business."
I smile like the Cheshire cat, I love when things go smoothly the way I want them to. I share a lunch with Sam then I leave because he has to work; he walks me out of the building and orders his driver to drop me off wherever I need to go.
Since I feel confident from the recent turn of event I decide to tackle my only problem up front. I ask Teddy to drop me off at Sara Sidle's address, he waits for me to get into the building before driving away. Lucky me the code hasn't changed since I last came over a month ago.
Two minutes later I'm at her door ringing her bell; even with her thick door close I can hear a muffled curse which only serves to put a grin on my face.
"Don't tell me, Hell is overpopulated so you had to come back, is that it?"
I fake a laugh. "Wow, somebody ate a clown today," I reply before pushing my way in. "You missed me?"
"Oh yeah, like one misses cancer."
"I'm glad to see you too,"
"Don't get yourself comfortable," she instructs me.
I ignore her and drop my bag near her couch then seat down crossing my feet on her coffee table. "I thought we could hang out."
"Look who's joking now," she chuckles humourlessly. She walks until she's facing me. "I'll ask it once," she warns me "Leave."
"Or what?" I defy her with a smirk.
Without adding any word she comes and grabs me by the arm, forcing me to a standing position, she grabs my bag with her other hand before walking the both of us back to the door.
"Now, now what are you doing?" I'm a bit taken aback by her reaction yet I can't help laughing a little.
"Shoving you out of the door, that should be obvious for someone as smart as you pretend to be."
"I don't think so, now get your hands off me or I'll scream," I tell her seriously, my anger is flaring up, if there's one thing I loath it's to be handled. I resist her grip and stop walking.
"Yeah I've heard that song before," she simply replies starting to walk to the door again.
I resist her once more, stopping us a few feet from the door "My, my, you're standing your ground. Progress, impressive," I pout with admiration. "Just tell me this, how do you think my mother will react at the bruises you're obviously leaving on my arm."
"She can't react to what she doesn't know," she smirks at me smugly.
"So you're really going to shove me out, leaving me in this city on my own?" I'm not the least impressed by her confidence.
"My heart is breaking in pieces at such a thought," she feigns hurt. "On the other hand I'll survive since I couldn't give a damn about what happens to you," she drags me until she can reach the knob.
"You're bluffing," I scrutinize her. I don't know her very well, but I know enough to be sure that she wouldn't let me go like that if she could help it, she's too compassionate for that.
"Oh yeah? Watch me," she laughs bitterly before opening the door a few inches. She doesn't open the door any more and I smile, I knew it, she was bluffing.
I chortle. "See? All talk, no walk… pathetic," I state smugly.
"Actually… I was just taking a second to enjoy this moment; the moment I'm shoving you out knowing that I don't have to feel any scruple about it, and all this thanks to you," she laughs softly.
My smile falters a bit, I realise only now that I might have misjudge her compassion and her limits. "It seems that you have overseen the very best part of your oh-so-well elaborated system," her smile widens with a mean glow. "It works both ways," she informs me with satisfaction.
She's wrong, I have covered that angle, but I never thought she'd actually use that card. I have misjudged her obviously.
"I could call your mom and yet people would assure her that you're at school, therefore since you're not here, I can't be responsible for something I'm not doing. And please feel free to call your mother to complain," she smirks.
She opens the door, throw my backpack on the threshold and is about to do the same with me. "You're seriously going to throw me out?"
"No, I'm gladly going to," she replies with wit, effectively shoves me out. "Good trip back to hell and please forget to send me a postcard."
With those words she slams the door into my face which makes me recoil slightly. My shock is quickly overcome with a cold and controlled anger. I admit defeat, but I'm not going to surrender.
I never thought it'd happen but I guess she's coming back to the score, that's 2-1 for me. I smirk once I'm over the shock of what just happened.
Feisty and hard to get…
I like that.
Thanks for reading.