Chapter 28 - An Oscar-Winning Performance
Gabrielle and Marco were about to start making their way toward the front of the farm house when the sudden sound of shouting had caught their attention. It appeared to be coming from around the other side of the house and both voices appeared to be male.
“What the fuck’s going on?” Marco asked, his gun in hand.
“Dunno. Come on.” Gabrielle ordered, leading his companion around through the shadowed treeline to the back of the large house.
Both Adam and Jake’s voices were now raised as their argument had hit its heightened point and the pair circled each other on the damp grass just outside of the house.
“I know you’re sleeping with her Adam, just admit it!” Jake snapped angrily.
“Ok fine, I’ll admit it. Scarlett and I are seeing each other. What’s the big deal?” Adam played his part in their theatrical distraction.
“You know how I feel about that!” Jake was apparently quite the actor as he continued on with the convincing role play, “How could you do this to me? I thought we were friends!”
“We are friends-“
“-No, you know what? Just get your shit and get out of here!” Jake shouted, holding out his arm with his finger pointed as he stared daggers at Adam standing opposite him.
“Get your shit and get the hell out of here Adam!”
By now both Marco and Gabrielle had made their way around to a vantage point which overlooked the backyard of the farm house. They could see the two young men arguing with one another and stood silently watching from their positon.
“What the hell’s going on?” Marco suddenly whispered to Gabrielle as the two stood shadowed in the darkness of the surrounding trees.
Gabrielle’s eyes were narrowed as he attempted to take in what he was seeing play out before them.
Shaking his head slowly Gabrielle replied with a whispered, “No fucking idea…”
As the shouts continued at the other side of the house, Scarlett and her Aunt silently snuck through the front entrance of the house and across the grass to where Adam had parked his car. Making an effort to carefully open the door as quietly as possible, Aunt Steph helped Scarlett crawl inside and handed her a bag of items she had managed to gather for the pair.
“Are you sure you guys will be alright?” Scarlett whispered in a rather panicked manner as she glanced toward the farm house, “I mean, what if-“
“-No! That’s not for you to worry about Scarlett.” her Aunt cut in sternly, “Just make sure you and Adam get to somewhere safe and let me know you’re alright as soon as you can. There’s some food, money and clothes in the bag, a few toiletries. I wasn’t sure what you’d need…”
Scarlett’s hazel eyes stared deeply into her Aunt’s for a silent moment as she fought with her inner fear to run. Her Aunt was terrified, but not for herself. She was concerned for Scarlett.
“I love you so much Scarlett. And I’m so proud of you, of the woman you’ve become.”
Aunt Steph embraced her niece with a quick hug, squeezing her tightly for what felt like the last time. Closing her eyes and allowing a tear to escape, Scarlett whispered her message into her loving Aunt’s ear.
“I love you too Aunt Steph. Thank you.”
As they parted Scarlett watched her Aunt as she carefully closed the car door and snuck back into the house through the shadows surrounding it. And just like that, Scarlett was once again alone and afraid.
“Come on Adam.” she whispered to herself nervously as Scarlett remained ducked down and out of sight in the backseat of the sleek black car.
It was up to him and Jake to sell it now.
Deciding it was finally time to take their act to the next level, Adam shook his head and instead stood his ground. He appeared to be refusing to back down.
“I’m not going anywhere.” he announced proudly, “I’m staying right here.”
“Like hell you are!” Jake snapped, suddenly leaping forward and crash-tackling his apparent friend to the grass below.
The two solidly-built men hit the ground hard with a grunt and began to wrestle around, fighting with flaring fists waving around and loud grunts as clumps of grass and dirt flew in all directions.
After managing to pin his close friend down beneath him, Jake leaned in close enough for Adam to hear his words as he whispered them.
“Sorry about this bro.”
With that Jake sat up, raised his clenched fist and slammed it down into the side of Adam’s face with a meaty thump-like sound. The force of his punch turned Adam’s head to the side, splitting his bottom lip and causing a slight bruise on the side of his jaw. Adam could instantly taste the iron-tinted flavour of his own blood as he groaned with discomfort. It had been a long time since he had been punched, let alone in the face!
“Had enough?” Jake spat angrily.
Raising his arms up in surrender, Adam slowly turned his head back to face his friend who was now straddling him.
“Fine, you win.” he announced with a frown, “Now get the hell off of me.”
Jake climbed off of Adam and watched as his once close friend pulled himself up to his feet and brushed off the dirt from his shirt. One thing was for sure; both men were putting on an Oscar-winning performance.
“She’s not worth it anyway… I’m out of here.” Adam spat blood onto the grass below, turning on his heel and marching around the side of the house towards his car.
Watching from their secret vantage point and shadowed by the trees, Gabrielle and Marco began to slowly slip through the treeline and follow after Adam as he rounded the house and headed towards his car. They wanted to see what he would do next.
“Is he really leaving?” Marco queried.
“Looks like it.”
They stood watching as Adam finally reached his parked car, opened the driver’s-side door and climbed in, slamming it closed behind him.
Shortly after the sound of his rumbling engine roaring to life filled the air as he purposely revved his engine a few times to make it look more believable. Then the screeching of his tyres squealed loudly as he drove away, speeding down the long driveway and scattering gravel and mud in different directions.
When all they could see were his glowing red distant break lights, Marco turned to Gabrielle with a baffled expression painted across his face.
“Huh… didn’t see that one coming.”
“It changes nothing. We still have a job to do.” Gabrielle announced sternly, turning his attention back toward the dimly-lit farm house.
“Come on. Let’s get this over with.”