THERON II

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SIX.

RHYS

This city sucks.

It's loud and busy and stinky and I stepped in gum three blocks back so if Theron is alive I'm going to kick his ass for making me go through all the trouble of hunting him down.

Marius jogs up to me, gumless shoes and all, lucky bastard, "Got anything, Rhys?" His brown eyes are hopeful and I hate to rip that hope from him but I can't lie, "If by anything you mean nothing, then yes. Yes, I have nothing." I witness his body physically deflate and I truly am helpless.

I wanted so bad to be the one to bring that dickwad back to Cat.

I want to see the light in her eyes return.

I want to hear her laugh again.

Mostly, I want her bitchy attitude to disappear and if the only way that was going to happen was to find Theron, then I refuse to rest until I do.

I need the old Catalina back.

We all do.

We've spent four hours searching a ten block radius from where he was allegedly spotted and still, nothing.

We've interviewed every beggar, scalper and homeless person within this ten block radius and still, nothing.

We questioned store employees, restaurant workers, street vendors and even the garbage men in this stupid, endless ten block radius and still, nothing.

The sun has long set and it's cold and I feel like I may get shanked at any second but guess what?

STILL. FUCKING. NOTHING.

And so I will return to Cat with nothing.

Marius stares at the ground, chewing on the inside of his mouth and I feel for him, I do, but sometimes chasing a ghost will leave you catching only air.

Initially, we were all excited about the possibility of Theron being alive. Not that I particularly wanted to see his douchey face ever again but the thought of what it could mean for Cat was my driving factor. And now, because of my love for a girl that will never be mine, I have been dragged from my peaceful mountain side into this wretched, god forsaken city for nothing.

My eyes just so happen to stray across the street, landing on one homely fellow I don't remember talking to. I nudge Marius, "Did you ask him?"

"No. I thought you did," he growls in frustration. We scrutinize one another for half a second before we're both sprinting across the street in a mad dash dodging cars and ignoring profanities.

Did I mention that I hate this city?

Because I do.

The guy is thin and coddling a half empty liquor bottle as if it were the most precious thing in the world. He sits on the sidewalk, sleeping against the corner of a wall... you know, the kind of typical shit you see on TV. "Hey!" I yell to no avail.

The man doesn't even glance up.

When I get closer, I try again, "Yo, dude." He acts oblivious and unaffected by anything and everything that doesn't smell or taste like alcohol and now I am the one frustrated.

I guess nothing is the theme of the day.

Marius and I exchange looks. He shrugs before grasping the guy's shoulder and shaking him awake.

"Go away," the stranger grumbles. The age lines on his face deepen as he screws his eyes tightly shut. Years spent in the sun have colored his skin unnaturally dark, making his age unguessable.

"You see this guy 'round here?" I ask as I shove the picture of Theron in front of his face anyway.

Well, a drawing of Theron.

Apparently the guy never got his photo taken like ever because he's some crazy massive recluse cunt hat. So Kai had to draw his face from memory and it was fairly accurate. I, myself, suggested his nose needed to be more dick shaped but Kai ignored me.

Keeley punched my arm.

Marius sighed.

DeLoren cackled... so, there was that, atleast.

"Look at the picture, old man," Marius seethes through clenched teeth, his eyes swirling in barely restrained fury, "before I break that bottle over your head."

I guess living on the streets one might see some weird shit and all but the casualness of this man's demeanor as he peered up into the eyes of an angry Ancient is just downright disturbing.

"Okay, okay, no need to threaten the whiskey," he mumbles, clearly annoyed and he's in great company because so am I. He squints his eyes as he studies the ugly mug of the Worlds Biggest Asshole then says the one sentence we've been dying to hear for the last four goddamn hours, "Yeah, I saw him."

I am speechless.

Marius, less so, "Where?" I can practically see the elation light up his face like a Christmas tree.

The man looks the Ancient up and down, inspecting him. Marius knew it wouldn't be smart to dress in anything other than old street clothes but it seems he fucked up when he decided to wear the newest Jordan's on today's little soiree and that is exactly where the old dude's eyes land. They zero in on the sneakers that don't have gum clinging to the bottom of them, "Seems like my memory may need some refreshing."

I huff, "Give him some cash, Mar." I may be a country boy, but I'm not dense.

He wants more whiskey.

Marius only growls before yanking a fifty from his wallet.

The old man gapes, his wide eyes twinkling as he stares down the fifty... and sings like a bird, "They left two days ago. Headed southeast."

Marius raises a brow, "They?"

"Yeah. Him and the street rat. Girl's name is Bubbles or something, I don't know--weird relationship, those two."

And suddenly nothing is no longer today's theme.
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