Chapter 48 - Confrontation
“I went to high school with him, Kale,” Grant said as he furthered his distance from Brax.
Kale stepped even closer, slightly raising his gloved hands as if he was ready to brawl. Brax kept backing up. Bystanders spread out making room for them while a few of them called out for security, probably assuming a fight was about to break out. Grant didn’t feel like stopping the pressure from Kale, even though he had no idea why he was acting this way.
The last time Grant saw Brax he was covered in blood and broke off a piece of his car window. He wanted Kale to teach him a lesson if he was willing to.
“Hey… Grant, could you tell him to lay off? He’s creeping me out a bit.” Brax said as his back hit a concrete wall that circled a warthog enclosure. Kale stood with a confidence Grant had never seen before, almost like he was a different person.
Grant felt that Brax was the only one being creepy. But from the point of view of anyone else, maybe Kale seemed creepier. He never thought he’d see the day where he relied on Kale for help. Grant didn’t say a word and turned his back, facing the buffalos. He couldn’t trust Brax right now, and to be honest, he had never been able to trust him. Grant planted his arms on the railing and stared out at the beasts gnawing at the hay bales.
“Hey Kale, you might wanna back off a bit.” Rhett came to the rescue as soon as he realized an altercation brewing. “The zoo’s security seems to be coming over here too…”
Grant figured Rhett would stop it anyway, and this way Brax would get the hint he didn’t want anything to do with him. It wasn’t like Kale actually had the ability to hurt anyone, even if things escalated.
“Yeah, okay,” Kale said, but he didn’t back down.
“Sorry if I gave off the wrong impression…” Brax mumbled to himself. “I just don’t know what to do… I’ve come here everyday since the renovation, I love watching the buffalos, it reminds me of home.”
Kale rustled his nose under his mask. “You are close with buffalos?”
The man narrowed his eyes while slightly raising an eyebrow. “Yes? I’m not sure exactly what you mean by close, but I did grow up around them.”
“Do they welcome you as one of their own?” Kale’s voice lowered.
The man smirked. “I’m not quite sure what you mean.”
“Oh, I see. Well, stop bothering us.” Kale looked around and then appeared to adjust his mask. “Or else.”
“Ah-ah yeah okay. Take care guys.” Brax sped off in the opposite direction.
Was Kale really that intimidating? Yes, he actually kind of was. Grant remembered all the times he was afraid to look across the street when he first moved to Lyros, scared to see his face staring back at him.
“Sorry about him,” Grant said. “He’s always been a pain in the ass, and even a bit ago he was a suspect in that murder in Tonim. He might still be.”
If what Lars said is correct, there is possibly a suspect out there who did some of these killings dressed all in black. He didn’t fit that description. Although, it wouldn’t be that hard to change clothes.
“Shouldn’t we drag him to the police then?” Saraiya asked. “Security just got over here too, we could tell them.”
“Nah, he seems harmless. Did you see how easy I got him to leave us alone?” Kale stood tall.
“You aren’t really the most friendly looking person at first glance.” Grant muttered.
“Yeah… I’ve realized…” Kale’s tone was poignant and his body deflated down to the usual pose.
“It’s all good, you just might want to take your directness down a notch when meeting people for the first time.” Rhett gave Kale a light slap on the back. “Also I’m glad you didn’t escalate it, things could have gone bad.”
Kale shook his head. “It would have been fine.”
“That guy really comes everyday to see the buffalos?” Linn asked. “I wish I could come to the zoo everyday.”
“He probably likes them just as much as you like penguins,” Natch said.
Grant doubted that. Brax and The Buffalo Boys were completely obsessed with buffalos.
Grant and the others walked throughout the zoo for a few hours. The sun passed overhead into the evening. Everyone was growing tired, especially Linn.
“What do you say? It’s getting late and we have the concert to prepare for tomorrow! Why don’t we call it a day?” Rhett said.
“Oh yeah, I don’t know how I feel about that yet. As long as you’re sure nothing bad will happen, I’ll be there,” Grant said.
“Of course nothing bad will happen, sure the music sounds aggressive, but it’s all for letting your emotions out and having a good time listening to great music!” Rhett stared up at the sky as if he was imagining watching the show already.
“You’re coming too, right Natch?” Saraiya asked.
“Yeah, I’ll be there.”
They left through the exit of the zoo and arrived at the parking lot, it was still packed full with cars.
“Well, I’ll catch you guys later.” Natch walked away giving a piggyback ride to a half asleep Linn. Everyone waved them off.
“This was nice, well besides running into Brax. I’m glad Lars gave us that extra day off today.” Grant stretched his arms out and yawned.
“Starting next week it looks like we’ll be working with you Kale.” Rhett smiled.
“You aren’t excited?” Rhett asked.
Kale shrugged. “I’m sure it’ll be fine.”
What happened that caused this sudden mood shift? He seemed to be enjoying himself with everyone until now.
“So are we having another fire tonight?” Grant asked.
“Actually, to start off the ceremony weekend, everyone in Lyros is planning a feast. Which they are probably setting up right now..” Kale was looking forward, away from the others. “I’m sure they’ll want you guys to come. Well, whether you want to or not, I’m sure they’ll make you guys come.”
“A feast?! Count me in!” Rhett said.
“What are we eating?” Grant asked.
“Fish.” Kale’s tone changed to a more upbeat one.
Grant almost dropped to his knees, but caught his weak knees. Drool formed at his mouth.
“Man, Grant. You really need to get a hold of yourself,” Rhett laughed.
“Oh… Sorry. I don’t know what’s gotten into me.” Grant stood up and scratched his head. This was not like him at all. The thought of fish made his body act on its own. Why all the sudden?
“I mean the fish was good, but was it really that good?” Saraiya teased.
“Yes it was,” Kale answered.