Chad took out his last cigarette, throwing the pack on the ground. The park was always deserted at night, making it easy for him, Scarlett and Alistair to hang around. As he took in the final drag, his moment of relaxation was interrupted by a constant whine.
Scarlett looked over at him, lying down on the bench with her feet up. “So big brother, any idea how we’re going to beat Aiden now?”
He sighed. “Can we just enjoy the night? We’ll think of something, don’t worry.”
The sound of slurping on beer cans sent shivers up Chad’s spine. Alistair turned to him, throwing his sixth one on the ground. “We better think of something fast. Aiden was something else out there, he could probably even beat you.”
Taking his cigarette out of his mouth, Chad stared at the two of them, wishing he cared more. “I won’t let that happen. Stop worrying about it.”
Alistair shot up from his seat and stood in front of Chad, with his eyes wide open. “How can you be so calm about this? You told us he’d be no trouble. Care to explain how he beat me? It was like someone else out there.”
Chad flicked his cigarette to the ground. “Maybe you just weren’t on your game, or you simply let him get to you. Now get your beer breath out of my face.”
Alistair’s eyes began to blink rapidly as his face shook. “Aiden crossed a line today. No one makes me look like an idiot.”
Chad smirked at him. “No one needs to, you’re letting this become personal, Alistair. I thought I taught you better than that” He took a seat on the bench next to Scarlett, shifting her shoes out of the way.
Scarlett took a cigarette out of her pocket, quickly putting it in her mouth before Chad could grab it. “You know, Chad. Alistair’s not wrong.”
A sinking feeling sat in Chad’s gut. “I know. Here’s what I don’t get. A few days ago, Aiden was adamant on not joining. What’s made him change his mind?”
Alistair scuffed and spit down on the floor, Chad moved quickly to avoid it. “I don’t care why he’s changed his mind, but I’ll happily smash him out of the contest, I don’t care”
“We don’t use violence, Alistair, we told you that”
“And what the hell do you call this?” Alistair yelled, pointing at the scrapes and bruises all over his body.
Chad remained emotionless. “I call that you getting over-confident.”
Scarlett flicked her cigarette down at Chad’s feet, getting up. “We need a plan though, we can’t just throw in the competition now, we need this”
“I say we go to his place, steal whatever it is that’s making him do this. No one turns into a pro overnight, he must be juicing or something.”
Chad sniggered at the sheer stupidity flying from Alistair’s mouth. “Unless they’ve changed the Gatorade recipe to include performance enhancers, Aiden just beat you fair and square, you just need to spike up your game a bit ”
Scarlett suddenly stood up with a look of genius in her eyes. “That’s it,”
“What are you talking about?”
Her face turned to a small grin. “We change the recipe up, he’s always drinking that shit. What if we spiked it with something?”
Alistair’s face began to glow, much to Chad’s dismay. “Now that’s not a bad idea.”
Chad put his head in his hands. “You’re suggesting we poison him? Even for you Scarlett, that’s a pretty dumb idea.”
“You got something better, pretty boy?” Alistair replied. He stared Chad down with crossed eyebrows and clenching his fists.
Scarlett began pacing back and forth. “I’m not saying we poison him, but there’s a chemists not too far from here, what if we got some medication there, like a sleeping pill, pop it into his drink, they’re fast acting so it could throw him off course, take him out of the competition, I mean, nothing too serious of course, we just want him out of the way a bit.”
“Even if we could do that, you need a prescription for those, and I know you’re not having trouble sleeping, Scarlett, especially if you can think up a scheme like that”
She crossed her arms and scrunched her nose. “Like what?”
“You’re suggesting we win a contest by cheating and putting a guy’s life in danger? Parkour is dangerous, if Aiden’s off course for even a minute, he could get some serious damage, and if he goes to a hospital and they find traces of that, they’ll look at all the chemists, and before you know it, the police are on our doorstep. Great plan, sis.”
“They wouldn’t if they had no record of us buying it”
Chad laid back and listened further. “And how do you suppose we go about that?”
“Simple, we steal it.”
Chad looked into her eyes to see if she was joking, but her facial expression never went to a smile. She was deadly serious.
He laughed. “You’re not kidding, are you?”
Scarlett took a step towards Chad, giggling with each stride. Her smile then turned back into a serious expression. “I never joke about winning, Chad, you should know that.”
“Yeah I know you do, but we don’t need another Alison situation on our hands. Not now. Not ever.”
Scarlett’s face went from serious to angry within seconds, and with a flash, she swung her hand around, slapping his face with brute force. The sudden rush of pain spread all over his face as his eyes began to water.
Her voice turned to a frustrated whimper. “You promised me you’d never use that against me. Don’t turn on us now.”
Chad looked at Scarlett without fear, he was used to her trying to push him around, but he wasn’t having any of it tonight.
“Well, if you want to go and steal pills, be my guest, but don’t call me to come bail you out” Chad said.
“Man, what are you so scared of?” Alistair said, getting up and standing side by side with Scarlett. Fear swept over Chad’s mind, with all sorts of questions flying in and out of his head.
“You know what? I’m not scared, but I won’t be part of this, you guys are on your own.” Chad got up and attempted to walk away.
Scarlett ran over to him, reaching her hand onto his shoulder. “Sit back down. We aren’t done here.”
“No, we are done here. You already had me get him injured at that warehouse. Will you not stop until you put someone else in the hospital? You’re both insane if you think this is a good idea.”
Scarlett gritted her teeth, the smell of her perfume wafting in Chad’s nostrils. “Easy for you to say, Chad. You’re used to being in the spotlight.”
“The hell is that supposed to mean?”
“I think you know what it means. For years now, you’ve been the big picture. You had me film your videos, get you every bit of information about every contest.”
Alistair chipped in. “Used me for practice.”
Scarlett held her hand up. “I’m talking now. But you’re right; we’re not going to take a back seat anymore. For once, we’re going to be on the winning team. Not taking any sidelines, nothing. All you have to do is smile for the spectators and look pretty. Besides parkour, that’s all you’re good at.”
Chad’s blood boiled. “You know, whatever. Go ahead and commit a crime if you want, both of you. Just don’t expect me to pick up the pieces.”
“Oh no, big brother. That’s not how this works. You are a part of this whether you like it or not.” She began running her finger around Chad’s shoulder. “So either do it with us, or lose.” She tapped his nose with her fingertip. “Your choice.”