Chi-Town/Level 4/Walker’s Convenience
Zeke lugged the cases of Chi-Cola onto the hand trolley and pushed them out onto the floor of the corner His aunt Josephine was behind the counter doing some bookwork. She looked at him over her reading glasses.
“I’m going to head up and start dinner,” she said. “What would you like?”
Zeke smiled and started stacking the cola. He felt the injury to his chest from the other night twinge a bit and bit his tongue to keep from alerting his aunt that he was hurt. “Pesto?” he suggested.
Josephine nodded. “Mind the store.”
“Of course, Aunt Josephine,” Zeke said, watching her leave up the back stairs.
When he finished the cola, Zeke went behind the counter. He grabbed a magazine from the rack and opened it on the counter. A pair of male youths came in and Zeke reached under the counter, touching his shotgun to make sure it was still there. It could fire regular bullets, so all anyone usually could tell that it was just fancily decorated. The youths were Tres Reyes, the local gang. They’d started to behave since the neighborhood Vigilante -- Zeke -- had started kicking their asses at night, but they were still bangers. They just bought some beer and left, so there was no problem.
Zeke grabbed up his backpack and pulled out a ragged book. It had a red V on it nestled around the Coalition’s icon. Zeke didn’t really know what the symbol meant, but it was one of the journals he had found in a chest of his father’s things. This journal had belonged to his great-grandfather Cordell Walker, who had served in the Coalition Army in the Bloody Campaign in the first war against the Federation of Magic. It also contained spells, and Zeke hunched over the counter, studying one of the spells. He couldn’t really practice it here in the store, but he could get the words and sense of it in his mind and practice some of the pronunciations and gestures.
The door chime dinged and Zeke quickly shoved the journal under the counter with the shotgun. Looking up, he saw a pretty blonde walk in and relaxed.
he greeted the corner cyber-doc. “How’s business?”
“Quieter since Vigilante started making Tres Reyes behave,”
Tanya said. “I stopped by to take a look at that chest wound.”
Zeke said as she put her doctor’s bag on the counter. “Uh, sure.”
He started to undo the buttons on his shirt. He blushed a bit as she ran her fingers gently along the healing scar. “You’re lucky it isn’t worse,”
she said quietly, looking up into Zeke’s face.
He bit his lip, staring into her beautiful eyes. “I, uh…”
All he could think about was how he’d been dragged off by Diamond Dust at the Pit. Now that felt...wrong.
“It’s healing nicely,”
Tanya said. She opened her bag to pull out a bit of cream and fresh bandages. As she finished, there was a loud rumble outside the shop and a big cargo hauler stopped on the street.
Zeke frowned. That hauler looked familiar. Then he spotted a familiar face inside.
“Um, just a sec,”
Zeke said, buttoning his shirt again. “Um...do you wanna stay for dinner? I can tell Aunt Josephine to set an extra place?”
Tanya smiled. “I’d like that.”
Zeke grinned and, with his shirt buttoned unevenly, went out to the curb and knocked on the window of the cargo hauler.
“Kaelin? What are you doing here? I thought we agreed to not see each other until there was another job.”