When Alex drags me back towards the car, suggesting that maybe I was wrong, I snap. I throw him off and take a few steps back away from him.
"You're supposed to fucking stick up for me, and all I get is ‘oh Max, I ache, let's go, oh Max doesn't cope with stress'?" I spit at him and turn away, stalking off down the road.
"Max!" he calls after me and I glance back, flashing him a look that says ‘don't fuck with me' and apparently, he understands that I am probably capable of beating the fuck out of someone right now. He sighs and pushes a hand through his hair, wondering what to do as I start walking away from him again. I can hear myself shouting random abuse at Alex, though my brain has next to no input in what's flying out of my mouth.
Which is when Hadley's dad appears, trying to tell me that this is a "quiet neighbourhood" and that we should probably be quiet too.
"Yeah, well you can blame pretty boy John for that, can't you," I growl, my fists clenched as I do my best not to scream at the guy. It's nothing to do with him, Max, be nice.
"Look, Maxxie, I get what he's done is unfair but can you maybe do this in the daytime?"
"I'm trying to find Hadley, Mr. Smith. I tried being nice, but John's being a dickhead." That's putting it mildly.
"Why would John know where Hadley is?"
"Because as far as I can tell, he was the last person to see him, this morning. I called Hads earlier, and he said he was at home, but he was lying."
"I think you've got your wires crossed, mate. Hadley was back here. He grabbed a sweater and went out again."
"So where is he now, huh?"
"He didn't say where he was going." Oh, good.
"Great, well, I'll leave your little quiet town in peace, now," I growl slightly.
"There's no need to be like that." I resist the urge to punch the guy and grit my teeth.
"No, you're right, but like Alex said to John, I don't cope with stress," I shoot a glare in the cage fighter's direction and he holds up his hands defensively.
"Sorry, didn't know I wasn't allowed to tell the truth anymore," he says.
"He used to go off like this when he was a kid, it's nothing to worry about."
"Yeah, well he wasn't ill when he went off like this as a kid, so forgive me for worrying about him." He frowns a bit and Alex tentatively walks over, keeping out of my reach, in case I punch him.
"He's been kinda dizzy and tired recently," he explains.
"Too much coffee if you ask me," Smith says. I can't believe this. Am I the only one that thinks there's something wrong here? Why isn't anyone else worried that he's been dizzy and ill and has gone missing? A look of disbelief flickers across my face. "What? He downs about ten cups a day."
"Yeah, fine," I start walking back in the direction of the car, ignoring as he frowns again and goes back inside. That's it. You go back to bed and not give a fuck about the fact your son keeps not eating and being all dizzy. You go ahead and kid yourself that he's just wandered off. I reach the car and throw the driver door open, climbing in and slamming it, not saying a word to Caleb, not waiting for Alex as I start up.
"I, uh, I think you forgot someone," Caleb says and I glance out at Alex trudging over.
"Do I look like I care?"
"What did I miss?"
"Oh, nothing," I mutter as Alex jogs over, getting in before I get a chance to fuck off without him.
"Dude, you are so telling me what happened when we get back." I don't know who he's talking to, but neither of us answer him. Alex looks thoroughly uncomfortable and I keep shooting him glares in the rear view mirror. As I drive back towards my apartment, Caleb gives me this confused look. Which I ignore.
"Okay, seriously, what's going on?" he asks, when he notices me scowl at Alex again.
"I don't think it's a good idea to piss the driver off anymore than he already is," Alex mutters quietly and I clench my jaw, willing myself not to slam the car into a wall. Caleb frowns slightly and we go back to silence. "I'll tell you when we get back to the motel."
"Right." I pull up on the curb outside my apartment block and, leaving the engine running, get out. Caleb looks at Alex.
"What?" I hear him ask as I search my pockets for my keys.
"I don't know," Caleb sighs. I'm vaguely aware of Alex climbing into the front seat behind me. I'm about to go inside when Alex calls my name. I turn around slowly, my eyes flashing.
"Take care, eh?" he smiles weakly and I think my brain is about to explode. I sink my fist into his face, splitting his pretty fucking lip right back open.
"Whoa, what the fuck?" Caleb's eyes widen slightly as Alex sits back, wiping the blood from his lip. "Someone needs to fill me in like this second because I am so fucking confused right now."
"I may have possibly not stuck up for him when I should have a little bit," Alex mumbles. A little bit? You fucking agreed with John! You're not supposed to agree with the fucker. Caleb tuts, "Alex," he says. I ignore this, more focussed on figuring out how to light my cigarette. I reach into the car and grab that cigarette lighter thing that cars have. Moving back, I light my cigarette and chuck it in Alex's lap. Ooh. Bare legs. That's gotta hurt.
He yelps as it burns him, trying to get it off and I walk away, looking for the off licence.