“I won the bet,” Jim grinned crookedly, escorting me past Rosie into Adam’s rooms. He had set up a waiting room since I’d gotten here – the town was still growing and the number of people the guy had to deal with was growing with it.
Four months had given me more than a few opportunities to get myself in trouble. I knew most of the patrol by name by now, even the niggers on the team.
The waiting room was empty today, so we went straight into the office.
“Cancer,” Adam sighed without looking up. Jim put the stake I’d made on the desk between us and stood back, waiting for me to kick off or do something stupid. “Why do you keep doing this? You know we keep the general members of the public from having weapons for a good reason, right?”
“Fuck your reasons,” I spat. He looked up at me, this tired look on his face. I’d lost count of how many times I’d been dragged in here for fucking up. “If you gave me back my fucking weapons, I wouldn’t be making my own, would I?”
“You didn’t prove you could be responsible with them when you arrived here, and everything I’ve seen of you since then has only proved that further.”
“I’d be a whole lot calmer if I felt safe,” I growled.
“Then stop getting in fights and making prohibited weapons. Sort yourself out and prove you can be trusted with a weapon, and then you might get yours back. What sort of example are you setting for your daughter?”
I rolled my eyes. “She ain’t my daughter, dumbass.” Wasn’t that fucking obvious?
“Even so, you should treat her like she is; she certainly treats you like a father.”
“Whatever, man, just give me my punishment job and let me get back to the one I was supposed to be doing today,” I shifted my weight from one foot to the other, bored of the room, Adam’s face, Adam’s voice, Adam in general.
He let out another long sigh and looked through a list in front of him.
“We’re expanding the south wall further out, you can go and deal with any threats and report back to me with the best strategy for expansion. You’ll be with Bradley, Will, Amanda and Chris in five day’s time, when you’ve finished the rest of your penalty allocations.” Oh, god. I was with Will? We had a... bit of a history. As far as four months can be called a history anyway.
“Will that be all, sir?” I asked, silently waiting to see how he’d react to the sarcasm in my voice. His brow dropped a little, but otherwise I didn’t get fuck all out of him.
“That was very restrained of you, Cancer,” Jim chuckled as he led me back outside. I shrugged.
“I never get a reaction from him,” I said. I was determined to one day. It was just finding the right buttons to press. Everyone else’s were easy to find, but the people here weren’t right. Anyone that liked the camp were impossible to wind up, and the ones that didn’t like it just found ways to get on with it. According to them, it was better inside the walls. I wasn’t so sure, though. I missed it, in a way. It was the worst, and I still wanna go back and change it all somehow, but at the same time, I’d never felt more alive, and that was through a haze of drugs. Here, I was bored. Working the farms or repairs or making new bits for the wall for the next expansion… it was all fucking bullshit. We were all working and living like fucking slaves but Adam and all his lot got the nicest apartments going and pretty much whatever they wanted.
“Not again, Cancer,” Eloise was pissed at me. “You have got to stop fighting so much!”
“I wasn’t fighting, someone snitched on me while I was sharpening a stick,” I shrugged it off. I didn’t think it was a big deal, but apparently it was.
“You’re gonna get yourself kicked out if you keep it up. They’ve already threatened you with it before.”
“I can’t help it,” I grumbled, peeling off my clothes and dumping them in the wash basket.
“You fucking can!”
“I can’t,” I snapped, glaring at her, “I fucking hate living here like this. I want the jobs outside the wall. I’ll go insane if I stay here.”
“Oh, right, being safe, being here with me, that’s driving you insane?” I genuinely thought for a minute she was gonna slap me. “You know what, I need to calm down before we talk about this. Get dressed and get Alicia from the school. You can tell her you have to go outside the wall again yourself this time.” She shoved past me, heading for the shared front room. I could hear one of the broads we lived with comforting her as I tugged on a fresh set of clothes.
“Don’t be fucking crying,” I shouted, stepping out into the corridor, shirt still in my hand. “Why the fuck are you fucking crying, you’re the one that kicked off at me!”
“Just go and get Alicia!” she yelled back.
“Fuck’s sake,” I growled, punching the door frame.