His voicing of Derek’s name made it creepier. The pause in the middle as if he was taking in the name in for the first time.

   Alex leaned back either oblivious of the awkward tension or dismissive of it. He snapped another bite out of his treat, “Can’t imagine why you two haven’t crossed paths earlier.”


   Kaine loosened his grip, relaxing in the comforts of his own seat, “Agreed. I heard a lot of recent things about you, Derek. Very brave sacrifice during that prom incident,” He nodded, “I can respect that.”

   Alex leaned forward before Derek could cough up a thank you, “Look at his cast. Ring any bells?”

   Derek raised it up smiling awkwardly, like an animal at the zoo.

   Kaine passed his eyes over it, “Fine work, although it’s only in beta. I expect it to half the healing process by Project: Bracer’s completion if there’s to be a real dent in the bone repair industry.”

    Derek reached cautiously for some grapes again, his appetite forgotten. “It’s amazing, I appreciate the support, sir. Thank you.”

   Alex made a face, “Sir? Leave the formalities to Ben, Derek, please.”

   Kaine remained silent, pulling a dish of intricately sliced apples toward him, a bowl in the middle holding creamy peanut butter with a dash of whipped cream in the center.  

   The three ate on in silence for a moment.

   “You’ve been busy lately.” Alex commented while he ripped open a pomegranate.

   “There’s always work to do.”

   Derek played miniature hockey on his plate using a grape and his spoon.

   Kaine looked up from his plate, “You both have orientation today I remember.”

   Alex and Derek nodded, Alex popping pieces of pomegranate in his mouth, “Ferry leaves the bay at nine.”

   Kaine scraped a spoon of peanut butter on an apple slice, “I could have it so you two can get a boat right from here if you’d like.”

   Alex flapped away the offer with what remained of his danish, “It’s more fun this way, Dad.”

   Kaine frowned, “If you say so.” He looked to Derek, “What are you thinking of focusing on at this school, Derek?”

   I’m not quite sure yet, but I guess if I have the time, keeping your son alive from a bunch of psychos that’d go so far as to crash a fricken car into a country club sounds like fun. Maybe. I’ll get back to you.

   Derek smiled for the first time that day, “I’m sure I’ll have my hands full, but I’ll get back to you.”

The End

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