Stronger than thisMature

Joey

 

"Alex likes close combat," Mickey reasons, laying out some of our options, "so it makes no sense to try bringing him down with what he's best at. I vote guns." We're sat around a small table in the canteen, the food in front of us completely untouched. I'm wearing shades, not because of the sun beating down on us today, but because I'm trying to hide my puffy eyes.

Yes, I spent most of the night, clinging to my husband, crying my eyes out on the sofa.

No, I am not comfortable with admitting this.

"D'ya know where his knife collection is?" Aidan asks. I shake my head.

"Probably at his place. He never brought more than he needed with him, and he never kept any at work," I mumble.

"We should get hold of that before we try anything. He might be a vampire, but you can bet your bottom dollar he'll stick with the familiar," Aidan says, not noticing, or at least not paying attention to the badly hidden depression in my tone.

"I'll get on that one," Connor offers. The other two nod and he stands up, taking his packaged canteen sandwich with him. Eating over the work computers is usually frowned upon, but somehow that guy can get away with just about anything. My bet is he's got some close family connection to the boss or something like that, but he never tells anyone what makes him so immune.

"You gonna go over to his place with Connor, Joey?" Mickey asks, opening his own sandwich. I watch as the limp bread flops apart in his over-sized hands, scattering the filling over his tray. He curses, before looking back up at me for my answer.

I don't want to go over to Alex's apartment. It would be too weird.

"No... I think I'd rather just deal with the paper work for this one, thanks," I mutter, talking to my tray more than to him or Aidan.

I feel a warm hand on my shoulder and I look sideways. Aidan withdraws his hand immediately, despite the fact he can't really see my eyes through my shade. I sit back in my chair and reach up to retie my hair, even though I've retied it about twenty times since we sat down.

"That's cool," Mickey shrugs, "less of the shit work for us," he smiles and I want to punch him. How could he be so cold? He knew Alex! He knew what a good friend Alex was!

"Uhh, Mickey, why don't you go sort out what you wanna use, hmm?" Aidan suggests hastily, seeing me bristle.

"Oh, c'mon Joey," Mickey laughs slightly, ignoring Aidan altogether, "you know Alex is already dead. It's just a body," he leans across the table slightly, trying to hold eye contact through my shades, "and it's a body that will kill people. Wouldn't you rather put an end to an animated corpse than let it kill other people, or worse, turn them into-" he doesn't get to finish his sentence.

"MICHAEL PORTER!" I shout, standing and slapping him hard across the face. Hard enough for him to raise a hand to his cheek and try to rub away the sting. I see Aidan's eyes widen as he tilts back in his chair, getting out of my way. "I don't give a flying fuck if it's just a body!" I'm still yelling. I'm perfectly aware that half the people in the canteen are staring at me. I don't give a shit about them, either. "How dare you be so fucking insensitive? I have just lost my friend and you don't even care!"

He opens his mouth to protest but I turn and start walking away.

"I told you to go sort stuff out. Now look what you did!" I hear Aidan berating him as I storm off.

I wasn't even aware that I was crying until I got into the toilets. Now I'm looking in the mirror, trying to pull myself together, I can see shining tracks down my face. I growl at my reflection, ripping my shades off to wash my face.

"C'mon, Joey," I mutter to myself, "you're stronger than this."

The End

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