Chapter 24Mature

As he did so with another drink of his soda, Alex was handed his character sheet and started to look through it. Some of the stats stood out immediately, along with the spells he had on his cards, but when to apply what was already causing questions.

“So, what’s going on?” Alex asked, looking over the table.

“We’re in the middle of an encounter,” Trevor said. “so roll for initiative.”

“What’s your character name, though?” asked one of the players.

“Mordecai.” Alex replied; the player nodded in response. With a 16 on his roll, he was acting after their main enemy, as well as Marcus.

As the minutes ticked by, he found the players to be a joyful sort, helping him get acclimated to the game. When he did check the clock, how fast his break was going by was catching him by surprise. He’d burned through a third of it since joining the game. Even so, the atmosphere was too great to ignore.

Glancing out at the store floor every so often as well, the number of customers ebbed for a time. Most were browsing instead of buying, but the ones that seemed to be buying had more products than usual.

“You going to move or attack first?” Trevor asked when Alex’s turn came.

Seeing that his avatar was cornered, Alex decided to move. Showing where to on the map, Trevor continued.

“OK. That’s an attack of opportunity,” Trevor rolled a die behind his DM screen. “and he does hit you for…” Another series of rolls came after some silent mouthing. “seven HP.”

“Ouch.” Alex said as he moved his figure. With only a few minutes remaining on his break, he checked their customer traffic again. It hadn’t lessened much even by then, but it was still before rush hour.

“I don’t mind if you go over your break time by a minute or two.” Trevor said.

“That’s OK. I won’t need that long.” Deciding to go for his strongest spell after moving, Alex pulled the card for it. “I’ll use Flame Pillar on this guy.”

“OK. Roll a D20 again.” Trevor said. Alex ended up with a 14. “And…you beat his reflex save, so roll for damage.”

“Sweet.” Alex said, rolling the dice and running the numbers in his head. “That’s eight damage.”

“So, our friendly Wyrmling here now has his scales set on fire.” Trevor said.

“That has a per turn effect as well.” said one of the players. “Five more damage per turn.”

“Nice.” Alex said with another look outside. This time, past the window outside, he saw a bit of bright red clothing. He was too far away to make it out clearly but it seemed like part of a jacket. Hearing the doorbell ring soon after noticing it, Alex tried to downplay what he’d seen. He hadn’t noticed a hood with the clothing.

When his gaze diverted back, Marcus locked eyes with him. As if he was taking notice of his sudden interest, he also looked out to the sales floor.

“Are we getting busy out there?” Trevor asked.

“Doesn’t look like it.” Marcus said.

“Either way, my break’s over.” Alex said, getting up from the seat. “Do I need another roll, or…”

“No, you’re fine.” said one of the players. “We’ll take over for you.”

Nodding to and thanking everyone at the table, Alex headed back into the store, Marcus remarking behind him that he was getting hungry. An excuse he found was to intercept him.

“Did you see him?” Marcus asked, his voice just above a whisper.

“I don’t know.” Alex said. “I saw someone wearing red, though.”

Marcus sighed. “Don’t scare me like that.”

“Better we be prepared though.” Alex said, taking another glance out into the store.

“Dude,” Marcus began, giving his friend a look of growing terror. “you do remember what happened last time, right?”

“I haven’t forgotten.” Alex didn’t speak after that, nor did Marcus; his last statement summed up everything he was feeling with the look in his eyes. The store was packed with customers, and if he shifted again, things would get ugly fast.

With a quick tilt of his head, they followed each other out into the store. With his friend nearby, Alex felt far more at ease. Even if this guy knew Marcus’ scent, showing that this guy wasn’t going to rattle them felt like the way to go.

The End

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