Sitting on a hard wooden bench beneath an umbrella which did little to shade her from the sun still high in the western sky, Mac picked at her burrito wondering why the proprietor of this outdoor Tex-Mex stand thought adding plain white rice as a filler was a good thing. It was just one more thing to make her brood and mope, as she'd been doing for the month since graduation and...
No, she wasn't going to think about him again. Veronica told her daily she had to move on, and while she agreed in theory, doing it in reality was so damn hard. Veronica's boyfriends might leave her but they never jumped off of roofs and turned out to be psycho killers.
Mentally snarling at herself for yet again going to that place in her thoughts, Mac forked up another bite, then shoved the burrito away. It was pretty nasty and she was sure she'd be paying for it in the middle of the night. Picking up her soda, she took a sip through the straw, and turned her attention to the beach across the road. It was late in the day but it was still packed with people ruining their overly-exposed skin and pretending life was normal.
Surely she wasn't the only one who knew it wasn't.
Debating over heading for the air conditioning of the library or home where her mom hogged the one window unit, Mac stayed seated and waited for a sign.
Weevil plopping down on the bench across from her was a sign?
"When did you get out?"
His fingers plucked a piece of chicken from her burrito and popped it into his mouth. "This morning. They can't prove anything, not really, so they finally had to let me go on bail."
"But, you've been arraigned."
He shrugged casually. "Yeah, there's a trial set at the end of the summer. Lamb sucks, what can I say?"
"So, you didn't do it?" she asked boldly, her attitude towards life having changed greatly over the last month.
Shooting her a grin, as if he was impressed by her bravery, Weevil waggled his eyebrows and picked up her fork. "You going to finish this?"
He took a bite before answering, or not really. "I guess that's up for a jury of my peers to decide, not that there will be one. A jury of my peers, that is. My peers don't tend to get put on juries here."
"Maybe you'll get the Aaron Echolls jury and they'll be seduced by your handsomeness."
"You think I'm handsome?"
"I'm not blind, am I?"
"I see Mars is wearing off on you." He nodded his approval and reached for her drink.
Mac grabbed it and pulled it to her chest. "I'm not sharing spit with you."
He grinned even more. "I like the ballsy attitude, but then you always did have that. Not quite as sweet as you used to be, though."
"Yeah, things'll do that to a girl."
The smile faded and he forked up more burrito. "Heard about that. Never saw that one coming."
"That makes two of us." She would not collapse before Weevil, she would not collapse before Weevil, she chanted to herself.
"Want to go for a ride?"
Shrugging, as if she didn't care, which she wasn't sure she did, Mac rose to her feet and slung her bag over her shoulder. "Sure." She watched Weevil toss away the remains of the burrito and she threw her cup in the bin as well, then she followed him to his bike. He straddled it, slipping on his helmet, then handed her the spare and, after she'd put it on, helped her scramble up behind him.
"Ever ridden a bike before?"
Mac barely had time to wrap her arms around his waist before he kick-started the engine and they sped off down the coast road.
"That was fun," she said, and meant it as she slipped off the helmet and set it on a rocky outcropping overlooking the ocean far below. The sun had sunk further, turning red and orange against the blue sky, and this area was deserted. No pretty beach, just rocks and cliffs, on the very edge of the county. She knew why they hadn't crossed the line fifty feet away, but she didn't mention it.
A slight shiver went through her. Weevil didn't frighten her, but there was something to be said about the bad boy thing.
He joined her in looking out over the ocean. "This is one of my favorite spots. No 09ers, not much traffic. Just the wind and the rocks."
"Doesn't much look like southern California."
"Another reason to like it." Turning, he leaned back against a rock as tall as him and crossed his arms over his chest. "Why'd you come with me?"
Mac shrugged again, really not sure of the answer. "Seemed like a good idea at the time."
"I'm a criminal, remember?"
"I dated a mass murderer." She tried to make it come off lightly but failed miserably and frowned. "Damn."
"Can't joke about everything, huh?" There was a softness in his voice that surprised her.
"Not that, not yet, probably not ever," she sighed. "I still can't believe it." She joined him in leaning back against the rock. "That's not...that's not the guy I knew."
"Yeah, he hid it well." Silence fell for a moment before he spoke again, slowly, as if he was working something out. "Maybe the ones we love have the ability to hide the truth from us."
"Lilly. I knew she was dating Logan, but never knew she was banging his dad. Never saw that side of her despite knowing the wildness in her."
"You and Lilly?"
"You didn't know?"
She laughed, a bit surprised. "Nerd girl here, not exactly in the popular crowd."
"Figured Veronica would have told you."
"Probably saw no point in it. You didn't kill her."
"I was a suspect for a time. Apparently I'm a suspect in all crime in Neptune. Someone kicks a puppy and I'm public enemy number one."
"The sheriff being a one-track minded dick doesn't help."
Weevil laughed in agreement and turned his head to look at the setting sun. "Some day I'm afraid he'll manage to pin something on me that'll stick."
"Maybe, once this mess is resolved, you should think about moving somewhere the law doesn't know you."
"Can't leave my grandmother and cousins, and, this is my home. I'm not going to let Sheriff dick run me out of town on a rail."
"I don't think we have any rails," she said, teasingly.
"You got quite a mouth on you," he replied, with a lot of affection. "Brains, too. Not my usual type."
"Are you flirting with me?" She started to draw away in surprise, then, stopped and relaxed against the cooling stone. "Huh."
"I just wanted your burrito."
Grinning up at him, Mac realized she hadn't thought about Cassidy in at least five minutes...and it felt good. "I bet you know where to find much better burritos."
"Hell yeah." Weevil gave her a look and a smirk. "You paying?"
She nodded. "It's amazing what people will pay for a bit of hacking. I probably will never need a real job."
"So, you're kind of a criminal, too?"
"Neptune tends to breed 'em."
"Hm...I could be the muscle to back up your brains."
She gave his biceps an appreciative look. "Point me to the burritos and we'll talk."
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