The next day was more of the same until lunch.
Sledge caught me in the lunch line and asked me if I wouldn't mind joining him. Sherri was standing with me and Zane, she had caught up with us at breakfast and had not said nor indicated any reaction to my not coming by. Sledge ignored but I had noticed in class he been busy scanning her more than was necessary. I said "Sure." I was curious. I left Zane telling her about Woof and the animal storage area and joined him and his crew.
I settled into my seat across from him and told Greasy Ink "Hi honey." The other pockmarked freak got a nod.
"So what's up?" I asked Sledge.
He didn't answer right away. He was busy ripping off chunks of bread and chewing them. I really hoped he didn't chew with his mouth open. I hated that. He didn't.
"I know about you."
I chewed some of my bread, washed it down with the kool-aide they called bug juice and said "That's nice." Then I went back to eating.
He looked at me. Chewed some of his bread. Realized I wasn't going to say any more and decided to go for the pitch. I knew one was coming. It couldn't be anything else.
"Me and the boys here...we do law enforcement for the government. We're contract employees of a sort. We do the...special jobs.."
Here Greasy Ink and Pockmark both started laughing. Greasy started choking and I told him "You better hope them two love you because I sure as hell ain't doing any CPR on your ugly ass."
Both him and Pockmark acted like they were going to get up but Sledge waved them down. He told me mildly "No need to get personal Gardener."
Greasy added "Especially cause your skinny ass ain't packing them sixguns in here."
I looked at Greasy. I smiled slowly and spoke even slower "Anytime you want."
I saw the flicker in his eyes. It didn't last and I don't think even realized it but I knew. One on one I would kill him. If it meant ripping his throat open with my teeth then I would do it. I didn't care.
"Lets all calm down now." Sledge was playing peacemaker. He sucked at it. I was doing it in my head. Jam my tray into Sledges throat and shatter his windpipe. Grab Greasy by his hair and face slam him into the table top, drive the sharpened toothbrush into his ear, and then get untangled from the fucking bench seat and kill Pockmark. Max time would be under five seconds. Then deal with the security team and get myself armed or dead.