Samuel laughed as he ran haphazardly, with no particular destination. He occasionally bumped into his friends Daniel and Aiden. He could hear them laughing and breathing heavily and he knew that they were feeling the same adrenaline rush that he was experiencing. They ran down an empty street and slowed to a stop.
Aiden dropped down and laid on the sidewalk. Daniel sat down and leaned back against the wall of a building. Samuel bent down and put his hands on his knees. All three of them were out of breath and gasping for air. Samuel had no idea how long they'd been running. Aiden was the first to talk.
"That was amazing." He said, punctuating every word with a pause to take a long breath.
Samuel laughed again. "Do you think any of them followed us? He asked, standing straight and walking toward Aiden.
"No." Aiden said with his eyes closed, showing no movement besides his chest rising and falling. He opened one eye and looked up at Samuel. "We scared them too much." He smiled.''
"They always have backup." Daniel remarked. "We were probably being chased for a while."
Aiden took off his shoe and threw it at Daniel without looking. It hit him on the shoulder and took him completely by surprise. Samuel laughed at the look on Daniel's face.
Aiden propped himself up on his elbows. "You ruin all of the fun, Daniel." He said, getting his shoe promptly thrown back at him and catchiong it before it hit him in the chest. He winked at Daniel, who just rolled his eyes and stood up.
"Anyway, we should be getting home. We have to tell Catherine that we were attacked." Daniel said, reaching his hand toward Aiden to help him up.
"Yeah, and that Sammy here saved the day."
"Come on, I didn't do anything. Samuel argued.
"Don't be modest, Sammy, you were awesome back there! Aiden said, giving Samuel a small push.
"He's right, Samuel," Daniel joined, smiling ( a rare occurrence not to be taken lightly.) "We'd still be fighting them if you hadn't been there."
"I guess." Samuel said, putting his hands in his pockets He hadn't realized how cold it was until this point. Daniel started walking further down the quiet street. Aiden ran and jumped on Daniel's back. Daniel yelped in surprise and squirmed a little, trying to get him off, but Aiden wouldn't let go.
"Get off of me!" Samuel heard Daniel scream from behind them where he was walking. "Seriously, Aiden, when are you going to start acting your age?"
Aiden rested his chin on Daniel's shoulder. "I'm ninety-eight, Daniel." He said. "How do most ninety-eight year-olds act?"
Samuel laughed. Daniel didn't say anything. Aiden stayed on Daniel's back until they got home.
Samuel dropped a broken down box onto a pile and sighed. He knew it was only a small pile, but he felt like he had been emptying boxes in Catherine's shop all night.
"How many more boxes are there, Aiden?" He asked, turning around, hoping to get an answer but instead getting the sight of his friend Aiden, curled up on the floor of the dimly lit storage room, sleeping.
Suddenly, Daniel appeared in the doorway with another broken down box. He looked from Samuel to Aiden and back. Then he dropped his box on the pile, walked over to Aiden and started nudging him with his foot.
"Wake up, Aiden." He said, and crouched down. He shook Aiden by the shoulder and said his name a bit louder. Aiden groaned and rolled over.
"Daniel smacked him on the back of the head and said his name again, even louder.
Aiden groaned again, higher pitched this time, and rolled onto his back. "What?" He asked, sounding sleepy and raspy.
"Wake up." Daniel said plainly, in his usual monotone voice.
"Okay." Aiden said, yawning, the expression in in his voice sharply contrasting Daniel's.
"You know, Aiden, for a creature of the night, you're not very nocturnal." Daniel joked.
Aiden smiled faintly and stretched his arms above his head. "What time is it?
Samuel lookes at his watch. "Eleven-thirty." He said, and Aiden jolted into a sitting position, surprising Daniel, who fell backwards.
"Hey, no more boxes!" Aiden observed happily. "We can go home now, right?"
But Daniel had walked out of the storage room and into the store while Aiden was talking. Aiden glared at the empty doorway.
"Yeah." ?Samuel said, kicking the pile of boxes to one side of the room. "We can leave."
Aiden stood up. "Awesome. Can you take the boxes out to the dumpster? I'm gonna help Daniel make the store look pretty."
"On it." Samuel said, picking up the pile of boxes and walking out the back door.
Aiden closed his eyes and leaned back against the wall before Daniel walked in and slapped him on the arm. "Come on. We're done."
He opened the back door to an empty alley and an eerie breeze.
Daniel sat oin a chair on a large back porch while peering into the french doors at Aiden talking to Samuel's very pregnant wife. He could almost see her heart fall as Aiden told her through his tears.
Daniel sipped his tea and reached into his pocket. They wouldn't be getting away with this, and Diana would not be alone.