Cam crouched behind Markus’s car, cradling his water uzi and waiting for their
victim target to appear. After spending the night together, both of them were able to laugh about what’d happened on the yacht the previous day, but they also agreed that Ted — who’d masterminded the whole crazy attack — had gotten off way too easy. A short fright was nowhere near enough, so they’d figured a way to give him a longer one.
Markus had gone up to the front door of Ted’s house, dressed in a cop uniform from a costume shop, with a fake badge from a toy store and a pair of real handcuffs from his dresser drawer. Which was something Cam was definitely going to be bringing up later, but that was for later and now was for now.
Or more specifically, now was for getting Ted convinced he was being arrested for real, hopefully to the point of needing clean underwear (which was Markus’s job) and then hosing him down with lime jello, cut with green Kool-Aid to improve its fluidity and prevent the water uzi from jamming up (which was Cam’s job). Fear, shock, panic — with any luck they’d score some serious psychological trauma, which might, just might, kinda-sorta balance the holy-shit-I’m-gonna-die! trauma Cam had gone through the previous day.
His thighs were aching by the time he heard them coming. Markus was reciting the Miranda warning — and without notes, which meant he must watch a ton of cop shows, but Cam was impressed anyway — and Cam peered through both sets of windows from the far side of Markus’s car and watched them walking along. Markus had one of Ted’s arms in a grip Cam knew was strong and solid, except he’d be willing to bet his next year’s tuition that Ted wasn’t enjoying the feel of that hand on him anywhere near as much as Cam had. Ted’s face was pale and slack, and his eyes were rolling around, like he was trying to spot an escape hatch or something.
Score! The only possible glitch would’ve been if Ted had recognized Markus. Cam was pretty sure they’d all been too distracted the previous day for any of them to have gotten a good enough look at Markus’s face, and paid attention and remembered it, to have IDed him after. The only question left was whether Ted had ever been in Marcia’s room, and if so, whether he’d noticed the photo of Markus she had on her dresser. Judging by how pale and scared Ted looked just then, Cam was pretty sure Ted had no clue who’d just “arrested” him. Awesome.
Cam waited until he saw Ted start to register that the uniformed cop who had him in custody was marching him out toward a bright red Corvette, and that there wasn’t an actual cop car anywhere in sight. A look around, a few blinks…
…and Cam popped up from behind the rear fender and nailed him, pumping on the trigger as fast as he could.
Watery green jello sprayed all over the front of Ted’s white T-shirt, splashing up into his face and down onto his shorts. Ted yelped in shock and twisted around trying to get away, but Markus had a good grip on him and hung on while Cam unloaded most of the gun’s tank, whooping and laughing the whole time. By the time he was done, Ted was shouting Cam’s name along with a string of cuss words and swearing revenge.
“And you!” He glared at Markus and kicked at him. His bare feet didn’t do much damage and Markus didn’t even dodge much. “You shit! Who the fuck are you and how’d Cam talk you into this? You’re not a cop, you fucking fake! I’m gonna sue you for false arrest! And, and, and impersonating a police officer!”
Markus looked startled and took a step backward. Cam was shocked too — neither of them had thought of that. It was just a joke, to pay Ted back for his joke and how wrong it’d gone. Ted was really pissed off, though.
Well, fine. Cam was really pissed too.
He stalked out from behind the Corvette and got right up in Ted’s face, saying, “You deserved every bit of that, and more! You want to be an asshole, fine, but if you do then I’ll tell the cops the whole pirate attack on the Selkie yesterday was your idea. You’ll be in a cell right next to Markus’s, and guess which one’ll be in there longest?”
“You were the mastermind! You were the one telling us what to do! Stand up and own it or shut the fuck up!”
“I–” Ted paused, looked at Cam and then at Markus. He looked down at the disgusting green stain on his shirt and said, “Fuck,” again, then glared at Cam. “All right, fine. It was a stupid joke and went completely to hell. Satisfied?”
“Mostly. You going to be a shit about Markus?”
Ted scowled up at Markus, then turned his back on him. “I guess not. If he gets these fucking cuffs off me in the next four seconds.”
Markus eyerolled, then snagged his keyring out of his pocket. A few moments later, the cuffs clicked off and vanished back into his pocket, with the keys.
“Satisfied?” Cam mimicked.
“Mostly.” Ted smirked at Cam and rubbed his wrists. “So long as you don’t mention my name to the cops.
Cam grinned up at Markus, who met his eyes with an answering smile and a snicker. “Too late. I already gave ’em your name, and David and Stone’s.”
“You what? You asshole! What the fuck did you rat on me for?!” Ted was working up to being pissed off again, with an edging of nervous and a side dish of frightened, but Can waved him quiet.
“They wanted to know what all’d happened, from the beginning, so I told them. They don’t care, though — Markus said he wasn’t going to press charges so the cops were cool with focusing on the actual pirates.
“Besides,” he added, “if you hadn’t completely bailed on me, leaving me all alone to face some pissed-off whack-job with a gun–”
“Sorry.” Cam leaned over and bumped shoulders with Markus, then glared back at Ted. “Someone who seemed at the time like a pissed-off whack-job with a gun, I might’ve repressed the urge to tell the police all about you. As it was, though, I was kind of hoping they’d at least come over and hassle you some.”
Cam and Ted scowled at one another until Markus cut in with, “So, are we all good now? A prank for a prank, we’ve all learned something, never again, blah-blah-blah? ‘Cause I’m getting hungry again.”
“Sure, I guess I’m done.” Cam nodded and socked Ted in the shoulder. “I’ll see you in a few days? I need to get some food into Markus before he implodes.”
“Oh, right, food too,” Markus said, his voice way too casual.
Ted turned to stare at Markus, then at Cam, then back at Markus, then he was back to yelling. “You shit! We were worried about you and you were getting laid!”
Cam laughed and shrugged. “Hey, I deserved it! I’m the one who got shot at!”
“That was an accident!” Markus protested.
“Trust me, that didn’t make any difference at all at the time.”
“I’ll make it up to you.” Markus slung an arm around Cam’s shoulders and steered him back around the car toward the passenger door.
“You owe me!” called Ted.
“In your dreams!” Cam called back. “If you’re really lucky, we’re even.”
He slammed the door shut before Ted could slam something back at him. Cam could see his mouth moving but couldn’t hear him. He waved as they pulled out, then settled down in his seat to enjoy the ride. To more food first or more sex first — he’d let Markus decide.