With how the night ended, I would have thought Emma would be spending the morning with my family, but her mother had picked her up early. I ended up heading over to Jarod’s to hang out for a while. We talked a bit about the twins and then worked out our plans for Tuesday, since we were still planning to try catching Emil Thomas with his wolves. When I asked if he had any luck acquiring the motion sensitive cameras we had planned on setting up, he made a show of demonstrating the camera equipment he “acquired through sources that can’t be named.” I had to admit the stuff was really neat. He had four cameras that all sent a live feed to a laptop which recorded the video. He even had talked his father into letting him borrow a van for the stakeout, so he could be setup within range of the cameras. Despite the cameras, my enthusiasm wasn’t a match for his. If the wolves were actually set loose on me instead of being called back, I could get seriously injured or even die. I just hoped that Emil wouldn’t want a death on his hands.
Emma called me while I was preparing for my job that night. She was feeling better and thanked me again for letting her hang out Friday night. I had let her change into a pair of my shorts that had a tie and one of my shirts, which could have been a nightgown on her, while we were hanging out. She said she would get them back to me someday and might even launder them first. I wasn’t really worried about it. I had to get off the phone before we had talked too long, so I could finish getting ready to help out at a local Bingo night which was shorthanded. The job wasn’t one of my better paying ones by a long shot, but I had been curious about those kind of events ever since I had overheard a couple girls at school talking about going to one. Turned out that though most of the people present were senior citizens, they played for blood. There wasn’t nearly as much vocalized outrage as I heard regularly in high school, but the scathing looks passed between some of the players spoke of rivalries which lasted decades.
I could hardly believe my luck on Sunday morning when I received a job opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I didn’t have details on which Prom I would be attending or with whom precisely, but the description reminded me of my day spent with Michele. I now had a wonderful excuse not to attend my own Prom and would be paid an exceedingly large sum for it. Even if I hadn’t needed the money, a solid reason to avoid seeing Regina at the dance made this a splendid job. There was a moment when reading through the job description again where I worried that it could possibly be for my school, but no one attending a public school would pay such an unreasonably large amount for a date. If I could somehow come across a few more jobs that paid this well, my finances would be back ahead of schedule in no time. Most of the day was spent on a job for Sue Wells, replacing all of the plumbing in the bathroom. She was very pleasant and paid me nearly as much as an actual plumber would have been, but I left in a bit of a hurry when she offered to share a bottle of wine with me.
School on Monday was a complete letdown after the insane week I had spending time with Emma and the twins. Everything just seemed completely dull, and I had even less interest in my classes than normal. My only small fortune was that Regina wasn’t sulking any longer. I managed to avoid any awkward moments with her and was glad the vacation had given her time to sort things out. I had to admit to myself that not having her flirt with me still felt a bit strange, and I was no longer convinced that Emma’s injury was Regina’s fault. Yes, Regina admitted causing it, but Emma hadn’t even seen her there. How could even Regina cause someone whom she barely even heard about any sort of harm? Something was more than a little off about the idea, and I couldn’t help feeling guilty once more over how things turned out. I wondered if introducing the two after a little more time had passed would help the situation somehow. Girls made everything far more convoluted.
To my surprise as much as coach’s, I quit the track team after he started laying into me about my lack of dedication. Several of my teammates were obviously not happy about the news either, but they didn’t give me too much crap after I explained how busy I was and that I really couldn’t see myself making a career out of sprinting. There were far too many things I still wanted to try in life, and I needed the time. The decision appeared to be destined when Jarod sent me a text shortly thereafter telling me that we could start on my car whenever I had time. The parts must have came today, so I went straight to his house and rode with him to his father’s shop. I only had a few hours to work that day, but I would be able to work on the car regularly without track practice interfering. By the time we did what we could in the time I had, I was feeling completely exuberant about my decision. Then I had to go explain it to my parents over dinner.
My parents expressed their concerns over my decision as they normally did, but they seemed to feel I had made the right decision as well. Father was definitely excited to think that my car would be finished more quickly. Mother rolled her eyes as we started planning our Bond marathon which would lead up to father’s first chance to drive it. I was very excited about the idea. Father and I just didn’t get a chance to hang out nearly as much as we once had, so each moment was becoming more and more precious. I wished that there were more things that mother I enjoyed doing together, but we at least had far more time to spend talking than father and I generally had. I lost track of time during dinner and had to rush off to my job that night, helping Bill Rice install new hardware on his computer and replace his router. He apparently had a power surge fry a fair number of his electronics a week past.
When I was finally laying in bed Monday, I couldn’t get to sleep even after a couple hours of trying. Tomorrow I would be risking my life to try gaining definitive proof of wolves roaming the city streets. The whole idea of a guy not yet out of high school risking his neck just to prove that there were wolves being trained in the city seemed ridiculous, but there was also a chance that the wolves were being used to hurt people. Emil was obviously willing to use them to scare someone, so what was really going to keep him from eventually taking things a step farther. He needed to be stopped, and no one was going to believe the crazy story without some proof. Jarod and I would get the authorities undeniable proof one way or another, and hopefully not get in over our heads in the process. Late into the night, I continued telling myself that we would be able to pull the scheme off, but my doubt never abated.