Roy and Jerry raced down the almost deserted street. Behind them the sound of footsteps from their pursuers echoed off the walls of the buildings.
“Almost…there…” Roy managed to gasp out as he grabbed his brother’s arm to help him keep up. Or pull him along. He wasn’t sure which but it didn’t matter as long as it got them both to their destination before Daws and his gang caught up with them.
The light at the crossing turned yellow. They ignored it, dashing pell-mell across the street. Horns honked angrily but they made it without being hit. Roy shoved open the door to the bus station. Seconds later they both collapsed on one of the benches, heedless of the stares from the people in the waiting room.
Roy glanced back the way they’d come to see Daws glaring at him through the plate-glass window. He was almost tempted to flip him off but decided there no reason to add more fuel to the fire.
Jerry started to cough and Roy quickly dug the cough syrup out of his backpack.
“Next time, we hide better,” Jerry grumbled once he’d taken a big swing from the almost empty bottle.
“Definitely,” Roy agreed as he checked to see if Daws was still standing outside. Not seeing him, although he knew that didn’t mean anything, he turned back. As he did he saw a kid he knew from the streets huddled on one of the benches across the room talking to a young man. The kid said something and the young man turned his head. A smile lit his face and he started towards Roy and Jerry.
“Now what,” Roy muttered with a sigh as he tensed, ready to defend himself and his brother if necessary.
“I’ve been looking all over hell and gone for you two,” the young man said as he stopped a few feet away. “My name’s Tad and I’d like to talk to you, if you don’t mind.”
“Doing some research project,” Roy asked while he looked Tad over with a jaundiced eye. “Whoever dressed you did a piss poor job of it. You match.”
Tad looked down at what he was wearing. As far as he was concerned his clothes looked ratty enough. Then he caught what the young man meant. “Yeah, guess I do, compared to you anyway. Who’s your tailor?”
Roy frowned, and then chuckled. “Good one. Okay, why do you want to talk to us?”
“Not for research, or some newspaper article. May I?” Tad nodded to the vacant seat next to Roy.