United States

I drew my profile
Dancer, singer, actress
Student of ASL
B-Way theater nerd
I love Loki
Avatar (as in Aang and Korra, not weird blue people)
anime weeb (TPN is my favorite)
LGBT+ ally
~joined 8/10/20~

Message to Readers

Make sure to read the first chapter and the prologue! Also this needs a lot of editing!

Untitled - Chapter Two

September 3, 2020


Carter Long strolled his way up West 42nd, humming to himself. Pulling a hand from his jeans pocket, he tucked a strand of curly blonde hair behind one ear, intentionally letting the sleeve of his t-shirt roll up, revealing the refined muscle beneath.
   He heard giggling across the street and turned his gaze, dropping his hand. A small group of college girls stood huddled together, blushing and waving at him. Offering them nothing but another charming grin and a wink in return, Carter turned the corner, making his way down Broadway.
   The bell on the door jangled as he stepped into the empty pizza parlor. Joe's Pizza was a small building crammed into a busy outlet, the only seating being a bar by the window with four stools.
   "Welcome to Joe's Pizza. May I take your order?" came the monotone voice of the boy standing behind the counter, eyes never drifting from his phone.
   "Could you be any less enthusiastic?" Carter chuckled making his way to the back. Finally lifting his eyes, the boy broke into a smile.
   "Carter, my man!" he exclaimed, hopping the counter and taking him by the shoulder. "Does this mean my shift is over early? You're taking my place?" His eyes shined with enthusiasm, an extreme contrast from when Carter had first arrived.
   "No, Josh," Carter rolled his eyes. "And if you keep acting like this, you're gonna get fired and then you won't have a job to complain about at all and you'll have to go back to picking pockets."
   Josh wrinkled his freckled nose.
   "What do you mean 'back to'?"
   Sighing, Carter pushed his way past Josh, maybe nudging him a little harder than necessary, making his way to the back.
   "I left my hoodie back here," he called to Josh as he looked around for it. "I'm not even working today. My visit's got nothing to do with you." Even though he couldn't see his face, Carter could picture the pouting look his friend was wearing.
   "Ah, here it is," he muttered, pulling the sweatshirt out from under the swivel chair it had somehow gotten tangled up with. Slinging it over his shoulder, he made his way back out to the front. Stopping right before the door, he called over his shoulder: "See ya back at the Palace. Have fun finishing your shift!" He took another step, then added: "Oh, and don't forget your sister's birthday again."
   Josh didn't respond. Carter turned back to look at him. His eyes were stubbornly glued back onto his phone screen. His lips were pursed in a cold scowl. Carter sighed, shaking his head, and stepped out the door, only to ram into someone.
   "Hey, watch where you're going!" A girl at about his chest level caught herself on Carter's shoulder, her bag falling to the ground. As soon as she found her balance, she shoved him away, bending down to pick up her bag, muttering angrily all the while.
   "I'm so sorry," said Carter, pasting on a charmingly apologetic smile. "I wasn't looking where I was going. That was entirely my fault." He reached down a hand to help her up, but she swatted it away.
   "Yes, I totally agree," she snarled, finally standing up and facing him stubbornly. He had opened his mouth to respond but froze. He closed his mouth and not very subtly looked her up and down.
   She had smooth, light brown skin; he assumed she must've been biracial. Her curly, shoulder length brown hair was wrapped into a messy ponytail, unruly strands spilling out and shading her angry golden-brown eyes. She was beautifully curvy, though it was harder to tell under the oversized black sweatshirt she wore.
   He brought his gaze back up to meet hers with a grin, only to see her scowling, arms crossed against her chest.
   "Are you going to be looking at me all day or can I go get my pizza?" Carter was shocked. Usually girls would go head over heels to get special attention from him. What was this, some kind of flub?
   Suddenly, he heard a snort of laughter from behind him. Whirling around he saw Josh clutching his stomach, face red with laughter. When he saw Carter looking, he collected himself enough to lift his right hand to his forehead, shaping it like an "L" and sticking his tongue out.
   Ignoring him, Carter turned back to the girl.
   "Sorry for all the trouble." He held out a hand. "By the way, my name is-"
   "Good to know," she cut in, still scowling as she pushed past him and into the restaurant.
   He stood there a moment, hand still outstretched. What just happened? He shook his head, deciding not to dwell on it.
   He finally dropped his hand and stepped out the door, almost to be run over again.
   A small woman walked past, though her strides were long and quick as if she were in a rush somewhere. He recognized this girl. Her name was Mei Zhao. They'd only ever really met once, and that was a fairly brief experience, but he knew she was also on the staff at Joe's. He didn't remember most people's names or faces, but she was a special case.
   He'd heard she was a dancer on Broadway, an impressive feat for someone around here. Everyone always thought that living in the big city was steps one through ten in getting famous. If you lived there, you're basically already a star. But they're far off. Everybody came with their big dreams and almost all of them left without any kind of break.
   So working in the same vicinity as someone who had actually made it was pretty special.
   Just now, when she had past, however, something had been different. Whenever he had seen Mei before, she had been overwhelmingly peppy and happy. She was very friendly and outgoing, and everyone loved her.
   But just now, she wasn't smiling. In fact, she looked extra pale, and she wore a worried expression. He wondered what had happened.
   Oh well. Just another thing he'd seen that day that he'd decide to just forget about. 

After walking about another fifteen minutes and flirting with another couple dozen girls, Carter finally arrived back at his home, lovingly referred to as "the Palace". It was really just a pile of blankets, old bedframes, and a couple tents at the back of an alley (relatively speaking, it was a pretty nice alley) and had gotten its name about a decade ago from a bunch of eight year olds, but it had stuck. 
   The Palace was where a small family-like community of homeless children - from babies to college-aged kids - lived, including Carter and Josh. When Carter had run away as a kid, he had been welcomed in and taken care of here. Lots of the people had decent jobs, so they had a nice supply of food, a grill, bedding, and clothing. Living on the streets wasn't so insufferable, especially if you had the right people with you.
   "That you, Carter?" Zoey Clake popped her head out of one of the tents. Zoey was one of the few exceptions to the all-kid policy at the Palace. She was going on forty and had no children herself, but had been a part of the community since the beginning. There were about three or four older adults total living with them. Some had lived there since they were kids and had just decided to stay, while others had come along just to help out, having had experience working with children in the past.
   "Yeah, Zoey, it's me," He raised the jacket in his right hand. "Got my hoodie."
   She crawled out of the tent, leaning back in to quickly say something to whoever else was inside before rising to her feet and walking over. She smiled up at Carter, pulling him into a hug. 
   She pulled back away holding him at arm's length and looking him up and down.
   "You've gotten so big, Carter." She smiled. "I remember when we first found you back when you were only twelve. You were so little." She laughed, shaking her head before turning away.
   "Now that you're back, can you help with the kids?"
   By the time you turn twelve at the Palace, you start getting more responsibilities, including helping out with the littles. So in all the eight years he had been there, Carter had been a babysitter. By now, he was pretty great with kids.
   "Sure," he said, following her around the corner and deeper into the Palace. "Oh, and is Kali here now? Or is she out?" Zoey didn't respond. Instead, she simply gestured toward the second nearest tent with her head, smiling. He grinned back before turning and making his way over.
   "Kali?" he said softly, crouching outside the tent flap. Suddenly, the zipper shot across the arc and the flap flew open. The little girl inside dived out, tackling Carter to the ground.
   "Carter!" she shrieked, rolling off of him and onto her knees, bouncing and wiggling. "Did you bring me a present?!?"
   Carter chuckled, pushing himself up with one hand while using the other to dig through his pocket. Pulling it back out, he held it up to the girl, fist tightly closed around the gift.
   "I was gonna save this til later, but you seem ready for it now, huh?" She nodded her head enthusiastically. "Alright." He gestured for her to hold out her hands and she followed suit eagerly. He raised his hand over hers, turning it slowly for dramatic effect before dropping it into her grasp. She shrieked again, hugging it to her chest and looking up at him with a huge smile.
   "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" She held it back up to look at, though she was jumping around so much that Carter had no idea how she'd be able to focus on it at all. "This is just what I wanted! How did you know?"
   "You've only been raving about it every time we passed it in the shop window," he laughed. It was an intricate beaded necklace, beads painted soft shades of blue and green. Kali was old enough to understand that they could never afford any of the exquisite pearls or diamonds the store also featured, but she had found the simple beaded necklace just as beautiful.
   She squealed once more before hugging him and diving back into her tent with her newfound treasure.
   "Carter." Zoey had come up behind him to watch. "You didn't steal that, did you?" He was shocked by her words and tone of voice. Sure, he had been quite the little thief a few years back, but he'd given that up. He shook his head.
   "No, Zoey. I've been saving up for this." He subconsciously made sure to show the hurt on his face. "I bought this. It's Josh you should be worrying about if you think someone's stealing." Zoey's shoulders dropped and she closed her eyes, massaging her temples.
   "Of course," she said. "I'm sorry, I know you're over that." She opened her eyes with a bit of a forced smile. "She's gonna love that thing. I know it. She's gonna wear it every day, and now that she's twelve, I'm sure it'll be her designated symbol as one of the older kids." They both laughed. 
   "Well anyways," Zoey continued, back to seriousness. "Rachel and Isaac are sleeping over there." She gestured to a small bed about three yards away. "If you can just watch them while I go get groceries, that'd be great."
   He nodded, making his way over then sitting at the base of the bed before pulling out his phone.
   "And Carter?" He looked up. "Don't get into any trouble."
Did you catch his cameo in chapter one?


See History
  • September 3, 2020 - 8:45am (Now Viewing)

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

1 Comment
  • BlueWolf

    This was awesome!!! Thanks for putting these up!!! I just think these characters are really intriguing and you do such a good job with the story line.

    5 months ago