NRG peeked through the window of the bus garage. He could see Roger Arnold and Roger Martinez yelling at the two armed men outside the gate. He ducked back down, clutching Block and Sparky, praying they hadn’t seen him. Nitro stood at the door, growling. NRG appreciated his canine friend's courage, but knew he'd be no match for the armed coyotes. Mercifully, three minutes later, the roar of a motorcycle signaled that the bastards were gone. The two men breathed a sigh of relief.
"I think they're gone."
"Yeah Le--... NRG. I think they're flown da coop."
NRG helped Block up. Together, they lifted up Sparky onto Block's shoulders. The boy's giggles helped ease their tension.
"The bad men are gone?"
"Yeah, but they're only gone for now. They'll come back."
"But Roger and Roger won't let them in, right?"
"Yeah." NRG could only manage a half hearted reassurance for his son, worried for the day the coyotes had the money to buy or the balls to fight their way into Valentino.
A sudden knock at the door startled the family from their reverie. Block dashed with Sparky behind a bus while NRG drew his gun. Nitro, however, gave a playful bark at the door. A quiet voice came from behind the door.
“Sparky! Wanna play?”
“Left Shark!” The adults softened their stances as Sparky ran to the door. Left Shark stood behind the door, a rail thin Latino boy, his Valentino uniform hanging off his frame. Sparky waved to his dads as he ran out into the playground, his terror gone.
As NRG holstered his gun, he tensed as Block grabbed his shoulders, massaging them.
“God, Len, ya shoulders are so tense. Yer wound so tight I think yer about to pop.”
“Bl- Tom, can you blame me? The Coyotes at the gates, Freelance… god. I’ve barely been able to go out on jobs. I’ve had to stay here. We’re barely scraping by, I don’t know how we’re gonna-”
NRG couldn’t finish as Block spun him around and kissed him. Block, having an extra foot in height and a hundred pounds in weight, enveloped NRG with his body. NRG sank into his husband’s body, returning the kiss. Block pulled them to the ground as they made out. After a few minutes of passion they pulled back to face each other. Block had a giant shit eating grin on his face.
“Huh. Ya a’int so tense now.”
“... dammit, Tom.”
“Look, Len, I didn’t traipse half the Goddamn…”
“Goddamn United States for you to quit on me. I know, Tom.”
“Do you?” Block’s face nuzzled NRG’s. Block reached up to the table and grabbed the Ubiq Specs. He handed them to NRG.
“I’ll be fine. Sparky will be fine. Call them. Get us out of here.”
NRG kissed Block one more time, and stood up. He stared at the Specs. He donned them, and turned them on. His welcome screen showed his family, smiling on a Valentino bus. He wiped away a tear.
“Hey Ubiq, check messages.”
“Message from Freelance: Open Job Posting. Please notify Woodsman on availability.”
“Hey Ubiq, call Woodsman…”