I chuckled. It was so good to hear Preppy’s voice again and his never ending stream of profanity laced words. At that very moment I couldn’t have been more at peace if he were singing church hymns to me.
“I don’t even mind all the blood and gore all over you. I kinda like it actually. Very zombie hot chick. Very fucking nice. Reminds me of this hot-ass U-Porn video I saw. Makes little preppy happy and all fucking twitchy and shit.”
“I’m dead, aren’t I?” I asked groggily, covering my eyes with my forearm from the bright light. And then it hit me. I sat straight up, sending Preppy falling to the floor on his ass. “Oh my god I’m dead. What about Sammy? King?” I asked frantically.
“Calm your clit.” Preppy said sitting up off the floor and rubbing his ass with his hand. “You’re not fucking dead. Not yet. But I tell ya babe if you go first before my motherfucking muscle bound best friend? Me and you are going to finally have that date.” He nodded and flashed me a wink.
I wasn’t dead. I took a deep breath to calm myself.
“And when we get to have that date I am most definitely going to put the motherfucking tip in.” Preppy added, flicking me on the shoulder.
I laughed. “I don’t think that will sit well with King.”
Preppy shrugged, “Fuck him. I don’t give a shit. When he meets us up here he can kill me all over again if he wants.” Preppy planted a peck on my cheek. “Cause you my friend are totally fucking worth dying for all over again.”
“I miss you Preppy. I miss you so much. All this stuff has happened and you’re not there and sometimes it’s all just too much…” I wrapped my arms around Preppy and pulled him close. He nuzzled into my neck, his breath warm against my skin.
“Look around. Open your fucking peepers and take a good look at where we are right now.” Without letting go of Preppy I did what he instructed and opened my eyes. I was sitting at the dining room table in King’s house, Preppy was crouched on the floor in front of me.
“We…we’re home,” I gasped. Preppy stood from the floor and pulled me up with him.
“Right. We’re home. You don’t have to miss me because I’m here. Always with you. Looking out for you. Looking out for boss-man. Fuck, I’ll even look out for Bear as long as he does what he promised he’d do if I ever croaked before him and erase my motherfucking hard drive like a good little biker boy.”
“But you’re not here. Not really.” I said.
“Fuck yeah I am here. I’ll always be here. You can’t make me leave if you got the priest form the exorcist to come remove me. Cause I’m one step above demon…I’m Preppy.”
“I’m still going to miss you.”
“It’s okay to miss me. But you’ve got so much with King, Bear, the kids. You’re going to be so fucking busy you’re not going to have time to miss me. But I tell you what; I’ll make sure you know I’m around. Can’t find where you put your fucking car keys? That’s cause Ghost Preppy put them in the freezer. Can’t find the remote but the channels keep changing? That’s because Ghost Preppy can’t remember what channel American Ninja Warrior is on.” Preppy wiped a tear from my cheek with him thumb.
“I love you Preppy.” I said, pulling him in for another hug. “So much.”
“I love you too, babe. As much as a motherfucker can love his best friend’s girl, in a friendship kind of way, who he also wouldn’t mind fucking.” Preppy put his hands on my shoulders. “Time for you to get back to boss-man.” He announced. I nodded. “And babe?” Preppy asked.
“Be good to him. Be good to his heart. He’s the best motherfucker I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.”
“I will. I promise.”
“And don’t fucking tell him I said that. Kid’s already got a big fucking head.”
“So what happens now?” I asked.
“Now?” Preppy asked, lifting my hand he spins me around like a ballerina.
“Now, you fucking live.”
I ran over to the hole in the boat. Stepping over Tanner, I dove into the water, barley registering the sting of the bullets as they connected with my arm and hip. The water was dark, but shallow. Pup’s white hair floated around the surface, the rest of her was submerged under the murky water.
I lifted her up by the shoulders and cradled her against me as I waded over to the shore, kicking through the water as fast as I could. I set her down on the sand, and although the water had washed away most of the blood, the black and purple bruising around her eye and jaw were much more pronounced. Her face was so swollen, I could barely recognize her. I tipped her head back and opened her mouth. Pinching her nose closed I took a deep breath and then covered her mouth with mine, blowing my air into her lungs with all the force I could manage. Instantly water filled my mouth and I released her, turning her head to the side as she coughed out the rest onto the sand. I breathed out a small sigh of relief.