Part 10

by CM Towns

   “This is one helluva park,” Hunter said looking over the canoes in one of the lakes at the Bois de Vincennes. He looked over to Erica who was standing with him and added, “Sally was saying this place was impressive and I agree. Lets go check out the zoo.”
   “Aren’t you from Texas? Red blooded American? Shouldn’t you be hating it here?” Erica asked.
   “The official decree is France is run by cowards and prissy men. There’s nothing in there saying we can’t like the scenery,” said Hunter.

   Araminta walked up to the two and said, “Hey.”
   “Hey. Where’s the others?” asked Hunter.
   “Sally is with Arturo, working on his English. Though at this point its better than most kids my age. Frank and April are going to see if they can rent bikes,” replied Araminta.
   “You didn’t want to go with them?” Erica asked, giving the hint she actually wanted to hang out with Hunter alone.
   “I don’t know how to ride a bike,” Araminta answered.
   “It’s alright, the more the merrier,” Hunter said feeling good about hanging out with a pair of cute girls.
   The three started walking and Erica said, “I hope there is somewhere close by we can get some coffee. And I hope they speak English.”
   “I can speak some French,” said Hunter.
   “Really? Since when?” Erica inquired.
   “Since we were on our way here. When you took your nap I played some French instructional videos Sally suggested. I can now speak enough French to get around. And impress chicks,” Hunter explained with a big smile.
   “How did you learn so fast?” asked Araminta.
   “Sally theorized that my ability to mimic muscle movements and control means I could copy the muscle movements needed to speak certain phrases. So I tried it, and I can. Sally worked a little with me this morning to improve while she was teaching Arturo more English,” Hunter answered.
   “That’s impressive. Sally has a knack for teaching,” Araminta complimented.
   “I know right?” added Erica before saying to Hunter, “So you can like-probably learn a lot of languages quickly.”
   “I guess. I’d have never thought about it if Sally hadn’t pointed it out.”
   “Yeah, Sally is a smart one,” Erica said hiding the slight annoyance in Hunters praising of another lady.
   “Whats the deal with her and that Pearl girl,” Erica asked.
   Araminta looked over to Erica a bit annoyed.
   “Little lesbian action,” Hunter joked.
   “What. Its beautiful thing,” Hunter said.
   “Would you say that about guys?” asked Araminta.
   “I wouldn’t say beautiful-but what two dudes want to do is none of my business. As long as they ain’t hitting on me we cool,” Hunter stated.
   “You think they’d hit on you?” questioned Araminta.
   “I’m sorry, have you seen me without my shirt off? By the time I’m 21 I’m going to be an American sex symbol,” responded Hunter shocked at the notion of not being considered physically attractive by gay men.
   “I have see you shirtless. It its very impressive,” Erica said in a awkward school girls voice changing octaves suddenly with every syllable and making Erica want to smack herself in the face.
   “Thanks babe.”
   “Back to our Native, Pearl, I don’t think Sally seemed to appreciate the nods and winks. Or was confused,” Erica said.
   “You don’t like Pearl?” Hunter asked.
   “I don’t know her. I’m sure she’s fine, but the gay thing, the way I was raised… I had to hear a lot of the ‘homosexuality is immoral’ speeches. Life is a bit more complicated than worrying about whose private parts someone wants to touch though. Plus, like I said, I don’t know Pearl well so I don’t know how I feel about her, or Jessie or April with their alternative lifestyles. Still, I feel uncomfortable,” admitted Erica.
   “I feel more uncomfortable around April. Nice guy-girl-person. It’s just I don’t know why any dude would want to be a girl. Though I guess she looks okay in dress. I ain’t ashamed to admit it, April looks alright,” Hunter stated.
   Araminta was considering what to say about the subject. The two new members of the team definitely had homophobic and transphobic traits but they both seemed to be aware of and trying to get over it to some degree. Hopefully they could get over their own prejudices quick for the sake of team unity.
   Before Araminta could chime in Hunter ended the topic with, “As long as they got my back in a fight that is the only thing that matters.”
   That made Araminta smile.
   “It was cool of them to let us chill out today,” Erica said.
   “Antoine said he’d handle some of the investigation. I imagine Sally is also doing her thing. Multi-tasking,” Araminta said.
   “Hopefully we beat these fools up soon and get more time in Paris to have fun. Take our fake IDs out to go clubbing,” Erica said with a little dancing.
   “Definitely,” Hunter agreed.
   The group stopped in their tracks and each pulled out their phones that were vibrating and ringing.
   “I’m guessing our free time for the day has just now been ruined,” commented Erica.
   “An attack on a government building. Possible Teiwaz connection,” Araminta read.
   “Hey-like you said, beat these assholes down soon then party time,” Hunter remarked.
   Erica smiled, grabbed his arm, and said, “Yeah.”
   Araminta rolled her eyes.