So yeah… another story, lol

So yeah… another story, lol. This first chapter is probably really sucky, but I promise it'll get better. stick with it, please!

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Tony "Barrel" Marchesi was an Italian kid. He had come over from Italy with his parents when he was just an infant. They called him "Barrel" because that's where he was found. Behind their run down school some bullies had taken advantage of the short Italian boy and stuffed him in a little wooden barrel that had just sat there forever. Tony struggled to get out until Jimmy Lode took pity and helped him.

Jimmy Locke was a natural born trouble-maker. He had always loved pranks and jokes, and eventually turned out to be a bit of a bully himself for a while. But seeing Tony like that hit a cord in his heart and he helped the boy out. He and Tony became friends right away— the foreigner and the class clown. Jimmy taught Tony all the little pranks he knew, but sometimes Tony just didn't understand who not to play them on.

Once, he had pranked a crisp, smart, almost nerdy boy named Avery Stock. The teachers thought the little boy in his little suit were so cute. All the other kids just thought he was a stupid little rich child. Avery was always a very organized person. But when he opened his briefcase during an English class, a large fake snake like the ones in prank peanut cans popped out at him. Avery never did figure out how Tony and Jimmy had gotten into his briefcase.

Avery was also very good at making deals. He told Tony and Jimmy that if they only hung out with him for one year, he'd pay off the bullies and they would never be bothered. Tony jumped on board instantly, but Jimmy wasn't so easily persuaded. Avery ended up buying Jimmy lunch the rest of the year. When the bet was finally over, Tony and Jimmy just stuck around Avery because he was equally as brave in the face of 'adventurous danger' as they were.

Oliver Lode was completely different from all three of them. He was rational. He was brave by their standards, yes. But he always made them rethink what they were doing. He had always been alert to everything around them and had a great sense of direction. Without Oliver Locke, the boys would have been lost and hurt more often than they already were. None of them remember meeting Oliver; it seemed like he'd just always been around. He and Jimmy's parents where friends ever since high school.

So, the four boys had always been together. That day had been no different. But it was the defining moment in their lives.

Oliver had already known something bad was going to happen that day. The entire day he'd felt hollow inside; that sort of feeling you get when you just know something's coming. He warned them not to go to that beach. They just didn't listen, which happened sometimes.

They did have a good day, so they decided to camp there overnight. It was a private section of the beach – Avery's parents always had been rich – and so they wouldn't get in trouble for staying, Jimmy insisted to Oliver. Nothing would go wrong.

So, as the sun set and one huge tent was already set up, they sat around a little fire, swapping scary stories and reminiscing about old adventures they had. But for Tony, nature called. So he stood up and ran down the beach, hitting a small spot near some bushes. He was just finishing relieving himself when he turned to run back and saw something in the bushes.

Tony ran back, screaming. The other boys raised an eyebrow at him and ask him what was wrong. He was rambling on and on about a stranger he'd never seen and pointed at the bushes.

Jimmy was the first to investigate. Tony stayed behind with Oliver, who just kept reassuring him that if they had just listened, this never would have happened. Avery went with Jimmy, and Oliver and Tony's own curiosity made them follow.

The woman must have been dead for a while before Tony found her. She was already stiff and pale, and the blood was already dried. Avery frantically punched in those three numbers on his cell phone as the four boys stuck together like glue. Tony wasn't the bravest or the strongest of the four. He just kept crying, and he cried more because he felt like a sissy.

Oliver stared at the woman like he was watching a ghost, though she never moved. Jimmy was the only one to move for several minutes after Avery hung up with the police. He held out his hand, Oliver taking it, and pulled Tony to him, putting his arm around the shaking boy. Avery held onto Tony's shoulder, his hand over Jimmy's. They stayed there for a long time, until the police took them back to the station and called their parents.

After that incident, Tony had become tougher; colder. Oliver rarely had to tell them when something was a bad idea because they knew now. Avery just became more into organization and books. Jimmy hardly changed. He was still outgoing but cocky, brave but foolish. Only those four boys knew that Jimmy could be serious and caring in a time of great need.

.o.o.o.o.o.

"I don't get what you want from me! I told you I didn't kill her!"

"All the evidence points to you, buddy!" Jimmy said, shrugging and giving the suspect in the room with him a 'what now?' look. "Explain that."

"I can't! I told you, I have an alibi!"

"I still haven't heard it." Jimmy crossed his arms.

"I was… I was out, okay?"

"Out where?"

"With a friend!"

"Ah, I see now." Jimmy slammed his hands down on the table. "With a lady friend!"

"… Yeah, so what? I was cheatin' on her. But I didn't kill her!"

"Cheatin', huh? You got any… kids you kept secret from her?"

"Kids?"

"Yeah. Kids." Jimmy said, sitting on the edge of the table. "Kids you might need her insurance money for?"

"I didn't kill nobody!"

"Of course not! You're smarter than that." Jimmy said, walking around the table. "You hired somebody else to!"

"No, dammit! I ain't got money to hire somebody. You done with me yet? Or you still gonna make up scenarios until you finally perfect one? You got so many ideas, write a novel!"

Jimmy snorted and lifted up his hand.

"Hey, Rookie! Take a breather." Samuel Deering caught Jimmy's hand. Sam was Jimmy's partner, and he kept calling Jimmy 'rookie', even though Jimmy had been a detective for over a year now, and worn a badge for four. "You been at this all night. Go get some coffee or something and I'll handle this guy."

Jimmy yanked his arm away. "Yeah, whatever." He said, and raised his eyebrow at the suspect and stomped his foot at him, making the suspect jumped and Sam start to catch Jimmy. Sam scoffed when Jimmy walked off, realizing Jimmy was just trying to scare the suspect.

Jimmy stopped to get some coffee, adding a ton of sugar and cream. He hated coffee really, but it was good if you drown out the flavor.

"You know you don't have to pretend to be Mr. Macho all the time." Oliver walked up, getting his own cup of coffee. Oliver was the forensic expert, he and Jimmy both working for the same city.

"I'm not pretending to be Mr. Macho! That guy's a punk!"

"Jim, your natural rookie is showing!" Oliver said in a mockingly warning voice.

"Shut up, Oliver."

"Hey! Officers! I want to see my client! Mr. Wyman! Can you tell me where he is?" A man in a crisp, clean suit stormed up, and stopped almost abruptly when Oliver and Jimmy looked at him. "… You two…"

"Hello, Avery." Jimmy said, holding up his coffee in a toast, and Oliver just rolled his eyes at Jimmy.

"It's Mr. Stock. Attorney at law."

"Great. A lawyer… should've known. You always did have that roach-like quality about you."

"Where's my client, Jim?"

"Being questioned."

"Without me?"

"Yes. You're a day late and a dollar short. Actually probably millions of dollars. I heard you guys have the worst debts." Jimmy said, casually sipping his coffee.

"Actually, I'm quite successful, thank you." Avery said, raising an eyebrow irritably.

"Well, all of us, huh?" Oliver said quickly. "All we need now is Tony."

The other two just stared at him. "Now, you know Tony hasn't talked to us in like three years." Avery said.

"Ever since daddy gave him their family company." Jimmy said bitterly.

"Jim." Oliver said, shaking his head.

"What? He totally ditched us after that." Jimmy said.

"You're just mad because he's rich." Avery scoffed.

Jimmy slammed his cup down. "That's it, you little blood sucking tic. You want to fight?"

"Jesus, Jim! Calm down!" Oliver said, setting his own cup down. "It's not Avery's fault."

"Exactly!" Avery snapped. "You want things to be like old times? Why don't you get a hold of Tony and tell him, huh?!"

"Maybe I will!" Jim snapped back. He sighed, leaning back and picking up his coffee. "…… Maybe I will."

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As I said… it will get better. Lol. I almost always hate my first chapter. And this is definitely one of those times…