"Don't be an' Abercrombie, Jay." Patrick rolled his eyes, stuffing his face with pieces of stale bread. "Yer' a know-it-all." He said, but Jay shook his head, not saying a word. He didn't think of 'imself as an Abercrombie, not one bit. He thought of himself as a mistake, a brodie. He wouldn't be in here, if he wasn't a brodie. Patrick gave him a shove.
"Come' on Jay, I was just joshin' you, come on pally!" He laughed, pieces of bread coming out of his mouth, landing on Jay. Jay grimaced to himself, trying not to show it, as he wiped off the remains of crumbs. "You're like a toothpick. Gotta' eat somethin', Jay." Patrick insisted but Jay wasn't hungry. He stared down at his food in guilt, and almost in depression. He had been an orphan for a while, after he had gotten a letter from a business, saying his father had recently died. He didn't belong here, and he knew it too, as he stared at the loaf of bread in front of him and the mound of sweet beans thrown messily onto his plate.
"I'm not hungry." He murmured and Patrick grunted.
"You twit, you ain't gonna get no more till 'omrrow. After you work for yer' meal." Patrick said, shaking his head. For a heavy eater, he was a pretty lanky boy, at least from Jay's perspective. His cop-cropped brown hair stuck to his forehead, due to the humidity and the perspiration he had made on his own after working. His clear blue eyes flickered across the room, never stopping as he finished the last of his meal. He shoveled a couple of beans into his mouth with a fork, and then began to work his way on licking his plate clean. He could have been something better, Jay thought to himself, but from his manners and social behavior, he highly doubted it now. But there was still hope for Jay, hope for him to maybe become a local farmer, or maybe get into the money making business. His father was, anyways, a local banker-wherever he had once lived. Surely, he must have left him some money…
"I'll do without." Jay whispered, pushing his food back, but Patrick took it with his hands, trembling.
"Say….if you ain't gonna eat it, maybe a nice fellow like yer'…" Patrick hinted and Jay gave a small smile, nodding at him as he took the food with his callused hands and started to dig in once more. "You're a great pally, ya' know? I'll repay you-I promise." Patrick grinned but Jay shook his head.
"No need to, Pat. Just take it. It'll do us all a favor. What you think about someone actually buying us?" Jay whispered to his only friend, changing the subject quickly so that Patrick wouldn't begin to argue with him. Gradually, Patrick's energetic chews slowed till he swallowed, turning towards James.
"You got your head in them clouds, Jamie. Best to wait'll till yer' fifteen, if they keep feeding us and sheltering us like they' do now." Patrick smiled crookedly, but his smiled wiped off his face in an instant, turning his attention towards his lap. Turning to see what he was so scairt about, Jay looked up, only to see the boss. Jay swallowed, mimicking his friend's manners. On instinct, the boss' head averted to Patrick and Jay who couldn't help but to stare back at him, paling. Patrick trembled once more, playing with his hands quickly and nervously; or maybe just out of habit. "Jay Parse, you're wanted." His voice boomed from across the room.
James continued down the corridor as he followed the boss, wondering what horrible thing the boss had in plan for him today, when he opened the door into a new room-a waiting room. Glancing around, he couldn't help but be a little skeptical of the whole situation. There sat a slender looking woman, in a purple flowered flapper hat. Her long bony fingers tapped the table restlessly and beside her sat a fairly large man, with stringy black hair tapered in a striped suit. James stood there, looking up at the boss, and then back to the couple who smiled at him warmly. "This is the boy, Candy! I'm tellin' you! This is the boy we want!" The man smiled and stood up, embracing J.P. in a bone-crunching hug. James faltered, but gave him a smile.
"Hullo." He murmured politely as the boss cleared his throat.
"James, these lovely people would like to adopt you." He forced a smile, but J.P. was too happy to tell that he had been forcing it. His expression lightened up and looked at the two of them. They were an odd couple, but he figured if they wanted to adopt him, they had to be nice enough to even consider him.
"Mhmm...yes, but...he has problems does he not?" The woman asked, flicking her cigar.
J.P. frowned slightly, having second thoughts, but the man laughed, shaking his head. "No need to worry, Candy, dyslexia is harmless. Ain't it boy?"
"Yess-ss-ir." James stuttered, trembling, making a fool of himself.
"Very well then, Charles." The woman nodded, before standing up and picking up her coat, walking out of the room in a brisk manner. "Do what needs to be done."
"We'll take him!" Charles smiled at him, "Whatta' yer' say, boy?"
Before he could speak, the boss laughed, patting J.P. roughly on the back which made him stumble a little. "He'd love too, wouldn't you?" He smiled down at him, digging his nails into the back of J.P.'s neck.
"Y-Yes, I-I'd love to." J.P. blurted out and felt the meaty hands let go.
"Very well, I'll make sure to tell the housekeeper to grab your things." He nodded, shooing J.P. away, so Charles and him could talk "business". Sprinting out of the room, he ran back out and around the corner, colliding head-first with Patrick.
"I'm bought! I'm sold!" J.P. smiled with glee, tackling his friend. Patrick stared at him in astonishment.
"Murder!" He shouted, wide-eyed and grinning. "That's great!" He laughed, patting J.P. on the back a couple of times, but his smile turned into a grimace.
"What's wrong?" J.P. asked, concerned.
"Nothin', just send me some letters-will ya?" He laughed and J.P. nodded at him, making sure he wouldn't forget. By the time the maids went around to pick up his things, James was already cleaned up and ready to go. Saying one last goodbye to his friend, he walked out of the building and into the cab, where the rest of his adventures, was finally starting to kick into gear.