Categories > Books > Outsiders > Red Hot Moon

Chapter 10

by TWBasketCase 0 reviews

About a year and half after the events of the book, a new gang arrives in Tulsa and stirs things up. The soc/greaser war is at an all time high, and our gang's lives will never be the same.

Category: Outsiders - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama - Warnings: [!!!] [V] [X] - Published: 2007-01-28 - Updated: 2007-01-28 - 3167 words

Chapter 10
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Steve moved his hands in circular motions as he finished up the wax on a 1949 Studebaker Champion convertible. It was a nice car, he had to admit. It had belonged to an older man that lived down the street from the gas station who was just too old to maintain it himself anymore. For someone who lived in the middle class area, he was a very nice man towards the greasers who worked at the station. He always had his money up front and was always willing to tip Steve nicely for his hard work.

He stood back a few feet from the car and studied his handiwork; even if it was just a routine maintenance, he always felt good about his work. He loved cars more than anything in the world; he always felt that sense of relief and escape when he worked on them. When he put all of his effort into them, nothing else in the world mattered at that time.

He unzipped the front of his coveralls and pulled the top half down to tie around his waist, leaving a clean DX uniform shirt revealed. He stepped out of the garage and into the sunbathed parking lot. The older man would be showing up in a half hours time, so it gave him plenty of time to have a cigarette break. When he looked to his left, he noticed Sodapop standing at the bars and filling up a '64 Chevy Malibu. Steve gave him a friendly nod, and Soda grinned back at him.

He brought a Camel up to his lips and quickly struck up a match to light it. Russ always hassled him for smoking in the lot; in which Steve always hassled him back by doing so anyways. He knew that he wasn't a dumb ass, and he wasn't going to flick his ashes towards them, or stub it out in a gas puddle for that matter.

And no one was going deny him the luxury of a nicotine fix.

Sodapop approached him after he was done serving his customer. A few loose strands of his hair were blowing off to the side in the wind, and he had a goofy grin on his face. All Steve could do was smirk at him. Soda crossed his arms over his chest. "You get Mr. Langley's car all done?"

Steve nodded and looked up at the bright sky. "Sure did. Looks brand spankin' new too."

Soda grinned. "Now that is one tuff car."

Steve blew the smoke out in wisps from his lips. "Sure is. I never get tired of lookin' at it."

Soda clapped a hand on his shoulder. "Hey you never know he just may leave it to you in his will or somethin'. Lord knows he has no family and you take care of it better than anyone else."

Steve smiled at the thought. "Now that would be a dream come true, buddy."

Soda grinned. "Yep, that's all ya need in a life. A good woman and a smokin' car." It was the truth.

Steve perked an eyebrow and regarded him for a moment. "Speakin' of which...I been meanin' to tell ya."

Soda watched him quizzically for a moment. "What is it?"

Steve pushed his hand under his coverall to gain access to his jean pockets. It had been on his mind for over a week now, and he had been dying to tell his best buddy all about it. He wasn't usually one to show nerves or excitement, but he figured now would be an exceptional time to do so. He finally felt the material against his finger and pulled it out. He placed it in Soda's hand.

His friend for that matter just stared at it. "What's this?"

Steve rolled his eyes and took another long drag from his cigarette. "What do you think it is?"

Soda just bit his lip and raised his eyebrows. "It's a ring, but..."

"I'm gonna ask her to marry me." Steve announced. Soda just stared hard at him momentarily.

"Do you really think that's a good idea?" He seemed to be taken aback a bit.

Steve glared at him and snatched the ring back. "Why wouldn't it be? I love her and I don't wanna be with anyone else, and besides, it wasn't such a problem when you wanted to marry Sandy."

Soda's eyes flashed with what seemed to be pain, but if it was he didn't speak on it. "You do realize that this time next year we could be drafted! What if you go an' marry her and you don't come home?! Or what if she finds someone else?"

Steve sighed, knowing he was right. "I know that Sodapop, but don't ya think that's all the more reason to do it now? Besides, I can't see Evie findin' anyone else."

Soda kicked at the ground and jammed his hands into his pockets. "If you think so, buddy. But I thought the same thing about Sandy, and I didn't have to go to Vietnam for her to find someone else."

Steve said nothing and only clapped his hand on his friend's shoulder comfortingly. "I know that, buddy. I just think its right."

Soda nodded and gave his friend an encouraging smile. "Well, if that's what you feel then you do it, man." Steve smiled, instantly feeling better about his decision.

"Curtis!" came a shout from the shop.

Soda looked back at Steve regretfully. "Well I guess ole Rusty wants to ring my neck again. I'll talk to you in a bit there, Steve." Steve nodded and watched his retreating form as he made his was back to the store. He threw his now dead cigarette butt to the ground and stepped on it.

A few moments later, the DX's owner, Russ, made his way towards Steve. For once, the older man didn't look cranky or frustrated, which Steve felt was a good thing. He untied the sleeves of his coveralls from his waist and brought them back up over his shoulders. Russ approached him with a neutral face. "I'm leavin' early, Randle."

Steve perked an eyebrow. "But Soda's off in a half an hour..."

Russ shook his head and began to unbutton his uniform shirt. "Nope, he said he would cover and work a double. He's gonna be takin' care of my duties in the shop though, so I'm gonna be relyin' on you to hold things down up here, ya dig?"

Steve nodded obediently. "Yes, sir."

"Good, then I expect everything to be nice and clean for tomorrow, and no horsin' around!" He pointed a finger in the direction of Steve's chest and had a look of seriousness on his face. Steve only grinned and nodded his head. Russ stepped back. "Good, then you have yourself a good night, Randle."

Steve nodded once more. "You too, Rusty."

Russ glared at him. "Would you knock it off, ya turd? Don't call me that!"

Steve smirked once more and lit up another cigarette, much to Russ' dismay. "Yes sir!"

He turned his back and began approaching the garage once more. It was now five o'clock, which only meant another two hours before the shop closed. Steve remembered a time when they used to have to work until ten thirty during the week, and eleven on weekends. He sure did make a lot more money back then. Of course, with the crime rates shooting through the roof, Russ thought it safe to close earlier. A lot of the gas stations in the east and north ends were getting nailed in robberies, one clerk even got nailed with a heater. Russ didn't want to see his shop or any of his boys go down, so he made the decision to close earlier.

Steve sat on a plastic chair next to the Studebaker and smoked his cigarette. He was still somewhat reeling from the previous conversation with Soda. He didn't understand at all why the other boy reacted the way that he did; hell, when Soda had told him about Sandy, Steve tried his hardest to get the other boy to go out drinking with him to celebrate. But for some reason, Soda almost seemed sad about what Steve had told him.

Steve had been thinking about it for the last three months. She was special to him, and he wanted nothing more than to show her that, especially if the upcoming war was really for real. He didn't want to get shipped off to some jungle country and never see her again. He needed to make this happen before it was too late. The one person he needed happy for him though was Sodapop. Steve thought that he must be happy in some way; he figured that maybe he was just sad that things hadn't turned out that way for him.

At least he was hoping that it was.

Steve didn't want Soda to be jealous, nor did he want himself being selfish. But Steve knew that Soda still hadn't moved on from Sandy and that the whole situation still made him bitter. Steve would rather have that being the reason for his apparent disappointment, rather than him not thinking him and Evie should be together.

Steve was pushed from his thoughts as another car pulled up the driveway. It was a 1965 red mustang, and by the looks of it something, or rather someone, had done a number on it. Both of the front head lights had been broken in, the front bumper had many dents in it, and the side body of the car had been scratched up and banged in very badly. Steve could see another mustang drive up behind the first one, that one being in perfect shape. There were three boys in the front one, and two in the second. He tossed his cigarette to the side and stood up, just knowing his luck that there was going to be trouble.

A tall blonde boy got out of the driver seat of the red mustang and he had a deep frown etched in his features. He had a curly Beatles' cut, and wore a yellow cotton t-shirt, and white flood pants. The two boys that rode in the car with him were both shorter than the first boy. One had straight naturally red hair, and the other had straight blonde. Both boys wore flannel sweater vests and matching flood pants of the first boy. The boys from the second car looked to be in the exact same group; same bowl cuts, same silly pants, and same angry looks. Steve folded his arms over his chest and waited for them to start.

"I need my car fixed, grease!" Steve nodded his head and got another glance at the car. He turned and looked over his shoulder; there were three other cars that needed to be looked at in the garage, but they all came from north end homes. He knew which car was priority.

"What seems to be the problem with it?" Steve kept his cool and his face straight.

"Do you not see the damage?!" the other boy had his hand tangled in his hair. His anger seemed to be growing by the second.

Steve nodded his head. "Any internal damage, or is it just body work?"

The boy seemed to back off a bit and sighed. "It drove here just fine."

Steve nodded and made his way towards the car to survey the damage. As he got closer to the side, he noticed that the scratches were a lot worse up close than they were from in the garage. He walked around to the back and noticed a large crack in the back windshield, as well as some spray painted profanity on the back hood. Steve bit his lip and made his way back towards the apparent owner of the car. "I can start it tonight, but it probably won't be finished until tomorrow or the next day."

The soc boy seethed with anger. "Are you sure there isn't any more than that you can do?"

Steve shook his head instantly. "No, I have to do some painting, I have to replace the back windshield, the front bumper, and I am gonna have to pull some of those dents out of your doors. I'll put it first priority, but it needs quite a bit of work."

The other boy sighed dejectedly. "Fine, how much is this gonna cost me, grease?"

Steve inwardly cringed at the name, but kept his cool. "Hard to say. I won't be able to let ya know until I have all the work done. Probably at least one hundred dollars."

The boy outwardly cringed. "You know, I'm damn sick of these games." Steve's eyebrows rose at the boy's sudden outburst. The boy looked at him angrily. "You know if it weren't for the trashy greasers around this town then I wouldn't have to worry about my property being damaged! This is bullshit!"

Another boy behind him laughed and stared at Steve. "Why don't you boys ever find anythin' better to do than lift hub caps and damage nice cars that you will never have?"

Steve glared at him. "You coulda taken your business elsewhere, fellas."

The first boy scoffed. "No, you guys have the best workers and cheapest prices, so we come here." He kicked at the ground grudgingly again. "I still don't see why, its not like your kind are very smart."

Steve clenched his fists at his side. "And just what makes ya think it was a grease who did it?"

The boys all scoffed at him, which made Steve's blood boil. "We caught them in the act, dim wit! Little cowards went off runnin' into the night. But if I see those boys again, there's goin' to be some mighty fine trouble!"

Steve sighed, tired of the ongoing criticism. "Okay, well ya just leave the car here with me and I'll see to it that it gets fixed."

The other boys just watched him momentarily. Steve noticed over his shoulder as another car pulled up - an unfortunately familiar car. Steve made no move to make the fact obvious and watched the other boy for his response. The curly haired blonde nodded his head. "I'm sure you'll do an exceptional job."

Steve watched behind the boys shoulder as Ray and his gang got out of the blue Chevy. He directed his girlfriend, who Steve knew as Christine, and her younger brother, Pete, into the shop where he knew that Sodapop was. If Ray showing up with socs was bad enough, he had to send his girlfriend in there with Soda. Steve rolled his eyes as he watched Ray and the two older brothers approach the socs from behind.

The blonde soc finally noticed Steve staring off over his shoulder and made a move to turn around. His friends followed in his lead, and as soon as the leader soc caught wind of Ray, an angry snarl spread over his features. Steve sighed, getting a clue.

"YOU!" He pointed his finger in Ray's direction and stepped forward. Ray for his part just had a wolfish grin on his face and raised his hands in mock surrender.

"Me? What on earth would ya want with me, cowboy?"

"You fucked around with my car! You and your buddies!" The blonde boy had his fists clenched at his sides, and was so angry that he didn't appear to be scared of Ray at all - which was a feat.

Ray's grin faded and was replaced with an antagonizing glare. His auburn eyebrows pointed inwards at the accusation. He ran a hand through his long goatee and stared at the super soc in front of him. "Is that what you think, you son of a bitch?"

Steve stepped back and away from the circulating group of boys. He loved a fight just as much as the next hood did, but there was no way in hell he was going to get involved in Ray's business. Ray was an idiot and for once in his life, Steve was hoping the socs kicked his head in.

"That is exactly what I think, hood! Now I want you to fix this damage!" Steve could have laughed out right at that exclamation; the day Ray did something for someone was the day Steve called himself a soc and wore madras. Ray only reached into his pocket and pulled out a black handled switch blade, and twirled it through his fingers.

"What did you just ask me to do, wise guy?" Ray stared menacingly at him. A few of the other soc boys had seemed to back behind their leader, as Ray's two brutes stepped next to theirs. Discounting himself, Steve noted that the greasers were two men down. The socs would be able to take them easily if they had a blade of some sort too.

But it didn't look as though these boys were going to take Ray's shit anymore.

The leader of the socs reached into his back pocket and pulled out a small heater. Steve's heart rate began to speed up. Ray and his boys took a few steps back, but for the most part held their ground. Steve hated guns. Since the day he saw his good friend shot down in the park by a whole army of them, Steve got chills every time he saw one since.

"I asked you to do something about my car, you greasy piece of shit!" The leader seethed. He had a crazed look in his eyes and was beginning to sweat. Steve could tell that the boy - who looked either the same age as him or younger - had never dealt with heaters before. But maybe this boy was sick and tired of the ongoing class wars and finally snapped. Whatever the case, the situation wasn't going to turn out very good.

"What the fuck you want me to do, boy? Pull some money out of my asshole? I ain't got shit and I don't owe you shit!" Ray screamed back at the boy, and kept a tight grip on his handle.

"I want my car fixed!" The boy screamed over all of the noise. Steve just stood back from the hold up, off to the side and in between both groups, with his hands in the air.

"Well I can't do that for you!" Ray replied angrily.

"You did it! I saw you! You and your monkey clan!" The soc retorted. "And I'm not going to put up with you anymore!"

Steve swallowed hard and watched as the boy raised the gun up in the air. He put his hands over his ears and watched - almost as if in slow motion - as Ray jumped forward and knocked the gun off to the side. Unfortunately, at the same time, the trigger was pulled. Steve heard the bang and instantly hit the ground.

The only thing he heard after that were screams.

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