"Oh, fancy seeing you here Stace!" said Teeney, hiding her shopping bags from Stacie and Brent so they wouldn't get a peak at their Christmas gifts.
"Hey girl!" smiled Stacie who was holding a few bags herself standing next to Brent, Honeycomb and Skyden. "What are you guys doing here?"
"Shopping, duh!" said Lebron in a sarcastic voice, mocking Teeney's admiration for materialism in a subtle way. They all laughed, as Honeycomb chimed in,
"Nothing wrong with shopping!" as he twirled his multitude of bags with his left caudal fin.
Honeycomb, their new friend they met in Anaya wasn't a doubletail. He was a beautiful bright yellow veiltail with flowing, silky fins. He had been rescued by the Anayan's before they left the war, as he was a prisoner of Doclo since they expected "brown nosing" from him, which wasn't true. Back in Doclo, before the war that changed every betta's life, he was an aquatic interior designer. He designed extravagent rooms, such as the twenty story, sleek black castle interior of the Doclo kingdom. He was known for his chic yet masculine designs that set the stage for luxury and class.
After the group finished chit-chatting, they parted seperate ways and promised to meet back at the Dasen's house later tonight. The Dasens were the nice family that took Teeney, Lebron, Brent, Stacie and Skyden in when they first got here. They are the second most wealthy family in Anaya; behind the king and queen, and live in a four story, nine bedroom and ten bathroom tank. The family is known for their parties; they throw one for just about every holiday, but, being the Christmas capital of betta's that Anaya is, their Christmas party is always the best. Brent especially couldn't wait to see the party, he loved Christmas. The twinkling lights, the sweet treats, the red and green cheer, the decor.. It was magic to him.
"Honeycomb, will you help me pick out something for the party this weekend?" said Brent, looking through racks of hats and ties at the mens boutique they were in called Mikal, a sophisticated designer brand.
"All of this stuff is really expensive!" said Honeycomb, holding up a red fedora with a price tag of $200. Although he did once live large in Doclo, that was a dream from the past now after the months he spent in a large, dark prison tank.
"I know.. But every once in a while it doesn't hurt to spoil yourself!" smiled Brent, holding up his wallet that he had tucked in his gills. It was a Mikal's wallet too, filled with cash that the Dasen's gave him to treat him self to today. "Come on.. I'll buy you one too!" he said, throwing a green scarf at Honeycomb who caught it and smiled.
"Thanks, I'll pay you back." he said, looking embarrassed to have someone pay for him. Although he couldn't afford anything right now, he knew that his business life was NOT over. He would start up an interior design company in Anaya too; but when his "vacation" is done. After all, wouldn't you take a few months off after being locked up for a crime you didn't commit?
They both picked out a hat and a scarf, Brent's was a red fedora and a white scarf, while Honeycomb's was a dark green fedora and a dark green and white striped scarf. Honeycomb ended up insisting on at least paying for his hat, which was $160. He lived in his own apartment, a small but functional one bedroom studio tank. He wasn't poor; he just didn't have the luxury of living with the Dasen's.
"Wanna call up the rest of the gang to hang out at the Corner?" said Honeycomb, referring to the diner at the corner of town.
"Sure, I'll call them." Replied Brent as Honeycomb smiled and nodded, swimming towards the restaurant. After Brent made all the calls, they were almost there.
They sat at the blue six-seater booth in the back of the restaraunt near the pellet ball machine and browsed through the menu.
"Ooh, this looks good." said Brent, pointing at the fried bloodworm pasta dish as Teeney and Lebron walked up to the table. "What looks good?" smerked Lebron, sarcastic as ever.
"Obviously not you.." said Brent, smiling. He loved Lebrons sense of humor, he hadn't seen anyone else like that before.
After about ten minutes of small talk, the group wondered where Stacie and Skyden where. Skyden sounded fine when Brent talked to him on the phone a few minutes earlier; where could they be now?
"Try callin again." said Honeycomb, taking a bite of his pellet soup. The four decided to order; they were all starving and where happy the food came fast.
"Fine." said Lebron as all of the others looked at him to out of their laziness.
Lebron pulled out his phone from his gills and dialed Stacie's number while chowing down his meal. When she answered, he said
"UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUM" followed by a "where are you and pretty boy?"
She laughed and said that they were on their way, they stopped to get a gift for the Dasens party.
A few minutes later they walked in smiling as Teeney said "It's about time! We already ate!" Stacie smiled and quickly shooed the waiter over to their table, ordering a crushed bloodworm salad. Skyden ordered neon tetra fillet on toast.
It was silent while everyone ate, but not for a bad reason. This diner was famous for it's amazing food, and this food was amazing. They did, however find it bizzare that they were the only people there tonight.
To the left of them as they were paying for the bill (Stacie insisting on covering all of their orders for being so late), the chef stood behind the white marble counter, gasping into the phone loud enough for them to hear. She screamed and trembled, her hand barely gripping the phone as she says "can I tell others in the restaurant?" As she hung up, she walked to their table, them being the only group in the restaurant.
"Guys.." said the skinny, bright red doubletail chef. "The king.. His majesty.." she said "has been shot."
Stacie, Teeney, Brent and Lebron gasped at the same time, while Honeycomb and Skyden just sat there in awe with their mouths wide open.
"By who?" said Stacie, her big, green eyes wide, staring at the chef for a reply.
"Some crowntail.." she said, looking at Lebron sincerely. "They said he's from Helana, of course. Goes by the name.." she paused, trying to pronounce the name.