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just a picture of a cloud
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Aiden was pallid at the best of times, but as Johnny stepped back, he saw that the boy's pale face now looked downright ghostly.

Despite all his bluster, Johnny had always found Aiden to be of what might be called a sensitive temperament, and insofar as anyone was suited for this shitshow, the young Mr. Slattery certainly was not. Frankly, Johnny was surprised the boy was keeping it together at all.

He looked into his friend's eyes; they looked perfectly normal.

Johnny hadn't paid a lot of attention to Scarlet, upon meeting the pair - he didn't know her, and as long as she wasn't trouble he didn't care about her - but now he turned his thoughts to the girl. Was this who Aiden'd fucked, the one he just wanted to stay friends with? Feminine attention conveyed all sorts of courage, but Johnny didn't see it happening. The girl was ten million miles out of Aiden's league.

He drew out is cigarettes, taking one for himself and then offering the pack to Aiden. It was his last pack, maybe ever, and their number was limited, but nevertheless Johnny was sure it was the right thing to do.

Every condemned man should be offered a final smoke, after all.


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