Pistil went immediately for the blade he kept in his back pocket. Once a simple box cutter, now it had two blades wedged in together, both honed to a sharp point, the victim of many bored and lonely nights. Nights spent waiting for Stamen to return. Nights spent plotting to get the next thing Stamen coveted. Covered.
And now Thorn’s backpack was the vaunted prize, and nothing was going to get in his way. Pistil flipped back, blade out. Pistil reached back into the rose bushes to grab the pack from Thorn’s hand and run. With one hand, Thorn held down a thick bottom cane from the rosebush and then let it go quickly. The rose cane flew into Pistil’s face, scratching his cheeks, blood coming quickly over his lips.
Pistil lunged backwards, running around the rosebushes to catch Thorn, who was now scrambling out on the other side of the rose bushes, backpack clutched close. Tight. Pistil dove for Thorn’s feet, neatly tripping him. Grabbed for the backpack, his blade still out, still ready. Thorn would not let go and shook the backpack like a shield, evading the box cutter’s edge. They danced on the edges like this for a moment, each unsure of the next move.
“Calm the fuck down you two!” came a voice breathless on the wind behind them, gasping for air. “What the hell are you playing at—“Stamen whispered sharply. Do you want the keys to wake up? Call the brass?”
Pistil shook his head and let go of his side of the pack. Thorn kept the pack close, putting one sleeve into the strap, then the other.
“What? Baby doll, I promised I’d get it for you. I love you baby doll. I’ll get you anything you want, you know that.” Pistil sputtered a bit, wiping the blood from his face with his wrist. “Just gimme the chance.”
Stamen nodded slightly and curved her body next to his.
They turned as one to Thorn, who stood before them. “It isn’t yours to want” Thorn returned. “It’s mine. And I’m keeping it. No matter what.”