Exclusive Excerpt from Survivor
by TM Smith
“Thanks, Mack.” Frank took the sack from the cashier at his and Caleb’s favorite sandwich shop, backing into the door to push it open, hands full with the bag and two Styrofoam cups of sweet tea. Caleb laid on the horn, sticking his head out the window and hollering for Frank to hurry the fuck up before he shriveled up like a raisin from sheer starvation. He’d roll his eyes at the man-child behind the steering wheel of the Dodge Charger police cruiser they drove, but it would be a waste. He was wearing aviators, so the visual would be lost on his partner anyway.
He was thankful Caleb took the initiative to lean across the front seat and shove the passenger’s side door open for him to climb in. Trying to juggle a bag of sandwiches and two cups and open the door, something was likely to get dropped and that something would be Caleb’s, not his. His partner took both cups, waiting for Frank to climb in and close his door before handing one back to him. “Smells wonderful. Now give, I’m dying over here.” Caleb snapped his fingers and Frank fought the urge to smack his hand.
He settled for a verbal backlash instead. “Man, chill the fuck out. Seriously, Caleb, I know Justine feeds you.” He pulled the sandwiches out and shoved the one with a C written on it at Caleb. “Besides, you’re getting a little spare tire around the middle there, partner. Maybe you should get a salad next time, cut back on the carbs,” Frank teased.
“Fuck off,” Caleb responded, the words sounding garbled around a mouth full of Philly cheesesteak with extra cheese and extra steak. Frank unwrapped the top half of his meatball sub and took a bite, groaning at how good the mixture of sauce and spices tasted. “Mack said to remind you that there is no such thing as extra meat and extra cheese; next time he’s charging you for two sandwiches.”
Caleb scoffed, taking a drink of his tea before giving Frank the side eye. “And you can tell Mack that if he even thinks about charging me double, I’ll have the health inspector in there so fast, his head will spin.”
Frank laughed, shaking his head and concentrating on the sandwich in his hand. This was their usual routine when they were on nights. They’d get dinner at Mack’s sandwich shop, same sandwiches every time, and Mack generally had the food prepared and in the bag when Frank arrived to place their order.
“You done?” Caleb asked and Frank nodded. He stuffed the empty wrappers and wadded up napkins into the bag before rolling down his window and dropping it into the trash can on the curb as they left the restaurant parking lot and merged into traffic on Preston road.
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