for the following reasons:
1. since it never made it close to being in a final draft, this scene itself is still a very rough draft.
2. this basically follows the whole Dillon subplot from the other deleted scene and so it might not make a lot of sense.
3. and I’m probably too lazy to explain it
4. my editors (wisely) pointed out that it didn’t fit and, therefore, it totally belonged on the cutting room floor.
5. it has so much Zach-based testosterone your heads might explode.
6. And I just don’t think I could have the smartest/prettiest/funniest/and most spy-like teen and pre-teen heads in the country exploding! Seriously! There is no way I could live with that on my conscience!!!
But I’m going to post it anyway.
Here’s the setup: originally, Dillon was going to be in CMH and he was going to play the same basic role he played in LYKY: cocky, prejudiced bad guy.
And if you thought Dillon hated having prep school girls in his town, well, you can pretty much guess what he thought about prep school BOYS.
“What do you want, Dillon?” I said.
“I want you and your snotty little friends out of my town and out of my sight.”
I threw my hands out to my side. “That it?” I took a step, needing my walls–not to keep me safe but to keep me hidden in a way I hadn’t been since Josh had first seen me.
I felt my hands to into fists, heard my slow voice as I said, “Leave me alone, Dillon.” But I thought give me a reason.
But Dillon wasn’t backing down; he didn’t take the hint. I was just a girl he hated; someone he had four inches and sixty pounds on; he could be tough with me—be strong—or whatever the definition of strong that people like Dillon have to use in order to make themselves feel worthwhile.
“You’re not so hot now, are you, Gallagher Girl?” he leered, pacing around me, stepping closer and closer until I had to turn to follow him and I felt like I was riding the merry-go-round that was only twenty feet away.
“You’re gonna leave my friend alone,” Dillon said, and I knew he didn’t think it was a question.
“Josh can make up his own mind.”
“You got a real smart mouth, you know that? Maybe someday someone’s gonna wash that smart mouth out. Maybe—“
“Is there a problem here?” a voice came from the shadows. Dillon spun to see the boy who stepped into the park, but I didn’t have to turn around. “Hey, were you guys gonna use the slide or do you mind if I go?” Zach said.
Zach reached for me. I felt his hand slide down my wrist and into my hand that had become a fist without my knowledge.
“Yeah, I was just telling your girlfriend to stay away from my buddies,” Dillon said.
I expected Zach to make some kind of smart comment about the girlfriend remark, but instead he just smirked at me and said, “Leave the nice boy’s friends alone, sweetheart.”
Then Zach turned around; he started away.
And I felt the punch before it landed.
Call it women’s tuition or P&E; training or just really, really good instincts, but I knew to duck. And spin. And take two steps back before Dillon could pull his beefy arm back again.
And then I noticed something weird. Something scary. Something that I didn’t know if I could understand flooded into my brain as I realize that the fist wasn’t pointed at me.
I turned to the boy beside me. My hand was suddenly cold as I realized that Zach was no longer holding it. Instead, he was lying on the ground, Dillon standing over him.
“Cammie,” Zach said, holding a hand out, freezing me in that place and time and it was the look in his eye even more than his words that told me, “Don’t.”
And then something strange occurred to me: Zach must have felt the punch coming, too. Zach must have known to duck.
But he didn’t.
And then I knew that being a spy isn’t really about knowing how to throw punches; sometimes it’s about knowing when to take them.
Dillon was looking down, taunting as he kicked Zach once in the side.
Zach who was highly trained.
Zach who was highly skilled.
Zach who could have flattened a punk like Dillon with both hands tied behind his back…
Was lying there. Bleeding. And acting like the rich, spoiled, privileged boy that any boy temporarily enrolled at the
“Yeah!” Dillon snapped as if he was so tough. As if Anna Fetterman couldn’t have put him in a full body cast with her new mastery of the ____ maneuver. “I thought you were all talk,” Dillon spat back as he turned and slowly walked away.
“Zach, you idiot,” I told the boy on the ground as soon Dillon was out of earshot. “I’m gonna—“ I started then turned to where Dillon was disappearing, but Zach grabbed my hand.
He looked up at me and said, “You know that I know you can handle yourself, right?” He looked at me as if he genuinely cared about the answer, so I nodded my head dumbly and said, “Yeah.”
I sank to the curb beside him, tu
rned his face so I could see the coming bruise, but he pulled away and turned to face me.
“You know I just couldn’t have him showing up at the county hospital telling the cops about some hundred pound girl kicked his butt?”
“Yeah,” I said. “Stop fidgeting.” I held his shoulder, gingerly touched a growing bruise.
“You know I’ve been hit harder?”
And then I couldn’t help myself, I laughed a little. “Of course.”
“You know there are worse ways to hurt a person?” He was right and we both knew the answer had nothing to do with banned interrogation tactics and the Geneva Convention. There are worse ways, and Zach and I had already lived through enough of them to last a lifetime.
“You’re bleeding,” I said, rubbing his temple with my sleeve.
“It’s not so bad. He…”
“What? Hits like a girl?” I guessed, thinking it was funny, needing to laugh, to do anything to make one of us look away, but instead Zach didn’t laugh, didn’t blink, he just stared harder and said, “Not the girls I know.”
Aside from the creaking swings that swayed in the soft breeze the world was quiet and still. Josh and I had come to that park; he’d told me stories and I’d told him lies, and like it or not those lies had brought me to that park again, another boy’s blood on my sleeve.
For the whole walk back to school we didn’t say a word.
And for the first time, I didn’t mind.