“Maybe if you tell me the things you like, it will help me narrow down where we should go. It’s not the biggest city, but there’s still plenty to see,” Danny explained as they walked out of a rustic brick building that housed one of the local diners. Jax was carefully tucking a box of pastries in his backpack, alternately bemoaning all the extra workout hours he’d have to put in, and praising how good they’d looked and smelled.
Danny laughed and studied Jax intently. “I seriously think you need to stop worrying so much about a few snacks. You’re in amazing shape.”
“And I fully plan to keep it that way.”
Something about the way he said it gave Danny a moment of pause, but he didn’t know Jax well enough to comment, at least not yet, but in the short time that they’d known one another, it struck Danny as odd how body obsesses Jax got whenever sugar and desserts were involved.
“So, you never answered my question,” Danny remarked. “What do you like.”
Jax sucked in a breath and paused to lean against a building, his eyes skimming the block. “Truth is, I don’t do much. I like to wander around, go for walks and shit. I like fast rides, love amusement parks, especially the roller coasters. I swim, though I doubt I’ll find an outdoor pull around here, though if you know of a good indoor one that can help too. I used to play a lot of hockey, so if you know of a skating rink that would be great too.”
“If you like amusement parks we should go to Adventureland before the season ends, their coasters are killer.”
A slow smile spread across Jax’s face. “Definitely. You’ll have to show me which one is your favorite, the faster the better.”
“How about next weekend?”
“Perfect.” Jax replied and the way he drew out the first part of the word like an overly content cat sent a shiver down Danny’s spine.
“There’s a public skating rink, I’m not sure where exactly, but I now a few people who go sometime.”
“What about you?”
Danny shook his head and held out in his hands in front of him as if trying to ward off the entire idea. “I can do without a broken ankle, thanks.”
“It’s not so hard, once you get the hang of it. Just picture rollerblading but with ice.”
“And I don’t rollerblade either, the whole idea of strapping wheels to my feet just doesn’t hold any appeal.”
“Hmmm,” Jax said thoughtfully. “Where do you usually go to unwind?”
“Comedy theater,” Danny replied immediately, “And paintball, well, I used to play paintball, haven’t in a while.”
“I’ve never played,” Jax admitted. “Always wanted to, never found the time.”
“Then that’s something else we’ll have to do some time,” Danny suggested. “They’ll be packed as hell today. It’s an indoor place.”
“If you got comedy theater, you’ve got to have murder mystery nights too, right?”
“Oh yeah, they have a murder mystery dinner every Friday and Saturday night over on 12th street.”
“Figures,” Jax grumbled. “Those are my busiest nights of the week.”
Danny sighed and shuffled from one foot to the other, his hands shoved deep into his pockets. The idea of showing jax around had been exciting at first, but now he was starting to wonder they would ever get off the block.
“So what would a typical Saturday be like, if you were going out on your own?”
Danny licked his bottom lip, reluctant to share what he was certain would be a boring string of stops to someone like Jax.
“Well, we already covered breakfast,” Danny began hesitantly. “It’s almost nine and the new ice age exhibit opened last week at the museum. I haven’t seen it yet, so I’d head in that direction. Along the way I’d stop at this amazing indy bookstore and picky up a few things.”
One glance at Jax and Danny noticed that his eyes had lit up and he was practically bouncing on the balls of his feet like a little kid.
“Ice age exhibit?
“Yup. Iowa apparently had all kinds of animals here once. American Camel, cave bear, sabretooth cats, bison, ancient horses, sloths, mastodons, they’ve been finding tusks and skulls and all kinds of teeth in the creeks and old farm properties.”
“Yeah. They’ve even put together a mobile exhibit. I hear its all pretty cool,” Danny said.
“Sounds that way. I’d like to see it, I mean since you were gonna go check it out sometime anyway we might as well check it out together, and that bookstore you were talking about.”
Danny’s mouth fell open a little as he tried to make sense of Jax’s words. “Really?”
“Yeah. Why, what’s wrong, why are you staring at me that way?”
“I just never took you for the museum sort.”
“Your….” Danny’s words trailed away and instead he gestured towards Jax, clearly searching for a way to describe him and scowling when Jax began to laugh.
“What’s so funny?” Danny asked indignantly.
“You know what they say about assumptions,” Jax chuckled. “Now come on Mr. Tour guide and lead the way.”