“It’s kind of gross, when you think about it,” Michael whispered, squatting beside him.
“I think it’s cool,” Kynan replied. “He used to be my favorite saint.”
“What? He’s the love saint, dude. All the romance and mushy crap. What’s cool about him?”
“I don’t know. He defied the Roman emperor. He helped the Christians and performed marriages even though it was illegal. I think he had guts.”
“You think that’s what’s in the box?” Michael chuckled at his own joke. “His guts?”
Kynan laughed too.
Behind him he heard a revolted snort. Brianna stood there with that look again. “You guys are so disgusting,” she muttered and rolled her eyes.
Kynan tossed a glance around. Brianna’s annoying friends weren’t with her. “You lose your stupid friends?” he asked.
“No, Braindead. They’re still by Our Lady of Lourdes.”
“You following us or something?” Michael prodded.
“As if. I just like Saint Valentine. Not my fault you two are a couple of freaks and came over here first.”
“We are not!” Michael protested, taking a step away from Kynan. He was getting red in the face, and with his bright orange hair, it made him almost glow when he got mad.
“Come on, Mike, she’s just trying to get under your skin. Ignore her. She’s dumb,” Kynan said, making an attempt to calm him down.
Brianna frowned at Kynan. “Are you guys gonna hog the shrine all day?”
“Maybe,” Michael snapped.
“Just scoot over, Mike,” Kynan told him. “She can look.”
The three stood quietly for a moment, until Michael elbowed Kynan in the ribs and pulled his hand out of his school bag revealing a handful of snappers. “You wanna?”
“I thought you didn’t want to get in trouble,” Kynan whispered.
“You were right. Nobody will know it’s us – besides, we can blame it on Brianna,” Michael coaxed with a wicked grin. Kynan regarded the noisemakers for a moment. This was a church, after all. But on the other hand, snappers at Saint Valentine’s shrine seemed like the perfect revenge for his parents’ divorce.
Another surge of indignation threw his stomach into an uproar. He reached out and grasped several of the small white poppers, then smiled surreptitiously, lifting one eyebrow at his friend.
They both took a step behind Brianna and held up their contraband in full readiness to flick them with a finger right behind her. When out of the corner of his eye, Kynan caught sight of a priest moving towards them in full robes. He grabbed Michael’s elbow and nodded in the direction of the approaching father. Both boys instantly slipped their hands into their pockets and eyed him. The priest seemed to be coming straight for them, and he seemed to be on a mission.Kynan knew they had been caught.