After a time of running through the city maze, I finally manage to tune Claras constant moaning out. Okay, so I may have been a little bit too cruel on her, but she just didn't seem to grasp the concept of: being in a war!
My mind builds up a list of arguments to yell, but somehow, the calm, rational side of me shines through by ignoring her. I know she's annoyed and even more angry about that, but when we are running for our lives, common curtiousy flies out of the window.
"Where... are we... going?" Annette asks, as they struggle behind.
I turn, so I'm facing them as I run backwards. "Can't say. Too dangerous." I look at their identically red faces and sigh. "It's not far, now. Keep up." With that, I turn once more and dash ahead, my ears searching for anybody about and matching the clip-clop of each young ladys' footwear.
Slowing down to a full stop, waiting for the girls to catch up with their extra weight of the clothes they wear and the extra possessions they have.
"Where now?" Clara asks, a slight undertone of agression in her voice. Only I notice, of course.
"Just around the corner," I breeze.
I wait until their faces cease being so... red, before I continue. "Ready?"
"Okay, then. Follow me."
I turn into the safe haven of the grotty backstreets. Walking cautiously to the grainy, black oak door, I knock the password into the wood. A woman, dressed as a man opens the door.
"Emmanuel!" she screeches, throwing herself on me, giving me a hug. I hear quiet gasps behind me as I push the woman off me. She turns to the girls, under her large, feathered hat, I see her eyes widen. "Maire!" she laughs jumping on her in the same fashion as she did me.
Annette and Clara raise their brows to each other. Marie coughs, her cheeks rosy. "Um, this is Rochelle. Rochelle, Annette and Clara," she says politly showing each with a wave of her hand.
"Bonjour, bonjour! Come in, don't be shy!" Rochelle, leads us like sheep, inside. Once in, she takes us to the main room where Victor sits, burried under a mound of old maps and letters. A half full glass of red wine perches in his left stubby hand, the bottle not far from his right.
He glances up, with his beady black eyes as we enter. He smiles at the ladies and I, standing up with his arms wide, forgetting about the wine as it slips silently away, he practically shouts, "Benivenue!" Welcome!
I bow respectfully, the girls curtsey, their head bowing, even Clara pulls it off.
Again, the man grins. "Please, sit! We have much to discusse." He looks up to Rochelle and another man that I believe to be called Richard, "Take their belongings to some spare rooms, please. Merci." he adds the latter, as they take our items and we settle down into confortable wooden chairs.