In spite of the itchy hay, Bell had slept soundly and peacefully until the crow of a rooster had coaxed her awake. Her eyes fluttered as she fought with her conscience to stay asleep.
She felt something stir beneath her, and her conscience had won out. Her eyes gradually opened. She stretched out her body. Mid yawn, she realized what was stirring beneath her.
Bell's head was nestled in the crook of Justin's shoulder, and her leg was carelessly draped over his thigh. She gasped, at the intimacy and her body's own reaction to it.
Bell awkwardly tried to climb over him. She had no choice as she was backed up against the barn wall. She only wished she could simply roll off of him, and escape the embarrassment. As she straddled him, in attempt to climb over to the other side, his eyes shot open. "Hey..er" Before Justin could trip over anymore words, the heavy door slid open, drowning them in sunlight.
"What do we have here?" A crackly old voice questioned. An aged, and nearly toothless man stood in the threshold. Bell froze, and Justin tensed beneath her.
The man spotted them on the hay bed upon entering urge barn. Bell felt her cheeks get warm."This aint no damn whore house! Go on, get! Before I summon the authorities."
Quickly, they scrambled out of the barn and took off towards what seemed like a city, in the far distance.
Bell didn't talk, or issue any conversation for a couple miles, which meant it was a very quiet and tension filled journey. Halfway there, Justin broke the silence. "What's a whore?"
Bell sighed. "I have no idea."
Justin scratched his chin, thoughtfully. "Whore.... whore house," he recited. "Lodgings perhaps?"
Bell nodded her head, glad that some of the awkward tension was dissipating. She no longer felt an odd clenching sensation in her stomach. "Yeah, that's probably what it is."
He reached for her hand, and have it a reassuring squeeze. "Tonight, we'll find a proper whore house?"
Before Bell could reply, something on one of the passing trees caught her eye. Wanted, it read. Beneath the word, was a sketching of two refugees. Bell did a double take, when she saw who. She ripped the paper down.
"What is it?" Justin demanded.
"It's us. They're offering a reward for us!"
-"We have to hide!"
Bell shook her head. "No J, we have to run. Far, far away from here!"
Justin blanched. "We don't know our way around here, we wouldn't get far."
"We'll find someone who does. We're sitting ducks J! The only way I got out of the institute was because Belikov's birds turned on him. Sheer luck," Bell disputed.
Justin shook his head slowly. "It wasn't just luck. You made an ally out of the birds. You spared their lives when Belikov wanted you to destroy them. They were merely returning the favor."
Bell's arm began to throb at the reminder of her escape. "What do you suggest we do?"
"Spare a life," he replied.
Bell sighed in frustration. "Where are you going with this? In order for a life to be spared, it must be threatened first."
Justin glanced at his mechanic arm. "It has to be someone powerful, someone with influence."
Bell shook her head in confusion. It wasn't until Justin flexed his mechanic fingers, that Bell began to understand. "You are going to threaten someone's life? You're going to harm someone? You?"
"You'll heal them right away, they'll be in your debt."
Bell shook her head. "And then what happens when they realize it was you who hurt them?"
"They won't ever see me coming," he assured.
-"No, we can't risk it."
"If not we're, how did you put it; sitting ducks?" He reiterated.
Bell studied his face, to see any traces of madness sweeping over him. Unfortunately, he was still completely sane, still completely serious.