“So, what do you want to do?” she asked enthusiastically.
“I don’t know.”
“What do you usually do?” she inquired.
“Sit in the lab, marksman training, that’s about it, really.”
“Have you never been outside?” she asked. I shook my head. “Do they not utilise your abilities to their advantage? Assassin, mercenary, scientist?”
“Oh. I’m an assassin, Ben’s a mercenary and Liam’s both. I’m quite surprised they haven’t used you; you’re amazing.”
“Hardly,” I scoffed. “But what about Rider and Vance? What do they do?”
“As he said, Rider was in prison up until about a year ago. He was released after persuading the Pentagon to free him to stop his brother from committing mass murder. They didn’t imprison him again afterwards and said he was free, though everybody knows the very close eye they keep on him. He mainly stays at his house in LA.”
“What about Vance?”
“Well, Vance is an... interesting character, certainly. He’s done a lot of things.”
The rattling, chilling voice came from nowhere. “Infanticide, neonaticide, androcide, femicide, urbicide, capital punishment, assassination, lust murder, among other things. Does that answer your question?” the horrible voice asked, chuckling quietly.
“Shut up, Vance. Leave her alone,” Dusty murmured, trying not to draw attention to us.
“Oh, Dusty...” the voice said. “So clueless, so helpless, so... beautiful.” It laughed at her.
“Why what?” The voice was genuinely confused by her question.
“Why me? Why is it me you do this to?”
“Because it’s fun. But I have a new toy now, oh, yes indeed.”
I felt something brush my cheek and flinched. The voice – which I didn’t want to accept as Vance – laughed at my movement. The sinister chuckle faded, as if he was leaving. I was shocked into silence.
“Vance can be very persistent, so just be careful when you’re alone. It’s not him though, not really. Vance is very sweet, and is ultimately a people-pleaser, especially girls. He’ll do his utmost to get your affections and keep them. But ‘Vance’ is a horrible person. He takes over the real Vance in times of anger, or just whenever Vance needs to fight, or wants to show his other side, which isn’t very often, thankfully. Though Rider does make him very angry about his past.”
I just nodded slightly, still stunned by my encounter with the other side of Vance. Dusty didn’t say anything, just letting me take it all in. We’d been walking aimlessly, though we eventually came back to where we started.
Liam and Ben were sat on one of the sofas, talking quietly. Vance was nowhere to be seen – which I was extremely grateful for at that particular moment. I noticed that Rider was sat in the corner of the room, deep in thought. After hearing a whining noise, Rider shushed whatever it was. He didn’t notice us come in. Dusty sat next to Ben and I beside Liam.