Some time later, I was outside and my paranoia had caught up to me. I felt alone again despite all that'd happened within the last few days. It was like I was dealing with this myself and I couldn't do anything about it. I walked around let my thoughts continue to eat away at me. It almost came to a point where I wasn't sure if I wanted to go back.
The second I felt someone's eyes on me, I picked up my pace and looked for a place to hide. Several people surrounded me and I already knew it was too late to do so. I normally wasn't this careless.
“You're one of them.” One of the men said angrily.
I didn't reply and kept looking for a way to escape.
“You're going to pay for what your leader did to us!” He drew a gun and the others did the same.
They came in closer and I'd be lying if I said I didn't see my life flash before me. The second I heard them load their firearms, I shut my eyes and a indescribable noise came from above moments later. They cried out of agony and I heard them run around in a panic.
When I opened my eyes, I saw them dead in front of me other than one of them which was being held against the wall by his throat.
“This is the end of you.” Black said in a threatening tone.
“We regret nothing!”
“You fuck with one of us, you fuck with all of us.” Her voice trailed off as she slid the blade across his throat.
I forced myself to look away as she stabbed him several more times. It was obvious that she was quite pissed off for some reason. She caught my attention when she walked up to me with the blade still in her hand. I backed away out of fear.
“You went off alone.” She stated.
“Uhh...was I not supposed to?”
“Hell no! You've found out why.” There was blood on her face which only added to my fear.
Black backed away unimpressed.
“Don't fucking go off on your own again, understand?”
“Then why did you?”
“Because I can handle myself just fine. You're nothing but prey in their eyes.”
“Yeah, well...sometimes I just need to be by myself.”
“Don't we all?” She replied quietly.
“What am I supposed to do, then?”
She sighed and put the blade away.
“At least let me come with you next time.”
“You're not going to...do that weird stuff again, are you?”
“I dunno what you're talking about, Freshmeat.” She looked away.
“Right. I guess it's better that way.”
“Anyway, what's on your mind?”
“I...just...feel alone...” I didn't want to stare at the people on the ground anymore, so I started to walk out onto the street.
“Even with us around?” She fallowed close behind.
“Yeah...you probably don't understand...”
“I do somewhat. We all came from somewhere, don't forget.”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“You're not alone, alright?” Black walked up beside me and put a hand on my shoulder.
“It's going to take some time for me to believe that.”
“I know.” She was now looking into my eyes with a serious expression.
“Oh. You...got shot..?” I said, just noticing the wound on her shoulder.
“How can you not be bothered by this?!” I took out a cloth and tried to apply pressure to the wound.
“Hey, c'mon. I'm just fine, miss. Been through worse. Besides, it didn't really go in, just grazed the skin it looks like.”
“Still, you can't leave an injury alone like this.” I wrapped it around her arm and hoped that it would stay that way.
“Eh, sorry. My head's kind of messed up. Seems to get that way after I use that blade for too long. Gets exhausting, really...”
“I wonder why?” I asked, now oddly curious.
“If you must know, it works in a way that nulls the effect of the weights.”
“The weights act as sort of a limiter to what I can do, you know? They're there for a reason, Freshmeat. So I can control myself somewhat. With them gone, all of that goes out the window.”
“So...how strong are you, really?”
“Enough to save your ass.” She replied bluntly.
“Accurate then, I guess. Um...well...how did you get that way?”
There was a dark look in her eyes for a moment which was replaced by a pain I couldn't even imagine.
“I don't really want to talk about it. All I'll say is that some people who survive aren't always the ones who should.”
“Okay? Sorry for leaving like that...I won't do it again.”
“Thanks. One less thing for me to worry about.”
“You were worried about me?”
“Yeah, you and anyone who decides to just up and take off. Most of the time, I'm too late. I'm glad I wasn't with you.”
“I'd have no idea how to escape from them...”
“Not really possible if your only weapon has three bullets.”
“Plus, I don't know how good of a shot I am, either.”
“I don't recall you being that awful, but you could use some training.”
“I don't really like to kill, though...”
“Who said anything about that? In a life or death situation, the only thing that matters is yourself and your own survival. I, myself, prefer to deal with my enemies up close where it's all personal and shit. I guess I can see why you wouldn't want it that way.”
“Yeah, definitely not.”
“Hawk could teach you a thing or two about using that sort of weapon if you're interested. We talked some things over and we're thinking of having you as a strategist of some sort. It is more of an essential role and not one we usually pass onto those who'd just joined us, but we can't afford to be wasting talents here.” Black said as she walked beside me.
“You really think I can do that?”
“Might as well give it a shot. We did succeed last night mostly because of your planning, after all. Usually, we just go all in and hope for the best. Doesn't always end well.”
“I can imagine.”
She said nothing else and things were quiet between us for a few moments. The air was thick with tension despite this, though.
“Sorry about earlier.” Black finally said.
“Uh, yeah. What was that?”
“Me being an idiot. I don't often think things through, as you can probably tell.”
“Oh. Well good thing you have Hawk there with you, huh?”
“Yeah, seriously. She does tend to overdo it, herself, in a way.”
“What were your names before all of this?” I asked, doubting that she'd answer in a way I'd appreciate.
“Haha, no. Nice try, though.” She said, oddly amused.
“Ah, was worth a shot.” I shrugged.
“Like I said, you are an amusing one, Freshmeat.”
“When will I stop being called that...?”
“I dunno, I quite like it.” Black grinned in a way that I wasn't impressed with.
“Please no.” I frowned.
“Fine, your highness. I'll come up with another name for you, alright?”
“So, are you going to come back?”
“Yeah, I will.”
“Damn right, Freshmeat. Don't worry, we'll keep you safe.” There was a kind disposition I could see in her eyes. One I was sure didn't surface often.
I nodded and said nothing more. We walked back to that place in silence, but she was close beside me and I had to distance myself a few times. I doubted she noticed at all. Black seemed to be focused on her own thoughts.
When we arrived back the place I now considered a home, she was given strange looks by others, including Hawk. The two went somewhere in the back and I could only assume what they'd talk about. I went back to the room where I slept before, but I wasn't really tired. Hawk came into the room moments later.
“Where did you two go? Black won't tell me.” She asked irritably.
“I went off by myself...she saved my life.”
Hawk just stared.
“Ah, shit.” She sighed and rubbed her forehead as if she had a headache.
“Uh, what's wrong?”
“I think she's trying to win you over, miss.”
“Still?” I looked through some of the books so I'd look less nervous.
“Our leader is very persistent.”
“What am I supposed to do about it?”
“Just ignore it for now, I guess.”
“But, what if...uhh...” I fidgeted nervously.
“Huh? Wait, you're not serious.”
“What if I do eventually...you know...feel something for her? Has she, uh...ever been with anyone?”
Hawk stared at me again.
“She's right. You ask a lot of questions. Too many for your own good.” She sighed and walked up to the door.
“Don't tell her I said anything, please...”
“Give me a reason not to.”
“Please don't...” I frowned.
“I'm sure she already knows. I don't really agree with our leader being distracted, but she's been under a lot of stress lately.”
“So it doesn't bother you?”
“Sorta, but if anything does happen, just please think it through first.”
“Don't worry, I will...”
“And if you hurt her in any way, it'll be the last thing you do.” Hawk gave me one last hard stare before leaving.