We did manage to find a place just as it turned to nightfall. It was an old crackhouse on the other side of the city. The place still reeked of drugs and filth from before the cops busted it. Luckily it wasn't a crime scene anymore, so it was inhabitable for now.
We each layed claims to rooms. Wheezer and Piper took an upstairs bedroom, Melody took what seemed to be a nursery, Tom took the living room and Oscar took the basement, leaving the master for Dusty and the hallway for me.
During the settling process though, Oscar managed to corner me into the kitchen against the wall. She looked at me for a few moments with a sly smile until i grew so irritated and scared that i just dropped all expression.
"What do you want Oscar?" i asked blankly.
"Just warning you to watch your back Ix, you might just regret this whole affair with Dusty," she said coming closer.
"i have no idea what you're talking about," i stated, trying not to show any sort of panic. She seemed to thrive on that.
"But I do," she said and hooked her finger in the waistband of my jeans, trying to tug me closer to her but gets frustrated when it doesn't work. "Trust me Ix, you better choose your battles wisely," she said and stomped off to probably come back and hassle me later.
i was very unnerved by what happened and retreated to the upstairs hallway where i was supposedly to sleep to recompose myself. i curled up against the wall trying to figure out what Oscar wanted from me apart from going away. i really hoped that whole ordeal downstairs wasn't her implying we participate in sexual actions because i was not ok with that, though it probably was exactly what she meant.
As i sat there thinking about all that, i saw Dusty come out fo her room and sit beside me. "What happened?"
i explained everything with Oscar, everything from the jeans to the 'watch your back'. Dusty sat there and listened intently. She seemed to be hiding something and finally just looked down and whispered, "She's right."
"What do you mean she's right?" i asked worriedly.
"There's a lot you don't know about me Ix. I have a history, a past I can never take back or for some instances would want to take back. I loved someone once and lost them because I was careless. Because I thought I wasn't loved. I don't want to put you through that," she said with a very melancholic tone.
i hugged her close and kissed the top of her head. "You couldn't hurt me," i said.
She looked up at me blushing very red. "Yes I could," she said and hugged me back, "I have the capacity to hurt you Ix."
"You won't though. i know you won't," i said and rested my head on her trustingly. i could hear her heart beating so quickly inside her chest.
"I care for you too much. I hope never to hurt you Ix. I...I really like you," she said with a bit of cautious hesitation to her voice.
"i like you too Dusty, i really do," i said reassuringly. There was no denying it. All those feelings i'd been ignoring weren't just warm and fuzzy feelings of friendship. It was something more. With all that complicated worry out of the way, it was easier for us to be close. She snuck me into her room and we talked late into the night about our feelings and how we just knew.
"It was just something in me when I first saw you. I knew I was to take care of you. I never realized I could feel this way again," Dusty said hugging me close, "I love you Ix."
"I love you too Dusty," i said happily hugging her back. For the first time in a long time, i meant it and i felt it reciprocated. It just felt so wonderful to fall asleep next to someone who said they loved you, despite the circumstances. With her by my side, i feared nothing. Not death, not starvation, not even Oscar.