While the ladies gathered stuff, Claude kept watching all around nervously. I didn't like the place, not because of the broken dream and cheapness of it, but because of all the hiding spot that the guys after them could have used.

When they walked next to the clothing section, he turned toward Xavier "Hey kiddo, we're gettin'  you a coat..."

He looked around and the kid was nowhere in sight... He knew he had dropped his rat, but that was a minute or two ago... He should have been back.

"Shite!" She swore under his breath.

The kid's section was just around the corner so he took a baseball bat from a rack and he carried it under his arm as he split from the group. As they had to drop their weapons when they had left the forest. Only Xavier still had a switchblade.

He looked around a bit until he finally found the runaway teen. He observed him with curiosity as Xavier inspected all the racks of various stuff like it was alien to him.

"He's from the street." The French guy thought. "He's probably never really shopped for stuff..."

He followed him from the shadows of different alleys until he saw the kid gaze at the security camera, then the employees of the store and the lax security measures. He displayed a wolfish grin and Claude felt the need to intervene before the rat-boy would do something stupid.

He walked from the back and grabbed his collar.

"What are you doing?" He asked the group's youngest.

Seeing as he kept silent, he stumbled through his pocket and took out some bills.
"If you want something, you buy it. Let's not draw attention or trouble. Here's forty." He said slipping the money in the boy's hands.

The teen's expression turned into an odd mix of thankfulness, confusion and surprise.
"He probably never got help." He commented in his own head. "Let's first get you a winter coat." He said, this time aloud.

He unceremoniously dragged the kid to where the girls had last been. When the two woman gave them inquisitive looks, Tophat just shrugged saying; "He had to use the bathroom." So the kid wouldn't get shit dropped on him for ditching the others.

The End

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