spotto: (arisu margtrod)
[personal profile] spotto
Contrary to chapter twelve, fourteen was a chapter I had a bit of writer's block on, and at the time this was not one of my favourite chapters. But hey, things change! So ye, here is fourteen since I recently finished chapter 28, and I guess if I follow this ridiculous schedule, 15 will show up whenever I finish 30! Yay! I have a lot of big plans for 29 and 30, so it might be while until that comes, but I am speaking of the FAR FUTURE, so here's chapter fourteen fer now.


Crêpe Café was filled to the brim with customers from men and women to children and adults alike. While the lines and crowds were filled up the small restaurant, over at a table already with their food were Yang and Weiss. Yang was dressed as she usually would be dressed, wearing a low neck-line blouse underneath a brown leather jacket. She wore tight jeans and leather boots that matched her jacket, with everything accented with seemingly Yang’s favourite colour, yellow. Weiss on the other hand had her hair down, wearing tinted glasses with lenses too small to be useful and a moss green beret. She also wearing an oversized creme wool sweater, its sleeves stopping just short of her knuckles and translucent tights that blended perfectly with her beige heeled boots. The two of them had their very own personalized crêpe, Yang’s filled to the brim with bananas and other such fruits whilst Weiss’ had onions, mushrooms, and peppers. Next to those plates were two parfaits, strawberries with chocolate bits on one and plain vanilla with some coffee laden on top for the other.

Aside from the commotion from the crowd up front, the table was silent, though Yang was struggling to keep her amusement within. She watched Weiss eat with a hearty grin, sticking a spoon into her parfait and playing with a strawberry.

“Stop. Looking.” Weiss finally said.

“But the hat and glasses really do suit you!” Yang guffawed.

Weiss threw her arms out, “I look like an impoverished college student!”

“Well that is our cover story, isn’t it? You’re an exchange student from Germany who has a deep passion in aromatherapy and other natural medicines,” Yang stuffed a strawberry in her mouth.

“No! This outfit is horrible! Who willingly wears this colour scheme?”

The blonde swallowed, “But that’s the point! A disguise is perfect when it’s clothes you’d never be caught dead in.” She couldn’t help but chuckle just as she said her last few words.

That chuckle was stopped short by the spoon that contacted with Yang’s head, “Hey! I thought we were trying not to draw attention.”

“I don’t care. You deserved it,” Weiss’ eyes could not be anymore narrow as it was.

Yang tipped her glass over and finished the last of her dessert in one gulp. Her entrée was completely gone as well. She leaned back in her chair in satisfaction, patting her belly, “I’m so glad we stopped here. How d’you know a place as great as this?”

“I came here a lot when I was younger,” Weiss simply responded, finishing up her own meal as well.

“With who?”

Weiss sighed, picking up her glass of water to take a sip, “Family.”

“Oh! So like parents, mom, dad, and...?”


“A sister!” Yang gasped, “Older or younger?”

Weiss rolled her eyes, wondering why Yang needed to know such trivial information, “Older.”

“Ohhh!” Yang stood up and slapped Weiss on her shoulder, causing her to spill her water on every surface imaginable, “You’re the baby of the family! That makes so much sense!”

All Weiss did in response was cough violently as water was also spilled all over her throat. She balled her hand and smacked her chest a few times, trying to get a handle on her breath. After a few minutes she calmed down, hoping the restaurant-goers around them weren’t paying too much attention to them. Yang had a hand sheepishly behind her head as she apparently did not intend to cause so much ruckus with her little playful slap. She began clearing the overflow of liquid with her napkins when Weiss had cleared her lungs enough to speak.

“How does Ruby even stand you?”

Yang shrugged, “She’s just that awesome!”

A waiter came by with a few towels before realizing that Yang had already cleaned up most of the spill. The blonde made a check-mark with her fingers, a smile to go along with it and the waiter instantly knew she wanted the bill. Weiss too understood the wordless communication between them and placed her half-empty cup back onto the table.

“What do you want from me?” Weiss asked abruptly, Yang raising an eyebrow at the sudden question.

“Where did that come from?”

Weiss crossed her arms, keeping strict eye-contact with Yang, “You’re driving me places, buying me things, and treating me to lunch. What is your motive?”

“Motive? You think I’m doing this to take advantage of you or something?” Yang shook her head, “Weiss, I thought better of you.”

“Are you insinuating you’re doing all this just...because?”

Yang shrugged a second time.

The shorter girl bit her thumb, deep in thought, “That’s, I refuse to accept this.”

“Oh come on, can’t I just be genuinely nice to a friend?”

Weiss both coughed and sputtered at the same time, “F-f-friend!?”

“We’re not friends? I’m hurt.” Yang pouted, turning away playfully as she struggled to contain her laughter.

“No it’s just, we barely know one another. That’s not possible,” Weiss explained.

“Well, you’re friends with Ruby right?”

Weiss stopped for a moment, blinking before nodding as subtly as possible.

“Anyone who’s friend’s with sis is a friend of mine!” Yang slapped down a few bills onto the table as she stood up.

The ex-heiress rolled her eyes, “You bribed me to be friends with her, remember?”

“What? No. No. Noooo. Did I? Nooo,” Yang tapped her cheeks as she peered up at the visually uninteresting ceiling of the cafe, “That’s not what I remember.”

“Oh, I apologize,” Weiss cleared her throat, “you blackmailed me to be friends with her.”

Ah yes, Yang thought back. Those days were as clear in her memory as if they were just yesterday.

“Then we’ll have to have a very, very temporary truce, to allow a second deal.”

Yang swung back around, smiling, “I’m listening.”

Weiss took her sweet time, taking a few intermittent breaths while blinking repeatedly as if the very idea of proposing a deal with this stranger was blasphemous, “I want...whatever you have a monopoly on at my own discretion in exchange for Ruby’”

“Safety? Wait wait wait, are you going where I think you’re going?” Yang brought down her mug of the mysterious drink, “’cause I don’t think I like where you’re going.”

The shorter inmate slid her bar doors open, standing there as she waited for Yang to do something the blonde was unsure as to what it was, “Walk with me.”


“The showers, of course,” Weiss sighed, “I’m not wasting any more of our free time sitting here with you of all people.”

“You still haven’t answered my question ya little munchkin,” Yang reminded as she attempted to poke fun at Weiss’ height not only by words, but by the little jab she gave towards the back of the heiress’ head.

Weiss stopped abruptly before turning around, her icy eyes chiseling into Yang’s casual lavender ones, “For your information, my stature is only a slight off from the national average.”

“What? Of twelve-year-old’s?”

“No, of...” Weiss continued walking, her soft white shoes not stomping onto the ground hard enough to give off the satisfying loud clacks she was so used to, “We’re going off-topic!”

The blonde headed down the halls rather gingerly, swaying back and forth with her arms behind her head, “Well you’re the one who isn’t going into specifics.”

“Surely you’re concerned at least a little that your child of a sister is somewhere out there, highly vulnerable in a pit full of unpredictable convicts.”

“Yeah, I can’t deny that,” Yang eyed the pipes in the ceiling go by as they continued their meticulous walk, “I mean, she met you for one thing.”

“Excuse me?”

Yang shrugged, “Well you’re already pretty unpredictable as is...and uh, if you haven’t noticed already you’re a convict too--”


“What? Hello? You’re in here? A bit late for that don’t you think?”

Weiss huffed, “I may be forced to live amongst you and forced to wear the same hideous clothing, but never will I allow myself to be associated with anybody here, especially not someone like you.”

“Okay, well, the meaning of convict is someone who’s been...convicted. I’m not huge on the whole English language thing, but I thought you of all people would at least get that. So...y’know. You have been convicted, right? You aren’t some secret undercover officer here to unravel all the corruption that sits deep inside or anything?”

The heiress grew quiet, looking away.

“Ooooooh, well there’s a real secret--”

“What is that supposed to mean?” Weiss blurted out, “A real secret? Do you not take my identity seriously? I cannot believe I am tolerating your presence right now!”

Yang pat Weiss on the head, which delivered the desired effect of being very patronizing, “Oh I know I’m touching a testy nerve right now, little Weissy, but we’ve all been where you are. Anger at society. Anger at oneself. Anger at that cocky bastard of a judge with the most snivelling little shit-eating grin possible. Are judges allowed to smirk? I don’t think they can smirk. That’s gotta be a conflict of interest somewhere, right?”

“What,” Weiss began, “do you want?”

“Well, you want my stuff right? And you want me to take your identity seriously, I guess?” Yang summarized. The two of them heard the distinct noises of running water the closer they reached their destination, “I’m not convinced Ruby’s in a lot of danger or anything, but hey. You do me a favour and I’ll do you one too. What do you say?”

Weiss pushed open the two swinging doors to feel the rush of steam envelop her, “Get to the point.”

“Be Ruby’s friend.”


“My sister sucks at making friends. She can’t just cling onto me all day,” Yang elaborated, “And well, you’re probably worse at the social skills department than even she is, sad as it is.”

Weiss grumbled, “I cannot stand your sister. Frankly it’s a miracle this whole conversation lasted as long as it did!”

“Well I’m not even convinced you’ll succeed at being her friend,” Yang grinned, “but I’ll be generous. Try to be her friend! Even if you fail, you can still have my stuff. An effort is an effort, after all! And probably something you’ve never attempted in the first place, anyway.”

“There are an infuriating amount of assumptions in your words,” Weiss was about to rip the handle off the door.

Yang let out a loud guffaw, “Ha! But that’s what you do all the time! Can’t even call yourself one of us because we’re all the scum off the bottom of the barrel to you, or whatever. I bet you thought I was just some dumb idiot before I came to you with this deal.”

“This preposition has done nothing to change my view of you as a dumb idiot.”

“Some of us can’t change as easily as others, it seems,” Yang said while she was about to change.

“W-wait, wait, what do you think you’re doing?” Weiss yelled, alarmed.

Yang stopped herself, blinking while deadpan, “Taking a shower?”

“Why are you not removing your clothing within the stalls like a proper lady!?”

The blonde was unsure how amused she could possibly get in one day, “Seriously? We’re in prison, Weiss. No one cares.”

“I care!”

“Well you’re going to have to get used to the sight of naked women if you wanna survive in here,” Yang could not believe she just said that, but it only increased the width of her already far too toothy grin.

Yang could not tell if it was because of the heat circulating through the shower room, or if Weiss just was that much of a prude, but the reddening tinge that engulfed her face would not stop increasing. The heiress said no more as she swiped a few of Yang’s so-called ‘treasure trove’ and slipped into one of the stalls. Her head could barely be seen above the stall, giving the impression it was unoccupied if it weren’t for the noises of running water. Yang was satisfied the deal had been accepted, even if it wasn’t by Weiss’ words. Their silent agreement was enough for her to--

“Ah, and you know what? I was right Weiss! You did become used to the showers. You didn’t even bother changing or anything within the stalls like after two or three months!”

Weiss had her whole palm against her forehead, “Why are you even mentioning that part!?”

“Because over time, people can change!”

“Seriously? Seriously!? That's the example you're going to use!?”

“But it happened.”

“You could have mentioned that I did succeed at becoming friends with Ruby,” Weiss now rested her cheek on her balled fist, “That would have been a much more relevant example.”

“And that’s why I’m treating you to lunch!”

Weiss stood up, pushing her chair back rather loudly, “All I did was do my part of the deal.”

“A deal you readily accepted,” Yang added.

“I didn’t readily accept it! Like I said, you blackmailed me!”

“Where did I ever blackmail you? You could’ve said no.”

“If I had not completed my side, then you would’ve revealed to the world who I really was!”

Yang tilted her head, “Yeah I suppose I might’ve. Or maybe I wouldn’t. It didn’t really matter that you were a Schnee.”

“Did you forget what happened afterwards? People did find out and I was nearly killed. Excuse me for being suitably cautious,” Weiss turned around and headed straight for the exit.

“So you’re saying you became friends with Ruby because you were scared?” Yang asked, causing the ex-heiress to abruptly stop before she reached the doorway.


“Well, that’s what it sounds like.”

Weiss exited the cafe, bounding down the stairs and power-walking down the sidewalk like she had a place to be. Yang chased after her, making sure she wasn’t trying to run off on her own. It was one thing to take Weiss out and about just so she’d have fresh air for once, but Blake probably wouldn’t be too happy if she found out Weiss had just upped and disappeared on her one day. They eventually ended up at one of the largest parks of the city, which would normally be busy and full of happy families on picnics or playing on the playground, but was oddly sparse instead. Weiss took the path that circled the entire park, still moving with speeds like a busy businesswoman.

Yang was not far behind, “Weiss, if you didn’t become friends with sis because you were scared, then I really don’t get what you were trying to do. I mean, that’s just the most obvious explanation especially after all that happened. You can’t possibly be saying Schnees have no fear or something dumb like that.”

“Of course Schnees can be afraid,” Weiss finally said, “Or at least, I know I can be.”

“Oho! So you’re finally admitting it, eh?” Yang thought she had an opening.

Weiss crossed her arms as she finally stopped walking, “I was panicking out of my mind when your idiot sister tried to fight eight people armed with knives with just her fists.”

“Oh, I never did get the story of what happened there,” Yang realized, “Damn. Ruby’s a badass!”

“No! She’s a fool!” Weiss threw her arms into the air, “I became her friend because a Schnee would’ve just let her die!”

A few birds flew out of the trees at that outburst, and the wind that picked up afterwards was the only other sound to be heard.

Yang raised her arm, “You...”

“A Schnee,” Weiss finally continued, “would’ve let her suffer. A Schnee would’ve let her be eaten alive by the people inside. A Schnee would not have cared.”

Weiss stepped closer to Yang, her determined eyes never wavering for even a moment. They were unlike her usual glares or her defeated stares. Even though Weiss was always a rather serious individual, nowhere in her life had she been more on point than now.

“My father is the worst man I’ve ever known,” Weiss continued, “He has always tried to raise me to become just like him, like some sort of disgusting mini-me. Every facet of my life was controlled or overseen by him. I’ve never been out at this park, or eaten at that restaurant without his eyes over me. Ironically, it was only when I was sentenced to prison did I truly feel free.”

Yang said nothing as she allowed Weiss to continue, absorbing the words it seemed the ex-heiress had been wanting to let out for a very long time.

“I didn’t want people to know I was a Schnee because then instead of Weiss, everyone would know me as the daughter of the worst man in the world. I finally achieved some form of anonymity and then you came along to take that all away from me. But I knew what someone like my father would do. He’d threaten people’s lives and have people disappear just because someone insulted him. I didn’t want to be associated with him or become anything like him, so I did just what he would never do. I befriended the enemy instead of ending them.”

“I didn’t realize how much freedom I had. At first I was sending letters like a pitiful child in timeout hoping he’d let me back out. He showed his true colours when he never responded, but he also did me a huge favour.”

The wind stopped.

Weiss sighed, “Of course that didn’t last very long. Now Blake is the one watching over me like a hawk.”

“Well I mean,” Yang’s dimples raised, “She’s not watching you right now, is she?”

“’re right,” Weiss realized, “Where on earth is Blake!?”


It was very easy to escape, really. All Blake had to do was turn around, close the door and rush down the stairs back outside. Or she could have used the fire escape that was near the closest window to her. There was nothing physical keeping Blake inside the penthouse, and yet despite the infinite options she had, the faunus felt trapped. Even with the lighting as dim as it was and the curtains blocking out any sense of light, Adam still kept his shades on, hiding his eyes as if they might have been disfigured or he was keeping in some sort of hidden power. Either way, Blake was never able to read her superior or understand any of the true motives of his words, including why he was here right now. A faunus’ hearing was almost supernatural, and Blake knew Adam could hear her heart racing. She knew the man had cornered her, and was striking fear deep inside Blake, and he knew this subtle effect gave him all the more leverage that he had plenty of in the first place. Blake did everything in her power to calm her panicking body down, but the mind was never in complete control of the body. It couldn’t will the sweat visibly dripping down her arms back into her pores, or keep her widened eyes from returning to their normal, relaxed state. It was too late to hide any of her inner feelings from Adam. She could read nothing from him, but she was an open book.

“This is a very nice place you have here,” Adam gestured to the large suite, “I didn’t think you were the type to live in such a large place.”

Blake couldn’t even keep her ears from sticking to her skull, “It’s not mine.”

“Well whoever actually lives here must be very close to you, allowing you to use their keys and all that.”

“I stay over sometimes,” Blake said. She didn’t say much, hoping she could expend as little words as possible so that Adam would somehow drop everything and leave.

“Sometimes, you say,” Adam scanned his surroundings, taking in the ceiling fan, the posters of various sports teams and rock bands, “Considering I rarely see you at your own home anymore, sometimes might be an understatement. What say you?”

Blake’s ears twitched. She couldn’t find a single way out of this no matter how many scenarios played through her head. She didn’t even know how Adam had not only managed to locate the penthouse, but also find a way inside without damaging the door or disturbing any furniture. It was almost like he had popped into the house via teleportation.

“It’s much more spacious than my home,” Blake said.

Adam closed the distance between the two, only building up Blake’s uneasiness further, “I worry about you Blake. As someone with such a dangerous career of choice, letting the White Fang know where you are at all times is crucial to your safety.”

“I can hold my own.”

“Is that true?” Adam continued nipping at Blake’s patience, “I heard you were a no-show at your day-job these last few days.”

Blake exhaled sharply, and her futile attempts to hide it wasn’t enough, “The amount of hours I put in there has given me almost a years’ worth of vacation time.”

“I didn’t see you as the type to slack off,” Adam crossed his arms, “Especially since you are so efficient at your other job.”

“It doesn’t matter what I do outside of work,” Blake attempted to counter, “That’s my time.”

Adam stepped even closer, already invading what personal space Blake had left, “Usually it would be your time, but when you fail to complete a mission, it’s no longer your time.”

Blake could feel her fingers moving on their own at her side. She knew something must have happened to Weiss. Yet Adam, despite being so foreboding, did not seem to act as if he knew she was alive. If he had discovered Weiss inside this penthouse he would’ve been far more forward with his disappointment. Maybe the girl had hid when she noticed he had appeared, but Blake wondered how that could be considering how hyper-aware Adam was of his surroundings. Then again, all of this was merely wishful thinking that Weiss had somehow escaped harm. Adam may have been hiding his rage and had finished the job himself. No matter what, Blake knew something about her activities had been discovered and even if she knew not the level of Adam’s knowledge, he was still angry at something.

“Your last hit,” Adam began, “Hei ‘Junior’ Xiong, is still alive.”

Blake had never failed to kill before. At least, to Adam she hadn’t.

“He was injured it seems on a botched assassination attempt,” Adam had been scrolling through his phone, “There is even a news article. They are searching for his attempted murderer.”

The taller faunus threw his phone onto the sofa, “Tell me Blake. What happened? What went wrong?”

“I did not hit his head.”

“You always hit the head,” Adam insisted, “Your aim is impeccable.”

Blake growled, not attempting to hide her emotions now, “You told me after Schnee I wouldn’t be assigned these jobs anymore.”

“Oh? Is that why you missed? You failed on purpose in protest?” Adam unfurled his arms, “I’m surprised, Blake.”

“You can believe what you want,” Blake narrowed her eyes, “You also once again provided me false information. He was armed with something much more than a 9mm handgun.”

“We cannot be technically accurate all the time Blake. Besides, your job was simply to shoot him and leave. He would be too dead to retaliate,” Adam explained, “but that’s not what happened, was it?”

As if to demonstrate, Blake was given a light shove. Something that would’ve been harmless any other day, and was something friends would do to each other all the time, but Adam knew what he was doing. He had pushed Blake right on her nagging shoulder. The wince that Blake could not suppress was noticed instantly.

“Ah, my best hitman. It would’ve been such a blow to the White Fang had you died, Blake,” Adam commented, “I do not even know how effective you are now with a bad shoulder.”

The venom in Blake’s voice was no longer subtle, “Then it’s in your best interests not to assign me anymore hits.”

“Oh you think this would just go away just like that? That the White Fang would let you go for such a failure?” Adam chuckled, a deep laugh that came from the bottom of his diaphragm, “You are naive, Blake.”

“I don’t understand. I may not have killed him, but it had the same desired effect,” Blake argued, “We took back the overseas faunus they had enslaved. That was the point of the mission, was it not?”

Adam finally gave Blake some air by heading off towards the windows, looking outside at the busy, ignorant streets beneath them, “If all we needed was a distraction, I would not have sent you.”

He turned his head, staring at Blake once more, “You are much more valuable than that, Blake. Have some self-confidence in yourself.”

The tone in which Adam held himself did not do Blake’s temper any favours. She wanted to run in every direction that got her away from the penthouse, but she knew running did nothing. The White Fang had found her in a place she regarded as her safe haven again. It wasn’t even Blake herself that was in danger anymore. This was where Sun lived as well, endangering him when he had nothing to do with this. Blake would never be able to forgive herself if Weiss had been found. Sun’s friends and even Yang would come around this place on a regular basis. If the White Fang were watching, they too would be targets should Blake make them unhappy, and Blake knew they were anything but happy right now. Blake searched all through her mind any sort of way to escape and ensure her friends’ safety, but nothing was coming up. She didn’t have the time to figure anything out when Adam pulled out his rifle.

“The Alpha told me this,” Adam pointed the barrel straight at Blake, “Failure is not to be tolerated.”

Blake waited in baited breath her demise.

“But I care about you Blake,” Adam continued, dropping his aim on the faunus, “I will give you a second chance. The Alpha will surely punish me for disobeying his orders, but we’re childhood friends. I couldn’t shoot someone like you.”

Blake felt her fist tighten. Instead of feeling relief, she would’ve far preferred the sweet embrace of death Adam had offered. She knew he had her right in his hands with this type of threat. Blake had long ago let go of the notion that Adam had still cared about her, but an ache in her heart resurfaced when the memories of the past, a time when Adam truly did care for her, would return. She missed that young boy who would shield her from the wild dogs that roamed the streets in the slums they had lived in. The two of them would attend protests together and eat at the same soup kitchen. Her parents, who had been so overprotective of Blake due to their surroundings had loved Adam. He was the big brother she never had. They trusted Adam with Blake no matter how far they went and explored, sifting through the tall grass of the countryside away from the realities they lived in back at home. Adam knew so much trivia at the time too, explaining to her the exact species of a flower they would come across, or point out the type of rock formation the cliffs had eroded into after millions of years. It was a sweeter, more peaceful time. Now back in the present everything that had been positive in those years were flipped upside-down. Blake would’ve preferred non-existence than to be reminded of the man she had cared for once upon a time.

“Let this be a warning. Next time I cannot protect you.” A beep came from Adam’s phone, who retrieved it immediately, “Ah. It is the Alpha. Seems he’s wondering if you’ve been put down yet.”

It felt like eons, but Adam finally stepped towards the door, as if about to leave, “I will inform him of your fate. You will be given tasks in the future, Blake. I hope for your sake you will complete them to the fullest.”

Almost mercifully the door closed behind him, but Blake did not exhale just yet. Her sensitive ears picked up his steps across the hallway before the elevator ding was heard yet again. Only then, when any remaining evidence of his presence had faded away did Blake finally relax. She didn’t slump her shoulders for long however, knowing she was not only no longer in the clear but at this point practically standing in front of the headlights. Blake stepped towards the windows, pushing open the curtains and hoping to catch a glimpse of Adam’s car drive off so she knew for sure at least one person wasn’t spying on her for all hours of the day. To Blake’s surprise, it wasn’t just the car she had noticed. For just a single moment Blake could have swore she saw Ruby’s familiar blood-red cloak slightly draped over the rooftop, and could barely be seen at the corner of her window. Another pulse of worry spread through her limbs. It was one thing for everyone she knew now to be in grave danger, but if Ruby had been listening...

Blake could not stomach the possibility, but her first priority was to search for Weiss. She hoped all the stress she had been through had just been toying with her psyche and what she had just seen wasn’t what was really there.


A superhero was defined as someone who was, well, super. Ruby had read through countless novels of heroes defeating their foes with their powers too impossible to exist in the real world. They would always find some way, whether it be their very powers themselves or through some sort of hi-tech gadget, to find the information they needed. And whatever they did find would always lead them to the bad-guy they had to take down. Unfortunately Ruby did not have these things and so could only rely on the next best thing, her instinct. She didn’t think her vantage point would give her the perfect view of what she just witnessed. The chances that Blake was heading to the top-floor of the building was slim, but the chances she had seen all that had occurred with this strange red-haired man, was almost astronomical. Sadly, she lacked the supersonic hearing or whatever convenient device that would’ve allowed her to hear whatever they discussed, but the visuals themselves were alarming enough. Blake’s body language was easy to read. She had been terrified throughout that whole encounter, and many times Ruby desired to intervene. None more-so than when the man had pointed a gun at Blake. Ruby had almost flung herself through the windows but luckily instead of firing the man had dropped his threat. Ruby felt approaching Blake about what she saw was quite possibly the worst idea to act upon, considering she had witnessed something that was probably very personal to Blake. And even if she did manage to talk to her without drama being tossed back and forth, Blake was never open to discussing her life anyway.

Ruby instead eyed the red-haired man who had left the building through the back and entered a low-profile black SUV. She carefully jumped down off edges and stairs on the building to get a better look at his license plate, keeping the letters and numbers filed in her memory. Though Ruby had only learned how to drive, tailing another car was something still out of her ability, especially since she had yet to own a car. She decided to do the next best thing though. It was a tad dangerous, but Ruby knew she wouldn’t be able to master it by shying away. After scaling down the wall, she landed onto a moving truck which was a few cars behind the SUV. She kept her body low, making sure she would not be seen through the mirrors of the man’s vehicle. It was difficult to keep holding on as the truck picked up speed, but Ruby kept her grip, taking a mighty leap into a tow truck when the original truck had taken a turn away from the SUV.

The red-clad stalker was unsure if she had been sighted though, when the red-haired man began to swerve violently through the lanes as if he was trying to shake someone off. It didn’t take long through the honks and horns that went off for Ruby to notice exactly what was going on. A white van, no different than the one that had chased Ruby and Blake earlier, was tailing the black SUV. Ruby prepared to jump onto it, lifting her legs and standing on her toes when she threw her body at the white van. She landed rather heavily, hoping no one driving heard the thump that originated from the roof. The van didn’t seem to stop or hesitate in surprise, so Ruby knew her clumsy landing had escaped notice. Unfortunately the wild driving combined with the uneven design of the roof made it highly difficult for Ruby to cling on, and she retreated towards the back of the van, her body folding over the black tinted windows. Despite all the activity Ruby was so used to, the uneven movements of the van was starting to put its toll on Ruby’s body. She felt the vertigo creep into her head, and decided she had to leap into a saner bystander’s car before she lacked the capacity to do so. But before she could launch herself once again, she noticed the van was no longer zipping through the road as if on the run from a tornado. They had began driving normally again.

Ruby focused her eyes ahead of her and saw that the black SUV was now nowhere to be seen. The van slowed and took a turn into a humongous parking lot. She could tell whoever was driving was locating a parking spot, so Ruby took off from her position, landing on an idle vehicle and ducking behind other much larger four-wheelers to keep her stealth at bay. Once the van did park, three men exited the vehicle. Ruby immediately recognized two of them as the same men that had chased her. They had somehow evaded the police and had replaced their wrecked van with another. Ruby gritted her teeth in response, infuriated they had not been captured. She decided to see what they had in store at these...stores, and wondered if they were up to no good at the local mall. This time around there were no windows or walls to keep her from eavesdropping.

“We had to have hit a deer! Where else did that noise come from?” One argued, the shorter fatter one.

“I told you to keep an eye on the road, and all you can do is complain about some animal we might or might not have hit, on a busy four-lane road nowhere close to the wilderness in the first place,” the taller, thinner one rebutted, “No wonder we lost our guy.”

A man who had not been wearing white, but a black leather vest over his white collar shirt, spoke up, “You two be quiet. You’ve already failed two tasks the boss gave you. You can at least do a little bit of collecting, right? Such a simple task...”

“Who do you think we are? Of course we will,” the taller one dismissed as all three entered the shopping centre.

Ruby would’ve stood out far too much if she had followed them in as well, so instead she scaled the mall until she reached the roof. The glass panes scattered about the top of the building gave Ruby plenty of ways to keep an eye on the three. As she watched the three dodge through the numerous shoppers inside, she noticed the third man who she didn’t recognize had a bit of a limp. This was crucial information in case a foot chase broke out. Ruby crouched down, now focused on her task. She would at least figure out what these people were doing and who they worked for. If they were chasing Blake, it would reveal some sort of clue she needed to piece together what on earth had been going on.


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September 2017

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