Greg took a bite in one of the green apples he had stolen. It had finally stopped raining, and he felt it made his food taste that much more delicious. Thomas and Benjamin hadn’t showed up yet even though it was almost noon, and he was enjoying his day alone so far.
On the other side of the street he saw Life and Charlotte walking around and searching aimlessly for something. Again? He sighed, feeling like his breakfast was ruined now. He jumped off from the wooden box he was sitting on and slowly made his way to them.
-Hey, brats! I wouldn’t hang around this part of town if I were you.
It was the boy who had replied. For a moment, Greg thought about hitting his own forehead. How could he be so dense?
-How old are you, gosh? Both of you are stupid. What do you think people think of, seein’ two nice White-Ears hanging around here, looking utterly lost? It almost screams “kidnap me!”
He took another bite of his apple, frustrated. He didn’t feel like dealing with kids today. The girl looked at him with tired eyes, but he didn’t care.
-You both run back to your families where it’s nice and warm and there’s a lot of money. Now shoo, get out of my sight before I lose my temper and force you out of here.
-Greg, please. Tell me, have you seen Rosa?
-Nope. Now get out of my sight.
-Just tell me when’s the last time you saw her!
His ear twitched in annoyance. What, was she giving him orders now? He wanted to give her some smug remark, but her eyes were pleading and he ended up looking away, scratching his head.
-Look, I haven’t seen her. Now just go away. No one else’s gonna ask you nicely.
They looked at each other and finally seemed to get his point. About freakin’ time. He looked at them go, biting once more into his apple and throwing the remains away in a garbage can nearby. Once they were out of sight, he made his way towards the wooden box he had been sitting on earlier. He jumped on it and looked down behind it to the girl hiding there.
-Don’t you think it’s time you go home now? They even came all the way down here, though it wasn’t very smart if you ask me.
The girl glared at him from the shadows. You almost look menacing like this, oh I’m scared. He returned an expressionless stare at her, unimpressed.
-I thought you cared about them. If you do, why do you go on and vanish for days to search for you? I told you, White-Ears in the area is bad. Some thugs will jump on the occasion and rape ‘em.
He felt frustration grow back into him.
-Hey, I feel like I care more about them than you do. Now that’s nothing normal, you hear me? I don’t care about anyone. I don’t care what you have in mind, but next time I see ‘em, I’m telling them you’re here.
He grabbed a piece of wheat that was laying around and bit hard into it, letting himself fall on his back. Ah, now his good mood was ruined. The girl sitting on the ground didn’t say a word. She hadn’t said more than two words at once ever since he had come upon her. She hadn’t been distributing letters, which was suspicious to begin with. He had planned on scaring her a bit as usual, but this time she hadn’t moved.
She had stood there, glaring at him, and though he didn’t care which way she usually looked at him, there was something creepy about her this time. Her eyes betrayed some strange emotion, as if her mind had been somewhere else. He had quickly realized that stuff the red-haired guy had given her didn’t work anymore, and she was going nuts from the pain. She looked completely lost.
He didn’t know why he helped her; usually he’d only care about himself, or better even, he’d be the one hurting her. But he had been the one bullying her for years. He felt a certain possessiveness; no one was allowed to hurt her except him. He was like a brother annoying his sister everyday, yet if someone else did, they’d have to hear from him. The boys hadn’t understood his actions either. They had looked at him wide-eyed, asking him if he was alright, to which Greg hadn’t replied because he really had no answer.
All he knew is that he felt pity for her. When he had seen her run after that noble kid in the most dangerous area of town a few days back, the first thoughts that had come to him were that this girl was crazy. Then some kind of respect had settled in. He had followed that girl’s request really out of curiosity more than anything else.
He glanced once more towards Rosa. Her clothes were messy and her hair was slightly curvy from the rain that hadn’t stopped since today. He couldn’t seen her eyes from this angle, but judging from her respiration she was sleeping. He had already concluded that she had either quit her job or never planned to go back, but she had barely ate or drank since. He wondered if she’d even have the strength to stand up. Just looking at her made him look dizzy. He heard her cough.
-Oh, great. Don’t tell me you’re sick on top of it! I’m not nursing you back to health! You hear me?
-I hear you. You’re loud. You’re an idiot.
Her voice sounded horrible and though she glared at him he wondered if she could even see him. Her right eye was annoyingly unfocused.
-You blind in that eye or something?
A flash of surprise appeared for merely a second and was gone. He didn’t really care much about her, but now he was curious.
-Can you get any more annoying?
-Fine. My head got smashed into a wall. Twice.
For a moment he started laughing, but then he realized her expression hadn’t changed.
-Holy shit, you’re serious.
-Yes, I’m serious.
She grabbed her head as her face twisted in pain. That migraine must have been back. She was breathing pretty loudly too. He grabbed a bottle of water that was laying next to him and threw it at her. He had filled it at the fountain a few hours earlier.
-I thought you didn’t care.
-Drink, or I’ll force you to.
She glared at him and drank, chocking on the water. His ear twitched.
-Take your time, stupid.
Normally she would have thrown the bottle in his face, but this time she obeyed and drank some more. His tail twitched back and forth to go along with his ear. What a frustrating day. If this went on like this, he’d get a migraine himself. And he hated migraines, specially the ones caused by other people.
That was Benjamin’s voice. He glanced towards him and noticed the thin and tall boy running towards him. His hair was short and curvy and if he had been wearing nice clothes, anyone would have believe he was a bookworm. Behind him Thomas was running, a short fat guy. Both of them had been his followers for years now, ever since they were kids. He didn’t exactly trust them, he didn’t trust anyone, but he did rely on them. He jumped on the ground and walked towards them.
-Sorry, man. Why you such in a bad mood?
-The nobles are coming.
-Are you serious?
-Yeah, from what I heard their son had gone missing and now Mr. Wilkes is going crazy.
He hit his forehead with his palm. Great! This was stupid. He rushed back towards the boxes.
-Hey, you idiot.
-The nobles are here and they’re tryin’ to catch your boyfriend. What are you going to do?
-You stupid? I’m talking about that boy with the stupid nickname.
She glared at him for a moment and seemed to realize what he had said.
-Didn’t you work for them or something? You’ll look awfully suspicious if they can put their hand on you. And I’m not sayin’ what they’ll do to your lover.
-He’s not my lover, cut the crap.
-Either way, he’s in deep shit if you don’t do anything.
-What do you expect me to do?
-Go warn him, for starters! I’m sick of you moping around, ya hear me?
-Why do you care?
-I do, and it’s bothering me more than it’s bothering you, so shut up and get moving.
She curled up in her corner and pulled on her ears tightly. Was she shaking? She had to be kidding him. He took a sip of water.
-I can’t go back!
-Sure you can,
-You don’t understand! I raped Charlotte!
Greg coughed on his water upon hearing that. It took him a minute to come back to his senses, making sure he had really hear the right thing.
The girl didn’t say anything else, instead she curled up even more like a rat seeing danger. He felt frustration build up inside him and jumped down in front of her. He grabbed her by the collar and pushed her out of her hiding hole.
-Get the fuck out there.
-You’re getting on my nerves! Go back there now and warn them, or else I’ll make sure you have a good reason for not doing it.
She seemed about reading to go back into hiding, but he had heard enough. He kicked her hard in her sides and was motivated to keep on doing it until she ran out of his sight, which she did surprisingly faster than he expected. She gave him a glance, stopping midway.
-What are you waiting for? If I see your face for another second, I’m fucking sending you rocks until you collapse and can’t get up anymore, ya hear me?!
She seemed to understand the warning and ran off. Once she was out of sight, Greg sighed, grabbing his forehead. Now he wished he had kicked her ten times more to get rid of this frustration. His two followers joined him.
-She’s the reason you’re so worked up?
-Shut up or I’m giving you the kicks I should have given her!
Thomas obviously knew better, and he didn’t add any comment. Greg walked back towards the place he’d been staying at all day, gave it a good kick and plugged his hands in his pockets, watching as the pile of boxes crumbled down. He frowned and fumed, more angry than he’d ever been at Rosa. He promised himself to beat her up even more than he had in the past to make up for it.