“Allen try this casiada, it’s tasty!” Johnny pointed to a bowl in front of him.
Allen glared at the bowl suspiciously. “You didn’t spike it with a hand full of pepers like the other one, did you?”
Johnny raised his hand with a angelic purity. “That was a mistake!”
“Right,” Casey drawled. “And Dean Winchester loved Ruby.”
“No that was Sam,” Albert pointed out.
“Nahhh!” Casey exclaimed.
“No he didn’t.” Drake put in. “He was just drinking her blood.”
“But he did fall for her nobility crap,” Casey interjected.
“Why are we talking about this? It was a horrible show. Period.” Ethane put in. “They killed the story around season 4.”
“I like it!” Johnny stated and as if to bear witness; he stood up.
Ethane held up his hand in surrender. “Fine,what ever. Can I finish my meal in peace?”
“No,” a couple voices chorused.
Ethane rolled his eyes. He looked at Allen, who hadn’t let the bickering stop her from her meal. “At least you're getting the job done.”
“So you are.” He noted.
John looked at her, considering. “Where your sister’s starving you? Is that why you ran away?”
Allen choukled. A deadly mixture of coughing and choking. Casey shot up and started to pat her on the back while Ethane handed her a glass of water.
Finally catching her breath, she sputtered,“What! Why would you think that! NO!”
“Then why did you?”
Albert slapped Johnny on the back. “Please, shut up.” He pleaded. “Your being stupid. And it’s none of our business.”
“We’re her friends, aren’t we?”
“Shut-up.” Elbert repeated this time in a sing song voice.
Johnny sighed. “I’m going to be foreverly misunderstood.” Ethane chuckled. “And I should get going.” He looked at his friends. “You guys coming?”
“Yup,” they nodded. Shuffling commenced and then finally, they were ready to go.
“It was really nice meeting you,” Jennifer, Ethane’s Argentinian associate, said to Allen.
Allen stood up and shook the woman's hand. “Same here.”
All five of them said their goodbye, repeated the process a couple times, and then left.
“You know,” Casey said sitting back down in her chair. She looked at Ethane and Allen, the only ones left in the room. “This went pretty well. I don’t think we would have enjoyed our selves this much if we had been in a crowded hotel.”
Ethane nodded, “Yea, but I think the hotel might charge me extra for all the mess around here. The maids probably going to be cursing me.”
Casey chuckled, “It’s fine. Allen and I will stay back to help you clean up.”
Allen nodded. “Yea, no problem.” She turned to Ethane. “I’m glad,” Allen told him. “It feels great to be sitting here. I’ve missed you guys.” ”
Ethane nodded and wiped his face with a napkin. Thoughtfully, he studied Allen’s face. “It’s a good question you know.”
“Why are you running?”
Allen tensed. “What do you mean?”
“I doesn’t matter,” Casey frowned at Ethane. “We just hope you thought it threw.”
“I did!” Allen muttered. She pointed at Ethane. “I’m doing exactly what you taught me.”
Ethane looked baffled. “I never taught you to run away! That’s sheer cowardice.”
Allen muttered a curse. “Why does everyone keep saying that? I’m not running away!”
“Well, you keep telling yourself that.” Ethane replied and picked up his fork. “As far as I see..you left your sisters without a word. And that my friend is called running away.”
Allen bit the inside of her mouth and tried to regain control over her voice. “You-” She stopped. Her voice choked. “Do you think this is easy for me?” She continued. “I’d love nothing more to be with them. I’d do anything to fix things. This way.... I’m suffering, and believe me when I say I’m suffering.”
Ethane sighed. “Are you really suffering? Or is that what your telling your self to feal better?”
Allen went stone faced, “Why, you...How could you..”
Casey raised her hands. “Enough, both of you.” She looked at Ethane. “I mean it. Let’s all just take a breather.”
Casey looked between Allen and Ethane. “Listen, Ethane, Allen’s decisions are her own and she knows what's best for her. Back off. If she needs our opinion she’ll ask for it.” She turned to Allen. “Allen, I have no idea what’s going on with your family, but I don’t think leaving your sister’s was the right thing. But if you think you're doing the right thing, then as your friend I’ll stick by you. Ethane?”
“Yea, I’m sorry,” He apologized. He picked up the jar and refilled her glass with water.
Allen took the glass with shaking hands. “It’s...It’s fine.”
Casey sighed, content. “So, what’s the next step? You’re going to call your aunt right?”
Allen nodded. “Yea, in a week or so. I just want them to leave me alone.”
“Alright then, as long as you’ve thought this through.”
She hadn’t thought this through at all. All she could remember was panicking and red hot fear. And through that she’s hatched this half-baked one eye sore of a plan. What am I going to do? Allen looked up at the night sky. Wouldn’t it be awesome if the answers to her problems would just suddenly drop from the sky? She waited.
Of course not. Allen thought. Nothing was ever that easy.
She was standing outside of her hotel, Ethan had insisted on driving her back. Well, as long as I’m feeling miserable, I might as well be miserable alone
“You still up for tomorrow?” Casey asked as Allen got out of the cab.
“Yes,” Allen replied. “It’s not like I’ve got anything else to do. Art museum, right?”
“Art exibition. Have you ever been to one.”
Oh, the irony. “No, I don’t think so.”
“Well, it’s not a big deal. Just wear something dressy. Ought to be fine.”
“Alright.” Allen smiled politely.
“See you at lunch.”
Allen raised her hand in a wave. “See ya.”
“Senora?” Someone called from the top of the stairs leading to the hotel.
Allen looked up, it was the bellboy. “Yes?”
“You have a guest?”
Allen arched her brow. “Excuse me?”
The bellboy nodded towards the sitting area/Lobby. “There’s a lady. She say’s she’s your sister.”
Allen frowned. “Did she give a name?”
The bellboy nodded. “Yes, but...I can’t pronounce it.”
“Alright, thanks for letting me know.” She walked into the gallery and headed towards the lobby. In the lobby was.... Torroi talking to the manager.
“Yes, as you can see it’s my fault. Yes, I’m sorry for the trouble.” Torori glanced over at Allen who was walking over towards them. “Oh, hello Allen.”
“One-san.....I wasn’t expecting you.”
Torori nodded, all honey and sugars. “Well, I couldn’t leave you alone now could I? I was just telling Mr. Snaches here how I appreciate him letting me bunk with you. ”
Allen winced. Great now I won't even be able to sleep peacefully. The manager excused himself.
Torori smiled. Her fangs glistening in the mid evening light. “So where do you want to do this? Your room?”
“Yea, sure.” A
Torori pointed Allen in front of her. “You first, wouldn’t want you to...disappear.”
“Hump.” Allen lead her outside the lobby. Hilariou, one-san. Very original.
“Sit,” Torori pointed at the bed. “Sit. And don’t move.”
Allen walked over to the bed. “Would you like me to roll over as well? Maybe fetch a stick.”
“Shut-up.” Torori ordered. “Do you have water in here or not.”
“In the mini-fridge. Gallery to the left,” Allen muttered.
“Thank you,” Torori walked into the galler and returned a minute later with two water bottle. She threw one at Allen. “You’ll need it.”
Allen humped, but opened the bottle. Her throat was parched as the Sahara desert.
Torori leaned against the gallery wall and gurgled down the water. “Bit of a cheap hotel isn’t it? Horrible service.”
“It’s not the Clinton, but the bed’s pretty comfy. And they speak english.”
“Ugh-huh,” Torori looked around the room.
Allen sighed, “How’d you find me?”
“Wasn’t exactly easy,” Torori began. “I mean you didn’t exactly leave a bunch of clues. The only thing we had was a few major withdrawals from your bank account. We decided to do some digging. It looks like you’ve been trickling money out the whole summer. Surprise, surprise. So you took the money..but where’d it go? No apparent expenditures, no...nothing. You haven’t been gambling, have you?”
“No!” Allen exclaimed. “No!”
Torori nodded. “Yea, I didn’t think so either. You’re too smart...or rather, too stupid.”
Allen scoffed, “What? You wanted to see me gambling? Is that it?”
“I didn’t want you running away from home, that’s what I didn’t want!” Torori growled. “I warned you, too!”
Allen scoffed, “THREATNING me is not considered warning me!”
“Tomato-tameto,” Torori growled. “I mean how can you be so selfish! Katane-One san wasn’t going to bloody beat you into staying!”
“No, she wouldn’t have...but she’d still have gotten me to stay!”
“And that’s so bad!”
“Yes!” Allen slamme the water bottle onto the side table. “ Because I don’t want to hurt you or her anymore! I don’t want you to look at me and think about what I’ve done! I don’t...I don’t want you to blame me!”
“So what? You’re just going to run away!”
“I’m not running away!” Allen shouted. “I’m doing the right thing. And that’s staying out of your and everybody’s bloddy face! I’m trying to keep you from hating your own sister!”
“This is all about you, then.” Torori accused. “You're running away just to protect your self!”
Tororiu ran over her like a battering ram. “You can tell yourself whatever you want, but you're just trying to keep your self from hurting.”
Allen turned scarlet, and tightened her grip around the bed sheets. “You don’t think I hurt when I’m away? When I can’t talk to my sister, my family, about the things burning inside me?”
“Please, don’t be so melodramatic,” Torori snapped. “We’re not living in a tragedy, and you don’t get to throw yourself a pity party. Grow up!”
“I’m trying! I’m trying to grow up,” Allen snarled, jumping to her feet. “I’m trying to understand why all this happened to me. To us. I’m trying to compensate for what I’ve done!”
“You don’t even know what you’ve done!”
“I know I betrayed my sisters, my family. I know my mother-like-sister is knee-deep in trouble that there’s no hope of fixing! All because I can't keep my mouth shut!”
Torori turned white and cursed.”How-” She cut off and started to pace the room.
Allen rubbed her mouth, she was breathing hard and it was getting harder to keep standing straight.
Allen looked at Torori.
Torori swiped a hand over her face, “Does the place offer coffee?”
Allen blinked. Suprised. “Ugh....” She finally shook her head, “They’ve got Instant-packs but I know you don’t like them.”
Allen straightened up. She had an idea. “There’s a coffee shop down the street.”
Allen rubbed her sweaty hands over her dress, “If you’d like I could go get some cups for us. It’d take a couple minutes. Ten tops. It’s pretty popular.”
“I promise not to run away.” Allen assured her.
“Oh,” Torori looked reluctant. “Alright, you go ahead. I’m gonna...take a shower and....twenty-six hour flight...”
“Oh, right...ugh sure.”
Torori fought her instincts. “Listen..if you wanna pick up some lunch...I’d appreciate it. It’ll give us some time to sit down and..”
“Talk?” Allen finished the lingering thought.
“Yea. Yea..I mean if you’re feeling up to it?” Torori nodded, looking uncomfortable.
Allen frowned, “Ugh, ok...Sure. Is mexican ok?”
“Yea, sure. Whatever.”
Allen ordered two macho coffee cups and moved to a corner to make a call while the order was getting ready.
“Yes, hey Eathne. It’s Allen.”
“Yes, I know.”
Allen grinned. “I just wanted to give you the go on lunch. I won’t be able to make it.”
“What? Why not?”
“My sister just showed up..and apparently we’re having lunch together.”
“Wait, you mean she hasn’t killed you yet?”
Allen blinked,”Ugh, no.....Why? Did you want her to kill me?”
“Well, that’s what I would’ve done.” Ethane paused. “No offense.”
“Hilarious,” Allen grumbled. “But, yea, your right. I’m surprised too. We we’re just yelling at each other and she suddenly...stops dead. Literally. Then she goes quiet and starts pacing around. The next thing I know is she’s asking for coffee and wanting to do lunch.”
“Hugh,..so which one is she?”
“Oh, the quiet-but-diva-within one?Wow!” Ethane whistled. “Now, I’m definitely surprised you're not dead.”
“Very hilarious,” Ethane chuckled in the background. “Can you let Casey know that I’m sorry?”
“Yea, sure,” Ethan assured her. “But seriously,..no nose bleed, or maybe a black eye?”
“That jokes dead, buried and rotting Ethane,” Ellen stated. “Get a new line” And on that note she turned off her phone.
“How’s the coffee?” Allen asked. She was having burritos and some other stuff she couldn’t pronounce in her room. Torori-One had decided that she wanted only coffe for noe.
“Oh, pretty good,” Torori muttered, taking a sip. “Just the way I like it.”
Ellen nodded. And went back to her meal. She knew they’d have to talk soon, she didn’t think Torori-One was going to just let her walk away. She sat her fork done, “How’d you find me One-san?”
Torori chewed her food thoroughly before replying. “Your cell phone. We were pretty sure you’d changed the sim card...but Suzuki called Aunt AMriko anyway, she thought getting to know about your phone could help in some way. Do you have to sign in to your phone with a certain ID?”
“Yea. Anybody can change a sim, and people who travel for business often do. The ID lets people change sims and coverages but let’s them safeguard their contacts and etc.”
“And you have one.”
Allen sighed, she was starting to realize where this was going. “Yes, is that how you found me?”
“You cleaned up after yourself pretty good. We were luck to find out about the Id.”
“I had some help from friends.”
Torori tensed. “What kind of friend help’s another friend run away from home?”
Torori straightened in her chair. “And you’re very persuasive?”
Torori nodded. “Alright then. I’m going to let you try to convince me.”
“You’ll let me go? I won’t have to go back?” Allen asked surprised.
“No.” Allen slumped, disappointed. “But I will advocate your side to Katane-One if you can convince me.”
“How do I do that?” Allen asked, suspicious.
Torori smiled, “Relax. I’m not going to ask you to cut your fingers off or anything. You can start by answering some of my questions.”
“What do you want to know?” Allen asked, trying to keep from panicking as her hair started ot stand on the back of her neck.
Torori frowned, “What do you know?“What do I know about what?”
“About Hiroshi Mayami.”
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