< Part 5
Knowing that what happened must have been serious Victor told Vincent “Alright, I’m all ears once we’re inside.”.
Once the ground got inside they were greet by a cheerful Michelle “Ahhh there you guys, so Kimiko did you guys….. errm.” though on sight of their faces that soon changed, seeing kimiko pass not in her usual cheery mood he asked Vincent “Dude what happened? You disappoi…”
Vincent just bluntly told him “Not the time Michael.”
Michael backed away and asked Victor as he came through “What happened?”, Victor shrugged.
Kimberly sitting down next to Jake, noticed them walk in and what struck Kimberly was Kimiko's down face, Jake also noticed and asked “Errmm, is everything okay?”.
Vincent shook his head “No, not really.” as he said that, Kimiko whispered into his ear, Vincent his hand on her shoulder “Are you sure?” Kimiko nodded “Alright.”. After taking her bag, she headed up stairs, into manager’s office then to her room.
Once she got into her room Kimberly raised her left eyebrow as she curiously asked “What did you guys find?”.
“Ya, don’t leave us hanging.” Michelle added.
After signing, Vincent put his bags and Kimiko’s on ground, “Well first I’ll start with the good news; we found weapons, medicine and food to boot.”
Michelle smiled for a moment, “Nice one.”
while Victor said "Well that's good, what's the bad news?" slightly afraid of what the answer could be.
As Vincent briefly glared at Michelle he answered "Well I can't say for certain if its bad but, we meet two groups of people, one friendly... the others not so much."
While others thought about what to say Kimberly immediately asked, "Wait, what the fuck happened?".
"Let him speak Kim." Victor interrupted with a slightly aggressive tone.
Kimberly sneared at Victor "I'm asking important..."
Vincent stopped Kimberly causing another argument, "Kim, I'm not finished, he's right. Let me talk."
Kimberly reluctantly agreed, “Fine. Go on.”.
"The weapons we got, were from a family... they wanted ours, had us at gunpoint, we tried to convince them we had a safe place but they wouldn't listen... didn't go well for them. Kimiko shot the mother. I...killed the son and father."
Victor and Jake looked at Vincent in shock while Kimberly and Michelle were lost for words. Vincent moved things on before things got too awkward, "The other group saved us, me especially. They were just two but, they said they're from a large group and will be coming tomorrow.".
Victor immediately sprang up "What?"
"Well, nice to know there's more people out there" Michelle commented.
"How did they seem?" Kimberley asked.
"They saved them so they must be good people." Jake said to Kimberly. Before Vincent could say anything, the room was full of noise.
"Don't be so convinced." "Hope they aren't pushy." "Vincent how many they say they are?" "You have to remember people can appear nice and actually be vicious bastards." "Did you tell them about lodge?" "I know but why save them an..." "Did they say how they run things?" "Even enemies can be more useful alive. Some people are crafty cunts." "They mention where they are based?" "Say, Victor maybe they'll have a woman even for a guy like you." "I guess so." "What?! You're seriously..."
After almost another minute of chatter, Vincent yelled "Guys be quiet!" as he pointed to ceiling. The room went silent and Vincent finished his piece, “Look, none of us can say for certain if they’re really from a large group, but I am certain they’re from a group, considering they took off rather than come with us. Victor, they've been stalking us ever since that attack, they were with that guy with the Wolf marking, He says his group is based in Union city and they have two outpost in the woods, that they’re using to gather recruits, and that's what one of them said they want to do with us.”
As Victor thought about the information he had been given, Kimberly blurred out. “Union fucking City? Never mind that it’s no doubt a death-trap, who would be fucking stupid enough to try build a community there? Sounds like total Bullshit.”.
Vincent just told her “That's what he said.”.
“Mmmm” Victor stroked his beard as he thought about the situation. “Vincent, get back to me in about an hour. I’ll be in the office. Karl, get some rest and you too actually, if ya can.”
“Don’t worry I’m fine.” Vincent calmly replied, getting a curious look from everyone and slightly unnerving Karl. “I’m more worried about Kimiko.”.
Victor then said “Well then.” as he nudged his head upwards.
As Vincent went upstairs Michelle commented, “Didn’t even blink when he said that.”.
When Vincent got inside his room, he saw Kimiko laying on bed covers sideways, "Can't sleep.". Hearing her sad voice he slowly walked up to her, she got up in reaction to hearing his footsteps and they soon sat on bed side by side, Kimiko holding him by waist. "Vincent, can I ask you something?".
Vincent softly answered "Sure."
Kimiko eyes looked at her boyfriend as she asked "You said that kid wasn't the first one you've seen die....where..."
Vincent turned and looked at her confused, "Why are you...".
Kimiko didn't have much of a reason, "I just want to know.".
Vincent looked to ground and sighted, his face giving a subtle vibe of sadness, "It was during a car accident, on my way home from work, I remember what caused it but it was bad, a few people died. I was looking at it all in shock, what stuck out to me was this family, the mother and father were luckily, their kid...wasn't, it was heart wrenching to see them mourn their kid, they begged him to be okay.... you didn't to be a doctor to know kid was dead already. I eventually did what I could to help. Once I got home, that scene haunted me...and it stayed fresh in my mind for days." Kimiko stayed silent “Why are you asking me? Its not exactly helpful.”
Kimiko eyes stayed down “There’s more isn’t they?”
“Hai.” Vincent dreadfully replied.
“Will you tell me?” Kimiko’s sadden and soft voice was getting to Vincent.
However he declined “Nō, not now, don’t make this about me. This is about you, I want to be sure you’re okay.”
Kimiko persisted “5 years, 5 years since we’ve first met, yet I never thought you could…..”
Vincent cuddled Kimiko and whispered “I know, I told you, I don’t care who or what they are, I won’t let a single thing hurt you. I don’t like repeating something like that.” Vincent tilted Kimiko’s head upwards then kissed her lips. “Now stop thinking about me. I’m worried half to death about ya. What I said earlier about feeling bad about what happened, that’s good, better to feel that way than not at all. Means you’re a good person.”
Kimiko appreciated Vincent’s words, “Thanks, Ai anata wa saiai no hito.”
“Watashi mo anata o aishitemasu. Now try get some sleep.” Vincent gave Kimiko a nice smile as he looked into her eyes, so she could tell he meant every word.
Kimiko was still upset but she smiled back, "Will you stay with me until then?".
"Of course." the couple laid beside each other until Kimiko finally slept. Vincent checked his watch and found he was 10 mins late for talking to Victor. He quietly got out of bed and left the room.
In the office Vincent saw Victor patiently waiting for him, before Vincent could apologise Victor saved him the effort, "Don't worry about being late, figured Kimiko needed you. You can no doubt guess what I'm thinking about."
Vincent spoke as he shut door behind him and proceeded to sit down, "Staying or leaving. She's getting better by way.".
Victor was happy to hear that, "Good to know, haven't seen like that for months. Forget how bad things were out there sometimes. Hell, I forget not everything out there is a monster as well, we never considered that the gang could be good people did we?"
"No we didn't." Vincent noted, "You're considering them as well aren't ya?".
Victor looked down at the desk then slowly back up as he replied, "Yes, rescuing you three puts them in my good books but, I overheard Kimberly and I must admit she's right, good deeds aren't always done for good reasons. But having said that.... I need to know, why watch you lot for so long? Did they tell you?".
Vincent answered "They wanted to know if we were worth recruiting."
Victor had suspected as such, "I thought that might have been why." Victor then looked left through office window, "They should be coming tomorrow, it's getting close to sunset. I'm not risking traveling at night, so best thing we can do is hear what they have to say. Hope they let us think about our options first.".
Vincent also looked through window, "Yeah." Vincent then got curious as recalled who Victor was stuck with the past few days, "How was Michelle?".
“Huh? Oh, him.” Victor’s then smiled, his eyes telling more than words ever could about what he endured, “You and Kimiko were gone and I had to endure every sex joke and innuendo he could come up with…. by myself.”.
Vincent couldn’t help but nervously laugh in response. “Sorry, I knew that would happen, though really, did either of us want to be stuck with him?”
Victor tilted his head to right briefly in acknowledgement, “Yeah, I know you don’t mind his jokes but, he reminds me so much of those teenagers I use to teach. I feel like putting a bunsen burner just as much into his face as I did them sometimes.”
Vincent defended Michelle, “Oh come on hes not that bad, he can be annoying but come on, you know as well as I do you’d take him over you know who.”
“These days yeah, she wasn’t as bad before, but since he…. I tried to help her come to terms with it. I would never have wished that on anyone…. just feels all I got from her was spit in my face.” Victor rubbed his left cheek.
Vincent looked briefly to the ground remembering how times were before Kimberly’s husband’s suicide. Vincent tone was low as he remarked on the past, “Yeah, things were stable between you and her before then, now she goes out of her way to insult you, but...”.
Victor knew what coming, “I know, I know, I’m one who brings him I’ve heard that line enough times.”
“Ya.” Vincent thought about Kimiko and the arguing that had been happening over the last few weeks. “Victor, you know Kimiko is not in a good state of mind, the woman she killed was trying to kill me because I shot her Husband and child.” Victor grew uneasy about the subject and even more so at Vincent calm manner, he could see however they was a hint of sadness in his eyes, “How do you think Kimiko is going to take the arguing you and Kimberly have when she already has a woman who didn’t live to grief on her mind?”
Victor could see what Vincent was getting at “Alright, I’ll try. You’ll have to talk to Kimberly though, I doubt she listen to me after…”.
“I don’t want to know what you said to her to warrant that punch, just don’t say it again.” Vincent tone and face then turned slightly aggressive, “Victor I’ll tell it to you straight, if I hear you two arguing while Kimiko is still pulling herself together, I won’t care who started it.”
Victor was slightly intimidated and nodded, “Okay, Vincent I understand; you’re worried about her, we all are, you don’t have to get aggressive. If Kimberly will stay out of my face, I’ll stay out of hers.”
Vincent nodded and his voice returned to normal, “Thank you, I’ll talk to her. Before I go let me check; we’re going to see if they show up tomorrow?”
“Yes, let others know alright.” Victor again looked through window, “Maybe everything will turn out for the better.”
“Ya, maybe. I’ll tell them.” Vincent got out of his chair then proceed downstairs to see Michelle along with Kimberly and Jake sat talking in main room and approached them.
Kimberly was first to notice him, “Hey Vincent, how is she?”
Vincent stood just beside the room corner and answered “Shes just as okay as she can be.”
While Kimberly didn’t particularly like Kimiko she didn’t hate her and wished her best, though she wasn’t the best when it came to expressing sympathy, “Hope she gets herself together soon.”
“Thanks. Just so you guys know, Victor has decided we best stay and see if they turn up. You all fine with that?”, Michelle and Jake gave a simple “Yeah.”.
Kimberly gave a more detailed answer, “I don’t think any of us would leave now unless it was at gunpoint, yeah I’m fine with it.”
Vincent was pleased to hear everyone was in agreement, that way he could quickly talk to Kimberly, “Kim, can I have a word with you?”
Kimberly then looked at Vincent suspiciously “Is this about?”
“Yes, its also about Kimiko though.” Vincent then nudge his backwards, Kimberly got up and they proceeded towards side of the stairs.
As the pair went to discuss the matter of the arguments happening along with Kimiko’s mental state Michelle approached Jake and asked him, “Yo buddy, I have to ask why have you been sticking around Kimberly lately? Before you’d look about ready to piss yourself just by her being in room, now I’m starting to think you’re into hotheaded muscular women.”
Jake nervously stuttered for a moment before he answered his question, “N, n, no I just think shes a good person.”
Michelle was now even more baffled “Good person? That woman would have my head on a pike, if I acted the way I normally do around everyone else. You sure you don’t have a crush my timid friend?”
Jake knew his nervousness was making it seem otherwise but he insisted “No, I… don’t, I just think she needs a friend. She did scare me but… after thinking about it. I think she just wants to forget about him, ... and she’s angry because she can’t. Victor… should just give her..a break.”
Michelle couldn’t argue against that, “I agree with ya there. Listen I don’t get why you like her but, if you can tame that beast of a woman, you’ve got my respect.”
Jake was slightly puzzled by Michelle’s wording “Ermm thanks… I guess.”
Michelle pated Jake on the back, “Hey, if you do like her, I’m not questioning your taste but, be careful, she's vicious.” Jake just looked at him blankly “Oh you’re no fun.”.
Jake thought about his next words “Michelle, I’m… just her friend, okay?”
Michelle rolled his eyes “Fine, fine.”
Jake wanted to change the subject fast so he asked, “Are you concerned about Kimiko?”.
Michelle simply stated “Vincent’s got that covered.”
much to Jake’s shock “Thats it?”
Michelle explained “What else can I do, no point worrying, I know she’ll pull herself together eventually.” Jake was lost for words.
Meanwhile Vincent and Kimberly had come to an agreement. “Alright Vincent, if that old fuck can lay off me, I’ll do same. I’m doing this for you okay?”
“Thank you, it means alot.” Vincent was glad to hear his friends were both willing to put their differences aside, at least for a while. “Its starting to get late, whos on shift?”
Kimberly whispered to Vincent “Its meant to be me and Michelle but I think we should have at least a break, the last 2 days were dead. Besides the front still smells like shit.”
Victor wouldn’t dare have a day without a nightwatch, and Vincent knew he wouldn’t take kindly to people taking a night off. “I dunno.”
Kimberly told him “Victor doesn’t have a shift today so the old crow isn’t going to notice. You look shattered anyway, you certainly need sleep.”
Vincent couldn’t hide fact he was running on fumes “Alright fine, if Victor isn’t going to notice then fair enough. And ya I do, I’ll get to bed right now. That reminds me I should tell Karl.”
As Vincent was about to go up stair Kimberly told him, “I’ll tell him, you get some sleep.” Vincent nodded in appreciation then headed straight for his room.
To his surprise Kimiko was wide awake, “You alright Kimiko?”
She was sat against the bed covered up to her belly “Yeah, just thinking. Come here”. she patted the bed cover just beside her.
Vincent approached and sat down “What…” then almost immediately received a kiss “oh.”
The next morning.“Guys. Guys. You need to...” Jake knocked on the door but received no response so opened the door to see to see a brown back and matching hair on left side of the bed and quickly put the pieces together, “Oh shit…” and quickly closed the door. Hearing the bang Vincent and Kimiko awoke, “Hey you guys better look outside….I didn’t...nevermind just look.”.
Confused Vincent checked his watch and saw it was 11am, after quickly getting dressed and looking outside they saw Victor, Michelle, Karl and Kimberly stood in front of 14 men, 10 wearing dark coloured clothing with a white wolf pup somewhere on their upper clothing, armed with submachine guns, the men in front of them had body armor on that was clearly improvised with a fully grown wolf painted on their shoulder pads and were equipped assault rifles. Leading them was the last 2, one of which being none other than Josh Porter from before, the man next to him wearing full SWAT armor, through anything that resembled that was noticeably covered with black paint, his helmet had a similar wolf on the front of it.
Vincent and Kimiko quickly rushed down stairs to front of the lodge, once they joined the others they were cheerfully greeted by Josh “Ahh there you are, now shall we discuss recruitment?”
< Part 5
- First appearance of Dante
- First appearance of Henderson
- First appearance of Jessica
- First appearance of William
- First appearance of Luke