The sounds of cracking tables, thuds against walls and gunshot punctuations fade into the distance as Vash leads Bella through the kitchen. She hadn’t even protested when Vash left this way.
Out back, behind the building in the alley, Vash’s mind started working on what she’d do out here. Even assuming Mr. Shane survived, she doubted he’d be able to get her car pulled around quickly. And if the attack ended up being more than the one man, she couldn’t wait around.
Looking around the alleyway, Vash took stock of her options. There was a fire escape, but she’d have trouble getting Bella up it. The exit down the alley itself was the most available option, but if more men were coming, it’s also how they’d be caught.
Stupid dress. It was so stupid of me to wear it.
Vash turned her attention to Bella again, wondering what she thought of the dress, but realized she was shaking. This wasn’t the confident woman Vash remembered.
“Bella. Do you know why they were attacking us?”
The woman’s head droops down, the brim of her hat covering her eyes, but Vash knew exactly what they looked like.
They were afraid.
“It’s why I called you. The Belroses are after me.”
Vash froze for a moment.
“What did you do?”
All traces of Vash’s politeness were gone. She did not sign up for a war. In that moment, she mentally cursed putting so much effort in dressing up for Bella.
“I didn’t do anything!” Bella insists. “They think I killed Raphael, but I could never!”
This was getting a lot more complicated.
“Why, in the name of the maker, would they think you killed Raphael?!”
“You have to listen, I would never have hurt him! They just…”
Before she could finish her answer, the sound of screeching tires came from the end of the alleyway.
“Bella, give me your gun.”
She stares at Vash, horror in her eyes, but not moving.
“I said, give me your gun! Do you want to live?”
This time, Bella quickly moves, opening her purse and pulling the revolver from it. It was a little thing with a wood grip. Vash grabs the gun and points it at the car, now driving towards them.
There’s a wall behind us, but maybe if I hit the driver, we can go back through the restaurant. Ryan might be done by now…
The car pulls to a quick stop, and the door opens.
“Whoa there, don’t shoot!” Ryan says as he steps out of the car.
Vash lets out the breath she didn’t realize she was holding.
“Oh good… Wait, where’s my car?”
“No time. I’ll come back for it, but this guy’s was closer. Get in.”
In any other situation, Vash have protested Mr. Shane giving orders, but now was not the time. The two ladies moved to the back of the car as quickly as they could.
Ryan backed up, faster than Vash was comfortable with, since they were between two buildings, but he pulled it off. The car peeled back out in the street, making some cars screech to a stop, as he shifted and pulled into traffic proper.
“So, Mr. Shane, if I may ask, whose car is this?”
“After the first attacker went down his friend pulled up in this. I wasn’t sure if more could be on the way, so I figured I’d borrow his car.”
Looking around the vehicle, it was a far cry from Vash’s luxury machine. But it had a back seat, and enabled their getaway. It was clean though, which was surprising. Vash had expected brutes like that to leave their cigarettes or whatever laying about.
“Mr. Shane, did you kill the men?”
This was important. If he didn’t, he’d have to drive well to ensure he isn’t followed. If he did, they’d have lost those attackers, but the Belrose family would never stop hunting them.
“I didn’t. I knocked out the one in the restaurant. After I took away his gun, the guy in the car was easy.”
“Good. You know how to lose a tail?”
“We don’t have one, but I’m on it.” Ryan turned the car down a random road, away from Vash’s apartment. It might have been unnecessary, but Vash hadn’t lived this long without taking some precautions.
“Now that we have a moment, Bella, I need you to start talking.”
Bella clutched her purse.
“They think I killed Raphael.”
“Yes, you mentioned that. Why do they think you killed him?”
“Because they found his body in my apartment.”
Vash’s eyebrows shot up.
“Sweetie, you’re going to have to explain.”
Bella sighs, a tear trickling from her eye.
“We- we were seeing each other.”
Vash continues staring, Bella trembling a little.
“Mr. Shane, after you’re sure we aren’t being followed, please take us to the Arcadia. I’m going to need a drink.”