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The sound of a second stream joining the sound of his own splattering against the bush made Bell jump, but rather than Landon or some hostile pisser, it was just Spot, making use of the open door to take care of his same needs. "Stupid dog," he sighed, more of a greeting than anything else at this point. Startled him, though. Hey, maybe Spot would fight. Then again, what would that prove? Spot was him, more or less. He'd just be fighting a weaker version of himself.
Spot headed back inside when he was done, but Bell lingered, looking at the sky. It wasn't a clear view; this alley might be dark, but the rest of the city put out more than enough light pollution to make up for it. Reminded him of his dream, somehow, at least the first part of it. He scratched the back of his head and yawned. Didn't make any sense, that dream. It wasn't a memory or anything, just... some weird stupid dream nonsense. At least it didn't involve her, usually.
It didn't take long to get bored. Bell headed back inside, chaining the door up behind him. When he turned around, the silhouette of a man was standing over their bed, gripping a weapon. Bell clenched his fists, prepared to attack--but paused. The bed was empty. And the man was holding a bat--oh. Just Landon.
"Gave me a heart attack," Bell said, shaking his head at Landon. Scaring him for no reason. "What, you hear something? Nothing happened, right?" He was only just outside. He would've heard if anything serious happened.
He plopped down on the pile and rolled over, getting his arms under him and massaging the pile of clothes into a more comfortable shape. Nice, fluffy pile of girly clothes, just for them. It was better than sleeping on the floor by miles.
A thought occurred to him, and he sat up suddenly. "Unless you changed your mind?" He hadn't meant that they'd fight with weapons, but hell, he'd take anything, as long as he could fight. He just wanted to--to clash with something, someone, best them and beat them down until they acknowledged him as superior. It wasn't too much to ask for, was it? Just a little fight?
‘Because I want to’. Landon snorted. Bell could be such a child sometimes. He stifled a yawn and took a deep breath instead to satisfy the need for oxygen.
“There’s no sense in us fighting each other, is there?” he muttered. If one of them one, it mean the other got hurt. Sure, they had the goats to heal then and everything, but why wear themselves down like that? Surely just living on the streets was going to take care of that?
Bell dropped the topic and Landon watched as Bell stood. Was he going somewhere instead to blow off stream? For a walk, was his bet. Or get a stiff drink. Landon licked his lips at the thought and cursed Daniel. No, that wasn’t fair. He had himself to blame just as much, if not more.
“Okay,” Landon acknowledged Bell’s escape and sat upright.
He felt uneasy, but giving chase seemed senseless and stifling. Landon did have some measure of pride still, even though some part of him practically shouted at him to follow Bell and stay close to the other man.
He was fine. It’d just be for a couple of minutes.
Bell would be back in no time. Spot had followed Bellwether out; made sense. They’d come back early and the dog hadn't been out since. It did leave him alone. His head felt fine though. Well, as fine as a headache could make it.
He looked back at the pile of clothes, sighing out. Clothes didn’t exactly make a comfortable bed, no matter which way you turned that story. Maybe if he folded some of the less frilly articles into something of a pillow. Honestly, his lack of sleep wasn’t because of that -though their sleeping arrangement couldn’t exactly be helping.
How long had it been?
Surely it’d been a minute already? How long did it take to go out and find a decent bush? Maybe he should follow, just in case. Landon hesitated, hands to the pile, ready to push off. A sound echoed through the store. Landon held his breath, listening.
Spot. Damn it.
“You need a bell too,” he acknowledged the dog and stood. It felt better to stand. Maybe -Landon picked up the bat. That was even better. Now when there was something hostile, at least he could defend himself properly.
Daniel hadn't really slept either, had he? He'd been awfully awake when Bell had woken up. So this made, what, two sleepless nights in a row for them? It wasn't healthy. Was he going to have to watch and make sure they got enough sleep, too, on top of everything else?
Landon wasn't up for a fight either. Dammit. He just wanted to fight a little, but no one wanted to fight back. Then again...should've figured, with Landon. Landon never fought back. "Because I want to," he said in response to "why." He was awake now, super awake, and he wanted to do something.
He frowned at the uncertain way Landon said "you'd win." That was the problem, wasn't it? He wasn't sure he would, not anymore. Landon had almost squirmed free earlier. They were stronger than him now. He didn't like it. If they fought, at least he could confirm that he'd win--or lose, and then...and then he could focus on getting stronger. He didn't like not knowing. Not being sure who'd win, whether it was him or not.
Then again, would Landon really answer that question? Landon would let him win. He wasn't vicious like Daniel. Best case, he brought Daniel out, and he'd seen enough of Daniel for a while. "Yeah, never mind," he said. He stood and stretched, looking around the room. Well, he was awake. Might as well go for a piss before he settled back down. Such a pain in the butt to have to go outside, though.
Come to think of it, had he locked the door? He'd been looking after Landon, and then there'd been the sandwich debacle...he bent and rifled through his coat and came up with the brand new lock and chain. Bell pulled a face. Whoops. Saved him the time on the way out, at least. And with Landon and Spot, it wasn't like someone could have snuck inside. "I'm gonna go use the john, be right back," he said, yawning. He waved goodbye to Landon and headed outside.
It wasn't that dark outside, to his surprise. There were no lights, but there was moonlight, and the moon was bright and full. It was kind of a pleasant experience, pissing under the stars.
Landon was surprised when Bell lunged at him. For a second, Landon figured Bell would manage to get his bearings before acting out, but no dice. Bell tackled him into the pile of clothes and Landon wasn’t sure whether to act. Or how to act. To fight, struggle or just wait. In the end Bellwether recovered before those hands could wrap around his throat -improvement? Probably just luck. Landon blinked up at the ceiling as Bell collapsed back into their makeshift bed, slightly dazed.
Why couldn’t he ever see it coming?
He knew it was coming. Each and every time. And he was never in time to respond or work up a tactic in advance. Aside from that time where he’d woken Bell up from a distance.
But then, he didn’t want to abandon Bell when it was the kind of nightmare that left Bellwether feeling vulnerable. He relaxed a little when Bell wormed out of his jacket and tossed it aside, snapping out of his daze.
No. He shook his head, belatedly realised it might be too dark to see and made a noise to accompany his frustration with being unable to sleep.
“No, not really,” Landon managed, shifting so his back wasn’t pressed into a dozen frilly decorations. Whatever Daniel had done the day before, it couldn’t have been much. His stomach had barely accepted the bread he’d eaten before, but other than that there was nothing to warrant feeling tired either.
Landon turned his head to face Bell, confused. Had he heard right? Bell’s gentle touch really didn’t help solve the discrepancy between what he heard and his tactile input.
“What? Why?” Landon said. Wasn’t the idea that they didn’t try and murder one another? Hadn’t Bell managed to get his kick now that he’d stopped before throttling him?
And even then, they could barely see one another, how was that going to work exactly?
“You’d win…?” he ventured slowly, uncertainty tainting his voice.
When it came to a physical fight, Landon knew he’d lose to Bell no matter what. The man just had more experience, so it wasn’t logical they fight that way. Trying would be stupid. Doubly so because they had real enemies out there they ought to be fighting.
The darkness contorted again. He fought against it, but there was no use. He was dragged back into the black, into the bottomless sea. The light blinked away, disappearing as the tide rose. His feet curled into mud, fighting the pull of the river as it dragged him down, dragged him with the current. She laughed from the bank, kicking her feet. He reached for her and shouted for help, but nothing came from his throat. He couldn't make a sound, mute. She laughed, thinking it was a game, a joke, but it wasn't, he was going to drown and she'd laugh while he died.
The water rose higher, the current growing stronger. He needed help, or he'd get dragged under! He felt his feet lift off the ground, kicked for a beat, then found the ground again, latching his toes into mud like it could hold him down. She just laughed, watching him from the bank. The water sucked him down. It was over his head, too deep to touch the ground.
A hand grabbed his shoulder and shook. Bell blinked. Where was he? Where was this? Everything was dark. He was lying down, someone was sitting beside him. He jumped up and lunged at them. No one got the jump on him. No one.
He tackled the man down, pushing him flat on his back. Before he managed to find the man's throat, he blinked. He recognized this face. Holding the other man down in the pile, he peered closer at him. Wait...oh. It was just Landon. He sighed out and fell back into the pile, letting go of the pipe. After a second, he wormed out of his jacket and cast it away. Too hot for that. He was sweating like mad.
"Not sleeping?" he asked Landon, peering at the man's silhouette. It was too dark to see much more. He reached out and touched him, more gently this time. "Wanna fight?" He was all wound up now, his heart racing. If Landon wasn't sleeping either, they might as well do something with their time, and he wasn't in the mood to fuck. It'd be too much effort either way, holding back or taking it, but it'd feel good to fight it out some. Kill this adrenaline.
There was no sleep to be had. At first, that was fine, but as Bell fell asleep and left him with Spot, after the sun had sat and pooled them in darkness, Landon started to feel the unease tug at one half of his brain. As if it was physically pulling him to the left -or pushing him away from the right. He shifted. Spot perked up, but once it became apparent Landon was just repositioning, laid back down with a huff. Landon was scared to move away from Bell.
He was scared to open his eyes and face the contorted figures of their surroundings. Bell’s sleep was just as restless as Landon felt. Rather than try and wake the man, Landon stroked Bellwether’s hair, trying to ease him back off to sleep. It seemed to work, if only temporarily.
He’d also opened his eyes because of it.
Nothing was contorted. All the things he’d seen in the light of day were now just dark. He recognised a smashed up mannequin, the rough frame of the counter and the narrow pathway leading to the kitchenette. Everything was behaving for once.
Landon yawned widely, wishing sleep would happen, but it wasn’t likely. Instead, he sat up and watched Bell struggle against unseen ghosts. The girl? Maybe.
A hesitant hand came to rest on Bell’s shoulder.
“Hey, Bell?” Landon’s gruff whisper was barely audible. Spot heard it and watched, both curious and alert. Landon cleared his throat to try again. Maybe he should’t. If Bell woke on his own, he’d try to run at best -not throttle him. Not usually.
‘Man up,’ Landon muttered at himself under his breath.
He pushed the hair from Bell’s face, then shook the man’s shoulder.
“Bell, you’re having a nightmare,” he said calmly, but clearly. He’d noticed the difference in strength when Bell tried to constrain him, so maybe he could fight back this time and actually prevent either of them from getting hurt. Hah, as if.
“It’s just a nightmare,” Landon said soothingly.
Just another mother-fucking nightmare. There wasn’t a night they had going without those, was there? Always something. If it wasn’t Bell, he would.
Landon didn't notice Bell's struggle to control his emotions, didn't flinch an inch. He was glad for that. Would've just made him feel worse than before. Instead, Landon sighed and shifted in Bell's grip, pressing an ear to Bell's chest. Bell snorted at that, amused. You'd think there was a symphony orchestra in there, as much as Landon liked listening to it. Still, it was such a Landon thing to do that he felt reassured, stupidly so, at having him do it. Landon wasn't going to run away. Everything was okay.
His heart stopped racing slowed, growing calm. Landon was here. Everything was okay. They could get the stupid goats tomorrow. His eyes slid shut. "Hmm, love you, too," he mumbled. Revenge? Revenge wasn't... he hadn't been hurt, just...
Sleep took him before he could formulate a coherent reply. He only just registered Spot joining them, lying down by Landon's side, and then he was gone, taken away into his dreams.
Darkness set the tone. A deep enough darkness to drown in, thick like treacle. He fell and fell, light distant, a pinprick in the sky, and then the darkness closed over his head and swallowed him whole, snuffing out the last of the light. Still he fell, until he forgot the sensation of falling, until down was up and up was down and neither of them meant anything.
The light was blinding. Shadows were blasted apart, his body torn from the gentle treacle-darkness and slammed with light, every inch and corner under examination, nothing hidden from the eyes of the light, of the light that had eyes, of the sun, so hot, so blinding, so loud, close enough to burn him to nothing, screaming and shaking him apart. He was burning, his whole body burning to nothing, fingers, toes, arms and legs, each fiber burned from the next, one by one by one.
A hand closed around him, gnarled and black as pitch, cupping him gently. His body cried out for relief, and relief was offered. He shuddered, lying on that hand as his body came back together, and it hurt, but not as badly as it had to be burned by the sun.
There was a nose, louder than the sun. Bell looked up, and found the darkness looking down at him.
Bell was angered by his confession. Landon could feel it in the way some of the muscles in Bellwether’s chest tightened, the way Bell’s breathing shifted and despite all of that; Landon felt comforted. Because it was real, and if Bellwether hadn’t cared, he wouldn’t have experienced such a powerful emotion. In the end, love won out however and he was patted on the back in what was supposed to be a comforting gesture.
Not a word was spoken.
Until Bell said it wasn’t his fault. It wasn’t true; things would’ve been very different if they weren’t so weak without Bell to keep them in place. Bell tugged him closer and Landon sighed out, comforted. The store didn’t seem so confusing now, or as frightening. Landon put his ear to Bell’s chest, listening.
The cogs were there.
Their rhythm remained undisturbed by any human emotion.
Landon calmed at their consistent grind, eyes sinking shut. He wasn’t tired -but he was. Mentally. Fear, panic, vivid hallucinations; he was just tired of it all. Landon wanted it all to stop. He didn’t care whether it took medication to make that happen either at this point. He just wanted to be able to breathe, to be normal. Even if it was only for a little while.
“Bell…I love you,” Landon muttered in the cloth of Bell’s shirt. Even the scent of Bellwether was reassuring.
Sleep remained evasive however.
There was a nervous, jittery energy simmering through his muscles. The excess energy made his fingers tremble and his breathing shallow. Landon didn’t mind it much. At least he wouldn’t wake up bathed in sweat after another vicious nightmare, losing grip on reality only to wake up several days later in some unknown place, not knowing what had happened.
“We’ll get our revenge,” Landon promised.
No mere goat tried to hurt Bellwether without facing the consequences. Being with Bellwether gave him purpose. It was easier to focus on something tangible that way, though at the same time, it made Landon question whether any of it was ever real. It had to be. It was, wasn’t it? The goats? Their hunts?
Landon shifted closer and put a hand to Bell's chest. Bell smiled and toyed with his hair some more. Landon was too cute. Just adorable. "I'll do my best," he promised. It felt good to be needed. Daniel was a lot of things, but needy wasn't one of them. It left him feeling insecure, sometimes, because Daniel was fine, would do fine, with or without him.
The alcohol? They'd only...oh. Yeah, he'd noticed Daniel was drinking a lot, even for Daniel. So he was...this was him getting over alcohol? Going through withdraw? He sighed. It wasn't exactly a surprise. It was the same thing they'd done the first time. But... even so, he was a little disappointed. Was he really all that was keeping them from abusing the bottle every night? Rather than being cute, Landon's dependence seemed like a symptom, suddenly, as though he was just the new addiction to replace alcohol with.
Anger welled up again. He should have been there. Then everything would be over already. That wimpy hippie wouldn't have stood a chance. Bell wouldn't have to worry about hiding his face around town. Landon took his hand. Bell let him. He didn't know what to do. His other hand clenched into a fist. Sorry? He should be sorry! It was their fault everything had gone sideways! It was their fault! All their fault! He raised his other hand, ready to strike.
No. It wasn't Landon's fault. He was used to hunting alone. He should have been able to hunt alone. Shouldn't have followed her down the alley. Shouldn't have attacked with the hippie there, without Landon or Daniel around in case the hippie got jumpy. He wouldn't have attacked, except he felt so weak, so uncalled that he just had to [i do] something, even though he knew he shouldn't.
He swallowed. His fist uncurled, and he patted Landon on the back instead. "It's not your fault. I just did something stupid," he sighed. Shouldn't hurt Landon. It wasn't his fault. Daniel had been the one out most of the time anyways. Besides, if he hurt Landon... what if Landon ran away and didn't come back this time? He couldn't. His hand grabbed on to Landon's shirt at the thought, tugging him closer. He wasn't going to lose Landon. Not over something that stupid.
Plenty of ideas. Landon sighed deeply, leaving the answer to hover for a few seconds, until his courage was interrupted by Bellwether’s tired voice. He’d puked then? No surprise there, the way he was feeling. Bell was there, ever so close. Close enough to touch. Almost unreal. His eyes searched Bell’s face, but then the dream was interrupted by reality when Bellwether reached out and touched his hair.
Real. So safe?
Landon inched a little closer, putting a hand to the other man’s chest.
“I hate it when you’re not there when I wake up,” he confessed with a sigh. He needed Bellwether more than he cared to admit. Bell was the only constant he had while they were on the road. It’d been the egg for quite some time, but not any more.
“It’s the alcohol, I bet,” Landon ventured, eyes staring ahead unseeingly, until he grew hesitant and looked up. Bell would be disappointed with him, no doubt about that.
“I should’ve been there -if we’d been with the two of us, a ‘hippie’ wouldn’t be a problem,” he chewed out, frustrated with Daniel’s negligence, but then, it was his own shortcomings as well. He certainly hadn’t made any strides in staying sober in Bellwether’s absence.
“I’m sorry…” For being weak. For being an alcoholic. For being absent.
There just hadn’t been anything else to help him cope with reality -or the lack thereof. Landon swallowed thickly and scratched at his head, catching Bell’s hand on the way back. Strong, capable hands. Warm.
He really needed to get his act together. It was great to know Daniel and Bell got along, but this was getting absurd. Landon wanted to tell Bell he’d be better from now on, but that wasn’t a promise he could make.
Landon pressed Bell’s hand against his cheek and got closer still. He wouldn’t let Bell go off in a fit. He couldn’t. Landon needed Bell there right now. It was almost an urge. To just touch another human being. His mind kept making it a game: ‘if only he did this -then that’, and while Landon knew things didn’t work that way, maybe things could be alright if he did.
Just confused, huh? More like "just deluded." But he wasn't going to make that point. What would be the purpose? They both knew what Landon meant, and pointing it out wasn't going to stop him from having delusions.
"Yeah, Daniel puked awhile back," he mentioned. He didn't need any convincing that Landon felt sick; it'd be more surprising if he didn't.
Not the flu? Then what was it? Actually...probably good it wasn't the flu. He'd kissed Daniel plenty these last few days, and more. If it was the flu, he'd have caught it already, no doubt. "That's good," he muttered, a hand unconsciously touching his lips. He looked up, meeting Landon's eyes. "Any idea of what it is? Daniel didn't have any ideas."
It was weird, being the go-between for Landon and Daniel. It felt like Landon should already know this, but... he didn't. They were different people.
Bell nodded, slowly. He hadn't really expected the hippie to go to the police in the first place. More like, the rich lady would involve the police, and the hippie might help, if he happened to be in the area. But then again, if the lady was a goat, too, and also knew about the hunters...maybe she wouldn't go to the police either. That would be nice. It'd mean it was two against two, the hippie and the lady against him and Landon. He didn't expect it, but it'd be nice. "Yeah, yeah," he sighed, tired all of a sudden. It'd been a long day. A very long day.
Landon walked over to the clothes pile, and Bell followed. He laid down beside Landon, weary. If the day could be over right now, he'd be happy. "Uh, he only puked this morning, but he was acting really moody yesterday, starting yesterday evening. So probably about a day, day and a half?" he suggested, shrugging. "If it's a twenty-four hour flu...type thing, you should be good by tomorrow. But it's not the flu so I don't know."
He rolled onto his side and looked at Landon. They were different, in subtle ways. The way they held themselves, some of their gestures. Daniel's standoffishness and Landon's vulnerability. He reached out and touched Landon's hair, toying with a strand. Both so pretty, though.
Really? He wouldn’t have guessed by how frustrated Bellwether acted. Especially when the man acted out against Spot, where usually Bell saw the humour of himself being an opportunistic dog.
“It can only get better tomorrow,” Landon muttered, finishing the last of his thin slice of bread. At last. His stomach was not pleased with being forced to digest anything remotely resembling food. Landon rested against the counter, waiting for the feelings of repulsion for anything edible to die down. He swallowed thickly and waved away Bell’s apology.
“I was just confused,” he excused the locked door. Now that he’d calmed down a measure, it seemed silly; the way he’d responded to their new ‘home’.
They were just clothes and other trinkets, bits and bobs of broken store, wrecked by some vandals. Landon held an arm around his stomach and sighed out. Slowly, ever so slowly, his body tried to make sense of the bread and what to do with it.
“I do feel sick,” Landon complained.
“I don’t think it’s a flu or anything though,” he soothed, chewing his lip. To tell Bell or not? If he wasn’t contagious, he could at least touch Bellwether without considering the repercussions, but would Bell even want to at that point?
He noticed the pile of strategically-placed clothes; the pile he’d woken up on. So a makeshift bed?
“It’ll turn out okay -we’ll figure something out, maybe hunt the hippie first,” Landon pointed out. “If he’s a goat and knows about the hunters, I doubt he’d involve police.” Because from what they’d gathered, the hunters were likely government-funded or something similar. The money had to come from somewhere, and frankly, the hunters’ reach seemed to extend well into official organisations.
Landon moved to the pile of clothes and experimentally sank down on top of it, trying to find a comfortable spot to lie down. His stomach unclenched marginally when he did, making it feel more plausible the bread was going to stay down.
“How long has Daniel been sick for?” he bemoaned, wanting it to be over already. Probably two days. Give or take. Since they’d started out and alcohol was no longer a thing.
Landon was right. There was no point in chasing Spot. He knew that. He [i knew] that. It was just--nothing had gone his way. Couldn't he eat a sandwich without something going wrong? He shouted out of frustration and threw a bit of mannequin at Spot. The dog dodged, so it just clattered against the floor pointlessly. He glared at Spot, chest heaving, all the day's frustration coming to a head in a rush of anger, then turned and punched the shelves, breaking a hole through the surface. Dammit! Dammit all.
It was just a sandwich. Just a sandwich. He took a deep breath and tried to calm down, willing his heart to slow. Shaking his head, he stomped back to Landon and grabbed some more bread. Another sandwich. Stupid dog. He wasn't going to put this one down. If anything else went wrong today, that was it. First, Daniel was sassing him, and then Daniel got sick, then the hunt went wrong, then Landon tried to run away from him, and now Spot stole his sandwich. Nothing was going right.
"Today's been shit," he informed Landon, taking a big bite of his new sandwich. "It's really been shit." He shook his head. He wanted to whine about Daniel, but the asshole was probably listening. And it wasn't his fault, not really. He was sick, of course he'd be irritable.
He sighed and leaned back against the counter, keeping a tight hold on his sandwich so no enterprising dogs could steal this one. At least the day was almost over. It couldn't get much worse.
He didn't know what to say. What did he talk about with Landon? Couldn't ask him how things had been, because, well, they hadn't. Landon just hadn't existed. Couldn't ask him about his day; he hadn't had one. "Um," he said at last, "sorry. Bout locking you in. I didn't mean to scare you." Had to add that one to the list of Landon's phobias: locked doors. It seemed stupid, but... glass houses, and all that.
Spot wandered back into the kitchen, with at least enough self-awareness to act ashamed. Bell kicked at him, but the dog dodged it easily. "Stupid dog," he sighed.
‘Probably’. The way Bell said it made Landon believe Bellwether hadn’t even considered it a possibility until now. A good whack. If the hippie wasn’t a goat, they might be in trouble all the same -for killing a person this time around. Bellwether-goat wouldn’t exactly stand to stay in prison for very long though, so odds were it wouldn’t be a problem when things really came to a head. Either way Landon didn’t quite feel the pressure that this situation might be concerning to them.
At Bell’s suggestion he try something on, Landon furrowed his brow and inspected some of the clothes a little closer. Frilly, dirty articles littered the floor, most in flamboyant and expressive colours. Oh. A women’s clothing store? Well, that explained the mannequins at least.
“Think I’ll pass…” he muttered, trying some more of the sandwich. He was hungry, but nauseas at the same time. It was a weird place to be. Two days wasn’t particularly long either, so his suspicion was correct.
Spot interrupted them, demanding to be fed. Rather than dog-food however, the meat on Bell’s sandwich seemed to hold Spot’s preference. Smart. Landon considered it, even as he watched Bell chase Spot. Part of it was ridiculously funny, comical even, because Bell was chasing a dog who’d already gorged itself on the food. And part of it was frightening, because the distance contorted his view on Bell.
It seemed as if the further away Bellwether got, the sicker he felt. The less real things appeared and the more suspicious he became of the man. As if he failed to recognise Bell from this distance. Detached.
He was becoming detached and the view from outside-in was contorted, a far-cry from reality.
“He’s already eaten it, you know?” Landon tried, voice sounding as if it was coming from miles away. He was still carrying the bat. He was safe. Inside here. In the darkness. One of Landon’s hands curled around the comforting and sturdy wood of the bat. As if it could ground him.
“Just -just make another.”
‘Just come back’.
The hippie? He looked at Landon, then sighed out. Dammit. With their luck, and the way he'd been dodging...Plus, why help rich lady out unless he felt some kind of kinship? Maybe that was why the hunters had failed before: two goats, when they'd only expected one. "Probably," he sighed. "Gave him a good whack or two, so if he's not, we've seen the last of him for a while."
Landon finally let go of his arm. He glanced up, wondering if there was some significance to the gesture, but it didn't seem like it. At least Landon was hovering within arm's reach. Made him feel a little more comfortable knowing he could snag the man before he took off again.
Weird was better than puking on the street. He took it as improvement. "We're in some old clothing store. I think it got hit by a storm, maybe, tornado or hurricane or...something." He shrugged. A bit of a smirk tugged at his lips, and he nodded at the pile. "You wanna try some on, be my guest." He'd love to see Landon's face when he realized it was mostly frilly, girly stuff.
How long had it been? Bell frowned, then started counting on his fingers. No, wait, he'd almost forgot, it'd been Landon, but then... "...like, two days?" he estimated at last. Not long, compared to some times. Maybe Daniel had switched so he didn't have to deal with being sick. "Maybe three," Bell said, considering, then shook his head. "No, I'm pretty sure it's two. Not long, is the point."
He took a bite of his sandwich. It was kind of disappointing, just bread and meat. Needed something to loosen it up and hold it together. Some mayo would be nice. Whatever. It was his fault they were stuck eating in, so he couldn't complain. Bread and meat was better than nothing.
Speaking of better than nothing, Landon was nibbling at the bread, which was enheartening. If he could eat, then he was on the mend. Bell nodded at him, pleased.
Spot whined, jumping up on Bell to demand his attention, then trotting over to the food. "Oh, yeah," Bell muttered. He put his sandwich down for a second and walked over to fill Spot's bowl. Stupid dog.
The instant Bell bent over, Spot jumped at the counter and lunged for Bell's sandwich. He snatched it up and hightailed it, running into the shop even as he gulped it died hmm. "Hey!" Bell snapped, giving chase. His sandwich!
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