The next day, Frisk and I went out shopping. The guards came with us in a separate car, driving behind us at a good distance so as not to feel too claustrophobic. Frisk let me have control of the music as we moved through the countryside, belting out stupid songs as we made our way back into civilization.
I had woken up this morning with a text from Red, but I had yet to read it. It was only day three, and I was ready to go home. I didn't mind hanging out with Frisk, but I didn't want to stay there for three weeks at most. I was ready to go home and cuddle up to my cat on the couch while watching horrible Mettaton movies. I wanted to hear Papyrus screaming at Red for his terrible puns and “NYAH HAH HAH”ing when he made his own.
I was homesick. I knew that's what it was. Frisk told me what he knew about their heats, and it basically covered everything Wingdings had told me. But he also told me that Red's jacket, and his smell, wouldn't have an effect on me like it would if I had been standing in front of him. So if it was anything, I was homesick.
It was weird how I had begun to call it home. I had made it my own place. There was a specific chair for me, and there was a step ladder now readily available in the kitchen for me. There were a lot of things that were there now made for just me. Hell, they even got me a new TV and PlayStation since mine were busted when we went to my apartment.
They even gave Soldier new beds around the house. He used them all, and even Papyrus was beginning to warm up to him. There had been more than one occasion where I had walked in on Solider in his lap, happily purring while Papyrus read and petted him. Or where I found them moving around the kitchen together, Solider watching this tall skeleton do his work.
It was really nice to be able to call it home, now that I thought about it. At first, it had just been me. When I couldn't take that, I got Solider. And while Solider would always be my baby, it was hard to have a conversation with him. It was one sided with looks that could vary from bored to angry, slitted eyes.
Now, when I came home from work, or going out, I was always greeted by Papyrus. Maybe Red and sometimes even Wings. I wasn't alone anymore, and it was one of the nicest things I could have. I looked out the window as we came closer to the city, watching as the trees that blurred by became sidewalks and bushes.
I really did want to go home. It was only day three and I was ready to throw in the towel. Reading the text from Red would only make the ache worse. I just needed a sense of normality. Even though my “normal” is a chaotic house full of skeletons and a cat.
The thought made me smile.
We pulled into the parking lot of the mall and holy crap it was huge. We parked in front of the food court and got out the car. I stood there, staring at the giant place before Frisk's voice got my attention. I jogged to catch up to him, where he was already waiting by the doors of the food court.
Walking inside, I was hit with the smell of combining foods. Chinese, pizza, tacos, burgers. There were two walls lined with food places that had lines of people waiting to get food. I glanced around with big eyes, and I didn't notice how Frisk was looking at me until I heard him chuckling. I looked up at him.
“What's so funny?” I demanded.
“You just look so starstruck,” he mused. “Come on, let's get you a better headset to use so you're not yanking out the cord every three seconds.”
I followed him as he made his way through the mall, looking at all of the stores. Phone services and little kiosks were set up along the way. They offered things like little figurines and jewelry. Body piercings and the like. There was even one for knives! Who in the hell came up with this stuff? Why were knives allowed to be in the open like that anyway?
We passed by a few more stores before entering an electronics store. Fridges and deep freezers lined up along the wall as we passed by. Next were large speakers and sound systems for cars. There was one I was looking at for the pretty color changes when Frisk whistled, snagging my attention. I looked over at him to see him waving me over a few aisles away.
When I went over to him, pausing to look at a few things, he held up a pair of bulky headphones. I took them and looked them over before I looked at them further and a grin split my face. They had cat ears on the top. Freaking cat ears. I chuckled as I looked over the specs and nodded to myself.
“These are purrfect,” I cackled.
Frisk groaned. “Don't even start. I'm not near Sans; I don't have to deal with it for three weeks.”
I raised a brow. “You don't?”
By the time we made it over to the games thirty seconds later, Frisk was absolutely done with my shit. I laughed as he hid his hands behind his hands, rubbing his temples. I finally stopped long enough to look at the games they had, moving through them and humming to myself. When I found one I wanted, I paused, chewing on my lip.
The card that Toriel had given me was burning a hole in my wallet. It was then burning a hole in my back pocket. I had told myself I wasn't going to use it unless necessary. But was this game actually needed? I only took ten seconds to decide, grabbing it up and putting it with the headphones. I watched as Frisk grinned beside me.
“Y'know, Mom gave you the card to use,” he finally said. “I know you don't like accepting help, but you need it. You've been through a lot of shit, especially recently. I couldn't imagine about your past.” He glanced over at me and gave me a toothy smile. “Don't think of this as a way to get away from their heats. Think of this as a vacation. We're out on vacation, having fun with each other.”
I thought it over as we made our way to the lines. He was right in the fact I didn't like accepting help. But that's all I seemed to have been doing the last couple of months. From my ankle to having my apartment ransacked. These monsters and Frisk had been there for me. And when had I really had a chance to just sit back and get away from all the chaos?
I blew out a small breath as I put the stuff on the conveyor belt, pulling out my wallet and taking out the card that Toriel had entrusted to me. The shiny black glinted off the dim light in the building and I pushed the chip into the machine. Frisk nodded with a satisfied smile on his face and when everything was done, we left the store.
Looking around, I asked, “So what now, kid?”
I looked to him again to see him giving me a small grin. “Hope you left some space in your suitcase. Today is gonna be all about spoiling yourself. Let's go shopping!”
Three hours later and we had to have one of the guards come to help us carry bags. They took the keys from Frisk to go put everything away while we made our way back to the food court. Looking around, I hummed slightly and pursed my lips. Everything looked good, but I was burnt out on Chinese. Pizza, too. And I literally worked at a burger joint...
Tacos. The smell hit me like a semi and I looked over to it and went that. Frisk himself had gone to get Chinese food. I made my way through and ordered my food, excitedly watching as they put it together in front of me. After I paid, I went over to join Frisk at a table, where he was patiently waiting for me before stuffing his face full of orange chicken.
We went over the plan for the rest of the day. We would spend a couple more hours here before heading back to the lodge. Frisk wanted me to explore by myself, since I would be tailed by one of the two guards with us. I would be safe, and I would learn my way around the two floor mall. He was going to check out something for his parents, and wanted to be alone while he did it.
I raised a brow at him. “Official business?” I inquired.
He nodded. “Yeah, they wanted me to check a few sources while we were out here. I know you don't want to be dragged too far into this, so I'm letting you go off on your own.” His phone buzzed on the table and he rolled his eyes. “Plus, you need to text Red back. He's been driving me crazy.”
I sighed. “I'm sorry. I just...it's only been three days, but I already miss the chaos that had become my life.”
He chuckled. “Just text him and let him know you're okay. Please?”
I nodded in agreement as he got up from the table. After throwing his trash away, he went over to the two guards and talked quietly. One of them stood up and followed him out of the food court, giving me a tip of his hat. I smiled as they walked out of sight.
I sighed and looked down at my phone, playing with a nacho on my plate. I debated on just ignoring the text anyway, but if I did that...I shivered. Red right now was not someone to fool around with. Maybe once he was out of his heat, but right now was definitely not a good idea.
I picked up my phone and unlocked it, tapping a few things and getting rid of notifications before opening the text from Red. There was only one text, and I felt my heart thump in my chest.
Cherry: i miss ya, sugar.
Christ, if I didn't want to go home before, I sure as hell did now. I played around with what I would say for a minute before just sighing and typing out a response. I hit send before I could think twice about it and chicken out.
Levy: I miss you, too, I guess.
When that was done, I stuffed my phone in the pocket of his hoodie. I got up to throw away my trash and my personal guard joined me, grinning down at me. His chocolate eyes were almost the same shade as his skin, and I could see a tuft of black hair poking from underneath the ball cap he wore. It looked absolutely ridiculous with the suit. I liked it.
“So, where to, sweetness?” he asked.
I hummed and thought it over before mentioning seeing a clothing store I wanted to check out. He nodded and led the way, making sure to keep me by his side or at least within his sight at all times. I appreciated it, because part of me was becoming paranoid.
While I did appreciate the day out, part of me felt like I was being watched. I didn't like the feeling, and I knew I was probably overreacting. But with everything that had happened, I wouldn't honestly be shocked to learn that's what was happening. I mean, Dom raided my apartment and stuck his old necklace and a note to the wall with a knife.
The guy was really crazy, I finally decided. He had let me go, telling me he didn't want anything to do with me anymore. Especially after what my job had been. Part of me was still hurt, but now I was just angry. He lets me go, only to come chasing after me like I would have been here waiting for him with baited breath like a fucking Southern Belle?
Is he high?
Entering the clothing store, my phone vibrated a couple of times, signaling I had a text message. The guard wandered off, letting me know to stay within eyesight at all times. I nodded and went over to a rack of clothes, grabbing my phone from my pocket and opening it up.
Cherry: d'ya really mean that, pet?
There was that silly nickname again. Red always struck me as the dominating type. Someone who didn't like to give up control, and he wanted to own every part of who he was with. Like the way he'd pinned me to the wall several times, marking my hip with his claws.
I debated on what to text him back. It was hard, since he was in heat. A lot of the teasing comments I would usually make would probably make his ass go crazy and destroy the house before we got back. My fingers moved over the keys, testing the waters
Levy: Of course I do.
I sent it and went about looking through some of the clothes. There were a lot of things I wouldn't wear, but I came across a shirt that made me grin. It was a skull printed on the shirt in deep red fabric paint. There were roses underneath it, with the words “Bad To The Bone” written in pretty font between them.
I snatched it up, going over to see what kind of jeans they had. At this point, I had more pajama pants than I did jeans, and I could use some new ones. I picked out a few pairs before looking for my personal bodyguard. When he connected eyes with me, I motioned for the fitting rooms. He nodded, moving closer as I went toward an empty room.
I locked the door behind me, hanging up the stuff I picked out before looking at my phone again.
Cherry: prove 't t' me, pet. i miss yer pretty lil face.
Well, shit. How was I supposed to go about this? I shook it off and snapped a quick picture of myself in the mirror before putting my phone down and taking off his hoodie. I stripped my shirt over my head and grabbed the one I found before I heard my phone go off beside me. I grabbed it, opening it up to read the text.
Cherry: stars, ya lookin' so fuckin' hot in that hoodie. 'm sure my scent is all over yer skin and i wish i could be there...
I had to keep reminding myself I was playing with fire. I looked at myself in the mirror and paused. I could either stop this now, and tell him to knock it off and deal with his heat, or I could fuck with him and make it worse on myself. Logic told me to put a stop to it before it got too bad.
But I wasn't always logical.
I quickly threw his hoodie back on without putting the shirt on. I snapped another quick picture in the mirror, quickly typing something out before I sent it. I basically yeeted my phone across the dressing room before I started trying things on. The shirt was a tight fit, but it actually fit well enough I was willing to buy it. I put it back on the hanger and tried out the different jeans I had picked out.
It took me thirty minutes to go through all of it. And the entire time I was glancing at my phone. I didn't hear it go off once, and I didn't want to chance there being an actual reply that would make me want to jump off of the roof of the building. As I started putting my clothes back on, there was a loud bang, causing everyone within the vicinity to scream. I threw myself to the floor, years of being in the club coming back to me.
I knew a gunshot when I heard one. There had been many nights where we had to pause our shows because someone got shot was ready to shoot. The echoing was loud, and I heard the voice of my bodyguard as he swung open the door to the room. He was crawling over to me, his own gun drawn and ready to fire.
It sent me through many memories, but I held those off until we were safe again. I looked over at him, my eyes round as saucers.
“What the fuck is going on?” I demanded.
“Don't know. Frisk isn't answering his phone and neither is my buddy,” he grunted, pushing himself up a little. “We need to get you the fuck outta here, sweetness.”
He got up, still hunching over as he gathered me to him. I managed to snatch the shirt I had wanted, tugging it off the hanger and stuffing it in the over sized pocket of Red's hoodie before snatching my phone from the ground. He led me out, keeping himself mostly over me and looking around corners before he and I went on ahead.
When we got to the entrance, Frisk and his bodyguard were there, both of them red faced and out of breath. There was a large gash on Frisk's forehead and his bodyguard was holding a bloody arm. I ran over to them with my guard, grabbing Frisk and hightailing it to the car. The guards went to their own, doors slamming shut engines roaring to life.
As we peeled out of the lot, Frisk's hands tightened on the wheel. His eyes stared ahead with hard brown eyes, his knuckles turning white. I felt my heart racing in my chest and I placed a hand over it, trying to relax.
“Dominic was there.”
His voice cut through the silence like a knife and I tensed up. I clutched the front of my shirt in a tighter grip and I could feel the panic rising.
“We've been compromised, then,” I murmured sadly. And the day had been going to well, too. It was a shame...
Frisk nodded stiffly. “We need to pack the fuck up and get out. I'll have other people come by and clean out the lodge. Time to go somewhere else.” His eyes snapped to me for a minute. “Do not tell Red about this. He'll be on a warpath, especially since he's in his heat.”
I nodded and grabbed my phone from my pocket. Red had texted me not once, but eight times since I left the phone on the floor from where I threw it.
Cherry: pet, i stg yer playin wit fire.
Cherry: how bout u take that bra off fer me
Cherry: fuck, did i go 2 far
Cherry: good pets answer their masters, ya know
Cherry: u alright, sugar
Cherry: srsly, u need 2 answer me i'm panickin.
Cherry: wtf is up wit the news, levy
Cherry: u better answer th goddamn phone
I cursed silently as I typed out a hasty reply to him.
Levy: We're fine. Everything is okay. I'm alright. Sorry.
I hit send and almost threw my phone on the floor, shouting out any curse I could think of. Frisk was looking at me like I had grown a third head as he smoothly moved his way through the panicky traffic of people leaving the mall. I groaned as I dug the heels of my hands into my eyes until I was seeing colorful spots.
“Was that him?” Frisk asked.
“Yeah, looks like the news was fast as hell on this one,” I muttered. “He saw everything on the news. He just put two and two together from the pictures...”
I trailed off and slapped a hand over my mouth. Frisk looked over at me with big eyes before looking ahead again, laughing his ass off. He even took one hand off the wheel to slap his thigh as he drove. He hooted and hollered at me for a good ten minutes before he was able to finally calm down enough to talk to me like a normal, sane human being.
“Hoo, I told you before you're gonna be playing with fire,” he finally wheezed out. “Are you sure you're ready to be burned?”
I chewed on my lower lip before looking out the window. I didn't answer, and he didn't push me to.
We pulled into the driveway and I jumped out before the car came to a complete stop. Looks like the guards called in backup before we had even...
I recognized these two guys, and the third in the middle. I paused in my tracks as those haunting green eyes stared back at me, a smile playing on the mouth I had kissed so many times as a younger, foolish version of myself. And seeing him sent chills down my spine.