A while later, the group of four decided to call it a day and head home. Of course, the fairytale-esque couple led the way, hand holding included. Once again, Aqua had to avert her gaze when Kairi laughed at something that Terra said.
"Well, well..." At this point, Vanitas had started walking next to her. "Suddenly, the story you told me the other day all starts to make sense," he remarked softly, his gaze never leaving Terra and Kairi, who were flirting shamelessly, as usual.
Aqua just looked at him, feeling cold from the inside, and he continued, "Don't worry. Your little secret is safe with me."
She couldn't help but notice how he made it all sound so dark and dirty.
"What's the catch?" she found herself asking immediately.
This made him chuckle darkly. "Always suspicious, aren't you? There is no catch… Not this time at least."
Leave it to him to make this sound even more ominous, she thought.
Vanitas sure had a way with words, but not in the good way.
"Uhm...Aqua?" Terra started, giving her a mildly surprised look. "Didn't you put your bike next to my glider?"
She finally caught up with the two lovebirds and Aqua realized something else that would make this day complete. Because the bus drivers were on a strike, she had come here by bike. However, when she reached the shed, there was no bike in sight. That could only mean one thing: someone had stolen her bicycle.
"Ugh, just great." The bluenette didn't even bother to hide the sour look on her face.
It was getting dark by now. Kairi had already taken the vacant spot on Terra's glider. So that wasn't an option. Could this day get any worse?
"So now what? How will you get home?" Kairi wondered, looking worried as well.
Aqua sighed. "I don't know, I guess I'll just walk from here."
"But that will cost you nearly an hour!" Terra protested. "What if you run into some creep?"
"Does it look like I have another choice?"
She was trying so hard not to snap at her friend, but the situation wasn't making it any easier. She was tired, annoyed and sad. And if Kairi hadn't been here, she could have asked Terra to give her a lift.
But if Kairi wasn't here, you wouldn't be either, because she was the one who actually bothered to invite you, a little voice in the back of her head said.
"I can give you a lift, if you'd like. My motorcycle is big enough for the two of us."
This earned Vanitas a baffled look from both Aqua and Kairi.
"Good idea! Good thing we ran into you today, Vanitas," Terra said with a smile.
It was settled. Apparently, Kairi hadn't told her boyfriend about Vanitas's past. She could bet all her Munny on it. Then again, the redhead wasn't protesting, either.
Aqua blinked. "Oh. Uh... Okay. Let's go then, I guess," she said, trying not to sound reluctant.
Riding on a motorcycle was one thing, but riding on a stranger's motorcycle… That did make her feel a little uneasy. Not to mention the fact that this person was a potential killer. What in the world was she doing? Well, it was too late to turn back now, she reasoned with herself. Besides, Terra was right; she had no idea who she could run into. The streets weren't as safe as they used to be, so it could be someone with a much more aggressive past than Vanitas. And Vanitas wouldn't dare to do anything, right? Not when both Kairi and Terra knew she was with him.
How would you know how a criminal's mind works? Good people with healthy, logical thoughts don't kill their ex, remember? that nagging voice said again, but she chose to ignore it this time.
"Are you coming or what? I don't have all night," Vanitas sneered impatiently.
He threw his spare helmet at her, which she barely caught before it would collide right with her face. She gave him the dirtiest look she could muster, which he answered with a smug smirk. After putting on the black helmet, she climbed behind him and sat down.
"Hold on tight," he said warningly, before the engine came to life with a mighty roar.
Vanitas didn't have to say that twice; the man turned out to be quite the speed demon. After each and every turn, Aqua feared she was going to fall off the motorcycle. Not once did she catch him in the act of slowing down. Instead, he zigzagged through the traffic like a pro. How they were still alive and well was one of life's bigger mysteries.
"Take the next turn. My house is the third on the left," she yelled, unconsciously tightening her grip on him at the prospect of yet another turn.
Needless to say, the bluenette thanked the heavens for the fact that the dangerous trip was over. She was never going to do something like this again.
"Glad to have solid ground under your feet again?" he asked with an amused smirk.
"Glad to have made it out alive," she corrected him. "Why did you have to race like that anyway? Don't you know how reckless you were being?"
He waved it away like it was nothing. "Nah. I knew what I was doing."
Sounds like he's always driving like that. And here I thought that Terra was a maniac on the road.
"But why?" she repeated.
"Because it makes me feel free," was the simple reply.
The bluenette frowned, not sure what to make of that. Was he trying to sound mysterious on purpose?
Aqua thanked him for the ride home and wished him a safe trip back (he needed all the luck he could get). She didn't ask him to come inside with her for a cup of tea, simply because she didn't trust him. He had this weird aura around him that made her feel uncomfortable. Maybe it was the leather and the helmet that he still was wearing (she could feel his eyes on her form, even though she couldn't see him look at her)… Or it was because of his unknown past. Most likely a combination of all that.