Chapter 10: Jose
That night, after Vaas left her, Alex was finally able to sleep. The cot he left her in was itchy, and it stank to the heavens, but she made do by covering up the thin pillow with her cardigan. The neck collar and chain limited her movement, but she was as least able to get a few hours of decent sleep.
She was awoken by a man barging into the room, and she scrambled off towards the corner of the bed. The man that entered looked surprisingly kind, dressed in black pants and a gray long sleeved-shirt, with a red vest and bandanna on his head. Unlike the other pirates, the man was athletic and not as muscular. The bandana covered his black hair, tied up in a ponytail, and his dark eyes looked at her a little in alarm. Unlike Vaas who had harsh square features, the man's face was rounder.
He carried what looked like a tray of white rice and bananas, and a pad and pen. At her gaze down at the tray, the man smiled uncertainly.
"Vaas was ordered by Hoyt to give you food and paper." The man said, "He said that you should write down what you need to get the captive's money from their accounts."
Alex nodded, remaining silent, and the man laid the food on the table before backing up towards the door. She looked at him uncertainly, before slowly rising up off the bed, and making her way towards the food.
"I…" The man said, and she turned to him, "I'm Jose, by the way."
She stared at him, looking for a sign that he was going to do something funny, "Alex."
The man nodded, smiling a little at her. "Okay… uhm… Alex. I was ordered by Vaas to guard you when he's not around so, when you're done, just call me."
She nodded at him again, and Jose smiled uncertainly at her, raising a hand in farewell. The man then left the hut, and Alex let out the breath she had been holding, before sitting down and eating.
When she was done eating, Jose came back and took the tray away, leaving the pen and paper. She started listing down what she needed, as well as some things she wanted for herself. She figured that Hoyt wouldn't mind buying it for her, since he did tell her to list down what she needed, and she was sure that after getting the money from Nigel and Gunther's account, the money he would spend for her items would be well paid off.
She called Jose when she was done with her list and the man entered the hut, taking the paper from her, looking down at the list. He blinked when he looked at it, and looked up at her, nodding.
"Do you think Hoyt will get them all for me?" Alex said quietly, but Jose coughed, before scratching his head shyly.
"I… I don't know." The pirate said, grinning shyly at her, "I… I never learned how to read."
Alex blinked at the pirate's confession, "You… you can't read?"
"Well… yeah." Jose said, shrugging, "When Vaas hired me, I was a problem kid. I could shoot a gun because Vaas' men taught me, but no one ever taught me to read."
"Not even your parents?"
The man shrugged, "I got none. My parents died a few years after I was born."
She blinked in shock, "Oh… I'm… I'm sorry to hear that."
But Jose waved a hand, "Don't worry about it." He pocketed the paper, "Anyway, I just do what I'm ordered, and Hoyt did say that you write down everything you need. I can't read it, but I think he'll buy them for you."
Alex nodded, but she blinked when she thought of something, "Wait, give me back my list. I have to put something else in."
Jose looked confused as he gave her back the paper, and she wrote down three more items, before giving it back to him. The man looked at the paper, "What did you forget?"
"A couple of books and writing materials." Alex said, and she smiled at the man, "Since you're guarding me, I might as well teach you how to read."
It was Jose's turn to look in surprise at her, before his face brightened, "I've… I've always wanted to learn how to read."
Alex smiled at him again, and Jose's face looked admiringly at her, but they both jumped when the door opened with a bang and Vaas stepped in. The pirate king looked at the two of them.
"The fuck you doing here, Jose?" Vaas said, walking towards them, scowling at the other man.
"Hoyt ordered me to get the list of what the captive needed for the money." Jose answered back, and Alex realized the man's demeanor changed. He looked slightly more fearful, but he didn't make Vaas see it. The man came forward and took the list from Jose, looking down at it, scowling when he read the contents.
"What do you need a fucking iPod for, hermana?" Vaas said, scoffing at the list, "And books?"
Alex glared at him, "Hoyt told me to list down whatever I wanted, so I did. He's going to decide if he should buy it, not you, Vaas."
Anger flared up Vaas' face again, before he smirked, "We'll see about that, perra." He turned to Jose and whistled, waving a hand away, "Disappear, hermano. I'm going to take the bitch for a walk."
Jose looked worriedly at Alex before nodding, leaving the hut as Vaas bent forward towards the pole, removing the chain. She watched as Vaas wrapped the chain around his waist, padlocking it. She looked up at the pirate, and he winked at her. "Come on, Alex. I got quite the surprise for you."