Chapter 13: For The Win
Alex exhaled in relief as Kidd let go of Lupo's corpse, standing with pride in the circle, but her heart leapt to her throat as the men raised their guns at Kidd. But Vaas raised a hand, and the men lowered their weapons. She looked up at the pirate to see him grinning.
"You win hermano." Vaas said, smirking down at him from his chair, and Kidd went forward towards the stage. "A lot of people died in Lupo's hands, hermano. I like that… no, I RESPECT that. And, you gave Alex here quite a show…" He grinned down at her as he reached out a hand and touched the top of her head. "She's been clinging to my leg since the battle started."
Alex blinked, before looking down. Vaas was right; she was clinging to his leg, which she thought was his chair. She let go of him and bent down, hiding her blush under her hair.
Vaas let out a laugh before standing up, waving a hand at his men. One of them came forward and unshackled Kidd's wrists and the pirate jumped off the stage towards him. The chain that held her neck grew taut as Vaas jumped down, making her fall face down to the bloody floor. She raised her hands up to look at Vaas, and the pirate merely smirked before looking up at Kidd, "So, amigo… tell me something…" The pirate king asked, "You willing to work for me?"
Kidd looked down at him as he rubbed his wrist, "How much are we talking about here?"
Vaas shrugged, "20k… give or take. The richer the fuckers are, the more we get." He mentioned around the camp, "Plus, all the people and jungle critters you can kill."
Kidd grinned, "Sounds good. I didn't have a good life back home anyway."
The pirate king grinned and patted Kidd's shoulder, "Hey, you fucks!" He addressed his men, "You see what this old fucker did here? Killed a giant pendejo with his own hands, didn't he? Any of you fuckers could do that to Lupo?"
The men remained silent, and Vaas scoffed, "Didn't think so. Now… this hermano right here… he was former military, huh? And now he's going to train you, so you listen to him, or I tell him to break your necks, too. I want all of you to be able to snap people's neck just like he did, okay?!"
The men mumbled an assent, and Vaas mentioned to Jose, "Hey, Jose!" The man came forward and looked at him, "You take this man to a new hut, yeah? Get him cleaned and dressed up. He is very important now, because he'll teach pussies like you to kill better, no?"
Jose blinked, before nodding mentioning to Kidd, but the elder man remained standing. "Hey, Vaas… you seem to be forgetting something."
"Hmm? What was that, hermano?" Vaas said, looking back at the man.
"Alex." Kidd said simply, "Release her."
Vaas looked at Alex, staring at her with his eyes, and she looked back defiantly. He grinned and winked at her, "Okay, hermano. But she'll be staying with me, from now on."
Kidd was about to retort something, but Vaas raised his hands, "I need an assistant, no? Take care of my money, keep things running smooth, you know? Besides…" He came forward and wiggled his fingers forward, causing Kidd to bend over the pirate, and he whispered, "These fucks, amigo… they gonna butcher her, fuck her like a little puta. Do you want that, hermano?"
The older man scowled at him, "And you won't do that to her?"
Vaas laughed, "I can't promise it. But if she's a good little girl, then I'll be good too, no? You tell her that." He reached back and pulled the keys to her chain from his pocket, unlocking the chain from his waist and giving it to Kidd. "You unshackle her, yeah? Then we all head to dinner." He turned to his men again, shouting, "Hey, motherfucker! Where's the cook, huh?! I'm fucking hungry! And somebody clean up this fucking mess, yeah?" He chuckled as he looked back at Alex, "We are in the presence of a lady! So clean this shit up!"
Vaas and the men headed towards one of the tents, while five other men hauled the carcass of Lupo away from the ring. Kidd bent down and unlocked Alex's collar, and when it was gone, Alex rushed to him wrapping her arms around his neck.
"You fucking asshole." She whispered as Kidd chuckled and hugged her back, "You scared the living crap out of me. I thought that he'll kill you!"
"You worry about me too much, baby girl." Kidd said as he helped her up and let go of her, "I took on a full grown bear once. That fucker was easy as pie." He looked down at her seriously, seeing the prints of Vaas' hands and the collar at her neck, as well as the dark bruise on her forehead. "He touched you, didn't he?"
"He… he tried." Alex said, "But he stopped when I stopped struggling. As it turns out, he gets more excited when I struggle."
Kidd smiled proudly at her, "Figured that out for yourself did you? Smart girl!" He ruffled her hair before taking her hands, "Now you listen to me, baby girl. Do you remember what I said to you before, about Vaas being the head honcho?"
She nodded, "If I can't stay close to you, I stay close to him… get under his good graces."
"And that stays." Kidd said, "You were able to fight him off before, and I know you can do it again. Vaas is selfish… he'll want to get you on his own without asking for his men's help. But these guys… these guys will line up to you and rape you to death. So you… you stay with him, or to me, you understand?"
She nodded, "There's one of them… Jose… I think he's trustworthy."
"No, sweetheart. Do NOT trust anybody." Kidd said, "You don't trust Vaas, or this Jose, or any of the men, or the captives, you understand? You trust me, or yourself. Especially yourself. You hear?"
She nodded again as Kidd grasped her arm, "This is a fucked up world we're in now, baby girl." He said as they entered the tent, "So you'd better adapt the fucked-up-head mentality… or else you're going to die."