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((Daniel ‘Danny’ Brooks continued from Companion Rectangle.))

Whoever had been here last had sure had a fun time. Danny didn’t know whether that made him feel better or worse. Did the beer cans and playing cards everywhere mean they’d had time to relax before leaving for whoever knows where? Or did it mean they’d all been murdered before being able to clean the mess up?

He liked to think it was the former.

Once they’d decided to stay here for the night, Danny had spent the remaining time awake collecting some of the playing cards off the floor of one of the kitchens. He and Bridgette had taken turns keeping watch. Danny had spent most of his time trying to play solitaire. Didn’t help that there were enough cards missing to make actually winning pretty damn impossible. But he kept playing anyway, because it was better than thinking about everything in detail. And it temporarily drove the image of Cristo sprawled dead on the floor from his mind.

That could be him. All it took was one asshole with a gun storming in. What good was keeping watch when the best he could do was maybe take a few bullets and let Bridgette escape? Granted, that’d be a baller way to go, but he’d much rather stay alive.

They’d both been awake, sitting at the tattered kitchen table and eating some of their supplies (would it kill the terrorists to leave a little jar of peanut butter in there or something, give it some flavor?) when the announcements came on.

Well, that made not thinking about shit impossible.

There were people that Danny knew at least in passing on that list. A lot of them. He always thought Nancy Kyle’s sense of style was kinda cool (though he’d never said it outloud for fear of his inner weeb showing). Conrad had been someone he hadn’t been fond of, because he was kind of a joykill. But even so, killing followed by death? Yikes.

But there were two names that particularly stood out.

One was Isabel Ramirez. They did ballet together. Danny… had mixed feelings about Isabel in general. She was mean, but she sure as fuck knew how to dance. Danny could respect that. But a killer? A double killer? Danny… wasn’t sure if it was unexpected, and honestly that was pretty fucked up.

And then there was Scarlett.

The last time he and Scarlett had spoken was back when they were still dating. Scarlett was nice. Friendly. She could tap dance really good, she liked Star Wars—who didn’t like Star Wars, fucking lightsabers and spaceships, what wasn’t to love—and they’d had a good time when they were going out. But she’d been clingy and jealous, too. Had kind of passive-aggressively got on his case when he spoke to girls (and yeah, Danny knew he had a reputation, but he’d never cheated and a lot of his friends were girls.) Their last conversation had been about that. Danny had quietly dumped her over text and avoided her afterwards.

After settling things with Fiyori, Danny had intended to eventually confront Scarlett and apologise. Same with his other exes. He’d meant to, he really had. Now he never would. He’d said ‘I’ll do that tomorrow’ too many times, and now for her there wouldn’t be a tomorrow.

Danny wasn’t sure if he could call what he was feeling outright grief. He did feel sad. But primarily, he felt regretful that things had gone down the way they did.

He’d lost his appetite. He lowered the bread he’d been chewing on and stared across the table at Bridgette. He’d rested the CD player on the table, too afraid to put it anywhere out of reaching distance.

“I… I think we need a plan, Bridge.”

Scarlett’s death had taught him one thing. If he wasted time now, he’d regret it for the rest of his short life.
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