Craig led Aella to the forest where he’d found her the night before. There they sat back-to-back, anticipating. “Are you sure about this?” Aella asked.
“Just shut up and give me a kiss.”
Aella randomly kissed his neck.
“That ain’t what I asked for,” Craig complained. Aella leaned forward. As she did, Craig lost his balance and fell backwards. She moved aside to let him fall to the ground. “Hey!” Craig rolled to his side and tickled Aella. She laughed and eventually fell onto his legs.
Minutes later, they were sitting back-to-back again, watching their surroundings with the vision of hawks, waiting for prey to pounce upon.
“Aella,” came a steady, soothing male voice, along with the sound of footsteps.
Aella smiled. “We were just having fun, Dallas. Do you want to join us?”
“Pardon?” Dallas stared at her as if she had lost her mind.
Craig stood between Dallas and Aella. “You hear? We were having fun,” he claimed possessively.
“Aella?” Dallas asked again. “Stella said—” he stopped abruptly, eyeing Craig.
At this point, Aella stood up as well. “Said what? That Smokey—Craig, I mean—and I are enjoying each other’s company?”
“That’s what she said.”
“What’d ya come here for’en? See for yourself?” Craig inquired. Aella crossed her arms.
“I came to take you back, Aella,” Dallas said gently.
Aella snickered. “I was kicked out by Douglas. Who are you to take me back?”
“Yea, yea. She’s my woman now.” In Craig’s left hand a gun of smoke formed. He jabbed it at Dallas’s chest. “Leave us alone.”
“No, wait,” Aella said. She clasped her hand over Craig’s and pushed it down. Craig glared at her with widened eyes.
“You—” Craig began to accuse.
“Let me.” Aella made a mist gun.
“You can’t shoot’im with that,” Craig said. He placed his lips on the nape of Aella’s neck. He and Dallas watched her white gun turn gray. Dallas gasped. An unmistakable malicious laugh escaped from Aella’s lips. By the time Craig withdrew from her, she seemed ready to leap up with joy.
Aella aimed at Dallas’s leg. She stepped forward, so close that he could feel her breath.
“Aella? You’re not going to—?” Craig called.
“You don’t want him dead just yet,” Aella called back. “What have you got to say to me?” she mumbled under her breath.
It almost seemed sincere.
“Do you remember Ellie? The rose bushes? The battles?”
She made no sound.
“What are you doing here with them?” Dallas asked.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Saying thus, she pulled the trigger.