Chapter Twenty-Four: Mal
Kaden must have sensed his mood as he padded over to Mal and pushed up against his side. Mal reached down and ran his fingers through Kaden's soft fur.
"Glad you're okay," he said quietly.
Kaden responded by licking Mal's hand. Mal chuckled and smiled at the wolf before glancing up again.
Edwige was busy splinting Ashe's wing. Mal winced at the thought that he was the cause of the broken appendage. He looked at Jaxx, the man he'd knocked into a wall and didn't like the look of the man's pale complexion, or the poultice on the back of his head.
Nootau and Aegeus sat cuddled together in a chair. The Merman's humming filled the air, causing him to calm slightly; his breathing evened out, and his heart rate slowed.
The goblin and the banshee stood together. The banshee hissing sharp words under his breath at the goblin, whose expression looked much like a scolded child.
"Right, well," Mal said into the silence that had fallen. All eyes turned to him. "So…" Mal said as he shoved his hands in his pockets. "It looks like we might all be looking for the same thing."
"Seems that way," Ashe replied, then winced as Edwige manipulated his wing.
"Just what do ya know?" the banshee, Mal thought his name was Robin, but that didn't sound right. The introductions had been fast, and he hadn't really been paying attention as he'd been coming down from his fight with the fucking phoenix. Speaking of, he was going to have to take a very careful look at his leathers, they'd done one hell of a job of keeping him safe against the phoenix's flame, the last thing he needed was for them to be damaged and him not know it. But that, like many other things would have to wait until they were somewhere safe.
"Now isn't the time to swap stories around a campfire."
The banshee scowled at Mal, and the little green goblin looked like he was about to say something until Mal held his hand up to stop him before he could get a word out.
"Look, we made a fuck-tonne of noise. There is no way someone didn't hear it. And I doubt very much that the guards aren't out looking for their missing companion by now. We need to get somewhere relatively safe; that's a long fucking way away from here."
Murmurs of agreement went around the room.
"Okay, follow me," Mal said.
"Oh fuck no!" the phoenix hissed.
"What's your problem now, mate?" Mal scowled. Kaden pushed against his side in support.
"Why should we blindly follow you? You threw Jaxx into a wall and broke my damn wing. What in that pea-sized brain of yours thinks we'll happily fall into line?" Ashe stood there; his arms crossed over his chest, a deep frown creasing his forehead.
"For fuck's sake," Mal cursed. "What, you want to lead everyone?" he asked arching his brow.
"I'd prefer to follow Rolly or Tibo than you!" Ashe bit out.
Rolly, that was his name!
"After your friend attacked Nootau without provocation, there's no way I'd trust any of you enough to lead us out of here," Mal replied.
It didn't take long before they were all arguing back and forth, the noise in the room steadily getting louder and louder.
Men! Edwige swore. They were all as bad as each other. If they weren't careful, the guards would find them before they even left the lab. Edwige placed her thumb and forefinger in her mouth and whistled, the sound short and sharp cut through the arguing like a hot knife through butter. The room silenced immediately, and all eyes turned to her.
Before she could say anything Kaden's ears perked up and his body went rigid. The room stilled as they listened carefully. The door to the lab remained open, which allowed them to hear the distant sound of talking.
"Wenn Davis fucking schläft auf den Job wieder Ich werde ihn zu töten."
"Ich werde helfen. Mein Essen ist kalt wegen ihm."
The beeps as doors were unlocked and then opened made their way to them.
Edwige turned to the group which had all slowly made their way closer to the door to hear.
"I'll lead the way out, with Kaden helping me. You can either follow or stay here. I don't think it's going to take those guards much longer before they get here, though."
Kaden padded over to her and licked her hand, Edwige smiled down at the handsome white wolf and ruffled his fur. She spared a glance for her second and third; Nootau leaned heavily against Aegeus. She wanted to go to them desperately and help Nootau, but they were out of time.
Edwige grabbed her bag and slung it over her shoulder. They needed to find some clothes for Ashe soon as well. Just as she thought it Mal pulled out a pair or shorts from his pack and handed them over to the Phoenix. Tops would be more difficult with his wing strapped to his back, but at least he would no longer be naked.
"Right, time to go gentlemen!" she said to the group. "Kaden, would you mind checking the way is clear?"
Kaden licked her hand in acknowledgment and padded out the door. He returned moments later and softly huffed; Edwige led the rag-tag group out of the lab.