Justin had just re-bolted his door, just in case Jess decided to try and storm in. He did not like the way she left without a further argument or threat. When he was dating her roommate, she was always lurking around and trying to squeeze her way in. Her roommate ended up moving out because Jess claimed that Justin was really interested in her. Justin was never really sure what kind of threat Jess gave her roommate, but Justin was sure that is what broke them up. Ever since then, he had tried to steer clear of Jess Cartwright.
"Justin," Sora interrupted his thoughts. "I didn't leave my nation without any kind of financial support. It might not be the same as your currency, but it should help."
Justin took a seat next to her on the black leather couch. Sora was pulling a little pouch out of her pack. She pulled open the leather draw string and dumped out thick hunks of gold that were molded into uneven disks.
"Where did you get all of this!?" Justin was running his thumb over the heavy coin. "This has got to be worth a small fortune!"
"We mine them in one of the mountains in the Kiswone Nation," Sora waved her hand nonchallantly. "We use them as currency to sell our goods to one another."
"There is one mountain that all of this comes from?"
"Yes, we have not even needed to start looking into other mountains," Sora picked up one of the soft coins to run her own thumb over the top. "We recycle the same gold most of the time. There is a large store of it in one of the chambers of the castle. Some of it hasn't even left that room for centuries."
Justin was in awe. "This could be a very large case in getting the President of the United States to listen to you. My country is in so much debt that his ears will perk up at the sound of large nuggets of gold just sitting around in another nation."
Sora began to fill her pouch back up. "Will someone one buy these do you think?"
"There are a lot of people who would buy these up in a heart beat." Justin put the few coins that he was holding into the pouch. "But you don't want to sell these. We'll need these later on, as they are."
"Listen, you should stay here tonight. You can sleep in my bed. I'll sleep on the couch...." Justin hesitated. "I don't think it would be wise to stay with Jess." Justin got up quickly and walked down a hallway. Sora thought she saw his cheeks go red. Once she realized why he had blushed, she blushed herself. Truth be told, Sora did feel a bit uncomfortable going back to Jess's apartment. She just couldn't get over the sickening feeling that something was not right.
Justin had changed the sheets on his bed, and put some on the couch to finalize the arrangements. Their plan was simple. Justin would talk to his boss the next day telling him that he needed some time off, and his last few weeks of pay. The old man would see reason, after Justin smoothed over how long he would be gone. Luck was on Justin's side, since there was not much to be done until it was time to harvest the corn.
The old farmer should be able to get Justin his money by the next day. They planned on leaving that night. In the meantime, Justin and Sora would make preparations with food, and a route to get to Washington D.C.
With their plans finalized, Sora gave Justin a hug, thanking him for his help, and bidding him a good night. She entered his room to retire for the night. She was very grateful for his generous heart in helping her. She would be stranded without his help. As a female Kiswan, he could not help appreciating such a good human, or was it Kiswan... or both? As she laid in his bed waiting for sleep to wash over her consciousness, Sora thought of how Justin's short hair reflected the sunlight through his highlights. His dark eyes had the same flecks of sunlight in them as well. He was clearly a handsome Kiswan. Sleep enveloped Sora, and she dreamed of Witold, trying to get to her to help her.
The sun had just risen, and Sora heard a distant, yet urgent knock on a door. Sora sat up in the bed. She heard a few thumps which may have indicated that Justin had fallen off of the couch when the knock sounded. She smiled at the image, but remained where she was. Something told her that it was not a good idea to go out into the living room.
Sora heard muffled talking for a few minutes, and finally silence.
A few minutes after the muffled conversation ended, Justin walked down to his bedroom, where Sora was staying. He knocked quietly, and when Sora invited him in, he entered looking extremely worried.
"That was the sheriff." Justin sat down at the end of the enormous bed.
"The sheriff?" Sora had not heard of a sheriff before.
Justin gazed up at her. "Oh right. A sheriff is a chief enforcer of the laws of the town. He basically answers to the higher government officials like the mayor."
"Oh, what did he want?"
"The sheriff was looking for you. He says that you are wanted for robbery... He claims that you stole a map of the mayor's when you were with him yesterday. The whole police force has been instructed to watch out for you."
"What?" Sora was shocked. "I didn't steal anything! I looked at his map, while he was comparing mine with his."
Sora took her map out of her pack and unrolled it. She had just then realized that Justin was holding a piece of paper in his hands.
"That is the same map in this picture," Justin handed the photo over to Sora to examine.
"How did he get this! Mayor Cartwright was taking pictures of it on his phone, but how did he get it printed out?"
Justin looked at Sora's map. "I don't know, but he is claiming that your map is his. He sent the mayor here, because Jess told him that she had seen you 'nearby.'"
"I think that you should keep that map well hidden. If Cartwright has the police involved, they will be back later with a warrant to search my apartment..." Justin paused and said, before Sora could ask. "A warrant is a piece of paper that says the police can search my apartment, no matter what."
Sora was surprised, "I can't believe the treatery that seems to be so common here!"
"Yeah, well that is how it is." Justin said matter of fact.
"Oh, yeah, they asked if you were here. I said no. I told them that my mother was staying for a few days. I don't know how long that will hold them off, but I suspect someone will be watching me."
Justin made breakfast for Sora, pancakes with syrup, which was utterly delicious. He then got ready for the day to head over to his boss' house to discuss his pay. The plan was for Sora to keep a low profile while he was gone. If anyone came knocking on the door, she was to remain silent until they left. If the person was starting to break in, she was to head out the back window and hide in the place he described to Sora. It seemed easy enough.
Nothing happened for many hours. Sora was just quietly making her way through the house. She was looking at every picture that Justin had, and every detail of his belongings. It was very interesting. He seemed to be such a simple person.
Her musings were interrupted by some rustling around the front door. Sora tip-toed up to the door to look out the peek-hole. She could see the top of Jess' head. The doorknob jiggled, as Jess tried to open the door. The next thing Sora noticed was a piece of lined paper being slid through the crack in the door. Sora waited until Jess was gone before removing the paper. She sat down and read the disturbing note.
You are making a huge mistake! My uncle is the only one around here that can help you. He knows the president personally, and he ensures that you will be safe with us. We are you friends, and want nothing more than to help you succeed! Please let us help you. If you don't come to us willingly, then we will have to come and get you. My uncle can either be your greatest asset, or your worst enemy. Chose carefully.
The change in tone was enough to give Sora chills. What were these humans planning to do to her?