“How the hell do you know who I am?” I demanded, checking that my mask was still covering my face.
“I have my sources.” Yang winked at me before flicking her eyes towards my ears.
I was ready to slice her throat open. “You do realise I’m the one with a sword at your neck, don’t you?”
Yang didn’t get a chance to respond, her doorbell interrupted our moment.
“Explain.” I edged the sword into her just enough to hurt without breaking the skin.
She rolled her eyes dramatically. “Oh that’s probably my sister Ruby, if you don’t open the door in about ten seconds, she’s gonna burst in here and try to kill you.”
I considered my options, there was no way for me to quickly restrain Yang while dealing with her sister, but if I killed Yang, it might shock her sister and allow me to escape. There were no good options. Looking down at the beautiful face beside my sword, I tried to avoid thinking about emotions.
“Make a decision Belladonna.” She was infuriating but fuck…
Moving my sword slightly, I said, “On your feet. You’re answering the door.”
“Xiao Long are you gonna keep me around before killing me?” She asked, the smirk on her face contrasted by the hint of relief in her eyes.
I swear to god I will kill you. I adjusted my sword, pointing it at Yang’s back. “Move. And drop the gauntlets while you’re at it.”
“How am I going to overpower you if I have to take them off?” Her tone was light but there was a threat hidden beneath.
Not sexual, not sexual. “Off.” I insisted.
Yang stared me down, trying to wear me out with lilac eyes that made me think about existence and the reasons for it. Thankfully, Yang gave in, slipping her gauntlets off and throwing them on the couch before making her way towards the front door. Once she made it to the door, I sighed and followed her over. The shadow of a person peeked through the frosted glass and my body tensed as I prepared for an attack.
“Open it.” I ordered.
“Yes, sir.” Yang mock saluted before lowering her hand to the door.
I rolled my eyes behind her back and gently prodded her with my sword. As she opened the door, my mouth fell open as a pizza delivery boy appeared before us.
“Seafood pizza for Yang?” he asked.
“Oh shit! Sorry I totally forgot that I’d ordered that.” Yang said sarcastically enough that I nearly stabbed her right there and then. “You caught us at a bad time, I left my wallet…somewhere.” She turned to me and flashed me a winning smile. “Babe do you have any money for the nice pizza boy here?”
Shock dawned on the poor boy’s face as he caught sight of my sword and…out of place outfit.
Saving the moment, Yang leaned closer to him and stage whispered, “Sorry, we were in the middle of a moment…if you know what I mean.” Leaning back, she winked at him and turned to me again.
It took all my willpower to keep my face from going completely red, but I couldn’t avoid the definitive pink tinge that my cheeks had sprung on me. Sighing softly, I lifted the sword and sheathed it on my back. Quickly reaching into one of the pockets on my waist, I pulled out a small wad of cash and handed Yang a $20 bill. She smiled at me so genuinely I thought I was going to die.
“Thanks pizza boy, you can keep the change. Don’t tell anyone about our little secret.” She said with a wink, shutting the door behind him.
“What the hell was that?” I demanded when Yang turned to me, my sword back in my hand, raised to her neck.
She burst out laughing and popped the pizza box open. “Pizza?”
“I thought it was your sister!”
“I thought you were professional enough to take everything I say with a grain of salt.”
That stopped me for a second.
“Look, if I wanted to kill you, I would’ve already done it and it’s clear you’re in the same boat. So why don’t you take a breath and a bite to eat and we’ll talk this over.” Yang negotiated.
She’s asking me to stay and it’s past 2am. “What’s there to talk about?” I inched away from Yang enough that she could breathe again, mainly so that I could breathe without smelling her.
“Uh there’s a few things actually,” Yang started listing them on her fingers, “why you shouldn’t kill me, why you were hired to kill me, how good this pizza is, uh…you get the picture.”
She’s asking me to stay and she smells like heaven. “I really don’t.”
“Okay fine, why don’t we sit down and eat this pizza and then you can kill me if you want. After all, you couldn’t eat the whole pizza yourself.” She smirked, slipping her free hand to her waist as she balanced the pizza box one-handed.
I scoffed and looked anywhere but her eyes. “That’s really the excuse you’re going with? You want your last words to be, ‘after all, you couldn’t eat the whole pizza yourself’.”
“Yeah, sure.” She shrugged.
Don’t look into her eyes, don’t look into her eyes. “Okay fine. You’re lucky I’m hungry and that pizza has prawns on it.” I said, sheathing my sword and making sure to keep some distance from Yang. “Plus, I did pay for it.”
Ignoring my comment, Yang sidestepped around me and flashed me a smile. “Let’s take this to the dining table I destroyed on your behalf.”
“You were trying to kill me.” I rolled my eyes as I followed Yang back towards the table.
“That’s because you broke into my home. I didn’t realise that a beautiful assassin was trying to kill me.” She placed the box down and sat down at the head of the table.
Don’t blush, don’t blush. I sat on an angle to her and asked. “What’s your endgame? If you’re trying to win me over with flattery, it isn’t going to work.”
“Isn’t it?” She asked as she popped the box open.
Of course it is you idiot. You’re gorgeous. “Nope.” I said as I grabbed a piece of pizza and took my first bite.
“Oh well, a girl can try.” She said, taking a piece herself. Silence filled the following moments and she broke it swiftly. “So, where are you from? What do you do for work?”
I tried not to gag when I almost impulse laughed. “You already know the answer to both of those things, spare me the pleasantries.”
“What do I know?” Yang asked innocently.
That I’m an assassin who should’ve been paid $20,000 to kill you, but instead is sitting at your dining table eating your pizza that I paid for while we discuss things you already know about me. “Don’t play dumb.” I said, finishing my first slice. “You clearly looked at my ears and you know my name. You know as much about me, if not more, than I know about you.”
Yang leaned back and sighed, staring at me with her amethyst eyes. “Okay, fine. I heard from an outsider that someone had ordered a hit on me and did some digging of my own. I didn’t know who SDC was going to send after me, so I did a little research so that I knew what to expect when you showed up. I only figured out that it was you after you left that shadow clone over there.” She pointed at the most damaged part of the dining table.
I sighed frustratedly. “I should just kill you right now.”
“But you won’t.” Yang smirked fiercely.
Oh I definitely will, but not how I was paid to. “Not yet anyway, I still need to eat at least another two slices of this pizza.”
“So I take it the pizza worked?” She asked slyly.
Not that you needed the help, but yes. “I paid for this pizza, what are you on about?” Yang shrugged and took another piece, so I continued. “I just want to know how you know me. I tend to keep myself pretty closed off and private, it’s not like you can just google me and find a Wikipedia page with my name on it.” My ear twitched slightly as I asked the question. “So, how do you know who I am?”
“Oh Belladonna, do you really want to know?” She was clearly trying to get something out of me. Lavender eyes betrayed her every intention, but only made my heart flutter.
“Don’t call me Belladonna,” I mimicked the flirtatious twist she put on my name. “and yes, I do want to know.” When she rolled her eyes and took another bite of pizza, I hurriedly scrambled to grab a piece of my own to cover up my ‘teenage-girl-worthy’ reaction to her eye roll.
After swallowing, she looked at me with a strange look before saying, “Okay, you know that guy who sometimes works with Winter Schnee? Qrow Branwen?” I nodded, unsure of where she was going. “Well he’s my uncle. I work with him a lot. He got wind of a fake bounty out for me. I’m not actually a gang leader, I’m this city’s vigilante.”
My mouth dropped, partially in disbelief and partially because…Yang suddenly became an Option and it was scaring me. Previously, I’d avoided staring at her, because she was a filthy criminal, even if she was beautiful. I’d always had a thing for badass girls doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, so it was safe to say I was infatuated.
My eyes drank in Yang like oxygen. Slowly taking her in, I let my eyes lap up the sight of her long blonde hair, framing gorgeous lilac eyes on tanned skin. It wasn’t right, but I kept going, noticing a neck perfect for bruising, a collarbone with flaming words peeking under the edge of her tight black pyjama top. Unable to stop myself, my eyes went further, but it’s not appropriate to share those thoughts. When my eyes finally flicked back to Yang’s, I swore that red hinted her cheeks, that the look in her eyes was embarrassment instead of confidence.
“Okay.” I said finally, grabbing a piece of pizza before leaning back in my seat. “Let’s say I want to believe you, but can you prove it?”
“I just met you, do you really expect me to show you my secret lair?” She asked, letting a genuine smile replace her usual façade. “Anyway, don’t the gauntlets explain enough?”
Don’t flirt, don’t flirt. “Yes I do and no they don’t.” I couldn’t help smiling back between bites.
She sighed and finished her last piece, dusting the crumbs from her fingers. “You’re lucky you’re hot, otherwise you’d be dead.”
I didn’t expect the comment; it earned Yang an ugly snort and giggle. “Stop trying to flatter me.”
“I’m not, I’m just being honest. Anyway, it’s working, you’re not trying to kill me anymore.” And there was that genuine smile again, the one that lit fires and started wars. The one that was worth more than any bounty.
Forcing a smirk to my face, I tried my best to ignore Yang’s…comments. “For now. I could kill you right now if I wanted to.” And definitely not the way I was paid to.
“Okay…I might take you to my lair now. How do you feel about riding on a motorbike?” Yang’s awkwardness was accompanied with a slight blush that she hid quickly behind a bite of pizza.
Instinctively nibbling on my bottom lip, I asked, “Um, are you a safe driver?”
“Of course I am.” She smiled confidently, enough for me to remember not to bite my lip.
“I still don’t trust you.” But I want to.
Yang gave me a look that I couldn’t read. “Give me one hour and I’ll win you over.”
I think you already have…and I don’t know if that’s a good thing. “Wanna bet on it? You owe me a pizza after all.”
“Sure, if I win you over, I’ll take you out for a nice dinner and if I don’t, I’ll pay you back for the pizza.” Her smile was bright enough to burn a hole in my heart.
“How do you win in either scenario?” I asked, knowing full well the answer she was going to give me.
“Obviously you’re gorgeous so taking you out for dinner is a win in my book.” She said it so seriously, I nearly choked on the pizza I’d just put in my mouth.
After I swallowed, I finally looked her in the eyes and said, “Fine, it’s a deal.”