Gene's friend seemed... large.
He was tall, perhaps taller than even Shadi. Yagmur also seemed... scruffy. She wasn't sure what she was going for, but he seemed a scrapper. Even from here, Bella could see that he was missing a few fingers, though it didn't look... well, "fresh".
Bella had been told at some point in her life that in some gangs, they cut off a finger if you did something they didn't like. She wasn't able to figure out which finger or remember where it was they did that, but the mental images with that in mind seemed grisly. Any number of things could explain the fingers, but her scared mind kept coming up with the worst.
The gun was out, but he said he wasn't going to shoot unless something happened. Bella wasn't sure about them, but her and Will were unarmed. Hopefully he'd keep her word. Hopefully.
Will had given his team name, and introduced himself to Yagmur. Gene, however, had commented on how they made it this far, and... to be honest, Bella wasn't sure of how much an achievement that was. It was, no doubt, but what about the people who didn't?
She felt herself tense up further as he approached them, almost pulling herself against the wood. There was something... off, no doubt. She couldn't figure out what exactly was wrong. It was that feeling, when you know something is strange, or when someone is lying to you. Intuition? Maybe.
Gene asked for food, and Bella pulled her bag close, opening it. As much as she was nervous around him, it would be the nice thing to do. However, she closed it when Will had tossed some bread and Slim Jims towards him .Well, no need to. And if Will was running low, she had more. She hadn't dug in much. Bella had been too anxious to eat.
The story Gene told, though... it was strange.
"Aidan?" she muttered, her voice once again low.
Aidan was a mutual friend of her and Will's, and it was weird to hear that he too was playing. Or robbing people. Bella hadn't heard his name on the announcement, but maybe she missed it, or he hadn't actually outright killed someone, or Gene was lying.
She didn't want to believe Gene, to be honest. This was getting too off.
Will expressed his disbelief and shock. The point where she really didn't want to believe Gene, though, was when he went on to tell them how evil Aidan was.
Bella didn't say anything, still sinking into herself. Even if he'd been robbed by Aidan, it was clear he was telling them this story to convince them to do something or turn against him. What's more, he was so casual, so... normal, about the fact that he had killed a girl and taken her food.
They needed a way out. Gene was giving off major signs.
When she watched the show before, often times she would mentally steel herself when she knew someone was going to do something horrible to someone else. Last season, it was when Nate took the drugs from Marvia, or when Panya approached the group at the beach, or close to anything involving Odile. It was a regular experience of watching the show, knowing that someone was playing or likewise and then seeing people who end up falling for them in some way or another.
It felt very much like this. Only this time, she was one of the key players.
Will seemed tired, exhausted, by all this. She imagined he had been through a lot himself, that she didn't know about. But she didn't want this conversation to continue any longer. Bella felt like she could melt into the bench, Will seemed tired, and Gene was...
When he yelled at Will, she flinched.
Gene... had snapped, or was gone. Whatever term you would like to use, it was clear that something wasn't like the Gene she knew at school. But she couldn't find the words to say she wanted to excuse themselves, find Cathryn, and get out of here before Gene could know what was going on.
It seemed for a second like he was leaving, though. Maybe he had gotten bored after realizing that his scheme, whatever it was, wasn't going to work.
Bella glanced at Will again. Maybe she would talk with hi-
Gene was saying something again. It was something about spades, clubs, diamonds, and Aidan's heart...
Bella cried out as cards flew everywhere. She couldn't see a thing! He had cards on him? But what was he doing with them-
He was approaching even closer, and in the chaos she could see him swing towards Will. In a brief second, she remembered what it was like seeing Matt and the girls talking, and how she had frozen up at the door. Her bones were the same, unable to move. This time, it was worse.
A pogo stick swung repeatedly.
Bella's mouth hung agape, as she was unable to leave the bench.
"Stop it..." she started quietly, but the next was much louder. "Stop it!"
Her eyes quickly darted, to see if there was a way to make him stop. Something to hit against his head, or to throw at him. Anything.
All she could do was sob. And she hated it.