Return to her apartment, for Joleena, could have been fatal; worse than fatal when considering Squatman's directive to his thugs: "Find her, cut her balls off, bring the evidence to me, and fetch that fucking A-rab here alive."
An equally baneful option would have been Ahmed's hospitality, insofar as he was lodged at a flophouse in the Tenderloin—Joleena's former turf, before her 'agent' Bruce, revamped, so to speak, her career.
The best alternative, short of headlong flight—which might yet prove expedient—was to seek an ersatz sanctuary out in The Avenues.
The "us" was voiced with an inflection that betokened wishful thinking—if ostensibly one-sided; Ahmed's willingness was 'inferred'. He went along, however (provocateur or witting john unclear) to Jo's delight, to Daisy Jane's irascible disgruntlement.
Ahmed's scowl forever damned him, in the Bible-thumper's eyes. A Southern Baptist, stiff as stays, was Daisy Jane Dubois. She let them in, though—moved to tears by the sorry sight of 'Joey's' so-called "mishap".
Was one man's blemish another man's beauty mark? Ahmed's praise reduced the sting. Somewhat. Joleena still recoiled when confronted by her reflection, reacting to the mirror as if it were a cattle prod.
Apart from deadened nerves, discoloration, swelling and a zipper-like seam, the gash was not as serious structurally as it looked cosmetically; it would heal. And plastic surgery might, in time, obliterate the scar.
This sentiment rendered guest and hostess allies—to a point; Daisy Jane knew tam'yeez (right from wrong) evidently, abided by hodood (the limits of behavior), and though taqarrub (one's proximity to Allah) was affixed to the wrong creator, she appeared to be devout, a trait admired by Ahmed. Observers Of-The-Book (though they be faulty in their doctrine) were worthy of respect (if manifestly doomed).