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Realistic or Modern Empire City: The Irish Mob - IC (Closed)

Sub Genres
Mystery, Realistic, Romance
OOC
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Characters
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Lore
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Misty Gray

Things and Stuff
Valentina Moretti

Valentina grinned as Elvian complained about Valentine's Day. "You sound just like Papa," she teased her mother. Though she aware and had witnessed her father making romantic gestures towards Elvian, she knew he wouldn't be driven to doing it specifically on the 14th February. He was, afterall, the same man who spent Thanksgiving in his office conducting meetings. "But it's like you said, at least it brings money into the shop." Personally, Valentina quite liked having a romantically themed day but even she would prefer to forget all about it this year considering she'd been attacked on her way to a Valentine's Day party.

When asked if she was really okay, Valentina started to nod but the movement changed to a shrug of her shoulders. "I'm glad they got to Isac and I don't feel ashamed to be grateful he's dead. I hope we can track down the other guy and I hope he suffers too," she admitted to her mother. She wasn't sure if her mother would think less of her speaking the way she was, but her attackers didn't deserve any mercy or forgiveness. They deserved to suffer for what they did. "Though I don't think it'll take away the nightmares and this feelings of violation. That's just going to take time, isn't it?"

Hearing Teddy's voice as the man entered the house, Valentina quickly straightened her posture as much as was comfortable. She used her uninjured hand to smooth her hair before realising what she was doing and stopping herself. Teddy had already seen her at her worst and he'd seen her dressed up nice too, so she mentally berated herself for suddenly becoming self-conscious. She watched on as Elvian approached to to give him a hug. Valentina was sure her mother had invited him over and suspected she knew why.

With Teddy now in the kitchen, Elvian informed Valentina that he was joining them for dinner. She sent him a smile and an agreeable nod. "I'm feeling the best I have all week, so that's something," she remarked. "But really, the pains are wearing off and I'm not stuck in bed all day, so that's good." She could feel her cheeks burning as she found herself blushing. She hated that she couldn't control it and therefore probably looked silly as a result. "How are you Teddy? What have you been getting up to? And what brings you to dinner this evening...?" she asked, sending an intentionally obvious suspicious glare to Elvian.

Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess (Teddy, Elvian)
 

Pyroclast

Add alcohol and stir!
Mild sexual harassment, body horror

Steve Kelly

1602943380129.png “Careful what you say now, there ain’t a thing on that table that’ll stitch a severed tongue back together,” he warned as he tilted the blade towards the back of the man’s throat.

In the next chair over, Bogdan began to make his own defence. Steve found that the quickest way to learn a person’s true character was to put them in a distressing situation, and with all that he was saying about Arturo, it seemed that Bogdan was not as loyal as the family had once believed. “Sounds like your big friend over there’s gonna sell you out,” Steve tutted, looking down at Arturo with a mock-sympathetic smile. “It ain’t lookin’ good for you, church boy. Bogdan swears no one knew where you were that night. I know I can’t back you up. You got an alibi for your Italian brother here, Marcus?”

Steve shrugged. “Maybe I am being unfair. I mean, people like us, we’re all cut from the same cloth, right? No one wants to own up to their crimes. You can take this to the grave if you’re so sure that’s what you want, but I’m gonna make it damn hard for you to keep it to yourself.” Staring deeply into Arturo’s eyes with an unyielding, piercing gaze, Steve slid his free hand up the inside of the man’s thigh, leaving just enough of a threshold to cross later if he had to. “Not so nice bein’ in her shoes, is it? I ain’t afraid to keep goin’, by the way. We’re testing your boundaries, not mine. What will it take to get you to say somethin’? ‘Cause ‘I didn’t do anythin’, I swear’ ain’t exactly useful to me. I wanna walk away feelin’...satisfied.” His sinister smile fell away, exposing an expression a few shades darker. For a few seconds he kept Arturo trapped in his unrelenting glare, feeling the tension of his tongue beneath the blade’s edge, his hand hovering unpredictably at the top of his thigh.

“That’s the thing about confession, Arturo,” he quietly added, allowing his smile to creep back. “You can do your crimes and ask for God’s forgiveness, but you forget the Devil’s listening, too.” With a barely detectable motion of the wrist, Steve dug the razor-sharp blade into the roof of Arturo’s mouth and began to carve deep lines from the back of his throat up to his teeth. “And the Devil ain’t got no mercy.”

Interactions
Misty Gray Misty Gray Arturo, Bogdan
RayPurchase RayPurchase Marcus
 

Pyroclast

Add alcohol and stir!
Syd Porter

1603017865380.png Although he knew it would be a useful lead, Syd hadn’t been expecting to identify any of the suspects from their accent alone. However, as soon as Conor used the word ‘Cockney’ to help her describe one of them, Syd knew the same thing entered both of their minds. He hung his head, thinking of his Uncle Warren and how they had never been able to avenge him. Whoever that man was that had made the phone call to the Manhattan apartment that day was likely to be the same man who had participated in the jazz club massacre.

Kerry had already given them plenty of information by now, but even though she looked like she was well overdue a good night’s sleep Syd didn’t rush to end the meeting, instead allowing her to take more time to think. He raised an eyebrow when she mentioned overhearing her captors discussing a lawyer, and how they were going to kill him. Given that Mitch had been missing for six days, Syd had assumed the man would be dead - after all, the mob had not received a ransom note. But it was impossible to ignore the strong possibility that it was their lawyer that the enemy had been talking about, and Aliana’s reaction made it clear that she was thinking the same thing. Without a location it wasn’t much to go on, but it was still useful to know that there was a chance of finding him alive. “Okay,” he encouraged Kerry, noticing that his aunt now also looked rather unsettled. “Go on.”

Moretti’s new facility was certainly news to him. If they managed to locate the train station in the short time before Moretti’s visit, it could be the key to finally getting the vengeance they were after. It was clear that Kerry was terrified to know such information, but Syd doubted she knew what it would be used for. And for her sake, it was vital to keep it that way. As grim as the circumstances were, she had played her role and now it was their duty to make sure she didn’t get the blame for what Syd was sure he and his family would be doing on Friday.

Aliana took Kerry into her arms when the young woman broke down in tears and suggested, in such a way that they couldn’t object, that the meeting stop there. Syd leaned back and nodded. “Alright,” he softly replied, clearing his throat. “Okay. Then I think it’s time we get you out of this pigsty.” Glancing between Aliana and Conor, Syd then got to his feet and straightened his jacket. “You’ve been really helpful, Kerry. Thanks for speaking openly with us. Let’s take you home, yeah? Do you have a family waiting for you somewhere?”

Interactions
Misty Gray Misty Gray Conor, Kerry
Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess Aliana
 

Misty Gray

Things and Stuff
Conor Sullivan and Kerry Patrick

When Aliana spoke up to put an end to them pressing Kerry for information, both Conor and Syd weren't compelled to argue. Kerry looked to Aliana as the woman gently pushed her hair back. It had almost been too easy to forget that some strangers were kind, but thankfully Aliana was taking steps to reaffirm Kerry's own belief in the kindness of others. When the woman pulled her in close, Kerry allowed herself to trust the woman so instead of stiffening up, she tightly wrapped her arms around her to return the comforting embrace. She couldn't help but quietly cry as she allowed herself to take comfort from Aliana. It was relieving to hear they were going to take care of her, but at the same time she couldn't help be wonder if she deserved such generosity from them. Over the last week she'd felt completely worthless and doomed, but now she was being offered a lifeline.

When the embrace ended, Syd spoke up to say they needed to get out of the station. Kerry immediately began to think about her apartment and how the keys had been left in the now destroyed jazz club. She hoped the police would let her make a few phonecalls to try get in touch with her landlord. She looked up to Syd as he stood. "Thank you. I'll need to contact my landlord before I can go home. I don't have the keys to my apartment anymore, they..." she trailed off, figuring she didn't need to explain. With the question of family, she quickly shook her head. "No, I don't have any family. My grandmother passed away a five months ago. I moved here a few weeks ago, so I don't really know anyone here... But I'll be fine. I have my own place and the people in my apartment block seem really nice," she quickly assured them, seeing on Conor's face he was uncomfortable with her being alone.

"Ah... no. I'm not happy sending you back there on your own love," Conor argued. "After what you've been through you can't be staying there alone." It wasn't just Kerry's psychological well-being he was concerned about, but the fact she'd escaped Moretti's hands. He didn't want to scare her by saying outright, but there was genuine reason to fear for the girl's life. The fact she could identify her abductors, had information on them and had escaped from them was more than enough incentive for them to want to silence her.

"No, I've troubled you enough. I'll be okay..." she protested, though the faltering in her voice betrayed her by merely reflecting how terrified she really was.

"It's not trouble at all. This all happened to you in one of my family's businesses and I can't in good conscience leave you to get through this on your own." Conor paused for a moment before motioning for Syd and Aliana to join him outside of the room. "Kerry, are you okay to wait here a few minutes while we make some arrangements for you?" he asked her, to which she nodded in agreement.

Once in a quiet area of the corridor, Conor spoke to Aliana and Syd with a lowered voice. "So, I've had an idea that I need to run past you both. I don't know how it's going to go down with you, but please hear me out," he apprehensively began. He looked to Aliana and sent her a small smile. "I was thinking Kerry could come back to our place, just for tonight. She can take some time to clean herself up and she could sleep in one of the spare rooms. She looks about Emery's size, so we could swing by Sinny's to borrow some clothes from her?" he suggested. None of that was the part he was most apprehensive about bringing up.

Conor folded his arms as he took a moment to consider his next words. "The girl's pretty messed up. I mean, not just the cuts and bruises. Shit like that is going to mess her head up for life, especially if she doesn't get professional help for it. She needs real help," he said, looking to Syd in particular to see if he already knew where the suggestion was going. "I've had Parker locked up in that safehouse for months and I honestly believe he's no longer a threat to us, or anyone else. The only reason I've still got him in there is because I was hoping to squeeze some use out of him - to make him earn his freedom." He motioned towards the room Kerry was waiting inside of. "I think Parker can and will help her. Not only will she be under heavy protection in the safehouse, but she'll be able to speak openly with a counsellor. Parker already knows about us and Moretti, so she won't have to hide anything about her ordeal from him." Conor looked between Aliana and Syd to try judge their thoughts by their expressions alone. "For all of his sins, he's always claimed he'd never betray or harm 'innocent' patients. Kerry is as pure as they get."


Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess (Aliana)
Pyroclast Pyroclast (Syd)
 

Pyroclast

Add alcohol and stir!
Syd Porter

1603044181683.pngOnce it was established that Kerry had nobody to take care of her, it was obvious that the best thing to do was to take her in and offer her a place to stay. There was a long-standing joke that the Porter mansion was like a hotel with the number of spare rooms and guests that stayed for an indeterminate amount of time. But Kerry needed somewhere safe to stay, somewhere Moretti and his employees could never reach her, and Syd knew that there was nowhere more secure than the mob residences. He followed Conor out of the room, already anticipating that he would have an idea of where to put her.

The fact that he opened his idea with a disclaimer, however, raised Syd’s suspicions. Allowing Kerry to stay at his and Aliana’s house didn’t seem like much of a big deal to him, although of course they had Leo to consider. It was the next part, the way that his uncle’s voice dropped to a more serious tone, that made Syd’s eyes narrow. If he hadn’t been speaking with such caution Syd probably wouldn’t have batted an eyelid at the mention of getting her professional help, but after his experience in the psychiatric care system had damaged his trust so severely, the phrase ‘professional help’ immediately brought a wave of traumatic memories to the front of his mind. Hearing his previous counsellor’s name confirmed what he was dreading and he closed his eyes to take a deep breath. Of course, Maddox’s face was the first thing he saw and so he opened them again, instead turning away and shoving his hands in his pockets to conceal his anxiety.

As much as he wished the mob would leave Maddox in the past, something in him wanted to hear his uncle out. His trust may have been damaged beyond repair, but there were still a few people that Syd trusted with his life and one of them was his Uncle Conor. What’s more, having been a patient of the counsellor himself, Conor was the most qualified to handle the situation. Syd wished that he had been able to keep tabs on Maddox too, just for a second opinion, but he hadn’t seen him since the day of his suicide attempt. After a long silence, Syd turned around to face them again, yet with his gaze fixed to the floor. “I don’t, uh…” he began, in a small voice. He frowned, hands fidgeting inside his pockets. He was making a conscious effort to suppress the visceral reaction he was having, but there was nothing he could do about the sick feeling spreading through his body. “I...I didn’t think we needed him anymore. Does it have to be him? I mean...Why do we still have him around, anyway?”

Syd’s eyes flickered upwards to look from his aunt to his uncle. Reaching up to pull at a lock of his hair, he took a deep breath to get himself through the nausea that Maddox’s name always stirred up within him. Even after he had helped them find Roxie when she was kidnapped, Syd didn’t believe he would ever be comfortable with the man being anywhere near him or his family. If it had been up to him, Maddox would have been flown to the other side of the world and dumped in an ocean Syd had never heard of. “Uncle Conor, I do trust you,” he reasoned with himself. “So...if...i-if you think he’s really our only option, there’s absolutely no one else in New York at all who can help her, then...I-I mean, you know, you’re basically keeping him in a cell, right? Like, he doesn’t have access to a phone or anything? He’s cut off from the world and nobody knows he’s even still alive, right? Besides us?” Despite his attempts to control himself, a look of mild desperation had formed in his eyes and when he realised he was shaking slightly, he put his hands in his pockets. “Ali, do you...what do you think we should do with her?”

Interactions
Misty Gray Misty Gray Conor, Kerry
Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess Aliana
 

Bella:D

Yes, I put pineapple on pizza. Sue me.
Roxie Carriveau
Lucy Porter
Roxie .jpg
The car ride home from the meeting with Gabriel was tense. Roxie was angry and she made sure she let them know how unfair the position she was in was. As they parted ways, Roxie made sure to completely shut them out until she had to speak with them a little later on the phone. Roxie was just relieved to be home and when she was greeted by the dogs, she happily bent down to let them practically attack her with kisses. Hearing Lucy’s voice from the kitchen, Roxie raised her brows as she walked in to see what she and the twins were up to. The twins were still in their rockers in the dining room area while Lucy was cooking away in the kitchen. Whatever she was making smelled absolutely amazing and Roxie smiled tiredly at the woman as she looked her way. ”Welcome home!” She said enthusiastically. ”The girls have been absolute dolls.” Roxie smiled wider as she turned to her babies, moving to take them both in her arms. ”Have you been good for grandma? Already brushing up on those cooking skills.” She murmured as she leaned her head over to kiss both of their heads. Lucy clasped her hands together as she stared at Roxie with admiration. ”You look so good as a mother, Roxie!” She complimented and Roxie chuckled. ”Well at least I look good.” She murmured slightly to which Lucy looked concerned suddenly. ”You okay, honey?” She asked and Roxie didn’t say anything for a moment as she just looked to Jeanie and Jane.

After having to deal with the meeting with Moretti, Roxie wasn’t feel 100%. But in all honesty, she hadn’t been feeling 100% since the babies were born. ”Well I think it’s just the lack of sleep honestly.” She murmured as she rocked her girls back and forth in her arms. They were so quiet for a moment but then Jane started to cry and before she knew it Jeanie was crying as well. Roxie looked up helplessly at Lucy before the woman came around from the kitchen island to help her. Lucy took Jeanie and almost immediately she was able to calm the infant down. Roxie still had Jane in her arms but the girl was still crying loudly. Roxie lifted her to her chest and bounced her, hushing her softly as she tried to soothe her. Her own eyes stung, wondering why it had been so easy for Lucy to calm Jeanie down but Jane seemed to want nothing to do with her.

Seeing how upset Roxie was getting, Lucy placed Jeanie back in her rocker before moving to take Jane from Roxie. Roxie was hesitant to let go of her daughter but after hearing her continue to wail, she handed her to Lucy. It was amazing how quickly she was able to calm her down but Roxie just burst into tears, ”How are you able to do that?! Why can’t I do that?! My babies hate me!” She cried and Lucy immediately put Jeanie back in her own rocker before rushing to hold Roxie as the woman move to cry in a chair. ”Now now, Roxie they don’t hate you. That’s ridiculous. This is all just new to you, when I had Thomas I didn’t have the slightest clue as to what I was doing. He did the same thing, would always calm right down in Syd’s or James’ arms but with me he just wailed and screamed. This connection you will have with them takes time, love.” Roxie just continued to cry, feeling like she needed to offload from everything.

”I just feel like they know Syd and I aren’t doing well, ya know? We haven’t been the same for a while. I just feel like my whole life is falling a part. He is avoiding me, the girls, no matter what I do won’t calm down when I hold them. I just don’t know what I’m doing.” Lucy held her for a long while as she cried until her tears finally subsided. Once she was calm, Lucy finished cooking food before sitting down next to Roxie again. ”Everything is going to be okay, Roxie. Like I said, these things take time. Your those little girls mommy, it might not seem like it but I know they love you. Just like I know Syd loves you. You both will work through this hard time, I promise. Let the girls bring you closer together.”

Lucy stayed a little while longer to help put the girls to sleep before she decided it was time to leave. Roxie thanked her for all the help before watching her leave out the front door. After helping herself to a hefty glass of wine, Roxie moved to sit in the living room to wait until Syd got home, not wanting to go to bed until she knew he was safe and sound.
Mentions: Syd Pyroclast Pyroclast

***
Lucy Porter
serious lucy .png

The ride home was short and when she arrived home, Lucy was relieved. She loved helping her son and Roxie out with the babies but she missed her husband and Thomas like crazy. Walking through the front door, Lucy smiled widely as the pack of dogs greeted her. ”Honey, I’m home!” She called out to her husband and her son. Thomas came running from out of no where and crashed into her so hard that Lucy almost fell over. ”Mom!! I missed you!” He cried out before turning to point in the direction Leo was at. ”I’m gonna go find Leo! We are play hide and seek again.” Before she could say much more, Thomas bounded off with half of the dogs running after him. Moving to take off her coat, she placed it in the hall closet before kicking off her heels and moving towards the lounge, hoping to find James in there. When she did, Lucy smiled widely as she leaned against the large entryway. ”Hello, handsome.” She called to him before moving to come sit beside him on the sofa.

”Miss me? I missed you like crazy even though those little girls were keeping me distracted pretty well.” Leaning against him, Lucy placed her head on his shoulder. ”Things are getting tense over there, Roxie came home very upset and told me Syd has been avoiding her. I tried to help her the best I could but I’m not sure what more I can do for them besides helping with the twins.”

Sighing, she turned to face him, playing with her wedding band a little bit. ”How was your night love? Thomas and Leo keep you entertained?”
with: James Misty Gray Misty Gray
 

Melanin-Gxdess

Queen of Melanin


Elvian Moretti
She was glad her daughter had at least been happy about getting one of the men, even if they hadn't gotten to the other. Both of them knew the men in their lives would do everything necessary to make sure he was taken care of. She gave her forehead a kiss before smiling at her. "Oh sweetheart, it is going to take time. I know it's not much, but I'll be here as well as your brother and sister and your father whenever you need us. You can even get into our bed when you have a nightmare; we'll kick your father out." She joked. "However, if it makes you feel more at ease we can find you a therapist of some sort? Obviously not like Maddox, but a more legitimate one who's trustworthy." Had Maddox not betrayed them, Elvian may have been inclined to recommend her daughter see the man for help. He was supposedly good at his job during the time and would have been a big help. Now? He was nothing. All Elvian wanted to do was help her daughter, but she knew this kind of mental and emotional thing wasn't something she alone could solve.

' But maybe Teddy can.' She thought to herself. Even though a part of her was still wary about letting Teddy date her youngest daughter, she knew she should just give him a chance. He was given one when he had to prove himself to Gabe so perhaps he could prove himself to her. If you would have told Elvian years ago she was playing cupid with Teddy and Val, she would have cussed you in her native tongue. The only reason things changed was because of Teddy's kidnapping and Val's attack. When both of them wanted to prove their worth to Gabriel, they had helped each other. Her daughter went to bat for the man several times after his betrayal and Elvian had a feeling it wasn't just because they were friends. The hospital made her think even more about the situation, seeing as Teddy practically hadn't left her side the entirety of her stay. She was her mother, so it was understandable that she wouldn't leave but Teddy? He was there longer than her own siblings. The nail in the coffin was surely the time she spent with Valentina, informing Elvian she had feelings for the man. She had already felt deep down inside the man felt the same, so why delay the situation any further?

Theodore Wycliff
It was nice to hear she was feeling better, physically at least. He wanted to ask about mentally but decided against it. Perhaps she didn't want to think about that right now and didn't want to offend her. "I'm glad you're feeling better. Now you can focus on school and whatnot, right? How's that going?" He was finding it hard to talk to her now, unsure of the reason. Maybe it was because of what happened with Isac or the fact he could see she was fidgety. Whatever the reason, he felt like a high school kid talking to a pretty girl for the first time. "I have been taking care of business, as per usual, and trying to stay out of trouble. Things are about to get crazier than ever, I feel. Other than the stress of that, pretty good." He made sure not to mention that he was still trying to find any information who could about the second man that was with Isac. Whoever he was, he was either important or Isac was afraid of him since he took the name to his grave. When she asked about what brought him to dinner, he gave a sly smile and narrowed his eyes. He looked to Elvian with his head cocked to the side and arms crossed. "Elvian would you like to explain?" He asked, making a gesture with his hand giving her the floor to speak.

"I wanted to show appreciation for our dear Teddy. He's been doing a lot for our family lately and this is what I have to offer." She lied, innocent smile on her face. Teddy gave her a suspicious look before nodding his head. He didn't believe a word she said and was slowly catching on. Elvian had already loaded three plates of pasta, having taken it out of the oven while the two were talking. She pretended to cough and raise her hand to her head as if taking her temperature. She twisted her face up like someone with a headache would have and put on a shocked face. "Oh my, I think I'm coming down with something." She picked up her own plate, keeping up with the 'I have suddenly fallen ill' act, and started to exit the kitchen. "It could be contagious and my head. O Doamne, how could this happen now when I've prepared a lovely dinner for the three of us? I'm so sorry to have to abandon our plans but I must go lie down..." She looked down at her plate and quickly added, "With my pasta. Eat then sleep." She quickly made her way to the stairs, trying to get away before there were any interruptions. "But you two enjoy! The dessert is cooling and you can have it after!"

Teddy just stared after the woman, in complete shock of what she had just done. Elvian set the two of them up, basically forcing them to be alone with each other. If he were, to be honest, he couldn't even be mad at the situation because of how crafty she had been. All he could do was chuckle as she left the kitchen. When she was gone, he scratched the back of his neck and looked back to the woman he was left with, that nervous feeling settling in again. Why he got nervous around her, he didn't get but he was trying to keep it under wraps. "I see where you get your crafty attitude from..."





 

Melanin-Gxdess

Queen of Melanin

Aliana Sullivan
Ali was glad she wasn't met with resistance, though she figured she wouldn't be They had been softer and more understanding than she thought they'd be, despite needing to know key information. The investigative questions were put on hold, allowing Kerry a moment to go through her emotions. She had wrapped her arms around Ali, a good sign, as she started to softly cry. She couldn't help but look between Syd and Conor, trying to keep herself together before turning her attention back to the girl. After a few more minutes, she had stopped and pulled away. Syd suggested they left the police station, to which she quickly agreed. Between feeling sick and the emotions, she wanted nothing more than to get back home and in bed. While having another bout with her nausea, Syd asked Kerry about her family, to which she replied with the fact that she had none. It was heartbreaking to think she was here in this big, dangerous city all her own with no one to turn to. Conor beat her to the recommendation that Kerry stay with them, sure that Leo would help keep her distracted. It would also put her mind at ease knowing she would be protected. She backed up her husband's comment with a soft voice. "I agree. I'd rather you be somewhere safe."

A part of her was apprehensive about leaving her alone, but it was only a room. She wasn't moving that far away, so there was no need to be so worried. She crossed her arms in front of her, leaning against the wall. She exchanged glances with Syd before listening to what her husband had to say, confused as to why he presented it that way. It was almost as if he was worried they wouldn't be okay with her staying with them. "Of course she can stay with us, you didn't have to run that by me. I wouldn't be able to sleep knowing we basically left her to the woods. She can stay for as long as she needs to." Unfortunately, this wasn't the real topic he wanted to run past him. He mentioned her mental health, to which she thought he was going to suggest they help her find someone to treat her. It wasn't until he mentioned Maddox being hidden away in a safe house that she started placing the pieces together. "I'm sorry you want to what?" Her eyes were narrowed as she was trying to wrap her head around the words coming out of his mouth. She glanced at her nephew, who was visibly upset and trying to keep it together and doing a great job at it. "Let me get this straight. Not only do you still have the little shit, you actually trust him enough to expose Kerry to him?" Ali knew Maddox did help Conor and was grateful, but he was still a traitor. She would never forgive him for what he did to Syd nor for trying to get her husband thrown in prison.

She pinched the bridge of her nose, trying to wrap her mind around the idea. This was the part where she was supposed to show faith in her husband, wasn't it? She let Syd speak first, just as confused as she was. Instinctively she placed her hand on Syd's arm, trying to help calm him down before he lost it. He was firing questions at Conor quicker than she was sure he could answer, more than likely because of how upset he was becoming. Syd asked her opinion, to which she looked between both of them and then the ground. Ali had always had a hard time with trust, even more so when someone breaks it. Granted, Conor wasn't asking her to trust Maddox but trust him, but she couldn't but see it like that. Syd had been innocent, truly trying to get help when the counselor attacked him. Who's to say he wouldn't attack Kerry just to get back at them? "Conor I..." Initially, she was going to disagree but when she made direct eye contact, she couldn't help but reflect on their sessions with their own counselor, Louise, and how she needed to trust him. With a heavy sigh, she looked up to the ceiling then at her husband. "If you truly and honestly feel as if you can trust him, then I support your decision... But let me make something very clear. If he does anything abhorrent to that poor, innocent girl, he's done and dead." She was serious, deathly so as she looked to Syd. "It'll be okay, kid, Conor knows what he's doing." She looked back at her husband, shooting him a look that was asking for reassurance.


Syd ( Pyroclast Pyroclast ) Conor ( Misty Gray Misty Gray )
 

Misty Gray

Things and Stuff
Ethan Turner

Ethan would be lying if he said he didn't enjoy hearing Mitch's pained scream. Regardless of any inner enjoyment, nothing but a cold, hateful glare remained resting on Mitch's face. He calmly watched as the lawyer struggled in his chair. He casually sat back as he waited for the man to collect himself and restore peace to the room.

As expected, the mentioning of Rachel and the dog had brought out a true reaction from Mitch. There it was, the natural fear and concern as the life of a loved one was thrown into jeopardy. The lawyer's face reddened, drawing an amused smile from the butcher as he revelled in the man's discomfort. Ethan leaned forward in his seat as he listened to the lawyers warnings. "That giant piece of shit, Sullivan? You think he cares about you or some woman he's got running his grubby pub?" Ethan let out a small chuckle. "You've been out of the loop for a few days. Sullivan and the rest of his Mick friends have got plenty to be dealing with without having to think about you and Rachel too. While you were running away from me that night, my friends were torching his empire."

After a short pause, Ethan stood up and tossed his knife into the metal sink. "Gentlemen. Take Mitch back to his room," he ordered, referring to the basement storage cupboard he'd been confined in for the past week. He then flashed the lawyer a smile. "I'll do my best to reunite you with your girlfriend," he assured him. Of course, Ethan was bluffing. No attempt had been made to take Rachel. Even though he believed the Sullivans were crumbling, he knew he'd be pretty stupid to attempt abducting the woman from the heavily Irish occupied area of Midtown.

Regardless of any protests, Ethan cleaned himself up before putting on his coat and leaving the shop. On his way out, he sent a nod to the three armed men guarding the row of shops that included the butchers. "Keep an eye out. I'll be a while," he ordered them before climbing into the passenger seat of a waiting car and motioning to the driver to put his foot down. Meanwhile, the two armed men inside freed Mitch from the chair, but only to drag him back down to the basement.

RayPurchase RayPurchase (Mitch)

****************

Jasmine Carpenter and Adam Harper

As he concentrated on driving them all out of East Harlem, Adam realised it was impossible to completely block out the conversation going on in the back of the car. A brief glance in the rear view mirror was enough to catch Chase and Jasmine making romantic eyes at each other and sharing tender smiles. This was accompanied by Chase confirming he'd stay with her for as long as she wanted him to. This triggered Adam to stare out onto the road in front of him with a more exaggerated effort as he willed himself not to make a sarcastic comment or anything at all that would kill the overdue moment that was going on in the back of the car. He reached out with one hand and fumbled around on the dashboard for his pack of cigarettes, then set about lighting one up whilst maintaining control of the car. That would at least occupy him for a few minutes.

Jasmine wanted to get lost in the moment with Chase, enjoying taking in his handsome features and the warmth of his hand in hers. But now the lawyer was in her mind, she knew business would have to come first. Chase confirmed they hadn't found Mitch yet. "I think he's still alive. It certainly seemed that way a short while ago when I overheard Ethan talking to one of the others." The change in Jasmine's tone was enough to draw Adam back in without feeling like he was imposing on a romantic moment. Jasmine continued to speak: "Ethan said he was heading to the 'butchers shop' and I'm certain that's where Mitch is."

"Butchers?" Adam finally spoke up as he slowed the car down. "That motherfucker Turner has a shop in East Harlem. I remember Mrs. Callahan saying when her car broke down she was hassled by Turner and that creepy Alistair bloke outside there. I say we give that place a try." Without much regard for the cars driving behind him, Ethan did a U-turn in the road and drove back in the direction they'd just come away from. "Are you up for getting a bit messier, Jas? Or do you want me to find you a babysitter for the rest of the night?" he gruffly teased, though underneath it all, he was genuinely asking if she was up to it.

"Shut up and drive, Adam. I know if you were in my place you'd need to spend a few weeks resting in bed first, but luckily I can still walk and fire a gun, so I can keep going." She looked to Chase and sent him warm, reassuring smile. She wasn't sure how their working relationship was going to change, but it felt good to know he felt the same about her.

"Thank God I'm not in your place. No offence, but I don't want Chase sticking his tongue down my throat!" Adam remarked.

Pyroclast Pyroclast (Chase)
 

Misty Gray

Things and Stuff
Conor Sullivan and Kerry Patrick

Conor's suggestion went down about as well as he expected, but it didn't mean he was about to simply discount it at the first sign of disapproval. "In an ideal world, I'd love to let her stay at our place for as long as she needs," he said, sending Aliana a sincere glance. "But we can't risk Leo overhearing too much, nor do you need the extra stress while you're pregnant. I don't know any counsellors who could be trusted with details about our business and it would certainly be dangerous letting them into our home or letting Kerry show up to their office for sessions. She needs to be kept somewhere secure at all times."

Conor wasn't oblivious to how the suggestion was affecting Syd, even before his nephew appeared agitated at mention of Maddox. Syd was uncomfortable and Aliana was unimpressed, which caused Conor to lean back against the wall and for a short while gaze up towards the ceiling. He looked back down to his wife and nephew before attempting to give his reasoning. "I wasn't going to let him just head off into the sunset after what he did nor was I prepared to just kill the prick. Not without squeezing all of the uses we could out of him, and I don't just mean what he did to help us find Roxie. He's been providing medical assistance to some of our wounded employees, but I still didn't feel that was enough from him." He shrugged his shoulders. "I believe he's changed, but I want him to prove it to the rest of you. If he... if he can help Kerry, then I will cut him loose after."

Syd wanted confirmation that Maddox was basically being kept as a prisoner. "He hasn't left that apartment in months, not even to step out for a smoke. There's no phone in there and he's given basic food. I have his passport, wallet and any other documents he needs." He let out a sigh. "Other than my most trusted guards, the only person who knows he's alive is Ani, since she begged James to lock her up with him. She did a pretty messy number on Alistair Sawyer, the East Harlem bastard who hurt you, Luce and Sinny. Hence why she was granted mercy by your old man."

Aliana wasn't impressed and Conor knew she was right to react the way she was, as was Syd. In the end, she came around and placed her trust in her husband. "I really believe I can trust him with this. But I swear, if I get even the slightest suspicion he's messing with Kerry, I will kill him myself. I'll beat the fucker to death and then put Ani out of her misery too," he assured them.

Despite his conviction about trusting Maddox, Conor did feel he needed to compromise if he was going to help Syd and Aliana feel at all comfortable with the idea. "I'm probably being too optimistic thinking she can stay with them both though. But Simone's been staying in an apartment on the same floor as the one Maddox is in, since Jimbo's office was blown up." He was sure the bodyguard, the woman who had been dating Warren, would be on board with helping Kerry. "She can stay with Simone and I'll make sure someone is also closeby whenever Kerry is with Dr. Parker. That's better, right?"

Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess (Aliana)
Pyroclast Pyroclast (Syd)

After getting Kerry to agree to the plan, the four of them left the police station, with Conor giving the Detective no room to argue. Once Syd had been dropped off at home and Conor had picked up some of Emery's clothing from the Callahans' house, Kerry was taken to the Sullivans home where she would be staying for the night. With Leo staying over the Porter mansion, the house was pretty quiet. Upon entering the house, they were greeted by Leo's dog who was curiously sniffling around the newcomer. "Ah, that's Charlie. Any pet you see in this house is called Charlie," he commented as Kerry crouched down to stroke the dog's fur. "Ali, are you okay to show Kerry to a guest room and around the house?" he asked. "I'll make us all something to eat. You're not one of those vegetarians or anything, are you?" he asked Kerry, before sending her a friendly smile.

"No... meat is fine," she confirmed as she stood up straight again.

"Ah, that makes my life easier," he said, now with a grin on his face. He placed a kiss on Aliana's cheek before walking off into the kitchen.

Kerry picked up the bag of clothes Conor had given her and looked to Aliana so the woman can lead the way. "You're both being too kind. I really can stay at my own apartment though. I don't want to cause so much fuss for you all. I'm just some random person who was both unlucky and lucky to get out of the club alive."

Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess (Aliana)
 

Misty Gray

Things and Stuff
Valentina Moretti

Valentina nodded her head when her mother said it would take time to overcome what she had been through. She managed a small laugh at the thought of making her father sleep in another room. "Oh yeah, I can just imagine the look on his face when we tell him to sleep in the spare room!" She fell silent at the mention of speaking to a therapist, awkwardly biting her lip at the thought. Maddox had always seemed like a nice enough guy, albeit involved in matters way above his head. Still, his eventual deceit had to make her question the integrity of therapists in general. "Maybe... I know it would probably help, but I'll think about it for a bit first. I'm not ready to talk to a stranger about all of that yet," she admitted.

Valentina could sense Teddy was struggling a little with the conversation and she oddly felt the same awkwardness in that moment. "I've tried to focus on my assignments, but my head's just not into it. I think I... I think I just need to leave it for a bit and focus on things that are more fun," she admitted. The way she felt, she was still considering packing it in altogether, but she knew she couldn't throw her studies away without some guarantee of being able to work for her father. She managed a crooked smile at what he said next. "You've been trying to stay out of trouble? I'm guessing you failed that, right?" she teased him. She nodded her head when Teddy said things were about to get crazier. The fact Gabriel had left the house early that morning in a more upbeat mood than she was used to was enough for Valentina to find things weird. "Well, Papa seemed pretty optimistic this morning," she commented.

Valentina observed as her mother made up some excuse about why she'd invited Teddy over for dinner. Whilst it was a reasonable explanation, the young woman was still suspicious, given that Elvian knew of her daughter's feeling for the man standing with them. This was soon followed by Elvian making a sudden claim she was getting sick and having to excuse herself from dinner. Valentina pulled an expression that was a strange mix of bemusement and amusement. "I hope you feel better soon, Mama," she called out to her. Suddenly Valentina and Teddy were standing alone in the kitchen. She found her cheeks reddening for a moment before Teddy spoke about the crafty attitude she shared with Elvian. "Ha!" she sarcastically laughed. "So you didn't buy the dramatics either?"

Valentina pointed to the plates of pasta. "I'd be your waitress for the evening, but I'm injured, so you've got to take pity on me," she commented. Still, she picked up her own plate with her one healthy hand and set it down on the table, positioning herself opposite Teddy. Her mother had already set the glasses and drinks on the table, so she was glad she didn't have to get back up. Although the wine was tempting, she poured herself a glass of water for now. "If I'd known you were coming I'd..." she began, struggling over her words as she suddenly became nervous. She wasn't sure if it was that the attack had knocked her self-esteem down or that she worried about making things awkward with Teddy, or both, but she wasn't used to feeling so shy. In the past, she'd been comfortable taking the lead to express her attraction to a guy. Right now, she was afraid of rejection. Be it him patronising her through the age difference; him treating her like a delicate victim after what she'd been through; or him simply not being attracted her at all. "Well, if I'd known, I'd have worn something nicer... More appropriate, I mean. For entertaining dinner guests," she stumbled over her words. She took a few deep breaths as she worried she'd embarrassed herself. She briefly used her fork to prod at her food before looking to Teddy. "You didn't leave my bedside when I was in hospital, even though you didn't have to stay there. Why did you choose to stay?" she suddenly asked him.

Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess (Teddy, Elvian)
 

Misty Gray

Things and Stuff
James Porter

202961.jpgJames was laid across the sofa reading one of Thomas's comics when he heard the front door close, followed by Lucy announcing her presence. Hearing Thomas rush to greet her, James figured he had a few more seconds to finish reading the page he was on. When Lucy did enter the lounge, he closed the 'Avengers' comic and sat up on the sofa, giving Lucy space to sit next to him. "Hey, gorgeous," he said, placing a kiss on her lips. He tossed the comic onto the coffee table but briefly pointed at it as he spoke. "Olivia said Thomas' comics were boring and then went off to her room to do some drawing. Turns out she was wrong. I'm quite enjoying them. I even sent the boys off to play hide and seek to give me some peace and quiet," he joked.

James put his arm around Lucy and nodded his head. "Of course I missed you," he told her. He smiled at mention of the twins. "Ah, I bet they loved having their favourite Grandma around." James hadn't met Angelica, but that didn't matter as he doubted anyone could beat Lucy. Hearing things weren't going so well between Syd and Roxie, he let out a deep sigh. "Do you know what exactly is going on between them?" he asked. "Do we need to intervene or is this something they've got to sort out themselves?" James remembered Syd making him promise if he got in a bad state again that he would intervene for the sake of Roxie and the twins, but he didn't believe things were anywhere near that stage. He hoped it was just an issue between Syd and Roxie that could easily be sorted by them sitting down to talk to each other.

"My night was fine. The boys haven't been too annoying," he joked. He then gently rested his head against Lucy's and took her hand in his as a fond smile crossed his lips. "I overheard Olivia earlier, when she was talking to Bruno, as she does when the other girls aren't home. I heard her saying she wanted us to be her parents; that she wanted to be Thomas' and Syd's sister." He lightly shrugged his shoulders. "Do you think we should talk to her about that soon? If she really wants it, maybe we could make it all official?"

Bella:D Bella:D (Lucy)
 
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Bella:D

Yes, I put pineapple on pizza. Sue me.
Lucy Porter
serious lucy .png
Lucy was amused that James was reading one of their youngest sons comics that she had bought him a while back. She was really glad that her husband was finding things to do in his spare time, but she knew how boring it could be around the house sometimes, especially when the usual guests weren't home. He kissed her and Lucy returned it sweetly before they pulled apart and she settled into him again. Hearing that she was the favorite Grandma made her giddy but as James asked for more clarification about Syd and Roxie, the smile faded. "I don't think we need to intervene yet." She told him simply. Roxie had been a mess, but she knew that came with the territory of being a new mother. "It's only been a little more than a week since she had the babies, I think she just needed to cry with me. But she did say that things were tense between them. Maybe I'll give Syd a call tomorrow to see if there is anything we can do to help." She said before listening as he said that his night was fine.

The smile returned to her face as James also said the boys weren't too annoying. "That's always good, I'm glad you are enjoying yourself. I was sort of worried about you adjusting to being home all the time." She revealed. He took her hand in his and she gave it a gentle squeeze as he talked about Olivia talking with Bruno. While she always thought that was adorable, she also felt very sad for the young girl, clearly, she was lonely with the other girls gone. Hearing what she said to the dog, Lucy's eyes suddenly burned as she stared ahead of them. Feeling her husband shrug his shoulders, he then asked her if they should talk to her soon, make things official.

A part of her was absolutely ready to make things official, Olivia deserved all the happiness in the world and she knew James and herself could give that to her. But then there was a really small part of her that had dreaded this moment, the moment she would replace her dear cousin as the girl's mother. Arlene had never been too far from Lucy's mind after she died but lately, with everything going on, she hadn't been able to give herself time to think about little Olivia finally wanting to move on. "I am...over the moon hearing that." She told James slowly, but then she turned to him so she could look him in the eyes. "But this feels different than it had with Syd and the girls." She confessed. "I feel like I'm overstepping here...replacing Arlene. I don't ever want to do that." Lucy murmured as her eyes watered.

"With our other kids, well besides Thomas of course, we didn't know their parents...they weren't close to us. But with Olivia, Arlene was one of my closest cousins, and hearing that she wants us to be her parents...while that's so so great--I guess it just makes me sad. Almost like she's going to forget Arlene." Moving her free hand to her eyes, Lucy wiped under them a moment before taking a deep breath.

"I won't let her forget her." She stated after a long moment. "We will be her parents, but I won't let Olivia forget how much her mother loved her. I won't let her forget the amazing person she was. But if she's ready for us, then we are officially going to add her to our family. I already love her like she's my own." After taking another moment to compose herself, Lucy looked at James with a smile.

"Should we call her in now? I really want to talk with her."
with: James Misty Gray Misty Gray
 

Pyroclast

Add alcohol and stir!
Syd Porter

1603201051705.pngOn the day of Syd’s release from hospital when Conor had first admitted that he was working with Maddox Parker, it had shaken him enough to lash out and punch his uncle, something he had never even come close to doing before. In a way, he was grateful to both him and his counsellor for helping to track down Roxie, but he had still never found peace with what Parker had done to him and his family. The only reason he wasn’t getting angry at Conor this time was because he understood that the man had truly improved in his own mental stability. As much as Syd wished the counsellor was out of the picture for good, the fact that Conor hadn’t simply killed him showed how much he had grown. He acted in a more rational and controlled manner, and that made it easier to believe that he had thought through his plan. Syd definitely felt improvements within himself, too, but he also knew his mind was still to some extent clouded by trauma and therefore was able to accept that Conor’s thought process may be more rational than his own.

Still, in a weird way, he was relieved that Aliana was also still wary of Maddox. At least he wasn’t alone or left to believe that his fears were invalid. He caught her eye when she placed a hand on his arm. To hear her even suggest that Maddox might cause her harm made Syd feel sick. Sending someone innocent and traumatised into the care of the same man who had driven him to attempt suicide, especially without telling her what he had done, sounded to him like they were risking her life and even though it wasn’t his idea, he would never, ever forgive himself if any harm came to her as a result.

Not only would it be a risk to Kerry and his family, but also a risk to Conor’s freedom if he followed through with his threat and beat Maddox to death. The reason he hadn’t refrained from killing him was because he didn’t want to risk being put back in prison, especially not on a life sentence. However, he knew that Conor didn’t want that either and wouldn’t be putting the idea forward if he wasn’t fully confident that it was safe. Hearing that Maddox was completely cut off from outside contact reassured him that even if he wanted to, he wouldn’t be able to exchange the information he drew from Kerry with Moretti...but gaining any new information during his confinement made him a potential threat once again after releasing him. After leaving his uncertain gaze to linger on Aliana for several seconds, Syd finally forced himself to relent and turned to face his uncle. “Fine,” he sighed defeatedly, dragging a hand down his face. His tone was less than enthusiastic. “Put her with Simone, she’ll be good there.” Saying nothing more on the subject, Syd patted his uncle on the arm to assure him he had no intention of arguing, and when they were joined by Kerry he made more of an effort to pull himself together.

Syd was quiet on the journey home, only occasionally glancing over his shoulder to check on Aliana and Kerry. He wished them all luck, passing Conor a small, cheerless smile of acknowledgement in another weak attempt to establish peace between them. After the car drove away, he lingered in the driveway for as long as it took him to get through a cigarette as he returned his thoughts to Roxie and the babies. Despite the uncomfortable suspicion between him and his girlfriend and the underlying concern he had for his premature babies’ health, focusing on his new family was still preferable to letting Maddox Parker veer into the front of his mind. The nicotine and cool night air helped him to clear his head and calm his nerves, and by the time he went inside he was feeling much more relaxed.

“I’m home!” he called out, wondering whether Roxie was back yet or if he was actually speaking to his mother. Aside from the dogs’ momentary burst of energy at hearing him arrive, the house was quiet and still. He found her in the living room with a glass of wine in her hand, looking drained and pale in the face. “The girls in bed?” he asked, stretching his arms up before slumping down on the sofa beside her. “You alright, babe? You look like you’ve had a day.” He paused to bite down on his lip as he mentally assessed the situation. His earlier thoughts returned to him that she may have been hiding the truth from him about where she had been going that evening. To vocalise his suspicions would almost certainly start a fight that he didn’t want to have, but his wavering trust was making it hard to be himself around her. Even though he was concerned for her in that moment, he didn’t feel like he could express it in the way he normally would, with affection. It saddened him to feel so distant from the woman he loved. He wished they could just go back to the way they were before without having to accuse her of anything. When he turned to face her, he saw the red in her eyes, as though she had been crying. In that kind of state, he hoped that the truth might come out - and maybe after all, she could finally reassure him that she had been telling the truth all along. So, he asked: “How did it go, at your dad’s?”

Interactions
Bella:D Bella:D Roxie
Misty Gray Misty Gray Conor, Kerry (mentioned)
Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess Aliana (mentioned)
 

Bella:D

Yes, I put pineapple on pizza. Sue me.
Roxie Carriveau
sad gif .gif
The front door opened but Roxie didn't move from where she was on the couch, letting the dogs greet Syd before he moved into the living room to find her. When he asked if the girls were in bed, Roxie nodded her head lightly. "Went down a lot easier tonight, thank goodness for that. Normally one of the two fights me on it." She said, a small smile playing on her lips for only a moment before it fell again. He slumped on the sofa beside her but she didn't make a move to embrace him or get closer. Taking a long sip from her wine glass, she set it on the side table before sighing as he said she looked like she had a day. The guilt she'd been feeling before was creeping up on her now that he was home. His eyes looked into hers and she couldn't hide the fact that something was wrong, given that her eyes were red from crying.

He asked her about her dad's and Roxie stared at him for a moment, trying to come up with something to tell him about it. As she scrambled to come up with a lie, it became crystal clear to her that she wasn't going to be able to lie to Syd any further. After the terrifying meeting with Moretti, she knew she needed to confide in him, even if he did scream at her for lying to him. Grabbing her glass once more, she polished off her drink before slamming it a little too hard against the table. Swallowing the lump that had formed in her throat, she looked at him. "I'm afraid..." She lost her voice for a moment and she cleared her throat before trying to continue. "I'm afraid I haven't been honest with you, Syd." Roxie admitted before clasping her hands together in a begging manner. "But please, please....hear me out, okay? I really need you to listen to this and then you can do whatever you want, scream, lecture me...whatever it is you need to do. But please, just listen."

Pausing, she waited for his reaction before continuing. "My Uncle, Ricky and I...we met with Moretti today." She said, her eyes watering as she looked away from him suddenly. "I lied to you because I knew you would never let me go near that man...and I really understand now. He's a monster." Her voice was weak as she sniffled and shook her head.

"Now, my family...has seen what this war has done to innocent people and they want to help them, they want this whole thing to end. And I agree. I've seen what this is doing to your family Syd, I've experienced it, you've experienced it..." Her eyes looked to him, eyeing him as she wondered if he was going to interrupt her. "My family wants to act as a mediator between the two families and they asked me to be involved in making a case to Moretti." Wiping at her eyes, she turned away from him again to stare straight ahead of them towards the fireplace.

"While I think their intentions are good, I can see that their efforts are going to be for nothing. And while they are willing to compromise with both your family and Moretti. I don't want my family to have anything to do with that family." At this point, she was crying once again. "They told me that if I was going to be a part of the business, I couldn't say anything to you about what they were doing. But I couldn't do it, I can't lie to you! I can't stand to see us like this!" She cried, she wanted desperately to hug him but she knew he may want nothing to do with her after confessing she lied so she scooted a little bit away from him.

"I'm not a liar. I just don't have it in me to let this affect our beautiful little family any further. I swear the girls know I'm lying too, I can't even console their cries anymore. I'm just terrible and I know it. To think I could do this to you, that we would somehow work with me being dishonest. I'm a terrible girlfriend and mother, that's what I am...and if you can't find it in your heart to forgive me after everything you've been through. I understand wholeheartedly."

A hiccup escaped her from crying so much and she placed a hand over her mouth as she held her breath for a moment, the heavy silence consuming them both. After a moment, she released her breath. "I just love you and the girls so much...I want us to be safe and in a way, I thought I was helping to achieve that. But I'm not helping anything by lying and I am truly ashamed of myself."
with: Syd Pyroclast Pyroclast
 

Pyroclast

Add alcohol and stir!
Chase Zegarra

1603290731250.pngIt was a relief to hear a new idea of where Mitch might be kept. Chase was eager to find him, not just for the lawyer’s safety, but also because he himself needed a damn good night’s sleep. On top of that, he was very much looking forward to keeping Jasmine company as she had asked. He picked up the guns she had brought with her and one by one removed the magazines to count the ammunition. Satisfied that there was enough in there to equip them for a potential shootout at the butchers, Chase slotted the magazines back in place and handed them back to Jasmine.

Chase chuckled at her retort when Adam jokingly asked if she needed a babysitter, settling into a warm smile to reflect the way she was looking at him. Adam quickly broke the moment, however, trying to embarrass Chase with a witty comment about his feelings for Jasmine. “Cállate ya, ¡joder!” he snapped, launching himself forward to give Adam a playful, yet hard smack on the head. He knew now that his friend supported his feelings for Jasmine so he didn’t take his teasing too seriously, but he still wanted to hit the man sometimes. Once settled back into his seat, he cupped his other hand over Jasmine’s and gently rubbed it to warm it up. If she was certain that she could continue on their mission to find Mitch instead of going home to recuperate, he doubted he would be able to convince her otherwise, but he was concerned still - as he would be with any of his injured colleagues. The fact that she had heard Ethan say he was heading to his butcher shop meant that if she went there and he saw her, he would know that she had escaped. She was about to run right back towards her captor and while Chase had seen her take on the man before and win, he didn’t know exactly how weak or injured she currently was.

When Adam turned and parked the Corvair in the shadows across from the shop, an almost-empty bottle of water rolled into the footwell from under the front passenger seat and Chase picked it up and passed it to Jasmine. “You sure you don’t want us to drop you off with Finn first?” he lightly suggested as he massaged the palm of her hand. “I’m not saying this to condescend you, but you were missing for three days and you have a stab wound…” Perhaps it was an effect of working in a male-dominated space as a woman, or simply a product of her upbringing or a mark of her personality, but Chase wasn’t sure how well he could trust Jasmine to prioritise her own needs. She was stoic and sometimes that was necessary, but it wasn’t always the most practical choice. “You don’t have to be so brave all the time, you know.”

Interactions
Misty Gray Misty Gray Jasmine, Adam
 

Pyroclast

Add alcohol and stir!
Syd Porter

1603375566295.pngAs much as he longed for the tension between them to break, Syd didn’t feel at all ready to actually have the conversation. Of course, he was no stranger to confrontation - his emotional instability demanded it of him as much as his occupation did - but this time, the thought filled him with anxiety. Trust was a delicate issue, the kind that commanded changes in behaviour and a careful approach to conversation. Added to that was the fact that it was Roxie he was having to confront; there was a threat hanging over their relationship and their new family life, and hearing that she hadn’t been honest with him gave weight to that threat. As he sat beside her, his heart beginning to pound, Syd held his breath and waited for her to reveal that she had betrayed him and his family. It was only the way she begged him not to react before he had listened to her that kept him from getting out of his seat.

The name that fell from her lips drew an instant groan from his. That alone would have been enough to unsettle him if he hadn’t already been agitated by the arrangements made with Maddox Parker, but now his efforts to bring himself back to a calm state of mind were all unravelling. Syd leaned forward and placed his head in his hands, unable to stop his legs bouncing aggressively beneath where his elbows rested. He could tell at least that Roxie wasn’t proud of it. There was nothing in her tone that resembled his counsellor’s when his truth came out. In fact, there was a distinct tremble on her voice as she told him her family’s intentions and when he turned his head to look up at her, he saw that she was crying. If he hadn’t felt so tense, he might have reached out to her. His anxiety was rising with every word she said, the familiar nausea trickling through him once again at the thought that her family was trying to make his love work alongside the foul Gabriel Moretti. It wasn’t that, however, but the pain she expressed for the way the two of them had been treating each other, the way the recoiled from him as though afraid that he would now hate her, that drew tears from his eyes. He watched her through glazed eyes, breathing shallow, unsteady breaths behind clenched fists, and found himself shaking his head when she began to outwardly berate her actions and character.

Syd let the silence between them linger as he focused on the thrum of his heavy heartbeat and waited for it to slow down. Tears hung suspended from his eyelashes until he stretched his fingers to brush them away, and then he hauled himself up against the sofa’s backrest, feeling the weight of his anxiety-driven fatigue in his movement. “Roxie,” he whispered, a hand reaching across to find hers. “It’s okay.” She wasn’t the only one experiencing guilt - seeing the way she was feeling now, Syd felt terrible for having suspected her to be acting against him, even though it was partly true. He looked directly into her tearful eyes and gave her hand a gentle squeeze. He had missed her. “I think we want the same thing,” he softly murmured. “We have something precious, this family, this...” he lifted her hand slightly, caressing the back of it with his thumb, “- you and me and our sweet baby girls. And we don’t want any harm to come to them. Not from Moretti, and not from us.” Fresh tears pricked at his eyes and he looked down to the hand in his. “You’re a wonderful mam, and a far better girlfriend than I deserve. Of course I forgive you, Roxie. I love you…” A tear fell down his cheek as he raised his head once again to look at her, and reached out to stroke her cheek. His lip trembled. “Just, please...please don’t lie to me,” he begged, voice weakening to a whisper. “I need to know I can trust you, or I can’t...I can’t be around you. And your family, I don’t like them getting involved in this war or dragging you into anything against your will. Playing the middleman is a dangerous game. Things have to change, I know that, but we don’t need anyone else getting between us and Moretti. You and I have both been used and I don’t ever want - I can’t -” His words caught in his throat as he remembered the horror of Roxie’s kidnapping and of what Maddox did, and he looked up to the ceiling, squeezing Roxie’s hand tight. A hitch in his breath sent tears pouring down his face and he grimaced, struggling to rein his emotions back in. “I’m sorry. I...I missed you. I just want us to be on the same team.”

Interactions
Bella:D Bella:D Roxie
 

Misty Gray

Things and Stuff
Arturo and Bogdan

Bogdan quickly shook his head when Steve told Arturo he was going to sell him out. "No. I'm just telling you what I know. I just want to help us find out who hurt Mr. Moretti's daughter so they can be brought to justice for it." When the Romanian realised he was laying it on a little too thick and perhaps on deaf ears, he silenced himself. When it came down to it, he wanted to save his own skin. Even if it meant Arturo would suffer instead of him, Bogdan decided it was the best chance of saving himself from being killed or tortured.

Arturo was shocked that his so-called friend wasn't defending him but instead seemed to be pushing him deeper into the firing line. He couldn't believe the fat bastard would betray him like that. Still, he had bigger concerns in the moment, with Steve still standing over him in an unsettling manner with the knife blade still placed dangerously in his mouth. As Steve spoke about them not wanting to own up to their crimes, Arturo felt frustrated that he couldn't speak properly to try defend himself, not that he expected the psychopath in front of him to listen.

It was bad enough having a knife being held in his mouth, but Steve's further actions seemed to repulse the Italian more than that. As Steve's practically pierced through Arturo's exhausted eyes, he also proceeded to running his hand up the man's thigh. Though the man's hand stopped before crossing a major line, it was still far too close for comfort and it made Arturo feel extremely uncomfortable. Almost violated. Steve made it clear he was testing the Italian's boundaries and given how the man was practically squirming at the action, it would become clear a boundary had already been crossed merely by touching his thigh at all. There was a comment about being in Valentina's shoes, but Arturo mumbled as he tried to reiterate he had nothing to do with attacking the young woman. He didn't know how to get Steve and Marcus to believe he was innocent.

Seeing the dark expression on Steve's face, Arturo tightly closed his eyes and began to pray for a way out of the situation. For someone to believe his innocence. The prayer didn't get far as the blade of the knife was dug into the roof of his mouth and dragged, tearing into the flesh from the his throat to his teeth. The Italian's eyes shot open as he let out a desperately pained, gurgling scream. His shoulder's practically bounced up and down as the man took deep, rapid breaths to try overcome the pain. Even when he did get some composure, the taste of the blood filling his mouth made him feel physically sick. The liquid collecting from the wounds caused him to wretch which turned into a cough, causing him to spit blood out of his mouth, not only running down his own chin but some likely spraying over Steve. "I didn't do it," another desperate, muffled plea was made by Arturo.

RayPurchase RayPurchase (Marcus? Earth to Marcus?)
 

Enzyme

The All-Powerful Enzyme!
Jackson McCarthy

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Jackson began digging into his food as his family asked about Australia. Truth be told, he had no idea what to expect, as he'd never been there himself. He had met a handful of Australian blokes in his time, and they'd all been top lads; ones he'd love to share a beer with any day. A beautiful, warm land with great people seemed like the place for him. While he decided to hold his tongue, his aspiration was to use this trip as a way to sell them on the idea of moving down there. If it as nice as he'd heard, and they got that community feeling they had in Ireland, then he could see them building their life down there. Ireland was great and at the end of the day, it was his home, but he felt like his time in the Mob was expiring. If he wanted to sever ties to his criminal life, to where Natasha's future wouldn't be jeopardized, he felt relocating to a new country might be the best way to do it. The only downside to the country, from what he heard, were the monstrous creatures that lurked in the Outback. When Blake brought up the massive spiders that crawled around, he smiled and took a bite from his sandwich, and luckily it passed like a breeze.

Descendent of criminals. The line caused a chuckle to to choke Jackson mid-bite. "I mean, how much more perfect could ya' get?" he asked, raising his hand out. "A lotta' people I come across think I'm 'strayan' already," he mused, cleaning the mayo from the side of his lip with his thumb. "Plus, your Irish accent - they'll bloody love you down there, luv'," he chuckled.

When New York came into the conversation, it seemed like Blake was grasping for good things to say. It was no secret that this place wasn't built for them. It focused on two things, materialism and unregulated Capitalism, two things Jackson and his family didn't care much about. Blake didn't need a reason to justify her distaste for the New York, as he was sure they shared the same uneasiness surrounding the city that never sleeps. When it came to his daughter, he couldn't be more relieved to get here as far away from this place as possible. He was certain Natasha had already seen things that she wasn't meant to see. "I couldn't agree with you more, luv. The sooner we're out of here the better," Jackson added, stuffing his face with the BLT. "Although, I must admit. This place makes a killer sandy," he noted between bites.

When asked what he'd want to do first in Australia, Jackson chuckled lightly, dabbing his face with the napkin. "Wouldn't that be a sight. Me up on wooden board ridin' a two meter wave." He looked down to Natasha, prodding her tommy with his finger. "What'd you think of that, Tash?" he chuckled. "C'mon, eat your greens, luv'," he said, pushing the plate closer to her.

"I don't know, though. I think just hitting their restaurants and gettin' to meet the locals would be nice change of pace. What about you, doll? What'd you think?" Jackson asked with a raised brow, bringing the black coffee to his lips.

Bella:D Bella:D (Blake/Natasha)
 

Melanin-Gxdess

Queen of Melanin

Theodore Wycliff
Teddy shook his head at her. "Absolutely not. She laid it on a little thick there, especially at the end." He stated, stuffing his hands in his pockets. His nerves were rattled and he didn't quite know what to do with his hands. It was very annoying how much a single person could make him lose his cool as he watched her walk over to the counter. He was about to offer to grab her plate for her when she showed she was perfectly capable of doing it herself. He grabbed his own plate and followed her to the table.

"Oh, don't worry about that. I'm sure Elvian thought of everything, which is why she told me to dress comfortable." He said gesturing to himself. It was definitely out of his norm to be dressed so casually, but Elvian had requested it so he listened. After Gabe, El was the other boss in his life and when she said to do something he did it. That silence was back as they both dug into the pasta, both of them at a loss for words. Maybe the reason why he was having such a hard time figuring out what to say to her was because this was uncharted territory. Any other time he was talking to a female with the sole purpose of getting in their pants. They were nothing but conquests to him, a mission that he was going to win no matter what. With the woman sitting across from him? That wasn't the case whatsoever. Valentina wasn't some silly conquest or game he wanted to win; he had come to the conclusion she was more than that.

He poured himself a small glass of wine to try and steady his nerves. Her sudden question made him choke on his wine but he quickly recovered by clearing his throat. "Why? I mean I-... I felt bad. I was sitting at some stuffy charity even doing nothing when I could have been protecting you and preventing everything that was happening." That was his guilt speaking, not his feelings. While that was a reason, it wasn't the main reason. It wasn't the important reason that he needed to say and he was beating himself up for it. "Plus I wanted to protect you at the hospital in case they came back and Elvian needed company..." Words that were just falling out of his mouth, fillers until he could stop being afraid of sharing his feelings with her. He sat back in his seat and looked her, shaking his head. A chuckle escaped his lips as he pointed to her. "...You're an absolute menace and don't realize it. You-.. I can't even think straight and it's so frustrating because it makes me think, 'Fucksake, does she think I'm being an asshole right now?' all because I can't come out and say it... Not a menace to society, mind you, but to me personally." He took a deep sigh before finally getting his shit together. "Basically, Tin, you do my head in more than any other woman I have ever met. I'm nervous around you, which is annoying because I'm never nervous. Ever. I've been stumbling over my words all night and pretty sure I'm blowing it." He reached across the table and opened his palm for her hand.

"It wrecked me when I heard you were in the hospital. It tore me apart seeing you in so much pain physically, emotionally, and don't get me started on the tears. I never want to see you cry because it pisses me off. I don't like getting my hands dirty, but since it was for you I was more than willing." He was really hoping she understood what he was saying, since he didn't know how this worked.
 

Melanin-Gxdess

Queen of Melanin

Aliana Sullivan
Conor had given her some good points, stress, and Leo the main ones. She was stressed enough because her husband had very nearly died and was at risk every day. Taking care of another person was added on stress. Leo was always being nosey, a crafty little kid, and didn't need to hear about anything else the grown-ups were doing. She couldn't argue with it, seeing that he put a lot of thought and effort into this plan. With a heavy sigh, she relented and nodded her head.

His explanation of why he let Maddox live to begin with was surprising. Not surprising because he still let him live, although that was also surprising in its own way, but because he said he's changed. Someone who tried to ruin their family changed? Was she hearing that right, she wondered. Even if she wasn't vocally voicing her opinion, her face was doing more than enough communication for her. His plan sounded crazy, risky even but she had to trust him. This was one of those times where she just had to stand by his decision and trust what he was doing was the right thing. The thought of ever forgiving Maddox wasn't something that entered her mind; ever. Ali hated him and she hadn't even met him. The damage he'd done was a lot, more than he would be able to attain for in her eyes. But, if her husband was willing to forgive him or at least let him make up for the things he had done then so be it.

She was glad that he had recognized he was being too optimistic about his plans. Offering up Simone gave her more peace of mind than the idea of her not being around. She nodded her head at his comment, pushing herself off the wall. "Yeah, it does actually." She said in agreement with Syd. He wasn't happy about the arrangement and frankly, neither was she. But Ali was always going to support her husband as she offered him a small smile. It was a tough job, being in charge, and she wasn't going to make it harder on him. She walked over to him and tilted her head, softly rubbing his arm. "If this is what you feel is best, then, by all means, we're behind you. You've got our support." She quickly kissed his cheek before walking towards the bathroom. "Now, if you guys will excuse me..."

When she returned, the guys had told Kerry the plan and she agreed. The ride home felt like it was taking forever, but that was because of the stops they had to make. She was sat in the back with Kerry, her arm wrapped around her the entire journey. Occasionally she made eye contact with Syd and offered sad smiles, knowing today had been rough. Walking through the front door it was quiet and for a moment she wondered why, before remembering Leo was with Thomas at the Porter's home. Charlie ran up to them, about to get shooed until Kerry started petting him. The blue-eyed Australian Shepard started taking a liking to her, which made Ali smile to herself. She turned to Conor and answered his question. "Yeah, I'm fine. I'll take care of her." She returned his kiss before turning to Kerry and leading her upstairs. "The brat is at his cousin's so Charlie can sleep with you if you'd like."

She immediately headed towards the guest room that was a little down the hall from her own, pointing out different areas. "We're not going to take anymore fuss, okay? You're staying here and that's final." She stated firmly, grabbing a set of towels and other things she may need. "There's toiletries and whatnot in the bathroom. We have guests all the time so it's pretty stocked up." She smiled at her. "I know it might not mean much, but I'm glad you're alive." She said, picking her words very carefully. "There's a reason for it, a good one, and I want you to remember it. And please, you're not a burden. Whatever you need, to just ask. It's not a problem." She was being very genuine to this girl. Not because she pitied her, but because she felt for her. In just a moment her entire life had been flipped upside down with no true signs as to when it would get better. No one deserved to have that happen to them and especially not Kerry.


Syd ( Pyroclast Pyroclast ) Conor ( Misty Gray Misty Gray )
 

Misty Gray

Things and Stuff
Valentina Moretti

Valentina raised a curious eyebrow when Teddy practically choked on his drink at her question and then stumbled over his words. She wasn't used to seeing him looking so awkward and not as self-assured as he usually presented himself. In the past, she would have teased him for that, but now she simply found it endearing to see a different side to the man. Although in the past she had been attracted to strong and confident men, she was now realising they were nothing if they were unable to show their own vulnerable side or to let their guard down.

Hearing his explanation as to why he stayed at her bedside, she sent him a nervous smile before bringing her glass to her lips to take a sip of water. Hearing him say he felt bad for being at the auction when he could have been protecting her caused a lump to form in her throat. She recalled the attack and how she'd been praying for her father to show up in that moment, to assert the control he'd always had over everything else in their lives. She wished Teddy could have been there for her too, but she knew it was too late to change what had happened. "I wish you could have been protecting me too, but we can't think that way. You didn't know this would happen. None of us did. So it's too late go back and do things differently." Despite her conviction to her words, it didn't stop her from wishing things had been different. Maybe if she'd stopped studying earlier and stayed with her friends that evening. Or if she'd been more assertive about wanting to go to the auction with her family. There were numerous small decisions she could have taken differently to avoid what happened, but there was no point thinking about them now.

Teddy seemed to be explaining his presence at the hospital as just wanting to protect her and support Elvian. She believed that, which also meant she started to question if her attraction to him was one-sided. She was sure he would let her down clearly and gently if he didn't like her in that way. But he continued to be nervous and he even started to tell her he couldn't think straight around her. She flashed him a devious smile to play along with his words whilst deep down hoping he was going to confess his attraction to her. "Ah, come on. You're always an asshole," she teased him, letting out a small nervous chuckle of her own. She knew it probably wasn't the most encouraging thing to say to him, but she was struggling with words herself. It always just seemed easier to tease him than to tell him how she really felt.

It seemed like he was building up to getting it out in the open, but in her vulnerable state she still questioned herself. Wondering if it was all just in her own confused and clouded mind. She glanced down to the table when Teddy reached out and opened his palm towards her. She took a deep breath and cleared her throat before reaching out with her healthy hand to hold Teddy's. Her heart raced in a chest and for a moment she had to consciously tell herself to stay relaxed. She focused on the warmth of his hand as he held hers. She'd been sure she could handle his rejection and brush it off as 'nothing ventured nothing gained' but in the moment, the thought of him letting her down made her heart ache. It made her realise how much she really did like him, that he really was that important to her.

As he spoke about how much it tore him apart to see her in pain, she was sure his words were those of a man who thought of her as more than just his boss' daughter or just a friend. It seemed like he was trying to tell her how he really felt about her, but in her current state, she feared she might be filling in the gaps to fit her own hopes or simply that her judgement was clouded by the trauma. Teddy was still holding her hand and that gave her more comfort. She needed clarity and if there was ever going to be an opportunity to be brave enough to tell him herself, this was it. "Teddy, I care for you as more than a friend. I'm attracted to you and have been for some time, but I just never felt you'd give me the time of day before," she admitted to him. "Over the last few months, I've seen a different side of you to that womaniser reputation you have going on. When you came to the house that night, all messed up, I was afraid for you but I also wanted desperately to be able to go to you and try ease your pain. I certainly couldn't bear to think my father would cast you aside, or worse... I was so pleased when I saw he was letting you back in. It gave me hope that one day I could tell you how I really felt about you."

By now sure Teddy felt the same about her, she knew she had to be honest with him from the start and not risk wasting each others' time. She gently squeezed his hand and kept hold of it. "I want to be with you Teddy. I'm attracted to you, I care about you and I feel so safe with you, but I know it's going to take some time for me to be normal again. My mind is still kind of messed up and I'm still trying to adjust..." She sent him an encouraging nod. She wanted so much for him to still want her and to have him hold her in his arms, but not if Teddy was with her out of pity or through some other circumstance that made them destined to fail. "Do you think you can be patient with me? We both know this is all different to how you normally date women." She didn't mean it offensively, she was simply stating the facts whilst hoping Teddy was prepared to give things a try.

Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess (Teddy)
 

Bella:D

Yes, I put pineapple on pizza. Sue me.
Roxie Carriveau
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An audible breath of relief could be heard from Roxie as Syd forgave her. She was so sure he wouldn’t but as usual he was always full of surprises. He asked her to not lie to him again and Roxie bobbed her head up and down, ”I swear I won’t ever again.” She said breathlessly as her own tears continued to well and fall from her eyes. He talked about not liking her family getting involved and she knew she felt the same way, as much as she wanted to help her family...she just couldn’t be in the middle like that any further. When he mentioned that the both had been used, Roxie nodded sadly moving to press her palm against his cheek, swiping away some of his tears with her thumb.

”We are on the same team.” She assured him gently before moving to wrap her arms around him tightly. ”Our family is something I will always fight for Syd. I know it seems like my actions weren’t promoting that but I really had your family’s and our family’s safety in mind.” Burying her head into his neck, she held him tightly almost afraid to let go. Beside the hug she had given him earlier, they hadn’t really been so touchy feely since before the twins were born. It was relieving to her to be close to him. ”I’ve missed you so much.” She squeaked as her shoulders shook from crying. It was hard to contain her emotions lately but Roxie knew that this was something that earned many tears. She wanted desperately for Syd and her to work out and the fact that her foolish actions could have ruined everything really upset her...she would never forgive herself for doing that to her babies.

After a few moments of silence, Roxie pulled away slightly to press a kiss on his lips gently. Swallowing hard, she pulled away completely to regain her composure. ”I’m sorry, I feel like a water fountain with all these tears.” She said as she sucked in a few more deep breaths to calm herself. Thinking about before he got home with the girls, Roxie’s eyes threatened to water again. He said she was a wonderful mother but Roxie didn’t see herself that way. The girls were always fussy with her and anything she tried to do with them, except for feeding, didn’t work in her favor. ”Your mother is a huge help, you know.” She murmured. ”I could not get the girls to stop crying when I got home and your mother seemed to have that magic touch. It seems like you all do, actually.” Roxie moved to stare ahead of them at the fireplace, her eyes full of disappointment. ”I just don’t understand what’s wrong with me. I mean, they are my children right? We didn’t accidentally take the wrong babies?” At any other time that joke would have been funny to her, but she was so upset with herself.

”I know the doctor said I might have a hard time with them at first...but I didn’t think they wouldn’t want anything to do with me.” More tears formed in her eyes and she shook her head, groaning at herself. ”I just wish there was something I could do, but it feels like there is nothing...they are so good with you.” She told Syd sadly. ”I know you say I’m wonderful but I just don’t feel that connection with them that I think I’m suppose to feel you know? It’s scaring me a little.”

Lucy told her it was normal but Roxie felt anything but that lately, after she got out of the hospital she felt as close to crazy as she’s ever gotten. Normally she was rational and sensible about things but all of that had been proven to be thrown out the window when she decided she was going to go with her family to meet Moretti. ”I’m spiraling I think...and I don’t know what to do.” Her doctors had been telling her that it was important to see someone, someone she could talk to about all of this...she really needed it but looking at Syd, she knew now wasn’t the time to suggest it or bring it up.

”I just love those girls so much, I don’t want to hurt them and I don’t want to hurt you either.”
with: Syd Pyroclast Pyroclast
 

Misty Gray

Things and Stuff
James Porter

James was glad to hear things between Syd and Roxie weren't at the stage were intervention was needed, though it did still concern him to hear things were tense. He'd hoped once the twins were born that the couple would have something to focus on and to help bring them closer together. Of course, the circumstances of Stefano's death would no doubt cause them some issues for a while to come. "Yeah, I think he'd appreciate a call from you," he agreed.

When Lucy mentioned how she was worried about him adjusting to being at home, he lightly shrugged. "Admittedly, I'm finding things a little slow, no mater how much I did to fill my time during the day. It's the most downtime I can remember having since... well, ever," he remarked. As Lucy would know, ever since his childhood James had been fighting, either for survival or to maintain power. Whilst he didn't resent his retirement, he knew it was going to take some time to get used to it. "Remember the place I had back in Chicago... before Vinnie had it torched? I reckon I've spent more time in this house since November than I spent in that Chicago house in all the time I lived there. Not that I'd give up sleeping in our bed to go back to spending consecutive nights sleeping in my car guarding your old man's place," he added. "Still, I was thinking I wouldn't mind helping Sinead and Pete with the heavy work when they move back to Dublin. Are you up for a little trip there to help them movie in?"

As they spoke about Olivia, James wasn't convinced when Lucy said she was over the moon to hear the girl wanted them to be her parents. He looked to his wife to see the apprehension on her face. When she said it felt like they were replacing Arlene, he slowly nodded his head, knowing that was a reasonable reservation to have. He let Lucy keep speaking, to get things off her chest before speaking up himself. "I know it feels weird, but it doesn't have to. At least Olivia was old enough when Arlene died to remember her and the way she was. Those are memories we've got to keep active in Olivia's mind so she won't ever forget Arlene. With all of your memories of Arlene and the ones I have too, we can make sure she never forgets her mother. She's never going to be short of family members who knew Arlene."

When Lucy asked if they should talk with Olivia, James nodded in agreement. He got up from the sofa and went upstairs to get Olivia. When they returned into the lounge and asked her to sit down, the child looked to Lucy. It was clear to her the two grown-ups wanted to talk to her. She sat down and let out a big sigh. "Okay, it was me who threw the ornament in the trash. But I didn't break it!" she suddenly began to confess about something James and Lucy weren't aware of. "Bruno knocked it over and it broke. I just didn't want him to get in trouble again," she explained.

Bella:D Bella:D (Lucy)
 

Misty Gray

Things and Stuff
Kerry Patrick and Conor Sullivan

Kerry followed Aliana upstairs, nodding along as the woman mentioned her child was staying at his cousin's and that the dog could sleep in the same room as her that night. "Thank you. I think I would like that," she agreed. Although the spare room was likely far more comforting than the sleeping arrangements she'd had for the last week, she felt having the dog there would provide extra security or at least some welcomed company. "How old is your son?" she asked, figuring it was only polite to show interest in the people who had kindly taken her in for the night.

Kerry still didn't believe she deserved such generous hospitality. As the older woman pointed out the various rooms and gathered some towels for her, Kerry sent her a grateful smile. "Thank you. You're being very kind," she told her. As if reading her mind, Aliana said she wouldn't take any more fuss, that she should accept their help. Kerry quickly nodded her head rather than putting up any resistance. When the woman said she was glad Kerry was alive, the young woman leaned against the frame of the door leading to the guest room. She felt herself get choked up by the kind words but fought back the urge to cry so she could speak back. "It does mean something. I don't think anyone would have missed me if I'd... Not really. Technically, my grandfather is the only family I have left, but he doesn't know who I am anymore. He barely remembers himself." She let out a deep sigh before nodding her head. "I hope you're right. Before I came to New York, I kept looking to the future and seeing all of the things I was going to do here. I had so many different scenarios in my head of the life I could have here. But right now, I might as well be staring at the wall in front of me, because I can't imagine where I go from here. My thoughts can't see beyond this moment."

Once Aliana had shown her everything she needed to know about, Kerry headed to the bathroom to finally take a bath. As the warm water filled, she ended up catching her reflection in the mirror. Not turning away this time, she simply studied the face staring back at her. She didn't like what she saw. Although she was sure the scars and bruises would fade in time, she wasn't sure if she would ever return to the person she was before.

Conor had got out the ingredients so make up some sandwiches for himself and the two ladies, figuring it was too late in the day to cook up a big dinner. Besides, he figured sandwiches were something Kerry could take her time with and save for later if her appetite still hadn't properly returned. Figuring the young woman would take some time to get cleaned up and gather her thoughts, he didn't rush to make up the sandwiches.

After what Kerry had told them about the things she overheard, Conor knew there was little time to get the plan underway. In two days, the best opportunity to get Moretti and the heads of the family would arise. As such, Conor spent some time making a few calls to arrange a planning meeting the next day. Having left messages for Jackson, Adam and some others to meet for planning tomorrow, all Conor could do for now was get some of his men out on surveillance to scope out the old train station he suspected was the location of the Italian's new facility.

Once his calls were done he returned to the kitchen to finish making dinner. When he heard Aliana return downstairs, he turned to face her and sent her a reassuring smile. "Do you think she'll be okay?" he asked her. "I know my family and I have done some shitty things in the past, but jeez... The crap they put her through. An innocent lass like that. She's practically Michelle's and Savvy's age. Those mongrels deserve to rot in Hell for that. If I find them I don't think I'll hold back on caving their heads in. And that wouldn't be me losing control of myself like I used to. It would be completely controlled and intentional. They don't deserve to keep breathing if they're capable of those things."

Conor continued making the sandwiches but didn't start eating anything yet, wanting to wait until Kerry joined them. After spending a little time in the lounge with Aliana, he heard footsteps on the floorboards above before hearing Kerry's light feet descending the stairs. He leaned back on the sofa to peer out of the lounge, seeing Kerry in the hallway looking a little healthier after having a bath and changing into some of Emery's fresh clothes. "Shall we see if she's ready to eat?" he asked, figuring she might still respond better to Aliana than to himself.

Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess (Aliana)
 

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