~Moretti Guardians: Harmony Ryu & Quadir Taylor~New York City, New York | Wycliff Household
Harmony started blushing when Elvian said that Cristina's pink hair was fabulous, just like her before being asked if she had anything to do with the Pink Hair Clip-Ins. "I helped Val pick them out a couple of days ago, actually." She admitted as she wondered what Elvian thought about her own rainbow hair.
She knew for a fact that Gabriel judged her for it, more so then the tattoos that riddled her body. Still, so did a lot of people, so at this point, Harmony was very much used to it and slowly stopped caring about what others thought of her. But it seemed like the Moretti Matriarch had a more positive opinion of them if she liked her Granddaughter's Pink Clip-Ins. If the young lady actually dyed her hair though, Harmony would be in more hot water then Valentina. While she may not suggest that idea, she was certainly the inspiration for it considering how Cristina had often told her how much she liked the Rainbow Hair when they had first met. Her blood then ran cold as Teddy and Gabriel had left the room. Probably to discuss business. Yeah, Harmony definitely had it easy; she just had to make sure that the entire Wycliff Family was safe, including Rocco. Harmony would never forgive herself if anything happened to that adorable puppy. The Bodyguard was also reasonably bummed when she learned that Ava wasn't going to be at the party...as she was eager to talk about another tattoo, this time for her leg since she had plenty of canvas there. But the Tattoo Artist was all the way in London currently. On business she didn't doubt.
Came the drinks, Harmony's blood ran cold when she saw that Valentina was annoyed, or at least she could tell from the older woman's body language after her Father and Teddy left to go the backyard. From what she had heard a couple of days ago, Gabriel was intending to release James Porter, the former leader of the Irish Mob, whom the Moretti Family had a war with thirteen years ago, way before working for the Moretti Crime Family was even a thought to cross her mind. She knew very little about it, so Harmony mostly kept her mouth shut on the matter and hoped that she could keep Val in a cheerful mood for this night, but thanks to Gabriel, that was very likely going to be easier said then done. She simply took a sip out of her Corona and continued to enjoy the five ounces of peace that she would get.
Quadir smiled as he got a glass of Whiskey, but drank it slowly. When he saw Valentina tense up at the mention of East Harlem, where his little brother was, his own blood ran cold as he thought he struck a nerve, but then relaxed as she spoke about how East Harlem used to be a dump before her Father cleaned the place out. Before Quadir could speak, the doorbell rang, prompting both himself and Harmony to set their drinks on the coffee table and keep their hands close to their guns, ready to protect both Val and Elvian should the person on the other side of the door have malevolent intent. Both of the bodyguards relaxed when Val opened the door, with Harmony partially surprised to see Ricky, whom she had met a few weeks ago at a Nightclub when he, Julia, Damien and Jarrick all kept her company so that the Wycliffs wouldn't turn her into a third wheel. Quadir would then straighten out his suit as Ricky was welcomed into the home as he explained that Julia was tied up with work and would likely be coming to the party later in the night before handing her a homemade Birthday Card and caught a brief glimpse of the tickets as they spoke. Overall, Harmony was happy to see that Val's mood had improved. As she and Ricky made their way back to the lounge where everyone else was. "Good to see you again too, pretty boy." She responded, smiling back.
Sure, they got off on the wrong foot at first, but Ricky wasn't a horrible person or anything, and it would probably drive Valentina insane if her Bodyguard didn't get along with one of her Best Friends, right? Oh how awkward that would be...
Just as Quadir picked his glass of Whiskey back up, Val had led Ricky over to him, introducing them to one another and stating that Ricky had already met Jarrick. "The pleasure's mine. Jarrick's told me about you." He smiled, happy to meet a friendly face...possibly co-worker.
Naturally, Ricky asked about him working for Moretti and what he does for the Family. "Oh, me? Well, I started out with getting Mr. Moretti's foot in the door for the Cocaine Business, but this was a while ago. Recently, I've been promoted to Chauffeur and Bodyguard for Mrs. Moretti, so I've been enjoying that. How about 'chu?"
When Valentina came back to her and Elvian, Harmony's smile faded when the older woman had asked the talk about business comes to an end once Gabriel and Teddy return from their backyard conversation. "Yes Ma'am. I would hate for work to ruin your special night." She responded. "Any idea when Julia will show up though?" Interactions: Elvian Moretti Melanin-Gxdess
| Riccardo Biancardi, Valentina WycliffMisty Gray
~Shirley Kwon~London, England | London Royal Hospital, Intensive Care Unit
Even if it was going to be the strongly recommended option, Shirley wasn't going to be taking it or giving it a second look due to how terrified she was at the thought of a caesarean section and inducing labor. Resting her hand, and her cast, on the huge baby bump, the expectant mother could only frown, knowing that her friend was likely right as the plan she didn't want to go with was best for her sake and that of her babies...and that they'll need her to be back on her feet sooner rather then later. Before she could take her chance to speak though, Nurse Xiulan showed up, who was happy to see that Shirley was now awake. When asked if she wanted Shona to stay with her, the younger woman squeezed her hand before nodding with a pleading look. Her frown did not leave her face when Shona told the Nurse that Shirley was worried about the birth. "Well, Ms. Kwon, it's wonderful to see that you're finally awake. So how are you feeling?" She asked.
"All things considered, I'm alright. Just a lot of discomfort and pain. Almost everything hurts, but most of it is probably because of the pregnancy. And I'm just glad that my babies are okay after that crash." She said, taking a deep breath. "And the first thing I had when I woke up was a really bad migraine, but its gone now. Me and my friend were discussing on what to do next now that I'm awake."
"Well I'm glad that you're awake and I'm sorry you had to go through this. We have been speaking with your Midwife in the Maternity Wing over the last two weeks. While the babies are alright, we do strongly recommend that you induce labor three weeks from now latest. Earliest we can do is at the end of this week when you're at forty weeks pregnant to give you an extra week of recovery time for your legs and your wrist. Your back should be fully healed by the end of next week earliest." She wrote down a few things on her clipboard. "You're quite a fast healer, Ms. Kwon and you're very fortunate."
"I see. Alright, I'm willing to schedule a labor induction for three weeks from today. And is it possible for me to avoid getting a caesarean section?" She asked, nervous to where her heart started beating faster.
"Yes. That is the good news. And we do have support for your legs in the Delivery Room." Nurse Xiulan smiled before writing down a few more things on her clipboard. "So you won't have to do a Cesarean Section barring unusual or extreme circumstances."
While that did put Shirley at ease, she was still nonetheless nervous at the thought of childbirth altogether. "That is good to know. I guess now all I need to ask is...when will I get to go home?"
The Nurse looked at her clipboard. "That's a little complicated actually. Especially since you're expected to give birth soon. If anything, I think your Midwife suggested that you stay in the Hospital for the remainder of your pregnancy." The nurse frowned. "That is what your midwife said when I spoke to her a few days ago while you were still in your coma."
"I see. Thank you. I'll need some time to process all this." Shirley said as she caressed the belly, feeling the babies kicking. "Is there anything else you needed, Nurse Xiulan?"
"No, that's all actually. Anyway, I should let you rest and give you and your friend some privacy. I was just stopping by to see how you were doing. And if you need anything, there's the pager next to your bed." She proceeded to walk towards the door. "I'll be making a call to your Midwife to update her. My shift is almost over, so one of my Co-Workers will be by later to check up on you. Have a good evening, Ms. Kwon. Mrs. King." She smiled to both expectant mothers before exiting the room, once more leaving Shirley and Shona alone. "Well, that went better then I thought it would." Once Shona was close enough, Shirley did her best to hug her friend, only to have the other woman's belly close to her face. "So how's your little one and how far along are you now?" She asked, smiling as her gaze remained on Shona's belly. Interactions: Shona King (Pyroclast
Fifteen Days have passed since Bradley and Edwards attempted to attack the Guards for mistreating Porter in a futile attempt to free him. Since that day, Bradley knew that he would be having a bullseye on his back. To make things worse, the once-iconic duo had been separated! Something that Bradley hoped wouldn't happen. Overall, he was thankful that Ed had taught him how to defend himself. Some days, he was alright, others, not so much, as other inmates would gang up on him. Either way, Ramsey had a lot of power here and without Porter to keep everything under control, Bradley was now facing daily beatings where he rarely was able to fight back. Unlike Edwards, who has now been in Solitary Confinement since that day, Bradley was still stuck with the general population. What did Ramsey even want with him? This had to be his doing. Although chances were he did bring it on himself, the Prison Guards often looked the other way when he was getting beaten up, only coming to check up on him once the other inmates walked away.
The poor kid already had been in the prison infirmary a few times last week. This week, he was only there once for a bruised rib and getting shanked. Edwards had yet to return, likely still in Solitary Confinement. Today though, Bradley ended up being jumped by another inmate, particularly one that had jumped him on his first day on Riker's Island. This time, the kid was ready for his attacker and ended up fighting back. Out of sheer anger, Bradley gave the inmate a revenge-fueled beat down, even knocking his teeth out while only sustaining a cut on his face and a black eye that has mostly healed over the last few hours. As a result, he had to stay in his cell during free time, where he just made another mark on the prison wall, counting the days that Edwards had been away. Not knowing what was happening to his big brother, Bradley could only hope that he'd come back soon.
Finally, it was dinner time, so Bradley was let out of his cell so that he could go get something to eat. Once he made it to the cafeteria, he started feeling uneasy, wondering who would try to jump him next. As he waited in line, he thought about that conversation that he had with his Dad, who had been working on getting both him and Edwards out of Riker's Island. Although Bradley wanted to include Porter and Kurt, they had their own plans and Bradley chose not to interfere. But after they get out, they'd have to leave the country...and start a new life elsewhere, that is if they tried the daring escape. But that was gonna more of a last resort. Right now, his Father was trying to negotiate terms for James and Bradley at least going out on parole, but given the nature of their crimes, negotiations for the release of both men was going to be very difficult. Once he got his meal, he went to look for a place to sit. A lot of the inmates were sitting together and most likely would not want him there. Seeing Porter sitting alone, the kid decided to join him as he had yet to see Kurt. "Saw that you were alone. Figured I'd...keep you company. You know you...you weren't wrong. Ramsey can't be trusted. What's his deal, anyway? I don't think I got to ask about that. But, you know him way better then I do."
Mercury Nightclub and Cocktail Bar ~ Bethnal Green, London ~
Kerry accepted the cocktail from her friend and sucked some of the alcohol up through the straw. With working in bars and mixology, it wasn't often she got to be served alcohol as a customer these days, so it was a refreshing change to be handed a drink she hadn't had to make herself. "I've missed you too," she said, folding her arms on the top of the bar whilst toying with her straw. "I guess the others here aren't so good at the banter, are they," the Northern Irish woman observed of her other former colleagues. She flashed a smile when May said she hadn't seen Spencer much and she felt invisible to him. "And that's a problem? You should count yourself lucky," she drily remarked. She quickly shook her head and sat up straight. "I don't really mean that. I'm just bugged out because of how irritated he was for me ditching on the job. He's actually a nice guy if you don't let him down or get on his bad side," she reasoned. May still had to work for the man, so she didn't want to influence her opinion of him based on her own complicated circumstances.
Whilst May went to get her coat, Kerry drank a little more of her cocktail and took some time to look around the club, recognising a number of regular faces. In a way, she regretted having to quit her job, but there was no way she wanted to risk getting caught up in the middle of anyone's feuds and double-crossings again. When her friend handed her the coat, she draped it across her lap until she was ready to get up from her seat on the barstool. "Oh, I wasn't planning on getting into any trouble. Just came to get my coat and have a quick drink. I'm staying with some friends at the moment, so at least it's not the same as being stuck on my own in the apartment." When May suggested playing cards and nodded towards the poker table, Kerry flashed a mischievous smile back at her. "You should do it. I'm no good at poker - I can't keep a straight face," she admitted.
Kerry understood how bored May was getting, but after what she had suffered in New York, she'd come to realise the mundane wasn't all that bad. "Are you really so bored? Not at all tempted by the prospect of a calm and peaceful life, no matter how boring you think it is?" she returned to the subject. "You know, a big part of why I quit this job was because I know excitement isn't always a good thing. The disagreement between the Kings and the Sullivans isn't the kind of thing you'd want to be caught up in. My friendship with Savvy puts me in an awkward spot." It wasn't often that Kerry spoke of the Sullivans, and other than mentioning Savannah Callahan, she made a point of not discussing the Irish Mob to her colleagues or the Kings. Now that she'd quit her job, she felt more able to speak freely. "If you find it boring working here, where it's classy and well-behaved, see if you can get a job at the Kings' pub. The Royal Taphouse. I've been roped into working a couple of shifts there in the past and it's a real eye-opener. Aye, that'd certainly keep you on your toes," she joked.
(Xavier) - you're welcome to have him come to the bar, if you want to.
~ The Baskins, Dublin ~ Katsya Grey
Stella had decided to follow Katsya and Phelan into the cabin. Katsya tried not to roll her eyes. It wasn’t as if she couldn’t handle Phelan. Stella’s next words provoked a snort of humor. "Now hurry up and get dressed. You wanna go home, right?" Stella asked coldly before holstering her Desert Eagle so that she would not be tempted to shoot him.
Katsya picked up the scraps that were once Phelan’s pants. “My bad? You might not want to watch while I take a few measurements.” She quickly started taking all the measurements needed for a full suit. It didn’t take long. “Okay, we’re good. Just need to decide whether to leave the bodies here in the cabin, or take them with us. I think this is going to be my last time doing this. This messy stuff. I am going to stick to cleaning up.
“From here I just need to be dropped off at my pickup with Phelan. Next time I will drive myself too.”
For someone who liked to keep himself busy, it wasn’t often easy for Syd to keep his focus where he wanted it. He was what some may call a man with fingers in too many pies, not always able to follow through all his responsibilities nor remember everything that he was supposed to be keeping at the front of his mind. It was as though that spot had space for only one problem at a time, leaving the rest to float off into the murky abyss. This time the space was filled by the tension between the Sullivans and the Kings. It concerned him that the Kings still held some power over his cousin.
Even though his actions were often spontaneous rather than properly thought through, brought forth from some intense emotional response to his thoughts and surroundings, Syd knew that what they all had in common was that they came from a need to protect the people he loved. That reckless part of his brain often fantasised about ending the connection with the Kings in a brutal way - a way that would free Savannah for good. However, as simple as the outcome sounded, he had enough sense and control these days to not take the thought seriously, no matter how many times it popped into his brain.
With all of that on his mind, Syd had been failing to show equal interest in his father’s garage, Pitstop Repairs, which he had taken over when the man was arrested and extradited six years ago. So concerned for the safety of his family, he had neglected to do proper maintenance on the repair shop when it was due, putting the safety of his employees at risk. Knowing his mental condition could get in the way of his responsibilities, Syd had hired someone else to take charge of the occupational risks involved in the workplace - but whilst out on mob business, he hadn’t checked that the man had shown up for the regular risk assessment. Not a week later, one of the more long-term workers, Jerry, used a jack to lift up an old Ford Zodiac, not realising that it was worn out and faulty. The jack gave out, causing the car to collapse on top of him. It was a close brush with death but he survived, albeit with a severe case of traumatic asphyxia, organ damage and multiple broken bones. Already within the age bracket for retirement, Syd had paid him off with a generous pension on top of the compensation he was owed for the hazard. The loyalty that Jerry had shared with James and then Syd meant that there was no bad blood between them. It did, however, mean that Syd needed a new employee.
Syd had been a business owner since his late twenties, but as the years went on, his trust in strangers had lowered exponentially and his methods for hiring new staff had to re-evaluated each time he hired someone new to ensure that he didn’t let in any spies or otherwise untrustworthy characters. This time, he had kept his advertising as ambiguous as possible: a short advert in a newspaper for the role of a full-time mechanic, offering high pay. All he included was a telephone number, not even the name of the business. That way, no one could know that the advertising business was owned by the Irish Mob. Of course, he was aware how shady the advert would seem and so didn’t expect to gauge much interest, but he was willing to give it a try nonetheless.
Thankfully, after not too long, he received a phone call from an interested job seeker called Thomas. Only after speaking with him for a few minutes did he give the address of the garage where they would meet for an interview. As their meeting drew nearer, Syd battled with the idea of arming himself. Even though he knew he was being overly cautious, he ended up bringing a .38 Smith & Wesson with him to work that day just for peace of mind.
He was sitting in his office working on Jerry’s paperwork when Chris, one of the mechanics, came to inform him that they had a young man at the door interested in a job. After checking himself for his revolver, Syd exited the room and crossed the garage to where his new potential employee would be waiting in the lobby. The second he saw the man, he slowed to a halt, taking a moment to look him up and down. There wasn’t much in his appearance that came as a surprise, having roughly guessed his age range from hearing his voice on the phone. However, Syd knew appearances meant nothing in a garage, as long as the skill, work ethic and loyalty was there.
“You’re Thomas, then,” he acknowledged, without so much as a smile or a handshake. “I’m Syd, who you spoke to on the phone. Glad you found the place. D’you wanna follow me and we’ll start in my office...and then if things go well, I’ll give you a tour.” Keeping a slight distance from the young man, Syd beckoned for him to follow and led him back through the garage where the others were working, before finally letting him into the office.
“Right,” he said, sitting back down at his desk and gesturing to the seat opposite for his candidate. “Tom - I’m going to call you Tom, by the way - this doesn’t have to take long. I’d just like to hear from you a few things. First off, I should mention that the man you’re replacing had about 30 years experience on you, so the fact I’m even giving you the opportunity to interview here is a big deal. Don’t waste it by selling yourself short. I want you to tell me what experience you have, where you’ve previously been employed, your strengths, weaknesses, any external skills you have and what your priorities are in life.” Linking his hands together atop his desk, Syd leaned forward and narrowed his eyes at the man sitting before him. After a moment of suspenseful silence, he asked, “Work or family?”
Mercury Nightclub and Cocktail Bar ~ Bethnal Green, London ~ Maeve Thatcher
May mentally made note of the suggestion - all of them - from Kerry. It wasn't hard to see the woman was not fond of a questionable but exciting life, her questions hinted at it easily - along with the somewhat distant look that flashed in her eyes as if she were remembering something. People reading got her to where she was, it also made her good at cards, and using that skill while not letting on to strongly she possessed it was part of what May truly believed would play a key aspect in her life. While she had been listening to Kerry talking, her eyes had been picking out her victim at the table. The man was paunch gutted, a blubberous lecher of a man, flashing his money around looking for attention. So be it.
The focus on the game had been the majority of her attention while she nodded listening to Kerry, until she mentioned the Sullivan's. She couldn't help but wonder again about her mom. Still, the Sullivan's could be anybody. "Must be a Sullivan thing. My rancid bitch of a ma's last name is Sullivan, before s'e married my da. And the Kings seem like decent folk, they take care of me check and give me decent pay, and a safe place to work. No, if there's a problem, at least in me life, a Sullivan has always been the start of it. " May didn't know enough about the Sullivan's and Kings to make assumptions and the way her mother acted, she didn't figure she could be involved in anything half as interesting as the snippets she's caught.
Glancing around, she decided to bring trouble to Kerry, good fun trouble, and wrap her into the game with her.
"What's that ye say? Ye think ye could whoop all of them? I don't know Kerry..." Under the easy to guess looks she was about to receive from not just the men patrons of the bar, but from Kerry, she'd give a sheepish grin, shrugging her shoulders with her palms facing the ceiling. "I think they are probably pretty handy at cards, and we are just women."
This would not be the first time Kerry had seen this tactic, and the regulars just laughed and moved away from the table, knowing it was time to quit the game. Giving Kerry a private wink, she pulled her over, playfully hustling her into a chair. The bulbous man laughed and gave them a disgusting smile, like he thought he was so smart. "I'll deal you ladies in." May dropped two dollars each for them on the table, buying their way in.
(If you need too, scratch out what you need too lol I wasn't if it was too 'god mod'dy or not.)
As soon as he'd sat at the table, Lorelei informed Benjamin that she thought her parents were in the club. "Okay..." he calmly replied, wanting to judge how she was feeling about that so he could react appropriately to her mood. Seeing her down a large amount of her drink, he took hold of his own glass, determining she probably didn't want to stay. "Oh..." he said, before mirroring her behaviour and taking a long drink from his own glass. Although he put the drink back on the table, he kept his hand loosely around the tumbler. "If you feel more comfortable leaving, then we can go," he reassured her. "I can't wait to see where you live," he added, wanting to highlight an upside to their new plans. Although being invited back to someone's place often led to a date ending up in the bedroom, Benjamin had no such thoughts or expectations about it. He was just glad to be spending time with Lorelei. At least at her place it would be quieter and more relaxing.
Benjamin was about to stand up when he and Lorelei were approached by a man he'd never met before. When Jason first spoke, Benjamin instinctively stood and held a protective arm out in front of Lorelei, but he realised very soon after that the man was addressing him. As soon as jail was mentioned, Benjamin figured he was standing opposite Lorelei's father. When Jason held his hand out, Benjamin hesitated before accepting the man's handshake. He didn't exactly like to shake hands with someone who seemed to be acting in an unpleasant manner, but for Lorelei's sake, he made the effort to avoid adding more fuel to the fire. Benjamin nodded along when Jason explained he was the father of the 'beautiful lass', both showing his understanding and agreeing with the descriptive used for Lorelei.
"Um..." Benjamin began when Jason asked if he was 'Benjie'. Although he wanted to maintain some semblance of peace, 'Benjie' had always been a fond name used by family and friends, with his mother being the first person to use the nickname. "Yeah, but you can call me Benjamin," he replied, trying to keep his tone neutral.
Jason was staring him down and Benjamin didn't like it. Whilst he understood the man was being protective of his daughter, he wasn't used to people confronting him in such a way. Other than the odd slip up, such as punching the man on the restaurant a few weeks back, he tended to get along with most people and certainly never rubbed them up the wrong way. It was unpleasant being spoken to in the way Lorelei's father was doing. The man made it clear if he wanted to fix the impression he had of him and continue his date with Lorelei, then he would talk to him. Benjamin quickly nodded his head. "I'm cool with talking to you," he confirmed. He sent Lorelei an apologetic glance, even though he wasn't the one causing the issue. He stepped around the table so there was nothing standing between himself and Jason. "I'm sorry Lorelei got locked in that cell because of my actions and I should have known better than to cause trouble in the presence of a lady. I don't go around causing trouble," he assured him. Despite apologising for Lorelei being brought into the mess, a matter of principal dictated he couldn't apologise for confronting a man who he believed to be an abuser.
Pitstop Repairs ~Drumcondra, Dublin~ Tom Thatcher[/size]
Tom had been excited for the interview – still was. That morning he’d gotten up from his hotel room, bathed, cleaned up a bit, put on his best street clothes, and treated himself to breakfast. It was nice being back as a civilian again. He’d already been to see his mother, even though she barely gave a reaction to him coming home. To his dismay the only thing that brought her around was dropping a handful of money on the table, and suddenly he was a favored child again. The visit, to say the least, had been short and painful. Today though, today was a good day.
After a breakfast of coffee and cakes, he had walked to the garage. There was something about Tom that always made people smile at him, most of them anyways. At six-foot-one, a tasseled head of red hair, and an honest grin constantly gracing his lips, he was always smiling back. There was an easy-going flow of energy that surrounded the young man. When he found the location he was headed, he had strolled in to the open bays, looking around with admiration He missed working on engines. A mechanic approached him looking at him like a question was unspoken. Tom offered the answer without prompting. “I’m here to inquire about a job. Don’t ‘spose I found the right place, have I?”
The man had disappeared into an office after showing Tom into the waiting area. Idly, he’d been looking around, much like one does in the doctor’s office when they were waiting their turn. When the man had come in, even though his back was initially to his hopefully new boss, he hadn’t flinched. The mans should were easily heard before the door ever opened – Tom hadn’t been through specialty training in the military for nothing.
“Yes sir.” Was the only response he gave, accustomed to short and curt commands given by powerful men – after all he was only a few weeks home from three years of intensive work under a similar type of people. There was a bit of a fall-in-line pattern to the way he followed Syd, not threatening but the way one yields to a person they respect. Once in the office, he took the seat, not sitting back, but sitting straight up, elbows on the arms of the chairs, fingers pointed together before him.
“I appreciate the opportunity sir. I was just discharged from a military contract three weeks ago. I went in at sixteen, ma’ signed off on it. Spent the next three years working my arse off to learn everything they’d teach me. Before that I have been working on engines as long as I can remember. I started as a kid when my sister brought home some beater motorbike and we fixed it together. Gave me a love of all things gear and oil early in life. In the military they taught me more of it. I also learned everything to do with guns, ammo, and ended my stint as a special operative in infiltration. This would be my second job, the military was my first and only job, but they certainly put me through a range of positions. I like to think my strengths are the fact I can fight a brute twice my size and still be standing, I wont ever lie to ya, I hate liars. I won’t disappear, ‘cause I hate deserters, and my priorities in life are simple. I want to eventually be so filthy rich me ma’ and me siblings wont have to worry about anything.”
This brought a genuine laugh out of Tom. “So you know, I guess I’ll be working until the day I die, cause aint many folks make that kind of money. Jokes aside, my ma says its my Sullivan blood. Tells me I remind her of her cousins, though I aint been around to much to know them. She’s not very close with them, so I figure she needs me to be there for her. It’s the Thatcher blood she curses everything else to.” Tom had a stupid grin on his face like he had told a great joke, at was probably more at ease than any person who had ever sat in that chair. It wasn’t in him to be fearful. He was going to live his life, the way he wanted, and if that made him happy, he was going to be happy and there was nothing anyone could do to ruin his mood. In his opinion, Syd was fully in his right to act the way he was and it didn’t bother him a wink.
The Sullivan's Pub
~Dublin City Centre, Dublin~ Aliana Sullivan
Aliana listened intently as Blake responded to Conor. She nodded her head in agreement when Blake brought up all the trouble he and Jackson got up to. At one point she and Blake were sure that if the two of them weren't in the picture the two men would have married each other. "Oh, here, here!" She said quickly, tapping her hand on the table. She then turned to Conor and gave him a sly smile before turning back to Blake to let her finish making her point. Listening to Conor's retort she appreciated how much he wanted to look after her best friend. Granted it was before her late husband was his best friend, but the sentiment remained.
The fact Blake was truly embracing this new relationship warmed Ali's heart and she was more than excited about what the future held for her friend. She had watched her for years struggle with moving on and now that she had done it she was relieved. Not only did she feel like the woman was a happier person, but now they could go on date nights again! "Well look at that! Blake, you've managed to get my husband to give you his blessing." She teased. Ali herself knew full well that even if he hadn't she would still be dating Adam. "Now we can go on dates together again! And take all sorts of couple trips." Looking over to Conor, she draped her arm around his shoulders and kissed his cheek. "Aren't you excited for it all?" She said in a teasing sing-song voice. The woman had her own ideas about these trips and dinners in that really it would be a reason for Blake and herself to see each other more and more.
The conversation turned away from Blake's love life and to something more serious. Despite not caring for talks about the family business in any place that wasn't their home, Ali leaned forward in her seat to listen. He spoke about finally being rid of New York altogether, as well as being able to bring James home. It was all good news and she couldn't keep it from her face in the slightest. The Moretti's had caused her family enough pain and turmoil and being rid of them was great - the sooner the better. "And that's a smart move financially, right?" Ali may not have liked the business but she still helped her husband whenever he needed advice or some sort of guidance. "As long as we don't have to deal with them anymore, I am okay. When's the soonest you can get him home? Have you told Lucy and the kids yet?" She paused before she asked another question, not wanting to bombard him too much.
Ali raised her eyebrows at Conor when he mentioned the young girl being upset with him. "Oh, what did you do?" Her tone wasn't accusatory, more playful than anything. When he explained why she was upset she relaxed a little but still slapped his arm. "Not everyone can be as cold-hearted as you can be sometimes. What matters is that she's alive and well." She picked up her drink to sip while Conor drifted into another topic; Kerry Patrick. Ali nearly choked on her drink when the man mentioned him and scowled. For years now Aliana had held a reasonable distaste for the woman. She had brought her into her home, sympathized with her, and took care of her only for her to have betrayed her family and lead them into a trap. Was she being forced? Sure, but the fact remained. She could have told them way before the ambush even happened but she didn't which in turn ended killing a lot of people - Jackson being the main subject. "You're fucking kidding right?" She said, raising her brows to him then Blake. It was her decision, but Ali couldn't help but comment. "Who the fuck cares about her feelings? Does she think because we're Savvy's family and she's her best friend that all will be forgiven?"
~Bethnal Green, London~ Alexander King
Alex nodded his head in agreement of Shona being too good for Spencer but didn't comment. Not because he was trying to be a good brother or anything but because now he was lost in thought. What kind of woman would even make him settle down? Could he? No one like Savannah, that much was obvious but if not her then who? She'd also have to be good enough to be around Callum and his kid would have to like her. He just shook his head to himself as if shaking away the thoughts and looked over to Spencer. "You're the one who married a saint, though to be honest, you need it in your life," he teased. "All the sinful things you get up to." He said, as if he, too, didn't get up to sinful activities. In fact, he probably got up to more sinful activities than all his brothers combined! "I'd say I'll take over the board meetings, but man, I really prefer not to. Stuffy rooms, stupid suits. Let Darcey or Bruce handle it." He said waving his hand at him. "As for the pregnant lady, I mean... Tell Shona you don't think it's a good idea and whatever she says go with. Happy life happy wife," he shrugged his shoulders and drank his beer before realizing it was now empty.
He stood up and walked towards his fridge again, stopping by the stairs to look out for Callum. When it was apparent the kid was actually asleep and not messing around he continued towards the kitchen to grab another beer for both himself and for Alex. He opened his own beer when he sat back down and handed his brother the other. "Oh boy, did I. I've never been as nervous or intimidated by a man in my entire life. Hope you and Brucey know what you're getting the rest of us into getting in bed with the guy. I mean, how do we know once he helps us with our Sullivan problem that he won't be an asshole and try to control us?" He was genuinely concerned about the possibility. Moretti seemed like the type of person who would help them get what they needed only to ask for more of them in the end.
"Mate, I've been on dad duty the past two weeks. You're the first adult I've seen and talked to in days!" Shaking his head he took a sip of his beer again. "No, I haven't. Although, Harper was acting all weird a few weeks back. Had a lady friend or something, I'm sure. Lipstick all over her face and what not and Billy yelled at her for it. Wouldn't be surprised if she's still skulking. As for Billy, haven't talked to him neither. Pretty sure him 'n Erik are fighting again, but really what's new with those two?"
Wycliff Family Home
~Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn~ Theodore 'Teddy' Wycliff & Elvian Moretti
Teddy sat and listened to Gabriel explain his reasonings for letting the Irish leave and keeping Porter alive. Honestly speaking, he didn't wanna hear a word of it. The older man had explained his reasonings to him over a decade ago when he first made the stupid decision to let them go. What was retelling him now going to do for him? He understood it was a business decision - a good one, it seemed, at the time, - but things were different now and they had newer and better alliances; they didn't need the goddamn Sullivans. Teddy watched as his father-in-law moved to sit across from him, a frown still on his face. Sure, he may have been acting like a child who hadn't gotten their way, but he was entitled to act this way. There were some days Teddy felt Gabriel had completely disregarded him and his feelings and his decision didn't help that. It went way back before this current moment, but how he felt about it still remained. Teddy spent years trying to prove himself and prove that his thoughts and ideas were sound but he didn't think Gabe was ever listening to him. He had learned to live with it and shove it away, but the fact remain.
Conor willingly giving the rest of his assets to Moretti was a shock. The man had been stubborn, hardheaded and an idiot in Teddy's eyes yet here he was finally giving in. Teddy shifted in his seat before sitting forward, all attention given to Gabriel whilst he talked. Teddy was aware that his boss always had something sneaky going on up his sleeve and he was more than interested to find out what it was. There was no way he had arranged a partnership with the King family just because they had an issue. It may have been a way to get in with the Kings besides the drugs and a good way indeed. Both personal and business feelings were going to be satisfied at the end of all this and that's exactly as it should be.
Gabriel was aware Teddy was upset with him - good, he thought to himself. For once he had shown and been honest about how he was feeling about something and Gabe was acknowledging it. As much as he tried to bite his tongue, Teddy leaned forward in his seat and frowned at him. "If you know all this and share some of the same sentiments, then why the hell is he still alive?" Once he shut his mouth again to listen, his tune changed immediately and his eyebrows shot up. Did he just say what he thought he did? Killing Porter with their own hands? And Ricky didn't even know about this. "What?" He said, though really it was just rhetorical. His brain had processed full well what was being said to him but it was just unbelievable. "You already know my answer." Despite being one of the more sound members on the staff, Teddy was all for killing Porter even if there were problems created down the line. He didn't care. He was in this for revenge.
There were a handful of trigger words Elvian kept in her memory and 'Harlem' was one of them. Whenever she heard one of them she would look to her daughter to see how she was doing. At the present moment she seemed to be doing fine, but she placed a warm hand on her shoulder just in case. "Horrible, horrible place that has since gotten the makeover it so desperately needed. Isn't that right draga mea?" She asked smiling at her daughter. A guest arriving at the door helped shift the conversation as Val went to answer it. Elvian remained with Quadir and Harmony, engaged in idle chit-chat until Val reappeared with Ricky following behind her without Julia. It was the first time she had seen the man without her, which was shocking. The two seemed to be glued at the hip these days. She gave him a wide smile before placing both hands on his cheeks and air kissing them after. "Ah, Ricky! You know Gabriel would hunt us both to the ends of the Earth." She said shaking her head. After giving his shoulder a pat, she playfully leaned in. "Ask me again once he's gone to rest," she joked, implying that she would run away with him once Gabriel had died.
After promising to keep his secret, she took a sip of her drink and rejoined Valentina by standing at her side. "Oh, I agree! This is to celebrate my youngest child! All business talk will have to stop once they rejoin us civilized peoples." Elvian herself was apart of many party-turned business-meetings in the past and she hated all of them. However, she never spoke on it because she knew the nature of being married to a man like Gabriel Moretti; didn't stop her from pouting about it on the inside anyway. As Harmony mentioned Julia, Elvian snapped her fingers together. "That just reminded me! Where on earth is Ava? I spoke to her just before we left and she said she was on her way here. Did she sneak off somewhere when we weren't looking?" She asked Valentina.
"Ava?" He paused for a moment, suddenly worried about what they could have talked about. Did Ava tell Billy anything she shouldn't have? What about vice versa? The worry went away the moment he reassured him he didn't tell her anything that had happened over the past couple of weeks. Looking at Billy he was grateful that he hadn't said anything and smiled, nodding his head. "Good, good. I really 'preciate it, Billy. It's just she's got all this shit goin' on down there and the last thing she needs is to be stressed about me, ya know?" He shrugged his shoulders at him, rubbing the back of his neck. He was aware of some of the things going on in his cousin's life; the gallery opening, her business, her marriage, her attempts at having kids. The woman had a lot on her plate and the last thing she needed was her wreckless cousin added to her list.
"Visiting?!" He looked around his apartment as if she had said she'd be there in a few minutes. "Uh, she didn't say when did she? She has a tendency to pop up sometimes and I can't let her see the place a mess and the guest room ain't even done up for her yet. Agh, she would try an' visit right now." He mumbled, looking back over to Billy. "Meet her?" His eyes grew slightly wide at this as he swallowed. "Uh, s-sure yeah." He stammered. It wasn't like Erik and Billy were dating, so it shouldn't be that bad for the two of them to meet each other. Ava had met plenty of his friends; but then again, Erik didn't consider Billy just a friend, now did he? "So, you brought pizza right?" He said to change the subject. That nervous feeling from earlier was beginning to settle in and the last thing he wanted was to lose his nerve again.
"Talk?" Erik repeated. "Right, talk." He shoved himself from the wall he was leaning against to make his way towards Billy, only to end up altering his path. It was good that Billy asked about those drinks since it gave Erik more time to avoid the talk. Upon further inspection of the fridge, there was beer and he was about to take his time getting to it. He acted as if he needed to dig further to the back of the fridge to get them, despite them being right in the front. Even though Erik was the one to bring up wanting to talk to him, he didn't know how he was going to do it. What would he say? He was tired of them fighting and being on the outs and felt this conversation was going to lead to just that; another fight. But honestly speaking, Erik couldn't take it anymore. There was so much he needed to say - wanted to say - and today would be the day to get it all out.
After taking a few deep breaths he grabbed two beers and walked back over to where Billy was sitting. Once he handed him his drink he took a seat next to him, though put a little distance in between the two of them. There was a brief silence while Erik drank his beer halfway before setting it on the table. "So I guess I should start, huh?" He tapped his fingers against his knee as he cleared his throat. "I, uh. I really appreciate you for everything you've done for me these past coupla' weeks and trust me, I will make up for it. Now, I'll get right to it because otherwise I'll chicken out." Taking a deep breath, his eyes connected with Billy's. "About what happened in the park? I don't wanna make excuses or nothin'. I was completely outta line and I shouldn't have talked to you like that, Billy. You mean a lot to me and the last thing I ever wanna do is hurt you, right? So... I'm sorry."
With Aidan keeping the group under control, Chase waited with Doug on the ground while Stella returned with the inhaler. She admitted that she had found it but was waiting for everyone to shut up before she would hand it over. It was a power move, a way to assert herself over the group, but Chase wasn't keen on risking a man's life for the sake of intimidation. On top of that, the sooner Doug no longer needed his assistance, the sooner he could return to his initial job. "Stella," he said firmly, clicking an impatient finger in her direction. "Now."
Once she had placed the inhaler in his hand, he gave it a shake and assisted Doug in taking a puff by placing it in the man’s mouth. He calmly instructed him to inhale as he pushed the button down, still keeping a rough grip on his shoulder to hold him upright. Doug did his best to breathe in the administered air, still choking out a few uncontrollable coughs that had him clutching his chest. While that was going on, the farmhouse door swung open and Katsya stepped out with Phelan, which led Chase to deduce that they must have shot Ross. What he didn’t understand was why Phelan appeared to have lost his trousers. Adam soon followed the pair and Chase caught his eye just as his friend began to make his way over to him.
“Fine,” he responded before casually gesturing towards Doug with a nod of the head. “Turns out our bargaining chip has asthma. We’re working on it, though.” His tone was somewhat weary, disappointed that he no longer had leverage against the group they had come to intimidate. After Adam assured Doug that no one was going to hurt him and encouraged the use of his inhaler, his friend moved on to address the group, using his M1911 to steer them away from the dead body. As he did so, Chase continued to focus on helping Doug to breathe. He was beginning to see results now, which gave him enough hope to feel that he could stop with the verbal encouragement. Between strained breaths, Doug mumbled something about his wife telling him to stop, clearly referring to a bad smoking habit. “Yeah, maybe you should listen to her,” he muttered back with a sigh.
From the way he had been behaving, Chase knew it was only a matter of time before John suffered for his big mouth. After one complaint too many, Adam went for the man and threw a fist in his jaw before kicking him to the ground. Chase watched with interest as his friend held the man over the fire, and only realised he had been neglecting his position when Doug took the inhaler out of his hand and began to administer the medicine himself. “You alright?” he asked him, to which Doug nodded weakly. Between Eoin and Ross’s murders and the uncertain fates of Phelan and John, there was a lot going on that could hinder Doug’s progress at calming himself down. “You just focus on breathing, alright?”
John wound up lying face down on the ground not too far away from the pair of them, finally silenced by Adam’s threats, and Chase flashed his eyes at his friend when he saw him walking over. He had given up holding onto Doug with such a tight grip, now confident that he could hold himself up, but kept a hand on him as a subtle reminder of his position. Adam checked in on how they were doing, prompting Chase to briefly observe the man in his grasp. “Getting better,” he answered on Doug’s behalf. The man didn’t respond himself, but he had at least managed to get his breaths clearer and more stable. Chase wasn’t keen on Adam’s suggestion to take him to the hospital, but he supposed he had taken responsibility for the man and if he wanted to make sure he wasn’t going to die, it probably wasn’t wise to turn the idea down. “How you doing, Doug?” he asked. “You need to go to a hospital, get checked out?” Thankfully, Doug shook his head and gave him a thumbs up. Chase wasn’t sure if he was telling the truth, but if he would rather go with his remaining friends afterwards than with the gang who had just murdered two of them, he could understand why he might decline the offer.
It was the answer that Chase had been hoping for, though, so he let Doug continue to focus on his breathing and instead looked up to Adam. He, for one, was ready to leave and gather for a debrief on the evening’s events, ideally with some kind of alcoholic beverage in his hand. “Did you get what we came for, anyway?” he asked him, keeping his voice low. “Are we just waiting for the others to finish up now?”
Mercury Nightclub and Cocktail Bar ~ Bethnal Green, London ~
Kerry was caught off-guard when May said her mother was a Sullivan. Her mind was for a time clouded as she began to wonder what the chances were of them being the same Sullivans. The ones she had been forced to betray by the Morettis. Whilst there were people, like Savannah, Sinead and Braden, who had since forgiven her, she knew there were others who hadn't. She couldn't help but wonder what May would think of her if she knew the half of it all. Although, Kerry couldn't help but take some odd comfort from the way May spoke bitterly of the Sullivans, perhaps because it meant she wasn't about to hate her for betraying them. "Well, I'm sure there's plenty of Sullivans in Ireland. And I'm sure I'd know by now if you were related to Conor Sullivan," she remarked. She lightly nodded at the thought of the Kings seeming decent. "I hope the Kings stay that way with you," she told her. She could only hope May wouldn't somehow get stuck in a difficult position if things between London and Dublin escalated.
May suddenly changed the subject and for a moment Kerry wasn't confused about what her friends was saying to her. "Whoop who?" she asked. It soon became clear what her friend was doing, which caused Kerry to roll her eyes. "I'm useless at Poker," she discreetly assured her. Being an expert at poker, Maddox had spent some time showing Kerry how to play, but she'd long since learned it wasn't for her. She simply couldn't keep a straight face.
Whether she liked it or not, Kerry was soon pulled to the poker table and then found herself sat in a chair across from some big guy. His smile unsettled her, but she brushed it off, figuring he was just the kind of man to underestimate women. Granted, he probably wasn't underestimating as far as her own skills were concerned. Before she knew it, they were committed to the game and Kerry found herself sending May an awkward stare.
Mercury Nightclub and Cocktail Bar ~ Bethnal Green, London ~ Maeve Thatcher
If May processed the comment about Conor Sullivan, it might have stopped her plans. It wasn’t until they were into their first hand that her brain caught on during a replay of the conversation to what had been said. Mentally, she made a note to mention her Uncle Conor – the family member who employed her mother but other than signing her checks had all but forgotten her – to Kerry, or at least find out who her Conor Sullivan was. It wasn’t a falsehood that Conor and Sullivan both were popular Irish names, especially for her parent’s generation, but what are the chances if they came from the same town?
May realized she was supposed to be laughing and continued flirting it up with the man across the table, letting Kerry’s bad skills take the biggest part of his attention. It was easy to play the guy. She kept her bets small and took his money slowly while he focused on trying to take Kerry’s pot of gold. After a few hands, carefully stashing away some of the winnings so her pile looked smaller than it had to begin with, she feigned thinking she had a wonderful hand with less then a dollar in the pot. Kerry was on her last bit of money too. Under the table she nudged her friend gently with her knee, then squealed, threw down her cards and shoved all her money in the middle.
“ALL IN! Beat that, Kerry!” There was a two second pause before grinning like a child and picking up her cards. If Kerry picked up on the cue, she would go all in too, and a few second later they would be “out” of the game. The man seeing that they plainly had no money left assumed he won, greedily pulling the pile towards him.
“Thank you much ladies, but poker is a mans game. Looks like you found that out the hard way. Ha ha ha ha!” What a simpleton, May thought to herself. Pretending to be sad, she took Kerry’s hand and said, “I’m sorry, friend, looks like I wasted all of our dinner money. I really thought we might win.” May winked and began to pull her away. Pride, greed, and a lustful look in his eyes like he believed being nice might win him more, he took their entry fee out of his winnings and handed it back. “For being such good sports. You come back and play with me anytime.” The greasy, lecherous look he gave them made her skin crawl. Still, she had a part to play.
“Thank you, mister, you’re such a gentleman!” Lithe fingers snatched away the four pounds from his hand, and before either Kerry or the man could think, she was guiding her away. Once back at the counter, May pulled out a wad of bills. Most of the mans wallet appeared to be in her hand as she added the four singles to it. (Guys please correct me if I’m referring to English money wrong). A more natural smile graced her lips as she waved to the girl coming in the door, prompting her to grab her things across the counter.
“I should be paying you for being such a cute distraction. He didn’t even think about me. Common, Laura’s here, let’s go. I can walk you home at least. Besides, I want to hear about this Conor Sullivan, and more importantly, if he’s from Dublin.” May would hold the door and wait for Kerry, following her out.
(I know I assumed a bit in this story, please feel free to negate anything or to do the same with your post lol. I’ll just play along with whatever.
At first Elena found Thomas' gobsmacked reaction to be endearing. She let his eyes pour over her near-naked body, sure by his inability to speak that he was falling into some kind of trance. In just a few moments, he would kiss her, and the two would tumble to the floor, racing to undress each other as if the fate of the world depended on it.
What actually happened was the complete opposite. Thomas wasn't spellbound, he was embarrassed. When he turned away from her and covered his eyes, her smile disappeared and she came out of her seductive pose. Hearing how much Thomas claimed to like her should have filled her with butterflies and sent a tingling sensation to spread across her whole body; unfortunately, the fact that it was followed by a 'but' took away all the excitement. He told her that he had never been with a woman before and that his psychological state would prevent them from being together.
Finally, it was Elena's turn to be speechless. She set her glass of champagne back down and wrapped her arms around herself, her tearful gaze falling to the floor at her feet. Thomas took a step towards her and placed his warm, gentle hands on her shoulders, but even as he brushed her hair out of her face she couldn’t bring herself to look him in the eye. He told her she was beautiful but that he wasn’t ready, and that only confused her further. "You don't want me?" she tried to clarify. "You like me but you don't want me? I don't understand, Tomás…"
From well before she came of age, men and boys alike had drooled over her, and after so many years she had come to confuse love and lust. Her body belonged not to her but to whoever wanted it. It didn't take much to get her into bed; all she needed was to feel adored, something that many men had mastered faking, or otherwise be given something that she needed in return: information about her father, a plane ticket to Dublin, a roof over her head. It was something she was so used to that to now have somebody she genuinely really liked turn her down made her heart ache.
The next person she would dress like this for would be Fergus, and that was the thought that finally tipped her over the edge. Humiliated, she drew herself out of Thomas’ reach and left the room, stooping to snatch her dress off the floor before running back into the bathroom. Tears crashed down her face and she wiped them away, aware that her cheap make-up would be beginning to run. Once she had shut the door behind her, she looked into the mirror and broke into a sob. She felt stupid for crying and even more stupid for assuming that Thomas would want her. All the men who had touched her intimately, roughly, possessively, more than she cared to remember - they were all so easy. She knew how to dance for them, how to tease them and do all the positions they liked; she knew how to charm and get them to spill their deepest secrets with just a bat of her lashes and a few gentle words. Yet now that she was in Dublin, where there were two men she genuinely cared about, she had no idea what to do. She couldn’t use any of those techniques on her father, who still didn’t know who she was, and now that Thomas had turned her down she wasn’t sure how she could get closer to him, either.
Aware that Thomas was still outside, Elena took a few deep breaths, tied her hair up again and then splashed water on her face to wash away any streaks of make-up. Once she had zipped herself back into her dress, she tentatively opened the door and stepped out.
“I’m sorry, Tomás,” she mumbled, still wrapping her arms around her body and keeping her eyes fixed to the floor. “You are not like all the other men. No one tells me they are not ready before, they just want sex with me, even if they are hotelero horrible, feo, asqueroso…” More tears spilled down her cheeks as she thought of Fergus. The man had never made her cry; she knew what he wanted and she knew how to give it to him. She hated it, but to her, it was better than sleeping on the cold streets of Dublin, so she kept her head held high. Now, however, she had come face to face with what she wanted - at least, what she thought she wanted - and he didn’t seem to want her back. “I like you a lot, Tomás,” she went on, still not managing to make eye contact. “You are more kind to me than all other men are to me...but if you don't want me, then...I-I don’t know what it is that you want..."
Shona stayed quiet while Shirley and Nurse Xiulian discussed the options for her pregnancy, gently caressing the back of her friend’s hand with her thumb. Despite the nurse’s recommendation to induce the pregnancy, Shirley still didn’t seem keen on the idea and opted for the latest possible recommended time. Shona wasn’t going to get in the way of her decision as long as she wasn’t going to damage herself further from having a complicated birth. At least being told that she wouldn’t have to have a Caesarian section seemed to put her friend at ease, though she had to wonder how she felt about the news of not being able to go home until after the birth. If it was herself, Shona knew she would spend the days or weeks leading up to her pregnancy in misery. It sounded like the worst possible time to be alone and in an unhomely, public place, even with people visiting from time to time. But in Shirley’s case, Shona doubted that she would have anyone visiting her besides herself. When she told Billy that Shirley was awake, he might jump at the chance to see her, but she didn’t really want him going near her...He had asked about her since her accident, but Shona still didn’t believe that he genuinely cared about Shirley as much as his words would make the woman think, and so she didn’t intend to actually tell her friend that he had been asking after her.
Shirley was managing to remain positive, which Shona admired given all the pain she was in. “I’ll come and visit you as often as I can,” she told her, in case she was nervous about spending the remainder of her pregnancy alone in hospital. “And if there’s anything I can bring you to make your time in here more bearable, you just let me know, okay? I can always send the boys over with some things, too. As my best friend - and now our family medic - you’ll be under the family’s protection from here on out. So you just say the word, okay?” She offered her a sweet smile as she squeezed her hand once again.
The pair moved in for a hug, though it was awkward with Shirley’s injuries and both of their pregnant bellies getting in the way and made Shona giggle. Once she had sat back in her seat, her hands came to rest atop her belly, feeling some stirring beneath her palms. Her friend then asked after her baby and how her pregnancy was coming along, which drew an uncontrollable smile to Shona’s face. “Well, I’m at 34 weeks now,” she said, fondly stroking her belly. “We’ve decided to keep the gender a surprise, though I know whatever it turns out to be Spencer will bring them up supporting West Ham.” She shook her head but her smile only grew wider, cheeks warming at the thought of seeing her man cradling their beautiful baby while the football was on. “But my midwife says the development is going well, so we’re just starting to plan the birth now. I like the idea of a home birth, but when the time comes I might change my mind. Knowing me, I’ll probably be a nightmare, demanding this and that…” A small escaped her. “All I know is, I don’t want to do it alone. And that’s why I’m going to try and be here for you, when yours arrive...if you want me there, that is.” She moved a hand back onto the bed and lightly lifted Shirley’s hand into her own, sending her friend a smile. “Have you thought about names yet? Spencer and I still need to have that conversation…but I’m curious as to what your ideas are?”
Blake McCarthy The Sullivan's Pub - Dublin City Center, Dublin -
Conor respectfully reasoned with her and Blake was all for listening to what he had to say, but part of her felt that even though she'd struggled for years to get to this point in her life...Conor was the one who was having the hardest time moving on from Jackson's death. Blake hadn't been able to talk to Syd in a while, so it was hard to truly gauge just how much he'd moved on. She was very aware that both men loved Jackson just as much as Blake did. She felt extremely lucky to have people in her life who shared the same pain as her and could level with her, but now that she was ready to start living her life once more...she could only hope that somewhere down the line the two men didn't resent her for it.
Conor relieved some of that worry by agreeing with her that Jackson wouldn't have wanted her to be alone and was even more relieved when he stated that he trusted her judgment. Hearing that he would fuck Adam up for her if he'd messed with her made Blake smile but she was more than sure that Adam would never do such a thing. "Thank you, Conor. I really appreciate you saying this...a lot of my anxiety came from wondering how you and Syd would feel about this as my kids had been practically pushing me into being happy again. It's wonderful to have your blessing."
Blake gave Ali a sly smirk when her best friend mentioned that she'd managed to get Conor's blessing. Ali then excitedly gushed about going on date nights together and taking couples trips which Blake wasn't sure she was ready for quite yet but she wasn't going to be a spoilsport at the moment on Ali's birthday. She was sure the men would object to such things but Blake and Ali would get to spend more time together which Blake was looking forward to. She felt that she had allowed her sadness and apprehension to not only affect her dating life but her friendships as well. She was determined to make up for the lost time.
The conversation thankfully was switched to something completely different than her love life but Blake froze as Conor mentioned putting the Morettis to rest soon. There was a lot of anger that Blake still held for that family, a lot of burning desires to do the most horrible things to them. When Conor mentioned giving the rest of his family's assets in Queens to them in exchange for getting James back, Blake felt very conflicted. Jackson had fought and gave his life to keep those assets...while Blake was all for getting James out of that godforsaken prison she felt as though her late husband had died for nothing in the end. Blake kept her lips sealed as Conor went on to mention that they didn't need Moretti or the Kings involved in his business any longer.
Ali went on to ask about when Conor would get James back and if he'd told Lucy or the kids. Blake was curious to know as well but given the conflicting emotions she was currently having, she allowed Conor and Ali to speak amongst themselves for a moment as she took a drink from her glass, glancing towards the door for no reason in particular. Conor and Ali were having a brief conversation about Emery but Blake was continuing to look towards the door as her mind raced with thoughts, trying to take in all the information she had just received along with processing the conversation she'd just had with Conor.
Conor then spoke to her directly, causing Blake to place her attention back on the current conversation. He'd asked if Savvy spoke with her lately and Blake nodded her head softly. Once he was finished explaining, Blake cleared her throat and shifted in her seat uncomfortably. "Yea we talked...I uh, I just didn't know what to say. I didn't agree or disagree...I told her I needed some time to think about it. But if I'm being perfectly honest with you both...I've been putting off thinking about it for my own sake." Blake's eyes unexpectedly watered and the blonde turned her head away so Conor and Ali couldn't see her torn expression. "If I can be honest with the both of you, Savvy asking me this...and then hearing that we are going to trade the rest of our assets for James...I feel...hurt. I mean, Jackson fought hard for New York. I don't need to tell you both that but I know he would want you to do what you are doing Conor so I guess it's just gonna take me some time to come to terms with losing that place. It was the last place we were all together with him after all...that dreaded loud and noisy place. As for Kerry, I don't know what to say to Savvy..."
with: Conor Misty Gray
; Ali Melanin-Gxdess
Main Team: Adam, Aidan, Chase, Katsya, Stella.
NPCs/Distant Surveillance: Doyle, Lloyd Sweeney Gang:
Phelan Sweeney, Ross
NPC Gang members: 6 - Doug, Eoin, Jay, John, Niall, Scott, Shane
Adam Harper and Aidan Byrne
Adam nodded when Chase told him Doug was getting better. He'd rather not have to spend time babysitting a guy he didn't have any reason to care about, even if he wasn't so cold as to let the man die from an asthma attack. When Doug shook his head to confirm to Chase that he didn't need to go to the hospital, Adam was glad. Whilst he would have taken the man if he felt he needed to, he preferred not to go off track and add extra stops to their planned exit from the mission. "Excellent. I'm sure Niall will look after you," he flatly commented.
"We've got enough," Adam assured Chase when the man asked he if got what he came for. "Could had done with more details, but we've got all we were going to get from Ross," he elaborated. He then decisively nodded his head after taking a moment to assess the situation. "Yeah, it's time to wrap up and get the fuck out of here. Katsya's going to get Phelan home in the meantime. He's kindly letting Stella borrow his car," he added, regardless of whether Phelan wanted to or not.
After checking in on Doyle and Lloyd over the walkie-talkie, who were still on stealth surveillance, Adam slotted the radio handset in his back pocket. Adam went on to check on Katsya and tell Stella to get to the pub once she'd dropped the woman and Phelan off at Katsya's pick-up. He then set off back to his vehicle along with Chase and Aidan.
(Katsya) - if you still want to have that scene with just Katsya and Phelan, I'll let you start it up.
The Sullivans Pub ~ Dublin City Centre, Dublin ~
Conor Sullivan and Adam Harper
Conor softly smiled at Blake when she said she appreciated him giving his blessing. "I'm a grumpy old bastard and Syd's a moody bugger too, but we both just want to see you happy, love. If Adam's a bloke who can see to it, then I'm not about to stand in the way," he assured her. He let out a short chuckle when Aliana enthused about going on on double dates together. "Oh sure, invite me out with the three biggest pissheads I know," he remarked. Of course, there was a time when Conor was the biggest drunk many people knew, but he'd had to put that behind him around the time he found himself stuck in prison for three years. His wife and kids, along with the responsibility of being the head of the mob certainly helped him give up the reckless behaviour. He smiled when Aliana kissed his cheek and asked if he was excited about it. "I can't wait. Granted, it might have to wait," he grumbled, not needing to point out how little downtime he had lately.
Conor lightly shrugged when asked how soon he thought he'd get James home. "I've been advised Moretti put the wheels in motion two days ago and the cops will be reopening the case by now, I'm sure," he told her. Of course, he was very limited as to how much he could trust Moretti to do his bit, but he still had people in New York who could feed back to Conor what they knew. "If the Italian prick knows what he's doing, I'd expect just weeks. I haven't told Lucy yet, in case it all goes tits up. I haven't even been able to speak to Jimbo yet. The prison staff said he's been a naughty boy, so no personal calls allowed yet," he remarked, with a smirk. "See Ali. Even boring old Jimbo gets into trouble," he teased, recalling the many times he'd broken the rules of the guards during his time in jail. "Financially, there'll be a small loss but I'd rather pay that price for more security for our family. My focus is on expanding here in Ireland and working closer with our European allies."
Conor was briefly cut off as he looked over his shoulder to see Adam and Chase enter the pub. After a brief wave, the two men made their way towards the bar before anything else.
Aliana was clearly unimpressed by the thought of Kerry moving to Dublin. Conor couldn't even disagree with her on the matter as he didn't give a damn about Kerry's feelings either. "She's managed to get on the good sides of two of the softest touches around; Savvy and Tink," he pointed out. Seeing Blake's uneasiness about the matter caused him to slowly nod his head as he processed how she was feeling about it. Before he could say anything, Blake also expressed how hard it was coming to terms with losing what Jackson had fought for. The fact was, Conor had to pull the whole family out of New York in 1972 before they lost even more loved ones. The Morettis had proved they couldn't be beaten and Conor couldn't take being responsible for losing more loved ones. And although what business he had retained didn't bring direct danger to Dublin, Conor felt better cutting off all ties with the Morettis now. And although it was hard for Blake, Conor always remembered how Jackson had seen straight away that Conor was never fond of New York; that his heart belonged in Dublin. "It takes time, but you'll get there," he gently assured her. When Blake spoke of Kerry again and the fact she hadn't said she was fine with the woman coming to Dublin was enough for him. "You don't have to say anything to Savvy, in that case. I wasn't sold on the idea and your reaction tells me all I need to know. Savvy can tell Kerry not to fucking bother coming here, because she won't be welcome."
Expecting Stella wouldn't be far behind, Adam entered the pub with Chase, knowing Conor would be around expecting them. His eyes immediately fixed on the table it question, giving the three occupants a wave, along with a special smile for Blake. Signalling he was getting a drink first, he approached the bar with Chase. Once they'd been served, Adam carried his pint with him to the table Conor, Aliana and Blake were occupying. He overheard the last of Conor's sentences and had to force himself not to show too much of a disgusted expression at hearing Kerry's name. On the night of the ambush, where he'd watched friends and teammates gunned down by the enemy, Adam had come very close to putting a bullet in the back of Kerry's skull. It was one of the rare few times he'd struggled to control his emotions. Whilst he didn't consciously hold grudges, he didn't forget those who had betrayed him and his friends. That included Kerry. For the sake of not bringing upset to Blake as well as not pissing off his boss, Adam held his tongue on the matter.
"Evening all," Adam greeted them as he he slide into the booth alongside Blake. "There's still room for one more," he playfully told Chase, patting the empty spot next to him. He knocked back a long drink of beer before placing the glass down on the table. He then gently lowered his arm to his side, taking hold of Blake's hand and giving it a gentle, reassuring squeeze.
"We'll have a full debrief in the morning, lads. But give me the key points," Conor asked Adam and Chase, after checking nobody who shouldn't be listening was close enough to do so.
"Ross admitted to being the gunman. He was offered a lot of cash by an anonymous party. He was specifically asked to target Emery, and to do so publicly, in order to send a message. Sorry, but my money's still on the Kings... We managed to retrieve the deposit he'd been paid, which Aidan has dropped off in your office. We've got the name of the driver but he's likely long gone already. Ross was dealt with as requested, along with some trigger happy prick. Phelan was on his best behaviour, so Katsya is taking him back to his brothers. I expect pending a meeting," he said, aware Conor was intending on speaking with the older Sweeney brothers. "Other than a minor wound for Stella, all of our team left unscathed."
"Alright. How about you, Chase, all good on your part?" Conor asked the man. "On the back of that, how long is the missus letting you play out tonight?" he teased.
Missions didn't usually end with Adam going back to the pub to socialise and sit next to a woman he cared about. In the past, he may well have celebrated by taking some woman back to his bed, but lately it tended to just involve moving onto planning the next job or finding some other work to do for the night. Despite it being new territory, Adam was surprisingly glad for the change. There was even something of a buzz about relaxing and having reason to feel more human after finishing up on a job where he had to leave emotions and conscience behind. "Are you okay?" he quietly and sensitively asked Blake as he turned to look at her. He'd noticed she might have been involved in a heavy conversation before his arrival.
Emery rushing in to save Clayton from being caught up in the gunfire at the docks hadn't gone down well at all with Conor. Her uncle refused to acknowledge that she'd been doing what she believed was right and saved a guy from getting killed. Clayton was in way above his head and in a rare moment, she'd showed concern for someone she didn't need to be concerned about. But no, she'd risked her own life and jeopardised Aidan's. Because of that, Conor had put her back on desk work and debt collecting. Her taste of the fun and juicy jobs had been very short-lived. To make it worse, her mother was over the moon about it all. Sinead had never wanted Emery out on dangerous jobs, so she was pleased Conor had agreed with her on the matter.
Though she knew her uncle would be in the pub, Emery showed up there regardless. She was pretty good at not feeling fazed or uncomfortable in what should be socially awkward situations. She could enter a room full of people who hated her and she'd still march in with her head held high. That was evidently the stance she took this time, waving at her Auntie Aliana and the others, though giving Conor a brief, cold glare. She made her way to the bar and ordered a large whiskey before heading in the opposite direction of her uncle's table and instead joining a group of four male regulars who were engaging in a game of darts. As one of the guys was about to throw his dart, she forced a loud cough, causing him to mess up his shot and drive the dart into the wall a few inches away from the dartboard. "Oh, you're shit at this, mate," she teased, prompting the others laugh laugh at their friend's expense. "How's it going, boys?" she asked the men, despite them all being at least ten years older than her. "Bring us the darts, so I can show you lot how it's done," she commanded, holding her hand out.
(Stella) - If you don't have anything else planned... pub? Emery is around.
~Shirley Kwon~London, England | London Royal Hospital, Intensive Care Unit
The thought of being in the hospital alone was very much unbearable to the expectant mother. It even made her want to cry. While she had gone through almost the entirety of her pregnancy by herself, Shirley was still nonetheless thankful to now have Shona in her life. Although they have not been friends for a year yet (The friendship so far is in its second or third month), Shona was there for her. Sure, the older woman was married and had a whole family, but she had welcomed Shirley with open arms. She still remembered the day they first officially met. Before that, they were just two pregnant women who happened to have their Doctor's Appointments on the same day at the same time, which since she first moved to London, thought to be a coincidence. Sometimes she saw Shona with Spencer, other times she did not. As these thoughts traveled through her mind, Shirley began thinking about how her Midwife suggested that she remained in the Hospital for the remainder of her pregnancy. Given her injuries, she probably should as it would be impossible to do anything around the house right now. Not to mention getting up the stairs would be nigh impossible without help. And Shona was in absolutely zero condition to be carrying her at all. The other woman was pregnant herself! Not to mention it was way too weird to think about one pregnant lady carrying another pregnant lady! And the one being carried was pregnant with twins! Oh the living hell...
“I’ll come and visit you as often as I can. And if there’s anything I can bring you to make your time in here more bearable, you just let me know, okay? I can always send the boys over with some things, too. As my best friend - and now our family medic - you’ll be under the family’s protection from here on out. So you just say the word, okay?”
Soon the silence was broken by her friend, who promised to come visit her as often as she could. It warmed Shirley's heart to know that her Best Friend wanted to be there for her. Shona even stated that she could always send 'The Boys' over with things that she needed and that she was under the King Family's protection. Shirley frowned when she remembered that the King Family had a hand in Organized Crime. The night that she treated Spencer's wounds, and confessed to being a street doc, still shook her heart because she easily could have lost Shona as a friend that night...and go back to being alone. The thought, the very idea of losing Shona, terrified Shirley.
Finally, she found the strength to smile again. "Of course, if I need anything, I'll let you know." She said after her friend squeezed her hand.
Came the hug, while it was heartwarming, it unfortunately felt a little awkward because both women were very pregnant...well, in the final stages of pregnancy. Shirley especially since the buns in the oven were overcooking. Then there were her injuries, namely her back and her wrist. Some time in that hug, their bellies touched. Well, it couldn't have gotten more awkward then that. The worst that could have happened were the babies kicking each other. Shirley proceeded to brush these extremely silly thoughts aside as her friend told her that she was at thirty-four weeks, practically making her almost a full month behind Shirley herself in her pregnancy. Perhaps she was wrong when she thought that they were only a week or two apart. Not to mention Shirley was bigger because she was having twins, so she was a pumpkin compared to her Best Friend...
Nonetheless, Shirley was very happy to hear that her friend's pregnancy was going well and that she was working on planning her baby's birth, which Shirley had already done. Sadly it now had to be altered thanks to that jerk that crashed into her taxi. If he was alive, she was definitely filing a lawsuit against him...and she was going to take it the extreme. When Shona mentioned a home birth, Shirley smiled a little, though she could only imagine how that would go. Sure, it was a thing, but she didn't really consider it because she was living alone, unmarried and didn't have a significant other that could be there for her while she delivered the babies. Then again, it wasn't really gonna be an option anymore now that she can't leave the hospital!
"Knowing me, I’ll probably be a nightmare, demanding this and that…All I know is, I don’t want to do it alone. And that’s why I’m going to try and be here for you, when yours arrive...if you want me there, that is."
Shona proceeded to give her Best Friend a saddened smile. "I know I'm terrified of having to give birth by myself. Up until I met you, I thought that was gonna be a reality. Well, I know I'd have my Midwife, but its not really the same as having someone you love by your side." Once they started holding hands again, Shirley wanted to cry tears of joy...No, it was definitely just her hormones getting to her. "And I'd love it if you were there with me in the Delivery Room, so that my babies can meet their Auntie for the first time too, now that they're familiar with your voice. Or at least...I hope they are. I'd be devastated if they weren't." She smiled, looking into Shona's eyes.
“Have you thought about names yet? Spencer and I still need to have that conversation…but I’m curious as to what your ideas are?”
Once her Friend asked her if she's thought about names, Shirley nodded, her smile still on her face. "Yes, I have. I started thinking about it when I was told that I was having both a boy and a girl." She looked down at her belly. "I've finalized on naming my Daughter Pyrrha and my Son Perseus." She smiled.
Her gaze soon went back to Shona's belly, before she reached over to place her hand on it, wondering if she'll feel the baby kick and whether or not the little one recognized her voice, given how much she had been around her friend up until two weeks ago. "And I can't wait to meet your little one too. I have the feeling that our children are going to be Best Friends, just like we are." She said as a tear of joy rolled down her cheek. Interactions: Shona King Pyroclast
It didn't take long for Katsya to take the measurements for Phelan. The entire time, Stella had her back turned. While she was calm, Stella was internally enraged that the man played a role in the attempt on Emery's life. Next time if he and his friends did anything stupid, Stella was definitely going to give them the brutal beating that deserved. And she definitely didn't need a gun to do that. Stella was also quite the scrapper too, able to hold her own in a fight. After all, she is Conor Sullivan's Go-To Bounty Hunter. If he sent her, that meant whoever she was going after, regardless of the reason, was in deep shit. Most of the time, she brought the people she captured to him, and whatever he did with them from there was not her business, let alone her problem.
Soon, Katsya said that it was the last time she would be partaking in a 'messy job' and stick to cleaning, before stating that she just needed a ride back to her truck. And that next time, she'd just be driving herself. Stella herself decided to make a mental note of that, because in the future, she'd probably want to do the same. Only so many weapons and equipment can fit into one vehicle. However, she did also enjoy carpooling with her Colleagues, so there was that too. Perhaps that would just depend on the circumstances, like if Adam stated that everyone brought their own car or something. By the time she came back outside, it would seem that the situation with the rest of Phelan's friends had deescalated. Doug got his inhaler and was no longer suffocating and Chase was playing nice with him for the most part, no longer shouting out any threats or whatever. And who Stella guessed to be John was laying on the ground face down. Seems like Chase and Adam had silenced him, or the man valued his life enough to longer be an obnoxious asshole. Well that's too bad, Stella was hoping to come out for a fist fight at the very least. However, not wanting to upset her superiors, Stella didn't insinuate one. She folded her arms, wondering what the next move would be considering that everything was over and done with. Soon, Adam said that it was time to wrap up and get the hell out of the woods, much to the Bounty Hunter's relief.
When it was time to go, Stella was notified that Phelan was kindly allowing her to 'borrow his car'. Well, not like he was gonna say no to that, because if he wasn't going to be handing over the keys to the car, she'd simply take it from him...and maybe lock his ass in the trunk for the whole ride. After being told to go to the Pub afterwards, Stella nodded before she and Katsya departed with Phelan in his car... Interactions: Aiden Byrne, Adam Harper Misty Gray
| Chase Zegarra Pyroclast
| Katsya Grey Mitheral Enemies: Doug, Jay, John, Niall, Scott, Shane Deceased: Ross, Eion Dublin Ireland| Dublin City Centre, The Sullivans' Pub
After dropping Katsya off at her truck along with Phelan, Stella dropped the car off at one of the Sullivan-controlled car impounds as a way to spite Phelan one last time, giving him one more 'Fuck You' for his role in the drive-by shooting on Adam and Emery. Soon, she got to her own car and drove to the Sullivan's Pub as Chase had informed her. Upon arrival, she just parked her car on the side and grabbed her hat. She had mostly disarmed herself, putting all her guns back into the trunk as there was no need to go into a bar so heavily armed. However, as a safety precaution, she kept two of her Revolvers, hidden by her jacket. Putting on her hat, Stella quietly walked into the bar along with Chase and Adam, where they were to meet with Conor. Because she didn't think that she was needed, Stella just went ahead to go grab something to drink. Although her anger had mostly faded, hopefully a drink would fully get rid of it. Grabbing a shot of Whiskey, she quickly drank it before setting the glass back down, turning to see Emery, turning her ice cold face into a smiling one.
She quickly went to approach the other woman, only to see her walking into a crowd of men who were playing a game of darts. Thinking that it would take her mind off of the job tonight...and the fact that she almost got shot in the face, Stella too went to join them, just in time to hear Emery ask to bring the darts and held her hand out. The Bounty Hunter proceeded to grab them from the dart board and walked over to place them in Emery's hand. "Hope you got room for one more." She said, as her smile suddenly faded due to the light shining on her partially bandaged wound. Interactions: Emery Callahan Misty Gray
| FourBar Patrons
Gwen Costello Lorelei Costello Starry Nights Bar -Dublin City Center, Dublin -
After that haunting letter they'd received, Gwen had relayed the information to Lucy in hopes that maybe she could speak with Conor. The woman reassured that she would but in the meantime had offered support in any way she could. Tonight, Gwen had taken her sister-in-law up on that offer and dropped off an excitable Cian at where she was staying, Lucy had a full house of children so there was plenty of things to keep the boy occupied which made Gwen feel guilt-free about the much-needed break Jason and her required. Gwen and he had gotten into it a few times about her lack of concern over the boy Lorelei was seeing but she had the utmost faith in Lorelei's decision making and having met the lad for herself, she wasn't worried in the slightest. That baby-faced young man didn't seem like the type to stir up any trouble and when he had explained the situation to Gwen the night she'd picked her daughter up, Gwen believed him. With having known her husband since their 20s, she knew a bad boy when she saw one, Gwen was the one drawn to that...Lorelei had completely different tastes in men and for that Gwen was honestly grateful.
"Ah that would be great, you don't hear much live jazz these days...I miss the 60s I tell you." Gwen said with a knowing smirk, "Jazz clubs galore. Now all I hear is that god awful techno music...to each their own I guess." Gwen said with a shake of her head. Jason asked her when the last time it was she was able to really just stop thinking and feel alive. Gwen pursed her lips in thought before a giggle escaped her lips as he mentioned the night before. "Ah, well before last night I'd say it's been too long. And dancing? I don't even think I remember how to dance." She said teasingly. Her husband stated that they needed to have fun now more than ever and Gwen's smile lessened somewhat as she was briefly and indirectly reminded of the cloud that had been hanging over her head lately. Watching him squeeze her hand, Gwen managed to smile a bit wider before answering his question, "Another one of my usual love, I apologize in advance if you have to carry me out of here...I'm more of a lightweight these days." She said jokingly with a wink before watching him go towards the bar.
Lorelei let out a breathless laugh as Benjie stated that he was excited to see her place, "I'll warn you now it's not exactly ready for visitors, I think I left a pile of dirty clothes on the couch." The redhead said as she moved to stand, looking away from where she'd seen her parents go to untangle the long strap of her purse from the chair she'd been sitting in. It had gotten stuck and she let out a frustrated huff as she bent down to find the root of the tangle. Hearing a familiar voice, Lorelei's head whipped around to see her father looking all too smiley for her liking as he greeted the pair. Seeing Benjie reach out a protective arm, Lorelei shook her head as her dad got his fill-in on intimidating her date.
After Jason got in his fill, Lorelei let out a dramatic groan, "That's fine, let's scare him instead of just introducing yourself like a normal person. Not everything's a show, dad. There is no audience to give you a standing ovation. Also, hello, nice to see you! Are you here with mom? Does she know you waltz over here?" Lorelei fired at him, looking behind him to see if her mother would appear. She didn't see her but Lorelei was willing to show up magically as if she'd heard her plea to save her from any more embarrassment. Benjie hadn't run away yet, so Lorelei was taking that as a good sign. She tried her best to hide her smirk as he corrected her father on his name.
Lorelei had dated some jerks before but in her defense, they hadn't been jerks when they first started dating, they just got jerky after the fourth date...anyone she'd gone out with before would've definitely just left the date at this point. But much to Lorelei's surprise, Benjamin decided that he would speak with her father though he was well within his right not to. Lorelei raised an eyebrow as she watched him shoot her an apologetic glance before moving to stand toe to toe with Jason. Lorelei held her breath and looked past them to see if her mother would show up and she let out a huff of air as she saw her red-haired savior sauntering over to the table, not looking pleased in the slightest. Deciding to not give her father a warning, she listened as Benjie apologized to her father. After Benjie stated that he didn't go around causing trouble, Lorelei stood up and decided to chime in. "And what right do you have to grill him about getting into trouble, dad? Weren't you in prison for a while? We got locked in that stupid cell together because I decided to give those cops a hard time as they were wanting to arrest Benjamin for coming to a woman's defense! She was being abused! You would have done the same thing. If I wouldn't have opened my mouth I would've been spared being arrested but you and mom taught me to call injustice out, you taught me to speak up. I got mom's big mouth!"
Gwen had made it to the three of them and scoffed, "I do not have a big mouth! I'm just louder than others around me." She stated before crossing her arms and tapping her foot impatiently at her husband. "You trying to scare our daughters' date? I told you to leave it alone, Jase. You are going to do the opposite of help her...you know this. Plus, I was supposed to have another drink in my hand 4 minutes ago? See my hand? It's empty!" Gwen grouched before looking at Benjamin and smiling softly, "Nice to see you again, dear...funny how we all ended up at the same bar."
with: Jason Pyroclast
; Benjie Misty Gray
From the minute he told Elena he wasn't ready for anything intimate, Thomas knew he'd fucked up. He removed his hand and made a point to look her indirectly in the eyes. Watching her go from this beautiful, funny, confident woman to someone who crumbled under his disapproval was heartbreaking. Before he could have even a chance to explain himself, Elena scooped up her dress and ran to his bathroom. "Elena! Wait!" Thomas said as he quickly followed her to the bathroom. She had closed the door and behind it, he could very clearly hear her sobbing. Thomas listened quietly as he dragged a hand down his face wondering what on earth he was supposed to do or say next. Given that his father had gone to prison during his more primitive dating years, Thomas really didn't get a lot of advice about dating...sure Syd was there but his relationship with Roxie had crumbled and left him emotionally unavailable constantly. He was too embarrassed at the time to even speak with his mother about the subject and Leo...that was complicated.
Suddenly, he heard the door open and Thomas pushed himself up off the wall to stand up straight. It was amazing to him...even with the mascara runs on her face and the redness of her cheeks from crying, she still looked incredible. How could anyone look so good when crying? She apologized to him and stated that the men she had been with just wanted sex from her which made him tense up. "Elena...what..what do you mean by that? No one should just ever expect sex from you...who are these men you speak of?" Thomas asked, his voice deep and serious. Thomas felt some sort of internal responsibility and protectiveness over Elena. She had no one in Dublin to call her family and despite Thomas having all the family in the world here...he knew what it was like to feel alone. He wasn't physically alone but she was. The smallest of smiles formed on his lips as Elena admitted to liking him a lot and this unfamiliar butterfly feeling could be felt in the pit of his stomach. No one had ever taken romantic interest in him before and here Elena was, wanting to take it to the farthest place possible...but Thomas wasn't sure she knew the difference between pleasing other people compared to being intimate for herself. Thomas shook his head fiercely as Elena assumed that he didn't want her. "No no no, that's not it at all. Elena, please...look at me, okay?" Thomas said gently, even going as far as to move his hand under her soft chin and lift it so that she could meet his eyes.
"I like you...a whole whole lot. Don't confuse me not being ready to go that far with you for me not liking you...that's...that's definitely not the issue here." Thomas murmured softly. "The issue isn't you...it's me. My time in the Marines... messed me up. I'm really messed up, sure, I have my good days and those days I'm blessed for. But I'm not on speaking terms with my mother or father, I barely talk to my older brother or younger sister. I've cut off almost all relationships with my friends...I just don't..." His hand was shaking now as he started to panic, he didn't want to drive her away. He didn't want Elena to walk out that door and call him crazy. But he didn't want to do what his brother had done to Roxie...he didn't want to drag this beautifully sweet and innocent woman into one of his PTSD episodes, he didn't want to drag her into his family's business. "I don't want to hurt you." He whispered softly as his own eyes watered, he dropped his hand as it was far too shaky to hold her chin any longer. "I've seen what rushing into things like this can do to people, especially when you'd have to deal with someone like me..." Thomas murmured, his voice cracking. "It's the reason I keep my family away...I don't want to hurt them. I'm not selfish enough to expose them to the shit I've seen, the shit I've dealt with...everything I continue to deal with. I do that because I care and I care about you...a lot."
Thomas's whole body was trembling as his anxiety rose, the whole world seems to come crashing down on him again. His legs were so wobbly that he made the conscious effort to move to sit on the ground where Lucky immediately surrounded him, butting her snout against his biceps jumping on him to force Thomas to hold her and pet her in an attempt to keep him from doing anything to hurt himself. His jaw clenched painfully as he shook his head and let out deep but forced breaths. "See what I mean. I can't even handle talking about this...I'm a mess. You don't deserve a mess." Thomas said, his voice getting high-pitched. "You deserve someone who won't freak out over loud noises, or wake up screaming in the middle of the night..." He continued. "Men shouldn't be wanting sex from you...they should be wanting to get to know you. I want to get to know you, but I can't commit to doing anything like that...not when I know I can hurt you." Lucky whimpered and started to try and lick Thomas's face, sensing he was starting to get worse. Thomas placed his head in his hands, squeezing his eyes shut. Although Elena hadn't been in his life very long, she was the only one who was currently allowed to be in his life...he wouldn't know what to do if he'd fucked up any chance of seeing where this would take him but in his mind currently, it seemed as though he already had.
with: Elena Pyroclast
Aware that his memory might not stretch back to the beginning of the interview by the time it was over, Syd took out his notebook while Tom was talking and began to make some notes about the man. One of the notes said ’can talk a lot’ - but he hadn’t decided if that was a strength or a weakness yet. It was the kind of trait that Syd found annoying, but it was also a sign of the young man’s enthusiasm for the job and showed an ability to answer multiple questions at once, something that Syd could admit he himself wasn’t so good at.
There were a number of things that captured Syd’s interest - the first being his military experience, as it meant that he would be firearms trained which could prove handy if, God forbid, Pitstop Repairs ever became a target. It had never happened before, but it helped to be prepared. Syd was glad he wouldn’t have to work out how to broach that subject - Tom having been a soldier meant that he was more likely to be helpful under attack than a liability. The second thing that really caught his attention was his mention of ‘Sullivan blood’. Tom’s surname was Thatcher, so the name had caught Syd off guard. It was true that Sullivan wasn’t an uncommon surname in Ireland, but his family were the only notable Sullivans in the area and Syd was sure that ‘Sullivan blood’ was a phrase commonly tossed around in his family to refer to their defining character traits. Even Syd, who wasn’t biologically a Sullivan, felt like the phrase sometimes included him, too. Tom even spoke of having cousins that he didn’t know too well, spurring on Syd’s blossoming idea that it was possible for the two of them to be related.
When Tom was finally done talking, a moment of silence fell between them as Syd continued to write. When he eventually looked up from his notebook, he settled a hard stare on the man opposite him, studying his facial expression and body language closely to see if he could detect any hidden agendas or falsities about him. All he found, however, was an odd resemblance to Syd’s much younger self. Bright-eyed and confident with a natural smile, his love of mechanics born from fixing up old motors with a loved one - in Syd’s case, with his dad - and an odd ability to win fights against guys twice his size. A shared hatred for liars, too, although Syd wasn’t sure if Tom’s came from something quite so traumatic. Syd knew that he himself had a tendency to lie, sometimes uncontrollably, when he was having an episode or when it came to protecting something or someone important to him. He had suffered the consequences of deceiving someone he loved and equally suffered at the hands of someone lying to him. What he had taken from it was that the world was not so black and white and that it was wise to be very, very careful of who to trust.
“So, you’re a military man,” he brought up. “You’ve killed people before, then?” Syd was aware that he wasn’t asking the questions an ordinary mechanic would ask, but he had a feeling that the kind of person who would apply to such an anonymous job posting wouldn’t be so ordinary either.
He let his face relax into a more neutral expression and he sat back in his seat with a sigh. He was beginning to make his mind up about the man already, but he knew there were a few important matters to go over before he ended the interview. “Before we move on, Tom, there’s something else I need to know. And if I find out you lied about this, there may be serious consequences.” In the brief silence that fell between them, the only sound that could be heard was the quiet scratching of leather as Syd unconsciously picked at the arm of his office chair. “What do you know about Pitstop Repairs?”
He had no intention of disclosing any information about the mob to him but if Tom didn’t already know who he would be working for, he was sure he would figure it out soon enough on his own. What he really wanted to work out was whether the man was a threat to the establishment in any way. “You said you don’t like liars, so I'll be straight with you, Tom,” he said, cautiously. “Part of my hiring process involves a thorough background check on the people I take on. If you’re not comfortable with that, we can end your application here and now. If you do agree, then I’d like to know now if there’s anything else you feel I should know before I discover it on my own. Because believe me, I will. Again, you don't want to know what I'll do if I find out you've been lying to me.”
Tom was happy to sit silently while Syd took notes, thought, asked questions, whatever he needed. It wasn’t an issue to him. Tom was a very hard guy to make feel uneasy, although his confidence wasn’t necessarily cocky. Tom was just Tom, for lack of a better way to describe. He either was or wasn’t. Here to there. His army buddies had once said the part of his brain that was supposed to tell him to be scared, or hurt, or angry was just broken.
“Yes sir, no longer actively enlisted but as they say, you can take the man out of the army, but you can’t take the army out of the man.” There was a slight sparkle to his eyes, either of pride or of memory, as he spoke, his form finally relaxing back into the seat while remaining sitting straight. He had always been told slouching was a sign of rudeness, so he would not allow his form to relax to much until a level of familiarity had been reached. “Yes sir, five confirmed kills in the three-year contract. Two by knife, three by gun. There was a small terrorist cell we had to take care of. They were holding women and children hostage-“Anger. Hate. Rage. Finally, a flip side to the relaxed and happy people pleaser showed for a fraction of a second, “and we were sent in to rescue them. We made it, they didn’t.” The change in his personality was so quick an untrained eye would miss it. A darkness flashed and was gone as fast as he could blink.
When Syd asked the final question, he scratched his chin, thinking hard for a moment. “Honestly sir, I don’t think I know anything other than the fact y’all repair motorcars. I think my mom told me once that she brought the buggy here, but I could be wrong. That was easily ten or more years ago. You guys ever have a Kathleen Thatcher bring in a buggy?” Normally Tom was back as if he’d never left. “Ah, probably not.” He flipped a hand at the question, and fell silent again, as if the question was not likely to get an answer.
“I don’ believe I have anythin’ to add sir. My life has been a simple one. Mums name is Kathleen Thatcher. Sullivan before she married my father and had us. She works at the The Dirty Paddy Pud, on the outskirts of the southside. Da’ run off around six or so. Sister May worked at the bar with mum until she got old enough to go out on her own, I joined the military, and my brother works in the distillery. What else would you like to know? Never been arrested, never been on the wrong side of the law – not because I feel a particular way about it, just never been in the time or place to pique their interest enough. If you’re worried that I’ll bring trouble here, I don’t know enough people to cause trouble.” He gave a self-assured nod as if that helped push his point, waiting patiently for the next round of questions.
Ride to Sweeney's
~ North Strand, Dublin ~ Katsya Grey
Stella had been in a foul mood for good reason. Somehow Katsya felt like it was somehow her fault. She knew better, but it still felt that way. And Phelan represented the very cause of that foul mood. Truth was, Katsya had saved the man’s life and she worried that Stella was going to hold her personally responsible for whatever evils the guy committed in the future. And she might be right. As to the matter of Lenny Jones, she had ideas for tracking him down. It shouldn’t be too hard.
Before they took off Katsya revealed a gag and a pair of fuzzy pink handcuffs. Her eyes avoided Stella’s. “I can explain - later. Phelan, do I need to gag you?” She would rather not drive through town with a gagged man, but she wasn’t going to tell him that. “Ms Kwon is on a hair trigger, so I’d advise you not to give her an excuse to force me to use another dropcloth. You’ll get your things back once I get you home.”
The ride back to Katsya’s truck was probably one of the most uncomfortable one Katsya had had in some time. Once they arrived, Katsya looked at Stella. “Get that looked at.” She sighed. “I’ll call the Gym and leave a message after I drop Phelan off. Then home and back for clean up duties.”
Katsya had Stella pull alongside her pickup close enough to provide some cover for Phelan to transfer over without further embarrassment. Once he was loaded up and they were off, Katsya allowed herself to relax just a tiny bit. One less mine in the minefield.
“Phelan, first, I owe you a pair of pants. That’s what the measuring was about. You may not realize it, but that - and you not getting smart with Mr Harper - probably saved your life. Second, I’m sorry about your friend. I … I’ll leave that alone for now. When we getto your place, if possible we can see if someone can run in and grab you a pair of pants. Just tell them you had an accident. Or not. It’s up to you. You can get dressed in my truck. I figure you’ve been through enough.
“Oh .. and you can talk now.” She considered telling him to behave, but she figured he had been through enough today.
Rikers Island Prison ~ Rikers Island, New York City ~
James was tucking into what passed off as dinner. Having been barely fed whilst he was in the hole, his hunger made it so the food was more tolerable than normal. He'd been focusing on his meal when he noticed a figure approaching from the corner of his eye. Sitting straight, he looked up from his tray of food to see Bradley was joining him. By the look of the kid, his days hadn't been too different from the ones he had in solitary confinement. The main difference was, it had been the prison guards beating up James, but he figured the prisoners were mostly to blame for Bradley's injuries. "You've been in the wars too, then?" he remarked. As much as he wanted to help Bradley, he knew cutting off Moretti also meant he'd stopped supplying the other prisoners with contraband and in turn stepped down from his position of the prison's top dog. He could only do so much now.
When the younger man pointed out that he was right about not being able to trust Ramsey, James slowly nodded his head. "The Italian Mafia, the Morettis, run the show out on the streets in New York City. Extremely dangerous, organised crime. They have the cops and some politicians eating out of their hands. Moretti's control extends to this very prison. Until a couple of weeks ago, I was working for Moretti, for the sake of my life and protecting my family's safety. Now my family is all safe and out of New York, I ain't doing shit for the Italians anymore." There was always a delayed mental note for James when he spoke of 'The Italians'. As it happened, his own mother was Italian. However, despite caring for the woman, he only ever considered himself to be Irish. His mother's cousin had caused James a lot of pain and suffering from as early as the day he was born, so he refused to embrace any drop of Romano blood that he had in him. "Because I told them to shove it, that's why I got thrown in the hole and had the crap beaten out of me. I'm surprised they've let me out at all. I've been forced to stay in solitary for far longer than two weeks before." He looked into the distance where Ramsey was seated with a group of heavies who were no doubt only with him for the perks of drugs and privileges. "Ramsey works very closely with Moretti. He keeps his boss up to date on business in this place and feeds back Moretti's instructions to his men in here. If he's behind what's been happening to you, then I'm afraid that's probably on me. He's likely trying to get to me by harming you. Has he got to James too or is the bloke still in the hole?" he asked. If Bradley and Edwards had been dragged into the mess, then James had to wonder if Kurt had been dragged into it too. Whilst he was certain Kurt was more than capable of looking after himself physically, there were other ways to make a man suffer in jail.
Billy knew the smile on Erik's face when he had got out of the shower had been deceiving. Any spark of hope it had given him quickly fizzled out when his friend started acting on edge again. His excuses for not wanting Ava to visit were so transparent he might as well have just told the truth. Of course, he wasn't going to do that - even in front of Billy, who had already seen him high as a kite and stayed with him through one of his recent breakdowns. Still, it was obvious that Erik was putting off talking about it so Billy played along. He wondered if they were both using the state of his apartment as a metaphor for Erik's condition. "Relax, mate, it's not like she's on her way over right now,” he said, throwing him an encouraging smile. “I'll help you get the guest room fixed up for her arrival. Think it might be good to see some family. Besides, you’ve met all mine - ‘s only fair that I meet yours too, innit.”
Still feeling a slight tightness in his chest in anticipation of their talk, Billy exhaled with a grateful smile when he saw Erik return with beers in his hand. “Lovely, thanks,” he said, instantly cracking one open and taking an immediate swig. The silence as they both took a drink felt awkward, the weight of the oncoming conversation hanging over their heads. In an attempt to fight this, Billy brought a leg up onto the sofa with him and turned in his seat so that he was facing Erik. More than anything, it was to help make eye contact easier for himself, maybe so he could kid himself that it wasn’t so hard.
Soon, Erik bit the bullet and launched into the conversation. Billy frowned when Erik said he would make up for all that Billy had done for him. As far as he was concerned, it wasn’t Erik that owed him, but the other way around. His friend then went on to address what had happened in Victoria Park and apologised. He ended by confessing how much Billy meant to him, and for the first time, his gaze fell and he had to make an effort to meet Erik’s eye again.
“Well…” he stalled, reaching up to rub the back of his head. “We all say shit, right? I know we have our tiffs and that but y’know...you, uh...mean a lot to me too, Erik. You can be the biggest twat in the world to me, it ain’t gonna put me off.” Without realising, his gaze had fallen to his bottle of beer, which he idly played with as he processed Erik’s words. “And you ain’t got nothin’ to make up for, mate,” he told him, finally looking up and meeting his eyes again. “You saved my life, remember? I literally owe you my life, and if I end up spendin’ it lookin’ out for you in return, then that’s no effort for me.” Billy stopped himself from speaking further, unsure of what might come out if he did. He was realising some things as he spoke - how little effort it really took to take care of his friend. Sure, he was a mess sometimes, he was hard to understand, seemed to still have a lot of secrets and it worried him to no end seeing him so unstable...but he cared about him enough that coming over to see him was the most important part of his day.
After taking another drink, he shifted in his seat and brought a heavy hand down on Erik’s thigh to get his attention as he geared himself up to say more. Taking a sharp inhale, he finally set his eyes on Erik, and his heart gave a lurch at the sight of him. Realising where his hand was, he quickly withdrew it and returned to picking at his beer bottle. “So, um,” he said. “I don’t really know how to ask this, Erik, but...Look, I know you’ve got some stuff goin’ on, let’s not pretend you ain’t been strugglin’ lately ‘cause I think at this point, I’ve been around you enough to see it. And I ain't goin’ nowhere. It’s not just ‘cause I owe you my life and that…” He felt an unexpected stir of emotion somewhere deep inside him and he rubbed the back of his head again, clearing his throat to help keep the looming emotions at bay. “The thing is, I’ve been fillin’ in for you with the business and no one’s noticed you ain’t been showin’ up to all your jobs because as long as they get done...and I can lie for you, and that’s nothin’, I don’t mind that. But mate...look, you ain’t well, and if things don’t get better, then I’m not sure how much more I can do for you before they figure it out. And if they find out...I just...I don’t want you being sent back to New York.”
The very thought of losing access to Erik put a swelling pain in his chest and he took a deep breath, his drooping eyes now gazing steadily into Erik’s. “I feel like I ain’t makin’ this better, I’m just helpin’ you keep it a secret so you don’t lose your position,” he went on, his voice weakening slightly. “But I wanna see you get better, Erik. I want to help you, no matter how ugly things get.” Ava’s words were still fresh on his mind, making him wonder about Erik’s troubled past. “It’d really help if you told me what this is really about. How far back it goes, what started this...what it is that’s hurtin’ you.” No longer caring about his own boundaries, Billy consciously returned his hand to Erik’s leg, willing him to open up. “You know I won’t say shit to anyone - not Ava, not Bruce, not Harper or my brothers, no one. So...will you talk to me?”