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Realistic or Modern Family Ties: 1980s Gangs - IC (Closed)

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  2. Historical
  3. Mystery
  4. Realistic
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Misty Gray

Pessimisty
Mercury Nightclub and Cocktail Bar
~ Bethnal Green, London ~

Spencer King and Damian Nicolosi

1634598815092.pngWith Shona due to give birth in the coming few weeks, Spencer was finding himself facing the additional responsibility for making sure his wife was healthy and comfortable. This meant that time was becoming very precious to him as the big day approached. Business and his family's complications were continuing to get much busier, so sacrifices had needed to be made. The big one being that he hadn't been spending time socialising with his friends in the pub, instead spending that time at home with Shona. Not that he begrudged that at all when it meant he could watch the football on the television with his wife and a few beers. Soon he would have a baby to make the setup complete - a child he fully intended to introduce to the wonderful world of football.

It was because time was so valuable to him that Spencer had been in a bad mood earlier that day. He'd arranged a meeting with Jocelyn that morning, to take place in The Royal Taphouse pub, but she hadn't turned up. They'd planned to discuss increasing the alcohol supply to his businesses. With the popularity and profits of the Kings' clubs and pubs growing, that also meant demand had increased. Spencer needed to arrange for larger deliveries and it needed to be done as soon as possible. It wasn't just the thought of running low on stock that had stressed the man, but he was also irritated that Jocelyn hadn't turned up for their meeting and left him sat around in his pub when his time could have been used more productively. However, even with his lack of patience, he did remind himself that this was the first time the woman had let him down. As she was usually reliable and would call if she was running late, he reserved some judgement and asked his guys to track her down for him. Besides, he considered his requirement needing urgent attention, so he needed Jocelyn to check in with him immediately.

The day had gone by without hearing from Jocelyn, but Spencer needed to put the matter aside for the time-being so he could attend the meeting Erik had arranged for them and Damian. Having only had little time between business at the pharmaceutical company in the afternoon and his evening meeting, he'd only been able to stop by at home briefly, just long enough to wolf down a sandwich and give Shona far less attention than she deserved.

*****​

1634598827457.pngSpencer parked his car in his secure, reserved spot behind the Mercury Nightclub and Cocktail Bar. Although he could have entered the building from the private, rear entrance, he instead rounded the building to enter through the main doors. He liked to walk through the club to see how busy the place was and make sure his employees weren't slacking. Since he had yet to replace Kerry, he felt his staff had no excuse to be messing about.

Just as Spencer entered the building, Damian caught up to him and gave him a firm handshake. The Italian-American had met the Englishman on a number of occasions during his time in London so far. With Spencer's help, he'd been gaining familiarity with the city and the Kings' influence over it. In return, he'd been assisting Tatiana with leading the Moretti muscle, as well as assisting Erik in looking out to identify other areas the Kings could capitalise on. Areas including ways in which they could assert more dominance over London and its potential contenders. Despite having a general disdain towards the human race, Damian was a loyal and charismatic man. During his time in the orphanage, he'd perfected his ability to switch on the charm and tolerate others for the sake of succeeding in his pursuits. His unwavering loyalty to Gabriel Moretti meant he also treated the man's closest associates with respect and an open-mind. He worked with such an array of personality types that he'd become something of a faux social chameleon. Not one for sentiments, he tended not to admit, but there were people Damian managed to genuinely like and they were of completely differing personalities. He could communicate perfectly with a strict and closed-minded man like Gabriel, but also get along so well with the erratic and humorous comedian, Ricky.

Today's meeting called for a more professional attitude. Damian had learned over a few interactions that Spencer was a serious man. Not closed-minded like Gabriel, but in some ways just as uptight. Despite the Englishman's apparent hot-temper, Damian felt at ease with the man and had picked up on the appropriate social cues he gave off. "If Bruce doesn't give you a few weeks away from work for paternity leave, then I will go to the high-ups and demand it on your behalf. You already look like a man who has been denied a few nights of sleep at the hands of a crying baby," Damian lightly commented.

"Steady on there, else I'll go to our higher-ups to request they put you on babysitting duty. I can just imagine you looking after baby," Spencer gruffly joked in return.

"Oh, believe me, you cannot and should not imagine that. Adult humans are about all I'm willing to tolerate," Damian firmly assured him. He'd never had any intention of being in a romantic relationship and even less interest in having any offspring. Damian was certain his bloodline needed to end with himself. Plus, he was all about ending lives rather than creating new ones.

The two men made their way into the private office at the back of the club. When they entered, they saw Erik was already present. Spencer gave the man a firm handshake and Damian also shook the man's hand. "How are you doing, Erik?" Spencer asked as he took his seat on the couch across from the man and alongside Damian. He was aware Erik and Billy had been falling out, but he assumed the two men had got over whatever it was already. It was't too long ago that Spencer had needed to come to the aid of both Erik and Billy when the former had killed a man in the back of a car. It was good to now be in a professional setting with Erik, with the Moretti-affiliated man leading the meeting. "So, where are we at, Erik?" Spencer asked, referring to the alliance between the Morettis and the Kings. "I trust my family's end of the bargain is still proving satisfactory to Gabriel?" he enquired. Spencer knew it was only a matter of time before things kicked off with the Sullivans again, especially as he felt it Callum was now due to come to London again. If Conor was to remain stubborn on the matter, Spencer wanted to be assured that the Morettis would provide the backup they'd agreed to give.

Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess (Erik)
Mention: BasDorcha BasDorcha (Jocelyn)
 

Misty Gray

Pessimisty
Blake's House
~ Sutton, Dublin ~

Adam Harper

jjjj.gifAdam's last date with Blake had gone very well, or at least, he thought it had at the time. After taking things to the next level with her, he'd stayed the night at her house. Although there was a somewhat awkward encounter that morning when Natasha returned home and caught him before he had chance to leave, he thought nothing of it. Natasha was an adult, he and Blake were adults, so he didn't dwell on the brief moment of embarrassment. However, as the next 15 days went by without seeing Blake, he couldn't help but rethink the situation and how it may have contributed to Blake's sudden lack of communication. Adam had called Blake twice and both calls had given off uncomfortable vibes. Having been patient with her and not pushing her into getting into a relationship with him, he believed she'd known what she wanted when they slept with each other. He knew the fact he was giving it so much thought and he had been the one to take the initiative to call her twice meant he did care for her. After spending most of his life sleeping with women once and never considering calling them after, it wasn't a familiar or pleasant situation to be in to now be the one doing the chasing. However, his pride wasn't the main reason he hadn't called Blake again after the second unencouraging phone call. The real reason was that he didn't want to come on strong and feel like he was pushing Blake into a relationship. He knew the signs of being brushed off - he'd done it enough to women in the past.

Having decided to give Blake her space, Adam took on extra jobs for Conor and spent more time in the gym. He worked late last night, helping get the plane and weapons ready for Chase to fly the plane out to New York to transport James home the next day. Once that was done, Adam, Aidan and Lloyd headed back to Adam's placed for drinks - purposely avoiding the pub so Blake could have her space if she was already out for drinks. It had been the early hours of the morning when Aidan and Lloyd had left Adam's place. On account of them going through too many bottles of alcohol, Adam wasn't entirely sure what time the men left. He'd woken up on his couch this morning. Fighting the urge to crawl into bed to sleep off his headache, he instead consumed more caffeine than he would usually allow himself and refused to give in to his hangover.

1634603264862.pngAdam had spent much of the morning in his garage working on one of the motorbike projects he'd assigned himself in his spare time. It was usually a fun way to spend his free time, but today Adam was feeling particularly frustrated with his lack of focus. Having lost his usually controlled temper a couple of times, Adam decided to take a break for lunch before he threw another bolt across the garage. Adam had returned inside just in time to hear his phone ringing. He'd been surprised to hear Blake on the other end of the line, considering she hadn't called him for two weeks. When she invited him over for dinner, Adam coolly agreed. As glad as he was to hear from Blake and be invited over, he didn't allow himself to get ahead of it all. The fact he felt she'd been off with him for two weeks and she'd had a lot to consider, including Conor's apparent concerns, made him reluctant to get excited about it being another date.

Despite it not being a date, Adam made sure to shower before heading over to Blake's on account him him being covered in dirt and grease from working on his motors. Once dressed casually, he got into his black Porsche sports car and drove over to Blake's house. After parking the car, he got out and pressed the doorbell, before placing his hands in the pockets of his jeans. When Blake opened the door, Adam smiled widely at the woman and momentarily looked into her eyes. Breaking eye-contact, he stepped inside when she invited him in, but kept his hands in his pockets until the natural urge to make physical contact had passed. "How are you, love? Is everything good? You've been quiet..." he honestly pointed out.

Bella:D Bella:D (Blake)
 

Melanin-Gxdess

Give up on your dreams and die.
Sullivan Family Home
~Dublin, Ireland~

Aliana Sullivan

If Aliana had learned anything being a part of a crime family is that peace never lasted for too long. She had seen the signs from the moment Leo punched Thomas in the face to Savannah picking up Callum and everything in between. It was only a matter of time, really, seeing as they were long due for some drama. Ali just wished the peace would have lasted just a tiny bit longer, but alas that was hoping for too much. For the past few weeks had been restless and fidgety. It may have been due to impending doom she felt or it could have been because James was due home soon. Could that be why she was so restless, she wondered. Just like her husband Aliana didn't trust that the Moretti's would hold up their end of the bargain without doing something shifty, however, she had hoped that Conor practically surrendering everything to them and staying in Ireland would be enough. She tried to remain positive in an attempt to calm her husband's nerves, even going as far as to update him on the Thomas and Leo situation. Ali was sure it was going in one ear and out the other and that his half-hearted responses were because his mind was so busy. That was fine with her considering she was rambling on anyway.

The day James was released had crept on them faster than expected. She was aware Conor had a contingency plan in place but he had kept that part away from her. Whatever it was bothered him, stressed him even, and she could definitely tell. As much as she wanted to ask him, pestering him while he was this stressed out would probably only stress him more and that was the last thing she wanted. Instead, she made sure to handle things around the house and make sure the girls didn't bother him too much. That meant multiple trips to the city just to keep them occupied and out of the house. Explaining those credit statements was going to be fun but she would just remind him that it was all so he could work. Luckily, Allen decided he was well enough to tag along and joined the girls on their trip. It was nice to have another adult with her to handle them and the endless bags they were collected.

By the time they were finished shopping the car, they were driving in had been filled with bags and boxes of clothes, shoes, jewelry, and toys. "Some are for Daddy," shouted Sydney as she hopped into her seat. It wasn't a lie, but it would help Ali's case when she explained it all to Conor later. With how well the businesses were doing they deserved to splurge a little anyway. "I'll be sure to let him know that he got toys." Ali joked, strapping her daughter into the seat. Rhiannon managed to slide some over and get into her spot next to Sydney. "Hey, I got him a tie! And a watch. That way he can finally show up to an event on time." She was being sarcastic and it made Ali laugh as she finished loading the car and getting in next to her father. "Oh, I can't wait to hear you say that to him!"

The drive home didn't take that long, but it was long enough to but Sydney to sleep. Allen offered to take her up to her room while a guard and Rhiannon worked to unload the car. Ali opted to take the smallest bag that had the watch Rhi picked out for him. Maybe it would brighten up his day, she thought. She quickly put on her slippers before heading down the hall towards Conor's office. She could hear him speaking in a hushed tone, clearly not happy. Slowly she opened the door, though paused when she heard his last few sentences. She hadn't meant to eavesdrop but hearing 'kid' took her off guard. Surely he was talking about an adult, someone young enough to call 'kid'. Hell, she had called people like Syd kid even though he wasn't one. Until 'coloring and watch tv' were said next. No, it was definitely a child and from what she was piecing together was that Moretti had - of course - gone back on his deal and Conor was using his contingency plan. But that meant-

She opened the door and quickly stepped in, closing the door. She had forgotten all about the black box in her hand and stared at him, voice cracking. "Conor. What did you do?"

Conor ( Misty Gray Misty Gray )​
 

Melanin-Gxdess

Give up on your dreams and die.
Moretti Family Home
~Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn NYC~

Elvian Moretti


Elvian was practically a pro at this point when it came to her husband leaving to go do tough work. He had almost always been a hands-on person when it came to certain situations, especially when they were personal to him. She knew not to stress herself over it and hadn't in a long time, except today felt strange to her. Something was off and it was bugging her, but to distract Gabriel when it was probably nothing wasn't something she wanted to do. Instead, she had spent a few hours early this morning at the church, prayer beads in hand. She wasn't sure what she was praying for if anything, but she was sure she would know when it came to her. When nothing did she was able to officially brush it off as her just being paranoid for no reason. Returning home she was surprised to see Harmony and Valentina there, though it did make sense. Her daughter never was quite able to get used to things and instead of saying things like, "It'll be okay," she opted for what she did best; cooking!

Just as she was entering the living room again with a tray of snacks, Val told her not to tattle that the dog was on the couch. Younger Elvian would have been upset if he was up there too, seeing as dogs shed so much. In her older age, she had gotten to be a lot more lax. Plus it wasn't that hard to clean up and these weren't the good couches. "Oh, you should know by now I don't tell your father everything," she teased, setting down the tray on the small table. "There are just some things men don't need to know." She winked at Valentina before taking a seat in a nearby armchair with one of the small snack cakes she had just finished making. Val brought up the cabin and Elvian's eyes lit up. She was surprised her husband had even thought about such a gift and was even happier that Valentina accepted it willingly. The two of them had always had a rocky relationship and Elvian hoped one day they would get back on track. Gabriel's gift to her seemed like a good enough place to start. "Take as many as you can! The men in this family are workaholics," she said shaking her head. Turning to Harmony, she smiled. "Don't get involved with anyone who works for my husband. You'll never see them again."

Her laugh was cut short when the doorbell interrupted it. With a curious glance outside the window, she saw the two guards and stood up. Noticing the nervous look on Valentina's face she clapped her hands together as if just remembering something. "Oh, well I did send a couple of guards out this morning to pick up a few groceries for me." With the way, their bodies were positioned you wouldn't be able to tell they weren't holding groceries, but Elvian didn't want to cause Valentina any worry if there was no need for it. But as she walked to the door her heart started pounding as the anticipation grew. What were they here for? She opened the door and audibly greeted them, using a cheerful voice and their names to keep up the facade. They spoke in hushed tones and the moment they did she knew it wasn't good. Her fingers instinctively reached for other cross necklaces and played with it while they told her the news. "Cristina?" She whispered, peeking behind her to make sure Valentina hadn't gotten up to listen. So this was what she was feeling early.

She let the two of them inside and beckoned them to follow her into the sitting room before walking towards Valentina. Keeping her face neutral was a struggle but she knew her perceptive daughter would pick up on any distress and keeping her calm was her main objective. Despite how she was feeling right now it wouldn't do her any good to show it. "Valentina, draga mea, I need you to listen to me, okay?" She shooed Rocco off the couch and watched as he sat on the floor, looking up at her. "It's about Cristina. Something's happened." She paused and turned to the two guards, giving them the go-ahead to speak while she rubbed her back in comfort.

Valentina( Misty Gray Misty Gray )
Harmony ( Kawashima Lightning Kawashima Lightning )

Moretti Base - Riverside Diner - Basement
~Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, NYC~

Theodore 'Teddy' Wycliff


The day Theodore Wycliff got revenge against James Porter was one he had waited more than a decade for. The pain he had caused him, the stress, the humiliation - Teddy was going to pay him back in kind. Gabriel was granting this to him and he was going to enjoy it. Though he didn't like to get his hands dirty nor did he like the grimy side of the business, he was willing to do what he needed to exact his revenge. Teddy thought watching Porter rot in prison was going to be the best he would get out of his side of revenge, but no. He was going to get the opportunity to be as physical as he wanted. Though he was excited, he was also aware of who they were dealing with. Conor Sullivan couldn't be trusted to think the man didn't have a contingency plan in place was foolish. However, it was something both he and Gabe had planned accordingly for which meant they wouldn't have to worry too much. Instead, Teddy was going to put all of his focus towards paying back James for what he had done to him.

Teddy followed behind Gabriel and listened to him speak, his eyes glued to the man strapped in the chair before them. At least this room was nicer than where they held him. Small moments from that time flashed in the forefront of his mind, reminding him of the hell and torture Porter and his little buddies put him through. It nearly sent the man over the edge and he had to look away for a moment to gather his bearings. It hadn't been the first time he was kidnapped nor did he assume it was going to be his last, but it was the first time he had ever thought about death. It was the first time he had decided he wanted to live so badly that he had given up information he shouldn't have. Sure, in the end, Gabriel had forgiven him and he had come up with a plan to bring him more money but it was the principle. While Gabe finished his speech, Teddy started to look over the tools Damian had left behind for them. The man was demented, that much was sure, but he kept his things nice and clean.

Gabriel gave Teddy the floor, to which he turned his head towards them. "Hm? Oh is it my turn?" He asked, with a coy smile. Nodding his head his eyes locked with James' and he just couldn't keep the amusement out of his eyes. "You know, I should actually thank you." He started, walking towards him with his hands in his pockets. "I mean, had you not brought me so close to the brink of death I wouldn't have realized I had an innate desire to live. That there was actually someone I wanted to live for and, believe it or not, the whole thing helped us grow closer and then I married her!" He lifted his left hand to show him the gold wedding band on his ring finger. "In a way, you helped me secure the woman of my dreams, Jimmy." He let it sink in for a moment, rubbing his top lip with his index finger.

"But the bad outweighs the good." He looked down at his feet and kicked at the floor, chuckling. "Ah, well. We already took care of the others that were in the room. Jackson... McCarthy. At least, I think that's who the cops identified him as. Anyway, the only person left to pay for this," he raised his right hand and pointed at the three fingers he had left - thumb, ring, and pinky. "And the emotional trauma is you, Porter." He looked up at him, shrugging his arms before turning to Gabe. "That's fair, right?" He turned to James, nodding his head. "Yeah, that's fair. You brought me to the brink of death and the only difference now is I'm not going to bring you to the brink. You're going to die here." He stared him down, bringing himself down to eye level before letting out a chuckle. "Ah, now like you told me once before, tell the man what he wants to hear so we can get this over with."

Gabriel, James ( Misty Gray Misty Gray )
 

Melanin-Gxdess

Give up on your dreams and die.
Mercury Nightclub and Cocktail Bar
~Bethnal Green, London~

Erik Snowden


Erik had gotten comfortable waiting for the two men to the point where he had propped his feet up on the table. He was leaning back in his seat, balancing the leg and as soon as the door made any sort of noise he slammed the chair down and jumped up. They were sure to have seen him doing so and he hoped they didn't comment, despite it not being a big deal. Damian and Spencer were a lot more relaxed than their individual bosses so it was likely they wouldn't have cared about him propping his feet up to relax a bit anyway. Still, he wanted to maintain that professional atmosphere and not the slacking off one he almost always portrayed. He stuck his hand out and shook their hands one after the other before offering them seats. He felt silly doing so, considering the club and this room belonged to Spencer, but it felt like someone a professional adult did so... "Oh, uh, can't complain really. Been getting some shit in order." He tapped his temple with his index finger as if hinting that he had been going through some things as of late. The only King to know of this was Billy so the gesture may have gone right over Spencer's head. "But other than that it's all smooth sailin'." He made sure to give both men equal eye contact when he said this. Spencer because, well, let's face it. He was technically like his boss also and the last thing he wanted was the man to feel like he was incapable of doing his job.

The same went for Damian. Erik knew Gabriel would ask about Erik and make sure he was doing his job over here in London. In a way he figured the man was doing what he was; spying on people and reporting it all back to him in a timely manner. If anything seemed out of whack Gabe was going to hear about it and the last thing Erik would want Damian telling Gabriel was that he wasn't up to par with Moretti standards. He pushed the thought to the side and tried to stay focused on the task at hand; the meeting. The point of it was to help forge this relationship with King affiliates and Moretti affiliates. Sure, they were business partners, but Erik figured it went deeper than that. They needed to trust each other and not doubt the other could hold up their end of the bargain. Spencer asked if things were going go, to which he nodded his head. "Yeah, no, yeah. The transition has been progressing nicely. T has been great with security, don't you think?" He turned to Damian to get his opinion on her before turning back to Spencer and continuing.

"With that being said, I do feel like we should discuss other plans and ideas as far as what we could do for each other. Especially since you have that whole kid thing goin' on with Callum." Erik felt that if the three of them were able to come up with some sort of plan together, the relationship between the Moretti and King's would expand. They would come to trust one another better and not have any second thoughts about agreeing to do anything. It was the first good idea he had had in a while and only hoped the other two men in the room felt the same. "Some gents," he said clasping his hands together. "What do you need from us in terms of the kid? Or anything, really?"

Spencer, Damian ( Misty Gray Misty Gray )​
 

BasDorcha

Golden Age Dinosaur
Alley Way near The Royal Taphouse
~Bethnal Green, London~
Jocelyn Jones
This scene has allusion to rape and abuse
1634670275663.png Jocelyn had been ready for today, like any other day. The morning sun had come in, she had sat and had tea and cakes for breakfast, watching the sunrise out her penthouse apartment, painted a little on her landscape of the scene below, showered, dressed in her white suit with jacket and skirt, and gone to the office.

She had been ready, so very ready. It was supposed to be a good day. She had plans to expand the London side trade. There was a meeting with Spencer King – over at The Royal Taphouse which wasn’t far from her apartment. Spencer had indicated that supply needed to be upped to meet demand and she was ready for it. It was the expansion she had been prepping for. Yes, today was supposed to have been a very good day.

Instead, today was a post traumatic stress disorder day. It was every horror story she’d ever heard. Time had become a figment of her imagination as she lay in the alley, trying to piece together things going on. She had eventually left the office, headed to the meeting with Spencer King. It was a short, brisk walk, still light out, she didn’t think there was a thing in the world to be worried about – maybe that was part of the problem. Jocelyn lived in her own world when her mind wasn’t set on business. No, she had been strolling along, minding her own business, and took a short cut through an alley that would lead to just two doors down from The Royal Taphouse.

Her planner had been in her hands, she was looking at the appointments for the next few days and wondering if she had time to fit in some painting in the countryside. Clack, clack, clack, clack went the sound of her heels on the ground. Some men were laughing rambunctiously nearby but she paid it no mind, at least until she walked into a wall of flesh. Looking up startled, a drunk man with a flame of red hair and a shaggy beard grinned leeringly at her. “What’s a doll like you doin’ in a lad like me. I mean on a lad like me?”

Wrinkling her nose, she waved her hand to disperse the gross smell coming from him. It was putrid – like cheap alcohol and piss. Stepping back, she looked around, suddenly blanching as she realized it wasn’t just one man, it was three, and all of them had the same leering look. Stumbling, she tried to push past them, only to be grabbed and her arms pinned painfully behind her. “Let me go! I need to get out of here! I have places to be, let me go right now!” She slammed her foot down on the man’s instep, making him howl but not drop her. Instead, her arms began to strain painfully from the angle, dropping her book to the ground, Spencer King’s card sliding out of the contact page she had for him.

The first man grabbed her face, twisting it up towards him. “I think you owe me for that rude arse attitude you have. And you just hurt my buddy, I reckon you owe him too. What do you think fella’s?” There was a round of devilish laughter, and a second later a hand clamped over her throat, while a dirty handkerchief was shoved in her mouth. Tears began to well up as she realized she wasn’t getting out of this so easily. She tried to scream, when a hand tore at her shirt, but no sound came. The men drug her to the darkest part of the alley, almost no light shone in here between the depths of the buildings and stacks of garbage and storage. She tried to plead with her eyes, tried to plead with her body, but they didn’t listen.

Now the world spun around her. Her clothes hung torn and frayed on her form, barely covering herself as she sat in the alley. She couldn’t bring herself to stand, to move. It had to be a bad dream. Blood soaked her tattered skirt, her face felt swollen, her arms and wrist were bruised. She wasn’t sure how long ago the men had left, or what time of day it was, or how long ago she was supposed to have shown up for Spencer, but it all seemed a very far off and fantasy like. The sound of laughter and men boasting to each other moved away, her planner kicked and skidding towards the opening of the alley, but she lacked the strength to go and retrieve it. She could die here in this dark place, and no one would even know.

The tears broke through, soaking her already damaged and wet face. She sobbed, but no sound came out. If she could disappear into the wall she would. At that moment, she only wanted to end the pain.
Misty Gray Misty Gray (Spencer King)
Pyroclast Pyroclast (Tatiana)
 
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Misty Gray

Pessimisty
Moretti Base - Riverside Diner - Basement
~ Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, NYC ~

James Porter and Gabriel Moretti

James listened as Teddy spoke to him. It wasn't like he had much choice but to listen. Still, he took in the words the man was saying. It made sense that Teddy would want revenge too, considering James had personally tortured him all of those years ago. Judging by what he'd done to Teddy in order to drag information out of him, as well as what else he'd threatened to do to him that day, James knew he wasn't in for a pleasant time unless he could speak up to halt the Morettis plans for him. Listening, it became apparent James had unintentionally done Teddy a favour which led to the man falling in love. Of course, he wasn't naive enough to think it would make Teddy go easy on him now. Hearing mention of Jackson caused James' eyes to momentarily lose focus on Teddy but he then forced himself to watch the man again. The man made it clear he had revenge in mind and James didn't doubt he was going to suffer for his past actions.

As Teddy spoke, Gabriel slowly paced the back wall of the room where Damian's tools were spread out across the worktop. He listened to his son-in-law speak and found a warmth to hearing how the man spoke of Valentina. There had been a time when Gabriel was going to kill Teddy for giving the Irish information to literally save his own skin. Along with other members of his family, Valentina had been very vocal in her pleas to spare Teddy's life. Gabriel had given in, just as he'd later relented and given his blessing for her to date Teddy. In the end, he hadn't regretted the rare act of mercy he'd shown. Teddy had proven himself and had been devoted to Valentina since.

"That's more than fair, Theodore," Gabriel agreed as he returned to Teddy's side. A crooked smile graced his lips as his son-in-law assured James he was going to die in the basement. Taking a step back, Gabriel beckoned the two armed men over and motioned for them to proceed. "These... These are not needed," he said, pointing to the restraints keeping James' ankles and wrists secured to the chair. Nobody could take down four men alone, especially in James' state and with two of the men carrying firearms. The two large guards proceeded to remove James' top to reveal the many scars on the man's upper body. Some scars were fresh, from his time in jail, but most were old wounds. "You know, I heard all about these. I'd love to add more scars to your ghastly collection, but you'll be dead long before you could admire the new additions in a mirror," Gabriel said, chuckling as he used a medical scalpel to point in the direction of James' chest. "Over the years, I've come to learn a lot about your history. One Vincenzo Romano is a name that always spring to mind. Now, I have a lot of respect for that man and what he did to your family, Mr. Porter. Having both your father and Conor's father killed. Truly impressive. But he was a disappointment in the end - losing the war to the Irish Mob. A bunch of nobody's at the time and a family who even now ack any real discipline. But the night he tortured you, your wife, and Conor Sullivan. I found that inspiring. Dr. Parker told me all about it from those sessions he had with that fool you have running the show now," he said of Conor. The more Gabriel spoke, the more frustrated James was feeling. Part of him wanted the Italians to suffer today, especially as the smug bastard continued taunting him, but James knew what was at stake if that did happen. As much as he hated the Morettis, he didn't want Cristina to get hurt.

Suddenly, James felt the sharp pain as Gabriel drove the end of the scalpel deep into his skin and dragged it along a couple of inches, causing blood to quickly seep out of the fresh laceration. The stinging pain caused James' to tense up, clutching his right fist shut to block out the pain. "Ahhh, look at that," Gabriel said, noticing the Irishman had moved his hand. "Looks like he's regaining control of his functions, at last." After slotting the scalpel back in his pocket, Gabriel beckoned the two men over and stood back as they proceeded to drag James out of the chair and onto his feet. Having not regained full control of his muscles yet, James' legs buckled beneath him and he collapsed onto the cold floor once the men let go of him. Gabriel kicked James in the ribs before grabbing him by the hair and forcing him to sit up. "Knock some sense into this Irish bastard, would you?" Gabriel commanded Teddy. "Repay him for what he once did to you."

James spluttered out more incoherent mumbles as Teddy took his turn in dealing with him. With each few seconds and blow that passed, James' senses and control gradually returned to him. Eventually, he managed to hold his hand up a little. "Wait!" he gasped. He took deep breaths before looking Teddy square in the eyes. "Your daughter is in danger... If you kill me, she'll be harmed too. I swear."

Gabriel tightened his jaw hearing the Irishman's words. He didn't for a second believe the man's threats had any weight. "Are you going to let him talk about her like that?" he darkly asked Teddy...

Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess (Teddy)
 
Chapter 8: Something Gained, Something Lost
Friday 31st May 1985
...15 days later...
Dublin: Early Evening - Sunny, Mild, Breezy
London: Early Evening - Overcast, Warm, Breezy
New York City: Noon - Sunny, Warm, Clear Skies
~Pregnancy Tracker~
Pregnancy Progression: 41/42 Weeks
Countdown to Labor & Delivery: 289/294 Days
Weight Gain: 71/71 Kg
...8 Hours into Labor...
~Shirley Kwon~London, England | London Royal Hospital, Maternity Ward
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While her recovery progressed, the process was likely going to slow down for Shirley. Earlier this morning, her water had broken and she went into labor not long after. Given that she was having twins, her Midwife did not think that she was going to be in labor for very long. Over the last eight hours as the labor progressed, Shirley felt more apprehensive then usual. Her contractions were much stronger and more painful. This time around, she was not only feeling them in her belly, but also her lower back. And over the last couple of minutes, her legs even started trembling, which hurt even more as they hadn't fully recovered yet. Worst of all, over the last half an hour, her contractions lasted a minute to a minute and a half, with only of three to five minutes between them. Between the pain she felt in her stomach, her back and her legs, Shirley started to cry as the pain was becoming too much for her. Sadly, it was also too late for her to be getting an epidural, and she was regretting the fact that she said no. Perhaps going all natural with twins was not exactly the best idea. In her mind, she began cursing at the bastard that knocked her up back in Dublin.

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If anything, Shirley just wanted to be able to catch her breath, knowing that the pain was only going to get worse until later into the night once the babies made their entrance into the world, but God knew how long that would be. "Owwwwwwww....Fuck, that...hurts...so...much..." She said with labored breathing in between words as she began to cradle her tense and hurting belly. "Oh, you guys are gonna be worth it, but I don't wanna FEEL like this anymore..." As she cried, another strong contraction, probably the strongest and longest lasting one so far, surged through her and prompted her to squirm and cry out in pain to where even people in the hallway could hear her. "AAHHHHOWWWW!!!" That was all they could hear behind a closed door.

Yup, that lasted about...a minute and a half, exact? "Please...make it stop..." She said as she started crying her eyes out, hoping that her Best Friend would come soon.

Speak of the devil, after another shorter contraction, she saw the door to her room open up.
~Shinoa Bradford~Dublin, Ireland | Outside Sully's Diner
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It has been a month since Shinoa delivered her bundle of joy, whom she had decided to name Lillian. While Lucy had saved her from Postpartum Depression, the new Mother was still having some complications with the baby blues, which was common with new parents. Thankfully, her stay with George and Finn was rather helpful, as they had helped cheer her up whenever she was down and helped her with childcare, even giving her advice as a new parent. Sleep was also rather difficult to come by at night because there were nights that Lillian would wake up crying and it would take a few hours to quell the crying and get the little one to sleep. During the day though, if neither Finn or George were busy, they'd help care for little Lillian so that Mommy can rest. It was certainly nice to have a family again and Lucy, who has only been in her life for a little over a month, was more of a Mother to her then her biological mother, and on the night that she went into labor, she called Lucy 'Mom' on the way to the Hospital. Since then, her Adoptive Mother was looking for a place to stay and she had been working hard on becoming a good mother herself. At least once Lucy finds a place, that meant that she would get to gush over and bond with her newest Granddaughter, who didn't get a chance to become familiar with her Adoptive Grandmother's Gentle and Loving Voice while Shinoa was pregnant, as the two had met literally two weeks before Shinoa gave birth. Unfortunately, it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows for the new Mother; with the exceptions of Finn and George, the rest of Lucy's Family wasn't very thrilled with Shinoa's addition to the family, particularly Syd, her Eldest Son. Although he was supposed to be Shinoa's new adoptive brother, she got the feeling that the older man didn't really like her all that much, especially considering their age gap, he was in his early forties and she turned eighteen about two weeks after giving birth, as little Lillian arrived at the beginning of the month.

One thing was for sure, it was weird not waddling around with a huge belly anymore. Still, it was easier to sleep and no more constant pains. Most days, Shinoa was sleeping on the couch with Lillian laying on her chest. And thankfully for her, Lillian was quite a heavy sleeper and didn't cry too much. The new Mother could only imagine what it would be like for her if she was going through this alone. Sure, she didn't have the support during her pregnancy, but she had it now and was very appreciative for it.

For this evening, Shinoa was going to be having Dinner with her Adoptive Mother and a few others. After picking out another onesie for Lillian and grabbing a floral dress for herself, Shinoa ended up asking her Uncle Finn for a ride to to the Diner. Thankfully, the ride was short and fast. Upon arrival, Shinoa straightened out her dress while keeping Lillian close. "Thank you for the ride, Uncle Finn." She smiled before taking off her seatbelt and exiting the van.

After checking to make sure she had everything, she closed the van's rear door before it drove away. It was not long until she made her way to Lucy after seeing her, Lillian sleeping in her little carrier seat. "Hi Mom!" Shinoa greeted her once she was close, with a smile on her face.

Interactions: Lucy Porter Bella:D Bella:D
Mentioned: Syd Porter (Jerk...) Pyroclast Pyroclast | Finn Sullivan (Interacted Off-Screen) Bella:D Bella:D
~Harmony Ryu & Quadir Taylor~New York City, New York | Brooklyn Heights, Moretti Family Home
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It was just another normal day for Harmony, keeping Valentina safe for the day while Teddy was out on Business. She only wished that there was a way for her to protect the children as well. Sadly for now, she could only hope that she could trust the school staff that they have been entrusted with. Sadly, today felt rather high-strung and Harmony had felt her blood running cold when Valentina had asked her to take her to her Parents' House. As they had brought the family dog with them, Harmony did feel slightly more calm. While little Rocco cuddled with Val, Harmony simply reached over to pet him on his head, happy that the pup had warmed up to her. When asked to keep quiet about letting Rocco on the sofa, Harmony chuckled. "I won't say anything. I'll just have to hope Rocco's hair isn't found when we go home."

Once Val voiced her excitement on the lodge that was gifted to her for her birthday, the Bodyguard simply smiled. "I'm sure the view will be very nice. The kids are going to love it. Hopefully little Rocco will too." She said before once more reaching out to pat the pup on his head. Harmony then started blushing when Elvian advised her not to get involved with anyone who worked for Gabriel. "I don't think you'll have to worry about that at all, Mrs. Moretti. With where I'm at in my life, I don't think dating is really gonna be in the equation for at least another two years." She said, before remembering that she hasn't gone on a date since moving to New York.

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The lack of dating didn't really bother Harmony all that much, besides, she doubted that any of the men found her rainbow hair to be attractive or anything. If anything at all, it probably scared them away. Not to mention all her tattoos... Her train of thought was soon disrupted when the door bell rang and Val proceeded to look outside and asked Elvian if she was expecting anyone. When Elvian had opened the door though, Harmony saw a few well-dressed men, likely her Co-Workers. Like earlier in the day, her Blood began running cold again and she had a very bad feeling in the pit of her stomach as she even felt her heart sinking. Although she wanted to cry because of the increasing anxiety, Harmony did her best not to for Val's sake. Sadly, she started feeling even more uneasy as Elvian returned and the men had been taken into the room. As soon as Elvian said something happened with Cristina, Harmony's heart sank and her blood became ice cold. "What happened?" She asked, one mishap away from panicking as her heart started racing too.

Meanwhile, Quadir had returned from his Grocery Shopping trip with a few of his other Co-Workers. Rather then wearing another suit as he had to send one to the dry-cleaners this week, Quadir had oped to dress a little casually today, but of course...wore all white everything once again. White Trousers, White Shoes, White Button-up Shirt, Gold Chain, Gold Watch...Hell even a White Gun on his waistband, but kept it concealed. "Alright, boys, remember, gentle with the eggs and careful with that wine." He reminded his co-workers as they began to take the bagged groceries out of the back of the car.

After shutting the trunk, Quadir turned to see another vehicle. Shrugging it off as people came by all the time, he walked to the front door with his two Co-Workers, only to see that Elvian, two other men, Harmony and Val were all talking...and they didn't seem too happy. Slowly, Quadir opened the front door and entered as quietly as possible so that he would not disrupt the conversation that they were having. "Alright, you two organize the stuff, I'm gonna go see what's going on." He said, setting his two grocery bags down before leaving the kitchen, straightening out his shirt.

Upon entering the room, Quadir started feeling uneasy once he got a more clear look at everyone's faces. Harmony looked pale, so he took that as a bad sign. "Alright, Mrs. Moretti, we got the groceries for ya. Milk, Eggs, Wine, everything you listed..." He said before feeling dread resonating around him. "W-What's going on?" He asked, as his tone shifted from cheerful to worried.

Interactions: Valentina Wycliff Misty Gray Misty Gray | Elvian Moretti Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess
 
~Jarrick Taylor~New York City, New York | Queens, Biancardi Mansion
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For the first time in about two weeks, Jarrick had a day off. While it was weird not working with his Brother as often as they used to, Jarrick was taking the time to adjust on working alone or with other members of the Moretti Family. Quadir had been chosen to join the Moretti Matriarch's Protection Detail and was now her Go-To Driver, maybe a bit of an errend boy. Whether he was promoted by Don Moretti himself or even handpicked by Mrs. Moretti, Jarrick didn't really pay much mind to it. Someone had to keep the Cocaine moving, so this was his chance to move up too in the organization. Over the course of the last two weeks, Jarrick had taken the chance to hang out with Ricky, who he had befriended some time ago. Today, he was headed to Ricky's house for the first time, so Jarrick was a little excited to see what the house was like. The drive there though was a bit of a rough one. Traffic, as usual, was a bitch. On top of that, he could feel a sense of dread resonating in the air, not to mention there was a heavy police presence in Queens. If he were to get pulled over, he'd be pretty deep shit.

After an uneasy drive, he arrived at the Biancardi Mansion. To say he was shocked was a bit of an understatement. Just how high up was Ricky on the Moretti Chain? "Damn..." He proceeded to park before straightening out his Jacket.

Taking off his gloves and seatbelt, Jarrick proceeded to open the door and made sure that his holstered gun was secure. Quietly, he proceeded to make his way to the front door and rang the doorbell.

Waiting for: Ricky Biancardi Misty Gray Misty Gray
 

Misty Gray

Pessimisty
The Sullivan Residence
~ Sutton, Dublin ~

Conor Sullivan

"...keep me updated," Conor spoke with a graveness in his voice as he ended the call. Although he'd noticed Aliana enter the room, he kept his eyes lowered. Slowly placing the receiver down, he listened as his wife asked him what he'd done. "That was a business call, Ali. Keeping this family safe is what I just did." Leaning back in his seat, he looked up and studied his wife before pointing to the small box she was holding. "What have I bought us today, then?" he asked, flashing a forced smile.

Conor knew Aliana wasn't going to let him change the subject and he realised she'd heard some of his call - key parts, at that. Getting up from his seat, he rounded the desk so there was nothing between the two of them. Folding his arms at his chest, he slowly paced his office before once more stopping in front of Aliana. "I did what I had to do," he admitted to her, keeping his voice strong to ensure it didn't allow his inner conflict to manifest. "I made that deal with Gabriel Moretti to get Jimbo back home safe in return for the rest of Queens. I kept to my end of the deal and by the end of the day, the contracts will be official. He'll have what he wanted. But that sack of shit hasn't kept to his end of the deal."

Conor scratched the back of his head as he consciously reminded himself of what was at stake. "This family has lost so much to our enemies and I can't bear to see anyone else die. I can't bring Jackson back, nor anyone else. My dad, Tommy, Arlene... All gone. But I can bring Jimbo back. For once, I have a chance to save someone; to make Luce and her kids happy again. So that's what I'm bloody doing." He let out a deep breath, anticipating how his wife would react. He hadn't told her about Ricky's part in it all - he hadn't told a single person yet, so as not to put them in the impossible position of keeping the secret from Roxie. But he knew he had no choice but to come clean about Cristina. "The Morettis have intercepted my men and they've abducted Jimbo. I expected Moretti would betray us, which is why I had a backup plan. Moretti's granddaughter. My guys in Queens have the girl and once Gabriel lets Jimbo go free, the kid will be returned safely. It fucking kills me doing this, but it's the only way I can get Moretti to back down. The bastard would sacrifice most people before he'd let Jimbo go.."

Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess (Aliana)
 

Misty Gray

Pessimisty
Moretti Family Home
~ Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, NYC ~

Valentina Wycliff

Whilst her mother went to answer the door, Valentina leaned forward to grab her mug from the coffee table. "Granny bought treats, Rocco," she said playfully petting the dog before taking a sip of coffee. Listening to the cheerful voices in the doorway, Valentina looked to Harmony and smiled. "Mama really does have a way with people. I guess she balances things out considering Papa is so serious and official," she commented.

When her mother and the two guards entered the lounge, Valentina could tell something was wrong. Her mind immediately jump to the conclusion something had happened to Teddy and Gabriel. The way Elvian addressed her to say she needed to listen was all the confirmation she needed. "Mama, what is it?" she quietly asked, glancing down as Rocco jumped off of the couch. "Cristina?!" she asked, suddenly standing up on high alert. "What is is?" she firmly commanded the guards to speak.

"Ma'am, there was an incident at the school. The two guards who were on watch today were found dead when we went to switch places and relieve them. Your daughter... she was taken from the school. From what we can gather, none of the other children saw anything, but Cristina is missing and with our colleagues dead--" the man explained, keeping his voice as calm as he could.

"No... You had one fucking job!" Valentina cried out, hastily placing her mug down on the coffee table and causing some of the drink to spill over. Even though she knew he wasn't on duty, she couldn't take her frustration out of two dead men. She slammed her hands into the big man's chest; though it did take him by surprise he managed to remain still on the spot. An extreme anxiousness began to consume Valentina and she tightly grabbed a clump of her hair as she began rapidly breathing. "Why hasn't the school called? They haven't called, so Cristina must still be there!" she desperately reasoned. As she spoke, the telephone rang. Forgetting it wasn't her phone, she rushed to pick up the receiver. "No. This is Mrs. Wycliff. I'm Cristina's mum. Where is my daughter?!" she impatiently asked the school headmistress. Apparently, the school had tried to call Valentina's home first, but were now calling the Morettis as the backup contact number.

After a heated conversation, Valentina slammed the receiver down and turned to her family, tears now streaming down her cheeks. Her body was visibly trembling as she tried to process what was going on. "What about the boys?! Where are Francis and Paolo?! Where are my boys?!" she panicked. With the three children each attending different schools, they had their own assigned security. "I want my boys home. I need them here!" she fretted.

The two burly guards looked to Elvian, awaiting the woman's instructions. They were willing to arrange for the boys to be brought home if instructed to do so.

When Quadir entered the room, Valentina's eyes snapped to him, for some reason expecting he would know all of the answers. "Where are Teddy and Papa? I want my children here... my little girl," she sobbed. "I don't know what to do!" As the fear truly set in, she felt her chest tighten as she struggled to breathe. Along with the trembling and disorientation, she felt the same way she had the day she recognised her attacker, 13 years ago, and suffered her first panic attack. "I can't breathe," she gasped as she reached out to clutch onto Harmony who was standing close by.

Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess (Elvian) Kawashima Lightning Kawashima Lightning (Harmony, Quadir)
 
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Pyroclast

Add alcohol and stir!
St. Saviour's Church
~ Beaumont, Dublin ~

Father Silas Healy
Michael Zegarra
1634773984721.png Silas had been looking forward to his little counselling session with Michael and Liam. Although he cared about their wellbeing and was invested in their progress, it didn’t put him down to hear that the pair were still having trouble at school. He had faith in the two boys, and in himself that he could help guide them away from going down the wrong path. They seemed to have a strong sense of morality but were unfortunately both facing external problems - school bullies, the influence of their criminal families - and that was spoiling their innocence. By now, Silas had spent enough time with the boys that he knew they were good people, just trying to do the right thing. It was just a shame, he thought, that without his guidance they could turn out like their parents.

When the heavy church door clanged shut behind them, Michael took the lead and walked ahead of his friend towards the vestry. When they were at school, he often shrank into the shadows or tried to make himself as small and quiet as possible in hopes that no one would notice him, therefore leaving him in peace. In church, however, he felt more confident, like he didn’t have to hide. It had become something of a safe place, somewhere he felt understood.

Before they reached the door to the vestry where Silas was usually waiting for them, Michael turned to his friend. The two had both been skipping school, struggling to deal with the bullies in a way that didn't conflict with their Catholic values. "He won't be angry with us," he whispered, both to assure Liam and himself. "He listens more than the teachers do, he won't shout if we tell him the truth…" Still hesitating outside the door, his confidence wavered slightly in spite of his words. "I'll tell if you tell."

Before he could make his own entrance, Silas opened the vestry door. "I thought I heard you," he said with a smile, and moved to hold the door open for them. "Won't you come in, boys? Grab a chair, sit yourselves down."

"Hello, Father Healy," Michael politely greeted him as he took a seat opposite Silas' desk.

"Hello," said the man as he walked in his slightly lopsided way towards the supply closet. "Are you both well? I haven't seen you around school as much lately. I thought you might be avoiding me."

"No, we wouldn't!" Michael quickly defended himself and Liam, completely missing the priest's knowing tone of voice. Silas had of course been made aware of the boys' truancy, but thought it best to keep it to himself for the time being.

"Well, that's good to hear," he said, placing some paper and a metal tub on the desk in front of where the boys sat, before lowering himself into his own chair opposite them. The tub was an old biscuit tin that had been repurposed to contain pens and pencils, and Michael peered inside with eager eyes.

"Are we doing more drawing?" he asked.

"You can if you like," Silas shrugged, bringing his hands together atop the desk. "Mostly I'd like you to test all the pens and sharpen the pencils, ready for this week's Sunday school session."

Michael didn't hesitate to stick his hand into the tin and begin to rummage. “I’ll start with the reds,” he told Liam. He had almost forgotten what they were supposed to be talking to the priest about.

As Michael got engrossed in the task, Silas locked eyes with Liam. “You know I’m only here to listen to you and guide you,” he reminded them. “God is our only true judge, understand?” He wondered if the boys were prepared to discuss what they had done or if they would instead choose to lie. He didn’t want to make them feel defensive - at this point, it was a priority of his to maintain their trust, knowing that they needed someone with strong morals to rely on while their family members were out defining the country’s crime rate. “So, catch me up, then,” he gently encouraged them. “Why haven’t I seen you at school? Is anything the matter?”

Interactions
Misty Gray Misty Gray Liam
 

Bella:D

Boop boop-a-doop ;)
Thomas Porter
The Sullivan's Pub
- Dublin City Center, Dublin -
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The last 15 days had been a bit of a blur for Thomas. After an unexpectedly emotional date night with Elena, he had surprised not only her but himself by insisting that she move in with him. Although he had grown up in a household that was constantly full of women, Thomas wasn’t necessarily an expert on how to make them feel comfortable and welcome. Luckily, he didn’t put too much thought into it as he knew if he did he would more than likely fuck everything up, his mother had drilled hospitality into his head so despite his own doubts, it exuded from him naturally. Elena had been insistent on paying him money to stay in the spare bedroom and Thomas had allowed her to say it at the time but he wanted to make sure that Elena was able to save money rather than spend it all trying to just stay afloat. They hadn’t gotten the chance to talk about it much since she moved in since they were both working a lot. But when it was eventually time to discuss it again, Thomas would make it clear that he didn’t need her money. He had his own income through working for the family along with getting pension checks from the V.A. In the states. He was set in the monetary department.

When they did have time to just hang, Thomas enjoyed Elena’s company. Despite them not having known each other for very long, Elena had a very good sense of understanding what Thomas could and couldn’t do and what kind of a mood he was in. His own family had a hard time predicting his moods but with Elena she seemed to be able to read him better than he could even read himself. Thomas had been looking forward to hanging out with Elena in the evening but Natasha had called earlier in the day to explain that Leo wanted to see him. Thomas had been extremely hesitant and bluntly asked why his cousin hadn’t called but he wasn’t an idiot. They were both far too hot headed to initiate a conversation with one another and Thomas felt bad that Natasha was stuck in the middle trying to mediate. A part of him wanted to tell Natasha to tell Leo to fuck off but another part had come to realized that his situation could be far worse. Elena had no family in Ireland, Thomas had tons of family and yet he never turned to them when he needed help.

Leo and him had been through everything together. Thomas hadn’t been able to recall of the memories he used to but his mind did hang on to a few good ones. The good really did outweigh the bad at the end of the day. With that in mind, Thomas agreed to meet Leo at their family’s pub. After work, he’d gone home to change and grab a small bite to eat before heading back out towards the pub again. Elena was there at the moment so it would be nice to have a familiar face around while he spoke with Leo…he just hoped that he didn’t lose his cool, Thomas didn’t want Elena to see that side of him.

After pulling into the pub parking lot, Thomas quickly got out and locked his car before walking towards the place. His heart was racing rapidly in his chest and his nerves were threatening to get the best of him as his body tried to trick him into believing the situation he was walking into required flight or fight mode. Halting just outside the door, Thomas sucked in a harsh breath as he shook his head. It was just a conversation. Something that he was terrible at nowadays. Biting his lip lightly, he reached for the handle of the door and grabbed it before pulling it open. Walking inside, he scanned the area briefly looking for Elena and sending her the briefest of smiles before his eyes found Leo waiting for him.

Rubbing his sweaty palms against his jeans, Thomas took long strides towards his cousin who was sitting at the bar. Clearing his throat to get his attention, Thomas took a seat beside Leo. ”I’ll take a pint as well.” Thomas said. The bartender asked what he wanted and Thomas shrugged, ”Surprise me.” After the guy walked away, Thomas turned his head slightly to look at Leo. ”So you and Tash, huh?” Thomas looked away from him as his beer was set in front of him, he didn’t need to see his cousins face in order to gauge his reaction. ”She gushed about it on the phone earlier, practically talked my ear off for a whole 30 minutes.” Thomas cracked a smile before looking to Leo. ”I think you two make a mighty fine couple, can’t say I’m surprised though…you two were constantly making eyes at each other when we were younger.” He stated in a rare teasing tone. After a moment, Thomas cleared his throat. ”She was right to make us do this though…as much as she is a pain in the ass, she’s always right.”

Allowing what he said to hang in the air between them, Thomas took a moment to look around the pub before his eyes went to his beer. ”Look, I know I’ve been an asshole for the last couple of years…and that’s no excuse for my actions by any means…but, I’m just…not the same person I was before I went to Iran. And I don’t think I’ll ever be that person again.” He stated with a sigh, ”But…I think I can admit when I was being a jerk and say that I am putting in my best effort now to make sure that I can at least repair our friendship somehow. I’m…I’m really sorry, man.” Though it pained him to be so in touch with his feelings, Thomas forced himself to look at Leo. ”I mean it, really. About the punch, about this whole fucking thing. And if that isn’t enough then I should tell you that you are the first person I’ve apologized to about my behavior over the past couple of years. I’m not even on speaking terms with my parents or siblings at the moment.”
with: Leo Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess
mentions: Elena Pyroclast Pyroclast
 

Pyroclast

Add alcohol and stir!
Pitstop Repairs and Body Shop
~ Drumcondra, Dublin ~

Syd Porter

ezgif-7-18351df1e47d.gif It had been just over two weeks now since Syd had given Tom his first chance working at Pitstop Repairs and Body Shop. As much as the young man tended to get under his skin with his upbeat and chatty personality, he couldn't deny that he held promise where the job was concerned. He still had men out doing a routine background check on him, but so far the only thing that concerned him was that he still didn't know much about his family. Like one kept enemies close, Syd had been watching Tom like a hawk, both at work and also having men keep eyes on him outside of work, too. It wasn't something he intended to keep up for much longer - just until he was sure the young man wasn't reporting to anyone else.
Despite the good impression that the young man had made on Syd so far, he was still reluctant to give him too much praise. He knew that Tom was enthusiastic but he had to make sure he stayed in control of his tasks and didn’t try to impress him by going above and beyond. Syd didn’t trust him enough for that, so for now he just needed to know he could follow instructions and that he knew who to answer to.

So, for two weeks, Syd had kept Tom on fairly light jobs that didn’t put too much responsibility on him. Still useful, but nothing that would get him in trouble with the customer or cause any harm if not done correctly. He had made efficient and inarguably flawless work of the Austin Allegro and so Syd had moved him onto other projects while he finished off the more professional jobs that needed doing to the banged-up car.

“Tom, c’mere,” Syd called out from across the room. He stood back from the Allegro with his hands on his hips, mentally going over the checklist of tasks the pair had done on it. He was now convinced it was fully functional, in better working order than it likely was when its current owner got his hands on it. When Tom arrived at his side, Syd gestured at the vehicle. “Think that’s it, now,” he said. Still without looking at the man, he reached out and gave him a slap on the back. “You gonna help me move it into the body shop?”

The body shop was just an extension of the repair shop that generally was manned by a different team, although Syd liked to work in multiple areas across the garage. Since Tom was turning out to be a promising young apprentice, Syd thought he would try him out in the body shop. Once they had managed to move the car next door, he rounded the vehicle until he was standing at Tom’s side once again. “So, this is the one that went off-road, remember?” he said, with a small shake of his head. “He’s done a lot of damage to the body, some parts we’re gonna need to replace, other parts I’m sure we can buff out and paint. Might need to reupholster some of the interior, too. You done this kind of thing before? You wanna talk me through where you think we should start?”

While it would satisfy him to be able to correct Tom if he got something wrong, it wouldn’t be out of superiority as it usually would, but rather because deep down he actually wanted the young man to succeed. Despite their contrasting personalities, Tom showed promise, and after losing a valued member of the team, Syd needed someone on the team who was going to go far. He started off listening to Tom, before his gaze naturally drifted towards the window that looked out onto a café across the street. He caught sight of a girl walking through the outdoor seating area with a baby in a carrier seat and when he saw that it was Shinoa he followed her with his eyes, until he saw that the woman she was walking towards was his own mother. He was aware that he hadn’t been the friendliest towards Shinoa since she had entered their lives - he couldn’t even really remember how she had worked her way into their family, though he knew there was nothing he could do about it. When Lucy decided something, there wasn’t much Syd could do to change her mind. Most of the time he didn’t see the teenager as anything but exactly that - just a vulnerable pregnant teenager with no one to turn to, and knowing how much love his mother had in her heart he wasn’t surprised that she had taken the girl in, much like she had taken him in when he was just a troublesome young 8 year old boy. However, when he was stressed out or anxious he resented his mother for letting a stranger into his house, and often hid from Shinoa or didn’t speak to her. He knew deep down he was being unfair, but sometimes he just couldn’t control how he acted around her.

“Tom, do you smoke?” he interrupted, forgetting he was supposed to be listening to the young man. After wiping his oily hands on his jeans didn’t seem to do much, he decided to give them a proper wash at the sink by the window, and then he wandered over to the side door and grabbed his overshirt which held in it his cigarettes and lighter. “Oh, keep talking, we’re just gonna go outside for a minute…”

Letting Tom continue to talk to him, Syd kept his attention on his mother, Shinoa and her little baby. He didn’t even get a cigarette out in the end, even though it was usually the first thing on his mind when he stepped outside. Once he had led Tom across the road, he caught Lucy’s eye. “Mam,” he smiled, not caring if he interrupted her coffee date. “What are you doing out here? Were you gonna come say hi?” He leaned down to kiss her cheek, before looking over at Shinoa and giving her a wave. “How’re you, Shinoa?” he asked, in a slightly airy tone of voice. Forgetting about Tom for the time being, he bent down to peer at the baby, letting a natural smile spread across his face. “And how’s little Lillian today? Can I...can I have a quick hold? My hands are clean, I promise.” He showed her his hands to prove they had no grease or dirt on them.

“Oh, this is Tom…” he suddenly remembered, and pointed to the man beside him. “Tom, this is my mam, Lucy, and...Shinoa.” He wasn’t really sure how to introduce her to people yet. Lucy was such a mother hen that she had cast her maternal spell on Shinoa and the young woman was already acting like she was her daughter - but Syd still didn’t know her well enough to consider her a sister of his, or even really a friend. “Tom's on his probationary period here. Doing an alright job, though.”

Interactions
BasDorcha BasDorcha Tom
Bella:D Bella:D Lucy
Kawashima Lightning Kawashima Lightning Shinoa
 
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Melanin-Gxdess

Give up on your dreams and die.
The Sullivan's Pub
~Dublin City Center, Dublin~

Leo Sullivan


Leo was looking absentmindedly at his hands while waiting for Thomas to arrive. With half his drink gone he had started to relax and was able to calm the negative thoughts preventing him from going into this with a positive outlook. Otherwise, he would ruin this chance and have everyone on his case again - he shuddered at the thought of it. Hearing someone clear their throat he looked up and around seeing Thomas arrive and opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out. He just gave him a tight-lipped smile before looking at his glass again. Why was it so difficult for him to look at the guy right now? He felt as if he and Thomas had gone through a toxic break up and now came the reconciliation. It was silly to think of it that way, but alas. Thomas then used Natasha as an ice breaker, informing him that she had told him about their date. Leo couldn't help but shake his head and chuckle. " 'Course she did. She was always excited to talk about stuff that excited her." Leo turned to him and saw the smile on his face, which in turn made him smile. "Making eyes? I have no idea what you're talking about. She was always just that annoying family friend and then-," he stopped himself, unsure of how to even begin explaining his feelings for her. "Then she just... Stuck around, I guess." He shrugged and tried to stop smiling so much by drinking his beer but failed to do so.

Things began to turn serious when he stated Natasha was right to make them talk. He just nodded his head and looked away from him. To be honest, he was upset with himself for even letting it get this far. "Yeah, that doesn't go away. And she's an even bigger pain since we've started dating," he joked. He lifted his finger to the bartender for another beer before tuning in to what Thomas was saying. He was apologizing first, which Leo was shocked by. Technically, it should have been Leo apologizing first since he was the one who threw the first punch but he wasn't going to interrupt his cousin. He just sat, staring at the golden liquid in his mug while processing everything Thomas was saying. It was clear that his time overseas had changed him - that much he could tell just by looking at him. He was a lot more serious than he used to be, more rigid, and Leo could never tell if it were because he grew up or if it were because of the military. Hearing him explain it now it all made sense.

Leo didn't know how bad things were between Thomas and his family. All the talks he overhead between his aunt and his mother hadn't alluded to the fact that he had barely talked to them. Maybe once they started getting back on track he would be able to help him with that? Maybe he can get Natasha to nag him about it later... When Thomas finished with his apology Leo sat for a moment before turning to him. "Look, mate, don't even apologize for the punch. I... Actually deserved that one. I was bein' a dick." He shook his head before resting a hand on his shoulder. "But that was a mean hook bud!" He let out a slight laugh before turning back to his drink and getting serious - or, as serious as Leo himself could be. "I didn't take into consideration how you may have felt during that whole time," he said referring to his kidnapping. "I was so focused on mom's heart attack and the girls and it just... Slipped my mind. I'm sorry for being, ya know, insensitive and I wish I could've been there for you. Not just after but before it even happened."

For a while, Leo had been thinking about the fact that he wanted to join the military with Thomas. The only reason he didn't was because of his lack of respect for authority figures and the fact he wouldn't last five minutes before getting in trouble. Like his father he had a slight anger issue that he's managed better over the years. "I don't know, I guess sometimes I feel like I should've been there then maybe this wouldn't have happened. I should've been there for you, man, and I'm can't express enough how sorry I am." He let his words sink in for a moment before taking a deep sigh. The quiet was settling in and it made him uncomfortable and he shifted in his seat. Clearing his throat he shook his head with another smile. "So you're working for the old man, huh? Can't imagine Aunt L was happy with that. Mom wasn't with me either."

Thomas ( Bella:D Bella:D )

Sullivan Family Home
~Dublin, Ireland~

Aliana Sullivan

The fact that Conor had been so at ease by her question pissed her off. She knew he was aware of what she was asking and she was beginning to boil at the thought of him dismissing her question. "I'll tell you what we didn't buy and that's a ticket out of this conversation." She hadn't raised her voice for fear of starting a heated argument and of someone hearing her, but she did talk loud enough for him to hear the anger in her voice. He pointed out the box in her hand and she looked down at it suddenly aware of the gift again. Her grip on the box tightened and she looked at him. "Don't you dare try and change the fucking subject." With this she raised her voice a little, sure that he figured she'd suddenly forget what she had heard. "I'm not one of your kids so don't." Ali wasn't sure if she were more upset by what she thought was going on or if it was him trying to change the subject. She figured it was a mixture of both, but that was to be determined.

She watched as he came around his desk and crossed his arms. It took everything in her not to mimic his stance and turn this into some pissing contest, instead she kept them at her sides. He soon stopped in front of her and started to explain what she already figured. Hearing him say he did what he had to made her step back from him. She didn't like how cold it sounded coming from him and it further solidified her present feelings. Conor had changed in the past decade and she knew it would happen, however, she didn't think it would happen like this. Her earlier feelings about Gabriel had ben confirmed and it seemed like he did fold on his promise. For a second Ali relaxed and found the truth in his words of him doing what was neccessary. That is, until the conversation she had heard came back to mind. "You knew this and there's a contingency. I know there is, but Conor." She paused, staring at him and waiting for the other boot to drop. "What is it?" He started to explain his reasoning behind what he did before he explained what he did and it drove her crazy. "Conor!" She interrupted, eyebrows furrowed. "The point. Get to it." She demanded.

The moment he did the expression on her face changed to one of shock. She raised her hand to her mouth and in doing so dropped the box to the ground. "A child?!" Ali felt sick. She knew that there were often accidental casualities all the time and the thought of this young girl being one of them worried her. "You brought a child into this mess? An innocent, little girl. Are you fucking serious?" She knew he wanted to protect his family - understood it even - and the length he was willing to go were always understood. She would never want anything to happen to James as she knew how devestating it would be to Lucy and there kids, but surely there was a different way he could have gone about this? She started pacing the floor in front of him with her arms crossed. "And what happens if something goes wrong and she accidentally gets killed? Then what?! You have no guarantee of her saftey and yet-," she cut herself off and changed topics. "A child! Moretti is a horrible human being and I will never forgive what he has done to our family but to bring his granddaughter into this. What if that were Rhiannon or- or Sydney?!" The anger and disappointment was now present in her voice and she wasn't trying to hide it this time around.

Conor ( Misty Gray Misty Gray )​
 

Misty Gray

Pessimisty
Mercury Nightclub and Cocktail Bar
~ Bethnal Green, London ~

Spencer King and Damian Nicolosi

Spencer raised a curious eyebrow when Erik said he was getting some shit in order. He chose not to force him to elaborate, mostly on account of Damian being present. Whilst both men with him were loyal to the Morettis, Spencer wasn't yet sure who Damian was and his high standing with the Italians meant he could be the type to report everything back to Moretti. Erik had earned some of the Englishman's respect, along with a close friendship with Billy, which was why Spencer had kept quiet about both the dead body he had to clean up for Erik as well as the seemingly dumb fights he'd been having with Billy. For now, Spencer wasn't about to go reporting on Erik to Bruce or Gabriel. Things were running smoothly without throwing complications in the way and in the process having Billy's mate sent back to New York.

When Erik praised Tatiana's work since she'd arrived in London, Damian nodded his head in agreement. "Miss Moretti is very good at what she does. I accompanied her on enough jobs in New York and she is quite a force to be reckoned with. Gabriel knew what he was doing when he sent her here and I expect you will have no complaints on the security she organises for you," Damian assured Spencer.

"No complaints so far, mate," Spencer agreed, flashing a smile. Despite the general slightly unsettling aura Damian had about him, he did seem much more relaxed and open-minded than his boss. This meeting felt more relaxed than the recent one he'd had with Gabriel.

Erik then moved on to discuss what the two families could do for each other. Spencer nodded in acknowledgement when Callum was mentioned. "Up until now, the Sullivans have been calling the shots," Spencer began. He paused as he pulled out a box of cigarettes, offering one to each of to the two men. Damian declined before Spencer lit one up and took a long drag, blowing out the smoke as he thought the situation over. "My Uncle and I ain't under any illusions that we could take those pricks on before your lot showed up. Which is why Callum is in Dublin right now and not in the city he was born in, with the family who've doted on him so far."

Spencer knew that when he was Callum's age, the only time his father voluntarily spent time with him was when he was using him for his own gain. Distracting people whilst his father swiped a wallet or simply standing looking cute whilst the man used him to initiate conversations with attractive women. When he got a little older, he was thankfully spared having to help Trevor in those ways. Still, most of his memories from the years leading up to his father's sudden departure were only unpleasant ones. The constant put downs and telling Spencer he was useless. Then when the boy started arguing back, he was met with a crack around the head. It didn't feel like it at the time, especially when his mother died of an overdose not long after, but Trevor walking out on the family was the best thing he ever did for them. Bruce was a better father to the four siblings than Trevor had ever been. But for Callum, things were not like that. Despite Alex's messing around, Spencer didn't believe he was like their father and he needed the chance to bond with Callum, to be a real dad to the kid. Spencer genuinely believed Callum was more a King than a Sullivan and London should be the boy's home.

"Conor is being a dick. Pure and simple... Assuming Bruce and Alex agree, I believe the next time Callum comes to London, this is where he stays and the Sullivans will have to go out of their way to see him. For that, we would need your help. If the Sullivans attack or try to take him back, then we're going to need enough security to stand our ground and see the bastards off."

Damian sat forward and looked between Erik and Spencer. "The child is presently in Dublin, is he not?" he rhetorically asked. "What guarantee do you have that Conor will even let Callum come to London again? Perhaps he's already made that move before you had chance," he said, looking to Spencer. "Alex would have to take more extreme measures to take back his flesh and blood.." He paused for a moment before shrugging his shoulders. "What are your thoughts, Erik?" Damian asked.

Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess (Erik)


The Sullivan Residence
~ Sutton, Dublin ~

Conor Sullivan

Along with the stress of the plan that was being put into action, the way Aliana was acting was starting to piss Conor off. He'd been giving his reasoning before telling her about Cristina, hoping it would do something to at least explain the lead up to why he'd involved the kid at all. But her tone and demands were doing nothing to soften his mood. She demanded he got to the point and when he did, it was clear she didn't like what she was hearing. Not that it was a surprise. Really, he wouldn't have told her about the plan at all or at the very least, he would have only done so after the event.

Watching Aliana cover her mouth with her hand, Conor unfolded his arms but maintained his position standing on the spot opposite her. "Yes, a child. But she won't get hurt because I know Moretti will back down," he assured her. He took a step back and watched as the woman paced the floor. "The guys won't do anything. They're just keeping her out of the way until I tell them otherwise. They won't do anything without me telling them to."

When Aliana asked what if it was Rhiannon or Sydney, Conor quickly shook his head. "It isn't our girls though, is it? Rhiannon and Sydney are safe at home, are they not?" he bluntly argued. "I had no other choice, so don't stand there and tell me what's what. How many people have we lost over the years because we've been soft and we've underestimated what our enemies were willing to do?" This time, Conor briefly paced the room, before stopping still again and holding out his hands. "What I've learned is that to beat the enemy, you have to think like them. I have to think like the bastards to protect the people love. If I have to become the monster to keep you all safe, then that's what I have to do. There is nothing the Morettis aren't willing to do, so I have to get the message across. They can't fuck with us like they did in the past and now they will learn that I'm not bluffing. I said there would be consequences if he went against the deal but he didn't take it seriously. The kid was the only choice I had that would make him listen and back off."

Without really thinking about it, Conor stepped over to his desk and unscrewed the cap of the full whiskey bottle as he continued to speak. "The girl will get home safe and sound... After I get confirmation the plane is the air and with James on board. Until then, this is where we're at." Conor glanced down as he poured the alcohol into the glass tumbler. "I'm the one calling the shots in this family, Ali. Everything I do is to protect you, the kids, and everyone else here in Dublin. So I'd appreciate your fucking support, yeah?" he asked, bringing the glass to his mouth ready to knock back the contents.

Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess (Aliana)
 

Pyroclast

Add alcohol and stir!
An Alleyway near The Royal Taphouse
~ Bethnal Green, London ~

Tatiana Moretti
1634944563977.png To her surprise, Tatiana was enjoying her time in London more than she had expected to. She missed her mother and sister, and felt particularly bad that she had had to miss Valentina’s birthday, but in all honesty she felt somewhat liberated when her father wasn’t around. And Marcus - ever since he had been made consigliere to their father and accepted it without question, she had resented him too much to put much effort into their relationship, so she didn’t really miss him at all. From where she stood, her brother should have known that that position was rightfully hers and the only reason he ended up with it was because their father was sexist and a homophobe, who she doubted had even considered having his lesbian daughter take on the role. Still, she knew he trusted her, and that’s why she continued to do her job to the highest standard.

Of course, London wouldn’t have been enjoyable in the slightest if she hadn’t managed to take her best friend, Eightball, with her. She had thought about leaving him with someone to save him the journey, but she didn’t trust her father to give him the love he deserved and she knew that even if she left him in good hands, the poor thing would be heartbroken and feel abandoned. So, she pulled some strings and managed to get her baby to London with her.

Not that she was in need of a confidence boost, but people did seem to treat her with more respect when she had the pit bull at her side. She had trained him to attack, but rarely used him, preferring to maintain his innocence where possible. It just meant that she could trust him to understand the difference between a friend and a foe, and to defend her and her home when she needed him to. Otherwise, he was just her soft little baby.

That day she had been giving Eightball an olfactory tour of all the King establishments to familiarise him with the area, and so she could introduce both herself and him to more people she wanted him to trust and be able to defend, from bouncers to waiting staff, bartenders to drug traffickers. It would take a while to meet everyone associated with the Kings, but she believed it was worth getting to know everyone’s faces and names.

1634945312337.png She had just left the Royal Taphouse with him, having stopped to get him some water and herself a pint while acquainting herself further with the staff, when Eightball stopped outside an alleyway. He had found something, some kind of book that looked like it had been kicked through mud. According to Eightball, it was carrying all sorts of interesting smells, so since she wasn’t in a rush she let him stop to investigate. That’s when her eyes fell on a familiar business card lying on the ground. She stooped to pick it up, to find that it was one of Spencer’s. She supposed it wasn’t too odd given that he owned the pub two doors down, but it still raised her suspicions slightly. Eightball barked and began tugging on his lead, trying to pull her into the alley, so she picked up the business card and the book, if only to protect Spencer’s contact details, and looked up to see what had caught his attention.

It was hard to make much out at first in the depth of the shadows, but a silhouette came into view the further in she stepped. Eightball started barking more, seeing something that she wasn’t, and she had to ease him back. When she finally saw, she stopped. It was a woman - a young woman - sitting alone on the floor of the alley, her dress torn and soiled with blood. “You alright?” she asked, cautiously, from a few feet away. She could hear a tremble on the woman’s laboured breaths, like a whimper, but she wasn’t sure what the matter was. If she was freaked out on drugs, that would require a more cautious approach than if she was simply injured. Eightball went over to sniff at the young woman but Tatiana gently reigned him in. “Eightball, easy,” she commanded, at which he stopped pulling and instead retreated to her side.

“Don’t be scared of him, he’s a softie really,” she assured the stranger. Tatiana took some steps closer and bent down slowly, a concerned look crossing her features. “Are you okay? Have you been hurt?”

BasDorcha BasDorcha Jocelyn
 

Misty Gray

Pessimisty
St. Saviour's Church
~ Beaumont, Dublin ~

Liam Callahan and Patience Davenport

1634950353974.pngLike his best friend, Liam had skipped school a few times in recent weeks. The two boys had somewhat different reasons for not wanting to be there. Michael's reasons were to avoid the bullies, the existence of whom Liam agreed to keep secret, not wanting to break his friend's trust. Liam's own reasons for truancy were not that he felt he was being bullied, but more that the longer he sat in the presence of the likes of gobby Daryl, the more likely he was to snap and start another fight with the bully. Although, the last time Liam had lost his temper, it was less of a fight and more Daryl getting smacked in the face, thus put in his place. Since speaking with Father Healy more, Liam had felt more inclined to avoid using violence. Whilst he knew skipping school wasn't a good thing to do, he justified that it was better than fighting. The first time Liam had missed school, he'd faked being sick so he could stay home instead. However, having a mother like Sinead meant the woman fussed over him and showered him with comfort, which made him feel too guilty to repeat that method of avoiding school. The other times he skipped, he just hung out with Michael away from school where they didn't have to interact with bullies nor did they have to deceive their parents to their faces.

When they entered the church, Liam put his hands in his trouser pockets as he watched Michael lead the way. When his friend stopped to speak to him, Liam looked up and shrugged his shoulders. He wondered if Father Healy was likely to get angry. Most other adults would, be them parents or teachers, so why would the priest be different? "You think he'd understand?" he curiously asked. Scratching the back of his head, he shrugged again when Michael said he'd tell if he did. "Alright..." he trailed off but fell silent as Silas opened the vestry door.

"Yeah, we weren't sneaking in or anything," Liam explained when Silas said he thought he'd heard them. He stepped into the room when invited, sending Father Healy an acknowledging smile whilst Michael gave the man a verbal greeting. Liam sat at the desk alongside Michael, watching as Silas walked to the supply closet. When the man made his comment about the boys avoiding him, Liam was about to quickly defend against the claim, but when Michael spoke up first, he simply nodded his head. He figured if he protested too much they might sound guilty.

Father Healy sat at the opposite side of the desk, having handed the boys a tub of pens and pencils. Michael seemed more excited at the idea of drawing than Liam did. Then Silas explained he wanted them to sharpen and test the utensils, which seemed even less interesting to Liam, but he didn't want to let the man down by refusing. He sat back and watched Michael rummage through the tin to find the reds before eventually sticking his hand in and blindly grabbing a few pens at once.

Liam has barely tested two pens before his attention fixed on Father Healy. The man reminded the boys that he was there to listen and only God was their judge. He lightly nodded his head before looking away to test another pen. But then the man persisted, asking why he hadn't seen them at school. "Maybe you just kept missing us," he suggested with a light shrug. As his eyes wandered around the room, Liam was reminded of where they were and how impossible it was to lie in there. He toyed with a couple of pens he was still holding before eventually looking back to Silas again. "I haven't been to school a whole lot lately," he admitted. "It seemed better to avoid the place than be there. It's hard not fighting back - letting them be nasty without anyone stopping them."

Liam's grip on the two pens tightened as he thought of recent occurrences with his family. Both of his sisters had experienced issues, though Savannah's hadn't been quie so violent - at least, not yet. It was Emery's drama that had disturbed him more. "I feel scared for everything, like I should be doing something to properly help them. Some people tried to shoot my sister a few weeks ago and that's scary," he said of Emery. "She isn't even bothered by it, but I'm scared in case it happens again. Michael's godfather got shot protecting her! I just keep thinking about if he'd died and that he wouldn't go to heaven. He's a friend of my dad's and I don't want any of them to die like that. I just want everyone to be happy but I don't know how to do that. All I know is school isn't helping and skipping is better than having Daryl piss me off... I mean annoy me. Wind me up. Like, goad me," he said, quickly backtracking to try cover up the swearword. "Sorry, I didn't mean to swear."

Pyroclast Pyroclast (Silas)
 

Melanin-Gxdess

Give up on your dreams and die.
Moretti Family Home
~Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn NYC~

Elvian Moretti

Elvian moved just as quickly as her daughter did in standing up. The only things she was worried about were her grandchildren and any panic attacks Valentina may have in the next few seconds. The guard explained the ones on watch were dead and that's how Cristina was taken. Valentina quickly lashed out at them and Elvian reached out to her. "Valentina, draga mea, I need you to breathe," she warned. The situation was dire and it was setting her daughter off. The last thing she wanted was for her to drive herself crazy but she understood. Her daughter was missing and not just missing but had been taken. The school was supposed to keep her safe as well as the guards that were hired and yet they were in this situation. She tried not to think about it and stay calm as not to further upset Val.

The phone rang and Val answered it frantically with Elvian hot on her heels. She was still playing with her necklace and muttering prayers both in her head and under her breath. Based on the shouts and words coming out of her mouth Elvian had come to the conclusion that she was speaking to the headmistress of the school. When Quadir and Harmony returned with the items she asked for she took them and turned to Val. She fretted about the boys and she nodded her head. "I'll have it all sorted out, but I need you to calm down before you have an attack." She turned to the guards again. "Aranjează să ai băieți-," realizing they probably didn't understand her native tongue she paused and switched to English. "Arrange to have someone pick up the boys and bring them here immediately." Her voice was firm and direct, something most people hadn't experienced before in the past. "You," she pointed to the one on the right. "Call two more men to the house. I want them at the back door and assisting at the front with you two."

Elvian then turned to Valentina once more when she started asking Quadir questions. She knew he wouldn't have the answers for her and gave his arm a soft pat before grabbing Val into her arms. "Listen, everything will be fine. We're going to have the boys brought here and you all will be safe here. Aveți încredere în mine?" She kissed her forehead. Seeing how upset she was getting she turned towards Quadir and Harmony and snapped, pointing to a purse nearby. "One of you, there are pills with Val's name on them and the other get me water." Under normal circumstances, she wouldn't have been so rude but she didn't have time for any formalities. Once they returned she quickly dispersed the pills into her hand and put them in front of her daughter. "I'm going to go and get Teddy and your father but you need to take these first." She waited for her to do as instructed before bringing their foreheads together. "I promise you we will get her back." She placed a long kiss on her forehead before standing up. "I know where they are." She said before turning to the phone. "Let's just hope they haven't killed him already."

Valentina( Misty Gray Misty Gray )
Harmony ( Kawashima Lightning Kawashima Lightning )

Moretti Base - Riverside Diner - Basement
~Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, NYC~

Theodore 'Teddy' Wycliff


Teddy was watching as the guards went to work unstrapping James from the chair. The next order of business was the shirt and once it was off Teddy looked over all the scars. The fresh ones had been created over the old and they were no doubt from his time in prison. It seemed Gabriel had been working at Porter from the very first day he ended up in prison. Teddy wasn't surprised seeing as Porter had done more than just a little to the man's family. He deserved every bit of it as well as everything else to come. Teddy removed his jacket until he was only standing in a black t-shirt. Getting blood on his expensive clothes wasn't something he wanted as he placed it down gently on the table. He listened to Gabriel mention their Irish bloodline and how their family came to power. It was clear this was just as personal for Gabe as it were for him and it made him feel good that he was going to help the man get his vengeance. Sure it would be better if all of them were dead, but James Porter at least could pay for his sins.

Gabriel suddenly stabbed the scalpel he was playing with into James' chest and honestly, it made Teddy cringe a bit. No matter how many times he did this he would never be able to get over the gruesome act completely. Once they really got into it he would get through it but that was going to take a minute or so. Watching the expression of pain pass over the man's features brought a certain kind of joy revenge brought. James was about to see just how much pain he had caused not only to himself but to others as well. The two guards dragged James to his feet only for him to fall back to the ground. His motor functions hadn't fully returned to him, but as long as he could feel pain Teddy didn't really care. Teddy walked over towards him at the words of his boss before squatting down to the ground. "I've waited for this for a long time and I think I'll enjoy it." He smacked James' face with his open palm before grabbing his hair to hold his head up again. The next second he had punched him in the face and let his head hit the ground.

After three or four times he took a moment to speak. "I really don't like getting my hands dirty. The kids ask about it and I have to lie to them and I don't like lying to them so," he stood to his feet and the point of his shoe to Jame's face, kicking him. He watched his head snap backward with blood pouring from his nose. He was just getting started and there was plenty more to come. Teddy was going to make what he did to Steve look like child's play. Moving to the table he picked up a knife and watched as James put his hand up. He let out a dry chuckle and turned to Gabriel, jerking his thumb back at him. "Lucky me! He gets to see what it feels like having your fingers cut off." As he walked back towards him James started talking. He was warning him about Cristina. "What?" He asked, confused. Had the two of them not been staring into each other's eyes he'd have thought he was messing with him, but something in him told him to listen. He looked back at Gabriel before looking at James and grabbing him by the neck. "Don't fucking move."

Teddy wasted no time leaving the room rather abruptly to try and call Val. He was aware she was at her parent's home so he was going to try and call there first. For some reason he started to feel anxious, knowing full well Porter wasn't above using any and all means necessary to get what he wanted. Just as he was about to open the door leading from the basement a guard came barreling towards him. "Mr. Wycliff, I was just about to-," Teddy raised his hand to cut him off. "Get to it." The guard pointed to the door and informed him Elvian was on the phone for him. Once he reached it he quickly asked what was wrong and Elvian filled him in. James wasn't just yanking his chain and Teddy was even angrier than before. He wasted no time going after James when he reached the basement again, sitting him up by the collar of his shirt. "Where's my FUCKING DAUGHTER you Irish piece of shit?!"

Gabriel, James ( Misty Gray Misty Gray )
 

Misty Gray

Pessimisty
Moretti Base - Riverside Diner - Basement
~ Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, NYC ~

James Porter and Gabriel Moretti

James' entire face was throbbing following the barrage of punches from Teddy. As painful as it was, he understood why the man was so angry. Considering he'd seen to it that Teddy lost some of his fingers and then made very plausible threats to skin the man alive, it was no surprise to him that he was now on the brink of a very aggressive death. Regardless of knowing what he'd done to end up in his current predicament, it didn't mean James was happy about the Morettis laying hands on him.

Speaking up about Cristina had been enough to stop Teddy in his tracks and give James a break from being beaten and tortured. The Irishman looked to Teddy, blood pouring from his mouth and nose but making no effort to wipe it away yet. He let out a surprised gasp as Teddy grabbed him by the neck, but after telling him not to move, Teddy rushed out of the room. Gabriel had grabbed a carving knife which he gripped tightly as the crouched down next to James. "Maybe I should skin you alive, Mr. Porter. Perhaps I will, after I cut out that lying tongue of yours," he said, pointing the sharp end of the knife towards James' face. "Mentioning my granddaughter is nothing but a fruitless distraction. It will only prolong your suffering for mentioning her at all."

Hearing the door being opened again, Gabriel stood up and turned to greet Teddy. He'd been about to make a suggestion of more brutal torture to punish James for lying, but his son-in-law's behaviour made it clear James hadn't been lying at all. "Bastardo. Brucerai vivo," Gabriel darkly warned James.

James' head snapped up to Teddy when the man grabbed him by the neck and pulled him to sit up. Despite already looking at mess with the blood and bruising on his face, he was still able to to draw some composure from within. Breathing in deeply, he caught his breath back as he considered the best way to answer the question of where Cristina was. "I don't know where she is. She's somewhere in Queens, but that's all I know right now," he assured Teddy. He gestured for Teddy to let go of him, wanting my space to breathe. "I don't want anything to happen to your daughter, but my hands are tied right now. If you kill me, I won't be able to help you find her and you won't be able to bring her home safe. Despite what I've done to your family in the past, I don't want a kid getting hurt because of me."

"And we're expected to believe a work you say?" Gabriel angrily snapped. He finally had James in his grasp and nothing in the world could stop him from killing the man and getting vengeance for all of the loved ones the Irish had killed. At least, Gabriel had thought nothing could stop him, but the idea of something happening to Cristina was enough to throw the Italian off track. The deep desire to watch James die was now overshadowed by his inner worry for Cristina's safety. Gabriel was relentless and immovable, too stubborn and determined to back down. But it was quickly becoming clear that nothing, no amount of revenge, was worth risking his granddaughter's life. Suddenly, nothing mattered more than knowing the child was safe.

"I'm afraid you're both going to have to take my word and trust me on this one. Are you really willing to risk her life?" James seriously asked. He caught his breath again, wanting to speak clearly and concisely. "The three of us are going to leave this room alone and you're going to drive us into Queens. No weapons. No funny business. Nobody following us. I have a plane waiting for me at the airfield and only when that flight has taken off with me on board will you find out your daughter's location. There are men watching the airfield who will see to it you get the address when I'm safe." James glanced to a furious Gabriel before looking Teddy in the eyes. Whilst he didn't doubt Gabriel was disturbed by Cristina's involvement, he knew Teddy was the one to appeal to - it was his daughter in danger, after all. "That's the plan. You either swallow your pride to help me leave New York, or you do nothing to secure your daughter's safety."

Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess (Teddy)
 

Bella:D

Boop boop-a-doop ;)
Blake McCarthy
Blake's House
- Sutton, Dublin -
Serious Blake .jpeg
Blake had just looked over at the large clock hanging above her fireplace when she heard the doorbell ring. Standing up quickly, she walked over before stopping just shy of the door to compose herself. She wasn't sure how well this night was going to go so she wanted to steady herself before she had a chance to explain things to Adam. Once she felt ready, she opened the door to see Adam smiling widely at her. Blake returned the smile as their eyes locked, she could see he was trying to read her but before he had a chance to really get an idea of how she was feeling, she broke the gaze. "Hi." Blake greeted him simply, opening the door wider to allow him in before shutting the door once he was inside.

The whole interaction felt just as awkward as it had when they didn't know where they stood. Blake knew the blame was all on her this time around...despite the confidence she had about their relationship a few weeks ago, the confidence in her ability to move on was worn thin. He asked how she was and if everything was good, clarifying that he noticed she'd been quiet lately. Blake cleared her throat as she nodded her head towards the dining room where dinner was waiting. "Uh, everything is good. Just been busy with the kids lately..." There wasn't much strength behind that excuse and she was sure he would be able to see right through her. The truth was there were a lot of unexpected triggers that had gotten the best of her over the last two weeks. A lot of tears over her late husband that she hadn't shed in what felt like an eternity.

Emotionally, she was definitely not well but life still continued on just the same, or at least she felt like it needed to. Before he had time to call her out on her bullshit, Blake gestured to the table. "Ah sit, before dinner gets cold. Pulled this recipe out of my great-grandmother's cookbook." She murmured, watching him sit before moving to grab a few different bottles of liquor from the cabinet. "Pick your poison, love. Got plenty of it." Blake stated with an unease smile before sitting down herself. In the silence, Blake opened a bottle of whiskey and poured herself a hefty glass before taking a sip. "I know you can read me like a book by now, we haven't been dating too long but we've been friends for what seems like forever now." Blake said with a small shake of her head and a laugh. "I don't even know why I bothered to say that everything was fine. I am really sorry for the silence these past couple of weeks I...I've just been going through some emotional issues." Blake stated.

"It's been a long time since I cried over Jackson...and I've found myself doing it on more than one occasion lately. And I know you and I had talked about not listening to what others feel about our relationship and not feeling guilty...I've stopped fixating on that but...there's a whole new kind of guilt that I haven't addressed in a really long time. Something I'm sure you've had to deal with as well...since you were there..." Blake paused to take a drink before clarifying the guilt she was feeling, "Survivors guilt is a bitch...realizing that I get to move on with my life and live it while my late husband is 6 feet under." Blake's eyes watered as she shook her head again. "What's frustrating is...is that I feel something with you, Adam. Hell, the universe is telling me to take this chance and I am wanting to take it but I can't help but be reminded of what I lost whenever I look at you. I know you, Conor and Syd did everything to save my husband, everything but for the rest of my life I'm going to always wonder what could have been done differently...why was it that God or whoever the fuck is out there controlling us took my children's father away from them. Collin didn't even get a chance to know him..."

Blake's tears were already starting to flow down her face as she growled in frustration at her emotions. "I've lost confidence in myself to ever move on because here I am asking myself the same questions and feeling the same exact way I had the moment Conor told me he was gone. I don't want to burden you with having to always feel like you are second in my eyes like I'm still in love with someone who will never come back. You deserve so much more than that Adam, so much fucking more than what I can give you."
with: Adam Misty Gray Misty Gray
 

Bella:D

Boop boop-a-doop ;)
Thomas Porter
The Sullivan's Pub
- Dublin City Center, Dublin -
MUSCLE TOM.jpeg
Thomas smirked slightly as Leo stated that he had no idea that he was making eyes at Natasha. "You talk about her like she's some stray dog." Thomas teased lightly before taking a sip of his beer. It had been a long time since he'd had anything to drink but he was willing to try it again, something to take the edge off. Thomas let out a short laugh as he said Natasha's had become an even bigger pain since they started dating. "Not surprised, she's always been the bossy type." He reminisced. Thomas had been watching Leo carefully as he took the mature step in apologizing first. His time not talking to his family had given him a lot of time to reflect on his wrongdoings, Thomas knew he would have to face all of the relationships he ruined at one point in his life but after speaking with Elena, the woman had somehow managed to convince him to reach out to the people who cared about him. Leo was his first step in his efforts to make amends with those people he had pushed away. He knew that Leo was family but he was also his best friend and Thomas knew if he didn't act sooner rather than later that friendship could be lost forever.

Leo's body language seemed to indicate that he was surprised by Thomas's effort, which would be amusing if Thomas wasn't serious in every word he said to his cousin at that moment. When he finished there was a moment of silence and Thomas took that moment to take a drink. Leo then turned to him, stating that he didn't need to apologize for the punch. Leo stated that he deserved it before placing a hand on Thomas's shoulder and joking that he had a mean hook. Thomas froze slightly at the contact, he wasn't very touchy feeling these days, and touch to him triggered his brain into thinking he only had the option between fight or flight when neither of them was needed or wanted. He forced himself to relax, laughing along with his cousin before they both turned serious once more. Leo then stated that he didn't take into consideration how he felt during the time of his kidnapping, stating that he was so focused on his mom's heart attack. "Nah, that was a good reason to be insensitive. We just needed to figure out our lives on our own I think...this shit our parents got us into is a lot on us kids..." Thomas said with a shake of his head before taking another drink and looking towards the bar, his eyes scanning all the bottles on the shelves.

Leo broke the silence and said that he sometimes felt like he should have been there and if he had this wouldn't have happened between them. Thomas looked to his cousin with a serious expression on his face as he let his apology sink in. "Honestly, Leo...I'm glad you didn't go enlist with me...and I'm glad that you were here taking care of your mom and sisters. What happened in Iran is not something I would even wish on those fuckers in New York. It all feels like a terrible nightmare you know, one that you can't wake up from. You apologized for being insensitive and not being there for me but...I've been so far gone that no one can be there for me, hell, even Syd as fucked up as he is can't even relate to what I went through." Thomas said darkly. "I was in a situation where there was no hope that one of our family members would save us and I honestly thought I wouldn't get out alive because so many people better than me didn't. Guess that's why I've been so far removed because I'm living as if I died in that fucking cell and for a long time I welcomed death so openly that it feels wrong to try and be happy and welcome life again." His chest heaved and his breath hitched in his throat as he clenched his jaw.

His hand clenched the handle of his beer until his knuckles turned pure white, forcing himself to take a deep breath, Thomas looked back at the bottles on the shelves once more distracting the terrible thoughts from entering his mind as he read the labels on each bottle from where he sat. Leo then cleared his throat and Thomas looked to him as his cousin smiled at him, asking him about working for his father. Despite the intensity of his feelings, Thomas was able to manage the smallest of smiles. "Ah yea, managed to get away with that. She's not pleased in the slightest, per usual. Kinda the reason we aren't talking..."
with: Leo Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess
 
~Harmony Ryu & Quadir Taylor~New York City, New York | Brooklyn Heights, Moretti Family Home
156de73e-b1b5-11e9-8f9c-a6398a9f90a9_image_hires_144341.jpg
Upon hearing Cristina's name, Harmony felt her body temperature dropping. Because she had bonded with the young girl, the rainbow-haired bodyguard very much hated if anything happened to her and her heart sank as that such a feeling was going to be coming true, much to her own dismay. Despite constantly putting up a brave face, this was not going to be one of those days and her heart broke when she saw Val emotionally falling apart. Her blood was already cold, but now anxiety was washing over her and she even started questioning how she was gonna be keeping herself together, as it was not going to help Val if her own Bodyguard, the person who is supposed to be protecting her, started panicking as well. Someone had to stay strong for Val's sake. If she couldn't, who would? Harmony then flinched as the sound of Val's tea mug was placed onto the table...and again as Val slammed her hands onto the big bodyguard's chest. Slowly, the Bodyguard stood up from her seat and slowly walked over, her hand shaking as she could see the distraught Mother fall into a state of distress.

Her heart continued to race as the phone rang and Val had wasted no time in answering. As the shouting started, Harmony once more flinched, before looking at Quadir, who had just entered the room. The two Moretti Bodyguards looked at each other, uneasy. And the first thing the smaller bodyguard had noticed was that Quadir's usually happy-go-lucky and cheerful attitude...was long, long gone. As the phone was slammed back into its receiver, Harmony ended up flinching for the fourth time. Now feeling high-strung, Harmony wanted to panic too, but couldn't, even if there had been instances where if Val cried, Harmony would cry too. Her mind ended up racing like her heart, wondering what she could do to get Val to calm down, just a little bit. But she couldn't just tell the other woman to calm down; her Daughter was kidnapped and the safety of her two Sons were likely in jeopardy as well!

Screen-Shot-2019-11-22-at-12.30.53-PM (1).png
Quadir's heart sank as Val began to panic, pleading for her Sons and his heart stopped when Val's eyes had snapped over to him, asking where Teddy and Gabriel were, before saying that she wanted her children. The bigger bodyguard struggled to find the words or find a chance to speak, as this situation was the most awful and he didn't even want to think of anything that could be more awful. As Val began to have a panic attack and reached out in her direction, Harmony proceeded to catch her to keep her from falling to the floor. Although it felt a little awkward, Harmony did the first thing that came to her mind was pull Val into a hug, even rubbing her back in hopes of calming the increasing anxiety not only in the distraught Mother, but within herself as well, before releasing her to Elvian, who would probably have a better chance of comforting her then Harmony would.

Quadir frowned, and jumped a little when Elvian patted his arm. The frown persisted, as he hoped that Little Cristina would be returned home safely. Who would even do such a thing? His mind then slipped back into a bad memory, particularly to the night that his Mother was executed at Central Park by the Columbian Cartel before her corpse was hung up on a tree. 'Do what you will with me, BUT LEAVE MY BOYS OUT OF IT!' Those were her Mother's last words before she had been executed. He remembered hearing her screams of pain as she died before watching two Sicarios hang her mutilated corpse from a tree with excess blood. "MOM! MOM!!! NOOOO! YOU BASTARDS! I'M GONNA FUCKING KILL YOU!!! KILL YOU!!!"

As his own words had echoed through his mind as well as several gunshots, he snapped out of it once he heard Elvian's voice, asking both him and Harmony to go get medicine and water for Val. Both of them wasted no time in going to the kitchen. Knowing his way around the home, Quadir went to the medicine cabinet and grabbed the pills with Val's name on it, before handing Harmony an empty glass to fill with water. It did not take long the two bodyguards to return, handing Elvian the pills and the glass of water. The two bodyguards then gave each other uneasy looks, as things were just looking really bad at the given moment. Now they were just awaiting further instructions. Were they to remain here at the Moretti Family Home? Or were they going to be leaving to go get Francis and Little Paolo? What were they going to do next...?

Interactions: Valentina Wycliff Misty Gray Misty Gray | Elvian Moretti Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess
 

Misty Gray

Pessimisty
Blake's House
~ Sutton, Dublin ~

Adam Harper

When Blake told him everything was good but had just been busy with the kids, Adam didn't for a second believe that. Still he quietly nodded his head and walked into the dining room as directed. It was difficult to hold his tongue and stop himself from questioning her weak answer. Thankfully, she told him to sit before he had chance to. "Yes, Boss," he casually remarked, pulling out his chair and sitting at the table. "Great-grandmother, huh? I have no doubts it'll be a cracking meal then," he said, sending her a reassuring smile.

When the drinks were offered, Adam was reluctant to accept. It wasn't just that he'd been seeing off an hangover for most of the day, but he was certain he would need to drive home after dinner and didn't want to take any risks where drink-driving was concerned. He'd done that in his younger years and thankfully the worst that came of it was a night in a police cell. It didn't escape Adam's attention that Blake poured herself a large drink, which certainly did nothing to ease his concerns about how their conversation was about to go down. Reaching for the bottle she had just opened, Adam poured himself a much smaller whiskey. "I'm driving," he lightly reminded her, placing the glass down on the table and deciding not to drink until he really needed it.

Adam started eating his dinner as Blake spoke up about how long they'd been friends. When she admitted she wasn't fine, he nodded his head, staying quiet as he chewed his food. When she mentioned how she'd been going through some emotional issues, he had a feeling he already knew what they were. When she specifically mentioned crying over Jackson, he swallowed the food in his mouth and gently balance his cutlery on the edge of the plate; his appetite having taken a sudden nosedive. Of course, he'd been open and understanding to the fact she needed time to move on from Jackson, but hearing she was still crying over her late husband and on a number of occasions made his heart sink. Whilst he was willing to be patient with her, it felt like she'd suddenly taken a lot of steps back. That, or he'd overestimated how ready she was to move on. Either way, he'd allowed himself to get ahead and dare to imagine they could make a serious go at a relationship with each other.

When Blake spoke of survivors guilty, Adam reached out for his drink and took a small sip before nodding his head in understanding. "Yeah, I had to deal with that. Conor and Jackson might have been leading the operation that night, but I had a lot of responsibility and experience to make sure they got home safe that night. Even if it was at the cost of my own life. I spent a long time feeling guilty about that. I didn't have kids, a wife, or anyone at all to call a significant other. Nobody was relying on me to come home that night, but I did. It didn't feel right." Hearing Blake say looking at him reminded her of what she had lost hurt him even further. He'd never been in any relationship where he felt anywhere near the way he felt about Blake, so this was the first time he'd felt his heartache and he didn't quite know he to deal with that. He was trying his hardest to be respectful and patient with her, as he had been so far, but for one of an extremely low number of times in his life, Adam's own emotions were threatening to take the driver's seat. "What could have been done differently?" he repeated Blake's words. "I used to think about that too, but I eventually came to the realisation we couldn't have done anything differently. We had no way of knowing it was a trap," he told her. He let out a sigh. "It doesn't change the fact that you lost your husband and your children lost their dad. It was cruel that Jackson died. It's heartbreaking to know Natasha and Collin lost their dad. But you have to stop feeling guilty, Blake," he firmly told her.

6bec9419f57863f461ab794f750fd6e1.gifAdam knocked back his whiskey as he saw Blake was getting upset. He was trying his hardest to maintain his composure and not turn the focus on himself by showing how hurt he was feeling. He took a deep breath and glance down to his half-eaten plate of food for a moment. He then looked to Blake, his own eyes glistening beneath the light as they were lined with the threatening tears. "I'm comfortable with the fact that Jackson will always been your first real love; your first husband. He'll always be Natasha's and Collin's dad, which I will always respect. But you're right, I don't deserve to be second in a relationship - second to a man who died 13 years ago." Adam knew he'd been an arsehole in the past, blowing women off without warning and avoiding anything resembling commitment. But he felt over the last decade he'd done enough to make up for that. He might not have committed romantically, but he'd taken his responsibility to his godchildren very seriously and over the last few years, he'd acknowledged romantic commitment was something he wanted too. It was just difficult to imagine opening himself up to that idea now things with Blake were taking a nosedive. "I don't know who is left to give you confidence to move on, Blake. I think it's all on you by this point. I've avoided saying anything that might sound like I'm being disrespectful or pushing you into being with me, but you need to figure out how you're going to move on. Otherwise, maybe you need to resign to the fact you're never going to be in another relationship. That's okay too, if it's what you truly want. But I can't do this anymore, Blake. It takes a lot to knock my confidence, but knowing I'm second in a relationship and to a dead man hurts."

Bella:D Bella:D (Blake)
 
Last edited:

Misty Gray

Pessimisty
Biancardi Mansion
~ Queens, New York City ~

Riccardo Biancardi

Whilst Ricky usually loved living in the large mansion he'd inherited from his father, it wasn't always a comforting place to be. Days like today, when he was the only one home, the large building only served to highlight how alone he was. The silence was deafening, so much so that he'd ended up putting some music on to ease the tension as he practically hovered by the telephone. All he wanted was to answer the phone to hear the voice on the other end tell him everything was over and that Cristina was home safe. His dark side often took over but tended to abandon him when he most wanted to avoid facing his conscience. If they found out the role he'd played, he was sure Teddy and Valentina would want to rip his head off of his shoulders. But right now, he was more concerned with how the two people he considered friends were holding up. He wanted the day to end with their daughter home safe and sound.

The sound of the doorbell ringing snapped Ricky out of his thoughts. He turned the music down so it played at a low level. Peering out of the window, he saw Jarrick standing at his front door. His immediate instinct was to ignore it until the man went away. However, as far as anyone else was concerned, he knew nothing about Cristina being taken, so he needed to keep up the front. If the Morettis figured he was hiding away, it would only make him look guilty, so he had to act natural. Whatever natural was for him these days.

Ricky walked to the front door, casually humming along to 'Jump' by Van Halen, as it played in the background. He opened the door to greet Jarrick with a friendly smile. "Hey buddy. How's it going?" he casually asked. "Is this business or social? Come on in," he invited him, either way. "Do you want something to drink?" he offered. Nothing about his behaviour seemed different to what was normal for Ricky, so it was unlikely Jarrick would have detected anything suspicious.

Kawashima Lightning Kawashima Lightning (Jarrick)


Undisclosed Sullivan Base - Apartment Block
~ Queens, New York City ~

Cristina Wycliff

It had been over three hours since Cristina was snatched from the playground as she played hide and seek. She knew exactly who to trust among her family's employees, so even if the men hadn't been masked, they wouldn't have been able to take the child voluntarily. The skinny girl hadn't stood a chance at fighting her way out of her abductor's grasp, even though she did make a good attempt at doing so. What followed was a car journey where she was seated in the centre of the back seat with two masked men seated at either side of her. Her many questions were met with silence until one of them finally told her to be quiet. She kept her eyes forward, looking out of the front windscreen or to the driver - anything to avoid looking at the masked men next to her. She didn't know why, but she knew her mother was afraid of masked men with the woman cringing whenever Halloween came around. That made her feel afraid now too.

After the drive, only the two masked men stayed with Cristina, leading her into an apartment block, up two flights of stairs, before entering apartment number 12. Other than the fact they'd snatched her from school and kept masks over their faces, the men were being surprisingly friendly towards her, even if firmly ordering her not to budge from the couch they'd made her sit on. After making a few phone calls she couldn't hear the contents of, one of the men switched on the television and found a channel with some cartoon playing. He also placed some blank pieces of paper on the coffee table along with a poor selection of five wax crayons, somehow expecting the scared child to want to draw.

Cristina had been sat on the sofa for two hours, staring aimlessly at the television as she tried to work out the odd bits of quietened conversations the two men were having in the nearby kitchen area. It felt like she'd been there longer than she had and she was getting increasingly worried that her family weren't going to find her. She was shaking, scared and worried, especially as she had more understanding of what her family did than she let on. "I need to pee!" she suddenly called out. When one of the men approached to tell her she didn't, she stood up and turned to look up at him. "You gave me lots of Cola to drink and I can't hold my bladder. I really need to go now," she told him, managing to adopt a matter-of-fact tone she would often use when arguing with her brothers. "I haven't wet myself since I was really small and I don't want to do it now, please," she pointed out.

When the man agreed, Cristina went to the bathroom and closed the door behind her. One of the two masked man looked to his friend and shook his head. He knew the there wasn't a lock on the door, so she wouldn't be able to try anything. "Once the Boss tells us, we can get out of here before the Morettis come for her. I didn't think our last job in Queens would be babysitting, but it's easy enough, huh?" he remarked. Hearing some clattering noises coming from the bathroom, the man looked to his friend with something of a reluctance in his eyes. He didn't want to walk in on the kid using the toilet, but his suspicions were too serious to ignore. Pushing open the door just in time, he noticed Cristina climbing out of the small bathroom window. "Are you crazy?!" he asked. Though he was aware of the outside ledge beneath the window, it was still incredibly dangerous for a kid to be walking along. Grabbing her by the waist, he pulled her away from the window, prompting her to kick and scream in the process. She was soon carried back to the couch and ordered to stay seated. Despite the man reassuring her her family would be coming soon, nothing about the situation made her feel comforted or inclined to believe a word he told her. She just waned to go home.
 

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