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=Thread 17=

You are Delilah, a young girl with a strange affliction suffering in a world that does not care. A runaway living on the streets, you go through several hardships and struggles in an attempts to find peace and happiness for yourself. The world is not simply black and white, nor are the people living in it.

Can you push through all the misery that surrounds you, or will you fall to this gray world?

=Links and Information=

Story Thus Far (Raw and a mess, will work on cleaned up versions.):

http://pastebin.com/WnGZwK04 (embed) Part 1
http://pastebin.com/eGfGW8jV (embed) Part 2 (Part two seems to be somewhat messed up in addition to not being caught up. I will attempt to fix, but archives seem to be your better option for catch up)



Quick Glance (SPOILERS) The quick Who is Who and what Delilah has. Mostly accurate.:


Twitter; @Cowboy_Sue
Discord; https://discord.gg/0107qV9kiFDlUH9nY
Chat room with me and other players. I answer questions, post sketches, and act cheeky.

Last Thread:
You glance over to the boy in front of you, sleeping away as if this isn't happening. You feel mad, terribly upset...you want to give Lawrence the cold shoulder and just stew in your bad mood for a while. The rest of you feels like crying though, and that's the part that drives you to talk.

"Yeah..." You don't want to disturb the little boy too much, but you're also trying to keep your emotions from all tumbling out, trying to keep yourself calm so he can't see how bad you feel.

A silence follows your answer, and as your back is still towards him you are unable to see what Lawrence might be doing.

"Why...would you do that...?" You don't want to say the word now, it feels...tarnished. The thought of what he was doing in the hallway leaves a bitter taste to your mouth, and you can't help but feel...betrayed?

"I t-...I trusted you..." You can't help the break in your voice as you say this part, despite trying so desperately to remain calm.

You shouldn't be as upset as you are right now, there are more important things to be worrying about. Yet there is a painful tightness in your chest, and the cold metal of the ring on your skin feels like it's burning.

How pathetic...getting upset over a...a kiss, while you're on the run from your rapist.

That thought doesn't stop it from hurting you any less.

"I didn't-...wasn't the...one who...wanted to...do it."

"What do you mean...she was pretty and...and looked like she knew what she was doing. It must have been nice..." A terrible thought comes to mind, and you let it come out to the air.

"Is...did you do that b-because I c-couldn't...w-wouldn't have....have s-se..." You bite your lip hard and whisper the word. "Sex...with you..?

Your stomach twists and turns as the thought of that. He said he was okay with it, that he didn't need sex but...but maybe he was just saying that.

There are plenty of times when you said something was okay, even if it really wasn't.

"I-...I'm sure she wouldn't have freaked out...you could have...have done anything you liked with her..." Your hands tremble as your fingers grip the blanket tighter, your vision blurring once again. "You c-could have done everything that you're s-...supposed to do...stuff that I c-can't do..."


"And she was beautiful and mature and not all...all broken..." Everything you're not, you think to yourself. "The t-type of girl you d-...deserve to h-have instead and...and not have to play pretend with...it's o-okay...if you like her then it's f-...fi-...fine. I'd understand-"

It makes you feel sick.

"Delilah. Please...calm down." Your voice must have been louder then you thought, choked full of tears that you want to cry.You lay there motionless, listening to the words Lawrence has to say.

"I didn't...want it. She thought...I was...a customer, and she...had too...much to...drink. I was...scared of...hurting her...if I...pushed her...away too...quick. I didn't...want to...kiss her. I didn't...know she...was going...to do...that. I'm...sorry you...had to...see it. I promise...it wasn't...because I...wanted it. I would..." Lawrence pauses for a bit, both to catch his breath and to consider what it is he's about to say next.

"I would...never do...anything with...another girl."

You don't say anything, and as much as it's painful you think back to the hallway.

Lawrence was up against the wall, eyes open, and his hands nowhere near her body.

You think back to the times you've seen other people kiss, when you've been kissed.

It's...usually the guy leading it in, right? Well....maybe who's doing the leading doesn't really matter...but Lawrence was pushed against the wall. Maybe that means...he couldn't move away? And his eyes were open...it's weird to keep them open, isn't it? Hers were closed, but...Lawrence had his wide open. And...and his hands were kind of funny too. Aren't you usually supposed to touch the person you're kissing? Like...hold them? Lawrence always held you when he kissed you...your shoulders or your cheeks, just some sort of contact. It might have looked like he was trying to keep his touch far from her body.

You bite at your chapped lip thinking over all of this.

Maybe...maybe Lawrence really was forced into it then....maybe she pushed herself on him, thinking she was helping or something? If...if that's the case then you can't...can't really get mad at him for that, can you.

After all, you know what it's liked to be forced into doing something.

You wipe away at your eyes again, trying to clear your vision. You still feel rather upset, but...maybe more at yourself now? For overreacting before he got the chance to say anything to defend himself? And then you went and...and accused him of just wanting sex again...

You really are terrible.

"I'm...I'm sorry. I believe you..." The words are whispered, trying to remain calm with each syllable that comes out. Maybe you are dumb, just...just really dumb. You continue to keep your back towards Lawrence, but this time out of fear of looking at him. How stupid of you...

Why do you still feel jealous though?

"Please don't...cry."

"I'm not crying, I'm just...just tired." You lie, curling yourself up more. "Y-...you should go to sleep too. I l-...um, y-you know..."

You listen, able to hear that Lawrence doesn't move. Finally, after probably staring at you for the longest time, he lays down on the floor.

Your head hurts...and so does your heart.

You hate yourself.


You wake up when the door opens, but you don't rise up or open your eyes. You listen as you hear Faraway whispering to Lawrence, it sounds like there's a woman too. You begin to feel awful again before you realize that whoever it is, she's the mother of the little boy. There's the sound of her gently waking her up, and what sounds like the boy being picked up and carried off instead.

'-must attend errands today. Feel free to stay here till I return tonight, but please lock the door behind you. Kitchen will be unlocked and there's a phone in there if you absolutely need it." Sounds like Faraway is leaving Lawrence some instructions, and soon enough he leaves, the door closing behind. It's just the two of you inside the room now, and soon enough it will just be two of you in the whole building.

You try your best to fall asleep again, your eyes begging to be closed. No matter how much you try your head hurts too much for you to aquire sleep again. You toss and turn about, but no matter which way you face it does nothing to help the pain.

As you continue to lay there, you can hear snoring from the ground below you. There's an otherwise quiet lull in the building, and you suspect that by now everyone else has left. Faraway mentioned the kitchen would be unlocked, and you remember where the shower was from last time. You don't really have anything else for your pain right now, but you know you won't be able to fall asleep again.

What do you want to do?
Sit up for a bit and watch Lawrence sleeping, feeling dumb and bad for accusing him of... cheating on us?

Maybe there' something in the kitchen we can toss together for breakfast, not that that'd nearly make up for it, but it might ease our conscience.
Yes, cook him breakfast, he'll like us more. Hug him when he wakes up, remind him he's our Precious.
Oops, sorry back now. Took a nap cause I was exhausted from waking up this morning.
No problem! Thanks for taking the time to run this quest!
Get the fuck back to writing.
Drums in the background, whips on backs, keyboard sound tak-tak-tak can be heard....
You flip over once again, and watch Lawrence as he sleeps. He's laying on his back, arm crossed over his chest, head turned to keep his damaged cheek from touching anything, and of course that snoring.

There's that sense of guilt, but you really and truly feel like you deserve to feel every bit of it this time. You treated him so poorly, and just because you thought he was...was cheating on you.

Is...that right word? That would imply the two of you are a thing to begin with. Sure you kiss and say...you say 'I love you' and stuff like a couple does but does that really mean that you're together? Would you guys still be boyfriend and girlfriend? Well...what else could you be? The only other step you could think of is like...straight up marriage.

You twist the ring around in your hand as you think about this.

He said he wouldn't do anything else with another girl though, so that means that like...he's taken right? Taken by you, and so that must mean you're a thing then...right? That's...kinda exciting...

Except that you accused your 'boyfriend' of cheating on you...

You...must be a real jerk, for not trying to hear him out right away. And even after he explained it you kept treating him so poorly...

But that also means that, if he isn't going to try and do anything with any other girl then you've ruined his chances of...of finding a normal girl his age.

That's...that's okay. He wouldn't be doing this unless he wanted to be with you, right? Then you shouldn't worry about that, just worry about how awful you were last night. You jerk...

You swing your legs over the edge of the cot, rising slowly to your feet. You cringe a bit when you hear the floorboard creak beneath you, but it doesn't seem to bother Lawrence. That's good, you don't want him to wake up yet anyways.

In sock feet, you make your way across the room and towards the door, trying to make the least amount of noise as possible. Not that you really succeed in getting to the door completely silent, but you manage to not wake up Lawrence. The door creaks as you open it, and you rush out just in case he wakes up.

It's going to be embarrassing to look him in the face again after what you did, but the least you can do is try to make it up and like...make him breakfast. That's what a good girlfriend would do, right?

The thought of girlfriend sends a shiver down your spine. Now if only you can get rid of this headache of yours...

It takes a little bit of exploring, but you discover that the kitchen is in a room by the stairs. You imagine the only thing up there would be more rooms, all of them most likely locked. Walking inside the kitchen you see that, while large, it looks similar to one you would find at home save for a large counter in the center and two fridges.

You open the first fridge to see it stocked full of ingredients; fruits, vegetables, cartons of eggs, gallon of milk...the usual stuff in bulk. The second one is...stocked to the brim with bottles. You'll stick with trying to find what to make in the first one...

Looking through the fridge, you come to realize that you really...don't know how to make much. Not with what's inside anyways. You could make...a quiche maybe? That sounds fancy, it has eggs and...other things in it...that you can't remember. Well...eggs will make for an alright breakfast either way though. You pull out the carton and try to figure out what else to make.

You really wished you had your cooking lesson from John now.

He...wasn't looking all that great last night. Like he seemed kind of...kind of antsy. That would make sense given the fact that you room was attacked but there was just something else there. When he was mentioning the gun you couldn't help but feel like there was something there, something he wanted to tell you guys but didn't. Not to mention the fact that he looked so ragged and exhausted...you know that him and Sam are trying to find a new place but...

Wait, where was Sam at anyways? Why would they be separated?

You really hope that you're worrying over nothing...


You end up making French-toast and eggs, since there's not much you could really make from this kitchen. Neither of them really turned out all that great but they are definite edible, if just a bit bland. If you want to be a...a good girlfriend you'll need to learn how to cook better, that's for sure. Maybe the next time you see John you'll have him teach you.

After...you learn how to shoot the gun of course.

It sucks that you have to think about learning something like that first...

Maybe you'll get to the point where, one day, you won't have to worry about learning how to defend yourself and actually get to focus on learning real skills...ones that don't involve a gun or a knife.

You just pile the large amount of food you made all onto one plate, carefully trying to balance it as you find your way back to the room. As you manage to open the door while holding up the heavy food with one hand your heart seizes up at seeing Lawrence is sitting up. You were hoping you would have more time to prepare for him but...

Time to just go in and...deal with it, you suppose.

"I um..." You keep your eyes on the floor as you walk in, trying to present the plate out in front of you. "I m-...made you breakfast. Um...some of it is for me too though...I didn't want to dirty more plates but...I guess that was kinda dumb of me, I could have just washed them...I'm going to have to wash the pan anyways...er, and I only brought one fork too...that was really dumb of me. I'm...pretty dumb, s-sorry. You can just eat what you want from it first and I'll uh...I'll eat whatever is left over."

You're kind of rambling, trying to keep calm and not look at him.


"Ah r-right, good morning! I should have said that first I uh...h-here..." You push the plate out towards him, making Lawrence take it from your hands. Sitting back down on the bed you just feel...weird. Like when you've been mad at someone but they act like nothing is wrong...

"There uh, wasn't any syrup for the toast, sorry. I...couldn't find any good fruit to put on top of it, or powdered sugar or...anything I guess. Maybe someone smarter could have made them better but uh...they're a bit bland. I should have just made normal toast, sorry..." You keep talking about the food, scared about the conversation going anywhere else.

"It's fine. Did a...good job."

Even though you don't really believe it, you strive for any kind of praise.

"Want some?"

"I'll uh...I'll eat my part when you're done, I don't mind waiting. I um...I ate a couple pieces of French-toast in the kitchen while I was cooking anyways so...y-you're good."

Lawrence returns back to eating, and you can't help but think of that word.


Are you...Lawrence's girlfriend?

Part of you wants to ask but then you also are scared of the answer, regardless of which it is. You feel stupid for mulling over this so much, especially in the situation you're in. But...what else are you supposed to do now anyways? You won't be able to see any of the group till tonight, and in spite of the urgency of last night it's...it's slow right. More then enough to force your mind to occupy the time by thinking about stupid things like this...

"Um..." You decide that, since Lawrence is treating last night as awful, you shouldn't either. "I'm going to need to learn how to cook in order to become a good girlfriend, won't I?"

Lawrence chokes at the word, and you instantly feel regret for saying it.

"A-Ah! J-Just kidding! I know that I'm not...I'm..."

What are you then? That's the only word that fits in this situation, isn't it?

"Am...am I your girlfriend?" What a stupid question to ask, you already know that it's just going to make the situation even stranger now. Lawrence is trying to collect himself after his coughing fit, staring intensely out in front of him, away from you.

"I just don't know um...w-what we would call this situation..."

"Me...me either."

"I guess a girlfriend would be someone you didn't have to hide away. Um...does that make me a...uh..." You try to think about the other terms you've heard before. "Like...m-maybe a...a lover?"

"Wouldn't...wouldn't use...that word."

"Then is there a name for this?" Wrong, that's a word to describe this.

"You...ah..." Lawrence thinks this over more. "You would...be..."

It's a long wait to hear what his answer will be.

"My...old lady."

"...excuse me?"

"You can...be my...old lady."

"Ah but...but I'm not old! I'm younger then you are!"

"Get cranky...like an...old lady. Kiss like...one too."

He's...making fun of you again.

"I don't want to be called that! G-...Give me a better name!"

"But that...one fits...you well."

"N-No! A different one!"

"You're my...cry baby."

"That's just as bad! I...I need a good name! A um...a cute one or something!"

"Gal pal."

"N-...no! Something c-cuter! That sounds like something a granny would say..."

"Suits you...then."

"C-Come on!" You can tell he's trying to treat this situation as not being a big deal, but you also really want a word for this, something to call yourself. Lawrence takes some time to think this over, each second passing by agonizingly slow.

"Will...think of...something."

"You took all that time to think and didn't come up with anything?" You realize how whiny you sound and you regret that.

"Give me...some time. Will think...of something. Just woke...up."

Duh, he's probably still worn out from the past few days and sleeping on the floor again probably didn't help any. You're just being selfish again.

"Fine...but um...it better be cute and sweet and...and not something like old lady!"

"No promises."

Lawrence looks over at you, a slight smirk on his face. It's okay...everything is okay.

Except for the pounding in your head.

"I think I'm going to take a shower here...but um..."

You have Lawrence's attention. You aren't sure if you should ask him for that or not though...

What do you say to him before you go?
>What do you say to him before you go?
Hug him and ask him for that. (that: is drinking his blood, right?)
I just want to say 10/10 quest Sue, long time lurker! A lot of Delilah's actions are exactly how I'd expect a real girl to act. Needs more sex and vampirism though!
You hate that you need to ask him for something like this but...

Your head hurts too much, you're too weak to ignore it.

Moving off the cot and down to where he sits, you wait till he sets the plate aside before wrapping your arms around his shoulder, bury your face into the crook of his neck. You still feel awful but everything that has happened, and you're much too shy to look him in the face right now. It makes it easier to ask if you don't have to see his eyes anyways.

"D-...do you mind if I..." You squeeze tighter as you ask, feeling a hand come up to your shoulder to return the hold.

"Is it okay if I get...that from you? I'm...I'm hurting..." He must be too, yet you're easily able to take care of your pain at his expense. How...how terrible.

"Is it alright if I get s-some from you, even though I was...was so stupid earlier...?"

"If it's...what you...need, then...you can...take it."

"Thank you." You whisper to him, squeezing him harder.


You realize that you don't have a 'ready' spot for you to feed from. Most of Lawrence's cuts have already begun to scab and heal over, and while his cheek is taking longer it also isn't a good spot for you to get your fix.

"Going to...have to...make a...cut, aren't I?"

"I'm so sorry..." God, you're just...terrible. Just awful.

"Hand me...your knife."

You sit and wait as Lawrence heats up the blade again, the wait for it to cool down leaving a quiet between you two. Does that really get it sterile? You hope so...

"Just on your arm again will be fine-" You can see his arm is covered is marks and bruises though, and the thought of cutting over one of those makes you cringe. "Or um...if that's not going to work you can maybe try somewhere else...?"

You're not sure where else Lawrence could readily make the new cut, but you are surprised to see him begin to unbutton his shirt.

"W-Wait, where are you going to-"

"Here." Lawrence points at a spot just below his collarbone, an area free from any bruises or scrapes. The neck of his undershirt comes down just enough to leave you a spot and you realize how close you'll be to him if you go from there.

"Are you sure it's okay?"

"If you're...fine with...it, then yes."

"Okay...I don't mind if it's um...if it's fine with you."

Without another word you watch as Lawrence brings up the knife to his skin, making sure he places the blade in just the right spot before dragging it across. A thin line, about two inches long, is left behind from the metal and dark red blood begins to seep up.

In only a few moments you place yourself at his lap, hands on his shoulders and mouth to his skin. You keep a constant reminder to watch yourself, to not become too eager and just take what you need.

It's hard, it really is. The sweetness is inviting, but the rushing feeling even more so.

Try to count to yourself, only allow yourself like...to the count of thirty. Okay, maybe forty.

No, dammit...you made it all the way to sixty-five...

You force yourself to pull away, resisting the urge to return yourself to his chest.

"Thank yo-, ah!" The blood is making a small trail down his chest and you push your fingers up against it as a means to help stop it. "Aha...don't wanna make a mess...I uh...um, what is it...don't know where a band aid is. Sorry...um, what should I do..."

"Is fine. Will handle...it. Are you...good now?" Lawrence's hand comes up to replace yours, his thicker fingers doing a better job at stopping the mess.

"Mhmmm." You nod, enjoying the way your head tingles as you do so. You wrap your arms around his neck again, rolling your head around on his other shoulder.

"Thaaaank you, I love yooooou."

"I know."

"I really do though." You look up at him, your fingers coming up to play around with the hair that sticks up on the side of his head, a little cowlick. You move the hair between your fingers, enjoying the texture against your fingertips.

"It's okay if you're scared to say it though. Maybe you don't...like me enough to say it yet but don't worry. I'll make sure you do. I'll get you to say it back one day."


"I'm gonna go shower now." You push yourself up and away from him, careful as you feel pleasantly light headed when you stand. "Uh...lessee, what else was I gonna say..."

You can't think of it.

"Um...okay. I'll be back." You lean down and pat the top of Lawrence's head.

"Be. Have." You speak slowly, in a mock up of his voice. "No...crazy."

You giggle to yourself at this as you hop off, though you hope that wasn't anything like...offensive. It'll be fine, he bullies you all the time anyways.

This time you don't have to worry about making too much noise and you go through the halls, your eyes bouncing around as you look about. The wood on the walls comes up halfway, about to where your waist is. Faded wallpaper that must have been a brilliant red color reaches to the ceiling, the remnants of design left behind from time. It entertains your eyes as you find your way to the shower.

Man...a bath would be totally awesome right now though.

You should be thankful enough to get to bathe once again in warm water though. The slight steam that rises up from the water makes you feel giddy at the thought of a shower that won't be like...painful as hell. Those cold showers suck, and you never ever wanna take another one ever like...again.

The bathroom begins to heat up from the water and you strip down, a little peeved that you decided to not bring a change of clothes. Oh well, it's fine. This will be fine, you feel pretty alright. Pretty great, your head is just...amazing around now. You can't step inside the shower soon enough, enjoying the feeling of warm water over your body. In a small plastic container in the corner of the shower there's a stack of mini soaps and shampoos, like the kind you would get at a hotel.

You're eager to scrub away at your hair, the rising bubbles feeling nice against your scalp and fingers. This is just a...great feeling. It's amazing, wonderful. You love it, just...just absolutely love it.

How terrible.

Nah, don't think about bad things right now. Just enjoy yourself right now.

Even after you've cleaned yourself free of the dirt and grime you stay beneath the cascading water, just enjoying the way it's warm and great, just...great.

Why can't you feel this great in like...a normal way though?

Why does this have to come to you in such a...a horrible way. Ah...you're ruining your own mood again...try to keep yourself happy. Enjoy this now, deal with all the...everything else later.

Think about how nice it feels to get a warm shower, one where you don't have to rush out. You have privacy right now, true privacy. When was the last time you got something like this? A while...and not that you mind being around others but you do miss the ability to just...shut yourself away, even for a little bit.

Being alone like this...means you have nothing else to think about aside from your worries though. It was down the other hall that you saw Lawrence being kissed...

You...you aren't mad at him though.

You're mad at yourself for not being able to give him what he wants.

You're jealous that someone like her is able to just...do that. Go and kiss someone and...and do other stuff without another thought.

That makes you inadequate, doesn't it? The thought makes you feel terrible.

You...you can't be a good girlfriend or whatever you are if you can't...if you aren't able to give him the things a man needs. Lawrence tells you that he doesn't need it but...but what if he is just saying that? Isn't...sex important?

Looking down your body, you watch as the water gathers together and trails down your curves. Is this even the body of someone...desirable?

Of...of course it is. Enough for some sick men but...

What about someone nice? Someone probably not willing to just...just stick his...thing...in where he likes? Would a normal person find you nice looking enough to...to want to do stuff with?

Your chest...your breast aren't really the biggest. Guys...like them big, don't they? And they like skinny girls too, don't they? Your thigh touch and there's this slight...slight pooch to your stomach. You can squeeze and pinch at the skin around your hips too. Are you pudgy? That...can't be cute. The girls that advertise the clothes and makeup and cars and...everything are always so skinny. Do you need to diet? Probably wouldn't matter though...you still would look like a boy, especially with how you are right now.

But you do have boobs, not that you really show them off. You're...not entirely sure you want to do that though. The thought of wearing something low cut kind of scares you...

Your eyes continue to travel down your body and you come across another reminder that you are, in fact, not a boy.

You...hate that spot. It's done nothing but cause you pain and misery and has caused you so much trouble...it's not fair. Maybe you would have been better off being born as a boy. Ah but...that kind of thing happens to boys too though...doesn't it?

Why must people be so awful?

Staring down at yourself more, your head slowly buzzing as the water runs down your body, you think about what everyone has told you.

Can...can you're body actually feel good? Is that even possible for you anymore? They keep saying you can but...the idea of it seems to far off from you. When you were younger you 'investigated' yourself but...it was never for pleasure, just...curiosity.

You allow your hand to travel down from your chest and down your stomach slowly, keeping an eye on your...your 'target'.

Okay...you can do this, right? Just...a touch. A quick one, to prove that you aren't...aren't completely broken. You're able to wash yourself so you can...can totally just rest your hand there, can't you?

As soon as your fingers brush up against the coarse hair you seize up.

You...can't do this, can you?

Why not...this is just your own hand...no one else. This is...this is you all in control...you can stop yourself whenever you want. You aren't going to hurt yourself, this is just...just a test.

You close your eyes so you don't have to watch as you slip your hand further down, extending a fingers out to just...just rest there. The touch makes you choke up a bit but you force yourself to keep in place there.

This is...fine. This is just your hand...not doing anything bad...just...just your own hand against your own body. That's it, that's all this is. No one else, no one else is touching you or hurting you or...anything like that.

Keeping your hand pressed against your warmth, your heart slowly begins to slow down from it's rapid pace.

Okay...fine. You're doing fine, now just...move?

No, that's scary. That's...a bit scary. Need to go slow...

Your finger rubs down the slit and instantly you yank your hand away.

There's still those old memories of those who touched you there before, who've hurt you before. Even with just your own hand it...it pains you too much.

But you feel somewhat shameful...it was the tiniest amount but...but there was the slightest feeling of something that...that may have been good. That might have felt nice if...if you could do this properly. If you knew how to ignore the pain and just...

You need to get out of the shower now, this solitude is just...too much for you to handle right now.

As you dress yourself you glance over at the mirror standing there, looking back at your face, your shameful body, the one you can't even stand to touch.

You...wish you could though.



Walking back down the hallway you try to focus on the buzzing in your head, the lightweight feeling in your body, the warmth in your chest, the slight tingles-, not that. Just, think about the other stuff.

Are you guys just going to stay here all day, stay here till the event tonight? You'll probably have to, but you aren't really sure how you should pass the time till then.

When you come back to the room you can see that Lawrence has his notebook out, writing something down. You doubt it's for you, and even though you would like to look you decide to not pry.

Flopping down on the cot, you're reminded of your attempts in the shower and your face heats up. Even if you could manage to do that you wouldn't really do a good job about it, so why even try? But..if you can't even manage to...to touch yourself then how could you ever think you'll let someone else do it?

You cover your face in shame at the thought.

Thank god you're able to keep them to yourself...you would die if anyone else could see what you were thinking right now.

You listen to the scratching of pen on paper, the buzzing around your head dancing about.

You're...kind of scared for what will happen today...tomorrow...and every day after that.

Thinking about that scary stuff will only bring you down further though...you need to cheer up.

What would you like to think or talk about?
Think about our potential future
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This. And ask Lawrence how we can escape our stalker(s). Where can we go or what can we do?
Wonder if we'll ever... reclaim these feelings that were stolen and ruined for us. John suggested it could be done, but it'd take time and effort... but how much? Will Lawrence want to bide his time?

... maybe it's okay to just... kiss and cuddle for the time being?
Maybe thinking about a time that isn't now will help you, think about...think about the future. Think about a future far away from all of this.

You aren't sure how but you would like to finish your education, that's a good goal to have. Maybe you'll get the chance to go back to school or maybe you can like, study for your GED or something. That would be fine...what about college? That might be a bit of a stretch for you, especially right now. Do they offer classes for what you'd want anyways? Either way it would be good for you to get either a high school diploma or a GED or whatever, that way you aren't a complete failure.

After that though...what could your future be like? You would still like to become a writer but...is that viable? Would you become successful enough? How awful would it be if you ended up only getting by...Maybe you would need to write more boring stuff like...like newspaper columns or something. That might be kinda boring but at least newspapers will always be popular. And then you could maybe write what you liked on the side?

What about everything else though...would you be able to live in a house? Those are expensive though, aim for something smaller like...like an apartment. You could handle that, right?

Ah wait, you wouldn't be living alone...would you? By the time you're at that point in life will you still be with...still be with Lawrence? You hope so. You don't want to be lonely, and the idea of not being next to him is a bit of a scary one. Would he want that?

And what about a family? Would you still be able to become a mother? Would...you be a good one? You hope so...you want the chance to raise someone right, to show them the love you missed out on.

Right...cause your time for that has come and gone, and you won't ever get it back.

This was supposed to make you feel better, but now you feel a different type of sad, like..a longing for something you'll never get the chance to have again.

What about the thing you don't have now? That loss of...security. Safety, comfort with those around you and comfort with yourself. That's gone, and you realize it but...

John said you can get better.

But...can you really? It feels like such an uphill struggle, a mountain much too high for you to climb. You do want to get better though, if not for yourself then...

Then at least for Lawrence, especially if he is willing to stick by with you through it all.

You feel pretty good about kissing and cuddling though, right? Enough to do it, even if it might scare you sometimes. Hopefully that will be enough to...to tide him over for a while though. You don't want to risk losing him to someone else.

That is...if you don't get taken away first...

"Lawrence..." You say from behind your hands, hearing the pen come to a stop. It's enough to let you know that he is listening.

"What...what can I do about this? About being stalked and...all of this...how can I become safe again? I'm scared...just so scared...I don't want to run forever. Do you think I'll...I'll have to?"

There's the flip of a page and the pen movements once again. His throat must be sore, you don't mind him taking a break from using it.

It's a tough answer. I've never had to deal with something like this, and from what little I know it's a difficult situation. I won't lie to you, this is an extreme obsession. I don't think it will go away so easily.

"What if I just went away?"

I don't think this would end just by moving away. It's a lot of money on the line, and someone willing to put that much up isn't just going to give up because you moved

"That someone...is Bower, isn't it."

You can see Lawrence's face is grim as he nods to confirm your suspicions.

I can't think of who else it could be.

"He wants to find me so he can..." Your throw your hands up to your face again, your body beginning to shake.

"He's paying that much money to find me so he can...can fuck me again..." Every word that comes out of your mouth hurts, it feels like another sinking stone added to your stomach. Your stomach...

"It was...was his baby or...or one of his friends that I...that I got rid of...wasn't it?" You clutch at your stomach at the thought. "Oh god..."

You don't think you could stand to hold a child in your arms that looked anything like that man, but there's still this feeling in your head that you...you got rid of a baby. Don't you want kids though?

The buzzing in your head just...it's just clouding your thoughts now. Confusing you, it's not nice now. Why did you have to think of this...it just hurts you.

"And then I've just been this t-terrible burden on everyone...forcing them to move a-again...I'm sorry...I'm so sorry...it's my fault..." You grit your teeth tight, reminding yourself over and over again that you can't cry, that you shouldn't. You need to be strong through all of this, you can't just burst into tears and expect someone to take care of you every time.

As you struggle to control yourself Lawrence stands up and pushes you to sit up. He sits on the spot you once occupied, offering open arms to you.

It feels like a true godsend when you move to sit in his lap, an arm around your waist and another around your shoulder to keep you in place as you do your best to calm down.

"Will things get better...?"

Better for you.

For both of you.

For everyone.

"They can."

It's not a definite yes, but it's enough to put a little bit of hope back inside of you.

Using your sleeve to clear away your face and sniffling to hide your almost break down, you remember that Lawrence has been working on something for a while now.

"What are you writing? Um...if you don't mind me asking..."

"Just a...letter to...my parents."

"Oh, alright." It would be rude to press that further, and you try to think of something else to talk about.

"Um...so I was thinking about why you said doors are square."

"To fit...couches in."

"Yeah but then why don't they just make those people shaped?"

"Why don't...people become...couch shape?"

"...I don't know. That sounds painful and I don't think people would look as good if they were couch shaped."

"What if...it was...a sexy...couch?"

"I um...I don't think those exists-...wait, do they? Is it like...some weird guy thing?"

"Are you...saying that...I'm a...weird guy?"

"Uh...no. You're a weird man I guess. Or maybe you're like...a bear in a man suit?"

"What if...I was...a man...in a bear...suit wearing...another man...suit on..top of...that?"

"That's too many suits. No wonder you get out of breath so easily."

"Nah, that's...from all...the cigarettes."

"Then why do you smoke them?"

"They make...me look...cool."

"Do they? I never noticed."

"It's because...you're too...busy getting...all embarrassed...and shy...over everything. You never...notice me...being cool."

"I do not always get like that! It's just that you guys like to bully me and stuff...it's not fair. I don't have a chance to defend myself..."

"Maybe you...deserve the...bullying?"

"No way! I'm so nice and stuff...why would you want to bully a cute girl like me?"

"It's because...you're so...cute."

You try to think of a way to retaliate to that, but your moving thoughts stumble about in your head and your face reddens deeply once again.

"W-Wait, don't say things like that-"

"Like now. Getting all...flustered. Makes you...look even...cuter. Like someone...I want...to bully."

"No wait! Ah...s-stop it!" You look down at your lap and every which way, trying to not look like you are enjoying the comments. You are, but it's also makes you lose your composure at the same time.

"Gues what?"

"What n-now?" You look up at Lawrence and see the lopsided grin on his face.

"Gonna bully."

"Ah no!"

"Will tell...you a...scary story."

"No! Don't you dare! Don't you dare do that!"

"I will."

"No, if you do that th-then I'll um...I'll hate you forever!"

"No you...won't."

"Yes I will! Just for even saying something like that I um...I already hate you!" You turn away from him, hoping to both give him the cold shoulder and to hide away your bashful face.

"So you...hate me?"

"Yes, why wouldn't I hate a big jerk?"

"Then I'll...bully you...till you...don't."

"There's no way you can do tha-" Your words catch as Lawrence holds you closer and there's the press of a kiss on your forehead.

"Ah, n-no kisses! Stop it!" Stupid jerk thinks he can just win you over with this, doesn't he? You try to push his face away but you can't stop it as you feel a trail of kisses travel across your forehead and cheek. You like it, but you aren't going to give him the satisfaction of knowing.

"Cutie." Lawrence says this when you finally look back at hi, stopping his attacks.

"You smell like cigarettes."

"I always...do."

"You need a shower."

"I always...do."

"You look like a mess."

"I always...do."

Your petty insults do nothing to break the smug look on his face, and you hope your face properly reflects the disgust you feel.

"You're still rude."

"That's okay. You don't...really mind...it." Before you can say anything else there's another kiss on your cheek, and though you're trying to act like you don't like it you also don't try to push him away this time.

"Yes I do. A cute lady-"

"Old lady."

"Cute! A cute lady like me deserves someone who is nice!"

"Am nice."

"No you aren't! You bully me all the time. And just like yesterday you...you made me think you were going to give me a real kiss and then you...you just put it on my forehead! Making me stand there waiting for it and then never giving it to me...I'm still mad at you for that." You turn your face away again, nose in the air. You're playing it as if you aren't actually bothered by it, but it did bring you to tears. Why do you have to be so emotional over such stupid things?

"Can make...it up...to you."

"And how are you going to do that?" Your voice may sound snooty and uninterested, but that's far from how you feel like right now.

"Will tell...you what...you are."

"What I am-...wait you mean from earlier? F-From the girlfriend thing?"

"Mhm. But I'm...a meany. Maybe won't...tell you...special nickname."

"B-...but I want to hear it! Tell me!" You lose all traces of your cool and calm demeanor, dyiung to hear it.

Your going to be Lawrence's what?

You have no clue what it may be, and the possibility of it only excites and scares you more.

"I don't...know if...I should."

"Yes please! I need to know! Ah b-but if it's old lady again...!"

"Nope. Not that."

"Then what is it? You have to tell me Lawrence! You just have to!"

"One condition."

"What?" You're doing your best not to jump around in anticipation, eager to do whatever it may be to hear it. From the grin on Lawrence's face, you know he's cooking up an idea to stump you.

"You have...to give...me a...special nickname...too."
>my husband
>my love
>my daddy
>my servant
>Yabba Dabba Doo
>Bearer of the Purse
>Homo Erectus
>John #2
>David Bowie
>Freddie Mercury
>The Cars
>Tsing Shi Tao
>Harry Potter
Papa Bear
Our Prince.

Or this.
Or Samson because we lead him into temptation and ruin. ;_;
>jar jar binks
>hank hill
>Richard head
I'll second our prince
"Prince" sounds good
Kind of invokes the idea that she still has hope even if everything is wrong and her childhood lies in shambles

Cheek breeki
Supporting "Prince" too. Sounds like something she would think of.
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Goodnight, sweet Lawrence
He totes gonna die
"I didn't know this was going to be part of it! I uh...okay hold on um..." It's so hard to think, being put on the spot and with your head a mess. It's made worse by the fact that you can feel Lawrence is watching you every second as you struggle to come up with an appropriate name. Your mind rushes through all the different thoughts and ideas, trying to come up with something good.

Something like...oh god, what do girls usually do? This is hard?

What about like...something like Papa Bear? Wait, isn't that weird...calling your kinda boyfriend papa? It would be like calling him daddy, and what girl would ever call their man daddy? Okay, different idea...um...

"I could...always call you Sue. Like your cigarettes, that's what they're called right? Cowboy Sue's?"

"Do I...look like...a cheeky...bastard?"

"Um well...maybe once in a while-" You squeak as your cheek is pinched. "Aha...just kidding! Just kidding!"

It's not like it actually hurt or anything, but when Lawrence releases his grip you act like you are offended by his action.

"Now I've gone and forgotten what I was going to say! I just had it too!" That's a lie, but if anything this will buy you more time. "Look at what you did!"

You're drawn in close and instead of fingers you feel a kiss on your cheek.

"A-Alright...I remember what it is now..." The idea comes to you, though you are embarrassed to actually say it out loud.

"N-Now don't you go and make fun of this or anything, okay?"

"I promise."

"I have your promise then, if you break it I'll be even madder and you'll have to take me out for a nice dinner...like at one of those places where they lay out all the forks and judge you for using the wrong one! And I'll eat a whole bunch and get dessert too, so don't you laugh at this."

"I won't. Go ahead...and tell."

You look from his face to the wall in front of you to over at the door.

"You can...you can be my..." You mumble the last word, still embarrassed to say it.

"Couldn't hear...it. Say again."

You wait a few seconds, trying to gather the courage to say the words. It...must be stupid. It's going to be dumb, and he's going to laugh and think that you're a child.

"Promise I...won't make...fun of...it."

Just say it and get it over with, say it so you can hear your special name. You turn back to Lawrence, looking up at him and taking a deep breath to speak. Catching his eyes your face and chest feel incredibly hot and you throw your gaze back down to your lap.

"You can....y-you can be my uh...m-...m-my..." God, how awful. You must look ridiculous right now. You end up covering your shameful face with your hands and you choke out the words.

"You can...b-be my p-prince."

In the seconds that immediately follow you wait to be reprimanded for your choice.



"It's cute." You hear Lawrence repeat, and while this certainly isn't bullying it doesn't help bring down your racing heart. You're more...excited? Happy? It's a nice feeling.

"Okay, I gave you that so um...now it's your turn. G-Go ahead, I'm ready to hear it."

You can't help the anticipation you feel, ready to hear the special name just for you, the one that will be all yours. Lawrence brings you in close again to whisper it in your ear, despite the two of you being all alone, as if to make sure that it's you and you alone that hears this.

"Mo chuisle."

"W-...Wait, what does that mean? It's not English, is it?"


"What does it mean?" You look towards him, not sure how to feel about this. It sounds...weird. Not anything like what you were expecting.

"It means...'my pulse'. Short version...of 'pulse...of my heart'. Mom taught...it to...me." There's another press of a kiss against the side of your face. "You can...be my...pulse. How is...that?"

"I um...I wasn't expecting that but..." You think it over. "Am...am I really that important?"


It's not like you want to cry right now, it actually makes you feel overjoyed to hear something like that. Why is your vision blurring then?

"If you...don't like...it then...I can...just use...Princess-"

"No!" You wrap your arms around his neck and press your face against the crook of his neck. Why does this feel really...exciting?

"I...I like that name...you can use it if you want. It...it makes me feel special..." You're hugged back just as tightly and you do your best to keep calm. It's nice that, for once, you are just trying to keep yourself from feeling too happy.

"I mean you um...you can also use princess t-too if you like...I won't complain about that."

"As you...wish."

"But will you say the other one? I want to hear it again..."

"Mo chuisle." Even though it didn't do it the first time, now that you know what it means the phrase sends a new kind of warmth through your body.

"Again." You whisper, hiding your face away in his neck again.

As Lawrence keeps saying the phrase in a whisper you can't contain the smile that spreads on your face, a new type of charm coming from each repeat. Finally you hear his voice start to grow dryer despite the fact that he is only whispering.

"Okay...okay you don't have to say it anymore." You're trying to hide your joy, not wanting to let him know how two words like that can make you smile like you haven't in a long time.

"Thank you for that." You whisper to him, Lawrence's hands coming up to cup your cheek and pull your face down to kiss against your forehead. It doesn't sour your mood, not like last time, and while you love each of the kisses he gives you there's one you really want right now.

He must notice this, and tilts your head up to place the next one on your lips instead.

It's brief and light and exactly what you needed.


You continue to sit there, letting the phrase tumble about in your head as your hair is lightly played with. Glancing up you look towards the cowlick poking off of the side of Lawrence's head, the only part of his hair that isn't laying back.

"Can you fix this?" You ask, reaching up to mess with it.

"Nothing...I've tried...works."

"I think it's cute, so that's fine. It's getting kinda long though, you should trim it."

"No time...to visit...a barber."

"You don't need a barber. I can totally do it. I uh...I think there's some scissors over by the boxes. Can I do it?"

It looks like Lawrence is going to say no, but you decide to whip out your cute lady charm before he can.

"Pretty please? It's uh...it's my duty to keep my prince looking cool." You put on your best puppy eyes, and though it's probably against his better judgment Lawrence gives you permission.


They're old scissors, big and heavy in your hands. The metal is somewhat rusted, and you hope it'll be sharp enough to do their job. Aria would probably have a heart attack if she knew you were using scissors meant for boxes on someone's hair...

Lawrence leans over so you can reach the spot easily enough and allow the hair to fall to the ground instead of inside the collar of his shirt.

"Don't make...a bald...spot." He warns as you take the hair between your fingers.

"I won't, I'll be extra careful. Just a little bit off so it doesn't stick out too much."

You do your best to determine what would be a proper length, your fingers marking the line as you bring the scissors to his hair. Taking it slow, you snip pieces of hair down in an attempt to keep it even too. Small stray strands fall to the ground with your snips, and soon enough you finish the job.

"All done. Now it shouldn't stick out too much." You feel accomplished with your work, even though all you did was cut off less then an inch. Lawrence's hand comes up to run over the newly trimmed spot, knocking off remaining strands of hair.

"Heh...if you hadn't let me do it then um...I woulda tied you to one of the kitchen chairs and done it that way." You tease, snipping the scissors in the air. Compared to earlier you feel much better in this moment, and even though there are still those sad terrible thoughts...

You're 'mo chuisle', and you can ignore those thoughts for now.


Just like at the apartments you find yourself just...extremely bored. You're able to entertain yourself for a bit by looking at all the little cracks in the ceiling and wall, counting and adding each one together. By the third time it's no longer fun. Looking to where Lawrence is sitting just a bit away from you, you can see that he's still working on his letter. You wouldn't want to disturb him but...

"Do you know when Mr Faraway will be coming back?"

"He mentioned...he would...stop by...around three."

"What time do you think it is now?"


"...darn." You roll over to your stomach, kicking your feet behind you. It's even more boring here since you absolutely have nothing to do. You regret not reading those books back when you had the chance to.

You remember that you guys are meeting up at the event tonight, but that you only have the clothes you're in right now. Not exactly fancy like Sarah mentioned but this is an emergency. Still...you hope you don't get any funny looks.

Man...everyone at the apartments...you really hope they're alright. Why did they go to Lawrence's room? Maybe you weren't careful enough and one of them saw you go in there that night...god...what would have happened if you decided to stay in the kid's room instead? But that still doesn't answer the question on how they knew it was you. It's just your hair that's changed but it's not like you went around flaunting yourself around...

Hopefully the new place will be safer, better, and you won't have to worry about picking up everything and moving once again. What you would do for some stability at this point...

Don't be upset at it, think about how you'll have it in the future. How you'll have a nice place to live, a nice job, a nice family...

You will have a nice family at least, right? You kind of remember Lawrence talking about how he was scared to be a father or something...that wouldn't mean that he doesn't want kids at all, right? Maybe he doesn't want any at all...you feel like you do but...wouldn't it be bad to force someone to have children?

Should you even talk to him about the possibility of starting a family?

See you cuties in the morning
>Should you even talk to him about the possibility of starting a family?
Yes, but only once you've grown old enough to handle the strain -and- ask him about responsibility as well.
It might be nice, even to just hear a maybe?

We're worried we might become like our mother, though, all but forgetting there's a child we should care for... or forcing someone to stay with us because we get pregnant. That's what mom did, wasn't it? Or what grandma said mom did...

Do normal people worry about becoming like their parents? Or is it just us? Many of our friends seemed to have well-functioning families so why would they.

... does Lawrence worry he'd take after his dad? Is that why he's... anxious about the idea of having children?
It would be nice get an answer, and even though you would love to hear a yes right now you could settle with even just a maybe. Something to give you another goal to strive for in the future.

Ah but...what if you get a no? That would be a huge let down...but it would be kind of weird to ask him, wouldn't it? Do all couples want to have kids? You always assumed so, but there have to be a few out there who don't...or can't. How sad...to want to have kids and never get the chance to have them...

"Um...is it okay if I ask you a question?" You sit up and look over at Lawrence, watching as he pauses what he's writing to give you the okay. You move up next to him, sitting down so you can read any note he writes to you. As he turns the pages to a fresh one you can't help but noticed that he has written a lot. You can only imagine what he might be telling his parents, you really doubt that he's kept in contact at all since he's left.

"This uh...this is probably a weird question and all but um..." You look down at your feet, gently knocking them together as you prepare yourself to ask the question.

"I know you've like...mentioned that like...you don't think you could be a um...a dad or whatever...but like, does that mean you would never want kids?" Saying it out loud makes you realize how heavy of a question it really is, and you hope that it's not too much.

I wouldn't really make the greatest dad. I feel like I would cause more trouble then its worth for my kids

"I don't think that's true, I'm sure you would be a good daddy." You notice that he's avoiding your main question, and you try to figure out a way to redirect him towards it.

"Do you like kids? I think the ones in the group like you enough."

I don't hate them or anything like that. I used to scare Lisa and Clark before, but I didn't mean to. They were just kind of skiddish of this huge tall guy, and I think I reminded Clark too much of his own father, I don't think he was a good man.

"But they like you now, and that's what matters right?" You're relieved to hear that Lawrence doesn't hate children, that's a good sign right?

I suppose so. Still, getting along with kids and being a good parent are two different things. There's a lot more to it then just being a nice person. You need to be able to raise them right and provide them with what they need.

How can I give them that, when I can't even take care of myself?

Lawrence looks frustrated at this, disappointed with himself.

"You can get back on your feet though, there's still a chance for that isn't there? Maybe you'll find a job, a steady one, and then you'll be able to find a home and things will be better."

Just because I find a job doesn't mean I'd stop being homeless so easily. Eric doesn't make an amazing salary, but he's getting a steady paycheck and he's still out on the streets.

"Then uh...it can be a goal, right? It can't be impossible. You can work towards finding a decent job, and then a home, and then um...i-in a few years when I'm older and r-ready you can uh..." You stare at your feet again, shy about saying this. "Then m-maybe you can try and s-...start a family with me..."

The quietness that follows makes you nervous, scared that you might have said the wrong thing. What if that's not what he wants though? What if you're just shoving your dreams on to him?

"I mean, you don't have to if you don't want to. I can't force you to do that..."

Isn't that the reason you were born though?

"My mom did that...that's what my grandma always said anyways. She said mom got pregnant with me so that my dad would have to stay with her. Isn't that terrible? What an awful reason to be born." It's bothered you ever since you first heard about it, but over the years it had slowly begun to hit you harder and harder.

Are you really only alive because your mother needed to make your father stay?

"This must sound weird, doesn't it? Ha...I bet normal people don't um...don't have to worry about this kind of thing. All my friends had normal families...they probably don't have have to think about this."

It has to be just you two, right? Everything always seems harder when it's with you, of course even something like this would be difficult.

No, other people worry about this kind of thing too. There's a reason single parents exist, and not because the the other one died or divorced them

"Do...do people really run away from their kids?"

Yes, some of the worst kind of people. I don't which is better though, an absentee parent or an abusive one. Some don't care what happens to their children either, they could care less if they came home at night. Some people were just not cut out to be parents

Maybe not a few years ago, but you can believe this easily enough now.

"I wouldn't want to be a bad parent...I'd want to be a good mom. But um...I also don't want to make my kids suffer..." You hand the notebook back over. "If...if we get...if I get to a point where I could be a good parent and give my kid what they need, do you think it would be a bad idea for me to try...?"

I don't doubt that you would be a loving mother

But does that mean the same thing as being a good mother?

"If you think I would then, I um...I think you would be a good dad, even if you don't think so."

If you think so

"I do! And when...when you do get yourself settled and things are kinda normal then...then will..." You fidget with your fingers as you say this.

"Then will you try and be a good p-...parent with me?"

There's a long pause that follows this and the answer you receive.

If you come to a point in life where you feel like you want a kid and you can handle it, then I think it would be okay

"Would you want that to happen though?"

I want you to be happy

It's...not a straight yes, but it's still something. Better then a 'no', at least. There's a word that comes to mind though. Wedlock. That's when a baby is born to an unmarried couple, you know that enough. Isn't that baby called a...a bastard though? What a terrible word...

You wouldn't want you child called that.

"Sorry for all the weird questions..."

"It's fine."


You stare at the wall in front of you, your eyes trailing over the patterns as Lawrence returns back to his letter. It's still nice, but the feeling in your head has died down a bit.

"It's boring..." You mumble, unsure of how much time has passed.


"Gimme something to do."


"That's boring."

Lawrence doesn't stop writing, and while you know it's important you can't help but feel frustrated by the lack of entertainment. You stand up and mull about the room, looking over the boxes and rows of cots. Nothing interesting is here though...

Boring boring boring.

"C'mon, you're supposed to be smart. Give me something fun to do."

"Never claimed...to be...smart."

"Yeah but you're like an adult. Aren't they supposed to be smart?"

"Are you...kidding?"

"Doesn't matter, I still don't have anything to do."

"I have...nothing for...you to...do."

"Ah you suck sometimes..." You're struck with a balled up piece of paper for this, and while you stick your tongue out in retaliation it still does nothing to solve your boredom.

Well...maybe you can try to do something productive. Faraway will be back in like...an hour or something.

You try to think...are there any questions you need to ask him?
Might be good to pick his brain about how we can deal with Bower. Chances are slim of getting him through legal means, and... confronting him again would be a mistake...

We could stay inside for a few years until we're older and Bower loses interest? That's ridiculous...

Although we've been good at avoiding it, and even if it sucks, we need to keep not being seen outside with Lawrence. Bower and his... bounty hunters probably think that we go wherever Lawrence goes.
Extending on this, would Bower ever lose interest? His obsession seems to be quite strong with all of the money and people he is shilling out.
The only thing you can really think to ask about is this whole ordeal with Bowers. It's not like you have much to go on legally...you could try to go to the police and tell them what he did but...

It sounds unbelievable, absolutely and totally unbelievable. And from what little you have heard from him before you doubt it would be an easy thing to pin everything he's done so far. What proof do you have? Your apartment is burnt down, mom is in the hospital all loopy, and grandma...who knows where she is? It would be your word against his...

And as far as anyone is concerned, you are just some homeless teenager. That can't look too good to the law...even if you went to them now you would probably just end up in state custody. They would realize the condition your mother and grandmother are in and seize you up. Even if you hadn't heard John's story the idea of foster homes doesn't sound all that pleasant. God...what if you did end up in the same kind of system as him? Bouncing around home to home...and the chance that one of those people who are supposed to take care of you could take advantage of you...

You can't let that happen.

What if you hid from Bower, stayed inside for a few...years? Even if you did have a house that doesn't sound all that great either. Even if you can't enjoy it the same as everyone else you still want to be able to live out your life doing something other then running and hiding. Maybe that's the price you have to pay though.

The sacrifice you have to make for someone's selfishness.

Another thought dawns on you when you look over to Lawrence, and it hurts your chest.

You come and sit by Lawrence again, not saying anything as you bring your knees up to your chest. Listening to the scratching, you wait for him to stop writing before you speak.

"Those guys in the car probably know who you are, don't they? Enough that if they see someone like me tagging around then it doesn't matter how much I change myself...they'll know it's me, won't they?"

Even though you were asking, you don't need a response. You already know what the answer to that is. You hide you face away in your arms even though it's obvious this makes you upset.

"That means I shouldn't even be seen out in public with you at all then, huh?"

You could handle not doing anything with Lawrence in public, but not getting to walk out with him at all? Are you really stuck with being around him in private now? You don't even have proper privacy the majority of the time...

"This sucks...everything just sucks so bad..." Your body seizes up as you try not to cry. This is to keep safe, to help keep Lawrence safe too. You should be glad that you can stop any of the future pain he may feel but...

You don't want to be away from him, you're too selfish for that.

"It's not fair."

"I hate this so much."

"I...I hate everything..."

You're still muttering as Lawrence pulls you towards him, letting him hold you as you lament the situation.

"Why do I keep having to do this..." You rest your chin on his shoulder, looking at the wall behind.

"It will...be fine."

"No it won't. Everything just turns worse and worse..."

"Listen..." Lawrence moves so that you have to look at him while he speaks. "It's hard...but try...to deal....with this...for now. Think...think about..."

You stare at him, awaiting for the supposed thing to cheer you up. He brings a hand up to your and moves the hair out of your face.

"Think about...getting to...live in...a real...house. A nice...place where...you don't...ever have...to think...about this...stuff ever...again. You can...have a...happy normal...life."

"Do you promise to give that to me?"

"I...promise you'll...have it."

You are ready to ask him again if all this will come from him but Lawrence stops you with the quick kisses up and down your cheek again. They tickle and make you feel fluttery, but you still want to hear him promise that he will be the one.

"Mm...wait, j-just tell me that you'll be at the house too-" You're once again forced to stop but this time with a quick kiss to the lips. You enjoy it, but you don't like that your question is being avoided.


"I'm back!"

You can't help but gasp as you hear Faraway's voice in the hallway, coming up towards the door. Scrambling away as quick as you can, you're only inches away from Lawrence when Faraway enters the room, but at least you aren't sitting on his lap.

"I'm a little surprised you two would have stayed in here all day, what have you two been doing?"

"A-Ah...just....hanging around and...stuff."

You watch as Lawrence jumps up to his feet, walking over to Faraway and scribbling on his paper. He's trying to control it, but you can see that he too was caught off guard.

"Shower? Oh yes you can take one, head down the same way like you are going to the bathroom, but go in the hall on the other side instead. It will be on the same side though- Did you cut your hair? It looks a bit lopsided."

Lawrence reaches up to touch the cowlick and shoots a quick glance over at you.

"I thought it looked fine..."


While Lawrence cleans himself up you follow Faraway back to his office, taking a seat on the couch again.

"I apologize for leaving. The weekends tend to mess up my sleep schedule, as you can imagine. I needed to get a few hours in before I could continue..." Faraway tries to stile a yawn as he pulls out a lock box, opening it on his desk and pulling out cash. Like...a lot of it.

He begins to count and divide it up, crunching numbers on a calculator and writing down as he goes.

"I hope everything was fine otherwise?"

"Oh uh, yeah. It was all good, thank you."

"I'm glad to hear that."

"You like kinda busy but do you mind if I um..ask you some questions?"

"Ask away, I'm capable of multitasking."

"It's about Bower...I just...I have no idea how to handle all this..."

"I don't think anyone would, quite frankly. It's a...rather dire situation."

"Do you think there's a chance that he could ever lose interest in me? I don't feel like he would...there's all that money out for me and then he's sent people out to look for me..."

"Bower is the type of man who grew up never hearing the word no, if I had to guess. Saw these types all the time growing up. Mommy and Daddy would spoil their precious little child, showering them with gifts and praises. And of course they could never do any wrong, that was someone else's fault. They could find their baby still with the knife in their hand and still find a way to pin the blame on the dead man."

"I wish he only acted like a spoiled brat..."

"Most of those folks grow up to be rather...rude and unaware of their own actions, but most don't turn out nearly as bad as Bower has. At least I would hope not. Mostly you see them flaunting their checkbook to get out of a speeding ticket or a DWI but...I supposed there are those who wish to see people 'disappear' or in pain."

"And there's nothing I can do to stop it..."

"Even with solid evidence it would be rather difficult to get true justice. He could earn a conviction but it may only be a slap on the wrists."

"And I have absolutely no evidence..."

"And even if you did...well, you could call the police down but there's no guessing which one of them has Bower's money in their wallet. Not all of them, mind you. More then enough to be rather disheartening though." Faraway looks up from his numbers, a sad look to his face.

"I am so sorry that you've had to go through this dear, I really am."

You appreciate the sympathy, even if it does nothing to help your situation.

"We um...we have to go to this event tonight, to meet up with some of our group."

"Ah, where at?"

"The uh, event center I think-"

"Is it for the country club's party?"

"Yeah, I think so."

"Sharron will be attending tonight I believe. I can't go unfortunately, but...oh!"


"How were you planning on getting down there? Walking? It would take you quite some time from here."
We'd probably hail a cab or see how close the bus goes, unless Mr. Faraway has a better idea.
>We'd probably hail a cab or see how close the bus goes, unless Mr. Faraway has a better idea.
Secret agent undercover transport
"Ah well just like...a taxi or maybe the bus, that would be cheaper. I mean, if it stops close enough anyways. We don't really have any other way to get around..."

"I would offer to drive you down but I must stay here to prepare for tonight unfortunately." Faraway thinks about the options. "I would also offer to loan Lawrence my keys, but I unfortunately need to keep it around. My girls try to behave but there are occasions where....ah well, you don't need to know that. It won't help you none."

"Lawrence will probably just have to hail us a taxi, or maybe we can call one from the phone here?"

"Yes you can but...ah..."

"What is it?"

"I take it Lawrence knows how to drive a car, but do you know if he would know how to ride a motorcycle?"

"Uh...maybe. You have a motorcycle?" That kind of imagine doesn't really suit Faraway, you just can't imagine someone like him driving something like that.

"Not mine, Minnie's. My dear wife was a bit of a thrill seeker, and for one anniversary I got her one for a present. Not that I could really tell you much about it, those aren't too much in my range of knowledge. I meant to sell it after she passed away, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Currently in storage, I could drop you two off to pick it up."

"Are you sure? It it was your wife's-"

"Normally I wouldn't hand the keys over to anyone. Then again, not everyone is on the run from a psychopath. I'm expecting it to return to me in good condition, but for the sake of getting you where you need to go safely I am willing to loan it for the night."

"Oh my god, thank you so much! This means a lot t-"

Lawrence walks into the room, looking around a bit dazed and confused.

"Mr. Faraway says we can borrow his- er, well...his wife's, motorcycle for tonight!" You kind of feel excited by this, since this means you don't have to try to walk or ride the bus all the way over there. But you can't help but feel excited to ride on a motorcycle too.

Lawrence looks like he can't believe it either, looking between you and Faraway as if to make sure that you actually said that.

"Do you know how to ride one? It's a bit old, but Minnie took proper care of it, I think the only thing it's really missing it some fuel."

You watch Lawrence nod his head enthusiastically, and Faraway looks more relieved.

"Good good, if you give me a bit to finish up my business here then I'll take us over to storage."

Faraway returns to crunching the numbers and Lawrence sits next to you, a tad overwhelmed looking at the moment.

"When did you learn how to drive one of those?" You ask, looking up towards him.

During middle school I always thought they were the coolest things, and in high school I did my best to learn. Had this guy who was kinda a friend, he had one. Taught me how to drive it, easy enough stuff. Dad hated it though and wouldn't let me near one, so of course I snuck out to try and learn anyways.

"Grandpa had one when he was younger, he would take grandma for rides on it. I think he sold his after dad was born though, so I've never gotten to ride one."

And I've never ridden with a passenger before. It'll be fine though, just like riding a bike.

"A really fast one though...you better be careful with it!"

No promises

"If you get us hurt I'll kill you..."


You abide your time till Faraway announces that it's time to head out, placing the box full of money back into it's hiding spot. He grabs his coat and ushers the two of you out, back and through the alley.

"It's a slight walk, but I do prefer to park in the lot over here. Much better lit at night and even if they are a bit lousy they have night guards most nights." Faraway leads you to a parking lot two streets down and to the left, taking up most of the block. Once again you find yourself in the backseat, Lawrence having to cram himself up front.

"Storage isn't too far away. Mostly full of furniture I couldn't stand to toss out when I downsized my living space. The motorcycle should be easy enough to take out, if not a bit dusty. I carry a gas can in the back for emergencies, so we can stop along the way and top it off."

You buckle up as Faraway pulls out into the street, cars passing by as he drives.

"I know that you are heading over to the nicer part of town, so I don't mind lending this out to you for tonight Lawrence. Just do your best to keep it in good condition, that's all I ask. Minnie would be glad to hear her little Bowie is getting back on the road again though."


Faraway stops at a gas station and Lawrence gets out to fill up the can. As he stands outside Faraway turns back to look over at where you sit.

"Now...I must be sure, but he isn't a bad man, is he? Not forcing you to do anything or hurting you?"

"No, of course not."

"I'm glad to hear that. Not that I am saying you will, but I am too use to seeing girls down on their luck being picked up by someone they believed would be their knight in shining armor, only for their situation to turn out even worse then before." His words are grave and they scare you a bit.

"Ah, I'm just fear mongering now. I apologize. I don't need to lecture you about trying to keep safe."

Lawrence replaces the can to the trunk and returns to his spot up front, and Faraway drives the two of you over to the destination next. A large row of metal storage units surrounded by a tall fence to guard them away. Faraway pulls right up his the unit, a serious of large locks keeping the contents inside secured.

"Can't be too careful these days." He says, having to take the time to undo each of the big heavy locks. Lawrence assists him in lifting the heavy door, revealing a dark and crowded space inside.

"Oh dear, bit more cluttered then I thought. The thing should be underneath a tarp..."

You stand back, watching the two men attempt to find the motorcycle among the mess. It's not everyday you see something as large as that become lost...

"There we go! Here, help me pull it out and..." Faraway coughs and sneezes as a cloud of dust kicks up, but you can see a rolling wheel from beneath a green tarp come into the light. Lawrence holds it up as Faraway pulls away the cover, revealing the silver bike beneath.

"There we are! Little Bowie, that's what Minnie called him. Uh let's see, this is a...oh what kind of did she say...something B-, Brow...Brough? Either way, this should get you where you need to go."

Faraway stands back with you as Lawrence gasses up the motorcycle, sitting atop of it as he attempts to start it up. After several tries the engine turns over, sputtering before letting out the sound of being ready to roll out.

"Excellent, now I believe Minnie's helmet should still be inside too, just let me..."

Faraway looks for the headgear as Lawrence switches off the engine, a slight smile on his face. He looks rather excited about this.

"Yes, here we go. You must wear this young lady." Faraway returns with a black helmet, handing it over to you. "Lawrence will just have to be extra careful when he goes out. We don't want our man here getting hurt again."

...no wait, he's not our man...he's your man. You stop that.

"Thank you so much...I don't know what to say..."

"Tell me that you'll stay careful out there, alright? When you're done tonight just drive back to where I am. You can make it through the alleyway with it so please bring it along with you. Now I'm afraid I need to head back, my cook will be arriving soon and I need to let him in." Faraway begins locking up the unit once again. "If it's still too early for you to head over to the event center then I believe there is a park you can hang around till it's time. It's a rather popular one and there's a police station just a few blocks down from it. You should be safe enough down there. Just follow the road past the seamstress on the corner of Axtell street and you should find it easy enough."

Both of you wave off Faraway as he drives off to return to work. Looking back you can see that Lawrence is admiring the motorcycle, rather overjoyed at the chance to ride it. Walking over you begin to put on the helmet and Lawrence hands you a scribbled note.

Do you want to head to that park or would you like to cruise around on this instead?

Last update for now, I have to go over to a pair of friend's 21st b-day. Any other post made by me will likely be drunk posting so i apologize in advance
Head to the park. We don't need to advertise our presence to everyone in the city, especially with Bower still sending out goons
Let's keep a low profile and go to the park.
am love you players. Sleep well, am sleep in couch now. Please behave love you <3
gotta be sneaky
gotta be quick
gotta avoid bower's nasty dick
Okay, back home and sobered up. Gonna shower and then starting updating like usual.
"I think it would be fun to, but wouldn't it be safer if we stayed at the park for now?"

There's the slightest hint of let down but Lawrence nods.

You're right, sorry. I guess I got too happy about getting to ride one of these things again

You attach the buckle underneath the chin and feel a bit bad about denying him the ride. Still, what if the two of you are seen zipping around? At least you'll know the park is safe.

Lawrence has to help you tighten the straps accordingly, making sure it's fitting properly on your head as he wiggles it about.

"It fits...ah! It fits stop shaking it!"

"Have to...make sure...it's on...proper so...you're safe."

"Then make sure you drive well and it won't be a proble-" Lawrence responds by wiggling the helmet about once more before releasing you. As he mounts the motorcycle you notice that it doesn't seem to have a proper spot for a second person.

"Um...where do I sit?"


"Alright so uh...like this?" You come to realize that a dress isn't the best thing to be wearing for such a time, but there is not much else you can do about it now. Hoping no one notices you hike up the hem and swing your leg over, trying to balance yourself just right.

"I don't have jeans on..."

"Will be...fine. When you...dismount watch...out for...the metal...pieces on...the left...and you...will be...okay." Lawrence waits for you to adjust yourself, now that you're atop of it like this you can't help but feel a bit nervous.

"Ah, also...keep your...arms around...me so...you don't...fall off."

"Okay, like um..." You stretch your arms around Lawrence, not quite able to touch your hands together, your body pressed against his back. Will you really be able to hold on? It seems kind of scary now...

"Like this?"

"Yeah. Just keep...holding on. Don't worry...about too...much. All you...would need...to do..is lean...in when...I turn. Kind of...like a...bicycle."

"I um...I never learned how to ride one of those, remember?"

"...ah. Uh...then just...hold on."

As Lawrence pushes back the kickstand and balances the bike you can't help but feel a tad bit scared. These things go fast, there's no seat-belts, no windshield, you have to wear a helmet...

The engine roars to life and the bike begins to shake, causing you to hold on to Lawrence for ever so dear life. You keep trying to tell yourself that it's just like a bicycle, but that doesn't help you at in this moment.

As Lawrence takes the first few second with a sputtering and shaky start, he gets into the groove of it when he pulls out into the street. The entire time your heart is pounding something fierce, unsure if you should close your eyes or keep them open.

You begin to warm up to the ride, the longer you go the more enjoyable it is, though you can't but let out the slight squeak from your mouth as it comes to a gentle stop. Right...stop signs.

Lawrence looks back at you, trying to see how you're doing. You only manage to give him a quick thumbs-up, but this makes him grin as he turns back to continue down the road.

This is...alright, actually. A bit scary at times, but overall it's an alright experience, it would probably even be fun if you guys didn't have to constantly stop for others cars and at every sign. As you continue to hang on to Lawrence, cheek against his back as you watch the streets and buildings pass you swear you can smell the slightest remains of the 'special' smoke.

The park comes up much too soon for Lawrence, as he pulls into an empty parking space you look over to where the two of you will be hanging about for an hour or so.

Every time you hear the word park you can't help but imagine a playground, but this is one of those places meant for walking about instead. Once again, it's one of those places that might have been nice before, but it has fallen to the familiar signs of neglect. The rows of trees all around seem healthy enough at least, and even though their branches are covered in snow now you imagine they will be covered with green in the spring. This place might look nicer with some life added into it...in fact, you imagine even planting flowers along the cracked sidewalk and keeping the grass grown and not patchy would do wonders for this place.

"Um...maybe Mr. Faraway would be nice enough to let us borrow this for a real ride one day." You say, still feeling bad that his joyride was cut short. Removing the helmet you come to realize that your hair has begun to stick up, a mess of dark curls.

"How annoying..." You mutter, trying to smooth them out. Stepping down, you're careful to remember Lawrence's words and quicker to pull down your dress back to it's proper length. "Does my uh...does my hair look awful?"

Lawrence shakes his head as the motorcycle is set into place.

"You didn't even look..."

"You always...look fine."

You grip the helmet tightly between your hands, even though you're frustrated that he gave you an answer without looking he still gave you a compliment. What a dirty trick.

The park is just a large area of sidewalks winding about, benches and picnic tables scattered across among the trees and dead flowerbeds. You can't imagine this place being a good place to hang out in the winter, but there are the few walkers and person dotting the seating through out. Not many others, but enough to make you feel safer about being here.

"Do you think it will be fine to stick together out here?" You would rather not split up, but if it's safer then it might be the thing to do...

Yeah, but we can play it safe and sit apart for now. Some of those benches lined up next to the sidewalk should be okay. We can just sit away from each other for now, but I'll make sure to stay where I can watch you. Anyone stupid enough to try anything here won't realize what hit them.

"Okay but um...you better keep safe too though." You hand the helmet over for Lawrence to hold.


You sit on one end of the rows, Lawrence on the other side and away. It's not going to be too long of a wait before you can go over to the event, but still...you don't have anything to do aside from sit here. Looking around, you can see the occasional car come and pass on the streets...nothing stands out to you.

It should be fine, just sitting here. You aren't dressed nice at all...especially now that you've slept in this. Hopefully you don't get too many weird looks...

Glancing over to where Lawrence is sitting, you can see he is working on his letter once again. Is he writing one long letter, or does he keep rewriting the same thing? How awful, trying to tell them everything that has happened. It would be a heavy thing to hear...

What about your mother? How is she doing right now...you can't imagine she's much better since the last time you saw her...

What if she is doing well though? Would she even miss you? Does she remember anything at this point now? What would you do if she's just...her mind, memories, everything just...gone.

Does that still make her your mother? She gave birth to you, so yes yet...

Could you ever live with her again? Even if she got better mentally...

What if she never gets better though? Should you continue to visit her? Try to reconcile what little of a relationship you two have?

Or should you just...try to cut all ties...

That might not be right though...would it? This is so hard...

What should you try to do with your mother?
>What should you try to do with your mother?
Incest, mother-and-partner rampage through the supermarket, durgs...

Just kidding, give her a hug
>What should you try to do with your mother?
>Just fuck her!
- Sue
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>suddenly replies from nowhere
Magic conch, what should I do with my mother

Trying to reconcile with her one day might be good, it'd probably help ease some kind of burden on our mind, especially if she recovers enough to give us some actual answers rather than going into a seizure.

She did break our trust, but at the same time she didn't seem to actually be aware of the extent... What a shitty conundrum.

... Bower tried to have her killed though, didn't he? Even if she was neglectful, she's still been a... victim of that man's psychopathy.
She hasn't been the best mother, not at all. The drinking and the anger, keeping secrets from you...Who drugs up their daughter like that? Does it without telling them a thing, allows a 'doctor' to come in and do as he pleases...

But she didn't know that he was taking advantage of your body, did she? Mom just thought he was going to make you better, not...not everything else he did. Even if she was the reason it happened it's not like she wanted things to turn out the way they did. She was trying to make you better, fix you from the disease she gave you. The situation is rather annoying...

Now that you think of it, you weren't the only victim of Bower's. Your mother is too, isn't she? Neglectful is one thing, but to burn down the apartment? With the way things have been going on, the idea of it being a drunken accident are far fetched.

Bower tried to kill your mother, didn't he?

She might not be the best person, but it doesn't feel right to just abandon her. It wouldn't feel right, just another burden resting on your shoulders for the rest of your life. If she ever has the chance of becoming better then you may be able to get answers, at least a few more that you don't have now.

There are answers you want, right? You've heard the phrase ugly truth before, would this apply now?


It's chilly outside, kicking your legs as you sit on the bench does only a little bit to warm your body. Not to mention the mind numbing boredom of just sitting there. You're more then relieved to see Lawrence stand up and walk over to you, helmet extended out.

"It's fine to go over now?" He nods, handing over the helmet. You fasten it on, hoping that your hair doesn't become even more messed up by the time you arrive. You're shabby enough as it is right now anyways, a bit of helmet hair will be the least of your worries.

With your arms wrapped around Lawrence once again you think about how it might not be so bad to get around like this more often. Of course you would prefer it if this had a proper backseat, but being like this does let you sit close to him.

The ride to the event center is longer, and while you're glad Lawrence is getting to drive more of the motorcycle even you can tell that having to slowdown and stop constantly isn't quite the cruise he wanted. As you await a red light you remember that Lawrence doesn't currently have his license. If he drives well then it shouldn't be a problem, right? People just don't get randomly pulled over do they?

You can't help by eye a passing cruiser, but the officer drives by without another notice. Aside from your legs freezing the ride to the center is an easy enough one, and even though you are driving on the streets you can't help but feel out of place already. The tidiness and cleanliness of the roads and sidewalks seem unreal compared to the rest of the city, and you driving up on a motorcycle in the same clothes you have been wearing for days seems wrong.

There's still half an hour before the party is actually supposed to start yet plenty of cars fill the streets blocks away from the center. You worry about finding parking, even more so when Lawrence pulls into a parking lot only two blocks down from the center and overflowing with cars. He manages to squeeze into a space between two very nice and well kept cars, an advantage of riding a motorcycle must be easier parking.

You step off, your legs shaking from the chill and the unfamiliar sensation of the bike. Removing the headgear you can tell once again your hair is a mess, needing much more then your hands to smooth it over.

"It looks awful...terrible. I'm such a mess right now." Lawrence takes the helmet from you as you attempt to smooth away the wayward locks.

"Look fine."

"No, I look like a hobo."

You continue your best efforts to groom yourself as you walk to the sidewalk, noticing the wrinkles and frumpiness of your clothes.

"Everyone's going to look at me. They're going to notice my gross clothes and my awful hair and they're going to make fun of me..." You mutter, walking a few close steps behind Lawrence. There are the occasional person passing by, but mostly anyone outside is standing in front of the building, and even then most seem to be outside. It must be a big event, you hadn't realized it before. Hopefully Sarah is holding up enough to perform well in front of such a crowd.

"So uh, you aren't going in, right?" Lawrence shakes his head no.

"Okay, you said you were going to meet with John like..behind the building or whatever. Um, where do we meet up after that?"

You move briskly to catch with Lawrence, watching him write.

Eric should be able to tell you. If anything goes down then do your best to meet me in this parking lot. No car will be able to drive through there well and there will probably always be someone coming or going from inside. There should be plenty of hiding places for you too, but let's hope it won't come to that

"Right. I'll try to save you some food or something from inside, I hope it's yummy."

Lawrence is trying to make a plan about what to do if things go left and you're just talking about food. Good job.

Coming in closer to the building Lawrence begins to walk a step behind you, allowing more distance to grow. You need to try and not make it look like you are here together, but he's also trying to keep a close enough distance too...how annoying, having to worry about walking space too.

You have the urge to hold his hand right now. Well then, if you can't do it now then you'll make sure to do it all the time in the future. When you're older you'll hold Lawrence's hand everywhere you two go, even if he doesn't want to. It'll make up for all the times you can't right now.

With a file of people and double glass doors you take a wayward glance back at Lawrence. He's quite a bit away from you, almost half a block down. You don't want to go in by yourself, but you need to. It's fine, you'll just go in and find your friends...it'll be okay. As you look at him you can't help but notice that Lawrence is still trying to hide away his cheek with his hand, attempting to keep it as hidden as he can. There's no way he's used to that yet, not with it still trying to heal. Maybe you'll get the chance to help him out with it again later.

You give him a short wave before moving in line for the doors, watching out of the corner of your eyes as Lawrence walks past the building and towards the back ways. Would John already be back there? You hope so, you didn't consider what it would be like if he wasn't there.

Oh god, what if the others aren't inside either? Would that mean they're still at the apartments? What if they aren't there? How would you even find them?

The panic seizes you up, even more so as the line of people shuffle in and bring you to the check in desk.

"Name, please." A man with a clipboard asks you, friendly enough. You can see that everyone admitted in has an orange wristband placed on, allowing them reentry easily enough.

"Uh, Del-, a-actaully I don't think I'm on the list..." Didn't Sarah mention tickets or something? You weren't expecting this.

"I'm afraid we aren't selling spots today."

"Ah but I'm uh, with like the um...t-the sin-, well I mean just one of the singers...um Sarah-"

Crap...what's their last name? You never bothered to ask, this doesn't look good for you at all.

"Let me check with someone on that real quick, just give me a moment."

As the man rushes off to ask on your allowance into the event you can't help but feel like everyone else is staring. You're causing a nuisance and you must look like one too...

Not soon enough the guy comes back, and to your surprise he motions for your wrist.

"All checks out, you're good to head in. Sorry about the wait, they mentioned that her husband has already been seated. Just head inside and look towards the tables blocked off by ribbon, he should be over there." The bright band is attached around your wrist, giving you the same entry inside as the other guests.

"Okay, th-thank you!" Your voice is unable to hide your initial nervousness though, despite your attempts to hide it and seem like you come to these things all the time.

Inside is a large open lobby, several doors and rooms lining the walls. Two wooden ones on the far wall are propped open, your best guess as to where you need to go. Pushing inside you can't help put notice the array of people here, and while most of them are adults there are plenty of children here too. Rows and rows of round tables take up the space inside, a large and extravagant stage at the back.

People are sitting around or standing to talk to one another and you do your best to bother no one as you weave through the crowd. Your eyes meet up with a girl sitting at a table, a girl your age. She's dressed much nicer and seems bored to be here, and when she looks back you can't help but feel intimidated. Or rather, ashamed?

Near the front, slightly to the side, you can see the area of blocked off tables. A sign stating 'reserved' stands at the opening, and even though you have permission to do so you don't feel right entering. You find Eric sitting at the table soon, Marilyn sitting next to him. Wasn't there supposed to be more people here too? None of the other six premade spots have been touched yet...

Marilyn looks over and lights up as soon as she spots you.

"Eric! Eric she made it, look!" She grabs Eric's sleeve and his attention, pointing as you come to take a seat.

"Oh thank God, I was scared that I would need to go out and look for you. Did you get in okay? Are you fine? What about Lawrence?"

"Getting in was okay." You take the seat on the other side of Marilyn, keeping her between you and Eric. "And I guess I'm alright...I made it here anyways. Lawrence was heading over to the meeting spot, is John here too?"

"He should be. I could barely get a word out of him. Everything has just been kind of a mess lately."

Marilyn's face reflects his words, and guilt begins to rush you again.

"Is it just you two here then?"

"Yeah, and Sarah too of course. She's backstage getting ready. After they do their bit she'll come down here and join us." Eric seems tired, his eyes and voice weary.

There's still some time before everything begins, and you figure that when it does it will be hard to talk. Marilyn passes you a schedule, and you can see that there are several speakers and presentations lined up. You don't really care nor understand what these are for, but you do see that there is an intermission planned in the middle of the speakers, Sarah should be down here when that happens.

Is there anything you wish to talk about with Eric now?

oh sweet lord i am so exhausted from house hunting and the heat is killing me i am so tired but ehres another update pls accapt thank you <3
There's not really anything we can ask or that he can tell us that'd make anything easier for us right now, unless he has some mysterious way of getting rid of Bower.

... apologize for probably being why everyone has to keep moving.
Just a heads up, gonna give you guys one more update before I go to tour houses again, there will be more tonight.
Looking over Eric and Marilyn, you can see that they both seem tired, stressed out. Why wouldn't they be?

"I'm sorry everything is the way it is." You mention, also noting that while they have done their best to dress up appropriately both look disheveled.

Marilyn looks lost on why you're apologizing but Eric is quick to pick up on it.

"Don't worry about it, nothing you could do about it. Let's try and enjoy this tonight! I mean look, they pulled out everything! It's great! I told Sarah that the next time we come here we'll be normal guests! Wouldn't that be awesome?" Eric is doing his best to sound optimistic, but the bags under his eyes give way to the fact that everything has been adding up on him.

"I mean, look at that piano up there! It's amazing, isn't it? I used to play piano actually, maybe now Sarah will let me do a song with her-" Eric can see that the two of you are rather out of it, and rises to his feet instead.

"Girls, I'm going to grab us some drinks before this gets started. Just hang tight for a second, okay?" Eric says before dashing off.

Marilyn is glancing down at her hands, resting in the lap of her dress. It looks nice but you can tell that it is either cheap or old, maybe a combination of both.

"Uh, so how have you been?" This is a risky question but you ask it all the same.

"It's been scary, I hate the apartments." She mumbles, kicking her Mary-Jane's underneath the table. "I wish Pappy would stay with me. He keeps running off, I've barely seen him..."

"He just wants to find you somewhere safe. Maybe it'll be like a house or something, wouldn't that be nice?"

Marilyn's face scrunches up at the mention of that, and you begin to wonder if you have said something wrong.

"Don't tell them that I know, but I overheard Sarah and Eric talking." Her voice is low, and over the mummer of the room you can hardly hear her. "They're going to get themselves a house or something and move out."

"Wait, really? How?"

"I don't know, I went to the bathroom and when I came out they were talking about it. They hushed up real quick when they saw me." Marilyn looks almost angry at this, as if they have betrayed some sort of rule. "They'll move out and live in a nice place and we'll be stuck in scary places..."

You aren't sure what to say, but the idea never crossed your mind. Would they just up and leave the group? Living on the streets really isn't desirable, but wouldn't that be like abandoning family?

"Why is it just you here?" You change the subject, hoping to get more information on what has happened since you left.

"Jessica went to see her aunt, she didn't want to go but I don't think she wanted her to worry either. I think John was supposed to watch everyone, but he had to come here though didn't he? So Aria and Betty are staying back, they have Buttercup too."

"What about Mabel?"

"Um, I think she's helping Pappy and John too? I'm not too sure, no one wants to tell me anything so I just have to kinda sneak around and listen."

"Here you go girls!" Eric arrives balancing cups in his hands. "They had lemonade, I hope that's fine!"

Once again his chipper tune falls onto unappreciative ears, though you make sure to thank him for the drinks. He's trying his best to make it seem like everything is fine but even Marilyn realizes it's not. At what point do you treat a child like an adult in situations?

Eric takes his seat and the lights begin to dim, the ones on stage remaining ever so bright. The piano is rolled out to the center of the stage and a mic brought out.

"Alright! Looks like Sarah should come out at any moment now! I wish I had a camera..." Eric turns his chair to face the stage, even Marilyn turning to look up in her poor mood.

You watch as a woman walks out on to the stage, all smiles and dressed up in bright and cheery colors. She waves and takes a seat at the piano, pulling out sheet music and arranging herself accordingly. Everything about her seems so sunny and clear, not at all like the person to hang around someone as moody and brooding looking as-

Sarah comes out shortly after, bass in hand. You're more then shocked to see that she looks rather...tame? She's wearing dark clothes but rather then messy and spontaneous she gives off the vibe of maturity and elegant. Eric is waving enthusiastically at her, and when Sarah's eyes finish scanning the audience and spots him she gives him the attention he needs in a wave back.

As she sets herself up you look around at the surrounding tables. The normal seating all look to be filled up, there has to be over a hundred people here. The reserved seating only has about twenty other people in the space of six tables, not including yours.

You still feel out of place, but it also doesn't feel like everyone is watching you either.

The buzz of the crowd dies down as an older woman walks onto stage, maybe around Sam's age. She's dressed nicely, a fresh flower pinned to her chest, and though she is a bit round she also looks approachable.

"God evening everyone!" She announces from the microphone, Sarah and the other girl waiting patiently behind her. "Welcome to the near year and our annual benefits and betterment for the community gala! Now I know you are all excited to begin so I will keep this short."

The woman is friendly enough, sounding genuine in her warmth.

"We will begin with a nice performance while you may all gather your refreshments and food and then our speakers will come up! I hope tonight is a good evening, and if you have any needs or complaints please find one of our nearby staff members. And for those of you who may not know me, I am Janice Bower and this is my fifth year running this! Please do not hesitate to let me know how our show runs tonight! And for now, please enjoy our musical entertainment!"

Everyone else around her claps, but your blood runs cold.

"What's wrong?" Marilyn whispers back towards you, her clapping coming to a slow.


Would that mean...would that mean he would be here?

He can't do anything to you here though, right? You'll be safe here, you'll be safe...

Your chest feels tight and you can't breathe though...oh god...

"Eric.." Marilyn is whispering to him. "I don't think Bunny is feeling too well..."

"Shoot, are you alright? Are you going to be sick?"

"F-...Fine!" You choke out. It feels...suffocating in here now.

If that woman is...is married to him then that means he would be here too...right?

You want to run, but where would you go? Lawrence is supposed to be somewhere behind the building, maybe you can find him...

That may be a stupid idea on your part though...just...


Should you stay here with Eric or try to go find Lawrence outside?
And I will be back later tonight, sorry!
Stay, but try to make ourselves as small as possible while scanning the room. Try hiding behind Eric however futile it may be. Keep aware of the exits and make sure we have our knife.
Stay, and prepare to slay/raise hell if anything happens
It would be stupid of you to try and rush out of here just like that. What could he possibly do to you in such a big and crowded place?

You're still scared as hell though.

Aside from a fire exit the only real way out seems to be through the doors you entered through.

There are so many people here, even if he was able to recognize you through your disguise then he would need to be able to pick you out of a crowd. The best you can do right now is keep yourself small, as unnoticeable as possible. It doesn't do much, but you duck yourself as low in the seat as you can. The smaller you are the better...

"Are you really okay?" Marilyn whispers at you again, looking about despite not knowing what is causing your discomfort.

"I'm okay, just a little uh...sick is all."

Marilyn doesn't believe you but she also doesn't badger you about it.

On stage, Sarah and her friend prepare their first number, waiters walking about to bring dishes to everyone.

"We didn't get to order..."

"Ah see Marilyn, at these places its easier for them to give everyone the same thing."

You wish you could join in on their conversation, or pay attention to the stage. You're too busy scanning the large crowd, trying to find the face of the man who has already taken so much from you before.

The piano's notes begin to drift down, beginning a melody for the bass to follow. Eric is excited as ever as Sarah begins to play and Marilyn throws her full interest to the stage too.
If only you could do the same, but you're stuck with having to look out for that man...that awful terrible bastard.

You jump when a plate is set out on the table, and looking up you expect to see Bower's face. Just a teenager acting as the server, only trying to bring you food. Why would he approach you? How would he even spot you in the crowd? It would be in your best interest to calm down and stop worrying about it.

"Thanks..." You mention, the first song coming to an end. You hadn't even paid any attention to it and you feel awful about that. Bower won't do anything here, he won't even know that you're here, it's fine just...keep an eye out, but also try to enjoy yourself. Or at least pretend to.

You clap along with everyone else as the two on stage prepare for the next song. This time Sarah leads in with the bass, leaning in to sing. It's not a song you recognize, but quite a few of the women cheer as she finishes the first lyric. It must be something popular with them...

The piano begins soon enough and you watch as Sarah manages to play the bass and sing. It feels like a hard task, trying to remember the words and keeping up while also strumming. You're not sure your fingers could keep up, much less move in a way that would sound good.

Sarah takes the lead in singing most of the songs, the other girl occasionally coming up as support vocals as they play through their list of songs. Each one is lighthearted and a happy tune, earning a round of applause each time. Though both girls keep wide smiles on their faces you can tell from where you're seated that Sarah's is mostly for the show.

Five songs later and they both take their bows, earning an even louder cheer from the crowd. As you clap along with them you can't help but scan over the numerous faces around you. What if she isn't even his wife? There was a picture of the two on his desk, but honestly everything that happened that day is just an awful mess of bad memories. You would rather not think back to it...

"You didn't even eat your food yet."

Marilyn brings you from your thoughts, pointing out to your untouched plate. You're quick to begin eating, trying to cover the terrible feelings with food.

"Don't choke...!"


Sarah comes and joins the table soon enough, a podium bring brought out on stage and a screen dropping down.

"You did great honey!" Eric stands to greet her, giving a quick hug.

"Thanks. Never thought I'd play my biggest show to a bunch of jack offs...er. Whatever, I'm tired and the show is done."

"Your friend coming down?"

"Nah, her family is taking up a couple tables somewhere else. Told me to come say hey to them, but I'll debate on if I want to do that later." Sarah drops herself down in the seat across from you, nodding in your direction. "And how are you holding up?"

"Okay, I guess. It's not really me that you should be asking..."

"Hey, everyone's alive. All that matters. Now you gotta prepare for the worst part..."

"What is that?"

"The rest of this event." Sarah exaggerates her disdain for staying, making her face look sick and exasperated.

"It won't be that bad-"

"It's just a bunch of white collars and trust fund babies trying to show off who can do the most with their money. Maybe wouldn't be so bad if it all wasn't just some sort of dic-...spitting contest."

Marilyn leans in to whisper to you, keeping her eyes on Eric.

"Don't let him know, but Sarah might try to get us out during the intermission thing."


Jeez...it really is boring. Not to say that it's worse then sitting around doing nothing, but none of what these people are talking about matters to you. Each one comes up to the stage, greets themselves, talks about some sort of project or benefit thing they are doing and then they leave. Sometimes there's a video or pictures on the screen but you can't really bring yourself to care about them.

Stuff like painting benches and planting flowers, or a fundraiser for a church group to go overseas...just, so boring.

The girl from earlier, the one your age that you made eye contact with, ends up on stage and talks about a soup kitchen her and her school ran. Everyone at the table watches awkwardly as she talks about the poor homeless people they served and how it's so sad they don't have homes and how she wishes she could help every single one of them. When she leaves to the applause none of you four manage more then a polite and slow clap.

All these people coming up and talking about helping the communities around the city, and you can't help but wonder why you haven't seen any of this 'great work' they've done.

Even Eric looks to be tired as the speaker currently on stage starts to wrap up their presentation, just something about planting trees in another country or something. You and Marilyn have long since started thumb wars, which turned into battles, and then were quick to become boring.

"Just one more left before they take a break, and then we can leave. Right?" Sarah whispers towards Eric, and while he tries to look like he's giving in to her demands it's obvious that he's just as sick to be here too.

"Good. All this talk and pretty pictures about the stuff they do in front of the camera is getting annoying."

Your eyes scan the crowds once more as the next speaker takes the stage. It's all good, no signs of him, he's probably not even here-

"Good evening everyone!"

Your heart freezes as you look up at the man who raped you, standing on stage with a smile to his face. Instantly you shrink down as low to the chair as you can, wishing the ground would swallow you up.

"He's pretty gross looking..." Marilyn sticks her tongue out, and if you weren't trying to prevent yourself from passing out then you would agree.

"Now, I won't take long tonight. The wife told me to keep it short, I wish I could tell her the same when she talks." How the hell could such a sweet looking lady be married to a monster?

"I don't have any fundraiser going on, however I am proud to announce that as of last week I have preformed my 25th surgery for a child who may not have had the chance to receive treatment before! These, of course, are ones that I provide free of charge as a means to help out my fellow man."

The screen behind lights up with a collage of children and teens, many of them with some type of disfigurement or birth defect affecting their faces.

"Many of these kids come from low income families, and as such never have dreamed of being able to look normal! I have opened my doors and my heart to these twenty-five however, graciously allowing them a chance to live their lives without having to worry about their unsightly appearance." As Bower's says this the picture flashes again, showing the faces from before as smiling, their features 'fixed' up.

"The only one missing from here is my latest patient, who has allowed me to bring her tonight! Please give Melissa here a warm welcome!"

A girl close to your age comes up to meet Bower, and you can't help but notice that most of the pictures are of other girls.

Melissa shakes Bower's hand and then waves at the audience, standing beside him with a hand to her shoulder.

"As you can see, Melissa is a very pretty girl. But only a few weeks ago this was not the case." The picture changes again, this time to a blown up imagine of Melissa. Her upper lip is a mess and pulled up while her right eye is swollen with a lump in her forehead. Even from where you sit it's obvious that Melissa is uncomfortable with so many people looking at her before image.

"Ah but I changed that, didn't I girl?" Bower's gives a smile and a pat on her back, and Melissa is quick to smile and nod. She really looks like she doesn't want to be there right now.

You feel like you really don't want to be here right now.

"Maybe next year my number of patients will have doubled! I will be happy to report my numbers either way! If you wish, you can make donations to help me further reach other children in need of my services, fliers on how to do so will be located up front."

Each second he spends up there makes you feel sick, and the cheers he receives make you angry.

Do any of these people realize that this is the same man who fucked an unconscious girl for who knows how long?

His staff fucking does, and from the looks of it they don't care either.

Maybe no one cares about you.

"Sweet, let's bail." Sarah stands to gather her things, and you can see now that the intermission has been announced.

"What about your bass?"

"That wasn't mine. I'm not allowed to use mine in 'good company', remember?"

"I was wondering why I didn't notice any sort of profanities up there."

Out, you want out. Away, anywhere. Any place that doesn't keep you confined as the same building as that sick son of a bitch.

"Bunny, you look kinda pale..." Marilyn notes, pushing in her chair.

"I'm fine."


"I said I'm fine!" You didn't mean to snap at her, but the hurt look to her face tells you that the damage has been done. You'll need to apologize to her later...

Following closely behind the couple, you keep an ever watchful eye out. Crowds of people are once again coming and going, weaving through them difficult. You feel a tug on your sleeve and you pull away, only realizing that it's Marilyn again.

"I'm sorry-" She's just trying not to get lost, and you hurt her feelings again.

"It's f-...fine. Here." You take her hand in yours and rush to catch up with Sarah and Eric.

"O-Ouch...you're holding on kinda tight..."

"Sorry..." You only loosen your grip slightly, wanting to keep her near you for her own safety and your comfort.

Catching up with the other two in the lobby, you look around again, feeling like an animal on the hunt.

"Wasn't that something guys? I thought it was rather nice." Eric is still trying to sound interested in everything, but Sarah shoots him an annoyed look.

"It was boring. They always talk about all the nice things they do and how they're nice people for doing it, but when the cameras are off you just know they don't lift a finger."

"Honey, I'm sure they work very har-"

"Where am I supposed to meet Lawrence." You feel awful for being curt, but you also can't help it. Standing in here makes you feel vulnerable, and you're desperate for escape.

"Oh, right...right! Okay, uh..." Eric pulls you aside to give you the instructions, Marilyn staying next to Sarah.

"So before he ran off to who knows where, John said that he was going to meet up with Lawrence behind the building. Not directly behind it, but like...okay, so there will be a tall fence dividing the way for people to pull in from behind and the actual alley. They should be behind the fence...do you want me to go with you?"

"Eric, if we hurry we can make the next bus! If we miss we'll be stuck at that stupid station for two hours!"


"Are you sure?"

"Yeah, it's just around back...I can handle it."

It doesn't feel like you can though, the only thing preventing you from using Eric as a bodyguard is the previous guilt you already feel. They have to do so much for you, might as well try to do what little you can on your own.

"Okay, if you're sure. I can knock together a f-...I can help you get out of a situation if you needed but...ah, we're in the nicer part of town. It'll be fine." Eric doesn't look too sure of himself. "We can at least walk you out the front doors though, okay?"

Following them outside, you can see that most people are choosing to stay in and talk in the lobby then actually leave. Less people to see you sneak around, that's good.

"Alright kiddo, we have to scram to the bus station."

"Back to the apartments?"

"Unfortunately. If no one's back there come straight back and ask to borrow the phone, call a cab. Uh, here..." Sarah pulls out Eric's wallet from his pocket, passing over a plastic card to you. "It's credit, so don't be afraid to use it if you absolutely have to."

"Oh, smart idea honey. Just uh, try not to lose it for me, okay?"

"Thank you...I'll make sure to bring it back." You carefully pocket the card, keeping it safe with the rest of your cash.

"Okay kid, we have to head out. You better stay safe, and we'll see you soon, alright?"

"Yeah...yeah! Um, have a good ride back."

"It's a bus, it's going to be fu-...-cking awful." Sarah shrugs at Eric's shocked face. "It is and you know it."


You watch them rush down the sidewalk, and you begin to make your way around. Sure enough the spot directly behind the building is space for cars to pass through, a tall wooden fence separating it from the true alley. Making sure that no one notices you slip around the corner.

Looking down, you can see a long path occasionally broken up by dumpsters. A matching fence blocks up the other side of the alley, keeping you out from whatever it is that lies behind it. There's nothing scary behind here, but you don't really see anyone else either. It's a long ways down though, and there are a few spots two men could hide, not to mention the lights peeking in from over the fences.. Grasping the knife in your pocket you begin to walk down, glancing behind you constantly.

You nearly walk past John, doing a double take when you see him sitting on the ground, his back against the dumpster. It looks like he's sleeping, specks of dried blood by his nose. Where's Lawrence at though?

"Psst...John..." You kneel down, shaking at his shoulder to wake him up. He doesn't want to, but your persistent shaking seems to be doing the job. Kinda...he's opening his eyes anyways.


"John, wake up-" You hear a car door slam, and looking down where you came there is a parked police cruiser. The cop driving the car has stepped out, and appears to be looking around the area. What could he be searching for? You duck behind the dumpster to hide away, but you realize that he's more then likely going to come down this way.

John is still trying to wake up, groggy and out of focus.

Should you try to approach the officer first, but what would you say to him? Maybe you should try to run but...do you run away alone or try to bring John with you?
Try to snap John out of it, who knows what'll happen if the cop finds him like this. Or whether that's a good cop or bad cop...

Maybe make up a lie just in case, like how John's our dad and sometimes he loses consciousness.
This, pretend John got too "drunk" at the party


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