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Finally...

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126 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:02 am

"It's been a reliable first line of defense, yes," I smirk as I scrape up the last few remaining bits of food on my plate. "I have a mean left hook for backup, though."

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127 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:15 am

"Uh huh," I laugh, heading to the sink so I can scrape my plate off before I set to work washing it. "You know, I'd love to see a blind man in a fight. I bet it'd be quite a show. Just limbs swinging and shit," I chuckle, "But a normal blind man. Not you, you're weird."

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128 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:21 am

"Aww, thanks love," I laugh as I push my plate away and brush my shirt off. "I was afraid you hadn't noticed." Grabbing my wine, I finish off the last of it before getting to my feet to take my dishes to the kitchen. It takes me a moment to get my bearings, the wine going to my head with the rush of blood from standing. Catching the half wall next to the fridge, I manage to get wits about me, my foot catching the trashcan as I make my way over to the sink.

"I don't suppose you're feeling charitable enough to let me crash in the bed with you, are you?" I ask hopefully when I feel a cold draft making its way through the apartment with the howl of the wind outside.

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129 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:24 am

"Uhm," I start, my shoulders tensing a bit as I rinse my plate and set it aside as I twist back to grab his. "You can have the bed if you want it," I offer, shrugging as I return to washing, "I can sleep on the couch. It's actually quite comfy."

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130 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:27 am

"It's supposed to frost tonight," I frown hesitantly. "I don't want to put you out of your own bed."

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131 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:30 am

"Don't worry about it," I shrug, "I've got some towels I can shove under the patio door, and that radiator can give off some real heat once it gets up and running. I'll be fine, enjoy the bed." I finish, smiling back at him as though he could see me. I hesitate at the seemingly defeated look on his face, it's only there for a moment, but it leaves a sinking feeling in my chest. 

"Want to fix me another glass of wine?" New subject. Definitely time for a new subject. "I've had a little stash build up since you left, you know. No one will drink wine with me."

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132 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:36 am

"Yeah, alright," I respond, smiling faintly as I take my own glass and go to find a new bottle. "It's always fun being able to get pissed without having to worry about getting robbed. Plus I think you get a kick out of watching me stumble around and bumping into things."

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133 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:42 am

"What can I say," I laugh, "I have simple tastes."

I grin as I finish the last of our dishes, drying my hand before I make my way to the radiator so I can light it up. It is pretty cold in here, and the whistle of the wind through the windows seems to only cement the fact. The warmth of my shower has long faded, and even as I light the fire inside the small furnace I find myself shivering. I swear, once the sun sets the entire city drops like 50 degrees. 

Once it's lit and I'm content it'll stay that way, I shut the door and turn back to my dresser, digging inside for a sweater.

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134 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:51 am

"Will the longneck bottle do?" I ask after digging through the wine and finally settling on one I recognize. It's a little sweeter than the others, something I appreciate if only because good sweets and fruits are hard to come by this close to winter. Before Ljuba can answer, I've popped the cork out with a knife from my belt and I've sunken onto the edge of the bed to pour myself a hearty glass, making a point to stay seated so I don't lose my equilibrium and spill it.

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135 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:55 am

"It'll have to, won't it?" I respond, tugging my sweater on as I head over to sink onto the couch against the far wall. I watch him as he finishes filling one glass before moving onto the next, my head cocking just slightly as I grin. 

"You're not going to bring it to me, are you?"

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136 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:58 am

"Not unless you want to drink it off of the floor, no," I respond seriously, my cheeks already feeling flush from the glasses I've already had. "I'm fairly certain I'm leaning just sitting here."

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137 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:59 am

"A touch to your left, yeah," I laugh, inhaling sharply as I push off of the couch to head towards him to retrieve my wine. 

"I can't believe you're such a lightweight, Marn, honestly."

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138 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:16 am

"It's a blessing and a curse," I respond, smirking from behind my glass. After taking a sip, I pat the mattress beside me and then scoot further onto the bed. "I'm lonely, come be my friend."

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139 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:23 am

"I can be your friend from literally anywhere in the apartment, ya big lush." I tease, taking my glass as I take a tense seat near my pillows. I twist around to set my glass on the crate behind me, leaning over to grab the matches so I can light the candles there. 

"Don't forget to blow these out before you go to bed, either," I remark, lighting the three one at a time, "I only have like two of these little buggers left."

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140 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:27 am

"Oh hey, I found some candles for you," I say as I take another drink and then lean over gingerly to put the glass down. Once I'm sure it's safely on a flat surface, I let out a sigh as I lie back on the bed and stretch out, my shirt slipping up over my stomach as I drag my nails across it lazily.

"Dickhole has them, though," I add after a moment. "Or at least the nice ones. There are a couple of broken ones in my back by the sofa, but I'm not sure how long they'll last."

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141 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:32 am

I roll my eyes a bit as his comfortable nature, taking my glass as I push off the bed to head over to the sofa so I can rummage through his bag.

"So, busted candles and that hideous brooch. What else did you bring me, hmm?"

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142 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:35 am

"Nothing, but stay out of the small bag," I warn as I lift my head to glare in her direction. "There's nothing in there for you."

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143 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:44 am

"Well, now I'm just curious." I retort, sifting through his pack as I pull out empty canteens and various other items. "Hmmm, where is this small bag..."

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144 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:51 am

"I mean it, Lju," I say a little more worriedly than I'd like. The room feels unsteady as I sit up, my heart skipping a bit as I take note of where I left the bag. "It's private, stay out of it."

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145 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:54 am

I frown as I look up at him, shrugging a bit sheepishly as I tuck his belongings back into the bag.

"Alright, I won't look any more..." I say guiltily, closing the bag as I set it off to my side before tucking my legs onto the couch.

"... So what's in it?"

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146 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:01 am

"Just some stuff I found," I respond evasively before laying back on the bed. Dragging a hand across my face, I wave toward the bag. "Candles are in the side pocket along with a box of stuff you asked for. Some honey, spices, and new guitar strings."

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147 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:03 am

"You found guitar strings!?" I ask excitedly, nearly knocking over my wine as I snatch up the bag to grab the items he'd just mentioned.

"Ah, this is so great! I snapped another one just last night, I was so pissed." I dig the guitar strings out, flying off the couch as I head for the bed so I can put the new strings onto my guitar.

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148 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:13 am

I can't help but let out a relieved sigh as I roll onto my side to "watch" her. I really don't know what I'm going to do with the dress in the other bag, but before I can do anything with it, I have to learn how to mend it - which means figuring out what color it is and finding threads to match it. It'll be a long and arduous process, but hopefully by then I'll have found the nerve I need to give it to her.

A comfortable silence falls as Ljuba falls into the routine of tuning her guitar, a low hum resonating in her throat as she does. It's a soothing sound and after a few minutes I find myself repositioning on the bed to scoot toward her, my head lying near her as she works. I can feel her tense at my proximity and I take that as my queue not to come closer. Still, a disappointed sigh crosses my lips as I close my eyes and tuck my hand under my cheek more comfortably, resolving myself to be content with the sound of her fingers plucking across the strings.

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149 Re: Finally... on Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:34 am

Time lingers on as I work on tuning my guitar, and I find myself swaying lightly as my fingers find the familiar rhythm of music in the strings. I play the same song for what feels like hours, my finger tips numbed from the repeated strumming before I find myself sitting up to put the guitar away, settling onto the edge of the bed as I glance back at Marnin fast asleep before blowing out the candles that had nearly burned out beside me. 

It's a comforting sight, despite what the clamminess of my palms tries to imply. Still, there's been an uneasy ache in my spine ever since he'd moved closer to me earlier in the evening, and it hardly eases as I rise from the bed and tug the blanket from the edge of the bed to fold back over the sleeping man. It's a kink in my routine. Normally I'd have been asleep an hour or more ago, curled up right where he is now, and I can't help but resent him a little for it. 

Instead, I busy myself with cutting off lights and tidying the kitchen before I sink onto the couch, the springs creaking under my weight in the otherwise quiet apartment. The familiar hum of the furnace doesn't seem like enough tonight, the faint din of Marnie's breathing reigniting the anxiety that permeates my bones. 

Hands across my face, I twist to face the back of the couch, my fingers flattened against my ears as I begin the long and arduous process of falling asleep. It doesn't look like those nightmares will be going away tonight.

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150 Re: Finally... on Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:19 am

I'm aware of Ljuba's every waking moment throughout the night as I lie in her bed, drifting in and out of sleep every time she moves. I wouldn't say she was disturbing my sleep. Not really, anyway. Her light footfalls send a moment of awareness through me, but the awareness is never accompanied by its partner in crime: adrenaline. Not with her. Anyone else, yes, but I've always felt comfortable with Ljuba. Safe. 

I can only venture at how well Ljuba has slept once she finally does fall asleep, but I awaken feeling rested for the first time since I'd left. I almost don't want to get out of bed, the warmth of the radiator and the covers soaking into my very bones as I curl and stretch and groan under them. It's far too tempting to fall back to sleep after I've let the stretch go, my muscles melting into the aged mattress with a contented sigh as I stare sightlessly up at the darkness.

The pulling promise of a nice hot cup of coffee is too much to resist, unfortunately, and I eventually slip out of the bed - my joints popping as I pause to give everything one last stretch. The floor is icy cold, but it feels good and livening under my curling toes. I'm familiar with every contour and crack of the uneven concrete under my feet as I make my way to her small kitchen. The percolator is sitting on her stove, waiting for the morning's first pot of coffee. 

I hate this thing, if I'm being honest. Fortunately, Ljuba is asleep and can't see me struggling with it, so I ignore the mocking, shadowy shape of the thing and set to work making my morning cup anyway. While it boils, I begin the rest of my morning ritual. Trip to the toilet, quick wash in the sink (usually a shower, but I always feel guilty using Ljuba's hot water), and then some toast.

The toast is just about to pop up out of the toaster as I'm finishing up my coffee, and I can't help but tense in anticipation of the toast that never fails to startle me, even when I'm expecting it. Imagine how I jump when I hear Ljuba yawning not even two feet behind me, the percolator and the coffee clattering to the floor as I feel my heart leap up into my throat, the toast springing up unheeded as I scurry back to avoid the boiling liquid that's splashed all over my exposed legs.

"Oh!" I exclaim, glancing back at Ljuba with wide eyes before I drop down to start cleaning up the mess in a frantic hurry. As safe as I feel around her, there's still a tight ball of anxiety in the pit of my stomach for having made such a fuss. "I'm sorry, I thought you were still asleep!"

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