When Worlds Fall

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Finally...

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326Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:56 pm

"Mmm," I nod, finally finding the cigarette lighter so I can plug the heater in. Wedging the bottom into one of the cup holders, I push the power button gingerly - you can never be too gentle with these old contraptions. I grin when it clicks on, the air blowing through it gradually warming. It's not perfect, but it'll do.

"I'm fairly certain she fancied me on a dare, but it still counts," I add, shrugging at Ljuba as I sit back in my seat and pull on my seatbelt. "She's become a good friend, even if she was paid to flirt with me."

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327Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:24 am

"Like a prostitute..?" I ask, raising my scarred brow at him curiously as I fiddle with getting the key into the ignition. I practically yelp as I smash my knuckles against one of the levers, the cold metal skinning me a bit as I jerk my hand back and grip it gingerly.

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328Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:27 am

"You okay?" I ask quickly, reaching out toward her before I've even thought about it. I catch myself before I touch her though, and I draw my hand back hesitantly.

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329Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:36 am

"Yeah," I hiss softly, tension already pooling in my shoulders at his outreach. "It's just so cold."

I sigh as I shake my hand out, going back to start the truck as I press the appropriate pedals and start the engine. I hardly notice the blood coating the scrape, instead leaning up in my seat to see if I can pull out without hitting anything.

"How do I know which way is North?"

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330Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:44 am

"It's after noon now, so put the sun on your left side," I respond as I fidget with the small heater, more as an excuse to warm my hands than any real need to adjust it. "And no, Jessica isn't a prostitute. I don't think, anyway... maybe? I don't know, Darryl paid her to spend a night with me. I thought it was more like a dare, because I was the blind guy, he thought it would be funny..? Looking back, though... Holy shit, I think Darryl bought me a hooker!"

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331Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:00 am

"Did you get his money's worth?" I ask absently, more out of obligation to carry on the conversation than anything. Perhaps, if I can keep it up, I can avoid the awkward silence that plagued the ride here. We've only been on the road a few short hours, yet it feels like it's been days.

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332Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:08 am

"God, no," I say with a frown, a chill going up my spine as I shake my head. "Frankly, it was very uncomfortable when she first tried to kiss me... I have a hard time with... that. I think I scared her, honestly. She never tried again."

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333Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:17 am

"Really?" I ask, laughing just slightly. After several attempts, I'm finally maneuvering the truck out of the parking lot, leaning up to look for the run so I can figure out which way to turn as I head for the main road. "What happened..?"

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334Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:21 am

"I don't know, I just sort of froze," I shrug as I look out the window sightlessly. "She said I stopped breathing and wouldn't respond until she started shaking me. I don't remember that, but she swears it happened. Thought I was having some sort of fit."

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335Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:33 am

"God, seriously?" I frown, glancing over towards Marnie once I'm on the road. "I thought-" I start, looking back towards the road as I struggle to switch gears so we can drive at a more comfortable pace, "I thought you were with... people? Like, before?"

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336Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:40 am

"I was," I respond quietly, frowning heavily. "Just... only with one person... Or under his supervision. And never like it is with other people, never 'normal'. The only normal I've had was that one night. You know? With you..?"

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337Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:08 am

I nod weakly, unwilling to address the night in question. That wasn't normal. There was nothing normal about that night. At least, not for me. 

"What about that one girl at Rusty's? She had all that curly hair and the dimples, she was sweet."

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338Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:12 am

"She was from Glenwood," I shake my head with a tight frown. "I didn't know that before we fooled around. I couldn't see her after that."

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339Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:14 am

"Glenwood?" My eyebrows pinch a bit as I try to place the name, "Where's that?"

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340Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:16 am

"It's the town over from home," I reply. "From where Richard is."

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341Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:18 am

"Oh," I nod, glancing towards him as I settle back into my seat. Now that we're back on the open road, I manage to get my seat belt on and tug the blanket from the center of the bench seat back over my lap. "Did she make you homesick or something..?"

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342Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:30 am

My throat sticks shut as I shake my head in response. I'm sure my voice sounds thick when I manage to speak, my cheek pressing against the cool glass of the window as I fix my gaze in the distance as though I can see the wastelands going by.

"I was afraid Richard would find out," I admit quietly. "Not many blind blokes for girls to write home about. All it would take is knew whisper and he would drag me home, never to walk the world on my own again."

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343Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:32 am

"But why?" I ask, "I don't follow..?"

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344Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:44 am

"He's not, strictly speaking, my brother," I frown, my insides clenching uncomfortably. "My mum married his dad, but beyond that..."

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345Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:46 am

His statement makes little sense as I adjust the blanket in my lap, shaking my head in confusion. 

"So he's your step-brother, I still don't understand what that has to do with the girl from Glenwood?"

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346Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:52 am

"He's my husband, Lju," I force out barely above a whisper, my voice cracking on the word as my hand goes up to rub at my throat in an anxious gesture. "Not legally, but by his words... I'm his property. And his word is law. I'm... his."

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347Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:05 am

My eyes widen slightly as I look over at him, my jaw certainly gaping as I try to process what he'd just said.

"Don't be ridiculous," I scoff lamely, "That-" I stop, frowning sharply at the anxiety pouring off of him. "His word doesn't mean anything here, not to me."

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348Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:19 am

My hand starts across the seat in an impulsive reach for her hand before I'm able to stop it, my chest clenching painfully when I have to catch myself just shy of being able to touch her. Still, I clear my throat as I bring my hand back to my lap, my gaze fixed on the dashboard as I force a smile.

"Thank you," I say roughly, my hand clenching and unclenching against my leg nervously.

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349Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:23 am

"I mean it, though," I say softly, my eyes on the road as I reach down to touch the seat beside him. It's a lame gesture, I know, but it's the most I can offer. "I'm not going to let someone just beckon my only friend away. I won't."

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350Finally... - Page 14 Empty Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:34 am

My head cocks to the side as I hear her hand touch the tweed-like fabric between us. Moving gingerly, I reach over to put my own hand next to hers, careful to leave a good hands length between us. It's lacking the comfortable companionship we'd once had, but it's a start and it eases the knot of anxiety sitting in my chest just enough that I'm able to draw a long, even breath to clear the fog of panic threatening to overtake me.

"One demon at a time, okay?" I say lightly, offering a faint smile as I glance over at her. "I'm not going anywhere right now, let's just leave it at that."

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