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Secrets and Favors

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126 Re: Secrets and Favors on Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:33 am

I can feel my smile fade a bit as I nod, "Well, that's a bit more expensive than I'd imagined. Though, to be honest, I'm unsure of how long something like that goes. How long do people tend to pay you for?"

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127 Re: Secrets and Favors on Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:45 am

"It depends," Jean shrugs, apparently sensing that he's not about to land a new client as he relaxes a bit against the back of the seat. "Usually, an hour or two is all they need. I have a few who pay for a full night rather than just an hour or two. I don't charge by the hour for a full night, though. And honestly, it's not usually that expensive... but my car and everything else got stolen yesterday, so until I've got enough to get me through the winter, costs are a little higher than normal."

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128 Re: Secrets and Favors on Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:53 am

"Hmm," My lips pinch together as I consider the benefits of hiring the man at the next rest stop, the tickle of curiosity too enticing to ignore. I nod softly before hesitating, his remark leaving me confused.

"Did you say your car was stolen?" I frown, "There wasn't an accident?"

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129 Re: Secrets and Favors on Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:56 am

"Yeah?" He frowns hesitantly. "Well, I mean, the guys who stole it set it on fire, so I guess that's kind of an accident? But no, it was definitely stolen. Why do you ask?"

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130 Re: Secrets and Favors on Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:57 am

"Oh, so it was burned..." I clarify, "That makes more sense."

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131 Re: Secrets and Favors on Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:01 am

"What makes more sense?" Jean asks in confusion as he glances at the others as though they might have a clue what she's talking about. They don't.

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132 Re: Secrets and Favors on Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:03 am

"Why you and the woman aren't injured." I answer, giving him a look as though the response was obvious. "I am still a bit lost on why you're torn up, though." I add, looking back at Marnin.

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133 Re: Secrets and Favors on Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:57 pm

"I tried to get some of our stuff back after it was stolen," Marnin says a little dejectedly.

"Woah, you mean someone actually hit you?" I ask in surprise as I glance back to get a better look at his face. "Son of a bitch, were you drunk? I've seen you fight, no way someone got a hit on you sober!"

"No, I was not drunk," Marnin rolls his eyes as he settles back against Ljuba's side, his head falling to rest on her shoulder. "Thanks for the vote of confidence, though."

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134 Re: Secrets and Favors on Sat Feb 13, 2016 1:45 pm

"Do you fight a lot?" Ljuba asks with a pout as she looks down at Marnin, his head tucked on her shoulder with an annoyed look aimed at the front of the truck.

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135 Re: Secrets and Favors on Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:25 pm

"No," Marnin says automatically, his head lifting toward the front of the van as he hears me looking back to contradict him. "Yes - shut up, Cael." Sighing, he drops his head back on Ljuba's shoulder. "Yes, but not as much as I used to."

"It's why I lug his stupid ass around so often," I admit as I glance back at them. "You have no idea how many fucking assholes think they can mug me driving around out here. When Marn is with us, we're rarely on the losing end."

"We did lose the last time we were out," Marnin frowns as he picks his head up from Ljuba's shoulder again.

"Yeah, yeah," I say, waving a hand at him in the rearview mirror. "I knew Gatz would fuck us over the moment he forced his way into the group. I'm not even mad you lost that round, the fucker is a dirty fighter."

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136 Re: Secrets and Favors on Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:35 pm

"Wha-" Ljuba stiffens as she seems to push Marnin off of her shoulder so she can look at him, and I could swear the demeanor of the woman pulls the collective temperature of the van down several degrees as her breathing increases. 

"Gatz was the one that mugged you?!" She asks softly, lowly, as though she may scream or cry or implode any moment. Even as oblivious as my past acquaintances claim I may be, I know to shrink from the situation as I tuck myself against the back of Cael's seat, looking at Jean uncertainly. "Bu- but you said-"

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137 Re: Secrets and Favors on Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:46 pm

"His friend is the one that hit me," Marnin cuts in, and I can tell by his tone that he's furious with me, but at the moment, there's a shame coloring his cheeks as he tries to avoid Ljuba's gaze - something that's always baffled me since he's blind. "I don't know what happened after that... my ears were ringing and I couldn't hear anything, and then I blacked out..."

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138 Re: Secrets and Favors on Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:08 pm

"You just said he roughed you up." Ljuba frowns sharply, and I can sense an almost calm sort of anger settling in her jaw. "Knocking you out is a bit of a stand out in comparison, don't you think? Why'd you lie?"

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139 Re: Secrets and Favors on Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:21 pm

"I didn't lie!" Marnin frowns sharply before hesitating uncomfortably. "If anything, I just have fucked up standards for what qualifies as roughed up. Blacking out isn't unusual to me, so I don't know... I guess I didn't think it was that big of a deal. I was moving around and relatively pain free within a couple of days."

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140 Re: Secrets and Favors on Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:27 pm

"I'm gonna kill 'im." She scowls, shifting under the blanket as she sits back again, her chin dropping as she pinches the bridge of her nose. 

"You're going to kill Wesley Gatz?" I can't help but scoff, blanching almost immediately as peoples eyes move onto me. "Wha- Well, he's a big guy. "

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141 Re: Secrets and Favors on Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:44 pm

"It was a figure of speech," Jean says quickly, the way he shifts uncomfortably drawing more attention than Ljuba's statement had.

"Hold on!" I say, slamming on the brakes as everyone scrambles for a handhold, the contents of the van falling forward with the momentum. Slamming the van into park, I turn to glare at the group in the back. "Are you seriously going after Gatz and his greasy cocksuckers?? Don't you think that might have been something worth mentioning before you let me agree to cart your asses across the country?!"

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142 Re: Secrets and Favors on Sat Feb 13, 2016 7:24 pm

"Yes, I'm going after him." Ljuba practically spits the words, and I can gauge from her companions' reactions that this is unusual behavior for the seemingly timid woman. "What I'm doing is none of your fucking business, you're giving us a ride because Marnin asked for a favor. He didn't ask for you to help me do anything, he didn't ask you to point me to the man or to hold my hand while I kill him, he asked you for a ride which has nothing to fucking do with me and what I'm doing."

"One could argue, though, that driving you makes him an accomplice." I argue, my tone analytical and observational than confrontational.

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143 Re: Secrets and Favors on Sat Feb 13, 2016 7:39 pm

"Get out." I say flatly. Marnin's eyes widen at the words, and I can feel my face flush as he starts to shake his head. "I said get out!" I repeat loudly as I climb over the seats into the back so I can fight with the back door.

"Cael, don't be ridiculous!" Marnin argues as he tightens his grip on the blanket and leans toward Ljuba protectively.

"No!" I shout. "You want me to drive you into Gatz territory on a fucking suicide mission with no warning?! Get the fuck out of my van! I'm not dying for some stupid vendetta!"

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144 Re: Secrets and Favors on Sat Feb 13, 2016 8:11 pm

Ljuba practically tears away from the man at her side as she rises to her feet, "STUPID VENDETTA!?" She nearly screams, shoving Marnin's hands off of her as he reaches up to stop her before she steps towards Cael, her hands moving the hair from her face before she slaps at her scarred cheek before shoving at his chest angrily.

I scuttle back against the driver's seat as Cael falls back against the door before he can jerk it open, the cramped space of the van making it hard for him to catch his balance once she'd knocked into him. 

"He murdered my sister, he did this and left me for dead!" She yells into his face, Jean and Marnin finally getting a grip on her arms as they rise to keep her away from the blonde against the door. Ljuba's fuming, jerking away from them with no luck as she glares at Cael. "He mangled me, he ruined my life, that is NOT a STUPID VENDETTA!"

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145 Re: Secrets and Favors on Sat Feb 13, 2016 8:34 pm

"And I'm supposed to know this?!" I yell back at her, my face flushed as I use the back of the seat to get my balance. "I don't fucking know you! All I know is that you're in my van - which also happens to be my home - and you want me to drive you into Gatz territory so you can try to fucking KILL one of them! 

"Are you INSANE?! What do you even know about this family?" I demand angrily. "Because I can tell you what I know! What I know is that you and your sister were just a fucking GAME to them! They're capable of so much worse, and you want me to take you to them. I am not out of line expecting a 'hey, by the way,' before I risk everything to help you and your fucking friends!" 

"Cael, will you help us?" Marnin cuts in tensely, his arm still wound tightly around Ljuba to keep her out of my face.

"Of course I'll fucking help you!" I yell at him, my voice maintaining the same anger as I glare at Ljuba. "I think you're all fucking stupid, but yeah... since I'm going that way anyway..."

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146 Re: Secrets and Favors on Sat Feb 13, 2016 8:49 pm

"You're a prick," Ljuba scowls, jerking her arms away from Jean before she shoves at Marnin in annoyance. The tension in the van is still high as she shoves past them to the back of the van, and my own skin crawls with sympathetic anxiety at the way she sinks to the floor, her hands rubbing over her face as she tries to withdraw from the situation. Cheeks flushed, fingers shaking, I can sense the anger wafting off of her, and I pity the woman that she has no where to calm down in private. 

"I-" I start, my voice sounding mousier than ever as I clear my throat and look up at the three men standing - hunching - over me awkwardly, "I could be of some help in this endeavor..?"

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147 Re: Secrets and Favors on Sat Feb 13, 2016 8:55 pm

"Ugh," I roll my eyes as I climb back into the driver seat, the engine still rumbling idly as the seat shakes with the vibration.

"Which endeavor?" Marnin asks. "Going after Gatz?? You really don't have to... your silence is all we ask."

"I don't know," Jean says hesitantly, his gaze lingering on Ljuba sadly. "If this is really as dangerous as Cael seems to think, maybe we could use an extra set of hands..?"

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148 Re: Secrets and Favors on Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:12 pm

"Hands from who?" Ljuba asks angrily, looking up as she gestures over at me, "She's a wisp, what help could she honestly offer?"

"Well, my family is from the area south of Soltera, for one?" I offer, frowning a bit at the annoyed look she gives me as I respond. "I think one of my uncles may still have an apothecary shop in the city."

"How does that help?" Ljuba asks, growing tired of me as she twists her head to face me.

"If memory serves, he sells Vision Tea to their father, and smokies to most of the family. Couldn't be hard to poison it."

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149 Re: Secrets and Favors on Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:26 pm

"We're not looking to kill the whole family," Marnin breathes, though I can tell he's containing some excitement at the news as he moves cautiously toward the back of the van. I shake my head as he sits down, leaving plenty of room between him and Ljuba for the woman to feel comfortable. He seems like a completely different person with her around, his every move and word thought out and laid down around her and her moods.

"The insight about the city could come in handy, though," he adds hesitantly. "And I'm sure something from the apothecary could serve us well at some point, too. It could make the difference between success and failure... and we know what failure means."

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150 Re: Secrets and Favors on Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:41 pm

"I don't want anyone's help!" Ljuba whines as she looks up at him, "Just get me to the city! Get me to him and I'll figure it out!"

I tense slightly as she looks over towards us, shaking her head in annoyance. "This is my thing, I'm doing this! I don't want any of you any more involved than you need to be."

Nodding, I clear my throat before Marnin or the other man can speak up, "Right, right. Well, Uncle Sol may be able to point you in his direction. Never know what the old man knows."

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