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Secrets and Favors

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296 Re: Secrets and Favors on Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:45 pm

"I still like the dress you found." I say softly, stifling a yawn as I sink back against the wall and start the tedious work of combing through my half-dry/half-wet hair. "I'd rather wear that one."


Cheeks still warm, I cut Cael a half-annoyed look before moving to sit perfectly centered on the seat - equal distance from both of them - as I straighten out my skirt and cross my ankles. Like a lady, I think to myself, tucking my feet beneath my seat as I plant my hands in my lap. 

"How're you feeling, anyhow? Did that second tea help?"

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297 Re: Secrets and Favors on Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:50 pm

"Yeah, I feel super," I smile. "Bit of pain on my groin, though."


I can't help but flush at that, a pleased grin spreading across my cheeks.

"Is it better?" I ask hopefully. "Please say it's better."

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298 Re: Secrets and Favors on Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:02 pm

"It's much prettier." I nod, smiling at the pleased look on his face as I comb through my hair. "Much softer, too, I bet."


"You're a dream to travel with." I sigh, rolling my eyes as I twist around to crawl back into the back of the van, moving to settle in behind Cael's seat so I can go through my bag, looking for something to distract myself with.

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299 Re: Secrets and Favors on Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:07 pm

"He never seemed to understand that," I say triumphantly. "Who cares if it's pretty to look at if you're miserable wearing it? He had this damn suit he always wanted me to wear that was fucking awful! I broke out into a rash every time I wore it, it was so itchy. Though, that was probably the point, now that I think about it."


"Is that why people keep hopping in my van uninvited?" I ask dryly, glancing into the rearview mirror at the couple in the back corner.

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300 Re: Secrets and Favors on Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:25 pm

"It's probably because they know it drives you insane and you're so fun to annoy." Teagan calls up to him from her spot on the floor, a ratty old notebook perched in her lap as she taps her pen repeatedly against the edge before testing it against the paper. 

"You're so er-" She starts, her brow pinching as though she's trying to work out the rest of the statement, "When you're flustered, you're-" Again, she fails to come through on the teasing remark, Cael's laughter shutting her down as she draws her knees up and works harder to hide behind her book. 

"You think he'd punish you with clothes?" I ask softly, content the woman ahead of us has stopped her attempt to berate Cael so I can continue at a comfortable yet quiet volume. "That's a pity. Probably make you more appreciative of the comfy stuff, huh? I d'know about you, but I'd be looking forward to that silky soft dress against my skin after a day in scratchy old rags."

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301 Re: Secrets and Favors on Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:59 pm

"Are you-," I hesitate, cocking my head toward her as a grin creeps across my face. "Are you flirting with me?"

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302 Re: Secrets and Favors on Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:05 am

"No." I retort quickly, shaking my head as a flush burns across my cheeks. My fingers tangle into the blankets as I pull them up across my lap, tossing the comb back towards Teagan as she scribbles away in her book.

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303 Re: Secrets and Favors on Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:10 am

"You are," I grin in delight, scooting closer to her so I can lean over to place a kiss on her shoulder. "Don't worry, I won't tell anyone." I smile before looking up at the front of the van where I catch Cael glancing back at us.

Grinning broadly, I point toward Ljuba and mouth, "She's flirting with me!" Cael, naturally, only rolls his eyes at me and looks back at the road.

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304 Re: Secrets and Favors on Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:22 am

"You're an idiot," I laugh softly, bumping into him as I yawn again. "And you forget the rest of us aren't blind, I saw that."

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305 Re: Secrets and Favors on Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:40 am

"I don't know what you're talking about," I grin, leaning against her comfortably as I let my head drop to rest against hers. "I bet it'd feel nice," I say quietly as I take her hand, my thumb tracing softly across the back of her hand.

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306 Re: Secrets and Favors on Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:44 am

"Oh?" I respond quietly, pointedly playing dumb, "What would?"

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307 Re: Secrets and Favors on Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:15 am

"That silk dress," I smirk, tilting my head up to nuzzle into the hair near her ear.

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308 Re: Secrets and Favors on Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:20 am

Shivers run down my neck as I grin bashfully, noting the way Teagan glances up at the sound of my giggling.

"Shhh," I half-hiss at Marnin, tucking my jaw down against my shoulder as I pull the blanket up over me, as though hiding from the others.

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309 Re: Secrets and Favors on Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:39 pm

Snickering, I scoot down a little bit before lying down on my side beneath the blankets. I can sense Ljuba's hesitation before I pat the floor next to her to get her to lay down as well. As she does, I fold my arm under my head as a makeshift pillow before the buzz of the phone going off on the metal floor forces me to pick my head back up.

I scowl at the phone as I turn the volume down to nearly nothing before hitting the button to read off the text. What are you doing? It's a simple enough question, one he asks frequently, but I can feel my cheeks turning red at the odd timing. Particularly with Ljuba so close that I can feel the heat of her breath as she peeks at the phone as I type.

Napping. I reply uneasily. Not feeling well. What are you doing? I hope he'll take the hint to leave me alone, but no such luck. In a meeting, he replies and I'd swear I can almost hear his sigh as he rolls his eyes, undoubtedly for all the members of the meeting to see. It's soooo booring.

What is it about? I ask, unsure I want to know the answer. Whether or not we could use an outpost a little further out West. My heart drops before the voice has even finished reading it off to me. I was thinking somewhere near Old North or the Crossroads. What do you think? Are you familiar with the area?

Of course I'm familiar with the area! I practically want to scream, but instead I take in a calm breath and reply. I wouldn't bother, Old North is even more dull than New Haven. And the Balik family already has a heavy presence in the Crossroads.

Can the Balik family be worked with? he asks, and that's when I realize that despite being away from him, I've already done the job he would send me to do.

No, I respond automatically. I already vetted them. They're some kind of brotherhood. They do rigorous background checks and retraining, both mentally and physically, before they let anyone near their inner circle. Youngest member of the circle took twenty years to get there, and he was an orphan adopted by their Sheik. Anyone you sent in would be turned against you.

Even you? he asks innocently, but of course nothing is ever innocent with him.

I'm already against you, aren't I? I reply with a scowl, refusing to play into the game as I switch the phone off and shove it into my pocket before scooting closer to Ljuba so I can rest my head against her. I almost feel guilty for whoever happens to be sitting close enough for him to hit, but I can't deny the smug satisfaction of knowing that I just turned his meeting into a stage for his explosive rage. They won't be deciding on where to put their outpost today, and it certainly won't be at the Crossroads.

I'd never tell him, but I already warned the Balik family about Richard and his own little 'brotherhood'. He's unaware of it, but the Baliks already consider themselves an enemy to the Braddocks. I can't even count the number of Richard's men that I've spotted who mysteriously went missing after I'd had a short chat with one of the Balik boys. They're a scary bunch, but they're honorable.

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