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Trigger Happy Jack

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1 Trigger Happy Jack on Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:48 pm

I don't remember falling asleep, the conversation and lazy intimacy creeping into the small hours of morning. Eventually, though, I do fall asleep. I know this only because I'm jarred awake by an incessant buzzing on the nightstand. Groaning, I start to reach over to grab the phone before Ljuba's hand catches my arm with a groggy, "Leave it." It leaves a little knot of anxiety in the pit of my stomach, but when her lips find mine, I cave and happily melt into the tired kiss.

The sun has crept up by the time the second call comes. Ljuba doesn't so much as stir this time, and I'm wide awake the moment I hear the buzzing. It's a feat to extricate myself from the tangle of limbs and sheets, and when I finally do free myself, the cool air feels good against my sweaty skin - that's one of the few reasons I hate sleeping naked next to someone after a long night of nocturnal activity.

"Hello?" I whisper groggily as I fumble around for my pajama pants again. It's really fucking hard to discern the fabric from everything else in the room that also reeks of sex. By the time I finally find them, Richard is in full swing on the other end of the phone, every word out of his mouth coiling a tighter snare of anxiety around me as I struggle into my pants so I can go out into the hallway.

"Richard, I wasn't trying to be rude-," I start, already painfully regretting my decision to hang up on him last night. I was too shocked by how much Ljuba loved the guitar to even think about dealing with Richard - and obviously I'd become too engrossed in what happened afterward to notice that he had sent over a dozen texts waiting for an update and some thanks for his thoughtfulness.

"You were too busy fucking her, weren't you?" he accuses hotly. I can tell by the tone of his accusation that he doesn't know for certain, probably even doubts it, but the burn of jealousy at the mere possibility is more than enough to fuel his aggression. I can't bring myself to respond, either to deny nor confirm his fear. And I hate that I feel guilty when I hear the sharp intake of breath on the other end of the line. "You were!"

"Richard-," my cheeks feel hot with shame as a very real tone of betrayal comes over him.

"Shut up," he snaps. "I've done everything for you and that whore-," I can hear the way his teeth grind as he clenches his jaw to cut off his anger, the sound of his fist hitting something in the background making me flinch. "You're coming home. I've had enough of this."

"Richard! No, you can't-!" panic clamps down on me, Richard's voice ringing in my ear as he shouts, "NOW!" I'm shaking as I rest against the wall, tears forming in my eyes as I try to shake my head in denial. But I know better than to ignore a direct order, and his threat isn't really needed, though it comes anyway.

"Don't make me come and fetch you," he says icily. "We both know I can't be responsible for what I do when I'm angry. I expect you home by tomorrow morning. I'd tell you where to find my men there, but I'm sure you're already aware of their whereabouts. They'll see that you're back in time."

"Richard," I say weakly, his continued breathing the only indication I get that he hasn't hung up yet. "Promise you won't hurt her if I come?"

I almost think he's going to deny me, it takes him so long to respond. Just the thought that he would constricts my lungs with fear, a sound I'm sure he's relishing as I try unsuccessfully to hold back the sobbed, "Please?"

"I promise," he finally responds, his voice flat and cold. "Now don't make me ask again."

"I'm coming," I nod weakly, my hands shaking as I hang up the phone and sink down against the wall with a broken sob. My mind is racing as I try to figure out how to proceed. I'll have to leave my things. It'll be the only way to communicate that I mean to come back, that something is wrong if I don't because I can't wake Ljuba. I don't know what I would say! How I would explain to her that I have to go, that Richard has called me home because we slept together and I can't say no because I feel guilty for hurting him and I'm afraid of what he might do if I refuse.

It takes me nearly half an hour to gather my wits about me enough to move. Getting dressed and gathering what few things I need without making any noise takes some effort with my nose all stuffed up from crying. Moving around the room is challenging, but I manage to make it to the bed so I can brush Ljuba's hair back out of her face before placing a gentle but lingering kiss on the corner of her lips.

"I love you," I whisper, my fingers slipping into her hand before squeezing them shut over the object I'd left there. With that, I scoop up the small bag I'd packed, grab my cane, and hurry out the door to find my ride to Orlais.

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2 Re: Trigger Happy Jack on Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:05 pm

*Teagan*

There's an uneasy feeling left in my gut as I come to, my head swaying groggily as I kick at the foot of the tub to get my bearings. The storms were nearer, and something new- I groan, rubbing at my face to absorb what little warmth is left in the water before I reach down to yank the plug and stand unsteadily. I could see the silhouettes standing in the midst of the storms, one more defined than the rest, but I couldn't make out which of us it was

"Cael-" I rasp, clearing my throat as I pull the towel from above the radiator and head into the main bedroom. The uneasiness from my vision had been growing steadily since I got out of the tub, and with water dripping off of me as I stumble for a light switch, I can feel it twisting into a sense of panic. Something's not right. With the light on, Jean and Cael begin to stir in their beds - simply not quickly enough for me. 

"Cael!" I say more fiercely, looking for my bag as I dig through it haplessly. "I need your ear for something, wake up!"

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3 Re: Trigger Happy Jack on Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:30 pm

"Wha-?" I'm confused for a moment as I look around, unable to remember where I am for a moment. When it all comes back to me, I groan and drop my head back on the pillow, peeking blearily out of one eye as Teagan digs through her bag.

"What'd'you want?" I manage to slur past my pillow.

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4 Re: Trigger Happy Jack on Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:41 pm

"Something's off," I frown, getting frustrated as my dress hangs on something inside my bag and I jerk it out. "I need someone else to hear this, because I can't make sense of it."

Once my dress is free, I tug it on quickly as turn to the foot of his bed, tossing my towel back off to the bathroom. "Two storms, big bad storms, coming from two directions. Just like a few days ago, but this time it's different. The winds, the lightning, it's all fiercer in one of them - but no one is screaming, no one's panicked

"I can't see anyone, not outright. Instead, there's five silhouettes, four in a group - and one that's larger, a bit further off into the storm. Like they're staring at the others, and eating something. I spent way too much time trying to figure out what, when a strike of lightning lit it up. Cherries. Aside from the storms, it was the only thing in the entire thing I could actually make out..." Sighing heavily, I reach up to unfurl the knot of hair I'd tied to keep it dry, pacing around as I realize Jean's nearly awake as well. 

"The same storms, but... Silhouettes? Cherries? It doesn't make any sense, but I have this horrible feeling I should know what it means..."

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5 Re: Trigger Happy Jack on Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:56 pm

I'm hardly paying any attention to her rambling as I drift between sleep and wakefulness - at least until she mentions the cherries. I don't know why, seeing as they're just dreams or drug induced visions or whatever they are, but my heart sinks at the word.

"Cherries?" I ask, lifting my head from the pillow as I struggle to sit up. My face is creased with sleep and I still feel groggy, but I'm wide awake now. "Are you sure??" I frown a bit as I look around, expecting to see Marnin before I remember that he and Ljuba had spent the night in their own room. Shit... if Richard found out...

"Where's Marnin?" I ask, a note of panic creeping into my voice as I get up and grab my shirt and my shoes.

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