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Trigger Happy Jack II

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16 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:31 pm

"Ah, so you were unfaithful," I nod, coming to stand before him as I tuck the last of the bandage in and take a step back. "In a sense."

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17 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:38 pm

"He's gonna kill us," I can't stop the words from coming out, fear and guilt welling behind my eyes as I wonder what's happened to Ljuba since I left. "It's my fault, I should have known better." It takes every bit of effort I can muster to squash the emotion threatening to overwhelm me as I rub at my bruised face roughly. Clearing my throat, I tilt my head toward Ellie, trying to gauge her discomfort as I frown.

"I'm sorry, this isn't your problem," I say weakly. "You're here to do business with him, not hear domestic complaints."

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18 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:43 pm

"I'm also not here to drink whiskey, yet I seem to be doing that, as well." I retort, returning to my seat as I continue nursing my drink. 

"Have you considered killing him first?" I ask absently, pulling my book into my lap as I flip through it boredly. "Or are you one of those who's too desperately in love with your abusers to attempt to fight back?"

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19 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:55 pm

My mouth remains clamped shut at the question. Game or no Game, it would be beyond foolish of me to reveal my intentions - however vague they are - to anyone this close to Richard's court. Instead, I avert my gaze, pulling in a jagged breath before I speak.

"I know he loves me," I say dully. "In his way... and he's all I've ever known. I don't know what I would do without him."

Neither of those things are true, though I am sure that he loves me in some perverse way. But I don't need her knowing that I have known different, and that I do know what I would do without him. Rejoice. Rejoice with Ljuba... somewhere far from here, where the creak of a door doesn't set my heart racing with fear or anticipation of who or what is to come.

"What will be, will be," I sigh, gathering up my supplies so I can put them back in their drawer. "Until then, whiskey."

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20 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:57 pm

"Que sera, sera." I nod quietly, raising my glass towards him before finishing its contents. 

"So what was her name?"

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21 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:04 pm

"Ljuba," I say the name quietly, with an almost guilty reverence. "We were friends first. We met after I left all those years ago, after she'd been through her own private hell. Who knew shitty fortunes could forge friendships, eh?"

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22 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:05 pm

"Well, you know what they say-" I say, my arm resting on the arm of the chair as my fingers swing the empty whiskey glass aimlessly, my gaze following it.

"Birds of a feather."

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23 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:18 pm

It's an odd feeling, the way my heart skips when I notice the impatient way she shakes her glass. It's not even a conscious decision when I get up to refill it, but the discomfort I feel once I have is very much part of my consciousness. I find myself sitting down on one of the ottomans, a seat lower than hers, as I refill my own glass and keep my gaze turned from hers as I contemplate the response, my glass dangling precariously from the hand rested over a crossed knee.

She's studying me. Why, I don't know, but I'm sure that it's clear that I'm both subservient and grossly out of practice. My hand shakes as I bring my glass to my lips - I really hope she doesn't tell Richard how rude I was. In his company, I don't have to defer to anyone but him - if anything, I hold a higher place than anyone else in the room with him. But in his absence, I'm to see to the guests' comfort - and if that means scrambling to refill a glass...

"Are you hungry?" I ask, my throat sticking a bit as I lick the split on my lip. "I can have some food brought in, if you like."

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24 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:24 pm

"I have someone bringing me food later," I say dismissively, sinking further into my chair so I slump lazily against the back. Head cocked, I watch him curiously, my glass resting on my hip.

"Are you hungry?"

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25 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:26 pm

I nod faintly, my gaze dropping to my glass as I run my fingers through some of the alcohol that has spilled over the rim.

"I haven't eaten since Arrowpoint," I admit. That was two days ago.

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26 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:28 pm

"Then call me up a plate," I say, shrugging, "Something indulgent. I'd like a feast."

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27 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:33 pm

I can feel my brow furrow at that. I'm unsure what her intent might be. She could do as Richard has done many times before, covering the table in succulent meats and ripe fruits to stuff himself silly, my stomach growling in envy the whole time. Or perhaps she means to be kinder - I don't know.

"Alright," I say anyway as I get to my feet to go to the phone. "What would you like? We usually have good stuffed hen with blackberry sauce this time of year, if you like that sort of thing."

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28 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:35 pm

"You know the kitchens better than I do - Order whatever you think is best." I say, pulling the book back into my lap before reaching back for my glasses.

"Meat, fruit, vegetables. You know - the spread."

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29 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:47 pm

"As you wish," I frown a bit before picking up the phone. It takes me a moment to remember the number to the kitchens, the old rotary dial ringing into place with each number. I recognize the voice of the servant on the other end instantly, and I can't help but smile at her friendly voice. She's surprised and disappointed to hear my voice, but she says nothing as I give her the order before promising to send it up right away.

"It should be down in just a few minutes," I say as I hang the phone up and return to my seat.

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30 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:50 pm

I hum my understanding as I read through the pages of the book, sipping at my whiskey. Only occasionally so I glance up to see Marnin - never straying from his seat, taking tentative drinks as though waiting to be beckoned for another errand.

"Do you have any records?" I ask, never looking up from my book. "I was told I could have run of the room, but I couldn't find them."

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31 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:00 am

"I, uhm-," the question makes me frown a bit. There's a record player on the desk - it's hard to deny that there are records to go to it. But my records aren't something I'm prone to sharing - or at least they weren't when I lived here. That's why they're hidden.

"Yeah, hold on," I sigh. Run of the room means all of the room, doesn't it? Still, I'm reluctant to pull the ladder for the tall bookshelf over to the right spot so I can climb up. Tucked behind a disused set of encyclopedias is my record collection - still fully intact, surprisingly. You would think they'd be covered in dust, but the fact that they aren't tells me that they've been discovered, yet clearly Richard didn't have the heart to remove them - or anything else - while I was gone.

"All yours," I say as I hop back down, wincing at the jarring movement, before I hand them back to her. "Well... I say all yours... you can listen to them, but they're not to keep. I worked quite hard to collect those."

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32 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:01 am

"Which is your favorite?" I ask, laying the book face down in my lap and my whiskey to the side so I can inspect the collection curiously.

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33 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:08 am

"I like the one with the coffee stain on it," I respond, not really sure what the name of the album is or even who the artist is. I'd never had anyone I could ask here, and I'd never been able to find another album from him to bring back to Old North where I could ask Ljuba. "The edges are all worn out and the spine is ripped, and there's a scratch on the record but it still plays nice."

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34 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:01 pm

"Chet... Faker?" My nose wrinkles at the peculiar name as I turn it over to read over the tracklist, shrugging a bit as I hold it out towards him. 

"Okay, wow me with your impeccable tastes." I smirk, picking my whiskey back up.

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35 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:13 pm

"Is that his name?" I ask with a light laugh as I turn the record over in my hands. It's odd how familiar it is to me even after so many years. Odder still is how soothing it still is to walk over to the record, carefully lifting the lid up so as not to upset the loose screw on the back before I place the record on the spindle. My fingers guide the needle to the edge of the track as I lower the arm down before closing the lid again as the speaker crackles and comes to life with the soft melody.

My whole body aches, but I'd swear I was back home in Old North with Ljuba as I listen. I don't even notice that I've begun swaying softly as I rest against the desk, my eyes closed against the harsh reality of the luxurious room surrounding me. I'd never realized how I had carried this kind of music with me even after I'd left, the mellowness of it serving as some kind of sanctuary even out there.

"So?" I ask after a minute, my throat scratching a bit as I clear it. "Are you wow'd?"

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36 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:24 pm

I decide this time to give the man his privacy, returning to my book as I listen contently. The music is mellow, soft and intimate. 

"It's pleasant," I respond after he's asked, glancing toward him with a polite smile. "Better than the muck my brothers listen to."

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37 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:29 pm

"What sort of music do they listen to?" I ask curiously. I have to catch myself as I start to sit on the bed, my back stiffening as I stand up straight again before moving to the ottoman instead. I want to sleep, but I know I can't. Not until I've been given some indication as to where this woman intends to stake her claim for the night.

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38 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:31 pm

"Well, the eldest listens to ruckus. I wouldn't know how else to define it." I remark, turning the page boredly. "Wilson, though, the one who's here with me? He listens to whatever's current. Whatever he can happen upon on the radios that are still functioning. I don't think he gives much thought, so long as some woman will dance to it across his lap."

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39 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:42 pm

"This next song is good for that," I comment with a faint smirk as I recall Luella's skillful movements. The moment the memory moves to the forefront of my mind, my smirk falters as my attention flinches toward the woman in the room. This is not the place for such thoughts.

"Sorry," I murmur, clearing my throat. "How many brothers do you have..? Just the two?"

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40 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:45 pm

"Mmhmm," I nod, taking a sip of my whiskey.

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