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 Is it Home or a Prison?

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PostSubject: Is it Home or a Prison?   Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:02 pm

The sound of the big wooden door closing behind Vanessa Dean sent a chill up her spine. The open, stone entry hall was cold and drafty, but she knew the ominous feeling stemmed from something else entirely. Returning back to the stone fortress after a year had her feeling like a troublesome inmate. She had finally escaped the Institution, only to be plucked back up and thrown back in, the lock and key all but destroyed.
" Come on, Mia."
The playful border collie looked up from her inquisitive sniffing of a marble statue, eyeing her master with a look Vanessa deciphered easily.
" It's alright, girl. I know this place is different than what we're used to, but we'll be safe here. I promise."
As the dog scampered over, her pink tongue lolling, Vanessa wished that there was someone who could make her worries go away so easily.

The coolness of the marble surprised her with it's ability to pierce all the way past the soles of her shoes. Making a mental note to find a thermostat somewhere, Vanessa took the time to look around at her surroundings. Not much had changed in a year. The great, bay windows that lined the walls of the entry hall were still shrouded in heavy, dark drapes. Pictures of long dead Shadowhunters peered down at her, almost disapprovingly. The carpets still raised a cloud of dust when tread on. And, after reaching the top of the stairway, she realized the long hall of Shadowhunter dorms still made her dizzy. They were usually empty, but the sight of the seemingly endless hall of doors was still disorientating.
Derek had told her to pick any room she wanted, so with a deep breath, Vanessa turned the knob of the closest door to her. With a stereotypical squeak, the door swung open to reveal a quite drab living space. The bed, was a small four poster, with a color scheme of gray that seemed to match the walls perfectly. The one picture on the wall was of a dreary looking farm house. Next to it , on the bed side table, sat a vase with a surprisingly colorful white lily resting within.
Dropping her bag haphazardly in the middle of the room, Vanessa crossed the room to the vase. The flower's petals were soft and pleasant to the touch. Picking up the vase, she noted that it hadn't even made a circle yet on the dusty surface of the bedside table. Someone must have recently placed it there. Was it Derek?
Vanessa felt her cheeks warm with the feelings that the thought had roused in her. He had such beautiful features, and the way he talked made her want to sit down and listen to nothing else. It figured that the first guy she'd have a crush on would be the one who had taken away her freedom. And who was extremely out of her league. Anyways, he probably had a girlfriend, model thin with a sex appeal that put Aphrodite to shame.
Having reverted back to her melancholy state of mind, Vanessa flopped down on the bed in a pitiful heap. She felt a soft thump follow her, and then the hot breath of her ever present companion. But, not even Mia could change this day from being one of the worst in her life.
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PostSubject: Re: Is it Home or a Prison?   Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:15 pm

Bridget twirled the stele in her fingers, its cool glass a small familiar comfort. Sitting at the kintchen table, propping her head up with a hand, she sighed. It was dark in the house, a little sunset light shining through the windows, revealing dark shadows throughout the house. It didn't bother Bridget though, the darkness was welcome here, anything to hide the fact that the house was empty.
Her suitcase stared her down from the its place by the door. She had packed everything she thought she would need about an hour earlier, and after sitting down for just a moment, hadn't been able to get back up. Her eyes flicked across the room, her only company being soft memories.
Bridget struggled to leave. This was her house, where she had been raised. The official who had told her she had to move since she was underage had dutifully reassured her that the house would remain hers. Right now she couldn't live here by herself, but the day she turned 18 she would be allowed back, the home rightfully hers to live in, alone or not.
Bridget heard faint meowing somewhere down the hall. "Peaches," She called, watching her kitten pad towards her and spring herself onto the kitchen table. "Mom always hated in when you joined us for dinner, Peach." Bridget petted her cat, horrified to here herself talk in the past tense. Some part of her mind knew, without a doubt, that her parents were gone, but the other stubbornly denied it.
Bridget easily remembered when her grandmother had died when Bridget was 10. Although she was sad, it hadn't been terribly devastating. Her father, however had been distraught, and prompted a few grief counseling books to be bought by her mother. The normal mourning runes weren't helping, so she had sought another way. Bridget had snuck in to read one of the "adult books", which clearly outlined several stages of grief. She couldn't remember all of them, but a few were clear, like denial, deppresion and acceptance. In the back of her mind, she had classified herself in the denial stage.
Peaches began complaining about being hungry, but Bridget had already packed up her food. Slowly rising from the table, she scooped her cat up in one arm and slung her small messenger bag over her shoulder. Grabbing her suitcase, she rolled in behind her, locking the door without a final goodbye.
Once outside, it struck Bridget that she was a good walk away from the Institute, atleast two miles. She only briefly considered taking a bus or calling a taxi, but did not want to put a glamour over her precious but currently loud kitten. With a sigh she set a brisk pace and began the stroll.
It didn't take long for her to arrive at the Institute, not nearly as long as she had hoped. The walk had given her a good chance to clear her head and emotions, preparing a careful blank slate. She welcomed the numbness that had engulfed her since the first phone call.
The door was looming before her. Bridget hesitated slightly, realizing she didn't remember the correct wording for asking entrance, but she took the plunge. "As a child of Raziel, I ask entrance to..." The door swung open, and Bridget felt swift relief the the Angel did not recquire good memory.
She stepped inside the large building and only let her eyes scan it for a moment. "Hello?" She called, impatient to get the inroductions and niceties over with so that she could retreat to her new room.
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PostSubject: Re: Is it Home or a Prison?   Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:14 am

Vanessa was just contemplating a more extensive tour of her old prison, when she heard a voice echo off a high ceiling. Her reaction was so quick most eyes wouldn't have even registered the movement. One second she was splayed across the fourposter in a relaxed postition, and the next she was clutching a menancing dagger, her battle stance daring anyone to push her. Apparently, you could take the girl out of the shadowhunter, but not the shadowhunter out of the girl. There were some things that one just didn't forget, no matter how hard they had tried.
Her hand clenched the warm blade, as Vanessa edged towards the door. Flashes of the night her family died filled her mind, her hand now on the door knob. She had frozen up at the very sight of the monsters that horrible night. What if she did the same thing while facing this unkown intruder? She had no idea why she had surivived the last time, but she was willing to bet she wouldn't be as lucky as second time over.
Her journey down the never ending hallway seemed even more difficult with the prospect of a painful death at the other end. Each step seemed too loud to her, each breath too labored. Her palms were slick with sweat, causing her grip on her blade to become unsure. It was too late to turn back, though; she'd reached the end of the hallway. It was now or never. Taking a deep breath, Vanessa swung out onto the staircase landing, and stared down at the newcomer.

~~~~~~~~~
SPLAT
Derek Gray cringed at the sound of the demon's guts hitting the solid concrete. The feeling of the slimy goo was even worse, but it still beat having it dripping off his clothes, emitting a gruesome smell that could only be compared to rotten eggs.
The low caste demon had jumped him on his way back from visiting his brother. The visit had been as normal as always. His brother said little, a sulky expression on his way the whole time Derek talked. Dorian wasn't the most social person(or faery) he'd ever met, but he could usually get atleast something out of the uptight soldier. Today was different, though. Something had seemed off, and Derek was itching to find out what. However, he knew his brother, and only under very special circumstances would Dorian speak to him like they used to when they were younger. This wasn't one of those times.
Even after leaving his brother, Derek still found himself deep in thought over the issue. That was probably why he didn't sense the demon until it was right on top him. Its claws dug into him right as he reached the corner of Fifth and Sixth Street. Immediately letting his Shadowhunter side take over, Derek grapped a small, almost pen like object from his pocket. The demon croaked out a noise that resembled laughter, only to have it's head decapitated by a flashy, silver sword about three feet in length. This was where it got messy. A great, smelly mess of demon guts exploded with suprising force out of the spot where the demon's head had previously been. He tried to dodge the goo, but only succeeded in drenching himself completely.
After stowing the body in a handy dumpster, Derek decided that the only way he was going to get clean was by way of a shower. The Institution wasn't very far away. In fact, he could practically see the old churches spires reaching up into the fading light of dusk. He hadn't realized his meeting with his brother had lasted so long. With long strides, he reached the Institution doors in no time.
"As a child of Raziel, I ask entrance to fullfil my duty as a Shadowhunter."
The words rolled off Derek's tongue, so familiar he didn't even have to really think about them.
The door now opened to his touch, and, with a strong push, the Shadowhunter entered the cold confines. Expecting to find nothing of interest, he almost ran over a slender girl who stood in his path.
" Woah, this is quite unexpected."
Not many people stayed at the Institute anymore, so it was more than just the norm to find a complete stranger Shadowhunter in the entrance hall. But she wasn't alone. Following her gaze to the top of the stairs, Derek spotted the girl from earlier that day, Vanessa was her name. Except this time she was holding a sharp dagger.
" Okay, lets take a minute to talk before we do anything we might regret, alright, Vanessa?"



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PostSubject: Re: Is it Home or a Prison?   Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:28 am

Bridget heard footsteps approaching, coming closer, until a girl probably her age stood in front of her, dagger gripped and tensed in a defensive position. Instictively, her own hand flew towards her hair, where she had pinned up a bun with her weapon of choice, flying disks. One hand raised in a "hey, calm down," position, the other reaching for her weapons, Bridget whirled around when the door opened.
In stepped a handsome boy, his appearance ruined slightly by the ichor covering his body. Bridget only briefly scanned him over, and turned back to the girl. She couldn't decide who was more of a threat. The girl, currently with a dagger but clearly not as experienced as Bridget, or the boy, who obvously was experienced but would be tired from a demon attack. Bridget, already aching to go back home, was pondering this when he spoke
" Okay, lets take a minute to talk before we do anything we might regret, alright, Vanessa?" Vanessa, that was the girl's name. Bridget stored this information away for future reference. The girl with dark hair, Vanessa, visibly obeyed, relaxing her stance. Her eyes flicked towards the boy. Bridget herself was still tense. She didn't have a weapon out, but was less than a second away from grabbing one. She relaxed slightly though.
Bridget turned to the boy, who seemed to be more in charge than the girl. "My name's Bridget, and I'm sorry to barge in." she said, slowly loosing the itch to fight. "I'm going to need a room for about a year, and then I'll be out of your hair." She smiled briskly, without it reaching her eyes, and then looked at Vanessa. "Unless, of course, I"m not welcome."
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PostSubject: Re: Is it Home or a Prison?   Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:42 pm

With her dagger held so firmly she could have sworn it was fuzing to her, Vanessa peeked over the scratched, white paint of the staircases railing. Every fiber of her being was charged with the urge to kill, the urge to see blood and to finally get her revenge that she had so longed sought. There would be no hestitation tonight.
And, yet, there she was, solid and unmoving as a statue. The anticipation was still surging through her like bolts of electricity, but the sight of her 'intruder' was slowly drawing it out of her. Straightening up slightly, disapointment and curisosity replacing her violent thoughts, Vanessa found a girl of about her own age standing in the entryway, a suitcase and.....was that a cat?... close by her side. The visitor's face was one of suprise as well, with traces of wariness and suspicion. The girl's hand was upraised, poised just behind her head where a weapon was most likely hidden. Vanessa couldn't blame her for her defensive position. She'd just pulled a dagger on the girl, and she'd barely cleared the door.
Before she'd even begun to fully relax out of her own fighting position, Vanessa heard the sound of the great, front door opening once again. And she'd thought this place was deserted.
This time the face was one she knew, quite well. The bright, green liquid dripping off his face couldn't even begin to hide the sharp, perfect cheek bones, and soft, light brown hair that she'd found herself thinking about only moments ago. Derek Gray's facial expression changed with what he was just now seeing, switching out his beautiful, carefree smile, for a guarded look that held the power to still any movement. Vanessa tried to see the situation from his mind, and immediatly decided to sheath her dagger. Derek was seeing her as the danger, rather than the new girl, and, even though she'd only just met him, Vanessa couldn't bare him to think ill of her.
"Everythings fine, I promise," Vanessa said, her voice slightly too soft to be heard by a human. It had a habit of doing that lately.
" She startled me is all."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Derek had know idea what the next few moments would bring, but he was ready for whatever was thrown at him. Vanessa stood at the top of the stairs, a dagger in her hand, the the fire of a fight in her eyes. An unfamiliar girl, who had hastily stated her name (Bridget) and her purpose (room and board), stood close to the door, her hand also, reaching for a weapon. This wasn't even close to what he'd expected. But, he had to deal with it.
Everything in him screamed that hurting a Shadowhunter was wrong, was against all that he'd ever been taught. However, he'd heard tales of even Shadowhunters falling prey to a demon spirit when it went searching for a host. The Shadowhunter had to be open to it, but Derek hardly knew anything about Vanessa, the obvious target, standing at the top of the stairs. He'd been told to get her from the orphange, and had enjoyed meeting her, but no more information had been given to him. Drawing back his arm, he felt the usually reasuring weight of his sword, that had so recently felled a demon.
"Everythings fine, I promise." Vanessa's voice was soft, but held no trace of the gutteral language that Demons spoke. With a relieved sigh, Derek lowered his hand from his weapon, and fell back into his usual relaxed grin.
" Well, now that I know you're not going to go chopping away with that thing, I think Bridget here deserves a better greeting."
Making light of the situation was a sure sign that Derek was back from his Sadowhunter mode. Some said it was like he had two, completely different personalities.
" The name's Derek, and that's Vanessa up there. Hope we haven't scared you off completely."
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PostSubject: Re: Is it Home or a Prison?   Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:39 pm

Bridget relaxed as she was accepted, muscles letting go of their tense instinct to fight and arms falling to her side. Eyeing Vanessa slightly, she finally realized she wasn't a threat, and her small words only further proved it. Vanessa currently was no danger to her.
Bridget could feel the weariness crepping up, like a chill on a winter day, and it called to her strongly. Her entire body and heart ached to be back home, in her own comfy bed, with Peaches curled up beside her and her parents downstairs, asleep, on one of the rare days they were home. She tried not to let any of this show though.
Peaches, from her spot by her owner, pawed at Bridget's legs and cried for her attention. She picked up her kitten, shushing her quietly, and sighed. She could see her own emotions reflected in her precious Peach's eyes, a desperate and uncomfortable homesickness.
Bridget again smiled, but it was forced and brisk. Hopefully these two did not know her well enough to pick up on it.
"I'm a lot harder to scare, trust me." She looked at them both, briefly. "It's nice to meet you two."
It had been a long day, even if Bridget had done almost nothing but pack. She could feel something inside of her starting to crack, but denied it. She was altogether and totally fine, at least, that's what she told herself.
"If you don't mind, I'd like to get myself settled in. Which room should I take?"
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PostSubject: Re: Is it Home or a Prison?   Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:23 am

Feeling drained from all the energy she had put into preparing for the fight, Vanessa stayed long enough to realize she was no longer needed. Derek's attention was now one the new girl, Bridget, who seemed to be having trouble with her new living arangement. A small point of curiosity flickered across her mind as she turned to go back to her room. Maybe she and the girl weren't so different. Maybe all she needed was a good girls night where they could swap stories over popcorn and mani peddies.
Yeah right. Things like that were for the humans. A Shadowhunter never opened herself up like that, unless she wanted to die. She knew that might sound silly to some people, but, when there was chance someone was listening in, unloading all your weaknesess was a pretty stupid move.
Following the scuffed, wooden floor back to her room, Vanessa found herself back in the funk that Bridget's ariveful had brought her out of. What she had hoped was a chance for to get her honor back, turned out to be something completely different. Seeing Derek, though, had been nice. That was until he'd focused his eyes on the second sob story in the room. Maybe that was just the kind of guy he was; the kind that saw girls as a project instead of a person.
Not even bothering to turn her room light back on, Vanessa walked over to her bed, and climbed in, clothes and all. For the second time that evening, she felt the thud of a weigh hit her, and then the hot panting of Mia hit her face.
"That's my girl," Vanessa cooed as she cuddled the dog, feeling the weight of her depression. It seemed the animal was the only for sure thing in her life right now.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(Powerplay just a bit)
Derek listened intently as Bridget talked, interested in finding out her story. There was something about her that just didn't click right with him. He counted himself as a grade A people reader, and, by the way she forced her smile and by the look in her eyes, the Shadowhunter guess that something was seriously eating at this girl. Usually he would have just skipped over that fact and done his job as 'The Greeter' in showing her a room and explaining the 'House Rules'. But, something was telling him that that would be a dumb ass move. Whatever it was, Derek found he couldn't ignore it.
" There's plenty of rooms up those stairs. As you can probably tell, we don't get many visitors. Even Vanessa here is pretty new."
Turning around to gesture and the other, girl Shadowhunter, Derek was suprised to find an empty space that had previously been taken up. Furrowing his brow slightly, he wondered why she had left. Probably tired. I know I am. The fight had tired him out. But he couldn't just leave Bridget alone to fend for herself. Plus, the thing that was nagging at him probably wouldn't quit until he'd seen her tucked away safely in a room.
" Come on, I'll take you myself."
Smiling back at her, Derek grabbed her suitcase and made his way to the stair case. Some would call him bold or abrupt, but it was just his personality. He'd met very few happy people who liked to take it slow.
Making sure she was following, he took the stairs two at a time, talking about random things while they walked. The weather, movies, new. Harmless things like that. She didn't really keep up a strong conversation, but Derek couldn't blame her. New house, new things, new people. It was a lot to handle.
Once they got down into the hall, Derek picked a random door from the many and set her bag by the closet. Turning back to the girl, he watched her as her eyes took in the room. He knew the rooms weren't much. But the same nagging feeling hoped she would one day come to love the Institution, as he did.
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PostSubject: Re: Is it Home or a Prison?   Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:02 pm

Bridget stared at her room, her eyes scanning that bareness and sad atmosphere. The walls were bare, and although a pretty light blue, they just looked so sad and rejected. The bed was a full, with a simple striped comforter and thin white sheets. As clean and pristine it looked, it was pretty inviting. A bathroom was off to her right, with a small shower. The hot water was pretty tempting a well, but she had no desire to search for everything she would need from her suitcase.
Turning back to Derek, she gave him a grateful, quick smile. Smiling almost hurt her. Bridget, sadly, had a sneaking suspicion of what was coming. Her kitten jumped out of her arms and onto the floor, padding around the room.
"Thanks. You didn't have to bring that up here," She motioned to her suitcase, now laying on the floor. "It's been a long day for me, so I'm going to bed. Goodnight." Bridget left no room for negotiation, and shut the door in his face as nicely as possible.
Crossing her room to a window, she looked outside. It was snowing, but you couldn't see the snow hit the ground in the darkness. Distantly she felt like that, spiraling down and not knowing where she would land.
Returning to her bed, Bridget sat down. She lifted Peaches onto the bed, but her kitten kept meowing, loudly, wishing for home. Bridget found that she couldn't bear it.
Opening the door quickly, she set Peaches outside in the hall. Yes, it was mean, but after a while or so she would shut up and Bridget would let her back inside. She'd done this countless times before when her kitten starting complaining that she was missing the rest of the family.
With the door shut, again alone, she could finally take a deep breath. Her stele lay on the nightstand, and Bridget knew what she was supposed to do. Mourning runes showed proper respect for the dead. Her parents were dead. There was no denying it, standing here in the Institute all alone.
Sitting once more on her bed, Bridget picked up her stele. Pulling up her long sleeve, she exposed the vulnerable pale flesh of her arm left arm. Grimacing, she traced the instinctual design onto her arm, and it burned.
Mourning runes were supposed to be put on by someone else, that was tradition. Without the aid, they would only burn and sting, but with it, the runes were gentle and painless. Bridget knew this, knew she should go ask Derek or Vanessa for this small favor, but continued to mark herself. The pain was barely even registered in her mind in the first place.
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PostSubject: Re: Is it Home or a Prison?   Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:41 am

Derek's careful gaze took in Bridget, as she scanned the drab furnishings of the room she would be occupying for a year. From what he could tell, she didn't exactly hate her room, but, at the same time, she'd probably had better. That was about all he got out of her reaction. Derek, a 'mind reader' of sorts, was at a loss to explain the girl. She was guarding something, that was obvious. The way she held herself, like a weight of extreme measure burdened her every step, had tipped him off in the beginning. But, the longer he lingered around her, the more he saw. Her eyes, beautiful as they were in color, seemed shadowed as if they'd seen things they wished they hadn't. For all the small, minute clues he noticed, Derek just couldn't place the girl's problem. And if he couldn't do that, how the hell was he supposed to satisfy this random need he had to help her?
"It's been a long day for me, so I'm going to bed. Goodnight." Bridget's voice, boldened with a suprising determination, jolted Derek out of his mental investigation. He found himself being literally kicked out, with very little of an explanation. Gathering his bearings, he was just about to protest, when he was met with the soft click of the door closing in his face. Frustration now mingled with the curiosity he held for this strange, yet alluring, girl. Another small click threw hopefulness into the mix, only to be replaced by disapointment when the girl's cat was let out and the door closed.
Turning down the hall, Derek had just decided to leave the strange newcomer alone for the day, when the same feeling from before tugged him towards the door once again. Was it just friendly concern for her emotional state that had his hand turning the knob or was it something else? It might have suprised some that a guy who believed in vampires, werewolves, and demons couldn't even begin to decipher mysterious feelings pushing him to do things. Whatever it was, Derek knew it wasn't going to leave him alone unless he put a little effort behind what it wanted.
Knocking on the door even as he opened it, the Shadowhunter sauntered into the room, with an air that clearly stated she wasn't going to be throwing him out again any time soon. He was just on the verge of saying just that, when he was stopped dead by the sight of what she was doing. Her left shirt sleave had been pushed up, revealing the pale, slender arm underneath. In the other hand, she held her steele and was presently marking herself, rather painfully if her grimace was any sign. It didn't take a seasoned Shadowhunter to know her runes were those of Mourning. With this last fact, everything seemed to suddenly make since to Derek. Her saddened personality, her need of room and board, her want to be secluded, it all added up.
Crossing the floor to join Bridget on the bed, he gently eased the stele out of her hand, and, instead, took it upon himself to finish the runes. With a careful hand, Derek guided the instrument over her skin, in the twirling patterns that all Shadowhunters knew by heart.
" If you had just told me, I wouldn't have had to bust in her like an ass." Derek's joking manner seemed wrong in this situation, even to him. He now knew she was in pain, the sort that not one of his jokes could cure.
" I know a stranger's sympathy won't help what you're going through but, I'm sorry for your loss."
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PostSubject: Re: Is it Home or a Prison?   Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:38 pm

Bridget was so intent on her work, the swirling marks slowly crawling up her arm, that she didn't notice that she had an uninvited visitor in her room. Her mind blocked all sound, everything except her present task. Focused so much on the drawing, Bridget could almost forget their purpose. It wasn't until she felt someone sitting next to her and taking her stele that she heard the pity filled voice of Derek.
Bridget painfully sucked in a breath, scared to death that her walls were about to break. She hated needing someone else's help in anything, so a major part of her wanted to yank the stele back and kick him out of the room again. Something stopped her though, and she continued to let him mark her, a shiver slowly traveling up her spine from his tender touch.
The runes themselves, which had been burning and painful, were now harmless and gentle. They spoke of healing and hope, as soft as a mother's caress and yet strong like a father's embrace. The feelings brought up old memories of her childhood, and as soon as the thoughts were there, her eyes flooded with tears. Bridget blinked quickly to keep them at bay.
" I know a stranger's sympathy won't help what you're going through but, I'm sorry for your loss." Derek sounded so concerned, sincerity practically dripping from his voice. A fleeting desire filled her, she wanted to tell him everything, every ache and sorrow, but it was quickly squashed by her common sense.
"Don't be sorry, it wasn't your fault. Just some stupid demon." Bridget felt herself shut down, even that small comment was more than she had ever dreamed of saying about her parents' death, especially to a kind teenage boy that she barely knew.
"Derek, I highly doubt that you want to deal with me. Besides, I'm fine. Why don't you just go." Bridget wanted him out, he was too close to getting past her guard, even if his company was providing a small amount of comfort.
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PostSubject: Re: Is it Home or a Prison?   Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:07 pm

Studying Bridgets face while he finished up the markings, Derek was satisfied to see that her pain filled eyes had softened just the tiniest bit. He had very much felt like an ass, barging into some girl's room, a girl that he had just met. Even in the supernatural world, that was extremely strange. However, now that he knew Bridget wasn't going to break out her weapon agaisnt him , Derek started to feel more comfortable.
The feeling didn't last long.
He had just taken the steele off her left arm, and was preparing to start on her other, when he felt a change in her mood. Only a few moments before, it had almost felt like she might accept his sympathy and let him into whatever world of pain she was holed up in. But, with only the slightest change in her posture, Derek could tell that she was shutting herself down again.
"Don't be sorry, it wasn't your fault. Just some stupid demon," Bridget voiced, an almost life less quality to her tone. Derek's curiosity was poking even more incessantly at his reserve than before, fueled by this new piece of information. What had happened to make this girl so closed off? Holding the slightly warm stele in one hand, the Shadowhunter waited to see if the girl had enough in her to elaborate more.
"Derek, I highly doubt that you want to deal with me. Besides, I'm fine. Why don't you just go."
I guess that would be a no.
This was the second time she had asked him to leave. He had no doubt that, if prompted, she'd just as easily kick him out as she had the first time. The first time had been a suprise, so Bridget had been met with little resistance. But Derek, motivated as ever by the mysterious feeling, was ready for her this time.
" How bout a story for a story," Derek suggested, hanging the question out like a piece of bait. If Bridget was as curious as he was about her, he might just be able to buy some time to get past her shield.
Once again not waiting for an answer, Derek reached across Bridget's lap to take up her arm, gentle as ever, and started the process of marking the Mourning runes again.
" My story is an interesting one I guess you could say. It's not your usual boy meets girl situation. Far from it really. My mother was a Faery, and a well known one as well. She liked the human world a little too much for her family's taste. That's actually where she met my father, a skilled Shadowhunter. In their case opposites really did attract.
At first , they were careful to keep their relationship a secret. But, my mothers family suspected something was up, so they sent a guard after her. He caught them. It was the last time they ever saw each other."
Suprisingly, Derek found himself getting emotional at this point. His story wasn't a secret. Most of the people he knew and talked to were a part of the Nephilim community, and were very familiar with his story. There wasn't a need to go through each step, explaining the events that brought him to being parentless. Talking about it made the story seem drastically real. He could almost see his mother's face as she was ripped from his father's arms.
" My father was turned over to his people. The punishment for what he'd done was immediate expulsion from the Shadowhunter community. He was, and I guess still is, a mundane. My mother, on the other hand, was forced to stay in her people's world, forced into imprisonment under the stares from her disgusted kin. She was soon found to be pregnant, which just added to her parents loathing for their daughter. Her joy at having a piece of my father back came in the form of me and my twin brother, Dorian. But, her people wouldn't even allow her that small comfort. In a matter of days, I was sent over, into the human world, to live with a well off Shadowhunter family, having been determined that I possesed more of my fathers genes than my mothers. Dorian was left to be raised by a Faery family that thourghly hated him, but were obligated to take him in. My mother, her immortal life shortened by her loss, spent the remainder of her life in a constant state of grief and loneliness."
His story now over with, Derek found a wave of exhaustion descend on him, supressing even the strange feeling. Grateful that he had finished Bridget's right arm, he knew that a moment longer and he wouldn't have been able to keep a steady hand on the stele. It took him a while to bring back the motivation that had brought him to bring up such a trying story. He'd wanted her to hear it, to know this small similarity they shared.
" My point in telling you this wasn't to thourghly depress you. I just wanted you to see that you don't have to close yourself off from the world, Bridget. I've been there. I wish I could tell you that the pain dulls over time, but it just doesn't. The thing that does help, though, is to have someone there for you to talk to, a friend you can rely on. I know I'm still a complete stranger to you, but I hope in time, you'll let me be that person."
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PostSubject: Re: Is it Home or a Prison?   Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:19 pm

Bridget listened intently, Derek's gentle hands slowly becoming routine to her, part of the background and a soothing feeling. He'd already finished one arm and was currently working on the other, leaving Bridget to wonder how much he was going to do and when he would finally get tired of this and leave. It was surely going to happen.
She could detect traces of unforgotten pain, tiny bits of aching in his voice. It was assumed that all children at the Institute were orphans, but hearing one's story made it all too real. At the end of his sad tale, Derek let go of her arm and Bridget just barely noticed a slight tremble in his hands. She couldn't help but looking into his eyes. Her own pain and suffering was reflected back to her, and somewhere in the back of her mind Bridget noticed that his eyes were a deep, mournful blue.
"I'm really sorry about.. everything." She wasn't quite sure how to sum up his story in one word, or put a pin on what she pitied the most. The unknown fate of his father? The dead mother? Separated brother? His story was uncommon for a Shadowhunter, but the sorrow of having no family was familiar, especially to her, right now.
After what seemed like a long silence of him finding his voice, Derek spoke, again offering her nothing but comfort. He wanted to be her friend. Bridget couldn't help wondering if he'd feel the same way in the morning, especially since she'd probably refuse to come from her room, and they'd have to go through this long process of building trust again. Bridget highly doubted Derek had that amount of patience.
Bridget, her arms now free, crossed them around her chest, physically trying to close herself off. She was looking down again, scared of what she'd see if she looked back at Derek. Pity-filled eyes meant that this situation was happening, and not some sick dream she'd fallen into.
"You see, Derek, I don't need friends. I've been raised that way, you know. It was almost always just me, caring for myself," She stopped. Tiny shards of imaginary glass pierced her heart, making it hard to breath around. Here was the heartbreak, she knew it.
"My parents taught me that if you only have yourself to trust, you never get hurt by someone else..." Bridget trailed off, realizing that this was her last chance to back out. But, the words Derek wanted to hear were, somewhere deep inside of her, begging to be spoken.
"A story for a story, hmm?" She took a deep breath.
"I was a talented little Shadowhunter. I killed my first demon when I was 9, also memorized the Gray Book by then. My parents were stationed here to help control demons, and I helped whenever I could. I could fend for myself. I guess that's why my parents thought it would be okay to leave me by myself, so by the time I was 13, they were gone for weeks at a time. I got used to it, began hunting demons by myself in a few years. Going solo is dangerous, as I'm sure you've learned, but they never seemed to notice. I always came home anyway, and they would too, eventually. I saw them at least once a month, and I was so grateful for my parents' visits,"
The first part of her story was hard to tell, her almost abandonment and constant loneliness was sad enough. Now that she was talking though, she couldn't stop.
"My parents had left a note saying they were traveling to Idris, and didn't even bother to stick around to say goodbye. I was out demon hunting, and when I got home, I got a phone call. They were killed by a Greater Demon on the way there, one probably seeking revenge. I can go back home in about a year, but for right now I have to live here. I don't have any other relatives to go to. It's just me."
A hushed silence had fallen, leaving Bridget tired and broken. She fought tears back, knowing that if she started crying she'd never stop. Looking up at Derek, she help her breath for his response, preparing herself for him to get up and leave, claiming that even he couldn't help someone as completely torn as her.
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PostSubject: Re: Is it Home or a Prison?   Sun May 08, 2011 9:41 pm

With an almost inaudible sigh, Derek listened to Bridget, as she claimed that she didn't need a friend, that her upbringing had prepared her for living alone. Hopeful as he'd been only moments ago that she'd accept his offer of a friendship, he'd sensed, in the way he often did, that she'd refuse him. Usually, people didn't refuse Derek when it came to an out right proposal of friendship. Dorian, he knew, also expected anything he asked for, friendship normally not being one of his top wishes, though. If he was refused, a storming hissy fit would ensue, filled with many a crude word and violent actions. His more better natured twin, on the other hand, reacted to the refusal almost unnoticeabley.
Sitting on the bed next to her, Derek found himself at a loss for words. The urge had not lessoned one degree, and, in fact, fired up with even more determination in reaction to Bridget's steadfast words and her tragic story. She had no one, not even a sibling to share the pain with, like Derek had Dorian. Even through the seperation that living in completely different worlds had caused, the Shadowhunter found himself remembering the confession he had made to himself in the early years, after finding out about his parents. The depression had been hard, even with the mourning runes. He had come very close to giving up entirely, ending the life and pain he'd harbored every second of the day. But, he'd stopped himself by thinking of Dorian. If Derek was gone who would keep Dorian from crossing the line from bad tempered, yet lovable git to the completely cruel and sadistic tyrant his twin had often seen in his eyes during his worst moods? If not for his brother, Derek knew he wouldn't be alive.
It was that same determination to torture oneself that he now saw in Bridget's eyes, in the way she kept her head slanted ever so slightly downward, as if she would give anything to be alone and away from anything that would remind her of her parents or how they'd died. With this realization, Derek found the words again, fueled by the urgency that her expression now gave him, ready to give it one last go. He doubted that he'd stop even if she denied him a third time. He did know, almost surely, that if he opened his mouth a fourth time, she would give kicking him out another go.
" Look at me, Bridget, and hear me out, " Derek said boldy, expressing his urgency to grab her back from the ledge of depression she was stuck on.
" I understand your want, your need, to be alone right now, apart from anyone else. But, I need you to understand that life is going to pretty much be a living hell for you if you don't have someone there to help carry the burden. My brother was that person for me. unintentionally on his part, I'm sure, but I'm thankful to him nonetheless.
Now, I'm not saying that you should accept me as your friend. Hell, you probably never want to talk to me again, I've been so nosy," Derek said, followed by a sarcastic kind of chuckle.
" I'm just guessing that if you're parents cared about you as much as it sounds like they did, I expect they'd want to see you happy."
Closing his final, small speech, Derek never took his eyes off of Bridget's wondering if he should just get up and leave, and save her the trouble of verbally having to kick him out.
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PostSubject: Re: Is it Home or a Prison?   Mon May 09, 2011 9:28 pm

He understands. He understands. Those two plain words played over and over in her head, without pause, a simple chant that Bridget repeated to herself to keep any creeping doubts from entering. Her heart ached, stomach was flipping and dropping, but if she could keep her mind in one piece using that mantra then everything would be all right.
Bridget felt like her mask was slipping away, falling softly onto the floor, leaving her all too vulnerable and weak. However much she wanted to desperately pull herself back together, there was no turning back. She was broken, her heart shattered. Bridget knew that now, and obviously Derek did too. She was going to need someone to put the pieces back, help fix her. And here was Derek, sitting next to her on her new bed, with less than a few inches between them, offering to do just that.
He was staring at her, deeply, and Bridget felt like he was searching her soul. What was he looking for? There wasn't much to find, in Brdget's opinion. Maybe, if he really studied her long enough, he'd discover the bright, cheerful girl she used to be. Bridget doubted that though, that girl was long gone. She couldn't help but wonder if she'd ever return either.
Bridget turned away, unable to look at him a moment longer. This bitterly honest bond between them scared her, and she just couldn't stand those damn pity-filled, gorgeous blue eyes a moment longer. Looking at the window outside, she stared at the dark, mournful night, clouds partly covering the moon and stars, leaving pure blackness to coat the streets.
Next to her she felt the bed shift slightly as Derek changed positions. A overwhelming fear caught her chest and Bridget realized that she couldn't let him leave, if that's what he was planning. There was no telling what she would do if he was gone. The alarm did not lessen its hold on her, and as she glanced at his doubtful eyes the words came tumbling out of her mouth.
"Please, don't.." She swallowed roughly, the words becoming trapped in her throat as her voice cracked. "Don't leave me." Bridget frantically reached for his hand, needing to see that he wasn't going to abandon her.
Biting her lip, Bridget fought the threatening tears back. Raw pain shone from her eyes, and she fought to keep whatever little control she had left over her emotions.
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PostSubject: Re: Is it Home or a Prison?   Sun May 15, 2011 11:49 pm

Derek had almost made his mind up to leave her be, when her small, pain-filled voice, Bridget called out to him.
"Please, don't..", she said, her voice cracking under the stress that voicing such a plea had brought upon her. "Don't leave me."
The sorrow in her voice tore and pulled at every human feeling part in his heart, fueling the pain that seeing her depressed and closed off had instilled. Seeing her so open and so obviously broken had him almost regretting bringing her out of her sheltered emotional armor. What if he'd hurt her more by forcing her to open up to him, than if he'd just thrown her a smile, wished her a good night, and gone on with his life? She was staring at him, and, yet, behind all the tears and anguish, he saw a small flame of hope, newly kindled by his offer of friendship. He knew he'd done right by her by extending his hand to her. Now, all he had to do was be the kind of friend she needed, the kind of friend that be able to bring her back from the mental hell she had condemned herself to.
" I'll stay if you want me to stay. I'll go when you want me to go. Just please don't cry, Bridget. I'd hate for the first few moments of our friendship to be tearful ones," Derek said, gently wiping away a crystaline tear from her soft cheek.
At that exact moment, a sharp rap on the door sounded, followed by the entrance of Vanessa. Clad in full leather, demon hunting garb, one would never had known that only days ago she had been working in the dank and dreary confines of a orphanage. In one hand, she twirled her sharp dagger, her fingers moving faster than most people had the skill to follow, and in the other hand she held a half open letter, the seal of the Clave clear from where Derek sat.
" Hey, Bridget, have you seen......"
Whatever she had planned on saying next was lost, as she had only just focused in on Derek, his hand still touching Bridget's cheek. Her mouth still open from forming the now useless question, Vanessa felt the bright red flames of embaressment lick up her neck, engulfing her face in a deep blush. The dagger had ceased to twirl and was now gripped firmly in her hand, blade end pointing to the floor.
The situation having finally caught up to him, Derek drew his hand away from Bridget's cheek, the embaressment at having been caught in such an awkward position lacking in his suprised expression. At the sight of the Clave's insignia on the letter, all thoughts of how Vanessa would see the situation flew from his mind. Knowing the strangeness of having all three of them in one room would soon past, he waited to hear what information the letter contained.
" Oh, Derek....I went to your room and you weren't there, so....," Vanessa stammered out, trying to regain some of the control that she had let run away from her.
" The Clave just sent a message asking for our help with a small Downworlder-related problem outside of Kade's Cafe. It's not very dangerous, the Clave just doesn't want the fight to get out of hand and attract the humans. I was going to go down their myself...I just thought you should know."
Derek could tell by the tone of her voice that Vanessa had hoped that he'd accompany her to the Cafe, despite the low threat level. Any other night he would have already been out the door, but, having just gotten through to Bridget, he felt a little uneasy about leaving her.
" Thanks for telling me, Vanessa. I'd go with you, but I'd probably just be dead weight to you after the bashing I took today."
The excuse had sounded so much better to him in his head.
Only affording his response with a curt nod, Vanessa turned her eyes to Bridget for the smallest of moments, turned on her heel, and left, leaving Derek feeling like he'd done something wrong.

( I don't know why, but Vanessa strikes me as a......creepy, stalkerish girl in this post lol)
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PostSubject: Re: Is it Home or a Prison?   Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:06 pm

Tap! Tap! Tap!
Hearing the sharp, tapping noise, Vanessa had at first dismisses it as Mia's nails against the hard wood floor. But, as the noise continued to become more and more insistent, a quick look over her bedside proved her guess wrong; the collie was peacefully asleep, her tail twitching every so often. So, with wariness tensing every muscle in her body, the Shadowhunter slipped soundlessly from her bed.
Following the phantom sound, Vanessa ended up standing right in front of the dull brown, curtained window. Instinct had forced her to retrieve the sharp, gleaming dagger from her bedside table before facing whatever lay before her. So, poised to stab the heck out of anything that had the misfortune to jump out at her, Vanessa ripped back the thin fabric of the curtains with her free hand, hoping to the Angel that it was just a stupid bird.
She had been right to some extent. After she had gotten over the scare of a possible demon attack, she was able to fully take in the small, brown-and-white spotted, barn owl perched on the brick ledge, a heavy, manilla envelope clutched in it's beak. The owl continued to tap it's beak against the pane, seeming almost oblivious to the girl in front of it. Smiling a little to herself at the strangeness of the situation, Vanessa unlatched the window, and took the envelope from the bird, somewhat hesitatingly. The moment the paper was removed from the bird's possession, it hopped around and took off in a flurry of polka-dotted feathers. Not bothering to watch the bird's progress across the now pitch dark sky, Vanessa tore the letter open, not even recognizing the wax seal of the Clave.
Dear Shadowhunters of the New York City Institution,
Since a Head for your Institution has yet to be found for your area, we will continue to alert you of Demon disturbances by way of letter. This particular case has originated near a place named Kade's Cafe. The disturbance seems to be of little importance, but we would appreciate one of your group's help in exterminating the problem. May the Angel guide your path.
The Clave

Having discarded the letter almost instantly after reading the words demon and exterminating the problem, Vanessa had immediately crossed the room to her luggage, throwing open it's top and fingering through the layers of clothes. Even she had sworn off being a Shadowhunter over a year ago, she had never been able to throw out her Demon Hunting attire. She had always packed it at the bottom, wanting it as far away from her eyes as possible. Now, as she pulled them free, a new sort of thrill surged through her system. The eagerness to make up for not being there for her parents glowed with a bright hot light, the fear from before suddenly gone from the equation.
Liking the feel that she got from seeing herself in the mirror, hair pulled back, tight, leather jacket over a black cami, leather pants and boots completing the look, Vanessa took up her dagger from her bedside once again, this time with a certainty that it would meet with Demon flesh soon, and exited her room, leaving Mia to her dreams.
Remembering that she was no longer alone, she started to walk down the hall in the direction of Derek's room, when it struck her that he hadn't told her where his room was. Guessing that he had probably just forgotten, she turned to the only other person she knew; the Bridget girl from before. The girl's room now in sight, she crossed the hall and rapped slightly on the door before opening it. She had a purpose now; common courtesy seemed to be forgotten at the moment.
The sight that greeted her made her wish she had waited for an answer to her knock. Bridget was not alone. Sitting very close to her, a hand touching her cheek tenderly, Derek seemed to be completely focused on the girl in front of him. Until, of course, Vanessa's entrance distracted him. Feeling both of their confused gazes trained one her, the Shadowhunter, cheeks burning, quickly explained that a letter had come from the Clave, and she was going to take the job. She knew that her hope that Derek would get up and join her on the Demon was silly, but she just couldn’t stop herself. His excuse was polite and showed no signs of being forced. This was a small comfort.
Giving them both a curt nod, Vanessa turned and practically fled the room. Outside in the hall way, she felt the coming of her depression like a dog would feel the coming of a storm. This time, though, the need to kill a Demon was strong enough to stop the storm in its tracks. Letting the blood lust take over, she could have sworn that she'd never felt better.
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PostSubject: Re: Is it Home or a Prison?   Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:47 pm

Bridget's head snapped up as the door opened, and she immediately wiped at her eyes, trying to erase any proof that she'd been simply a few moments away from completely losing her control and breaking down crying. Derek's hand pulled away instantly as well, leaving Bridget to feel like they'd been caught doing something they weren't supposed to.
Derek gave her some excuse, and Vanessa left quickly, embarrassment clear in her face. Bridget felt it too, a dust of rosy pink warming her cheeks. Any other time, Bridget would have jumped up and offered to go, ready to kill a demon. She found it funny that she wasn't even invited to accompany Vanessa. It seemed like the other girl had already written her off as someone not to befriend. Whether this was actually true or not, it left Bridget feeling a tiny bit lonelier.
"You should have gone too, you know." Bridget sniffed slightly and rubbed her eyes again, turning back to face Derek. It became apparent to her that they weren't that far apart, sitting on this bed. Maybe if she hadn't been so devastated she would have backed off, scooted away, or at the very least been aware of some of the tension between them. However, she was so caught up in her emotions that she didn't think about it.
In a sign of defeat and vulnerability, Bridget reached for her hair and pulled out the flying disks, engraved with runes and able to effortlessly fatally harm someone. She set the weapons down on the nightstand, running a hand through her hair as it fell from the bun it had been pinned in all day. Pulling her knees up to her chest, Bridget wrapped her arms around her legs, securing her position.
"This is one hell of a way to meet someone, huh?" The sarcasm in her voice sounded wrong, the humor made her wince. The small smile that had come after her joking comment dissappeared less than a second later because she found it hurtful. The pain wasn't going to fade away after one small attempt at a joke, no matter how much Bridget wanted it to.
Sucking in a deep breath, Bridget spoke again. "Derek..." She paused, not quite sure how to continue. "What if I'm always like this, from now on. What happens if it doesn't get better? I already don't think I can take this pain much longer, and it's only just begun."
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PostSubject: Re: Is it Home or a Prison?   Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:29 pm

Staring at the wooden door, long after it had closed, Derek couldn't quite place what he was feeling; so many emotions were jumbled together. Guilt for not going with Vanessa to the Demon sighting, a strange awareness that he'd only ever felt right after waking up from a deep sleep, and that same urge that pressed him to return his full focus back to Bridget. The fact that he wasn't the least bit worried about Vanessa being out on her own added agitation towards himself to the list. And he'd thought he'd had bad head aches before.
Surrendering his focus back to Bridget, Derek immediately felt the pressure in his head lesson, almost like he'd been going through withdrawals. Her face, the way her hair flowed down her shoulder, freed of it's binding. All of it, all of her was like the sweetest drug. Not the sort that turned a person into a complete idiot after one hit, but rather a sweet temptation, pulling a person down, smiling all the way. Many that knew him had pegged him as a sucker for hopeless cases from the start. But, it wasn't this that made leaving her an impossibility. It had nothing to do with him. It had everything to do with her. She was different.
"This is one hell of a way to meet someone, huh?" Her attempt at sarcasm, at humor fell flat and fake. He saw her wince, her small smile disappearing as quickly as it had come forward. He had only a second to really admire how the smile had looked on her before she was speaking again.
"Derek..." Bridget paused, waiting to see if she had his attention. She'd had it from the very first syllable. "What if I'm always like this, from now on. What happens if it doesn't get better? I already don't think I can take this pain much longer, and it's only just begun."
The pain, the desperation, and sorrow, they were all back, the small attempt at a joke far behind. She was once again the broken hearted girl who had so recently lost her parents, believing that nothing could ever make the world spin like it once had. Derek remembered that time, when he had been old enough to really take in the emotions his life story brought about in him.
For a long time, he'd barely talked to anyone, closing himself off just like Bridget was doing. He'd only begun to understand the social mistake he was; the offspring between a union that should never have been. The pain already seemed unbearably high and, just like Bridget, he knew it had only just begun its torture. And then, one dark night, when the loneliness became just too much, Derek dragged himself to the place his mother had been buried. Her parents, disgusted with what she had done, hadn't even deemed her worthy enough to bury her next to her own kind. So that's why he found himself kneeling in the still wet grass of a Mundane cemetery, her plain headstone before him. Staring at it, Derek felt a sudden burst of anger. And then he was shouting like he'd never shouted before. He'd said so many hateful things that night. She'd abandoned him, condemning him to a life of loneliness. How could she? How dare she have died, leaving him motherless in a world he could barely understand? Afterwards, Derek had left the graveyard, not completely cured of the pain, but now upon the path that would lead to it. Letting out his anger, all the things he'd kept inside, it had helped so much more than he could have ever known. So, maybe it could help her.
“I know you feel like that. I see it in your eyes. You're more tired than you've ever been before, and all you want is for it to be over. But, it can't be, Bridget. You have to overcome this pain, before it takes you over. And I know you have the strength to do this."
Taking her hand up again, Derek's eyes shown with the confidence and faith he felt in her. He'd pulled through, it only made since that so could she.
“This is probably going to seem kind of a strange question, but when is your parent’s funeral?"
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