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                    What a great day so far! Really, what a fabulous day so far! His not-so-lovely cousin Sydney had finally showed up at the house, though her constant attitude towards him was very off putting and annoying. At this time did not like her. He understood that she was having a bad day for whatever reason, but did she really have to be so downright bitchy and cold towards him because of it? Sighing out in frustration he begrudgingly did whatever she and Esme wanted him to do without much question. They dragged him into the taxi and then he had to deal with them gossiping all the way to the club. Like, blah, blah, blah, blah, there were random outbursts of giggles and various words that he was able to catch onto, yet mostly he wasn’t interested in what they had to say. He just wanted to go back home and for it to be over. He was nervous and uncomfortable and the mere the thought of having to be there in the club, surrounded by goodness knows how many people put him on edge. He could have dressed more appropriately or changed his hair or whatever. He was not prepared and he knew that after that he couldn’t deal with the weird looks and the endless stares tonight now either.

                    Leon didn’t need to imagine how bad it could be; he’d arrived in time to witness a fight and a tall man, named Aiden, had stopped it. He didn’t want to be here. He really didn’t want to be here. This was not a good idea. This was bad. He turned around and then he realised he’d lost both Sydney and his sister. Whaa!? Where did they go? His eyes scanned around the busy room and he searched through the many people. He had no idea where they were but he just had to get out of there. He just had to run. He just had to.. He turned around only to collide into someone who he’d never seen before, “Ohmaigoodness. I am so sorry for almost trampling you!” He heard the man who he’d crashed into say. Leon blinked a few times and felt his heart racing. It was during this moment he caught a good look at this stranger. "Huh?" Being stunned, Leon brushed the man off giving him a light shrug of his shoulders. “IIt’s okay, it’s fine, don’t worry about it. I mean, it happens,” though after speaking, Leon noticed the weird way that this guy was gazing at him. It was unsettling and it was as if he had something on his face so he didn't much like it.

                    He had this bad feeling as well. It was this awful feeling of dread and the longer he was stood there, the more he felt the need to escape. Leon kept his gaze from this man's eyes feeling stuck, numb and frozen. He gulped after a few seconds and then spoke back. “Yeah,” Leon replied slowly nodding his head, “I guess you could say that I'm new.” He was new around here, but then again he wasn’t. Things had changed a lot since he’d been living here in this town all those years ago with his family, and so there wasn’t much he could say as everything was rather different. He was different. His parents were different. Even his sister was different. It was like being in a whole new area or some kind of new altered version of the same place that used to make him happy.

                    Leon ran a hand through his hair and then eyed the man up. Catching his intense brown eyes, he was suddenly aware of what was around him; the look he was getting from this person and the way that this person was acting. It was overwhelming and he was terrified somewhat. Nobody had ever looked at him this way and he didn't know if this person was a threat. Leon was out of his comfort zone and trapped in a situation he definitely knew he didn’t want to be in. Holding his breath, he felt anxious and then it made worse when he was complimented about his clothes. “Umm,” Staring at this man who called himself Sebastian, Leon's mouth was open wide and he still was in a little bit of shock. “I’m,” He gave a polite small half smile to this man, trying his hardest to regain his composure and not let his anxiety show to him. “Err.. you can call me, Leon.” Pausing he let out a quiet laugh then fiddled with his shirt collar. Awkward much? Very. He went to move and then stopped suddenly. “I should go.. I have somewhere.. that.. I have to.. be” He felt the need to explain himself somewhat, then something caught his attention, Leon trailed off while speaking and then stopped what he was saying suddenly.

                    Was that Maggie? Leon at first couldn't be sure, but then he caught a better glimpse of the brunette and what had to be her dog heading towards what looked like the V.I.P. area. He watched her for a few moments seeing that she was alone, vulnerable, and looking a bit lost. Then he remembered Sebastian and shook his head. "Excuse me," He said to the man as he dashed away and rushed over to his best friend. His bright ocean-blue eyes kept an eye on her and then once he was next to her he made sure to speak clear to let her know he was there. "Maggie! Hey, it's me!" He exclaimed. "It's me, Leon." Reaching out to take her hand after she responded, Leon smiled. "I was about to get some air, but then I saw you and I couldn't help myself." Going quiet for a second he turned his attention to her German Shepherd. "Hi King." He greeted, ginning down at her dog. Leon patted the animal and then glanced back up at Maggie. After she explained what she was doing he led her into the more private club area.

                    Once they were inside and seated in the luxurious lounge full of purple sofas and shiny black tables, Leon began making conversation with the lovely Maggie Cedar. "So," He started, blinking a few times trying to find the right way to say it. "I know I've upset you, Mags. And I feel terrible about it." Closing his eyes, Leon took a deep breath in and then out. For a long time he'd been neglecting his best friend and he so dearly wished he hadn't been. It had been difficult moving away from home and trying to come to terms with all these changes. Maggie had always loved him, always supported him, and he knew that. He had always known that she would always be there for him and he had promised her the same. It was after a while of being in the new place though that he'd stopped calling. He didn't forget her, he just didn't make much contact, and in many ways he'd abandoned her just like Robby did. "I should have spoken to you more about this before now. I just... I didn't know what to do. Things were really hard being away from here and I couldn't handle it." Shaking his head from side to side, he twiddled his thumbs and looked down at his hands. Sometimes he could be so stupid. This was one of those times and was sure that Maggie could see it. "I didn't mean to act weird... You're my best friend and I should have treated you better."

                    Exactly! He should have been there for her more, but he hadn't been. Oh, oh what a bad friend was he. Leon sighed and then leant back in the comfortable chair. "I'm... gay." He uttered quietly, taking a deep breath in after as he stared at the ground. "It has taken me a long time to actually say it, but the truth is, I've always known it." He felt sad when telling her this but only because of what it had led to. "I told my family last week, Mags... And now my parents... Well, they don't want me." Going quiet again he felt his eyes fill up with water. No, just no, he wasn't going to get emotional, he wasn't going to cry. Not here in public and not over them, damn it. They didn't deserve to be cried over or missed. Leon knew that and he also knew that parents were supposed to love their children no matter what, though his family were a bunch of dicks.

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                                                                      Jackson steered away from drinking heavily on most occasions, given the last time he went over the top, he had almost died. When he had first attempted to stop drinking, it had been hard for him to watch others do so and refrain. After years of being the designated driver and politely declining more than a drink at a time, he was used to being dubbed "the sober guy." Sure, there were plenty of times where he missed the effects of a few drinks.There were times when he was plenty stressed with shoots that involved painful clients, when he was down about the single life, and when he just wanted to have fun with other people. Still, he denied excessive drinking, even if it would make him feel better.

                                                                      Tonight was becoming increasingly more difficult to resist the urges. He was feeling distant, lonely, and he wanted to take a break from his lifestyle. Benji would understand, wouldn't he? Jackson was well aware that his brother was increasingly affected by his poor decision making in the past, but he was now well into his twenties. Taking one night to himself wouldn't be so bad, would it? Besides, Carmela was already drinking, and he'd lost Dylan and Els by now. Sighing, he nodded. He figured he would lose them at some point. Guess they didn't need a ride home after all. And Benjamin was out, doing something - he hadn't noticed him yet. He hadn't noticed anyone else, really.

                                                                      "Oh, don't worry about it," Jackson said with a little laugh. He waved the bartender over. "I loosen up every now and then, you just haven't had the pleasure of seeing it." He felt an inexplicable guilt in the pit of his stomach, a hesitance and a distance that made him rethink his actions. But no. He deserved some fun, especially since he was the one left out because of it. As long as this didn't happen too often, he would be okay. So, he decided to go against his better judgement and order an AMF shot from a bartender. He wasn't drinking much, per say, but he would be drinking heavy. Three of these, and he'd be knocked out. "You don't need to apologize. Really." He held up his shot in a form of "cheers" to her and downed it. It was strong; he made a slight face while downing it but slammed the glass on the counter. "It's really strong."

                                                                      Now, he had to wait until it kicked in.

                                                                      Carmela asked how he was, saying that she hoped he was doing well and that she hated how she didn't see him much - and that she wanted to. Jackson smiled at her, thinking it was sweet for her to say that. When he thought about it, he was kind of a recluse. Many of his friends loved going out, drinking, and hooking up with girls. On most occasions, he wasn't that kind of guy. "I'm good. I've been kind of a hermit, I know. Really busy with clients and all that. They can make me want to pull all of my hair out." He joked. Now he was really starting to feel the alcohol hit him. Woah.

                                                                      He noticed how closely Carmela was paying attention to him, and he figured he better get everything together. "My job's really good, actually. I really like taking pictures, obviously." He started to laugh, almost giggling. Oh, he was such a lightweight! "But you knew that, um...well, I've been wanting to get a cat. For the apartment. So I've been thinking about that lately. Still single, as usual. Oh, I can't believe I just used cats and being single in the same few sentences. Is there such thing as a cat man? Like a cat lady? But a cat man?" He laughed again, smiling widely. "That sounds like Batman, and being Batman would be pretty cool, wouldn't it?"

                                                                      It was then that he decided to get the bartender's attention to give him another shot, a strong one, but not as strong as the one before. He didn't want to pass out. This would have to be his last drink for the night. The bartender slid something over and he downed it again, just like he did before. "I don't know why I don't do this more often. You're fun to talk to." He started to blush as he realized how much she was leaning over, his eyes naturally glancing down her shirt but then back up at her face. That was rude, that was so rude, but he didn't stare, he just looked. He couldn't help it!

                                                                      He looked behind him, and Maggie was only a few seats away. Jackson hoped he wouldn't disappoint her; she would be able to smell the alcohol on his breath. He would say hi to her later, when he didn't smell like alcohol. Instead, he thought it would be a proper moment to yell across the bar to Aiden. Cupping his hands around his mouth, he shouted as loud as he could. "Aiden! Buddy! You're back! Join the party!" He laughed much louder than necessary and then grinned back at Carmela. "Oh, this is a blast. I'm having fun, are you having fun?"
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Take a seat my dear
Make yourself comfortable this could take a while
Crack another, dear
I can't see now and I wouldn't change a thing
Life should burn with such a ******** flame
If not you've only got yourself to blame


                                                      "Allan, the story is good. I would back this, and you know for a fact that if I am not sure about a story, I won't get behind it. When have I ever let you down? Just take a look, have a read and I know that you will like it" she told her gruff yet well liked boss, putting the manuscript for the new story she had just read on the desk in front of him. She really had only just read it, and she did really like it. She had a lot of respect from her boss, for always making sure that the manuscripts that she signed off on were of good quality. Almost every story that she had put her work into since she had started in the industry. Yeah, there was always going to be a few stories that never really hit the big time, but she had proved to be a valuable worker. Which was why her boss held her opinion in such high esteem. "Fine, Emilie. I will trust your judgement with this. Just remember though, if this goes bad its your a**" he warned, the exact same warning that he gave every time she handed him a manuscript. Nothing bad had happened yet.

                                                      She waved goodbye, quickly heading to her office to grab her stuff. It was just after five, which gave her roughly an hour to get ready to go to Damon's club to see Stella perform. She didn't know how exactly she felt about it, but the popular opinion was that she was very good at what she did, and the club was meant to be top of the line, so she didn't see what was wrong with it. She would dress up all fancy, she would go, she would have fun and then she was sure that she would go home alone, as normal. It wasn't as if there was anyone that she wanted to go home with. She headed downstairs, quickly getting into a cab, getting on her way home. It wasn't that long of a drive in the cab from her office to her house, so she knew that she still had plenty of time to get ready for tonight. Even though she was almost one hundred percent sure that she wasn't going to go home with anyone tonight, as she knew Aiden wasn't here, she was still going to dress up pretty. If she was going out, she always loved to look her best.

                                                      Thinking about Aiden tended to make her sad, though she knew she should just be happy that she got the time with him that she did. When he had come back from his last tour with the army, he had stayed at her house. At first, it had just been as friends. But soon enough, the sexual tension between them had become too much, and they had ended up together. He was only home for a month, which wasn't long at all. The first week, was friends with serious tension. The second week, was like they were friends with benifits. And then it seemed as though it shifted into something more. Something that Emi really did not want to let go of. They had their rituals, and it was amazing. In the mornings, while she was making coffee or waffles for him for breakfast, he would come up behind her and wrap his hands around her waist, always giving her little loving kisses. To be honest, she was really falling for him. But by the time that she realised how she felt, they had already agreed that they couldn't have anything serious, because he had to leave. Then he was gone, and she was lost. She had her rhythm, all of a sudden it was gone.

                                                      Snapping out of her sad funk, she jumped out of the cab as it arrived at her apartment, practically running up the stairs to her home. By the time that she got there, she was somewhat out of breath. She really needed to get her mind off of him. She knew that it wouldn't help pining over him. She hadn't heard from him since he had left, and she had no idea when he was coming home. She didn't think that she had it in her to move on, but she wasn't going to sit around and mope. No, she was going to go and watch Stella perform and she was going to enjoy it. She was going to drink, she was going to dance and then she was going to stumble home at some horrible hour of the morning. Then, she would get up in the morning and read some more manuscripts. Yes, she had a sad life, but so what? She had to work, and she was good at what she did so why not? She had no social life, so she had nothing else to do. She walked into her bedroom, snapping out of her musings. She had already laid her dress out on her bed, her shoes on the floor at the end of the bed and her jewellery right beside her dress. She quickly stripped out of her work clothes, down to her undergarments, pure lacy lingerie of course, and stepped into her outfit for the night, checking herself out in the mirror as she adjusted her jewellery. She looked great. Her hair was down, softly waving and she had done her eye make up just a little smoky, all class. She was ready to go.

                                                      She grabbed her phone, her ID and her keys, putting them inside her purse. Moving back through her house, she looked at her phone to see what the time was. It was half past six, so she knew that she really needed to get going if she was going to be on time. She locked her house, going down stairs to hail a cab. It didnt take long, with the fact that she was dressed so nicely for her to be noticed, for a cab to pull up. As she got in the back, she quickly told the cab driver where it was that she was heading. Well, the address anyway as this would be the first time that she had ever been there. As he pulled up to the curb, she couldn't help but to be in awe. It really was a good looking establishment. The owner had clearly put a lot of effort into this place. You could tell just by looking at it that he clearly had a lot of pride, which in her opinion made it a lot more appealing. She got out of the cab, quickly paying the driver before she turned back to her new place to hang out. She was fairly sure that she would spend a lot of time here, she liked what she saw already and she wasn't even inside. She was never an overly big party girl, but if the time was right she was more than happy to go out and enjoy herself.

                                                      She walked up to the door, the bouncer quickly checking her ID before he showed her inside. As soon as she got through the door, she could feel the music thrumming through her body. She couldn't help but to smile. Even if she wasn't a girl who liked to go out and party all of the time, she really could not deny that she loved to dance. She loved the feeling of the music flowing through her, just watching the people around her enjoying themselves almost as much as she was. She quickly moved out onto the floor, through all of the dancing bodies. You could almost smell the sex in the air. It was exhilarating. She knew what she was doing on the dance floor too. She moved straight to the middle, going directly to the heart of those who were dancing and started to dance along, closing her eyes as she started to really let go, to enjoy herself. The music was good, the crowd seemed to be good. She was going to have so much fun tonight.

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                                            "Sure, why not, I'll find a more permanent place soon, I don't want to be a bum on your couch." He chuckled softly, he didn’t want to offend her. It seemed she had issues of her own, so even if he had contacted she may not have received it. Would that be a good or a bad thing? Maybe he could say he did try but he’d already dug himself a hole. Besides, he was used to being blunt, why was he watching himself so much all of a sudden? And then he remembered a time he did come back home and he did find a woman. She had been what he needed; she gave him a place to stay. Although soon it turned into lust, passion, pure need. It hurt him that he had to leave when he felt so close to living a normal life, but his job was his passion and that was his priority. It took three trips back home to get close to her; he wasn’t sure why he pursued her when he knew how it’d end; it was just something that came instinctively. However, he couldn’t tell Stella that. He couldn’t tell anyone that. He didn’t want to announce coming back, why would they want to know? He’d been sure they’d all be married with kids, and he’d be the odd older guy standing around like a ******.

                                            It seemed she liked his cheeky side, as he’d been in the army he hadn’t been social able, at all. Although now he felt so relaxed he seemed to ease back into his old self. The scars on his body only served as a reminder of the lives he saved, the lives he failed to save and everything in between. It made him furious that people complained of their lives being difficult when they’d never experienced life threatening dangers in everyday life. How could they possibly know what real difficulty was? It was serving your country, leaving your family, friends, or your possible life with a beautiful white picket fence behind. Aiden had considered what his life would’ve been. He and Stella may have settled, or maybe he’d have met Emi sooner than he had before; maybe they’d have a family by now. He could’ve had a safe life, but he would never change a thing. He was a mentor to young men; he kept them alive. Sighing softly as the weight bore great memories, the one he’d lost. A young man, barely a man really, a boy. A boy holding a gun so willing to give his life, it was the only thing that broke Aiden’s heart. He liked to pretend he was a bad boy, he was a perfect soldier, but really; he was a man and he had a weakness to try and protect these boys, he would fight to the ends of the earth to save them; the best he settled for was holding them in their last moments, praying to God they found peace.

                                            Before Aiden knew it he’d swung so hard he heard a crack. It was like a switch, something in him turned and it was dark, it was willing to eliminate every single threat. For a moment he recovered he heard Stella near him. He watched her intently like a large cat would watch its prey, “I’m fine,” He shot her a confident smile, “I’m used to worse,” A low rumble escaped his chest as he heard her comments, that was more like it. Another rumble echoed as she made a rather surprising comment. “Well don’t mind if I do, has that creep been bothering you before?” As she took his hand he felt confused, it’d been a long while since anyone had fussed over him but only from a bit of blood on his knuckles? He’d almost forgotten what it’d been like to be a normal member of society. “Of course not, he didn’t get a chance,” Another cocky smile, really, he didn’t hold in honour in what he did. It was no challenge; it was a mere attack he knew he could win. And in some respects it scared him that he took it that far, but as soon as he was swung at Aiden faded to black and instinct took over. Unfortunately for some, Aiden was highly trained and all too trained to deal with danger instantly without thought.

                                            Aiden’s face had shifted darker when Damon appeared. He wasn’t sure how Damon was doing lately but the security was terrible. “Look Damon, this could’ve been so much worse,” He sighed softly and pointed toward Stella, “Someone has to look after your acts in case those ******** head cases come in here again,” He couldn’t express how much he felt that people needed to be safe, old habits die hard. “Look, if you want I’ll stand in, I can look after Stella and make sure your club doesn’t get a bad rep. I need something to keep me busy here anyway. Maybe get my own place.” Aiden was already thinking of ripple effects, what would he do without his job? He could have a life, maybe it was time to leave the bullets in the background? Aiden smirked at Damon for a moment and how Stella spoke back to him, he was certain Damon wouldn’t mean to insult her like that but clearly Stella was very set in her ways. He almost wanted to laugh but he kept a straight face. Clearly there were issues here he’d not seen. Before Aiden had a moment after Damon left he heard a voice behind him yelling his name. “CEDAR!” He called back, “You should get back up stage, do you want a hand?” Aiden kept Stella’s gaze for a moment before she went back toward the stage. He kept her in his vision as he walked over to Dylan, slapping the back of his friend, hard.

                                            “So, what’s new?” he chuckled softly as he ordered a drink. He could see Eleanor talking to some other guy, Ben something? He was older than most so he’d left school by the time the group grew up. He glanced toward the other side, Areli? He snorted softly to Dylan, “Is everyone still the same?” He grabbed a beer and downed some of it; he’d lost his previous beer and had no desire to go hunting for it. He almost coughed out his beer, “You took Eleanor on a date?” His eyes widened with so many questions. “Okay well same thing,” He muttered and rolled his eyes playfully, “Did she put out?” Aiden didn’t like being foul, and usually his wasn’t. But Eleanor was always so proper, well behaved. “Is she some bad girl now?” Despite being dressed well he was still hoping she was a wild child, it’d make him laugh that’s for sure. Areli looked the same, good body, long blonde curls. And then Chris walked in. He noticed Areli hand Eleanor her purse and tugged Chris off onto the dance floor. “Feisty girl,” he chuckled as he sipped his beer. “So Dylan,” He smiled casually at his friend, “What’s going on with you? Anything exciting? Kids? White picket fence?” Aiden couldn’t help himself, he knew his friend was doing well, he looked well. “And what’s with the suit?” Aiden didn’t approve of flashy suits. Clearly, as he stood half naked in jeans and combat boots. God knows how he’d got into the club; maybe the lazy bouncers were too scared to take him on.

                                            Aiden watched as Eleanor looked a little drunk, spinning almost off her chair. He let out a chuckle as she wobbled about, Dylan rushing to her side. “HAVE FUN MATE!” He called out as they wondered off, what a great looking pair. A rustled journalist, drunk, a photographer all fancied up. It’d only be a while before she threw up, or if she was still the same Eleanor she’d throw up in the sink and wipe herself down and come out looking pristine. Although he waited in anticipation, and he was even more surprised. She came out looking very rustled. A loud chuckle echoed his chest, he couldn’t contain it. Sipping at his beer he ignored the glare from Ells; he simply waved with a smile and settled back to his drinking, making sure Stella was in his vision. Grinning he heard Jackson yell out, "You know I couldn't keep away!" He snickered back. Just as he took another sip of beer he saw someone walk past, someone that stirred something deep inside him. It suddenly felt like he was short of breath, like a weight had slammed into his chest. She began to dance, dressed to impressed and more beautiful than he had remembered. Emi. The one he thought he’d never see again, he should’ve looked her up but why didn’t he? Maybe still the fear of everyone moving on he thought she’d have too. Maybe she had? He’d need to go over and say hello, he couldn’t just ignore her.

                                            Making his way over to the dance floor he paused, catching her eye. He could see she looked just as stunned as he had been. A slow smile crossed his lips, “Well hello stranger,” Before wasting another second he marched over and broadly barged his way to her, wrapping his arms around her in a warm embrace, “What are you doing in a place like this?” He murmured softly as he stood back slightly, giving her enough room. “And since when did you dress like that?” He paused as another man beside him was checking her out; he thumped the male with his shoulder, causing him to stumble. Once the man swung around his eyes gave away his fear at Aiden’s size and turned back around. “Do you see what kind of situations you could get into?” He couldn’t help a cocky smile crossing his features. “All of these punks are just waiting for easy prey.” He took hold of her hand and lead her toward the bar, spying Syd. “Syd, Emi, Emi, Syd.” He smiled toward the women and ordered them a drink. “Syd, how’s it going?” He nudged her slightly, “Trapped any men lately?” He snickered playfully. All he noticed was the girl’s faces and then he felt a glass shatter over him, a slight stinging pain rippled over his skull before he switched.

                                            He noticed the face of the man he’d shown out earlier. Some people never learn. Grabbing the man by his shirt he shoved him roughly until he fell, with ease Aiden leant down and slammed his fist repeatedly into the male’s face, hearing crack after crack. Before he knew what was going on he was pulled back, his body restrained. Slowly he began to feel weak, a little dizzy. And then he saw the blood. The warm red liquid trickled down his chest, down onto the floor. [********,”
                                            He spat, “I’LL KILL YOU FOR THAT,” Aiden hadn’t learned how to deal with conflict in a normal society. In the army if someone hit you that’d be it, you’d settle it as men or get over it. Here he wasn’t sure; he just knew he had to put him down. After all, the bottle could’ve killed him. He stumbled slightly and managed to seat himself at the bar, “cloth please?” He murmured, opposite him he could see Syd in utter shock. “Syd?” He grabbed her hands and drew her closer. “I’m okay,” He murmured to his friend, he didn’t want her to be in shock. “It’s okay, really, I’m okay, see?” He shot her a winning smile, “Just please get Damon to call an ambulance because if I get a chance I’m going to ******** that punk up until he can’t walk.” Somehow he wasn’t joking.
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                                                      Was that Stella’s voice? She was rambling something, he realized. If you asked Sebastian at the moment how his night was turning out, he’d probably reply with fantastic! Not only had he already interacted with Damon, but he also ran into countless others like...Charlo, Benji, Stella, Shane, and so many more he couldn’t even keep track of it any more. Not that Sebastian enjoyed staying in one place, not at all. If he had it his way his superhero power would be being able to multiply. You know, so there was a little Sebi for everyone. Oh, that’s right...Sebi was busy staring into the beautiful bright blue eyes of the man in front of him. Although, Sebi would much rather bathe in the silence and just drown himself into the eyes of this stranger, disappointment washed over Sebastian’s features. The man’s voice held a bit of uneasiness in it, which frustrated Sebastian on the inside. Oh, cmon! I’m not that scary am I? Sebastian questioned himself. I do hover much taller than most men...Jeez. If girls find tall heights sexy than why can’t a boy? Shaking his thoughts out of his head he focused on what the man in front of him had to say.

                                                      The man kept his eyes from Sebastian’s gaze. Am I that ugly to look at!? Sebastian blared into his mind. Okay so Sebastian was probably being a bit over dramatic, but he wasn’t used to the attention not being on him. Now that Sebastian thought about it, if the man was new that meant he was adjusting, but why did he look so familiar? Biting his lower lip, Sebastian took this time to observe him. The facial features were very similar to those of the Garwins’. Forehead to the nose, Sebastian stared intently. Finally! The man looked up at Sebastian’s gaze. “You act like you just came out of the caves,” Sebastian chuckled. “Leon?” Sebi tilted his head to the side. “Is that short for Leonardo!? Let me tell you,” Sebi started. “You can call me Sebi. I don’t know why I introduced myself as Sebastian to you,” Sebi said scratching the side of his face. Sebastian had become too worked up to realize that he was making Leon really uncomfortable. Sebastian could tell from the way Leon was fiddling with his collar. Sebastian placed a hand on his hip and placed his weight on his left leg as his mind went into a puzzle mode. He was trying to figure out why Leon looked so familiar.

                                                      OHMYGOSH! I figured it out!” Sebi squealed, eyes wide. “You are Esme’s brother aren’t you!? I heard her talking about you once and she was just saying she had a brother and I really wasn’t paying that much attention, but don’t tell her I said that, because you see I was worked up with this extra strand of hair that cut too short on her head, and she would have flipped if she had known so I was just nodding my head pretending I was listening, but not really pretending because obviously I remembered since you are standing in front of me,” Sebastian let out in a rush his face lighting up with a proud smile, but as he gazed down Leon was no longer in sight. “What? Where’d you go?” Sebastian frowned catching a glimpse of the blond head ducking into the VIP room. “So, smooth, Sebi. Here I am talking to myself looking like a bimbo, well, look at me! I’m still talking to myself,” Sebastian groaned as he saw someone walk near his peripheral vision. Sebastian’s lips could move and once the switch flipped in his mind, he couldn’t stop until it was all out. Sebi’s chocolate eyes glanced to the figure. It was Damon, and instantly Sebi’s face lit up in a smile only to have it half formed because of the look, Damon was giving him. His eyebrow was raised and he was giving Sebi the look that yelled ‘weirdo.’ Sebi opened his mouth to explain that he was talking to someone, but Damon would probably retort back with something along the lines of..’who? imaginary friend?’ Deciding not to go there, Sebi stuck his tongue out at him instead, watching his figure moving along. Sebastian ran his fingers through his hair. That was not fair. No one is allowed to leave Sebastian Henry Blake left hanging, even if he or she was new. A determined look replaced the confused one on his handsome features. What was that voice? Sebastian froze in his tracks, not that he was moving in the first place, and turned around to face the stage to see the lights had dimmed, the fog machine had started and Stella had began to sing.

                                                      This song had a much faster beat to it from the usual. Very upbeat, but then again this was her latest single, if he recalled correctly she did say something about it being available on iTunes. It brought water to Sebi’s eyes. Soon, she would be all grown up. Well, not that she wasn’t already, but it was the fact that if her career kept progressing as it did; she’ll be touring in the U.S. and if she was a bit hit there...would Stella even remember him? Without realization, Sebi began to tap his fingers along with the music. Before long he was bobbing his head. Stella’s finger kept with the guitar as the live band played behind her. “I’ll call you Stella!” Sebi yelled, but his voice was drowned out by the music and her voice. “Your stare was holding..” Sebi grinned, as his thoughts fell on Damon. Damon’s stare always kept Sebi hooked, but so did Leon’s bright blue eyes. Sebi’s face flushed as he continued watching Stella. It was a very playful song, Sebi realized. Stella had just finished her second chorus and the next intro when she stopped abruptly, and stuffed her guitar in its case. He couldn’t see much, because her body had disappeared into the fog being created by the fog machine. The next thing he saw was Stella hop off the stage, in heels (!), stagger just a little as she regained her composure and the next thing Sebi saw, was the woman coming out of the fog, with her guitar case in one hand. She zoomed straight past him. Sebi turned around watching the woman make her way towards the bar.

                                                      The woman stopped and whirled around. “Sebastian Henry Blake!” Stella yelled. Sebi cringed. “Aw, Stella. Even though you are pretty darn stellar, do you really have to use my full name?” Sebi asked scowling. “Oops! I didn’t realize that I did, but I really need your help.” Stella said nearing him and grabbing his hands in her own. “I’m scared. I will not murder anyone for you.” Sebi said playfully. “Sebi, don’t play around.” She started then began speaking quickly. “I know you don’t let anyone use your beloved tools, but I really need them. Please. Now. Quick. Meet me by the bar or drop tem by the V.I.P room if I’m not there.” Stella said before disappearing into the crowd. “She did not just give me and order.” Sebi complained. “I already have Damon for that,” He said with a sigh before drowning his drink and handing it to one of the waiters. Making his way out and towards his car he gave look to the bouncer. “You are letting me in and I am not waiting in the line,” Sebi said, scowling at the long line. Of course the Bouncer would let him in. If he didn’t, Sebi would be sure to create a scene and it seemed the club already had enough of those, especially tonight. Finding his Monte Carlo didn’t take long as he unlocked the trunk and pulled out his cutting tools.

                                                      Back inside of the club he spotted Stella near Aiden. “Of course, he’d get himself into something all over again. Damon’s going to lose a casket,” Sebi muttered to himself. “Here, sweetie.” Sebi said pausing by Stella and handing her the bag. “I don’t want to find any tool lost. Not that I don’t trust you or anything, but these are exactly like my valuables. Don’t even worry about washing it. I’ll re-sanitize them again later, so just make sure you put the bag back in Damon’s office.” Sebi said shooting Aiden a look that yelled ‘trouble.’ Of course, Aiden couldn’t stay out of trouble. He’d only been here for how long? Finally! What was he doing? That’s right, tracking down Leon. Sebi waved to Syd before continuing on to the VIP room that Leon had disappeared into. He poked his head into the one on the right. Nope, not the right one. There was no one inside. Why did Damon have to have so many VIPS room? “Darn you, Damon,” Sebi sighed as he opened the second one. Bingo! Slipping in, he quietly shut the door behind him just as he heard Leon admit his sexuality to..Maggie. “Hiya King!” Sebi’s voice exclaimed as the dog came to Sebi. Sebi patted him, his eyes a bit distant as he met Leon’s gaze. “From what I know. Esme wants you, and I’m sure you have friends that accept you like Maggie,” Sebi said taking a seat beside Leon. “It’s not the end of the world just because your family doesn’t accept you..” Sebi said staring into space. Sebi had gotten himself far along into his life without his parents.

                                                      After all, they had disowned him, but no one knew this. Well, except for Charlo. Charlo knew a lot about Sebi, but they never discussed this, because Charlo was there for Sebi when he had told his parents how he had felt. The woman had been a Queen Bee in high school, but she was caring and beautiful on the inside. On Sebi’s terms, they were to never discuss his past, because it was only a time of hurt and bad memories. The past could not be erased. “You know, Leon.” Sebi said turning his eyes onto the male. “I’ve heard..If you are not afraid to look back nothing you are facing can frighten you.” Sebastian finished. His brown eyes turned on Leon, challenging him to speak out, but it better be words of wisdom, because Sebi learned from mistakes and he had made plenty. Remembering Maggie, Sebi turned his attention on the beautiful woman across from him. “Hey, sweetie! I didn’t know you knew Leon. I just met him today, actually. Like fifteen minutes ago. And your skin looks really healthy and great! The hair too. Been getting into any messy paints, lately?” Sebi asked, leaning across the table to plant a kiss on her cheek. “Why are you cooped up in here? Missing all the action, but don’t worry, I’ll fill you in everything you want to know. Aiden’s back, and...Let’s see. He’s already starting trouble,” Sebi chuckled. “Sorry, maybe it’s the drink I drank that got me so hyped up. Goodness, I’ve got to stop drinking.” Sebi shook his head disapprovingly.
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                                                    At least Dylan was welcoming, which relaxed him a little bit. He didn’t want to feel like a total invader, though a part of him wasn’t too worried about that. Chris! The man exclaimed, and Chris smiled appropriately, avoiding Areli’s eyes. She murmured his name, and went off elsewhere. Resisting the urge to follow her, Christiano struggled to keep his focus on the man before him, who was beaming. How refreshing! He owed Dylan for that, even though the male probably had no idea how relived Chris was of his treatment to him. It’s been ages, how you been? Goodness, it really had been ages. He tried to count the years it’d been since he’d last seen Dylan. Couldn’t say he’d changed very much. All previous suspicions of him stealing Areli away from Chris vanished the moment Dylan had flashed his first smile, and continued to show little interest in her. So his little darling was still on the market, score! Speaking on Areli, she was currently dancing her little heart out still. Probably doing it to grab his attention.. Ah, she would pull that card. So Chris kept his gaze on Dylan, as if his life depended on it. He would not give in to Areli. She had to be the one giving into him, and that was final. I just came back from a wedding 'with Eleanor. Chris chuckled, shaking his head. He’d almost forgotten how utterly comical Dylan was. Interesting though..with Eleanor? Interesting, though he couldn’t say he was entirely surprised. I can’t believe you’re here. Again, Chris laughed, clasping Dylan’s shoulder in a friendly sort of way. Dylan had a cocky smile on his lips, and his usual mischievous glimmer in his eyes. Well, you’d better start believing. Only then did Chris realize how much he’d actually missed Dylan. And to think that earlier he’d been accusing the man of stealing his girl! Good lord..Areli really had an effect on him. Of course, he’d never admit that to the girl, but her mere mentioning of another man’s name made his defenses shoot up. Enough that he’d believe one of his good friends was turning against him! How foolish of him. I’ve missed you. Dylan nodded at this, thankfully not pointing out how pathetic and cheesy it sounded. What a relief.

                                                    It’s been how long? Wait... Are you still seeing that woman... whatever her name is? You know the one. I hated her.” Girl? What girl…Oh, right. The one from France. Maria? No, hell no. She was a complete cagna! Cagna, meaning b***h. He had hooked up with her after not exactly getting his way entirely with Areli, which was the biggest mistake of his life. Honestly, he didn’t exactly feel anything for Maria, but she’d been awfully pretty and the two of them together equally really awesome sex. Regardless of that, she was whiney, and stuck her nose so high he was pretty sure she couldn’t see what was in front of her. Chris liked girls. But he didn’t like idiot girls. And Maria, well, she was an idiot girl. Not even a hot body could make up for that. His attention was diverted when Dylan began pulling money out of his wallet, and he noticed that Areli had come back. Of course she did. She always came back to him; he just had to wait it out. Can I get you anything? Dylan? Buy him drinks? Heck no, he simply wouldn’t allow such a thing. Christiano was perfectly capable of buying his own drinks, though he did appreciate the offer. No need for that, Dylan, he stated coolly, though he was aware that the question wasn’t completely aimed at him. Chris wasn’t stupid, he could see that Areli was struggling. Hell, the shop she worked at was struggling. Pay couldn’t be good there, and minimum wage..who really could survive on minimum wage? His poor darling was hurting economically, but Chris had enough courtesy not to mention that to her. He wasn’t that much of an a**. No matter what she thought, or how he behaved, he did care about Areli. Chris was just..demanding. And not always very fair. He could damage her feelings a bit, but only to a point, and only to convey a message. But it was impossible for him to actually hurt her. He couldn’t stand to see her cry, and he really couldn’t bear to see her in any sort of trouble. Especially when he could easily give her the money she needed..

                                                    Chris was pulled out of his thoughts when he heard Dylan bellowing Aiden’s name, grinning like a hyena all the while. Aiden Savage, now that was someone to be afraid of. The guy was a powerhouse, and could pretty much take down anything or anyone. It was actually quite intimidating. Luckily, Chris had never done anything to the man to anger him, though he’d seen a few poor souls who had. Christiano simply smiled and waved, though he didn’t get a chance to actually say hello to the other man, because Areli had moved in front of him. It surprised him; he’d almost forgotten she was still there, since she had been so quiet. Raising an eyebrow, he was about to reach around her to grab a drink but she stopped him, throwing her arms around his neck with as much enthusiasm as a intoxicated woman could muster. You owe me dance. Chris looked at her completely bewildered as she tugged on him, and he chuckled quietly. Since when do I owe you anything? He tilted his head to the side, observing her curiously. He forgot how much he liked her drunk, since she was far more straightforward with things. Perhaps he should have bought her a few more drinks.. Though that would probably earn him a look from the other men in the club. Besides, it would give that blasted Damon Braizen another reason to rip on him. Speaking of his little nemesis, he noted Damon out of the corner of his eye, looking smashing as usual. He decided not to think about that at the moment, and pay more attention to the beautiful woman before him. You’ve missed out on so much it’s unreal. Again, she had caught his attention as she dragged him onto the dance floor. Chris followed, a smirk tugging at his lips. Then perhaps you need to catch me up. For once he was actually rather intrigued, wondering how much he could have possibly missed that she seemed fixed on keeping a mystery. He waited for her to enlighten him. Even hint further on what she was about to say. However, the woman had other ideas in mind.

                                                    Instead of explaining anything to him, she pulled away from him, spinning once, twice, and then bending her knees while swaying her hips. Chris simply folded his arms, staring at her with a bored expression, though he was quite interested in what she was doing. Finally, he grew tired of watching the woman dance, and he took several determined steps towards her. His hand extended, wrapping around hers and pulling her back towards him. He kept a firm grip on her hand, while his other hand wrapped around her waist, pressing her closer. Is this your attempt at flirting? he laughed into her ear, clearly amused. Due to her tipsy state, she might not even understand what she’s saying. All the better for him. Maybe he could trick her into going home with him.. now that would be a blast. Chris couldn’t help but grin at the very thought, and he struggled to recompose himself. Because you are doing a terrible job. As much as he wanted to grab her and kiss her, he didn’t, and released her from his grasp to allow her to entertain him further. Of course, acting interested in her had got the girl all hot and bothered, which made her sway those hips and stomp those heels even more. Chris just got to sit back and watch to whole thing. Well, minus when she chose to move against him. Then he actually had to do something. He reacted appropriately, but made sure to look cocky and uninterested. Which wasn’t that hard, since that was the way he always looked around her. Sometimes he glanced away from her, his eyes gliding around the room to see if he recognized any other faces. He did, actually. Good lord, it was high school all over again. Minus being around Areli, he wasn’t too fond of those years, and would much rather have done without them. Especially without Damon on his back through the whole damn thing. Ah well. At least the aftermath went well.

                                                    After some time, Chris had just about enough of watching Areli dance. Alright. That’s enough dancing for you, he muttered, taking her hand and pulling her off the dance floor. Straight to the bar they went, and he slapped his hand on the counter and ordered two glasses of wine. He was doing something horrible, really, as he offered her the glass of wine. Come on, darling. As a toast to your beautiful dancing, he claimed as he raised his glass, beaming innocently. Licking his lips, he was pleased as she drank, and slowly sipped his wine along with her. Cheers. However, she didn't want to drink along. He got a few more drinks into her before she stumbled -clumsily- back on the dancefloor, and he followed, grinning wickedly.

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                                                  Thumbs up from the violinist and the electric guitarist alerted Stella to send a thumbs up to the stage worker in the booth watching from above and across. The lights dimmed around the floor area of the club and the thunderous music came to a stop. The lights shined bright on the young woman, her blue eyes sparkling as she noticed the crowd was large tonight. As she composed herself for her performance she focused intently on the low hum of the fog machine. She tapped the microphone. “Good evening ladies and gents, for those first timers tonight here at Damon’s club, I am Stella Arterton and I will be your entertainment for the evening,” Stella said with a large smile on her face. She felt her blood pumping through her veins; her heart thudded loudly against her chest. “It seems that we’ve been having quite the commotion tonight, but now I say it’s time to mellow things out.” She said pressing her coral lips together. “My latest single has just been released and is now available on iTunes, so be sure to go check it out! And don’t worry I’ll be singing it for you tonight. Before I begin, just remember. You have twenty seconds of insane courage to say whatever it is to that one person you like and it will not count as stupidity.” Taking in another deep breath she flashed another smile. Unfortunately she couldn’t see the gathered crowd this evening. It wasn’t her fault the lights were too bright in her eyes. “Call me maybe,” Stella said as the violinist began strumming his instrument. The fog machine started its magic. “I threw a wish in the well..Don’t ask me, I’ll never tell. I looked to you as it fell and now you’re in my way. I trade my soul for a wish. Pennies and dimes for a kiss. I wasn’t looking for this but now you’re in my way…” She entered into her chorus.

                                                  For some odd reason, ripped jean and skin showing reminded her a little too much of Aiden. The lights on her had dimmed and she could see the crowd much clearly than before. Her eyes darted from face to face, until they landed on Aiden. Although he was a bit farther away, she could barely make out his facial expressions, but it looked like he was watching someone and it wasn’t her. That look on his face…Hadn’t been one she had seen since he had been back. Just who was he gazing at? Stella was careful to not let any emotions fall over her face, because the audience was watching her. Instead, she narrowed her eyes trying to find the figure that he was looking at, but she couldn’t see and the lights were bright once again. She focused her mind onto her music. When her lips had opened to begin to sing, she had drowned all the chatter out. The comforts and relief of music had completely washed over her. She didn’t even need to glance down at her guitar; she knew she was playing the right notes. It was a feeling that washed over her naturally. Taking in another deep breath she had already started on her second chorus. It was then she felt another presence beside her on the stage. Tilting her head, she continued to sing, squinting her eyes to make out the words on the paper that was being held in front of her. Situation. Aiden hit against the head, wound needs stitches. Of course Aiden would get into another situation. She’d be lucky if the cops were called to the scene. The last thing she wanted to do was go bail him out of jail. He certainly was protective over the ones he loved. A scowl plastered on her face as she abruptly stopped playing. She heard the commotion and comments of confusion throughout the crowd. Damon would be so pissed, but she was sure he didn’t want someone to die while bleeding in his club. That would certainly be a bad reputation.

                                                  Stella Seraphina Rose Arterton had never been so furious in her life. She had just only got Aiden back and there he went pulling stunts, not that she minded. It was when he put himself in harm’s way, but wasn’t that the life of an army man? It had been so long since that the feeling of protectiveness had washed over her. Sliding off the stool, she disappeared into the thick fog. Gently, she placed her guitar back into its case and buckled it tight. She handed it to one of the stage workers. “Get it placed into Damon’s office.” There was no time to take the side stairs. The more she waited the more devastating it could become for Aiden. Instead, Stella took in a deep breath and leaped off the stage. This couldn’t have a good outcome. Instantly as her heels made contact with the floor, she staggered forwards, her arms flying to grab onto anything or anyone. If only the media were here to capture this moment. She latched onto the side of Areli, using the blond to regain her balance. “Areli!” Stella exclaimed a bright smile replacing the worried look on her face. “Go on the stage for me,” Stella said noting the girl’s confused look. “Keep the club entertained. Take Chris with you,” Stella said glancing towards the tan skinned man beside her. “Give them your sexy tiger growl. They’ll go insane, please. I owe you one!” Stella said with an enthusiastic voice and a cheeky grin, giving her a push towards the stage before strutting her way into the crowd.

                                                  She needed to watch her steps. It wouldn’t be funny if she took a fall trying to save someone else’s life. Caught up in her momentum, her shoes made a loud clack noise as she came to a halt. Sebastian! She might need his tools. Twirling around she yelled his name. “Sebastian Henry Blake!” Stella yelled, noticing Sebi make a funny facial expression. “Aw, Stella. Even though you are pretty darn stellar, do you really have to use my full name?” He asked her a scowl replacing his facial features. “Oops!” She said with a nervous chuckle. “I didn’t realize that I did, but I really need your help,” She said grabbing his hands in her own. “I’m scared. I will not murder anyone for you.” Sebi replied. Of course he had to be comedic, but Stella’s facial expression read serious. “Sebi, don’t play around.” She warned him. “I know you don’t let anyone use your beloved tools, but I really need them. Please. Now. Quick.” She said anxiety in her voice. “Meet me by the bar or drop it by the V.I.P room if I’m not there.” She said giving him one more thankful smile and disappearing into the crowd. There was Aiden, and some girl pressing cloth to the back of his head. Who was this girl? If she recalled correctly it looked a lot like Emilie. Stella narrowed her eyes; she didn’t like the gaze the other woman was giving Aiden. It made Stella’s stomach tighten with jealousy. That look of love? lust? Stella wasn’t sure, but something was there. I am not jealous.. She muttered in her mind as she approached the scene.

                                                  There was the drunk from earlier on the floor, obviously knocked out. Bodies were gathering to see what was happening. It was like trying to push through a hoard of zombies. “EXCUSE ME!” She yelled at the top of her lungs pushing through the people. “You’re excused..” She heard a snicker from the audience. Ignoring the comment, Stella finally burst through, stumbling, but quickly regaining her balance. Blood was trailing down Aiden’s back, and there was a little puddle on the floor. “Holy, mother of freaking..” Stella clamped her mouth shut as she neared Aiden. “I leave you for less than fifteen minutes and...you look awful.” She said her face fierce noticing his paleness. She was furious. She didn’t want to lose him again, though she was sure it’d take him more than just a head injury to go anywhere. “What happened here?” She asked the girl, Emilie. She didn't even want Emilie to open her mouth. Then she noticed Sydney. “Syd,” Stella said softly nearing her traumatized friend. She squeezed the blonde’s hand and gave her a quick peck on the cheek. “I got this! I’m the first aid woman on site,” Stella said smoothly, not wanting Sydney to worry. Straightening her back, Stella pushed aside Emi. “I need to take a look,” Stella said, her eyes narrowed and aimed at the opposing woman. Stella was warning her that it was best for her to keep out of her way. Not only was Stella trained for this situation, but she was certified. It had been a program she had taken out of school; when she had been unaware of what sort of career to pursue. Plus, he was her man. Her heart skipped a beat. She was getting ahead of herself. As his friend, she should respect the women he liked. For all she knew Emilie could be his woman and he just has failed to tell her so. Stella needed to be happy for Aiden.

                                                  Here, sweetie.” Sebi said pausing by Stella and handing her the bag. “I don’t want to find any tool lost. Not that I don’t trust you or anything, but these are exactly like my valuables. Don’t even worry about washing it. I’ll re-sanitize them again later, so just make sure you put the bag back in Damon’s office.” Sebi said as Stella nodded her head. “Aye aye captain,” Stella said turning her attention on Aiden. “Let me see,” Stella said her hand pushing away Emi’s hand that had the cloth pressed down. Lifting the cloth, Stella’s face went pale. Thankfully she didn’t see any sort of glass stuck inside, but there was a large gash cut open by the glass. If it weren’t for the fact this was an important situation, the woman would have gone into panic mode, but a much stronger sense of calmness washed over her features, although her face had lost a bit of its color. “Someone is going to need stitches. Can you move?” She asked Aiden, pressing the cloth to his head and placing one arm through his urging him to stand up. “Not too quickly,” She warned, a club worker stopping by her telling her VIP room number 2 was open and available for their use. “Water. I’ll need water, some cloths. Make sure the larger first aid kit is in the room. It should have what I need for the stitches. Lastly, call a cab.” Stella ordered, Sebi’s bag hanging on her wrist. With some help from the people around her they, slowly but surely, moved Aiden into the VIP room.

                                                  If you hadn’t stood up to that filthy man in the first place you wouldn’t have gotten hurt,” She said disapprovingly, listening to his ‘story’. Of course he’d want to hurt the man for bothering someone he cared about. Shooing everyone else out of the room Stella turned to face Aiden. “Dammit, Aiden. I care about you. The last thing I want is to lose you again.” Stella said her piercing blue eyes catching his dark ones, refusing to look away. “I need to patch you up quickly,” Stella said moving to open up the kits. Washing her hands with one of the bowls of water, she quickly dried her hands and pulled the blue gloves onto her hands. “You might be suffering from a concussion.” She said using another bowl and cloth the start cleaning the wound. At least the blood had stopped flowing. The cut wasn’t as deep as it had looked at first glance. “This might hurt, but don’t worry. You’ll be my first. It’s been a while since I’ve got to use my stitching skill.” Stella said with a large grin, trying to lighten the situation. “I’ll try my best to be gentle,” the concern evident in her voice as she tried to calm herself. So, she had only patched a person up once, and she even took the course and had the license, but if she did something wrong, than…that would be the end of it. Aiden still needed to see a real surgeon and doctor, but right now she hadn’t the time for that. The ambulance should have been called when it first started.

                                                  She pulled out Sebastian’s sheers and neatly trimmed the hair around his wound. She snipped away at the strands closer to the wounds. “So you have a bald spot near the back of your head,” Stella said with a shrug. He’d probably have a scar too. Didn’t he have enough?

                                                  Thankfully, there wasn’t that much noise in the room as she began preparing for the stitches. She was liable to flip out and so she did the one thing she always did when she was nervous. Talk. “How about a story, Aiden?” She asked and then continued anyways. “Look, really quick. If this hurts, please don’t yell at me okay. That will not help me move any faster at all. So if it hurts, pretend it doesn’t,” She said biting her bottom lip as she got the needle prepared. Taking another deep breath she continued to speak. “Since you were gone…Things got a bit lonely for me. It just wasn’t that same, you know. I spent countless hours stargazing, alone.” She said marking the points where the needle would enter and come out of, mentally. “Life continued moving, without me. I was stuck on the sidelines.” Stella said. It had been a long time since she had a heart to heart conversation with anyone. “Mother wasn’t any help with her constantly beating me down and the two of us bickering.” Stella said, almost finishing her first stitch. “Sydney was there for me and Carmela. I met Carmela after you left. The two of them really helped me, just our girlfriend sessions.” Stella said, pressing her lips together. “I was sucked back into the social life. Things with my mom got a bit worse after that.” Stella said almost done with the second stitch. “The woman confuses me. When she wants something she’ll call me. She used to take my laundry and spread it across the lawn. Do you know how ashamed I was?” Stella asked no one in particular. She began the third stitch and it should be her last. “To have a mother like her, but I had friends and the first chance I got, right after graduation…I packed up and left her, because I can always make my own family, regardless of the fact if they aren’t blood related.” Stella said tying the stitches. “It just took me a while to realize that.” Stella let out a sigh of relief. “All done,” She said. Picking up a soaked piece of cloth she wiped around the wound, cleaning all of his head. Then she started wiping his back. Finally she crouched in front of him, wiping the blood that had dried on his muscular chest. “Drink some water, but move your head slowly,” She said. “And that’s an order.” Stella said, keeping a straight face. Standing up she cleaned and packed up Sebastian’s supplies.

                                                  Let’s go home.” Stella said, holding her hand out to help Aiden up. Hanging Sebi’s bag around her wrist she let Aiden lean on her as she slowly helped him out the room. Holding the bag out to one of the club workers she told the worker to take it into Damon’s office. Her guitar could stay the night at the club. She had another one at home. “How are you feeling, Aiden?” Stella asked glancing up at him. His face was still pale, though a little color had reappeared. “You are going to give me a goddamn heart attack one of these days,” Stella groaned, listening to whoever was speaking to him, but she was determined to keep moving. He still needed his nutrients back into his system; his body was working overtime to replenish the lost blood. “As your doctor, I command you to no quick head movements, and you will need to be watched for a minor concussion.” She said turning her head to the side to look at him. “But don’t worry, I’ll be here to take care of you and you’ll be too weak to move around so that means I can pester you for the rest of the night.” Stella said sticking her tongue out at him playfully. Another main reason she had continued to speak, was to keep him talking. She needed responses from him. “If you complain about not getting enough attention than it’s going to be on like donkey kong,” She said her face flushing. Jeez, couldn’t she just keep her mouth shut so she didn’t say ridiculous things? “You are heavy,” Stella muttered to herself, glad she had heels on. If she were walking around barefooted he’d have trouble leaning on her. Stella wasn’t exactly tall, and that’s why heels were her favorite fashion tool.

                                                  The night air had turned cool, but still humid. “Mmhm. Feels good outside,” She said taking a second to breathe in the air before ushering him inside of the cab. She should have bought her car. Crawling in with him, they were soon on their way to her home.

                                                  * * *

                                                  Tonight had been on hectic night. Some way they had made it inside her cozy home and she had Aiden sitting on the couch and nothing went wrong. “If you bleed on my couch, you are cleaning it out,” She warned from the kitchen, pouring the quickly made soup into a bowl. “Here. Eat my poison,” She teased placing the bowl and spoon in front of him. “What’s this now? You can’t eat on your own?” She asked scowling. She was no longer walking around in her heels but was now barefoot. She took a seat across from Aiden, her blue eyes studying him. “I wanted to ask..” She said gathering her courage. Remember all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. She encouraged herself. “Do you have..some sort of relationship with Emilie? ” Stella finally asked. “I mean, it’s totally cool if you do or any other girl at that. I’d just like to know, but I won’t say I’m happy for you, nor will I be attending the wedding, but I just…want to know..” Yes, she was nervous and a bit jealous. She felt really hot all of a sudden. Was the air conditioner on? Stella let her gaze fall onto his exposed chest. The tiny scars visible, her eyes softening at the sight. She didn't want to meet his eyes, not really. Not with believe that he had someone else in his life. It was heartbreaking. After watching the two look at each other the way they had…Stella wanted Aiden for herself. She didn’t want to be selfish, but when something good came your way you just had to grab it, right?

                                                  [Stella wear from head to toe -- including the hairstyle.]

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX✄ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Done looking for the critics, cause they're everywhere
    They don't like my jeans, they don't get my hair
    Estrange ourselves and we do it all the time
    Why do we do that? Why do I do that?
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                                                      The dance floor really was alive tonight. The music was amazing, the guys weren't all over her and she was really getting into it. She could see Sydney over at the bar, she had already waved at her friend as she headed out to the dance floor, with every intention of walking over and talking to her once she was tired of dancing. She was probably the only person that she had talked to, kept in touch with out of her old group of friends. Over time, they had all grown apart, having separate lives that were pulling them in completely different directions to her. She didnt mind so much, as long as she still had Syd by her side then she really was happy. She was probably her closest friend other than Aiden, her confidant when he left her to go back to saving the world. She knew that he had made the choice that would make him happiest by leaving, doing what he did best but she really hated it when he left. It felt like he took a piece of her with him. Syd was the only person she had told, about what had happened between Aiden and herself. About how much it actually meant to her. Some might say that it made her seem desperate, strange that she would wait for someone who had been gone for so long. But she had to be strong, she knew that he would come home and she hoped that they would just pick things up where they had left off. She knew that there was every chance that this would not be possible, that he would have found someone else overseas, or had someone else before she next saw him but until he came home, and until she actually managed to talk to him face to face about what they were, or what they had been then she would hold out hope. She had no choice.

                                                      She had made her best friend promise, when she had told her about their relationship that she kept it to herself. If he came home, if he didn't want to be with her any more then she didn't want all of her friends to pity the fact that she had waited so long for someone who didn't want her. One persons pity would be bad enough. Sydney was the person that she had leaned on, who she hoped would always lean on her when things went wrong. She didn't know what she would do without Sydney. They had so many good times, laughs and heart to hearts that it would be like losing a sister if her and Syd stopped being friends. If anything ever happened to the girl, she would always be there for her. For now, she was just going to enjoy the music. She was going to let it flow through her, let it control her movements. She had always been good at dancing, she really loved it. It was the one time where she really just let herself go, let her body do what it wanted to do. She was going to turn her brain off, thinking about such things, when she had no idea what was going to happen and was just going around and round in circles inside her head wasn't healthy. The club was where everyone came to enjoy themselves. Nobody danced and told their life stories at the same time. This was a place where serious thoughts were banned. At the end of the day, that was all that mattered. She was here to have lots of fun, and fun was what she was going to have. Even if she didn't stop until she couldn't dance any more.

                                                      All of a sudden, she felt a strong pair of arms around her which made her jump. As she turned around, she thought that her heart was going to stop. The man of her dreams, the one person that she wanted with her at all times was standing right in front of her. She pinched herself, just making sure that she was actually awake. When it hurt, she looked back up at him with the biggest smile on her face. She hugged him back as tight as she could before leaning back, getting a good look at him. She leaned up, giving him a soft kiss on the lips, closing her eyes and lingering for a second. She couldn't believe that he was really here with her. "Oh my god, Aiden. You're here" she said, laughing happily as she hugged him again. She hadn't been this happy in a long time. "I'm here to have fun, if id known that you were coming back I would have waited for you. Oh, I have missed you so much" she said, getting caught up in the moment. As he made the comment about her attire, she couldn't help but to smile. She had never come here with the intention of impressing anyone, but she was now glad that she had worn something so pretty. "Oh, this? Just something I thought I would wear. Its pretty, and I thought it would look nice. Do you like it?"She didn't even register that he might have been there with someone else, she was just thinking he was there for her. They had left things pretty hot and heated, she was assuming that was how they would start again. If she was wrong, then she was sure he would tell her.

                                                      As he led her to the bar, she couldn't help but to smile, looking down at their hands. He was holding her hand, just like he used to. He must want to be here with her.. As she looked up, she smiled at Sydney, giving her a huge hug "Oh, I know Syd. Shes a good friend of mine. Hello sweetness, having a good night?" she asked, stepping back to hold Aidens hand again, wrapping her arm around him. Emi gasped as she felt glass and liquid rain over her, before turning quickly to Aiden. He had been bottled.. WHY? "Aiden ! Oh my god !" she screamed, hanging back while he beat up the man who had bottled him. She quickly grabbed a cloth from the bar as he sat down, pressing it to the back of his head to try stop the blood. "Syd, calm down honey. It will be okay, he is strong. We know that. Aiden please, just stay still. We need to stop this bleeding" she said moving slightly in front of him so she could stare at him, making sure he was still breathing, at the same time reaching for Sydneys hand. "You best be okay. I can't lose you again Aiden, you have only just come back to me. Please don't leave again, I cant do this again. It was hard enough the last time. I need you alive, and with me." she said sadly, trying to keep under control. She knew that the last thing that Aiden needed was a crowd of people being emotional right now. He needed calm and collected.

                                                      As she heard a commotion behind her, she saw a drop dead gorgeous girl walk up, taking over. She pushed Emi out of the way, giving her a stern look. Clearly, she was someone important to Aiden. She didn't seem to like the fact that Emi was so close to Aiden. She really did not want to step on anyone's toes. She was fairly sure that he had only just come back from his last rotation, and he was with her before that so she was pretty sure this wasn't his significant other. But she could tell that she wanted to be, and there is no way that she was ready to lose Aiden yet. "I hope you know what you're doing, this man is very precious to me. I intend to have him in my life forever, and if he dies I will not be happy"
                                                      she said moving down so the girl could walk, while grabbing hold of his hand and smiling warmly at him. "Hes my soldier, hes gone through a lot worse than this. Just a scratch. You will be fine" she said, making sure that she didn't get in Stellas way.

                                                      As Stella started moving Aiden around, trying to move him to another room Emi realised that he really needed to be with as little people as possible. It would tear her apart to have to sit out here while he was getting stitched up, but in reality it was what was best for his recovery right now. She could tell that even though she wasn't a huge fan of Stella herself, that she really did care about Aiden and she would do anything that she could to keep him safe. She smiled warmly at him, trying to show a brave face at the fact that yet again, she was being left behind. "You go with Stella and get patched up, I will stay out here and keep an eye on Sydney, maybe have a drink or two. I have missed you, Aiden. I am so happy that you're back. I-I know it isnt really appropriate right now, but I really need to get this out. Im sorry, for throwing this on you but I- I love you Aiden. So, please stay safe. We need to talk. Please ring me, in the morning? I will make you coffee and Waffles if you want" she said, not knowing how the hell she got up the courage to tell him that, in a full room of people. She was normally the sort of person that would wait, until she was alone to say such personal things. She was blushing, she was so embarrassed with herself for her outburst. She only hoped he would forgive her.

                                                      She leaned over, kissing him softly on the cheek again, lingering before moving back, smiling as he was lead away. She thought that while this other girl was around, she would be a bit more polite with the PDA. She moved back towards the bar, her hands now shaking from all of the emotions swirling around at once. She looked down at her hands and dress, noticing that she had Aiden's blood all over her. She really felt like crying. She sat down on one of the bar stools, shaking slightly. "Can I have a shot of something strong, please? I think I need it.." She looked back at Sydney, frowning slightly in worry. "Syd? Come sit down, please. He will be okay, the paramedic girl is looking after her. He will be fine. You know that he has been through worse than this, and come out alive. He is our Soldier. I just don't know if hes mine anymore" she said, laughing sadly. She was fairly sure that at the same time as calming down her clearly stressed out best friend, she was also trying to convince herself of the same thing. She really had no idea what she would do if he died. Her whole world would be torn apart. But she also didn't know what she would do if the girl of his dreams, who was not her, stole his heart away from her. She really didn't know. Maybe this new girl had his Heart? there was only one thing that she knew for sure. She was jealous of the bombshell who knew how to take care of his injuries, who could nurse him back to health when she couldn't. She would never be that calm, that well focused. All of a sudden, she wished she was someone else.


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                                                                              YOU'RE RIGHT. I GET IT.
                                                                              IT ALL MAKES SENSE YOU'RE THE PERFECT PERSON.
                                                                              SO RIGHT. SO WRONG.
                                                                              LET'S ALL LIVE IN YOUR IMAGINARY LIFE.

                                                                              After what had happened in his office, seeing Sebastian again quite soon was least expected. He couldn’t believe how sly the man was, following him out here, interrupting his conversation with Charlotte. Damon had a scowl formed on his face and he stood there just listening to him go on and on. He wasn’t impressed with Sebastian’s words and he had it in his mind to say it. He’d left him hanging earlier? Oh really? No, Sebastian. No, what he had done was end the conversation before it had gone too far between them. Damon rolled his eyes and then frowned at him darkly. Well now, this was slightly unexpected. Sebastian had dismissed Charlotte and then began to trail his fingers along the side of Damon face. Oh it was terrible. He could feel his cheeks flush and there were small tingles that could be felt there. ‘What the hell is he doing?’ Damon thought as his attitude went from content and able to handle Sebastian to bitter, just bitter. Glaring into the man’s eyes Damon watched Sebastian closely while he was toyed with. Humph. He didn’t like that. It annoyed him especially when Sebastian drifted away and then acted like something was surely going to happen with them. “Yeah,” Damon muttered, the sarcastic tone dripping in his voice, a small growl slipped out from his mouth and he gritted his teeth together. “we’ll see about that.” He’d be damned if he allowed himself to be continuously messed with by him and he knew it.

                                                                              Damon was better than that and he’d never let anybody take advantage of him now. Not like they'd done before over the years and tonight in his club. He was fed up with it. All them bloody idiots thinking they can get one up on him. It had been a long time since anything had blown up in his face like this and to be honest he had had enough of it. Damon sighed loudly and shook his head. Sebastian would get his comeuppance eventually; he knew that and that's why he ignored his advances and waited. Damn that guy and his inability to give up! It was quite amusing how Sebastian acted sometimes yet then again it wasn't. Damon was frustrated with it; Sebastian's behaviour never ever changed towards him; it only got worse and then at the same time Damon was becoming curious about it. What would happen if he went along with what Sebastian wanted? Would it make a difference? He shook his head finding his gaze gradually moving towards Ian. Damon had only ever had muddled feelings for one man in his life, and that was him; that was Ian Hawkins.

                                                                              Without much thought he caught the man's eye and gave him a slight half smile. It was odd how they were friends now considering that Ian had been his secret crush in high school, and the man he had loved to hate for obvious reasons. Over the years though, that changed, those feelings were buried and locked away, and he hadn't thought about it much until recently. This was Sebastian's doing; bringing back the memories of how he used to be. Eugh. It was sickening how much he had changed. He had happened to like himself more back then and he'd always had this habit of getting what he wanted. His eyes darkened now at the strong memories and then when Charlotte returned he gave her a interested smile. "About that, I..." Damon began trying to figure out how to explain it. "Yeah, yeah he does. Unfortunately." Realising by the tone of her voice that she was rather anxious when talking to him, he listened to what she had to say and then found himself thinking hard about it.

                                                                              'Oh.' He thought. 'Was that all?' Damon eyed her up then chuckled, "So, you want me, to be your, boyfriend?" He whispered, taking note of everything that she had said to him. Amused, he raised his dark eyebrows at the mere thought of it, then wrapped an arm loosely around her shoulders, pulling her closer. "I guess I could be that for you." Holding the beautiful woman in his arms, Damon smiled not really knowing what else to say. Charlotte had made it clear that she wanted him to do this, though, she had also said that it was a stupid idea. Either way, Damon couldn't help but instantly oblige. They had been friends for a long, long, long, time so it must be important if she were to ask him to help her.

                                                                              Without much thought on the matter Damon took this moment to wrap his arms around her waist, he felt her back quickly pressed against him, and okay it was nice being like this, but he really didn't want to go too far with it. Leaning his head gently on her shoulder,.he soon heard Charlotte's comment to her twin brother and out slipped out a quiet sigh. "Was that really necessary?" Damon murmured in her ear. He broke away because as quickly as Damon heard it, Damon's focus was straight on it. "What the ******** did you just say to her?" He snapped at Shane Lee Garwin, hearing her feisty words fly across the room and straight back to them both. "Apparently she doesn't." He told Charlotte clearly shaking his head. Turning back to Shane he gave his best friend a disappointed look. "You should watch yourself here, Shane. Just because we're close friends it doesn't mean you can be a b***h to those whom I'm with." Damon hissed at her, watching the expression from her face fade. He felt enraged that this woman, his so-called-best-friend had even dared mention his name. ******** it. "You know. If you intend to fight with her Charlotte then I would prefer it if you were to do it when I'm not around." Now he was just irritated, not angry... much, but irritated.

                                                                              "Look I'm not having a go at you here." He assured her, hoping that she wouldn't take it the wrong way. "I just don't want to get stuck in the middle of this." After speaking to her Damon found a few things which caught his attention. Dylan Cedar, drunk out of his mind and Eleanor Logan hobbling around looking quite... funny. Glaring at Christiano next, he stared the male and wondered what he was even doing here. "Ugh so who invited him anyway?" He muttered under his breath, cursing out loud. "And is that Areli drunk?" Whoa! This just got better and better didn't it? "She looks like she's going to have an interesting night, don't you think?" He continued to stare at her for a short while, his dark eyes watching her intently, as she danced seeking attention. Talking to Charlotte still, his gaze switched from Areli to Eleanor. Hmm. He thought to himself. Just hmm. He liked her. He didn't know why or what brought this on. But he could see that this brunette girl was special.

                                                                              Thoughts of Eleanor plagued his mind, and Damon knew that he'd get a chance to know her better since she was the one who was running a story on his club. He turned away from her when Charlotte spoke to him. Raising an eyebrow in her direction, he frowned a lot when she mentioned his sister, "I'd rather not..." He began, to which was pointless since Charlotte was already moving along. "Oh fine. Whatever." He rolled his eyes and then followed after her towards his sibling at the bar. "Sister," Stated Damon with a glare on his face. "I would say that it's lovely to see you though you and I both know that would be a lie." Hushing up he inhaled a deep breath, glanced up at Ian who was stood there no doubt listening, and then scowled some more at her. "What are you doing here?" He didn't even want to talk to her right now let alone look at her. However that was a question that had to be said. "I thought you hated his town? Cause if I remember correctly, you said that this place was 'no longer your home,' or at least I recall something along those lines of it."

                                                                              Damon eyed her up getting ready to give her a more intense interrogation. However just as he was about to go on talking further, he caught her brief mention of Margaret Cedar. The hell? Maggie was 'already' here? Ah alright. Now he was just the slightest bit confused. How could he miss seeing her, 'his' lovely Maggie, around here? Well, fine. He had been busy with other things and various other people, though granted that was certainly no excuse. "You're here with Maggie?" Damon questioned quickly. His deep brown eyes checked his older sister's facial features for any signs that hinted lies towards him. It didn't look as though she'd make something like this up, except he couldn't be too sure about it. He was sceptical of his dear sister because, even though they were siblings, he didn't know her that well, or better yet, he only knew some of what she was capable of and not all of it.

                                                                              It was strange how Damon and his sister had never really gotten along and really that much hadn't changed much now that they were older now; he didn't understand her, but then again he didn't want to understand her either. Though, even after all those years of not understanding this woman, he had to admit, it would be easier to try to get along with her better. If Charlotte could do it, then it couldn't be that hard to. Yet she hadn't lived with the woman, had she? She hadn't grown up having to deal with her using all the hot water. Humph! Damon drifted from the conversation for the moment, seeing Sebastian a few steps away talking to himself. Man, there were so many things wrong with this person that Damon had lost count. He couldn't help but stare at him though, giving him a weird look once he caught his gaze. A part of him was intrigued, mesmerised, but another part of him didn't give a s**t.

                                                                              Turning his attention back to the two women, Damon wrapped an arm around Charlotte's waist and pretty much just continued to stand there. He had easily missed most of what they'd been saying, not that it mattered much to him though; he'd given Eva the benefit of the doubt, which was a hard thing to do considering her feisty attitude and her snide remarks towards him. Oh sister! When will you ever learn? Damon rolled his eyes bored, though finding slight enjoyment in the way she proceeded to try make him tick. "Ian!" Damon called with a smirk to his face, giving a side glance to the man who remained quite near to them. "Get my lovely sister a drink. Anything she wants. It's on me." He held eye contact with him for several moments; his expression remaining the same until he broke the connection and turned back. "Accept it or don't accept it. It really doesn't bother me what you do." They were family and he was trying to put up a good front. Sure, he knew that she wouldn't appreciate or care for none of it, but oh well, can't always please a b***h.

                                                                              Several moments later something caught his attention out of the corner of his eye; it was then that Damon realised that the drunken guy from earlier had come back and was about to launch a rather brutal attack on Aiden. "What the ********]" Damon couldn't believe it; the way the b*****d had grabbed someone's drink and smashed it right around the back of Aid's head. "Did you see that?!" He exclaimed, slamming his drink down on the bar and unravelling his arm from Charlotte. Brown eyes looked towards Ian and signalled him to be on watch. "Ugh! For ******** sake!" This was terrible and without another word, Damon moved towards them rather quickly.

                                                                              Grabbing hold of Aiden's arm as fast as he could to hold him back, he noticed Dylan rush over to assist him in doing so and yet said nothing of it. "Hey." Damon called to Aiden. "Hey, don't be stupid. You're better than this. Just let me sort it." Then he heard Dylan's mouth right after him, realising that once again this guy clearly didn't think things through before speaking. "[******** that. I'll sort it. Why don't 'you' take him out back?
                                                                              " Huh... Bold move Cedar, bold move. Giving Damon orders in his own club, that was something that nobody got away with doing. Sigh. Considering the circumstances Damon decided he'd let it slide this time. It would have been otherwise foolish to get into a fight with this b*****d right when Aiden was about to blow. "Fine." He muttered, seething now thanks to Dylan. "Just don't let him get away." Damon snapped to which Dylan chucked and rolled his eyes. "As if I'd do a stupid thing like that." The man stated.

                                                                              Damon watched Dylan chase after the man who had caused this and then at the same time as he did, a half smile soon sprawled onto his lips once Dylan was out of the way. "Right." Damon muttered. He checked Aiden's head over - without touching it - and then let out a mumble. "You're going to be fine." He insisted. "Get one of the girls to get this patched. I'll check in on you later to make sure you're not dead." Oh charming! Ha ha! Damon had a real knack with words didn't it? However it was true, Aiden was in a lot of hands. Syd was there in shock and Stella had come bouncing over ignoring her performance. Even Emilie was around by the time Damon had walked away from there and dialled the number for an Ambulance. Of course if he was going to do this then he'd do it himself; one, because this was very important and he wanted it done properly. And two, because he wasn't about to let the club get bad rep. Frowning to himself about the whole situation, Damon glanced around his club before he went to press call. There were a lot of reasons to why he should do it right now, though he was unsure because he didn't really want to have the police and everybody over it.

                                                                              Contemplating for a few seconds he stopped what he was doing completely when took another look at Aiden and realised that Stella was taking care of it. Well this was good; this helped a lot. Damon shoved his phone back inside the safety of his pocket and felt a little bit better about it. Hmm. He mused to himself not sure what to do now. He sighed out a little huff once he remembered that he was supposed to be spending time with Charlotte. Oops! For a moment there he couldn't really see her about, so what was he supposed to do about it? Go find her? Go explain that he was busy? Oh wait, that's right. She was probably entertaining some of those guests of hers somewhere, which meant that in that case he really should be going to find her to help her out with it. Hmm. Again he didn't know what to do but he wasn't too bothered. His whole attitude had changed again now and Damon decided to go to the bar for a while instead. First a strong drink was in order, and then maybe just maybe, after another drink, he'll play the good boyfriend later.

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                                            After being restrained for a moment and then finding his way to a bar stool Aiden began to waver slightly, he could hear voices around him, panicking and high pitched. Emi was by his side, crying, words flowing from her in her emotional state. He paused for a moment, “Please,” He murmured softly, “Just relax, I’m not going anywhere,” Aiden knew he could manage this, of course, he’d been through worse. It just pissed him off to no extent. He couldn’t bring himself to try to explain his situation now; but really, when he left he thought that was the end of it. He’d told her he couldn’t do it, he couldn’t promise himself when he didn’t know he’d be coming back. His emotions never died, but they changed. He’d learnt to be by himself and he’d honed his emotions to his job. Aiden felt guilty about this situation; as soon as Stella rushed over he knew he had to explain. Feeling the tension of the two girls made him want to get called back, after all; war was much easier. As soon as Emi sat and took hold of his hand he felt conflicted, what was he meant to do in this situation?

                                            It hadn’t even been a day that he’d been back. When he left he’d felt like he’d ended the relationship, they’d both agreed it was something that had to be left behind; he was dedicated to his work and he couldn’t promise she’d be enough to pull him out of a job that had formed him. As for Stella, he had only been with her a few hours, they’re flirted, she looked amazing and he definitely felt attraction there but she was a close friend when they were younger; of course he cared. And now both women were getting catty over him over not even a few hours? It’s not like he’d actually done anything with either of them and suddenly it was a big drama. Hanging his head slightly after Damon had checked him over and Stella had begun to take a look. Another heavy conversation, how could he tell Emi he hadn’t waited? He’d got over his emotions, he had to. Sure, he cared, of course he did. He’d protect her in an instant, but he wasn’t about to mix up in their relationship again. He just wanted to rest, for a moment to just let the earth stand still. He almost wanted to lash out; he didn’t need arguing around him. “Just stop!” He growled, in all he wished he’d stayed in the base for a while longer; this is not how he planned his homecoming.

                                            Letting off a grunt as Stella said to move, he knew what that would be like considering this state. As he was urged to stand he shifted his feet onto the floor and slowly stood up. Aiden merely rolled his eyes at her comment, “I only regret that I didn’t kill him. I forgot how cowardly some men are.” He sighed softly, “Go on kid, I’m not going anywhere,” he shrugged lightly, he couldn’t even think of romantic entailment in her words; it was all far too much. “I hope so,” He snickered, “Well I should think so after a hit like that, also, after the cat fight I was underneath had a good backlash.” He eyed Stella for a moment, waiting for some kind of reaction. He hadn’t realised he’d meant more to her than he’d first thought. Or that’s what it seemed like; why else would she be acting so jealous? A slight chuckle rumbled his throat, “I’m used to pain, Stells, I also don’t mind it rough.” Another soft chuckle before glancing up at his make shift nurse. “Do I get a lollipop after?” He merely grumbled when she’d shaved off some of his hair. He liked his hair; for once he’d grown it out since he hadn’t been in the field and he knew he had time off. He’d have to shave it if he were to go back.

                                            Aiden smiled to himself as Stella began to tell a story as she stitched the gash in his head, to be honest, he didn’t mind the pain. He’d been cut; scarred, seared this was delicate compared to that. Although her story made him wonder, how did she turn out to be alright with a mother like that? “I had no idea you had to go through that,” He murmured softly, smiling as she finished and wiped around the wound and then his chest, he couldn’t say he didn’t feel a twitch of life when she did that. “Yes nurse,” He snickered, “Thank you Stells, for trying to keep the pain at bay.” It meant a lot that she’d thought of that, why hadn’t she become a nurse? She would’ve made a damn fine nurse. He didn’t reach for the water; he didn’t really want to drink, well. He wanted a stiff drink. “It’s good to hear Syd was there for you, I don’t really know Carmela.” He eyed the female for a moment; he wanted her to know he’d been listening. “Stella,” He’d wanted to tell her about this situation, although they’d just met again so technically, why should he have to? He’d been friends with her since forever; he wanted to remind her he wasn’t an a*****e.

                                            On their way out of the VIP room Aiden began to relax a little against Stella, careful to keep his weight in check. “A little better,” he admitted, “Still a little faint, but I’ll get over it.” As he leant a little more his arm snaked around her shoulders, another low chuckle rippled from his chest. “Aww Stells, relax. I’m not going anywhere,” He snickered as he pointed to his chest, “Look how many times people have tried, and I’m still standing.” Walking past Syd and Emi he felt bad for basically blanking her actions earlier, due to spells of dizziness. He leant toward Syd and wrapped one arm around her in a tight hug. “I’m alright, see? Chin up girl.” He chuckled softly as he glanced toward Emi. “I’ll call you tomorrow…” He gave her a small nod and made his way back to Stella, allowing her to lead him away. He didn’t want to get into anything emotional or stir up yet more emotions in his ex, that wasn’t the man he was. Right now he was pretty tired of the situation. Another chuckle rumbled as Stella continued to give him a good talking to about what he can and cannot do. “Yes yes, nurse.” His eyebrows shot up, pester him for the rest of the night? “I’ve had enough already,” He eyed her for a moment before that same old playful smile returned to his lips before lightening his weight slightly. “Better?”

                                            Once at Stella’s the fun didn’t stop, Stella kept making her usual comments. “I’ll just buy you a new couch.” He snickered as she poured some soup and brought it over to him. “I’m sure it’s delicious, thank you.” He chuckled playfully and began to spoon some of the soup into his mouth; it tasted wonderful. He almost spat out his soup. “That…” He sighed softly placing the soup down for a moment. “I did have, it was during my last time home. Well, I met her a few times. I met her at some bar, we hit it off. Before I knew what we were doing I was staying with her, we were close. But I had to go back to work. So I left her, I ended it because I didn’t think I was coming back; also to keep someone hanging on for something they may never get back…” he shook his head slightly, remembering his orders. “I just didn’t want her hanging on.” He tried to catch her gaze but she was looking elsewhere. “Stells, is there something you’re not telling me?” Of course they’d flirted but this was more than that. And he couldn’t deny he felt something near her, but then with his past so close clearly not as over as he thought it was he really had some thinking to do. “I’m not getting into bed with her, or anyone else, alright?” He put his soup down and wondered over to the female, leaning down and embracing her with a warm hug. As he pulled back he noticed the photo of them together, "Good times," He chuckled softly, "I didn't think you'd have kept that..."

                                            “So,” he began with a smile over his lips as he settled back on to the other couch, “Since we have to be up all night, do you have any movies?” He paused for a moment, “And we have to have popcorn. I can go down to the shop around the corner and get some.” Although he was commanded back down he gave her a sneaky smile, “Or? Nurse I don’t think you have the strength to take me even if I am wounded.” He shot her a playful pout pretending to be worse off, “I’m a badly wounded soldier.” He held his hand over his chest with a wide eyed look. “You know the boys would’ve loved that,” He chuckled before actually allowing himself to sit back down. “I miss them,” He murmured softly, “I was told to come back, to recharge, to let go of some things I witnessed. I guess this is like suspension.” He shrugged lightly, a little hopeless. “I can’t say I won’t go back, I just don’t know if I can. Surely they’d allow me back…” Thinking aloud was something he barely ever did. But knowing he might not be allowed to go back to his dream… It killed him. He needed to be there, he needed to save those boys. Someone had to be there for them and that was him. He glanced up to Stella as he stretched out on her couch. “No war films, then we’re good to go.” He shot her a casual grin, “So come and keep your poor wounded soldier friend company,” he pat the couch with a slight pout, “don’t forget to bring the snacks.”
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Timid Gekko

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                                                    The drive to the club was longer than Maggie thought it was going to be and she could almost sense the tenseness in Eva. Things were quiet and when Maggie asked about it, Eva said everything was okay. She wanted to believe that but she wasn’t sure she’d ever had a day out with Evangeline where she was actually quiet on the drive. It was odd but Maggie didn’t want to press the issue. If Eva wanted to let her know what was going on, she’d tell her. Until then, Maggie was going to go on about her evening.

                                                    At the door, Eva split away from her and headed off toward what Maggie thought was the bar. Every time she came to the club, she always had V.I.P access. Tonight was no different. King led Maggie toward the back and she was careful to watch her step. There were a lot of people at the club tonight. She could hear so many voices and it was a little overwhelming, she knew though that it would be quieter in the V.I.P section.

                                                    Maggie had almost reached the area she needed to be in when she heard approaching feet. The woman cocked her head to the side to listen closer and there was Leon’s voice. She hadn’t spoken to him in some time and a grin was quickly shown on her face. ”I know it’s you silly, I know your voice anywhere.” She knew all of her friend’s voices. She could pick them out and tell them all apart. She also could normally tell who it was from how they walked, how much noise they made when they moved. It was hard to sneak up on Maggie, hard but not impossible.

                                                    Leon explained that he was about to go out for air and Maggie smiled again nodding. It was a little stuffy but there were so many people. ”I just got here. I’m actually glad you showed up! I came with Eva but she seems to have snuck off and I would love to have some company. Come with me, I’m sure there will be less people back here.” The idea of actually talking to Leon was nice. She hadn’t had much time to talk to him at all lately but she figured he was busy. Still, like Robby, she wanted so badly not to hold it against him, even though she knew she would.

                                                    The young woman really hated that she would hold that against a dear friend but she did it anyway. She hated feeling left out or left behind. She felt abandoned by Robby though she’d never tell him that. She hadn’t told anyone that but it was pretty obvious when she refused to go anywhere for a month after he left. Though she missed him, she was also very angry with him. There was a good chance she might stay angry for a long while too. She hadn’t spoke to him in so long that it was irritating her and it was very hard to irritate Maggie. She was going to do her best to not think about Robby though, thinking about him was sometimes painful.

                                                    Leon led her back to the V.I.P section and they were soon seated on a very plush couch. Maggie had a feeling something was up and she knew she was right when Leon apologized for upsetting her. She heard him take a deep breath and she realized then that he was upset about upsetting her. ”No need to apologize Leon. I figured you were busy or something was on your mind and I knew when you were ready to talk about it, you’d tell me.” Her words were soft because something was on his mind and she wanted to be there for him.

                                                    Leon explained that he should have spoken to her before now, that things were hard and he should have treated her better. Maggie shook her head no she reached out, took Leon’s hand in her own and squeezed it gently. ”You have treated me just fine and don’t think that you haven’t.” She could understand if he wanted to stay away because something was bothering him and it was pretty obvious that it was. However, what came out of his mouth next made Maggie understand completely. The utterance was quiet but Maggie heard it clearly. She squeezed his hand again.

                                                    Leon explained further, he’d always known and then he talked of his parents. Maggie had always been an emotional person. She had a heart bigger than she realized because her eyes were welling with tears when she wrapped her arms around Leon and pulled him to her for a hug. ”Don’t you worry about them Honey, I love you and I always will no matter what. You’re parents will come around and if they don’t then you pay them no mind because you are a better person being who you are rather than who they want you to be.” Her words were whispered, quiet because she had heard Sebastian come into the room. The only person that needed to hear her right now was Leon but she did smile toward the other boy.

                                                    After greeting King, Sebastian stepped closer and he too had something good to say. He was right. Ezzy did want Leon. She loved him and Maggie could be money on the fact that Syd and Shane still loved him too. She knew that this had to be hard on him but she knew that if she could lose her parents and still survive that Leon could too, even if he had to pretend as if they were gone forever. He didn’t need anyone sitting around telling him what was right and what was wrong because the only way he could make himself happy was to be himself. Maggie would love him, no matter what because that was the kind of person Maggie was. Her heart was big and she loved everyone she ever came into contact with.

                                                    At the sound of Sebi’s voice, Maggie grinned. ”I’ve known Leon since high school. I think we’ve been best friends since we started eating lunch together way back when.” She could remember those days and they were nice… most of them any way. ”No paint lately. I’ve been working on a few sculptures. I am pretty sure I was washing clay out of my hair for almost an hour today.” Thinking about that made her think of that sculpture that was sitting at home on the table. Unfinished. Mocking her. She frowned.

                                                    ”I’m back here because Damon gave me a V.I.P pass and when I come, I normally sit back here anyway. It’s safer for me.” She didn’t mention the fact that if Dylan saw her that he would probably get angry at her that she came out to the club and he might be upset if he knew that not only did she come to hear Stella but she also came so she could see Damon. She was glad that Aiden was back though, that meant that Dylan was probably happy. The two of them had been close, Maggie could remember that. ”I’m sure Dylan’s happy about that.” Sebastian apologized and Maggie giggled. ”Don’t worry Sebi, I don’t mind your rambling. It’s adorable.”

                                                    Maggie heard footsteps but she didn’t know them right off the bat which was funny because as soon as he spoke, she grinned. It was Damon and his lips brushed her cheek making a faint pink hue appear on them. ”Damon! Where have you been hiding all night?” She believe that he had been busy. The place was packed and she feared he may not have a lot of time to spend with her. At least she looked nice tonight. She’d been sure to wear the dress that he had bought for her. Damon was right though, she did have company.

                                                    "Nope, not short on company at all. I lost Eva at the door so Leon and Sebi have kept me company." Leon had escorted her to the back and Sebi had followed along shortly after. Maggie didn’t mind though, she loved both boys. After a moment of pause, Maggie remembered she hadn’t asked anyone how the dress looked yet. Turning to Damon, she smiled, ”How does the dress look?” She said as she smoothed the fabric against her knees.

                                                    Damon said she looked beautiful and blush tinted her cheeks again. Maggie and Damon had a complicated relationship. They were just friends but there had been a romance there once and Maggie had been rather confused over her feelings for Robby and broken things off. No one knew that she had feeling for Robby, she never told anyone, not even Robby. She just let things go and has been single since then because boys were far too much trouble, but that didn’t stop Damon from doting on her. Damon was special to her and he probably always would be but that romance was dead… or at least Maggie thought it was…

                                                    O U T F I T
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                                                                    Smiling at the blond whilst the crowd around the bar became a nuisance, Preston was slightly disturbed at the fact that he had yet to grab the bartender's attention. What did it take for a guy to get a drink around here? Should have brought the flask he thought, wishing he had. If it were up to him, he'd hop back there and make his own damn drink. Actually, that's not a bad idea. It give the poor sap [Ian] one less thing to do. He turned his head to see if Shane might want anything when low and behold, it happened. Now don't get the wrong idea, he had the image in his head that his sister got herself a clue and scrammed, but that's not the case here. Nope. Instead she just stood there, exchanging dirty looks with miss mouth over here. God, Shane, shutup woman.. the male sighed, rolling his eyes at her last remark. Ah, look. See, Damon knew what he was talking about. These girls were acting ridiculous. Wow, would you look at that. Preston finally found something in common with his biggest pain in the a** ever. Scary, ain't it? "Now, Shane. I believe that was uncalled for," he minded her, giving her a warnful stare then let Damon tell her off. It was better coming from him anyways. Yeah, better Shane get mad at Damon than himself. And then there's Charlotte looking as though she were falling back into her old insecurities. Dammit! Shane was gonna ruin this for him.

                                                                    The male pursed his lips in obvious annoyance as Shane returned to him and made her apology. Honestly, he didn't want to hear it for it was not Preston who needed to hear an apology. Shane should have never opened her mouth to begin with. She should've been a good girl and play tonsil hockey with Preston til his lips were numb. Besides, Charlotte would have backed off at some point or another without having to be sassed at. He rudely turned his head away as the woman's soft lips met his and-- oh! Preston gasped, baffled now that he saw not just one, but several ex's sitting around the bar. "You've got to be kidding me.." the male mumbled to himself. Stella. His last actual relationship that lasted more than a week. They had a nice thing going for a while. But all good things must come to a end. He could not believe she was here. More importantly, he could hardly believe Aiden Savage was here as well. You know, for a guy who was supposedly his 'friend', he had a funny way of showing it. He hasn't heard from Aiden in a long time. What stung the most was that he didn't even bother to mention he was with Stella. Sure, Preston is the one that screwed up when he hooked up with someone else, but did Aiden ever consider that Preston may still have feelings for her? So much for the 'bro-code'.

                                                                    Preston tensed up a little as Shane pushed her limits. "No, Shane. Not now," he snapped lightly, sliding her hand from his leg then stood up from the stool and walked off. He couldn't sit for much longer. Not there at least. And by now, the tables were all taken up. Oh great, as if that wasn't bad enough. There was another lost lover present; Arieli with---Christiano? Are you serious? A frown tugged at the corners of his mouth when he felt someone brush against him. Charlotte. "Karma can be a b***h, brother dear. Perhaps this will inspire you and your 'friend' there to have some self-control," the vixen smirked as she and Damon passed by. Bravo big sis for showing your true colors, even if it was for a split second. God, she's really just a closet b***h. Pretending to be sweet and innocent then BAM! she strikes when you least suspect it. Preston shot her a dirty look, following after her then stopped as Charlo and Damon spoke to a familiar brunette. Wasn't that Damon's sister, um, s**t what was her name again? Ah, yes, the exquisite Evangeline Braizen. Damn she looked beautiful, didn't she? Hold up. Okay, he was supposed to be all about Shane tonight. Wasn't he? Even though he was a little ticked off, it was hard to hold a grudge. Only thing now is to find her. Didn't he leave her at the bar?

                                                                    After wandering around the club for his best girl, Preston came out from the crowd to find Aiden being led towards the exit by Stella. Good riddens. Walking towards the bar, he noticed his sister looking as though she did not want to be followed. Hm, what was she up to now? The suspicious male followed her, pushing his way through the crowd when he finally caught up to Charlotte. "Ah, so that's where it went.." he tutted, snatching his flask from her hand. He should have known she'd take it. And it's empty too! "Shouldn't you be with Shane by now?" she sniffled, wiping her face with the back of her hand then leaned against the wall. Preston raised a brow, "What are you crying about? Did Damon do something?" Wouldn't be surprise. He was always a sinister sort of fellow. Charlotte shook her head "No, Damon didn't do anything. I lost a client tonight. The bride found the groom in one of the VIP rooms with another woman," she sighed, flipping her hair back. Preston chuckled, "Sucks to be him." Charlotte rolled her eyes "You don't get it, Preston. I was the other woman."

                                                                    Say what?!? How did he not see this coming?

                                                                    Preston gawked at the blond "Charlotte, I am surprised at you. A little proud, but that is so unlike you." It's true. His sister could be a bit unpredictable, but he never thought she would turn into..him. The woman turned away in humiliation. Preston frowned. He didn't want to upset her even more. "I'm sorry, Charlotte. Want me to get you anything?" he asked. "Something strong, and not that fruity s**t you order every time. In fact, bring me whatever Ian recommends.." she said, sliding down to the floor and hid her face. Great, here it comes. He'd get mad, she'd cry. He'd pick her up and carry her out to the car and the night was over. Well, not this time. She's on her own. With a sigh, Preston knelt down, prying her hands from her face. So dramatic she could be. "Char, come on, it's not that bad." On second thought, she just ruined the engagement of a happy couple. It was pretty bad. "Up, up, up big sis. People are beginning to stare," he said, lifting her up then led her over to a vacant couch and let her have her meltdown while he went to look for assistance.

                                                                    Coming up to the bar, he spotted Sydney. She'd be able to help. "Hey there, Syd. Some stuff went down with Charlotte and she's pretty upset, I think she could use a friend right about now. I'd stay with her, but I've got other matters to attend to so if you don't mind looking after her for me?" he grinned, reaching in his back pocket for his wallet and pulled out a few bills then slapped them in her hand "Next drink is on me and I'd keep an eye on her. She just downed a bunch of scotch so....yeah, see ya," he said taking off to find where his date ran off to. How does she keep disappearing? Aha! There she was. The male cautisiously approached Shane hoping he wasn't about to be slapped in the face or punched in the nuts. "Forgive me? I didn't mean to snap at you like that. I'll explain if you'll let me, but not here.." he said, feeling a little light-headed. He should probably get home, just in case. Though he would prefer to leave without alarming Charlotte. With that in mind, he leaned forward, kissing her nose then lightly pressed his against her own "Wanna get out of here?" he whispered huskily, digging out his keys. "I would like to have you all to myself tonight, without interruptions. And I found a sitter for Lo so we'll be all alone," he winked, hoping that would interest her. Syd may not be a big fan of theirs, but Charlotte was visibly upset meaning she'll want to b***h with Sydney all night. Hopefully she'd come thru for him, just this once. Now he just needed an answer from Shane.

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                                            Okay, so perhaps talking sass to Charlotte wasn't exactly the best idea, especially in front of Preston. The b***h was asking for it! Could she be any more obnoxious? Preston and Charlotte were family, so he was obligated to care about his twin sister. And when Shane wasn't nice to Charlotte, Preston made it clear that this wasn't behavior that he supported. Shane had always been a b***h, especially in her teenage and young adult years. But now, at twenty-five, she had come such a long way. Deep in her heart, she would always have a terrible mean streak that would lash out if provoked. And this? This was provocation. Shane would have left Charlotte completely alone if she had kept her mouth shut. But of course, Charlotte was dumb enough to mess with a loaded gun. And hey, at least she complemented her extensions. Charlotte would never be a threat to Shane, but if Shane didn't control her temper, then she could lose Preston. Family always came first. Just like Shane would protect Ezzy with her life.

                                            But Damon had to open his mouth.

                                            It was obvious whose side he was on by the conversation, and that fact sickened her. She had always been there for Damon, through thick and thin. And now he was calling her a b***h? It was all she could do to bite her tongue despite the rage of comebacks that were stirring inside of her head. Part of her was hurt that he would talk to her like that - her best friend, taking someone else's side? Sure, Damon hated Preston, and Shane hated Charlotte, but there was some priority here, wasn't there? On the other hand, Shane would have defended Preston if Damon had said something cruel to him. Charlotte started it!

                                            "I have a right to defend myself," Shane stated calmly, crossing her arms. "And she better learn to take precautions before sticking her hand in a hornet's nest." Shane flashed her bright blue-green eyes toward Charlotte as a warning. Sure, Charlotte had been on the top of the social ladder back in high school, but Shane took much better care of herself. She glared at Damon, angry at him for treating her that way. Her best friend decided he would turn his back against her, and he wouldn't live it down. Of course, as any loving friend would, she would give him time to come to his senses. Perhaps something was bothering him She hoped that was the case, or they would have to have a long talk soon.

                                            At the bar, Shane was more than surprised that Preston had turned his head when she tried to kiss him. He rarely ever did that - only when he was mad at her. And nothing killed Shane more than blatant rejection from the people she cared about the most. That was two in a row, now, and she tried to ignore the sad pit in her stomach. She furrowed her eyebrows in confusion, watching Preston as he stared off past her and mumbled. "What?" she asked, turning her head to see who he was looking at. Stella? Really? Right in front of her. Was that jealousy that she was feeling? Shane Lee Garwin never became jealous - that was something crazy, committed people did. But whenever it came to Preston, she felt especially protective over him, although she made no effort to remove his contact with other women besides herself.

                                            So she slid her hand up his leg, and he immediately tensed up. His hand removed hers as he rose to his feet and simply left her by herself. Shocked, Shane pursed her lips in frustration. What was that all about? Her face grew slightly red at the embarrassment of being left alone. Her eyes scanned for someone to speak with. Carmela was with Jackson, drunk and all over him. That idea was out. Jackson had a little too much to drink, too, as it appeared. Stella was with Aiden - had he just gotten into a fight or something? How had she missed it?

                                            And where was Riah? Everyone else was here, why wasn't he? Maybe he could take her home, but he'd probably lecture her about running her mouth again. He was like an older brother to her, and despite how much he teased her, she knew he cared about her a great deal. Shane grabbed her phone from the inside of her bra and started texting, the flashing lights making it hard to see the screen of her cell phone.

                                            To: Riah-rooni
                                            From: Shane
                                            hey where the ******** are you? im at damons club. everyones being a b***h tonight and im over it.

                                            She slipped her phone away, wishing that her friend was here. If there was nothing else to do, then she would just leave. Hopefully everyone would loosen their panties by tomorrow.

                                            It had been some time that passed until Preston approached her. She crossed her arms, bracing herself for another lecture about messing with his precious sister - but that wasn't what he said at all. Was he apologizing? He was. It didn't help that his eyes were like that of a puppy, begging for a forgiveness that she couldn't resist. He said he had to explain - and she figured it was just a family thing. That was what made the most sense, anyway. Sighing, she cracked a slight smile. How could she say no to this man? She couldn't. "I understand it's your sister. I'm sorry, too. I shouldn't have said anything," she apologized, grinning as he kissed her nose and pressed his forehead against hers. He was proposing that they leave the club - a tempting idea. The way he whispered made it difficult enough for her to keep herself together right then. The guy was a charmer, a professional one. He played the same games she did, but even she wasn't immune to his sweet-talking devices.

                                            "Mm," she said, a devious expression on her face. She bit her lip. "All alone, huh? What kind of girl would I be if I said no?" She kissed him passionately, hoping that he would get the hint of how much she approved of this idea. "It's been way too long." She took his hand and led him toward the entrance of the club. "And I get to leave with the hottest guy in here. Lucky me."
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                                              Areli simply ignored Chris’s words, he was going to dance with her and they both knew it. As she dragged him toward the dance floor she just casually shrugged, a sexy lazy shrug causing her curls to tumble down her shoulder. After a rather proactive display of how many ways she could possibly shake her body Chris stepped toward her, a slow predatory smile crossed her lips as he took her hand and her waist in his hands. “I’ve only just got warmed up…” She chuckled softly back into his ear, something felt like home there. So close to what she’d been missing, out of all the drunken nights and useless partners, Chris had always stood out. Not because he was great in bed, that was a given, but because he seemed to play along with her; he gave her something to try for and that was enough to keep her hooked. She merely shrugged at his second comment, “Then why are you touching me up?” Her hues glanced up at him with a devilish shimmer of a smile. As she backed off to show him EXACTLY what he’d been missing Stella appeared, leaning against her which almost toppled her over. All she heard was stage, pausing with a slight frown she shrugged and smiled, “I’ll give it a go,” She snickered toward Chris and gradually made her way on stage.

                                              Grabbing the microphone she could see people turn to watch, suddenly feeling a bit of stage fright. Thank goodness she wasn’t that pissed. “Grab a partner,” she watched the crowd sort of get into it. She murmured a curse and rolled her eyes, dropping to sit on the stage and then slid off. “Like this,” She grabbed a random man from the crowd and fit his hands around her like Chris’s had been. She watched a few couples drunk enough to grab onto each other. Now Areli had been a dancer since she was young, ballet, although you wouldn’t think it. She was light on her feet; that’s for sure. Gradually she began to pull away and shake her hips slightly to the right, as for the crowd; some managed and some just looked scary. She bit back a chuckle as the backing music was turned up. Her dark lashed fluttered up to glance at Chris, not too far from her. Breaking away from her partner she strode over, a devilish smirk on her face. The crowd were entertaining themselves; her entertainment was sitting right in front of her. Before she could grab his hands he grabbed her and pulled her from the dance floor, a slight pout appearing over her lips as they stood at the bar. She knew exactly what she was doing and she was beginning not to care.

                                              As he ordered her a glass of wine she felt a little bad, she couldn’t reject it, and she surely couldn’t pay for it. She had to drink it didn’t she? Without much thought she downed it, putting the glass back onto the bar. And another appeared, she had a feeling he’d do this. She ignored the image of work tomorrow, for once she was going to let go. She grabbed the drink, spilling some of the wine and downed it. By the third glass she was ready to pass out, she escaped the situation by wondering back toward the dance floor, swaying to the beat that seemed to be about five times louder. She loved this song. Shaking her hips to the beat she began to mouth the words to the song, almost in her own world. She could see the crowd was still keeping themselves busy, although gone past Stella’s time. She merely glanced at Chris; he was smiling like a Cheshire cat, she could only imagine why. Grabbing his pants she drew him close to her, a wicked smile crossing her features. “So why on earth would you want to get me so pissed?” She slurred softly as she wrapped her arms around his neck, making sure she wasn’t about to fall backwards anytime soon.

                                              After another hour of simply grinding against her ex-lover he decided he wanted to leave. She felt sad until he hinted that she was coming with. By now she felt all the alcohol, she was concerned about walking to his. “If I can stand,” she murmured softly, wrapping one arm around Chris as they left the club, her heels didn’t help either. As they we walking back she tripped slightly, gripping onto Chris as she stumbled, trying her best to recover. She gave a soft curse as she began to walk slowly again. It was safe to say she was wrecked. “Chris how could you,” she slurred with a flash of dark lashes drifting down for a moment before revealing her bright blue hues. “I need some coffee.” She leant against him some more with a soft huff, she’d not been this far gone in a while, it didn’t feel –all- that great when she had the feeling Chris was laughing at her. Thumping his chest softly she narrowed her gaze at him; they’d stopped outside his front door while he got his key. “You always laugh at me.” She accused, still slurring and definitely not as game as she had been.

                                              As they got inside she wondered toward the bedroom, she knew the layout of his place like the back of her hand. Wobbling slightly she knocked a side table over, cursing softly at the pain in her thigh; she’d walked right into it. She tried to rub away the pain but it just made it worse for a while. “That’s your fault for getting me drunk!” She called out to Chris as she began to discard her clothing as she made her way into his bedroom, keeping her high heels on. As soon as she saw Chris appear a smirk crossed her lips. She rolled onto her side, propping her head up with her hand. She knew exactly why she was drunk. And now she certainly didn’t care.

                                              In the morning…

                                              Waking up to be in Chris’s arms, well, it still felt like a dream to Areli. Instead of getting up like she usually did, she closed her eyes and allowed herself to fall back into a sleepy haze. In all honesty, just having to go around finding her clothes was too much effort right now. She twisted slightly in his arms and rested against his chest, he felt so good. Blinking for a second she rolled back over and glanced at the clock on the end table, cursing softly she tore herself from the bed, rushing toward his bathroom. Once in there she turned on the shower and quickly hopped in, avoiding getting her hair wet. Quickly giving her body a once over she turned off the taps and rushed out, grabbing a dry towel and began to dry herself off. Clothes. She swore again. She’d have to wear her dress, no underwear. The walk of shame would be interesting. Rushing out from the bathroom she tried her best not to wake him as she picked up her dress, underwear, heels. Sighing softly as she took one glance at him. Putting her stuff down for a moment she crawled across the bed, leaning above him with a smile on her face, she wanted to kiss him but she just pulled away and grabbed her things as she rushed into the bathroom to change.

                                              She left his home in record time, not to mention she felt horrific. As soon as she got home she ran into the bathroom for a whole other reason. After throwing up most of the remains in her stomach she settled down onto the floor, how was she going to work like this? With a huff she made her way toward her wardrobe, picking out a fairly neutral shirt, shorts and shoes. Definitely no heels, she may not make it to work if she had to wear any. With a soft curse she changed, feeling at least a little better from her earlier shower. Although she’d hate to admit it, she regretted leaving so early. She wished she’d snuggled for an hour more, what was she thinking? It didn’t work for a reason right? Sighing softly she made sure she took a few painkillers and grabbed a big bottle of water from her fridge; there was no chance she’d be able to work well without a good dose of water. Seating herself on her kitchen counter she drank some water, trying to ease the hang over. Today was going to just be one of those she couldn’t deal with much. Downing a bit more water she grabbed her keys and phone, pushing them into her pockets. She didn’t really need anything else, she’d just be working and then home again. She certainly wouldn’t be partying for a while.

                                              Arriving only half an hour late for her shift was a complete miracle. Marching into the shop she rushed to the counter and grabbed her apron with her note pad and pen. “Don’t start with me,” She called to Mike as she saw him coming toward her, “Rough night?” It felt more like an interrogation than a question. “Yes,” She rolled her eyes slightly before whipping out her pad and making her way over to a lady that’d just come in. It seemed all so surreal, a night with someone she didn’t think she’d see again and now she was just back to work as if it never happened? Well what could she have done? Set up in his home? Sighing softly she shook her head, she had to let go, a good night and that’s all it was. Hearing her phone ring she gave a soft grunt before glancing at the number. She didn’t recognise it, usually she’d ignore the call but today she wasn’t thinking. “Hello,” and then her heart sank. “Miss Hudson, we’re calling on your landlord’s behalf. He notifies us that you’ve failed to address his letters, you have a week to pay your debt to him or you will be forced to move.” She simply nodded, putting the phone down. She knew it was coming but it blew her right out of the water. Just a week to get a couple of grand, how the hell could she do that?

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