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Traf·fic [IC]

The realms with realistic settings lacking the influence of magic and having technology more in line with our own world based on the time period. The worlds themselves may still be fictional or exist on an alternate timeline. Examples: Fight Club, Lord of the Flies, Breaking Bad.

Moderators: Dionysus [Rick], Athena [Georgeanna]

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Aurelia Courville
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Traf·fic [IC]

Post by Aurelia Courville » Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:36 pm

He woke up in a sweat. Vivid images of a barge on fire in the Atlantic. The light of the city on the shore in the distance. The pain, tingling through his body after he had hit the water. This was a dream. But the memory of the actual event would linger forever.

He never let situations get out of his control. But this time…

It happened seven years ago, he shouldn’t still be worried about it. But the more time passed, the more he dreamed of that night, the more he couldn’t help but wonder just how it all went wrong.

He forced himself out of bed, well, off of the couch-turned-makeshift- bed above the Noodle shop with no name. The apartment had grown increasingly more cluttered over the year he hadn’t spent really living in it. He spent most of his time in the restaurant or out in the crowded streets of Bangkok. In particular, they were just outside of a housing project in Soi Srinakarin 55, and not exactly the most quiet of neighborhoods. But what had they said? “The best hiding spot is in plain sight” or something like that. In any case, the owner of the Noodle shop, Kit, was a good friend and was always willing to put himself in the line of fire for him.

Kit also ran an illegal gambling den out the back room, so, if anyone could protect him, it would be a guy who had the local police in his back pocket.

If the Columbia fiasco haunted him in his dreams, it was his time in Turkey that solidified --or justified-- his early retirement. There was absolutely no way that INTERPOL could have been waiting for him as soon as he got off the plane. He hadn’t even done anything yet before they were throwing him in the back of a van and hauling him off. He’d spent a few uncomfortable nights in a Turkish jail cell before they had to let him go. Columbia was a big job, but his quick thinking and the destroying in such a complete and total way of any of the drugs that could have been linked back to him, left them with their dicks in their hands. And since, as far as they were concerned, he was just a tourist to the grand city of Istanbul, they couldn’t charge him.

He was well aware of the millions of other counts they could have booked him on, but what--or, who they were really after? They’d have to have a lot more on him if they were going to get that information.

There was a tingling in the back of his mind, an all too unwelcomed pang of guilt and suspicion about all the things that had happened up until this point.

He let out a yawn even though the sun was up at its midpoint, and swatted a fly out of his face. Something cracked over the small clock radio tipped over by his makeshift nightstand. It sounded like a bit of old jazz, and then the faint whine of a female voice. He flicked his wrist at the machine, knocking it over and the plug out of the socket, shutting it off. The smell of burnt noodles wafted into his nose, almost as an afterthought.

Downstairs, the smell only grew stronger and Cecilio’s eyes furrowed. The place was practically empty. Two old men in white woven shirts with buttons and collars playing chess in the corner. A teenaged waitress popping gum and fiddling with her phone at the counter with too much makeup and a streak of baby doll pink in her jet black hair. If he didn’t know better, he’d think he was back in his hometown in Argentina.

But he did know better. And as he walked passed Teal (obviously not the teenagers real name, but who was he to judge) and pushed past the aubergine curtain and through the too tiny kitchen with the one cook--Anuman (whose patience was just as thin as his name implied in translation)--and into the back room, filled with puffs of thick smoke from too many cigars in an unventilated, dark room.

There was little light coming from the unshielded light bulb that slowly swung in the middle of the room. Wires sprang out from where the string met the ceiling and he wondered how there had never been a fire but also how the light still worked (just barely, it flickered from time to time in some beat to an unknown song). Kit was chatting with a man in a dark ill-fitting suit in the corner and turned when the man stopped talking to look at the clearly foreign man who had just walked in.

Cecilio was wearing the unusual plane black v-neck t-shirt and dark denim jeans. Also uncharacteristically, he had slept in that very same outfit and hadn’t showered or shaved in almost a week. The dreams had come more intense lately and he wasn’t sure what had changed. He was fine he kept telling himself. No one outside of Kit and maybe two others in the area even knew where he was or even who he was.

So why couldn’t he shake this feeling, that someone was just around the corner, waiting for him.

Kit looked over his shoulder at him, shoulders tensing after eyes focused enough to notice who had joined them. “Shit, Lio..” he started. “First of all, you look like shit.” he turned his back to the older gentleman, not bothering to close out their conversation with any sort of transition. Walking over to him, hawaiian pattern red shirt with flip flops and palm trees obnoxiously splattered across every inch of it. Kit sat down on a chair, with the back between his legs. He crossed his arms after motioning for Cecilio to join him.

“Secondly, she’s looking for you.” He said softly, side eyeing the rest of the room as if any of the other people could care about just one more illegal thing was happening in the room.

Cecilio shuffled the weight on his feet for a moment before he sat down, putting his elbows on the table in front of him. The table shifted, one of its legs missing a piece on the bottom, making it uneven. “Is she now? That seems unlikely. Not after the way I left things.”

Kit was shaking his head before Cecilio even finished his sentence. “Nah, c’mon man. You haven’t exactly been keeping a low profile lately. You remember Marrakesh?” Cecilio winced at the memory of the marketplace in Jemaa el-Fnaa. “You definitely didn’t do yourself any favours there. And I’m only telling you this because you’re like the little brother I never wanted,” Cecilio didn’t take the bait there, letting his friend continue. “Look, I know what you’re thinking. But this life… it’s not easy to get out of. You’d practically have to fake your death. Or, you know, actually die.”

He knew Kit was right. But at the same time, at the same time, he genuinely missed the game.

“Fine.” he said, scraping the chair on the unsealed cement floor. “Thanks for the place to crash. I’ll be out of your hair by the morning.”

Kit didn’t stand but he did open his mouth to protest. But as Cecilio turned his back abruptly to him, he shut his mouth and just shook his head.
There is heat in freezing, be a testament.

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Re: Traf·fic [IC]

Post by Stellar » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:41 pm

She wore black like a bride in an ivory ball gown.

For twelve days she donned the absence of colour – with the lawyers, the press, the stakeholders, the executives, to dinner, to bed, in a bathtub with taps on full spilling champagne bubbles across the marble floors.

She was mourning, they said. But the only thing Frankie felt was numb.

“Frankie, we have to make a move.”

The tumbler hovered in her hand above the surface of the water; empty. Dark tendrils floated around her, stilettos submerged beneath the foam still strapped to her feet.

They said this feeling would pass, but whoever said that had never felt heartbreak.

She rolled the glass between her fingers, brandy sweet and hot on her lips. Black Pearl Louis XIII. Bought from a wine collector in Antibes, France when the summer heat was oppressive and sticky. He proposed that night while the heat bugs sung in the trees and the music played as they stood together overlooking the French Riviera. ‘We will not bend. Together, we’ll make the world bow to us,’ he said, the light of the pier dancing in his rustic eyes. ‘Together we will rule everything.’

She balanced the glass on the tip of her fingers over the side of the soaker tub and let slip off the edge and shatter into pieces on the floor.

Eymen turned off the tap, dress shoes squeaking against the surface of the tiles, immersed in an inch of bath water.

“Frankie.”

She stared ahead, white-on-white-on-white, the bubbles twinkled iridescently, fizzing and popping. Here, black was an anomaly.

He pulled his hand back, tucking it away out of sight into his pants pocket, glass crunching underfoot; a figment in her periphery.

“Frankie…” She felt the weight of his stare.

Broken. He thought she was broken.They all did.

They were wrong.

“Did you find him?” She cut the silence with an authoritative edge that echoed hollowly in the Roman inspired room.

He raised a brow, but the Turk didn't ask any questions. “Bangkok,” he said slowly, sighing between his teeth. “He’s in Bangkok.”

“Make the arrangements.”

He nodded and turned, but hesitated a second too long at the door. “Are you alright, bayan?”

She laughed, a sharp and dismissive sound. “Would you have asked Yusuf that question?”

He didn't reply. They both knew the answer.

‘We will be the King and Queen of our own Kingdom and no one will tell us how to live.’ He had kissed her then, and she felt invincible.

But now...

Closing her eyes, she slid down the porcelain surface beneath the fragrant water, muting the rest of the world as the water flooded her ears -- where the whispers of a ghost couldn't haunt her.

Where the memory of Yusuf Sadik couldn't find her.



There was an universal truth about the nature of man: With the right amount of money anyone could be made to talk.

In a plaid midi skirt, a white blouse, and a pair of Jimmy Choo pumps standing beside Gate 43 in Don Mueang International Airport, she would have stood out in any crowd regardless of the hour of the day – but she wanted to be noticed; seven years was a long enough to forget someone’s face. But Frankie Sadik wasn’t so easily forgotten.

It hadn’t been nearly all that difficult to find him, tracing his roots from Marrakesh to the bustling outdoor night market of Srinakarin. He got comfortable; sloppy. Eymen cautioned her against going alone, but then he’d have no reason to trust her. He ran once before with no explanation, she wasn’t giving him the opportunity to slip away again. She needed him. And soon enough, she’d convince Cecilio that he needed her too.
Last edited by Stellar on Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Traf·fic [IC]

Post by Lexi » Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:37 am


The only thing she remembered was how nervous she had been getting on the flight. She had never flown before--never really been far at all, really. And in a haze, she recalled a mention of new product.

She didn’t want new product.

Nik had an epiphany a few nights past; she was going to get clean, finally turn her life around and make something of herself. Get away from this nightmare that held her hostage.

Get away from him.

As soon as Drew found out, though, she knew that her epiphany would soon be just another hazy dream. He never beat her--no, he was too classy for that. Instead he played her like he always did; manipulated her, tempted her. Suppressed the part of her soul that wanted to be free of drugs by feeding the rest of her body what it craved.

And what it craved was to forget.

Forget what, exactly? She had no idea. She wouldn’t mind forgetting right now, though. Her head ached like she had been thrown out of a window. Her body felt heavy, and yet at the same time like she was floating. This must be what it felt like to slowly drown in cement. Heavy, and yet floating. Her eyelids felt as though they were glued shut, but she forced herself to blink anyway. Black pupils dilated from the sudden brightness, overtaking the steel blue of her eyes for a second before she blinked a few more times, focusing; squinting to see.

The small bedroom was stuffy and suffocating, but she felt chilly. As she sat up slowly, she tried to focus on her surroundings. She was dressed in the tank top and shorts she had worn on the flight; her long blonde hair just a mess from restless sleep.

Gentle hands placed a zipper sweatshirt over her shoulders and she tensed suddenly, the hands holding onto her shoulders though when she tried to pull away. “Shh, Nikki, it’s me,” Drew cooed softly behind her.

She swore she had been alone.

“Just rest, you didn’t sleep well.”

“Where are we…?” Her voice was hoarse, barely audible. Her mouth tasted sour. How long had she been out for?

“Just relax.”

He was now sitting beside her; he was holding her arm out. She felt a pinch on her arm, the inside of her elbow, and she was gone again.

Back to the haze.

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Re: Traf·fic [IC]

Post by Dshevn » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:43 am

It was a horrid scene: yarn guts were scattered across the globe, hastily punched into capitals and cities, connecting in a haphazardous criss-crossing of fuzzy bright gore. Aniston figured it was supposed to loosely, resemble the trail of blood money. Julius disagreed though.

Red is a heroic color out east, Julius explained with a steaming mug of coffee in his hand and in between impatient, bubbling sips. Nobody thinks of red as a bad thing; the whole blood and gore that’s some Yank shit. Shit you shouldn’t be use to, Julius so eloquently proposed after he finally got tired of burning the tip of his goddamn tongue.

Aniston made a face. Nothing dreamy, nothing smoldering, just a face. Julius didn’t like it.

Fuck Nelson Mandela, Julius had said. In front of the spread out board of mayhem and over the drifting vapor of the too hot cup of coffee that had won it’s independence from his snarling grip. And fuck rugby too! Julius was on a roll. And...and...fuck…football. Everyone like football. That one had hurt to say.

“Alright.” Aniston relented, gesturing openly at the scene behind his partner. “Can we get back to the matter at hand?” There’s that accent. Brutish and short. Every word clipped as if there was a great need to save time. It was like each sentence was a portrait cut in half - all the aesthetics were ruined and just the intent remained. South Africans, who needed ‘em?

Yeah, yeah, Julius countered, unwilling to just concede his high ground so quickly. We’re taking a trip to our cousins, he said, dropping a dossier on the table between them. Scattered notes dripped between the manilla folder. Thailand, Julius added, ladyboys and freelancers. You got some baht?

“A bit, but we can get some more from the exchange.”

Yeah, well, Julius liked saying ‘yeah’, just make sure you use your own shit for a massage. You’re not getting off on the company dime.

“Dime? Is that some Yank shit?”

Fuck you, Ani, Julius muttered as he moved to leave the room. Fuck you and Mandela.

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Re: Traf·fic [IC]

Post by Aurelia Courville » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:10 pm

She had too much good in her to let them beat her down.

Her small mom-and-pop like shop had grown over the years with a little help from some fantastic investors she’d made contact with when she joined the Ring. The only catch? She’d had to let them run some drug deals out of her private rooms. She had given them only one rule: Never involve her girls.

Mama was fiercely protective of each and every one of her flock and they were just as equally loyal to her. Men in the profession came too, eventually, and she opened her arms to them as well. Her once small club had turned almost harem-esque when traffic from both the drug flow and the intimate fantasy fulfillment came into play.

The world fell in love again with the oldest profession. It was no longer something to be ashamed of, wanting a companion…

Jeremy looked nervous. The room was dimly lit and there were twenty girls scantily clad, staring seductively at him. The blond on the end (Tammi with an I and usually adorned with a heart as a the dot when she signed off on things) was popping her gum and twirling the resulting string around the tip of her finger. Aurelia narrowed her eyes at her, clearing her throat. The girls stopped almost instantly, clearly a sign from her mistress that she needed to stop.

The young man’s friends snickered and prodded him towards the line.

“You should pick her!” one of them said, a whisper just a tad bit under an excited yelp, pointing at Aurelia. She smiled in response but said nothing, pushing her glasses (fake) up off the bridge of her nose. “If you don’t, I will.”

“You couldn’t handle her.” another laughed. She mentally shrugged. He probably couldn’t.

“Unfortunately, fellas, I’m not on the menu.” she hated these types, frat douchebags teasing their virginal friends into losing their virginity to essentially a prostitute--however well manicured and elegant her girls where. “But rest assured these lovely ladies will satisfy your every need.” Her voice was languid and tipsy and just the right amount of promise that the night would be magical. She tried not to roll her eyes. As long as they were willing to pay....

Georgia came up behind her, “Mr. Eli is waiting for you in your office.” she whispered. Aurelia’s brows furrowed in response.

“Of course he is.” She uncrossed her arms. “Keep an eye on these four, will you?” Georgia nodded and Aurelia turned on her heels out of the receiving room.

She was standing outside of her office’s giant oak doors with a curved arch and ornate handles. She paused, hand inches off of them and closed her eyes for a lingering blink. This little visit was already feeling slightly different than most of his others.

Pushing lightly on the handle, a slight breeze moved a curl that had escaped her bun. Today’s look--a favourite fantasy of her’s-- “CEO and Secretary Hoe.” And of course, she would always play the part of the CEO

The inside of her office was a lot like her cottage some twenty-five miles south of where they were. Dusty blues, sandy browns and splashes of orange. White orchids adorned both the desk and the bookshelf behind it on the far corner, dark wood. Her black satin peep-toe pumps clicked on stained concrete floors.

“Eli you…” And then she noticed the slight twitch. His eyes bloodshot, face damp. She sighed again, before taking a seat behind her desk. “What is it this time, hmm?” She opened the drawer to her left and pulled out a half empty bottle of brandy. She was patient with him, and only him. Maybe Georgia too. But she know something was wrong and considering the timing, she knew it had something to do with the business.

She poured an ounce into her porcelain cup, looked back up at the boy in front of her and poured a bit more.

“It’s another shipment of girls” he said slowly, watching her expression darken, even in the well lit office with a view. “They’re forcing them to work on some fishing boat off the cost of Thailand.”

She balked at that, almost sploshing the brandy when she forced her hand to stop just before it overflowed. “What the fuck. How do you know this?”

He placed his hands together, finger tip to finger tip. “Some of the girls refused and they threw them back on land and straight into a whorehouse we set up as a front just for such occasions. Aurelia sighed and Eli continued. “I tried to get the few out but they wouldn’t release them to me. They’re saying they need you over there to sign off on it.”
Aurelia’s sigh deepened. It was annoying, but this was a failsafe. If the girls ever didn’t feel comfortable being released into the custody of a man (even though Eli had every authority to do so, she was not so high above them that she didn’t understand their reluctance) all they had to do was call for her. It was more than just an “okay” over the phone, or a stamp of approval for Eli. It was to ensure that every girl that was ever in trouble, knew that the light at the end of the tunnel, wasn’t attached to an oncoming train.

--

If Cecilio had done nothing at all, he was going to at least clean himself up a bit, before boarding a plane to god knew where he was going to go this time. Maybe it was time to head back home--back to Argentina. But then again, the timing couldn’t have been worse. He knew that if she could track him down all the way in Thailand, Argentina wouldn’t be too far down that list.

While he debated the best place to hide out next, who he knew and what languages he could speak enough not to cause too much of a ruckus that could send alert bells ringing in her ears. damn when was she even looking for him? He had wanted to get out years ago and she had let him (maybe let him wasn’t the operative word. He had just left without giving her an explanation. Not that she needed one from him.

He stared at his face in the mirror for far too long, stroking the scraggle of chin hair that he had let get way past the five o’clock shadow weeks ago. His hair was a tad too long and it flopped in front of his face uncharacteristically.

He needed to shave, wash himself, and do something with this thing .

An hour later, stepping out of the steam of the shower, and into the humidity of the foreign land he would be leaving for God knew how long, he let himself relax. Just because she was asking about him in Thailand, didn’t mean she knew where he was. Of course she would contact the people that were mutually involved in the Ring’s business and would have known him intimately. He knew several people on every single continent including Antarctica, is smirked at his own reflection. Maybe that would be a good place to hide?

He hoped that one day he could stop running, because he was oh so tired.

On the way to the airport he had hopped in a taxi and told them to sprint all the way there. He had one back, what was in it he would never tell anyone. But nevertheless, by the time he had gotten to the airport, he was pretty sure that if he had had it on hi, he might have shot the cabbie right in the head, the man had talked an awful lot and Cecilio wasn’t in the mood in the slightest to engage.

“The next flight out would be to the Philippines.” the bright blonde beamed at him as he ran a hand through his now clean and cut dark hair. He let out an exasperated sigh.

“Not far enough. What’s the next flight out to...I don’t know, Spain?”

The blonde tapped some keys and for a moment she paused, he assumed, waiting for the search to turn up some results. “That’d be in two days.” Her smile was wavering. He wasn’t being all that pushy, but he was tapping his fingers on the counter, the other fist propping up his head.

“Well fuck,” the blonde (it had to be fake, her features were so Asian) balked at his language. “Sorry. I just, I really need to get out of here tonight.”

Her face softened and she nodded in understanding. “Bad trip?” She was trying to chat him up, he definitely wasn’t in the mood.

“When’s the first flight out of here that also lands me somewhere outside of Asia?” He had completely ignored her questioning glance and pressed her for more helpful information.

She smiled awkwardly, trying to sweep the unanswered question under the rug as if it had never happened.

“Well, I can get you to Canada, but the flight doesn’t leave for another… 6 hours.”

Well fuck. Six hours...that would put him at just past midnight here and he wasn’t sure how much time he would have before she actually found him. He loved Kit like an older brother, but sometimes older brothers could fuck you over, even when they’re trying to protect you. “Fine. I guess I’m going to Canada.” was all he said in reply.

Six hours later he was waking up to the final boarding call. He wiped the sleep away from his eyes. The smell of tequila played on his lips as he tossed the bottle, that at one time had sat precariously between his forefinger and thumb as he snored away in the uncomfortable gate seats.

It was then that he finally woke up. The sight of the patterned skirt and white blouse standing in front of his gate was enough to make him actually drop the small bottle (one of many he had hidden in his bag that the security officers had somehow manage to pass through security.)

“Well fuck,” he said, only for the umptenth time today.
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Re: Traf·fic [IC]

Post by Stellar » Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:50 am



Cecilio & Frankie
a Stellar & Aurelia Courville collaboration

“Is that how you greet an old friend?” Frankie smiled and then didn't. Her eyes dancing in the fluorescent hue of airport lights like a collapsing star a million light-years away. One of her most disarming features was the muddled accent of her voice, the one she had when they first met nearly a decade ago – not French, not British, but, rather, something with an identity crisis somewhere in between.

He was still standing there, slack jawed and yet still stoic as his hand gripped tight on his briefcase. “Frankie…” he started, but couldn’t seem to find the words to finish the sentence. If he had been shocked to find her there, it definitely didn’t show across his face. Of course, he wasn’t as shocked as his lack of being able to form words made him seem. He knew she would be waiting for him. Whether here or at the end of his flight, it was the feeling that had been haunting him since the moment Kit had told him she was close to finding him. “Old friend.” he said instead, rolling the words on the tip of his tongue as if trying them out instead.

“I see tequila is still your poison of choice,” she noted, the corner of her lip twisting ever-so-slightly. Amused or mocking, it was always difficult to discern with her. And that’s what made her both dangerous and alluring; a forked tongue behind a polished, white smile.

She had called him an adrenaline junkie once upon a time, but the irony wasn't lost on either one of them.

Cecilio smirked in response, eyes blinking once as he pushed out a laugh in one quick push of air. Of course she would call him out on his little drinking habit. How long had it been?

“Always best to keep it simple. Long plane ride, you know?”

He rocked back, shifting his weight on his heels. Clearly he wasn’t going anywhere. At least not right away. He needed to get her to go back home before the real danger showed up to bite them both in the ass.

“Interesting choice in destination,” she mused, curling her hair behind one ear. It felt lacklustre in comparison to their past interactions, like something was missing from the context of their conversation – unspoken, halfhearted. “I thought you didn't enjoy the cold.”

He shrugged, eyeing the gate as if looking for an escape.

“Sir, it’s last call for boarding.” The airline service desk interrupted behind them.

Frankie’s eyes remained fixated on him as if he’d disappear the moment she blinked. She had invested so much in this encounter, she wasn’t giving him the option of slipping away again.

Another sigh. He tried. He tried. He ignored the small man with the lanyard and the same boring uniform as the rest of them. He wanted to ignore her. But then, there was no ignoring Francesca, no matter how hard one tried--no matter how far one ran. There was something about the woman in front of him that just forced her way inside of your brain. It wasn’t entirely unwelcome, but then… “What are you doing here, Frankie.”

“He’s dead, Cecilio.” Her voice trembled. She hated the way the words hitched at the back of her throat as if that minor reveal somehow made her vulnerable. No, that wasn't it. Rather, fragile. Only then did she look away, finding composure in a scarred industrial landscape, in the meandering airport traffic of eager tourists and bored security personnel.

With a slow concentrated breath, her eyes returned to him, that fleeting moment of fragility gone, not a speck of mascara out of place.

“I'm taking over. All of it. And I want you by my side.”

“Well, fuck.” He finished, for the millionth time that day.

Frankie observed him quietly as the overhead speakers announced for the flight to Hong Kong to begin boarding. She let the weight of those words sink in for a minute more, the gate for flight number LH121 to Montreal closing behind them.

He wasn't leaving now. The moment she arrived that card was off the table.

“We’ve made plenty of enemies in this life, Lio. And with Yusuf gone, that list just became longer. I'm sure we both could use an ally right about now.”

Somewhere within those sentences she had cut the distance between them, her hand resting just above his elbow. The sweet, fragrant scent of her perfume permeating the air. Those dark eyes shifted to the fingers coiling around his bicep as she glanced through her lashes at him.

“So, the way I see it, you have two choice: You catch the next flight out of here and continue to live life on the run, always looking over shoulder. Or, two, you work with me, spending half your time on a yacht in the Caymans drinking tequila out of a gold plated bottle.” She smiled. It seemed genuine. Perhaps she actually missed him. Or maybe just the image of living on a boat in the middle of the Caribbean Sea amused her. “If that mess you left in Marrakech tells me anything about you, it's that you are bored and you are looking for a way out. What I'm offering you is that opportunity." She fixed him with a hard, determined look then, the same one that started all this trouble seven years ago. "So, what will it be, Lio?”

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Re: Traf·fic [IC]

Post by Aurelia Courville » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:10 am

They were in the car before he realized what he was doing. It was only the hum of tires on asphalt passing them making their reunion soundtrack on their otherwise wordless drive. She had apparently said all she felt she needed to say back at the gate like the devil and angel on his shoulders, and he was usually a man of few words.

The weight of the news she had just broke to him was also enough for him to keep his mouth shut and his eyes on the road beside them. The cab driver had had that same stupid Thai Jazz station on that had woken him up in bad mood this morning and they had both sternly told him to shut it off. It almost made him crack a smile, easily falling in to the same old patterns after all these years. But the moment passed just as quickly as it had come.

Yusuf was dead. So why did he still feel the need to keep running?

They were headed back to his apartment over the nameless Noodle shop. Right back to Kit. He was mentally kicking himself for not really tidying up before his fleeing, but then again, he had been in a bit of a rush. He stroked his now tamer scruff of beard, deep in thought. Why had he said yes to her? Why was that protective pang in his chest always when she was around?

His thoughts had gone back to the night they had met. It was easy to talk to her, and of course she was nice to look at, but Lio had never really seen her as anything more than a friend and little sister. They felt like they could confide in each other--until he couldn’t anymore. Fear made you do stupid things, he could admit that to himself, now. But when he had chose to run, it really had been the only option to keep them both safe.

Maybe he was just being paranoid, maybe they both were. But the circumstances surrounding Yusuf’s death and Frankie’s sudden want to take over his side business… she wasn’t a Kingpin--although she was more than capable of pulling this off--but her presentation of herself was almost too pure to be running her now deceased husbands less than reputable side business. That alone would seem suspicious. The fact that her first action was to find him?

He knew it was the right thing to do, knew that it had to be the two of them, in this, together if the Ring was going to remain the dominant force of the Drug world. But sometimes he wish he could just stop having to look over his shoulder at every waking (and sleeping) second of his life. Just once he wished that he was the type of person that could settle down in the suburbs. Maybe have a few kids and a dog... eh He was more of a cat person anyways.

But just as Frankie’s public appearance was one of a doting business wife, Cecilio’s entire life was this. From the time he was in grade school up until this point, this was truly the only life he would ever know. Slowly, but not altogether surely, he said back at the airport, quoting from the Godfather (of course), and shaking his head with a sigh “Just when I thought I was out…” the lightness in his voice almost made it seem like he was joking, though there was little humour in his eyes. This was the right choice. Staying with her will always be the right choice. But just because a thing was true, didn't automatically make it easy or even good.

Anyways, he really hadn’t wanted to go to Canada.
There is heat in freezing, be a testament.

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