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 I Can Hear You Through The Wall (One X One)

Discussion in 'Open Roleplays' started by Stix&Stones, May 16, 2018.

  1. Stix&Stones

    Stix&Stones Cannabis Princess Member

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    Jane followed Darius to the kitchen as he offered a place to sit. She glanced behind her at the couch and thought of the paint smell. "I'll sit at the counter, save myself a headache." She climbed up into a stool and waited for him to pour her a hot cup of coffee as she she took in the kitchen. It was much like hers with bland cabinets hung over a white counter tops with drawers and cupboards underneath. He had the same ceramic tile floor with the tiny diamond pattern in the laminate. She admired his new faucet with jealousy and wished she'd made enough money to upgrade her outdated apartment.

    Darius set her coffee before her and offered her sugar and cream. She thanked him and scooped out several hearty spoonfuls of sugar and added the fresh cream. While she stirred, she said, "When I first moved in, my bathroom had this hideous sunflower wallpaper hung up. And all of the rooms were the same shade of mint green that clashed with the orange shag carpeting. It was very 70s and I had to dish out a good chunk of money to get it changed out. God, it was awful." She stirred her coffee until it went from black to light tan and set her spoon off to the side. She brought it to her lips and closed her eyes as she took a sip. "That's good coffee," she commented.
     
  2. BoundObsession

    BoundObsession Naughty or nice? I can do both. Member

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    "Got a sweet tooth, Jane?" Darius joked, as she loaded up her coffee with sugar.

    He wincing at the image of mint green walls and orange shag. "That's even worse than beige. I don't like the kitchen, but it's tolerable enough that I can't see spending money to upgrade it. That pink tile in the bathroom, on the other hand, has got to go. Either I'm going to paint over the tiles or replace them."

    The conversation with Jane was going better than expected, given how last night ended and how he startled her this afternoon. He nodded a thank you in response to her compliment on the coffee.

    "I like grinding my own coffee. The problem is that it's getting harder and harder to find a place that still carries whole bean coffee. But that Mama Garcia's Produce down the street still does. Coffee is a necessity to keep me awake. I'm a crime novelist, so I spend a lot of time in front of a computer, trying to stay awake while waiting for inspiration to hit me." He wasn't really sure whether being a crime novelist would make her any more secure having him as a neighbor.

    "So what exactly do you do, Jane?"
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  3. Stix&Stones

    Stix&Stones Cannabis Princess Member

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    Jane smiled over the brim of her mug at his joke and brushed it off. She did have a sweet tooth and it got her into a lot of trouble with her dentist, and the bathroom scale. She had a bad habit of stocking up on little cakes and fruit pies to munch on in the middle of the night when she was feeling peckish. The sweet treats were beginning to leave their mark on her thighs and hips, and she had a feeling she would soon need a gym membership.

    Setting down her cup, she dipped the spoon back into the coffee and began to stir it again. "If you like to grind your own coffee, then I suggest going to the East side of Brooklyn. There's a shop there that sells coffee beans by the pound and other essentials like grinders, makers, and yummy little Biscotti sticks to dip in your drink. They even offer hot samples if you're unsure about trying something new," she told him. "It's a mom and pop shop called Gloria's. I think its down on the corner of Broadway and Thirty-third street, only a fifteen minute drive from here."

    Darius went on to tell her how he wrote crime novels and she checked asking him about his profession off her mental list. "A crime novelist, huh? Well that's pretty cool. Do you think I've read any of your works? I actually collect crime books." It would be pretty neat if she owned a book he had written. The entertainment center in her living was made up of two tall book stands that connected with a double door cabinet over the top and on the bottom where the TV sat. Both side were packed full of paper back books with dog eared pages where she'd marked her favorite passages. She loved reading and spent many nights cuddled up on the couch with a blanket, a book and a hot cup of coffee.

    "Could you pour me another?" she asked as she slid her cup across the counter. "As for what I do for a living, well, I am a journalist. And not a very good one. I am just starting out for a small company that prints local stories in a twenty-five cent paper. Its not very exciting, but it is a start. Between you and me, I wanna write stories about crime, but real crime, like a person robbed at gun point or a mob murder."
     
  4. BoundObsession

    BoundObsession Naughty or nice? I can do both. Member

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    Darius made a note of the coffee shop Jane mentioned in Brooklyn, though he wondered if "The Beanery" just down the street wouldn't have whole bean specialty coffees. He didn't really want to travel too far out of his comfort zone. But pastries? That was a weakness of his as well.

    "I have three crime novels published. Love Me Deadly, Killer in the Shadows, and Death in the Snow. Only the first one has hit the best-seller list, but all have made a profit for me and my publisher. As long as my books are making a profit, my publisher lets me write whatever I want. I like that kind of freedom."

    It was fortunate that Darius's back was to Jane as he reached for the coffee pot to pour her another cup. She didn't see how he cringed when she said she was a journalist. Agent Garfield had been very specific that Nathan should avoid members of the media. Even ones from 25 cent newspapers. And especially ones who were keen on reporting on crime and the mob. It was unfortunate to have all the above in a next door neighbor. How could the Witness Protection Program have missed that when they were relocating him here? Maybe a journalist from a 25 cent newspaper was too "small-time" to register on their radar.

    Calming himself, he turned to pour her another cup of coffee as he asked "So, what kinds of stories do you report on, Jane?"
     
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  5. Stix&Stones

    Stix&Stones Cannabis Princess Member

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    Jane watched as he poured her another cup and listed off the novels he'd had published. "Well, I don't think I've read any of those, but I do know I've seen at least one on the shelf at the local book store. I will have to pick up a couple of them and give them a go," she said with a smile as she reached for the full cup he placed on the counter before her. She stirred in sugar and cream as she thought about living next door to a writer. It was an awesome feeling to know someone just down the hall shared her love for crime thrills and descriptive writing. It had been awhile since she'd pulled out her laptop and gave a whack at her own short stories. Maybe she should get back into it.

    She perked up when he asked her about her work and after taking a sip of the hot coffee, she told him, "I typically cover stories on small businesses and local gossip. The town likes to read about which restaurants failed their health inspections and which bakery closed down after the opening of the franchise, Tasty Treats on Lincolnway. Every so often I get to cover a break in at a gas station or a car jacking, but thats about the extent of the excitement I get to write about. I've actually submitted my resume to a larger company that specifically runs crime reports on big shots like mob members, gangsters, serial killers and the like. I really excited, actually. A friend of mine on the inside says he thinks he can get me in and started on a project that follows undercover law enforcement."

    Jane finished her explanation with a big smile and found herself blushing. "Sorry about that. I'm just so over my boring job and I'm uber eager to get started on something new. I moved out here several years ago just for the stories. My parents thought I was crazy for wanting to live where people were found chopped up in abandoned warehouses. I mean, maybe I am, but who cares?"
     
  6. BoundObsession

    BoundObsession Naughty or nice? I can do both. Member

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    Jane seemed way too keen to want to cover crime news. Darius was almost tempted to give her the usual cliché warning of "Be careful of what you're looking for". But that would have required some explanation on his part as to why he was a crime novelist. A part of him missed no longer being a cop. But he didn't miss the more gruesome aspects of the job. It was easier to write about murder than to view murder victims. Especially since the victims were getting younger and younger.

    "I don't know. I think I'd want to know which local restaurants failed their health inspections. It would save me and others from food poisoning. That sounds like a valuable service to the community." Darius liked playing devil's advocate.

    "So, what did your parents want you to do with your life? Mine wanted me to work in the family hardware store." He knew how hard it was to go against the wishes of the family. And he knew how much they were opposed to the choices he made of becoming a soldier and then a cop. His mother was opposed to guns and his father wanted him to take over the business.
     
  7. Stix&Stones

    Stix&Stones Cannabis Princess Member

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    Jane brushed off his comment and took a long, deep drink of her coffee and closed her eyes against the taste. She loved coffee more than she loved life and that was a fact. She'd dropped a good chunk of money on a decent coffee maker and she cherished it as if it were her own child. Nothing beat a steaming cup of joe at any point during the day. Or night.

    She glanced up at him and thought about his question. She tried to remember what is was her parents wanted her to do after she graduated high school and her face soon turned into a grumpy frown. "They wanted me to go to medical school and move out to California. Neither of them did very much with their lives and they thought they could live out their dead fantasy through me. I get nervous at the sight of blood which is baffling since I want to report on gruesome murders, right?" she laughed lightly there at the end and sipped her drink. "A hardware store, huh? So I bet you're a handy man."
     
  8. BoundObsession

    BoundObsession Naughty or nice? I can do both. Member

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    "My father was the handyman. I can do basic plumbing repairs, like I did when I replaced the kitchen faucet. But electrical problems I'm not going to touch. I've had some bad experiences with electricity." Darius laughed, but he wasn't kidding. The scream that had brought Jane to his room had come from his nightmare of Marco wiring him up and sending electricity through his body.

    "Medicine versus crime reporter? If you're uncomfortable with blood, then either profession is problematic. The difference is that doctors don't usually face death themselves, unless in a disaster situation. Crime reporters . . . . . . . the really good ones, stick their noses in dangerous places and put their lives in danger as a result. When I was in the Army, the combat journalist had the shortest life expectancy on the battlefield. That's because they carried microphones or cameras instead of rifles, yet they were always keen on getting as close to the action as possible. War correspondents aren't all that different from crime reporters in that respect."

    Darius wondered if he should have revealed his military past, but he figured it was safer than revealing his past as a cop. There were so many men in this country that had been in the military fighting one war or another since 9/11 that it was common to have military experience on one's resume. At least, more common than having cop experience.

    "I'm not questioning your choice of professions, Jane. I just hope you know how dangerous certain parts of this city are." Darius winced after turning his back on her to pour another cup of coffee. He was supposed to be promoting an image of a bad-ass lowlife. Was he blowing his image by his words? "Do you need your coffee refreshed?"
     
  9. Stix&Stones

    Stix&Stones Cannabis Princess Member

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    Jane reminisced on times as a child when she and her cousin would spend the summer's at her grandmother's farm up in the hills. She had a cow pasture lined with an electric fence that kept even the bull at bay. The two girls liked to play an adventurous game of truth or dare with the neighbor boys that often consisted of more dares than truths. Several dares involved touching the electric fence and Lucy always found herself to be the guinea pig. She wanted to prove she could be one of the boys and ended up touching the hot wire every time.

    Jane sat her mug down and said with a little smile, "Thank you for your service. Especially since this country is such a shit hole." She debated whether or not give him a little salute. Was that appropriate? She didn't want to offend him so she kept her dominant hand wound around her mug. "I think the danger is what I crave, though. You know? It's an adrenaline rush. I lead such a boring life, its not even funny." She paused to extend her mug so he could refill it. "I read somewhere that some people recollect their experiences as almost being like an aphrodisiac." She giggled at that part.
     
  10. BoundObsession

    BoundObsession Naughty or nice? I can do both. Member

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    "So you think danger can be an aphrodisiac?" Darius asked. "Maybe for a thrill seeker. Do you think that's what you are at heart, Jane? A thrill seeker?" He gave her an amused look.

    "All I know was, when bullets were zipping past my head in Fallujah, I didn't feel thrilled. All I felt was fear and a need to find the nearest foxhole to jump in. I know there are soldiers who seek out combat. I was never one of those. I'm quite happy to have a somewhat boring life now. And I hope it remains so." Everything Darius was saying was a half-truth, at best. If he had truly wanted boring, he wouldn't have gone from being a soldier to being a cop. But he certainly couldn't tell Jane about his second career. So he tried to project a different image of himself.

    "By the way, Jane. I don't think I've gotten your last name yet." Darius decided it was time to change the subject. It was true that she had his last name, but he didn't have hers.
     
  11. Stix&Stones

    Stix&Stones Cannabis Princess Member

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    Jane pondered his words as she added cream and sugar to her coffee. Was she a thrill seeker? Truth or dare as a child seemed like somewhat of a thrill, but that was the extent of it. She'd never been skydiving or ever rode a horse at a gallop, hell, she'd never even been on a roller coaster. Whenever the fair came to town, her mother forbid her from going, saying it was a dangerous place full of trans fat and ex cons. "It sure could be one, I suppose. You'd really have to want it."

    She sipped her coffee and nonchalantly licked a dribble from around the rim. He inquired about her last name and she smiled some. "Its O'Keef. Jane O'Keef."

    Jane stole another swig and glanced behind her. "Have you completely finished painting? I can help if you'd like. I'm pretty much done with my report so I have a little bit of free time on my hands. Besides, I'm an excellent painter."
     
  12. BoundObsession

    BoundObsession Naughty or nice? I can do both. Member

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    An ex-cop in federal witness protection and an overly eager journalist looking for a big-time crime story to break wide open. What could possibly go wrong with them painting his apartment together?

    Darius liked Jane. But he had to remind himself that she was the enemy. Any member of the media was the enemy to someone with an assumed identity. They asked too many questions, because that's what the media does. And while his new identity was well crafted, there was bound to be flaws in that identity. No one is perfect when it comes to forgetting their past life of 35 years and creating a whole new life from scratch. There was no father with a hardware store in his past. That was a story created by the feds. The truth was he never knew his father. His mother raised him all by herself. And she was gone now, so he was on his own.

    With the death of his mother from cancer, his last link to his past life had been severed. Which was what the U.S. Marshals wanted. They kept drumming into him that he could never go back to visit old friends or old haunts. But the only friends he had were his mother and his partner, both dead. Which worked out fine for the Marshals, but not for him. As for his old haunts, those were crime-infested hell-holes that no one in their right mind would revisit. So he was starting over. The problem was, he was more paranoid now, afraid to let anyone get too close for fear he would accidentally let something slip from his past life, putting his life and theirs in danger.

    "I appreciate the offer Jane, but I'm almost done. Half an hour in the bedroom and I'll be finished. And while I still hate that pink tile in the bathroom, I've decided to wait until I've finished my latest novel before tackling that job. The tile job can wait, but my publisher won't. And not to sound inhospitable, but I have an appointment with my barber in a few minutes."
     
  13. Stix&Stones

    Stix&Stones Cannabis Princess Member

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    Jane shoved aside his decline to her offer and the feeling of being pushed out. She needed to remind herself that he had other obligations besides refilling her coffee mug and entertaining her with idle chit chat. "Yes, yes of course." she murmured as she got up and moved to politely place her cup and spoon in the sink. "We all lead busy lives, I understand. She checked her back pocket to make sure her phone was still there as she followed him back through his apartment for the front door. "Thank you again for the coffee. It was nice meeting you." Jane considered shaking his hand but she refrained from the business like gesture and settled for a simple, pleasant smile. "Maybe we could do this again, you could show me some of your work. After the fumes have gone, of course." she teased as she playfully plugged her nose.

    With one last smile, she slipped through his doorway and made her way down the hall to her own apartment.
     
  14. BoundObsession

    BoundObsession Naughty or nice? I can do both. Member

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    The trip to the barber was more than a trip to the barber for Darius. It was also a meeting with his handler, Agent Garfield. Louie the barber was also in witness protection, so the U.S. Marshal was able to check on two of his charges at the same time while getting a haircut.

    "Did you check on my neighbors before locating me in that apartment complex, Garfield? I have a reporter next door."

    "Yes, we know about Jane O'Keef. We decided a fluff journalist for a 25 cent community paper was hardly a threat to blow your cover. Unless you do something stupid to draw her attention."

    Darius had never been fond of the feds, who tended to look down upon local cops. And looked even further down upon former cops who were in witness protection and more or less at their mercy. After sitting there for the next half hour listening to Garfield "refresh their memories" about doing their best to avoid drawing attention, the Marshal left. Darius got his haircut, while Louie and he talked about what an ass Garfield was.

    Leaving the barber shop, Darius then went over to Mama Garcia's Market to get some fresh fruit.

    Mama Garcia loved talking about her children. Last time he'd visited the market, she'd been praising Manuel for winning a soccer match. This time, it was Selena, who had just gotten accepted to college. The poor girl was blushing and uncomfortable from the praise her mother was heaping on her. To the point that she ended up rolling her eyes at Darius and slipping out the front door to check the fruit bins in front of the store.

    Darius was next in line at the check-out counter when a blood-curdling scream, abruptly cut short, was heard from outside the store. He ran out the front door, followed closely by Mrs. Garcia and her other patrons. They were just in time to see a flash of Selena's terrified face with a hooded figure sitting on her back and closing the back doors of a blue van as it tore away down the street. It was too late to pull his gun, but at least he got a partial plate.

    Mama was wailing, "My baby, my baby! They've taken my baby!"

    Darius turned and yelled to Manuel, "Call the police" as he ran to his truck.

    "What are you going to do, señor?" Manuel yelled back.

    "Chase them!" So far, Darius was a stranger to the Garcias. And that was the way he wanted to keep it. This was the kind of attention Agent Garfield had warned him to avoid. But the girl deserved to make it to college, not into the local human trafficking ring. No one deserved that!
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Stix&Stones

    Stix&Stones Cannabis Princess Member

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    Jane spent the rest of her afternoon entertaining Ms. Galloway who'd learned through the grapevine that she and the newbie had spent some time together. Jane insisted that it was only coffee and idle chit chat but the old woman poked for more. "Surely you two shared a moment, I mean look at the guy. Oh Mr. Galloway, rest your soul, but this young thing next door.." the devote Catholic crossed her chest and bowed her head, but Jane saw the quaint quirk of her wrinkled mouth. "Naught old woman, you." she teased as she pinched her frail arm.

    "I promise, I got the basic tour of his apartment and then we shared coffee in the kitchen. We talked about our careers and that was basically it." Jane gave her a shrug and got up off of her couch. She wandered into the kitchen and pulled open the fridge, blinking against the bright new bulb. She hated it when maintenance showed up and did work in her apartment without prior notice. She searched the shelves for the carton of milk she'd just bought yesterday but turned up nothing. "Ms. Galloway, have you helped yourself to my milk?" she called over her shoulder. The woman muttered something about needing it for a new litter of kittens born in the ally way. "I guess that means im heading out to get another carton. Would you like me to pick up one or six?" Jane giggled to herself as she helped Ms. Galloway to the door. "You can bring me one, missy." The old woman playfully pinched her on her way out.

    Jane quietly closed the door behind her and meandered her way into the bedroom where she changed into a pair of jogging pants and a loose fitting sweat shirt. She figured she might as well fit in a jog to work off the morning scones and all of the coffee she had that day. The store was only around the corner, but she decided to take the long way to get the milk. She did a quick sweep of her apartment before she locked the door behind her and took the stairs down to the lobby. She stretched each of her legs using the empty front desk for support and took a deep breath. She pushed through the door and was met with a cool blast of evening air that whizzed by her, following a blue van that raced down the street. "What the..?" she asked aloud as she turned to see what looked like the truck Darius drove coming down the road. She'd never admit to scouting it out on the street earlier in the day.

    Without thinking, Jane jumped off of the curb and flailed her arms at him. She stayed just out of the way to avoid getting struck by his front end, but still remained in the doubled parked street enough to force him to stop.
     
  16. BoundObsession

    BoundObsession Naughty or nice? I can do both. Member

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    As Darius pealed out after the van, he reached down and fumbled for his ankle holster to pull his Beretta free. It probably was illegal for him to have one, but he then reached under his seat for a silencer he had there. A souvenir from his police days that he'd never gotten rid of. Only half keeping his eye on the road, he then threaded the silencer onto the gun and laid them on the passenger seat so he could devote all his attention to finding the blue van. But as he returned his eyes to the road, Jane jumped out in front of him.

    "SHIT! I don't have time for this," he cursed, as he blasted his horn at her, startling her enough that she jumped back, giving him just enough of an opening to get by. He'd probably screwed up his relationship with her as a result. But in the confrontation, he'd lost sight of the van. He knew the longer it took to find the girl, the greater the likelihood she'd never be found.

    In desperation, Darius headed for the area of the city reputed to be the center of slave trafficking, assuming that was where the kidnappers were taking Selena. And sure enough, there was the van in front of him, waiting at a traffic light. He pulled into the other lane and alongside it. Fortunately, the driver of the van had his window down too. Which was perfect, as the driver glanced at him and Darius nodded a casual response. And then raised his silenced Beretta and shot the man in the head. The engines of the two vehicles drowned out the pop. When the driver slumped forward, he cleared Darius's line of sight to the passenger, who looked at his accomplice, puzzled. And then for a split second over at Darius and his gun. Another pop and he was dead as well.

    Darius scrambled out of the truck and limped to the back of the van, gun ready in case there was a third kidnapper. But when he pulled open the door, all there was was a hooded and hogtied bundle of fear on the floor. He lifted the trembling girl in his arms, causing her to let out a muffled scream. He murmured softly into the hood, "Don't worry, Selena. I'm here to help. But I'm not going to be able to untie you until we get far away from this neighborhood. Can you be brave until then?" The girl let out a soft mew. And then nodded her head.

    It was probably not the best way to return her daughter to her. But Darius had no way of knowing who was watching when he killed the slavers and snatched the girl from the van. Or whether they had the ability to follow him. So when he pulled up in back of Mama Garcia's Market, he had to ignore the anger of Mrs. Garcia long enough to get that bundle of fear out of his truck and into the safety of her store. He let the mother help him untie the girl, which placated Mrs. Garcia's anger a bit. And once she held her daughter in her arms once more, the lady's anger melted away. "How can I ever repay you?"

    "By telling no one of my part in her rescue," was his reply. It didn't exactly set well with Mrs. Garcia. She loved to talk about "heroes". But eventually, she nodded her agreement.

    "So what do we tell the cops?" Manuel asked.

    "Tell them that you found her left at your back door."
     
  17. Stix&Stones

    Stix&Stones Cannabis Princess Member

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    Darius' truck didn't look like it was going to stop as hurled towards her. "Jesus!" she cried as he laid on his horn and barreled by, nearly missing her as she jumped back. The whirl of the truck pulled her with it, knocking her into the back end of a parked Buick. She grunted and caught her balance on the trunk as she turned to watch him speed away. "What in the actual fuck was that?" Jane ran a hand over her face and looked around her, checking to see if anyone else had witnessed the crazy chase. There were no signs of life on either side of the street and she whistled. It wasn't often the quaint neighborhood saw any action and it surprised her that not one person could be seen pulling aside their drapes.

    After getting her breathing under control, Jane stepped back up onto the sidewalk and bent to retie her shoe. She still needed to get milk and she could use the long job as time to mull over whatever just happened out in the street. She reached into her pocket for her earbuds and tucked them into her ears. She chose some mellow music and started off down the side walk, keeping to the right. Perhaps that wasn't Darius. I could have been imagining things, but I am pretty sure that was his truck. And the driver looked just like him, but what the hell would a crime novelist be doing running down a van? Especially a crime novelist who spoke against chasing adrenaline rushes. Something seems off.

    Jane slowed her pace as she neared the drug store and removed one of her ear buds. She dipped inside and smiled at the familiar ding of the bell as the door opened. A cashier clerk greeted her as she passed by. She picked up a basket at the head of the cooler isle and wandered past doors lined with drinks and frozen food. She found the milk and loaded her basket up with several cartons. She snatched a bag of chocolate from an end cap and made her way up to the check out counter. The cashier, an older woman with graying brown hair smiled at as she swiped the milk cartons over the scanner. "Got a bad case of kitten love?" she joked as she bagged the last one. Jane chuckled and briefly explained Ms. Galloway's cat situation. "Hey, by the way, you haven't seen or heard anything out of the usual tonight, have you?" Jane asked as she dug through her wallet for her debit card. The woman thought a moment and then shook her head. "No, not really. There was some shouting down the way near Mama Garcias's, but that's not unusual." The clerk noticed Jane's arched brow and added, "Mexicans," as if she was supposed to catch her underlying racism.

    "Thank you," Jane said curtly as she gathered her bags and hurried out of the store. "That was rude.." she mumbled once she stepped out into the early night. Jane glanced down the way at the darkened store front belonging to Mama Garcia's and furrowed her brow. If she wasn't lugging around two sacks of milk, she probably would have done some snooping. She thought about the hungry kittens and grunted, turning to hurry back home the short way.

    Jane turned some of the milk cartons over Ms. Galloway and asked if she'd heard or seen from Darius while she was gone. She told her she hadn't and thanked her for the milk. Jane returned to her apartment and stashed her milk in the fridge before she cleaned up with a shower. She was hungry, but she was also nosy, and decided to skip dinner for the time being. She wanted to confront Darius.

    After changing into a pair of loose fitting sweats and a T-shirt, she stepped into her slippers and headed for the door. She locked it behind her and power walked down the hall to Darius' door. The tapped her fist against and stepped back, tapping her foot impatiently. If he wasn't home, she was going to sit and wait for his return.
     
  18. BoundObsession

    BoundObsession Naughty or nice? I can do both. Member

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    "Will those men come back?" Mrs. Garcia asked with an uneasy expression.

    "You'll never see those men again," Darius replied.

    He got three different reactions from the three members of the Garcia family. The mother looked puzzled by his response. Selena looked away from him as if she was as scared of him as she was of the men who had kidnapped her. Manuel nodded with a look of satisfaction on his face and said "Good".

    "If you're wanted by the law señor, don't worry about us talking to them. I'll be surprised if they show up." Manuel had a bitterness to his voice. Almost as if to contradict him though, Darius could hear sirens in the distance and getting closer. His cue to leave.

    "I'm not wanted by the law . . . . . . . . yet. But I am trying to avoid others, the media included."

    Mrs. Garcia had stepped away a moment and was now back with his groceries. "It's best not to leave these behind then."

    "Gracias, señora," Darius replied with a slight bow as he slipped out the back door and headed for his truck. The sirens were getting louder, so he drove out of the alley and turned in the opposite direction of the approaching police cars, driving slowly so as not to draw attention.

    He'd once been a cop who had followed all the rules. But this evening he had killed two men without a second thought. Darius was disturbed by the fact that he wasn't all that disturbed by his actions. Shouldn't he feel some guilt? But after playing by the rules for so long, only to come close to death and end up a hunted man by the mob, he felt strangely liberated by not having to play by the rules anymore. The two kidnappers were probably slavers working for one of the human trafficking rings. As such, he felt no guilt for their deaths.

    But now he had a new problem to consider. Jane. He'd almost run her down earlier this evening. And she was probably waiting at the apartment complex for an explanation. He could simply refuse to give an explanation, but that would probably piss her off enough that she might make a complaint to the police. He could claim she was mistaken and it was someone else who looked like him in a truck of the same color as his that had almost run her down. But it was hard to imagine she didn't get a good look at him. He could claim he didn't see her until he'd almost run over her, but she'd still want to know why he was in such a hurry. He could even tell her a half-truth that he was chasing Selena's kidnappers, but lost them after she got in his way. That might earn him hero status for his effort and a story in her newspaper, which was the last thing he wanted. Finally, he decided to go with a road rage story. It would solidify his image as a volatile bad boy. He liked Jane and would have liked to get closer to her, but perhaps it was for the best that he keep his distance. By the end of tonight, she would probably have nothing to do with him again.

    Pulling up to the apartment complex, Darius gathered up his groceries and headed upstairs. And there Jane was, waiting for him. And not looking very happy.
     
  19. Stix&Stones

    Stix&Stones Cannabis Princess Member

    Messages:
    63
    Local Time:
    11:47 PM
    Darius never came to the door and Jane began to frustrated and as much as she hated to admit it, worried. She returned to her apartment and peered out of the front window down to the parking lot. She searched the parked cars beneath the street lights for any sign of his truck but came up empty handed. She stifled a groan as she rummaged through her kitchen for the bag of chocolate she'd picked up at the store. "Got ya," she said as she found it hiding under one of the empty bags she'd carried the milk in.

    Hurrying back down the hall, she was stopped by an elderly man who was coming out of his apartment with a small dog. "Hey, Mr. Aster. Taking Rux out for a walk?" Mr. Aster adjusted his glasses as he squinted at her. "Oh, good evening Jane. Rux here kept scratching at the door so I figured I'd take him out one last time for the night," he told her as he scooted by. "Well be careful," she warned as she watched him make his way down the hall, carrying the small ball of fluff in his arms.

    Jane knocked on Darius' door once more, hoping that maybe he'd slipped in while she was away, but again there was no answer. With a shrug, she dropped to the floor and sat with her back against the door. She pried open her bag of chocolate and began eating them, piece by piece. She took her time unraveling each one and sucking them down until they completely dissolved on her tongue.

    She'd bought a bag of 30 pieces and was down to 15 by the time she heard heavy foot falls coming up the hall. She remained seated where she was until Darius came to stop before her. She slowly got to her feet, stuffing her goodie bag into the front pocket of her sweatshirt, and stepped aside. She gestured for him to unlock the door and waited silently to follow him in.
     
  20. BoundObsession

    BoundObsession Naughty or nice? I can do both. Member

    Messages:
    181
    Local Time:
    10:47 PM
    Darius was still agonizing over what lie to tell Jane. It was hardly a pleasant feeling, planning out a lie to tell someone. Especially someone he liked. He was raised not to lie, but since going into witness protection, lies had become second nature for him. And so, apparently had killing. He could hear the sirens coming from the south, the direction where he had caught up with the van and ended two lives. He still wasn't feeling any pangs of conscience at his act. And that bothered him more than the act itself. He should feel some remorse, but he didn't.

    "I know I owe you an explanation, Jane. But the one I have you're not going to like. Call it road rage. That van ran a light, almost ran over a pedestrian and cut me off in the process. And my mind went on automatic pilot, determined to catch them and give them a piece of my mind. Which is why I honked my horn at you when you got in my path, my rage taking over. The truth is, I'm prone to fits of rage, the result of a baseball bat to the head during a fight when I was a kid. It's the same reason I don't hear too well." The bat to the head was the truth, but Darius wasn't about to tell Jane it was a mobster that was wielding the bat and pounding him to a pulp. Better to let her believe it was a juvenile act from his youth.

    "So, why did you jump out in front of my truck in the first place?" He motioned her towards the couch as he asked.

    Darius owed Jane some time, given that he'd almost run her over. But he also wanted to get out of his clothes and into the shower at the first available opportunity. The clothes would have gunshot residue on them, as did his hands. So it was to the washing machine for his clothes and the shower for him. And then a cleaning of his Beretta would be in order. He'd been a cop long enough to know he needed to cover his tracks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
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