Freedom is What You Survive To Fight For
Page 9 of 11

Author:  Darkheart [ January 15th, 2011, 5:38 am ]
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Flow of conversation, despite, the dark and unforgiving night, had been easy and light, simple idle chatter from two people of similar paths. They'd seen dark sides of the world and were attempting to protect themselves against it. In this place, that was pretty much all you could do. Adrianna had managed to keep a tight seal around her most extreme emotions, right up until the point where Dylan had been mentioned, at which point her mind had been assaulted by a tsunami or fear, grief, hope and, to her surprise, a muted kind of respect. He'd had the decency to risk his life for others in a way that most people wouldn't even consider, not because they were unjust or arrogant in any way, but because they feared the retribution they would have to face if the government's puppets ever found out what they were doing. They didn't have the smallest hope of forgiveness from the vampires of this world.

Just thinking about the doctor made Adrianna feel on edge. Under his gaze, she'd felt as if she were being picked apart, she felt the secure web of her mask fraying and she'd made a desperate grab at trying to hold on to as much of it possible. She'd failed.

The thing that made her most nervous was the fact she would have to see him again, and before the night turned to day, if he was to escape. She hadn't forgotten, nor would she, but she'd proceed with her plan with the inevitable feeling of concern and dread one does when one believes that said plan will lead only to death. As was usual when she got to this stage of thinking, she contemplated, one hand clenched into a fist, her only outward sign of fear and turmoil, what might happen to Garnet and Cameron in such a circumstance. They wouldn't be left alone, oh no - they'd be suspected of harbouring not just a traitor, but an infiltrator. Adrianna had been, for the past few years, privy to secrets that would make most of the Governors - with one obvious exception - sit up and ask why they'd not been informed earlier. By operating quietly and by disturbing very little, with a widely displayed policy of no tolerance, Lucius had been able to quietly worm his way into every business and operation that happened in the entire city. It wasn't possible to take action against him and not be traced - even if such an action did include the black market. For goodness' sake, his people practically ran the black market.

These thoughts made Adrianna increasingly uneasy as she realised, not for the first time, that Garnet and Cameron would be hauled into questioning should anything happen to her or anyone question her loyalty. 'Questioning' here probably meant 'and a good beating for the hell of it'. What kind of friend or sister would let that happen?

Thankfully, her quiet reassurances had given Lilly enough comfort to believe, for a little while, that everything was going to be alright. This of course was one of the most despicable lies that Adrianna maintained but, it allowed those around her to operate more freely and, importantly, it meant that, even if only for a short while, they could experience happiness in a way that she couldn't possibly allow for herself. It wasn't a noble self-sacrifice, for she was exchanging their happiness for lifetime imprisonment in a world that chastised the smallest of crimes. It wasn't safe here but, if you had someone, the night didn't look quite so cold. That meant a lot - or, at least, she hoped it did.

“I guess you're right,” Lilly said in soft tones, still apparently contemplating Adrianna's words. “He will come tomorrow,” she affirmed, more hopeful than before. Her self-assurances were endearing; she was so childlike, so innocent she did not at all seem to belong in this world of nightmares and demons. Her sweet, sunny disposition seemed to stem from something awful, something black that she hadn't mentioned and wasn't going to; her attitude and evident hope seemed to stem from a wish to forget the past and wish the best for the future. Adrianna admired her strength of character, even if simply because she dared to wish for something better than what she had.

A few moments passed, not uncomfortably. Their pace was steady and manageable; after such a long day, Adrianna felt no need to rush and taxing Lilly was the last thing she intended to do.
“Do you and Cameron see each other often?” Lilly asked, nothing but a curious note in her tone of voice.

Despite herself, Adrianna smiled. She couldn't help but love her brother, no matter what happened - the disagreement they'd had earlier had been minor, but he'd said things that were true - and Adrianna was well aware that the truth hurt. It was why she was so afraid of it.

“Not too often,” she confessed, still trying to keep her tone light. “With my work and with his, finding time is hard. I'm not sure if he told you, but he works away, sometimes for months at a time - he's one of the architects working on expanding the east side of the city.

“It must be so great to have a brother around...”

That made Adrianna laugh, just a little. Enough to dispel a little of the tension she felt. “It was, especially when we were growing up - that's if you don't mind jokes and pranks. Cameron was never the serious kind. He liked to laugh...”

Her voice faded out and she followed her feet with her eyes, still smiling ever so slightly but not enough to change the somewhat empty expression encapsulated in her eyes. When she looked up again, after a small silence in which they covered a short distance, she didn't recognise her surroundings immediately. The realisation provoked a question, rather than outright fright; it was hard for someone such as her to get lost in a city she walked, ran and stalked through every day without fail.

Hesitantly, she voiced her question, hoping that by asking it she wouldn't cause Lilly any discomfort.
“I'm sorry, I realise now that I don't actually know where you live...”

Tall buildings loomed either side of them, doors to houses and very small businesses, the only distinguishing feature between the two being the numbers or names on the doors of the houses and the plaques bearing simple names of producers of types of thread and cotton maybe, or a distinct kind of wine, if you were in a rich district. In the darkness she couldn't work out what this place was attempting to sell, but she could work out that the plaque announcing its name was of better quality than those closer to her house, and that surprised her. Looking around she saw nothing that gave away exactly where they were - until she looked up, just a little and inhaled slowly so that her breath didn't catch in her throat.

The Tower, ever present, ever intimidating, watched them with flaring, blinking lights all over its windowed exterior. They weren't close enough to see the base of the Tower or the lower floors, but now that she'd pinpointed their location, Adrianna couldn't gotten them there in mere minutes. Her proximity to it made her nerves resurface, but she attempted, with varying degrees of success, to stem the flood of thoughts that entered her mind as she beheld the giant structure. Certainly, it served the purpose it was built for: to remind everyone within the city that were all being watched. Always.

[Hello! Sorry I took so long... exams, driving lessons(!)... life is busy. :swoon: Still, I'm back now. I have visitors later and not quite enough time to finish my post with Cameron's POV, so I figured I'd give you Adrianna and prod Cameron into the light a bit later. :D]

Author:  Darkheart [ January 20th, 2011, 2:10 pm ]
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[Rawr, people. Sorry for the double post. I'm back, though, with added Cameron goodness. Woot for angst! :D
-tags Goldy- yooooooooooooooour turn. :P]

Today, from Cameron's perspective, had been something of an amalgam of many different places and people; only this morning, he'd been backing the few person items he'd been allowed on the building site at the city's edge, ready to travel back home. Later, he'd been reunited with Adrianna, then Garnet; he'd met Lilly, and spent enough time with her to know that, firstly, she'd be a good friend to Garnet and, secondly, that she was just like they were. Later still, he'd thrown away years of carefully maintained self control in order to confess his love for the girl he'd known most of his life, in the process running the risk of losing her entirely. The sheer weight of that thought was enough to make Cameron blink as if to clear his mind. So much have happened in such a short space of time.

Being there, at that moment, made everything seem a little bit clearer. When he thought about it, there was very little that he wanted that lay outside of this house, the most prominent being the desire to breathe clean air and watch the day pass by as white clouds swept the sky... not that he realised exactly what it'd look like above ground. No-one did, because no-one had seen it and, as far as he knew, no-one had enough of a death wish to try.

As idle conversation passed, Cameron sat in silence, bathing in the warmth of Garnet's company. He didn't respond to her words but as she spoke, his smile didn't waver. As his eyes met hers, he was reminded of why he loved her so much, and the one thing he wanted above everything else: to see this last. Desperately he wanted to ensure that Garnet's happiness, in whatever form, stayed with her. For so long they''d both been prisoners in bleak, dull lives they couldn't escape from - now, it almost seemed as if they had a choice. No-one had given it to them, but when Garnet had first spoken of her deep wish to leave this place and never look back, something like hope had blossomed in Cameron's heart. Leaving all of this behind would be wonderful, being able to start again would be like cleansing his life of all that was dark and disagreeable. The idea made his heart and mind ache for a world of quiet, peaceful benignity, something, even now, he doubted he'd ever experience.

There was a reason. The most prominent of these reasons was Adrianna. Earlier, during their ‘disagreement’, she'd made clear her intentions to stay exactly where she was. This saddened him and, at once, felt the light mood slip slowly away from him. The warmth that had filled the room seconds ago was sliding away; the sweet, gentle fragrance of the flowers Adrianna had placed so lovingly in the vase at the far end of the room seemed to have dissipated. The problem wasn't that the familiar room seemed colder and more impersonal now, but the fact that leaving Adrianna behind had never been an option to him. No part of him wanted to leave her behind, but every part of him screamed that Garnet's happiness meant the world to him. He didn't think he'd be able to bear it if she was sent back to the lonely, desolate place he'd found her in.

Something that echoed around his mind, unchecked by his conscience, was his practical thoughts. If nothing, Cameron was a practical soul and, as such, he'd already been attempting to figure out the logistics of carrying out such a disappearing act. Certainly he knew that the city was full of people he couldn't trust, but at the same time, there was something else that niggled at the back of his mind, something a little closer to home.

After that argument, he wasn't entirely sure that he could place his absolute, unwavering trust in Adrianna, either. It was breaking his focus and his contented peace of mind.

Words broke through his mist of thought, with a soft, coaxing voice. Garnet's curiosity and tact was trying to make him open up to her, and he was already yielding. Having one person he could trust implicitly would mean he at least had one thing to keep him grounded.

“Are you sure everything will be alright between you?” Garnet too his hand to lend him comfort, awkwardly trying to balance the soft mood that had enveloped them moments before and the correct, serious tone of the current conversation. Her awkwardness was endearing, and he managed a weak smile despite himself.

“You can tell me anything, even if it's not easy. Will you and Adrianna still be alright?”

Turning to face her properly, and sweep a long strand of blonde hair out of her eyes, Cameron tried not to weigh down their light chatter with heavy words.

“No matter what happens, we'll always be alright. I just don't think that Adrianna believes she can confide in me - or us - the way she'd like to. Something's happened, I just don't know what.”

A sigh escaped his lips. “I don't know what I can do to help without pushing her away. She's so different from the person I remember, almost as if... I don't know, she's lost a part of herself in that sorry place she works.”

Author:  Will [ January 20th, 2011, 2:49 pm ]
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[ Great post Darky! I just haven't that much time to post! Next thursday and the monday after that Ihave to exams which I must pass. So after that I'll probably have a post up ;)

Oh and have Cameron and Garnet really not wondered yet where Lilly is? :P Poor girl, completely forgotten.. ;) ]

Author:  Darkheart [ January 20th, 2011, 3:55 pm ]
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[^That's actually a very good point. I didn't think of that. :P I suppose with Adrianna's quick departure, they wouldn't have noticed that she'd disappeared. Still, it is awfully mean. -prods them- :P

Also, Will, good luck with your exams! :hug: I just had a few myself I was panicking for, but they all went okay, I think, so everything's good. I hope everything goes smoothly. Don't rush with the posting thing, goodness knows I take my time... :P]

Author:  Darkheart [ February 11th, 2011, 5:53 pm ]
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There had been something about the air that night, something like satisfaction. It had evaporated.

Earlier, there had been a small glimmer that represented the entirety of Lucius's future. That glimmer had burned out of control, and was now a ball of fighting flames, throwing sparks and flakes of ash. If emotion would be water, Lucius's senses were overflowing, his airways were starved and slowly, all poise and rationality he'd summoned was drowning.

He'd held no affection for his father. The old man had been a thorn in his side; the only thing he'd ever done that was at all useful to him was grant him his generous inheritance and gain a good standing in society that Lucius had, when he was building up his contacts, used as a stepping stone. There was little exchanged between the men other than bitter words and scathing comments; that they had to say to one another was never uttered in quiet, soft tones, but rather harsh ones, meant to wound. Casimir felt he needed no successor, despite his years - he believed that it was unnecessary and that Lucius should come back when he was 'ready' to take up his father's mantle. Thinking the old man senile in his old age, Lucius had, as soon as power had granted his influence, moved to, slyly, plant the seeds of doubt. Doubt overturned the opinions of many, and within months, Lucius had half of the government sat patiently, willingly, in the palm of his hand. Everything had been easy because there was nothing forced about his actions, everything - everything - was done by people willing to. The politicians scattered around the Tower, his colleagues, agreed with him. People like Adrianna and Gardenia didn't count - even if they did concur with his opinions - because of their inferiority. They didn't matter any more than that doctor did.

Death has a strange way of unsettling people. The death of his father was most unexpected, especially seeing as Casimir Nylander was receiving the best medical attention within all of the city - and even that was just cursory medical check-ups, just in case he spontaneously developed a heart condition or some such idiopathic ailment...

The nature of the note alarmed him the most. Someone was closer than they'd ever been before - the Nylander house, his father's house, was the most well fortified building in those caves, save the Tower. It was supposed to be impenetrable. He guessed that his father's boasting of the number of guards he hired and posted on regular shift was, mostly, for show. They hadn't done him much good after all... either that, or he'd have to accept that his father's security - doubled every so often, as and when his paranoia dictated - was penetrable by whoever had sent it.

As usual, by the time he was given enough information to act properly and effectively, the instigators had left the scene. There would be no reason to visit his father's home now, considering that Casimir's guards would be swarming around the place and he had no interest in the business other than to find out who dared stand up against so blatantly. Even doctor Whittaker had been more careful about his actions; such a public act of defiance was sure to be met with shock, horror and quiet triumph. He would have willingly put money on the last, though the thought alone filled him with disgust. The lowlifes that inhabited his city had no say in how it was run for a reason - they wouldn't be able to grasps the concept of their own society, the ability was too far beyond them. In this matter, he trusted no judgement other than his own. Even opinions that agreed with him were worthless because, ninety percent of the time, the person voicing it was doing so for credit or out of fear.

After he'd left Gardenia, Lucius had, contrary to appearance, headed via a circuitous route, back to his office. There was still the faintest aroma of smoke lingering about the room, though Lucius's thoughts could not have strayed further from his sister. So much had to be planned now; firstly, the funeral. Of course, he'd have to be seen in attendance, otherwise people might talk; he'd have to alert the head of the Wardens' Guild to the fact that there was a mysterious character wandering the streets with a knife and too much ambition; then, amidst all that, there was that doctor and Allegra's persistent presence. None of it tugged at his mind more than the thought of an enemy, and one that could, possibly, survive the climate he'd kept the nation in. Turmoil and fear kept the people obedient - for the most part - and he was entirely aware of that fact; however, the respite from petty grievances meant he could spend his time wisely, reconstructing the government completely, and this time to his own set of specifications. He had plans, oh yes, and he could think of no-one better to carry them out than he. If someone or something stood in his way, it or they would be removed swiftly and decisively, with as little disturbance as possible - as with Adrianna hauling in the doctor tonight. The most that could've happened is the Wardens on search duty had bumped into a few late-night strollers, which was very unlikely indeed at this hour: by the time morning was finally, properly upon them, everything would have returned to normal and everything would be rumours dotted around like scattered leaves in the wind.

[[Small intermediary post to bump up Freedom. Methinks we're gonna need paddles soon. D:]]

Author:  ~Goldleaf~ [ February 11th, 2011, 7:47 pm ]
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(Guys, I'm soso sorry I've taken so long to reply! :hug: )

Gardenia audibly seethed as Alexander made an infuriating reply laced with a chuckle. His laughter irritated her more than she could describe. Pinning all of her strength against him, she was caught off guard when he hooked his ankle about her calf, causing her to topple over with a curse. He fell too, but he was quickly back on his feet again, and wielding a knife, no less. Raising her head, dragging a hand through her black hair to push it out of her eyes, she focused first on the glinting blade, her eyes then narrowing as she took in his face, which was now revealed to her. Suddenly, her heart leapt, and a fierce excitement built up inside her. She knew that face. But surely, it was one that belonged to a dead man?

He was spinning the knife now, so sure of himself in his arrogance. She listened to him silently, deciding that it was best to say nothing for now. Let him have his moment of pride. He was smiling, the expression of triumph making his eyes glint. For someone so despicable, he really was very handsome. That was one thing Gardenia couldn’t deny him. But he obviously believed that he had the upper hand – he’d prevailed in the scuffle, he was the one armed with a weapon. Letting a few moments pass as she simply looked at him, not glorifying him with a reply, Gardenia rose up to her feet with great dignity, brushing down the skirt of her black dress. She slid her black handbag back onto her shoulder, and dragged her empty gaze over Alexander, as if surveying him.

Taking a step towards him, she only gave the knife one glance, as if it was of little consequence. “Interesting,” she remarked, neutrally. “You’d be willing to kill a woman. That shows an admirable lack of conscience.” Sarcasm lightly feathered her words. “As to how we proceed… no doubt, that’s something that’s entirely up to me. Put away that knife, will you? You’re embarrassing yourself.” Her tone was so self-assured, so confident, despite it’s soft pitch, that everything she said seemed believable. Gardenia was skilled in the fine art of persuasion. Her own self-belief had many times won her arguments, or fights. She couldn’t deny that her life was at risk here, but she wasn’t afraid of bluffing her way out of the situation. But as she saw it, bluffing wasn’t required – she knew who this man was. Alexander Marcus, a vicious criminal, someone she had believed to be killed at Lucius’s order. But it seemed that she had miscalculated his disappearance.

“Now, Alexander.” Another step towards him. They were standing very closely now. “That is your name, isn’t it? Alexander?” Her eyes glinted with something a lot like cruelty. “I never expected to see you wandering the streets at night like a little lost vagabond. After all… you are supposed to be dead.” She allowed a pause to stretch out between them. Gardenia observed him, taking in his every feature. “Now wouldn’t it be unfortunate if you were to bump into someone less inclined to be friendly than I?” The point was, she was exactly the type of unfriendly person he would want to avoid. She could hand him in and have him clapped in irons at a minute’s notice. However, what was most interesting was that she had it within her means to keep him safe – to save his life, purely for her own ends, of course. But the man standing in front of her didn’t know the half of what thoughts were dancing through her mind.

Gardenia decided that enough silence had reigned over them now; she had given Alexander enough time to let her victory sink in. Her mind was working quickly, like a well-oiled machine. Alexander wasn’t just a criminal; he was a prize. He was one of the many disobedient citizens who’d simply “disappeared”. If Lucius knew that he was back here, lurking in the alleyways of the city… well, his reaction would be one Gardenia wouldn’t want to miss. And she could hand him back to the authorities, who would do with him as they wished. Maybe he wouldn’t be lucky this time, and he really would be killed – eliminated. But Gardenia’s gut instinct told her that she needed him alive, for him to be useful to her. No doubt, he held much information –secrets that she craved to know, secrets that were beyond the reach of even precious little Adrianna. Just thinking of her set Gardenia’s teeth on edge.

Suddenly, the path to take seemed very clear. To Gardenia, other people were simply for using then discarding; and this wouldn’t be difficult. On the contrary, it would be fun. But first, she needed him to put down the knife. Her heels clicked loudly as she stepped even closer towards him. “One could say that you’re actually very fortunate… bumping into me as you did.” Their faces were only a breath apart, and she took the opportunity to lean forward and whisper in his ear. “Because I can help you. That is, if you’ll let me.” Her tone was far from helpful; on the contrary, despite it’s softness, it held a sharp edge of aggression, which was emphasized as she lightly touched his throat – half-caress, half-threat. “You’ve clearly already guessed I’m one of them. I work in the Tower. Wouldn’t you like to know all the various secrets that reach my ear? And wouldn’t you also like to keep your life – whatever worth it is to you?” After a moment, her hand dropped from his throat and she stepped smoothly back from him, her expression smooth and dangerous. “Put down the knife,” she said.


Allegra turned her head as Dylan grabbed her arm. She watched his hand curl about her skin, and she rested her own hand over it in a gesture of comfort. Her gaze was open and direct. “It had better not take long,” she said, softly, “because we haven’t a moment to waste. Once they’ve found out you’re missing they’ll be looking for you – the current disarray in the Tower has afforded us the night at least.” She knew that Lucius would be furious when he found out that the doctor was gone; he’d have his little slaves sniffing about for him tomorrow, Adrianna or Gardenia. A feeling of distaste seeped into her as she thought of those two names. She found Adrianna’s mindless obedience to her brother repulsive, and Gardenia was just as bad, except she seemed far more ambitious – a little serpent if ever there was one. “Come, we must be quick. I can remember the route to your house well enough.” She gave a small smile, remembering the various times she’d delivered cash donations to the doctor at his home. Without another word, she turned on her heel and set off in a quick pace along the street, knowing that the doctor would be at her side, his step just as swift.

If Lucius came around asking any questions tomorrow, she’d be ready with an alibi; there were plenty of people who’d be ready and willing to back up her word. Allegra’s numerous allies – friends, moles, spies, associates – were always at hand to give aid when she needed it. After all, many of them owed her; Dylan wasn’t the first prisoner she’d smuggled out of the Tower. Allegra was generous in a way that was beyond her brother. And she had another skill too; the ability to summon loyalty. She had done so much for other people, and in return they felt obliged to help her back.

Allegra gathered her grey fur wrap closer about her shoulders, feeling strangely chilly. She gazed straight ahead of her as she and Dylan made fast progress away from the Tower; nimbly, she lit up a cigarette, drawing on it as if it contained heaven’s nectar. She exhaled silver smoke with relief, careful to dispatch it over her shoulder so that it didn’t hit Dylan. “May I ask what it is you need to retrieve from your house?” she asked, sending him a small smile. “Something important, I suppose?”

Almost as soon as the words escaped her lips, she was alerted by the sight of two approaching figures a little way down the street. However, her long, sure strides never altered or halted; on the contrary, she appeared to be marching straight towards the two mysterious strangers. One, even from this distance, she could see was pale and dark-haired, whereas the other was a redhead and appeared somewhat broad around the stomach. Allegra threw a swift glance towards Dylan for one moment. As she approached, she cut a rather intimidating figure, swathed in her elegant apparel and jewelry, as beautiful as a queen carved from ice. She cast her gaze towards the two, closing in on them, but ready to swerve and run if needs be. Just as she was considering paying them off for their silence, she recognized the dark-haired figure. Adrianna.


Garnet smiled as Cameron swept a strand of blonde hair from her eyes. She gave a small sigh as she weighed over his words, her brow gently furrowing with thought. Her head tilted slightly, and she lifted her slim shoulders. “Trying to get Adrianna to confide in you nowadays is like trying to get blood from a stone,” she said, simply. “At least that’s how it seems to me. Cameron… we have to accept it, things have changed a lot over the years. Adrianna’s sure to have changed, thought I for one can’t be sure just how much. We scarcely ever see each other now.” Her tone was tinged with regret at what seemed to be the slow, progressing loss of a dear friend. “It’s all because of her work, that I know. It all started when we grew up, when we had to try and make our way in this world.”

She reached out and touched his face gently. Her eyes were unblinking. “But just because she is so distant now, doesn’t mean we can’t still try to help her,” she said, tenderly insistent. “We can’t let ourselves lose her, and more to the point, she can’t lose herself. Maybe…” she paused, giving another tiny shrug, “…maybe in the end the only person who can help her is herself. But I don’t know how to accept it. Nothing’s easy in life, is it?” she smiled softly, her touch reassuring despite the gravity of her words. Her gaze flickered over Cameron’s face as she weighed over her own words. It seemed to her at least that she had spoken rather a lot.

The world suddenly seemed a very quiet place. She could hear no noises from downstairs, and the silence that reigned between her and Cameron was peaceful and soothing as they simply sat and looked at each other. Garnet still felt very tired, despite her newfound joy. She was still exhausted from a long day’s work, and although in the back of her mind a voice nagged at her about Adrianna and Lilly’s whereabouts, she felt too weak to properly pay heed to it. The colour had flushed back to her face, but it was the warmth and glow of love and happiness, not necessarily renewed physical strength. Her fingertips grazed Cameron’s jaw as she brushed her hand back to touch his hair. She met his eyes steadily, wanting to give him comfort despite her fatigue.

“Think on this,” she said, quietly, “Adrianna is your sister, and at the end of it all, she loves you. A time will come when she has to choose between those she loves, and those she is obliged to obey. And if she chooses the latter…” another small pause. She chose her next words carefully, knowing that it was a painful topic. “…well. Then that’s her decision, whatever we think, however we try to change her mind. But just remember this. You still have me, Cameron; you’ll always have me.” Her gaze was soft, and her tone gentle. “You will never lose me, this I promise you. You are my only choice in this life. No contest.”

Author:  Will [ February 22nd, 2011, 11:30 am ]
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The two women walked together in the dark night, but didn’t speak, both lost in their own thoughts and worries. Dark thoughts clouded Lilly’s mind as Adrianna was silent for a moment. The redhead dreaded the moment of departing with her newfound friend, the moment that she was left alone in her small apartment, where the walls closed in on her, where she had to give everything not to be consumed by her fears. Fear of how to care for a child without any help, without a job. What if she had to give up the baby because she had no means to care for it? What if they took the baby away from her? And she never would ever get a job again? Those fears , that made her heart skip a beat out of panic or paralyze her with despair, tormented her usual happy disposition, and made her wish she was not alone, that there was someone to help her, support her, love her.
She’d made the Doctor that person. The few visits of the doctor Whittaker, every two weeks or so, were a relief and could she break out the usual routine of her dull life. He was the only one she’d dared to tell her tale; how she got pregnant; why she was in this alone. He didn’t judge her like everyone did, he’d helped her, encouraged her and Lilly even liked to believe that he cared for her. He was her person. The person that would be there if she was in trouble, that would be there for her. But still, it would not last. After the pregnancy, even Doctor Whittaker would disappear from her life, and she would be left alone, responsible for the life of another tiny human.

“I'm sorry,” Adrianna suddenly said. “I realise now that I don't actually know where you live...”

“That’s alright,” Lilly smiled. “It’s only two blocks away, that way.” She pointed to a narrow street that was overshadowed by tall, sober-looking apartment buildings. “It’s not far from the Upper West side.” The west district of the city was populated by rich merchants, wealthy politicians, and even some Governors. The streets were broader there, the houses were enormous and lavishly furnished. There were fountains and, street name signs and even some amusement facilities like a theatre. It were the lucky few who lived there and the block was an entire separate world from the rest of the city.

“I work in the household of the Grenci family” Lilly clarified herself. “ Well not for long anyway,” she added with a serene smile. “I’m getting somewhat too large to work effectively anymore.” Her smile still remained on her face as Lilly spoke to Adrianna, and her tone was not at all indignant. To her it was not a cruel deed to turn a pregnant woman out on the street, but something quite obvious. If she couldn’t work and perform with the same quality she used to, than it was nothing more than sensible for her employers to find someone who could. Those were the norms and values to this era, of this government. And such were the norms that were taught Lilly in the state boarding schools; government institutions which took in, and re-educated and fed those children that had been left behind .

She looked up at the tower and shivered. It’s dark shadow stretched out over the streets and its presence was a constant reminder that life was dominated by fear of the Government and its rules. Although she lived nearby, Lilly usually made a detour to her home, just not to come to close to it, as if afraid to be noticed. Just as she wanted to turn her face from the threatening building, she noticed two figures that were walking towards them. Panic surged through her veins, and she stopped dead in her tracks, grabbing Adrianna’s hand. “Wardens..” she whispered with an hoarse voice.

Yet as the figures approached in a hurried step, it appeared to be a man and woman, both obviously not Wardens. The woman was tall, very pretty and had proud features on her face. The man, that accompanied her, looked like he’d had a rough night, as his clothing was dirty and his face covered with blood, but couldn’t be anyone else than the man Lilly had been looking for that same evening.
“Doctor Whittaker!” Lilly exclaimed and she rushed towards him, enormously relieved that he’d miraculously showed up here, and hugged him as tightly as her pregnant belly allowed. Immediately regretting her impulsive and probably inappropriate act, she stepped back, her cheeks flushed.
“I was so worried..” she said, relief present in her voice. “I thought.. I thought something had happened..”


Dylan nodded upon hearing Allegra’s warning and immediately followed her in a quick pace. He realised that it was how he was challenging fate by going back to his house. The chance of discovery was great and if they were caught he surely would be lost. There would be no possibility of escape then and no mercy of a quick and painless death. But even worse, he would drag Allegra down with him as well; a woman who seemingly had the only desire to do good, in order to restore only a slight piece of that what her brother had broken. Her unaffected selflessness would be punished because of his selfishness..

But the doctor discarded these thoughts, commanding himself to have faith; faith in himself and the goodness that was left in this world. They wouldn’t fail, they just couldn’t. So Dylan continued his unwavering steps, and tried to ignore the throbbing of his head and his aching, cold limbs. All the events and emotions of last night finally started to take their toll, yet Dylan would not falter, not now. He would persist until he’d found what he was looking for and was in a safe haven, able to rest.

He gazed at Allegra as she spoke. She did not seem to condemn him for his reckless behaviour but seemed curious as to his motives. Her question was personal but also justified. She had the right to know what she was risking her life for..
“Did you never think of what you would do if your house was on fire?” he asked, his voice soft but a hardened expression appeared on his face. “Which items, that are the most important to you and would keep you going in difficult times, would you take with you, if you had had only one moment to escape from the blazing fire? Jewellery, a book or another trinket perhaps?” Dylan remained silent for a while, and just walked, breathing in the cold air of the early morning.
“My life is on fire, right now,” he said tonelessly. “It will burn down to the ground, but I will need to keep going..”

Abruptly he stopped talking as he noticed two women further down the street, who approached them. He walked on, silently, and did not look at them. Do not look for trouble, no trouble would come to you..

But he looked up when suddenly he heard his name and the redheaded woman sprang forward and embraced him. “Lilly?” he asked, patting her ginger curls, immediately recognising the pregnant girl, but quite astonished to what she was doing here in the middle of the night. Lilly Tash was one of the few patients whom he treated pro-bono. As many others, she was a victim of the system, alone and in trouble, but was denied any help. He’d decided to help and support her, for she seemed to be alone in this world. She’d become quite attached to him, and he couldn’t else but have become fond of her, being around her lively character whenever he visited.

“Are you alright Lilly?” he asked as soon as the redhead stepped back. He observed her face carefully, but apart from her blush she seemed to look well. “You know you should rest as much as you can..” he added worriedly. “What are you doing here..? “ His words died away on his lips and his heart skipped a beat as he looked at her companion. It was the woman from this night, who’d arrested him but agreed to help him break free. What was she doing here with Lilly? Had she taking the girl to the Tower for some imagined offence?

Wild thoughts ran through this mind as he looked at Adrianna, frowningly. He stepped next to Lilly, as if to protect her, and repeated his question, yet this time more threateningly and aimed at the brunette.

“What are you doing here?”

[Fweee! I'm so excited! :jump: ]

Author:  Darkheart [ March 6th, 2011, 4:46 pm ]
Post subject: 

[I can't actually articulate quite how excited I am. If this just turns out to be just a pile of incoherent rubbish, its both your faults. You both turned me into a mad fangirl. :P]

Up went the knife, gyrating in what seemed like slow motion before it let gravity's weight pull it slowly back down again, falling gracefully, twisting before Alexander plucked it out of the air with practised ease. Its presence leant him some measure of comfort; being armed wasn't a particular pleasure for him, but it meant he was safe as long as his instinct and reflexes served him right and it meant that, in most situations, the mere image of him was enough to silence any he came across. There were worse ways to die than by a blade, in the dark of night in an alley full of shadows, of which everyone was all too conscious - that didn't, however, lessen the threat of Alexander's weapon. Here, their lives weren't much, but life was so much better than the alternative.

“Interesting. You'd be willing to kill a woman.” Gardenia's cold words brushed the night aside smoothly. “That shows an admirable lack of conscience.”

This time when Alexander smiled, it was a wolfish grin that, coupled with the bright gleam in his eye, was enough to provoke an onlooker into thinking that he was, at least partly, mad. It wasn't hard to guess why; so much time spent practically alone in a city where there is no-one you can depend upon entirely changes you. One day, Alexander might find out just how much. Until then, he'd continue to make his way, uncaring and unaware of the simple, animalistic way of thinking he'd resorted to since his apparent ‘death’.

“How very rich, coming from you. I would have gladly let you go, unharmed, to return to what is quite evidently your own very important business. However, if you recall, it was you who attacked first, not I.” Alexander let a laugh escape him, aware of how ludicrous the statement seemed, despite the truth in it. “As the victim in this situation, I was well within my rights to defend myself.”

That smile was back, but this time he kept a firm lid on his laughter, lest he provoke her again. The attention a fistfight could attract, even at night, was surprising. There was every need to take precautions, and although he was certain he could remain victorious if they had to resort to physical combat again, he didn't want to chance it. Taking another's life was not an act to boast of, nor was it something he thought he would ever take pleasure in - and he was glad for that. He hoped that he'd live to see the day when he didn't have to take such hateful measures to maintain his existence.

As the woman regarded him, now, he felt, rather than saw, that something was amiss. It took him a few moments to realise what it was; when he did, he berated himself for not noticing sooner. Light fell on his face, not enough to clearly define his features but plenty to show him for what he was: the ghost of a man sentenced to death just over a year ago. It was thus far unclear as to whether or not this woman had recognised him - either way, it didn't matter, her just knowing of him was enough to put him in danger. To hell with it all, he cursed inwardly. Tonight he'd been in enough trouble - what difference would a little more make? Barely any.

Ignoring her threatening jibes about control, Alexander focused on the words that came swiftly after, revealing her knowledge of his identity. No words passed his lips but he quirked an eyebrow at her.

“You seem awfully disappointed that I'm not. I'd apologise, but clichés never did suit.” The tart reply held nothing but the simple retort; no emotional inflection, no judgement or insinuation. By calling him a ‘little lost vagabond’ she'd shown her opinion of him. To her, he was nothing. Good. The less he meant to her, the faster she'd want him out of her life - which suited him just fine.

Less friendly than you? Lady, you've been less friendly than most of the vultures that live around here. I'm not sure what's going through your head right now, but I'd be willing to bet delusions of grandeur. Who exactly is it that you ‘serve’ to have developed such a manner?”

With no illusions about his situation, Alexander was put in a foul mood by his rapidly depleted list of options. The way she was looking at him, measuring him, fitting his dimensions into her perfectly constructed landscape of ice, setting traps so he might fall into them. The more she tried made him feel like a caged animal the more his anger gained in magnitude and potency, setting his veins alight with a fire he didn't know he had enough substance or feeling to sustain.

Though, seeing as she was taking the time to get the measure of him... it wouldn't hurt to be building a profile of his new-found enemy.

Her form was tall, slender, and glad in dark shades than contrasted with her alarmingly pale skin but matched the black ringlets that surrounded her face. Pale eyes watched him with malevolence clearly etched into them - he doubted this was a side effect of his presence, because he cut an imposing figure, stood there, dark cloak enveloping his tall form in shadow; his was an image she could appreciate, because it was of same kind she used - darting to every feature of his face, drinking it all in.

If he was the ghost, he didn't know what she was. His pallor was nothing compared to hers, and she had a kind of cold, harsh beauty that was almost painful to look at. He didn't like it because it was misleading; he didn't doubt that, in the past, she'd simply smiled at people and disarmed them, much to their misfortune. She seemed to have figured that this wouldn't work with him, and had adapted accordingly. The only object she carried with her was her handbag, large enough that she could have hidden a weapon in there, but not something she'd been too keen to hang on to while they'd scuffled, so he doubted there lay much danger in it, unless she was to aim it at his head. Such an action would be too far beneath her for her to consider, he guessed.

Her heels made an irritating clicking noise on the paved walkway as she picked her way slowly and carefully across to him, despite the sharp, lingering threat that flew through the air beside him. His gaze remained indifferent as he comprehended her, unaffected by her close proximity, ignoring the ease with which she acted.

As she twisted her own words, then whispered a barely audible offer of help, Alexander felt himself pushed past his capacity. Who did she think he was? Who did she think she was? Her gall was unbelievable, issuing threats and then trying to coax him into playing her games. A nail grazed his throat, perhaps an inch to the left of his windpipe. As such, the movement didn't threaten him - rather, it unsettled him to feel someone so close after prolonged solitude. If he thought his life had been empty before the government had abducted him, it was nothing compared to how unbearable barren it was now - he had contacts, not friends; targets, not rivals. That was all. He couldn't afford to have anyone else.

“Clearly you've already guessed that I'm one of them. I work in the Tower. Wouldn't you like to know all the various secrets that reach my ear? And wouldn't you also like to keep you life - whatever worth it is to you?” A pause. “Put down the knife.”

She stepped back, but as she did, he stepped forward to close the space; his legs were longer than hers, the distance separating them disappeared in a mere fraction of a second. Eyes alive, singing a battle cry that echoed the conflict of the situation, Alexander leant closer to the audacious woman.

“Whatever you say,” he hissed.

Simultaneously, he spun the throwing knife around once in his hand so it faced downwards, at which point he dropped it. His hand-eye coordination as it was, it buried itself in the ground right next to Gardenia's foot, so close that she had to have felt it graze past her. As he brought up the hand that had held the throwing knife, he unhooked a small, curved dagger from his belt and lifted its point to her chin, pushing her face upwards just enough to ensure that she got his message.

“If you wish to disarm me, you're welcome to try. I caution you, though, I'm more than adept and hiding my weaponry and if you intend to search me for it, you'll have to be thorough.” Alexander's favourite predatory smile unfurled on his face as he looked at her. A single droplet of something dark red slid down the blade to the cross guard. Satisfied that his message could not be misconstrued, Alexander spun the dagger around his finger before replacing it. Sidestepping her, he circled slowly enough that she'd keep him within her sight for a few more seconds before she had to turn her head.

“So, what exactly is it you want of me? I could be dead by now, you've done your best to assure me of as much. I'm still alive; surprised, but not dismayed.”

Taking another step, this time purposefully out of her range of vision, forcing her to either leave her back exposed to him or turn with him.

“Your threats won't work on me, and it seems mine won't on you. So why exactly haven't you brought the Wardens down on us?”

If asked, Alexander would've said that he didn't deal well with stalemates; he preferred swift and decisive victories - even if he wasn't the conqueror. Here, he thought he'd done well, but the reasons for Gardenia neglecting to use her most obvious advantage over him escaped him. However unpalatable he found this woman's manner, there was something about everything that he wasn't quite seeing, a part of the picture that hadn't been filled in. If he was to extrapolate it on his own, he needed time, and the only way to gain that was to keep her talking.

<center>- - -</center>

With Lilly's reply came a small wave of nausea as Adrianna realised that as soon as she'd left her new friend she'd have to journey back to the Tower to face that which fate had in store for her. As much as it unsettled her meticulously pieced-together calm, she'd have to face the doctor and follow him as he fled the people that wanted him dead. If anyone saw her, thought they saw her or thought it amusing to accuse her - even if they thought it false - she'd be locked away herself and the Doctor Whittaker would be killed on sight, just so they could be sure that he was dead. Even wrapped in her light jacket as she was, the night's chill seemed to gloat as it reached her and sucked away all her warmth.

“I work in the household of the Grenci family,” Lilly told her, still using her light, amiable tone. Blinking, Adrianna looked around them and saw the richness of the area - something she'd have noticed sooner, had she not been dwelling on her current predicament. “Well not for long anyway. I'm getting somewhat too large to work effectively any more.”

The smile on Lilly's face didn't fade, it didn't even waver; Adrianna considered this strange because being out of work meant she could be exceedingly vulnerable in future - especially if the family she worked for didn't approve of her situation. If the rumours were true - and she had no way of confirming them at that moment, for her business and work rarely led her into this district of the city - then the heads of the Grenci family were less than forgiving with regards to their underlings. At first, the thought saddened Adrianna greatly, before she realised that this new-found friendship made her even more vulnerable. Distancing herself from people had made everything about her job easier because she was observing her actions from an objective viewpoint. When she thought of Lilly's situation and what it might mean for her, it was scary - and she wasn't the one who'd have to experience it. How she longed for the days when she could separate her conscious mind from her emotional responses! By that night's event her peace of mind had been extinguished, smashed to pieces and thrown out of the window. She doubted she'd restore the balance in a hurry, if only because she was willing to bet that the turmoil that had so recently entered her life wasn't over yet. An aura of foreboding surrounded her, one that wouldn't let her lower her guard - not that that was likely to happen anyway.

What she was beginning to catch a glimpse of - though striving to remain ignorant of - was that this was the life that her government had constructed for everyone. If they'd acted differently, perhaps Lilly might still have a place of employment at the end of her pregnancy; she might've been accepted as a human being rather than an inconsequential menial that they'd rather be without in her current state of disgrace. Had she not met her, Adrianna might have found it easy to shun Lilly and think of her similarly, but this girl, so full of youth and pure, innocence was such a rarity that Adrianna couldn't bear to think of her as anything other than what she was.

Hunching her shoulders and hugging herself as protection against the cold night and colder thoughts, Adrianna looked away from the Tower's impressive façade, seeking something else that might keep her mind away from the dark deeds that lurked behind the masterpiece of architecture. Filled with spies as it was, she didn't doubt that the lights behind the windows held a thousand ever-present glittering eyes, all of which looked down upon her in disdain, both for disobeying her superiors and for being weak enough to obey them in the first place. Tearing her eyes away from the thing was hard when she still felt the government's own eyes upon her. Despite the icy chill, she felt the temperature of her blood rise at the same time as her heart's tempo increased - which was nothing compared to the spike of her pulse when Lilly stopped suddenly, sheer terror painted all over her features, seizing hold of Adrianna's hand so tightly that her nails dug in, deep, just short of drawing blood.

“Wardens..” Lilly's faint voice whispered.

Adrianna returned Lilly's grip, afraid herself, but panic-induced silence forbid her from performing the simple motor function that would have allowed her to choke out the one word she wished to say: ‘run’.

Barely daring to take a step backwards, Adrianna attempted to regain compose so that she might resume her authoritative manner and order the approaching Wardens away. No such luck: she remained shaken, the finger on her free hand twitching as she tried not to let them form a fist to expel the tension she felt. Quite aside from her failed endeavour, she wouldn't have had any luck ordering the two figures away anyway because they weren't Wardens.

The thought shocked her for the second time in less than a minute, yet it was plain to see: neither wore the regulation uniform and one was a woman, to boot; she wore a long, elegant dress in a fashionable shade of grey; it was vaguely familiar, but she paid that detail no heed. Alarmed, she switched her gaze from the woman to the man, whose clothes were rag-tag and bloodied. The two made a startling contrast, one dressed richly, the other quite the opposite. Adrianna didn't even think to look at their faces until Lilly cried a name loudly, heedless of the unfriendly night that was listening intently.

“Doctor Whittaker!”

Abandoning her hold on Adrianna's hand, Lilly dived forward to embrace the man in relief, missing completely the red stains on his clothing and face.

Aghast, Adrianna turned to the woman, pushing back the moment when she'd have to look herself to prove that it was in fact the doctor she'd intended to save stood before her. Impossible, she kept repeating silently to herself. Impossible! He wouldn't have had an opportunity to escape without her being there. Impossible. How on earth...

Allegra Nylander, clad in all her jewellery and expensive clothing, stood next to the dishevelled man, proud tilt to her chin, pale eyes watching Adrianna as if she were an insect beneath a magnifying glass - and, indeed, at that moment, she felt like one. To disguise her horror at seeing the woman there, she looked away, watching instead the profile of the man, obscured by Lilly's own figure and her striking red hair. The words Dylan Whittaker uttered barely reached her, far away as she was. She watched everything from a distance, in slow motion; Dylan looked Lilly over with concern, his expression changing from concern to worry, flicking to an inquiry and then back again. She heard nothing that he said until he looked directly at her, forgetting the words that had rested upon the tip of his tongue. The doctor took a step forward so he stood directly beside Lilly, taking up a protective stance and shielding the redhead from her. Immediately concerned, Adrianna took an automatic step forward as if to react; she stopped only when the doctor addressed her directly.

“What are you doing here?”

Her lips parted to answer him but she was stopped by her mind, which had miraculously started working when she'd snapped out of her time-delay. It told her that incriminating herself in front of Allegra would be unwise and that, if she didn't watch her mouth, she could find herself in a rather sticky situation. It had always been abundantly clear that Allegra didn't like her, to have her brother free of one of his underlings would serve her very well in her endeavours. Adrianna didn't doubt that Allegra would not hesitate to rid herself of a potential nuisance is she saw a way to carry it off smoothly.

Settling for a simple reply with very little inflection, her gaze lingered pointedly on Allegra darted back to Dylan before she spoke.

“I have a better question,” she said softly, in little more than a murmur. Turning towards Allegra for the briefest of seconds, she made her question an open one to all assembled - apart from Lilly, who Adrianna realised lately would be entirely at a loss as to what was going on.
“Why on earth are you out here?”

[Eek! :D I'll post for Cameron when I get a chance. Don't wait up for me - if you want to post, go for it - I may take a while. :P]

Author:  ~Goldleaf~ [ April 11th, 2011, 6:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Freedom is What You Survive To Fight For

Gardenia stared at Alexander as he stepped forwards as soon as she’d stepped backwards; she visibly flinched as his knife went flying, imbedding itself in the ground next to her foot. She had to admit, the action shook her, but this was nothing compared to the shudder that went down her spine when Alexander placed another, smaller knife below her chin. Her frosty blue eyes were suddenly flooded with darkness; for the first time in a long time, she felt pure, chilling fear, and she didn’t like it. But still, she gazed into Alexander’s eyes unwaveringly, not wanting to admit to herself or him that he had the upper hand. Her heart was thudding like a fleeing wild animal’s as he removed the knife. Lifting her hand, she gently touched the sore point at her chin; her fingertips came away stained red. Blood? He’d made her bleed? To Gardenia, this was one of the worst kinds of violation; seeming stunned, she stared at the crimson liquid. After a moment, her lovely face twisted into an expression of unbridled hatred, which Alexander could not see as he stepped out of her range of vision.

She let the silence stretch out. He hadn’t killed her yet, but he’d shown that he could. But something was stopping him; Gardenia had believed from the very beginning that he wouldn’t do it. Turning towards him, she looked him in the eye. Her features had smoothed out now into their usual frosty landscape, betraying none of her anger. Ignoring his questions, she calmly unzipped her handbag and removed a dainty white handkerchief, dabbing delicately the cut beneath her chin. It only took a moment for her to replace it and then slide the zip along again, but time seemed to be moving at a very slow pace.

“I believe that we’re quite similar, you and I,” she suddenly said, surprisingly. Her tone was as cool as always, but the sharp edges of her aggression had seemingly melted a little. “Ask yourself why you haven’t killed me yet, why I haven’t brought you to ‘justice’ and signaled the wardens. We’re the same.” She sounded incredibly persuasive, but she didn’t know if Alexander would drink this up. There was indeed something similar about them, but she didn’t like thinking about it; after all, this was the man who had made her bleed. In this particular moment, she would have quite enjoyed killing him. As it was, she wasn’t armed, and anyway, Alexander’s death would be a shameful waste.

“It’s obvious,” she continued. “We can be useful to one another.” Her words were skimmed with the expert tone of a liar. The transition of her attitude from hostility to persuasion was not too extreme; she was still cold, still dark. The change of tactics seemed a natural step. First and foremost, Gardenia needed to secure her own safety. If she’d been anyone but herself, she would have admitted that from the beginning her manner of proceedings had been amiss, but she was incapable of doubting herself and her actions. Besides, she still had a chance here. All that this situation required was a little finesse, as long as Alexander proved gullible enough.

“You’re on the run, Alexander.” She spoke his name harshly, although her tone remained soft. Standing here together was hardly safe; they both needed to get away from the general area, but how? She had to disarm him first, with her words. He had to believe her. “You’re alone. Do you really believe you can skulk around the city, attempting to stab your way out of danger? You think no one will notice? Pick up your tracks?” She lifted her shoulders in a perfect shrug. “Threats won’t work on me, and they won’t work on you. I can’t threaten you into letting me help you, can I?”

She dared a step towards him, taking a gamble that he wouldn’t use the knife again. How could her heart be beating so fast? She hated it. She was afraid of fear. So she forced herself to inwardly laugh at it, to make a mockery out of it. “I told you that I can tell you secrets,” she said. Her eyes took on a dangerous glint. “I spoke the truth. But the question is, will you accept it as such?” Unzipping her bag again, she reached in and brought out a piece of paper. It was the same paper that Lucius had given to her, trusted her with. She kept it folded up. “This note has very recently been in the hands of Governor Nylander himself.” She waved it very slightly – a carrot on a stick.

Within a few seconds the note had disappeared back into the depths of her bag. “Someone very important has been killed. Tonight. And so the killer is still on the loose. Wandering the city even now. Who knows…” she raised an eyebrow, “it could even be you.” Her thoughts progressed as she spoke, easily and without pauses. How could she have missed the fact that this man, slinking around in the dark with knives, could be responsible for Casimir Nylander’s murder? But this was by the by. “For all I know it could indeed. And even if you’re innocent, who’s to say I couldn’t decide otherwise, use my various contacts to see you arrested for murder as well as treason?” She brought her speech to a halt very suddenly, very smoothly, before pausing. Gardenia was that most exquisite of creatures – a brilliant actress. She liked to leave her audience in suspense. “But,” she whispered, “even though I could do so much, I’ll let you in on a secret: I don’t want to. You need someone’s help, Alexander. And I don’t see anyone around here offering it to you but me. I’ll tell you all you want to know, I’ll even go so far as to shelter you. Because we are alike. You and me.” Those last three words sounded slightly sinister, but all the same, nothing about Gardenia’s manner suggested deceit. Even to her own ears, you and me sounded strange, but unusually thrilling. Despite the unwanted fear that still pumped in her veins, Gardenia felt truly alive, as she always did when she was tricking someone. It couldn’t have meant anything else. Could it?


Allegra looked on as the young red-haired woman went forward and embraced Dylan, picking over the words they exchanged. She was obviously a patient who had grown fond of the doctor. But she wasn’t really the interesting factor in this strange situation. No; Allegra’s main concern was Adrianna, and how on earth she and Dylan were associated. How could it be possible, that a decent man like him with uncomplicated motives, knew such a low form of life? Allegra saw her brother’s trusted servant as an unpleasant creature driven by nothing but cowardice. In this moment she disliked her more than she usually did. The words the woman spoke, “Why on earth are you out here?” rang in Allegra’s ears over and over again. Had Adrianna been involved in Dylan’s arrest? And did she now seek to put him back in his cage? Something in Allegra’s gut told her it wasn’t as simple as that. First things first: Adrianna now knew that she had freed Dylan. She had a solid piece of evidence that she could carry along to Lucius like a good little slave. Allegra would not see herself and everything that she’d worked for destroyed at the say-so of one spineless girl.

And so she stepped forward, past Dylan and Lilly, towards Adrianna, facing her head on. She towered over the younger woman like a ray of sunlight, her grey gown shimmering in the streetlights, her jewels flashing like a threat. Her fingers itched to light a cigarette, but her arms remained loose and graceful at her sides. A trace of contempt was visible on her perfect features as she looked Adrianna over like one might inspect a puddle of mud. “I think it’s you who has to explain yourself, not Doctor Whittaker,” she said, her words soft, her tone frighteningly gentle. Her blade-grey eyes were filled with a whole world of anger. “Well? I’m waiting. How does someone like you…” she tilted her head ever so slightly, so much emphasis put into that one word, “…you, who’ve caused so much harm, obeyed so many pointless, bloodthirsty orders in your miserable life, know someone like the doctor?” She turned then, indicating Dylan. The trust she so obviously felt towards him was very clear, just as clear as her dislike and distrust for Adrianna. Shortly, Allegra’s gaze settled on Lilly, who seemed nothing more than a harmless girl.

“I’d beware who you throw your lot in with, my dear,” she said, the scorn dropping from her tone. “They call her Scarlett, you know.” She turned back towards Adrianna and without warning, reached out, taking one of the woman’s pale hands and lifting it, her fingers linking themselves through hers with a slight squeeze. “The blood doesn’t show in this light though.” She dropped it just as suddenly, as if one touch might infect her.

Although she appeared as composed as always, she could feel her calm and her patience draining away with every second. Stepping away from Adrianna, she looked at Dylan. Her expression demanded an answer. “How do you know her?” Within a few moments, she was lighting a cigarette, the flare of her lighter seeming almost threatening. She drew on the cigarette, exhaling silver smoke. Answers. She needed answers so they could get away from here as soon as possible.

Author:  Will [ April 17th, 2011, 5:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Freedom is What You Survive To Fight For

How strange it was that one night could bring about such extreme feelings: caution and distrust upon his meeting with Adrianna; the rush of the pursuit; doubt but even more hatred and infuriation when being imprisoned and meeting the man that caused so much suffering; and the astonishment and verve when escaping.

But fate seemed to have more in store for him, as the night was not yet out and he came across a most unlikely duo. Lilly, who was much more than just a patient to him. A mutual fondness had grown between them as he’d got to know the girl better. It stretched further than his usual determination to fix people; more than his strong-headed conviction that his purpose was to help others, instead of himself. Lilly had become the little sister he’d never had, whom he wanted to protect and a friend he could talk to, as he had not many left, ever since he buried himself in his work. Then there was the woman he’d met tonight. An agent of the Governor, infiltrating society, quietly watching and listening, reporting whatever was prohibited. How many innocents she’d reported and arrested he didn’t want to know, yet this night she’d hesitantly agreed to assist him; an enemy of the state.

It seemed that this night was a bridge between an old and a new life, that for a moment the two seemed to intertwine only to separate once again as soon as dawn approached. Life would never be the same again, but at that moment, in the cold night in that alley, Dylan did not realise that. At that moment he was too occupied with the two women that had crossed his path.

Adrianna’s surprise was evident because of seeing the man that supposed to be safely locked away in the Tower and she was supposed to break free. Allegra dismay and contempt were almost tangible. Understanding and sharing her contempt and hostility against the woman, Dylan lay a hand on Allegra’s arm, and threw her an assuring glance that said he would explain everything but not right now. He took a step forwards until he’d approached Adrianna so closely that he could discern her pale green eyes in the dark, like he’d done earlier that evening. Yet Dylan look more like a ghost than the elegant doctor he’d been back then. His face was deadly pale, dark rings underlined his as result of sleep deprivation and worry, blood was smeared on his face and through his dark hair. He’d lost his jacket somewhere along the way and his previous spotless shirt was now stained with the scarlet liquid.

“Why I am out here?” Dylan repeated. His voice was hard and his blue eyes locked Adrianna’s gaze in his. “I will tell you, a more trustworthy person came along, in whose hands I didn’t hesitate to put my life in and who didn’t hesitate to act instantly.”

There was a short silence in which Dylan became aware how silent it was around him. But he realised that even the silence was not ascertained. One word through her fancy radio would be the end of him and of Lilly. One shout of her and the Wardens would encircle them, and they would be in no time back in the Tower.

Yet somehow Dylan didn’t believe that she would do such a thing. He couldn’t explain why but it somehow felt like she did respect him and that she had really wanted to save him. And it scared the hell out of her because it was the first selfless deed she ever did.

“Now,” he said in a cold tone that demanded an answer. “Tell me if you meant any harm to that girl, or I swear that I won’t be responsible for the consequences”

[ So I figured that Dylan wouldn't jump in immediately and yell 'but she saved my life', so he's giving Adrianna a hard time first.. Perhaps Adrianna (and perhaps Allegra) can react before I post again with for Dylan and with Lilly's piece. I think there should be some more conversation before I post for her. :) ]

Author:  Johnny's Fan [ April 20th, 2011, 5:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Freedom is What You Survive To Fight For

[scuttles in]

Sorry to interrupt folks, but you know me and Mark Strong, my radar system went haywire before and I happened upon this thread. Whose character looks like Blackwood? Or is just for artistic-ness? :P

Author:  Darkheart [ April 27th, 2011, 3:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Freedom is What You Survive To Fight For

[^Hallo! He's our/my resident bad guy. What else? :teehee: I can't really imagine Mark Strong as anything else. :P]

If she could've had one wish, it would've been to escape the spotlight for just a few seconds more. Before she'd had chance to breathe, to ready her wits, to gain her minimum capacity for composure Allegra bore down upon Adrianna, imposing and radiating the superiority and contempt she felt. Had she been able to muster enough will, Adrianna might have taken a step backwards so she could feel the cool air against her skin and breathe easily without being glared down so ferociously by the elder woman, as if it was, she found it hard to keep her heart beating regularly. No thought was spared for her elegant, smooth mask or the unfaltering voice she used because every neutron in her brain was firing at once and each one sent the same message: the predator has found its prey.

There was no escaping Allegra's venom. For so long she'd held herself back, targeting her brother languidly instead of his menials; now, out in the open, in the cold night air, she surely felt no compunction to reign in everything she'd restrained for years. It felt as a physical blow, though Allegra dealt words, not punches. She didn't need to: Adrianna was, at present, timorous, vulnerable and entirely alone. The girl, Lilly, had been walking with her - for what purpose? Inside she cried out innocent protests that didn't even reach her lips; Lilly had leant her comfort tonight, she'd meant to repay it. Words wouldn't do, though. Nothing could.

It would have been impossible to articulate how Adrianna had felt at the sight of Dylan, for it was such an amalgam of feeling. Relief at his successful escape. Horror at the sight of Allegra. Guilt when she saw Lilly's adoration for the man who had helped her through her pregnancy. Fear for what might become of her before the night turned to day...

Before any of that had even entered her mind, Allegra was there, watching from her loft position, graceful yet devoid of warmth. Then came words, and with them pain; each torn and stained her soul, blackening it until it was unrecognisable. The truth stung her as it flowed with her blood, as a poison. The self-inflicted blindfold was being forcibly removed from her face and she saw that she'd feared all along: the world was ugly and filled with monsters. She was one of them.

Far from sparking thought of redemption at Allegra's sword-sharp vernacular, Adrianna sought to shy away from it. Salvation was impossible because she was beyond saving; it was unbearable because firstly she would have to face others who, like these, thought her a pitiful instrument of the government's and, secondly, she'd have to face herself. Somewhere behind her eyes, Adrianna felt the sharp prick of heat that warned of tears. Inhaling a sharp, audible breath, she caught the last of the noblewoman's words:

“They call her Scarlett, you know. The blood doesn’t show in this light though.”

The offending hand felt leaden and damp as though it had been left outside in snow; she moved as if to lift it to her heart, to warm it with her other hand, but couldn't muster the movement. Instead, the nails of her hand bit into the palm, the pain a drain on her mental capacity but something constant, something she could focus on. She felt so unsteady.

Questions came from both Allegra and the doctor but both went unanswered, at least for a few moments. Adrianna's reflexes had been dulled by shock; there were no words that described the feeling that clogged up her veins and sent her mind reeling. Instinctively searching for escape routes, metaphorical or otherwise, she felt a crushing disappointment when she found none. To her, it didn't feel right to be without a backup plan, something to get her by when all her other 'schemes' crumbled around her. Allegra would enjoy that, she thought bitterly, suddenly acutely aware that there was absolutely no hiding any more. It wouldn't be possible to get away from this, these people would make sure of it. So inherently good, they sought justice, no matter the cost. Adrianna sought safety, no matter the consequences. People didn't matter. Her work didn't matter. Everything was inconsequential except Cameron, Garnet and the safe haven she sought but was too naïve to realise she'd never find.

“Why am I out here?” Dylan queried, voice unyielding, his eyes searching Adrianna's. “I will tell you, a more trustworthy person came along, in whose hands I didn't hesitate to put my life in and who didn't hesitate to act instantly.”

The very words made her blanch visibly. Choking on her rationalisations, Adrianna realised that it would be impossible for her to combat his accusation of her untrustworthiness because to him, she was; the enemy is not to be trusted. He kept her close so he could keep an eye on her, make her squirm and put her through more hardship and doubt, incessantly questioning her morality, her loyalties, her belief in the government. Honestly, she felt indifferent: she didn't let herself see the cruelty she was contributing to, so she ignored all evidence for it.

“Now, tell me if you meant any harm to that girl, or I swear that I won't be responsible for the consequences.”

The harshness of the tone he had used shocked her because of the light, gentleness he'd seen hiding behind his eyes earlier in the evening; he was a caring man, a selfless one, the kind she couldn't understand. The threat made her physically recoil, her shoulders hunched defensively and she watched him from behind the safety of a guarded expression despite the fact that in this, at least, she was safe in her innocence - whether they believed her or not.

“I intended only to walk her home,” came the quiet but clearly pronounced reply; the statement was directed at the doctor rather than Allegra, for Adrianna had aimed to circumvent the woman's ingrained hatred. Protesting one's innocence because unbearably difficult with an opponent so eminent and domineering as Allegra.

Deep down, she might've had some inkling that her way of life was, at best, morally questionable and, at worst, downright wrong, but she'd never looked so far as to find out. Not once had she paused to consider the repercussions of her life and the way she lived it... she was sure to pay for that lack of thought, and it would be people like Dylan and Allegra who would see to that.

The tousled, dishevelled curls of her hair had fallen out of the less-than-fancy arrangement she'd had them in. Instead of staying neatly tied back, they'd fallen into her face and obscured her expression, but only for a second, as she'd immediately moved to brush them away. That second wasn't enough to hide the rapidly diminishing composure that kept her eyes steady and her face calm. She clenched her fists even though her nails dug painfully into her palms and she shook - not much, but enough. All at once she felt ready to rage and cry, but to whether she were to succumb to anger or despair first, she could only hazard a guess at.

- - -

The sound of the zip of Gardenia's handbag had set his nerves tingling. It was a noise Alexander was unused to and in the darkness and the silence, it wasn't a comforting one. Gardenia paid no heed to him as she dabbed her chin to remove the vivid red fluid before replacing the handkerchief without so much as a hesitation. Her actions didn't bother him at present; while she was fussing with her vanity, he could reassess his options.

Obviously, now, he couldn't leave this woman as a loose end. Even if she didn't tell the Governor outright that he was still alive, she might let something slip by accident, therefore leaving him directly in the firing line. He didn't much fancy that.
There was something about her that intrigued him, but not enough to tempt him to recklessness. As a ghost, he had a mission... if he because a known fugitive not only would his life get harder but he'd lose several advantages he had, not the least of which was the element of surprise.
So letting her go free certainly wasn't an option. Two murders in one night, though - that'd be suspicious, especially when both victims were so close to the Governor. What might people make of that? He couldn't fathom the public's response, nor the Governor's... and so he lost another option.

“I believe that we're quite similar, you and I. It's obvious,” she paused, perhaps to add effect to the words. “We can be useful to one another.

“Ask yourself why you haven't killed me yet, why I haven't brought you to ‘justice’ and signalled the Wardens. We're the same.”

Not for the first time, Alexander let a humourless laugh escape him. “Not in the slightest, lady.” His slur on the last word made it seem more an insult than an honorific; he didn't intend to start playing nice now, no matter how gently coaxing her words were. “It's called self preservation. We're both trying to save our own skins. You don't want to die at my hand tonight, and I don't want a contingent of Wardens swarming after me. Simple.”

“You're on the run, Alexander. You're alone. Do you really believe you can skulk around the city, attempting to stab your way out of danger? You think no-one will notice? Pick up your tracks?”

A mock-contemplative expression dawned on his face, masking a sudden rush of aggression triggered by irritation. Gods, this woman thought herself important.

“Yes, actually,” he answered her after some time. “How long do you suspect I've been down here? How long do you suspect I've been watching, waiting? Has anyone noticed? Has anyone picked up my tracks? No - otherwise you would've known who I was before to attacked me. I can't threaten you into letting me help you, can I?”

Pausing by her left shoulder and leaning down so he might whisper in her ear, he continued speaking after a pause for breath. Her soft, disarming tones served to infuriate him, that was all.

“I don't want your help - I know more than you give me credit for. You can be sure I've kept a close eye on the man who attempted to commit my murder - or, at least, had someone attempt to commit my murder for him. Him and his minions.”

As she stepped closer, he caught the slightest whiff of her perfume, the scent of her hair. At the same time as he felt the strong urge to pull away, he felt the compulsion to stay exactly where he was to prove to her that she was not as intimidating as she might think.Equally matched as they were in wordplay and mind games, he'd find gaining the upper hand difficult at best. Trying to gain the advantage in this was not one of his goals because, as of yet, he had no idea what he'd to with such an advantage should he procure one. It was taking most of his concentration to keep her talking, analyse her movements and scan the surroundings for danger.

The news of Casimir Nylander's death made Alexander raise both eyebrows questioningly, though perhaps not for the most obvious reasons. Judging by tone and delivery, Gardenia intended this to be dramatic news, whether it be familiar or foreign to him. Pausing to consider the ramifications, he shrugged and went back to his previous trail of thought. Battle strategy number one: take problems as they come. That news wasn't needed at present, he'd think about it later.
A sly smile unfurled on Alexander's face as Gardenia suggested that he might've murdered the Governor's father. He suspected it might be a ploy to make him either confirm or deny it; at present, he decided, he would do neither. If nothing else, it could prove to be a useful diversion for her attentions in the near future - so far as their conversations went, at least. She watched him with the eyes of a hawk*. Light, vague conversational devices she used: telling him she didn't want the Wardens there, she wanted to help - if she thought that was enough to convince him, she'd have to think again. In his world, trust was earned, not bought, and just then she wasn't selling him anything.

Something about the phrase ‘you and me’ stuck in his head; it might've been the way Gardenia's eyes glistened ferociously, it might've been the way she said it in her sinister, off-hand voice, he didn't know, and he didn't care. At that instant, he didn't know whether it was revulsion or intense curiosity that he was feeling. Maybe the two warred within him, fighting for supremacy. Either way, there was something about the phrase that made his hair stand up on end and a shiver run over his skin.

“I'll tell you something, lady,” He faced her head-on, hoping to cut their conversation short and skip straight to the decision-end. Would she doom him or save him? “I'm nothing like you, and I don't even intend to be. Keep your false kindness, your hollow offers for shelter and companionship - I don't need them. Save your pathetic insincerities for someone els--”

Cutting his sentence short abruptly, Alexander spun around, exposing his back to Gardenia. Though the move was unwise, it was a calculated risk: if she'd had a weapon on her, she'd have used it before then, and if there was a greater threat coming their way he needed to know - and fast.
It was footfalls. At least a dozen men, a couple of streets away at most. Certainly not civilian. Certainly not friendly.

“Great.” The word, in his eyes, summed up the situation when it was drizzled with sarcasm. Turning back to Gardenia, he spoke again with carefully pronounced words though his tone was efficiently urgent and he spoke with haste.

“Your little friends will be descending on us in a minute or so,” he told her, checking quickly various items he had strapped to his belt with his fingertips. Paranoia kept his senses sharp but made him obsessive about order and planning. Reckless though he sometimes was, spontaneity did not suit him. “So hurry up. Where do we go from here?”

As he finished speaking, a order was barked loud enough for them to hear but not clear enough for them to make out. Delays now would surely end in them being caught. Something like excitement lit up Alexander's face as he comprehended the danger, the tension and the adrenaline. Tonight, he thought, is sure to be memorable.

*and the ears of a fox.

Author:  Will [ April 27th, 2011, 7:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Freedom is What You Survive To Fight For

[ Amazing post Darkeh! I will try to come up with a Dylan/Lilly post as I feel very inspired, but it will have to wait until tommorow as it's almost 1.30 am :P ]

Author:  ~Goldleaf~ [ May 8th, 2011, 2:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Freedom is What You Survive To Fight For

(Here's my Gardenia post! =) I hope I haven't rushed the storyline with her and Alexander too much, but I thought some action would be fun! =D Gardenia's thoughts turn slightly weird towards the end of the post, so sorry if she creeps anyone out, but that's just how she is I'm afraid! O_o)

Alexander’s reproach and refusal to trust Gardenia sent a new surge of fury rushing into her veins. Her heart was now throbbing almost painfully, and her cheeks had flushed to a warm pink, which was a sure sign of her desperation and anger – mixed with all of her unwanted fear, this made an almost deadly combination. If this had been any other situation, she would have struck him down by now and allowed him to bear the brunt of her violent wrath. Her already scarce patience was slowly draining away as she listened to Alexander, but, when his words suddenly faltered and he turned his back to her, Gardenia’s heart gave a strange leap. The sound of approaching wardens was unmistakable, and quite familiar to her ears. What luck for them to turn up just at the precise moment she was considering giving up. A smile suddenly formed on her lips; it was a slightly disturbing expression, making her eyes light up with something a lot like hunger. They were both in danger, and they certainly couldn’t linger here. Like a shot, she reached out and took Alexander’s wrist, her beautifully manicured fingers wrapping themselves round his worn sleeve with surprising gentleness.

“I’d have thought the answer to your question was obvious,” she whispered, her words hurried together. “There are several ways we could play this. You kill me and they find my mangled body and arrest you. Or, I walk away and go home, and leave you to their mercy. Or, you come with me and I take you somewhere you’ll be safe. Well?”

She left him no time to answer, clearly taking it for granted that he would choose the third option she presented to him. Her grasp on his wrist tightened as she, for want of a better word, dragged him around the corner of the little alleyway they’d skirmished in. Her house wasn’t far away at all, and she wanted to get him there as quickly as possible with a minimum of bother. And so, as they rounded the corner, she paused for only a moment and smoothly bent down, easing her feet out of her high heels and then swooping upwards with perfect balance.

What followed then seemed like a blur. A dangerous, exciting rush as they ran down the streets together, Gardenia carrying her high heels so that their loud clack would not alert anyone. She had absolutely no idea what was going on inside Alexander’s head in those moments, and right then she didn’t really care. All she cared about was getting home. She was aware of a sharp pain suddenly stabbing in the sole of her foot as they ran, but she didn’t so much as flinch. She led Alexander by giving his wrist a tiny twist when she wanted to round a corner; three times she did this, until finally they reached her street. It was an elegant and exclusive area she lived in, a necessity she’d demanded when her parents had went house shopping for her.

Her shoulders were heaving and her breathing was rapid by the time they neared her house. She padded towards it on bare feet with the slightest trace of a limp, carefully carrying her heels and glancing over her shoulder at Alexander. He was still armed, and she considered this a failure on her part, which angered her. But correctly wielded, her stilettos could prove useful weapons, and it was this fact that went through her mind as she fished the house keys from her bag, swiftly going up the stairs that led to her front door and pulling Alexander along behind her. They couldn’t hover out here in the street, since they were still in danger – she could hear the far-off call of a warden, at least two streets away. If they were caught the consequences would be unpleasant for them both. Gardenia suppressed a shudder at the thought of explaining to Lucius what she had been doing running in the dark barefoot with a wanted man.

“You’d better get inside,” Gardenia murmured as softly and as pointedly as she could, fitting the key in the lock. She quickly swung the door open and hurried Alexander indoors, closing it firmly shut behind them. The hallway was so dark that she couldn’t see him, and she was relieved when she snapped the light switch, and the hall flooded with light. Finally she could see him properly, and he her. She watched him warily, as one might look at a wild animal one is wary of but eager to tame.

“Well,” she said quietly, still filled with adrenaline, but anxious to remain as if she had the upper hand, “are you going to kill me now?” the question was sardonic. She wouldn’t admit it even to herself, but she felt a little vulnerable now that she finally had him here where she wanted him. She kept hold of her stilettos, hoping it wasn’t obvious to Alexander that she was a woman who would have no qualms whatsoever about stabbing a man with a shoe.

Not many people had the “privilege” of seeing Gardenia against the backdrop of her own home. Her elegant lair was available only to the chosen few, to those she trusted or liked – and there were not many people who came under those categories. The last person who had stayed under her roof was her ex-boyfriend. It was his coat which hung on one of the two hooks in the hallway, and his shoes which were arranged neatly underneath. Gardenia was very specific about tidiness. Her gaze was distracted towards these two very marked signs of a human relationship now, which she was fearful Alexander might scorn. Her gaze flickered back towards him now. With a brilliant surge of inspiration and irrelevance, it was then that she realised just how well Alexander would fit her ex’s jacket.

She observed him silently, waiting for him to break the hush. Suddenly, a small wince puckered her features, and she gave a small hopping movement, alerted by the increasing pain in her foot. Looking at the sole, she could see a small piece of glass imbedded in the skin. She was shocked to see a smudge of blood on the floorboards of the hall – thank goodness she hadn’t chosen a carpet, otherwise a stain would have been left.

What was she thinking of? What on earth did a piece of glass matter compared with the events of this evening? She shuffled towards Alexander, looking him directly in the eye. Her expression had smoothed out, replacing her pain with defiance. “I think thanks are in order,” she said. “You’re only alive thanks to me. So you might show me a little courtesy and remove your weapons.” Whatever he did next, she’d be ready for him. She had taken a huge risk tonight, and not only her career but her life hung on the success of this new venture.

Her blood had been spilt twice tonight. Once underneath her chin, and once on her foot. She wasn’t willing to bleed any further. But then again, working for Lucius Nylander nearly always meant that the dividing line between safety and death was a very thin one. Gardenia would have quite liked to be immortal. More than that, she would have liked to control the rules of life and death – decide who lived and who died. It was altogether vainglorious, not to mention sickening, on her part to wish for such power, but it amused her; if such authority ever came into her hands, it wouldn’t be difficult for her to make choices.

Adrianna, dead. Allegra, dead. Herself and Lucius, alive. And Alexander…

It troubled her slightly. Looking at him now, she saw that if she ever had the choice, her first instinct would be to keep him alive.

So much for the shoe.

Author:  Will [ May 28th, 2011, 10:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Freedom is What You Survive To Fight For

I must've dreamed a thousand dreams
Been haunted by a million screams
But I can hear the marching feet
They're moving into the street

Now did you read the news today
They say the danger's gone away
But I can see the fire's still alight
There burning into the night

There's too many men, too many people
Making too many problems
And not much love to go round
Can't you see this is a land of confusion?

Well this is the world we live in
And these are the hands we're given
Use them and let's start trying
To make it a place worth living in

Ooh, Superman where are you now
When everything's gone wrong somehow?
The men of steel, the men of power
Are losing control by the hour

This is the time, this is the place
So we look for the future
But there's not much love to go round
Tell me why, this is a land of confusion
I remember long ago when the sun was shining
Yes, and the stars were bright all through the night
And the sound of your laughter as I held you tight, so long ago

I won't be coming home tonight
My generation will put it right
We're not just making promises
That we know, we'll never keep

Too many men, there's too many people
Making too many problems
And not much love to go round
Can't you see, this is a land of confusion?

Now this is the world we live in
And these are the hands we're given
Use them and let's start trying
To make it a place worth fighting for

Lilly stood forlorn a few feet from Allegra and Dylan. Her head moving from Allegra to the doctor as they both spoke. A hint of respect and perhaps fear lay on her features as she beheld Allegra, who in her eyes was more than just a beautiful woman, appearing at the side of doctor Whittaker. She was clad in a grey silk gown, a fur wrapping around her slim shoulder and she wore high stilettos. Wearing the most expensive jewellery the woman was unmistakenly surrounded by an air of allure and importance. Allegra seemed to possess everything which Lilly looked up to yet also frightened her: wealth, power, elegance, glamour and importance.

But her gaze radiated with affection as she looked at the doctor. Her green eyes wandered from his torn clothes to the blood on his face and she was overwhelmed by anxiety. [i]In what for trouble had he been? Had it something to do with her consultations? And how had that woman been involved?[/i
]How different he looked compared with all the times she had seen him before. Then he had been kind and caring, but now the hard undertone in his voice and the dangerous gleam in his eyes almost scared her.

Her brow furrowed with confusion upon learning that the doctor actually knew Adrianna. It struck her that Adrianna hadn’t said a word about it when she had mentioned him, but then it seemed that she’d become involved in something that was above her. Questions ran through her mind of which she didn’t know the answer. Lilly felt confused, cold and worn out. She rubbed her swollen stomach and tried not to think of the fact that only a few hours from now she had to be at work again. She knew that if she didn’t have enough rest at night that she couldn’t stay awake at work. But calling in late or sick wasn’t an option either.
Her mind had filtered out the conversation that was going on around her. She felt ignorant; a bystander. A spectator of some grand story of which she wasn’t part of. Except for playing the leading role in her own satire, she’d been a spectator for her entire life. Not mattering or contributed to the story that really mattered.

When she suddenly realised that they were talking about her, Lilly darted forward to her newfound friend and clutched Adrianna’s hand. The redhead gave her a soft squeeze before saying:
“She speaks the truth. I almost ran into a group of Wardens tonight and she insisted on walking home with me, so I would be safe.”
She looked at Dylan worriedly, hoping that his anger for Adrianna would melt away. “Please, Dylan, shall we all go home now?” she asked the doctor pleadingly. The darkness scared her and the silence even more. Her face was pale with exhaustion and worry.
“You look absolutely horrible, are you sure you’re alright? I can make you something to eat.. But lets please just get out of here..”

[ So I was listening to this song of Genesis and I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but it totally fits Freedom! And I didn't post for Dylan yet, as I didn't want to take even more time to post this and I think it's more up to Adrianna or Allegra in the conversation after my post for Lilly, if you know what I mean.. ;) ]

Author:  ~Goldleaf~ [ May 30th, 2011, 4:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Freedom is What You Survive To Fight For

Allegra observed the scene unfolding before her with increasing impatience. If there was one thing she absolutely despised, it was matters of importance being concealed from her. Irritation continued to claw at her, and the fact that they were all standing out here in the street within walking distance from the Tower worried and angered her. Right now she couldn’t even be bothered to waste her energy on demanding answers; time was scarce, and she couldn’t spare it. Throwing a thoughtful, grey-eyed glance towards Lilly, she took in the girls’ words. The red-haired young woman obviously had no idea what was going on, but her instinct was correct, they had to get out of here quickly. Swiftly, Allegra stepped forward to Dylan’s side, close to his shoulder. She spoke under her breath, resting her gaze on Adrianna for a moment before looking back at the doctor. “We can’t waste any more time. You’re obviously not going to offer me any kind of explanation, so we can leave that for when we’ve reached a safer area, shall we say.”

She took a step away from Dylan, before approaching Lilly, who was clasping Adrianna’s hand. Had the girl heard nothing of their conversation? It was as if she had tuned everything out, unable to comprehend just how dangerous the Hart girl was. But despite this, maybe even because of this, Allegra felt sorry for her. There was something innocent about her, and innocence was a rare trait in the dark world they lived in. Allegra paused for only a little while longer, before speaking softly to her in a kind tone. “You’re right, we all have to leave. I’m afraid that you’ve been caught up in a very dangerous situation, and I’m sorry for it. But I have to implore you not to speak a word about this to anyone. Doctor Whittaker’s life, my life too, and maybe even yours rest upon it.” If Lilly was implicated in the escape, then she would be in danger too. She made no mention of Adrianna, whose very presence she found distasteful. But she had by no means forgotten her, far from it. After lightly touching Lilly’s shoulder, she turned towards her prey. Adrianna.

“You’re coming with us,” she said, shortly.

Adrianna was a witness to Dylan’s escape and Allegra’s aid of it, as was Lilly, so they both had to go with them. The idea of letting Adrianna inside her home disgusted Allegra, but there was no other way. Once they were behind safely closed doors, then the questioning could begin. Allegra wanted answers, answers to everything, but she knew full well she wasn’t going to get them hanging about here. With one smooth movement, Allegra gently disentangled Adrianna’s hand from Lilly’s hold, before doing something very surprising. She linked her arm firmly through Adrianna’s, clearly having no intention of letting go any time soon. She threw Dylan a look that stated without any doubt that they were leaving now. “You help Lilly along, Dylan,” she stipulated, recovering Lilly's name quickly from her memory. Her eyes softened for a moment as she took in Lilly again. “Don’t worry, it’s not a far walk to my home,” she added, quickly. Even in this grave situation, she could not prevent herself from being kind to the girl, who she had nothing against.

She looked back at Adrianna and folded the other woman’s arm tighter against her side, before turning on her heel and setting off in a stride down the street. Her house was only several streets away. She glanced over her shoulder to make sure Dylan was following with Lilly, before taking the opportunity to whisper in Adrianna’s ear. “I’m looking forward to hearing your explanation.” Her tone was blank. Swiftly, she turned a corner which drew them away from the main street. More than anything, she yearned to get home as quickly as possible. If Lucius ever found out what she had done tonight… but she was going to make absolutely sure that he never found out. No one would ever bring her down. Not ever, not in an age.

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