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Bent Conversations [Phone calls, texts, and letters.]

 
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Sinon Lagos
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:52 pm    Post subject: Bent Conversations [Phone calls, texts, and letters.] Reply with quote

[ For conversations between the living, the dead, and all those in between. Unless otherwise dated, all conversations are considered current at the time of their posting. ]
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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Text to Elijah Cristea [3:30 pm, 5/12/20170]: I want my typewriter back, Elijah. I know you have it. I know you snagged it in the move. I don't care why, I just want it back. That specific one, too. You show up with anything else and I'm going to put considerable effort into annoying you until you break, and while I may not be as terrifying as my sister or as dangerous as my brother, we both know I can get under your skin better than anyone. So typewriter, this week. Make it happen.
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Twenty-four hours after Johnny sends his text, comes a reply via post. Encased in a bubble envelope is a book entitled: "Buddha Meditations: The Art of Letting Go."

The type-written card attached bears the same blemished "E" that mars Johnny's typewriter key. It reads, simply, "With affection, E."
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When the typewriter wasn't returned, Johnny unleashed his own particular brand of motivation on Elijah, just as he'd promised. Born from the decades of blood, war, friendship, hostility, physical tension, and simple unchecked, unnatural, and irresistible proximity, the youngest Lagos method of attack was nothing short of devastating.

Johnny annoyed him. Specifically, he whined.

Voice Mail to Elijah Cristea [9:17 pm, 5/31/2017]: Ellllllijah. God, Elijah. I just want my typewriter back, k? k? C'mon man. C'mooooooooon. I did that favor for you in Tijuana, even if the guy was uglier than a stunted cactus, and even if I traded all my debts in for that thing, you still have to admit, I really took one for the team, so just like. Give me my typewriter back. I need to write. It's necessary to my mental health. I'm going to come completely unspooled if I can't write. It's like a diary. I need to vent. I neeeeeeed it. Stop being such a jerk and return it to me before I get soft on the inside --

Elijah would predictably hang up, so Johnny moved onto other lines of communication.

Message to Elijah Cristea, left on his secret answering service no one was supposed to know about. A slight slur was softening the hard points of Johnny's words. [9:53 pm, 5/31/2017]: -- and like, Sinon's totally different from how he was, like, I think he's actually *** sad or something. And I'm just like. I'm just like, Bitch, man the *** up, stop being such a pussy just because Una's tired of your crazy *** and she's got a new boyfriend, you're both like a 100 years old each and you'll eventually get back together, *** hell. But I don't actually tell him that because he just totally killed a bunch of guys a few weeks ago and he's been busy torturing the sole survivor in his weird little basement, and okay, maybe I love my brother, maybe, but he's still *** insane and I don't need that kind of crazy in my life right now. Plus he's got this whole thing where he wants to declare himself the leader of a free house and I didn't tell you that, but I figure he gets some kind of slack from me. Besides, it's not every day I can look down on him, so I'm just going to secretly, very secretly, enjoy it while I can. I totally didn't tell you that, though. Where the hell is my whiskey? Oh, here it --

The messages continued onto other methods of reaching Elijah.

Message to Elijah Cristea, as recorded by the answering machine in the apartment he uses while in Rhydin, which, again, no one is supposed to know about. Johnny was obviously drunk at this point. [10:42 pm, 5/31/2017]: -- and I just, okay, I just know it's stupid to be hung up over a girl, especially one that I didn't even date and I didn't even date her for maybe two months, but when I'm not doing something for her or in response to her, I'm just sort of sitting around waiting, and it's driving me nuts. I'm so tired of it, Elijah. I want it to be over. It. The big it. But if I could maybe see her one last time or even just hook up with her or hear from her or something, I don't know, I'd probably be better. I mean I wouldn't but I would. But I totally wouldn't. But *** Elijah, she's so hot. Is this how Sinon feels about Una? I don't know how those two would get anything done if that were the case. I think I could pound a hole through concrete the way she gets me wound up sometimes. It's just totally ***. Are you going to give me my typewriter back? God, Elijah. You're such a bitch sometimes. I want my typewriter back and then I can just write all this instead of having to talk to you about it. And I was just writing a book, too, so you --

Finally, Johnny waited for Elijah in Elijah's own bed. The bed was full of half naked, utterly drunk Johnny and a dozen empty beer cans, with another half waiting to be opened and finished. Johnny was ranting and seemingly oblivious to Elijah's eventual presence.

" -- and they're not really dreams, I tell people they're dreams but they're not, the place is real and unreal but it's real and it's somewhere I go, sometimes against my will and I think they know what I'm going to do but I don't know if they care or if they're stupid, because they're not stupid but they're not doing anything to stop it and ever since Roach split they've become a lot less interested in what I do here, I think they've got other eyes and ears now and man, it sucks. I just want to do me and not always have to be doing whatever anyone else wants me to do, except I can't do me so I'm just not going to do anything at all. But I did always sort of want to write a book or three, or maybe like a series, maybe something hot or maybe something cold, like a detective thing or a historical fiction. I just feel so damn down about it all. And here you are, not being down, being all great and getting things done and getting to do you, but you aren't a Lagos and maybe that's it, and you ain't got other handlers like I do, and maybe that's it, too, or maybe I'm just a piece of *** or maybe you're just fantastic, I don't know. I need music. I should have brought music. Where are my cigarettes?"

Johnny went on until he passed out or Elijah stopped him. This pattern would continue weekly until the typewriter was returned.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was Johnny’s appearance in Elijah’s bed that proved the tipping point. There was no need for further harassment, for Elijah promptly fed Johnny a tincture of tequila and a powerful narcotic (the latter of which was given to him by Johnny, in fact). Once the boy was little more than a puddle of limp limbs on bedsheets, Elijah relocated Johnny to the shower of his own apartment, rigged up a device to turn the shower faucet on full-blast cold in precisely three hours time, and exited. On top of the closed toilet seat, Elijah left Johnny’s typewriter in perfect working order, complete with a severed, exsanguinated male hand propped perfectly upright on the keys and clutching a note in its rictus grip, which read: “The next time you show up in my bed unannounced, locating your typewriter won’t be your biggest problem.”
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Text to Sinon Lagos [4:17 pm, 6/6/2017]: Sinon. We need to talk face to face. I need a favor. I need your specific brand of help.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Text to Lagos, John [4:25 pm, 6/6/17]: Tonight. Come up to my suite at 8. Show up sober and well dressed. I need something of you, too.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Addressed to Sinon Lagos, c/o The Grand, the postcard arrives otherwise blank.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Addressed to Una Cristea, c/o Besnik, and hand delivered by M. Galat ["Hello, old man. We never finished that conversation, or that bottle. I have both waiting for you."], the postcard arrives blank, like its twin. This one came from a very particular collection, and was the 63rd of 100 purchased from a very little shop on the corner of a particular block in Paris, upon which sat a particular apartment lived in by two particular people (and a rotating cast of friends, family, part-time lovers, long-time lovers, degenerates, artists, wizards, witches, at at least once by a family of ghosts), back in the early quarter of the 20th century, when they were all still so very, very young, and their love was like a bruise they couldn't stop touching.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Text to Pollux [1:17 am, 10/12/2017]: Hey, asshole. Since you're taking your sweet time with that favor, we're going out together on Halloween.
Text to Pollux [1:17 am, 10/12/2017]: And you're going to wear a costume.
Text to Pollux [1:17 am, 10/12/2017]: And you're going to like it.
Text to Pollux [1:18 am, 10/12/2017]: We can invite your friend. Three of us, thick as thieves. Invite others. Make it a group. I don't care.
Text to Pollux [1:18 am, 10/12/2017]: It's just an excuse to see you dressed up.
Text to Pollux [1:19 am, 10/12/2017]: I'll handle the party favors. Just clear your schedule.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Text to Castor [3:00 am, 10/13/2017]: All good things come in time. Patience, grasshopper.
Text to Castor [3:05 am, 10/13/2017]: I enjoy a masquerade here and there, though you've had much more practice with it, haven't you?
Text to Castor [3:05 am, 10/13/2017]: I'll check with him, but I have an idea it would be something he'd enjoy.
Text to Castor [4:00 am, 10/13/2017]: As of this moment, my schedule is officially clear.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A letter arrived for Sinon Lagos, addressed to him personally, but without a stamp and delivered through no identifiable means. It was simply there one morning, piled with the rest of the mail. There was not even a return address.

But Sinon knew instantly who it was from, by the gentle swoops of the letters and their inherent, dangerous grace. The paper even smelled of her; for a brief moment, alone in the loft atop his hotel, he simply placed the unopened letter beneath his nose and inhaled. Josephine. Lavender and perfumed oils, and memories that bruised and soothed. The weight drew his eyes closed.

He opened the envelope carefully and read the letter three times.


Dearest Sinon,

Sixteen years, three months, and thirteen days have passed since I last saw you. We toured the grounds of our birth, like we did when you were still young, and you told me of what you had been doing with your life. You spoke to me of Una, Andreas, and guilt. I told you to go see Nikolaj, who knew more on the subject than I. You asked me to hold your hand and sit beneath the trees and tell you stories again, and I obliged you not because you were my brother, but because I wanted to, and loved you in a way I have never loved another, not even our youngest sibling. It is a complete sort of love, Sinon. Familial and complete. It pleased me to see you at peace, if only temporarily, briefly. Like a sunset, and I so enjoy your dusk, little brother.

But it has been sixteen years, three months, and thirteen days, and you promised you would be back sooner than this. As I know you are busy (and yes, I am aware of what you are busy with, and no, I have not told anyone, worry not), I will not pretend to imagine you can return home. Thus, against all advisable judgements, I will be visiting you. I will not say when, but it will be soon. I have some matters to conclude before a journey.

I expect you to have things ready for me. You know exactly what I will want, so I will not waste the time or space in this letter to quantify or qualify. Just have it taken care of. You may inform John of my impending visit; please let me know how much he panics. I do so enjoy when he squirms.

Yours,
Josephine

P.S. If you see Una, if she is around, please tell her that I will require her time for a night or two. It is not up for negotiations.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sinon received the details of the ninth floor over breakfast the following day, as his head of staff reviewed the happenings of the hotel over the last week. The news was slipped between the usual complaints from guests in regards to his younger brother and an incomplete report about a possible sighting of Una Cristea in the hotel by an off-duty maid. Sinon sipped coffee as he was brought up to date on everything. Josephine ate a rich blood orange across from him, hiding a smirk between bites of sticky fruit.

"I know who that is," she mused quietly.

Sinon smiled without any impressionable impact except to thumb the letters across his fingers.

"He will get you into trouble, little brother," with a soft touch of mischief. Josephine was absolutely delighted at the thought. "I want him by for dinner. Will you arrange it?"

"Mm," Sinon cast a look her way, in a black, silk robe. "Will you tell me about Una?"

Her smile widened, just barely. She slipped another piece of orange into her mouth. "Mm."

Later, by means inexplicable, Sinon prowled the ninth floor until he found the apartment that contained the beast. The room number chosen by the man within amused Sinon; never let it be said the guest did not have a sense of humor. He knelt down and slipped the note beneath the door, pressed his hand against the wood in quiet reverence, and left the floor in peace.

O Mysterious Guest,

As you have decided to occupy a whole floor of my hotel, I will occupy some of your time. We will sit together at my table and we will continue our old discussions, of soul and sin and the flesh that is burdened with containing both. I have your favorite vintages on hand; I might even share with you new ones, to remind you that you are not quite so old yet as to have experienced everything. Late in the night we will climb to the roof and view the stars. My sister will steal you and your attention sometime before dawn, when, as she would say,
The day only exists to those who can still hold it.

Yours,
Sinon Lagos
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [9:36 pm, 2/19/18]: Des, serious question.
Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [9:36 pm, 2/19/18]: Do you think Sinon will care if a few of his regulars go ... missing?
Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [9:37 pm, 2/19/18]: This dude has been in and eyeing Eve every night she's on to dance and I'm pretty sure he's *connected*.
Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [9:39 pm, 2/19/18]: And you know how I hate those guys. They always have the cheapest cologne on. Talk about family and honor and then want to know if I want to buy some crank.
Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [9:40 pm, 2/19/18]: It's like, mother ***, do I look like I do drugs?
Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [9:41 pm, 2/19/18]: Don't respond to that, Des.

An hour later:

Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [10:57 pm, 2/19/18]: Maybe I can just push him down the stairs? Technically he might live. Sinon said nothing about maiming people. Just murdering them.

Another hour later:

Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [12:16 am, 2/20/18 <picture attached>]: Griffith Lagos-Mors, hollowed be his name, little prince of chaos and entropy [of skin, of bones, of souls, oh, especially of souls], keyman to Lavyrinthos, and known murderer, arsonist, and one of the holy nine, was sitting in the office central to the club. The windows in the background looked over private rooms; the people within had no clue they could be seen. It was the heart of the maze, where King Minos hid the bastard Minotaur, the half-breed monster, cursed in heart and blood. Other windows looked over other rooms; the front looked over the bar and the dance floor. It was where Griffith lurked on nights he was at work, where he watched and waited for -- whatever it was Sinon was expecting. It was bedlam with a desk. The office of Sodom and Gomorrah. And Griffith had his feet on the desk, arm out to take a selfie, giving the camera his most inviting look -- with a redvine in his mouth, tugged taunt.
Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [12:18 am, 2/20/18 <picture attached>]: I am a sexy bastard. Mrow.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Text to Brat Prince: Isn't that her entire job? To dance for those men?
Text to Brat Prince: Careful, Griff; your envy is starting to show.
Text to Brat Prince: To answer you honestly, no. I do not think Sinon would care.
Text to Brat Prince: There is also no reason he should know if you let your temper flare a little.
Text to Brat Prince: At least have the courtesy to clean up after yourself this time.

An hour and fifteen minutes later.

Text to Brat Prince: Why not just pay to have Eve dance for only your eyes.
Text to Brat Prince: Ah, that's right. She barely knows your name.
Text to Brat Prince: I vote for the stairs option.

Two hours and fifteen minutes later.

Text to Brat Prince: Whose Redvine is that?
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [1:15 am, 2/20/18]: I've decided not to introduce him to the law of gravity and the effects of a few dozen good, quick stops on the human body. I'm going to let this one play out. I want to know what his angle is. He's got an angle. I can smell it on him, through that cheap cologne. He wants something and it isn't just to *** her like every other guy here.
Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [1:18 am, 2/20/18]: He tried to take a picture of her tonight, but I've got Frank on him so he didn't get a chance. I swear the guy was going to piss himself though. Pretty sure Frank wanted to throw him down the stairs, too, and then get onto some other of Frank's favorite little activities.
Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [1:23 am, 2/20/18]: Real talk: One of the girls caught Frank eating raw steaks out of the kitchen the other week. I didn't think it was that big of a deal but something about it bothered her so bad I had to give her a few days off. She hasn't come back in.
Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [1:24 am, 2/20/18]: I asked Frank about it and he just shrugged at me and said, "Is normal." Which is actually the most words he's ever said to me at once, so that's nice. Real nice. Sinon introduces us to the most wonderful people.
Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [1:27 am, 2/20/18]: Anyway. When I grab this gang mob mafia mother *** whatever the *** he is, to ask him why he's all interested in Eve and what his deal is, I want you to be there.
Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [1:28 am, 2/20/18]: So clear your schedule up. We have work to do.

Ten minutes later:

Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [1:39 am, 2/20/18]: And don't you worry whose redvine this is. I didn't touch your stash.

Another ten minutes later:

Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [1:49 am, 2/20/18]: Do you think Eve would dance for me?
Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [1:50 am, 2/20/18]: You know what, don't answer that one either.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For no obvious reason, and with no explanation to follow:

Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [4:23 pm, 3/6/18 <picture attached>]:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Voice Mail to Busy Lizzy [1:35 am, 3/26/2018]: She was already talking when the recording played, already mid-sentence, and with a cadence that betrayed a certain elevated state of mind. The words were soft and airy, like summer cotton candy at the fair. Like ice cream afternoons. Like the gentle threat of a warm rainstorm, pounding on the roof of a Paper Street address. Like so many memories. So very many memories.

... so after all that and seeing the ex priest loitering around, I just said *** it, baby girl, *** it, and I used my key to get into Johnny's room and ate his acid and nowwwww here I am, talkin to your ma-chiiiine, cause you ain't answerin tonight, which is totally fine but I'mma still leave you a lil message or five because I'm thinkin of you, or Johnny's thinkin of you, it's hard to tell right now, and you're bein missed andddd ... hi. Hi, Elizabeth. Hi, Roach. Hi. Or Heeeeeeeey. You know. WhichEVER. How have ... [End of message.]

Voice Mail to Busy Lizzy [1:42 am, 3/26/2018]: The messages continued, still truncated at the beginning and end.

... and that's why you're a thunderstorm girl, and Johnny's a thunderstorm boy, though sometimes I think he's more woodsmoke or saltwater. I'm telling you, it makes sense if you think about it. Think about it a little sideways, which is how I'm feeling right now. Words have a power to them beyond the obvious. They're spells. Iceberg tips. Or maybe shadows of tall mountains; they stretch and stretch and stretch and cover up whole towns. ... ***, I sound like Sinon. But you're totally a thunderstorm. Always makin me think of that night on the Inn's swing out front, and ... [End of message.]

Voice Mail to Busy Lizzy [1:53 am, 3/26/2018]: Another slip of time, more lost story. Before she spoke, there was the sound of an acoustic guitar, strings plucked gently by out-of-tempo fingers. Then Noe's voice drifted in over the cords, a sultry blue cloud blotting out the sun.

... Nothing you can say can tear me away from my girl.
Nothing you can do cause I'm stuck like glue to my girl.
I'm sticking to my guy like a stamp to a letter
Like birds of a feather, we stick together.
I'm telling you from the start, I won't be torn apart from my girl. ...

It continued, floating as high as the girl singing it, an off kilter cover of Warpaint's Billie Holiday. Noe let the message hang in quiet space before speaking again, whisper quiet.

It reminded me of you. We should go see them sometime, when you're around.

[End of message.]
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [11:02 pm, 4/15/18]: I want a hyena.
Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [11:02 pm, 4/15/18]: Let's get a hyena.
Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [11:03 pm, 4/15/18]: Do you know where we can get a hyena? I asked my exotic animals guy, but he's out.
Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [11:07 pm, 4/15/18]: Yes, Desma, I have an exotic animals guy.
Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [11:07 pm, 4/15/18]: No, Desma, it's not the same guy as our exotic meats guy.
Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [11:15 pm, 4/15/18]: At least I don't think it is. Let me check on that.

20 minutes pass:

Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [11:36 pm, 4/15/18]: Did you know hyena are more closely related to cats than dogs? They're basically catdogs. I always thought they were a canine breed like wolves, but no. Learn something new everyday.
Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [11:37 pm, 4/15/18 <pictures attached>]: What followed was a series of pictures of various hyena, particularly the striped variety. As the striped breed were scavengers and corpse eaters, Griffith's fascination was obvious. More than once the Disney trio from the Lion King were featured, as well as a poorly photoshopped image of Griffith playing with a single skinny hyena, both laughing.

Another 20 minutes:

Text to Desma, Queen Bitch [11:57 pm, 4/15/18]: Can confirm. Exotic animal guy is not exotic meat guy. However, exotic animal guy is now offended. Strangely, exotic meat guy was unphased. Go figure.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[txt: Griff] i know it's real late but do you have a minute? or are you awake? this is eve, btw. i dance at lavyrinthos?
[txt: Griff] look, i lost my key and i don't know where the front desk guy is but i could really use a favor? i know we haven't even met each other but sinon gave me your number in case i ever needed anything.
[txt: Griff] if you can't, don't worry about it. i have that one lady's number who i think you know. i've seen her with you.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neon lights make for neon shadows, for Hiroshima burn-outs and nuclear skeletons against the wall; blood spray red and bruised eva purple, sword silver, the priestly white of a blind samurai. The tv they watch is cracked in the corner from an angry kick, and the crack spiderwebs across the screen, kaleidoscoping the images like the art made on an acid frenzy. It doesn't bother either viewer. In fact, it fits them quite well.

They share a bowl of sugary hard candies between them. Desma, bird-limbed and switchblade alert, rolls a cherry jolly rancher over her tongue. She sits with her legs beneath her and her chin held high. Griffith sprawls out with his legs stretched almost to the tv, heel against the laser disc player, and watches the movie with absent interest; his chin rests against his chest, and his hands cross across his stomach. He mouths the words of the movie in lazy fashion, having seen it a hundred times before.

Gemma, where are you hiding? When I die, I'll take you to Hell with me!

Then he feels the tell tale vibration in his pocket. He waits a few minutes before fishing the phone out and reading the text. Pause. Frown. Reread. And then the typing. Desma eyes him from the corner of her vision.

"Who's that?"

"No one."

The harpy squints. Her little bird is lying to her, and he never lies. She peers over his phone until she sees the name on the other side of the messages, smirks, and lets him have his little, strange space. "Uh-huh," she remarks. "No one."

"*** off." Griffith sneers and pockets the phone. "I mean. It means nothing. She just needs a key."

"Uh-huh."

"And that's literally my job."

"Mhm."

"*** you."

"Not my type."

Griffith snorted and stood.

"Running off so soon?"

"Die in a fire."

"Smitten." Desma mused while she occupied herself with selecting the next flavor of sweet, ignoring Griffith's stare. She was one of the few who could.

"I'll be back. I just have to go get her another key."

"I won't wait up."

"Oh how I hate you."

"Mhm."

"--- how do I look?" Griffith nudged her knee with his, demanding her attention.

A glance up, a glance down. She said, "Fine. Like you. She doesn't know what she's in for."

[txt: Eve] What kind of keyman would I be if I slept?
[txt: Eve] Text me a location and I'll come give you a new key.
[txt: Eve] And don't text Desma. No need. Ever.
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