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Snippet #2821688

located in New York, a part of the last of the real ones, one of the many universes on RPG.

New York

The city of dreams and destruction.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lauren Clark Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Adonis Galante
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Adonis waited on the balcony for a moment after Evie left to smoke a cigarette, doing his best to calm himself. He pulled up his camera roll, looking at photos of Flor he’d taken recently. She had learned to walk and hadn’t stopped moving since. His parents had to hire two nannies to overcompensate for their negligence. He was able to visit, take her to the park or on a walk but they only allowed him to play the role of father on his terms. Doing things his way has gotten him into this situation. The consequences of his action no longer just affected him. He had to hold it together, for Flor.

He put out his cigarette on the ashtray out on the balcony, others already beginning to filter back out now that he wasn’t chasing everyone off. Already his hands were shaking, Adonis never could hide his emotions. Detouring to the kitchen, he poured himself a tall drink downing the liquor all in one gulp. Drinking wasn’t the best choice to lend to self control, but he hoped to ride that sweet spot before it fully hit him to be able to hold his temper with Lauren.

Wherever she was, Lauren was doing a good job hiding from him. He worked around the flat a couple times, it wasn’t that big so he wasn’t sure how she could be hiding so well. Supposing she must’ve been in the bathroom or something, Adonis doubled back to the hallway. As if he manifested her she stepped out from Erin’s room with all too smug of a smile.

Adonis exhaled roughly, his hands already balling into fists. He shook the tension off to the best of his ability, moving towards Lauren. She saw him before he reached her, already her expression twisting in that familiar expression. Adonis never had impulse control, the perfect guinea pig for her manipulations.

“Nis,” She purred as he approached her, giving him a once over. “I like the look, the new work uniform suits you.”

“Glad you like it,” Adonis bit the inside of his cheek, forcing a smile.

Of course Lauren knew he was working for the cartel. Adjusting his tie, he leaned against the wall and turned to face Lauren. He knew she just wanted a reaction. Years of managing his parents, Adonis found the trick with narcissists was to not give them that. He wasn’t really sure what more Lauren could want from him, or anyone here - except maybe attention, and control.

“I was hoping you’d show.” Adonis admitted, lowering his voice an octave as he stepped in towards her.

“Oh?” Lauren raised a brow towards him, feigning ignorance. “I didn’t think you’d be so happy to see me, not after the last time you came over.”

Escalation, that’s what it always was with her - with his parents. You could never win a game of chicken, sure to end in mutual destruction before any chance of victory. Adonis shook his head, laughing under his breath. He had to keep his cool.

“Yeah - about that.” He swallowed hard. “I’m sorry. I lost it and honestly I don’t want things to be like that between us.”

Lauren kept her eyebrow raised as Adonis apologised for how things had gone the last time. “Oh, really?” She asked. “Is that the only reason you were looking for me? A half-hearted apology? Or did you actually want something?”

“Come on, don’t be like that.” Adonis pleaded, reaching out for one of Lauren’s hands. “I messed up, I know I did. I just -”

Adonis paused, catching his breath. If he acted out like he did last time he showed up at Lauren’s house, he’d never get custody of Flor. Especially if his parents got wind of it. Showing up to the mother of your child’s house screaming and pounding the door wasn’t a good look for anyone. He was genuinely sorry - though more because he wanted to be better for Flor than any sympathy he might have had for Lauren.

“Look - I know you had your reasons for what you did.” He reasoned, doing his best to appear empathetic. “I’m not saying you or I would do any better, but - my parents?”

Lauren very deliberately pulled her hand away from Adonis and folded her arms so he couldn’t repeat the gesture. He was trying so hard to stay calm, and it was adorable, really. But that just made the challenge of getting him mad all the more tempting.

“Who the hell else was I supposed to hand her over to?” She asked. “My parents? Who would just pay nannies to look after her so they never have to deal with her, because she’s a shame on their reputation? What other options did I have? Should I have given her to Nate and Robyn, let them play happy families? Because that wouldn’t have ended well, would it? Who else did I have after that? Strangers? Would you have preferred that?” She asked, her tone equal parts hurt and defensive. Truth be told, she had felt lost about what she was supposed to do with the baby. She’d taken a gamble by going to Adonis’ parents; and oh, it had worked out so perfectly for her.

As angry as he was with Lauren, Adonis empathized. He wouldn’t have known what to do either, and he doubted he would have been able to make a better decision himself. Honestly he didn’t know what was the best choice but that was the point, he never got the chance to even think about it let alone have a say. He felt the clench of guilt in his chest. If he could have been there for Lauren, for Flor - he would have, but she took that choice from him.

“Maybe you could have talked to me - we could have figured something out together.” He reasoned, his anger fading to frustration. “My parents took advantage of you Lauren, they used you and now they’re using Flor.”

Lauren had to hold back a laugh as Adonis said that he could have talked to him. That had certainly never been an option. Lauren hadn’t wanted to be tied to Adonis. That was the whole reason she’d handed the kid over in the first place. No attachments, and a clean slate for her. Getting him involved would have made the situation unnecessarily difficult.

She shrugged as Adonis said that they were using Flor. “What am I supposed to do about that? I signed over all my rights. I legally have no connection to her. It’s not like I can just go back and say, ‘sorry, changed my mind,’ Adonis. Not to mention, they made it explicitly clear that I am no contact with her. I can’t do anything.” Not to mention, going back on their agreement would involve having to pay back all of the money they’d given her, and that wasn’t an option for her right now.

“You can tell the court you were coerced.” Adonis said a bit too quickly, the request has been sitting at the tip of his tongue. “You could tell them you lied when you said you didn’t know who the father was.”

His tone was bordering near desperation. The details of his parent’s agreement with Lauren were still fuzzy, whatever terms his parents had set in place with Lauren was beyond Adonis. He had figured there had been at least some conditions, though to which extent was unclear. Adonis pulled out his phone, opening his camera roll to a picture of Flor to show Lauren.

“I’m begging you, Lauren. Please - don’t do it for me, I’m a piece of shit. I know that.” He pleaded. “Do it for her, she doesn’t deserve this shit.”

Of course he’d come to her with a plan, an answer already prepared. Lauren just shook her head a little and shrugged. She was about to respond, when he shoved his phone towards her, showing her a photo of the toddler. Lauren hadn’t seen Flor since she’d handed her over, and she didn’t want to see her right now. She pushed Adonis’ hand aside.

“And what? Let you have custody? Do you really think the court would even let you have custody? You’re involved in the fucking mafia, Adonis. Does she really deserve that shit?” She hissed. “I’m not getting myself in trouble with the courts by admitting that I lied, and I’m certainly not pissing off your parents, just so you can play happy families with your daughter.”

Adonis’ jaw tensed, Lauren obviously striking a nerve. He placed his hand against the wall beside Lauren, his eyes darkening as he leaned in. His words came out through gritted teeth, strained. “I would be real fucking careful what my next words were if I were you, Lauren.”

Obviously there was no reasoning with Lauren, there never was. There was only one thing Lauren understood and that was self-interest. Any sympathy he might have had for her dissolved. If she was insistent that he was the bad guy, fine - he’d be that bad guy. He was tired of playing nice anyways.

Adonis leaned in, lowering his voice to a near growl in Lauren’s ear. “There is no limit to what I would do for that little girl, Lauren. So if I were you I would start thinking less about whatever court ramification, and more about what happens to people who piss off people in the mafia.”

Lauren didn’t scare easily. And she certainly didn’t show it when she was. When Adonis leaned in, she didn’t let herself respond, just stayed standing up straight, staring at a spot somewhere behind them, and keeping an indifferent expression on her face. It was only when Adonis made his threat that she actually responded. She grasped the lapels of his jacket, taking a step even closer.

“What you need to remember is that me and your boss have a history of our own. Remember who the fuck you’re playing games with before you show all your cards,” she whispered, before patting his cheek and ducking out from under his arm, choosing to saunter away from him without a second glance.

Shifting as Lauren maneuvered around him, by the time he rounded towards Lauren she had already put a few bodies between them. He opened his mouth to swear, catching himself before the words escaped his lips instead letting out a sound of frustration. Others in the hall gave his a sideways glare, Adonis turning his backs to them as he rubbed a hand over his face trying to maintain his composure.

It didn’t matter who Lauren had or hadn’t fucked, or who she thought she may or may not had wrapped around her finger. Adonis would make sure Lauren would fix her fuck up, or pay the price. His hands balled into fists once again, Adonis rooted in place willing himself not to go after Lauren. He looked back to where he saw her last, now seeing Camilla near the end of the hall.

He met her gaze with undeserved ire, his mind still on Lauren. When he realized this misdirection expression of anger, he softened. Shaking his head, Adonis looked back to Camilla. There were still traces of his anger, but now he looked more sad than anything. Unsure how much Camilla had witnessed between him and Lauren, he wasn’t sure what her impression of the situation would be. Afraid to approach her should she be wary of him, he leaned back against the wall behind him waiting for her reaction.