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Declan Hayes

"We are all searching for someone whose demons play well with ours."

0 · 619 views · located in Brooklyn, New York

a character in “Dirt & Opulence”, as played by sethwy91

Description

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Declan "STITCHES" Hayes
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"I BELIEVE THERE IS A GOD, BUT I'M NOT SURE HE BELIEVES IN US."

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FULL NAME | Declan Fergus Hayes
NICKNAMES | Stitches, the Doctor, D
SEXUALITY | gay
AGE | 26
HEIGHT | 5'9"
WEIGHT | 143 lbs.
EYES | blue
HAIR | black
BODY | slender
COMPLEXION | pale, freckled
SCARS, MARKS, TATTOOS | tons of tattoos, several scars on his knuckles from fist fights; one from stab in lower abdomen


"MONSTERS ARE REAL, AND GHOSTS ARE REAL TOO. THEY LIVE INSIDE US. AND SOMETIMES THEY WIN."

PERSONALITY

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Declan is most definitely a product of Hell's Kitchen, nothing more, nothing less. From growing up as the son of an Irish mob boss to killing someone for the first time at age 19 and then being run out of his hometown, Declan has had a myriad of experiences that have shaped who he is and what he believes. First and foremost, he cares about himself and his family. While being abandoned by them took its toll, he still loves them and will do anything for them. Growing up, he spent a lot of his time immersed in the life of the mobs, as well.

Undoubtedly because of his upbringing, Declan knows his point of view on crime and what exactly constitutes right and wrong are unique compared to others. Declan has done a lot of soul searching in regards to this topic and has come to the conclusion that what most people see as crime is usually just people trying to get by the only way they know how in a world that's turned its back on them. Life is hard, shit can get rough, and sometimes your "choices" boil down to death by starvation or death by gunshot.

Perhaps Declan's most obvious trait is his sarcastic, quick wit. Always sharp, on point, and good under pressure, Declan has a borderline genius IQ and makes a point to see fifteen moves ahead of everyone he's forced to deal with. Generally well liked, or at least tolerated, Declan is frequently sought out by almost all of the underworld in Brooklyn for his medical skill, a rare trait to come by in the underbelly of this world. Declan requires payment from anyone he knows can afford it and for those who can't, he takes IOUs.

Despite how calm, collected, and confident his outside tends to be, Declan is not without his problems. Declan also struggles with a problem with alcohol which has only become more difficult to manage since his father's death. Declan also suffers from an diagnosed case of PTSD as a result of two traumatic experiences in his life, one during childhood and one as an adult. While the man responsible is dead now thanks to his father, he was repeatedly, sexually abused by an associate of his father's. Then, shortly after his 19th birthday and around the time that rumors about his sexuality began to spread, he was kidnapped by members of his mob and was almost killed. Because of this, Declan has frequent trouble sleeping and more often than not, drinking himself unconscious is the only way to get to sleep. This, of course, only furthering his alcohol problem.

All of his vices, ambitions, and troubles aside, Declan is a fearless, smart, and compassionate, would-be doctor with a love of whisky and a plethora of dark secrets kept hidden behind a wall of sarcasm and alcohol. He has few people he trusts and few he genuinely considers friends. As a result of his "occupation," he got the nickname "Stitches," a name he's grown pretty fond of.


"EMBERS IN THE ASH TRAY GLOW LIKE MEMORIES THAT WON'T LET GO."

HIS PAST

ImageThe son of a powerful, Irish mob boss that controlled large parts of Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, Declan grew up learning about the underworld. Despite a rough patch when he was 12 and one of his father's associates decided it would be a good idea to force himself on the boss's kid, Declan had a fairly normal childhood with minimal scars. As a youth, Declan spent most of his time with a group of friends, all of which associated in some way with the Irish mob, getting into trouble, fighting at bars, and even stealing cars.

Things would change, however, shortly after his 19th birthday. Rumors that Declan didn't like ladies began to circulate as more and more people started to realize Declan had never even been with a girl. And while a lot of his friends knew and were fine with letting it go so long as they just didn’t talk about it, the family and the rest of the mob soon began to think Declan's father was giving his son preferential treatment. It wasn’t long before they started pressuring Declan’s father to do something about it; however, before his father could, a few guys who didn't like the idea of having a gay guy in their organization kidnapped Declan.

That night, they tortured and interrogated him for hours, trying to get him to confess. But when the third hour passed by, they realized he'd never admit it but they knew they had no choice but to kill him. However, just as one of the men was about to cut open his throat, Declan broke free of the ropes that held him down the whole time and knocked out the man who tried to kill him with a few quick punches to the head. Once unconscious, he took the man’s knife as the other man was getting his gun ready. Within seconds, he was on top of the man and managed to stab him before the guy could get a shot off. Declan just stabbed the guy repeatedly until he finally stopped breathing and then, as the other man started to come to, Declan picked the dead man’s gun up off the floor where he’d dropped it, and shot the other man in the head, killing him too.

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Declan was brought home after that by his father’s men and after a bit of a fight, both verbal and physical, his father convinced Declan to leave New York and go to Tennessee to live with some of their relatives in Nashville. Declan almost told his father to fuck himself, but he knew the old man was only doing what they both knew was the only way to save Declan’s life.

For 7 years, Declan lived in Tennessee, using money from his dad to go to college for medicine. He made friends, had a few lovers, and even learned to play the guitar and piano from a few of his boyfriends. He even acquired a taste for country music. While it wasn’t ideal and it wasn’t what he always thought his life would be like, it was easy and comfortable, and that wasn’t too bad.

Things changed, however, when a few months ago his mother called and told him that his father had been killed and she wanted Declan to come home for the funeral. Declan did without hesitation, of course, and after the funeral, hooked up with a few of his old friends who were positive they knew who was responsible. The week he was supposed to stay down there, Declan spent looking for who did it and eventually, found out that all fingers pointed to the IRA. As soon as he figured that out, he decided to stay.

His week-long trip turned into a month and then, indefinite. Declan decided he couldn’t leave until he got revenge for his father’s death. Now, Declan has come back, settling in Brooklyn to be close enough to his home to try and close to the center of the IRA. Declan currently earns a living through payments for medical services to less than reputable clientele who are injured in incidents that they might not want to explain to the police or hospitals. As a result of patching people up, putting them back together and sowing up wounds, Declan has been given the nickname "Stitches," which has become a pretty well-known name in the underworld now. While the fame is dangerous, most people luckily don’t know his real name and he’s used the nickname proudly to avoid being found out.

So begins...

Declan Hayes's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Declan Hayes
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"Underneath this face, there's another that I don't let people see. It's less smiley, less sure, but a lot more like me."

Declan felt a slight chuckle bubble up from his throat, accompanied by a crooked smile that slowly graces lips. How’d I end up back here? he thought to himself, Just a month ago I was back in Tennessee. Couldn’t have cared less about this place, their problems, these horrible people….the scum that seems to litter every damn street of this place.” But even as those thoughts crossed his mind, he had to stop himself and at least admit that for his hatred of this place, for all his discontent at what this place had done to him, and all the things it would not doubt do later on, this place, this awful place was his home. This damn place was as much a part of him as he was of it. The fact that he so easily just slid back into his old routines, back into his same old habits spoke volumes to that inescapable truth.

A groan echoed across the empty warehouse as the man, tied to a metal chair just 6 feet away from where Declan now stood, began to wake up. Declan just stood there in front of the man, a gun at his side, a knife in his pocket, and the knob of a baseball bat in his hand, with the end cap resting on the floor as if it were his cane. As the man continued to become more aware both of where he was and what was happening, he immediately began to struggle, only to find that he was tied, tightly, to the legs and arms of the chair. The man only became irritated when he looked up, and saw Declan, immediately knowing who he was. “I should’a known it was you. Fucking Irish di….,” started the man, apparently not that frightened by his circumstances. But before he could finish, Declan moved his hand down on the bat, gripping the handle, then using his other hand to take hold of the grip and pulled it up to swing. Then in one fluid motion, he swung and the bat met the man’s jaw with a loud crack, followed by three teeth being launch out of the man’s mouth, and across the large open space.

The man wailed in pain as blood poured from his mouth. “Fuck!” he said in a daze, his head spinning from the pain that now ripped through his jaw. “One,” said Declan in a calm, collected voice that even sent chills up his own spine. He’d changed, a lot, since the last time he was here. The man eventually regained enough composure to look up at his captor began to growl out, “Fuck you, ya leprichan! So your daddy died! Join the fucking…”

Another loud cracking sound filled the large, echoey warehouse as yet again, the bat was raised and collided with the restrained man’s jaw. This time, on the other side. “Two,” added Declan, tone finally beginning to emerge in his voice as he continued, “One more time, in the right spot,” he paused to hold up the bat’s end to right at where the man’s jaw met his ear, “and this thing will just come loose.” Then, almost triggered by something that the man didn’t hear, Declan moved right up to the man and gripped his shirt with his left hand, the bat held down to his right side now as he stared into the man’s eyes, fury gripping his body more and more as the seconds past, “Now say one more fucking thing and I’ll make sure you never talk again. And that’ll really be a bitch, cause I need information from you. And if you can’t talk, I don’t have any reason to keep you around. We on the same page now, Jackie?”

Jackie, the thug strapped to the chair, just looked into Declan’s eyes for a few seconds and then, spit a mouthful of blood and saliva in his face. Declan leaped back and raised the bat before he could even think about reacting but stopped as he saw the man smiling and chuckling with a deep guttural laugh as blood continued to fill his mouth. Jackie spit a mouth full of blood onto the floor and then said, “What the fuck you gonna do? Huh!? You just fucking said you want something from me. If I can’t talk, I can’t fucking tell you shit!”

Declan stood there, looking at the man, anger boiling up inside him. It was so strong he thought he might lose it. He might just react before he could think about it. The asshole was right. Declan didn’t want to kill him. Not yet. Declan knew that Jackie was the one who pulled the trigger. This was the man who’d killed his father. But he needed to know why. Before he could let it go, he needed to know why someone had taken his father from his family. Taking a moment to collect his thoughts and think of his next move, Declan shifted in composure. Almost like night and day, Declan went from rage filled, hatred bubbling up inside him to the point of exploding, to a sudden calm and collected-ness; and as Declan began to move closer to Jackie with this new calmer composure, a little apprehension crept over Jackie as he wondered why Declan seemed suddenly so confident.

But he didn’t have to wait long. Once beside the thug, Declan leaned down, pulled the knife out of his pocket and clicked the little switch that released the large blade. It glinted in the dim light of the room and as Jackie saw it, his eyes widened. Declan then began to speak in a calm tone as he finally realized what he was going to do next. “Do you know about how long it takes for someone to bleed out from a simple wound like…a cut on the wrist?” Declan asked as he took the knife and drove it just into the surface of the skin and pulled it up along the underside of his forearm. Jackie panicked and squirmed, no longer grunting and fuming like a man but whimpering like a dog caught in a trap. Once the knife had cut up to just a few inches from the crook of Jackie’s elbow, he pulled the blade out. Blood immediately began to ooze out of the wound in a constant stream and Declan, then, just wipped the blade off on Jackie’s shirt sleeve and continued. “About 15 minutes. And that’s actually generous. Of course, even then, you don’t die. Not yet. You just pass out. After another, 3 to 5 minutes, your organs start to shut down from a lack of oxygen and nutrients and that’s when shit goes downhill. Cause if they don't bring you back within a few minutes after that, you aren't coming back,” Declan explained as Jackie continued to whimper in fear as he exchanged glances between his arm and the homicidal doctor.

“Now, if I add another opening,” Declan continued as he lightly traced where he knew the radial artery was in Jackie’s other arm, the blade of his pocket knife teasing at the untouched flesh of his good arm, “it only speeds up the process. But back here!” Declan said as he suddenly dropped to a crouch, leaning in close to Jackie’s ear with his hand firmly gripping his chin so he could hold the man still while he placed the blade against the back of the man’s upper arm, right where he knew the brachial artery was and added, “is a bad one. This life line will bleed out so fast.”

Fear finally over took the man, for all his bravado, he was no braver than any other gangbanger. “Ok! Fuck! Look, they told me to kill him! But I was told we was hired to kill him. I ain’t got nothing against you guys. It’s just the money was right, so they told me to do it,” Jackie explained frantically, pleading for his life. Declan slowly rose to his feet as he heard that. “You better be telling the truth, asshole!” Declan retorted as he pressed the knife slowly into the man’s good arm. The thug whimpered in pain and tried to squirm under the pinch of the knife against his sweaty flesh as he frantically continued, “NO! Really! I swear! All I know is it was the damn IRA that wanted him dead! I don’t know why! They just did.” As soon as Declan heard that he froze. Paralyzed by the information he just received. “What?” Declan mumbled in disbelief. “Yeah! I swear! They was the ones who wanted your dad dead. Not us!” Jackie added, as if it mattered enough that Declan knew who ‘wanted’ his father dead would somehow help Jackie’s chances of making it out of here.

Declan just stood there for a minute, looking down at the man strapped to the chair, trying to wrap his head around how much more complicated the situation became. “Do you know who put out the hit? Like who actually talked to your friends about killing him?” Declan finally asked, trying to get as much information out of him as he could. “No, I don’t,” mumbled Jackie, knowing that wasn’t what Declan wanted to hear; and, as soon as those words left the man’s mouth Declan took a step closer with his knife moving towards Jackie’s arm and Jackie began to panic again, squirming as his mind raced, desperately searching for anything he could use. Finally, something came to mind. “Wait! November! Like the month!” he blurted out. Declan stopped, more so in confusion, though, as he wondered what the hell the man thought talking about the calendar would do to help his situation any. But then, Jackie elaborated, “November! I don’t know her last name! But she’s some bitch that used to work for them. The IRA. I don’t know nothing else! I just know you might be able to find out something from her. She’s not with them anymore, so...” And before he could finish that thought, Declan finished it for him, “They won’t notice if I talk to her.”

Jackie smiled as he clearly seemed to think that making such an ‘insightful’ contribution to Declan’s plan might save his life. “Yeah,” Jackie finally said as he watched Declan tap the blade of the knife on his chin while he thought, “So….can I…” Clearly asking to be set free. Declan came to a halt and with the blade still resting on his chin he looked over at Jackie and gave a light “mmmm” as he thought over what exactly would be the best option. Declan’s eyes slowly drifted over to Jackie’s arm after a moment, as he looked at how much blood had come out. It was a lot, and after considering that, Declan’s eyes drifted back up to Jackie’s face. He was beginning to pale he probably had about 5 more minutes before he’d pass out. Then, another 5 before brain damage set in and then he’d be….out of the way. 15 minutes, tops. Declan finally dropped the knife down to his side, still in his hand, and then slowly walked over Jackie. Declan moved behind him and could clearly see Jackie relax as Jackie obviously thought this meant Declan was going to cut the ropes loose.

But that wasn't what Declan had in min. Suddenly, Declan reached around Jackie’s head, grabbed his chin, pulled it up, and slowly slid the blade across Jackie’s throat in one long deep cut. Now that 15 minutes was cut down to about 8. As Jackie made gurgling noises, fear, panic, and pain all rushing over his face at once as the realization swept over him that he was going to die here, today, Declan just leaned down and whispered into his ear, “You still killed my dad, asshole. Did you really think I was gonna just let that go, ya dumb fuck?” And with that, while Jackie continued to choke on the blood that filled his lungs, and the rest spilled out into his lap, Declan wiped the knife off on Jackie’s shirt, and then clicked it back into the handle. He then slipped the pocket knife into his pocket and then calmly walked out.

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LATER


"No single thing abides; and all things are fucked up."


After walking a few miles away from where he’d left Jackie’s body, Declan began to slow down as the realization of what he’d just done, what he’d just found out, and what all this meant for his future finally began to sink in. The IRA. FUCK! he thought, Dad couldn’t have little enemies. Nope. That was dad. Ain’t worth it, if you ain’t pissing off the big leaguers. In time, his slow, meandering steps brought him by a bar. It wasn’t too busy, of course it was early for anyone other than the most hardened alcoholics. Three of which were planted at the bar, downing beers and shots. Hell, what was one more alcoholic? Declan slipped in and made his way to the bar as thoughts of what his next move was raced through his head. As he sat on a stool, the bartender approached him and asked him what he wanted. Declan looked over the bar into the shelves of liquor and pointed to the Jim Beam and said, “Give me that bottle and a shot glass.” The man behind the counter just chuckled and said, “Alright.” After a minute, the man brought the bottle and the shot glass to Declan and Declan just put a $20 on the counter for the man. “Thanks,” Declan said as he took the bottle and then got up off the bar with the bottle and glass in hand. He walked over to a booth, sat down, and began to pour.

The smell of the whisky. The taste as it met his tongue. The feeling of the thick liquid as it slid down his throat, even the sting, the burn, and the kick. Then, after a few gulps and the lights became blurry, that “oh-so” familiar fog crept into his head and the numbing finally set in. It was the only time it all just……………went away. It was a feeling, or perhaps more the lack thereof, that he wish he could just live in. It was always at times like this, when a certain kind of clarity took hold of him that he couldn’t help but ask himself, Remind me again, why am I still going? Unfortunately, he usually never remembered the answer.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bel Z. Character Portrait: Senna Z. Character Portrait: Jasper Callaghan Character Portrait: Dominic Bates Character Portrait: November Mae Character Portrait: Caroline Beaumont Character Portrait: Deni Pogsley Character Portrait: Declan Hayes
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She couldn’t get enough of the pain, a form of penance. Every night spent being thrown, dragged, slapped - she’d wake up feeling redeemed in some sick and twisted way. November had never been religious, but she believed in some way that being treated like nothing more than a whore, to be demeaned and torn down to nothing more than a means to an end let her wake up feeling like she had paid for all the shit she caused during the day. When she was with Dominic he didn’t try to be gentle with her, or worship her. He needed to hurt her as much as she needed to feel pain, each feeling control in their actions. She admired her handiwork as he cooked, the red marks her nails left behind painting his back.

There was a tenderness to Dominic in the morning that she was aware only she was privy to. Between flipping the pancakes or pouring the batter he’d return to her, course fingers tracing shapes across her skin and stealing kisses. Everything was so simple with him, nothing more than what it was. They never needed explanations from each other, or to share feelings or excuses. He never asked questions, she never did in return, yet November knew Dominic Bates knew all without having to ask. She knew Dominic used her for his own carnal desires, and while November did the same, his presence was therapeutic. With Dominic there was no games, no passive aggression - and he would wake up, albeit reluctant, make her pancakes in the morning.

Deni came through the kitchen, and when Dominic blinked at her in confusion she laughed, the delectable bite of murderous potential was of such ethereal beauty she hardly believed she was real herself. Deni had a tendency to make November’s heart flutter, a walking dream. Stunning eyes, full lips and hypnotizing hips, November licked her lips at her presence. She patted Dominic’s arm assuringly, and he carried on with her pancakes, as he should.


Playful as a kitten, November was filled with cheeky expressions and smirks any time Dominic looked over to her, they didn’t need words to enjoy their morning. Dom finished her pancakes, but before he could serve her Jasper breezed between them, stealing a pancake and water - followed by Deni. She watched as Dominic crumbled, he was tolerant of people at his best of , in the mornings November was lucky enough he didn’t throw her out on her ass, having his house flooded with random faces was more than too much for the eldest Bates.

He buried himself into her hair, she laughed. Dominic was a creature of habit, of order - and finding comfort in November’s mane was one of those habits. Her fingers ran through his hair, her body pressed against him. She pushed herself closer into him, breathing into his ear. She could stay there all day, not having to say a word with Dominic Bates treating her like the fucking Queen of England.

Her stomach rumbled, Dominic responded with no hesitation, serving her pancakes along with syrup. November’s face lit up with glee, pure satisfaction scrawled across her face with the first bite.

He treated her like a queen of a kingdom of one, showering her with affection. November was all to aware to treasure each moment she was able to share with Dominic, what he gave was a rare indulgence. What had began as a fling had become an addiction, a need for one another’s submission or domination - depending on the events of the day that had preceded them. When he kissed good bye, it always felt like the last time. Maybe it was easier to tell herself that, unable to grasp why a man of his caliber would ever treat her so well.

She returned home to a hungry cat, yet again, meowing for her affection. “Sorry, Wicked.” She said, carrying the cat to the couch where she made herself comfortable, turning on the television to melt away the hours. Occasionally checking her phone for texts, admittedly from Bel, she laid there with Wicked curled across her lap and exasperation manipulating her features.

How much longer could she keep this life up?

How much longer could she stay in one place, day after day becoming more and more tangled in the messy web of crime and hedonism? Once she was nothing but a whisper, hardly more than a character in a story written by someone else. How had she evolved from an enigma to being so transparent to an entire network of people? One cigarette burned after another, followed by one glass of wine after another. Solitude usually led to doubt, wondering how did she ever let herself become like these people?

The answer was simple, Bel.

She had found someone who saw her for the monster she was, and loved her all the more for it. It was the most euphoric drug of all time. But as their relationship became strained, as did their business. November knew what she had to do, she had leave - she always knew this. How could she stay? She was nothing but an outsider, as she always would be. November could never be respected like Dominic, or adored like Senna - or even despised on a level that can only stem from a lifetime friendship like Gunner or Bel. She was only a rotating figure, someone to fuck or use, she wasn’t part of this life.

“Fuck off.” She told herself, she always did this. Why couldn’t she just enjoy the ride, the ups and downs of life as any other person would? Where else in the world would she ever find herself surrounded by people who had demons that could be on par with her own? Aware that happiness was a myth, but nonetheless jealous of the happiness others were able to find in each other.

She would never be that girl.

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ImagePerhaps November had been too impatient to arrive at the strip club, the girls knew her too well. She shook a promise of snow and they took her into the private rooms, all too eager to party with the femme fatale. She danced with the girls, glittered skin caressing her own. A few lines off a few asses, a few kisses, a couple of bottles and November had forgotten all about her previous doubts. Why would she ever want to leave?

Legs across a caramel colored lap with creamy colored arms wrapped over her shoulders, November couldn’t stop watching the scene unfold around her. Four lovely ladies, all there for a private show all for her. Something within her snapped, she was unable to give a fuck anymore. The lights flashed, the music pounded and November’s eyes were wide. A girl brought her a drink and a smile, leaning in to whisper in her ear. “Mr. Zaire is in the VIP section, just so that you are aware.”

“Psh, fuck that.” The girls laughed and held her closer, she kissed them each in turn.

More dancing, more perfect bodies, a line or two more - November was unaware how much time had passed but she was sure she had the word W A R N I N G : reckless
stamped across her forehead. When she emerged from the private room, the club was packed. She danced in a line with the girls as they went back to their prospective place, unable to stop herself to pull the delectable caramel treat into herself before the girl ran off. “You come back to me.” She said with a wink.

**The essence of her wept from the walls like secrets, only kept between them, were breathing upon her entry. Cartilage darted in contortions of instinct. He didn’t look her way, but knew damn well she was there. Text messages riddled them both blank, blasé, lukewarm and too pent up for either of their own good. Love and loathing. En noviembre más dulce. But he knew better than to shoot her a look - any look. Grievances plaited from her tabs to his, the romps and lines all assumed in good fun were becoming anything but. They stayed. They kept the shit up, playing their sport in spite of its proneness to push blood between tight teeth. Gashes in mouth. DNA swapped and lost and burned on the flicking tongues, the pain of belonging to no one and everyone, this moral slivered, that one immortal. Modern romance really wasn’t shit like letters worn scarlet. Shakespeares or Margaret Mitchells. It was more like infernos adapted to, never escaped. Dante could tell you about that.

Then again, so could Bel. - sacri xx


She knew where Bel was, it was as if she could sense him. He didn’t have to look to give her a glare, it penetrated her. It was hot, like he knew where her mind was. If she showed any acknowledgement, it wasn’t intentional. What she did notice was that the Bates had arrived, conveniently located next to the bar. Dominic sat idly, unamused, with his signature whiskey and dominating demeanor. November couldn’t pretend not to intentionally cross their path as she went to the bar once again, but before she could order a drink an arm wrapped around her waist pulling her down into a lap. She fit so well against him, his arm pulling her in tight.

“Oo!” she giggled, framing Dominic’s face between her hands. “Rather fresh tonight, aren’t you?”

He looked off as if she hadn’t even spoken, sipping his whiskey. Amidst the strobe lights and dancing ladies he still managed to look like a sculpted statue, still and unflinching. She reached for his drink, he pulled it away and gave her a look to say You’ve had enough. She pouted, but he was right, he always was. He looked back out, not even a grunt. He didn’t have to, he knew she was aware that he was right.

Instead of putting up a battle, November enjoyed her view, slipping bills wherever she could. She even managed to get a lap dance whilst on Dominic’s lap, although she was obviously much more excited than Dom. When she made eye contact with Bel, he was joined by Senna who was snuggled up to a nice blonde piece.

They finally had themselves at a lock of curiosity, gazes trafficked and congested with the high tension of ‘I could fuck you right now’ or ‘I could kill you right now’. She had the mosaic facet of those snarling woods that kept Snow White scared out of her wits for years. Eyes smoldering like mahogany coal, recoil on a snapped blink as her brain fired up breakdowns of situations said square gone rounded for the sake of cutting corners. Dominic’s arms were about her hourglass waist and Bel twitched with acknowledgment, again. Tu no eres mio. Oh yeah, we’re liars and cheats baby. Our tug-o-wars been instated by lack of degree and copious predisposition to paroxysm and how damn good it hurts. - sacri xx

She couldn’t continue to ignore him now, November shifted her weight to stand but Dominic held her down, grunting in protest.
“Dom, I have to go.”
Grunt. Bullshit, stay.
“You know I can’t.”
Grunt. Stay.

He closed it by kissing her shoulder.
She sighed, resisting a grin. “Five minutes, that’s all.”

Although Dominic wasn’t one to smile, she knew there was inward grin with a sense of victory. She felt him shift to say something to Gunner, motioning presumably to the blonde wrapped around Senna. November gave him a look to say Be nice. that he ignored, still staring off intently into empty space. Five minutes passed, November leaned to whisper in Dominic’s ear, unable to resist the urge to nibble, “Five minutes are up or else I’m going to have to start charging.” He almost chortled.


Aware Dominic would be watching her walk away, fixated on her dark tresses, November didn’t bother to shift down the hem of her dress. Without Dominic to stop her, she grabbed a drink and looked back to the Bates to see them all staring intently at Senna and her friend. November rolled her eyes, approaching the Zaires. The blonde was unable to ignore the intent stares of the group of intimidating men from the other end, November could feel the heat of their gaze.

“Don’t worry about my boys over there, they just like to stare.” November joked, greeting Senna and her girl with a kiss on the cheek. “November.” She said, motioning to herself.

”Caro.”

November smiled, clinking her glass against Caro’s. “Cheers.”

Bel was seated up in reluctance next to a blond that buzzed in a still waters run too deep sorta’ way, he didn’t give her alotta’ visual regard. That was his sister’s piece now. And she stunk of something suspect. More over, wore her hair in those sublime girl-next-door waves, mane chopped cuts above her shoulder like she just discovered herself but really still had no fucking clue who she was. Played minor league queer eye shit and looked at Senna one day and thought, “Oh! Shiny!” So the story goes. It would end with a poor post college experiment in sexuality, maybe worse if Bel had anything to say about it. The bliss settled into the smirk on Senna’s face with her porcelain laced in Caroline’s tawny fingers couldn’t be argued, unfortunately, and he wanted nothing to do with it. He’d take Laz over this shit any day {that was biased though, wasn’t it?}. Felt like he snagged bone remnant in his throat as he grunted low, “Three cheers, why don't we. Insult the holy trinity and pay homage to our fair lady while we bathe in the overall atmosphere of sus games.”

A crooked cocky grin cracked his lips and boasted white teeth. He pulled Sen aside and his inked arm enveloped her as he growled against her tresses, noted her bruise, how it spelt Aedan, how her swinging fixation that landed on Caroline was becoming a cause for concern. The words sizzled. Gums pale and slicked with whiskey. The tattooed surface of palms too big to rest on shot glasses rippled, circulation vermilion, irked when he felt November approach. His focus swiveled and never faltered along the curve of her silhouette, her confrontation boiling too close to the brim of the pot. Burners hissing. Roaches all scattering, rats running fast. - sacri xx


“Give me a moment.” November said, leaving Caro alone at the table to deal with the discomforting stare of the Bates boys. “Everything okay?”

Bel’s look told her it was anything but, mostly at her mere presence. She ignored him as Senna returned to Caro’s side, taking advantage of the chance to leave.

Here it comes.

“Bel, she’s a grown ass girl - “
”Novi stay out of this.”
“Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to?”
”You are in no position to give input about dating life of my sister, or anyone for that matter.”
“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”

Soles on those feet must have ached with the ire of a thousand skirmishes never launched ‘cause she was all sorts of rigid, swelter coming off of her like she was about to open a vein to acquit fire. His November. Never his. The contagious fever that sweated him into insomnia. And yet. Never his. He breathed slow, stood to loom over her but maintain distance amid every point lost. All the communication out the window. Nothing but animosity, past lover bullshit and grudges like they hadn’t somehow did a real bang up job of running a notorious partnership. Long time coming, he guessed with something more bitter than salt bound to gurgle up and out. “First, it isn’t your god damn place. Second, don’t march your ass up to me like you’re entitled to conversations with my family. You forfeit that privilege nightly. Right, yeah. Third, Senna doesn't have shit to do with ourbusiness. You come with this Busch-league-ass attitude like I didn’t try to apologize, then bounce that pretty little ass of yours over here to bark. Not tonight Novi.” - sacri xx

Image“What do you want from me, Bel? You go around fucking whoever you want, waving that shit in my face and what am I supposed to do? Sit there and take it? F U C K that. You know what? Fuck you! I’m done, fucking done.” She had been squeezing her glass tighter and tighter as she spoke, but as she cursed the man before her it broke from underneath her grip, slicing her palm. Senna, who had returned to Caro’s side went to tend to November’s wound. November pulled away, stepping back, still looking at Bel. “Don’t call me, don’t text me - nothing. And don’t come fucking ringing my bell when you realize you fucked up because I’ll be gone.

She didn’t bark. She bit, chewed, and spit him right the fuck back out. This was the seething image of a woman scorned. "Remember who you dance 'tween, usted es un santa, mi amor." He knew it well. Would have copped a plea had she not laid her exit bare and unapologetic. Knew it was over, that she was under oath privy and unkind. That it was cutting her up more than the glass prickling little mitts and manicured fingers. So what did he do? Clenched her bleeding digits, borderline crushing, glass shared in bilateral assault, clots that would mix and dry like sour reminders of their memoir’s end. “Make sure you mean that, kid.” He rolled. And she slipped out of his grasp, disgusted by his touch. Shattered the rest of the ware below him so his boots could grind 'em. So they didn't stay - she was done keeping the shit up. - sacri xx

She threw the remainder of her glass at his feet, blood stained crystals shattering into thousands of pieces. It was then she realized she meant it, she was gone. Maybe the epiphany was written in her expression, because when she looked at Bel there was almost a calm in them that they both know she spoke the truth. She couldn’t say any more, she wasn’t even angry anymore. Blood dripping from her fingers, she walked off without another word, headed to the back entrance. She was sure Dominic had just witnessed everything, but she couldn’t speak to him while she was in this state. Dominic was many things to her, but she had yet to see him do much comforting that didn’t involve body slamming her against a wall.

In her wake, five dripping thorns, a sloppy shrug and look of disdain. Cleft between index and thumb. He sucked on the wound and shook plasma onto the carpet, “Have a beautiful night girls.” He headed for a back room. - sacri xx

No one was at the back door, she lit a cigarette, hands shaking and painting her lips with fresh blood as she brought her cigarette to her lips. The drugs had began to wear off, she was nearly sober at this point, but to exhausted to note her surroundings. The cocaine had her trembling, and her palm was still bleeding, and the adrenaline had her mind in all directions. Maybe in another state she would have noticed she wasn’t alone. There was the sound of gravel shifting under the weight of a shoe then a sharp pain followed by b l a c k n e s s.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bel Z. Character Portrait: Dominic Bates Character Portrait: November Mae Character Portrait: Declan Hayes
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It was always the same every morning. The same deal with the same demon the night before and as soon as he awoke the next day, he always remembered the demon’s price. What it always wanted in return for making Declan feel numb enough to get to sleep. Fuck, he groaned aloud in a prolonged tone of discomfort, slowly turning on his back and reaching for the bottle of whisky he left sitting by his bed. No, not exactly the best answer to a hangover, but a damn effective one.

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As he curled his fingers around the neck of the bottle, he kicked the covers off of his bare, slender frame, revealing lithe, sinewy muscle beneath smooth skin branded by memories both wanted and inflicted. After the thick blanket was out of the way, he took a firm grip of the bottle of whisky and pressed down on it for leverage to lift himself up. As he did, he onerously slid his legs off the side of the bed, his feet clapping as they met with the hard floor. Once up, seated at the edge of the bed, he pulled the bottle to his lips and cocked his head back, taking a few big gulps.

“So. Are you just gonna wait here all day?”
“No. I just need like twenty minutes.”
“Is that it?”
“What do you want from me?”
“The same thing you want. Remember?”
“Yeah, and I’m gonna find her. But I can’t... I can’t do that right now. I just need...”
“You just need what? To waste more time? To let me rot in a hole while you try and drink me away?”
“No! I’m not a God damn machine! I need to…”
“What? You need to what? To make our family look even worse than you already do?”

Suddenly the sound of glass shattering, scattering across the wooden table at his bed side, and the light ‘tings’ of it tapping and sliding across the floor filled the room as Declan, in a fit of rage, brought the whisky bottle to the table with all of his strength, breaking it and sending a few of the shards into his hand. “I said I’ll find her! What else do you want from me, DAD?” he yelled out, blood dripped from his hand as he turned around to confront his father.

Suddenly, a terrifying realization struck him. His head felt like it was going to explode as tremors began to ravage his body. He slowly turned back around to look out the window of his apartment into the city outside as the sounds of sirens and people going about their daily lives come from below. However, those sounds, as loud and permeating as they usually were, barely captured any of his attention as he gradually became more and more lost in panic and dread of what just happened and the possible implications it presented. But before he could get too lost, before all of the world outside his head became too distant from his awareness, a bussing sound filled the room as his phone began to slide over the table.

Declan was quickly pulled back to reality, fighting back his shaken state enough to glance over at his phone. The screen lit up with each buzz revealing the name Killian, his brother, each time it did. It took a moment for Declan to remember he should answer it and for a few seconds, he just sat there staring at it, as if his phone was some strange, alien object making an equally unusual and unrecognizable noise. However, that feeling eventually passed and with its passing, all of his aches and pains began to return as he returned to the real world. Pressing his still, whole hand to the bridge of his nose and closing his eyes to try and stave off the throbbing within his skull, he used his bloodied hand to reach over and grab his phone. But his blood made it slippery and in his shaken state, he nearly dropped it twice just trying to answer the call and put it to his ear.

Finally feeling the warmth of his own blood which covered the earpiece against his ear, he finally spoke, “Hey man, what’s up?”

“Well," Declan's brother began, his voice deep and gruff from smoking cigarettes for most of his life, "I have good news and bad news. What do you wanna hear first.” Killian had taken over most of their father’s estate after his passing, as well as most of their father’s responsibilities within the “family business,” making him a valuable asset when Declan needed it. Lately, wanting the sons of bitched who'd killed their father to pay as much as Declan, Killian had offered some help in the way of resources, especially gathering information for Declan's hunt.

“I don’t care,” Declan replied with little inflection in his voice, as if void of emotion or perhaps just struggling to hold them all in. “You alright, man? You sound funny. You in trouble?” the concerned older brother asked. “No. I’m fine. Just a little hungover. I’ll live. What’d you find?” Declan asked, definitely not wanting to talk about what was really bothering him. “Alright. Well, turns out your girl helped the IRA out with something. I wasn’t able to figure out what or why she helped them, though. But I can text you a list of places she hangs out at,” said Killian, his tone still enlaced with concern but knowing full well when he had to just drop it. Without wasting any more time, Declan immediately followed with, “And what’s the bad news?” A sigh came from the other end of the phone as Killian added, “She hangs out with the two big brats in Brooklyn. Both of them.” That made things complicated. “In what way?” Declan asked. “She’s sleeping with the new Bates patriarch since their dad went AWOL and some kind of fuck buddy thing with the head Zaire. But I think the Zaire thing is mostly over with. They aren’t seen together too often, anymore. The bitch apparently knows what she’s doing,” Killian laughed.

Declan sat on the edge of the bed, finally moving his phone from his bloodied hand to his good one and gave the phone a quick wipe on his bed before putting it back to his ear. After his bloody hand was free he simply lowered it to his lap, the palm facing up as the blood finally began to slow. Declan thought for a minute longer, pushing through the headache, the confusion of what had happened just before the call and the sunlight that seemed intent on worsening his headache as it crept in through the shades of the window. “Thanks, Kil. Just send me the addresses,” Declan finally answered. “No problem. You know, if you need help or just need to talk, just let me know. It's what I'm here for,” Killian replied before a short pause and added, "Oh, and don't do anything stupid. Cause I don't wanna tell mom you got yourself killed." Declan gave a light chuckle and said, “I’ll try. But no promises.” The two then chuckled and said bye. Then Declan hung up the phone.

After another minute to collect himself, he got up off the bed and began his morning routine, preparing for what was to come.


THE CLUB
ImageWalking along the sidewalk illuminated by the street lamps and filled with the sounds of people either making their way to their next stop for the night or going home to enjoy their companion for the night, Declan was focused and just in demeanor seemed out of place. He wasn’t here for the usual debauchery or hedonism that most of this part of town's patrons came here for. He was here for one thing, revenge. Whether he was going to have to take it through this girl or with her help was still unknown. Either way, this wasn’t going to be a pleasant night for November.

After a few blocks of searching, Declan found one of the places that his brother had told him about. A strip club which, for the moment, seemed teeming with life. Music filled the streets just outside the building and the lights from inside poured out onto the sidewalk like the lure of an anglerfish hypnotizing unsuspecting victims and drawing them towards the flashing lights within the darkness. Declan paid the cover charge and walked in past the bouncers and the drunk patrons and glanced around the large room at all the women, some on poles, some in laps. For a moment, he wished he was straight just so he could enjoy that, but that wasn’t why he was here and it was probably a good thing this wasn’t a distraction for him.

It didn’t take long to find November, mainly because the Bates always stood out. The moment he picked out Dominic from the crowd at the bar, it wasn’t long before she joined him. Declan made sure to keep his distance but never lost sight of the pair as they played out what must be a regular courtship dance. The flighty woman feigning more important things to do and trying to leave and the lost puppy of a man asking her to stay. It was cute. Declan found himself hoping he didn’t have to take that from them. Or from Dominic, more specifically.

Then, Declan began to watch a little closer as November left Dominic and quickly became ensnared in an argument with the head Zaire. Without even thinking about it, Declan began to look the man up and down and even let the word “damn” escape his lips before catching himself. Focus, Declan, he thought to himself, Men later, for once you’re here for the girl. Then it happened, a fight, a brief explosion and November walked away. Declan’s eyes followed her as she finally made her way out to the smoking area. That was Declan’s opportunity. He got up from his table and walked over to smoking area too.

Once at the door, he peered outside to see if anyone was going to be a problem. But as soon as he saw she was alone, he walked out, took a quick inventory of the area to see if there were witnesses and a second later, the butt of his gun met with the back of her head. She was out.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bel Z. Character Portrait: Jasper Callaghan Character Portrait: Dominic Bates Character Portrait: November Mae Character Portrait: Deni Pogsley Character Portrait: Declan Hayes
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Honestly, between the pancake in his right hand and the cold water in the other, Jasper wasn’t the least bit curious about who was following after him. That is, until he felt a hand on his back in a familiar gesture and realized the voice belonged to none other than the effervescent homicide sweetheart herself; Deni. "Wow, place is full of sexual tension huh?" Jasper snorted in response, a grin hidden somewhere between biting the lid off of his water bottle and testing out Dominic’s pancake. Ten out of ten, if you were wondering. Hat’s off to the chef. (and shirts, and pants, and…). “I’m just amazed you waltzed through a house full of Bates’ penis and didn’t even touch one,” Jasper teased, watching with amusement as she proposed possibly seeing him again later and went on her way. There was a vague idea in the back of his head of Deni having a girlfriend (or was it more of a handler?), but Jasper never paid much attention to significant others, especially those belonging to people who caught his interest. Deni was cute, sure, but there’s something about having murderous hands and a careless demeanor. Like a simple graze of the hand could easily break the skin; a caress could absentmindedly become a choke hold. It got Jasper thinking, to say the least.

And he did love to be choked.

Still, Jasper couldn’t help but think about his heroin. It wouldn’t be long before he was flickering through the streets, between alleys, along highways as diaphanous and lost as mist. That liminal feeling, something like the lull between nightfalls when you’re only an invention of darkness meant to vanish in the morning light. Sickness wasn’t here yet; merely lurking in the post. Junky limbo. But apprehension wouldn’t let him rest and there was no reason to sugar coat it - smack was a vicious cycle. And here, after all this time, Jasper thought himself a wolf. I mean, that’s what it takes to make it through all the misery and desperation and death. Most people saw Jasper as a dangerous sin wrapped in both angelic eyes and a devil’s smirk; it made their hearts pound with distrust, clouded their better judgement with bewilderment, and even though they saw it coming, they couldn’t look away, because once you’re tied to the tracks there’s no moving for a train. And yet, it was smack that held it’s teeth against his throat. Growling. Waiting for him in the dark. Howling against his hair. To his own shadow, "you’re just overreacting." Against his wrist, “you are fine." A lie, ”everything is alright." And yet a cold and contemporary hand of power has outstripped his intelligence and replaced it with it’s own instinct for survival.

Should’ve stuck to methylone.

Or maybe no drugs at all? The thought brought a knowing smirk to Jasper’s face as he started on his way. Through all the bullshit, there was some pleasure to be found in slowly killing yourself. One could argue that that was just the demon’s trick. Take you to your lowest point and convince you to top yourself. Get you thinking a room in hell with your name on it wasn’t so bad. As if the worst part of you was simply all of you. Post-heroin thoughts were heavy; the olive branch that life extended to Jasper every morning splintered and fractured under their weight, threatening to break altogether. Yet Jasper wouldn’t give up this life. Even if it was reaching its s e l l - b y date. Probably passed. It made him sweat. Didn’t sit right. Though people had tried to convince him it was okay to just throw it out, he swore - he swore - it was still good.

The thought of a high led him to Mel. Decent neighbor -- crazy bitch, but when you’re a junky (and don’t bother not to actually look like a junky) you relinquish the right to have normal friends. He’d learned this. Jasper also knew that when she saw him, the last thing she saw was a temptation, save for the knowledge of an easy sell. And he kinda liked that. Mostly because it kept him accountable. He’d run off on a few plugs - you may even say he’s run off on the plug twice - and had to lay low as a result. But Mel wasn’t the type to let anything slide. She didn’t lurk, she hunted, and was more the type to show up to your place with a semi and hoodie, minus the mask because she wanted you to see her coming, the soles of her sneakers dripping red; the only Red Bottoms she had an interest in. (of course, Jasper wouldn’t know anything about that; he was out of town if somebody asks).

“Babe, how are-”

“Was wollen sie?”

“There you go with that german shit, nobody can understand you. Nobody knows that you’re saying!”

"Damn it, Jasper, what the hell do you want?”

Usually went a little something like that. Her j’s sounding like y’s, narrow eyes scrutinizing the sight before her but never quite able to deny a friend the usual discount, $20/oz codeine, something to hold him over until the next time he really used. His greatest need would always be smack, but for now, he didn’t have to spend much on that, just his body.

Jasper returned home to shower and get high. One of his favorite combinations, and probably the only thing he ever really did in the empty box of an apartment. Nothing but the bare essentials. A mattress on the floor. Toothbrush on the sink. The few homey things he had had long since been sold, and Jasper couldn’t be bothered to buy a new bed frame or a soap dish, or anything else, really, that would make the place seem friendly and livable. Not that it mattered. He wrangled himself out of his clothes and hopped into the shower, the combination of hot water and washing off grime making the euphoria of his high a little better.






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It didn’t surprise Jasper to see the same familiar faces at the strip club. Bates and Zaires. A never ending saga of malice and betrayal, a testament to the body’s capacity to endure life. An unfamiliar face slinked through the crowd. Jasper normally wouldn't think anything of it, except for the fact that said character could go toe-to-toe with Jasper if matching the pale, post-hardcore-punk, fiend aesthetic were a competition. He threw back a shot, meaning to keep the face in the back of his mind but knowing good and well that he wouldn’t. The girls were nice. Powerful men even better. But hooking was up usually the second goal; an afterthought. He normally targeted joints like these for the easy drugs. The only reason Jasper could get in was because he’d forged some sex-for-drugs alliances - his fare was always covered. But more importantly, if the big dogs were here, his pet couldn’t be too far behind. Jasper found a spot, secured a couple shots from interested onlookers (who says women were the only one’s who could show up with no money, get in free, and still leave drunk?) and watched the show unfold, a canvas of lithe, athletic bodies on beat with the music.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: November Mae Character Portrait: Declan Hayes
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The sounds of sirens, echoing of voices and footsteps not too distant, and the monorails as they passed nearby filled the abandoned warehouse that had effectively become Declan’s torture chamber when the need arose. The smell of blood, despite being old and as a result, somewhat faint, was still easily distinguishable over several other smells that filled the room, mostly related to body odor. The building was open and mostly empty, having been gutted by its former owners presumably just before being abandoned. Decaying wooden planks and bricks beginning to chip and crumble under the weight of the building itself all served as the structure’s skin while slowly rusting, steel girders and nails served as it’s bone. As most old buildings, there were the occasional sounds of an old structure settling on its foundation and this, along with the grimly themed graffiti along the walls only worked to make the warehouse even more unsettling.

In the middle of the building sat a medal chair. Chained to this chair was November, held tightly enough that the bindings wouldn’t be coming loose anytime soon. Behind the chair, and November, sat a small table with numerous bottles, vials, and syringes, along with several sharp and blunt objects ranging from a bat to a scalpel. Even despite being in an echoey, open building, Declan was confident that no one would interrupt them. Being this far away from the heart of the night scene, he was fairly certain no one would be able to distinguish the sounds of a screaming woman over its more familiar sounds.

Still not sure if he’d let he walk out of here in one piece, Declan had tied a bandana around his face, coming just over his nose and draping down past his jawline. As he went back over the vials, he took a quick inventory of the chemicals he’d accrued for this particular…”interview”. He ran his hands over the syringes, some filled with compounds already, others still yet to be used. Most of the medical cocktails were of his design. Products of tests he’d done while back in college and others the products of trial and error on…uncooperative gang members while he was searching for his father’s killer. But he felt sure he had most of them down now. Most of them at least close to perfection with just the right amounts, taking into account her small frame, of course. But as he went over the chemicals, going over everything he knew about the human body in his head, he became hung on a specific thought. Was there anything more terrifying than a mad doctor? Sure, the concept was regularly used in games and movies, but really… Doctors, by their very profession, were privy to the most intimate nature of anatomy and physiology. They knew exactly where things hurt the most, knew exactly where to poke for maximum effect. As this thought became louder and louder, all Declan could think about was how he was becoming less and less like the doctor he’d wanted to be and more like a “dread doctor”.



November came to before her senses did, awareness surrounding her like a fog. She blinked, vision blurry. The stench filled her nostrils took a moment to register, reminding her of mornings where she woke up surrounded by the dirtied blood stained biker minions that followed her uncle around. Heavy stench, thick with dread presaging of what was to come. Her limbs were bound down to a chair, but November couldn’t summon the strength to struggle against them.

The instinct to panic came and left, replaced by a sense of congruity. She steadied her breath, attempting to focus her senses. She could hear someone shuffling behind her, the clink of objects being set out carefully. From what she could tell, there was only one person working behind her. Little white ghosts dotted her vision, her head rolled from one should to the other, unable to pick her head up long enough to look out. Once the ghosts danced past the edges of her vision she could make out her surroundings, the vast open space and dilapidated walls with large windows.

A warehouse. How cliché. She managed a laugh, signifying to her captor that she was awake and ready to play.
-lindarose


Declan found himself slightly caught off guard when his prisoner laughed. Admittedly, it was a bit contagious even, as he failed to keep in a chuckle of his own, though his was more from amusement how she must deal with these types of situations. Everyone was different. Declan was more of an angry prisoner. Spitting and kicking as much as he could. But this wasn’t important right now. What was, was that she was awake and he was more than ready to get this started.

“Good, you’re awake. I wanna ask you,” Declan began, a perhaps unnerving calmness to his voice as he began to speak of torture like it was something he did every day (it was). ”Would you prefer to start things off with a heart attack?” he asked as he put his hand over the syringe which contained a cocktail that would cause a nonlethal heart attack. He then moved to the next syringe and as his hand came to stop on the thin plastic surface that held the liquid, he continued, “Or a seizure? I can’t decide how I want to kick things off.” He then snickered to himself again as he reached for another syringe, prepped it by squeezing down on the plunger to vacate any remaining air bubbles and then, with it still in hand, walked around in front of November and asked, “Or I could give you a high powered and extremely, fast acting laxative. It won’t hurt, per-se, but it definitely won’t be your most dignified moment.”



His voice echoed with a familiar emptiness, a smile in his words. He had a sense of amusement, cool and collected as she heard his feet move behind her. His intentions were clear, he had a whole agenda set out in front of them. November knew she should be experiencing fear, curse at him, spit - something. To be honest she couldn’t bring herself to care enough, she was at her wits end. She had nothing left here, nothing ahead of her except long car rides and obscure aliases.

A heart attack sounded pretty nice about right now. A towering figure circled around to face her, syringe in hand. His features were mostly covered behind a bandana so all she could see were his eyes, framed with thick lashes. “Who hired you?” She asked, ignoring his question.

Her eyes looked him up and down, unable to place his face. He had the demeanor of a mad scientist, looking down onto his creation. The glint in his eye made her cool demeanor crack, she knew he wasn’t going to just put an end to her. He wanted to see her suffer, he wanted to see her pain stretched out over hours. It didn’t matter what she said, what she chose - he had every moment planned before she had ever woken up.
-lindarose


“Sorry. I don’t know who you think I am, but this is personal. Just me. And I don’t want to kill you. I mean if I have to, or I accidentally got one of the measurements wrong, I might. But it’s not the goal,” he responded as he moved to her side, kneeling beside her while reaching out to place the needle back on the table and then leaning in to speak in a low, calm voice, “Because as long as you cooperate, this won’t have to be unpleasant. I just need some information. Some names, some places, and some meeting times. Think you can help with that?” His eyes drifted for a moment back to the table as he finally decided which one he’d use on her first. The heart attack. If she wasn’t compliant.


Personal? She didn’t even know the guy, who the hell was he?

“I don’t know what to tell you, man. I’m just a pretty piece to bend over and slap around a little, the only names I can tell you is what people want me shouting while they ram me from behind.” She managed to find her humor, she had to if she wanted to remain upright for what was to come. “If you want to get to the Brooklyn boys you’re going to have to do more than shake down their whore.”

November wasn’t stupid, but she could play it pretty damn well. The only people she could possibly imagine him making connections to her would be either the Zaire or Bates family, and she had burned one of those bridges what she presumed was hours ago - and wasn’t really privy to the business side of the other family anyhow. “So do what you have to do, kid, I don’t have what you want.”
-lindarose


ImageDeclan had to admit, she was growing on him. He actually lost his composure for a moment as she referred to herself as someone’s whore. She wasn’t frightened easily. Unfortunately, that put him in a difficult position. So he chuckled with her comment, listened to her ending about him just doing what he had to do and then nodded with a smile as he rose to his feet. “Alright,” he replied “matter-of-factly” as he reached over and picked up the syringe with the heart attack mixture. “So, I’m I gonna give you this and you’re going to go into cardiac arrest. It will feel like your chest is trying to collapse in on itself. It will last for about 5 minutes,” he explained as he pushed the plunger and a thin shot of the liquid flew out. He then tilted it down to her arm and pushed the needle in with fairly deft hands. Almost as if he was trying to avoid making the actual injection hurt. “As your heart fights the drug and tries to keep beating, I want you to think about your answer to this question,” he said as he finally began to inject the drug into her and finished with, “What exactly is or was your relationship with the IRA?” And with his last word, he finished the injection and pulled the needle from her skin. With that, he walked over to the table set the used syringe down and then walked back in front of her, standing now, his calm, patient demeanor showing through as he waited for the seconds it would take for the injection to kick in and then would just watch to see what happens. Hopefully, it wouldn’t just kill her.


He wasn’t backing down; she didn’t expect him to. He didn’t have her tied down just to talk to her a little, and he didn’t seem gullible enough to believe her spiel - at least not before he had a little fun. Her eyes followed the syringe as he waved it in front of her face, toying with her. He loved every moment, she could hear it in his voice. He didn’t waste any time, didn’t even pause after he spoke before he pushed the needle under her skin, she barely felt it. He was so quick, she didn’t even have time to fight back, belatedly pulling her arm from his grip - still bound to her chair.

”…..think about your answer to this question.” November could feel the fluid enter her veins, she stared into his eyes as he spoke, waiting for the substance to take effect. She didn’t have to hide her surprise when he mentioned the IRA, a ghost of her past she hadn’t thought of since she was a teenager. But before she could react, the formula began to take hold. She first could feel it in her chest, the pressure her captor had aforementioned. Her breath began to become labored, she couldn’t focus her stare any more on his azure, loathing eyes. Staring distantly at a spot on the floor, trying her best to maintain her composure.

The pain began to spread, pressing further and further into her chest and reaching down to her stomach - twisting inside out. Her arms felt like they were being stung by a thousand needles, going across her back and up her neck. She lost control of her muscles as they went into a spasm before she froze completely, paralyzed by the pain in her chest. Sweat was pouring from every pour, she couldn’t breath. What was promised to only be minutes felt like hours, still staring off. The pain didn’t go away, but faded, lingering. Her breath returned, albeit labored.

The IRA. November looked up at the man, her body trembling. Mustering what strength she could, hardly able to collect enough saliva to spit at his feet. Her chest still was aching in agony, struggling for every breath, unable to even pretend like she had a witty comment.
-lindarose


Declan audibly sighed as he saw the spit slap along the hard, concrete floor. Really? The thought crossed his mind and was apparent on his face. That look of irritating disbelief as he realized she was going to make this difficult. So, Declan walked back over to the table, his eyes trailed up and down her body, examining her for any spots that might be turning blue. When he didn’t see any, fortunately, he took another syringe off the table and as he squeezed the plunger, sending yet another thin stream of liquid into the air, he paused in front of her with the needle in hand and said, “This one was harder to get. Seizures are like a hundred times harder to induce without killing someone. But after the sixth try, you being seven, I think I finally have it down.” He then reached into his pocket to pull out a piece of old cloth, it was clean, mostly, and seemed to be torn from a larger piece of fabric. He walked up to her and shoved it into her mouth and then said, “Make sure you bite down on this. Don’t want you biting off your tongue and bleeding out.” Then with those words, he quickly jammed the needle into her neck and sent the cocktail coursing through her veins. It was over in seconds and soon, he had the needle out and decided to just walk over to the table, setting the syringe down as he leaned against it to relax. “You know the sooner you just tell me what you did for them, the sooner we can move on to the other questions?”


She winced as he threatened the second injection, he allowed no time in between for her to recover. “Please, no.” November begged, but he showed no mercy.

She whimpered under her breath as he shoved the cloth into her mouth, still shaking from his previous treatment. Her head rolled to the side, she couldn’t even control her neck muscles, her body was betraying her will. Cuts and bruises she could manage, but this was destruction from the inside out. This one took longer to take effect, but the pain wasn’t the worst part. First she felt her muscles give, shaking uncontrollably. Her eyes rolled back, her fingers clawed at the arms of the chair, her body twisted in ways she didn’t think possible with being bound.

Her senses disappeared once again, a stale silence filling her ears and a blurry filter placed over her vision. Her teeth gnashed together, softened by the cloth that had become soaked in her over salivation. She wanted to cry, to scream, but November had never been so out of control. She couldn’t even feel her hands anymore; her extremities were at a loss. When the pain became too much she became overwhelmed with darkness.

When she woke up, she didn’t know if it had been hours or minutes but the man was still sitting at the table beside her. She wasn’t sure if it was a trick of the light or if she was going crazy, but she could see Bel standing behind her. His words echoed in her mind, “Make sure you mean that, kid.”

Make sure you mean that, kid. No one would be looking for her, she was as good as gone to Bel. She was nothing to anybody, not to the IRA - to nobody. She spat out the cloth, mouth dry. Her lips tried to move to form words, but she wasn’t able to do much more than mumble. Her clothes stuck to her, wet with sweat, her hair in disarray. November did what she could to look over at the man, eyes pleading for him to stop.
-lindarose


Declan, still leaning against the edge of the table, took a chance to refill his syringes as the seizure set in. Of course, it didn't last long, seizures usually didn't. He had just picked up the bottle with the heart attack mixture as she passed out. So he filled the bottle, set it and the syringe down, and then walked over to her side. He took hold of her wrist to check her pulse and once satisfied that she would recover, he let go and went back to his spot against the table, waiting.

By the time she woke up, he was just finishing a cigarette and tossed it to the ground and mashed it out with his shoe as he pulled his bandana back up to hide his face. As she began to look back at him, he couldn’t help but chuckle as he listened to her mumble as she tried to speak. But once he saw her eyes. Once he saw that yearning, that begging, he was sure he could get what he wanted.

He decided to make it easier on her now and pushed himself off the table and walked over in front of her again. Crossing his arms, he positioned himself a few feet away from her and looked down at her. “Take a minute. Speaking is gonna be hard for a minute. Dry mouth and a seizure, and all that. But that gives you time to think about your answer,” he said, still calm collected, as if knowing he had already won. Not in a prideful sense, but in the same way that people observe the world around them. As if, in his head he was thinking, The sky is blue, and I’ve won. Declan took a moment to look back over to the table, seeing a clock he’d put on it, and then after a few minutes looked back down at her and asked, “So, what did you do for them?”



November had never felt so easily defeated, it all went so quickly. He stood over her, basking in his victory. It was apparent in his eyes, he knew he had beaten her down. She didn’t think she had it in her to survive another round, and he wouldn’t stop. He wouldn’t stop.

What did he want? Intel about the cop? He hardly seemed like the type to align himself with the law. She smacked her lips, rubbed the tongue against the roof of her mouth, squirmed her hands and feet to make sure they were still there. Her cheeks felt wet, but she couldn’t tell if it was sweat or tears. What did November do for the IRA? She could barely remember.

“My grampa,” She coughed, “he’s a big player. I took care of a cop, family initiation.” She almost laughed.



For as hard as he’d worked to hold a calm, stone face, anger slowly gripped his features as he heard her answer. “Unless you’re serious, I really hope that was worth it,” Declan said as he uncrossed his arms and walked with quick, heavy footsteps back over to the table. He took another syringe but this time didn’t bother to squeeze out the air and then walked around in front of November. His movements, his pace, his expression and his demeanor screamed with the rage that boiling just beneath his skin. A thin veil between his outward, human appearance, the real monster he usually kept locked inside.

He knelt down beside her and pressed the needle into her forearm but paused before completing the injection. He waited there, with the needle in her arm and his thumb on the plunger and looked up to her and said, “You’re about 30 seconds away from another heart attack if you don’t start talking.”



Image“No, no, no - wait!” November stuttered, recoiling into herself. Her eyes went wide, tears would have fallen if she wasn’t dehydrated. “I swear that’s it. I’m just family - I’m not a fucking minion.”

She couldn’t look away from the syringe, the threat of his potion making her heart race. The adrenaline gave her the strength to fidget, trying to free herself. What did he want? She didn’t have anything else to offer, she’d rather die than experience one of his injections again. “I swear, that’s it - please.”

His hard glare told her that he was dissatisfied, she continued. “I promise, look - my uncle is Sean Aryes, he’s president of the MC that runs guns for them. My mom and I lived with him and the MC for nine months and I took care of the cop so we could leave, that is it. I fucking swear.” She said, pleading. Her eyes still hadn’t looked away from the syringe, brimming with panic.
-lindarose


“What?” Declan asked, the words barely escaping his lips as he looked into her face for some sign of deception. Some sign that what she was saying wasn’t true. Guns? Guns?! That’s why his father was dead? Declan jerked the needle, without finesse, from her arm as he stood up, just before dropping it to the floor. For a split second, he didn’t want to believe it. His dad, the head of the Irish mob had been taken out by the IRA because of guns. A deal must have gone south and when they couldn’t get their money, they got even.

“Motherfucker!” Declan yelled out to no one in particular, the last bit of control he still had gone in a matter of seconds. “Those sons of bitches!” he continued, kicking over the table with all the needles one it. Strangely colored liquids splashing all over the floor and needles flying through the air. As the echoes of the metal table flipping over slowly faded away, all Declan could do was stand there, panting in fury. “Do you know if your uncle put out a hit on Fergus Hayes?” he finally asked, the monster only worming its way closer and closer to the surface the more this new information surged through his thoughts.



Fergus Hayes?

“Fergus Hayes?” The name lingered on her lips. She was slowly losing her momentum, the sound of his tools shattering and scattering across the floor was like a shot of nyquil, she felt like she could sleep now. “Fergus….Hayes, the Irish mob head? What? Is that what this is about?” Her voice lifted at the end, her lips managed to pull into a smile. “Fergus fucking Hayes?” She giggled infectiously, rolling her head back. The giggle grew, it hurt but it was all she could manage, until she was in hysterics - laughing uncontrollably.

She looked to the man, he wasn’t as amused as her. “I never even fucking met the guy, I heard his name a couple of times but when I was gone they were still on good terms. I’m not the girl you’re looking for,” She laughed again, “sorry kid, told you I don’t have the names you want.”
-lindarose


Declan wasted no time in picking his gun up off the floor and then, as he cocked back the hammer, he pointed it at her face. The barrel slowly made contact with her forehead as he barely found the strength to hold in the monster within and simply said, “Call me kid one more time. This is not the time to fuck with me!”

For several seconds, he just stood there. Hatred, fury, the type of loathing only a handful of people understood surged through him like electricity. His hair stood on edge and for a moment, he almost thought of making sure he didn’t accidentally get a dose of his own drug. But eventually, after a moment of thought, he regained control. While no less angry, and while the anger was still very visible, he lowered the gun from her head, sighing loudly. He walked around behind her and placed the gun to the back of her skull. Leaving it there for added measure he began to unlock the chains, making sure she didn’t try anything or risk getting shot in the back of the head or face. Once done, most of the chains just rolled off of her, while others, with sudden slack, just remained simply draped over her lithe form.



The cool heavy metal against her forehead almost felt relaxing, she was sure her fever was well past healthy. She didn’t bother to respond, blinking with eyes empty of emotion. She was expecting for this moment to come, at least now she’d be put out of her misery. He walked around behind her, placing the gun against the curve of her skull. This is it.

November took a breath in, savoring her last moment. She expected to see a face, hear voice, but it was all empty. The sound of the chains clinking made her heart skip a beat, they slackened around her. Confused, November tilted her head, fighting against the urge to throw herself back into the man and wrestle the gun from him. She didn’t have it in her.
-lindarose


As soon as the chains were loose he stood up and put the gun down. Letting out of a heavy sigh and taking a few steps back from her he nudged the chair with his shoe and said, “Get out of here. We’re done.”


Done? He was done?

November wanted to believe him, but she couldn’t. Yet, she played along, standing up and walking to the door. When would the gun fire off from behind her? She could barely shuffle her feet across the ground, and when she walked out the door and onto the abandoned warehouse grounds. When the door slammed behind her she jumped, half expecting her brain to splatter across the gravel. While she walked she kept expecting that moment to come, she didn’t know how much time had passed until she couldn’t walk anymore. Dawn was arriving, and her body was giving up from underneath her. There was a dark corner of the yard, and in that moment it looked as alluring as her own bed. She crawled into a ball and let herself again fall into b l a c k n e s s.
-lindarose


ImageAs if that sound of heavy metal colliding with the door frame was a trigger phrase, Declan lost it. With her gone now and him all alone in the warehouse, he finally just let it out. At first he picked up the bat and just began to hit things. It started with the chair, making it a dented, broken mess no longer usable and then moved to the windows, shattering them all, systematically. With each heave, each swing of the heavy metal bat, each time the bat collided with something, Declan grunted, panted, fumed with rage. Why so angry? You have your target now. You know what you need to do now. Who you need to meet with...

Fuck you!" Declan yelled out, turning around to swing at whoever was behind, only finding air as lost balance with the swing and feel to the floor. On his hands and knees now he just started to punch at the concrete floor. The sound of bone crackling as it met with the hard surface soon filled the room and eventually, blood began to splatter over the floor, as well as on him. Eventually, sense returned as the pain of his nearly broken hands began surge through him. Seemed pain was a good way to stop it. To stop the...the voices. As he started to regain control, all Declan could do was lean up and slump back onto his legs, his feet beneath him as he sat there, holding his bloodied hands in his lap. Then, with nothing left to do, with all the strength he once had gone, the determination he had for getting payback for his father slowly fading with the shred of hope he still had, he tilted over onto the floor lying on his back as tears slowly filled his eyes.

Of course, it's not an IRA thug or grunt. It's the one guy I can't get to. The fucking kingpin. It's almost like fate had this whole god damn joke planned out the whole time.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bel Z. Character Portrait: Gunner Bates Character Portrait: Simone Bates Character Portrait: Senna Z. Character Portrait: Jasper Callaghan Character Portrait: Dominic Bates Character Portrait: November Mae Character Portrait: Caroline Beaumont Character Portrait: Deni Pogsley Character Portrait: Clementine Tremaine Character Portrait: Declan Hayes
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•F•L•I•P•
.{x}. I won't soothe your pain .{x}.

Returning home to grace and grisly was a breather wanted aside from exercise pit stops. Deni's brain was muddled with questions about her two closest friends having an off moment. It seemed too weird, and not in a way that implied Gunner wasn't yelling the truth. But in a way that would imply he wasn't exactly saying everything. Because face it, G never wore bags under his eyes like Chanel or anything, but the ones on his face today looked like heart weight. He was candid and short. That was the way G was so she wasn't surprised. But something was amiss! And she'd be damned if she didn't get to the bottom of it and straighten it right the hell out. 

Buuuut ... not before she rolled around in a higher thread count play land with her antsy hands all over her love in an anxious fit of, "Wake up and kiss me." Clementine grazed the sheets and rolled her hips, friction between her and Deni that drove the girl simply wild. A profusion of Snow White hair covered the pillows in an extra silken layer. Flip cradled one of them at the crook of her elbow and wrapped her other arm tightly around Clementine's chest, squeezed just enough to give her the rush of potential harm and then bit through the planted plush of her kiss to bruise flesh of the neck. Gasps between a sliding palm and all sorts of bloodthirsty noise and desire. They came to know it as their beaten path. The couple was a traditional clash, and Deni liked the way Clementine fell breathless and showed her bones when she licked between breasts against goose bumps and requisites. Today wouldn't be an exception. 

It was hard to tell where one began and the other ended like a maze of messy love and hunger. Sweat laid thicker than the aftermath of her jog and by the points of climaxes, Deni held one thumb to each mandible. She wanted to see how deep the pain and pleasure went in the eyes of her soulmate. The pupil extended, then swallowed itself. Clementine's spine jerked and her hands gripped hair. They fucked and fought like just a fling but man did they know how to love. Their mutual fascination was an ambrosial infection. When periodic wars in bed were over, Deni dragged herself to an iPhone charger and reminded her friends she would see them later. Clementine ducked out of the affair, Deni chalked it up to business as usual. 

She had no problem riding solo. The codependency or lack thereof didn't seem to make messes in the other aspects of day to day life, and Deni could handle herself unlike many people she knew. She didn't need to show anyone up or act gauzy, gaudy, flaunty. In fact in spite of guaranteed VIP specs, she showered and tied her hair into braids and hardly put effort anywhere else. To be clad in black was enough.

With Clementine worn on her arm she might have stepped her game up. But she wasn't! Truth be told, though Miyu could kill a one-man fashion show with demonstrated simplicity it just wasn't her favorite thing. She was comfortable in her Calvins, or a pair of free runs. Or hell, both. All of it! Her sports bra could double as a very tight haute crop top with a Nike logo and so that's what she settled on. It's not like Gunner would give her shit for it. If anyone were going to choke on their stripper served beverage it might be the youngest Bates who everyone knew had the entire world beat at fashion. That was indisputable. Deni favored his flickered distaste for poorly ensembled outfits, because sometimes it was a ball to watch him mumble a drag about badly tailored lengths and jewelry bound to leave the skin green. Those Bates boys!

Eyebrows lengthened over bright eyes in an even sweep and bare arch that cast mystery over her face. It was hard to tell Deni's general emotions from her face alone, even harder from her eyes. The brows pointed in a sort of aggressive way. It gave her a look of hard contemplation, plotting, scheming, overall fear-inducing if registered by the wrong person. Clementine was intimidating as hell but Deni certainly learned a thing or two from it.

ImageSo when she strolled into the club in nothing short of an ebony gym getup and circular blacked out lenses she might have had a particular air about her. One that said, "I tip cocktail waitresses uptown double your nightly income." and chiseled out in the projection of a toned abdomen. The girls were pretty and even more talented with their lust for fuckaerobics on the pole. It was not surprising to see Dom and Novi enjoying the show, or, really just Novi, and Dom hiding in her hair much like earlier that morning. Before Deni could approach to say hello, Novi had wandered to an opposite corner. Deni followed her with her eyes and much to her coy pleasure... There was Senna Z. Baaaaby girl.

Deni could have opened the can of worms but it wasn't her style. She was more clean cut. And when she scanned the blonde piece next to Senna, Gunner's brief footnotes on letdown made all the sense in the world. Deni hung back to scrutinize and snatch down a few drinks. Before long something exploded in the general atmosphere, and Bel and Novi were at it, with some small remarks from Senna and a discomforted look on her girl's face. Deni couldn't help but chuckle because the repetitive cycle of her people was sometimes just too much. There was blood in the air, anger, jealousy, more heartache than what clung to Gunner's exhaustion and it was enough to make the mortal soul sick. Sighing, Deni glanced to Aedan, notoriously known for his slightly better hand at the work Deni had just picked up. He approached Dom and then soon came Bel. Awkwardly she removed herself, uninterested in theatrics of familial war and envy.

She however didn't miss the detail of someone unfamiliar slinking in tow with November's aggravated exit... Who was that? The only glimpse she caught was some metal in the skin, dark hair. Scrunching her nose, she racked her brain for answers she couldn't find and then wandered with a drink in hand until she saw Jasper with a line winding for his affections. Or maybe it was just the opportunity to buy him a drink.

Unabashed she cleared the way and rolled her eyes and slapped a Benjamin on the counter, "I'll get you some. Save your stamina for the real freaks in the back." Chuckling, she toasted to him and collapsed beside him on a plush beanbag that had probably been Lysol'd hopelessly many times. She didn't care. She put her hands on worse things, still beating hearts. Fingered the voids that released final breaths and gave them something sweet to pass onto the next world with. But Deni wasn't so sweet, at the end of it all. She'd have to live with that in her own head. Her own prison. "Sorry to interrupt your party," she cocked her neck to glance over at Jasper's junkie pulchritude. Shit, it makes people look like they haven't slept since conception and he kind of wore it like a glove. Fascinating. She had to wonder what his insides looked like from all that crap. One day she might know. She wasn't proud to admit it, either.

Tinted lenses slid down the bridge of her narrow nose so that crystal hues could peek up at him, "I selfishly decided to make you my social slave for at least twenty or so minutes. I'm plotting." She raised her glass yet again and looked over toward Senna and her new found playmate.