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 Eleven

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Scottie Elisabeth
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PostSubject: Eleven    Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:51 am

The morning was still chilly when we made the trek to the lycanthrope side of town together. Miriam was tense but followed without prodding. She stayed close, but just behind me, I’m sure watching my back as effectively as she could without walking backwards. Whoever it was had singled me out of the two of us; maybe Miriam wasn’t on their radar at all. I hoped so.

I stopped at the end of Lily’s street, our last encounter still unsettling.

“Which one?” Miriam appeared next to me then, her posture straight, vigilant. I pointed at Lily’s dilapidated townhouse with the faded shutters, and Miriam began at a brisk pace towards it.

“Wait!” I called after her, but she didn’t, and as I followed her, I noticed why. She was searching the windows, walking ahead because she wouldn’t be recognized. Lily didn’t know her replacement. But as soon as I got within eyesight of the window, the blinds were closed. Miriam was paused across the street from the house, facing it, waiting for me.

“She’s home,” Miriam confirmed, clearly uncomfortable. “But she saw you.”

This frustrated me to no end. She sees me and shuts the blinds? So much for convincing me of her innocence.

I crossed the street without Miriam, bounding the stairs to the porch. I went to knock but didn’t have the patience. In a blink, I had kicked Lily’s door in, the TV still blaring.

I barely recognized her where she stood before me. She faintly resembled her own self, enough for me to be sure it was her, but she was so much prettier. Any indication of her lycanthropy was gone, though it had been obvious two days earlier. She was a shell of herself in a human skin. Is that all Sophie had been worth? A stronger camouflage?

She saw me immediately, a deer in headlights, but then she bolted, attempting to bound up the stairs but not as quick in her human form. Lily—my Lily—collapsed halfway up the stairs with my tackle.

“How could you?!” I straddled her, grabbing the collar of her shirt to lift her before pushing her against the stairs again.

When a shriek was her reply, I grabbed her throat with both hands. She could not go unpunished. She clawed at me as I choked her, her nails turning to claws as her adrenaline grew, but even with shredded arms, I couldn’t let her go. Not now.

“Stop!” I finally heard, but not Lily. I turned to her without loosening my grip. Stop? Really? After what she’s done?

“Collin!” Miriam insisted again, holding up a small note that I couldn’t read from such a distance. “Collin, we need her!”

As I tried to process the words, Lily struck my face, her claws ripping through my flesh with ease. I let her go then as I stumbled backwards, trying not to lose my footing on the stairs as I did so. When I looked back to Lily, she had righted herself, perched on an upper step as she stared at me. Her chest heaved with each breath and she wouldn’t break eye contact with me, so I didn’t either.

“I didn’t know what they were going to do,” Lily spat hoarsely, narrowing her eyes at me, red handprints developing on her neck.

“Fucking look at you,” I growled, barely able to look at her myself. Lily had never been vain. Had she really sold out me, my Sophie, for her appearance?

Miriam was next to me then, offering me the note. I was afraid to take my eyes off Lily, afraid she would bolt, but where could she go? I knew from past visits that Lily liked her upstairs windows boarded up to keep out the sun. She had no way out other than through me.

Lily, as a thank you, we’ve upgraded your standard camouflage. Your debt has also been cleared on your behalf. -S

“Who is ‘S’?” I demanded, my eyes slicing through Lily once more.

“Who is she?” Lily countered, chest still heaving, as if she had any right to ask questions.

“Who the fuck are you?” I had no time for games. It was everything I could do not to lunge for her again. It really was fortunate for Lily that Miriam was here.

“I’m Miriam,” she answered against my will, gently pushing past me on the stairs to offer her hand to Lily. I watched Lily’s eyes, her claws, her posture, ready in case she tried anything, but she simply sniffed the air, assessing Miriam, before accepting her hand awkwardly and once again retreating to a higher stair.

Miriam stepped back then, closer to me, her left hand extended in front of me to block my path. “Can we talk?” she asked sweetly and I wanted to scream at her for being so casual. How could she be cordial now?

“Shut the fucking door,” Lily growled at me then. A demand or a dare? But I couldn’t afford to take my eyes off of her, of Miriam. Lily was too strong.

“Collin, shut the door,” Miriam coaxed, her voice calm as she flicked a look over her shoulder at me.

I exhaled sharply, moving from my step to comply. In addition to shutting though, I also locked the deadbolt, something Lily hadn’t thought to do. Once the chain was in place as well, I turned around. If Lily was going to try to leave, she was going to have to want to. “Happy?”

Miriam too looked at Lily, punctuating my question, and Lily snarled, but stood, no longer prepared to lunge. Miriam seemed pleased with the progress, smiling as she descended the stairs backwards, to return to me, and I was grateful to have her close once again.

Lily brought her hand to her neck and I noticed her claws recede as she felt the bruised skin of her throat. “You’re a fucking asshole, Collin, you know that?” Her voice didn’t match her current body, but her old one, and I was torn between my Lily and this traitor.

“I’ll ask you one more time. Who the fuck is ‘S’?”

“You’ll ask as many fucking times as I make you.” Lily rolled her eyes, the tone being one we would have used on the job, and it infuriated me now.

Miriam’s hand moved to my arm before I could react. Her gentle touch begged me to stay put, to not instigate, but I didn’t know what else to do.

“Lily?” Miriam asked, requesting permission, and when Lily didn’t argue, she continued. “I’m the receptionist at Henry’s now. Collin’s friend.”

Friend? I stayed quiet as she politely introduced herself, though I wanted to rip Lily apart. Instead, I clenched my fist at my side, and Miriam’s fingertips squeezed at the constriction of my arm.

“Collin’s in trouble,” she started and I felt betrayed, but I stayed silent, watching her. She was so careful. So calculative. Miriam was trying to read Lily, to read our relationship, and to force my former friend into a corner of compassion. “And we think it has to do with the lycanthrope resistance.” She paused, again trying to read her. Lily’s eyes darted between the two of us, uncertain.

“Lily,” sweet Miriam continued, “if you could help us at all, it might mean the difference between life and death for Collin.”

“Help you?” she spat, still massaging the bruised skin. “Are you fucking kidding me? You’re going to break into my home and ask me for a fucking favor?”

I pushed past Miriam then, taking a step toward the stairs, and Lily took a step higher up as Miriam grabbed my wrist. “Are you fucking kidding? I thought you were my fucking friend!”

“Friend?” she scoffed then, no longer afraid of me. She walked down the stairs slowly, dramatically, allowing her footsteps to punctuate her sentence. “What a friend you were, Collin. You were out of the fucking picture the second that asshole made me leave.”

It was strange looking at her, hearing her speak to me with such malice, when her appearance was nothing like the intimidating demeanor of her formerly rugged frame. Instead, a shorter, thinner woman shouted at me from a set of stairs, and I felt nothing.

“Because of you, I lost my job and the only fucking friend I had. Because of you, fuckface, I lost my whole fucking world in a day.”

“So you wanted to make me lose mine?!” I shouted back, closing the distance between us. I stood on the third-step landing as Lily stood on the step above it. Our eyes lined up at this angle, our faces close enough to feel her exhales on my face.

“Don’t fucking kid yourself,” she rolled her eyes, snarling her lip up at me, and still I felt nothing. “I wouldn’t do that to you.”

Miriam’s hand was on my back then, and I broke my stare at Lily to look at her. “Can we sit?” she begged, her eyes fearful. “Let’s just talk. All of us.”

Lily shoved me then, to the wall of the landing, as she allowed Miriam to dictate her position in the room. She retreated to a room just through a doorframe and we followed, Miriam’s eyes pleading me to cooperate.

The TV switched off as we entered and the fresh silence was chilling. Lily took a seat in a worn out recliner in the corner, while Miriam pulled me toward a loveseat against the wall.

“I wanted to get back at Henry, not you,” Lily conceded, leaning back into the comfort of her chair. “I’m sorry you got caught up in it.”

I wanted to explode. What was she talking about? What had she done?

“What’s going on?” Miriam asked gently, sweeter than I ever would, and Lily seemed to take in the question, savoring it.

“’S’ is the fuckoff I get my camo from,” Lily started from her beginning, and I was grateful to have at least one question answered.

“An imp?” Miriam asked for clarification, and Lily nodded.

“Yeah. Fucking gouger. But apparently his boss is involved with the lycanthrope bullshit.”

“The resistance?” Miriam asked again, and I grew annoyed for her need for clarification, though I knew it was necessary.

“Yeah,” Lily rolled her eyes then, looking to me for affirmation of the annoyance. When I rolled my eyes in response, she shook her head and continued. “Listen, I didn’t know what they were planning. They were talking about injustices and that shady fuck Henry came up. He’s been collecting lycanthrope debts before they’re due.”

“What?” Miriam interrupted again, and I watched the confusion on her face worsen.

“Like this girl Lyca,” Lily continued. “She was supposed to have three more months on her loan before asshole over there showed up and fucked her life out.”

Miriam whipped her head around to face me and I shrank back into the arm of the couch.

“I collect when I’m told to collect,” I raised my hands in front of me. “You do the records. I just follow the sheets Henry gives me. I don’t make any decisions.”

“I would never,” she returned to face Lily again then, “ever, ever do something like that.”

“It’s Henry,” Lily answered simply for all of us, and the fact that none of us could defend him sent her point home. “He did dodgy shit all the time when I was there. I think the only reason he fired me when I took out the loan is so he could gouge me without me seeing his bullshit paper trail.” She shrugged. “So when fuckoff asked me about him, I told him what I knew.”

“And you knew me,” I asked bitterly.

“He asked how he did it!” She threw her hands up as if I were being unreasonable. “What was I supposed to fucking say? I said he had a whatever the fuck you are on staff and you do the harvests. But it was supposed to come back on Henry, not you.”

“Yet here we are,” I growled in return.

“Which imp?” Miriam thought to ask and I was grateful for the interruption. “Do you know his name?”

“Stewart something,” Lily shrugged. “I usually just call him ‘asshole.’ He signs his shit with that stupid ‘S’ like he’s got a big, badass name but it’s fucking Stewart.”

Miriam sat back into the couch, looking at neither of us, as she searched her mind for an imp named Stewart. In her silence, I couldn’t help but continue.

“So what the fuck did Sophie have to do with it?”

Lily’s eyes softened then, her demeanor matching her body now, rather than her voice. “Dude, I don’t know.”

“You sure seemed to know before.” I glared at her then, searching her soul for answers, but found none.

“I didn’t know she was dead, if that’s what you mean.” She sighed, stretching her head back to reveal the bruises once more as she grew ever-uncomfortable. “But when you told me, I can’t say I was surprised.”

“Lily, what did you tell them?”

“I told you!” she insisted, returning her eyes to me.

“That’s it?”

“That’s fucking it. What do you want me to say?”

“Why did you tell them about Sophie?”

She gave me a sour look then. “Why the fuck would I tell them about Sophie?”

I hesitated, surprised by her answer, but wasn’t sure I could trust the words from her mouth. “Why did you tell them where I lived?”

“I fucking didn’t,” she repeated, her eyes making her feeling of betrayal apparent. “Why would I? Henry was supposed to be the fucking target, asshole, not you. I didn’t even mention your fucking name.”

I stared at Lily, searching her for lies. If she hadn’t mentioned me, why was it me they were after?

I looked to Miriam then but she shrugged. What else was there to say?

“Okay,” I breathed as I got to my feet and Miriam followed suit. “Don’t tell anyone we were here.”

“Don’t fucking worry,” she sighed but didn’t stand. “The last thing I need is for them to know you were here.”

“Thanks.” I started for the door as Miriam said what I was sure was a polite goodbye. As I was unlocking the door, though, Miriam stopped me.

“Your face,” she whispered, and I swallowed, closing my eyes to focus my Glow to the claw marks on my cheek and arms. No need to call any more attention to us. Thankfully, Miriam’s forced outing the night before had given me plenty to spare.

We exited Lily’s into the bright light of almost-noon. I was exhausted, frustrated, and eager to be out of the dark, dust-smelling house. The sun welcomed me, as it always did, and we rushed away from Lily’s home as unassumingly as we could manage. We needed quick distance, but we also needed to avoid calling attention to ourselves.

“So what now?” I asked harshly, frustrated with the lack of answers.

“I have no idea.”

So we walked. We made the walk back to Miriam’s stretch as long as we could. And just as we were rounding the corner of Miriam’s street,

“I really think we need to check out that duplex tonight.” Miriam’s tone was firm. There was to be no budging. And she didn’t wait for my answer. Instead, she continued along the street and I had no choice but to follow the gorgeous woman in the tall black boots. Because we were a team now. Me and her. She and me. And I was comforted in the fact that whatever happened from here on out, we were in it together.
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PostSubject: Re: Eleven    Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:18 am

-----It's funny how tactical Miriam is at the beginning and Col is like, "Wait, don't run." in his head, but then he gets it.

I crossed the street without Miriam, bounding the stairs to the porch. I went to knock but didn’t have the patience. In a blink, I had kicked Lily’s door in, the TV still blaring. ----First off, love the imagery of him 'bounding' the stairs. Second of all, it's about time this nigga did something! Kick in the door! Fuck this bitch up if you have to, just to get answers!

I barely recognized her where she stood before me. She faintly resembled her own self, enough for me to be sure it was her, but she was so much prettier. Any indication of her lycanthropy was gone, though it had been obvious two days earlier. She was a shell of herself in a human skin. Is that all Sophie had been worth? A stronger camouflage? ----Okay.. Okay.. Before I go any further, I just want to say...that if this bitch had anything to do with Sophie, she gon' wish she had some actual goddamn armor! Now, it's possible she didn't, and just stole the machine, and Sophie died actually from being old. It's possible. But this fucking paragraph throws me for all kinds of loops. I don't want to believe that Lily is the mastermind, in fact, I don't. But she's obvs getting the good end of something. These lycanthropes must be the one's behind it? They have to be.

------THE WHOLE SCENE WHERE HE IS TACKLING AND FIGHTING LILLY AND MIRIAM IS ALL CALM!!!! OMG, I LOVE THE WHOLE THING. CAN'T QUOTE IT ALL! LOVE! ESPECIALLY THIS ----> Lily brought her hand to her neck and I noticed her claws recede as she felt the bruised skin of her throat. “You’re a fucking asshole, Collin, you know that?” Her voice didn’t match her current body, but her old one, and I was torn between my Lily and this traitor.

“You’ll ask as many fucking times as I make you.” Lily rolled her eyes, the tone being one we would have used on the job, and it infuriated me now. ---- Laughing Best. Comeback.Ever.

----Miriam is so fucking sweet. You'd get nowhere without her, Col.

“Friend?” she scoffed then, no longer afraid of me. She walked down the stairs slowly, dramatically, allowing her footsteps to punctuate her sentence. “What a friend you were, Collin. You were out of the fucking picture the second that asshole made me leave.” ----<3 <3 <3

Lily shoved me then, to the wall of the landing, as she allowed Miriam to dictate her position in the room. ---- LaughingLaughingLaughingLaughingLaughingLaughingLaughingLaughingLaughingLaughing This bitch done pushed him! LOVE! I already love Lilly for treating him this way.

“Yeah,” Lily rolled her eyes then, looking to me for affirmation of the annoyance. When I rolled my eyes in response, she shook her head and continued. “Listen, I didn’t know what they were planning. They were talking about injustices and that shady fuck Henry came up. He’s been collecting lycanthrope debts before they’re due.” ---- Chuckle, chuckle. That eye rolling thing. That's fucking funny, a nice little bit of comedic relief. And, can I just say that I love Lily so far. She is a straight-up no bullshitter. I love it. She's uber badass right now. Plus, the more you say fuck, the cooler you are. (Most of the time) Gotta have the proper tone/scene. Perfect amount of fucks so far. <3

“Like this girl Lyca,” Lily continued. “She was supposed to have three more months on her loan before asshole over there showed up and fucked her life out.” ---OH SHIT! IT'S STARTING TO PEICE TOGETHER. OH SHIT! ...
..
.....
......
.......

THAT'S ME READING. OH SHIT. CAN'T STOP.

“It’s Henry,” Lily answered simply for all of us, and the fact that none of us could defend him sent her point home. “He did dodgy shit all the time when I was there. I think the only reason he fired me when I took out the loan is so he could gouge me without me seeing his bullshit paper trail.” She shrugged. “So when fuckoff asked me about him, I told him what I knew.” ----GODDAMN PIECE OF SHIT HENRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!!!! And the fact they couldn't defend him really does send it home. Love that. Love how you thought to say that. Also, I admire all the sweet pet names Lily is giving Col and the imp right now. Laughing Smile

“Stewart something,” Lily shrugged. “I usually just call him ‘asshole.’ He signs his shit with that stupid ‘S’ like he’s got a big, badass name but it’s fucking Stewart.” ----Oh good-goddamn. I love her so fucking much. She is like my best friend. She is how I'd see Lailen if she were a lycan. She is the best. I love Lily. Don't you do mean things to her again! DO YOU HEAR ME, GF?! DON'T YOU DO ANYTHING FURTHER THAT WILL RESULT IN LILY BEING HURT/KILLED! DON'T YOU FUCKING HURT LILALIEN! DO YOU UNDERSTAND! SHE IS HILARIOUS AND AWESOME, AND ALWAYS CALLS PEOPLE THE BEST NAMES! DONT'T YOU LAY A FINGER ON YOUR KEYS THAT WILL RESULT IN BAD THINGS FOR HER! But I do, I love her so much. She cracks my shit up.

And she didn’t wait for my answer. Instead, she continued along the street and I had no choice but to follow the gorgeous woman in the tall black boots. ---Goddamn she's a spicy one. Laughing <3 <3

---Okay, so here at the end of all things, I have to say that I feel like your toying with me! But that's a good thing. I got all excited thinking shit was about to come out. I don't believe this convo with Lily was irrelevant to what happened to Col. I think it has something to do with it. I can say, however, that I never thought Lily herself was going to be the sole-perpetrator of this whole mess with Collin. I couldn't see why, and this this chapter opened me up to Lily's character, and I could almost see how she would be the type to go get some revenge, but I KNOW she didn't. I 100% trust her, because she seems to have no stake in it. Lily having new camo was genius. That was a trick if I've ever seen one. But this S guy, I mean, 'asshole' he may just be an imp, but something is there. AND THEY BETTER GO BACK TO THE DUPLEX NEXT CHAPTER OR ELSE!!! THEY BETTER FINALLY FOLLOW UP WITH THE TEEN! I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR IT FOREVER! I love Lily so dearly. She's hilar, and we needed her right now. Plus, you wrote some beautiful descriptors of her on the defense when Col was attacking/verbally assaulting her.

Love, Bf
!!!!!11!!!!!

And thus the plot thickens.




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