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 Twelve

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Scottie Elisabeth
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PostSubject: Twelve    Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:50 am

Miriam’s apartment was bright with the sun streaming in the window. Instead of basking in it like I would have preferred, I followed Miriam to her kitchen table, grateful when she returned my bottle of Black Velvet to me, while retrieving her vodka from the cabinet.

“I need to ask you something, right now, and I need you to tell me the truth,” Miriam started and my heart sank. Her tone was calm, as it always was, but her eyes were pleading.

“Don’t say it like that, fuck,” I complained, pouring a glass. “What?”

“Were you authorized to harvest from Lyca?” She slid into her seat with the question, as if it wasn’t a punch to the gut. I stared at her over my glass, daring her to look at me. What sort of question was that?

“Are you fucking kidding me?”

“I didn’t authorize it,” she insisted, raising her eyes to me. “And I write your lists.”

“You think I took it upon my fucking self?” I demanded, furious. “What do I possibly have to gain from that? You were certainly there to take your cut.”

“I never got your paperwork.”

My brow furrowed at her. She was worried about paperwork? “So what?”

“So out of all the marks you’ve ever done, you just didn’t do paperwork on that one?” She tried not to sound accusatory, but her train of thought was clear.

I tried desperately to think back to that night. Sophie was getting worse by the day. I needed to do her transfer. The machine had malfunctioned; the session was split in two. So why hadn’t I done my paperwork?

“I have an updated job sheet for you,” Henry offered, Miriam's handwriting scrawled neatly across an unlined piece of ledger paper. “You can squeeze 5 or 6 in before Friday, can't you?”

I smirked, accepting the list. So much for my week off. “Yeah, sure. Can I have Lyca’s file? I’ll do her write up before I go home.”

“Oh, don’t worry about that,” Henry had insisted, his eyes friendly once more. “I’ll take care of the paperwork. Go home. You’ve had a long night.”

My eyes flashed to Miriam. Hers were awaiting my confession. “Henry. He said he would do it.”

Her shoulders fell, an exhale parting her painted lips as she flicked her eyes to the window, past me. “Collin, I swore to our community that we did everything by the book. I swore we followed the rules. That we didn’t take more than we had to. And between Lyca and the barmaid alone… What if they find out?”

“You’re worried about them?” I scoffed then, leaning my head back as my eyes rolled. “How about whoever the fuck was in my house?”

“Who do you think?” she hissed then, as if I just couldn’t see it. “Clearly demons are working with the lycanthropes. Some imps, at least. If I’m up there blatantly lying to our community, they’re going to think we’re the bad guys.”

“Can we not do this now?” I complained again, returning my attention to the drink in front of me.

“Fine,” she conceded with a sharp, annoyed exhale. “What do you want to talk about then, Collin?”

“Why are you so interested in the duplex?”

Miriam fidgeted, breaking our eye contact once more. “I don’t know.”

“You’re lying,” I accused gently and her eyes continued to avoid mine.

“My records are impeccable.” She finally met my eyes, insecurity evident. “They have to be. They can be the difference between sending you to collect and sending you into some innocent’s home. And for that address to have always been empty, like that girl claimed? It isn’t possible.”

“So you think she was lying.”

Miriam paused, carefully assessing what it was she actually wanted to put forth as her theory. “I don’t know. You didn’t question her.”

“Do you think Henry’s interfered?”

Miriam’s eyes cut from me again and I couldn’t tell if she felt uneasy or betrayed. “If he’s giving you false information, Collin, you can’t keep doing jobs for him.”

Silence fell then, as we both knew she was right but neither wanted to comment on it.

“Can we do something else?” I finally managed, hoping my lighthearted tone would alter Miriam’s tense mood.

Luckily, she smirked, rolling her eyes as she took a raw gulp of her drink of choice. “Anything else.”

“Do you want to go out?”

“Where?”

“I don’t know. Anywhere that serves alcohol at this hour.”

Miriam breathed a laugh, her eyes flitting to the drinks between us, as if we needed another setting in which to drink. “I know just the place.”


We sat on uncomfortable bar stools in a cramped restaurant, Miriam on my left as a waiter brought us large bowls of watery noodles.

“What is this?” I asked unamused as Miriam tried not to giggle.

“Ramen, I told you.”

I reached for my beer then, my disdain growing as I felt the bottle. “It’s warm.”

She couldn’t hold her laugh then, touching my wrist gently as she tried to regain her straight face. “Stop complaining. It’s alcohol. You’re lucky they open at 11.”

“Is yours cold?” I reached for her bottle, but she swatted my hand before I could reach it.

“Stop! Eat.”

My eyes annoyedly scanned the wall directly in front of us, to which the bar was attached, eyeing the series of annoying post-it’s that previous patrons had written or doodled. “What even is this place?” I turned to Miriam, who blushed as she tried to slurp her noodle rather than drop it with her giggle.

“Collin, stop,” she pleaded, her words muffled with her mouth full. The corners of my mouth turned up in a smile then, so grateful for the change of scenery that allowed both of us such a change in mood.

I tried to hold my chopsticks then, prepared to try this liquidy noodle creation, when Miriam snorted, immediately covering her mouth to stifle yet another laugh. She broke my concentration and the sticks dropped into the bowl. “What?” my attention turned to her, as it always did, and her face was pained as she tried to regain herself.

“Use a fork,” she breathed as her eyes rolled, pointing to the lip in the bar just above the post-its.

I cut my eyes to her then. “You could’ve told me.”

She handed me a fork then, her eyes bright as she smiled at me, pressing her forehead to mine as she laughed a soft, breathy laugh. “I did.”

“I hate this.”

“I know.” She rolled her eyes again, her smile still evident despite her attempts to suppress it. She returned to her meal, fluent in chopsticks, as I jabbed a piece of meat floating around in my bowl.

“What’s this?”

“Pork,” she answered without looking, trying to keep from looking in my direction.

I accepted the meat in a bite, my brow furrowing. “What about this?” I asked when I stabbed something else in the bowl.

“Still pork.” Miriam’s voice had returned to the playfulness of the bar, nothing like her severity at Sophie’s or her suspiciousness at her apartment, and I was so grateful to be here. Every word she spoke to me in her lovely, vivacious tone was music and I was afraid to go too long without hearing it.

“Do you come here often?” I finally asked, reluctant to try a waterlogged noodle.

“Sometimes,” she responded, swallowing her mouthful before she continued. “When I miss Asia.”

“Asia?” I inquired, Miriam growing more multifaceted by the day.

“I wasn’t there long; I was with this business guy once, Paul. He was always traveling to China for work, and a few times, on his longer trips, he took me along. He took me all over the continent in the month or so total I spent there.”

“And he made you eat this?” I bit into the watery noodle then, cringing at the consistency as it split in two in my mouth.

“You’re such a baby,” Miriam complained, her playful lilt continuing the music that was her. “Drink your beer. You’re too sober to be any fun.”

“This isn’t fun?” I prodded and Miriam shook her head with a smile as she took another delicate swipe at her meal.

After I fished the soggy bits of pork from the juice, I again needed to hear Miriam’s voice. “He was your boyfriend?” I asked and Miriam’s face scrunched for a moment.

“I wouldn’t say boyfriend. I was hardly more than a toy. He had too much money and no one to spend it on.”

“But you were together?” I emphasized, the label of Miriam’s relationship the furthest thing from my mind.

“Yes, why?” she took another bite then, eyeing me as she chewed. “Have you not been with anyone longer than a night?”

“A weekend?” I offered after some thought. “I don’t know; don’t you feel guilty getting attached to someone you’re harvesting from? It isn’t like we can just turn it off because we like the person.”

Miriam went quiet as she contemplated my question, but her face betrayed that she knew exactly what I meant. “Yes.”

It was uncomfortable between us then and I was sorry I had voiced my judgment. I didn’t mean to slight Miriam. I was just curious about her and these men that kept her.

“When they’re older,” she exhaled timidly, “they just think they’re losing stamina. As long as you don’t take much, and I never did, they don’t realize what’s happening. They just think they’re old players in a young man’s game.” She eyed me guiltily then and I wished I could take back my question. “They feel flattered to have a young woman on their arm. It’s not about sex so much as the idea of sex, the idea of what they could do to me, because I was in their company. There was only one I had to leave because he wanted it too often for the harvests to be subtle.”

I nodded then, trying to give her unspoken support in her decisions, but the guilt was clearly heavy on her shoulders.

“Can you imagine, Collin?” she mused then, her voice heavier. “Wouldn’t it just be nice to go home with someone you can enjoy? Someone who won’t age, with no consequences…who will just fuck you and be fucked by you?”

“Okay,” I breathed, relinquishing my fork into the bowl. I was so enticed by the gorgeous woman next to me. The thought of an unhindered, unadulterated encounter for the first time in centuries was almost too much to bear.

“Okay?” Her brow furrowed as she turned to me, lost between her train of thought and mine. When our eyes met, though, she understood, and her eagerness revealed itself as her surprise dissipated. “Okay.” She slid off her stool, her meal disregarded. She took my hand as she started for the door.

This was it. We had conceded. There was nothing more to say as I took Miriam to bed.


Last edited by Scottie Elisabeth on Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Twelve    Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:28 am

Kill you? Oh, I'll do much worse than kill you.

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PostSubject: Re: Twelve    Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:24 am

*CAUTION - TALK OF SEX AHEAD. CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION.*
----Laughing I came back to the top after writing all of this just to warn you. <3

Miriam’s apartment was bright with the sun streaming in the window. Instead of basking in it like I would have preferred, I followed Miriam to her kitchen table, grateful when she returned my bottle of Black Velvet to me, while retrieving her vodka from the cabinet. ---I love my Miriam. She knows good drink. Also, want to comment on your repetition with Col and the window. It shows a nice contrast to the haste he wasn't filling on this morning.

“Don’t say it like that, fuck,” I complained, pouring a glass. “What?”--- I don't know if you've noticed, but you use profanity sparingly. But you always use it at the right moment. I believe 11 had the most, and that was because of Lily, and the confrontation they were having. And it was approps then. You don't just throw 'fucks' around. I respect someone who can use profanity in a good way Laughing But then again, I already admired you!!!11!!! Smile

---Gotta comment on this clever-ass plot point. I never thought about Col not doing the paperwork on Lyca. I remember it happening, and this is a very appropriate use of a flashback, but I didn't harp on it. This is either really clever on your behalf, or just a fucking amazing coincidence that you were like, "Hey, wow, I totally gave myself a plot point by accident." I don't think you did it by accident, though. I know I do it all the time by accident, I mean, we all do. But with me, it's like my subconscious knew to do it, but I wasn't aware I did it until much later. This is why I love you. Because you seem to always do it on purpose, and I know you'll say you don't, but you always seem to have you're shit figured out. Maybe not everything, because who could? But you do these little things that upon a second read would literally fly out and smack you. And you'd be like, duh! Can't believe Gf alluded to this and I didn't catch it. I STRIVE to do that. I STRIVE! And you seem to do it so flawlessly. Noted. Stolen. Love.

“My records are impeccable.” She finally met my eyes, insecurity evident. “They have to be. They can be the difference between sending you to collect and sending you into some innocent’s home. And for that address to have always been empty, like that girl claimed? It isn’t possible.” ----What a dumb for Col to ask why she's interested in the duplex. OBVS THAT IS A PLOT POINT, COL! OBVS! But I love this statement from Miriam. Not only does it add to the mystery, but it also serves as a nice detail about her character. We already know she clearly has her shit together, but it's nice to know that even with her scouting, she can is so adamant about the image the demons are putting out there. She's far from selfish. Take notes, Col!

Miriam breathed a laugh, her eyes flitting to the drinks between us, as if we needed another setting in which to drink. “I know just the place.” ---I totes for real agree. You guys are alchys.

I tried to hold my chopsticks then, prepared to try this liquidy noodle creation, when Miriam snorted, immediately covering her mouth to stifle yet another laugh. She broke my concentration and the sticks dropped into the bowl. “What?” my attention turned to her, as it always did, and her face was pained as she tried to regain herself. ---This whole noodle scene is so cute. It's such a nice change of pace. I like seeing the lighter side of these two characters. Miriam is adorbs, and Col is adorbs awkward. Love.

“You’re such a baby,” Miriam complained, her playful lilt continuing the music that was her. “Drink your beer. You’re too sober to be any fun.”------BURN! Laughing Laughing

----BTW, thank you for the little spot about Mir's past bf. It's cool that these two connect on this level. The pain they experience being with mortals is totally something exclusive to them. It makes sense that they would find something so, how you say, endearing? Maybe? It's endearing that they both understand what it's like to love in vain. It's made Collin and hardass. It's a wonder it hasn't Miriam. It just goes to show the types of people they are. They live in almost the same situation, yet one of them has a completely different outlook on it.

“When they’re older,” she exhaled timidly, “they just think they’re losing stamina. As long as you don’t take much, and I never did, they don’t realize what’s happening. They just think they’re old players in a young man’s game.” She eyed me guiltily then and I wished I could take back my question. “They feel flattered to have a young woman on their arm. It’s not about sex so much as the idea of sex, the idea of what they could do to me, because I was in their company. There was only one I had to leave because he wanted it too often for the harvests to be subtle.” -----Very interesting. I like that your expanding on the how the Glow thing really works. I wouldn't have known before how this would work. What a tragic life they lead. And Miriam, she says such thoughtful things. She is clearly an intellectual. Not that Collin isn't, but he's so hard that he is very much on the surface. He likes to stay there. Thinking too deeply forces you to feel. He's not up for that.

“Can you imagine, Collin?” she mused then, her voice heavier. “Wouldn’t it just be nice to go home with someone you can enjoy? Someone who won’t age, with no consequences…who will just fuck you and be fucked by you?” ------I admire how sad this is. But I also enjoy her use of 'fuck' here. That words is so raunchy, but it doesn't feel so here. It feels very personal and very real at the same time. Like, it really drives the point home, so much better than any other variation of it could have. See, this is what I meant by appropriate use of profanity. This is beautiful, real but tragic all the same.

----I love the way she just agrees. "Okay." But they don't have to say much about the matter. They understand. And I like that they leave it there. You're final sentence is beautiful, but it robs me of so much! Sad Laughing I told you before, there's no sense in being all graphic and shit, and there isn't. You don't have to tell me when and what boob he touched. You don't have to tell me how long they banged. You simply have to invoke the idea in my head. And I love that. It's bittersweet, you know? I don't need to read it. And I don't want to make these characters awkward. Because, for me, when I love a character, just like when I love someone in real life, I don't want to experience them in these carnal, animalistic situations. We all know we're human. We all have needs, wants, etc. I love them to that point where I wouldn't want to watch them have sex. I mean, how weird would it be to read about or watch someone you care for doing the deed? Forgive me for going so in depth on this, but sex is such a barbarian act that there almost has to be that barrier. for there to be interest from the reader/viewer, I believe. It's different if they're going to 'make love,' but if they are going to do that, and they may have, it's something you could write about without being uber graphic. We all secretly want those chapters Laughing I'm just glad you didn't give me some raunched up, super graphic scene. If they're going to 'go to bed' it better be sweet, and there better not be one 'dick' or 'shaft' or 'nipples' or 'lovehole' or 'member' or 'penis' or 'vagina' or 'titty' or any other derogatory word in there.

*Takes breath

Now, speaking about the format of this chapter. Like I told you, I like both scenes. They are bridged together now simply by the fact that they want to get out from under such pressure. But, the sense of urgency at the end of chapter 11, and at the beginning of this one just doesn't logically merit this, in my head. I feel like they need a better excuse. Maybe they go to the duplex, but the girl isn't there. They don't want her to be suspicious, so they don't break in. They go home, they mill stuff, then they decide to be okay with the break. I'm not saying write it that way, I'm just telling you. I need a good excuse for them not to go to the duplex right now. So, don't scrap any of this chapter, just make me feel okay with them having this light-hearted moment. Because I know you said they need to go to bed before the next big thing.

Gawl, I hate critiquing you. I feel I have no place. AHHHH. But there it is. But I love this story enough not to brush it off. So, you should be proud of that!

Love, Bf
!!!!!!!11!!!!!!
PS. Duplex scene will be done. That is all.

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