[GAU] The Rivale Hotel (Kelly/Marco) 2/4/15

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[GAU] The Rivale Hotel (Kelly/Marco) 2/4/15

Postby admin » Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:16 pm

Marco Rivale (Damiana)
(2/4/2015 5:49:30 PM) (2020321)

My brain feels like scrambled eggs- the kind with chorizo sausage and green peppers and onions mixed in. Maybe a little cheddar cheese on top. When I woke up this morning, I was in my parent's bedroom, naked with my step mother Stephanie snuggling against me. Pulling away Coyote Ugly style (not that she's ugly, she's just my step mother), I'd put on boxers and discovered Trevor naked in the kitchen making blueberry pancakes and singing show tunes.

That's how my morning started.

From there? I drove Trevor and me to school in Steph's white mustang. Before lunch, I was accosted by sister who demanded that I chauffer her and Kelly around. "Sure- but I have the mustang," I'd mumbled to her, digging furiously in my locker as if I was looking for something specific because I couldn't look Lilly in the eyes. I kinda had a threesome with Trevor Bennett and Steph in every room in the house last night. Including yours. Sorry.

And of course Lilly had a 101 suspicious questions regarding why I was being allowed access to the mustang. I stumbled through a version of the accident, leaving out the hobo and the trip to the ER. Lilly left me fuming and I'd spent the rest of the school day kinda numb, avoiding Trevor because I really don't know what to say to him and half afraid he might kiss me- or worse- in front of people.

I'm not gay.
I'm not into guys.
It was just flirting to dare him because he's so flamboyant.
How the hell did all of that happen?

My tarot deck is in my back pocket in a new silk bag. I've kept it close to me ever since it was stolen at the diner. Other than last night, I even sleep with it under my pillow. It was still under my pillow. In my bedroom. I just wasn't there.

Fuck. My. Life.

Numbly after school, I drive Lilly and Kelly to Mikaela what her face's house. Lilly asked for my old computer to give away to the girl, saying she didn't have one. We're in a poor neighborhood. These houses need tlc. I didn't realize Mikaela lived this way, though somebody had commented one that her mom was a barfly. I hadn't cared at the time.

Lilly goes into the house, leaving me and Kelly alone. She's in the backseat, which is really a tight squeeze in the mustang. I have my hands on the steering wheel and I'm just staring forward for the moment. I can't look at her. Kelly? She's a princess. She's smart, sweet, the nicest person I know.

If she knew what I just did? Oh God. I bet she'd never want to talk to me again.


Kelly Benette (EvilSqueegee)
(2/4/2015 6:00:41 PM) (2020328)

Okay. Whatever you do, Kelly? Don’t tell Marco that you almost cut your arm off with a power saw last night.

“So… hi,” I tuck my hair behind my ear with my good arm, looking at him in the mirror. You have any idea how hard it is to get through a day of school while only using one arm, let alone without letting on? I don’t want the wrong people finding out. Can you imagine what clarice would do if she found out I was some kind of arm-cyclopse? God that would be horrible.

I also don’t know how much of what Lilly and I have been going through Marco knows. I don’t want to accidentally give him ammo against his sister she doesn’t want him to have, though.

I look over at Michaela’s house and shift a little uncomfortably.

“How long do we have to stay here?”

I look up and down the road.

“Mustang in a neighborhood like this…”

No, I’m not deliberately giving him the chance to act cool and unphased. But if he does? He’s so trying to impress me. I wait to see how he responds.


Marco Rivale (Damiana)
(2/4/2015 6:12:32 PM) (2020345)

Dude, if you don't talk to Kelly she will know something is wrong. Worse, if you don't talk to Kelly? She will think she did something wrong and she will get nervous and start asking questions and you will feel even more guilty.

"Hi yourself." I say it but with a breath I look up into the mirror and smile at her. She immediately asks a question that gives me an excuse to talk without having to bring up a topic.

"I really don't know," I can let myself be annoyed about that, shooting a look in the direction Lilly had just vanished into the house. "I thought my sister said we were just dropping the laptop off? Where again are we going from here? A pawn shop? Why there? Most costuming?"

I would have said more costuming crap to Lilly. But this is Kelly and I avoid the same maligning of the costume collecting as I do when it is is Lilly alone. I remember when they were obsessed with Barbie fashions. God, how old were they then? I had been the kind of boy that didn't pay much attention to his sister or her friends back then. But over the past year? I've come to see how beautiful in her own way Kelly has grown- and its wholesome. She's that proverbial girl next door who doesn't need make-up to glow and be attractive.

There's an aching in me suddenly. It makes me tighten my hands on the steering wheel. Last night completely wore me out. That was more sex in eight hours than I normally have in a week of taking girls to the choir room or my car or their rooms and sneaking out the window after- and I do that at least three days in seven.

STOP THINKING ABOUT SEX WHILE TALKING TO KELLY YOU SICK FUCK!

Oh God. She just said something. What did she say? Pull it together, Rivale.


Kelly Benette (EvilSqueegee)
(2/4/2015 6:22:19 PM) (2020358)

Marco’s grip on the steering wheel gets a little tighter. I reach over to the door a little awkwardly, and push it open -- I have to reach across myself to do it, since my right arm is bad and Marco’s seat has to be pushed back because he’s so tall.

I then climb into the front seat. I pull out my phone, then shut the door, trying to look away while I wince at the pain in my shoulder. Of course, if he does notice I’m in pain, he gets to be concerned. Which totally means he’s trying to impress me.

I hold the phone in both hands and shoot Lilly a text.

//Is it okay if Marco takes me out of here for a few minutes? Hobo attack stress rising. Bad neighborhood, nice car.//

Honestly I just don’t know if I can handle being this close to Michaela right now. It’s got nothing to do with her being creepy and ignoring everyone… but walking corpses weigh in a little high on my wierd scale, and I’ve been having a bit too much wierdness in my life as of late. Besides. If I can get away with some alone time with Marco? I totally will.

There’s a reason I picked this outfit for school today, instead of using it the day after when I’d planned to.

“Kinda. A pawn shop over on Crowley street. Not too far from here. I, uhm.”

I swallow.

“I saw a mugging last time I was there. Don’t want to go back alone, but I think I dropped something.”

Yeah. I’m a terrible liar. Lilly is a bad influence on me.


Marco Rivale (Damiana)
(2/4/2015 6:32:32 PM) (2020361)

Hey asshat- she's hurt.

I snap into that realization. My own shoulder, which should have been killing me.. hasn't been. In fact, from about the time we got in the car last night with Steph and things started to happen? I didn't feel any pain at all from my own bad shoulder. Seeing her makes me wince in sympathy.

"Are you okay?" I ask as she starts texting- I can see that it is hard for her.

|| Yeah. M. needs me to show her how to set up computer. Gonna ask her about knife fight and anything else happening. || is the response that Kelly gets.

A mugging. Oh man. That makes me want to reach out, stroke her hair back, say something assuring but right now? That would just be ummn.. no. I do a different gallant thing though.

First I say, "If you are texting Lilly, tell her that we're going to go ahead and go to Crowley Street before the pawn shop closes and to just text one of us when she's ready to be picked up if she thinks she'll be there much longer."

Then I reach around into the back where I'd dropped my backpack, hauling it up, taking a bottle of prescription tylenol I use for headaches out of the front pocket and the water bottle off the side and offer them to her. "Here. For right now. And maybe we'll grab something to eat on the way back to get her."




Kelly Benette (EvilSqueegee)
(2/4/2015 6:41:25 PM) (2020363)

Did Marco just demand a date with me? Don’t look too eager. Don’t look too eager. Do. Not. Look. Too. Eager.

“Sold! to the boy in the mustang,” I blurt out, letting Lilly know what’s up.

...Inner cringing. I mean, like, /r/Cringe level stuff. Don’t let him see the embarassment. Better to play that off as shoulder pain. God, Kelly, you’re pathetic.

Calm down. Breathe. Pain, and panic attacks? Sure, I’ll ride that ticket as far as I can get it. I do take a deep breath while he grabs for his backpack, fidgeting a little. I keep it in control, and take the pills from Marco. Any other human being on the planet would tell me not to just take whatever pills Marco of all people hands me. But I trust him. He’s been around since I was a little kid, and he’s never let me down before.

He’s decided that everyone on the planet is more datable than I am, but that’s okay. He’s just being a boy. He’ll get it out of his system and I’ll be waiting for him. Until then? Painkillers, food and protecting me will suffice in place of dating.

For now.

“Thanks.”

I let him pull the car out and start driving. I look over once or twice, waiting for the painkillers to kick in, but after five seconds or so that feels like years I break the newborn silence. It’s a habit. Kelly the Chatterbox, you know me…

“Who’s your favorite superhero?”

...Really, Kelly? THat’s what you come up with? Way to nerd it up in front of the only boy with a sense of cool in a two state radius. Dork.


Marco Rivale (Damiana)
(2/4/2015 6:56:06 PM) (2020367)

I have to grin at her first comment. "Now, if only I really did own you, Miss Benette." I even wink. I decide that if I play with her the way I'd play with a normal not-Kelly girl who I was alone with in my car, I will keep from blurting out to her that I'm going to hell. That I committed at least three crimes against nature last night and enjoyed every last minute of it, but when Lilly or my dad finds out- most likely Lilly finds out and she tells dad- that my life, as I know it, is over.

My father isn't a big man. He's charming and calm and yet people seem a little afraid of him. People who he works with at that corporation who's name I still never seem to remember, no matter how many times I see it on business cards or his files in his home poffice. His co-workers and clients, the ones I've either seen because I was with him while he was working or happened to encounter randomly and caught them talking about him? People are scared of my dad. He must be the best corporate lawyer in the city.

And I just slept with his wife. Eight or nine times. With Trevor, a junior.

Dad has never begrudged me a sex life. In fact, I remember being like twelve years old when he took me to his den, put me down in front of the tv, turned on a porno with his hand on my shoulder and gave me The Talk about women. And the rules. Use protection. No is no unless its a maybe. Use protection. Never use the L-word. Use protection. Buy them dinner, but never jewelery and never ever bother with hookers. Use protection.

Every twelve year old boy who's dad isn't a dick has these kinds of conversations, right?

Back to me just hinting to Kelly that I have Shades of Grey fantasies...

Oh! Hey! Let's just start the car now and drive off without looking at her face as I do that. Great idea, Marco.

"Doctor Strange." I don't even have to think about it. "Well, technically its John Constantine but he's not a super hero. He's just the lead character in a comic book. They're both sorcerers though. Who is yours?"


Kelly Benette (EvilSqueegee)
(2/4/2015 7:14:45 PM) (2020378)

Blush. Blush blush, lip-bite, blush, blush bitelip lipnibbling blushy blush OHMYGODHEJUSTSAIDTHAT ANDWINKEDATME OHMYGOD.

I really do try super hard to keep it down. But, as we all know, I suck at keeping something under wraps. I’m a bad liar, I hate holding onto a secret, and I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I’m going to be writing miss Benette on my notebooks and CD covers and Fall Out Girl posters and walls and the inside of my eyelids for the rest of my life.

Just… don’t respond. Let him hang there and be cool with the smooth-talking flirt line. If you open your mouth you are going to look like an idiot. Don’t talk. Talking’s not your strong point and Marco gets the best game you’ve got--

“You’ve got seniority at least. That’s like ownership, right?”

...I’m going to go die now.

I clear my throat and immediately start flipping through my phone. Oh hey look how fascinating everything except what I just said is.

It’s about then that his answer about superheros sinks in. He plays it off, like he always does. Lets me not feel like a dork. I think that’s what I like about him the most -- with Lilly, we’re two halves of the same person. With Marco, he just always manages to make me not feel like an idiot. He doesn’t always make me feel smart but he makes me feel not stupid and that is the best feeling in the world.

But how the HELL do I make Doctor Strange sexy? I can’t even ask Lilly, because she’ll know.

“I like…” The Green Lantern. “Tony Stark.”

That was the closest thing I can see Marco being. Besides. It’s not really a lie. Stark is cool too.


Marco Rivale (Damiana)
(2/4/2015 7:38:04 PM) (2020397)

"Oh no, ownership is completely different." Just talk, Rivale. Talk and drive. Eyes on the road. Because you just made that girl melt in ways you have made other girls melt. You saw the look, you know what you've done.

But really, after the sin of taking your 25 year old step mother from the back end while your 16 year old new best friend is boning her and her fake DD tits are flopping and she's wet and thrashing like well, the whore she obviously is?

I am going to hell. Going into the role of Christian Grey, putting him on (or my personal take of him on) just to see what Kelly does? And savoring it when she does it? How could flirting and titilating my sister's life long best friend, practically my second sister to me, be even more damning? Besides, it is calming me down, getting me back to my natural center. And suddenly making Kelly interesting in ways far beyond what she's ever been to me before now.

"For example? If you belonged to me? Then I could take you somewhere, like an expensive hotel. No, I could have you meet me there. You would be dressed up exactly as I told you to be dressed. You would have followed my instructions to the letter, not knowing what was waiting for you on the other side of the door of the suite when you went to the front desk and collected your key. But it wouldn't matter. All that would matter is that I was there, waiting for you- and whatever pleasure or punishment was about to be unleashed? It was yours. No one else would ever receive the same attention the same way- and it was what you lived for. To have that from me."

I sound so calm and sure. In fact, I feel so calm and sure by the time I'm done saying it. There's a slight tingling in my back pocket and I pause at the stop light, reaching back there but all I feel it the outline of my card deck.

"Tony Stark is a great character. He's rich, powerful, and complicated. I love that story arch where he and Steve Rogers are at odds, basically on opposite sides of a war and neither of them is truly wrong, but they certainly are unbending in their approaches to the issue. Captain America is the All-American-Hero. He's so good its almost painful. He doesn't have enough flaws. Tony Stark has all these strengths and all these flaws and he trips himself up. He and Peter Parker both have two of the most interesting personal stories, in my opinion, in the entire Marvel universe."

And now we're turning onto Crowley Street. I glance both ways. "Where exactly is this pawn shop? And what are we looking for again? You said you lost something there?"


Kelly Benette (EvilSqueegee)
(2/4/2015 7:50:18 PM) (2020404)

Marco keeps talking and I keep listening. Kind of. Something about a hotel and being mine. Something about no-one else. Something involving the words you and me. I don’t even hear his explanation about Tony Stark, Captain America or Peter Parker. Marco is a writer, though, so he’s good at understanding this stuff. I believe… whatever it was he said. Yeah.

A fancy hotel.

And then, suddenly, we’re at Crowley Street. Snap to reality, Kelly. Marco is asking questions.

“God yes.”

Pause.

“Uh. I mean.” That wasn’t the question, Kelly. Wake up. “The pawn shop is right… it’s…”

It’s gone.

“Stop the car!” I suddenly lean forward, and when he stops, I scramble out of the Mustang and start looking up and down the road. My hand is starting to shake.

“It’s… not here!”

I stand in front of the building that used to be a pawn shop. If buildings were people? This place would be a skeleton. Charred, burned down, ruined. Untouched for years. Cobwebs and weather damage both inside and out. Nobody’s been inside of this building for at least a decade. The city hasn’t bothered to take it down because this is that neighborhood.

I look to the alleyway where Michaela got stabbed.

I’m starting to hyperventilate.


Marco Rivale (Damiana)
(2/4/2015 8:00:38 PM) (2020412)

And now I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that some day soon? I am taking Kelly Bennette to a hotel. A nice hotel. We're going to play a game. Trevor bragged about getting all the leading roles. I don't play leading roles- on stage. I like to be the supporting cast when there's an audience. Creating stories either on paper or in living narrative with other people? I am more inspired without an audience than with one.

Maybe that's why the dynamics changed and Trevor was able to completely grab control of the wheel when Steph walked into the hospital and suddenly we weren't alone. Huh.

“Stop the car!”

I hit the brakes and blink. Kelly throws the door open. I immediately reposition the mustang, backing up and parallel parking, which takes me a minute and she is really upset by the time I get to her. I reach for her arm, the one that isn't hurt.

"Okay. Stop. Take a deep breath," I tell her.

Once she does that? I slip my hand into her hand and grip it tight. "We're going to walk over there." I point to a donut shop about a block away. "We're going to grab something to drink and sit down. Then I want you to start from the beginning and tell me what was here the first time. Weird things have been happening to me too. And I want to do a card reading for you after we sit down, after you tell me about your other trip okay?"


Kelly Benette (EvilSqueegee)
(2/4/2015 8:17:03 PM) (2020435)

He takes my hand and I snatch his up in a heartbeat. I’m not thinking about impressing him anymore, I’m scared.

“Nonono. This is wrong. Impossible. This isn’t happening!”

Take a deep breath.

I do it. I take a few deep breaths. Probably a little too fast. I can stop this before it gets worse. Everything was just going so perfectly. Breathe slowly. I close my eyes and squeeze his hand in mine. The painkillers he gave me might be kicking in a little, which makes it strangely easier to slide out of the spiral and calm down. Feeling just a little loopy makes thinking harder, which is half my problem in the first place -- thinking too much.

Inhale… exhale. Inhale… exhale. Hotel. Fancy hotel. No-one else.

I calm down. It takes me a minute. By that point he’s herded me over to the donut shop and sat me down. Before I really come out of the stage of shaking, slipping in and out of worrying about anything and everything? He’s got me telling him the truth about what happened.

I tell him everything. I heard about a cheap pawnshop online. (A quick search for the pawnshop’s website 404’s.) Anyways, I went to buy Lilly a birthday present -- which I still need to get her, and I’m running out of time, I hope she doesn’t think I forgot oh god, why are you worrying about that knock it off kelly just shut up and talk -- and I saw someone getting attacked. I don’t say WHO I saw getting attacked. There was a knife. They got stabbed. Then I… uh. I kinda beat the badguy up. I can’t make myself tell him about the bracelet, though. I’m not a good liar, so it’s probably obvious I’m leaving details out.

But I don’t talk about the bracelet, or mention Michaela’s name. I don’t mention Lilly’s power or my own. I just tell him everything else. I can’t make myself tell him something that will make him think I’m insane.

I start out sitting in my own chair. By the time I’m done talking, I’ve scooted my chair over to him and I’m leaning against Marco and letting him make me feel not stupid. And I might be holding his hand.

“Are you sure you want to Tarot for me?” I ask. I probably sound like an idiot any time I even mention the cards, but I at least know what they look like. Marco likes them, therefore I can identify them. That’s just about it, though. I know he’s good at them. I let him stay the expert between us, because I like letting him explain things to me.


Marco Rivale (Damiana)
(2/4/2015 8:31:25 PM) (2020472)

"Yes," I say. "I really do."

Then I bring the cards out. I start shuffling them. I'd felt the itch to do that the second she started telling me about the attack on her and the other girl- I knew it was a girl before she even used a gender pronoun don't ask me why. My hands began to itch. But I ignored it because I didn't want to bring them out until she was done.

"I have the weirdest week. Actually, things were weird last week, but not as weird. I have a story to tell you about me and that new girl at school Mallory, but I'm going to save it."

I put the shuffled cards down on the table in our shared little booth and gesture. "Turn over the top card. This is going to represent you, it is your significator."

What she turns over? Is the Queen of Swords. But the woman in the picture? It looks like a cubist version of one of the women she's seen. One of the ones she talked to Lilly about. And the woman has the bracelet on and she's sitting on a throne looking imperious and beautiful and deadly with a scene in the background that is a place I don't recognize.

The Queen of Swords.

And I stare at the card with her.

"That- that isn't how it is supposed to look. That isn't one of my cards?" But I have checked and double-checked the deck since I recovered it. I start to pick it up and change my mind.

"Kelly, don't freak out." Because somehow I know, I just know, that she's about to seriously, seriously freak out. Why is a mystery to me. But I'm really sure I just did something- or the tarot did something- that if not bad? Its not going to make her feel less crazy. At all.


Kelly Benette (EvilSqueegee)
(2/4/2015 8:45:30 PM) (2020502)

...No. No, no.

“You know what, Universe? Fuck you!

I never swear. Well, not usually. Especially not around Marco. Maybe it’s painkillers. Maybe I’ve just had enough.


It’s a good thing the Dextera Domini is on my hurt arm. Because I can’t let it touch those cards.

I grab the Queen of Swords with my good hand, and slap it back on top of his deck. I snatch them off the table and shove them into my pocket. I put my phone in the other pocket. I sniffle and stand up, grabbing Marco by the wrist and jerking him back to the car. I am done cringing and freaking out and crying and panicking about this. Too much, too fast. I am not letting the Hobo’s Curse screw over my date. I open his car door and throw him into the driver’s seat.

I slam the door shut. Then I yank the passenger door open, and throw myself into my seat. I buckle up.

“Shut up. Drive. Flirt at me. Buy me a burger. Make me feel better.” Those aren’t requests. If he doesn’t? I’m telling Lilly he hurt my feelings.

I give the road up ahead the death-glare.


Marco Rivale (Damiana)
(2/4/2015 9:04:54 PM) (2020523)

Okay. That was not what I was expecting to happen. Wait, NONE OF THIS OR ANYTHING IN MY LIFE FOR THE LAST THREE OR FOUR DAYS IS WHAT I EXPECTED TO HAPPEN!!!

"But-" That was my objection when she shoved the cards in her pocket. Not again! However, there is really no time to make more of a statement than that. Not the way she's on the verge of crying, not the way she's yanking me out of there. Fortunately it was one of those places you paid at the counter and coffee is left behind.

"But-" I say inside the car as we reach it. Then I check myself. "Okay."

I turn on my Sirus satellite radio, the one I told Tyrim not to touch unless he would pay with a BJ. I don't think I'll ever dare him again.

The song is Watch Me from Icon For Hire. I turn it on loud.

Are you scared you might open your mouth
And feel the horror if nothing comes out?
Do you think you're safe, frozen in place?
Run for cover just in case

I am not afraid to fall
You can watch me lose it all
I'll get it wrong, 'til I get it right
At least I'm making scenes in the meantime


And I just drive for a while. No set destination in mind. There's no text from Lilly to either of us and that doesn't register. I'm holding the steering wheel.

And then I see a Ramada Inn advertised- and I make a turn. I head us straight there.

All eyes on you, we're watching you
It's too bad you're too stuck to move
Too bad you wouldn't know what to do
If the right thing walked right up to you
It's none steps forward, none steps back
No harm, no foul, you play like that?
Your game sucks, you need a new one
Your game sucks, make a new one up


Yeah.

I park the car and reduce the volume on the radio to just a gentle background murmur. "Look at me," I tell her. I make direct eye contact.

"I am the worst idea you have ever had. And if you step out of this car and go inside with me? I will do so much more than flirt with you. And we won't ever be able to take it back. But I won't be sorry- and you will feel better. You will feel amazing."

I extend my hand, palm up. "I need those back. Regardless of what happens next."


Kelly Benette (EvilSqueegee)
(2/4/2015 9:27:58 PM) (2020583)

'Cause everybody's so scared


He pulls in at the hotel and my eyes go wide. I look at him when he asks me to.

We don't wanna go there

He’s the worst idea I’ve ever had?


We don't wanna make a move

Do.. a lot more than flirting. I’m not stupid. I know who he is. What he does. I don’t think I’ve ever told a soul how much I’ve thought about it.

We got all our lives to lose

I do know, right? He’s not going to change. That’s just stupid romance novel crap.

Screaming in the dark while we just play our part out

But what am I going to do? Say no to Marco? I hand him his tarot cards.

I play along, Like I don't know what's going on

“Last night I tried to take this bracelet off of my arm with a power saw, because it’s making me see things, dream things. I’m lucky I got away without slicing my arm clean off. Somehow I don’t think you’re going to rip my arms off of me. I’m going into that hotel room, and you are going with me, and I am doing whatever I want for once in my life. And no stupid magical hobo bullshit is going to screw me over.”

Please, somebody make a move
We all know what’s going on


I throw open the Mustang door and step outside, shutting it. I take a deep breath. Oh, I am doing this. Not because he just talked me into it. But because I want to do this. Me. Not some schitzofrenic episode. It’s not what I had in mind, and I’d probably have made it happen some other way if I had the chance.

But it’s what I’ve always wanted. Right when everything in my life is going to hell.


Marco Rivale (Damiana)
(2/4/2015 10:20:51 PM) (2020636)

"I don't have a bracelet and I've been seeing things, dreaming things, and doing things I never would have even thought about doing a month ago," I confess to her. "But you know what? I have thought, more than once, of being with you. But I don't want to talk right now. I want to just let this happen. Without regret."

And I lean in and give her a gentle kiss on the edge of her mouth. It was a liquid promise of what is coming, a hint that this wasn't going to be a bodice ripper- at least not unless she turned it that way. I seem to have something else in mind. Something full of Miss Bennette.

I take the cards from her and glance at the top card.

The Lovers. I don't need to describe who the figures resemble, or comment that the angel eyeing them from above has my sister's face.

I leave that in place as I put them into their case and bag and my back pocket.

I have a credit card from my father. For emergencies. There's other money I have access too, but this one is very specific. $2500 untouched for over two years. Because there hasn't been an emergency in my life to warrent it.

Kelly and I waltz into that hotel. There isn't even a line at the front desk. I offer the credit card and ask to have a bottle of champagne up there waiting for us, in one of the more expensive small suites. They don't bat lashes or even comment about the age on my driver's license. I'm assured that it will be there.

Five minutes later, we're in the elevator heading up and my hand is in hers, my thumb gently brushing against the skin of her hand. The doors open and I lead her down the hall but when we reach our suite? I hand her the key card and let her be the one to swipe the door, silently giving her one last chance to change her mind.

Once we're inside?

I'm doing what I want to do instead of what I know if best for Kelly, best for Lilly, best for anyone. I'm simply going to be..

me.

Without regret this time. Because tonight, unlike last night? I feel like I'm in the driver's seat. Trevor hit me like a typhoon and I was falling instead of flying but it was still hell of a ride. This? This is me. All me. Only me.

... I'm about to undress an angel and teach her the taste of sin.

I'm smiling. Yep. Completely damned. I'll laugh on my way into the fire and brimstone. Because even know I know, absolutely and utterly, that Lily will never forgive me.

I do take the time to grab my phone and type to my sister

|| Busy. You need to find another way home. ||

Her answer is instantaneous.

|| Already did. ||

Well, there we go.
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