satellite minds

Most West Siders own a yacht or sailboat, and they rest safely knowing that it is well-guarded at the Western Marina. It's a good thing, too; with the kind of money they pay to keep their seaborn vessels there, they should expect something in return.

satellite minds

Joined: 31 Jul 2013, 01:37

06 Aug 2013, 01:55 #1

It was quiet in her apartment. Not dead silent, for nothing was ever truly dead silent anymore. She knew she was very much alive – the clock on the wall made itself known by the quiet ticking, one second after the other. Time; something you could always rely on. It created moments, it passed moments by. She was sure time didn’t remember the moments it so wonderfully or so horribly burnt into people’s memories. Today? The moments were good. In the time she had been sleeping, it had been a dreamless sleep – free of torment or memories she didn’t so much want to forget as didn’t care to think of when she woke up with something of a smile on her face. Jenny looked over at the clock on her bedside table, squinting in her struggle to see the currently blurry red numbers. Sleepy eyes were not the problem – indeed if she had had any sense, she would have reached for her black framed glasses first. When she had safely made out that it was indeed 9:32 in the morning, she fell back against the pillow again, arms raised over her head while she turned her head instead to peer out of the window, unblocked by curtains in order to let the sun shine through on her bed.

She didn’t have plans today – a Saturday, after all – and indeed felt like procrastinating on that paper was the best idea she’d had all week. Well, one could hardly call it procrastinating when she still had a month and a half to do it, but there was additional research she had to do before she could allow herself to sit down in front of her lap top and write something worthy of handing in. The school library wouldn’t be on the list of places to visit today, she decided, and closed her eyes once more to think things through. She was sure there were many places in the city she had yet to visit. Maybe she would go for a walk, get lost and learn something new in the process. That was one of the beautiful things about not knowing where you were going – you never truly knew where you would end up. You didn’t know who you would meet, or whose path you might cross. You’d be walking the same path as thousands of others before you and notice something they never did, perhaps miss something that changed one of their lives. The world was a fascinating place to Jennifer Harrison, when she cared enough to give it a second glance.

So, there was a plan. She would plan to have no plan, and that was enough of a plan for her. At least today. She finally reached for her glasses and pushed them onto her face, sliding them carefully up the bridge of her nose until they were secured and her vision had corrected to an acceptable degree. Jenny shifted her legs over the side of her bed and let her bare feet adjust to the feel of the wood flooring, goose bumps rising up along her long legs. It was far from freezing in her apartment, but she had left the air conditioning on overnight and the change from underneath the warm safety of her feather duvet was noted. She stood and walked over to the window, leaning on the frame lightly. It was bright out, a beautiful day, one that didn't take her long to decide she needed to take advantage of right away. She changed into a pair of lightly faded blue jeans and rolled them to a hem at mid-calf and pulled a plain black t-shirt out of her drawer to slip over her head. Jenny had slid her feet into a pair of flip flops while she slung her handbag over her shoulder and locked her door on the way out.

Failing to look at her phone even once since she had departed that morning, Jenny had lost track of time. She had hopped on random train after random train, walked to the next stop to catch the first one that came in. She could have driven, yes, but that would defeat the point of the adventure. She traveled until it felt like it was time to stop traveling. This time when she looked up, she found herself only a few blocks away from the marina. She was pleased, she decided, with this outcome and smiled softly to herself, hitching her bag up on her shoulder bravely as she trudged onward. The harbour had always been one of her favourite places to be no matter where she was, particularly in the summer season. She loved the constant hive of activity and watching the boats pour in and out. She loved the shouts of the old sea dogs and every once in a while wondered what it would be like to have stories like theirs to tell.

Carefully, she stepped onto the wood of the dock that creaked lightly under her weight. The wind had picked up just a little bit, and before she folded her arms over her chest, Jenny ran her fingers through her unruly hair to get it out of her face. She let her feet carry her until she was pleased and stopped at a railing, leaning her elbows on it for support while she looked over it. The water looked cold and unfriendly, but she was not put off. Instead she turned her gaze outwards, folding her arms over each other and taking a deep breath of the fresh ocean air.

You left your kiss like a bruise on my lips, your fingerprints are tattooed on my skin.
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Joined: 30 Jul 2013, 22:29

06 Aug 2013, 16:46 #2

The sting of vodka slid down his throat with an acidic burn. And it felt wonderful.

Placing the mouth of the glass bottle against the curve of his own yearning lips, he poured the clear liquid into his mouth, allowing it to blur and dull his senses with total rapture. He passed the bottle to his right, to a waif-like strawberry blonde leaning expectantly against the concrete wall of the club they had just been in. Faded graffiti scarred the weather-worn exterior detailing the names of those who had come before and the images they had deemed important enough to immortalize. A spray-painted snake’s tongue curved along the wall, ending on the rusted door beside the girl whose company Graysen was currently enjoying. As he passed the bottle to the girl their warm fingers touched for a fleeting moment against the cool glass. Both of them looked up sharply, the girl with a hint of surprise and excitement in her amber eyes, and Graysen tucking a smirk into the smooth expanse of his curved lips. She tore her gaze away and quickly took a needy swig of vodka causing tears to spring to her eyes as a result. She returned the bottle to him and slumped back against the wall. Her heavily made-up eyes stared out to an indiscriminate corner of the alleyway as she feigned indifference, but her eyes were completely on him.

His eyes travelled over her lithe frame; lingering on the way the blue metallic bandage dress somehow accentuated her minute curves. A coy smile teased the corners of her bright-red lips while her matching fingernails drummed idly against the wall. Everything about her demeanor suggested her apathy but Graysen knew what she was waiting for and enjoyed her anticipation more than the inevitable result. He lifted his hand and bumped his fingers along the trails of graffiti that splayed across the wall. He took his time, lingering as he followed a silver line until his reach was next to the soft curve of her bare shoulder. The warm yellow glow of the streetlamp wavered as people passed by causing the shadows to dance across the features of the girl who was now staring at him playfully. Each movement recast her, causing her appearance to continually shift like a chameleon. And in his inebriated state, Graysen found this change to be beautiful.

His fingers trailed along her lightly tanned and freckled shoulder as he grazed the length of her bare arm with the back of his fingers, his hand finally reaching her slight waist. Holding her gaze, he slid his arm fully around her and pulled her in tight. Her breath quickened; her tongue slipping between her painted lips, moistening them. Graysen smirked and curved his hand around the nape of her neck, her downy hair soft against the arc of his palm. Her lips parted as her eyes fluttered close in response to Graysen’s nearing lips. His mouth brushed against the open camber of her lips with practiced delicacy. Her anticipation was more important than the actual kiss. Their shallow breaths met with incitement in the space between them. Graysen looked once more to her eager honeyed eyes. And felt nothing as he closed the short space between them.

Before they could go much farther, the back door flew open, revealing the steroid-riddled bouncer who had kicked them out only moments prior. “I thought I told you to get lost. Are you too stupid to understand that? Five minutes and I’m calling the cops.” Graysen shrugged away from the girl in response and cast a baleful glare to the bouncer. It wasn’t like he had done anything that would warrant his rude dismissal from the club. A mere boy had attempted to punch him, and when he had missed, Graysen had shoved him. The bouncer’s level of antagonism was completely unfounded, and despite Graysen’s overwhelming desire to prove this, he resisted, allowing the anger to settle in his veins until he felt nothing at all. “Oh, go fuck yer hand,” he called over his shoulder as he walked away, the girl stumbling after him.

- - - - -


He awoke with a groan and promptly buried his eyes in the crook of his arm and rolled to his side. The bright promise of another day swirled through the cracks in his blinds, pooling upon the dusty rose carpet with expectation and hope. He slid his arm over his head and let it settle into the pillows soft down. Blinking wearily, he watched the motes in their final waltz before they settled on the knickknacks decorating every surface of the room. He wondered if those items held any meaning to the girl beside him or if they were merely possessions to indicate that someone lived there.

The blinds rose with the slight breeze, bathing the lavender bedding with warm light, and he slid further under the covers in response. Lilting laughter and muffled voices drifted in from the street. Apparently the day had already begun and Graysen cursed himself for allowing time to slip away from him. He dragged his palm slowly across his features, attempting to resurface from the haze of sleep and alcohol that still claimed his mind. He pulled himself upright, careful not to wake his companion as he lounged against the pillows. With bleary eyes, he surveyed the room – half of a cigarette was stubbed on a saucer on the dresser; a cheap wine glass with a pink liquid inside sparkled in the light, casting wavering shadows across the floor. And taped to the door was a poster of kittens playing with yarn on top of a bed of rose petals. That was all Graysen needed to jolt awake. He needed to make his escape before the girl awakened – kitten posters were always a telltale sign of a potentially clingy woman.

Much of the previous night was nothing more than a blur. Forgotten whispers and warm skin; stolen kisses and tequila shots; a bottle of vodka. Graysen cast a furtive glance toward his companion for the evening, relieved to discover that she was attractive and that he had not completely lost all of his senses. He stretched his arms over his head in a long stretch, vertebrae slowly clicking back into place. Then, before she awoke and tried to talk him into breakfast – or something equally intolerable – Graysen slipped silently from the bed, gathered his rumpled clothing and slipped from her room. He wasted no time in redressing and making his hasty escape.

Her perfume still lingered in unwanted memory as he ambled along the streets of Bishop City. Such mornings were familiar and welcome. Forgotten nights and unused days were the pages upon which his life was inked. If it was worth remembering he would. Graysen saw little benefit in worrying over moments that eluded him. More than anything, he wished that more memories would.

Graysen tried to stifle a yawn, but it was little match against his immense exhaustion. It had been a long week of nights and days blurring together with little distinction. The only sleep he had was out of necessity, and the signs were beginning to show. He stared at his reflection in the window of a parked car and ruffled his hair as he attempted to smooth out the dark shadows beneath his eyes. Not that it made much of a difference. He smirked at his reflection; he rather liked this slightly disgruntled, half-awake, dirtied appearance he had going. Something different from his usual “just rolled out of bed” approach. He rather enjoyed sleeping – but honestly, how could anybody be expected to fit in an entire day's worth of plans and sleep? Graysen certainly couldn’t. Besides, he was planning a much-loved – and required – nap later.

He leaned against the brick wall, the rough surface pulling on the threads of his sweater. Graysen closed his eyes solemnly as the warm rays of the sun gently kissed his skin. He sighed as contentment gradually washed over him. He could feel himself being dragged into the dark cave of sleep. His exhaustion was swallowing him whole and his head tilted downward as Graysen succumbed. Suddenly, a baby’s cry pierced the morning air and he awoke abruptly. Gazing over to the mother who was cooing softly to her baby – whose bright blue, tearful eyes stared curiously at Graysen. He kept his gaze, even as he felt his stomach bottoming out. A smile soon spread across the infant’s face as a laugh gurgled out. The mother turned to see who had calmed her baby, but Graysen was already gone.

He needed coffee, he decided. If he was going to remain conscious for any reasonable length of time, he definitely needed a shot of caffeine. Pushing the door into the nearest coffee shop, Graysen searched the menu for overhead for anything that appealed to him. They had a wide array of drinks that all sounded like they wanted to rot his teeth away one by one. Didn’t anyone just serve a nice, strong cup of coffee anymore? Or a drink that didn’t sound like he needed to take a language course to pronounce correctly. He had nearly selected something that sounded strong as opposed to pure sugar with a caramel chaser, when someone sharply tapped his shoulder.

Glancing over his shoulder, Graysen took in the scraggly red-haired boy behind standing behind him. Hair color aside, the only other thing Graysen registered about the boy was how disproportional his ears were to the rest of him. Turning forwards once more, Graysen cleared his throat in preparation to order. “You!” the young man behind him squeaked. Ignoring him, Graysen leaned against the counter and winked playfully at the auburn-haired barista. “I’d like a –”

“Didn’t you hear me?” the other man demanded, tapping Graysen’s shoulder with more force. “I did. I just determined that you were irrelevant and not worth my attention.”

Undeterred, the other man shoved Graysen, forcing him to turn and acknowledge his presence. The barista had already taken a step back, her hand hovering on the receiver of the generic black phone on the back wall. “Where is she?”

“Where is who?” Graysen asked, bored already with the path the conversation was headed down. “Amanda!”

An annoyed breath escaped as Graysen studied the pathetic and irate man before him. His hands were balled into fists at his sides, and his over-sized ears were bright red beacons that heralded his anger for the rest of the world. He could take this kid easily but wasn’t in the mood. Not here, in the small coffee shop. “Let’s cut to the chase, alright? Because you’ve already wasted enough of my time with asinine accusations. Who is Amanda, and why should I even pretend to know who she is?” Even as the words caressed his lips with practiced ease Graysen knew that he was baiting the other man. There were rules to each fight – a careful set of criterion that he steadfastly clung to. And so far this misguided man was meeting each mental bullet point.

Especially once his fist connected with Graysen’s jaw.

For an uneasy moment time stood still in the small café. Calm quieted Graysen’s nerves, sharpening his senses and causing the world to focus solely on the man before him. He slowly raised his hand to his lip, feeling the warm blood on his fingers; its metallic taste filling his mouth. “I suggest you leave now,” he intoned smoothly.

“The girl from the fucking club, you fucking asshole!” Graysen took a step forward and placed both of his hands on the other man’s shoulders. In one swift – and albeit cheap – move, his knee connected with the other man’s groan. The other man doubled forward with an agonized moan. Graysen took the opportunity to bend down and speak softly in his ear. “I could fucking kill you. If you have even a brain cell in that misshapen head of yours, you will take my word on that. Your Amanda is a whore – and a sloppy lay at that. Take my word for it. There’s a reason I’d already forgotten about her.” Before the other man could reply, Graysen offered his apologies and exited the café.

He had already determined that his morning was ruined as he made his way toward the marina. With any luck he could find a cup of coffee there that didn’t resemble petrol. Or include an anticlimactic brawl with a waste of space.
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Joined: 31 Jul 2013, 01:37

06 Aug 2013, 22:51 #3

Hey, Jenny. You see that big tall building over there?” “Yes, what is it?” “It’s a lighthouse. I bet I could beat you in a race up those stairs.” “No chance!” As her gaze focused on the tall white lighthouse in the distance, Jenny laughed quietly to herself at the memory it evoked. Christopher, the youngest of her three older brothers had always posed challenges such as these to his little sister. They were always quiet trades, whispered between the two in secret. Or at least she thought that had been the case. Jenny had learned much more from her big brothers throughout her life then she cared to admit, but one of the biggest lessons was that being the only girl didn’t mean you always won. In fact more than once she had seen a challenge like this arise and expected a fair shot – until a circumstance of fate (her older brothers keeping a hold of the back of her sweater while the other ran up ahead) kept her back. She was a good sport – she took her licks, but this time she had Christopher beat. She saw David move closer, the twelve-year-old shooting her a wink as he inched closer to his little brother. It was her turn this time. Jenny felt the acceleration in her heart just as she had when she was eight, knowing full well this time that she’d have a fighting chance. “Okay Jenn, on the count of three.” She’d nodded, preparing herself as best as she could. “One. Two. THREE.” When she took off, she did so laughing. His complaints grew softer as she gained distance. “David! Let go! She’s getting away!”

Jenny smiled and turned her gaze away from the structure, instead turning to walk a little ways down the dock, curling her arms around herself a little more closely. The breeze pulled her long hair in front of her face, and she ran her fingers through her hair, pushing it away with delicate ease to clear her vision once more. It was then that movement caught he eye; enough so that when she turned her gaze she found herself watching and hoping the movement of her feet would lead her to where she needed to be. Tall, but he wouldn’t have towered over her. Broad shoulders, she’d noticed sometimes they looked like shoulders that carried the weight of the world on them. Not that he would ever claim such a thing. He was familiar to him in stance, posture and walk before she had the chance to get to his face, but she took a moment to admire that too. Jenny couldn’t make them out from where she was, but she knew ice blue eyes blazed a path before a strong nose, a sculpted jaw and full lips, accompanied by striking cheekbones. Gray’s was a face any woman would commit to memory, whether they wanted to or not.

He seemed otherworldly, to her. Almost like a figment. Jenny had never known quite what to make of him, except that she was almost positive this was exactly what he wanted. It was a strange reaction for Jenny when she saw him like this. Like a hiccup in time – the second hand that held out for just a few moments and then carried on, carrying the world with it. She smiled in that moment, regardless of the irritated expression on his face. He looked like he’d had a rough night. Who he’d been with, where he’d woken up, what might have happened in the moments leading up to this one seemed insignificant. Regardless, she was happy to see him. Happy. Not a wholly unfamiliar feeling, but welcome when it came around. Jenny turned her step towards him. Slightly hesitant at first, she gained confidence as she grew closer and let her arms slack a little, still crossed over her abdomen but now for lack of any better place to rest them.

When she was sure she was close enough, she perched herself on the back of a bench and debated her next move. He was still approaching, head-down, focused on his path of travel. She wasn’t sure if he’d noticed her (much like she wasn’t sure of much when it came to him) and she wondered if her voice would travel to him. She could hope. She would hope. And she hoped he’d listen. “Gray.” It wasn’t asked – she had been sure. How could she not have been? Like a magnet, he drew her to him and Jenny pushed herself up and started towards him.

You left your kiss like a bruise on my lips, your fingerprints are tattooed on my skin.
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Joined: 30 Jul 2013, 22:29

07 Aug 2013, 16:20 #4

His fingers still itched from the anticipation of a fight; his instincts primed for an event that would not take place. Graysen slowly curled each finger into a tight fist, tendons straining white against his knuckles before uncurling them. He repeated this several times until the tension ebbed and his mind was clear once more. It was only then that he felt the dull ache along his jaw from where the other man’s fist had made contact, and Graysen uttered a low curse beneath his breath.

The warm rays of the sun kissing his skin did nothing to alleviate the slow bottoming out as his stomach protested the lack of nourishment over the past twenty-four hours. He felt empty and drained. Rather than give into these feelings, Graysen merely ran his hands through his dishevelled hair and headed toward the marina. He was certain there was an overpriced café along the boardwalk – somewhere that catered to tourists and was snubbed by locals. The food was certain to leave much to be desired, but at least he was fairly certain that he would not encounter anyone he knew. The past two days had taken their toll, and Graysen wasn’t in a particularly social mood. It was more than the adverse effects that accompanied aging. The weariness he felt now was more than the results of nights spent partying; he was life-weary. The lifestyle that he had created for himself and grown accustomed to had lost its lustre. It was all he knew, and he wasn’t sure if he would ever truly want to give it up. Living for the unknown carried a certain appeal. Graysen knew what it meant to experience true loss and had vowed to never feel helpless again. Instead he lived life according to his own rules and agenda. It was a solitary life, but one he had grown to appreciate.

Rounding the corner, he fixed his gaze on a familiar – albeit disgusting – hole-in-the-wall restaurant. A weather-worn mermaid smiled down from her place on the sign. He had eaten there once when he and Theo had been kicked out of a bar for defending themselves against the mass insolence of youth. The only reason they’d even bothered to go in was because there was a mermaid on the sign. The only reason they’d stayed was because the waitresses were clad in lycra shorts and tight tees – and weren’t half bad to look out. When their food had arrived neither had bothered to try it.

His stomach rumbled in protest now, and he scowled at the sound. He was preparing to turn left, when a familiar voice called out his name. He paused, staring at the sign for a moment and wondered if he had finally lost his mind. Heels clicked behind him, and he turned, smirk already in place, to face not a stranger but Jennifer Harrison. Her thick chestnut hair fell in soft waves about her shoulders, accentuating her delicate features. Her eyes were bright, cheeks flushed. She looked every much as perfect as the last time he’d seen her, and not for the first time, he found himself resenting her for it.

Graysen wasn’t certain the exact moment he had first encountered the stunning girl before him. He had it narrowed to one of two events: either on campus when he had been waiting for Theo to finish a class or at a bar. Either way he had been unable to shake her face from his mind. Late at night he would see the delicate dimples of her smile or hear the lilt of her laugh. It had been years since another person had filled his thoughts the way Jenny did. It had been since Katrine. He was stronger than any pull this girl may have on the frayed threads of his heart, though, and he would not allow trivial emotions dictate any of his actions. Instead he smoothed his expression into a friendly smile and nodded toward her. “You’re up early,” he said, nodding toward her. “How are you, Jenny? It’s been a while.”
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Joined: 31 Jul 2013, 01:37

12 Aug 2013, 00:26 #5

It was obvious that Gray was rejuvenating from a night out. He was usually disheveled, but it was a planned dishevelment that suited him better than well. Today he looked like he hadn’t slept yet and Jenny wondered how he managed to stay as devastating as he was regardless of the fact. She approached him with a smile that turned the corners of her mouth delicately and did her best to push all the questions bubbling to the surface of her mind back down to the deepest, darkest corners where they belonged. Where he had spent the night and who he had spent it with was none of her concern and simply a question she’d never ask, regardless of who it was. It was a strange feeling, this jealous pang – especially with regards to him.

His voice, one of the most familiar sounds in this city to her floated between them and it distracted her as a light laugh escaped her lips. ”I could say the same thing about you.” It wasn’t an ungodly hour, but it was true; unless she had something to accomplish in the morning, she didn’t usually leave the safety of her fortress until early afternoon. The day always started the same way; a cup of tea, a slice of toast and a few hours sat in her chair by the window doing school reading before she got started.

She found it strange that she, a 23 year old woman, could still recognize that funny feeling in her stomach whenever he smiled. Butterflies, they called them, and though she had the sense to make them behave they still showed up every once in a while. She did her best to ignore the tiny patter of wings now and nodded in agreement. ”It has been a while. I’ve been well. Busy, actually. This is my first real break in the last few weeks.” Jenny leaned against the tall railing of the dock and crossed her arms over her chest casually. ”How about yourself? Been keeping out of trouble?” Her smile danced across her lips, knowing very well what the true answer to that question was. Graysen Daniels had trouble written all over him. How, never mind why, should he stay out of it?

Jenny had never seen him coming. She had moved to the States with the hopes of a fresh start and a chance to build a life for herself as she was now. She was re-introducing herself to the world and re-introducing the act of a relaxed breath to herself but meeting Gray had reintroduced and rekindled a curiosity in her. She wanted to know this man. She wanted to know what made him tick and what it was about him that put her just on that edge of excitement. (It was a simple enough answer. It was him, just him and his way. His very unapologetic way.) Her eyes scanned his face and she didn’t notice the turn of her lips into an actual smile as she did so. It was good to see her friend again. ”I’m actually on the hunt for a cup of tea, would you like to join me?”

You left your kiss like a bruise on my lips, your fingerprints are tattooed on my skin.
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Joined: 30 Jul 2013, 22:29

19 Aug 2013, 20:20 #6

Fatigue washed over Graysen; a familiar siren’s song beckoning him to sleep. Just like every time before, he ignored it. The day was young and the only temptation he was willing to consider was the woman before him. He didn’t want to admit that Jennifer Harrison had any influence over him. Graysen prided himself on his apathy; caring had only ever caused heartache and regret. To admit that she was different would be to acknowledge that someone had permeated the careful walls he had constructed around himself. It would be admitting that he had surrendered a part of himself to another. He was a fighter both by nature and necessity; Graysen Daniels refused to surrender to anyone or anything.

He listened with feigned disinterest as she spoke. Jenny couldn’t know that he cared what she had been up to; that his thoughts had wandered to the statuesque brunette more times than he cared to admit. “How about yourself? Been keeping out of trouble?” A smile curved upon her lips with those words as she revelled in some private joke or assessment of him. He was certain she’d heard stories about him and his exploits from her friends. Graysen made no attempt to mask the fact he spent his nights bonding with Bishop’s fairer sex. He wasn’t proud of the reputation it had earned him, nor was he ashamed of it. This was who he was and he had no desire to change. “Do I ever?” he replied with a smirk. “I’ve been.”

Jenny surveyed him for a moment, and Graysen found himself wondering how she perceived him. She epitomized the ‘good girl’ persona to him. Hell, she was probably dressed by singing birds and shit every morning. She was not the sort of girl he was typically drawn to. He tended to go for the girls who weren’t looking for commitment – or at least claimed not to be – who were accepting that he would not be in their bed once morning dawned. Jenny was not that sort of girl. She was the sort that would want relationships where love was promised and commitments met. If they were honest, both knew that Graysen would never be that guy.

“I’m actually on the hunt for a good cup of tea, would you like to join me?”

Graysen considered for a moment. The draw of caffeine ultimately won out over his desire to distance himself from her. He could manage this. Jenny was just another girl, and Graysen knew the rules to this game.

“I suppose you could persuade me,” he said, “provided it is accompanied by something stronger. I don’t think there is a tea strong enough to save me this morning.”
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Joined: 31 Jul 2013, 01:37

13 Sep 2013, 04:47 #7

Graysen was correct; she had heard stories of his exploits, from here and there and around. She had been warned, and Jenny didn’t care. She knew Graysen was a danger – he wasn’t the only one who had carefully constructed walls to keep out what needed to be kept out. The gates to this fortress had been locked for years and it was safer this way. Jennifer let people come to the gate, but it had been a very long time since she had reached for the key and let her in.

As often as she had told herself that he would only be a passing shadow in the night, he had caught her focus and brought her to her gate, a curious young woman glancing through the iron fortress at this shadow. She wanted to know more. It hadn’t always been in her nature to tread carefully, but this was all new to her. Even though she’d known Gray for a while now, he was all new to her.

But Gray was a steel trap, and she chuckled airily at his response – something she had wholly expected. I’ve been. She wasn’t used to this; trying to riddle people out. Did he want to be here? Did he not? In this time and space with her, was this something he’d choose? Of course, Graysen wasn’t the kind of guy to stick around if he didn’t want to, but Jenny wouldn’t look further into it than that. He was a friend, and friends took each other out for coffee. This chance meet was just an excuse for such an outing.

Jenny pushed herself off of her perch and walked over to him, hooking her arm in his to tug him gently in the same directly. Even she had had those mornings, but she was sure hers hadn’t been quite as eventful as his might have been. Jenny tucked her hands into the front pockets of her jeans. ”Come on. Coffee’s on me. Take no offence, but you look like you could use it.” A playful smile danced on her lips as she moved forward down the street with him.

You left your kiss like a bruise on my lips, your fingerprints are tattooed on my skin.
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Joined: 30 Jul 2013, 22:29

20 Sep 2013, 21:42 #8

Graysen drummed his fingers idly against the seam of his jeans as he avoided meeting Jenny’s gaze. He was itching for a cigarette. The yearning was slowly escalating to a burning inside his lungs made so empty by the week without them. He hadn’t quit or scaled back intentionally. There just hadn’t been time to buy a replacement pack for the one he had left at the home of a girl whose name began with a “C”. In the sleep-deprived haze of his mind, he realised this was the real purpose of an intern or assistant at his job. To exploit such youthful optimism, however, he would need to show up for work. Why spoil a perfectly new day with something as abysmal as a desk job? Especially one where his presence was met with disdain and he was paid for regardless of making an appearance. Perhaps the cigarette would serve as a distraction from how hungry he was.

Jenny’s movement turned his gaze back to her. In so many ways she was a dream; the physical manifestation of where his life had diverged bringing him to the path he now walked. Her arm hooked into his, gently tugging him forward and towards her. Graysen wasn’t one to follow. He had built his life upon the solid foundation of rules and guidelines that would ensure he would never experience the searing emotion of loss again. If the walls were impenetrable than the man contained inside would remain safe. Not that he thought Jenny would hurt him.

He didn’t care enough for that.

Still, a small whispered breath pierced his consciousness. For the first time that he could recall in his recent history, Graysen was afraid to hurt someone else.

This was only coffee; only one morning. Tomorrow would dawn and Jennifer Harrison would just be another girl. Her hand slipped from his arm, cool air reclaiming the warmth that she had provided. In spite of himself, Graysen found himself missing her touch, however fleeting it had been. “Come on. Coffee’s on me. Take no offence, but you look like you could use it,” Jenny said, tucking her hands into the front pockets of her jeans. The effect was an immediate tightening of the denim around her backside. A view Graysen had no problems appreciating.

“And if I do take offence?” he said, falling into step beside her. “What would you do to fix it?
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Joined: 31 Jul 2013, 01:37

05 Apr 2014, 15:30 #9

Jenny came to the realization that she wasn’t only very aware of him when he was around, she was increasingly more aware of herself. Of the way she moved, the way she spoke, as if at any time she could do something to push him away, to scare him off. It was a ridiculous notion, even to her. This was Graysen Daniels - fearless, bold, silent and strong Graysen Daniels. What could a woman like her do to him to spook him? What could any woman do? It was a fleeting question, but it didn’t take away that feeling; he was here now, but it wouldn't take much for him to be gone. In the pit of her stomach, she knew she didn’t want that. He couldn’t be pushed, so she wouldn’t push.

The smell of coffee was growing stronger, and while she had always liked the smell of it, Jenny hadn’t started drinking the stuff until she moved to America. She still didn’t have a coffee pot at home (she was a traditional English lady, after all, and tea was typically her beverage of choice) but she had very much regretted that fact a few times over the last year when the clock had passed two in the morning and she was still working on an essay or studying for exams. That had been her life; wake up, go to school, study, go to bed, recycle, repeat. That’s what made days like these so special for her. The human companionship was something she appreciated more than even she realized. After her period of darkness, the realization that she was a social creature after all had taken her by surprise and she was still getting used to the notion again. She often thought she may come across as awkward or unsure, but she was still learning.

And if I do take offence? What would you do to fix it? Jenny ‘hm’d’ thoughtfully and tightened the lines of her lips in thought. It didn’t last long. A small smile spread across her cheeks and she turned to look at him hopefully. ”I suppose I’d start with offering to throw breakfast into the mix. If that didn’t do the trick I’m afraid I’d have to resort to my first-born.” A light chuckle escaped her lips. ”Even I’m not interested in my stats textbooks so they’re out of the equation. I’m afraid that’s just about all I’ve got to offer.”

You left your kiss like a bruise on my lips, your fingerprints are tattooed on my skin.
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Joined: 30 Jul 2013, 22:29

26 May 2014, 01:30 #10

Graysen allowed his thoughts to wander as Jenny spoke. He heard every word; saw every detail, but he was not engaged. It was a trait he had mastered out of necessity – feigning interest in a conversation with his parents was the only way to ensure he exited with his sanity in tact. This time, however, there was one significant difference: Graysen was interested in everything Jenny had to say. This time he was distancing himself to protect her from him.

Except it wasn’t working. If anything, Graysen was more aware of Jenny.

“I’m afraid that’s just about all I’ve got to offer.” A warm smile ghosted across her lips as she glanced up at him; the breeze tangled in her thick hair, pulling strands across her cheek. His fingers itched to reach out and tuck the errant strands back in place behind her ear. Instead, he balled his hands into tight fists and turned his gaze ahead. “Don’t sell yourself short, Jennifer. You’ve got plenty to offer.” He smirked in her direction. She had to be joking – there was no way a girl that looked like her could believe anything less than in her own ability to conquer the world. Yet the more he came to know about the statuesque brunette beside him, the more he had to conclude that Jennifer Harrison didn’t see herself clearly. It made him all the more curious about her.

“This morning, however, I could be content with your company and some bacon. Maybe pancakes,” he said amiably, returning to the conversation at hand. “Do you have a destination in mind, or is this a case of the blind leading the blind? Or, as would be more apt, the hungry leading the hungry?”
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Joined: 31 Jul 2013, 01:37

02 Feb 2015, 17:15 #11

He had such a strange way about him. She knew Grayson was paying attention, he responded in perfect harmony to their banter, but he looked a million miles away. That was okay, she thought. It was okay that his focus wasn’t one hundred percent on her – he brought about an unquestionable curiosity in her that she was sure he wouldn’t appreciate if he felt like she was prying. He was far from a social study, and she hardly thought he’d stand for someone trying to figure him out. But she did want to know him, and she wanted to know him better. Selfishly and somewhere far in the back of her mind, she wanted to know him better than anyone else did. What a feat in itself.

”Well, there’s a veritable assortment of used Anthropology textbooks if the stasts ones don’t interest you, and tea mugs but aside from that, the rest is yet to be discovered. The playful jest was followed by a nudge of her shoulder to his before she steadied her course again.

If this was a comedy, the mention of breakfast would have made her stomach grumble. She could smell it, the aroma of a Sunday morning at home, with a piping hot cup of tea to go with it. She ‘mmm’d’ in agreement with him. ”I think right now it’s the blind leading the blind, but there’s got to be something around here.” Jenny scanned the area dutifully, nodding over to a boarded up window with what looked like something that used to be a light in the shape of a chicken above the door and “The End is Coming” spray painted in orange on the plywood in the window. ”I’m not typically a food snob but I vote that one out.”

You left your kiss like a bruise on my lips, your fingerprints are tattooed on my skin.
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