Hidden 3 mos ago Post by LuckyBlackCat
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Jessamyn "Jess" Bailey


At the suggestion, Roxy gave off a mix of emotions - rising panic from the mention of being in a car, as well as something more positive. That hint of hope. Maybe this was the best thing to do, Jess thought, as long as she did nothing to contribute to the anchor's anxiety.

"You'll do just fine," her mom said, pulling her into a hug. The bones in the arms around her hadn't been this prominent five years ago, Jess was sure of it. "I know you will."

Jess looked up at her with a slight smile. "Thanks, Mom. And... Thanks for this."

Once the empath had checked all belongings brought over were packed, and everyone had said their goodbyes, Jess dragged her suitcase to the car. Already she could feel that growing trepidation from Roxy. Jess took one more look at the window and waved at her mother, recalling the encouragement. Maybe if she got back to normal or as close to it as possible, so would her mom. And the more independence she gained, the fewer problems she'd cause Roxy.

Breathing deeply, she placed her suitcase in the back and climbed into the driver's seat.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by KatherinWinter
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Roxy wished that she was better at making small talk. She needed something to distract herself with. She felt her breath catch when Jess shut the door. "There shouldn't be much traffic so you shouldn't have to worry about too many traffic rules but if you're not sure how to do something ask." She didn't know what else to say but she hoped that this would at least reassure the other woman that she didn't mind being asked questions even if she wasn't exactly comfortable with being in the car.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by LuckyBlackCat
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Jessamyn "Jess" Bailey


Jess nodded, the movement somewhat tense from Roxy's nerves as well as her own. "Thanks. Uh, please let me know if I do anything I'm not meant to." She'd kept her driving knowledge as sharp as possible, having studied general rules and road signs during her time in isolation. Now to see if she could put theory into practice.

Hunching over the steering wheel, she pressed her foot on the accelerator, slowly turning the car out from the parking space and onto the road. Her ribs clenched. The thought of driving had been daunting enough, but actually being out on the road was another matter. There was very little traffic, she reminded herself, the weather was fine, it'd be ok... She gasped as she narrowly avoided hitting the curb. It took her a few tries to drive in a straight line, and even once she managed, she kept her white-knuckled grip on the wheel. "Sorry about that," she muttered. So much for avoiding giving Roxy any extra stress.

Despite the panic threatening to take over Jess' reason, the feeling that she was going to lose control of the vehicle and crash at any moment, the rest of the journey went by with no major mishaps. A few times, she had to ask the anchor for guidance, her mind blank from anxiety. If Roxy could drive just fine while experiencing all this firsthand, she should be able to, Jess scolded herself, nonetheless relieved as the garage came into view. Thankful for the spacious parking area behind the garage, she slowed and stopped the car.

Her muscles unclenched as she climbed out, probably because the open door had the same effect on Roxy. "I'll try to remember more next time," she said, taking her bag from the back, "but thanks for helping."

She made her way towards the building that had become her home. For now, it was back to the routine Roxy liked, or as close to it as possible, given the ever-present threat in the background.
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by KatherinWinter
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The drive home seemed to take twice as long as the drive out had. Maybe it was because she wasn't in control. Roxy had never been good at giving up control. Her life had always been a battle to get and keep control.

She could tell Jess was nervous. Roxy just didn't know if it was her claustrophobia, Jess' lack of experience driving, or both. It didn't matter. Knowing wouldn't change anything. At least not at this moment when it needed to be changed.

Roxy breathed a sigh of relief when the shop came into view. While the garage wasn't exactly a safe place it was her place. It was the one place she felt relatively safe. Getting out of the car helped even more. She had no idea how she would deal with the car until Jess was able to be further from her. All she could really do was push through it.

"You did fine. I hope you had a good weekend. Let me know when you want to do it again." It hadn't been that bad. Uncomfortable and lonely but she had experience worse things so she wasn't going to complain.
Hidden 29 days ago Post by LuckyBlackCat
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"Yeah... And thanks." Carrying her bag, Jess let out a slight breathless laugh. "Next time, I'll try not to blow things out of proportion again. All things considered, it went pretty well."

Next time... The mixed feelings came back, and not just because of her empathic nature. As great as it had been to see her mom, Roxy's uneasiness had been there in the background the entire time. With it came guilt on Jess' part. Maybe they could both think of a way to make things easier for the next visit. Maybe they'd have some good advice on how to do so.

"Roxy..." Jess inhaled deeply, looking the anchor in the eye, and spoke. Her voice, while still soft, didn't hold as much as a nervous tremor as it had throughout the first few days. "I'm sorry if I came across badly at first. This counselling service... I know it won't fix everything, but maybe it'll make things easier. For both of us."

It seemed asking for help was something both she and Roxy needed to learn to do.
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Roxy shrugged. "You did fine. You have been outside society. I don't expect you to slide back in like nothing has changed when everything has." She assured the other woman. She didn't know how she was going to handle the counseling sessions. She had only agreed because she thought a counselor would have a better chance at helping Jess adjust than she did. She made her way up to the apartment. Tomorrow would be a busy day. She would need to make up for the time she lost.

She was up early the next day. She showered and dressed as quietly as possible. Jess probably felt her wake up, which annoyed her, but she tried to let the other woman sleep as long as possible. She worked out while she waited. Once Jess was up she planned to go down to the shop and get started on getting caught up. Hopefully they wouldn't have any unwanted visitors today.
Hidden 21 days ago Post by LuckyBlackCat
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Jess gave a little smile, one that came easily to her this time. Things had changed in ways she hadn't expected since she and Roxy had started living together, but one positive change was that they seemed to understand each other better, even if she knew little about what went on in secret. Whatever it was, it explained Roxy's initial hostility. Now the walls between them were starting to come down, sharing the same space may be easier... but as time went on, would getting closer be such a good thing? Roxy had kept her at a distance for a reason, after all.

"Yeah," she replied. "It really has, for me and for you."

The rest of the afternoon was quiet, both of them knowing they'd have to be well rested for the busy day ahead of them. It still took Jess a while to doze off, but since the shock of the shady goings-on had lessened and Roxy could sleep better, so could she. Of course, she woke just as light started to stream through the curtains, instantly knowing the anchor was up and that was what had pulled her from her slumber. She didn't blame Roxy, these things couldn't be helped, but as she wouldn't get back to sleep easily, she might as well get ready for the day too.

Sitting up, she took her phone from the bedside table and looked up the counselling service, scrolling through the reviews. She trusted her mother's judgement, although the positive ratings and comments still brought relief, confirming the service's effectiveness. Presumably for those who could talk one hundred per cent openly, in any case. Which she and Roxy couldn't.

Better than nothing, she thought as she left the room to shower. Once she'd dressed, she headed to the main area, where Roxy practiced her martial arts techniques. "Hey," she greeted her, before going to switch the kettle on. As she waited, she turned. "So... This counselling service. Want me to see if I can book an appointment?"
Hidden 19 days ago Post by KatherinWinter
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Roxy shrugged. "Nothing has really changed in my life. Except I have to run my plans by you. Luckily I don't have many plans." She assured Jess. Things had changed when she had been assigned the empath, but she didn't blame just for that. Her father had been looking for a way to bring her into the family business since she had left how at sixteen. He would have found a way eventually. Jess just gave him an opening. One she hoped to find a way to close eventually.

"Yea you can make the appointment. Hopefully it will help you adjust." Roxy told her as she continued to practice. Practicing helped her felt some of her frustrations. Since she couldn't talk to anyone about her problems it had been her form of therapy. She liked to imagine that the bag was her father or one of his men. Beating them up made her feel better even if she could never do for real.
Hidden 12 days ago Post by LuckyBlackCat
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Jess grabbed her phone from her pocket, only realising how tight her grip was when she saw her knuckles turn white. Breathing deeply, she unclenched her muscles, but relaxing wasn't easy. It wasn't nervousness this time. With every punch Roxy threw at the bag came a wave of anger, then satisfaction, as if she were fighting and winning against a hated enemy rather than training. As the pent-up frustration began to ease away, Jess dialled the number. Maybe if the crack in the shield were fixed, the situation would be that little bit easier to deal with, or at least one source of stress would be gone.

The kindly voice on the other end helped calm her. Keeping her tone even, Jess explained the situation. At one question, she paused. "Uh... I'll just quickly check," she said, lowering the phone and turning her head towards Roxy. "Which day of the week would be best?"
Hidden 6 days ago Post by KatherinWinter
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Roxy stopped to look at Jess. "There isn't a day or time that works best. I will have to shut down the shop for a couple of hours no matter when we do it. So just pick a day and time. I will make sure we can get there." While she appreciated the empath asking her if there was a good time to schedule the appointment there really wasn't a time that wouldn't cause issues. No matter when the appointment was she would have to work around it.
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Jessamyn "Jess" Bailey


Jess winced at a twinge of discomfort from Roxy. No matter how she went about this, she'd be inconveniencing her. Again. Was this really worth it? Wasn't it up to her to just pull herself together, like many in her situation did? Approaching Roxy, she held the phone further away and lowered her voice to a whisper. "Are you sure you're ok with this? I mean, there are other ways, and I'll be fine given enough time."

There was no easy answer. Her mom had suggested this for a reason, and backing out would cause her worry. Yet the purpose of the counselling, at least as far as Jess was concerned, was that she'd cause fewer problems to Roxy, not more. Would the benefits of weekly sessions really outweigh the drawbacks?
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