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13 days ago
Current me three, hitman.
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2 mos ago
As someone who's doing a music performance degree and an education degree, I can say - I'm super stressed about both for entirely different reasons. Be nice, guys.
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1 yr ago
Ooooor we could not joke about suicide in the status bar? Always that option too, right?
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@sassy1085 HELL YES ANOTHER ENBY WITCHLING I AM H E R E F O R I T 💜



Here's my two friends, sorry I got carried away like I always do!! <3




Interacting: Starbright! @Jumbus

For a long moment, it was all Eliza could do to stare at Starbright, her eyes wide and panicked. Had he not heard a word she’d said, about performing and all of that? At his smirk, her eyes narrowed briefly, as she wondered if it was a trick – was he setting her up for failure? To – well, surely, no, surely a famous musician wouldn’t do that to a well-meaning younger fan.

Maybe he was right, maybe a collaboration at this level would be just what she needed… she plastered a nervous, trembling smile on her face, listening to everything else he had to say. He spoke quickly about having her ready in a month, and she had to stifle a bitter laugh. Directors had been trying for three years, now, to get her back out of her shell, and had spectacularly failed at it.

Still. She wasn’t sure what part of her it was that spoke, but some childish eagerness bubbled up in her throat and quickly blurted, “Sure!” before the could think it through. “But I – I have a fundraiser stream I have to do, this Saturday. But I’m around after school every other day. Except Thursday nights, because I lead middle school sectionals. And then have my own sectional. And on Sundays, except I have quartet from 10am to noon. But Sunday afternoons!” She tripped over her words as she realized that she had no business telling Starbright what their rehearsal schedule had to be – surely he was even more busy than she was, and all of that.




Angelica smiled softly up at Tommy, nodding at his comment. She was about to suggest adjourning somewhere less discernible, but her comment died on her tongue as Patricia was abruptly slammed against the table.

It was incredibly difficult to resist crying out in terror as all eyes drifted to the scene, but she just covered her mouth docilely, glancing wide-eyed between Vinnie, the guard, Tommy, and Kat, who spoke quietly, and venomously, standing up to Vinnie in a way that none of the goons would have even dreamed of. Wow. She slammed down the tiny bit of fear that wondered if Patricia was really in with whatever Katharine and her father were up to – Patricia was too sweet, and a bit too blunt, of a girl to be an undercover agent, surely. Besides, she and Eliza were close enough, and spent so much time together, that the younger girl would’ve surely found out about a secret identity by now… she should just be grateful that Patricia seemed to have been given an out.

Ceasing to entertain that plausibility, she focused her attention on Tommy, doing her best to seem relaxed into his embrace, letting him guide the two of them gently from the room. It’s fine. It’s fine. He’ll think you’re just nervous about all this. Organizing her thoughts, she nodded. “If you think it would be best, I can sneak out once the worst of this blows over. I would hate for you to get in trouble on account of me… I’ve heard stories of your father’s anger.” She also would hate to have this nice man tangled up in the rescue mission – it would NOT be a good thing for him and Blake to have an altercation, that was certain. “I was hoping to get a jump on the game by being here, but I’ll just come to the next recruiting day at the bar, I suppose.” She laughed lightly, hoping the joke would take some of the edge off of her comment. “Why is he on edge? Not that it’s my business, of course, but if there’s anything a concerned community member could do, well – I have my resources.” She did her best to flash him a knowing and capable look, easing up on the seductivish vibes that she’d been channeling so hard just a moment ago.


Angelica batted her eyelashes at the pretty man who settled beside her, taking the offered business card with a flirtatious comment and biting down on the guilt she was feeling in regard to Blake as she slipped the card into her bra cup, the only pocket that she had. Sorry, cupcake. It’s just for a mission. Tommy Gugliano, her knowledge supplied...an important contact to have access to, for certain. She just pretended she didn’t feel awful, meeting Patricia’s gaze very very briefly and trying for a sweet smile.

She tried not to flinch at Vinnie’s treatment of Will. don’t blow your cover don’t blow your cover. She was mildly reassured by Tommy’s discomfort, at least, glancing to him sympathetically, trying to relax back into her flirty persona.

All sense of peace and comfort completely shattered as Brie’s voice echoed in from the next room over, and then she stalked into the room in an awful facsimile of calm. She internally flinched, casting a brief, panicked look at Patricia before slamming her mask back into place, peering up at Tommy flirtatiously and steadying her breath, a hand resting delicately against her low neckline at a convenient height to draw the gaze. She pretended to be unfazed by Vinnie’s posturing, the cruelty with which he had Malady handle Brie and the goons dragging William away, forcing herself not to pay attention to anything except her racing thoughts.

She had to buy herself some time. She couldn’t compromise the mission... she had to do this right. She had to get their intel, and get Brie and Will and then, eventually, herself out - it would take her a LOT of time, and care, but if she was careful enough she could... she could make this work until Grace and Tom and that could get to them and help. She had no idea how to tell Patricia what she was thinking; she just hoped the younger girl was good at rolling with the punches. Ideally, Patricia would try to get herself out, discreetly, while Angie tried still to get in.

Adjusting her posture to lean in towards Tommy, letting her sheer wrap fall off a shoulder flirtatiously, she glanced up to him a bit bashfully. ”Had I known this event was so exciting, I would have come more prepared,” she murmured to him, a bit embarrassed. ”I don’t have an ID on me,” she gestured to the skin-tight outfit she wore and the lack of a purse or wristlet, ”But I am here on an invitation from Martino Bernadino...he can’t keep his mouth shut when he’s, ehem.” With a soft, flirty laugh, she mimed raising a drink to her lips, adjusting her posture again. ”Talking about all kinds of money and grandeur and excitement and even, this business of dealing with heroes... it’s enough to enamor anyone, I’m sure you understand. And so I asked to tag along and see what all of this was about.” Once again she trailed off, biting her lip and trying to size up Tommy’s reaction under the guise of briefly, somewhat modestly checking him out.

”I fear Mister Bernadino might be - feeling his drink, a bit; he excused himself to the washroom when we got here and I haven’t seen him since. Would it be possible that you could...vouch for me, in his stead? While I might appear to be a simple escort, I assure you, I have plenty of ...assets that may prove invaluable.” She bit her lip, deliberately letting some of her very real nervousness seep through and offering a smile that was equal parts sweet and sensual.

Sorry, Cupcake. I’m so sorry. She tried and failed to convince herself that she didn’t have to feel bad for acting like this while trying to salvage her cover. It’s just for a mission. Just a mission. I don’t want anyone but my Cupcake. I don’t want this. It’s not - I’m not cheating, am I?
The morning dawned bright, clear, and cold over the city, the sun filtering in through the high, arched windows of the guest suite.

Miry awoke to birdsong, blinking in the rosy light. She was warm, almost uncomfortably so, rolled in a thick bedspread and encased securely in Lord Zakroti’s embrace. The sleeping lord was tangled around her still, arms twined around her back and neck and lips near her temple. She shifted in place, realizing that her legs still tangled through the lord’s. Images of the previous night flitted sleepily through her mind and she blushed deeply, a twinge between her hips a further reminder of what had transpired. She ducked her head in shame, though she couldn’t say she’d regretted the night… after a moment of enjoying the embrace, she gently leaned up to kiss her lord, beginning to extricate herself from the blankets, ideally without waking Zakroti or making much undue noise. It would be unseemly if she took too long to make herself ready, she knew…

Fetching a comb from her bags, she set about organizing her unruly hair, which had hopelessly tangled in the night’s activities. She ended up retrieving some water from the pitcher on the nightstand, just a few drops, which she worked through the length of her hair to tame the worst of the frizz as she detangled it, smoothing it out into its usual glossy sheet that could then be braided. Though yesterday she had worn it in a simple plait extending down her shoulders, she elected to pin it today, circling her braid tightly around the back of her head twice and sticking it into place with a myriad of straight pins pressed tight against her scalp to be barely-showing. It was more befitting now, she supposed, to not leave her dusty, dark lavender hair flowing free in any way. After a length of thought, she did still decide to forgo the veil that her mother had insisted upon packing. It had been included as a tongue-in-cheek commentary, though one meant well, about her eventual becoming of a proper woman, but the sudden change in appearance would cause more questions than she cared to answer. Not to mention, veils were incredibly hot and itchy, and she was sure to be on the road for a while and get all manner of dust trapped beneath it…

She refolded the veil, rolling it within its circlet band so as not to risk damaging the fabric, and set about dressing for the day. Though ordinarily she wouldn’t dare have two part-dirty sets of clothing, travelling in respectable clothes had been a dreadful mistake. The dress she picked for today was thus the simplest one she had brought, a dusty blue under dress held up by the barest of straps, and a dark charcoal layer over the top, modestly embroidered in silver around the rather low collar and tightly lacing narrow sleeves. The skirts were less voluminous and shorter than most of her other gowns, settling at the narrowest part of her ankle rather than trailing the floor – she put on thin silk stockings and her usual soft leather booties, which barely peeked out beneath the hem.

After glancing around to ensure she had gathered all her belongings, and that the lord was not yet awake, she retrieved her embroidering hoop and purse from the side of her saddlebags, settling primly into the seat beside the bed with a posture too precise to be natural. Her fingers deftly retrieved and threaded the needle in one of several colors she worked with, passing the needle through the hoop and back again in a variety of complex and intricate knots with an almost mechanical precision. It was clear her mind was elsewhere, though to a casual look she may seem engrossed in the careful work of threads.
=-=-=-=-=
Nenra grumbled awake, from her bed in the guest dormitory, to the sound of a cheery conversation among the men-at-arms, who busily worked to assemble a breakfast out of their rations and gather up the belongings they had brought into the space the previous night, readying saddlebags and donning their armor for the journey. Though now sober and considerably more conscious of herself, she chose to think of readying for the day as though she were in the bunkroom she shared with her siblings. It was a simple matter to pull her underthings and trousers on under her shift, then take the dress off and replace it with her shirt. Feeling quite pleased with the lack of compromise of her modesty, she returned her attention to the group, half-listening to their conversation as she rolled stockings onto her feet and laced her boots, trouser legs tucked into the tops as she often did for work or hard riding at home.

She was feeling considerably more herself today, the sleep on a respectable bed having done more good for her than she cared to admit. As she listened to the men at arms speak, her hands itched to be in control of a horse again. From the way the party spoke, it seemed they were glad to be returning too, though whether they were speaking of returning to their familiar mounts or to their homeland, or both, she could not quite be certain.

The one called Gaikus gave her a soft smile and passed her a metal mug of a steaming beverage. Tea, right, that’s what the lord said. The tea had a spicy, herbal smell, similar enough – if distinct – from a kind of tea they often made at home. She took the mug appreciatively, and the piece of bread she had been handed, munching down the food with little regard for table manners or decorum.

The variety of weaponry around made her long for her staff again – simple, smoothed lengths of wood, such as handles of long-ago-stripped farm implements, made remarkably effective weapons against would-be bandits or intrudors. In her village, children and teens often practiced with them, in addition to their more standard play weapons like clay or wooden swords and far more functional ones like simple slings, which were often carried by shepherds and the like. She knew that asking for such items was far, far beyond anything the lord or his men would be willing to do, and understandably so! But someday she would very much like to have a chance to practice, or maybe even a round of sparring or two. Her eyes flitted over the men who gathered in the courtyard, sizing them up as potential opponents. Someday, yes…
Miry practically needed to be pulled from the saddle, her legs locking up with cramps the moment she touched solid ground. Nenra had little patience for her discomfort, pulling her along by the arm and half carrying her weight as the party moved quite briskly through the city, re-energized by promise of beds and a warm meal. The smaller girl whimpered in pain as she struggled to keep up, but bit her lip and tried to look tough and well-adjusted, which she decidedly failed at.

She tried to place the city that Lord Zakroti spoke of, but was too exhausted – exhausted from doing what? There’s nothing of worth you’ve done… to properly consider it. She’d read something about it, at one point, some sort of siege and great infighting? or something. She made a mental note to ask the lord about it when they had a moment. If he wouldn’t think her an imbecile for not already knowing, that was.

The old woman looked rather grandmotherly, Nenra thought; the sun-worn leathery skin and silvered tresses of age were not so different between their two people, really. Following Zakroti’s example, she stooped into an awkward (and clearly hastily learned, given the mumbling of steps under her breath that accompanied it) curtsy-turned-bow as she remembered that she was finally, once again, wearing the trousers she was most comfortable in.

Miry sank into a pretty curtsy in turn, though somewhat less assured than her presentation would normally be, her knees shaking under her skirts as she forced saddle-sore legs to comply. She clasped her hands behind her back, the speaking-screen nested behind her as unobtrusively as possible – even if Zakroti understood her handsign, she cared to keep it close until she could ascertain that about the rest of his household… but she also heard her mother’s voice, sharply in her ear, demanding that she hide it as much as she could around the company of high society. The tips of her ears brightened with her shame, and she adjusted her hold on it, wobbling and appearing to wish to melt into the ground.

Clouded by her discomfort and desire to sleep, she couldn’t be certain, but she was fairly confident that the words exchanged (and the passing of the lord’s sword) were a traditional greeting of hospitality used by Drakkan lords visiting the holdings of one…usually of the same status, or slightly less, but not all that much less?... Drakkan titles were …confusing, to say the least. She’d read about them all as a matter of her education in history, though some of those readings had been several years before the present… none of their systems made much of any sense to her, or cared to settle that well into her memory. Far easier to remember were courtly bows and spoken cues, the ways of tuning one’s voice to be a respectful mimicry of the timbre and dynamic of the host. Some part of her longed for that, the simplicity of her home, or even the imperial city; she conveniently forgot the meltdown-inducing terror that had been the weeks of decorum and etiquette (and “pretending to be normal”, but that was beside the point) instruction prior to her sister’s presentation.

Upon the sword being given back, they rose from their assorted positions of deference, one of the guards splitting off from the others to stand beside the lord while the others drifted a short distance away, towards the dormitory that had been mentioned. Lord Zakroti held up his hand with a gentle flame to create enough light for the party; Miry took note of this being one of his elemental powers, as it had been a detail skipped over entirely during their first meeting.

Nenra’s overwhelming urge was to ask to sleep alone in the stable, but she held her tongue, weighing her options. She had no desire to sleep in Zakroti’s bed; gods only knew what a lecherous lord might do with that opportunity, and she’d had far too much of Qeynate’s eyes at the Choosing to think for a moment that Zakroti would not have similar sentiments towards her form. Sleeping in a room with Narlemaewel, whom she had gathered was the lord’s chosen man – perhaps even his protégé? Seemed little better. The perversions of these sorts were impossible to overstate, and if she was to be alone with one of them…he could easily take an act against her safety, and it would be her word against his. Her, a Bride well-known for her aura of trouble, against his favored bodyguard.

“I think I should bunk with the men-at-arms,” she said plainly. Miry glanced at her, and she tacked on a cursory, “if it shouldn’t displease you,” though she thought it very much a waste of words – surely he would not have offered the choice if he would be displeased with either option! “Another night on a soft mattress may ruin my shoulders.” She was accustomed to the comforts of home, a straw-and-wool contraption laid across a frame of rope and wooden slats, a linen sheet over it and a wool blanket to ward off the chill. It had been quite enough at home, but when she became a lord’s prize, apparently that standard went up considerably – since arriving in Shadow Wroth, she’d had nothing less than feather toppers on a soft wool mattress, and it had thrown the muscles in her back and shoulders all out of alignment.

A handful of the retainer chuckled at her comment, and she flashed the men a grateful smile for their defusing of the statement. Even Narlemaewel seemed wryly amused, though she didn’t dare make eye contact with Zakroti himself. Miry, meanwhile, said nothing, edging closer to Zakroti’s left side and inching her fingers into his hand tentatively, almost as though she expected to be smacked away. Honestly, she did half-expect to be smacked away, having spent the last weeks with her head being filled with only tales (and experiences, when she’d been too slow to understand and act) of their brutality. Even Zakroti’s courtesy and pleasantries could not be enough to completely dash that from her memory.
At some length of time, both groups had made it to their quarters only to realize that in their haste, they had made no plans for feeding themselves. Among the men-at-arms, it was quickly decided to pay a visit to a tavern nearby; Nenra was pulled along before she could argue, a steaming bowl of mutton stew and large mug of ale placed before her before she could remind them that she had no currency with which to pay.

The men-at-arms, thankfully, afforded her remarkably few of those same slimy stares that she’d grown to associate with the nobles of their kind. Their party was not left without stares; a group of armed and armored men and one, conspicuously un-armored, woman among them was not an unnoteworthy group by any stretch of the imagination. Upon facing down an onlooker who could not hold his tongue (a poor sod who’d seemingly had more ale that night than brain juice, if he thought he could confront a party of a dozen-odd soldiers) and threatening to lay him into the pavement using only a dinner fork, the oversized guardsman called Kzaar gave her a hearty smack between the shoulder blades and told her that she’d fit in with them, at least, just fine.

She tried not to show how much the compliment meant. Some part of her cautioned that word of her bravado might make it back to Zakroti, and that there might be hell in the morning if whoever-this-was made a stink about it, but she drowned her caution with another sip of the ale. The flavor was already beginning to grow on her.

After they had eaten and drunk their fill, they returned to the dormitory building, the hour late but not disrespectfully or irresponsibly so. Nenra found herself a bunk alongside the men-at-arms, mildly inebriated and tired enough to have foregone her care about modesty or respectability – she shed her day clothes and donned a shift, mostly as a layer of protection against whomever might have previously slept in the bunk she claimed.

Miry, meanwhile, had a considerably quieter night at a rather fancy eatinghouse on the high street, the table served by a pretty and overly-enthusiastic young drakkan woman, who took one glance at the scene and immediately read what was going on. There were several innuendos too heavily veiled for her to catch, plus a suggestion of a certain, probably-alcoholic drink, “to make the night easier” – she respectfully refused it, of course. The dinner conversation was over her head both literally and metaphorically – after much thought she’d ended up settling into the chair on her knees, when the food actually came, as otherwise her chin was on a level with her plate in the oversized Drakken furniture. Zakroti and Vain seemed to prefer their mother tongue, though they switched in and out of a variety of languages seemingly at a whim. Miry caught traces of High Drakkan, which she understood parts of, a few interspersed snippets from a variety of Mannish tongues that she knew near-fluently, and several that she could not make heads or tails of in all eighteen of her own languages. Periodically, a question was phrased in such a way that she felt inclined to answer, a glance from the lord or his guard pricking behind her eyes and almost begging a reply, even – she made herself sit on her hands so that she wouldn’t, though, not wishing to derail their fluid bandying of debate with her own inability to comprehend the context that had preceded the question.

In due time they retired to their rooms as well, though only a few cordial words were exchanged between Miry and Zakroti – she hardly wished to bother the lord with more idle chatter, for all that she moved stiffly and uncertainly and her nervousness grew more palpable with every step into their quarters. She shed her bodice and skirts fairly quickly upon realizing they were turning in for the night, her fingers deft at undoing the lacings behind her back. She pulled her hair down from its braided crown, letting it fluff up around her head as it was wont to do, and after a moment of hesitation loosened the ties on her shift, to, the fine linen clinging over her shoulders and bust in such a way that a soft tug might remove them. Look ready, but not too ready, the other brides had said. She mussed her hair up a bit further and chewed on her lips for a moment, remembering that others had said it was a way to get them to look plump and moist and – “kissable”, without needing to fumble for cosmetics, and then went to perch on the edge of Lord Zakroti’s side of the bed. She arranged her shift, suggestively bunched up, over the very tops of her thighs, letting her hair messily tumble down over her shoulders as she waited for him to emerge from the washroom. As she waited for him, she practiced an expression of desire, though without a mirror to tell she couldn’t be sure that it even worked at all.

Truthfully, she couldn’t even say that she wanted to be taken to his bed in this particular moment, but she’d heard enough stories to know that it was usually better the sooner it happened – and better if she was the one to initiate it. Her heart fluttered in her chest, but she tried to steady her breathing, arranging her face into a pretty pout once again. If she did well enough at this, if she could just do what she was supposed to for once in her gods-cursed life, he’d eventually fall in love with her, and then – everything would work out like it did in the fairy tales. Right?

Interacting: Patricia @canaryrose, Malady @Hitman || Other Mission-mates: @KaijuBaragon@Danvers@Infinite Cosmos@Hitman

Angelica did her best to not be unsettled by the new girl in the room, breathing a small sigh of relief as Martino seemed overcome by illness. That was an incredibly unsettling power, however; she couldn’t even think of letting her guard down around this new girl. Still, the grateful smile she offered was real enough as they were paraded into the meeting room.

“Something like that,” she murmured back to Kat. Not technically a lie… heronappers, or something. Her eyes flitted around as they walked, taking note of the meticulously guarded exits. No way in, and no way out… This Gugliano man did not screw around.

Glancing around, her eyes locked onto Will a second before Patricia’s did, but she was marginally better at masking her expression, her jaw clenching so hard her teeth squeaked. Her eyes were wide; she lifted her eyebrows and set her lips into a smirk as though she was somewhat impressed, though her heart pounded. She let Patricia take her to a seat, letting out a nervous-masked-as-flirtatious laugh as she made eyes at someone standing across the room while her thoughts raced.

Still blushing at the tough, stupid-looking man she’d singled out, she leaned in in turn. “I – not text, it’s not secure. We’ve got to get her to not blow our cover. Fuck. I’ll – I’ll think of something.” She leaned back, readjusting her shawl around her shoulders and examining her fingernails absently, trying to gather up her thoughts. Brie needed a warning of some sort. A coded text? Privately, she doubted that the other woman would understand even the most obvious of cryptic messages – Brianna was known for her stubbornness, not her wit. “We’ve just got to get to them and warn her before they get in here and see him, is all. That’s what it’ll have to be. We can’t risk a miscommunication.” She bit her lip as she glanced at a different goon, still trying to seem flirtatious and airheaded.




Interacting: Starbright! @Jumbus

All the tension went out of her shoulders as Starbright brushed off her concerns about legal stuff. Thank god. She tucked her bangs behind her ear, visibly flinching as he likened her violin to a viola. But she pushed the concern aside, flashing a nervous smile at him – it certainly looked like a viola proportionately to the rest of her frame, so it was an obvious mistake to make. He had to know what he was talking about to be as famous as he was, right?

“I – yes, I’m a hero here,” she mumbled, staring at the ground and oblivious to how at ease the star hero was. “Murmur is my field name. Not that you’d have – heard of me. I’m only a C minus, so – I don’t get to do a lot of the fun things.” She giggled nervously, peering at him uncertainly. “Obviously you’re a hero here, too – I mean, yes, obviously! I – why?” She cleared her throat nervously, flickering around the edges as she glanced to Starbright. “I mean, sorry, why’d you – want to know who I am? Don’tgetmewrong it’s hugely – it’s a huge honor! I just – I’m not your usual musician by - by any means. I can’t dance. Or be on stage.”
@DarkRecon I’m almost positive that we’re still accepting! Feel free to hop in the discord and chat it up while you brainstorm. We don’t bite...hard. ^~^

Interacting: Starbright! @Jumbus

Eliza was definitely not expecting for her practice to be interrupted by the very artist whose music she was working on. As the door burst open, she went completely invisible, clutching her violin to her chest and shrinking into the corner. But it soon became apparent that the star was not going to leave without an answer.

Still standing against the wall, Eliza slowly returned to visibility, her violin first, and her body gradually taking shape behind it. Her hair flopped into her eyes as she peered up at the man uncertainly, half-thinking he was going to yell at her or threaten to sue her over her transcription of his work. “I’m s-sorry,” she mumbled, “I uh – I – I have my license app- application in with – with your publisher, I promise – I’m getting the paperwork done, to c-cover the legal side of things, before – before the fundraiser, I promise!” she stammered, squinting up at Starbright anxiously.

Then she realized that he’d asked who she was. Right. “Oh. And um. My name’s Eliza.” She shuffled in place as she spoke, adjusting her hold on her bow and visually almost seeming to hide behind her violin.




Interacting: Patricia @canaryrose, Martino @Hitman || Other Mission-mates: @KaijuBaragon @Danvers @Hitman

Angelica was a decent actor, surprisingly, at least when veiled by her powers. For a moment she said nothing to the man, sipping her strawberry daiquiri absently while checking him out, pretending to be impressed by what she saw. As he swept Patricia off of her barstool, she rolled her eyes, focusing on her drink as she pretended to consider the offer. “I suppose I’ve nothing better to do with my evening,” she purred, slinking off the barstool to the man’s other side and blanking out her revulsion at the vague smell of unwashed person and alcohol that clung to him. She flashed a look at Patricia, hoping the younger girl was okay.

On the car ride over, Angie focused on settling the knot of tension in her chest, forcing herself to breathe as slowly as she could and relaxing the muscles in her back and shoulders. This time, they had backup. It wasn’t going to go badly at all. She gave her best, most reassuring smile to Patricia (who was not currently being affected by her powers; only Martino was). Everything was going to be fine. "This is exciting," she whispered to her, trying to appear enthusiastic.

As they exited the car, she arranged her face into an expression of suitable awe at the opulent complex ahead. She draped herself elegantly over Martino’s arm, purring something that sounded like agreement with his statement about fun, though she internally cringed at the thought of even letting him touch her. God, she was definitely going to need a shower before she was able to look Blake in the eyes, after this.
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