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In APEX 9 days ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
“You’ll...you’ll go?”

Aura took a deep breath. The news wasn’t much relief, especially if anyone saw him assisting her, she’d be beaten to death before the sun rose. However, the glimmer of hope that Kieran’s offer gave her was enough to calm her nerves temporarily.

“Anything you could do to make sure I get out of there, I’d be thankful.” Allowing her muscles to relax, she leaned forward with her hands folded, meeting his eyes. “I don’t know what time I’m going, or when the party even starts. Pogo usually has his girls arrive on a carriage. Should be ten to fifteen of us.”

Picking at her nails, Aura tried to think of anything else to let Kieran know of. Unfortunately, she wasn’t given much information himself.

“They sewed a dress for me, one that I can put the laptop in when I leave. I know the girls aren’t allowed to bring bags or any other belongings.”

Knowing Gregor, he probably didn’t bank too much on her making it out. If anything, she’d be caught and either meet the AA executioner in the morning or be thrown in a cell. But while he hated her actions, Aura was never a rat, and in his mind, could never be one. If only he could fucking see her now.

Countless nights given to The Cause. Countless beatings by the AE and her own people. Grueling “exercises” to prove her worth, her undying loyalty. The constant reminder that she was fighting for a better tomorrow for F, when she and the rest went days without a full meal.

And although the doubt in her mind had been growing like an invasive weed for months, Kieran was the sign she was hoping for from the gods. Her golden ticket. The only way out. There had been rumors of witness protection within the subsections, but then, there were also the rumors of life outside of Apex - the more dangerous option.

“I have a question for you, Kieran.” Aura groaned as she leaned back in her chair. “Don’t you get tired of it? All the bureaucratic bullshit?” She paused and giggled quietly. “I learned that word from a book. But really. Everything we all do - all of us - is always for ’the greater good of Apex,’ no matter what side you’re on. The farmers feed Apex. Sanitation keeps the roads safe for Apex. You run information for Apex. It’s all for Apex, for Apex, fo fucking Apex. You know, my dad told me that people used to have jobs that weren’t for the fucking city? They made music. They made art. They made games for the rest of us to enjoy.”

Aura paused for a moment, eyes scanning the man’s face before her. He was just as stone cold as always. She imagined her words bouncing off of him and falling to the ground.

“Do you ever wonder what life would be like if Apex wasn’t the center of the universe?”
In APEX 16 days ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
“Del is…”

It felt so wrong. The memory of him pleading to her not to get him involved replayed in her mind more vivid than any movie they’d shown in the town square.

”They'll take me in for interrogation. Take my family in. They can’t handle that. They’re quiet, Aura. They’re dishwashers. They can’t take that shit.”

At this point though, it was only to clear his name. There was no other option.

“He’s my next door neighbor. My friend. My only friend.” Aura sighed and leaned forward, rubbing her temples. “He just covers for me. He doesn’t know what we do, what I do. The runners we work with only tell him what he needs to know. The cause doesn’t even know.”

Shooting up from her chair, she darted for the refrigerator and grabbed another one of the bottles Kieran brought and plopped back down. While Aura had been involved in enough nefarious shit, being a rat felt the worst on her conscious so far. Whether it was the impending feeling of punishment from the cause for what she was doing or the fact she was turning her back on all she knew, it felt like shit. At least she had enough ale to stave off the feeling until the next morning.

“Gregor…” a deep breath and a sip was needed before continuing, “he’s been our shot caller since Santo died a couple years back. He’s organized every major event since.”

Subconsciously, a hand lifted to her face to press on the scab on her bottom lip, wincing as the scab separated under pressure.

“There’s a… party or something in Sub A. Loor’s house.”

Another deep breath was taken, this time shaky in its exhale.

“I’m going undercover with a group of prostitutes. I have to take a folding computer, I forget the name.”

Aura took a few gulps from the brown bottle, and this time, politely set it down on the table next to her.

“If I fail to grab it and get out, and if his drink doesn’t knock him out in time, I’ll have to fuck him, then leave in the morning with the rest of the girls. Gregor wants the information on it. Something about more restrictions in F.”

For the first time in a few minutes, Aura lifted her head and looked at Kieran. “I don’t wanna do it. But this is my punishment from running away from the fight. This is his retribution. He coulda easily paid one of the other girls to do it.”

A hand ran through her hair as she took a moment to let the wave of anger run through her, then she returned her attention to Kieran.

“What else?”
In APEX 23 days ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Was he trying to be...nice?

No, he’s here for information. You’re here for freedom.

Aura adjusted in her chair until finding a comfortable position, somewhere between criss-cross and fetal, cradling the bottle in her hand. Maybe this wasn’t so bad of a set up. She spills a little information, and a full meal and bottle was the payout. It was probably the best deal she’d made thus far. Fuck Gregor, fuck the cause. They just stole and stole from her, telling her she was doing the most trustworthy thing, until she became the shell of a person that was sitting in front of Kieran.

”You took me to a family member’s house last night.”

The reality of what the cause was, how it could drag the most innocent of people down with you, felt like a blow to the ches. Her eyes mimicked that feeling, windening into orbs as she completely tensed in the chair, unsure of her next move.

Could she lie? Of course she could. Aura could dance her way through a fabricated story without a second thought.

But, paranoia crept in. He wouldn’t have asked if he didn’t already know, right? And lying to the man who caught her in an apparent act of treason against the AA would be a strike one. She was in way too deep, and everything leading up to this point felt like a cinder block tied to her ankles. She was fucked.

Lifting the ale to her mouth with a shaky hand, Aura took a swig of the ale.

It wasn’t two seconds before she slammed her feet on the ground, elbows on her knees. “Look. They have nothing to do with it. Del either. They just deal with it. The cause.”

Aura launched from the chair and began pacing, the bottle clutched in her left arm. It took a few strides around the small apartment, but she gained the courage to look Kieran in the eyes again, her own spitting fire.

“I work alone. No one I love is involved. And I only do this so I can leave this shit hole one day.”

The ale she’d finished was tossed across the room, not quite hitting the wall and shattering like she’d hoped, but instead rolling across the carpet. In embarrassment, she crumbled in the same seat she began in, clawing at her arm through the hoodie she wore.

“If you’re gonna have me here, move faster. Don’t bullshit.”
one partner down! looking for one more :-)
Yoooo, I’m Trash. If that nickname makes you feel uncomfortable, you can just call me P. I’m a 27 year old female and have been roleplaying on and off for about fifteen years. My other hobbies include singing, painting, and drinking wine, usually all at once.





ALRIGHTY THEN, on to the good stuff. While I don’t have anything really fleshed out yet, I do enjoy doing the heavy plotting with my partners. Here are some rough ideas on what we could do. I am also open to any of your ideas if nothing sparks your interest below, but you think we’d be a good fit.

- Old friends who once had feelings for each other run into each other at a funeral of a mutual acquaintance. They hadn’t spoken in years, but once running into each other, sparks ignite like no time has passed. Maybe there are current partners in the way or other extenuating circumstances that make the situation more complicated.

- A girl gets the chance to meet her favorite rock star, the lead singer of [band to be named]. They hit it off, and soon she’s invited backstage to all his shows, maybe one of his tours, etc. But as time goes on, the drugs, groupies, and crazy partying get out of control for both of them. I’d also be interested in maybe adding some witchcraft/ritualistic themes into this as well.

- Two friends begin to practice magick. It starts off innocently, but soon they bite off more than they can chew. Sacrifices, making people fall in love with them, getting involved with darker energies that have no control over. Lots of wiggle room with this one. [inspiration: The Craft]

- Earth was abandoned by the elite to live on Mars after climate change/a virus/whatever we decide makes it nearly inhabitable. Many of those who were left behind died, but the survivors formed their own colonies and have been surviving successfully for hundreds of years. A person then crash lands on Earth after escaping Mars for a crime they did or didn't commit and runs into the other character, who is in a high ranking position in their colony. We can decide how it goes from there! [inspiration: The 100]

I could probably drum up more, but for now these are the ones I’m craving the most! Like I’m said, very willing to hear your ideas as well.

Feel free to either PM me or message me on Discord: p___#1571 [that’s 3 underscores]

Thanks for reading!
In APEX 1 mo ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
The rest of the morning went as usual; Aura rushed home to attempt a warm shower, but it was too late, so a cold one would have to suffice. An hour later, it was back to work, back to street clean up, and another unforgiving day in the blazing sun.

It was always around noon when she wound up near Mae’s. A visible stain marked the road where the man she brushed past at the bar was shot point blank, and Aura shuddered at the sight. The thought of entering Mae’s for ale entered her mind, and while the temptation was pressing, she’d thought it’d be best to continue on.

But it seemed there were other plans in store, as a pair of hands reached out the front door, dragged her in by her work suit, and pulled her to the back - one of the cause’s many offices. The few and scattered patrons looked up but a moment before returning back to their drink.

Once the door was shut and locked, she recognized her captor as Cael, who was there with a few other men. “She’s here, Gregor!”

Their leader stepped out of the adjacent room and waved for the men to leave, and they filed out into the bar swiftly.

“You ran off last night,” he mumbled as he paced in front of her as she sat on the wooden, familiar chair. He had her trained like a dog. “What happened?”

“Ran out of ammo,” she explained, remembering her breathing. Any sign of hesitation would tip Gregor off. “Enforcers began to chase me, so I ducked off into an alleyway before I could book it. Wound up at my dad’s.”

Gregor nodded, remaining silent, but a grin began to form in the corners of his mouth. Fuck.

Without a warning, a sting took over every nerve in Aura’s face, followed by the metallic taste of blood in her mouth. He’d back-handed her.

“Since when do we run away from fights?”

“L-look, I had no ammo, I didn’t know what to - “

Another blow, this time with the front of his calloused hand, and she refused to meet his eyes. Instead, she squeezed her fists so tight that her arms began to tremble until the pain, minus a slight sting, subsided.

“I wasn’t looking for an excuse. I thought you were better than that, Aura.” He shook the hand he hit her with, then used it to wipe the sweat beating on his forehead. “Are you or are you not for the cause.”

“Yes,” she responded, hardly breaking past a whisper. “I’m sorry.”

“Good girl.”

Okay, that wasn’t so bad. Aura slowly used the sleeve of her suit to dab the blood that had dripped from her bottom lip, which sure enough, was split again.

“In that case, I have a job for you tomorrow night.” Gregor grabbed another chair and swiveled it around, sitting on it backwards, his face now only a foot away from hers. “Pogo is having a group of his girls go to a party in Subsection A…you haven’t been there in years, right?”

Aura shook her head in response.

“Good. You’re gonna go with the girls.”

Pogo was a friend to the group, a pimp that provided prostitutes for the wealthier subsections. Most of the women on his payroll were from the poorer ones, picked for their looks and desperation for cash.

“What… why am I going?”

“Mr. Loor is going to be there. Actually, it’s his party, and from what we’ve gathered, petite, blue-eyed, black-haired girls are just his type. Can’t blame him,” he chuckled, offering her a wink.

It took everything in Aura not to launch at him, and instead, she faked a smile in return. Loor was high-ranking official of the AA, one who spearheaded one of the many laws that ran Unity into the ground. He ignored their pleas for a better life, stating that he believed “Subsection F’s faults lie solely within it’s civilians,” and used excess funds to support the AE. Rumor had it that he was working with others in the AA on a plan to institute even more rules on F and others like it, but what those rules were was unknown.

“Do you know what a laptop is?”

Aura, again, shook her head.

“A computer?

This time, she nodded.

Gregor grabbed a piece of paper and drew a picture of a laptop. “It folds like a book with a screen and letters. We need it.”

“I…” What question would she start with? “How do I get out with it?”

“Mae sewed a pocket in the dress we have picked for you. It should fall right between your ankles as you walk. Just be careful.”

“T-That would be my third strike stealing if I’m caught, I -”

“Pogo knows the bartender. Loor’s drink will be spiked early in the night, he won’t remember a thing and should be pretty fucked up by the time you’re with him.”

God, Gregor always had an answer for everything. “What if he doesn’t pick me?”

“Pogo agreed to send only blondes, redheads or short-haired girls.”

“Well, what if he doesn’t pick me first?”

Gregor paused for a second, his expression taking on a phony, remorseful one. One of his old tricks that Aura had picked up on long ago. “Pogo will try your best to get you out if another picks you first. If not, you have to oblige. We can’t risk them knowing he works with us. He agreed to pay you handsomely if it happens.”

Suddenly, it felt like all the stale air was sucked out of her lungs, and her muscles turned so rigid that she felt her arms could break off at any moment. How could he ask that of her? How dare he, after all she had done for him, put her in such a position? Aura saw red, and her cheeks reflected the same, heat rising throughout her core.

Every thought of putting the hit out on Kieran anyway, against their agreement, was off the table. Whether it was next week or years from now, she’d leave the cause no matter what it took.

Gregor took her blushed cheeks the wrong way. “Aw, Aura,” he sighed with a patronizing tone. “If the times we were together proved anything, it’s that you know what you’re doing.” His hand moved to her lip to collect some of the blood that pool, and she flinched, causing him to frown. “I know you’re stronger than this.” His hand returned, this time successfully removing the blood. “Make sure you cover that tomorrow.”

With only a few more words spoken between them, she was released back onto the streets of Atlantic, and the panic began to settle deep in her stomach. “Fuck, fuck, fuck.”

***


On her walk home after clocking out, a man grabbed her arm as he walked past that she’d not seen before. “Aura Holland?” he whispered hastily. Ah, a runner.

“Yes.”
“Here.” He stuffed a card in her hand, giving her an assuring nod, then walking away.

Aura looked around nonchalantly before bringing it to her face and squinting to read.

JURISDICTION TRAVEL PASS LEVEL 2

SPONSORED BY: TT#3B149


Upon realizing its value, Aura slyly slid it in the waistband of her pants and quickened her pace, her head oscillating as she went to make sure no one had witnessed the exchange. Level 2 was granted to those who either worked Transportation, Housekeeping, or jobs offered in other subsections. Not for a street cleaner, and especially not one in F Many of those in Unity would kill it for her if they had the chance.

***


After assuring Del that she was fine, her journey was on to the tunnel entrance that sat near the border of Unity, an area she didn’t visit often. The border often was the stomping grounds for the homeless and jobless that fell through the cracks of the AE’s system, and the darker it got, the more dangerous the encampment became.

A few whistles and remarks were all she received, and she was thankful for the easy passage to the iron door at the end of the staircase that went ten to fifteen feet into the earth. She knocked heartily, and a small window snapped open.

“Pass.”

Aura reached up, her fingers gripping it tightly so that it couldn’t be snatched.

“Stand back.”

The door opened outward, revealing three men in enforcers closing, luckily for her not Soren or any of his men. Usually, the officers assigned to jobs like guarding the tunnels were the ones they couldn’t trust out on the streets. “Ooooh, this one must be the friend he was talking about.”

Aura’s eyes widened as they slammed the door behind her. “I, um, I’m here to meet someone.”

“We know,” one snickered, eying her up and down. “Let us know if your friend will let us have seconds, huh?”

Confused by his remark, she shook her head and looked to a different officer. “About two hundred paces. Break off in the right tunnel. First door on the left from there. J-12.”

She nodded nervously and immediately began to walk, counting her steps as she went.

Knock knock knock.

The cold blast of air sent her into a near shock, and she lifted up her locks to feel it on every surface of her skin possible.

Kieran’s words were just noise to her until she heard “produce - meat - ale.”

She dashed for the kitchen, recognizing the refrigerator from her times as a housekeeper, and gathered as much food as she could in her hands: an apple, a cutlet, some sort of greenery, and a bottle of ale. It wasn’t thirty seconds later until she had it sprawled on the desk and messily dug into it all, using her sleeve to wipe her face between sips of ale and bites of food. It was probably similar to watching an animal feast on its first prey of the winter season.

When she was satisfied, she turned herself around to face Kieran, sighing in relief. It was rare to feel a full stomach. “Thank you.”

It was then when she decided to look at her surroundings, and she cocked her head in curiosity.

“If you don’t mind, I’d like to ask for your escort to at least the Atlantic block when I leave.”

Grabbing the bottle of ale once again, she took a few swigs and clutched it against her stomach with one hand, the other playing with the newly formed scab on her lip. “Well, then. What do you want to know?”
In APEX 1 mo ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
As Kieran listed off his orders, Aura struggled to make mental notes of it all, her eyes lazily studying his face, shoulders, and arms as exhaustion had overcome her long before they ever crossed paths. Now, in a matter of an hour, he held her life in his large, rugged hands-

Snapping back into reality as his last statement was made, her eyes widened and she nodded rapidly. “Sleep, yeah.” She stood back up with a groan and dusted her black pants off vigorously to rid them of the dirt that settled long ago on the garage floor. “Don’t try anything,” she grumbled as she squatted behind him and began to work at the knot holding his wrists behind his back. Once loose, she gently tugged his arms until they were free of the rope.

“You run,” she sighed as she headed towards the cot in the corner and unfolded it from the wall until it cracked into place, “and I’ll have a hit out on you by dawn. Plus, I’m a light sleeper.”

While Aura made plenty of idiotic decisions in the past few hours, this may have been the dumbest, but in good conscious, she couldn’t let the man sleep in the position she had him. Hopefully her threat would be enough to keep him in place for the night.

As if a dog curling up on his blanket, she took her time wiggling about until she found a comfortable position to sleep in while being able to keep an eye on him. Once satisfied, she groaned and let her eyes start to flutter. “Good night, Kieran.”

***


Aura awoke completely startled and almost launched herself off the cot. Father’s garage? Oh yeah. Clothes drying on the chair? Yes, it was raining. Man asleep on the floor? She wished she could forget.

While he remained asleep, she quickly changed into the close from the previous nights and laced her boots quietly, using them to nudge him gently as she towered over him. “Let’s go.”

The walk though the fields was silent, more awkward than any morning she’d had before with a man, and her body remained on full alert the entire time. She had seen herself in the reflection of a glass just before leaving, and she had inconspicuously worked on removing the round smudges of coal that had blurred around her eyes as they stomped along. The sunrise began to peak behind them, and it drenched their surroundings in pink and orange. Aura couldn’t help but peer over her shoulder a few times.

The guard tower was finally visible in the distance.

“I have to stop here,” she panted, planting her feet apart and crossing her arms. Attempting to seem intimidating felt stupid in front of the skyscraper in front of her, but Gregor always said, ”Pretend to be the warrior you want to be.”

The thousands of thoughts racing through Aura’s mind made it hard for her to keep a steady breath and remain present in the moment, but she had fucked up enough to know that she couldn’t - at least in this moment - take back anything that transpired.

“I can meet you in the tunnels tonight,” she offered with a blank expression. “9:00 PM.” In defeat, her eyes shot down to the ground between them. “Bring food. Meat if you can get any. Ale works too.”

Without another word, Aura extended a hand to Kieran. A silent agreement that they both were bonded together by a mutual need. Once they broke off, she shoved his bag in his hand, complete with his gun and paperwork. "Please don't fuck me over, Kieran."
In APEX 3 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
“Del’s not fucking -”

Aura’s knee-jerk reaction further proved why she often wasn’t trusted by the cause with situations like this. It took just a moment though to gain back what little composure she had previously.

“You must have some bad information. Del’s not involved in any of this.”

Guilt began to creep up her spine. Taking advantage of his niceness to cover her ass had obviously landed him on one of the AA’s list, and although Aura always knew it was a possibility, hearing it made it real.

Kieran presented her with an out, one that made the impossibly difficult situation she put herself even worse. While the cause was all she had left, she couldn’t leave if she wanted to. The only way out of the group was to die honorably, or die a traitor. Gregor and others high in the rankings did not have one ounce of trust between them all, and it only made sense to them that if anyone no longer wanted anything to do with the cause, they had to have an ulterior motive. Death was the only way to cover their own asses. And while they’ve taken great care of Aura, she had been on their bad side before. She was unsure if she’d rather be punished again by them or by an officer, but she at least knew the cause wouldn’t harm her family. Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for the AE.

This was the only choice.

Most days, Aura just wished she could leave. To pack what little belongings she had and to head for the mountains in the middle of the night. Of course, she had heard rumors that it was only more grim out of Apex’s limits, that there is nothing out there for those that try to leave. But other rumors, those that there are groups of people living freely past the mountains. No authority, no enforcers...that was the fantasy that Aura desperately clung to when things got too heated in Unity.

“So, you want me to rat,” Aura sighed, pushing back stringy strands of black hair from her vision. “You know what they do to rats here, right?”

Remaining seated on the floor, she swiveled around and lifted her shirt to reveal pink scars that resembled lightning strikes down her back. “One of the times that Soren took one of our guys in, he made it sound like I had given them info. The officers like to stir shit up to try and dismantle us…”

Upon realizing that she was saying too much already, Aura’s face landed in her palms and a groan escaped her.

“Guess you got me. But, I need some guarantees.” She straightened up her posture and met his eyes. “If you name me in anything, they won’t hesitate to deliver my head to you in a package. If I help you, it has to be from an unidentified source.” It sounded ridiculous to be demanding anything knowing that Kieran could throw her to the wolves at any time.

“Second, if I’m figured out, I have to get out of F. I don’t know how much power you have and I don’t care. I’ll need new papers and a new subsection. And lastly,” she took a moment to catch her breath; the heat was growing unbearable whether from her nerves or the rain. Her voice trembled with emotion no matter how much she tried to control it. “I can’t be seen with you, now that I know who you are. Figure out where or how we can meet, and I’ll do it. I’m probably not welcomed back after this, so it can’t be here.”

A familiar feeling of penitence sat like a rock in her stomach, but this was her only option. Or at least, she couldn’t think of a better one.

“I’ll bring you to the west border of F in the morning. Do we have a deal?”
In APEX 3 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
“Kieran,” she mumbled in response. His demeanor was the most unnerving thing about him. He was calm and smiling, while Aura did everything she could to choke down the nausea bubbling in her stomach.

She had taken a runner hostage. A runner. The weight of her actions began to sink deep in her stomach, the heat of the garage beginning to suffocate the oxygen from the room. Aura dashed to the window, threw it open, and allowed herself a deep gulp of breath from the cooler air that poured in.

Could she somehow get a message to Gregor? Explain she had fucked up and that she needed help?

The thought of his temper made Aura shut down the thought instantly. No, she’d have to figure a way out of this herself. She couldn’t lose her spot in the cause. They were her last chance of getting out of F for good. The only place she fit in.

But if the man got free, he would shoot her. If he didn’t shoot her, he’d run until he could report her.

She was dead in the water in every outcome imaginable.

Aura turned from the window and moved to stand in front of him, hiding her trembling hands in the pockets of Ion’s pants. “I won’t -” Due to nerves, her voice left her body as a whisper. Get it together.

“I won’t kill you,” she responded, now reflecting a more confident tone. “I just…”

How could she get him on her side, at least long enough for her to figure out a plan?

“You, the mystery man, catch me in the middle of a firefight with an AR in my hands.” She chuckled, wiping her forehead to rid it of sweat. “That would normally sound like a really fun night for me. But you’re,” Aura finally gained courage to look up at him, “you’re a runner. You may as well be an enforcer.”

Aura grabbed an empty pail from the corner and opened the garage door. “I’ll be right back.”

She soon returned, the pail now full of water. Before dealing with it, she plopped down and began to work her fingers at the laces of her sopping boots, groaning when each foot finally broke free.

“Thirsty?”

Without waiting for an answer, Aura grabbed the pail and approached him, lifting it to Kieran’s lips.

Once done, she took a few gulps of it herself before making herself comfortable on the floor across from him.

“You want to leave here alive. As do I. And if I’m reported, you may as well kill me now.” Aura scanned his face hoping for any hint of weakness, but the man was made of stone. Asshole. “So Kieran, what would you do if you were in my position?”
In APEX 3 mos ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
The trek to her father’s house was a blur, adrenaline and uncertainty pumping through Aura with each beat of her heart clapping in her ears. To keep her hostage from returning to her family home, she tossed her sweater over his head and guided him by looping one arm through his, while the other kept the gun pointed towards him. The rain had picked up, and the dirt floor of the crop fields had turned into a thick stretch of mud, causing her boots to stick with each step.

Bam. Bam. Bam.

The heavy wooden door only creaked open a couple of an inches with an eye peeking out.

“It’s me.”

Her father sighed, not opening the door any further. “What have you done?”

“I need the garage tonight. And two changes of clothes.” Moments passed, with only silence and the patter of the rain to fill the void. “Please… I’m sorry.”

“Be out by dawn,” he huffed, followed by snapping the door shut. The man returned moments later with a sack that he tossed to her, giving no time for another word between them before shutting the door once again.

Once entering the garage, Aura forced the man into a seated position on the floor and removed her sweater from his head. The garage, detached by a few hundred feet from the home, held a tractor and other machinery, along with an array of tools that lined the back wall, a fold out cot, and a wooden desk. She hastily lit a couple of candles until the garage was illuminated with a dim, yellow light, then she grabbed a retrieved from the wall and threw it over her shoulder.

“You’re changing first,” she instructed, shoving a plain, large t-shirt and cotton pants into the man’s hands, taking his bag in response and kicking it across the floor towards the cot. Her hand that held the gun trembled, unsure if it was from the frigid rain or her nerves, but her eyes shot to the ground in an attempt to give the man some privacy.

Once finished, she tied his arms behind him around a support beam that sat in the center of the garage, then grabbed her own change of clothes. These must have been Ion’s, her younger brother, who towered over her much like the mystery man. She put the large t-shirt on, then slipped the wet clothes beneath off of her, then slid on the pants, then took their wet clothes and draped them over a chair to dry.

What would her endgame be here? If she let him go, he could kill her - or worse, notify the AA of her treason. He knew her name already… that she had family. She should have just shot him in the street when she had the chance.

Aura felt around in his bag and removed the gun, placing it gently on the ground next to hers. Next his paperwork, which for now, she just glanced over before setting placing them on the cot.

So,” she sighed, crouching down in front of him. “A runner, huh?” Her eyes scanned him in curiosity. “Why are you in F?” Before continuing, Aura realized that she still hadn’t had her one question answered since she had seen the man in front of Mae’s tavern.

“What’s your name?”
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