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Shawn told her that he'd put in a word for his son, but only for her sake and not anyone else's. Especially not for that boy that was said to be his son. He heard her thanking him and it was just what he wanted to hear. He wanted her to be grateful for him taking care of her ever since she was a young girl.
He wanted her to still be in his life, to have that one ounce of her mother's blood left. He did promise her that he'd take care of Ara and if he broke that now, what would it all mean. He had somewhere to be, so he ended the conversation and then he headed back to his car, waving and then disappearing into the dark.
Sylus was drinking coffee in another cafe when he saw his phone. Good news? Just what he was expecting. His father wouldn't say no to Ara. After all, he left him and his mother for her and her mother.
[i Well I'm glad it worked out. It's not surprising you won him over again so easily] he sent the message.
He sighed softly and just stood up, paying the bill and then walking back to the car. He saw Tanner and Ara and then he climbed in, taking a seat.
He didn't really make eye contact with Ara and he just waited for them to go home. He was upset, but he wasn't going to yell or be angry. She was doing all of this for him, but he didn't want anything to do with that man or whatever else he planned. The further away he was from is life, the better.
She felt some tension release to hear he'd put a good word. She couldn't understand how a person who would treat a child that way, their own son that way could ever dare to selflessly care about her. So, it felt like a fact that it turned out she was alone all that time after all. [i Why does it hurt this much?] [b "Thank you." ]
Ara nodded, and decided to keep quiet about what would happen in the future. Why would she warn him about the plan? It didn't matter. [b "I will, I have good bodyguards." ] And here comes the killer [b "Stay safe too, avoid being in the crossfire." ] She'd at least have to act like she wouldn't shove him out. He left and Tanner put his arm around her [+blue "It'll be okay. You did it." ]
[b "Thanks... I have to go the bathroom."]
[+blue "Than...make sure no one is in that bathroom first," ]
[b "Yea, yea..." ] Ara got up and head over to the bathroom, but Tanner followed up to the door. Ara end up throwing up in the toilet, not being able to hold up back anymore. She felt disgusted and all she wanted to was lose it but, she couldn't do that. Tanner and Sylus kept their cool a lot better than she did. She cleaned herself up and stepped out and walked with Tanner back into the car...but Sylus wasn't there.
[b "Where did he go?" ] Ara frowned and pulled out her phone. Tanner pushed her gently closer to the car, getting her to lower her head [+blue "Get in first." ] He watched carefully and made sure she was inside the car, getting in the car himself.
Ara messaged Sylus [b 'Sy, where are you!? You were supposed to stay in the car. Can you please get back in the car. I have good news for once. I'm pretty sure you'll be able to be a bodyguard. ]'
To think that Ara would finally speak with him after seeing what he did to Sylus. That only meant one thing. She clearly needed something from him that only he could give. He had the upper hand in this conversation and there was only one thing that he wanted. He wanted Ara to look at him like a second father. To feel the need to be in his debt or to at least thank him for all that he had done to her.
He heard her mention her mom....ahh that was right. THe woman he fell in love with. She was sweet, kind, and really beautiful. He left his own family to try and get closer to that woman. He even took care of her own family rather than his only son.
"I'll put in a good word for Sylus, but you better not shun me away again. I'm doing this for you Ara, not for anyone else" he stated simply and then he looked at his watch. "There's somewhere I have to be for Roark. I don't know what else you have planned for this mission, but I plan on still being one of his right hand men. Whatever happens, just make sure you stay safe" he looked up at Tanner and then he placed some money on the table and left. If Ara's father called him, he'd mention to place Sylus as a body guard or just place him where he wanted to go if he could.
The attention diminished on her day by day after her mother was gone. For being so young she remembered little things like being ignored, yelled at, even having her dad or brother forget to give her food. It kept getting worse, and eventually it felt like she didn't matter anymore, but Shawn...made her feel even the slightest bit better. Pick her up when she cried, took her out for ice cream, and was there when she was growing up. It stung deeply, to know what he was really like...
No...she definitely still wanted to shun him. She couldn't forgive anyone who ever hurt a kid, who hurt Sylus like that.
[b "You did... Then I want you to help me with this." ] She lifted her head, and felt her throat lock up. It physically hurt to speak but she was going to get through this. He was smirking...great he had leverage over her, but she do anything for Sy. [b "Yes, it's a big step." ] She was hoping to use the mention of her mom to get him to agree. She didn't care what she had to say or do, she just wanted to make sure Sylus was going to be okay. [b "Thank?" ] She leaned back, and really didn't want to be in his life. It bothered seeing him but...for Sy. [b "I will be still in your life and treat you as I did if you do this for me, and don't speak about Sylus with me." ] She exhaled out, feeling as if she sent herself through a whole lot of days of facing a person she rather punch.
[b "My father will call very soon, and if I don't hear back from him on what you told him, than I won't see you again because than I know you don't care for me, that it was all a lie." ] She spoke softly and a big part of her wondered if even his behaviour around her when she was young was all for some underhanded reason. She cleared her voice a bit, [b "We can talk more, but I'm sure there's plenty of things you have to do. I have to figure out how to follow the plan for this mission." ]
He didn't want to upset, but it made him really mad when she was talking about how he shouldn't be prying into business matters he knew nothing about. IT was Ara and he loved her. He at least felt that if something happened to her, he would at least be involved. They drove towards a cafe and then he felt like maybe he shouldn't be a part of it. He'd rather kill himself than ask his father for a favor and look desperate.
Sylus saw them both hurry out of the car and he just headed his own way, walking towards the center of town. He took a seat at another cafe and just tried to relax and clear his mind. He was sure that Ara and Tanner would be fine. His father adored Ara anyway. He didn't think she'd have a problem persuading him.
Shawn made it to the cafe and when he sat down, he ordered himself an Americano and just listened to what she had to say. [b "I pretty much watched you grow up Ara. Anything you need I'll try and help. Just make sure you don't shun me"] he told her and then he listened to her explaining how her father would ask him about Sylus.
A crooked smile appeared on his face and then he smirked. [b "So if I put in a good word for my boy you'd appreciate me again is that it?"] he asked, thinking about her mother. He knew her mother wanted what was best for Ara. How could he turn her down. [b "I'll think about it. Only if you continue to keep me in your life and still treat me like a second father"] he looked over at her, folding his arms over his chest.
That frustration was getting to her head, making it so hard to cool down when Tanner arrived at the stop. She wanted to cuss, she wanted to give anyone who even lightly ticked her off hell. Shawn...oh she just wanted to knock him out dead. Right now, she really could use a good punching bag. But there wasn't any time. She stepped out of the car, nearly slapped the car door and took a seat in the cafe. Tanner sat beside her and decided to keep his mouth shut because he did not want to get caught in her rage.
Off the bat, Shawn was crossing the line. How could she have even remotely thought he was a good person? How? With all the things he said about Sylus, about how he talked? How could she have not seen it. She didn't remember him this way... He wasn't...the person in her memory. She forced a smile on her lips until he talked about Sylus. She wanted to punch him right there and now. [b "Please...be respectful of Sylus, at least in front of me, because than I don't see any reason of seeing you again. You were a good part of my life, don't ruin it. " ]
That sickness built up in the pit of her stomach. How was this man so different than she thought he was, immature, childish, and hating a child for his own mistakes? He was like thirteen year old in an old body. How was she going to convince that?
[b "Everyone keeps saying they care about me, but I need proof. I need something done. My father is going to ask you about Sylus, and I need you tell him that you want him to be a bodyguard, and nothing more...or help me buy him off." ] She felt her vision sway. What would happen to Sy...
[b "Please... You don't need Sylus or want anything to do with him. I'm not sure why you even call him your son, because you didn't raise him. Do this for me. My mom is gone, but I know she would agree with me. " ] If this doesn't work... Then...what? Kill him? That would be suspicious. [i Hopefully this works ]
He heard Ara telling him that he didn't know anything, therefore he shouldn't have said anything. That pissed him off so much and he couldn't help but tell her that even though he shouldn't say anything, he cared about her and cared about what happened to her. If she didn't want him in her family business, what gave her the right to but into his when he was dealing with his own father. It made him upset and he just ended up staying silent in the car.
She got even more upset with him and what he was saying. Sure he hasn't experienced that at all, but he would lose her anyway when they went back to the facility. He'd probably lose her when she chooses school over work. There were so many opportunities to lose her, but he didn't want to. He didn't know if he could do what she did. He did still want to be her bodyguard, it was just...he didn't want his dad to ever play a part in how well he did at the facility and he didn't want to ask him for a favor either.
She didn't look at him, so he didn't look at her either. He stayed in the car, but he didn't reply. He couldn't believe she was going to ask his asshole of a father for a favor. He never wanted to see that man again, not after all the trauma it put him through as a child. Sylus could feel the scar on his side stinging just thinking about how close he was to his father. He couldn't handle it. He stepped out of the car and then he closed the door. He knew Tanner would make sure Ara was okay. What was the point of him staying there and just making her more angry.
He headed down the street, looking at his phone and then he made his way towards a cafe. He sat down and ordered himself a coffee, biting down on his lip as he just tried to keep his mind off of how the day went or how his father was probably making a deal with Ara right now. He didn't want to hear it.
Shawn made his way into the cafe, looking around and then seeing Ara at the table. He sat across from her and then he had a smile on his face. "Well hello Ara. Good to see you. I hope you're doing okay and that my disgrace of a son didn't harm you. What can I do for you today since you went out of your way to meet me again?"
[b "If you don't know anything than maybe you shouldn't talk, and no, I don't have to tell you about my blood relations. They're people I don't want to be connected to anymore." ] Ara spoke loud and clear, already on edge from everything and ticked when Sylus said that her father cared about her after all the stuff he's done to her. Words were just words...for all she knew he was saying all these things for his own gain. She was already fired up, anything could have tipped her over but Sylus saying that she didn't need to do this for him, tipped her way past the edge.
She scoffed [b "Did I say that you I'm the only person who loses people I love? Oh wow, because your soooo much different than me, because only people at the facility were abandoned.. And this has nothing to do with what I said." ] She narrowed her eyes, [b "You can't imagine what it's like, falling in love with someone romantically and having to shoot them over some stupid decision. I would rather die than do that again. Can you picture me not being alive and it's all your fault? I don't' think you can. I am not losing you and you can't say that it's fine because it's not fine! I thought you said you cared about being my bodyguard? Shawn will take that away from you, and you're saying 'it's fine'!?" ] Her eyes watered and she cried it out.
She tried to clear her eyes and saw Shawn's message. Oh, how she hated him too. He might stand in the way of Sylus safety again. No one else was going to fight for Sylus, Sylus definitely wasn't, so she needed to fight like hell to make sure he was going to be okay. She got a message back and replied quickly, [i 'Meet you there.' ] She told Tanner and he drove to the location. When they got there, Ara got her bag, and didn't really look at Sylus [b "Stay in the car. I don't want you to purposely give your dad reasons why you don't care about being my bodyguard or putting put in a horrible position." ] She stepped out and Tanner rushed out, making sure Ara was protected and watching out for her, while they walked to the cafe. Ara sat down and waited, making sure her expression was clear.
He didn't like speaking with her father at all because he belittled them and not to mention the fact that he pointed out that he was nothing more than a disposable tool. By now he was beginning to get the sense that her father was high up there, probably even the head of the facility, but Ara never told him a thing. He didn't tell her a think about her family life, her siblings, or the fact that she was important since her father was important.
The thought made him go into guard more and he wanted what was best for her. He wanted her free from her father's wrath and out anywhere in the world to be whatever she wanted to be, like a normal person would. She made a point that he would do anything for her. Still, when a chance like this came up, it was really stupid not to take it.
He kept silent and when Ara looked like she was really upset, he just backed up and sat in the car with her. He only wanted her to not have to do a thing. To not put herself in danger. His father was also dangerous. He hated the way she was speaking to him. Who's fault was it that he didn't know anything? Was it really his? [b "I don't know anything because maybe you should have told me about your family"] he folded his arms over his chest and glanced away. Clearly she had secrets she didn't want to tell him.
He heard her raise her voice and he just remembered how his father would always leave to go visit her mother when he was a child. All he wanted was for him to stay at home and play with him. How could he? He should have done something back then. Ever since with his mother as well, he always thought he did something wrong. Why else would she send him to the facility in the first place? All of the people he loved abandoned him. She had no right to tell him he didn't understand what that felt like.
[b "You're not the only one who loses people you love ARa. We all have suffered. Us guinea pigs? We've all been abandoned by the people we love! You think we could have prevented it?"] he started raising his voice, but then he managed to just glance away and forget about it. What did she understand about him anyway? SHe was nothing like him.
Sylus just kept to himself in the car, realizing that it was going to be hell no matter what happened to him. What was the point in her trying to prevent it? He's lived through hell all his life. It was just another day.
Ara said she hated his father as much as she hated her own. He didn't care about that. He's always hated his father. IF her father was the man in charge, he'd hate him too. He just let out a sigh and stared out the window. Maybe he'd just be guard for today until she calmed down. Him trying to be her boyfriend wasn't working.
Sylus kept his amber eyes on the area, looking to see if anyone was following them or any signs of danger. If only Ara knew how lucky she was.
Shawn saw her message and he replied back [i "Fine. I'm free right now. Did you want to meet up at a cafe? THe one by the school?"] he sent and then he changed direction to head over there instead.
That unsettling feeling in the pit of her stomach wasn't going away any time soon. Sylus... What would happen to Sylus. She leaned back and looked at him as if he was crazy, "What are you saying? Why wouldn't I have to do anything for you? I love you. You would do anything for me too, wouldn't you? And how could say that?" ] Her voice raised a little too loud. She shook her head and quieted herself [b "I am not going to abandon the people I love. I don't do that, not by choice." ]
Tanner looked back at the review mirror at the two, [b "Ara, he's only worried. ]
Ara shook her head, not really caring at the moment. He was telling her to do something so horrible that she wouldn't be able to live with herself. She tried to calm down, with him having his arm around her waist and at first it was nice but than he said something that he knew nothing about. Her anger boiled, and shifted away, [b "Right? Would you make me kill someone I love Sylus or force me into this life? No? Right? It's because you care, and you love me. He doesn't, you don't know anything, so don't talk like you do." ]
Why did he keep talking? She felt this horrible fear of losing him and he didn't get it. He didn't get how terrifying it was. [b "It's not fucking fine Sylus!" ]Her voice raised [b "I can lose you! You don't understand how much hurts losing someone you love, when you could have prevent it." ] Her voice cracked, remembering how she lost Joseph, how she killed him. She wiped her eyes and wanted Sylus to keep quiet. She heard her phone and she pulled it out quickly. [i Son of a... ] Why did everyone want to see her temper fly off today? [i No I do not want to fucking talk to a piece of shit. ] Sleeping...sleeping.
[i Do you want me to never speak to you again? I am giving this a chance, don't make me regret it. When can we meet today? ] She hit send, deciding to ignore him about sleeping with Sylus. As if she'd admit that to him or even acknowledge he said it.
[b "I hate your father nearly as much as I hate my own." ] She mumbled and felt so stressed out and miserable.
HE loved being with ARa and he understood that she had a dream, but he didn't want to be a part of that dream if it meant she could live a normal life. He wanted her to be far away from the facility. Maybe she'd be happier that way and could find a normal person she could fall in love with and keep up with so she was never disappointed. He held his breath and thought that was perfect for her, but he couldn't just let her go.
He listened to her father speak about the whole Roark and Robert think and was surprised to hear that he sounded like a normal father. A father that loved his daughter and wanted what was best for her. Sure he only cared about his own family, but if he could free Ara. WHy not?
Sylus got a little anxious and hugged her when her father left. He pulled back and released her when Tanner spoke and then he looked around again. He kept his guard composure and then he just kept silent. He might have screwed this all up. He looked over at Ara [b "You don't have to do anything for me Ara. You should tell your father that you want to go to school"] he told her, walking towards the car and then taking a seat at the back. He stayed beside her and then he kept his arm around her waist, rubbing her arm gently. [b "Don't feel terrified. He cares about you"] he whispered and his amber eyes kept on the rear view mirror, looking around carefully.
[b "It'll be okay. Whatever my father chooses, it's fine"] he told her, not wanting her to force herself to speak to a monster.
Shawn was busy in a meeting with Roark. When he stepped out of the restaurant, he saw his phone and had a smirk on his face. [i "I thought you never wanted to speak to me again? Are you having fun sleeping with my boy?"] he sent and then he made his way to his car.
That was right. She loved having Sylus around, and she knew that he loved her. Why were making decisions so hard?
She couldn't believe the stuff that was coming out of her father's mouth. Never had she ever heard that before. [i Am I awake?" ] There was no way this was real. How many times she imagined being told she could get to school. How she imagined how excited she would get, and how she'd jump at the chance. To just live like a normal person for a while...It seemed perfect and now, all she had to say was 'yes.'
It hurt a little...When she said she'd rather work. She would rather protect everyone, help them but she also wanted to live just as desperately as anyone else. Her father went off and she picked up Sylus speaking but, her father didn't say anything more and went off. He didn't view anyone that was from the facility as a human being. He believed they were so modified and changed that they couldn't possibly be human any more.
She felt Sylus arms around her from behind. Tanner carefully blocked a view of them, just in case, [+blue "Sylus, not now. ]" He whispered, noticing one of the servers watching a little too carefully. [b "You mostly did fine, but be careful about lying to the man. Ara... I know that was hard, I'm proud of you." ]
Ara managed a smile [b "Thanks... but we don't have much time. I have to talk to Shawn. I can't let him screw this up for you Sy." ] She brought out her phone number and texted Shawn right away [b "Hi, can we meet up and talk today? I think it's about time. ]
[+blue "That's right... Who'd ever thought your father was good friends with Ara's. If it means anything, I was abused as a kid by my father and eventually became orphaned.] Tanner mentioned and cleared his voice [b "Ara, we need to leave soon as possible if we need to get this mission going, can we get to the car?" ]
Ara nodded, and got up. Tanner lead her to the car, being watchful, while also trying to look relaxed. [+blue "Sy, Ara, in the back but no foreplay back there, go it?" ]
Ara managed to laugh [b "Promise, we going back to the penthouse?" ]
[+blue "I have to make a stop, but will soon. Tell me if you need to be somewhere else." ]]
[b "Sure." ]] She looked back at her phone hoping Shawn messaged her soon. Ara didn't know the route back and she guessed Tanner didn't either since he made some turns that end up having him to go back on the same path again. Ara leaned her shoulder to Sylus [b "I was...terrified when he realized...I feel sick." ]
He had a smile on his face, seeing her get more serious. Sylus loved how she could be so honest with him with the way she spoke. That she honestly wanted to be with him [b "I want to always be by your side Ara. You know I love you"] he told her and then they were soon at the cafe, waiting for her father.
He did want to be her guard, but that meant he had to work really hard to make sure her father was at least impressed with him and his answers. From watching their conversation though, he's learned more about Ara within the hour than he knew about her this entire year that he was with her. He needed to talk to her about what they really knew about each other. Clearly ARa didn't want to tell him her secrets or anything about her family. He understood why, but he still wanted to know all of her.
Tanner answered her father's question in a better way than he did, but he was still standing by his answer. It looked like he was going to listen to them though. He kept silent and then he heard that Ara could be going back to school again. It made him really sad, but he didn't want anything better for her. She could leave the facility and be a normal person in society. Make a name for herself and even become the artist she wanted. Why would she give up that chance?
He was surprised to hear that she wanted to keep working....why? Was she really going to try to save all of them? Maybe if she could go to school, he could be her guard and they could escape from this place.
Sylus watched as her father left and then he nodded his head [b "Take care Sir"] he spoke as he looked back at Ara and then he nodded. [b "I'm okay. Are you Ara?"] he asked, seeing the atmosphere in the restaurant settle down.
He leaned in and then he wrapped his arms around Ara from behind her [b "WHat do you think? Did I mess up?"]
[b "I'm glad you're still with me." ] Ara smiled brightly and then it faded a little [b "And I want you to continue to be with me..." ]
This meeting was worrisome. Attention was brought to Sylus just by being Sylus and being related to Shawn. Who knew if Shawn was going to help make Sylus' fate worse. She had to talk to him. She had to convince him to do this favour for her, so she could continue to protect and be with Sylus. ]
Ara couldn't recall if she told Sylus that she had sibling but she definitely didn't want to talk about it. She never thought that her dad would have even known...about what happened with Roark, but it wasn't all too surprising either. She knew there was eyes everywhere, and that's why she needed to be more careful.
Her father listened to her idea and looked at her bodyguards. He listened to Sylus and looked over at Tanner, [+blue "I agree with her. They have a bad system and would cause more trouble than it's worth. There's an often occurrence of theft of his men, and then selling them themselves. Distributing drugs through them wouldn't be useful. Their method of documentation isn't reliable, because the ones who document don't give a clear written report or they are on drugs themselves. Giving some time, I expect the business to collapse and Roark would lose control on his own." ]
Her father leaned back, [b "Then I have to revise my decision. Discover the location where the drugs are developed. We will take over and destroy what's remaining, No objections?" ] He met Ara's eyes.
Well...it was better than having more numbers on the ground, and helping destroy Roark's business or making it difficult seem like a good win.
[b "No objections. That was all I wanted, you can get back to your work." ]
He sighed [+red "How about we go for walk? ]
[b "It's safer to stay here, and I haven't finished yet." ] Ara took another bite of her dessert.
He nodded [b "Fair enough. Do you want to stay here Ara? Do you want to go through schooling again? ]
Her head tilted up suddenly and her eyes widened [b "Why...would you ever ask me that?" ]
[+red "I've realized what you have missed compared to your brother. You can go any school in the world and study what you like." ]
[i I've waited so long to hear that.] Her expression softened and why wouldn't she take something like this? But...Sylus, Tanner...Clyde and everyone else. Time wouldn't pause because she went off to have some peace. Her fingers gripped onto the end of her dress. But if she could drag Sylus along, then he'd be safe with her. She didn't have to worry about him. It would be great... But...everyone else.
[b "Thank you, but I would rather keep working." ] Her voice almost broke.
[+red "Let me know if you change your mind." ] He said.
His bodyguard took a step back, answering a call and then leaning into her father, whispering something.
[+red "I do have to leave Ara, when you return, I want you to return home." ]
She nodded [b "Have a safe trip back." ]
He nodded and spoke[+red "Take care of my daughter." ] He got up and went with his bodyguard. Ara leaned back into the chair when he was gone. [b "How are you two doing?]
He did know that Ara would do her best when it came to protecting herself and him. She always wanted to protect the guinea pigs at the facility and sometimes he wanted to be just that one person in her eyes that she wanted to save most, but he had to remember there were others too. [b " You do make it easy. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't even be out here in the world"] he smiled and then soon they were facing her father.
When they started talking about how he looked familiar, he didn't make a face. He did his best to just look the man in his eyes and answer his question without feeling. HE told him about how he was related to Shawn and how he was sent to the facility. But when her father said something about talking to Shawn, Sylus felt worried. He didn't want his future to be based on what his father had in mind. If he asked, he'd probably send him to the worst place he could.
The two of them talked and her father seemed surprised to hear that he was Ara's guard sometimes. At least he was showing some concern when it came to Ara. Maybe at least he'd treat her well enough and not let her suffer? He listened in on their conversation and then he realized....Ara had a brother? How come he's never met or seen the man? There was so much he didn't know about her...maybe she did mention it once.
The talk about Robert made him upset. He still couldn't believe that asshole got a hold of her. He didn't do a good job of protecting Ara back then, but he did manage to make the man fear him. Sylus listened to her father and he agreed to handle Roark. He always wanted to beat the crap out of him anywhere for treating Ara like some slut he could wrap his hands around.
She made it clear that Roark was unreliable, but when her father asked for their opinions, Sylus awaited his turn to speak. [b "I don't think you should take part in such an organization. I've accompanied Ara to their facilities and agree with her plan. It's best to either shut it down or benefit from their drugs without having any direct ties to them. Roark's company is too unreliable and so are his men"] he stated honestly and told him that it would be best not dirty his name with such a company.
He didn't know what he wanted to hear, but that's how Sylus felt. Whether he liked his answer or not, that's how he saw it logically.
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