You know the drill. "A love so strong it conquered time!"
Two people love each other so deeply, and are tied by the string of fate so closely, that they will meet and fall in love every time they reincarnate, lifetime after lifetime. But this story has a slight twist.
Long ago, there were two people who fell in love. This was a very regular story of love, sorrow and loss. Two people who were worlds apart but fought every obstacle in their path to ensure they could be together. Their story? Well that is to be discovered. They are the most famous love stories in history and literature, they are immortal and immortality is exactly the point to this story as the gentlemen in question is immortal. That's right. Cursed or blessed, this man can not die and it was a blessing until he finally met his true love. That was when it became a curse; a ticking time bomb of when he might lose her and because of his status within society that was sooner rather than later. I shall not tell you all the details because then what would there be to discover? I shall tell you though, that their love was not approved and there was more than scandal surrounding their relationship and how she was so wrongly taken away from this world well before her time.
Many years have passed. How long? Does an immortal keep track of time really? What would the point in that? It would be torture indeed to track the amount of time that they have been forced to walk upon the earth without being permitted to leave no matter how many times one might have wanted to or even tried. Death was not permitted for this immortal and the reason why was not know to him, nor had anyone he had ever met. But throughout his life he has been waiting for something; hoping that his love might one day be reborn and return to him and perhaps his wish had been granted.
She hadn't been an archaeologist for long before now but this was her biggest break through. She had happened upon something: An ancient love story that could change history forever. The story, again, is yours to discover. The fascination surrounding the case had attracted many eyes. Those of journalists and budding historians. Most of all though it catches the eye of the most prolific scholar of the period. Little did she know that she was the reason he was attracted to this case. Not only is she the image of the love he lost all those years ago but the discovery could unlock the secret about why they were separated in the first place.
What I am looking for...
So I have left this story pretty open because I would like my partner to have a say in how this story plays out. This is a love story with a historical element as well as the supernatural everlasting life. I am looking for the immortal male. When applying to play this character I want this person to have a think about why he might have been important in his time. Essentially he fell in love with my character in the past even though she was not worthy of someone of his status and something happens that means she disappears from his life. Perhaps she was murdered or banished. I want this to be a discovery - no point in knowing the story from the beginning - where's the fun in that?
This man is going to recognise my character and be in love with her because she is the reincarnation of the woman he loved long ago but remember she doesn't know who he is.
Most of all I want someone creative and willing to work with me on this.
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Constance smiled as he agreed to further their conversation and she moved to sit behind the desk. She opened up the top drawer and pulled out a copy of the contract that she had with Jason and slid it over in front of him. She wanted to show him what the usual terms were of funding a dig such as this but she knew already that Azurel was not likely to have terms that helped with ego, fame and vanity. It appeared that he was someone very much like herself; someone who was simply interested in the past and what they might learn from that chest.
“Alright, this is the contract that we had with Jason. It might be a good idea that you read through that and maybe you can cross out the terms you are not interested in and we can discuss the ones that you want to keep.” She said with a smile as turned on her computer. “I can write up a contract as we go along. It really doesn’t have to be anything too complicated but it is best to protect ourselves by making sure that we have one. If you really don’t see the point in any of thoseterms we will literally write up an agreement to state that you will fund the dig in exchange for updates and such.” Constance smiled and opened a blank document, ready to write down anything that he wanted to include.
“Eric, would you get our guests something to drink?” She asked and he nodded, heading towards the staff room to make coffee and tea should anyone require a drink. Constance looked down at the paper in front of them and bit the inside of her lip. That contract stated that Jason owned everything that came out of the dig but luckily she had put in a clause that said he would give up that ownership if he was to ever pull funding which meant he was now legally obligated to give her the diaries that were found. That fact alone made her smile and she knew that she had done the right thing in the end.
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Azurel nodded in response to her suggestion to further discuss the terms of their agreement. He still felt quite embarrassed having been pointed out so easily by the other three in the room but was also relieved to know that Asher meant no malice in his somewhat brash comments he had offered so abruptly. Later he would have to research more about what it meant to invest like this... in all honesty he didn't worry too much about these things, and the fact that he could do that seemed to be a luxury he was unaware he had been afforded in the past.
A bit ruffled overall he looked back to Constance. [b [#25216e "I apologize for any miscommunication. I agree we should discuss further."]] He knew at the same time however, that he did not want to have his name on anything publicized-- a precaution he had become accustomed to so as to not have people trying to look him up and realizing he didn't exactly have proper papers at the moment.
She couldn’t help but feel as though Azurel was offering them support without really knowing what usually came with it. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing but he almost seemed confused by the fact that she spoke of contracts and conditions. It was common for those offering money would usually require something in return or even include clauses that meant they would eventually own everything that was found at the dig after the investigation seized. Yet, he seemed totally unware of what she was referring to and that was only confirmed by him as he openly asked for a further explanation.
Constance looked over towards Eric who seemed to grin towards her. As far as he was concerned, having someone who knew very little about these things would work in their favour but she was hardly one to take advantage of someone and she fully intended to lay it all out on the table for him so that he could make a properly informed decision. Her eyes found Azurel’s again and her lips parted to speak but it appeared that she did not need to do so just yet. Asher seemed to speak up and explain things to him before the two seemed to confirm that conditions were not something they were looking for.
She swallowed to lubricate her drying throat before speaking towards them. “It is quite common for our sponsors to request recognition or ownership of items found. Some even give us a time span to complete our work. Contracts are merely there to protect those injecting their money into the dig Mr Johnson.” She smiled towards him and pointed towards her desk sitting in the corner of the room. “Perhaps we could discuss things a little further?”
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Azurel watched slightly as she responded to his words and looked to her partner. He still felt rather uncomfortable with the entire situation and was relieved that he wasn't in focus again however briefly until she spoke again discussing the need for contracts and something about conditions? What? It seemed quite strange to him the very thought of having conditions. All he really wanted to know was what was in the chest.
Being out of the loop for so long... all he wanted to do was have the knowledge, some hint of why things happened.
[b [#25216e "Alright. Uhm. I don't particularly know what you mean about conditions? If you could sort of explain that would be quite helpful."]] He said after a beat, deciding to give up any pretense that he really knew what she was talking about in regards to that. Again-- usually Asher was the one who discussed this sort of thing for him.
[b "She means sort of like for the fame of the discoveries. Putting your name on things."] Ash spoke up, offering input finally. [b "Not really your style."]
Az tinged red slightly despite the full knowledge that it was true. [b [#25216e "Asher knows much more about this. Estates and dealings and..."]]
[b "And Azurel is a bit more of a 'silent partner type."] Ash said frankly.
Now she felt embarrassed. She really had no clue how much money this man had and to assume that he knew very little about the costs was an assumption that she should not have made. Constance sighed inwardly, hoping that she hadn’t allowed another opportunity slip through her fingers because she simply did not know how to keep her mouth shut in the first place. She looked towards Eric who was observing the entire situation with intensity before he allowed his eyes to meet hers. They spoke to her without the need to words, telling her that she would be making a mistake if she didn’t accept the man’s offer to fund the continuation of the dig.
If there is one thing she had learned about men with money is that they usually had the sizeable egos that came with the bank account. Azurel was different and apart from the fact that he was extremely well dressed and well groomed, she might not have had a single idea that he came from wealth at all. She had to remind herself that not everyone tends to fit perfectly into societies stereotypes. Hell, she certainly didn’t fit into her own. A woman such as herself should have been enjoying the wonders of life and dating, yet instead her marriage to her job meant that the only date she had been on in years had been with the dirt.
As he continued to speak, Constance started to chew at his lip, contemplating the possibilities of what he had to offer. Jason had so many restrictions and limitations that she was nervous the same thing might apply. One last look towards Eric was enough to confirm that she should at least have the conversation with him about becoming the benefactor of their dig. She shifted her eye line back to Azurel and smiled.
“Alright, we need to discuss the specifics and draw up a contract. It’s usual for a benefactor to attach conditions to their funding, usually with regards to media exposure and such.” She said nodding towards her desk where they could talk further about it. “I don’t think I can thank you enough for this. Thank you so much.” She said with a smile and holding out her hand for him to greet with his own.
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Azurel sighed slightly upon hearing the stammered disapproval of Constance. He fished through his bag and upon not finding what he was looking for, he returned the remainder of his possessions back into the bag. He straightened his shoulders and turned back to look at both Constance and her partner, Eric.
[b [#25216e "I understand how much it costs to keep up a dig such as the one that you are in charge of. If I were not aware of how much it costs to do so I would not of offered."]] He said calmly, searching her eyes briefly and hoping that perhaps she might agree to allow him to assist. It made him uncomfortable to discuss his wealth, and it was one of the few times he was fine with letting his own discomfort show through his features. It was foolish to state that money does not buy happiness. It does not directly, but for many without money they are unable to possess the proper support system to allow themselves to be happy.
He knew all too well what people who loved the money did, having been raised by parents who had done exactly that. Money is power, and they had become drunk on the ever over-filled goblet that they had been given by sheer luck. Realizing he was biting on the inside of his cheek and that if he was not careful he would create another sore in his cheek,
he spoke once more. [b [#25216e "It has never been comfortable for me to say that money is not an issue. However, it also allows me to take advantage of situations in which money needs to be of no issue. So I reiterate. Please."]]
He gestured to the chest, still feeling out of sorts at the very sight of it. [b [#25216e "Allow me to assist you."]]
Eric looked just as distraught as she did and there was nothing that could bring her to admit to him that it might have been her fault in the first place. Men like Jason didn’t like to have heir egos bruised and it was highly like that she did that exact thing. Constance wanted nothing more than to go back and change her actions, perhaps raised her frustrations in another way rather than completely freaking out on him about keeping items from the dig.
She sighed and continued to look towards Eric. “You know he had been keeping a diary from us this whole time. He found a diary written by a ‘common girl’ as he likes to call her. It’s one of the first things hey found and he never even shared it with us or informed us on the diary! He didn’t even realise how significant it was. Apparently because she was no one of importance, that made the discovery inferior too.” She allowed all of her frustration to show, knowing that she probably shouldn’t have done so in front of Azurel and his friend. Guilt crept in again and she looked towards him apologetically before realising that he was asking how much they would need to keep the dig going.
“This dug is huge, we have experts to pay and volunteers to reimburse expenses for. I wouldn’t even like to say how much we would need to keep this dig going.” She sighed, not quite realising that he was offering to help at first. It wasn’t until he started rooting through his bag that she realised his motivations behind asking his question in the first place. Her lips parted with shock and confusion and he directly offered help, laying out papers in front of them as though he were ready to conduct some sort of business with them.
Constance exchanged a look with a Eric, not really knowing how to react to the news. “Me Johnson, that is such a kind offer but I simply cannot accept your money. I cannot guarantee that funds would not run dry. Jason was feeding us whatever money we needed which is why we were able to make this dig so big but I hardly know you, you don’t know anything about this dig. I simply cannot expect you to invest in such a project.”
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Azurel thought it was a bit interesting that she mentioned the idea of reincarnation, especially given the circumstances he had been going through for the majority of his life span now. But, there was also something that gave a quiet joy as he could see she began to become more comfortable as she spoke, presumably due to the fact she was thinking of her passion. When he got to think about his books-- about the things he was able to read and write, it calmed him in much the same way that he could see.
And then it seemed that disaster had struck, and the moment she got a notification on her phone he could see that she was distraught. He knew that digs could be stressful-- hell, anything that could get your hopes up then quickly stomp them into the ground they had grown from again was stressful. When she informed her partner about the lack of funding he immediately acted on impulse, speaking up.
[b [#25216e "How much do you need to keep it going?"]] Az asked, eyes widening ever so slightly. He started digging into his bag to see if he had any form of checks with him. [b [#25216e "Perhaps I can help? It seems a tragedy to let an opportunity such as which you have go to waste."]] He added, pulling out his phone and other papers, setting them on one of the desks in the room.
For a moment, she was taken with the chest once more. It really was a beautiful object. She had no doubt in her mind that it was a hand-crafted object; one that might have been made as some sort of keepsake or as a gift for a loved one. She ran her finger over the craftsmanship of the box and she couldn’t help crave to know what was inside.
“We have been searching for the key for the last twenty-four hours with no luck.” She sighed again and looked back towards Azurel. “It’s frustrating for sure but I’m not going to give up. I know it sounds silly but I just cannot bring myself to break the lock. I feel some kind of connection to this chest and I do not want to destroy any part of it.”
His smile was almost hypnotic and she couldn’t help but take a minute to drink it all in. The way that his cheek dimpled as he smiled only highlighted his handsome features further. It bothered her that a complete stranger seemed to have any kind of effect on her at all but at last she had let go of the anger she had been feeling towards Jason.
“I can’t say that I have any clue about what the words might mean. Perhaps it was for someone who believed in reincarnation or something.” She laughed for a minute wondering if that might have sounded silly but really, they would have no idea what it could have meant. At least not until they managed to look upon the contents of the chest. Her lips parted to speak once more but as she did her phone started to buzz in her pocket. She had received an e-mail from her benefactor and as much as she wanted to put the phone away and deal with it later, she knew that he often grew impatient if responses were not quick.
Constance almost wish as though she had never opened it. Her heart started to beat faster and if felt as though the world was caving in around her. She looked up from her phone from Azurel to Eric. Her voice sounded weak as though she had lost something dear to her and the truth was, she had.
“Eric, Jason has pulled his support from the dig. We have zero funding to continue. They are going to shut us down in twenty-four hours.” She knew that she should have learnt to control her anger a little better but she couldn’t go back and undo what had already happened. “I’m sorry Azurel, I’m not sure there is going to be any kind of investigation into this now.”
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Azurel found himself trapped for a moment under the faintest of glances from Constance as she managed to catch his eyes, and it surprised him for a moment how easily he had been able to have been caught off guard. Once more he was standing in polite silence, his internal monologue a silent yelling match, part of himself yelling [i coincidence], the other fighting back [i fate]. The sound of her clearing her throat brought him back to the current matter at hand and he listened to her lament about not wanting to break the lock.
[i Go ahead. I mean, I'm surprised it's lasted this long. The original owner doesn't care.] Az thought to himself briefly, smiling slightly. [i I should know.] Imagine actually having a conversation such as that so calmly any how?
[b [#25216e "I did get to look at it. I am going to presume that an extensive search for any sort of key has already been in progress."]] He said, flashing a reassuring smile to her, and the ever so slightest glance at her boots. In all honesty, it seemed that the dirt on the boots did nothing to detract from her appearance, but rather had added to it. Something about the way that the boots and her dress contrasted each other seemed to very much match the woman's personality from what he could tell. True pursuit of passion is never paused by such mundane occurrences.
He pointed to the words etched into the lock. [b [#25216e "These seem as thought they were not part of the original design. 'Eternal is the flame of life.' Do you have any theories as to what it might mean?"]] Az asked looking from the lock back to her once more.
A sigh escaped the woman’s lips as she tried to compose herself. She was still so worked up from her altercation with Jason. Constance could have easily lost her temper a hell of a lot more than she had but she knew that he might pull his funding if she had gone any further with her anger. The only thing that was keeping her calm now was the knowledge that the man before her had told her that he knew something about the chest or at least might be able to offer her some insight that she hadn’t been able to find elsewhere.
There was something different about the way the man looked at her; almost as though he was expecting her to know who he was. Yet, it was not arrogance. She drank in the sight of him, taking note of his build and the way that he held himself with confidence. He pulled off his look with ease and for a moment, she caught herself second-guessing her attire. She must have looked ridiculous in a pair of muddy boots and a dress but normally she would not have cared so why was it that something as trivial as that began to worry here?
As he spoke, the sheer tone of his voice was enough to send any woman into a frenzy, especially coupled with his physique but Constance remained professional the entire time, aware that her heart began to beat a little faster when her repeated her name.
[I What is the matter with you? Get a grip woman!]
She locked her eyes and she could have sworn she recognised something within them. Constance caught herself quickly, ensuring that her obsession with searching his eyes had been hidden from him. She cleared her throat, ensuring that she also snapped herself out of her own thoughts and back into the conversation exchange that had seemed one sided now.
[b “Azurel, it’s nice to meet you.”] She looked over towards Asher and noticed that he was busy talking to Eric so she would save her introduction until later. [b “Did you have a chance to look at the chest?”] She asked as she shifted towards it. [b “I can’t for the life of me figure out how to open it without destroying the lock and I can’t bring myself to do it.”]
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Azurel and Asher had been led to the room where the chest in question was being kept and met by a man who had introduced himself as Eric to them. He was thankful that Asher was a bit better with idle conversation than he was, and the two men seemed to be able to ask questions back and forth, mostly just confirming the things they already knew of the chest. Where it had been found, that nothing else had been found with it, that so far, it had been impossible to open without potentially damaging it.
Looking over the chest he further confirmed its origin to be his own from so many years ago, and having been cleaned it did not appear to have changed too terribly over the years, surprisingly well preserved despite it had been buried for so long.
Reminding himself that he was not allowed at current to touch the chest, he was reminded very much of when he was a small child of only five or six years-- being taught to clasp his hands behind his back in order to subside the temptation to reach out to feel the cooling texture of delicate pieces, usually ending in their damage. He did the very same now, but did not hesitate in taking a minute step closer to examine it. Looking over the lock he was surprised to see words had been etched into the metal, and had he not looked closer he hardly would've noticed them at all. [i Eternal is the flame of life.] Those words had not been on the lock when he had last seen it, and it was not something he would've missed. He thought of his sister once more and wondered if she had been the one to write those words.
His thoughts were interrupted by the entrance of Constance once more and her brief statement that her meeting had cut short. She seemed to be almost feigning an air of pleasantries, but he was unsure if he was reading the situation wrong. He had hardly known this woman for more than an hour, if that, how would he pertain to know if she was putting on a smile?
[b [#25216e "I am sure that both of us have a variety of questions to ask."]] He stated, looking to her as well as the other two men. [b [#25216e "I do not believe we were properly introduced earlier. My name is Azurel Johnson. That man over there is my colleague Asher Jacoby, he is the one who told me about the chest."]]
Soon enough Constance arrived at the entrance tent where Jason awaited her presence. Another deep breath and a momentary closure of her eyes allowed her a second to compose herself. [b “Jason, sorry to have kept you waiting. I’m Constance James.”] She said as she held out her hand to formally introduce herself. When Jason met hers with his own, she felt her usual discomfort with human contact and she could almost feel his ego surrounding them. His smile told her everything she needed to know about how much the man loved attention and she did well to hide her displeasure towards the way he took in her appearance.
[b “This is quite a dig you have going here Miss James. I am sure that I have the best team for the job after my observations but I must say that the discoveries are not as often as I would have liked.”] The male voice spoke, laced with disappointment as he looked towards Constance, almost a flicker of blame crossing his eyes and her eyebrows furrowed in response. [b “There were a few minor discoveries made a couple of weeks ago when they landowner began to dig to lay the foundations of a further building. Simple things that would not usually warrant and interest but I for one, find such trivial things fascinating.”] He seemed to fill the need to talk and fill the silence and she found the quality rather irritating.
[I Lies.] She thought to herself. [I You don’t care about any of this. You simply hoped that there would be more to find.]
[b “A diary of sorts was found, belonging to a common girl. Her name is unknown as she only ever signed with her initials but we thought there would be more to discover along with this.”]
[b “A diary?”] Constance spoke up now and she did not even try to hide anger. How had he managed to keep such an item away from the one person who was leading the dig? How could he have not mentioned this before? This might have been linked to the chest and he is only just now bringing it up, so casually as though it did not even matter. [b “Why is this diary not within my possession? Everything found of this dig, including that discovered beforehand, thus warranting such a dig, should have been handed over to the investigation team.”]
Jason looked at her with simple amusement and shook his head with a laugh. [b “It’s of no importance. A simple diary from a woman drunk on infatuation. It is rather amusing but I was sure that it would not be important. How could it be?”]
Constance scowled and raised her voice slightly. [b “How dare you!”]
Embarrassment is all that she felt now. She had lost her temper with her benefactor and she found herself inhaling and exhaling slowly to bring herself to a calmer state.
[b “I expect that any found artefacts will be moved to my office by midday tomorrow. If you are funding my team to complete such a project, you must allow us to actually work with the artefacts that warranted this dig in the first place.”] She shook her head and allowed a sigh to escape her lips. [b “I suggest that we reschedule our working lunch until I have had the opportunity to examine the artefacts you will send. It may give us more clues about the chest; it may be completely unrelated but either way, our business is complete until then.”] Constance turned around, searching the site for her assistant Logan, who seemed to be lost in conversation with a woman who stood flirtatiously. An eye roll and a harsh tone was enough to grab his attention and as called his name she turned back towards Jason. Logan was able to hear her from the distance between them now and so she continued to speak. [b “Logan here will continue with your site visit from here on out. I have work to do.”] She said simply, moving away from the man and made her way back to the office where she had company awaiting her.
When she arrived back at the office she moved to the room where the chest had been kept and found Eric with their two guests.
[b “It’s seems my meeting with the benefactor was cut short.”] She said, trying to smile towards them as they entered.
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Azurel had to take a brief moment to think over just exactly what had managed to transpire in a matter of seconds and a few short moments that he had been thinking over, off and on, for many years. It seemed almost too good to be true that a chest that he had not seen for a length of time that he did not fancy attempting to quantify would suddenly resurface and be found by a woman that was the very image of his past love that he would die for if only it seemed he was able to do so.
It had been something that had passed his mind multiple times over the years, the guilt he felt for her unfortunate passing and how much he wished that his soul could join hers at rest. He had not outright attempted anything for that matter, but he also was unable to avoid the realization that he seemed rather... impenetrable. Often it disturbed him to imagine what might happen should he lose a limb or something of that sort, so he generally avoided anything too incredibly dangerous.
[b [#25216e "So. What's up?"]] Az asked Asher, who had come over after Constance had left.
[b "Tori may have found something. She's not really sure though so I asked her if she could just bring it. Was that the lady who found the chest?"] Ash said in a somewhat jumbled rush of words.
[b [#25216e "It was."]] Az nodded, looking towards the way she had left.
[b "So.... what do we do now?"] Ash asked looking a bit confused.
[b [#25216e "We follow the woman at the front desk and wait."]] Az stated before turning to look at the woman in question. What more could happen this day?
Constance couldn’t quite believe that a man who recognised the crest just so happened to walk through the door of her building, the very moment that she hit a dead end. Perhaps it was fate, if she believed in such a thing. She turned to the receptionist and asked her to call Eric to escort them to observe the item. He was the only person he trusted to actually stay with them and make sure that they didn’t touch it or take any pictures.
[b “I look forward to it.”] With that she made her way toward the door, knowing that she had a meeting to get to. When she made her way outside, she was glad to see that the sun had decided to make an appearance so she could leave the jacket she had brought hung over her arm.
The walk seemed to help clear her mind slightly. Thoughts of new angles and new ways of researching this item came to mind and she figured that she would probably need to branch out a little further than her usual contacts to work on this case with her and that frustrated her. She had a trusted team and she didn’t like to go outside of that. People often stole credit for research but that is not what worried her; what concerned Constance was the people who were in it for the fame. She was a successful publisher herself but when she did so, she published under a pen name. She did it for the love of the knowledge, not so she could have her name and face well known in the world. Why anyone would want that, she would never understand in the first place. At least there seemed to be some kind of hope now that a stranger had appeared in her office.
The dig site itself seemed busier than normal when she arrived and as she wandered on site, she placed her identification badge over her head and felt it rest upon her chest as she walked through some of the tents until she reached the site where she found the chest. If she could, she would have thrust herself into digging again, hoping that she might find that key that was so conveniently missing.
She had to keep walking. Every second she spent staring into the pit of untold stories, she felt anger and frustration. It was unlike anything she had ever experienced before. There had been many times where she had found things that seemed almost impossible to identify and study but there was something about this one that felt...different and she couldn't place her finger on why. Constance felt some kind of connection to this object and it was completely impossible; completely and entirely irrational.
Her feet carried her away from her own personal hell and she started towards the entrance of the dig where she would shortly meet her benefactor. She hadn't met him in person but she knew who to look out for because he had an image that no one could forget. That was [I not] because she found him attractive but it was more to do with the fact that he shoved himself down everyone's throat in the media. His name was one that often caused panic amongst people, but not her. She didn't care for image or status. Jason Sterling. [I Urgh. Let's get this over and done with.] She thought to herself as she turned towards her destination.
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