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She couldn’t voice how relieved she was simply hearing his voice on the other end of the phone. [b “Joshua...”] She whispered his name that time and she was sure that her relief would be obvious in her tone. Quinn knew that he was calling her from his cell and she hated thinking about him being alone in there but she also figured this wouldn’t have been the first that he had been in there. It was a little scary to think about the fact that this was his life and this would not be the only time he was caught up with the police.
She listened very carefully to his instructions then and she couldn’t deny that she was out on edge by the fact that there was a gun in the house but perhaps she was naive to have ignored the fact that this could have been a possibility. Quinn sighed and moved to where he suggested, first noticing the gun and then the money.
[b “Shit! Joshua how much money is in here?”] She asked as she took three bands like he suggested. [b “Have they posted bail already or are you just hoping they will by the time I get down there?”]
Joshua sighed out in relief at hearing Quinn’s voice and for a moment he felt some sense of peace. It made the cell walls disappear and Joshua for a moment forgot where he was or what had happened that night. He tightened his grip on the payphone, leaning his head against the cold cement wall. He was in a lot of pain then, both physically from the fight and emotionally as he didn’t like being away from Quinn and even more so hated her being alone. He figured she should be safe though and if anything Charlie would be there to protect his girlfriend. The dog had become just as protective over Quinn.
Glad to know that Quinn wasn’t arrested and safe in his apartment. “Babe,” he said then when he came to. He sat down, hunched over on a bench. It was a bit shabby and dark, but at least he had been by himself. Though he had seen a few familiar faces when going through printing, people from the fight. He wondered how the guy he fought was doing. Not so much that he truly cared, as the guy wasn’t actually a great guy, but Joshua at least wanted to know he had got the job done and Joshua wouldn’t have been surprised to find that the man probably tipped off the cops to get the place raided. It was no wonder Joshua was one of their main targets, the first instantly arrested. This was about the dead cop and they were trying to get Joshua in the interrogation room no matter what. The funniest thing about it though was that they couldn’t hold him and all Joshua had to worry about was making bail.
“I’m so sorry about what happened. I didn’t mean to get you caught up in that, but I am glad to know that you are safe. I need your help, there’s a secret compartment in the wall where there is a safe. There’s money in there, and uh a gun.” He sighed, trying to figure out how to proceed. Joshua rubbed the side of his face, he could feel his lip was a bit swollen. There was over a hundred thousand dollars in the safe from years of saving. ”I need you to grab three bands and come down to bail me out.”
Quinn didn't really know what to do. She wanted to make sure that Joshua was okay but she could see that he was already cuffed and there was nothing that she could say or do in order to make a difference to that. Never before had she felt so lost and useless. As soon as she locked eyes with him he gestured towards the back of the building and she knew that he was telling her to go. She didn't want to leave him though so she was left in a predicament. However, Quinn would be no use to Joshua if she ended up getting arrested too.
It took all of her will power to force herself to leave through the back of the building. As soon as she was hit by the fresh air she ran towards the car, pulling the key out of her bag and drove home. To Joshua's home. She kept checking to see if anyone was following her, a habit she had developed lately and she was glad to see that there was no one in view. She just kept driving until she finally reached the apartment where she parked up and made her way into the building without a second thought.
She was completely upset and unsure what to do. For a while he paced the living room before she finally gave up and changed out of the dress and wiped off her make-up before pulling her hair back in a braid. Her phone rag then and she barely let it ring before she picked it up. [b "Joshua!"]
Joshua didn’t know where he was; his head was pounding from the hits and he was in incredible pain even from the blows to his chest and side. The cop had him by the hands, ready to cuff him. He could see the look of panic of Quinn’s face and he hated how he could see the hurt on her face. He didn’t want this to happen or at least when he was around. Joshua knew that if Quinn stuck around she could be caught in some deep shit and that was something he had hoped to avoid. Joshua motioned toward her. to escape through the back. He was glad to have given her his keys. There was a lot of commotion and right now and it was the best time for her to escape while the cops were busy trying to get all the fighters and those who get on the fights together.
Joshua couldn’t believe that this just happened randomly and a part of him wondered if it was the rival gang that was playing him or his own people ? So far Joshua was the one in the line for the cop’s murder, the attack on the witness and now a fight where he beat the man unconscious. A man that was from a rival gang and apparently an informant who had been trailing him. That much was certain considering he knew Quinn’s name and the details of her father’s job. Joshua knew that the smart thing to do was to jot fight back or resist. If anything, he would be out of there by the end of the night. Yeah so he was involved in a little under the table gambling and fighting – was it a major crime? No. And the cops certainly didn’t have enough to charge him with anything else’s far as he knew.
Eventually he was dragged into the cop car, no care for him and towed away to the station. Printed, mugshot printed, and then thrown into a cell. He only had one phone call to make. Only one phone number he had managed to remember by heart. One that mattered.
He just hoped Quinn would pick up, hoped that she wasn’t drawn in by the crowd.
Quinn could not deny that she enjoyed his attention and compliments. It was funny really because before she found herself in a relationship with him she would have been likely to dismiss anyone who would have acting such a way around her. She loved it in the privacy of his home though and she was more than happy to be scooped up by him and kissed before they left for the evening.
She couldn’t deny that she wasn’t exactly looking forward to the fight but she would be there regardless because she said that she would be there for him and she was the kind of woman who kept his word. [b “I am glad that you like it. It’s a really nice dress. Honestly, I would never have bought this for myself if I saw it in a shop. You have good taste mister.”]
Soon enough they made their way to the fight and when they were there she was left in her usual place, somewhere she could see the fight but somewhere a little out of the way so she didn’t get to close to other people. Joshua disappeared to get ready and when he re-emerged she felt nervous for him and with good reason too because as soon as the fight started, Joshua didn’t look like he was fairing well. She stepped a little closer, heart racing a little but before she knew it there were people exiting and she could see men with cuffs. It was a raid. She heard her father talk about these all the time. She looked to Joshua in a panic after scanning the room noticing that he was been cuffed.
Joshua sighed out, glad that Quinn was so understanding of what he was going through. Maybe he was putting more pressure on himself than necessary. He tried to soothe his worries with another glass of wine and had stepped out briefly for a smoke while Quinn was busy showering. When he entered she was just coming out and all prepped to go in a dress he had bought her a few weeks ago. A dress he knew she didn’t need – a gift she didn’t ask for and yet he still bought it. He was a man who liked to spoil his girl. “Wow,” he repeated for the second time that night and again he was speechless. “It looked good on the mannequin, but even better on you. Better than I could imagine.” Joshua said with a smile as he hugged her close. He kissed her before grabbing his keys and heading toward the door.
He was on edge, but trying to hide it and Quinn definitely made that easy for him. The whole duration of the drive he just kept trying not to overthink things. He didn’t see ay reason this had to all end badly. He parked in the structure, the night feeling the same as when he first brought Quinn to come see him fight.
Joshua wanted Quinn to feel safe so he made sure she was seated with girls where it was a little less rowdy. Joshua disappeared to the back where he got ready for the fight. He changed into his shorts, bandaged his hands and headed back out to find the male from earlier standing in the ring.
Joshua entered, throwing a look toward Quinn. He didn’t want anything to go wrong. Soon the fight started and Joshua and the man known as Ricardo were tussling. He didn’t have the element of surprise this time and found himself getting a great amount of blows. Joshua was eventually thrown to the mat, the male pummeling him. It took all of Joshua’s strength to push him off, his fists now punching the mal furiously until he was unconscious.
Joshua was breathing hard, his face a bloody mess. There was a lot of commotion then, as the fight was being raided, undercover cops now looking for anyone to arrest, Joshua already in their possession. He could barely see through the blood pouring from his face as he tried to find Quinn’s face in the mass crowd.
The last thing Quinn wanted was to be the cause of any stress. She certainly didn’t want him to be worrying about her during the fight because he could then put himself in a position where he might lose focus and then lose the fight. She wasn’t ignorant to the fact that whoever kept calling him clearly relied on his victory and she imagined that he wouldn’t be treated very nicely if he lost when the win was expected.
[b “Noted. I will come straight home if that is what you instruct me to do. Let’s hope that everything goes as smoothly as you would like. Maybe you are worrying for nothing.”] Quinn smiled softly, glad that he had enjoyed the food she had prepared for him, especially since it did distract them for a little while and made for a romantic evening before he was about to fight with a rival gang member.
[b “Don’t be silly, you didn’t spoil the mood at all but I will certainly take that shower.”] She kissed him before sliding off to the bathroom to get freshened up and when she was done she went to the bedroom to get dressed and decided that she would wear one of the dresses that Joshua had bought for her. She didn’t necessarily like him spending money on her but she also didn’t want his gift to go to waste and he would like her wearing it. She left her hair down and put a little bit of make up on before sliding in some heels and grabbed a jacket.
[b “I’m ready.”] Quinn said as she went back into the kitchen.
He didn’t even know what to say then. This was her home, but Joshua wasn’t sure if she would be safe here. What if out of retaliation they showed up at his apartment while she was here? Though Joshua admitted to himself it would be equally worse if they knew where Quinn lived with her father – it would be easy to track her down even at work from that point then.
“Home as in here,” he finally settled. “I’m not trying to worry you – it’s just this fight, can get a bit wild.” He wasn’t trying to scare Quinn though that proved impossible with his tone as he was informing her what to do. Joshua just wanted to take precautions. “If things don’t go as planned it can be a shit storm after and I don’t want you a part of that.” He took Quinn’s hand then, kissing the back softly. “You mean a lot to me and I want you safe.”
Joshua took the glass of wine then, drinking the remainder in one final gulp.
He kept his final words to himself, not wanting her to think too much it He just wanted her to be aware of what she got herself into when sitting in the bleachers to watch him. He recalled the first time that Quinn had saw him fight and it clearly looked like it was out of his zone. Joshua was glad to know Quinn would support him though.
Clearing his throat, he chuckled nervously. “Didn’t mean to spoil the mood. You really know your way around a kitchen,” Joshua said with a smile then as he leaned forward and gave her a kiss. “I’ll take care of the dishes, you can have a nice shower and then we can head out yeah?” Joshua stood then and began to collect the plates and glasses.
Quinn didn’t think that Joshua was being pushy at all, in fact she like the fact that he wasn’t afraid to ask her. They had only been dating for the total of a month and yesterday he asked her to be his girlfriend and today he told her that he loved her. It was hardly surprising that things were going to move fast with them because they already were moving fast and she didn’t mind it at all. She smiled as they took a seat and started to eat their dinner. Quinn picked up the glass on wine and sipped on it quietly while she watched him for a moment. He seemed on edge but she didn’t want to ask him about it in case it was something to do with his work. It would likely be more than she wanted or needed to know.
She hadn’t enjoyed his fights because she didn’t like seeing him get hurt and she certainly didn’t understand how anyone could enjoy that as a sport but she would still be there to support him because that’s what girlfriends did and she was sure he would support her if she had anything she needed him for. Not that she did anything besides teach and look after her father.
The way he said her name then sounded serious and it made her look at him with a new intensity. [b “What is it?”] She was a little worried now. Go home? What did that even mean? She watched as he stood and retrieved two keys that he gave to her and she stared up at him. [b “Home as in here? Or home as in home?”]
Joshua chuckled “Yes that’s exactly what I mean.” He was a bit nervous then, knowing it was a bit of a bombshell to throw on her, but he wanted Quinn around more and more and it would be even better walking into his apartment to see the woman there in bed, or with Charlie. Joshua’s life for the most part was lonely. He had plenty of flings with women and yet of course he wouldn’t keep them anywhere in his space once they were intimate or once they tired of him.
Joshua followed after the woman then toward the table where she was placing their food and Joshua made sure to bring their glasses of wine. “I don’t mean to be pushy.” He said softly as he sat down beside her. “I guess, I just want you around more than I already get to have you.” Joshua chuckled then and looked toward the meal Quinn had prepared. “Looks and smells good,” he said with a smile. He was hungry even though his stomach was turning some due to the fight. Joshua thought whether or not Quinn should be there. He knew how she reacted the first time and Quinn worried a lot. This fight was bound to end bloody and Joshua could probably be hurt worse than he usually did.
Joshua wondered then if he was hurt badly how he would get by. This type of fight was something unusual and it was his duty not only to win, but to make sure that the rival ended up in the hospital. He just wasn’t prepared for harming someone else.
“Quinn,” he said after taking a few bites of the delicious meal, sipping from the glass of wine. “Whatever happens tonight, I want you to go home.” Joshua stood then and headed to his kitchen where he pulled two spare keys. “I want you to take my car and go home. You understand?”
It was so typical of Joshua to say something suggestive. It was just in his nature and it made her chuckle. It wasn’t too much either, in fact she kind of liked the attention and the way that he always seemed to want her as much as she wanted him. She leaned into him momentarily before he released his grip to give her time to finish up their meal. There really wasn’t much left to do but the last bit did require a little more focus so she didn’t burn it so she was grateful for the little bit of space Joshua out between them.
[b “Thinking sounds dangerous.”] She chuckled as she glanced in his direction when he continued to speak. She hadn’t expected him to suggest that she had a key to his apartment and her expression clearly echoed her surprise. While he waited for her response he got out some plates and started to pour the wine.
[b “I...don’t really know what to say. You mean like, bring some stuff over for a drawer in the bedroom? And a key so I can be here when you are out working?”] She served up the remainder of their food and moved towards the table. [b “I think I can handle and key and a drawer.”]
Joshua smiled then, satisfied at the sound of his voice. He was relieved then at least, not thinking so much about the fight or Francisco. All that mattered in this moment was being with Quinn. “More inclined to eat you,” he said before removing his grip. Joshua leaned against the counter then, watching Quinn as she finished the last item of the meal. He was battling with telling her more details about the fight. He wanted to keep the worlds separate and yet this was all beginning to be too much for him. The things he had did had caused him so much stress – only relieved once he was with Quinn.
Joshua bit his lip some, deciding to opt out of telling her. He didn’t want to freak her out or make her worry. Besides, Joshua had to remind himself that he didn’t want Quinn to be implicated as an accomplice in any of his wrong doings. He didn’t want to drag her down if he ended up finally getting caught up in his mess.
“So I was thinking,” he said to steer the conversation in a different direction. “I was thinking maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if I gave you a key. You know maybe you can bring a few more of your things.” He cleared his throat then, he wasn’t trying to be selfish, but he found himself getting more and more comfortable Quinn. They had already been spending so much time together with Quinn spending nights over. Here she was cooking for him and Joshua and Quinn had already said they loved each other – they were moving fast but who cares? In Joshua’s world it want a guarantee if you would live or die – end up in prison. He wanted to make the most of his life while he could and that meant bringing Quinn into his world as much as possible.
“So what do you say?” He asked her. He knew that she could say no, she had a father to look after and a career. He couldn’t just ask her to drop everything. Joshua wanted to spoil her and Quinn wasn’t that kind of girl. Dinner was soon ready and Joshua began to get out the plates and glasses which he filled with wine.
Quinn didn’t see herself as anything special and cooking something for him was hardly a big deal either but perhaps now they had both final said the three words that they had both been dancing around, maybe this felt like a bigger deal. Perhaps a romantic evening would be exactly what they both needed to solidify their feelings for each other. [b “I ask myself the same question on a regular basis.”] She smiled and opened the cupboard where she found a bottle of wine and then she kissed him as he went off to the bathroom to get himself cleaned up. After their session in the car, Quinn would need to get a shower too but she could wait until after dinner.
While he was gone she opened the wine to let it breathe and started to make dinner with whatever she found in the fridge. She settled in some chicken stuffed with a cheese and wrapped in pancetta and so vegetables and potatoes on the side. It was nothing too complicated since she didn’t want to spend all evening stood in the kitchen cooking when she just wanted to be with Joshua. As the chicken cooked in the oven she prepared the vegetables and then turned her attention to her phone where she found some messages from her father just checking that she was okay. She replied telling him that she had a great day at the beach and that she would be staying out so she would see him tomorrow where she promised him a roast dinner since he was on an early shift and would be finished by 3 in the afternoon.
Quinn started the vegetables then, just in time to feel Joshua’s arm around her waist and pressed a kiss against her neck. [b “Hey you. Dinner is going to be about ten minutes.”]
Quinn as usual brought him back to the present as she took his hand and began to lead him toward the stairs, trailing after Charlie of course. “You cook for me? What did I do to deserve this?” He asked teasingly as he kissed her cheek before opening the door. Charlie eagerly headed for her bed. She needed a bath he knew, but wasn’t going to battle the pup at this time as he too was tired and what Quinn was offering sounded like just what he needed.
A great day followed by a romantic and relaxing evening before the fight. “I’m going to shower first. Check the cabinet near the sink, I should have a bottle left.” Joshua said with a smile before kissing her and heading to the bedroom. He removed his shorts then, tossing it into his hamper along with the towels they had used. He soon headed to the bathroom then and turned on the shower.
He didn’t want Quinn to worry, which was why he tried to play off the fact that he was a bit nervous about the fight. He knew this wouldn’t be like the typical fights. It could get messy – hell it could get bloody. And rivals didn’t necessarily fight fair. He didn’t want Quinn to see the same side of him that she had seen earlier.
Getting out finally, he wrapped a towel around his waist. He headed into the room for a pair of shorts and socks, his phone ringing. The number of course different, but he knew who it was.
“Joshua,” Francisco said. “You can talk now right? Not with the girl?” It made sense now why Francisco’s conversation earlier had been so brief.
“Yeah I’m free.”
“About tonight – the rival guy – I need him going out on a stretcher?” Joshua looked toward the bedroom door before closing it.
“What?” He knew the fights could get dangerous but it never was really about killing anyone.
“Look, I’ll fill you in tomorrow. He’s been tailing you and reporting to the cops.” Joshua pinched the bridge of his nose – the guy from earlier who accosted Quinn. “Just worry about the win alright?”
“Right.” Joshua sighed as the phone call ended before dumping his phone on the dresser and heading to the kitchen where Quinn was preparing a meal. He wrapped his arms around her waist from the back. “Boo,” he whispered as his lips pressed against her neck.
Quinn didn’t expect him to give her much when it came to talking about how he was feeling about the fight. He always wanted to appear strong headed and she couldn’t blame him for that but he did give her a little something, telling her that he was expect to fight a rival member. Of course she didn’t particularly know the significance of that but she could see they he was a little more on edge than usual.
Regardless of that, he made out that he was feeling nervous for his opponent instead and that made her laugh a little and she shook her head as she glanced out of the window. They were arriving back at the apartment soon and they made their way up the stairs and into the home. [b “Well, I will definitely be there. That’s a promise.”] She said as she took his hand and then kissed him gently.
[b “I tell you what, why don’t I make us a nice meal? We can sit and have a glass of wine and something to eat and relax for a few hours before we have to go.”]
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