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Quinn could see that he was visibly relieved by her words, clearly having been worried that her silence in the car had a lot to do with what she had witnessed, but the truth was she didn’t think she could stop loving the male now. He had completely stolen her heart and she was sure that she would find a way to look passed the gang side of him so that she could be with him. Quinn wasn’t scared of him, nor did she think that he was a bad person. For all she knew, he just intimidated people and moved illegal things like many gangs did. Of course, she had no idea that he had killed someone and that he had done so whilst he was supposed to be spending the night with her.
Quinn glanced around the beach. It was quiet for a Saturday but it was busy enough that they wouldn’t be entirely secluded from people no matter where they went but at least they would be toe to toe with any else. There were times she came to this beach and found herself annoyingly close to others since it was that busy. This was nice though and being here with Joshua and Charlie felt different to coming here with the girls.
Quinn smiled when Joshua came towards her and kissed her. [b “That’s a very nice thing for you to say. I feel the exact same way.”] She smiled and kissed him once more before they settled on a spot on the beach. When they found a spot they set down their towels and she looked back to Joshua for reassurance that he was okay with the spot only to find him looking at her and saying the three words she had struggled to get out all day.
She stopped and stared at him, head bearing extremely fast. Did she imagine it? Quinn chewed the inside of her lip and bit. [b “You...you love me?”]
Joshua looked toward Quinn then, releasing a breath he wasn’t aware that he had been holding in that whole time. Joshua was glad to hear that Quinn didn’t think badly of him and he was happy to know that she didn’t think the male was a monster – someone bred for violence. It was true, that he was two different people – but sometimes Joshua lost his head which was obvious from earlier. He had hope that he could somehow keep the two worlds as separate as possible, but Joshua always knew this could be just the beginning. There was a chance that someone could follow him to Quinn’s home, his operation ruined and Quinn’s life in danger.
He chewed on his words then, not wanting to seem overprotective. Quinn could take care of herself from what she had told him and her father was a cop. What rival member would bed stupid enough to go down that road? Especially after showing what the man did when angry and he would have done even more damage, had Quinn not stopped him. It was good she did though, Joshua was close to wanting to kill the man.
Charlie eagerly jumped out of the car, Quinn taking hold of the food, drinks, and towels – Joshua barely managing to get Charlie into her leash so she wouldn’t run off. There were a couple of families on the beach and he wanted to be responsible with the dog that still acted like the crazy pup she was when Joshua first adopted her.
He walked over to Quinn, giving her a kiss before looking down at her with a smile. “Quinn I l-“ Joshua paused, blushing some then. “You being in my life is a godsend,” he told her. He himself chickening out of expressing his feelings for the woman.
He took her hand then, walking them over with Charlie toward a suitable spot for them to perch at. He didn’t know what it was as the towels were laid down, the sunlight hitting – hell maybe it was the emotions from earlier, but Joshua couldn’t help himself from blurting out, “I love you.”
The light is green. It was a stupid thing to say really and she knew instantly that he wasn’t fooled by her attempt to redirect after wimping out about her feelings again. Yet, he didn’t press her which told her that he was willing to talk her mind at her own pace, which in itself only added to the feelings she had for him. She glanced towards him and the car started to move again once the traffic began to react to his slow response to the traffic light.
[b “I just wanted to check. I didn’t want to make any assumptions.”]
The drive was mostly quiet because she never felt the need or pressure to fill the silence when it came to him. The two held on to each other’s hand and she smiled as she looked out of the window to her right, enjoyed the feel of the breeze upon her face. This was a comfortable silence and as was glad she could enjoy this with him. When they were pulling up at the beach it was clear that Charlie knew they had arrived rather than simply stopping at another light. She was almost jumping off the seat in excitement but Joshua wanted to say something first.
He had been feeling self conscious about the run in with the gang member earlier. She listened to him carefully and could feel the intensity of his stare. Before long they were both getting out of the car with Charlie and she picked up the bag of things they had packed. [b “For what it’s worth, I don’t think that was who you are. I think that sometimes you have to be that man but you are not a bad person. I know who you are Joshua, and I am very fond of that person.”]
“The light is green?” he asked her with a chuckle and shaking his head, there was something on her mind that she wasn’t telling him and Joshua didn’t know if maybe she was scared or nervous. Either way, he didn’t want to press her to do anything she wanted and the honking was aggravating. He eventually chuckled before pulling through the light, his hand never leaving hers as if he expected she would fly away out of his life anytime soon.
The closer they got to the beach, with the windows rolled down and the wind flowing, the closer the smell of the salt water began. He was glad to hear that Quinn still planned to come see him fight.
“When and why would I ever say no to you sleeping over?” He asked with a chuckle. A part of him hoped that maybe she would be too distracted to ask him about the man that had accosted her earlier. He also hoped that his fight wouldn’t be as brutal as the others. When Quinn stopped him it reminded him of what he had done to that man, how hard and furiously he punched him with no thought until he finally managed to convince himself to stop before he killed him. Joshua was tired of having blood on his hands.
They had reached the beach then, Joshua parking then in the parking lot and Charlie more than happy they had arrived. She was getting antsy in the backseat.
“Quinn,” he said as turned the car off. “I don’t want you to think that’s who I am. I’m not that guy you know right?” He was feeling very self-conscious then – they hadn’t even really talked during the much the ride and he couldn’t tell if it was something else that plagued Quinn’s mind or the fight she had witnessed. Now no longer bind by street signals or anything, he leaned forward to look at her the light hitting her perfectly through the window.
Joshua wanted to tell her he loved her, that he thought about her constantly when she was away – how badly he wanted to be around her and as much as possible. The words were stuck though, and he was nervous. He had never really expressed his love for any woman, and this would be a major step. He didn’t know when the best time was to tell her how he felt about her, that he loved her. He pussied out though. Embarrassed and opening the door to get out before getting Charlie out, who eagerly awaited being able to sprint through the sand.
This was so weird for him, first time he ever felt no sense of confidence. Quinn had meant a lot to him and his love for her had grown since they first met and only further grew.
For now, Quinn wanted the two of them to enjoy their day together rather than thinking about what had happened, but she guessed that wouldn’t be so easy for Joshua. This was part of his life and he wouldn’t have liked that a member of a rival gang would so confidently stroll up to his home and started to threaten him because of something that they were trying to move. She assumed that it was something illegal because that was where the profit was, but again she didn’t ask because deep down she knew that she didn’t want to know the answer.
She glanced over towards Joshua when he answered her question and she nodded. [b “Of course I’m still coming. You don’t mind if I stay over again? If it’s late I don’t want my Dad waiting up for me since he is on early shifts this week.”] Quinn smiled towards him in an attempt to deflect his concerns, almost hearing the concern in his voice when he had asked about whether she would still be there tonight. She wasn’t planning on going anywhere unless he told her to. Quinn just hoped that he wouldn’t tell her to because it would definitely break her heart.
After a minute they came to a stop as he reached over to take her hand and kiss her, almost telling her that things would be okay. [b “I…Joshua…I…”] She shook her head. Now wasn’t the time to say it, stopping at a red light for a quick kiss. [b “The light is green.”]
Joshua knew of course that things couldn’t just be swept under the rug and a trip to the beach would make him calmer but it wouldn’t resolve the bad feelings he had about the guy who had approached Quinn. He sighed, trying not to think about it at least in the meantime. He got into the car, Charlie sitting in the back, much the same as her owner she was quick to temper when threatened – calmed only by Quinn. He buckled up the , starting the car before checking the mirrors to assure there were no other unwelcome guests or any surprise cops tailing them. What he had did was pretty impulsive and stupid, especially in broad daylight and even more after what he had did to that witness. Joshua started the car then when he felt safe to do so, distracted by the chime of Quinn’s voice.
“Around 11,” he said with a raised brow, briefly looking to her. “You are still coming right? I mean I understand if you don’t want to,” he said lowly, focusing on the road. What he did for a [I living] wasn’t something that Quinn was a fan of and how she saw him earlier – that sort of rage probably didn’t make things easier. He hated himself for allowing her to see that side of him and the worse part was that wasn’t even the half of the horrible carnage Joshua had manifested in his twenty seven years of life.
He could feel the age, he thought about the men he was surrounded by – some who had kids and a wife and still lived this life. Could he be that man?
Could be that man and still have Quinn? Eventually this would become maybe too much for her. Even the lying set her off. He was at risk of losing her when he told her about the gang. He didn’t want to risk losing her again – which was why he had took the leap toward commitment. His hand reached out for hers, leaning over to kiss her at a stoplight. He wanted her to know she was important to him. This however wasn’t one of those things you could just get out of. The gang life was complicated and Joshua definitely wasn’t getting out while this case was still open.
Quinn intended time ensure that she continued to show him kindness and remained calm even when he had snapped at her, however she knew that he was not angry with her but the situation and it just so happened to come out in a particular way. She wouldn’t hold it against him though. She continued to clean his hands and nodded when he asked about her name and she could tell how nervous that made him feel. Apparently being the girlfriend of a gang member would prove to put her in the spotlight a little more than she anticipated. A part of her wondered whether this would be enough grounds for him to decide that she couldn’t be his girlfriend after all and that thought alone was enough to sadden her.
After a minute or two Joshua changed his persona, seemingly calmer now and he was telling her that he wasn’t going to let these things ruin their day. They would still be going to the beach after all but she knew in the back of her mind that they would probably need to talk about things later. She smiled when he kissed her and nodded as she helped Charlie get into the back, giving her a stroke to ensure that she was no longer upset by the altercation and then she climbed into the car herself.
[b “What time is your fight tonight?”]
Joshua watched as she tended to his wounds, of course always one to take care of someone. H sighed out, hating that he had gotten angry with her and how he had yelled at her. This was a side of him that he didn’t want Quinn to see. “He knew your name?” He asked, trying to contain his anger though he could feel himself getting riled up all over again. Joshua sighed out, trying to keep his anger in check. This guy knew her name and he also knew that her father was a cop, which meant other people had to know. It pained him to think that he was putting Quinn’s life in danger.
Joshua looked around then, trying to make sure there was no one around. Quinn was right to stop him, if he would’ve continued beating that man it would’ve been a whole different ending and unmarked cars with cops inside were sometimes hard to spot. He looked up at Quinn, trying to meet her eyes and feeling bad as he had yelled at her when she didn’t deserve that anger. Though he worried that if a rival could approach her on his own turf, what would stop them from following her home? From work or to work? This was too much and he was concerned, more so for the safety of his girlfriend.
If anything Joshua knew he needed to call Francisco, this was not something that would fly in their world and he couldn’t risk something like this happening again. He didn’t want Quinn involved, but this wasn’t something he could let just fly. “I’m not going to let this ruin our day,” he said then as he came to a stand. “Get in the car, I’ll figure this out.” He kissed Quinn then, figuring he would have Cisco recruit some men to keep an eye on Quinn. Anyone that dared to come close to her was asking for a funeral.
Quinn hadn’t been this close to his business before and it was hard seeing Joshua like that. She had seen him fight before but that was professional, careful. This was something else entirely. He was angry and completely fuelled by that and it seemed to plague him a moment longer as he turned to snap at her. It wasn’t her business to get in the way of what he was doing but it was to protect him, knowing that there could be cops sat in a car somewhere, waiting for him to slip up and that outburst alone might have been enough of an excuse to arrest him. Getting him in custody meant they could question him about other things and put pressure on him. She knew how it worked.
Quinn wasn’t the type of person to shout back at someone when they raised their voice at her. She had learned patience working with children and she employed the same patience now. He soon apologised and Quinn simply nodded, giving him a minute or two to gather himself as his nurses his knuckles. She sighed a little and took a step forward to inspect them and grabbed some supplies from the car to stop the bleeding.
[b “He just asked me if I was your girl. He knew my name and that my father is a cop. Then you came out. He didn’t say anything else.”]
Joshua was upset, the only thing stopping him from continuing to hurt the man was the sound of Quinn’s voice distract him. He tried not to continue and somehow managed to release the guy before he left into the darkness which he escaped from. He wasn’t thinking straight and he knew it. He had stood then trying to gain composure, hand aching and his mind racing. Who was this guy to show up I. His side of town and certainly he wasn’t someone Joshua or Francisco would allow to come through and tell him how to do business.
Not to sell on his own turf ? “Why weren’t you in the car Quinn? You should’ve called for me as soon as possible! Don’t stop me when I’m in the middle - You don’t – “ He stopped yelling at her then and he turned to face her then. Joshua sighed out, trying not to turn his anger out on the female as it wasn’t her who he should be mad at. Joshua sighed out, trying to pull in his anger. “I’m sorry.” Joshua leaned against the car, nursing his fist – his knuckles had caught the mans mouth, reopening old cuts from previous fights on his knuckles. Stupid, it was stupid to engage in a fight knowing he had to be in top gear for tonight.
“I’m sorry for yelling, I just worry. I don’t want you close to people like that.” He hung his head then, in a sense of defeat. So much for a perfect day. Charlie laid at their feet, she too hated when Joshua yelled and had kind of cowered in his anger. Her paws covered her eyes then. Joshua reaches out to caress her face, Gio looking out his window before Joshua nodded to assure they were good. They were good for now though, that man was way too casual and confident as he came up to his girlfriend. This was something he needed to report which only meant more issues tacked onto his plate.
“What did he say to you?” Joshua asked in a lie stern voice. He couldn’t have anyone coming up to Quinn like that. It was dangerous for her and even more so for the person Joshua caught in her presence trying to intimidate her.
Quinn purposely avoided asking Joshua about anything to do with his ‘work’ not wanting to know too much about it since her father was a cop and she didn’t want to be put in a situation where she was forced to walk away from him. However, it was clear very quickly that this man was here for business and he was clearly not on the same team as Joshua when it came to his work. She wasn’t naive. She knew that there was more than one gang operating in this area and based on what he was saying, Joshua’s gang might have been attempting to push drugs or something similar in their territory which she knew gangs were often quite touchy about.
The scene before her played out quite quickly and before she knew it Joshua was getting physical with the man and she instantly stepped forward and placed her hand on his arm. [b “Joshua!”] She wasn’t scared but she was concerned about who might be watching and she didn’t want him getting himself into anymore trouble with the police.
The stranger smirked. [i “You let your girl control you too huh?”] He looked towards her and winked. [i “I’ll be seeing you around.”] With that he disappeared into the shadows and Quinn was turning to face Joshua, knowing he would be angry.
[b “Joshua, look at me.”]
“Charlie!” Joshua yelled, trying not to draw attention and he felt bad immediately as he had never raised his voice at her out of anger. She quieted down though, growling still which he accepted as he wasn’t a fan of the male in front of him either. Joshua certainly didn’t appreciate how he looked at Quinn.
“Business?” He asked with a raised brow. “I don’t take orders from you or your boss,” Joshua said with a snort. “We’re moving forward whether approved or not.”
“That’s our territory though and Cisco knows it,” the man said.
“Yeah Cisco also doesn’t give a shit we have that in common. What’re you even doing here?” Joshua asked, the anger overtaking the male and not thinking h shoved him. “You come to my town, talk to my girl and try to threaten me?” Of course rival gangs often still put bets on the best fighter. At that point didn’t matter where you were from or who you associated with, all that mattered was the money collected at the end. Though Joshua didn’t appreciate anyone being in his space and certainly not Quinn’s now that they were official.
He unlocked his car then, wanting to reach for his piece, but Quinn was there and he didn’t want to scare her. Instead he placed the food in the back seat, turning then to face the man, one he had never met or seen, but obviously knew enough if he knew where Joshua lived.
Charlie was growling even louder, trying to intimidate the stranger, something that Joshua didn’t approve of and especially not in front of Quinn.
“You’re making a mistake,” the male said, only inciting Joshua to fight him which he was torn about. He didn’t want to seem like a monster in front of Quinn.
Joshua gripped him by his shirt before delivering a blow. “I’m giving you 1 minute to get out of here,” he said before punching the male again. “Now, you’re down to 30 seconds before I blow your brains out.” He yelled, too worried about how this guy had gotten so close to Quinn.
[i “Just answer the question.”] He was pushy and Quinn didn’t like that. Being a cop’s daughter meant that she wasn’t the type of person who would let someone intimidate her so she remained neutral, not letting any form of emotion show upon her face.
[b “That’s me...now as I said...”] She was cut off by Joshua then who seemed a little bit on edge about having him anywhere near her. This wasn’t just about his possessive nature, this was something else and the moment Charlie detected Joshua’s hostility she was barking towards him.
[i “Easy pup.”] He was talking to the dog but made it seem as though he was talking to Quinn because he kept his eyes on her the entire time he was talking which made her blood boil a little. He laughed a little and then looked to Joshua. [i “There he is. Boss said he knows you are moving tonight and he wants you to make sure that doesn’t happen. We wouldn’t want to get in the way of each other’s...business now would we?”] He glanced towards Quinn almost like he was threatening her.
[i “Fight tonight Joshy boy! I’ve got big money on you. Better not let me down.”]
Joshua had given her his keys, trusting Quinn more and more. Once they crossed the bridge, of their relationship that they both were wary about, admitting love for one another, he was surely it wouldn’t be long before he gave her a copy of the key for is apartment. Joshua had headed out of the apartment before his girlfriend and headed toward the car. He walked inside the pizza place then, Gio always a friendly face and smiling at him as he entered.
“Where’s your wife?” He joked causing Joshua to shake his head. Gio was used to seeing the couple together constantly and even more so when they had Charlie. They were like a small family.
“Quinn, my girlfriend, is at the car. We’re heading to the beach,” he admitted with a smile. It was different using the world girlfriend, but Joshua didn’t mind how easily it slipped out. He smiled just thinking about the woman then.
“Girlfriend?’ Gio asked with a smirk before laughing. “Never thought I would hear Joshua the ladies’ man ever say something like that.”
“Yeah, miracles happen.” Joshua chuckled before he recited his order for two sandwiches and some chips. He reached into his pocket to pay him what was owed.
“You talked to Cisco?” Joshua asked him then, voice low as he had to be careful the place wasn’t bugged, though Gio read his mind and nodded slightly toward a small magnet on the register. Probably a recording device.
“Moving tonight,” Gio said softly, “Two bits after the fight.”
“All sets?” Gio shook his head.
“Got it covered. You just worry about enjoying the beach and winning. I actually put in for the pool this time,” Gio said with a chuckle. Joshua was not one to disappoint of course. He said goodbye before grabbing the bag with their food as he headed out, not really happy with the sight in front of him. It wasn’t just a guy getting a bit too close for comfort with Quinn, but was someone from the rival gang. Joshua was trying to keep his cool and not overreact, though his fists had already tightened , the bag a victim at that point.
“Can I help you?” Joshua asked, Charlie realizing this wasn’t a friendly encounter and already beginning to bark.
There is was again. The moment where she almost confessed her feelings for him but this time she had been completely awake and not at all distracted by the Euphoria of love making. There was every chance that before king she would be saying those three words without being able to stop herself or hold them back and she just hoped that she wouldn’t scare him off when it did happen. It was inevitable really.
Quinn chuckled then and kissed him once last time before she worked on getting herself ready for the beach. [b “You are doing a pretty good job of controlling yourself actually. I’m rather impressed.”]
She didn’t exactly want to sit in the car or head down to the streets in the bikini so she pulled on a dress, one that she could remove easily when they arrived. She then packed some things that she would need in the bag Joshua had started, noticing that he had forgotten to pack suncream and she would burn up so quickly if she didn’t wear any. [b “Alright, I’ll meet you in the car. Come on girl. We have a day at the beach to enjoy.”] She our the leash around her neck and gave her a fuss before heading down to the car but she wasn’t alone when she got down there. There was someone hanging around his car. She wouldn’t know that he was a member of a rival gang because he wouldn’t reveal that.
[b “Can I help you?”]
[i “Are you Joshua’s girl?”]
Did she answer that question? If he knew Joshua surely he would recognise his dog. [i “Quinn right? Daughter of the cop?”] How did he know so much?
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