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Joshua couldn’t help but roll his eyes at her comment. Him a social butterfly? After all the people he’d gotten into fights with. Joshua couldn’t imagine that he would be the type to carry on conversation. What was there to talk about? They had this false narrative to go along with and had to explain something of their past lives – cute quips to throw in every now and then. Not to mention he didn’t really have stories to share. He figured he would let Quinn take the reign and just follow along.
He sat on the bed then, Charlie curious as to where the two were planning to go as she sat on the bed then, her head in his lap as he petted her. Quinn was getting ready, putting a lot of dedication into her look and of course making sure to hide the bruising as much as possible. Guess this was the one and only time he felt like she needed makeup. When she was all finished, he came to a stand. Quinn assuring him he looked fine, but when it came to strangers, he did value how he appeared. Joshua could be paranoid like that and possibly it was due to the disrespect he had felt constantly through his life from people who judged him before they got to know him. Quinn was different though. She actually took a chance on him and still stayed with him despite knowing all the faults of his life.
“You look stunning,” he said as he drew her in for a kiss on the cheek. “Much to kind to me.” He chuckled and lightly pressed his forehead against hers. “You’re right, I’m just – nervous for once.” He kissed Quinn’s lips then. “This will be fun. Let’s go then.” He held her hand and began out of the house then, making sure to check the lock several times. He could already see the lines of cars and the house with the people milling about into the back yard. “The minute you feel sick or anything, we can leave you know. Don’t stress yourself.” He was worried about her, worried about anyone who would have somehow found out of their location. Joshua reminded himself to relax then. They’d reached the house then Daniel and Janet greeting them at the gate where the entrance was.
“Hey!” Daniel said with a smile. You must be the wife?” Janet reached her hand out for a shake. “This is my wife Janet. Everyone is in the back right now.”
Quinn smiled at his words, feeling confident that they would find a way through this and as long as they had eat other everything would be just fine. She watched him find something to wear and chuckled at his comment about needing energy. [B "You'll do just fine. You never know, you might find that you like being a social butterfly."] Even as he left the room she remained in bed, remembering that the doctor told her that she was on strict rest for a few weeks during the crucial stages of pregnancy. Quinn would follow every bit of advice she was given when it came to their child and so in bed she remained, even when Joshua brought her some food.
Later she busied herself with some make up and fixed her hair so that it was covering the eye that had been swollen shut and she could honestly say that she did a good job covering it up. In a matter of days she was sure that she wouldn't need the make up anymore and she would be able to wear her hair normally. She chose a dress and got changed before looking towards Joshua who was asking her opinion.
[B "Fine? Joshua, you look great."] She stepped forward and took his hands before kissing him gently. [B "Hey, come on this should be fun right?"
Joshua was somewhat scared to go, as he knew he was not really that much of a people person. However, Quinn was thinking just as he was about how suspicious it would be if they didn’t show up. Quinn was talking about how to hide her bruises and it made him feel worse. Though at least she was trying, and Joshua knew he had to try to. He kissed her cheek gently, not wanting to harm her. “This will be our life.” Joshua said with a smile, hoping that once everything was settled they would eventually fall into this normal routine. He wanted them to have this life, married and with a child – not having to fear the safety of their lives,
I’ll heat up the casserole.” He told her. Joshua got out of the bed then, roaming through his bag that he had not yet unpacked and placing on a pair of sweats. “Charlie is probably hungry too,” he finished as the dog was already heading out of the room and toward the kitchen as though she knew Joshua was preparing a meal. “We can eat and just rest,” he told her then, “Feel like I am going to need a lot of energy going to this event.”
Joshua headed downstairs to heat up the food, his fingers playing with the ring around his finger. It wasn’t real as Quinn as noted, but it did still feel really real. He wanted to live through this and though they would probably have to live through a false life and false names – their love would remain real.
Joshua finished heating the food then, bringing it up for Quinn, wanting her to take it easy what with being pregnant and what she had endured through the kidnapping. He made sure to fill Charlie a bowl of food. She was wandering through the home, becoming used to her current surroundings, not knowing it was all temporary.
Soon it was time for the party, Joshua remembering the couple mentioning they were just next door. He tried to come off less intimidating, though the only [I clean cut] clothing he had still gave off a certain vibe, at least to him. His hair was growing longer which he managed to style with gel in a pushed back style. He wore a white dress shirt, buttoned only to appoint where he wasn’t choking himself, a slightly small suit jacket over it which was small due to his muscles since he last wore the suit. He felt like they had to make a good appearance and he didn’t want to embarrass Quinn. Even more so, he didn’t want anyone to catch sight of her face at a bad angle and think he was responsible.
Buckling up his black boots, he looked into the mirror then. He didn’t really look like the bad boy he usually saw. “Do I look fine?” He asked her, hands playing with the ring then. He was starting to doubt whether or not to go.
Quinn's hand joined his on her stomach and she smiled for a moment. In a little under 7 months they would become parents and she was equal amounts scared and excited but there was no one else in the world she would rather do this with. Then he held out his hand to her and she slipped the ring on. It was all a facade but that didn't stop it from feeling real. Quinn smiled as he took the other ring and slipped it on her finger after kissing her knuckles. [B "I will do you the honour and when the time comes to make this real...I will be your wife."]
She leaned into his kiss and then leaned her head against his shoulder. [B "I think we should go. We will just make people suspicious if people never see us. If I fix my hair a certain way and put on some make up am I can cover up this mess."] She chuckled a little and kissed his cheek once more. [B "I am pretty hungry to be honest. I feel well rested after that sleep and I'm ready to get back to some mind of normal. This could be our life you know?'
Joshua smiled the minute he saw Quinn, safe and comfortable. He thought about the conditions she must have been in when she was kidnapped. No food, no water, and he doubted they provided a comfortable bed for her. He was drawn out of the dark thoughts when Quinn asked him about the neighbors. He was trying to remember their names, another piece of information to add into the file of this false narrative they were living.
“They seem nice enough,” Joshua said. He wasn’t used to having [I friendly] neighbors other than Gio. With his life, there were certain areas he wasn’t even allowed technically to pass through as it was considered enemy territory. They wouldn’t have to worry about that being here and Joshua wondered then about where they would be moved to after the trial. They still would be under the witness protection program even after the trial. Their lives would remain in danger, but Joshua was determined to protect Quinn. Hell, maybe in the future he could give her a real wedding, a grand wedding for someone he loved so much. Much like Charlie, Joshua laid on the bed, his head on Quinn’s shoulder as his hand reached out for her stomach. Charlie was not budging and as though she could sense the pregnancy and the danger they were in; she was also making her attempts to protect them.
Quinn moved then to grab something from the drawer, a part of the packet they were given by her father that held details of their new life: fake licenses and personal documents like social security cards. Much was the same, save their last name. The good thing was he wasn’t fully apart of the trial yet which had been blasted all over the media. So, his presence and Quinn’s wasn’t known. They didn’t stand out in the small town, but soon would and Joshua knew they would be moving constantly until the trial was over and Francisco sentenced. Hopefully then they could make that place their [I forever] home.
Quinn pulled out the smaller packet that held their rings, him surprised that her father had offered up his own. It felt surreal then. Joshua extending her hand to have the ring slipped on. His hand felt heavy then, though the marriage wasn’t real, it very well could be in their future. Still he knew that he loved Quinn and she had stuck by his side this whole time, and now she carried his child: this commitment was very much real. He reached for the other ring, his hand grabbing hers gently before he kissed her knuckles. “Forever and a day, if you’ll do me the honor of being my wife and wearing yours,” he said as he slipped it onto her finger. Joshua leaned forward to kiss Quinn.
“There’s going to be some kind of neighborhood party tonight, if you wanted to go? You know, mingle a bit.” It was an unusual question, but Joshua knew if they shut themselves in they would go crazy from boredom and even more so, it would make people curious about what they were up to. “They gave us a casserole if you’re hungry?”
Quinn lay in bed wrapped up in the duvet as she lay with Charlie who had her head lying proactively over her stomach as though she could detect the new life in there. She ran her hands over her fur and smiled when Joshua came back upstairs.
[B "How are the neighbours babe?"] She shifted a little but Charlie didn't move, clearly far too content where she lay. All of this felt so strange, especially when she was asking about her neighbours as though they really had just moved into the neighborhood as a newly married couple. She looked down at her hand where there was an absence of a ring and did the same to Joshua. [B "We need to wear rings if we are going to pull of this marriage business."] She smiled trying to keep the mood light.
[B "My Dad gave me one of his rings...if you would do me the honour of being my husband by wearing it."] She smiled a little and opened the drawer next to the bed so that she could pull out the ring.
Joshua sighed out, he didn’t really want to entertain company and he wasn’t the social type. This was something that Quinn would have been good at, but with the condition she was in, as she mentioned, it wouldn’t be smart for them to see her and it would not do good for their reputation for them to not answer the door. Joshua received his kiss from Quinn and kissed her back gently. He himself wasn’t that presentable.
He opened the door just a smidge, the couple smiling and giving off a friendly aura, but then again, they were strangers.
“Yeah?” Joshua asked. The male cleared his throat, a red-haired fella.
“Hi, we are the Johnson’s. My name is Daniel, and this is my wife Janet. Just wanted to stop by and welcome you,” he said then. Joshua opened the door fully, Charlie on guard behind him before trotting away and heading to watch over Quinn. Of course dressed only in his boxers, he could see the reactions change some on their faces.
“Sorry,” he said with a slight red tint to his cheeks. “Kind of still getting settled,” he said and chuckled.
“We don’t want to put you out,” Janet mentioned. “We just know how hard it is getting settled and figured not having to think of dinner would make it easier. Green bean casserole, family recipe.” Janet said with a smile as she leaned her hands out. Joshua took the glass dish.
“Thanks,” he muttered. He was definitely not in his element. This all seemed very vanilla to the man.
“We’re having drinks later tonight, a little gathering for the neighborhood watch party. You should come and get to know everyone.”
“I’ll think about it.” Joshua said hurriedly. “Thanks,” he said quick after before closing the door. He packed the dish away and into the fridge for when Quinn was in the mood to eat. It certainly would do them good to show face to appear as [I normal] as possible. Though Quinn would definitely need to wear makeup and do something with her hair. He headed back to the bedroom then.
[B "You and me forever."] She repeated as she snuggled into him as she allowed the fatigue to take over entirely. She was beyond exhausted and she knew that she would have to look at making changes to her diet when she woke. She needed to think about the baby and make sure that there were no complications. She fell asleep pretty easily as she always did when she was in Joshua's arms. There was no where else in this world she would have rather been.
Quinn was so exhausted she barely even heard the knock at the door and the fact that the warmth Joshua offered her was gone. In fact, she didn't really stir at all aside from rolling over. She only opened her eyes a little when she heard Charlie barking and she moaned a little. [B "Charlie..."] She sighed and climbed out of bed, grabbing a robe from the back of the door and she made her way downstairs.
[B "We got company babe?"] She asked as she looked through the peep hole. [B "You can't leave them standing on the doorstep and I don't want them thinking my husband has beaten me. I'll go back to bed, you just make out I'm tired from the pregnancy...although that is the truth."] She chuckled and kissed him softly before retreating once more.
Joshua didn’t care about himself as much as he cared for Quinn and of course he knew her well enough to suspect that she would go against his wishes for her to save herself if the opportunity ever came. “Hey, you won’t lose me.” Though Joshua wasn’t all too convincing to himself to be quite honest. He just didn’t want to worry her any more than he suspected that she already was. He leaned into her caress, his lips pressing into hers as she kissed him.
“Of course, give it another two days or so,” he said as he brushed the back of his hand across her cheek. “I hate seeing you like this.” Joshua was getting angry and this was the sort of thing that would have made him overreact and certainly go after whoever was responsible. Instead he had to keep his cool and they had to remain under the radar until the trial was over. Joshua would eventually find out though and it would have to be the hands of God himself to pull Joshua away before killing whoever harmed his girlfriend. Joshua drew her as close as physically possible then. “You and me forever,” he promised as he nuzzled her neck, kissing behind her ear then before closing his eyes.
Joshua was exhausted, the bed being way more comfortable than the cot from the cell and of course now being able to hold Quinn in his arms, he was a bit more relieved an at ease to go to sleep.
Joshua was awoken then by the sound of Charlie barking and someone ringing the doorbell. He sighed out and rubbed his eyes, gently peeling away from Quinn then. He got out of the bed and walked toward the front of the house, still not familiar with the layout and bumping into the wall.
“Charlie please,” Joshua asked to get her to stop barking. He peeked through the peephole to see a couple, holding what appeared to be a casserole. Food sounded great, meeting new people didn’t.
Quinn smiled and relaxed into the pillows, her eyes resting on his chest as he shed his hoodie. She felt really lucky to be with him and she knew that she would always feel that way when he came to Joshua. She allowed her hand to join with his as it caressed her stomach and then she chuckled and watched him undress her. It was intimate but in a loving way rather than a sexy way. Soon enough they were both exposed and she was being pulled close to him.
Quinn kissed him and looked him in the eye. [B "I love you too but I'm not sure I can keep that promise. I will always thinks of the baby first but I can't promise you that I can let anything happen to you either. I don't want to think about that. We are together and we will [I always] be together. I can't lose you Joshua."]
She brought a hand up to his cheek and caressed it gently before kissing him one more time, gently and lovingly and then she allowed her eyes to close for a minute. [B "You think these bruises will go down soon?"
Joshua really was thinking then about marrying Quinn. It seemed like the natural next step. At first it had seemed like something too farfetched when he suggested it spur of the moment after learning Quinn was pregnant. Though now it seemed like the only rational thing he had bothered to ever think of. Joshua finished removing her shoes then, his hands travelling up her legs. She wasn’t in pain and Joshua was glad to know that she hadn’t been hurt anywhere other than her face. It was a small miracle that he thanked them for ironically.
“Just relax,” he said to her with a smile, shedding his own hoodie to expose his bare chest. It was a good thing at least his ribs were haling fine, especially not being worked up in the police station and since he wasn’t fighting or training, his body was taking to healing nicely. Joshua removed his shorts before getting into the bed. He gently kissed her cheek, his hands caressing her stomach as he began to undo the buttons of her pants. “Something told me you wouldn’t mind,” Joshua teased as he eased her pants off completely. He eventually moved toward her shirt. Soon they were both bare and skin to skin. Joshua drew her in close, his lips finding her neck where he placed a kiss. “I love you Quinn. I promise I will never let anyone get close enough to hurt you again,” he said and he was serious. “I’d die before anyone touches you. If anything happens you worry about you.” He said then, he didn’t want any kind of Romeo and Juliet scenario. He tilted her face gently so he could meet her eyes. “You hear me Quinn? Anything happens, you think about you and the baby.” Joshua didn’t know how this situation would end and a shootout or another kidnapping was high on the possibility list. First thing first, Joshua wanted Quinn worrying about her own safety.
She knew that Joshua would hold himself responsible for this but she didn't want that to be the case. This was supposed to be their chance at a new start now and they would have to forget about Francisco as best as they could until the trial. However, she was more than happy to allow him to hold her close and caress her cheek as lovingly as he did.
Quinn smiled at his next words. [b "Newlyweds... You know, it definitely has me thinking about what you said before...about us getting married."] She smiled a little then before followed him to what they both thought was the bedroom but was in fact that bathroom instead. Soon enough they found what they were looking for and it was cosy enough.
[b "It looks comfortable at least."] She said as she made her way towards the bed, which Joshua place her on gently and started to remove her shoes. She smiled at his concern. [b "My face hurts but they didn't hurt me anywhere else."] She sighed and looked to him. [b "I don't mind you helping me get undressed through."] She tried to keep the mood light. There definitely wouldn't be anything more intimate than holding each other tonight though.
Joshua knew that this transition would be hard. It wasn’t something and certainly wasn’t the world that Quinn was used to or could ever get used to. Even more so with how Francisco’s man had worked her over and the pregnancy it was no surprise why she would be tired and now wasn’t really the time to go sight seeing. Charlie was rested on the bed and Quinn just seemed more in the mood to sleep. He made sure the door was locked before drawing Quinn in close, his bag dropped to the floor and ignored for the morning. He held her face gently in his hands, kissing her and caressing her cheek.
“I’m so sorry,” he said then and he felt kind he had baby things to apologize for. He’d put Quinn and his future child’s life in danger. He could never forgive himself and especially more so if this had turned out any worse than it already had. He chuckled a little, trying to alleviate the tense situation. “Hey were newlyweds,” he joked. He drew her up into his arms, cradling her close. “ my wife? Mother to be,” he further jested. Her head rested against his chest. “We both deserve some rest.”
Joshua walked them toward what he suspected was the bedroom. He’d accidentally opened the door to the bathroom before locating the door to the left. A modest queen size bed, simple room that was quite different than what he was used to. He could only suspect this home was definitely built around the 70s as the bright colored wallpaper indicated at least. He gently laid Quinn down. Her and the baby she carried was all he cared about. Joshua began to relive her shoes.
“Are you in pain?” He asked, voice cracking as he caught sight of her bruised and decreasingly swollen face. “I can help you undress? Or am I being paranoid?”
Quinn watched him leave and sighed heavily. This was going to be hard hur it would all be worth it in the end. Joshua needed a way out of this life he had been living and he had made the decision to do that for their family because that's exactly what they were now. A family. She looked to him when he pulled her close and kissed her cheek and she smiled a little, although it was one that echoed sadness. Hopefully her face would start to return to normal in a couple of days but until then she decided she would stay in the house, not even going outside in case the neighbor saw and assumed it was something else entirely.
[B "Honestly babe, I'm really tired. I haven't for much sleep and being pregnant...I just want to make sure the baby is okay and the doctor said I should rest. Is that okay with you?"] She asked as she held on to his hand. Quinn wanted to get back to feeling life herself and not the person that Francisco and his men made her feel like.
[B "We are going to be okay...I just want to get back to normal."
Joshua was alright with the house under the circumstances. He didn’t have much a choice to be picky considering this wasn’t permanent. At least he hoped not. Though even with Francisco put away and in jail, he could still wreak havoc. It was important for the cops to disband the gang completely for them to be safe. Though at least if the major leaders were in jail then the gang would lose control on its own. They just had to get through this trial, Joshua told himself.
They were still able to keep their first name, but their last names had changed. Nothing that Joshua couldn’t get used to. He just hoped he could remain straight and not reflect any of his past behaviors. He couldn’t get into trouble, couldn’t fight and certainly couldn’t indicate that he was anything other than a nice young consultant. What the hell dod consultants do anyways? Joshua was already feeling anxious, but only because this was not the situation he was used to. It would take some adjusting, but he was willing and ready to give it a shot.
He watched as Quinn’s father pulled from the embrace, both of them clearly upset at what was going on , having to be pulled away and separated. Though her father would be calling consistently and Joshua knew without having to be told that he expected him to protect his daughter to his fullest ability. Once her father had driven off, he took Quinn’s hand. It was a bit quiet on their street, a few neighbors taking out the trash or walking their dog. Though there were some people curious as to the couple that moved in out of nowhere. Joshua figured eventually one of them would come over to welcome them to the neighborhood. Joshua wasn’t used to making friends outside of the gang and was a bit paranoid, he wondered how that would go. He could see that Quinn was a bit upset of course and took to just drawing her close to him. He kissed her cheek.
“We will be okay.” He promised with a smile before heading toward the front door and unlocking it. Of course it was fully stocked, it seemed homey with a bunch of pictures that were most likely digitally manipulated. Almost felt like this was their life.
Charlie snooped around, taking some time to get comfortable before settling on the couch. She could dig it for now at least.
“So, what first?” He asked her.
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