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 A Strange Kind of Torture, Rom | Elijah
Hera
 Posted: Mar 12 2018, 02:11 AM
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Walking the line between discontent and disaster

GROUP: Purple Leaf
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Friday, his favorite day of the week! Friday was the day that the train ran, which means that,
contrary to most days, Elijah actually had something to do. Since coming to Ioana, he had struggled to fill his time. He'd made repairs on his house despite not having ever really undertaken such things before, and he had probably imposed himself upon Rom more than was strictly healthy. Especially since lately, he had begun to feel quite strange around her at times.
If he didn't know better, he would think he was starting to develop feelings for her. But that was absolutely preposterous because Romulea was his friend and he wouldn't break her trust like that.

The point being, that he was glad it was a work day.

Not that it would be for much longer. Once everyone had boarded and the train was on its way out of the station, he wouldn't be needed anymore. The switchboard could be left to the dispatcher, and hardly any of the freight trains that used the line stopped in Ioana. It would be back to business as usual, which meant no business at all. He heaved a sigh and tried to wrack his brain for something to do. Usually his first answer would be to go visit Rom, but he felt like he had been forcing his company on her too often lately as it was, and he thought he had heard her say she was going to see her sister this weekend. So that was out.

It was kind of sad, the lack of options he had to distract or engage himself when she wasn't around. He supposed that his life really would be empty without her. The thought sent a strange pang of warmth through him, and he shook his head to clear it. He needed to stop letting himself wander down those trails of thought. It wouldn't do anything good for his relationship with his only friend. He was not going to screw things up and be left alone just because he couldn't get Rom out of his head. He was not!

Of course, the moment he resolved to do that was the exact moment she walked into his field of vision. He felt his cheeks color, but he swallowed his embarrassment. This was Rom, his friend. There was no reason for anything to be awkward. They had known each other for almost a year now. He decided to go up and say hi. It was what you did when you saw your friends in public, right? "Rom! Hello, are you on your way to see your sister?" He asked, holding up a hand to wave her down.
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strawberry
 Posted: Mar 13 2018, 12:35 AM
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crab honeybutt

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spring 12th • outfit • Elijah, Hera



Though she loved spending time with her sister, Rom was dreading today. In just a few days time, she would be going on a blind date on Harmony Day, and she made the mistake of telling her sister that she had signed up for it. Rom wasn't really looking for true love, or even a boyfriend. She mostly just wanted to meet some more people, and since she missed the Balloon Festival, she decided to try it out. After all, she felt she deserved a bit of fun, and it had been forever since she'd been on a date.

As soon as Rom had mentioned the date to her sister, she immediately regretted it. Ellie had squealed with joy and insisted that Rom let her take her shopping. Rom insisted that it was going to be something casual and she could already wear something in her closet. Ellie then fired back with the fact that it would be her first date since Eric and that she needed to impress whoever the lucky man was. Rom told Ellie that she wasn't looking to impress anyone. Ellie only scoffed and continued insisting, and that it would be her treat. After a few minutes, Rom relented on the caveat that Ellie would also buy lunch. Ellie then squealed once again and told Rom that she would be the hottest woman in the room. Rom could only shake her head and place her face into her palm, defeated.

She deliberated over an outfit to wear for nearly an hour, finally deciding on dressing up a little in case Ellie dragged her to nicer shops. She gave herself a mental pep talk all the way to the train station, telling herself that she would not let Ellie bully her into wearing something she wasn't comfortable with. It was her life and her date. She didn't need anything fancy. A sundress and a pair of flats would suit her just fine. Feeling a little more confident than before, she approached the train.

Rom was pulled out of her thoughts when she noticed Elijah waving and calling out to her. Her nervousness washed away for the moment and she greeted him back with a smile. She should have guessed she would run into him.

She nodded as she drew closer, adjusting her purse. "Hey! Yeah, I am." She rolled her eyes a little, nervousness slowly coming back, settling heavy in her stomach. "She insisted she take me clothes shopping since I signed up for the Harmony Day blind dates. I told her I would just wear what I had, but she agreed to pay for lunch." She shrugged and sighed, tucking her hair behind her right ear. Would she be really be able to say no to her sister? She glanced to the trian then back to Elijah, a thought dawning on her.

"Umm... I know this is short notice, but would you want to come?" she asked, biting her lip. "If you can't or don't even want to, that's totally fine," she rushed to add. "It'll probably be boring. But I'll make her pay for your lunch if you do come." It would be much easier to face her sister if she had a friend with her. "But like I said, if you need to stay here or just don't want to stand outside a fitting room for who knows how long, that's perfectly okay." She gave a nervous smile, though still hoped that he would tag along, even if it was just for the free food.
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Hera
 Posted: Mar 17 2018, 02:17 AM
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Walking the line between discontent and disaster

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Rom had signed up for the blind dates? Whatever regret Elijah had had over signing up somehow both evaporated and increased tenfold at the same time and he wasn't sure why. He reasoned with himself that it was because he was simultaneously grateful that someone he knew would be there and worried for his friend. There were a lot of not very nice people out there, and he didn't want her getting hurt. She was very special to him.

Yeah, that was it.

"Oh, you're doing the dates too? I uh, signed up, but mostly just to meet new people." He confessed sheepishly, shrugging. He actually expected to completely bomb the date and never talk to the person he was paired with ever again, but he wasn't going to mention that. Besides, even if he completely embarrassed himself at least he had gotten out of the house for the night. That would be nice.

Elijah had to resist the urge to laugh. Rom should know by now that Elijah would practically jump at the chance to help her out. And he knew from what she had told him that her sister could be a little overbearing. He might not be the best buffer around, but maybe he could help make Rom feel more comfortable and less pressured. And, of course, he would never turn down a chance to do something besides sit around and wish the train ran more often.

"I would love to go with you, Rom. Once the train leaves the station, my job is done. And hanging out with you sure beats sitting at home alone." He said, "Let me just go get my bag and I'll meet you onboard. I'm sure they'll wait for me." He joked, knowing the train didn't leave without his say so anyway.

As he jogged back in to get his messenger bag, he couldn't help but think of how cute Rom had looked trying to assure him 'no, it's ok, you don't have to come if you want to'. He fought to keep a smile from splitting his face, but it was futile. It was obviously because he was so happy to be spending a day out with a friend. Because that's what he and Rom were. Friends. And friends could think their friends were cute. It wasn't weird.
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strawberry
 Posted: Mar 17 2018, 10:34 PM
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crab honeybutt

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spring 12th • outfit • Elijah, Hera



Rom felt an inexplicable relief at hearing Elijah had signed up for the blind dates as well. She doubted he would judge her for it, but she still felt a little silly about signing up for them. Knowing that he would be in the same situation as her put her at ease. Though, deep down, she felt a little twinge of something. Could it be jealousy? She imagined, for a brief moment, him kissing some unknown woman on Harmony Day. Her cheeks suddenly felt hot, but she pushed it away. Elijah was a friend. Surely he didn't see her like that.

She cleared her throat a little and nodded, rubbing her arm a little awkwardly and looking at the ground. "Yeah, I signed up for them. Really for the same reason. I've been here for nearly a year and I still feel like I haven't seen much of what Ioana has to offer or met very many people." She left out the part where she felt a little lonely in the romance department. Over the winter, when she'd been depressed about potentially failing with the farm, she missed being held. She didn't particularly miss Eric at all, but she did miss being in a relationship from time to time. But those were details she didn't need to bore Elijah with. Plus she would feel guilty telling him that she ever felt lonely when he'd been such a good friend to her. She wouldn't want to worry him.

Pulling herself out of her thoughts, she looked back up to him and grinned. "Maybe if we end up at the same spot and our dates are going horribly we can just bail." She'd feel a lot better about walking out on her date, no matter how horribly it was going, if she had a backup plan with him involved. That was provided, of course, they didn't end up in separate locations.

When he said he'd join her, she couldn't help but sigh in relief. "Oh, thank Itris," she thought, glad that she wouldn't have to face her sister and her questionable fashion choices alone. "You say that now, but just wait until you meet my sister," she said with a chuckle. "I'll definitely be owing you one." She thought about her sister and her recent conversations, telling Ellie about how sweet Elijah was and Ellie teasing her about it. She blushed a little, shaking her head slightly. "She's uh... definitely got a strong personality. And okay! I'll go grab us a couple of seats, then." She watched him walk away for a moment, praying silently that Ellie would use more of a filter than she typically did.

Sighing, she turned and boarded the train, sitting down next to the window. She stared out it, thinking back to the last date she had been on. Toward the end of her relationship, she and Eric hardly went on dates. She supposed she should have known it was coming to an end when they stopped going out. He'd hardly paid attention to her at all and was either lost in thought or focused on her food. Looking back, she supposed that he had been thinking about the woman he got with soon after their relationship was over. She hoped her blind date would be better than that. It was such a low standard, after all.

((ooc: Once Rom actually starts trying on stuff, I don't mind if the posts are pretty short and quick, that way we can just have her try on a dress, come out, and see how her, Ellie, and Elijah feel about it and then move quickly onto the next one.))
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Hera
 Posted: Mar 19 2018, 06:25 PM
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Walking the line between discontent and disaster

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Elijah had to admit that he was guilty of the same. With so much time off, he really should have been going out of his way more often to meet people, but he never did. It wasn't easy for him to do so, he was painfully shy when he wasn't at work, and his anxieties and awkwardness often left him incapable of initiating a conversation and so terrified of putting the other person off that that's often what he did. Hopefully he wouldn't do that with his date. But if he did, it was good to know that Rom had a back up plan.

"Good idea, if our dates go south, we can just go to one of the other restaurants in town and pretend it never happened." He laughed, hoping it didn't come to that. For Rom's sake as much as or more than his. He'd hate to think that her attempt to meet people had gone so badly that she had to leave right out. Especially since she was such a kind person, and would probably do everything in her power to make the night go smoothly before deciding to bail. He really, really hoped she got paired up with someone nice. She deserved someone who would be as kind to her as she was to others.

He ignored the small voice in his head reminding him that he was, in fact, quite nice. And the small smoldering ember of what he would deny to his dying breath was jealousy when he thought of Rom actually finding a boyfriend at the event. It would be a good thing, he told himself. Rom would be happy and that was good, and Oh Itris, shut up, I am not jealous!.

He pushed those thoughts away as he boarded the train, sinking down into the seat next to Rom and giving her a bright smile. Inside, he was still ticked off at himself and the odd feelings he had been beginning to feel. But he vowed to himself to never let any outward signs show. It wouldn't be fair. He wasn't being fair to her and until he got these strange sensations under control he had to make absolutely sure she had no idea. Jealousy was unattractive, and not a good quality in a friend. Or, really, in a partner if he was even letting himself think of her in that light.

Which he wasn't.

"Oh, don't mention it. I'm always glad to help out, Rom. You know that." he assured her. And he was, he could honestly say he went out of his way to find ways to help her. He had told himself that it was because he was bored and had nothing better to do, but he was starting to think that wasn't it. "She can't be that bad." He said, rethinking that statement almost as soon as he made it, remembering some of the things Rom had told him. "Right?" He asked, more uncertain.

He leaned down and took a book of crossword puzzles out of his bag. He kept them on him at all time, knowing that most of his life was just looking for ways to kill time. And with how awkward he was feeling now, and how guilty, he wasn't sure he could keep up an hour long conversation with Rom right now. Which made him sad, as they usually had no issue coming up with things to talk about. If her sister wasn't the person Romulea had described her as, he would almost be grateful for her presence between them. As it was, he was pretty sure she would find a way to make things worse somehow.

This was going to be a long trip.

"Would you like one?" He offered, knowing it was the only polite thing to do.

Note: Sounds good to me!
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strawberry
 Posted: Mar 20 2018, 12:25 PM
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crab honeybutt

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spring 12th • outfit • Elijah, Hera



Rom grinned when he laughed at her joke, eyes lingering for a moment on his mouth and jawline. How had she not noticed before just how chiseled of a jaw he had? When she realized what she was thinking, she wanted to hide her face behind her heads. Instead, she had to let her blush be seen by the world as she nodded, trying to act normal and as though she didn't prefer the idea of going to a restaurant with him alone. "Well, I hope your date isn't terrible, at least," she told him. With as kind as he was, he seemed like the sort of person a woman with the wrong intentions could easily take advantage of. She certainly didn't want to see him get hurt.

Calm down, it's not like some harpy is going to sink her claws into him over coffee, she thought as she made herself comfortable while waiting for him. And besides, he's surely smart enough to walk away from a situation like that. She told herself that it wasn't jealously, only concern for her friend, and tried to leave it at that, thinking instead of what sort of outfit she'd like to wear.

When he joined her and told her that her sister couldn't be that bad, she couldn't help but laugh, mostly at his uncertainty. "She can be pretty overbearing, but I'll try to tell her to take it easy." She continued smiling, thinking fondly of her sister. She looked out the window for a moment, reminiscing on all the times Ellie had embarrassed her in the past, before turning back to him. "She means well, really. I couldn't ask for a better sister. She just lacks a filter a lot of the time and thinks she knows best." Ellie had often threatened to jump Eric when he and Rom had first broken up, along with a number of other threats that Rom had to shoot down. Ellie was a caring big sister, but she had a strong personality, so Rom had no doubt that Ellie would have followed through on those threats.

She leaned her head back on the seat with a sigh, closing her eyes. She wondered how her sister would react to her showing up with Elijah. The thought of it alone made her pinch the bridge of her nose in frustration. She opened her eyes when Elijah offered her something. He was holding onto a book of crossword puzzles. Her feelings of frustration were replaced with amusement and she nodded with a smile. "Sure, I'll try one. Thank you." She dug around in her purse for a moment for a pencil and pulled out a couple pieces of strawberry-creme candy. "Would you like one of these?" she offered in return.
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Hera
 Posted: Mar 21 2018, 04:42 AM
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Walking the line between discontent and disaster

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Was it just him, or was Rom looking flushed? He hoped she wasn't getting sick. Spring was a busy time for farmers, and she couldn't afford to get behind because of an illness. But he supposed it could be the heat. it was still fairly early in the spring, but the weather had been warm and the sun had been out more days than not, it seemed. Maybe she just had a sunburn and he hadn't noticed until then. But then, sunburns didn't look half so lovely.

It was his turn to flush.

"Oh yes, thank you." he said, taking the candy that was offered and handing the book of crossword puzzles off. He was trying very, very hard to control the strange pull he was feeling towards Rom, but every time he thought he had succeeded in pulling himself tooth and nail back into the safety of the friendzone, he was pulled back out onto the battlefield again.

It was so easy for her to knock down all of his reasoned, logical arguments to himself that he was not starting to have feelings for her, without even realizing it. Like that moment when her frustration had melted into a smile, just because he offered her the book. He had done that, he had made her troubles and problems smaller, even if just for a second. When that smile broke out across her face, it had felt like causing the sunrise. He'd never felt such a rush as making Rom smile. And he wasn't dumb, he knew what was going on. But she deserved better than a "friend" who pined after her and only stuck around to woo her. He was her friend, and that wasn't less than being something different. It was good, and enough. He would make it enough.

He turned his attention to his crosswords, galvanized slightly by his internal declaration.

Note: I figure we can go ahead and skip the rest of the train ride, it takes like an hour to get there
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strawberry
 Posted: Mar 22 2018, 10:17 PM
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crab honeybutt

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spring 12th • outfit • Elijah, Hera



After what seemed like a very long hour, the train finally arrived in Westhaven. Rom stood, stretching her arms a little overhead. She turned to Elijah and said with a grin "I suppose this is our stop." She hoped he wouldn't think the joke was too dumb and handed him the book of crosswords back. "Thank you for the entertainment." Normally she brought a book, but her clutch today had been too small to carry one in. Had Elijah not tagged along, she would have been bored out of her mind.

Once they departed, she looked around the station for Ellie. Her sister was sitting on a nearby bench, magazine in hand. Rom called out to her with a wave. Ellie paused, looked up, and broke into a huge smile. She tucked her magazine into her large purse and hurried over to Rom, arms flung wide. "Roooom!" she said in a high pitched squeal of joy. "It's so good to see you! I can't believe you're finally getting back into the dating world after that asshole. It's certainly been long enough." She gave Rom a pointed look over her sunglasses before noticing Elijah. "And who's this?" she asked, pushing her sunglasses on top of her head.

Rom let out a ragged breath, realizing she'd been holding it in since she saw Ellie. "Ellie, this is Elijah. Elijah, this is my sister Ellie." Ellie grinned and looked back and forth between them for a moment before settling on her Elijah.

"So this is the Elijah you've told me so much about! You didn't tell me he was so handsome!" She turned her attention back to Rom, whose cheeks and ears were turning red.

"Ellie," Rom pleaded, voice nearly a whine. Ellie threw up her hands, making a defensive face.

"I'm just stating the obvious here!" She placed her glasses back on her face and put her hands on her hips. "So. Are you two ready for some shopping?" She looked over at Elijah, eyebrows raised slightly as if she were about to give him the latest gossip. "I don't know if Rom's told you this, but this will be her first date since she broke up with her dirtbag of an ex about a year ago." She then turned back to Rom and smiled. "So we have to make sure she looks like pure sex." At the comment, Rom's entire face went red.

"I-I was just thinking something simple.... It's not a formal event, Ellie." Despite the sunglasses, Rom could tell her sister was rolling her eyes.

"Well, we'll see," was all Ellie replied with. She shifted her bag and turned, getting ready to head into the city. "I know a few places I'd love to take you. And this is all my treat, by the way." She began walking without a second glance back. Rom looked to Elijah, mouthed a silent "Sorry" and began following her sister.
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Hera
 Posted: Apr 3 2018, 06:43 PM
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Walking the line between discontent and disaster

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"Of course." Elijah said, taking the book back from Rom and storing them both back in his bag. The trip always seemed so much shorter when he had something to do. He'd taken this ride too many times to count and the view just didn't hold his attention like it had when he had first arrived in Ioana a year ago. He let Rom out in front of him so they would be separated as they disembarked, a small pool of nervousness starting to well in his gut again as the crashing realization came that he really was about to go help Rom and her reportedly pushy sister shop for date night dresses.

And of course, as soon as Ellie spotted them, she launched poor Rom into the spot, immediately calling her and her ex out in one fell swoop without a hint of malice or remorse. And then, inevitably, her attention turned to him. He tried not to shrink back under her pinpoint gaze, offering a small, awkward smile and wave combo as Rom introduced him. Only for the smile to freeze on his face in startled surprise at her immediately following comment. He was sure he was gaping like a fish, and blushing besides. And he could feel the way his posture locked, stiff and awkward as he fell back on his professional mannerisms.

He of course said nothing.

How could he when in the next moment, Ellie had once again pulled off a flawless combo, this one a triple. This time taking another pot shot at the ex, while mortifying her sister, and flustering Elijah beyond belief by mentioning Rom and sex in the same sentence. Now he knew he was gaping like a fish and blushing, besides.

"I-uh...huh...w-w-what?" He stuttered, laughing nervously as his brain when into apocalyptic panic shut down mode. He shot Rom a dismayed look as Ellie walked off. He shook his head in a futile attempt to clear it and processed what the hell had just happened, then realized the girls were leaving him behind. He pinched the bridge of his nose and wondered how he got himself into this, then jogged after them to catch up.
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strawberry
 Posted: Apr 3 2018, 09:48 PM
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spring 12th • outfit • Elijah, Hera




As soon as Ellie laid eyes on Rom, she regretted asking him to come with her. As much as she loved Ellie, her sister had a certain personality that couldn’t be tolerated for long by those with introverted personalities. Rom even included herself among those people. She loved her sister more than anything, but too much time spent around her left Rom feeling drained. So there was poor Elijah, standing there silently as Ellie assaulted them both. Ellie paying for lunch simply wouldn’t be enough to say thank you. She would have to make him something special before Spring was over.

She felt terrible for Ellie’s sudden onslaught as soon as they stepped off the train. And yet, despite him looking just about how she felt, she couldn’t help but admire the blush that had risen in his cheeks.

She pushed the thought down as she scurried after her sister, Elijah left sputtering for a moment before he caught up. She looked over her shoulder at him while still trying to make sure she didn’t run into anyone on the sidewalk. Worry creased her face as she finally caught up to her sister. Anxiety started to tighten her chest. What if Elijah turned around and went back to the train station? She had brought him here and inflicted all this upon him. What if he wouldn’t want to see her again after this?

”Ellie, slow down!” she called, slowing down herself to allow Elijah to catch up faster. Once they were side by side, Rom apologized again. ”I’m so sorry for dragging you into this. If she gets to be too much and you need to leave, I won’t blame you.” She prayed that her sister would calm down once they were inside a store. Deep down, though, she knew that wouldn’t happen.

And speaking of stores...

”Rom, I know just the place to start out with. They have clothes, shoes, jewelry...” Ellie looked back over her shoulder at Rom with a smirk. ”And lingerie.” She threw another glance Elijah’s way before stopping in front of a tall building. ”Well, this is it. And if we don’t find anything here, don’t worry. I have a whole list of my favorite stores.”

At the mention of lingerie, color started creeping back up into Rom’s face. She stole a glance at Elijah out of the corner of her eye before stopping next to Ellie. Would he even think about that? Her, in lingerie? Or was it something that would go in one ear and out the other? She didn’t know whether she hoped he had started to block her sister out or not. And if he hadn’t, and he did think of her and lingerie together, what kind of thoughts were they? She wasn’t the most endowed woman, and she envied Ellie’s hourglass frame. Imagining him imagining her in something lacy made her pulse race.

”Well, come on. Stop daydreaming and get in there! We’ve only got today to find you something!” She grabbed Rom’s hand and tugged her inside.

The store was brightly lit by crystal chandeliers and piano music played softly from hidden speakers. Prim and pressed sales associates flitted between customers, greeting them with dazzlingly bright smiles. Rom had to pause for a moment and take in everything. This was certainly the nicest store she’d ever been in and she felt terribly out of place. But before she could protest and suggest another shop, Ellie continued to drag her along to the dress section.

Ellie combed the racks quickly, searching for the perfect dress. ”You know, it’s such a shame you didn’t tell me about this sooner! We could have had something custom fitted!”

Rom blushes again, this time more out of anger. ”Ellie,” she hissed under her breath. ”You know I don’t have that kind of money.” A hard knot was beginning to form in her throat. Money had been a touchy subject for her since the Fall, and she hated feeling like a burden on her sister.

Ellie gave a quick glance and sharp smile to Elijah, making sure he hadn’t overheard. ”I told you, this is on me. You deserve to feel gorgeous and be spoiled, even if it’s just for a day. You know I love you and so have the money to spare,” Ellie whispered back. In her normal voice, she continued ”Now go try this on.” She handed Rom an emerald green gown and shooed her off to the dressing room.

She then turned to Elijah, almost predatory grin spreading across her lips. ”I hope that it’s not too much. Velvet is more of a winter fabric, but I love that color on her.”
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