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 Lost and I'm Scared, Cassie&Ender
Tanuki
 Posted: Feb 24 2018, 06:21 PM
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||Date: Spring 20th, Year 3|| Wearing|| #83c4ad || Aofie ||


Cassidy couldn't remember a time where she felt more shameful. Or at least, that was what it seemed like as she moved her body in time to the Rhythm of the Music. The hot air of the club on bare skin, she was scantily dressed at best, leaving just enough for people to commit their money to as she spun around on warmed metal.

It was a pretty shitty job, but at least her boss was nice and the pay was enough to help sustain her son's newfound trips to the valley. One day maybe she'd even make enough to gain a new book, destroyed by a terrible drunk man at the cafe, but Theodore came even before that. At least it was thoughts of getting to see her son when she got home that allowed her to pitch overwhelming anxiety to the side and just do her job.

But there were certain people who didn't realize that the dancers of Club Trinity were just that, Dancers. They weren't prostitutes and while she was desperate for money, she was nowhere near that desperate where she'd risk something happening to her like that. But tonight, someone who was just that type of person had followed her out of the club, cornering her in the alley just out back.

"Come on beautiful. You need the money, I need the fun, it's just a few minutes, right?" Cassie was huddled with her back to the wall, the Umbrella over her head keeping her safe from the rain as the man in front of her continued to try and coax her. "N-No, I don't need it, P-Please let me pass." She urged, finding she had no room to back up when he advanced.

"5000g right on the spot, what can be better than that for something so simple?" She could smell the booze on his breath, but she was afraid to try and run around him. When she finally did try to move, he grabbed her arm, knocking her umbrella out of her hand and leaving them at the mercy of the rain. "Let me go!"

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Aofie
 Posted: Feb 25 2018, 09:58 PM
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His mind was occupied by only one thing. His son. His son, and how he was going to prove to Cassie that he was worth the trouble of introducing him into Theo's life. Even though he hurt her, he wanted to make things right. He valued what was left of their relationship, and now that everything had been cracked wide open, he planned on being as involved as possible.

It was rare that he found himself in this section of Westhaven. Unless he was working and on a call, he mostly tried to avoid this part of town. The night life was lively, but he was a bit old fashioned and preferred his own company instead. Plus, clubs had never been his thing, and the crowd was a bit younger than he was. He didn't really fit in with the scene. In fact, he would have never walked this path, if he hadn't heard some disturbing information. Apparently Cassie was a dancer here, or at least it's what he heard. He tried to get some gossip out of Wesley, but that hadn't gone anywhere. His cousin insisted he only knew as much as she had told him over the phone while dispatching. Which was not a lot. But another cop had overheard him prying, and had spoken up with this well kept secret. So here he was. Checking it out for himself. Was she really involved in working for this sketchy club? He really hoped not. But when he turned the corner, just in time to overhear a scuffle, the rumors became the truth. When his eyes finally focused on the two people bickering, he sprang promptly into action.

"Hey!", he called out, without missing a beat. He crossed the street quickly and went to her side to assist. He slipped his arm around and through hers and scowled at the handsy man. "If I ever see you put your hands on my wife, or any other person again, you'll be lucky if all I do is kick your teeth in." Ender smiled, expression twisting into fake adoration as his attention turned back to Cassie. "Honey, are you ready to head home? Dinner is getting cold." When they passed by the other man, Ender shoulder checked him out of the way. "Go home." He warned while bumping him.

When they were finally around the block and out of sight, Ender loosened his grip on her and began studying her from his peripheals. He didn't want to let go fully, in case that man was still tailing them. "Are you alright, he didn't hurt you did you?" His voice was soft, and full of concern. He'd be damned if anyone hurt someone he cared about. He was willing to turn right around again and beat that guy into a coma if needed.

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Tanuki
 Posted: Feb 26 2018, 03:47 AM
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She swallowed a breath as she tried to loosen his grip, and for a moment she was worried he might try and drag her somewhere. And for some reason at a time like this, all she could think about was her son. He was still waiting for her at her dad’s. It was probably that thought that kept her resisting, at least until someone’s familiar voice hit her ears and Ender came between herself and the man.

She felt him loop his arm in hers with a threat to the man in front of him. Wife, he called her his wife. She swallowed heavily, and she took a moment to try and process what was going on. She pressed her smaller frame against Ender’s in an attempt to shrink herself out of the other man’s field of view.

She looked at Ender now, his sweet tone clearly indicating who he was talking to. She glanced up at him for a moment, unsure of what to say as the man across from them scoffed, but she finally found words. ”O-Of Course. I’m sorry I was..l-late.” she said, her gaze shifting uncomfortably towards the man as Ender led her around him.

She glanced back, it seemed the man was watching them, but he didn’t seem brave enough to follow, possibly afraid of what the “married” man might do to him if he did. He waited until the man had vanished from their view before he said anything to her, and she stared up at him for a moment, as if she was afraid to drop the charade they were playing incase the guy came around the corner. But after another moment, when he didn’t, she turned her attention to Ender’s question. ”N-No, he didn’t, but I can’t say I’m sure he wouldn’t have if you hadn’t shown up.” she responded with uncertainty as she spot checked the corner once again.

”Thank you.” Whether she was still unsure where they stood right now, it was clear that Ender still cared for her in some way. Sure, it would have been the humanitarian thing to do anyway, and he was the chief of police, but it didn’t make Cassie any less grateful for him removing her from that situation.

But now she turned her attention to a different matter. At least in the time she had known him, Ender had never been one for the party scene, not majorly anyway. He went to them with his friends, but she couldn’t recall if he had ever mentioned being big on clubs and such after they had turned 18. Maybe that was something that had changed? ”Ender?” she questioned, straightening out her posture. She herself felt a little but of shame burn at the back of her neck that he caught her out here. She didn’t want to tell him what she was doing here, but she for sure wasn’t here to party with so much studying to do and their son in a place he didn’t honestly feel very welcomed. ”W-What are you doing out here?”

Aofie
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Aofie
 Posted: Feb 27 2018, 10:20 PM
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He was relieved when she showed no signs of injury. That meant he didn't have to kick anyone's ass today. After she thanked him he let go of her arm so they could face one another directly. "No problem.", he said shrugging. He would have stepped in for anybody, but it was just a lot easier to do since he had a connection to the person being mistreated. But it also made it harder, more emotional. Now that he was looking at Cassie in the moonlight, he noticed the extra make up accentuating her features. Her blue eyes looked brighter in contrast to the dark tones of her eye shadow. When he found himself staring for too long, he quickly found something else to focus on. He watched as some trash blew down the street like an ironic tumbleweed. It scuttled away with a mind of its own, carried by the wind. When she asked her next question, he wished the breeze could have picked him up too.

”W-What are you doing out here?”

He laughed nervously, and pulled at the collar of his shirt. He wasn't very good at lying, especially not to someone who knew him as well a she did. Usually he just said something sarcastic to send the conversation into a new direction, but he knew better to do that with Cassie. She had a way of coaxing out the truth. "I don't know.", he already saw the look in her eye, the doubt. "I mean, I do know.", he admitted, red faced. "My coworker said you danced here, so I came to-" Why exactly had he come? "... to make a deal with you. How much do they pay you? I'll pay you more. Come work for me Cassie, you can be a secretary, or even a dispatcher. I'll fire Wesley, he's horrible at his job. He'd probably like to get fired. You'd be doing him, and Westhaven, a favor." When he was done he stared at her blankly before taking a deep breath.

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Tanuki
 Posted: Feb 28 2018, 03:29 AM
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Cassie really was thankful that Ender had come to her rescue. Usually, she would walk with one of her coworkers, safety in numbers during the late night hours, but this time had been different, and her Coworker had left early, leaving her to deal walking home on her own. And she didn’t want to think of what could have happened if he hadn’t.

But when she asked him what he was doing, she looked nervous, and when he yanked on the collar of his shirt, instinct told her to reach out and gently straighten it out. Maybe that was from being a mother, or perhaps it was something she used to do, for now the young woman didn’t feel like she needed to recall, so instead when he said he didn’t know, she glanced up at him.

She knew he wasn’t being truthful. Ender had never been a very good liar, and with the way she could tell where some people may have shrugged it off as Ender being Ender, it was almost like they had never been apart.

Almost. But not quite.

When he admitted that his coworker had tipped him off, told him she danced here, her cheeks became rosier with the blush that formed on her cheeks, and she glanced sideways. There wasn’t many things that “Dancer” could mean on this part of town. ”O-Oh....I— I-It pays.” she said, not meeting his gaze. ”I didn’t need it before but well... T-Theo’s Therapist lives in the valley and I had other unexpected expenses come up, so...” was there any proper way of explaining the kind of hot shame that currently burned in her stomach?

It wasn’t like there was a way to explain away what she was doing to Ender, or tell him this coworker had been wrong. Because she knew that Ender was aware that if she didn’t have a reason to be in this part of town, she wouldn’t be there. She knew that he was aware that she never liked wearing so much make-up, and she still didn’t. It was all for a show, for someone she wasn’t.

But with this information what had he come here to do? She was lucky her face couldn’t really get redder, but Ender was quick to explain himself before she could think of any wrong reasons he might be here for. Her eyes widened when he explained he had come to make a deal with her.

”Ender I...I can’t do that.” Wesley was a student just like she was, and just like her, he also needed a job to keep up with the demanding cost of living that seemed to be rising every day. ”Besides, I’m already working at the fire department, I think two dispatch jobs would make me lose focus at one of them.” she continued, scratching her cheek nervously. ”I’m s-sorry, what you saw, that doesn’t happen every day. Usually theres safety in numbers, but...w-well, this job isn’t so bad.” she tried to reason both with him and herself. ”If you close your eyes its almost like no one is watching you...you can’t even tell.” but you could, especially since they both knew Cassie didn’t do well in large crowds of people, that hadn’t changed much, and with her only stabilizer in those types of situations being Theo, it made it that much worse.

She swallowed a breath. ”Anyway...I should get going, M-my dad was Watching Theo so...” she stared into the dark streets ahead of her. ”I guess I’ll see you soon?” but there was something in her expression that faltered, and it would tell Ender she was still scared.

Aofie
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Aofie
 Posted: Mar 1 2018, 10:46 PM
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Cassie turned down his offer, and this displeased him. He frowned in defeat. He needed to come up with a way to get more money in her pocket, without having her feel like he was giving her a handout. Ender knew her pride would never allow her to take something like that. She was still the girl he knew back then. Proud, and humble. He clenched his jaw as he focused on her words. She explained the unforeseen cost of the Therapist, and how she usually didn't feel so afraid when she had a buddy to walk with. But who was her safety net now, if not him? He knew what he needed to do, but she probably was going to argue it. "Okay, fine. Tell me what days you work and I'll meet you here." He hoped she understood what he was insinuating. He wasn't about to allow the mother of his child to walk these streets alone, without protection. He'd never forgive himself if something happened. Now that he was aware of the issue, now that he'd seen with his own eyes the way that creeper had manhandled her, he couldn't let it go. But he didn't want to come across as controlling either. It was just that he'd never had his own family before, and now he did. He'd do anything he could to protect them.

Maybe he was being too pushy, because Cassie seemed to be trying awfully hard to get away from him. He felt that pang of rejection in his chest again. "Can I at least walk you home? I just feel weird about, I don't know..." His head moved subtly in the direction from where they'd left that handsy man in the dark. He was trying to point without pointing. "I just want to make sure, you know..." He really disliked being sentimental. "Is that okay?"

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Tanuki
 Posted: Mar 2 2018, 10:21 AM
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Cassie would have been content to just leave, but was that really something she wanted to do now? After all, it was a bit of a walk home, and she wasn't sure after what happened she really wanted to take the risk of anything else happening while she walked. Her dad was probably growing impatient at having to wait there with Theo in her apartment. After all, he was never short to remind her he had better things to do with his time than look after her son the whole time. Though she was snapped out of her thoughts when Ender spoke again, just after she had declined his offer of coming to work for him.

"I wish there was another way," She spoke suddenly, cheeks slightly pink. She didn't want Ender to think that she enjoyed doing this. It was actually shameful to her, that this was what she had to do in order to keep her head above water. "But this is the thing that makes me money in...the most timely manner." It didn't matter how she shuttered at the thought of eyes on her, and the way they howled. It was something that caused her cheeks to continue to burn. "E-Ender?" She swallowed when she proposed letting him know what times she worked.

She was going to protest, insist that she didn't need his help, but when she caught the look in his eyes her will to do so suddenly vanished, and she licked her lips instead, averting her gaze. "W-Weekends. Only Friday and...and Saturday." She met his eyes again. "It's the same time as now, my father...watches Theo while I'm work." She added, making sure he knew Theo wasn't all alone there in Paradiso.

When he mentioned walking her home, she looked at him, finding the way he stumbled and faltered his words familiar, a half smile appearing before she swallowed her breath. "Yes, you can." She stepped back now so she was at his side. "You haven't gotten much better with that, have you, expressing yourself?" She asked as they started walking. She exhaled softly, almost in an amused manner before looking up at him. "Me either." She recalled their son after a moment, sighing. "Theodore's actually better at that than both of us, you know. If there's something on his mind, he's not usually afraid to let you know."

Aofie
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Aofie
 Posted: Mar 6 2018, 07:24 PM
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Ender would make sure to remember her schedule. From now on, two days a week he would meet her outside the club to see her home safely. Hopefully his presence would cut down on the creep inside too. For her sake. It was no big deal, really. He was always done work by this hour anyway, and now that their lives had been intertwined yet again, he was here to stay. Whether she liked it or not.

So he could at least try and be helpful.

When she mentioned her father watching Theodore, Ender nodded to acknowledge it but didn't comment. Cassie's dad wasn't a fan of him, and he knew that. Which he was sure, was only twofold now since his departure all those years ago. Mr. Vega seemed like a man who could hold a grudge. But so was he.

He was taken aback when she called him out on not being forthcoming with his emotions. Or his intentions... or anything really, ever. She wasn't the first person to do this to him. Brine had also pointed this out, even going as far as to affectionately calling him 'Mr. bottled-up' at times. He scoffed. She was right. Perhaps it was the lack of communication on his end that had muddied the waters for them time and time again.

He was relieved to hear that Theo, very fortunately, hadn't picked up this undesirable trait from him. "Good, maybe he can teach us a thing or two." Ender smiled, and bumped her shoulder playfully with his side. They were getting close to Paradiso, which meant this journey was nearly complete. He wanted to ask her if she'd read Theo the letter, but since she hadn't brought it up the answer was probably not the one he'd want to hear. He swallowed hard, and faced Cassie when they were finally just outside the building. "Safe and sound." His smirked, but still kept his eyes to himself.

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Tanuki
 Posted: Mar 7 2018, 09:12 AM
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She smiled thoughtfully when he mentioned Theo being able to teach them both a thing or so. And he was right, parents had a lot more to learn from their children than most people thought. Theo was an incredibly smart little boy, and he had a lot of things that she would be able to show both his mother and his father, things that they needed to learn, and in turn parents would teach their children not to make their mistakes. This she felt was especially true of her and Ender. Both had made mistakes when it came to each other, but now they could try and present something better to their son in slowly learning to forgive each other.

But there was so much to forgive on both ends.

"I'm sure he will, kids are very smart like that. Sometimes he's smarter than I am, I think" She said, a gentle laugh escaped her at that, because it was true, Theo had some wisdom beyond his years. Wisdom she wished she had had at age 18 let alone 7 years old.

They arrived and Cassie swallowed the lump in her throat. She seemed thoughtful for a minute, and if trying to figure out what to do before she pulled Ender into a hug that was about as tight as her weak frame could hold his stronger one. "We'll figure it out," She promised, possibly knowing that his mind was on Theo. "I promise." Somehow, they would. And that was what she decided as she made her way into the building.

Aofie
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