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 Reflections of myself
Jamie Moriarty
 Posted: Jun 29 2017, 12:29 PM
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"I think you already know the answer to that. "I usually do," Jamie replied evenly. There was no uncertainty in her words, no attempt to soften her own self confidence or make it in any way more acceptable. Her tone stated that this was what was, and what is, and what would be. At least, she thought so. The young mastermind was still concerned with how to conduct herself, how to brand herself in this world of so many copies and not enough originals. She had the intelligence, but to rise in the criminal world more was needed - confidence, the look she could carry something off rather than whether she really could or not. She was still mastering it, still adapting herself to this new way of living.

"But I like getting the answer from the horse’s mouth." She sipped at her tea. It was still piping hot, far from the cold floor of the studio. She glanced at the clock hanging on the wall. It had to be getting on for something near one o’clock, but she didn’t feel tired; not yet, with this stranger sitting opposite. Harbouring a petty criminal hadn’t been in her plan of operations but he was proving interesting to talk to, at least.

No one dared to talk to her like this. Not anymore. Out of her little network of people they all knew how to speak to her - and that was with respect. Not the highest respect, Jamie knew; that was reserved for the people who had the real power, for the crime lords and the gangs. But respect, and nothing nearing normal conversation. It was one of the first real talks she’d had with anyone for a while, even if it was about violence and self defence. He was hiding his emotions from her, she could tell, and so was she - but it was nearer normal than almost anything that had happened to her these past months. Hearing his comment, she nodded. "Naturally. I’d expect nothing less. I know the same. You saw my gun." She indicated to the gun that she’d set down moments before. She was lucky, here in America. People were waving guns around all the time. Back in Britain guns weren’t commonplace - not that it stopped the crime groups there.

She laughed lightly. The sound bounced off the walls, the clean and minimalist studio. It was a sharp and harsh sound, somewhat unused - unlived. "We do all have our pasts, though that’s not something someone of your age would usually say. You don't have much of a past to speak of." Jamie assumed she was the oldest here, out of the two of them. "But I’m still curious. Consider it a trade for my shelter." Jamie shifted on her seat, her bare legs tangling with the legs of the stool. She added dismissively, "I don’t usually want to hear about the lives of ordinary people. They scuttle around below my attention. I don’t concern myself with their issues." She glanced to him, turning her head on one side as her voice became softer. "But you don’t strike me as ordinary." It was an investment, wasn’t it? She had never spoken to the homeless before. They were too far from the luxury she hoped she would reach one day, the dizzy heights she would soon occupy. But maybe she could learn something here - if anything whether to employ the homeless in future.

"I’m after the truth, Neal." She flashed a smile. "Ideally. But I can start first, if it’s too much." Information for information, after all. "For example, I can tell you right now you’re surrounded by lies." She glanced to the paintings and gestured to them with her free hand almost airily, as if they were little flights of fancy and not something you could serve time for. It didn’t cross her mind; she wouldn’t get caught. "The paintings. They’re not real. They’re fradulent copies of other, original works of art. I plan to sell them to keep my lodgings here, while I find employees in my chosen profession."

Emphasis on chosen. She could hear her parents’ voices in her head now, as she had since she had made this choice to focus on a life of crime. They didn’t know about this, and she didn’t want them to. But she could hear them nonetheless - inviting her back into the world of English literature, of Law and History of Art and Mathematics. But she was bored of that world. This one was new, with unique challenges.

Speaking of which..."That’s one truth. Perhaps you could reward me with another." She looked at him over the rim of her mug as she took another sip of Earl Grey. "Come. We might as well have something to occupy the hours."

ADD.: Neal Cassidy | WORDS: 806 | NOTES:

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Neal Cassidy
 Posted: Jul 31 2017, 05:59 AM
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“People usually seem to.” Neal looked at her letting out a soft sigh. He usually sounded a lot more confident then he felt right now. Neal sounded sure of himself, but, inside he was nothing, but, a boy full of insecurities who just wanted to feel loved again. Neal didn't want this image being let out though, since he knew that it was hard enough being a foster kid, if he showed a lack of confidence then it would just add to the way people treated him. Neal knew that he was smart, but, this whole crime thing wasn't really something he wanted to be a master in. while he had adapted to the foster kid life, the thief life had been one that was kind of just something he fell into in an attempt to survive in this world on his own.

Neal didn't really respond to her next comment, instead just drinking the tea that was in front of him. He was glad it was still hot, and, honestly it reminded him of back with the Darlings. The last thing he had that was closest to a family. Hearing the clock tick, Neal looked up at it, and, just gave a soft sigh. It wouldn't be long before his foster parents woke up, and, realised that he was gone. Of course he had just been intending to find a place to sleep, coming face to face with the owner of the house was not ever part of the plan. She was interesting to talk to though. So that's something at least.

No-one really talked to him this directly anymore. They usually were either bossing him around, or treading with caution with what they said. He hated when people did that, just because he was in this situation. That obviously wasn't going to change no matter how people talked to him. Neal just wished he could have a somewhat normal conversation with people these days. The foster parents didn't care, and, the rest of them just weren't really focused on talking with the trashy foster kid. It was sad that this was the first real conversation and it was about violence and self defence. But, still it felt somewhat nice to have a normal conversation with someone. But, even with this, he wasn't ready to reveal the emotions that hid behind himself. His walls had been building up for years, and, it wasn't something that was going to change anytime soon. Anyone who truly knew his situation would understand why though, not that he wanted anyone to figure that out. “Yes I did see your gun. Doesn't mean it scares me all that much.” Neal said, giving a soft shrug. Neal had seen a couple of guns, aside from the ones that the foster parents had owned, but, told him to never touch. Which he was happy with, since he wanted nothing to do with violence in any right.

Keeping his hands in the pockets of his jacket, Neal just stood there with her, and, looked down as he heard the girl's chuckle. “I have more of a past then you would think. But, that's not important.” Neal was a lot older then he looked, but, that wasn't really important right now. “You can be curious all you want. But, I guess I do owe you for letting me stay here.” Neal gave a soft sigh as he went to sit down on the stool that was behind him, his jeans covering his legs as the cold chill continued to fill the room. “I usually like things that way. And, I usually end up slipping through the cracks.” Neal continued to lean his elbows against the counter that was behind him. “That I'm not.” Neal knew that this was probably an understatement, but, that probably wasn't the point right now. Neal wasn't really homeless persay, more just a run-away who hadn't found a place to sleep yet. He would admit he didn't have luxuries of any kind these days, but, he would manage to find himself places to sleep. And, being a kid made it easier. Neal didn't want to be seen as a foster kid though, so he was ok with her thinking that he was just homeless.

“The truth huh?” Neal asked, giving her a quick glance. “I'm just not used to this kind of thing I guess.” Neal was ok with trading information of course though. Listening to her, he looked around as he examined the paintings that were hanging all over this place. Hearing the fact that they were all fakes made him somewhat curious, but, he wasn't really focusing on the questions of that part. “Well, they do look convincing. For fakes. I could probably figure out something similar if I needed to though. Giving me a few places to stay.”

Neal had never really chosen the life that he had. He was thrown into it, after he was abandoned by both of his parents, and, had nowhere else to go. The petty thieving stuff had just come as he ran away from the homes. He didn't really know what his parents would say, but, heck if they were here then he wouldn't be in this situation in the first place now would he? All Neal saw when he closed his eyes was the moment when he had been let go through that portal, and, hearing his own voice calling out for his papa.

“I guess I could.” Neal said, raising his eyebrows with the cup of tea still in his hands. He took another sip of it, before he put the cup down, and, let out a soft sigh. “Well, the first thing you should know is that I'm not really homeless. I just ran away from a situation I didn't want to be in anymore. I guess I was just drawn to art, because it's probably the only connection I still have to my parents. But, the point is, I needed a place to stay, so that no-one could ever take me back to that again. The system where I am constantly going to keep being treated like a pass the parcel package, until I age out in just over a year anyway. So, I guess the breaking into places thing is the best thing I can do in terms of survival.” Neal then paused before letting out a soft sigh and put his hands in his pockets before looking back up at her. “I have stuff I could sell, but, no-one would probably ever want to do business with a no good foster kid.”


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Jamie Moriarty
 Posted: Aug 4 2017, 08:46 AM
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Elementary

Tomorrowland

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35 years old / 52 posts




just point and shoot
REPEATEDLY.
Jamie couldn't help throwing an intrigued glance his way. "Guns don't bother you?" She smiled over the rim of her cup. Not many people saw her smile, or lived to tell much of it afterwards - if they survived at all. "Most people say that, until they see a gun up close." She inclined her head. "Or if it's pointing at them." She might have been scared of using the real thing on little more than a boy - even using the gun at all, if she were truly honest with herself - but the way she talked about guns was so airy and loose it was like she was talking about anything else. Moriarty was trying to make herself a member of a certain trade, and that certain trade included guns. She had to get used to it, and did, without very little conditioning. She hadn't had much empathy to begin with, and it didn't take much to whittle the rest of it away.

All she had to concentrate on was actually using it for herself, but if all went as planned she wouldn't ever have to use a gun by herself. She'd have people doing that for her, in the idealised picture of the future she held in the privacy of her own mind. Surely she would have bodyguards, agents, people who didn't mind using a gun for her - not because she was weak, never that, but because she was strong enough to make them. Whether Moriarty would be strong enough to make them want to do that for her sake, to protect her because they liked her, was a different thing entirely. But she didn't need to be liked. She had never needed to be liked. 'Liked' wasn't something that would get you success anywhere, much less in her trade. Criminality didn't go in for sentiment.

That was what had attracted her to the business, after all.

If anything a quick bullet to the head was the most civilised part of it all. There were plenty of ways to die in her profession and not all of them were as nice as that. James Bond villain deaths aside guns weren't the be all and end all and, in comparison, they looked practically merciful. With that in mind perhaps she could get used to wielding a gun, in future. But not yet. She had other things in mind with a somewhat more global scale than just being able to fire a gun.

But that wasn't the point. "But, I guess I do owe you for letting me stay here." Jamie looked to him and gave one slow nod, as if to indicate yes, yes you do. "Then I deserve to hear your story." Deserve. A loaded word to use, and she knew it. What could she say? Moriarty prided herself on an ability to worm out the potential for a deal in any circumstance - even if that circumstance were with a boy breaking into her apartment in the middle of the night. She was always hungry for knowledge, thirsting for any new titbit about the world that would help piece it together in more detail, would give her a better understanding of how things fitted together and, too, how it could be taken apart. A story wasn't a story to Jamie, but an algorithm to be segmented, separated into identical episodes and themes to understand a wider truth. Might as well learn something tonight.

If he came out with any information at all. But what he said about the truth was startlingly...relatable. The young mastermind was already mastering how to shut in her emotions - in truth she didn't have to learn. But something young and inexperienced in her responded, like a fisherman's cord snapping tight to the pull of a fish, to Neal's difficulty with the truth. "Who is?" was her patient response, and yet internally there was a glimmer of something almost like recognition. And then it vanished once again, replaced by the paintings - Jamie's own genius, her own interests, herself in all her glory. If the boy had been in any way perturbed by the fact that she had blatantly drawn a line in the sand between 'ordinary' people and people like herself, she didn't see it. "Thank you. I make every effort to ensure believability. They wouldn't sell otherwise." "I could probably figure out something similar if I needed to though." She raised an eyebrow. "You think you could copy my efforts?" Jamie snorted. "If you say so. I must say I doubt it."

No one was on the same level as her - no one. There was no genius alive or dead that could best her. She wouldn't even humour the faintest whisper of that notion.

Fortunately he soon got started on his story - first correcting her that he wasn't homeless at all. She raised an eyebrow at his definition of 'homeless'. As in, not having a home. Running away did sound like not having a home, but she let that one go. What she didn't was art. "Your parents liked art." It was a question, although not phrased as such. Questions indicated...interest. She listened to the rest of his story, about to ask a question only to realise that the system had to mean foster care. Oh. So that was what he meant. Running ragged through the system to prevent going back home. As he finished she frowned. "You wanted to run away from a bad situation, but you still wanted to be close to your parents." Maybe that was easy for someone else to get but to Jamie that was like rocket science. It seemed to her to be somewhat conflicting - like the two feelings couldn't exist together. How did that work? The puzzlement was obvious on her face - one emotion shining bright and clear.

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Neal Cassidy
 Posted: Aug 24 2017, 01:08 AM
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Original [Rumpelstiltskin. Peter Pan]

Enchanted Forest

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32 years old / 1184 posts




Neal looked at the woman as they began to spoke about her deserving to know his story, but, he didn't want to give away everything. In case she decided he was crazy, and, kicked him out. Neal continued to look around and just gave a soft smile, as he raised his eyebrows. “That you do.” Neal said, as he leant backwards against the counter behind him. The word deserved seemed to be a bit strong, but, heck who was he to know that anymore. Neal knew that he had deserved more then he had gotten in his life, even if no-one allowed him to believe it. And, he hadn't believed it himself for a long time either. This woman, the story probably wouldn't be very interesting to her, and, if she was interested in doing something with his father in terms of a deal she was out of luck. Since he was back in a different land, he had abandoned him to this world so that he could do just that.

While the truth was heartbreaking for him to think about, he had gotten good at closing off his emotions to anyone, since it made him seem weak, and, in the foster homes that wasn't a good thing. At the woman's response, Neal just shrugged in response. The truth was he didn't have an answer for that question. So he decided not to say anything. Instead he just stood there and looked around for a moment. “Yeah I guess that's true. Or at least not for nearly as much.” Neal knew that he had the talent to make money from doing his art, but, he wasn't sure what he would do if he was going to do that. “Well I more meant I could figure out my own way to do things to make money from art.” Neal gave a soft sigh as he kept his hands wrapped around the cup.

He decided to just start on his story, starting with the fact that he wasn't homeless persay. More just a runaway. At the mention of art, Neal gave a soft sigh “Um sort of. They were good at it, and, I got their talent for it.” Neal said, giving a soft shrug. Neal put down the cup before he just placed his hands into his pockets as he looked at the girl. He wondered if she figured out what he meant by the system, because it wasn't complicated, and, he would be happy to briefly explain. “It's complicated. I mean, my mum bailed before I was able to build anything worthy of a connection, so art is all I've got for feeling connected to her.” Neal didn't really do things for other people to understand, it was only important if he understood this stuff. When your mother abandons you at 5 years old, you'll take what you can get. Neal decided to just ignore it, and, just continued to look around the room.


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Jamie Moriarty
 Posted: Aug 29 2017, 01:25 PM
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Elementary

Tomorrowland

Jessica is online


35 years old / 52 posts




just point and shoot
REPEATEDLY.
Art ran in the family, clearly. Jamie nodded. "That's not unusual. There are lots of historical artist families." She shrugged. "It's meant to be passed in the genes - art in the blood. For my forgeries I have to know the history of art. The Holbeins, the Tischbeins, the De Mompers, the Boyds..." She trailed off. That was the thing about art; it was steeped in history, couldn't escape the trappings of its own creation. Art could always be tied to some time period somewhere, some family or another. As much as any painter could try to transcend his or her work to the upper echelons of art it was always shackled to the thoughts of the time, the zeitgeist that could never quite be shaken off. Nothing could be understood without context.

And neither did she think could Neal's story. He was omitting details, she knew; he had been since he had started talking, or even since he'd entered the studio in the first place. There was context to be had here, too - not that he was a work of art. Jamie thought no living thing could be. But there was nothing to actually glean from what he was saying right now about where he came from. Normally she could detect that. She regarded him quietly. He wasn't from here, so where was he from? She wouldn't have been so interested but there was something going on. Mum. Was he British, then, like her? Or something else...?

That wasn't her question, though. "Your mother left?" Her hands cupped her mug for warmth. Damn it all. She was asking questions now, as she looked at him with searching eyes. "And you weren't angry? At her? Or your father?" Maybe to someone else these feelings were easy to discern. Jamie, though, had always struggled - and she was struggling now. "I wouldn't...my parents were always around. Are," she added, correcting herself. They hadn't died, after all. "But I wouldn't want to be close to someone who abandoned me. I wouldn't want to carry on their hobbies. Or I don't think I would." She considered it. "I've never thought about it." She did lots of analysis normally. She had plenty of theories for how things worked and how things should work and how things ought to work, really, in an ideal world. But she'd never gotten the hang of self analysis, or thinking about herself. Not about her feelings - she wasn't meant to have any.

She looked past Neal to the window, a black square showing nothing but darkness and the lights of cars going past. "I was the one who abandoned my parents, though. Not the other way around. Only got myself to blame." Her voice was without sneer or even the whisper of a retort - just said, nothing more. Moriarty looked around the room darkly. It wasn't her room, nor was it anywhere familiar to her. Here she was, in a foreign country and far from home. She wasn't meant to be here, probably. Not in the grand scheme of things. This wasn't what young women were meant to do with their lives - just drop everything and become a criminal. But now she was on this path she couldn't go back, come what may.

Maybe the self-professed psychopath really was missing home more than she wanted to admit. She was aware she shouldn't be telling him this really, but he probably wasn't interested and she had to convince herself more than anyone. "They don't know I'm here." She began to swing her leg back and forth where she sat on the high stool. "They don't know what I'm doing. Forgeries aren't all I do, and - they can't get in the way of that. They wouldn't understand. My parents wanted different things to me."

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Neal Cassidy
 Posted: Sep 24 2017, 02:10 AM
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Original [Rumpelstiltskin. Peter Pan]

Enchanted Forest

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32 years old / 1184 posts




“Yeah she did.” Neal said, lowering his head kind of saddened. He felt the warmth of the mug as he let it sit for a moment. He wasn't used to actually having conversations with these people. Normally if he heard someone inside, Neal bolted before someone saw him. “Well I didn't know my mother had abandoned me until I'd already been abandoned by my father. But, then again anger is a waste of time.” Neal had been angry at him, at both of them at first. But, it had been more to do with pain, and, he knew that being angry wasn't going to change that. “I wish mine were. Or something similar.” Neal had desperately wanted something even close to resembling a parent in his life since the moment he ended up back in this world, but, no such luck. At her next words, Neal ran his hands up and down his arms for a moment before looking down at the ground. “Yeah, well when you're in my situation, and, you only have one thing that you're good at, you'll take what you can get.” Neal never really focused on any reasoning behind anything. He never really did the whole reasoning and feeling thing, something he had not done since he had been abandoned.

He just focused on the wall behind the other woman for a moment. Neal didn't know what to do, but, he would go to the bus in the morning, go anywhere that wasn't Arizona for a while. “Well, everyone has their reasons.” Neal didn't understand why anyone would choose to abandon their parents, but, then again it wasn't his business. Neal just continued to look around the room, it was unfamiliar, but, then again that was nothing new. He would say that he was a long way from home, but, he would have to have a home for that to come up. Although New York was a bit of a way from Arizona. Neal knew that this kind of stuff is exactly what people expected someone like him to do with their lives. Break in, and, eventually become criminals. They were no good, and, never would be.

Admittedly Neal missed having a place to call home. But, he also knew it was a long way off these days, and, probably always would be. Neal didn't know why he was opening up to this girl, he was certain she wasn't interested, and, he normally didn't open up to anyone. “No-one knows I'm here either.” Neal said, continuing to lean against the counter of this place. “I know that feel. Not wanting anyone in the way. My parents wanted different things too. But, none of them involved me.”


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Jamie Moriarty
 Posted: Oct 4 2017, 09:22 AM
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Elementary

Tomorrowland

Jessica is online


35 years old / 52 posts




just point and shoot
REPEATEDLY.
Jamie watched as Neal hugged his cup. Her eyes narrowed. Maybe she should’ve stopped there, seeing the way Neal was upset. They were treading on dangerous territory - and they were almost total strangers! Talking about his parents had to be emotional. But….even so. Under the analytical framework of her mind - all right angles and sharp corners - there was a deeply buried need to talk. She was young, and hadn’t yet managed the full isolation she would achieve, for a while, in adulthood. And this was…freeing, in comparison. Conversation with someone who didn’t want anything from her, a talk that wasn’t about business or murder or anything in between, had become rare for her. Too rare. And so she reached out to this Neal and ploughed on, without thinking about whether this was too sensitive, something to be skirted over or avoided. She never did. This was good for her, and she was all she cared about.

She watched, and listened - not just to his speech, but to his body language, to those tiny little details that could’ve given him away. It was second nature to the spider, who wanted to know every quivering of a thread, the beat of every fly’s wing and the bounce it made across her web…even the unexpected ones. "‘Anger’s a waste of time’," she echoed. She nodded approvingly. "I always thought so. It blinkers coherent thought, renders us unable to see the bigger picture." A street boy, saying something like that. Jamie wasn’t the sort to make it obvious that she’d made a mistake or an error, but somehow she’d expected something different. Something a bit less…learnèd. "Surely a boy like you should be up for violence." Her eyes turned searching. "But you didn’t look for revenge. That’s what I would have done." Destroyed them for what they did for her. Maybe. Jamie liked to think she would. Whether she actually would…was a very different matter. "Instead you’re just…still running. Taking," she said, quoting him, "What you can get." She inclined her head. "And you're not going back."

"I know that feel." Do you? The thought was quick as a flash. But Jamie relaxed. "No. Neither did mine. They wanted me to go to university - get a degree in something vaguely pretentious, get a good job and settle down." She huffed and muttered darkly, "Or get a husband while I’m there." Husband. Her face contorted. The way she said it was like her parents had suggested bungee jumping without the cord. Getting a partner, as if it was the only thing important for a girl to ever do in her life - get herself a man. Irritation laced every line. That wasn’t the be all and end all of her existence, but just because that was her gender it was expected of her. And that was when she knew her parents could never understand. "You must know by now I’m a criminal." She looked to him plainly, without any sort of pretense. He knew she did forgeries - so what? He was a boy. No one would believe him anyway. She carried on with an idle shrug, as if what she was saying didn’t matter.

Liar.

"My parents would disown me, so I’m disowning them first. And I can’t keep in contact with them anyway. People would use my parents against me." She’d made that choice herself, unlike Neal by the sound of things. She crossed her arms. "I have to," she added, a touch defensively. "I want to - I want to be the best. And that means not having weaknesses. Like people."

Doubt crept into her mind. In her head it all made sense. Not desperate sense, not anything but the logical method to deal with her parents. Criminals weren't meant to have parents - so she'd have to estrange herself from them. Simple. In her cold, hard, theoretical world is made sense. But saying it to someone else, on the other, just sounded….childish. Like she had made up an plan to become an astronaut or a deep sea diver or running an ice cream shop. Something unreachable or impractical or dimwitted. Becoming a world class criminal? There were children still in school who had better, or more solid, ideas. Jamie gritted her teeth. But they’re not me. No. They weren’t. And that’s why she’d succeed, and they’d fail.

Jamie was so wrapped up in her own thoughts she almost forgot about Neal. She shifted on her seat. Outside it was still dark, but she could see tinges of sunrise on the horizon - purple, instead of the inky blackness of before. Under the stark apartment lights was the gun she’d brought here, still unused. It would be a pity to shoot this boy, she thought to herself. He was ripe for analysis. What did his parents want for him? Nothing like getting a partner, she’d imagine. He was that bit younger than her, from what she could tell. What could a teenager want to run away from home for? She didn’t consider herself that, naturally. She was a young woman. Totally different. And that meant she had bigger problems than he did. "So what? Why are you out here, Neal?" She raised her eyebrows. "Did they want you to do your homework on time?"

ADD.: Neal Cassidy | WORDS: 887 | NOTES: GOD AWFUL SORRY!

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