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#time and time again bob moses
katistry · 4 months ago
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hi ♪
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send me "♪" and I will shuffle mp3/ipod/music player and write my favourite line with my handwriting
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rhythm86radio · 6 months ago
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Bob Moses sign to Astralwerks, announce tour dates alongside new single, ‘Time and Time Again’
Bob Moses sign to Astralwerks, announce tour dates alongside new single, ‘Time and Time Again’
It is a lot to pack into one headline—Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance of Bob Moses have had a momentous last few days. Barely allowing the ink to dry on their new deal with Astralwerks, the Grammy Award-winning duo present their latest single, “Time And Time Again.” The indie-electronic offering marks Bob Moses’ first creative output since assisting on Elderbrook’s “Inner Light” this summer.…
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charnelhouse · 4 months ago
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watch your step (7)
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Pairing: TF Boys x F!Reader Wordcount: 14.6K Warnings: gore. alcohol/drug abuse. kidnapping. eventual reverse harem. drunk smut. insecurities. frankie being a dick. benny being a king. Summary: Ben takes her out. A/N: wow this has been the longest time i've taken between chapters. truly sorry. i just have been all over the place and this is one i definitely wanted to get right. many thanks to @frannyzooey again and again for her editing/advice/support. i'd be a mess without her aid. the song i specifically feature in this chapter is Bob Moses's "Tearing Me Up". I got the inspo from this scene in Netflix's White Lines.
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Two weeks. Two fucking weeks and she thought she was losing her mind.
Frankie had completely avoided her. He’d left her half-naked on her bedroom floor. Still shuddering from the stretch of him. Still recovering from the heaviness of his body. His heat. She felt a distinct emptiness from his loss. Ripples in his wake.
She stared at the stain on her carpet. It was rust-red - nearly brown. She’d been unable to get it out and she’d finally brought in the big guns.
Will cocked his head before crouching to the floor. He rubbed at his jaw - beard rasping across his palm. “Did your legs open up or something?”
Something like that.
Her skin flushed at the memory. She’d never confess it and she highly doubted Frankie had told the guys anything. They treated her the same. There were no shared furtive glances or deliberate innuendo.
“Yes,” she said. “I’m sorry I took so long to ask you. I just - I don’t know, I must have forgotten about it.”
She had absolutely not forgotten about it. She studied that stain like it was a piece of art she could not process. She thought it a reminder that she wanted to keep. She wanted to know that what happened between Frankie and her had in fact happened.
Saying that she had forgotten about it seemed like a flimsy excuse. It was quite blatant against the cream weave of the carpet. A dark smudge. A mistake. After Frankie continued to avoid her, she had finally needed it erased. It gradually became a punch to the gut every time she saw it. She’d tried her best to clean it herself, but it only smudged - only spread its edges outward into pale pink.
Will frowned at her. “How are they healing?”
That was so Will. He could care less about the fact that she had pretty much ruined her carpet on purpose. She bent down and lifted one of her leggings to show him. The cuts were there, but faint. They no longer hurt.
He reached out and traced the lines scattered over her skin. His touch was warm and gentle. It was almost unbearable.
“They look better,” he said in a soft voice. She nodded and then shoved the fabric back down. She stepped away from him and climbed onto her bed where Tom slept soundly.
“Thank you for doing this,” she said, hoping it would break the tension that had now swelled in the air. There was always a thick tension: cobwebs of electricity binding them together. She had watched him kill and, still, she felt goosebumps of pleasure split her skin whenever he pinned her with one of those tenderly amused expressions.
He cleared his throat before lifting the bottle of bluish liquid that he’d come in with. He shook it a couple times before pouring it over the stain.
“What’s that?”
“Baking soda, dish soap and hydrogen peroxide,” he answered without looking up. He was focused - zeroing in on the carpet with his lower lip stuck between his teeth. He whipped out a brush device from his back pocket and began to scrub the liquid into the stain.
She tried to avoid gawking at him, but it was no use. His wheat-blond hair was tugged into a knot revealing the jut of his cheekbone. Her eyes roved over the muscles bunching in his back. His white t-shirt did nothing to hide all that definition. She could imagine being spread out beneath him - her nails biting in his shoulders before sliding down to clutch at the solid flesh around his ribs. She still recalled what he’d told her - what he’d promised her. She had yet to act on it. She already felt guilty enough that she fucked Frankie. That had been a mistake. It had been the heat of the moment. It had been a few minutes of insanity.
She glanced at Tom who was now peeking at her with one tiny black eye.
“Don’t judge,” she mouthed and his blush-pink tongue darted out.
Truthfully - she didn’t want to hook up with Will because she was terrified that he’d leave her like Frankie did. She wondered if she had played this all wrong. They were men who had sex served to them on a weekly basis. She was just this forbidden fruit they couldn’t touch and so of course they flirted with her. Perhaps once he’d fuck her, he’d be over it. She’d be something he had expunged from his system.
Frankie had bruised her ego. He’d rammed it into the dirt and thoroughly crushed it with his boot for good measure.
She’d slept in after they’d had sex. She’d practically drugged herself with melatonin because her skin was still vibrating - her legs and cunt ached and sleep would not come to her. When she’d finally awoken mid-afternoon - there had been a pale purple box on her nightstand. She knew what it was just by the damn color scheme.
Plan-B.
Emergency contraception.
Wonderful. She was mortified. She was completely ashamed.
Frankie had no doubt snuck into her room and left it there. She’d promptly burst into tears, which she would never fucking admit to anyone. She’d turned onto her stomach and shoved her face into her pillow and crumpled like a tissue. She hadn’t cried over a guy screwing her over in years and it had been one of Sioban’s golden rules: never let them see you cry.
That along with don’t mix benzos with alcohol unless you’re lying on a flat surface.
While she had sobbed in front of the men numerous times already, she had decided that those really didn’t count. Those were reasonable breakdowns. Those were about life and death and existential crises.
Frankie discovering that he had absolutely annihilated her self-esteem was unthinkable. That applied to all of them. She’d die if they knew.
“Finished,” he announced, standing up. “That mixture can sit there for a couple hours and then we can wash it.”
She smiled at him.
Tom barked excitedly - wiggling in her arms as he desperately tried to reach the man standing by her bed. A grin split Will’s pink lips and it was truly heartbreaking. He was so good looking it made her teeth hurt.
“Better pick him up before he freaks. You’re like the animal whisperer.”
Will swept Tom into his arms - scratching his neck and ears. “I like animals. They’re loyal.”
“You have obviously never had a cat.”
“I could make a cat loyal,” he shrugged. “It just takes a bit of patience.”
“Oh really?”
“Yeah,” he said. “Animals are very dependable. It’s why I use pigs for half of my disposals.”
She sat up - allowing that to sink in. She shouldn’t be surprised. He’d mentioned a pig farm off-hand once. Benny had, too. She didn’t know why he still managed to surprise her when he had only ever been upfront about who he was. Will was a killer and yet she could so easily forget that fact as he cleaned her carpet on his hands and knees - as he cuddled a small, yipping puppy.
His gaze was fixed on her. His expression unreadable. His eyes were that shade of a storm-tossed sea. Light at the surface, but churning dark and foggy beneath the ripple of pale foam. His lips twitched. Her skin grew hot.
He reminded her of Gabriel or Apollo. This man with all his golden handsomeness. His features could appear so cruel before something made him laugh and they became a completely different shade of beauty.
Fuck - she was so into him that it was borderline-disturbing. She didn’t want to fuck it up. She didn't want to take hold of that string between them and have his end rip away.
“Funny,” he muttered as he stepped closer.
“What’s funny?” He took the hand not holding Tom and palmed her cheek. With his thumb - he slowly stroked over the place between her brows.
“You used to get these lines here if I ever mentioned something about my work. You’d scrunch your face up.”
“Did I?”
“Yeah,” he husked and then dragged his hand just a little lower to grasp the hinge of her jaw. He took his thumb again and rubbed it over her lower lip. She was melting - going to liquid right in the deep of her core.
He was warm. He was so warm all over. She wanted to press her face into his broad chest. She wanted him to kiss her. He leaned forward just enough before he paused. There it was - he was waiting for her to close the gap. He had put the decision in her hands.
“That after tonight - if you still want me to - I’ll fuck you.”
She did want to. She wanted it too much and therein lied the problem.
There was the possibility that he’d never look at her like this again. If she gave in - if he fucked her then the myth of her could crumple - could break apart and she’d no longer be this prize to be won. She didn’t want to lose him.
She sat back on her heels and disappointment twisted his gorgeous face. Tom struggled in his grip as he tried for the bed and Will let him go. She needed to puncture the tension.
“So,” she said. “Can I make you dinner as payment?”
***
In the last two weeks, she had gone out of her way to cook the boys delicious meals. Not for them, but for her. She was so anxious over Frankie that she wanted to fill her days prepping and chopping and only thinking about measurements and fresh produce. She lacked for nothing. She’d write a list and they’d supply whatever she wanted.
Pope had even started to come try the things she made. Of course, he’d bring it back into his office, but he still seemed to enjoy her food. He’d lean nonchalantly against the counter as he tasted it. The corner of his mouth quirking at the flavor as he chewed.
“Good?” she’d asked.
“Good.” And then he’d grab a plate and disappear into the hallway.
Kimchi fried chicken. Saffron-spiced bouillabaisse. Beef bourguignon. Salted caramel pots de crème. Flakey buttery dinner rolls. Dan Dan noodles. Strawberry and cream layer cake. Cornmeal waffles with banana bourbon syrup. A homemade hamburger helper that Benny took into his room and refused to share.
She’d had a lot of time on her hands.
She walked over to the fridge with Tom at her heels. He’d become very attached to her - often curling up right at her feet as she cooked. Will leaned over the island - dropping his elbows against the wood butcher block to observe her.
“Can I help?”
She spun around tossing a chunk of parmesan on the counter. “Not really,” she said. “You can grab me a box of pasta out of the cabinet.”
“Which one?”
She felt a twinge of delight at that. Will had always called pasta spaghetti, regardless of type, and she’d gone into an entire lecture about the variety and which went with sauce.
There’s tons! Bucatini, penne, fusilli, farfalle, rigatoni, tagliatelle, ziti, orecchiette -
Okay, okay I get it.
“Spaghetti or linguine,” she replied. “Whichever one you want.”
He tossed her the box and she placed it next to the cheese along with the pepper mill.
“That’s all you need?”
“It’s cacio e pepe! It’s ridiculously easy.” She put a pot of salted water on the burner and then grabbed a pan so she could start toasting the ground pepper.
They slipped into an easy silence. She could feel Will’s eyes on her - raking over her hands as she stirred the starchy pasta water, pecorino, and black pepper with the noodles. They did this a lot and it had become routine. She’d never had company this often. She had always been alone - incredibly isolated as she burrowed into that old house with her mother. She had only ever cooked for herself. Her mother had subsisted on saltines - chewing them to a gloopy pale mush and washing them down with a slosh of vodka. In the penthouse’s gorgeous kitchen, that life seemed far away. It seemed coated in a thick film of dust and one that she had no intention of cleaning off. She didn’t want to go back there.
As she passed Will a bowl of pasta, she leaned forward, pressing her chest across the island to watch him eat it up close. He took a bite and his face dissolved into pleasure.
“So good,” he hummed as he stuffed another forkful into his mouth. She grinned, spinning around to lick the salty buttery sauce off the wooden spoon. Benny would be here any minute and probably starving. He had to be fed every hour or he went all gremlin.
“So I overheard you guys talking about retribution,” she remarked casually. She had been sufficiently kept at arm's length when it came to whatever politics the boys were dealing with. She knew that Frankie had made a move that Santi had not blessed. She knew that he’d acted out on her behalf, which felt strange. He’d gone out of his way to avenge her and then treated her like she wasn’t even there. The day after their tryst, she’d heard Santi yelling at him in his office followed by Frankie’s low retorts.
“Are you going after Baron?”
“Yes,” Will said carefully. “But we are playing it safe right now. The situation is delicate.”
She chewed thoughtfully and then made a comment that she sort of meant as a joke and sort of didn’t. “What if he wins? Would he chop me up? Blow torch my face like in Hostel?”
Will abruptly dropped his fork and it clattered in his bowl. “What the hell? No! Who have you been talking to?”
“Frankie said he’s psychotic.”
“A lot of people say I’m psychotic.”
“Yeah, but - they don’t know you.”
“I torture people, Faire,” he said bluntly. “That’s what I do - what I’m good at.” He picked up his fork again.“And I’ve used a blow torch.”
She absorbed that revelation. It didn’t bother her like it should have. She had begun to see Will as he was in the penthouse. She saw him taking care of her when she’d cut herself. She saw him when he wedged himself between her knees and took her face in his hands and kissed her. All of Will’s previous actions had become flushed with a blurred filter. She couldn’t touch them
- taste them. She didn’t see Ironhead. She saw Will.
It could be a form of Stockholm syndrome. It could simply be that she could not remain in a state of permanent fear and anxiety because her mind would surely break under the pressure.
They had been kind to her and they had given her a reason for it. She didn’t have the emotional capacity to be terrified of the men when she had Santi’s brother after her.
She bit her lip. “All jokes aside - do you think he’d really make it hurt? Like would it not be quick?”
The second the words left her mouth, there was a subtle shift in Will’s features. His eyes darkened - his lips thinning to a hard line as his jaw clenched. He leaned toward her.
“I wouldn’t let him touch you,” he stated in a serious voice. “That won’t happen.”
He declared it like it was law - like it was an absolute truth. She wanted to tell him that he couldn’t promise her anything. She’d told that to Frankie. No one could promise her safety. No one was a hundred percent in full control of her life or her death.
He should know that, but she found herself unable to say it.
***
Frankie was spiraling, Benny thought.
He’d been acting strangely ever since he went full Liam Neeson down at The Wharf. He’d gone out nearly every night - slithering through the clubs - the casinos - their many bars. He was brooding. He was pissed. His skin on tight as if hooks were pierced into his back and stretching him to his breaking point.
“I’m worried,” Santi told him. He was sitting across from Ben in his office. The cityscape rose and fell at his back. The dying sun illuminated the skyscrapers and the bridge over the bay. There was a dull orange in the light. Autumn was coming. “He hasn’t been like this since the wreck.”
Since the wreck…
It was a mass of memory that collided into Ben when Santi brought that up. He was so good at burying it and with one word, it felt as if a meteor had crashed into him - knocking him off his axis. He cracked his neck - breathing deep in an effort to not let it unnerve him.
“Have you talked to him?”
“He’s giving me nothing,” Santi replied. “When I asked about the Wharf, he shut down. He felt justified in it.”
“He was pissed.”
“He was pissed because he’s got a hard on for Charles’s daughter.”
Benny squinted at him as if it was obvious. “We all do, man. She’s gorgeous.”
Santi rolled his eyes. “Regardless - he can’t let this crush start fucking him over. We can’t afford to have Frankie go off on one of his emotional blackout benders.”
“Say that five times fast.”
“This isn’t a joke, Ben.”
“Okay - okay,” Ben threw his hands up. “I know. He’s been weird. He’s been fucking a bunch of chicks while he’s been out. I walked in on him in the billiard room at Mayfair and I had to bleach my eyeballs”
“He’s seen you do worse.”
Ben glowered at him. He had a point. Still, it was strange. The last few weeks, Frankie had been with a number of women - all of them different. Fish choosing not to fuck the same girl wasn’t exactly unusual, but the quantity definitely was.
Santi massaged his temples. “Do you think he’s drinking?”
“No,” Ben said - fairly confident. “I think this is something else.”
Like he’s trying to get her out of his system. He’s trying to forget about her.
Frankie was Ben’s brother in so many ways. He read him and read him with a sharp eye. Like Ben - Frankie was probably trying to erase her via distraction. He couldn’t drink, but he definitely could fuck. Maybe - he was worried about how he’d lost his head. Raged. Maybe - he thought that the girl brought out a more feral side to him. Ben couldn’t remember the last time he’d acted so violently and without a solid plan.
Fish had just done it.
“We have to go out tonight,” Santi finally said after a few minutes. He steepled his fingers - rocked in his leather chair.
Ben blew out a breath. He wasn’t in the mood. “Where?”
“Saints.”
***
There was tension in the group. She had put together that much. She wasn’t sure why. She wasn’t sure if it was because Frankie had acted out and killed two people seemingly on a whim. She wasn’t sure if it was about her or Baron. It was probably everything.
She had - admittedly - been so distracted by Frankie ignoring her that she had yet to ask Pope about the rest of her father’s story. A part of her simply didn’t want to know. It hurt her too much to realize that her father had apparently nursed a paternal sort of relationship with Pope. It wasn’t fair. Here she was being punished for her father’s decisions. Here she was being stalked by Pope’s psychotic brother.
She was just a fucking girl. Boring. Unstable. Depressed.
She pressed her hips against the counter as she reheated the pasta for Ben. She could focus on this. She could run through the ingredients and the steps: salt the water, toast the crushed peppercorns, boil the pasta, add the starchy water to the pan, the pecorino, mix.
If she busied her mind the rest fell away. She sometimes even forgot that she had three bottles of white wine in the fridge.
“What’s cookin, good lookin?”
Ben sauntered inside wearing a pair of gray sweats and a ratty t-shirt. A backwards baseball cap sat on his head.
“Cacio e pepe,” She turned toward him and stabbed her wooden spoon at him viciously. “And never say that again.”
He cocked his head to the side. “But you look hot when you’re pissed.”
She glowered at him and he laughed. “Sorry - sorry - I won’t.”
He slid behind her, dropping his chin over her shoulder to stare down at the pan. He smelled like sweat and cotton. Musky. He’d probably spent a couple hours in the gym. “You’re gonna make me fat.”
She could feel his very flat stomach against her spine. “I’m trying my best.”
They spent the next hour ribbing each other as usual. Benny scarfed down her food while asking about her day. He even cleaned the dishes - bodily picking her up and setting her down on the counter when she tried to do it herself.
Will and Pope entered the kitchen by eight o’clock. Pope looked as he always did: darkly handsome and aloof in his pristine gray suit. Will was dressed in a far more casual outfit: black jeans and a white shirt and boots. The smoky essence of their cologne mingled in the air. The clinical smell of the basil soap Benny had used on the pans.
“Are you wearing that, Ben?” Pope asked - perplexed.
“Nah,” He settled next to her against the counter. He didn’t make a move for the stairs. He just stared down at her bare knee with an odd sort of focus.
Her gaze darted between the men. The vibe of it all felt unsettled - almost nervous. Frankie wasn’t there. She hadn’t seen him at all today though lately that wasn’t unusual.
Will stood over by the sink, crossing his arms. “Where’s -”
Frankie strolled into the room with a girl under his arm. Every head in the room turned to look at him.
The sight of it stunned her. She had never seen him with a woman. She hadn’t heard him with one like she had with Ben and Will. This smacked her across the face.
His face was pale - his stubble overgrown. She quickly glanced down as Ben clasped his hand over her knee - his thumb stroking the skin around it.
The girl giggled and it pierced her - thrust through her guts. Frankie’s date appeared elated to be there.
“Hi,” she said and the boys didn’t respond. An awkward silence sat bloated and inescapable between them. The girl glanced at Frankie, unsure.
Ben’s hand was a firm pressure on her knee. He squeezed it and when she finally looked up, she realized that Frankie was staring at her. His big umber eyes bore into her own and she swallowed.
This was the first time he’d actually held her gaze in weeks. The last time had been right at the beginning of their fuck. His expression was unsteady as he watched her take him to the hilt - as she whimpered and begged him.
His eyes roved over her face - his nostrils flaring - his jaw rolling. His arm heavy on his date's shoulders as she turned her body to seal herself against his chest.
It was too much for her. It was far too much.
She jumped down from the counter - brushing past Will and Pope to go upstairs.
“Have fun,” she shouted in the most cheerful tone she could muster. She felt tears at the back of her throat and she desperately tried to will them away.
***
Ben saw it almost immediately. The second Fish walked in with whoever that was, her expression shuttered - curled in on itself like she was about to cry. Something had happened between them. He had put that much together. Frankie had gone from following her around to completely avoiding her.
What the fuck was he playing at? Frankie didn’t bring girls to the house unless it was after a night out. This made it look like some sort of date.
It’s why all of them had been too shocked to respond to the chick.
This was a deliberate move. He wanted to hurt her or fuck with her.
Had he said something? Had she?
He doubted it. She didn’t seem to take things too close to heart seeing as they’d kidnapped her and now they were on speaking terms - cuddling terms, even. Frankie wouldn’t have given a shit if she had called him every name in the book and then burned his room down.
This was deeper. This was bad.
Had they hooked up? Kissed? Fucked?
It was likely. Maybe - Frankie was now trying to shut her down in the most ridiculous, roundabout way? That was Fish. Always doing the most irreparable damage to try and find a solution.
“Ben,” Santi cleared his throat. “Go get dressed.”
Ben glanced at the stairs where the girl had fled. He felt a tightness in his chest as if he had violent heartburn.
He was pissed. Whatever had happened between them didn’t mean that she deserved Frankie treating her like that. She’d been through enough. She was barely holding it together as it was.
He had a very strong desire to speak to her or at least make sure she was okay.
“I’m going to stay here,” he replied -tone brooking no room for argument. His gaze flew to Frankie who had - if it was possible - gone even more stone-faced. He could see his fingers curling into a fist - his dark eyes focusing on the place she’d just vacated.
Benny analyzed people. He was quite good at it, which was entirely why Santi trusted him to work their clubs - lube up their connections for lack of a better term.
Ben would never be able to get it out of Frankie, but Faire? He could.
He was going to figure out what was going on and he’d need to get the girl in a better headspace. He would settle this and settle it tonight.
***
She rushed into her room, slightly hating herself for it. She needed to get out of that kitchen. She needed to just be alone. There was a sensation like glass - ugly and serrated - twisting through her stomach.
I’m not going to cry. I’m not going to cry. I’m not going to cry.
She curved her fingers into her palm so hard that her nails bit through the skin. This was so fucked. She should have never slept with him because now it was ruined. Now - she could barely tolerate seeing him with another woman. She knew what he felt like inside of her. She recalled in perfect detail how thick he was - how heavy his body was on top of hers - the ferocity with which he claimed her on her bedroom floor. He’d kissed her like he wanted to eat her from foot to cunt to head.
She sighed - pressing her fists into her eyelids until black spots sprang and burst across her vision.
After twenty minutes or so, she heard the boy’s steps in the foyer below. The distinct click of heels on marble. Bitch.
She heard the front door open and shut.
Thank God.
She released a heavy breath. She could crawl into bed and sleep or watch shitty television and hopefully not hear when they came -
“We’re going out,” Benny announced from the doorway.
She jerked - hand flying to her chest.
He was dressed in dark grey pants and a navy shirt along with a black bomber jacket. He held up an enormous bottle of CasaMigos - the liquid sloshing as he shook it. “We’re pre-gaming and we’re gonna go to my club.”
She gaped at him.
He grinned - obviously pleased that he’d surprised her.
“Are you drunk? We can’t leave.”
“I’m not drunk and we can leave. I’ve got business, anyway. It’s an excuse.”
“Ben…”
“Yes?” He was already strolling over to her closet - no doubt ready to sift through the numerous dresses that Pope’s personal shoppers had purchased for her.
They couldn’t go out. There was a price on her head. A big one.
But - it’d be fun.
She wanted to go out with him. She did. Benny was the most persuasive. It was his gift. However, she’d also nearly been killed only a few weeks back. Her prison had gradually become her safe haven. It was a comfort and one she was now terrified to leave. “Is that a good idea?”
“Why wouldn’t it be?”
“Baron?”
Ben waved his hand dismissively. “The club we’re going to is my club. Baron wouldn’t show up there and his lackeys certainly wouldn’t.”
“Someone could tell him.”
“Someone could, but he still isn’t going to do shit,” he assured her. “I have about a hundred people including security working for me there.”
“What about Tom?”
“We’ll leave him with the guards. Gerry loves that little dude.”
She chewed on her lip. She was still nervous, but there was also the bubbling ache of jealousy over Frankie. Sitting at home would make her fiend with anxiety and probably drink the whole damn bar and then she’d burst into tears outside his room or something equally pathetic. She wanted to forget. She wanted to have a good time for once. She didn’t think she’d had a real, true night out since even before her mother had died. She’d lost most of her friends since graduating college due to her own self-imposed isolation.
She needed to forget.
She had no desire to focus on the fact that she had been fucked and totally cast aside. Frankie could barely look at her and it hurt. She was shocked that it hurt so fiercely - that her chest and lungs got stiff whenever he avoided her gaze. Was she hideous? Had it been terrible? Did she not do a good job? She had just laid there. She’d been so consumed - so off kilter because it had felt so sweet. She had just taken what he had given her.
“What about the guys?” she implored. “Pope gets hives every time I walk near the front door.”
Ben shrugged. He turned toward her and held out a silvery minidress that sparkled beneath her buttery bedroom lighting. “They’ll probably be mad and I’ll probably get chewed out, but I’m willing to risk it so that you can have a good time for once.” He sidled up to her - his eyes round and expression playful. “Let’s go get fucked up and dance.”
She couldn’t help the smile that burst behind her lips. He was just too fucking fun. He was a killer and he had drugged her and kissed her and fucked too many chicks for her to count and still he could tug the glee from her. He was so talented at making her not think. Benny’s eyes fell to her mouth and he nudged his knuckles across her cheek.
“C’mon, Faire. Let's go be bad.”
***
The hem of her minidress rode up her thigh the second she slid into the backseat. She tried pulling it down, but it was no use. The strappy shoes had a thick heel, at least.
Benny got in next to her and offered her one of the red solo cups he was holding. She took a sip: Tequila. Soda. Splash of grapefruit.
“Did I get it right?”
“Mmhmm,” she grinned behind the rim.
“Nice,” He spread out next to her - thighs falling open as he threw his arm over the back of her seat. She didn’t mind. Ben took up space, but it was never in a way that felt domineering or rude. “By the way - you look hot as fuck.”
“You told me that already,” she pointed out. “In my room and in the elevator.”
“Well - it’s true.”
She snorted and immediately tried to muffle it behind her hand. She felt giddy. She felt like a weight had been lifted from her - at least for a few hours. Ben’s nonstop compliments were also doing wonders to her ego.
She relaxed into her seat as she looked out the window. She hadn’t seen the world from this level in ages. She digested the thick, rolling mass of the city as the SUV cruised through the streets. They were headed toward the marina - a once very shitty part of town that was now extremely expensive. The lights blurred and fuzzed - melting into streaks of brightness across numerous industrial-type buildings. This was the art’s district - famed for its pop-up art installations and murals and strange sculptures. A concert hall. The latest farm-to-table restaurant where you’d find menu items like beet pancakes or fish roe bucatini or freeze-dried liver with truffles.
She used to run around down here during college. It had weirdly been the best couple years of her life. She’d been away from her mother. She could spend her day going to class and then the library and then party until her feet ached. She’d been out of her fucking mind, but that had been the beauty of it. She’d been a good student in highschool and it was like she could let it all go once she’d left home for the short period that she was able. Of course, she’d also spent her entire junior year doing non-stop molly until the comedowns got so bad that she couldn’t sit with herself for more than ten minutes at a time. There was no joy in spending each Sunday rocking back and forth in your tiny dorm room bed either crying or vomiting.
She’d had zero self control, which was proving to be a facet of her personality. She was getting older and very much not wiser.
She glanced at Benny who was intently reading his phone. He’d slicked back his dark blonde hair and a strand hung over his eyes. He really did have ridiculously nice hair. Thick and the color of honey. The screen illuminated the sharp line of his nose and the jut of his lower lip.
“Do you have an instagram?” she asked.
Benny shot her an indignant look. “Absolutely not.”
“Then why are you always reading your phone?”
“Wikipedia pages,” he drawled as if she was an idiot for not knowing.
“Pardon?”
“I go down Wiki rabbit holes and read about weird shit,” he clarified before handing her his phone. She scrolled up to see the title of the article.
“Why are you reading about codpieces?”
“I was originally on 14th century armor,” His tone defensive. “Sometimes the links just take you for a ride.”
“You’re so strange.”
“You love it.”
“A little.”
“A lot.”
“Is Will this weird?”
“He tortures and dismembers people for a living.”
“Point taken.”
Benny chuckled before sliding closer to her. He smelled remarkable: smoke and musk and mint. His expensive cologne was pressed with spice.
“So what about you, Ms. Faire? Are you a little weirdo?”
Yes,” she replied without missing a beat.
“Go on.”
She took another sip of her drink. The red plastic crinkled between her fingers. She’d have to pace herself. “I don’t know - I was just one of those kids who grew up thinking something was wrong with me. I couldn’t figure it out. I was very in my own head. Fantasized a lot about being anywhere but where I was.”
“So that makes you weird?”
“I don’t know. I think kids could smell it off me. I was just different and I tended to keep to myself.”
“I can see that.”
“I also used to stroll around our garden talking to fairies while wearing a wig.”
He blinked at her. “Yep,” he finally replied. “There it is.”
***
It was still warm outside as she stepped out of the car. The wind swept off the bay and ruffled her hair. It smelled briney - clear and crisp with that fertile tang of the sea. Lichen. Seaweed. Damp moss soaked rocks.
She studied the rows of ugly warehouses. There was no indication that this was a club aside from the extremely long line that spilled from its enormous door. She saw the fine print along the side of the front door. It’d be almost impossible to see unless you searched for it. A place that didn’t need to promote itself due to its exclusivity.
She did a double-take.
“Wait,” She grabbed him by the wrist as he led her to the bouncer. He glanced at her over his shoulder. “St. George’s is your club?”
“Yeah,” he said as if it wasn’t a huge deal.
“Holy shit,” she breathed.
“Is it really that impressive?” He continued to drag her to the door. “Damn - should have told you sooner.”
“It’s impossible to get into! I think I’ve tried maybe ten times.”
“Who didn’t let you in?” His words aghast. “I”ll fire them.”
“Oh shut up.”
***
The first room into the club blew her away. The entire space was a blend of extravagant reds, velvet and dark-wood interiors. Like The Chapel - the vaulted ceiling was covered in art. Opulent paintings of St. George fighting a sinister dragon and the lush beautiful princess at his side. There must have been red gems inlaid into the surface because they sparked and spat like flames. There was a faux historical gloss to the place which was then contrasted by high-shine, modern furniture. Lacquered tables and chairs. Geometric, futuristic chandeliers that hung heavy.
She wanted to stop. She wanted to take it all in. She wanted to stare at the ceiling for hours, but Ben was hauling her after him and she could barely keep up with his long legs.
The next room was narrow, almost a great corridor. The ceiling was made up like the night sky. Violet-blue with scattered pendant lighting that blinked and twinkled. It made the space seem bigger than it was - taller. The true beauty were the trees that lined the path. Olive trees in granite podiums - their branches tangled and knotted as they formed a canopy over them.
“Holy shit,” she gasped as Benny led her further into the club. There were many rooms. Rooms leading into rooms, which made it like an experience. Some areas were oppressive and womb-like - others open and breathable.
“Here we are,” he called over his shoulder as they reached what had to be the main area of the club. Her mouth fell open.
The ceiling was a prism of neon multi-colored lights: cerise, violet, coral, mint, cornflower blue, and burgundy. Blown glass like handful-sized bubbles covered the lights so that they shimmered and bounced in a ripple. There were even neon flowers that hung between the bubbles, bathing the dance floor in a wash of various shades.
A giant screen stood at the far rear of the space. It played what looked like music videos as image after image revolved on a loop. Slicked up dancers. The bright berry lips of a pop star. A boy band from the nineties in white jackets and pants. There was an enormous bar - obsidian and shiny. Booths of various colors dotted the edges and when she looked closely she noticed that some of them had curtains. It was very modern with a geometric flare. It even had tinges of Art Deco. Highly stylized. A wonderland, really.
“Do you like it?” Ben asked - his mouth ghosting her ear.
“I’m speechless.”
“C’mon,” he said. “I’ve gotta network and then we can get a table.”
***
She knew that this was dangerous. Forbidden. Will would rage. Pope might kill her. She didn’t care - not a lick because Benny’s hand was firm around her own. He didn’t meander through the room but slice through it. He was sharp - quick with every note he had:
That’s Drago St. Claire - he owes Santi like a hundred k.
See that chick back there - yeah her - that’s Sylvie - she’s my eyes and ears in this place. We’ve known each other since I was thirteen.
Oh fuck me - I have to talk to this guy. Do you mind? He fucked up a job down in Santo Domingo and if I don’t do it then it’s gonna be Will and we know how that goes.
She was stunned. She had known that Benny ran Pope’s clubs. She had understood that he had responsibilities and that he was most likely good at what he did.
But - this?
Benny was an orchestrator. He dripped through the room - bloomed like the swell of the sun. The crowds oriented around him - many seemingly knowing who he was and treated him with a subtle reverence. He gave orders out of one corner of his mouth while schmoozing out of the other. He knew the most insignificant details about the people who worked for him:
How’s Mary’s ballet class?
Did you fix that pipe that blew in your basement? I can send a guy over.
Really? He dumped you? Well - fuck that guy. You can put all your drinks on my tab tonight.
He kept her pressed to his back - his grip fierce on her wrist at all times. No one seemed to notice her - no one really paid attention and perhaps everyone thought she was just one of his girls - one of the several he had because the boys did have several. She briefly wondered if any of those women would be here.
She hoped not - she enjoyed being like this with him.
She watched him - admired him. He really was gorgeous - that smug, golden shine gilding his features. His prominent cheekbones and sharp jaw and big white teeth. His height, too. She felt safe with him - huddled in his shadow as he guided her with a solid, heavy arm.
You okay? You want another drink? I promise we can relax after I do the rounds.
It had become gradually apparent to her that Benny looked out for her. He was her friend more so than any of the others. Sure there was Will, but that connection was like a livewire. She could barely interact with him without feeling a shock that sparked her blood. Making eye contact with him was like clamping down on a power generator. Santi was cordial. Frankie was…? Well - she wouldn’t go there. Not tonight when this was all meant to be a tool to forget about him.
There were no catches with Benny. There was nothing, but him asking her if she wanted to get out of that glass prison and cut loose.
Maybe - it was a bad idea. Maybe - it was incredibly foolish.
But her gaze was pinned to him and it was like seeing Ben in every new light imaginable. Every stand-out cut of footage that had been their film. Every dramatic fucking angle.
The music continued to pulse beneath her feet - it buzzed hot under her skin. She wasn’t drunk, but the tequila had lifted the cold, black stone that had settled in her gut the last few weeks. She twisted her hips - bobbed her head. It made the air churn with a sweet kind of sensuality. It made her hum with sensation.
Benny gifted her a disarming grin as he spoke to one of the security guards near the end of the bar. His gaze trailed over her - flickered across her chest and the span of her waist as she swayed subtly with the music.
She flushed deep. It throbbed over her bones. It turned her inside out. Molten fucking heat.
“What?” she mouthed and his grin spread wider.
She was about to punch him in the shoulder - smack him for taunting her with that expression when his smile completely disappeared. His face went completely flat.
“Ben!”
The throaty voice burst through the thump of the music. A body shoved past her before pouncing on him.
Marissa.
She was in a backless, silky red top and black leather pants. He returned the hug half-heartedly, but his gaze stayed firmly on her. That familiar pain in her chest began to rise. She felt a tiny bit ill.
Should she go? Should she leave them?
“Hey,” Benny said before quickly stepping away from Marissa. “Didn’t know you’d be here.”
“I searched for you at Saints!” she exclaimed - wrapping her arms around his shoulders - sealing herself to his chest. “The boys said you stayed home, but Gwen texted me that you were here. Can’t believe you didn’t tell me.” She gripped his face to tug him down to her mouth and he staggered backward.
Ben - who was usually so smooth and elegant - seemed utterly caught off guard. He stared at her helplessly as he tried to dodge the brunette’s outstretched hands.
“What the fuck is up with you?” Marissa snapped.
She wanted to be anywhere, but here. She felt awkward standing behind them - shifting on her too-high heels and her short dress. Marissa was gorgeous - effortless in her leather and silk. Ben had complimented her - had told her how good she looked, but still - she felt like she might bust out of her own skin.
Benny’s jaw tightened and then he gestured to her over Marissa’s head. “I’m actually here with someone.” His voice wasn’t rude, but it did lack warmth.
Marissa twisted around and finally noticed her.
“Oh,” she said slowly. “Hi.”
She sounded both pissed and stunned. Her narrowed gaze trailed over her from her feet to her chest to her hair. Her expression was hard as if she was doing her damndest not to sneer or bare her teeth. Marissa was itching to do something to her. She could feel it.
The bitch probably win if she was being honest. She really needed to build up her strength again.
“Hi,” she returned. She really didn’t know what else to say.
“Funny,” Marissa lifted her glass to her lips while crossing her other arm over her stomach. “I thought you were Frankie’s.”
For a second - she thought Marissa somehow knew that she had been with Frankie. But then she recalled that morning in the kitchen when she had first arrived. Marissa had stood there - staring at her blankly while Frankie shoved her behind him.
“I get around,” she drawled flatly and Benny’s eyebrows nearly hit his hairline.
“Seems like it,” Marissa replied. Her tone clipped with barely-veiled resentment.
Marissa chewed her lip before finally whirling back around - decidedly ignoring her existence.
“You wanna come see me later?”
Ben made a non-commital grunt, casting her an irritated glance. He slid around Marissa to get to her, throwing an arm around her shoulders.
“I’ll see you,” He yelled over the music before dragging her away.
He leaned down, his mouth close to her ear. “Sorry about that. She’s kind of needy.”
Kind of. The bitch wanted to skin her.
She didn’t respond, choosing to take a heavy sip of her drink as he guided her to the booths. The burn was delicious and she was just the right amount of buzzed. Marissa could fuck all the way off.
***
Ben always got the best table in the house. The bottle service girl had left a giant silver bowl filled with ice and various alcohols and chasers: Tequila Reposado, Bourbon, Vodka, Champagne. Tonic. Grapefruit Juice. Cranberry.
He poured her a drink - his eyes drifting over her unreadable expression. She was strangely quiet and Ben guessed that it was about Marissa.
Fuck. He had not meant for that to happen. He hadn’t seen her in a week or so - totally blowing off her texts. He poured himself a bourbon and scooted closer to her.
“What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.”
Benny narrowed his eyes before taking her chin between his fingers to pull her face close to his. “You’re pissed.”
“I’m not.”
She was. He could see that reserved look she tried so carefully to uphold begin to leach from her face, making way for something heated.
“You are,” he accused. He drew back from her. “Marissa?”
There it was. A very bright spark of anger flashed behind her pupils. A twitch. The alcohol was no doubt sliding through her veins and making her a little less guarded.
His eyebrows lifted and then he chuckled low and gritty. She scowled before trying to slide out of the booth. “I can leave-“
He grabbed her wrist and yanked her back to him. He practically pulled her into his lap. “Don’t you fucking dare.” He lowered his voice and his breath was hot and damp across her brow. “I’m having the most fun I’ve had in a long ass time.” He circled his thumb over her forearm affectionately. “Now - why do you think I’d ever ditch you for Marissa?”
She bit her lip and he had to stop himself from touching it.
“Because you guys fuck?” she offered lamely.
“I fuck a lot of people.”
“Ugh,” she huffed as she ripped her arm from him and snatched her drink. She swallowed half of it and wrinkled her nose.
He sighed - tapping his fingers against the tabletop.
“I fuck a lot of people, but I do not usually take any of them on dates,” he explained. She paused, opening her mouth and then shutting it again. He laughed. “You don’t need to be jealous, Faire. Isn’t it obvious that I want to spend all my fucking time with you?”
Her eyes widened and it was a sight. She really was beautiful tonight. He hadn’t been just buttering her up. She looked genuinely happy and it did wonders for her coloring.
His attraction to her pulverized his ego. Ben had gotten any girl he wanted. Any. Girl. It was a joke at this point. The boys had constantly teased him about it.
Ben got women hung up on him. While the other men fucked women and immediately kicked them out the door, Ben was too playful. He’d let them hang around him - chill in his bed until he’d inevitably forget they were there. They’d get the wrong idea, of course. Mistake Benny’s flirtatious and easy nature for true affection. He was approachable, the others were not.
She tilted her head and arched one perfect eyebrow. “Why do you like me?”
“You’re hot.”
She rolled her eyes. “Seriously?”
“That’s a great attribute! We love hot people in The Cardinals.”
“I hate you.”
He grinned and then placed his hand on hers - twining their fingers together. She let him. “Alright,” he said. “For real. It’s because I think you’re fucking hilarious when you don’t even mean to be. Just deadpan humor. You talk to me like it’s easy - like I don’t owe you something or you owe me. You’re a culinary goddess and I’d eat your food forever.” She simpered at that - the corner of her lip twitching upward as she brought her glass up for a sip. “And you one-hundred percent touch yourself to the thought of me.”
She choked on her drink - spitting tequila across the table before she slapped him hard across the chest. “You’re such a little dick.”
He gasped - attempting faux outrage. “What are you talking about? I have a huge cock.”
She giggled. “Uhuh.”
“You’ve seen it!”
“Okay - okay - it was pretty nice.”
“Pretty nice,” he snorted, scrubbing a hand over his face. “Pretty nice, she says!”
She prodded him in the bicep. “And I do not touch myself to the thought of you!”
“Of course,” he said - incredibly amused. “How could I ever accuse you of such a thing?”
She pulled her bottom lip between her teeth, sucking in air. The sight of it made his cock throb. Her eyes glistened beneath the flash of colored lights. He wanted to know what had happened between her and Frankie without outright asking her. He was pretty sure he knew, but he’d have to be tricky about it.
He took a healthy gulp of his drink - letting the alcohol warm him. He shrugged out of his jacket, baring his arms. Her eyes danced over his exposed tattoos; the black tree with its shadowy branches, the skull, the dragon. All of them scrawled and slithering along his biceps and forearms.
“You know,” he said slowly until her gaze flitted back to his face. “You know who has the biggest dick?”
Her brow furrowed.
“Fish.”
There it was. She started, her lips parting and her eyes widening before she lowered her eyes to his thigh.
A wrinkle creased her forehead and he knew he’d hit the mark. The red and blue lights clashed and streaked her face. He could literally sense her skin beginning to burn - to flush. He studied her intently and decided to just say it.
“You guys slept together,” he surmised. He didn’t want to use fuck. He felt like it was too crude - that it might upset her.
She turned toward the table and dropped her face into her hands. “Yes.”
“Hey,” he soothed - stroking her back. “It’s fine. Honestly - good for you. He’s got the biggest dick I’ve ever seen.”
She laughed into the cup of her palms. It was muffled, but it stank of bitterness.
“Alright - what’d he do?”
She didn’t answer. Fuck - he’d kill him.
He set his drink down and wrapped his arms around her waist. He hauled her into his side, burying his nose into her hair. “C’mon, tell me.”
She blew out a breath. “He didn’t do anything. He just - he just fucked me and left and now hasn’t spoken to me since.”
And was blatantly fucking other women to forget about her.
“It’s not you,” he told her before frowning. “Well - I mean - it IS about you, but it’s not your fault. He probably just flipped out about taking advantage of you.”
“He didn’t.”
“Babe -,” He raised his hand - lifting a finger with each point: “You were technically our captive. You’re way younger than him. You’ve been traumatized on multiple occasions since you’ve been in our care.”
All shit he regretted, but what could he do about it? That’s why he took her out. She needed to breathe.
She gripped his shirt - knuckles pressed into his stomach. “You don’t care?”
“That you fucked Frankie?” He traced his fingers up her arm before moving down - a gentle, soothing pace. “No - I’m jealous that he got to, but not upset that you did it.”
She nodded. The side of her face was firmly sealed to his chest. His heart was thumping - pounding - clattering against his rib cage. He burned for her. He knew it was cliche and sappy, but it was the truth. He burned for her in so many ways - in too many ways to count. She was gorgeous, but she was sweet and if he couldn’t have her, he’d understand.
He’d hate it, but he’d understand.
She lifted her face to meet his.
“Tonight isn’t about him,” she declared.
Benny offered her a soft smile. “It’s okay if it is.
She sat up straighter - clasped him around the neck. Her mouth was a breath from his own. “I like you, Ben. I think about you all the time.” Her eyes darted to the dance floor before they returned to him. He kept his hands on her lower back - his fingers catching on the sequins.
She leaned forward - just enough that his nostrils flared.
“I thought we came here to dance?” she murmured.
Ben grinned.
***
It was everything that she had needed. Bob Moses’s “Tearing Me Up” spilled from the speakers - thumped against the walls. The sensual, brooding beat of it swirling within her.
I don't know what you want from me
So careless in your company
I will follow what you say is true
There'll be no getting over you
“I love this song,” she shouted at him as he yanked her against him.
“Oh yeah?” he laughed as he pressed his chest against her own. His shirt was soft as it slipped through her fingers - his body hard - unyielding. “I’ll have to make a note.”
So we're now playing by your rules
If you're a joker then I'm a fool
I guess there's no catching up to you
She twirled and he moved with her. His enormous hands held firm to her waist and it was all so much. The music pounding between them like the flush of a pounding heart.
If you don't want my affection
Don't lie, you're tearing me up
Cause you've got all my attention
I won't lie, you're tearing me up
She was hungry for this. She clung to Ben as all of her insecurities fluttered into nothing. She felt ripped down the middle - burning inside and out and all of it felt good. Frankie had left her wanting. He had fucked her and left a hole in his wake and Benny knew. He knew and he didn’t judge her for it. He held her closer.
“You having fun?” His mouth at her ear - his hand on the nape of her neck.
“Too much fun,” she replied as he lifted her up and spun her. She felt eyes on her - thousands of them as the lights spiraled and circled and warmed the tops of their heads. Ben was a prince here - a king - Baby-Faced Benjamin and everyone probably wondered who this girl was in his arms. He laughed into her cheek and she tugged at his hair.
Was Marissa watching? She hoped.
She was drunk off the music as she plastered herself to Ben. Their sweat intermingled - his mouth smeared against her temple.
I'm trying to tell your intention
When you lie, you're tearing me up
If you don't want my affection
You won't mind, you're tearing me up
She had come to a realization about Benny as she watched him work. He had this particular expression - a superiority in his sharp-toothed smile. It was a mask - a boyish, wicked veneer for Ben Miller. He’d seduce you with that caramel voice - deep and thick as molasses. You’d stick to it - unable to free yourself as it wrapped tenderly around you and then when you’d least expect it, he’d make his move. He’d kill you or hurt you or demand something you’d have to give.
However - when he interacted with her there was nothing, but startling sincerity in his grin. He was animated. He was charming. He was so warm and lovely that it honestly snatched her breath.
They danced and danced and danced.
And then somewhere along the way the sexual tang to their movements escalated. His hands on her squeezed and stroked. Her grip on him was forceful and desperate.
Her back was sealed to his front as he held onto her hips. She could feel the blunt pressure of his cock against her ass. The line of his jaw swept against her brow as he spoke in her ear with a gravely: “You’re so fucking hot - I want you - I want you - I’ve wanted you”
Between the tremble of the music, the pressure of the hot air and the vibration of the floor she fell into him. He wrapped his arms around her waist and picked her clean off her feet and her hands flew to his face. It was all so sudden as he lunged forward and captured her mouth in a kiss that blinded her.
He drew back momentarily as he dropped her to her feet. He rubbed his thumb over her cheek and then her jaw before he dragged it over her lip and then he licked into her mouth. The beat of the song thrummed and shook through their bodies. It echoed through their kiss.
He was forcing her backward and she went. She stumbled on her heels and he caught her easily. His mouth wouldn’t leave her. It was as if he was glued to her and could’t tear himself away even if he wanted to.
The kiss blended into something else. Furious. Frantic. She knew where it would go and she didn’t want to stop. She tasted the sweet blush of whiskey on his tongue. He cradled her face - held her firmly as he plunged his tongue into her parted mouth. She wanted it again and again - sloppy loose - spinning out.
Her shoulders hit a wall. He crowded her - his arms braced on either side of her head. She could see nothing, but him. His lips were swollen from kissing - he looked disarmed - rocked. She wondered if she looked the same.
The dance floor behind him was just a trembling mass of figures. It blurred and rolled together as a unit. No one paid attention. No one could see and if they did she didn’t care. He regarded her for several seconds as if he wasn’t quite sure where to start.
Finally he sealed himself to her, his hand sliding down her body before she felt it teasing between her thighs. He swept his fingers along the soft plush skin before slipping them against her clothed cunt. She gasped and he removed his hand.
He nosed at her temple. “It’s up to you, baby. We can stop now.”
She shook her head and wrapped her small hand around his larger one - she forced it against her cunt. “Do it,” she panted and he pinned her with a dark smirk that broke her. He hooked his fingers around her panties and shoved them to the side. He slid his fingers through the slit of her pussy. He dipped into her shallowly before tracing up to rub her clit - up and down and up and down at a taunting pace. Her voice keened and she had to bite the inside of her mouth.
People could see. People would know.
Did she care?
“Trust me,” he drawled. “They can’t hear you. Make all the pretty little sounds you want.”
And then he pushed his fingers into her.
She exhaled sharply. She clutched at his bicep - nails digging into the thick muscle. She rocked against his hand as he thrust and curled to the knuckle. His thumb swirled against her clit and she jerked in his arms. She dropped her forehead against his shoulder.
“That’s it,” he coaxed. “That’s it. Your pussy feels so fucking good.”
He exhaled, pressing his mouth to the side of her head. He said her name. He repeated it - the letters punctuated by him shushing into her hair as he urged her to come.
It didn’t take long. She was already so worked up. He kept pressure on the peak of her sex as he fucked her with his fingers. Her climax swelled behind her cunt - made her belly tighten and her skin feel too hot. Her pleasure grew and grew - pulsing inside her with the same rhythm of the music playing above them. It hit her forcefully and she came hard enough that her legs nearly gave out - her thighs trembling around his hand.
Ben drew back to look at her. She’d never seen that expression on his face: it was hungry and dark and fucked out. His gaze was lazy - his eyes hooded as his tongue darted out over his lower lip. He eased his fingers out of her and held them up to the light. It was obvious that they were covered in her - glossy as they caught the colors fluttering through the glass bulb ceiling. He stuck them in his mouth and the sight made her clench again - made her nearly collapse. His brow creased - his eyes narrowed to slits and his nostrils flared. He released his fingers with a crude pop before his damp hands grasped the hinges of her jaw so he could crush his mouth to hers.
She tasted herself. The fleshy salt of her own pussy and Ben’s spit along with the cloying bite of alcohol. He was sealed to her. His body was so large that he could cover her completely - hide her from view. She could feel the bulge of his cock against her stomach.
“Do you wanna leave?” he husked between kisses. She could barely breathe - barely think. She clutched at him - fisted the back of his black shirt now wet with sweat. “Could fuck you in your bed.”
No. No. Too far.
“The booth,” she suggested - although there was a pinch of command behind it. “The booth.”
***
She was out of her mind, but she honestly was past the point of caring. The booth was private enough with its curtains and the screaming bass of the music.
They stumbled into it. His hands all over her. Her fingers caught in his clothes.
“Sit down,” she ordered before she clambered onto his lap.
She straddled him - her thighs spread over his - the hemline of her dress practically above her ass. She cupped his face to stare at him - to admire how good looking he was. She felt powerful like this. This was a give and take situation. This was more than just her getting fucked.
“You’re incredible,” he rasped- expression blushed with awe.
She gripped him tighter. “You don’t even know me.”
“Nah,” he contested before leaning forward and pressing a wet kiss to her throat and then the edge of her jaw. She shivered. “I do know you. I know that you try really fucking hard to look strong. You like to nurture people. You don’t like to be nurtured unless we do it by force. It makes you uncomfortable, doesn’t it?”
She splayed her hand out across his cheek and he nuzzled into it. “Uncomfortable?”
“You don’t know what to do when people want to take care of you.”
“No,” she agreed. “I don’t.”
“Do you want this?”
“Yes,” she said without hesitation. She didn’t know herself. She didn’t know what she was doing or how her desire for Ben had now wrecked her insides. She’d wanted him since they’d kissed in the penthouse’s bar. She needed him in an almost biological way. “Fuck,” he muttered as he dragged her back to his mouth. His lips slanting and pressing - tongue behind her teeth as he devoured her with an unshakeable urgency. It was like he couldn’t get enough. “I’ve wanted this - thought of nothing else.”
“Me too,” she replied because it was true - because this was so different from Frankie. Ben was beneath her and declaring his longing for her - his desire for her over the rest. Worship.
He could feel his fingers trailing over her slick heat. She was soaked from her earlier orgasm - probably staining his pants. “Sit up,” he urged and she did - lifting herself onto her knees with her hands braced on his shoulder. He sunk a finger into her and then a second. She couldn’t hear what it sounded like with the echo of the music, but she could imagine it.
Ben groaned. “Fuck - fuck - I want to get my mouth on you.”
She grasped his belt - fiddling with it until she managed to undo it and then his button - his zipper. His cock sprang free - thick and hard and dripping. She could feel it in the dark - see the shadow of it beneath the onslaught of pretty lights.
He gripped the nape of her neck - his fingers digging into her flesh. He ground himself into her - the strength of him undeniable.
“You want me to fuck you?” He said in that low voice of his - deep and from his chest. “Make you feel good?”
“Yes,” She nodded frantically. “Please.”
Ben hitched her underwear to the side as she helped line him up and then -
Shit.
“Condom,” she whispered. “Fuck.”
His face fell momentarily and she almost cried.
“Kidding,” he grinned before reaching into his jacket for his wallet. He fished the small square package out and ripped it with his teeth. “I’m highly responsible.”
She laughed before smashing her mouth to his in the clumsiest of kisses. “Thank God,” she practically sang against his parted lips.
He slid the condom on and she could feel the blunt press of the head of his cock pushing against her. She could feel how hot he was. She could feel all of him and ever so slowly she sunk down on his length.
His mouth dropped open.
“Fuck, baby,” he ground out. “Your pussy -“ his forehead fell against her chest - teeth scraping the top of her breast. “-fuck - it’s so good.”
***
Ben couldn’t quite believe it. He’d thought they’d fool around - maybe make out on the dance floor, but he certainly didn’t expect this.
He stared up at her and felt his heart shutter in his chest.
She was illuminated with a brand new type of energy. She fisted her hand into his hair - nails scraping across his scalp. She rolled her hips forward and back as she impaled herself onto his cock. Her cunt was tight and slick and molten as the blood rushing under his own skin. He wanted to pick her up and drop her on the table - spread her legs and fuck her on top of it - slide down and lick himself out of her. He wanted to feel her spasm around him - jerk with her climax.
She smelled good like jasmine and tequila and the bite of citrus.
“Please.” she begged as he met her stroke for stroke. He planted his feet and canted his hips to meet her easy rhythm. It wasn’t necessarily frantic - not a screwdriver kind of fuck. It was deep and slow and inexorable. He pressed hard into her - his hands splayed over her pillowy ass. He could see her throat working - her nipples pebble under the skimpy dress.
He dragged the neckline down to bare her breast. He lunged forward - sucking the tip into his mouth - swirling his tongue with a practiced talent. He edged his teeth over the sensitive flesh.
“Ben,” she whimpered. “Benny.”
He wondered how Frankie fucked her - he wondered how it felt and so he found himself bursting out with it. It was strictly a curiosity. Kind of.
He tugged her down so he could keep his mouth to her ear. “Did he feel good, baby? Did he fill you up just right or leave you wanting more?”
She stuttered, drawing back to gauge his expression - maybe to see if he was being serious. A smile spread across his face and he tightened his grip on her hips - he pushed deeper into her and gave her a perfunctory thrust that sent a high-pitched yelp from her mouth.
“It’s okay,” he said. “You can tell me.”
She opened her mouth and closed it again. Pleasure enriched her features - her lashes fluttering in bliss. He wanted to fuck her as if he could fuck her throat. He wanted to inhale her.
“It’s different,” she murmured as she brought her face an inch from his. “This is different,” she repeated with more meaning. They were breathing harshly into each other’s mouths, now.
“Tell me how it felt, baby — did he make you come like I’m gonna?”
***
Did he make you come?
She couldn’t even remember. It had been so fast - so different. Brute passion. With Ben, it was erotic and sexy and slow and quick and everything. Frankie was big, but Ben’s cock was piercing something vital inside her - it turned her inside out.
Ben had seduced her. Ben had taken her out. Ben had freed her from the penthouse and treated her like she was something special. He’d ignored every girl who’d walked up to him. He only had eyes for her.
It screamed inside her. Wailed. Benny.
His thumb was hard against her clit. He was circling - tweaking - in time with each snap of his hips. She rode him - held firm. Her knees chafing on the leather of the booth. The straps of her heels marking her ankles. There were masses of people grinding and dry-fucking just outside these curtains. The music beat inside her head.
Her second climax rushed through her. It lit up her veins and twisted around her ribs. She shuddered against him and he kept on going. His cock like steel - shearing through the sloppy mess of her spasming walls. Everything was so wet and overheated. Her dress was rucked all the way above her hips and cool air drifted over the bare skin of her ass and thighs. Her panties pushed to the side as it scraped against her folds and Ben’s length.
It was a storm of sensations: the thumping bassline of the techno song, the brilliantly colored lights, the sweat slippery on their skin, the blunt heavy pressure of his cock stretching her open as he drove up into her.
“You’re such a little fucking weirdo,” he grunted, kissing her chin. His pace staggered - his body trembling as she clung to him. She held him - embraced him in her arms in an almost maternal fashion. She cradled his face against her tits while he fucked into her. Every second he grew harder - thicker - and she knew he was nearing the end of it.
“Yeah,” she mumbled - breathlessly. “You, too.” She combed her fingers through his hair. He released a groan that vibrated through the silk of her dress. She felt him twitch and pulse inside her as he finished.
When she drew back, she almost burst into laughter at the look on his face. His lids were drooping - his hairline beaded in sweat. He gave her a lopsided smile and smacked her ass.
“Shit,” he said. “Fuck.”
“You’re really a Casanova with that kind of talk,” she teased and he smacked her ass again.
***
When they left - it was as if the club had spiraled into delirium. She had no idea how much time had passed. All she was aware of was the soreness between her legs - the wetness drying along her thigh. Benny’s arms wrapped around her as he sealed himself to her with his chest at her back. His chin dug into her head as he practically carted her forward and out of George’s. His frame loomed and dominated. People made fucking room for them as they cut through the crowd. It felt safe and it felt good for him treat her like the fucking sun after he’d finished fucking her.
He dropped his head and pressed a kiss to her cheek. “Wanna go get McDonalds?”
***
The car ride home was painted in an other-worldliness. That pale blue dawn that turned their skin and swept over them inside the car. She was lying on her back - her head in Benny’s lap. His fingers were greasy from salt as he periodically shoved his hand into the McDonalds paper bag.
This was the hour she used to stagger home after a night out. Alone usually. Drunk or coked up and she’d crawl into her ugly bed with another beer or three in order to pass out. There’d be the song of morning birds - the honk of workday traffic - all of it acting as a symphony that clashed with her violent hangover. It had been the worst. It had been nightmarish.
Now - it felt like magic. She felt pretty. She felt wanted as they were driven back to their home.
Condensation gripped the windows of the car. Her body relaxed as they held each other in comforting silence. Nothing, but the tremble of the road beneath them, the click of the turn signal, the scratch of her sparkly dress on leather.
Silence. Easy Silence.
“Where’s my phone?” he finally grunted as he searched through his coat. He plucked it from his pocket and turned it on. His eyes widened - almost comically.
“Oh shit.”
***
Santi had dealt with stress before. It was in his nature - adhered to his bones as if he had been fucking born with a too-fast heartbeat. It had been the worst when Mateo broke away from them. When his father had refused to listen to him despite the fact that he had set Santiago up to be his heir. He had never understood it. That time had been critical. The best moment for the Cardinals and the Apostles to align. Charles had given his full support and still his father pushed back.
What did it matter now? He thought bitterly. It was done. It had gotten so bad and it wasn’t only because of Charles’s daughter. This whole fucking fight had been a long-time coming.
Mateo now had a reason to move in on his turf.
Santi stared out the great window of the living room. The city twinkled and blinked. It stood long and tall and went on until it hit the pink dawn that was rising at the horizon. This whole city had been a mass of labor and blood and -
He turned back so that he could watch the front door. Will was silent as he sat in one of the velvet chairs. He was leaning forward, hands curled into fists. There was anger simmering beneath his expression that Santi had no desire to unlatch. He knew that Will cared about the girl - certainly more than he cared about any other woman Santi had ever seen him with.
They had to be careful. He didn’t want Ironhead to break Benny’s face, which seemed more and more likely as time passed.
Frankie was stiff - leaning against the wall with his arms crossed and his eyes on his boots. He’d been tense the whole fucking night. He’d been distracted even when they were out.
When they’d gotten home and realized that Ben had run off with the girl, he’d sent his date away. He hadn’t even given her a cursory glance.
“You need to leave,” he growled and she went - bewildered and insulted.
There had been at least ten minutes of absolute chaos. Will tore the house apart. Frankie got on the phone. Santi had interrogated the guards. They had just seen them leave with Ben’s driver. They figured it was fine. Ben told them nothing.
Santi worried that Mateo had possibly threatened them or done something that would force them out. He had felt it in his guts - a real twist of fear that he had failed them somehow.
He didn’t need this. He didn’t need this on top of Frankie losing it. He didn’t need the fucking guilt of her dying when he could have prevented it. If Mateo took her - if he touched her…
Santi shut his eyes - the thought of it made him ill. He couldn’t go there - at least not yet.
“They’re at his club,” Frankie had finally announced - his lips pressed into a thin, unforgiving line. He looked alarmingly exhausted.
“Doing what?” Santi asked - incredulous.
“Dancing apparently? Drinking? Sylvie said that he came in with a girl. She thought it was a date.”
“Ben doesn’t date,” Santi grumbled at the same time that Will remarked: “It probably was a date.”
Santi squinted at him. “Is Ben that stupid? She could be killed out there.”
“Ben’s Ben,” Frankie shrugged - his expression completely unreadable. He appeared slightly upset.
Santi didn’t know what the fuck was going on. It had become increasingly apparent that all three of his men held some sort of infatuation for her. Frankie was trying to make her jealous. Will hung around her every moment that he wasn’t in the basement. Ben had now disobeyed Santi’s orders and taken her out to what? Impress her, he guessed? To Santi’s knowledge, Ben had never gone that far for any chick.
Yes - she was lovely to look at. She was sweet. She was stupidly good at cooking, but Santi drew the line there. He had to. He could not entertain the thought of touching her because he wanted to do right by her father. He had kept her far away.
Even when she had thrown herself into his lap - tears streaming down her face as she begged him to let her go, he refused to comfort her. He couldn’t. He couldn’t blur the boundaries that he had very carefully set up.
He glanced at the dog fast asleep on the couch.
You did get her a puppy. Were you blurring the boundaries there?
Santi grit his teeth so hard his jaw ached. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
The noise of the front door opening tore him from his thoughts. He lifted his eyes to see her stumbling inside with Ben at her heels. The puppy yipped, springing from the couch and bounding over to her. She let out a squeal of joy as she kneeled - scooping him up and pressing her face to the dog’s. After a moment, she glanced at the others and her smile fell.
Santi couldn’t think clearly. He was pissed and he also was highly distracted by the fact that this was the first time he’d really ever seen her in anything other than work out clothes. The dress was obscenely short. The heels elongating her legs. She had make-up on though it was slightly smudged. Even he had to admit that she looked sexy. Okay, maybe gorgeous.
Santi couldn’t control himself as his gaze washed over her before it zeroed in on her mouth. Her lipstick was smeared and Santi cringed. Ben you fucking didn’t -
“Where have you been?” Will said in a soft voice. The question was loaded - bubbling with that rage he kept so carefully buried.
“George’s,” Benny rolled his eyes and the girl leaned into him. When Santi studied her more closely, she looked slightly disheveled. She seemed dazed, but her lips were curved into a pleased - lazy sort of smile.
“It was so fun!” she said as she did a light turn on her heels. “Prettiest club I’ve ever seen.”
She was slurring just a bit.
“Ben,” Santi articulated slowly. “This is serious. What the fuck is wrong with you?”
Benny narrowed his gaze before he strode over to the bar. “She’s fine,” he said. “I wouldn’t have let anything happen to her.”
He reached for a glass and Santi grabbed him roughly by the arm - tugging him backward. “You can’t guarantee that. Mateo isn’t a fucking idiot. If he had seen that as his chance, he would have taken it. You can’t stop him.”
Ben ripped himself away from him and moved back toward the girl. She reached for his wrist - her mouth forming his name under her breath. He shot her a wink before turning back to the three of them.
“Nothing happened,” Ben snapped. He ran a hand through his hair. His cheeks were rosy with a buzz. “We had a good time. She got out of this place for a bit. Get the fuck over it.”
“Why are you treating this so casually?” Santi crossed his arms over his chest.
Ben regarded them for several moments before quirking an eyebrow.
“She needed a night out,” he said carefully, with a deliberate weight to it. He pinned his eyes directly on Frankie - something unsaid passing between them. Santi suspected Frankie knew what he meant, in the way Fish looked at the ground. Still he was struggling to fit the pieces. Ben continued. “A lot’s happened to her. Give her a break.”
“We’re not blaming her,” Frankie finally pointed out. “This is on you.”
Ben scowled. “Dude - you have no room to talk.”
“What does that even mean?” Santi asked, but both men ignored him.
Will remained utterly silent as he sat in the chair. He clenched and unclenched his fists. The muscles in his jaw ticked and his nostrils flared as he regarded his brother with a pointed rage that was beginning to prick the surface. Santi paused.
He had seen Will truly angry a handful of times in his life. He was too controlled. He compartmentalized. But Will had been anxious over her - scared, even. Santi realized he needed to diffuse this before anything happened. That was more important than tearing into Ben.
It seemed as if Ben noticed Will, too because he hesitated before stating. “It’s not healthy to keep her locked in here. I might have gone about it the wrong way, but honestly I don’t really give a shit.”
Will’s eyes darkened even more if that was possible. Santi was at a loss. He couldn’t believe that they weren’t listening to him - that control of this situation was thoroughly racing from his fingers. Ben never pushed back. He’d complain or whine or joke, but he’d never so staunchly defended his actions like this. Actions that were fucking wrong.
He had to be into her. He had to like her far more than Santi realized. This wasn’t just sex or flirting or whatever they had done at the club. It was different. Now - it was interfering with Will and Ben. Frankie, too.
It came out of his mouth before he could stop himself.
“This is why we don’t keep girls around.”
It was stupid to say. She wasn’t even just one of those girls. It sounded ridiculous now that he thought about it. Still - he had said it.
She blinked at him - her mouth parting.
“Santi, man-” Ben said before she cut in front of him and faced Santi.
“Then let me go if I’m causing so much trouble!” Her tone struck him as defensive. The words were thick in her throat - almost wet. She was getting wound up and Santi wasn’t sure how to react. She simply did not understand that going off with Benny had been a terrible fucking idea. Nothing had gone wrong, but it could have. People had seen her. There could be ramifications. He didn’t know how to get this concept through to her.
His own anger began building inside him. Burning. Scratching.
He lacked empathy especially when he was furious. He could be terribly blunt and this time was no different.
It burst out of his throat before he could stop it. He stormed toward her. He needed to push her away. He needed to build up those solid boundaries because everything was getting out of hand.
“Let you go? Who is gonna protect you, sweetheart? You have no friends. No family. You think you can just run off? To where? There’s nothing for you outside of this house.”
She flinched. A beat passed. A startling break of silence.
It was as if the air was sucked from the room. Santi immediately regretted it. He wanted to take it back.
She had to understand. She had to know that her life was on the line and her death would not be an easy one if she were to be caught by his brother. He had to.
She clasped her hand over her mouth and for a horrifying moment Santi thought she was going to cry.
“Shit,” he muttered. “I-”
She dropped her hand and narrowed her eyes to slits. Her teeth flashed.
“I didn’t ask to be here, you fuck.” Her gaze flickered between the three of them. Frankie grimaced and stared down at his feet.
Will held it though - his eyes boring into hers without a single ounce of regret. He stood up and stalked toward her. “I don’t fuck around when it comes to your safety” he disclosed. His tone was cutting and blunt. “Get mad. Stomp around. But - Ben could have gotten you killed tonight.”
“I wasn’t,” she shot back. “I’m fine. Better than fine.”
Will didn’t respond. His expression had gone flat - coldly blank aside from a tiny glimmer of something, which stirred and spat beneath the surface. The vein in his neck throbbed.
Ben came to her defense.
“You need to chill out, man,” he growled and pushed against his chest. “I know how bad you want to fuck her, but - “
Will slammed his fist into Ben’s cheek and he went down. It happened in a flash - a single flaming moment as the tension finally burst. The girl cried out and dropped to her knees beside Ben’s sprawled form.
“What the hell, Will?” She gripped his face. There was an ooze of blood trickling at the corner of his mouth. He thumbed at it, his expression surprised.
“Shit,” he husked as he stared up at his brother. “You’re actually mad.”
Will surveyed them both for a couple seconds. His lips curled and his jaw clenched. That endlessly cold mask had appeared, fitting him like a second skin. Without another word, he simply turned around and stormed up the stairs. The entire room deflated. The sunrise was streaming in through the enormous windows. Santi was done. He needed to sleep. He needed to not think for a while.
Frankie made for the stairs and Santi followed.
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just-hangin-round · 5 months ago
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DIARY OF A SNOW SHOVELER:Moved to Wisconsin this fall.  We heard that summers are fun and winter is beautiful.  We think there is no more beautiful a place in the whole world!
December 8 - 6:00 PM It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses print. So romantic, we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!
December 9 - We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the whole world? Moving here was the best idea I've ever had! Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks.This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life!
December 12 - The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment! My neighbor tells me not to worry- we'll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we'll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I'll never want to see snow again. I don't think that's possible. Bob is such a nice man, I'm glad he's our neighbor.
December 14 - Snow, lovely snow! 8 inches last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so.  The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn't huff and puff so.
December 15 - 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife's car and 2 extra shovels.  Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in Alaska, after all.
December 16 - Ice storm this morning. Fell on my ass on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.
December 17 - Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her. God! I hate it when she's right. I can't believe I'm freezing to death in my own living room.
December 20 - Electricity's back on, but had another 14 inches of the damn stuff last night. More shoveling! Took all day. The damn snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but. they said they're too busy playing hockey. I think they're lying.  Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they're out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they're lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.
December 22 - Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white shit fell today, and it's so cold, it probably won't melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to piss. By the time I got undressed, pissed and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel.  Tried to hire Bob-who has a plow on his truck-for the rest of the winter, but he says he's too busy. I think the asshole is lying.
December 23 - Only 2 inches of snow today. And it warmed up to 0.  The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning.  What is she, nuts?!! Why didn't she tell me to do that a month ago.  She says she did but I think she's lying.
December 24 - 6 inches - Snow packed so hard by snowplow, l broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the son of a bitch who drives that snow plow, I'll drag him through the snow by his balls and beat him to death with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling, and then he comes down the street...at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I've just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents...but I was too busy watching for the damn snowplow.
December 25 - Merry f---ing Christmas! 20 more inches of the damn slop tonight - snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil.  God, I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she's a fricking idiot. If I have to watch "It's A Wonderful Life" one more time, I'm going to feed her through a chipper shredder.
December 26 - Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.
December 27 - Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze; plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him, he only charged me $4,400 to replace all my pipes.
December 28 - Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in. The BITCH is driving me crazy!!!December 29 - 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?
December 30 - Roof caved in. I beat up the snow plow driver, and now he is suing me for a million dollars, not only for the beating I gave him, but also for trying to shove the broken snow shovel up his ass.  The wife went home to her mother. Nine more inches predicted.
December 31 - I set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.
January 8 - Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed ???-Author Unknown
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cazzyimagines · 9 months ago
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Born to be wild - Chapter 3
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Synopsis: Joining F1 as one of the first female drivers you knew was going to be a challenge but you weren’t prepared to deal with one particular asshole on the tracks. With the urge to win so strong within each racer, will romance pave the way? Or will it destroy everything?
Word count: 1.2k
Author’s note: This is more a filler chapter but it still had important information! We're starting to slowly get into the more interesting stuff I know you guys are craving
Warnings: Drinking, mention of drugs
Navigation
Born to be wild masterlist
Previous chapter
You had been to a fair few parties in your time, but none were truly like this.
You and Patrick had arrived together after leaving a meeting with your team about the next upcoming race. As the two of you walked in you were blown away by the atmosphere of it. It felt as if everyone involved in F1 was attending. The music was loud, making you feel like the ground was beating in time with the sound of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. People were pulling all sorts of dance moves like the hump, the robot, the disco fingers and much more. Drinks being spilt over the floor, making it sticky which people then proceeded to walk through and complain about, till they were handed another drink. The top of the hall was covered in a cloud of smoke which threatened the choke you the moment you walked in. Obviously, it was from all the joints that had been lit.
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you” Patrick’s voice rung out but rather than right beside you, now his voice sounded distant and muffled. You tried to turn around to look at him but you were swept away into the swarm of people that surrounded and bumped into the two of you.
“Y/n!” that now-familiar British voice called out to you, and as you turned around on your heel again you saw James approaching you, carrying a glass of what looked to be beer in his hand but you couldn’t say for certain.
“I’m glad you could come, please let me find you a drink. Some of the other drivers are over by the couch in the left corner if you want to join them…?”
“Will do, thank you James!” you say flashing him a smile.
“Always willing help,” he replies, winking at you then walking through the crowd which parted for him like Moses and the red sea. You however didn’t have as much luck. You had to push and squirm your way through, using your elbows to jostle people out of the way until you finally managed to break out into a quieter section.
There you found a few of the drivers sitting on a couch just like James said. Carlos Reutenman, Bob Evans, Jochen Mass and Niki’s teammate Clay Regazzoni.
As Clay spots you, he waves you over, motioning to a place beside him for you to sit.
“Congratulations on 4th place, that was impressive,” he tells you and the other drivers murmur in agreeance. “Would you like me to get you a drink?” he asks, lifting himself off the seat and looking at you expectantly.
“No thanks, James said he was getting me one.”
He sits back down nodding his head, “Ah, of course. Sounds like James.”
You hesitate for a moment, realisation dawning on you, causing you to groan, rolling your eyes, “You don’t think that is James’s way of trying to seduce me do you?”
“It’s James, would you expect any less?” Jochen Mass said, chuckling as he thinks about his teammate and chucks back another drink.
“You seem to not want James to tempt you, most women might call you crazy,” Clay remarked, raising one of his bushy eyebrows.
“I don’t think I should be talking to you about other men Clay…”
“You’re the only woman who’s a driver, or really involved in F1, so who else can you talk to?”
You hesitate to answer for a moment, but sighing you knew it was right, plus it would be nice to get to know the other drivers better than you already did even if it meant talking about some awkward topics.
“Well it’s not that I don’t like him, it’s just that I want to concentrate on racing more. It’s my dream and I don’t want anything to come in the way of that.”
“Well no one says you have to have a serious relationship, it’s not the 50’s anymore” Clay snorts
“Still, I worry how it might affect me.”
“You sound like Lauda. He refuses to go near any woman in case they distract him. I think he’s more in love with his car than anything else.”
Your nose wrinkled at the comparison, “Please, don’t ever compare me to that man again.”
Clay chuckled as he took in your reaction, “Yes, you and Niki have had quite the bumpy start haven’t you?”
“He’s a total asshole! From the moment he saw me he seemed to be disgusted by me and now he’s convinced I have it out for him because we ‘almost’ hit each other.”
“Well, he doesn’t get along with most people if that makes you feel better. Plus he would never hate you as much as he hates James, so that’s something.”
“I don’t want him to like me though!” you exclaim, feeling the anger heat rise within you, “I just don’t want to make any enemies or have to deal with him being an asshole!”
“Asshole? You must be talking about Lauda.”
All your eyes turn to see James approaching, two drinks in hand. He flops down onto the seat next to you, handing over one of the drinks and then instantly he starts downing the other.
“You guessed correctly. We were talking about how much he dislikes me.”
“Ah, you can’t beat me with that one. I’ve been Niki’s number one enemy for years now, I’m not giving up that title for a newcomer.”
James has you laughing and so you raise your drink to clink it with his, “Well cheers to being enemies with Niki.”
“Bottoms up,” James exclaims taking in the rest of his drink.
As you down your drink you can’t help but glance over at Clay who just gives you a knowing look, his eyebrow raised and the side of his lip pulled into a smirk. You knew exactly what he was thinking and you wanted to stop that line of thought straight away.
Yet then again it was no secret that James was attractive in all the right ways, he was funny, you enjoyed his presence and he was kind to you. You didn’t want to be caught in the James trap, you didn’t want to become yet another woman he used and then left in the dust, especially because you two would be working together. But what was the harm of having some fun every once in a while?
The rest of the room seemed to blur the more you and James drank. Clay and the other drivers appeared to slip away. For one moment you thought you might have seen Patrick but his voice was mellow and fuzzy to your ears.
You could see James however as he joined you in your binge drinking, you could feel the way he left lingered touches upon your side. How the two of you danced together in the heat of the room, hands in hands, body on body until you were looking up in his face, and he was staring intently down upon you.
His warm lips finally touched yours. It was sloppy and unorganised, both of you really being too out of it that you didn’t even notice where your lips went, just that you had the vague sense that you were kissing him. His lips were smooth, plump but his breath was stained with the smell of alcohol and cigarettes and it made you want to slink away. Which you did. He barely noticed.
You weren’t sure how you managed to coherently get a taxi back to the hotel but before you knew it your back was hitting the bed and your thoughts all drifted away from you as you slipped into a dreamless sleep.
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supercantaloupe · a year ago
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okay yeah actually, i’ll bite. i’ve got some of my own thoughts about the unsleeping city and cultural representation and i’m gonna make a post about them now, i guess. i’ll put it under a cut though because this post is gonna be long.
i wanna start by saying i love dimension 20 and i really really enjoy the unsleeping city. i look forward to watching new episodes every week, and getting hooked on d20 as a whole last summer really helped pull me out of a pandemic depression, and i’m grateful to have this cool show to be excited about and interested in and to have met so many cool people to talk about it with.
that being said, however, i think there is a risk run in representing any group of people/their culture when you have the kind of setting that tuc has. by which i mean, tuc is set in a real world with real people and real human cultures in it. unlike fantasy high or a crown of candy where everything is made up (even if rooted in real-world cultures), tuc is explicitly rooted in reality, and all of its diversity -- both the ups and downs that go with it. and especially set in new york of all places, one of the most densely, diversely populated cities on earth. the cast is 7 people; it’s great that those 7 people come from a variety of backgrounds and identities and all bring their own unique perspectives to the table, and it’s great that those people and the entire crew are generally conscious of themselves and desire to tell stories/represent perspectives ethically. but you simply cannot authentically represent every culture or every perspective in the world (or even just in a city) when your cast is 7 people. it’s an impossible task. this is inherent to the setting, and acknowledged by the cast, and by brennan especially, who has been on record saying how one of the exciting aspects of doing a campaign set in nyc is its diversity, the fact that no two new yorkers have the same perspective of new york. i think that’s a good thing -- but it does have its challenges too, clearly.
i’m not going to go into detail on the question of whether or not tuc’s presentation of asian and asian american culture is appropriative/offensive or not. first of all, i don’t feel like it’s 100% fair to judge the show completely yet, since it’s a prerecorded season and currently airing midseason, so i don’t yet know how things wrap up. secondly, i’m not asian or asian american. i can have my own opinions on that content in the show, but i think it’s worth more to hear actual asian and asian american voices on this specific aspect of the show. having an asian american cast member doesn’t automatically absolve the show of any criticisms with regard to asian american cultural representation/appropriation, whether those criticisms are made by dozens of viewers or only a handful of them. regardless, i don’t think it’s my place as someone who is not asian to speak with any authority on that issue, and i know for a fact that there are asian american viewers sharing their own opinions. their thoughts in this instance hold more water than mine, i think.
what i will comment on in more depth, though, is a personal frustration with tuc. i’m jewish; i’ve never really been shy about that fact on my page here. i’m not from new york, but i visit a few times a year (or i did before covid anyway, lol), and i have some family from nyc. nyc, to me, is a jewish city. and for good reason, since it’s home to one of the largest jewish populations of the country, and even the world, and aspects of jewish culture (including culinary, like bagels and pastrami, and linguistic, like the common use of yiddish words and phrases in english colloquial speech) are prevalent and celebrated among jews and goyim alike. when i think of nyc, i think of a jewish city; that’s not everybody’s new york, but that’s my new york, and thats plenty of other people’s new york too. so i do find myself slightly disappointed or frustrated in tuc for its, in my opinion, rather stark lack of jewish representation.
now, i’m not saying that one of the PCs should have been jewish, full stop. i love to headcanon iga as jewish even though canon does not support that interpretation, and i’m fine with that. she’s not my character. it’s possible that simply no one thought of playing a jewish character, i dunno. but also, and i can’t be sure about this, i’m willing to bet that none of the players really wanted to play a jewish character because they didn’t want to play a character of a marginalized culture they dont belong to in the interest of avoiding stereotyping or offensive representation/cultural appropriation. (i don’t know if any of the cast members are jewish, but i’m assuming not.) and the concern there is certainly appreciated; there’s not a ton of mainstream jewish rep out there, and often what we get is either “unlikeable overly conservative hassidic jew” or “jokes about their bar mitzvah/one-off joke about hanukkah and then their jewishness is never mentioned ever again,” which sucks. it would be really cool to see some more good casual jewish rep in a well-rounded, three-dimensional character in the main cast of a show! even if there are a couple of stumbles along the way -- nobody is perfect and no two jews have the same level of knowledge, dedication, and adherence to their culture.
but at the same time, i look at characters like iga and i really do long for a jewish character to be there. siobhan isn’t polish, yet she’s playing a characters whose identity as a polish immigrant to new york is very central to her story and arc. and part of me wonders why we can’t have the same for a jewish character. if not a PC, then why not an NPC? again, i’m jewish, and i am not native, but in my opinion i think the inclusion of jj is wonderful -- i think there are even fewer native main characters in mainstream media than there are jewish ones, and it’s great to see a native character who is both in touch with their culture as well as not being defined solely by their native-ness. to what extent does it count as ‘appropriative’ because brennan is a white dude? i dunno, but i’m like 99% sure they talked to sensitivity consultants to make sure the representation was as ethical as they could get it, and anyway, i can’t personally see and glaring missteps so far. but again, i’m not native, and if there are native viewers with their own opinions on jj, i’d be really interested in hearing them.
but getting back to the relative lack of jewish representation. it just...disappoints me that jewishness in new york is hardly ever even really mentioned? again, i know we’re only just over halfway through season 2, but also, we had a whole first season too. and it’s definitely not all bad. for example: willy! gd, i love willy so much. him being a golem of williamsburg makes me really really happy -- a jewish mythological creature animated from clay/mud (in this case bricks) to protect a jewish community (like that of williamsburg, a center for many of nyc’s jews) from threat. golem have so often been taken out of their original context and turned into evil monsters in fantasy settings, especially including dnd. (even within other seasons of d20! crush in fh being referred to as a “pavement golem” always rubbed me the wrong way, and i had hoped they’d learned better after tuc but in acoc they refer to another monster as a “corn golem” which just disappointed me all over again.) so the fact that tuc gets golems right makes my jewish heart very happy.
and yet...he doesn’t show up that much? sure, in s1, he’s very helpful when he does, but in s2 so far he shows up once and really does not say or do much of anything. he speaks with a lot more yiddish-influenced language than other characters, but if you didn’t know those words were specifically yiddish/jewish, you might not be able to otherwise clock the fact that willy is jewish. and while willy is a jewish mythological creature who is jewish in canon, he isn’t human. there are no other direct references to judaism, jewish characters, or jewish culture in the unsleeping city beyond him.
there are, in fact, two other canon jewish characters in tuc. but...here’s where i feel the most frustration, i think. the two canon jewish humans in tuc are stephen sondheim and robert moses. both of whom are real actual people, so it’s not like we can just pick and choose what their cultural backgrounds are. as much as i love stephen sondheim, i think there are inherent issues with including real world people as characters in a fictional setting, especially if they are from living/recent memory (sondheim is literally still alive), but anyway, sondheim and moses are both actual jewish people. from watching tuc alone you probably would not be able to guess that sondheim is jewish -- nothing from his character except name suggests it, and i wouldn’t even fault you for not thinking ‘sondheim’ is a jewish-sounding surname (and i dislike the idea/attitude/belief that you can tell who is or isn’t jewish by the sound of their name). and yeah, i’m not going to sit here and be like “brennan should have made sondheim more visibly jewish in canon!” because, like, he’s a real human being and it’s fucking weird to portray him in a way that isn’t as close to how he publicly presents himself, which is not in fact very identifiably jewish? i don’t know, this is what i mean by it’s inherently weird and arguably problematic to portray real living people as characters in a fictional setting, but i digress. sondheim’s jewish, even if you wouldn’t know it; not exactly a representation win.
and then there’s bob moses. you might be able to guess that he’s jewish from canon, actually. there’s the name, of course. but more insidious to me are the specifics of his villainy. greedy and powerhungry, a moneyman, a lich whose power is stored in a phylactery...it does kind of all add up to a Yikes from me. (in the stock market fight there’s a one-off line asking if he has green skin; it’s never really directly acknowledged or answered, but it made me really uncomfortable to hear at first and it’s stuck with me since viewing for the first time.) the issue for me here is that the most obviously jewish human character is the season’s bbeg, and his villainy is rooted in very antisemitic tropes and stereotypes.
i know this isn’t all brennan’s fault -- robert moses was a real ass person and he was in fact jewish, a powerhungry and greedy moneyman, a big giant racist asshole, etc. i’m not saying that jewish characters can’t be evil, and i’m not saying brennan should have tried to be like “this is my NPC robert christian he’s just like bob moses but instead he’s a goy so it’s okay” because...that would be fuckin weird bro. and bob moses was a real person who was jewish and really did do some heinous shit with his municipal power. i’m not necessarily saying brennan should have picked/created a different character to be the villain. i’m not even saying that he shouldn’t have made bob moses a lich (although, again, it doesn’t 100% sit right with me). but my point here is that bob moses is one of a grand total of three canon jewish characters in tuc, of which only two humans, of whom he is the one you’d most easily guess would be jewish and is the most influenced by antisemitic stereotypes/tropes. had there been more jewish representation in the show at all, even just some neutral jewish NPCs, this would not be as much of a problem as it is to me. but halfway through season 2, so far, this is literally all we get. and that bums me out.
listen, i really like tuc. i love d20. but the fact that it is set in a real world place with real world people does inherently raise challenges when it comes to ethical cultural representation. especially when the medium of the show is a game whose creatures, lore, and mechanics have been historically rooted in some questionable racial/cultural views. and dnd is making progress to correct some of those misguided views of older sourcebooks by updating them to more equitably reflect real world racial/cultural sensitivities; that’s a good thing! but these seasons, of course, were recorded before that. the game itself has some questionable cultural stuff baked into it, and that is (almost necessarily) going to be brought to the table in a campaign set in a real-world place filled with real-world people of diverse real-world cultures. the cast can have sensitivity consultants and empathy and the best intentions in the world, and they’ll still fuck up from time to time, that’s okay. your mileage may vary on whether or not it’s still worth sticking around with the show (or the fandom) through that. for me, it does not yet outweigh all the things i like about the show, and i’m gonna continue watching it. but it’s still very worth acknowledging that the cast is 7 people who cannot possibly hope to authentically or gracefully represent every culture in nyc. it’s an unfortunate limitation of the medium. yet it’s also still worthwhile to acknowledge and discuss the cultural representation as it is in the show -- both the goods and the bads, the ethically solid and the questionably appropriative -- and even to hold the creators accountable. (decently, though. i’m definitely not advocating anybody cyberbully brennan on twitter or whatever.) the show and its representation is far from perfect, but i also don’t think it ever could be. still, though, it could always be better, and there’s a worthwhile discussion to be had in the wheres, hows, and whys of that.
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thatlongspringnight · a year ago
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The Song of Solomon (Taehyung/Reader)
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⏤ Pairing: Priest!Taehyung/Reader
⏤ Genre: smut, porn w/ plot, romance, forbidden love
⏤ Word Count: 2972
⏤ Warnings: Smut, sacrilege, cunnilingus, sex in a church, sex with a PRIEST, religion, Catholicism, tons of bible references, forbidden romance, oral, fingering, public nudity, sex in a public place 
__ Rating: 18+
Summary: Kim Taehyung left your town right after high school a boyish rake, and returned a pious man. Now you’re together, and the whispered words between you both are only heard by the silent, empty church. 
A very special thanks to Willow who edited this and helped make it beautiful <3 
Tagging: @wwilloww​ @hesperantha​ @jin-fizz​
You shouldn’t be here.  
Here, in the darkened church, the only lights are the flickering of half a dozen candles, here at the front, by the altar, by the crucifix and statues that have always stood here. Here where nothing has changed, since the beginning of time. You feel small, even in the bobbing lights you can see the stained glass, holy mother gazing down at you, clutching her son. Is she passing judgement? You aren’t sure, her expression is the same serenity as always. 
Although at this moment you are anything but serene. 
“I compare you, my love, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots.” His smooth voice, so deep - too deep, like the Nile river itself. “Your cheeks are comely with ornaments, your neck with strings of jewels. We will make you ornaments of gold, studded with silver.” He’s standing in front of you, fingertips brushing your cheeks, gentle but firm as he cups your chin, gaze hot on your own. The verse speaks of love, and it's love in your heart. Forbidden and wildly untamed in your chest. 
No, you shouldn’t be here at all. You should be at home, kneeling at your bed and saying your prayers there. You shouldn’t have accepted his invitation to compline. You definitely shouldn’t have agreed so eagerly when he suggested you read from the Song of Solomon. 
You shouldn’t have. You try to convince yourself, like you aren’t kneeling before him, hands clasped, eyes gazing upward at the giant crucifix. Like you aren’t an active participant in whatever is to come. You try and focus. Eyes trailing up - up -
Up - to Taehyung’s face, the only passion play you could bare to watch. 
“W-While the king was on his couch, my nard gave forth its fragrance.” Your own voice stumbles, at first, tripped up by the echoing drum of your racing heart. “My beloved is to me a bag of myrrh that lies between my breasts - “ A catch of breath - it's yours, it's yours because of those hands, his - warm and rough - cupping your breasts as you read. He’s eye level now, and you swear there is nothing more beautiful than the feeling of his hands on you. Your beloved. Still, you forge forward through the verses. “My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms in the vineyards of En-gedi.” 
“Ah, you are beautiful, my love;” He briefly strokes his thumb across your cheek, and the feeling makes you shiver. His eyes are dark in the candlelight, and molten as you meet their gaze. “Ah, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves.” He recites the words, a poem he knows by heart, fingers trailing under your shirt. “Ah, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly lovely.” Taehyung is slow, nimble fingers taking his time with the buttons. He takes his time, as though he is cherishing the moment, like you are. A comfortable silence, until It's gone, fallen to the floor. Will you be bare here, too, then? A sinner bares their soul in confessional...and you would bare your body here, on the floor in this house of God.
“I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valley.” Your voice ceases to waver, strength hidden in your bones rising up. “As a lily among brambles, so is my love among maidens.” You sigh, and sigh again as his nose brushes your throat, as his hands trace your skin. 
It feels like he is worshipping you, that you are the sacred body here, the red candle flickering in the corner. “As an apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.”
“Taste me.” His words are sweet, poison laced sugar as fingertips press against your lips, part for him, Moses and the red sea, and you taste. Taste the salt of his skin and crave him, crave more. More of his gentle smile, eyes alight as he sees you. More of the firmness of his hands, often on your back as he guided you down the hallways of this ancient, holy place. More of his laugh, still boyish and beautiful after all this time. More of every single piece of him.
“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his intention toward me was love. Sustain me with raisins, refresh me with apples; for I am faint with love.” You...you feel faint before you even say the words. The longing, the love - it makes you tremble. How can you be absolved from this? Why don’t you want to? 
If this is sin - this beautiful, divine feeling - then what is the point of it all? He is David and you are a harp, ready to play his tune. “O that his left hand was under my head, and that his right hand embraced me!” Your voice echoes, his hand cupping your cheek, the other sliding down to wrap around your waist. 
He hasn’t even kissed you yet. This feeling is your own sin, eyes eager to devour the words on the page, to decipher his next move. Overcome, it’s lust licking the sweet tendrils of flame in your belly. Hellfire? 
“Your lips distill nectar, my bride; honey and milk are under your tongue.” He tilts your head back, mouth so utterly close to yours. But he doesn’t move any closer, even as you feel the warmth of his breath on your face, the press of his body against yours. 
Is he...is he toying with you? And yet, the thought doesn’t match the desperation of his gaze. The way his hands tremble when they touch you. “The scent of your garments is like the scent of Lebanon. A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a garden locked, a fountain sealed.” The words are choked and you understand. 
You are locked to him, forbidden, closed. If you want him...you must be the one to open the gate. He won’t go forward without it, without knowing that it isn’t just him that wants this - this beautiful, terrifying thing. You want it, want him, want every drop of his love that he’ll offer you. 
“A garden.” You break the silence, the holy book in your hands clattering to the ground. “Solomon built the temple. He was a priest and a king, a man. Like you.” The implication is clear. Solomon was no celibate. And this time it’s you, gripping his face: “this is not a sin to absolve me of father.” It’s your lips on his. Desperate and wanting, you kiss him like a woman starved, and you are starved...starved for him, this culmination of all of your wants, here in front of you. 
He could tread in your garden as he liked. So long as you could taste the nectar of his lips - You would find the milk and honey of his body. Forbidden fruit - let his juices soak you to your core. 
“Not a sin?” Taehyung’s voice, deep in your ear, hoarse. “Fucking a priest in your church isn’t a sin?” His voice is deep, and there is an edge there, a hoarseness that would match your own. He sounds so - so wanting, it almost shocks you. Like his lips, soft and warm against your neck, fingers buried in your hair, tugging at the strands. 
“Not one for the priest to absolve me of.” You reach up, grasping at his collar. “How can I be forgiven if I am not sorry?” What has come over you? The words are bold, foreign on your lips - but you mean them, pulling him back to kiss him again.
He’s so warm, and his grip only tightens at your words. You - you want to succumb to those desires, to the sin in your heart that was for him and him alone.
“Guilt. Shame.” The man muses. “Shame, our punishment for trusting the snake. And yet - Solomon called his lover a garden, beautiful….decadent. Perhaps the garden of eden was like his lover - “
“The garden hid the original sin.” Sin, his hands leaving yours to grasp at his belt - the snap of it in the empty air. Sin, him pulling you forward, onto your feet, bruising lips, bruising fingertips on your thighs, as he drug you forward, pressing you against the altar, the sacredest of spaces. “Forbidden knowledge, is - is knowing you forbidden?” He’s the one on the ground now, on his knees in front of you. “Is it - father?” 
“Taehyung.” He grabs at his clerical collar, the white tossed to the ground as he parts your legs. “I am touching you as a man, not as a priest.”
“Maybe you should touch me as a priest.” You can feel him tense. “Consecrate my body, drink of me until we are both holy.” 
“Sacrilege.” He speaks, pulling down your skirt. “And in the house of God no less.” 
“If you will fuck me on the altar, why shouldn’t you -“ 
“It’s the Song of Solomon.” He interrupts you, nimble fingers pulling at sheer fabric, the only barrier between you and him. “Or have you forgotten?” 
“You - you want to finish the recitation?” He nods, barely perceptible, the sound of his voice as he tugs your sheer underwear down your legs, slowly - so slowly, taking time like he had done with your shirt.
“Your channel is an orchard of pomegranates with all choicest fruits, henna with nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon,” Your underwear hangs around tense ankles now, gaze trained on him. “with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, with all chief spices– a garden fountain, a well of living water, and flowing streams from Lebanon.” He sounds amused, even as he touches you, your sacred space. “A channel, a fountain, ripe fruit for the picking, d’you know of the love Solomon is speaking?”
“Carnal…” that answer was easy. “Desire - carnal love.” 
“More than that, he speaks of this.” A finger, swirling against you, sliding into that part of you you were told not to touch...not that you followed that rule. 
Perhaps that was a sin you could confess to. “Of this act, pleasuring you, and who am I not to follow the words of that famous king...and worship at your font - your well, your garden, till your juices drip down my chin like pomegranate juice.
“Let my beloved come to his garden, and eat its choicest fruits…” You speak, remembering the line even without the bible in your hands. “Please Taehyung…” Your hands grip the altar table, bunching the embroidered cloth under your grip. 
He’s worshipping you, you’re sure of it, with tongue and teeth. It's messy, and he’s not shy, those lips that could stir a congregation with their sweetness, his golden tongue - now they were on you, fingers still in you to the hilt. 
It is not quiet, either. Your gasps barely muffled, the wet, lurid sounds he was drawing from your body echoing in the room. 
How often had you sat in those pews in front of you, how often had you knelt, gazing up at this very altar, bated breath as the transfiguration took place, over and over. 
Now you are transfigured - you will never be the same after tonight, even if you want to be. But there can be no regrets as he murmurs your name against your thighs. As he makes you tremble and gasp, tensing under his touch, falling apart like the walls of Jericho, turning to dust in the wake of his fervent, ardent desire. 
“How graceful are your feet in sandals, O queenly maiden! Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of a master hand.” Slick fingers grip at your thighs, ruddied cheeks meeting your gaze as you pass your tongue over your lips. His mouth - it's wet, and that makes you blush...though you aren’t sure why at this point.
This is adultery, you muse, and of the worst kind. Taehyung is a priest, he’s married to the Church, and yet...and yet it's not communion wine smeared across his lips...no...he’s ripe for kissing with your essence glossed against his skin.
“Your navel is a rounded bowl that never lacks mixed wine. Your belly is a heap of wheat, encircled with lilies.” He’s mouthing across the skin of your stomach, up and up, till he’s standing again, hands at your breasts, gentle kisses more heated the closer he gets to your mouth.
“T-Taehyung.” Your soft murmur of his name breaks his recitations, but only for a moment, his gaze altogether too hungry to be kept occupied for long. “Please - “ Please what? Please what to this beautiful man, who has already given you so much. 
Please more - please don’t stop - please love me.  
 “Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. Your neck is like an ivory tower.” Your neck falls victim to this trap all too easily, tilting to the side as his pretty lips press against it, as teeth mark your skin. It’s painful in a way that pleases you, your body still a shudder of pleasure and desire. “Your eyes are pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim. Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon, overlooking Damascus….” Why is his gaze so sweet? The words barely process as his fingertips ghost over your face, as his lips brush your forehead. 
 “Your head crowns you like Carmel….How fair and pleasant you are, O loved one, delectable maiden, You are stately as a palm tree...and your kisses like the best wine that goes down smoothly, gliding over lips and teeth.” He’s skipping verses, you realize, and he’s asking you for something, something you give. Kisses, like wine, your mouth against his, soft and gentle, and then more. 
This time it is you, it is you touching him, hands unbuttoning his pants, ghosting over the heaviness there. 
“I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me…” You hear his half gasp as you cup him, and you wonder how long it's been since he’s touched a woman. Are you the first one since he left for seminary? Since he returned back to your little town, a man fully grown, to find that he wasn’t the only one who had changed. 
“I-It is.” The man’s words, they’re darling, even as he’s grasping your hands, pulling them away from him, from his cock - out and hard, beautiful too -  even as he’s letting you tangle your hands in his hair, biting at his lower lip. “It's for you.” There is no guile in his tone, nothing in his eyes but honest desire. “For you - I’ll break my vows, over and over.” 
“Come, my beloved…” Your words are choked with emotion, and then cut off completely, because it's him - hot, inside of you. You wonder if he’s surprised that you don’t come to him a fresh and blushing bride, a virgin. But you both have changed, you remind yourself. 
And those changes had brought you here.  
“I’ll be the one to say that.” He grips at your thighs, his strokes as sure and steady as him. Taehyung was the earth beneath your feet, and - and he was the wind in your hair, the air in your lungs, his touches now - heaven sent. 
You know it now: Taehyung is an angel in disguise. Perhaps he’d strike you down when it was all done, for your sins. And you’d gladly go, if it meant this was the last feeling you had, you could die in his arms and spend the rest of your days in hellfire, or in the cold quiet of purgatory - wandering as a wraith, if it meant that he would keep looking at you this way. 
“S-say what?” You stammer, pulling him closer, so close to you, barely caring that he was fully clothed, and you were stark and nude. It seems fitting. Of course you should bare yourself to your priest, haven’t you done it to him countless times before in the confessional booth? Baring your soul and sins out for him to see.
To forgive. 
Your thoughts are idle, and he is murmuring sweetness into your ear, golden tongue - the snake in the garden. No, Taehyung is no snake dripping poison on your tongue. Taehyung is just as much lost soul as you are. You feel so hot under his touch, sensitive, full - on the precipice of it all.
“Come, my beloved.” His voice is almost as amused as it is desperate. “Come…” And you were falling, falling against him, letting him hold you as you trembled. “Come and there I will give you my love.” Love, in spurts and a muffled moan, his body staggering against you, pressing you further into the altar table. 
“Love…” You murmur, breath returning to normal as he pulls away from you. “The love of God to man, or the love of Solomon to his queen?”
“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.” Taehyung answers, ever cryptic. His touch is still warm as he helps you put your clothes back on, touch slow, gentle as he re-buttons your shirt, as he uses your underwear to clean the drips of arousal from the floor. “We are called to love the church as God loves us. But i’m called to love you...like Solomon loved his woman.”  It’s a peck to your forehead, you watch him pocket the sheer material, and this is as much of a confession as you expect, surprised when he pulls you in for a gentle kiss, fingers entwining with your own.“Whatever it means, I won’t deny it, even in death, it will be your name on my lips.”
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For Good (Emily Prentiss x Reader) Period!AU
Summary: It’s been over half a year since Emily Prentiss last left town. She certainly knows how to make an entrance back into her beloved’s life.
AN: This is an Emily Prentiss Period!AU for @vellichor01​ as part of the @imagining-in-the-margins and @sunlight-moonrise​ fic swap. I hope you like it! Reader is GN but wears a dress.
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Your name: submit What is this?
Emily Prentiss. Bit of a wild thing, headstrong, a negative influence. So naturally, she was utter perfection and when Y/N heard that she was back in town, she could not wait to be reunited. It was not until Sunday, five days later, that they would see her in her church best and most becoming in the second pew. Her dark hair were pinned neatly in a bun, intricate and Y/N knew that it would fall out in curls once it was freed. The red of her dress was scandalous against the holier-than-thou congregation. It made Y/N, along with everyone else, wonder why on God’s earth she would be here. But Y/N especially. They knew Emily’s history with the church and the difficulty setting foot in St. Mary’s Church presented for her.
And then Emily looked over her shoulder and caught Y/N with their guilty expression and she smiled. Flawless, the purity of her white teeth to the devilish red lipstick framing them, and a combination of the two in her pink tongue poking out to tease Y/N for their actions. How sinful, and right in the face of Jesus who hung from a cross at the height above her.
They crossed paths again in the aisle after mass. Other congregators parted like the Red Sea to Emily “Moses” Prentiss but she was not a saviour or a prophet of God in their eyes. Y/N joined them in letting her pass, and they caught her gaze once more as it broke from the confident unseeing stare to the oak doors ahead of her. Those eyes creased at the corners, her cheeks lifting though her lips did not smile. They didn’t need to; Y/N knew what she meant. They mirrored her expression for a split second before she was out of their view. They could turn their head to follow her out, but not yet.
Conversations veiling attacks on personal appearance and behaviour as welcoming comments passed over Y/N’s head as they shimmied around the pews. They almost broke into a jog by the time they reached the sun spots glaring off the pavement.  
“Y/N!”
Y/N pivoted to meet Emily in the most amicable and outwardly platonic way possible. That was not however on the cards for Miss Prentiss, who openly embraced Y/N before the remaining churchgoers. Chest to chest, arms in a tight grip, and the scent of freshly cut roses smothered Y/N’s senses. They had to reciprocate, perhaps not with as much joy as they would like, but enough for now.
Emily broke away first and smiled again, a tad restrained for those watching, “I was wondering if you’d like to accompany me for afternoon tea.”
“Of course. When?”
“Now.”
With that, they linked arms and strode off away from prying eyes. Emily’s pace was powered, her jauntiness spreading through to Y/N. Each click of their shoes that took them further away from prying eyes was a delight to hear and they revelled in them.
It took one minute for Y/N to realise that they did not know where Emily was living, or staying, this time. They had instinctively been walking towards her old home that was now occupied by an elderly couple with two Alsatians.
“This way,” Emily flexed her arm to squeeze Y/N’s in the crook of her elbow. Of course, she knew what they were thinking. She always did. She could be one of those carnival psychics if she ever lost that marvellous job of hers.
Y/N lifted the brim of their hat up to see up the road. A path, worn in by travellers’ feet straying from the road, was their new turn. At the end of it, the pair found the stile, its supports and the fence that linked to it married with grass and weeds and wildflowers alike. Emily dropped Y/N’s arm to hike up her skirts and she leapt over the stile. Her feet landed gracefully in the long grass on the other side. Her open palm reached out to Y/N with the same air of elegance.
“You know they call these kissing gates.” Her teeth sparkled in her smile, a teasing tilt of her head catching the sunlight. Truly, she was a temptress. How could Y/N resist her when their hand fit so neatly into hers?
The spare firmly squashed their hat down on their head. Fingers tipped with nibbled nails grasped firmly in case Y/N needed a reminder of the security Emily provided. Lifting their skirts, Y/N let out a laugh as a breeze caught their bare shins stepping over the wooden planks. Another one, louder, when Emily caught their cheek with her lips before they fell at her side.
A hill slid down into the lover’s lake. Ducks’ quacks were carried on the wind, weaving through the grass and sweeping up.
Emily’s eyes still glinted with all their mischief. Suddenly she was dragging Y/N after her in a jog, kicking up their dresses to catch on blades of grass. Her hair fell from its bun. As suspected, it was all curls taking flight behind her, wrapping around each other like a flock of migrating ravens.
Laughs rioting in the air, Y/N’s hat flew away but there was no care for it anymore. Legs carried them faster than they were built.
Bobbing up and down, happy as a duckling, was a row boat by a fishing dock.
“What is this?” Y/N said, smile stuck on their face.
“Your surprise.”
Emily was the one to row the pair out. Her skirts were propped up on her knees to show off her shins. They floated about, along with Y/N’s flyaway hairs like dandelion seeds in the breeze. Glorious sunlight emerged from the last cloud in its path.
Ripples parted the way for the boat, right to the island at the centre. There was always a temptation to go there as a child, but not once had Y/N dared to swim the currents or hire a boat unchaperoned. Now they were glad they hadn’t. Their first and only time onto the island was with Emily. They would never visit without her. Not even if she went away for months again.
Stepping onto the shoreline, out of reach of the waves while Emily dragged the boat away from temptation of drifting. Once satisfied, she took Y/N’s hand again to lead them over to her afternoon tea. She shooed away a magpie from a bush.
“When did you have the time to prepare all of this?”
“I have my ways.”
“Mysterious as the fog.”
Emily flushed at Y/N’s little joke, hiding it in the pink of the gingham picnic blanket she was laying out near the bank. There were reeds, lush, that hid them from prying eyes.
A delightful luncheon was hidden in a wicker basket. There was a new gift: a flask. Initially it had been invented to keep things cold. At least that was what Emily told Y/N as she poured tea into dainty teacups. Between sips, Emily would request an exchange between them: miniature sandwiches or cakes for the toll of a kiss. Thankfully, Y/N was not one for bartering and willingly accepted Emily’s offer. Every. Single. Time.
Roses still hung in the fresh air. Emily wore it as a scent and presented a glorious bouquet for Y/N, all intertwined with ribbons and their petals blooming beautifully. They were clutched to Y/N’s chest as they were fed the last strawberry in the bowl. Chocolate covered. Classic romance.  
The food was filling, far more than Y/N would have liked. Clearly Emily had improved her cooking abilities in her time abroad; they could have gorged on this for days.
Bellies full, lounging together, the sound of the water alongside ducks chattering, there was no need for conversation. Emily’s extravagant actions spoke what she couldn’t quite say: that she was sorry for her absence. Two months extension on her already long sentence away from Y/N. Sentence was a harsh label yet it fit halfway. Emily loved her occupation but Y/N loathed the effects – apart from the little black cat that she’d left to keep them company. It made things a little easier to bear. But they didn’t know how long they could wait for her.
“You can be such a child sometimes.”
Y/N blinked. Then they realised their cheeks were full of the strawberry Emily had offered them, probably minutes ago. They swallowed the fruit that was the same colour as their cheeks.
“You love me,” They said quietly.
With a hum, Emily said, “I do.”
“I’m so glad you’re here with me again.”
Emily looked to the sky with a hand behind her head. Her raven hair sprawled across the picnic blanket and she wrinkled her nose in a squint up at the sky. A preposterously large cloud wafted by, delicate and fluffy with the promise of no downpour.
Her next words were quiet, on the same level as the murmur of the lake swilling up tiny waves on the island’s shore. But even if Emily had been the only sound in the world, Y/N would not have believed what was being given to them.
“For good this time.”
Y/N sat up straight away, causing Emily to shield her eyes from the sunlight thrown at her from behind her lover.
“Really?”
“I’m here to stay.”
“I never believed you would.”
“Believe it.”
If Emily had been sitting up beside Y/N, she would have been knocked over with the force that Y/N’s hug hit her with. They tipped over to the end of the picnic blanket. The dusty earth welcomed Y/N with open arms as they fell into it. The two shared the lipstick in messy harmony, a single strand of Emily’s hair pressed between their lips like a flower to parchment, forever sealing and preserving their love.
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locke-writes · 22 days ago
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Let’s speak, as the bees do - Jean Valentine
Victoria - Jukebox the Ghost
Belong - Editors
A New Mission - Josh Whitehouse
I’d Rather Be Sailing - Adam Lazar & Jonathan Groff
Jason - BONNIE PARKER
Not A Common Man - Matt Smith
Pierre - Ryn Weaver
King - Lilith Czar
The Bad List - Z Berg
Young Blood - Noah Kahan
To Forget You - Z Berg
Berg & I - Z Berg
Canker Sore - Disco Inc feat. fredo disco
Carnivore - Bear Attack!
Sailing - The Happy Fits
White Picket Fence - psykhi
Love Brand New - Bob Moses
Brutal - Olivia Rodrigo
In My Apartment - Philip Labes
temporary tattoo - fredo disco feat. i.am.orange & c0in
Rasputin - Boney M
Washing Machine Heart - Mitski
Look Who’s Inside Again - Bo Burnham
That Funny Feeling - Bo Burnham
Killing Time - Matt Smith & Jonathan Bailey
No Mercy At All - Paul Alexander Nolan
Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
Growing Up - The Linda Lindas
Dirty Town - Mother Mother
Stray Italian Greyhound - Vienna Teng
One Foot In Front of the Other - Emilie Autumn
You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison - My Chemical Romance
Remember Everything - Five Finger Death Punch
Cannibal Queen - Miniature Tigers
Maniac - Conan Gray
Time Stops - Norbert Leo Butz & Kate Baldwin
Song For You - Alexi Murdoch
Francis Forever - Mitski
Louder Than Words - Raúl Esparza
Toxic - BoyWithUke
I’m Not Okay (I Promise) - My Chemical Romance
Mr Girl Hater - Megan McGinnis & Paul Alexander Nolan
Lafayette - Orville Peck
Memories - Conan Gray
Seize the Day - Newsies Film Ensemble
The Mirror (Angel of Music) - The Phantom of the Opera Film Cast
My Boba Manifesto - Chris Fleming
If I Believed - Twisted Cast
What Tim Wants - Dylan Saunders
Murders - Miracle Musical
Waiting - Green Day
The Ends and the Means - Robby Hecht
Jessie’s Girl - Rick Springfield
Sometime Around Midnight - The Airborne Toxic Event
Happier Than Ever - Billie Eilish
In Our Bedroom After the War - Stars
Mama - My Chemical Romance
Listen On Spotify
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deathbydarkelves · 3 months ago
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3 for Jaztul, 13 for Cathala nd Tarinna, and 19 for Everyone 👀 (or just everyone you Have a song for hgghfhg)
Under a cut YET AGAIN
3.) What does their voice sound like?
I want to find a voice claim for Jaztul at some point, but for now I can tell you he's got a bit of that surfer dude vibe. Literally just a Guy.
13.) What are their views on marriage?
UNFORTUNATELY we know very little about marriage/any equivalents in night elf society, I think there’s literally one (1) mention of it in a book somewhere nsbcjd But anyway. Cathala and Tarinne are not super dedicated to the idea honestly, they’re pretty happy keeping it casual from a legal standpoint. Like, they’re definitely in it till death do them part, but they don’t feel a need to go through the ceremony of it. Maybe they will later, but not at the moment. It just sounds like a lot of extra work on top of all the other shit they have to deal with on a daily basis jsdcjnd
19.) If they had a theme song, what would it be?
Tarinne and Ylrith are the only ones with a definite theme, but I wanted a song for as many of my ocs as I could muster, so these are songs I heavily associate with them:
CATHALA: Culling Voices by TOOL. The main reason I associate it with her so much is because of that one shot I did a while ago :P This is a case of the overall vibe fitting the character more than the lyrics do. Pretty sure this song is about schizophrenia or something(?) which does not apply to Cathala, HOWEVER the build up is simply exquisite. Effervescent even. And the "Judge, condemn, and banish any and everyone, without evidence, only the whispers from within" line works pretty well because, well, she's angry, and anger is an indiscriminate emotion. She knows she shouldn't, but she is still willing to hurt people only tangentially related to Sylvanas to get the revenge she wants, people who might have had nothing to do with Teldrassil. They don't even have to be associated with Sylvanas, they could just be standing in her way, even unknowingly, and she will go through them if she thinks she has to. And that kids is what we like to call a Big Issue. Also I like to imagine a cool sequence during the Good Part of the song where she's kicking and punching in time with every strum of the guitar because fuck yeah (not sure if "strum" is the best word there but you know what I mean).
CEDRYN: Toss a Coin to Your Witcher from The Witcher series. It's the song that inspired me to make him in the first place. It's great!! I love it!!! Never seen the show but regardless. This is definitely the type of song he likes to sing, and the sort of song he will eventually sing about Cathala and Tarinne after they meet. He thinks his friends are cool and wants to make sure everyone knows that :) And he's like: We're supposed to be keeping a low profile? Oh, no worries! I will simply sing about you louder so everyone is looking at me and not you in the shadowy corner of the tavern. What do you mean that won't work?
JAZTUL: Breezin’ by George Benson fits pretty well skbxjd Songs to sit in your Hawaiian shirt drinking piña coladas to. He's just a chill dude trying to live a chill life on the clusterfuck that is Azeroth.
NORA: I haven't talked much about Nora because I sorta just want to keep her contained in Black Rain for the time being, along with Sairann, but her general deal is that she's a half-human, half-high elf ranger and bounty hunter. She's also the token straight of my ocs. Anyway uh I think Too Much Is Never Enough by Bob Moses works well for her because... well I don't want to say too much but she needs a lot of money and she needs it bad okay.
TARINNE: Foggy Nights by goosetaf. Never has a lofi song given me this much serotonin. I can't put it into words but this song's melody is what would play in the background of the TV show with my ocs when she's first introduced and during important character scenes with her, y'know? And that's the best I can hope for when it comes to finding character themes.
YLRITH: Playground from Arcane. Literally so perfect for her, I lost my entire mind when I heard it for the first time. Even just the opening line "who told you what was down here" is GREAT because she's got this hidden lair in Stormwind behind a tavern or something that only people who know the Password can get into. "Tell me under the table, what do you seek?" and "make me an offer, what will it be?" are ALSO great because ohhohoo does she love making deals. And the "tell me your nightmares and fantasies," "stay for the night, I'll sell you a dream" parts add enough in the way of suggestiveness that it just brings it all together for my favorite Committer of Crimes and her sixteen girlfriends.
I can't think of anything for Rhoskan, Sairann, or Wazkal 💔 but to make up for it I'll plug my current favorite songs which are Ball and Chain by Xavier Rudd and Pigs, Sheep, and Wolves by Paul Simon.
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allsassnoclass · 5 months ago
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hi hazel! hope you’re having a good weekend so far! i’m currently attempting to write something for school but it’s not going great so i think i’ll call it a night soon and maybe go read a little and have tea to relax a little before sleep! it’s not a true sleepover night without some nice music playing in the background (that’s a lie you don’t need to play music when hanging out with people, i’m just saying this to ask you the following) so i wanted to take the opportunity to ask you for music recs! what are some songs you’ve been vibing with recently? a new artist you’ve discovered maybe? an album that has been on repeat? an all time favourite you’ve rediscovered lately? or a song that’s been stuck in your head all day? literally anything, recently i’ve been craving new music more than ever so i thought i’d ask! goodnight love you xox
em i LOVE you for asking this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
first of all. i hope you have a relaxing rest of your night and that you're fully equipped to do your writing for school tomorrow!
second of all. i have been listening to some interesting things!
as far as songs i've been vibing with, i recently remembered the acapella version of "Shadow Moses" (originally by Bring Me the Horizon) by Choir Noir! i don't know why i vibe with it so much honestly. i'm not a bmth fan, nor is this a particularly interesting arrangement, but i like it.
i have also recently discovered "Kansas City" by The New Basement Tapes! It's sung by Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons fame, and the lyrics are by Bob Dylan from an unreleased song he wrote in 1967.
an artist i discovered semi-recently is Lawrence! It's a brother-sister duo-turned-band. My favorite song of theirs is "The Weather" (may or may not have a songfic idea in my head based on it...), but I also quite like "Don't Lose Sight" and "Hotel TV"
This album hasn't been on repeat lately, but I did listen to part of Bank on the Funeral by Matt Maeson again recently! Some favorites on that one are "The Mask," "Feel Good," and "Beggar's Song," but the whole album is great.
An all-time favorite I rediscovered is "Clairvoyant" by the Story So Far!!!!! it's so good, I love it dearly.
For a song stuck in my head all day, I listened to "Lover, Please Stay" by Nothing But Thieves a few times and that one gets caught quite easily.
Then for a bonus winter song, I really like "Winter Song" by the Head and the Heart :)
join the sleepover!
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rushingheadlong · a year ago
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Merlin (c. 1973-1974)
Merlin were a short-lived pop/glam rock band. The band is largely unremembered today but they had a brief moment of fame when they debuted, and for a moment were considered a rival band to Queen thanks to a two-page spread about them in Melody Maker.
Merlin had several other interesting Queen connections in their short history. This was the first proper band of guitarist Jamie Moses, who would later play with The Brian May Band, Queen + Paul Rodgers, and the SAS Band. (You can hear him talk about Merlin in the Stage Left podcast at about 18:55 in.)
Merlin also featured Paul Taylor on bass, who was the brother of Chris “Crystal” Taylor, and Crystal also briefly worked with Merlin when they toured. As he explained:
As a qualified electrician I built them a lighting rig and started my life on the road with them as lighting designer. An English music paper, Melody Maker, did a two page article on them comparing them to another new band at the time, Queen.  As it happens, both bands wore black and white on stage and both bands were known for the stage show. The paper said they were both hyped and called them something like supermarket rock. The band was called Merlin and one of these two went on to be huge whilst the other disappeared up it’s own.
(More band information and links to their music under the read more!)
Band History
There’s very little information about the band available, and most of it comes from Jamie Moses’s comments in interviews or the recollections of people who remember following them in 1974.
The general consensus appears to be that Merlin was formed from the remains of the band “Madrigal” in late 1973. Most sources say that the drummer, David Wightwick (misspelled as “Whitwhick” on the album) was the only remaining member from Madrigal. However Crystal Taylor says that his brother, Paul Taylor, was also in the original band, and this appears to be confirmed in a Melody Maker article from March 1974.
Regardless, Merlin quickly picked up their remaining members and their first lineup came together with Alan Love on vocals, Jamie Moses on lead guitar and vocals, Bob “Scully” Webb on keyboard, vocals, and guitar, David Wightwick on drums and vocals, and Paul Taylor on bass. 
The band signed a record deal with CBS and released four singles and one LP in 1974, as well as having one appearance on TopPop. They appear to have toured in early 1974, possibly on their own and with the original line-up, and then again later in the year in support of David Essex where Paul Taylor was replaced on bass by Gary Strange.
By the end of the tour the band had disbanded, possibly due to conflicts among the lineup as in addition to replacing Paul Taylor one fan report claims that there were plans to replace Alan Love, the lead singer, during the tour as well.
Music
Merlin’s LP was a self-titled album, simply called “Merlin”, and featured 11 tracks. One of these was “Sweet Sweet Cheatin’ Rita”, which would later become famous after being recorded by Alvin Stardust a year later. The four singles that were released were each backed with a non-album song, and unfortunately I can’t find them uploaded anywhere online (as Merlin’s music has never been re-released).
However, all of the tracks from the LP are available on youtube and you can listen to them in (ok, but not great) quality HERE.
According to Jamie Moses their producer, Roger Greenaway, wanted a glam rock band along the lines of The Sweet or Mud. Those bands are pretty good comparisons for what Merlin’s music sounds like. 
Finally, the TopPop youtube account has the video of Merlin’s appearance uploaded as well:
youtube
To the best of my knowledge, this is the only video of the band performing in existence.
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flintcoded · 4 months ago
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I have only been listening to cigarettes by amir obe on loop for three days but additionally....ofelia by kiltro, devoted by rituals of mine, time and time again - single edit by bob moses, the laying of hands the speaking of tongues by the paper chase, death is the new sex by tunng and convince us both by sa-20
convince us both rearranged my insides (in the best way), death is the new sex, ofelia, and time and time again all affected me To My Core, but all of these, ALL OF THESE, will be in my queue for the next few weeks, TYSM VIN!!
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cartoonsun · a year ago
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@treasureislandpdf tagged me to answer these 30 questions and tag 20 blogs so thank you for that 
(1.) name / nickname:
vincent is technically my full name, but I almost exclusively go by “vin” unless you’re my sister or someone who knew when I was primarily going by vincent, I don’t really like nicknames but I just realized “vinby” would be adorable if you were very close to me or my literal lover everyone else it’s “vin” 
(2.) gender:
there was a time I identified as a trans man, a time I identified as a he/they nonbinary, a time I identified as a woman, and now I sort of identify as a human being with a very strong connection to the concept of womanhood and the presentation of masculinity but with no alignment to anything. I don’t really look at things and align it with my gender it’s just sort of...I exist, my soul is older then gender and my body will die someday but I will live on and whatever I happen to be after will still be me, no matter what form it takes on. I just don’t believe the souls have genders, we’re all performing and I think in this lifetime I want to end all of my little performances. but I am comfortable being labeled as a man/woman/non-binary person there’s no pronoun or alignment that makes me uncomfortable at this particular point in my life. 
(3.) star sign:
I am that very scorpio 
(4.) height:
5’6
(5.) time:
10:18
(6.) birthday:
remember remember the fifth of november 
(7.) favorite bands/groups:
acollective, bob moses, fairhazel, lorn, active child, saintseneca, alt-j, and the people who recorded grandma’s cottage I think I like more individual artists then bands but I’m sure there’s more I’m not thinking of 
(8.) favorite solo artist:
lucy dacus, miley cyrus, mitski, aimee man, jazmin bean, mica levi, dorian electric, tierra whack, and dua saleh
(9.) song stuck in my head:
satin PSICODELIC by sunni colon my sister made me the most amazing playlist called “be your own yolk” and it’s my favorite song off it I keep on replaying it over and over again it’s such an experience 
(10.) last movie:
it was the second wonder woman but for the sake of wanting to watch a good movie I’m about to watch soul with megan 
(11.) last show:
leverage because it’s my comfort show and I needed to watch 4x07 last night or devolve into nothingness 
(12.) when did i create this blog:
this particular blog was created as a men’s fashion blog that I abandoned after I deleted my last main but then when I wanted to start a new one the e-mail I wanted to use was being used for this one so like, september two years ago but it’s only been active again since sometime last summer 
(13.) what do i post:
my personal aesthetics, an interactive diary, and quotes about violence and growing or devolving as people, also selective fandom things including spn which is a show I don’t even like and haven’t actually watched 
(14.) last thing googled:
oh baby you know it’s the 2k stimulus check fate </3 
(15.) other blogs:
I have an explicit blog where I can reblog sexual/gore content without having to tag or filter it because it’s pretty much just for me (if anyone ever wants it then they can ask through messaging/anon but it is very, very explicit) a nancy drew sideblog for the point and click mystery games because it is my most personal and important fandom and has such a small fanbase, and a blog where I keep reference/archive posts to read through before blogging them to my main. 
(16.) do i get asks:
remarkably often/daily for someone who only recently started this blog I have a really interactive follower/mutual base which makes me happy but also surprised 
(17.) why did i choose this url:
I reblogged a picture of someone with red liberty spikes and in the tags I wrote that my goal was to look like a cartoon sun and it just clicked and I haven’t changed my url since. I go through urls really quickly usually but I think I’ve finally found my “brand” and don’t really plan on changing it. 
(18.) following:
pretty much anyone who has an aesthetic I respect I love following blogs and don’t see the point in using this site unless my dash is active and unique every time I log in I like my mutuals but I really will follow anyone I find entertaining or interesting especially if they have good visuals 
(19.) followers:
I think this would surprise some of my followers but I am like four people away from 400 I feel like I give off of the energy of a much bigger blog but that’s the joy of tumblr you know like I have such a tiny audience but a delightful amount of engagement 
(20.) average hours of sleep:
usually eight to twelve hours I absolutely love sleeping and I usually work nights so I don’t often have to give it up 
(21.) lucky number:
13, I have it tatooed on my right middle finger (and a wishbone on my left, they look cute together) 444, and recently I’ve been feeling really communicated with through 3′s and 8′s 
(22.) instruments:
I used to play piano and was not very good at it, and then I took guitar lessons but I flirted with my really pretty instructor the whole time so I could get away with not learning it since it hurt my hands, and at one point someone let me borrow their cello but they did something unforgivable to me so I gave it away to a charity orchestra and have never regretted it 
(23.) what am i wearing:
my blue and maroon knit socks with hearts on the top from a thrift store I worked at in texas, pale green timberland pants I got for four dollars because someone mistagged them, my brother’s thick belt that has two metal prongs on it that you hook through two holes instead of one, a three head tiger shirt from h&m, “my favorite people call me grandpa” green sweater, a brown beanie from my last partner with a sun pendant clipped on it that has holographic star paper on half of it, my lilith pendulum with a nude woman backdropped by a crescent moon from my friend anneka, and my beloved coffin necklace with a screaming mummy in it from my friend lily paired with a black and maroon sun mask I commissioned from my friend michael’s roommate and the skull van’s from the van gogh van collection that are still holding onto life despite it all 
(24.) dream job:
I don’t dream of labor anymore I did all the jobs I want to do now I just want to live off my talents and exist in the way most authentic and pleasing to me. I’m not sure what that is yet. alternatively, if I had to choose a lighthouse keeper, counselor for angry teenage girls (but only if the organization was ethical in a way ones I’ve worked for in the past were not) and dominatrix 
(25.) dream trip:
greece, south korea, japan, pakistan, panama, anywhere with a good museum. honestly, anywhere I haven’t been. 
(26.) favorite food:
sushi, seafood, spicy food, poke bowls, anything that is a protein in a bowl of rice, vegetables, with a delicious sauce like you got me there.  
(27.) nationality
my dad is from panama with an irish father and my mother’s family are russian jewish immigrants so classic melting pot american I suppose 
pan(28.) favorite song:
amen by RITUAL I cannot express what that song means to me but it is on my discovery weekly every year and it just speaks to me like nothing else. 
(29.) last book read:
the infinite noise by lauren shippen which was surprisingly very tender, incredibly romantic, and beautiful in ways I did not expect but felt very moved after I had finished it. the next one I’m reading is dopesick which is about big pharma’s role in the drug crisis in america and a book on knitting that is about to be due very soon. 
(30.) three fictional universes you'd like to live in:
avatar the last airbender verse where I would be an absolutely unhinged firebender, the hollow kingdom verse where I would get romanced by a sexy monstrous goblin king and change his entire economy to one that made sense while he gave me neat trinkets and told me how smart and cool I am, and xmen where I would be very anti-human so technically evil but in a fun and anarchist kind of way that makes emma frost top me 
tagging: @archiesweirdfantasy @jupitersrising @autumnalserenade @puffbadgersandbees @ferriswheeljunkies @greengreymatter @perhapskismet @livepasthope @queer-trashmouth @truckstopcutie @somber-marmoris @4est-nymph @distortedfractals @striffyisme @drowning-in-neon @chubbyfvck @suckmydickofficerbitch @rafinesque @pollyjean @angstybaigum @bluespruce @interactiveglobe else who wants to do it that’s just all the people I’ve recently messaged so if I didn’t add you please feel free to do it anyway this was wickedly fun 
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lovestereo · a year ago
Note
All anonymous single songs requested between September and December 2020 under the cut. Sorted alphabetically by artist's first name from A to Z.
The askbox, along with the anonymous option, will open again soon. Please read my updated FAQ before making a request in the future.
Abhi Dijon - Distant Love
Adeline - Twilight
Ace Tee
ALEXA - Villain, Burn Out, Kitty Cat
Aluna - Envious, You Know You Like It
Alvaro Diaz - Lo Que Te Duele
Amerie - 1 Thing
Andrea Valle - WIYLL, Treat
Angel Haze - Black Dahlia
Anik Khan - Unfair, Choturdola
Anna Wise, Xavier Omär - Easy
ANRI - Cat’s Eye
Aretha Franklin - Who’s Zoomin’ Who?
Aries - FOOL’S GOLD
Arijit Singh - Naina
Ari Lennox - Chocolate Pomegranate
Ariza, Astyn Turr - Sink or Swim
Ashanti - VooDoo
ASTRO - 장화신은 고양이
Audrey Nuna - Soufleé, Damn Right
Aventura - Un Beso
Bad Bunny - Desde el Corazon
Banda El Recodo - Entonces Que Somos
beabadoobee - coffee, The Moon Song
Berhana - Wildin’
Bigflo & Oli - Libre
Big KRIT - 1999
Björk, serpentwithfeet - blissing me
BLOO - Downtown Baby
Blood Orange - Jewelry, Dark & Handsome
Bob Marley - Satisfy My Soul
Bren Joy - Sweet
Brittany B - Company
Brownstone - If You Love Me
Bryson Tiller - We Both Know, Set It Off
boy pablo - te vas // don't go 
CHAI - Plastic Love
Che Ecru - Backflip
chelmico - disco (bad dance doesn’t matter)
Ciara - Thinkin Bout You
Coi Leroy - VVS
Deftones - Knife Prty
Denai Moore - Cascades, 
Destiny’s Child - Killing Time
Destin Conrad - In the Air
DICKPUNKS - Addicted to TV
Dominic Fike - King of Everything, Acai Bowl
Duckwrth - Start a Riot
Earl Greyhound - Back and Forth
Earth, Wind, & Fire - Reasons
EDEN - Why Don't We
El Alfa - Suave, Scarface
Eli Sostre - New Level
ENNY - Peng Black Girls
Erykah Badu - Didn’t Cha Know
Famous Persona - Ivy
Fefe Dobson - Ghost
Fujii Kaze - Hedemo Ne-yo
Gemini - Going
gesu no kiwami otome - Battling
Glass Animals, Denzel Curry - Tokyo Drifting
GRAY - Just Like The Rain
Haru Nemuri - 春ねむり
Hiroshi Sato - Only A Love Affair
Hojean - Let Me, Over 85
IMFACT - NANANA
Inez - Oumi
IU - Peach
IZA - Esse Brilho É Meu
Jadal - Hamm o Bala
Janelle Monáe - Look Into My Eyes
Jamelia - Superstar
Janet Such - Morning
jeerena montemayor - rose
Jessie Reyez - Far Away
JOE CHO - How Much
Jorja Smith - On My Mind
junglepussy - what you want
Justin Park - On The Low
Justin Nozuka, Mahalia - No One But You
Kaytranada, Janet Jackson - If I Was Your Girl, Glowed Up
Kelis - Caught Out There
Kelsey Lu - Church
Kevin Kali, Syd - Do U Wrong
Keyshia Cole - I Remember
Kishi Bashi - Say Yeah
Kiyo - Ikaw Lang
KOHH - ひとつ
Kojey Radical - Cashmere Tears, Can’t Go Back
Krewella - Rewind
Lakeyah - Female Goat
Larc en Ciel - Lover Boy
Lil Ghost - Unicorn
Lim Jae Bum - For You
Lisa Fischer - How Can I Ease The Pain
Little Simz - Selfish
Lypla - I Want You Back
Maluma - Medallo City, Hawái
majiko - 命に嫌われている。
María José Llergo - Niña de Las Dunas
Mario - Never
Mariya Takeuchi - Let’s Get Married
maye - my love
Michael Kiwanaka - 
M.I.A., The Weeknd - Sexodus
min.a - Hour 24
MINA - Good Person
Mika Nakashima - Resistance
Mitski - Cop Car
Monchy y Alexandra - Te Quiero Igual Que Ayer
Moses Sumney - Indulge Me
Muzie, SUMIN - Thinking About You
Necronomidol - Dawnslayer
Ne-Yo - Because of You
Nilüfer Yanya - Same Damn Luck
Nito
No Rome - 1:45AM
NO1-NOAH - Stuck on Stupid
Omar Apollo - So Good
ORβIT - UNIVERSE
oresama - cute cute
Pa Salieu - Betty, B***k
PENOMECO - Okay, Tempo, ODD ep
Phillipa Soo - Ultraluminary
pH-1, Yerin Baek - Nerdy Love
Piso 21, Feid - Querida
Prince - Controversy, Erotic City
Q Lazzarus - Love Dance
Quay Dash - U.A.F.W.M
Ramy Essam - Saura
Rauw Alejandro - Detective
Reol - Echo, Syrup
Romeo Santos - Obra Maestro
Roy Woods - BB, She Knows About Me
Rum Gold - Save You
Satellite Young - Don’t Graduate, Senpai!
Sech - Relacion
Skie Dadios - Unang Sayaw
SG Lewis, Lucky Daye - Feed the Fire
Shenseea - Good Comfort
Sonder - Care
SURAN, Coogie - Into the Abyss
Syd Hartha - ayaw
Tatsuro Yamashita - Fragile
tobi lou - sadderday
TOKYO’S REVENGE - THOT!
Tommy Genesis, Charli XCX - 100 Bad
TOSHIKO HAYASHI(%C) - Stay A While
the vowels they orbit - selos
The PropheC - Jane Je Ta
THEY - Red Light Green Light
Tom Misch, Yussef Dates - What Kinda Music
Toro y Moi - yeah Right
Tracy Chapman - Fast Car, The Promise
TXT - Cat & Dog (English Version)
Valerie June - If And
Wildhood - Double Dark
Xavier Omar - Deep End, Just Get Here
Wizkid - True Love
Ye Ziming - JENNIE
Yoon Mirae - Thin Lines
Young K - Enemy, Is It
Yuna - Forevermore, Stay Where You Are
Yung Bleu - You’re Mines Still
Yumepedia - Tick Tock
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justusandlove · 9 months ago
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The way your anons trust in a five year olds memory. Let's hope Johnny bobs remembers he bonded with charity because for him that was a year ago which is a fifth of his life (and the last few days she was drunk and pawing him off to Rhona). For a kid that's a long time.
I'm torn between wanting the show to ignore realism and wanting Johnny to bring them together and also wanting the least said about the adoption and the subsequent mess that followed re the kids as possible.
What could be cute and more realistic is Moses and Johnny playing parent trap cause they meet in class again and start playing together and remember each other after a while and realize they used to live together. Maybe even Moses and Johnny having seen each other off screen via Vanessa and Ross.
I think my ideal scenario would be the show mixing realism and fiction to deal with Johnny's situation.
I would like to see Johnny express hesitation but also curiousity when it comes to Charity because he remembers her (and maybe he kept asking Vanessa about her) but it's been so long that their emotional connection has faded. He's drawn to her but wary and a bit shy. I would like them to have a scene where Johnny takes Charity by surprise and asks her why she never visited him and Vanessa or something like that. I don't want the show to ignore Johnny and Moses' traumas and I don't want them to absolve Charity and Vanessa of their responsibilities in this situation because when it comes to this specific aspect of their break up, they both made mistakes that impacted their kids.
Moses and Johnny bonding again and that being the first step in the healing process of Vanity's family is something I'd totally love to see.
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clydethaoutlaw961 · 10 months ago
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Colleen Wing is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.
Descended from a family of samurai, Wing is a Japanese martial artist who avenged her grandfather's death with the help of the superhero Iron Fist. After arriving in New York City, Wing befriended former police officer Misty Knight with whom she started a private investigation agency. The two would later form the crime fighting duo, the Daughters of the Dragon. As private investigators, Wing and Knight frequently work with the Heroes for Hire duo Luke Cage and Iron Fist. In the 2010 Daredevil storyline "Shadowland", Wing becomes the leader of The Nail, a splinter group of The Hand ninja clan.
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Jessica Henwick portrayed the character in Marvel's Netflix television series Iron Fist, The Defenders, and Luke Cage, set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Colleen Wing first appeared in Marvel Premiere #19 (November 1974), created by writer Doug Moench and artist Larry Hama.
Origin
Colleen was born in the mountains of Honshu, Japan, to Professor Lee Wing (a teacher of Asian history at Columbia University) and a mother whose ancestors were samurai and daimyōs. After her mother's death, Colleen's late maternal grandfather Kenji Ozawa taught her the ways of the samurai, in which she later became very skilled. Professor Wing learned from a monk that young warrior Iron Fist would come from that land to seek vengeance on his father's killer and sent Colleen to meet him. Professor Wing and Colleen befriended Iron Fist, and Colleen has acted as his ally in many of his exploits. In Colleen's first appearance, she met Iron Fist, and she then aided Iron Fist in battling the Cult of Kara-Kai. Years later, Colleen went back to New York City to visit her father there. Upon arrival, she got caught in a gun battle by the local Manhattan police and some thugs. Luckily, she was rescued by officer Misty Knight, who eventually became her best friend. Later, when Knight's right arm was severely injured by a bomb explosion and was amputated, Colleen encouraged Knight to rise above her depression and return to an active role in life.
Daughters of the Dragon
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Colleen and Knight formed a partnership as private investigators and called their firm Nightwing Restorations, Ltd. Due to Wing's samurai-style training and both partners' expertise in the Asian martial arts, they were dubbed "the Daughters of the Dragon."
Colleen was at one point captured by Master Khan and Angar the Screamer, who turned her into a mesmerized slave. Colleen battled Iron Fist, who finally freed her from their mental control. Colleen then teamed with Misty in opposing agents of the criminal Emil Vachon in Hong Kong. Colleen was captured by Emil Vachon, however, who turned her into a heroin addict. She was rescued by Misty Knight, overcame her addiction, and took vengeance on Vahcon. Colleen then fought Davos, the second Steel Serpent, and met Spider-Man.
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Colleen later aided the X-Men and Sunfire in battling Moses Magnum in Japan. She accompanied the X-Men to Canada, and made romantic overtures towards Cyclops, whose girlfriend Jean Grey was presumed to be dead at the time. She was held prisoner by Arcade soon after that.
Colleen later met the actor Bob Diamond, one of the Sons of the Tiger. She then battled Constrictor and Sabretooth. Professor Wing then regained his memory, and Colleen's training in samurai skills by her grandfather was revealed. Colleen then began a romance with Bob Diamond. She was shot by Warhawk,and later fought the Constrictor again. She was briefly turned to glass by the second Chemistro, and was soon returned to normal. She then fought Fera (now Ferocia). Colleen later temporarily ended her friendship with Misty due to the latter's romance with Tyrone King. Colleen was next transported to K'un-L'un. She killed Chiantang the mystic dragon. She then attended the funeral of an impostor she believed to be Danny Rand.
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Some time later, Colleen saw a second Danny Rand impostor on television. She confronted this impostor, who was actually the Super-Skrull. She was present at the exhumation of the corpse of the first Danny Rand impostor.
After her relationship with Bob Diamond ended, Colleen once again started up the Daughters of the Dragon organization with Misty as bondswoman.
Succeeding in that during the 2006 "Civil War" storyline, she and Misty create the new Heroes for Hire due to the urging of Iron Man, Reed Richards and Spider-Man.
Heroes for Hire
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Colleen has been identified as one of the 142 registered superheroes who have registered as part of the Initiative. In the group's most recent mission, Colleen Wing and Tarantula were offered to the Brood Queen by their possessed teammate Humbug When Shang-Chi and the other heroes come save them, Colleen is in traumatic shock; she is further agitated when Moon-Boy, whom the group had been hired to apprehend for S.H.I.E.L.D. is taken into custody by Paladin. Misty had made a deal with him in order to find both her and Tarantula after their capture. Colleen, deeply upset by this, left the group as a result. Heroes for Hire disbanded in the aftermath of this.
Following Daredevil's takeover of Hell's Kitchen during the "Shadowland" storyline, Misty, Colleen Wing, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Shang-Chi confront him in attempt to stop him without violence. After a commotion happens elsewhere in his castle, he attacks the group, believing they are responsible. Days after the fight, Colleen is contacted by Daredevil, offering information about her mother. Upon visiting him again, he reveals to her that her mother actually led a resurrected Hand group of all swordswomen called "the Nail". Colleen's mother and the Nail were eventually assassinated by one of The Hand's enemies. Daredevil then asks her to lead a new incarnation of the group. She eventually accepts and meets the Nail consisting of Black Lotus, Cherry Blossom, Makro, and Yuki. Colleen later betrays the Nail and has to defend herself against them.
Powers and Abilities
Colleen Wing was originally an athletic woman with no superhuman abilities. She has achieved mastery of the traditional combat skills of the Japanese samurai, including swordsmanship (Kenjutsu), she is a talented swordswoman and has been shown defeating several HYDRA agents with no injury. She is also highly-skilled in other martial arts such as Judo, Karate, and Iaidō.
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After being brainwashed as a living weapon by Iron Fist foe Master Khan, Danny melds his mind with hers in order to break her free of this control. As a result, Colleen gains knowledge of K'un L'un martial arts as well as chi control; allowing her to focus her chi to enhance her strength, accelerate her healing, and reduce her body functions to survive severe conditions.
She wields a 1,000-year-old katana which she inherited from her grandfather. Colleen is also a seasoned private detective with excellent investigative skills.
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hermitologist · a year ago
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My 20 Favorite Records of 2020
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Welp. It’s certainly been a year.
One of my favorite writers, David J. Roth of Defector and The Distraction Podcast, described 2020 as a record player skipping and playing the same shitty part over and over and over. His description and the incessant, downtempo honk of that record player have been clanging inside my skull ever since. Thankfully, there’s a way to drown it out.
Music saved me (again) this year. I listened to a ton of it because I was home and running a lot to try to keep my brain from spinning out amidst the full spread of uncertainty, frustration, and repetition that 2020 kept spewing. It ended up being awfully helpful from a psychological and physical standpoint, and I discovered a bunch of great records and artists in the process. It’s also been incredibly helpful to be home, to be able to spend a lot of time with my wife and kids, and to make home actually feel like HOME. Touring has a knack for making everywhere feel transitionary, so being home indefinitely has been comforting.
And now, about the list ... 
I didn’t rank anything, because doing that seemed especially trivial this year. If it’s on the list, I liked it a lot. It doesn’t matter whether Kirby Nerfling’s Fart Vacation was #3, but you think it should have been #7, and you actually can’t believe it was even on the list because you didn’t see the Mørbid Størk & Damp Wizard split LP anywhere.
No blurbs for each record either, because I’m all out of adjectives.
Spotify playlists for all three of the lists I made are available below. If some industrious soul with an abundance of free time wants to create playlists for Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal, YouTube Music, or whatever else, please do ... I’ll post them here with credit.
SPOTIFY
20 Favorites
42 Other Records I Also Liked A Lot
12 More Records That Didn’t Come Out In 2020, But Got A Ton Of Spins
TIDAL (made by Jeremy Fagundes)
20 Favorites
APPLE MUSIC (made by Toby Sterret, @takeo on Twitter)
20 Favorites
I’m sure I missed a few records here and there, so please hit me with recommendations. 
Hope this finds you safe, healthy and happy this holiday season. May 2021 be a step in a better direction for all of us.
- Riley
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20 FAVORITES IN 2020
Alpha Male Tea Party - Infinity Stare
Be Well - The Weight & The Cost
Heads. - PUSH
Circus Trees - Delusions
Clams Casino - Instrumental Relics
Cloudkicker - Solitude
Deftones - Ohms
Elder - Omens
Exhalants - Atonement
GoGo Penguin - S/T
Kairon; IRSE! - Polysomn
Luo - Unspoken
METZ - Atlas Vending
Moses Sumney - græ
O’Brother - You and I
Seer Believer - Bent
Stormlight - Natoma
The Ditch And The Delta - S/T
Tigon - Animals In The Walls
Yashira - Fail to Be
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42 OTHER RECORDS I ALSO LIKED A LOT
Barishi - Old Smoke
Bartees Strange - Live Forever
Bob Mould - Blue Hearts
Boneflower - Armour
Caspian - On Circles
Cloudkicker - Loops
Coriky - S/T
Dogleg - Melee
DRAIN - California Cursed
Emma Ruth  Rundle & Thou - Let Our Chambers Be Full
END - Splinters From An Ever-Changing Face
EYES - Underperformer
Fawn Limbs - Sleeper Vessels
Gleemer - Down Through
Gulch - Impenetrable Cerebral Fortress
Holy Fawn - The Black Moon EP
Hum - Inlet
IDLES - Ultra Mono
Jaga Jazzist - Pyramid
Jeff Rosenstock - NO DREAM
Lesser Glow - Nullity
Loathe - I Let It in and It Took Everything
Mammal Hands - Captured Spirits
Moses Boyd - Dark Matter
Mountaineer - Bloodletting
NØ MAN - Erase
Nothing - The Great Dismal
Oneohtrix Point Never - Magic
Poisonous Birds - We Can Never Not Be All Of Us EP
PUP - This Place Sucks Ass EP
Run The Jewels - RTJ 4
Shell of a Shell - Away Team
Shiner - Schadenfreude
Spook The Horses - Empty Body
Square Peg Round Hole - Silo Songs EP
Strangelight - Adult Themes
Svalbard - When I Die, Will I Get Better?
The Beths - Jump Rope Gazers
Thundercat - It Is What It Is
Touche Amore - Lament
Unconditional Arms - Formation
Wren - Groundswells
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12 RECORDS THAT DIDN’T COME OUT IN 2020, BUT GOT A TON OF SPINS THIS YEAR
Breach - Kollapse
Drug Church - Cheer
Facet - Duck
Kowloon Walled City - Container Ships
Kiasmos - Blurred
Meshuggah - The Violent Sleep Of Reason
Mimicking Birds - Eons
Moses Sumney - Aromanticism
Nerver - Believer’s Hit
NYOS - Now.
Pile - Green & Grey
Raketkanon - Rktkn#2
PODCASTS I LOVE
Office Hours Live (humor)
The Distraction (sports, culture)
Chapo Trap House (politics, humor)
Effectively Wild (baseball)
Beyond The Scrum (baseball)
Hang Up & Listen (sports)
The Rich Roll Podcast (health & wellness)
The Daily (news)
The Gist (news)
The Trap Set with Joe Wong (drums)
The Downbeat (drums)
Radiolab (science, politics, history)
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weshallc · a year ago
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Happy St. Andrew’s Day. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Thank you so much to everyone who has been reading Bonfire Night! I haven’t put it on the usual fic sites as I knew I would mess about, and Tumblr folk are a patient bunch. I am going to rejig it so it stretches from Bonfire Night to Christmas (probably New Year at this rate) looking back over 2020.
Thank you for the lovely comments and support from @h4t08 @fourteen-teacups @thatginchygal  @bbcshipper @roguesnitch @lovetheturners and new regular @aimee-jessica and @olafur-neal
I really don’t know what I have been doing with my time apart from washing my hands, measuring distances of 2 metres, sewing masks, swearing at the news, collecting Scotch egg and pasty recipes and building a pantry to hoard all my Brexshit preparation supplies.
Enough about me, so as it’s St. Andrew’s Day I thought I might give this another spin. 
BERNS NIGHT (Revisited, just for fun)
Call the Midwife AU (Crown Jewels/Paddy and Bernie/Poplar-on-Tweaven)
CHAPTER ONE: FAIR FA’ YOUR HONEST, SONSIE FACE
“Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o' the pudding-race! Aboon them a' ye tak your place, Painch, tripe, or thairm : Weel are ye wordy o'a grace As lang's my arm.”  Address to a Haggis by Robert Burns 1786.
“Will You Reconize me? Call My Name or Walk On By.” Don’t You (Forget About Me). Simple Minds 1985.
Monday 25th January 2016
“His knife see rustic Labour dight, An' cut you up wi' ready sleight, Trenching your gushing entrails bright, Like ony ditch; And then, O what a glorious sight, Warm-reekin', rich!”
The room was swept in darkness apart from the light of the wolf moon and the north star penetrating the cold window panes. All eyes were facing towards a wooden table and the elderly man stood behind it. He was in his 60s and wiry, small for a man, but with a silver mess of what once must have been a bonnie head of fire red hair. The body may have looked weak, but the intensity in his bright blue eyes cut through the dimly lit surroundings.
As he spoke again, his voice filled the room, cutting through the anticipating silence. It was a voice that could take a knife and slice right through a soul. The knife in his hand in turn sliced through the offering in front of its high priest. Years of performing the same action with such a passion resulted in precision. The faithful entranced by the spectacle all gasped as one as the incision was violently made. No one daring to speak. Suddenly the trance was lost as artificial light rudely brought everyone back to the present with a blast of the pipes.
“All done then, Reverend Mannion? Can I serve the Haggis now? Don’t want it getting cold now, do we, not at £15 a head.”
“Aye, Violet, the ceremony is over. It’s time for eating and drinking, something the bard would have approved of, rightly so.”
The kilted clergyman winked at an auburn-haired girl in the crowd and tipped his whisky tumbler toward her. She raised her own glass and winked back. Her companion at her table was much taller with dark hair styled in a tidy no-nonsense bob.
The tall one leaned toward the small one and asked, “If it’s already dead, why does he have to kill it?”
“What?”
“The Haggis if it’s already dead, why does he have to kill it?”
Her friend opened her mouth to speak, but she saw a tender hand take hold of Chummy’s arm and explain it was all just ceremony, it was tradition.
“Like all that malarkey at our passing out parade, the day we got our badge. That wasn’t about police work, was it? It’s just tradition.  It’s what the English do well.”
He had been doing really well up until then, but a golden raised eyebrow made him alter his stance. “It is what us Brits do best.”
The raised eyebrow whispered to the police constable. ”Peter, Chummy really doesn’t think a haggis is a real animal, does she?”
He was not the sort of man that would turn heads, but he had a kindness in his eyes and an openness in his face she thought some would see as attractive. If only Camilla wasn’t his superior, and they didn’t work such long hours together, what might have been?
She knew her friend well and sensed more queries would follow. Not sure as a Scot brought up on Tweavenside and now living in London she could provide satisfying answers. Picking up their empty glasses and heading to the bar was a strange sort of refuge for a vicar's daughter and inner-city missionary.
There was a queue, well sort of a queue. In London a queue was made up of people standing in an orderly line and the person who had been stood the longest getting served first. In Poplar-on-Tweaven it resembled more of a rugby scrum and the person who shouted the loudest being ignored, Anyone who called the barmaid by name was bunked up the order. She wasn’t familiar with busy bars, but she was bright enough to work out the system.
“Val, when yer ready hen.” The request came from someone not sure that was their own voice they had just heard yelling those words.
All her life she had been immersed in the wonders of the Bible and was still amazed at how so many miracles had been performed. She had heard all the CPR arguments regarding resurrections and all that, and was still not convinced. But, she now knew how Moses had parted the Red Sea, he had known the barmaid’s name was Valerie.
“What can I get you, chick?”
“Here! I was first.” A grumpy voice struck up.
“Oh Al, you are always first. Let me serve this lass and then I will sort you out”
“Promises, promises.”
“Yeah in your dreams, pal.”
She was starting to feel uncomfortable she hadn’t meant to jump the queue. Maybe she should go back to the table and let Peter get the drinks. A man’s voice interrupted her thoughts, it was quieter than Al’s but held an authority. It wasn’t a Tweavenside accent, but it had a northern softness.
“You serve our impatient friend Valerie, I will see to this young lady.” Then turning to his new customer, “What can I get you, pet”
“Erm a whisky and lemonade and erm a pint, please.”
“Which whisky and a pint of?”
She wasn’t sure; she nudged her bottom onto a vacant stool for security.
“Are you with the law?” The tall bartender nodded towards Chummy and Peter,
“Yes, yes, I am.”
“OK, so that’s a Grouse and diet lemonade, just a dash and a pint of Buckles Best and for you?”
He stepped back a minute. “Your Reverend Wilf’s daughter?”
“Yes, I am.” Bernie suddenly felt more sure of herself. She was never completely certain of who she was when back in Poplar.
“Bernadette?” The stranger was grinning now, his brown eyes glinting under the harsh bar spotlights, or were they green?
“Well, that’s my Sunday name most people call me Bernie, even Dad.”
“Well, since I’ve never seen you in here on a Sunday or any other day. I will call you Bernie. I am Patrick Turner, most people call me Paddy, a few Doc.”
“Oh no, you won’t have seen me here on a Sunday or any other day. I live in London now and before that, well, I am not a big drinker.”
“What can I get you then?” asked Paddy loitering near the coke and lemonade pumps.
“A gin and tonic please, better make it a double it’s quite busy, save me coming back.”
Paddy smiled. “Premium gin?”
“Yes.”
While the optic was emptying into the glass, he asked, “You must have known this old place when Evie ran it?”
“Yes, I know Evie and J..Jenny”
“Oh yes. Jen was here when the wife and I took over she was a great help. We get a text every now and again, doing well for herself now, all loved up.” He winked at her as he ended the sentence, causing her to panic slightly.
“I was sorry to hear about your loss.” She wished she hadn’t said it.
Val had seemed to deal with ten customers to Paddy’s one, and now there was just the two of them alone at the bar. He looked at her in a sort of a non-direct, sort of direct way. Under that infuriating fringe she wanted to reach out and push back.
“Loss is as much a part of love as is healing,” he replied with a hint of melancholy, but without irony.
She was stunned and tried to find a corresponding Bible verse, but she drew a blank.
She focused on what was real and what was present. Her dad had taught her to do that. What was in front of her at this precise moment was a glass of gin and ice and a twist of lime. He was now unscrewing a bottle of Mediterranean slimline tonic.
She yelped, “No!” as he lay the bottle alongside the glass.
“Sorry most people add the tonic to the gin and I cannae bear it drowned.”
“Wouldn't dream of it, surely that would be very presumptuous of me.”
“Aye well, most people I've met are very presumptuous.”
“Maybe you have spent too much time in London. if you don't mind me saying, Bernie.”
“Well, to be fair, we don’t spend a lot of time sitting on stools and propping up bars in my part of London.”
“More's the pity.”
“Can I bother you for a...”
Paddy popped a black straw into her tumbler.
“I will make sure when you come home next time none of my staff will be presumptuous.”
“Oh, I doubt you will remember me, Paddy. I only come up to see my Da. I can't imagine you will be seeing much of me in the future, hardly likely that I would ever be considered a regular.”
“Now who is being presumptuous?”
Bernie went to put the straw between her lips but paused, realizing the stranger was still watching her. She suddenly felt uncomfortable. As heat rose in her cheeks. She suddenly felt awkward on the stool, squirming to find some sort of comfortable position. The stranger smiled in a way she could not understand; it wasn’t smug or suggestive, but as if there were sharing a joke, but she wasn’t sure what the joke was.
She hopped off her seat, for a brief moment realizing her arse was in the air and prayed he had altered his gaze. Focusing anywhere but behind the bar, she grabbed her glass and bottle in one hand, put the whisky against her elbow and waist, the pint in her other hand, turned and swiftly moved toward her thirsty friends.
Shelagh Bernadette Mannion don’t you dare look back and see if he is watching you he is recently widowed with a son, Da said. He is, what do they call them now, a bloomer or something like that. God has shown you his path for you and it certainly does not include the Crown Inn, Poplar-on-Tweaven.
He is still watching me, I can feel it.
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latenightsleuth · a year ago
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The Loxahatchee Horror – Could It Happen to Your Aviary?
© Howard Voren. Click here to use this content.
If everyone in your household should suddenly disappear, would anyone notice? If they did notice, would they have the initiative or the authority to break into your house to rescue your birds from starvation? In the case of Moses Lall, the well-known bird importer, the answer was no–at least not in time to save the lives of most of the approximately 1,000 birds whose cages lined the open field behind his rented house. On June 15, l994, after the continued urging of several concerned parties, local authorities entered the property. The gruesome sight that they beheld was something that should appear only in ones’ worst nightmare.
What Happened
Moses Lall and his aunt, Lila Buerattan, both natives of Guyana, South America, had lived on a rented 5-acre ranch in Loxahatchee, Florida, since December of 1992. They had moved to the rural community with the idea of starting a large bird-breeding farm. They spoke with no one in the local avicultural community, nor did they interact with anyone at any of the surrounding ranches. They lived extremely private lives, and no one, except their veterinarian, was ever permitted to see their birds. In fact, they even refused to purchase a license that would have allowed them to legally breed and sell birds within the state of Florida. When approached by Florida Fish and Game officers the previous year and urged to purchase a permit and undergo the minimal inspection procedures, they declined. They claimed that the birds were not for sale or breeding, and were being maintained for their personal pleasure. Most of us locals who knew of them never saw them, and were aware of their existence only because we all used the same feed company. In fact, it was the feed company that began sounding the alarm that something was wrong.
On June 9th, the driver for Bird Haven Feed Company arrived to deliver the weekly supply of primate biscuits, sunflower seeds and dried corn to Lall’s farm. No one was there to let him in. Finding no one at the gate to receive the feed was highly unusual. Realizing that they never purchased reserve supplies, and not wanting the birds to go hungry, he piled the feed up in front of the gates. They tried to reach Lall by phone to make sure all was well, but no one answered. Feeling uncomfortable about the situation, they returned the next day. The feed was still piled up outside the gate and had been ruined by the rain. At this point, they called several local aviculturists, as well as Lall’s veterinarian. The questions put to all of them were the same: Do you know where Moses and Lila are? Do you now them well enough to jump the fence, walk through the pack of dogs and go around to the rear of the property to see if someone has been feeding the birds? They all gave the same negative answer.
Between the 11th and the 15th of June, several concerned parties, including the seed company and the veterinarian, began calling the authorities and demanding that action be taken. As birds were starving to death, the concerned parties were sent in a circular motion from one agency to the next. The Palm Beach County Sheriffs’ Department, upon hearing the story, said that animal abuse was the jurisdiction of the Palm Beach County Animal Control. When Animal Control heard the words macaws and parrots, they explained that jurisdiction over exotic birds had been taken way from them and given to Florida Fish and Game. Florida Fish and Game explained that since the facility was not permitted by them, they had no right to enter. They added that if, in fact, birds were starving, a misdemeanor had been committed and that was the jurisdiction of the Sheriffs’ Department.
On June 15th, the feed company contacted Bob and Liz Johnson, who rescue abused, mistreated and crippled birds through a branch of their nonprofit organization, Life Awareness Inc. At that point, Liz contacted me and Dr. Susan Clubb to get a full update on what avenues had been pursued. Upon discovering that pleas for action had been thwarted by “red tape,” she called the Sheriffs’ Office and made demands. After “much insistence,” they reluctantly agreed to send out someone to investigate. The deputy immediately called the Johnsons and reported that our worst fears had been realized. The Johnsons, Dr. Clubb, I and my daughter Stacie raced to the scene to offer assistance in the feeding and care of the birds. By that time, all three of the previously contacted agencies were present.
We were totally unprepared for the sight that we encountered. It was a horror beyond belief: row after row of cages with either dead or dying green-winged and blue-and-gold macaws. Literally every pair of macaws had at least one dead member. Several had succumbed to starvation and dehydration, with their heads in their empty food bowls–a final desperate move with the hope that food would arrive before their last breath was drawn. Although the collection was made up predominately of large macaws, there were also hundreds of smaller parrots and toucans. These included Amazons, hawk heads, African greys, Jardine’s, Pionus and mini macaws. Most of these had succumbed. There were several cages with 25 to 30 birds in them that had either one or no survivors. It was a miracle that any of the birds were alive.
The feed company had told us what the farm’s approximate weekly consumption was. By taking inventory of the feed that was left in the garage, we were able to determine that the birds had not been fed in at least 10 days.
Inside the house awaited another horror. Incubators, still operating, contained dead babies that had hatched but were never fed. Aquarium brooders that were lined up against the wall all had one or two dead baby blue-and-gold macaws. All had starved to death, sitting on clean bedding, while waiting for their next meal. An open bucket of handfeeding formula was on the kitchen counter with a bowl and spoon next to it. It appeared as if someone had changed the bedding in the brooders and was ready to mix up some formula when he or she was interrupted. With our assistance, Dr. Clubb was able to tube-feed those that were too weak to eat or drink. One died in Bob Johnson’s hands while it was waiting to be tube fed. Another 60 birds that were too far gone died the following day. In all, there were only 335 birds left alive from the flock of almost 1,000. The following morning, the birds were taken to the Palm Beach Animal Control facility. Food donations, as well as volunteer labor from all the local bird clubs and organizations, began pouring in. When Lall’s family from Guyana tried to claim the birds as family property, they were presented with a bill for $130,000. The majority of this bill was Animal Control’s standard charge of $10 per animal per day for the care of confiscated animals. Ten dollars per day multiplied by 335 birds adds up very quickly. As the Lalls fought to regain the birds at a more reasonable price, the bill rose to approximately $180,000. On August 22, a judge ordered that the birds be auctioned off individually to the general public in order to raise the most money. Exactly what happened to Moses and Lila is still officially a mystery. Those who knew them said that they truly loved their birds and would never have deserted them. Moses and Lila are now considered dead. The murder investigation cannot proceed any further until their bodies are found. There were also two other people staying at the farm that were originally considered missing. They were Daljeet “Harry” Gobin, a fellow Guyanese, and Felix Eyuom, a reptile dealer from Africa. Harry Gobin is being sought for questioning.
The purpose of this article is not to try to solve an unsolved crime. It is to make everyone aware that such things can and do happen. Although this situation may be unique due to its magnitude, it is not unheard of on a smaller scale. It is not uncommon to read about animals dying from lack of care due to the undiscovered death or incapacitation of those responsible for their care.
What You Can Do
To prevent such a calamity from happening again, each and every one of you should have a plan. This plan should ensure that, should anything happen to you, it will be discovered without delay and your animals will be cared for. This can be as simple as a regularly expected phone call to a friend, a relative or someone’s answering machine. A simple statement like “I’m okay” is all that is necessary. The receiver of the regular call must be ready to notify someone who has been given written authority by you to break into your house and aviaries to care for your birds if you cannot be located. It must also be specifically stated, in a notarized document, who will hold and care for your birds until your whereabouts are discovered, or until your estate is settled. Your birds must never be allowed to be considered legally abandoned.
Lall’s birds were considered abandoned. They suffered the ultimate fate of being sold to the highest bidder without regard to the bidder’s expertise. Two thousand people converged at the auction on September 10th. Most were there to buy a cheap bird for their kids. Most bought bronco wild breeder macaws with the intention of turning them into pets.
Luckily, due to some generous monetary donations, the Johnsons were able to purchase the birds that were blind or crippled. These were purchased to be retired to the parrot sanctuary that they maintain.
All the birds were sold in small temporary holding cages with no doors and with two tiny metal cups. The idea behind no doors was to keep the public from opening the cages at the auction site after the purchase. It was explained to the buyers that the birds should be transferred to suitable housing after they were removed. Unfortunately, two weeks later buyers were still showing up at local vets with their purchases still in the temporary cages with no doors and nothing but the two tiny cups for food and water. As time went on, a large percentage of the birds were diagnosed with papilloma infections.
All proceeds from the publication of this article will go to support the parrot sanctuary run by the Johnsons. Private donations are also appreciated. Their address is Life Awareness Bird Sanctuary, P.O. Box 641032, Miami, FL 33164.
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