A Love Song For Eastern


Jaya.jpg Jonavan.jpg

Date: May 22, 2011
Location: The Bar, EW
Synopsis: Jonavan comes by to accurately accuse Jaya of thievery for stealing his diary. Jaya makes things awkward for having read all of it. Then confessions are made, and things remain stressful between barkeep and healer.
Rating: PG-18 for strong language.
Logger: Jaya

The evening's winding down, and the bar is not as crowded with most of the card tables emptied out. Shijan is uncharacteristically missing from his post along with Hayli, leave the bar to hands of both Suli and Jaya as they work the bar. There's a few riders at the counters bantering with the barkeep, but the exchange of marks signal their departure. One full card table is left, and even those burly farmers look to be exchanging the last of the deals, in which they currently have Suli's attention. Overal, looking to be a far more peaceful place than during the busy hours, and it's enough to have the Bitran woman pulling forth her profit lists to start closing down her bar for the night.

Jonavan shoulders past a shorter rider on his way out, barely registering the fact that, for once, Shijan's constant presence at the door is constant no more. His hair is still wet from the baths and the plain shirt he's changed into following a late shift in the infirmary clings wetly, too. "Thief!" he accuses once he gets close enough, voice pitched to carry, and striding right up to the bar plants both palms on the counter. There's no question who he's aimed the accusation at, staring at Jaya with her lists with fierce expectation.

The arrival of Jonavan registers on the few left, though it’s Suli that nods a silent greeting his way – likely unseen. She watched as he approaches the counter, expecting another interesting blowout, and sure enough – “…Ha!” and Jaya’s tossing something shiny towards the departing riders, responding to something said before Jonavan’s accusation stalls steps. The rider catches the object, looking Jonavan’s way before stealing a look over towards the barkeep and she stares the healer down and looking as taken aback as they do. “Is this you’re new way of greeting someone?” she quips, fingers slowing over the stack of hides piled before her as she takes him his wet hair and his clothes. “Can I call you something too?” All eyes are on the altercation at the counter – especially with such an accusation being lobbed so loudly.

The healer doesn't appear to care that he calls attention to himself and Jaya - in fact, the more to witness it, the better. He smiles a toothy, flinty smile. "Is it when it's accurate." Jonavan ignores her question and adds the new designation. "Thief." He doesn't wait at the bar any further, heading round and towards the door that leads to Jaya's private quarters without any sort of by-your-leave.

Suli’s creeping closer to hear, and Jaya is keeping her face level to that toothy look from Jonavan as he answers and calls her out her name again. She stands there watching him, waiting to see what he’ll do – and neither confirming nor denying what she is accused of – before Jonavan turns and starts coming around the counter. “Hey what-“ she starts, but it’s too late. He’s going to her quarters, finding the door unlocked, and she stares at him open mouthed in shock before throwing a look towards her barmaid. “What the fuck does he think….” Are her words as she follows him, fists on her hips, eyes narrowed before she states to his back, “It ain’t in there, healer. Unless you’re looking to even the score.” Okay, so she admits to it. “There’s some silk panties you can swipe if you’re so pissed about it. Smells like me, too.” She’s being crass. Deliberately crass, and the riders still standing there that heard it rumbles out a few chuckles before they finally turn and leave.

A look flashes Suli's way, standing in stead of a hello, as the man moves round the bar counter and passes her by. "Heard and witnessed?" Jonavan suggests to her with dark humour, alluding to the accusation still hanging in the air. He's quick, quick enough to get to the door before Jaya can prevent him. When the door handle gives beneath his hand, letting him step into the back room without resistance, the healer smiles his satisfaction. He stands just inside the room, looking around for likely hiding places. Despite Jaya's remark, he lifts the edges of her mattress, glancing back at the woman in the doorway. "Only if they're the ones you're wearing now. You offering?" he answers like with like, bluntly crude with crudely blunt.

Suli reaches the counter then, watching. “Jaya’s hardly a thief,” she says the lie so smoothly, the glimmers of a smile there before Jaya bites out, “Suli, don’t fuckin encourage him!” Turning to Jonavan and following him into her room – a room that’s pretty bare of personal things save to the stacks of crates on one side of the wall, a table with a chair, her messy unmade bed, and some knickknacks on the dug-out shelves in the back wall. It’s hardly a room, really. She watches him lift her mattress saying nothing for the moment as he tosses her room before his crass return response gets an equally crass, “Thought you were afraid of the canine that ‘fell into my bed’? Those were your words, right?” Leaning forward to pick up a woven shirt discarded earlier in the day, “That would require you ripping the panties off me, and you wouldn’t. Suli might give you her panties though. Maybe the ass that’s in them, too. Wouldn’t that be interesting?”

There's nothing under the mattress for Jonavan to find, and he's caught between disappointment and satisfaction that the game can continue. "Paid to climb into your bed, I think that was what I really said," he corrects Jaya, his smile back as he pitches it loudly enough for people who are outside and listening to be able to hear. He is in a sharing sort of mood. "He's not here though, is he." This at least in a more everyday tone and pitch. Jonavan goes to look at her shelves, eyes scanning the contents, but it doesn't turn up what he's looking for. So he picks up one of her knick-knacks, weighing it in his hand as he watches Jaya watching him. "I wouldn't? Don't tempt me." He pockets the object in his hand just to judge Jaya's reaction by it.

"Suli, you have an outstanding ass," he hollers back through the open door.

“You’re assuming he was paid?” Jaya drops with dryness, not caring that the door’s wide open and that Suli and those patrons left behind could hear them. She then leans against the doorframe arms folding across her chest as she adds, “Do you even know what you’re looking for? And why would I leave it in here for you to take back?” Yeah, she’s playing with him, though the remark on Shijan missing gets a terse, “He could come back.” But then, Jonavan’s picking up one of her shiny treasures and pocketing it, her eyes following where it drops before she sighs and turns and goes towards the counter. His loud call to Suli’s ass getting a dry, “Thanks,” right back, and Jaya then returns with the dark bound journal in her hands. “Trade you,” comes easily, hefting the journal now in one hand, raising a brow to Jonavan with a look being directed towards where one of her baubles had disappeared.

"He was under your employ, wasn't he? Sleeping with the staff, Jaya." Jonavan tsks, patronising. His expression only stays serious and disapproving as long as it takes for him to deliver the intended condescension, and then a rather smug smile slides into place. He might, in fact, be enjoying himself. When Jaya answers his remark about Shijan, Jonavan catches the 'could' and doesn't conceal the curiosity crossing his expression. "Interesting." He moves towards the centre of the room where he can see out, watching the path Jaya takes to retrieve the journal she'd stolen. His intrigued look remains when she returns to her room and proposes the trade. The man moves to stand just before her on the nebulous border between her personal space and his, reaching out to close his fingers around the journal but not quite snatching it away. "You give it up easy."

“Shows how little you know,” Jaya counters, tapping her shoulder again the doorframe, continuing to watch the healer intently. “You’re only assuming he was under my employ. And even if he was, “ she adds with sardonic vigor, “who gives a shit? It’s not like anyone was claiming me at the time.” Brow lifts imperceptibly. Pointed. Jonavan’s smug, but the barkeep is not looking amused despite the banter going on between them. She says nothing when she holds the journal out, watching his expression, remaining silent his words on the last getting a blithe, “That’s because I’ve read it already.” Apparently, Jaya did a lot more than steal it, and there’s a glint in her dark gaze as she watches for his reaction.

Jaya scores a point on Jonavan, who starts to lose his self-satisfaction. He doesn't respond to much of what she says - or perhaps that is response enough. He still hasn't tugged the journal away, letting it serve as a tether between them. Neither has he produced her bauble for the exchange. "Well of course you read it." He hardly expected otherwise. "Find out all sorts of fascinating details?" Ah, here's the sarcasm, coming in like the calvary. "I expect you can name all the bones of the hands and feet and diagram them, too."

Only the barest flickers of a smile come forth, and Jaya keeps that pointed look present. The journal is held between them, and the barkeep’s hardly noticing that he’s not taking it or producing what he had just taken. His cavalier attitude gets a dry, “Fascinating. Worth the theft. Of course you get all defensive,” because she’s seeing it for what it is with him. Chin lifting for the last, “Oh I glossed over most of that. It’s words that caught my attention. Interesting words. Short words. Telling words. Seems to tell me more about you than you can yourself. So. Should I let you squirm and wonder what I know? What I read?” And now she moves, journal still in hand, to settling herself on the edge of her table. “Is it worth me even asking, when I’m sure all I’ll get for responses is sarcasm? Or you could just take your journal and get out of here,” she drops, nodding towards the open door. “Run back to the safety of your defenses so that ‘big, bad’ Jaya doesn’t figure out who it is that’s really standing here in front of me.” Challenge thrown, the journal held out. Suli still watching and listening from the counter.

His face tightens, his lips twitch; if he were the sort to broadcast his discomfort, he would be squirming like a worm on a hook. But self-possession is Jonavan's art, so the physical response to Jaya's words about words is limited to a tightening, a twitch. "Shall I write you a letter?" Still in control of himself, his answering question comes out with lazy sarcasm, just as Jaya goes on to predict. He stays put when Jaya moves, turning in place and following her with his eyes except for the glance that goes to the door and bar beyond when she indicates it. But for the challenge, he would do just as suggested - take the journal and make a run for it, keeping the stolen bauble with him as payback. But for the challenge. So instead, Jonavan kicks the door shut to discourage listeners (sorry Suli) and turns back, stepping towards the dark-haired woman who holds his journal. "You have me all figured out, then." The comment is still rather sarcastic, but with something careful about it.

Watching Jonavan carefully, his question gets a blithe, “You can write a turn’s worth of letters, if you want,” from Jaya. She seems impervious to his sarcasm now, the last battle between them having firmed her guards up against him. And then, Jonavan’s kicking that door shut, blocking Suli and her ears from view and she’s raising a brow at him. It’s hard to tell whether or not she was surprised at his choice. Once he steps to her, she holds the journal out more for him to take and that sarcastic comment gets no pause from her. “No. I’d be stupid to think that I could figure you out from one journal. I would need a few more words than that.” Leaning back more comfortably, “Let me guess,” she drawls with little amusement. “You don’t want folks to see that you’re a fuck-up? That nothing gets to you? That you feel nothing? Is that what the whole deal’s about?” Nodding towards the journal then, “Pretty much what it says here,” she notes, sending Jonavan a pointed look. “Thinking you’re some screw-up. Think you’re the only one that is in Pern, shuga?” More challenges, all fired at him in rapid succession, the offer to take his journal and run still standing there between them.

Once Jonavan takes the journal he doesn't entirely know what to do with it, ruffling its pages with his thumb before he does up the tie, the knot neat and tight, locking away all that conflict and self-hatred inside. "You think I'm that self-absorbed?" The dry joke is at his own expense because yes, he is. He looks at Jaya calmly, slapping the notebook against his other palm judging her words, judging her, judging himself. "I don't care if people know I'm fucked up. The 'deal' -" He borrows her word and stresses it. "- well. I guess you're close enough." He can't resist the hint of mockery. It surges up like the bad habit it is. "It's the not giving a fuck part that I haven't seemed to master yet."

Once Jonavan takes the journal, Jaya’s hand drops to her lap. “Well, don’t exactly know what to think of you anymore, these days,” she admits in answer with a touch of sardonic wryness. “And I think you like that. You like keeping people off, not knowing what to think, what to say. Perhaps it’s your protection. I dunno.” She meets that gaze head-on in the silence, weighing what expression she finds, and listening to further words. Not disputing it but frowning a fraction at the mockery, “It matters that you give a fuck? Is that why you’re such an ass?” Beat. “Who was it you impregnated?” she asks then, eyes flicking towards the journal as she pulls another entry she read from her memory.

"See, look. All figured out." Jonavan makes light of it but that does not efface his concession. He can meet her gaze and does so now. If there is discomfort, he hides it well. "Maybe." He shrugs and might actually consider saying more, were it not for the question that follows. "What?" The question is a clear surprise as for once he actually asks an honest question. "What makes you think that I - oh." He goes back through the pages of his notebook in his head, though doesn't move to open it in front of Jaya. "No. You read it wrong." He could leave it at that and nearly does so, making his consideration an open thing, studying Jaya as he tries to decide whether to guard one last secret from the woman who stole them from him. "Monika always wanted a family," he says at last.

“Do I really?” Jaya drops dryly, fitting a look onto the healer that’s across from her. It’s confusion for the question that gets her interest, the woman waiting to see what he would say before she lifts her chin slightly in confusion over having read the entry wrong and asking, “You mentioned her before. Is it because you didn’t love her, and she loved you?” Eyes flicking slowly over him, “Is it because….you want to make Master?” she adds the guess, trying to remember all their past conversations. “It would be hard to become one with a family under reins, I imagine.”

"No," Jonavan says slowly, a protracted correction. "I loved her." He is capable of it, then. "Partially," he gives to her second guess, these things drawn out of him little by little, not entirely willing to divulge a past better forgotten but also not denying Jaya her curiosity, her desire to understand. "A post came up near where she's from. Some tiny, shitty little cothold." Jonavan is biased; a quiet locale in a warm climate with a sea view is some people's idea of paradise. "So she took it. And I stayed in Crom, which is another sort of hellhole but at least there's a Master there I wanted to learn from." The confrontation is slipping away from him, and though he starts off recounting his past and filling in the gaps in short, clipped sentences, by the end of it he just sounds tired. "I would've bored myself to death and driven her crazy too. She'd put up with enough from me anyway."

Hearing that Jonavan was capable of love, Jaya leans away to fit a long look onto the man before her for an answer. At least he was talking, and that was something. Propping elbow on knee, “So it wasn’t her sort of love, her future, you were looking for.” She remembers him mentioning that too, once. For his last, remaining silent for the most part as she considers each piece given, “So, what? You want to end up working for a crimelord or something? Can’t any more exciting than that, and plus, I know the women attached to them are pretty choice.” Pause. “If you got Master, then what?” she wonders in a low voice, regarding him and the way he stands and holds his journal. “What then, Jonavan? You spend the rest of your days, denying yourself? Trying not to give a fuck? Harassing us female thieves that will have to steal your journal just to get a glimpse of who Jonavan really is?” A touch wry at the end, brows lifting imperceptibly.

"When I say bored himself to death, I actually mean it. I imagine I'd feel like offing myself sooner or later, and I am not suicidal." His tone is turning dry, retreating from the defeated undertone his last words had taken. "You think," Jonavan queries, "I have it all figured out?" He gives a shrug. "I had thought I'd swing back round to the Hall eventually, but I'm not so sure anymore." In terms of an admission, that's a big one. Practically a love song for Eastern. He falls silent to watch Jaya a moment, gaze sharpening, alert. He moves to put the journal down on the table Jaya's sitting on, not terribly concerned since she's read it all anyway. It brings him in close, carrying the scent of fresh soap with him. "The real question is why you would want to."

“How poetic,” Jaya drawls to the first, no pause dropping those words along with a sardonic smile. “Whether you’re bored or not really matters to you.” Not a question, and then, his own getting a look, no answer coming forth. At first, anyway. “Always made it seem, to me, that you have a plan. That you don’t leave the path of that plan. That all that matters is, that plan.” Which, considering what Jonavan says next – his admitting that things may have changed as far as him going back to the Hall – is telling. Brows lifting at hearing it, that he was thinking again, has her putting forth, “Why?” in quiet, challenging tones. “What’s here for a driven man like yourself? Is there really, advancement in a Weyr, as opposed to a place like Landing?” She remembers him lauding the place, wanting to ran back there as soon as he was allowed to and she touches on it. She watches him lay the journal down beside her and she follows the journal with her eyes. It’s there she lingers when he asks the last, darting a glance his way, the scent of fresh soap there before her and she answers alittle guardedly, “Because locked doors drives me crazy,” clearly. “Because we used to talk easy once, before you shut me out, and I’m curious as to why. You keep coming back.” Pointed her look gets, even though this particular time, he had good reason to. “Perhaps your complexities intrigue me. Perhaps the real question is, why aren’t you walking out my door with your diary, now that you got what you came for?”

Jonavan doesn't feel he needs to answer the first, just giving a shrug that passes for acknowledgment. "Why not? We're all a bit fucked up here, aren't we?" In other words, maybe he fits in. "Maybe," he says to the question on advancement, personal ambition. "It's worked alright thus far." Him shuttling back and forth between Eastern and Landing in accordance with Threadfall schedules and when the Weyr needs him most. Journal out of his hands, the knick-knack he'd pocketed follows thereafter to leave him empty-handed and unweighted down, but when he pulls back it isn't as much as he should. He listens to Jaya list her reasons, caught on the point of decision when it swings back round to him and his reasons. At last, looking at her closely to gauge her reaction when he speaks, Jonavan answers, "Because it was only part of what I came for."

Jaya actually smiles on the ‘fucked-up’ bit, apparently agreeing without saying so. She sees him taking out her bauble and sets it down, and she doesn’t look at him right away before he speaks the very last. Dark eyes meets Jonavan’s own, narrowing slightly, silence meeting those words as if she was lost for words herself. It’s then she reaches out for his journal, brushing a thumb over its cover before stating “Serves me right. You wrote that once,” she brings up, not asking the obvious for once, indicating one of the entries in his journal.

The quotation makes him shift. It's one thing to know that Jaya has read his writing and another to have it said back to him. He has the air of trying to choose his words carefully in a bid to neither say too little or too much. "I had plenty of opportunities, didn't I," Jonavan says musingly without specifying the what. Don't make him spell it out. "You read the part before that?" Obviously, but he still asks.

Jaya can be a little dense when it comes to such things like this – or she’s that good at playing the evasive game. Either way, the Bitran catches that shift of the healer’s frame, knowing that he was uncomfortable. She has seen it before, after all. It’s when he quotes her old words back at him that she blinks slowly, eyes shifting from his own to something beyond him, looking as If recalling that day. “Aye, that you did,” she finally agrees, her dark regard back on Jonavan as she studies him. “When I said that, you seemed set on saying nothing.” Beat. “Ellis,” she drops the name in answer to his query, knowing the meaning. “The turnday.” Pause. “My turnday.” Silence reigns as she makes that connection, adding, “That was the surprise, wasn’t it, that you talked about?” That was also around the time it got around of her and Shijan’s relationship, and from that moment, she hadn’t seen hide nor hair of the healer.

Jonavan would still prefer to say less rather than more, if anything at all. "A friend," he explains away the name, dismissing it as unimportant (though, what is this, Jonavan has a friend? Who knew!). He confirms her guesses with a nod, not entirely sure of how to proceed as he rocks forward and back on the balls of his feet. "I thought - you might've liked it. Getting away for the night. Evie had a dress for you to borrow." He pauses, gaze going somewhat guarded, seeking self-protection even as he asks, "Would you have? Liked it."

“You have friends?” Yep, that does come flatly unbidden to Jaya’s lips, though the slight smirk suggests that she’s at least not being malicious about it. But then Jonavan’s confirming it all, and she’s nodding once, taking it all in and hardly giving anything away on her face. In fact, she seems far more interested in what’s not being said – his body language and the way Jonavan rocks forward and back on the balls of his feet. Interest sparks at hearing of his sister being involved with a dress, and the guarded question that comes along with that look gets a rather flippant, “Of course I would have liked it! Are you kidding me? Like I need any excuse to go traveling.” Head tilting slightly, “But then you heard about me and Shijan, and that was that, I suppose,” she surmises, nodding a few times. “I mean, damn, Jonavan! I didn’t know you felt like that enough to-“ plan something like that? She breaks it off, a hand slapping to her thigh with a sigh as her lips press together. “Shit, why didn’t you just—“ tell me? It seems she can’t finish a sentence, seeming at a loss.

"Amazingly." Jonavan's familiar, mocking wit resurfaces, here directed at himself. The healer looks slightly less defensive with the way she responds to the question put to her. Flippant he can handle; were there anything resembling pity, no. He would simply snap shut and snap up his journal and probably snap at Jaya, too, as he left. He confirms the rest of her suppositions with a slight tip of his chin, and then cautiously ventures, "Could still go another time, if you wanted." He lifts his hand to scrape his nails against his scalp, hair having dried with a curl to it. Jonavan is good neither with feelings and the words expressing them, so it is almost a relief for Jaya's thoughts to go unfinished. Rather than respond in word himself, where he would likely fail before having barely started, the man resolves to answer as directly as he can. Leaning forward and bending down, if she doesn't push him away first, he kisses her.

Mocking wit Jaya is used to, and so she responds to with, “Some friend. He’s practically an invisible runner, the way you talk of him,” or not, as the case maybe. She knows it is hard the healer to speak, and so when he offers another go, the Bitran barkeep flips a cocky upward movement of her chin that’s more masculine in execution than feminine as she answers, “I’ll go. Need to clear it with my boss first, but, I don’t see why not. At least I’ll get to snap at you on your home turf rather than here.” Uh-huh. “Will I get to see Evie and this so-called friend you seem to have?” The silence ensuing with no response for him has the barkeep trying to piece together what to say, how to say it, when his more direct answer ends in the healer’s lips on her own. She doesn’t exactly push him away, but the kiss doesn’t linger on her brandy-tasting lips, the woman pulling her lips back before she shakes her head and drawls with a touch of wryness, “You, shuga, got really, really bad timing.” The kiss direct, it was confirmation for her now since direct was how she operated, and Jaya flicks a glance up at him before stating more soberly, “Shijan’s a good man,” speaking on the bodyguard, “but….I have a history with someone, before him that’s….it’s been hard for me to let go.” A finger moving to trace the surface of the journal beside her, “Shijan’s not exactly out the picture, but, this….he and I are trying to figure out what this is between us. What’s been between us for a long time.” Yep. Things just got that much more complicated. She hesitates to even tell him that much, but she saw how Jonavan reacted to Shijan. Knowing the extent of his feelings now, she couldn’t hide the matter from him.

"My so-called friend comes out of the woodworks on special occasions." So yes, maybe. Jonavan is feeling encouraged but not for long, and then when Jaya pulls away it is all woe, rejection. Not that he demonstrates it, once there's time enough for his expression to close off and lips now curve into a bitter, humourless smile. "Figures," he says, a contained reaction as he steps back. Not even a swear word. "I'll take this back then," he adds, whisking the journal out from under Jaya's hand. "I have to go write mean things about you." And the other unnamed man. React well? No, not bloody likely.

“Should be more than just special occasions,” Jaya remarks on his so-called friend, but then there’s that kiss, and the closed look when she pulls away, and the humorless smile. The sigh is ragged, Jaya running a hand through her black hair when Jonavan speaks and closes back up to her. No swear word, which is probably worse, for the Bitran can expect a biting comment on the matter. It’s the lack of one that has her lips thinning guardedly, looking away from him. Words and questions come to mind but they are summarily discarded, the frown etched across her face as she tries to break her own silence. An apology like some girls would do in situations like this would have sounded patronizing from her lips, and yet she couldn’t argue with the healer either. So, she settles on a very heavy, “Fuck.” The journal slips from under her fingers as he takes it back, and she looks darts a long look his way on her following words of writing mean things about her. “Make sure you add how ugly I look,” she drops with little humor, perhaps referring to some conversation or argument between them long ago. “And we can throw knives at each other if you like. It’s better than trying to avoid me like you did last time.” Waiting to see what his next move was overall, the Bitran’s words were, of course, unconventional. But then, she was unconventional. Because in her mind, avoiding her didn’t work then, and it wasn’t going to work now.

"You have very small breasts," Jonavan says, along the lines of the mean comments he will write. His tone is fairly flat, though insulting Jaya restores at least some sort of black humour. He studies Jaya a minute longer, no reply forthcoming to pinpoint what he'll do, how he'll react. It may be that he's manipulating Jaya towards suspense or it may be that he simply doesn't know what to do next beyond head for the door and leave without saying another word. But as she said, locks are irresistible, and she knows that he keeps a journal, and there's no point in trying to hide it now. Choice phrases are sure to follow.

“You know good fucking well that I don’t,” Jaya’s words come on the heels of that remark, both cocky and dry. “That’s like me saying you have no dick at all.” In the case anyone forgets the woman is not polite, or is cowed by insults. She gives as good as she gets. She gets off the table to her feet now, regarding Jonavan just as much as he regards her, perhaps goading all the anger he feels to come out. It’s perhaps why she adds, “Is that all you got, shuga? That I have small breasts? Surely there’s more you want to throw my way. Since you’re here and all.” Back to challenging, perhaps wanting to push buttons, trying to see more of him. And if he leaves, she doesn’t stop him, knowing any words of gentleness at this point would have been thrown back in her face.

Since goaded, Jonavan obliges. "Fuck off." But it's not quite right, not the succinct little expression of anger it's supposed to be. At least he slams the door satisfactorily shut behind him and puts on a good show for Suli in the bar, snapping something snide about how it's a miracle her boss didn't jump him since she beds everyone else in the whole damn Weyr.

Jonavan’s last send-off words has Jaya watching him stalk off, slamming her door before she finally sags against her table and closes her eyes, allowing the stress and concerns of the altercation hit her behind the slammed door. On the other side, Suli was still present at the counter as she catches his snide comment, a brow lifting towards the closed door of her boss but doesn’t stop the man as he takes his exit.

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