The Family Business (Closed to Onyx-)

By Burning_Heart

They're a well-known mafia assassin, tasked with protecting a girl who's become a target due to her father's own mafia position.

She's a famous ballet dancer, thrown into a world of violence because of her connection with a father she's tried to cut all ties with.

She must entrust her life to the same kind of monster who killed her mother and left her dead, and they must bury a past that threatens to drown them. Most importantly, the two of them have to learn to put aside their suspicions of one another or die trying to survive.

What I'm Looking For:

I'm looking for a semi-literate to literate partner who is willing to flesh out details with me. The story is something I want to write together. This is why the description is so brief.

The mafia assassin is left genderless for a reason. I don't mind if they're female, male, binary, anything like that. It's your character. Play them as you like. Just take this seriously, please.

Real pictures are preferred, but not necessary. I'm willing to use illustrated if necessary.

Communication. I myself am not that great at being on every day or replying every day. I understand life comes first, but at least keep in contact and agree to let the other know when we'll be replying or taking a break/hiatus, anything like that. I'm a very patient and understanding person, I promise.

Good grammar. I'm not great with this all the time. I constantly make mistakes, but I really don't want to try and decipher a reply.

This is a mature roleplay. ES rules still apply, but it's a mafia-based RP. Obviously, things like drugs, cursing, violence, etc, will happen and apply here. If any kind of romance happens, either skip or take it off-site.

Most importantly, have fun. This is just a small idea I had that I wanted to write and I want my partner to do the same.

PM me with the subject of "Family Business" so that I know you read the entire thing. If I don't see that, I will simply assume you didn't read through and I will ignore you. I don't mean that in a rude way, but it's a pet peeve to go through and explain things or try and talk something over that is already presented above.

If you're interested then I can't wait to hear from you!
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Kumospace [Everyone] [Everyone]


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Burning_HeartJemina   1y ago

[center Jemina sat silently in the chair, her hands clenched into fists as they trembled in her lap. She wasn't sure if it was a mix of fear, anger, or both. Her father sat on the other side of the desk, his hands placed on top of it. He was watching her with those cold blue eyes of his. Any other day, she would've just stormed out and told him to never contact her again. Unfortunately, today wasn't any normal day. No, today had been the day that Jemina had almost died, and she so badly wanted to scream at the older man until she was blue in the face that it was his fault.]

[center Yet she remained quiet, staring at her knuckles as they turned white. [b "This is absolutely ridiculous,"] she finally said, her words soft. Tears filled her eyes as she looked up at him, taking in the grey hair that had begun to come in. He raised a brow as he sat back. Business as usual. [b "I am in the middle of a very important run. I will [i not] back out of the show because [i you] have enemies. I won't do it."]]

[center Mr. Reed let out a sigh, rubbing his brow as he leaned back in the chair. The two other men in the room, standing on either side of the door, were completely quiet, waiting patiently to see what the older man would say. [b [i "Jemmy, with all due respect-"]]]

[center [b "Don't Jemmy me."]]

[center Another sigh. [b [i "With all due respect, it's not safe. I understand that they're my enemies, but they've obviously decided that you need to be their target to get to me."]]]

[center [b "And I think it's complete bullshit. I did [i everything] to guarantee that you and I couldn't be tied together. Everything. If you weren't meddling in this petty criminal shit, this wouldn't be happening."] She wanted to say more, mention what had happened when she was a child, mention that her mother would still be alive, but she could tell by the look on his face alone that he understood all too well what was on her mind. The man hadn't stopped thinking about his deceased wife ever since he'd discovered her and Jemina missing.]

[center Rolling her eyes, she stood, placing her hands on top of the desk. [b "I will not be a part of your games. You either find a way to make sure they think they have the wrong girl or on my life I will turn you in."]]

[center He pursed his lips together as she spun on her heel, making her way to the large double doors. [b [i "I've arranged for a bodyguard,"]] he said, causing her to freeze. She turned to look at him, narrowing her eyes. [b [i "I understand that you don't like what I do, but you'll just have to accept that the Kings are dragging you into it and that I'm just trying to protect you."]]]

[center [b "A bodyguard?"] she asked softly, slowly making her way back over to the desk. [b "So what, not only do you want me to stay locked up in my home, you want some stranger to watch over me?"] She was seething. Sure, her father was trying to protect her, but it frustrated her to no end that he had to do so in the first place. After her mother was killed and she was left for dead, they had tried everything they could to make sure she couldn't be traced back to him. Eight-year-old Jemina had died that day, alongside her mother. She'd been sent to live with a distant cousin and swearing that she would never be apart of the family business.]

[center Now, at twenty-five, she was beginning to realize that her efforts didn't matter. Placing her hands on the back of the chair, she met his gaze. [b "Please, then, do tell me: who is this 'bodyguard' of yours?"]]

[center He seemed to hesitate before answering. [b [i "He's one of the most trusted men in the business. I've already paid enough money to guarantee..."]]]

[center His words seemed to trail off as Jemina's world spun. [i In the business?] She tightened her grip on the back of the chair. Even when hiring protection for his daughter, he still relied on the mafia. Her blood boiled, but she remained calm. For the time being, that was.]
Onyx-вυѕιneѕѕ   1y ago

[google-font][merriweather [size12 A small sigh passed through the male's lips as he looked at himself in the mirror. Today was the day he would be meeting Jemina. He knew that her father had hired him for a reason, and he wasn't about to back out of this either. He was being paid really well and he couldn't wait to see what this woman was capable of. He let out another sigh as he heard a knock on his door. [#B22222 "Come in"] he called out. His door slowly opened and his mother walked into the room wringing her hands together.]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 He could tell she had something on her mind, and it was bothering her to no end. He walked out of the bathroom and into the bedroom. [#B22222 "What's going on momma?"] he asked her. The woman looked up towards her son and tears welled up inside of her eyes. [b "I don't think you should be doing this. I wanted you out of this business, and you are just being sucked right back in.. I want my son back"] she admitted. Seeing the pain in his mother's eyes broke his heart and he walked over and hugged her.]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 [#B22222 "Momma please, you and I have talked about this. The money is what I'm doing it for. You and I both know that we need this money. The longer I'm there protecting this woman, the longer we will have the money for your treatments"] he said softly. The older woman shook her head lightly as she looked up at him with tear filled eyes. [b "I know that.. I just don't want you getting hurt like the last time.."] she breathed out. Thinking about the last time this happened hurt his heart, and chest at the same time.]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 He had been protecting his mother of all people, and his bastard of a father had hired a hit man to kill them both. He had been stabbed, and the knife had been dragged down along his chest like they were trying to cut his heart out. He wrapped his arms around his mother, and held her against his chest. [#B22222 "Nothing like that is going to happen again. I promise you that. I've taken precautions myself. But this woman needs me momma. I promise I'll be okay, and I'll call you every night"]]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 [#B22222 "I honestly don't want to watch over a snotty brat, at least that's how I feel about her. But I really need to get a move on"] he said kissing her temple. The older woman held her son tightly against her, and nodded a little bit. [b "Alright, you'll still come home on the weekends right?"] she asked him. He promised her that he would. She took his answer in stride and then kissed his cheek lightly. [b "I'm holding you to it"] she said softly. That made Ambrose smile a bit and hug her even tighter.]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 He never dreamed her would still be in the mafia, but what other choice did he have? He was the best out there, and people were always hiring him for things. He sighed and let the woman go. He then finished packing his things and made sure he had everything he needed. He then made his way out of the bedroom with his mother in tow. She was following him around like a child, and it warmed his heart a little bit. The two talked a little bit longer as he gathered up what he needed.]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 When he was done he walked out to his beat up truck and threw his things inside. He turned and opened his arms to her. [#B22222 "I love you, and I'll be home in a couple of weeks"] he promised. She kissed his cheek and stood back wiping her tears away. The male climbed into the truck and started it up. He then pulled out of the parking lot and headed towards his new so called home. He was kind of nervous, because he didn't know what to really expect from all of this right now.]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 When he pulled up to the huge house he let out a low whistle. He was going to be living the dream so to speak. He parked the truck and grabbed his things. He then walked up to the front door and rang the bell. He hoped he wasn't late, since they never really agreed on a time for him to arrive in the first place.]]
Burning_HeartJemina   1y ago

[center Jemina's head snapped up at the doorbell rang. Her father seemed relieved at the sound, standing and making his way out from behind the desk. [b [i "How about I introduce the two of you instead?"]] She glared at him as he passed her, but reluctantly followed, the two guards close behind them. She could feel her heart pounding, but it wasn't because she was nervous. She intended to give this stranger as much grief as she was giving her father.]

[center Stopping in the foyer, Jemina watched her father motion towards the door, one of his men quickly making his way over to open it. She crossed her arms over her chest, unsure of what she should've expected. She had to admit, it wasn't the man that was revealed when the door was opened.]

[center She had to admit, he was good-looking. She glanced at her father, a look of disbelief on her face. [b "This is a joke, right? You picked out Prince Charming to keep me safe? You are a real piece of work, you know that?"] She turned her attention to the man, narrowing her eyes on him. [b "No offense, but don't you have a princess stuck in a tower to rescue?"] she asked, looking him up and down. She had no idea how this was going to work.]
Onyx-вυѕιneѕѕ   1y ago

[google-font][merriweather [size12 Ambrose looked up when the door opened and he was allowed into the house. He looked towards the woman and a small smirk passed over his lips. [#B22222 "Honestly no I don't. I do have some whores I could be out fucking instead of being here. But I'm choosing the spoiled princess over them"] he said with a teasing note in his voice. The older man cleared his throat and looked between his daughter and the male. [b "I didn't hire you to be a total dick to my daughter. I hired you to protect her"] he hissed.]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 Ambrose felt his heart drop into his stomach just then. [#B22222 "I'm sorry sir. I wasn't trying to be a dick. She just kind of rubbed me the wrong way, I kind of went along with it.."] he said as he shoved his hands into his pockets. The man nodded and looked towards Jemina. [b "You Jemina, need to act like a lady around this man. He's the best of the best, and I'm paying him good money. He will be going with you every where you go. You won't have a choice in the matter."]]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 [b "You also need to lose the attitude around him as well. Because he will be coming back to me with everything that's happened at the end of the day. I didn't hire him so you could run off and leave him. He will have your phone number, and everything else I give him as well. Now if you'll excuse me I have some business to attend too"] he said walking over and kissing his daughter's forehead. [b "Behave"] was all he said. He then looked towards Ambrose and nodded a bit. Ambrose was slightly embarrassed for what happened.]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 He finally looked Jemina in the eye. [#B22222 "Listen I'm not happy about this either. Let's just play nice, and it'll all be over and done with before we both know it"] he said lightly. He didn't like the idea of following the woman around everywhere, but what other choice did he have? He sighed a bit as he let the silence wash over them. It was getting a bit more awkward with each passing second as well, and he wanted nothing more than to just sink into the floor, or go back home.]]
Burning_HeartJemina   1y ago

[center A small gasp escaped Jemina's lips at his words. She hadn't been expecting such a response from him. She quickly shut her mouth, looking away from him for a moment. [i Yes, because he's such a panty dropper,] she thought to herself. Even as the thought crossed her mind, however, he knew the sarcasm was unnecessary. She wouldn't say it out loud, but he definitely was one. She had no doubt that girls were lined up at his door every night.]

[center She looked up at her father as he addressed her, doing her best to bite her tongue. It was obvious by this point that trying to argue or throw a fit just wasn't going to work. She let out a soft sigh as he pressed a kiss to her head. [b "Yes, sir,"] she said, sounding a little defeated. She almost felt like a child again. Images of her mother invaded her mind and it took all she had to push them away. She wouldn't think about that. Not here.]

[center Looking up, she met Ambrose's gaze. [b "Fine,"] she said after a moment or so. [b "If you don't mind, I have to get to practice for my next show. Do I need permission to do that?"] she asked, keeping her eyes locked with his. This was going to be difficult and she knew it.]

[center Hell, she didn't even know how long this was supposed to last. If she was lucky, her father would have things settled in the next few days and Ambrose would be out of her life for good. On the other hand...No. She couldn't think like that. She really needed to stay as positive as possible and just go about her life as if nothing was wrong.]

[center As if there wasn't a target on her back.]

[center She almost flinched. She had sworn to herself that she was never going to feel like a victim again, and yet here she was, being the damn victim. Again. She wrapped her arms around herself, finally glancing away from him. This sucked.]
Onyx-вυѕιneѕѕ   1y ago

[google-font][merriweather [size12 The male shook his head a bit and shoved his hands into his pockets. He knew this was hard on her, and it was just as hard on him. He had a sick mother to take care of, and he would rather be there instead of here. When the woman's father left the room and they were somewhat alone was when he spoke freely. [#B22222 "You don't need my permission to do anything. You can pretty much go about your day like normal, you'll just have me tagging along like a lost puppy dog pretty much"] he said with a small smirk.]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 [#B22222 "I mean, I'll get to see what it's like in the life of some spoiled princess pretty much. Is that how I wanna spend my day? Not at all. Is it how I'm going to spend my day? Yeah it is. Because I don't have much of a choice in the matter. You can bad mouth me all you want Princess, but you won't be leaving my sight at all"] he said. He knew it might be a bad choice of words, but he didn't care. He was here to do a job.]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 [#B22222 "If you need to go and get ready please do. I'll be down here to take you wherever you need to go. If you wanna do something else after whatever you need to do, tell me and I will take you there. Just think of me as your personal chuffer as well. Which I pretty much will be"] he said with a small shrug of his shoulders. He could see the war she was having in her mind, and it broke his heart a little bit. He wanted nothing more than to help her out.]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 [#B22222 "Listen, I'm not too happy about this either. But you and I will need to get along to make this work. Once your father feels like you don't have a huge ass target on your back anymore is when I'll be gone. If you'd like to set some ground rules, you are more than welcome too. The catch to that is, if you set some I have to set some as well. We can sit down either tonight or tomorrow night and talk them all out as well"] he offered. Hopefully that would make things a bit better.]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 Maybe just maybe sitting down and talking without her father breathing down their necks would make her trust him a little bit more. He looked her up and down, and couldn't help but wonder what she looked like under all of those clothes. He shook his head trying to clear it. [#B22222 "I'll be by the front doors waiting for you"] was all he said as he turned and walked out of the room. He walked over to a chair and sat down. He put his head into his hands, and let out a small groan.]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 He had a feeling he was biting off a bit more than he could chew with this one. He didn't have a choice though. He kept his head in his hands, as he waited for the woman to finally join him and tell him where she wanted, or needed to go.]]
Burning_HeartJemina   1y ago

[center Jemina looked at him as he spoke, trying to get the ugly feeling of being a target to go away. At least he wasn't going to tell her what she could and couldn't do. She wanted to go about her routine as normal as possible. It was going to be strange having him at her rehearsal, especially because she knew damn well people were going to assume she was involved with him. It had been a few years since she'd last had a "beau" and she knew the media would run with it, facts be damned.]

[center She let out a soft sigh before running a hand through her hair, feeling somewhat better. [b "So long as you don't follow me to the bathroom and you're not obnoxious, I won't try to leave your sight. Sound good?"] She frowned slightly. [b "And it's Jemina, not Princess,"] she mumbled softly. This was going to suck. Big time.]

[center She had turned to go up the stairs so she could go get changed into something more comfortable. It was slightly fortunate that her father hadn't changed a single thing in her old room. Of course, the clothes wouldn't be anything extravagant. Nothing more than tights and a tight tank top, considering the production she was in was still new and her costume wasn't ready yet. She stopped short of the first step as Ambrose spoke once more. She glanced over her shoulder at him, gripping the railing. He was absolutely right. Whatever bitter feelings the two of them had about the situation, they'd just have to push them aside and run with things until everything was under control. It sounded like he'd very much been caught off guard just as much as she had been by the sudden change in their lives. She was willing to make it easier if that was the best way to make the situation go by any faster.]

[center Nodding, she quickly made her way upstairs, throwing out her practice clothes before pulling her hair into a ponytail. She was quick to grab a change of clothes and throw them into her old dance bag before staring at herself in the vanity mirror. She had bags under her eyes, and though they probably weren't too obvious to everyone else, they stuck out like a sore thumb to her. She let out a small curse. It was all taking a toll on her. Sometimes she really wished she hadn't been born into this family.]

[center Pushing a few loose blonde strands behind her ear, she made her way back downstairs, making her way to the front doors. She paused as she saw Ambrose sitting down. Perhaps she was being a little too bitchy about the situation to him. Sure, he'd accepted the job, but maybe there was a bigger reason behind it? He had already stated that he didn't like it any more than she did, so why accept it?]

[center She did her best to push her curiosity aside before she approached him. [b "How about we sit down tonight over dinner? I'll cook something, we can discuss our rules and possibly reintroduce ourselves?"] She said, breaking the silence. She [i did] have some things she would need to discuss with him and she figured it would help if they had an easy evening while doing so. [b "You can think about it on the way to the studio if you need to. It's not a long drive..."] She wanted to curse again. This felt awkward all around.]
ButterflyRoseвυѕιneѕѕ   356d ago

[google-font][merriweather [size12 Everything was happening so quickly. Ambrose wanted nothing more than to forget any of it was even happening. He wanted to be done, be at home with his mother instead of here. That's not what Fate and other's had in mind for him either. He was supposed to protect Jemina, and that was it. He sighed lightly as he reached up and ran a hand over his face. He was pretty much digging a huge hole for himself. He had heard her comment about not calling her Princess, and he thought about it for awhile. He would still call her that.]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 She was acting like a spoiled bitch, so why not call her that name? A small smirk passed over his lips at the thought. He knew it would get under her skin, but he wasn't going to budge on it either. As he sat there waiting for her to get her things, so they could get to the studio in time he thought about his mother. He wondered if she was doing okay. He pulled out his phone and sent her a quick message. [#B22222 [i Just checking in to make sure you are okay.]]]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 [#B22222 [i My new charge is a down right bitch, I know you won't like the word, but it's true. I honestly can't stand her, and she sure as hell can't stand me. If you need anything please text or call me. I love you momma, so much.]] He read the message over and added a couple heart emoji's as well to the message before sending it. That's when he heard the woman's voice and she seemed to have changed a bit. Not just her clothes, but the way she was talking to him.]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 That seemed to take him slightly off guard but it didn't really surprise him. What did surprise him was the offer to cook for him. He felt his phone buzz in his pocket knowing it was his mother. He put a finger up and read her message really quick. [b [i I know it's going to be hard, but please treat her with respect. I raised you better than that. I love you too, and if I need anything I will call you. I'm going to go and curl up in bed for a while. Try and stay safe. I love you too Ambrose, so much. Xoxo.]]]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 The male's heart melted at the message, and he slid his phone back into his pocket. He then looked towards the woman and nodded a bit. [#B22222 "I'm down with that. If you want it to be more public I will understand, because I don't think you and I should be alone right away. I mean we are right now, but are we really alone?"] he asked her. There were still people around them, and he wondered if it would be best to be in public right now.]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 That's when he realized what he said. He shook his head a bit and smirked lightly. [#B22222 "Forget what I said about being in public. We will come straight back here after you are done at the studio. Let's go Princess"] he said as he gathered up his things and headed out of the house. He went to his car and unlocked the doors and slid in behind the wheel. He should have been a gentleman and opened her door, but didn't. He knew he would get an earful of that later. Right now he had one thing in mind.]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 Get her to the studio safe and sound, and then back home. He sighed as he waited for her to get into the car. Once she was inside, he started the car up and headed to the studio as she told him where to go. He wasn't in the mood to deal with anything else at the moment, and right now he would have to deal with a lot being in the open.]]
Burning_HeartJemina   353d ago

[center Jemina tossed his words around in her mind, wondering if maybe he was right. Technically they weren't alone right now, not with all of her father's guards around the building. Would it be any different if they were actually alone? Would he still treat her like the spoiled brat he believed her to be? Before she could really contemplate it, he had changed his mind. She only nodded before following him out. She knew why he had decided against the public idea. His job was to make sure she was safe. It was risky enough that she was still willing to go to practice, but Jemina had a routine, and she was going to stick with it the best she could.]

[center She was silent as they drove towards the studio, only talking when she needed to tell him when to turn. It was one of those awkward silences that she had never been a fan of, at least to her. She wasn't sure if he noticed it or if he was at all bothered by it. [i Probably not.] If she had to guess, he probably liked the silence far more than the small talk that she could try to provide.]

[center When they arrived at the studio, she snagged her bag, glancing at him. [b "You're free to just sit back in the lobby if you don't want to stay in the room. The door has a window so I won't be out of sight."] In the end, it didn't matter what he did. She really didn't want to be stuck up his ass, and she was sure he felt the same way, despite taking the job, so the least she could do was try to put [i some] distance between them.]

[center With that, she slid out of the car, making her way into the large dance studio. She gave a small wave to the brunette sitting at the counter, green eyes glued to the computer screen. [b "Hey, Melissa. How's the baby?"]]

[center The woman jumped before letting out a small laugh. [b [i "He's great. A pain in my ass with the late nights, but that's alright. He makes up for it by being cute."]] She smiled at her. [b [i "Studio B is open for you."]]]

[center [b "Thanks,"] she said, glancing over her shoulder. It was going to be so much fun when word got out that she was traveling around with a handsome man. Who knew what the tabloids would come up with?]
ButterflyRoseвυѕιneѕѕ   341d ago

[google-font][merriweather [size12 When the male pulled up to the studio and let the female out, she told him he could stay out in the lobby and watch her though the window. He was thinking about it, but at the moment he needed to call and check up on his mother. When Jemina was out of the car and safely in the building, he pulled his phone out and dialed his mother. He waited until he heard her voice on the other end. [b "Ambrose! I'm so glad you called"] came the sound of her sweet voice, and it softened his heart a bit.]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 [#B22222 "I told you I would. How are you doing? Is everything okay?"] he asked. He didn't know if he should drop this whole thing, and go back home. His mind was screaming at him to do just that, but at the same time he knew he needed the money, and Jemina needed the protection. [b "I'm doing alright honey. How are you doing? How's the woman you are needing to protect?"] she asked him. Always the wonderful mother she was. Putting other's before herself. She sounded perfectly okay as well which helped.]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 He took a small breath and blew it out slowly. [#B22222 "It's okay for the most part. Her name is Jemina, and I feel like she's a spoiled little brat, but that could just be me. I'm sitting outside of her dance studio right now. I figured I would call before I went inside and check up on you"] he said with a small smile on his face. [b "Oh that's sweet of you my love. I'm doing okay I promise you that. I hope she's not as spoiled as you think she is. It's a lot to handle right now"]]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 [b "I bet she's a really beautiful woman, and a wonderful dancer. You should get inside and keep your eye on her. Don't worry about me. I should hopefully see you later tonight. I love you"] she said lightly. The two talked for a little bit longer, and he said he loved her too and then hung up the phone. Hanging up like that seemed to break his heart. She was in such good spirits that it calmed his worried mind at least for a little bit. The male then looked towards the building.]]

[google-font][merriweather [size12 He then climbed out and shut the door behind him. He locked the doors and slid the keys into his pocket. He then walked inside and saw the woman behind the counter. He nodded towards her and started looking for the room Jemina was in. He opened the door and stepped inside. He moved over to one side of the room, and sat on the floor. Might as well keep himself in the same room just in case something were to happen. If that were the case, then he would be right there and not in a different room.]]
Burning_HeartJemina   319d ago

[center The blonde let out a frustrated sigh as she moved over to the stereo, starting the music over for what felt like the hundredth time, counting the steps in her head once more as she made her way back to the middle of the room. She'd practiced this routine more times than she could count, and yet for some reason, the ending was throwing her off. She was by no means perfect, damn it, but it wasn't that complicated a move. [b "Right foot here, left here and-"] She let out a curse as she overstepped, causing her to hit the ground.]

[center For a moment, she sat on her knees, taking deep breaths and sweat beading on her face. Perhaps it was just an off day. [i Of course it is.] There had been a lot thrown at her in the span of just a few hours and she'd barely had time to process it all. Not to mention, the situation kept bringing up memories that she would've rather forgotten.]

[center Hearing the song start over again, she pushed herself up, taking another few deep breaths before attempting the routine again. She was overthinking it. That was part of the problem. This time, she closed her eyes, deciding that watching herself in the mirror wasn't helping at all when it came to getting the move right. Instead, she focused on the music, counting the steps in her head and allowing muscle memory to take over.]

[center She finally finished the routine, feeling much better once she finally managed to get it right. It was then that she heard the door open, pulling her out of the moment. Her eyes landed on Ambrose and she offered him a smile. [b "I was beginning to think you were going to stay outside forever,"] she said in between breaths. Pausing the music, she moved over to her bag, grabbing the half-empty bottle of water and taking a long drink from it. [b "How opposed are you to a birthday party?"] she asked, looking at him.]

[center This was one of those things that she knew was risky, and if her father knew that she was planning to attend, he'd lose his mind, but she had promised Sarah, her best friend and a member of the dance company, that she would show long before the present situation had arrived. She'd even picked out a pretty blue dress and everything. [b "It's a private party in a large suit farther into town tonight, and I figure, with security there and you at my side that it should be safe enough, right?"] She tried to sound as nonchalant as she could about it. It was another thing she could do that would help her in feeling like she had some kind of control. If he said no, she'd pull out the pouty lip or something. Would that work on him?]


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