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ImnIslandGirl     1y ago

It was a big house. Far too large for the very few people who lived within its walls. Of course, there would be more if every child with the Heartly name were welcomed to live under their father’s roof, but this was not the type of family that thrived on unconditional love. You had to earn your place among these walls… Something Finn was still struggling to achieve after 17 years. He was talented, dedicated, and eager to please, but no matter what he did it wasn't enough to earn his father's approval. It didn't seem fair, since that same approval was given so freely to his brothers.

Roland was a master strategist with a soul as cold and calculating as his father's. Viktor had a way with words and the ability to manipulate almost anyone! Both were talented that Gordon Heartly respected and saw great use for. Finn, on the other hand, was little more than a common thief. His keen perception and flawless sleight of hand just weren't enough to impress his old man, making his place in this family shaky at best and leaving Finn with a constant need to prove himself.

It was that drive that led to the teens current predicament.

[#996633 "You little shit!"] The furious shouts of the eldest Heartly brother echoed through the halls as Finn made his escape, Roland's cell phone clutched in his hand. Finn was just about to the exit when a door opened into the hallway in front of him, slamming the teen to the floor. [I Fucking Roland and his fucking strategy!]

The older man's fist curled into Finn's shirt collar and hoisted him up against the wall, ripping the cell phone from the thief’s hand and slipping it into his pocket.

[#bb00ff "Come on Ro, what kind of thief would I be if I didn't try an easy mark like you?"] Finn joked in a smug tone and cocky expression that hid the growing fear within. Finn had received almost as many beatings from Roland as he did from their father, but it wasn't the harsh fists he was afraid of… it was Roland's sick, cunning forms of punishment that would leave Finn longing for a good old fashion black eye.

[#996633 "You know what they used to do in the old days, Finn? When they caught a theif like you, they'd cut off his hand."] With that threat, Roland used his free hand to grab Finns wrist and flatten it against the wall with a grip so tight the teen could feel the ache in his bones. He knew Ro wouldn't physically cut off his hand, but he had no doubt he'd break his wrist and deprive the thief of his own skills for a few months.

[#bb00ff "No, come on man! No need for that! Look, you got the phone back, alright? No harm done!"]

[#996633 "I told you last time you pulled this shit, I won't stand for it. So now I think we need to set some new ground rules."] Roland was much larger than Finn and easily shifted his weight so he could pin his arm across Finn's neck while still holding his wrist, freeing up his other hand to curl around the teen’s little finger.

[#bb00ff "No, no wait! Lesson learned! Come on, man! If I don't have my hands, I can't… fuck!"] The sickening pop cut the teen off mid sentence, flooding his hand with pain as his little finger jutted out at an unnatural angle. But Roland wasn't done and just moved on to Finn’s ring finger.

[#996633 "From now on, I'll break fingers every time you steal from me."]

[#bb00ff "OK! Ok, I get it! No more, man! Come on!"] Finn begged, watching a sadistic gleam cross Roland's eye before another snap echoed through the air. Finn couldn't bite back his scream this time, and curled his hand into his chest when Roland finally let him go.

[#996633 "Fine. But if you think this is bad, you just wait ‘til dad hears you couldn’t even steal from your own brother. He doesn’t have any use for failures like you Finn. You’ll be out on the streets if you don’t shape up."] Roland grinned as if seeing his brother kicked out of the house was something he was hoping for. 

Finn didn't waste much time in slipping away. As much as he longed to snap back, words were more of Viktor’s thing than Finn’s, and the thief was likely to lose more fingers if he tried. Instead he kept his head down and slinked away, waiting until he got back to the foyer before letting the smirk spread across his face. With his damaged hand still cradled close to his chest, his other hand pulled out the cell phone that he'd slipped back out of Roland's pocket when the man was busy breaking his fingers. Sure, Roland was going to be pissed, but it would be worth it. Finn had outsmarted the master strategist; that had to be enough to impress his father…. right?
BlatantlyImKat     1y ago

[+grey "You said we were serious? That’s why you invited me back, right? I…I thought…"]
Ah… the sound of another broken heart mixed with the sound of Viktor’s belt buckle clasping back into place. In front of him was another poor victim of his scandals. Half dressed, rose tinted glasses tainted in hopeless tears. The image would have anyone else’s heart half shattered but for Viktor, there was just a slight smirk and a chip on his shoulder.

[b "We were serious; for the 20 minutes it lasted. Sure, I invited you back but going back to your mums one bedroom flat and going at it on the pull out sofa… well… beggars can’t be choosers right but hell, we had one hell of an upgrade!] Viktor didn’t even make eye contact with the guy in front of him. Instead he picked up their shirt and tossed it over whilst he threw a tie over his neck and checked his watch. He was going to be late…
[+grey "But you said… you’re just making me leave?]
[b "I’m not making you do anything. However… if you want my dads bodyguards to come and give you a real reason to cry, you’ve got about 10 seconds to jump out that window.]
[+grey "You’re not being serious…"]
[b "9…8…"]
[+grey "But…]
[b "7…6…5…"]

Viktor closed his eyes and enjoyed the sound. The last choked back sob, the window opening, the cold breeze on the back of his neck and then that pain filled yelp. Yes, it was another successful night and another to add to his starting tally. The game only begun recently between him and Finn but still, anything to kill the void of this place. He looked in the mirror at the vibrant suit he was wearing. His father would rather him dressed more sophisticated but so long as he got the job done he could keep his bed in this place. A space he couldn’t wait to vacate. Viktor longed for the day he could leave and by fire and fury he had been trying. Sadly what would disappoint any other mother and father seemed to be something to utilise by his own. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll was every persons addiction when roped in, especially with Viktor smelt of charm and could target anyone on his fathers list. That was his mission for today. Infiltrate another boring party filled with overly boring rich people, charm his way to his fathers target and see how much information and more importantly, money he could take. 

Roughing up his hair so he left his own room just in time to see Finn at the bottom of the stairs. His eyes narrowed for a brief moment and weighed up the scene. It seemed Flint has been up to his own mischief. 
[b "Well, well, well, ladies and gentleman, boys and girls… I present to you for one time only, my absolute loser of a brother who is yet again a point behind this handsome devil! It’s Finn everybody! Give a round of applause for the little sad sack."] Viktor cheered from the top of the stairs, applauding as he took his steps down towards his sibling. To say they got on eye-to-eye was a far from true statement. If anything they were constantly ready to tear at each other’s throats. Viktor wanted out of this place whilst Finn wanted in. It was a toxic combination yet for some reason the two just couldn’t separate…

[b "Nice snapped back fingers there. The bullied little brother looks really suits you. Maybe sport a nice black eye next time, it’ll really give you the ‘feel sorry for me’ look which you crave. Maybe daddy might actually give you a little kiss on the head and go ‘it’s ok son, let me give you the long lost attention you crave’"] Viktor mocked, squeezing his brothers cheek as if he was a toddler before giving him a mocking kiss on the forehead. 

Taking a few steps away Viktor turned to the mirror, once again assessing his appearance. If he wasn’t so focused on how he could manipulate or mess with someone else’s feelings, he was often looking upon himself. Vanity certainly wasn’t something he kept hidden.
[b "If you haven’t signed your own death warrant maybe you could actually earn daddy’s approval by helping me with my next assignment. It’s the usual… attend a party, pretend to care, take the free drinks, charm whoever the fuck looks important, get the intel and then vanish.”] Though he explained it nonchalant thee was an emptiness in his eyes. It was the one thing Viktor didn’t keep hidden… he resented this family. He despised being the child with the use. The one who was trapped by his own ‘gift’, if it could be called that.

[b "So are you going to come or stay and get murdered in the next 10 minutes once he realises you have his own? Broken neck will certainly look good with those broken fingers."]
ImnIslandGirl     1y ago

Finn ignored his brother's announcement at first, seemingly transfixed by something on Roland's phone. As he heard the footsteps on the stairs behind him, Finn began to read aloud from a text chain between Roland and their father.

[#bb00ff "[i 'Viktor is easily distractible, unmotivated, and petty, which only adds to his growing incompetence. Any value he may show with his talent for persuasion is easily outweighed by his immaturity and utter lack of motivation. He is and will always be, an insolent child unworthy of the Heartly name.'] Wow! I never knew Roland could be so perceptive!"] Finn commented, tossing his brother the phone so he could see that there were plenty of messages between Gordon and Roland. Roland was the oldest (now that Cleo was dead and gone) and a master strategist, so Gordon often relied on his opinions when making plans. But Gordon was also smart enough to know Roland would try to sabotage his competition in the family, so he hadn't acted on his oldest son's advice just yet.

[#bb00ff "You know Ro's got files on each of us in that thing, right? I have half a mind to give that phone to that gamer kid, Kenny. You know he took up hacking? Kid’s a wiz! Eight years old and he fucking hacked into dad's security system last week. Just think of what he could do with big brother's cell."] Since not all of the Heartly siblings lived in the house, not much was known about the mystery siblings that still lived with their mothers. But Finn had made a point to at least meet them. His favourite by far was little Kenny - the 8 year old prankster with a knack for computers. Finn was almost glad the kid wasn't in the house… at least he didn't have to worry about being  bullied by Roland.

At the mention of his fingers, Finn's expression faltered and for half a second a look of insecurity and fear crossed his eyes before it was hastily hidden by the flash of brightly colored fabric. Finn pulled a vibrant purple fabric square from his sleeve and wrapped it around the injured digits to stabilize them and to hide them from his brother's judgemental gaze. Still, the lack of backtalk was proof enough that Finn was more affected by the injury than he normally would be. It wasn't the first time Roland had hurt him, but it was the first time the bastard targeted his skills. Without his hands, Finn was useless to his father. A fact that Roland was likely to capitalize on in the future. Hopefully Viktor wasn't spiteful enough to do the same.

Finn tolerated the mocking kiss and squeeze of his cheeks, but only because it got Viktor close enough to lose his own cell phone to the agile thief. Finn didn't exactly have a use for it, but he liked to show off his skills almost as much as Viktor liked his own reflection, and he always took a twisted sense of pride in being able to pull one over on the conman.

[#bb00ff "At least the few times I have got Dad's approval, I've earned it. You're conning the old man as much as you con everyone else. I bet he only keeps you around because you remind him of that Silvertongue rival of his… What was it? Marston? Morgan? Mason? That's the one; Martyn Mason! Too bad you're not anywhere close to his league."] Finn snapped back mockingly, waiting until Viktor was immersed in his own reflection before pulling out the conman's phone and casually flipped through a few texts and some images that Viktor's former conquests had sent him that were certainly not intended to be shared.

[#bb00ff "Nice, nice, impressive, haha! Oh man, seriously? You need to tell this guy that if he needs to zoom in that much, it defeats the purpose of the pic."] Finn teased, showing Viktor his own phone screen with a rather unimpressive pic from a guy he'd slept with last week.

The invitation was tempting, but Finn wasn't one to be overly eager for handouts. It would be a good opportunity to use his skills and earn some points with his father, but the fact that Viktor was offering it like some grand favour was irritating. As desperate as Finn was to earn his father’s respect and secure his place in the household, he wasn’t looking to be indebted to his annoying half-brother.

[#bb00ff "Well, it would give me a chance to try out my new act…"] Finn pondered, letting a brief smirk twist his features. He slipped a small pellet into his hand and with a flourish he tossed it to the floor at his feet. Violet smoke erupted from the pellet and completely hid the thief from view for several seconds. When it finally dissipated, Finn had changed and was now dressed in a classy black suit, with a rich purple silk shirt, that matched the fabric currently tied around his broken fingers.

Magic was new to Finn. He had only really been practicing for a few weeks, ever since his father yelled at him for failing to be 'subtle' enough to be a good thief. Well, if he wasn't subtle enough to be sneaky, he'd learn to perfect his skills being the center of attention! Rob people blind from right under their nose! After all, 90% of magic was sleight of hand and good timing, something that came naturally to the budding magician. He was already pretty good and with a bit more practice, he'd be one of the best in the city.

[#bb00ff "Damn, Vik, only you can make a party sound that dull and painful. Fine, I'll spare you from your boredom. How about a little competition? Whoever walks out with the best intel wins? Bonus points for whoever gets the most phone numbers."] Finn offered, trying to make the whole evening a game. But a simple rivalry wasn’t quite enough for the thief, especially after his pride was still stinging from both his interaction with Roland and with Vik. He wanted to prove his skills and though impressing Vicktor wasn’t easily done, there were definitely perks to having the family Silvertonge vouching for your skills.

[#bb00ff “Or we could make this a real challenge? Pick a mark… anyone in that room - make this as difficult as you want. If I can pick their pockets by the end of the night I win and you have to convince Roland not to kill me when we get home. Deal?”]


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