The New World > The Badlands

I felt like I had died // O

(1/1)

Salem:
textSALEMENTRY #018.15.16BL ENFORCERSwish.
She felt as though she were returning home. Her hands flowed through the movement dozens of times before, holding the match against the sole of her shoe and watching the flame spring to life. She paused for a moment, admiring its temporary beauty, existing only to provide heat before being extinguished by the very being that brought it into this world.

Rolling the cigar between her lips, she held the flame an ample distance away as not to burn the paper. The heat that filled her body once it was lit was more than enough to counteract the slight winter chill that otherwise filled the air. She closed her eyes, savoring the taste that filled her mouth. It was all cedar and oak, notes that she hadn't experienced in...what was it now, eight months? Nine? She couldn't recall off the top of her head.

She exhaled, watching the smoke dissolve in front of her before more began to fill her mouth. She didn't know how she had managed to make it this long without a cigar: smoking these had become her saving grace in the Badlands: not only were they comforting to smoke, but they had earned her a favorable business reputation among customers that may have otherwise been dangerous. She had felt a sting of guilt when she stopped smoking, knowing she could never truly be sure of the quality of her product since she couldn't test them.

She shook her head against the slight breeze that tickled her cheeks. The cigar was the only reminder in that moment of her past life, before she had gotten pregnant. Back when she was able to fight, to drink, to look Teddy in the eyes without fear. Her calloused knuckles that once reminded her of her rage now brought about nostalgia: she never thought she'd miss the ring - or her old life - so much.

When she heard crying inside her shop, she sighed, carefully putting out her cigar and storing it in her pocket. She trodded inside and hiked up the stairs to her bedroom, where there now stood a small crib and an even smaller infant.

Instinctively, she picked him up and began to sway back and forth, shushing him as she stared down at his face. Even when he was wailing his tiny little lungs out, and snot was dripping from his nose, she couldn't help but suppress a smile. If this was what her old life had been cut off for, Salem could accept it.

It all had happened so fast: the birthing, the congratulations from other Badlanders, the naming...but she could now sense an impending, much-needed lull in the chaos. She carried her son downstairs to the empty storefront and peered down at her calendar, where she had written out all of the days in January.

She normally threw the previous month's paper away. To date, Salem has only kept two: one being August of the previous year, to help her remember her birthday, and the second the previous December, where, in the box labeled the 27th, the letters JMB were scribbled.

 She wouldn't need help remembering the day. No, she kept it as a memento of sorts, a token for surviving. Now, she figured her nine months of survival were over. It was time to get back to living.

JMB. Jasper Michael Barone. The name Jasper had come to her in a dream only a few days prior to her son's birth. A man had approached her, roughly her age, and had given her a hug. He had scraggly brown hair and bright blue eyes, and he had extended his hand in a goofy sort of manner.

"The name's Jasper," he had grinned, "And I'm your son."

She couldn't, however, let Jasper go through his life without in some way honoring the man who had helped her survive when she thought that she had nobody to turn to. He had been gone for a while, but the gun he left her had never left Salem's pocket. Her heart ached for Mike every day.

Jasper's gaze always seemed to be roaming. He was a curious baby, especially when she took him down to the storefront, or - god forbid - outside. Seeing new places always seemed to calm him when he was fussy for this reason. Salem knew that once he began walking and talking, she would be in for some trouble. But, right now, that didn't matter. Nothing - past or future - mattered anymore.

All that mattered was the look of wonder present in Jasper's bright blue eyes. VITALS> overall status: 100%

> physical status: stable.
> physical health: 100%
> physical afflictions: none yet.
> minor injuries: none yet.
> major injuries: none yet.

> mental status: stable.
> current status: stable.
> mental health: 100%
> mental illnesses: None
> mental damage: NoneTAGS━ ━xGENERAL
> Elisa Barone | "Salem"
> Female
> 24
━ ━xAPPEARANCE
>Human
> Dark brown hair that varies in shade, pale, blue green eyes.
> Carries at least 2 cigars at a time, a small handgun, and a small switchblade.
> tall, lanky and a bit awkward physically.
>
━ ━xABILITIES
> N/A
> N/A
━ ━xCONFRONTATION
> medium physically | easy/medium mentally
> non-violent power-play allowed
> no kill | request maim/capture
> ask to attack in bolded, underlined and italicized black
━ ━xRELATIONSHIPS
> Lionel King x Melissa Barone
> UNBORN CHILD
> Half brother Rafe
> Half niece Gigi
> Cat Chrisanthymum "Chrissy"
>Bisexual | no crush
>
━ ━xOTHER
> this text + this color = this meaningI'VE COME TOO FAR TO SEE THE END NOW━ ━ ━ ━ ━ ━ ━ ━ even if my way is wronga small everyone. | beware hidden scrolling

teddy.:
Teddy was terrified.

Whilst it had since become common knowledge that Teddy had traded in his compulsion to entertain multiple romances for the life of intimacy with the charming Tatiana, Teddy had remained eerily silent about the news that Tatiana was expecting their first child. Personally, Teddy wasn’t even sure whether he was yet inclined to call her his girlfriend — things were becoming quite serious in their romance, but rarely did Teddy ever want to commit to something entirely — let alone call himself the father of her first child. Perhaps Teddy wasn’t yet prepared to give into the humdrum of domestic life when his dream of enjoying an ostentatiously opulent party-going lifestyle had only just begun. Or perhaps he was scared — terrified, even — that he would be as hurtful and neglectful as his own father had been to him. This was merely a self-fulfilling prophecy, Teddy naturally acting avoidant for his own destructive self-preservation would be proof enough that the apple never fell too far from the tree.

He considered that the closest thing to prepare himself for fatherhood would be by examining how Salem took care of her newborn. And perhaps — whilst Teddy had not yet announced to anyone that he was going to be a father — they could support each other through the woes of parenthood. Whilst Teddy was mostly investigating out of his own anticipatory concern, he still cared enough to want to check in on Salem, especially now that she was a single mother. Did he wish to look out for her? Maybe just a little; she had been one of the few who had not let Teddy pull the wool over her eyes for too long. It was quite unfortunate for Salem anyway, discovering that Teddy was not the imperious dictator with the business acumen of a casino tycoon but instead he was just a boy so desperately trying to make it in a man’s world. Besides, what could someone like Teddy do when he and Salem were worlds apart?

Unbeknownst to Teddy, she couldn’t be fixed by the same person that broke her, could she?

A trip to Salem’s store slash home often involved Teddy’s desire to pick up some goods that he could use to impress associates from near and far. A chance to showcase all that Badlands was renowned for. But, today he wandered into the store with a new intention. ❝ That one giving ya sleepless nights? ❞ Teddy enquired and, like a lesson in fluidity, his greeting was not the cacophony of his usual mechanical, fake persona. He was a softer version of the man he often made himself out to be, as if he had removed the mask that tended to press flush against his raw nature. A shift in his stance, hands rested comfortably in his trouser pockets as he peered up the stairway in the hopes of catching Salem’s attention. He would not impose on her in her very own home, instead remaining stationary whilst he waited for an answer from her or at least a sign of her heading downstairs to meet him halfway.

Eyes would fill with curiosity once he looked at Salem’s son, Jasper, lip twitching slightly as his gaze darted between him and the new mother. Never had Teddy dreamed of becoming a parent — he always assumed that he could leave that job for Micah and Juliette whilst Teddy could die a bachelor — and even when he first found out that Anya was expecting Teddy had been wary. But the idea had slowly grown on him since, igniting a once unfounded excitement at the idea of domestic bliss. Maybe Teddy would never be the best of fathers but at least he could be there for his future children. Papa could never say that about his own capabilities as a father. Parenthood surely wouldn’t interfere with the life he already so enjoyed; if anything, he could have even more motivation to ensure The Badlands continued to reign so victoriously. Teddy was indeed quite the family man in general, his loyalties laying with his own blood over anything else.

Teddy was terrified, but also excited for the future.

❝ Just thought I’d pay a visit, ya know? Wanted to check to see if there was anything ya needed for yourself or Jasper… Or for Chrissy, of course. ❞ Teddy peered around the empty store, gaze soon shifting back to Salem. ❝ I can get a made man to ensure ya got everything you need. I’m sure you’ve got your hands full so it’s da least I could do. ❞  Teddy tried to shrug his offer off as dismissive, as if somebody had forced him to be there, but his morals were more generous than he liked the world to know. He was doing this on his own accord because he did care about the select few who knew him for him. How unfortunate it was for Salem, knowing that her leader was nothing but a fraud. A fake.

Salem:
textSALEMENTRY #018.15.16BL ENFORCERSalem whirled around from where she loomed over Jasper's crib, her dull eyes alight for a second before an incomprehensible darkness overtook them. She forced a soft smile onto her face as she lumbered down the stairs, heaving a sigh as she perched on her countertop.

"I appreciate it, Teddy. But I don't think me and - I don't think we need anything." She couldn't bear to say his name in front of Teddy: hell, just hearing Teddy say it was enough to make break her. If she hadn't been running on two hours of sleep, she probably would've had a bigger reaction to hearing the estranged father of her child say her sons name for the first time. However, she had bigger fish to fry.

For the moment, though, she decided to indulge him. It was dirty, she knew, but why couldn't she enjoy a few moments of comfort with him? Pretending everything was once as it was, catching up as though nothing lie between them? Well, as far as Teddy was concerned, nothing did. "Do you need anything while you're here?" She still couldn't meet his gaze, instead choosing to look at Chrissy, who had begun to weave herself between Teddy's legs and cry for attention. VITALS> overall status: 100%

> physical status: stable.
> physical health: 100%
> physical afflictions: none yet.
> minor injuries: none yet.
> major injuries: none yet.

> mental status: stable.
> current status: stable.
> mental health: 100%
> mental illnesses: None
> mental damage: NoneTAGS━ ━xGENERAL
> Elisa Barone | "Salem"
> Female
> 24
━ ━xAPPEARANCE
>Human
> Dark brown hair that varies in shade, pale, blue green eyes.
> Carries at least 2 cigars at a time, a small handgun, and a small switchblade.
> tall, lanky and a bit awkward physically.
>
━ ━xABILITIES
> N/A
> N/A
━ ━xCONFRONTATION
> medium physically | easy/medium mentally
> non-violent power-play allowed
> no kill | request maim/capture
> ask to attack in bolded, underlined and italicized black
━ ━xRELATIONSHIPS
> Lionel King x Melissa Barone
> Son Jasper
> Half brother Rafe
> Half niece Gigi
> Cat Chrisanthymum "Chrissy"
>Bisexual | no crush
>
━ ━xOTHER
> this text + this color = this meaningI'VE COME TOO FAR TO SEE THE END NOW━ ━ ━ ━ ━ ━ ━ ━ even if my way is wronga small everyone. | beware hidden scrolling

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