Author Topic: let's go up in flames, pretty lady — anna.  (Read 385 times)

Offline silas.

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let's go up in flames, pretty lady — anna.
« on: April 20, 2022, 02:07:33 PM »
❝ One day this is all going to end. These people here? They'll take all that they want from you and then they'll leave you, just like everybody does in the end. ❞

❝ Yous right, I- I won't let anyone take a - a goddamn thing from me. ❞

Oh, how life was easier back then.

A hushed conversation spoken only in the midst of the night so that no prying ears could listen, Silas would make certain to his beloved witch of a sister that nothing would stand between him and the ones that he loved. Not even love itself would tear them apart.

He was so fucking stupid sometimes. As if it were one big ironic tragedy, that had been the start of losing everything dear to him. His best friend, his sister, then his brother, then Anna... Then his niece, then himself in the devastating attack on his group, then his group and, when things finally began to look better for him, he lost his fiancé, too.

He wasn’t a whole person anymore, and Silas doubted he ever would be. Parts of him died with every love he had to lose. They could visit him in dreams and God could those dreams feel so real sometimes, sometimes he’d have to remind himself that it just wasn’t real. It was all gone, torn away from him because Silas wasn’t built for love. He lost everything because he loved: too much, too intensely, so much love that his fear of losing it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

After months — years — of trying to make himself a better man for his son, Silas wondered whether he was actually getting good at it. The Badlands had been the ideal place for him to showcase his raw talent with explosives, and people viewed him as a valuable asset for it. Nowadays, most people weren't as crafty as Silas claimed to be and, despite his incessant narcissist rambling, this time he wasn’t spewing shit about his skillset. Being a Made Man suited him well. Despite his former vendetta against The Badlands, times changed with every passing season and people began to associate Bluestem’s hostility with Brock Van Den Bergh’s megalomania.

For the first time in his life, Silas was thankful for not being so notable in the world.

James was growing up a good kid, too. Eleven years old and he had one hell of an opinion on him. Well, the apple never fell too far from the tree, did it? Father and son almost seemed more like two friends battling it out for authority. Most of the time Silas had the upper hand but sometimes James had a reasonable point or two. Sometimes Silas could go as far as saying that James was the more mature one of the two (which was not an impossible feat at times). Sure, Silas had matured substantially after his near-death experience, but no one could take his fire away from him.

Arms folded comfortably across his chest, Silas leaned back against a mostly tumbled over wall as he awaited a trade in the midst of the desolate city. People rarely frequented this area anymore; there was little more to loot from stores, and most people feared getting too close to The Badlands’ border without hostility in this no man’s land. He whistled to himself whilst he waited, seldom concerned about any loners wandering the streets because there rarely was a person in sight here nowadays. When the trader arrives, Silas can just take their things, give them The Badlands’ currency in return, and then head back home.

But, things never panned out the way he imagined it.

A commotion occurred just down the street, and Silas silenced himself as he perked up instantly, brows bunched together. It took him no more than a couple of seconds before picking up a nearby brick from what was left of the wall he leant upon before creeping around the corner to investigate. And, as he had anticipated, some rogues were attempting to steal Badlands’ loot from the trader. Silas sucked in a deep breath (why is it that a trade will always inevitably go awry when it’s Silas picking it up?) before his eyes landed on the trader.

It felt as if he had been punched in the belly.

Was that Anna?

Without a second to doubt, Silas thrust himself forwards into a run, tackling the first rogue off of Anna with a THUMP at the back of the head. Glancing down at the now-bloodied brick, Silas grimaced slightly before being toppled over by another rogue, brick flying out of his grasp. The man kicked Silas in the ribs, and Silas howled with pained laughter, squirming until the man shouted and pulled his foot away. ❝ Come back ‘ere! That’s my knife you got in your foot! ❞ Silas barked, glowering towards the rogue as he hobbled back up to his feet with a pained groan.

The man who had initially been smacked with a brick had since risen, dazed but fists up in preparation to take Silas down again. Two against one, right?  ❝ Nate, let's just get outta here! ❞ His friend instead bellowed, crying out as he removed Silas’ knife from his foot and tossed it aside. With a moment of hesitation, the rogue named Nate glared Silas and Anna down one last time before turning and bolting off alongside his limping friend.

Silas rubbed his side with a grimace, trying to take a deep breath to compose himself before coming face to face with what terrified him more than those rogues that had just tried to beat him up. ❝ The lengths you’d go to see me again, ‘ey? ❞ Silas murmured as he turned to face Anna. He tried to keep cool, but his heart slammed against his chest as if it were about to burst right out. ❝ Are you okay? Did they hurt ya? ❞ He questioned almost awkwardly as he lowered himself down to the ground to pick up the trade items and inspect them. It would have been inevitable that they would have bumped into each other, it seemed. Like fate was to unite them.

Maybe Silas just needed to work on himself more before he and Anna could have their happy ending? The Silas that had gotten down on one knee all those years ago was gone; he was a changed man, he could promise. Despite the recklessness, the impudence, the hot headedness, the arrogance, the… at least he had learned self-reflection since last seeing Anna. Maybe that was enough for them to reunite for good because God his heart was feeling a million things all at once right now. Most of all, he had now realized just how much he missed her. She had that effect on people, as much as he refused to admit it.

Fate was a funny thing. A rotten thing. It seemed it would let him go through the same heartbreak twice.

Offline ANNA.

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Re: let's go up in flames, pretty lady — anna.
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2022, 09:09:20 PM »
She tried so hard.

Her life consisted as much. As the older sibling, she felt as if it were her responsibility, her job, and maybe even her life to protect her brothers, especially after the passing of their father and their mother. They were all they had left, after all, and one wrong move could ruin that. After losing her parents, she didn't think she could afford to lose anymore and in placing all of her focus on her brothers, most of her young adulthood never allowed her to gain, either.

It was okay, though. She didn't like change. Change led to far too many mishaps, and she was afraid if she took one bad misstep  something bad might happen. It was never about what bad might happen to her, though. It was always about what bad would happen to them. Even when they despised her for it. Hunter and Chase.

She tried so hard.

And yet, she must have took one misstep because she failed and Hunter is gone. He has been for a few months, but even now, it doesn't feel real. Sometimes, when she looked for Chase, she looked for Hunter, too. When she went to say the words, they run cold in her mouth like leftover dinner. Chase would look at her knowingly, and there'd be a brief silence as Anna feebly tries to remember what she'd ask next. There wasn't much to ask from even Chase these days, it seems. Shortly after, and even before, he turned eighteen he found some semblance of independence and seems to need her less and she hated it.

Of course, Anna wouldn't admit that she was falling apart. She separates her grief and moves on with her life as if it doesn't bother her, attempting to find hobbies— a purpose— beyond her brothers, and in a sense, she does. She's an active participant within Northstar, consistently volunteering for the next task that needs fulfilled and not only that, but she's engaged with a not-too-fancy-but-perfect, to prove it, and to a man that somehow managed to calm the storm inside of her. Yet everyone but her seems to know she isn't completely healed from the tragedy that came with losing Hunter.

She doesn't want to be pushed on it any longer, which is what ultimately makes her decide to make the trek to Badlands for the trade, allowing her complete and utter silence, something she simulatenously likes and despises, utterly aware just how dangerous it was for a woman. The more time that passed and the closer she got to Badlands territory, however, the less cautious she became; something that was both stupid and unlike her, so it was no surprise when someone suddenly knocked her onto her back, attempting to straddle her as he does so.

"What's a pretty thing like you doing all by yourself, huh?" He breathes as he attempts to secure her kicking feet as she searches for the gun she kept wielded in her waistband.

"Wouldn't you like to know?" She hissed, fighting against the pain her whole body feels as she attempts to go for her gun. Before she has a chance to do so, someone comes to her aid, tackling the man to the ground. Anna doesn't have time to see who had come to her rescue. Instead, she pushes herself upright, crab walking backwards until her back hit a tree, grappling with shaky hands to get her gun just in case shit hit the fan. As she watched the scene unravel, she was finally able to catch glance at her unlikely savior— hear his voice— and realize it was not so unlikely at all.

Her breath hitched in her throat.

She was coming undone again. Silas.

The last time she'd seen him, there'd been no pleasantries, no goodbyes. He refused to speak to her after she'd ended things, backed in a corner terrified when he got on one knee, professing his love to her. She'd love to say she was a different person then. A person who was far too afraid to let herself get caught up in loving someone, but despite their turbulent beginnings, apart of her at one point did love Silas. At one point.

The rogues cower off, leaving them alone, but even when they leave it doesn't kill the edge. She could get up, but she's afraid that she may be too weak-kneed. It made no sense that he still gave her that effect years later, after all this time, yet here she was. When he speaks, however, it seems to ground her. Before he can, she's lurching over into a crouch to collect the supplies that dropped from her bag when she fell just as he joins her and she's fully aware on just how close he is. She tries not too look up, was too afraid to.

How could out of everyone-

"I could have handled that, you know," she says, annoyed. Their first time speaking in years, and it's almost as if she never changed, perhaps she maybe never has. But Silas— arrogant, and stubborn Silas— has always been the person to disrupt her sense of self and naturally, she felt guarded. "I'm fine just-" After shoving what she has in the bag, she searches for the remaining, only to find them in Silas hands. As she goes to reach for it, despite all better judgement, she looks at him and for a moment, it's hard to look away. She can't believe it's him. Quickly, she straightens up, attempting to ignore the pulse in her skull. "What are you even doing here anyway?"
« Last Edit: April 20, 2022, 09:12:42 PM by ANNA. »
your hometown skeptics called it champagne problems

Offline silas.

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Re: let's go up in flames, pretty lady — anna.
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2022, 09:35:21 AM »
This was only going to end in tears.

And yet there Silas was, overthinking again.

Just to give him a few more moments of peace in her arms. He desired it terribly. He was lonely and craved warmth, even if it were the heat of Anna's fire. Perhaps he never loved her, but instead loved the idea of her. The idea of being near someone that was so like him and yet so likeable all the same. It felt as if it could be the closest thing to adoring himself.

Whilst the two of them never ended things on a good note, and Silas could be so incomprehensibly mean sometimes, it was himself he owed the greatest apology to for ever being so cruel to himself. Punishing himself for wishing for a kind of love that could make him see himself in the same light as he saw Anna in. Silas didn't need Anna, but he had wanted her all the same. He would try and fool himself in this moment, willing himself to believe that things were different this time. He wasn't the type to wear his heart on his sleeve. He wasn't so insecure that he would take it out on everyone else. He had never loved Anna in the first place.

The lies gave him great comfort until now.

He feared that if he ever got too close to her again that she would break him in the same way she had done so the last time they'd come face to face. He was afraid of being ripped open, exposed and unsightly. But Silas had insisted to himself that he was a changed man, yet he had underestimated how the past would return with a sinister spirit.

His brain would tell him no but with a heart so exposed, it was easy to get carried away.

This wouldn't have happened unless it was meant to happen.

Silas crinkled his nose up thoughtfully as he rose to his feet again, arm out to hand Anna's belongings back to her. ❝ Well, I promise it's not as bad as it sounds but I was actually waiting for you, darlin'. ❞ He huffed an impish breath of laughter before tipping his head back in the direction of The Badlands. ❝ I live there now. Boss man wanted me to do the trade today so here I am... Just to clarify, I actually didn't know it would be you. Just in case you thought I was being- well- I- yeah. ❞ With a shrug, Silas quickly decided to shut up before he made things more awkward.

Glancing down towards the ground, several long seconds passed of silence before he glanced back up towards Anna, scrunching his face up before suggesting, ❝ The Badlands is just this way. ❞ Turning to guide her back to The Badlands to initiate the trade, Silas wandered with his hands in the pockets of his jeans as he initially kept to himself. Deep in thought.

Why was I not good enough for you?

Are you happier now that I'm just another sad story to tell?

Did you ever even love me?

❝ So... How's Hunter been? ❞ He decided to settle on some more lighthearted chit-chat. Silas wasn't quite ready to scare her away once more, and so this would have to do. And Chase, of course. Damn, they must be so big now! Y'will be blown away when ya see Jay. I'm not kidding ya; double digits now. I bet he'll be glad to see you. ❞
« Last Edit: April 23, 2022, 09:37:19 AM by truce. »

Offline ANNA.

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Re: let's go up in flames, pretty lady — anna.
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2022, 08:34:48 PM »
He wasn't the only one with a desire.

Although her desires held some similarities, they differed. Just a bit. Maybe she did want to be close to Silas again. To let him envelope her and stroke her hair. Little moments recreated as if when they happened, it'll set time back and Hunter would be there again, dry heaving in disgust at the fact that his 'best friend' and sister somehow— despite claiming to despise each other— in love. Or what they thought love was at the time, anyway. When she has time to reflect, she doesn't think either of them knew. For the longest time, anger and passion emulated that emotion all too closely. And even now as she stands here, she feels it.

She could push it away and fight it, tooth and nail, and for as long as she could she would. As if fighting it ever did any good in the first place. ( No, with him it never did. ) Despite being clothed, she felt unarmored, weighed down by the history that stuck to them like words to a page. God, she was so vulnerable.

He was waiting for her, he says. And it does sound bad. He must have seen the muddled look on her face, because he's quick to clarify. He was the one she was to meet with. The one who she was looking for. The individual who she was supposed to trade with.

"I see," she simply states. Her words, while expressionless, didn't stay true to what she was feeling inside, neither one more good or bad than the other. She was happy to see Silas. Her heart ached to see Silas. She wanted to hate him but . . . there was no reason to. She was the one who ended things, after all. And it's not like any of that mattered. She moved on. She was engaged now. And she wouldn't be surprised if he moved on, too.

It didn't change how she felt about the odds, though. Whatever these odds were, she despises them.

The silence is long and evident, as if both are ruminating in what one are thinking of the other until finally— Silas is the first to break it. The Badlands, right. All could have been easily forgotten now that he was here but at least there was a goal. She knew she couldn't leave tonight. The sun hadn't even gone down yet, and she was already getting mugged. First thing in the morning, and she'd get the hell out if she can.

She follows him, attempting to keep the silence, although she had so many questions, but she should have known with Silas it wouldn't stay that way. The first one, although innocent, was like an expected punch to the stomach.

Besides she and Chase, Silas was one of the most important people to Hunter, a circle that was exceptionally small. He was vulnerable with Silas in ways that he wasn't vulnerable with his own siblings, and both knew the trauma he shared because it was predisposed by his sister. He helped Anna help him heal from it. She knew that Silas cared just as much for Hunter as she did, even when they didn't always agree how to show that.

She couldn't tell him that he was gone now.

"They're fine." She doesn't mean to, but her words seem strained, something that she fears he may pick up on. She doesn't say anything further. She's can't help but feel relieved when he mentions his son, who she can't believe she didn't even think about upon seeing Silas. Hearing Jay's name makes her perk up, push her brother to the back of her mind before she gets too emotional and it's almost as if any preconceived tension melts away slightly at the mention of the little boy.

 "That's crazy! I remember him being this little toddler goin' around cussin' like a sailor— just like his daddy" Her lips quirk into the hint of a smile when thinking of Jay. "Which makes me think that his preadolescence is going just as well?" She looks over at Silas with a raised eyebrow.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2022, 10:21:04 PM by ANNA. »
your hometown skeptics called it champagne problems