The First Age

Full Version: Hurting and I Know It
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Emily hadn't stayed at the ski resort long. She left after her rendezvous with Nox. Emily called Andrew and said that she would start her move in at Moscow - it made no sense for her to come back to Chicago and then leave a few days later. Andrew had done well and acquired a house for her and her sisters in Moscow near the University and had equipped it with a holoconference table that could be used at the house until the HQ in Moscow was completed. That way she could keep track of business while they worked on the move.

She had been in Moscow a few days. Emily could have called Ayden, but didn't want her friend to see her shame. She stayed in the house as much as possible only leaving to get food and to pick up her sister, Rachel from the airport the night before. Rachel had almost finished her transfer to Moscow State University, but needed to do some stuff in town to complete it. Mara, their youngest sister, was staying with their housekeeper Matt and finishing some school projects. Among the things that Andrew had done was getting her vehicle to Moscow. She didn't have her staff here yet, but she wanted to pick her sister up anyways.

Despite feeling glad to see the younger version of herself, Emily had to paint on a smile she didn't feel when she arrived at the airport. Emily didn't want her sister to know how she felt inside - quite the feat as they were close and Rachel could read her like a book. They hugged, and Emily took her sister out to dinner, before they went to their new home.

It didn't take long for Rachel to realize that something was up. Emily wasn't herself and she noticed Rachel occasionally giving her concerned glances as Emily helped her unpack. The night passed without incident, however.

The next morning, Emily drove Rachel to the University to finalize her transfer. Emily pulled up the car to the registrar's building. "You ready?"
she asked her sister, hiding behind the fake smile again.

"Yes - a bit nervous, but I'll be okay."
Rachel reached for the door handle and then turned back to face her sister. "Emily, are you okay?"

The smile disappeared, and Emily couldn't look at her sister. "Yes, everything is okay."

"You don't look..."

"Everything is fine, Rachel!"
Emily interrupted and the words came out louder and with more venom than she intended. Emily immediately regretted the words as they came out. In her mind's eye she could see the hurt expression on her sister's face, but instead of an apology, Emily said. "Do you have everything you need, transcripts, money for food?"

There was a moment of silence. "Yes."
Emily looked up and could see the hurt eyes laced with concern on her sisters face. Rachel reached over and gave Emily a hug. "I love you."
she said.

"I love you too,"
Emily murmured in reply. Rachel left the car and Emily placed her forehead on the steering wheel. She didn't notice that Rachel looked back before entering the Registrar's office. A few moment's later, Emily drove home, resisting the urge to cry.

Emily drove home, feeling more ashamed than she had felt before she left. She had yelled at Rachel, and all her sister did was try to help. She couldn't tell Rachel what was going on. Rachel looked up to her. Emily held back the tears, but when her wallet beeped and it was from Rachel, she hesitated to open it.

<dt>Incoming Message</dt>
<dd> </dd>
From: Rachel Shale
To: Emily Shale

I know you're upset. You wouldn't have yelled if you weren't. I can also tell that you don't want to talk about it. I just wanted to say I love you. You're my sister and you can tell me anything. If you ever want to talk, I'm here.

Emily stifled back more tears at that and didn't reply. She just didn't know what to say. The hours passed and Emily kept busy, until her wallet buzzed again. It was Rachel saying she was finished. They must have been ready for her. Emily responded that she was on her way. Eventually, Rachel would drive herself, but her car wasn't here yet.

Rachel's bag was noticeably heavier than when they had left this morning. She must have purchased her textbooks, perhaps even had homework if she had met with some professors.

Rachel didn't say much until they got home. "You should call your friend...her name is Ayden, right? I'll make you guys lunch."

Emily had told her sisters about her friendship with Ayden. Emily was going to say no. Not that she didn't want to see Ayden, but she knew her friend would see through her barriers, but the look on Rachel's face made her nod despite the fact that she was aware of what Rachel was doing. She was preventing Emily from isolating herself - that's what she got by having a sister majoring in psychiatry.

Emily picked up her wallet and called Ayden while Rachel walked to the kitchen. "Hi Ayden. I'm in Moscow now. I wanted to know if you wanted to come over for lunch."

"I'm making sandwiches!!
Rachel yelled from the other rooms.

Emily smiled a bit. "My sister, the self-proclaimed best sandwich maker in Moscow, has volunteered to make us lunch."

Edit: ((OOC: if Ayden agrees to come, Em will give her the adress. For reference, Rachel looks almost exactly the same as Em, but is a couple of inches shorter. It is obvious they are sisters by appearance))

Edited by Emily Shale, Mar 17 2015, 01:11 AM.
Ayden was planning on looking at wedding dresses. It was something she'd been meaning to do for ages. Sasha just wasn't the kinda person she wanted to be doing it with, she was nice and a friend and all, but not the kinda friend Ayden really wanted. She was shallow and insecure, she kept asking about Bas. Of all the guys for her to fall for it had to be him. She was tired of hearing about him. And then she met one of his friends, it seemed that she just couldn't get away from the guy. He was a bad person, not that she was much better, but she choose this now. It seemed to be working.

Her wallet rang and Ayden answered it. A not so chipper voice returned her hello. Emily sounded down, but wanted her to come over. Maybe she could kill to birds with one stone. She agreed and Emily gave her the address of the place she was living at.

Ritzy neighborhood for a Ritzy girl, she shouldn't have expected anything less. Ayden walked up to the front door and knocked. A shorter version of her answered the door. Ayden laughed, "You must one of Emily's sisters."
Ayden offered her hand. "Ayden. Emily invited me over."

The sister greeted Ayden with her name and tugged her inside with a hug. Ayden grinned as she followed the girl into the kitchen. Ayden saw Emily and frowned, "What's got you so down? Some boy get to you?"
It was meant to be funny but from the look on Emily's face Ayden was right. Ayden frowned and gave Emily a hug and whispered in her ear "Tell me who and I'll take care of him."
She grinned at her friend playfully. Even though she really did mean what she said. She'd put the boy in his place faster than he could get to his next quarry.
Ayden agreed to come over and Emily went to her room, pulling an envelope out of her desk. She set it on the table, writing the words "Ayden and Connor" on the front. She would give it to Ayden when she arrived. It didn't take too long for Ayden to get there, but Rachel answered the door. Emily could hear Ayden laugh, but she wasn't sure at what. Perhaps it was just that Rachel was a mini-Emily.

Emily was seated at the table and the first thing Ayden asked was what was wrong. Ayden's attempt at humor was met with a slight cringe. It was the reason why Emily had been afraid to see Ayden; in only a few minutes, Ayden had vaulted over her barriers. Emily was glad that Rachel had retreated to the other counter and was making their sandwiches, and didn't see the look.

Ayden hugged her and asked who it was. Emily was sure Ayden would follow through on the threat she gave to the man that had hurt her friend. Emily frowned and shook her head. "Not now,"
she whispered back, gesturing with her head to her sister. She couldn't hide the shameful look on her own face.

Emily invited Ayden to sit down and Rachel brought them both a glass of water before going back to her sandwich making. Emily thanked her and took a sip before picking up the envelope and giving it to Ayden. "For you and Connor. It's a invite to the Gala my company is hosting to celebrate the move. You are my best friend and are invited as one of my personal guests. I need you to keep in on the DL though - it hasn't been publicly announced yet."

Rachel finished the sandwiches - turkey with lettuce, tomato and cheese - and with a side of potato chips. It was a nice simple meal. She got some mayonnaise and mustard and put them on the table for the ladies to help themselves to condiments.

"Thank you, Rachel. This was very kind of you."
Emily said reaching for the mustard. Rachel smiled in return and sat down. Emily noticed the look of concern her sister gave her again - as far a she knew, Emily had avoided Ayden's question about why she was upset. "Ayden, you met my sister Rachel at the door. She recently transferred to Moscow State, studying psychiatry."
Rachel waved at Ayden, but didn't speak because she had a mouthful of sandwich. "How are you and Connor?"

Edited by Emily Shale, Mar 17 2015, 01:01 PM.
Emily didn't offer a name, but Ayden was certain she had hit the nail on the head and she wasn't sure the girl would offer up anymore even later. Ayden let it go for now.

Her sister busied herself with making sandwiches as she handed her an envelope. An invitation to a gala, and she had nothing to wear. Well now isn't that something. Exactly the excuse to go looking at dresses. Thought she'd have to talk Connor into it she was sure, she didn't think he was the lets get dressed up to go to a fancy ball and have expensive drinks and food and dance a waltz or two. But for Ayden that seemed like heaven. She'd been to a gala or two, undercover to kill a man, but it was all the same in the end, this time she'd not be killing anyone. Which was rather a shame. The thought had crept up faster than Ayden would have liked, her former job rarely making mention in her side thoughts, usually only when violence was surrounding her. Maybe she would have to press for a name, someone to threaten could be nice.

Ayden thanked Emily for the invitation with a bright smile. "Thank you."

The food was laid out before them and Ayden eat a chip that crunched when she chewed it. She hadn't had this kind of food since she was a good, leave it to an American family to bring home with them. Ayden smiled at she took a bite of the sandwich and nodded at the taste of it to Emily's sister.

Ayden answered Emily's question. "We are good. Though our last date turned out horrible. I think Connor found more in this kid than he had intended. Someone like his son, someone who survived where his son did not. I'm afraid he'll use Connor. But I won't let that happen."
Ayden smiled at Emily, "But since you asked, and now I have two dresses to shop for, maybe you'd like to go hunting a wedding dress with me."
Emily frowned, sad that Ayden's date had turned out poorly. At least the frown didn't have to be faked like her smile. Even when she was glad, the smile felt fake - she just didn't feel it. "I'm sorry your date didn't go well."

The question that Ayden asked had caught Emily off guard. "Me?"
Emily asked. "I mean I'd love to, but shouldn't your bridal party be helping with that. I don't want to step on anyone's toes."

Ayden laughed, "Well, that I don't have yet, so how would you like to fill the maid of honor roll, as well?"

Emily blinked and then smiled, the first genuine one since the incident. Emily caught her sister smile too. She had noticed it. "I'd be honored."

As they finished their meal, Rachel picked up the plates and put them in the sink. Emily was feeling better now, even though she still hurt. "Should we head out now?"

"Sure. I'll need to look for a dress for the gala too."

"Good. That way I can make sure you don't look better than me at the party."
She said with a grin. "That reminds me that my dress is done and I need to pick it up. You wouldn't mind?"

Ayden smiled. "I wouldn't dream of looking better than you. And I don't mind."

Emily smiled and turned to Rachel. "Will you be okay by yourself?"

Rachel nodded. "I have homework to do anyways."

"You haven't even started classes yet."

Rachel shrugged. "I know. Pyschiatry professors really don't care about the mental stability of their students it seems."

Emily gave a slight giggle. "Alright. I'll be back - need to get my coat and keys from my room."
Emily then left the room to get her stuff.

Rachel was left alone with Ayden. She had hoped for this. Hoped to get a chance to talk to her without Emily. Something was wrong, and Rachel didn't know what it was, but Emily wasn't acting like herself. Rachel was scared and worried about her that it almost hurt.

It did hurt when Emily had yelled at her. Even when angry, it was a weird thing for Emily to yell. Even as a first year psychiatry student, she understood what it was. It was a defense mechanism. She was protecting herself, but Rachel didn't know what. It only made her worry more.

But she had called Ayden and Ayden had come. Ayden had got her to smile. Rachel wasn't jealous that Ayden had succeed where she had failed. She was glad to see that Emily didn't have a fake smile anymore.

Rachel looked at Ayden, the concern in her eyes. "Hey Ayden, can we talk?"

Ayden raised an eyebrow quizically, "Sure"

"I...I...Thank you for coming over."
Rachel's eyes moved towards where Emily had departed the room. "Something's wrong. I don't know what it is and when I asked her about it she got mad. She's been here a few days and I don't think she's called anyone or left the house much. Even last night after picking me up, she tried to stay away."
She looked at Ayden again. "She's isolating and acting very strange. It's so unlike her. Please...will you keep an eye on her while you're out."

"I have a feeling I know what the problem is and I'll look out for her and see if i can do anything to fix her problem."

Rachel smiled a bit. Thank you. I'm just so scared for her. Do you think she'll be okay?"

Ayden laughed, "She'll be fine, she's stronger than she knows."

Rachel's head moved as she heard Emily coming down the stairs. "Thank you."
She said before turning back to the sink to wash dishes.

Emily went upstairs and looked in the mirror. She looked terrible. The past couple of days had taken their toll and she washed her face. It helped a bit. She took the time to change her clothes too, making herself look a little more presentable before grabbing her coat, purse, and keys.

She went downstairs, putting on her coat as she did. When she saw Ayden, she raised the keys to her Impala. "Do you want to drive or should I? Or should we take the train?"

((With Ayden))
Edited by Emily Shale, Mar 18 2015, 12:39 PM.
Ayden was surprised when Rachel asked to talk to her. Not so much that she cared about her sister, but that she asked a complete stranger. It really wasn't like her and Emily knew each other that well. Things happened, the world worked it's magic and they were thrown into a situation that started building a friendship.

But Rachel's concern was well meaning and Ayden intended to get to the bottom of the whole thing. She'd been very concerned when Emily asked about Bas, and then that guy with Connor. She seemed to know how to pick them, Emily did. If some guy messed with her he was going to pay for it. All she needed was a name, she could manage the rest.

When Emily returned with her coat, Ayden smiled, "Well I have no car, and it's far easier to talk on the train than when one of us is driving."
And Ayden intended to use that semi-privacy to find out what was going on.

The nearest metro was a few blocks away. They walked in near silence but Ayden tucked her arm over her friends shoulder and hugged her close. "Tell me what happened. If he hurt you or forced you I will hurt him. And don't give me none of that, he didn't mean to crap."
Ayden stopped and turned Emily towards her, putting both hands on top of her shoulders. "You are not some man's conquest."
Ayden was annoying mad at this man who'd hurt her friend. She wished she could do something right now but she needed a name, someplace to start. If he hurt her... Maybe Ayden had just found her calling. It was something to think on. Helping girls like Emily could very well be what she needed.
Emily nodded as they left, bidding Rachel farewell. They walked silently, Emily waiting for Ayden to talk. She knew it was coming. When Ayden put an arm around her shoulder, Emily placed her head on Ayden's, fighting back tears. Emily didn't want to cry. It made the pain feel stronger and right now she wanted to feel numb.

She couldn't though. Not with Ayden there. Ayden wanted her to talk and Emily knew she wouldn't keep silent around her. Ayden had seen through the barrier - she had figured it out within minutes of seeing her, and Ayden would push until Emily gave in.

Ayden said if he had hurt or forced her she would hurt him then turned Emily to face her. Emily couldn't meet Ayden's gaze - the shame was too strong. After Ayden finished, Emily remained silent, not because of not having something to say, but she didn't know where to start. Her mouth moved, trying to find the words to say.

Emily struggled to find words. "He didn't force He asked if it was okay and I said yes and as things when on, he asked again and I said it was okay."

Emily could feel the tears beginning to build up and she pushed them away. She wasn't going to cry. "I'm not going to lie - I wanted it. I knew that it wasn't going to be more than a night, and I still encouraged and enjoyed it. I...I...He left in the middle of the night."

Emily pulled Ayden in, hugging her. Emily resisted the tears as Ayden wrapped her arms around her, and Emily placed her head on Ayden's shoulder. "It still does. I'm not mad at him - I don't know if I can be or should be. I'm mad at myself and ashamed. Then I do stupid things like yell at my sister. She was just trying to help, but I can't tell her this. She looks up to me."

Emily paused, some of the tears escaped. "I'm such a goddam fool. Why did I do it?"
Emily felt the pain in her chest intensify. She hoped that soon the numbness would come.

Edited by Emily Shale, Mar 19 2015, 01:50 PM.
Ayden sighed with relief when Emily said he hadn't forced her. She was awed by the fact that he'd asked her more than once, usually once a guy got started he was a bit hard to stop. The whole reason why Emily was upset had nothing at all to do with the man himself. Still she'd like to yell at him, whoever he was.

Ayden hugged Emilly and patted the other woman's back. "Oh Emily."
She pulled the girl away from her and looked her in the eyes. "You have nothing to be ashamed of. Yes he's a prick for leaving in the middle of the night. Did you not have a good time with him? And darling, now you know that you just aren't cut out for the one night stand thing. But look at it this way, this guy got you over your fear of men, he did more than hold your hand, or your waist."

Ayden pulled her back into a hug. "Was he at least cute?"

Emily giggled. "Oh my god, Ayden - his grin made me melt."

Ayden smiled, "Some guys are good at that. And I'm sure he was at least decent in bed or he'd not be any good at picking a girl up."

Ayden threw her arm around Emily and started walking again. She smiled. "Connor was like that. It was an attraction at first sight. He helped me carry a box up to my apartment. I made him breakfast. We had a little to drink, and we ended up in the bed shortly there after unable to keep our hands off."
Ayden leaned in and smiled, "I even lost control enough that every candle in the room flared."

Ayden frowned, "That was not an ending to the night I'd wanted. But it made us closer. Turned out his son was like us, except he didn't survive."
Ayden smiled, "But it brought us closer together and another round of great sex. To where we are now. So don't give up even what should have been a one night stand, can turn into more. Guys get scared too."

Edited by Ayden, Mar 20 2015, 12:03 PM.
Emily smiled. Ayden was such a good friend. She felt better at least - the shame was still there, but not overwhelming. The pain in her chest was still there. It still hurt that Nox had left her, but she would be okay. She had Ayden and Ayden would always be there.

They started walking again, Ayden's arm around Emily's shoulder. Emily walked by her side, feeling better than she had in a couple of days. Her story of meeting Connor was sweet. She doubted that would happen with Nox, but she tried to remain open about the future.

"He was more than decent,"
Emily said with a slight chuckle. "And surprisingly gentle and careful."

They arrived at the station and Emily noticed a television. Set to a news station, it was reporting on the situation in Sierra Leone. Emily stopped for a moment, staring at the screen, and a strange feeling began to build. She had felt it before - felt it every time she heard or saw something about the African nation. It felt almost like a thread tied to her waist and something held the thread in Sierra Leone, and it was gently pulling her there.

Emily began to move gain, slowly turning her gaze back to Ayden. "Ayden, do you think I will find a Connor?"

"Of course. Emily, you are beautiful, intelligent and alot stronger than you think you are."

Emily smiled and put her arm around Ayden's waist, hugging her. Those words meant so much - especially from Ayden. She wouldn't lie about it.

"You and Connor have such a beautiful story. Almost like a fairy tale."
She smiled. "I doubt my situation will lead to that though. Nox didn't seem to be the type."
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