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Sweetening the Pot
[Image: giordano.jpg]

The boy woke up finally, Giordano wondered what had been running through his mind and dreams, he hoped it was pure torture. He roughly grabbed the boy by the chin and made him look at Giordano. His eyes were still foggy from the fear and the pain, but he did eventually come to recognize him.

Giordano grinned down at the boy, "I have called your love. Sadly she wasn't answering. Too bad for you." Giordano tossed the boys head to the side as he walked away from him and started pacing back and forth, make the boy wait he thought to himself.

Back and forth, he could feel the fear and the determination to do something, but the boy's hands were tied behind his back. Giordano knew with enough struggling the boy could get away. But Giordano could stop that - make the boy do what he wanted without question.

Giordano's ultimate goal was to cause his daughter as much pain as possible. To make her suffer like he had suffered at the hands of the Atharim. She would lose someone close to her, and in the most possibly painful way possible. But what would that way be? He didn't have time to think long, the boy's partner could show up anytime. It wouldn't be good to be caught in the act. Murder or suicide, which would be more devastating to the whelp of the girl. Giordano wanted her to know, the boy wasn't prone to suicide - despite the fact that he was a drunkard at one point in his life. It wasn't hard to hack Alessandra's account while she was at home. Easy enough to use her password and login and search the boy's records. Easy enough.

Giordano stood in front of the boy and smiled fondly at him. He knelt before Lucas and he sent every bit of unscathed devotion to the boy as he grabbed the boy by the face. He would be his. He would be this boy's God. He would do as he was told without hesitation.
The man in front of him smiled and Lucas felt lost for a moment. It was a kindly smile, friendly and concerned. It reminded him of Valentin, that first day he'd found him. Instead of being angry or scared, compassion and pity emanated from him. And despite all his mistrust and suspicion, that human kindness that was just Valentin was like a balm to his soul. It was as if he had been starving to death his whole life, to the point that he didn't even realize that he was malnourished and abnormal, and then suddenly he was given real food.

It was as if he had come to life after being nearly dead. Acceptance and determination grew in him, flourishing outwardly until he felt fully alive again. And at the core of it was his appreciation and love for Valentin...

And now, in this old man in front of him, in him he saw the same fire, the same love and concern. In some way, it was Valentin there in front of him. And Lucas longed to express to him how much he had meant, how he had saved him, had given his life meaning and a purpose.

A purpose that he hungered to give to others, the knowledge that they were lovable and were loved. They were valued. Aria's face flashed to mind and he could see the pain she lived with that he longed to help her carry. He could see the glimmers of joy and acceptance and peace that became more and more frequent. She was in front of him now, looking at him. Only it wasn't her. The man, something about the reminded him of her.

Her father. This was her father. He knew that. Why had he forgotten it? She had misunderstood. It was all a big mistake. "Let's call her again. She just doesn't understand."
[Image: giordano.jpg]

The boy wanted to call her again. He could do that he supposed. Let him lovingly tell Aria that her father was better than she thought, it would really hit home then. Giordano hit redial on his phone. "Lets." He held the phone up to the boy's ear. "Tell her you love her. Tell her that I am with you and that she has it all wrong, son. Tell her your last goodbye."


Lucas smiled, relief coursing through him, easing his heart. He could talk to Aria, tell her he loved her. When he saw her again...something hiccupped for a moment. What was he thinking? When he saw her again...damn! It wouldn't come. Something about the next time. He looked at the man with the loving concern in his eyes and felt himself relax. It would be ok, the eyes said. Ok. It would be ok.

He heard the ring and then the call went to voicemail. He smiled at the man encouragingly. "Aria, it's me. I just wanted to talk to you. I miss you."
For a moment he felt an empty ache in his chest and for some reason he wanted to cry. He didn't know why. He swallowed. "I just wanted to tell you how much I love you. And how proud I am of you."
He remembered her standing up to Ascendancy, her fearlessness. Pride filled him. He also remembered that first night, her deep loneliness, and how she had opened up to him from the beginning. He remembered her tears.

Again, he felt that stab of ache in his heart. Why was he so sad? She made him happy. She was so strong. "I am so proud of you Aria. I am proud to know you."
Nox's words came to him. Or maybe it was just a sensation. Whatever it was, he knew that there were things about her that he didn't yet know. He looked at the old man and felt the peace wash over him. "I know that there are things I don't know. I know that. But it doesn't make me love you less. You, more than anyone, have been given a difficult path. You have suffered and endured what few have. But you have never given up. And that is why I love you."

It seemed odd, his saying those things. He had wanted to tell her that her father was a good man. He had wanted to tell her that they had been wrong about him. But this...this seemed right. It felt right. He looked at the man. "I'm sorry. I just need to tell her this."


Giordano nodded, It's alright tell her what I told you to say though. Tell her she's wrong about me." The boy was spouting his love for her, the pride in his voice it radiated from his body and Giordano felt like getting sick, it was so sappy sweet.

Giordano encouraged the boy, he knew that Aria would hear him coaching her lover, "Tell her I'm a good person."


Lucas nodded. She did need to know. "He's a good man, Aria. Your father. I hope that we can all get together."
He smiled at the thought that occurred to him. "It will be a family reunion."
His smile faded and for some reason that sadness returned. "I hope you are safe. I hope you are good. I miss you. I love you Aria. The best day of my life was the day you walked into my shop. I hope you come home soon. I..."
He felt wetness on his cheek. Why was he crying? He sniffed, tried to keep the grief that seemed to want to come out of his voice. "Sorry. I'm not sure what's wrong. I can't wait to see you again, Aria. I love you."

His heart was pounding and for some reason the tears kept falling. He dropped his head down and sobs wracked his body. He looked up and his tears distorted the image before him. The kindly old man looked like a demon. Lucas squeezed his eyes shut and prayed. He became aware of his own voice. "Oh God, oh God, oh God...."
He couldn't stop crying.


The boy was ruining all the fun. But it was all well and good. He removed the phone from the boy's ear and spoke softly into the speaker, "My dear daughter, I told you I had something dear to you. Listen to him cry. He knows what is in store. Do come see me when you get this." Giordano hung up the phone and looked at the boy. "You did well." He ran a finger along the base of his skull and sent the boy his pain and his loss at the thought of his daughter, slaughtered by a man wearing that wretched tattoo.

If he wanted to cry, let him cry. Giordano poured sadness, grief and loss down the boy's spine. He wanted to make the well so deep he couldn't crawl out of it. Fall! "Her kind killed my daughter. You will pay that price before I take her from this world." Giordano could feel the pain and his own suffering as he poured it all into Lucas. Everything that hurt went into it. He would be the conduit to which he extracted his revenge.

[[with lucas]]

Lucas blinked and felt the tears in his eyes. When had he been crying? He tried to smile and his face resisted. The lump in his throat was a rock and it made swallowing hard.

The man spoke on the phone and the words were only muffled to him and yet he felt a stab to his heart. The man looked at him and whatever Lucas had seen before was gone. He saw hatred and pain. All sense fled him as he surged, tried to free himself. Terror and realization and anger fought within him, building and building.

The man touched the back of his neck and Lucas broke. His walls broke. Grief so great and infinite poured through him, scoured him, swept him away. He was drowning, his voice crying out pleading with God to save him, begging for relief, for somewhere to stand, someplace to hide.

The flood washed over him, tumbling him over and over until he didn't know what side was up and what side was down, currents jerking his arms and legs like the weak things they were, snapping him as if he were nothing.

Nothing, nothing, nothing...over and over again the mantra pounded at him, crushing him, a grape under the foot of the universe, a weed, and leaf, inconsequential and meaningless.

It scoured at his crushed body, eating away at his soul, burning him away and he tried to escape the agonizing emptiness. But he could not run anywhere in his mind. He screamed for an eternity, an infinite wail, beseeching the heavens for mercy, for hope, for succor.

And finally, his heart burst, one of main arteries just rupturing and the physical pain was almost a relief even as things started to get hazy around the edges of sight that he did not remember he had until that moment. He felt light headed and his chest felt warm and he clung to that even as the water continued to wash him away until finally there was nothing of him left.
[Image: giordano.jpg]

Giordano felt the last embers of the boys emotions before his heart gave out. It was anti-climatic for him. He was full of pain and suffering and Giordano had been riding the ebbs and flows as if they were his own. He was one with the pain, it was nourishing to his soul and then it was just gone.

Giordano backed away from the boy. He'd done what he'd came for but it left him empty. It had not filled the hole he so very wished to fill. It only gaped open like a hungry maw of a baby bird searching for more food.

With a heavy heart, not for the loss of the boy, the loss of his latest toy, he removed the boys restraints and left him where he sat slumped over. Giordano sighed, he should have taken the boy home with him, instead of staying here. He could have had so much more fun with him then. Too late now.

Giordano walked out of the tattoo parlor and could not wait for the girl to come and find him.
[Image: wentworth_miller_2_135.jpg]

Sergei shrugged his coat against the cold. It wasn't too bad now that winter was finally easening up. It would be nice to be in the warmth of the shop though. Lucas would probably have everything going. He was pretty contentious about all aspects of his business.

Not Sergei. Oh he worked hard and did a good job. And he didn't mind covering for Lucas while he was gone on his trip with his girlfriend- little miss ninja. A freaky one, she was. But the idea of owning his own business never appealed to him. Who wanted to be responsible for something like that? As long as he did good days work, made some money, had a good time with the customers, and then could go out and party without a care in the world, that was all that mattered.

When he got to the shop, he was surprised to see that the store hadn't been opened. The lights were still out. He opened up the door and looked around. Odd. Lucas had gotten back yesterday morning and texted him that he would be in today at the usual time. Oh well.

Sergei turned on the lights and got the heater going before noticing Lucas' leather jacket at his desk. He frowned. The store was quiet. There was no noise coming from the back. Had Lucas just left it and headed out in a hurry?

He then noticed Lucas' gun on the ground and his heart began to beat. Lucas never treated his equipment like that. Ever. He stopped and tried to listen for any noise. Nothing.

He quietly walked to the back room and pushed back the bead separator, some throw back Lucas had picked up somewhere. There, sprawled on a chair was Lucas, his head lolled to one side. Sergei rushed to him, heedless of any danger.

Lucas normally white skin was bluish-tinged now, especially his lips pulled tight. And the look on his would be something Sergei would always remember. Hesitantly, he reached out his hand, unsure of what he was doing, and felt the ice cold of Lucas' neck.

He just stood there, trying to process what he was seeing, noticing puzzle pieces that he somehow couldn't put together. It was all too much and he went to the bathroom and through up. Once that was done, he could think more clearly. His friend was dead.

He pulled out his phone and called the emergency line, lifelessly telling the operator what he had found. All he could think of was his dead friend.

Edited by Lucas, Jun 15 2015, 01:52 PM.

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