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 Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star

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Join date : 2014-04-20

PostSubject: Re: Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star   August 22nd 2014, 9:00 am

He raised a brow at her, surprised, faking a look that said he was appauled, "Me?" Tony said, sticking his head up and acting posh, "I'm offended! Why would you think such a thing?" Slowly, a smirk pulled at his lips and he looked back at her from the counter, winking.


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PostSubject: Re: Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star   August 22nd 2014, 9:05 am

Beyril rolled her eyes, "Like I don't notice how much you like taking your clothes off, you little show off..." She smirked back.
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star   August 22nd 2014, 9:08 am

The smirk widened, more suggestive, more flirty, cockier. "Is that a hint of jealousy I hear? Would you rather be the one removing my clothes?"

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star   August 22nd 2014, 9:14 am

Beyril smirked, playful as she gave him an intense, mischievous smolder up through her red lashes that seemed somehow more potent and sexy than any look she had given him this far. "You wish, lover boy."
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star   August 22nd 2014, 9:18 am

His tongue slid out to wet his lips as he readjusted his footing, forcing himself to look away from her as his face flushed. "Feeling in a Dirty Dancing quoting mood? I figured you more one for Eragon, after that LOTR bit."

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star   August 22nd 2014, 9:23 am

She shrugged, "Normally yes, but the Eragon movie sucked." She shrugged, looking to the man behind the counter, then back to Tony, "So... We just tell him that we picked it out or what?"
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star   August 22nd 2014, 9:29 am

Without saying a word, he held his hand out for the rings she'd selected, pointing to the diagrams in front of him. "Double for her... canine-shark combo on me." He smirked when the man rolled his eyes.

"Anywhere you don't plan on sticking yourself, kid?"

The weapon shrugged in response. "Dunno yet." He looked over at her, grinning. "He knows not to say the cost when I bring friends in. You ready?"

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star   August 22nd 2014, 9:36 am

Beyril pursed her lips, having fully intended on paying him back. "Sure." She shrugged, a bit nervous. Yes, she had several extra holes in her ears, but the nose was a new area of hole-punching.
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star   August 22nd 2014, 9:39 am

The man nodded, stepping out from behind the counter and gesturing towards the back. "You first or him, sweetheart?" Despite the many tattoos and piercings across his face and exposed skin, his voice was kind, a far contrast to the usual stereotypes. He looked like a biker, to be perfectly honest, though he lacked the beard that seemed to be a trademark of the older generations.

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star   August 22nd 2014, 9:59 am

Beyril put on a brave smirk, nodding, "I'll go."
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star   August 22nd 2014, 10:26 am

He smiled, leading her into the next room, Tony following behind after placing the hoops behind the counter --- just in case anyone else came in.

The chairs at the back of the shop were quite similar to those at a tatoo parlor, though these seemed just a bit more comfortable, one at each station, and each one decorated to the piercer's liking. His, in particular, had a sort of mural on it, matching a tattoo that neither of them could see. It was a video game scene, as Tony found out only after dragging Rogue here with him at one time. Perhaps, that had been a mistake, as now he was fairly well immersed in the hobby right along side Rogue, though he wasn't quite as much of an enthuisiest.

The man was busy checking to make sure everything was fully sanitized while Tony headed over to the cabinet, with the name "Nikolas" attached on a large sticker, pulling out studs from two of the drawers, five of them steel, two of them gold, and setting them on the tray for him.

"You're welcome to sit, Bey."

ooc: God of War tat:

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star   August 22nd 2014, 10:34 am

Beyril sat down in the chair, her thumb and index finger tapping on her knee rapidly, trying to still her nerves.
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star   August 22nd 2014, 10:40 am

Tony took the seat beside her, chuckling at her nerves. Smiling in an almost teasing manner, he took her chin between his fingers and had her look at him. "You're not about to chicken out on me, are you?"

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star   August 22nd 2014, 11:59 am

Beyril smirked, leaning forward and meeting his eyes with the intensity of her own vibrantly green eyes, "Not a chance. I don't chicken out."
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star   August 22nd 2014, 12:22 pm

He smirked, taking her hand in his own, squeezing it reassuringly. "Are you sure about that?" Tony chuckled, "You are, after all, trying something new with a couple of strange men, one of whom is your only ticket out of here."

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star   August 22nd 2014, 12:25 pm

She laughed, grinning at the boy, "Wouldn't be the first time. And no offense, but both of you are far less scary looking than the guys I'm usually pulled into things with."
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star   August 22nd 2014, 12:29 pm

Tony rolled his eyes, shrugging, "I can do scary if you want scary."

Nik shook his head, preparing to pierce her. 'If you two are very much finished..."

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star   August 22nd 2014, 12:31 pm

Beyril grinned, "Ready when you are."
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star   September 3rd 2014, 4:24 pm

Tony offered his other hand to her as well, smiling gently and nodding for her to turn her head. When she did so, Nik offered her a reassuring grin. “Left or right?” He asked, disinfectant swap in hand.

“Right.” She answered with a nod, tilting her head as directed.

He nodded, clean the outside of her right nostril before gently doing the same with a cotton swab on the inside. This done, he made two small marks on the outside of her nose, reaching back afterwards to grab a hand mirror and hold it up for her to see.
Beyril grinned, "Looks good, chief!"
Nikolas chuckled, but shook his head. “One at a time, alright?” He took one of his needles, slowly sliding it through her nostril. His hands snatched one of the studs, the end corkscrewed, and chased the end of the needle out with it, holding the hole open for her. Again, he offered the mirror. “Satisfied so far?”
Beyril squeezed her eyes closed, the corners watering as the needle slid through skin. She wiped her eye and glanced in the mirror, "I dig it!" She grinned, beaming proud.
Both men laughed, Tony squeezing her hand once more. “One more to go, hippie.”
The man repeated the process with the other hole, holding the mirror up for her to observe once more. “Be careful and leave the studs in for at least a month before switching to the hoops. Be sure to clean your nostril frequently, and if you get sick, see a doctor immediately.”
"Sure thing." She wiped her watering eyes again, a laugh on her lips. "Guess it's you now, pincushion."
He chuckled, releasing her hand to retrieve the mouthwash and rinse in the nearby seat. When he came back, Nik did a similar process on him, though he clamped his lower lip before feeding each of the needles in, knowing Tony well enough that neither of them needed the markings approved. Once finished, he repeated the process with another clamp and his upper lip, sliding the studs in there as well. It took longer, and by the end of it, his lips had swollen, though he didn’t mind it so much, still trying to smirk despite it.
Beyril snickered, "You look like you swallowed a bee."
“You look like you snorted one,” he shot back, barely able to sound even the slightest bit normal.
She laughed at his slur. "You sound ridiculous too." She poked her tongue out and ruffled his hair, "Least you're still pretty, lover boy."
He tried to smirk back at her, “Isss thiss a thing nao?” At the point, Nikolas just rolled his eyes and set about cleaning the equipment, returning everything to its place unless it needed thrown away.
“I’ll be up front.” He said, allowing them privacy as he went to tally up the costs.
Beyril smiled tenderly, inspecting the rings in his lips, "They suit you. I like it. Thank you, by the way..."
Tony merely shrugged, smiling at her. “And yours suit you, though I think the hoops will be better.” He offered a hand to her as he stood. “Wanna head out for more of this improv’ed date or shall we just be scandalous in the back of the parlor?”
Beyril laughed, cheeks turning red, "I'm interested to see where you come up with for us to go next, lover boy." She winked teasingly, "Besides, I would be very indecent indeed to 'be scandalous in the back of the parlor' with someone who hasn't even kissed me yet." She joked.
He laughed, sending her a wink, “This is hardly the time or place for a kiss, little hipster. I’d probably get charged extra for that anyway.”
"Charged?" She asked with mock indignance, "I'm no whore, 'guido'."
Tony snorted in response, “By Nik, Bey.” He shook his head though his temper was flying out just slightly, “I don’t insinuate that. Ever.”
Beyril bowed her head apologetically, "My apologies. I've... Gotten the title before."
He nodded, somewhat curtly, but said nothing as he lead her to the front, not releasing her hand though not seeming malicious with it either. “Got the bill?” He asked, sliding his card over to him as the other man sat at the computer, printing out the receipt.
Beyril didn't pull her hand away from his, giving him another apologetic squeeze, red wavy locks falling across her forehead, as though trying to play connect-the-dots with the faint freckles across the bridge of her nose. The gold studs almost just looked like sparkly freckles, blending into the rest.
He didn’t say anything in return, but squeezed her hand anyway before taking back the card from Nik, pulling out his wallet and placing it back inside, beside several others. “Movies next?” He asked, smiling wickedly, hiding his irritation from before.
She paused a second, "Actually... I kinda want to show you something, if that's okay." She smiled back up with him, a bit more tentative and guarded than before, but seeming to genuinely want to show him... Whatever it was she had in mind.
He raised a brow but didn’t question her, waving at the man before leading them out. He even took out his keys, holding them out to her. “If you can drive, you can show me yourself?”
Beyril nodded, hesitantly taking the keys, "You sure?"
“I wouldn’t offer it otherwise.” He smiled at her as best he could, lips swollen, but nodded nonetheless and went over to the passenger’s side door.
Beyril shrugged, sliding into the drivers side and looking for the gear shift, trying to see if the car was automatic or manual. She was used to old muscle car models.
The vehicle was old, but it was automatic nonetheless, and Tony whistled innocently, well tried to, as he sat beside her. He kept poking at his swollen lip as if doing so would somehow help it, though he knew such to be quite the opposite.
Beyril sighed, buckling the seat belt, and putting the car into reverse before backing out of the parking lot and heading downtown.
He smiled, looking around hefore tapping on the stereo system. “My usual rule is passenger’s choice, but I’m normally not the passenger. What do you want to listen to?”
"My stuff doesn't come on the radio." She chuckled, "I'll let you pick, it's fine."
Tony chuckled, pulling out his CD case and rummaging through the various ones he’d allowed his friends to pick. What sort of music might she like…? He sighed finally, settling with his own classic rock mix CD, popping it into the player and setting the volume down to a more ‘manageable’ level as All Apologies, a Nirvana song, began to slide through the speakers.
Beyril grinned, "Nirvana? I figured they might be too soft for you."
He shrugged, casting a rather strange looking, sideways smirk at her, “I like classics. Don’t insult me.”
"Insult? I wouldn't dare. Not in seriousness, at the least." She smiled, "I've always kind of preferred Beck as far as 90's grunge goes. Not sure why. But, I like more Beck songs than Nirvana."
“Jeff Beck?” he asked, unsure; he more than expected to be wrong in his assumption. “Or have I missed something, here?”
She shook her head no, "No, I just mean Beck. You know, 'Loser'?"
He smirked slowly, though he looked absolutely ridiculous doing so with his lips swollen. Clicking the eject button, he searched through his CDs once more, taking another mix one out and swapping it with the current one. He clicked the skip button a few times before the song in question began to play. “I have a lot of CDs. Even more vinyls, but they’re mostly hidden.” Tony winked at that, smirking wider.
She laughed along, "My folks used to have a bunch of vinyls, too. There's a curtain in the living room that has a few hundred behind it. I haven't gotten to add many, but something about the vinyl sound just feels... Homier."
Tony nodded in agreement, “It’s purer, more calming. Classic, obviously,” he shrugged, glancing out the window. “Where we headin’, by the by?”
"Little stop first. For materials." She explained, pulling the car to the side of the road, "Stay here for a second." Beyril opened her door, taking off her seatbelt and sliding out all in a flash, suddenly nowhere to be found.
He raised a brow at her, watching with curiousity but listening to the music in realtive silence, not daring to question the strange girl.
Soon after, Beyril darted back into the car with a black duffel bag and a grin on her lips. She tossed the bag into the back seat with a thud, "Okay, before I go any farther, guns don't scare you, do they?"
Tony gave her a look that screamed really, sassy and cocky all at once. “I’ve known Jasmine since we were babies, and I helped you and Savannah out last night with what, exactly?”
She shrugged, "Better safe than sorry, anyways." She checked her mirrors as she buckled herself in. Beyril drove the car for some ways, outside the city and into the rural areas outside death city. She pulled the car off down a dirt road, parking it and grabbing the bag, "Just a little further."
The Italian gave her a rather strange look, his eyebrow raised as he watched her. “You have a bag that I assume contains guns, you drove us out to the middle of nowhere, and now you want me to walk. Is this the part where I die?”
Beyril laughed and snorted, “I don’t shoot people unless I’m out of options. Unless you give me a damned good reason, we’re good.” she offered him the bag, “Would you feel better carrying the bag?”
He glanced at it for a moment before taking it from her, stepping out of the car as he shouldered it. “Al...right. Where are we going, then?”
She pointed up the hill, “Just a ways into the woods. Promise. Not even a five minute walk.”
“No stalkers or hunters or…” He laughed, “Christ, you’ve got me paranoid, girl.”
She laughed, “How little must you think of me? I’m offended.” She stepped forward, into the grass and began the trek through the woods.
He grumbled something about pretty girls and dangerous situations, but he followed her nonetheless, somewhat thankful for the daylight and the fact that they were managing to burn it, thus allowing them to see a late-night movie.
Once they reached the top of the hill, the trees parted into a flat clearing, a sign with a picture of a poorly drawn scary face on it. The sign was greatly weathered, and two stumps sat close together. Beyril grinned, “Here we are.” The distance from the stumps to the sign was about 100 feet.
Tony looked from the sign to the girl, raising an eyebrow curiously. “Target practice?”
Beyril smiled, nodding, “My dad made this place. Cleared it out, hung the sign… He taught me how to shoot. I’ve had a gun in my hand since I was six.”
His expression turned to one the spoke volumes of how impressed he was. “Any particular reason?”
She shrugged, “They said I needed to know how to defend myself. Sometimes, I swear they knew they’d be leaving me.” She grinned, though bitterness and sorrow clung fast to her words.
Antonio’s breath hitched, but he handed the bag out to her. “Do you… have a game in mind?”
She shrugged, “Well, I’m going to go on and veto Russian Roulette now.” she teased, “I just figured we’d fire off a few clips, get our blood pumping, and then I’d let you take back over for the night.”
He laughed, “An adrenaline rush? That’s your big plan? We coulda gone swimming in a river, train chasing, or any number of things….”
She smiled weakly, “Actually… this was less of for adrenaline, and more of an extended apology for earlier.” she admitted, “I struck a nerve without meaning, so I thought maybe… it might even things out if I let you see one of mine. My, er… nerves, I mean.” her nerves started getting the best of her, her vulnerability slowly being laid out before her in the woods; the one place she couldn’t pretend to be anyone she wasn’t. She couldn’t fake confidence here, or even really comprehend the idea of not being totally honest, “I’ve… never taken anyone here before… No one but my dad and I know it exists.” She stood silent for a second, nervously twirling her fingers trying to keep a handle on things, “I’m… being weird, aren’t I?”
He looked at her for a long while, unsure of precisely what to say. Finally, he tried to smile at her, though the swollen portions of his lips made the gesture seem increasingly more comical. “Have I, at any point, said that weird was a bad thing?” Tony stepped closer, taking her chin between his thumb and index fingers, tilting her head up. “I like it. Now, stop being cute and get to firin’.”
Beyril smiled awkwardly up at Tony, the movement creating a small dimple in her nose around the two new rings in her nose, her cheeks turning pink from the apples. “Uh, I uhm…” her eyes tried to find anything else to lock onto, “You… think I’m cute..?”
He tried to smirk, failed, but kept the expression anyway, leaning forward so that his forehead touched hers, icy blue eyes smouldering as they danced in front of her. “I think you are more than cute, little hippie,” he breathed, reveling in the fact that his flirting actually worked on her, “But that is a discussion for another time.”
She held perfectly still, frozen, for a long while, green eyes helpless and wide, “I don’t think I can move…” she confessed, a red flush blossoming up from her chest.
The smirk widened, and he remained silent for a while, allowing the tension to build before he spoke slowly, deliberately, moving so that his breath was against her ear, face beside hers, eyes holding her all the while. “Who says that you would have to…?”
Beyril’s knees trembled a bit, her legs touching his from proximity alone, “I swear…” she exhaled the words in a low breath, eyes fluttering closed as her teeth grazed the corner of her lower lip, “You are going to be the death of me.”
“Awwwwww,” he murmured, a sort of strange, rumbling purr chasing his tone, a sudden shiver spike darting down the length of his spine. He had to force his own eyes closed, biting into the inside of his rather tender lip as he fought for control, “That’d be no fuuuuun,” he emphasized the word, though his meaning was already rather clear. Tony moved forward, tracing the outer edge of her earlobe with his tongue, “I’d want you alive, breathing hot and heavy, chest heaving, careening on the edge, over…” He nipped at her earlobe, “And over…” his tongue traced her jawline, “and over again.” When he stopped, only a breath separated their lips, the wind he exhaled hot, “And I would leave you there… hanging on that edge… time…” his lower lip brushed against hers, “and time…” again, longer this time, “and time again, until I had you begging…”
Beyril squeezed her eyes closed, breath ragged as she held her hand over her chest, biting her lip to try and get her breathing back under control. Her hands slowly started trembling, and she pushed back a bit, sitting in the grass and clutching her knees, “I-I’m sorry…” she exhaled, holding her chest, “I-I can’t…”
He stepped away from her, taking her purse from the ground and setting it beside her before politely nodding and sitting a little ways in front of her. His eyes closed as he hummed softly, Iris rolling in his mind from where Jasmine had been playing it on repeat. Of all his friends, he’d only had to deal with this sort of thing with her, and she was more of the violent type than the solitary, leave-me-be type that he was currently assuming would be his best bet, here. After all, he realized, mentally berating himself for his foolishness, I was the one to trigger this…
Beyril kept her eyes closed, instinctively reaching out for his hand wordlessly.
His eyes were closed for a painfully long amount of time, her hand floating between them, before he finally took a peek to see how she was doing. With a guilty lump in his throat, his humming stopped, and he reached his hand across, easily lacing his fingers through her own. The melody didn’t pick back up, and the only sounds were the rare cars rolling down the not-so-distant road, the wind blowing through the trees.
A gentle ease came over her as she felt his touch, the corner of her mouth almost twitching up for a moment as she gave his hand a gentle squeeze, exhaling deeply as her body worked it’s way back into a calm. He smiled gently, thumb stroking the smooth skin at the side of her thumb, the back of her hand. No words were spoken, no words seemed needed.
Beyril’s shoulders shuddered, but a light laugh escaped her lungs, “That feels nice…” she whispered.
His brow raised, and he opened a single eye, watching her, humming, “hmmmmm?”
“Whatever you’re doing with your thumb.” She chuckled, “It feels nice on my hand. I don’t know, I just like it.”
He shrugged, though he curled his fingers into her palm, tickling the flesh there.
Beyril opened her eyes, a blush coming over her cheeks, “I’m really sorry for that… It’s irritating, I know…”
"It's fine." He murmured, a tiny smirk on his lips. "Can't shoot like this, but that's no longer the intent anymore, it appears."
Beyril laughed, "Oh, even shaken I have a pretty wicked aim. Can't say the same about you, but still..." She winked, "Still up to try?"
His brow raised once more as he looked over at her, "it sounds as though you are challenging me."
"I am." She smirked, "What of it?"
His eyes narrowed at her playfully and he leaned forward. "Challenge accepted."
Beyril scampered to her feet, unzipping the duffel and unloading seven different guns, all military grade and near unidentifiable.
The narrowing of his eyes reversed completely, wide and nearly bugged out of his head as he stared at her. "-oh God, what have I gotten myself into?-"
She chuckled, "What? I stole them from Brody."
His head tilted slightly as he watched her, "wha.....t?"
"Never mind." She chuckled, loading a pistol and handing it to him with her hand around the barrel, grip facing him.
He eyed her curiously before taking it from her, clicking off both safeties and aiming it towards a tree. His right eye closed as he looked down along the barrel, testing his eyes more than anything. "Who first?"
"I'll let the beginner try first." She teased, a smirk on her lips.
He raised a brow at her but said nothing, narrowing his eye slightly and firing at the tree. It went right, imbedding in the side of the bark.
Beyril didn't waste a second, following his shot with three, both eyes open, that formed a rough triangle in the center before she lowered her gun, "Still got it. But, it was a good shot. Depending on what part of the body you had been aiming for, you probably would have killed him."
Tony was staring at the triangle in shock, hardly having moved since he dropped his arm from firing. At this point, he wasn’t quite sure what to think of her.
Beyril patted his shoulder, pointing to the target, “It helps if you keep both eyes open. You close one, and you lose your depth perception and you misaim to try and adjust for drop not realizing how far away it is.” She stood behind him, raising his arms directly in front of him, “Just point in where it looks like you want it to go. It’s not too far. You don’t have to adjust.”
Part of him wanted to sigh, to throw a fit like a child over having his pride wounded, but he merely nodded in response to her, doing as instructed and aiming for the center of her triangle.
“Keep in mind, it’s going to recoil back a bit. Fire once, but don’t shoot again until you’ve taken a second to get it back where it needs to be. We’re in no rush here.” she patted his shoulder as she stood back, “You’ve got all the time in the world.”
“I feel like a child.” He joked, taking aim again and firing once more.
The gun jolted back, but the sudden splintering of the wood only an inch away from the target let him know he was most certainly doing it right. Though, the popping in his elbows was somewhat painful. Beyril smiled, “See? It helps though if you don’t lock your elbows. Not for aiming, but it can make your arms sore if you don’t relax them a bit.”
He made a bit of a face, something akin to a scowl though not quite one, “I’m not sure what to think of this.”
She smiled, though the tremor in her lower lip easily gave a way that she feared what he might say next, “Why’s that?”
“I can’t decide if you’re cute or badass.” He laughed, readjusting his arms before firing again, hitting the mark this time without harming his arms. “You’re a strange little bundle. You look so delicate and carefree and right beneath the surface, well…” Tony gestured towards the target her father had pinned long ago.
She shrugged, a relieved breath slipping past her lips, and a smirk tugging them back up to try and distract from her blushing cheeks, “Sometimes, you have to be a little bit of both to keep from going crazy.”
He nodded in response, seeming to agree though he still wasn’t entirely sure; it didn’t seem right, her innocence having to bend to the world or be further corrupted, along with her soul and whatever remained of her so-called ‘normal’ life.
She looked back at the target, “You did really well, though. I’m impressed at least.” She smiled back at him, “If you want to leave, we can.”
“That’s your choice.” Tony said, smiling softly as he clicked the trigger safety back on. His expression seemed softer, smile just slightly wider. “Do you wanna keep shooting or go to the movies?”
Beyril looked between the gun in his hand, and the smile on his face, and relaxed her smile a bit, letting her cheeks krinkle a slight dimple in her nose around the new rings in the side, though they were still slightly swollen and the movement made the skin turn even pinker. “Well… We might as well finish off the clip.” she chuckled, clicking the clip out of her gun so she could remind herself how many shots she had left. She tended to get strangely scatterbrained with Tony around. She wasn’t sure why, but even through the slight panic attack that had claimed her a few moments ago, she still felt safe with him. That in and of itself was a new sort of feeling to her.
He smiled back at her, beaming despite the swelling of his own skin. “If you say so.” The safety clicked back off as he spoke, and he lifted the gun once more, aiming at the tree once more. “Any particular tactic or just emptying out the clip with target practice?”
"Target practice." She chuckled, "Unless you'd simply like me to unload my clip making you dance."
He pretended to flinch, to shy away from her, but his ever-present smirk gave him away. “I’d rather dance on my own time, thank you.” A wink followed before he took aim once more, trying to trace over her own bullets.
She fired off the last few of her own in between his until the clip was empty. Beyril chuckled, kicking back the stump to reveal a hollow safe in the ground. She pulled the key from around her neck, unlocking it and stashing the rest of the weapons inside.
His brows raised instantly, though he wasn’t truly sure why it was that he was surprised; there really was no reason to be. “You just keep pulling out more tricks, don’t ’cha?”
She shrugged, pushing the stump back, “I suppose. I try to keep a few tricks under my sleeve.”
"Under?" He said, his tone teasing, "Wouldn't it be 'up?' If it were under," he tugged at the sleeve of her dress, "It'd be as visible as a tag. What a horrible magic trick that would be."
Beyril rolled her eyes and stuck out her tongue, “You’re horrid.”
"And you're a sexy little ball of cute and fluffy hair, but you don't hear me announcing it as though it's not common knowledge." He chuckled, smirking at her.
Her cheeks turned as red as her hair, and she looked down at her toes, muttering, “Let’s just get to the damned movie.”
Tony laughed in response, nodding to her. "Lead the way, capelli sesso."
Beyril paused, unsure as to whether or not she wanted to know what he had just called her, but lead him down the hill back to the car anyways, tossing him the keys, “You get driver again?”
He snatched them out of the air, still walking. "I suppose. Might need some guidance." Still, he shrugged, sliding the rest of the way down before kicking the dirt from his shoes and unlocking the old vehicle.

She laughed as she slid into the passenger side, “It’s simple. One lane road. Turn around, keep going straight, and it’ll spit you right back out on the highway.”
He nodded, sliding inside and switching the radio to his usual classic rock station, watching her expression out of the corner of his eye while he did so. A slow smirk pulled at her lips as she hugged her legs up against her chest, rolling her shoulders as she relaxed into the seat. Tony let his smirk widen as he cranked up the volume and headed back into the city. They spent time dodging traffic while the radio cycled, but getting to the theater didn't take much longer than normal.
When they pulled up, Beyril climbed out of the car, looking back over her shoulder with a gentle smile at Tony, “So when do I get to play arm-candy, hmm?”
"Hm...?" He hummed the question as he raised a brow, checking the chain attached to his wallet while he stepped out, having gotten it caught on a snag in the seat belt.
Beyril smirked, nodded back to him, “You heard me.”
“Arm… candy?” Tony said in response, walking around the car and shaking his head, though he offered her his arm nonetheless, chuckling to himself. “I haven’t heard that term since elementary.” His pierced tongue stuck out at her as he smirked around it.
She shrugged, linking her arm in his, “Well, I certainly couldn’t think of another word for it.” She stuck her tongue back out teasingly.

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PostSubject: Re: Let's Get you Shining, Morning Star   October 7th 2014, 3:58 pm

His eyes rolled back at her in response, but he lead her inside nonetheless, guiding her over to the posters and showtimes. “Pick your poison, hippie.”
Beyril tapped her chin, her eyes lingering longer on the action movies and horror titles than the others. "Do you have a preference?"
Though he kept his glances discreet, Tony’s eyes watched her all the while, noting her preferences, silently, subconsciously memorizing even the most minute details of her face. His lip twitched up slightly at her question, and he shrugged. “Depends. Do you want a good movie, or a B one?”
"Uhhhh..." She thought, one side of her face scrunching, "Well, the cheesy movies make for good dinner conversation," she chuckled, "Then again, so do the good ones, if they're good enough to make you think."
He nodded along, forcibly tearing his eyes away from her to observe the posters. “Now, do you prefer something actually scary, or more suspense?”
"Suspense." She nodded, "Unless you want me to crawl inside your jacket and try not to cry with fright the entire movie."
Tony couldn’t help but to chuckle in response, “I doubt that you would be able to get in the jacket in the first place, let alone escape from it after.”
"I could try..." She cast him a sideways glance, pouting a bit.
His eyes immediately darted away from her, face flushing in embarrassment as he fought to avoid her pitiful gaze. “Pick a movie before I throw you at a sappy chick-flick.”
She sighed, "Fine." She looked between the posters before settling on a suspense horror film. "There."
Tony allowed himself to look over just long enough to see the title before nodding and tugging her over to the box office. “Pick whatever snacks you want.” The words were spoken as he pulled out his debit card and handed it to her, holding cash for their tickets. “Just don’t overwhelm yourself.”
"I was promised chocolate popcorn." She smirked, "and that's all I ask for."
“Buy your stinking popcorn.” He said, tapping the unmarked side of her nose. “And hurry up before more people come in and someone tries to swipe you. I don’t share.” Tony laughed at the little joke, but the protective glint at the edges of his icy gaze spoke otherwise. Still, he turned to the counter and bought two tickets for the next showing, in about twenty minutes.
Beyril playfully rolled her eyes, standing in line for her popcorn and eyeing a bag of red gummy fish. He caught up to her in line just before another man tried to approach her. Tony’s arm draped over her shoulders and he held the tickets in front of her, smiling. “You’re a slowpoke.”
She frowned, "The cashier is the slow one..."
“Yeah,” he said, tapping her nose with the tickets, expecting her to take one. “But you’re more fun to tease.”
She took her ticket and rolled her eyes, "Sue me."
“For what?” He asked, shrugging. “Clearly I don’t worry about money as much as a normal person would.”
"You're a sarcastic one, aren't you?" She teased, nudging his side a bit, "Don't expect me to be too snuggly in the movie, then."
His eyes rolled, “As if you could resist me, darling.” The tone was joking, and he nudged her lightly forward as the line began to progress.
"No funny italian nickname this time?" She teased, turning to the cashier, "Can I get some chocolate covered popcorn?"
He gave her a curious look, but nodded, starting on her food.
Antonio merely smirked lightly, leaning down to whisper, “Capelli sesso,” into her ear, not missing a beat as he watched the man behind the counter.
She rolled her eyes, "You might get a better reaction if I knew what it meant."
He shrugged, shaking his head, “I have no intentions of sharing.”
The cashier brought her popcorn, “Will that be all, ma’am?”
She grimaced, “Ma’am makes me sound old… Anything for you, Tony-pepperoni?”
His face contorted into a playful scowl, but he nodded to the concessions, “Can a double order of nachos be arranged?”
The cashier nodded, getting nachos prepped in a plastic tray.
“No drink?” He asked, looking at the girl quizzically.
“I don’t want to waste all your money…” she muttered.
“Pick a drink, hippie.” He said, shrugging, “I’ll just steal some from you anyway.”
“Coke okay?” she asked him, looking up through her red lashes with a slow, shy smirk pulling at her lips.
“And whatever the largest size coke you have is.” He said, smirking and sliding the card from the girl’s hands. “Thanks.”
The cashier nodded, ringing them all up, “That’ll be $12.45.” then took the card to swipe, and handed it back to Tony.
“Not bad,” he said, shrugging as he took the drink in one hand and the tray in the other, holding the tickets between two fingers. “Thank ya,” with that, he nodded to Beyril, indicating for them to head on over to the theater.
Beyril nodded, taking the tickets as they walked past the clerk taking them, who tore the stubs off, and nodded, “Theater seven.”
She nodded and smiled thanks, and made her way, Tony behind her, to the theater, where they sat down in the middle of the back row. No one else seemed to be in the theater yet.
The barest hint of a smirk passed over his face as old memories chased after his conscious mind. He pressed them back, however, drawing a pleasant smile to his face before taking his seat beside her. His left hand dropped the oversized drink into the holder between them while the other arranged the tray so that it was properly balanced in his lap. There was no subtlety in his next gesture, but nor was there any sort of obligation to accompany it as he draped his arm over the back of her seat, kicking his feet up on the one in front of him and munching down on one of the nachos,
Beyril’s cheeks turned a bright red as she crossed her legs in her seat, nestling the bucket of popcorn in the center and gingerly plucking out a single piece at a time and tossing it back into her mouth. “I hope this one isn’t scarier than it looked.” she mused.
His eyes rolled but he smiled at her, brushing the salt from his free hand to tap her nose. “I’ll keep the scary monsters away.”
She laughed, “You really don’t understand how easily movies frighten me yet, do you?” she brushed off the end of her nose, picking up another singular kernel of popcorn, “You’ll be too busy laughing at me to do any monster-chasing.”
“The requires my face not going numb first,” He said in response, smirking around the somewhat still swollen edges of his piercings. “I’m beginning to lose a bit of feeling, i think.”
She laughed, pointing to her nose, where the two dangling gold rings sat like they belonged there, and she had been born with them, “Perhaps I’m just lucky.”
“Generally,” he muttered to himself, but smiled at her despite it. “Now, how much you wanna bet that no one will show up until five minutes before credits?”
“I’m going to be optimistic and say it’s just going to be us tonight.” she chuckled. “Besides, I don’t have anything to bet with.”
He raised his pierced brow over at her, smirking just slightly. “You want to be alone with this strange, pierced up man?”
“I trust the strange, pierced-up man, thank you.” she teased with a chuckle, “Besides, if he gets too mean I just gotta poke his lip.”
Tony snorted a laugh at her, smiling, his fingers tapping on her shoulder. “Good to know that you can defend yourself.”
She nestled her head against his shoulder and chuckled, “And you’d just have to take your shirt off.”
He smirked knowingly, nodding as he stole a kernel and tossed it into his own mouth. “Whatever could you mean?’
“I mean you’re hot as hell and probably have no buisness out with the silly hippie girl who three days ago was searching through couch cushions for enough change to buy a dollar burger from McDonald’s.” She rolled her eyes, stealing a chip as revenge.
Instantly, his thumb and index finger took her chin between them and tilted her face to meet her eyes. “Don’t do that.” The words were whispered but commanding, resolute.
“Don’t do what?” She blinked, unsure.
“Speaking of yourself like that.” He said, watching her, gauging her reaction. “You act and talk like you’re nothing. No one thinks that.”
“I, uh…” she blushed, looking down at his hand, “I’ll try…”
He tilted her chin up further in response. “Money doesn’t define you. Your heart does. You’re beautiful and you’re brilliant. Stop trying to push people away.”
The corner of her mouth tugged into a light smile, as she placed a hand on her chest, "I gotta keep this safe somehow, you know..."
The smile pulled his own forward, and his gaze softened on her. “You’re doing more damage by insulting yourself, though.”
She shrugged, "Habit. Have you ever been around someone so long that the way they speak affects the way you speak? It's... kinda like that."
His lip twitched up and he nodded, “That’s where the nicknames come from.” Gently, he released her, “Habit I picked up from Jasmine.”
"I've yet to really meet her." Beyril admitted, changing topic, "I've seen her around and once said hi, but that was it, really."
“She’ll catch a hold of you eventually,” the Italian settled back in his chair, watching the annoying little pre-movie quizzes, advertisements, and “turn off your cell phone” announcements. “I hope you like shopping, or at least tattoos.”
"Both, actually." She smiled, "Though based on what I've heard, it seems she's been a little... busy as of late."
“Understatement,” he said simply, though he shuddered as a chill rocketed through him. “The abduction lead to quite a few problems…”
"I've heard. Aikra has been pretty rough too." She sighed, thinking on her renewed debt to Brody, as well as the two men she had killed. It haunted her dreams lately. Perhaps with those connections, she shouldn't be here. Her face contorted, pain and guilt reading on her lips and brow.
Reflexively, his hand stroked her arm and shoulder, and his eyes fell back to her as well. “I heard, you know.”
Her shoulders stiffened, a knot under her skin pressing against his arm, "Heard what, exactly?"
“About the rescue.” He said, recalling what had been occured, what Savannah and Jasmine had informed him of as well. “Sayv is being fickle about the details or repercussions, but I know well enough when to be only the barest bit informed.”
"And you're still here with me?" She asked, a bit bewildered.
“Do I look afraid?” He asked, looking at her with a smile across her face. “Whether I’m involved or not, the world will move as it wishes. If I put myself at the center of it, perhaps I can do more good. And besides even that fact.” His finger tapped her nose once more as he met her eyes. “I’d say it’s pretty damn worth it.”
Beyril blushed, shaking her head a bit, "Perhaps we're both crazy."
“Perhaps?” He asked, laughing, “Is this forgetting that I turn into a weapon on ocassion and repeatedly have people poke holes into my body?”
She laughed, teeth flashing porcelain in the dimming theater light. "And I climb inside someone to smash things."
“Hulk temper?” He asked, smirking as he settled back into place. “Of all the weapons, you pick the most emotionless one, the shell, the armor. You hide to destroy.”
"Helmut has more to him than that, I'm sure of it." She smiled. "He's very kind. That's indication enough that he's got more in him than that."
“You’ve ignored my remarks on you and settled on him.” He said, smirking, watching her.
"Because you were right about me." She insisted.
He shook his head but tugged her closer, grumbling before moving the drink to her holder, sipping it first, and lifting the armrest between them. His arm settled around her shoulders once more as he pulled her closer, smiling. “I can only imagine the beauty of you acting.”
"I considered theater once. But, I lack the free time." She chuckled, resting on his shoulder as the film started playing the trailers. The theater was empty except for them.
He smirked slowly, knowing that he had lost, shaking his head. “Well, movie time.”
She leaned up onto her knees, a shaking tremble in her hands as she moved in the dark, whispering in his ear, "Thank you." Just before she gently brushed a kiss against his cheek and sat back down, nestling against his side.

As the movie went on, the suspense gave way to more jumping and supernatural horrors, than more than once made Beyril yipe a scream aloud and cling to Tony, at least five times hiding her face under his coat.
He finally settled for wrapping his jacket around her as much as he could, holding her close and chuckling as he fought to restrain his own instincts and gut-reactions. It wasn’t so much that it scared him as it got his heart pumping --- at least, that’s what he’d tell anyone that asked.
As the credits rolled, Beyril clung to him, "If it's dark outside," she warned, "I'm screaming at anything that moves."
Tony responded by holding her closer, rubbing her arm reassuringly. “Do I have to stay over to fend off the scary monsters?”
She poked her tongue out at him, the dimple in the center teasing him, "If you stay over, it's because you're warm and I like to snuggle. Monster-fighting is a secondary job."
He chuckled, squeezing her shoulders just a bit before stealing one of the last pieces of her popcorn, having finished his nachos long ago. “Secondary? Well, shit. Where’s the adrenaline? Where’s the rush?”
She raised a brow, "That comes when you kiss me." she teased, pretty clearly joking.
The corner of his lip twitched up in a smirk as he watched her, leaning closer. “Does it, now?”
She smirked nodding her head, “Yep.” she insisted, calling his bluff.
He leaned closer, watching her until his forehead touched hers, watching, waiting, testing the waters.
She met his eyes with hers, locking them on him in a playful, taunting smirk, challenging his resolve on the matter.
His own smirk widened as he watched her, leaning closer, leaving only a breath between them; he would not force her, would wait if she wanted him to.
She didn’t budge, the gentle exhalations from the slight part in her lips brushing against his, the soft scent of honey and chamomile on her breath. Her forehead and nose felt soft and smooth against his skin, the freckles dotting the bridge and her cheekbones. The tender velvety skin of her lips was felt even without them touching. Her eyelids half-closed without her even intending them to, the auburn lashes laying like maps of constellations on her freckled cheeks.
Her very presence alone caused his breath to hitch, but he remained where he was, eyes memorizing the layout of her face, every contour, every freckle, every mark. As he did so, his breathing became uneven, steadying slowly as he waited. “You gotta meet me,” he whispered, “Nine-to-one, hippie, ya gotta meet me the other ten percent.”
“Meanie…” she muttered back, the almost pitiful whimpering of a helpless girl, as her breath held in her chest, her hands trembling slightly from the frenzied beating of her heart. Her breath released as she sighed, defeated, the honey-chamomile softness caressing his cheek for a split second before she clenched her fists and pressed her lips forward onto his.
In a single, smooth moment, his hand slid to her cheek, thumb hooking on her ear while his fingers tangled loosely in her hair. His head tilted as he pressed forward, gently pressing his newly hole-punched lips to her own. He was gentle with his actions, careful not to lean too close for fear that she would feel trapped. The arm at her shoulder stayed put, the fingers trailing along the smooth flesh beneath his jacket, his lips moving gently against her own, like the gentle waves of low-tide, dancing about each other and crashing in a gentle, peaceful harmony.
Her ragged, nervous breaths steadied against his lips as they pressed together and parted, only to meet again. Her teeth gently grazed his lower lip between the rings, the cool, menthol-like sensation of her tongue slipped past their lips, tracing down the center of his tongue, caressing the stud in the center and chilling the ring all the way through.
He let out a gasp, shuddering at the contact, though it was not unpleasant. Smirking around the kiss, he pressed just slightly forward, thumb rubbing at the pierced lobe of her ear as he did so. His tongue danced around hers, slow and sensual, carefully invasive.
A slight, trembling moan slid between her lips as they kissed, the coolness of her tongue and lips turning warm from their passionate touches against the other. Yet, every breath, every inhalation brought the slow tingle of menthol, sharpening every gasp of air and mounting the tension between them.
It was agonizing, trying to restrain himself while she tempted and tortured him so. Still, he kept himself as restrained as he could manage, holding her face and shoulder carefully even while the tease of her tongue and breath sent him spiraling. Slowly, he began to pull back, still kissing, lips moving against and almost massaging her own.
Beyril’s breath snagged on the space between their lips, desperately resisting the end of the kiss that was certain to come soon. He slid away even as she pursued him, part of him increasingly more thrilled that she did so and the rest of him urgently warning them to slow down.
Eventually, she gave in, tilting her head so their foreheads touched, but their lips were separated, taking a second to catch her breath and try to steady her now-acrobatic heart. He smiled at her, though his eyes were mostly closed and his mouth hummed appreciatively. His fingers had returned to stroking her arm gently, though his breathing and pulse were not so willing to comply.
“Wow…” she whispered, a slight chuckle vibrating in the air.
“Yeah,” he spoke back simply, chuckling softly in return, “Wow.”
Beyril blushed, about to respond, when the theater attendant by the door cleared his throat, “I gotta clean, you know.”
His usual cocky smirk took over his face despite the light blushing, and he looked over with a brow raised, “Credits haven’t shut off yet.” He said gesturing towards the screen. “Don’t you know not to leave a movie before it ends?”
The attendant rolled his eyes, muttering, “Fucking troublemaker kids.” under his breath, and stepped outside.
Beyril turned a brighter red, freckles fading into her cheeks, “Oops. Looks like you got caught making out in the theater.”
His head shook as he chuckled, leaning back in his seat and toying with her sleeve idly, “I’m already thought to be a troublemaker. It’s nothing new.”
“Funny how you’re the one with the label,” she smiled, “And I’m the law-breaker.”
A single digit tapped the piercing in her nose as he began to gather the trash, “I look like the rebel, though.”
She gently kissed his lips, trailing behind her lips with her thumb, “You’ll have me before too long, I’m sure.”
He laughed aloud, shaking his head at her, “I think you make a better hippie than a rebel, and I make the better weapon.”
“Considering I’m not a weapon,” she teased, “I’d say so.”
He chuckled, “And that alone should tell you something.” Tony stood, trash piled in his tray in his right hand, left hand offered to help her up.
Beyril took his hand as the final credits rolled, yiping and leaping into his coat as the villain’s face suddenly jumped on screen.
Though he laughed, he had jumped as well, evident by the rustling and the falling napkin. Shaking his head, he pulled her close, kissing the crown of her hair.
“I don’t like jump-scares…” She muttered, pouting a bit as she nestled against his chest and wrapped her arms around his middle.
He chuckled, smiling down at her as he guided her back out of the theater, “Should’ve picked a different movie.” the tone was teasing, as was his smirk, but his eyes were nonetheless sympathetic.
“Bite me.” She retorted, still holding onto his hip.
Tony faked a cat’s meow, chuckling to himself as he offered her a wink, “One thing at a time, fireball.”
She gave a subdued, pitiful whimper as they left the theater door, tossing the popcorn inside the trash without letting him go. “You’re a tease.”
He chuckled, squeezing her shoulder absently. "How so this time?"
"All the nicknames and winking and smirking..." Her cheeks blushed red as they stepped outside in the night air, "And then you kiss me and make my insides feel like jello."
"Can I eat those?" He asked, reaching around to poke at her stomach. "Jello sounds good right about now." The smirk was there, a sparkle in his ice eyes that danced and taunted her.
His finger continued past where he thought her stomach would be, caving in a bit before he met flesh. She rolled her eyes, "Then you play coy with me, or talk like you are all sweet and I'm not sure if you like me or not." She teased, though the words were honest, as her breath turned into a little breath cloud in the cold.
Ice blue lingered on the place where his finger had caved in, a sort of panic and realization hitting him fully. Still, he shook his head, playing it off with a sort of goofy, nervous grin. “You think I don’t like you?”
"I don't think I know for sure." She admitted, "Sometimes I see it, and sometimes it looks like it's a game to you."
“I play,” he admitted, “But not with a girl’s heart. Not like that.” He leaned closer, exhaling a hot breath on her nose, knowing the wind was chilling the piercings. “I like you, Beyril. I will spell it out more bluntly if ya want.”
She blushed, cheeks going pink, "Promise?"
He held his hand up for her, all fingers down save his partially-bent pinky. “Swear.”
She wrapped her long, thin, delicate lady's finger pinky around his, watching their fingers as she bit the inside of her lip.
He hooked their fingers closer, reaching up so that he could kiss the other end of his hand before seeming to offer for her to do the same with her own.
Beyril giggled, mimicking the gesture, then releasing him to wrap her arms all the way around his middle, nuzzling her face into the center of his chest. “Thank you for taking me out today. It’s… a new experience, but a good one. A really good one.”
Tony chuckled as he held her close, arms about her shoulder blades. “Thank you, little one. It’s been fun, albeit strange.”
“So, uh… I guess you’re gonna take me home?” she asked, blushing sheepishly as her cheeks warmed his chest.
He nodded, “If that’s where you want to go. It’s up to you.” Leaning down, he nuzzled the top of her head with his nose. “Your choice.”
“I don’t want you to go.” she muttered to herself, a bit of sadness in her voice.
Tony chuckled, nuzzling her again, more playfully. “Then I won’t. What do you want to do?”
“Cuddle.” she whimpered.
He flat-out laughed, squeezing her tighter. “Where at, firehead?”
She looked up, searching his eyes hopefully, “My place?”
“So long as you don’t try to take advantage of me,” he teased, tapping her nose gently. “I don’t know if I can fight off the famous utility meister Beyril.”
Beyril snorted a laugh and rolled her eyes, “I’m not dangerous on my own. And I’d hardly call myself famous.”
“Tell that to the academy,” he said, releasing her, pressing his hand to the small of her back and leading her towards the car. “C’mon, it’s gunna get cold.”
She smiled, leaving her arm around his middle and trailing the tips of her fingers along the surface of his skin, just barely tickling his side.
He raised a brow at her, chuckling and shaking his head as he lead her, opening the passenger door for her and smiling gently. “Nice try.”
She blinked, looking up, “Huh?”
“I’m not ticklish.” Tony replied easily, chuckling to himself. “There was no point in trying.”
“I wasn’t trying to tickle you.” she stated simply, “I like the way your shirt feels. And your skin. You’re all muscly.”
He chuckled, smirking at her as he helped her inside. “I’m a weapon; I have to be in shape.” Still, he winked at her and stepped away, closing the door and heading to his own side of the car.
Beyril hugged her knees to her chest, exhaling a sigh as she watched him, a slow smirk on her lips. “Ouch…” she muttered, holding her cheek. Her face was getting sore.
Tony slid into his seat completely oblivious to her innocent little plight, cranking the radio up on a classic rock station and rolling his window down manually.
“You’re making my face hurt.” she teased, poking her tongue out at him.
His lip twitched up and he leaned over, gently holding her tongue between his teeth gently.
Beyril frowned and made a strange whimpering sound, “Dop it… Das mah tongue.”
He chuckled, tickling the tip of her tongue with his own, refusing.
She whined, “Sthop! Ifth you’re gonna be stho clothe to mah mouf, fen you thoud be kitthen me.”
Tony shook his head slightly, smirking at her around her tongue, clearly refusing.
She frowned harder, pressing her lips to his, “Ith that what you want?”
He chuckled in response, shrugging slightly; he had no intent but to annoy her.
She sighed, pouting a bit and resigning to a life of having Tony biting onto the tip of her tongue.
With a grin, he pulled back, releasing her gently before shifting into drive and pulling them away from the theater. He didn’t say a word, merely waiting for her complaints.
"I'm getting you back you know." She smirked back tauntingly.
He laughed; she was really threatening him. “How so?”
"You'll see." She chucked, chin up haughtily.
His eyes rolled but he let Welcome to the Jungle blare through his speakers, drumming on the steering wheel as he drove.
Her cheeks flushed red, but she toyed with her fingers as she directed her gaze out the window.
Tony didn’t appear to notice, driving back to the residential district as the song switched, the signal fading to the point that he merely shut it off.
Beyril fidgeted with her fingers as he drove, sitting in silence, "So... What kind of place do you and Rogue live in?"
“Three bedroom apartment.” He said, shrugging, “Third room acts as a guest room most of the time.”
"Guests? Your parents visit often?" She asked curiously.
“Occasionally.” He said, shrugging, “Rogue’s grandfather did once, as well. It’s mostly if we have a friend in need of a place to stay.”
She nodded, squeezing her knees, “That must be nice. To have an extra room.”
“It can be,” he said, shrugging, “There’s an extra laptop in there, and we keep spare and out-of-season clothes in the closet. It’s kind of lonely sometimes, too.”
She hugged her knees, "So... What is your family like..?"
“Just shy of normal, I suppose.” He said, shrugging as he drove along. “Mom’s a Catholic School teacher; dad works for one of the Fukui’s companies. Grandpa --- mom’s dad --- passed away a few years back, so Mamaw lives with his. Nonno and Nonna live just down the street, so they’re around fairly often. We’re kinda close-knit, I suppose. Mom’s gentle for the most part --- ‘til someone messes with me, I suppose. I’ve never seen her go off, but she’s an Italian Catholic woman, so I don’t think I want to.” He shook his head, thinking back to the time one of the neighbor’s pushed him from his treehouse and how he never went near the Salvai house again after that. “Dad’s easygoing, let’s things shrug off his shoulders fairly often, but if you cross him, you learn it quick and you regret it even quicker.” He chuckled, pushing his hair out of his face, “Mamaw is just American --- so’s mom but she adapted the Italian lifestyle. She’s the sweet old lady that’ll make pies and leave them in the window, tend to her flower gardens and offer cookies and candies to the neighbor kids. Her hearing’s going, though, and she’s been wheelchair bound for as long as I can remember.”
Beyril smiled fondly, a hint of sadness in her eyes, "They sound really nice..." She fidgeted with her fingers nervously, unsure if it was appropriate to ask a question or not, but deciding to risk it anyways, "Maybe it's bad of me to ask, but do you... Think I could ever meet them?"
He looked over at her with a crooked smirk, nodding. “You’d almost have to. They don’t live too terribly far away, I suppose --- Sayv has been over to visit before, so’s Jasmine. Rogue’s been there the most, though. They keep trying to hook him up with our neighbor.” He chuckled under his breath. “I’ve been needing to head over there at some point --- maybe after first-term summer classes are over, we can drive up.” He flashed her a grin, eyes sparkling. “Would you like that? All the secret-recipe, Italian cooking your heart could ever desire. We’ve got wine for basically everything --- if you’re into that. Just…” A shudder raked through him, “Don’t talk to Nonna until after she’s finished her first glass. She’s very… unpleasant otherwise.”
She nodded excitedly, "I'd love to. You might double my weight in a single night though if you're not careful. I have a weakness for baked spaghetti."
A smirk appeared on his face quite suddenly, and he winked at her. “That’s Nonna’s specialty.”
Beyril's eyes closed like she was in heaven, "It's official. I'm gonna explode."
He burst into easy laughter. “You’ll have to fight Nonno and dad for it, hippie. Mom just likes the garlic bread.”
She raised a brow and grinned, "I could always toss you at them."
“Or you can give them those big eyes of yours and they’d hand it over.”
"That's not fighting them." She argued with a laugh.
“It is once it comes time for a second helping.” He laughed, “They’ll do it back, and Nonno is the most adorable old man you’ll ever find. He’s always gone easy on the young ones --- especially my cousins. You might meet them, too, come to think of it…”
She grinned, "Big family, huh?"
“Seventeen cousins on dad’s side, eleven and a half on mom’s.” He laughed, “Most of them are good kids, a couple are a hassle. I’m the third oldest on dad’s side and the fourth on mom’s.”
She shook her head, "I can't find any of my extended family. It's like they all vanished with mom and dad."
The grip Tony had maintained on the steering wheel grew tighter as her words struck him, clearing straight through his heart. “Well, I’ve got more than my fair share. Most of them will want to keep you right off the bat, especially the little ones.” He forced a laugh, “One of them has this stunning copper hair. It’s weird. Her daddy had firebird red --- her mom’s my dad’s older sister.”
She raised a brow, "I'm losing track of relationships." She opened her wallet, pulling out a faded, folded photo, of two adults holding an infant with curled red hair crowning the head like a halo and freckles dotting the nose. The baby was chubby and happy, with wrinkles around the joints and full cheeks that forced the smile into almost a pucker. The woman's hair was equally red with long, luscious waves, a full, curvy figure, rosy cheeks and a brilliantly infectious smile. The man was bald, with a goatee and a septum piercing, looking far more like a biker than the motherly woman and pudgy baby, but seemed enraptured by them both. She handed him the picture, "It's the only photo I have."
Tony pulled up to the sidewalk, only a block from her apartment, to check the photo. His lips smiled, but his eyes held sorrow as he traced the image. “Cute baby,” he remarked, looking over at her with a wider, better-faked smile. “You look so much like her.” He laughed, “And have the same taste in men.”
Beyril blushed, running her hand through her hair, "I wish I looked like her. Mom is gorgeous... And you know what they say about girls going after guys like their fathers."
“Electra?” He teased, handing her back the photograph and tapping her on the nose. “Daddy issues?”
"I can't totally claim the absent father excuse." She poked her tongue back out and tucked the photo delicately back in her wallet.
Antonio, meanwhile, fished for his own wallet, pulling out a sepia-tone photograph. He handed it over to her, smiling softly. The man’s hair was a silver-white like his own, his mother’s a dirty blonde, though it was almost impossible to tell. The resemblance between him and his father was startling.
She smiled, taking the photo to look closely, "You can't pick on my mom and I when you look plucked from your dad's hip, you know."
“I probably was.” He said, laughing to himself. “Mom doesn’t look like she’s ever given birth in three lives.”
She chuckled, "Lucky her. I heard my mom had a hard time even getting pregnant. Dad always said that he was going to have another little girl if it killed him. He loves mom and I a lot. When they left, he told me that when they came back, my mom would be carrying my baby sister with her."
He nodded, though the smile was ghosting, now, fading away slowly as he watched her, the lights in his eyes dimming. “You’re eager, aren’t you?”
She nodded, "I can't stop believing they're coming back. I've heard a hundred people tell me they are dead, but until I see a body, I'm not gonna believe that." Beyril looked over at him, "Something else is bothering you, though, if I'm reading you right." She offered him her hand, placing the photo on his lap first, "You don't have to tell me if you don't want to, but I'm here if you need to talk."
“It’s not time to talk about that.” He squeezed her hand before returning the picture and shift the car into drive, pulling them away from the curb and down the last stretch to her home.
Beyril ran her fingers across the top of his hand, stretching them out and lacing them in between his fingers and rubbing the side of his hand with her thumb, giving him silence to think, blushing when he parked, "I'm sorry if I made that too heavy at the end for a first date."
A forced chuckle escaped him, “You’re skin and bones --- nothing you say or do can be too heavy.”
She pouted a smirk, eyes a bit pleading, and almost wanting as she looked up at him, "That's not nice of you. Here I'm trying to apologize and make amends and you're teasing me. I ought to make you my pillow for the night as punishment. And I hug in my sleep pretty damned hard."
He raised his eyebrow at her, “Is that supposed to be threatening?”
The corners of her lip tugged up like a lioness on her prey, "Not if you don't make it a threat. Consider it more an invitation."
He swallowed slowly, hard as he looked at her, blushing just faintly. “Beyril…” he warned.
She looked away with a casual shrug, though she couldn't help the slight biting of her lower lip as she glanced at him out of the corner of her eye, "It's just an invitation to come up and talk... Maybe snuggle a bit..." She almost whispered the last bit, trying to play cool even though she craved the innocent contact more than she would have been willing to admit.
Tony let out a groan, pulling his hand away and running his hand through his hair in a frustrated manner. “Upstairs, and go ahead and change into pjs.” He said, killing the engine. “I’m going to check to see if my spare bag is in the back.”
She looked back to him, giving a sheepish, yet extremely excited smile as she leaned forward, kissing his cheek and running excitedly upstairs, almost tripping from how quickly she was trying to run in her heels.
Another groan escaped him, more frustrated this time as he watched after her. Still, he managed to find his overnight bag, though half of the clothes still needed to be washed. Sighing, he shouldered it and headed up after her.
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