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As the world falls down

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1 As the world falls down on Sat Jul 23, 2016 6:29 pm

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"Oh come on... You really expect me to believe that?" The young woman shook her head and continued to clean the glass she was holding. "So let me get this right, the guy smashed a fist clean through your window, while you were driving, and tried to take a chunk clean out of you?" She clarified, a dark eyebrow raised in amusement. "Seriously, Jackson, if that were even a little true, why are you here in my bar and not squealing to the cops like a good little citizen?"
"Cleo! Come on!" The man who had been addressed at Jackson wailed. "I'm in shock here! Some guy tries to chow down on me, and you're not even a little worried for my well being? That's cold... Even for you!"
Cleo smiled and gently set the glass down before leaning her elbows on the bar to come face to face with Jackson, the waves of her dyed silver hair slipping over her shoulders. The bar owner always wore matt red lipstick and lots of black eyeliner around her pale blue eyes. The hint of her natural hair colour was the slice of ebony in the side of her blunt cut bangs that stopped just above her eyebrows.
The young woman often did this, stared people down until they simply cracked and told her what she wanted to know. But Jackson wasn't changing his story, which bothered her more than it should.

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211 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:18 pm

Ben had tried to do a nice thing by reaching into the shower and turning the water off. Unfortunately in his inebriated state he ended up falling into the shower in a mass of long limbs and colourful words.

Cleo ceased her struggling when this man not only called her by name, but knew about her bar. The last thing she remembered were soldiers, which was enough to set off alarm bells all on it's own. But those eyes... She couldn't look away. "My bar is ash." She finally breathed after some moments.

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212 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:53 pm

"Ben!" Haley shouted, surprise and slight terror in her voice. She grabbed for the shower curtain to cover herself, her hand shaking wildly as she tried to turn off the water. 

"Indeed." The man said, arching a golden eyebrow. "And your friends? The bartender? The sheriff?" He reached for a wadded piece of paper and wrote something down. "Where are they?"

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213 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:05 pm

"The water got cold..." Ben murmured, though he was still slumped on the bottom of the tub. "So did you..." He added with a grin, pointing to where Haley had missed covering part of her chest with the curtain.

Cleo's cobalt eyes drifted to where the man wrote something down. "Probably burned with the bar." She remarked, seeing no reason to offer him any kind of information. Besides, she didn't even know anything.

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214 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:23 pm

"Not funny, Ben." Haley chided, stepping over him to grab for a towel. "You smell terrible. A cold shower might do you good. I'm going to bed. I'll make up the couch for you when you're done." 

"And the biker?" He asked. "The one that robbed a bank while the sheriff was away?" He paused, tapping the edge of his chin thoughtfully.

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215 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:35 pm

Ben simply lay there, the words cutting him deep no matter how much he knew he deserved them. "No need... I'll sleep in my truck..." He slurred as he tried to pull himself up.

"You obviously know what my bar was like... you'll have to narrow it down a bit." Cleo snorted, though she wanted nothing more than to ask what had happened to Jacob.

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216 Re: As the world falls down on Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:04 am

"You left your truck in that town. We will have to go back for it." Haley reminded him, still unaware how bad things had gotten. "You will sleep on the couch." She added,  for the first time using a firm tone with him. It wasn't like her but she was certain it was what was best for him at the moment.

"No I dont." The man countered. "You know who I mean. You know, I'm amazed my brother made it out but you two didn't. When I see how hard the biker would think he'd have given more effort. But hey, even your hooker friend Shelly didn't make it...even though she did." He finished in a cryptic tone.

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217 Re: As the world falls down on Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:08 pm

"The couch is lumpy!" Ben wailed rather childishly. "Can't I sleep in my bed?" He asked, looking up at Haley with his adorable puppy dog eyes.

Cleo tried all over again to sit up. "Who the hell are you?!" She demanded, put more than a little on edge by the things he knew. She didn't even want to connect the dots to where the information was taking her, it was too much to be a coincidence, any of it. "What have you done with Jacob?" She finally asked.

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218 Re: As the world falls down on Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:49 am

"My bed." Haley corrected, promptly slamming the door in his face. She dropped down on it without even changing into her nightgown. She was doing everything she could to keep her emotions in check but it wasn't working well. There were so many reasons to fall apart...

"Oh now you remember him?" The man chuckled. "Don't worry. He's headed to a place you can't follow." His strange eyes narrowed at this. "Though I'm not sure why."

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219 Re: As the world falls down on Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:19 am

Ben had no choice but to drag himself back to the living room and attempt to flop down on the couch. He missed spectacularly and simply lay on the floor with Buster.

Again Cleo suddenly ceased her struggling, worried by what hidden meaning was behind those words. "What did you do to him?" She asked quietly. It wasn't like she was attached to Jacob or anything, she told herself, but right now he was the closest thing to an ally she had.

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220 Re: As the world falls down on Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:15 pm

The next morning Ben would wake to the sounds of crashing pots as Haley made breakfast. She was not being quiet about it in the slightest. Buster had abandoned him and was there with her, barking with joy at everything she did.
He would also find a text from his brother Edward. 'Why aren't you dead?' The eldest of four had never cared for the youngest. This text was cryptic but not surprising from him.

"He was already dead. His mind just hadn't caught up to that fact. Same with your lovely friend Shelly. She got what was coming to her." The man in makeup explained darkly. "Now rest. We've got a big day ahead...oh and as far as who I me Edward."

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221 Re: As the world falls down on Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:22 pm

Ben one-eyed his phone, the glare from the bright screen making his eyes sting. He hadn't heard from Edward in years, so to say it was a shock he even knew what had happened last night was far more than suspicious. A moment later the sheriff shook his head, thinking Edward had probably seen the trouble on the news and was worried in his own way. Had he been less hungover, Ben's rational brain would have laughed at him for such a thought.

Cleo suddenly found she could barely swallow her throat was so dry. All her bravado left her, leaving behind a terrified little girl. The young wound felt hot tears dripping down her temples, though it was hard to see through her own smudged make up.

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222 Re: As the world falls down on Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:17 pm

"You need to call your office." Haley said, poking her head around the door. She was making no effort to keep up her usually soft voice. "They've been calling all morning. Oh and your brother called." She added, her tone taking on a hiss that was strange for her. He'd never bothered to tell her he had a brother.

"Oh now. There's no reason for the tears." Edward said gently, dabbing at the dirty streaks with a the edge of a sheet. "You're not going to die. At least not for a while."

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223 Re: As the world falls down on Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:39 pm

Ben groaned loudly and simply lay back down. He had thought no day could get worse than last night. "I didn't mean that as a fucking challenge!" He muttered to the quiet room. It was almost fifteen minutes later when the sheriff managed to drag himself into the kitchen. "I didn't tell you about Edward because we haven't spoken in years. He had his work... and I mine."

Those words chilled Cleo to the bone. Her active imagination with putting together his statement about Jacob being somewhere she couldn't follow, his body simply not knowing it was dead, and now those ominous words about her not dying... yet. "Who are you?" She asked again, clearly not meaning what was his name.

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224 Re: As the world falls down on Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:52 pm

"I told you everything..." Haley said, trying her best to soften her tone as she put pancakes on the counter across from him. The plate of bacon didn't go down as quietly. "Not that it matters now. You don't have to explain anything to me." 

"I told you, my name is Edward." The man purred, leaning back to fix her with his dark blue gaze. "That's all the pets like you need to know." He patted her cheek and smiled though there was no humor behind it. "Go to sleep now. You need your rest, sweet heart."

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225 Re: As the world falls down on Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:07 pm

"Haley... My brother isn't the kind of man you want in your life." Ben was almost pleading with Haley to believe him, not that he deserved that luxury any more. "You know what he asked me this morning? How am I still alive. He doesn't care about anyone, least of all family."

Cleo screamed, the sound tearing her throat and loud enough to escape the room. She had gotten one slender arm free now, but that was all. Rest? How was she to rest knowing she may well not even be herself anymore? If they wanted her to rest, sedation would the only way, she she only wanted out of this room.

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226 Re: As the world falls down on Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:20 pm

"He's your matter what he's like. You met my sister. The woman has a million kids and she hates them all." Haley snorted, holding out the syrup to him. "He's still family, Ben. Not that I have the right to talk to you about that. And...I'm sorry about Shelly." The little blonde went back to cooking bacon, the dog right on her heels. The air was so heavy between them it could almost be cut with a knife.

Edward applauded the scream, grinning widely. "That's it. That's the sound I love to hear." He told her, continuing on his trek to leave the room. "Your little friend screamed like that too when I killed her. Only...She did it more."

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227 Re: As the world falls down on Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:24 pm

Ben stared down at his pancakes. Shelly... He had selfishly forgotten she was still at the hospital. "Did your sister torture kittens, just to make them scream when she was a child?" He suddenly asked without looking up. "Did she drown your puppy, just to see how long it took? Or how about abducted your highschool sweetheart, even if you couldn't prove it?"

More tears ran down Cleo's temples as sobs threatened to take hold of her. She had always told Shelly when they were children that crying never solved anything, but right now it seemed like a pretty fucking good idea.

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228 Re: As the world falls down on Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:21 pm

Haley didn't say anything for a long while. She didn't know what to say. "Is that why you became a sheriff?" She asked, scratching Buster behind the ear. 

"Cry sweetheart. Those tears are delicious." Edward purred, turning off the light and leaving Cleo in darkness.

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229 Re: As the world falls down on Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:58 pm

Ben was still staring down at his pancakes. It seemed to take him a while to form words. "I guess you could say that. I wanted to prove we could be of the same blood and not be a total sociopath."

With one arm free Cleo began trying to free the other. Even once she was no longer strapped to the bed, she was still locked in a room void of all light. The only thing in there with her was the security camera and it's tiny, perpetually blinking red light.

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230 Re: As the world falls down on Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:12 pm

"Maybe he's changing." Haley said gently. "Maybe that's why he texted you." She continued to scratch Buster's ears. She would have said more if his phone hadn't rang. "Answer it." She encouraged. "Your office has things to tell you. I just didn't want you to wake up so early."

Edward sat in a room on the other side, his eyes locked on the screen even though he was on he phone. He didn't for a moment think his brother would answer. He never did.

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231 Re: As the world falls down on Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:29 pm

Ben stared at the phone instead of his pancakes, wanting to tell the world to just leave him alone. "What?" He asked gruffly, assuming Haley was right, and it was his office.

Cleo had been throwing herself at the door, foolishly thinking she could somehow get it to open. Eventually though the small woman had simply slid down it and buried her face into her knees.

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232 Re: As the world falls down on Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:04 pm

"Benny boy." Edward said, his tone almost relieved. "Glad to hear you made it out of the...dead zone. How are things?" The elder brother was tapping long fingers on the table in front of him, his eyes on the monitor that showed Cleo.

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233 Re: As the world falls down on Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:10 pm

There was an almost painful pause before Ben spoke. "How do you know where I was, Eddie?" He asked, well aware his brother hated being called that.

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234 Re: As the world falls down on Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:37 pm

"You think I don't know things?" His brother asked. "Like the fact the you're dating a school teacher? A really pretty one that looks like those angels mother used to plaster on the walls of the living room?"

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235 Re: As the world falls down on Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:38 pm

Again, heavy silence. "Where are you?" He finally asked, moving out of the kitchen and what he assumed was earshot of Haley. "You don't just call out of the blue and pull shit like this on me."

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236 Re: As the world falls down on Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:01 pm

"I was calling to tell you the hooker is dead. You're welcome." Eddie said almost gently. "And I'm not calling out of the blue. I saw the mess going on in her town and sent a crew to see what was happening. I promised mother I'd look after you."

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237 Re: As the world falls down on Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:04 pm

"Shelly..." Ben breathed the name, even knowing he shouldn't. "Too late, as always." The younger brother sneered. "I don't need... no, I don't want anything from you, Eddie." He added. "You never do anything without reason, and I seriously fucking doubt you helped anyone your men found alive in that town."

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238 Re: As the world falls down on Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:10 pm

Eddie was silent for a long moment, looking again at Cleo. His brother knew him far too well. "I hear you moved in with the angel. What did Shelly call her? Sunday school? How is that working out for you, kiddo? Is she repacking your stuff yet? She seemed pretty close to it at the hospital. "

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239 Re: As the world falls down on Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:29 pm

Cleo was still sat on the floor of what was essentially her cell. She had no idea what was happening outside, or that she was now a 'pet' of someone else.
"I don't need her to, I can do it myself." Ben replied rather icily, his brother seemed to bring out the worst in him.

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240 Re: As the world falls down on Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:41 pm

"My mood changer worked pretty well." Edward remarked, smiling to himself. "You made a real ass of yourself, didn't you?" He laughed openly. "Just think of the good something like that could do the world. One little spiked drink and even a person like you can be a bad guy. She really hates you, doesn't she? I could tell. Wouldn't even get close enough to touch you. And after all that time you spent getting her ready to screw."

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