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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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91 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:39 pm

Cleo was shaking her head, unable to offer Haley the answers she was seeking. "The whole place went to shit the moment Shelly's boyfriend turned up." She breathed, the slight sniffle she was trying to hide gave away how scared she actually was, despite her attitude.

Ben had entered the office again and was wise enough to place himself between Jacob and Haley, which also meant he was somewhat obscuring the other man's access to Cleo's gun.

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92 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:56 pm

Haley looked away at Cleo's words, thinking she meant Ben. "She called him...he heard shouting and gunshots and...of course he came to save her." She said softly. She got up and came back with the bottled water she'd seen on the desk. She came back and again knelt beside Shelly again. "I can see why he still loves her. She's beautiful. Are you two sisters?" 

"Really?" Jacob snorted, making it clear he wasn't happy with Ben's movements. "I hate to kill you with my bare hands, sheriff, but I will if you don't get the hell out of my way." He snarled.

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93 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:05 pm

"Something like that." Cleo whispered as she looked down into Shelly's face. "We spent time in the same children's home." She breathed, stroking the blonde's cheek gently. "Sometimes running was better when you weren't alone." The silver haired woman was shaking her head again when she realised what Haley had said. "I didn't mean Ben... It was Elvis Ray, he was the abusive bastard who chased her in here."

"Go ahead." Ben replied simply, holding his arms out to offer Jacob the first shot for free.

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94 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:10 pm

"Oh." That name didn't seem to surprise Haley either. "Yes, Ben told me about him. He talks about Shelly all the time. I'm not sure there's much I don't know about her." She gave a soft laugh though it was in no way genuine. "You must be Cleo then..." She added, searching the other woman's face. "He talks about you too." 

Jacob stumbled forward and took a swing, only to loose his balance. He'd lost too much blood. It was getting out of hand.

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95 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:18 pm

There was a clear look of surprise in Cleo's pale cobalt eyes when Haley confessed this to her. "I'm pretty sure it's all bad." she quickly remarked with a snort. "That I'm a bad influence on his golden girl Shelly."

"Shut up, and stay down." Ben told Jacob, giving a push that forced him to slump into the seat behind Cleo's desk.

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96 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:26 pm

Haley did laugh at that one. "Yeah. A little bit. He keeps talking about how he can change her, give her the life she's dreamed of. I...I wonder why I stick around like I do." She turned her head quickly to rummage through the first aid kit. "Sometimes I wonder if he's pretending I'm what she would have been if things were different." It was clear that she truly didn't believe Ben felt anything for her at all.

"Hello?" There was a confused call from the main bar, a man's voice. "Anybody in here?"

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97 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:29 pm

Cleo didn't handle 'feelings' all that well. Gunshot wounds she could patch up without blinking, vomit she could clean without retching, but feelings... they had her running for the hills. The sound of the human voice out in the bar had her gesturing Ben over to take her place holding Shelly still. "I think you two have a lot to talk about..." She murmured before leaving them alone.
Jacob wouldn't get the chance to reach for Cleo's gun, as she carried it with her into the bar. "Give me one good reason why I haven't shot you." She told the stranger icily.

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98 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:37 pm

Haley didn't want to talk. She just wanted to keep trying to make sure this woman survived. It was easier to run on autopilot that way. Not for the first time she found herself wishing she'd have stayed home, packing Ben's things. She was so lost in these thoughts she didn't even see the enormous man that stomped past them to follow Cleo into the main barroom. 

The tall man held up his hands, wise enough to know that any other choice he made would get him killed. "I'm glad to see a survivor. The way this town is looking we're running low on those." The man didn't look like he belonged in the town. He wore a tailored suit and slicked back hair. He was the kind of man people like Elvis Ray hired to keep them from going to jail.

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99 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:44 pm

"Haley... I need you to believe that I came here because I thought they needed help, not because I was choosing her over you." Ben pleaded, ignoring the fact that Jacob had followed after Cleo. "Please..."

And that was exactly what Cleo saw. He was the face of every man who had convinced countless judges that she was the problem, not her mother or her step father. The young woman's fingers were shaking with the effort it was taking not to empty the entire magazine into this strangers face.

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100 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:56 pm

"We're not going to fight over the dog, are we?" She asked softly, trying her hardest to offer him a smile. She adored the retired police dog that had come along with the handsome sheriff. Since they'd moved in she'd spoiled the beast rotten. It was better to talk about Buster than to talk about Ben's reasons for coming here.

The distraction was enough. Jacob yanked the gun from her fingers and shot the man point blank in the forehead. "Son of a bitch. I knew he'd try to follow me." He grumbled, stepping over the man's body. "Another cop. Or dead one. However you want to say it."

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101 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:02 pm

Ben knew what Haley was doing, and smiled sadly. "We both know Buster likes you more anyway... You made him fat." He replied with a slight smile of his own.

"You... asshole! You don't think that however he got in here is now the same way whatever those things out there will?!" Cleo shrieked, surging toward Jacob and taking a swing at his jaw.

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102 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:15 pm

"It's all those cookies. I think I'll make us a gingerbread house out of them and lure in small children." She laughed, moving back slightly when Shelly began to stir. "Give her some aspirin when she wakes up so she doesn't stroke out." She told him, handing him the bottle and the water.

Jacob grimaced as the tiny silver haired woman managed to land a punch. She could hit much harder than he'd expected. That had him shoving the gun against her midsection. "Didn't look like things to me, babe. They looked like people who had too much to drink. Something you ought to know about."

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103 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:22 pm

"You seem to know what you're doing." Ben commented, wishing he could go back several hours and simply not answer the phone. "We you always this good?" He asked, missing the sounds of scrambling above them.

Cleo didn't move forward now she had a gun to her abdomen, though she did narrow her eyes at Jacob. "I do. That's how I know." She told him bluntly, moments before the roof above them fell through. A massive pile of rubble now cut the two of them off from Ben and his female charges. However, Ben was in a much safer position, as now the hungry creatures from outside... were now dropping through the hole in the roof into the bar with Cleo and Jacob.

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104 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:32 pm

Haley shrugged. "I take first aid classes every few years. You know me, I'm always worried I'll see someone getting stung by a bee or choking on a chicken bone." She laughed softly. Finally she returned his gaze. "She's going to be okay. You'll see." He wouldn't get a chance to answer as the roof fell in on them, trapping them inside the office. 

"Fucking really." Jacob muttered. "Just what did you do to piss off the locals this time, Cleo." He grumbled, his words sounding as if he'd known her much longer than just a few hours.

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105 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:40 pm

Ben had instinctively yanked Haley closer, sandwiching herself and Shelly beneath him as the rubble tumbled around them. He lay that way for several moments until he was sure nothing more would fall.

Cleo had been battling with the feeling she and Jacob somehow knew each other also, it was the reason she had been more aggressive than usual. "Ever think maybe you shot one of their mothers, Trigger?!" She hissed, climbing up the piles of bricks to keep out of reach of the gnashing teeth.

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106 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:55 pm

"Are you okay?" It was Shelly who spoke this time, her voice barely audible. "You're an idiot, Ben Masters." 
Haley pulled herself out from under him and made sure there was nothing in the room with them. Once she was sure they were okay, she moved to the far side and busied herself trying to start digging out. She couldn't watch them together. It had been killing her already.

"Ever think I don't care?" Jacob snapped, hopping onto the bar. "Take your gun back!" He ordered, preparing to toss it to her. It would have worked out perfect if he hadn't slipped on a wet spot from the drinks Shelly had poured earlier and went down into the growing crowd.

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107 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:02 pm

"Yeah... You've proven that pretty clearly for me." Ben replied, making it clear how much hurt he had been carrying. Haley had helped more than she knew.

Cleo had made it high enough to find a way out when Jacob slipped. The small woman groaned loudly and started tossing bricks into the crowd as she made her way back down.

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108 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:12 pm

"I'm glad you're here." Shelly whispered, reaching up to caress his cheek. "I've missed you."  Then without warning she pressed her lips to his.
Haley was sure she was going to die right then and there. Her insides were on fire and she was quick to begin pushing against the debris. Anything to keep from seeing Ben kissing his former lover back.

Jacob was shouting out words that would make a sailor blush as he fought to keep his skin clear of the snapping teeth that were surrounding him. He wasn't exactly sure how he was going to get out of this one. It had been a long time since he'd been without a plan.

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109 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:18 pm

Though Haley wouldn't see it, Ben had actually pulled away, his green eyes betraying how much just being around Shelly still hurt him. "I need to help Haley." He muttered, now that Shelly was conscious again.

Cleo had a plan. It wasn't a good one, but it was still a plan. The small woman pulled the square, golden lighter from the back pocket of her torn jeans and lit one of the molotovs Ben and Shelly had made. Jacob would only get a moments notice as Cleo shouted for him to duck as she tossed it into the crowd.

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110 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:39 pm

"It figures you'd pick one with that name." Shelly snorted. "I'll bet she's all sugar and everything nice. She's probably a fucking sunday school teacher." She added, trying to sit up. "Does she help you forget? Or is she different just so you won't forget?" 

"What the hell is it with you and fire?" Jacob growled as the two of them pulled themselves onto the roof. "You do realize you just condemned the sheriff and his hookers to death with that stunt, don't you?"

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111 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:46 pm

Ben paused where he was, his back to Shelly so she would see how tensely he held himself. "I doubt i'll ever be able to forget what you did, Shelly." He breathed over his shoulder. "And for the record, she is the only reason your whore mouth still takes breath!" He added, very much out of character, that was how much she still hurt the sheriff.

"I did not!" Cleo growled. "Or are you forgetting the window you so elegantly threw yourself through moments before I was getting out of there?!" She demanded, shoving Jacob again. "And quit talking like you know me!"

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112 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:51 pm

Both women were looking at Ben like he'd grown a third head. Haley recovered quickly however and motioned him over. "I think somehow a fire got started. There's smoke starting to come in through the holes toward the ceiling." She told him softly. 

"I know a slut when I see one." Jacob muttered, rubbing at the wound on his stomach. The blood had stopped somewhat, but it was still dripping out of the gaping hole. "And it's not my fault you were trying to runaway. You were....You seem to be the type."

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113 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:59 pm

Ben couldn't thank Haley enough for the distraction, and even squeezed her fingers tightly, in plain sight of Shelly. Perhaps it was even for her benefit. "I think I know how... Before you got here, we were making explosives in case those things outside somehow got in here."

Cleo didn't erupt this time, she only smiled sadly and turned away. "Yeah... always a slut." She murmured, peering over the edge of the building now to see how far it was to the ground. "And as you think you know me so well... I guess you'll know I wasn't running away, I was finding a solution."

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114 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:10 pm

"Explosives in an enclosed space...hmm..." Haley frowned deeply, tucking wild strand of hair behind her ear that had gotten out of the hair she'd pinned to her head before marching out the door. Just a few hours earlier, her golden hair had been free of restraints and lying on the pillow beneath her. 
"Hey!" Shelly barked, aware she was interrupting Ben's heated thought pattern. "Jack off later. I'm not burning alive for you two." 

"Is that what you tell yourself to make it better in your mind?" Jacob muttered under his breath. He pulled out another gun from his side pocket and began wiping it off with his shirt. He'd stolen it from the man with the suit. He didn't need it after all.

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115 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:14 pm

"Then get up." Ben remarked without even looking away from Haley. He knew he was being intentionally cruel, and it left a bad taste in his mouth. The sad part was... he didn't think Shelly was even remotely sorry for what she had done.

"Why do you even care?" Cleo asked thinly, more than tempted to simply push Jacob off the rooftop and see if he survived the fall.

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116 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:25 pm

"Stop." Haley said softly, giving him a gentle frown. "This isn't you. Don't sacrifice yourself just because you're angry at her. Besides, I saw the way you were looking at her before. I know you still care about her." 
Shelly ignored them for the moment, inspecting her shoulder. She couldn't help wondering why Wayne had suddenly decided to bite her. That wasn't like him at all. 

"So you're just going to leave them in there?" Jacob asked again. "You always were good at leaving others behind to pay for your mistakes. That how you get the bar? Sell your first born for it?"

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117 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:30 pm

"This isn't anger, Hales..." Ben breathed. "This is..." He sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. "I've been living with it for so long I don't even know what it is anymore. What she did... We don't even have a word for how cruel it was."

"There it is again! You acting like you know even the first thing about me! You don't, so shut the hell up!" Cleo hissed. "I'm not leaving Shelly behind, unlike you, I know I can't solve every problem by shooting it, you redneck asshole!"

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118 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:38 pm

"You need to deal with it, Ben." Haley said, turning back to the rubble. "I've tried everything to help you get over her but you still hold on. There's nothing I can do for that. She's right there and it's obvious she still has feelings for you. When we get to a better place, you two need to talk this out." 
"Found a window." Shelly said, her tone cold. "Only problem is, I think little miss Sunday School is the only one that can fit through it." 

"It's worked well enough for me." Jacob snapped. "And don't pretend you're some kind of hero now. You've never been good at saving anything but..." He paused looking down below them with a smile. "There's my ride." He purred, glad to see his motorcycle was still in one piece.

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119 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:48 pm

"Her name is Haley, and you damn well know it." Ben growled, though he had joined Shelly by the window to inspect it's size. "That's the one biker boy fell through... If he can fit, so can I." He informed his former lover.

Cleo reached out and slid a slender finger into the bullet wound in Jacob's abdomen. "Good at what? Looking out for number one? I learned the hard way that if I don't, no one else will." She hissed, only pulling her finger free once she had finished speaking.

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120 Re: As the world falls down on Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:58 pm

Shelly gave him a dark look and shrugged. "Always playing the hero. Sure, go ahead and while you're wriggling out like a worm, we'll wait at the bottom to catch what's left when you get stuck." 
"She's right." Haley said. "Maybe it was bigger from the outside. There has to be an emergency hatch somewhere to open. I can do it." 

"Yeah and screw whoever you had to step on on the way, huh?" Jacob snorted. "How totally female of you." He paced the rooftop for a moment, frowning deeply. He needed to get out of here before someone else got involved.

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