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Life Lessons

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1 Life Lessons on Mon May 07, 2018 4:29 pm

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Ruby Winters was a young woman of around twenty two, not that her parents would remember this fact. She was their youngest child. A mistake. Surplus to the achievement of creating their eldest. It hadn’t taken long for Ruby to stop ‘bothering’ her mother with her drawings as a toddler, knowing the response would always be the same; ‘Lovely’, without so much as a glance. She had taken up the piano, to which her father had told her was a waste of time and energy, after all... they didn’t need two pianists in the family. As she grew older, Ruby tried to ask her father to school her in the family business, to which he had told her it was not her place to know the family business. The business would belong to her elder sister one day, it was a useless endeavour to show Ruby how it worked. Eventually Ruby simply ceased interacting with her parents. She spent her days living in the farthest part of their sprawling mansion from them, not that they noticed. The young woman tried finding a job as anything at all, but as soon as they saw the name ‘Winters’, she was laughed away, most companies telling her to just go ask daddy to make her a pony, or whatever it was little girls wanted these days. Such statements barely made sense, as she had only the faintest understanding of what her family did. She knew they were part of a partnership that owned an extremely popular theme park that only the very wealthy could afford, such was her reason for staying away from it; She wanted nothing at all to do with anything Winters.
While she had grown up wanting for nothing in the material sense, the youngest Winter’s daughter was extremely poor when it came to personal relationships.

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181 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 8:41 am

Ruby backed away and stumbled back into the control room, slamming the door shut behind her. The hosts were infinitely creepy when here in the lab. “Uh... I think I’m done here.” She told Milo quietly.

“For Joe, yes. Not Ruby though.” Kraven reminded her. “Unless... are you done with the costume?”

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182 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 10:28 am

The next thing Ruby bumped into was Milo's chest. "I'm sorry." He said softly. "I didn't mean to scare you with them. I thought you'd like them." 

"Let's go." Joe sighed, knowing her father would trust no one but Kraven. Even to escort the youngest and most unwanted of his daughters to the hospital. "If he ever finds out the truth..." She warned, though they were already out the door.

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183 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 10:46 am

Ruby jumped all over again, grabbing hold of Milo to steady herself. “Why are they naked?” She asked softly.

“He won’t, so long as you’re dressed like a thrift store reject.” Kraven remarked with his old arrogant grin.

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184 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 12:56 pm

"That way we can assess their physical condition while working on their internal. Your father says they are nothing more than toys. Objects that people use. They don't have a sense of dignity." Milo explained.

Joe was silent until they were sitting before the doctor. She mumbled something about falling in her kitchen to the man and held out her hand.

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185 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 1:04 pm

“That’s how he feels about everyone, not just hosts.” Ruby pointed out sadly. 

The doctor didn’t ask too many questions. He even took a look at Kraven’s nose once he was done.
“Was that really so bad?” Kraven asked Joe once they were through. “Just don’t shake hands with your father for a while.” He teased.

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186 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 2:13 pm

"I have met the man." Milo said, his tone rather bitter. "He is my boss after all. Come on. Maybe the animals won't make you feel so awkward." He added gently. He put his hands on her shoulders and turned her toward the other hall. "I shouldn't have brought you here... but...your sister left you a message."

Joe actually laughed. "Shake hands? I don't think the guy knows how to have human contact. I've come closer to shaking your hand lately..." She paused, now chewing on her full bottom lip. "What if we walked into that party like the engagement was our idea?"

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187 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 2:21 pm

“She did?” Ruby asked, craning her back to look over her shoulder and up at Milo as he steered her down the hallway. “Why? There’s nothing she would want to say to me...”

Kraven arched his brow and grinned. “That’s so utterly devious... I like it.” He purred. “My mother would despise the thought that it wasn’t all her idea.”

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188 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 3:02 pm

"Not according to this code she put in Ben." Milo said softly. "But we will worry about that later. "Come on. We are going to see a kitten first."

Joe grinned back at him. "See that store right there. Stop there first. I'll get changed and be myself again. I don't see how Ruby lives like this." 
Soon enough the two of them were walking into the party together looking like they world only revolved around them.

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189 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 3:17 pm

“Ben? Why? That’s the one host I wasn’t allowed to speak to! Oh...” the realisation hit her then. “And she knew I’d be a bitch and speak to him anyway...”

Kraven walked with his arm around Joe’s slender waist, holding onto her like she had always been his. He had gotten his hair cut too. It was no longer jaw length, but cut short along the sides and smoothed back across the top, somehow making him look even more handsome.

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190 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 3:42 pm

"I thought you said your sister didnt know you?" Milo said with a smile, guiding her down the hall where the animals were. He took her into the first room and handed her a mewling kitten. "Every detail here is perfect. It has to be." He told her.

Kraven's mother was the reason he kept his hair long. Already she was having a fit. When she saw the young couple arm in arm it only got worse. 
Joe was eating it up. Even her father went red faced when Kraven paused to kiss her.

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191 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 3:47 pm

Ruby didn’t hear a word Milo said once the kitten was in her hands. She was making all sorts of excited sounds as she speak to the tiny creature.

Kraven grinned down at Joe right as their lips very almost touched. “Want to make a bet on who’s head explodes first?” He teased, able to feel the anger from both their parents before he caught her lips in a kiss that truly did seem tender to anyone watching.

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192 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 3:56 pm

"It's not that exciting. Imagine if I'd show. You the snakes first." Milo chuckled, reaching out to touch the kitten for himself. He felt strange. He never saw anyone get excited over these things.

Joe's stomach turned somersaults and she found herself wishing this were real. It took her a moment to remember it wasn't and he thought no more of her than anyone else.

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193 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 4:43 pm

“There’s snakes too?” Ruby asked with another huge grin. “How can you not be excited?! You could sit here with animals all day long!”

Kraven was having to silently tell himself this was a game. This woman was nothing more than a means to getting more than his father had ever been able, before his untimely demise. It had been a rather sore subject that the old man’s shares had been left to his scheming wife, and not his party boy son.

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194 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 5:29 pm

"And people. Don't forget the real people." Milo grumbled. 

Ariel Kraven grabbed her son and pulled him away before the kiss had ended. "What are you playing at?" She hissed as they walked away. 
Ariel made Ramona Winters look like a tiny kitten. She was a wolf in sheep's clothing. When the other woman was drinking her cares away, Ariel was looking for a new husband.

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195 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 6:01 pm

“People scare me.” Ruby confessed, her gaze back on the kitten. “They always have hidden agendas, and alterior motives. You never know where you stand with people... even the ones who are supposed to love you unconditionally.”

“What the hell?!” Kraven demanded as his mother dragged him away like a naughty child. “You planned this! I’m playing your game, mother.” He hissed.

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196 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 6:56 pm

"Have you ever had anyone love you that way?" Milo asked. He himself had not. Even his first wife had been just a simple fling. An easy way for her to get into the park.

"It didn't look like you were playing." Ariel snapped, slapping him. "And what have you done to your hair? You get ruined yourself." Her fingers were almost soft as they touched his neck.

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197 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 7:18 pm

Ruby shook her head, but didn’t look up at Milo. “Like I say... people suck.” She whispered, paying far too much attention to the kitten in her lap. It was a distraction from having to think about the fact that even her own parents had never loved her. “They couldn’t even name me...” she breathed without thinking she hadn’t said the first part of that thought out loud.

Kraven ribbed at his cheek, his dark eyes narrowed at his mother. “What does it matter, so long as I go through with the wedding?” He hissed.

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198 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 9:06 pm

"Your sister named you, didn't she?" Milo asked. He watched the kitten purring loudly and smiled ever so slightly. "She took care of you. She's the one you're talking about loving you, aren't you?" 

"Just don't make a mistake. Get it done with and get rid of her." Ariel hissed. "Josephine is a whore and a liar. She's no better than her father. Look what she's doing to you."

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199 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 9:10 pm

“She called me Ruby, because that’s the stone of the month I was born in.” Ruby replied softly. “But I don’t think even she loved me. The novelty wore off, and she was given a future.”

“You would know a lot about whore’s, wouldn’t you, mother?” Kraven sneered. “I’m not some lovesick fool, a man would have to know what love even is to be that stupid.”

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200 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 9:23 pm

"I think you'd be surprised. She took a big risk putting in that code. She wouldn't do it if she didn't love you." Milo told her. "Come on. You need to find a place to rest and the kitten has shut down."

"Love is for novels and children, boy. Grow up." Ariel snapped.

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201 Re: Life Lessons on Wed May 16, 2018 9:32 pm

Ruby stared down at the now motionless kitten, then carefully set it aside as though it were truly alive. “I can’t leave, can I?” She asked. “If Joe put that message in a host for me, rather then give it to me outside... there must be a reason, right?”

In a strange way, Kraven was probably more like his future wife’s sister than anyone else. Joe had been given all of her parents live and attention all her life, something Kraven never had. “Is that all? The future Mrs. Kraven is waiting for me.”

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202 Re: Life Lessons on Thu May 17, 2018 12:12 am

"Joe is afraid your father is planning something that will get her hurt. And if that is the case then you will be left unprotected. She programed Ben to be your guardian if she is right." Milo said softly, not looking at Ruby.

Ariel walked away from her son, her lip set in a disgusted scowl. She was going to punish him for this.
Joe was greeting the well wishes with a smile that would make the teeth ache. Her father's face was a bright shad of crimson but he had yet to speak to her.

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203 Re: Life Lessons on Thu May 17, 2018 12:39 am

Ruby was scowling, not liking this news one bit. “I don’t need a guardian!” She huffed.

Kraven tried to appease Joe the elder, telling him how he had kept his promise of finding his daughter after her disappearing act. It didn’t go down well. He was soon back at Josephine’s side, whispering something in her ear. “Wrap it up, duchess, if you want to get out of here before your father gets you alone.”

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204 Re: Life Lessons on Thu May 17, 2018 1:10 am

"I didn't mean it like that." Milo said, frowning slightly. "I meant someone that would look after you...a companion. But there is a set of words in the programming to change which host you get. In case Ben doesn't work out there's the rancher..." He was watching Ruby, wondering what she truly thought of what her sister had done. He also had the odd and unsettling idea to offer himself up instead of the hosts.

"Let's go." Joe whispered back, seeing that her mother was passed out on the sofa. She wondered how long Ramona had been that way. "And stop calling me that, it's possessive." She reminded him. "You don't own me yet."

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205 Re: Life Lessons on Thu May 17, 2018 1:35 pm

Ruby was staring down into her lap, feeling something entirely different that what her sister had thought. “She doesn’t think I could find someone on my own...” she breathed. “I’m a mess, and she knows it...” She added, looking up at Milo at last.

“Soon, duchess.” Kraven purred, doing it just to annoy her now.

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206 Re: Life Lessons on Thu May 17, 2018 4:15 pm

Despite the fact that the kitten had shut down, the lab was coming alive around them. Workers were coming back from their late night lunch shifts and were engaging with the hosts and each other. It was because of this reason Ruby would miss Milo's offer.

"Come on. I want to go get a juicy burger." Joe told him, bumping him with her hip. "And onion rings. A big plate of them."

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207 Re: Life Lessons on Thu May 17, 2018 4:44 pm

The sudden activity made Ruby even more uncomfortable and was soon tugging on Milo’s hand. “Can we get something to eat?” She asked with a hopeful smile.

“If you think that’s going to stop me kissing you, duchess.” Kraven replied with a wolffish grin. “You have a lot to learn...” he added, giving her another kiss for anyone who may be watching them.

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208 Re: Life Lessons on Fri May 18, 2018 7:17 am

Milo took a chance and brought Ruby out of the park. He drove her to his favorite place in town, a hole in the wall joint called Angie's. How was he to know that Ruby's sister was already there, seeming to be having a good time with her proclaimed enemy.

"I can't believe you've never eaten an onion ring." Joe said, tucking her hair behind her ear.

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209 Re: Life Lessons on Fri May 18, 2018 7:46 am

For the moment Euby hadn’t really paid attention to anyone else in there as they took a seat at a table. After all, who would think that her well to do sister would eat in a place like this?
“Do you come here a lot?” She asked Milo as she considered the menu carefully.

“The ladies don’t like onion breath.” Kraven replied, though his almost warm smile made it clear he was teasing. “You know that, and I think my mother would’ve had a heart attack if I ever ate anywhere that served food like that.” He added with an even bigger grin.

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210 Re: Life Lessons on Fri May 18, 2018 3:42 pm

Milo nodded. "They have a meatloaf sandwich here that will blow your mind. Of course I come here alot." He smiled at her.

Joe leaned across the table and stuffed a few of the onions into his mouth. "Live a little. " She purred

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