Mixed Signals/C2 Encounter, Tragedy
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Mixed Signals/C2 Encounter, Tragedy
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C2 Encounter, Tragedy

Amidst the welcome hugs and handshakes, Richard managed to get away for a while. He craved a cigarette and acting all nice took a great toll on him. He made his way up to the roof after giving Lauren up to good company. It was good to be back, yes, but he ached to be back on the road. He was technically a nomad with no roots, no attachments to anyone. He flipped open his lighter.

"That thing will rot your lungs and you don't want that," a voice warned from a corner of the roof. He snapped the lighter close and chuckled. This was a saucy one; he had to be careful with them.

"And what if I do?"

An elegant shoulder shrugged nonchalantly. "It's your funeral. Go ahead."

The voice had a smoky undertone to it that reeled him in. She was not facing him but he wanted to see her face badly. She had a curvy body and a tiny waist from what the jean overalls would let him see.

"Don't come any closer. I know very good jiu-jitsu and the fall down here leads a slow but painful death," she coldly admonished but Richard could not help himself. It was like he was unable to stop himself for walking towards her. He wanted, no, he needed, to know what she looked like. Angrily, she lunged at him and tried to pin his arm behind him but he used his bulky weight to his advantage, turning the tables on her. In a blink, she was lying underneath him, still struggling to gain back the upper hand until he grabbed her hands apart and pinned her legs in place. She was helpless and she hated knowing that.

"Let go of me, you bastard. Have you any idea who my father is?"

She looked into his face to gauge who he was but that was her first mistake. The stranger was wickedly handsome, though words alone could not do him justice. His green eyes pierced deep into her soul. His full lips were above hers and she could smell the champagne in his breath as he huffed and puffed from his exertions. She stopped struggling and they just remained there, staring into each other's eyes.

She shook her wrist a bit and Richard let go of the hand, curious to see what she would do. She brought a finger to his cheekbones and dragged it down to his jaw slowly. It was so slow and sensual that Richard felt all his strength leave him. He wanted to let her take control and he remained still throughout her perusal. She pouted cutely, probably unknown to her, as she stuck her fingers into his light moustache.

"I like this. I've always wanted one," she whined, pouting more profoundly.

"Well, that's one crazy wish," he decided, chuckling afterwards but stopped when she dipped her tiny fingers into his dark hair, massaging here and there. He shamelessly let out a moan as her fingers roamed freely in his midnight locks. She grabbed a handful in her porcelain grip and he almost crashed under his weight. She was seducing him and he wanted to beg her not to stop; it felt so, so good and his scalp tingled with suspense. He let out another moan and she laughed musically, bringing his attention to her face again.

It was then he remembered: the picture! This was....Peter's youngest daughter, Jacqueline! Was this the girl who was supposed to be wild?! He got off her hastily, checking for witnesses. If Peter ever found out.......

"What's the matter?" Jacqueline asked, alarmed by his sudden behavior.

"I have to go. This was a mistake." He sped away, with Jacqueline hot on his heels. She would have caught up with him but for Kristin.

"Where have you been, you imp? Mom and Dad have been worried, searching the whole place for you and what is that thing you are wearing?"

"Cut the crap, Krissy. I wasn't lost and I'm not a kid."

"Then don't act like one!" Kristin yelled, shaking her fist furiously. Jacqueline maintained contact with Richard's exiting self.

"Okay, I'm sorry. Just help me out here. Who is that man trying to escape the party?" She pointed at Richard and Kristin traced her finger upward.

"Why, that's Mr Richard Rossi, the co-owner of Petal and Dad's best friend. Isn't he a charmer?"

Jacqueline watched him leave, a stern look on her face. "He sure is."


It has snowed the night before, making the air chilly and most people were late to the service, having to drive through piles of icy mass. Regina Torres, his widow, was with friends and talking helped to ease some of her pain. Even in mourning, she was the perfect hostess to the very end, seeing to everyone's needs. Kristin was pulling through too, her hands tightly bound around the arms of her latest boyfriend. All her friends had shown up to show their sympathy and solidarity and they formed a pity circle around her. The drama queen to the end, occasionally, she would sigh dramatically and hide her face in Morgan's shoulders.

Jackie sat alone on a stone bench in the garden. She had invited only two friends: Ginny and Cameron and they were currently stoned up in her room. That was their way of showing solidarity; they weren't all round bad kids. At least that's what she thought unlike Kristina, who found every reason to be snarky to them. Everyone was in black as expected all except Jackie, who was in a white turtleneck top and white bell -bottoms.

"Dad wouldn't have liked to see us looking dreary," was her defense when she rejected the black dress her mom had picked out for her. She was out of the Gothic phase and was into the whole tomboy look now, although she had turned vain and let her blonde-white hair grow wild till it was past her waist. She liked her hair now but only wore it in braids or French knots due to its unusual length.

Peter's death had come as a shock to all. He had gone hiking with a group of old high school mates and had been involved in a fatal car crash on his way home. The news had almost driven Regina mad with grief and she kept to herself for days on end. The autopsy had revealed that Peter had been tipsy while driving and he was to blame for putting his own life at risk but they were not telling people that side of the story. Everyone knew the highway was rough during the holidays and yet.....

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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