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Old 01-25-2013, 09:22 PM   #76
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“You’re really going to teach me?” The smile on her face was luminous as he pulled the car to the side of the road, a yawn bursting from his lips as he opened his door and slid out.

Elizabeth didn’t even bother with the door. She simply slid across the seat and get herself situated behind the wheel. Never in her wildest dreams did she ever think that she’d be learning to drive a car. If she wanted to go anywhere in Chicago, she either walked or had a driver. Stephen had only taken her a handful of times in his pretty little sports car, but had never offered to teach her to use it.

“I promise that you’re not going to regret this.” Elizabeth said as Ian slid into the passenger’s seat.

She was a dutiful student, listening intently as he pointed out all the different components that she would need to get the machine on the road. It was enough to have her head spinning, but she was confident that she could learn it in no time.

When he told her to get it going, she nodded. Her heart was racing as she released the brake and slowly eased her foot down on the gas, a bright smile coming to her lips as the car crept along the road at a turtle’s speed. She carefully moved the wheel so that they stayed on the roadway, glancing at Ian every so often as he corrected her style and made sure that they stayed on their course.

“This is…amazing.” She said, her voice soft and excited as she went to change gears, the car lurching for a moment before it evened out.

Even the tiny little hiccups could do nothing to deter her from this truly awe inspiring moment. The dared to press down on the gas even more, letting the car pick up speed. Changing gears again came smoother, still a lot to be desired, but she was slowly proving that she could do anything she wanted to in this life. She was so childlike in her celebration, her eyes were wide, her smile huge, and her mood giddy.

“Oh, Ian…thank you.” She said, pulling her eyes off the road for a moment to look at him. “This means so much to me.”
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:01 AM   #77
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Ian was slumped against the door, head resting against the window. The bank robber had finally succumbed to his nagging fatigue, and he was knocked out. He had watched Elizabeth's improvement for as long as his conscience held on until he fell asleep so fast that not even he had noticed. Even now, rocking softly from the slight jars of the vehicle, he was unaware that he was asleep as he imagined himself still watching Elizabeth drive. Hopefully, she would wake them if there were any problems or when they reached the door of the city. Parking, lest driving around the city was an advance course, and the cage bird wasn't ready for the sudden adaptation from slow country to fast-pace urban life.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:20 AM   #78
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Elizabeth smiled as she noticed Ian out cold, leaning against the door as she continued along the road towards their destination. He must have trusted her or else he wouldn’t be asleep, she thought to herself as she turned her attention back towards the road. It was a heady sensation to know that there was a man in her life that actually trusted her with a task.

The country road was roughly paved with potholes abound. She did her best to keep the car on course, the jarring bumps coming more and more until she got closer to the bigger cities along the way. Traffic was also starting to grow thicker the more she approached Indianapolis and her grip on the wheel grew tighter. It was harder to concentrate with more vehicles around and the fear of crashing was growing very real.

“Deep breaths, Elizabeth. Deep breaths.” She murmured to herself, her eyes locked on the road as other cars zoomed past. She wouldn’t wake Ian. No, she couldn’t do that. He trusted her to get them where they needed to go and it was apparent that he needed the sleep.

Outside of the city, she noticed a little diner, one that looked quant and quiet. She dared to pull into the parking lot, the car lurching to a halt as she pressed on the break and got the car stopped. Her belly rumbled with hunger and she glanced towards the slumbering Ian, chewing on her bottom lip for a moment before she decided to wake him. After all, he had all the money for this little trip and far be it from her to reach her pretty little hand into his sack of money and draw back a bloody nub when the monster awoke.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:48 AM   #79
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Ian breathed in a quick breath when he felt Elizabeth shake him awake. He squinted at their surroundings, the sun being brighter than usual. He adjusted the fake glasses on his face and slowly sat up, his eyes taking in the parking lot and the small diner behind them. His brows rose in surprise before he questioned in disbelief, "You got us this far? I don't believe it."

He had to. He was asleep and she was the only one behind the wheel. Ian smiled and chuckled. She had impressed him. Bringing his coffee-bean eyes around to Elizabeth he praised her on a serious note, "You're amazin' you know that? I'm sure it was stressful with all the cars. You ain't gotta worry though. I can take it from here."

He glanced over his shoulder at the diner and then looked at her. "You hungry? We can eat here or we can just go straight to the station and eat on the train. I prefer the station. Sooner we ditch this stolen car, the better off we'll be."
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:05 PM   #80
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“Well, you better believe it. Indianapolis is a stone’s throw away.” Elizabeth said as he looked at her in disbelief. “Not that you were any help snoozing your life away over there. You know you snore like a freight train?”

She smiled at him as he told her that she was amazing, but he would take it from there. The moment he mentioned that he would prefer to continue on to the train station, she frowned slightly. Her stomach was libel to eat itself before they arrived from the way that it growled and grumbled.

“You might be able to wait until the train, Mr. Darcy, but I can’t.” She said with a smile on her face. “So shut your trap and give me a dollar.” Holding out her hand to him, she couldn’t help the laughter that bubbled from her lips.

“I won’t be long at all.” She insisted as the dollar was slipped into her hand. Reaching across the seat, she took the glasses from his face, slipping them up her nose to partially disguise the shiner that covered her eye. “Wouldn’t want you getting in any more fist fights with men that think you beat your wife.”

Grabbing the hat he’d worn, she slipped it over her golden locks and gave him a wink before exiting the car into the chilly morning air. It was nice and peaceful out here, she thought, the air fresh and clean. Completely unlike the city. Her shoes crunched along the gravel of the parking lot and she flipped the collar of her coat up over her neck to fight off the biting breeze.

A bell tinkled above her head as she stepped into the cheery little diner, her eyes traveling to the two men at a booth down the way and the other man seated at the bar. Perfect, she thought, as she saddled up to the bar herself and a cheerful woman greeted her.

“What’ll it be, dear?” The woman asked and Elizabeth glanced at the display of pastry and breads.

“How about two danishes and two of those blueberry muffins?” Elizabeth asked and the woman nodded, making her way to the display to pull out the order. “And can you make it to go, please?”

“You got yourself a hollow leg there, dear?” The woman quipped back and Elizabeth laughed.

“Nah, just a healthy appetite.” She commented, glancing down at the paper that had been left behind by another customer.

It was like everything stopped as she saw the headline. It took her a moment to realize that the woman staring back from the picture was herself and the word REWARD was splashed on there with thick, dark ink. Her eyes quickly flicked to the newspaper title and her heart sank to see Darrow Free Press written in its familiar script.

Her father was looking for her, offering a reward for her safe return or information about her whereabouts. She wondered if Stephen had put him up to it and she felt a cold chill race down her spine at the thought of returning to the life that she’d just escaped from.

“Here ya go, dear.” The woman said, placing the bag of baked goods right on top of her picture.

Elizabeth looked at the woman, still trying to process everything, but she managed a smile and handed over the dollar that Ian had given her. “Just keep the change.” She said, another smile as she grabbed both the paper and the bag and hurried out of the diner.

The car seemed like it was thirty miles away as she hurried across the parking lot and slid into the passenger’s side. Glancing over at Ian, she unfolded the newspaper and threw it into his lap.

“You might not have made the front page, but I most certainly did.”
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:55 AM   #81
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Ian arched a brow at her when she said he snored like a freight train.

"I bet I punch like one too," Ian playfully retorted.

You might be able to wait until the train, Mr. Darcy, but I can't. So shut your trap and give me a dollar.

The bank robber stared at her as though she was crazy. Who the hell did she think she was? Then when she held out her hand, expecting him to hand over money as though he was her sugar daddy, he glanced at her empty palm and made no motion to put a dollar in it.

I won't be long at all.

Scowling, Ian reached into his pocket to remove his wallet and slide free a dollar. He placed the leaflet in her hand and slightly reared back in startle when she took the glasses from his face.

Wouldn't want you getting in any more fist fights with men that think you beat your wife.

"Why not?" Ian replied with an arrogant smirk. When she cutely winked his way, he stepped out as she did and walked around the back of the car, calling behind her, "You ain't cute."

He popped open the door and plopped into the driver's seat. While Elizabeth was gone, he crossed his arms before his chest and got comfortable, deciding to lengthen his nap. It had felt like ten seconds had passed when he was stirred awake by a newspaper dropping into his lap.

You might not have made the front page, but I most certainly did.

Ian picked up the paper and spread it out so he could see it better. His eyes were just as wide as hers had been when he saw the cash reward. Slowly lowering the paper, and bringing his eyes to stare at her in awe, Ian was silent for five seconds before he said, "That's a lot of money."

Dropping his suspicious act, he snickered and fell into a fit of laughter. "I'm just joking..."

He tossed the newspaper in the back and got the car started. "Keep the hat and glasses, I'm gonna take us straight to the train station, and while we're there, you just sit tight in the car."

Ian's face became stern as he started the car and pulled out of the parking lot. "You keep your head low and if you see anyone lookin' at you funny, tell me. If anyone tries somethin', scream, and I'll be there quicker than lightnin'."

Driving through Indianapolis felt like driving through a warzone. There were so many people out in the sun, arm in arm, shopping and possibly talking about the latest news. Ian saw them all as enemies. Even the children that hop-scotched down the sidewalk. He took them all the way to the train station and he pulled into a blank spot along the sidewalk. The bank robber couldn't help but tense at the line that led outside the station doors.

"Everyone gettin' outta here at once?" Ian fussed.

Sitting back in his chair, he rubbed his jaw thoughtfully as he estimated the length of waiting time.

"Well, shit..." Ian grumbled. He dropped his hand and looked over at Elizabeth. "I might be awhile. You must be careful. If anyone approaches this car, no matter where I am in line, you need to tell me. If we gotta drive to St. Lu, then I'll make it happen. Whatever gets us there safely. You understand?"

He waited for her to acknowledge before he stepped out of the car and said once more before he closed the door, "Call me, scream or somethin'."

Ian walked over to the line, his hands balled tightly into fists to filter his anxiety. It might have been just another sunny day if Elizabeth hadn't showed him that ad, but he was glad that she did and didn't keep it a secret from him. The line had taken longer than he anticipated, but so far everything was going smooth. His nervousness morphed into boredom, and he had actually managed to get through the doors inside the station. Being only five people from the ticket booth, Ian sighed and his eyes wandered over to see a cop eying him. The bank robber frowned suspiciously before he realized he was missing an important piece of his disguise: glasses. The thin moustache and beard was still stuck to his face, but with his baggy clothing, it hadn't quite matched. Turning his attention to the back of the woman's head in front of him, the cop approached him out of curiosity with his hand resting on his nightstick. He stopped next to Ian and raised his chin as he stared down his hooked nose at him.

"Haven't I seen you from somewhere?" the officer asked.

Ian felt his stomach clench. "Maybe..." Swiftly, his mind typed up a lie. "I am pretty famous after all, but don't tell nobody."

The cop's brows rose. "Really? Hey, now that you mention it, I do think I've seen your face before..."

Ian's heart pounded against his chest.

"What movie was it?" the officer fell silent as he combed through his memory.

Ian breathed softly in relief.


Meanwhile, outside, there were two men seated outside a diner nearby and sipping coffee. They were reading through the newspaper when one of the gentlemen happened to take interest in the woman that was sitting alone in the black Oldsmobile parked nearby.

"Geez, she's been sitting there for over an hour," the interested gentleman said.

The man across from him lowered his paper to sweep the area for the girl his buddy was speaking about. When laying eyes on the blonde, he smirked in amusement, finding the hat she was wearing to be ridiculous.

"You have poor taste, Mack."

"Is that all you can say? I got here around 8 and she was there. Now it's a quarter to 10. What chump leaves his wife sittin' alone for so long? And why alone? Why didn't he take her with him?"

"Probably because of that hat," the other man returned before he roared with laughter.

The man, Mack, as he was called, flushed lightly in anger. "I'm going to invite her over. She can wait for her sham of a husband with us."

Lowering the paper, the other man clapped a hand over his face as he groaned, "Please don't. Come on Mack."

Mack frowned defiantly at him as he rose from his chair and turned to march over to the car. He lightly tapped on the window to get her attention and then offered her a pleasant smile as he spoke loud enough so that she could hear him through the window, "Excuse me, Miss. I've seen you sitting in that car for an awfully long time. It's such a beautiful day and a friend and I are having some coffee. You're welcome to join us as you wait for your companion."
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:48 PM   #82
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Elizabeth watched him closely as he picked up the newspaper and spread it out, looking at the story that accompanied her photograph. The words out of his mouth shocked her and she felt herself shrinking away from him until he snickered and started to laugh.

“You’re an asshole, you know that.” She grumbled, striking his shoulder in outrage as he tossed the paper into the back and started the car.

She was quiet as she listened to him lay out the plans that he had for once they got to the train station. She nodded, a bit frightened that he was so tense now. He was so easy going that it was hard to see him worked up over the news that they had just received. It just didn’t fit the picture of Ian that she had in her head.

“Ian, you’re scaring me.” She said softly, looking towards him as he talked about keeping her head low and screaming if anyone tried something. “I mean, how many people really read my father’s newspaper? I had no idea that it was delivered all the way down here in Indiana.”

The mood was tense as he pulled up in front of the train station a while later, parking the car next to the sidewalk. Following his gaze towards the station doors, she sighed at the sight of the line that stretched from the building and into the street. Ian was upset, fussing as he sat back in his chair and thought about what he had to do.

“I’ll just come in with you.” She started to say, stopping by his words that she needed to stay put. “Ian, please don’t just leave me alone here.”

She sucked in a deep breath, her frightened blue eyes turning towards him as he waited for her to acknowledge that she’d heard him and she was going to do what he said. Slowly she nodded, watching as he stepped from the car and headed for the station.

Her eyes were glued to him as he took a spot in line and she really had to fight with herself to stay put. He would be sore with her if she got out of the car and joined him, but his words and actions had her looking over her shoulder for anyone that might notice who she really was.

As he disappeared into the building, she grew more stressed. Nibbling on her thumb nail, she was fidgety and restless. If she were out of the car, she would have been pacing as she waited, but she was dutiful and stayed put. She could eat, she thought to herself, looking down at the sack that was sitting at her feet. Where she’d been hungry earlier, it now felt like there was a hard rock settled in the pit of her belly.

Elizabeth jumped a mile out of her skin when someone knocked on the window and her eyes turned towards the man that was smiling pleasantly at her. She panted, watching him closely as he explained that he was having coffee and she could come wait with them for Ian to return.

“Oh…ummm…no, that’s alright.” She called back to him. “My husband will be right back out. He’s just stuck in line trying to get our train tickets.” She flashed the man a smile and hoped that he would leave well enough alone.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:30 AM   #83
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The gentleman stared at Elizabeth, his hazel eyes darting over her face as though each sphere was taking in more information than what she’d like. After realizing that he was staring, he smiled a thin smile and nodded before strolling back to the table. Mack took a seat and stared at the feminine face imprinted on his mind. It bothered him like an itch that he couldn’t scratch.

Lowering the paper, his buddy’s grey eyes peeked over it at him. “So, what happened?”

Mack frowned in thought. “I don’t know…”

“You sound disappointed.”

“No, it’s not that. I feel like I’ve seen her before.”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know.”

“What do you mean you don’t know?”

“I mean I don’t know. She just looks like I’ve seen her somewhere.”

His buddy grunted and flicked the paper, raising it before his eyes. Just above the table was the head of a blonde female in the Wanted Ad he had read. Mack frowned as he stared closely at the image. In his mind, he overlapped the image in his head over the poster and an anxious spark of realization shot through his chest.

“Hey…Benny…you know that ad in the paper for that Darrow girl?” Mack asked.

Benny lowered the paper and his eyes narrowed on Mack. “Yeah. She worth 10 thousand.”

Mack frowned again in uncertainty. “I think that girl over there in the car is her.”

Benny’s eyes narrowed further. “You’re pulling my leg.”

“No, I said I’ve seen her before, and it was in the paper. Go see for yourself.”

“I’m not going to go see for myself.”

“Why not?”

“Because if it’s really her, then she’ll know we’re onto her.”

“Her husband is in the station.”

“That isn’t her husband.”

“Who is it?”

“I don’t know. Stephen Collingwood is her fiancé.”

“She called the guy in the station her husband. You think she trying to elope?”

“Whatever she doing is none of our concern. That 10 grand is.”

Mack rested his hands upon the table and gazed tensely at Benny. “So how are we going to do this?”

Benny folded the newspaper and set it down upon the table and he leaned in close to speak lowly, “We’re going to try and persuade her to leave the car. We’ll keep trying to invite her over to our table and as soon as she gets out, we’ll take her.” He snapped his fingers. “Just like that!”

Mack nodded slowly. “All right; I don’t like it, but what else can we do?”

“Exactly; it’s not a crime to return a runaway bride.”

Mack chuckled at Benny’s jest. “Let’s go.”

The two suits stood from the table at the café and strolled over to the black Oldsmobile. Mack once again knocked on the window and waved at the blonde. “Hey, it’s me again. We bought you a coffee. Come join us. It’ll only be for awhile. You know, until your husband returns.”

The men pawed outside her window until the station doors opened and stepping through them was Ian with two train tickets clenched in his fist. His fist only grew tighter when he saw the two gentlemen hanging around the car. Elizabeth hadn’t done as he had asked, but then how could she with those men drooling all over her window? Hopefully they had just thought she was quite the looker and nothing more. With brows lightly pinched over tense eyes, Ian descended the steps and briskly made his way across the street to the sidewalk the Oldsmobile was parked on.

The two gents hadn’t even noticed him. They hadn’t expected a man dressed so tacky and disheveled to be the husband Elizabeth had been mentioning, but Ian was quick to clear the confusion. He stopped next to Elizabeth’s door and leaned against the window. He lifted the train tickets and fingered them idly, his eyes scanning the text etched on them.

“Can I help you gentlemen?” Ian asked.

He raised his eyes to the men, giving them quite the unimpressed and genuine tough guy look. Mack stepped back cautiously, bumping into Benny who snickered at the man that stood before him.

“You’re the husband?” Benny asked.

Ian tilted his head, his chin raised indifferently. “I am. How can I help you?”

“Nothing,” Benny said with a brilliant smile dripping with bad.

Nodding, Ian leaned off the door and bade over his shoulder as he turned to walk the front of the car, “G’day.”

Benny watched Ian closely, his eyes following him around to the driver’s side and his smile stretching wider.

“What’s a poor sap like you doing with Ms. Darrow?” Benny questioned.

The name had cut deep, but Ian retained his poker face. “She looks like her doesn’t she? I get that all the time.”

Ian opened the driver’s door and sank into the seat. As soon as he closed the door, Benny signaled Mack to walk around to the front of the car to block the vehicle in case they planned on leaving whilst he remained standing next to Elizabeth’s door. Ian read over the tickets in his hand again and then held them out to Elizabeth.

He instructed, “As long as it took me to get through that line, our train’s comin’. You’re goin’ to take these tickets…”

He reached behind the seats to grab the sack and set it in her lap.

“You’re goin’ to take this sack, and you goin’ to catch that train. Don’t you go worryin’ ‘bout me, I’ll be on it. As soon as I clear you a path, you run. Don’t look back and don’t talk to nobody, you understand? I ain’t jokin’ with you this time. You get aboard that train no matter what. If I get on there and I don’t find you on there, I’m gonna be upset.”
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:08 PM   #84
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Never in her life was she more happy to see a man turn and leave. Elizabeth slowly let out a nervous breath, slumping back against her seat as her eyes followed the track of the man back to the café, not leaving him until he sat back down beside his friend. Her eyes then flicked back towards the entrance of the train station, willing Ian to hurry up.

It was more than a couple of minutes later when she saw movement out of the corner of her eye and turning her head she noticed that the man was returning with his friend. Her heart ratcheted up a notch, pounding the inside of her chest as he slid back to her side of the car and knocked on the window.

“No, it’s awfully nice of you, but I really need to wait here for my husband. He should almost be finished.” She insisted, noticing the way that the two men looked at her. Did they know who she was? A dark shiver passed down her spine as the two insisted that she leave the car.

“Please, just leave me alone. I’m not trying to cause any trouble.” She begged them, her eyes growing wide as she noticed Ian making his way back towards the car, two train tickets clenched in his first.

Her relief was a palpable thing as Ian leaned against her window, blocking her view from the two men. She hoped that he would keep his cool and not cause a scene in such a public place, but if it was one thing that she’d learned, it was that Ian was an unpredictable creature.

The conversation outside her window was relatively calm, unassuming, but she could hear the thread in Ian’s voice. He wanted these two to scram or else there would be hell to pay. The tense moment ended as Ian started towards his side of the car, pausing only when the man called out her name. Elizabeth wanted to cry, panic rising in her throat to choke her.

“Ian, they know who I am.” She whispered, trembling as she turned towards him as he shut the door and the two men walked to block the car from any escape. “They know who I am.” Her voice was sharp with fear as Ian held out the tickets to her.

She took them, her hand trembling as he told her that she was going to be getting on that train without him. She started to protest, shaking her head before he told her that he was going to be there too. She trusted him and as his heist sack was placed in her lap, she knew that he was very serious. A deep breath to calm her nerves and she nodded at him.

“I’ll be there.” She said, looking at Ian for a long moment.

Leaning across the seat, she kissed him, her lips pressing against his under the very astonished gaze of the men directly outside their car. Her free hand moved to cup his cheek, a sigh leaving her chest as she finally broke the kiss and looked at an equally astonished Ian.

“For luck. Don’t think too much into it.” She tried to joke, her hands still trembling as she gripped the tickets tightly and moved to loop her hand through the top of the sack.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:47 AM   #85
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Ian lingered on Elizabeth since she seemed very nervous. Why wouldn’t she be? This was probably the realest drama she had ever experienced in her cooped-up life. His maple hues stared deeply into her blues as he waited for her to gather her nerves.

I’ll be there, she finally replied.

Good was what Ian had wanted to say before the belle suddenly leaned over and startled him with a kiss. Her lips had smashed against his own; her soft, pillowy lips. It felt like engines were revving inside him. His heart quickened under the anxiety he was already feeling. He felt so energized; a power aroused within him that no matter what happened next, Ian felt compelled to remain by the beauty’s side.

Her hand went to cup his cheek as her lips devoured his own, and if he had felt any regrets at that moment, it was not returning the passion that swelled inside him. Instead, he had sat there like a stunned idiot as she retracted her sweet lips, his own parted stupidly in his awe.

For luck. Don’t think too much into it.

Ian rolled his lips back into his mouth, savoring the remnants of her flesh as he rested his back against the seat and stared aimlessly out the window.

“We’ll continue that later,” he reassured her before he popped open the driver’s side door and stepped out onto the street. He closed the door behind him and ignoring Mack, he walked around behind the Oldsmobile to face the brains of the operation.

Benny faced him with that grin Ian had been eager to knock from his face the moment he dared to flash it at him.

“I figured you out, didn’t I? You know nobody’s got to know. If you just split it 30% with me and Mack over there, then there won’t be any problems.”

“How ‘bout I just split you instead?” Ian threatened before he charged forward and tackled the suit out of the way of Elizabeth’s door.

Benny’s back met the street lamp and his arm locked about Ian’s torso as he drove punches into his side. With one strong punch driving into Benny’s gut, a harsh breath left his lips as his grip on Ian faltered enough for the bank robber to right himself. With the palm of his left hand slamming against Benny’s chest to pin him against the lamp post, his right fist swung around to strike his jaw in a solid blow.

Mack, having been shocked by the sudden conflict, broke free from his role as the bystander and lunged into the fight to lock his arms beneath Ian’s. He pried the robber off Benny whose face was inflamed with his rage. He wiped a dribble of blood from the corner of his mouth as he stared knives at Ian. Ian returned the expression as he fought savagely to shake Mack’s grip. Benny drove two fists against the bank robber’s face and jumped in fright when he noticed his moustache and beard had come off on his hand. With a mouthful of blood, Ian spitefully spat a wad of it into Benny’s face, making the man flinch before he sank his fist into Ian’s gut.

As Ian folded over, Benny realized that Elizabeth was no longer in the car. He glanced across the street to see her fleeing up the station stairs.

“Shit!” he cursed. “Mack, go after her. I got this moron.”

Mack quickly nodded and released Ian before he turned to spring in the direction of the train station. Ian reached back to grab Mack by his ankle and tripped him clean off his feet. He fell against the car, his face fortunately striking the side of the hood before he struck the pavement like a ragdoll. Ian shrunk back from Benny’s flying fists until their fight was interrupted by the howl of the train.

The two men hesitated in surprise at the sound before their eyes made contact and unintentionally sent silent messages of their next intention. Wildly, they bolted for the station. They raced down the sidewalk shoving past the unfortunates that got in their way. Recklessly, and just Ian’s style, they sprang off the sidewalk into the busy street. Cars zoomed by and soon screeched to a halt when two crazy pedestrians decided it would be a good day to play Chicken. The wheels of a Cord shrieked and Benny who had been an arm behind Ian went rolling up its hood. Out of the corner of his eye, a white Hupmobile expanded and a brief moment of white flashed before his eyes before the vehicle stopped. Its grill was barely six inches from touching Ian as he exhaled the breath that had gotten stuck in his lungs.

The driver poked his head out the window and screamed, “What the hell are you doing?!”

There was already a crowd gathering around the accident and Ian didn’t have time for it. He broke through the wall of men, women, and children to cross the sidewalk to the station steps. Skipping the steps, he could hear the churn of the wheels and the hiss of the steam as the train started crawling. Ian reached the platform and saw over the heads of the passengers awaiting the next train the caboose getting farther and farther away. His eyes shrank in his panic. There was no way he was going to lose Elizabeth on that train.

The bank robber, again, crazily jumped off the platform onto the tracks and sprinted after the train. Men and women; ladies and gentlemen gawked fearfully at the man that defied sanity.

“My god! That guy’s insane!” a man exclaimed.

“Is he crazy?” another woman shrieked.

Everything ached. His stomach ached, his face ached, his legs were aching from his hard run, and his lungs were squeezing as much air into his body as they could. Ian hadn’t been thinking about the pain. It didn’t exist for at that moment, Elizabeth was the only thing on his mind. His face was shining in sweat, red with irritation and swollen and bruised in some places. The salt was torturing the corners of his eyes as his shirt and pants rippled in his charge.

As the caboose neared, Ian thrust his hand out, his fingers inches from the rail. Baring his teeth in his strain, Ian dove and closed the distance, snagging the steel bar as his feet dragged across the tracks. He was in danger of losing his grip with the sweat having collected on his palms. Reaching with his other hand, he snagged the other baluster to dead hang in his exhaustion.

Get up there, Ian! he mentally screamed at himself. Get up there you son of bitch!

With a roar of pain, frustration, and exertion, Ian pulled himself up to his waist and bent over the platform until he found the energy to kick and squirm the rest of the way on. Once he safely breached the caboose platform, Ian sprawled out to let the train winds wash him down with their cool, refreshing streams.

His chest inflated so large it could have popped with each of his ragged breaths as he rasped, “Jesus Christ.” I’ll never smoke again.

After awhile, his breathing softened and he kept telling himself that he needed to go check on Elizabeth and make sure that she was all right, but his body made no motion to oblige. Staring up at the blue, mid-western sky through tired eyes, Ian knew that he wasn’t going to move. His muscles had failed him and longed for the rest that he had neglected to give them the entire trip from the motel.

“Don’t worry ‘bout me Sunshine, I’m here,” Ian whispered. Dreams were already appearing before his eyes that had seemed so real. He dreamt that he was inside the train with Elizabeth, stroking her blonde head and letting her know that he was on the train and there for her. He smiled softly before his head turned to the side and sleep overtook him.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:44 AM   #86
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Staring at Ian from across the seat after her kiss had ended, Elizabeth felt her belly do a strange little clench. She wanted to press her lips against his one more time, if only just to see if that same feeling remained. In another time and place she might have, but not there in that parking lot.

She sucked in a sharp breath as he reassured her one last time before he popped out of the car, stepping into the street and heading straight for the man that had started all the ruckus. She watched his figure move, her hand clenching the sack tightly as she readied herself to run. Absently she reached down and grabbed her sack of pastries, not know just how long the ride to St. Louis would take.

As soon as Ian launched himself at the man, clearing her a path, Elizabeth was in motion. The door popped open and she almost stumbled over her own two feet just getting out of the car. She wanted to turn, to watch Ian, to wait for him, but his words echoed in her ears. She had to get to the train at any cost.

She didn’t know when she started running but her mind caught up with her brain about the time that she started up the steps that led into the station. In her flight, she took the extra train ticket and fished a hand down the bodice of her dress, stashing it safely away next to her breast in her bra. If there was one thing she couldn’t lose in all the commotion, it was Ian’s train ticket. She could hear people talking, a few watching the fight that was happening outside, but she kept her eyes looking straight ahead towards the platforms.

She nearly screamed when someone caught her by the arm, jerking her forward motion to a jarring halt. Spinning around and ready to fight, she came face to face with the station police officer, his concerned gaze looking her over intently.

“Whoa there, Miss!” He exclaimed. “Where’s the rush?”

Elizabeth stammered for a moment, looking between him and the entrance of the station. All it would take was for one of those men to enter the building and she was as good as caught. Taking a deep breath, she pulled herself together enough to hold up her ticket for the officer’s inspection.

“My train.” She murmured right as a shrill blast issued forth from the train waiting at the platform. “I’m late.”

A quick glance at the ticket in her hand did confirm that she was running late for the train to St. Louis. The officer glanced towards her face again, absently noting the bruise beneath her eye that was hidden by the thick glasses she wore. She didn’t seem like she was there to cause any trouble, just there to escape from it.

“Alright, let’s get you on that train, Miss.” He said, still firmly holding her elbow and guiding her towards the platform. He found the conductor, only letting go of her arm once he made sure that her ticket had made it safely into his hands. “You travel safe now, Miss.” With a quick tip of his hat, the officer turned and made his way down the platform, his eyes always vigilant.

“Looks like you’re in a sleeper car, Miss. This one down here.” The conductor said, motioning for her to follow him.

Elizabeth nodded, still panting with fear and exertion as her eyes kept flicking towards the entrance of the station, praying that Ian came soon. God, what if he missed the train? What would she do then? Her panic was rising again, her breath coming in short gasps and her skin growing cold and clammy.

“Sir, is there anyway to hold the train? I don’t know where my husband is.” She asked the conductor as he guided her to the entrance of her car. “Please. I’m begging you just another five minutes.”

“Sorry, Miss, but we got a schedule to keep.” With that, he pushed her onto the car and turned to be on his way.

A porter took her ticket, looking at the number and directed her towards a private sleeper. She had to admit that Ian had taken measures to ensure that no one would see her. The little sleeper was cramped, but still bigger than the car they’d been traveling in. She thanked the man that had guided her there, placing her sacks on the opposite seat before she turned and locked the little door.

Slumped onto the little bed, she nervously twisted her fingers together, glancing out the window from time to time. He promised he would be there. He had to be there. She could trust him. It was her mantra, said over and over again as she tried to convince herself that Ian was coming. She waited for a knock at the door, his voice to filter through, but it didn’t come.

When the train started to move, she felt tears prick her eyes. “Come on, Ian. Come on, Ian.”

Seconds turned into minutes and it was still silence except for the chugging on an engine and the squeal of the metal wheels on the tracks. “Come on, Ian.”

The minutes stretched on and the first tears fell, great heaving sobs leaving her chest as it became very apparent that he wasn’t coming. Had he been hurt while she ran? Had he been arrested for brawling? He had promised, she thought in her sorrow.

“Come on, Ian.” She begged the empty air around her, slowly moving to lay down on the hard little mattress, the pillow pulled under her head as she cried her heart out.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:05 AM   #87
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Transformation

The train jostled, quivering over a dent in the track that stirred Ian from his sleep. He groaned as he squirmed softly and brought his hand to his stomach, his abdominals were screaming, and despite his aches and pains, he could see his breath leaving his lips on white plumes. It was cold! The sun had sunk beneath the horizon and a tapestry of stars twinkled like diamonds in the night. The night had been similar to the one he had met Elizabeth on. The moon once again bathed the fields in silver.

Rolling onto his side, he couldn’t believe how cold he was, and it had taken his mind a moment to catch up on where he was and what had happened previously. Elizabeth…Ian slowly sat up, lifting his weak form with his unoccupied hand. It hurt to move and it hurt to even frown in his pain. She must have thought that he didn’t make it. He hadn’t meant to just board the train and pass out.

Ian was careful with how he rose to his feet for one false move could have him lose his balance and have him right back where he was two days ago. He felt like a ninety-years-old man or what he felt one would feel like. He was stiff and shivering from the chilly weather, but once he got that backdoor open, he didn’t feel entirely better, but at least he wasn’t cold no more.

Closing the caboose door behind him, the carpet felt warm and soft beneath his feet and he stared down the length of the car at the numerous, burnished mahogany doors with the bronze, shiny doorknobs. Yes, the sleeping cars were classy, and he had gotten him and Elizabeth only the best.

Ian started down the aisle, skimming the number plates. He was thankful to have memorized the ticket and the car number he had gotten them. With his head low, it felt as though he had walked half a mile before he had come across the room. Ian faced the door and regarded it with mixed feelings.

You better be in there Elizabeth. I know I was late, but you better not have left the train to look for me, Ian fearfully thought.

Slowly, his fist rose, inching towards the door. Wait, what am I doin’?

If she was to see him now, he was looking rather pathetic hunched over and holding his stomach as though he were afflicted with the shits. Dropping his hand, he straightened out his worthless clothing and straightened his posture so that he was standing strong and confident.

I hope I ain’t make her too worried, he thought.

Finally, knocking loud and hard enough to make the door slightly rattle, Ian dropped his arm and waited nervously. He had waited for what felt like twenty seconds going on thirty before he felt the urge to knock again. She could have been asleep or who knows what? Just before he fed into his impulse to knock again, the door opened to reveal a very grievous-looking Elizabeth. Her eyes were pink and looked as though she had been crying for awhile, and it made Ian ache harder than his current afflictions. He stared at her in slight shock that his absence had hurt her so much, and he swore he had rehearsed it. He even rehearsed what he had planned to say at that moment in his dreams. But at that moment the only words that left his lips were:

“What funeral you been to?”

Of course, he didn’t look any better.

Last edited by HotCider : 01-31-2013 at 03:12 AM.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:43 PM   #88
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An uneasy sleep had settled over Elizabeth as her tears had come to an end. Her dreams were violent scenes, full of an enraged Stephen. She dreamed she was back in Chicago in her little hovel, listening to Stephen rant and rave like a child. Only this time, he didn’t stop at simply putting her down…it had turned physical.

She tried to fend him off, but his hits had grown powerful, punishing. His fist smashed into her face time and again, even after she begged him to stop. She screamed for Ian to help her, to teach her fiancé a lesson, but he never came. Never had she felt so alone and so utterly hopeless.

She snapped awake when a pounding started at the door. She gasp, sitting up on her elbow as the door shook. It had turned to night, sending the cheerful little sleeper car into cold shadows. Rubbing a fist at her eyes, she decided that she felt like death warmed over. Her head pounded in a sick way and her stomach protested with hunger. She didn’t care though. Without Ian…well, the whole trip didn’t seem so possible any more.

She stood from the bed and made her way to the door, intent to find out who was disturbing her. She yanked the polished wood open and found herself staring at a very disheveled Ian. She sucked in a deep breath, her eyes registering the shock that he’d appeared like a ghost.

Then he spoke and she slowly exhaled the breath she’d been holding. He looked like hell, his face bruised and bloody, his shoulders slightly stooped. Had the fight really been so bad, she asked herself as she took a step towards him.

Without think, her hand flashed out and caught him across the cheek, his head snapping to the side as the crack sounded loudly. She’d slapped him. They looked at one another for a long moment before she parted her lips to speak.

“Don’t you ever do that to me again!” She growled before launching herself into his arms in a tight, welcoming embrace.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:02 PM   #89
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Ian had not been expecting the slap. That wasn't how his dream went. His whole being cringed from the pain that had struck his already sore face. Resting a hand against his cheek, he gently inspected the swollen area on his cheekbone before he brought his eyes around to settle on the infuriated Elizabeth.

Don't you ever do that to me again!

Just as he lowered his hand, she thrust herself against him and his arms embraced her so quick that it was almost as if they had to. Feeling her cheek against his chest and her warm body against his own could have cured him of all of his afflictions if God had willed it. Ian smiled warmly and buried his nose within the blonde strands of her hair as he had dreamt himself doing.

"I promise," he vowed.

With her still in his arms, he stepped into the room and closed the door behind him. Their embrace seemed like forever, and the longer it lasted, the more good it did for them both. He stroked her lower back, whilst his other hand threaded its fingers through her sunny layers. His bronze eyes lowered to the golden strands, fingering its softness and length.

"We're gonna hafta change this when we get to 'Souri," Ian told her. He was tired of punching uglies everywhere they went. "You best pick a color and tell me how you want it. I ain't too bad a barber. I've done my own hair before when I was dirt poor."

He couldn't help but smile just thinking about how worried she would be. "You also gonna need a new name."

Ian reluctantly broke the hug and walked over to the bed that she had laid out and made himself comfortable. He stretched out on his back with his hand on his stomach and left leg comfortably arched. The bed was already warmed up and he apologized as though he hadn't just stolen her bed, "I don't mean to get old on ya, but I ain't feelin' too good. I just need to rest until the pain subsides a bit."
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:40 PM   #90
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Elizabeth let out a sigh as his arms wrapped tightly around her body, her cheek resting against his chest. She took in his scent with a deep breath, her exhale slow and even as she felt his nose bury itself in her hair, his vow warming her heart in a truly unexplainable way.

Slowly she let him shuffle her back into the room, the door closing behind them as he held her to him for what seemed like an eternity. It felt good as his hand stroked her lower back and she glanced up at him as he fingered her golden locks. She frowned slightly at the thought of having to cut and dye her hair, but she supposed it had to be done.

“I really don’t know…” She said with apprehension in her voice as he mentioned her having a new name as well. “I was thinking about maybe red hair. Aren’t they suppose to be sassy?”

She smiled at him as he broke the hug and walked to the bed, settling down in the spot she’d just vacated and stretching out like he owned the place. She moved closer to him, glancing down at the bruising on his face. It must have been one hell of a fight, she decided.

Sitting down on the edge of the bed, she pulled her knees up close to her chest, wrapping her arms around them as she considered Ian intently. What name should she chose for a new life? She had never really considered it. Elizabeth had always been who she was and she was rather fond of her name, but she knew that to make a clean break, she had to come up with something new.

“How about Molly? Do I look like a Molly?” She asked him, a smile on her face. “Or maybe Hope? I do have to tell you that I think I’ll always like Sunshine the best.”
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:28 PM   #91
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Ian thought about her choice of hair color. "Red hair; blue eyes? Man, I thought you were one hell of a blonde, but a red head? You may not be able to keep me away."

Staring up at the ceiling as Elizabeth moved onto names, he wrinkled his nose at "Molly." He didn't want to call her Molly even if it sounded like a red head name. She then mentioned Hope and immediately, Ian agreed, "Hope. I like it."

...I think I'll always like Sunshine the best.

"I like Crazy Broad, but Sunshine is good too I suppose," Ian jested.

He raised his head to grin impishly at her.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:15 AM   #92
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Elizabeth stared at Ian with a surprised look as he responded so positively to red hair. She tilted her head to one side, considering him for a long moment as she tried to imagine herself with red hair. She actually felt a blush cross her cheeks as he told her that he wouldn’t be able to control himself should she become a red head.

Then he said that he liked the name Hope and she gave him a small smile. Secretly, she liked the name too and it pleased her greatly that he agreed with her. Meeting his gaze as he teased her about the little nickname, she smiled back at him. It was an infectious kind of moment, one that caught her off guard.

“Why, Ian Darcy, you might make me think that you care about me if you keep up that kind of talk. I didn’t know that your cold black heart could still beat.”

She uncurled from her position and crawled up alongside him, wrapping her arm around his belly and pulling herself close to his warmth as her head found that little spot on his shoulder that had been perfectly made for her. She sighed softly, the sound of the train rattling on the only sound around them.

“I’m scared, Ian.” She said softly, her arm around his body clenching him tighter. “I mean, is it really possible to run forever?”
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:04 AM   #93
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As Elizabeth crawled over to join him, he used the toe of his shoe to draw up the blanket so he could grab it and pull it across their forms. He laid his hand over the one she had on his stomach and stroked circles over it with his thumb. His right arm stretched above her and curled about her side as she clung to him. Her words bothered him. She had been thinking about their life on the run, and with the past events, he didn't blame her for being scared. It was as close to reality as she had ever gotten. He honestly didn't want this life for her even if he loved her. It wasn't safe and it would only break her heart.

Ian's expression was solemn. He had to be real with her. "I don't know if I'll ever stop stealin'. I've been runnin' my whole life, and there is no forever. Eventually, you die."

He had to come up with something better to say than that. He turned his head to gaze into her gorgeous blue eyes. For a few seconds, he had said nothing as he thought over his ways. "You know what...I'm tired of runnin'. I'm gettin' too old."

He fell silent as he gathered the words he wanted to say. The situation was actually making him feel an emotion he hadn't ever felt before...shyness. Ian's eyes strayed from hers to return to the ceiling and he continued more boldly, "Like I said, you can't run forever, and who wants to die a runner? I mean, there's better ways of dyin'. I'll make this heist in Souri' my last, and I'll get a nice, little house, perhaps have some kids later, or maybe even have a dog in the yard. I'll settle down with a beautiful woman that loves me more than anythin'. That is, if she actually loves me."

Ian smiled cleverly as he let his words melt on the air.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:15 AM   #94
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A sharp breath was sucked between her lips as she heard him talk about this being his life. It was a frightening and lonely way to live. Did Ian really have nowhere to stop for a moment and rest his mind? Elizabeth couldn’t imagine that way of life, even if she had lived it first hand for the last few days.

As his coffee colored gaze turned towards hers, she knew that he could see the concern written on her face. It wasn’t really for herself, but for him. She worried that he might be hurt or die without a soul in the world to care. As the silence stretched between them, she knew he was thinking over everything in his life to that point.

She smiled as he told her he was tired of running. He averted his gaze, looking back towards the ceiling of the car and his face melted into an emotion that she never thought she’d see come from him: shyness. He spoke of a new life in pretty words and she tightened her hand around his belly, squeezing him tightly as he painted a pretty little picture.

Then she was stunned as he smiled like a clever snake, his last words melted into the air smoothly. Had he really just said that she thought he said. She moved her hand from his belly and reached to touch his cheek, moving his gaze back to her. Her brow was furrowed and she tilted her head as she considered him.

“If you’re trying to say something, come out and say it.” She insisted, her eyes narrowing slightly as she tried to figure out if Ian was playing her for a fool.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:30 PM   #95
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As Elizabeth directed his eyes to her, he smiled in amusement at the serious face she was giving him. What, she didn't believe him? He felt so innocent but he had joked with her many times before that her suspicions were justified. Reaching up, he took her hand that she had rested against his cheek into his own and he turned upon his side to face her.

"What I'm sayin' is..." he began on a playful whisper as though the world could be listening in on them. "I want you to be my girl Elizabeth Darrow. I'd give up thievin' for you, I would. I didn't think much of ya when we first met because I thought some lucky bastard had you on his finger, but I'm so glad you ain't. We'll do this last heist, go to Vegas, and we'll blow the rest on some place quiet and beautiful. We'll be there until our names disappear and we can go back to bein' ourselves again. We won't have to run no more. Whatddya' say?"

The bank robber had been looking as though he were joking before, but no one could miss the seriousness in his eyes. It was as though he was really anxious to hear her reply whether it be "yes" or "no," but Ian was hoping for a "yes." They had gotten along so well up to this point and they have conquered every obstacle together. That was an achievement for some relationships. He couldn't imagine her saying "no."
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:44 PM   #96
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When Ian spoke in that playful whisper, Elizabeth felt an unnamed emotion race down her spine. He wanted her to be his girl. He wanted to give her the dreams that she’d long ago thought destroyed by time and fate. He wanted to be an honest man and make her an honest woman. Well, it was certainly a nice thought, but could it really happen?

A quiet life would bore him after the one that he’d led. A little house with a picket fence and a dog, a group of children running around, a job…well, it was a nice little thought but Ian Darcy just didn’t seem like the type to want that. She sucked in a deep breath, nibbling on her bottom lip as he watched her intently with those dark brown eyes.

He wanted an answer. She knew which answer he wanted. She just didn’t know what answer she would give. It was no small thing that she trusted him. Trust was something that was hard fought and fragile. It was never something that she felt with a dandy like Stephen. Even with his chosen career, Ian had more character then her former fiancée had ever dreamed about.

A slow smile tilted the right corner of her mouth, her blue eyes growing warm as she leaned across the small space between them and gently pressed her lips against his. It was a fleeting moment, a kiss that was feather light and full of much promise. As she pulled away, she saw something in his eyes that she couldn’t quite put her finger on. One thing she was certain of was that she was most assuredly his woman.

“Yes,” She finally said, her smile growing. “But you have to quit referring to me as Crazy Broad.”
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:49 PM   #97
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Her delayed response made his anxiety raise. He had expected her response to be immediate, but here her eyes shined with uncertainty. Did she still not trust him? Disappointment was already welling within him. It was going to be a "no." The kiss she suddenly pressed to his lips made his paranoid thoughts instantly disperse. He stared at her in surprise, and then when the "yes" came, relief washed over him like a hot bath. Ian sighed in relief, the anxiety he had pent up evident.

But you have to quit referring to me as Crazy Broad.

"What? That wasn't the deal," Ian teased. "That was my first nickname for you. I'm kinda' attached to it; but you know, every time you kiss me I think I lose a bit of myself. After awhile, I just might forget it."

On a serious note, Ian's hand rose to gently cup the side of her cheek. His hand stroked back into her blonde layers of hair and he told her, "I won't let you down."

He then gently kissed her lips, enveloping her bottom lip as the sweet, soft smack of his kiss breaking sounded between them.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:55 PM   #98
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Ian was most definitely a jerk, but he was also sweet at the same time. His teasing was good natured and never harmful. It was something that Elizabeth had come to love about him. That and the ability to speak whatever was on his mind.

She blushed at the mention of kissing, her cheeks flushing rosy red. To tell him the truth, no one had ever really kissed her with any feeling. She had just done what seemed natural and she was surprised that it had happened so easily. Stephen most definitely had never kissed her but a simple press of his lips to hers.

And then there was the face that she was still thinking about Stephen. Those thoughts would most definitely have to go if she were going to make things work with Ian. No more constant comparisons. Ian had much to offer her and she was going to ride it out with him.

She sighed softly as his hand pressed against her cheek, cupping her face as his hand stroked her hair. When he said that he wouldn’t let her down, she believed him. She trusted him and despite knowing what he did for a living, she knew that he was a man that she could depend on.

Then he kissed her gently, his lips caressing hers for one sweet moment. Her eyes drifted close, a hand moving to ball itself in the fabric of his shirt. The moment was heady, dizzying, and completely welcome. She whimpered at the smack that ended it, his face pulling away from hers. Slowly her blue eyes opened and she gave him a smile.

“Ian’s got a soft spot.” She teased in a sing song voice, poking him in the ribs. She was surprised to find he was ticklish and her lips curled into a impish smile as her fingers continued to find the spots that made him squirm.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:27 PM   #99
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It wasn't that he was ticklish. He had just got hammered in the ribs some hours ago, and here she was poking and prodding his bruises.

Ian's got a soft spot.

Okay, right there, she had just ruined it. Grabbing her hand to stop her from poking him, Ian frowned playfully at her and informed, "I wouldn't be too sure about that. I may be all beat up, but don't think you can go and be takin' advantage of me. Touch me one more time and see what happens."

He was going to pinch her so hard that she'd really think he was a jerk.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:18 AM   #100
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Elizabeth sobered quickly as he grabbed her hand, his frown playful but also serious. She stared at him for a long moment, her head cocked to the side as she tried to figure out what was wrong with him. He’d been playful a moment before and now it was gone, blown away in the few short moments that she’d poked his ribs.

His ribs. Her eyes traveled from his face down to the shirt that covered his chest. Pulling her hand from his, she moved her fingers to the buttons that shined at her in the dull light. She wouldn’t let him stop her and she worked quickly, flicking each button through its hole before she pushed the shirt open.

Grabbing his undershirt, she jerked it up and gasped as she saw the purpling bruises that covered his stomach and chest. The skin that wasn't yet bruised was an angry red, promising of horrors that had yet to be seen. No wonder he had grabbed her, she thought as her surprised blue eyes turned towards his, a dumbfounded expression on her face. Her lips worked to form words, but everything that wanted to come out didn't seem right.

“Jesus, Ian. Why didn’t you tell me?” She asked, her brow furrowed in great concern as she went to move off the bed.
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