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Money is how we keep the score



 
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Chase Cooper

Chase had done a ridiculous amount of sh*t to get them here in Melrose, just a short distance from their port of choice. Illegally legal, he had woo'd so many silly girls. Night after night, he found a gaggle of young women. Night after night, he pinpointed the most insecure of the group. And, every night, he did whatever it took to catch her unaware so that he could to nick some cash or a card.

There were no apologies in his work. He did what he had to put distance between Maya and her crimes, and their prison.

That is what he would call the institute. A prison. They'd been kept in cells, sometimes with roommates so doped up they would leave a trail of drool. They had chores. Twice daily, they would be taken for an hour at a time to the common room for social time. Thrice, they would dine together.

It's in the past, and he wants to keep it that way.

Chase had had a good night, the night before. The girl that Maya had helped him to find had been loaded, and a terribly easy mark. The amount of cash in her bag had been what felt like a goldmine, and it was enough to get food, and a room at proper hotel.

Cheap hotel.

The things he does for this girl...

Big Mac in hand, he takes a ravenous bite and wide eyes would find Maya - his delight evident at the spread of sh*tty food before them. And, through a mouthful of food, he would blurt out.

"'ow much we 'ave left?"

He's tired. So, so tired. The guy needs a break, to be honest. This lively question is his way of asking if they absolutely have to go out tonight, or if they can do something else. Something fun.

And by fun, he means get high a f*ck and be a vegetable in the first bed they have actually been allowed to sleep in.

He swallows the giant mouthful in one animated go.

"'Cause I bet we could score. C'mon. Please. Just one night. And then we can start gettin' our sh*t together to get outta the UK and go to America like you wanted."

Taking another bite, he chews in thought before giving her a rueful look. "...Do you think they hate all immigrants?"

Another swallow, and he leans into her space and whispers, loudly, "They love Brits, don't they? Like... we're automatically sexy or some sh*t. Isn't that the f*ckin' rule?"
June 24, 2018 09:15 pm

Maya Hall

Sprawled out on the bed, she lazily brings a french fry to her upturned face, eyes shut to the shady hotel room they are holed up in. It had been a tumultuous journey, to say the least, and it had left Maya physically and emotionally drained but all in all, much calmer. Putting distance between them and that glorified insane asylum had done wonders for her mindset, so she takes the opportunity to bask in the ambiance.

Chase’s question permeates her bubble, and she opens one eye to give him a once-once over before pushing herself up into a sitting position. She reaches for the backpack that holds everything the pair possesses in this life and carefully counts out her counterparts winnings from the night before. She won’t let herself dwell for too long; Maya is good at differentiating between business and pleasure, and business is business.

“Christ, man, how much did you spend on food again?” It’s a teasing remark as she fingers the bills, adding it all up in her head. They’d blown through their earnings, but they definitely have enough to get their fix. “Fifty pound left, that’ll do, yeah.”

His inquiry has her rolling her eyes and belly laughing, a hand reaching over to shove his face good-humoredly. “Ain’t nothin’ sexy about you, Chase. Even those daft American broads will see right through you.”

Maya stretches and groans, running a hand through her unruly mess of hair in an attempt to tame the curls. Failing miserably, she gracefully surrenders and grabs the room key off the dresser before leading them out into the streets of their new home.

“Got an extra smoke?” she questions, holding out her hand expectantly. The early evening is alive around them, the night crowd only just emerging from their slumber to see what sh*t they could get into. It’s the vermin that Chase and Maya run with, and honestly, she knows they’ll never fully leave the life behind. At least, not any time soon.

“You got any connections? That bimbo give you any leads?”
June 24, 2018 10:38 pm

Chase Cooper

"I was hungry," Chase declares, incredulous. Yes, he spent a small fortune. In the grand scheme of things, that means barely anything. For them, it was more than they could afford. And, in their world, drugs often mean more to them than sustenance.

Her hand in his face, he spies stray ketchup and shamelessly attempts to lick it off before it disappears. "Bullllllllsh*t. They're gonna love me. Just look at this face."

Walking out into the cool evening air, Chase briskly zips up his sweatshirt and pulls up his hood. The weather sucks, and he is halfway excited for a change. God knows how long it will take to save for that change, but they will get there eventually.

"You smoked 'em all," he mutters darkly, casting her a judgy glance before he sets his gaze forward to take in where they are. The place is small. This dot on the map is far from spread out. Small places present some issue with finding what they want, but Chase isn't worried. Between the two of them, they would see their itch scratched easily.

"Hey. Don't call her that. Nancy is a lovely, lonely young lady. Did you know that she loves horses? She also has an affinty for all things royal. She also adores sexy British men."

With a cheesy grin, he points toward a dive and places a hand upon her back to usher her inside. His hopes are high that there will be social rodents inside just like them, and where there are their kin, there are goods.

What he didn't expect was a set of bagpipes to greet them.

The face he pulls as he looks at her is enough to tell her that this might actually kill him. Leaning in, he whisperyells into her ear. "I f*cking hate Scotland."

Of course, that whisperyell happens just as the song fades out and ends. And seems to echo about the room, catching the attention of anyone within a ten foot radius. Not that he notices.

Chase is too busy looking at Maya, as he is apt to do when the light catches her hair just right. Or when she has that wild look in her eye. Or when the world just seems to shine it's only light on her.
June 24, 2018 11:55 pm

Maya Hall

Maya finds herself rolling her eyes once more as she dons a mocking tone and pokes fun at his latest beau. This charade goes on into the dive bar, though she is immediately silenced by the abrupt and jarring sound of Scotland’s heritage. A groan escapes her before Chase makes his comment, and she nods in immediate agreement.

They make no instant friends upon arrival, being English outsiders. No matter; the young girl has an affinity for making people like her. While it’s a gift she doesn’t often employ, in such trying times, she can lay it on thick.

Being in a foreign country, and given the circumstances they’ve just escaped, Maya keeps near constant contact with her companion. Whether it’s a hand on his arm or merely a hair’s breadth between them, she is never far. So, it’s with a hesitant resolution that she passes him a five pound note and speaks into his ear.

“I’m gonna try the bathroom.” In all of Maya’s experience, the girl’s restroom was sometimes the best place to score. Drunk girls are overly friendly as it is, and the camaraderie that comes with their gender can be exploited when they’re at their most vulnerable. “Get yourself a pint and stay out of trouble.” She punctuates the last bit with a pointed stare before pressing a soft kiss to his cheek. Anymore, she is loathe to leave him with nothing but the most heartfelt goodbye, just in case.

The din from the bar is somewhat muffled in the safety of the bathroom, and the sounds of dry heaving permeate her hearing from an open stall. “Come on, Sarah, haven’t got all night. Didn’t come out to babysit, did I.” The girl speaking is tragically beautiful, slender and blonde and proportionately perfect. She holds herself with the confidence of someone who knows how to get what she wants but can also kill with a look.

Her counterpart is much less appealing, at least at present. She’s curled over the toilet, clearly drunk off her ass and not handling it well. Sarah is clearly trying to expel the demons in her stomach so they can move on with their evening, and Maya can’t help but take note to how early in the night it is for such drastic recourse. “It won’t come up,” the girl whines, her voice muffled by the toilet bowl.

“Tickle your uvula,” Maya offers, garnering the attention of both the females. The blonde quirks a brow in her direction, while Sarah makes a confused noise that Maya takes as a lack of knowledge to what she’s referring to. “Come on, the dangling bit in the back of your throat. Knock it around with her finger, it’ll bring whatever you want up.”

The brunette looks to the blonde, who makes a noise indicative of her growing impatience. With a sigh, she resigns herself and sticks a finger down her throat. Almost immediately, she’s retching gloriously into the bowl, and the telltale sounds of liquid hitting liquid can be heard. A somewhat pained smile dons Maya’s features, and the blonde gives her an apologetic but thankful look.

Suddenly, Maya feels naked under the scrutiny of this woman, and severely underwhelming. Adorned with a pair of leggings, an Amon Amarth t-shirt, and a black and white flannel to top it off - all somewhat oversized - she doesn’t match up to these girls, who were clearly on stop number one of their evening. All the same, she is nothing if not prideful, and she meets the blonde’s stare with honeyed eyes.

As if she likes what she sees, the woman holds out a hand while her friend continues to empty her stomach of its contents. “Fiona, but you can call me Fee. Thanks for that, by the way,” she adds as Maya takes her hand and gives it a firm shake. “You’re new here, yes? Well, I’d offer to show you around, but…” She trails off, casting a glare over her shoulder once more.

“Maya. And, uh, not to worry, I’ve been there plenty of times.” Maya finds herself trying to relate with Fiona; the woman has an odd sort of magnetism about her. “Ah, listen,” she continues, a hand running through that mess of a mane, “you wouldn’t happen to know where I could find…”

Before she can even finish the thought, Fee is pulling a baggy from her purse and pressing it into her hand. “Here, I won’t be getting much use out of this tonight, as we’ll be turning in early. You’ve a phone?” Maya shook her head, to which the blonde procured a pen from her bag and, taking her hand once more, begins writing an address on the back of it. “I’m having a party tomorrow night. Come. I like you. You’re pretty, in a punk rock sort of way.”

She pulls Sarah to her feet, where she stumbles and sways dangerously. Rolling her eyes, Fee tosses the girl’s arm across her shoulders and begins the long process of carting her back home. At the door, she turns back, as if remembering something. “That’s pure MDMA. None of that added sh!t, so take one at a time, yeah?”

Looking down at the proffered baggy, she notes the ten pills inside. Utterly taken aback, she stammers out a question of how much she owes her, but the comment is waved away. “Consider it a welcome-to-Melrose gift. We’re not all bad here. Just make sure you come tomorrow, kay?”

Maya nods weakly, feeling a weight in the pit of her stomach. This feels a lot like signing a part of her soul away, but there’s also the underlying victory of scoring with no immediate cost.

Tucking her treasure into her bra, she makes her way out of the bathroom to find Chase. Looks like their evening just got a bit brighter.
June 25, 2018 05:10 am

Chase Cooper

A kiss. To the cheek. Chase isn't sure if he's been given the kiss of friend death, or the greatest gift of all. Watching her move away from him, he almost follows but instead stays put. Get a pint, stay out of trouble. It is that simple. Those are his instructions. It is literally all he must do to gain her approval.

With a stupid grin on his face, he steps up to the bar and slaps the fiver down. "Heinken. No. Murphy's. No. Uh... Vodka, redbull." The bartender makes a single move, glancing at him as he goes, and Chase is instantly putting out a hand. "No!"

With a sigh of resentment, and a waiting patron a couple seats down throwing him a dirty look, he decides to don his best worst Scottish brogue as he makes his final decision. "Scotch."

He is a f*cking idiot. Honestly.

But the time Maya comes out to find him, she would find him at a table full of questionable individuals, telling an animated story. "...and then, the next thing you know, we do the only thing we can to distract them. We lift up our shirts, and flash 'em."

Patting his chest, he gives an impressed look. "I know what you're thinkin'. 'But Chase, you flat chested, handsome sonuva gun. How could that possibly work?' Well, let me tell you."

Leaning in, he takes a dramatic look around the table, meeting each set of eyes as he goes. In his world, they are hanging onto his every word. Who doesn't love the story of how they crashed his mums car into a Bently and got away with it? Or rather, ran away from it. It's a matter of perspective, and he's a glass half full kinda guy.

Usually.

He stops when his gaze meets the girl to his left. She's a ginger, through and through. Glazy, green eyes. Freckles across her round nose. She's all in, and Chase knows it. But she isn't his type. Not even a little bit. But, what does a little flirting hurt?

So, he leans in until their noses are practically touching before whispering the answer.

"It didn't."

A grin splits her face before she begins to let out a drunk, boisterous laugh and Chase sits up once more. It's clear he is pleased with himself, a sloppy smirk on his face giving away just how c*cky he truly is. This is, after all, an art. People. They're an art. Selling them, selling himself, to get what he wants. What use is it to make enemies of the locals when he isn't sure how long they would be in Melrose?

None. They need connections.

"We f*ckin' bolted with the tailpipe draggin' in the street. The rich f*ck never suspected."
June 25, 2018 10:10 pm

Maya Hall

Her eyes find the boisterous male easily, drawn to him as she is. Chase is telling one of his animated tales, doctoring it as much as possible for the ‘thrill’ of the audience. Who, mind you, only seemed to be listening because there’s nothing else to pique their interest just yet. A smirk pulls at her features, and she orders four shots of the strongest whiskey they offer with the money she didn’t have to spend on drugs.

Expertly, she cradles two in each hand as she makes her way to the table just as he’s finishing up. The ginger girl’s laugh sets her teeth on edge, though she can’t pinpoint exactly why.

The rich f*ck never suspected.

“Oh, contraaaaire.” The word is drawn out as the smile stretches across her features and she takes a seat in the lap of the least unattractive man at the table. “Your mum was absolutely furious, she kicked you out of the house on the spot. Said it was the last straw, something about what a bad influence I was.” At this, she casts a wink to the man whose lap she occupied, only to slide off immediately when she felt his reaction. “I’ll never forgive you for losing that bed. F*ckin’ goose feather pillows, can you believe it?”

Uproarious laughter ensues, and she pats Chase’s cheek while pushing two of the shots toward him. “Bottoms up,” is her encouraging sentiment just before she downs both of hers in quick succession.

It isn’t long after that she is pushing him toward the door, amidst groans and questions about their leaving so soon. Alone, they can get any job done, but as a pair, they are always a hit. They know exactly how to feed off one another to get the right reactions, and it truly is an artform they have perfected.

Once in the street, and sure that no one’s paying them too much mind, she pulls their evening plans from their hiding place and waves it victoriously under his nose. “Look what I got.” She practically sings the words, her expression that of pure joy.
June 26, 2018 12:26 pm

Chase Cooper

He turns the most ridiculous shade of red as she sits in the man's lap, and proceeds to shame his storytelling. Chase is no idiot. Rather, he is. But rather than watch her, his attention is on the man who appears to be having far too much fun.

"F*ck that. You snuck back in a cut that bed to pieces, and you know it. Mum was onto somethin'."

A halfhearted chuckle is had as two shots are cast in his direction, and he takes them like a champ. Soon after, she is shoving him out the door.

A quick movement has him snatching the bag from her, and Chase lifts the small bag for inspection as a wide grin crosses his features. "How. How do you do these wonderful f*ckin' things?!"

His excitement is palpable, and he shoves the bag into his pocket only to hoist her up and over his shoulder, setting off in a run toward their cheap little room. Airplane sound effects, maybe. (Definitely.)

Throwing her down on the bed, he tosses the bag at her and grabs at the two grimy glasses upon the bureau to fill with water.

"Tell. Me. Everything. Did you steal 'em? You f*ckin' stole 'em, didn't you? Listen, we can have our fun tonight but then we have'ta go tomorrow because we can't have someone blowing our cover."

Returning to her, he sits and practically shoves a glass at her.

"So. Purse? Pocket? How?"
July 07, 2018 09:43 pm

Maya Hall

Lifted up on his shoulder, Maya lets out a gleeful laugh, extending her arms to the fullest so as to play the part of airplane. There is a certain high that comes with the anticipation of actually getting high, and they are riding the wave.

Once back in the room and tossed onto the bed, she lays back and lets the alcohol warm her blood. The moment is quickly interrupted by their bag of plunder being dropped on her face, and she casts him a withering glare as she sits up. It’s a short-lived expression, however, as she anticipates regaling him with her tale.

“Okay, but listen, you have to hear me out. Before we do anything, here…” She unzips the baggy and digs out two of the colorful pills, dropping one on each of their tongues before taking a swig of water and swallowing it down.

“I went into the bathroom,” she begins, crossing her legs underneath her to get a more comfortable position, “and met these two girls, one pukin’ her brains out in the toilet, super classy, yeah?..”

She finishes the telling with a wave of dismissal, taking her hands in his and giving him a playfully pleading look. “So you understand, right, we can’t not go to the party tomorrow. It’s bad luck to f*ckin’ walk out on a connection, especially one so kind as to hook us up so eloquently.” There is an added air of fancy to her voice upon finishing the sentence, and she pats his hands and offers a knowing smile.

“Besides,” she continues, feigning a shrug of indifference, “Fee’s super hot, and I bet she’d be into you. I know your type, and she’s definitely it. Plus, there might be more where this came from…” It’s clear she’s trying to entice him, and it’s made only more evident by her folding her hands together in front of her face and donning the poutiest lip she could muster. “Please, please, pleeease, Chase?”
July 09, 2018 08:40 pm

Chase Cooper

Okay. Here's the thing. Chase has a type and her name is Maya. He knows it. She should know it, but apparently she is f*cking oblivious, and it would be hard to turn his head... but. Maybe this is her way of telling him that she knows, and she just isn't into him like that. Maybe this is her form of friendzoning. Maybe, just maybe, this is her way of helping him to move on.

The silence that grows between them is far from indifferent, and as Chase dryly swallows the pill that had been placed upon his tongue, he lets out a quiet hum of disapproval.

This isn't what he wanted. Not at all.

But that pout...

"Fine. But don't f*ckin' let slip what we're doin' here."

One hour later, they are rolling, and half a bottle of sambuca in.

Chase's pupils have consumed all the color in his eyes, though it doesn't matter, for they are wide as saucers. Sat behind Maya, he stares at her hair as he twists it around his fingers again and again. It is just so smooth and yet... not. It's perfectly textured, and the sensation is enough to send him to heaven.

"Maya... you know I f*cking love you, right? Like. It's like. It's torture. You're f*cking hair..."

Leaning in, inhibitions gone, he breathes in the scent of the dark mess before him and lets out a contented sigh. "I've loved you since we were kids. Told mum once that I was gonna marry you one day, and she like.. she took away my internet and phone, and grounded me because she f*ckin' hated you. Sorry."

By now, his voice is muffled, for his face is literally pressed into her hair. There is something about feeling that coarseness against that has an almost exfoliating, smoothing sensation and he simply cannot get enough of it.

"This is amazing," he says, not at all put off as her hair gets into his mouth.
July 14, 2018 07:17 pm

Maya Hall

It’s important to note that Maya is incredibly oblivious when it comes to Chase. Of his feelings, and her own. He’s her best friend, but it goes deeper than that. He’s all she has. Maya’s mother died giving birth to her on the streets, and her father never gave up the drugs that plagued them. Growing up, they did what they had to to survive, and more than once, the young girl watched her father overdose, until it was his last. It was a painful loss, but Chase got her through it.

He was her constant.

So, when he ceded to her request, she lets out a joyful noise and claps her hands together excitedly.

And then, they descend into their journey. Because that’s what it is. Every time.

Maya could melt into his soothing touch through her hair, and she’s always loved when he played with her mane. It was a regular occurrence when they were rolling, but not nearly as frequent when they’re sober. Still, his antics have her laughing, and she dramatically shrugs her shoulders. “‘S’alright, the feeling was more than mutual.” She thinks back on all the sh!t they got into as kids, and she has to admit - not out loud, of course - that the woman had every right to hate her guts.

“I was always afraid you’d outgrow me.” It’s a quiet confession, laced with a bit of sadness. Or maybe guilt? “I was afraid that you’d get tired of me and go back to your posh life with your posh mum and have a posh wife with posh babies.” She giggles at the thought, especially now. “I’m glad you didn’t. You were everything to me. Still are.”

She leans back against him, reveling in the closeness of the moment. “And for the record, I f*ckin’ love you, too.” A finger lazily traces over the skin of his leg, a constant habit, and a testament to her need to always be near him.
July 15, 2018 12:31 pm
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