Tranquility-Reawakening

The Creation of a Ballroom and all of the events that take place there.

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Regina Wellston
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Tranquility-Reawakening

Post by Regina Wellston » Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:41 am

She stopped at the guard station just outside, giving the meal to the man sitting and watching his little television. "Miss? You're leaving already?" The guard looked around to see if her companion had shown. "Thank you." It's all she would say as she turned and headed up the street. It was not a very good part of town but it was one she knew all to well. The neon lights of different bars and clubs screamed for attention but Reggie didn't even notice. Determined steps took her to the front of one such building. It was a mixture of stone and brick, three stories, and dark. From the outside the letters 'Tranquility', worn with age, were visible. She couldn't believe it was still here. Anyone driving by would think it strange that a woman, looking like she stepped out of the pages of a historic novel, was standing in front of a run down night club. She lifted the satin of her dress and headed up to the door. Fingers found the combination lock and she typed in the numbers. The soft click was heard and she simply stared. Heart in her throat, she tugged the door open and slipped inside.

What are you doing? We shouldn't be here. For the first time ever, the word 'we' was used. Reggie simply wasn't listening. The place was dark but she knew the way. Slippered feet carefully stepping over broken glass and rubble, she made her way to the sound and lighting booth. There was only one way to see if the electricity was still on and with a flip of a switch, a single spotlight illuminated ahead of her, letting her know her beloved was still there. She lowered her shaking hand and moved of her own accord. ]No, we need to leave now! Make her stop She was entranced, flooded with memories. The place was alive in her memory, people laughing, drinks flowing, people dancing. She walked up to the stage and up the steps on the side to the lonely piano that sat flooded in the light.

Years of dust lay thick upon it, but when she opened the lid those well worn ivories looked brand new to her. Sitting she ran her fingers along them like a long lost lover. The piano was in very bad shape, neglected, looking as if it might fall apart at any moment but the sound it made, it simply rang out into the empty building and she smiled. She chose the building for that very reason. The acoustics were amazing. She leaned over it and collapsed. Silent tears caused a violent shaking of her shoulders.

The lights still worked, the building still remained, all because of this piano. She couldn't move it. It wouldn't survive. She spent every penny every month to keep this building here for this one thing. "I'm so sorry." Who was she apologizing to? Fingers started playing then. The haunting tune ringing out so strongly and without her even realizing, it continued right past that third stanza, then the fourth, and then the fifth! Tears fell as fingers became one with the keys, the mahogany curls of her hair bouncing against tear stained cheeks as she played. Then? The words came, her voice clear. One that would put any of her chosen artists to shame.

______________

"I have nothing left to give,
I have found the perfect end .
You were made to make it hurt,
Disappear into the dirt.
Carry me to heaven's arms
Light the way and let me go
Take the time to take my breath
I will end where I began

And I will find the enemy within
'Cause I can feel it crawl beneath my skin."

_______________

The tears kept falling. Through the entire song. She sang like one possessed and for a moment there were no others. She was once again that simple country girl coming to the big city looking for her break. She was Regina Marie Wellston. She was strong, she was brave, she was funny. She was everything he had beaten out of her. When the song finished, she started it again. She would likely be here for the rest of the night. Playing to her demons or perhaps playing them away for now.

______________


"Dear Agony Just let go of me
Suffer slowly Is this the way it's got to be?
Dear Agony"

_______________


It was as if the words were being ripped from her. As if something was trying to keep them from escaping. If she had been smart, she would have set up her phone to record. There was a good chance she would never remember it all.

______________

"Suddenly the lights go out,
Left forever drag me down
I will fight for one last breath
I will fight until the end
And I will find the enemy within
‘Cause I can feel it crawl beneath my skin"

________________

The haunting tune continued. She relished in the way it made her feel alive. She was throwing everything she had into it. As she did every song she wrote. Looking more like a madwoman she would likely have bloody fingers before this was over. It would not be the first time.

________________

"Dear Agony Just let go of me
Suffer slowly is this the way it’s got to be?
Don’t bury me
Faceless enemy
I’m so sorry
Is this the way it’s gotta be?
Dear Agony"

_________________

She could hear the screaming in her mind, her own desperate cries in response. The words telling her the things that no one deserved to hear. Manipulating her to believe that without him, their band, she would be nothing. Her songs would be nothing. Her hands pounded on the keys. Green eyes a pool of glittering diamond like tears.

The song changed, but the determination did not, the piano taking the punishment her fingers were putting it under. She imagined the violins playing along, composing in her minds eye, she saw the lights of the stage illuminating the rest of the band. Drums, bass, guitar.. slowly it was all coming together. Usually she would stop, and write down fevered notes, but she didn't dare. She couldn't waste the chance. One would think her voice would break but years and years of training and writing and singing to perfect a song would have it strong and pure. Her hair was starting to fall in a mass of fire around her, a light sheen of sweat glistening in that one pure light that bathed only her and the piano in the middle of the stage.

________________

"Leave Me alone
God let me go
I’m blue and cold
Black sky will burn
Love, pull me down
Hate, lift me up
Just turn around
There’s nothing left
Somewhere far beyond this world
I feel nothing anymore."


__________________


The music was everywhere it filled up the whole place. She had spent months looking for a place just like this. The main room would be a very large open room with the stage at one end. It was a massive stage, overdone in size she thought. There were remnants of older speakers in front and along the sides but there was no sound coming from them. Stairs were to the immediate right on the wall, leading up to what looked like another floor. To the left of the entrance, along the other wall was a bar that ran the entire length. Big enough to seat at least fifty people.
Stools were thrown in a pile next to the bar. What was left of any tables in the middle of the room was just now pieces of wood that had been scattered but none of that mattered to the songwriter. In her mind, it was just her and the beat up old piano and what a journey they were on!
It would finally end. When the last string of the violins played that final high pitch. Her hands went limp and her chest heaved in ragged breaths. She simply stared down at the keys, a look of wonder, bemusement, and pride playing across her features.
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Re: Tranquility-Reawakening

Post by Regina Wellston » Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:59 am

The building looked in much worse condition in the daylight, every flaw, each broken window or fading spot of paint highlighted the reality of how far Tranquility had declined. She stood there simply staring. The task before her was monumental, she knew that, but it gave her purpose and a reason to open this door to her past. She had pulled her curly hair up into a long tail to keep it away from her face and she swiped an errant curl from her cheek before covering her eyes to peer up at the broken lettering of the sign. The name 'Tranquility' had been chosen because here was where she had found at least a tiny bit of peace back then. He would leave her alone while she created, knowing that whatever song she made would just gain him more fame. Plus, he had so many more playthings to deal with here. Shivering, she reached up and hugged herself with her free hand.

Behind her the sound of footfalls, on concrete intermingled with the inconsistent soft splashing of dress shoes traversing puddles, caught her attention. As she turned she saw The Magic Man as he walked up the street towards her at a leisurely pace. His dark frock coat was pulled by the wind behind him, as he rarely buttoned it, and he carried a simple black umbrella to catch the light rain that was mingling with the breeze. Wind aside, his top hat somehow remained perfectly situated on his head. As soon as he got close, he slipped forward so as to provide the umbrella's cover to her. With a winsome smile on his face he greeted her with his usual uniquely approachable politeness. "Good afternoon, Reggie."

It was raining? She blinked when it seemed to stop and then heard his voice. Turning he head to look at him from over her shoulder she smiled at the sound of his voice. She really was happy to see him today and it shimmered in her green eyes."Hi..." She hesitated..Looking at those hazel eyes to read if their conversation earlier might have caused him worry. She did worry about how he felt as he always seemed to never worry about himself. An interesting thing about him she really wanted to know. She would have to really decide if she had the right to ask him about something like that just yet. His friendship was important to her. She didn't bother finishing the sentence. She just let the word trail like the end of a song.

"Hi." He returned the simple verbal salutation with no added embellishment, though the glowing smile he gave her provided much more, a contrast to the somewhat gloomy weather. He placed a hand lightly on her shoulder and then carefully trailed his hand down her arm, until he tenderly took her hand in his and provided she did not offer any resistance, lifted her hand up. He did not bring it to his lips to kiss however as he did that recent evening. Instead he guided her hand to the handle of the umbrella he held and closed her fingers around it. With one precise step backwards, he created some distance between them, leaving her with the umbrella in her hands even as he 'magically' still had his own umbrella. If she did look up, she would perhaps notice that the umbrella she held was not black, but rather white. "You mentioned something about breakfast?"

Now that was pretty neat! Delighted she laughed. "You're going to have to show me how you did that." She would hold the still warm and fluffy pancakes as hostage! There was that little spark again! As his fingers ran down her arm she really tried to not let her shiver be noticed but she didn't think she would ever be able to hide that from him. That was something to think about too. Why hadn't she thought about it sooner? It was like she was waking up from a really long nap. "I know it looks bad from the outside but just keep an open mind okay?" It really mattered to her what he thought of the place. If he deemed it wasn't going to work due to structure, or safety, or anything else his fascinating mind thought of, she would take his advice to heart no matter how much it might disappoint her.

As he had his top hat, he wasn't overly concerned about the rain for a few moments and so he lowered his own umbrella and folded it closed. He spun the closed umbrella in his grasp like it was a showman's cane, let it flip twice in the air and then caught it in such a manner that he ended in an impish leaning pose. "Reggie, you know I am not going to show you how I did that. It was magic." He said embellishing his smile with a wink. He then straightened up and pointed to the door with the tip of the closed umbrella. "Reggie, dear, I wouldn't be The Sublime Bellamere if I had a closed mind, would I? You lead on, and I will follow. Show me the wonders of what can be through your eyes."

He understood, at least she hoped he did. She nodded, closed her umbrella and took a deep breath. What they were doing was turning a crossroads for her and she knew without Bela here, she wouldn't have been able to make a choice on which way to go. Opening the door she stepped in. "What can be.." She repeated those words to herself as she walked ahead and held her arms out to her sides. "Welcome to Tranquility." A flashback to her past for him as she turned and gave him a happy smile. She already knew how it was going to look. Each and every detail fresh but with so many changes. The place needed a lot of work. Floors needed pulled, walls needed patched and there might possibly be a hole in the back someone could fall into and never be seen again. She was showing him a part of her that only one other knew was like. "It's mine." And she was so darned proud! She had bought it with her own money after she had sold her first hit. It was the only thing of her left from that old life.





"A prize well worth the sacrifices you make, I am certain." Spoken in response to the unmistakable pride in her declaration of ownership. He knew that she had been searching for work and did not have the vast wealth that some in Rhydin tossed around. He could empathize with that. Though he would be loathe to admit it, it had been a blow to his pride that night at the Red Dragon Inn when the Princess Vandree had scattered coins on the table as a sort of thank you for his company. He wanted to refuse the gesture, even as he knew it was meant with good intentions, but when the night was over and he was left alone, he had scooped up those coins and was still using them to help out his own financial situation. He was walking closely behind her, letting his eyes go where she directed them, not truly looking at ramshackle condition of the old building, but allowing his mind's eye to take over, waiting for her to tell him the way she would like it remade. He knew that here in Rhydin, with actual magic and strange advanced technology, in comparison to the standards from whence he came at least, refashioning this place in her image would not be a herculean task.


And she was off! "So over here..." She walked a fast pace to get to the left side of the building and put her hand against the wall. "It's all wasted space.." She pointed to where there was about ten feet of space before the bar started and then up to the ceiling with its cracked plaster and a the possibility of a few birds nests in the long since abandoned rafters. Above the bar was open but on the other side of the room, the second floor started, acting as a vip balcony. "We could put the ticket windows. Indoor ticket windows so there's the space..like a lobby, for people to mingle in between shows. Keeping the bar in the main auditorium so people watching will have a place to gather or be served drinks while still being able to watch the show." Would he pick up on the type of place she wanted to create? Her main source of inspiration currently of course! She ran back over to him and grabbed his hand, pulling him along with her in the fantasy. "Then we fill all of this area with seats." She was walking faster, getting swept up in the excitement, she turned a questioning gaze to him to judge his reaction.

"We will charge people not entering to pay a fee to come and see it. We sell the show. Part of the money we make from ticket sales, along with the first of it's kind title to brag about being the prize to the winner." She grinned at him then, showing him just how much he had inspired this in her.

He had noticed the sheer size of the bar area when he had first visited this place, but he could not let her know how long he had been in this place and exploring it before he made his presence known to her that other night. "A lobby to mingle between shows in an excellent idea, possibly a place to check weapons... though I don't know if that will do any good." He was considering everything that might go right and what might go wrong. That is what she wanted him here for, wasn't it? To access and provide a mostly unvarnished appraisal? With a gesture to the bar and a little waggle of his finger, he gave her a grin. "This will do very well, I've noticed that the various denizens of RhyDin do love to drink." He was going to say something more on the matter, but then she raced back to his side and took him by the hand, pulling him along into her excitement and future dream, to which he followed eagerly. He sought not to damper her day dreams or aspirations, striving ever to be the opposite, a font of inspiration, encouraging and driving people onward - even if it was not necessarily practical.

"Then here.." Her voice softened as she turned towards the stage and led him to the steps. It was hard not to convey her excitement with each step and gesture. "This is where I've done most of my magic." Her fingers entertwined with his and she clung to his hand just a bit. Tonight was different. Tonight she was opening up to him, offering him as much as the truth as he would be listen to. Up the steps she went, giving him the option to let go of her hand if he wanted to. He just might want to.

He had said to show him what could be. To do that, she would need to be honest with him as much as she was with herself. This, she would not hide and she hoped by doing so that he might open up a little more with her.


There was no strange spark in his hand at this instance, no odd mysticism, just the comforting warmth of a companion who was going along with the ride. He was there to support her, his intentions relatively selfless. Up the stairs he followed her, intent to keep up with her pace, though at one point he had to grab his hat with his other hand to prevent it from tumbling off his head. He had apparently slipped the folded up umbrella into an actual loop designed for holding it on his belt. His eyes lingered briefly on her as she pulled him along, taking in her features and reminding himself how fortunate he had been to have found people like her who had befriended him. It also certainly didn't hurt that she was also quite attractive. Still holding her hand, he gave her hand a tender squeeze "Will I get a chance to see some of that magic, or do I need to wait until the stars are right?"

"You're seeing it now.. Right before your eyes I'm making something vanish." If only she could simply explain what she meant by that…


"Potent magic indeed." He followed her over to the old piano. He had heard the music she had made and so did not question the integrity of the instruments within the halls of Tranquility, despite what they might have looked like. Sliding down to the seat next to her, he placed a hand lightly on her back, just between her shoulders, letting her know that he was there for her. "My eyes are open, and I am here for what you have to show me." He picked his words with some care, suspecting that even beyond her grievous injury at the hands of that criminal, that there had been many stresses on her. Why else had she bathed in a cold fountain? "Of course, if you ever need a little luck or guidance, that too I can provide."


Her own hands settled on the keys. "Now, let me show you my magic powers." Closing her eyes, she started to play. The song coming so much easier for her because it had ran through her mind all day. She stepped on one of the piano pedals and the lights went out to be replaced by a thousand little stars.

It was slower this time, different from what she had played last night. There was no desperation to it, just passion.
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Regina Wellston
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Re: Tranquility-Reawakening

Post by Regina Wellston » Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:44 pm

Today seemed like a good day to fight demons…even if they were simply internal. She took a deep breath and took a step inside the building, and right back into her past…
_______________________________________________________________

The band was playing again tonight. As always they were taking over that massive stage with an over abundance of equipment. Regina watched in dismay as the technicians hauled her piano across and behind the stage. She wanted to scream at them to to be careful. Looking over at marc as he sat flirting with the bartender she thought it better to remain silent. She knew he hated when she made a scene.

She watched how he so easily caused the girl to smile with his satin tone and dark brown eyes. He really was delicious looking. All the magazines agreed.

The girl twirled a strand of platinum blonde hair and laughed delightedly at something he said and then, there he was reaching up and tuggin on that hair to draw her to him.

Reggie turned away, not wanting to see what she knew would come next. She went back to watching the band make ready for the busy night ahead and knew that she too would need to start getting ready.

Her outfit had already been chosen, by him of course, and she felt her nerves spike. He knew she hated showing off the marks he left, but he loved it. Relished showing off his ‘trophy’. And she was just like one. Very pretty to admire when first acquired, but then put on a shelf to just sit neglected.

“Hey Peaches, come here baby.” He called out over the pounding of the drums as they mic tested them. To anyone else, that call would have possibly sounded endearing. To her, it made her skin turn cold. Obediently, she turned and made her way across the room to where he sat.
The bartender gave her a long look over as she approached. Reggie was nothing like the scantily dressed blonde. Where the other woman was curves and tanned skin, she was almost to thin and pale.

Reggie gave the girl that pretty smile, the one that left her face a mask of politeness even though she wanted to scratch the woman’s eyes out.

He sat there watching her, with his back to the other woman, he curled his tantalizing lips into a little sneer. His brown eyes daring her to even try anything. In fact, he really hoped she did. He loved making an example out of her, showing everyone just how dedicated she was.

She approached, albeit a bit cautiously. She knew what he wanted. Knew he delighted in seeing the jealousy his actions to other women caused.
She didn’t speak, simply came to stand next to him, her eyes never leaving his and her hands coming to rest upon the wooden counter.

“This here is Jessica.” Mark cast that million dollar smile to the blonde and even tossed a wink her way. “She’s going to be..paying a visit tonight. Won’t that be..fun?” Harsh eyes watched the songwriter intently, his lips parting as he nearly panted in delight the moment her composure broke just a bit.

She didn’t even dignify the woman with a look, no, she tilted up her chin and tried her best to keep it together. “Sure..I’ll make sure to arrange for party favors.” Her jaw ached from straining to keep the smile in place.

“That’s a good girl.” And he lifted a hand to run a roughly callused finger down her arm. Leaning in he took a deep breath, his lips brushing against the tender skin of her neck. “Mmm..you smell delicious. To bad I’m not hungry.” Then he pulled away and laughed as he dismissed her and put all of his attention on the blonde once more.

_________________________________________________________________________

She was staring at the now vacant bar and the stack of stools beside it. Her breath coming in gasps as she was fighting to swim out of the depths of the memory.
With an anguished scream she grabbed one of the stools and sent it hurtling through the air. It crashed to the floor with the satisfying crunch of splintering wood.

She shook her head, as if to clear it from any other little flashbacks that just might make an appearance and grabbed a hold of the broom she had brought with her. She wanted desperately to bring The Princess here to show her…what could be…but she couldn’t let her walk in to the disaster that was the now run down building.

She was sweeping piles of rubble into a large one in the middle of the room, causing the dust to lift and linger in the air like confetti at a parade. The poor broom was taking the brunt of her anger but she kept on until the last of the stained floor was swept clean.
Turning, she looked about and the room, once more, took on a life of it’s own.

______________________________________________________________________


The mirror exploded in a million pieces around her. “Fucking bitch!” He spat at her as he spoke from behind her in the small dressing room she was permitted to have. Surrounded by the glass of the mirror he had just broken, she would ignore the cuts the shards of glass added to the scars created from previous punishments.
“You think I don’t know what you’re trying to do?” He held the pages of her most recent creation in his hands. “You think this…shit…will make me look good?”
She just sat there, her heart in her chest and turned slowly to look at him.

The song was good..it was really good..But a man like him, cold hearted and cruel, might have some trouble conveying the emotion it contained. It had taken her weeks to get it just right and she, knowing his voice and the way he could hold an audience captive, knew the song would have been perfect.

“I need this redone. Get it right!” The pages in his hands were torn in shreds and rained down upon her. “And get this shit cleaned up!” He turned and slammed the door behind him as he left.

She looked down at the pieces of paper amongst the shards of broken glass and finally let herself break down. Her life was just like the mess she was sitting in, broken and shattered. It would take a miracle to pick the pieces up and put them back together.

______________________________________________________________________________

Breaking free from the haze of the memory she looked about in surprise as she had gotten the entire main room swept of any dust and debris. Smiling, she reached up to wipe the sweat on her face with her hands, leaving a smear of dust on her forehead and cheeks. Then, she checked her phone and let out a small curse as she realized the time. She’d been here for hours! She needed to hurry and get back to the Inn and return the cleaning supplies she had borrowed. Casting a look once more at her progress, she smiled and headed out making sure to lock the door behind her.
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Re: Tranquility-Reawakening

Post by Regina Wellston » Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:44 pm

It took her a while, but she got back to the building just in time to see the roof coming off. The sight had her simply mesmerized. It was as if a part of her old life was being torn out of a horribly written novel. She brought her phone out and snapped a few pictures.

It was then that one of the construction crew came over to her with a yellow hard hat in his hands. "Best be wearin' this iffin' you're gonna' go in miss." She took the hat, put it on her head, and headed inside. She knew it would be safe because the ceiling had already been filled in. It would be hard to tell because the size of the building was so grand that the ceiling still looked nonexistent. A bit of paint helped with that as well.

She headed inside, pleased to see the floor had already been torn up and most of the furnishings were now gone. She stood there, breathing in the smell of something new and snapped a few more pictures. Heading over to where the bar area used to be, she took some more photos and beamed. Everything was coming about so quickly! And it seemed with each and every piece torn out, another link in those chains that bound her was falling away.

"Miss?" One of the workers yelled at her from by the stage. Turning, she headed over to them. "Whadda ya want us to do with that hunk o' junk?" His beefy thumb pointing over his shoulder to her piano.
She didn't even bother to reprimand him for the insult. No, she simply walked away from him and climbed the steps.
Her jaw clenching, her fingers curling and uncurling, she walked over to the beautiful piece of her country life and set her hand lovingly upon the top. She knew it was time. Knew she couldn't move past this…without doing this. But she really didn't know if she was going to be able to.

"Miss?" The guy was still waiting after all. Reggie brought her fingers to her lips and then placed them down on the wooden lid. She couldn't dare open it up and look at the keys. "Get rid of it." She turned and didn't look back as she headed down the steps to another part of the building. All good things must come to an end..Or so they say.

She plugged her ears with the earbuds and turned the music up as loud as she could for she knew the sounds she would hear next..And if she had been listening? She'd hear the groaning of the old wheels, the creaking of dry rotted wood. And then, the screaming of strings as the piano simply collapsed in a pile of rubble.
Keeping her back to the stage, she talked with another crew member about the walls and the lighting she wanted. Determination driving her. Digging deep within to the power she felt this morning during her training, she kept her composure as she managed to talk about textures and tiles.

It didn't take long for the remaining pieces of the piano to be removed and for the crew to start dismantling all of the old speakers and wiring along the sides of the stage. She watched the first few be carried off in the wheel barrows they were constantly bringing in and out.
As she watched them rolling past, a piece of the piano caught her eye and yelled out. "Wait!" hurrying after the man, she grabbed the keyboard lid out of the rubble. Hugging it to her, she nodded that they could continue on. And, amidst all the noise and chaos, Reggie felt completely alone
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Re: Tranquility-Reawakening

Post by Regina Wellston » Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:47 am

The ballroom transformation complete, the talent show long past, it was time for the next event! She had spent the first few days, after gaining permission from each of the contestants, getting her lists organized. "The Stompetition between Senna The Goddess of Fire and Cianan The King of The Underdark was actually happening! She had been more than thrilled to dive into another event to distract her. To keep the ballroom alive with happy energy so that the shadows could stay just where they were. She'd even hired a new employee, thanks to the suggestion from Tranqulity's manager Morgan Chae!

She had moved things around, her own personal belongings as well, and was settling into the day to day routine of organization and chaos. That is, until a delivery had arrived. With no return address, no one to link it to, the large crate had been brought in and set in the middle of the ballroom floor waiting for the musician to find it.

And find it she did. With the help of a crowbar she had busted the boards on the edges to let the sides come slamming to the floor. The item within the box had her frozen in fear. Normally, a piano would have her instantly reaching for it, playing the keys and testing it's sound. But this one...With it's weathered look, the old design, and the simple way it perfectly mirrored the one she had lost, had the musician terrified!

There were only two people who knew exactly what year and model it was. One was dead and the other...was indisposed...or was he?

She stood there staring when the vision slammed into her.
_____________________________________________________________

"You should throw that damned eyesore away." He spoke the harsh words with the touch of velvet as he crept up behind her. She had just finished playing his next song for him. Hoping that he would be satisfied with the results, but instead of commenting on the music, he had to slander the one piece of her old life she had. He knew how special the instrument was..Knew her Grandfather had given it to her, but yet he did everything he could to tear her down. "You know, I think you love that thing because it's busted and broken..just like you are Peaches. I bet that old thing is going to outlast even you hmmm?" He came up behind her, and to anyone looking, it might seem that he was a lover rubbing the neck of another. In reality, cold fingers would up through her hair and grabbed a hold of the locks painfully, fingers digging into her scalp and tugging just hard enough to try and pull some kind of protest from her lips.

She sat there, eyes closed, and willed herself to remain silent even though the scraping of her scalp with his nails and the harsh pulling of her hair had her eyes instantly watering. She knew better than to say anything in protest as that would only encourage him. He had been drinking, she could smell it on his breath. God knows what else he had gotten into tonight as well. She closed the lid on the piano and waited for him to either grow bored and let go, or to just continue his onslaught and be done.

"Why so quiet love? Cat got your tongue? It's a wonder I'm the singer and you're the song writer. Couldn't ever put you on stage..Wouldn't want to scare people off right?" He laughed at his own joke and pushed her away and laughed even harder when her hands came up to brace herself and had fingers landing on a few keys to make that awful dissonant sound.

She closed the lid and turned to face him. Those dark eyes of his that, at one time, had her so giddy to look at were now twin pools of hate and repulsion. He hated that her songs were so damned good and always took some of the limelight from him but he knew without her, he wouldn't be who he was now. He let those cruel eyes drift down her frame and he crooked a finger. "Come here Peaches..I got a new toy to show you. I think I see a spot I've missed."

She tightened fingers on the bench she was sitting on...Willing herself to lift her chin and stand. Even in her worst, she somehow managed to still look regal. His eyes narrowed and he stepped forward swiftly, grabbing a painful hold of her arm where fresh wounds were still healing. "Take that smug look off your face..Remember your place." With a swift jerk, he had her stumbling in front of her. She knew where he wanted her to go and so she started that way. He followed, laughing and anxious..It was such fun to watch that spirit within her die!

_____________________________________________________

She shook her head and slid to a seat on the bench that was provided with the piano. Her heart hammering in her chest, she took a few deep breaths to clear the fog of her brain. "Just a dream..It's not real..." It was then she noticed it..a small piece of paper tucked up under the lid. Curious, she pulled it out and opened it and once she realized what it was her heart slammed into her chest. Suspicions were confirmed as she saw the familiar notes and handwriting of the first song she ever wrote for him. She had been right....He had returned.....
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Re: Tranquility-Reawakening

Post by Regina Wellston » Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:33 pm

The place was practically empty, as the morning shift of training had come and gone, leaving just the residents. Downstairs, Morgan was settled down towards the bar, spinning a can of energy drink around and around before he glanced towards the door. Lifting his head towards Reggie, he would give her a nod as he slouched back towards the bar top where his phone was settled down. "Afternoon Boss." He stated towards her as he planted his right foot into the wood that covered the bottom of the bar, using it to turn him partway to face her.

Luna is in the kitchen, doing some overtime to go through how all the tech worked one last time, she can’t be bogged down when it’s busy after all

She headed across the room as she spotted him slouching against the counter, determined steps carrying her with a bit more confidence. She took in his appearance, his eyes, and if he looked like he had gotten any rest. She smiled as he called her a word that sounded more like an endearment than a title. She came up to him and took up a lean a stool away so they would have room to look at each other as they talked. Hands came to rest lightly on the counter in front of her as she finally brought her eyes to his once more. "Look I know you are feeling a certain kind of way but I need you to put that out of your mind for a minute." She waited to see if he would recognize the tone that carried those words to him.

Rest... would be on overstatement. He slept, there was that. Physically rejuvenated. However outside of the act of sleeping there wasn't much rest in his gaze. His night spent trying to help another and attempting to fight through nightmares and terrors. Regardless he shifted to straighten up. The can upended of its lifegiving energy before he focused on her and nods. "Whats up?" It was rare for Reggie to ask him to put something aside mentally, when it did happen it was something important. So he was listening intently to her.

A clattering of metal and cursing can be heard from the kitchen, the elf is very much preoccupied and it’s safe to assume she isn’t aware of anything outside that kitchen

She nodded..He did understand. She turned a look over her shoulder to indicate the piano in the middle of the room. "You know..we all take things in our lives and give them to much power sometimes.." She knew what he was going through. She had lived it nearly every night for the past month. The only thing she could do to help Morgan right now was to empathize by sharing this next bit of information with him. For the one who always wanted to help everyone was now...going to ask to be helped.
She turned her attention to the kitchen as soon as the clattering was heard. There was a flash of something across her features, but she assumed the cursing that followed indicated they weren't being listened to for the moment. A sense of urgency clawed at her, but she fought it back.


"Probably someone working extra time to learn some of the menu for the Fighting Event. If they weren't getting it I gave them the option to come in afterhours to practice away." He stated towards Reggie to ease her upon that of the metal clanking around inside of the kitchen, before focusing. There was a glance to followed Reggie's gaze towards the piano, before looking back towards her. "Sometimes.... Sometimes we don't recognize the danger they pose right in front of us." He nodded.

She could have hugged him for saying that! It was enough to boost her confidence and the shadows danced away from her features a bit. "I...might have a problem. Something I'm not proud of." She was pushing away from the counter to round it and grab a cup of coffee and then a large glass of ice water to set in front of Morgan. She figured he needed it with all of the power drinks he'd been drinking lately.

It was usually only one a day. Regardless he accepted the ice water and gulped it down just as quickly. Looking towards her, his head lifting slightly. "What kind of problem." There was a slight grin. "Ive got a lot I am not proud of... so welcome to the club Reggie." He nodded with a slight tap of his fingers against the wood grain of the bartop, before crossing his right leg over his left knee.

She shook her head. "Morgan..I let someone change my whole perception on life...Let him control how I felt, what I believed..I allowed him the power to do those things to me. There was no pride in myself then either. I'm telling you this because that man..He's looking for me. He's already here." She looked back to the piano then, her voice holding a hint of panic.

There was a grunt that came from his lips as he looked towards the Piano fully. "So... burn the piano..." He stated openly before looking back towards her. "He is here... you say." He would lift his chin only to roll his neck and let his head dip down to his hands. His eyes forcibly closing tighter for a moment he would think hard before nodding his head. "And he is coming for you... so he has a death wish?" He tilted his head then towards Reggie. "Cause I'll be dammed if he gets that chance again."

"Morgan..this is not your problem. I'm not telling you to make it your problem. However, you are my family and Tranquility is your home. I wanted to warn you in case.." She let the words trail off. She didn't know what mind set Marc was in but she could imagine after ten years of being locked away.

There was a slight point towards her. "You see. You said it right there. This." He tapped the bar with a rejuvenated sense of stubbornness "Is my home, but your hands built it. You are my family. First rule of that being, we look out for each other thick and thin." He nodded his head towards Reggie at that. "We always have each others backs. So what is your problem, is also something Im willing to make my problem."

Her eyes filled..She swallowed the tears back though and nodded. She understood that. Felt the same way. It was strange really the bond that had formed between two people who, at first, were so very opposite. "I could say the same back atcha." She took a breath and let it out slowly. "He's a monster Morgan..But he's smart. He's not just going to come out in the open waiving a flag. We have to be prepaired..I am not going to just sit band and take it this time. Besides, how can he hurt someone who's already broken?" She smiled. "I want your help but not in the way you might be thinking."

"Well first things first. Im also a monster... so he might be smarter but he likely won't stoop as low as I will go, or measure the lengths that i will go to defend ya." He pointed towards her at that, before smirking somewhat. He knew that exact sentiment about being broken, though her mention of wanting his help caused his head to tilt slightly. "You don't want me to hunt him down mercilessly and tirelessly?"

She shook her head.."Is it bad if I want to make him suffer a bit?" Those words came out in a very low tone. She was fighting quite a war within herself and vengeance was not something she was used to.

A slight smirk towards that of Reggie as he shook his head. "Not a single bad thing about it. He made you suffer. It isn't always right to go eye for an eye... but sometimes it is the right call to make." He nodded his head towards her.

"I want to learn more of what I can do..But, I want to do it with humility. I think what I did against Atiea last night wasn't right. It was to strong..I want to learn how to control it. I watch you Morgan, when you duel. I don't see that thirst for blood you think consumes you. Will you show me how to do that?" She knew she was asking a lot from him because his pride had him not believing in himself as much as he should, but perhaps it would give him confidence to see her finally gaining some of her own.

"Thats... where you might be a bit... off in your line of thought... Sure, I kicked Mo in the face... but there have been duels in the past where things got even worse... much worse even." He would state to her. "There are people who will near hue off limbs in the rings... it wasn't that you were so strong its that you didn't exactly stop..." He exhale for a moment in thought as he would then nod his head. "Sometimes... in the ring... you only have to do what is needed to score the point. If its outside of the rings... then you don't just stop obviously."

"So is that a yes?" She wasn't wanting a title, nor anything else that could come with climbing ranks..She just wanted to be able to do what she had to do when the time came.

Morgan nodded his head towards her. "Ill work with you... but you will have to understand... there are times where I lose myself too.. Where I go full into it as if Im going to kill the person across from me."

"I need you to do that.." She nodded and took a step forward then. Her eyes flashing with intent. "He wont hold back. I can't promise, right now, that I can stop him." She held up a finger. "But I'm willing to try for the first time Morgan." He might not understand what she was implying but if he really knew her like she hoped he did he would see that she was trying to fight for herself for the first time ever.

There was a nod towards her, as he would give her a slight smile. "I got your back. We will train to get you ready to fight. Though I got to ask. Sure you don't want me to just teach you how to carry a gun?" He would tilt his head towards her. "I know suffering and all that but... sometimes its good to have a... quick solution." He nodded, afterall the Chae pretty much always had atleast one on him.

At the mention of a gun her eyes flicked for just a brief moment to the holster hidden away on his right hip and then...In her hand, handle facing towards him, was that piece he had tucked away. "I don't think I will need a gun." Her eyes sparkled with a green flame as she grinned but then went right back to that multi colored hue after she blinked.

Morgan chuckled a bit and would very carefully take the pistol from her hand, finger no where near the trigger as he slid it back into the proper holster at his hip. "Not everyone is as gifted as you are Reggie." He pointed towards her with a smirk. "I can only just manage to call upon lightning, and even then it likes to hurt me as much as the person I am zapping."

More clattering can be heard from the kitchen, along with a small amount of panicked swearing, before a glow of magic can be seen through the doorway, whatever problem there had been was no longer an issue.

She watched him take the pistol back and she stepped closer then. Her hand came out, palm out, towards him. "This stays between us..family. I can't have anyone else involved." She would be the one to close the door to her past. No one else.

There was a nod towards Reggie. Chuckling a bit at the sound of clattering. "I have a feeling that might be our newest recruit." He chuckled some, knowing she had struggled with some of the gadgets he had been equipping the kitchen with. A nod towards Reggie. "Between us." He hummed towards her.

She nodded and smiled. That glow coming back to her once more. She felt even lighter having him to confide in. "Are you going to the beach party tonight?" She rounded the counter, pulled open one of the kitchen doors and let her eyes search out Luna. "You okay in here?" She was smiling!

Luna looks incredibly frazzled as the plants retreat to around her wrist, a burnt attempt at the meal revealed as they pull away, “Yea I think so...” Luna offers a weak smile back as the plants wrap around her outstretched palm, a few pots and pans knocked to the ground behind her in her panic.
It’s pretty clear the plants were used to smother the flames.


Morgan would make his way in behind that of Reggie. Chuckling softly at the mess and the burnt attempt at the meal. He would give a warm smile towards Luna regardless and slip around Reggie to make his way towards the mess on the ground. Picking up the pots and pans that were cool and moving them to the large sink basin to wash.

Reggie waved her hand to clear the smoke in front of her but instead, the whole room cleared out. She laughed. "I'm so glad we hired you." The woman was adorable!

Luna breathes deeply and moves to the sink, the vines unwrapping to grab pots and pans and deposit them into the sink for her to wash, “Thanks Reggie.” She says smiling, “Sorry for the mess.”

"Its a kitchen. A mess means either someone learned something, or something good is about to be eaten." He stated with a nod.

Luna nods, a bit taken aback at the other woman’s comment after she set the kitchen on fire, sure no real damage has been done but she’s trying to make a good impression.

"It's also a place for family to gather." Reggie nodded as she snagged a bite of whatever it was Luna was cooking and popped it in her mouth. "Wow.." She blinked. "It's really good!"

"Reggie... pretty sure we need to work on your Palate." He would come up next to Luna and give her a nudge. "Cause that was... pretty burned." He smirked and looked towards Luna. "We will get it worked out yeah? I have news for you by the way." This to Luna

Luna tilts her head curiously, “I can try cooking again, I’m more used to basic things... like a wood stove or campfire.” She meets Morgan’s eyes, “What is it?”

She shot Morgan a look and smiled. "Grandpa always used to say, I like things a lil' black'end" And unfiltered, that drawl slid out. She winked to Luna and took a lean against the counter she was standing by.

His face filled with a moment of joy. Whatever demons he had been fighting disappeared, though there was a tinge of personal sadness that danced beyond the darkness of his iris. Still, his words were warm. "Your daughter is here in Rhy'din. Dunno where she is living but she seems to already have a job." There was a glance towards Reggie. "Charred and burned are different things boss."


She laughs a little, “I promise the next batch will be better, give you a taste of Arthos cooking!” Her head swivels sharply to Morgan, “Kairi is here? Is she ok?”

"Seemed to be. Has a bear that follows her around everywhere." He chuckled slightly.

Some of the stress in Luna’s shoulders evaporates as she hears the kid is fine, “Iris, that bear has been her protector since she was little.”

Reggies eyes sharpened then at the conversation then. She said nothing for the moment..Giving Morgan the opportunity speak.

"Shes working with one of the news outlets... guess she was around when some crazy daredevil started to pull of stunts, and now documents them. But she's doing alright." He smiled warmly to Luna, a glance towards that of Reggie.

They were going to have to make more room...Reggie's mind was already going to the details...She couldn't believe her luck as a new song had just worked it's way into her mind just the other day. But, she would have to ask the person she had made it for, for permission. She smiled to Morgan and tapped fingers lightly on the counter next to her.

Luna’s face breaks into an easy smile, not catching the shift in Reggie, “Sounds like I should track her down... how could I have missed that bear...”

"From what I saw the other day... shes managed to get it to fit into a necklace." There was a smirk as he would move to the burnt food using a plastic fork, slightly moving some aside to identify it. "You know. You put this on a low flame... wouldn't be burnt... if you wanted to try, I can look at getting us an older cooking stove." He glanced towards Luna at that.

She looks immensely appreciative, “That would be amazing until I’ve practiced a bit... I managed to get the hang of the one in the RDI, this ones just a bit... fancier.”
“Glad she found a way to contain Iris, I know that bear made hiding our camp... difficult, especially when she was seven and first decided to put a bell on the bear.”
Luna scrubs the pans in the sink, her shawl hanging by the door, clearly this was a task she was very familiar with


With that he would chuckle and smile towards her. "I can imagine. Large bear like that. I will see about ordering a wood burning stove, something easy to vent out the back without causing too much smoke." And with that, Mr. Manager was off to manage. Phone in hand to do some research!

“Thanks Morgan.” She says with a smile, her face chill though it’s pretty clear as soon as she’s done she’s gonna book it to find Kairi

Reggie pushed away from the counter. "Luna." She walked over to where the woman was. Her smile soft. "Your daughter is welcome here." She nodded to let her know there would be no argument. "Family is always welcome." She patted her lightly on the shoulder and then slipped out into the ballroom once more. The sound of heels on the ballroom floor indicated her departure. She had a cell phone and a swimsuit to buy! Finding a long sleeved one would take a bit!

The plants crawl their way to a plant pot and find themselves a new home, Luna looking up with a relaxed and relieved expression, looking to thank the woman before she left, only to see her already gone.

"There are a few parties going on tonight from what I know Luna!" He called towards the kitchen from the bar. "Don't be a stranger tonight! I have no idea which I am going to but ill be somewhere or at the duels!"

Reggie turned around but continued to walk backwards, the motion easily done with dancer's practice. "I'm getting a new phone today. Will you message me when you are at the duels?" Yes...She wanted to start tonight. "I will be at the beach party...I have wood I want to burn in the bonfire." She grinned.

"I may stop by both of the parties before I go to the duels. Though I hope me showing up won't sour one of them." his eyes glanced towards Reggie as he spoke in regards to the specific birthday occurring that day.

Luna peeks out the door with a smile looking towards the bar, “I’ll probably hit both parties as well...” she trails off, “I’m sure it’ll be alright.”


With that he smiled. "Im going to see what I can get done today. Might take a few days Luna. I will see you both later." With that his phone was brought to his ear as he had initiated a call. "Yo, I am looking for something in particular... wood burning yeah..." And he slipped outside.
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Re: Tranquility-Reawakening

Post by Regina Wellston » Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:39 pm

She had waited until later in the day, when everyone was gone and she had the ballroom to herself. Slowly, she walked towards the piano..Her heart swelling for the moment as it did look just like the one her grandfather had given her. Enough so that it caused her to pause and simply admire it. She longed to forget the hidden meaning behind it. To sit and let fingers play along those ivories just like she used to...Shaking her head, her features turned into a mask of determination. No...That is what he wanted her to do..To fall in love with the 'precious' gift he had given her. To show him she still had a weakness..

Her fingers tightened on the wooden handle of the axe she held. Eyes flashing with anger and defiance. "No..You have no power over me any longer." And with that, she closed the distance, brought the axe up, and then down upon the keyboard with a resounding chop! Wood splintered and Reggie grinned wickedly as she brought the axe up again and again, shattering any kind of hold the piano would have on her.

She felt some of the weight of those chains slipping free and reveled in it. She would continue this until all that was left was pieces of chopped up, walnut wood. Some of the strings still attached.

Her cell phone claimed, she placed a call to a hauling service asking for the wood to be picked up and delivered to the beach for the bonfire.

Tonight...she had more to celebrate than just the beginning of summer!
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Re: Tranquility-Reawakening

Post by Regina Wellston » Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:12 pm

Beep Beep Beep Beep

The Ominous groan of the automatic alarm was already going off long before the emergency services could have arrived. The billowing smoke and flames arising out of the apartment complex that was on the backside of the building. Sprinkler systems going off all throughout the building as the sirens of the nearest units of the emergency service and Watch fire companies blared as they arrived on scene rather quickly. Though it wasn't fast enough to prevent the damage and total loss of the two apartments attached, as well as significant damage to the performance end of the business.

Firemen rushed inside, as paramedics made their way towards Luna and Kairi to check on the both of them. Hoses were soon rushed inside of the building as they would work to stop the entire thing from being a total loss.

Whatever buzz the Chae had was gone, as he came to a hard landing on the cobblestones, causing some of them to kick up around him from impact as he looked towards Luna and Kairi. Well they were accounted for. Anger, Fear, and past Trauma all washed over his face as he moved one of the fire chiefs aside and rushed into the building to aid in the effort to save it, pulling a mask up of his face to keep the smoke from his lungs as best as possible.


The paramedics hook Luna up to a bag, sobering her up, her face falling as she stares at the building, her ears drooping, and even without the bag she’d sober up fast. Garm barks loudly to bring attention to the Chae running into the burning building

A few moments of nothing extraordinary happening would follow the Chae entering into the building. Before a sudden rush of wind, bellowed out through the front of the building and every easily escapable exit, as the pressure changed inside and the smoke went from natural billows, to being evacuated away. Not only to help to ease the fires, but to protect some of the braver firefighters who had went in and were starting to be swarmed by the lashing flames.

Down the road came the roar of a big white truck, diesel engine rumbling and echoing as it seemed to scream toward the building. The tires gave an actual squeal on pavement made wet by the water from fire hoses, and came to a stop. Throwing the truck in park, he snatched his keys from the ignition, and ticked his head at Regina and Collie. "I'll be there in a minute."

Collie was out of the vehicle as quickly as possible. Since J. J. was doing what he needed to, she reached out to give Regina someone/something to hang onto. Watching a dream be destroyed was never easy.

Reggie was already trying to clamor from the truck..Feet hitting the pavement and she was running straight for the building! She saw Luna and Garm but there was no sign of Morgan..She was flying towards the front door!]

Luna kneels weakly on the ground beside a shaking Kairi, making sure the kid is ok and didn’t breath in any smoke, pulling her in close before looking to the building and standing, “Stay here Kairi.” She looks to the medic, “I need this disconnected or I’ll do it myself.”
The drip is disconnected and Luna starts walking towards the building, this was her home now to after all


If the upstairs wasn't an entire loss, it was then. A sudden and explosive round of gunshots could be heard from Morgans apartment as his storage room was finally engulfed in flames. Spewing bullets every which way in the room and out of the roof: Thankfully caught in the rather thick wood walls that aided to the privacy of above. Still the sounds echo'd into the night.

Within, the Chae was moving forward at the pace of the firefighters, a bubble of fresh air kept around them so they could do their job, as he couldn't risk vacuuming out all the air if there was someone who wasn't supposed to be in there trapped!

Collie shook her head. "Was anyone else hurt?" She saw the medic outside attending to at least one person.

The kid looks over at Collie, “We got out before we got hurt... I think mom intends to do something from the outside...”

A large fireman stepped in front of Luna and another in front of Reggie. "You can't go in there. " Both of them holding onto the women so they couldn't get in. "Let me go!" She screamed.."It's mine..I have to get in there!" She was struggling trying to get out of the man's grip. She couldn't just stand here and watch her dreams go up in flames....again.

“I’m not going in there, I can do more from the outside.” Luna states matter of factly, “There shouldn’t be anyone in there except Morgan, and I’m certain he can handle himself.”

She reached to take a gentle hold on Regina's arm. "Breathe, Regina," her tone quiet. She looked at the fireman. "Is it out?"

Garm is wrapped around Kairi, the bear protectively standing over them both

She gave a smile to the kid. "Haven't met yer Mum, yet. Which one is she?"

Reggie looked to Colleen and broke down. Reaching for the woman she nearly fell against her.

One of the Firemen tapped Morgan on the shoulder. The all clear. There was no one else inside.

They would rush past that of Morgan and out the door. "Get back!" They would yell through their respirators towards those gathering near door, motioning them back away from building as winds started to rush inside of the building.


She points to the elf, the kid looks around 14-15, though her pointy ears give away she’s likely older

Instinctively, Collie wrapped Regina in a comforting embrace. Hearing the firemen, she tried to shepherd Regina out of the danger zone.

Garm gets up and walks over to Reggie gently nudging her, trying to comfort the woman as best he can

"Get back, lass," she said the young elf, sounds like somethin' is goin' ta blow."

Kairi get back with the paramedics, Luna moving back quickly, “come on, we can rebuild tranquility, right?” She says gently to Reggie

Then the sound of motors rumbling and tires squealing could be heard coming up the street. It wasn't long before five long cab trucks came to a squealing stop in front of the building and then a whole herd of men started climbing out. Almost all of them wearing ball caps or cowboy hats. One of them taller than the most, definately older let out a whistle to get the attention of the ten other younger ones. He started giving them directions and the boys fanned out to offer help to the firemen and medics.
She was a mess..Colleen keeping her from falling to the ground as she lead her away. She couldn't believe this was happening..All of her hard work...
The taller man looked for J.J. amongst the chaos..Finding him, he moved over to start talking in quiet tones to him.


"Fuck" The Korean came from his lips as he exhaled. As he did he braced himself for a moment. The rushing winds suddenly reversed directions, and quickly, as all air within that of the building suddenly rushed out of it until there was a perfect vacuum within, the doors slamming themselves open as Morgan held it as long as he could, before letting go. A final gale force wind filled the Tranquility with fresh air.

Most of the major fires were out, with a few still upstairs that would warrant the crew size still to go through the mess and rubble to clean up fully. Inside the break room there was a mess as the water jug cooler had broken and exploded practically. Amongst the scene, Chae had collapsed onto his knees, sucking in precious breath after breath.


Luna watches her get led away quietly, watching the building burn, Kairi only having been able to save the small bag she had brought from the perch with some clothes and money, Luna having been to drunk to save anything

She found a bench nearby and was trying to help Regina to sit. If she did, Colleen would sit with her. "Those fellahs friend o' yers?" An upnod to the men arriving to help.

Reggie looked at the sudden arrival and she knew instantly who they were. She could only nod..The lump in her throat so big there was no chance for words to slip past. She sat down as directed..her face pale. The shock was starting to set in it seemed.

Between Ranch Hands, Firefighters and Volunteers the remaining parts of the smoldering upstairs of the building and its roof were being contained. It wouldn't be long before a paramedic dragged MC out of the front of the building. Ash covered, though it was hard to tell from the black hoodie and jeans he wore, he would gladly accept the respirator from the back of the Ambulance as he stared at the ground.

She reached to put an arm around Regina's shoulders. Her voice lowered, "Look around fer a minute. In the midst o' the chaos 'n' destruction, people are here because they care about you. I'm damned glad ya weren't in there when it blew."

The chief approached Reggie then, his hat in his hands. "You Miss Wellston?" He looked to Colleen for confirmation when Reggie didn't respond right away.

She nodded to the chief. "She is Miss Wellston."

He nodded his thanks. "Looks like it was arson ma'am..They used some bottles and rags..Threw em through the back windows." He held some shards of glass and what was left of a smoldering rag. "I'll be sending you my full report for insurance." He nodded to the two ladies. "Sure sorry, but at least all of your employees made it out safe eh?" He turned and shuffled off.
Silent tears fell down Reggie's cheeks. It was her fault..Someone could have died because of her! She moaned and covered her face with her hands as a new round of anguished sobs came from her.


Morgan pulled the Oxygen mask from his face as he would gladly take a bottle of water and just dump it onto himself, before throwing it away in a half dejected, half angered way. Watching the plastic bottle skip and hop its way down the street as he would bring a hand down his face.

She wasn't going to tell Reggie to not cry, but she would hold onto her and let her cry it out.

She was thankful for Colleen's presence but she had to see..She sat up and wiped her tears away furiously. She watched the chaos that was still going on. The ranch hands as they started hauling out smoldering lumber and the fire fighters as they were rolling up the hoses. Smoke still drifted from the back of the building but the fire was indeed out. She looked to Morgan and was at least reassured he was okay. She didn't know how bad the damage was but she knew it would be more than she could afford.

Morgan was there. Hard to tell if he was okay exactly, as his gaze had fallen right into a state between rage and absolutely and utter calm. Something that she knew was dangerous for him to even be in, though his hands were around his phone shooting off a few texts to calm down some anxious people who had heard the sirens from afar.

She would stay close in case Regina needed her support. "Here if ya need me, lass." It was unspoken, but Collie knew all too well that, sometimes, one needed to to what they needed to do.

Luna shoots off some texts quickly, glad both her and Kairi kept their phones charged and on hand, before kneeling with the kid and just hugging her close, she was here, she could have stopped this...

It seemed no one was going in there any time soon. There were enough men there to get the majority of it cleaned out it seemed. "Thank you.." Her tone was full of defeat but she was trying her best to get her emotions under control.

Morgan knew that logo all too well, and it caused his head to lift and give a weak nod to Collie. Even if dockside had its problems, the Emergency services there was always trying to do their best and he respected that. Exhaling he would stand and slowly make his way towards Reggie.

She nodded back to Morgan.

She watched him come towards her and her bottom lip quivered. What were they going to do now?

Morgan would just wrap his arms around Reggie, holding her for a moment and nod. "Im going to clean up for a bit, then Atiea wants to know im safe." His tone flat, before he looked her in the eyes. There was a resounding stubbornness in the delinquents gaze, before he turned and accepted a pair of gloves from one of the ranch hands, and delved in to clean up the mess.

She returned his hug, clinging for just a moment but then letting him go. She knew he would do what he needed to do to make him feel in some sort of control of the situation. She watched him walk away and she closed her eyes. She was going to have to cancel the fight..And that thought had a tight laugh to slip past her lips. It was either laugh or cry..Reggie was trying her best to keep it together.

Collie's mind was clicking away, her expression was thoughtful. "Rebuildin' will take time." She looked to Regina. "Ya are rebuildin', aren't ya?"

"I...don't know..We've had to use the insurance so much already..." There was no more insurance money. The fight was supposed to help them get by until the next event.

Morgan was already on his first run out through the front, two large bags of debris holding in either hand. "We will find a way Reggie." He stated in a simple way as he passed. "Ill do bakesales and put in the rest of my savings if I have to."

"MM.... " She frowned as she looked things over. "I have some ideas if ya want ta hear 'em. That fight, fer instance, when was it scheduled?"

An image of Morgan in an apron and chef hat sprang to mind and she shook her head as a watery smile was flashed his way.

She grinned as she heard Morgan. "See, he's a good friend."

She looked to Colleen and couldn't help but wonder why they hadn't gotten to know each other better before now. "July fifteenth." It was a little over a month away. The ballroom couldn't be ready in time.

For now, the Chae would go to work, until he physically could not make himself carry anymore Debris, and then some. Eventually taking a moment to slip away off to Atiea's to sleep.

"There are a couple options. Conner Reid runs a place called The Hold, ya could ask 'im about havin' it there. Ya could have it over in Dragon's Gate, on the grounds o' the Observatory Complex."
"If it helps ta get Conner ta agree, tell 'im Nicole's Bistro will cater. The other has a cafe in the buildin'."


She probably wouldn't remember all of those suggestions, but she was thankful to Colleen for helping her to try to focus on something else for the moment. "You think you could write all those down for me or possibly send the information over a text?" Where ever the fight was hosted, it had to be big enough for a fire giant!

"Give me yer number!" Collie grinned and pulled out her phone.

Reggie rattled her new phone number off to Collie then..And searched the crowd for the Cowboy. She was amazed at how quickly he had arranged for his men to get here. They, along with Morgan, were making short work of getting the majority of the debris out of the building. Tirelessly climbing up and down the stairs to take out load after load of burnt lumber and glass and everything else that had burned to the frame upstairs.

She plugged in the numbers into her phone. She couldn't help but notice how the Cowboy and his crew had made some semblance of order among the chaos.

"Thank you Colleen." Reggie really meant it. They had just been having such a great time on the beach and now...their night had taken a very sour turn.

"Yer welcome, Regina... ya like bein' called Reggie, better?"

She grinned then. "Most folks call me Reggie." Still able to get that little tagline out there even if that smile didn't reach her eyes.

"Reggie it is." Collie smiled warmly.

[color=#8000FFGarm walks back over to Luna and nuzzles her, Luna casting her gaze over the rest of her family, the bear, wolf and her kid, “We should find somewhere to sleep and shower... ideally somewhere... free...” Luna sighs getting up, voice quiet enough only the kid could hear, “Reggie we’re going to get some sleep, if you want I can come by tomorrow to help clean up.” She calls over, knowing anywhere she went emergency intake would be hard]


Reggie looked towards Luna and she nodded. "We'll have to come back in the morning and see the full spectrum of the damage." Her heart lurched just thinking about what she would see once the light of day played upon the scorched building.

After some time of coordinating his men, he and the tall lanky man parted, and he headed back toward the two women, raking a hand through that lightly salted thick hair of his. A smudge of black married his ruddy cheek, and sweat glistened on his furrowed brow. He cleared his throat, and approached, carefully.

Luna smiles a little at her, “We’ll see how bad it is in the morning, and I’ll do whatever I can to help...”

"I'll make sure the food truck is by here, tomorrow, fer the clean up crew." She paused a moment. "Reggie, did ya have an apartment in there?" Some people lived in or near their businesses.

Reggie's eyes lifted to J.J. and she took in his appearance. Her eyes worried as they roamed over him as if making sure he wasn't inured. She had pulled so many people into this mess it seemed. Collie was asking her a question and she looked over to her. "I had just recently given my apartment to Luna.." Which was the apartment the bottles had been tossed into. "I have a room at The Perch."

"Then a place ta stay is in order. Old Market, up on the West Side, they should have room."

"Thank you again Collie..For everything." She gave the woman another hug. Then she pulled away and stood up to close the distance to J.J. She stopped just in front of him, and looked up at him. "Thank you." Her eyes were welling again.

"Look fer the Urgent Care building, the shelter is underground."

Again, he cleared his throat. "I, uh... I have room. In case where yer goin' don't work out. Plenty of room for, uh... all o ya."


She returned the hug. "I need ta go. Ya need anythin', m'number's in that list."

She searched his face for a moment..then she smiled over to Collie. "I'll see you tomorrow." A fast friendship formed out of tragedy usually meant a good and strong one.

"Night, J. J." She had heard his name.

He gave a small smile down to Regina, and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. "I'd like ta think youda done the same." He looked to Collie, then. "Will ya be needin' a ride, ma'am?"

"I'm fine, thanks. I have a couple newborns ta look in on. I'll catch a ride wit' one o' the medics."]


A nod was given, and he tipped his hat. "You stay safe, then."

She didn't pull away when he put his hand on her shoulder..In fact, she might have leaned into him a bit more but she was watching Collie leave.

She had a brief chat with a medic before getting into the truck. A wave to those remaining and she was gone.

When Collie had left, he took the moment of calm to pull Regina for a comforting embrace with one arm. "You're gonna be alright. You can rebuild, okay?" Hollow words, he knew... but he had to say them. Had to pull the sting, somehow.

She just folded into the embrace, seeking comfort for a brief moment before she took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I'm sorry." Surely this is not how he expected this night to end.

Luna and Kairi get up, their animals with them, and slowly make their way to the shelter

He wasn't sure how he'd expected the night to end, really. Maybe not in a fire, but... certainly he hadn't expected much at all. He patted her back, and looked over to the ones that had essentially lost their homes. "You said you're stayin' at the Perch, right? Best not ta walk.

She nodded...still looking at the smoldering building. "Probably right." The words came out woodenly. She wouldn't be getting much sleep tonight, but the thought of crawling into bed and burrowing under the covers pulled at her. She just wanted to go to sleep and wake up with all of this being a dream.

He sighed, and started moving toward the truck, guiding her gently away from the scene. "If'n yer friends need ta get anywhere..." he began, and he ticked up a motion to the tall lanky older man, who gave a nod. "I'll have Jimmy hang around a while."

She looked to Luna and Kairi.."If he could give them a ride?" She let him guide her, not trusting herself to not run into the building to see the damage for herself still.
Once they were at his truck, she opened the door and climbed in without a word. Settling into the seat she waited for him to climb in and drive them away.


Luna and Kairi get a ride to the shelter, the two riding in silence and going to find sleep, Iris in the necklace, Garm in bed with Luna, though periodically checking on Kairi.

JJ helped Regina in without a word, and turned the engine over in silence... and off they went, down the road. Not quite as fast as they'd arrived.
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Regina Wellston
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Re: Tranquility-Reawakening

Post by Regina Wellston » Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:41 pm

It was a new day, the same as any other when Reggie noticed the parcel sitting in the mail slot for the room she was renting at the Golden Perch. A small box, addressed directly to Regina Wellston and the room she had been occupying since she’d moved out of Tranquility. There was no return address and the package, small enough to just shove into any old mailbox, looked to have been delivered by the Rhy’Din postal service.

Taking the package back up to her room she found no indications who could have been the sender which only made it seem very suspicious. After a bit of hemming and hawing though she finally opened up the package and dumped out what was inside.

Out came a black leather belt, studded with steel pyramid studs tarnished with flecks of rust, a small baggie with a couple of red gel cap pills inside, and a letter written in a hand she knew all too well:

Peaches,

Don’t forget to practice, wouldn’t want to be a worthless burden on anyone.

Your Love



* * * * *


“Again.”

Reggie’s fingers faltered at the off beat command, out of place in the song but so very familiar now. A few stagehands milled about, doing last minute preps and checks for the show that night as Marc leaned against her piano, threatening to scratch the wood with his metal studded belt. And pushing up against him was a pretty young redhead that had shown up to the club the week prior with a guitar on their back wanting to ‘join the band.’ They’d stuck to him like glue and had taken every opportunity to snub her as if she were the fan of the day.

Flexing fingers against the tension that crawled up her spine she pasted that pretty smile on her lips. “What was wrong this time?”

Something he whispered into the girls ear made her giggle as he flashed her a dismissive look of disgust. “What wasn’t wrong with it?” The girl bubbled with laughter only rubbing dirt on her humiliation. “Your playing was all over the place and it clashed against my singing.”

It clashed against his singing because he didn’t keep tempo! Fingers flexed once more over the smooth surface of the keys, digging into her palms. “I’m… sorry. I’ll try to follow your lead better.”She managed to bite back the other words she wanted to say.

“Good.” He snorted, shaking his head. “And put some soul into it. Seriously, you’d think you were playing for a high school band and not the rising star of music. I swear you’d be hopeless without me.”

Bile rose in her throat as she bowed her head slightly to the sharp criticism. “Sorry.” Tamping down her emotions her fingers uncurled and settled back on the keys. A deep breath, and she set into those keys again pouring herself into the piano, into the song she’d written.

“Stop!” It wasn’t even a minute in before the angry word tripped her up once more, gaze snapping up to Marc’s sneer. “Seriously! Are you purposely trying to make us, to make me look bad!? That was the worst take yet!”

She felt herself shrinking at the angry words. “I didn’t… I’m not-”

“Why don’t we just drop her babe! She obviously ain’t got no talent!” The woman grinding herself against Marc’s hips piped up with a mockery of a dixie drawl.

He shrugged innocently. “What can I say, I’m a soft touch like that.” His smile was as sweet and sincere as an alligator’s but the girl seemed to eat it up, leaning into him as they squealed.

The scene made Reggie’s stomach churn, her gaze averting away from the exchange of soft chuckles and flirty titters. She watched her fingers flex nearly as white as the keys of the piano, the image appealing in a way but her attention quickly snapped to the movement of the girl as they pushed away from Marc.

“I bet I could play it right! Shove over!” She watched as the girl came around, shooing her away from her piano as they reached out of the keys.

Something inside just snapped, with an ugly twang like a breaking guitar string, as she swiftly moved and snapped the fallboard down nearly catching the girls fingers. “NO!” Her voice rang out with fierce determination. She’d kill her before she’d put her filthy hands on her baby.

The redhead yelped, snatching their fingers back as they shot her a look of indignant disbelief. “That bitch tried to break my fingers! Marc! She just tried to break my fingers!”

Her short moment of revelry quickly paled as her angry gaze turned now to Marc, his handsomely cut features frozen in a cold mask though she could see the fire in his eyes. Instantly she regretted what she had done, her eyes falling down to her frail looking fingers. “I-I didn’t mean t-to… I… I’m sorry I-”

“Peaches…” Reggie felt a cold chill run up her spine as her stomach dropped hearing the chill on that term of ‘endearment.’ “Come with me, we gotta talk.”

No… No! Her breath grew shallow, ragged as the sound of her heart hammered in her ears. She didn’t mean to… she wasn’t thinking… she had to get away. Her thoughts raced and yet she remained perfectly frozen on the bench, not even a flinch as Marc’s nails dug angrily into her arm.

Without so much as a struggle she let herself be led back to one of the backstage individual bathrooms that were little more than a toilet, a sink, and a mirror. Pushing her inside she watched as her last hope of escape pushed shut behind the man, the click of the bolt lock like thunder. She dare not look up at those dusky brown eyes less she seem wilful, her gaze fixating on the floor at her feet as her hands folded in.

“What the hell do you think you were doing…?” His voice shook in it’s restraint. For her part she didn’t give any kind of answer because she knew talking back would only make things worse.

“I asked what the hell do you think you were doing!?” A yelp escaped her as he grabbed a fistful of hair, yanking her toward him before he flung her to the floor. She hit the cold tiles with a soft, gangly splat; her wire thin frame lacking the heft for a more pronounced sound.

“I didn’t mean to…” A metallic jingle, so distinct and familiar, silenced her as a lump rose in her throat. Already she felt herself curling up. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to.” The metal studs made a soft sound like a ratchet as they passed through his belt loops, losing the strip of leather from around his waist.

There was barely the sound of effort as he raised the belt up high before whipping it down into her, the metal biting into her back bringing an agonized cry from her mouth. The second bloom of studded pain, more vigorous than the first reminded her that Marc loved it when she cried out in pain. But this was nothing compared to when he… played with her… back at their loft. And so she covered her mouth, muffled her tortured sobs as Marc beat her.

“Don’t you dare embarrass me like that again!” Crack. “Who do you think you are, huh?” Crack. “Who do you think you’d be without me!” Crack. “I’ll tell you what, nothing you’d be nothing without me!” Crack. “You think you’d be something without me? Is that it!?” Crack.

Again and again that belt came down, cotton shirt and flesh itself giving way to the brutal assault. He took out all his anger, all his pent up frustrations out on her as she cowered. For her part she tried to hide in her thoughts though even these betrayed her. She shouldn’t have snapped the fallboard closed. She shouldn’t have been angry at the girl. She should have played better. The thoughts swam in Reggie’s mind, mixed and mired with the thunderclaps of pain that rocked her until finally the beating stopped leaving only the feel of hot blood dribbling down her back matching the hot tears that streamed from clenched eyes.

“So God damn worthless. Can’t you do anything? Here, you finish this up…” Through the throbbing thrum of her racing pulse rushing in her ear came the sound of metal striking ceramic as he tossed the belt down before her.

Cautiously she opened her eyes, spying the wicked strap before her, a confused look shot up only to find a cruel grin twisting those roguishly handsome features. “You heard me, finish it up.

She looked back to the steel studded belt, the metal flecked with blood both fresh and old enough to look like chic rust though she knew better. Cautiously she pried white fingers away from her mouth, reaching out as though the belt itself would come to life and strike her like a viper. Once more she felt sick to her stomach as she followed along with what he said. But did she have to? A nasty shadow scraped deep within, rolling as it called for her to take the belt and lash out not at herself… but him? The notion seemed almost absurd and yet she couldn’t help but huddle around it as though it were the only warmth left within her. Maybe she could strike back? She could fight her way out, scream for help, get away? Maybe she could be free? The thoughts kept clamouring, fighting with the loathing that told her to simply obey. She hesitated, her fingers quivering as they held just back from that black leather, the moment stretching.

“Fucking worthless…” And like that the spell was broken as he reached down and snagged back his belt. “God, what would you do without me.” Tsking pityingly he straightened up and turned about, turning on the sink to rinse off his belt before drying it off.

“You know Peaches, you’re lucky to have me. Because you’d be so fucking worthless otherwise…” Feeding the studded leather belt back around his waist, he buckled it once more before digging something out of his pocket which he threw down in front of her. A small baggie with two pills inside - pills that helped one forget. “Clean yourself up and practice that song again. I don’t want you fucking up our show tonight.” And with that he flipped the bolt on the door, swinging it open only to pause on the way out. “You know, I love you Peaches.” He smiled back at her, a pleased look on his face as he admired his work one last time before he let the door slam shut behind him leaving her to shudder and sob on the floor.

She wouldn’t reappear from backstage for another half hour, fresh and clean with a baggy hoodie now worn fetched from one of the trunks. Wearily she pulled herself up to the bar, a wave over to the barkeep.

“You okay Reggie?” The large man gave her a concerned look as he brought over a water.

She was so not okay as she smiled sheepishly. “Yeah… something I ate didn’t agree with me.”

“I see.” The man looked her over once more. “Marc did say you weren’t feeling well.” They shook their head dispelling whatever thoughts may have been brewing. “He said he was going to go show Melody around the loft, said you were going to keep practicing?”

Her jaw clenched as she heard that, the glass of water accepted thankfully pausing as she fished out that baggie of pills. She stared at them for a long moment, angry that she hadn’t just flushed them and that she’d taken them with her. Angry still as she popped open the seal, the pills thrown back and chased with the entirety of that glass of water.

She coughed, wincing as the movement aggravated the angry flesh of her back though her smile remained. “Well...the show must go on.” Setting the glass down she pushed away and walked back towards the stage, back to her piano to try molding her song for him one more time.



********************

She fought back the sob that rose to her throat as the memory finally started to fade and the room around her came back into view. She stared at the belt that lay coiled on the bed before her as if that snake would spring to life and continue it’s torture on her.

For a long moment she simply stared, lost within the fog of memories and the dark shadows in her mind that threatened to cloud the happiness she had found. With a tortured scream, she flung the belt from the bed and listened as it landed on the floor with a heavy thud. Once the offending thing was moved, she fell onto the bed in a pile of tears and scars, the musician had taken so many positive steps forward recently and now, with one little box, she was possibly erasing all of those steps. She curled into that form she had taken so many times and hugged her knees to her chest. It would be the way she would stay for the rest of the day, maybe even a few days. The musician wouldn’t be missed that much right?
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Regina Wellston
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Re: Tranquility-Reawakening

Post by Regina Wellston » Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:32 am

She had gone to the one person she thought she would never drag into this. He had insisted she stay at the ranch and the look in his steely eyes had told her there would be no arguments. Even Morgan had sided with him! So she spent her days mixed with helping Gran about the house and spending time with the horses to making the trek to Tranquility so that she and Morgan could continue planning for the fight that was just a few weeks away.

But today she was determined to get something done. Something she hadn't done for months it seemed.

The song had been working it's way through her mind for days. The haunting melody badgering her until she had taken the time to write down some of the notes on a piece of scrap paper. Today was no different than the others and she was desperate to get more of it down so instead of taking just some apples out to the barn, she brought her keyboard with her.

The horses had loved it when she had brought her guitar and so she had discovered where JJ had spent most of his time song writing. Smiling, she headed into the barn and started greeting all the horses with that sing song tone they had come to know.

"Good morning lovelies." Only once she had the keyboard set up on its stand and plugged in did she go back and give each and every one of them a little bit of affection. "Soon I wont be here every morning and you all will have to learn to be nicer to your daddy hmm?" She laughed as Achilles gave her a nudge with his nose as if to silence her. Giving him a good pat down, she moved over to the keyboard and settled on a crate in front of it. Soon enough the haunting notes started to play through out the barn, the rafters serving her purpose well with the acoustics they provided.She closed her eyes and let the words come unbidden. Her voice soft but still able to be heard over the notes she played on the keys. It was a wonder she didn't perform her own songs, but performing for horses was much less intimidating than performing for a whole crowd!

How can you see into my eyes like open doors?
Leading you down, into my core
Where I've become so numb, without a soul
My spirit's sleeping somewhere cold
Until you find it there, and lead it, back, home


She sang the words as if she'd sang them a thousand times over and not just once like she was now.

Wake me up inside
Wake me up inside
Call my name and save me from the dark
Bid my blood to run
Before I come undone
Save me from the nothing I've become


She paused, just to scribble something down on that crumpled sheet of paper. Her chest rising and falling with a quickened breath as she delved into the musician's mind and fought the darker emotions that were bubbling to the surface.

Now that I know what I'm without
You can't just leave me
Breathe into me and make me real
Bring me to life


She let her fingers have their freedom over the keys. The song forming long before the words are even making their way from her lips. She was here, but she wasn't. Part of her was walking through a fog filled path in her mind, as if she were on the verge of finding a ray of light that would help her escape.

Frozen inside, without your touch
Without your love, darling
Only you are my life
Among the dead


Where she would put a guitar solo eventually, she now turned into a piano solo. Fingers flew over the ivories, but in her mind, she could hear the other instruments joining in. She smiled at the way it sounded sweeping through the barn and even the way some of the horses seemed to bob their heads up and down as if they agreed with her.

I've been sleeping a thousand years it seems
Got to open my eyes to everything
Don't let me die here
Bring, me, to, life
Wake me up inside
Wake me up inside
Call my name and save me from the dark
Bid my blood to run
Before I come undone
Save me from the nothing I've become


Bring me to life

The song came to an abrupt end and she sat there dumbfounded. Simply staring at the keys as if they had grown an appendage. It happened that way with her. The song would be pulled from somewhere she didn't know and she would end up surprised with the result. But this one...she knew where it was coming from and it worried her. Was she sinking to fast? How had that happened? How was she ever going to walk away from this?
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