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Pablo

Closing Time

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oOo5rcG.gif Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end
Sunday morning. A new day starts and, at "Sirens", the party is over until Tuesday. All those men who threw their hard earned money to the first pair of boobs in sight, must be now walking through the doors of their respective houses, choosing which lie they are telling their wives this time to explain their whereabouts. If only the club could talk... Olympia's high society would fall apart, with the only protected ones being those in the owner's, Jack Forrester, good graces. Objectively, said list of people is quite short, in fact, there is only one person that Jack really appreciated: Dawson Clarke.

Funnily enough, no one could ever imagine how close their relationship is, even watching them stand in the same room. On one side you have Jack, the homeless man who appeared in Olympia with a questionable past; on the other, you have Dawson, the perfect reflection of success and loved by absolutely everyone... In a normal world, people like them would never even speak to the other. But Olympia never was a common place; and lately, it has become even more strange than it already was.

But coming back to "Sirens", just like every Sunday morning, Jack is the last person to leave the club, but the previous night was too chaotic for him to really do so. ven though he knew he had an important commitment to attend early in the morning, it has been impossible for him to get through the night without drinking. Let's say that, then, one thing led to the other, and the last thing he remembered was getting into his office with two friends at 4:30 A.M. and... that's it. He had been awake for awhile, but decided to stay in the coach with his eyes closed, not wanting to confront what he would find once he decides to finally get up. When the moment came, he quickly remembered what happened; it wasn't difficult to do so, it only took a look around and a touch of imagination. With their backs against the sofa, a man and a woman where sleeping in their underwear; just like Jack, surrounded by approximately eight or nine empty bottles of alcohol. "Get the fuck up." The owner says shaking both people's arms, causing them to start reacting to his words. Also in his underwear, Jack walks towards his desk taking a look at the calendar. Th eday finally arrived, and "he" is about to arrive just to find him almost naked in his office with two strangers. Not that "he" would be surprised, but Jack promised he would be ready to receive him, and right now, he isn't even close to that. "ARE YOU DEAF? I want you both out of here NOW!" Shouts to his "guests" causing them to abruptly wake up and get ready to leave, not understanding what happened, only acting by instinct. Ignoring whatever they were doing, Jack opened his wardrobe and takes the suit he brought the day before to get dressed as fast as possible. As soon as he has his shirt, pants and shoes on; Jack leaves the office, not without sending one last message to the two people still trying to find their clothes.  "The back door is right there; that's where you two will leave if you don't want to have a problem." Expecting his words to be clear enough, Jack leaves the office, closing the door behind him to head back to his favourite place of the club, tha bar.

As he demanded from day one to his bartenders; the stage, the bar and the dance floor are already clean and ready for the next night. But most imporantly, it is ready for Jack to have breakfast. Uncomfortable with the early lights of the morning, Jack puts his sunglasses on and gets into the bar, taking the first bottle he finds.  "Good morning Jack." Says to himself filling his glass with... WKD? Reading the label while pouring the drink, Jack shrugs indifferent to whatever that drink was, as long as it has some alcohol. More relaxed than ten minutes ago, when he though he was late for the meeting, he takes a look at his clock, "he" is about to arrive. In the meantime, he lights a cigarette, throwing its ashes to the floor and looking at the club. That place made him somewhat happy for years, gave him enough money to live a very comfortable life, power to protect himself from any problem he could have in the future... But lately, something was missing for him. He didn't really know what it was, but from a few weeks ago, he knew that something needed to change in that club or, maybe, in his life. Enjoying his "breakfast" and deep in his thoughts, the front door suddenly opens, letting all the light enter surrounding the figure of the man who opened it. "Close that door before my head explodes, please."
MONTY
@Mariah.
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oOo5rcG.gif Time for you to go out into the world
"That's not quite the greeting I'd expect from a good friend of mine, especially on the morning of his loving mother's funeral," Dawson criticizes with the mask of his magnetic smile glued on, the costume still lacking the ability to hide the current coldness and sorrow behind his green eyes. The sound of his heavy, patent leather dress shoes knock against the fine flooring of 'Sirens' as he'd emerge through the fluorescent glows and shadows. He hadn't been here in quite some time, he recalls while scouring through the modern renovations with a sliver of admiration. Once upon a midnight dreary, this was his primary domain within his "underworld". However, with the venue's rapidly ballooning popularity and the Olympia criminal world finding its way into waking hours, it could no longer be a discreet locale; one used to maintain the celebrity's starkly contrasted double life.

On both sides—the dark and the light—Dawson was royalty. Such recognition meant he had to be more delicate with his corruption. As a result, his relationship with Jack also strained and withered away. These days, the pair were almost strangers, only continuing contact so Dawson could keep his finger on the "underworld's" pulse, without maintaining a constant presence. Jack was his second in command, and he was quite fine in the role. But alas: the monarch had returned again, if only for a brief engagement with a familiar.

Dawson's face imbued the pleasures of this reunion, a much needed distraction from the day's current itinerary. Ironically, the activities he and his confidante were known to partake in would draw great disapproval from the matron Clarke, if she were still able to open her eyes. While some regret would brew in him over his disrespect to his late mother's values on the day of her burial, laying her to rest days before his birthday brought on far too much anguish to simply bear without his sinful indulgences.

"Lucky for you, I'm not too concerned with the formalities. I just need a hard fucking drink or some pills before the press and paparazzi find me. That's the only way I'm going to make it through this goddamn public address."
MONTY 
@Pablo
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oOo5rcG.gif Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end
Watching him approach the bar counter, Jack smiles taking the same bottle he used a few minutes ago to fill another glass. "Wow... I guess this is how the "sirens" feel like when a client comes in." Jokes still with the cigarette consuming between his lips. "Is this drink the only thing you need to feel better sweetheart?" Says imitating the high-pitched voice of one of the hundreds of women who served drinks behind that counter, followed by a chuckle. That joke was one of those that he could only make to Dawson, since he probably is one of the few people who really know how far those women are allowed to go for the right amount of money.

"Dawson Clarke, you disappoint me. Do you really want to be high during your own mother's funeral?" Smiling again, the owner of Sirens hands him the drink, letting some smoke out of his mouth while talking. "Because I am all for it." Taking the cigarette between his fingers, Jack uses his free hand to look for those pills Dawson was talking about in his pockets. He finally finds a small plastic bag where the pills used to be... until the night before. Pretending he didn't even find the bag, Jack puts both hands on the  counter again, ruling out his own idea. "I was joking. I am not letting you do such a horrible thing, you have an image to maintain."

Jokes aside, it was obvious that Dawson wasn't going through good times. Of course he was trying to hide it behind the mask he was so used to put on for the people, but it wasn't working with Jack. "Now seriously, you must be going through a lot of shit right now. Did your whole family arrive yet?" After the question, Jack puts the cigarette once again in his mouth, noticing it already burned out. Lighting another one, he stares at Dawson, thinking about the time he went through the same situation. Well... Dawson probably loved his mother more than Jack loved his, in fact, he probably wasn't involved in her death like Jack was. "If they get on your nerves tell them to come here. The family of the main investor always get a free dance, that's the rule." Jokes once again, but this time the joke isn't accompanied by a laugh. Mainly, because he knew how that kind of people act. It didn't matter how rich, famous, influential or powerful they were; they always had a dark side or a secret to hide, and the perfect example was drinking right in front of him. Dawson was the living incarnation of that, but for some reason Jack never disliked him, on the contrary, he could understand him better than the own Dawson could imagine.
MONTY
@Mariah.
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oOo5rcG.gif Time for you to go out into the world
"Well," Dawson chuckles and shrugs his heavy brows, before swallowing a pool of hard liquor, the liquid burning the scars which he was left to bear before his confidante. "Let's just say I doubt I'll have anyone willing to take you up on that offer. I've never particularly been close to my mother's side of the family, and my sweet younger brother would find more entertainment in watching me hang to death." His jaw locks into a clench while he ground his teeth into dust, and watched it blow into the distance with blank eyes.

As Jack stares curiously at Dawson, Dawson's mind only further wandered into reflection over his odd existence. Never before had he felt this lonely and empty, as though he'd been cast off to live in solitary, bitter darkness for eternity. Perhaps that's what his recent nightmares and hallucinations had been symbolizing? That his soul was being suffocated by the reality that he had no one else to live for or care for besides himself, and the personification of his wishes and desires. Maybe this is what he deserved? That after all the crimes he's committed, it was time for his own sentencing and punishment? Maybe he, the judge, was meant to live this way? But for all the cynicism he currently held, he's reminded that at the very least he still had his kingdom to keep him company and feed his hunger for a "family". He was, afterall, still the prince; an internationally recognized and revered celebrity figure. And, of course, he was still the secret ruler of the criminal underworld, presiding over souls as empty and lost as his own, who rely on him to give them life.

Driving back toward the spoken topic, Dawson continues confessing his lighter troubles to his friend. He was now brotherless, which he wasn't as willing to accept was his own doing. From his perspective, Ethan was always selfish, ungrateful and coddled.  "I tried to mend fences between he and I, but within minutes we were back at it, throwing daggers and coming to literal blows. I think I'm just coming to realize that as far as my bloodline is concerned, I don't really have any family left..."
MONTY 
@Pablo
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oOo5rcG.gif Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end
The attitude showed by Dawson was almosr as inusual as Jack being awake so early in the morning. Through the years, Jack had de the opportunity to observe Dawson in very different stages of his life: the rise to prominence, his increasing popularity in Olympia, the hard work he put to get everything he had... but never knew how deep his issues with his family really were. "Is that a problem?" Regarding family advice, Jack would be the last person someone wouls want to hear, but in his mind, it was the total opposite. From his experience, the sole purpose of the institution of the family was to blind its own members, and the only people who could see that are those who, just like Jack, got rid of them a long time ago. "Through history some of the most brilliant men and women were born in families incapable of get it. Call it jealousy, overprotection or whatever you want; but some of them did amazing things with their lives thanks to their brilliance... and the others let their family get in their way." Between his words, Jack could notice how Dawson's glass was getting empty, which resulted in the owner of Sirens filling it once again.

"Look how far you have come, and that's all on you. The only thing your family did to help was being there when it was benefitial for create. No... I am lying. They also created a bad reputation you had to carry on your back for years" Seconds away to name drop his father as the main example of how harmful his family was, Jack decides to stop and just light another cigarette. If the person in front of him was any other, he wouldn't care about hurting his feelings, but he couldn't do that to Dawson. The wound is still there, it's obvious, and now that his family was falling apart, it would be best to save that conversation for now. "I din't meet your mother, but judging by how hurt you are right now, I am sure she truly cared about you. Do you think she would approve the way your family and your brother are treating you?" Surprised by how quickly the conversation turned serious, he lets all the smoke of the cigarette in, taking a moment to enjoy it and let Dawson think about what he just said. "This is something I've never told anyone, but I have siblings too. At this point I am not sure how many, but I have them. To this day I know absolutely nothing about them, and I wouldn't have it any other way. This is the reason why." Says pointing directly to Dawson, with the cigarette hold between his fingers. "If he wants to see you hang to death, don't give him that satisfaction." In fact, a good option would be to have Dawson's brother hanging to death instead of him, but once again, this wasn't the moment to get into that conversation.
MONTY
@Mariah.
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oOo5rcG.gif Time for you to go out into the world
Dawson always knew Jack's loyalty to him to be unyielding, but the speech given by his confidante served as a further reminder that he wasn't all alone; that in his found family within the underworld he presided over, he had people who did care deeply for him, despite the few who've turned their backs. Often inaccurately perceived as a greedy, narcissistic leader, Dawson thought himself to be simply misunderstood, wanting more than just to lord his power and cast final judgement as though he was the Messiah. His alternate desire was to covet the foundation of the family he felt robbed of. That, made evident in his support, was Jack's primary role. Not only did he trust Jack with the throne in his absences, but he also entrusted Jack with his life, his happiness, his welfare and prosperity. Jack was family—the brother he no longer had.

Oddly, however, the intuitive monarch always sensed more from this 'brother'. Jack's words felt beyond simply nurturing, just through the look in his eyes; one of an eternal longing. This truth was something that was noticed for the years they'd known each other; the touches would often linger, the words drawn out as though something was eating through his beating heart and weakening his body. But Dawson had to ignore what he sensed to be a different type of love, respect and admiration from his peer, for he didn't feel Jack deserved his rejection. He didn't deserve to know any potential feelings were unrequited. And part of him wanted to ensure Jack's loyalty, by not leaving him heartbroken and scorned, like the long list of persons who were caught by the prince's own charm, seductive nature and physical appeal. A list which didn't include one Nathaniel Devereaux, who Dawson knowingly left out of his series of grievances while confessing to his right hand. Such knowledge of dejection over a romantic interest might warrant an undesirable, lethal reaction from Jack. And if Dawson were to get revenge on his former lover, things must remain quiet and meticulously planned. The vengeance of the prince was often pernicious.

"He's already satisfied, I'm sure," Dawson retorts. Despite the speech being well-meaning, it had little effect at the moment. Tears slowly stream down his pointed cheek as he continues to softly speak, his voice trembling while he tries to maintain his stoic and poise public nature. He takes another mouthful of his drink. "I'm broken now. I feel fucking empty. But also so filled with rage. But if I show it, he'd be proven right that I'm a cruel, heartless monster. And the world would see it as well."
MONTY 
@Pablo
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oOo5rcG.gif Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end
"Maybe you feel empty because there is nothing in Olympia that makes you feel alive." Or maybe there is something, but he didn't want to share it. It wouldn't be surprising, because as much as they had always trust each other, Jack and Dawson never shared a lot of details of their private lifes, which on the other side, wasn't neccesary at all. The point is that now more than ever, what Dawson needed was to hear the truth, and Jack always felt like a specialist on saying it and even more with this topic of conversation. He knows exactly how that "emptiness" felt, havinh lived in his own skin how exasperating it was to wake up every morning looking forward to absolutely nothing. "Once all of this is over you should leave. Not forever, but you know, just travel and have fun in a country where no one knows who the fuck you are." Internally, Jack knew that Dawson was aware of what the solution to his problems really was, leaving his mask behind. It should be exahusting, and that's exactly why Jack had never envied Dawson's position in both the "underworld" and his daily life. Since leaving his house a long time ago, he had decided to quit faking and not let other people have control over his life, directly or indirectly. Dawson's got it, and always let him total freedom to do what he wanted, as long as he got the job done. That worked for years, but it was starting to change thanks to that brother that even Jack was starting to dislike.

For the first time since Dawson arrived, Jack takes off his sunglasses and rubs his eyes. "And yeah, you are a monster. But don't think the other people are better, they just do a better job hiding it." Another topic where Jack had a lot to say about, monsters. Thanks to "Sirens" he met a lot and also dealt with them in a daily basis, bringing him to the final conclusion that none of them was worth his compassion. Right now, the only "monster" he cares about is himself, and he could deal with a lot of shit as long as it doesn't affect himself. And that's exactly the problem, if Dawson wasn't at his one hundred per cent, their bussines wouldn't be either, and he was not letting a stupid spoiled child like Dawson's brother to play with his money like that. He had a few ideas about how to deal with this problem, the only thing he needed was Dawson's approval,which he wouldn't get since their way of approaching these situations were quite different.
MONTY
@Mariah.
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oOo5rcG.gif Time for you to go out into the world
"See, I thought I was pretty good at hiding it. I might even still be. I mean, look at where I am now—undetected—when I have to be at my mother's funeral in a little while," Dawson attempts to jest, curling a miniscule smirk before the weight of his anguish drags his face back into a frown, then scowl, the latter which appears upon reflection of Jack's words. He turns his head toward his confidante, then gazes into his eyes, an act which habitually managed to seduce and inspire all the more devotion in and out of Jack, as history has shown. It was his regular play: leverage the deeper affection known to be beaming from one end, and use it to inspire passion, and thus, a strong reaction or action.

"I think you're absolutely right, though. Everyone in this fucking city is a monster; a sinner. I've seen it myself," as his speech carries through its opening, his intensity and emotion grows, giving reason to why he such a revered, respected leader, and why power in his hands was such a danger to anyone who'd stand against him. He wasn't merely prince—he was a highly respected king. A God among men, he felt. The liquor in his bloodstream begins to conduct the flow, causing the tangent to continue with a harsh growl. "They'd sell their souls to me in a fucking millisecond to have what I have, but everyone wants us to pretend as though they're any different than someone like you. Or someone like me, according to those who claim they know me well. I'm growing exhausted of it. I'm exhausted of having to live out this double life and act as though I should be ashamed of what I do behind clothes doors, while having to be this symbol of virtue and American pride. This pure, All-American heartthrob, who they all dream of taking home to their mother for a slice of apple pie. It's all just a bullshit fantasy, an illusion, a facade. A distraction. There is no truly good person out there. They're a myth; they don't exist. And before someone like my brother positions himself to 'expose' me as a 'monster' and have the world lay judgement upon me, I think... I think we need to hold up their reflection and highlight their hypocrisy. This is my city, after all. Everyone within it is a puppet on a string, likewise with everywhere else. That includes Ethan and when... fucking Christ," he halts abruptly, before placing his aching forehead against his palm and massaging it. His voice buckles, though he tries to withhold further bawling and tears. He'd done enough. "He's so fucking selfish and ungrateful and he's going to destroy everything I've done to restrengthen the Clarke name, on behalf of my mother, and my father. Everything I've built. I wish I could just have him dealt with."
MONTY 
@Pablo
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It was really difficult to say why Dawson's words were having such a deep impact in Jack. Maybe because of that look in his eyes, full of desperation, or maybe because he, more than anyone else, was able to understand what Dawson was going through with his brother. "That's what I wanted to hear. We may be monsters, but unlike everyone else in this city, we have a brain. And that's exactly how we are going to get everything on track again." With a smirk in his face, Jack gets up from his seat and looks for another bottle under the bar counter. "Let's see it as if we were not talking about your brother. How do we usually act when someone appears in our city and tries to challenge our authority?" That situation took place more than once, and through the years both Dawson and Jack became increasingly creative with their ways to solve said problems. From mysterious dissapearances, to unsolved murders or strange "suicides"; both got away with hundreds of crimes thank to their connections and power in the highest levels and the underground.

"I know we are talking about your brother and, even though you hate him now, you don't want him to suffer the same faith all those people went through. But there's other ways to make him disappear, if not forever, for a very long time." Finally, Jack finds one of the most expensive drinks they had on "Sirens", a bottle of Laurent-Perrier, Cuvée Rose Brut directly imported from France. Surprised by the quality of the product, Jack takes a look at the label and nods. "And people say "Sirens" is not an elegant club." With surprising ease, Jack pop the champagne, and serve two glasses while getting back to the original topic. "As I was saying, the solution is in our own hands. The only thing you need to say is how long you want him to be gone, and I will take care of it. Meanwhile, you can find a way to get out of this existential crisis or whatever it is, not having to worry about your brother whereabouts. Maybe his choice of words wasn't very appropiate ,but they knew each other, so Jack was sure that Dawson would have no problems understanding what he really was trying to say. In fact, it was really easy: leave it to me and take all the time you need to get better. That was Dawson's wish, and Jack had absolutely no problem granting it to him. Plus it would be an easy task, since his brother would probably be some kind of spoiled brat, only worried because mommy didn't leave enough money for him to live as a parasite for the rest of his days.
MONTY
@Mariah.
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oOo5rcG.gif Time for you to go out into the world
"No. He's made it clear he has no interest in being a brother of mine. He's no Clarke," the scorned Dawson huffs through his drawn nose. His anguish overbearing, he turns over to Jack and delivers his royal decree, with some regret over the mere thought. "And as such, do whatever you must to keep him out of my hair, permanently." It had to be done. There was no use in pretending the Clarke brotherly bond remained; pretending Ethan wasn't now an enemy. And all enemies had to be dealt with accordingly, what with the guilty verdict.

Appreciative of Jack's love and loyalty, Dawson stares momentarily, then reaches out his hand to stroke against his disciple's cheek. His placed just palm feels the coarse stubble of Jack's beard, and his thumb slides across the seam of his bottom lip, to the outer corner. Then—slowly—he leans in and presses his lips to Jack's, in an ultimate display of affection. With his own mouth, he maneuvers the pair opposite to pry open, for the brief entry of his tongue. But then he backs away just as quick as the pace which he moved forward, with the brief tease. Their lips only molecules apart now, Dawson chose his words—like his actions—carefully. His intent was not to express a repressed love for his faithful right hand man, but rather to utilize the unrequited affection to its absolute potential. To manipulate Jack's fondness with an empty promise of something more. That passion should be enough to ensure success and continued devotion, which he could not bear to lose after all he'd lost already. "I know you won't ever give up on me or fail me. I love you, Jack. You're the last person I can honestly say that to."
MONTY 
@Pablo
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oOo5rcG.gif Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end
Those words were exactly what Jack needed to hear. After a life full of ups and downs, changes and lots of situations he couldn't control, there's nothing Jack hated more than having someone threating to destroy what he had been building for years. "Consider it done." It would be an easy task, he knew it. Just like he knew there were so many ways to make Dawson's brother leave: blackmail, threats, maybe ask some of his "friends" to "scare" him... The possibilities were endless, but the results would always be the same, Ethan would never want to step foot in Olympia again.

In some way, this job was like a breath of fresh air. Lately, owning the club became less stimulating than it once was, in fact, the last few weeks any excuse was good to not have to spend the night at "Sirens". Maybe that was the reason why, everythime he was there, he needed to be drunk, high or having sex while being drunk and high; the pattern used to change based on how he was feeling each night. Now he had a motivation, something he really wanted to do, so he was ready to leave and get the job done, when he felt Dawson's hand slowly stroking against his cheek.

What was he doing? What was that? He always knew how to read that behaviour in other people, but not when it was directed towards him. How should Jack be able to know Dawson's intentions? How someone who never felt love, even from his parents, could tell it apart from what it really was? Maybe Dawson was right and, at the end of the day, they only had each other. To seal this idea, Dawson pressed his lips against Jack's, prompting the owner of "Sirens" to get even more confused about how he should feel about Dawson. "I... appreciate that." From someone like Jack, that's the best answer he could give after being shown any kind of genuine affection. But that was another good thing about Dawson, he knew it. He didn't need anything more than that to know that Jack would be there, whatever he needed or whatever happened. "Let's get this over with." Jack says leaving his empty glass in the counter, refeering to both the funeral and Jack's job; and holding Dawson's hand in the meantime, trying to let his body language say what his mouth couldn't. "They can't stop us."
MONTY
@Mariah.
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oOo5rcG.gif Time for you to go out into the world
Dawson raises Jack's hand to his mouth, and stamps his lips to his friend's knuckles as a further gesture of gratitude. It was nice to be certain that he'd never leave his side. For the funeral, however, Dawson had to stand alone, before a sea of people who believed in his facade of pride, happiness, success and glory. He had to represent the wilting last petal of the American beauty—his American beauty—which had fallen, leaving behind only a trail of blood-drawing thorns. It was almost sick the way his mother's death was being paraded, and that there were millions who yearned to see him mourn or wanted to mourn themselves as though they knew her. That's the hypocritical nature he was referring to: they were all selfish monsters, void of empathy.

But they were still part of his kingdom...

"They wouldn't dare to. But I can't be late, so I'm gonna head out," Dawson replies to Jack's words, before releasing the grip of his confidante and proceeding to make his way to the exit, before turning back with a pensive, sad intensity. "Promise you won't fail me. Promise me you'll never fail me."
MONTY 
@Pablo
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"I promise." Plain and simple. Neither Dawson nor Jack needed more than those two words to know the job would be done. There were hundreds of things, mostly negative, that could be said about Jack; but his loyalty to the few people he cares about was undeniable.

As soon as Dawson closed the door behind him, Jack gets up to head back to his office. The sooner he would get the job done, the sooner both Dawson and him could leave this problem behind. The timing couldn't be better, since that idiot would be devastated, or at least more sensible than usual, because of the his mother's death. That's human, isn't it? Because, at the end of the day, only a monster would be able to not feel bad about that. And, luckily for Jack, he knew a lot about monsters and people's emotions.

Finally, Jack picks up the phone to calmly enter a telephone number. After a few seconds, someone picks the call. "Mark? It's me. Shut up and listen." For a few seconds, Jack keeps quiet looking to a framed photo in his desktop, the only he had. It was taken during the early days of "Sirens", more specifically the night of the opening party, where a younger Dawson smiled next to a younger Jack, who had his arm around his friend's neck. "I need all the information you can get of Ethan Clarke as soon as possible. Only information, don't go after him." Taking his eyes away from the photo, Jack smiles biting his lower lip. "He is mine."

FIN
MONTY
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    • Hey Man Nice Shot
      By Mariah.
      .intoforest { position: relative; margin: 20px auto 0px; background: #191919; height: auto; padding: 40px; width: 400px; min-height: 300px; } .intoforest img { position: absolute; height: 250px; width: 480px; object-fit: cover; left: 0px; top: 0px; filter: grayscale(0%) contrast(75%); } .ifoutline { position: relative; min-height: 220px; width: 320px; border: 1px solid #d3e0e5; } .intoforest text { display: block; position: relative; color: #e7e7e7; padding: 30px; margin-top: 210px; text-align: justify; font-size: 12px; line-height: 180%; font-family: roboto; padding-bottom: 20px; } .intoforest lyrics { position: absolute; color: #d3e0e5; font-family: overpass; text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: 800; font-size: 8px; letter-spacing: 8px; width: 250px; line-height: 200%; padding: 20px; } Now that the smoke's gone and the air is all clear, those who were right there got a new kind of view A strong scent of iron permeates the desolate air as a pair of brute men drag a bleeding, gagged and restrained third through puddles of mud, caused by the torrential downpour of rain. The victim desperately writhes and struggles, attempting to set himself free for his life, but he couldn’t overpower the muscle of the enforcers. The viscosity of his blood lessens with the wash of precipitation, and thus continuously runs off his body, creating an abstract pattern over his skin. In a steady flow, the blood continues into the small volumes of water, leaving smoky streams throughout before they cloud and tint the overall opacity a strong crimson. There was no telling what would become of the worn male, but following closely behind was one Dawson Clarke, who calmly stated words of ‘reassurance’. “Calm down, buddy,” he begins, as the men all slide down the steep incline of the sloshy dirt hill, then make their way through the gated, concrete tunnel entrance to ‘Devil’s Gate dam’. “This won’t last long, I promise. Someone just has to pay for your friend’s sins. And as the judge, I’ll be making certain someone does.” A rush of water speeds down Dawson’s finely structured face after saturating his dark mane of hair, sunglasses shielding his eyes despite the sky having no pigment but a somber gray, it being the early morning hours. Perhaps the dark shades were meant to hide a pensive feeling of sadness; he didn’t exactly want to do this, but it must be done. He’d been deeply double-crossed by someone he thought to be family, and now he was left heartbroken. The loss of his mother’s life and, subsequently, his relationship with his brother only further shattered his broken heart into dust, leaving merely an empty space.

      As the victim is placed to sit against the dark tunnel wall, whilst rapidly running water pulls an uncomfortable blanket over his outstretched legs, Dawson removes his glasses, crouches low and whispers into the man’s ear. “Now, I’m gonna stay right here and you’re gonna make a phone call to your friend Bobby Carter. You know… the one you’ve been playing mole for, in order to help him hide from me. Once he answers, you’re going to do specifically as I instruct, repeating what I say word for word. Do you fucking understand me?” The lack of response brings forth a titter through Dawson’s tightened pink lips. “Oh right, you’re—” he reminds himself before he removes the gag from the former associate.

      “I understand. Just please, please don’t kill me, man, I’m fucking begging you. I have a fiancée now and she’s pregnant with our second kid and I just wanna be there for them, please. I promise I won’t ever snake you out like that again and I’ll do whatever you want,” pleads Dawson's treacherous hostage, the salt from his tear soaked face diluting by the other elements at play.

      “I’ve already told you not to worry,” Dawson counters with a stern scowl. “I’m not going to kill you. For a crime like yours, that’s not the punishment I see fit. Besides; with your help, I’d be inclined to be more lenient. So here—tell me the number and I’m going to give the phone to you. Remember to repeat after me and do not, under any circumstance, tell Bobby this has anything remotely to do with me, nor indicate any sort of imminent danger for the both of you. Because then I will kill you.” With his two lips wired shut, Dawson flashes a quick smile, then snaps to signal for one of his enforcers to hand over the traitor’s cell phone. The beeping sound of the dialed numbers echo through the tunnel, and then Dawson slowly puts the phone to the ear of his Judas as the call rings through to a connection... MONTY
      @Maxim
    • The Perfect Drug [M]
      By Mariah.
      .intoforest { position: relative; margin: 20px auto 0px; background: #191919; height: auto; padding: 40px; width: 400px; min-height: 300px; } .intoforest img { position: absolute; height: 250px; width: 480px; object-fit: cover; left: 0px; top: 0px; filter: grayscale(0%) contrast(75%); } .ifoutline { position: relative; min-height: 220px; width: 320px; border: 1px solid #d3e0e5; } .intoforest text { display: block; position: relative; color: #e7e7e7; padding: 30px; margin-top: 210px; text-align: justify; font-size: 12px; line-height: 180%; font-family: roboto; padding-bottom: 20px; } .intoforest lyrics { position: absolute; color: #d3e0e5; font-family: overpass; text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: 800; font-size: 9px; letter-spacing: 9px; width: 200px; line-height: 200%; padding: 20px; } You make me hard when I'm all soft inside On February 13th, 1967, Dawson Clarke’s green eyes—brimming with hope and joy—first absorbed the light of day. Now, 33 years later, it was the lack of light which animated his purest form of spirit; the dark of night, ornamented by moonlight, and the shadows falling from above like linen curtains, all giving second life to the Olympia prince. As he passed through adolescence and entered adulthood, the duality of his lightness and darkness became addictive, as did how they worked in harmony. It was the shadows caused by the light which helped him thrillingly hide in plain sight during the day hours, and during the night hours, the street lamps and neon signs illuminated his sharp, seductive features and gave sight to all his sinful ways. Now, on his 33rd birthday, he found himself caught in the late hours between night and day, as the indoor pool party took form just below his mansion bedroom, where he was hidden as he prepared to greet his guests. Just like his dual presence during the day and night, two celebrations were regularly held for Dawson Clarke, especially given how momentous of an occasion he and the fellow Olympians considered his anniversary. Every year, the eve of Valentine’s day, the entire city would hunger for a taste of what took place during Dawson’s massive, private parties. But for this party, only his innermost circle and those they ultimately trusted were allowed secured presence.

      Carefully admiring his own reflection to inspect the final touches being made to his grooming, Dawson’s brief recollection of his recent recurring nightmares and hallucinations, as well as his quiet mourning of his mother, is interrupted once his cell phone begins to sound. He glances across his night table to see the ID of his lover, Nathaniel, who he’d lately been ignoring, feeling newly scorned. A poisoned apple was the shade his eyes nearly redden into, as he glares at the contrasting green screen, the emotions throughout his mind warping into a dizzying tornado. He grabs hold of the device before scoffing, and forcefully throws it into his master bedroom fireplace, inciting a burst of sparks upon impact. “No,” he verbally refused. There was no way in hell Nate would become the focus of his 33rd birthday, especially not after the latest and worst form of treachery. Cracking his neck and wrapping his tight, chiseled waist with a luxurious white towel, he steps outside to meet his entourage, eager for tonight’s distraction and celebration. Slowly then, the pack make their way deep down into the sea of fellow gay men, and few women, who made up his veil—his homoerotic secret society. The crowd which regularly concealed his darkest mysteries; who allowed him to fully drown in his wild, wicked, unholy acts and tap into his most live self. They were soulless bodies, mostly, swimming around his pitch black waters like eels, having been plagued by pain so much they’d become numb. All they cared for now was the rush—the high—the underworld brought. Their souls belonged to the prince; to Dawson.

      As Dawson confidently struts through the crowd, he looks into the pool of his private, custom bath house, which nearly overflows with younger, chiseled, naked men. And posed on platforms framing the edge were hired harpists, as well go-go dancers and adult entertainers, dressed in nothing but tiny silver metallic g-string underwear, with a matching coat of silver body shimmer, setting their skin aglow. But one hypnotic dancer in particular suddenly enraptured the bachelor. He was immensely tall, his body lean and taut as could possibly be rewarded. His ass sat perfectly above his stallion legs, as his undergarments split through the middle of the mouthwatering sculpture. His jawline appeared as though it could cut through any flesh, most of which Dawson wanted to be his own…

      Reaching over for this evening’s selection of disorienting candy, the birthday boy slowly places the pill to dissolve on his tongue, whilst he continues to admire the art piece meters away, hoping the stranger would notice amidst the dreamscape. MONTY
      @parzival
    • Beautiful Stranger
      By Mariah.
      .intoforest { position: relative; margin: 20px auto 0px; background: #191919; height: auto; padding: 40px; width: 400px; min-height: 300px; } .intoforest img { position: absolute; height: 250px; width: 480px; object-fit: cover; left: 0px; top: 0px; filter: grayscale(0%) contrast(75%); } .ifoutline { position: relative; min-height: 220px; width: 320px; border: 1px solid #d3e0e5; } .intoforest text { display: block; position: relative; color: #e7e7e7; padding: 30px; margin-top: 210px; text-align: justify; font-size: 12px; line-height: 180%; font-family: roboto; padding-bottom: 20px; } .intoforest lyrics { position: absolute; color: #d3e0e5; font-family: overpass; text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: 800; font-size: 9px; letter-spacing: 10px; width: 180px; line-height: 200%; padding: 20px; } HAVEN'T WE MET? SOME KIND OF BEAUTIFUL STRANGER The vibrant, colorful lights flash in repetition through the dark basement venue, synchronized with a heavy electronica beat, as a dizzy Dawson steps from the backdoor bottom staircase into the jungle. The scent of spilled liquor and a wide array of elixirs crawl its way into his widened nostrils, mixing with his overloaded senses. Removing his long black trench coat at check in to reveal a collared black mesh button-down clinging to his incredible, chiseled torso, and tight, black leather trousers, providing the perfect seat to his high ass, he passes through a slew of scantily clad, body glitter laden male patrons on his way to his private booth, tucked away in a back corner. While a celebrity in the waking world, in the depths Olympia's nights, he was merely a shadow—a mystery to all. And he liked it that way. His double life was one of America's best kept secrets, the bachelor exceptionally wary of who he'd allow in his inner circle, striving to maintain his newfound image of a clean cut, All-American prince and political prospect. So it was here he'd regularly creep to, where those who knew of his sins had their own skeletons to bury, while those who didn't either didn't care or wouldn't dare to.

      The taste of the pill he popped upon entry lingers on his wet tongue while its particles slowly make its way through his bloodstream, to his cavernous cerebrum. His desire to venture toward his vices for the night was the last sober thought swimming through his mind as his wild surroundings wrap around him comfortably. Dancing amidst the sea of gay men while he continues to work his way toward his section, his eye catches someone unfamiliar to him, leaned against a pillar, trying to enjoy the music and his drink. Dawson's unable to turn his diluting pupils away, charmed by the man's boyishly handsome looks, wide eyes, and tight, little body. The prodigal son just had to know him; to have him. But he wasn't one to chase, for he preferred the control to be with him—for he, himself, to dominate.

      Seating himself in his private booth, he continues to observe the stranger, steeping in his fantasies, until a moment to capture his attention arrives. "Hey," Dawson calls out as he reaches forward to strongly grab the gentleman by his arm once he passes by. "I don't think I've ever seen you around here before. May I get a name?" MONTY
      @Jake