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 Runaway, Clara, Jonah
Lillian Yorke
 Posted: Mar 3 2013, 09:05 AM
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OOC: Not sure if Ker wants to play Jonah any more, but feel free to jump in if you still feel like it, Ker! smile.gif



It was early. Lemuel had gone out to 'fix it' and Lily had decided to take fate into her own hands and 'fix it' herself. So she packed her bags and Jonah's and, hand in hand, the two slipped out of what Lily had come to call 'home' for the past few years and headed for the truly nice part of town. The buildings rose like palaces on either side of the road, some too far for passersby to even be able to see inside.

"We'll be staying with a friend of mine," she explained to Jonah as they both looked out of the coach. "She lives with a very influential man in New Venice, so I'm sure she'll be able to take us in. And then you'll have dessert for breakfast!" she excitedly told the boy.

He would have no such thing. It wasn't healthy, but there was no way she could tell him they were leaving because of Lemuel's incompetence. Lily could only hope Clara would be sympathetic to her cause. She knew in her heart -- or liked to think she knew -- that her friend wouldn't turn her down. They'd known each other since they were girls. They were close and would often talk about anything and everything.

There would be a great debt to pay, should this come to pass. Lily would not forget.

The coach stopped in front of large wrought iron gates. The driver stepped out to open them. They were driven inside the large estate that, in fact, belonged to her friend, Clara, but under the pseudonym of Clarence. Nobody but Lily knew.

They were helped down and, together, stepped up to the door. It opened before they had the time to knock. A carriage pulling in front of the estate was easily heard and noticed by the staff there. The butler, a familiar face, greeted Lily kindly and she returned his smile.

"Could we possibly see Miss Clara?" Lily asked, unconsciously squeezing Jonah's hand a bit tighter.

The driver was unloading their luggage, attracting the confused attention of the butler.
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Clara Grayson
 Posted: Mar 3 2013, 03:14 PM
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"Certainly," he said, having recognized Ms. Yorke. Her companion was not familiar to him, which could possibly prove a problem. He retreated into the house, at first slowly and then hurrying a bit faster once out of view.

A few long moments passed before Clara appeared.

On one hand, she knew that Lily would not have called upon her in such a way if it was not absolutely necessary. She was responsible, enough to know how much trouble her friend would be in if her pseudonym were to be discovered. At least, she liked to think so.

Today was a junk writing day, as she liked to call it, the kind of day she could spend at the desk and have nothing to show for it by sundown - not that she stopped there. It was also exceedingly bad already, having shown itself determined to destroy what little remained of her optimism.

In short, it was the kind of day she would never be prepared for, and Lily and co.'s appearance at her doorstep was proving that point brilliantly.

"Lily!" she said, embracing her friend. She tried not to show how tense she was to her, but probably failed - the presence of a stranger in her house worried her. She was a recluse by necessity, and breaking that made her terribly anxious. "To what reason might I pin this unexpected visit?"
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Lillian Yorke
 Posted: Mar 3 2013, 03:38 PM
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"Hi!" Lily warmly greeted her friend, relinquishing Jonah's hand to return Clara's embrace. "I'm so relieved to see you, you have no idea." She held on for a little longer than appropriate, comforted all of the sudden by the familiarity and warmth of Clara's body.

Then, she stepped away and let her hand be taken by Jonah's again.

"I need to talk to you. In private. If that's alright," she added, a bit warily. The last thing she wanted was to get Clara in any trouble. The very last thing. But she was her only true friend and this was the one time she really, truly needed her.
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Clara Grayson
 Posted: Mar 3 2013, 03:45 PM
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It was the hug that convinced her. It was a hair too close, a hair too long, and as her friend pulled away, Clara decided she was either desperate or extremely upset, or both.

"Certainly!" she said, unknowingly echoing the butler. She became horribly formal when worried, and she was. As much as it defied logic, she was terrified of a boy in her house. She, who had dodged bullets, was thwarted by a stranger.

"Please, do come inside." This, at least, was warm. Whatever the trouble might have been, she had no qualms about inviting them inside. They had made it to her front door, and may as well be comfortable. From the way Lily was grasping at the boy's hand, he seemed rather nervous - or maybe that was her.
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Lillian Yorke
 Posted: Mar 3 2013, 03:58 PM
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Lily obliged and Jonah followed. They were taken into the sitting room, but that wasn't quite what Lily had meant. "We need to talk. Just the two of us," she very quietly explained, not being able to hide the urgency in her voice.
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Clara Grayson
 Posted: Mar 3 2013, 04:02 PM
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Clara's eyebrows met in confusion. Did Lily want her to send away the child she'd brought in?

"In that case, would you like to come with me and fetch something to eat?" She had no doubt that someone would be getting something as they spoke, but it was the first excuse that came to her mind.

They walked outside, and as the door closed, she faced her friend, intensely curious.

"Well?" she said, a worried frown on her face. "What's wrong? What happened? Who is he?"
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Lillian Yorke
 Posted: Mar 3 2013, 04:06 PM
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Lily felt as if she'd been doused in cold water.

"I never told you..." she muttered out loud, her hand going to her forehead. She then shook her head. "I'm sorry, Clara. I should have told you but I..." She sighed the resigned sigh of a woman that had withstood too much and, drawing to the nearest wall, slid down to sit right there.

"That's the boy Lemuel brought the other day. Because he thought that would fix our marriage-- a seven-year-old orphan," her derisive tone told the story of what she thought about that solution. Even as she spoke it sounded like someone else was talking through her. It sounded awfully surreal. "And now I've... I've left him. Packed my things and Jonah's and came here."

She looked up at her best friend, blue eyes wide with the despair of frightened doubts and unspoken questions.
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Clara Grayson
 Posted: Mar 3 2013, 04:14 PM
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For a moment, Clara just stared in disbelief.

It took a lot to swallow that. It pinged in the back of her head as something she knew, but had forgotten (completely unlike her). Had things gotten that bad? Not that Lily had left, but that Lemuel had done something so foolish?

And then she realized that her friend was on the floor, and she was in need and probably in pain. Ever-pragmatic Clara snapped out of her indignant anger, and sat next to Lily.

"Lily, you can stay here," she said reassuringly. If it got out that she wasn't Clarence - not that it really mattered, given her slowness as of late - she would be cooked. She knew that, but then how could she turn down her best friend and a seven-year-old orphan?

Plus, she added, decision already made, the house got dreadfully empty sometimes.

"I'll have your things brought inside, and then we can see about sleeping arrangements."
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Lillian Yorke
 Posted: Mar 3 2013, 04:18 PM
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Her heart was in her throat. Clara's words released it and she found her eyes bursting with tears. She buried her face in her best friend's shoulder and sobbed a long-withheld, overdue sob.

"Thank you," she hiccuped. "Thank you."
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Clara Grayson
 Posted: Mar 3 2013, 04:26 PM
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"Now, now," she said, hiding her awkwardness in artificial humor. "Everything is all right now - no need to worry. We have enough for dinner, yes, but I will have to have the beds made...." Her mind was a checklist, trying desperately to gather what she would need, what had to be done. Why on earth was she having trouble remembering such things? Her mind was forgetful where only months before, it had been sharp as a blade.

"What's his name, by the way?" she asked, figuring that they would at least need to be on first-name terms. She'd never had anyone stay at her house before - it was mildly exhilarating.
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Lillian Yorke
 Posted: Mar 3 2013, 04:32 PM
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Lily looked up, beaming through her tears. "Jonah. He's very sweet."

She pushed herself up, embarrassed by her weakness, wiped the tears from her eyes with a handkerchief and straightened the creases in her skirts. She took a deep breath to calm her breathing (and hide her hiccups) and slapped her cheeks. "Right. I can help with that! I'm a five-star wife, you know."

A wife who was finally free of her husband, at long, long last! Her heart leapt with joy at the thought.
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Clara Grayson
 Posted: Mar 3 2013, 04:37 PM
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The joke was out before she'd even considered it. Unforgivable, really, especially considering that she wasn't sure where Lily was in this whole thing.

"Five star wife with a two-star husband," she said, grimacing at the idea of a husband adopting without asking his wife. It broke every ideal she had - Lily's autonomy as a woman, her right as a person, her right as the person who spent more time at home. Disgusting, really.

"I, however, am not." She'd been fighting crime while others had been learning how to be wives, and it hadn't ever really proven a problem. She had a cook, a maid, and a butler to help her with anything she needed.

"Shall we go ask Jonah what he would like for dinner?" she asked, motioning towards the door. She didn't want to push Lily into wiping her eyes if she wasn't ready, but the fact that they'd just left a seven-year-old child alone in her house had just hit her.
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Lillian Yorke
 Posted: Mar 4 2013, 04:15 PM
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She sighed a deep, long sigh and smiled. "Yeah. He's always hungry, that boy," Lily tenderly said. Before Clara had a chance to open the door, she grabbed her arm and stared into her eyes. "Thanks, Clara. I don't know what I would've done if..."
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Clara Grayson
 Posted: Mar 5 2013, 07:44 AM
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"Ah," Clara said sharply, pointing a warning at her friend. "There will be no 'if's. There were never any 'if's." She took her friend by the arm and grinned as she walked to the door, a bounce in her step.

"Hello, Jonah! I'm Clara. What would you like for dinner?" Leaving the question open to the boy was probably unwise, but she wasn't worried. it was the first dinner she had spent at home with another person, aside from her staff - certainly a cause for celebration.
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Lillian Yorke
 Posted: Mar 6 2013, 04:45 PM
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"I think whatever's in the house'll do," Lily courteously interjected, not allowing Jonah time to think up the ridiculous. "As long as it includes dessert, of course," she added, as a form of appeasement.

The boy grinned and excitedly confirmed her suspicions in a thrill of hypotheses about that very dessert. She had been spoiling him with that, if Lily were to be completely honest with herself. But he needed a bit of spoiling. From what she'd gathered from his life, it had not been an easy one. The things he said sometimes made her heart ache.
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Clara Grayson
 Posted: Mar 6 2013, 04:55 PM
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"Garrett?" she called, her head poked through the door. The woman then sat down comfortably, motioning for Lily to do the same. From what she'd gathered, the woman had gone through a tough day - leaving someone so close was not easy, she knew first-hand.

A moment later, her butler entered quietly.

"Yes, ma'am?"

"We will be having guests for dinner tonight." The man's eyes nearly bugged out of his head, having just heard the impossible. Clara grinned and nodded to Jonah. "And this one requests dessert."

He nodded, the moment of shock gone. "And would your guests like anything now? Tea, perhaps, or chocolate?" It was his way of subtly reminded Clara of common courtesy to guests, a concept to which she was rather unfamiliar.

"Yes, right," she added lamely. "Anything to drink?"
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Lillian Yorke
 Posted: Mar 6 2013, 05:03 PM
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OOC: It should be noted that I feel really dirty Gmodding Jonah.


"Hot chocolate!" Jonah squealed immediately.

Lily laughed. "Make that two, please," she gently requested, squeezing Clara's arm. "I like my chocolate." It was a vice, really.
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Clara Grayson
 Posted: Mar 6 2013, 05:27 PM
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"Tea, please," she said politely, and Garrett was off. He returned a moment later, effortlessly balancing a tray of hot drinks on his hand in a maneuver she would never in a million years attempt.

"Now. I think it is time for a tour." They'd finished their drinks, and from what she remembered about children, they did not often take kindly to sitting in one place for too long. Besides, it gave the two an excuse to unpack. In Lily's position, she would be in great need of a safe place to sleep and think, and those were two things she could offer in spades. She led the two off to choose their rooms.

An hour later, she knocked shyly on the door to what she was already calling Lily's room.

"How're things? Getting settled in all right?"
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Lillian Yorke
 Posted: Mar 8 2013, 05:46 PM
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She was in her inner-shift, her body revealed by the transparent fabric. Lily smiled when Clara stepped in, though her face showed the weary signs of exhaustion. She, after all, hadn't slept all night and hadn't been sleeping well already. When one lived with Lemuel, one didn't really live.

"I will be fine," Lily reassured her friend, sitting on the bed. She looked down at her knees. "Thanks again, Clara. I know I keep saying it, but this is really big and--" Her life was in shambles. Utter shambles.
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Clara Grayson
 Posted: Mar 8 2013, 05:49 PM
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"Nah. It's not big. You know what's big? My house. It gets lonely, and now my best friend is helping to make it more exciting." Truth be told, it was exactly what she needed, too. A distraction, something new. Another variable to throw in and see what floated.

Who knew? Maybe she could find some writing in her yet.

Her face grew more serious, more caring. "Seriously, Lily. Stay as long as you like. I like having you here."
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Lillian Yorke
 Posted: Mar 10 2013, 01:40 PM
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Lily looked up at Clara and smiled. "Okay," was her hushed reply.

Okay.
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