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message 1: by E M M A (last edited May 02, 2015 04:54PM) (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments Full Name: Paul Logan Greyson

Birthday: February 7
Age: 24
Hometown:Los Angeles, California

Occupation: bodyguard; an agent in training
Education: finished college, training


(view spoiler)
Faceclaim: Joe Collier

Eyes: Hazel
Height: 6'5
Weight: 177

(view spoiler)

Paul Greyson is considered to be the exact opposite of his younger brother, Jamie. Paul is quiet, shady, and mysterious, never smiling or talking to anyone unless necessary. He stays hidden despite his height, usually clad in dark colors with his head hidden in a hood or under a hat. Paul is a tough nut to crack, and people say that he's never smiled, never laughed, never loved. Just a cold, dark face, with matching eyes. On the inside, though, Paul cares deeply for his younger brothers, and would do anything to protect them. Love is an odd concept to Paul, and you will often find him pushing everyone and everything away. He is strictly business, and doesn't believe in having fun. Paul is also very knowledgeable, having spent all his lonely years reading or studying.
*quiet *inexpressive *strong *silent *stony *lonely *smart *protective

Crush/Love: He has never had a relationship before, although he's had a few crushes during middle school and high school. Not anymore. He's learned not to love, not to be attached.

Paul Logan Greyson was born to Liam and Emma Greyson, two Special Ops officers for the US Government. He was the first child born to the couple, and was the ideal good child. He did his homework, didnt fight with the other kids, obeyed the teacher. But he had no friends, and always hid inside a shell. Soon, his younger brother Jamie was born, and Paul couldn't have been happier. He watched over Jamie protectively, not allowing other people to touch him. Paul loved Jamie dearly, and still does to this day. The four lived a quiet life, his parents posing as a pharmacist and a writer. Liam and Emma heaped earnings from their secret government job, paid generously for their efforts and life risking. Then, Paul's life came crashing down. Their mother Emma had been shot brutally on a spy mission gone wrong, leaving Liam with the two devastated young children. Paul was seven years old when it happened, and he remembered every emotion he felt, he remembered the news arriving via man at the front door. Paul had cried night after night, wailing for his mother to come back. He hadn't even had a chance to say one last 'I love you'. Paul took the death the worst out of his whole family, dwelling on it and falling into deep depressions at a young age. Paul still thinks about it daily, more determined to find the guys who killed his mom- and get rid of every last family member that they had.

Their father remarried Carla Masterly when Paul was 15. Paul couldnt be more disgusted. Carla was one of those fussy mothers, always calling her children 'love' and 'honey'. It drove Paul nuts, to the point where he shut himself in his room and avoided Carla at all costs. Carla Masterly had brought along her three children from her previous marriage, and they were all deathly afraid of Paul. They still are, and avoid Paul at all costs. He doesnt mind, but feels offended when they leave the room when he comes home to visit. Paul is working on forming a strong bond with one of the twins, Nash. He takes Nash out somewhere 'cool' every month, hoping to at least get along with one of his siblings. Neil was the only child that resulted from Liam and Carla's marriage, but Paul watches and plays with him as if he were his own. The only sad part? Neil is always intimidated by Paul's height, strength, and naturally stony face, and may sometimes run from the room to play somewhere else.

Soon after Neil was born, the family relocated to Los Angeles, California; the central hub of crime. His father has retired into the SWAT team, but still supports Paul's efforts to be part of the government Special Operations Program. Starting from the bottom. He has had many injuries, seen many friends die in the hands of drug dealers, and experienced more heart ache than any person should. With a tough outer exterior, he has always been a private person, even more so after the incident. On a mission gone wrong at the start of his official career at 19, Paul experienced terror beyond his imagination, torture, gore, everything his training since he could walk couldn't have prepared him for. He was the only survivor of the event, returning back home to his family after three months in poor condition, near death. After the experience, Paul became the even worse unstable person he is now, and struggles to keep himself in check.

Paul is an exceedingly smart man, dividing time between forced interactions with his family, travelling for business, training, or working. It's common for him to have breakdowns, either from his anxiety issues or PTSD.

-Father; Liam Greyson; 49
-Step Mother; Carla Masterly-Greyson; 47
-Brother; James Finn Greyson; 18
-Step Sister; Bailey Masterly-Greyson; 17
-Step Brother; Nash Masterly Greyson; 12
-Step Sister; Allison Paige Masterly-Greyson; 12
-Half Brother; Neil Andrew Greyson; 4

*his brother
*night time
*dark colors
*hard work

-hurting others
-drugs, etc
-love; seeing couples

~staying fit

Vehicle or Transportation:

A black Hummer

>extensively trained in first aid
>a health junkie: excercises religiously

message 2: by E M M A (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments Paul was in a bad mood. He always was, it was inevitable, especially when he had a terrible morning. The night before, he'd fallen asleep after a fitful tossing and turning at 2 am, and that morning when his alarm clock went off at 6 am, he was cranky. Normally, Paul got by fine on 5 or 6 hours of sleep, it wasn't a big deal. He didn't enjoy sleeping in, he figured the less time he was asleep the less time he'd be miserable. However, the day before had been an intense training day for his department, with rigorous physical activity that strained him. Since he aimed to become part of Secret Services, FBI, or CIA like his parents, he had to go through all these unnecessary activities. As his captain said, the most important thing for them was athleticism, endurance, and stamina. They would get nowhere if they were raised to be little pansies out in the dangerous world.

This Saturday morning, Paul was to be on assignment long term. Before he promoted to a higher rank among his training, the government had assigned him with the task of bodyguarding. Paul had done three other easier bodyguarding terms, but this one, his boss had warned, would be a little more difficult. Elora Varro, the fiesty bold model and actress with a head of hair to match, was taking the world by storm. She was absolutely adored, and she had quite the fan base going on as she rose to stardom. Unfortunately, some were a little crazy. Paul was irritated with the idea of guarding some girl, some stupid celebrity. Couldn't he have had at least a politician, a diplomat, someone respectable? This redhead had a reputation on top of it all to be loud and demanding, or at least Paul thought so. She was the far opposite of him, and he wasn't looking forward to the next few months. He even had to live with her, follow her on tours, babysit her, make sure she wasn't getting into dangerous situations, that she got onto all the right flights when she travelled- it was straining.

In his rather bleak and monotone New York City flat, Paul threw aside his comforter. It was still dark, with thin light peeking through the shades. With his usual glowering gaze, he sat up, his feet landing on the cold wood floors. He rested his elbows on his thighs, his eyes watching the bedside clocks bright red numbers. Was it really already 6 am? He had massive bags under dark blue eyes, contrasting against his skin. Paul reluctantly at 6:05 locked himself into his bathroom, despite the fact that nobody else lived with him, allowing for a clean shave, shower, and change of clothes. His lean figure was dressed in one of his usual attires, a crisp suit without a necktie, and a gun hidden in its holster on his waist for the meeting. Paul's dark hair was styled in the same hair style as always, and with a little spritz of his cologne, Paul was deemed acceptable for business. His shined shoes were tied evenly, and a watch sat on his left wrist.

Tucking the legal papers to work for Elora under his arm, Paul shut his bedroom door and walked to the kitchen, helping himself to a granola bar and a banana. He sat with a blank bleary look on his exhausted face, worn out from the day before. Four hours definitely wouldn't cut it today. Downing a glass of orange juice and then chewing gingerly on mint gum, Paul grabbed his wallet off the counter with his phone. 6:45. He had time, the meeting was at 7, at some model agency where her boss would introduce them. He double, triple checked his door that it was locked, stepping out into the hallways of the average New York apartment suite. He was on his way then, his tall figure gliding down the fire escape stairs instead of the elevator. Outside, it was was a beautiful sunny day for New York, but Paul still frowned. It was in everyone's best interests to stay out of his way.

Paul kept his large hands in his pockets, strolling on the crowded sidewalks with the file tightly clutched to him. The agency wasn't too far from where he lived, but it required a bus ride 10 minutes away. In the bus, Paul remained standing with his hand gripping one of the poles. The morning commute left the bus with hardly any room to breathe, regardless of the fact that it was Saturday. "Watch it!" He spat at a uniformed sanitary worker who had shoved past Paul and almost caused him to drop his folder. With confidential information. The man simply grimaced, wasting no time to scramble away as Paul towered over him with hunched shoulders. It was safe to say that Paul wasn't friendly that he wasn't the best guy around. He was used to being alone, so his people skills weren't great.

Paul had no heart, and if he did, it was encased in ice, impenetrable. It seemed to roll off in waves, his negativity and anger at the world. It had partly to do with the fact that his mother was gone, the one light in his life, and they still hadn't found the person that killed her. On top of that, he was full of gutted jealous whenever he saw his little brothers, seeing them all happy despite everything. He hated how his father could find it in himself to love another woman, or love at all for that matter. Why wasn't he angry like Paul? Why was it just Paul that couldn't forget about it? It happened nearly twenty years ago, and Paul still held on to it. He didn't get along with other kids at school because he was quiet, and on top of that, kids bullied him for being pale and gangly awkward. He was a nerd, but got into a few fights. He just couldn't control his anger either. Then Paul realized that it was easier to just not talk to other people and deal with their negativity and their comments, and he never knew friendship. He never had a girlfriend. The one girl he had a crush on in high school openly rejected him, and since then, Paul always felt like a failure.

Paul Greyson descended the bus steps, Inhaling fresh air out side of the stuffy vehicle. Out in front of him was a large beautiful building with white walls, large glass windows boasting mannequins wearing exquisite costume, or large print outs of models. He spotted Elora right away. She was everywhere, in magazines, bill boards, social media- everywhere. Paul took the steps up to the front doors by three, swinging open the tall glass doors by their metal handle. Inside was an elaborately decorated studio type place, with a front desk and various seating areas. Photographs were every where, from past models and present. "Greyson, Paul Greyson, for Elora?" He cleared his throat at the desk lady, an intern with her eyes intently focused on the company MacBook screen.

"Down the hall," she answered without even looking up, dismissing him in an instant. Fine. Huffing, Paul checked down one hallways immediate to the reception area, before finding another hallway where voices echoed. The modelling agency was awfully a nice place to be, and it made Paul squirm. How bad was Elora going to be? In an open office sort of space that was casually decorated for the director of the company, Paul found himself intruding. The boss, his own boss, and Elora all were laughing at something said, holding coffee or hot chocolate in company mugs. "Ah, Paul! You're here!" His boss grinned widely, raising a hand to welcome Paul or soemthing. He gave his boss a pained smile, his sullen face sunken in eith weariness. "And you must be Elora?" He grunted, raising an unimpressed eyebrow. He just wanted to get out of here and on his way. Get the day started.

message 3: by E M M A (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments ((Hope thos wasnt too long! I domt care how long your posts are, just as long as its 4 paras! I just get carried away sometimes ;))

message 4: by E M M A (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments Elora looked at Paul funny, but it didnt really matter. He was used to it; he got those looks all. The. Time. Random strangers passing him on the street sometimes gave him a glance as he walked on by, his strange behavior often scaring others away. Paul was annoyed already, seeing how the girl just stared with that impolite look on her face. She was skinny like expected, maybe even more so in person. She was extravagantly short compared to him, somewhere around his shoulder or chest height. Easy. Paul didn't see any way that this could go wrong, if she sassed him back like she was notorious for, he could just throw her over his shoulder and stuff her wherever she needed to go. His boss had warned him that she tended to be late to everything or be stubborn on where she wanted to go, so he'd have to make sure she stayed on top of schedule.

He was hired for her particularly because he was strict with a no nonsense attitude, and his boss could trust that he wouldn't become wrapped around her finger. Paul was reliable and punctual on top of all that, so he could become her micromanager like her boss had insisted on. He'd already read up on her, stalked her on social media and reviewed some of her interviews on YouTube to prepare for this. He felt like a creepy pedophile doing it, his search history on his computer at home being "Elora Varro" and "Elora Varro Model" and "Elora Varro interviews" and "Elora Varro bio". He felt like a creeper and only after doing a clean sweep of his computer history did he feel any better about it. He'd only been in the room a couple seconds, but he already felt the pride and the haughty personality rolling off Elora in waves, a smirk on her face as she stood up straighter with her arms over her chest.

The wink was saucy and overdoing it in Paul's opiniom, completely unnecessary. She was up to something he could tell with the way she drawled his name, winked at him, had that mysterious look in her eyes. Now what? "Your bodyguard," he added tonelessly, stepping forward as she placed her mug on the desk. He held his hand to shake hers, his large awkward fingers dwarfing her dainty girly ones. She seemed reluctant to be here as well, with an eyebrow raised. Was she mocking him right now? Was that what was going on? Although Paul was over sensitive to everything, he didn't say his thoughts. He hardly voiced them, because it was just easier that way not to get involved. Without wasting much time, his boss harried the other man to stand, Paul reaching for his hand to shake. "Hello, Mr. Greyson... I trust that you'll do very well with Miss Varro, she's one of our best!" The short man with extravagant hair grinned, pumping Paul's hand enthusiastically. It took all Paul had not to vomit, grimace, show his signs of disgust. One of their best? That was unfortunate.

Paul nodded curtly at the shorter man's comments, trying to evade his sparkling eyes filled with hope for Paul's success in changing their always tardy model. Paul's chief, Gerald, caught the odd silence in the air, clearing his throat as he pulled up some chairs to the desk. He knew Paul didn't like to wait, nhe was the one who knew the broad shouldered agent the best. His time was not to be wasted. "Alright alright, sit down, we best get these papers signed and filed so we can hurry up and get about our day," the chief practically chirped, wide awake with the red Bull he'd swigged before leaving his own apartment. Paul didn't say anything as usual, brooding with a pessimistic attitude as he sat slowly in one of the large white dish cushioned chairs meant for teenage girl bedrooms. He crossed his ankle over his thigh, awkwardly trying to readjust himself in all his long arm - long legged splendor.

The manila envelope file Paul had brought along was emptied of its contents, the manager sitting behind his desk all business like despite his fashionable clothing and fruity haircut, with Paul, Elora, and Gerald on the other side. His chief attempted to make small talk here and there with Elora and the manager, they all seemed to get along, while Paul scrawled his signature on a few new documents presented to him. All this usual crap with him agreeing to not abuse his client, harass her, or be in any romantic or sexual relationship. Paul wasn't worried one bit. He had no interest in this woman, or any for that matter. He just wanted the few months he had with her to pass up quickly so he could graduate the silly stage of bodyguarding for his training.

At last all the papers were signed off, with the four standing and shaking hands and all things business. "Are there any questions, Paul, Elora?" The manager ssked, clasping his hands as the papers were tucked in by the chief into yet another file for legal purposes at the office. "No," Paul murmured, hardly moving his lips as he answered gravely. His dull dark blue eyes, framed by dark bags under his eyes, hardly blinked. He avoided looking at Elora, wanting to avoid any awkwardness if possible. He just wanted to get out of here. Of course, his alone and privacy had all disappeared when he walked in to the office just 20 minutes ago. "Well if that's all, then I guess we're done here! Call if there's any concerns. Elora, you've got a good one, with Paul, nobody will mess with you anymore!" The chief grinned proudly, slapping Paul's shoulder with a thud as if boasting about his own son.

All the complimenting was making him sick. "Thank you! Now, Paul, why don't you and Elora go to her apartment and get settled, for now, let her tell you about how the ropes run, and her schedules... I already sent a few emails about this week's events, she's a very busy girl. Now, you two will want to work out something together, with living arrangements for your bodyguard to stay with you at all times, and transportation. Paul, here are the keys to a reinforced Hummer, we won't be having our Elora darling walking places for safety, and it'll be quicker..." the short agent trailed off, rattling things off at a mile per minute as he walked around the room, picking up things and moving them. Paul and Elora stood a few feet apart, Paul's steely gray blue eyes following the odd man with concern. He had to drive Elora places too? Chauffeur her too? His chief had left the moment he could, back to the office.

The agent thrusted a pair of car keys into Paul's hand, along with a little neatly organized folder outlining his job requirements and all the specifics of the job. "Thank you," Paul grumbled as the short man looked up at him expectantly, hands clasped. "Alright now get out of here, we've all got things to do! Good bye Elora honey, call if you need anything!" The man ushered them out of the office then closed the door behind him, following Paul and Elora to the front doors. Wordlessly, Paul pushed open the glass doors for Elora, following behind her. He hated the feeling of having to be bossed around, follow some brat all day. "So?" Paul raised an eyebrow expectantly, waiting for her direction.

message 5: by E M M A (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments ((Your post was AMAZING!!!! ill get somethinf up before i go to bed :D omg your humor is fantastix xD i can see paul catching her before she falls into danger and he drags her out over his shoulder xD hahahaha))

message 6: by E M M A (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments ((So glad to finally find someone whos super fun and an amazing writer omg <3 its such a relief i think youre flipping fantastic and i just ahhh i love it :D))

message 7: by E M M A (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments As soon as they got outside it seemed, Elora dropped the whole act of being kind to Paul. She spun around on her heel as soon as they were a few paces away from the office, so her manager wouldn't be able to see them through the large floor to ceiling windows. It was easy to keep track of the redhead, her fiery red locks reflecting the sunlight. Good. He walked stiffly behind her, trying to adjust his long legged paces to her shorter quicker strides. It was when she suggested, insisted that they go separate ways and that he not do his jobs that caught him slightly off guard. Off to the side of the busy throng of the sidewalk, Paul looked down on Elora, her arms crossed sassily across her chest. She thought she was so tough, did she? Her proposal was absolutely ridiculous, it even managed to spark a bit of tension inside him. Drop the whole bodyguard thing? Couldn't she just be grateful that he was going to keep her safe to say the least, keep her crazy fans from pursuing her?

"Drop it?" Paul repeated, as if it were the most preposterous thing he'd heard, silly, absurd. He would have laughed if he had any sense of humor left. It was, in fact, the stupidest thing he'd heard someone say. Of course he wasn't going to just leave, and let her carry on with her life. So many things could go wrong with it, and he'd be violating the papers he'd just signed in the office. He was being paid to make sure no harm came to her sweet little face. He had sworn to protect her, and be at her side 24/7 for the next few weeks. He couldn't violate his contract, and ruin his dependability. His chief had warned him of her temperament, her habit to wander off on her own and be independent and hard headed, but Paul hadn't thought it would be this bad. He didn't think she'd be so childish.

After Elora snapped her gum in his face with those eyebrows dancing across her forehead in strong deterring emotion, she spun on her heel once more to stomp off. She thought she could just walk away like that? It was entertaining to Paul, his lips twisting into a tight straight line. His dark blue eyes followed her through the busy crowd, but not once did he lose her. He knew from now, it was going to be difficult until Miss Varro could accept the fact that he would be invading her privacy because she decided to be famous. That was the package deal of being a pretty face, she was just lucky he wasn't some perverted old guy. Paul heaved a heavy sigh, his shoulders drooping with it. He was supposed to get the Hummer from the back lot of the agency, but that would have to wait. Paul pocketed his new keys, his palms neatly fitting into his neatly pressed slacks. Fine.

Although Elora was making his job difficult, Paul didn't mind so much right then. It would give them both their own quiet time, and he wouldn't have to face awkward terse conversations about the weather. Not yet, anyway. Paul slipped into the crowd, falling into the steady stream of hurrying civillians. He could still see her easily at his advantageous height, her red waves bouncing at her thin shoulders. Where she was heading off to wasn't too clear yet, but Paul just hoped she wasn't planning on crossing the entire New York City. He wasn't wearing his good shoes, and he would hate to run into traffic and become separated from her. He picked up his pace at the thought, his head ducked as he followed at a safe perimeter, never once tearing his eyes from the redhead. He kept mostly to the walls, bowing his head or slipping behind wall or hot dog stand whenever she glanced about behind her to check if he was following. It was sort of cute, seeing her satisfied expression as she slowed down without him in view. Silly.

It had been maybe 7 minutes of following Miss Varro that he then fsaw her intentions. The New York City substation was visible, signs and boards advertising directions. Now Paul was a little worried. He risked breaking off into a run as he darted across the crosswalks just as the cars began to surge forward, earning quite a few angry honks by taxi drivers and sanitation workers for the city. He made it safely across the street, Paul's eyes wide and alert as he searched for Miss Varro. Did he already lose her? Was he an idiot? Paul scowled, pausing at the top of the stairs to the sub station as he glanced around. Men in business suits, women in uniforms, teenagers and college students with their backpacks were everywhere, exiting or entering the station. No redheads.

Swearing under his breath, Paul descended the stairs, three at a time. The squeals of train breaks irritated his ears, but that was besides the matter. His eyes adjusted to the subway station, his head turning as he nearly spun in circles looking for her. Then he spotted her, at the ticket station. Ah. Relieved, Paul straightened his suit again, sweeping a hand through his hair, before striding towards the ticket booth. He didn't approach her directly, keeping his head down and tilted out of her view. He easily overheard her ask for her destination, exchanging a credit card for a little ticket stub. Paul waited until Elora walked blindly past him, before he bought his own ticket, constantly turning around to watch her make her way to the right station number. The ticket vendor was certainly alarmed by Paul's behavior, with his intimidating eyes following a young woman, buying a ticket for the same destination. Maybe it was a little creepy, but what did Paul care?

"What're you looking at, kid?" Paul snapped gruffly, swiping his ticket right off the counter. He blended in to the crowd once more, finding the station on the ticket with ease. It was right next to the ticket booth, and Elora was standing with her arms crossed while she waited. Paul settled with a smug look on his otherwise grim facial expressiom, his own arms folded across his broad chest as he leaned up against a sturdy column. Why Elora was so difficult he had no idea, nor did he care. They were just going to need to work out an agreement here, he wasn't planning on chasing her forever. That's why he'd apprehend her- on the subway. There she couldn't run. What was she going to do, break open the doors and jump off? Unlikely. She'd break a nail.

The station was exceedingly nosiy, and reeked of exhuast. He was just glad he didn't deal with subways often, that he walked and could cover distances easily on foot. Everything he needed was local, in the immediate few blocks to him. Their subway came in under five minutes, so he didn't have to wait long. Paul pushed himself upright, marching over to the train as its doors swished open, passengers filing out and others pushing their way in. Elora was only a few feet in front of him, and he finally relaxed. His tense shoudlers relaxed, as he stepped cautiously inside the transport. He didn't like the feel of this, the claustrophobia that accompanied the idea of being on a crowded subway car extremely unappealing. This wasn't in the job description. As the doors slid shut a minute later, Paul found himself on the opposite end of the car as Elora as she gripped a ceiling hold while an older man gawked her and a oddly dressed woman grinned broadly and babbled greetings in a different language. He was torn between letting Miss Varro suffer between those two, and chiding her publicly.

"Excuse me, please... excuse me, pardon," Paul's deep voice murmured as he squeezed his way between other offended passengers as he wormed to Elora. They could suck it up. "So why are we stopping in Brooklyn?" Paul cleared his throat and slapped his palm against the same subway hold Elora held, his tall figure behind her. He rested his other hand on his waist, an unamused eyebrow raised at her little schematics. "I don't appreciate you running off like that, Miss Varro. This is my job, you understand yes? This is what pays my bills. I'm sure a kind young woman, a successful, rich, popular model like yourself, would understand?" His tone was dry, low so only the two of them could hear amongst the chatter inside the subway car. The gawking old man had backed off a bit, but Paul wasn't all too comfortable with the way the twat was looking at his client. Paul narrowed his eyes at the hobo, his jaw sharp, with the tendons in his neck tensed. This was already a bad enough day, and he had Elora on his plate. He was literally babysitting her.

message 8: by E M M A (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments ((Its true youre amazing!!! So refreshing to have a good detailed writer such as yourself!))

message 9: by E M M A (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments ((AYEYYEEEEE IVE BEEN WAITING OMGGGF i love your writing so so so so dang much ♡.♡ woild you be abel to get another response up if i posted mine withinnthe hour?? This week ill hardly have any time so i want to squeeze in as many as i can today :/

THATS SO SAD BTW i didnt even notice either until you pointed it out... tbere will definitely be drama. Definitely. And when paul just gives her one worded answers for gift ideas that arent very helpful she snaps and says well what would you get your mother? And shes all annoyed and he just finally breaks "my mothers dead!" Snd the whole store sort of quiets down and he just goes to sit outside while she finishes and thats the start of this xD ))

message 10: by E M M A (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments Paul could see the disappointment in Elora's eyes when she turned her head to the commotion he caused on his entry. He didn't understand her behavior yet, hit unexpectedly with this childish behavior. He could see her pouting with her arms crossed, he could imagine her screaming and kicking him if he tried to persuade her to get off the subway and get inside the Hummer. She was an adult for crying out loud! Paul could always count on his fantastic luck for finding just the best clients available. The agency's best , he didn't go to CEO's of big companies, oh no. To billionaires? Not even close. He bodyguarded little girls, with little brains to match. They hated him, he hated them right back. Paul was so honestly fed up with the terrible job assignments, irked that one of his rank competition had been assigned to a governor, while Paul, on the other bodyguards exact same level if not higher, was with this- this redhead.

He just thanked God that she wasn't the type to boss him around and make him carry her things; he'd been through his fair share of that sort of labor. It was unacceptable. His job was unacceptable. He just wanted to rank up already, to do what he had been training since birth to do, to follow his father and deceased mother's legacy. When he lectured Miss Varro politely in the subway in his lowest, calmest undertone, she retaliated. Hard. Paul was humiliated, sucking in a breath at what she said with a dangerous flicker in his dark grey eyes. She didn't dare. Elora was brave, he had to give her that, fiesty- that would earn her plenty of trouble later down in the road. The muscle in his neck tightened, his jaw clenched tightly to keep from saying anything else. He had gotten good at controlling his flared temper, never had outbursts anymore, but he could sense that being around Elora could be in fact a little dangerous.

He didn't get it, why she despised him so much. Why everyone despised him so much. Even people who had no idea who he was, just passing on the streets, they all gawked at him like he was nuts, and when he spoke, their eyes bulged. He caused terror. He'd seen plenty of other tall men, muscular and what not, with beards, and yet those men seemed to get on just fine with passersby. Paul just couldn't help for the life of him but be left constantly wondering what he did wrong, why people were so harsh nowadays to stamp labels onto everyone. Everyone! Elora was extremely pleased with herself, biting her lip to keep from busting out in laughter, while Paul had to avoid the other passengers' eyes. Who was this new Paul man that their beloved little Elora talked dirty to? Sure the heads turned away after a while to mind their own business, but he couldnt stop feeling eyes watching him. For someone who liked to blend in, the attention wasn't welcome. It set his anxiety at high, his chest constricting as he gripped the subway hold tighter to keep from making a scene.

They went stop after stop after stop, Paul standing next to Elora with a good amount of space between them, but with his body turned away from hers. He just watched things pass by the window, dark tunnels or dreary faces waiting for their stop. It took quite a bit to offend Paul normally, but it was always around May that he got sensitive. It wasn't the best time for Paul to be having an anxiety attack, or things had the potential to get nasty. His dark eyebrows furrowed over his dark blue eyes, troubled as he occasionally glanced up from his shoes to observe the passengers and scrutinize their belongings from where he stood. The bald man with the tattoos, was armed. Harmless, but armed. The woman sitting in the corner had taken four aspirins now. The elderly couple standing by the exit were visiting their daughter and her family. He noticed the little things, he picked up on them because his mind was open to more than what was in front of him. It helped him to focus more, or other times like now, to distract himself from bad thoughts. It kept him busy.

Paul's bleak expression didn't change when Elora finally turned her head at one of the stops to enlighten him on where they were going. Brooklyn? Why? Why so far? And a gift? For who? Why? A birthday present? Why was it so hard to just tell him from the start that that had been what her plan for the day was? She apologized for hurting his feelings, justifying it with the fact that she didn't like being protected. Paul didn't know what he felt more, anger at her inability to comply, or disgust at her rude behavior. "I'll keep my distance," was all that Paul said, his voice dismissing her apology in a monotone. He was a bit surprised that she apologized at all, nobody generally said sorry to him. Paul fixed his watch, adjusting his jacket to assure that his holster wouldn't peek out. His day wasn't feeling so hot, and it wasn't even nine am.

He gave a curt nod when at last, their subway stop was announced. Of course he didn't need to know that it was the stop, he already had the stop name memorized before he got on the subway. He dropped his hand from the subway hold, allowing Elora to pass him in those impossible high heels before he followed suit. With a sullen, expressionless face, he looked like he hated his life. To any oblivious tourist, he was the boyfriend being dragged on a shopping marathon. Paul sagged behind, disappearing from Miss Varros side as soon as they stepped out of the subway onto the platform. He pocketed his palms, following at a comfortable pace that was enough for Elora to have her privacy. Enough to make him feel like her world's biggest stalker. The bright red hair made it easy to keep track once again, her head often turning to check for him. He took the subway stairs three at a time with a long stride, neglecting the use of the rails, until he reached the top where Miss Varro was awaiting him.

She waited. What a surprise. He squinted his eyes in the sunlight, the two stepping off simultaneously to the side of the dark mouth of the subway station to allow for the commuters to pass by freely. "Do you want me to stay behind? Or walk with you? Whatever you are more comfortable with, Miss Varro," he offered blankly, staring directly through her. He certainly looked unamused, unhappy, and bored. It wasn't that Paul was completely anti-Elora, although he was still miffed by her actions, he just... thought he could be doing more by then in his training than watching some little redhead go shopping. There was nothing physical he had to do, and nobody was actually harassing her to the point he could smash their faces in and let off some steam. It was... sort of boring. Tiresome. He'd much rather have been at the gym, or training with that old rifle he'd picked up from a pawn shop a few days ago and fixed up. But no- Elora needed to go shopping.

The city was very much awake, citizens strolling the sidewalks. Everyone seemed to be in a rush, but there was still this comfortable unity among them all even though they were strangers. They were for the most part New Yorkers, dwelling in a chaotic city of lights and concrete. The skyscrapers provided shade from the sun far up above, and taxi horns echoed in the valleys of the city. Paul avoided looking at the buses, because they boasted a colorful pink sign praising mothers and mother's day. Twenty years had passed, and he still wasn't over himself. Everyone else had moved on, even his father, even Jamie, and yet... Paul still clung. He owed his mother a visit next Sunday for Mother's Day, with her favorite white carnations and daisies. He had to mentally prepare himself, but it was always difficult. Every year he failed, every year, when he set down the bouquet on his mother's grave, Paul lost it. He sobbed for hours, crumpled on the grass surrounding her tombstone. Sometimes he even talked to her, earned sympathetic looks from others. After doing so until the sun began to set, he always sat himself down on his couch at home and drank himself crazy until he passed out on the floor with all the alcohol in his system. He never drank on a regular basis, but when it came to the anniversary of her death, her birthday, or mother's day... he always broke a few bottles. He'd need to call in sick that weekend in advance.

message 11: by E M M A (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments Paul obliged, although he hung back from his client on the busy streets. While his movements were deft and swift, last minute as he cut through and around people on the sidewalk, Miss Varro carried poise and calculated her movements so as to fit perfectly in the movement of the crowd. He didn't feel right walking directly next to her, so hanging back felt like the best option. As a result, he was constantly watching Elora, and to anyone else, it was creepy and disturbing to see a darkly dressed tall and lean man following a shorter redheaded super model. A few times, some of Elora's fans waved hello or snapped a picture of her when she passed. Paul was sure to stay clear out of them, his head ducked. They didn't make it far from the subway station before Elora stopped him. He made a face when she changed her mind about him following her, but just as he was to retreat and fall back a little more, she grabbed his arm.

"Hold your hand?" Paul repeated coolly, as if the idea didn't comply in his head. Hold her hand? What even was that? Paul had never held a girls hand, not once in his entire life. He hadn't even had his first kiss. It made it all the more awkward Paul's shoulder stiffening at the feel of her body so close to him. Like a girlfriend. Paul hated it, his long bony fingers clasping Elora's slender delicate ones. His palms were warm, and her colder hand was cool against his skin. He didn't know how to act, glancing about with a nervous behavior and avoiding Elora's eyes at all costs. It wasn't just a normal hand hold, either. Her arm was laced under his armpit, her cheek against his bicep. It felt like she was burning a hole through his suit jacket, the two of them meandering the streets together trying to feign as a normal couple.

"Do we have to hold hands?" He broke the silence after a couple uncomfortable minutes, hesitation in his normally relaxed tone. Paul had never had a girlfriend, had never had a big crush on a girl, had never kissed or held hands. That much was obvious, in the awkward way he dealt with the female race. His job description hardly required him to work with other women, or for them in that matter. He was awkward in every aspect, he hated the idea of love and the fairy tale that the world presented now adays. Romantic walks on the beach, making out in the car, buying flowers for birthdays. It all seemed too complicated, a waste of time. Maybe it was a good lifestyle for other people, but not for Paul. He could do with out it. All it ever ended up with was heart break, hatred, revenge, crazy exes... nobody ever won.

He was afraid to love because he knew, he just knew, that the very moment he loved someome, made himself vulberable, it would backfire. The one he loved would leave, cheat, hate him, die, lose intrest. Besides, it wasn't like he had any desirable qualities. He doubted any girl could even look him in the eyes. He'd just given up on the idea of romance. They walked for quite some time, Elora prodding him in the right directions when she needed to turn on a corner. They said nothing, the odd "couple", as the crowds wove and split around them. Paul tried not to focus on the fact that they were holding hands, or the fact that she had an arm around his, or the fact that she was implying to the world that she was in a relationship. What if paparazzi or some weird fan began to spread rumor? How was he going to deny it, if he followed her around alot? Could he get in trouble?

This was violating the code, the contract to which he was bound to from this morning. It just wasn't like Paul to be stuck on a girl at all. What if his boss got the wrong idea and fired him? Squirming, Paul continued to walk in a slow stride to make up for Miss Varros quick high heeled ones, a miserable sour expression on his face. They entered a quarter of stores and shops, with little old boutiques right and left. By shopping, he'd thought some airhead like herself would go for the expensive designer stores on the opposite end of the area. Elora's hand tightened in Paul's, his eyebrows furrowing in concern as he stole a glance at her shielded face. He couldn't see her through the long red locks concealing her face, but he wasn't sure how he felt about holding hands still.

Allowing Elora to go first, he followed her down a flight of concrete steps, where a shop was advertised with a sign halfway above ground level. What was this place? Who would shop here? Did they really cross New York for this little shop? Paul ducked his head to avoid hitting his head on the sloped roof, opening the door for Elora before he followed inside. She released his hand by then, and he wasted no time wiping his palm discreetly on his jacket and straightening himself. That had been quite enough hand holding for a day. Now that he thought of it, showing that they were a couple had been quite unnecessary, he could have simply walked beside her, as a friend figure or something. Paul's eyes adjusted to the lighting, the old shop filled with an assortment of items.

He sensed no danger here, and with the way Elora carried herself, she probably knew her way around. A shimmery item caught his eyes on one of the shelves, and after confirming that Miss Varro was just fine talking to some older lady, he took a step to the side to examine the trinket with his long fingers. It was a set of dishes of sorts, with intricate shimmery designs painted onto them. Something his grandmother would favor. There was a variety of knick knacks here and there with their little hand written price tags. Surely Elora wasn't planning on thrift shopping through this place... for a gift. The voices attracted him to the back of the shop, where his client embraced the same white haired lady. Did they know each other? Paul's dark eyes watched them for a moment, his looming tall figure observing, waiting, watching, with his hands in his pockets. They spoke fondly to each other, tears in the woman's eyes as she lingered, holding on to Miss Varro for as long as she possibly could. Was this her grandmother? Mother? Who was this? Why were they hugging? How long were they going to be here? On silent feet, he took cautious steps, pretending to examine the items on the shelves and rearrange them to be straight with the gentle nudge of his knuckles.

He could feel the woman's eyes on him as he held back from talking to the two, his arms folded across his broad chest as he leaned against one of the support beams. "Hello, good morning! Ah, are you another customer? I'll be with you in one bit!" She chirped, her friendly watery eyes smiling at Paul. He gave Miss Varro a sideways glance, without even being permitted the oppurtunity to deny that he wasn't interested in looking at anything here, that he was just following Elora around for the time. He checked his wrist watch with a flourish of the arm, the arms of the clock reading 9:20. The day was draining by unbearably slowly. Too slowly. Was this how it was going to be every day? Waking up, having to mind himself around her apartment and to remember to knock when he walked into a room, then having to endure meals around her? It was painful. He imagined that it wouldn't be that great of a stay, especially with Eloras already reckless and strange behavior. One moment she didn't want anything to do to him, being and far from him and possible, the next she latched onto his arm. Girls were crazy.

message 12: by E M M A (last edited May 05, 2015 10:37PM) (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments Just as Paul was to shrink back into the shelves while Elora and the woman talked some more, Elora had to open her big fat mouth. Once again, the attention swiveled back to him, the two solely focused on his presence so he had but no choice to reapproach them. Paul stood with a slouch beside Elora, his hands in his pockets as he played with the lint against his finegrtips. He offered a tight smile that masked a grimace as Elora introduced him. The first part, the names part, she got right. What she said afterwards was enough to make him choke, a soft gasp escaping his mouth. He was what? Had he heard her right? Elora didn't even miss a beat, not hesitating or pausing in any of it as she introduced him as her boyfriend. Boyfriend, as in someone who was romantically involved with her, someone who held her hand, someone who kissed her. It almost made him laugh, because the joke was on her. He wasn't boyfriend material.

A boyfriend was comfy and cozy, didn't mind stealing kisses from his girlfriend every so often, held her hand, squeezed her butt, bought her nice things, took her nice places. Boyfriends, by American standards, we're basically required to pamper their women, to treat them like the princesses they were. They were expected to be loyal, which made plenty of sense, but Paul saw no point in it. Girls, they liked you, then they dumped you. They could chest on you, they could get hurt, they could lose interest in you, they could blow up in your face. All in a matter of seconds. So what was the point , especially if you weren't dating to get married? Paul saw no plans, none whatsoever, of having children in the future, no wife, no girlfriend. He didn't want any of it.

He didn't want any of it because he knew, he just knew, that he'd lose everything from it. He wasn't good with talking, being gentle, he didn't know how to compliment females, he didn't know how to treat them. Unless a girl was interested in taking down the world's terrorists and didn't mind that he'd would be abroad in danger most of the time with the prospect of dying at any given moment, he would never find anyone. Unless a girl appreciated the fact that he had a very short fuse, or that he didn't talk, didn't socialize, didn't smile, didn't believe in fooling around or joking, and followed a strict set of routine and orderly conduct- he was going to be single for the rest of his life.

And he was okay with that. Paul didn't mind that he was going to be alone, be Paul Greyson, the 80 year old virgin. From high school, he just accepted it as whole, and now that he was 24, he had a feeling that he had been right to assume it. He wasn't finding a girlfriend. He didn't even have the heart. He was a mess, and as much as he hated to admit it, it was upsetting and worrying. He felt like his mother would have been disappointed with his refusal to date, his refusal t fall in love and become vulnerable. She'd scold him for being that way probably, maybe she would even try to pair him up with one of her friend's daughters...But it didnt matter now. With his career path, he thought he was happy and satisifed, perfectly fine with the lifestyle he was leading. He had enough money to get by, and he was going through his training fairly easily. Even if he was disabled on the missions, he had a job guaranteed for an office in the CIA. He was set for life, he was happy, he was fine. He was fine.

Paul grit his teeth and played along with Elora's weird scheme, wondering if this was all a joke. Was she just kidding? Pranking a friend? Was this perhaps her mother? Why hadn't she just been flat out honest about his occupation as her bodyguard? Wouldn't he get in trouble...? This wouldn't look good to anyone, especially because he would now even be seen leaving and entering her apartment. He was in Ina tight spot, and Eloras tendency to throw him into tight spots was really getting on his last nerve. He didn't have the time, nor the patience to deal with any of this. To make it worse, the woman gushed over them with that sickly sweet tone and watering eyes full of emotion. What was she, his grandma? Paul squirmed, smoothing back his hair again. A beautiful couple? A perfect pair? He didn't even know if he had the human genes that came with every male that attracted him to females, especially female bodies. He just didn't find ogling at it very interesting. How could he be Elora's boyfriend? How could he even fake it? Whatever they did, however far Elora took this, he wasn't kissing her. It wasn't going past the hand holding stage.

The way Regina spoke of Elora's love life was... interesting. The woman made it seem as if Elora's relationship status had been single for a very long time, and it was confirmed when Elora tensed with a quick inhale. Regina was acting as if they were getting married with tears of relief and awe in those old wise eyes. Paul had to resist the urge to roll his own eyes, the restlessness to put Elora down and scold her even here growing with every passing moment. It was just lie after lie after lie with this kid! By the end of the few months he was in charge of Elora, Paul expected that she'd be telling everyone they had 72 kids together, and that they lived in Germany in a castle with a stable full of unicorns. And he'd have to go along with it. Oh, Paul would really tell her later, when they had some alone time. He had an idea of what he'd say, with along few... colorful words. He was sick of her cruel games.

Before he really could protest, she slipped her hand into his, clasping his fingers lovingly with this fake smile plastered into her cheeks. She could have anyone else on the planet, yet she was feigning to date her own bodyguard for some stupid reason. Paul knew it wasn't because he was attractive in any way shape or form, and he wasn't even very rich. So why did Elora lie? Why was she such a little brat? As she joined his side, worming her hand into his, he intitally smacked her fingers discreetly away. She attempted once again more forcefully, and although it was in his contract to keep his client safe and not inflict any harm to her, Paul took advantage of the fact that they were holding hands, his fist tightening to the point their knuckles turned white. It was his way to tell her that he knew what she was doing, or at least a hint. Whatever it was? It needed to stop and not escalate any higher than this.

Paul ended up following Elora, then walking from the cash register back to the shelves, the musty air and suffocating thick dust layers coating his throat dry the more he inhaled it. It made his sleeves feel immensely itchier, and he felt little dust puffs floating across the air. This place was an honest to goodness mess. What was the point in sticking around here anymore? Had she sold every last antique on eBay, Paul was certain she'd raise well over a couple hundred thousand, be able to fix up the place or just sell it all together. It was a little confusing how Miss Varro was so charitable and lady like to her little kind friend here, yet Paul was essentially chopped liver in her eyes, the one that she could treat like dirt yet he couldnt say anything to avoid being fired. She could verbally humiliate him in public, push his comfort limits without permission, ruin things for him altogether. And it wasn't even ten am.

As they wandered amongst the shelves, Elora spoke up cheerily with a huge smile on her face. She looked thrilled to be here, while Paul's sullen one glowered at the little items on the shelves. Her questions caught him off gaurd, it had been while he was toying with the arm on some painted Russian doll, well worn and weather beaten. It shouldn't have gotten to him like it did today, but he couldnt help it. It was much too early before Mother's Day to react the way he had, but he couldnt help it. The excessive decor advertising the holiday combined with the cranky attitude he possessed that morning was no match for battling his depression and anxiety. What would he get his mom. Flowers. Flowers to put on her grsve, the same ones he got every year because she loved those flowers, she grew them out in the backyard with him when he was little.

It had been twenty years, but he never gave up on her grave, several occasions a year. Paul didn't answer Elora, turning his head away from her and taking quick strides further from her to examine some China tea pot. His eyes watered, his cold, clean cut features softening momentarily while he battled the thoughts to dwell on the past returned. Of course, Elora was an air head, had no idea what she was doing to him. Nor did she care. Paul was convinced that she was the very devil reincarnate, who wanted to see him suffer and cry, expose his weaknesses to the cold cruel world. His fingers traced the handle of the tea pot, his breathing held tense. He heard those god forsaken high heels of Elora click towards him in a quick pace, her presence once again forcing itself upon him. She poked and prodded his tightly curled bicep, that meddled with the tea pot, her voice cheery as she teased him some more with that playful tone he couldnt stand. She thought she could be so friendly after all she'd done to him!

He couldn't take it when she asked the third time, the words bubbling up in his chest before he spat them out with vile. Paul's fingers seized the tea pot, hurling the object past her onto the concrete floor. He could hear Reginas resounded gasp a few rows down, his skin burninging. "My mother's dead, Elora! I take her flowers every year, and put them on her grave, okay! Then I drink until I pass out from all the alcohol in my system, and hope I don't wake up the next morning-!" He snarled rudely, his fists curled by his side as he breathed heavily, his shoudlers hunched defensively. His loud voice reverberated on the walls, his heart hammering in his chest.

The two stared at each other squarely for a couple of seconds while Paul regained his bearings, horrified at what he'd just done. He took deep breaths, the ship deathly quiet with no one daring to make a single move. "My mother's dead, Miss Varro," he repeated in a whisper, shock still in his voice as if he didn't believe it. He just felt the need to scream and kick , smash his fists into the walls until he bled from the knuckles. It wasn't fair. "I'll be outside until you finish your shopping,"he grit his teeth tightly, his eyes torn and cast to the ground as he turned away. He looked like the energy had been literally sucked from him, his cheeks hollow and his posture having lost its lively confidence. Why did Elora have to be so... annoying? Paul regretted admitting his habits, his shameful outburst proving to be something he wasn't too proud of.

message 13: by E M M A (last edited May 06, 2015 06:14PM) (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments For once, Elora was quiet. She allowed him to storm away, his hand sweeping through his hair as he fought to keep the inevitable tears from spilling over onto his hollow cheekbones. This wasn't supposed to be happening! Paul had promsied his boss that he wouldn't do this, that he wouldn't ruin the credibility he had with the company and the clients by failing to control himself. He swore he wouldn't touch alcohol while employed, and he wouldn't think of his mother as much as he could manage even during this time of the year. His boss had tried to distract him even by scheduling his day of employment with Elora to begin earlier, thinking that her antics would be enough to keep him busy for the while. It didn't work. Instead, it escalated everything. His day was a horrible nightmare, and Paul just wanted to take every thing back now. He wanted to erase it, start over, have a do over. He hadn't gotten any sleep the night before, he was sore, hungry, fatigued, with a migraine, and starting a new job; his client was famous and an air headed bimbo, she made the entire public convinced that they were dating, and now she'd gone and upset him about his mother on the week of mother's day. Paul had never felt so shallow and negative of recent than today.

He hated everything. He hated her. Why did she have to bother him about everything and be so pushy? The first and last hot tear trickled down the side of his cheek just as he slammed his shoulder into the door, throwing it open with the force of his body as he ascended the stairs hurriedly. A large lump had been forming in his throat, one too hard to swallow, as he collapsed on a bus bench only a few meters away from the little shop. He buried his face into his large palms, his nose pink in reaction to the instinct to want to cry. Not this, no. He couldn't cry. He had to save it. He couldn't drown himself in his sorrows on day one of his job, how was he supposed to progress through the ranks this way? His promotion and training officer had warned Paul if he couldnt keep his act together, no matter how talented he was to the government, they couldn't use him because of his mental instability.

He focused on his breathing, sitting hunched over with his elbows digging into his thighs on the cold bench. The sounds of the city echoed in his ears as cars swung by in the less busy neighborhood, people's chatter coming and going. He knew he was supposed to be watching Elora, but he couldnt do this. He had to have some alone time. He'd be okay, he repeatedly told himself, his main focus being Inhaling through his nose and exhaling shakily through his lips. The tears had long since dried, now the only thing being his racing, agitated heart. He was beginning to feel somewhat calm again, but whatever was left of his determination to do well on his assignment crippling in his limp body. He felt small and weak, embarassed at how he'd reacted in front of his own client and now supposed girlfriend. Paul felt like such an idiot, a big crybaby. People lost their parents all the time, some people didn't even have them. He'd lost them twenty years ago, and yet he was still whining and exploding at anyone who mentioned the word 'mom'. He was so extremely sensitive for someone who was so cold and quiet, stony and strong. Why? Why hadn't he gotten over it when everyone else seemed to be able to? It wasn't fair.

He finally managed to pull himself to his feet and restraighten his clothing, smoothing out the wrinkles and the dust, and went to stand beside the crumbling building with his back against the chipping paint. He took deep breaths to soothe his mind, as his old counselor had told him to do, his eyes closed as he tried to feel better about himself. A while later, as he was beginning to build up the resolve to go check on Elora, he heard a familiar set of heels approach and slow beside him. She didn't come close in his arms reach (wisely enough), but leaned up against the wall a few paces down with her eyes watching him. Paul pocketed his hands sullenly, his eyes reopening as he pushed himself off the wall to get to business, wherever they were going next for her mother's present.

She babbled her useless stupid apologies, his bitter resentment building inside of his chest as he tried to keep his fists from curling inside his pockets. Sorry? What did she know about being sorry? She was just an idiot, she didn't know what she was talking about! Paul gnawed on his lip, unable to help the immaturity but to look down at his feet and pretend to be interested in the sidewalks instead. He was just relieved when she announced that they could go to her place, wherever that was, and that she was sorry for dragging him out here to Brooklyn for no reason at all. By the looks of it, she hadn't bought her mother anything at all. It wasn't even noon, and already the two had such terrible tension strains. Had he been a normal bodyguard, without all this excess baggage and tendency to lose his temper easily, they'd be getting along just fine in that little shop, maybe he even would have found soemthing in there for himself. But no.

Elora stalked off in quick footsteps away from him, back in the direction they'd come, with her head held low. They were both in crappy spirits, with downcast eyes and slouched shoulders. Paul slunk behind moodily, the supposed happy new couple now distances apart. This was why he didn't Dela with girls, or other people in general. They got nosy, and then he hurt them like this. He destroyed their feelings and made them feel crappy. Paul kept his hands in his pockets, now half heartedly watching the bobbing red head of hair he'd grown to despise as she walked in the crowds. She was on her phone for a while, looking through text messages he supposed and probably telling her boss how much of a nut he was and that she needed him replaced. It made Paul wonder, what kind of life did she actually lead? What was she like? Would she be the kind to snitch whenever he broke the rules, which was likely to happen this Mother's Day weekend? Was she the type to poke and prod and try to talk about his "feelings"? Girls did that alot. Well at least, his step mother, counselor, and base nurse did.

She was on the telephone now, and Paul still hung back several feet between them as they advanced to the subway station. He wasn't too concerned who she was talking to, until her voice began to rise as she spat angrily into the reciever. Was she talking about him? How he caused a scene at that little shop, broke merchandise? He'd forgotten to pay for it, now that he thought back on it... Paul felt like a little kid again, waiting and dreading for the moment he'd actually get in trouble. He couldn't afford to get in trouble amymore. He couldn't afford to have any more slip ups, or anymore breakdowns. He couldn't. He tried to make out her chatter, but with the distance he'd put between them any the pushy crowds that were hard to advance in, he couldnt hear any bit of it. He could guess that it was about him in the agitated way which she talked, her aggressive body language nearly confirming it. He could be sure that he would be fired In the next five minutes, certain!

He caught up and gained considerable ground just as she hung up to his disappointment, her freckled cheeks red and her eyebrows tightly scrunched over her nose. Elora looked rabid, and just as he was approaching to apologize, she swung her foot into the lamp pole. Paul automatically dropped his jaw, gasping in absolute horror as the ear splitting shriek filled his ears. Oh Elora. Oh oh oh. The crowd stopped, some hurrying further away from the commotion, as the superstar celebrity hopped around on a foot before stumbling to the ground in the most ungraceful manner possible. A supposed journalist who had been training them for quite some time now, the man in the courdouroys with the odd green velvet vest, snapped a few pictures with his smartphone and scribbled things down on his notepad with glee. Similarly, other passersby snickered at the supermodel sprawled on the ground on her face, her designer heels snapped in half on one foot while the other heel had fallen to the side of the gutter with dirt and rain water staining the sides.

Now normally, Paul would have been pleased. Another stupid rich talentless person, getting the humiliation they deserved. They loved attention, didn't they? However, despite the hatred Paul held for Elora, he wasn't going to sit by on this one. As her employer, he had this instinct to defend her, his own scowling face making an appearance pushing out of the crowd. "Elora," he called gently, his voice soft. He was exhausted, you could tell, but moreover trying to avoid the attention of the nosy busy bodies. He was tempted to growl at them, lash out, break a few cameras, but he didnt. Elora took her shoes in her hand, hurriedly getting to her bare feet with her head down. Her bottom lip trembled, and Paul... he felt bad. He caught the first few tears, sympathetic as he moved in front of the crowd to shield the direct view of her face for the moment, as the least he could do. She was crying, and now Paul felt extremely uncomfortable.

He used a hand to steady her by the arm, gently prying the broken shoes from her hands into his own as they walked ever so slowly as Elora regained her bearings. Paul heard things being asked from the crowd, but the two ignored it. Most of it. Someone said boyfriend, reminding him of the role which he was to serve. He pretended not to fuss and draw attention to the peeling raw skin on her hands and on her ankle, as well as her arms. Instead, he tossed the shoes into the nearest trash can, before halting Elora. "Piggy back ride? You're not walking barefoot the entire way back, Miss Varro," he whispered under his voice, speaking inches from her ear. He had managed to put aside his hatred for her for the moment, in order to defend not only her, but him as well, as a team, to nurse the terrible situation and make it seem like something else to the press. After all, this was his fault. Had he not pissed her off, she wouldn't have been so angry, she wouldn't have kicked the pole and hurt herself.

message 14: by E M M A (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments Elora was just as surprised as he was at his own offer to carry her home. It was something geniune, and Elora had better enjoy it while she could because he surely wasn't going to be this nice ever again. He just wanted to get to her apartment and settle down, rest his sore limbs. After such an intense rigorous training, he felt weak, with every straining movement pulling at a sensitive muscle. "Bridal?" Paul murmured, stopping in the middle of the sidewalk with Elora leaning against his arm. This was already too much physical contact with a client than he liked, but they had no choice. Elora had no choice, and since all these cameras were watching him, he could look like the douchey "boyfriend" and pretend he didn't see that his "girlfriend" was walking barefoot on the streets of Brooklyn, humiliate the supermodel, or he could be a gentleman like his father had stressed, and carry Elora back home nobly. And so he did, literally sweeping her off her feet without warning with a strong heft of his arms around her body.

One arm curled under her knees, the other cradling and supporting her back. He kept her close to his chest, deciding he wasn't too keen on allowing any extra space to separate them and make it easier to lose his balance jostled by the crowd and drop her on the cement. He'd win bodyguard of the year, je was certain of it. "Keep your head down," he sighed, his dark blue eyes unamused as photos were snapped of the two. His episode at the little shop was momentarily forgotten, and that's the way Paul wished to keep it. Deep down. Of course, she'd bring it up at some point, and make him feel crappy all over again... but that was later. He jsut had to focus on maneuvering through the weaving people, ignore the angry annoyed ones who were displeased with Paul's elbows or Elora's legs brushing against them. He pretended not to be fazed by these either, his stride confident and steady. Although he didn't feel too great about himself that day, he could do his job. In a way, Elora's... misbehavior and injury had done some to alleviate the depression and anxiety issues that had threatened to suffocate him that morning.

Elora had her arms around his neck, her wet cheeks pressed up against his chest. His suit jacket had been rustled and wrinkled back, so it provided some awkward cushioning for her head. He'd never held anyone so... intimately before, and it just felt... weird. He'd never had his hands anywhere near a girl, so to be doing it now was something else. He wanted to put her down right away. Although Miss Varro was weightless, quite literally, he didn't like the idea of him holding her and the whole couple thing being reinforced on his terms. It just screamed sexual misconduct. If he looked at his phone now in his pocket, he'd find his boss' angry texts and calls, along with some from Elora's manager as well, all roasting him for disobeying the contract and threatening his job. He'd find his father's confused message, teasing his eldest son if it could be true that Paul Greyson was in love with a supermodel. Of course he wasnt, not even in the remote sense, but with the scheme they were putting on, it was impossible to tell. Paul just hoped it didnt go any further than it already had, with less hand holding and carrying if he could manage.

The station was a far walk from where they had been in the Brooklyn quarter, but they made it. Paul's sore body screamed with the way he kept his arms locked so tensely while he carried Miss Varro, and his back and abdomen ached from having stayed so stiff and rigid against the feel of Elora's body against him. He didn't like it. When they descended into the station, Elora lifted her red head, the two of them searching for the stop. She wiped her face on his shirt to his disgust, leaving dark black smudges with watery eyeshadow. Growling under his breath, Paul scowled, vowing to himself to carry a tide white out pen for times like these. He wasn't supposed to have had any dirty job that day, but it wouldn't be the first time his assumption was wrong. He could wash the shirt. It was fine. Just... fine.

She opened her big mouth again, announcing impatiently that he could set her down in the subway station. He nodded briefly, obliging happily as he set her feet down on the cold concrete. He stretched his arms behind him and cracked his shoulders, before shoving his hands into his pockets for the upteenth time. His suit was a mess, so was his face, but he didn't care anymore. As far as they got back to the center of the city and he could bring his things to the apartment and settle down, he was fine. It would just be entertaining for Elora to see how his neat OCD functioned, what was acceptable and what wasnt. He just hoped to god he had his own bathroom. There was so much he was particular about, he was exceedingly uncomfortable. He had to have the bed made, the couch pillows in order, the dishwasher always unloaded if it was clesn, and absolutely no trash or laundry laying about. That, and he had his weapons hidden around in unexpected places, like a mag for his hand gun hidden in the bag of three year old flour in its plastic baggie, or the switchblade concealed in the side of the lampshade.

"That's wonderful," he replied druly, not paying any attention at all to what Elora had to say as he navigated them through the subway for the tickets. "We're going straight to your apartment, correct?" Paul hinted, a forcible tone in his voice. He didn't think they could handle any more adventures today. No more surprises either. Paul ordered the tickets this time for a return trip, flashing his modest credit card and exchanged for two passes. He kept close reigns on Elora now, ready to snatch an arm out and curl his fingers around her wrist to hold her back if she tries to bolt. It was quiet, and awkward between the two of them. He'd really done it this time to strain relationships between them, him as her bodyguard and her as his client. Paul consistently blamed himself as he thought the situation back over, his cheek being gnawed furiously as he thought it over. The two of them stood a couple feet apart, immersed each in their own little bubble of quiet and feeling.

They boarded a nearly empty subway car, the crowds feom.that morning having dispersed and fizzled out as noon approched. The only other passenger was a snoring old man in the front, the two of them sitting in the back. Paul sunk himself slowly in the aisle seat, keeping Elora encased in the window seat. There were so many other seats he could have sat at, but he didn't feel comfortable being so far from her. He didn't want her to feel any more awkward than it was, and allowing for no others to fit there and start flirting with his client. He wasn't breaking any face sucking boys off her today, no sir. The ride was silent as the subway whirred, lurching forward as they sat in relative silence. Paul had so much on his mind as the subway drove on its tracks, the two of them brewing over the events. He didn't know how to apologize or what to say, but he eventually opened his mouth.

"I'm sorry, Miss Varro," he blurted, his dark blue eyes flickering from the floor to Elora's deep eyes. The tears had faded on her cheeks, although she looked exhausted with her hair a mess and her clothes rumpled. Her makeup was snudged, no natural look for a super model. "I didn't mean to snap... it wasn't necessary," he added seriously, meaning every word of it as he churned out genuine apologies for Elora. Although he still was irritated for her stupidity to pursue the sensitive tender subject despite the obvious signs, he was too tired to fight Elora on it. His head hurt, his chest hurt, his arms were beginning to feel dead. His clothes were wrinkled incorrigibly. His reputation? Permanently tarnished.

It was quiet for a moment, before Paul interrupted again, let me see your ankle, Miss Varro," he insisted softly, gesturing to the spot on the seat between them for her bare foot. As part of his bodyguard criteria, he was also responsible for caring for her first aid and sickness. Her manager would kill him if he came back with her ankle swollen and puffy after what she'd bee through. Turning to his side, Paul hunched his shoudlers, his eyes narrowed ss he examined her ankle carefully. A simple sprain from the high heels snapping, not to mention rocks and pebbles, and a little scrape on her toe with the pain equivalent of a paper cut. Plus, the beautiful magenta and green bruise blossoming beautifully on Elora's toes, on four of them all across the top. Paul made a face, a grimace as he poked and prodded Elora's foot. He mumbled things to himself studiously, before holding out his hands. "Let me see em," he gestured with the movement of fingers. He checked her scrapes and took notes on what had to be done as soon they arrived.

message 15: by E M M A (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments When Paul apologized, it was way out of his comfort to be doing something like that. It felt like his tongue was becoming tangled as he forced it out, that simple 'I'm sorry' causing his chest to burn. He never apologized, for anything. Especially when it was about... his mother. He never apologized, he always justified it. This had been the first and what he hoped the last time he broke his temper at his client, especially over something that he shouldn't have hung on to this long. He had trouble letting his mother go, ever since day one. No one had made the effort to comfort him and help him while the event was still fresh, and his father and family friends and relatives always used the excuse that young Paul just needed space, that it was best not to bother him in that time of grieving. Little did they know that a shoulder to cry on or a few reassuring words had been all he needed to go back to normal. So here he was, 24 years old, an adult - and in declining mental health as the misery built up over time. To think that he could have ended up normal, without so many problems...

"No, Miss Varro. I'm sorry," he repeated, a strain to his voice on the emphasis. He was really sorry. For everything. For being her bodyguard, for acting out at her friends shop, for causing her to get upset and hurt herself. As much as he hated Elora, he didn't want her to be as miserable as he was. He knew what it was like to be upset, because he was. All the time. He'd never wish it on someone like her. "I shouldn't have gotten upset at you like that, it won't happen again... Just don't tell my boss, or yours, please, Elora?" He pleaded, for the moment his eyes losing its permanent glare as he clasped his hands in beg. All it took was her spilling about how escalated the situation had gotten, on the wrong side of the job. It was fine if Elora slapped him, called him names , threw an antique tea pot past his face - but it was entirely unacceptable that he did what he did to her. His boss would not only have to report it to the big guy, but Paul's career would be suspended if he made too many rash, careless errors.

He was just overly relieved when he was able to evade the topic any longer, returning to his usual, gloomy state. Elora's ankle was intact, if not a little swollen. Her feet, he noted, were tiny. Tiny. She was petite, and thin- an easy target for anyone to attack. No wonder her boss had been so concerned. "Are you sure about that?" Paul countered, his thumb and index finger slowly applying pressure to the bruised area. It was satisfying to see Elora wince, her lie clear as day. Why she tried to trick him made no sense. "I'll put some ice on it when we arrive," he mumbled tonelessly, sounding uninterested in the matter as with everything. Paul checked the other parts of her foot, assured that the blood on one of her toes was from a scrape on the sidewalk and not a bone snapping or dislocating out of place. If it had been the case, it wouldn't have been a problem for him anyway. He'd set her foot right then and there in the subway, wrap it up with a little bit of cloth. Easy.

Her giggling otherwise had left Paul breathing relatively easy, without any substantial injuries that would affect her career devastatingly. They could just hide the swollen part tonight somehow with some ice, put her on medicine to take away the swelling, and she'd be good as new. There. And Paul eouldnt be under any question at all, with no major cuts or scrapes besides her hands and elbows. She just fell walking was all, and it wasn't far from the truth at all. Paul could relax now as he sat in the subway, his hands clasped in his lap with his shoulders resting against the back of the seat. Elora felt like a mere child's size beside him, with her frame dwarfed by his giant one. It was a rough and rocky start to this job, but he was going to finish it. He was determined to do it right, despite the emotional and mental obstacles he was having to suffer with at the moment. He drew his mind from thinking about his mother by counting the seconds as it went by, timing how long the subway stops were and how long it actually took them to get to Elora's apartment.

Anyone could guess that a rich supermodel like herself would own a luxurious suite downtown in a tall skyscraper, with fancy personal elvators and expensive furniture that looked like it was hardly ever used. He didn't think Elora would have trash and dirty laundry everywhere, nor did he wish to see that upon his entry. She knew he was coming, no doubt she'd have the courtesy to clean up a bit right? He was so wrong. Paul stood as soon as the intercom announced their stop, his height towering over the seats and the few others that had entered the subway car for an early lunch break. "Can you walk?" He questioned boldly as they stepped out of the car, into the busy sub stations. They walked now together to the top of the stairs, back out into the familiar open air.

He had his arm ready in the event that Elora stumbled, her bare feet picking carefully on the dirty, filthy sidewalks. Paul guided her through the streets at her direction, careful to tug her arm aside whenever there was a broken glass bottles shards on the concrete or a particularly nasty stain of old food. He didn't want to ask to a carry her again, to make it seem like he enjoyed it- which he didnt- but he was uncomfortable the entire time she walked barefoot. He knew people took pictures. He knew. He saw them! If his boss did? Paul was screwed. Overthinking it as he always did, the two of them ventured down some streets, across some intersections, and towards a more residential quarter with more apartments and somewhat less people. He couldn't believe it when Elora pointed out her apartment building. This? This was the residence of the cocky rich, famous Elora Varro? He was astonished. Maybe she was alot more humble than he realized.

In response Paul only grunted, still absorbing the surrounding buildings, parked cars, and shops. He memorized the general layout of the front of the apartment building by the time they reached the ground floor elevator, the old thing creaking and wheezing as it carried them upward. He'd never felt so heavy in his life, more concerned that the lines would snap and drop them to the ground floor again in a fiery flaming mesd. At least, Paul was pleased to see, they were on the fifth floor. No annoying upstairs neighbors who stomped and partied into the wee hours of the morning, and quite possibly a good view and higher ceilings. Perfect. They were less vulnerable up there anyway, to whatever fans she had thst came stalking. He soundless ly padded after Elora on the carpeted hallways, inhaling the smell of apartment building deeply. At the end of the hall she finally turned, brandishing a key from her fancy purse to open the front door. He was grateful. It was an end apsrtment as well.

Once stepping inside, Paul was hit with this wave of extreme disbelief. His jaw literally dropped, his dark blue eyes horrified at what he saw. There was trash, everywhere. Old takeout, water bottles, reciepts, wrappers. Then there was... there was the BRA situation. Piled high all innocent on the couch amidst some other laundry, he felt extremely uncomfortable seeing his clients underwear just out in plain open. Shoes were scattered here and there, everything was in disarray. Paul wanted to throw up. He couldn't live here! Had no one told the woman he was coming, or hadn't her mother at least reinforced good cleaning habits? Paul had his lazy days once in a while, but it never got this messy. He barely heard Elora mumble that she would open a window for them, too shocked and stunned by the horrible housekeeping situation. The apsrtment was also so small, and it made him wonder why. Elora could have a mansion by now. Why would she choose somewhere so small? Was she in debt? Not as popular as he'd presumed? Getting bad pay?

Elora went off into another side room that stemmed off the hallway, shutting the door quickly behind her as she rummaged inside of it for a while, then opened a window. Paul was still completely floored. This was incredible. He almost laughed in disbelief. There had to be someone else here who made this mess. Someone. Anyone. When Elora didn't reemerge after a couple minutes, Paul couldn't take it anymore. The stench and the disarray- it was too much anxiety for him. And so Paul, with his OCD, set his twitching fingers to work, nearly running forward to scoop the first few bottles off the coffee table into his arms. Over the course of ten minutes, Paul muttered to himself about how he hadn't signed up to be her maid as well as her bodyguard and nurse. A total of eight, yes eight, bottles of tea, water, or juice had been found in the main open floor plan, sitting neatly in a collection on the kitchen granite.

He quickly located the trash can in the kitchen cabinet under the sink, also discovering dirty dishes. Whimpering, Paul threw off his suit jacket and draped it neatly on one of the bar stools. He pushed up his dress shirt sleeves, discovered the makeup stains on his tshirt, cried a little, then took up the trash can as the human hoover around the living room and kitchen area. Anything was trash to him. He was tempted to simply shove all her beauty magazines scattered about into the trusty black bag, but knew his client would freak out. There was so much to do, that Paul was already making a to do list that made his head hurt. Clean the dishes, unload the dishwasher, take out the stains in his shirt, clean the carpet stains by the door, clorox the counters and the stove, scrub the pan, vacuum, wash the pillows on the couch, straighten the furniture- it was just so much. He just prayed she didn't have a cat. He hated, hated cats. Any animal for that matter.

message 16: by E M M A (new)


message 17: by E M M A (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments Just as Paul was tying up one garbage bag in the kitchen and replacing it with another empty one he'd found from a box in one of the cubboards, Elora returned, casually drawling about her life. He could care less. He was just here to protect her, and provide any substantial assistance he could offer. He carried on seeing that Elora didn't seem to react much at all to the fact that he was in essence flipping her apartment upside down, with trash sorted out in neat little piles, the magaiznes stashed away in the basket under the coffee table on the shelf, the water bottles empty and capless on the counter for recycling. With his large stature and height, the apartment was much too small for his liking. He immediately felt a pang of homesickness, although he had lived in worse- far worse - conditions than this. At least his own apartment suite had an open floor plan, and high, high ceilings for his claustrophobia. At least he was getting a room to himself here, right? A place to hide from the madness that was his job? Paul set down the bulging voluminous garbage bag by the front door, when Elora halted abruptly in her haughty mid-sentence.

"Cleaning, if you don't mind- Miss Varro," Paul held his tongue from referring to his client as Your Majesty, something along those bitter lines. She had to be at least grateful he was doing this service for her. What if fans broke in and found out what kind of apartment she managed? One that resembled- and smelled- like a pig sty? There was already limited space as it was, there wasn't any need for it to feel any smaller. Paul continued, busying himself with poking around in the kitchen for a set of cleaning supplies. He couldn't find much of anything, with disarray and nearly no organization to anything at all. At least the utensils had their nice sorting slots, split evenly in one drawer. There was lots of work to be done, he didn't even want to look in her room or even his, presuming he had one. There was also the fridge, which he had feeling that theyd need to make a run to the store when they went to go to his apartment for his own supplies and the Hummer.

Paul was very distracted. With all there was to do, he couldn't focus on any one task and stick to it. One moment he was sorting trash, another he was spongeing down the countertops with his sleeves rolled up. As he neared the couch to do something about straightening it up and restoring the cushions to its plump origin AL shape, Elora blurted. It made him halt in his tracks with an uncomfortable grimace on his fsce, a permanent expression that seemed to just stick with him for that duration of the day. What was he supposed to do with... with the bras anyway? Just leave them there, in open sight? He had his step sisters Bailey and Allison, but they never left their bras around. He didn't have any relations with girls, so he hardly knew what they looked like really. Paul mustered a nod, swallowing his words as he awkwardly debated whether he'd just walk back the way he came, or go for the couch anyway. But what did it have anything to do with... Cuddles? Couldn't this Cuddles jsut go sleep with her Victoria Secret elsewhere? In her own bedroom, perhaps?

Then it hit him, like a freight train. Cuddles. Cuddles was a thing. A living thing.... that slept with bras. Paul's mind immediately fired to a dog, which was slightly tolerable, but then it veered off. A cat? Could it be? His heart rate sped up, his eyes narrowing at Elora in a scowl as she told him about this Cuddles that could sleep with him, maybe, and that she wished the stupid thing would sleep with her. Paul glanced up from the ground in horror just in time to catch her wink, his stomach churning now. He felt like he could hurl, with all the pressure and change he'd been thrown under that morning. It was just getting to noon, and he was already exhausted with this Elora.

Then she recommended benadryl, smugness dripping in her voice. Cats. Cuddles was a cat. A cat that slept with bras. Paul. Hated. Cats. Loathed them, despised them! They were full of fur that shed and stuck to your clothes, they gave Paul sniffles and a sore throat. Cats were nothing but trouble with the claws and the stupid lazy behavior which they possessed. They rubbed on your legs and made you itchy, they purred endlessly and nonstep. Cats knew how to get into everything, and were extremely snesky. He'd had his fair share of cats in the family, starting with Baileys stupid orange tabby. The thing was the devil reincarnate. And now Elora was telling him he had to share the living space with a cat as well-? Paul had thought himself to be very clear when he told his boss to make sure the client would not own an animal of any kind, especially a feline.

"N-no! No no no! It's- Miss Varro!" Her interjection had snapped him out of his misery. Paul yelped after her as she excitedly whirled around on her feet, skipping down the hall to go find this kitten. Yelling was futile, he knew she chose not to hear him. No! He didn't need to see her devilish cat! He had enough going on with Elora, anyway! It was too late, as he heard his client cooing and calling to her cat in that unbearable whiny girl voice that females always did when talking to animals and little kids. He strained to listen to her call for Cuddles, holding his breath hoping thst the animal hadn't even shown up, maybe died in the tub or something. Her foodsteps resounded in the halls as Elora emerged with a dark fur in her arms. It purred, blinking it's eyes lazily at him. Paul felt weak at the knees, disgusted, horrifed, all at once. Why him? Why? What had he done?

She introduced him to her kitten Cuddles officially, holding the cat in her arms as if it were a newborn child. She disgusted him. In response to her question, Paul simply wheezed, an uncomfortable noise in the back of his throat. He thought it was hideous. He could already feel his skin in breaking out in hives from this. Before he could actually protest and whine, however, the situation switched in the instant. Elora thrust the animal into his chest with no choice but to catch and hold the kitten, her claim that she'd go for a shower and thst he needed to feed and hold her. Paul couldn't make sense of a single thought that wanted to roll off his tongue. The cats sharp claws was digging into his fore arm as the kitten scrambled to grasp hold that kept him from falling to his death. "Miss Varro? Miss Varro-! The cat-" Paul had began to stammer after her, flustered as he held the animal at arms length in front of him. He was responded by the sound of slamming bathroom door, the kitten allowing for one final mew. Paul could faint. What was he supposed to do! How was he supposed to feed it?

And so Paul rummaged the pantry the cat ever so gingerly tucked under his arm. Cuddles didn't seem to mind it all that much as Paul searched for food, locating an easy canned cat dinner in the depths of the nearly empty shelves. "Food! Yes, here you go..." Paul breathed, squatting in the kitchen as he peeled back the top tin lid of the vat food while the kitten playfully sniffed the air. It began to lap up and eat the food he left for it, with the steady sound of its little bell on its collar ringing in his ears. He could hear Elora had a shower going, so with that, Paul resumed, or attempted to, the rest of his clean. Paul settled himself at the kitchen sink for dish duty, washing each old dish dutifully and trying to prevent the pungent smells from piercing his eyes. It just wasn't his day.

The cat lingered around Paul and purred this way and that, batting his pantsuit leg several times with nippy claws. He thought he'd scream, throw the animal out the window. Elora's bathroom door opened, her towels body emerging rather confidently. Paul was terrified. Had she forgotten he was here and that in the presence of a male, her supposed boyfriend couldn't accept these sort of blasphemous behaviors? That it made Paul uncomfortable to be in the same area as some girl who wore a crop top and shorts, let alone just a towel! Elora made herself comfortable on the very kitchen counter he just wiped down, a face being made on his already exhausted face. What was she doing now? "Miss Varro?" He raised an eyebrow questioningly, tightness to his tone as he fidgeted with a waterbottle in his hands. Her requests were equally as unacceptable and absurd as the rest of them were, but it gave Paul soemthing else to look at, or for .

"The uh- bras? Erm... okay, I'll- I will go get something," Paul strained, dropping the bottle on the free counter away from Elora and her bare legs and too loose and short of a towel. He'd seen alot more of his client than he ever could have wondered. Paul gingerly pinched a lacy bra in his hands, whimpering under his breath. He found some girls underwear too, the thin material setting Paul's face on fire. This was absurd. Why was he doing this? Why couldn't Elora just go herself? He'd close his eyes , burn them, gouge them off if she wanted him to. Anything but touch women's clothing. In the mess of laundry that was the couch, Paul also randomly selected a tshirt and pair of loose shorts, all of these dwarfed in the crook of his arm.

"Take them," he nearly begged, thrusting the clothing articles into Elora's lap. He tried not to look too much at his clients rather risqué presence. Paul couldnt help himself, however, allowing himself to sneak a few peeks that he immediately regretted. This wasn't okay, he was already in enough trouble as it was. The cat rubbed up against his leg again, purring with content twice. "Move!" He howled, tempted to kick the animal clear across the kitchen. He had things to do! "I hate cats," Paul grumbled through grit teeth, determined to keep his head down I'm case Elora decided to change just right there in the kitchen. He hated cats and she knew it. They were so mean and ugly, evil, bothersome. How was he to survive living here? Paul began to scrub the last few dushes, mostly sulverware, with ideas in mind how to wash his shirt without too much fuss and time consumption.

message 18: by E M M A (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments Once Paul literally threw the clothing into Elora's lap, he wasted no time to revert his eyes elsewhere, particularly to the dishes he set himself busy to. There were alot of them, and luckily the massive amounts of dish soap he'd accidentally poured onto the sponges kept him busy. Until he heard Elora moving about. He made the mistake of checking over his shoulder as Elora's feet landed on the floor again, her bare back and rear end completely exposed for him to see. He gawked. He couldn't help it. What was this woman's deal-? Why was she doing this? Was it not weird for her to be getting dressed in front of her own bodyguard-! Paul's jaw dropped as he watched her dress, soon disgusted with himself as his chest burned with guilt. That was wrong. So wrong. That wasn't okay! Paul whipped his attention back to the dishes in the sink, scrubbing the old bowl of oatmeal rigorously while the water splashed onto his arms and his sleeves.

With his heart still flip flopping with the images of Elora still burned fresh into his mind, Paul felt nauseated. he shouldnt have looked. He knew he shouldnt have. Paul never broke the rules, he never broke his boss' trust and here he was, allowing himself to violate and offend the contract. He couldn't take this anymore, the guilt, the pressure. He couldn't handle her. It wasn't even a full day, not even a six hour shift and he was already driven nuts. Paul Greyson, and he was ready to be giving up. Perhaps it was the fact that the woman, the young model, was just as messed up in the head as the rest of the youth of their time. He didn't know if he could deal with he anxiety of seeing his client naked all the time, but he supposed he would get used to it. It couldn't have been a big deal, surely Elora had several pictures of herself nearly naked in some skimpy bathing suit anyway! So why was he freaking out? He didn't find her attractive, did he...?

Left alone once more, Paul snuck in some exaggerated deep breaths, trying to regain his normal stature. He could handle this. He'd fought through a terrorist camp before, and endured all the horrors- he could get through this. He could get through six months of babysitting a carefree and stubborn model who enjoyed being naked alot. He could do this. Right? Paul gripped the ceramic dish tightly in the sink until he thought he'd snap it clean in half, his shoulders tense as he heard Elora's footsteps on the carpet slowly fade away. What next? What else could he possibly have to endure? This was a bodyguarding job, and he was seeing a whole lot more danger in Elora than any other possible pursuer he was supposed to be protecting her from. Maybe he'd quit. Ask to be assigned someone different, tell his boss the true horrors of being Elora Varros bodyguard. He didn't care if she won in this whole argument of having a bodyguard or not, he just wanted her away from him. Far away.

He heard her bedroom door shut with a soft muffled click down the hall, followed by a pair of footsteps once again. Elora. Fumbling with the silverware in his hand as his other scrubbed down the food using the sponge, he pretended not to notice her approaching even when she cleared her throat in the kitchen behind him with her little announcement. He didn't like the way Elora made him feel nervous, with her scantily clad body and her rash actions that had innumerable consequences on his part. It was just too much to bear. Miss Varro spoke up once she realized that Paul wasn't going to turn around and address her, especially after her little surprise, and she continued. His boss couldn't have possibly agreed that the relationship was a good idea.

He couldn't POSSIBLY. Gerald knew everything Paul had been through, he knew that Paul wasn't a social guy, that he didn't associate with human beings for the matter. His boss knew about his tempermental behavior and his outbursts, as well as his ever lasting cold shoulder, his steely gaze. His boss wasn't stupid, but Paul had his doubts now. No way. Paul wasn't going to oblige with this fake relationship thing, it was ridiculous! Why couldn't he just be Elora Varros friend, or her new business manager or something? Why did he have to go and be her boyfriend all of a sudden? Paul was determined to protest the matter, his jaw set straight with his lips in a firm line. He slowly shut off the tap, turning his body to angle towards Elora who was eating an apple by the fridge with an amused expression. Paul wasn't impressed. At. All.

Wiping his hands on the kitchen towel, Paul glowered at Elora, standing tall with an icy look in his eyes. Oh he could hurt someone right then. "Thank you, Miss Varro," he snapped through grit teeth, acid and venom in his tone as he gripped the wet counter behind him in irritation to keep himself in check. He couldn't have another outburst, at least. At first Paul may have cared that Elora felt comfortable and not too afraid of him, but now- oh now, it was definitely on. It felt to him that she was challenging him, with that mischievious gleam in her eyes at his discomfort with the entire situation. "I'm not going to pose as your- your boyfriend, I'm your bodygaurd, Miss Varro," he said coldly, with an air of finality as he huffed with disgust. He couldn't imagine kissing the red head, hugging her, even holding hands seemed repulsive. Paul knew how some men went crazy for the supermodels "striking, sexy" good looks, but he couldnt care for her. He liked how he was now, he didn't need some woman in his life. Especially not her.

Her offer for food surprised him some, having not expected hospitality from someone who had everything handed to her. "No thank you," he quickly interrupted her as she mentioned making a sandwich and that there wasn't much food anyway. He didn't want her food. Her tainted, girly, supermodel, crazy woman food. Everything about Elora now scared him. Ever since she had made that bold move to drop her towel and dress with him present, he was uncomfortable with everything she said. She could have just complimented his tie or said something about her stupid cat and his heart rate would exceed it's healthy limits. "I'm not hungry," Paul grumbled, his dark eyebrows furrowed over matching dark eyes. He wasn't in any mood to socialize with this woman, especially with so many priorities on his list. He just had to not think about Elora, but as the saying went... what has been seen cannot be unseen.

Paul tore his eyes from Elora's smirking face, deciding to load the dishwasher and get it started so at least they'd have clean dishes for all the food they were going to eat. He'd expected Elora to leave him alone by now, but clearly thst wasn't the case. Being her bodyguard didn't only mean protecting her from other people, but it meant carrying her places, nursing her wounds, rescuing her from embarasing public scenarios, seeing her naked, doing her dishes, housekeeping, and now, being her best friend. He didn't want to talk to her. In a particularly noisy manner, Paul dropped dishes into the slots of the dish washer on the bottom rack, his sleeves and the stomach of his shirt soaked from so much dish work. There was a food stain on his sleeve as well now, just to compliment the dark smears of mascara and the sickly beige peach color from Elora's makeup.

He stopped, however, when Elora enlightened him on the sleeping situation. There was only. One. Bedroom. Not risking turning around to show his displeasure, Paul stared straight ahead of himself, out the kitchen window overlooking the city street. Huh. Paul almost started laughing with how swell his day was going so far, his accomplishments replaying through his head. He could sleep on the couch, she had offered, or her own bed, or. Or. Or he could sleep with her in the same bed. Elora's sweet innocent voice drawled into his ears, her words making his stomach squeeze. He hated her. So much. Why it bothered him, he didn't know. "I will sleep on the couch. There's no need for me to sleep in your bed," he said slowly, the words forced to be polite. Elora seemed rather pleased with how he was reacting, and it took plenty of self control not to hurl the butter knife he held now at her face. He wouldn't miss, either.

Then it was the straw that broke the camels back. What he thought was an innocent, normal question turned out to be so much worse, and he made the mistake of actually looking up at Elora when she asked him if it was hot. It was, but her proposal was ridiculous. It all made Elora seem like she was trying to seduce him, or get him in her pants. Paul could throw up. "I think it's fine," he snapped, his voice rising at her offer. It wasn't that hot, and if she was trying to get him to undress, that was tough luck. And also disgusting. Cuddles mewed amongst his legs again, purring as it rubbed it's cat furs all over his suit pants and his socks. Unable to tolerate it, Paul shoved the animal away from him with his large foot, sending the kitten howling in protest as it scurried back off to its owner. By the time he looked up again, he was seeing his client in the same lacy bra he'd picked out blindly just ten minutes earlier. Her shirt lay discarded on the floor as she leaned up on the wall, pretending to be oblivious to Paul's fury.

By now, he'd had enough. He'd really had it with Elora Varro. He'd done nothing to wrong her, he even carried her through New York City despite the extreme discomfort for the cameras it held him to. But he had done it, with the little goodness of his heart that he'd had left. Clearly that had been a mistake, because Elora didn't seem to return favors. She made it impossible for him to be here. As much as she hated him being around, he saw no point in her going an extra mile to make him squirm, see him sweat. He didn't bend to her will like most other men might have, and perhaps that's what set her off. He didn't know, he didn't care. All he knew was that he was finished. "That's enough!" Paul's deep voice boomed at an alarming tone, accompanied by the smash of a dish in the sink. He couldn't help himself. He was pissed. Pissed . "Put your clothes back on, Elora Varro! You're behaving like a dirty whore, going all naked while I'm here! I won't tolerate this anymore!"

With that, Paul picked up the dishwasher and slammed it closed, every muscle in his body bulging. His face was bright red and he breathed heavily from all the yelling, his fist squeezed until his fingernails made his palms start to indent. Steaming, Paul brushed past Elora without any notion of being apologetic. Where had he gone wrong? Why was it that everyone gave him a hard time? Whether it was purposely making him angry, teasing him, ignoring him, or being afraid of him, Paul was sick of it. Nobody could be nice to him. It was jsut so difficult, especially when he minded his own business. He tried to be a good person, for the sake of his family name and for his mother, but it was getting to be too much to handle. Paul slammed the front door of the apartment shut, the walls rattling as he huffed and puffed, storming down the hallway to take the fire escape stairs down to the main floor.

message 19: by E M M A (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments Paul threw open the front lobby doors of the New York apartment, brewing. He hadn't thought anything of what would happen when he left the building to sit on the curb and stew, with his hands clenching and unclenching. In his haste, he had forgotten to throw his jacket back over his shoulders, his gun in its holster exposed as it gleamed from his belt on the side. Anyone who had been watching him and Elora, anyone who had stalked the supposed shared apartment of the now "lovers" would be able to report the face that Elora Varros new beau carried a weapon, that he could have used the weapon to get Elora to like him or something. Those kinds of rumors were readily available on the media market, and now that Paul thought about it, he was incredibly sickened. Lie about being her boyfriend? What kind of tactic was this? Did his boss think it was funny? Or was he trying to set him up with the airhead whore model? Paul didn't know, nor did he have the capacity to think straight. His hair was a mess, his shirt was stained, rumpled, and wet, and his pants had cat hair everywhere. Luckily it was dark.

With his hands curled into fists in his pockets, Paul paced the front length of the apartment trying to come to a decision. Leave the place without saying anything like Elora had suggested? Going back to the agency and apologizing to her idiot boss, the finding his own and resigning? In his rash thinking, Paul was ready to do anything, most of the ideas being things he would have regretted had he actually followed through. "I don't get it-!" He snarled to himself aloud, driving his foot into some stupid little tree planted into the sidewalk. The sapling shook, and a few passersby gave him alarmed looks. He was close to reaching out and strangling someone, anything to appease his violent side. The anger possessed him, made him shake uncontrollably as he just replayed Elora's episodes repeatedly in his head.

The teasing about his mother, the running off, the humiliation on the subway, the kicking of the lamppost, the carrying of her back to the apartment, those pointless apologies, her coming out in a towel, undressing, then that stupid cat. He was fuming, to the point where the anger almost caused him to lash out at an innocent civillian. He didn't get this angry often, not at other people. After past... incidents, his boss and his chief had had to put him through a process of heavy counseling and medication to get him to stay calm. He even had a syringe or few in his apartment that he stabbed himself with to sedate himself when things got bad, particularly when he had break downs over his mother or his PTSD was triggered. He didn't have one now, and the overwhelming urges grew stronger. To keep from causing much trouble, Paul quickly slipped back inside the ground floor, attempting to inhale and exhale with control. His face was pink and his dark blue eyes were almost gray, narrowed at the emptiness of the building.

Paul ascended the fire escape stairs, with plans to at least find his medicine in his suit jacket that calmed him down and lowered his blood pressure, with a notion to simply call up his boss straight after. Paul had given Elora a chance, in fact, several chances. He kept gritting his teeth and bearing it, the humiliation and the effort, the irritation. He dealt with it all because he had to, but most of all, because his mother had always taught him to be patient even when he was little. But now? He was done being patient with Miss Varro. She'd get her wish, no bodyguard. It was when Paul was ascending to the second floor that he heard and shrill scream echo from above, the unmistakable tone and pitch of someone he knew. Elora. It was her voice, he couldnt doubt it. The scream was urgent, panicked, afraid, drawn out as long as it possibly could before something cut it off sharp.

When Paul heard screams, it always set him off. Children screeching on the playgrounds playing tag, the horror movie shriek that the main character did when the ghost popped out of nowhere, the howl of newborn babies when they were hungry. Screams hurt Paul too, as much as no one realized it. It made his stomach pierce with this unexplainable stabbing pain, then made his eyes widen and his pupils dilate. It got him into survival mode, even if it were the cries of little kids, and it got him to overreact. However, Paul was convinced that this was no little girl, this was no playful cry out for help. This was serious. Paul left for 15 minutes, and his client was screaming for a reason unknown to him. Was she hurt? Was someone attacking her? Was someone else being attacked? He couldn't hear any guns, or muffled thumps, although he was in the stair well. The way the scream had been snapped off at the end so quickly was what propelled him forward, his heavy footsteps echoing on the metal stair case. He skipped stairs, he used his hand on the railings to pull him up faster.

His gun was drawn, sitting trusting in his hand with the safety flicked off. Paul was sweating with anxiety, eyes darting around the dimly lit stair wells until he found the fifth floor hall door. As much as he hated Elora, he had to save her. She was a stupid girl, but he wouldn't wish her harm. She hadn't done anything too substantial to him. He cracked open the door at the end of the hall, his dark eye peeking through the crack. He could see the hallway of Elora's floor, but it was completely empty. What if it wasn't Elora? What if it was a floor down? Or she was in the elevator? Despite his paranoia, his instincts drove him to go investigate. He had to find Elora, then find out what had happened after. Deeming the field clear, Paul slid up against the wall, one hand dragging on the wallpaper of the apartment, while the other held his gun at the ready. There was no noise, nothing. No scream again, no whimpers or muffled talking. Nothing.

He found Elora's door, and Paul paced a hand softly on the metal handle. His heart hammered in his chest, his body kept close to the door. He held his breath to keep the heavy breathing from giving him away, carefully turning the handle at a painful slowness before he could stick his head inside. What he found made him not only disgusted, but it made him... angry. Again. The unexpected, the unthinkable had happened. Just when Paul thought his day couldn't get any better, it did. His client was getting assaulted. This was fantastic . Despite the fact that Paul could have shot the dark clad man clean right then, his fists had a different idea in mind. The man towered over Elora, who he'd thrown to the ground in the corner of the living room shortly after she'd screamed. The man was clearly about to use her to his advantage, the gun discarded carelessly as the man's greedy eyes focused on Elora's bow once again half naked self. He thought that maybe it would be in Elora's best intrest to have clothes surgically attatched to her body.

Feeling rather bitter and sour, Paul dropped his gun, a resounding clatter sounding in the room. He slammed the front door behind him, wasting no time to push up his sleeves. Then Paul was off. Charging at the man with his meaty hands on his client, he rammed his shoulder hard into the man's side. This provided Elora freedom from the man's clutches, the heavy set slammed against the far wall of the apartment. "You!" Paul snarled with a no nonsense attitude. The man was clearly confused, his junk hanging out of his pants, but Paul used this to his advantage. With a relentless nature, Paul wasted no time to drive his heavy fist into the man's face, chin first then upward, while his free hand pinned the man to the wall.

It had been refreshing to actually hurt someone, the man's cries of surprise and pain as blood squirted from his busted lip from the impact of Paul's weight slamming him into the wall. In his training, they attacked dummies, heavy sacs, or heavily armored trainers. On his assignments, he'd had the oppurtunity to actually kill drug dealers and terrorists. After a gap of several months of violence, his physical training all came back to him. "Hit me! Come on, hit me!" Paul shrieked, challenging the man as he relentlessly pushed the guy around. The man stumbled to his feet, sporting a bloody nose, a busted lip, and an injured back. Paul had him cornered against the wall, the man's bloody hand stabilizing against the couch. Paul had no injury beside a bruise from being lashed out at, sweat beading across his forehead. He'd ripped his dress shirt in the armpit from the violent actions. Although the offender seemed to be giving up, sinking back to his knees in the carpet huffing and puffing despite Paul's insistence that he get up and fight, Paul wasn't stopping.

It was this uncontrollable blood lust for people like these that made him dangerous, his eyes gleaming. He wanted to kill this guy. Just seeing the man hovering over Elora earlier had been enough to get Paul going. "Come here," he snarled, gripping the man's shirt collar and dragging the man against the wall, his breath puffing in the man's face. "Who are you? What were you doing with Elora, hm? You don't touch girls like that, do you understand?" Paul proceeded to swear at the man, who was nearly unconcious. Despite the fact that the man's eyes were blinking, slowly closing with loss of consiousness from his rough behavior, Paul had to finish him off. With a few quick punching bag strikes into the man's stomach and side of the head, the offender had a mighty concussion and Anda few broken ribs to handle.

With a solid thump, the man's mass dropped to the floor, with Paul staring at it menacingly with his fingers curled into a fist. It took him him a moment to really think about what he'd just done, and looking up, he could see Elora's eyes staring at him and the body. He was a monster, he knew, and as the silence in the apartment grew heavier, Paul felt extremely guilty. The man wasn't dead, but he had enough injury to cost him quite a bit. His mother would be so disappointed. Paul, sickened by his own uncontrollable behavior, tried to catch his breath before actually moving. His shirt was beyond repair, and he failed to care anymore. His gun and the man's gun lay only a couple feet apart, with not a single bullet fired. "Miss Varro," Paul exhaled, his eyes avoiding hers as he fell to a knee in front of her, reaching for her shorts and handing them to her. "I'll have the apartment cleaned," was apartment he said, his tone heavy and rather disappointed. Not with her, but himself. No wonder people liked his brother better.

message 20: by E M M A (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments Paul handed Elora her shorts, his head downcast as she stood up exposing her legs and hopped into them with shaking limbs. When he was sure she was dressed, he made accidental eye contact with her, before standing up. He stepped on the heel of his shoes, letting them come off with ease and be kicked aside so it was just his sock feet. He was exhausted by that little burst of energy, but now his sore muscles from the day before were giving him a hard time. His shoulders hurt, as well as the side of his abdomen from all the crunches. His arms had scratch marks from the guys nails, and a bruise here and there from where the opponent had gained the upper hand for a few seconds, but that was the extent of his injuries. Paul didn't feel the pain, his focus mainly on Elora and her safety.

How did he miss this guy? Had he just been waiting for Paul to leave? There was so much they had to figure out this afternoon, but all Paul wanted to do was lock himself in the room he didn't have and break down, apologize to his mother and all the disgrace he had caused that day. He'd smashed to dishes today, and he'd caused too many scenes. He made this man become handicapped, this man who might have had family and friends who cared about him. He felt evil. He was evil. He caused unnecessary harm, and that in itself was breaking the code of conduct he had to live by. How could he have done this? With Elora watching? He was surprised she didn't just run at the sight of him. It made Paul feel like completely crap, worthless, undeserving to even be looked at. It served him not to have friends, or people who cared about him. It served him right that he'd lost the one woman he loved and looked up to. It served him right he was always so unhappy.

Elora was silent for once, shivering and trembling as she adjusted her shirt with shaking hands. He'd never seen her so upset that entire day, with her face clouded over and her eyebrows furrowed over her eyes. Poor thing was extremely miserable. Paul regretted saying all those mean things to her face, this bipolar opinion that he couldnt make up his mind on. One moment he hated her, the next, he felt bad and could tolerate her. It was this extreme Rollercoaster he couldnt get off of. He didn't know if she was actually a dirty whore like he'd said, but he definitely wasn't going to say it again for that day. If he even stayed, that was. Elora stepped uncertainly forward, staring at his chest, before she fell into him, her arms thrown around his back. She held him tight, her hug squeezing him. "Let go...!" Paul squirmed at first, refusing to be caressed and held at a time like this, by a person like her. He hated touching, shaking hands was as far as he was willing to go. He didn't even let his step mother hug him, shying away from her whenever he came for family dinners during holiday season. Paul just didn't hug. He didn't love.

After Elora said nothing not even loosening her grasp when he complained, Paul felt himself willing to cave in. They both needed someone to lean on, to hug, to feel safe next to. The latter was more for Elora, but Paul felt that for the moment, he could put aside his extreme disgust and annoyance for the girl to just try and take a few deep breaths here. He awkwardly rested his heavy arms around her shoulders, gingerly resting his chin on top of her head. It was something he didn't do often if at all, ever, but it was a hug. His first real hug. Paul's dark blue eyes shut for the moment, the unsettled feeling in his chest calming for the moment as he inhaled Elora's shampoo. Maybe this was what it was like to have a friend. Someone to rely on for help, someone who would hug you even though you messed up. But they weren't friends, no sir. He was jsut her bodyguard, her ex bodyguard by the looks of things.

She let go of his waist at last, Paul's eyes flickering open as he hurriedly released the redhead. Hugging. Ew. That wasn't necessary. Sighing heavily and sweeping a bloodied hand through his dark brown hair, Paul rested his other hand on his hip, at loss for what to do first. Elora clearly knew what she wanted, commanding him to remove his shirt. The bold request had him on his guard once again as he gave her a warning look. When Paul saw her eyes, however, and studied her tone, he realized that... Elora didn't want to just see him naked, or have anything to do with the silly stripping thing she'd been doing earlier. Paul, while processing this information, watched Elora as she nimbly unbottoned his shirt, the top of her head the only thing visible for the moment. What was she even doing? Paul, surprisingly enough, didn't protest as she removed the dirty and torn fabric, letting it slide off his shoudlers and gather at his wrists. He set to work in buttoning the cuffs, letting the broken fabric flutter to the ground. That poor shirt endured so much that day.

Elora meanwhile examined his arms, where the scars and bruises of thst event became visible. Paul had a lengthy scar on his back shoulder that was obscured from her view, from his past incident, as well as an assortment of little scars here and there from old missions or surgeries. Paul didn't need the first aid attentiom, but he was so entranced by Elora's sudden hospitable and gentle behavior, thst he didn't dare stop her. "Be quick," Paul murmured, determined to take a look at her own wounds when she got back instead of the other way around. He'd forgotten in his cleaning frenzy and the flusteration of seeing her practically naked to check her cuts on her toes, and to attend to her delicately bruised ankle. He didn't need the medical attention, he could care less. It explained why he had so many scars.

In the time that Elora was gone, Paul didn't move. He was... confused. It took Elora a near brush with being raped and the oppurtunity to die for her to be reduced to humility like this? Paul was synapthetic and fragile with Elora, knowing that being touched the way she had been and being assaulted wasn't something that you could recover easily from. Back during the incident in the middle east when he and his crew were all ambushed, kidnapped, and kept and tortured for several months for information, he had remembered one girl on his crew team who'd slowly deteriorated every single time she came back from being taken by the guards to a secluded corner, returning with bruises and blood. He remembered that lost look on her face when they were finally rescued, how she didn't even seem to care anymore.

That loss of innocence was so terrible to Paul, that perhaps subconsiously, that was the reason why he'd hurt the man so badly. He couldn't stand for it. Even though Elora had managed to get on his nerves the first five minutes they were on their own in the city, he couldnt bring it to himself to be mean, to be moody, to scowl at her and slap her helping hands away. Elora returned with the white first aid pouch, blood on her hands and the fabric as she knelt before him and searched inside of it. Paul tucked his hands in his pockets without any idea what to do, what to say, what to ask. He had to know if she was okay, if she was hurt at all, because although he was determined to switch his client, he was still in charge of her safety for the time being. He'd also fail if his boss found out about the intruder, but by the time the cops came to take the man away, he'd be fired and his chief would demote him. He'd have to start all over again, bodyguard for another 2 years. The idea filled him with desperation and a sort of lost hope, his heart sinking as he stared at his socks. After everything... this red head would ruin it for him.

Elora stood again with a cotton ball and some antiseptic on it, dabbing gently at the claw marks on his forearm. He didn't speak as she did it, allowing the silence to speak for itself. It was his way of saying he was sorry, to makeup for the fact that he'd ditched her and made her feel terrible even though it could have been blamed on her. The liquid did sting, and Elora worked too slowly for his liking, but he still didn't say anything. She continued until every one of his cuts were dabbed down, with bandaids on the deeper ones and a little ice pack for the bruises on his knuckles and cheek. "Thank you," he whispered softly, his voice echoing in the silence. The man in the corner was lifeless, although his heart did beat ever so slowly while the reports to the police by neighbors brought a cop car closer to the apartments with the sirens in the distance.

"Are you okay? Did he...?"he left the question unfinished, not wanting to be entirely bold with the question. He couldn't just bluntly ask that sort of thing to the victim, so quickly after the event. "Let me have a look at your hands, Elora," he gestured, his tone having dimisnehed into barely above at whisper. The anger seemed to be gone now, disappeared and replaced with guilt and solemnity. In his large hands he took Elora's smaller bloody ones, his neck craned down to have a good look at them. They were self inclined from her own fingernails. Paul wasted no time to take cotton balls and antiseptic on his turn now, working alot faster and deft as he cleaned her wounds. The medicine stung, as he could tell from Elora's discomforted looks. Her hands were cleaned then wrapped clean around with gauze, and Paul pressed an ice pack to her wrist where a bruise was also making an appearance with the guys fingers outlined on her arm. He always gave up trying to defend his career. He was screwed, there was so uch physical evidence. "I'm sorry."

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E M M A  | 2243 comments Paul tried to be vague about the question, putting it as delicately ad he possibly could, but it was greeted with retaliation and anger. Elora snapped at him, putting him a bit on the defensive with her sharp tone. Regardless he chose not to push her, as much as he was torn to know. If the man actually had... done the deed, he would have taken the guys genitals and put them through a blender. Paul nodded curtly, silent again as he folded his arms across his chest. He never saw himself prior to the past thirty minutes being pitieous on someine he hated so much, on a girl he detested with more than anything. Dirty whore or not, she didn't deserve to have what had happened to have happened. Nobody did. Paul was quiet, respecting the silence for once as he had begun to examine Elora's bloody hands. He felt odd being shirtless in such a setting so close to a girl, but the self consious thought wouldn't register in his mind until later, when the cops showed up at the door.

Elora removed her hands from his just as he was examining a minor popped blood vessel in her right pinky, denouncing his apology immediately. "No. Miss Varro, I was out of line to do what I did, and to behave so rudely. If I hadn't been so... quick to walk away, and if I hadn't said those things, this couldn't have happened. I wouldn't have ever left, I'd be able to protect you from that- scum," Paul elaborated, his word choice carefully selected. He was still unconvinced that the entire matter wasn't his fault, his expression troubled and unsettled. He had been the worst bodyguard ever. He had been so non compliant and so stubborn with how he wanted everything, it had ruined the entire mission in itself. He may have been able to survive months in the middle east, but he was impossible with humans. He couldn't communicate and interact without hurting them, verbally or physically. He shoved everyone far away from him, never the opposite. It just didn't work that way.

Before the argument could continue, however, heavy footsteps snd shouting echoed down the hall. Cops. Paul swallowed an uncomfortable lump in his throat as he took a step back, head turned away automatically as someone kicked open the door with a heavy boot. Guns were clicked and pointed at them, waved about left and right, before they were lowered. In they chsrged, uniformed police officers, armed, and loud. A pair of paramedics were escorted in, checking the man's vitals before hefting him onto a stretcher. Back out again. Paul's boss was displeased seeing the motionless individual be carried out, disdain for Paul's violent method being frowned upon. Without even speaking, his boss' look told all. With Elora's bleeding hands and rustled appearance, with Paul's shirtless torso, everything was out of conduct. Gerald was just about ready to launch into a lecture of his disappointment thinking Paul wasn't like the other kids who were in the program, when Elora butted in. This time for his benefit.

Paul watched Elors, impressed as she spouted off in the most polite manner a series of claims that he was a good bodyguard. She sounded proper and prim, her tone insistent and firm on the matter. If Paul had wanted to switch clients, now wasn't the good time. He didn't know when ever would be a good time, with all the fighting Elora had done to get him to stay and keep his job. He supposed it was a better alternative to being fired and losing two years of training, and also being on a probation until he could fix his attitude. Paul listened to Elora's pleas, watching and monitoring his boss. Surprisingly enough, his boss melted. The man began to nod, sighing eith a warning glance send back over to Paul. There couldn't be any other mistakes. Elora Varro could save him only so many times.

It was nice to be needed, to be wanted, to be the one someone felt safe with despite everything else. It was the most comforting feeling to Paul Greyson in the world, with hot tingling things in his chest. Elora wanted him as her bodygsurd, insisted that even though he had a bad temper, that she would always pick him. Even though he broke her dishes, had random stupid outbursts about things that didn't mattsr, Elora defended him. Impressed, Paul watched on, nodding along to certain things he felt were necessary while the officers briefly cleared up around them. Cuddles was hidden behind the couch watching in alarm as the rest of the cops were cleaning up the last of the obvious blood for samples. She needed him.

Thankfully after what felt like years and years, Paul's boss gave a little distinct nod that let Paul breathe easy again. He could tell it had been a rough situation given the facts being laid out, particularly with the fact that he and Elora were messes. Paul's shirt was gone, his arm had a few bandaids on it. The bottom of his socks had a collection of cat hair to match, while dark red was found on his suit pants. He'd never thought his first day of bodyguarding Elora Varro ti have been so full of crap and stress, or he wouldn't have taken the job. If anything, it was giving him time to get used to the presence of a female. That was about as useful as it was getting. That, and the practice of controlling his anger. Plus the pay.

Elora had changed significantly with just the influence of the strange man attacking her, assaulting her in that uncomfortable way that made her cry. Elora Varro cried. He never once thought he deserved it she he saw those tears on her cheeks, instead feeling rather sympathetic for the poor girl. With the entire apartment emptied out and a receipt for a carpet and wall cleaning to be done this next week being left on the table, the only sounds were Cuddles mewing, sirens, and tick ticking from the kitchen clock. It was jsut them two again, yet Elora remained to be the sweet girl he'd glimpsed earlier at the shop. Her nice side. The one that didn't literally make him want to shoot himself.

Paul planted his feet firmly into the carpet when Elora balanced her weight into him, looking pale and faint with eyes that couldn't focus. Her body was still trembling violently, and he didn't know how to make it stop. She needed rest, lots of it, despite the fact that it was a little past noon. He was starved, but Paul knew better than to go away from her, he would take her with him. "Miss?" Paul murmured questioningly, supporting her arm and her back with his own arms. She sunk into his body, into his side to be more specific, the entire perception of feirce, dangerous, and seducing Elora had long disappeared, just vanished. "Yes?" He answered, returning his eyes to his arm where Elora faintly stood next to him without any movement. Her request was a bit alarming, because with how she'd been acting, he took it the wrong way. He was in no way sleeping with her. But the look in her eyes explained it all, the look of fear and resignment... of unsettled fear. Paul knew that nightmarish sensation all too well.

"Let's get you to bed, you need some rest," Paul murmured softly in response, gently removing Elora's arm from his. For convenienve, Paul scooped up his client by sliding his arms under her legs, bridal style. "I won't go anywhere for the rest of the night. I promise... we will figure it all out once we get some shut eye," he promised, twisting sideways to carry Elora to what he presumed was her room. Elora's room was equally messy as the rest of her house, but the inviting comfort of the bed and sleep was too much to pass up. He gently laid Elora down on the covers, pulling down a corner and tucking her inside. "Take some deep breaths,"Paul encouraged, slowly dropping into the Queen sized mattress on his stomach. He sighed and closed his eyes for the moment, forgetting all about the broken plates and the half naked woman and some lamp post kicking. It wasn't even two pm yet and Paul was sore, exhausted, unwilling to move. He had laid down beside Elora with his head on the pillow, his long legs hanging off the edge of the mattress. If he hadn't been shirtless be would t have minded being so close to Elora, but.. only so much to could do.

message 22: by E M M A (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments Face down, Paul folded his arms and rested his face on them, his cheek squished against his bare forearm. He managed to close his eyes a little, avoiding looking at Elora's eyes, but opened them quickly when she began to move around on the mattress. She was notably closer to his body, a little too close than he'd ever would have liked. Not just with her, with anyone for that matter. It could have been his little brother, Neil, and Paul would have freaked. "I know, Miss Varro, now go to sleep," he mumbled, huffing under his breath. He was still skeptical to close his eyes for too long, feeling the need to walk around the apartment, check every closet, make sure the doors and windows were all closed, try to scrub out the blood in the carpet that would be impossible to get rid of without poisoning the air with a ton of toxic cleaner chemicals. Even if Elora felt safe with someone protecting her, Paul didn't. He was always doubting, always waiting, lying awake, tense. Always. He had to be ready.

Paul had no clothes, no toiletries for that matter, not at Elora's apartment. Not yet anyway. He had planned to go retrieve them after they left the agency, using the handy little Hummer he'd been given. That, of course, was before Elora had run off like the irresponsible little girl she was, and caused his day to become extremely complicated. So here he lay, shirtless, holding his breath as he watched Elora from the corner of his eye. He didn't want her to get any closer. Paul practically was on the edge of the bed, on leg dangling to the side just to maxi km Mize his efforts to be as far from Miss Varro as he possibly could. She was asleep in no time, her body heat radiating so close to his to the point where he almost felt... peaceful..he almost felt that humane bliss that came with being close to people, that comfort that you weren't alone.

Her soft snoring filled his ears, little puffs of air felt across his pillow as he slowly turned back over on his back, facing the ceiling. The soft mattress and it's sheets provided the exact relief Paul had needed for his sore muscles, a soft, pleased sigh escaping his lips. He vowed that he'd just lay here for a little bit to make sure Elora was asleep, and then get to work on cleaning the rest of the apartment up or something while she rested up. He couldn't fall asleep, not this early. It was dangerous for him to do that, especially if he was in the same bed as someone else. He didn't have a good experience with sleep, and besides, he thought it to be an extreme waste of time. And so Paul lay tjere, his eyelids growing heavier by the minute until he too was asleep. It didn't matter how much he battled fatigue, he needed the rest especially after his long day yesterday and the added excitement of that morning. With one arm tucked behind his head, Paul slept soundlessly, motionless the next two hours before Elora woke him.

It started with the bed moving, someone or something kicking out in the dark. Paul recieved a sharp heel to his side, his eyes snapping open with confusion as he struggled to remember where he was. He was still half asleep, delirious as he began to panic mid dream. Where was he? Was this real? This couldn't be real, he'd never seen this place before. A figure much smaller than him threw an arm in his direction next, her body motionless before again she kicked the blankets from the edge of the bed into a huge heap on the floors. Groggy, Paul rubbed his eyes and yawned, a little more awake now as he propped himself up on his elbows. What was going on with this one? Who was she again? This had to be a dream. He didn't sleep with women, or anyone for that matter. Not even share a bed. There was no way that this was real. In Paul's sleepy state of mind, he sunk back into his pillow, closing his eyes once again.

Elora somehow moved across the large Queen bed, her tear streaked face finding his bare chest rather soothing. His chest rose and fell steadily, his head fallen to the side in his sleep. On a normal sleep occasion when Paul's body hadn't shut down because of lack of vital human sources like food and sleep and hydration, he would have sat straight up at that point and hauled Elora off him, reprimanded her, then gone off somewhere to brew a storm. However, in his subconsious state, he simply lay there, snoozing the hour away with Elora Varro on his chest. Her legs soon wrapped around his waist, Paul moving and mumbling in his sleep to adjust to her weight sitting on him. Sighing with content, Paul had a faint smile on his face, feeling warm and comforted with Elora's arms around his torso. Had he known and seen what was going on, he would have been horrified. Absolutely appalled. Disgsuted. Scarred.

He squirmed and flinched subconsiously under Elora's touch as her hands began to wander, tracing little patterns on his skin that sent the hairs on the back of his neck and goosebumps up. On his arms. "Stop it..." he murmured softly, his head turning to the other side as he batted her hand away, then dropped it to rest on her leg. She continued, however, and his eyebrows furrowed as the touching continued. He batted her hand away again, huffing a heavy sigh as he adjusted himself underneath her weight, smacking his dry lips before all was quiet again. Her fingers traced his smaller scars, like the one on his collarbone from when he'd landed face down after jumping from a tall fence and breaking his collarbone and arm, and the one over his heart from when a a bomb had exploded and sent shards flying everywhere, including into his chest.

These scars were still sensitive, and as she touched them, Paul became more and more fidgety. When she began to draw a line on the scar down his back from his shoulder, his nerves twitched, and Paul yanked his leg out of nowhere to be bent at the knee in his sleep. That scar was extremely sensitive, the ugliest reminder Paul had every day to remind him of the incident. He mumbled unintelligible phrases under his breath, still asleep, until Elora made a huge ruckus and ripped herself off of him. The first thing he heard was the loud bang, the sound of Elora's shoulder ramming into the headboard. Paul's eyes snapped awake, his blue eyes flying open. His heart rate kicked up, alarmed as he sat up. His head swiveled left right then left again, and his eyes adjusted in the dark to make out Elora's pale features.

It took him a few minutes of staring and squinting, of glancing to Elora's leg on his lap, and then staring some more to understand what was going on. "Miss Varro?" Paul questioned, his deep voice sleep heavy as he moved her leg from touching him. He was oblivious to any of the touching, the dream having vanished the moment he opened his eyes. Rubbing his face, Paul glanced are the beside alarm clock, the LED numbers glowing glowing brightly against his face. It was rather late, and upon awakening, he realized he was hungry, and without a shirt. "I need to get up," he grumbled mostly to himself, climbing out of bed without a few questions lingering in the back of his head. Why had Elora looked so horrified when he woke up? Why was her leg on him? We're they snuggling? That was nonsense, couldn't be. Right? "Hungry?"

message 23: by E M M A (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments To say that Elora was behaving oddly was an understatement. She spoke in short, choppy, quick sentences, moving about in a weird behavior that was most unnatural to her. She just smiled often and bobbed her head, despite having just woken up. If he had been more awake st the moment, he would have known she was hiding something right away and been able to weasel it out of her. He was good at getting information he wanted, it was part of his career training to becoming an agent. He wasn't ready last time, but this time he was going to be even better. Usually, his method included terrorizing the person or hurting them, but clearly he wasn't going to have it that way with Miss Varro. Certainly not. He'd never raise a hand to his client, as much as she aggravated him and irritated the crap out of his very soul. If he even had one.

Then Elora demanded that he wear a shirt, and immediately Paul was embarassed. He had earlier been to exhausted to care that he was shirtless, sleeping in the same bed as his client, but he had had no other choice. He couldn't wear a tattered, bloody and sweaty shirt! It was in the kitchen garbage by now anyway. "But-" Paul had begun, rubbing his eyes sleepily as he stifled a yawn. Elora had already vaulted off the bed, yanking open her drawers with such a rush. What was the big deal? Even if he was shirtless, it was normal for males. It wasn't like their roles were reversed and he was revealing anything. Besides, wasn't she a model? Weren't they supposed to be used to that sort of thing? Being naked all the time? Paul remembered his scars, folding his arms across his chest as he shrunk back. He had ought to be careful over what he showed to her and what he didnt. For the most part, he needed to be strictly conservative, not show much of his skin at all. There were too many stories behind some of his scars.

"Miss Varro... I can dress myself," Paul had began to complain, however bending to the redheads will because she was already standing on top of the bed and tugging the shirt over his head. It was a rather tight and snug fit for his broad shoulders and chest, as if he were wearing a toddlers shirt. Paul squirmed as he adjusted the arms with a face, although the shirt was better than none at all. He'd just grab his jacket from the front hall and wear that over, no big deal, right? Paul was a little alarmed at Elora's strange activity now, murmuring his disapproval under his breath as she squealed all too loudly for his liking. What was she so excited and riled up about anyway? Why was she like this? Regardless, there was no evidence he had against her to point it out. She was inclined to probably claim it was nothing big, that she was just in a good mood or soemthing like that. Girls were terrible at explaining themselves, that much he knew.

While Paul fixed his hair in the mirror, Elora nearly bolted from the room to go eat something, picking up thst dreadful cat along the way. Lights were flicked on in the dimming apartment, the sun having set over the city a while ago. The shirt looked absolutely ridiculous on Paul, reaching just past his belt, and fitting tightly on the shoulders on his lean figure. Snorting, Paul left his appearance be and exited Elora's bedroom, closing the door behind him to join her in the kitchen. It only took a glance at the counter where a cereal box was sitting with some milk, and the smell of sugary cinnamon, to know that Elora's idea of dinner wasn't a healthy one. Paul hated sugary cereal, or cereal in general. He couldn't stand the taste, the weird smells, the sugar content, and the zero nutrition level. He could handle to the extent of cheerios.

Raising an eyebrow but not saying anything to comment, Paul scooped up his bowl of cereal, sucking up his pride and his healthy diet to force the awful food down his throat so as not to be rude and wasteful of the bowl already poured for him. Spoon by spoon, Paul emotionless ly ate the little squares, his throat burning with how sugary it was. He felt diabetic. This cereal would give him cancer. He shouldnt have been surpriaed, because he hadn't seen much of anything in her poorly stocked pantry and fridge. Back at his own apartment, Paul always had a steady supply of food, just in case as emergency were to ever happen to him to the point where he'd need it. Being injured, sick, hiding out, anything. He was always ready. Having not eaten anything that day basically, Paul ate the cereal, downing even the milk as he held his breath. He was going to need some serious body cleansing after this, a protein shake and some spaghetti a salad on the side.

"It'll do," Paul said between a bite, setting his bowl in the sink once he was finished. It was getting late, nearing towards 6:30. The skies were already dark, but the city was still very much alive with honking in the distance. It was silent for a while as Elora approached the kitchen, leaving the bowl isolated on the counter. He'd have to put that away later. "Miss Varro, I apologize, but I need to go back to my apartment for some things for the next while, and I imagine... you would come along? Or would staying here for the next hour be not too much of a trouble?" He asked suddenly, remembering how tight his shirt was and how he didn't want to sleep tonight without brushing his teeth. Definitely not.

Elora quickly, quickly agreed to come with him, and so after she changed into something suitable for a walk at night, Paul shrugged on his suit jacket and buttoned it to hide the cotton Hanes shirt under neath. His gun was replaced in its holster on his belt, hidden under the jacket, and the two were off. He was supriringly tense the first blocks, watching the shadows in anticipation. He stared everyone down, he checked if they were being followed every few seconds. It was enough to make anyone watching him nevrous, with the way he was constantly skittish and hesitant. They didn't hold hands this time, thank God. Paul didn't know if he could take any more of the love act, and had he known about the hickey, it would have been disastrous. They took a night metro a few minutes away from Elora's home station, arriving then in a relatively nicer district of new York compared to where Elora lived. The building had been remodeled when he moved in after high school, some six years ago, so the building was still In good shape.

"It's here, " Paul mumbled, correcting Elora from continuing walking. The apartments, plain ad they were, beat Elora's apartments by miles in aesthetics. Relatively new paint coated the walls instead of the peeling wallpaper, the lights on the ceiling where luminous and clean, and the dark carpet didn't show any signs of obvious stains. Doors were labeled neatly with little plaques. Paul stepped inside the elevator and pressed the button for the sixth floor, his floor, the very top where the rooftop suites were. They offered higher ceilings and better comfort, more space that Elora's conserving apartment. Paul didn't talk much thst evening, his long strides aiming for his apartment in the right hallway without even waiting for his client to step out before him. He just needed to get his stuff and get out. He didn't eat Elora in his house if he could manage, as he always felt uncomfortable when people were over.

"I'll just grab a few things, it won't take long,"he promised, pushing open the heavy door and flicking on the lights to the suite and it's open floor plan. He disappeared to his room immediately once the front door was locked, his first primary task being getting dressed into something more acceptable. He settled for a dark Navy long sleeve tshirt, and a pair of athletic gym shorts and some tennis shoes. He kept his watch and adjusted his hair, shrugging on a sweatshirt over his head for comfort. His duffel bag was efficiently packed from two days before, sitting zipped up neatly on his bed. He'd need to grab food from the kitchen on his way out, make Elora carry some things... It made Paul nervous to leave her alone for so long, so he hurried to emerge from his bedroom once more with his fresh change and his belongings. "Elora?"

message 24: by E M M A (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments The day had been disastrous to say the least. Paul was used to routine, routine, routine, and strict schedules were a necessity for a guy like him. With Elora, how ever, that aspect of his life was being compromised with all her little twists and surprises. He didn't know what to expect next from her, he didn't know what rude thing would erupt from her lips next or what nonsense she'd sprout about him to random strangers. In his regular everyday life, he had never had to worry about privacy, about making sure he closed the door when he changed or used the bathroom or took showers, or of minding that his personal belongings were all in order and stored away. Not only was Elora another person he was living with, but she was a female. A female of high stature and wealth in the entertainment and beauty world. Anything he said or did could be used and twisted against or for him, because she had such heavy influence on the media. Anything she said, went. She could tell them that he was deaf and blind, or that they were so romantically and deeply in love- and they would buy it right away.

He didn't feel Elora's presence watching him from his doorframe, her eyes peeking through the wide gap in the door. He changed carelessly and quickly, unaccustomed still to the habit of being mindful of his own privacy. He had his back to Elora, ugly scars hardly visible in the pale lighting by his bedside lamp. Everything about his bedroom was neat, orderly, and dark, with the bed made, all dirty laundry in a closed hamper, and the floors without a speck of dust. His arms and shoulders still ached as he stretched his hands high above his head, the physical strain from the day befores training and the added complications of Elora sand their chase around the city causing little weak pains to ripple through his body. Sighing to himself loudly at the idea of leaving his cozy apartment, Paul rummaged around his room a few times to check that he had nothing else he needed to bring.

The duffel was pretty adequately and tightly packed, it's weight being extremely dense and heavy with the extra guns and bullets he stored in little compartments along with an extra pair of shoes and several changes of clothes, and his windbreaker from his department with GREYSON in white bold letters across the back. Everything was folded and fitted like a puzzle into his bag to mazimize the amount of luggage he could bring, the dark large bag almost resembling a body bag with how large and heavy it was. He slung this over his shoulders, a hand balancing on the strap. This much weight was no problem for him, but his shoulders were going to regret it the next day. He found Elora sitting on the leather couch in the front main area that was considered his living room, although he hardly ever sat down to watch TV or relax on it anyway. He was always either working, at the gym, or sleeping. It never varied far from that, until now.

At his appearance from the shadows of the hallway, Elora leapt up from the couch all too perkily with glee in her tone. What was her problem? Her bright smile blinded him if not irritated him. Why was she so happy? How was it easy for some people to just... be so upbeat all the time? His stony face didn't react, although he gave Elora a look of extreme concern before he lugged his bag along. He looked great? Paul knew that they were supposed to pretend they were a couple, but did she really feel the need to act in here in the protection of the apartment? An inkling thought that maybe Elora... meant it, that she may have actually though that he did look good, lingered in the back of his brain- but Paul shoved it way back down deep from where it came, refusing to believe it. Elora didn't like him. Nobody did. And he was bound to keep it that way. Nobody would want him, not with how he acted all the time and all his complications. He was a freak of nature, scary. He couldn't love anyone if he tried.

"I've got enough clothes in my bag. I guess we will bring some food over, so you and I will have proper nourrishment," Paul insisted sternly. How she retained her supermodel figure he didn't know, but it wasnt by eating cinnamon toast crunch. Was she one of those that vomited after they ate? Elora's suggestion came as alarming to him, stopping Paul dead in his tracks. "No!" He yelped, cutting her suggestion off at the neck. Stay here? In his apartment? As much as Paul appreciated the comfort of his own apartment compared to hers, he didn't want her anywhere near it. To begin with, there would be publicity, people would begin to look into his apsrtment, spy on him. There were things that nobody needed to know. He didn't want anyone closely watching him anymore than they already were.

Also, Elora was a mess. Granted, he had an extra guest bedroom, but that had been turned into an office where he kept all his bills and legal papers, and his arsenal. That was off limits. Elora would get into trouble here, and she would leave her dirty underthings everywhere. He didn't think he could handle picking up after her. Bras and undies and food wrappers on the couch? No thank you. He wouldn't be able to rest, this girl was like a toddler with how high maintenance she was. So, the answer was no. A big. Fat. No. Besides, he would be violating the contract, it wasn't authorized for him to have his client live with him. Living with her? Different story. Soemthing about her having an advantage with her surroundings. "I've been assigned to stay at your apartment, and that's where I'll stay," Paul griped sternly, his dark eyebrows furrowing over his pale blue eyes.

Elora had already begun to raid his fridge and pantry, well stocked with every type of health food imagineable. There wasn't a single item besides the grape jelly that had any high fructose corn syrup in it, and his breakfast foods included steel cut oatmeal and bran. That, and a huge tub of protein powder Paul swore by. He got busy dumping half of the container intl a smaller one, filling a refillable waterbottle container with protein whey and it's little scoop. It would last him maybe two weeks. He saw that Elora tended to grab most of the fruits and some of the veggies that were tolerable, that and some tortillas, a loaf of whole wheat bread, and boxed pastas and soups. Paul grabbed his own bag for the protein powder and a ton of granola protein bars, plus an assortment of the "bad" vegetables like kale, lettuce, carrots, celery, onions. That, and the meat he had in his fridge. He'd depleted all the eggs and milk so he wouldn't have to worry about it expiring, but the meats hadn't quite made it.

With ground turkey and white chicken breast in the two grocery bags he held, Paul was satisfied. The fridge was nearly emptied of its perishables, so he didn't have to worry. "Miss Varro. Allow me," he insisted, prying two more bags from her hands so they both carried 4 bags. He purposely had taken the heavier bags after locking the front door behind him, leaving it to hinself to take on the bigger burdens. Hopefully, Elora would put up with his food hogging her space, and his rather health crazed meals. He would cook for her if she desired, but a proper dinner at least was a must for Paul. He learned to not take meals for granted in his paranoia, that he never knew when the next time he would eat would be. Who knew, someone could kidnap Elora and he'd be at gunpoint to go along, or there would be a freak storm that would destroy the city and leave everything desolate and barren. He wasn't taking chances.

Paul followed Elora at a moderate pace, leaving it to her to press the elevator buttons for him. It was odd to be accompanied by someone in carrying grocery bags somewhere, even if it was jsut Elora. She was a person, who put up with him and his outbursts. He'd already snapped a few times, he broke the dish at that one woman's shop. And yet... she was being somewhat nice and cooperative now. Elora didn't talk as much as she did earlier that day, sassing him back at almost any given moment, and for now, she didn't tease or poke fun or say weird things to him. It was sort of... nice. To have someone walk next to him, to have someone to even talk to him. Someone who would willingly hold his hand. Paul thought it was foolish to be having this thoughts jsut then, scowling and gripping the bags tighter. But he just couldn't shake the feeling of the idea of friendship, albeit if it was short lived and wouldn't get much further than being her accomplice for a few months, no more. Elora was the closest thing he had ever had to a friend, and he'd only known her a day.

Getting back to the apartment had proven peaceful and calm, the night stroll clearing his senses with the cool, damp air. Elora had been pretty quiet herself, and the two took the metro without incident once again. Despite the late hour, there were plenty of people about, with several double takes at the supermodel in her red high heels and carrying several grocery bags, plus her towering looming bodygaurd with his luggage heavily packed and his groceries in hand as well. By the time they got to Elora's apartment, Paul's grocery bag was ripping and he had had to hold it cradled in his arm like like a child, while his other hand managed to hold the plastic handles of three more bags. The weight of the bags made the plastic rip at his flesh, making his fingers ache incessantly even after he'd set the groceries down in her kitchen.

Cuddles purred around Paul's ankles, his little paws stepping on Paul's nikes as his tail swished about Paul's bare legs. "Elora-! Get this cat off of me," Paul protested in disgust, trying to shake the animal off his leg while he opened the fridge simultaneously. The kitten innocently scampered off, darting to the cat water bowl and lapping up delicate scoops of water. Ugh. Pushing up the sleeves of his long sleeve shirt, dark to match the rest of his outfit, he continued to put away the groceries into her fridge. He pushed aside and seperate his clean food from her takeout and old leftovers, his nose wrinkling at the sight of many of them. He squatted to tuck the meats in the bottom most drawer, likening the fridges organization to his own at home. Tomorrow would be a big day for cleaning, he knew that much.

message 25: by E M M A (new)

E M M A  | 2243 comments Paul's back ached as he was reaching down into the last of the grocery bags to place the two apples he had snatched from the fridge and put them into the unsurprisingly empty fruit bowl by the paper towels. "Yes?" He replied wearily, giving Elora a sideways glance before bustling about. He picked up every single plastic bag from the floor, crumpling them all in his large palms into a tight ball that he settled on dropping on the counter for a lack of a better place. There was so much work to be done on Elora's apartment, and although he wasn't authorized to clean up and reorganzie, he was going to lose his mind if he was in such a habitat for more than another 5 hours. He always had to know where everything was, there was always a place for everything. It had always been his habit to automatically clean, whenever he was stressed, upset, anxious. It certainly replaced his worse habits with something alot more productive, and cleaning gave his hands something to do without hurting anything or doing something he regretted.

Aruba. They were going to Aruba? The island? Certainly it was just some shop, right? Some fancy boutique named Aruba, that had to be it. Especially on short notice, she wouldn't do something like that. Right? Paul paused, squinting his eyes at Elora with a hand on his hip. For a vacation. It certainly wasn't a shop, or a restaurant for that matter. He hadn't been authorized for this vacation, his boss hadn't notified him of this surprise vacation. Besides, Elora wouldn't just drop everything and go. She was a much smarter girl than that. Right? Well deserved for the both of them? Soemthing flashed in his eyes as he realized she was serious about going through with the vacation, her hand gently placed on his arm as if she were telling him that someone he loved had just died. All was silent in the apartment for a second, before Paul drew up to his full height, yanking his arm from her defensively. "Aruba? Aruba? " he roared, his tone rising dangerously. He was not going to Aruba! "That's in the Carribean, woman!" He snapped, his voice shrill.

There were so many things wrong with going to Aruba. He wasn't going to pass security easy with his gun and his weapons he liked to have on hand. He didn't have all of his things, he wasn't prepared for just spontaneously leaving the United states to go babysit this redhead in the tropics. Especially, especially over mother's day weekend. That had to be the worst timing. He couldn't, or didn't want to, pay for an expensive vacation, and being on commercial aircrafts was something he didn't do at all. If he wasn't flying it, if he wasn't driving it, Paul got bad anxiety and just didn't fare well at all. Airport security was going to be a pain because he didn't have his papers clear. His passport was always up to date in case of emergency, she was jsut lucky that he carried all his important papers like that in his giant duffel bag because of his paranoia of leaving them unattended at home.

"I'm not going to Aruba, you- I cant! We're not going. I'm not going, no." Paul huffed, grouchy. Elora seemed to not hear him or choicably ignore him, giddy as she bounced through he apartment with clapping hands. She obviously wasn't taking him very serioisly. It was quite comical, Paul the grumpy, angry man he was, while Elora jumped and squealed like a happy, carefree little girl, a spoiled little girl. Paul wasn't going ton do well with Elora if she constantly had these spontaneous moments! She would give him some sort of cancer, heart stroke, anything, with this much strain? He was going to lose his mind. 6 months couldn't come soon enough. Paul pouted, boiling as she skipped off towards her room with her hair bouncing at her shoulders. No! No no no. He couldn't just leave, he needed at least two weeks notification. He didn't even know where they were staying, he didn't know how long, he didn't know the details of sny of this. Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad if it were jsut Florida, but Aruba? Definitely not.

Besides... Paul hated vacationy things. It was unproductive wast of time, and ever since his mother had passed, Paul hated the beach. He hated it. He never wanted to be on the shore, it just made him impressively sick, it drew him down. His family would always go to the beach, the piers, and hang out there from morning until sunset for the heck of it, just the four of them. After she'd passed, his father had likewise refused the Sandy shores, and Paul was raised on this negative association with it. It jsut brought back too many memories he couldnt bear to think about. On mother's weekend? Big. Fat. No. Paul didn't like the beach, he wasn't even prepared and packed for tropical weather. He had assumed they'd be in NYC, just as anyone would, so suits and pants and longs levees had been the main makeup of his wardrobe. He didn't even own that many shorts to begin with. Or sunscreen.

Bristling, Paul whipped his cell phone out of his pocket to call his boss to demand a switch, a replacement, anything. A message already illuminated the screen, from his boss, with an email from Elora's boss about the itinerary. By the transaction on the itinerary, it had only been bought an hour prior. Paul held down a frustrated scream, his fingers flying madly across the keyboard demanding in a long paragraph that he be released. He wasn't going to Aruba! No! He hadn't even been consulted! Amidst all his bellicose, Elora had trotted into the kitchen with Cuddles scampering after her. Her arms flew around his torso, her cheek pressed to his chest. Paul stiffened, refusing to hug her back in grudge. "I'm not going," Paul grumbled, not so sure of himself even as he insisted it. He didn't want to go. He just wanted to collapse and relax. Please. Not this weekend. Not on an airplane, to another country, in the morning.

His relatively calm expression had been replaced by a moody one, looking mighty disappointed and deflated. His shoulders slumped, his boss having sent a simple "No" back after the three messages Paul had painstakingly typed with with his large fingers. "No, stop it, Varro," Paul huffed, snatching his hand back in an incredibly bitter mood. Why did she have to ruin it? Ruin it all? Rheyd been getting along well the past few hours, so why now? He'd lost all hope, feeling his chest clench. This was going to be alot of work, work he for once didn't have the heart to do. "The first flight? And what time is that? Do you have any idea what you're doing? Have you even thought this out?" Paul questioned, shooting her sour glares that he hoped would burn her soul. On top of it all, the sleeping situation was compromised.

The couch with that awful cat, bras, and who knew what other crumbs and food stains? Or with her, where he could decide how fsr away he'd be, with more adequate comfort? He felt like the floor was plenty more appropriate, but with his muscles aching from over strenuous boot camp the day befofe, he wasn't really feeling the whole floor thing. He didn't need allergies from the cat either, that stupid ugly thing. Paul snatched up his duffel bag and adjusted the contents, dissatisfied to see that he had everything he would really need from his house, save it be for sunscreen and actual beach gear. He figured he'd stay in the shade with some chair, watch her from there while she did what she pleased in the stupid sand. After fretting for another hour, screwing around with the contents of his bag and even doing some dishes to calm his mind, Paul found himself walking towards Elora's bedroom for sleep as the late hours settled in.

He slipped under the covers on the edge of her mattress, assuming the same position from earlier with his pillow tucked tightly under his head. Because of the hatred that boiled in his head in the dark of the evening, he didn't sleep staring st the wall until later, by then pure exhaustion having to take over for him. At three am, his alarm in his phone rung softly, chirping a soft melody to wake him. Paul had just begun to sink into his routinely nightmare, his lips twitching and his blood pressure rocketing as sweat beaded on his skin. The alarm was his savior. Normally, he'd let himself sleep, try and bare it, but with mother's day so close and Elora around, he had decided against it. Paul had climbed out of bed in his pajamas, rushing to the bathroom to take a deep breath, splash some cold water on his cheeks. He remained at at the kitchen counter on a barstool, his head down until Elora would wake. The cool tiled countertop soothed Paul back to a light slumber, his nightmare shrinking back into a little dark thought in yhe back of his mind. That had been close.

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