this is why i don't leave my room :: senna

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    Henrik Selway-Sommers
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    this is why i don't leave my room :: senna

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:47 pm

    It was Neewollah, one of the worst days of the year. Henri wasn't a clio that dissed on the holiday for being childish or hokey--it just genuinely caused him anxiety. Having clio run around in masks and other identity-hiding costumes freaked him out in a way he had never been able to articulate to anyone. That anyone included his best friend and girlfriend, Lucina.

    Earlier that evening she had shown up unplanned, with a bag. She'd knocked on the door loudly and all Lucina like, and then had asked him to come to a party with her. The knocking had scared him out of his wits (immature students had been running up and down the halls all night, screaming things like Trick or Treat and making monster noises), but he'd been happy to see her (especially since she was dressed like the most beautiful black swan he'd ever seen in his entire 17 years). Less happy when she asked him to come to a (totally low-key, no really!) party.

    He wanted to make her happy, he really did. He'd been trying so hard lately. They'd gone on a handful of dates in the last weeks, and he had even asked her out for a few of those. Being around Lucina made being in public easier, but this?

    In short, he'd said no. He couldn't bring himself to do it. His body felt frozen when he even thought about trying to mingle with bloody ghosts, and he would never admit it, but he was just as nervous about rainbow pony masks as he was about zombie ones. It was just the general "you have no idea who I really am" thing that freaked him out and made his palms sweat.

    Lucina had been gone for a half hour, now. And Henri had spent that entire time pacing in his dorm room. He'd hated the disappointed look she'd tried to hide from her face, it made him feel like such a coward. He was a coward, but he hated proving that over and over.

    Henri flung himself into a chair and grabbed at the bag Lucina had left behind. He reached in and pulled out a simple black mask. She'd planned for him to go as a masquerade guy. He had to admit he would get more use out of his suit (Lucina wouldn't let him wear it on dates anymore) if he just tried to go.

    It took another half hour of Henri putting on his suit and taking it off and putting it back on, and taking off the tie, and putting it back on, and lacing the mask and taking it off and putting it back on before he finally left his dorm room. He felt a mixture of anxious pressure, self-hatred, and undying love for the girl he would do this for, as he walked through the now-deserted dorm hall.

    Outside was not as bad as he'd imagined it. Most of the students were now making their way off campus, so he wasn't surrounded by a sea of anonymity like he was expecting. It was then, as he was trying his breathing exercises and avoiding looking at any passerby's too closely and listening to Lydia talk him out of running back to his room, that he saw Senna.

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    Senna Selway-Sommers
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    Re: this is why i don't leave my room :: senna

    Post by Senna Selway-Sommers on Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:15 pm

    Senna was running fashionably late to the party she'd been invited to on account of her costume taking way longer to put together than she'd expected. She was dressed as a rugged warrior, having put her costume together herself from scratch. She had a metal shoulder plate strapped on with a leather belt over a raggedy tunic, two more belts around her waist, a metal gauntlet, combat boots, and pulling the whole ensemble together was a gigantic, realistic-looking prop battle-ax that she carried over her shoulder.

    She took her time getting to the party, admiring clios' costumes as she walked through campus. Then, up ahead, she happened to see some familiar crazy hair hiding behind a masquerade ball mask. No way...was her little bro actually outside? On Neewollah? And all dressed up, to boot! It was too good to be true!

    Henri had always hated Neewollah, even back when they were kids. Poor kid couldn't even go trick-or-treating without breaking down into tears at some point. Senna and Poppy had always tried to force coax him into getting into the holiday spirit, to no avail. And yet here he was! Senna had a sneaking suspicion of what had gotten him out here...

    "Henri!" she called cheerfully, waving her comically huge battle-ax in the air. She jogged over to him, the metal parts of her "armor" clinking as she did so. "Look at you. Dressed all snazzy." She reached over and tweaked his mask so that it was slightly askew on his face.

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    Henrik Selway-Sommers
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    Re: this is why i don't leave my room :: senna

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:28 pm

    Lydia was the one to notice Senna's cry of "Henri!" as Henri was very much focused on staying upright. When Lydia stopped him, he turned to look in the direction of his older sister. She was dressed as some sort of barbarian. She waved a ginormous axe at him as she ran over, and Henri felt like running in the opposite direction.

    He loved his sister, but in a very "please don't hurt me" sort of way. "Hi," he said, before she snapped his mask. He felt himself go red in the face (two parts annoyance, one part embarrassment), and he hurriedly snatched the mask off his face. He held it nervously in his hands.

    "I just--I was just going to--." He wanted to say something that would make Senna leave him alone, but she always found something to tease him about, so was there really a point in trying to lie? "You look very...strong." Maybe he could talk about her, instead.
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    Senna Selway-Sommers
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    Re: this is why i don't leave my room :: senna

    Post by Senna Selway-Sommers on Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:45 pm

    "Thanks, I've been working out," Senna said jokingly, lifting her battle-ax up and down a couple times as if she were weight lifting. It looked incredibly heavy, but in reality was made of mostly Styrofoam. Of course, his little cut-off comment about where he was going hadn't escaped her notice.

    "So, you were just going to...where again?" she prompted. His face had turned pink and he was fidgeting with the mask in his hands. This poor brother of hers. She wondered what it was that made him so uncomfortable in his own skin.

    She smiled at him encouragingly. "To see Luce, maybe?" she said, nudging him with her elbow. Somehow, despite his shortcomings, neurotic little Henri had managed to get himself a girlfriend. A super attractive, nice, sociable girlfriend. Senna had been just as shocked as everyone else when she heard about it. Luce had to be the reason he was willing to venture outside on Neewollah for once.
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    Poppy Selway-Sommers
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    Re: this is why i don't leave my room :: senna

    Post by Poppy Selway-Sommers on Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:59 pm

    Henri watched Senna and tried to look amused by her pretending to lift weights, but realized his attempt to change the subject had ultimately failed when she said Lucina's name. Gods, this was the last thing he wanted to talk to Senna about. He purposely hadn't mentioned Lucina to either one of his sisters (or his parents, for that matter) when they'd all gone home last weekend.

    "Well," he said, realizing he was caught. Trying to lie now would just make things more embarrassing, so the only way out was through. "Yes." He stumbled a little when she nudged him with her elbow.

    He wasn't embarrassed he was dating Lucina, it was nothing like that. It was the teasing he knew he would have to endure now that Senna knew about them. If there was something to be said, it could be counted on that Senna would say it.
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    Henrik Selway-Sommers
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    Re: this is why i don't leave my room :: senna

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:01 pm

    Henri watched Senna and tried to look amused by her pretending to lift weights, but realized his attempt to change the subject had ultimately failed when she said Lucina's name. Gods, this was the last thing he wanted to talk to Senna about. He purposely hadn't mentioned Lucina to either one of his sisters (or his parents, for that matter) when they'd all gone home last weekend.

    "Well," he said, realizing he was caught. Trying to lie now would just make things more embarrassing, so the only way out was through. "Yes." He stumbled a little when she nudged him with her elbow.

    He wasn't embarrassed he was dating Lucina, it was nothing like that. It was the teasing he knew he would have to endure now that Senna knew about them. If there was something to be said, it could be counted on that Senna would say it.
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    Senna Selway-Sommers
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    Re: this is why i don't leave my room :: senna

    Post by Senna Selway-Sommers on Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:04 pm

    "Hah! I knew it," Senna said. Good for Henri though, really. She was glad he had actually put himself out there and connected with another clio. "Things must be getting serious if she got you to dress up for Neewollah!"

    She was about to start peppering Henri with questions about how the whole thing between him and and Luce had happened when all of the sudden there was a strange tugging at her boots, and she found herself stuck in place. She looked down and there were roots emerging from the ground, ensnaring her and Henri's feet and ankles, creeping up their legs. "What the--"

    There wasn't even time to finish the sentence before a man came into view, approaching rapidly. He raised his hand and it was crackling with electricity. Senna didn't have time to think, so instead she acted. Instinctively she reached down into the earth and took control of it, breaking up the ground under their feet, freeing them from the roots and causing the Solas man to stumble in his pursuit. She grabbed Henri's shoulder and wrenched him backwards. "Stay behind me!" she commanded. She had no idea what was going on, but she wasn't going to let whoever these assholes were hurt her brother.
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    Henrik Selway-Sommers
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    Re: this is why i don't leave my room :: senna

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:33 pm

    Henri didn't have time to stutter out a response to Senna's exclamation, because suddenly he felt ropes on his feet. In looking down, he realized they weren't ropes, but dirty roots. "What the--" he said at the same time Senna did. He was about to lean down and check the roots out when the ground beneath them broke up a little. Henri barely had time to right himself before Senna grabbed his shoulder and yanked him behind her.

    Senna wrote:Stay behind me!

    After she yelled at him, Henri finally saw a man with sparks flying around him clatter to the ground. It took another few quick breaths for him to realize what was going on. They were being attacked! But...but why?

    He didn't get enough time to seriously ponder the question, however, because the bush he and Senna were standing next to suddenly sprung to life, leaning over the two and nabbing them. The branches had hundreds of small thorns, and they wrapped around Henri's arms and legs, squeezing against his skin and piercing it. Without a second thought, he ripped the water from the bush. He felt the branches sag around him, and he and Senna escaped immediately, ripping themselves from the needle pointed bush.

    What was going on??
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    Senna Selway-Sommers
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    Re: this is why i don't leave my room :: senna

    Post by Senna Selway-Sommers on Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:22 pm

    Senna realized she was absurdly still holding onto the fake ax as if it were a real weapon, and tossed it aside just as her and Henri were suddenly yanked backwards into the thorny bush. Solas Man was back on his feet as well. She went to take control of the ground again, but before she could, Henri freed them both by drawing all the water out of the bush. She angrily ripped the dried and dead branches off her arms and shoulders, a little scratched up but otherwise no worse for wear.

    Solas Man seemed to hesitate, as if this wasn't how he'd been expecting things to go. And his Nadar buddy was still hiding somewhere out here too, the coward. Well, Senna wasn't just gonna wait around and let them attack again. She advanced on Solas Man, clenching her fists.

    He moved suddenly, faster than she had ever seen anyone move, and she was slammed with an electric shock that seemed to run painfully from her shoulder throughout her entire body. As she staggered back and Solas Man went in for another attack, instinct took over again. The ground became the consistency of wet cement and Solas Man's feet sunk down into it, stopping him in his tracks.
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    Henrik Selway-Sommers
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    Re: this is why i don't leave my room :: senna

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:48 pm

    Henri looked around feverishly, for the Nadarian clio who had tried to trap them twice. His heart pounded. Campus was all but deserted, everyone having headed out to parties or the like. He could see some clio in the distance, but from afar the scuffle he and Senna were going through wouldn't be eye catching.

    As he was looking around, a solid force flung itself at him, and Henri lost balance and fell to the ground. Frantically he stood up, looking for the assailant, but there was nothing. Not until he heard Lydia's small cat scream did he realize he hadn't been physically touched. A much larger dog looking daemon had knocked Lydia to the ground and was snarling over her.

    "Lydia!" Henri screamed. The water he had ripped from the bush became a solid ice mass, and Henri smashed it forcefully against the dog. From behind another set of bushes came a woman's sudden groaning.

    Yeah, it fucking hurts, doesn't it? Henri thought bitterly. He ripped the water from the bushes separating Senna and Henri from the Nadar lady. The branches sagged, allowing Henri to see the woman, who was on the ground. The water became several sharp icicles which floated menacingly in the air around the woman.

    Henri's chest rose and fell quickly, as he let himself have a moment to breathe. Were there more attackers? He'd only seen the two, but who could be sure right now. "Who--who are you?!" he choked out the demand between heavy breaths.
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    Senna Selway-Sommers
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    Re: this is why i don't leave my room :: senna

    Post by Senna Selway-Sommers on Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:10 pm

    Senna spun around when she heard Henri screamed, and then stumbled again, still woozy from being fucking electrocuted. Her shoulder felt like it had been hit by a sledgehammer. It was the metal shoulder pad, she realized, that had made his attack so much worse by conducting the entire force of his electrical current into her body. She yanked it off as she moved forward.

    It turned out she didn't need to do anything at all, because Henri shockingly had everything under control on his end. She had never seen him act so confidently and fluidly, using his eilemaiden to subdue the Nadar clio like he'd been doing this kind of thing for years. She'd never felt more proud of him than in that moment.

    She turned her attention back to the Solas clio, who was still stuck. She raised four solid columns of earth around him so he was entombed up to his head, and then literally slid him over to his buddy, the ground rumbling as rock ground against rock.

    "Answer him!" she yelled at the two clio, tightening the rocks around Solas Guy's body until he was visibly uncomfortable.

    "Or what?" the Nadar woman asked, breathing heavily and glaring at them. She didn't seem to think two kids were going to do anything to her, even if they had handily defeated her and her buddy.
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    Henrik Selway-Sommers
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    Re: this is why i don't leave my room :: senna

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:53 pm

    'Or what' was right, Henri thought. He wasn't about to hurt anyone. The icicles continued dangling menacingly, but Henri was beginning to lose the gusto he'd felt just moments before. Now that the immediate danger was out of the way, he couldn't stop thinking about the situation. They'd just been walking, just been talking about normal things, when these two had attacked them out of no where.

    Two clio out of no where had actually tried to--what--rob them? Kidnap them? Murder them? Why them? Why now, on Neewollah? Was it because they were the children of an overloridian? Or, perhaps, because they were the children of a man who had escaped a criminal organization?

    Maybe it wasn't random at all. Maybe something was going on, something that wasn't as simple as two thugs trying to rob them. Or maybe they were trying to rob them, assuming they'd be rich because of their mother.

    Stop it! Lydia yelled at him. She was usually patient with him, but they did not have time for a thought spiral right now. Not right now.

    Henri looked to Senna, trying to keep the queasiness off his face. He could defend himself, could help defend his sister, but intimidation was not, and had never been, anything he was good at.
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    Senna Selway-Sommers
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    Re: this is why i don't leave my room :: senna

    Post by Senna Selway-Sommers on Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:14 pm

    Senna looked at Henri, who seemed to be looking to her for what to do next. Though he had handled himself well--way better than Senna ever would have expected--he now looked lost, and a little sick. She was still alert and wired, adrenaline coursing through her body. Her one arm felt kind of numb and tingly.

    "Go get security," she told him. She was pretty sure this would end up being a lot bigger than something school security could handle, but they could contact the actual cops from there.

    She turned back to the struggling Solas man and the defiant Nadar woman. With significantly more effort than she'd needed before, she reached down and drew up another four columns of rock to box in the Nadar woman.

    "Look, what have you got to lose at this point? You're going to prison either way," she said. She closed in the rock walls a little more. "You wanted money? Is that it?" At first glance it would make sense for a couple criminals to go after them. Their family was rich and could pay a huge ransom. On the other hand, though, there were plenty of rich kids at Redfern whose families didn't also command entire armies.

    "We were hired." Solas Man wheezed, his face starting to look a little red.

    "Shut the fuck up, Bill!" Nadar Woman snapped.
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    Henrik Selway-Sommers
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    Re: this is why i don't leave my room :: senna

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:26 am

    Henri stood for a moment, unsure if he should leave his sister alone with the dangerous clio, but then decided she could handle herself. She was strong and brave--much more capable than he was--and the clio were already under control...

    "I'll be right back," he said, sprinting off.

    He ran quickly til he ran into a security guard and then he and the woman ran back. Senna was still demanding information from the two criminals when they approached. The security guard, a woman I shall name Gertie, took over from here with her shadows. Meanwhile, Senna and H2 were given the go-ahead to go back to campus and call their parents.

    So that's what they were doing now. Henri kept looking at his hands, wringing them as he walked. "I don't understand why they wanted to take us to Annerb," he kept saying over and over.
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    Senna Selway-Sommers
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    Re: this is why i don't leave my room :: senna

    Post by Senna Selway-Sommers on Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:08 pm

    "They said they were hired," Senna said, a bounce in her step. She was still hopped up on adrenaline, the excitement of what had just happened buzzing through her. She shook out her arm, which still didn't feel quite back to normal. It was tingling like it had fallen asleep, while her shoulder was sore and achy. "I wonder by who...an enemy of Mom? Or Dad?"

    Henri was clearly freaked out, but Senna found the whole thing exhilarating. She had always wanted to be part of some kind of action or adventure like this. And who knew her shy little bro could be such a badass! She gave him an affectionate nudge with her elbow. "You did awesome back there, by the way!"

    They arrived at the school security office, where the security guard had told them to go call their parents and wait to give a statement. Senna went up to one of the rotary dial phones and dialed in her mom's Nadar Estate number.

    Her mom's voice came through the other line brief and panicked. Someone had attacked Poppy, too. Witnesses had called it in from the townie part of the island. Senna told her about Annerb. Senna and Henri were to remain right where they were and wait, no matter what. Dial tone.

    Senna stood there, dumbly holding the earpiece for about thirty seconds before slowly hanging it up. Poppy. She turned slowly to Henri, numb with shock. "Whoever it was, they got Poppy."
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    Henrik Selway-Sommers
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    Re: this is why i don't leave my room :: senna

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:22 pm

    Henri was so lost in his head, wondering the same thing silently that Senna was aloud, that he almost didn't catch her compliment. He did, though, and felt his cheeks get hot. He couldn't respond--didn't know what to say--so he didn't say anything.

    When they made it to the office and Senna was given the phone, Henri prepared himself to listen to Senna retell the story. The whole journey back to the office she'd been like a live wire, the story was bound to be wildly animated despite the lack of visuals on their parents' end. Henri instead watched as Senna's face got quickly serious, and then horrified.

    Heart in throat, Henri waited for her to finish. Every second that went by made Henri's body feel more frozen, more ice-like.

    Senna wrote:Whoever it was, they got Poppy.

    Things that had been crossing his mind had been terrible, but nothing like this. Poppy.

    "Did they--they took her?" he asked, unable to keep the panic from his voice. They'd gotten their sister. They'd taken Poppy. Small, crazy Poppy, who probably wouldn't be able to hurt a fly. Unsettled Poppy.

    "Mom is going, right? Mom and Dad? To Annerb?" he asked quickly.
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    Senna Selway-Sommers
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    Re: this is why i don't leave my room :: senna

    Post by Senna Selway-Sommers on Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:02 pm

    "Yeah," Senna said shakily, her thoughts racing so fast that it only took her about 0.2 seconds to come to a decision. "And so am I."

    She pulled off her costumey gauntlet and belts and let them drop to the floor so that she was just in the tunic, pants and boots. "We're closer than they are to Annerb," she said, talking very fast. There wasn't any time to lose. Poppy was out there, scared and alone, maybe hurt. How could she just sit here, waiting, doing nothing while her sister suffered? She had to go save her.

    She turned and headed to the door. Whoa, whoa! said Paz. This is crazy. How are you even going to get there? Senna stopped, her hand on the doorknob. She slowly turned back to Henri. He could use his eilemaiden to drive a boat...

    "Henri," she said. "Can you get me there? Once I'm on the island you can go back, or stay with the boat, or whatever. I just need to get there."
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    Henrik Selway-Sommers
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    Re: this is why i don't leave my room :: senna

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:25 pm

    Henri nodded, feeling a little better knowing that their parents would soon be going after Poppy. It was terrifying, knowing that his parents were putting themselves into some sort of obvious danger, but Poppy. He was trying to not to panic, trying to tell himself that his parents could do anything, but then Senna went and said the craziest thing he'd ever heard.

    Senna wrote:And so am I.

    "Wait--what?" Henri asked. "Senna, we don't know what's on Annerb!" Senna was acting like just because they had been able to take down two clio they'd be able to take on whatever mystery was waiting for them on Annerb. "Mom and Dad--they're her best hope! It's Mom and Dad, Sen, they're on their way."

    It seemed she was ignoring everything he said, as she rushed toward the door. And when she spoke again, right before she left the room, he was definitely sure that she hadn't heard a word.

    Senna wrote:Can you get me there? Once I'm on the island you can go back, or stay with the boat, or whatever. I just need to get there.

    "Senna! Mom and Dad are on their way, I just--I don't think it's a good idea."

    Did it make him a coward? he thought, anxiously. So much was happening so quickly--he felt rushed and terrified and on edge. It was impossible to think clearly, but was it wrong of him to want to wait for their mom and dad? They had no idea what they were walking into, and if they put themselves in danger and then their parents had even more clio to save?

    But Senna was right, they'd probably make it before their parents, if only a little before...what if something terrible happened to Poppy in that time? Gods, gods, gods, gods....

    Henri vomited on the office floor as he made his decision, and then he looked up at Senna.

    "Let's go."
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    Senna Selway-Sommers
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    Re: this is why i don't leave my room :: senna

    Post by Senna Selway-Sommers on Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:51 pm

    Senna actually jumped a little when Henri all of the sudden leaned over and vommed on the floor without warning. "Oh! Henri--" she started, moving forward to make sure he was okay. The stress and panic of everything that was going on had clearly gotten to him. But then he looked back up at her with a surprising look of determination in his bloodshot eyes.

    Henri wrote:"Let's go."

    Senna grabbed Henri and pulled him into a bone-crushing hug, actually lifting him up off the ground a few inches. "Thank you," she said. She couldn't do this without him.

    Together they rushed out the door.

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