we've got to stop meeting like this :: petra, axel

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    Paisley Sommers
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    we've got to stop meeting like this :: petra, axel

    Post by Paisley Sommers on Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:25 pm

    A glance at the clock told Paisley that Poppy, Elias, and (the clio Paisley now knew to be) Axel had been in the hospital for 24 hours now. The time seemed to be wrong, she thought, as she walked down the main hallway in the trauma unit. 24 hours seemed both too short of a time and too long of one for what had happened since they had burst into the hospital at Nadar. Paisley shook her head slightly, ridding herself of the thoughts. It was done and over with now--and she didn't have time to let herself worry about her feelings. As overloridian her feelings had always had to come last in situations such as these, and this was no different. All that mattered right now was the children. Poppy and Elias were both doing well considering, Paisley had been carefully monitoring. It wasn't the first time Paisley had needed to balance overloridian duties with personal, but this was definitely one of the most difficult.

    Because of that, this was the first time she was able to personally check on the third child that had been kidnapped. Axel Lovison. Son of Petra Lovison. It was interesting, thought Paisley for the millionth time, that Petra's son had somehow gotten tied in with what seemed to be a family affair. Poppy and Elias had spent a lot of time sleeping so far, and no one had wanted to press them in their waking hours. Information would come soon enough, and Paisley would have time to deal with it then.

    She knocked softly on Axel's door, and then peered in. "Hi?" she asked lightly. As she looked in she saw Petra sitting on a chair next to Axel's bed (where Axel lay, sleeping). She looked terrible, Paisley thought (probably a lot like what she, herself, looked like), and Paisley wanted to wrap her in a hug. That had never been Petra's cup of tea, though, so Paisley held back at the door. She smiled a weary smile at the woman she hadn't seen in almost twenty years. "I just came to check on Axel."


    Last edited by Paisley Sommers on Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Petra Lovison
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    Re: we've got to stop meeting like this :: petra, axel

    Post by Petra Lovison on Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:00 pm

    Axel was out of surgery now, where they'd set his broken bones with metal rods and pins. That had been his worse injury--the broken leg. He'd also had some cuts that needed stitched or bandaged, and dozens of contusions. And that was only his physical injuries. All inflicted by his own father. How did one get over something like that?

    She looked at him lying there, deep purple bruises contrasting starkly against the rest of his pale face. To an outsider she probably looked calm, impassive even. But inside she wavered between rage at what Cillian had done, guilt that she had let it happen, and pain at what her son had gone through. Axel had never done anything in his life to deserve even a tenth of what he'd suffered. He was a good clio, with none of his parents' nature.

    What he deserves is a better family than the one he got stuck with, she thought bitterly. Well, at least he had two decent relatives in Pia and his grandmother, who would probably be arriving soon to see him.

    She was snapped out of her thoughts by a knock at the door. It was Paisley, one of the last clio Petra wanted to talk to right now. Nearly twenty years and she still had the same annoying smile as Petra remembered. And she was here to "check on" Axel? She didn't even know him. "Well as you can see he's asleep," she said shortly, turning back to him. Check on him, how fucking asinine.
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    Paisley Sommers
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    Re: we've got to stop meeting like this :: petra, axel

    Post by Paisley Sommers on Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:26 pm

    Paisley let out a small breath. "Poppy, too," she said softly. Petra's hostile sounding response curled up in Paisley's stomach. Was Petra angry with her? Paisley herself was overwhelmed with a million different emotions, maybe Petra couldn't sort out her own, either. Petra had more reason, anyway. Like Nils, Petra had lived through similar things their children had suffered last night.

    She let her eyes drift to Axel. He seemed so small, there on the bed. He'd received the best care in Nadar, but he still looked so fragile. His splotchy face looked a lot like that of Poppy, and Paisley felt her chest tighten. What had these poor children been through? What would have happened to them if...

    "Thank you," Paisley said, looking back to Petra. "For...everything." Paisley didn't get into the specifics, but she knew Petra would know what her thanks were for. Thank you for being there. Thank you for knocking the heartless psychopath out. And thank you for not killing him.
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    Petra Lovison
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    Re: we've got to stop meeting like this :: petra, axel

    Post by Petra Lovison on Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:37 pm

    Paisley wrote:"Poppy, too."

    Petra actually paused at that, and it made her re-think her next words (originally something alone the lines of "go away.") Paisley's daughter had been in that barn too, had been tortured by Cillian too, though Petra didn't know why. Paisley must have gone through the same panic Petra had between the time she found out her child was missing and the time she found her child alive.

    She shook her head. "Don't thank me," she said quietly. "I didn't even know your daughter was there. Or Elias. I only went because of Axel." And you don't know what I did to find him.
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    Paisley Sommers
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    Re: we've got to stop meeting like this :: petra, axel

    Post by Paisley Sommers on Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:53 pm

    "I am thankful," Paisley said again, not caring why Petra had been there there. It didn't matter why--it just mattered that she had been. She may not have meant to do Paisley any favors, but she certainly had. And Paisley was thankful that Axel had been saved too, not just Poppy and Elias. No one deserved what had happened--especially not three children.

    Poppy and Elias and Axel. They were broken, but okay. They would be okay. And Petra was a large part of the reason why. Paisley felt like she owed a thousand things to Petra. Senna and Henri had been there, too. Untouched, because of Petra's interference. Gods...

    "And I am sorry that Axel was there," she said earnestly. "We still don't know...exactly what happened. Why it happened. But..." She couldn't find the words to describe the way she felt. She knew Estela was involved in some way--Estela who was somehow alive, and here in Nadar. Here, in this hospital. But beyond that, she had no idea.

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    Petra Lovison
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    Re: we've got to stop meeting like this :: petra, axel

    Post by Petra Lovison on Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:14 pm

    "I don't know why your kids were there, but I know why Axel was," Petra said. She looked back up at Paisley, and for the first time realized that she was actually pregnant. For fuck's sake. "Cillian always hated Axel, for not being enough like him. And me, for not raising him 'right.' He's Axel's father." Why was she even telling Paisley this? She made a noise of frustration. "You should have let me kill him."

    Paisley had talked her out of it in the moment by pointing out that they could get information out of him, and Petra had thought at the time that maybe she was right. They'd need information to take out the rest of his stupid fucking Coterie, and Cillian would get to rot in prison knowing he'd lost everything. But now, just thinking of what he'd done, Petra was feeling like rotting in prison was too fucking good for him.
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    Paisley Sommers
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    Re: we've got to stop meeting like this :: petra, axel

    Post by Paisley Sommers on Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:28 pm

    Paisley raised her eyebrows at the revelation Petra gave her. The man, Cillian, was Axel's father. As quickly as they'd raised, they furrowed in confusion. Estela had been sure the reason the children had been taken was because of her--she'd told Paisley this herself. Paisley had assumed, up until now, that Axel had been taken because he'd been with either Poppy or Elias.

    "Estela said..." she drifted off, trying to work through the new information. "Cillian was part of the Coterie, right?" she asked, working off what Estela had said. "From what I know, Elias and Poppy were being targeted."
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    Petra Lovison
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    Re: we've got to stop meeting like this :: petra, axel

    Post by Petra Lovison on Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:24 pm

    "Estela?" Petra's surprise and confusion matched Paisley's. Estela was Henri's lost wife, missing for years. What the fuck could she have to do with this? And what did Paisley mean, "Estela said"? The way she said it, like she had talked to missing-without-a-trace Estela recently. What? "What the hell are you talking about? What's this got to do with her?"

    So did this have something to do with her? And her disappearance? Petra supposed that would explain what Elias had been doing there in that barn, but other than that the revelation raised far more questions than it answered. She'd been so single-mindedly focused on Axel up until now she honestly hadn't spared much thought for Elias or Poppy--or Henri for that matter. And now she was finding out this might have something to do with his missing wife of all clio.
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    Paisley Sommers
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    Re: we've got to stop meeting like this :: petra, axel

    Post by Paisley Sommers on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:33 pm

    "Sorry," Paisley said, trying to sort things out in her head, "she's my sister-in-law. Henri's wife." She paused, trying to decide if now was really the time to get into the whole backstory of Estela's disappearance. Paisley had no idea, of course, that Petra had been in contact with Henri recently and already knew of his wife going missing four years ago.

    "It's complicated, but Estela has ties with the Coterie. According to her, Cillian was sent after our children--to...to get back at her." Paisley disliked saying this, because from what little conversation she'd had with Estela she knew that she blamed herself. Paisley did not, not at all, but she worried what Petra might think.

    Paisley brought her hands up to her face and dragged them down slowly before holding her chin in disbelief. The entire thing was madness. Heartbreaking, terrifying madness. Word still hadn't gotten back from Cillian's interrogation, and Paisley hadn't had the time to go down there herself to demand answers. What others were out there? And would they be coming after their family, too?
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    Petra Lovison
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    Re: we've got to stop meeting like this :: petra, axel

    Post by Petra Lovison on Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:18 pm

    "I know who she is," Petra cut in irritably, before realizing too late that Henri probably hadn't mentioned his relationship (or whatever the fuck it was) with her to Paisley or Nils, and that Paisley naturally wouldn't know that Petra already knew of Henri's wife. Well, whatever.

    So. Estela had been found. Right now Petra was just too drained to dwell on what that would mean for her and Henri and everything else. More important things were happening right now, and there'd be time to think about it later. Her emotional capacity was at its limit and she needed to save what she could to be there for Axel, when he woke up.

    "Ties to the Coterie," she repeated with no emotion in her voice. "Me and Henri sure know how to pick the good ones, huh?" Or maybe they just got the clio they deserved. "Well. Without their leader the Coterie will probably be hamstrung for a while. Enough time for you to sort things out."
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    Paisley Sommers
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    Re: we've got to stop meeting like this :: petra, axel

    Post by Paisley Sommers on Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:35 pm

    Paisley took no offense to Petra's interjection, but was curious. Perhaps Henri had stayed in contact with Petra after all?

    "Estela is a good one," Paisley insisted. Whatever was going on was not Estela's fault, she thought, indignantly.

    "I didn't know that Cillian was the leader," she said. "But something I do know--there was more than one of them that night." Henri and Senna told her that someone else had been there earlier. Elias had mentioned "them" in his pleas for his cousins to leave. "Someone got away." The Coterie was a threat, but the more immediate problem was the clio directly instructed with the torture of her children and nephew (and Axel).
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    Petra Lovison
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    Re: we've got to stop meeting like this :: petra, axel

    Post by Petra Lovison on Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:14 pm

    Paisley wrote:"Estela is a good one."

    "If you say so," Petra said. Maybe this Estela was like Axel in that her "association" with the Coterie was the result of horrible luck and not any intentional interaction. It was definitely possible and Petra wasn't about to argue otherwise with Paisley.

    Paisley wrote:"I didn't know that Cillian was the leader. But something I do know--there was more than one of them that night. Someone got away."

    "Oh. Cillian's other son," Petra said nonchalantly. The kid she had probably killed was yet another thing she didn't have the time or energy to focus on thinking about right now. "I took care of it. He's not a threat anymore." To be honest she hadn't stuck around to confirm whether or not Spenser was actually dead, but after a fall from that height he might as well be.

    A rustling noise from the bed snapped her out of her train of thought. She quickly turned back to Axel, her conversation with Paisley unimportant and forgotten, as he seemed to be waking up.

    ---

    When Axel woke up, he didn't realize where he was. At first he thought it was his own bed at home, but then he realized how much he hurt and remembered the barn, and for a terrifying second thought he was still there. But no, he was definitely on a bed, and the air was fresh, and he recognized a voice talking around him as his mother's.

    "Mom?" he whispered, his voice coming out as a rasp. He opened his eyes and blinked against the blindingly bright light. It was her, he saw once his eyes adjusted. He started to sit up but she put a hand on his shoulder with enough force to stop him, which wasn't much. He felt so weak.

    "Don't try to move," she told him. "You're in a hospital."

    A hospital. It was over then, he was safe. But in spite of that knowledge, each new injury he could now see on himself with clarity served as a vivid and painful reminder of what had happened. Though still relieved, he squeezed his eyes shut, wishing he could go back to sleep and forget for a while longer.

    "Wh-what about Poppy?" he asked. "And Elias?"
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    Paisley Sommers
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    Re: we've got to stop meeting like this :: petra, axel

    Post by Paisley Sommers on Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:21 pm

    Paisley raised an eyebrow to Petra's "he's not a threat anymore" comment, but didn't have a chance to respond before Axel started to wake up.

    Paisley's throat constricted as she watched the boy panic momentarily on the bed. Petra immediately went into mother mode, leaning over him to soothe and comfort him. Paisley's chest felt warm watching--this was a side of Petra she had never seen before. And then Axel asked about Poppy and Elias, and Paisley instantly liked Axel, too.

    She didn't say anything, though, wanting to let mom and son have this moment. Speaking uninvited felt rude and intrusive, despite the fact that she was already in the room.
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    Petra Lovison
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    Re: we've got to stop meeting like this :: petra, axel

    Post by Petra Lovison on Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:44 pm

    Petra watched Axel's face as he slowly came to. His pained expression was clearly due to more than just his physical injuries, and it made Petra sick to know that even after his body healed, the things he'd been through would be with him forever.

    Axel wrote:"Wh-what about Poppy? And Elias?"

    Hah. And yet despite all that, he was still always thinking of others. Her son was so unlike her, and it made her proud. "They're here too," she said, letting go of his shoulder once he'd settled back down into the bed. "They're..." She trailed off, not actually knowing Poppy and Elias' exact statuses. She knew they were alive, and here in the hospital, but that was about the extent of it. She looked to Paisley for a better answer.

    ---

    Mom wrote:"They're here too. They're..."

    Axel let out a small breath at the news that his friends had made it out, too. He followed his mom's gaze and gave a small start when he noticed for the first time that there was someone else in the room. A woman maybe around his mom's age, with wavy blonde hair and who looked like she might be pregnant. She looked familiar but a name wasn't coming to him. He felt oddly weary and self-conscious, confined to a hospital bed while this stranger looked on.
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    Paisley Sommers
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    Re: we've got to stop meeting like this :: petra, axel

    Post by Paisley Sommers on Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:55 pm

    "...going to be alright," Paisley finished with a warm smile once Petra and Axel looked to her. "They're both healing up down the hall. Poppy was asking about you, too. She'll be relieved to know you're awake." She took a few steps forward, then stopped.

    "I'm sorry," she said, realizing he must have no idea who she was. "I'm Paisley--Poppy's mom. Elias' aunt."
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    Petra Lovison
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    Re: we've got to stop meeting like this :: petra, axel

    Post by Petra Lovison on Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:44 pm

    Poppy's mom. They did look alike, Axel realized. Knowing who she was and her kind smile helped put him at ease, a little bit. Though he wished he could have been meeting Poppy's mom under any other circumstance. He wished he and Poppy could have just gone to that Neewollah party and had fun and been normal clio, and then he could have gone to visit her on Nadar and met her parents there. But instead...

    ---

    Petra watched as Axel attempted a smile at Paisley, but then his face shifted to a distant expression. She laid a hand on his arm, and gave Paisley a sideways glance. "Thanks for stopping by," she said pointedly, giving Paisley her cue to leave. Axel needed to rest.

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