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I've been sick
Rachel was coming over. Cruz was elated and having a panic attack. What if she figured out why he was sick? What would she do? What would his father do? Ivan had said to keep practicing, but the moment he'd texted Rachel he couldn't touch the source of his power it kept slipping through his fingers.

There was a knock at the door and Cruz rushed to straighten his room from the disheveled (<del>decapitated </del>- so not the word) state it had become while he'd been sick. Not that he expected to bring Rachel to his room - but, it was the idea of her seeing his room a mess if she did.

Cruz could hear Pavlo walking to answer the door and he shut the door to his room with a loud bang as he heard Pavlo open the ugly wooden door for Rachel. Cruz tried not to look paniced as he raced down the stairs to greet her. "I got this Pavlo. I'm sure you've better things to do." Cruz turned to Rachel with a wide smile. "Come on in, Rachel." Cruz didn't know whether to hug her or kiss her. He hated feeling uncertain but there was so much to think about with this new found ability and the revelation about his father. He didn't even want to think about that.

Cruz offered to take Rachel's coat and escorted her into the study - the least offensive room in the house. He couldn't wait for his mother to get her hooks into the decor. He was certain his father felt the same way. "Can I get you something to drink?"

Edited by Dorian, Jul 28 2016, 01:31 PM.
Rachel was scared. Not of these supposed magicians, but more so of the people around who were giving into fear. People who were afraid did scary things. Rachel didn't speak with the taxi driver as she rode, she sat in silence.

Rachel paid the driver with a good tip and then walked to the door. Pavlo, one of Cruz's servants answered the door, but Cruz soon came, sending the servant away.

Rachel couldn't keep the trembling out of her hands, as Cruz removed her coat. She followed Cruz into the study, not noticing the terrible decor this time.

Rachel took a seat on one of the couches when they entered, curling her legs underneath her and adjusting her dress to keep a semblance of modesty.

"Maybe some wine to calm my nerves,"
she said at the offer of a drink.

The one thing she had hoped was the Cruz would have given her a hug when she came in. Rachel could use a hug right now.
Cruz poured two glasses of wine from the bar hidden in one of the shelves. It was the only decent think in the room. It was something his father was likely to keep - this was their entertaining room afterall and his father loved his wine. Cruz smiled as he handed Rachel a glass and sat down next to her. She looked all sorts of nervous and that made Cruz frown.

He smiled at her as he sipped at his wine for a few moments before he asked, "Are you alright?" He hoped it wasn't him. The last thing he needed was for this to end badly. He liked Rachel. He hoped she wasn't mad at him for being sick - or for getting the sickness. He hadn't told her but it was his biggest fear.
Rachel took the glass of wine with shaking hands, making sure to hold it securely enough not to spill. She sipped at it as Cruz sat down next to her. Wanting to feel safer, she moved closer and leaned into him a bit trying not to spill her wine or his own.

She took another drink before answering Cruz's question. "It's just scary out there,"
she said. "Bad things happen when this many people gather in one place and are afraid."

Rachel hadn't put everything together and known that Cruz had the Sickness and thus magical talents. She was also unaware of her own sister's powers and thus an Atharim target.

"Magic real though,"
she said. "I find it hard to believe, but - I don't know. Even if people can, why would others want to kill them for that."
She understood it was dangerous, but people should be judged by their actions and not by what they were.
Cruz put his arm around Rachel and pulled her close. "People destroy what they don't understand or are afraid of just like you said. But you are safe here Rachel. I promise you. No one's going to come at us in the house of an officer of the CCDPD." At least he hoped so. But these Atharim he didn't know anything about them - other than the fact that is father was one of them.

Cruz sipped at his wine and thought about what they could do to lighten the mood, take Rachel's thoughts away from the situation at hand. Cruz smiled to himself and stood up then walked over to the entertainment system built into the wall, he put on a slow song and stepped towards Rachel. "Dancing will take your mind off of it. Will you Dance with me?"
Rachel leaned in closer when Cruz put his arm around her. She felt safe there. Rachel took another sip at her wine. The trembling in her hands was diminishing, whether it was because of the wine or from Cruz, she didn't know.

Rachel was about to reach for Cruz's hand when he stood up and started some music. She smiled when he offered to dance. Rachel stood and took his had before offering a courtly curtsy. "I would love to."

Edited by Emily Shale, Jul 30 2016, 09:00 AM.
Cruz smiled at Rachels courtly manners. Even an American of the high stature she fit in well in his world. It made Cruz think of his father and mother when he was younger - how perfect he'd thought they'd been. That was until he found out unfortunately the truth behind all the masks. He wasn't bitter that his father did not love his mother - or the fact that he preferred men. His mother was happy with Christian and Christian was happy with the family. He didn't cause waves and his father had respected Christian.

He was not like his father in so many ways, but when it came to the family's image he understood. He understood everything his father did for the family. That was why it made things so much more difficult now that he knew what his father did as a side job. But Cruz pushed those thoughts from his mind as he pulled Rachel close. There was no formality to the dancing, Cruz held Rachel as close as possible - she seemed to need and want the comfort. And Cruz was more than happy to provide that to her.

It was the least he could do for worrying her about his condition. He wasn't about to tell her the truth - but if he did what would she do? Would she hate him? Run away in fear? Maybe one day he'd find out, but today wasn't that day. There were too many things going on in the world. Cruz wouldn't add yet another concern to the pretty girl in his arms.

"Is this better?"
Rachel wrapped her arms around his neck as he held her close. It wasn't really a dance - more of a close swaying back and forth, but here she felt safe. She hadn't felt that way since the Ascendancy's announcement.

Rachel placed her head on Cruz's shoulder and listened to his breathing. It was just as soothing as his touch was. She closed her eyes as she listened, finding a deep sense of calm in their little dance.

"Very much so,"
she said, not opening her eyes or moving her head. "I feel safe here."
"Maybe you shouldn't." It had been a mere whisper, he hadn't mean to say his thoughts out loud. Cruz clapped his mouth shut prayed that Rachel hadn't heard his comment. His heart raced inside his chest, he could feel it beating against his rib cage.

Cruz knew nothing of his power. He knew nothing of what he was capable of. He'd seen the destruction caused by the Commander in the vids. He'd seen the devastation of the man in Moscow. Ivan said to practice - practice grabbing this source for what purpose. All of a sudden Cruz was afraid of himself. Ivan had not been back to help again. Everything they were doing was in reaction to Ascendancy's announcement. What was he going to do?

Cruz made an attempt to remember to talk to his father about this. If his father knew one such person like him - maybe he knew someone who wasn't quite so busy.
Rachel's eyes snapped open. Why should she not feel safe? She could feel Cruz's heartbeat and breathing quicken. Cruz was nervous, and had said something he hadn't wanted to say.

Rachel's intuition said that Cruz wasn't a bad man, but she had been wrong before. Could she have really judged him so poorly? "No,"
she thought. "He's not. What is troubling him?"

She looked up at him, giving herself some distance, but keeping her hands on his shoulders. She met his gaze, her own green eyes staring deep into his gray-blue eyes.

"Why would you say that?"
she said, trusting her intuition.

The whole time Cruz had been trying to comfort her, but her gut said that something was wrong after he had whispered, yet she felt no danger from him. She waited patiently for his answer, her gaze unwavering.

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