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  • In Memoriam

    Wesley Evans

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    Outside of Nevena's Office


    January 30th, 2019


    Wesley slid his thumb across the rain slicked face of his phone to scroll the heated text messages further down.  He hadn't received a response from his friend yet about his request.  After all, their fight wasn't a normal one... and what he was requesting didn't sit well with Alec at all.


    Weeks had passed with Wesley seething in anger.  He demanded vengeance for the crimes committed months ago; namely the two bombings by what he assumed to be an anti-altered, or at least sympathizers of said organizations.  This, unfortunately, brought a side out of Wesley he never knew existed.  And that side wanted blood.  For the deaths of those killed heinously, his brother being one of them.  The vitriol that boiled within him was causing him to  lose composure and it was causing a rift between he and his friends.


    Wesley buried himself in his work to the point that he started ignoring procedure and began taking advantage of those around him to make his job go along faster.  He questioned his own personal suspects.  He prodded his co workers for information that he wasn't allowed access to... he even stretched his friends thin.  Getting them to call in favors to sneak him resources and info.  The last straw seemed to be when he started unapologetically declaring his intentions.  Wesley planned on executing the monster responsible for his brother's death, and no one wanted to watch him make that mistake, let alone be an accessory to it.


    His latest mistake was coming to the realization that he probably would not have it in him to close.  He wasn't a murderer.  But he was so furious... so broken that he needed an outlet.  So he would find this guy, or guys... and kill them.  Even if it wouldn't bring his brother back.  Even if it was throwing away his future to do so.  He didn't care about that at the moment, what he cared about was getting the job done.  So he requested his good friend Alec Walker's aid.  Bringing this killer to justice would require Wes crossing a line: commiting murder.  And he was not confident he could deal with the guilt.  There in lies his request.  Wesley wanted Alec to either enter his mind and deaden his emotions some how so that he could go through with the murder... or cut out the cancerous memories once he did the deed.  Needless to say Alec was angry with him for believing he'd be a party of something like that, and the hadn't spoken sense.


    So now Wesley was relying on a friend of a friend.  Or rather, a cohort of an acquaintance.  He approached the office of Nevena Rostovos and knocked on the door.  He wasn't referenced to her by Keeley at all.  It was more like he heard of her through conversation with Keeley and decided to pursue her aid on his own.

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    Steady hands still worked on the skull of the little girl that she had been determined to get done with by the end of the week. She had been working pretty much non-stop, keeping herself awake by drinking coffee like it was water. There were of course little breaks that she took. Either to eat, sleep, or whatever else that needed to be done. Sleep though had been pushed to the bottom of the pile. She was already starting to feel a bit sluggish and took a sip of her nearby coffee when she heard the knock at the door.


    A soft inaudible sigh slipped through her lips as she set down her tools, taking a look at the skull. The little girl was almost completely done. Nevena almost had a face for the little one that the police could use to identify her. The only frustrating thing was that she still had yet to see anymore flashes of what had happened. She was losing faith that it would happen again and she knew that it could help the police out tremendously if she knew what the guy looked like, even small details would help.


    She stood up from her stool and went to her door, opening it slowly. She had a small glock hidden away in a nearby table. Not because she constantly had issues with where she worked/lived, but she always felt the need to have it somewhere close by. Let's face it. It was a hard world everyone lived in now and she wasn't about to go out willingly. She'd fight with every breath in her body.


    [nevena]Hello. Can I help you,[/nevena] she questioned the man at her door. She hadn't seen him before and she stood in front of her doorway. Not knowing who he was and never had really seen him before made her very wary of his presence at her office. She'd helped put some men in jail and she didn't know if any of those criminals knew it or not. Most of the time she would request for her name to be kept as classified as possible, but sometimes she forgot to mention it.


    [nevena]If you're here about the little girl case I'm still working on the skull. It should be complete in two or three more days,[/nevena] she said as a matter of factly.

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    When the door opened Nevena would find Wesley with his ARMA identification open and in front of his own face  for a second to make sure it was the first thing she noticed about him.  Rude, but again, Wesley was no longer in the mood to bother with pleasantries.  


    "Wesley Evans.  ARMA.  I've reason to believe you could be instrumental in solving a current case I'm working on... so yeah.  You can help me.  Or at least that's what I've heard.  It's got nothing to do with your other cases."  


    At this point in the game Wesley wasn't concerned about lying.  He'd already done so many morally reprehensible things in pursuit of his target lying was child's play.  He just didn't care.  At least, not to the degree that it would prevent him from doing it when it could aid him in his quest.  


    As he waited for the woman's response he tightened his grip on his walking cane in impatience.  He glanced her over rather deliberately as if he were sizing her up like an obsessive compulsive nutjob, or a particularly paranoid detective.  Sometimes he forgot how short he was compared to most people; the fact that an otherwise diminutive woman seemed taller than he thanks to her two-inch heels.  His slouching didn't help the image thanks to the pain in his side that required a walking cane to sustain his posture.  


    About five months ago Wesley would have been ogling the woman, mouth agape as she was the considerable opposite of unattractive, but alas, for the same reason he wasn't drooling over Keeley The Milf weeks ago when they first met (which probably would have gotten him a better reaction from her than his choice of actions that day...), his mind was on one track, and that track was a death metal anthem entitled "Find the ones who killed my brother and pay them back tenfold."


    And it played on repeat.  Over and over.  With the volume blaring loud enough to make his ears bleed.  So, Wesley's mind warded off the mental images normally brought up in situations such as these and instead lifted his walking cane and pointed it towards the doorway, past Nevena, like a crotchety old man.


    "You gonna invite me in or is this one of those like... love-at-first-sight things where you just sit and ogle me the whole time?  Not very professional Miss Rostovos.  What would Keeley think?"  he chided.  It seemed he hadn't learned that you attracted more flies with honey than you did with shit.  He would be the first to claim he didn't care, too... but time spent with Keeley taught him that he was in no place to be a dick AND demand aid.  


    Still, pride wouldn't let him stop and correct his disrespectful words.  So he just averted his gaze and awkwardly waited.  

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    The first thing she noticed about the man. Wesley. Was that his face did match himself in person and that his badge was indeed the real thing. She had taught herself, and with the help of friends, how to discern a fake badge from a real one.


    "Wesley Evans.  ARMA.  I've reason to believe you could be instrumental in solving a current case I'm working on... so yeah.  You can help me.  Or at least that's what I've heard.  It's got nothing to do with your other cases."


    [nevena]My work load is pretty heavy right now....,[/nevena] she said softly.


    To be honest Nevena didn't know if she should take on another case. Her work load was already pretty crazy and having a crazy workload usually meant really late nights. Then really late nights meant no sleep which in return would sometimes make her hallucinate things she really didn't want to. However. It had always been very hard for her to turn away someone in need. By the look on Wesley's face this case was something that he was desperate to come to a close.


    Ah. Closure. One of the many things everyone wants in this world.


    Nevena had briefly noticed his cane and wondered what had happened to him. Then that led her to wonder how someone in ARMA could be doing an active case if they were physically unable to do anything that would require running, fighting, or anything else strenuous. This realization made her slightly even more hesitant to let him in, but after looking back at his face she couldn't help but feel a need to help him with his case.


    "You gonna invite me in or is this one of those like... love-at-first-sight things where you just sit and ogle me the whole time?"


    [nevena]Does love at first sight even exist,[/nevena] she said as she stepped aside and let the door open a little wider. She stepped away from the door and headed back over to the little one's skull resting on her work space. She turned back toward him and spoke before sitting down, [nevena]Shut the door for me would ya.[/nevena]


    The skull stared back at her and for a moment she thought she was going to start seeing flashes, but the feeling subsided just as quickly as it had come. She sat down on her stool and turned to face him, crossing her legs.


    [nevena]So what's this case that you need help with,[/nevena] she asked as she sat there looking at him.

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    Wesley's hand shoved the door behind him with enough effort that it closed without him having to push further.  As he did so his free hand clasped onto the back of the seat closest to the door facing Nevena's desk.  He then made his way around to sit with a huff, enjoying the feeling of taking the pressure off of his side.  He looked up at the ceiling and let the pain fade a bit before turning his attention to the woman behind the desk.


    "I'm sure you're familiar with the bombings in the city last year.  It's still in the news after all."  Wesley said while releasing his cane to thud lightly against the desk before him.  He then reached into his inner jacket pocket to remove a manila envelope that he was carrying.  He tossed it onto the desk and waited for Nevena to reach for it before continuing to speak.


    "No lie, I'm close.  I can feel it.  But there's something I'm gonna need to finish this job.  And I've heard things.  About your particular skills."  Wesley paused for effect.  It likely wouldn't take long for her to come to the conclusion that he needed her powers for the case... but she was a woman after all, and an attractive one at that.  The pretty ones, in his experience, were usually pants-on-head retarded, so he didn't place any trust in her ability to think further than what a man told her.  And if the idiocy was magnified by how attractive the girl was then... well, this girl would be like a Unicorn in that, people this dumb were rare indeed.


    "...that means your powers, lady."  grumbled Wesley with a hint of annoyance in his voice.  


    As Wesley stared he thought back to his co-workers in ARMA, remembering that a lot of them were women and a lot were as smart as, if not smarter, than him.  Most were smarter than he if he was being honest with himself.  Whatever.  He, to his knowledge, said nothing disrespectful yet, so apologizing for his thoughts was a waste of time.  He was there on business anyway.


    "Before speaking further about it, I need an accurate understanding of your powers.  Our mutual acquaintance Keeley, she's told me about you, but I want it straight from the source.  What all do your abilities entail?" 

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    It was fairly easy to see that Wes was in pain as he sat down. For a split second she felt sorry for him, but it vanished as quickly as it had come. He was kind of being a jackass toward her and obviously it rubbed her the wrong way. She had never done anything mean or horrible to this man. So there was no need for him to be acting the way he was acting toward her.


    "I'm sure you're familiar with the bombings in the city last year.  It's still in the news after all."


    A slight nod was made before she reached out for the manila envelope, picking it up slowly. Everyone knew about the bombings and what was going on. It was top of the news and was most important. It also hit close to home with her. One of her friends had been killed. A close friend, but she instinctively knew that if she let herself get close to the case that she'd go down a dark hole that she wouldn't be able to claw herself out of. So. Seeing this envelope and this man come to her with this case was a slight shock.


    Was this fate? Was this destiny? Was she suppose to help Wes?


    [nevena]Yah of course. Everyone in the city. Heck. Even the world knows about the bombings,[/nevena] she replied as she began to pull out the pages of the file, glancing over them as her fingers trembled slightly.


    And I've heard things.  About your particular skills.


    Ah. So it's my brain he's after...


    It wasn't everyday that she had some random stranger come to her door looking at using her ability to solve a case that mostly everyone knew about. More often than not she worked on the cold cases. The ones that people had forgotten about. She even tried to steer clear of the current events. It wasn't really her place to go after killers. It actually kind of frightened her and made her slightly paranoid. Like. What if the person figured out she was helping? Would they hunt her down? Would they kill her? She wasn't about ready to die yet.


    [nevena]Yeah. No shit. I figured that. Since there really isn't any need for my skill in reconstructing skulls,[/nevena] she replied back to him in a snotty tone. He wanted to be a jackass to her. Well. Two can play at that game.


    Until he shows me respect. He isn't getting any...


     What all do your abilities entail?


    She took a deep breath in and let it out slowly before speaking. [nevena]The situations that I mainly use my ability for are reconstructing skulls. Sometimes I somehow get flashes of memories from the deceased. I don't know if somehow their spirit is around making that happen or if maybe I'm so concentrated on the details of their skull and events of what happened to them that I see their memories,[/nevena] she paused for a moment. [nevena]I can also pick out memories in a persons mind and either alter them or make them completely disappear. Or I can just look in on a memory maybe that someone has suppressed.[/nevena]


    It felt strange to her just willingly telling someone about her abilities. In fact she wasn't sure exactly why he was looking at using her specific set of abilities. There certainly wasn't any skull that he was carrying with him. So that lead straight to memories. Did he do something horrible?

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    • 2 weeks later...

    "Right.  No need at all."  Wesley replied in kind to Nevena's snotty remark.  He didn't need, or even know, what the hell she was talking about.  He had tunnel vision when it came to his crusade and while he was being petty and obnoxious, he didn't seem to be bothered by others doing the same.  At least, he wasn't stumbling over himself attempting to make people like him the way the old, weak-willed Wesley used to.


    She went ahead with her explanation of her abilities, his interest piquing only when she got to the part about erasing memories.  It seemed what he heard Keeley talking about was accurate.  She hadn't actually given Wesley any information about Nevena intentionally, but Nevena didn't need to know that.


    "There we go.  That's the ability that's going to help close this case."  Wesley said while leaning forward from his previously lackadaisical posture.  "I'm going to need you to remove a memory for me.  Not one I have now... but one I'm going to have soon."  


    The magus  paused for a moment to give Nevena time to catch up.  "I know you're smart enough to know that when we find these assholes they're not going to jail.  Not for what they did our people.  Not for what they're trying to start.  They want a war.  An excuse to try to wipe us all out.  But their arms are too short to box with God, that's what I say."


    Wesley took a deep breath and counted to five, mouthing the words before speaking again, as throughout his little tirade he could tell he was losing composure, based on the metallic odds and ends in the room that were beginning to shake or hover in response to his mana spiking inadvertently.  He didn't want to scare her off.


    "Have you lost anyone in the attack?  Someone like us or someone just in the wrong place at the wrong time?"  Wesley asked.  His voice was more calm and thoughtful, a 180 degree turn of personality from the man that barged into her office earlier.  His gaze was fixated on the floor beneath him as he spoke.  Wesley had gotten accustom to hiding his more sentimental side with a wall of vitriol, but when he couldn't, he hid it by hiding his eyes.  

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    "Right.  No need at all."


    This guy sure does have a mouth on him...


    Nevena figured that if someone were to seek someone else out and would want or need a favor from them that the said person would try to be as nice as possible. Wesley was obviously not one of those people. He had a bit of some honesty about him though that she found very refreshing. People tending to sugar coat things or lie to get their way. This was quite new to her.


     "I'm going to need you to remove a memory for me.  Not one I have now... but one I'm going to have soon."


    [nevena]So you want me to wait until you do whatever it is that you are going to do.... which makes me feel like it isn't going to be something pleasant... and then get rid of the memory for you,[/nevena] she asked the question to make sure she completely understand what it was that he wanted. Her first thought of how to react to his words were to say something along the lines of that he shouldn't do whatever it was that he would later regret.


    That would be the smarter thing to do...


    "They want a war."


    She understood his way of thinking. She understood that she also didn't want these people to get to go to jail and live a life where they are fed 3 meals a day. There many times where she would sit and think about how much they deserved everything that was going to be going their way. [nevena]While I understand and totally get that you want to do something about it. Do you really think it's a smart idea? I mean. I will be able to make you forget, but I can't make feelings disappear. You may have a feeling of regret you just won't remember why you have it. It could eat at you,[/nevena] she said the words, trying to reason with him. That maybe his plan of action may not be the best.


    It was easy to tell that he was getting emotional just by talking about it. The metal things in the room moving made that apparent. She especially didn't want some of her more sharp tools to come flying toward her direction. She stayed quiet as she watched him calm himself.


    This topic seems to make him on edge...


    "Have you lost anyone in the attack?"


    There was a small wish inside of her that she hoped he wouldn't ask that question. It upset her. It hurt her. It breaks her heart every time she thinks about it. For the most part Nevena tried to keep her more emotional thoughts and feelings locked up tight. Her lips pursed together tightly and then she sighed. [nevena]I did, in fact, lose someone close to me in the attack. There isn't a day that goes by that I wish something horrible would happen to the person who cause me heartache. Who causes me heartache every day,[/nevena] she replied to him in a soft voice, trying to keep her emotions in check. Normally whenever she thought about it she broke down crying, but crying in front of Wesley who was pretty much a stranger to her was not an option.


    Calm yourself, Nevena...


    [nevena]So what are you planning on doing or am I not allowed to know,[/nevena] she paused for a second. [nevena]Mind you, I'm not exactly agreeing that I will help you out. I just... I don't want one of the good guys to take one for the team necessarily. I don't want someone to do something that they will regret even if the memory can be erased.[/nevena]

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    There it was.  It really wasn't that hard of a concept to get a hold of.  Nevena repeated Wesley's request back to him and he nodded without looking back up at her.  Thankfully she did not notice much the goings-on around the room with the metals reacting to Wesley's mana signature taking erratic spikes due to his equally erattic mood swings.  Or perhaps she did notice, yet chose not to mention it.  He was after all an agent of ARMA and thus, she likely expected him to have some sort of mystical ability.  And she herself would understand that sometimes one's control over his or her powers could go haywire, provided their emotions got the better of them.  It was especially common among the less experienced, or disproportionally powerful magus out there.


    He waited until he, and the metal objects in the room, settled down before looking back across the desk to the woman and responding to her inquiry.  "I don't care.  I'm done waiting.  I'm done taking advice.  If I'm being honest with us both... I deserve a lifetime of regret for what I did.  I failed my brother.  I was supposed to save him, and not only did I not, but I almost got myself killed in the process.  Killing these bastards isn't about making myself feel better.  It's about setting things right.  Punishing those that deserve to be punished, and protecting those they would hope to hurt like they did my brother.  And your friend."


    Wesley reached into his right jacket pocket and removed the medal he kept on his person every day since his brother's death.  He glanced down at it before taking a deep breath and looking back to Nevena.  "I know what you're thinking.  If I deserve the pain, why try to erase the memories?  Why not own my shit?  It's because I've still got work to do.  These powers may not have helped me protect my brother, but they can still be put to good use.  And even though I swear I'm ready to kill, I know deep down that it's wrong.  What I'm about to do is wrong.  So wrong that it could ruin me.  You know what they say about slippery slopes.  Take one step in that direction and there's no turning back?  I guess I just think if I don't know I've taken that step... the rest won't come so easily."


    Hearing his plan out loud made him cringe.  Wesley really had lost his damned mind.  Perhaps Nevena hadn't noticed as she too was getting emotional.  When she settled down and questioned him again Wesley simply shook his head with a sigh.  "In case I haven't made it obvious, I'm going to find the bombers and I'm going to kill them.  That may or may not be an over-simplification of what's actually going to go down... but the result will be the same.  I find them.  They die.  Whatever happens in between steps one and two... that's the stuff I'm afraid I won't want to remember."


    Wesley stood up from his sitting position, slowly, as his side wound was still tender.  He leaned on his cane and let out a labored breath.  "It sounds worse than it actually is.  ARMA agents have killed before, just like policemen have killed before.  We just have more creative ways of dealing with PTSD.  Like, a women who can remove memories from people's heads."  Wesley remarked with a smirk while tilting his head toward Nevena.

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    "I deserve a lifetime of regret for what I did."


    Now this was something that was hard for her to understand. Nevena had spent quite a lot of time on reconstructing the skull of deceased people and she knew that 99.9 percent of the time the left loved ones behind. Normally it had to do with the situation and how they ended up with her working on their skull in the first place, but most of the time the family grieved and then would lay the person to rest. Sometimes it had been a family members "fault" that they person died. Though she had never once heard any of them thinking that they deserved to feel regret. If I were to die in a way that was not welcome I defiently wouldn't wish that my loved one would feel guilt or regret for the rest of their lives.


    [nevena]First of all you should never be done taking advice. Advice is going to come from the ones that love you. That want to see you there in their lives constantly on a day to day basis. Second, I really highly doubt that your brother would want you to walk around for the rest of your life feeling regret. If he loved you, which I'm assuming that he most likely did, then he'd want you to move on with your life. Third point is, what happens if something bad happens to you in the process? You sure as hell bet I'll feel guilty for agreeing to take your memory, which would in return lead you to fully go after the bomber, no bars hold.[/nevena]


    "And even though I swear I'm ready to kill, I know deep down that it's wrong.  What I'm about to do is wrong."


    She hadn't really wanted to give him a speech at all. It wasn't like she really knew exactly what he was going though, but she also knew that he was a human being and her view on the matter was that every human being deserved to be saved, in one way or another. [nevena]Maybe the reason you're running around looking for someone to help ease the regret after you kill someone is quite possibly your subconscious' way of telling you that you aren't ready to kill another person,[/nevena] she said the words knowing that the subconscious was a very powerful thing.


    "That may or may not be an over-simplification of what's actually going to go down... but the result will be the same.  I find them.  They die."


    [nevena]I just don't know how you're going to do it... however you are thinking of doing it. I know that revenge is a very good motivator, but if it were me and I was in the middle of killing someone I don't think I could stomach it. I'd have to erase my memory right after.... and don't you dare ask me to be there when you do it because that will not happen,[/nevena] she said the words as she moved across the room the to small kitchenette, getting herself a glass of water. She turned around and watched him use his cane to steady himself, wondering what injuries he had obtained.


     "Like, a women who can remove memories from people's heads."


    She smiled slightly at his remark. Indeed, it was a true statement, but that made her wonder if word was going to be getting out to everyone and then she'd have tons of people standing at her doorway wanting to use her ability. [nevena]Just because you have an easy way out doesn't mean that you should take it,[/nevena] she said softly and then took a sip of her water. [nevena]Oh. Do you want something to drink? I've got water, tea, and milk,[/nevena] she offered as she opened the refrigerator.

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    • 4 weeks later...

    Wesley averted his gaze not intentionally, but he was busy staring off into space in yet another pseudo daydream.  It consisted of the same images he had been seeing for weeks now.  Wesley himself standing over the broken, bleeding body of a faceless victim; the culprit of his brother's death.  He didn't look back to Nevena until she mentioned Kyle, which caused him to furrow his brow and bite his bottom lip to stifle what would have been a loud, and profanity-laden response.


    "I don't care if I'm ready.  It's going to happen.  But it doesn't have to be any worse than necessary."


    As she walked past him to gain a drink Wesley stood up very slowly, and very painfully, before turning to face her.  He'd had about enough explaining.  He wanted an answer.


    "No.  Nothing to drink.  I just need an answer.  I've wasted enough time sitting to talk to you as it is.  I haven't slept in three days because I've been on the chase non-stop. This is the first time I've stopped for anything other than food.  Meaning the time I've alotted for lunch today has to be spent hunting.  Meaning I'm gonna be irritable throughout the day.  So simple answer. Yes or no?"


    Wesley wasn't being hyperbolic by any means.  The only thing keeping the magus from passing out was over indulging in mystically concocted stamina boosting tinctures.  No time for rest?  Magically negate your body's ability to produce fatigue toxins while offsetting the damage done to the overtaxed body with short trips to healing magi.  The long time side effects of Wesley's personal abuse were yet to be accounted for, but his newly irritable nature was obviously the first of many.


    He walked toward the door and looked back while waiting.  "Well?"

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    • 3 weeks later...

    There were many things that made Nevena irritated and one of those things was being rushed. In her line of work taking her time was something that she needed to do constantly because one small error in judgement could completely mess up how someone's face should appear. Then that usually results in her having to start at the beginning which then leads to the family of the victim never getting the closure that's needed to move on.


    Maybe that's what Wesley needs... closure...


    The refrigerator door closed after the sound of his reply and she stood there for a moment, thinking about his words. The first conclusion that she came to was that he was a mouthy son of a bitch, but she figured that was to be expected. Especially when someone doesn't sleep as much as they should or even eat for that matter. The second conclusion that she came to was that she wasn't too sure if she wanted to help him out or not.


    She understood where he was coming from and that he needed closure, but she wasn't too completely sold on the idea that murdering someone was the way to go about it. She also knew that if she wouldn't agree to helping him that he would just keep trying to find some way to dodge around dealing with the guilt that she knew he'd feel for killing someone. There was one thing she was sure of and that was she'd want to keep it under wraps if she did agree to helping him. She was fairly certain he had friends and that they all probably didn't want him going on a murderous rage.


    [nevena]I'm only going to agree to help you if you keep my name out of it and keep it on the down low. I don't want anyone knowing that I'm going to be helping you out,[/nevena] she said as she stared at him, noticing he was anxious to leave.

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