Entering what the Sterling sisters called home, Raina slid her fingertips up the spiral railing that wrapped around the long stairs leading to their bedrooms, pulling her fingertips back, she noticed the amount of dust covering them, scrunching her nose up at the fact. "House keeping, check that" she muttered to herself before leading herself into her bedroom. 

Raina hadn't been into the city in days now, she'd actually spent some time in New York.,after feeling utterly home sick. The time spent in New York caused Raina to stroll down memory lane, and it had been the last place she'd seen someone she had been heavily thinking about lately; Davis Costa. Some would say it was complicated between the Sterlings and him, but she still felt grateful for what he'd done for her and Davina, when they found Rosa. 

Walking to her stereo, Rai plugged her phone in, and since she had the house to herself, she cranked the song loudly and began humming as she rummaged through her clothes to pick out an attire for tonight. Her singing only got louder, not realizing her phone had been blowing up with texts messages alerting her that she and her diving team would soon be going back to the Great Barrier Reef, Coral Reef was dying, and bleaching, and they were being sent out to analyze the timing of it. 

We spin the bottle till we're kissing our cups
Felt like I'd die for you
You can't explain it, it's been years since we've touched
And I've waited none for you

She sang even louder, trying to drown out her phone, but to no avail, she finally went to read the numerous messages with a frustrated groan escaping her lips. "Please get a life Rollins, let me live mine tonight" she quickly texted back, knowing he'd have a laugh about it, the banter between them was all fun and games and neither took anything said to each other personal. Replaying the song she'd just been singing to the top of her lungs, Rai threw her top aside followed by her jeans, deciding to only throw an unzipped jacket over her sports bra and a pair of denim shorts with cuts and tears through out them. 

Walking to the mirror, she refreshed her makeup and straightened her hair. A satisfying smile crept onto her features as she felt like she was now dressed in a club worthy outfit. Clubbing had only became her scene when she picked up a side line job as an event planner, hosting the best of parties in the city, but now with summer around, diving would cojnsume most of her time, and she wanted to go clubbing and spiraling while she could. Departing the lonesome dusty house. Rai climbed into her sharp red Hummer H2. 

Speeding along the highway got her to the club faster than expected, and after whipping into the parking lot, right beside of an all to familiar vehicle, a smirk made it's way to her features. Afther throwing her bag across her shoulder, the Initia showed the bouncer her ID, making her way in after he put a bracelet around her wrist to let the staff know she was old enough to order drinks. The bracelet brought her some relief, since it would keep her from having to show her ID every time she ordered a drink. 

It was only after making her way past a few people, that she seen him sitting at the bar. It was once in a blue moon that she was able to be in the presence of someone her and her sisters had grown up with. And while she knew in their presnce, his anger flared up, she was happy to be around him nonetheless. Getting him to engage in convo though would be the trick here. "Bad night at work?" she questioned, ordering herself a drink beforegiving Davis a glance. "I think it would be safe if you took a break from the gym" she added, smirking. 

"Didn't expect to see you here. But, I didn't really expect to bring myself here either, just wanna make my time worthy while I can. Soon it's back to diving, saving sea life, etc" she rambled on nervously, and being nervous wasn't a trait of hers, only around Davis however. "It's been a while Costa, How are you?" she questioned before chugging her drink trying her best to warm up to being around him, since it'd been so long. 

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*Trigger warning-Death*

Davis had been scheduled a midday shift and for once it wasn’t twelve hours, he wasn’t complaining about that part but now he would have to work five shifts instead of four and despite the hours he liked the four-day work weeks better. Having three days off throughout the week to recover was greatly appreciated since it was a physically, mentally and emotionally draining job. There wasn’t anything in the world he would rather do but somedays it really got to him.

Like today he had been called to a car accident where an older woman had seizure while driving and t-boned another vehicle. Davis had thought he was ready for the scene but he quickly realized he was far from ready for it as a seven year old girl cried in the back of the car which had been t-boned while the fire department worked to get the door open so the EMTs could do their job. The whole frame of the car had been damaged and knocked out of alignment making it nearly impossible to get inside. So Davis had stood at the window trying to talk the little girl down for fifteen minutes until the door was finally cut off to enter the vehicle.

The injuries her father had sustained hadn’t killed him directly on impact but he hadn’t lasted much longer than that since a piece of metal had pierced one of his organs and he had bleed internally. Davis had tried to shield the girl from the image of her father that way but she already knew since he had stopped answering when she was calling at him. Her tears tore at his heart as he checked her injuries and wrapped her in a blanket while she clung to his side crying as they rode to the hospital. Thankfully her father’s body was in the coroner’s van but he knew that it didn’t matter since she would have the image with her forever.

The little girl was placed in one of the ER rooms while she waited for her mother and had her arm wrapped in a cast since it had been broken. Some scenes were much worst than others and he felt for any parent who lost a child and any child who lost a parent. That had been the middle of his shift and the rest of it just seemed to go down hill from there so he was glad to be able to clock out, shower and change. He wasn’t one to usually drowned his pain in alcohol and wash away the memories with thundering music but tonight that felt like exactly what he needed. Dressed in a simple outfit of jeans and a simple gray t-shirt he mounted his bike and headed towards a familiar club knowing it would clear his mind for the night though he knew it wouldn’t keep the nightmares away, it never did. He always told people he was good at compartmentalizing in order to get his job done but somethings just got to him.

Parking his bike he killed the engine and slipped his keys into his pocket and he pulled the helmet from his head and rested it on the handle bars knowing no one was stupid enough to steal it in this parking lot. Heading inside he didn’t even have to flash his ID since they knew him well and it was pretty obviously he was of drinking age. One of the bar tenders like to joke he had the hot dad look going on. Of course she had no idea how much that statement actually hurt him since before his fiancée’s death they had been discussing kids and their future. Neither of which came to fruition so it still hurt to think about since that was a whole chapter of his life which was washed away over nothing other than a centuries old vendetta that she wasn’t even a part of. If he had never made it known he was back in New York he would still be there now happily married and living a completely different life but the Sterlings had pulled him back in and inadvertently destroyed the future he was building.

Ordering a shot of whiskey he quickly downed it before ordering a Blue Moon and sipping on the beer lost in his own thoughts. Davis was on his third beer when he heard an all too familiar voice addressing him. This had to be the worst possible night for one of the Sterlings to wander into his presence, though given it was Raina he highly doubted that it was accidental since she was meddler of the three sisters. “Bad last few years but you would know all about that wouldn’t you.” He said not even looking at her as he brought the beer bottle back up to his lips once more and chugged down the remainder before motioning for another which was quickly brought over.

His sharp words didn’t seem to slow her down as she continued trying to talk to him, “You might not have full expected me to be here but I’m sure you had your vague ideas of where I might be.” Especially since he doubted that she missed his bike parked outside. “Kind of ironic isn’t it? That you’re talking to me about saving any kind of life.” He nearly growled as he turned in his chair to face her the bar tender noticing his quick change of mood.

“Is he bothering?” The female bar tender asked and Davis immediately started laughing, a bitter and unamused sound which seemed to worry the woman more.

“Seem to remember me sitting here first minding my own business but sure I’m bothering her.” He muttered bringing the bottle back up to his lips. He was well aware of the fact that he was being harsh but he couldn’t help his current mood and the fact that she was caught in cross fire of his mental anguish over his day and the reverberating memories of that past which had decided to surface tonight. A small part of his mind was already whispering for him to apologize but he didn't heed it, at least not right away. 

Raina knew it wasn't possible to be in this  man's presence without being reminded of the future her and her sisters had ruined that he'd built with his fiance. But Raina herself thought Davis should move on and find a way to let go of what he simply coudn't change. She ended up downing a few more shots, back to back before eyeing him, as he spoke bitterly. "You are never going to let it go, are you?" she asked, before scanning his features and letting her eyes drift back to anything except him. She did carry guilt on her shoulders still, but she'd found a way to let go and things to do to keep her from thinking about the series of unfortunate events that had ruined his life. 

Raina listened to the bitter words pouring out of him, shaking her head, amused at what was still their way of communicating. "Okay Davis you got me, busted. Of course I knew you'd be here, there's nothing better than sitting next to you watching you suffer with just the small fact of knowing I exist still, my existence bringing you immense pain brings me nothing but joy" she then stated, with a slight slur after downing her own shots way to quickly, but she figured if she was going to survive the night, she'd need some courage to do so, and to her there was nothing better than the bitter taste of liquid courage. 

Another shot later, Raina glared at Davis, her own features holding a sort of sinister look. "Ironic is an understatement for that I suppose, you seem to forget that you aren't the only one who lost something to the Phoenix. And yes, while the blame was so easy to put on me and Davina, we didn't come to that bar that night to make your life turn into a tragedy, I still hold regret for it, shockingly" she then said, rolling her eyes at him. Raina had just lost her father during the time of the Phoenix outburst, and before that, Rosa had disappeared which left Raina holding resentment towards both of her parents, not allowing her to mourn over her fathers death properly. Because, even on his dying day, she still resented him making Rosa feel unwanted. 

Rai's eyes then darted towards the bartender who thought Davis was bothering her, distracted by Davis's laughter. "No, he's fine. He's just cranky" she stated, flashing Davis a smirk as he now sat facing her. When Davis then spoke sarcastically to the bartender, the woman stood there speechless with nothing else to say to him, except "I'll be watching you" before going back to doing her job and serving all the drunks around Davis and Raina, Raina herself wasn't far from being wasted, and knew she needed to slow down, otherwise this run-in with Davis might have turned into something worse than what it was right now. And, Rai didn't want to put  a spark in the temper he already seemed to have in her presence. 

"I think you'd be much happier with your sad life if you'd stop blaming everyone for the way things turned out. Evelyn unfortunately did pay the price, but even if Davina and I hadn't walked into that bar, something tragic was bound to happen anyways, we were all effected and lost a parent, you lost both, did you think they would just vanish though after killing our parents?" she questioned, shaking her head, unamused at his ability to continue blaming her and Davina. "But sure, it was all our fault, and since Davina has been MIA lately, ill make it even better for you and let you put all the blame on just me. Ill be your outlet for all that anger youve saved up for when you ran into us again". Raina was obviously a mixture of both angry and drunk as she continued rambling on about it, knowing in her right state of mind that doing so would only make him more mad at her. 

Raina ran a hand through her long dark hair, before propping her elbow on the counter and resting the side of her face against her hand, looking away from Davis as much as she could. "I get it,. and a part of me would blame you too if the situation had been vise versa, but I lost Connor when he ran away to look for his family the day the compound went down, he never came back. So whether or not it was Davina and I who entered the bar, causing the death of your fiance, or the Phoenix' fault entirely is up to you.. I just wish you'd keep in mind that you aren't alone" she stated, still looking away from him to keep him from seeing her features that were weighed down by guilt and sadness. Of course, she had been able to move on and had met others since that time, but Connor was the first person she had loved. Biting her lower lip, she inhaled, shaking those thoughts away, knowing there was a better time and place for it to all resurface. 

Things with Davis and the Sterlings were complicated, to say the least, and Raina had been the last one to contact him, basically playing on his loyalty to them and having him fly into Evermore thinking something was wrong, when in reality, nothing was going on at the time except for Rai seeing an opportunity to have Davis back around, and pushing him right back into Rosa's life as well as hers and Davina's,. he had once been their protector, and with the way everything had ended, Raina wanted a new start, and another chance. But if Rai knew one thing best, it was definitely that a simple apology wouldn't be enough for a 'do-over' with Davis. 

There was nothing that could make a bad day worse than a Sterling. Rosalyn was at least his magistrate which meant he had to respect and follow her, plus she hadn’t been in New York and even though her sisters had been looking for him because of her, he couldn’t seem to fault Rosalyn. The magistrate continuously told him it would be best for everyone if he could just forgive her sisters but it wasn’t that easy. “Never going to let that go? That was what? Two years ago? I think I’m allowed to hold onto my grief and anger for longer than that. Two years ago Davis had been far different than he was now, less bitter, lighter and happier despite his parent’s death.

It was far too easy for Davis to speak bitterly to Raina since there was still so much pain and rage every time Davis laid eyes on Raina or Davina. Though the smart mouths of the Sterling family didn’t help the case of either since they always seemed to intentionally push his buttons, not that it was hard to do which it came to the subject of Evelyn. The was the first person since the rejection of his family and the Sterling family to see him as more than a damaged Vet or a broken Initia and he had loved her dearly for it and for reminding him that he did still have a place in the world, a place of his own creation. Or at least that was a reality until it was gone. “It’s not like I would know your reasoning since I’m not in that head or yours.” He said in a bitter tone before raising the beer bottle to his lips once more.

Silence momentarily feel between the two as they focused on the alcohol before them. “You seem to forget that as far as the phoenix were concerned I was just a human disowned by my own Initia family. I wasn’t threat or even on their radar Raina. But Sterling on the other hand was a very important name in our community, one not forgotten or over looked.” Losing his parents had been a dull ache but nothing more since they had chosen to leave him years previous and he held no love for Raina’s father either though he supposed he was sorry the man was dead. The problem was Raina was still viewing it through the eyes of an Initia where as she had no idea the shit show his life had become before the military and before Evelyn.

Cranky was an understatement and given all he had ever been with the Sterling girls when they were younger was kind and over protective this was a huge change for all of them. Losing Evelyn wasn’t something he could so easily let go even if those he held at fault were the very people he should be closest to. He said nothing as he pulled his dog tags from under his shirt, his own engagement ring which Evelyn had begged him to wear gleaming under the poor florescent lights of the bar. Glancing up he gave the bar tender a mock salute when she said she would be watching him. Davis honestly didn’t care since if she decided to throw him out he’d just go home and sleep it off, it wouldn’t be a ruined night.

“I don’t blame everyone, just two people.” He raising the bottom back up to his lips, “Can’t blame the phoenix since they’re dead.” He muttered under his breath, a sardonic left his lips as she said that something tragic was bound to happen. “Phoenix tend to leave humans out of it and it was very clear within our community that I was nothing, not even worthy of being allowed in the same city, let alone the tribe. I only ever used my abilities in combat so trust me, no one knew what I was. So no, nothing tragic was bound to happen until you brought a war I left back to my front door. I don’t know if you realize this or not but our parents died for their own sins and I don’t pity the lose of my parents.” It was a cold and callus thing to say but it was the truth. Raina was clearly angry over the way he treated and spoke to her but she could only imagine what he had lost, she didn’t truly understand because she had never been cast out like she was nothing but a piece of garbage.

He motioned for another shot which got him a snide look before another shot of whiskey was placed down in front of him and he tossed it back, downing it in a single gulp. “Difference is Connor knew the risks, Evelyn wasn’t a part of our world Raina, she was just a clueless woman who didn’t have enough sense to run from a man disaster follows.” It was just farther proof that your past never rests nor is it ever dead and buried. No matter how hard you fight against it, it’s always there ready to strike and remind you of how and what you are. “Raina, from the day our father’s threw me out I’ve been alone. For a short time I was able to cling to the thin thread of letters and calls for your sister and then those stopped to, so I’ve pretty well learned how to be on my own.” Because you never knew when people were going to decide you weren’t enough, “I was alone until I had Evelyn, you at least had one sister and two parents you loved you, so you have no idea what my life has been like and we are not the same.” Motioning for two more shots they were placed down in front of him and he quickly tossed back one and then the other.

To some it might seem like he had moved on, after all he tended to be with a different woman most nights but that wasn’t moving on it was merely a way of dulling the ache. He didn’t love anyone he’d been with, he hadn’t even dated any of them. Aurelia was probably his longest fling and she had enough sense not to ask about the ring he wore around his neck with his tags. “I don’t hate you Raina, probably never could but every time I see you all I can think about is that night when the bar went up in flames. I think about how close we all once were and then I think about your father dragging me out of your house and having vines wrap around me to pull me off the property and literally drop me in the street. There may be good memories in the past but I have a hell of a time remembering them.” He told her honestly since most of the good memories had been tainted by painful ones.

Knowing that just merely existing in Davis' presence brought the young Initia a sick sense of happiness. Getting to someone and getting under their skin was a specialty Raina had mastered at a very young age, though in today's time she wasn't nearly as provocative as she used to be. After losing their home land and all of her friends along with the first love of her life, Rai had distracted herself with college and successfuly became a Marine Biologist. Being in he water and studying sea life made her forget about everything bad plus being an Initia and having the gift of manipulating water made her job much more fun. It also took her mind off of the man beside of her currently and the fact that she actually did feel guilty but at the same time angry
Biting her lip, Rai took a swig of her drink, swallowing harshly at his words. "It's your prerogative Davis, but holding onto something that's never coming back isn't healthy and you're never going to heal if you don't at least start trying" she blurted out thoughtlessly. Rai didn't think like a rational normal human being; in her eyes when you lose someone their just gone. "Two years may not seem long Davis not long enough to move on but wasn't she dead before she died? I'm sorry but I can't fathom how you built a life with someone who's not Rosa, she seemed to be a mere distraction from Rosa... you did after all run to the rescue and helped us find Rosa, why is that.?" She questioned all knowingly-like.

After taking another sip of her drink, the youngest Sterling smirked "oh but of course you're in my head Davis I think about you alllllll the time" she slurred slightly and chuckled, knowing that wasn't what he meant by that statement. Just then however as Davis pulled his dog tags out, she'd seen the ring also hanging from the necklace and it'd done nothing but made Raina frown. The cocky expression vanished from her face and her features softened quickly. The glance she sent his way was just as painful as seeing the ring and it became hard to carry on with her normal sarcasm. Swallowing the lump that'd formed in her throat, the young Initia placed her hand on his, looking into his eyes "I know it don't mean shit coming from me, but I'm so sorry Davis. I just wish you'd stop and remember that Davina and I lost so much too and that you're not alone"

But, as Davis then absent mindedly said he couldn't blame the Phoenix because they were dead, anger coursed through her and what she had been attempting was now done for. Being nice had never been Rai's thing anyways ..her expression had now turned into a sinister one. Slamming her hand onto the table, she didn't realize how infuriated his comment had made her. "So because they're dead the very ones who killed your fiancé just because we had a popular last name they don't get the blame ...just Davina and I right? As if we're the ones who created the fire and burnt down the bar with everyone in it. Right. Got'cha." She said with pure anger and rage in her tone oblivious that the tips of her fingers were now egnited with electricity. 

It was then that he said nothing tragic was bound to happen until she brought war ...perhaps he meant the Sterling family in general but he didn't bother saying so ...right now he only made it aware that Raina was to blame....for even the war, with thst she decided to smile calmly before sending a zap to his hip, a place she could cause pain but avoid the bartender seeing her do so. "You seem to think you're the only one who's lost someone they love and even if I did hate my parents for the differences they made and that being what ultimately drove Rosa away, you stooped low with that comment but that's enough about them ... I came to see you if I wanted to see them I'd go to the cemetery" she added before ordering another drink despite already being drunk. 

After Davis threw back another sHot of whiskey, she noticed it had loosened him up and he had began opening up. " If she knew nothing of the troubles that lied ahead for her, then the relationship itself was a lie Davis, she would have been much safer with you if she'd known an inkling of the truth .. it's not your fault she's gone, but it's not mine and Davinas either. It's the love you held onto for Rosa ..if there's anything to blame ..it's love" At this point Rai felt her cheeks become wet and she didn't care that she was crying in front of a man who hated her. Raina missed Connor and her homeland which was no more than a pile of as her but most of all, she missed her mother whom she'd  had no new leads on yet. 

" You don't even know half the truth do you Davis. When you were thrown out and Rosa vanished we disowned our father even on his dying day I had nothing good to say about him. Favoritism may have been the thing that created thi she divide between you and I ..but don't believe for one second that I didn't remind my father every day how much of a bastard he was for causing Rosa to leave and for what he and your father done to you. Davis you were our protector ... and I lost that just like i lost my home land, the first love of my life, my mother.. I'm just saying stop assuming you lost more than anyone else ... Davina and I even though we were forced to go separate ways, never see you as añ outcast, you were still family to us

Fir a moment Raina got ,out in  sea of racing thoughts causing her head to spin until he spoke agai . Saying he didn't hate her  had been one of the best things she'd heard in a long time considering who she'd heard it come from. Staggering  over Rai nonchalantly sat on his knee looking to him before circling his neck with her petite arms. The hug lingered for longer than she'd mean to for it to .,.,."I told my father the day he took you away from us that he would rot in hell for it. Look where he is now... rotting" reaching up she caressed the side of his face biting her lower lip. " I'll never be able to apologize enough Davis and I'm sorry that seeing me is only a reminder of losing her, but you don't have to be sad forever Davis. We all need a new start with each other because you're right we were si damn close and honestly I miss you Davis" 

Rai figured he'd chalk this up to another one of her games but she meant everything she was saying right now. Oddly she didn't feel the least bit awkward in his lap either. A smirk spread across her plump lips as an idea came to her to lighten the mood "come on.." she said after standing and getting off his lap, tugging his hand while her eyes gleamed at the stage where people sang karaoke. " I already know you'll need say no but what's the harm it's better than sitting here reminiscing on what we no longer have" she added and finished off one last shot but it was just then she'd froze in her tracks as a flashback hit her about the night the bar went up in flames and as she stood there appearing to be in shock she could even smell the smoke from that night, hearing screams of those who weren't fortunately enough to make it out alive. That night bothered her more than  Davis would ever know. She'd hoped that this was the past haunting her anyways beacuse her eyes began to water and the smoke smell became stronger but remaining calm she didn't say a word..it was probably like any other time, her past haunting

Davis was well aware that holding into the past was doing more harm than good, especially when it came to Raina and Davina. It was strange how he could compartmentalize most of his emotions other than personal loss. After all he couldn’t save everyone and had lost people since becoming an EMT but he was able to hold onto the fact that he had saved more than he lost. However it wasn’t the same when it came to his personal life. Though he did have the Sterling sisters in his life once more and he had believed that he lost them forever. The thing Raina didn’t realize is that he had been trying to move on since he lost Evelyn but it wasn’t that easy, not when he had given her so much of himself and they were going to have the future he had wanted, a family already being something which was discussed. “You put too much stock in the past and in things that were never going to happen. I cared about your sister because I thought I had to, because that’s what was expected. I wasn’t given that much of a conscious choice in the matter. I loved Evelyn regardless of the problems and issues we had because nothing is perfect.” Raina spoke as if she knew more than she did about himself and Evelyn and she had no idea what she meant to him. Ros was his past and likely always would be. “I cared about Rosalyn when I was a boy hoping for things I’d never have. I’ve grown since then, just like Ros I’ve changed and puppy love doesn’t last forever.” He told her as he motioned for another beer to level out his amount of whiskey and beer. “I already lost everything I had Raina, what else did I have to lose by helping you find her? Nothing at all.”

Russet hues rolled at Raina’s comment the younger Sterling obviously beginning to feel the affect of the alcohol and being a bit freer with speech than usual. Doing something completely uncharacteristic he unclasped the chain from around his neck and pill the ring from it before dropping it in an empty shot glass, after all it was useless now since he would never give it to another. Everyone woman was different and every woman deserved a ring that was picked specifically for them. Raina didn’t seem to realize her words fell on deaf ears, after all New York had stopped being him home when their combined families had forced him about and he cared very little about the loss of her father or the fact that her mother was missing. He wasn’t in Evermore to help find info about their mother he was here because Ros needed support and those that had combat training and knew how to use their powers. “Everyone losses in war Raina, there are no winners.” He knew that better than most since every lost, whether they lost another person, a limb or at times even their soul, everyone lost something.

Raina didn’t realize that it was hard for Davis to blame the phoenix in general when he knew the extend both of their fathers went to in order to continue a war which had died off. At one point there had been peace but neither of their fathers would respect or accept that. A low growl of warning left him, “Raina you have no idea what our parents did, I do. So it’s hard for me to blame the phoenix when I know why they were retaliating and why we never got peace. Maybe you and Davina aren’t to blame but those phoenix were lashing out for their own survival because our parents tricked them into peace and then broke it before we were born. What they took from us was far less than what was taken from them and I might be out of turn but when your father and mine were killed, it was justice.” It was a cold a harsh thing to say but it was the truth. That was part of the reason he had been disowned and disinherited when he came into his powers, he knew far too much and that was dangerous for the tribe. “I know the darkest secrets of everything our parents did before I was kicked out onto the street. Retribution finally came and I’m sorry you were caught in and lost someone you cared deeply for but I’m not sorry for the loss of your father.” He would always hold resentment for some of the dead and that was stupid because the dead felt nothing.

“Raina, if you had even been given a chance at a life outside of the war of phoenix and initia you would understand why I didn’t tell her. Sometimes when you love someone you don’t necessarily lie you just hide away certain truths and avoiding that truth wouldn’t have saved her life.” He said raising the beer to his lips and taking a hardy swallow, “Human’s only have so much defense and that defense is zero when a building is burning down around them.” And he knew from his job that burning too death and smoke inhalation was not the way you wanted to die or the way you would want anyone you loved to die. “It’s not love Raina, not like you think of it anyway. I respect her, I care about her and I would rather lay down my life than see her get hurt but it’s not the kind of love Nicholas Sparks or any of those other emotional assholes write about.” She was confusing his loyal for Rosalyn, for a love which had changed and evolved over the years, she was more his best friend now than anything else. “Ros is the kind of person you love if you don’t expect the emotion to reciprocated. Right now her wises move would be to date someone with enough power and influence to keep us safe.” And he knew she was now thinking of her people far more than herself.

“Our parents spoke terribly about what happened to phoenix children who ended up being initia and yet they gave no pause of casting their own children out in much the same way. If any phoenix had realized who I was before I got out of New York I would have been killed, same with Ros because neither of us had a way to protect ourselves and our parents didn’t care! You have no idea what that felt like Raina, that fear and uncertainty, having nothing and no one. To go from being someone’s protector to needing protection yourself, it was humiliating. The tribe look down so much on humans and yet they were the first to show me kindness and I’m not who I am because of initia but because of humans which saw worth when no one else did.” Her words of never seeing him as an outcast did nothing to stop that pain he had bottled up over a decade ago. “It doesn’t matter what you saw me as Raina, it was how I saw myself after all of that. So don’t pretend you have no idea what I’ve gone through or even what Ros had gone through because unlike me, she’ll never get hammered enough to admit it.”

The Sterling sisters were still like the siblings he had never truly had and even if he did get angry or annoyed with them he could never truly hate them. Regardless he would always be the first one to have their back and usually the first person to sooth their pain but that was too difficult when he couldn’t even handle his own. “I know the past needs to stay in the past Raina and most of my demons and dead and buried but I’m not that same kid you once knew, I can’t be anymore because he died. Things are never going to be the same but I think we can make a fresh start as the people we are now, not the ones we once were.” He decided as he hugged the younger Sterling for a moment since he would be rude not to since they were obviously having a moment. That and Raina was obviously drunk, the poor bartender was incredibly confused at the shift in the whole conversation.

“Is this ring yours?” The bar tender inquired as she looked to Davis and Raina seemingly attempting to put the incredibly jumbled pieces of the puzzle together. As Raina was trying to pull him out of his chair and towards the stage area.

“Consider it a tip, I’m sure it’ll pawn well.” He informed the bar tender who’s eyes seemed to grow a few sizes wider before he reached over and chugged the rest of his beer before finally giving into Raina’s insistent request of karaoke. Though a few seconds later she just stopped frozen in the middle of the dance floor not moving or saying anything. “Rai?” He questioned unsure of exactly what had occurred since her face was pale and her eyes seemed glassy and wet, almost like they were filled with unshed tears. “What’s wrong?” This time his tone held a hard edge but was mostly filled with concern.

Rai knew that Davis perfected the art of harnessing all of his anger on just herself and Davina, no matter what his daily hurtles consisted of, all he had to do was lay eyes on one of the Sterlings and just like that he channeled a whole days worth of anger on them, sometimes even a whole months worth of anger, just by their mere presence. Davis may not have knew it, but she understood, she understood that he couldn't just let go of his hurt and anger after losing the woman he'd planned a future with just two years ago. She and Connor had givem themselves to one another as well, but all she had to blame for losing him was the Phoenix, and Davis would never see it that way all because of the title the Sterlings held in New York.

They were 'wanted' and their father's title stood above all, he was actually the reason for the war, or thats what Raina had finally made up in her mind to stop the insanity that the 'not knowing' was causing her. Being the youngest of the three Sterlings had many downfalls and some of that was the fact that she didn't know everything that they did, but that didn't mean Raina wasn't as intelligent, she just didn't give a damn about the Phoenix / Initia war anymore or politics. Rai's eyes then drifted to the floor, as he spoke of not having a choice, and he was correct on this matter, they had all sort of stripped Davis's choices away from him "But that was the idiotic adults of our family Davis, at one point you were all that mattered to the three of us" she stated, referring to herself and her two sisters "You werre the closest thing we got to having a normal life, and you were our protector... why wouldn't Davina and I have ran to you for help?" she asked, her eyes holding a more puzzled look than her tone did.

Sometimes being young, meant being immature, and there were times she did indeed act immature but right now she was trying to lay that aside and be real with the other Initia. "I can see that.... you've changed for sure Davis, but don't take to much pride in that, your hatred for me is starting to suck" she stated honestly before flicking her hair over the other side of her shoulder, fanning herself as the alcohol along with the fact that Davis continued to make her feel bad, was causing her tempature to rise. With widened eyes the youngest Sterling looked at the shot glass, that now adorned a beautiful ring. "Davis stop" she stated, shaking her head, becoming angered by him. "I don't give  a rats ass about some pissing contest between us and the Phoenix. Sure you grew Davis, but when Ros ran away, then I lost Connor, then you left to, Davina was all I had left.... sorry that some of us are incapable of growing as much as you" she stated in a harsher tone than usual, because the point her drunken words were trying to make is that, she hated losing him when she did, and she'd still thought about it, not the war, and what her father did, of course she wanted to find her mother but none of that had anything to do with why she hounded Davis so much.

It was only then that Rai realized, he spoke some truth and made a bigger point than she'd admit. "At least you realize, that the only life I ever knew was war between ourselves and the Phoenix. But I wanted to be different, so much for that I guess" she then said, because it seemed like Davis had his mind made up about who Raina was and always would be. The growl caused her to calmly just sit there and smile and his anger also grew. "You're right Davis I don't have any idea, so to continue hating me for it, is as useless as the ring you just threw in that shot glass. No one reall ever told me anything, and because i was the youngest, they tried to keep as much from as me as they could. All I do know for a fact is that my hatred for our fathers runs about as deeply as yours does... you seem to have grown yes, but you've thrown a big part of yourself away, the better parts of you at least"

Her wet eyes had portrayed what she said as genuine, something Rai didn't normally do after she got mad, but with Davis it was a different ballgame, he was still like her big brother, and getting mad at him almost felt normal. "I get that, just wished I could have done more to stop what happened because what you still don't get is that guilt eats at me, I feel like it's my fault that Connor died, so to hear you say it's mine and Davina's fault that Evelyn did just makes it worse to deal with losing Connor" she admitted before she had continued "Its easy to read you sometimes Davis and im not here to ask for your help finding my mother. The last time i asked for your help, well... yeah" she stated, and even though she was past her limit, she took another shot to that statement.

Rai listened as he spoke more softly as time went by, he'd seemed to warm up to her often if they'd sit there long enough in conversation. "I know Davis, we all have changed, we've all grown into different people since back then... I guess I just keep trying to drag that same kid I once knew out of you, and thats not fair so ill stop." she stated nodding her head gently listening to the music that played in the background, memories and flashbacks ruining the mood she had aimed to leave this bar in. Frowning, she knew better than anyone aside from her other two siblings that Davis had the right to hate their father more than anyone did. "He was a bastard, I'm really sorry he did that to you Davis, no one deserves to be treated that way, the day he done that, he seemed to think he'd won at something, war had meant more to him than his own family, so the need to win with him was always there. When we lost you though, we had lost everything... our father didn't only cost us Rosa, she caused us to lose you too Davis.. for that we never forgave him, even after he died, I myself still held resentment, I still do"she admitted before brushing a hand across his face, as her eyes held an apologetic expression.

The moment Raina and Davis were having was shorly lived unfortunately, as the bartender saw the fancy shiny ring asking if it was Davis's seemingly., placing him withj Raina which had caused the drunk Initia to chuckle. There was was to much irony in this bar tonight.

"Put that ring up, we're not leaving without it" Rai then spoke to the bartender, giving her a piercing glare. Letting her know she meant it. It had been a few years ago., but it seemed like that night still messed with her as much as it did Davis, it's just that he had lost a whole lot more than her so she was able to hide the aftermath of that night better than Davis could. "Davis do you smell that?" she questioned, knowing she was drunk but smelling smoke was enough to sober her right up. Either the idiot cooks in the back were burning the hell out of the food, or something really bad was about to become of their night. And it couldn't be the Phoenix. They were gone. "Davis, please tell me i'm just to drunk for my own good and that I need to leave... because if not something is wrong..." 

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