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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.
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.
“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.