As she slammed the door for the last time the brunette finally allowed herself to breathe, in and out as she tried to get a handle over her emotions but every time that she tried all that she saw in her mind was them together, together in the bed the two of them shared. She pressed her back against the door and slowly sank down into a ball, her arms hugging around her legs as the tears just started to flow. Dakota had put the last 10 years of her life into this relationship, she had done everything she could to support him through every up and down but now she finally realized, she wasn't enough and she never would be.

A sob wracked through her body as the very thought, lifting her hands to wipe her eyes as though it would stop her eyes from looking puffy. As she pulled it back however all she saw was the black smudge of the make up she had been wearing before everything had gone down. He had begged her to listen but there was nothing that he could say at this point, she'd know for a long time now it was over, she had fallen out of love with him over the months, slowly feeling less connected to him the more he pulled away until she had given up fighting for it. She knew she should have been honest with him but it was just too easy to stay, to pretend like things were perfect when they weren't.

Instead she was now left broken, sitting on the floor of the apartment she shared with him and suddenly every little thing around her felt wrong, like it was out of place in her world now. She closed her eyes letting out another sob to which the room shook a little and a lamp from on the table fell down smashing into pieces. She sighed heavily in frustration forcing herself to pull to her feet to pick up the broken pieces of china but she just ended up throwing them down on the floor, they looked better broken, representing the way she felt right now. She sniffed wiping back another round of tears as she looked around for what else didn't feel right anymore. 

She started with the vase that Bradyn had bought her for her birthday, it was ugly and she had secretly hated it but because he had given her it she had kept it and used it. Grabbing it she held it to her chest for a moment before another wave of emotions came over her and she threw it down on the ground watching as it shattered into pieces all over the floor. She had to admit it gave her a temporary sense of relief, like somehow she could punish him for ripping her heart in two by destroying things that represented him.

She took a moment to catch her breath, she felt so lost, she didn't even know where to turn, she didn't know who to call because all of her friends were Bradyn's friends and they would all just be a reminder of his face. One thing that had stopped coming were the tears though, perhaps she was out of them or perhaps it was just a brief moment. She moved slowly through the apartment, her fingers running over the counter tops, without her ring nearly everything she touched trembled with the shaky remnants of her powers that she never fully gained control over. 

Her eyes stopped as they fell upon a photo upon the table, the two of them were smiling, happy and so in love back them, so very different to where she was now. Dakota couldn't even remember that good time now because everything felt tainted by what he had done and how he had done so knowing that it would hurt her. Her breath was shaky as she picked up to frame in her hands, staring at it as though if she looked at it hard enough she could remember the feeling that was supposed to be attached to it. Instead, as she looked at it the glass shattered in her hands flying in all directions.

She winced a little realizing one of the shared had got embedded in her arm and she pulled it out which triggered her tears to start flowing again. How was she going to cope on her own? Her car needed fixing for the garage next weekend and she didn't even want to think about how she was going to afford to pay rent with her salary. The panic began to set in her chest as she started to face the reality of what was currently happening to her.  She was however caught completely off guard when she heard the sound of a key in the lock and the door to the apartment opening.

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"Perhaps" the Initia responded absent mindedly, maybe Dakota did have a point. She was pretty accurate most of the time, and now was no exception. It's one of the things Austin loved about the Diviner, the wits she always had about her. Austin acknowledged the looks she'd given him, when he spoke poorly of his father. And, maybe Austin wasn't really within his rights to keep acting that way. Sure, his father had pushed him to be the perfect leader, and trained him to be the perfect weapon in war, but the small fact that Austin had never really bonded to his father outside of all that, left him with nothing but resentment. Failing the Initia the way he had when the Phoenix attacked, was something he'd never forgive himself for. But Austin couldn't have led them to safety. His heart wasn't in it anymore. And, for that, they all paid the price.

Austin chuckled when she said she hadn't met her ambassador yet, "Don't feel bad at all. Ive not met mine either, and I want too, but Ive had somewhat a normal existence here, ive avoided meeting the ambassador for so long now that I think ive talked myself out of it. I feel like the moment I meet her, things will get to serious for me, and the fact that I was built into 'the perfect weapon' will come up, and I don't want no one else assuming they can use me for that.." he expressed, truly concerned that if anyone found out how he lived back in his home town, how he was perfect and flawless at fighting, people would try their best to use that to their advantages. Austin was then taken aback by her offer to help him. The Initia knew he was lost with himself;

using the small fortune he had from his father and the faction, Austin had  made his way to North America and then to the city of Evermore. He had no idea what he would do here or what was in store for him. The fact that two of the phoenix from Ireland; one the prisoner his people had held for decades, that Austin had taken a liking too, and the other a leader of the Irish factions; was something that he had never even considered a possibility and yet he soon realized it was true. Clearing his throat, he tried not to dwell to much, but Kota's offer in helping him find himself, was one he wouldn't turn down, he needed whatever help he could get, "That's awfully sweet of you Dakota. I just hope you know what you're getting yourself into, I don't wanna cause you to lose your sanity while helping me find mine" he teased, chuckling a bit before shaking his head amused.

When her voice then chimed out saying 'that's the spirit' Austin flashed a smirk in her direction, unable to keep the smile on his face from turning into one that hurt his jaws."I think this is the most ive ever smiled in my life.. I guess you never really know that true happiness can exist until you meet that one person who accidentally pulls it out of you" he expressed, but cleared his throat, radiating that goofy grin once again. It appeared that this female made him feel things he wasn't used to, and a small part of him felt a bit uncomfortable because of it, but this was a feeling he could overcome, because the rest of it, he very much enjoyed. When Kota gave an eye roll, Austin knew he was blushing, or flustered was a better term since he felt a little less of a man for blushing; but he supposed that was just the effect Dakota had on him. "I'm glad you enjoy my honest ways. It's proven to run people in the opposite direction or have me slapped several times now" he added, but most of the times he'd been slapped, was because his social awkwardness made it hard for him to approach females when he was out and about without saying something completely disrespectful about how good they looked.

With Dakota though, he could stare at hr all day long, and even realize she was probably the most gorgeous woman he'd ever laid eyes on, and still, he couldn't conjure up the courage to even throw a subtle hint about it. Austin felt as though Dakota was way out of his league when putting what just happened with Bradyn aside. Though he never commented on things like that, in the back of his mind he did always wonder if there would ever be a moment in his life where he wasn't such a coward around Dakota. Austin loathed the fact that he blushed around Dakota, but right now, he couldn't stop it if he wanted too, he knew he lit up like a christmas tree while telling her about his gaming, and as she told him to slow down, the Initia breathed in and out a few times, playfully holding his chest before cutting the jokes out, to really explain what the presentation was for. But there came that adrenaline again as he started speaking about it, to keep himself calm, he ended up shaking his leg up and down the entire time he spoke.

"Ive been working on something for the past few years, it's finally coming together, but it's a suit, built to interact with the games designed for it. You can wear it yourself, anyone can, even children.. but when you're in the suit, there's 3d features where you can see things in a more realistic light to the games you're playing, and when you move a certain part of your body, say an arm or a leg, the character on the game does the same; it's exceptionally fun with dance games, and it's pretty light weight so that it's not uncomfortable." he stated, hearing his foot tapping the floor over and over again as his leg continued to shake through the exictement of what he was saying. It was a huge deal to him, but he also figured he could spill about how he was needed at times to help ECPD "And though i'm not as passionate about hacking, i'm a nerd in general, who knows to much for his own good. Sometimes when i'm gone, it's to help with a case with ECPD. Hacking into emails, phones, laptops, etc. You name it ive probably done it. I doubt they'd solve half of their cases without me" he added, chuckling and shook his head.

Austin was surprised that Dakota had spaced herself away from him again when his hand touched her shoulder, but he had to admit, it was a habit he had formed around her that he wasn't sure about. He knew people needed and wanted their space when something bad happened to them, but Austin had a reflex of reaching out and giving a comforting squeeze when he sat close enough to her, he could see how broken she still was, so it was hard to not console her like that. A smile graced the Initia's features as she said he was right, he gave a simple nod. It was then that Austin glanced at her again, in a way that spoke in volumes, it wasn't the way he would have looked at a friend, when she commented saying why not us. "Road trip buddies huh? no fixed address.." he expressed, more so just repeating what she had said earlier, "I like the way you think" he added, flashing the Diviner a wink, nervously twiddling his thumbs.

Hearing her say he was on the right road, filled him with a sense of relief. It felt like a wave had come down over him, in that moment, just to know he wasn't royally fucking this up. Getting to know Dakota was becoming Austin's highlight. Austin gave a faint smile when she switched the topic into something positive, "sorry i'm bad for that, i usually can find something bad in any  subject, but i can admit, the pesimisstic side of me don't come out and play as much when i'm around you" he admitted, and he sincerely meant that. Seeing the quirk of her brow, Austin knew she was teasing when she asked if he was high on it "Truth be told, i think gaming is addictive enough to give people the same sort of rush, or high that they get from actual drugs" he added, chuckling. But, it was true enough, gaming produced endorphines in the brain just like drugs did, so he supposed that's why a lot of people found their home away from home with gaming.

Austin had trailed away to grab his shirt after the conversation about how much she loved her job, as he returned and took his seat back, the Initia couldn't help but laugh, especially when she spoke again, but done so as she stared at the wall instead of him. Before now, he'd always walked around shirtless, and Dakota had never paid him any mind, or at least he didn't think so, but now it was a completely different ball game, and he supposed he could have covered up a little to make things a little less tense, but the tension he now felt looming around them, he was okay with. It's just that, he didn't know how long it would be this way until he ended up being a little too daring for his own good.

Austin put some thought into her question as he gazed to the scree and the movie playing on it. He found himself way too distracted though to care about the movie, "The most important trait to me would definitely be honesty.. because with honesty i think all the other important traits will follow, such as loyalty, and committment, etc. What about you miss Mayfield? What quality in a person do you hope to find right away?" he asked curiously, remembering she had asked if the color silver counted, smirking before speaking up about it. "I think if silver is your favorite color, then it counts. I take it you like jewelry though with that being your answer" he expressed, chuckling, but it gave him an idea for the future, if he happened to be lucky enough to be part of Dakotas future; the one and only thing he had of his mothers happened to be a silver bracelet, and it was beautiful, like Dakota herself.. and long ago, he had always said if he ever found someone special enough to give it too, they would have it.

It was beginning to seem clear that Dakota was special to him, and the way he had started caring for her scared the shit out of Austin. He just knew if he let his guard down enough to tell her that he was starting to feel things for her, that it would blow up in his face, but it's a chance he didn't wanna miss out on either, and he had no idea how long, long enough would be, to let her heal from what Bradyn had done before approaching her with something like that. "Are you thirsty? hungry?' he questioned curiously, knowing all movies were better with the right kind of snack and drink. It had gotten so hard to focus on the movie though, that Austin inhaled and sat up on the edge of the couch, running the palms of his hands over his face before shaking his head. And for a moment, he felt like his hands had began to shake a little. All this time being Bradyn's best friend, to not knowing who he was at all, now sitting here with Dakota, feeling things he never thought he would admit too, was a little overwhelming for him, and he knew his body language was giving him away.

Trailing off to the kitchen, where he could still see Dakota, the Initia gripped the counter, while hanging his head low and grimacing as he gazed to the floor before averting his gaze to look back in at her. "Breathe moron breathe" he muttered to himself, hoping to regain composure so he could rejoin her and act normal, or before she came to see what was wrong with him, and he ended up doing something stupid. Because right now, he didn't care about boundries.

Dakota glanced up at him as he talked about avoiding meeting his ambassador, well he suppose they had that in common then, she just hadn’t been able to bring herself to go to hers because that felt like accepting that she was a diviner and for most of her life she’d been unable to do that. Now, she supposed she had no choice but to start doing so. But it was harder than just getting up one day and saying ‘I’m a diviner now’ it was going to take her time “Well from what I’ve heard, Evermore is pretty respectful of personal choice, surely they’ll let you keep your free will intact?” she hoped so because while she needed to learn to control her powers she never saw herself as the kind to want to become a powerful magic user or rely on it.

The brunette nodded a little, she didn’t intend on bending the person she was for anyone else again, she’d done that for Bradyn for far too long and look where that had gotten her, heartbroken. She needed to start putting herself and her own wellbeing first, think about the things that made her happy and made her heart race and to pursue them, it was past time that she started to figure things out. Starting with this diviner stuff, then her work, her friends, her family, where she felt like she stood in the world because right now, she wasn’t sure. “I think we both have things to figure out, no harm in being there for one another while we do right?” she arched a brow, really she could use all the friends she could right now, she didn’t have many of them “Besides I work with kids, not sure how much of my sanity is left” she teased with a gentle laugh.

Dakota found it strange how the day like this, one that should be considered one of the worst in her life, had turned out like this, the bright smile on his lips echoed in hers. They had this really similar, slightly goofy, sense of humor that worked really well with one another and his laugh and his smile were kinda addictive, when you saw him smile you wanted to as well, even if you were hurting “I still find it strange how we never made friends before now, you literally find all the same things funny as I do” but she’d known that a little already because they’d both end up laughing at the same situations, even if Bradyn was there every time if would be the two of them that ended up in fits of laughter. There was this one TV show with homemade movie clips the three of them watched often and Kota and Austin would always find the same ones funny. Normally the ones with animals or where idiots bit the dust while trying to show off. “If people can’t handle the truth then they probably don’t deserve it” she nodded a little, she believed that, if people were afraid of someone who told the truth, it probably meant they had a lot to hide.

The brunette hadn’t been stupid enough not to notice the way he stared at her sometimes, his eyes lingering on her longer than they should have. She was always a little careful around him because of that, knowing that Bradyn was quite a jealous person and she didn’t want to give him any reasons to be more upset than he already was. The way the gazes lingered tonight was different, possibly because she wasn’t hesitating to look at him now too. She’d never really taken in just how stunning he was before, with those deep oceanic eyes that lit up in the fluorescents and the charming smile. She wasn’t in a place where she would act on it right now, it felt like an injustice to herself to do that but there was no harm in enjoying the view for a little while either.

Seeing the excitement and focus on Austin’s face as he explained about the work he’d been doing had her interesting, she watched him as he completely lit while he talked about this gaming suit he was designed “That sounds amazing” she spoke with widened eyes imagining what it might be like to be able to actually be in the game you were playing rather than just watching it on a screen “Does this mean that you’d feel if your character was attacked?” she asked curiously wondering what the experience was like. She wasn’t big on gaming herself, never really got hooked on any but she did have interest in technology as a whole, always one to keep up with the latest phone models and enjoying trying out new tech and gadgets. When he talked about hacking she tilted her head a little “So you’re one of the reasons the world is so paranoid about security hey?” she arched her eyebrow. Grey area, she knew, as she imagined most of those people were dangerous criminals who needed to be stopped.

Dakota wasn’t particularly against people touching her and she did find comfort in the support of others but when it came to her powers and the way they lashed out, she preferred to keep to herself instead of risking hurting anyone. That was why she had avoided letting him too near this whole time but now she felt a little more relaxed around him now she knew a little more about him. It felt a little ridiculous to be getting to know someone she had literally been living under the same roof as for months but here they were. The brunette laughed, twirling a strand of her hair around her finger absentmindedly as they talked. The thought of actually taking off a few months off and just exploring was actually pretty tempting. Especially because she had a fund she’d put aside for the past few years. It was supposed to be for if she and Bradyn ever had children but that was off the cards now and honestly, she didn’t see herself wanting that anymore. She wanted to focus on herself and the life she was living “You know, I actually have the money, maybe one day it’ll be more than just a pipe dream” once she managed to get her life back together at least.

Talking to him made her realize just how little she had been doing this lately, actually talking to people, getting to know people. Making friends of any kind really. She didn’t have many, the only person she saw recently and often was her sister Kenna. “Is it pessimism or realism though?” she asked as she leaned back against the pillows, the realist side of her recognized the world was usually against you and often you had push back and fight against the role it wanted you to play. If you sat complacently then you got trampled, much like she supposed she did today. The thing was that she wouldn’t allow herself to stay down too long, she wasn’t that person. “The only game I’ve ever gotten addicted to was this mobile puzzle game that I literally completely every level of and allowed my soul to be sucked into” she laughed softly “I’m not the most skilled at things that require me to react in real time, guess I’m a little slow” she let out a soft giggle that barely sounded like her and her eyes widened a little as she heard it.

The movie was playing in the background but the two of them continued chatting away, not really paying all that much attention to what was happening in the story because they were too interested in what one another were saying. Honesty was a good answer to the question, you could definitely tell a lot about a person by how upfront and open they were about their lives, people who hid things and buried them, usually were guilty about something. She scrunched up her nose when he called her Ms. Mayfield, she was so used to her married name that it felt weird hearing her maiden name once again but she appreciated him using that rather than Bradyn’s surname “Damn it’s gonna take a while to adjust to that” she commented flicking her dark gaze towards him for a moment “I’d say a sense of humor, I just struggle to be around people who don’t know how to laugh, you know” she nodded slightly “You’re not lacking in the department thankfully” she teased with an amused chuckle.

As they talked about silver she shrugged her shoulders “I think I just like anything that shines” she admitted with a laugh “Silver feels elegant to me” she nodded a little pointing to the earrings she was wearing and smiled, they were long twisted drop earrings that she wore pretty much every day “First thing I ever bought with my first paycheck” she admitted with a laugh, one of the best investments she ever made. When he asked her if she wanted anything she just shook her head a little “Just tired more than anything, it’s been a really long night” she admitted as she curled her knees to her chest and grabbed a throw from the armchair and tucked it over herself. She watched as he went off into the kitchen her tired eyes watching the screen for a moment before she closed them, leaning her head back. It had been an overwhelming few hours for her and it was definitely starting to catch up with her. Her breathing slowed and she found herself giving over to much-needed sleep.


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