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9: Novak 2 – ‘Soul to Squeeze’

Stefan Novak (Young Adult), Paula Novak (Young Adult)

Paula Novak was stuck re-evaluating her life.  With criminal charges hanging over her head, she hadn’t exactly made the best choices so far.  The sudden death of her eldest sister, Camilla, sort of sent a shock through her system.  Life was short and even shorter yet if you were in the kind of life that she was.  Criminals didn’t usually live until retirement age and if they did it, they lived it out in jail.

Talking to Stefan about it was like trying to have a discussion with a wall.  He didn’t have the same reservations that Paula did.  This was the life that he had chose for himself and he was okay with that.  He had agreed to lie low while Paula’s charges went through the processes, though.  They didn’t want to incur anymore wrath down on her during this delicate time.

Still, Paula wished that he understood.  Throughout their life, they had always had each other.  Most people made the mistake of assuming they were of the same mind, but that wasn’t it at all.  Paula wasn’t like Stefan.  She cared, deeply, about things and that’s why she was so messed up in the head.  She felt guilty and horrible.

Stefan would never understand that.  He just wasn’t wired the same way.

Which is why, despite promising his sister they would lie low for awhile, he met up with Lola Trebo.  She had called and asked him to meet her at their usual place.  When he arrived, she was outside waiting for him.  The pub was open, but dead–just how they liked it.  It was a good place to conduct business.

“Great day, isn’t it?” She remarked cheerily as she greeted him.  “Come on, we’ve got things to discuss…”

“What’s so important you had to drag me out here, Lola?  You know we’re supposed to be keeping a low profile while the law is on Paula’s ass.”

“This is big, Stefan.  Bigger than that.  I got contacted by the Syndicate’s associate.  He said that if you agreed to the terms, they would take us on… if we could finish a big job for them.  Sort of like a trial run.”

“Seriously?” Stefan sighed and shook his head.  “We can’t.  Paula is out of commission until my dad clears her, or at the very least, gets her a lesser sentence.  She’s facing jail time, Lola.”

“Wow, I guess I didn’t realize that you were such a punk!” Lola snapped.  “This is our chance to get in good.  Don’t you want to see what this Syndicate is all about?  There’s no working in this town without their backing!”

“Geeze, chill out.  I’m just not throwing my sister in jail for this!”

“Who said anything about Paula going to jail?  If we do this, we probably even clear her without your dad’s help.  They’ve got connections everywhere!”

“I guess I hadn’t thought about that…”

“Well you’d better start thinking, because I already told them you’d do it.  I’ve gotta run.  Don’t mess this up, Stefan.”

As Lola walked away, Patrick McMaster rounded the corner.  She gave him a sidelong glance as they passed by one another.

“He’s all yours.”

“I’m not sure I know what you’re talking about.”

“Sure you don’t.  Have fun.”

“So, we meet again, Mr. Novak.  Are you more willing to play along this time?”

“Do I have a choice?”

“I’m afraid not.”  Patrick sighed.  He approached the dart board and began the tiresome process of plucking them out.  “You’re beyond me now.  This is where our story ends.  I hope you’re ready for what comes next, because I don’t think that you are.”

“What are you going on about, old man?”

Patrick laughed and threw one of the darts, hitting the bull’s eye perfectly.  “Oh, you’ll see soon enough.  We’re done here.  Come back tomorrow evening.”

When Stefan returned the following night, the pub was busy.  He wandered downstairs where a figure was hunched over the gaming console.  Before he could approach, she turned and greeted him.  He was surprised to see that she was clearly not human.

“You,” she said, flashing her teeth.  “More trouble than you are worth, I’m certain.  But you’re here, so I suppose you have finally decided to play the game.”

“You’re a vampire…”

“Thank you for that newsflash, I’m afraid I wasn’t aware.  I couldn’t quite figure out why I kept seeing everyone as walking steaks.  It’s so much clearer to me now.”  She hissed, glaring at him.  She read his thoughts and snarled.  “Indeed, I am a bitch.  One you will learn to fear.  Shall we get to business?”

“There’s something in France we need you to ‘obtain’ for us.  Details will be given, but not here, not verbally.  In an essence, it will take all of your required ‘skills’ to procure this item for us.  If you succeed, we will allow you to continue your operations within the city… for a small fee.  We will also look into helping your sister out a bit.”

“What’s in it for you?”

“Everything, of course.  Do you think money grows on trees?  Well, it might, but it also grows in old, dusty tombs that have been forgotten.  Thankfully, I am old enough to remember.”  She grinned at him, her fangs prominent in her twisted smile.  “There’s also the catch that we can call upon you at any time should we require your skills.”

Stefan felt overwhelmed for the first time in his entire life.  There was no need to respond.  This wasn’t a request, but a demand.  During the entire conversation, he had felt someone staring at him.  It was unnerving.  Once Morrigan left him, he confronted the spy.

“Do you always stare at people when they’re having a private conversation?”

“Sure,” she responded easily.  “Especially when it’s with Morrigan.  Not many of us get orders from her directly.  You must be some kind of special snowflake.”

“Wait, you know her?”

“Who doesn’t?  Let’s just say she sits high on the hierarchy.  Anyway, you’re the new blood… Stefan, right?  I guess we’re supposed to meet anyway.  I’ve got some information for you.”

“Wait, wait… you’re trying to tell me that you’re a criminal?  Are you even out of high school yet?”

“Ha!  I graduated last year, thank you very much.  And watch your mouth.  We don’t just broadcast who we are for all the world to see.  It’s better to stay hidden, inconspicuous.”

“Do you have a name?  You already know mine.”

“Rosalind.  And don’t ever, ever call me ‘Rose’ or ‘Rosie’.  I hate that.”

Stefan’s phone began to ring.  He didn’t bother excusing himself from their conversation.  Instead, he just answered it.  It was Paula, checking in on him.  As they spoke, Rosalind walked away.

“Just tell her we’re coming over.  It’s safer to talk there.”

Rosalind may have been younger, but she sure was bossy.

Gwendolyn had picked that particular evening to come over, much to Paula’s dismay.  She had already seen Stefan and Rosalind.  In fact, she’d seen them heading towards his room.  They’d only been there for an hour before it became obvious where it was heading.  Paula was doing her best to protect Gwendolyn’s feelings, but it was difficult.

“Paula, this is silly.  Let me in.”

“It’s just business, Gwen.  You don’t want involved in that!”

“Argh, seriously, I don’t even care right now.  Let me in!”

Gwendolyn pushed past Paula and went inside.  It didn’t take her long to figure out why Paula had barred her from entering.  Honestly, Gwendolyn wasn’t an idiot.  They were casual, this much she knew… but actually facing it really made her angry.  It only got worse when she saw who he was with.

“Augh!  Don’t you Novaks have ANY sense of decency?!”

Stefan managed to evade Gwendolyn’s grip, but Rosalind wasn’t so lucky.  She was drug out by her hair while Stefan quickly got dressed and followed them.  He was kind of impressed, he didn’t realize Gwendolyn had that kind of brutality in her.

“You, you need to go home,” Gwendolyn said, releasing Rosalind.  “Are you even out of high school?!”

“Why does everyone keep asking me that?” She snapped.  “And who are you to tell me to go anywhere?”

“Ladies, seriously, this is ridiculous.  Let’s all just calm down.  Rosalind, she’s right, you should probably go–”

Stefan had to move out of the way.  The girls jumped at each other, Rosalind ripping at Gwendolyn’s hair while Gwendolyn smacked her in the face.  It was a vicious show of female aggression.  Both of the women knew how to throw a punch, but they were too angry to fight properly.  It just seemed to make more sense to pull hair and hurl insults.

“Argh!  I know who you are, Rosalind Redford, you flat-chested little slut!  I should break you into tiny pieces and mail them to your parents!”  Gwendolyn raged.  She would have made good on the promise, but Stefan had his business reputation to protect, so he stepped in.

Rosalind gathered her clothing and left.  Gwendolyn paced angrily outside in the hallway until she was sure Rosalind was gone.

“What the hell is wrong with you?”  Stefan was well and truly baffled.  He was pretty sure Gwendolyn knew about Lola, so why was she so insane over Rosalind?

“You’re a jerk,” she snapped back.  “That’s what’s wrong with me!”

“She’s in the life, Gwen.  Business is business.”

“Unless you’ve suddenly become some sort of man whore for hire, sleeping with people is not business!”

He shrugged.  “It’s a perk, though.”

“Come down off your high horse.  We both know that you’re not exactly innocent, either.”  The look that crossed her face made him grin.  “Yeah, you’re about as sneaky as Paula.  Seriously, though, Philip?  I guess it must not have been that big of a deal, seeing as how he’s with that Bianca chick now…”

Gwendolyn’s face was stern.  “Shut up, Stefan.  That was different.”

“No, it wasn’t.  What were you hoping to achieve?  I doubt you even know.  You never do.  You just do things that suit you, Gwen.  We both do.  It’s how we are, only I’m not in denial about it.”

“I am nothing like you!”  She slapped him and stormed off.

When morning finally rolled around, neither Paula nor Stefan had gotten much sleep.  Paula sat down in front of the television with a nip of vodka.  It had been a long night.  Things were only about to get worse.  Stefan had explained the situation and it wasn’t one Paula wanted stuck in.

She glanced down at her empty glass and sighed.  She was going to need more liquor.

—————————–

Whew, long one.  Sorry about that.  A lot of this was spurred by gameplay, believe it or not!  First of all, Stefan got this career opportunity:

Then, Lola called him and they met up at their favorite hangout.  As they were talking, Patrick McMaster came downstairs.  I didn’t even realize he was there.  In fact, I’ve NEVER seen him there before.  So, that spurred that.  Stefan rolled the ‘Fist Pumpin’ Like a Champ’ ROS, so I had him throw a big party at the dive bar with the intention of befriending Rosalind.  Morrigan party-crashed and Stefan had the want to befriend a vampire, so that’s where that came from.

Also, Rosalind is a criminal.  That’s why he got the opportunity to befriend her.  I always knew that Redford family was dirty!  I have no idea why Rosalind is a total face 1 default.  Her mother must have avoided my default face purge awhile back…

Gwendolyn happened to stop by while Stefan and Rosalind were, uh, getting better acquainted.  I wanted to see her reaction, so I had Paula buzz her up.  She freaked OUT!  Like, wow.  Her and Rosalind went at it multiple times.  Rosalind won every match.  I’m not sure why or how, she must have high body points.  She is higher in the criminal career track than either Paula or Stefan.

Stefan also rolled up this wish, which confused me.  WHY do you want to talk to Luis?  No.  Not wise.  I haven’t figured out the angle behind this one.  Maybe it’s just Stefan’s doubt biting him in the ass.  Getting involved with Clark’s people is not a safe venture!

I forgot to get a picture, but Paula has the career opportunity to go to France and deliver a package, so that’s where I got that from.  Should be interesting!

Title is Red Hot Chili Peppers – ‘Soul to Squeeze’.

12 comments to 9: Novak 2 – ‘Soul to Squeeze’

  • Josh

    I AM SCREAMING OMG THIS IS THE BEST UPDATE YET IF ONLY FOR THE DIALOG AND GWEN AND ROSALIND FIGHTING YAS! I got so much life from the “flat chested slut” and Gwen DRAGGING HER! I LIIIIVE!

    Hopefully Paula gets lucky wiyth your new ROS. I keep waiting for her to get out from under Stefan’s grip but it looks like the Novak’s have a death wish.

    • Mao

      LOL, Josh! I was cracking up when it happened. Too funny. Gwen is pretty fierce, so I couldn’t see her NOT dragging her. ;)

      I am hoping Paula finds her way, too. So far, no luck. That girl really needs to get it together!

  • ElectronicSim

    Oh good God.
    I’ve just realized there’s one ROS left. And just one household left.
    It just doesn’t bode well for neither living there… LOL

  • Man, I LOLed for real at the “walking steaks” comment from Morrigan! Ah, she’s great.

    So much was going on here! So it seems like Lola is a double agent. Is she laying a trap for Stefan? But then Patrick seems to be working with both Lola and Stefan, so maybe he’s setting them both up for a fall. Hmmm.

    And oh Gwen…she must have known Stefan was not the type to sit around waiting for her. Even all the time she’s spent with Stefan and Paula, she’s still quite naive.

    • Mao

      Hahaha, I’m glad you liked that. I have so much fun with her dialogue.

      It’s a mess. It’s like trying to navigate a tornado. Things are kind of picking up, as far as this whole crime thread goes, and the game is only pushing it further along… which I love!

      Patrick, in the end, works for himself. You can bet he has his own angle in all of this.

      I am pretty sure she did, but like a lot of people, it was easier to deal with when it wasn’t in front of your face… and not Rosalind. Gwendolyn knows Lily and we all know how well those two got on.

  • Dramaaaaaaaaaa~

    Lola is starting to grow on me for some strange reason. I don’t even know why, since she wasn’t in this update as much as usual! I think it’s pretty funny that Gwen had such a ragefest over Stefan and Rosalind, since I’ve convinced myself she is a ‘good girl’ and whatnot, so it’s always funny to me to see her break that.

    Also I’m glad Stefan has the decency to look out for Paula now. I was afraid he’d just leave her behind while she dealt with all the legal stuff.

    • Mao

      Indeed! I enjoy Lola quite a bit. She’s poking into all these places I never expected. She’s completely turned the whole crime thing I had going upside down!

      I love what you said about Gwendolyn! It’s so true. She tries to be this nice, sweet person and while she CAN be… it may not be her actual self. Maybe she’s a little fierce and strong-willed. ;) She just doesn’t want to accept that.

      Stefan does care about his sister. He just has his own way of showing it.

  • Whoa on Gwen’s facial expressions! That’s a whole lotta crazy, especially when she’d been sleeping with Phillip. This was an intriguing update! Ahhh! I wanna know about Lola! And is Patrick just a sell out then, or is he doing this to have a real case one day to take Clark/Crime down? I’ve never really understood his motivation. I was cringing when he met morrigan, that lady is not trust worthy! I’m sure she cups just kill anyone and not even sweat it.

    I’m really hoping Paula gets out of this life. Probably better for her to have a tiny jail sentence, get her away from all these criminals that wanna use her. Maybe in jail, Luis could stand guard and fall for her, and get her life straightened out.

    • Mao

      Hahahaha, I know! I loved it. It was just so hilariously crazy.

      She and Philip only hooked up once, but to her, it was different. It was more of a parting of ways, closing the book, etc.

      Patrick’s motivations are usually pretty self-revolving. He initially got involved with Clark to protect his family from the Steels, who threatened them awhile back unless he followed Asha and told them her movements. Patrick is very old, so whatever he’s scheming, it’s a long-term, past his own prime thing.

      I wish Paula would get out, too! She’s just not suited to it.

  • Uh oh! I’m kinda happy Gwen was exposed to the whole sham of her relationship, but I’m wondering if she’ll stay away from Stefan. I hope Paula is able to give you some indication that she wants to change her ways, but I don’t know how likely that is. I love how everyone kept asking Rosalind if she was finished with high school. :)

    • Mao

      Haha, yeah, I am starting to think Paula is just going to go with the flow, sigh! As for Gwen… well, I don’t think she’ll be able to stay away forever.

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