[color=#2f4f4f;]"I know the feeling," Ric said with a small, exhausted grin as he took a second to glance over at Taralynn.[/color]
[color=#2f4f4f;]That was kind of true. He had slept here and there, but his brain didn't particularly need it. Especially after Ashlynn. Especially after the nightmares. Especially after he'd started spending his nights in the Danger Room duelling himself; when he'd become easy enough to take care of, he moved on to trashing Warren until the sun came up. Then, when he grew tired of listening to Warren yammer on through broken jawbones and lips rubbed raw and repositioned against his cheeks and chin, he'd moved on to Ashlynn. And that, well...suffice it to say none of them had brought him any sort of comfort that sleep gave.[/color]
[color=#2f4f4f;]The twists and turns of Las Vegas, the fluorescent lights like neon cobblestones in some greater road paved with the money of fools and the famous alike, reached their tendrils out to whisper in Alaric's ear and then burst into a nauseous gold smoke, enticing him to stride into just one casino, blow his family's fortune. This, he finally realized, was the magic of Las Vegas. It was where the American Dream came and perched itself while you gamed, waiting for the moment where it was summoned to either land on your shoulder or combust in your face. For about a hundredth of the people inside the casinos - no, a thousandth - it would be the former, and if they were smart enough not to go broke in a year they could be made for life. For the rest of them - for Alaric - their Dream of a better life had come here to die. For some reason, he was just lingering around the coffin.[/color]
[color=#2f4f4f;]Maybe Tara could sense his pain. Maybe; after all, she had gotten inside his head farther than anyone else, otherwise what she'd done to him probably wouldn't have killed him, and Giles wouldn't have needed to reboot his head. Honestly, she was slowly starting to get sketchier and sketchier, the same way Warren must have thought Ashlynn was getting when she was going Phoenix. And that was probably what was happening; it was what made the most sense. But Alaric wasn't Warren. He wasn't about to reach over and tweak Tara's head on her body like a cap on a bottle of Pepsi. She was all he had left of the time in his life before things had gone totally off the rails, and he was all that she had left of that time. For better or for worse, he'd stick with her. Ric just hoped that Tara realized that, too, and she'd take advantage of it while she could.[/color]
[color=#2f4f4f;]Because, here in this car with only a pretty girl six years his junior who was pretty clearly in love with him, his own muddled and diluted emotions, his own sense of detachment from the road ahead and the lights and the dreams it was paved with, and his demons, Alaric Carlisle realized he probably didn't have long to live.[/color]
[color=#2f4f4f;]The car slowed and stopped in front of a hotel, then, putting his thoughts on ice; Alaric and Taralynn stepped out of the car and let the valet do his thing before walking into the lobby of the hotel and towards the desk.[/color]
[color=#2f4f4f;]"One room," he said, after an infinitely tiny moment of hesitation.[/color]
Edited by Dallas Winston, May 09 2013 - 06:24 AM.