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 **My Shadow**

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PostSubject: **My Shadow**   Tue May 01, 2018 5:03 pm



His name was Callan. Not that many cared. In his line of work the guy you met last week was as likely to meet you in the bar for drinks as they were to be dead. So, to say the least, Callan didnt have many friends.

He was a bodyguard, and one of the very best. Started out as a bouncer for a nearby nightclub and moved his way up the ranks to be the protection for the Don himself. Yes, that Don. The one that currently ran the city with an iron fisted grip. He refused to go anywhere without his “shadow” as he referred to Callan.

There wasnt much you could do once the Don called you to be his “shadow”. Unless the Don said to be someone elses shadow... which is why Callan found himself outside a nondescript building, alone, simply waiting.

When the Don tells you to go somewhere you do, and in this case there was added instruction. “You have been one of the best I’ve ever had my Shadow, but I need you to protect someone else. Someone very important to me. Should anything happen to them.. I will be most displeased”.

And so Callan found himself outside what appeared to be an office building on the upper east side.  All he knew was that he was to wait there until whoever he was supposed to start protecting came out the front door. So wait he did.

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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Thu May 03, 2018 7:01 pm



"I-I'm sorry miss, but you know you are not supposed to leave without an escort. As the daughter of the Don, I must insist you be rational in this situation...it's not safe!" A short, pudgy man paced back and forth across the room, forehead beaded with sweat as he wrung his hands together nervously. "I understand your frustrations, but I-"

"Enough!" Cynder spat. She tossed her hair over her shoulder and glared at him in contempt. "Your words will not sway me, you worthless coward. I will have no part in the mess of my father's failed business partnership." She moved toward the door but was hindered by the man, who was now sweating profusely, and her eyes widened with rage.

"Miss Cynder, please do reconsider. Your father will be most displeased, and I-"

His words were drowned by the sound of glass shattering as Cynder reached for a paper weight and chucked it across the room. She met his terrified eyes with disdain and now reached for the scissors.

"You will let me out of this room, Darren, or so help you God I will make a mess of you as well." Her words were sharp and quick, eyes flashing with fury. "Do NOT make me angry. You may be advisor to my father, but you hold no power over me. Step aside or you will regret it."

Darren cursed under his breath and did as he was told, though not before offering her one final pleading look. He knew better not to press the matter any further, but he prayed the Shadow had already arrived as planned...perhaps he could intercept her?

"Miss, what shall I tell your father?" he asked meekly, swallowing the lump in his throat. "You know he will be upset..."

At this Cynder laughed loudly, dropping the pair of scissors in her hand. She pushed past him with a careless grin.

"Tell him whatever you want."

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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Fri May 04, 2018 1:48 pm



Callan was leaning back against the wall, twirling a coin through his fingers when he heard what sounded like glass shatter. A slight frown crossed his features as he contemplated what to do. He didn’t sense any danger... but the Don had been very explicit. Nothing, not even a scratch, was to befall his new “Master” so to speak.

He signed, standing up and putting the coin back in his pocket. He was told to wait outside, but something told him that simply waiting was no longer an option.

With determined steps, he opened the door to the building and headed towards the gilded lobby. This was so obviously one of the Don’s mafia connections, that Callan understood now why he was told not to enter the building. The Don was very particular about keeping his business contacts “private” so to speak. They were, after all, the legitimate front that covers up the more illicit activities of the organization. There was a good reason that the Don kept Callan away from his more white collar associates. They knew full well the stories of “The Shadow” who always got what he came to collect.

As he approached the gold-plated elevators thinking to himself how gaudy it was for a corporate office, he heard the distinct sound of the elevator arriving at the bottom floor. He stood still, his hands casually in his pockets, as he waited for the doors to open. Either an executive would come through or whatever caused the shattering glass sound he heard earlier. Hopefully, it would be his new ward and they would be unharmed. He didn't want to think about what would happen otherwise.

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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Tue May 22, 2018 12:19 pm



As the elevator doors parted, Cynder sighed and stepped out--though her eyes quickly found those of a man she had never seen before. Her eyelashes fluttered over his lithe form, taking in the colorful tattoos and mangled scars which decorated his taught muscles. His hair was frosty and tousled, and his eyes were an uncanny blood red which caused her own golden orbs to narrow in suspicion. Who was this man?

"Excuse me, sir? Can I help you find something?" she questioned, tilting her head slightly in curiosity. Was this the man her father had sent as her bodyguard out of fear of her life? He had seen too much battle to belong anywhere within these gilded halls, otherwise...

"Or, perhaps," she grinned, "someone?" How curious she was now.

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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Tue May 22, 2018 1:50 pm



He watched her, her body going from angry defiance to curiosity once she realized he was there. Callan was not unaccustomed to people finding his appearance “odd”. Each arm was covered in an elaborate tattoo that extended onto his chest. One, a large winding black Chinese Dragon, symbolizing the power of the nothing. The ability to become invisible, and yet being one of the most deadliest of its kind.

The black snake that wound its way around his other arm, had an entirely different meaning, and one of such pain that Callan never spoke of it. Instead, it wound its inky way across his skin, marking him as someone of a different life, a different human almost.

Her attitude intrigued him, as most would see him and shrink back, not boldly come forward. It was... refreshing, and so he was inclined to answer her question. Perhaps she would be able to help him locate his ward? The Don had been very evasive when telling him about this new target, and refused to even state a gender. For all he knew, this could be her.

“I am” he said simply, before stating “I was told they would know a password.”

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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Tue May 22, 2018 6:58 pm



Cynder had been in a foul mood after her encounter with her father's adviser, however happening upon this stranger seemed to lighten her mood--almost playfully so. So he was her new bodyguard after all? Quite an impressive pick by her Father, they could agree on something at least. "Though that's about it..." she smirked inwardly, looking him up and down before pursing her lips in thought.

Now what to do with him? Should she wish him well and leave before he figured out who she was? Or should she stick around and play for a bit? She glanced around the lobby to see if anyone else had noticed his presence, though no one seemed to pay them any mind. The people found here were so engrossed in their work at all times, and for once she was grateful rather than annoyed.

"A password, huh?" she finally spoke up, eyeing him mischievously. She paused, as if mulling something over, and broke out in a grin before moving past him toward the door. She reached for the handle, pressing hard against the heavy wood to reveal a blinding light which poured in and momentarily obscured her form. "Well," she called at last, "tag, you're it."

And with that she laughed and disappeared through the door.

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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Tue May 22, 2018 7:44 pm



It took him a moment to put two and two together and realize what just happened. She must have been my new ward... Damn it. he thought to himself. Moving with purpose he made his way to the door and out to the street. Of course, she was already gone from sight.

“This... is going to be difficult.” He said softly aloud, thinking to himself on what to do next. Digging into this pocket, he pulled out his cellphone and opened up a GPS app, specifically downloaded for him. On there a small dot was moving a block over, not too quick. He smiled, realizing that she had given him the slip by running down the nearby alley to get to the next street.

He put the phone back in his pocket and casually began walking up the street he was on. If she maintained her current course he would run right into her once they both reached the corner. He was almost grinning as he thought of the look on her face.

He wasn’t an easy man to be rid of.
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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Wed May 23, 2018 2:56 pm



Cynder slunk through the crowded alley and toward the next block, scanning the area for any signs of the Shadow. Considering his famous nickname, she would have been surprised if he had lost her that easily. Surprised, but more so disappointed. It would be a shame if his reputation preceded him.

The streets were hot and hazy today, and she slowed her pace as she sought some shade further down the road. Just as she stepped out into the cross street, however, she turned the corner and she found herself face to face with blood-eyed boy. "And here we are again," she chuckled. "Well that was fun, albeit short-lived." Her eyes momentarily darted left and right, looking for any signs that they may have been followed, then she moved in closer to him.

"I knew it was you, Mr. Shadow..." she grinned playfully. "I suppose we'll be spending quite some time together from now on?"

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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Wed May 30, 2018 1:12 pm



Callan smiled slightly. Not only did she recognize him she also did not appear to be frightened of him either. It was... refreshing.

“That is what I was told.” He said simply, tilting his head in acknowledgment. “If you would be so kind, may I know your name?”

The Don had not felt it prudent to tell Callan anything about his new charge, let alone their name. It told Callan how much the Don feared for this person that he wasn’t willing to tell him much. Callan had been the Don’s shadow for quite some time and it was a well-known fact that if the shadow was sent then whatever it was, was something incredibly sensitive that must be accomplished. Failure would not, could not be, an option.

And so Callan was now aware of three things.

1. Whoever this girl was, she was important to the Don.
2. Her very life was likely threatened.
3. The ones threatening it... were likely one of the Don’s close associates.


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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:46 pm



"Oh, so he didn't tell you?" she grinned with mock surprise. "But of course he didn't. The Don is a very secretive man, though you of all people should know. You are the company he keeps most, even more so than his own family members."

She glanced around once more before continuing--one could never be too careless, and she was a highly sought after woman at the moment. "The name is Cynder...if you would like to know more, we will need to go somewhere more private."

With that she took his arm in hers and gently tugged at him to follow her. "Come on, this way--unless, of course, you have other plans?" And with that she threw her head back and laughed. "Of course you don't. Come, this way. I know a short cut," she urged, though at his perplexed expression she couldn't help but smile. "Don't worry, I'll try not to bite. We do need to move, though, come now--and be quick about it."

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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:50 am



Callan couldn’t help but stiffen when she looped his arm through his. He was not accustomed to being touched, let alone by someone he was in charge of protecting. “Cynder” he thought to himself, “A nice name.” It sounded so familiar and yet he couldnt put his finger on where he had heard it before.

He nodded his agreement and walked with her, trying to not show how uncomfortable the contact made him. She looked furtive, her eyes glancing up and down the street as if she was looking for something, or someone.

This woman had obviously been protecting herself for quite some time. She had that look about her, confident but wary, that spoke of altercations in the past. Even the way she carried herself with an attitude bordering “I dare you” all spoke of a woman who was not easily trifled with.

The further they walked the more Callan wondered about this strange woman who he had been sent to protect, and what could possibly want to do her harm.

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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:55 pm


Although Callan could tell by her wary eyes that Cynder was on high alert, her calm and collected body language showed otherwise. One could even say she looked relaxed, though her golden, cat-like eyes darted left, right, and above them as they walked on through the crowded streets and toward a side alley way.

"Has anyone ever told you you're stiff as a board?" she chuckled, ever so slightly tightening her grip on his arm and bringing her body closer to him as they sidelined for the alley. "Loosen up a little, will ya? You're seriously stressing me out."

She could clearly tell he was uncomfortable by her close proximity, though she was certain he hadn't been close to anyone for a very long time. In his line of work, it was not wise to grow close to anyone. His nickname, The Shadow, said it all--he stayed behind the scenes, just out of sight, just out of reach. "What a lonely life to lead, although smart to say the least. How sad this boy is...'

Still, his apparent discomfort brought her some entertainment, and she was one to push boundaries to say the least.

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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:29 pm



Callan frowned slightly, unsure how to respond. He tried to loosen his stiff stance but found himself unable. He was so used to sitting in the background, no contact, that he simple couldn’t relax. Normally, human contact for him equaled some kind of conflict. In essence, he didn’t touch another human being unless he was hurting them.

But for her sake, he tried to at least appear more relaxed. After a minute no one walking by would assume anything other then they were a young couple hurrying to a location.

“This alley is not safe.” He said quietly, as they approached a side alley that he had a feeling she was going to turn down. “There is a man shooting up behind that dumpster. A prostitute is on the next doorstep.”

He looked around, his sharp senses picking up not just sounds, but even the scents in the area. “Parking lot, another block down. Busy for commuters. Should be open enough but without risk of people hearing.”

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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:54 pm


"Well, now, it wouldn't be wise to hide a secret passage in a safe alley way, now would it?" she cooed, attempting to smooth his now ruffled feathers. "I suppose that would be like hiding a golden egg in plain sight. Don't worry your handsome head, the hookers and junkies are the least of our worries, that I can promise you..."

She urged him down the alleyway he had warned her of, stepped past the man who was laying on the ground half-conscious, grinning and mumbling words which were not understandable. The condition he was in allowed him no strength to rise up and become problematic, let alone move at all. "See? No worries here, as you can see. Although Pete is a bit of a lecher, in this state he's no more dangerous than a newborn puppy."

"The hooker, on the other hand," she began, and a tall, slender woman with dark eyes and tattered clothing emerged from a door which seemed to lead into the side of an abandoned building. "Well, Leti here is our doorkeeper. Hello, Leti. It has been a while. I trust you are doing well?"

The woman rolled her eyes, but she found them rested upon Callan's strong figure. "Cut the shit," she snarled at Cynder, though her eyes never left her male counterpart. "It is never a pleasure to see you...means there is nothing but trouble near by which YOU may bring my way. If I had it my way, I would complain to your Father and--"

"Enough, Leti. I imagine he pays you some hefty hush money--so I would advise you to hush before I rip your tongue right out of your pretty, filthy mouth," Cynder growled, her words dripping with venom. "You would benefit from knowing your place, especially in the presence of a stranger."

Leti shrunk at Cynder's outburst, and although she withdrew from the red-haired woman she kept her eyes on Callan's form. "Who is this man...another one of your conquests?" the prostitute spat through yellow, gritted teeth, though she continued to retreat further into the darkness of the passageway behind her.

"Hmm, perhaps," Cynder laughed, and she gently pulled at Callan's arm to follow her yet again. "Come now, Mr. Shadow, how about we venture into the depths of your own nickname?"


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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:11 pm



He was surprised when she ignored him and continued down the alley and that surprise only magnified as she spoke of the man laughing to himself and then the woman. Leti immediately put Callan on edge as he could sense the malice she held toward Cynder before the woman even opened her mouth.

He processed their conversation without comment; his face betraying nothing when he heard Leti say “I should complain to your father.” A memory was coming back to him, distant but becoming clearer. He had... not been in the best state at the time, having just survived a gunshot wound to the stomach. As always though, pain and discomfort did not stop him from his duty and so he stood guard over the Don in the shadows.

A redhead had approached. They argued, and the Don signaled to his Shadow ‘Do Not Interfere.’ Something that was odd to him even then, for the Don was known to use him to intimidate his subordinates when they got too mouthy. Except, not this one.

It was coming back to him now more fully as Cynder led him past Leti and into the shadows of the darkened hallway.

They took only a few steps further before it all clicked and Callan abruptly pulled away from Cynder. His eyes flashing he turned to her and said “You are his daughter...” his eyes piercing hers even as his voice trailed away.

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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:32 pm


Cynder sighed at his response--this was not the way she had wanted him to find out, though to be fair if she had had it her way he wouldn't have known at all. Still, his behavior did not surprise her and she raised shrugged her shoulders in defeat. "You've got me figured out, kid, though I do hope you will not hold it against me," she replied, jutting her lower lip out into a moody pout. "Are you that disgusted with me that you'd jump away in such a manner?"

She sighed again and turned on her heel, and she began to walk down the the obscured hallway. "I won't take it personally. Everyone reacts that way. Either I'm a Princess on a pedestal, or I'm the spawn of the scum of the earth--and both just piss me off to no end." She began to pat along the wall, as if searching for something, before a brick gave way and a lantern appeared before them. She plucked it from the wall and reached into her pocket, pulling out a small lighter to spark the long-since-burned wick. It had been years since she had been back here, to her secret hideaway when shit really hit the fan. "Well kid, the shit is REALLY hitting the fan now, I can tell you that...hope you're ready for the ride."

In an instant the tunnel became illuminated. It was musky and moist, and what originally looked like the entrance to the side of a building now became a pathway with seemingly no end in sight.

"Well now, Mr. Shadow," she spoke up, turning back to face him with a small smirk. "Are you prepared for the trek ahead of us? Or have you lost heart now that you know who I am?"


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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:49 pm



A million things were running through Callan’s mind, but disgust was not one of them. If anything.. He was surprised.

The Don was very protective of his daughter, more so than many realized. It was not in his interest for his subordinates, who carried out the worst of his commands, to fraternize with his daughter. There was more than a few times that Callan had been tasked with, “removing,” a troublesome member of the organization. If any of those men had known who exactly Cynder was, well it could have been a lot worse.

Though... to be fair Callan did not know much of the rest of the organization or how it operated. After all, that glitzy building had been the first time he had ever been in one of the Don’s associates “above board” businesses.

The truth was that the Shadow was only as powerful as he was feared. He had an almost... supernatural reputation. To maintain that, the Don kept his Shadow close and only used him for missions that he could entrust to no one else. The Shadow did not fail.

“I was... taken aback. I apologize.” He said softly. “I... was not told who, only where to meet. I am to be your Shadow miss, with all that entails.”

He looked directly into her eyes, hoping that she would understand that his reaction was not due to who she was, but rather the significance.


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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:49 pm


So he had decided to stay? "I suppose he has no choice, really...he faces execution if he defies the Don's orders..." Cynder froze and peered back at him with blank eyes, though after a few moments of silence passed she softened her gaze and offered him a small smile.

"Okay, but don't say I didn't warn you," she responded, and with that she turned and began to walk down the tunnel once more. After several feet, however, she noticed Callan was still frozen in place. "Well come on now, the longer we wait the colder this tunnel will get. We are going underground, after all. I hope you run warm."


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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:01 am



Her expression was unreadable, a new one for Callan. He felt, off balance, while around her. She was unlike anyone he had come across before.

Lost in his thoughts it took her playful banter to remind him that he was supposed to be moving. He wasn’t sure if he was supposed to reply or not, and so only nodded as he stepped forward and began following her. Two paces back as he was accustomed too.



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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:17 pm


As they trudged deeper through the tunnel, the air began to become crisp and chilly. The dirt grew softer beneath their feet, and soon enough the moisture clung to the walls and dripped from the ceiling above them. The flame in Cynder's hand glowed brilliantly, however, and offered her some warmth as she walked a few steps ahead of Callan. After several minutes of him trailing her, however, she spun on her foot and crossed her arms at him.

"Are you really going to follow me like a baby duckling for the rest of the way?" she huffed, her brows furrowed and eyes boldly searching his own. "I don't like it when people walk behind me. Walk next to me, like the equal human being you are."

She noticed the startled look on Callan's face, as if he did not know how to respond to her, which only further fueled her frustration--one that had plagued her her entire life. "I may be the daughter of the Don, but I'll be damned if I let you put me on a pedestal like everyone else does," she growled. "Blood may be thicker than water, but I despise the blood that flows within my veins. You would do well to take note of that, Mr. Shadow. I would like to converse without all of this formal nonsense."  


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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:26 pm



“Cynder,” He said quietly, as he stopped in the middle of the tunnel.

“I care very little about who you are. It does not matter to me who your father is, nor do I care about what others think.” He stopped for a moment, holding her gaze. He could feel her anger, understand it more than she could ever know. He was the Shadow. He knew full well how it felt for others to think they know you, how you think, how you feel.

“So please do not confuse my reticence.” Callan finished, closing the distance between them. “I am, not accustomed to others wishing to speak with me. I’m afraid Im not very good at it.”


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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:34 pm


Cynder, whose blood was well known to boil easily, digested Callan's words and slowly began to simmer as she realized she had misunderstood him. While he had clearly been in many a confrontation or fight, it hadn't dawned on her he most likely hadn't had an opportunity to converse with someone this closely who was not the Don--or someone else he was taking orders from. In that instant, Cynder felt a twinge of guilt.

She placed her hand on his arm and offered him an apologetic smile. "I would be lying if I said I were very good at conversing with others, also. I tend to be...well, pushy to say the least. I apologize for assuming."

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PostSubject: Re: **My Shadow**   Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:41 am



He smiled, the small act softening his features and showing a glimpse of the boy within the man. The boy who had seen more death and violence before the age of 16 then many see through the course of their entire lives. The boy who learned to hide behind a wall built to protect him from pain, torment, and violence.

The apology meant far more to him then she would ever know.

“Shall we continue then?” He asked, looping her arm back through his and striding forward. The contact was still jarring for him, but if he was going to get better at all this there was no better time to start then now.

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