A/N: Dear Readers! How happy I am to have this lovely first chapter ready to be posted. I believe many of you are very happy too. I like to think so anyways. Well, every Major City has no Prologue because it begins directly after the end of the last two stories… Well, directly after the end of Gravity, to be exactly. It does, however, have a very long author's note from me, your friendly author. First thing's first. Every Major City is a sequel to How it Falls and Gravity. Thus, it contains spoilers for both of those stories. Although I will not stop you from reading this if you have not read those stories, I strongly suggest you do read those first in the order they were published because it will make all three much more enjoyable.
Secondly, I have based this story, as usual, on some songs. Now this, to me, seems to be turning out to be a much larger undertaking than its predecessors, so it has more than one song. I will give them now. The two main songs are "Chicago" by Sufjan Stevens and "A Rose in April" by Kate Rusby. Both of these are wonderful songs and I would recommend listening to them, however, I would not listen to "A Rose in April" just yet as it has some very literal, very intense spoilers contained within it. Other songs that play in the movie version of this in my head include Sarah Dashew's "Morningtime", Kris Delmhorst's "Word Fail You", The Rankins' "Bells", Patty Griffin's "Not Alone", and I am Kloot's "Proof". I may mention more as they intertwine with the story. None of these other songs have any super intense spoilers contained within.
Thirdly, I do appologize for the summary of this one, guys. It royally bites. But I promise you the story will be better than it sounds. It's just hard to fit anything describing a story like this into a space that small.
Now that I've gone through a bunch of stuff none of you care about, keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times and enjoy the chapter.
Anna had taken off her shoes again and was sprinting down the street towards the MacManuses apartment. She flew up the steps, ignoring the pain in her legs and the aching of her head. She whipped her hair out of her eyes and spun around the corner and through the door… into an empty apartment. Anna stopped in the living room, breathing heavily. The apartment was torn to pieces. The sofa was in shambles, cushions flung around the room. The little TV was smashed to pieces on the floor. She could see a broken dressed drawer through the open bedroom door. In the kitchen, pieces of plates and food were scattered ever which way. And, in a corner, a newspaper caught her eye. "Saints of South Boston Revealed" it screamed out to her and she bent down to pick it up. Her breathing had slowed now and all was quiet. She stared blindly at the article for a time before the tears came to her eyes and the words to her lips. "Why didn't you tell me? Oh, Murphy, why didn't you tell me?"
She took a deep breath and flung the paper to the floor. Jesus, what had they done to the place? Obviously they'd fled, but had it really been necessary to smash everything in the process? Anna leaned against the counter, surveying the scene, deciding what to do. Then she looked down. What a sight she was in her evening gown and hoodie. The slit in the side of her dress was now three times the size it had been when she'd started out the night before and the hem was tattered and caked in mud. Her feet were muddy and red and she could only imagine what the rest of her looked like, hair all amok, mascara running down her face. She heaved herself exhaustedly off of the counter and shuffled toward the bedroom. Inside there was nothing. She wasn't sure what she'd expected to find, but somehow she'd hoped for an abandoned pair of jeans or something. It wasn't as thought the boys had had a lot, though, and she supposed they'd have taken everything with them. And so they had.
Anna shuffled into the bathroom and surveyed her face in the mirror, before plunging her hands into the water the faucet poured out for her and viciously scrubbing the grime from her features. When she was done, she turned off the water and sighed. That was all she could do for now. The world would go on turning. She made her way back into the living room and replaced the cushions as best she could on the sofa. It wasn't as though they'd been in good shape to begin with, but now they were absolutely disgusting. Again she shrugged. What else was she to do but sit on them? So she did. She sat on the couch with her head in her hands for a very, very long time. The sun rose up, high in the sky, and the sun went down. And when twilight had come, Anna was still sitting with her head in her hands.
There was a clicking sound then, and a rustle of clothing, and Anna almost looked up, but forgot to. She didn't even look up at the sound of the voice that called to her from across the room, "You're Anna." The person drew closer, stepping lightly over the broken TV and to her side. "Do you remember me, Anna? I'm Trista."
Anna looked up. "Trista?"
"What happened to you, Anna?" Trista said, sitting down beside the younger girl.
Anna shook her head. "I don't even know," she said dejectedly.
Trista stroked back Anna's hair from her eyes. "Come on," she said. "Let's get you cleaned up."
Half an hour later, Anna emerged from her leisurely shower. "Here," Trista said, handing Anna her newly revamped evening dress. "I cut off the bottom and washed out the dirt. Now it's a cute dress for clubbing. Trade me your sweatshirt and you can wear my coat. That'll look better."
"What are we doing?" Anna asked her, taking the dress questioningly.
"We're going to my apartment. You can find something better to wear there. Come on. Get dressed. Let's go."
"Oh-- Okay," Anna replied timidly and reentered the bathroom to dress.
"So you got away did you?" Anna heard Trista shout through the door.
"Yeah. From your father. Connor told me Murphy was horribly upset about you getting caught there again. But you know he really couldn't risk trying to get you out."
"I know," Anna responded, even thought she didn't know. Why couldn't he risk it? He risked his life to kill bad people every day… or at least on a regular basis. Why couldn't he risk it for her?
"But you made it out. Good for you. I suppose it's my job to take care of you now, then."
"Take care of me?!" Anna exclaimed indignantly as she opened the door. "I am not a child, Trista. It's not as though I need looking after."
"That's not the way I heard it," Trista said, setting down the magazine she'd been reading and rising from the couch. "Listen, if you're going to be hiding from a Mafioso, you're going to need some help, no matter who you are. And it's very lucky for you, I have a very good track record keeping secrets." Anna said nothing as Trista approached her. "You need makeup. And a hairclip or something. Here." Trista held out the little makeup bag she'd withdrawn from her purse. "Go to town."
Once again, Anna returned to the bathroom, this time leaving the door open so she could hear Trista when she inevitably kept up the conversation. Except she didn't. Trista just went back to paging through her magazine. Apparently, she had nothing more to say. Anna didn't like the silence. "So… did they call you or something?"
Trista looked up. "What?"
"Murphy and Connor. Did they like… call you?"
Anna stuck herself in the eye with the mascara. "Ah-- Uh… how did you know then?"
"That they were gone?" Trista asked, coming to the bathroom door. "I came here."
"But-- I was here. You weren't here." Anna said, turning about with half-finished makeup.
Trista giggled. "Finish your face, kid and let's go. I wasn't here today, no. Obviously not."
Trista clapped her hands in Anna's face. "Makeup. Concentrate."
Anna turned back to the mirror and her work. "Obviously not?" she repeated.
"What obviously not? When were you here then?"
"Three days ago."
"The paper said 'Saints of South Boston Revealed' so the boys ran. How did you know they ran if you weren't here this morning when they went?"
"Anna, honey," Trista laughed. "Did you happen to take a look at the date on that paper? That paper came out three days ago." Anna had finished her makeup and was now looking at Trista blankly as she brushed out her damp hair. "Did you really think I just waltzed in here knowing they were gone and was this calm?" Now Trista laughed openly. "No, no, no," she said. "See all this mess? See it?" Anna nodded. "They didn't make this mess. I did. Well, they made some of it. They made a little mess in the kitchen. But I smashed the dishes and I killed the dress and I broke the TV. I was out of my mind with rage and pain and everything of the sort. I've spent the past three days wallowing in my apartment." Trista smiled kindly at Anna. "Now put a clip in that hair and let's go."
"Clip now, talk later."
Anna did as she was told, gave the makeup bag back to Trista and donned her borrowed coat. Before they ran out the down, she jogged into the kitchen and grabbed the morning paper. For some reason, she figured it was best to have it with her.
A/N: As always, reviews are greatly appreciated.