'Ello everyone! Here's another chapter. As for HTMBWP, I'm having serious writer's block. Everytime I try to write something, I freeze up or just scrap it because it sucks (well to me it does). I don't know what to do with it. I'll try and figure something out, but it may take more time than I first thought. But don't worry! I will update it . . . one day. Well let's get started with the story!
Chapter 11: The Bad Boy and the Rich Girl
25 Years Ago
"Please, Shin, let's just pass by and say hi."
"No, Charlotte; it's out of the way, and after that last stunt you pulled, there's no way I'm letting you out of my sight." Charlotte had just finished her shift at her new job, and Shinichi was now taking her home. On the way home, Shinichi had let Charlotte stop by the dojo to learn some self-defense lessons. It seemed like a great idea, but when Charlotte ditched and snuck out, he completely forbade any more trips to the dojo.
"Like I said, I'll teach you when we're home, if it's that important. Now please get in the car, so we can go." Charlotte gave him a pleading look which he responded with a frown. That made her tilt her head and frown at him as if to say, "Come on."
While they were waging their silent battle of facial expressions, they were both distracted when they heard a police yell something while chasing a young man that was around their age. Shinichi knew without even having to look who it was—Tobias. He cursed under his breath. This was not the time for Tobias to be acting like a fool.
"Look, stay here, Charlotte. Don't. Move." He said sternly.
"What's up? You know that guy?"
"He's a friend of mine."
"Ooh! Can I meet him?
"No. I just told you to stay here."
"Your friend's pretty bad, getting chased by the police and all. I'm guessing from your reaction this isn't the first time neither." Charlotte smirked at him. "Now I don't want to tell you how to do your job, but I'm pretty sure it's bad to just leave me here."
"Fine! You can come, but don't you dare get in the way. Leave this to me."
"Works for me." Charlotte said as they both ran towards Tobias and the cop.
Tobias running like his life depended on it . . . which it sort of did. Jail isn't really a great place to spend your life. He may be a minor, but attempted Grand Theft Auto could probably land him some time, especially with his past record. He had reached a fence and was almost over it when the cop caught up to him and grabbed him by his leg. Pulling with all of his might, the cop managed to pull Tobias back over the fence. Tobias fell to the ground in defeat.
"Finally gotcha son." The cop said. "Now you wanna explain to me what you were doing?"
"I believe I have the right to remain silent."
"And that's why you're in this mess right now, son. Everything's a joke to you. But you're right. You're under—a,"
"No! Stop! Get your hands off of me!" the cop turned around to see Charlotte trying to wrestle her purse away from Shinichi who had covered his face with his hood.
"Hey! Stop!" the cop yelled. Completely forgetting about Tobias, he got up and ran after Shinichi who started running away.
"After him, officer!" Charlotte said as she watched them turn a corner. She smiled at her acting and turned to examine Tobias who was still on the ground. "Well, looks like you owe me a thank you."
"Yeah. Thanks for getting robbed." Tobias said as he gave her a peculiar look. "Do I know you?"
"Nope. But you know the robber. That was Shinichi. And you can call me Charlotte."
Tobias' face lit up. "Oh, so you must be that girl he's protectin'." Charlotte nodded. "The name's Tobias." He stood up and grabbed Charlotte's hand, placing a kiss on it.
"Well you're quite the charmer; better than you are at running from the law."
"Hey now! I'm innocent." Tobias said raising his hand up in mock surrender.
"Yeah right." Charlotte said. "Tell me. How did you get to be friends with Shinichi anyways? You two must be close, he's so uptight and by the book. I can't believe he'd actually risk getting caught by the police just to let you go."
"I've known him for a coupla years now." Tobias answered. "We're good friends. I guess you can say, he sees his old self in me."
"His old self? You mean when he used to be a low-life criminal?"
"Well that's one way of puttin' it. But the way I heard was that he was much more than that. And maybe one day, I'll be too."
"So stealing candy from the candy store isn't just a hobby?" Charlotte teased.
"Hey, I gotta live somehow. We ain't all rich like you."
"I don't get it, what's so great about breaking the law anyways?"
"Maybe you don't get it because you've spent all of your life with mommy and daddy shieldin' ya, but out here in the streets, ya only got but so many options. I got a little bro and a sick mom ta take care of."
"Why not get a job?"
"Tch. Look at me. You think anybody wants "street trash" workin' for 'em? They expect me ta steal, so they don't bother hirin' me."
Charlotte frowned. "That's tough. So you're not doing this for the thrill and all?"
"Well the adrenaline rush is nice 'n' all, but I can do without."
"Then stop stealing." Charlotte and Tobias turned around to see Shinichi walking towards them.
"Hey, Shin. Took ya long enough. Thought maybe that cop got ya."
"It took longer for me to lose him. He's not your doughnut eating kind of cop, apparently. Now what the heck did you think you were doing anyways?"
"I need a ride. I gotta get bills paid; gotta get mom's medicine; Roger's school is pretty far away. A car makes things easier."
"You being in jail certainly doesn't make things easier." Shinichi fired back.
"Well we all can't have cushy jobs like you. What I wouldn't give to escort a pretty young thing, like that around all day." Tobias gave Charlotte a flirtatious smile.
"We talked about this before, Tobias."
"I know, I know. Look, I'll stop. I'll try and keep my nose clean."
"Just stay out of trouble. Not for me, but for your mom and Roger. And this isn't the end of this conversation." Shinichi stated.
"Okay, Dad." Tobias retorted. "Bye, Char." Tobias said giving Charlotte a wave. Shinichi frowned. He didn't like this at all.
"Come on, Charlotte. Let's go." Shinichi grabbed her hand and led her back to her car. Charlotte turned around and blew Tobias a kiss and even gave him a wink as she followed Shinichi to the car.
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"You know I never got why women get so interested inta dangerous men. Now I'm pretty sure your ma didn't like your pops just because of that, but I'm sure it was a reason." Roger and Ulrich had been watching TV when Roger had decided to pick now to talk to Ulrich about his parents. He had even went to go and get the photo album (which only had a handful of pictures) and show him pictures of them which Ulrich had seen already. In fact, Ulrich had memorized every detail of the pictures since he was a child, but he wouldn't stop his uncle. "Your ma and pops had a complicated relationship. Those two were like on anotha level entirely. 'S like the only thing that mattered was just the two o' them. But like I said, Char wasn't some naïve girl who liked bad boys. She knew what it would mean ta get involved wit' a guy like Tobias. But she did have that notion o' wantin' ta change him. Thing is, she almost did. Tobias was actually stayin' on the right side of the law. He got a job and was takin' school seriously."
"So what happened?" Ulrich asked.
Roger's face grew grim. "Your grandmother died. We always knew she would, but it was the way that it happened. She was really sick 'n' all, but that ain't what killed her. Tobias was at work, so she went ta go get her medicine—she was tryin' ta prove to us that she was gettin' better and didn't have ta worry so much. Just so happens that the drugstore was bein' hit up for money by one o' the gangs. In fact there were two small-time gangs who was tryin' ta get control of it—the Canes and the Snakeheads. The Canes had been "protectin" the drugstore for years, but the Snakeheads decided to move in and forced the owner to pay them instead. This went back and forth. Then one day, the Snakeheads went in to get their payment when the Canes did a drive-by on the drugstore . . . Ma was inside. It really broke Tobias up. He just snapped." Roger sighed and shook his head. "Your father was a very emotional guy. And it really showed. He decided to go to war against the both of 'em. He was intent on getting' rid of 'em in whatever way he could. He broke things off with Charlotte ta keep her safe; he quit his job and even dropped outta school. He ended up startin' his own gang. But they was more of a gang buster. But they was breakin' laws just like the rest of 'em, so they was still no friends to the police or to the public. Eventually, his gang started doin' other stuff—things that weren't good in any kinda way. Eventually, your ma joined with him. She had been tryin' ta talk him outta what he was doin', but she didn't know what ta do. I think she just figured that it was betta to be wit' him so she could at least be there if he ever needed her. And as you already know, they joined the mafia, and the both of them rose higher into the ranks and was practically runnin' things."
"Mom shoulda left him." Ulrich said bluntly. Roger stared at him, not really knowing what to say to that. All he could do was hang his head in silence. The weight of Ulrich's words, the meaning behind them was too much for him to really handle.
Finding his voice, Roger finally said, "Well when you're in love . . . you see, love makes you do crazy and stupid things. Charlotte wasn't the kind of woman to leave a friend behind. I could see it in her eyes, you know. She had this stubbornness about her. She just wouldn't quit, and someway somehow she was determined to get your father outta the mafia. Always. No matter what she did, she always wanted out. She was the kind of woman who'd go down inta the depths of Hell to drag my sorry brother's carcass out of the flames. Didn't matter ta her if she got burnt. She did it because she loved him. Sure, it caused her to make bad decisions, but she would find a way to make everything right. And when she found out she was pregnant, it changed everything. It didn't matter what Tobias wanted, she was leaving her life of crime no matter what. And that was enough to make Tobias finally change. Because he loved you and Charlotte. You see what your mom and dad had before they went into the mafia wasn't real love. It was just . . . small-time love. Infatuation and affections. Something like that. But as time went by, they grew to have that deep, meaningful love. And that made them put everything into perspective. It made 'em walk away from the life they had built for themselves."
"You think I could ever have that?"
"Yeah. You got your father's charm, alright. You can have it. Just don't make the same dumb mistakes he did."
"You know," Ulrich started, looking at the floor as if he'd find the words he wanted to say there. "I do like someone. I like her a lot."
Roger examined his nephew. "Who?"
Ulrich finally looked up at his uncle. "It's Yumi." Roger chuckled. "I ain't in love at all. 'S just a crush, but I do like her a lot. I'm always thinkin' about her 'n' stuff."
"Okay, Ulrich. Ya don't have ta go inta details if ya don't wanna. But that's nice. She's a fine girl, she is. But I know your godfather; in fact, I figured he suspected with the way he was lookin' at ya yesterday. So that was what you two were talkin' about?" Ulrich nodded. "What he say, exactly?"
"He said, bodyguards need ta keep their feelin's out of it. He said, I would put Yumi in danger if acted on my feelings." Ulrich sat up in his chair. "I know he's right. But I don't think I'm good enough for Yumi anyways."
"Hey now, don't belittle yourself like that. You're a piece o' work alright, but ya ain't bad. Just as good as the next guy, if ya ask me. But your little crush definitely ain't gonna save her. Not if you're her bodyguard anyways." Roger chuckled. "'Spose it's good that ya ain't anymore, huh?"
"What do you mean?"
"Shinichi told you not to go likin' Yumi as her bodyguard. You fall for her anyways, and now he's taken you off duty." Roger gave Ulrich a look that said, "Now what do you think that means?"
Ulrich didn't want to come out and say what he was really thinking right away. So he just hinted around the idea. "You think Shinichi had a reason?" Roger nodded. "Bodyguards aren't allowed ta date their clients . . . but I ain't Yumi's bodyguard anymore." Ulrich and Roger looked at each other and laughed. "So wait, does that mean he wants me and Yumi to uh, be a thing, or something?"
Roger took a moment to think and then said, "Shinichi knows that it's not safe for bodyguards to have feelings for their clients. If it's nothing strong, they may wind up introducing them to a potential mafia boss or just simply let them go to a party and almost wind up dead. So it just makes more sense to replace the bodyguard with another one, and maybe the client could have a protective bodyguard and a nice lover to watch out for them. Course that's only if it were ta work out between the former bodyguard and the client. But it's still a better situation. At the end of the day, I think Shinichi just wanted ta make sure that you'd be the best position to explore your feelings without havin' ta worry or feel guilty if anything bad were ta happen and still make sure that Yumi would be safe."
"He sure doesn't let people in." Ulrich commented. "Was he always like that?"
"Well, yeah. God, sometimes I still don't know what he's thinking." Roger answered. "Well it's late. Off ta bed, and just don't worry so much about all this. Yumi and her family will be safe. If there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that they're in good hands."
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"Ulrich, I know you know." Aelita said to him.
Ulrich looked up at her with his big "innocent" eyes. "Know what?" If anyone could feign ignorance, it was him. Of course that came from experience.
"Why haven't Yumi and Hiroki been to school for the past three days?"
"Oh yeah, that. You talked to her; her parent's got all paranoid with the shootin' 'n' whatnot. And when Yumi got hurt, that just made matters worse."
Aelita raised her eyebrow. "I know there's more to the story than that, Ulrich. She's in some kind of trouble, isn't she?"
"Aelita, even if she were, ain't nothing we can do about it." Ulrich returned to his math homework as Aelita pouted some more.
"Just promise me that she's okay." Ulrich looked up at her. He had to admit that Aelita was probably the most caring person in the world. His heart went out to her. She seemed to be distraught over the entire thing.
Ulrich grabbed the girl's hand and gave it a squeeze. "Yumi will be just fine." He smiled at her in order to assure her that everything really would be. Aelita returned his smile and resumed tutoring him.
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Aelita was just coming home from a very tiresome and productive day at school. Because it was her tutoring day, she had made the trip home alone instead of taking a ride with Jeremie. She had been looking forward to this afternoon with it being one of the few times that her dad would be home to spend the rest of the day with her. It had been weeks since they actually had a real conversation, so she was dying to get home.
When Aelita finally got to the street her house was on, she was surprised to find the police swarming about with neighbors outside of their houses, trying to find out what all of the commotion was about. Aelita continued forward, trying to figure out just what was going on. She noticed that the most of the commotion was around one specific house, and upon realizing whose house it was, Aelita's heart skipped a beat. She broke into a run towards her house, her breathing short and hurried. A policeman then caught and held her back before she could get through the police tape.
"Sorry, miss, but you need to stay back." He said firmly.
"But this is my house! Wh-where's my dad?" she yelled. The policeman looked at her and frowned.
"So you are Aelita Stones?" he asked. She nodded.
"Where's my dad?" she repeated.
The policeman swallowed and looked away. "I'm sorry, Miss Stones. But I'm afraid your father's dead."
Oh snap! What just happened?! Sorry it's been so long. College is tough. And then I actually thought I accidentally deleted this chapter, but I eventually found it. Hopefully summer will prove to be very productive, because I just can't seem to find time to write with school and all. As for What Happens In Vegas Stays With You, I'm hoping that I'll have a chapter finished soon but I'm debating on how long it should be. I don't want it to be too short, but it might be just so I can finish it and have something to update, but we'll see.