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 Restless hearts, sleep alone tonight (Victoria)

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Mimosa Harrington
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PostSubject: Re: Restless hearts, sleep alone tonight (Victoria)    Tue May 22, 2018 9:02 pm

The witch behind him had been oddly quiet throughout the journey, and Jackson would have made more of a note of it if he hadn't enjoyed it so much. The worse kind of witches were backseat drivers so at least now he knew the kid wasn't one of them. When they finally reached Salem, the young politician reluctantly slowed down their speed, now cruising at a boring eighty miles per hour as they passed the giant looming turrets of Salem and continued on the mountain path leading into Greenwitch village. Entering the village proper took anther hit on the bike's speed and by the time they were at the Devil's, they may as well have been walking.

But all in all, it had been a good journey, and all of it made in just over two hours - a personal best for Jackson Blake. The Devil hadn't changed much save the new faces. Going through the main pub area, Jackson and the midget fund themselves at the tiny, shabby reception desk where they were greeted by someone the wizard did not know. Another pretty boy for Tim to play with, he mused as the Goblin looked up their booking. Tim had never been the same after his divorce from that Japanese guy. Still, Jackson tried to covertly check the name on the reservations only to curse internally at the words "V. Newbury" under the bookings. He knew the V part, it was what came after it that he needed to find out.

One bag dumping later, Jackson was all set to remove his jacket and flop on his bed (why did they have a double room? Was the evil so fully booked that they couldn't get separate rooms?) when the Princess began unpacking things for the evening. He wondered if she ever got tired of being so... prepared all teh time. Just watching erh do things exhausted him so he had no idea how she actually did them all.

"Oh shit, I totally forgot about a wedding present," he admitted once she had confessed that she already had one. "Thanks kiddo, you're a lifesaver. Otherwise I'd have had to give cash and that's always so tacky." not to mention it came with an exact value, which undermined the whole concept of gift giving. When she asked if he would come along with her, the young man nodded, giving up on his dreams of bed flopping for the moment. He did however remove his jacket, lobbing it over to the princess instead. "Put this on, it's going to get cold in like ten minutes."

And sure enough they were barely out of the Devil when the brightly shining sun chose to hide behind a cover of grey clouds, a semi chilly wind blowing in from the dark mountains surrounding the village. Despite it being late summer, the weather around here was always unreliable so close to a large source of magic.

They reached Wanda's Wonderful Wand Shop behind a group of kids who - Jackson assumed - were here to get their own first wands before starting at Salem later in the year. It seemed like only yesterday when he had gotten his own first wand, finding his true magical match in the stick that had inadvertently blown in a gust of wind strong enough to lift the then young and agile Miss. Wanda's skirts up over her head.

Now a days, her sons and sons in law managed the shop, and Jackson had no interest in seeing their skirts ruffled. "Aw, do we have to wait for all these kids to be done first," he pretend complained, already smiling at a pair of sisters who were chattering excitedly about how they would bedazzle their uniforms when they could perform magic.

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PostSubject: Re: Restless hearts, sleep alone tonight (Victoria)    Tue May 22, 2018 9:46 pm

"You can thank Preethi Bhabhi for the present," Victoria corrected Jackson as he called her a lifesaver. "I asked her what would be a good present, and if what I consider to be a wedding present would be appropriate for a Desi wedding present. Apparently there are slight differences, and she ordered something much more meaningful for the couple." Victoria explained, leaving it at that for now because she was sure Jackson wouldn't remember even if she told him now.

With everything that needed to be kept nicely out of the bag, Victoria was about ready to head out when Jackson's jacket came flying her way with the notion of putting it on. For a moment, the witch raised an internal eyebrow, wondering why she would need Jackson's jacket on over her jumper, but the moment they stepped out in to the street, Victoria was quite glad of the oversized leather jacket. It brought comfort in the cooling air of the evening, and as she walked alongside Jackson it made her -- oddly -- feel safer in this territory that had once been home.

The short walk to the wand shop was quiet, Victoria trying to make the arms of the jacket stay in place. Jackson's wrists were much bigger than her own, though, so it ended in vain, the jacket covering her hands as she moved. Frustrated with the jacket -- mildly -- Victoria left it hanging loosely as they entered the store, finding a handful of people there already.

"Aw, do we have to wait for all these kids to be done first,"

Victoria's hand moved to jab Jackson in the side, though slightly hampered by his jacket, it didn't quite have the desired effect, but it was enough. "Shush, this is an exciting time for them!" She told him, mock seriously as her eyes scanned the shelves. "I really hope I don't get the same wand I did when I was eleven. The wood was a beautiful shade of pink, don't get me wrong, but it was so..." The witch couldn't quite put her finger on the word she was trying to get to, but she was sure Jackson would understand what she meant.

Half an hour -- and a number of broken shelves, vases, and colourful smoke spells -- later, Victoria was at the front of the queue, and after explaining to the owner of the shop her predicament, the older witch was handed a vine, ten inch, dragon heartstring wand, denoted as slightly springy by the owner. Taking the wand in hand -- who's craftmanship was exquisite to look upon -- Victoria twirled it with the softest spoken Winguardium Leviosa pointed at the book on the side.

Nothing happened.

The wizard paused, and turned back to his shelves, bringing forth a Phoenix Feather wand, Hazel, fourteen inches, and less springy than the first. Victoria repeated the actions as before, and once more, nothing happened. The witch didn't look to her companion in that moment, feeling her cheeks warming slightly at not being able to use a wand. Though, she kept reminding herself, it was not her, but the wand that was not suited to her.

The third wand that was handed to Victoria was a unicorn hair core, rowan wood, a mere eight inches, and much more rigid than the two before it. As the witch took the wand in her hand, she felt the unusual feeling that she'd felt when she was eleven, and a small smile touched her features as she flourished the wand in the swish and flick movement and the book slowly lifted from the shelf. Feeling relief flood her system, Victoria put the book back in place, and returned the wand to the shopkeeper who moved to pack it away in a box for her and showed her to the till to pay for her new wand.

Ten minutes later, the duo were leaving the shop, Victoria in much higher spirits now that she had her wand back. Her safety back in her own hands meant the world to the witch, though she would never forget anything Jackson had done. "Would you like to get that ice cream now? I think my stomach has settled enough to manage it now!" She joked softly, linking her arm through Jackson's and pulling him towards the ice cream shop over the road.

Their afternoon was spent leisurely, food being taken on board, and collecting a few small bits and pieces they both needed. But by three o'clock, Victoria had insisted they head back to the room so that she could get ready for the evening's events.

Two hours and forty five minutes later, Victoria was able to come out of the bathroom -- Jackson had been granted his time in there whilst Victoria tried to get her hair to fall just how Preethi Bhabhi had shown her only a few days previously. It was not as perfected as the older witch had shown her, but Victoria was more than happy with the results regardless. Her final look in the mirror had made the witch gasp softly as she took herself in, wearing the most beautiful of dresses and hoping Jackson would approve.

"Are you ready?" Victoria asked from behind the door, waiting for the man's affirmation before she stepped out in to the room to reveal her attire for the evening. Her eyes were on Jackson, watching his reaction closely before she asked.

"How do I look?"

Her hands played with the bangles Preethi Bhabhi had loaned her for the evening, trying not to fuss. But when she was wearing something she'd never worn before, in front of people she didn't know, Victoria felt... out of place. All she could hope was that Jackson approved of the choice Preethi Bhabhi and she had made.


Victoria's attire

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PostSubject: Re: Restless hearts, sleep alone tonight (Victoria)    Thu May 31, 2018 5:35 am

After the jab to his side - who knew the kid could hit so hard - Jackson waited quietly until she found her wand. It came to no one's surprise that it was a tiny thing just like hers but the relief on her face was so plain, it kept Jackson from making a joke about wand sizes. Luckily she offered to go get ice cream and the wizard couldn't happier. It was always better to eat ice cream in he cold.

But instead of sitting at the parkour crawling with kids, they simply licked up their cones to go, licking the ice cream happily as they meandered around he village. Jackson picked up a set of new pens for his office and some tie pins with the little witch's help and then proceeded to order some sweets to be delivered straight to Green Lake and Los Angeles for Merida and Dominique respectively. The raven haired male was about to place a third order for London before he stopped himself. That boat had long sailed.

Lunch was spent talking about this or that but mostly the Princess talked while Jackson made his way through a phenomenal pastrami sandwich, licking the cheese from his fingers after he was done.  Was it wise to eat so heartily before a Desi wedding, no. Was Jackson Blake known for doing things with wisdom, definitely not! Once their errands were done and the food properly digested through walking, the duo made their way back to the Devil.

Sharing the room turned out to be a lot less painful then imagined since his miniature companion had the time figured out, letting him take a shower and gel his hair while she messed around with her own. Then when it came for her turn to go in, he could easily change in the now empty room. Pulling at the black and white Sherwani piece on the hanger, Jackson finally freed it before putting it on.

The man was just inspecting the complete ensemble in he mirror, trying to fight with the fight buttons he could swear were too big to go into the button holes when the Goblin emerged from the bathroom.

And boy did she look less like a Goblin than it was physically possible to be. For a moment, he actually wanted to ask if she had drunk a bottle of Polyjuice potion in there. Then he realized he was gaping and closed his mouth. Whatever Preethi Bhabhi had done to the kid to make her look this grown up, he now owed her a million thanks and ladoos.

"I.. Umm... Can't get these buttons to fit," he confessed, trying not o trace the curve of the witch's body in that dress. No, this was creepy, but hopefully he would get used to it soon enough to not notice. "I think they grew in the wash," he offered lamely, his eyes now averted from hers.

It took them another twenty minutes to wrap up, his road trip companion outlining some dark magic to change her height because he was certain when she was siting on her bed, she was her normal two feet height, but when they were leaving, she stood almost shoulder to shoulder with him. Locking their door safely, the couple apperated to the venue, their attires (mostly hers) too fussy for a walk or the bike.

And landed safely on a thick welcome rug outside the infamous mountain caves which were decked with lights and flowers today. It would have been impossible to miss the venue from even the bottom of the mountain due tot eh sound of drums and glimmer of flashing lights marking the area. In giant sparkling forewords charmed to dance above the venue all night long were the words "VIJAY MARRIES POOJA". A smaller byline beneath the words read "She said yes after seven years".

"Vijay and I used to go to college together," Jackson informed the witch by his side as a swarm of guests and hosts and family remember alike rushed to greet them. "Pooja too but I only got to know her through him."

"Well if it isn't a Jackson Blake," a large man in a colorful turban was the first to reach them. "And with yet another girl I see," he joked merrily, first shaking hands with the Princess before pulling Jackson into a bear hug. "I swear, every time I see this player, he's with a different witch. the redhead didn't work out for you huh?"

"Jagga, this is Ms. Newbury, she very graciously agreed to accompany me here today, though I can feel her regrets after meeting you," Jackson quipped back before a bunch of children pushed their way through to the couple with cries of "Uncle Jackson!" and "Pretty Lady!"

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PostSubject: Re: Restless hearts, sleep alone tonight (Victoria)    Thu May 31, 2018 7:49 am

The fear of looking stupid was, somewhat, stayed by the reaction she received from Jackson in that moment. A look that brought quite a dark blush to her cheeks because the man before her was gaping at her as he took her in. She didn't need a direct answer to the question to know that he approved, and she felt mightily relieved in that moment, to say the least.

The situation might have been awkward in that moment had Jackson not pointed out that he couldn't do the buttons on his own clothes. It pushed Victoria forth to him, pulling the material carefully in to place and checking the buttons lined up before her small fingers worked them in to place. They button holes were stiff, as was normal in new clothes, but after a few minutes -- and definitely not looking up at Jackson -- Victoria had fastened it in to place for him.

With Jackson ready, Victoria quickly checked her appearance in the mirror, fussing with strands of hair that had never been out of place, but needed correcting in her own head. But, twenty minutes had passed since she'd emerged from the bathroom, and Victoria Newbury could not stall for any longer. No, she was going to have to deal with whatever was coming her way, and hope... just hope nothing went wrong.

Jackson dealt with their travel -- a not so pleasant apparition up the mountain. Where Victoria might normally have taken a moment to collect herself, the witch was too awestruck to remember to do that, her eyes taking in the huge announcement of Vijay marrying Pooja -- belatedly, by the message underneath. The witch was smiling to herself at it all as Jackson lead her towards the cave, thankfully not walking as quickly as he normally did because Victoria was being ever so mindful of her attire as they moved forward.

"College... got it. You'll have to point them out to me." Victoria insisted softly as people started to move towards them. Already this whole scene was surreal. The lights on display thus far, the drums sounding even though they weren't even inside the venue, and the stream of colour... No, this was not what Victoria was used to, but there was no discomfort, she was loving the experience already, even if her heart was thundering in her chest with the unknown of what they were about to walk in to.

"Well if it isn't a Jackson Blake," a large man in a colorful turban was the first to reach them. "And with yet another girl I see,"

"Oh no, we're n-"

But as the man before him mentioned Sasha to them, Victoria's hand gave Jackson's arm a small squeeze in what she could only hope would be reassurance. That it was okay. But, whether her action had helped or not, Victoria would not say. Instead of correcting the man, Victoria decided to accept the role she'd been assigned by the stranger before her, if only to save Jackson from embarrassment, or uncomfortable conversation for the rest of the evening.

"Victoria," The witch corrected Jackson when she was introduced so formally. "Victoria is fine." She added to Jagga, shaking his hand that had been offered. "It's lovely to meet you, Jagga."

But, in that moment, there was a lot of children heading their way, and the witch's dread of being faced with a lot of adults in the near future faded. Instead, her focus moved to all the children before them, and the fact they were calling her 'pretty lady'. The witch gave Jackson a questioning look as to whether she should correct them, but she decided against it when one young girl took hold of her hand and motioned her closer.

Crouching slightly, Victoria's lips pulled up in to a bigger smile as the young witch told her that her dress was the prettiest she'd ever seen. Victoria pulled back from the whispered confession, to look at the little girl.

"Well, I don't know if mine is the prettiest, because your dress is beautiful, I wish I could fit in to it!" She insisted, smiling as the little girl grinned from ear to ear before hurrying off to only Merlin knows where. Standing back up, Victoria turned her attention back to Jackson, a much more relaxed smile on her features now that she knew she didn't look out of place.

"So..." Victoria prompted from her companion, looking around the festivities with slightly widened eyes. "What now?" She asked, because this was not the kind of wedding she knew how to integrate with, and Jackson was going to have to teach her so, so much before he would ever be comfortable.

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PostSubject: Re: Restless hearts, sleep alone tonight (Victoria)    Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:25 pm

Had Jackson possessed an ounce of foresight, he would have waited to listen to the Princess introduce herself to jolly old Jagga. As it was, her name was lost amid the flood of children suddenly surrounding them and ushering them inside the maw of the huge caverns that spread all over inside the mysterious mountains. Lifting one of the boys up to ride on his shoulders, Jackson and the witch among their passe entered the cavern to where the more elder guests were greeting.

"Alright buddy, time to disembark," Jackson joked, putting down the four year old who ran off to join his friends. Of course, the reason for letting the kid go wasn't simply because the politician no longer wished to be a pony.Iin front of them stood the groom's grandmother, decked out in her red and white sari with solid gold bangles denoting her matriarch station at this wedding.

"Pranaam Bee Jaan," Jackson greeted the woman, bending down to touch her feet respectfully in the traditional Indian style before nudging the not so midgety midget forwards to do the same. "This is my friend, she wanted to see the wedding," he offered in lieu of an explanation. The way Bee Jaan was smiling at the witch beside him looked too suspicious for him not to offer an explanation.

And soon enough, a bunch more old people had gathered, all needing to be greeted in the similar fashion. Ten minutes later, the wizard was starting to get a crick in his back from all the beginning down and all of them had thoroughly seen the witch beside him and deemed her worthy. Once done with the elders, Jackson and his roommate moved further into the caves, this time coming upon the tables lade with mountains of laddoo, gulab jamun, pasande and other sweets.

"Those are just for snacks," Jackson pointed out quietly to the young woman. "They're all mostly sweet. Try the laddoo," he suggested, picking up a yellow orange ball and breaking off a tiny piece. Before the witch had time to protest, he had popped it in her mouth to let her experience the texture properly. "And they're all hand made by the bride and groom's families. Something like a sweet start to a sweet life together."

Tossing the rest o the laddoo down in one bite, he moved on to pick up a barfi, a snow white square that looked like a tiny lemon bar save the color and the presence of pistachios in it. Scarfing that down too, he looked around, wondering how to best navigate the social maze that would be upon them in a minute.

"OI JACKSON, YOU FAT FUCK!" A loud voice rang across the cave, making the young politician look up with the biggest grin on his face. "STOP EATING AND COME HELP A VEERE OUT!"

The raven haired male laughed good naturally. "That's Arun Devraj, believe it or not, he sits on the US Magical Congress," he explained to the Princess as they walked over to the man currently holding a large box of what looked to be streamers spilling out. Upon reaching Arun, Jackson clapped him happily on the shoulder.

"You are as ugly as I remember you, Devraj," he quipped before introducing the witch beside him. "Ms. Newbury, my bodyguard for the evening."

"Takes one to know one," Arun responded in perfect stride before inclining his head respectfully to the witch. "Bhabhi ji, do you mind if I borrow this bastard for a bit. The bride's sisters and cousins are everywhere and I'm carrying... precious cargo." An uneasy look at the large supposedly streamer filled package gave it away. This was the groom's shoes that they would be sworn to protect all night long.

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PostSubject: Re: Restless hearts, sleep alone tonight (Victoria)    Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:33 pm

Watching Jackson with the children brought a smile to Victoria's lips. She might not know much about the man -- something that was mightily amusing given their current arrangement -- but she could tell in that moment that whomever he finally settled down with to make a family, he would be a good father. Well, so long as his hours in the office didn't cause friction with the future Mrs. Blake. All of those thoughts, though, were pushed away as Jackson denoted it was time for the child he'd picked up to hurry along.

Instead, the two of them stood before an older lady, decked out in the most beautiful of traditional dresses -- Preethi Bhabhi had tried to help Victoria learn the difference between each style, but Victoria felt more than a little overwhelmed in that moment, and the names were merging together and not wanting to be told apart. Whatever the case, the woman before her looked amazing, and the smile on Victoria's lips grew taking her in.

As Jackson moved to touch the older woman's feet -- something Preethi Bhabhi had also graciously explained to Victoria in their meet up -- Victoria did the same, not needing the small nudge he gave her. Victoria softly greeted the witch in the same manner Jackson had, praying to whoever would listen that she wasn't using some kind of masculine form, or some other kind of language technicality that would mean the guess was wrong on her behalf. The smiles remained, though, and Victoria took that to be a good sign as she followed Jackson to greet more older guests that had gathered. Each time he touched the feet of the elder, echoing Jackson's words and giving a small, hopeful smile that denoted that she hoped she was doing the right thing.

No correction came, and in fact, Victoria was quite sure she was doing well if the happiness from the others was something to go by. Jackson seemed to be relaxed, so Victoria took that to mean that everything that was going on was going well, and she needn't worry any further on how she was doing.

As they moved off towards the food -- honestly, men always needed food, didn't they? Victoria shouldn't have been surprised, really.

"How are you st-"

But the witch was cut off as Jackson pushed part of the food he was holding in to her mouth without so much as a warning that he was going to feed her. Trying not to look too shocked, Victoria brought a hand up to cover her mouth as she licked her lips clean from where Jackson had misjudged slightly, before chewing on the food she'd been given.

It was sweet, and the texture... well, Victoria wasn't quite sure how to describe it, truthfully, and the small bit Jackson had given her was not enough to go on, truthfully. But the witch liked it enough, and she let out a soft laugh after she'd swallowed. "Please don't do that again!" She admonished him softly. "But, they're very nice. What... what was it?" She asked, not wanting to sound stupid, but Indian food was not something she truly knew, save for a curry from a local Indian restaurant, but she was sure Jackson would insist that didn't count.

Before Victoria could ask if she could have another to try -- simply picking one up seemed wrong some how -- Jackson was being heckled at by another person. Arun Devraj, Jackson supplied only a few moments later, whom Victoria assumed to be another friend from college, as well as working for Magical Congress. Once again, Victoria allowed Jackson to lead the conversation, smiling as she was introduced. "Lovely to meet you, Arun," Victoria greeted, hesitating at the man's name for a moment because she was not sure which was the politest way to progress.

No correction came, though, and Victoria was quickly asked if Jackson could be stolen away. Another time, perhaps, Victoria might have realised that Arun had just denoted her as Jackson's wife, but with so many things going on, so many people to keep track of, the witch had forgotten the meaning of Bhabhi, even if Jackson had explained that a few weeks ago. "No, no, of course not. You carry on, I'll..." Victoria motioned to the room at large, not knowing what she was going to do, but not wanting to keep Jackson from the fun that was hidden in the box.

Stepping out of their way, Victoria looked around for nothing more than two moments before someone touched her arm gently. Any other time, the witch would not have jumped, but after the events in the past month, the action startled her. Turning towards the person it had come from, Victoria relaxed upon seeing the face of a female, roughly her age.

"Typical of men to run off when you need them, hmm?" The witch asked, and Victoria let out a soft laugh. "I'm Divya, you'll want to come this way, the fun is about to begin!"

"Victoria, and, thank you." Victoria replied to the witch, following her lead. The two emerged with the bridal party, and Divya kindly showed Victoria to a seat towards the back of the party. It didn't take much for Divya to work out this was Victoria's first experience with a Desi wedding, and from that point, the witch worked tirelessly to explain everything that was going on in the room.

Until the music grew louder.

"Do you know how to dance?" Divya asked above the music, leaning in closer to ask Victoria.

"I do, but... not this style of dancing!" Victoria replied, looking somewhat abashed. If she had thought that was going to get her out of it, though, Divya had other ideas, as she pulled Victoria back to her feet -- though thankfully not to the middle of the foray, and showed her some of the 'simple' moves. Victoria was copying as best she could, not quite having the right freedom just yet because she wasn't sure he was on the right track...

And, her eyes kept moving to the middle of the cave, where the dancing was growing more and more outlandish as time passed.

This style of wedding, Victoria realised, was truly breathtaking to behold first hand.

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PostSubject: Re: Restless hearts, sleep alone tonight (Victoria)    Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:31 pm

In the blink of an eye, the princess was taken away and Jackson was recruited to the protection and welfare of Vijay's shoes. Around them, the crowds kept growing, the music kept getting louder and the fireworks kept going off. All the stimuli wold have been too much for a first time attendee but Jackson was very familiar with how these things went and so played along his own part to perfection. Ha danced with the right girls, flirted only to be polite, distracted people and found a new hiding place for the shoes, earning a round of applause from his fellow groomsmen.

Since these events were so movement heavy, there were hardly ever permanent seating areas. Instead, food was piled high in buffet styles along all the tables and stands by the walls and the bar was constantly busy making both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. Only alcohol kept fuming the energetic dances and Jackson had made sure to procure himself a glass of sprite because being seen without a drink in hand would mean someone would be compelled to pass him something with alcohol in it.

He saw the princess again an hour later on the dance floor - which was basically the entire cave now, everyone dancing to their own music while some followed the general one coming from the speakers. She was dancing with Divya and a few other girls and the man smiled to see her trying to hold her own. The female collective must have embraced ehr as one of their own.

Another hour passed before they met again an the dance floor was cleared for the bride and groom. Pooja emerged with her fiends from a balcony erected towards the cave ceiling and came down the enchanted staircase conjured for this very purpose. The friends behind her made for colorful, sparkling distractions meant to frame the bride and among them, Jackson couldn't help but stare, was the Goblin. How had she managed to secure a place among the bridesmaids and family members?

The phera ceremony began soon after, the couple standing in front of the sacred flames as Bee Jaan reached to tie their garments together to symbolize the union. As Vijay and Pooja began to circle the fire slowly to the chants of he priest, Jackson found himself beside his house guest once more. Handing her a bowl of rose petals, he took a handful himself and tossed them a the couple to show her without words what they were supposed to be doing. To her credit, the kid always caught on quick.

Once the ceremony was over, the bride and groom exchanged garlands and the music began for real. This time, the liquor flowed in full force, making Jackson tense up.

"Do you mind if we leave a bit early, or do you want to dance some more," he teased as platters after platters of champagne floated across the room unaided and a small fountain of vodka appeared to the side. "If you do, I can come pick you up later but I'm getting rather exhousted."

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PostSubject: Re: Restless hearts, sleep alone tonight (Victoria)    Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:50 am

The whirlwind that was the wedding was more than difficult to keep up with. Had Victoria not of had some warning of the scale and antics of the wedding from Preethi Bhabhi she probably would have found herself completely overwhelmed by all of it. Though somewhat prepared, Preethi Bhabhi's explanations had not done the Desi wedding any justice, and Victoria really wished she could have just one moment to step to the side and collate her thoughts.

As it was, this was not something Victoria had been allowed, Divya had seen to it that Victoria was thrown in to everything full force. The young witch was happy, though, following suit of those around her and just... letting loose and having fun. Where a party might have been daunting a short while ago, being surrounded by so many females made it easier, and the flickering image of Jackson's face every now and then was enough to insist that she was safe.

Divya had ensured Victoria couldn't get away from the fun for even a moment, keeping her up on the dancefloor and teaching her all different kinds of dance move Victoria had never seen. They were fun, though, Victoria was smiling the whole time as Divya insisted that she just relax, let her body move how it wanted to the music. The feeling was freeing, in a way alcohol could never be, and the time passed quickly.

How she had ended up with the bridal party, though, Victoria could not have been sure. Divya had been explaining things much too quickly, and Victoria was just following her lead. When Victoria had found herself with the pride, and introductions had been passed, the witch had simply followed the instructions she'd been given. They emerged from atop a staircase in the cave, everyone gathered below. Victoria had looked sideways to Divya who had merely nodded encouragingly as they descended. Victoria's eyes had found Jackson's in the crowd once more, and from the look on his face, he was just as surprised as she was. Smiling back at him, the witch followed the hastily whispered instructions from Divya for the ceremony before returning to Jackson's side to watch the ceremony.

Flower petals floated all around the couple, and Victoria decided that this... this type of wedding was much more beautiful than any she'd ever been to before. Everyone was just so... welcoming.

"Do you mind if we leave a bit early, or do you want to dance some more,"

"Can't we-"

"If you do, I can come pick you up later but I'm getting rather exhausted."

The idea of Jackson leaving her here on her own was not something Victoria found to be enticing. Yes, they had been doing their own thing all evening, but she'd known the whole time that Jackson was here. Only a short way away if she needed him. If he went back to the Devil to get some rest, and she stayed here with strangers...

But, as her eyes met Jackson's and his remained on something else, Victoria's eyes followed, finding the new flow of alcohol. She had not told Jackson that she knew of his time in rehab, that had come to light in the time she had been researching his current predicament. It was something she should have noticed from the man who had not touched a single drop of alcohol in the weeks she'd been staying with him, but she hadn't. No, old archives had told her Jackson was a recovered alcoholic, and seeing the vast amount of alcohol was not a good situation to be in.

The young witch's hand gently took hold of Jackson's arm, easily mistakable for a couple's kind gesture to the outside world, but it was a necessity for Victoria in that moment. "I'll come back with you, I don't want to be a burden." Victoria replied to the question he'd posed earlier. Yes, she would have liked to stay and dance late in to the night with Divya and the others, but not without Jackson's reassuring presence and not if it meant putting her friend in a situation that could be harmful.

***

It had taken an age to get out of the caves, as with their meeting of all the guests, they had had to say goodbye to almost all of them, too. There were many comments that made Victoria blush softly, one too many insistence that Jackson look after her, and then more than enough reminders for an invite to their wedding. Victoria hadn't realised until they stepped out of the cave just how tired she was, her leg feeling sore from the dancing and heels, her face muscles aching softly from all the smiling and laughing.

It had been a good night, but the sight of the bed in the Devil had been a welcome one.

It had taken Victoria a long while to get changed out of the extravagant dress, and even longer to take her makeup off and change in to her pyjamas, but as she returned to the main room, she couldn't help but revel in the beauty of the evening. "I've never seen anything quite as beautiful as that," she admitted to Jackson a she sat on her bed, her hands moving to gently massage her calves which were now aching. "Thank you, for letting me come with you, Jackson."

That, however, was not enough. With a small moment to collect herself, Victoria turned on her bed to face Jackson, trying to work out how to say what needed to be said. There wasn't a good way, though.

So, the witch decided to just go at it slowly.

"Jackson..." She waited, making sure he would acknowledge her properly before she continued. "I have... a confession to make." Victoria continued, still treading carefully because she did not want to anger the man before her. "I know, about the alcoholism, so, from now on, you don't have to make excuses if you need to get away from a situation that makes you uncomfortable like tonight's."

It was carefully worded, but not scared. Victoria was showing that she understood that he had gotten away from the evening for another reason than the one he'd given her, but not pushing him to talking about it.

Now for the next bit.

"But... the reason I know is a little more difficult for me to discuss with you. I want to ask you not to get mad at me..." Victoria continued, not quite meeting the man's eyes because she knew what she was going to say next was not going to go down well. But, that didn't mean it would go away.

"I know about your alcoholism due to the fact I've had to conduct some research both on yourself, and... a solution to the next topic of discussion. Sasha wrote to you in the week -- I accidentally opened it believing that it was a message from Dia in return of the letter I wrote to her. I know, I had no right to open such a letter, nor should I have kept it from you. But, you've gotten yourself in to a mess with a young lady, and I... I know you don't like to discuss this, so I know that you're not proud of this moment in your life.

"However, Jackson, it is part of your life, and I want to help you." Victoria summarised. "How many people know that Sasha is underage?" The witch asked, hoping that Jackson would take her seriously for once in his life, because this was not going to go away unless he did something to make it go away. "With your current run for office, you need to be sure people aren't going to use this against you..."

But, Victoria was quite sure they already were, Jackson's foul mood during the week denoted something was wrong, and if he was not aware of the letter, then Victoria knew there was something else going on.

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PostSubject: Re: Restless hearts, sleep alone tonight (Victoria)    Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:53 pm

Of course, leaving a Desi shindig was easier said than done. It took close to an hour to actually exit the caves given the many, many, many times they were stopped and blessed. And while usually Jackson would have been impatient and annoyed, today he had a game plan. One of the strategies taught to him in rehab was to always try to focus on something else when around alcohol or other intoxicating substances and that was just what he planned to do.

In the next hour, he planned to find out what the princess's name actually was.

It turned out to be much harder than it looked seeing as the older folks addressed her as "beti" and the younger children who ran up to hug her good bye called her "didi" but finally, when Divya found them leaving and came to wish them good luck on their own journey (a poorly disguised euphemism that Jackson would have corrected had he not been so focused on his mission), he had his white whale.

"And Bhaiyya, don't forget to bring Victoria around more often, I would really like to see more of her."

That was it, the kid was caleld "Victoria! Success! the grin that lit his face at Divya's words could have outshone all the slights.

"I know right, I got used to having Victoria around myself," he added half affectionately, reaching to pat the kid's head before realizing it would mess the complicated curls she had spent so much time on. With the final goodbyes done, they were out of the caves and apperating back to the Devil, Jackson still on a mild high from having accomplished his mission.

Arriving at the their hotel, the scent of alcohol hit Jackson hard once more as they made their way through the bar area to their room. If the witch sensed his muscles tighten and his breathing momentarily stop to keep the smell at bay, she did not comment. Luckily once they were in, not only was he saved from the enticing scents of seductive vodka but the Princess also kept him busy by planning out how they were going to change, taking up the bathroom and giving him the empty room since his undressing process took far less time than hers.

Jackson was showered and changed by the time she had only began to unpin her hair and remove her make up. It took the witch another hour to completely cleanse herself of he formalities she had had to endure that evening and Jackson wondered if she minded it. Like, she had had to prepare a lot more than he did, and she hadn't even brought it up. Did he... owe her a debt of gratitude or something? The idea did not sit well with the young politician.

Dressed in a soft pair of sweat pants and a plain white t shirt, all but ready for bed, he sat mulling it over, looking almost lost to sleep when Victoria spoke up next, making him pay attention.

Once again, his posture went rigid when she enticement the alcoholism. In the meetings they told you to accept your condition, to not be ashamed. But Jackson didn't know how, probably because he knew it made him lesser than he could be. And therefore more defensive. He simply nodded as she confessed to looking into him and finding out about his stint in rehab. Of course, she would only know the facts. She would know when he had checked in and out, she would know the AA meetings he routinely made sure to log so he could hold himself accountable, she would know the money he'd sunk into PR projects negating the image of a drunk running for congress.

What she wouldn't know was how it felt to wake up with vomit all over your face, and not know how you got there. She would never know what it was like to not be able to look her mother in the eye because she knew exactly what you had done. No, those were things only Jackson would know. Only he would know what it felt like when alcohol was nearby, when all he wanted to do was break the damn door and rush down to the tavern area and drown himself in an entire barrel of vodka because for a brief moment, it took that feeling of shame and failure away.

"Could you... go sit by the door please?" he asked though tight lips, not looking at her but his own hands which were now the most interesting things in the room. He had to rely on Merida's upbringing and pure southern courtesy of never hurting a woman to prevent him going for that barrel. Hopefully if the kid blocked the door, he would stay put.

However, Victoria was far from done with dropping bombshells. The next thing made him glare at her darkly. The fact that she had read Sasha's letter when she had no right... That she had decided to go snooping. He could feel the anger creeping in, but he also knew the anger was from not being able to get to what he really wanted right now - a fucking stiff drink.

Instead he simply stated as coldly as he could. "And what if they already have?" Since she thought she was so clever and knew everything, wouldn't she like to know someone had beaten her to the punch. "What if they're blackmailing me and I've already paid them twenty grands to keep quiet?"

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PostSubject: Re: Restless hearts, sleep alone tonight (Victoria)    Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:19 am

The request to stand before the door was one that almost made Victoria move in the opposite direction, and instead to the politician who had become much more interested in his hands than looking at her. Did he think that she was judging him for the mistakes he'd made when he was younger? Did he really think her opinion could be swayed of the man who had looked after her without question for the last few weeks because of something in his past which obviously didn't affect him as badly any more?

Jackson Blake had a lot to learn if he thought her opinion was swayed so easily.

But, instead of moving to the man and telling him that it was okay like her instincts wanted to, Victoria moved to stand before the door for Jackson's sake. If this was what he needed right now, Victoria would not deny him that much. The small frame of Victoria Newbury rested against the door, her eyes still on the man who refused to look at her, but it was okay, with time he would be able to understand that she was not one of the people in the world who would judge him.

And for the first time since Victoria had met back up with Jackson, the witch started to worry for him, and then herself. Especially at the mention of Sasha. Victoria could see the man tense up, and was grateful she'd opted for the door, a piece of hindsight that was worth having in that moment. The glare made the younger witch recoil slightly, she'd pointed out she knew how wrong it had been to read it, to keep it from him, but she knew that saying these things wouldn't matter to Jackson, purely because of who had written them.

"I'm sorry," Victoria managed again, not wishing to be cowed by Jackson's look, but she knew before she'd even started this conversation that it was not going to be an easy one.

"And what if they already have?"

The coldness of Jackson's tone might have worked, might have, if Victoria had not been mightily used to intimidation tactics being used on her in a courtroom. Being small made everyone think she was an easy target, that they could target her and get her to move on her story. But Jackson Blake was not the first tall man who had tried to be cold with her, and she doubted he would be the last. Victoria simply waited for Jackson to finish with his cold streak, glad he had admitted to the blackmailing she'd assumed to be happening, and then took a moment.

The pause in their speech would show Jackson that this was not a fight, it would allow him a moment to think before he exploded in her direction again. That would aid them both in that moment, even if Jackson wasn't ready to sit down and be rational, she would show him that this whole situation was not going to be the end of the world.

"I have the solution for you, Jackson. I'm here to help you." Victoria told him calmly after the pause, biding herself a little more time.

And, for the few hours, Victoria Newbury denoted everything she had researched in the last week for Jackson. She denoted everything that he would need to do to stop the blackmailer from hassling him more, she told him how these things needed to be portrayed, and where it would leave them. The legalities were questioned, and Victoria had moved (cautious of Jackson's movements) to her bag to retrieve her notes. From there, Victoria had shown the man how each part worked, and that if he wanted to come out of the problem smelling like roses, to not have this affect him again, this was the way forward.

Victoria had known it wouldn't be easy, even after all the legalities had been satisfied by Jackson's mind, she knew he was still concerned. There was little she could do past that, only offer advice on how to do what he needed to.

Eventually, Victoria had barred the door with unspoken spells, and she had moved to sit on her bed. Neither one of them spoke for hours, only Jackson broke the silence when a question came to him, which she either answered fully, or denoted she would further research the point for him.

The night was long, the terrors plagued Jackson all evening, but Victoria sat with him, unmoving from her vigilant position of keeping the politician from the alcohol that was much too close for both their liking.

But Victoria knew one thing about Jackson in that moment, no matter what, he was going to get through this. He was a strong man, one who would get through all of this, because even if he couldn't see it, he had a friend that would fight with him through all of this.

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