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 Don't Stop Believing (Victoria)

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Mimosa Harrington
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PostSubject: Don't Stop Believing (Victoria)   Thu 28 Jun 2018 - 0:14

4th November, 2024 - 9:45 P.M. CST

"With polling stations closing all across the United States, CNN can now project..."

"Support for the GOP is insurmountable in Alabama, suggesting that Fox News Pundit Tommi Lehrein..."

"CBS's Don Keefer is on the ground team in Naveda, Don, what is the mood at the exit polls down there?"


Too many screens, too many people yelling through the magic boxes mounted on the south wall of the viewing area Jackson's campaign had put together only days before. The closer the election date drew, the more Jackson Blake had to realize he couldn't keep working out of City Hall. His staffers hadn't complained, City Hall had. Thankfully a certain Goblin had found a loophole that allowed them time to wrap up their operation instead of simply exiting with boxes containing personal belongings.

These new suites in Wisconsin Avenue were a lucky find too, and despite the extra deposit required to lease them out in such a hurry, the investment had been well worth it. If they won, they could afford to keep the fancy offices and if they lost, well they deserved to fall to their knees in crippling defeat on plush carpeting.

"FOX Calling Texas for Trump," Linda shouted out from across the room where she was busy constantly speaking into a pair of headphones. Despite the victory, it was looking like they were going to lose the senate. If rumors were to be trusted, Tammy Baldwin's team was already celebrating despite the Wisconsin races still coming in.

"Calling Michigan for Warren," A half hour later and both Virginia and West Virginia had followed suit.

It was suddenly getting harder to breath in the glass enclosure they had hired for their demise.

"Linda, shut your mouth, only bad news comes from it," Connie snapped, running the numbers through her own carefully curated process of "fuck me with a fire poker".

"Some of us are doing our job, Sturgis!"

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Ladies, I think I'm going to step out for a minute," Jackson managed, calm as he could given the circumstances. The place had a convenient enough balcony to jump off right? What he would give for a stiff drink right now. His eyes swept the room. Everyone from interns to senior campaign officials were busy either raking the numbers over the coals or verifying results with various news outlets. All these people had their hopes tied to Jackson, they had worked tirelessly to make him win.

And he was going to let them down.

Shutting the door behind him, leaving the chaos, the politician drew a deep breath before heading to the balcony. Loosening his tie to allow for a perceived notion of better breathing, Jackson popped open the first two buttons of his stiff shirt in the same manner, reaching the balcony just in time to make it seem like his actions had contributed to the rush of fresh air now filling his lungs.

A gaze downwards showed an ant population of people, figures since he was on the thirty second floor. But despite the puny size of people and traffic below, Jackson imagined he could see the colors, red and blue, dividing and tainting everything below.

And the blue, like a disease, was spreading.

Right opposite their office suites was the evil lair of Senator Tammy Baldwin, and Jackson felt he was going to be sick when he saw the first firecracker launching from her roof.

Were their local results in?

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PostSubject: Re: Don't Stop Believing (Victoria)   Tue 3 Jul 2018 - 22:21

A whirlwind would be classed as an understatement for the year Victoria had had. She did not know half of the time whether she was coming or going since accepting the job with Jackson within his political team, but what she did know was that she did not, in the slightest, regret it. Busy would be an understatement for the witch, in truth, there was not a single moment of her day that Victoria was sat by idly watching the clock to the point where she could go home.

Home...

It was funny, really, Jackson had left... what, a month, a month and a half ago now for his big, swanky new home that looked like a castle. Victoria still could not believe that Jackson Blake, one of the manliest men she had met -- which said a lot when your brother was an ex-Quidditch star -- would buy a place that looked so... girly. The witch did not like it, not that she'd voiced this opinion to Jackson, but she supposed it was not up to her to pick faults in his dreams.

After asking Jackson to allow her to keep up the lease of the flat, until she decided on what she wanted in the city, Jackson had been kind enough to agree. The job offer had come shortly after Jackson had returned from England with the 'yes' from Sasha on his proposal, and soon after that, Jackson had moved out. It was best, really, if Jackson was going to be married, he did not need the press getting a hold of their living together. It would not bode well for Jackson's image in the media.

And since the public announcement of the engagement, Jackson Blake had not received a shred of correspondence from his blackmailer.

Everything in the Blake party was going well, and Victoria was working tirelessly to get through the copious law books of the US, getting up to date with policy changes, whilst also getting on top of all the legal paperwork in Jackson's office. It was a long slog, but it was rewarding, something that Victoria had missed in the past four months in which she'd been unemployed. The balance that had been cruelly taken from her by Joshua Murray had been restored in America, and the young witch was not going to be stopped any time soon.

Though, with each email back and forth with Grayson, the witch realised she hadn't seen her own friends, or her family in a very, very long time. It was the end of October that Victoria had returned to the UK for only two nights for Thanksgiving, spending the time with Jake, the kids and her parents. Grayson was busy with his work, so there hadn't been time to see him, but Victoria had insisted that at Christmas they would have to spend some time together.

She could not afford to be away any longer, and on the Friday morning after Thanksgiving, despite wanting to stay in the food-induced deep slumber her mom had created, Victoria had apparated back to the U.S. -- thank Merlin being part of Jackson's party made that easy -- and was back at her desk before anyone else the next morning. They did, after all, only have five days before the elections.

***

The fourth of November had been a whirlwind. Victoria had not known what hit her that morning as she hurried along with Jackson's party to cast her vote. Hers, obviously, went with the man she'd been backing for the last four months, a smile on her lips as she dropped the vote in the box before she turned and left with all the others. They had a lot of work to do back at the suites, and Victoria had no shortage of work to get through today, checking over multiple documents that may, or may not be needed the next morning if Jackson won.

The day had every body on edge, the open plan offices rife with swear words that made Victoria's body want to shudder. Why people felt the need to use such language in a professional environment, the witch would never know, but she was more than happy to let them be. Hiding away in her own office, only looking up when someone came forth with a pressing issue that need to be resolved now, or much more amusingly, Jackson coming in to her office at lunch time with the same look as always. 'What's for lunch?' at which she always pointed to the cool box which held his lunch and her own for that day. He'd given the usual non-committal thank you as always before slinking back off when Victoria told him she was busy and needed quiet.

Victoria had only emerged from her office when the counts started to come in, the young witch looking around the screens with extreme curiosity and a mild... somewhat unsettling feeling... that she didn't quite know this process. Calls were going up from all around the room, which made the witch try to keep up with the various pieces of information, but mostly her own reaction came from the features of those around them. A happy face meant the call was good, a frown meant it was not. A really pissed off face denoted a result that had not been expected, and a jubilation of a result meant they'd won an area they had not been planning on. But even with this worked out, Victoria could not be sure if, overall, they were doing well in their running for Jackson's seat.

Victoria's eyes caught Jackson moving from the room, and the witch paused for a moment before following after him. Everyone else was busy, she was not contributing greatly to the current scene unfolding, and so the witch thought she would be of more use to the candidate that they were all backing with unfaltering hope for the evening.

"Hey," Victoria said softly as she closed the door behind her, not wanting to startle Jackson as he looked across at the building where the other Senator sat waiting upon the results of the local election. "Was getting a bit hot in there, huh?" She asked, fanning herself just a little in the cool November breeze so that Jackson would think it was not just him that was getting a little over heated in the bustling room. A small, white lie, of course, but Victoria didn't wish for the man beside her to feel bad because he'd stepped out.

"Ready to take up your seat?" Victoria asked, ever the optimist in these situations. After all, they had rallied with the local population. They had listened to their needs, tried to put them in to a good programme where they could, and made sure Jackson was seen to be the approachable, upcoming Senator the city needed. They just had to keep believing in the man and they would achieve something great in the coming hours.

"I'm pretty sure another state just called for our side, too. Connie just called it and looked very happy with herself, but Linda was calling for somewhere else. And... quite honestly, that's the first time I've felt out of my depth in... well, quite a long time." The witch explained, resulting to honesty because it would... hopefully help Jackson in that moment. He didn't look comfortable, probably riddled with stress, but he was doing so well...

Placing her hand upon his forearm that rested on the balcony, Victoria looked up at the man before adding softly. "You're doing great, you've done everything you could have, and we're all with you, no matter the result."

Hopefully... that would help Jackson, though if she would have to stick with the man for the entire night, to keep him from doing something he shouldn't... Victoria was prepared to do so. They were, by now, good friends, and Victoria did not wish to see her friend in a situation that made his past difficult to deal with.

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PostSubject: Re: Don't Stop Believing (Victoria)   Wed 4 Jul 2018 - 21:11

Whoever called election night exciting was a fucking liar, Jackson reflected as he gazed downwards, observing the ant colony of red and blue, the lines etched forever in both the sand as well as his mind. So preoccupied was the young politician with his own thoughts that he barely noticed the balcony door slide open. Heat seemed to exude for a single moment from inside the offices before the door closed once more, offering him and his visitor a little privacy from the madhouse inside.

When the familiar soft voice rang from behind him, the man merely nodded, not trusting himself to speak. All that stood between him and a stiff drink was a tiny goblin who wouldn't even stop him if he asked her to get out of the way. But no, that was a warning sign right there. And the princess had already proven a good enough deterrent before, so it was unfair of him to think so little of her now.

She was proving to be more helpful to his sobriety than all those meetings, meditation and physical exertion routines.

"Ready to take up your seat?"

Instead of actually listening to ehr words, Jackson found himself focusing on the sound of her voice. It was better than trying to find every route to the nearest bar. Her voice was soothing, almost musical in it's own quiet way. Had she always sounded like that? Or was it just because they were out here under the stars and the loudest noise in his ears right now was the beating of his own heart.

"We don't know that," he responded stiffly, not looking at her for fear of finding his own failures reflected back at him. She had jumped through countless hoops these last few months for him, setting aside her own moral obligations to help further his cause. If he lost now...

He really would be the boy who came from nowhere, and who would get nowhere. He really would be the boy from Green Lake no one expected anything from.

As she babbled on about another state being called for Trump and Connie looking happy, Jackson merely nodded. Trump could not win this, and honestly Jackson could care less about the asshole. The democrats could keep the White House if they wished, it was the Senate and House races that would decide the next four years in American history.

And that was where they were losing bad.

His phone buzzed, remindng the man that he had forgotten to stash it at his desk. not moving the arm Victoria was currently touching, Jackson retrieved the small device using his other hand and checked the text.

"Pennsylvania just called for Warren," he read in a hollow tone before pulling back his arm and flinging the device high in the air. He watched as the phone arced over the balcony railing and went spiraling downwards.

The crash must have been completely insignificant, there was no satisfying shatter of glass on pavement. Several moments of silent passed, and the hand stayed its course, not once moving from Jackson's blazer.

"Do you think the Baldwin's people opposite are just as on edge?" he asked, finally looking sideways at the tiny creature who had not run off in fear yet. Sometimes, Jackson had to really wonder what made her stay. It wasn't like politics was such a rewarding job. And if she was as talented as people said, she could get a job anywhere.

So why was she working here for three times less pay, lackluster insurance and the almost daily duties of meal prep and appointment reminders and press releases and everything else in between?

"If we lose, what's plan B?" he asked as an afterthought. She must have some kind of plan, it would be impractical not to have one.

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PostSubject: Re: Don't Stop Believing (Victoria)   Wed 4 Jul 2018 - 21:35

"We don't know that,"

The tense response was enough to let Victoria know which Jackson Blake she was dealing with that evening. In the last four months she believed she had seen most of the male's various moods. She would never say, of course, that she knew him inside out because she most certainly did not. But she knew enough to know that Jackson was struggling, and her decision to come outside in that moment had been the right one. Before he did something vastly stupid.

Men, however, did not always work to your wishes, and even though Victoria had come out on to the balcony to make sure Jackson didn't do anything stupid, he proceeded to take his phone from his pocket, check the messages, and then throw it off of the balcony in a child-like temper tantrum. Silently, Victoria added it to the list of things she had to do for the man the next day. Order him a new phone.

"I hope that was worth the six hundred dollars you just cost yourself." Victoria told him, trying to be stern but she was much too amused with the situation and the small smile on her lips betrayed the stern persona she should have been enacting in that moment. It was just... too much of a reminder of Ivan when he didn't quite get his own way, and the LEGO bricks had gone flying across the room in a fit of anger. To voice such ideas, though, would not help Jackson in that moment, so Victoria did not speak on the subject more.

"I think every one who is interested in the results are on edge." Victoria replied softly to the question, giving the man's arm a small squeeze of reassurance. The silent addition of what you're feeling is okay, being left unsaid in that moment. "But, if I was on Baldwin's side, I would be seriously worried. Your campaign has been air tight, your publicity has been amazingly put together, and with the whole engagement in the last couple of months, putting your face as someone you can get behind... I think you've wormed your way in to the hearts of many, many people in this city. If they're not shaking in their boots over there, then I would wager their somewhat... stupid."

The last was said hesitantly because Victoria did not like the idea of calling people she'd never met stupid, but surely you couldn't be cool. Not here, where everything was resting on a fine balance with which way people would vote in the end.

"If we lose, what's plan B?"

"We're not going to lose." Victoria told him firmly. Jackson might not currently be in a position to back himself in this race, and so Victoria would stand firm on this. Back him without so much as blinking twice because if her friend needed the positive outlook in this moment, she would offer him every ounce she could muster. "We're sticking with Plan A. And, tomorrow is going to be a very, very busy day for all of us."

Victoria let a pause, ensuring Jackson took in her belief for a moment before she tentatively asked the next question.

"I know we won't be heading home tonight. We'll be here to the early morning. But... do you want me to stay with you?" She asked. High stress levels were an obvious trigger to return to the concoctions which made life easier for Jackson to deal with. Tonight was not an exception to the triggers, and she would not let him deal with it on his own. "I'll cook you the big breakfast you like?" She added, trying to sweeten the deal slightly, because she didn't want Jackson to believe that there was anything wrong with accepting the help he needed.

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PostSubject: Re: Don't Stop Believing (Victoria)   Wed 4 Jul 2018 - 21:55

The idea of witch Tammy's cover being stupid would have brought a smile to Jackson's face any other day but today, it sounded like hollow reassurance. There had been a small firework work on top of their building before Victoria had entered, making Jackson's stomach drop. But when no grand display followed, the man was forced to conclude it was a practice shot.

They were already practicing for victory.

"I can't think about this anymore," he finally blurted out, the stress clear in the tense posture of his back. Moving slightly away from Victoria and wincing at the loss of physical contact, the man worked to remove his blazer. The way things were going, there would be no press conference in the early hours at these suits. No, The press would go to the offices opposite to congratulate Tammy Fucking Baldwin.

Tossing the jacket aside, the raven haired wizard moved toward the wall, sliding down to the tiled floor and siting with his back against the stone structure, his legs twin triangles in front of him as he contemplated the odds.

Unconsciously, a hand patted the floor space beside him, inviting the princess to come and sit down with him. Staring over the edge of a twenty story balcony long enough gave people ideas.

"You never told me specifically kid, why did you stop working at your old place. You said you were let go but... I can't see that. You're a borderline workaholic and you don't even ask for a pay raise." The witch was usually the first one at her desk and the last to leave, Jackson knew for certain because he was the one who gave her a ride back to his old apartment most days. The two of them usually worked late into the night and though he was always in by eight thirty the next day, Victoria was somehow always in earlier.

"And even if someone was stupid enough to let you go, any other place would have snapped you up?" Her story didn't matter in its' entirely at the moment, but it would give him something to focus on. Coupled with her narration was the fact that if she accepted his invitation, she would be seated directly between him and the door, another precaution that would keep Jackson from giving in.

At least for tonight.

"So, what's the real deal here?"

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PostSubject: Re: Don't Stop Believing (Victoria)   Wed 4 Jul 2018 - 22:21

Jackson's head space was a mess. Victoria could work that much out from the tension visible in his shoulders, and then the way he was acting out of sorts. Jackson Blake was not a bad man, not in the slightest, but Jackson Blake did have something of a temper. Something that pushed him to act out sometimes, but it was not something Victoria couldn't deal with. She had plenty of experience with men who blew up rather than thinking rationally from her work in England.

As Jackson worked to remove his jacket -- honestly, it was November, and it was so, so cold out here! -- Victoria subtly pulled her wand from her own jacket, and cast a soft heating spell around the area to keep them both warm. If Jackson wished to sit out here for a while, neither one of them needed to catch a chill whilst doing so. Especially if the man with her needed to be on top form for his interviews in the morning. Watching him slide down the wall, Victoria couldn't help but feel for Jackson, though. He wasn't much older than her, and he had the weight of the city on his shoulders.

The expectations of so many...

The fact it had taken this long for him to show signs of cracks forming was a miracle, really.

The offer to sit next to him was one Victoria didn't hesitate on, and carefully -- Merlin Jackson didn't know how difficult navigating skirts were, did he? -- moved to sit beside him, her legs tucked to one side so that she was sat presentably. Their shoulders touched lightly, but Victoria wasn't going to move as she looked out across the city before them.

"You never told me specifically kid, why did you stop working at your old place. You said you were let go but... I can't see that. You're a borderline workaholic and you don't even ask for a pay raise."

Victoria let out an errant laugh at that, reaching up to tuck her hair behind her ear. She hadn't truly discussed it with anyone. Not since telling Grayson in a flood of tears. It all seemed so long ago now, and the witch could almost... almost say she'd forgotten about that blow. It had, after all, opened up a whole new opportunity for her. The pain that had been there in the moment Joshua Murray had forced her from her job had now been replaced with... something of a thankfulness to the man for broadening her horizons. However, this was not what Jackson had asked. He'd asked about what had happened.

"Your assumptions would probably be right... in any normal circumstances..." Victoria explained carefully to begin with, not knowing exactly where to begin. Jackson hadn't been outside of the US, from what she knew, so he wasn't... as open to the way Europeans worked. He'd proved that a number of times with things Victoria had come out with in discussions. "In Europe, Pureblood witches and wizards are vastly different to the ones we have here. Old money. Rich. Powerful. You can't... you can't put a foot wrong around them, because they can crush you.

"There's one family, in the UK, that have an abundance of cash, power, status, connections. I was working on a case for the family the day I was fired." Victoria explained. "The head of the family wanted me to sign off on a legal document that would give him full control over his... well, he denoted her as his wife, they hadn't been married. He would, basically, have control of her life, and anyone who knows anything about basic human rights knows this is not okay. He claimed she was really sick, incapable of making her own decisions. I asked him if an independent review of the witch's health could be taken, for I had never met the witch. He refused. When I confronted him on the point, and told him that under standard protocol there was absolutely no way I could give him the legal right to make the woman's choices, he demanded to see the named partner.

"I, of course, went to get said partner, explained how everything I had been asked was in violation to the woman's rights, and that I was following protocol. We returned to the meeting room, the client expressed his disgust with work because I had followed the book, and instead of accepting the method I had put forward, he insisted on my instant dismissal." Victoria explained, her tone even because it didn't hurt so much now. "The partner saw the pound signs, I guess, decided losing the business of the family was not worth it. He turned to me and dismissed me on the spot...

"I passed out, so I don't remember what else happened. I woke up in hospital a few hours later." Victoria explained, now ashamed of the reaction because her job had meant the world to her, and she could not be blamed for being devoted to it. "I applied to every other firm in London, Manchester, Reading, Birmingham, you name it, I tried. Nobody would so much as give me an interview. Some people have suggested the family barred my entry to other firms, but I have no proof they would do such things.

"Shortly after I had been dismissed, there was a mix up with the landlord. He evicted me from my flat for reasons that were not true... My neighbours had made the suggestion I was..." Victoria's cheeks went a deep red in that moment. "That I was sleeping with a large number of men. Not the case, though, they were my colleagues coming to check on me, my friends who were worried because I had not managed to get back in to the Law scene in London, and then some of the students I'd taught at Hogwarts. It was nothing untoward. I was... I mean... there wasn't anything going on. There never was anything going on at my flat...

"After receiving more no's in the short period than I could take, I came here, to America, to get away." Victoria told Jackson, though her eyes were not flickering to the man in that moment, they were looking out across the city with something of a sadness in that moment. Running, she knew, was not the right answer, and yet... hadn't it been the best choice she'd made this year.

"I've been here with you ever since." She finalised, hoping this would be enough for Jackson to understand what had happened.

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PostSubject: Re: Don't Stop Believing (Victoria)   Wed 4 Jul 2018 - 22:57

As she came to sit beside him, Jackson drew in a long breath, keeping it in for as long as possible before he exhaled. Controlled breathing was supposed to help. Physical exertion was supposed to help. Distractions were supposed to help.

But right now, it was the tiny Goblin sitting beside him that was helping the most. Jackson hadn't meant to take such an interest in her story but the way she recounted it... She sounded sincere. Sincerely hurt at being let go, but also sincerely glad to be where she was too. The most surprising aspect of it all was however the lack of anger.

Maybe she had just left out that part, the rage and the destructiveness that came with being wronged. The man knew that after his own defeat, he was going to retrieve his gun and disappear into the woods for a week. It wasn't technically hunting season but it was also always hunting season in the good old U S of A.

The man laughed a dry laugh at her neighbor's insinuation. An amused glance at her showed the witch was actually blushing just talking about the allegations. She looked like she hand't been touched in her life which made sense, there weren't many he-Goblin lawyers out there looking for a kindred spirit. The very fact that her neighbors had seen this childlike witch in a sexual manner was both amusing and disturbing.

Though really, who was he to judge now?

The most recent email from Sasha pinged as a painful reminder. But it was gone now, along with his phone.

"But your family's rich," Jackson pointed out when she was finished, putting it bluntly because he didn't know how else to say it. Her brother was some hot shot Quidditch player or something. Couldn't he just use his own influence to undo the other guy's? "Couldn't your brother just... I don't know, donate somewhere in exchange for them hiring you?" It was a sleazy method sure but ti worked, Jackson knew that first hand. "He has the bucks for t from what I hear."

All in all, fleeing the country seemed like an overreaction, though if forced at wand point, Jackson might admit that it had benefited him greatly. But then a second thought followed. Of course he had come into no small amount of luck by having the Princess literally handed to him by Metz and his crew of assholes.

But Jackson hadn't once stopped to think if she liked it here. Or if she would rather be back home. Was she here because she was at a loss for options or because she wanted to be here? Jackson wanted to ask, he had already opened his mouth, but the man closed it again. Maybe that was too personal.

And maybe he didn't want to hear the answer just yet.

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PostSubject: Re: Don't Stop Believing (Victoria)   Wed 4 Jul 2018 - 23:13

The laugh that came from Jackson at the point of the story that made Victoria feel frightfully embarrassed earned the man a small swat from her left hand to his bicep. Nothing hard, just a point that said it wasn't funny, and he shouldn't laugh at her. She wasn't mad, though, looking back on it now, it had been so silly, everything had just become... off the hooks by the time she'd left London behind.

"But your family's rich,"

This time, it was Victoria that let out a soft laugh, glancing across at Jackson with a look that said 'really?'. The Newbury's were not poor, her parents had always lived comfortably, but Victoria would never have denoted it as luxuriously. They didn't go wanting, but they also weren't repping expensive handbags, or designer labels, or driving fast cars. Jake had come in to money, he'd paid off their parents mortgage -- not that there had been much left upon it -- before turning the funds to his family. Jake did live much more comfortably than their parents ever had, but Victoria didn't know how much money he had to his name.

And she... well, she had been doing well, but, it was not enough to work for four years and then be pushed from your chosen career. Whilst being a Lawyer paid well, it was no celebrity status salary either.

The idea of asking Jake to pay for her place somewhere -- even if he could possibly pull that off, which Victoria noted Jackson hadn't quite grasped the point -- was never one she would have resorted to. The witch shook her head softly. "I didn't tell them." She replied to the question he had presented, and for the first time, Victoria's voice shook, ever so slightly, at the admittance she'd lied to her parents.

"I was scared of seeing pity on their features... of seeing disappointment in their eyes that I had not kept such an important job. I wondered if they would question my decision, make me second guess myself. I wondered... I wondered if they would believe me when I told them the Landlord was evicting me for lies on my character. Stupidly, of course..." The witch explained. "I didn't tell them I was coming here until... until circumstances dictated I had to.

"And, I don't need Jake's money to make a name for myself in this world. I don't want to be Jake's little sister, or owe him... He has his family, I would never wish to put them in a place of difficulty because of something I did." Victoria finalised, taking a deep breath to steady herself before looking across at Jackson.

"Even if Jake could have paid off a firm in the UK to take me on, it wouldn't have lasted. Jake's money is finite. The family I went against... has infinite wealth. Getting out of the UK, away from their power, was the only way I was going to be able to get back in to something worthwhile. And... well, so far, it's been a good thing. I feel like I have a purpose at the moment. Not like a slave turning the wheel for the bosses to make millions. I... well, I hope I'm making a difference here." She finalised, hoping Jackson wouldn't try to press the money issue. Money was not the be all and end all in this world. There were a number of things much more worthwhile.

Friendship being one of them.

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PostSubject: Re: Don't Stop Believing (Victoria)   Thu 5 Jul 2018 - 4:56

The swat directed his way was one Jackson barely felt, she might as well be a light gust of wind trying her best to tug at his jacket. And it most certainly didn't stop the amusement from showing in his dark gaze. But as the mniature witch continued, trying to clearly the position she had been in, the politician's face turned serious once more. He could laugh at her some other time.

"I didn't tell them."

"Which part," he encouraged quietly from beside her, now vested in her story despite not intending to be at the beginning. "The getting fired part? Or the having a target on your back part?" The people who seemed to have it out for Victoria back in the UK sounded like movie mobsters of some kind, and if that was the case she could be in danger. Why she would choose not to tell her family was... intriguing to say the least.

"Why would they be disappointed when you didn't do anything wrong?" the question was genuinely asked, Jackson's brow furrowed in confusion. What would her folks have to be disappointed in, that some rich people ruined her career? How could she have possibly stopped that?

But the Princess certainly thought so, and it wouldn't do any good to remind her of that. She would overcome it at her own pace. Jackson stayed quiet for the rest of her soliloquies,only nodding where needed. However, unknown to him as much as the witch, his arm had slowly extending to wrap around her shoulder as she spoke.

This was clearly a big thing for her, and she was kind of trusting him with it. The occasion warranted... some acknowledging or whatever it was girls needed to feel better. It's not like he could offer much, he couldn't even offer her the reassurance that what they were doing was good. Politics didn't work the way most people thought they did and her naivete showed in thinking she would always be on the side of right in this.

If by a miracle they won - and the growing knot in Jackson's stomach kept reminding him they wouldn't - then she f=would find herself questioning her ethical standards more and more every day.

So in the mean time, he was just going to wrap an arm around her in the dark, and let her derive comfort from that.

"Limitless wealth," he echoed her earlier statement, letting out a low whistle. "I always wondered what that was like." He hadn't really intended to reveal that but it was out now, and she wasn't speaking so he might as well finish the thought. "We had a shoe box at home with all our wealth in t," he admitted, a fond smile touching his features. "It had like twelve dollar and some cents, and that was Merida's emergency fund. She still has it somewhere though I keep finding it and stuffing it with hundred dollar bills when I can. She finds them and sends hem right back."

The game had first started when Jackson had landed a job that afforded him a spare hundred dollar bill - namely when he'd been made Mayor of Green Lake at nineteen. To this day his mother joked Jackson had saved up his own college fund in lieu of giving her money.

"I used to look at those kids in Salem who just.. had everything. it didn't seem feasible how there were so many people around me who never had to worry about their old clothes or worn out shoes. My first two years I never took of my Nightshade Jacket because I only had five t shirts and Merida had twelve dollars in her emergency fund." Things had gotten better when he'd learned how to get to the laundry baskets before everyone else. While all the other boys waited for the house elves to deliver freshly laundered clothes to them, Jackson used one o teh secret passageways to get tot he pile first. He had his pick of T shirts and Jeans from then on.

"Miss Azalea caught me one time, she was using the passage to rest some of her freaky vines that grow in the dark or something," Another fond smile touched his features. "When she figured out what I was doing, she didn't pity me or offer me new clothes. She just winked and asked if I wanted help."

In the distance, he could hear a firework go off and he didn't bother looking up. It wasn't from the Baldwin Camp and it sure as hell wasn't from them. Jackson fancied he could hear sirens very very far away.

"She was a good sort, went to work at the Devil and everything even though her folks were loaded. Her dad floated me thirty mil for this campaign... I don't know what I'll tell him when we lose." The sirens in his head were getting louder, making him wince. Why couldn't his defeat at least be a quiet one?

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PostSubject: Re: Don't Stop Believing (Victoria)   Thu 5 Jul 2018 - 16:22

"I didn't... tell them about any of it." Victoria replied quietly to the man beside her, not looking to him because she knew this was not the normal way to deal with such things. "I... I told them that I'd decided to take a break for a while." The witch explained, because she could not tell her parents the truth. They were so proud of her, for getting in to such a job, for doing so well so young.

To tell them that all that had been taken away.

"Why would they be disappointed when you didn't do anything wrong?"

"I..." Victoria started, before giving in to the fact her parents would never be disappointed with her. She was just embarrassed in admitting it to them. She didn't want to see the pride in her parents eyes diminish because she'd not complied with a client's needs. The witch left it at that, hoping Jackson would understand that she simply couldn't explain that logic. It was just something she was scared of, and fear was irrational like that.

But, in that moment, Jackson's arms moved around her shoulders, drawing her a little closer, and offering the much needed comfort she needed in that moment. Ever since the night Jackson had saved her from the bar -- a time she could not remember, but that she could draw enough conclusions from -- she had steered clear of the touch of men, opting for simple hand shakes rather than hugs, and keeping -- where possible -- as close to Jackson's protection where possible. With his arm wrapped around her, Victoria didn't feel frightened of the touch, it felt... much too comfortable, in truth. Had the witch not caught that thought, she was almost certain she would have rested her head upon his shoulder and completely relaxed. As it was, the witch simply smiled to herself, thankful her friend knew when she needed him, just as she knew when he needed her.

As the two sat together, though, Jackson decided to open up on his own story, about how he and his mother had his mother had struggled throughout the years at school. Victoria could not have said the Jackson she remembered from school looked like he came from a poor family. He had always looked... well, as Jackson continued it explained why she'd never noticed. He'd borrowed clothes from other people, to give off the persona of having more money than he did. It made sense, really.

"I never really saw money as... the be all and end all..." Victoria offered, though she knew, to Jackson, it wouldn't sound right. She had always had money, she'd never struggled like he had. "What I mean is... your mom and you have such a close bond. You struggled, yes, but you have something so much more valuable than money could buy. Cliché, yes, but I would much rather live close to each dollar and have a relationship with someone like you have with your mom, or I have with my brother and parents, than to be super rich and not know who was your friend, and who just stuck around for the money..."

The news that Kit Harrington had given Jackson the money for his campaign made Victoria's eyes widen more than a little in that moment, and she shook her hear slightly at the amount. "We're going to tell him, together, whatever the result. But, we'll be arriving with smiles, not nervous glances." She insisted firmly, because she was not going to be swayed by Jackson's lack of positive ideas.

"You know... I miss her." Victoria managed softly after a few moments of silence between them. "Azalea, I mean. Jake and her were always so happy, I never understood why she left." the witch explained, trailing off in that moment. Jake had shut her out at that point, refused to talk of the witch. She had gone, they didn't need to contact her, and Jake's firmness on the situation had cowed Victoria from asking more.

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