Jan 27, 2020 8:30 AM
Joss finds a window
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Tyler does not flinch -- he won't give him the pleasure.

"Not like anyone in this town even cares."

He avoids looking at Joss, she needs to avoid notice. Tyler is the problem here.

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"This town cares more than they let show," he snarls.

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Joss slowly starts to push herself to her feet, silent and careful to avoid drawing attention.

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"And just what did you do to Ms Salvatore? She's a nice young lady, and from a founding family no less.You could do a lot worse. Like that Donovan girl you've been 'seeing'. Her kind is all good for a little bit of fun, but Ms Salvatore is the girl you bring home to me and your mother."

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Tyler catches her movement and sharply shakes his head as though he is responding to their father. Do not, it says.

"Doesn't matter. She's nothing. They're both nothing. I'm not bringing anyone home to this."

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Joss presses her lips together and makes an aborted gesture with her hands. (Tyler, be smart, be careful.)

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Richard is still for a moment, face devoid of any emotion. Then he steps closer, grabs hold of Tyler's arm and delivers a sharp backhand across his son's face.

"You will respect me," he declares.

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Tyler falls and catches himself on the desk.

"What have you done to deserve it?"

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Joss holds in a groan, and stops herself from intervening. (This is normal, this is fine, this isn't dangerous yet.)

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"I am your father," Richard snarls.

And sets about using his fists to try and instil respect. He's careful though, after that first hit, to not strike anywhere a bruise would be hard to hide or explain.

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At least he's not paying attention to Joss anymore.

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Joss' nails are digging into her palms as she makes herself not intervene - it'll make things worse, or turn Richard's attention on to her, and Tyler doesn't want that, and-

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Richard stops abruptly, breathing hard, looking far from the perfectly composed Mayor who'd been schmoozing people during the party.

He takes a breath, regains some measure of composure to his expression. "Both of you get out of my sight," he states. (And he doesn't just mean the room.)

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Tyler doesn't even question it, just looks to Joss and quickly leaves the study and then the house -- expecting her to follow.

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She follows after him quickly, close on his heels. And slightly regretting her lack of footwear.

Although she had learned to keep a set of trainers outside for occasions such as this.

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He leads them to his car, walking carefully.

"Donovans?"

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"Yeah," she says. "Hold still for a sec. He got your ribs pretty good, wanna make sure-"

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"I'm fine. It's nothing."

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"Yeah. And I'd prefer you not to die drowning in your own blood because I stood back and did nothing."

She sounds guilty, even if there was nothing she could've done.

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"Just be quick, I don't wanna be here."

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"And you think I do?" she bites out. But she's quick to reassure herself that his ribs are not at risk of puncturing his lungs.

"Where are you going?" she asks quietly as she slips into the passenger side, fishing in the back for her trainers.

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"Could go see if Salvatore wants to beat me up some more."

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Joss rolls her eyes. "I worry about you." The words are a lot lighter than is perhaps expected, but she doesn't try to dissuade him.

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"You want me to come along with you to the Donovans?"

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"...yeah. See. Me turning up is normal. Both of us turning up is weird. I'll run, get rid of some of this energy."

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