potassiumboron

~I'm drinking coffee on a trampoline~
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Leopold Peszko was acutely aware that his life should have ended long ago, and that experiencing the 21st century really wasn't something he should have been able to do, given he was born well over a century ago. He should have died when Franky put a bullet in his head and left his body abandoned in some shallow ditch and, even if he hadn't met the man, he should have gone through his life and died of old age way before the modern era.

Evidently, that hadn't happened. Instead, he had woken up weeks after the unprovoked attack by his boyfriend and discovered the very unexpected fact that he wasn't human any longer. Several decades of depression ensued when discovering also that his parents had died during his absence and, unable to really come to terms with the fact he was going to spend the rest of eternity as a vampire, he locked himself away in refusal to act on any cravings he had developed.

Obviously, there had been a shift in his philosophy at some point in his past, given he and his (only) three friends had a string of crimes under their belts already, having only made his return to New York a month prior. Rather than refuse to accept who he was, Leo's philosophy had quickly shifted to fully celebrating the fact he was still alive, and that he had managed to save three of his friends from succumbing to death too. He still held guilt over the fact he had failed to save the others, but at least he wasn't left alone. He dreaded to think how he would have turned out if he didn't have Jessica, Keisuke and Sanghai to share his time with. They were especially important to him for a variety of reasons: they were the first people to greet him and invite him to hang out or join them on a few protests in the 60s; they were the first to introduce him to new music and clothes and new liberal attitudes... and they were joining in with the crime and violence without a moment's hesitation.

He appreciated the latter immensely, even if he didn't necessarily need to push them into it. Since turning them, it had been their main way of collecting income, feeding and having fun - crime gave them a chance to succeed in all three areas, so stopping it at any point wasn't even on the horizon. However, for all those decades, they had mostly flown under the radar, committing their crimes as subtly as possible. Any murders were carefully cleaned up to avoid being found for as long as possible, and they often fled cities just in case, in order to start all over again somewhere new. Even in a disguise, nobody really wanted the media and police attention on them--

But again, that philosophy took a sudden change the moment Leo arrived back in New York to discover that his ex was not only still in the city, but had a life. If he was struggling on the streets, Leo probably wouldn't have been too angry. He would have still hated the man, but not as much as seeing him at the top of his game, with magazine articles written about him, gushing over his business acumen, style and looks. That inevitably pissed off Leo, who had spent a good portion of his early life in deep depression and agony, trying to fight against his new instincts. Rather than take the moral high-ground and ignore it, he opted to act out; create an unavoidable wave of crime to gather as much attention as possible, if only to take the attention away from Franky.

And, if it was going to be fun for him to finally get some attention (even if he was disguised), then surely it wasn't too bad? He deserved a little attention on him for once - or at least, he thought as much. Living his life constantly running in fear of being caught had grown tiresome, after all, and it took seeing Franky's face in the magazine to spur him into action.

And that was precisely what had happened for the last month, including the previous day. Whether it be some robbery, or a high-profile murder, Leo didn't really have any problem in strolling down the street with a bloody weapon on show. The more attention he and his friends got, the less that was on Franky - and he did find the constant TV and media reports on him and his friends hilarious.

"...Our masks look like shit, you know that, don't you? I know they're expensive and traditional and whatever, but they look dumb on TV," rambled Jessica quietly, the girl having busied herself all morning trying to clean the bloodstains left on the floor. Normally she would have protested against cleaning, but knowing she was at fault for most of it left her take the duty on without too much complaint. Stopping only to examine the large TV currently broadcasting their latest crime, she rolled her eyes to herself at the general differences in their body language - while she recognised herself as being particularly serious whilst cramming the bank money into a duffle bag, Keisuke, for instance, was casually sat on the counter smashing some inconsequential item into pieces. "You look like an idiot, Kei--"

"I have a mask on, you don't know I look like an idiot, hm? I was having fun, isn't that the point of all this? Like, to have fun and confuse the shit out of that Franky guy--"

"Can we not mention his name, perhaps? I... you can have fun-- it was fun, right? I'm tired now, though, and you're all really loud," tutted Leopold finally as he silently folded his legs, stirring his straw in his iced coffee whilst trying to at least clear the headache he'd developed. He had always known that his friends were loud and he appreciated the fact they were so lively because, usually, he wasn't quite as energetic. He was a great deal older than all of them, after all, so while they could all jump up and get on with the day, he usually needed his coffee before he could even entertain cracking some sarcastic joke. Adjusting his favourite hoodie quietly, he managed to at least offer a smile to his friends, no matter how tired he was. "Do you like New York, anyway? I mean... I'm glad to show you around here, it's where I grew up and where my parents came from Poland, and... where I met Franky. I suppose I regret that part."
 

saturnia pavonia

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"It's far too busy," drawled Sanghai with a roll of his eyes as he leaned against the doorway. While he was just as rambunctious and involved as the others, he wasn't the biggest fan of having to hide his face from the media. During their many protests, he happily led the way and was incredibly vocal about his views - hell, he had no problem punching a SWAT team member straight in the face once. If he was going to do a murder, he wanted everyone to know that he was the one to stab the blade into the fucker's neck.

He also was one to go for high-profile victims but apparently that was 'too dangerous' and that could end them up in more trouble than it was worth. Scoffing at the idea, he grumbled bitterly before wandering to the kitchen to grab some of the blood he managed to collect in case he, too, was hit with a migraine of his own. After all, he could only put up with Keisuke's arrogance for so long. Flopping down on the large sofa they managed to steal one night, he let out a groan and stretched out his limbs until he heard a soft 'pop'.

"We could have done better, you know. I'm sick of doing petty things, I wan't to kill that disgusting bank owner. Fucker goes on about how 'the poor can just easily stop being poor any minute if they put in the effort'. Suck my ass for fuck's sake," he bitterly grumbled before taking a large sip. "Same goes it for he-who-shall-not-be-named. Like, rich people fucking disgust me. As long as they're a straight white guy with relatively good looks, they think they can stroll up and just take away everything. Like, if that isn't a motivator to eradicate that ex of yours, I don't know what is."

Sure, he hated Franky as much as the other three - Leopold was one of his best friends and he already saw how aggressive he was towards the whole situation. That didn't mean the revenge only rested upon Franky becoming successful. It was the fact that he could step into an interview with a smug face, bat his eyelashes and have every reporter and photographer go crazy. The amount of fans he had from just looking cute was enough. Sure, he claimed to give away money and shit but he had billions, donating a few thousand to some charities wasn't enough.

"I say we do something big tonight," he offered, his eyes drifting to the other two with a raised brow. "We need to find out someone close to him. Make it so he really gets curious. I know for a fact that he's been watching the news, he's got the cops wrapped around his fingers. If we find someone close enough to get him to care, he'll take us seriously. I want to see him cry."
 

potassiumboron

~I'm drinking coffee on a trampoline~
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"Have you ever considered the possibility that you're an actual psychopath, Sang? You sound fucking psychopathic. You act psychopathic," murmured Jessica from the floor, stopping to stretch out her arms with gave a loud click in response. She was all for killing in order to feed, and if need be, she really wasn't afraid to fight in order to save herself (or her friends) from harm - but that didn't mean she necessarily wanted to go mad with it all. In the group, she was the one to resist from acting violently until it was necessary. Sure, she derived some pleasure from the experience of finally getting a little notoriety after so many years laying low, but she was incredibly cautious that if she let herself really have fun, they'd be caught. She'd lost enough friends already, and the thought of losing the ones she had spent every day with for the last 50 years horrified her. If she had to be the 'boring' one in order to maintain their lives, she was happy to be like that.

"...I think he's close to a few cops-- oh, can we kill the commissioner? That'd be fucking epic, and it's high-profile, and it's someone he's close to, yeah? I think that'd make him curious enough to take us seriously. Maybe the idiot will realise we're, like, personally after him--"

"I don't know," admitted Leo warily after a moment, cutting Keisuke off before he inevitably got excited and began to babble together his intentions for the night, which usually just included doing whatever the hell he wanted. In contrast to Jessica, the boy wasn't really able to stop himself doing what came into his head. "I just... I want to do something high-profile because... that'll be fun and it'll help and everything, but... can we talk about it later? I just want to drink my coffee and watch some relaxing TV. This stresses me out and I want it to go perfectly. I'll need to plan properly, and I'd rather do that when I don't have a raging headache, hm? Trust me, I... I want him dead as much as you do. He's the reason my parents killed themselves, so of course I want him to suffer-- but patience is key. The police commissioner... is close to him, though. That's a start."
 

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“Maybe I am,” he shrugged casually, though he was far too angry to take it as an insult. “At least I’m passionate, Jess. I want to help out Leo and get some passion while shoving it in the face of the real psychopaths in charge of this shitty country. If you want to be all precise and slow, then fine. You’ve had 100 years to get back at him, why wait a second longer? We’ve got your back, we aren’t going to let anyone hurt you.”

Rolling his eyes, he still dared to offer a grin, showing off his fangs. Sure, it may be some twisted ideology but he would simply defend himself by insisting it was because he was passionate and that it was better to be passionate than mindless and boring.

“Life is stressful, you should know that. Once he’s dead, we can get back to doing quiet schemes if you want. I just want everything to get done already.”
 

potassiumboron

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Even though it probably wasn't intended to be a criticism, Leopold took it as such. He was aware that he had waited almost 100 years to get back at Franky, and that being patient after such a long amount of time seemed ridiculous. A century was clearly long enough to wait before getting the revenge he felt was entitled to, but it wasn't necessarily that easy. Leopold might be able to hurt people these days without thinking twice about it, but coming face to face with Franky again was going to be difficult, and he wanted to make sure that he was in the correct headspace before he thought about taking that final step. Hell, being patient wasn't just about that - he also wanted to stir up trouble and cause the man some psychological trouble before they approached him. He wanted Franky to panic and worry and wonder what the hell was going on. That emotional trauma would hardly develop over a month, where the attacks and crimes had no real connection to him yet.

"...How would you feel if the person you fell in love with murdered you, Sanghai? Because he would have killed me if the idiot realised how to turn humans. Fortunately, he didn't have a clue and ended up turning me. Still, he put a bullet in my head, dumped me in the forest and my parents hung themselves because they thought I'd died. That man singlehandedly ruined my life for... at least 40 years. I apologise if I'm not fucking rushing this, but I want it to go perfectly. I want him to suffer psychologically before we fuck him up physically, okay? This is personal for me, I want -no, need- this to go right, s-so shut the fuck up--"

"...Hey, it's personal for us too, Leo. If you're hurt, we defend you. That's how it works with us. But hey, if you want to built it up slowly, I think that's great too. It's definitely more amusing," grinned Keisuke quickly, just to try and salvage things before Leopold fell into one of his angry moods. When he got that way, he'd disappear in his bedroom for hours and that wasn't really good for anyone. "Right, Sang? We can be patient and that's fine too, right?"
 

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Grimacing bitterly at the others, he rolled his eyes and offered a smile to Leopold nonetheless our of affection. The past few decades were lovely as a group but he would be lying if he said he didn’t hate the things the man did occasionally. Adjusting himself on the couch, he turned to face the television and flipped it on to watch the Polish man’s game shows.

Regrettably, the first thing on the television was Franky in his pressed suit and clean-shaven appearance. With his charming smile plastered on a handful of news channels, his smile faded a tad at a serious question. With his smooth Italian accent, he faced the cameras directly.

“To those out there causing harm to innocent citizens, you are disgusting,” he firmly stated in response to the question cut off. “If you have even an ounce of empathy, you would come forward and turn yourselves in. You aren’t ‘cool’ and you aren’t ‘edgy’, you’re just a terrorist hurting innocent people.”
 

potassiumboron

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Leopold would be lying if he said the first instinct he had at seeing Franky's face was anger. Of course, that arrived just seconds later, the undying hatred for the man incomparable to anyone else. He represented everything Leo hated, after all, so to see him parade himself in front of the cameras, acting holier-than-thou was infuriating. Leo had been fully aware of the violent streak he had back when they first met, and had seen with his own eyes the bloody mess left behind after Franky had fed. To hear him take up some innocent, philanthropic role was the highest form of hypocrisy, so any instinctual love he still had lingering within him disappeared with record timing the moment he reminded himself that this man was fake from head to toe.

For a tense few seconds, the Polish boy had fallen completely silent, the only indication that he was growing madder being the tightly clenched fists at his sides. Eventually, unable to really take seeing his ex-boyfriend smile and charm the whole fucking room, he cleared his throat and turned to smile at Sanghai.

"Can you turn it over? I don't want to see him. He's... such a hypocrite. Do you know he killed one of his friends just because the poor man turned up late to a meeting once? I suppose that's not surprising considering he tried to kill me, but still, he preaches but it's all bullshit. He's a liar and... and... we can do something big tonight. We can hunt down someone close to him and f-fucking torture them and make it all public so he realises it's personal. Okay? Being patient... it's not exactly working, I suppose."
 

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Changing the channel the minute Leopold spoke, he glanced over to the man with purses lips in horror. He would have changed the channel immediately, too, if it weren’t for the fact that he was just a bit curious to see the man speak. He found Franky’s news presence to be laughable.

Slowly, Sanghai began to smile. Eventually sporting a full grin, he lightly nudged Leopold. His previously bitter mood had dropped completely to be replaced with the physically excited man, pushing himself off the couch. Stretching himself out, he set his fists on his hips.

“Cool! I’m glad we’re all in agreement. See, y’all should listen to me sometimes, I’ve got some good ideas! I’m pretty creative,” he boast before wandering back to the kitchen. “We shouldn’t be nice anymore.”
 

potassiumboron

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The plan to possibly target the police commissioner was in itself a decent one. It would take their growing notoriety up a level, for starters. The commissioner was obviously a well-known figure these days, especially due to his recent television appearances, trying to calm the growing fear among the city over the outbreak of violence from the gang. Targeting him would exacerbate that fear and make people realise that the gang weren't afraid to go after people of high authority.

It was also true that he had a close relationship with Franky, which would hopefully make the vampire realise that the gang weren't just doing this for their own thrill; there was a personal motive behind their moves, and targeting someone Franky knew personally should help make him realise that he was a potential future target too.

However, the commissioner wasn't exactly on a friendship basis with Franky. He worked closely with him, valuing his intelligence and his understanding of the city and where to find people who could give more information for cases, and they often bumped into one another at several high-society parties, but other than that, there was no real bond there. The commissioner's death, therefore, might not make Franky fear that he was personally targeted.

The young security guard that often accompanied Franky, however, would have been a better target. The man might not be on Leopold's radar, for many reasons, but he was close to Franky, and his death would be most appropriate if gaining Franky's attention was the motive. The young guard, named Kye, operated mainly as a security guard at Franky's business, but he was often called upon to accompany the man out to events, and had at least formed a genuine bond with him, despite their intrinsic differences.

"It's bad, huh? The whole violence thing that's kicking off with this gang. I mean, I have faith in the police, mostly, but it's still worrying," the young man smiled at his employer, handing him a water bottle as he led him out to his car. "You did well though-- you sounded serious and forceful, and that's what the police wheel you out to do, right? I think you did well anyway. I'd panic and make a fool of myself if I was shoved in front of the nation like that."

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Franky always boasted his intelligence and his ability to think quickly but nothing would prepare him for the loss of Kyle.

He was more than just a guard, in his eyes. He hired the man initially for show, and admittedly to take in the human’s handsome appearance. Sure, his days of smuggling alcohol were over but that didn’t mean he didn’t have a bias towards those who he employed. He needed the public to know of his status and the best way was through his need to be protected, despite being completely fine with any real danger. He grew to like Kyle more for his carefree personality and his dorky humor, it was something to break up the boring life he lived. The human felt real while everyone around him just seemed desperate to get attention.

“Ah, thank you,” he smiled softly. “... I was wondering if you’d like to enjoy some dinner with me? You’ve been working hard and you’ve been far too nice, Kyle. It’s the least I owe you, right~?” He offered smoothly before chugging back the water.
 

potassiumboron

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"Dinner? Oh, sure! I haven't eaten all day-- this morning was hectic. I had to come to the station early and get the whole tour around the building, to make sure I knew where to take you if things went downhill. Honestly, it's pretty hard work being your security guard, Franky. There's more to it than just standing around, looking hot," the guard grinned, rolling his eyes just so he didn't seem too narcissistic. He wasn't really someone who took himself that seriously, and he didn't exactly blurt about his looks to all that could hear. He mostly poked fun at himself, and even when he seemed to accept that he was good-looking, he would roll his eyes and snort to make a joke out of it. Complimenting others was easy; complimenting himself was less so.

"Seriously, that sounds nice," he said after a moment, opening the door to Franky's car for him with a brief smile at the driver. "I'm not a fan of those fancy places you go to. I'm alright with a burger from McDonald's."
 

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“McDonald’s? If that’s what you’d like. If we get McDonald’s, though, then I plan to spend at least a solid hundred on you,” he explained casually as he slid in, patting the seat besides him. With his famous charming smile, he closed the door carefully before buckling himself up properly.

“Ah, I could even cook for you, if you’d like? I’m Italian, Kyle, I’ve got the skills of a proper Sicilian,” he teased, emphasizing his stereotypical Italian accent. “I could take you home, make a nice meal over wine... I just enjoy your companionship, to be honest.”
 

potassiumboron

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Kyle had been Franky's guard long enough to have soaked up some of the benefits that came with having the man's friendly affection. At first, he would constantly refuse the offers of fancy dinners and the like. Whilst he wanted to be friends with Franky, if only to have a solid working relationship, he didn't think that it was wise to accept so much money being spent on him. Even now, it made him a tad awkward, given he couldn't really return the favour, but he had learnt to just shut up and not argue. He knew well enough by now that arguing against Franky was useless - he always ended up getting his way, so agreeing to that immediately would save a lot of time and energy.

"McDonald's is fine, you know? I'm not into fancy food, and Italian food seems fancy to me. I don't need you making that effort, seriously. You work way too hard and you've gotten up early for that interview for the police so... hey, a simple burger and fries will be fine," the guard quickly smiled, placing himself down beside the other in the car. He could never get over just how fancy the mode of transport was. He had been Franky's guard for a year or two now, and yet he was still constantly amazed by his lifestyle. It did definitely inspire him, even if he was also aware that he could never achieve anything like it.

"...Maybe you can whip up some Italian dessert? I like tiramisu," he sighed, feeling guilty for his quick rejection. At the end of the day, whilst he was his friend, the man was still his boss. Pissing him off wasn't really... smart. "If you really want to make me something, that'd be nice-- don't the police want you to do some research though?"
 

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“The police can fuck off, they run on my time,” he easily replied before turning to face the man in front. Sure, he had become significantly more humble over the years but that didn’t mean some of his former ways weren’t still present. Because of that, he slipped some money to the driver with a grin.

“You heard him, stop at McDonald’s real quick. We’re hungry, that was a hearty interview,” he explained before leaning back in content. If his friend wanted to eat junk food, he’d let him - it wasn’t like he couldn’t eat junk food himself. He could eat it but nothing could compare to blood. Human food was like porridge while blood was filet mignon.
 

potassiumboron

~I'm drinking coffee on a trampoline~
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If Franky wasn't technically his boss, he would have quickly jumped in, encouraging him not to be so rude towards the innocent driver, or boast egotistically about the power he held within the city. Neither the rudeness nor the egotism were traits Kyle particularly approved of in his friends, and yet, while he genuinely classed Franky as a friend, the fact the man had the power to fire him was a fear that prevented Kyle completely speaking his mind. Instead, he sat quietly for a few seconds until enough time had passed to move the conversation onward.

"I'm sure they'll stop wheeling you out for these interviews when that gang get caught. I'm sure they're just some knucklehead youths, trying to make a life for themselves. Obviously it's the wrong way to do it, but people get desperate," he murmured, casually glancing out the window with a faint smile. Usually, he had to rely on public transport when he was off duty and needed to get around the city. It made for a nice change to have the luxury of travelling like this. "And I like the masks they wear. They're traditional Chinese masks. Do the police realise that? Maybe it'll help, you know? I'm not a detective, though."
 

saturnia pavonia

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“How do you know that?” He questioned curiously as he lounged back to take in the man fully. It was rude to see the other man as just a cute face to admire, but he was always willing to amuse and entertain the other by offering a smile and a raised brow of curiosity. Anything to get this man in his good books - he was willing to take it slow, after all.

“I never knew you were interested in Japanese culture,” he added as he adjusted his position, folding his legs neatly. “Maybe there’s a plus side to this, I get to hear you be interested in something so unique,” he purred before letting his eyes drift to the street curiously. Whoever it was who was harassing innocent people clearly had an appreciation for the dramatics if they went out of their way to dress so... well, dramatically.
 

potassiumboron

~I'm drinking coffee on a trampoline~
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"There's a lot of stuff you don't know. Not that I'm into secrets and want to keep it to myself-- you've just never really asked and I don't make a habit of, like, talking about myself. You're usually really busy and I'm not going to dump all my stuff on you when you've had a real tough day at work. We're friends, but you're my boss too, and I kinda like this job too much to risk pissing you off by babbling about my hobbies and shit, you know? But... hey, you can ask anything. I'm pretty open about everything," he admitted easily, trying his best to relax and look as though he was perfectly comfortable in a car of this quality, sat right beside his boss who he knew as a fact had made more money in the last week than Kyle would in ten years.

"My grandmother's from Japan, so I grew up with all of that. I visit every year, if I can. It's expensive to fly over there but I try-- so I'm pretty certain I can spot a traditional mask. I'd be willing to bet that at least one member of that gang is Japanese, or of that origin. Most gangs wouldn't bother shelling out a fortune when all they need to do is disguise their face, right?" The guard continued, eager to at least offer up any help he could manage. The spate of crime was hardly fun to live amongst, so if he could help stop it, he'd gladly do so. "I'm not sure how useful that is-- I'm not the guy the detectives run to for advice. That's you. I watch Law and Order, and that's basically all I know about this stuff."
 

saturnia pavonia

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“Well, I didn’t know that before,” he replied admittedly. With a heavy sigh, his smile softened a tad as he pushed back his annoyance. Franky has been alive far too long not to recognize body language and the last thing he wanted was a man he was interested in be uncomfortable. It was the risk of being close to coworkers, but it seemed this man was the only one who avoided his affection obliviously.

“I’m glad to learn more about things, though. I know you see me as just your boss but I can assure you that I have no intention on firing you. You’re good at your job, for starters, not to mention I don’t think there is much you could do to really get on my nerves. I can tell how nervous you are around me and I don’t want that to be the case, Kyle,” he explained with a chuckle before grabbing his phone. “Seriously, I don’t know much about Japanese culture. I intend to go there in the winter, I’d love to bring you if you’d like - all expense paid.”
 

potassiumboron

~I'm drinking coffee on a trampoline~
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"I'm not nervous around you," he quickly insisted, frowning to himself at how it made him appear. Most people were nervous around Franky. He was handsome and undoubtedly successful, and to some people, of course that would be intimidating. It was for Kyle the first moment he met him for an interview, but he was adamant that things had changed as the years had gone by. He was definitely comfortable sitting with him and talking about whatever was on the man's mind, and the fact he was still noticeably uncomfortable shocked him.

"I... genuinely didn't think I was still nervous around you. You're my friend, I class you as someone I care about and it's a bit... surprising that you feel I'm nervous? Maybe I am. I'm not used to travelling like this, even after all this time," the man laughed, trying to at least not make a huge deal out of it. "And I certainly couldn't accept you taking me to Japan-- unless you need security. I can't argue if it's for work, can I?"
 

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“You’ve got a point there,” he replied with a hum as he set a finger to his lips in feigned thought. He followed it with a grin, though, and a soft chuckle under his breath. “Ah... I just feel like you’re always stressed around me. I guess that makes sense, you are my body guard. Relax, will you?” He purred before closing his eyes.

“Ah, Japan is dangerous, isn’t it? Plus, you know far more about it than I do,” he continued slowly. “Ah... it’s settled, then. I need a big, tough body guard to protect me from baddies!” He teased before chuckling once again, this time being the fact that his expensive car was pulling up to a McDonald’s. “It’ll be fine, yeah? It won’t be for a hot minute but you know how I like planning things like this in advance.”