Did you know that Lochland is full of haunted places? The Museum has reopened and invites everyone to explore the legacy of Robert Lewis.
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Open Since January 2nd, 2014
We are a Real Life Roleplay site focused on enriching character driven stories through events, newspaper headlines, and even death. Set in modern day Connecticut, our background plot follows the on-goings of a small town with a murderous past. Whether your character explores it is up to you. Life is about choice - this is your story. Our goal is to provide a place where you will feel comfortable writing it.
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Robert Lewis Party
A friend of a friend said that someone in East Lochland was having a Robert Lewis Party. Are you in?
Candle Light Walk
A mixture of history, darkness, and candle-light await. Learn more about Robert Lewis and trace the path Lochlanders once walked to spite him.
When Casey asked Lukas how his skit was coming along the little boy visibly got quite excited, and was just about to launch into an explanation on what the skit was when Mathias spoke up, saying that maybe it would be better to keep it a surprise for the Campfire Billet. Lukas nodded, instead talking about how it was going to be great, and he was sure that everyone would love it, and that his papa and Emil and even Charlotte had been helping it with him. The it was on how he had been Skyping with Felipinho and he had liked the idea and had been helping as well. Mathias had to add in that Felipinho was fellow F1 driver Felipe Massa's son who was the same age and the two got along quite well, because otherwise Casey would likely had no clue as to the other boy was. Although, he might because no doubt Lukas had mentioned the boy's name before.
The other man's cast was coming off next week, and Mathias could understand how glad he would be to get rid of it. Mathias had been the same. "Oh I know that all to well." Casey knew about Mathias's injuries, and how they had been the result of a high speed trip into a fence and his car rolling along on top of it. He simply raised an eyebrow at Charlotte, full well understand by her few words that she wasn't just talking about him not being able to lift things with his arm.
"They put pins and plates in mine and then still made me wear a cast. But I was definitely cheating a bit more towards the end." He had figured out exactly what he could and couldn't do, and in what was probably typical for someone who's job involved pushing limits, and tested and pushed those limits regularly. "Breaking a wrist and several ribs didn't get me out of my neck strengthening exercises though." They were his least favourite exercised to do, even if they were quite essential ones. But even though he complained about them he knew that it was good that he could keep them up, because it meant that he didn't have to start from scratch.
"I did some promotional stuff with Ferrari during the last race at Abu Dhabi, and i'm not quite sure they thought out me doing autographs well because the wrist I broke was the one I write with." There might have been a few pre-signed cards which had actually been signed by Emil. "I did say that they could just get Emil to sign autographs for me, because I know he can do my signature and all they were going to get from me was a scribble." He was still disappointed that they hadn't let him ride the roller coaster, but seeing as he had his arm in a cast it probably wasn't such a bad decision.
Shifting the boxes didn't seem to take that long, and even Lukas eagerly helped shifting smaller boxes, enjoying the task.
Then it was down to furniture. He honestly didn't need any furniture at his house, but he thought that it was a little unkind on his part of say that she had to get rid of all of her stuff. So it was sorting out what they would keep of hers and what they wouldn't. It also meant that a few of his things would have to go. But he was still thinking of getting a couple of bedrooms added, so there might be a future use for some items yet. "Of course."
Charlotte called out to Emil and said that she hoped he was helping, and turned around partly from where he was because he knew that the other man wasn't going to be able to resist a smart response. Emil had been helping without complaint, but stopped as soon as Charlotte spoke. [i]"Of course i'm helping, I'm supervising our tame racing driver over there to make sure he's doing it properly."[/b] Emil said it with such a straight face, pointing a thumb towards Mathias, that it could be mistaken as completely serious by someone who didn't know him all that well. Mathias playing along a little, bared his teeth and growled, but it didn't last long before it dissolved into laughter, and Emil was suddenly struggling to keep a straight face.
"Honestly don't worry, i'm fine. They have given me the all clear to drive a Formula One car again, I can handle shifting a few pieces of furniture. We don't need Kieran, that's why I brought Emil." Strictly they hadn't, but that was only because Ferrari wanted him to get confirmation from a doctor there, but the one he had seen here had pretty much given him clearance.
Then it was one loading the furniture. With all of them working together it didn't seem to take to long to get furniture loaded and properly secured. "Is that everything for this trip?" He asked Charlotte, wanting to confirm with her to make sure.
Again… not so good with the innuendos. Case just looked at Charlotte when she dropped her ‘If you only knew’ statement with an expression of his utter cluelessness. He smiled though, even nodded, but otherwise seemed as though his brain was deep into sorting and stacking boxes – which he was, carefully and methodically stacking so that nothing too heavy was resting on anything else. It was about this time that Case’s skills in getting dissimilar boxes to all stack into perfect patterns in the back of the truck was showing. Sure he fussed and moved and rotated boxes, but in the long run he was laying out a perfect rectangle in the bed of the truck that almost made it seem like the boxes were somehow all glued together.
Mathias mentioned a bit about the extent of his injuries. Case just nodded at the mention of pins, having to have a few screws in his arm to reset the compound fracture. Fortunately for Case, the screws were already out at this point, and in a few days the cast over his arm would too be gone. The mention of broken ribs did make Case wince though. There was a time when his father took a fall from a tree and slammed hard onto a branch that ended up fracturing two of his ribs. Even though they weren’t fully broken, the look on his father’s face every time he’d have to cough or sneeze was enough for Case to have a very strong sense of just how bad a broken rib can be.
The neck strengthening comment was a bit lost on Case though. For the life of him he was trying to imagine how the loss of one’s ribs or wrist left them needing to strengthen their neck. It made Case wonder if there was some sort of need for race drivers to have strong necks to turn their heads in directions opposite of the g-forces they encounter when racing. Case couldn’t bring himself to ask though, and instead did that thing people often do when the topic of the conversation roams away from anything they might otherwise relate to, he just smiled softly and nodded.
Charlotte seemed to dote over her boyfriend a great deal though, checking on him, and seeing that Emil too was looking out for his best interests. Emil seemed to understand that keeping reigns on Mathias was like breaking a wild mustang – some things aren’t just meant to be done. But, in his due diligence, he did keep an eye on him. If nothing else Emil looked like he was keeping himself in position to rush in to lend a hand should the need ever arise. Even when Emil commented on watching Mathias to ensure he wasn’t doing anything too strenuous he had a look on his face like he might as well be trying to hold back the winds.
Mathias’ reaction to Emil’s comment made Case smile though. Clearly the two gentlemen knew one another quite well, and perhaps in the recent weeks they’d been all the closer with as much help as Emil likely had to lend while Mathias got back on his feet.
Once Ol’ Blue was packed they moved on to putting the selection of furniture Charlotte had picked out into the back of the Uhaul. Again Case seemed have ideas on where things should go, where they could be best secured, and to ensure that the load distribution across the axel of the truck was such that its cornering wouldn’t be much affected. As pieces were brought in Case would assess whether they needed strapped or blanketed, doing either or both before loading in the next piece. One by one Case seemed to get things fitted much like he had in the back of his own truck, putting the pieces together like a complex puzzle. It allowed for them to get a surprising amount of furniture into the Uhaul, and that by the end they were all a snug fit.
Case worked like a lad who’d been raised with a hearty work ethic. He was non-stop. When talking he was moving, stacking, or securing, and when offered a break or something to drink, he just kept on working with a bright smile – insisting that they were almost done anyway. Up, down, back and forth, Case just kept working. Used to carrying bushels of apples, bags of fertilizer, or moving kegs in the brewhouse, it seemed Case was more than accustomed to a certain rhythm when deep in life’s labors.
When they were done every blanket was used, every strap securing something or another to the interior of the Uhaul. Case brushed his hands together and looked once more at the stuffed interior of the cargo truck. “I think we got about as much as I think we’ll be able to in this load,” he said. Things were packed nearly to the ceiling, and with a rather satisfied look on his face Case pulled down the rear door of the truck and locked it shut. “There we go,” Case said, turning back around to regard Charlotte.
“I’ve got a bit of space up in the cab of the truck. Is there anything fragile or special you’d like for me to toss in there before we head out?” he asked.
She remembered his injury like it was still fresh in the back of her mind. Though, he was still slowly healing and he was better than most days. “I can always do your signatures too honey,” she teased although she could be serious and wondered if he would trust her to do so. She would have to perfect his signature a little better and practice more on it. She was doing some random ‘I love Mathias Falk’ on her folder at work but other than that she didn’t do much with his name. It was just a silly suggestion that could actually work if his publicist or Emil wasn’t there. “Thank you for helping too Emil, that’s sweet of you,” she acknowledged him and patted him on the shoulder as she walked passed him as she climbed down the truck as she hopped off the edge.
Charlotte loved his little growl as she shook her head she gasped at the sound and playfully swatted his arm when he walked right past her. “Fine fine, I won’t ask him to join. Don’t get cranky about it,” she said with a laugh and rolled her eyes as she shook her head. Looking over at Casey he seemed to put most of the boxes like she had asked inside. She did want to go run and get a few more. “Hang on, I’ll be right back…” she told Mathias and Casey, she was just used to watching the men lifting things more so then she was. She did want to bring her jewelry and clothes in this load first so she ran back inside and grabbed two smaller sized boxes with her lighter things and expensive stuff inside.
Including her vibrators and things, but those were in her box labeled clothes. She had boxes labeled clothes and valuables, and jewelry and glass items. Mostly, her picture frames and jewelry boxes in some too. Walking back with two boxes stacked on top of each other she looked around the box to see her way through the front to the U-hal. She handed the boxes to Casey since he was closets to the truck. She could tell they had everything strapped in with the small furniture she had asked for them to strap down together. It was nice that she had some help. “Thanks Case…” she smiled at him and walked over to Mathias as she wrapped her arm on his waist. “Yep, I think I’m good for this round…..It looks pretty full. Can you believe we are doing this babe?” she asked as she was really feeling sentimental and wanted to make a good memory of this.
There had been debate about whether to take the hardware out that had been used in Mathias's wrist as it healed, but they usually liked to leave it to heal for a while first, and as Mathias didn't want to sit out races because of more surgery on his wrist they were just going to stay there for a while. The surgeon who had performed the operation seemed happy this wouldn't affect Mathias's driving ability at all, which was good. It was just a little more hardware that would likely still stay there; It went with all the hardware that had been used to repair his hip and leg back in 2013 that had never been removed and didn't give him any problems.
The broken ribs had been far more annoying though. It was slightly ironic that he had broken ribs about the same time the year before as well. Hopefully he wouldn't make it three years in a row, because he was going to be pissed if he had to miss the last few races of the Formula One season again.
Mathias didn't really know how much Casey knew about driving race cars. Mathias hadn't really spoken a lot about it. But part of him was still a little worried about his fitness and how much of an impact it might have on his driving. But he would find out soon enough when he was in Maranello and got some time in a car. "I was worried about how it would impact on my fitness for the 2017 season, especially as there is only limited time to train and that the 2017 cars are going to be faster, which means more g-forces." He didn't want to go on to much of the other man wasn't interested, and Mathias didn't know enough about archery to know what the training aspect was like and how long it would take Casey to get back into it.
"I'm actually glad your helping, because we should be able to get things done sooner. I was hoping to get most of Charlotte's stuff shifted before me and Emil are off to Maranello." Emil came back in, and spoke up after hearing Mathias talking, obviously deciding to add something. "Just so you get an idea, his resting heart rate usually sits between 45 and 50 beats per minute. During a race however, it averages about 170 for the entire length of the race, and peaks at around 190."
Not only did he have Charlotte keeping an eye on him, Emil did so as well. Emil knew Mathias well enough to know that when Mathias that part of what made Mathias a brilliant race car driver was that he liked to not only know his limits, but to continually sit at and push those limits. While he didn't want to injure himself he also didn't like sitting around and doing nothing. Charlotte had taken good care of him, constantly worried about himself getting injured or whether he was okay. Emil likely also worried, but didn't show it like Charlotte did.
Physical hard work was something that Mathias had always enjoyed, and he found that he actually didn't mind the whole moving thing. It didn't seem to take long before all the furniture was packed away, and Charlotte has dashed off to retrieve two last boxes of items that were obviously a bit more delicate.
One year ago Mathias never would have thought that he would have met someone like Charlotte and that they would have fallen for each other so quickly. Now they were moving in, and it just felt like the right step. He was looking forwards to it, because not only could they spend more time together, but it would also be good for Lukas when Mathias was away racing.
"It is a little hard to believe it's happening already." He put his arm around her waist when she put hers around his, giving her a little hug. "You know, when I told my sister I was going to ask you to move in she just said that it was about time I had a women in the house again." she had said a bit more, that his place also needed a bit of a feminine touch, which had made Mathias wonder about what exactly she meant by that. Not doubt there were going to be changes to work through, things to sort out but that was all part of it.
"Are we ready to take this stuff over to my place?"
Packing was one of those satisfying jobs where when the work was done you could look at your efforts and judge for yourself how you did. Case was proud of what they were able to squeeze into the two trucks. Had Case known he’d of been wrangled into helping move he could have brought his high side-rails for Ol’ Blue and likely got one more row of boxes in the back. What he might have lacked in ability to stuff the bed of his own truck, he more than made up for in stacking the back of the Uhaul with furniture, boxes, and odds and ends right to the tippy top. It made pulling down the roller-door of the Uhaul a no-brainer when there was literally nowhere else for things to go.
Charlotte excused herself, seeming to have thought of something more they should bring with them. Case nodded over to her as she dashed off back into her apartment to rummage up whatever it was she thought they might also be able to bring with them. Mathias had been explaining about his recovery, wanting to make sure he was 100% with the gruling demands that would be placed upon him with the upcoming season. Case completely understood how Mathias would want to make sure he’s as good as new before putting himself back in the driver’s seat, but when Emil chimed in with a statistic about Mathias’ heartrate while racing Case’s jaw nearly hit the pavement. “Seriously?” he asked, semi-rhetorically. “Woah… That’s incredible,” Case said, trying for the life of him to imagine maintaining a heart rate at that level for as long as he would have to. “Well then… yes, better make sure you’re good and ready,” Case said with a bit of a chuckle now having a bit more insight as to the demands his body would have to once again go through.
After a few minutes Charlotte returned with a couple of small boxes. She handed them over to Case after he’d offered the cab of his truck. He took them from her, leaving Charlotte and her boyfriend to reminisce a bit about what this move will mean for them as Case opened the passenger door of the truck and slide the boxes inside. Safely stacked in the passenger seat Case closed the door and returned to Charlotte and Mathias. He asked if they were ready to make the drive over to his place, fortunately a place Case had visited before to know where they’d be heading.
“I’m good. Maybe have Emil drive the Uhaul?” Case asked, unsure if he was stepping on anyone’s toes by suggesting Emil might be able to drive the rented truck. Case assumed that Charlotte might have a few things in her car she’d drive over, Mathias could drive the car they arrived in with Lukas, Case would drive Ol’ Blue, and Emil could then drive the Uhaul.
Case let Mathias, Charlotte, and Emil sort out who would be driving, but it was clear at least two vehicles would be making the trek. Case would have offered up a seat in the truck with him, but aside from perhaps fitting Lukas in there with him with the boxes he had up front, perhaps it was best he didn’t force anyone to squeeze into the cab of his truck.
Once everyone knew where they were driving or riding, people split up and climbed into their vehicles. Case turned over the Dodge with a classic rumble of its big block 383. He figured he’d follow the Uhaul, just to make sure the back of the truck didn’t pop open or something along the drive. One by one they exited the parking lot of Charlotte’s apartment, and with everyone on the road they convoyed across Lochland Grove.
As with everything in Lochland it wasn’t ever too much of a trek to get from any one part of the city to any other. They drove along, but as can often happen in chains of cars they reached one traffic signal where as the first car went through, the light turned yellow. By the time Case had reached the light he needed to decide if he was going to push it and risk it turning red, or stop and wait. Case gritted his teeth, and against his better judgement pressed the accelerator and raced through the light. The truck turned around the corner following the rest of the vehicles, and the boxes in the cab and in the back rattled and rocked. The two boxes Case had placed in the cab slid to the far passenger door, stopping with a bit of a thud, and although Case managed the light while it was still yellow he was beginning to regret risking unsettling his cargo.
After a bit then eventually pulled into the long drive of the Falk estate. Case followed behind slowly so the Uhaul could be backed in place in front of the house, and once it was in position Case did much the same to back his truck right along next to it. He put Ol’ Blue in park, hopped out, and made his way to the back of the truck in expectation of unloading everything they’d packed up.
“So how do we want to do this?” Case asked as everyone else joined him. “Did we want to send someone inside to direct us to where in the house we should put the boxes, or did you just want to offload everything into the garage and sort it out on your own later?” he asked, figuring someone had a plan of action.
Slipping out of his hold after he let her go they waited to head into the truck with Casey in tow. “Awww that’s sweet of your sister to say. I’m glad your family likes me, god remember how nervous I was meeting them? I was a wreck….” she nodded to him and looked over at Emil making sure he was alright. She had adored his family since day one of meeting them and was grateful they had accepted every bit of her. She was new and scared and very grateful for the happy ending she deserved. Nodding to him and Case as she agreed with the two of them for the moving of her things. “Yes…It’s ready to go. I’m all set…..What did you say Mathias?” she was fuming inside.
He had never told her that he was going back to racing again. Well, maybe he had but she had forgotten if it was because of Emil. Or just to support the crew. He was just barely healed. You could tell by the look on Charlotte’s face that she was fuming so badly. “Yes, Emil do you mind driving?” she asked him as he nodded to her and decided on going in the front seat of the Uhal already opening the door. She noticed them closing the lift of the Uhal after. She would pick up her car later but she rushed to her car for a minute to grab her purse and laptop that she had inside her house and went to lock up the house for the time being. She was still pissed at him for saying that he was going to race so she didn’t really want to cause a scene but she might have to when they were in the car.
Moments later she told Mathias to go with Emil and she would head up with Casey in the truck since he was helping her. “I’ll meet you their sweetie,” she said with a deep sigh and a bit of annoyance as she gave him a peck on the lips she handed Emil the key to the truck. She headed to Casey’s truck with him and slipped in the door beside him with her things. “I can’t believe he still racing after he just healed Casey….Ugh the nerve…I’m fine, just a little annoyed…..I wish he would just rest at home….you know?” she sighed as she tried to not look mad but she kind of was which was why she went in Casey’s car. She wanted to make him feel bad for racing this weekend but they would make up later eventually.
Maybe he wouldn’t even notice. Charlotte had her arms folded in front of her lap as they drove off into outskirts of town and towards Mathias’s place. Which was now their house. She sighed she couldn’t be mad at him forever. She would hate to have him think she was upset and he would think about it all weekend. Then they finally parked in his driveway and the Uhal first before Casey’s truck. She figured she would pick up her car later the next day. “I’m sorry I’m just…..Why would he go?” she cried out loud in frustration as she opened her door and got out of his car. But she stopped as she remained inside to wait for someone to see if she was ok. He had decided on talking to Mathias and she said to Casey, “Give me one second, I’ll meet you out there ok?” she said as she watched him and she took a deep breath after she let it go.
She was sitting in the car still upset with Mathias. Would he come to seek her apology or approval? She wasn’t sure. What did he think that she all of a sudden blew up on him in front of Casey and Emil? It wasn’t a big deal on her end. Casey was a good friend and he wouldn’t say anything harmful to Mathias but he would only give good advice for both of them.
new outfit :]
note: figured a little drama would be fun! Lol ;] You know us
too well by now Wick lol! I love your posts! You might want to edit
a bit though and add this in there? hehe
Mathias knew when to let others take over when things got into their area of expertise, so Mathias was happy to let Casey take charge of stacking things in the back of the Uhaul. While he probably would have been able to do a reasonable job, it likely wouldn't have been as good as what Casey was doing. They certainly managed to fit quite a lot of stuff in the truck, and Mathias wondered where on earth they were going to put all of it when they got to his house. Certainly there would need to be some of his own stuff that they would need to get rid of, and lots of moving around to get things to fit.
"Admittedly, it isn't just in F1 you get a high hear rate like that, you would get that in a lot of different types of racing. It's the mental concentration required that does it, but the physical demands certainly add to it." Most people who had never raced seriously didn't quite understand what it took, it certainly wasn't just like driving around town. The best way to train to drive the car was just to drive the car, which was why he wanted to get some good time at Maranello both driving a real car around Ferrari's test track Fiorano, most likely a 2015 car, as well as getting some good simulator work done.
Suddenly Charlotte was angry at him, and Mathias couldn't quite understand why. "About Maranello?" He had spoken about what he was going to be doing in Maranello, that it involved lots of simulator work and that he wanted to get some time driving a real car, most likely a 2015 car. Not to mention that there were a few days tyre testing and numerous other things to be done. His first race of the year was the Race of Champions which was a more fun event with different drivers competing against each other around a specially built track that would be in Miami in the Marlin's Baseball stadium. So while he felt he should apologize, he wasn't sure why she was angry at him and what exactly he should be apologizing for. "I want to get some time driving a car around Fiorano, Ferrari's test track, and I also desperately need to do simulator work because i've done none for the upcoming season."
Emil didn't seem to want to get involved in an argument, and made no effort to argue when Charlotte agreed with Casey about him driving the truck. Mathias, still confused about the whole thing, didn't even come back with a smart retort about Emil's driving like he probably would have if he hadn't been confused about Charlotte being angry at him. Was this going to happen more now that they were going to be living together? He remembered time like this from living with Gretta, how sometimes she would get angry at him without saying why she was angry at him, leaving him trying to figure out exactly what he had done.
She still gave him a peck on the lips before she handed Emil the keys to the truck and then went to get in Casey's truck. Emil waited until Charlotte had gone before giving Mathias a smirk, and Mathias simply raised his middle finger in response, however there was clearly no heat behind it, and Emil just chuckled softly as he got in the truck. Mathias rounded up Lukas before heading over to his Mercedes.
Mathias was quiet on the way over, and Lukas was unusually quiet as well, smart enough to realize that something wasn't quite right. It didn't take long to get to his estate, and he opened the electronic gate from his car before heading up the drive, pressing the button to close it once he saw that Casey's truck had gone through.
While there was plenty of space Mathias decided to keep his car out of the way, opening the garage door from the remote in his car and backing it neatly into place. Then he was out and directing Emil to back the truck up into place properly, unlocking the door as Casey and Emil got out but Charlotte didn't, which confused him even more.
"In all honesty I'm not completely sure yet where everything is doing to go." Mathias spoke as he unlocked the door. "I'm not sure what Charlotte wants inside or not, so it will probably be better to talk with her and we can figure out what will go where." Presuming that at least some stuff was going to go in the garage once the front door was unlocked and opened Mathias went over to the garage to open one of the doors. It was in an L shape, and he opened the doors on the opposite side to where he had parked his car. Everything inside was neat, with various pieces of equipment for the lifestyle block as well as plenty of karting stuff including two on stands in the middle, which he would likely have to move.
Charlotte climbing into the truck with Casey was a bit of a surprise. Easily enough done as the Dodge had one large bench seat in the front, and Charlotte could easily slide the boxes over to make room for herself. Case had to do a bit of a double take when she climbed in, but as soon as she fumed about her boyfriend’s interest in returning to the track Case put two and two together as to why it was she was now riding with him.
Disappointment was one of the few things Case could read in a person. Being the consummate optimist it was easy for Case to catch on to the differences in one’s demeanor the further they were from happy. If someone was amused, entertained, or even attracted he might easily miss that because they’re such close bedfellows to one’s happiness. However, if someone was sad, angry, or disappointed he was certainly able to pick up quickly on one’s personality change.
It was clear that there was a good deal of worry lacing her concern. Case couldn’t imagine what all she went through when Mathias was injured. And, with as likely as the possibility would persist that he could once more injure himself behind the wheel, he could see how someone, anyone might have a difficult time accepting the notion of returning to such dangerous pursuits. He listened, only nodding as Charlotte spoke her mind. He couldn’t decide if her questions were rhetorical or not, as answering them might sound as though he was taking sides. Case didn’t want to become an accessory to the conversation, but silence also seemed a bit cruel. When Charlotte seemed to ask if Case agreed that now was the time for Mathias to rest at home all he could do was bob his head in thought, “It’s a part of him, but I’m sure he’s mindful of your interests as well.”
Charlotte seemed to continue to ruminate, paying more attention to the thoughts in her head than the trip they were making. Case was fine with giving her space and silence to do so. She eventually piped up again, with an apology, and immediately Case shook his head. “Oh no… no need to apologize,” he offered. Charlotte then seemed to ask why it was he return to the sport that nearly took his life. “Maybe it’s not about him,” Case offered, thinking of the various possibilities that might drive a man like Mathias to return to his sport. “Maybe it’s for his team, the people that rely on him, maybe even for you and Lukas. Maybe he does it not to let any of you down?” Case suggested.
They pulled into the parking lot, and Case gave Charlotte a long look before she expressed a desire to have a moment to herself. “Sure thing,” Case replied, turning off the truck and climbing out to leave her be. He rounded the back of the truck, and not knowing what else to say asked how they wanted to unload Charlotte’s things. His heart wasn’t so much into it though, and with the absence of Charlotte stepping from the truck it was clear to all that perhaps Charlotte needed a moment of Mathias’ time – if not a moment to collect herself.
Mathias’ answer was about as half-hearted as Case’s question, explaining that he wasn’t too sure where everything should go. He elaborated that not even he was sure what all should go inside. As they looked at one another for a moment Case just got quiet, not sure what should happen next. He eventually cleared his throat, and with a bit of a sheepish look pointed to the back of the Uhaul. “Maybe Emil and I could get started unloading the big stuff. Since it might take up the most space in your place it’d be best to stage it in the garage until you figure out where to put it. You can help Charlotte, and then join us once you’ve, um, talked out what all could go where.”
It was a bit of a self-serving suggestion – both to allow Case to get to helping unload the boxes and furnishings, and to direct Mathias to Charlotte so the two of them could sort out whatever needed to be sorted out in some semblance of privacy. Emil seemed more than happy to roll with the idea, and it only took Case a step or two towards the Uhaul before the large man opened up the back in preparation to unload it. “Alright,” Case said, talking to Emil as if already more than happy to see Mathias heading off to look after Charlotte as he and Emil would tackle getting the Uhaul unloaded. “Careful at the top there as the drive over might have jostled things just enough to put them out of balance. Last thing I want is to be the guy that helped break something,” Case said with a bit of a smile to Emil as the two of them made sure everything was still tightly stacked as they fully opened the back of the moving truck.
Emil gave Case one of those unspoken, questioning looks – clearly interested if everything with Charlotte was okay. Case nodded, thinking as with all things that they’d work out in the end. “She’s worried about him. Maybe when thinking about the strain of moving heavy furniture on his still-healing frame she had a hard time imagining him being under worse circumstances. She clearly cares for him,” Case said, thinking the best of the situation. “I’m sure it’ll all be fine. We’ll just give them a moment,” Case said as he took one side of the larger picture frame and pointed to the other side. “Grab that end, will you?” he asked as the two of them began unloading the Uhaul and carefully stacking the furnishings along one wall of the garage.
While Mathias may be confused about why exactly Charlotte was suddenly angry at him, he could see the disappointment and worry that was creeping in. As he drove to his place he knew that he would have to talk to her. She was likely worried about him going back to racing and getting injured again. He had tried to reassure her even just after the accident that it had just been a freak accident; After all, it was the first time he had gotten anything other than minor bruising from an accident in a race car, and he had been in a few spectacular accidents.
He had never remembered having as much arguments with Gretta about his driving. Sure, she had worried about him but it hadn't seemed excessive. Maybe that might have been because she had known that trying to stop him from racing was never going to work.
In all honesty, racing at the top levels was a very selfish pursuit. He drove because he loved it, it was a part of him and he still had a strong desire (and the ability) to get out there and fight for a win. He wanted to get back in the car and win again, but it also wasn't completely for him.
There was a whole team of people who's jobs contributed to him being able to turn up to a track and drive a good car, so a good win wasn't only for Mathias but for them as well. Ferrari had already been quite helpful, and a meeting with them in early December had sorted out that Mathias wouldn't get back in a car until January 2017 or do any simulator work until then either. That it was better for him to take the extra time off to focus on recovering and building his fitness routine. And that was what he had done, and he was eager to get back into a car again.
But part of it was that this was his job, this job was how he brought in money to look after his family. He had been lucky that he had such a long driving career, and he wouldn't be able to do it forever, so he wanted to make the most of the years he had left.
It was settled that Casey and Emil would start unloading the big stuff off the truck, while Mathias talked to Charlotte. Mathias could hear Emil and Casey talking as he walked over to Charlotte, and after Casey's warning that things might have been jostled about Emil spoke a little bit about how all the F1 gear was packed away. How everything was packed up to both make sure that everything was protected while taking up minimal space and that it didn't move. Because the last thing you wanted was for a car to move around and get damaged in transit, or for a large case of some sort to move and cause a lot more damage. Although, things were usually packed tight enough so that there wasn't much space for cases to move.
When Casey mentioned that Charlotte was worried about Mathias, Emil chuckled softly, obviously knowing Mathias well. "Those traits which make him a fantastic Formula One driver don't always go quite so well of track. He can get quite stubborn, can get selfish and likes pushing his limits; All things which make him great on a race track, but don't always go well in real life. But they do care for each other a lot." Emil spoke as he worked, obviously liking the other man and offering up conversation. Emil added that after that accident in the USA GP he had been more worried about how Charlotte would feel at first, and had been annoyed because he hadn't been allowed to call her. However they knew that with the concussion that wouldn't be the best decision, and Mathias's press officer Luka had instead called.
But Mathias wasn't listening to what Emil and Casey were talking about, instead focusing on Charlotte. He knocked softly on the window before pulling the door open. "I hate it when we fight, but I think we need to talk. I presume this is about me driving again." He wasn't the best at these sorts of things. He wanted to tell her not to worry about him, but didn't know if that would make it any better. So instead his gaze softened, love clear in his eyes. Did she want him to give it up altogether? Because if she asked him that he honestly didn't know if he would be able to. "Talk to me, tell me what's on your mind."
Charlotte had never meant to be annoyed with Mathias it was just she had not expected him to go back right away after a healed injury. With a deep sigh, she listened to Casey on the way to her house and nodded after he got out. “Thanks Casey, that means a lot. I know. I will talk to him. Don’t worry. I’ll be ok,” she admitted to him and took deep breaths as she kept her arms folded in front of her when she relaxed a little to calm down. Her face probably looked red too. She was just so worried for him that she didn’t want to lose him again. Charlotte was overreacting a little bit so she did need to explain herself. Maybe she was getting her period soon. She did usually track hers and maybe it was a bit early to get it in the end of January. Did she have her period this month?
She would never want him to give up his career for her if she even wanted him to. She wouldn’t do that to him. It was his choice and what he did for a living. She loved that about him. He was good at it. Some racers lived through racing as she researched before and they were happy. She just had to have faith in him. A sincere look of contentment was now lingering on her face as she saw him come to the window of the car. While she was about to roll the window down she noticed him opening the door and she shifted her legs towards him and curled up against him. “I know. I’m so sorry Mathias. I overreacted. I love you…” her words meant everything in it as she didn’t want to fight either. Her eyes stared into his as she sighed with her head on his chest.
“I just worry for you now. Ever since….Ever since that accident. You almost died! You know that?” she half cried into his chest as she made a big sound like a whine and brought her hands to cover her face. “I’ll be ok. I wish I could go with you every time. How long will it be again? Do you think….” she started off as she lifted herself off the palm of her hands and gazed up at him again she placed a hand on his cheek. “Do you think I can come with you for a few days on the weekend just to see if you’re ok? Or you can even video chat with me?” she paused and would understand if he didn’t want her there. It was hard for her work since she was a writer at a nine to five job she had to be there constantly. The hours were shitty but her pay as good.
Charlotte waited to see what he would say if she could come or tag along, she would hate for something bad to happen to him again. But she would still be there for him since she was now in it for the long haul and starting a life with him. “What do you think after your race we talk about getting married this year? Maybe…..” she hinted as she asked carefully as she wondered if he might’ve already planned something for her this year. She would be happy and thrilled about it. She just needed to wait to see what he was going to do.
new outfit :]
note: figured a little drama would be fun! Lol ;] You know us
too well by now Wick lol! I love your posts! You might want to edit
a bit though and add this in there? hehe
While there was no way that motorsports would ever be considered a safe sport, safety had come a long way over the years. Deaths were not considered normal and didn't happen very often like they used to. Drivers could now survive some accidents which looked quite horrific, and driver injuries especially in Formula One other than minor bruising were rare. If Mathias had crashed like he did in a vintage car then there was a good chance that he would have been killed. Many drivers now drove their whole career without major injury or big crash. His team mate Sebastian Vettel was one of those people. The man's only real injury driving a race car was having a finger almost sliced off in an accident when he was eighteen, but it hadn't kept him from driving long. And unlike Mathias, he had never had a really big accident either.
Driving had been a big part of his life for a long time, and he loved it just as much now as he did when he had first started driving. No doubt there would be one day when he would be ready to hang up his helmet, or at the very least retire from the very top level of motorsports but he wasn't ready yet.
She was apologizing as well, and he really appreciated that she had done so. He could understand her worrying, especially as he had been injured last year. The whole thing had probably been worse for her, especially with all those images (and videos) of his car rolling along that fence, and the whole lot of people and vehicles that had turned up. They had taken a while to stabilize him before they rolled the car over carefully to get him out, still strapped in his seat.
Personally he thought that saying that he almost died was a bit over the top. The most dangerous injury hadn't been the concussion or the minor skull fracture, or even his broken wrist but more to do with his broken ribs and that punctured lung. But it hadn't really ever been much of a threat to his life due to the quick medical help that was present at every event. "I know that accident looked really bad, but the most serious injury I get was actually a punctured lung from several broken ribs. Safety is a very big issue in motorsports, you would have seen all the medical staff they had there and how carefully they got me out of the car. I was at the hospital not long after the accident, there was never and danger of me dying." He didn't know if this would help her or not, but he was trying to comfort her with reassurance about safety. She looked like she wanted to cry, so he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her into a hug.
He didn't know if talking a bit about what exact medical facilities they had at the track would help or not. "They have rescue cars with an emergency doctor and four paramedics that can reach any point on the track within 30 seconds. Then you have not one but two helicopters and multiple ambulances around the track. Not to mention that there is a medical center on track that is basically like a miniature hospital."
"I have the Race of Champions in Miami, and the practice day is on the 20th, so I will be in Miami on the 19th. I fly from Hartford on Thursday so I can be ready for work in Maranello on Friday, and I will be flying back to Hartford on Monday the 16th so I should be home late. Then I fly too Miami from Hartford on the Thursday after." It was quite a bit of flying around, but it was all part of his job. After Miami he was flying down to New Zealand, and then was likely going to spend a bit of time flying back and fourth between Bolognia and Hartford.
Mathias hadn't expected her to ask to come with him. Honestly he wasn't even sure if she would get flights at such short notice. Even then he was sure she was going to get sick of watching him in the simulator and driving around Fiorano. "It's about 13 hours to get to Bolognia from Hartford, so it is a long way to fly for the weekend, plus I would have to check to see if there were seats on the same flights available. It would probably be easier to Skype. But if you really want to come I can look into it for you." When he was away he usually Skyped Lukas most days, so it would be easy to add Charlotte to that as well. Plus he quite often texted her as well.
"I usually Skype Lukas most nights, so it will be easy to just add you to that as well. After all, you are living with him now." It could be a little family thing, and Mathias thought that it would actually be quite nice.
What he certainly hadn't expected was for her to bring up the topic of marriage. Not that he wasn't against it, it was more like he actually hadn't thought of it. He had only just given her a promise ring after all, and here she was talking about marriage. They hadn't even known each other for a year after all. Yes, he did love her and want to spend the rest of his life with her but he honestly hadn't thought about marriage yet. So he wasn't quite sure what to say in response, but decided after a moment that honesty would be the best option. "In all honesty, I haven't even thought about marriage. We haven't even been together for one year yet. But if you wanted to talk about it we can."
Emil and Casey were busy unloading, and seemed to have gotten most of the large pieces off by now. "Now, are you better? Shall we go and sort out what is going where, because I really don't know." He gave her a little hug and a quick kiss before reaching an arm out to help her out of the car. "You are welcome to come to any of my races you know. Lukas has already said he wants to go to Monaco, Belgium, Japan and Abu Dhabi." Basically those were four of his son's five favourite F1 race tracks, ones he always loved to visit. Although Lukas had enjoyed Bahrain last year, especially as they had gone riding on camels not far from the track.
Emil’s words brought about a big smile from Case. He nodded, completely understanding how being involved in such an intense sport might bleed over into one’s personality – let alone personal life. Case also nodded at the mention of Mathias’ and Charlotte’s feelings for one another. “Oh yeah… I see that,” Case agreed. “You know, there’s only a handful of quotes I seem to have retained over the years, but one of them was from Mario Andretti. It goes something like, ‘If everything seems in control, you’re simply not going fast enough.’ I always took that to mean that you have to keep pushing yourself, or else you’ve just resigned yourself to complacency. That kind of go go go ambition can certainly make one a handful. Hopefully Charlotte sees that – that so much of Mathias’ personality is that of a winner. Sometimes getting to the top requires a certain dedication and focus that means things around you have to take a back seat – even if just for a bit. Life’s often about sacrifices and priorities, and being in anything competitive makes those choices especially difficult.”
They got the truck open and soon after started pulling out pieces of furniture to carefully stack against an open section of Mathias’ garage. The fact that they only had to go from the truck into the garage made unloading quite quick. Emil being a physical powerhouse didn’t hurt either. The two of them worked in synchronous concert, first untying the items in the back of the truck, then sliding them out before carrying them into the garage. They kept the blankets on everything though, not knowing how long they might be staged in the garage before they were brought into the house.
Working top to bottom, back to from Emil and Case continued along, pulling out various pieces of furniture and getting them safely stowed in the garage. Each time Case would carry something into the garage he’d see something else that would catch his attention. Sometimes it was a sign, other times it was a piece of equipment. There was always something new for him to discover, and it was entertaining to see something else that further proved Mathias’ connection to his sport. It made Case wonder if he had the same sort of thing at his place – if perhaps his shed was much like Mathias’ garage. Case wondered how Mathias liked his fame for being at the top of his sport. Unlike Casey whose sport had a tiny, tiny following, Formula One racing was the world premier racing sport. Case had to imagine Mathias’ face was well recognized whenever he traveled, and even here in the U.S. there had to be at least as many who recognized him as might recognize Case.
He endeavored not to fall behind though, taking his time to search out whatever else his eyes might catch a glimpse of in the garage, but then searching it out the next trip in for a closer look. Each trip seemed to reveal something more, and each following trip gave Case the opportunity to soak in whatever else it was he’d found. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t the cars that Case was so interested in, it was more the tokens of his sport. Case would spend more time looking at how a helmet was engineered than he would at an elite car. It was just who he was. Driving an old 1950’s truck was proof that Case wasn’t one to worry about having the newest or the best. What Case was always interested in was the story. What was the story things could tell, and there were countless things in Mathias’ garage that had stories all their own.
Emil and Case had knocked out about half of the truck by the time they caught sight of Mathias and Charlotte’s return. Case took a moment to read their faces, seeing that at least for the moment all was well. It made Case smile to see that whatever might have popped up between them was something that a bit of conversation could quell. “We just started stacking things in as good an order as we could think of,” Case offered, tilting his head towards the area of the garage where he and Emil had placed Charlotte’s things. “We also kept things covered, just in case, but we can take anything you want into the house as well. I just wasn’t sure if you guys knew where you wanted the furniture.”
Case assumed that the boxes would all end up in some room or another, but the furnishings might well be out in the garage until a decision as to where to put them had been made. “We thought we’d start with the heavy stuff, this way as we continue to get things unloaded they’ll just get lighter and lighter,” Case said with a bright smile, clearly a big fan of that particular idea.
After setting down the piece of furniture he and Emil had Case pointed to the back of his truck. “Feel free to open Ol’ Blue up and start taking boxes inside. I think Emil and I can likely finish up the Uhaul if you guys wanted to take the boxes inside – besides, you two likely know better where they go than I do,” Case pointed out, having no idea where things would go, nor where to find the rooms where they’d need to end up.
As Case got close to Charlotte he offered her a warm smile. “All’s well?” he asked quietly, checking in on her after all she’s explained in the cab of the truck.
Charlotte had blocked out what Emil and Casey were talking about but most likely them. She figured she could just take a deep breath and be ok. Yes, maybe the dying comment was a bit over the top but for he is the one for her. She would risk her life to save his. And vice versa. She would do anything for him. “I know I understand sweetie….it’s just I would do anything to risk my life for you too…I know you don’t get that now. But in the future, I’m sorry I did overreact a little. I am sorry for that,” she said through her teary eyes and looked up at him. She wiped them away and was finally feeling better for now.
“Yes, that shouldn’t be too long. Awww I would love to go with you guys on the weekends. I’m sure my boss would be ok with taking a day off early….” Charlotte answered and gave him a sweet kiss on the lips. She wanted to reassure him that she was ok. “Oh I know it’s too soon for that. Don’t mind me what I was saying,” she chuckled, sometimes she did say things she didn’t mean to and intended on saying opposite things she wasn’t feeling right now. She liked to twist words around at times but this was that time.
“Maybe we should set the furniture in your guest room for now? And my desk in your office? We can share it. I suppose. Hmm just the boxes we can move in your room? Well our room now…” she giggled as she felt better and relieved they were ok now, it was because of her. She hopped out of the car and held onto his hand giving him a quick kiss too, as he led her towards the guys. “Hmmm ooo those races will be fun! I would love to go. Alright guys, sorry I am all good now. Let’s get these boxes inside. And I’ll help with the furniture…” she announced to Emil and Casey.
Nodding to him she smiled at Casey, “Yes, I’m fine. Don’t worry. Thanks for helping out too, sure…No problem…Do what you guys gotta do!” she explained and led them inside as she took her key from his house out of her pocket and opened the door. Yes, she had a key now. She was happy and excited to start this new life with him.
new outfit :]
note: figured a little drama would be fun! Lol ;] You know us
too well by now Wick lol! I love your posts! You might want to edit
a bit though and add this in there? hehe
Emil agreed with what Casey was saying. "I think Mathias sees that the same way. When he was injured, Charlotte just wanted him to sit around and relax and not do much, but that isn't really in his nature; He was sick of that completely by two weeks after the accident. Ambition is certainly something that he has lots of. Mathias very much enjoys finding what his upper limit is in something, and then pushing that limit. If he fails, he will just keep trying." Mathias may be one of the nicest, friendliest guys you could ever meet around the paddock, he would always stop for photos and autographs and quite often remembered people's names and things about them. But put him on a track in a competitive environment and he was completely different.
"Formula One certainly does require a lot of dedication, it isn't easy to get into. When you consider that there are only 24 seats, or 20 this season, it is probably the most exclusive professional sport out there. That's why a not of racing drivers come across as incredible narcissists. Even Mr. Nice guy over there." Mathias and Emil both knew that when Mathias did retire from Formula One he wasn't about to retire from motorsports altogether. Most likely he would end up in another series of some sort. Touring cars appealed to Mathias, maybe DTM or endurance racing. But he still had a few years to really look into things.
It was obvious that Mathias's garage wasn't just a place to store stuff in. They were all cleanly painted, with plenty of storage space and everything neatly organized. The area they were putting stuff in had plenty of karting equipment, lots of spare parts and a small collection of farming type equipment. However there were a number of helmets, most in a similar design of Mathias's favourite blue and silver with a touch of red, on several shelves along the back wall. There there was the large collection of all the champagne bottles and hats from every podium race he had achieved. There wasn't space to put them inside, so he had put them out here. The part where his cars were had more items and motorsports memorabilia, including several items which had clearly come off a Formula One car.
Mathias had been trying to make her feel better by talking about the safety aspects, it was his way of trying to reassure her that while Formula One was dangerous, there were also lots of safety precautions that had been taken to minimize injury and death. But she seemed to realize that she had overreacted a little bit as well. "I'm glad, and it is understandable I think. I can understand you getting worried about me. I believe everyone was worried about me over that one. At least you didn't have your reaction to the accident recorded live on television like all the guys at the Ferrari F1 team did."
Mathias had gone out and brought a large wall planner from an office supply store, and put it up in the kitchen. On that he had had marked all his races, when he would be away and other events that would mean he would be away. He thought that it would be an easy way for her to keep track. "For one of the European races you could always fly out after work on friday, and then come back late sunday or monday. If you wanted to go to USA you probably wouldn't even need to take time off, just fly down on Saturday. Just let me know what ones you want to go to and I can arrange it." Maybe Monaco might not be the best option for her if she was worried about his safety, because Monaco was incredibly narrow and not likely to reassure her much.
She didn't seem to concerned about the marriage thing, and how this was effectively the second time she had proposed to him. She didn't seem to push him into it or to want to talk about it, which relieved him a bit because he honestly didn't know about it quite yet.
"Where will Emil sleep if all the furniture is in his room? Are you trying to say something?" He had a little cheeky smile on his face as he spoke. "They are moving the furniture into the garage, so it should be okay in there. But yes, your desk can go in my office."
Then they were heading back over to the truck where Emil and Casey were working holding hands. [i]"If you want to take Charlotte to a Grand Prix maybe don't take her to Monacco or Baku. Spa-Francorchamps may be good, or Silverstone or even Suzuka. I would suggest Monza, but that is not only an extremely fast circuit but Ferrari's home Grand Prix, so maybe not so good, not with the amount of Tifosi that will be there."[/b] Mathias could probably agree with Emil on that one, the there would certainly be a very large contingent of Ferrari fans at force in Monza and he wouldn't actually have much time to spend with her. Of course, he didn't really have much time to spend with her during a grand prix weekend anyway.
So Casey and Emil were happy with the stuff in the U-haul so Mathias told them to put the desk in the office while he went about unloading boxes from Casey's truck and taking them into their appropriate rooms. Lukas was back again, and also happily helping to carry lighter items around.
In many ways Case and Mathias were a lot alike. They were both competitors, both doing all they could to stay at the top of their sport, and both had enjoyed a number of successes. They were both in it for more than winning. Like most champions they weren’t just driven to beat those around them, they were driven to improve – to outdo even themselves. They set their bars ever higher, far and above where many others would otherwise rest on their laurels. They wanted to see what they were capable of – where their absolute best could take them. As such, there was little in the way of rest, and an injury was always seen as a setback. To a champion, an injury takes precious time away from their regimen of self-improvement. To a champion, one can never get back to where they were fast enough.
Emil seemed to understand that about Mathias as well. Even if there was a stigma for narcissism or arrogance, it was often the by-product of someone focused on being their best. It was clear Emil had been around Mathias for some time now – something Case would have to ask him about sometime. It was just as clear that Emil knew his way around formula racing with the long list of races he rattled off when Mathias and Charlotte returned. They were obviously talking about what events Charlotte might be able to attend with him, and listening to the race after race Emil thought through aloud Case wondered if Mathias was out of town more often than he.
When Mathias and Charlotte returned Case pointed out where it was they were putting her things, and offered that they were more than welcome to start unloading the boxes from his truck. When he asked how things were between the two of them Charlotte was quick to smile and assure him that all was well. She told him not to worry, and thanked him for helping them out with the move. “Oh no problem,” Case said, almost dismissively as if she didn’t have to think twice about asking him for a hand. “Happy to help. I think at some point when you decide you’re going to own a truck you’re just going to have to come to terms with the idea that people are going to ask you to help them move,” Case said with a bright smile, his tone playful and fun. “Besides, a bit of hard labor’s good for you, right?” he asked, turning to Emil – someone Case assumed was quite accustomed to the labors of life.
After a bit of discussion as to where to put Charlotte’s things – even at the playful exclusion of Emil, Mathias pointed to the desk in the garage and explained that it could be moved into his study. Case nodded, and once he and Emil had the large picture set down in the garage made their way over to the desk and positioned themselves to carry it into the house.
“Hey Lukas,” Case called out. “Could you do me a big favor and point out your father’s office so we can put this desk in there?” Case asked.
Even though Emil knew the layout of the house, Case wanted to go out of his way and ask for the young lad’s help. Often in situations like this where younger kids were excluded from being involved in the harder work, Case wanted to make sure that he too felt like he had a role to play.
Emil and Case lifted the desk and began to carry it inside. Case was careful through the doorways, but in an estate like Mathias’ the doors were a lot wider and taller. It made moving things in all the easier, even if Case was paranoid about dinging a wall or putting a dent in the side of Charlotte’s desk. Case kept the blanket over the top of the furniture, and he and Emil were eventually directed into Mathias’ office.
While walking through the Falk estate Case couldn’t help but sneak as many peeks as he could into the various rooms they passed by. Although Case had been here before, he hadn’t full run of the place. He took every opportunity he could to admire Mathias’, and what would now be Charlotte’s home. It was a wonderful home, well appointed, and certainly had the look of affluence. Clearly Mathias had done well for himself, formula racing obviously having much bigger paychecks than the sport Casey had become caught up in.
They reached the study with Lukas’ help, setting the desk in the most logical place – or until Charlotte or Mathias decided to move it. Case looked around, seeing various certificates on the wall and other sundries from his sport. It seemed there was always something tucked here and there, nearly in every room, that spoke to his sport. It was cool, and something that caught Case’s attention every time he found some article or another that might be lying about as a conversation piece.
“We just set the desk on the backside of your… of Mathias’,” Case said to Charlotte, wavering a bit as to what exactly to refer to Mathias as. Somehow ‘boyfriend’ seemed a more appropriate term for someone much less mature. Case turned to Mathias, “You’ve an amazing place,” Case offered when they caught back up to him outside. “How long have you had it?” Case asked, unsure just how long ago it was that he’d moved into it.