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Danielle Turner
 Posted: Nov 5 2014, 09:57 PM
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DATE: October 1st
TIME: 5 pm
PLACE: One of the many parks

“Gentle reader, may you never feel what I then felt! May your eyes never shed such stormy, scalding, heart-wrung tears as poured from mine. May you never appeal to Heaven in prayers so hopeless and so agised as in that hour left my lips: for never may you, like me, dread to be the instrument of evil to what you wholly love.”

― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre


Danielle's eyes closed shut as she leaned the open book against her chest, her back resting somewhat comfortably against the large, shady tree she had placed herself under. Her rear end was starting to protest after having sat for so long, her legs begging to be stretched from their bent position which served as a place to rest the book. She moved her hands from holding the book open to rest on the books cover, one atop the other to keep the book close to her chest as a few tears found their way over the brim of her eyelid and down her cheek.

She couldn't help the few tears that had fell, she had read this book so many times, and without fail, this particular part always brought tears to her eyes. Jane Eyre was one of her favorite books of all time, in fact her favorite romance, and no matter how many times she read it, she enjoyed every part anew. Because even though she knew love of this kind was meant for ficitonal tales, a part of her, that hopeless romantic part, couldn't help hoping that one day she'd come across her own knight in shining armor so to speak. And as for her particular fondness of Jane Eyre, she happened to identify with the heroine, seeing herself equally as plain and having a need of adventure.

She quickly wiped the traces of tears from her face, the book once more leaned against her legs while her nose and eyes swiftly dropped to the open pages, her gaze moving rapidly back and forth as her mind soaked in all the story had to offer, time continuing to slip away from her as she once more immersed herself in Jane's world.
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Jerry Nicola
 Posted: Nov 5 2014, 10:31 PM
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Jerry shoved a hand in his jacket pocket. This was a bad idea a very bad idea. Coming out into public in the day like this. He was a night person by heart and typically stayed indoors during the day. It somehow felt strange to feel the sunlight on his face and not the street lights.

A part of knew this was stupid. What if someone recognized him, what if word got out that he wasn't really dead? Jerry shook his head frustrated with himself. He knew he should go back but deep down he had begun to worry. Since his fathers death he had begun to wonder and worry that someone higher up the ladder had betrayed his father.

If they had, who and why had they done it? He felt tense all the time being there. If not for going for this unauthorized walk he would have exploded. Finding a park bench he walked over and slowly sank down. Trying his best not to disturb the woman already seated there.

Leaning his elbows against his knees he watched the individuals walking around the park. Making sure that no one in particular was showing a keen interest in him. Jerry took a deep breathe and slowly letting it out. Trying to force himself to relax as he sat back. Jerry glanced at the woman frowning noting the tears on her face.

What in the world was wrong with her? She almost looked as if someone had died. Swallowing the dryness forming in his mouth he cleared his throat corking an eyebrow.
"Is everything alright ma'am?" Jerry asked looking at her noting the book in her lap.

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Danielle Turner
 Posted: Nov 5 2014, 10:53 PM
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Danielle continued to read, those around her not pulling her attention from the book before her, though she somewhat realized someone had sat down near her. She was so engrossed in the story before her that it took her close to a minute before she realized someone had spoke, a man's voice, and nearby. Her gaze reluctantly tore from its' place in her book to rest on the man nearby.

She stared at him curiously as she tried to recall just what he had asked. Something about being alright, and did he say ma'am? She looked around, behind her and to the side, wondering if he'd perhaps asked someone else around them but when she turned back to face him, she could see that he was looking at her. The realization startled her, causing her to blink rapidly a few times, her whole body straightening, her right hand reaching up to tuck a few strands of curly hair behind her ear as her mouth opened to speak, "I'm sorry, I didn't realize you were talking to me. Ummm," she looked down at her book for a second and then back to the man, "I'm fine, thank you." Her brow continued to furrow as she studied the man before her. To her, he seemed tense, at least in the way he was sitting, and she couldn't figure out why he'd asked about her well being, the tears that she had shed over her book seeming to be a lost memory. She cleared her own throat before asking, "Are you okay?"
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Jerry Nicola
 Posted: Nov 5 2014, 11:17 PM
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If seemed to take the woman a very long moment to notice anything was up. Let alone that he had said something. He raised his brows inquiringly as she looked around. Was she expecting him to have asked someone else? Reaching up she tucked some loose strands of hair behind an ear seeming to straightened up a bit.

Was he some how making her nervous? Her odd behavior confused him especially since he wasn't intending on making her nervous. Jerry frowned as she spoke but slowly nodded. Well at least she was okay. Last thing he needed was something serious going down right now, especially in broad daylight.

It wasn't until she asked if he were alright that his leg was nervously bouncing up and down.
Jerry grabbing his knee forcing himself to stop "yes ma'am I'm alright, just getting away from stress. It's just you were crying that's all." Getting away from stress, GOOD LORD, when did he become to open? With civilians none the less. Jerry frowned as the bag on the ground next to the woman's feet twitched.

A moment later a curious squirrel poked it head up. Seeming intent on trying to climb into the bag and investigate.
Jerry slowly lifted a hand slightly pointing "I don't mean to sound like an unstable individual but you wouldn't by chance have any nuts or popcorn in you bag by chance would you?" He thought about what he just said. God was he the only one who thought that sounded dirty? Was this what he got for hanging out with Charrina?

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Danielle Turner
 Posted: Nov 5 2014, 11:41 PM
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His sudden movement to stop his leg didn't escape her notice, it was something she did herself at times when nervous or excited or even bored, and because of that she sympathized with the man, especially when he claimed he was simply trying to get away from stress. Another aspect they were similar, she'd come to the park for that reason, to try and forget for an hour or two the insane amount of work she had waiting for her back at the dorm and the stress that went with it.

When he mentioned she'd been crying, she smiled in realization that that had been the reason for questioning her well being. She quickly shook her head as a warm smile spread across her face, "Oh, sorry, I was just reading my book and happened to come across a sad part," she looked back down to her book as she relayed the information, happy to have cleared up the reason for his asking. She absently rubbed at her eyes and cheeks again, hoping to erase all the traces of her tears when his words caught her attention. She looked up at his face, a questioning look on her own face,"I don't think I do..." her gaze followed where he pointed, and next to her, she found a squirrel trying to dig into her bag.

Danielle didn't see squirrels as cute little animals scampering about, but that was due in part to having squirrels find their way into her house on two occasions, both times through their chimney when the cap or vent on the top became loose. A squirrel running about in one's house, chewing on the woodwork, making a mess of things, and scaring Danielle out of her wits, had resulted in her viewing squirrels as vermin.

Needless to say, when she saw the squirrel trying to get into her bag, her eyes widened in fear, she dropped the book to the ground, and began to hurriedly scuddle backwards towards Jerry, shrieking as she went, her eyes never leaving the squirrel.
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Jerry Nicola
 Posted: Nov 6 2014, 12:12 AM
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He really needed to find an outlet for this pent up stress and energy he had. Jerry blinked looking at her as she smiled. Feeling only slightly better to see a smile on her face. He stared at her as she mentioned something about a sad part in a book she was reading. This bringing a very odd look to his face.

Why in the world would she cry over words on a page? The thought of someone doing such a thing was like crying over spilled milk. He just didn't get it. It's not like it was something she had actually been through. He looked at her, or was it?

He wasn't much of a reader so he wasn't sure. In fact about the only thing he really read where mission dossiers and tactical insurgent books. As she spoke again he felt his face relax as he turned his attention back to her. Jerry yelped in surprise as she suddenly scrambled back. Seeming terrified of the little brown furry thing rooting around in her purse.

He grunted painfully grabbing her as she hit a rather tender spot between his legs. For the love of Mike Saunders he hoped that wouldn't bruise. That was the last thing he wanted to explain to his superiors as to why he was walking funny.
"Hey relax ma'am its just a squirrel that's all," Jerry growled trying to control her. To any other the site would seem confusing and almost like he was trying to attacker her or something.

When in truth if anything it was sort of the other way around.
"Come on calm down you're going to cause a scene," Jerry yelped feeling himself being pushed closer to the edge of the bench. If she kept struggling like this they'd both be on the ground.

(Jerry's facial expression as he's trying to figure out why she would cry over that.
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Danielle Turner
 Posted: Nov 6 2014, 12:35 AM
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His words weren't helping in the least, and all she could focus on was the nasty, bug ridden, filthy varmint trying to make its' way into her bag. "Calm down?!" she shrieked as she continued to push backwards, though his being bigger and more physically built than herself was slowing her progress a bit. "That filthy thing is trying to crawl into my bag, it was inches away from me!" she ranted and finally stopped pushing him back, but had tuck her legs up, close to her body, her back leaning hard against Jerry while one hand white knuckled the back of the bench and the other had a death grip on Jerry's arm.

Luckily for all parties involved, the squirrel had quickly lost interest and was scared away when he heard the yelps from Jerry and Danielle's shrieking and scampered off to another tree, climbing its' trunk with expert agility and finesse and disappeared. Danielle's gaze had never lost sight of the fuzzy creature and once it was out of sight she felt like she could breathe again, and in fact did take many deep breaths as she remained glued in her place.

Once her fear had subsided and her breathing had become regular, the realization of what she'd done caused her ears to turn crimson in embarrassment. She stood quickly, whipping around to give Jerry a once over, hoping she hadn't freaked him out or hurt him in some way, her hands animated as she began, "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry, I-I have this fear of squirrels, it's a long story, I didn't hurt you did I?" She gazed at the male with a genuine look of concern, her embarrassment causing her words to almost run together while she hoped she hadn't caused the man any pain during her foolish, fearful actions.
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Jerry Nicola
 Posted: Nov 6 2014, 03:54 PM
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Jerry gritted his teeth grabbing a hold of the back of the bench with on hand. The lady continued to try and backpedal her back pressing up against his chest.
"It's just a squirrel its more afraid of you then you are of it," Jerry growled trying to keep her and himself from sprawling on the ground. He wasn't sure if it was his words or something else but some sense seemed to come back to the woman. Behind him the woman gripped the bench in a white knuckled grasp.

While her other gripped his forearm in the same fierce grip. As the little creature scampered away up a tree he glanced around. Good lord people were looking at them like they were nuts. As she worked on calming herself further he waved for people to carry on with their lives. Jerry looked at her in surprise as she quickly got to her feet.

Her cheeks a rich crimson of embarrassment. He straightened himself up only minorly bruised. About the only thing that was really sore was the tender spot between his legs but that had been an accident. She spoke so rapidly it was hard to understand what she said. All he got from it was something about squirrels and if he was hurt.

Jerry shook his head trying not to smile. Her actions once again dragging attention towards them. Doing the only thing he could think to do he reached out and gently took her hand.Giving it a faint reassuring squeeze.
"I'm fine and I'm sure after that reaction that squirrel will think twice about digging for nuts in a woman's purse," Jerry murmured giving a faint smile.

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Danielle Turner
 Posted: Nov 6 2014, 04:48 PM
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His action of grabbing her hand helped ground her emotions as well as reassure her, along with his words, that no harm had been done, and from her fleeting overlook of his physique, he didn't seem to be injured. In fact with his physique, she highly doubted she could ever cause him any bodily harm even if she tried. She let out a nervous chuckle as she caught his joke, "Probably," she replied, as her gaze left his face and began to take in the stragglers around them.

It was obvious that people had seen the event, and by the looks on the majority of their faces, considered at least one of them insane. She dropped his hand as she turned to address the onlookers, "Just a squirrel," she tried to reassure people as they began to walk away, "tried to get in my bag, you know kind of surprised me." Her last words ended with an echo of the nervous laugh she had given before but now her face was beet red as she let out a deep breath. She didn't care what the onlookers thought of her really, but it was still embarrassing to think they'd seen her in all her frightened glory.

Her gaze moved from the stragglers to her bag and nearby her beloved book laying in the grass which she crossed quickly to, knelt down and picked it up, examining it for any serious damage. Luckily, the book had sustained no damage so she moved to put it in her bag, a case of the heebie jeebies causing her to physically shiver as she opened it up. When she placed the book inside, she realized there was indeed something that would have caught a squirrels attention. It was a popcorn ball wrapped in plastic. She'd forgotten about the purchase she had made, the pleasure she'd experienced when she'd found the treat, only ever seeing them during the month of October. She shook her head slightly as she stashed the book inside, making up her mind to never buy a popcorn ball again unless she was going straight home, before she straightened her frame out, her gaze turning to the man on the bench.

She felt like a complete idiot, being startled and scared by a pretty harmless creature, deciding this gentleman must consider her crazy. She gave him a warm smile as she turned her body towards and began calmly, but a little sheepishly, "I'm sorry for all that. I happen to have an irrational fear of squirrels and since the animal had been so close...well you know the rest." She took a few steps as she spoke so she stood a little off to his side in front of the bench before she held out her hand, "I'm Danielle, a crazy squirrel lady apparently," she added with a hint of sarcasm.
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Jerry Nicola
 Posted: Nov 6 2014, 05:21 PM
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He couldn't help but get the feeling that she was checking him out. That or maybe she was just making sure he was telling the truth. Though to him it was kind of hard to tell which it was. He relaxed back as she dropped his hand turning to all the onlookers. As she spoke he noticed the way people were looking at them.

Jerry narrowed his eyes dangerously but said nothing as people finally started to move along. He sat there watching her carefully as she walked over to retrieve her book. Which in her panic she had discarded. He corked a brow slightly frowning as she visibly shivered. When she said she didn't like squirrels she hadn't been kidding.

He looked at her hand as she offered it to him. Great she wanted to know his name. What in the world was he suppose to tell her? If she found out who he really was things could get ugly.
Jerry slowly took the woman's hand giving it a warm firm but brief shake "umm..... Jericho the guy who knows nothing about irrational fears.... but wouldn't mind hearing about it. I have been told I quite the good listener." He gave her a friendly smile. Hoping that maybe talking about something, anything would get his mind off his own troubles for awhile.

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Danielle Turner
 Posted: Nov 8 2014, 10:19 PM
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She laughed at his answer, tucking her hair behind her ear again as she moved to sit next to him on the bench, using her foot to slide the bag closer to her. "Well you are a lucky man and if you'd like I can tell you, but feel free to tell me to stop at any time if I'm boring you." She shifted so that her body was turned towards him, so she could look him in the eye as she told her story. "I'm not sure if it's irrational exactly, but I wasn't always afraid of squirrels. I mean even now I can tolerate them, they go about their lives and I go about them, but when they get really close to me, I can either freak, which you got to see first hand, or freeze."

She paused momentarily, taking a deep breath, "About two years ago?" her gaze turned skyward while she inwardly calculated the date of the event, "yes, close to two years ago," she continued as her gaze returned to Jerry's, "a squirrel managed to find its' way into our home via our chimney and fireplace while my parents were at work and I was at school. I came home from school and saw a flash of fur run across the room and froze for a few moments. I called both parents immediately and waited for them outside on the front porch."

Her tongue made a brief appearance as she whetted her lips, becoming a little nervous as she recalled the details, "We had to block the vents, turn the heat up, my dad laid live traps everywhere, stalked around the house with a net, it was comical and frustrating at the same time. The thing had chewed up a lot of the wood work, trashed our pantry, just caused a lot of havoc. We finally found the squirrel that evening, when I sat on it. It had dug its way in between the couch cushions and when I sat down it gave a high pierced shriek, dashed out, close enough to me that I felt its' fur, and ended up dodging all the traps and bounding out the front door that my dad had left open."

She paused once again to take a deep breath, not relishing in the retelling of the tale, "So there was that, and another managed to find its' way into our home on another occasion and I didn't even take my chances, I stayed with a friend that night, but ever since those fur balls can give me a fright." Her leg had begun its nervous jitter up and down about halfway through the tale and she had finally noticed it, crossing her legs at the ankles to stop the motion.

She clapped her hands together softly, "And that's my, at least to me, traumatic experience involving squirrels. It might not be enough to explain my reaction, but when a squirrel gets near, the sound of the one I sat on replays in my mind and as I said, I either freak or freeze." She scrunched up her face before giving him a friendly smile and leaned closer as if sharing a secret, "Feel free to laugh, I don't think I'd be able to not laugh at least a little if someone else had told me this story."
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Jerry Nicola
 Posted: Dec 5 2014, 05:29 PM
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He watched her carefully as she sank down beside him. As she shifted he did to resting an elbow on the back of the bench. At the mention of freaking out he couldn't help but faintly smirk. In truth her supposed freak out didn't even touch the tip of the ice burg compared to what he was used to. In that case he was use to walking away with serious scrapes and bruises.

Jerry nodded a couple of times. Even though it had just been a squirrel she had done the right thing in leaving the house. Though the worst it could have been was a feral cat people failed to realize just how easy it was for those animals to revert. In truth they hadn't been domesticated that long compared to other animals. To top that off Cat's had a tendency to carry around a parasite on their claws that could be delivered into human's via scratches.

The more he listened the more he couldn't help but feel amused. He could just imagine a guy stalking around his house with his net.Trying to find this squirrel while his wife and kid stood on something higher off the ground. As she finished her story he couldn't wipe the smile off his face. It somehow felt strange to him to actually be smiling.

It was something he rarely did and when he did others often asked him what he was up to.
"That makes me think of the incident I had with a wild bird," Jerry murmured looking at her. The only other person he had shared this story with had been his parents.
"Our neighbor had this cat, Boo Kitty, if I remember right. That cat would always come over and hang out with us which was fine his owners actually found that rather funny," Jerry chuckled thinking about it, "when I was fourteen I left the door open because it was nice out, than went to do the dishes. Little did I know THAT cat would chase a wild bird into our house. At first I couldn't figure out what this cat was watching, stalking. It wasn't until the thing shot past my head and made me jump a mile that I realize there was something else in our house. "

He shook his head smiling in amusement. Thinking back on it and of the look his father had given him when he had related the story to him. In the end they had both found it rather amusing.
"So here I am going around the house with a dish clothe trying to get this bird out the door, trying not to trip on the cat. I ended up knocking Aunt Margaret off the shelf," Jerry made a slight face, "that didn't go over well. About four and a half hours later I was finally able to convince the bird of where the door was. Since than I have never left the door open no matter how nice it is. Though thinking back on it now it was pretty funny. "

He gave a shrug of his shoulders. Just went to show that they all had their own amusing little stories to tell one another.

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Danielle Turner
 Posted: Jan 3 2015, 12:47 PM
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When she caught his amused smile at the telling of her tale, her own smile broadened, her shoulders visibly relaxing from residual anxiety over the squirrel and the memory that had accompanied it. It helped to tell the tale to others, to see others amused reactions to it, and deep down she was grateful he hadn't erupted in hysterical laughter at her. His reaction was its own brand of politeness, truthful enough to show his amusement but not overdo it to the point that she was embarrassed, so that when he confessed the tale made him think of one of his own, her eyebrows lifted quickly in curiosity and a subtle delight at hearing it.

As he started to tell his tale, she mirrored his posture, leaning an elbow on the back of the bench, one leg crossed over the other, her thumb nail absently catching across the pad of her other fingers while a warm smile sat upon her lips. The first broad smile struck as he mentioned the cat's name, her mind rolling it over a few times, knowing if she said it aloud, her smile would only grow cause it seemed like one of those names or words that were just fun to say. Jerry continued to paint a vivid story, the feline hunter consumed with the attention of its' prey, a young boy catching a sight of feline, brows probably furrowed in concentration as he tried to discern just what held the cat's rapt attention and then astonished as the winged being blurred past his field of vision which produced the second broad smile.

She was doing a good job of keeping her composure, enjoying his tale, but when he mentioned knocking over what she assumed was an urn of a family member, her jaw dropped in astonishment but quickly righted itself as she bit down softly on her lower lip to keep from laughing at the image it conjured in her head. After all, he'd been so kind to hear her story with no audible interruption and she wanted to be sure to return the kindness.

When he'd concluded his story, she found her gaze turned from him towards the park behind the bench, her smile still present along with amusement in her eyes. After a moment, her gaze returned to his, the mirth still present, "Well," she began, her voice conveying a current of amusement, "and here I thought I was the only one who learned that nature should stay in nature the hard way." She chuckled softly, "Thank you for sharing, it's nice to know I'm not the only one that's been bothered by seemingly harmless creatures. And for being really nice about all," she stopped to gesture her hands as if to take in everything, "this."

She stopped, her eyelids blinking at a thought and she sat up a little straighter as she addressed him, "I'm not keeping you from anything or anyone am I?" Her brown gaze held traces of worry and she hoped her actions and tale hadn't kept him from some appointment or engagement, which if she had, would just add the cherry on top of the whole situation.
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