XII

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"Fury, why did Frank go after me?" Charlie found herself asking, tossing a stress ball in the air as she laid on the couch in his studio apartment above the clubhouse. Fury was doing something in the kitchen, hardly paying attention to the fact that she was there so when she asked the question, he froze. "Nothing to say, huh?"

"What do you want to know, huh?" Fury suddenly snapped. "He went and did his own damn thing, what more do you want me to say?"

"I want to know why you didn't go."

The room went unbelievably silent. Charlie had been wanting to ask her brother for a while, wanted to know why Frank went there, slaughtered an entire crew, saved her life and drove back with multiple stab wounds and a gunshot wound, risking bleeding to death. She wanted to know why Frank had no hesitation doing it but her brother did.

"Charlie, I have an entire crew. I am the president of this club, I can't go half-assed--"

"Not even for your sister?"

He gritted his teeth. "That day several of my men were nearly killed when they took you. I had a decision to make, stay behind and help my men and have my most trust worthy member save you or risk leaving, risk those men dying and risk their president being killed. It was a decision I, as the President, had to make. I don't expect you to understand but that's how it was."

"That is how it is," she repeated, suddenly sitting up, standing and heading to the door. "You had to leave me with dad because that's how it was. You had to runaway because that's how it was. You had to leave without telling me, because that's how it was. You're right, what was I thinking? You're so unbelievably important that that's how it is. So much for having a fucking brother."

Before he could utter a word to her she left, slamming the door shut behind her and heading downstairs to the bar, wanting nothing more than to collapse and cry over the entire situation. She thought coming back would somehow rekindle their lost relationship, she thought coming back would be good, would be best for the both of them but she felt even more betrayed than the first time he left her. She understood his position in the club, understood he had to think fast, but, at the same time, if he really cared about her, if he really thought fast he would've gone to get her with no hesitation.

Charlie sat at the bar, head in her hands, fighting the hot tears that threatened to spill. "Charlie," greeted Ryan, nodding his head to her. "What can I get ya?"

"A new brother? A less dysfunctional family relationship? A cure to my past trauma? Maybe a potion to stop me from falling in love," she exacerbated, running a hand through her hair.

He chuckled lightly at her frustration. "Jack it is," he said, cleaning a class and pouring some of the honey colored liquid and sliding it her way. "So I suppose things aren't going well?"

"Well, they could definitely be going a lot better," she commented, sighing heavily. "I'm just bitching at this point, no need to worry," she assured him, waving him off. She downed the entire liquid, sighing at the burn it left her and slid the glass back to Ryan, leaving the bar while she was stable enough to.

She headed back to the Garage but stopped halfway. Frank had been avoiding her for a couple days now. Every time he saw her he went straight to his bike and sped off and he would be gone for hours on end. She was beginning to wish she had never barged in, that she had never saw his face so then the only person she talked to wouldn't be running from her. Taking a deep breath she headed the rest of the way to the Garage, finding the doors all open, his bike still parked out front and the entire place put back in order.

She headed to the back, catching sight of Frank and Drake sitting in the back. Frank made a move to leave and she turned her gaze from him, making him stop. She went up the stairs and to her room, shutting and locking the door behind her. Frank and Drake looked at each other, confused by her silence and her suddenly ignoring them.

"What'd you do now?" Drake teased, looking up the stairs to see if she'd come down but she never did.

"What the hell are you talkin' about? I didn't do shit," he snapped defensively but he couldn't help but feel a bit worried as to why she was suddenly secluding herself. Did he go to far with avoiding her? Was he just being over dramatic?

"Come on Frankie, you can tell your old pal Drake what happened," Drake said, placing a hand on his shoulder. "What did you do?"

Frank shrugged his hand off and looked away from him. "She saw my face," he said quiet but loud enough for him to hear.

He was silent. "Is she ignoring you because she saw your face or is she ignoring you because of something else?"

"I ignored her for a couple days."

"God, Frank!" Drake said, frustrated. "What the hell were you thinking?"

"She's in the wrong. Not me."

Drake scoffed. "And you call me a pussy," he snapped, standing and shaking his head. "You should go fix it buddy. She's probably up there crying right now because her best friend is ignoring her."

"I wasn't the one who invaded the others privacy, she did."

Drake only hummed in response, returning to work. No matter what Frank said it always seemed to go through one ear and out the other with him. Frank now felt conflicted. He didn't do anything wrong, she invaded his privacy, she barged in, she saw his face; she did absolutely everything he told her not to do. He had one rule; don't go into his room and she did just that and invaded his one safe space.

However, although she was and is completely in the wrong, Frank found himself muttering profanities under his breath as he marched up the stairs and down the hall to her room. He knocked on her door with powerful thrusts of his fists, standing there and cursing himself for being so weak, especially towards a woman.

He stood outside her door, hearing her shuffle around on the other side and waited. After a few minutes of standing there, looking like a complete jackass, she finally opened the door. Her eyes were red and blood-shot, cheeks stained from her tears, eyes wide.

He stared at her, completely shocked to find that she was crying. They stood there for a moment, dead silent and staring at each other. "Is there something you need?" she asked, her voice nasally and raspy from crying.

He gulped. "Why are you up here crying, you have a job to do," he decided to say, unsure of what else he should've said.

She pursed her lips at him. "So I see you're done running from me," she commented.

"So I see you're done invading other peoples' privacy," he shot right back.

A big grin cracked on her face and she chuckled. "Alright, alright. Sorry for invading your privacy," she said, wiping her cheeks and eyes. "What work needs to be done?"

If it was even possible, he found himself completely falling for her and in that moment he fell the worst. What was the matter with him?

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