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Tasha’s POV

“Good morning sweetheart” I groggily sit up on the couch and rub my eyes to wake myself up. I haven’t slept that well in a long time. This sofa is definitely more comfortable than my worn out bed.

“Hi” I croak back and quickly clear my throat as I realize just how awful my voice sounds. My cheeks flush a darker red when he barks a laugh at my awkwardness.

“Here” he hands me a cup of steaming coffee whilst he holds another one. “I hope you didn’t have any work today” he nods towards the alarm that rests on the low glass table in front of me. I realise with horror that it’s half past twelve already and nearly have a heart attack before remembering today is Wednesday, my day of. A new arrangement since I work in the afternoon too.

“Day off” I answer him. Thankfully my voice seems to have woken up. He only nods and takes a gulp of his cup. Mesmerised I was going to do the same only I can’t seem able to tear my eyes away from the way his strong jaw works as he gulps, the way his Adam apple bobs up when he swallows and the satisfied sight that comes out of his lips when he pulls the cup away. I quickly dip my face down before he can catch me staring and take a small sip of the burning liquid.

“Does it happen often” he breaks the silence.

“What do you mean?” I’m confused. Did he catch me staring and is now making fun of me asking if I often loose myself staring at someone’s jugular?

“Last night, the dogs out there” My stomach drops at his words. The dogs, they hadn’t crossed my mind since I woke up. Suddenly I’m dreading going back home only to be told who was killed last night. My optimism in life is long gone; even if no one died at least someone will be injured and won’t be able to provide for his home. My angst must reflect on my face because he quickly assures me there’s no problem if I don’t want to talk about it.

“No no it’s alright. Yeah it happens at least once a month, sometimes more” I tell him. Not wanting to seem disrespectful to the guy that saved my life last night. The whole impact of my thoughts suddenly hit me. He saved my life, the man in front of me saved my life and I haven’t even said thanks yet. “Thank you for last night” I whisper, not used to having to thank someone. What do you even say to someone you barely known and still risked his life to save yours?

 “And why do… last night you said they were guards, right?” I nod and he continues, “Yeah so why do they let them out? Isn’t this shit illegal or something” he chooses to ignore my thanking and I kind of feel relieved.

“It’s not like anybody really cares” I shrug my shoulders. It’s true. The government considers us scum that should be wiped out in order to construct skyscrapers, more banks or more tourists’ attractions where we’re currently living. The City habitants have their own problems to cope with and couldn’t give two shits about what happens to their neighbours that were unfortunate enough to be born in less advantageous parts. And the guards are just sadistic and perverted men that should be behind bars but aren’t because they work for the government.

“You guys never thought of fighting back?”

“How?” I scoff, fighting back and gaining our own freedom is an idealistic, a dream that’s never going to happen. “They have guns, trained dogs, coordination and mass. We only have the mass and cooking knives.”

“You can’t accept to be treated this way! If you don’t stand up for yourself no on is going to do it for you” he snaps and leans slightly forward in an aggressive manner.

“Shut up! You don’t know anything about this place! You come here, get a room in fancy hotel, practically wave your cash in front of everyone’s face and give advice on how to gain a place in this fucked up world! Well guess what? You don’t know what it’s like to be poor around here” I’m pretty sure my face is entirely red, at least I’m feeling a burning sensation in my cheeks and neck. But I don’t back down, even when he squints he glares at me and slams his cup on the table, making coffee spill everywhere.

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