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Syndicate – Season 2 Episode 5

Monica went into the bathroom and stood in front of the sink. She pulled out lipstick and dabbed it on her lips. It was dark violet, and made her lips look almost black. Hopefully the child would get its smarts fromhergenes. Lord knows Dan could never cut it in Monica’s world. She would do anything to win.
Monica locked the bathroom door quickly, just in case Dan decided to come back. She opened the drawer and pulled out her birth control. Who knows what Dan could look into? He might decide to investigate her claim about the conception. So, Monica went over to the toilet and pushed out the pills she had skipped for the past few weeks. And as she watched them swirl down the toilet bowl, Monica thought of how beautiful this situation was.
* * *
Opening her eyes, Lia had almost forgotten where she was. The credits for the Disney movie were rolling up the screen. Lilly was asleep, cuddled up nextto Lia’s body, the light from the television reflecting off the young girl’s face. Lia felt a strong warmness for the girl when she looked at her, which spread through the bottom of her stomach. She brushed the hair out of Lilly’s face, and smiled at the girl. Lia quickly stopped smiling though, when she realized how incredibly stupid she would look right now if someone were to walk in and find her grinning like a dumbass at this sleeping child.
Lia was tired from playing with Lilly all day. They had a lot of fun together and their time spent only reinforced the desire for Lia to teach young children. It also reinforced the desire for Lia to have children of her own one day. She tenderly moved Lilly, so the girl could continue sleeping undisturbed for now. Lia was hungry. She walked out of the playroom and glanced at her watch. 9 pm. She had lost track of time.
The lights in the dining room were on when she passed it, so she peeked inside. The guests were seated at the table, eating dinner. Lia sighed. It was going to be a long night for the men. She recognized one of the men as Diesel, a man publically known as the leader of a crime syndicate, but never put behind bars due to an overwhelming lack of evidence on anything the police tried to pin on him. But Kieran was absent from the table. She knew where he would be though, and her feet led her to his office before she could resist. Trying to stay out of his business was futile. Lia pressed her ear against the door and listened. Kieran was carrying on a conversation, but it was one-sided. He must be on the phone. A few moments after she heard the phone reconnect with it’s cradle, Lia knocked lightly.
“Come in,” Kieran said. Lia noted that he sounded tired. She entered, and noted he looked tired as well.
“Hello Kieran,” Lia said, pushing the heavy door closed again.
“Lia.” Kieran didn’t hide the surprise in his voice. “Is something wrong?”
“Oh no,” Lia said softly. “It seems like it’s going to be a late night. Do you want me to stay to help you tonight?”
“No, no. I don’t expect that. You can go home whenever, Will is probably going to stay the night anyway.”
/> Lia nodded in response and turned to leave. She couldn’t walk away though, since she knew it would bother her all night if she did nothing for him. Her feet wouldn’t move. So she turned around again. Where was this overwhelming concern originating?
“You look tired. Would you like to help me put Lilly to bed? It might help make your night a little less boring and long.” Lia watched Kieran carefully as he studied her right back.
“I would like that,” Kieran said finally. He followed her out of his study. Once in the hallway, Lia stopped.
“Allow me,” she said, circling behind Kieran to push his chair for him. Kieran didn’t object.
When they got to the playroom, Lilly was still sound asleep. Lia picked up the girl carefully, and place her in Kieran’s lap. Unconsciously, she put her arms, around Kieran’s neck. He looked down at her lovingly, and held her close to his body. Lia pushed Kieran down to Lilly’s room. He tucked Lilly into bed, kissed her on the cheek, and watched her sleep for a few minutes. Lia watched silently. After Kieran turned, and pushed his chair out of the room, Lia tucked in Lilly again and followed Kieran out. He was sitting in the hallway.
“Thank you, Lia. I appreciated that,” Kieran said softly.
“Sometimes I worry you aren’t getting enough rest, sir,” Lia said.
“Lia, stop calling me sir.”
“Sorry.” Lia tried again. “You’re going to make yourself ill.”
“I appreciate the concern, but I have no choice.”
“But you do!” she cried. “At least take a day to rest before you start something big.” Lia had heard rumors about the family being on the brink of a gang war.
Episode 41
“Thank you for your concern,” Kieran dismissed it, and began to push his chair down the hallway. Lia blocked him though, planting her feet firmly in front of his chair. Kieran rolled his eyes and sighed. He was treating her like she was a child. Lia felt her eyes water from embarrassment and frustration. Kieran’s face softened. She turned to run away, when Lia felt a hand on her wrist.
“I’m sorry,” Kieran’s voice was barely audible. “You’re right.”
Lia turned back to him, as he released her wrist. She quickly wiped the tears away, but still pouted. She felt stupid for her concern. He tilted his head.
“Come on, smile for me?” he asked. She averted her eyes. “Hug?” he asked, holding out his arms. Lia was so surprised at this side of Kieran, she didn’t move. So she was even more surprised when he pulled her down onto his lap and hugged her. Lia closed her eyes and took time to feel his arms around her. When he let go, they pulled back, making eye contact. Again, warmth spread in Lia’s stomach. She stood back up immediately.
“I should go,” Kieran said, trying to make her move out of his way.
“Can I stay?” Lia asked bashfully. Kieran looked at her, confused.
“Can I stay? For the night? I want to give Will a break. He will be just as exhausted as you, and it’s not fair that I get to leave. I’ll just take a nap in your room on the couch, and you can wake me up when you come in. That way, I’ll be rested and ready to help!” This was insane. She had class the next morning! But something made her not care. Her interests were slowly, but steadily, shifting.
“It will be early morning when I’m done. You shouldn’t.”
“I’ll be okay.”
“You’ll leave after I go to bed?”
“I guess so.”
“No. You can stay the night and then go to class right from here if you insist on waiting for me.”
“Thanks Kieran,” Lia said, beaming at him. She thought she saw a tiny smile infect his lips too.
Once in Kieran’s room, Lia wandered around a little. She went into his closet and ran her hand along his expensive clothes. Normally, Lia would be too shy to sneak around someone else’s room, but she was beginning to feel an odd kinship with Kieran. Everything in his room, closet, and bathroom had been lowered for his convenience. Taped up behind his closet door, was a picture of his parents on either side of his at his high school graduation, smiling beautifully. His parents were truly Hollywood beauties. Lia’s family was basically the complete opposite. In her high school graduation picture, she wasn’t even looking or smiling at the camera. In the picture, she was reaching out to grab one of her nephews, while all her d–n siblings were trying to fit in around her. Some of them had been fighting. It’s not that she didn’t love her family- she just wondered what life would be like if it was less chaotic all the d–n time.
Lia occupied herself for a little while cleaning up various things in her boss’s room. It was already very clean, since he had one of the workers come in each day just to keep things tidy. But she cleaned some things that were already clean. And then, she crawled onto the couch when she felt tired, and fell asleep.
Lia’s eyes opened. There were voices outside, and car engines revving to life. Where was she? She pushed the hair out of her face, and sat up. Out the window, Lia saw car headlights fading down the driveway. She was in Kieran’s house! The clock on the wall read that it was three thirty in the morning. Lia stood up and went over to the door. Kieran and Will were talking outside. She couldn’t hear words, but recognized their voices. The talking stopped, and Lia backed away from the door. It swung open, and Kieran made eye contact with Lia.
The feeling in her stomach from his eye contact was indescribable. His eyes seem to liquefy all her internal organs, though her stomach turned to a heavy bag of lead. She forced a small smile. He smiled back, even though he looked like he was about to pass out. Looking over Kieran’s face, Lia’s concern quickly skyrocketed. The bags under his eyes were dark, and he looked too pale, and too weak. Her smile dropped off her lips.
Episode 42
“Kieran!” she said harshly. “What have you done to yourself?”
“I haven’t been able to walk for a while now. You just noticed?” Kieran joked. He laughed, and though Lia was concerned for him, she couldn’t suppress her laugh either.
“Kieran,” she scolded again. He leaned back in the chair, folding his hands over his lap. Lia shook her head at him, and walked around to push his chair for him. Kieran had no objection to her help. He exhaled, and she pushed him over to his pajamas, which were flannel pants and a normal grey shirt. He dressed himself slowly, his limbs plagued with fatigue. He had been awake for a long time. Lia knew he had trouble sleeping sometimes, and that had been the case last night. She thought about how many things he probably had on his mind.D–n,she thought.He has to run a whole empire.
“Busy night then?” Lia asked.
“Have you ever tried listening to politicians for almost ten hours?”
“Well… this is worse,” he said with a chuckle. Lia smiled, and pushed him into the bathroom.
“Did you always plan on taking your father’s place?” Lia asked. Kieran was silent for a moment.
“… I don’t know. I always planned to finish college first at least.”
“You have a natural talent for this.”
“How do you know?” Kieran asked, brushing his teeth.
“If you didn’t, this whole operation wouldn’t be running anymore,” Lia said, sitting on the edge of the tub, and smiling into the mirror at him. Kieran made a face at her while he brushed his teeth, and she laughed in response. While he was occupied with brushing his teeth, Lia stuck her finger in her mouth and put it in his ear.
“w€t willy!” she said with a laugh. Kieran spat into the sink, and batted her hand away.
“That’s disgusting.” He shot her a look of contempt. She laughed again, and he eventually smiled. “Perhaps you’re spending too much time with Lilly.”
“Does this mean I’m fired?”
“Only if you pick your nose.”
“Oops, guess I’m fired.” Lia said with a giggle. Kieran laughed loudly.
“Very funny,” Kieran said as Lia pushed him back into his room. She pushed him near his bed, then grabbed his clothes off the floor.
“Are these dirty?” Lia asked, folding them over her arm.
“Smell them. Then you tell me,” he joked.
“That’s gross!”
“No, they’re fine,” Kieran answered honestly, with a laugh. Lia smiled at him and folded his clothes carefully, then proceeded to put them away. While she was busy, she could feel Kieran’s eyes on her. She silently scolded herself. Why were they being so playful? He was her boss. This was totally unprofessional of her. Lia stopped for a moment. Were they… were theyflirting?As she pondered this, a tiny smile fought its way onto her lips.
Lia pushed Kieran next to his bed, and helped him slide on. To her surprise, he patted the bed next to him. He wanted her to sit next to him? She crawled on the bed, and sat facing him.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been able to joke around like this.” A sad look came over Kieran’s face. “I used to joke around with my parents a lot.” Lia watched him. He put his head on the headboard and looked over at her. Finally, he scooted down so he was lying flat. “Tell me aboutyourfamily.”
And she did. Lia started with her parents, and told him all about her own family. When she got down to all her nieces and nephews, Kieran was sound asleep.

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