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I have 17/50 pages done of Seize the Day. Today is also the start of Week 0 for the LJ community The Real LJ Idol, where we have to “introduce someone else” as our first contest entry. Oh, did I say I was doing LJI Exhibit B? Because I am. Under an alt. 😉 I have yet to hear back from Christopher, but my days have been going rather well in terms of this rewrite. I hope to write a little more, actually, but I wanted to get this post in, today. I think I’ve added roughly 1600 words. My word counts are low the past couple of days purely due to family visits and today is my wedding anniversary and the like. 🙂

Without further ado…

“Why’d you go on the run?” Ryin clarified, pulling out a second bar for himself and opening it. “You lived in an orphanage, didn’t you? The NBEA can’t get you there.”

Jasper snorted, taking another bite of his bar. “You wanna know why?” he asked, pulling his hand away from his scalp. In the low light Ryin saw Jasper’s eyes flash with anger. “The Empire runs the Orphanages. NBs like myself are segregated from all the other kids. We can’t be adopted out — the Empire needs us for ‘research.’” Jasper shivered, hugging himself tightly. “If you have the Factor, it’s worse.”

Ryin sat up straighter, sliding further away from Jasper. “You have the Factor?” he asked. “You mean — for the Disease?” Jasper nodded, avoiding Ryin’s eyes. Ryin swallowed away the lump forming in his throat. “How — why aren’t you –?”

“Dead?” Jasper finished for him, a barking laugh escaping his lips. “Don’t know, don’t care to know, just know that I alive and that I’m just as healthy as the next fucking guy.” He tightened his arms around himself again. “But, if I had stayed…”

Jasper didn’t need to finish that sentence; Ryin knew how it would end. Ryin shivered. “I guess I’m fucking lucky my parents never turned me in, then.”

“Very,” Jasper murmured, leaning his head back against the wall again. He closed his eyes and bit his lip. “Ryin?”

“Yeah?”

“You know how you said you gave everyone you knew a nickname?”

Ryin raised an eyebrow. “Kinda? I don’t always give people nicknames.”

“Well — can you think of one? For me?” Jasper pressed, glancing at Ryin. He ran his fingers over his hair again, giving himself a little shake. “I — I just really fucking hate my name, okay? And — well, if we ever fucking make it out of this mess and make it to Capital, I don’t want to go by the name I was given. I want to distance myself as much as fucking possible from the Orphanage or my natural parents or whatever. I — I think a nickname would do that.”

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