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His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)

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Offline Aeon

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Evelyn did not flinch in the wake of his ire, did not so much as even move. She held her place calmly, unable to see his movements and unaware of just how he would react if he were to continue to be pushed. As much as she was aware of his thinly veiled control, something deeper, far more primal, was goading her. Something that told her this was important, that if she left now neither side would ever be contented with the outcome. She didn’t come here to rub anything in his face as he assumed. She wasn’t here to pick a fight, more to impress a point. He may have assumed she felt she knew best, but really it was the farthest from the truth. Because the truth of the matter was she wasn’t completely certain why she was here now. Just...some nagging sensation in the back of her mind told her not to leave. It was important to stay, even if he hated every moment of the experience.

“Tokoyami, I certainly don’t know what’s best. If I did I wouldn’t be here right now because clearly I’m at the very real risk of setting you off in a frenzy and, as tough as my scales are, I’m not sure I could withstand your fury. I have never insisted you needed ‘fixing’ as you put it, only that you are missing something which I can feel acutely even now. I have never wanted your times with me to come to the black and white decision of human or dragon, because it’s not something that should be viewed that way. You don’t have to pick a side; you are you and if other people don’t have the sense to see that, that is their loss. I only ever wanted you to be able to see clearly what both sides offer, which I feel even still isn’t something that you can approach too openly because there is so much pain in you for things that were outside of your control. I do not have all the answers, and to be frank I wouldn’t wish to. I do, however, wish to help you find your own.”

She was quiet for a moment, and though truly she felt like dropping her head under his accusations she held herself steady if only just. It stung to hear his assessment of their kind and her gender in particular, but it was fair and she acknowledged as much. “I am sorry you view us all the same. I cannot change how I reacted either, but in that same vein I do not think it is fair to either of us to apologize for what came as an instinctive behavior. Thank you for saving me from myself.” She was humble enough to admit she was wrong in this regard. He had done something that was both painful and uncomfortable for himself, and it was for an entirely selfless reason. Her head dropped in a submissive gesture, exposing the vulnerable line of the back of her neck to his shadows.

“I am not leaving you,” she whispered, perhaps so quietly he would barely hear the words. “Because that is what everyone else has done. I don’t know what you need, and I don’t know why I want to stay right here, but I do just the same. So go ahead and yell. Hate me if you must, and strike if you feel the need. I can take it, and willingly at that. I just don’t want you alone tonight.”


Offline Kei

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Shadows lashed around Evelyn's frame now in the wake of the ire directed at her for her refusal to just give him some, much needed, space. He didn't need her to stay there with him, he needed time to unwind and stop feeling so angry at the world at large. He didn't need to be soothed, he needed her to back the hell off! Her stubborn refusal to leave was grating on his very last nerve and he just didn't have the energy nor the inclination to deal with this female right then. He gritted his teeth though, even as a snarl left him at her stubbornness. "Not that I don't appreciate the concession, but I don't need you around me tonight. I'm not fit company for anyone, and I'd never hurt a female on purpose. Now go home and leave me be, I need space not a stubborn female that can only remind me of the problems I've dealt with the last few weeks."

He didn't think it was too much to ask, being given his space while he needed it, but females always thought they knew better. Well, female dragons at least. He ran a hand over the top of his head, glad the shadows hid him as he tried another approach to make her go away. "Go home Evelyn, I've had enough for this night. Just...let me have some space, please. I desperately need that right now instead of always being around people that mean well but only make things worse. I understand, you're worried, and I'm sorry. Just...please go back home. I can't do this with you right now. I really, honestly can't." It was the best he could do, and the most control he could exert over the fury rising through him in waves. He didn't want to be coddled or comforted, he just wanted everyone to leave him the hell alone until he was again ready to deal with them. It wasn't too much to ask, but rather he'd get it or not was another matter.


Offline Aeon

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“I...-“ Evelyn stopped. She knew the shadows around her were unstable and, just the same she knew they were capable of great damage if she pressed. She didn’t want to leave, because even still something said stay, but he was adamant in his demand. He was frustrated, offended, and hurt and she understood the why of it all. Just the same, she understood a critical point, something that tore deeply at her heart for his own sake. No one would be who he lost, and no one would ever be able to fill that role. No one could live up to the expectation she had set. How terribly lonely that would be...

Her voice was quieter now. The fire had left her. “Whether you’d be good company or not doesn’t matter. I’m sorry people only make things worse for you, especially when they only want to help. I wish you would allow someone else in, anyone, because I still believe letting you be alone right now is a mistake, but I won’t be your burden tonight.” Going home though, well, that wasn’t going to happen either.

She shifted there on his doorstep into a small form. Fittingly she felt, it began to rain. Slowly at first as she got her wings up under her and then the deluge came in earnest. Thunder and lighting, the wind whirling and whipping raindrops about until they turned to tiny spears against her hide. Evy took shelter in a nearby park, settling under the cover of the tree canopy. She couldn’t fly in this, and more to the point she wasn’t going to walk in it either when the storm deafened her best way to get an understanding of her surroundings.


Offline Kei

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The silence left in the wake of her departure caused a sharp feeling of relief to go through Tokoyami even as her words made him quietly worry about her. Still he moved through his shadows and dropped down onto his bed; letting the relief of finally just being alone wash over him in a comforting wave. They always meant well, but by refusing to give him the space he desperately needed people were still just taking away his choices all over again. So now that he had the chance to just be he let his eyes fall shut and  just stayed where he was. Echoes of the past flickered through the silence, but he accepted them now that he was letting himself do so. It had been stupid to face Evelyn so soon after parting from Tsuyu; he realized that now. He did wonder at the sudden surge of so much anger from himself at her behavior though; it had been nearly impossible to control and he wasn't normally one prone to such violence. Perhaps something to worry about another time, for now he just wanted to linger in his silence and let his frazzled and raw nerves heal a bit more.

It wasn't long before the sound of the storm outside broke through his reverie and allowed thoughts to intrude. He knew Evelyn couldn't fly in his mess and couldn't see if she shifted, so he had to hope she'd gotten home alright. Then again, given the shouting he remembered from that place, he wouldn't blame her for not wanting to return there. It bothered him enough that he couldn't sink back into the healing silence from before and thus he sent his shadows out searching for the familiar heartbeat belonging to the female. He found her huddled in a nearby park and sighed to himself before rising into a standing position and rolling his eyes. Why did females have to be so difficult? He slipped through his shadows to where she was, holding an umbrella and his shadows over her head and blocking the rain. He was tired and didn't want company, but he wasn't a cruel man and thus couldn't leave her out here. This led to him extending a tentative hand to the female. "Since your stubbornness caught you out in the rain, let's head inside so you can dry off. You must be freezing."

He was trying to be kind, but he didn't have it in him to press her should she refuse his help. There was still too much fury lingering inside him for that.


Offline Aeon

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Evelyn hadn’t noticed his approach until he spoke to her and this startled her enough to nearly fall from the branch she sat on. She had resigned herself to wait out the storm, because otherwise she would have had the worst of times getting home as a sopping wet human with no vision. She could have shifted to her larger form to get through it all of course but she hated to do so in a crowded city. She wasn’t a small female herself, at least not in her full glory, and she didn’t favor unnecessarily startling anyone. That, and it would have made her a far bigger target for lightning which she wasn’t keen on discovering if she had the particular fortitude to handle it. She hadn’t intended to get caught outside, hadn’t even known it was set to rain really, but this was her own fault regardless.

Bright eyes peered back at him, listening to his offer. He was tired, cranky, and still on edge from before, but he had come just the same for some unknown reason to find her. He certainly hadn’t need to, but she accepted the gesture for what it was—a kind one. She stood up on her branch, carefully walking down the wet limb until she came to his outstretched hand. It was here she paused, dropping her head. ”Thank you.” It was said quietly but honestly. She did appreciate the gesture for what it was. One small clawed hand reached out tentatively, slowly reaching forward. She seemed to be judging her distances and, in a quick movement, she had leapt from the branch to his outstretched palm. Thankfully, in this small of a form, her claws were hardly a threat and she had been careful with the sharpness of her scales so as not to hurt him.

Should he choose to take his shadows, she had no earthly idea of how that would fair for her but, as it was, taking his hand had been easier than dropping down into the soaked earth to slowly walk back to where she had been. She would do so of course if he wished it, and she said as much. ”You don’t have to carry me back, but thank you.” There was a pause. Her head dropped again. ”I am sorry. I should not have snapped at you. I’m not even mad about the other day. It happens, and it would have been a lot worse if you hadn’t intervened. It’s just…It is hard to explain. You will have your own time in your life where perhaps how I reacted will make more sense because you’ll go through the same thing. It’s the instinct that is offended, that is made to feel unwanted, not the person. I know you didn’t mean anything with it, but I could not help how I reacted then.”


Offline Kei

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Tokoyami merely inclined his head respectfully as the small female jumped into his open palm. He tucked her up close to his body so his heat could warm her before turning and heading back through the rain towards his home. He wasn't going to risk a passenger when he was still very new to travelling with his shadows. It didn't take long before he was back home and he used his shadows to open the door because it was locked and he'd forgotten his keys in his desire to check on Evelyn. He shut the door behind himself and left Evie in the doorway of his bathroom with a large shirt to change into. "Here, get a hot shower so you don't get sick. The guest room is across the hall you're welcome to stay until morning."

He shrugged at her apology, it was what it was. "It's fine,  I'm used to women being disappointed in me by now. At this point, if you'd just not bring it up while I'm trying to wind down I'd appreciate it." He sighed, running a hand over his head before going to change as his clothing had definitely gotten wet as well. "Sorry if that was rude, I'm just really wound up lately with everything going on. It's funny, because before this mess I was looking forward to telling you about finally settling things with Tsuyu. It was hard, but I thought at least you'd be proud I'd faced that fear. It wasn't what happened, but nothing I want ever is. Anyway, enjoy the shower."

He headed to his room and shut the door so he could change clothing and try and settle down for the night. At least things couldn't get any worse.


Offline Aeon

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A shower? What? Evelyn nearly tilted her head in her own confusion. While it was certainly a nice offer, and she truly didn’t want to catch a cold, it felt rude accepting his offer. This was his home, and it was already a great deal of strain for him for her to be in his presence let alone utilizing his things. Still, it wasn’t wise to snub his generosity, particularly not when he was already in a foul mood. She would accept this for what it was and that would be the full truth of it. Though what he said was harsh in regards to himself, she didn’t speak against it as he had requested she not. The fact remained though that he wasn’t a disappointment in her eyes. Far from it, really, but that would have to be said another time.

With his departure she headed into the bathroom herself. After locating the various nobs and the potential pitfalls and traps a bathroom held for the blind, she shifted and disrobed. The wet clothing she wore was settled into the sink so as not to drip. From here, she took a quick, steamy shower. Once dried off, she hung up both her towel and all of her clothing, drenched undergarments to boot. It was easier to find the bedroom as a seeing dragon so she carried the shirt in her mouth after shifting, coming upon the room. Here she shifted back and dawned the shirt.

It felt invasive really, to look about his things and the space he kept to himself apart from the world, so she held her human form to avoid that rudeness. As it was, she felt bad enough taking what she already had so she refrained from laying on the bed. No, instead she sat in the floor, leaned up against the dresser to think. He’d told her a lot tonight whether he realized it or not. She’d have to speak with him about it once he calmed down of course, but for now she could mull things over.

While it wasn’t her intention to fall asleep, the evening had worn on her as had her own thoughts. She drifted off, still somewhat upright from her musing. It was no matter—he was already asleep surely.


Offline Kei

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Tokoyami waited until he heard the shower running before stripping out of his wet clothing and changing into dry ones. He really couldn't get sick easily, he ran much too hot for that, but he still didn't want to be in cold and wet clothing. After about an hour had passed, something urged him to go and check on his guest and when he found her he shook his head in disbelief. Really, she was his guest, she couldn't stay there on the floor. With utmost gentleness, he lifted Evie off the floor and placed her in the guest bed, pulling the blankets up over her body and tucking her in. He  turned out the light but left the door cracked open and the hall  light on; a habit he'd had since his time at UA, then he headed back for his own room to read a book and wind down for the night.

Her scent invading his private space bothered him on a deep, personal level but it could wait until she left the next morning and then he'd smother it with his scent and be done with it. He pushed the dark thoughts out of his mind and forced himself to focus on his book again. He needed to calm down and settle his mind again; perhaps it was time to pick back up meditation as that had helped him back in school. Part of him felt he could ask Atem to spar with him but in his current state he was just as likely to try and kill him as spar with him so that was definitely not a good idea. He felt like something big was coming though, and it was going to happen soon, he just wished he knew what.


Offline Aeon

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Evelyn was not disturbed when she was picked up from the ground, nor did she stir as she was settled into the bed. She sunk into the pillows tiredly, curling up almost immediately. She was throughly out when Tokoyami left the room and slept soundly and deeply through the night. Morning came and it was only instinct which roused her. Otherwise she would have been most keen to sleep in. With a quiet yawn, Evy got out of bed and made it back up again. She stripped, folded the shirt neatly, and shifted so that she might see to get back to the bathroom.

Once inside, she returned to a human state and redressed in her now dry clothing. Whether Tokoyami was awake or not, she did not want to disturb him with her departure. He would need whatever additional time he could get by himself without the distraction of her presence after the night prior. She was keen to give him as much space. She returned to her smallest dragon form, padding carefully out of the bathroom.

It was easy to find her way back to the front door, but not so much to open it without fiddling with the locks in her smaller form. After about two minutes of trying, she finally succeeded and got the door open. From here, it was easy to push the door open and to slip outside. It was closed within a moment, secure again without, she hoped at least, disturbing him.


Offline Kei

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He did, in fact, wake when she started stirring for the morning. Long accustomed to quiet, he became a light sleeper when anyone stayed over and now wasn't the exception to the rule.  Still, he didn't bother her and shook his head after she left. He padded out of his room on bare feet, shirt still off as he walked to where she'd slept and proceeded to smother every inch of his apartment in his scent so he wasn't bothered nor distracted by the female scent there where it didn't belong. It was odd, after so much happening the day before now he had no clue what to do with himself.

He didn't feel like he could speak with the female that was meant to be his therapist any longer; he felt like she didn't want to speak to him anyway and that was fine after what he'd done. Still...that meant the irritating and daunting task of finding someone else he found suitable for the job. He didn't want to be a bother to Miss Wolfe, after all, and she'd made her opinion clear before even if she'd apologized for the behavior. It was what it was though, and he didn't want to step on her toes such as it was. He wasn't happy about it, but he'd manage. First though, he'd give himself the time he hadn't before to just be and try again some other time to be out among the public.

He really couldn't risk another outburst like the one before, so he had to wait.


Offline Aeon

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Evelyn’s flight home was a strange one as her mind wandered and she considered the events of the night prior. He was an irritating, stubborn sort of ass when he wasn’t keen to reason or at least when he wanted things in his particular fashion. Even still, he did have a good heart and his intentions weren’t bad ones. He just needed more time to himself than he allowed himself, or had even accounted for. While she hated to admit it, she was not certain her methods would be the best for his process. She always came across wrong, or he felt he was an imposition, but she felt as though she should see things through. It was a dilemma, one she struggled with even as she came back into her office.

She had meant what she had, and hadn’t said, and there was much he had said from the night prior that hadn’t settled well with her. Still, she did have to make the effort, because she owed him as much. With a sigh, she settled down to write him something, creating what she believed was going to be her last package to that particular home.

I suspect you are well past the point of being done, and I don’t blame you for that. There has been a great deal of disappointment, personal disappointment, in your life. None of which was deserved. You do a great deal for many people, and yet when it comes to things for yourself you have the greatest struggle in being able to see you are worth that same investment. I believe this is where that “all females” comment comes from. In a way, we really all are the same. At the core at least, instinctively they would all wish you contented, friend or not. Everything in between is the hardship, and how we differ, and I cannot give a broad scale apology for my gender’s behavior, only mine toward you. I’ve included a list of other therapists in the area, ones that if you wish I can send your file to so they are not starting new again but rather picking up where we left off. Of course this doesn’t need to be decided now. Enjoy your leave of absence, and take some much needed time to heal. When you are ready the files will be here. I await your instruction.

All best,
Evy


She sealed up the small envelope and left it with her secretary to mail. For now, she was going to take her own advice and get some much needed peace of mind. Perhaps she’d take a short vacation even.


Offline Kei

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He got her message, of course he did, but he didn't have the fortitude to care much about it just then so he left the issue alone and unresolved; something that normally he hated to do. In this case though, it was necessary so he left the note where he wouldn't forget it and went about his day. Months went by in which he remained out of the public eye, reconnecting with old friends that weren't in the city and travelling without worrying about constantly having to fight. He went anywhere that reminded him of himself and not of Tsuyu and slowly things began to find a better normal than he'd been achieving before. He practiced with his shadows again, something he hadn't bothered to do since graduating from UA. He pushed his power to the limits and toot he time to decide just how he felt about being a dragon. He still really didn't like it because of the how of it, but he could accept there was no changing it.

He went to the other side of the world, picked fights, got himself into trouble, and then got himself out of it again. He tried flirting again tentatively and found it was sort of fun even if he was bad at it. He discovered women found him charming and basked in the knowledge that while the female that had once been his intended hadn't thought so, others did in fact find him attractive. He could accept that and move on, even if it still hurt his heart on a deep personal level. He still loved Tsuyu, and he felt he always would on some level as she'd been the first woman to hold that place in his head. Still, as time went on he began to move forward one steady step at a time. He learned quickly that shifting without pain was definitely possible and that flying brought him great joy as he danced through the air in the shadows around him. He thrived under starlight and if needed he learned his shadows could block out the sun for a short period of time. He was aware of his body changing and growing and decided it was probably normal for what he was and who he was related to. He nearly stood as tall as Atem now; something that secretly pleased him as he had hated having to look up at the man.

He still found the undercurrent of rage inside of him unsettling but he could push it back and he found no source of it nor any safe way to release it so he left it be for the moment. When he returned to the hero scene six months later, it was with a bang as he used a wall of solid shadows to stop a massive tidal wave just off the coast. He was only passing through, but it made him happy to help again. When finally he returned to the city that was his home, it was with a different sort of energy surrounding him. His baring was calm and confident and assured of his own strength; a vast different from when he left. He reveled in that strength even if he had no one to protect with it any longer. No matter, he knew himself well and eventually he'd be ready to try again even if that wasn't just right then. And because it was important to him to be able to work around his fellows no matter what, he went willing to meet with Atem. His stride was even and unhurried as he waited patiently for the older hero to finish with an interview before approaching him. If felt like a lifetime since he'd seen the man that was his ancestor, but that was fine he felt ready to face him once again. "If you have a moment, I'd like to speak with you." His tone was calm and direct, and he gave steady eye contact but no indication of challenge. Simply one hero needing to speak to another. This was important to him, speaking to Atem again, and inwardly he was very proud of himself for making it this far. Still, this was only one step on his list of things to do, but at least it was a good step.



Offline Aeon

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Months had passed and, had anyone believed it possible at the time to have suggested it to him back then that Tokoyami would be visiting his agency requesting an audience, he would have believed them mad. As it stood, he was just as surprised as he imagined Yugi would be when he told her of his unexpected guest. He looked...well. Rested, calmer, more at peace. There was still yet some lingering tension of course, but this was to be expected; he was only just now coming back to his role as a hero and there were likely many individuals he would meet with over the coming weeks.

It was not missed on him that he was nearly directly eye level with his great grandson now. Were he of a mind to, he might have smirked about the growing resemblance but as it stood he wouldn’t mention or hint about it. “Welcome back. It is good to see you. Yugi will be thrilled to have you back in the city. She has been trying to keep her distance and give you space, but she does miss you. I hope you will have time to carve out to see her as well. She would love to talk to you about your travels.” Of course she would also likely want to know the deeper things. How he was doing, was everything less painful to him now, how he felt about being a dragon. None of this Atem would ask, but he would speculate.

“You look well. I hope the time has been favorable to you.” He gave a dossier to an intern that had come in to collect it from the interview. She left as quickly as she had appeared and apologized for the disturbance. “But I doubt to talk about those things is why you are here. Would you like something to drink? There’s gin around here somewhere...” The Pharaoh trailed off, moving toward his desk.


Offline Kei

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Tokoyami took the consideration given to him in stride as he felt it was probably the last thing Atem was expected in getting a visit from him. The mention of Yugi had him smiling faintly before shaking his head. "Oh she knows I'm back, I'm just avoiding her. That female is unstoppable curious when she wants to be and I'm not of the mind to answer a few thousand questions before she remembers what rude is." He snorted at that, clearly not minding his friend's antics but still not willing to go and put up with them just now. Besides that, she was bound to ask questions he'd rather not answer at present as mostly they were none of her business. "And you can tell that nosy female I said this, but it's none of her business how my personal life is going or what choices I've made along the way. She can wait and see what happens just like everyone else." Because she meant well but she always aimed for the heart and he didn't like that. He'd never liked it but in his present state it just grated him much too much the wrong way.

Rolling his shoulders, he regarded the man before him with consideration; noting that he looked much the same but still very well indeed. Thus when the conversation continued he nodded in response. "I'm...well as I can expect to be at this stage of things. Or at least I get no complaints from those I've let be around me." He could feel the smug smirk on his face before he settled himself back into a neutral state to deal with Atem once more. He decided a bit of honesty was probably due. "I'm just...adjusting. Some things are fine, some are not but I'm working at it. As you can clearly tell I've been going through a few changing and it hasn't been fun adjusting that that but I've managed." He sighed at the mention of a drink and how Atem got straight to the point. For once, the man was wrong. "No thank you on the drink, I'm just fine. As to the rest...I actually did come here to speak with you about everything going on, at least partly. Though mostly I felt the need to come and apologize for my asinine behavior before when your input and advice would probably have served me very well in figuring out what to do."

He grew quiet for a long moment, the slowly had to admit what he was now having trouble with. "Honestly though...I'm needing advice about something even now and you were the one I felt may be best suited to assist me. If you're willing." Still as formal and polite as ever, that was Tokoyami for you.


Offline Aeon

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“I would tell her but as I favor my hide, you’ll have to forgive me for abstaining from passing that on. I will, however, tell her to keep her questions to herself for now. She means well, but you are right she would pry whether she meant to or not. It is just in her nature to want to make sure the people she cares about are well and happy.” Not that Tokoyami would blame her for that of course, but Atem has to at least express where Yugi’s side of things was coming from.

He arched a brow, surprised with the sheer honesty. “No, I don’t imagine it has been particularly pleasant. Usually those changes would happen when you were much younger. Hopefully it hasn’t been painful. I’d recommend some time in the hotter seas, perhaps the Caribbean. The sea has a bit of healing to it, and eases even old scales.” Unsolicited advice, but still something just the same. With his offer for a drink declined, Atem stopped looking for his particular poison and instead turned his focus back to Tokoyami, reckoning against the front of his desk.

One hand raised to halt him. “Don’t. You do not have to apologize.” His hand dropped. “It’s a terrible pain, what you went through. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, and I’ve lived it in my life to know it tears you in all sorts of ways.” He sighed. “You can’t hold yourself accountable for what was said in those days. I’ve been around long enough to know you cannot base people on the moments they break. That isn’t the measure of you, so I don’t consider it something you should apologize for. That said, I’m not sure what I could help you with, but I will certainly try. What is on your mind?”