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They stood in the hug, silent… As Elizabeth gradually brought her arms up around Booker and let out a long breath. Exhaustion hit her right then, a sudden fog closing in on her mind.
“I…” His voice resonated from his chest and above her. One of his arms drifted away from her, his hand resting on her head. “Anna,” he muttered and the fog instantly cleared.
She stepped back. Booker didn’t even seem surprised by it… Just waiting, shoulders slumped and eyes dull. He was a man who hadn’t known hope for years.
…And whose fault was that? Elizabeth felt her hands tighten into fists but… She walked a few beds down and spoke over her shoulder, “Good night, Booker.”
The following morning had been chaotic. Tenenbaum left to get clothes for Jack, putting him in charge of the Little Sisters. She was met with a chorus of protests that Elizabeth could barely say goodbye over.
And there they stood at last, outside his apartment in Mercury Suites.
“I expected he’d host us in Fort Frolic,” Booker commented, staring at the apartment door. Music flowed from within the residence, a sign of Cohen she’d come to accept. “Looks like we can’t be that lucky.”
“When have we been lucky?” She teased, smirking at Booker and seeing a trace of a smile on his face. “Well? Are you ready?”
“Are you?” They examined each other, but neither one answered… And when she admitted to herself that no one was going to, she knocked on the door.
A finely dressed server in a bunny mask answered the door, his posture perfectly straight. Possibly to compensate for being just a touch shorter than average, since she doubted Cohen required it. But then again…
The piano music swelled and fell, Cohen heard wordlessly shouting above it to the musician on the bench. The door man stepped aside and finally, he noticed their arrival.
“Ah, my songbird!” Cohen gestured grandly, swaying towards them in time with the piano. “Come in, come in! I see you’ve brought your muse.” Booker and the lanky man at the piano scoffed, Cohen eyeing him appreciatively all the same.
“We’re here for the music, Mr. Cohen,” she reminded him, walking past him to the piano. There had to be a way to hear about his networks under the guise of admiration, but first…
She ran her hand along the piano, fark and sleek, well used but gently cared for. She couldn’t help but smile. Uncomfortable as she was with Cohen, Elizabeth had always enjoyed singing.
“Right to the point, I like it,” he emphasized, following her to the piano but standing behind the musician, whose wide, watery eyes fell to the keys before him. “Well, my dear? Which of my masterpieces would you like to begin with?”
What do you want to do, Elizabeth?
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