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Prices We've Paid

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Oddly enough the silence between the two was far from awkward. They used it to their advantage. Studying one another more closely than they were able to at Aurelio's body shop. Dark eyes analyzing equally as dark eyes. Taking in one another fully.

John took notice the her features. Seeing the little girl from years ago in them, but of course more mature. Her hair remained short just as it had when she was younger. The curly brown- nearly black- strands barely reaching her ears, giving her a mousy appearance. Her eyes were still owlish, & held a perceptiveness that only someone of his profession should possess. John knew she was no longer a naive child anymore.

Arden immediately picked up the brooding, & ever mysterious aura that was John Wick. She had sensed upon first seeing him again that he had changed. And not for the better. Arden had heard Aurelio mention his wife, Helen. She also had witnessed what Iosef had said upon showing up at the body shop with the once retired hitman's car. His aura was darker. And oddly tainted in a sense.

"How have you been?" John was first to speak. He lifted his coffee cup to his lips, sipping its contents before setting it back on the table top.

Arden smiled softly, "Good... Better than I have been in awhile actually." 

He nodded at the answer, remembering how she ended up in Aurelio's care. Well, more like unceremoniously thrown into his unready, but oddly enough, awaiting arms. John had been there the day it had happened.

"You?" She questioned back, eyes widening more than either thought possible. Arden's gaze dropped to her french toast as she toyed with the pieces on her plate.

"Great for awhile..." with that he glanced outside the window, "not so much now." John concluded.

They fell into another bout of silence. Both at a complete loss of where to steer the conversation. To an extent, they barely knew anything about the other. Aside from the basics; name, age, occupation, & some family life. Other than that, they were complete strangers.

"When did Aurelio tell you about my job?" Arden raised a brow at the odd question.

What did it matter?

"He told me after the last time I saw you. The day you retired." Arden answered truthfully. Eyes showing no sign of deceit.

John nodded, "What did you think? About my job? About me after that?" His questions were ones even he himself did not know the reason behind asking; it wasn't like he cared.

"I really had no opinion of it all," she admitted, "Some people are cashiers, others busboys or taxi drivers. It's a job at the end of the day." Arden said.

"And me?" John seemed incessant about it.

"You were a friend of Aurelio's," the brunette spoke, "I didn't look at Aurelio differently, why would I look at you different? You were the man who'd always come in tired & covered in blood. The man who'd look at me annoyed when I hugged him, but..." Both chuckled at the memory.

"But?" The raven haired male inquired.

Arden grinned, "But you never pushed me away. You stood there, unyielding, until I let go of you on my own." She finished.

"Indeed. Now look at you," John said gesturing to her person. "All grown up. Do you know where you want to go from here?" He asked.

"I'll probably stay working for Aurelio, maybe become an assassin myself. He said I had the makings of one, said; You might even surpass John Wick one day." She quoted with a snicker.

"Is it really an occupation you want?" He took a bite of his hash browns, "It has its... hazards." John said, eyes flashing what appeared to be a murderous look at her.

She shrugged, unfazed by said look, "All jobs have their occupational hazards, just not with such good pay." Arden replied curtly. "'Sides, I'll see the world a hell of a lot more than I'll ever get to if I continue working for Aurelio. No offense to him, the pay is good, just not good enough to travel to foreign lands."

He scoffed, "Traveling's not all it's made out to be." 

Arden rolled her eyes, "Says the one whose traveled many times probably." She retorted playfully. "Also, you can't say that because it's always business when you did. And you don't know how to relax even if you did have a couple hours to yourself to explore." Arden added.

"Well, when your job is one of my caliber, relaxing is a bit hard to do." John pointed out with a hint of disdain. Arden leaned back in her seat, raising her brow as she smirked at him.

"You chose the job, I don't think you have much of a right to complain." Arden said bluntly, noticing the way his jaw momentarily clenched. "Anyhow, it looks like both of us have had our fill. Should we be heading out? You're old, I wouldn't want you falling asleep on me." She teased.

He frowned for a second, "I'm not that old, & ignoring that, you are right. I have some things to finish tomorrow, & I'll need to sleep." John said standing, offering her a hand. Arden took it & he pulled her swiftly to her feet.

"I wonder what things entail." She thought aloud, causing the older male to glanced at her as they exited the diner.