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I Got Sinning on my Mind

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Felicity had known of the Bratva all of her life. Her mother was a high end cocktail waitress in Vegas for God's sake. She’d even met some of the higher ups when she was younger and had to go to work with her mother. Her favorite had been a man by the name of Anatoly. He had found her rambles charming and had loved to give her Russian candy when he saw her. That of course had been years ago. She hadn’t seen Anatoly or any of the Bratva since she was 10. That was the age her mother would let her stay at the library instead of following her to work.Growing up in Vegas had given her a different outlook on life. While lots of people her age looked at the world through rose tinted glasses or in black and white she knew there were necessary evils in the world. The Bratva were one of them.

At the tender age of 13 Felicity knew she wanted to go to MIT. She had built her first computer at the age of 7 and had skipped two grades at the age of 11. Felicity was smart. But no matter how smart she was she could not figure out a way to get to MIT. She knew she could get in but she also knew she could not afford it. Even with financial aid it would be nearly impossible. Her dear mother tried. God did she try. She worked ridiculous shifts, stopped buying herself new clothes, and even got rid of their cable package to scrimp and save for Felicity’s dream school but it still wasn’t enough. So Felicity did something stupid. The stupidest thing she’d done in her entire life. And now she needed help. Big “necessary evil” help.

Even though she had not spoken to or seen anyone from the Bratva since she was 10, 16 year old Felicity hoped that someone would remember her and could help her out. So she swallowed her pride and went to work with her mother for a month hoping she would see someone she recognized. Telling her mother she just wanted to spend extra time with her before heading to school, Felicity stalked the casinos. She had it all planned out she just needed to see someone.

Three weeks in and she thought her hopes may never come to fruition. But then she saw him. Anatoly. It had been six years but he still looked the same. All of a sudden butterflies hit her stomach. This was a bad idea. What was she thinking?! She couldn’t do this. The Bratva would own her for life. But that was better than being dead. “Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. What do I think I’m doing! If they find out what I did they could just kill me instead of helping me!” Felicity thought as she watched Anatoly go towards her mother and kiss her cheek. Then to her horror she saw her mother point at her with a big smile on her face and wave at her to come see Anatoly. “Shit.” Felicity thought as she got up from her seat and went to where her mother was standing.

“Anatoly!” she exclaimed as she reached him for a hug.

“There’s no way this is little Felicity! What happened to the pigtails? And your brown hair? You’ve grown up маленькая птица (little bird).” Anatoly smiled as he pulled her away to look at her more closely.

“That’s what happens when you don’t see someone for over six years Anatoly! I’ll just let you both catch up!” Donna giggled as she strolled back to one of her tables.

“So  маленькая птица I hear you are headed to MIT. I always knew you could do it. You were always smarter than everyone else.” Anatoly said kindly as he steered her towards a booth so they could sit.

“Actually..” Felicity stuttered as she looked at the table, “about that…” She took a big breath and looked at Anatoly who's face morphed from kind to concerned.

“That’s something I’d like to talk to you about Anatoly.” Felicity started to whisper in Russian. If he was surprised that she spoke it he hid it well as he reached for her hand on the table and squeezed letting her know she could speak.

“I don’t know that I can go. Money is tight and unless I get a REALLY good paying job in Cambridge I don’t know that it’s a possible dream. And I mean I know there are really good paying jobs out there like strippers for example...not that i’m saying i’d be a stripper! Cause look at me. I don’t really scream stripper..or is it exotic dancer? The point is i’m not stripper material and I don’t practically want to be...I’m getting off point.” Felicity babbled as she again looked at the table instead of looking at Anatoly.

“So like I said money is tight. So I tried...I mean I did… Anatoly I did something stupid.” Felicity whispered as tears started to form in her eyes and this time she did look at Anatoly. He looked worried but he did not try to interrupt her. So she just blurted out the rest of her story.

“I’m not a bad person. I’ve never shoplifted or stolen anything in my life...but MIT is my dream. You know that. It’s been my dream since I learned it existed. So I decided I’d steal the money...I hacked this group...but not like a good group! And I didn’t take more than I needed! I just wanted to take enough to pay for school! That’s all I wanted! But I...I took...I took it from some really bad people Anatoly. And I’m scared they’re going to find out it was me. Because I think they’re trying to find me...I put it back as soon as I figured out they were back tracing me! And I didn’t do it at home! I did it somewhere else so if they find my IP address they’re gonna get a Starbucks but Anatoly these type of people aren’t just going to stop there. I…,” by this time Felicity was silently sobbing as tears streamed down her face.

“I stole from The Triad.”