When they finally do arrive, piling out of the run down pickup truck that belches black smoke, these men that don’t bother Elijah—don’t bother Roy—they glance at each other quickly before their gazes, all five sets, land on him.. because Kyle, Tim, and Mar’i are all looking at Elijah, recognizing him, so he doesn’t really have another choice than to own up to them. Claim them.
Roy pulls the cigarette he has in his mouth out and jumps down off the truck and walks over to them, stopping just a few feet away. He’s lost weight, at least twenty pounds, and his jeans sit loose on the angled brackets of his hips. He brings his hand up, pulling a drag on his cigarette before dragging it over the sides of his beard (the scruff is dark, weeks old), and rolls his tongue along his teeth, before he reaches out, grabbing Mar’i by an arm, and hauling her close.
He stares at her face, inches away, and kisses her, rough and hard, before pulling back just as fast, and looking at Tim and Kyle. He turns and looks over at the men who have now gathered in an eclipse around them.
"My girl, Sari," Roy states, before jerking a thumb at Tim and Kyle; he claps a hand over the back of Kyle’s neck, squeezing it hard. Too hard. "Lyle, and his brother, Jim." Roy pulls a drag on his cigarette, down to the filter of it, before flicking it to the side. "I used to run with them up in Renton."
With a dampener disguised in a tangle of braided bracelets around her wrist, Mar’i looks painfully human. The homemade haircut looks less impressive like this, without the curls that soften the rough edges, but those edges in turn, inadvertently, serve this appearance well. All three of the new arrivals are dressed down, and although it’s rendering her ability to understand anything more than faint voices, Mar’i is glad she took Tim’s advice before leaving and removed her hearing aids. This doesn’t look like the kind of company that would understand that they were, in fact, totally innocuous devices.
But it doesn’t matter what Mar’i looks like beyond that, because she’s otherwise the exact same. She’s still all curves and height. Roy, on the other hand, is…
She’s glad the kiss is quick, because she hates it. Hates this person in a baggy Roy-skin grabbing a hold of her, hates that the mouth that she always loved the taste of now tastes like cigarette butts, hates that the smell permeates into the thick beard that scratches her face.
Mar’i doesn’t say anything, half because she can’t hear enough of what’s happening, and half because her face vacates when Roy moves away. She folds her arms across her chest, tilting her head slightly to regard the rest of the cul-de-sac, expression and eyes dark but blank, like a chalkboard erased in a hurry. Whatever is going on, the guys can handle.