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Cara Forrester

0 · 381 views · located in New York, NY

a character in “In The Concrete Jungle”, as played by LaurenAFI

Description

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Full Name:
Caraline Lauren Forrester

Preferred Name
Caraline, Cara

Age:
21

Birthday:
May 1st

Sexuality:
Heterosexual

Hometown:
Upper East Side, NY

Length of time on the street:
1 year

Role:
The Princess


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Disposition:
Cara doesn't want everyone to know that she's only living in the basement to prove her father wrong, and show him that she can survive on her own, because it's essentially making a joke out of the dire situation that they're all in. For her, being homeless will always be a temporary thing. She has too much of an ego right now to move back in with her father and stepmother, and if she uses his credit card to rent an apartment or a hotel room, it'll just prove that she isn't surviving on her own. Going as far as to live in a musty basement says a lot about how out of touch she is with being truly homeless and having no other options but to live there, but it also speaks to how she wants to be independent.

In a lot of ways, Cara is your stereotypical rich girl. She has always been ignorant to a lot of the problems that "real" people face, but coming onto the streets has certainly changed that for her. Only a little over a year ago, she was the girl snapping at waiter's for bringing out a slightly incorrect order at the upscale restaurant that she and her friends were dining at. She had to have the newest phone, the nicest shoes, and the most expensive bag. Material items made her feel good, and they still do, but she's not a snob or a bad person. Once she realized that the exclusive world she lived in was not the real world, she got a bit of a reality check. She's the type of girl who is willing to change and wants to be compassionate and down-to-earth, but takes a little longer getting there because a lot of the problems that she has are so different than those of the people she lives with. What might come off as her being arrogant or out of touch with reality is simply her not living in the same reality as the others. She really tries to understand where they're coming from and does have a lot of sympathy for them, but just as much as she wants to offer that support, she doesn't. It wouldn't mean anything for her to give her input when she doesn't fully understand their situation and her opinions don't hold any weight. Because of this, Cara tries to keep to herself. She definitely doesn't isolate herself and enjoys conversing with the others, but she doesn't throw herself onto people and doesn't come close to Holly's level of friendliness. Her main goal in the basement is to not step on any toes. She's happy to make friends and be friendly to everyone else, but she doesn't go overboard with it. By the others, she would probably be described as being positive and easy to talk to, but not overbearing or extremely friendly.

Likes:
Birthdays, vanilla scented things, iced coffee, lemonade, babies, alcohol, fruity drinks, dancing, swimming, warm weather

Dislikes:
Cold weather, being out at night (if she's sober), beef jerky, her father, her stepmother, terrorism, cream cheese, wool sweaters, rodents, insects

Fears:
Terrorism, being cut off from her father's money (the only link she has to her "real world"), her friend's finding out about her situation, being infertile, STD's

Dreams:
Her short term goal would be for her stepmother to leave the picture, and for her to be able to resume her normal life. Three years have gone by without that happening, so it's pretty clear that it won't be a reality any time soon. Cara is still too resilient to give in yet, so her more realistic goal is to at least become civil enough with her father to talk him into paying for a separate apartment for her in the city. She does eventually want to go to college (with no specific major in mind).


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Background:
Caraline was born into a life of wealth and privilege, and becoming homeless definitely wasn't a part of the game plan that Lauren and William Forrester created for their only child. Being raised in the Upper East Side of New York meant that Cara lived the silver spoon life. The preschool she attended cost more than some colleges do. She went to the same elementary school as the children of billionaires and brushed shoulders with future politicians and actors and musicians. With everything at her fingertips, it seemed impossible that her life could ever take such a drastic turn forcing her onto the streets. In a way, it didn't. Choosing to be homeless, or rather, live in a dingy basement of a bar, when you have a key to a ten bedroom penthouse on the other side of town is a bizarre and incomprehensible choice and Cara knows this. For her, it's so much more complicated than that, though.

Her mother was one of the 2,606 victims of the World Trade Center attack in 2001. Cara was a child at the time, and while not old enough to fully grasp the idea that her mother had perished in an unthinkable way, she knew that her mother was dead. She had been close with her mother, who had opted to raise her rather than follow the Upper East side norm of hiring a live-in nanny to deal with the 3 AM feedings and crying fests. It was only when Cara was old enough to start school that her mother resumed her top position at the law firm her father (Cara's grandfather) owned, and even then, for the short amount of time that she was working, she still made time for her daughter. The same couldn't be said for William, who, when he wasn't spending time at the investment firm he was the CEO of, was having affairs. He was doing so before his wife passed away, so needless to say, once she was gone, he moved on fairly quickly. Cara moved on from her mother's death as well. It was a tragic event, but she never felt responsible for it, it didn't cause her lifelong depression or ruin her chance at a normal life. It sucked, and no amount of nannies could ever replace her mother's devotion, but Cara was young enough where it became normal to live without her mother.

She doesn't realize it, but it did have a bit of an effect on her as she grew up. Not only did she lack her real mother, but when she turned seventeen, her father started dating their au pair, Alice. At this time, she had been living nanny-free for nearly three years, so her father suddenly hiring a twenty-one-year-old Swedish woman to care for her was absolutely strange and illogical. Sure, Cara had become a tad bit rebellious. She was out nearly every night partying underage with her friends, but her father wasn't around to parent her ever before, and she was used to disregarding his authority. Regardless, she didn't need someone only four years her senior babysitting her, and soon it became apparent that Alice wasn't there for Cara. Six months after moving in, William proposed to her. To say that Cara was caught off guard is an understatement. She had seen her father go through pretty, young girls on a monthly basis but none of them, especially not one who came from nothing, ever lasted. And yet, suddenly, he was marrying this one. Maybe it was because she was so young, or maybe it was because Cara really wasn't okay with the idea of her mother being replaced, but either way, she had it out for this woman, and in an attempt to run her out, made the possibility of the three of them living peacefully together impossible.

Cara was spoiled and used to getting her way, and as a last ditch effort, refused to apply to any colleges unless her father kicked Alice out. It was the seventeen-year-old version of holding her breath until her face turned blue if her parents refused to buy her the doll she wanted. Unlike that, though, this didn't work. Her father told her to go to school or get a job, or get out. He probably didn't mean it, but Cara wanted to spite him and left after graduating high school. She spent a year with her grandparents in Miami, Florida, before coming back to New York at her grandmother's insistence that she make amends with her father. Two minutes into their reunification and she stormed out in tears, and decided to return to "running away". It was childish and absurd for a girl like her to think she could survive on her own (which wasn't really on her own, since her father left one of her credit cards activated). She had no street skills, no experience doing anything on her own, and a lifetime of luck with living on the other end of the lifestyle spectrum. If it wasn't for her meeting Nick (who she knew from years back from him selling to her friends) and Brooklyn at a club one night, she probably would have returned home after the summer ended and her friends all left for college. Cara managed to spend almost a year on the streets before returning home for two months. However, after another bad clash with her father, she's found herself resorting back to her time on the streets, and is considering moving back into the basement full time. Living with the rest of the group is not something that Cara wants or plans on doing for the rest of her life, but she's still too prideful to run back home to her dad and stepmother. While she's currently living in the same place as the others, it's not a secret to anyone that Cara isn't in the same predicament as them. What's a game that she can end at any time to her, is a life to these other people.

Job:
She is not working at the moment. Her credit card linked to her dad's bank account is still functioning, so there's no need for her to work. She does, however, have a bar tending license that she and a couple of friends earned when they turned eighteen, so if need be, she could always do that.


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Height/Weight or build:
5'10, 130 lbs

Eye color:
Blue

Hair color:
Blonde

Other:
N/A

Face claim:
Lindsay Ellingson

So begins...

Cara Forrester's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Oliver Mitchell Character Portrait: Colton King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Location: Manhattan, NY
Date: Friday, October 16th 2015
Time: 3:00 PM

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Colton King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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When Cara left the basement on July 4th night, she didn't think that she was never going to return. She was on her way to a club, when she ran into girls that she went to high school with. They invited her to a house party at her ex-boyfriend from high school's new apartment, and she couldn't say no. After hooking up with her boyfriend that night, her plans changed dramatically, and she was at a point where she didn't think she was ever going to return to the basement again. She didn't care about the possessions she had left there, since it was mostly just clothes and personal care items. It was all replaceable to Cara, and she didn't feel an ounce of guilt about leaving it all there. Honestly, she didn't even feel guilty about not warning anyone that she was never coming back.

She ended up seeing Brooklyn a week later, and had to hear about how rude she was, and how they all thought she was dead. Cara doubted that was true, but she apologized and allowed Brooklyn to be dramatic. Aside from seeing Brooklyn a couple of times over the three months, Cara had no contact with anyone else. She wanted to leave that part of her life behind her, especially since she was too embarrassed to tell her ex-boyfriend turned current boyfriend, that she had ever been homeless. Technically, she told herself, she wasn't actually homeless. She chose to live there. If she really needed to, she could have flown to Florida to live with her grandmother, or dropped her pride for good, and begged her father to let her stay at home again. It was what she did when she found out that her boyfriend had another girlfriend, after all. Admittedly, that didn't work out, which was why Cara was now on her way back to the basement, after three months gone. That was only because whenever Cara was home, her personality shifted. She went from the carefree, simple and kind, to petulant and demanding. For some reason, she was so hung up on hating her stepmother, that she refused to compromise, even slightly, and it always ended in screaming matches where her father would tell her that she was an adult, and if she didn't want to follow the rules of his house, she could move out. The catch, was that he would only pay for her rent if she were going to school at the same time. He had enough money to support her for twenty lifetimes, but he didn't want Cara to just be a trust fund baby. She didn't want to be that either, but she also refused to just conform to what he wanted. Apparently, she was so stuck on wanting to be right, and wanting to seem like she could make her own decisions, that returning back to the basement somehow seemed like her best option right now.

By the time her cab dropped her off in front of Finn's pub, she was questioning that thought process. Was she making a mistake by doing this? After her first meetup with Brooklyn, the brunette treated her normally, but what if no one liked her anymore? She had always thought that she did a good job at being down to earth and seeming like one of them. Cara didn't want to seem like she was spoiled or treating this as a joke, because what was a temporary "vacation" for her, was their reality. They didn't have a luxury gym on the Upper East Side to shower at every morning, fitted with $50 bottles of shampoos and laundry service. In the dead of winter, they actually had to consider whether they could afford to take a cab to wherever they needed to go, while it wasn't even a question for her. She could afford real food, warm clothes, and the security of knowing that this was only temporary. It sucked, but Cara always reminded herself that it wasn't her fault that she ended up being more fortunate than they. Besides, she did her best to share as little about her life as possible. Nick and Brooklyn knew a good amount of it, which meant that Roman probably knew too, and Holly pried enough that she had shared a lot there too, but aside from that, she didn't think people could judge her. The fact that she came in today, in an outfit that definitely screamed 5th Avenue over homeless didn't help her case, but in her defense, when she got dressed today, she had no intention of returning. That decision only came around noon, when her stepmother called a "family meeting" and tried to explain the "house rules" for the millionth time while Cara was on her way out the door to meet friends for lunch at an Italian restaurant, Spigolo. Obviously, things went downhill from there...

As Cara walked into the pub, her first thought was to seek out Finn, ask who was downstairs, and then plan her next move from there. She didn't want to go downstairs and make a scene if everyone was there, because she wasn't interested in attention. It would probably make her uncomfortable, if anything. Plus, now she had to worry about Roman and how potentially awkward that reunification could be. Cara had basically forgotten about their night together since leaving, but disappearing the night after sleeping with him literally left whatever that was, unfinished and unexplained.

When she walked in, the first person she noticed was Brooklyn, and she naturally hurried towards her. She didn't even look towards the other side of the room, where Colton and Holly sat. At least with Brooklyn, there wouldn't be the shock factor of her showing up now. It had only been a week or so since she saw the brunette, and they had actually been planning off meeting up tomorrow night anyway. "Brooklyn!" Cara exclaimed, taking the seat beside her and placing her bag on the counter. "I know this is unexpected and random, but I need to stay with you guys again. Please tell me there's still space!" Though she was pretty frantic, and caught up in explaining herself, Cara noticed the glass in Brooklyn's hand. She hoped that it was just seltzer or Sprite in there, but Cara knew Brooklyn better than that. It was three o'clock, though, so she supposed that wasn't too early to be drinking on a Friday.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Oliver Mitchell Character Portrait: Colton King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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#, as written by Bandit
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The night before had been an unpleasant one for Kiara. Prostitution was never a glamorous gig, but there definitely were nights that were better than others. On a great (and rare) occasion, she would find some middle-aged man who was in-between on whether he was really going to do this, and hire someone to sleep with him. It was frequently a guy who lived a very vanilla lifestyle and was probably stepping out on his wife for the first time. Usually with these guys, she could fuck him once, and he would think that was all he paid her for. A lot of the time, she'd be able to use the shower of his hotel room, and if she felt like it, maybe even take advantage of the nice room and sleep over with him. Most of the time, however, it wasn't like that for her. Work for her usually consisted of fucking a guy in the bathroom of a bar, or in a cab or alley outside. She didn't work for a pimp, because she had tried that route already and managed to get out, and she wasn't going to go back to it. However, working on her own meant that she didn't have job security, and her clients tended to be the scummiest people one could imagine. She didn't make much money, and sometimes, she'd finish the job and they'd refuse to pay her. What could she do? Run to the police and tell them that she was working as a prostitute and was ripped off? That would land her in jail, if she could even make it that far before the guy tried to strange her, or something.

It was an extremely dehumanizing job, and it wasn't even like she ended up with good money to compensate. Most of the time, Kiara was just barely getting by. The fact that she tended to indulge in alcohol and drugs over necessities played a role in that, though. For Kiara, it was just necessary to get high or blackout-level drunk after working. She didn't want to think about what she had just done, and that was the only way that she could actually escape this reality. It was what she had done last night when she got back to the basement. She spent ten dollars on a cheap bottle of vodka that she had a fair amount of upon getting into bed, and then took the Quaalade that the man she fucked an hour before tried to convince her to take while she was with him. She was out like a light within fifteen minutes of taking the pill, and probably would have slept for a solid twelve to thirteen hours, had Holly not woken her up that morning. She managed to fall back asleep for a few hours, but it wasn't that same deep sleep that she craved, especially when she knew that she was hungover. For a while, she was actually so dead feeling, that she couldn't even muster up the energy to get sick to at least give her stomach a chance to settle down. When everyone started coming in and out, and she was too awake to drown out the sounds, she decided to just get up, though. A good amount of the vodka she had had the night before came up before she was able to leave the bathroom, and then she left the basement. She buried herself in a men's size large NYU sweatshirt that she had taken from the lost and found at the gym she had a membership to a few months back, along with a pair of leggings and combat boots.

She spent most of her day doing laundry, walking, and enjoying the rest of her vodka out of a water bottle. Although Kiara never had much money to shop, she enjoyed going into stores anyway. Sometimes she found the courage to snag something little here and there from stores. It was usually just a pack of gum or a box of Midol, little things that wouldn't be missed much. Usually, though, she just browsed in an attempt to kill time, and distract herself. Today, she found that she had made a good choice by heading into a Trader Joe's, as she replaced the need for lunch with a plethora of their free samples. When her feet started hurting, she headed back to the pub. She wanted something to mix the rest of her vodka with, and she decided that maybe she could convince Finn to give her a glass of soda for free. It wasn't like he didn't give Brooklyn and Nick, and probably even Tee and Holly, meals and drinks on the house all of the time! Then again, Kiara knew that she wasn't close with Finn, and was actually one of the ones that irritated him the most, but it was worth a shot.

Upon entering, she was sidetracked when she saw familiar faces at the bar. There was Isaac, closest to her, and then on the other side, Brooklyn, and was that... Cara? Preppy young blondes weren't a common sight in Finn's bar, and with a closer look, Kiara confirmed it was her. She was definitely surprised to see the girl who had disappeared months ago, but before she got into that, she embraced Isaac from behind. "Glad to see you're alive," she teased as she sat down beside him. Kiara considered Isaac to be one of her realest friends here. She didn't feel like an addict, at least not compared to him, but she knew that he understood what she was doing with drugs. She worried for him a lot, but when she wasn't even in control of her own life, she knew that she couldn't try to force him to change either. They were all addicted things for reasons, and not just because they were rebellious kids and drugs were fun. "So, what've we got here today? Looks like Malibu Barbie is back, trying to engage with Godzilla, for some reason that's beyond me. Who else are we dealing with?" she inquired playfully as she gazed around the bar. She didn't know if Isaac was in one of his downer moods, when he was coming off of a drug or not, but she tried engaging with him anyway.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Oliver Mitchell Character Portrait: Colton King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Somewhere in between her first and second drink, Brooklyn noticed the trio sitting in a booth across the room. She had only tilted her head to the side to look at them briefly, before turning back to the bar, but once she realized that they were up here, it seemed impossible for her to release any of the tension that she felt wracking her bones. "They" consisted of Lateefah, Holly and Colton, but mainly just the first two. Actually, if Brooklyn wanted to be extra petty, she would just say that it only consisted of Lateefah. Sure, Holly was the stem of her issues with Lateefah, but she could deal with Holly. She wanted to deal with Holly, at least. She'd sacrifice the money to buy a roll of duct tape to wrap around the girl's mouth, and a leash to keep her unable to rifle through Brooklyn's things, and then she wouldn't have any problems with Holly. With Lateefah... well, that was an entirely different story. Brooklyn despised her. Secretly, and she wouldn't even admit it to herself, she respected the girl for being an older sister to Holly, but without thinking of that, Brooklyn couldn't stand her. She thought that she could stand up to Brooklyn, as if she were some hero that was rushing in to save the day, when all she really was, was some loser who was probably faking that she had a college degree, and yet, still managed to think that she was superior to her. Even thinking about it, had Brooklyn internally reciting, 'Really, bitch?', as if she were getting ready to engage in one of their frequent verbal (with threats to go physical) arguments.

She did her best to pretend that the bitch and her annoying sister weren't there, and it took a lot, but soon she was able to focus on just the immediate space in front of her. She kept her eyes on her glass and methodically sipped from it every so often. Before long, she was mentally in her own world, oblivious to the sports game on the television across the room, the loud conversation Finn was having, or the music that was playing on top of all of this. She didn't notice Oliver, or Isaac, or Kiara, or even Cara, until the blonde was literally right next to her and speaking. She left Cara speak without saying a word herself, not because she was shocked at seeing her, but because she was still trying to remain in her own zone. She didn't want to get into a bad mood today, especially when she was still feeling so physically drained from the hangover. However, when Cara stopped speaking, ending it with a request to move back in, Brooklyn couldn't resist smirking. "What? Did they kick you out of the J. Crew catalog that you were living in, or something?" she questioned as her eyes roved over the girl. She looked pretty, and Brooklyn was sure that the outfit was probably worth the amount of money that most of the kids in the basement made in a month. Cara wasn't showy on purpose, but it just happened with her. She was a lot better now (or when she left in July) than she had been when Brooklyn first met her, but it seemed like it would be impossible to fully shake the spoiled rich girl from Cara. It wasn't necessarily a bad thing, especially not to Brooklyn, who lusted over lives like Cara. That was probably the only reason why Brooklyn had accepted her, at first. Because she wanted to be her.

"There's room for you, yeah. I've been looking for a reason to get rid of Lateefah anyway," Brooklyn added, instinctively nodding her head back towards the table she had last seen Tee at. "I can't tell you that all of your stuff is still down there, though. You know how they are... like vultures. Your shit was pawned within a week of you leaving," she continued, still smirking. She wasn't joking though. She doubt it mattered to Cara, since money clearly was not an option to her, even when she apparently had no where else to reside, but she found it funny. And admittedly, Brooklyn had taken a few things for herself. It wasn't like she wouldn't have done that when Cara was around anyway, though. "Did Daddy tell you you were only allowed to have five mansions, and not six, and that's why you're here?" she asked after a moment. A fight with her father seemed like the only reasonable scenario for Cara returning. When Brooklyn had last spoken to her a week ago, there hadn't been any mention of wanting to move back in, but Brooklyn was aware that that was the only reason why Cara was out here. She didn't get along with her father and stepmother, and at least from what Cara said, they "hated her" enough to kick her out onto the streets. Brooklyn doubted that was completely true, but as her drinks started to hit her and make her feel more of a human than a zombie, she was curious.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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ImageIsaac was always jumpy coming down...loud noises scared him, turning corners was a big ordeal, on and on, so the arms that went around him made him tense, even though he relaxed the moment he heard Kiara's voice. She was the only one he really wanted to be around in this mood, so he dropped one of his hands to cover her wrist, give it a little squeeze before she moved to sit next to him.

"I don't feel alive," he muttered, running a hand through his hair before dropping down onto a bar stool, taking a sip of his newly purchased spiked soda. The liquor settled heavily in his stomach, but the hotdogs he had earlier were helping, and the whiskey would only help his nerves, so things were looking up.

Kiara Moore was probably the closest thing Isaac would consider to a best friend. He truly did like her, and his heart ached for her on days like this. She still looked beautiful, still looked strong, but she smelled faintly of vodka and her expression was...tired. She'd had a bad night, Isaac could tell. And unlike him, she looked like she actually remembered it. Which just made things worse.

He didn't mention anything though, never did. If Kiara wanted to talk about her work, Isaac let her come to him, otherwise he didn't mention it. They did other things together. Fun things, for the most part. He snorted at his friends' nickname for Brooklynn, but leaned back in his seat enough to glance over at the table the girl in question was at. He'd noticed her earlier, but he hadn't seen Cara.

"Huh," he muttered thoughtfully. "She is back." Isaac didn't have anything against Cara by any means. She was a tolerable person, usually kind. He just didn't...get her. He understood her situation...or, at least, what he knew of it. Parents were assholes sometimes. His certainly hadn't been a walk in the park, and he doubted any amount of money in the world would have changed it, but...Cara was in some kind of weird place. Isaac envied her because she had a safety net. If things got too bad, she could turn around and go home. The rest of them...they didn't have that. And it sucked.

He tilts his head a little as he studies her. Her blonde haired, blue eyed, modeled height self and decides...maybe he doesn't like her after all. On principle. Or jealousy. For multiple reasons. Whatever. He was probably just cranky. "Hope she's not trying to get Brooke to let her stay..." She probably was, why else would she be here?

"Oli's over there, probably doing something weird," Isaac pointed out around another drink. "And Holly's there, with Colton I think?" He could only make the kid out because of her bright red hair, but the back of Colton's head was a little more questionable. "Which probably means Tee's around here somewhere, but I haven't seen her."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Colton King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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#, as written by Thunder
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Holly and Lateefah's food did look really good, and it wasn't like Tee would notice if he took a bite before she got back, but Holly would. He had probably already crossed over into antagonizing territory by teasing her about how much Tee loved him, and he was sure the girl would get more riled up if he denied her order and had some of the food anyway. He finished off Lateefah's Sprite, watching as Holly looked at her food. "Chill, Red. I'm not here to eat your food, but it doesn't look like you are either. You know, you have to put it into your mouth in order for it to count as eating. Staring at it doesn't actually count," he advised. He didn't really care about whether Holly ate or not, but if she did take a few bites and in what wouldn't be a surprising move, claim that she didn't want anymore, he figured he could try to convince Tee to let him have it. As he looked back at Lateefah's plate, he considered taking some of hers once again. He wasn't starving but he was hungry, and it did look good.

Still contemplating, he shifted slightly in his chair, so that he no longer had his back completely towards the rest of the pub. As he did so, he noticed that a few more of the others from downstairs had begun to congregate around the bar. There were Kiara and Isaac on one side, which wasn't very surprising. He hadn't seen Isaac in a couple of days, but that wasn't infrequent for him, or anyone, really. They all did their own things, and since a lot of their lines of work required "night shifts", it was typical that even if they were in the basement at the same time, one was asleep and wouldn't know it. A few of Finn's customers sat beside the pair, and Colton skimmed over them quickly, before his eyes fell upon a familiar pair, who brought an automatic smirk to his face. It was Brooklyn and Cara. The former, he smirked at, just because she was so easy to bother. Brooklyn was hot, in that "bitch who hates the world and will punch you in the face if you touch her" kind of way. Colton liked to insist that there was sexual tension between them, mostly on her part, but it was likely just plain, old tension. He wasn't looking to sleep with her, anyway. Firstly, Tee was fulfilling those needs for him, and secondly, he didn't doubt that Nick would kill him if he even tried it. Cara was more of the reason for his smirk. What was Blondie doing back here? Hadn't she found her Prince Charming/Ken Doll to run off into the sunset with? He'd have fun inquiring about that later on, but for now, Cara being back brought another thing to the table. Now, he hoped, Tee would be able to get out more with him. Cara was a lot of things, but she was most useful as a free babysitter for Holly. Maybe now, he didn't have to wait until the always-hyped up girl fell asleep to get some alone time with Lateefah.

"I'm going to go see where your sister is," he said to Holly, as he turned back to look at her. "You've got to stay here and guard the food, though. You see all of those people by the bar? They're all hungry as hell, and, oh, damn, Isaac's over there too. He told me the other day that mac and cheese was his favorite food, so you definitely can't leave this table, or he'll take it before you even notice. Alright? Wait here, guard the food, and I'll be back in a minute with your sister." The comment about Isaac was, of course, a completely made up situation, but he felt like Holly was the type of person who needed that extra insistence that she needed to stay at the table. Especially with Cara randomly back, and only a few yards away, he was sure it would be hard to get her constantly-fleeting attention to focus on staying at the table. If anything, though, she had seemed insistent on him not eating her and Tee's food, so he surmised that maybe she would care enough to want it to protect it from Isaac, the newfound mac and cheese bandit. He didn't give Holly much time to respond, knowing that no matter what she said, if she wanted to get up, she was going to do it anyway. Instead, he headed towards the back of the pub and waited outside of the women's restroom, deciding to catch Tee before she got back to the populated bar. He could spring the good news on her, and maybe she'd be up for some alone time before clocking in. He eyed a storage closet across the small hall, and thought that no one would notice if they slipped in there for a few minutes...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Ugh, typical Brooklyn! Cara thought at Brooklyn's initial greeting. She was so difficult and snide sometimes, but Cara was used to it. She just maintained her pleading look, resisting an eye roll, even as Brooklyn pushed on, making fun of her situation. Cara knew how ridiculous this all was, or at least, how ridiculous it all probably seemed to everyone who didn't know what it felt like to be her. She was being spoiled and delusional to the real problems of the world, maybe, but Cara didn't think it was fair for her feelings to be invalidated simply because the others here had it worse than her. It wasn't her fault that they had been dealt a bad hand in life. Was she supposed to just act like her life was peachy and perfect, just because they couldn't get their acts together? That mindset was something she was able to extend towards some of the people in the basement, the ones who she thought had potential, but just weren't using it. It didn't, however, cross over to the ones likes Holly and Tee. As Cara peered around curiously, she picked out Holly sitting in a booth, but didn't move towards her, and instead, spun back around as Brooklyn kept talking. She knew that Lateefah and Holly were two people who didn't deserve to be out here. They deserved security and safety, and a real life. Those were all things that Cara had just given up in order to prove a point to her father, or make herself seem independent... or something. She didn't really know what she was aiming for by doing this, but it felt like the only option that she had right now.

"Shut up," Cara complained, slapping Brooklyn's arm gently when she finished speaking. "But seriously, please don't tell anyone that I was home and stuff. If you haven't already. Like, just say that my grandma was sick and I had to go visit her out of state or something. I don't want everyone to judge me." Again, Cara considered that maybe this was her thinking that she and her problems were far more important than they actually were again. Brooklyn had said that the others had taken the things she had left behind, so that obviously didn't suggest that they were too worried about her or her whereabouts. Still, she didn't want to be known as that girl who was a joke. Not anymore than she already felt like she was. She didn't want pity, since she knew that she didn't deserve it compared to everyone else, but she also didn't want people to brush her off as not understanding anything about life, because she felt like she did.

"I didn't tell anyone anything. Not even your lover boy," Brooklyn objected, giving Cara a side-eyed smirk as she finished the rest of her drink. She wanted to order another drink, but she knew that she didn't need one right now. She was drinking to kill her hangover, not prepare for tomorrow's. Brooklyn honestly hadn't told anyone where Cara went. She hadn't done it to protect Cara, because at the time, that wouldn't have made sense. She had only kept Cara's location a secret, because Brooklyn liked having more knowledge than other people. It made her feel powerful, and in control.

"Thanks," Cara responded, although this time, the eye roll was unstoppable. She didn't even chide Brooklyn for calling Roman that, because she didn't want to get into that subject right now. It wasn't something that she was excited to think about. "I think I should go say hi to Holly. Come over... if you're going to be nice." The second part of the sentence was added with a warning look, and was spoken when Cara had already gotten off of her bar stool and started towards the booth on the other side of the bar. The redhead was sitting along at the table with a bowl of food in front of herself, and one by the other side of the booth. At the end of the table was an empty chair where Cara had seen Colton in moments before.

"Holly!" she squealed, standing on the outside of Holly's side of the booth. She extended her arms, and for the first time, realized that she had missed living in the basement. Maybe it wasn't so much the living that she missed, but the people. Like Holly. A girl who was so willing to give love to anyone she crossed paths with. She was fun and energetic, and gave Cara a sense of family that she hadn't felt in a while, or maybe even ever. "I missed you! You look so pretty! Where's Tee?" she spoke.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Oliver Mitchell Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Kiara brushed over Isaac's comment about not feeling alive, not because she didn't hear it or didn't emphasize for him, but because she didn't think she could give him any advice. He was clearly coming down from a high, and she knew how he was feeling, but at least from her experience, there was no way to combat that feeling. Nothing she could say would help, so she tried to keep the conversation moving without focusing on the bad. "Oh, come on, Cara's not that bad," she returned, when Isaac commented on how he hoped she wasn't trying to get Brooklyn to let her come back. Granted, Kiara had only been in the basement for four months, and only one of those included Cara living there too. However, she had never had a problem with the girl. She didn't know her story very well, and maybe it was stereotypical, but Kiara didn't think it took a detective to look at Cara, and know that she didn't grow up in the hood. She knew that poverty wasn't the only thing that constituted a bad life, but at the same time, she thought that she could have dealt with the neglect she faced at home, had her home been a mansion in the Hamptons. Whatever problems that Cara had had to have been laughable compared to what everyone else was facing. Her living with them was disrespectful in a way, because one could assume that she thought whatever minuscule problem she had was equal to theirs, but at the same time, she wasn't obnoxious.

"Besides, I didn't get a chance to ask her if she had a brother before she went MIA. You know I'm gonna be all over that and, hell, I'd take a sister too. Marrying is the easiest way to get into that life. It's a fact," she declared. For a girl like her, it seemed like it would be the easiest, maybe even the only way to get out of the circle of poverty. She didn't have a high school diploma or her GED, so she couldn't go to college. She didn't have the money to get her GED either. A high school diploma wasn't necessary for a lot of entry level positions, but it was for most of the reputable ones. If she wanted to, Kiara could've gotten a job at a fast food restaurant or something, but when it came down to it, she also didn't want to commit to a real work schedule yet. Nothing could be worse than how she made money now, and after every night of working, she vowed to look for a real job, but it never happened. She wouldn't be able to pass a drug test, and she wouldn't be able to wake up regularly to meet her shift requirements. She had an endless amount of excuses on hand, but Kiara really was going to try to look for a job, especially with the seasonal rush approaching, where it would be easier to get a retail job.

"Hopefully Tee is around." Kiara commented, agreeing that it was likely that the girl was around. She glanced back at the table Holly was at, watching as Cara left Brooklyn and approached it too. "Maybe today Tee will be the one to knock Brooklyn out like one of us has been needing to do," she commented snidely, but while offering Isaac a playful smile. She meant it, but luckily, Brooklyn hadn't pissed her off today to where she was actually feeling aggressive. "So everyone besides Nick and Roman are here, and I guess that leaves me wondering what you're up to. Besides drinking..." she started, taking his glass and sipping it, "Coke and whiskey, of course," she added, returning the glass and meeting his gaze.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Colton King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Holly frowned as Colton commented on her not eating the food. She was going to eat it, but not yet. It was too hot, or at least she guessed it was, since she hadn't even picked up a fork to take a bite yet. Plus, Lateefah wasn't back yet, and Holly didn't want to start eating and then get distracted by her sister returning. And if she needed another reason, she would blame Colton for distracting her. Not that the people walking past their booth weren't just as much of a distraction. The bright red t-shirt one man was wearing caught her attention, and had Colton not been in the way, she would have gotten up to tell the man that she liked it. Then there was a woman behind him with hair that was curly enough to remind her of the character Merida from the movie Brave. But, no, this woman's hair was a jet black color, and not orange. And her skin was loose and wrinkley, so she definitely couldn't be a Merida look alike. Who did she look like? Before Holly could continue that thought any further, she was focusing back in on Colton, who started taking again. He was saying something about the mac and cheese and her staying at the table to guard it, before her mind refocused on the music playing, just as the song switched. She didn't recognize it, but that didn't mean that her attention wasn't going to reign in on it for a moment before switching back to Colton. He finished by saying that he was going to get Tee, and Holly didn't object, for one, because she wanted Tee back, and secondly, because she wasn't sure what he had said exactly. Instead, her frown only intensified.

Feeling like this- confused, and lost, and struggling for control over her own thoughts, was so common to her, and yet it wasn't something that she was comfortable with. It was almost sickening how lost she could feel within her own thoughts sometimes. A lot of the time, she wanted to be able to focus, but it just wasn't possible. She would remember something that happened days ago, or a color would pop out at her, or she'd hear a snippet of a background conversation that was interesting, and her attention was gone. Mentally, it was rare for her to ever be in one place for longer than a minute.

"I am going to eat it," Holly murmured when Colton had already left, and that part of the conversation was long over. She was in an unusual mood right now. It was one of frustration and agitation, possibly a bit of tiredness since she had woken up early this morning, and if macaroni and cheese wasn't making her feel better, things didn't look good. Especially since Tee was working tonight and had shut down the possibility of them seeing a movie. The only thing she could think of that might do the trick, was talking to Brooklyn. As she looked away from the table and back to the bar, her line of sight was interrupted by a blonde walking towards her. Cara! That was something different. Holly hadn't seen Cara in months and didn't know if she would ever actually see her again. Seeing the blonde in fall clothes was different than the last version of Cara that Holly remembered, too.That was the one who always wore pretty dresses and bright summer colors. This Cara was just as nice looking, and it was the first thing that Holly commented on, despite leaving Cara's question unanswered. "I like your vest." She allowed Cara to hug her, and wrapped her arms around the blonde as well. She had a lot to talk to Cara about, so the first thing she insisted on, was that Cara stay. "You can sit here!" she exclaimed, pointing to Colton's chair. "Me and Teefah were saving it for you. She's in the bathroom, but she's going to be back very soon because she ordered us dinner and we have to eat it before she starts working." As Holly spoke rapidly, she reached out to touch the bracelet on one of Cara's wrists, because it was impossible for her to stay focused on what she was saying while there was so much "new" to be examined. "Did you leave because you had to go to college?" It seemed like a good explanation for Cara's disappearance, and was the first thing that came to her mind when she thought of someone she loved leaving.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Cara smiled genuinely as she took a seat in the chair that Holly had offered to her. She knew that Colton had been sitting there moments before, but she doubted that he would get offended, or that he was even coming back. Since when were he and Holly friends? It was more likely that the tie between him and Holly fell upon Tee, who Cara still hadn't seen yet, but she didn't think it was anything to take note of. "Thanks, Holl," she said, in response to the compliment and welcoming in general. She laughed lightly as she took the girl and all of her bounciness and energy in. It was something that tired everyone, including Cara, out at some point, but she tended to have a lot of patience with Holly, and was actually missing this. The youthfulness and the pure happiness and appreciation for the littlest things was something that you didn't find often in people, nonetheless people stuck in their situation... or Holly's situation. Cara still felt bad about grouping herself in the same category as everyone else.

When Holly spoke about her and Lateefah needing to eat before Tee started her work shift, Cara could only imagine that mean that Tee was still waiting table. It made her feel worse, knowing that a girl who had put in an immense amount of work into her education, and had come out with an Ivy League degree, was waiting tables, when she had so much potential. It's not your fault! Just because you could have went to college, and never would have had to even think about loans, doesn't mean you need to feel bad that other people have issues! "College? Oh, no, I actually had to visit my grandma in Florida for a little while," Cara stammered, though she knew that Holly was probably the last person she had to trick into believing something. She tended to take things at face value and though it was probably dangerous for Holly, it was something that made life easier for everyone else. "But that's not important now! I'm just happy that I'm back and can hang out with you," she smiled. Happy wasn't exactly the right word for how she was feeling... but there it was again, with Cara knowing that she had no right to complain about where she was, because it wasn't the only option she really, truly had. Looking from Holly and then down to her food, she suggested, "You should start eating. I'm sure Tee will be back any minute, and you want to be finished by the time she has to work, right? Maybe if she says it's okay, you can come with me, and maybe Brooklyn too, so I can pick up some things I need since I'll be staying here again for a little while."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Colton King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Brooklyn had no desire to follow Cara across the bar, over to where Holly sat. She glanced backwards and watched Cara prance over to the redhead, but turned back around, uninterested, a moment later. Brooklyn couldn't say that she truly hated Holly, because despite the vibe she put off, she wasn't heartless. She saw Holly as being the same outgoing and cheerful and full-of-love girl that everyone else saw her to be, and those were all traits that were not hate-worthy. Brooklyn didn't like when the rambunctiousness, lack of boundaries and respect for personal space interfered with her life, and she didn't hesitate to snap at Holly when it happened, but she didn't hate her. She hated her sister for trying to intimidate Brooklyn for putting Holly into her place, but she didn't hate Holly specifically. Still, she wasn't going to go out of her way, leave her seat by the bar and purposely engage with Holly when she was still trying to nurse this resilient hangover of hers.

She shook her glass, which was now empty aside from a few ice cubes at the bottom. She could've ordered another one... and her body was telling her that that was the right thing to do, but it was half past three, not eleven o'clock at night. She wasn't trying to get drunk, just allowing herself to be awake while not feeling dead, and maybe it would take a few minutes to feel it, but she decided to give those first two drinks a chance to do just that. She left her empty glass on the counter, not even looking towards the other end of the bar where she heard Finn's booming laugh coming from, as she stood up. Finn was incredibly good to all of the kids in the basement, and his kindness had been extended to Brooklyn before any of the others. It wasn't uncommon for Finn to refuse to accept payment on drinks and food from some of them, especially the girls, but Brooklyn was at a point where she could afford to pay for her own things. Somehow, she always ended up spending enough where despite her good pay, she ended up with only a fraction of it by the end of the month, but regardless, she always forced Finn to take some of it. The couple of hundred dollars she would give him a month was nothing compared to what actual rent would cost her, and she doubted that it even covered the amount of free alcohol he let her have.

She didn't tell Cara that she was going back downstairs, and even as she headed back and briefly saw Lateefah and Colton chatting down the small hallway where the bathrooms were, she didn't utter a snide remark. She didn't have the energy for cattiness at the moment, and now that she was showered and felt clean, she decided that she might as well rest for a little while and let the hangover die off. With Holly upstairs, at least she could count on having peace and quiet for a few minutes, so long as Nick stayed away too. As she relaxed on her bed, she noticed that some of their storage containers were skewed differently than how she had left him. It was clear that someone had been rummaging through their things, and she could tell that it was Nick. It striked her as odd that she hadn't seen him up at the bar, but as she did a double take, she remembered that Roman's bed was now vacant. Nick must have come down while she was upstairs, woken up Roman, and the two were off together somewhere. It wasn't unusual, but Brooklyn decided that if she was in a petty mood later on, she'd use Nick running off without even checking in with her as a complaint against him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Colton King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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L A T E E F A H ~ E K W E N S I - H A R T
"Sweetie, I wouldn't trust you with my Prada and we both know I can't afford it."

Outfit
Location|| Finn's Irish Pub
iPod|| Pompeii by Bastille
Mood|| Amused


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The left corner of Lateefah's mouth curved until her lips parted and she was snickering at Colton even believing for a second that she would leave him alone with Holly purposefully. Granted, their current interaction spelled nothing but good nature. However, Lateefah was far from unintelligent. There was no way in hell she would leave her sister with Colton for too long without worry. He would get too irritated fast and Holly...Holly might actually run away. And then they would all be in some kind of trouble because there was only so much Holly couldn't do on the streets of New York if she ran out because she was being emotionally overloaded. She did, eventually, give an impressed raise of her eyebrows at him being able to convince Holly to stay still.

"Hmmm...such a gentleman," she remarked on a purr, amusement dancing with the lilt of her voice, her smirk widening once Colton got to the gist of why he had come to the back of the pub. Which...of course, led to them. It wasn't a conversation she typically lived having at work. Particularly when Holly was but a ways away, the others were probably lurking around, and well...they were at her work. Off or not, this was where Lateefah worked and while a heated thrill raced through her at the idea of giving in for the first time this week, she really couldn't. Maybe for a few minutes...

...nope. Nope to the nope-ity nope nope.

Not here.

"Awww, don't tell me smooth as a rolling storm Colton King's been all hot and bothered all week cuz of little ol' me," she teased, left hand rising discreetly so that her fingers could trail up abdomen to his chest leisurely, taking a measured step towards the male while her eyes flicked over to the rest of the pub. She seemed to recognize the back of Brooklyn disappearing, but any of the others remained (hopefully) oblivious. Returning her gaze back to Colton, Lateefah smiled, bringing her face close to his, fingers creeping teasingly to the collar of the shirt he was wearing, eyes slightly hooded as she proffered, "How about this, hot stuff? You let me get through this shift, I'll see if I can convince Cara to take care of Holly for the night, and once I'm done, I'm all yours for the night." It gave her pause, fleetingly, that Cara was even in the vicinity, but Lateefah didn't give herself or Colton a chance to think on it any longer.

Without preamble, she fisted the collar of his shirt in her hand and then captured his lips with hers, the press of her mouth against his firm and heated. It didn't last long, but even Lateefah wasn't immune to the effects of not having had sex for the entire week. She'd just been really busy and honestly, she should not feel as alive as she did when she kissed Colton. Yep, not a thing she should feel and she should go back to teasing. Now. Pulling away, Lateefah took a breath before expelling it on a grin, releasing him and walking away, but not before tossing a, "That is, if you can last that long," over her shoulder before appearing back into the main vicinity of the pub.

Immediately, her eyes trained on her sister and the blonde she was seated with whom, she had no doubt about now, was Cara. Painting a smile on her face (and no, the smile did not also have something to do with kissing and teasing Colton at all), she approached the duo, sliding back into her seat and training the blonde with a seemingly unwelcome stare. At least, it could have been perceived as unwelcoming if the smile biting at the corners of her lips didn't spell out the warmth she held for the not-exactly homeless girl. "Well, if it isn't Princess Blondie returning to the rest of us peasants. We good enough for you now?" Her words weren't as biting as they could have been, but there was a residual sting from when Cara had left, and instead of acknowledging that, Lateefah turned her attention then to Holly. "Eat your food, Holly. It's going to get really cold."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Holly pulled her hand away from Cara's bracelet, in exchange for grasping her drink and taking a sip of it before speaking again. "Your grandma lives in Florida? I was born there, you know! It's warm there and that's where Disney World is, and there are beaches too, but I didn't live in that part of Florida where the beaches are. Why does she live in Florida and not New York?" Holly didn't remember much about Florida. Her time as a resident of the state spanned only a few years, and luckily, she had been young enough at the time where she didn't remember much of the neglect she ensued with living there. After moving in with her grandmother, she had returned to the state only one time, on a family vacation to Disney World. She was around eight years old at the time, but the eight years following had allowed much of her memories of the trip to escape her. She remembered that it was hot, that there was a pool with a water slide at the hotel, and that she had gotten lost at Magic Kingdom after wandering away from her family. That was all, really, and most of the stories that Holly liked to share of Florida or that specific trip were ones that she made up, but likely believed to actually be true.

She just nodded eagerly as Cara commented on eating, and Tee being back, and then went on to invite her shopping with her and Brooklyn. She would eat at some point, but right now didn't seem like a good time. How could she talk if she had a mouth full of food? Holly was too excited that Cara was finally, and suddenly back, that she didn't want to take a break to eat, even if her food did look good. "Yes! Tee will say that's fine, because she has to work tonight anyway," Holly insisted. She enjoyed shopping a lot, even when the shopping didn't actually consist of buying anything. Even in little corner stores, Holly easily found herself entertained with walking through the aisles and touching, examining, and attempting to convince Tee to buy her everything. Whether it was a piece of candy or some type of office supplies that she would never use, Holly always managed to convince herself that it was something she just had to have. With Cara, shopping was always extra fun, because the blonde actually let her buy things. It was never frivolous spending, and like Tee, Cara wasn't okay with Holly buying things that they had no need for, but she could get away with adding more things to the basket than she could in her sister's presence. That alone, excited her, and the possibility of Brooklyn coming along made it even better.

Lateefah appeared just as she finished her exclamation, and glossing over her sister's insistence that she start eating, she addressed Tee excitedly. "Cara was away all this time because she was visiting her grandma, Tee. In Florida! Like where I was born... Florida." She picked up her fork and began to stir her food absentmindedly, as she continued. "And she said I can go shopping with her and Brooklyn tonight, okay? Since you have to work?" She took a bite of her food after speaking, only to remember that she had stayed at the table all this time to guard not only her food, but Tee's too! "Aren't you gonna eat too? I didn't let Colton have any, and he was being really annoying. He said you loved him." The disgust was evident on Holly's face, but disappeared a second later, a clear indication that her thoughts were moving. She took another bite of food, sipped her drink again, and reached back for Cara's wrist. "Don't you like Cara's bracelet, Tee? When we have money again, we should buy all of your bracelets back."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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It was understandable how people could get overwhelmed by Holly. There was so much energy in her, that it really did seem impossible for the girl to control herself. For the most part, Holly didn't seem bothered by it. She had probably spent her entire life with such a flighty mind, that it was just what she was used to. Even when she seemed to ignore common social norms, as she was doing now, Cara didn't mind it. Holly was harmless, and usually amusing. Nothing she did was done with malicious intentions, and when Cara just wanted someone to distract herself with, Holly always made herself readily available. She extended her arm further down the table to make it easier to Holly to fiddle with the bracelet that was on her arm, but she made a mental note that she probably shouldn't have worn it, or the other pieces of jewelry she was wearing. Again, she hadn't woken up this morning and gotten dressed with the intentions of returning to the basement, but coming back wearing a designer bracelet didn't help her case. Holly was enthralled by it, or else Cara would have subtly slipped it off then and put it into her bag. She didn't want to seem showy, and though she guessed it was inevitable, she didn't want any attention on her just because she was returning.

As Holly seemed to focus in on her excuse for disappearing, Cara wondered if it was wrong to lie. It was just a white lie and it wasn't going to hurt anyone. She didn't want to have to explain to everyone that yes, she did have a suitable home that she could live in, and yes, her last three months were wonderfully normal while they were still stuck here. Maybe no one besides Holly would buy it, and even if they did, the fact that she'd be able to come up with money to fly to Florida to visit her grandmother on a whim didn't make the story that much more helpful, but it seemed like the best alternative. "I do remember you said that," Cara confirmed with a smile. She watched Holly's expression light up as she went on about what Florida was like, before questioning why her grandmother lived there, and not in New York. "She doesn't like the cold winters up here. She's scared that she's going to slip on the ice and break her hip," Cara explained, a small smile tugging at her lips. That was true, at least. Her grandmother had lived in New York for her whole life, but after her husband died seven years prior, she moved into the beach house they had in the sunshine state.

Only a moment after Holly insisted that Lateefah would be fine with her coming shopping that evening, the brunette appeared, and Cara could only offer her a meek smile. Holly would accept her back unconditionally, that much was already apparent. With Brooklyn, it wasn't that big of a deal either, since Cara had seen her multiple times since leaving. With everyone else though, and especially Lateefah, who she was actually friends with, Cara didn't know what she was supposed to say or do. She'd use the "visiting sick grandma" lie with her too, but she felt like she owed her some sort of genuine apology for just disappearing. Now didn't seem like the time, though. Lateefah made a sarcastic remark about it, and then Holly jumped in with her lie, so Cara just smiled. "It's not like that, Tee," she insisted in a light tone, almost playful, as her smile remained. She didn't press it any further, mostly because Holly continued talking. She listened as Lateefah told Holly to eat, and Holly ignored her, only to start eating moments later, and then tell Lateefah to eat too. The back and forth exchanges between the sisters was something that Cara had missed, but what caught her attention more was when Holly claimed that Colton said Lateefah loved him. It made her laugh audibly, and in an attempt to not have to focus on her bracelet, that Holly turned the conversation back to, she tried to push that one. "Don't tell me that you and Colton are a thing now!" she said, eyeing Lateefah playfully. Cara had slept with Colton a few times when she had first gotten to the basement. It was just for fun, an attempt for her to prove to herself that she could be "bad", and she had no feelings for Colton then or now. She wasn't pressing it out of jealousy, but more so out of amusement, because she was sure Colton was just being the same, overconfident jackass that she knew him to be.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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L A T E E F A H ~ E K W E N S I - H A R T
"Whaaaaat? Me and King!? Never!"

Outfit
Location|| Finn's Irish Pub
iPod|| Pompeii by Bastille
Mood|| Neutral


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Lateefah's eyebrows rose in acknowledgement as Holly excitedly supplied her with Cara's explanation about being absent, tossing a rather unimpressed look Cara's way. The smirk that she had on her face earlier when she first acknowledged the blonde was still there, but...but Lateefah knew there was some lie to what Cara fed Holly. Holly might have been oblivious to it, but Lateefah knew better. Knew that unlike everyone else, Cara had a choice. She could easily come and go as she pleased whereas Lateefah had to contend with what she could until she felt secure enough to try for better. It was one of those few things that irked her about her friend, this inability to see how easily she had life and how...unreasonable she was being trying to pretend like she was like everyone else. But Lateefah didn't call her on it. Instead, listening to her sister's insistence to eat and knowing that she needed to do so in order to not pass out while working, Lateefah ignored Cara's claim about the situation not being exactly what it was.

And she probably could have dug more into her food had Holly not let it be clear that Colton was surely not going to go the night without hearing her mouth. Did he...did he really? Lateefah shoved the forkful of pasta into her mouth and thanked her fucking lucky stars that Holly had returned to eating instead of asking for clarification for whatever fuckery Colton told her. But, seriously? What part of do not antagonize her sister - or tell her in any shape or form without Lateefah being present - did that dumbass not understand? Lateefah barely tasted the cheesy pasta as she had half the mind to find the asshole who was soooooo not trying to get laid tonight when Cara pressed her about it.

"I..." Lateefah really was going to say something, an excuse - a lie when she turned to Cara, officially putting off her response to Holly's ever-changing subject matter as they pertained to conversations. But she bit her lip, feeling herself about to say something...something definitely not excuse-like. More like I'm-obviously-lying-and-you-should-know-cuz-it's-obvious. And that was far from herself, so she took the time to sip her water before responding firstly to Holly. "If you go with Cara, then you need to behave. And yes, I do love her bracelets. Maybe if you promise me that you'll be good while you're out with her and Brooklyn, I'll give her money and you can buy a bracelet or two." She refused to fully acknowledge the fact that Brooklyn would be included in their activities or the loss of Lateefah's own jewelry, turning fully to her friend and sliding her fork through her food idly. "Don't even kid yourself. There is nothing going on between me and Chuck Bass' reject brother. He's not even my type." The words, while they flowed easily from Lateefah's mouth, felt...felt stale. And they were...wrong, to some degree, but she couldn't place why they felt wrong. But they were out and she wasn't taking them back and she really needed to eat and move this conversation along. "But what about you, blondie? Don't tell me you haven't snatched up your own little Ken Doll?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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"I always behave, Tee!" Holly objected, tossing her sister her the best version of a frown that she could muster up when she actually wasn't actually angry. She looked towards Cara as she considered making a demand for the blonde to vouch for her always behaving on their outings, but decided against it. Holly was always as lively as she was with Tee, when she was with Cara, but Cara was patient enough that she rarely ever snapped at her. It wasn't like Lateefah did often either, but there was obviously a difference in the patience level of someone who had to deal with her 24/7, compared to someone who spent a couple of hours a day with her, if that. She didn't stop herself from responding to Cara because she expected Cara to say otherwise, though. Instead, she stopped speaking because Cara was asking Tee if she and Colton were actually seeing each other, before Lateefah shut that down. "Who's Chuck Bass?" she inquired. The name didn't seem familiar. Holly watched as much television as she was allowed when they lived with their grandmother, and at Tee's ex's apartment, but Gossip Girls wasn't a show that she was familiar with. She preferred movies over television shows. Surprisingly, it was more possible for Holly to sit in front of the television for two hours straight watching a movie, than it was for her to watch a thirty minute cartoon. It was why she liked going to the movies so much. She was able to sit through them and actually focus, with minimal fidgeting.

Aside from questioning this Chuck Bass character, Holly didn't linger on what her sister and Cara were saying much longer. She took a few more bites of her food and finished her glass of Sprite, before sliding the bowl across the table towards Lateefah. "I'm not hungry anymore," she declared. She turned away from the girls for a brief second as she searched the room again for something more exciting to do, but was brought back to the conversation when she replayed what the girls had been talking about a minute before. "Tee doesn't like Colton. He was lying, but she does like Nick, except Brooklyn likes him too, so she can't really like him. She said Brooklyn's a bad person." Her comment didn't have much of a purpose and jumped around from topics, but it reflected her thoughts at the moment. She realized that Brooklyn's bar stool was now vacant, and that didn't seem good. They were supposed to go shopping, which reminded Holly of Lateefah's promise that she could buy a bracelet, and then of Cara's bracelet, and then back to her vest. "Can you give me money so I can buy a vest like Cara's too? Or can you skip work tonight and come with us. I promise Brooklyn won't be mean to you, right Car?" The vest Cara was wearing was probably too thin to serve as a winter clothing essential, but Holly honestly would have requested anything that stuck out to her. The idea of Lateefah coming with them only made Holly more excited, and more so, antsy to actually go. She felt like she had been sitting in that booth for years at this point.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Cara only smiled as the girls discussed the conditions on which Holly would come with her. She didn't jump in to reject the idea of Lateefah giving her money to cover the bracelets that Holly wanted. It didn't feel right, especially when she was trying to maintain the image that she was even just somewhat on the same level as them. With her luck, she'd accidentally end up coming across as being dismissive or like she was better than them. She knew that Lateefah was just being her typical strong and witty self by giving Cara a playfully cold welcoming, but she also understood it. Like always, she decided that she wouldn't actually use the money that Tee gave her, but she wouldn't outright reject it either. She'd just tuck it away and then give it back to Holly when the got back to the basement.

Lateefah shut down the idea of her and Colton being anything in a manner that was just as amusing as Cara expected it to be. While Holly seemed puzzled over the Chuck Bass reference, it brought a quick chuckle out of Cara, who knew exactly who Lateefah was talking about. "I don't think Colton's is anyone's actual type," she agreed. He certainly wasn't hers. Being a lazy criminal wasn't the most endearing occupation one could have, and his tendency to hit on any female didn't make him boyfriend material either. However, she would admit that there was something alluring there. For her, it had been the thrill of being with someone who was so wrong for her. It made her feel like she was getting back at her father, though it wasn't like the man had ever found out. Plus, no one could deny that Colton was very attractive. He had a rugged look to him, but he pulled it off in a way that didn't make him look dirty, so much as it made him look tough. She wouldn't have blamed Tee for sleeping with him if she knew it, but she never would have guessed that there were actual feelings there. It wasn't like Lateefah would even admit that to herself, so there was no way that Cara would have known, especially after being gone for three months. Besides, she thought that if there was something there, Holly would have known, and everyone knew that if Holly knew something, everyone else would find out soon enough too. "And... no comment on that," she added, after Lateefah questioned her about her own love life. She could tell Tee suspected her grandmother story was not entirely true, and admitting that she had spent the summer with her ex boyfriend would completely invalidate the story. She would probably confess and share the details later on, but the last thing she needed was Holly thinking she was a liar.

Holly was talking a mile a minute, something that Cara realized would take a little bit of getting used to again. She did, however, smirk, when Holly recalled Tee saying that Brooklyn was a bad person. That wasn't surprising. Even months ago, before Cara left, the animosity between Lateefah and Brooklyn was evident. She was honestly surprised that neither of them have killed the other, especially while Cara was gone. She always tried to be the one to mediate between the two, but neither of them ever wanted to compromise, and it allowed for sharp tension to be present whenever the two did interact. "I don't know if I can promise that," Cara responded, when Holly attempted to persuade Lateefah into skipping work by insisting that Brooklyn would be nice. Even if Brooklyn was nice, there was no guarantee that Tee would want to be nice to her either. She smiled at Holly, but allowed the smile to turn into a smirk as she looked towards Tee. "How are you and Brooklyn, though? Finally become friends?" Cara felt weird again, when Holly asked for more money from Lateefah, and tried to insist that her sister skip work, which meant that she wanted more money and for Lateefah to not make more money. "I don't think we're going to go anywhere that sells vests like this," Cara said, looking towards Holly with a soft expression. "I need to get blankets, and I guess a new mattress and things like that. We can look at the bracelets in Forever 21 if you want, but we should save vest-shopping until tomorrow, when we can go to a store that just sells vests."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Image"Yeah, you better hook me up," Isaac joked as he took another drink of his soda, setting the empty glass aside. It was hard joking about Kiara's job sometimes, because he knew how much she hated it. Having a sugar daddy in her position probably wouldn't be the worst of plans, but it wasn't exactly funny. Then again, when life sucked as badly as it did for them, laughing about it was sometimes the only thing they could do.

"Please don't go to jail for killing some homeless bitch," Isaac muttered, and then maybe set up a little straighter to figure out where the hell Brooklyn was and hope to god she didn't hear him. She didn't, she wasn't around, she must have gone back down to the basement or something. "Orange really isn't your color, and I'm not sure they'd let me visit you." It was a joke, of course, he doubted things would ever get that violent between the girls, but he still wanted his feelings on the subject noted.

His nose wrinkled up as Kiara's sights sat on Cara once more, and he shook his head even as he downed his spiked drink because he knew there was no way he was going to deny her. "I am way too sober to go over there," he complied. But Holly was there, Tee too, and he liked them well enough to deal.

"If all else fails, the hotdogs down the road are cheap and decent," Isaac muttered as he stood up, stretching out and then dropping an arm over Kiara's shoulder before they headed to the booth the three other girls were gathered around. "Hey Tee," he greeted with a nod, then let Kiara go to tug at the end of Holly's ponytail. "Hey Kiddo. What's up?" It took him a moment before his eyes finally dragged up to Cara, but his smile was genuine. He really didn't have a reason not to like her, so he could be nice. "Cara. Fancy seeing you around."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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"I've had enough hot dogs in my mouth to last me a lifetime," Kiara muttered, a sly smirk finding its way to her face. It wasn't something that was normally a light topic, even for her, but sometimes she couldn't help it. If she didn't make a joke out of it, she'd probably kill herself over the pure horror of what she was actually doing. Plus, she really wasn't in the mood for hot dogs. Straight vodka wasn't going to sit well in her empty stomach on its own, and a cheap hot dog from a food cart would likely only speed up the process of her getting sick. It wasn't like she had many other options though. Her other plan would be fast food, and McDonald's wasn't made any better. She honestly wasn't banking on Cara taking them to dinner, but it was worth a try. Besides, even if she didn't get dinner now, being friends with the blonde had no down sides for the future. Kiara had seen how Cara treated Holly, and while she wasn't as undeniably cute as the redhead, she thought she could work her magic on Cara and at least get some pity points.

She followed Isaac towards the table that the three girls sat at. She slipped her water bottle, with was now empty, into the large middle pocket of her sweatshirt and put her hood down now. "Heeeeey ladies," Kiara sang, following Isaac's greetings. She squeezed herself into Holly's side of the booth, taking note of the plates of food in front of the sisters. Cara was sitting in the chair at the end of the table that she had seen Colton in earlier, and to no surprise (and Kiara's pleasure), there was no food in front of her. "I won't lie, Isaac was a little offended that none of you said hi to him," Kiara admitted, though it wasn't true. Isaac definitely didn't seem in a social butterfly mood today. She assumed that he probably would have preferred to have went downstairs and crashed in peace, but she wasn't going to allow him to do that just yet. "He'll get over it though. We both will, but hey, we might as well hang out with you guys now that we're here. What are you three up to? Pregaming for some big dinner plans?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Cara didn't seem to be so sure that Brooklyn would be nice to Lateefah, and even Holly knew that to some extent as well. Even if she liked to believe that Brookyln and Lateefah were both good people, and could both be nice to each other if they just tried, she knew that it likely wouldn't happen. It didn't stop her from wanting it to happen, or still wanting Lateefah to come along with them, but after Cara questioned Tee about her relationship with Brooklyn, she had moved on to address Holly. Though Holly had a fair amount to say on the topic of her sister and Brooklyn's friendship, or lack thereof, her thoughts shifted to Cara's words. "They sell vests at Forever 21!" Holly interjected quickly. Really, she had no need for a vest and if Cara hadn't been wearing one at the moment, she probably never would have asked for one, but it was on her mind now. "Tee knows all about clothes and they sell vests there, right?" She was pushing the topic for no good reason, but it was typical of Holly to have a flighty attention span, and yet manage to get hung up on certain things for a few minutes. Like why Tee loved mac and cheese, (with love being a complete exaggeration that Holly had somehow come to believe), or yesterday, how she had insisted her sister fix her purple nail polish multiple times throughout the day because she wanted to be perfect. Today, maybe it was going to be the vests. Or so it seemed that way until Kiara and Isaac approached them.

She was greeted by a playful tug at her ponytail by Isaac, and then by Kiara pushing her further into the small booth to make room for herself. Both had Holly frowning, though it wasn't a very sincere one. It was just a lot for her to process at once, when still accounting for the music, general bar chatter, television sounds, and all of the sights in the bar as well. "Cara was visiting her grandma in Florida!" she informed the two new people as she reached towards Kiara to slide her soda back in front of her. "That's where I'm from, and me and Tee went there one time too, but not to see Cara's grandma," she explained quickly, before sipping her soda. She looked at Isaac and Kiara but didn't notice anything particularly off about the two. Maybe it was because both of them were frequently drunk, high, or coming off of a high, or maybe it was because the bar smelled of alcohol already, so it was hard for her to completely pin the smell of vodka on Kiara. Either way, she didn't comment on their appearances, and tried to focus on the conversation. All it took was Kiara to say that she wanted to hang out with them for Holly to be on her feet, and stepping over Kiara to get out of the booth. "We're getting ready to go shopping!" she corrected Kiara as she moved. "I'll tell Brooklyn we're ready to go!" She was already scurrying away from the booth as she finished speaking, and moved quickly enough that she made it downstairs without being stopped.

"Oh, Broooooooklyn!" Holly sang as she reached the last step. She picked out Colton in his area but didn't even scowl in his direction, as she was too preoccupied with bounding towards the walled off area that Nick and Brooklyn slept in. "Brooklyn! Brooklyn! Brooklyn!" she continued on her way, before stopping abruptly in the open door space when she found the brunette on her bed. "Hi," she grinned, once the girl acknowledged her. "Me and Kiara and Cara and Isaac and maybe Tee are ready to go shopping and we want you to come," she stated, and by the time that one sentence was finished, she was hovering over Brooklyn's bed, reaching to touch the girl's hair automatically.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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L A T E E F A H ~ E K W E N S I - H A R T
"She's going to run you ragged and I don't feel bad about it."

Outfit
Location|| Finn's Irish Pub
iPod|| Pompeii by Bastille
Mood|| Tired


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Lateefah only raised an eyebrow when Holly pushed her plate in Tee's direction, eyeing her sister intensely before relieving her of the examination. Holly's appetite was increasingly becoming a detail of contention in Lateefah's mind and all she knew was that the girl would either be really hungry later, or just not be bothered with food because of her excitement until tomorrow morning. Either way spelled a headache-in-the-making for Lateefah and that was the last thing she wanted. Migraines did not need to become a part of her regularly scheduled programming, thank you very much.

She did, react, however, when Holly suggested that she liked Nick which was a harmless thought, but as with a lot of things Holly said, they came out...not the way they were supposed to, lending to a very dry, I-might-choke-over-this-foolishness kind of laugh that escaped Lateefah's throat. She shot an alarmed look at Holly but focused on Cara to distract herself from her sister's need to consistently switch topics. "The day that happens is the day I'm checking in the loony bin," she said in reference to being asked about her relationship with Brooklyn. It wasn't particularly hostile every day, thank God, but...Brooklyn pushed her. Pushed limits Lateefah hadn't even been sure she had up until those points where Nick would almost find himself girlfriend-less...well, at least unless he sported boners for dragging around dead carcasses. Some people liked that kind of thing, right?

Luckily for her, and minutely she became grateful (despite the "bitterness" she was supposed to be sporting towards Cara for leaving) that Cara seemed to still have some kind of grasp on handling Holly. At least, in the way that Holly didn't seem too overbearing for her. "Yes, Holly, they do sell vests," she answered obligingly, though she knew Holly didn't really need her for that. It wouldn't have mattered if Lateefah had said no; the idea was in Holly's mind and yeah, she was going to flit to another topic in exactly 2.5 seconds, but the thought would still be there. To some degree.

In pursuit of fishing out some money for Cara to take with her for Holly, Kiara and Isaac had arrived and Lateefah gave them both a small smile while explaining, "They are going shopping. Some of us have work in the next few minutes." While looking through her wallet for a fifty dollar bill, Holly shot up out of the booth past Kiara, singing Brooklyn's name like it was the catchiest tune on all of the radio stations. Furthering the growth of Lateefah's headache, causing the dark-skinned woman to cradle her head in hand for a second. Groaning, she looked at the trio she was left with. "Word of advice, people. Don't have kids. They don't eat their food when you tell them to, but always want sweets. And they'll drive you crazy before you turn thirty." Lateefah didn't necessarily mean it, but the headache was speaking for her more than her love for her sister. With another heavy exhale, Lateefah handed the bill over to Cara, leveling her with a stare. "Don't let her drive you too crazy. Remind her that she'll get no ice cream for a month and you should be good."

Still with some time to spare before her shift began, Lateefah went back to eating some of her pasta, though it was a bit colder than the piping hot serving she had been served minutes ago. Not wanting to seem rude, she gestured to Holly's plate, "Don't know how you guys feel about germs, but all she did was nip at that for five seconds and declared herself full. All I know is that I'm not eating it."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Colton King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Cara had never been really close with Isaac, and Kiara had been the new girl before she left, so she didn't know her that well either. What she did know had allowed her to like Kiara, though. She had a light, free way about her, despite being in such a dreadful situation. So, she offered the two a plain smile when they approached, but didn't respond with more than that at first. She could see it in Kiara's appearance that she was intoxicated, but from what Cara knew, that wasn't anything peculiar with the girl. Isaac... she was more wary about him. It related to her background, likely, but just knowing that he did "real" drugs, the hard ones, made her think poorly of him. It wasn't to an extent where she would ever be rude to him, and for the most part, she really pitied him, but if they passed on the street two years ago, she probably would have muttered to a friend about him looking like white trash.

She watched curiously as Kiara nudged Holly farther into the booth to make room for herself, before inquiring about what their plans were. Though she smiled, she didn't respond. It wasn't necessary because Holly was quick to explain that they were going shopping, and before those excited words were even out of her mouth, she was climbing over Kiara to go find Brooklyn... which gave Cara a perfect excuse to get away from Lateefah, now that she spotted her rummaging through her purse. She knew that meant that Lateefah was going to give her money, and though Cara was already pushing back in her chair, she relaxed for a moment when she joked about not having kids. It really did seem like Tee was Holly's mother. She was the person who was responsible for her, and who dealt with all of the craziness, and just the way that Holly interacted with her too, reflected how much she trusted Tee. Though Holly seemed to love and trust everyone, it was different with Lateefah. Cara didn't remember what it was like to have a mother of her own, but she felt like what Holly and Tee had was like a daughter-mother relationship. "I'll see if she'll eat later," she assured her, standing up now.

She couldn't actually leave the table though, because Lateefah's hand was out of her purse now. It was always an event that Cara was uncomfortable with, and when she saw the girl pull out a fifty dollar bill, she felt even more uneasy. She couldn't accept that money! Not to buy Holly something that she likely had no need for. Normally, she would have just accepted it for the time being, and then slipped it back into Tee's bag later that night when she saw her. In this amount, right before Tee departed to spend her night working this same, deadend job, Cara just couldn't do it though. Not when she was still feeling guilty about how this wasn't really her life, and how it was for everyone else. Cara considered that she was probably overthinking it. Tee would've just given her ten dollars and told Holly to hold off if they were struggling that badly, but obviously, they weren't in Cara's position. Not anywhere close. "Just give it to me later. I hate having cash on me," she insisted, pushing the cash back towards Lateefah. "Besides, I really don't even think we'll end up going somewhere to buy a vest, and you know she never gets like that with me. We'll have fun, and if she really needs anything, it'll be my treat. Okay? I missed her, treating her to a silly little vest is the least I can do."

Thankfully, Holly leaving gave Cara a reason to leave too. "I'm going to go grab her and then we'll probably head out through the basement. I'll let you finish that in peace," she said, first looking towards Isaac and Kiara who seemed interested in joining them, before winking at Tee who was back to eating. She didn't want Lateefah to shove the money back into her hands, or for Brooklyn to murder Holly, so she left Tee with a playful smirk and headed down to the basement. It was... strange to be back down there. Really strange, actually. Nearly everything looked the same as when she left, but she noticed that her area of the basement was now occupied by someone else's things. Brooklyn had preempted her for that, but a part of her considered that this wasn't meant to be. She wasn't supposed to be here anymore! And yet she was. And there was Holly's energetic voice forcing her to stop overthinking things, and hurry into Brooke and Nick's area without even acknowledging Colton. "It's okay, Holly. We can catch up with Brooklyn later. She looks really tired," she said, placing a hand on the girl's shoulder in hopes of being able to guide her away from Brooklyn just so they could leave. She was one of the people who actually found Holly and Brooklyn's interactions to be amusing. At least, the part before Brooklyn threatened Lateefah and Holly, and then Lateefah made it clear that she wasn't backing down, was amusing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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ImageIsaac cut his friend a sharp look for throwing his 'feelings' into conversation. Somehow he always became the scapegoat of conversation starters, and he wasn't really sure why. Kiara got away with it, simply because she was too pretty to argue with. Besides, his glare didn't last long, because of course she was already mentioning food.

Holly was talking a mile a minute, and Isaac gave her a fond smile as he kept up with her train of thought. He was usually better at it, when he was high, but he still liked her enough to pay attention. She did, however, crush all of Kiara's dreams when mentioning a shopping trip. Not that Isaac doubted that activity wouldn't end with food, but it also wasn't a quick fix.

The redhead was off in a bundle of excitement that actually kind of made his head hurt, and Isaac remembered then just how hungover he was. The whiskey had helped take the edge off, but he was still coming down, and still felt like shit. He chuckled softly at Tee's words of wisdom on children, shook his head a little. "Thank God I'm gay and never have to worry about it." If he were straight, Isaac had no doubt he'd be abstinent. Children were scary as hell.

He sat back a little awkwardly as Tee and Cara talked money, and had to admit he did have at least a little bit of respect for the latter. At least she wasn't taking cash off someone who worked her ass off for it, even if it was for her little sister. That was somewhat admirable. She was gone next, after Holly evidently.

Isaac waited until she was out of earshot before looking at Kiara. "I love you," he started. "But I am way too sober to go shopping." He normally loved shopping, because he was gay with a capital G, but he couldn't handle it with the way he felt. Too many people, too much moving, even the bar was a little on the questionable side. As long as he sat still, his stomach didn't roll. He fully intended to hit the basement, pop some pills, and sleep it off if he didn't feel better. Lord knew he could use the rest anyway.

He leaned over and pressed a quick kiss to Kiara's cheek before he swooped the plate of mac and cheese off the table. "I will, however, be taking this. Have a good shift, Tee." He waved over his shoulder on his way down to the basement, happily digging into the mac and cheese. The more carbs he could get in his stomach, the better.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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#, as written by Bandit
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While the reason for her absence, that Cara had apparently given Holly, about being in Florida to visit her grandmother was better than stating the reality of where she had really been, it wasn't that much better in Kiara's eyes. She was a girl who had lived in low-income housing her entire life, with a single mother, a frequently-changing baby daddy, and a bunch of siblings. They were lucky if their food stamp money lasted them halfway through the month, and it was a huge occasion if any of them ever got something, be it clothes or a toy, that was actually new, and not some hand-me-down from a neighbor or sibling. Needless to say, vacations weren't a possibility in their household, and aside from moving from Philadelphia to New York when she was five, Kiara had never traveled outside of the state. So, the idea of Cara being able to pick herself up and, presumably, fly to Florida, on the spur of the moment, no matter what emergency situation her grandmother posed, just spoke of the "severity" or lack thereof, of her financial situation. Though it was something that could have rubbed her the wrong way, Kiara had no reason to take it personally, especially when she planned on Cara's wealth benefiting her. The dinner plans apparently weren't going to go her way, as Holly climbed over her to leave the table with her plate of food nearly untouched, signaling that she wasn't hungry, but Kiara wouldn't give up there. Holly was malleable. All she needed to do was whisper something in the girl's ear about the dessert that some restaurant down the block served, and she was sure she could add a little something onto the bill that Cara was covering. Especially with the vodka in her system, she was sure she could get away with it. So sure, that she didn't even tell Isaac he better put that plate of mac and cheese down if he wanted to keep his hands, when he grabbed it. She would let him get away with stealing what could have been her meal for now, but only because Cara left the table after officially extending the invitation to her and Isaac. Isaac declined it and disappeared with the food,

"Lord, if that child grew up in my house, I don't know what the fuck my mother would've done with herself," Kiara said, smiling, but shaking her head as she glanced towards the back of the bar where Holly, Cara and Isaac had been before leaving her range of sight. She either would have had one of her boyfriends beat it to death, or tossed it to Kiara to take care of it she was old enough. There was no way that Kiara would have been able to do what Tee does for Holly, though. That maternal instinct wasn't in her blood. "But, damn, if I were you, I would have her ass lined up to go to school an hour before the doors even opened. You'd get like, six hours to yourself for free. Now that's she's back, though," she continued, referencing Cara, "it's almost better, because it's like a free babysitter and you can make a buck off of it. I don't know why the fuck you're tryna unload your money to Malibu Barbie. Girl, you've got the perfect chance to cling to that bitch and make her drag you up the social ladder with her!" Her tone suggested that she was joking, or being playful at the least, but she wasn't really. Kiara's job forced her to toss a lot of pride out of the window, so it was likely that difference in their personalities that made it hard for her to see why Lateefah wanted to be independent like this. Plus, Lateefah actually had potential and qualifications and real skills that could allow her to be something on her own, in the real world. They were things that Kiara lacked, so in her mind, if she didn't find someone wealthy to leach off of, she was going to be living this life until she killed herself or was killed, lately with the former seeming more likely, scarily enough.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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L A T E E F A H ~ E K W E N S I - H A R T
"I don't want to ever be a charity case."

Outfit
Location|| Finn's Irish Pub
iPod|| Pompeii by Bastille
Mood|| Tired


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Cara was too quick for Lateefah to insist that she take the money and Lateefah wanted to call the blonde back and demand that she take it. She didn't want to be some charity case and Holly wasn't one either. At the same time, Cara had moved too fast, Tee didn't want to be bothered if she went down there to see Brooklyn with the girls, and...well, fuck it. If Cara said she had it, then she had it. Shrugging, Lateefah slid the bill back into her wallet and then that back into her pocket, cutting her attention between food and her friends. Whom she would have to be leaving soon if that clock ticking nearby said anything.

She wound up laughing over a demure bite of pasta at Isaac's comment about being gay and not having to worry about babies. Her laugh followed him when he scooped up Holly's abandoned plate, leaving herself and Kiara alone. It was still surprising, or at least it would be to the classmates that told themselves that they knew the Lateefah that could be as debonair as the best of them, that she and Kiara got along. Then again, a mutual disdain for one individual could bring two enemies together. More than that, she liked the brunette. Liked her energy and the teasing she usually dealt with amusing enough.

Lateefah smirked at Kiara's own comment about having to watch after Holly before replying, "Probably down more than just a bottle of tequila, I'll tell you that much," Lateefah took a sip of her water as she listened to Kiara and damn it, if the girl wasn't right! Despite what Holly wanted, she should be in school. But...school wasn't for Holly, or at least the ones the girl had already been to. She was never comfortable there and Lateefah understood that. A girl like Holly needed support on a level that the typical education system in America didn't give her, not all the time. Or, if it did, it usually cost more money than Lateefah could shoulder every month. It was a relief, having Cara back since the blonde was the main one who could entertain Holly long enough so that she wouldn't seem too much of a bother to everyone else, but still...She should be in school. It was a thought that kept Lateefah up several nights, but not one she could bring into fruition. Not unless she had all of her ducks lined up in a row.

"Not a charity case, Kiara," she stated firmly. It wasn't that Lateefah didn't understand the validity of Kiara's surprising sincerity. Yeah, the laughter in the girl's voice shined through, but so did her seriousness and Lateefah understood it. She could use Cara. This could benefit her better than living with the others. They could have an actual home and yet...Lateefah's pride was too great at the moment. She would feel weak if she simply asked for help like that, especially from a rich girl - who was her friend, never forget that - who wouldn't have given two fucks about her life if they hadn't met in the basement. Asking Cara for help would be no better than returning to her grandmother's front door and Lateefah had too much pride for that. But she wouldn't be telling Kiara or anyone that any time soon.

On the last leg of her meal, Lateefah glanced at the clock, returned her gaze to Kiara, and then scooped up another forkful of food. "You should order something if you're hungry, my treat. I'll take it back to the chef in a minute."