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Roman Killens

0 · 1,000 views · located in New York

a character in “A New York Life”, as played by predictmeifyoucan

Description

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Birth Name:
Roman Eugene Killens

Nicknames:
Roman
Killens

Age:
21
Date of Birth:
December 22

Sexuality:
Heterosexual

Job:
Street fighter
Janitor
Pizzeria Employee
Origin:
London, England [0-13]
New York City, New York [13-present]






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Personality:
| Quiet | Non-confrontational |Relaxed |Irritable |
Roman is a relatively simple guy who, enjoying his own company, keeps to himself. He doesn't mind hanging with other people, especially those he's closer too, but he's typically high on something when he is socializing which makes people more endearing than he would think them to be while sober. Because he has tendencies to bottle things up out of a want to avoid conflict, he can be quite passive aggressive. He prefers to mind his own business and expects others to do the same when it regards him, so he's a very private person. He's not completely cold, and can sometimes even be rather flirtatious if he's in a playful mood (or in a heightened state). Even then, he doesn't really do commit and prefers to just live life day by day, as that's what he's been doing since being on his own. He finds that doing this is most calming for him and prevents him from stressing out as he has tendencies to do.

He is easily irritated, mainly when he's dealing with a bad crash, or just if he's in a bad mood. When he's like this he can have a rather smart mouth or just close off as a whole. He doesn't like when people bring up his substance abuse problems, as he refuses to believe he has one. Should it ever come up in conversation, he gets rather defensive. Apart from his uneven personality, flaws and all, he is generally a rather nice person. He can appear somewhat standoffish because he can be so quiet to the point of coming across as rude, but when he cares about someone, he does so in full. He never intentionally goes out of his way to cause someone harm, although when he does end up hurting someone, he doesn't necessarily do much to fix it either.

Likes:
| Getting high | Casual Sex |Candy |Naps |Puzzles |
Roman loves sweets. While his tough and dark exterior might suggest the opposite, he has a big sweet tooth and consumes more sugar than he should. His favorite type of candy is chocolate anything, mainly Reese's Cups. He also really likes Red Vines, mainly because they don't have them back home. When he's not earning cavities, he likes to sleep and watch television. He enjoys drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes and weed, activities he tends to partake in especially when waiting for the next high. While Roman can get overwhelmed by people easily, he does like walking around the city and sitting in parks, enjoying the weather. He will usually do this if the apartment is starting to feel to small or if he just needs to get out to breathe some fresh air. Because the coffee shop is right across the street from the apartment, he frequents there a lot to appreciate the atmosphere and maybe even a nice dessert and a cup of tea.

While he doesn't really like doing much of anything, just from being worked too hard as a child, sometimes he gets angsty if he sits still for too long. While some of things he does to get rid of this feeling might be questionable and/or illegal, a lot of the times he'll frequent the gym. Exercising is one of the few laborious tasks that he doesn't mind doing, especially since he has to keep up with his physique what with being a fighter. In exchange for the janitorial work he does for handler, he gets some work out time and does his best to utilize that time whenever he can. And although he wants nothing to do with school, he still enjoys giving his mind a little workout from time to time as well. He likes going through puzzle books like Sudoku and solving crosswords.

Dislikes:
|Confrontation |Crashing/Bad trips |Expectations |Failure |His addiction |
He can find someway to dislike anything depending on his mood. Mainly pesky sounds and loud people are the things that bother him the most. He doesn't like people who are constantly bringing drama with them or who are openly confrontational. One of the major things that gets under his skin is when people bring up his addiction. He chooses not to acknowledge, somehow reasoning that if he pretends it's not a problem, it really won't be. No matter how false he knows this is deep down, he still attempts to hide it as best as he can, because even he doesn't like knowing that he can't control himself. Although a lot of (trivial) things can bother him, he'll never really address them and instead tends toward passive aggression. That being said, he doesn't like being confronted about issues. Roman isn't one for commitment or sentiment, not because he has anything against either, but just because they make him uncomfortable a lot of the time. He also doesn't like being asked about his past as he refuses to address it himself. To do so would bring up internal problems he's yet to solve, and is not ready to do. He does many things to distract from this, and one of them is by avoiding complication when he can, whether that means avoiding people or situations. This can make him come across as disinterested, and while sometimes it might be true, most of the time it's due to his not wanting to make a mistake as he hates messing up, even though he knows that he's currently doing nothing to benefit him.




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Coming from a line of old money and big bankers, Roman grew up in the lap of luxury. He went without want for much of his life and had the world at his feet. By way of blood, connection, and his own intellect, he was destined an equally fortunate life. At least, that's what was expected. There was no doubt in anyone's mind that he would have a good life, but when his intellectual gift was discovered, the certainty was solidified even more. it was fact to most that he would have a successful life. With an extraordinary memory and an ability to multiple three digit numbers in his head by the time he was three, it was fact to most that he would have a successful life. For quite some time, they were probably right. With an elite, private education under his belt by the time he was ten, it seemed that everything was going according to plan. He had many people to please by that point, many people expecting great things from him, but those he was most concerned about were his parents, the same people who pushed him into anxiety attacks and depression.

Shortly after finishing school, he was due to begin university but had to delay it for a year because of his mental instability, by word of his doctor. His increased stress and anxiety led him to being susceptible to lots of illnesses, so while he wasn't mentally healthy enough to go onto university just yet, he also wasn't physically ready either. While his mental illnesses were something unexpected (at least by his parents who couldn't fathom how he could even be stressed to this point), his physical weakness was no novelty. Growing up he was constantly getting sick. There was nothing severely wrong or life threatening with him, it was just that he had a weaker immune system than others and was more susceptible to being sick. After a year in and out of the doctor and feeling like a disappointment to his parents, he began his first year of university at age eleven. It turned out that he still wasn't ready for everything that came with university, and while he maintained his grades, he began suffering mentally again and was back to his doctor who requested he take at least a semester off.

By this point, his parents were fed up and frustrated with him, deeming him too lazy to want to do the work. The next few months to come ended up only doing more harm than good despite not being in school because there was so much tension between him and his parents. December that year, he went to stay with his grandparents in America while his parents went on a business trip and then a vacation in the States. Roman was convinced that they were just trying to get a break from him, and he wasn't too upset about it because he was ready to get away from them as well. Once they returned to London, he began acting out, saying he was done with school and done with them. Unsure of what to do with him anymore, they decided to sign him over to his grandparents who worked as college professors at Columbia since they were the only relatives he had who were willing to take him. While Roman was angry with his parents for essentially giving up on him, he had enjoyed his time in America with his grandparents and convinced himself that he wouldn't even miss England or his parents.

Staying with his grandparents proved to be beneficial for him. They were far more understanding of Roman than his parents were. He didn't go to school right away, but he didn't go with his grandparents to work quite often. Over the next year he rekindled his energy and interest in academia and decided for himself that he wanted to resume his studies. He began his first year at Columbia as a freshman when he was fourteen and remained mentally and physically okay for the most part. When he felt himself getting consumed again, he panicked, not able to let himself quit again. He resulted to a few different kinds of pills behind his grandparents back in order to help him with his anxiety and his attention. As he advanced in college, his personality changed some as he began to associate himself with the night scene on campus. He wasn't allowed to go to college parties, but at fifteen he was sneaking out and doing so anyway and making the most out of his time while there. When he was finally able to convince his grandparents to let him stay in the dorms (nevertheless through much arguing and complaining), it only gave him easier access to certain recreational activities. While his grades slipped a bit and his relationship with his grandparents suffered some (especially after they discovered he got a tattoo behind their back) he still maintained a high grade point average and graduated in a semester earlier in December, just weeks before turning seventeen.

He didn't enjoy his freedom for too long because that following January he began an internship his grandparents helped him land. Having enjoyed the party life a bit too much and the euphoria that came with, he still frequented Columbia's campus as a way to distract himself from any and all responsibility. It wasn't until June that he lost the internship, much his grandparents frustration. Instead of trying to redeem himself he continued to make the same mistakes, only getting further and further into drugs, his years of experimentation leading to a growing addiction to different substances. Although they sometimes had their suspicions here and there, his grandparents finally figured out that Roman had a problem and tried getting him to go to get help which only angered him and started a huge fight. It wasn't until shortly after turning eighteen that they put their foot down. Another argument ensued, and it wasn't that this one was any different than the others except that it drove his grandmother to tears. After seeing this, for a few days he settled down, but he eventually decided the easy way out and left.

The next few months he struggled to keep himself afloat, mostly relying on old college friends to lend him a couch, or even the floor, to sleep on. Whenever this didn't work, he would go back to his grandparents until they refused to let him come back unless he agreed to get clean. But getting clean meant admitting he had a problem, and he wasn't going to admit that because he didn't have a problem. He could stop whenever he wanted to. He turned to different ways to make money before falling into street fighting as a last resort. While it wasn't ideal, it was one of the few things that he was okay at. That summer he got a job as a busboy at a local restaurant that doubled as a strip club. It was on the first night of this job that he met Brooklyn and then Nick, the two of which he has stayed with for the past few years. Now he still works as a street fighter although it's not as necessary as it was before. He has a job working at a pizza shop and works another side job cleaning the gym his handler owns.




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Height:
6'2
Weight:

Other:
Lots of tattoos
Many bruises

Face Claim:
Ash Stymest

Hex Code:
#11519E

So begins...

Roman Killens's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Marie Casanova Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Collin King Character Portrait: Oliver Carver
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Thursday, November 26th, 2015 | 11:00 AM

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Character Portrait: Roman Killens
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Despite it being four o' clock in the morning, a car horn blared loudly from below, but it was uninterrupting. He should have been asleep. Not so much because of the hour, but because over the past three days he'd gotten less than twelve hours of accumulated sleep. Instead, though, he sat shirtless on a bed that was not his own as he ate Cinnamon Toast Crunch and watched Popeye. As a child, he wasn't really allowed to watch much television, so he couldn't help but wear a small smile on his face as he gazed at TV screen. The girl who slept next to him, the one he'd been staying with for the past few days, was huddled in an arrangement of blankets, her back to him. Her name was Hannah. She wasn't a complete stranger, as they'd met a few weeks ago, but he still didn't care enough about her to notice how she was probably freezing since he had almost every window open. Killens glanced over when she rolled on her back and tapped his leg. "Hey," she said. "You wanna turn that down? I'm trying to sleep." She gestured towards the TV and Roman raised his eyebrow.

"You need to get up early and do something?"

"Well, yeah. It's fucking Thanksgiving. I have to visit my family. I'm pretty sure I've told you this half a million times." And he was sure she had too, but still he only nodded as if it was the first time hearing it because in all honesty, he'd forgotten about Thanksgiving. He still wasn't entirely sure what the purpose of the holiday was. He knew it involved turkey and pumpkin pie, and that you ate with family, but that was really about it. Roman found the clicker and turned the volume down, trying to focus on the show again, but he could feel Hannah's eyes on him. "You never told me what you were doing," she inquired, to which he didn't say anything. "You must be visiting relatives too, right?"

"I don't--," he began. Before he'd stopped, he was going to say that he didn't have any family here. Which wasn't exactly the entire truth. His grandparents were still in New York, he was sure. But everyone else was in England where it'd just be the day before Black Friday for them. All that was too much to say, and too much information, so instead he settled with, "No. I'm not."

"Why not?"

"I thought you were going to sleep." He frowned.

"Well, now I'm up," she said as she sat upright. Her eyes danced around the room as she thought, opened her mouth, and then closed it, clearly trying to decide whether or not she should say what she was thinking. When she finally did speak, there was a clear bashful, unsure tone. "Look...If you don't have anyone to go see, come with me. Like to eat with my family and stuff. It'd be cool."

Killens smiled some and chuckled which only awarded him with a harsh look from Hannah. Even he knew how inappropriate that'd be. Just from the way she had been acting around him, Roman could tell she thought this was something more, and her naivety wasn't his problem. He should have figured that staying here would send the wrong signals, and now here she was inviting him to meet her family. Seldom things did he find funny, but this was laughable. Hannah sat up and pushed his arm.

"I don't want to meet your family, okay?"

"You don't have to be an ass about it."

"I'm not being an ass--you're just being ridiculous. I mean, why would I want to meet your family? I barely even know you."

In the next moment, the bowl of cereal he'd held in his hand was pushed onto him and a violent, "Fuck you," erupted from Hannah. Roman shook his hands which were now soaked in sugary milk and soggy cinnamon squares. "You knew me enough to stay in my fucking apartment, eating my god damn food, and running up my damn electric bill with all the TV you've been watching." As she yelled, Roman stood up and looked the other way to roll his eyes. He headed towards the bathroom to take a shower, but Hannah intercepted him. "No," she said. "You're dismissed. You can go. Find somewhere else to wash that attitude of yours." Killens stood in front of her for a long time as she blocked the entrance to the bathroom. She shoved him back enough for him to stumble half a step. "Go," she said, pushing him back just as he was in the midst of turning away, which in turn caused him to trip some. He spun around quickly, his nostrils flared. "Don't--" he started before she slapped him. "Or what? Or what?" she yelled. He only shook his head and turned away.

As he pulled on his shirt and shoes to the sound of her fussing at him, he worked to control his temper. It wasn't so much that he was easily angered, but he knew what she was doing. She knew he fought; it was at one of the matches that they'd met each other. She was really like the rest of them. They saw him as broken, as able to be fixed and softened, and whenever there was conflict, they dared him to get angry and expose his other side. That's what Hannah was doing as she pushed him out the door and slammed it behind him. He tugged at the roots of his hair hard enough to cause some pain and exited the hall and into the crisp November night. It was then that he realized he'd forgotten his jacket upstairs, but there wasn't any going back now. It took twenty minutes to walk back to the apartment--twenty-five when he decided to smoke before going inside. His exhaustion was finally hitting him, and he was thankful for it so that by the time he was finally in his room, he'd barely had enough energy to kick his shoes off before collapsing on his bed and falling asleep.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West
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Brooklyn finished off the slice of pizza that she had ordered as Nick spoke. Her gaze switched between the food, to him when she looked at him imploringly. "A hotel? Are you crazy? Rent is due in a week, and you want to blow hundreds of dollars on a hotel room? Why?" Surprisingly, her voice remained calm, and actually more curious than belittling. Since finding out about Nick's affair, Brooklyn did evaluate herself. She wasn't the type of person who ever took responsibility for her actions, and she still felt like no matter what, Nick wasn't justified to step out on her like she did, but she wondered if she was really that bad of a girlfriend where she could push him to do something like that. At this point, she was over that insecure phase and didn't think it mattered even if she was that bad, but it had caused her to be a little bit softer over the past two weeks. She kept herself from snapping at him for things that normally would have pissed her off, and she spoke less in general. She wanted him to be able to tell that something was off without her having to reveal that she knew what he did. With her change came a change in the way he was treating her too, which threw off the entire normal balance of their relationship. He seemed present more, not only just physically, but mentally. She wasn't sure if it was that he was smoking less, or that he was just trying to be nicer to make up for what he did, but it was different. If she didn't know that he was doing it to compensate for cheating on her, she would have appreciated. This Nick was the kind of Nick she wanted to be with, and in her mind, if he was always like this, she wouldn't have a reason to get some angry and aggressive with him.

"Now that we have an apartment, we don't need that." Had it been a year ago when they were living in an unfinished basement under a pub, with Roman, the idea of spending a night in a hotel would have been enticing. A clean, warm bed, a nice, hot shower and the privacy would have been welcomed. Now, they had all three of those things. The apartment they shared with three other people wasn't completely private and Brooklyn was sure that everyone could hear what was going on in their room through the thin walls, but it was enough privacy for her to be content. "Didn't you say that Cara was doing something? Having Makayla and Holly over or something? We could always do that before our movie. I don't mind seeing a late night movie, and I'm sure she's ordering food in from some fancy place," she smiled, reaching across the table to squeeze his hand. "Might as well take advantage of it." She was finished with her food at that point, so she tossed her napkins, plate and empty can onto the bright orange tray it had been served on and stood up. "Let me text Roman and make sure he's okay. I haven't seen him in like, three days, honestly," Brooklyn said as she moved a few feet away to dump their tray in the garbage. It wasn't abnormal to go a day or two without seeing Roman. He didn't always come back to the apartment, especially on nights when he was fighting. Brooklyn worked late nights too, so on the days following those nights, she could sleep until three in the afternoon. Sometimes, their schedules didn't match up, and it wasn't something that was a big deal but Roman would always be someone that Brooke cared about, even if she didn't act that way.

To: Roman
are you alive?????

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West
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Brooklyn was right, going to a hotel was a stupid idea. He just couldn't bare the thought of being in that apartment all night, knowing that Cara would be there and in a socializing mood. It wasn't like there was a chance that she would be out with friends, or working, or in her room all night. He knew for a fact that she was going to be there hosting at least Makayla and Holly, and that meant that it was going to be hard for he and Brooklyn to get away with staying in their room all night too. Nick trusted that Cara would never say anything, especially to Brooklyn, because everyone seemed to think that Brooklyn was the kind of girl who would knife you in your sleep if you did her wrong, but he was still nervous. Cara and Brooklyn were friends, or at least friendly, and he wondered if girl code would kick in at some point and Cara would confess to Brooklyn before he did, making her seem like the good friend and him like the horrible boyfriend. He hated knowing that someone had something that they could potentially use against him, and that made him want to talk to Cara again just to make sure she was still okay with keeping her mouth shut. If he did that, though, he knew he would feel even more guilty, because than there was no way to deny to himself that somehow this wasn't that bad, because he would be blatantly trying to hide and cover up for it. He knew that he should just come clean to Brooklyn, but that meant the relationship (and possibly his life, if she was in a crazy mood) would be over, and he really didn't want to lose her. The stress of it all made his chest feel tight and his head heavy.

"Uh, yeah, I think she might have mentioned that," he responded, rubbing the back of his neck as she brought up Cara's Thanksgiving get together. "We could do that if you want. I'm down." He was really trying not to seem distant and unsure of himself, so he smiled and returned the gentle squeeze she gave his hand, hoping that it didn't seem as forced and robotic as it felt.

When Brooklyn got up to throw out her food, Nick sent out a few texts to some of his customers who he needed to make deliveries to tomorrow, responded to Makayla's text and sent one to Roman as well. Roman was his closest friend but their relationship was never demanding. Nick rarely ever noticed when Roman didn't come home for a couple of days at a time because he wasn't the kind of friend to smother anyone. They gave each other their space, but if Brooklyn was bothered by it this time, Nick now felt like he should be too, and figured that sending a text to Roman couldn't hurt.

To: Roman
You've got Brooke worried lol u alright? Wanna catch a movie with us later? I think we're seeing spectre? And I picked up a ton of bud from my supplier last night so I'll probably light up w Makayla when I get back if you're in the mood

To: Makayla
Of course. I just refilled my supply and cara hasn't been a bitch lately lol so I don't think I'll need to store it in ur room for now but I'll drop something off when i get back. U gonna be around all day?

"Yeah, you know, I haven't seen him in a while either. He might have mentioned that he had a fight last night or the night before, but I'm not sure. I texted him too, but I doubt he's even awake at this hour," he said with a shrug as he got up and followed her towards the door to leave. When they stepped outside, the brisk fall air caught him off guard, but he didn't really mind it. His black leather jacket was surprisingly insulated, and the pizzeria had felt like a sauna anyway. "Anywhere else you wanna go before we head back?" he asked, tucking one of his hands into his jacket pocket and wrapping the other arm around her waist. He didn't have anywhere that he needed to go, but he hoped she would think of something, just to stall going back to the apartment.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester Character Portrait: Oliver Carver
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Ryan didn't get Cara's text until the cab had dropped him off at the end of his block, so he was relieved when she said that she didn't need anything. He wasn't sure that he could trust Chanel and Cara with planning an entire meal, since the former seemed just as... out there... as his sister, but he wasn't going to bother himself over it. He would have rather them come home with a fresh pizza from a pizzeria than a turkey and side dishes, and have to deal with a poorly-cooked meal from the two. If all else failed, or if his cravings for a real Thanksgiving meal just refused to subside, he knew that he could always just take a cab back up to the Upper East Side and eat with his father.

One thing that he hated about their apartment building was that there was no elevator. He wasn't lazy or nonathletic, but having to walk up and down five flights multiple times a day was a pain in the ass. It was one even more so when he was carrying his school books or grocery bags, which he luckily wasn't today. He had made it halfway up the flights of stairs when he received Oliver's text, but he waited to respond to his sister and friend until he was in front of 5C's door.

To: Cara
Alright, don't go crazy though

He knew his sister was going to go overboard, but at least now he could say that he tried to tell her not to. That was just the way Cara was, and had always been. He didn't know Chanel very well on her own, and while he wouldn't call her an enabled to Cara's behavior, she seemed to play along with it too in a natural way that friends would. Cara liked things big, so he was sure that if she and Chanel were out shopping, which is what they frequently seemed to do with each other, they would likely come home with enough food to feed a small village. He kept that in mind when sending his next text message to Oliver.

To: Oliver
Ahh gotcha, sounds fun. My sister's having some of the girls from 5B over for dinner I think. Feel free to stop by later if you're bored. I'm sure there's going to be more than enough food.

When the texts were sent, he found his key and made his way into the apartment. It seemed quiet, and as he moved inside, he noticed that Brooklyn and Nick's door was open, which likely meant that they weren't home. Cara's room was vacant too, but unfortunately, his own room wasn't. Ryan noticed Roman's form on the other bed in his dark room, so he did his best to be quiet as he took off his jacket and grabbed his laptop, and carried it out to the living room. He took a seat on the couch and flipped through the channels until he found a channel playing Parks and Recreation. It was one of his favorite shows, and he knew that he could very happily spend the rest of the day watching it. However, his father had spent the past evening going on and on about football, so Ryan knew that if he did end up going back there later that night, it would only work to his benefit if he at least watched one of the football games that were scheduled for today. Luckily, as he checked online, he saw that the first of the three didn't start until 12:30, so he had time to watch what he actually liked before then.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West
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"Good point," Brooklyn said, tucking her phone back into her bag when Nick reminded her that Roman was probably still asleep and wouldn't respond because of it. She couldn't cut him down for sleeping in late, because she did the same on most days. They both primarily worked at night until the early hours of the morning, so they couldn't be blamed for not being morning people. She wouldn't count on him responding, but it was one more reason for why she said, ""Nope, let's just head back," when Nick asked if she had anywhere else to go. She really didn't have anything else that she needed to do, but she also was curious to see if Roman was back and if so, what his plans were for the day. They had known each other for a few Thanksgivings, but since Nick and Brooklyn mostly did their own thing on the holiday, it wasn't like the trio had established any traditions. This was the first year that they were living in an apartment, and sort of back in the real world again, so she was curious if he had anything planned for the night. She doubted it. Roman wasn't the type of guy who acted sentimental over things like this, especially considering that he seemed to identify with his British roots, so an American holiday likely didn't hold much value to him. She didn't know that Nick had invited him to see the movie with them, but it was a thought that was in her mind too.

"Do you ever worry about him?" she began as they started walking back to the apartment. "Roman? I know he's smart and he knows what he's doing and whatever, but I feel bad for him sometimes. Like, out of the three of us, he's the one who's the most lost?" She looked at Nick as she spoke, attempting to read his facial expression. To a lot of people, Nick was hard to read. He wasn't very expressive, tended to be quiet, and frequently kept to himself. He wasn't a hermit, but he just did his own thing. He was like that with Brooklyn sometimes too, where he seemed distracted or like his head was in the clouds, but she knew him well enough to know how to see past that and sense what he was feeling. Normally, she tried not to get deep like this. She and Nick had basically known Roman for the same amount of time, and she felt like she was just as close to him as Nick was, but in different ways. She wasn't Roman's mother and Nick wasn't his father. They were equals, and academically speaking, Roman was probably superior than both of them combined, but just on a friends level, she did sometimes worry about him. Brooklyn wasn't the type of person who was maternal or worrisome to a point where anyone would actually know, but she did care about her friends. To the few people she had opened up to since leaving home six years ago, she felt like she was a good friend, and even if the concerns were usually just verbalized in her mind, she did care and worry about them. She probably would never voice her concerns to Roman, but she didn't feel weird asking Nick about it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester
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(Collaboration with BurningBridges)


Nick took a moment to answer Brooklyn, trying to figure out what she meant, and then how to respond to it carefully. Roman wasn't an unusual or sensitive subject between them, but he was a mutual friend, and Nick didn't want to say anything that would come out wrong and get back to him. He knew that Roman wasn't outrageously sensitive either, and noticing all of this planning in his head made it more bothered with himself. It was like since the night with Cara, and the guilt that came with that, he couldn't help but to overthink every interaction he had with anyone. "I think... I think he's where he needs to be. I don't like the idea of him doing that shit either, but I guess the money's worth it for him. Worth it compared to whatever he'd make in a normal nine to five job." He knew that wasn't really true. It wasn't like Roman was rolling in money, but it was how he had survived for the past few years when his side jobs didn't work out. He wanted to add what he felt was more true, that not everyone was cut out to be real estate agents or teachers or nurses, and that even if Roman was destined for a more normal career down the line, maybe he needed this time to find himself, but he didn't. He knew that she would take it as him trying to claim that she was pushing him into something he didn't want to do, because Brooklyn had been the driving force behind him even trying to apply to normal jobs.

He was content with selling drugs. He didn't see himself doing it in his 30's or 40's, but Nick was a "live in the moment" kind of guy. He hated thinking about his future or how he was wasting away his youth when he should have been preparing for his future. It was just too much for him, but Brooklyn had been on him about it since they met, and after what he did with Cara, he felt like he was making up for it by finally looking for a real job. It was painful enough for him to do it, so he wasn't going to try to be some mentor telling Roman to get his act together when he didn't have his together. "I don't know, I think he'll find his way. Moving into the apartment was a good step for him. For all of us, really."

Brooklyn nodded, knowing that what Nick had said was probably true. Brooklyn's career wasn't conventional either, but at least she wasn't risking death every night by dancing on a pole like Roman was with his fighting. At the same time, it wasn't like she had any better job options to offer him, and if that was all he had to pay his rent, she couldn't expect him to just stop because it worried her. Especially not when she had never actually said anything to him about it. It just wasn't something that would come up with the relationship that she had with Roman. They were close friends, but serious things like that rarely came up in conversation. They usually kept it light, making jabs at each other, with Roman getting under her skin and her threatening to slap him if he didn't stop. "I feel like you should talk to him about it next time something like that comes up in the conversation. Bring up Marie, or someone he's slept with, and ask if he's looking for something serious. I know twenty-one is young to settle down, but a serious relationship might make him grow up a little bit. Learning about commitment and trusting people fully, you know?" She really did start the conversation with Roman's welfare in mind, but she couldn't help but to throw the last bit in with the same serious tone and expression she had on in the beginning. She didn't want to watch Nick squirm... but she did. "If he's there when we get back, hang out with him. I think I'll see if Cara needs any help with her little Thanksgiving party. I feel like I haven't actually hung out with her in a while, we need to have some girl time and catch up," she said, smiling then. Again, she made sure that her voice remained controlled, as if she didn't know anything and wasn't intentionally saying things to get a reaction out of Nick, but her eyes lingered on his face.

He nodded slightly when she mentioned hanging out with Roman, but verbalized an, "Okay, that works," a second after she brought up how she wanted to hang out with Cara. He did his best not to show it, but his stomach was in knots. Again, he didn't think that Cara was going to say anything to Brooklyn, and it wasn't like the blondes hadn't crossed paths at all in the last three weeks to a point where this would be the first time since that night, but it still made him nervous. "Lemme hit up Roman again," he muttered as pulled his hand out of his jacket pocket and grabbed his phone. The sight of Cara's name on his phone had his heart skip a beat. He knew it was worse to act suspicious and guilty, but he didn't know what her message was going to entail. With his luck, Brooklyn would be looking over his shoulder at the exact moment that Cara decided to be a crazy bitch and send him nudes or something. Luckily, as he slid the message open, it was just an invitation from Cara to eat with them that evening. He didn't even mention it to Brooklyn, and shot back a quick response as he sent another message to Roman.

To: Cara
cool sounds good.

To: Roman
lmk

The walk back to the apartment was only around ten minutes, and when they got inside, the first person they saw was Ryan who was sitting on the couch with his computer, watching television. "Hey Ryan," Nick said, offering the guy a small wave. The two definitely weren't close but Nick tried to be as polite as possible, considering that this had been his apartment before they moved in. "Is Roman home? Or your sister?" he asked, making sure to look back at Brooklyn at the second question, to somehow signal that he was asking for her.

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Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin
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"Oh, okay, cool," Nick responded, nodding as Ryan explained where his sister and Roman were. Again, he figured he was probably just overthinking things again, but he felt weird storming into Ryan's room to see Roman, even though it was Roman's room too. It wasn't his room, so he felt like he would be breaking some sort of privacy rule by not asking if it was okay to go in, with Ryan sitting right there. He didn't feel comfortable with asking that either, since it seemed so unnecessary, so he just headed to the fridge and grabbed a bottle of water. "Want anything to drink, Brooke? We still have a few beers or I can make you a drink if you want. I think we still have some of that cotton candy vodka left..." he said, his voice trailing off as he started to rummage through the cabinets. He read Makayla's text and planned on going over, but he wanted to make sure that Brooklyn was set first, and possibly see if Roman was there too. He didn't respond to Makayla but managed to send Isaac a quick text.

To: Isaac
probably smoking in 5B in a few. buds on the house today since i'm in the holiday spirit lol. come thru if ur craving

Brooklyn didn't rush when they got into the apartment. She took off her jacket and shoes, something that she had decided was a ritual at the apartment. For years, she had desperately wanted a place to call home, and now that they had a somewhat stable living situation, she was going to take advantage of it and make it feel as homey as she could. When she thought back to rituals in her house growing up, taking her shoes off at the door was always one of them. Her mother was meticulous with things like that, and though she wasn't a clean freak like the woman, she had taken up the habit again as a way to remind herself that this could be a home for her. She listened to Nick speak to Ryan for a few seconds before following her boyfriend towards the couch. She smiled at Ryan, but didn't say anything, and turned to watch Nick as he headed into the kitchen area. "Yeah, make me whatever you made me last night. The one with that vodka and the cranberry juice, and Sprite, I think it was," she responded. It was a little early for vodka, but oh well. It was a holiday. That would be her excuse today.

"I'll be right back," she chirped a moment later as she left her place by the counter and headed down the hall and into her bedroom. She hung her coat up, placed her shoes in the corner, and then headed back out, but not into the kitchen. Instead, she slipped in Roman and Ryan's room. "Rise and shine, Ro Ro," she said in an obnoxiously cheerful, sing song voice as she gave a sharp nudge to Roman's side. She didn't care that she was basically pulling a Holly by waking him up, and doing the one thing that she would spend hours ranting about if it happened to her. She was waking Roman up for his own good. There was no use in sleeping all day when he could be hanging out with Nick, and potentially getting good life advice. Brooklyn wanted to laugh at that thought. Who was she kidding, acting like her drug dealer of a boyfriend who cheated on her had any life advice? Holly could probably offer Roman better guidance than Nick at this point. At the very least, Brooklyn could say that she was certain that Nick had just as good of intentions with Roman as she did, so she was confident that the two socializing would only be good for both of them. Nick wouldn't think it would be okay to fuck anymore hoes with Roman around, and Roman wouldn't be getting concussions in Nick's presence. She gave him one more nudge before flipping the light switch on and opening up the blinds that covered the bedroom's window. It was definitely obnoxious and if he was suffering from a hangover, it might have been a death wish, but she didn't care. "Nick wants to hang out with his favorite loser, so get dressed and go hang out with him. Unless you want to stay and hang out with Cara and Chanel and I," she said, making her way to the doorway. She knew he wouldn't want to take the latter offer, but she knew that waking him up in the manner that she did might just as easily result in him rejecting both offers and being annoyed all day.

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Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester
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They first started when he was eight, became common when he was ten, and gradually became more and more problematic afterwards. In the beginning, his nightmares were really just anxiety-induced. But now that he was rid of that part of his life, it made no sense that they kept coming back. They were no where near as frequent, or as violent, and in fact they hardly ever consisted of anything when they did happen. He rarely ever had actual dreams, and tonight--or that morning rather-was no different. For the majority of his time asleep, short as it was, he felt like he was holding his breath. His chest tightened and his nerves heightened. He felt fear without being frightened. A couple of times he was able to wake himself up, a quick gasp escaping his lips as though they were a result of him actually yanking himself awake. His heart was beating no faster from what he could tell, but it still felt the way it did before a fight; when he was on edge and uncertain. The temperature of the room also helped to keep him from drifting deeper into his slumber, bittersweet as that truth was. On the one hand he was incredibly exhausted, but on the other, his subconscious was warning him about drifting back off. While normally he would have gotten up to open the window so as to let in a nice breeze, today he did not. Instead, he lay accumulating tension in his muscles and sweat on the nape of his neck as he slept. That was until he felt something against him shortly after hearing a higher pitched voice which was undoubtedly Brooke's, but he was too disoriented to really register it right away.

He flinched at her initial touch, looking over his shoulder to see her. With a slight scowl, he curled back up, facing the wall, and tried going back to sleep. When she nudged him again, he swatted at her hand lazily and missed. Killens squeezed his eyes tighter in the hopes of getting back to sleep, but this only proved futile as in the next few seconds an abundance of light was cast on the room. Given that he wasn't sleeping that well to begin with, he probably shouldn't have been annoyed as he was, but it was that exact reason that had him in a bad mood and flinging his pillow sharply in Brooke's direction. "What the fuck?" It was clear that he was annoyed, but this didn't stop Brooke from smirking, seemingly unmoved by his frustration, and saying, "He's waiting in the kitchen, hurry up," and then leaving.

The calloused rigidity of his hands smoothed over his face as he yawned and stretched. He stayed there for another minute or so, listening to his heartbeat and the movement from outside. It was never in his favor to get up right away, let alone not on his own accord. He enjoyed just sitting and listening before actually having to get up, but it was nearly impossible to do that with the window closed the way it was. As he glared over at it, the stickiness that suctioned his shirt to his skin became more noticeable, and as he sat up with a groan, he took his shirt off, tossing it to the bottom of the bed. His senses were still heightened when he cracked the window and embraced the chill. It seemed to calm him enough to finally leave the bedroom at least somewhat less irritable, but it didn't stop him from glaring at Brooke. He hardly took note of the set up before him: Ryan on the couch and Nick doing something in the kitchen. When he found Brooke, he went over to her and looped his arm around her neck in a playful choke hold. "What'd I tell you about waking me up, huh?" he said. It wasn't uncommon for Roman to mess around with Brooke in this nature. While he mostly made verbal jabs at her, sometimes he did get physical, like now. Although his voice seemed more serious due to the fact that it was deeper with the remains of sleep lingering in his chest, he was never rough enough to actually hurt her. "Thought I told Nick to get you a leash," Roman said before finally letting her go, giving the back of her head a slight push.

Roman went to the fridge, looking inside for a moment before grabbing a leftover tomato and some beans from yesterday. After grabbing a plate, he placed a piece of toast in the toaster oven and leaned against the counter, finally pulling his phone from his pocket and seeing the seven messages he'd received. Three were from Nick and Brooke, and the other four were from Hannah, the latter of which he didn't bother reading at the present moment. Reading the messages made him smile somewhat and he waved his phone in Brooke and Nick's direction. "What lovely parents you two are," he said. Sentimentality wasn't really his thing, but the texts did get a small smirk out of him. He recalled what Brooke had said earlier when she was busy being obnoxious by waking him up; something about hanging out with Nick. He was sure that it was her doing since she was the one to come get him, and Nick would never be that pressed to hang out. That being said, he highly doubted that whatever play date she had planned didn't involve him smoking with Nick and Makayla, so he wasn't entirely sure what to say, or who to address--at least not right away. When his toast was ready, he plucked it out and began eating his breakfast. It wasn't a full meal. Had he had eggs and black pudding or even mushrooms, he would have had his full English, but for now, this would do. "I'm game," Roman said to Nick, nodding towards his phone. "When are you going?" He bit into the tomato, chewed slowly and swallowed before continuing. "So why is Brooke up my ass about hanging out with you today?" His question was directed at Nick, but he was giving a Brooke a look from the corner of his eye as he spoke.

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Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester
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Brooklyn left the kitchen and between then and the time she reappeared, he was able to put together the drink she wanted. It took every last drop of the flavored vodka they had, and he was sure that even with that, it was going to taste light to her, but it was all they had. He knew that Cara had alcohol stocked away somewhere, but he and Brooklyn were pretty good about only using their own things. Cara could say that they were bad roommates in other ways, like how they were constantly yelling or how they brought along extra, unwanted baggage, or whatever wonderfully endearing term she chose to describe Roman that say, but they didn't steal her things.

Although Brooklyn was only gone for a couple of minutes, it took Nick half of that time to make the drink, and the other half felt like it dragged on. He had positioned himself far enough in the kitchen where he couldn't see Ryan, and he knew the kid was watching television and likely didn't want to be bothered, but he wondered if he should try to make conversation. Nick wasn't overtly friendly, but it was simply because he was more comfortable in silence. He didn't know if everyone else was the same though, and if socializing was a genetic thing, Cara's brother wouldn't be like him in that matter. Luckily, Brooklyn reappeared with Roman only a few steps behind her before Nick could convince himself that small talk could somehow be a good idea in this situation. He grabbed a cold beer from the fridge and placed it on the counter, waiting to open it. He was busy smirking at the interaction that played out between Roman and Brooklyn. Their back and forth banter was always amusing, but it was just one more thing that Nick was sure would be ruined if he came clean to Brooklyn about Cara, and their relationship ended. He didn't know if Roman would choose his side or Brooklyn's, but he wouldn't blame him for taking hers. He was wrong, and there was no way to justly excuse what he did, but it was a mistake. He had to say it over and over in his head, and he still wasn't always convinced that he believed it, but it had to have been a mistake.

"Hey, she's not up your ass," he said, attempting to sound like he was truly trying to defend her, but falling a little short in the authenticity of the tone. Normally, he wouldn't have even commented on it, but this was Boyfriend Nick Version 2.0. "She just doesn't want you around to cause trouble with Cara when she gets back. Brooke's helping her with her Thanksgiving dinner thing," he reasoned, lowering his voice just a bit so that Ryan couldn't hear. It wasn't like he was saying anything bad about Cara, but the constant tension between his roommate and sister had to put Ryan in an awkward spot. "But I'm gonna head over there now, so take your toast to go if you wanna come." He looked towards Brooklyn with a smile, as he slid the drink in her direction. "I left some of my 'product' in Makayla's apartment, so I'm gonna go pick that up and try to make a few sales downstairs. Text me if you need anything, but we should be back within the hour," he explained. It wasn't the complete truth, but it sounded better than saying that they were about to go sit on Makayla's bedroom floor and get high. With that, he made a dash for his bedroom, and there he grabbed his bowl and his spare one, and a bag of marijuana from his stash, which he pocketed before returning to the kitchen. He took his beer from the counter and ended up going back to the fridge to grab one more for Makayla. "Just in case," he commented with a half-grin. "Take the last one if you think you're gonna be thirsty, because you're not getting one of these," he said to Roman, nodding towards the fridge now that his hands were full, as he began to walk towards the front of the apartment.

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Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester
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As Brooklyn left Roman's room, she considered going back in to make a comment about how much of a crybaby he could be, but she held her tongue. Waking him up when it actually wasn't that late in the day was probably mean enough for now. She continued back into the kitchen where Nick still stood. Her drink appeared to be ready on the counter, but she didn't reach for it yet. There was never a day when Brooke would turn down alcohol, but today was going well enough where she wasn't craving it. Plus, the past two weeks had entailed enough bottles of straight liquor where she was actually beginning to become concerned for her liver's health. It had survived years of intense drinking, so she knew that worrying now was futile, but finding out that Nick had cheated on her hadn't been pretty, and having to mask that anger and shock because she didn't want him to know she knew, only made her turn to the bottle more.

"Don't-!" she snapped when she felt Roman wrapping his arm around her neck, but he was too fast for her to fully object before he was pushing her head and releasing her. She scowled at him, but decided that they were even now. Or at least they were even until he made a comment about them being his parents, and her being up his ass. Of course, that was what she got for being a good friend. Though playful, they were comments she told herself she needed to remember next time she tried to be nice to Roman and help him. She made a mental note to try to get Holly in their apartment the next morning to wake him up at the crack of dawn. That, or she'd punch him the next time he came home from a fight looking like he was already on his death bed.

By that point, she was more ready for her drink, so she accepted it with a softer smile when Nick slid it to her. Only one sip in and she could tell that it was too sugary, and less vodka-y for her tastes, but she also saw the empty vodka bottle and knew that that was as good as it was going to get for now. "Pick up some vodka if you end up going out," she requested before Nick headed towards their bedroom. While he was out of sight, she picked up her drink and moved closer to Roman, getting one kick to his leg in before backing up. "That's for being an ass when I'm always a good friend to you," she challenged in a tone that was serious, but playfully so. She took another sip of the drink and followed Nick to the door after he reappeared and grabbed two beers. "Be good," she warned, though she couldn't keep a smile from finding its way to her lips before she reached up with her free hand to pull his face down to peck his lips. The smile was genuine, too. Even though in her mind, her inner monologue was running with comments about how "be good" meant "don't fuck anymore sluts", she couldn't help but to genuinely smile when looking at him at the moment. She closed the door behind him when he left, but when she returned to walking back into the apartment, she didn't acknowledge Roman in the kitchen again, and just headed into her room, where she shut the door, sat down on the bed, and tried to enjoy her drink.

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Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin
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Nick left the apartment with a kiss from Brooklyn, but no Roman in tow. He guessed that Roman was going to shower or at least put on a new pair of clothes since he had literally just rolled out of bed, and he didn't feel like waiting. He was sure that Makayla was waiting on him, and more than that, waiting for Roman wasn't worth dealing with the awkwardness that he would feel if within those few minutes, Cara returned. It just wasn't worth it, and with the cold beers in his hand, he had one more reason to get across the hall quickly. The fact that he didn't even have to knock on Makayla's door, and that she was actually waiting for him in her doorway quickly brought a smirk to his face. He and Makayla were unlikely friends, but she was someone that he genuinely enjoyed spending time with. "Spending time" for them almost always meant smoking, but that was besides the point. She was a good customer when she had the money, and when she didn't, Nick was a good friend. Like today. She had offered him five dollars, but he wasn't going to take what he was sure was some of her last money. "Sorry, I didn't know there was a rush," he commented as she playfully squeezed his arm.

In one of Makayla's texts, she had mentioned her roommates being out, and for a slight moment, he forgot about Holly living there too. Makayla brought her up before Nick even noticed her sitting by the television. "Oh, hey Holly," Nick commented, waving at the redhead, despite seeing that she seemed pretty engulfed in whatever show she was watching. "Uh, yeah, that math stuff sounded pretty tricky when you were telling me about it. It may take a while to get it done," he said loudly, awkwardly following Makayla's lead in misleading Holly about what they were doing. Honestly, sometimes he forgot that she was sixteen. She looked that age, maybe a year or two younger, but emotionally and mentally she didn't seem like any of the teenagers he knew. He sold weed to kids a year or two younger than her, and Nick doubted that she would even know what the drug looked like. It wasn't like it was a bad thing, though. Holly wasn't stupid and she wasn't hard to be around, she could just be a lot to take in sometimes. Nick mostly knew her through when she would stay with Cara while Makayla was working, and since Holly seemed to be fascinated with Brooklyn, he ended up spending more time than he would have intended to hanging out with her. In times like this, he couldn't blame Makayla for wanting to shield Holly from knowing she used drugs and from being around them in general. She seemed too sweet and innocent to really understand why Makayla would want to use something that she had probably grown up being told was horrible.

"Smells good in here," he added in a hushed tone now as they left the room that Holly was in and headed into Makayla's bedroom. "You put together some snacks for when we've got the munchies? I never would have pinned you as being the baking sort." He sat down on the edge of one of the beds, not paying much attention to whether it was Holly's or Makayla's, as he opened up the bag of weed and focused on breaking a handful of it up slightly, to fit it into the bowl of his pipe. He tossed the bag to Makayla when he finished. "You've got your bowl, yeah? Just save some for Roman." There was a good amount of marijuana in there, so he wasn't actually concerned with her using it all, but Makayla could smoke a fair amount, so it was worth mentioning. He glanced at his phone upon receiving Isaac's text and added, "I think Isaac might come by too. That cool with you?" He had already invited him and assumed that Isaac was on his way already, so he hoped the answer was a yes.

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Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West
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Roman was mostly oblivious to what was going on between Brooke and Nick. While he didn't know that Nick had slept with Cara, he did pick up on how something just seemed off between the two. It wasn't until now when Nick sounded somewhat defensive (and then again somewhat not) over what Roman had said that he began to see it. It didn't seem like they were arguing as much, or maybe it was something else? He couldn't quite put his finger on it, but he didn't care too much since Nick and Brooke had always had their problems. When he could, Roman tried to stay out of it, but sometimes it was hard because he did care about both of them. He only scoffed and rolled his eyes about Cara. He didn't cause trouble; it wasn't his problem that the girl was a raging bitch and he wasn't going to let her just belittle him. Right off the back, he didn't really like her, but it wasn't enough to where he would go out of his way to start conflict. He'd just stick to keeping a distance, as he usually did in an attempt to not cause confrontation. After a while, though, he got quite fed up with her, and she was one of the few people who could really bother the hell out of him; this in itself was aggravating. He couldn't give a damn about their Thanksgiving dinner, especially when Cara was hosting it and even more so when he knew he wasn't invited. He'd have to figure out what to do around that time since he didn't know who all she was inviting--if some of her equally pretentious friends were coming as well. But why is she even having it here? he wondered. Roman shook his head as he finished his breakfast; he didn't care enough to wonder any further.

The texts from Hannah were just an array of swears and letting him know he 'left his fucking jacket' and how he needed to come get it unless he wanted it to be 'in the trash where he belonged.' Normally he'd have ignored her. He would get his jacket later, as he had many, and he wasn't about to make the twenty minute trek back to her place just to get yelled out, and possibly hit, all over. Would she even still be there? Still, though, because he was in a spiteful mood now that the playfulness he was in had vanished, he decided to send a message back.

To: Hannah
tell your fam I said cheers, alright?

After he'd washed his plate and gone back to his room, his phone vibrated and Hannah's name appeared on the screen. He smirked at the 'fuck you' her message read before tossing his phone on the bed and going to take a shower. He felt gross because he'd sweat in his sleep, but also because he still had cinnamon milk residue on him. The shower was cold, as it had a tendency to be, not because the hot water didn't work (which was sometimes the case), but by his own accord. He didn't particularly care for very hot showers, although there were occasions where he preferred them, like if he was really sore after a fight. Sometimes it felt as though the heat were burning the tenderness out of his muscles. More of than not, and like now, his showers were cool to lukewarm. He always found himself to be too heat. While he'd remained in the Northeast of America since coming and didn't find the temperature to be too drastically different from London, it was still too warm for his liking. Even in the summer where it could be quite moderate in most people's opinions, Roman was usually too hot. If it ever got to be too bad, he would just think of the time he went to Florida when he was fifteen and how he was convinced that he was going to die from a heat stroke.

Refreshed, clean, and with a new pair of clothes after about ten minutes, he was ready to head out. When Roman grabbed his phone again with the intention of texting Nick to let him know that he was coming, he saw Nick's earlier text about the movie, to which Killens had never given him an answer. If he wasn't mistaken, the couple usually did their own thing on Thanksgiving, so it struck him as a little odd that he was being asked to go. His mind went straight to Brooklyn then. How she, for whatever bloody reason, thought it necessary enough to wake him up just so he could be around Nick. He didn't suppose she'd really make Nick invite him to the movies, as he imagined she'd want some private time with her boyfriend. But even for Nick, it seemed kind of odd. It could have been because they just seemed worried about him, what with having been out of the apartment for a few days without prior word. Instead of trying to play detective, he decided he'd just ask her. He could just as easily talk to Nick as well, but Brooke was more upfront, close by, and she'd retreated so quietly to her room that it was somewhat concerning. While the two of them had a playful relationship and rarely ever vocalized their worry for the other, it didn't prevent it from happening. He was sure she was okay, but still. Just to make sure. So after he grabbed the last beer from the fridge, he knocked on her bedroom door.

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Within a couple of minutes, Brooklyn had went from sitting on the edge of her bed with her drink in hand, to changing back into pajamas and getting into bed. She was tucked in under the covers, but sat up enough so that her drink wouldn't spill as she sipped it and watched Netflix on her phone. She was about halfway into her Friends episode when there was a knock at the door. Was Nick back so soon? She supposed that it was possible that he had taken this new, good boyfriend persona to an all time high and had went and got her the vodka she had asked for before making his deals, but it seemed unlikely. Then she wondered if it was Cara, maybe back from wherever Ryan had said she and Chanel were. She hoped it wasn't, only because it was still true that as each day passed, her tolerance for Cara was growing slimmer and slimmer. It was only going to be a matter of time before the two were alone and the other blonde said something wrong, and Brooklyn just wouldn't be able to hold back. "Yeah?" she called through the closed door. Roman was the most plausible person who was on the other side, but he didn't even cross her mind as she waited for a response. By now, she would have assumed that he would have been out with Nick, but she was failing to remember the state she had shaken him out of bed in.

"It's me," Roman said upon hearing Brooke's voice on the other side. After opening the door, he peeked his head inside, noticing she was in her bed and in her pajamas, looking as though it were ten at night instead of it actually being the middle of the day. "You look comfy," he said as he entered, closing the door behind him. He looked around the room from where he stood. It wasn't his first time being in there, but he never really had any business in there to begin with, so it was still kind of odd for him. After a moment, he looked over to her. "You know I was kidding earlier; about you being up my ass and all." He made his way over to the bed and sat down next to her. "Nick seemed a bit..." Instead of finishing his sentence, he wavered his head side to side some and made a slight face. He couldn't quite put the word to it, and maybe it was because he was over-complicating thing. While with most people he hardly paid any attention to them or their well-being, Nick and Brooke were different. He was more sensitive to them in most regards, and so while it would seem out of character for Roman to think so deeply about it, it really only spoke to how close he was to the two of them. With Nick, there were few surprises, and just as few words. It was probably why Roman couldn't quite place what seemed off, but he told himself that perhaps it was in his head.

Hearing Roman's voice, she relaxed a bit, knowing that she didn't need to rip out any of Cara's hair in the next five minutes. She wasn't sure why he was knocking on her door or trying to talk to her, and she just wanted him to get to the point, so she didn't respond to his remark about her looking comfortable. Her eyes followed him as he walked in and settled in one spot before starting up about their earlier exchange, and referring to Nick's response to it. "Obviously I know you were kidding," she said, rolling her eyes. Joking around and purposely getting under each other's skin made up the entirety of her relationship with Roman. She didn't like getting deep like this, and she knew he didn't either. She would worry about him, but she wouldn't worry about him to him. It made her feel uncomfortable and vulnerable when she knew that people knew she cared about them. Even with Nick, it had taken her a while to get to a point where she was okay with being all lovey and intimate. "He's fine," she added, regarding his visual of how he felt Nick acted. "Why didn't you go with him, though?" she continued, sipping from her drink. It was almost empty. When she did get Roman to leave, she was going to make sure that liquor store visit was something he reminded Nick about.

"I just haven't left yet. Why are you so pressed for me to hang with him today? He invited me to the movies with you guys later, so I guess that's your doing too?"

She shook her head and finished the rest of her drink, suddenly deciding that she was over this conversation, though it hadn't even existed for more than thirty seconds. She really wasn't pressed about them hanging out. If Roman really didn't want to go, he didn't need to. Nick was already gone, so it wasn't like he was keeping him out of any trouble now, and for the moment, her good sentiment towards Roman, wanting to get him doing things, was gone. "I''m not pressed. Sorry for thinking that you might want to hang out with him, after I've hogged him for the past three days. Apparently, he's a popular guy in this apartment, but I guess you're over it. You guys can go to the movies on your own, because I'm over that." She was being dramatic and moody, and she knew it very well, but she didn't care. That was how Brooklyn was. She shut down very quickly, and she snapped on people for no reason.

Killens couldn't help but roll his eyes at Brooke. At first he was confused by the sudden shift in the room, but then he remembered who it was he was talking to. His first reaction was to be annoyed, and he audibly scoffed at her as she spoke. But then, for one reason or another, he found himself smirking and shaking his head to himself. It wasn't so much in a sarcastic way than it was because he was amused. Sure, it was still annoying as hell since she took things out of proportion, but after knowing her for a couple of years, it didn't always get to him like it used to. There was also the fact that his tiredness had him a bit more lethargic and indifferent than he normally would be if he was wide awake. Still, though, that wasn't going to keep him from picking right back at her. Just as Brooke didn't like to call it quits, neither did Roman, especially when, at least in his mind, he didn't do anything. So with a slight bitterness now in his tone, he said, "Would you chill the fuck out for five bloody seconds?" Trying to be angrier than he actually was, Roman snatched Brooke's phone out of her hand and tossed it to opposite end of the bed. "Go to the movies with your damn boyfriend. I was just asking a question."

Brooklyn's mood only worsened when Roman had the audacity to take her phone right out of her hands, and she considered getting up to punch him for it, but it wasn't worth it. She just looked at him with raised eyebrows and said, "Wow, that's something that you're really going to regret, bitch." It was meant as a threat and maybe a challenge too, but she didn't truly have the energy to fight at the moment. Thankfully, Roman stood up, just as done with the conversation as Brooke appeared to be. He knew they could both take this to a level that it really didn't need to be at, and right now he wasn't in a petty enough mood to spite her more than he probably already had. So without saying another word, he left and headed to 5B.

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Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester
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Just as she finished winging her eyes, her phone vibrated. Chanel pulled the mirror close to her face, critically observing each eye to make sure they looked as similar as possible. Luckily, she was pleased, and it was good thing since she wouldn't have had a choice but to leave them how they were once she read Cara's text message. Shit! she thought. The banana pudding! She yanked her door open and rushed into the kitchen, an aromatic influx of banana and whipped cream filling the area. The scent beat against her face in a gust of warmth as she opened the oven and sighed immediately after--thankfully, it was a sigh of relief. The pudding looked great. A light brown on the top and not too soupy. Yes, this was perfect. She'd have to let it cool for a little bit, but judging from Cara's text, there wasn't much time for that. Afraid that Cara was already pulling her hair out, Chanel sent a text back as she went to her room to retrieve her shoes and make sure she didn't need to do any more touch ups to her face.

To: Cara
Okay, okay. First: put the wine down. Second, there's an upside to this! Roman's coming? Xanax for days. No stress necessary. Collin and Marie are coming? Probably gonna be too busy fucking. The other two whose names I can't remember are gonna be there? Just more people to see your beautiful face!!! I'll be over in three seconds. The pudding just came out and it's hot as hell (like you ;D). STOP DRINKING WINE!!!

Chanel's heart was pumping faster, but she didn't break a sweat. She fed off of this kind of pressure, at least during the holidays. What would the holidays be without the sweat and bustle? Well, maybe not the sweat so much. She was not trying to sweat out her makeup. The salad, mashed potatoes, and the rolls were all complete. She'd made a sweet sauce that her family always drizzled on their ham at Thanksgiving dinner. It was really nothing special. Just a very light syrup that was mostly honey, but still pretty good. At least to her. Chanel left the pudding on the counter, deciding she'd just come back for it. She grabbed what she could and headed out into the hallway. Once she was outside Cara's door, she realized that she hadn't thought this out completely through. Her hands were too full to knock, so she was left with using her forehead instead. After 'knocking' three times, a figure appeared near her. She glanced to the side to see Roman approaching before stopping mid-step, his brow gradually raising. "Um..." he said. Chanel opened her mouth to explain but he only held up his hand slightly to silence her. "No, just..." Without finishing his sentence, his just shook his head. After opening the door, he grabbed the bowl of salad that was balanced on top of the container of mashed potatoes. Chanel sighed at the decrease in weight and smiled widely at him. "Thanks," she said. He only nodded silently.

She followed him inside and placed the dishes on the island, just as he did. Much to her relief, the place wasn't overrun by a stream of smoking coming from the oven and it didn't smell as though something was burning. This might actually go according to plan. "I come with presents!" Chanel exclaimed. She smiled widely at Cara and Ryan as she readjusted the dishes on the counter. The girl was sitting at the island, glass in hand, looking like she could definitely use a pick me up. Chanel rounded the counter, wrapping her arm around Cara's shoulder. "This looks great, it smells great, you smell great. Honestly, I'm climaxing over how amazing this dinner is going to be. Also, you're beautiful and I love you. And I'm taking this away from you," she began as she took the glass of wine from Cara. "before you get so tipsy that Roman and I have to drag you to bed. Isn't that right, Roman?" she said, trying to be inclusive. He didn't seem to accept her invitation as he looked up from his phone with his brow raised. He glanced at Chanel and then Cara for a second before returning to whatever it is he was doing. "Okay," Chanel said. "Then stop drinking before I have to drag you to bed because you got too drunk. Now, what do you need to me do? I still have to go and get the pudding, but after that, anything?"

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Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester
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After texting Chanel, Cara had a quick change of heart on her outfit. At first, she had on a pair of dark jeans and a cream colored cardigan. It was simple and conservative, an everyday outfit for her. On Thanksgiving, she was normally celebrating with family in the Upper East Side which automatically would have warranted a fancier, yet still conservative outfit. Today's Thanksgiving was a whole new thing for her, so at the last minute, she decided she could change her style to fit the occasion too. It wasn't like her grandmother was going to be there to offend, and usually, when she dressed up more, she felt more confident and happy. Her hair and makeup were already done, so all it took was five minutes in her bedroom to change out of that outfit and into a textured black dress, with some black bracelets to match. It didn't scream Thanksgiving, but Cara thought she looked perfect, and if Ryan or anyone else wanted to make a comment, she would remind them that it was a long sleeved dress, and that it wasn't her fault that she had long legs that made any dress look short. She could claim all she wanted that the outfit switch was simply to boost her own mood, but it may have also had to do something with the sight of Brooklyn earlier. The girl was in pajamas, not done up at all, and yet she still looked attractive. Cara had an ego every day of the week, but like anyone else, she also had insecurities, and even considering the possibility that she was competing with a girl as beautiful as Brooklyn made her feel like she needed to step up her game.

When she finished dressing, she returned to the kitchen and found Chanel's text message waiting for her. Ignoring the last sentence, it was impossible for her to not giggle quietly to herself at her friend's message. Chanel was so... Cara didn't even know how to describe her. She was lively. A breath of fresh air. It wasn't like she was so different from the girls that Cara normally hung out with, to a point where she had nothing in common with her. If that were the case, Cara never would have considered befriending her in the first place. She was just different though. She had a level of energy that was different, and the way that she rarely seemed to let other people's bad moods discourage her from being positive was admirable too.

"Tick, tock, Ryan! It'd be great if the turkey was ready before Easter."

"Shit, Cara, would you stop acting like such a damn princess?" Ryan snapped. His voice wasn't as sharp as he wanted it to be because he wasn't a cutthroat person to begin with, but his sister knew how to push him more than anyone else. She was the definition of a princess, really. A girl who was coddled her whole life to a point where she either couldn't do anything on her own, or she just refused to because she expected other people to do it for her. She could be demanding, nasty and thoughtless, and today of all days, when he could have been sitting in his family's gorgeous penthouse inhaling a professionally made meal, he didn't have the patience for it.

"You ruined my party, so no," she responded, her face vibrant with the offense she was feeling. How dare her brother curse at her, when her bad mood was completely his fault?! First he invited over his misfit friends, and now he was trying to be Wolfgang Puck by pulling the turkey out and putting it back in every two minutes, as if it was really going to make that much of a different. Did he not realize they were on a schedule?

He rolled his eyes. Arguing with Cara was pointless, because she was so childish that she always had to have the last word. Another minute went by before his timer officially went off, and with a little bit of struggle considering the weight of the dish, he pulled the turkey out to rest on the top of the oven. As he had told Cara earlier that day, he was no chef. It looked good and it smelled good, but if for some reason it didn't turn out good, he wasn't taking the blame.

Talking to Ryan and watching him potentially screw up her Thanksgiving had distracted her from Chanel coming in, and she only noticed her friend when Roman had walked across her line of sight to set a bowl down in front of her, and then heard Chanel's voice. His presence usually brought out a scowl from her, and Chanel's would usually bring a smile, so they evened each other out to leave her straight faced, and sipping her wine to keep herself from saying anything for the moment. She set it down as Chanel wrapped her arm around her, and then, decided to smile. It lasted for only a few seconds though, because Chanel insisted on acknowledging Roman, and the thought of her ever needing his help made her want to laugh out loud. The only time he would ever be touching her, nonetheless dragging her somewhere, was if he had put a date rape drug in her drink, and she was knocked out cold, or if he killed her. With how low she thought of him, neither of the two seemed too far fetched in her mind. She only allowed Chanel to take her glass because she knew she could pick it back up once the party began and everyone else started drinking too. "Get your pudding, get a glass of wine, and that's it. Ryan's got everything under control. Like I said, he ruined the night by inviting the cast of American Horror Story: Freakshow to dinner, so it's whatever. He's got it taken care of, and if we all end up with Hepatitis A through C by seven PM, I guess we're just going to have to live with it."

Chanel laughed, and reassured Cara that everything was probably going to be okay, reminding Cara of why she loved the girl once more. "But that's not going to happen, so we don't need to worry about that. The table looks great, the food is perfect, and everything's gone according to plan so far." It could have been a cute friend moment, with Cara standing up to give Chanel a quick hug before sending her out to get that pudding, but the resident drug addict had to look up from his phone and open his mouth, as if anyone had been talking to him. "She's right. Now the only thing you have to worry about is your attitude ruining everything."

Cara wasn't really used to being challenged, so when Roman had begun to bite back at her own biting comments months ago, she didn't know how to react really. Sometimes she'd just allow her mouth to hang agape, in an "is he really serious?" move. Most of the time, she'd come up with something to spit back at him, and if she felt like it was one of her weaker comebacks, she'd automatically spin away and roll her eyes, muttering something abut how he wasn't even worth her time. Between their different schedules, Cara spending a lot of time out of the apartment and Roman doing the same, the two weren't fighting 24/7, but when they were in the same room, they tended to be. Fighting wasn't even usually the word. It was just snapping back and forth at each other until one decided to be the bigger person and walk away. Cara wasn't in the mood to be that person today. She stood up and carefully pulled her wine glass back from Chanel, as if it was some weapon that was necessary in the moment. "Why don't you just leave before you ruin my night and yours?" Okay, that was definitely one of her weaker remarks, but it wasn't one that was supposed to kill him.

The way he responded only infuriated Cara more. He had the audacity to not only put his dirty, disease-filled hands into the salad and grab a leaf to chew on, but he laughed and said, "Now what fun would that be?" She was easily fired up, and bothering her wasn't a difficult task, so a scowl instantly appeared on her face. Chanel grabbed her arm before she could say or do anything, and interjected with, "Hey. I know it's the season of giving, but I'm gonna need you two to not go at each other's necks until after Chanel has had some bird, okay?"

"Fine," Cara responded, as if she would patiently wait until that time to kill him. She shot Roman a glare, feeling it intensify as soon as she spotted his smirk again. "But for the record, no one wants you here, so it's just embarrassing that you're staying. Literally so embarrassing for yourself." She turned away from him immediately at that, as if she had the power to just end the conversation, and took another sip of her wine before rolling her eyes towards Chanel, but meaning it to refer to Roman's behavior. "Be quick," she said, meaning when she went to get the pudding. "I really just can't even deal with this."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester
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{Written with Writer}
"Come on, Kay!" Holly said, rapping on the bathroom door that she sat outside of. Although Makayla had been in there for less than ten minutes while she showered, it felt like three hours to Holly. She didn't know why Makayla needed to shower now, of all times. They were supposed to be at Cara's and Holly had been expressing how excited she was to go all day. After they iced the cupcakes and taken a random trip downstairs to the building manager's apartment, she had gotten dressed in the outfit she had picked out for the dinner. It wasn't anything fancy, just a pair of black leggings, a sweater, scarf, moccasins, and a pair of $2 fake pearl earrings, but Holly was excited over it. After weeks of complaining about how every other girl in her school wore moccasins, Makayla had bought her a pair, but they were hard to wear walking through the busy (and dirty) city streets, so she really only wore them around the apartment. Being able to wear them out, without it really being "out", was fun for her. It was the first time she was wearing the sweater, so that in itself was something Holly could ramble on about for an hour. Cara had bought it for her a couple of days before when they were out at Forever 21, and the scarf had been a gift from Cara too, but one that she had given her out of her own closet, rather than purchasing it. It was new to Holly, and that was all that mattered, but she felt like it wasn't going to feel new anymore if they didn't get over to Cara's soon.

Holly's knocking had been persistent and loud enough for Makayla to hear it for the entire duration of her shower, but unlike most days, she didn't turn off the water for long enough to tell Holly to stop or that she would be done soon. She just didn't have it in her, and it didn't help that she was on the brink of sobbing as she attempted to scrub every inch of her body until her skin felt raw. It was a ritual that she endured every night after she worked, but it was rarely something that she had to do during the day. Prostitution was mostly a nighttime job for her. Doing it during the day was too risky, and there was a smaller clientele pool any time before ten at night anyway. She didn't know if she could call what she had done today, and what she did on a monthly basis, prostitution, but it didn't feel any different from what she did regularly at night.

Every month, Makayla was short on rent money. Paying her share of the $1500 was just impossible. With the cost of living in New York, her phone bill, and just the necessities she needed to keep her and Holly alive, she never ended up with enough money at the end of the month. Most of the time, she was lucky to have half of it. She had gotten by living in the building for close to two years through the agreement she had with the building manager. Whenever he was craving sex, he'd text her, and she'd end up in his apartment sometime that day. Normally, he worked with her to allow her to get there at night when Holly was in bed already, or before she left to work, when Cara had her, but there were times like today, close to the date of the month's rent being due, when he knew he had the power to get her on her knees the minute he was craving it. She couldn't say no unless she wanted to end up homeless with Holly, and today he insisted that he needed her there before five, because he was leaving to eat at a family member's house on the other side of town at five. When it was done and over with, all that she could think was that she was glad Nick's weed had been free, because she would have been more than upset if she had wasted money trying to lift her mood, only to have to endure the one thing that completely shattered it. Every single time. Selling her body to survive was the most dehumanizing thing she had ever done, but for Makayla, there weren't many other options at the moment. She desperately wanted to keep Holly out of the low-income housing units that they had grown up in because it only spelled bad news.

Needless to say, she was in no mood to be socializing after the thirty minutes she spent in his apartment, but she knew that she had to. So, she made sure that Holly was dressed and ready, and then hopped into the shower, hoping to use the few minutes of alone time to collect herself and rid herself of the slimy feeling that unwanted sex left her with. It didn't do much good, and as Holly's knocking and requests for her to hurry up only increased in volume, she knew she was just going to have to try to survive the night without killing herself. On the bright side, she was sure Cara was going to have alcohol, and that was the only thought that was strong enough to pull her out of the shower and allow her to get dressed before opening the door for Holly. "You need to learn how to be patient, Holly," she said, looking down at her sister who was sitting on the hallway floor. She wanted it to sound scolding, but she didn't have the energy to make it anything more than a monotone statement. She turned back into the bathroom and applied a quick layer of makeup and put her hair into a messy bun, because she didn't have energy for life at the moment, nonetheless dealing with her hair.

"I was trying to be patient, but you were taking too long, and Chanel already took everything out of the oven. I didn't want to be late," Holly explained as she got up and followed Makayla into the kitchen. Chanel and the majority of the food that had turned their marijuana-scented apartment into one that made Holly's mouth water, were gone, only making Holly feel more anxious. "Can I hold the cupcakes?"

"No, just grab the door," Makayla responded, taking the large plate of cupcakes from the counter as they left the kitchen. She didn't need Holly dropping them on the way over there, and she didn't have the patience to even humor the idea. A minute later they were outside 5C's door, and Makayla nodded at Holly to knock on the door. "I don't have it in me today to deal with any attitude, Holl, so be good or we're leaving," she advised. Again, her voice felt shallow, but Makayla meant it. She already wanted to crawl into bed and sleep for ten years straight, so Holly giving her a reason to leave this party was almost a welcomed idea at this point.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester
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Somewhere during her short conversation with Roman, Brooklyn's mood had switched from okay to bad, and she didn't like that. She didn't really care about snapping at Roman, and definitely not to a degree where she would ever apologize, especially since he had been brazen enough to touch her phone, but she didn't like feeling so uptight in general. She knew that she had a reputation of being negative, pessimistic, a bitch, and so on. What others thought of her didn't bother her, but her reputation was primarily true, and it was the fact that she didn't feel happy a lot of the time that bothered her. She didn't care if she treated people poorly so long as she felt content while doing it, but lately, she hadn't been feeling content. Her only solution was to sleep, so after he left her room, she took a nap for a few hours. She woke up feeling a little better, and the long shower she took made her feel like the night might be bearable. She didn't want to give Cara credit for anything, but whatever they were cooking in the kitchen smelled good. When she had walked out their briefly after her nap to get a bottle of water, she noticed that Cara had picked up a ton of alcohol, so there was that too. She felt like she wanted to force Nick to go to the dinner instead of eating out like they normally did, to watch him squirm. He knew that he had slept with Cara, Cara knew that she had slept with Nick, and Brooklyn knew that too, but as far as she knew, neither knew that she knew. That meant that she had the upper hand and could toy with him and maybe even her a little bit. It could be fun, but with those thoughts came the reminder that this wasn't fun and games. Her boyfriend had cheated on her with Cara, so no matter how many mind games she played, she wasn't going to win. She had already lost.

When she returned to her bedroom after getting ready, she found that Nick had gotten himself ready too. She sat her makeup bag on her dresser before walking back towards him. His compliments were nice and appreciated, but the happiness in her smile didn't reach her eyes. She wanted to blame it on just still being groggy from her nap, but the shower had knocked much of that tiredness out of her. "Save that for later," she said before he leaned in to kiss her. She returned it, her hand gliding across the side of his face before she pulled away. "You still want to catch that eight-thirty movie, right?" she said as they left their bedroom and headed into the kitchen. The apartment layout was open enough where the kitchen and living room blended into one, so they had a view of everything but the bedrooms as they headed in. She was surprised to see that Chanel was the only non-resident of the apartment who was there. Brooklyn didn't know the girl very well. Nick had mentioned her once or twice as being someone that he dealt to, Holly had brought her up more than that in her conversations that Brooklyn always tried to put on mute, and she would occasionally see her in the apartment very well, but she didn't know her personally. Being cordial wasn't going to kill her though, so she smiled at her, Ryan, Cara and Roman as they stepped towards the island that they were all standing by. "It smells good in here," she commented, trying to sound as positive and cheerful as was possible without it seeming sarcastic. "And I definitely approve of this," she said with a small laugh as she separated herself from Nick and walked towards the counter where the bottles of drinks were waiting. She poured a 50/50 ratio of rum and Coke into a cup and was back by Nick's side a couple of seconds later.

When there was a knock at the door and she found herself being the closest person to it, she answered it. With her drink in one hand, she used the other to open up the door, unsurprisingly finding Makayla and Holly on the other side. Like Cara, Brooklyn wasn't sure how to treat her relationship with Makayla now. Before Makayla had told Brooklyn that Cara had confided in her about her and Nick, she despised Makayla. She annoyed Brooklyn for no real reason. It was petty and childish, but that was how Brooklyn was sometimes. Now, she felt like she owed Makayla, at least enough to be nice to a point where she'd do her best not to snap at Holly tonight. "Hey," she smiled, stepping aside so they could come in. "Happy Thanksgiving, Holly. Is that a new sweater?" She felt like she was biting off more than she could chew by actually initiating a conversation with Holly that had the potential to last thirty minutes, but she also knew the rum wouldn't take long to kick in.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester Character Portrait: Oliver Carver
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If Ryan hadn't invited Oliver over, and subsequently his roommates and Marie, he definitely would have left and spent the night at his dad's place. Cara was eating away at every last ounce of patience he had. Did she think that he wanted to spend his afternoon cooking? That making sure a turkey was cooked enough that it didn't poison all of them, was something that was on his bucket list? He knew nothing about cooking! The two of them had grown up without a mother, with a father who probably didn't know how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and with a personal chef. It baffled him that she thought that he somehow knew more about it than her, but then again, this was Cara, and she didn't care about that. If she wanted something done, she expected you to learn a whole new skill set in thirty seconds to accommodate her. Ryan was used to it, but it was still highly irritating.

His laptop was on the counter next to him, so as Chanel and Roman came in and Cara started conversing with, Ryan was busy with the cooking webpage on the screen. He had used it, and a plethora of Youtube videos, to help him figure out what cooking a turkey entailed. It said that he was supposed to let it sit for twenty to thirty minutes before cutting it, but he wasn't going to verbalize that direction to his sister. It would just result in her complaining more, and quite possibly him reaching a point where he really would leave. From the sound of it, Roman was having a bit of fun trying to knock Cara off her pedestal, but Ryan felt like he still had to be there to keep her in line for when Oliver and his friends came over. It would not only be completely rude, but completely mortifying to him too, if she was as insulting as she was being now, when they came over. It was one thing to say things like that to Roman, who RJ felt could handle it, but Oliver, Isaac, Collin and Marie didn't know the bitchy side of Cara well enough where they would realize she was harmless.

To: Oliver
Turkey's out of the oven, should be able to eat in 20-30. Come over with your friends whenever you feel like it! Fair warning - my sister is in a bad mood

He didn't think cutting the turkey would be that hard, when the time came for it, so he closed his laptop down after texting Oliver and headed out of the kitchen, just as Brooklyn and Nick were coming in. Since Oliver wasn't there yet and he wasn't particularly close to Chanel, Brooklyn, Nick or Roman, he considered staying in his room for a while. He was too thoughtful though, and decided that he was better off in the kitchen in case Chanel needed help with any dishes that were left, or in case Cara had another irrational demand for him. He made a quick stop in the bathroom, and then back to his room to spray on cologne for no reason other than because he didn't want to smell like turkey and sweat all night, before returning to the kitchen. When he got there, along with Nick and Brooke, was Makayla and Holly. "Here, let me grab those for you," he said as he took the large plate of cupcakes from Makayla. He didn't know Makayla that well. Cara hung out with Holly a lot, but he was told that was because Makayla was working. The vibes he got from her when she was around were always tired and maybe stressed out ones. It was very different from Holly, who could talk for hours about absolutely nothing, but considering that, it wasn't surprising that someone who had to live with her would tire out easily. He looked to Chanel who had been doing more work than Cara, as he carried the tray from the door to the kitchen's island area. "Where do you want me to leave these?" he asked, momentarily placing them down on the counter behind them. She had been bringing dishes in all afternoon, so he wasn't sure if there was a specific setup in mind, and with his luck that day with his sister, if anything went wrong, she'd find a way to blame it on him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin
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After a few hours of hanging out in 5B, Isaac, Collin, and Oliver had headed back to their own place, making plans for the rest of the afternoon. Isaac wanted it to include alcohol and possibly some games, but before he got too far into his planning Oliver excitedly announced that Ryan had invited them all to Thanksgiving Dinner. Which was ironic, really, given Isaac's words about the situation not even an hour earlier.

Isaac did not want to go to Cara Forrester's (Probably Disastrous) Thanksgiving Dinner. He'd actually laughed when it was brought up, but the other two were heavily considering, probably craving some feeling of tradition that Isaac didn't have any memories of. He'd scoffed at them both, and then Collin had turned towards him with a grin and said, "But you could make your brownies!"

And, well, Isaac made fucking amazing brownies. And he was high on Adderall, with the pot wearing off he was suddenly itching to do something, and cooking would keep him interested. So he'd grudgingly agreed and spent until five o'clock slaving away in the kitchen. Isaac didn't play when he came to cooking. It was a passion and an art form. Everything was made from scratch, from the brownie mix to the cookie dough to the drizzle on top. He'd make chocolate from scratch if he knew how.

True to the schedual of the day, however, thirty minutes before they were supposed to leave, Collin's parents called. Apparently his uncle was requesting some family time - the more the merrier - and so Collin was welcome to bring his friends as long as they could get in a cab right then.

Honestly, Isaac would be much happier spending his night with the King's than with Cara Forrester (and Brooklyn West, who he was admittedly terrified of). But by that point he had a copious amount of brownies on his hands, and it kind of only felt right to take some over to 5C, because Oliver had promised they wouldn't show up empty handed. So Isaac packed up a batch to send down with Collin and Oliver, and then grabbed a plate himself to take across the hall.

The door to 5C was still open, and while normally Isaac would probably feel nervous approaching it, the pills he was on didn't really let him care so he just leaned over and knocked on the still open door, feeling too weird just walking in. It wasn't his place, anyway. There was a good amount of people already inside, and Isaac wasn't really sure if he should seek out Cara or Ryan...in the end, it didn't matter, because Nick saw him first and made a general motion that meant it was alright for Isaac to cross the threshold. "Hey man," he greeted.

Holly and Makayla were just passed the doorway themselves, which was probably why it had still been open. Brooklyn was talking to the redhead, so Isaac pointedly avoided her gaze and shot Makayla a peace sign. Regardless of having never talked to her before earlier that day, they'd smoked together, she was deserving of the Peace Sign Category of Friendship.

"Just gunna take this plate of pure diabetes to the kitchen," Isaac explained as he held up the brownies, talking to Nick more than anything because he defaulted to the one person in the room he kind of knew.

All the apartments were laid out kind of the same way, so Isaac knew exactly where the kitchen was, and when he made his way through there he finally found the Forresters and Chanel, and was just about to open his mouth and explain he wasn't staying when he caught sight of one more person.

Roman Killens.

Isaac's heart skipped a beat - a feeling which he aggressively shut down as quickly as he could, because he did not have time for that shit. It was just the Adderall anyway, always made his heart go a little funny, skipping a few beats wasn't anything to worry about. Was probably even completely normal, in his state.

It definitely, most certainly, had absolutely nothing to do with a tall, blue-eyed, brown-haired, twenty-one year old wrapped up in a fucking fantastic tattooed package. Nope. No way. Totally did not.

Isaac hated himself sometimes. He really did.

The thing was, normally he could deal with his stupid crush. It wasn't even so much as...an addiction he'd developed, to Roman's presence. As long as he got a fix every so often (which was as simple as seeing the guy in the hallway), Isaac could actually forget how pathetic he was. How fucking bad he had it. And then Killens would peace out for awhile - like, oh say, four days or so - and Isaac could easily convince himself he was fine. Roman who? Killens what? He didn't miss him, of course not. Couldn't even remember what his face looked like, much less care he was gone.

And then the fucker would show back up and it was like the first time Isaac had laid eyes on him all over again. A rush of feelings he really shouldn't be having passed the age of seventeen...or at all, really. He was a mess, and it was ridiculous, and he was actually pretty sure his hands were shaking and he wasn't fucking breathing.

He sighed out a breath and thankfully it came out with a chuckle on the end as he shook his head and focused on putting his plate of brownies down next to the salad...which was, coincidentally, next to Roman. He bumped shoulders the same way he always did with his guy friends and grinned. "Nice seeing you around. Thought you might have died."

His phone vibrated then, and with his now free hands Isaac went ahead and pulled his phone from his pocket. It was a text from Collin, telling him to hurry his ass up. Isaac told himself not to do it, he really did, but then he was already texting back and he couldn't stop himself even though he knew it was a really horrible idea. And honestly, he blamed Roman for it a little.

To: Hey Jude
actually im suddenly not feeling well. nausea. might puke if i ride in a taxi that long. have fun tho!


Oh he was a terrible person. And completely pathetic, but really, neither of those things were new.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin
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Ever since they had left the building manager's apartment, Makayla had been in a bad mood. It was bad enough for Holly to notice and frown when Makayla rejected her request to carry the cupcakes in. She didn't know what was the matter. Makayla had to help the man with something and Holly got to sit on his couch and watch part of the Good Luck Charlie Thanksgiving episode. The man had seemed happy when he came out of his bedroom with his arm wrapped around Makayla like they were good friends, so it didn't make sense for her sister to be angry or bothered. As they walked across the hall, Holly momentarily sulking over not being able to carry the cupcakes, she decided that Makayla was probably just tired and cranky because of that. She was the one who always told Holly that sleeping would make her feel better, so it probably worked the other way around too.

Unlike Makayla's bad mood, Holly's literally only spanned from the walk from their door to Cara's, because as soon as Brooklyn opened it up, Holly was grinning again. She had gotten used to the smell of all of the food in their apartment, but it smelled even stronger and better in Cara's, and then there was the people. Lots of them, or so it seemed that way in the small apartment. Though the apartment was the same size as her own, Cara's apartment was decorated and designed nicer than any other unit in the building, which always interested Holly. Cara mirrored her apartment in that manner tonight, looking like she was ready to walk down the runway in a little black dress. Before she could address her though, she had Brooklyn to talk to, and Brooklyn actually starting a conversation with her was a big deal, especially when that conversation was founded on a compliment. "Happy Thanksgiving!" she responded first, feeling like it had to be said before she could get into the good stuff. "Thanks! Cara bought it for me when we were shopping. And this scarf is hers, but it's actually mine now because she gave it to me because our necks are the same size." She noticed Brooklyn's cup then and decided that she was thirsty too. Since they had run out of lemonade during breakfast, Holly had to downgrade to water for the rest of the day. Cara always had good drinks, though. Cara always had everything. "What are you drinking?" she asked Brooklyn.

Holly really wasn't that bad, especially when Brooklyn was making an effort to be more relaxed and tolerant of the energy. "Soda, she responded, swishing the drink around in the cup momentarily before she took a sip of it. It was just as much rum as it was soda, but there was no need to tell Holly that. "Do you want to get something to drink? Cara has a lot of choices today," she continued, pointing towards the drink area. She knew she could have ended it at that, both it looked like there was more alcoholic drinks than non-alcoholic ones over there, and she didn't need Holly accidentally pouring vodka into a cup somehow thinking it was Sprite, and her getting blamed for it, so she walked over there with her. "What do you want? I'll pour it," she offered as she set her own cup down.

"Lemonade," was Holly's immediate reaction. It was her go-to drink. She liked Sprite as well, but the carbonation bothered her sometimes. Although Brooklyn had offered to pour for her, Holly was in front of the table looking for herself, only to find that there was no lemonade on the table. "Why doesn't she have lemonade?" she asked with concern. Cara knew that she liked lemonade. What was going to be next? Was she going to say that there wasn't going to be mac & cheese with the turkey too?

"She has Sprite. It's basically the same thing as lemonade. Just have that," Brooklyn suggested, already pouring some of the clear soda into a cup in an attempt to not allow Holly to refuse it.

Holly accepted the cup that Brooklyn handed her but she was still concerned over this. It seemed like a big deal to her, and with a weak objection of, "But I wanted lemonade...", she turned away from Brooklyn to take her problem to the girl who was responsible for it. "Cara!" she exclaimed with urgency as she hurried towards the blonde sitting at the island. "Cara, you forgot to put the lemonade out. Is it in your fridge?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin
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Roman typically disliked when people brought up his drug use. Usually it was meant as an intervention of sorts, and he immediately shut down. Cara was different though, and that was one of the few and only things she could constantly bring up, and so it didn't really bother him. Sometimes it did, especially if he was high, but to him it just proved she had no reason for being such a bitch. He was certain she thought he was smoking crack and doing meth as religiously as people go to church on Sunday, but that wasn't the case. He'd never done, and didn't plan, on doing any of what he considered the hard core stuff. No heroin or meth--just the party drugs and a few prescription drugs to help with his muscles. Until he started doing the other stuff, he didn't really see himself as having a problem. Still, Cara was right to a point. Not just about him not needing to be there, but hell, it was free food and it was interesting to see what Thanksgiving really was. But she was right about not wanting the night to go to shit the way that it likely would. He didn't want to argue with her all night, but he also didn't really want to hear her mouth. He'd just have to pick and choose his battles as best as he could, and for now, he was done. So he kept quiet once Chanel left, just after Holly and Makayla, and Nick and Brooke had arrived. The group exchanged some words, but he didn't say anything because he didn't really feel the need to. Not only that, but he wasn't entirely sure what to do.

Around people he didn't know, he was actually quite shy and quiet. He went to parties quite a bit, but he was never sober long enough to actually have to worry about the pressure he felt under socializing. His discomfort came in disinterest which fostered itself in silence as he dabbled on his phone. Plus there was the fact that he just didn't know how to act. It was his first Thanksgiving and for some reason, at least in his mind, he was making it out to more important than it probably was to most Americans. He figured it safer to just sit back and follow the crowd, if so not much to make a mistake than to hear it from Cara as soon as he did something unorthodox. Currently, the crowd was in the kitchen just talking, so he'd stay where he was until he started feeling too suffocated. As he stood, part of him wished Ryan didn't invite him, although he did appreciate it. He didn't want to admit it, but it probably would have been far more awkward to have no where to go and have to sit in the apartment while everyone feasted in front of him.

Roman had hardly noticed the person standing beside him until he was nudged. When he looked over, he saw it was Isaac. He wasn't sure why he was surprised, since he knew Isaac was invited as well. Perhaps it was just the strangeness of seeing actually in Cara's apartment. Seemed like a sort of fusion of alternate universes. It was usually Roman going to Isaac's apartment to get out of his own. Roman smirked in response, glad to see him since Isaac was a pretty chill dude. Killens doubted he was taking the dinner too seriously. "Yeah," he said with an amused exhale. "But don't hold your breath. Still have to make it through this thing." Killens glanced down at what Isaac had just sat down in front of the salad bowl Chanel had brought. The place already smelled quite amazing, but Roman had quite the sweet tooth, so seeing the delicious looking brownies in front of him only made his mouth water, and it even brought a small smile to his face. "Shit. Did you make those?" It was a stupid question. Roman knew that Isaac could cook, which was admirable considering Roman himself only put in enough effort when it came to his feed to keep him from starving. There was no way in hell he could make something like what was before him. "Hell yeah," Isaac said with a grin. "Fuckin' A, right?" Roman nodded, glancing at him before looking back at the brownies. "Yeah. They look great," he said. For some reason, and almost as if out of no where, he was very nervous. A wave of jitters hit him. Roman opened his mouth to make some dry joke about how awkward this all was, but he'd only got a breath out before Chanel appeared, her hands on Isaac's shoulder and eyes wide in amazement at the brownies. She wore a large smile, clearly twice as impressed with the brownies as Roman. He didn't have much opinion on the girl. She seemed nice enough, but he did have to question some things about her, considering the company she kept--namely Cara. If he knew one thing, he knew that the girl could talk. With an amused and borderline apologetic glance at Isaac, he slid away from the two, avoiding the vacuum or conversation best he could and retreating to the living room where there was much more space, and much less people.





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Chanel made sure to hurry as she went out to get the banana pudding, if not by Cara's request at her quickness, than because she really wasn't sure if Roman and the girl could survive on their own without going at each other. She didn't really have a reason to dislike Roman per say. It was just one of those things where someone rubs you the wrong way. She had a tendency to validate her injustifications through Cara's dislike for the guy, but that still didn't change the fact that he'd never really done anything to her. It might have been his aesthetic, the way he carried him, the stuffy London accent and how he pronounced 'th-' as an F sound. Surely, none of these were the reasons why, and even if they were, it wouldn't have helped her case any. Of course, since she was working towards being a better person, she felt kind of bad for automatically feeling this way towards him, and so was typically a bit more friendly around him than she normally would try to be with others, as if to over-compensate. It was just a lot harder with him since he seemed to shut down immediately once she started talking to him. That'd have to change tonight, though, she reasoned. After everyone got some alcohol in them, it'd be a lot much easier to socialize. Normally she wouldn't care so much, but it was off-putting for someone not to receive her as openly as she was used to. For now, though, she needed to focus on the banana pudding. So as she left, she quickly greeted Holly and Makayla coming in and hurried back. She'd just set that pudding and her sauce on the counter when Ryan came over with the tray of cupcakes that Holly and Makayla had brought. "Hey!" she exclaimed. "Happy Thanksgiving. Yeah, here, give those to me and I'll just put them on a plate or something. Thanks, Ryan. Let me know if you need help with anything else."

After taking the cupcakes and placing them in front of the pudding, she went through the cabinets, looking for a plate that was large enough to fit all the cupcakes on them. When she found what she needed, she carefully placed the cupcakes around the rim of the plate until they were fit on the dish. She looked at it for a minute, shrugging internally. She was now wishing her and Cara had gotten some kind of cupcake display where they were at, but it was whatever now. She turned around to observe the scene. Everyone was chatting and everything seemed to be going okay. She'd have to check in on Cara in a second, but first she needed to figure out how exactly they were doing this. Perhaps the main dishes on the island counter and the deserts on the other side? Was this buffer style or were they putting everything on the table? Just as she was about to go ask Ryan, she noticed Isaac talking to Roman. She wasn't sure why, but she really did like Isaac. Him hanging with Roman wasn't that great, but it was no matter. She went over excitedly and greeted him with a large smile. "Isaac, hey! I'm so glad you made it. Oh, my god," she said upon seeing the brownies. "Did you make these? Holy shit. They look amazing! How long did this take you?"

Just after asking him, she realized that she'd gotten distracted and would need to find Ryan asap, and then give Cara a quick pep talk, just in case. Once they finished talking, she gave his shoulder a quick squeeze. "That's seriously the best thing I've seen. Do you mind if I put these over with the other desserts?" she said, already reaching for them. "We'll talk later, okay?" Without waiting for an answer, she put the dessert with the pudding and the cupcakes. Upon finding Ryan, she touched his shoulder. She had a tendency to be very touch-y. It probably made some people uncomfortable, but she did it before realizing that she shouldn't, and sometimes she didn't even recognize it, like now. "Hey," she said, giving him a slight squeeze. "You okay? So, how did you want to do this? Do you want to put everything on the counters for people to put on their plates and then just take to the table, or should we try squishing things all on the kitchen table?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin
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Cara was definitely less demanding to her friends than she was her family, but Ryan still wasn't sure how Chanel handled being friends with her. Her nature seemed too good to be mixed with Cara's so easily, but then again, compared to Cara, anyone could seem like Mother Teresa. Regardless, her friendly and welcoming ways put Ryan at ease a little bit. His sister could be as negative as she wanted to be, throwing a pity party for herself over nothing, but at least everyone wasn't in a horrible moo. It made him feel guilty for allowing his own mood to be soured and he tried to perk up as he thanked her for the help. Until the turkey was ready, there wasn't much to do. He considered sneaking back off to his room and actually staying there this time when he got a text from Oliver. Apparently, he and Collin were on their way to Collin's family's house. Something had come up last minute where their plans changed and he had forgotten to text Ryan to tell him. He apologized and said that he thought Marie and Isaac were still going to come, and just as Ryan finished responding with a "no problem. Have fun" text, Isaac appeared carrying a tray of brownies.

"You can stop sulking now," Ryan said as he neared Cara. "It's only going to be him as your unwanted guest. Collin, Marie and Oliver have other plans." He doubted it would do much good. Collin and Oliver were the two that Cara probably approved of most. At least compared to Isaac. Still, he felt like it was worth mentioning. "And it looks like Holly's excited about that scarf dad gave you last Christmas," he added, trying to lift the mood further as he watched Holly talk to Brooklyn. "Plus, the turkey should be good to cut any minute now, so there's that too." he didn't know why he cared enough to try to lift her mood when she had been selfish all day, but it was just a part of his character at this point. Overly considerate, with no way to keep himself from being that way. Without another word, he headed back towards the stove and a minute later Chanel caught him off guard with a squeeze to the shoulder. "Yeah, yeah, everything looks and smells really good," he nodded. "Uh, it's your call on that. Leaving everything up here will probably be easier, but it's whatever you think will work best. The table only seats six, so you and Cara and maybe Holly and Makayla and two other people should sit there, and the rest of us can just sit at the island or on the couch or something," he offered I surely. Cara had tried to make it seem like this was his party once she didn't get her way with the guest list, but he wanted as little responsibility as possible with it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin
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When Ryan told her that Isaac was the only person who hadn't originally been invited who was coming, Cara knew that she needed to stop complaining, but part of her had wanted the other three to show up, just so she had something to complain about. So that when something went wrong, she could turn to Ryan with rage in her eyes and blame the whole failure on him. She could still do that since Roman definitely counted as an additional unwanted being on top of Isaac, but three less people took the emphasis out of it, really. Now, all she had to hold onto was that it was even ruder for them to not show up last minute because for all they knew, they had spent tons of extra money planning on those three extra bodies being there. Cara wanted to say that to Ryan and really considered doing it when Chanel was out of the apartment, but she held her tongue, or more accurately, kept her wine glass pressed to her lips so she couldn't open them to speak.

If for no other reason, she knew that she had to cheer up because Holly was there now and she really did want to make this fun for the girl. She had seemed excited about it ever since Cara had mentioned it to Makayla, and the idea of being the host of someone's very first real Thanksgiving made her feel like the job of hostess was more important than it seemed. Holly was usually easy to please and with the assortment of baked goods she had delivered, on top of the cupcakes that Cara saw Makayla give to Ryan, she was sure Holly would have a good night too. Cara would have considered the brownies that she saw Chanel take from Isaac to count as a possible treat to delight Holly too, but there was no way that Cara was going to let anyone she cared about consume those. It didn't matter how good they looked. The last thing that she needed on top of everything that had went wrong today was for Holly to die of a drug overdose because that creep had thought it would be funny to put pot and other drugs into the desserts. Roman could definitely finish those off on his own with Isaac without Cara trying to stop him.

For a few minutes, she did sulk like Ryan had made fun of her for doing. This wasn't how she wanted to be spending her holiday. It was a holiday that emphasized feeling grateful, and she had a lot to be grateful for. She had an apartment that was nice enough and definitely more than most people had, that was filled with nice people (and Roman and Isaac) and tons of food. She had her health, she had great friends outside of this apartment, a father who was healthy and supported her beyond normal means, and a life where she would absolutely never be subjected to destitution or even the stress of having to work to pay bills. Cara was immensely lucky and privileged and she had a ton to be thankful for, but all she could think about was the things she didn't have. Watching Holly interact with Brooklyn, and the huge smile on Chanel's face as she talked to everyone, reminded her of what the holiday was about but it was still hard for her to change her persona suddenly like that. When Holly approached her, Cara smiled, not even noticing the despaired look on the girl's face until she was right in front of her. "Lemonade?" she repeated, setting her empty wine glass down on the island as she stood from her chair. "I don't know if we have any lemonade," she responded, lacking certainty. With everything they had purchased today, it was just her luck that she would forget something that was a staple for Holly. For someone who spent a lot of time with the girl, Cara wanted to slap herself in the face for forgetting. She led Holly over to the refrigerator to check it out herself, and found that her fears were right, and they hadn't gotten the beverage. "Ryan must have forgotten to get it when I told him to," Cara said, inaccurately blaming her brother for the mistake, but doing so loudly enough where she was aware he could hear from where he stood a foot or two away with Chanel. She was throwing him under the bus, but in her defense, her voice was lighter and more playful now. If Ryan was bothered by it, she would just tell him that she was obviously joking. "Do you want me to ask one of the boys to go get you some from the little convenience store around the block?" she continued. Maybe it was because she was standing by the oven that had only been turned off a few minutes ago, but the apartment was starting to feel hot and stuffy, and she wouldn't mind losing a body and quelling Holly's whining in one move.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin
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After Brooklyn let them in, Ryan took the plate of cupcakes from her. He was a nice kid, someone who acted like he had been raised by a different set of parents than Cara sometimes, and his help was appreciated, but she was glad that he just took the plate and didn't try to stay and chat. He didn't know him like that and her general state of being right now wasn't one that was going to humor small talk with anyone, nonetheless someone who she was sure she had virtually nothing in common with. She was in such a bad mood that she couldn't even bring herself to be polite and exchange pleasantries with the hostess before she went straight for the liquor that was sitting in the kitchen. She filled a glass with Jack Daniels and a splash of Coke, and found herself chatting with Nick for a couple of minutes as everyone got settled in. Isaac came in during that time, and Holly was still talking with Brooklyn, but Makayla wasn't paying anyone much mind. Even her conversation Nick, who she was friends with, consisted with little more than her nodding and adding a "yeah" or "wow" here and there as he thanked her for letting them use their apartment later, she thanked him for the free weed, and he explained what he and Brooklyn had planned for the night. She was present in the conversation physically, but mentally, not so much. She didn't know if he caught onto that or if his interests just switched, but a few minutes into their conversation, he excused himself to go talk to Roman who had passed them to go to the living room, and she readily allowed the conversation to die.

Oh, how she wanted to slip away into the bathroom or one of the back bedrooms and just shut her eyes and relax for a few minutes. Or head back to her own apartment and actually go to sleep for the night. Or week. She was drained physically, mentally and emotionally, and when a night of free food and alcohol wasn't able to lift her mood, she knew she was in trouble. She couldn't escape the party tonight. Not with Holly so excited to be there, and so... Hollyish. It wasn't like she was a normal sixteen year old girl who could spend the night alone in this apartment and come back to theirs in a few hours with no problem. Makayla had to be here to make sure that she wasn't bothering everyone else and being intrusive... like she was being right now. Makayla caught the tail end of Holly asking Cara where her lemonade was, and once the duo reached the fridge, Makayla walked over. She caught Cara telling Holly that she didn't have any and that she could send one of the boys out to get some for her, and Makayla wasn't going to have that. Not only would she feel compelled to give Cara money she didn't have to cover the cost of the lemonade that only Holly would drink, but Holly would survive on the million other beverage choices that Cara had. Holly and her had come from very little, and although spoiled wasn't a word she felt right using with Holly, she did feel like Holly had a good life at this point. As good as she was going to get, at least. Makayla did her best to get Holly everything she needed, and as many things as she wanted too, and additionally, Holly honestly was blessed to have Cara in her life because the blonde never thought twice about indulging in Holly's petty little wants. Like the sweater she was wearing, that Makayla was sure would end up stained or tossed aside for feeling too itchy after tonight, or even the lemonade. It wasn't a huge deal, but Makayla knew that Holly was a reflection of her, and she wasn't going to sit here letting it look like she was raising a child that would throw a fit over not having a fucking glass of lemonade. Not at sixteen years old, and especially not when at her age, Makayla was taking care of Holly and other kids she had no relation to, working a job, and worrying about a lot more important shit than lemonade. And on top of all of that... she was in a bad mood. Her patience was nonexistent at this point and she had warned Holly that she wasn't going to deal with any brattiness tonight.

"Nah, absolutely not," Makayla cut in. She looked at Cara and forced her best appreciative smile onto her face. "I appreciate it, Cara, but she's gonna survive on the many other options you have here. No one's going out in the cold for anything for you, Holly. Not when you're already lucky that Cara invited us here in the first place. Bring that lemonade up one more time, and so help me, God, you will spend the rest of this night in your room not saying a word." She wasn't being loud, mostly because she didn't have the energy to raise her voice, but she was being serious. She didn't have it in her to be consistently trying to keep Holly on a leash tonight. They were already here, so Makayla knew it was worth it to stay and eat, but if this child kept pushing, Makayla was at a point where she wouldn't have any shame in taking a cup and a plate to go and eating it in their own empty apartment.