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Stas Kelevra

How many yous have you been? How many, lined up inside, each killing the last.

0 · 314 views · located in Titanic Ship

a character in “April 1912”, originally authored by Εpιmetheus, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description

S T A S . K E L E V R AxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxFOOLS AND CHARLATANS, THEY MIGHT GET WISE, BUT ONLY CREAM AND BASTARDS RISE_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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FULL NAME
STAS PETYR KELEVRA


ALIAS
NONE


AGE
TWENTY FOUR


ORIGIN
EASTERN EUROPEAN ; OF ISRAELI DESCENT


SEXUALITY
HETEROSEXUAL ; HETEROROMANTIC


ECONOMIC CLASS
THIRD CLASS


OCCUPATION
CON ARTIST / THIEF


MARTIAL STATUS
SINGLE

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L O O K I N G . G L A S S
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EYE COLOR
GREEN

HAIR COLOR
BLACK

WEIGHT
ONE SIXTY SEVEN LBS

HEIGHT
SIX FOOT ONE

APPEARANCE
If he was ever malnourished, he hides it well. He stands tall, slightly above six feet, but he carries himself well, giving off a greater impression of grandeur. He pulls his wide shoulders back, keeps his chin high and his back straight, and he's noted that it makes him slightly more imposing, seems to give him a couple of inches. He doesn't dress particularly well, none of those fine silks and heavy cottons of the vastly wealthy, but he keeps his fabrics fine enough that, coupled with his charm and acting ability, he can blend in just fine with the upper middle class. He owns only three very fine suits apt for fitting in with high society (all stolen or swindled in some way), and he keeps them all well cared for, dons them only for the most important of jobs. There is a natural charm to his manner, a humorous twinkle in his green eyes. He relies on it, after all, to fake his way into the upper echelons of society for a short time, whether it be with a naive girl holding onto his arm, or under the "guidance" of an older gentleman looking for a filial replacement of fulfillment, or even just a step behind a bored trophy wife looking for some enjoyment and with some time to spare. He eases his way into situations and events and hardly seems out of place. He accredits half of it to his social tact and acting skills, but he also knows his well sculpted features are just as helpful.

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T H E . D E V I L ' S . D E T A I L S
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LIKES

Fate threw her dice and cast him a shitty lot in life. He's grown to be a the worst of the worst: a criminal and a bottom-feeder. But that doesn't mean he has to fit the stereotypical template for what his kind should be. In fact, he has a very healthy appreciation for the arts. Particularly, he's a big fan of classical studies, especially the poetry and plays of the era. He's far from fluent, but he's picked up a little Ancient Greek and Latin from the books he's stolen. If he weren't so busy trying to keep him and his sister fed and clothed, he's sure he could be a scholar of some sort. He has the intelligence for it; the mind for it. But he's not nearly rich enough for that. He can't even attend the theatre frequently at all, despite his immense love for it. And it certainly seems as though he'll remain forever separated from having the finest silks and cottons and just about all of the finer things in life.


DISLIKES

Stas has spent his entire life, at least as far as he can remember, acting the part of just another street urchin living in the gutter. While he starved, he watched the wealthy parade the streets of London with their fine dresses and suits. And he learned to harbor a deep disdain for them. He despises those born into wealth, who have never had to work a day in their lives for all the gifts they've been granted. And he particularly hates when those people believe their luck gives them a license to look down their noses at the working class. The pompous people who populate high society can all burn. It's not just jealousy either. He's certain he hates their entire culture from what he's seen of it. All the pointless, vapid conversation, not to mention all the dreadful ballroom dancing. He can do without it just fine. Which isn't to say he's happy with his station in life either though. When the money's low and they're forced to eat the cheapest food, which is always intolerably bland. Or in the winter months, when, despite the heavy coats he's gotten for himself and his sister, their lack of a proper home with heating fails to keep the chill from settling deep in his bones. No, he's not content with where he is. And he's not sure there's a happy medium out there for him either.


TALENTS


`◇ TACT&CHARM ; He relies on his social graces to bring back his share of money. He's terrifically good at acting, and particularly skilled at emulating the social tact and customs of the upper classes.
`◇ SHARP AS A TACK ; He's very clever, of course. Being raised on the streets lends a natural aptitude to that; the stupid find themselves starving after all. But he also has a natural intelligence in regards to literature and classical studies.
`◇ INTUITIVE ; When your entire livelihood relies on fooling other people, you tend to pick up how to read some behavioral cues. He's particularly observant when it comes to people and their emotions and actions, especially if those people are his marks.
`◇ DOGGED ; He may be pessimistic and resigned, but he is not a quitter. When he sets his sights on an objective, he tends to accomplish it, no matter how many out-of-the-box solutions he has to come up with to do it.


WEAKNESSES

`◇ SELF-SERVING ; You can tell him your secrets, and it's all very confidential, as a matter of course. That is, until spilling those secrets— carefully, tactfully— serves to benefit him. He cares about two things: himself and his family. Everyone else is replaceable.
`◇ UNTRUSTWORTHY ; Who can trust a man who lies six times before he's even eaten breakfast?
`◇ EASILY ANTAGONIZED ; Though he'd like to believe he's highly capable of retaining a cool head in the most trying of situations, the reality is he's rather hot-headed and not difficult to provoke into throwing punches.
`◇ LOST HOPE ; Once upon a time he too dreamed of climbing the social ladder and gaining some wealth of his own. He's all but given up on that pipe dream, can't imagine even trying to pull himself out of his current occupation.

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T E M P E R A M E N T
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Truth be told, he's not even all that sure he has a personality of his own anymore. He's spent so much of his time pretending. All that acting, the faking, the posturing. He fears it's destroyed him. In his alter personas, he's as charming as can be-- says all placating pleasantries that need to be said, does all the foolish acts the upper class ask of him. He has a good sense of humor, knows when to crack a simple joke to lighten the mood, to ingratiate himself more. In these times he is kind and caring, the perfect gentleman, always putting another's needs before his own. He is humble and honest, intelligent but never overtly so. He plays his cards close to his chest even in these acts, which, surprisingly enough, has only ever been beneficial. It gives him an added air of depth, or mystery in some cases. The more curious people are about you, he's found, the more inclined they are to keep you around. And he does what he must to be wanted for as long as he needs them to want him for. He is the perfect suitor, the perfect heir, the perfect son the man's always wanted. He plays the part, and he plays it well.
When he sheds these skins, he reveals what he's hidden beneath the surface. He has a sense of humor, sure, all dry wit and cutting remarks. He can be kind, but only in a quid pro quo sense. He is not cruel and vicious, not the way he could be, because he knows the value of having people in his debt. The only people he puts before him is his family, which thus far extends only to his sister, and he himself doesn't worry about any debts he ought to repay. He has no sense of obligation to others. He is the farthest thing from honest, clever and cunning, and never reveals his hand. Stas is man of smoldering fire, a spite in the pit of his stomach. He hates the struggle he's lived with when others have never known a day's work in their life. Simultaneously, he knows he's chosen the easy way out. He knows he could take up a job with true labor involved, and there's a shame that he buries deep within his chest for his hypocritical feelings. He knows he might have been something very different, maybe something more if he had been granted a little more luck in life. He laments this loss, and it fuels his anger, his justifications that he does only what he must to keep food in his and his sister's mouths.

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M E M O I R SxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxYOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A GENIUS BUT IT HELPS TO
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It's only been the two of them for as long as he can remember. That's not true. There was a mother once, fickle and absent. She'd come from a country she never mentioned the name of when she was carrying his sister, she told him once, something about giving them a greater opportunity. She kept a roof over their heads, at least. But even that was short lived. He was ten when she failed to return for the night. They waited a week, then a month, and then they waited no longer because they didn't have that luxury. Out on the streets, he learned, it was eat or be eaten. And he wanted to eat. He was too young for any hard labor, and he would never subject himself to work in the factories. He needed to live, and with all his limbs intact, if he was going to care for Syllia.
He learned to pick pockets after several botched attempts (and many bruises around his wrist from all the tight grips of victims and officers). After that, he taught his sister. Two sets of quick hands and nimble fingers were better than one. They lived like that for several years, off the coins and jewelry they pulled from the pockets of the wealthy walking through crowded streets. He learned to get bold. He cleaned himself off in the river at night, bought some nice clothes and starved for a week for it. He walked up to gentlemen, introduced himself on behalf of some vague figure of authority, and pulled the watches right off their wrists. He'd bump into respectable ladies, apologize profusely, smile as if he'd been entranced, and he'd slip off their bracelets or their necklaces or anything else exposed that was of value.
It was another two years, when he was eighteen, before he realized that if his act worked for the few minutes he needed to steal jewelry, why couldn't it work for longer? He used the same tactics, but he stopped stealing after just the first meeting. It was a little delayed gratification, but the payout was much bigger.
He's been at it for six years now. He's been smart enough to never target anyone too big, has kept himself off enough radars to live easily. He's traveled for it before, of course. Can't stay in one place for too long before suspicion falls. But he's always gone back to London. He's far from wealthy, but he keeps himself and his sister clothed and well fed and put up in a cheap apartment on a seedy street. But at least it's a space. And it has running water, if not heat. He's boarded to ill-fated ship because his sister came home with a ticket one night. He secured one for himself, and he can't say he's not curious. He's looking to pull some nice watches and jewelry from the wealthier passengers, but in the long run, he's eager to have a new hunting ground.

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PORTRAYED BY :
EPIMETHEUS

TIME ZONE :
EST

HOW OFTEN DO I POST? :
AS NEEDED

So begins...

Stas Kelevra's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ollie R. Gatz Character Portrait: Juliette Le Sauvage Character Portrait: Van Der Woodsen, Madame Yvette Character Portrait: Miss Charlotte Whittaker Character Portrait: Evan Tuck Character Portrait: Caspian Mar Grey Character Portrait: Daisy McGregor Character Portrait: Crawford, Mr. Lawrence M. Character Portrait: Schoen, Madame Jaqueline Character Portrait: Domonic Drew Castell Character Portrait: Chun-Hwa Mun Character Portrait: Henry R. Nelson Character Portrait: Amelia V. Nelson Character Portrait: Blanche Herveaux Character Portrait: Jewett, Paul Mr. Character Portrait: Ophelia Böhm Character Portrait: Oscar Dawson Character Portrait: Timothy P. Silver Character Portrait: Syllia Kelevra Character Portrait: Arthur McGhee Character Portrait: Abia Crane Character Portrait: William Crane Character Portrait: Stas Kelevra Character Portrait: Coraline Jennine Blackwood Character Portrait: Noah Cobain Character Portrait: Xavior G. Kennedy
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Date: Wednesday, 10 April 1912. xxxLocation: Southampton, England. xxx
Arrival Time: 9:30 a.m xxx Time of Departure: 11:30 a.m. xxxWeather: Brisk winds northwest at 15-20 mph; 50°C




"Aye, batte'n down the hatches will ya'?"

"Are my eyes deceiv'n me, or am I seein' this ship's ready to land?"

"Eeeeh, boy!"

"I'm needin' help to pull this lever."

"Ready to land, Captain!"


A slow, crooked smile had spread across Captain Smith's face resembling that of much content. The great ocean liner had took approximately three years to construct, engineered to be the largest and most luxurious steam ship in the world. Its very first voyage would truly be something worth remembering; articles about the ship were thus written, claiming it to be a marvel of modern engineering. Both men, women, and children alike came fleeing from their homeland to get a glimpse of the monstrous beauty that dared hinge itself onto the British port as if it was the only thing that withheld dominance. The passengers to board the luxury ocean liner were nonetheless grateful. Many had lifted their chins up in prestige because not only were they able to gain enough money to enter, but they were the first to do so. Street market sells boomed significantly, men were getting their beard groomed quickly as their wives pimped their children for the long journey; brushing off any specks from the petticoats of young girls, and straightening their son's woolen jacket.

And, it all happened in a speck of time. Everyone clustering, like ants. It wasn't later until the ship's plank board was lowered had everyone began pushing and shoving for a leading spot up the ramp.

"You want first-class passengers to board first, Captain?" One of the ship's crew member approached him. It was no surprise that even the most wealthiest aristocats were given better treatment. To Captain Smith the first-class were 'walking money', they would surely help spread the word, and perhaps bring in even more fortune. "Yes," Smith assured, "let the first-class board first."

And, off the worker went to announce the news to the people who waited impatiently. "Listen up," he had to shout over the uproar, "so, far we have at least two thousand two hundred and twenty eight thousand of you. I want first-class passengers to board first, then second, and lastly third. I want this to be done in an orderly fashion. We will set off in approximately two hours."

At that the commotion grew much louder, people kissed their loved one's a farewell. It was a moment of ecstasy, all for the ship that deemed as virtually unsinkable, the Titanic was truly a phenomenon.



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Mood: Observant xxx Outfit:herexxx Theme song: N.A. xxx





'Two hours, two hours, two hours ..'

Arthur McGhee felt the perspiration beginning to form at his temple, like thousands of tiny crystals scattered about his ivory skin. He wiped at it with the back of his hand as he chewed at his lower lip, it was a habit he had possessed since it was his conceitedness that got him stuck in the game of Cheat at the British port pub.

He remembered his words, a mockery as he smirked at the dunderheed that had just sent another man walking with loss. 'Ah bet yer ass I can win you at a game of cards. Aw or nothin', lad.' But, nevertheless it was those very words that had got him a pound short out of his pocket. If only he'd kept his mouth shut.

"You give'n up yet?" Arthur looked up from his stack of cards to the burly man who sat before him, the way his crusted lips curled back in amusement every moment he saw the poor Scott's exasperation.

He kept his answer short. "No." He concentrated on his next play.

He put down an ace, and at that, the man guffawed something bitter and awful that made Arthur fight the urge to hurl.

"You aren't gonna win, mate." Arthur ignored him as he put down a two.

Then, a four; six, eight, and before you know it he's all out of cards. Checkmate.

Arthur looked up at the man's now gawked expression, and smirked. "Mibbe ah jus did."

The guy was infuriated now as he looked at the cards, to Arthur, to the cards, then back up at Arthur. "Bullshit," he spat out a wad of tobacco juice out of the side of his mouth.

The man was nothing but muscle and tattoo compared to Arthur. However, as he said that Arthur couldn't hold it in anymore. He laughed, and laughed until his sides were cramping; until the man grabbed at his white button down, and heaved him up from his chair. "I want a rematch". He demanded, spit freckling across Arthur's face.

"Not how it works." The man pushed Arthur against a wall; hard. Others began to move away immediately in the process at the same time the owner shouted for the two men to take their tussle outside, but he was only ignored. "Listen to me, mate. I will hurt-" he was distracted by Arthur's hand moving behind his ear, thus a silver dollar had appeared between his fingers as if by magic.

"Did you not hear me? Arthur's smile widened. "Yer outta luck, lassie." He threw the coin at the man's face, causing him to loose his grip on Arthur.

"Aye!" he called out as he saw the sly Scott scoop up a few coins from their table, including a third-class ticket to board the 'White Star Line', and ran free from the pub toward the grand ship.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Syllia Kelevra Character Portrait: Stas Kelevra
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                        So there it was. In all it’s glory and splendor. Stas and Syllia stood at the harbor with the rest of the awaiting passengers, gaping up at the massive boat. Well, Syllia was gaping.

                        ”I don’t see what’s so special about the damned thing, actually.”

                        Syllia groaned. “Stas! Look at it!” she responded, pointing excitedly in the direction of the behemoth of metal. “S’huge! Gotta wonder how somethin’ like stays afloat in the water, y’know. Looks like it oughta sink.”

                        Stas frowned. ”No. Not at all.” He turned his head to Syllia, looking vaguely puzzled and only slightly judgmental. ”It’s the buoyancy force. The ship displaces water, which then pushes back and keeps the whole thing up. In simple terms.” He paused. Muttered, ”Christ, Syllia, I really ought to get you to read something every once in awhile.”

                        Syl scrunched up her nose, furrowed her brow, and wound up. She landed a particularly hard punch on Stas’ arm. He recoiled and grabbed his shoulder, pulling it away from her. She ignored his glower.

                        ”That oughta teach ya not to be so rude next time. What’s a couple’a science-y things gonna do for me? I bring home money, don’t I? That’s good enough for me.”

                        Stas scoffed. Syllia held up a fist again. He grimaced, and she grinned.

                        ”At any rate,” Stas said, straightening, “speaking of bringing home money—”

                        ”I know, I know,” Syllia cut in with the tone of bored teenager who’d been told too often the rules of the house when her parents were away and could now recite them by memory. Which is what she did, ticking off each point on her fingers as she went. “Don’t start anything until the ship’s departed lest we both get kicked off. Don’t try anything dangerous in an intimate setting with slow and or limited escape. Don’t take too many things at once or someone will notice eventually. Don’t take more than one thing from each person. And most importantly,” she said, leveling her gaze towards Stas, who looked mildly irritated and wildly unimpressed, ”under no circumstances should I attempt to act or otherwise tactfully talk my way out of a situation.”

                        They both knew how that had gone last time. A quick lie until she could bolt was no difficulty at all, but any attempt to act a part for an extended period of time could only end in disaster.

                        ”Fine,” he said, slightly testily. ”Alright.”

                        That marked Syllia’s turn to scoff. He so hated when she interrupted his speeches. But he’d given them so frequently, how was she meant to avoid memorizing most of them.

                        They stood silently in the crowd for several minutes, watching the wealthiest move up the boarding plank and up onto the deck. Stas took note of each of them, which ones would be easiest to charm into giving something up in the duration of the relatively short journey, which ones he’d be better off just picking something off them and then avoiding for the rest of the voyage. When one worked in the business for as long as he had, it became relatively simple to deduce those things from little more than an extended glance. He’d have no way of telling, of course, anything detailed about the personal life, but he would have a feel for the general emotions surrounding it. He deduced nothing, not really— it was only an instinct.

                        Syllia glanced about her immediate “companions”, the rest of the poor and less fortunate. She took note of which ones might be willing to play a game with her. And then she took note of which ones looked stupid enough to try more than once. She turned to look ahead at the second class. Wealthy enough that they wouldn’t miss a valuable or two, and hopefully oblivious enough that they wouldn’t even notice if it were gone. She was already deciding on specific items. That bracelet was awfully nice, as was that watch. And lovely cufflinks. One man kept patting the front pocket in his jacket, as though he was aware that he was in a less savory part of town and was proud of himself for making sure his wallet was still on his person. Foolish, if you asked her. All that did was let her know exactly where to pull his wallet from. She’d revisit him later.

                        But the whole excitement of merely being close to the ship faded quickly. Syllia bounced on the balls of her feet, eager to do something more than stand around. Stas stood stock-still, but she could tell by tenseness of his jaw that he detested all the waiting around too.

                        ”Listen,” she said, ”d’ya think I could pop off real quick? Maybe play a quick hand in the pub just over there? We’ve got more than enough time.”

                        ”Absolutely not,” he responded.

                        Syllia sighed and looked up at the cloudless blue sky, resigning herself to what she was sure would be at least a good long hour of hell.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ollie R. Gatz Character Portrait: Juliette Le Sauvage Character Portrait: Van Der Woodsen, Madame Yvette Character Portrait: Miss Charlotte Whittaker Character Portrait: Evan Tuck Character Portrait: Caspian Mar Grey Character Portrait: Daisy McGregor Character Portrait: Crawford, Mr. Lawrence M. Character Portrait: Schoen, Madame Jaqueline Character Portrait: Domonic Drew Castell Character Portrait: Chun-Hwa Mun Character Portrait: Henry R. Nelson Character Portrait: Amelia V. Nelson Character Portrait: Blanche Herveaux Character Portrait: Jewett, Paul Mr. Character Portrait: Ophelia Böhm Character Portrait: Oscar Dawson Character Portrait: Timothy P. Silver Character Portrait: Syllia Kelevra Character Portrait: Arthur McGhee Character Portrait: Abia Crane Character Portrait: William Crane Character Portrait: Stas Kelevra Character Portrait: Coraline Jennine Blackwood Character Portrait: Noah Cobain Character Portrait: Xavior G. Kennedy Character Portrait: Rosalie Essex
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Date: Thursday, April 11th 1912. xxx Time: 10:30 am. xxx Location: the coast of Celtic Sea
Headed to: Queenstown, Ireland xxx Arrival time: 3:30 pm. xxx Weather: partly cloudy with an abundance of stratocumulus clouds. moderate breeze at 50°C N/NW




Titanic's departure from Southhampton yesterday was quite the success! Afterwards, the massive vessel sailed to Cherbourg, France to board more passengers. Nonetheless, everything seemed to be running smoothly, not a mishap identified. Its passengers are enjoying the long voyage as well. Some even managed to make friends with those within their social heiarchy, but who knows? Maybe love will parish within this grand vessel, or rivals will be made. Sometimes fate just has to be waited upon before it is allowed to make its next move.

As first class passengers began to make their way towards the Parisian Café for an early morning coffee, most second and third class passengers aimed to put on their best fitting garments to join them, passing the bouncers who are scouting for any possible intruders. Nevertheless, people are making the most of it until their final destination to Pier 60 in New York on April 17, 1912.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Syllia Kelevra Character Portrait: Stas Kelevra
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                        Swaths of people crowded in front of the small luxurious cafe, where only a few wealthier people were already seated. The rest of them, like Stas and Syllia, were all just posers, waiting to gain admittance. Which was no easy feat. Technically, only the first class were meant to gain entrance, but Stas had seen many a second class passengers go in past the security as well. It was all in the manner of dress. There was no checking tickets; so long as one looked like they belonged, they could belong. Fortunately, Stas had had plenty of practice with blending in with crowds he didn’t belong in. Syllia, on the other hand... Well. He was a little worried for her.

                        ”Is this really necessary?” she said, tugging at the tweed waistcoat he’d practically forced on her earlier. ”I don’t see what the big deal is. We coulda jus’ eaten with the rest of the third class people down below.” She tugged again, this time at the carefully starched cuffs on her shirt.

                        ”And how do you propose we take the first class valuables,” he retorted cooly, ”if we make no attempt to get anywhere near them?”

                        ”Well,” began Syllia, indignantly. Then she paused, racking her brain for a possible answer. She knew Stas was right, of course. But that didn’t help that she felt uncomfortable in the very nice clothes she was wearing (stolen from a suitcase left unattended in a hallway) or the fact that she wasn’t confident Stas’ plan to sneak her in would work at all. She huffed, voicing her resignation. ”Fine. I just don’t see why you had to dress me up like this. No way it’ll work.”

                        ”Of course it’ll work, Syllia,” he said, resisting the urge to roll his eyes. ”So long as you remember what I told you. Which was?”

                        Syllia grumbled, muttered something under her breath, but began reciting what she’d been told at Stas’ sharp glare. ”Keep my head down, but my back straight and look right ahead.” She stopped. Then, at his expectant look, continued. ”And act like I belong. Confidence an’ all that. Got it.” He nodded, clearly expecting her to be silent for the rest of the wait, but she couldn’t help but ask again. ”I just don’t see why you had to dress me up like a boy though. They’ll know.” She was anxious, of course. She’d never been good at the posturing like Stas had. She’d flub it up in some way, she was sure. She adjusted the pageboy cap hiding her hair nervously.

                        Stas bit back a groan. ”If you weren’t so resistant to dresses,” he said, through his teeth, ”I might not have had to.”

                        ”But I hate dresses, Stas.”

                        ”Then be grateful I didn’t force you into one anyway.”

                        Syllia frowned and resisted the urge to punch him again; that wouldn’t be proper behavior for any respectable young man.

                        Stas watched as several people were turned away from the door. Some third class passengers even wore their Sunday best hoping to get in, but to no avail. He wasn’t particularly worried, though. They lacked what he had: the grace and the clothes. Stas wore simple linen button-up with a tie, casual black pants and polished loafers. Hardly anything extravagant, but that was the point. The truly wealthy had no need to put their best on display. The men wearing full tuxedos and the women wearing gaudy evening dresses were obviously out of place. Their over the top attempt was a dead giveaway. In contrast, Stas’ simple outfit had the crisp appearance of being well tailored and well-cared for. A subtle whisper of wealth. And as always, he carried himself with the air of a man who knew he always had a place waiting for him at the table.

                        The bouncer waved the two of them by, Syllia successfully passing off as his young teenaged brother, and Stas barely even considered it an accomplishment. Syllia, conversely, was grinning ear to ear. He couldn’t help but chuckle at her barely restrained pride and excitement.

                        ”I’m going to go sit down. You be the excited young boy you are and take a look around.” He leaned down to whisper in her ear. ”Bring back something good.”

                        Syllia turned her head towards her brother, giving him a knowing wink, then went off into the crowd of diners heading to their tables. She acted every bit the eager young boy part she was meant to play (really only externalizing the excitement she actually felt), and darted from area to area, bumping into certain people as she went, apologizing with a breathless “sorry” and a grin, to which they merely chuckled. Yes, she looked like the poster child of youth and naivety and excitement. Which is why they failed to even notice when her fingers, quick and slender, pulled wallets from suit pockets or front pockets or back pockets. No pockets at all were safe from her. She restrained herself though, of course. Wouldn’t do her any good if she had too many wallets to hide. Only three or four max. Which was a good picking, really, especially if one them was actually from a first-class passenger rather than a second-class one. Either way, she was pleased with herself. A grin was plastered on her face, and she began whistling a fine little diddy as she finished her “tour” and started to turn back to head towards her brother.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miss Charlotte Whittaker Character Portrait: Stas Kelevra
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Charlotte was utterly swept away by the grandeur and beauty of the ship as well as her accommodations. Her suite was modeled in the Georgian style with very beautiful, and extremely expensive furnishings. She had spent the first night on the ship enjoying the peace and quiet of her room. She was gloriously alone and it was difficult to not soak in these moments she had to herself.

The following morning greeted her with more enthusiasm than she had the day before. There was no one there to tell her where she could, or couldn't go, and this thought made her restless. She dressed for the day in a simple dress that still reflected the wealth that she had. She snapped the buttons going down the front of the material before she turned to one of her trunks that was filled with nothing but her most favorites from her hat collection. She looked through them trying to decide what to wear for the day when her eye caught her blue striped hat.

"All right Miss Whittaker, time for breakfast." She mumbled to herself as she checked her appearance in the mirror. She thought she looked okay in her attire, nothing special or grand to talk about. She could feel her stomach gurgle and knew that she was ready to get something to eat. Nobody knew her here and she smiled. She was apart of the first class, but no one would possibly know the fortune tied to her name. Perhaps she could make actual friends on the ship.

She left her room after a quick turn of her room key and put it within the small clutch she had carried onto the ship the day before. She had also put her copy of Moby Dick in the clutch in case she found somewhere quiet to read.

She wandered a bit before she finally reached the cafe meant for first class dining only. She could smell the food even before she had reached the doorway. She eyed the lower class people who were lined up waiting to get a glimpse of the inside, or attempt to fool the bouncer at the door. She shook her head and walked straight past them up to the man.

"Good morning," she flashed him a smile and he let her slide past him.

Charlotte stepped into the room and began to walk slowly around the perimeter. It was beautiful and all the faces she saw held a bit of a pompous air. This was where she belonged, whether she liked it or not.

She had just spotted a table to sit at when something caught her eye.

There was a man sitting at a table, alone for the moment, but there was a familiarity about him that she couldn't shake. She shifted over a few steps to try and see his face. Once she caught sight of it her brow furrowed in concentration. Who was this man? Why did he strike her as someone she knew?

He was dressed fairly basic, but he was clean cut and his clothes looked pressed. She took a couple steps to approach him. She bit her lower lip and glanced around her wondering if anyone else would strike this feeling within her. Was it perhaps the excitement of the ship? Had it gone to her head?

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Charlotte knew exactly who it was. The memories were jolted into the forefront of her mind as they came tumbling out of the depths of her subconscious. It had been about six years since she had last seem him. Back then he had some of his baby fat left in his face and he had been leaner. Now he looked very much like the rugged and handsome man she had known he would become.

She felt a bit breathless as the whispers of her past squirmed through her mind. This was the boy that her mother had banned her from ever seeing because he was the "filth of the streets". Clearly that was not the case now. It was obvious good fortune had struck him, why else would he be dining his breakfast among the elite of the first class?

There was an excited feeling stirring and bubbling within her. She couldn't resist approaching him.

She finally reached his table and there was a delicate smile plastered on her face. The pain of losing his friendship was erased as she looked at him. "Stas!" his name escaped her lips before she could follow propriety. She blushed before shaking her head. She cleared her throat. "Excuse me," she looked a bit bashful. "Mr. Kensington." There was a twinkle in her eye and a smile upon her face. "I can see that your dreams of joining the finance industry have come to fruition." She glanced at one of the empty chairs at his table. "Would it be all right if I sat here?" her mother would be appalled.

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Character Portrait: Miss Charlotte Whittaker Character Portrait: Evan Tuck Character Portrait: Syllia Kelevra Character Portrait: Stas Kelevra
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                        It really wasn’t all it was hyped up to be. From the way the people were lined up hoping to enter, one would think the cafe had chairs made from solid gold. That was hardly the case. He sat in one of the wicker chairs pulled into a table set against the wall, one with only three chairs, though it wasn’t as though he were really expecting company. He ordered a small breakfast, and began formulating plans. What would his cover be? Unemployed heir or a working man, humble and appreciative of his fortune? Either one had shown good results, albeit amongst different crowds. Which was why he was observing. Taking in all the information he could with visuals and limited hearing with keen eyes, hardly missing a thing. This was the main reason he’d wanted to dine among the first class. Reconnaissance. He would generate a cover and plan of action specially tailored for a specific type of mark; the perfect thing they’d dreamed of. He was hoping to cast a wide net this time, however, seeing as how he didn’t have much time to observe one specific person and create something specific for that one individual. He’d have to work with generalizations, which was much harder, but he hardly balked at the challenge. He’d just been brought a coffee, which he was sipping at slowly, when a distinct voice caught his attention.

                        He heard ‘Stas!’, which was a surprise, and then ‘Mr. Kensington’, which sent a cold chill down his spine. He recognized that name. He recognized that name because it was him. Well, in a sense. It was an old version of him, one that he’d shed and killed long ago. And that was a name he’d hoped he’d never have to hear again.

                        But then there was the person who had called that name standing before him, just as beautiful as he remembered, and it felt to him like a dream. Fleeting, ephemeral. Entirely unreal. And yet, there she was, commenting on his (very fake) childhood dreams. He was speechless for a moment, something very rare indeed. She asked politely after a rather embarrassing moment of silence, if she could sit, and again it took him a second to process what she’d said.

                        ”Of course,” he breathed, his voice barely a whisper and his eyes wide and unbelieving. Then, ”Of course,” louder, more forcefully, more a statement than a question. He shook his head slightly, pulling himself out of his stupor, and stood quickly.

                        ”How rude of me,” he said, chuckling lightly, as he moved to pull the chair out for her. ”Please, sit.”

                        Sure she was securely seated, Stas took his seat once more and quickly waved down a waiter to offer a coffee for Charlotte. He cleared his throat, unsure of what, exactly to say. This was unneeded, to say the least, and the unexpected appearance of an old victim was never pleasant. But she was more than just an old victim. She was... Well, that was a story for another day.

                        He settled, eventually, on smiling softly. ”Miss Whittaker. I simply cannot express how much of a pleasure it is to see you.” He paused, laughed lightly, bashfully, under his breath. Then added, as though with hesitation, ”You look just as beautiful as I imagined you’d be.”

                        He retained his composure, for the most part. But the rat inside him, the scurrying cowardice, was scrambling to seek an escape. This was unexpected, unplanned for. He felt trapped in an undesirable situation. He would need to find a way to escape without seeming rude, without appearing as though he were eager to leave her company. Unfortunately, it seemed that would prove a very difficult task indeed.

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                        Well. It was fun while it lasted. Why was picking pockets in a crowd in a city so much easier? Syllia suspected it had something to do with the escape routes. Even if someone noticed their money missing, there wasn’t a thing they could do about it if the suspected thief was already twenty minutes gone. But it was different on the ship. She couldn’t just disappear. She was relying solely on the nimbleness of her fingers and her quick step. But she thought, at the very least, it would take them a lot longer to figure it out than this.

                        One second she was pleased and whistling, on her way back to her brother with a sizeable loot. The next, she was being gripped firmly by the elbow and dragged to a far corner of the room. She stumbled along with the man pulling her, nearly tripping once or twice. The grip, she thought, was unnaturally strong for one of the older men she’d picked from. She looked up at the stern face of her captor, and saw someone she didn’t recognize at all. She hadn’t stolen anything from him. Aw, hell. Why did people always go around getting involved in business that wasn’t theirs? Would it have really killed him to let her slip off? She chided herself for letting herself be caught regardless, even if it wasn’t by one of her actual victims. She’d have to work on her subtlety, she supposed.

                        He finally stopped his unrelenting gait, and Syllia took the chance to yank her arm from his grip. ”Unhand me, ya brute!” she spat, scowling. Then, as if all of a sudden remembering the role she was meant to play, she sniffed and lifted her chin high, then lowered her voice pitch slightly in order to emulate a more masculine sound. ”You ought to learn not to be so terribly rude. That’s no way to treat a first class passenger.” She attempted to emulate her brother’s speech patterns, stopped stringing words and syllables together and cutting off ends of words. More formal, more stiff. It was terribly uncomfortable.

                        Fortunately, it didn’t seem like she’d have to keep up the charade for long. She was ready to fight his accusation of thievery, but she knew it was all over the moment he called her Miss. As Stas would say, her cover was blown. She froze for a moment, like a deer in headlights, trying to figure her way out of that mess.

                        She channeled her brother for a moment, trying to pick up on small details. There must have been a reason he dragged her to seclusion to accuse her of theft. Because he wanted to give her a chance to explain herself? Unlikely, given the dark, dangerous tone of his voice. Perhaps he wasn’t sure he was right. She took a quick glance behind him at all the true first class passengers. The man had wealth, but he wasn’t dressed as finely, she could tell. So he was second class. Accusing her falsely would be terribly embarrassing, she knew, so that was a potential reason. Perhaps he wanted something in return for not turning her in. That didn’t seem like the likeliest option, to tell the truth, given his harsh and unforgiving glare. Damn. When it all came down to it, she wasn’t her brother after all. Stas would have compiled all the observations she’d made and turned it into a quick and astute decision. One that would get him out of the mess. But she lacked that final step. She wasn’t great at reading people, truth be told, other than their tells at the poker table. Ultimately, she relied on her wits. It always came down to that. And if all else failed, talk fast enough and offer a decision that she’d make for them and leave them confused enough to give her just enough time to slip away. She went with that plan.

                        After a second or two had passed since his question, her wide-eyed look fell away in favor of a grin. She spoke in an imitation of a group of Pikeys she’d met once, those hustling gods. Not a single person understood half of what they said, and yet, somehow, they always managed to walk away with someone’s money. So she spoke fast, very fast. ”Turn me in and ya just make more problems for yourself, really, mate. Don’t want to do that, do ya, eh? I mean, who knows what’ll happen. They give me the boot, sure, but what’s your fate in all’a this? Any old bloke off the street can see you don’t belong here, not quite, just like me, so who’s to say you don’t get off just as poorly as me, ya see what’am saying?” She paused, very shortly, to give him a questioning look. Christ, she hoped this would work. ”Listen, tell ya what,” she said, digging around in her pocket for, and surfacing with, a deck of cards held together by a metal clip. ”I’ll play ya for it, how’s that sound? I win, ya let me go, no harm no foul. You win, well.” She shrugged, nonchalantly. ”Then you go ahead and turn me in, and I’ll even throw the wallets in for ya, and whatcha do withem isn’t my business.” She stared up at him with a wicked grin on her face, confidence, just like Stas taught her. If this failed she’d be screwed, but she’d be damned if she’d show any fear.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Juliette Le Sauvage Character Portrait: Miss Charlotte Whittaker Character Portrait: Evan Tuck Character Portrait: Caspian Mar Grey Character Portrait: Daisy McGregor Character Portrait: Crawford, Mr. Lawrence M. Character Portrait: Domonic Drew Castell Character Portrait: Ophelia Böhm Character Portrait: Syllia Kelevra Character Portrait: Stas Kelevra
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______________Juliette Le Sauvage______________

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    L O C A T I O N : BOAT DECK

    Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #ea98c6|| Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ dim gray
    xxxxxTʜᴇᴍᴇ ✧ Suite Bergamasque|| Oᴜᴛғɪᴛ ✧ X
_____The morning sun created a gleam of light upon the English Harbor. Most chose to wave goodbye to their loved ones or to the onlookers of such an esteemed and historic occasion. Since Juliette had no family present and had been on the ship since the day before considering she was technically staff, she took the scenic route to the other side of the ship and watched the sun rise over Southhampton. She left her hair down, as she always did when she was free to move about, and inhaled the salty air. The few times she visited Spain with her parents she was completely drawn to the sea. Unfortunately Paris, her home since birth, merely has a river for her viewing pleasure and she smiled now at her good fortune of spending time floating about it for a solid length of time.
Juliette was not certain as to how long she had spent simply looking out at the view before her, but she imagined it to be quite a while since people could be seen filling out the ship and taking advantage of good weather and open decks. She sighed wistfully looking at them, knowing her brief moment of piece was spent and this place would hold no more privacy for her. She gathered up her skirts and began to make the trek back to her small quarters in Third Class, knowing by now people will be crowding the cramped hallways, when she was run upon by a very aggro servant. This man she had already been introduced to and he paused to catch his breath as if he'd been running. She reigned in her accent as she spoke knowing it was simply better for everyone involved if she didn't have to repeat herself.
"Bonjour Marc. What has you looking so flustered that you'd run all this way to find."
Forgive me Miss Juliette. But it's the other musician, ya see, 'e's sea sick. Tosser can't even hold his stomach five minutes into the damn voyage. We need a replacement at the Breakfast Cafe.You're the only other employed Pianist here and the quartet only plays for lunch and dinner."
"Merde,"she looked down at herself and was thankful she wore something semi-work appropriate. Her white shite, black ascot, and black skirts would have to do. She pulled a hair pin from her sleeve and quickly did her hair into a neat bun, with only a few strands falling but never too much to look messy.
"Very well Marc, take me to the cafe. I will just have to improvise."
Marc pulled her at a swift pace and she nearly lost her footing trying to keep up. "Please hurry we're already late!
The soon arrived to a slowly thickening crowd entering the French-style cafe and she straightened her skirts and pressed her fingers to her blushed cheeks as they'd grown pink from the exercise. She strode in quickly and smiled as she heard Marc letting out a deep exhale before he ran to inform his supervisors of her arrival no doubt. She accidently brushed passed a tall, rather rugged looking blonde gentleman and quickly apologized before continuing on. Despite there being people already in attendance, she walked straight up to the piano as if it was planned and began to play one of the many pieces she has memorized in her many years, Suite Bergamasque by Debussy, a favorite of hers. It had a lively into and was a moving piece in all. She quickly lost herself to the melody as people filed in.





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Character Portrait: Miss Charlotte Whittaker Character Portrait: Stas Kelevra
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Charlotte saw the surprise register on his face and knew that he was mirroring the feelings that were stirring within her. She offered a smile as he gathered his wits and then quickly stood to pull her chair out. She murmured a thanks before she sat and was scooted in towards the table. She looked him over and flushed as he spoke of her beauty. Whenever she received compliments on her beauty it always felt forced. She never felt like it was genuine.

It was different with Stas. Even now her mind was being pulled down the lanes of memory to the young man who would corner her in the bookstore and whisper into her ear. She had to shake her head to dispel the near forgotten memories so she could bring herself back into the present. "I can't even explain to you how happy I am to see you." She gave him an award winning smile that lit up her entire face.

Charlotte had never imagined she would know someone upon this cruise, let alone stumble across Stas once more. She had been so angry and bitter with her mother for banishing her from ever seeing Stas again. It seemed as if fate had something else in mind.

A cup of coffee was brought out to her and she nodded to the waiter. "Thank you." She poured some cream from a small pitcher on the table and dropped two lumps of sugar in. She stirred it with a small spoon before taking a short sip.

She brought her eyes back to Stas and a whimsical sigh escape her. "I never thought I'd see you again." She admitted. "I don't suppose there's anything I could do to ever make up for what happened in our past, but I do want you to know how sorry I am. I never meant to leave you in the dark. My mother-" she stopped herself and shook her head.

"I guess I should thank providence for giving me this opportunity to finally clear the air between us." The smile returned to her face as she sipped her coffee again.

"Tell me, what waits for you in America?" the curious look had entered her eye.

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Character Portrait: Juliette Le Sauvage Character Portrait: Miss Charlotte Whittaker Character Portrait: Evan Tuck Character Portrait: Syllia Kelevra Character Portrait: Stas Kelevra
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                        It was too surreal to be unreal, that much he knew. His brain, no matter how tired or out of sorts, would never fabricate this as some sort of dream. He was scared, and that was the only thing he knew for certain. After all, he had no way of knowing just how much she was aware of. She was playing nice now, but he’d had more than one run-in with someone who held a grudge and was more than happy to conceal it until they had him feeling secure in his safety. Did she know about him, who he was— who he really was?

                        She expressed her joy at seeing him again, and he couldn’t help but feel a remnant of fleeting affection for the smile that crossed her face. He hadn’t seen it in such a long amount of time, and yet the visual brought back such vivid memories of the same smile that he’d once been the frequent recipient of. He chuckled again, nodding his agreement, still silent and slightly disbelieving.

                        He watched her fix her coffee, and took note of how she liked it. Cream, two sugars. Who knew when it might prove to be useful information. He was used to remembering the most inconsequential of things, as it was always something that proved additionally impressive to people who weren’t used to having others remember small things about them. It was almost a subconscious reaction. Simultaneously, he marveled at the fact that he’d never had the opportunity to memorize her coffee order before. Somehow, during the duration of their entire— he wasn’t sure what to call it, actually. Relationship certainly wasn’t the right term— something, they’d never actually gone out for coffee. It was a strange sort of knowledge.

                        Still, there was an anxiety eating at the back of his mind. How much did she know for certain? Questions raced through his mind until— notes rang through the air, deliberate and melodic and utterly calming. His racing heart slowed, steadied. How calming. Why was he afraid? Lottie, harsh as it was to say, had never been the cleverest of girls. Smart, yes, but not quite sharp, not in the way he and Syl needed to be. Naive, and that’s what he had liked about her. But it was that innocence that meant she would never be privy to his true intents. He needn’t fear for his being. In fact, this was an opportunity. He was different now; meaner, smarter, more cautious. He’d never fall victim to his old mistakes. And this was a chance to prove it.

                        He was yanked from his reverie by her voice again. She was apologizing. Somehow, he couldn’t hide his shock. And he was very good at concealing his emotions, he’d learned. At least he knew now she definitely didn’t know him as anything other than ‘Stas Kensington.’ Still, his eyebrows rose, and he set down his steaming cup of coffee to place a gentle hand over hers. ”Lottie,” he said, voice soft (and only half intentionally so), ”I have never, not once, cast any blame on you for what happened then.” And then he laughed, a rueful sort, nostalgic. ”But, forget that. We’re different people now, we need not dwell in the past.”

                        ”Hm,” he said, and took a sip of his coffee, pretending to be perfectly willing to tell her. He used the time it took to swallow to come up with a sensible lie. Finance. Something in finance. ”A job, actually,” Stas said, nodding as though he himself couldn’t believe his luck. ”I’ve been offered a position at one of the better banks in the Americas, and I figured—” he shrugged, laughing, “—well, I’ve nothing to lose, have I? So here I am, on my way.” He smiled at her, took another sip of his coffee. ”But that’s plenty on me. What of you? Surely something exciting must be dragging you away from home.”

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                        She didn’t appreciate his attitude, and she would certainly be eager to let him know as much if he didn’t hold her fate in his hands. Gads, Stas would be so mad if he found out she’d gotten herself snagged on the first day. He’d ice her out for a week at least, the bastard. She couldn’t afford to let this man hand her in. If she needed to, she’d bolt. She was very fast, and had lots of practice running away from law enforcement. Then she’d just have to be careful about not running into the imposing young man again. No big deal, even if it would be a bummer.

                        He kept her waiting. Threatened in a low voice, deep and threatening. She fought the urge to scoff. Stas had used that voice on her before, and it had never particularly deterred her from doing whatever rash act he tried to discourage her from. ”Well if you’re as good at weaselin’ yer way outta things as you say you are,” she mumbled as he deliberated on whether he’d play or not, under her breath, but loud enough that she was sure he’d heard, ”I’m sure you’d find some way.”

                        After what seemed like an eternity, he finally agreed to play her game, but not before reiterating her rules to her, as though he wanted to make sure she wouldn’t try to cheat her way out of it. She frowned. Syl was a lot of things— a thief, a chronic gambler, a cheater— but she wasn’t a liar. If she’d stated her terms, she’d follow through on them. But this man wouldn’t know that, would he? His opinion of her was already sullied, even though he hardly knew anything about her, didn’t even know her name. Damn rich folk. Always prancing around, acting all ‘holier than thou.’ Asses, the lot of them.

                        At least he had agreed to play. That was a weight off her shoulders. God bless those Pikeys. One of them had even stolen her first kiss (and the only thing she could really feel about it was impressed, truth be told), but she knew now she’d have to spend a lifetime thanking them and their skills of the trade. She’d study up on their accent more, too. Their incomprehensibility was, clearly, more of a talent than she’d given it credit for. And clearly this man’s mother had never warned him to be wary of street rats who carried cards with them. She ran through the games she could win. Blackjack, but even with her ability to count the cards, sometimes extraordinary luck won out in the end, and she didn’t want to risk that. Poker, but that was a little more skill-based, and she didn’t know the man well enough. Three card monte, that was the one. Infallible. No way she could lose, and it’d be over before he could blink.

                        ”Fantastic,” she said, grinning, and pulled out a chair at the nearest table to sit and pull out the cards she needed. ”We’ll play monte then. Find the Queen, Find the Painted Lady, it goes by a hundred different names. Easy enough. Look.” She held up three cards she’d taken, the queen of hearts, and the two jacks of spades and clubs. ”All you gotta do is find the queen. Follow her with your eyes.”

                        She tossed down the cards on the table to begin shifting them around. He would never find the Queen, this much she was sure of. It was all in the sleight of hand. She took the jack of spades in one hand, the queen and the other jack in the other. She made sure he knew where each card was. And as she tossed the card down, instead of tossing the lowermost card (the queen), which it appeared she had done, she threw the uppermost card (the jack). An easy switch, but an effective one. No one to date had ever discovered the trick, reason being that, if done correctly, the move was practically undetectable. He’d be following the incorrect card from the start, and a man like this (she could tell this much) would never guess. He’d trust his eyes, and that was the mistake. She finished shuffling the cards around, and pulled her hands back, held her palms out in a display that showed she’d leave everything, her fate and all, in his hands. ”So,” she said, a smile lifting the edges of her lips, ”go on. Find the painted lady.”

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Character Portrait: Miss Charlotte Whittaker Character Portrait: Stas Kelevra
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There was a strange anxiousness that was surrounding Stas and it wasn't something that Charlotte found she could put her finger on. This was natural of course. It had been years since they had seen each other. It was years since she had known him. The time that stretched between them separated the young budding lover from the friendly acquaintances that now sat across from one another. He relaxed quite suddenly as the trilling notes drifted up from the skill piano player's fingers and into the air. She was surprised as his hand covered hers. She was even more startled to discover how familiar his touch still felt.

"No, perhaps it wasn't my fault, but it was all still because of my mother." There were very old feelings starting to surface that she had forgotten and Charlotte had a great deal to think over when she had some private time to herself. She had buried Stas in her past. She had buried the foolish and naive girl who had believe she was sneaking behind her very controlling mother. Charlotte knew that she had been a fool. So why was she entertaining herself with the very man her mother had banished her from ever seeing again?

If Sylvia only knew who covered Charlotte's hand, she would very likely have a stroke from the shock of it all.

"That sounds like an adventure. I wish I had a reason as exciting as accepting a new job." Her words were serious. "My aunt has invited me to come stay with her for the year." She sipped at her own coffee and felt the hot liquid travel down the familiar and warm path in her throat. "I don't expect it will be that easy though. My mother has kept me under tight lock and key for the past six years. I can't imagine she'd let me go so easily, especially by myself despite this being the Titanic. You never know what can happen on a ship at sea." There was a spark in her eye that hinted at mischief.

"I never got a direct answer, but I think my Aunt Margaret has lined up a husband for me in America." Her nose scrunched up ever so slightly and there was a hint of disdain in her voice. "If she has, I think I might run away to Africa then," she managed to bring a bit of a smile back to her face, "then neither my mother or aunt can interfere with my life any longer." Charlotte had no idea how close to the truth she was.

She also didn't understand what had caused her to open up so quickly to Stas. She was usually more reserved than this and preferred to stay quiet in social situations. She supposed that it was because Stas was from the part of her past where she had believed she could break from the golden chains that bound her to the high society. She liked to believe she was still that girl; the one willing to rebel against her mother and create her own life how she saw fit.

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Character Portrait: Miss Charlotte Whittaker Character Portrait: Evan Tuck Character Portrait: Syllia Kelevra Character Portrait: Stas Kelevra
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                        Headed to her Aunt’s, was she? Stas vaguely remembered some mention of the woman from many years back, a passing comment maybe. The thought that she’d potentially only be in America for a year intrigued him. Depending on where she’d be, if— theoretically, very theoretically indeed— he were to attempt to pick his job back up where he left off, if the whole of it proved to be too difficult to accomplish over the span of the time at sea, he’d have a whole other year to finish it. And at the end of that year, she’d go back to her proper home and he’d never have to see her again. (He ignored the unsettling feeling the thought brought to the pit of stomach.)

                        Her comment on the possibilities being on the ship brought lent a similar gleam of mischief to his eye. ”What could happen indeed,” he murmured, with a slight twist of his lips. He sipped slowly at his coffee as he listened to her speak of what awaited her when she arrived at her aunt’s, her suspicions and all. A noise of disapproval originated in his throat and he set his coffee back down on its saucer with a clink. He turned again to peer into her eyes, frowning just a touch. "Certainly not. Africa’s far too dangerous for a sweet girl like you.” He smiled, eyes narrowing in endearment. ”You’ll be eaten by the lions.” A short laugh. ”No,” he said, shaking his head as he turned once more to pick up his cup. ”Tell you what, if you ever find yourself about to board a ship to Africa, drop by for a visit first. At which point—” he laughed, eyes crinkling at the corners— ”you may as well just stay until things blow ever.”

                        A joking comment, meant to be far from an earnest offer, but when he looked up into her eyes once more, he was sure to slightly drop the wide grin he’d put on his face— a small suggestion that the offer wasn’t all fun and games after all. Microexpressions. He was particularly well-versed in them by then, and found them to be the quickest path to a good con. People could never really control their brains, and they never knew what hit them.

                        So, keeping in the strain of the whole, ‘subtle indications people typically fail to consciously notice’, Stas turned away relatively quickly again, as though just a little embarrassed, and finished the last of his coffee. Again, he plastered a soft smile on his face. ”Well,” he said, “it’s been a joy to see you again, Lottie. Truly. Unfortunately—” and he stood— ”I’m afraid I’m supposed to meet an acquaintance of mine, and I may be just a touch late. Would it be terribly rude to ask that you excuse me?” He grimaced, a smiling one, an expression that indicated his regret at having to leave so soon. The waiter came by, and Stas paid him from a wallet he’d nicked the first day. ”You know what?” he said, turning back to the table. “How presumptuous would it be for me to ask you to dinner tonight, because I do believe I’m going to anyway.” He raised an eyebrow, lips quirking up to the side. “What do you say? May I drop by your cabin around seven?”

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                        As it turned out, the game may have been a mistake after all. Wealthy man with starched cuffs and a stiff collar, who would have pegged him for the ‘prone to anger’ types? Not her, clearly. She didn’t even have the time to refute his claim before he was gripping the front of her shirt and yanking her towards him. She winced, less from the pain and more from the shock. ”Ouch,” she hissed, ready to look back up and glare defiantly, but again was never given the chance.

                        ”Let go of me,” she said forcefully, but in a low voice, also careful to not draw attention to the two of them. Attention was never good. For a thief, having marks know their face was one of the worst things that could happen. ”I already told you, I’m no liar! Check for yourself, mate.” She clawed at his arm and dug her heels into the ground, but was unable to stop their steady progress towards the exit. ”S’hardly my fault you didn’t get the outcome you wanted, but look— the queen’s there! On the left!” Her verbal and physical struggle still yielded nothing. Damn, why did she have to be so small? And to top things off, this man was clearly no idle person, she could tell by the feel of his straining forearm under her grasping hands. Shit. She just had the worst luck, didn’t she?

                        In anger, she pursed her lips and growled deep in her throat. ”You got a helluva lotta nerve calling me the pathetic one when you’re the man going back on his word. At least I’ve got some semblance of honor.”

                        They were out the door and past the bouncer. Her time was running out. Wildly, she glanced around, searching for some form of anything that could help her out of her sticky situation. Finding nothing, she glanced down. Well, she had nothing to lose. Screwing up her face, she lifted her foot and brought it back down— hard. And on the man’s foot. She was ecstatically pleased to find that it had worked. From the shock or the pain maybe (she didn’t stay to find out), his grip on the collar of her shirt loosened enough for her to pull back and slip out of his hold. Without waiting around, she turned and took off, making a dash for the nearby deck of the ship and hoping that the throngs of people would provide enough cover to keep her out of his sight.