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Quinlan Rothschild

"I always seem to wonder why people don't like me, then I realize I don't like myself either."

0 · 207 views · located in New York

a character in “are we the waiting”, as played by trudy

Description

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Quinlan Rothschild
It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.


x xNicknames
x xGender
x xSexuality
x xAge
x xHometown
x xDialouge
x xThought
Quin, Qx x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
Cismalex x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
Bisexual (No preference)x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
Twenty-Fourx x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
Seattle, Washingtonx x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
#717B92x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
#9C9A9Ax x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x









AESTHETIC
Quinlan's appearance has always been sharp and steely in nature. A smile that could kill but he does maintain a resting bitch face most of the time. His eyes are a piercing grey blue eyes that stand out from his bleach-blonde hair and paler complexion. He stands about six foot one and weighs about has been able to maintain a slim body structure with a fair amount of a light muscle tone. As for his style he has always maintained a serious sartorial punch most of his life. His clothing mostly involves what's the late's style, yet he doesn't go all out, it's mostly done with business casual wear. It's hard to catch him not when everything about his appearance is meticulously planned.



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PERSONA

When you first meet him, Quinlan seems like he would be a conceited, arrogant, and egotistical rich boy. Don't get it wrong— sometimes he can be all of those things, but there is more to see behind his rich boy facáde. As an only child to two wealthy business owners, Quinn was raised to be admired and respected. His upbringing left him with a very charming and presentable attitude, that he often reverts to when needs be. Although some of this has inherently bled into his actual demeanor.

A natural dweller of being in the limelight, he has learned from a young age how to tug people in his direction with only his pinky finger. With looks and money like his, it is easy to make people do as you wish for them to, and Quinn learned this early. He will not hesitate to charm his way into this thing or another, and has no shame as far as manipulating people for his own gain goes. After all, that's merely one of the skills that makes a person successful in life, as far as the young man is concerned, and he was raised to aspire to success in anything he pursued. So he plays people as easily as a piano, until their fingers play the same tune as he. Isn't that the greatest gift a businessman can have? The ability to have people seeing what he wants them to? He is confident in his ability to get his own way, as he is in all things. It's not that Quinn is overly arrogant or cocky. He will not be found strutting around gloating over his latest achievement or rubbing it in the face of others. But he walks with an ease and smiles with an openness that imitates a person who is not afraid of himself. Although deep down, a sense of true identity is what he craves more than anything in the world. Without his money, his adoptive parents, his looks, who exactly is he?

For most of his life friendships were merely superficial, until he met the others. They were some of the first people in his life who chose to see him other than a wealthy brat, although internally he denies it like a saint in church. One thing his father taught him, 'Be careful who you share your weaknesses with. Some people can't wait to use them against you.' So he hides his feelings greatly, one of the things he is incredibly good at. Quinn has always longed for the feelings of "genuineness", and has yet to truly open up a side of him to those around him. Most want in his pants or pockets and while in the beginning he relished in the attention now he just feels alone. After so many years of being molded by his parents Quinn hardly even knows who he is anymore. Working at his father's company has only made him grow bored of life, a bigger shell of himself. He's turned to meaningless hookups and alcohol but that can only take you so far. Quinn's always been easily swept off his feet, although nothing ever really lasts for him anyway. With his materialistic ways he has a hard time taking anything serious, making him rather careless in his life and relationships.

As much as he tries to be however, Quinlan isn't perfect. His laugh is quite atrocious sounding, he hiccups when he's nervous, and when he's really frustrated, he bites the knuckle on his right index finger. Tiny little quirks that you begin to notice once you've been around him long enough. Perhaps, they are little cracks in his infrastructure, a mere peek into the awkward lonely little boy that's always been inside him. Graduating and moving away has changed some part of him, now more than anything in his life he's determined to find a meaning behind it all - no matter what it takes. Whether it be something or someone. He's intent on letting his guard down now that he is returning to meet his old friends. Perhaps they will be shocked by his new take on life or see right through him. The charming playboy still exists it's a part of him that he never might fully leave behind but there's no denying that he's trying to be better.







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ATTRIBUTES

LIKES. Quinn enjoys a cup of coffee or tea in the morning or mid-afternoon. He is a stickler for records, and has maintained his own little collection since he was eight. He enjoys classical literature and poetry often reading it in his free time. He loves playing the piano and will often sing though he doesn't do it around others.

DISLIKES. Quinn has always had a distain for violence and fights, he's never been involved in anything physical. He hates artificially flavored items of food, and often stays away from any soda or candy. Even though he vocally doesn't express this he hates being ignored.

RELATIONSHIP STATUS. Quinn's always been easily swept off his feet, although nothing ever really lasts for him anyway. With his materialistic ways he has a hard time taking anything serious, making him rather careless in his life and relationships. He's gone back and forth between flings which makes him quite promiscuous in character but he's yet to make a meaningful connection.

STRENGTHS. If Quinlan commits to it, it is going to happen, come hell or high water. He completes his duties and stays focused on his goals. Integrity is everything to him, and he carries out his goals with unwavering patience. Regardless of the things that have been handed to him in life he is an incredibly hard worker.

WEAKNESS. He is too careless, not realizing that some people become more easily attached than he does. Quinn is young and stupid, without a doubt, and that will catch up with him, as it does with all people, whether thanks to sleeping with the wrong person or losing his respect for others. Quinn has never experienced true hardship in his life. He doesn't know what it means to be less fortunate and he's never had to struggle with everyday things normal people would.

FEARS. Failing his parents was always a big fear for Quinn. He struggles with an internal fear that they will never truly see him as their own son. He also has an irrational fear of relationships, he's afraid to fall to hard for someone and have that get in the way of his path, although he is confused as to what his path is. Amounting to nothing in life is also a fear of his, he hates the idea of feeling worthless.




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HISTORY

x x x x xAge Nine
"Quinlan darling, eat." His mother's voice rang from across the table as he picked slightly at the collared greens on his plate. "I'm adopted?" It came out much more quiet and pitiful than he could've imagined. A small sigh escaped his mother's lips and she sat her fork down next to her plate her gaze dropping to the table "Yes, honey - but that doesn't mean anything to your father and I. You've always been our son and that is never going to change, you understand?" He felt himself nodding along to her words but he wasn't sure if he really believed them.

x x x x xAge Fourteen
"What is this?" His father scolded setting the bottle of Gin down on the counter. "Uhm, that would be Nolet’s Reserve Gin actually-" "Don't be smart with me boy, do you know-" "How much your mother and I do for you? Yes. In fact, you've made that quite clear several times." His father glared daggers at him after his smartass comment and shook his head. "Stealing Gin is something I can live with Quinlan but disrespecting your mother and I is something I will not tolerate".

x x x x xAge Sixteen
Quinn felt alive. That was definitely the right word. He could feel the thumping bass of the music humming throughout his entire body to the sharp taste of alcohol on his tongue. It was moments like these, when nothing truly mattered that he felt like he could really relax. Surrounded by people he could maybe call his friends, although he'd never refer to them as that before.

x x x x xAge Eighteen
None of them talked anymore. He never really understood why they had broken apart. Quinn would occasionally meet the gaze of one of his old friends but it was brief and before he knew it they were gone. One thing was for sure, he never expected to be one of the only ones not able to let go. After they had split Quinn was surprisingly surrounded by more people than he had ever been in his senior year. Yet, nothing ever felt the same.

x x x x xAge Twenty-Two
He hated Seattle's Skyline. In fact, he hated Seattle. Why he ever agreed to go back was truly a mystery. It wasn't like he had a choice anyway. 'A dropout'. That's what he was, he couldn't even survive one whole year in college. His parent's hid their disdain well but he could see it in their eyes. It killed him deep down, but all of Quinn's suffering was self-made. At least he could accept that fact. "Mr. Rothschild?" The woman's voice snapped him out of his own thoughts and he swiveled his chair around to face her. June was his secretary, and he knew that she hated him. He couldn't really blame her. He was twice her age yet he was telling her what to do, just because his Dad was chairman. Never in his life did he imagine himself stuck in an office, overlooking papers and drinking bitter coffee. "Sorry to disturb you but your father sent me to remind you that you are to attend the meeting at two today" Ugh. He fucking hated meetings. Was there anything left in his life that he remotely enjoyed anymore? "Of course, thanks June." He said plastering a forced smile on his lips. She nodded before ducking out of his office as quickly as she had come in. He shifted his gaze back out the window before willing himself to move.

So begins...

Quinlan Rothschild's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Gemma Donati Character Portrait: Shane Tompson Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Quinlan Rothschild Character Portrait: Jamie Blackburn

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soren bowers
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hex: #001a52xxxxxxxxxxx outfit: here
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xxxevery face along the boulevard
xxxis a dreamer just like you
xxxyou looked at death in a tarot card
xxxand you knew what you had to do
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The morning of the party, Soren was almost waiting for the pain and the exhaustion to hit. He’d left it until the last minute to confirm to Jamie that they’d be able to play, but Jamie hadn’t had a problem with that. And almost immediately after confirming they were going to play the party, Soren had had a string of bad days. But he was determined not to let them down and that he would play the party, even if he had to be carried off the stage. And then the day before the party was… a surprisingly good day. And that had him convinced that the day of the party was going to be hard. But instead, he woke up to discover that he was actually feeling the best he had in a while.

For a few hours, he kept expecting to hit the metaphorical wall. He went to rehearsal to run through the setlist with the rest of the band. They hadn’t had a show in a few weeks and it felt good to be playing again. He thought that the rehearsal could be what led to him crashing, but instead, it almost made him feel even better. And when he walked out of that rehearsal,he actually let himself start to get excited for the party.

Even since getting back, he’d hardly seen any of the old group besides Erin. He wasn’t even sure where half of them had ended up. And even with everything that had happened between them, he still found himself looking forward to seeing them. He missed the old days, the days when everything was easier. He knew they couldn’t go back to those days. But for one night, they could pretend.

Rehearsal ran on longer than expected,so he had just enough time to get back to the apartment and get changed. Their equipment had already been delivered to Jamie’s apartment, so he could relax and just try to enjoy himself, not having to worry about possibly overstretching himself. He got completely stage ready and called himself a taxi. “Rin, I’m leaving, we still have to soundcheck at Jamie’s! I’ll see you there!” He called as he left.

It seemed that Jamie had hardly changed when he opened the door to them. “Look at you all, proper stars now!” He said, wrapping Soren in a hug. “It’s good to see you, Soren. How have you been?” He asked.
“Good! Wow, it’s been too long, man!” Soren replied. “Thanks so much for asking us to play!”
“Nah man, I was delighted to see you guys could play, your new music has been great! And now I can boast that the great Beautiful Strangers played one of my parties,” he said. “I’ll leave you guys to get set up and soundchecked and all that, but we’ll catch up later, yeah?”

The soundcheck went well, and they got a few technical issues ironed out, and were ready to go as people began to arrive. They excused themselves to get warmed up, Even if this was “just” a houseparty with old friends, he was still determined to give it everything he could.

When they got up on stage, it started to feel like they were back in the good old days. They were singing their own songs and covers, just like they always had, but now they had the experience of touring and it had only made them better. It was the best of both worlds, and it felt so good.

He was breathless and grinning as they finished the set. They took a few minutes to move their equipment into one of the spare rooms, before stepping back out into the party. But Jamie was waiting for Soren, just off to one side, almost in the shadows. “Hey, Sor. You were amazing out there. Like, seriously, I’m so glad that you guys were able to play. It was amazing to see you play again.”

“Thanks. Yeah, it was good to play a house party again. Keep us grounded to our roots, right?” He said with a laugh. “Remind us what it’s really all about.” Jamie laughed.
“It… it really does feel good to see everyone again. I don’t think I realised how much I missed some of you guys,” he admitted almost nervously.
“Yeah. Feels almost like old times, doesn’t it?” Soren replied.
“I don’t know about that. I feel like we’ve all changed a little too much.”
“Have we, though?” Soren asked, and Jamie stopped for a second or two.
“You might just have a point there, Bowers,” he said almost teasingly. “Come on, we’ll get some drinks.”

Soren and Jamie grabbed a few drinks together and got chatting about their lives since. Things had changed for both of them, but it seemed that Jamie’s life wasn’t all that different. Not really. Soren wasn’t totally sure how it happened, but Soren found his hand resting on Jamie’s thigh and found himself leaning in a little. And then Jamie jerked his knee away, startling Soren away.

“The fuck, Soren?” He asked, getting to his feet and taking a step backwards.
“I’m sorry, I-”
“Seriously? You thought I was into you?”
“I didn’t- I’m sorry-”
“Get real, Soren,” he said, turning and walking away. Soren honestly could have got his stuff and walked away after that. Just gone home and pretended it had never happened. But he hadn’t spoken to any of the others yet. And as he looked back towards Jamie, there was a flash of anger, of frustration. He wasn’t going to leave because that would have been letting him win. So instead, he downed another drink and went in search of someone to talk to.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Gemma Donati Character Portrait: Shane Tompson Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Quinlan Rothschild Character Portrait: Jamie Blackburn

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CAMILLA RHODES
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Outfit | Jacket | #A38E8E
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xxx You say you want a bad bitch
xxx Baby, now you have it
xxx Now you got a bad bitch
xxx Show me you can handle this

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The weeks leading up the party in New York wasn't exactly easy going for Camilla. Sophie's Valentine had just ended their Lovers in the Park album tour and had just finished moving into a new house in Chelsea when Camilla got the message from Jamie. Well it more so came from her social media rep asking if she knew of a Jamie Blackburn. He was getting most of the gang back together and was hoping if she was free if she could make it. She was all for having a party to end all parties back in New York, but wasn't entirely thrilled Beautiful Strangers would be there. It would only be for a little bit and the rest of Sophie's Valentine had been talking about heading home for awhile to relax, it's been years since they were back in the states and it would be a nice vacation.

As the days got closer to the party Camilla messaged the few people she didn't mind from high school and the party days; Shane, Nate, Erin. Just doing a small check in to see how things were doing. Her and Khepri messaged back and forth for years after the group fell apart so it was nice for them to finally meet up again, the bitches would be back in town.

The day of the party Camilla slept in as she set up everything the night before, plus she could stay up later throughout the night. When she woke up she quickly sent a message to confirm their plans for tonight, make sure things didn't change.

To Queen Pri Pri: Hey hey. My driver and I will be by your place around 930. Dress to impress girl! ♥♥♥


The drive from Camilla's hotel to Pri's place wasn't a far drive as it was on the way to the party, so Camilla didn't mind picking up her home girl. When they arrived the driver stepped out and opened the back door for Khepri and closed the door behind her. Camilla reached over and gave her a hug. "You, look, amazing Queen. It's so good to see you again. And that ring looks even more glorious in person." Camilla said, holding her hand looking at the ring. The two chit chatted a little during the drive and reminisced over the days, remembering some good times and laughing at the bad., they didn't really need to do much for catching up since they stayed in contact since Sophie's Valentine really took off.

When they arrived at the apartment the driver honked a little to get people out of the way so he could pull the car as close to the entrance as possible, then getting out and opening the door for Khepri and Camilla to get out. Camilla was use to this, being chauffeured and heads turning when she arrived to locations, she threw a small smirk over to Pri. "Never gets old you know." She said as the handed some cash to the driver and told him she would call him when she was ready for pick up. The two headed up to the door, saying their greetings to some of the people that were outside.

As Cam opened the door she heard music playing, familiar sounds she didn't exactly like. Beautiful Strangers. Luckily it seemed like they were getting towards the end of the playlist as she arrived. "Enjoy yourself Pri, I'm going to make myself known to some of the others, though they probably heard our arrival when we drove up." She said to her friend, blowing a kiss and walking through the halls, her heels clicking on the floor as she walked.

Camilla was quickly stopped by Jamie, grabbing her around the waist and handing her a cup with some sort of alcohol in it. "If it isn't the infamous Camilla Rhodes. And here I thought you were too good to show up to a little house party. Looking stunning as you do on magazine covers." Camilla smirked back at him and took the drink. "Jamie boy. I'm here for the good old times, though I don't know why he's playing since you didn't ask me." She said, tilting her head towards where Soren was singing. "Cammy, it's not personal. Just his band was in town and would be easier, plus I doubt I could afford Sophie's Valentine." "Eh, probably." She replied shrugging her shoulders Fortunately it sounded like Beautiful Strangers was wrapping up, Jamie excused himself to go talk to Soren and Camilla gave him a kiss on the cheek before she left.

It wasn't long until Cam noticed a familiar face that she was still on alright terms with, Shane. She walked up behind him and reached up to grab his snapback off the top of his head and flashed him a smile. "Oh Shane, you haven't changed a bit." She said, handing the hat back to Shane, but he just put it on her head. It clashed with her outfit, she would probably take it off before walking away, but just left it on for now, the two walked over to a couple seats and sat down.

Camilla scanned the room as her and Shane talked and rolled her eyes as she saw Soren and Jamie on the couch talking. She watched them a bit, still listening to Shane talk. She watched as Soren put his hand on Jamie's thigh and then Jamie react to it, a little confused, but entertained by the whole situation. "Hey Shane, we'll talk later. Gotta go do something real quick." Camilla said as she handed the hat back to Shane and fixed her hair as she walked over to Soren and Erin.

"Good job Soren, that worked out real well for you..." Camilla said, flipping her bangs out of her face. She tossed a small smile to Erin, who still was beautiful in her unique style. Erin seemed a little confused about what she was talking about. "Oh you didn't see what Soren did? Sort of looked like he was using her power as a singer to try to entice Jamie... physically." She said with a smirk. She did a fake gasp to his response. "Whoa, no need to throw out names like that. If someone was touching me the way you were touching him, I'd probably react the same. Plus little birdie here came to your rescue when she didn't know the whole story." Erin quickly tried to defuse the situation between the two and Cam dismissed herself. "Oh and Soren, it's not a surprise no one wants to fuck you." She said with a laugh as she walked away.

Camilla peaked around a few rooms trying to find some privacy and eventually finding a room where no one was making out and closed the door behind her. She pulled out a small capsule from her bra and poured the white powdery contents out onto the dress, using her credit card to make it into lines. Before she could finish up the door opened up and Jame walked in and froze seeing what Cam was about to do. "Fuck. God damnit Jamie, ever heard of knocking." She said after getting startled a bit. "It's my apartment, and are you really doing drugs here?" He said as he walked over to her, seeing the three lines ready to go. "Yeah, just getting a small fix and then I'll be out of your way." Camilla turned her back to her product but Jamie pulled her back. "Last time someone did drugs at one of our parties, Kyle died. But do you not remember since you weren't even here and too busy trying to get famous?" She rolled her eyes and carefully refilled her capsule. "Fuck you Jamie. Shane had nothing to do with Kyle getting shot, and reality check, I didn't try, I did." Camilla brushed past Jamie and rejoined the party.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Quinlan Rothschild Character Portrait: Jamie Blackburn

0.00 INK

#, as written by trudy
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quinlan rothschild
attire / #717B92

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One thing Quinlan was particularly grateful for was the opportunity to escape Seattle. In fact, to make sure he was very very far from it. He had his bags packed the night Jaime had sent out the invite without a moment's hesitation. When he told his father that he would be out for maybe a few days (although he wasn't entirely sure of that himself) he was obviously met with a little bit of suspicion. Quinn had rarely traveled in the past couple of year's, and most of the time it was strictly work related. His father had questioned him plenty but he wasn’t really up for explaining himself. It was his mother who eventually coaxed it out of him and she for one was overjoyed that he was taking time away to reconnect with old friends. His mother’s excitement should’ve made him happy but it only made him more upset. Had his loneliness become that obvious?

The flight from Seattle to New York was long. Five and a half hours long. There was a baby in the back crying and the flight attendants “accidentally” bumped into him during any occasion. “Excuse me Miss?” He said flagging down the stewardess. “Can I have another Scotch and Soda please?” She glanced down at his drink trying hard to hide her confusion. After all this was the fifth time he had asked for a drink, and hadn't touched a single one. Quinn had asked her to change it every time the ice cubes completely melted. "Of course" She said quietly and grabbed his full glass, disappearing. Quinn was too anxious to drink but the glass of alcohol in front of him seemed to make him feel better. Even if he couldn't bring himself to touch it.

His hotel was nice. In fact, it was probably grandeur to most people but Quinlan had seen better in his lifetime. His father had thousands of points from travel and even though Quinn had protested he insisted on getting the hotel for him. The room felt just as vacant as his apartment back home, other than his mother visiting and trying to liven the space it had been fairly empty other than the necessities. The venue wasn't far either he could've walked if he had really wanted to.

Quinn had gotten there a day early as he wanted to explore New York a little. There was no denying that he had felt different the moment he stepped out of the hotel, he was almost 3,000mi from home. 3,000mi from everything that had been saying him down in life. It felt a little freeing. Quinlan had made sure to dress rather causal as he took a day to explore the city - he even took the subway, well once. Which was honestly a terrifying experience. He never knew public transport was so hellish. The day itself had been fun, more fun than he had ever had in a while.

Quinlan now found himself staring at his appearance in the bathroom mirror. God, when had he started looked so tired? He washed his face a few times to bring some color back into his skin tone which seemed to help, maybe he was just overthinking things. Since when did he care so much about what others thought of him, let alone near strangers. Adjusting his cufflinks, he straightened his collar as he hoped that he wasn't overdressed, what did people wear to a reunion? There was also the fact that Quinlan looked different than he had sine he had seen all of them last. Most noticeably he had bleached his hair an icy white, a stark contrast from his previous dirty blonde locks. It was an impulsive move on his part, a true 'fuck-it' decision he had made during his first year in college, but he had grown quite fond of it and it had stuck.

When he finally arrived he found the door to the place to be unlocked, Quinlan wasn't exactly late but he wasn't really early either. There was the faint sound of music and chatter pouring out softly as he stepped inside, shoving his hands in his pockets to keep himself grounded. There were already quite a few people inside, some he recognized others he didn't. Quinn found himself sticking to the edges of the walls at first, observing the action rather than engaging. He wasn't entirely sure if he was ready for that yet. His eyes trailed up to the stage where the music was being performed and he found his lips parting in surprise as he really recognized the person front lining the band. Soren. It was a strange feeling that he couldn't quite describe, and a flurry of memories from high school came flooding back at once. He really needed a drink.

Quinn waited until Soren's band finished up and pushed himself off the wall making his way to the bar. He froze however as he saw who was bartending, Erin Monahan, someone who definitely would not be happy to see his face. Was this even a good idea? He quickly decided that there would be a better time to get a drink and turned around running smack into Jamie Blackburn. Quinn's stomach instantly twisted into knots. "No way. Quinlan fucking Rothschild. I didn't think you'd show. Like the hair, suits you".

"Jamie" Quinn's tone was indifferent although it held the tiniest bit of malice.

"How's the family?" He said his lips turning up into the slightest smirk.

"Wouldn't you like to know" Quinlan said angrily under his breath. Of course it was like Jamie to bring up something like this. He went to push past him but Jamie slide slightly to the side blocking his path.

"You know they really got rather unlucky when they went window-shopping for you, I-" Quinlan's expression stopped Jamie in his tracks as his gaze darkened. "Listen Blackburn, I didn't come here to hear what you thought about me okay? So I suggest you just leave me the hell alone". Quinn's expression turned into one of shock as Jamie burst into laughter, it definitely wasn't something he expected. "Oh you haven't changed a bit have you?" Jamie's gaze strayed down to Quinn's wrist, "Nice watch".

"Give it to me".

Quinn's eyes widened and his face flushed slightly as the demand completely threw him off. "W-what?" Jamie shook his head slightly to the side, "Oh come on Quinn, you know how this goes... you give me what I ask for and I won't-" Quinlan practically ripped the watch off of his wrist and flung it into Jamie's chest. It had been a Christmas present from his mother. "You got what you asked so I kindly ask you again to leave me the hell alone" Quinn didn't even wait for his response as he pushed past him and beelined straight for the bar. His heart was pounding in his chest, and he was exactly sure if he was going to survive this night after all. Quinn had completely forgotten about Erin but she seemed to be absent from her spot at the bar. Great. He took a seat anyway at the counter, rubbing his wrist slightly where the watch had been trying to level his breathing. This was fine. Everything would be fine.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Gemma Donati Character Portrait: Shane Tompson Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Quinlan Rothschild Character Portrait: Jamie Blackburn

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N a t h a n Miller
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outfit - #E19D29
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Nate hadn’t talked to most of the old group in years; whether they’d just lost contact, or refused to talk to him, or whatever. It didn’t make much of a difference, logistically. It all hurt, but Nate would be lying if he said he didn’t understand it. He’d made terrible choices, and whether that resulted in someone getting hurt, or himself being forgotten, in the end he probably earned the cold shoulder he was facing. Somehow, in some twisted part of his mind, that made it a little easier to stomach.

He had been a little surprised when Jamie sent him a message, inviting him to a party. Jamie had walked away from the group without a glance back, gone on to better things. Nate had always assumed he’d moved on and didn’t think of the rest of them as anything more than nostalgic pieces of his childhood. But apparently he missed them. Or, some of them, or maybe just the way being a part of a group made him feel. He had to work until right before the party, and as much as he wanted to see his old friends, everything had ended on such a bad note. He told Jamie he would try to come, and he left it at that. Then Camilla sent him a message, just checking in on him, and he decided that he would go.

He was going to be a little late, but when wasn’t he? He had to head back home to shower and get changed; smelling like donuts wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but it wasn’t really what he was going for. Not that he had a signature smell, or even an actual look, but nobody enjoys smelling like work at a party.

Beautiful Strangers was in full swing when he arrived. He’d always liked them okay, and he had to admit they were better than they’d been back in high school. He scanned the crowd for a moment, trying to pick out what to do, who to see. He saw that Erin was manning the bar, which felt a little awkward to him, so he decided to put off getting a drink. He probably shouldn’t drink too much, anyway; it looked like the kind of party Nate could easily ruin if he had too much to drink.

It wasn’t long before Nate heard a familiar voice from beside him, “Hey! You made it, after all.”

Nate turned to smile at Jamie, “Yeah, I made it work.” Jamie seemed happy enough to see him, and Nate wasn't sure how he felt about that. Jamie had walked away from the group so easily when things got tough in the end, so he didn't really know what to think of him anymore.

Jamie started to say something else, but his attention was quickly drawn elsewhere. He flashed an apologetic smile at Nate, “I need to go talk to somebody, but I’ll see you later.”

Nate doubted that, but he decided not to dwell on it, and just waved Jamie away. A glance in the direction of the bar told him that Erin wasn’t there, so that was his next destination. He didn’t let the bar being unmanned stop him from getting a drink, but he didn’t linger there for too long. He did some mingling, some people watching. He remembered these parties being a lot more fun. Maybe he’d just had more friends back then. “Hey, Nate,” It was Jamie again, “Can I ask you something?” Nate wasn’t sure what Jamie could possibly want from him, but he didn’t get much of a chance to think it over before Jamie went on, “How are you really doing?”

The question seemed nice enough, and Nate knew that Jamie was vaguely familiar with the fact that Nate had struggled in the not-so-distant past, but Nate couldn’t say he fully understand the purpose of the question, “Everything’s fine, I-”

“I just thought, isn’t it a little embarrassing? Seeing all your old friends succeeding, and you’re doing what? Nothing?” Nate opened his mouth to try to say something, to defend himself, but Jamie didn’t give him much of a chance, “I mean, if you’re happy, that’s what matters, but I can’t help but think about how you don’t seem to have gotten over what happened to Kyle. You just seem a little stuck.”

Nate shook his head, “No, I-”

Jamie interrupted him again, which was starting to get frustrating, “Or is that just an excuse I’m making for you?”

Nate blinked a few times, as if he thought this was some sort of dream he could wake up from, or some trick of the eye, “What?”

“I mean, let’s be honest, Nate, I know life is easier when you’re relying on everyone around you to pick up the pieces-”

This time, Nate did the interrupting, “Is that why you invited me? To make you feel better about yourself?” Nate shook his head, he was fairly sure that whatever this was, it wasn’t really about him.

Then Jamie opened his stupid mouth again, “I mean, it’s really not that hard to feel okay about myself when you’re such a lazy piece of shit.” Nate had heard those words, or some variation, for most of his life, and before he really knew what he was doing, he felt his hand connect squarely to Jamie’s smug face. Jamie held a hand to his jaw, looking more surprised than he had a right to, “What the hell?”

Nate knew immediately that he shouldn’t have done that, but he was still seeing red; so, pointing right to Jamie’s chest, he replied with, “Stay in your own fucking lane, asshole.” He could feel eyes on him, he knew people were staring. Shit. Turning to walk away only confirmed it, people were staring at him. Wonderful.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Gemma Donati Character Portrait: Shane Tompson Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Quinlan Rothschild Character Portrait: Jamie Blackburn

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outfit | #8B008B
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Nobody move, there's blood on the floor
And I can't find my heart
Where did it go? Did I leave it in the cold?
So please give it back, 'cause it's not yours to take
It must've fell when I lost my mind
Deep in the cut, drowning in a pain
Somebody help, 'cause I can't find my way
Nobody move, nobody move.
-"Them Changes," Thundercat
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It was the last shot before the wrap. Two years and five months of travelling, research and scheduling had led to this moment in Luba Weisz's Bushwick apartment. It was a cozy place; lots of hanging plants, sheer white walls and venetian blinds that chopped the midday sun into noir-esque shadows. Everyone, save for Emilio the DP and Scotty the sound guy, sat lazily on Luba's teal velvet couches. They'd been awake since 7 AM after all, and needed the plush comfort. Gemma easily saw herself living in this apartment, drinking morning coffee over the kitchen countertop just a few feet away from the TV area. Though it was much smaller than what she'd been accustomed, nay, confined to. She found herself existing in excessive spaces.

"My last question for you, Luba," Gemma said as she slid her index finger down the notebook page to question #5, "is this: if you could go back in time and give your teenage self advice, what would it be?"

Frizzy-haired Luba leaned back in her armchair wearing a tight yellow crop top, a black choker, and brick red lipstick: the farthest thing from proper Hasidic women's attire possible. She had escaped her sect after bearing twins at the age of nineteen, and was now one of the many subjects a part of Gemma's unorthodox documentary.

"If I could go back in time and talk to my teenage self," Luba said, repeating the question like Gemma had instructed, "I'd tell her not to keep her head down. That's what us girls were always told - 'keep your head down.' We couldn't be anything more than modest. Had to keep ourselves covered up, couldn't talk or sing too loud...I think I'd tell her 'it's your story,' y'know? There's a Hebrew saying...'Im ein ani li, mi li?' If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? You need to think for yourself. Live for yourself. It's not arrogance or selfishness. Others can try to force you how to think, but you'll burst at the seams if you keep your true identity hidden. I think I've learned how to do that now."

Luba smiled. A few seconds of peaceful silence until Gemma called 'cut,' and that was that. Emilio cheered, "That's a wrap, everyone!" and the six-man crew packed their equipment into tiny black suitcases. They were out in a matter of minutes.

"Thank you so much for doing this!" Gemma said as she hugged Luba goodbye on the brownstone steps of the woman's residency.
"Of course! Thank you for having me! Let me know when it's done. I want to see the finished product."
"Of course," Gemma traipsed down the steps, adjusted the backpack on her shoulders, then stopped on the sidewalk, remembering something.
"Hey...how do you say that phrase? The Hebrew one? It was beautiful."
Luba gave a proud grin. "Im ein ani li, mi li?"
"Im ein ani li, mi li?" Gemma recited slowly, trying to copy Luba's inflection. The words felt smooth on her tongue.
"You got it. Now you're the one repeating questions. Remember it always."
Luba winked as she strutted back to her door, "Have a good night."
"You too."

A never-ending ride on the L train later, Gemma was back in her Lower East Side townhouse trying on outfits for Jamie Blackburn's last-minute soirée. Jamie Blackburn...that was a name she never expected to hear again, let alone reunite with. She had no idea who else he invited or what kind of party he was hosting. When she asked him over text what kind of attire to wear for his get-together, all he replied was, Like it's the New Years Eve of 1999.

She had no idea how he got her new number in the first place, but was happy to see him again. Who had he grown up to be? Hopefully not a politician, like she imagined. Had he reached out to the other members of their old posse? They ruled their school back then. Some of them she felt excited to meet again, others she would have preferred to leave behind in the pages of her yearbook. But through it all, she wondered...did they still hold grudges? Perhaps Jamie's intentions for this party were good, but he had a bad habit of being more optimistic than reasonable.

Gemma settled on Doc Martens, black jeans, a cami and a sheer top, plated with little gold stars. Not too hoity toity, and not too low-key. She heard the front door creak open downstairs. Austin was home. She quickly put on some gold hoops and grabbed her purse, then bolted down the stairs.

Dinner - vegetable ratatouille - was already on the table. Gemma got used to cooking for the two of them. She didn't mind, really. Most of her film work was irregular, or from home. She had more time on her hands than her fiance did. He was already sitting at the table, talking on the phone with someone. "I clearly explained to him he couldn't cancel the day of, it's policy! Just meet that asshole later, okay?"
Gemma gave him a peck on the cheek. His beard scruff was getting scratchier. "I don't care what you gotta do, just make sure he's learned his lesson. Yeah, like last time. Call me when you get there. Bye."
"Who were you talking to?" Gemma took a seat on the opposite side of the table and shoveled forkfuls of sautéed mushrooms into her mouth.
"Friend of Dad's. Some prick decided to make a very last-minute cancellation. One of our bands was supposed to play at his house party. He already signed the contract, we paid the band's travel expenses, and he replaced them! It's a shitshow. Giovanni and his boys are surprising him tonight."
Suddenly, the mushrooms in Gemma's mouth tasted bland. She knew what kind of "surprise" this was.
"Why can't you just sue him in court? You'd earn the money back and more."
Austin made a half-chuckle, half-scoffing sound: as if to suggest what she said was childlike in reason. "Nah, this guy's practically a Kennedy. Bound to have a good lawyer. We do this tonight, he won't screw anyone else over again."
Gemma shrugged. It was no use bickering with him. What did she know about extortion, intimidation? It wasn't her world. She chewed and swallowed it from her father, Austin, and all the men in her life, and accepted it. She didn't have the power to change anything.

Austin eyed her up and down as she stabbed her fork through more vegetables. "Where you going?" he asked.
"Out," she replied.
"Where?"
"That get-together my high school friend is hosting."
"Looking like that?" his brows rose. "Must be a pretty good friend..."
Gemma dropped her utensil and glared at him, her irises sharper than the prongs of her fork. "I told you, you can come if you want! It's not a problem."
"Gem, did you hear anything I just said? I have to take a call later!"
"Take the call at the party!"
Austin wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and sighed. "You know what, I'm not arguing with you. Have fun with your high school friend. Don't come crying to me when you get pregnant."
Gemma snorted. "Like I'd cry to you about that, Lord knows you don't try with me..."
She shuddered as soon as the words came out. A part of her wondered if Austin knew that she knew. He wasn't very good at hiding things, after all. Many long seconds of painful silence passed. Austin rose from his chair and walked up to Gemma, his fingers turned to fists. She closed her eyes, bracing herself for the pain bound to come next...
Instead, he grabbed her dinner plate, and threw it right in the trash.
Austin returned to his seat and continued eating his dinner.
"Just go to your goddamn party, Gem," he grumbled.
She could feel tears welling in the back of her eyes. Without saying a word, Gemma rose, shoved her chair into the table, snatched her purse, and slammed the front door as she left.

Fortunately, Jamie's apartment was only seven blocks away from her townhouse. They'd lived near each other for years and never even knew. Thinking about it made the pit in her stomach grow. She could have reconciled with him. She could have visited him after they'd graduated college, could have had him as a friend again. Instead, she'd let someone else fill her loneliness. Someone her father had introduced her to, someone who treated her like trash. Not to say Jamie didn't have asshole-like qualities himself, but getting high with him seemed like a far better alternative to marrying Austin Di Mino. Sometimes, she couldn't believe this was her actual life. As she marched to Jamie's apartment with tears streaming down her face, Gemma vowed to herself that she would go to this party and never come back.

She arrived twenty-five minutes late. Not a faux pas, considering this was a New York City party. However, it was embarrassing thinking about the greetings she'd have to reciprocate while her face looked puffy and her mascara was most likely running. As she used one thumb to ring Jamie's apartment buzzer, she used the other to wipe under her eyes - just in case it was running. Gemma stood on the doorstep for a long while; she wondered if Jamie could even hear the buzzer, what with the rowdy company he usually kept. Before she could change her mind and walk towards the direction of Union Square, Jamie Blackburn opened his front door, catching the back of her head.

"G? Is that you?"

Gemma turned around. After so many years, Jamie Blackburn had maintained his star athlete physique. Most men changed dramatically in their 20's, but Jamie looked just the same as Gemma remembered him from school. Same sandy hair, same muscular forearms. There was just one difference between him now and the old photos she kept of him on her Facebook profile: his eyes. They looked deeper. Matured. They'd seen things, she could tell.

He cradled his lower jaw in his hand. "Hey," Gemma said, noticing his shaking fingers. "Are you okay?"
"Fine. Come on in." Well that was a gruff response. This wasn't the Jamie she talked to on the phone a week ago.
"Hey, hey, hey..." Gemma grabbed his wrist before he could stride back inside. He removed his hand from his face. His cheek burned a bright scarlet color. Ouch.
"What's going on?"
Jamie stood in silence. She knew that lost, pouty face of his. It was his "I don't need your help today, thank you," face.

"Okay. Look...I had a rough start to my evening. We're talking while I take a smoke."

He sighed, but obliged with a small nod. Gemma and Jamie leaned against the complex's stone wall as she retrieved a little yellow lighter and a Camel Cigarettes packet from her handbag. She kept all her cloves inside regular old boxes, just in case. She was paranoid like that.

"Can I have one?" Jamie asked.
"This isn't weed," she smirked.
"I don't give a fuck."

She plucked another clove from the packet and handed it over, lit it as it dangled between his perfect white teeth. He took a drag, then coughed. Gemma chuckled under her breath.
"First time?" He puckered his lips and made a face of disgust, as though he'd just sucked on a lemon.
"That's not a fucking Camel either."
"Now lick your lips," she said. He did. Jamie made a quizzical face as the clove's sweet aftertaste danced across his tongue. He gazed at Gemma.

"Jesus Christ, G," he said, "you look well. Like, you're literally glowing. Like a fucking planetarium."
"And you look like a pile of shit," she replied. It surprised her Jamie was one of the few people she could be herself around. Co-hosting parties with him made her immune to his bouts of rage, his ignorant remarks and devilish yet dangerous charm. They'd picked up right where they'd left off.

Jamie took another drag - this time able to hold it in. "This party was a big fucking mistake."
Gemma exhaled. "And why is that? I'm assuming you got that red spot by drunkenly pissing someone off? I mean, who could forget that time Kenny Hewitt slammed you into my dad's bar cart..."
Jamie smiled and rolled his eyes. "Nah, Nate socked me this time," he said. "Camilla's already powdering her nose. Erin and Shane are just being...themselves, and Quinlan threw his multi-million dollar watch at me," he retrieved it from his pants pocket and handed it over to Gemma. "Also I think Soren just groped me."

Gemma inspected the fine jewelery. It was so sleek, it felt like water in her hands. "Nah, this isn't a million dollars. My dad sells this brand. Damn expensive, though. Quinlan's got taste."

"Keep it," Jamie said, pointing his clove down to her left hand, "matches that rock of yours."

Sometimes Gemma forgot she wore an engagement ring. She looked down at her hand. The white sapphire diamond gleamed beautifully in the setting sunlight. Technically, she was a lucky girl to have received such a treasure. She could only imagine how many Wedding Day Pinterest boards it was posted to, how many bridezillas would kill for her ring. Well, they could have it - Gemma would rather throw it into the fiery depths of Mordor.

"Oh this thing?" she said, waving it in Jamie's face, "Doesn't mean shit, man."

For some reason, this made him laugh. He shook his head, and looked at her with an intensity she hadn't seen in years. "You're lucky you're not alone, 'cause you're a stone cold bitch, Gemma Donati."

Blowing smoke in her face, he threw his clove to the ground and stomped it out with his sneaker heel. "Thanks for the cig. Hit the spot and cheered me up." With a new pep in his step, he hopped up his brownstone staircase, looking back at Gemma once he reached the door. "You coming?"

"I'll be there in a few," she said. After hearing about the group members who'd shown, Gemma needed a moment or two to compose herself.

"Okay. When you're ready, just hit the buzzer below mine. He'll let you through," Jamie said. "And Gemma? Remember to smile. It's a beautiful fuckin' day."

Gemma shook her head as he dazzled her with an over-the-top grin. And with that, he disappeared. With another drag from her clove, she inspected Quinlan's watch. Curious, she fastened the beauty to her wrist. Jamie was right: it did match her ring well.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Quinlan Rothschild Character Portrait: Jamie Blackburn

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the perfectionistx|xoutfitx|x#B76A81

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Khepri didn't even hear her personal phone going off as she was too busy chewing out whatever poor sucker was on the other end of a phone call. "No! No, listen to me Eddie, your client had his chance. I asked you, I fucking asked you at the beginning to settle. But, no, you didn't. You thought me and Chris were bluffing, that we didn't have shit. Those were your words, Eddie, not mine." Khepri's fiance was chuckling as he finished packing the last of his things with the help of her assistant, Rosie as Khepri kept talking, seemingly faster and more aggressive not even letting the man get a word in. "But, I think you forgot who I was, what I do, and who I work for. I'm not some gossip columnist at a bullshit online blog. Every speeding ticket, every accusation, every lie he's told his goddamn wife in their house, I will find out." How did she find these things out? Who cares. Not important. "And when I do find out," When she finally saw the notification on her phone, she waved to get one of their attention and pointed to it. Chris handed it to her and kissed her cheek before letting her return to her rampage. "I'm going nail him to the fucking wall. You thought you could best me at my own game but, turns out you were never even a player. Make sure to watch out for my article tomorrow at 8 p.m, when Chris and I are going to make your client look like a joke." Just like that she changed the tone in her voice as she messed with her sleeked back ponytail. "Tell Helena and the kids, we said hi." Just like that she hung up the phone, unlocking her personal phone to see what Cam had to say. "Do you always have to be so ruthless, I thought that was my job." Khepri looked at the smirk on his face before rolling her eyes. "It is your job, I'm just better at it."

Her fiance laughed sarcastically before hurling a balled-up pillowcase towards the woman in front of him whose nose was in her phone. When it hit her, she 'tsked' before throwing it back. "You're a child." Chris smiled. Her assistant, at this point, was packing up the rest of her things and cleared her throat. "Okay, that's everything. Mr. Nadar, your flight leaves in 2 hours. Miss. Mahajan, the article is good to go for tomorrow night, your schedule is cleared for day to brainstorm other stories and catch up with your friends who are coming into town." She scoffed. "Perfect. I will see you in two weeks and enjoy your time off. Enjoy the sun for me." She chuckled as she waved the redhead off before the door closed. With the click of the door, Chris looked back at her. "You really should see them." The young woman groaned as she turned her attention to the emerald dress on her bed. She didn't have much time to change until Cam picked her up and as much as she dreaded it, she promised her friends she'd go. "I'm just saying you haven't seen a lot of them since we moved, since you graduated, do they even know we're--..."

"Yes, they know. Jesus, and there's a reason I haven't seen them all together. I wasn't exactly the picture of perfection when I was younger and I really don't like being reminded of it." Not to mention that Jamie Blackburn was the devil. She adored her friends, she did. "I bet you were pretty perfect." She scoffed. "Not to mention, I'm kind of busy thinking of or finding stories aren't complete bullshit." Chris sighed deeply as he looked at Khepri. "You can sigh all you want, you get to do your job. You get to travel, you get to represent and be around the most influential people in the world, you get to be out there in the action while I'm stuck at a goddamn desk at The New York Times. It's been two months! How much longer are they going to look at like this frail little bird ready to jump off a cliff."

"I told you what we worked out, six to eight months." Khepri rolled her eyes as she zipped up the back of her dress. "Khepri, it's not that they don't think you can't do your job. It's because they want to let your body and mind heal." She threw her hands up. "I am healed!" She was being a lot more aggressive than she needed to be. But, Chris was used to it at this point as he laid on the bed. "Clearly with that attitude." He said with a sarcastic tone. She moved from behind the closet door to show her fiance the green dress on her but also held up two other dresses in her hands: a red and a black one for comparison. He shook his head and pointed towards her. "The one you're wearing, you look great in green and everyone wears red and black." She put the other two back before stepping out of the walk-in and looking for the finishing touches. "I overwork myself a little too much and no everyone thinks I'm incompetent." She said as she slid on her gold engagement bracelets from both of their parents, a tradition in Indian culture, and started to put on a necklace only for Chris to help her clip the back when she couldn't get it because of her nails.

"Pri, no one thinks you're incompetent, no one's that stupid. They just want to make sure you're okay and making sure you're actually taking care of yourself." She sighed. He turned her around and left his hands on her shoulders. "Hey, it's four more months. Finish therapy, stay on your sleep schedule, relax and then you're back to annoying the shit out of the most powerful people in the world with me in no time, okay?" Before she could answer, her phone went off again this time from the front desk of their apartment building."And that's Camilla. Look, enjoy yourself, talk to your friends, and I'll call you the second I laid in Amsterdam. Alright?" He kissed her forehead as she groaned. "Okay." He let her go and started to head for the door with his luggage in tow. "Since when do you kiss my forehead?" Before he closed the door, he looked back at Pri with a smirk. "Since I realized that's the only way to calm down my aggressive and anxious know it all of a fiancee" Before she could even say anything, he winked and let the door close behind him. She scoffed once more before taking a deep breath. Finally, she was alone. She liked Chris, she did. He was a great guy who wanted to make sure she took care of herself. But, it made it impossible to do her job surrounded by people who refused to let her go through her 'creative process' This was the longest time they were living in the same place one another since their engagement about a year and a half ago. Three months of having to manage her intake and actually sleep at a normal time.

She wasn't used to it and she hated it. She opened one of her dressers and reached towards the back for a bag of orange pills: Adderall. Go figure, making the workaholic go cold turkey and go to therapy after fainting at work didn't actually do anything. But, she was doing better. Just one to help her get through the night so she could socialize and then come back to her apartment and work. That's it. She threw the rest in the hidden pocket of her purse before heading downstairs. She smiled when the car pulled up and slipped in to bring Cami in for a hug. Out of the entire group, Camilla Rhodes was the one she was the closest two. It surprised her too but, there was just something about Cam that made Khepri love being around her not mention her being there when their group really started to fall apart. The pair talked and Khepri had to show off the rather large emerald with diamonds along the sides wedding ring on her finger. Like it or not, the Nadars did have great taste and they adored Khepri which might be the reason they decided that money was no object when it came to the newly engaged couple.

It was really nice to actually see her as opposed to just talking over the phone and when the car came to a halt. She turned her attention to the door and got out. When Cam acknowledged the driver and how nice it was, Khepri just chuckled. "Right, just don't let it get to your head or anything." Sarcasm clearly but, the pair both seemed to change when money started to come it. When they entered the party, she let Cam depart to go 'make herself known' but not before having to be her mother. "Just don't harass Soren." She was sure if the girl heard her or ignored her by choice. She knew the two of them weren't exactly friends but, it didn't stop her from liking both of them. She grabbed a drink from the bar before seeing none other than Quinlan Rothschild himself. She had seen him and Jamie talking before turning her attention to the bar. She didn't like Jamie and less she had to see him the better.

The prick already asked for a 'favor' numerous times since he found out she moved back. Give me this, give me this amount of money, get me into this party, and maybe I won't out you or let everyone know your marriage is a shame, classic. Which only made watching him get his shit rocked by Nathan all the better, she'd have to congratulate Nate later. When he cooled off because knowing the two of them, they'd start bickering the moment Khepri brought up trying to help him. So, she turned her attention back to her blonde friend and walking towards him. She whispered in his ear with a smirk. "Stop mopping, it's a party." She chuckled before sitting beside him. "Quinn, you know, you're a lot sexier and get more free drinks when you smile." She was so busy messing with Quinn, hoping he'd actually smile that she didn't even notice Gemma. Which was for the best, for everyone's sake. She didn't need a repeat of high school and right now Pri was sober. So, it definitely would not end well.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Gemma Donati Character Portrait: Shane Tompson Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Quinlan Rothschild Character Portrait: Jamie Blackburn

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soren bowers
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hex: #001a52xxxxxxxxxxx outfit: here
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xxxevery face along the boulevard
xxxis a dreamer just like you
xxxyou looked at death in a tarot card
xxxand you knew what you had to do
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Soren was starting to realise that more people had seen what had happened than he’d initially thought, and he had to stop himself from flushing red at that thought. But Erin was the first to reach him at least. He shrugged. “I’m fine,” he said, but shot her a look that said, “I’ll tell you more later.” He didn’t want to talk about it, not here, not in front of people. They’d all seen enough anyway.

He had to stop himself from tensing as Cam sauntered up to them, the smug look on her face telling him that she’d seen exactly what had happened and intended on rubbing it in his face and probably telling as many people as possible. And she started with telling Erin. “Rin, that wasn’t what happened. Because, and this may come as a shock to you, Camilla, but some of us aren’t manipulative bitches who use their position to get whatever the hell you want.” Perhaps if he wasn’t already feeling humiliated, perhaps if he hadn’t had quite as much to drink, he would have been calmer, might have been able to just let it roll off his back. But instead he was angry and he was humiliated and he wasn’t willing to let her away with it. “Well, at least I can say people buy my music because they like it, not because they just want to fuck me.”

Erin stepped in before either of them could say anything else they’d regret and go told Soren to get another drink and chill, telling Cam something similar. He had to almost physically bite his tongue to stop himself from responding to Camilla’s departing comment. But the look on Erin’s face and her insistent gesture towards the bar told him it wouldn’t be worth it. So he rolled his eyes and held up his hands, going back over towards the bar. He wasn’t planning on waiting for her to come back to get his drink. He needed to calm down, and that would be significantly easier to do with a glass of vodka and coke in his hand. But he needed to deal with something else first, more urgently.

He felt better almost immediately after doing it, but he also felt like he was still shaking as he made his way up to the bar, even as he desperately tried to act and seem normal. He stepped behind the bar to make his own drink, so lost in his own thoughts that he didn’t notice the two in front of him for a minute. And then he looked up and had to do a double take. “Quinn?” He asked in surprise. It had taken him a moment or two to recognise him. Soren hadn’t seen him since he’d left for college, and neither of them had really made an effort to stay in touch. But now, here he was, in the flesh, and Soren found himself grinning. “Holy shit, it’s great to see you! You look great, your hair looks amazing!” He remarked. And then he recovered and grinned at Pri. “And, of course, Miss Mahajan, you look stunning as ever. Making the rest of us look like shit by comparison,” he said. “So, Erin has temporarily had to abandon the bar and I really, really need a drink, so I’m playing bartender right now. So, how about a drink or two?” He asked with a smirk, already pouring them a shot each. “On me, of course. Got to celebrate the great Quinlan Rothschild’s return to New York, right?” He said, clinking the glasses together before draining his. It burned, but it was exactly what he needed.

They had only been talking for a few more minutes, Soren having had another shot while they spoke, when a number of things happened in quick succession. Erin practically sprinted past them, heading out of the apartment. Considering that she’d looked fine only a few minutes before, Soren could tell right away that she was seriously upset. And then a scream rang out through the room, piercing through the music and quieting everyone else. This wasn’t a playful scream. It was a scream filled with fear and with horror. And then it was joined by somebody yelling to call an ambulance, call the cops, somebody do something. And then somebody said it, and it rippled throughout the room. “Jamie’s dead.”

Soren could feel the blood drain from his face. “I need to go, I need to go check on Erin,” he said to them. He caught up to her easily and grabbed her arm, turning her around to face him. “Erin, listen to me. I need you to tell me the truth, and I don’t care how bad it is. I’ve got your back no matter what, you know that. But what the hell just happened in there?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Gemma Donati Character Portrait: Shane Tompson Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Quinlan Rothschild Character Portrait: Jamie Blackburn

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CAMILLA RHODES
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Outfit | #A38E8E
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xxx You say you want a bad bitch
xxx Baby, now you have it
xxx Now you got a bad bitch
xxx Show me you can handle this

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After walking away from Jamie, Camilla heard him say a few more comments towards her but she just walked away ignoring him as she searched for another room for her to do her business. Luckily she finally found a room and this time locked the door before getting started. After doing two lines she whipped her head back and took a deep breath, running her hands through her hair. She tucked the vial back into her bra, left the room, rejoining the party with an extra kick in her step.

Within minutes of reentering the main room she quickly spotted Shane and walked over to him. “Hey, sorry about walking away earlier, had to deal with someone as well as give myself a little kick.” Camilla said, quickly showing the vial to Shane and tucking it away again. "Care to dance?" Cam asked, keeping close to Shane. She could already feel the drugs started to take effect as the two dance, but she just let herself enjoy herself for the time being. It was nice not to worry about public eye too much and just enjoy herself.

As the song was coming to the end Camilla and Shane were face to face, a smile coming across her face as she was looking up at Shane. The moment was quickly gone as a commotion caught both of their attention, Camilla turning barely in time to see Jamie's fist make contact with Erin's face. Cam covered her mouth as she let out a gasp, completely shocked as she watched Erin yell at him and run off.


Camilla excused herself from Shane as she went to look for Jamie, wondering what the fuck was going on. She quickly found his bedroom and let herself. "Jamie? You in here?" She called out, but not seeing him. She looked around his room until she felt her nose running and then noticed some blood drip onto his carpet. "Fuck..." Cam mumbled to herself as she quickly went into his bathroom suite to clean up. As she used some tissue and wiping up her nose she heard someone enter the room and Jamie talking about something. I need to get cleaned up before I talk to him. She thought to herself, ignoring whatever Jamie was saying or talking about as she tried to hurry up to stop her nose from bleeding.

"Help! Someone call an ambulance!" Camilla yelled, peaking out of the door way and going back to Jamie's unmoving body. Her yelling did catch some people's attention and some others came over checking Jamie's pulse, saying he's dead. As more people came over, Camilla excused herself from the room and walked over by the window to get some fresh air, breathing heavily. She wasn't sure if she was in shock for seeing Jamie's state or if side effects from the cocaine she took earlier.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Quinlan Rothschild Character Portrait: Jamie Blackburn

0.00 INK

#, as written by trudy
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quinlan rothschild
attire / #717B92

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Quinlan wasn't sure how much time had passed as he sat at the bar, tracing the intricate lines of a coaster with his fingertips. Maybe this was a mistake. He gripped the edge of the bar and went to push himself up when a honeyed voice whispered in his ear and his lips instantly curled into a smile. "Smile or not I still got you to come over here, didn't I?" Quinn said swiveling the bar chair to face her a lazy smile on his lips. Kephri was one of the few people that crossed his mind on the flight over, in fact, he'd hoped that he would run into her. Their friendship didn't truly blossom until it was too late, but that didn't change the fact that while it had lasted he always enjoyed her presence. In a lot of ways they are similar, something that made his shoulders relax around her. It was if he felt like he didn't have to consistently keep his spine straight around her. Quinlan was happy to see that she looked as beautiful as ever, he could only hope that she was happy - wherever life had taken her.

"You know there's something so different seeing you in person rather than a tv, how's life treating you?" It was a typical question but he meant it. She was one of the few that he was generally interested in catching up with. Even if he didn't have much to offer on his side. Quinn's eyes slid down to her wrist, an eyebrow poised. Her engagement was genuinely shocking to him, for some reason he probably would've believed her presidency over her engagement. Quinn never pegged her for someone to be tied down, then again how much did he really know about the others before they went their separate ways. "I'd like to meet the man who managed to tame the infamous Kephri".

Engaged in a playful banter with Kephri he hadn't even noticed that his name had been called. He turned his head slightly past Pri's head to see Soren, a smile on his face. Quinn was honestly surprised Soren had remembered him. They had been friends back then but nothing close. A soft smile appeared on his lips as he tilted his head forward in a friendly nod. "Thanks Bowers, your set was great. Glad I got to see it in person". Quinn chuckled as he grabbed the shot glass, "you know if I'm going to get treated with compliments and free alcohol, I'll make sure to come to these more often" he said with a slight wink before tapping the glass with Soren's and downed it in a few second. It burned his throat slightly but the only indication of that was the smallest twitch of his nose.

Quinlan felt rather at ease talking to Kephri and Soren, it was a strange feeling. He didn't want to admit that this was the happiest he had been in a very long time, even thinking about that fact was embarrassing. Still, like he always did he found himself comparing his life to the others. He got a little caught up in his own thoughts that he hadn't noticed Soren's gaze was focused behind him and watched his eyes trail to the side before Quinn turned just in time to see Erin dash past. Odd. Quinn didn't have time to process the look on Soren's face before a shrink scream drowned out the music, making the hair on his arms stand straight. Almost by instinct he was on his feet, a half step in front of Kephri, as to what he was shielding her from he wasn't sure.

The scream caused only more immense confusion and chaos as people began to shuffle in different directions. "Sor-" Quinn turned to advise Soren to stay but he was already hightailing it after Erin. "Kephri, I- you should probably leave. Something isn't right." He wanted to stay next to her but his voice trailed off and he found himself pushing up out of his seat weaving through the crowd of people. Quinn was pushed back every few steps he made occasionally hearing the hushed whispers of, 'Jamie', 'Ambulance', 'Dead'.

A nauseating feeling overtook him as he could taste something metallic in the back of his throat. Still, he pushed past until he came upon something he thought he'd never see in his life. First, Camilla Rhodes, he didn't have time to go into detail... and... Quinn staggered back slightly bumping into the wall a horrified expression on his face. "Cam" His voice was breathless and the color slowly leached out of his face making him almost as pale as his hair. The scene before him was enough to burn nightmares into his mind and before saying anything else he dashed from the room and pushed his way to the nearest bathroom retching whatever was left in his stomach.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Gemma Donati Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Quinlan Rothschild Character Portrait: Jamie Blackburn

0.25 INK





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outfit | #8B008B
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I should've known
I'd leave alone
Just goes to show
That the blood you bleed
Is just the blood you owe.
-"No Time to Die," Billie Eilish
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Ready for the party, Gemma pressed her finger to the buzzer below Jamie's and waited for a response.
"Yeah?" boomed a gruff voice over the intercom.
"Hey, Jamie Blackburn said you could buzz me in?"
"Oh yeah. Holdup..."

Before Gemma could say 'thank you,' the electrical hum of the unlocked door blared. She quickly stepped through, noticing the world's tiniest elevator in the lobby just to her left. She squeezed herself in and tapped the button to the sixth floor. The ceiling of this particular elevator was one giant mirror. Craning her neck up, Gemma fixed her poker straight hair and smoothed out the fabric of her mesh shirt. Her eye makeup already looked worn-out. The top of her forehead was a little sweaty, too. She couldn't tell if it was from nerves or the humidity outside. Perhaps she'd get a better understanding once she got to Jamie's place.

The elevator dinged.
"Oof!"
As soon as the door opened, she was knocked into the brick wall that was a young man's shoulder blade.
"Oh shit! Sorry 'bout that? You alright?" It was the same voice from the intercom.
Gemma rubbed her own shoulder and looked up. The bearded man, who wore a Wu-Tang tee and sported a buzz cut, was scratching the back of his head in anxiety. He had pale blue eyes, a little red around the edges. She could smell the weed on him.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Sorry." Gemma said.

He gave a short laugh. Maybe he thought she was being cute, maybe he was just being polite. As she sifted past him in the elevator, he leaned against the door's opening. He pointed a finger at her, and the corner of his lip tugged upwards.

"I've seen you somewhere before," he said, "you work at that piercing place in St. Marks?"
Before she could shake her head 'no', he spoke again, something dawning on him.
"Shit...you're the girl I buzzed in, right?"
"Yup."
"Sounds like it's fuckin' crazy in Jamie's place."
Gemma smiled. "He's thrown ragers since high school."
With this new information, the man's brows lifted. "Well, I haven't known Blackburn since high school, but I did get invited to this rager. Couple of us chillin' at my place, smokin' and shit. Dunno if you're that kinda girl, but if you need a place to hang and get away from the chaos...mi casa es su casa. Goin' to the bodega now, I'll be back. Number 609."
"Thanks," she said, genuinely pleased by the invite. Parties could get draining after a while.

The man moved away from the elevator door and tilted his head up as it closed.
"Name's Stuey," he said.
"Gemma. Nice to meet you."
She waved him goodbye, and he gave a small nod back. He placed his hands in his jean pockets, and Gemma was surprised to see his cheerful expression flatten just before he was out of view. What a scowl. From that face alone, she could guess why he wasn't celebrating at the other apartment. Stuey was a cordial guy, but probably not the type to play along with Jamie's pretentious tastes.

Finally, she arrived. And she noticed a few things from across the room. Soren Bowers, easy to find in any crowd, was standing behind a lavish bar. She'd probably missed his set. Hopefully he'd be playing again...his music was electrifying. Soren lifted a shot glass and clinked it against Quinlan Rothschild's. Well, nothing had changed there. Quinn looked sharp as ever, his hair now an icy blonde color that put Draco Malfoy to shame. Fitting, considering his upbringing.

And there was Khepri, standing between them. The one, the only. Gemma was most nervous to see her again. Khepri wasn't the forgiving or forgetting type, and she was respected because of that. Gemma stared more. Khepri blended in naturally with the scenery around her, like someone inside a painting. It became her. There was something about her velvet dress and poised smile...Gemma felt the need to fix her posture because of it.

She couldn't see Nathan, but she heard about him from the comments around the room...
"Can you believe that guy punched Jamie?"
"Oh my god, what a dick."
"Why the hell was he invited?"
She'd have to hear his side of the story later. If there was anything she'd learned from seven years of documentary filmmaking, it was that no story, not even well-known ones, were ever one-sided. From high school, she'd known Nathan wasn't easily prone to violence. Perhaps Jamie gave a good reason for the punch.

And then she watched a beautiful blonde woman strut over to a bald guy leaning against the nearest wall.
"Hey. You seen the lady bartender?" she asked.
The man shrugged, "I think she went to the bathroom? Saw Jamie go in after her..."

Well, that explained the elaborate bar setup; Erin was here. Not much of a surprise, considering Soren was in attendance. The two had always been tight. Gemma wondered how she was doing. Hopefully Jamie wasn't holding her hair back while she hugged a toilet in the bathroom. Of all the friends she'd made in high school, Erin was the one who crossed her mind most often. She wondered how Kyle's passing would affect her. It had affected Gemma. That night frequently replayed in nightmares. The screaming, the gunshot, the scrambling of teenaged bodies...she couldn't go into her parents' living room without holding her breath. Her own house felt like a graveyard.

Gemma stood in place for a while, unsure where to go, who to talk to. Maybe she'd grab a drink from Soren once Quinn and Khepri were gone. If only Austin had come, she'd have someone to talk to easily. He was good for that, at least. He was charming when he talked to others. She loved watching strangers' faces light up as she talked about his work, how beautiful his fiancee was. Oh, the way he said that word, fiancee, like it was the synonym of addiction. He could dance well, he could put himself together. Austin was the sexiest man alive in a suit. He made her feel like a goddess in front of others. In a way, she loved being his accessory. She loved it when he showed her off. They had so much together...

Gemma sighed. Perhaps she'd decided to abandon him too quickly. She'd let her emotions get the better of her. Maybe she could fix things. Counselling, perhaps? They were madly in love, after all. They were the power couple among their friends. It was only the last three months of their relationship that turned sour. The other four years had been a fairytale. On his best days, Austin was the life of the party. He was a good man. Maybe it was her fault. All relationships are complicated, right? She wasn't an entirely sinless creature herself.

She took her phone out of her pocket, scrolling down the contact list to 'Austin'...

And then a noise. It wasn't clear due to the party music, but Gemma thought she heard a door slam open. Whack! Gasps as people moved away, forming a hole in the center of the room. Inside that hole was Erin, on the ground. Jamie above her. The side of her face was flaring up, like his had before.
"I am tired of your abuse, Jamie. I've had enough. If you ever fucking touch me again, I will finally go to the police. I'm not scared of you anymore."
Not only did she look angry, but distraught. On the verge of tears. What the fuck was going on? Abuse? Gemma knew he wasn't drunk. No...Jamie had been close to sober when she met him outside. People just stared. Sheer quiet, save for the music. Why wasn't anyone doing anything?

"Erin, it was an accident. I swear! I didn't mean to. You have to believe me."

It was an accident.
I didn't mean to.
You have to believe me.

She couldn't believe the words that left his mouth. From Jamie's lips, they stung like poison. It was like watching a videotape. It was like a mirror, and now she could see clearly. It was an accident. I didn't mean to. Austin's words. You have to believe me. His excuses. Gemma didn't like to admit it to herself, but there was a pattern to every beating. A pattern in the pain, and a pattern to every make-up. It was now, in this moment, she was aware of the circle she'd trapped herself in. It was just like Erin's circle. The happy thoughts faded away. The bruises came back. Her blood started boiling, and something inside her woke up.

Gemma pushed through the horde of people, into the empty space. She grabbed Erin's hand and helped her up. "You okay?" she asked. But Erin couldn't hear.

"That's what you said all those other times before too. I'm done listening to your lies. I'm not your toy to continue using until you're bored and tired of it. I've put up with it enough. If you ever, ever come near me again...I swear...You'll regret it."

Erin brushed past her, heading back towards the direction of the bathroom. People were still silent. Some guests even had their phones out, recording the whole shitshow. It was Gemma and Jamie in the circle now. His eyes were starting to water, but she didn't care. Suddenly, she wasn't looking at one of her closest friends from high school. She was looking at a monster.

"G," he mumbled, practically begging, "you have to believe me."

But Gemma didn't blink. "Y'know, you really 'oughta kill yourself for that."

She didn't recoil or look away. It was what her father did whenever he was furious. The more she glared, the more Jamie seemed to crumble in place. She could hear his heart shatter. After many years, the cord of communion between them snapped. He ran off, and Gemma was left in the center of the circle. Some people clapped. Most wore eyes of disapproval.

Reality set in. She tried to ignore everyone's glares. "Erin!" Gemma cried as she chased after her old friend, who looked like she was going to pass out. Before Gemma could reach her, the bathroom door shut in her face. She knocked once. Twice. "Erin?" But she couldn't hear anything from the other side of the door. She kept her head down, avoiding partygoers' gazes. Gemma joined Soren, Quinn and Khepri by the bar, not saying anything to them. She poured herself a heavy glass of vodka, no mixers, and chugged it all down. The alcohol went straight to her brain. Despite the burn in her throat, the numbness was calming. By morning, everyone will forget this ever happened.

Time seemed to slip through Gemma's fingers. She couldn't tell if it was from the anxiety or the alcohol or both. She spent a solid ten minutes standing alone against a wall. It was all so hard to process. How long had Jamie been hurting Erin? Did Soren know? Did anyone else in the old group know? Why hadn't they said anything? The room felt less claustrophobic as people stopped staring at her like a witch to burn and got back to the party, albeit awkwardly. Gemma watched a group of college-aged girls shake their heads and leave; there'd been enough violence for the night. She saw Erin and Soren bolt through the front door soon after. Maybe this party was meant to be over as soon it started. In fact, maybe this party was never meant to happen in the first place.

Discreetly, Gemma walked over to the door and turned the knob. As soon as she could leave herself, a blood-curdling scream shot through the apartment. "Help! Someone call an ambulance!"

Was that Camilla? Yes - there she was, on the other side of the room. Her curiosity getting the better of her, Gemma jogged over to the hallway where she stood. Camilla was breathing heavily by an open window, a fire escape underneath her. Perhaps it was best to leave her be. Khepri could tend to the situation. She assumed the two were still very close.

Gemma continued down the hall, squishing herself inside a pit of panicked bystanders. She could see the light from Jamie's bedroom, but not his body. "Check his pulse!" she heard someone cry. She caught a glimpse of the carpet floor. Bright red...was that blood? The sight sobered her up. She felt her heart slip into her stomach.

"Jamie's dead," announced a voice. You could hear a pin drop.

No. This can't be happening. Slowly, the people around her began to hyperventilate. Gemma just stood in shock. This was all happening so fast. She felt a tap on her right shoulder. It was the bald guy from before. His arms were crossed, and he looked down at her with a mix of curiosity and disgust.

"Didn't you tell Jamie to kill himself?" he asked.

Several heads turned in her direction.

Oh no. Gemma felt like she was sinking into the floor. Her chest began to tighten. She didn't answer the question. Her instincts took over, and before she knew it she was on the other side of the room. She could feel peoples' eyes shooting daggers into the back of her skull. "She made him commit suicide!" someone shouted. An angry mob of voices rose in agreement. There was a camera flash. Her hands shook in trepidation as she finally reached the knob of the front door, turned it, and left everyone behind.

It was like an earthquake inside her mind. What number was it again? Her balance wavering as she strode down the hallway, Gemma opened the door to apartment 609. She saw a messy living room with a ripped-up couch, some pizza boxes on the floor, and bongs underneath an end table. There wasn't enough oxygen getting to her lungs. Her nose was filled with the smell of burnt weed and sweat.

"Who's there?" said a muffled voice from behind a door, probably inside the bedroom. A chorus of footsteps marched down the hall: four stoner guys and a girl. No Stuey in sight. Surprisingly, they didn't seem disturbed, just concerned. "Miss, are you okay?"

She tried to approach them, but her feet turned to gelatin. Gemma lost her balance and knocked her back against the hardwood floor. The sheer impact forced the last bit of air out of her lungs. Everything felt like it was slipping away. "Dude, she's fucking passing out!" she heard someone say. The last thing she felt before the black was a dozen hands trying to shake her awake.

Kyle, and now Jamie. Two friends dead because of her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Gemma Donati Character Portrait: Shane Tompson Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Quinlan Rothschild Character Portrait: Jamie Blackburn

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N a t h a n Miller
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outfit - #E19D29
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Almost as soon as Jamie walked away, Nate felt embarrassed, which mixed with his residual anger to create a sort of shame. He’d flown off the handle, lost his temper. It wasn’t so much his anger that bothered him, it was the judgement from others, the way they saw him. The way he saw himself, and what he felt he could easily become. You’re not like him, Nate. A part of him wanted to tell himself that Jamie had been egging him on, he should’ve known better, but he quickly cut that line of thinking short. Jamie may have made him angry, but he had no one to blame for his violence but himself, and he needed to be better than that. Maybe he would apologize to Jamie later. In the meantime, he needed a minute. There was a part of Nate that just wanted to leave and go home, but this party felt like his chance to at least try to repair a relationship or two.

Nate wasn’t sure what he expected from Erin, but he certainly didn’t expect for her to walk up and nod to him, as if she approved of what he’d done. It didn’t take long for everyone to go back to the party, and Nate went to search out a glass of water. He took a few minutes to compose himself before heading back into the party, and the first thing he saw was Jamie making a beeline for the bathroom. Nate found himself cringing internally at the mark on Jamie’s face; that was going to leave a bruise. It looked like it hurt, and Nate once again began to debate the merits of leaving the party and never again talking about what happened, but instead he decided to try to talk to Jamie first. At least try to smooth things over before he left. He didn’t need to lose more friends over his stupid lack of impulse control, so he’d wait on Jamie.

But Erin walked in behind Jamie, and the door closed behind them soon afterwards. He rolled his eyes, pulled out his phone to check the time, and looked around the room, trying to find someone to talk to, or something to do. He wandered a short way away, but his attention was drawn back when he heard a door slam behind him. He turned to see Erin rushing out the door, Jamie close behind her. Something wasn’t right.

Nate’s stomach was in knots the minute Erin and Jamie rushed into the room, and everyone around could see that this wasn’t going to end well. Nate felt a pair of eyes on him, as if silently urging him to do something. He didn’t know what anyone expected him to do, and briefly forgot that he’d even hit Jamie in the first place. He felt about two feet shorter than he was, in that moment. He’d always said he would react a certain way if he ever encountered a situation like this, but instead it had him feeling like a scared little kid. Something inside him half expected Jamie to flip a switch, turn his anger on Nate instead. That’s what had always happened when he was a kid. Instead, Jamie’s hand came down on Erin’s face, and he heard the gasps, the whispers around them. Then Gemma was speaking up, and before Nate knew it, Jamie and Erin went off into separate rooms, and the small crowd around them had dispersed. Nate felt, for a moment, like he was going to cry.

He should leave, now. That was the smart thing to do. After all, what more could he do?

He didn’t go far before he felt like he needed to sit down. He’d thought he’d known what kind of person Jamie was, but he was wrong. He quickly found himself adding Jamie in with his father in his mind. I hope you die alone, in pain, and miserable for every moment of your pathetic life. It didn’t make him feel any better, but he did begin to feel less like a scared little kid, and more like a grown man. He wanted to check on Erin, or Gemma, or… He didn’t know what he wanted to do, but he needed to know that they were okay before he left. Or that they were going to be okay. Then he heard someone yell.

He didn’t immediately head towards the source of the yelling, but when he realized that the yelling was someone calling for an ambulance, he got up and headed in that direction, just to try to get a look and see what was going on. It was chaos, understandably. He didn’t quite make it to the room, having been distracted by Camilla hyperventilating by an open window. He walked over, thought about putting a hand on her shoulder, then decided against it. “Hey, Cam,” He didn’t know what to say, he was no good in difficult situations. He looked around, as if to find someone who could handle this better than he could, but most everyone was focused on Jamie, and the fact that he was dead.

There was a small commotion, and then Gemma was running past, and Nate really didn’t know what to do then. Without another word, he left Camilla and went back into the main room, looking around aimlessly. The last time he’d been at a party when someone died, he’d been well on his way home at this point. He really and truly didn’t know what to do.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Gemma Donati Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Quinlan Rothschild Character Portrait: Jamie Blackburn

0.00 INK

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the perfectionistx|xoutfitx|x#B76A81

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When Quinn turned to see her, she couldn't help but let her smile grow. She couldn't explain it, but, out of everyone, Quinn just seemed to get her. She didn't have to constantly have the weight on her shoulder that he thought she was too much or too 'perfect' to him like she had to with other people. "You know there's something so different seeing you in person rather than tv, how's life treating you?" She raised her eyebrows for a moment before sighing. Her eyes looked up as if she was searching for an answer. She hated this question. Life was treating her pretty shitty, not in comparison to other people, but shitty nonetheless. "Hm, let me think about that. I'm engaged to someone chosen for me because apparently, I'm that awful to be around, I'm stuck in this shithole of a city, my anxiety's running rampant, sleep is for the weak, and oh! I'm pretty much forced to see Gemma again, the girl I almost fought in a high school hallway... So, pretty fucking great. Can't complain." She took a deep breath before chuckling. "Yea, I have one of those faces that look better close up. I think they call it natural beauty but life... It's pretty great. I get to be in New York for a little while, rest up before moving back, and not to mention, I've finally found a man who can handle being second place." Perfectly vague. Just how she liked it, and with a sincere smile and a tapping of her fingers, it was perfect.

"Okay, first off, he has not tamed me. I can't be tamed. I tamed him, and second of all, trust me, you are first on the guest list, sitting right next to Elon. And I'm expecting a very nice gift, Mr. Millionare." In all honesty, she wanted to hear more about his life as opposed to talking about her own. It was bullshit. Her fiance, if you could even call him that, her career right now, it was all bullshit. The two kept talking, and it was perfect. She was finally getting her mind off of everything swirling around in her head, and at this point, she wasn't even thinking about Gemma or Jamie. She was only snapped out of it when she heard someone from behind the bar calling Quinn's name. She looked up and saw none other than Soren, her favorite little disaster. She looked as he complimented Quinn with this cute smile on his face and the same stupid smile that was on Quinn's face the second he saw Soren. "Wait, what the fuck is going on here?" Her eyes kept going from Soren and Quinn with a smirk growing ever so slowly on her face. She wasn't going to meddle, but she needed to do something for the two of them. It was in her blood. She had to. She winked when Soren turned to her and placed a hand gently underneath her chin as he complimented her. "Oh, I love the way you spoil me." She had to admit seeing the two men around her flirt in their sad ways was adorable. Sad, but adorable.

Being around the two of them brought her down to Earth even if it was just for a brief moment in time. The last thing she needed was for it to all come crumbling down. Sadly, as if like clockwork. That is what happened. Erin ran past the group, followed by a blood curling scream. Jamie's dead. Just like that, all hell broke loose. Some people were running towards the door, others were racing towards the room, and others, like Khepri for the first time in her life, didn't know what to do. Soren was out the door, and Quinn was in front of her. She peeked around him to see the scene unfolding in front of her. Her mind was racing, not because she was panicked, she couldn't be. Not when everyone else was, but it was because of the symphony of noises around her. Quinn left her side in a frenzy, and finally, Khepri stood, took a deep breath, and tried to regain her wits. This was the first time she had been in a scene like this, she had reported on deaths and tragedies, but she has never been in the middle of one. She wasn't there the night Kyle died, but she saw enough of the aftermath to know that the rest of the group were probably going through it right now.

She took a deep breath before pulling the plug of the music, leaving the room only filled with the madness of the crowd. The Indian-American pushed her way into the room, pulling people out of her way. These idiots were going to ruin the crime (if it even was a crime) scene. They were going to get themselves fucking arrested. "Move. Everyone get the fuck out of here! You leave this apartment or touch this body. You will get arrested. Now, get the fuck out of this room!" When Khepri had to be the most rational person, something was wrong. She was supposed to be the one coming up with the plan to keep her friends from getting arrested, not the one who kept people calm and had to be the mommy of the group. But, since everyone else was losing their mind. She didn't have much choice, did she? She pushed people out of her way as she tried to close the door, getting her first look at the body. Trying to remember every detail of what was going on in the room. "Eyes open. Red liquid on the carpet. Could be blood, could be wine. He's probably covered in fingerprints, so that's great. Fucking idiots."


Nothing in the room seemed too disturbed to draw her attention instantly. She closed the door. By the time she turned the hallway was still filled with drunk and high people who were still very much in shock. Full disclosure, she was she. On the inside, she was shaking. She wanted to vomit. She wanted to scream. She wanted to cry. But she couldn't. Not now. She'd deal with this scaring memory later. She again pushed her way through the people to make her way to the main room. Without a word, she walked toward Cam and wrapped her arm around her as the blonde looked towards the window. She didn't know what she was supposed to say. "Hey, I'm sorry your friend's dead?" So, instead, she just rubbed her arm and finally took a breath of fresh air as she waited for the police to come.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Gemma Donati Character Portrait: Shane Tompson Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Quinlan Rothschild Character Portrait: Jamie Blackburn

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soren bowers
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hex: #001a52xxxxxxxxxxx outfit: here
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xxxevery face along the boulevard
xxxis a dreamer just like you
xxxyou looked at death in a tarot card
xxxand you knew what you had to do
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The minute the tears started flowing down Erin’s face, he knew things were bad. She didn’t cry easily, and he could tell things were really bad. At first, he thought that maybe she’d just heard about Jamie and was upset. And then she told him what had actually happened, and he just had to exhale slowly to try and keep himself calm. One of them needed to keep it together, and him getting angry wouldn’t do either of them any favours. “Of course I believe you, Rin,” he said, pulling her into the tightest hug he could muster, holding it for a few seconds. But he exhaled heavily as she said she just wanted to go home.

“I know, Rin, I know. But… we can’t really go right now. We need to talk to the cops. If we leave now, there’ll just be even more questions. We go in, we tell them what happened, and then we can go home. We’ll get in and out as quickly as possible, and then we’ll go home and get drunk or go find some swings or something. Come on,” he said, linking his arm through hers and gently guiding her back into the apartment.

Inside, everything felt as chaotic as when they’d left, if not even moreso. People seemed to be reeling from what had just happened. And as Soren made his way in, he could feel eyes on him and Erin. People seemed to glance away when he met their eyes, but he could hear the whispers.

They left kinda quickly, didn’t they?
I bet one’s covering up for the other.
Did you see him and Jamie earlier?


Soren could feel the panic building in his chest, but he needed to stay calm. Erin had put up with enough of his bullshit for this long, he couldn’t break down on her now. He gently sat her down. “You want a drink or anything?” He asked, before the arrival of a group of new bodies temporarily distracted everyone. The cops had arrived.

It didn’t take long for them to start interviewing people. Unsurprisingly, they split Soren and Erin up. The cop that pulled Soren aside had a hard expression and a set jaw, but there was a softness in his mannerisms that seemed to suggest that he wasn’t as harsh as he seemed.

“How did you know Jamie Blackburn?” He asked. Soren sighed, running a hand through his hair.
“We were friends. We hadn’t spoken for a few years but we were on good terms, and he invited my band to play the party tonight.”
“When did you last see him?”
“We had a… conversation about 11, I think? Then I had… to go to the bathroom. Haven’t seen him since.”
“Can you think of any reason anyone would have wanted to hurt Jamie?”
“No, he was… He used to be a pretty nice guy. I think he had a few disagreements with people tonight, but it was all… trivial stuff. Too many big personalities and too much alcohol, right?”
“Did you have any disagreements with him?”
“I… I don’t…” Soren took a deep breath. He needed to keep it together. “I misunderstood the signals I was getting, and I made… a move on him. He… did not respond well to it, yelled at me, and left.”
“That must have been embarrassing.”
“I mean. Yeah, it was. But that was all. I was embarrassed, and I went to the bathroom to calm down and freshen up a little bit. And then I came back and got some drinks and caught up with a few old friends. I didn't see Jamie after that.”
“Thanks, Soren. We’ll be in touch just to ask you a few more questions at a later stage.”

Soren exhaled as the cop walked away. The cop had been entirely unreadable, so Soren had no idea if the cop had believed him or not. This was all starting to feel a little too like the night Kyle had died, and that was a night Soren had never wanted to revisit. He shot a glance over at Erin to see how she was doing, not wanting to approach until the cops were done with her.