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Hudson Taylor

0 · 590 views · located in New York City

a character in “City Living”, as played by Thunder

Description

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Full Name:
Hudson John Taylor

Nickname:
N/A

Age:
28

DOB:
July 18

Sexuality:
Heterosexual

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Personality:
Growing up, Hudson was always a wild child. He didn't do well in structured settings. He was never an A student, or even a B student, and the only class he even did well in was physical education. He always seemed to have too much energy, and not enough focus, and so he was definitely never a teacher's pet. Unlike kids with ADHD or actual learning disabilities, he had the potential to do well. He was no Albert Einstein, but if he put effort into his work, he could have done all right. He was just never meant to be that kind of person though, or that was what he told himself, at least. Instead, he was always the athlete. Luckily, athletes tend to do well socially in school settings, so while he never flourished academically, he always did well socially. He was a popular kid growing up, and in his defense, that wasn't just among his peers. Even if he didn't do well academically, (most of) his teachers still appreciated his sense of humor, and his friends' parents found him to be a delightful and respectful kid. He knew when to turn on the charm and when to turn it off, so while he had the capability of being that popular douchebag of a kid who would pick on other kids for being scrawny or slow, he could also chat his friend's mom up for an hour about how wonderful her cooking was. Some of his friends joked that he was a con-artist with how easily he was able to switch personalities between the two, but Hudson never saw any harm in it. Even when he was being an ass, he always felt like he was just coming off as being mean playfully. He would only do it to get a laugh out of someone, and so he rationalized that even if it hurt one person, getting two others to laugh at the one person's expense outweighed any of the negatives in it.

After his parent's divorce, he did grow into more of a jerk, but that anger was mostly directed towards his stepmother, and then eventually his stepfather. Luckily, he's grown up a lot since moving off to college. He definitely went through that phase of being very "frat boy"-ish in college, where all he wanted to do was drink beer and have sex, and he won't protest against those festivities today, but there's no denying that he's grown up. Hudson has now become someone who's responsible, personable, and well-spoken. He's always been social and possessed those social skills, but he's done better at dropping the immaturity that used to come with it, in just as equal of a force. Admittedly, if you get him around the right group of people, or get enough alcohol in him, he can easily become that much of an ass again, and there are times when he is guilty of coming across as the meathead that his appearance often pins him as being, but for the most part, Hudson is a good guy. He's trying to get his life on track, and is trying to still have fun while doing so.

Likes:
The gym, maintaining his appearance, tattoos, making money, cheat days, skateboarding, most sports, box seats at sporting events, socializing, making a good first impression

Dislikes:
Cats (allergic to them), snow, sushi, crash diets, pretentious hipsters, craft beers, how ridiculously expensive NY is as a whole

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Background:
The first portion of Hudson's childhood was great. He was an only child being raised by two hard-working and loving parents. His father co-owned a seafood restaurant with his brother, and his mother worked as a registered nurse. They did well for themselves, and were able to give Hudson a great life. He always had friends, participated in tons of different sports, and was an overall happy child. When he was a preteen, however, his mother became unexpectedly pregnant. Hudson was surprised, but his parents were surprised even more. His father had good reason to be surprised, since the baby wasn't actually his, but he never thought that his wife would be cheating on him, and had no reason to believe otherwise, so he accepted the "mistake" child, and the Taylors soon welcomed another son into their family. Hudson was old enough that he wasn't bothered by no longer being an only child. He also was at an age where he wasn't really interested in being a big brother though. Having a baby around only felt like a nuisance, and Dylan certainly proved to be even more of a problem when he became the cause of Hudson's parent's divorce. Although his mother tried to hide the reason behind their divorce from him, his father was quick to inform his son of what his mother had done. Ultimately, his father agreed to accept that Hudson had to move with his mother back to New Jersey, knowing that while she wasn't a good wife, she was a good mother.

For a while, Hudson hated his mom for destroying their family. He felt a lot of bitterness towards her, and often vocalized how he wanted to live with his father. When a stepfather came into the picture, those feelings only intensified, and Hudson clashed with him quite often. The guy wasn't even a bad guy, which made matters worse, because Hudson wanted a reason to hate him. He was nice to his mother, and a good father to his younger brother who didn't have a father like Hudson did. He provided for the family and made an effort to get on Hudson's good side, but that was something that Hudson would never let happen. He was eager to get away and go to college, and so when he was accepted to Ohio State University, he immediately accepted it.

He moved to Brooklyn after graduating and found a job working at a public school as a physical education teacher. While working, he his master's at Brooklyn College and was able to get an even better paying job teaching at a college prep school in Manhattan. While teaching, he was working part time as a physical trainer, after getting licensed in that during college. Only recently did he decide to quit his teaching jobs and pursue his fitness passion, becoming a physical trainer full time. He's built his way up to making decent money, but has his eyes on his dream of opening up his own gym.

Occupation:
A year ago, he quit his job as a high school physical education teacher, and focused on what he had been doing part time for years: personal training. He now works at an exclusive gym with a couple of celebrity clients, as well as other members, and is making just as much as he did teaching. He's currently trying to map out a business plan to open his own gym, but so far, the finances aren't there yet.

Hometown:
Kennebukport, Maine (0-12)
Fort Lee, NJ (12-18)
Columbus, OH (18-22)
Brooklyn, NY (22-28)
New York, NY (28-Current)


Height:
6'3

Face Claim:
Reece Hawkins

So begins...

Hudson Taylor's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Dylan Taylor
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#, as written by Thunder
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Hex Color: #BEA353
Hudson always found himself talking to strangers. He naturally had a personality that attracted people, with his charisma and friendliness, but he also just liked talking. Sometimes it was to get to know people and learn things... appreciate that feeling of "connecting" with fellow humans, even strangers, and other times, it was merely to hear his own voice. Today, he found himself sitting in the back of a cab talking to the driver, whose accent had reminded him of his own father's. In New York, accents were a dime a dozen. You encountered someone with foreign roots in nearly every interaction you made, be it taking a cab or an Uber, bumping into someone in the grocery store, or overhearing a conversation between the people sitting next to you at dinner. New York was such a diverse city, not even simply in the backgrounds of its residents, but more-so thinking about the people who flooded the city as tourists or temporary residents. "I'd bet twenty bucks that you're Nigerian," he said, a friendly smile on his face as he looked up at the rear-view mirror to read the driver's expression. The man was probably ten years or so younger than his father, and looked different enough that nothing other than the accent reminded him of the man, but it was still something that caught his attention.

While accents in New York, and being foreign-born in general, was nothing noteworthy in New York, it definitely had been back in Maine, where Hudson had been originally raised by his mother and father. 96% of the people who lived in his hometown were white, so it was safe to say that his Nigerian born father had always stood out with his dark skin, a shade that Hudson had always admired and for one reason or another, associated with physical strength, and his thick accent. As a biracial child, Hudson had always been the odd one out growing up too, but it was something that he grew up with, so it was a familiar feeling. Til this day, he still always wondered how his father had managed to do so well where Hudson spent most of his childhood, and where the man continued to live now. It wasn't to discredit his father in the slightest. He was the hardest working man that Hudson had ever met in his life, and that wasn't just the typical father-son adoration speaking. His father worked endlessly, physically and mentally, to provide for his family, starting with his own mother and siblings when they had first immigrated to the states, and then his own wife and children once he married Hudson's mother and had Hudson. As a teenager, he would travel every summer from Maryland, where his mother and younger siblings lived, to Maine, with a group of other recently immigrated Africans for seasonal work. They didn't all end up in Maine, though that was the ultimate goal, and many of them would find seasonal jobs to hold for the summer in other states that they stopped in. His father, however, always ended up that far north and would spend his summers endlessly learning the trade of lobster farming and fishing. After spending a few seasons at the same lobster farm, he was eventually offered a full time position, and though he had to supplement it with other manual labor jobs throughout the winter, the money was worth it to be able to send back to his mother and siblings.

The man was never one to brag about his upbringing, and how tirelessly he worked to provide for his family once he got to America, and had Hudson not asked so many times for his father to tell him about his younger years, he probably never would have known. He was glad he did, though. Especially after his parents divorced, it was all the more reason to believe that his father was a good and innocent man who didn't deserve to not only be cheated on, but lied to about a pregnancy, and only find out it wasn't his on the day of the delivery, when the baby came out pink, without a trace of biracial tone to him. Though the doctors insisted that genes were an odd thing, and especially hard to predict when it came to a biracial child, so simply looking at the baby's features wasn't enough to say he wasn't the father, his mother admitted later on that day that she had had an affair. Hudson couldn't imagine the hurt and distrust his father felt after that, and the fact that he continued to send child support payments for Hudson, even after his wife moved away, never making an attempt to allow the man to see his child, was still shocking to him. His father was a good man, though, and even now as an adult, while Hudson didn't see him as often as he wished he did, he still liked being reminded of him. Even in seemingly small ways, like hearing someone who possessed the same accent as the man who raised him.

The conversation didn't last for too long, since the car ride from the gym to their apartment building wasn't long, but Hudson still left with a smile on his face (and his wallet a few dollars lighter than it needed to be, since he felt inclined to tip better after engaging with the man). His half-brother (though he'd never refer to him as anything less than a "brother", full and whole), however, had remained pretty mute for the ride. Dylan had his headphones in, and wasn't being quiet with the intent of being rude, but his quietness was noted by Hudson. Over the past few days, since Dylan had moved in with him, he felt like he was the one making more of an effort than his brother to make this living situation work. He had to keep himself from getting annoyed, mentally citing the fact that he was doing this to convenience Dylan, not the other way around. Had Hudson not agreed to take him in until he finished high school, he would have had to transfer midway through his senior year to move down to Florida with their mother, and her husband, who had essentially become Dylan's father, despite no biological link. Even if he had become mildly annoyed with his brother over the past few days, he was optimistic that they could make things work. He had never had much of a chance to connect with his younger brother, so he supposed that maybe this would be a good learning and bonding opportunity for the both of them. They had to having something in common between a shared mother, and though today Hudson had found out that they both shared an appreciation for working out, he hoped that he could find more than just that.

"I usually make Friday my cheat day," he explained as they headed up the stairs to their new apartment. "You down for pizza?" Even on his cheat days, Hudson tried to stay away from the really bad stuff like McDonald's, or those big pretzels they sold in midtown that always smelled oh so good, but normally ended up tasting like cardboard and had the nutritional value of cardboard, too. He had a weakness for pizza, but burgers, tacos, Chinese food... really anything sounded good after working out for a few hours.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Makalya Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Collin Forrester Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Nasiri Character Portrait: Oscar Teenson Character Portrait: Kamon Leavitt Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Neil Vincent Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Kaz Martin Character Portrait: Ruby Barr Character Portrait: Riley Paige Character Portrait: Griffin Hughes Character Portrait: Jetta Babin Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Dylan Taylor
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Friday, January 6th, 2017 || 9:00 PM

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Riley Paige Character Portrait: Jetta Babin
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ZOEY . SAIDI
Hex Code: #551a8b
So far, things were working in Zoey's favor tonight. She had gotten a great meal and two glasses of wine for free earlier in the evening. Though meeting strangers was awkward for anyone, Zoey wasn't someone was who particularly bothered by it, so it was easy for her to sum it up as an overall success. She had managed to keep her buzz going even once she got back to the apartment and continued to pregame with the Twisted Tea she had purchased from 7-11 (since she was too scared to try her ID at an actual liquor store). She was having fun tonight, and even the frigid walk to this bar with no coat on didn't dampen her spirits. Granted, it took less than five minutes to walk there from their apartment building, and the alcohol in her body made the cold feel a little bit less brutal, but it was still pretty bad. The sting of the cold was probably the only reason for why she jumped at the chance to take a booth, as one coincidentally freed up just as they had come in. It felt cozier than sitting at the bar. Normally a social butterfly, Zoey probably would have opted for seating that opened up the opportunity for more interaction, but the booth seemed more coveted and welcomed... at least for now. She was pretty buzzed as it was, but she wouldn't call herself drunk. She was definitely still thinking straight, and could stand another couple of drinks before she was really craving some attention from strangers. Right now, she was content with her two roommates.

Given that she didn't know Jetta or Riley particularly well, one could have assumed that Alexis and her other friends cancelling last minute, leaving her with just the two of them, might have been awkward. Maybe it was for them, Zoey wasn't sure, but she could only speak for herself when she thought that it actually felt pretty comfortable. The fact that this particular bar wasn't anything fancy or regal added to that relaxed vibe she was feeling. It was a bar that possessed a very "west village" vibe in itself, with original art work strung upon the walls, and a minimally pretentious vibe filling the place. Most of the other occupants seemed to be in their late twenties, and in Zoey's eyes, they all looked like that hipster-artist type. Quite possibly, though, that was just her mind stereotyping all of them given the atmosphere, since most of them had their backs to her. Overall though, it definitely wasn't your typical college bar filled with raunchy frat boys or people grinding all over each other, so that was nice. Zoey liked dancing, which was something that this place didn't offer, but she also appreciated the fact that it was a cozy spot in its own right. It wasn't trying to be something that it wasn't, and at $8 for a cranberry vodka on a Friday night in Manhattan, when no happy hour sales were in effect, and when there hadn't been any hassles in regards to her fake ID, Zoey was definitely pleased that they had tried this place out. It had the potential to become their "spot", but of course, that depended on whether Riley and Jetta were enjoying themselves.

"Is it just me, or are they really generous with their liquor? Maybe I'm just noticing it more because it's shitty bottom shelf stuff, and it's impossible to ignore the taste, but I feel like by the time I finish this, I'm gonna be plastered," she admitted with a giggle, slurping down some of the pink drink through the straw. Looking away from their table, she noticed a guy walking towards the bar from the front area, seemingly just arriving. She had no idea that the man, Hudson Taylor, lived in her building, as she had never seen him before. Even in the dimly lit room and with the distance between them, she could tell that he was attractive. Nudging Jetta, she put on a slightly devious smirk. "I will pay you to go order that guy a drink and say it's from Riley," she insisted with a giggle. "He's fifty shades of fine," she added, rummaging through her bag and pulling out a crumpled ten dollar bill. So maybe she was a little bit more intoxicated than she wanted to admit, if she was already starting to be reckless with her money, but this had the potential to be funny. That was worth it, she told herself, as she pushed the bill towards Jetta. "Do it! I dare you."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor
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#, as written by Thunder
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Hex Color: #BEA353
The biggest thing that Hudson was going to need to get used to now, after moving to Brooklyn from Manhattan and acquiring his younger brother as a roommate, was that he was responsible for someone else. He and Dylan had spent some time together growing up, and Hudson had never disliked him, even knowing that he was the source of his parents' divorce. However, he had never wanted to be a big brother either. The interest just wasn't there, and Hudson was never home enough to really establish a real relationship with his brother. Especially after going off to college, and then moving to New York... they had just never grown close. In a sense, Dylan moving in with him was almost like meeting him for the first time. He was finding out about what kind of music he listened to, what his favorite foods were, and what his personality consisted of. It was nice in a way, but it was still something that felt new and foreign to a guy like Hudson, who had been wild and reckless for most of his youth. He had grown up considerably in recent years, but he still didn't think of himself as someone capable of taking care of someone else. Luckily, so far, Dylan didn't seem like a high-maintenance kid. He seemed to have a lot of friends who lived in the city, so for the most of the week, he had been hanging out with them after school, and wasn't getting home until after dinner. Then, he seemed content with spending the rest of his night on his computer, phone, or playing on Hudson's Xbox. He was a typical teenager, and even if he seemed a bit quiet, Hudson certainly preferred this to him being needy or weird.

Though he hadn't asked Dylan if he had any Friday night plans, the fact that he was comfortably situated on the couch with an Xbox controller in his hand, and a bowl of popcorn beside him, made Hudson assume that he wasn't going anywhere. He was glad about that, because he didn't know how the whole curfew thing was supposed to work. He knew that his mother had talked to Dylan about being respectful and not causing any problems while he was staying with him, but their mother was now states away in Florida. If Dylan wanted to be an ass and do as he pleased, their mother wasn't really going to be able to do much. Hudson signed up to house his brother, but he didn't want to parent him, so again, he was glad that Dylan seemed fairly low-maintenance. "I'm going out," he said, giving a salute-like wave to Dylan as he headed out of the apartment. It was met with a "See ya", that was muffled considerably due to the mouthful of food Dylan had been trying to swallow at that moment.

Hudson didn't have any specific plans for the night. Most of his friends lived in Brooklyn, but he did have some that lived in Manhattan. Even the ones that lived in Brooklyn tended to come into Manhattan frequently for the social life. It was what he did, a lot of the time, when he lived there too, just because it was so convenient. The cold weather seemed to be warding some people off from that though, so his phone had been considerably quiet tonight with invitations to hang out. A few of his old gym buddies were somewhere in the Upper West Side, but Hudson had no interest in commuting that far tonight. He didn't even know if he was in the mood for socialization. Getting a drink at a local bar, and then seeing if he actually wanted to socialize, or just wanted beer, seemed like the better option, since if it was the latter, he could easily just return home and drink his own cheaper beer, and then knock out for the night.

Art Bar was the first bar that he saw as he walked down the street, his hands digging deep in his pockets in search of warmth. Even if the name in itself seemed a bit too hipster-ish for him, the cold pushed him inside. It wasn't like he hadn't dealt with a copious amount of hipsters or self-proclaimed artists in Brooklyn anyway. As long as this place had decent prices, he would put up with it. As he made his way inside, he found an empty area of the bar, and helped himself to one of the seats. His eyes scanned the menu that had been standing on the counter in front of him. He was pretty certain he was going to end up drinking a beer, but he weighed the idea that tonight might also be a Scotch sort of night...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Riley Paige Character Portrait: Jetta Babin
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Jetta BabinX
Dialogue Color ✦ #2d2491

Jetta quite enjoyed meeting the new neighbors—so much so that she mentioned their plans to visit Art Bar later in the night. It was an open invitation, but an invitation nonetheless. Besides, she would have appreciated having other people around just so she wouldn’t feel like as much of a third wheel to her roommates who already knew each other. It was a simple sensitivity to be had in new roommate situations, especially for the odd one out. But Jetta hoped she’d feel a little more at home as time passed.

For now she was buzzing with rum and coke. Contrary to what people might assume, Jetta had the capacity to be a quiet drunk. And being in a place with no dancing tended to paint her in the calm, boozy shade of heavy eyelids and curly smirks from across the bar. She listened intently to any conversations her roommates had, chiming in here and there when she felt like it was her moment. Maybe it was just the space, but she was feeling a little introverted and removed tonight. But she managed to hide her initial confusion when Zoey slid a crinkled ten dollar bill her way and dared her to deflect a man onto Riley.

“Mmm, alright,” she confirmed with a casual nod and willing shrug. She stood up and strode over without too much of a performance. Jetta had always been more of a dare girl than a truth girl and this dare seemed perfectly uncomplicated.
She pulled up next to Hudson at the bar, shifting her weight forward as she leaned against the counter. And when she finally caught eye contact with the bar tender she spoke with the confidence and authority of James bond when he describes his ideal vodka martini.

“Two rum and cokes,” she said, loud enough for Hudson to hear her. “One for me and… what’s your name?”

She nudged the unfamiliar man with her elbow to catch his attention.

“For me and uh, this guy right here!” She laughed as she did an incredibly dorky but endearing jig. When the bartender ducked away to prepare the drinks she offered him a knowing smirk.

“From my friend,” she said as she nodded back to their booth. “Riley. She thought you were cute.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Riley Paige Character Portrait: Jetta Babin
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Riley Paige
Hex Code: #8365A1
Outfit
Riley was not a quitter. She wouldn't call herself stubborn, and instead preferred thinking of it as having endurance. When she made a decision to do something, it was always with the intent that it would actually be done. It was a task on a checklist, and on tonight's agenda, it was going out and having a good time. She hadn't done so in a while, she deserved it, and she didn't want to waste her youth not being reckless from time to time. However, after the hearty Italian and wine, Riley was most certainly in the mood to curl in her bed and watch a documentary. Even without the blissful, lethargic feeling pasta gave, her stomach was so full, she wasn't sure if she could manage to hold anything, liquids included. For it to be just the three of them, and then with Alexa cancelling (surprise, surprise), Riley felt even more compelled to stick to her guns and see this whole new-year-new-me thing out. She really did want to try to be a bit more fun, and sometimes it bothered her how contained she was, not because it could have unwanted consequences, but because she felt like she was doing things wrong. After twenty years, she wasn't accidentally the way she was, and it was just in her nature. That was fine and all, but it seemed more suitable for someone thirty years older than her, not a fresh faced undergrad in one of the greatest cities in the world. Getting to the bar and seeing how cozy, if not the least bit pretentious, it was was actually quite soothing. Compared to clubs, bars were the usual go to for anyone looking for a more tame night, but there were the occasional ones that were rowdier. Being greeted by warmth and a comfy booth left Riley feeling more at ease with being out tonight. It didn't seem to require much energy, and she was perfectly fine with just sitting with her roommates and chatting over drinks.

Riley figured Zoey's dare was made in jest, but had definitely underestimated Jetta who seemed like the type to take on a dare without question. Still, Riley was surprised when Jetta slid from the booth and made her way across the bar before she even had time to react, let alone protest. There was no denying that she was caught off guard, but she wasn't so stiff that she couldn't laugh at what was happening. "You're crazy. She's not actually going to do it," Riley said with a calm grin on her face that slowly faded into a dumbfounded one as she watched Jetta at the bar. "You're joking." Riley turned to Zoey, leaning over the table and pointing a finger at her, feigning to be threatening, though a smirk was still on her lips. "I am not drunk enough for this, Zoey," she said through giggles, her reaction quite telling that the opposite of what she was saying was true. She had a nice buzz going, but she definitely thought she was more sober than she was and was underestimating the power of that wine from earlier. "You should have told her to tell him it was from you. You know I have pasta brain," she said, though it was a far stretch to assume such a thing because there was no reason for Zoey to know the effects pasta had on Riley so early into their relationship. Riley wasn't necessarily afraid of guys or intimidated by then, but she was self conscious enough to never approach them first. As her poised personality likely indicated, she was a slow mover. She would never approach someone just because she thought they were attractive, even if the main point of doing so was just simply for the fun of it. She was too calculating to be so spontaneous, especially when she thought someone was out of her league. Riley also didn't view herself as people, like Zoey for instance, viewed her. She didn't see herself as having model appeal, and like everyone else, she had her own insecurities about her features. She didn't think she was the ugliest person (although she has her days), but she had a bad tendency of thinking the presence of beauty in someone else meant a lack of beauty in herself. The guy also looked to be a few years older than them, but she was sure he couldn't still be in school, and that alone was enough for her to remain seated. That thought eased her nerves though. No one would take a group of twenty somethings seriously in a bar, and Riley figured it was obvious they were being silly, but that was really just her trying to rationalize the situation for her own sake. "You know he's not going to fall for that. He looks like he's well out of college, and you know girls throw themselves at him so he knows all the trick, and someone like that doesn't stay on the market for long, so you already know he's snagged." Riley pulled her drink closer, sipping on the straw for a second before she looked up again when another thought crossed her mind. "But if he does come over here, I'm telling him you're Riley."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Riley Paige Character Portrait: Jetta Babin
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ZOEY . SAIDI
Hex Code: #551a8b
The look on Zoey's face spoke to how pleased she was when Jetta got up and actually went through with the dare. She wasn't completely surprised, because Jetta didn't seem timid in her own right. It was an admirable trait. Zoey would have went up and done it herself, because she wasn't scared or embarrassed either, especially not with enough alcohol in her, but it was funnier getting Jetta involved. Now it was two against one teasing Riley, and Zoey could feel less silly than if Jetta had acted too compassionately for Riley's feelings, even if it was clear that they were all just being playful. "And then I'll whip out my ID and make you look like a fool. A beautiful little fool who's gonna christen our apartment in tonight with that masterpiece carved by the lord himself," Zoey answered matter of factly, raising her eyebrows in a jokingly seductive playful as she raised her glass to sip some more of her drink. She watched over the brim of it as Jetta interacted with the man, and then the bartender, chuckling to herself just as she thought about the trouble that she was causing. It was all meant in good fun though, and she hoped that it would liven up the night, just a bit. She didn't need the glitz, glam and action of the club scene tonight, but a little bit of trouble never hurt anyone. Well, depending on how blessed the lord made that man in size, maybe it'll hurt Riley a little bit, but only in a way that she'll thank me for tomorrow, Zoey thought to herself with a mental snicker, probably being lucky that she wasn't drunk enough to actually verbalize that thought.

"All I know is that you better make me godmama of one of those babies that'll come out of this. I don't care how many sisters you've got; I deserve a spot for making this possible," she continued teasingly, looking back at Riley. She didn't know if Riley even had any siblings, which spoke to the lack of depth of their relationship currently, but that wasn't really the point of her statement anyway. The point was that Zoey was enjoying this playfulness, and even if she didn't actually think that Riley was going to take this boy home tonight, possibly for the reasons Riley listed, but also because it felt spontaneous,
even for her. Even if she didn't think that much would come of this, aside from maybe some harmless flirtation between the two and maybe an exchange of numbers, she also didn't mind that. This was just entertainment for her, and she didn't feel bad about it, because it wasn't like she was trying to set Riley up with someone who was ugly. If she didn't think that this man was well out of her league, then she probably would have said she was Riley when he came over. She knew that Riley had a better shot at him than she did, and she would enjoy it almost as much, being able to watch it play out from afar with a cold drink in her hand.

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Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Riley Paige Character Portrait: Jetta Babin
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Riley Paige
Hex Code: #8365A1
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Riley couldn't help but laugh at Zoey and her colorful personality. The two girls were on opposite ends of the spectrum, where Riley wasn't the type to make such hearty jokes. Part of her laughter was simply from shock value, and it wasn't even that Zoey was saying anything that bad, but for someone like Riley who was so contained, it had more of an effect on her when other people weren't. A lot of it the surprise had to do with the fact that she would have never in a million years thought of something so witty, so she was far more appreciative of a simple jest. The alcohol in her also easily made everything seem far more extreme than it actually was. Placing her hand on Zoey's shoulder, a soft smile on her face that didn't at all reflect just how much she was smiling internally, she shook her head, trying to be serious. "Noooo, don't say that. No babies, Zoey! We have rent to pay. And classes to fail." While a moment ago, the calm from the environment was having an effect on her, reinforcing the timid vibe she was craving for the night, the sudden rush of adrenaline from Jetta going through with Zoey's dare, the anticipation of those consequences, as well as Zoey's infectious personality was making Riley giddy, amping up the alcohol she felt. She was still on the same drink from before, but with the new excitement, it was easy for her mood to shift and the dormant alcohol to wake up.

Out of three of them, Riley would consider herself to have the least inviting personality. Zoey and Jetta were both sociable, playful girls and just about anyone was drawn to that. Riley wouldn't have been surprised if Jetta ended up striking up a conversation with the guy and making a new friend in a matter of minutes, considering the girl had managed to get them free dinner. "You know, if Jetta can get us free pasta and wine, I bet she could get us a guy or two. Okay," she announced, deciding the chances of that happening were two high to not plan accordingly. Twirling the straw in her mouth, she looked around the bar. "Let's find you one next. Beard or no beard?" As she searched, her eyes fell upon the bar again, causing a quick thought to pass her mind. She turned back to Zoey then, about an inch closer. "Okay, first let's make a bet. If he comes over here, I will personally buy you a drink. Whatever you want. But if he doesn't come over, or it turns out he has a girlfriend, you have to buy me something."

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Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Riley Paige Character Portrait: Jetta Babin
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Although Hudson had come down to the bar by himself, and wasn't planning on meeting up with anyone there, he was sure that he would have ended up socializing with someone there. If the crowd was weird, he knew he was going to order one drink and then go back home and help himself to his own, already paid for beers. If not, he would find some single girl (or a group of them) to chat with. He was surprised, however, when almost immediately, a young blonde approached him. While his first move was usually to offer to buy the girl he was talking to a drink, he didn't even get in a word edgewise before this blonde was ordering a rum and coke for herself and him. She had paid for them before he could offer to pay for them himself. At that point, it wouldn't have even been a move done out of chivalry, but just because it was what would have felt natural. She was quick though, and while it confused Hudson at first, she eventually explained that the drink was really from her friend, Riley. "Daaaaaaaaamn," Hudson said playfully, though impressed, as he let out a light chuckle. It was funny that apparently, the girl Riley had gotten her friend to purchase the drink for her, for him, but he supposed that it was the thought that count. Most girls were quick to want to mooch off of every guy, so it really was surprising, if not shocking, that one would be willing to buy him a drink without even approaching him first.

He couldn't tell that it had been a silly dare that Riley hadn't been behind at all, but as he glanced back at the table the blonde pointed to, he could tell that all the girls were pretty young, so he didn't think of it as being that deep either. One of the girls at the table looked like she was still a teenager, which surprised Hudson, since obviously they were in a bar. It wasn't a bad thing though, assuming that she was actually twenty-one, because looking young was never something to complain about. The other didn't look old either, but she could more readily pass as twenty-one. Both girls were pretty, but he was hoping that Riley was the one who was actually Riley. She looked his type, for sure. "Your friend Riley is out here living in 2017. Making moves. Being a go-getter. I like that," he continued, still being clearly playful in his voice. This wasn't the first time he had ever been purchased a drink before, but it was still unusual for girls to buy guys drinks. Hudson didn't mind it though. He liked girls who were upfront and direct, even if the means of Riley buying him this drink wasn't really the definition of direct. Nevertheless, a girl that was willing to show her interest in a guy, instead of playing games, was always attractive. "Which one is she?" he asked curiously, grinning as he looked towards the table, just because they seemed to be looking in his direction too.

Accepting his drink as it was slid towards him, Hudson took a sip. He had been planning on drinking beer, but a rum and coke was a simple classic; something that he couldn't turn down. Even if for some reason he hated the drink, he wouldn't have turned it down anyway, simply out of politeness. "And I'm Hudson," he introduced himself, once he had swallowed. "So we've got Riley, you, who I can only either call Riley's bitch, or a good friend," he teased, "And then Miss Emotional Support, next to her," he concluded. He planned on going over to the table to meet this mysterious Riley himself, but he wasn't in any rush.

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Character Portrait: Oscar Teenson Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Neil Vincent Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Kaz Martin Character Portrait: Riley Paige Character Portrait: Jetta Babin
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Oscar Teenson
Color: #00A693
___________________________________


It had been a long day of looking at nothing but fiddling around in visual studios, messing around in C# in order to satisfy a client that was quickly getting on his nerves. Word of mouth was an awesome thing when it got him work that he wanted, but it was a double edged sword. If he wanted to retain that type of reputation, he couldn’t turn down work without a damn good reason. So far, the client had been anything but cooperative, demanding the moon and offering very little in return. Still, Oscar had given him some time to stew on his decisions while he himself had been looking at options, approaches and generally making sure he would be ready when the time came down to actually work on things. Naturally he hadn’t been doing this all day, he had taken a break around noon to play some games for awhile but before he knew it, the day had fallen into the evening and he had done the very thing he was trying not to do, which was isolate himself from the world. It wasn’t until he heard his name being yelled, thankfully only having one earphone in at the moment, that he even realized what the time was.

“Damn…” Oscar said to himself, becoming accutely aware that he hadn’t eaten anything all day. He got up and walked to his door, walking out to see his roommates in a rather...compromising position, although they were both fully clothed so Oscar didn’t say a word. ”Party? As in you’re throwing one here in the apartment?”
Upon receiving an affirmation, Oscar paused for a second to give it some thought. He was expecting his client to get back to him sooner rather than later, and he would prefer to get a head start on the work expected of him so that it remained fresh in his mind. ”Well, I do have a client who I’m wai-”. As if his phone had been waiting for that exact moment, it started to ring with the default ringtone. He pulled it out of his pocket, and took a glance to see it was the very man he had been ready to just talk about. ”Speak of the Devil and you shall summon him. Gotta answer this.” Oscar answered the phone, walking into the kitchen and opening the refrigerator. ”This is Oscar Teenson.”

“Evening Mr. Teenson, how are you doing tonight?”

”Pretty well Mr. Kaster, how about yourself?”

“Good, good. Have you given any more thought to our proposal.”

”I have.”

“And? Are we ready to draft up a contract?”

”I think you failed to understand why I didn’t agree to anything in the initial phone call sir.” Oscar stated, grabbing an apple and taking a bite out of it, leaning against the counter as he fed himself just the tiniest bit. ”I’ve already stated that I don’t work for exposure, and with the amount of work that you want done vs the amount you’re paying me, that isn’t nearly enough.”

“We beg to differ, we believe we’re offering a fair rate with plenty of benefits.”

”Broken down, the amount of time I would need to work on your application, at the rate your offering, is just above minimum wage. I’ve stated my rate, if you’re unwilling or unable to accommodate that, then I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere.”

“Mr. Teenson, I believe you’re throwing away a great opportunity to get your name out there…”

”That’s called exposure...the very thing that I said I don’t work for.”

“Well considering you’re an independent contractor, we felt you could use a bit of publicity.”

”You’re literally a ‘word of mouth’ client yourself. My name is plenty out there already.” Oscar answered, taking another bite from his apple.

“You’re throwing away a perfectly good opportunity.”

”Nah. You’re trying to get me to work for essentially nothing. I’ve done my research, looked into what you want built and have already done up the estimations on effort, time and resources that I will need to complete it. This isn’t a matter of not being able to do it, this is a matter of you trying to undercut me.”Mr. Kaster seemed ready to say something, but Oscar cut him off as he was tired and didn’t want to do this song and dance at the moment. ”Sir, if you want my services than you know my rate. If and/or when you’re ready to accept that, I’ll be here and ready to go but until then I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do for you. Now if that’s all?”

“You’ve made your stance clear Mr. Teenson, I’m sorry we couldn’t come to an agreement.”

”Same. Have a good night Mr. Kaster.”

“You as well.” Oscar hung up the phone with a sigh, realizing he had just wasted an entire day researching a pointless endeavor. Oscar finished the apple and threw it away before wandering back into the living room area.

”So never mind, no job tomorrow. Sure, throw your party.” Oscar made his way to the door, grabbing his jacket and slipping on his shoes. ”Gotta get some fresh air though, back in a bit.” With little flair, Oscar was geared up and walking out of the apartment.




It had been a good while, walking out in the brisk cold and feeling the wind sting his face a bit. He had maneuvered a path around several blocks, making sure his legs hadn’t atrophied and he didn’t have nerve damage from sitting on his ass for so long. He was on his way back, but honestly he was taking a bit longer than he really should have, mainly because of the position he had seen his roommates in when he had exited. Like he stated, he didn’t have a problem with gay men but he didn’t want to walk in and hear the sounds of any two people really going at it like rabbits in heat. As he got closer to the apartment, he figured he could always just check at the door of his apartment and take another walk if that was the case, but he did want to get in from the cold at this point.

It was then that he noticed the bar that he was passing, pausing and reading the sign. Art Bar? Not the most original name, but considering it was only a few minutes away from his place he figured it couldn’t hurt to at least check the place out. Maybe get a quick drink and give some more time just to make sure he didn’t walk in on something. So with that mindset, he stepped inside and was met with a bit of a rustic aesthetic. The atmosphere seemed pretty relaxed, and not overly crowded which relieved Oscar to no end. If it had been elbow to elbow bodies, he would have rather freeze to death than taken a single step more into the place. Unzipping his jacket, he made his way to the end of the bar and sat upon a stool. Looking over, he noticed the few girls that he had helped with their TV. They seemed preoccupied so he didn’t see a reason to go and intrude on their conversation or night.

The bartender came over, wiping the counter as he did so. Oscar wasn’t much of a drinker, but he did prefer hard liquor over beer. ”Jack and Coke please.” Oscar asked, pulling out his phone and checking through the rest of his mail to see if anything had come by in the time he had been walking about.

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Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Riley Paige Character Portrait: Jetta Babin
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Jetta BabinX
Dialogue Color ✦ #2d2491

“My name in Jetta,” the blonde confirmed. “And I guess I’m the good friend cause I ain’t no one’s bitch,” she chuckled. She was laughing but she was half serious. She swiped up her coke from the bar and took a long swig.

“She’s that one right there,” she piped in after a refreshed breath. She pointed very obviously at the table and wiggled her fingers in the other girl’s direction for extra emphasis.

“You got your drink. You got the attention. I’d say it’s your move now, buddy.” She took another sip as she shot him a taunting look. A look that said ‘I double dog dare you to go over there and fuck some shit up.’

“Now if you got any friends for my other gal and I don’t hold back on us.”

She pushed herself away from the counter and began sauntering back over to the table. She was feeling the alcohol by this point and was starting to think that she'd try her luck with some guy in the bar too. Although she figured that the likelihood of that happening to her tonight was scarce. She wasn't the best dressed girl in the room (she opted for jeans and a black top) and she wasn't the sultry seductive type who could win a man while wearing a garbage bag. Jetta learned a long time ago that she was built to be a wing man or supporting character on nights out.

Contrary to what her style and outspoken personality might suggest, she was never the girl who caught a dance partner in the club. Never the girl who mysteriously disappeared with men. She'd only had one relationship in her entire life and that was a 'situationship' at best. She wasn't in that relationship because she felt love or excitement toward the person, she was in the relationship(which lasted for a month) because they were the last two single people left in an immature cult-like friend group where everyone was paired off. Jetta barely kissed him. Jetta was a virgin.

“I don’t gotta hold your hand and walk you over to her, do I?” she called back as she marched on.

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Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Riley Paige Character Portrait: Jetta Babin
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Hudson quirked an eyebrow, though he couldn't resist smirking at Jetta's words. He didn't blame Riley for sending this girl over to offer him the drink, because she had an amusingly direct way about her. She didn't seem drunk, or else Hudson may have been less interested in socializing with them. Being drunk wasn't bad, especially in a bar setting, but he didn't want to be a part of some drunk girls' silly antics. He was too sober for that, and given that it was still fairly early, he didn't think it was even really excusable to be that drunk either. Nevertheless, they didn't seem drunk in any sense of sloppiness, so with a playful shake of his head, denying that he needed any assistance in making his way to the table, he tossed back the rest of his drink in a long gulp, put his credit card down on the bar and requested that the bartender send over a round of whatever the girls had ordered before he had gotten there. Had the bar been an expensive one, it would have been a baller move, but it really wasn't when the drinks were relatively cheap given the usual in New York. Even though Riley was the only one who had bought him a drink, even if he wasn't as big and bad as he felt putting his card down, he was still a decent guy for buying her friends drinks too. Honestly, he knew that it would be a scummy move to not do that, especially since he was about to go sit down with all of them.

He opted to slide into the booth next to Zoey, so that he wasn't sitting directly next to the girl Jetta had identified as Riley, and could look at her without having to strain his neck too badly. "Thanks for the drink, Riley," he said with a smooth smile, extending his hand across the table to her. "I'm Hudson. I know that's 'ain't nobody's bitch' Jetta, so who does that make you?" he asked, glancing at Zoey then. "And what the hell are a group of girls like you guys doing somewhere like this? It's not a 1 Oak kinda night? Not in the mood for Up & Down?" he asked, only being playful, but also complimentary about how they looked too cool for a place like this. It wasn't really true, but only in the sense that there was nothing wrong with this bar. It wasn't some dirty dive bar, but then again, it was no high-end club either.

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Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Riley Paige Character Portrait: Jetta Babin Character Portrait: Nick Moreno
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Riley Paige
Hex Code: #8365A1
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Riley shook her head, unsure how else to accept Zoey's compliments. She wasn't completely humble, and like anybody, had her areas of expertise where she got a bit arrogant, but flirting wasn't one of them. It was much easier to get rejected, and she had less control over people's perceptions of her, so the chance of failure was far higher as way. She would much rather humble herself and wind up surprised than get a bit cocky and have her ego damaged. Not the type to toot her own horn, but perfectly find with doing so for others, she placed her arms on the table, leaning forward to get a better look at the rest of the bar. It was still early, so the place wasn't busy by any means. In all honesty, this was totally out of her realm, but she convinced herself that half the fun was pretending that she wasn't. People were drinking and enjoying themselves, so no one cared as much, and she could relax a bit. She didn't have to be the best ring leader or wingman to just point out some random guy, but nevertheless, she didn't want to pick a total scrub either. Since Zoey was clearly in a playful mood, it probably wasn't a far cry to assume that so long as the guy wasn't hideous nor looked like a murderer, she would go over, just for the fun of it. Riley still wanted to find her someone mildly attractive, if for no other reason than to level the playing field since she'd picked out Hudson. "So..." she said, scanning the room with her finger like it was tracing words on the page of a book. "It's looking a bit like drought season if he's what you're going fo--" But as soon as she said that, she spotted a young guy in a beige jacket and black pants.

Zoey was right there, but still, she felt the need to tap the table to get her attention. She nodded in the man's direction. "Ding, ding, ding. Light brown jacket. Go make me proud," she said, leaning back. If they were replicating the dares, then it would have been Riley going up there, but she wasn't bold enough (or drunk enough) to do that. The guy looked a bit younger and was more dressed down than the guy Zoey had picked out, but was still obviously attractive. Reflecting on her own shyness, she opened her mouth to offer a backup guy in the event that Zoey was like her and wanted something less intimidating, like a bearded guy with a beer belly. Before she could get anything, let alone find another guy, Jetta was striding over, and what more, with tall, dark, and handsome right behind him. When Riley was (unreasonably) caught off guard, or just feeling slightly anxious, she had a tendency to fall daft. So it took a split second for her to get what Hudson was talking about, dumbfounded by the fact that Jetta and Zoey really brought this dude over to their table, and with such ease. "Oh, yeah. No problem. You know," she said with a small shrug, finalizing it with a chuckle since she realized after she had spoken that she didn't have anything to follow up with. She was going for something along the lines of 'you know how I do,' but he was a stranger, so he wouldn't know. And that wouldn't be the best thing to broadcast either, plus it felt a bit to colloquial. She sipped on her drink, that was now mostly phantom liquor and ice water. It would have felt rushed if she just got up and left right this second, as if she was trying to escape, so she remained planted in her seat, but did give Zoey a slight kick under the table. That girl was doing some kind of dare before the night was over. She started it, so she was definitely going to finish. "It's not a 1 Oak night until I get a 1 Oak paycheck," Riley offered with a coy smirk, though her eyes were diverted to the table when she made her joke. Only for a second before she looked between her roommates with the same humored grin. If she had enough drink in her, she would have followed through with her desire to quip what he was doing here himself, since he didn't seem like the type to be at a bar like this.

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Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Riley Paige Character Portrait: Jetta Babin
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ZOEY . SAIDI
Hex Code: #551a8b
Zoey mirrored Riley, glancing in the direction of the bar. It was difficult for her to look away from Hudson and Jetta, because the competitive side in her was anxious for her to be able to rub it in Riley's face that she had been right, but she managed to. When Riley pointed out one glimmer of hope in the otherwise average looking see of bar patrons, her attention perked up even more. The man was facing the bar, putting them at an imperfect angle of seeing how good looking he really was, but Zoey would take what she could get. It would only take another couple of drinks for even someone like Danny Devito to look like a model to her, so she couldn't be as picky as she wanted to act. "Mmmmmmmm, he is fine, and I've only got a side profile to judge by," she mused in approval, using her tongue to play with the straw in her glass. She was a few seconds away from telling Riley that she would go make her proud, but that if the man at the bar ended up rejecting her for whatever reason, Riley owed her two drinks. It was only fair, especially seeing that Jetta was returning with the man Zoey had chosen for Riley, and he sat down, basically ensuring that Zoey had won that free drink Riley promised. She looked to the girl, even after the light kick under the table, with an "I told you so. You can thank me later" kind of smirk, only turning to face Hudson when he addressed her.

"Zoey," she responded with a smile as she shook his hand. Her attention drifted away from him shortly after that, as her eyes returned to the bar. She was listening enough to note that he seemed to have a sense of humor and personality about him, which was a nice start. At least he seemed like more than just a pretty face, and especially since Riley wasn't bursting with conversation at all times, it made Zoey feel even more certain that she had played matchmaker well, compatibility wise.

She was glad that she had silently distracted herself with scoping out the bar once more, in hopes of ensuring that she was truly about to go after the best that there was to offer, without acting immediately, because a bartender brought over a round of drinks. It was apparent that Hudson must have ordered them for them, which made Zoey even more glad that she had branched out and roped him into their little circle. A free drink was something that she would never turn down, and she was tempted to text Riley telling her that she better not mess this up, because he could be their means to get free drinks for the rest of the night. "Wow, what a gentleman," she cooed playfully, in the closest thing that he was going to get to a thank you, as she happily sipped the drink.

Just a few seconds later, though, she decided that she would go make her move, but also give Riley some alone time to woo this guy on her own. Plus, who was to say that Zoey couldn't go two for two tonight, and find someone for Jetta too? Clearly, she was that good! "Come to the bathroom with me, Jetta?" she asked, though she nodded her head towards the bar, and offered a subtle smirk (that was partly meant for Riley too, as she was sure that the girl wouldn't outwardly appreciate them leaving her with this man to flirt in private). She didn't even wait for Riley or Jetta to respond, and instead, squeezed herself between the tight space between Riley and the table, to get out of the semi-circular booth. She could have just asked Riley to step out, but with alcohol in her, and a feeling that Riley would try to take the opportunity to rope her back in, it didn't seem like a sensible option. "We'll be back in a few. You two be good!" she said, waving for Jetta to follow her as she headed towards the bar.

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Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Riley Paige Character Portrait: Jetta Babin
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Jetta BabinX
Dialogue Color ✦ #2d2491

As soon as Jetta sat down she released a quiet breath of relief. She was completely okay with returning back to the safety of the booth. Bars without dancing really did a number on Jetta. On dance floors she was at least able to block things out and focus on herself. But places like this where everyone’s constantly watching and being watched, often with little distraction, drain her energy.

Almost as soon as she got a moment to relax and enjoy her drink, she was being lured away from the table again. She figured leaving would have been for the best considering the heat building up between her roommate and the new beau, but Jetta halfway dreaded that she would be cast out as bait again, this time to hook Zoey up. It wasn’t that she didn’t mind helping out with this sort of thing at any other time, but tonight she was definitely starting to feel out of sorts – fantasizing about her art and the piece that she stepped away from earlier in the day.

The blonde actually had half a mind to head home and go to bed. And she would have if it weren’t for the fact that between Riley and Hudson, Zoey might have inherited Jetta’s coveted third wheel crown. She also really didn’t want to be the one to kill the night by leaving early. She wasn’t sure how Riley and Zoey handled these things, but Jetta follows a girl code that binds her to leave with her friends, even if they want to bow out early. And from her experience being the friend whose fun was killed prematurely, that definitely sucked.

“Yeah,” she barked with some hesitation, although she tried to sound excited. She hoisted herself up from the booth and waked goodbye to Riley. The height of her tipsiness had passed and she was starting to power down and sober up.

“You have your eye on someone?” she inquired as they walked away. Jetta’s plan was now to get Zoey her man as soon as possible so that she could head straight to bed.

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Character Portrait: Oscar Teenson Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Riley Paige Character Portrait: Jetta Babin Character Portrait: Nick Moreno
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Jetta BabinX
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Jetta was completely caught off guard by Zoey’s sudden and un-based comment implying that she and Oscar had some kindling flame in the works. For one, she was just as nice to him as she would have been to any nice person she met, and two she was pretty sure Oscar thought she was an idiot which didn’t really get her all hot and heavy. If she recalled their interaction earlier, there wasn’t really anything in Jetta’s opinion that suggested flirtation. In fact, Jetta assumed that he only helped with the TV because Zoey verbally objected to carrying it.

It didn’t take long though for Jetta to figure out the other half of why she singled out Oscar, as she almost immediately made a B-line for a guy only a few seats down. Upon the realization Jetta turned her head to face the other end of the bar, opposite of Zoey and in the direction of Oscar who she shot a look that said ‘Really?’

Jetta was being as overly sensitive as Zoey was comically unaware of what was going on. The blonde was sort of hoping to bond with her roommates more on this outing and even the playing field. It didn’t take long for Jetta to notice how they paired up more often and texted each other, largely leaving Jetta out of it. And while she didn’t feel like their intentions were bad, tonight Jetta felt like an accessory to their budding friendship, and then, later, a responsibility for Zoey to anchor somewhere else. And boy did Oscar seem like the perfect island to dump Jetta on. And it wasn’t that she had a problem with him, he was probably one of the more decent people in this building if her experiences earlier in the day said anything. But he was an easy target.

“Sorry,” she admitted, releasing a defeated sigh. Her weariness was starting to show. “I’m sure you’re just… Trying to enjoy your drink. Live your best life… That stuff, you know.”

It was definitely a contrast to her chipper mood earlier.

“I uh, this night hasn’t been the best night for me,” she said to him in a lower tone, obviously not trying to alert Zoey. “So I think I should head out… Have a nice night, Oscar.”

She tapped Zoey on the shoulder, flashing her a nod and quickly mentioning that she was going to head home. But she didn’t linger too long as she didn’t want Zoey to get the impression that she had to come too.

The blonde quickly dipped across the room, intruding on Riley and Hudson in pursuit of her coat.

“Sorry to interrupt,” she said as she snatched the garment up by its hood. She offered a watery smile in an attempt to show that she was leaving in good spirits. “I’m pretty tired, so I’m heading out.”

Without waiting for protest (not that she expected any) she strode out the door, whisked into the cool air.

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Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Riley Paige Character Portrait: Jetta Babin
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Hex Color: #BEA353
Hudson laughed at Riley's response about why it wasn't a club night. He could relate to that. While those clubs earned their reputation as being cool for a reason, they were also overrated if you didn't have the money to ball out and have a good time. It was even harder for a guy, than it was for a girl, to enjoy places like those. The girls could get in for free a lot of the time, if they knew the right people, because clubs like that loved having pretty model-looking girls in their establishment. Guys, on the other hand, always had to pay. For some of the less exclusive clubs, it was just a cover, but for the exclusive ones, you had to shell out hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to reserve a table. While Hudson was supporting himself financially in a way that he was proud of, he definitely didn't have enough money to just throw away like that... and that was saying something, since Hudson had been a party boy for most of his youth, and often found a way to convince himself that unnecessary things like that were worth it. "I feel that," he admitted, nodding through a chuckle as he took a swig of the new drink the bartender had brought over. "At least you're real about it, too," he said. He could give credit to the girls that worked the system of New York's nightlife. He knew girls that went out every night for free, with all of their drinks paid for through club promoters. It was great for them, since they were milking the system that needed them just as much. Coincidentally, though, he found most of those girls to be very shallow. They were often the ones who claimed to be "Instagram models", and whose morals disappeared the second they heard that something was going to be free. For the most part, he felt like it wasn't his business, and if that was what made them happy, then good for them, but at the same time, it was a turn off in itself, knowing that someone was so obsessed with their image that they would do anything just to be able to say they were at New York's hottest club that night.

"What do you do for a living?" he asked, feeding off of her paycheck comment. "I'm tempted to be that cheesy pickup line right now, and tell you that I'd bet money on you being a model, but you don't seem like the kinda girl that would swoon over something like that," he admitted with a smile. "Are you guys still students?" he continued, knowing that they all appeared to be fairly young. Once people were in their twenties, the age gap wasn't as big of a deal as it was when one party was still a teenager (even if it was a legal teenager), but at the same time, Hudson wasn't some predator who prayed on younger girls who seemed much younger than him emotionally, even if they were in that "safe range". He had looked to Riley then, waiting for her answer, but his head swiveled in the other direction when he felt a coat being pulled out from behind where he sat. He shifted, allowing her to pull it free, and would have apologized for sitting on part of it, but she was already talking, apologizing and saying she was leaving. It seemed kind of odd that the girl who had just lured him over to the booth was suddenly so ready to leave, but Hudson didn't know her (or any of them) well enough to decide that something had to be wrong. From what he knew about girls, it seemed strange to just leave your friends in a bar with the excuse of being tired, but again, he didn't know them like that to feel the need to extend his opinion. "Well, looks like I get credit for buying you two drinks now," he said, looking on the bright side as he playfully pushed Jetta's untouched glass towards Riley.

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Character Portrait: Makalya Wright Character Portrait: Chanel Nasiri Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Riley Paige
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ZOEY . SAIDI
Hex Code: #551a8b
Zoey wasn't sure how to take Nick at first, because he had a pretty quiet demeanor about him. She couldn't tell that right off the bat though, and figured that it was possible that he just wasn't interested in talking. She wouldn't fault him for that. He looked like the kind of guy who could zone off into his own world and just be content with that. It was funny, because once he did start talking and admitted that he was more into marijuana than he was into alcohol, she internally shouted 'I knew it!' because she definitely felt that vibe for him. She was pleased that he seemed to engage in conversation then, in a way that made her feel like she wasn't bothering him, and that he was just quieter and more mellow than she was. Even if he had seemed more standoffish than just quiet, with Zoey's current mood, she probably would have continued to talk to him for at least a few minutes, just to confirm that, but also to boost herself up because he really was that attractive.

Unfortunately, before she had time to answer, the man was greeted by two girls who must have just walked in, because Zoey hadn't noticed them before. They were both really pretty girls, which definitely felt discouraging to a degree, because she knew that she wasn't on their level at all. Nick, whose name Zoey had only picked up from the girls' arrival, introduced them as his friends, ordered a round of tequila shots, and invited her back to his apartment to smoke weed. Zoey already felt sort of awkward sitting there when he had apparently been waiting for people, but who was she to turn down a free shot of tequila? Until she became the black female version of Bill Gates, that certainly was not going to happen! Before she could respond to Nick's invitation, Jetta got up from the seat beside her and tapped her on the shoulder, signaling that she was leaving. It was an abrupt and odd exit, and Zoey's expression probably showed that, but because Jetta was already running out the door, Zoey offered a peace sign and turned back to the group. She never would have guessed that Jetta was offended by her playfully hinting that maybe she could strike up a conversation with Oscar. It wasn't her fault that he happened to be sitting close enough to Nick, who Zoey was intrigued by, and additionally, Jetta had asked while they were walking if she had her eye on someone. If she had been against Zoey socializing with other people, or had been feeling lonely, all she had to do was say that, or even more easier, simply not acted to game to set Riley up with Hudson, and then Zoey would have taken the hint. She was tipsy, but she wasn't a bad person, and she didn't favor one of her roommates over the other to a point where she was acting cliquey with Riley. If she would have expected anyone to feel mistreated, it would have been Riley, because in retrospect, Riley could have been bothered by her and Jetta teaming up against her, even if it was playfully. Zoey was confused more than anything, especially since she didn't know Jetta well yet, so this wasn't really the greatest start in seeing her as a roommate that she could hang out with.

Although Zoey wanted to continue to chat with this group since they seemed cool and fun, she felt confused enough that she felt obligated to go see if Riley knew what was up with Jetta. She had disappeared from the bar entirely by the time that Zoey glanced back in that direction, but she didn't notice that Oscar was gone too. "Cheers!" she said, downing her shot and trying to hide the disgusted look on her face as it went down. Normally, she would have felt a lot more upbeat, but she was distracted by her roommate's exit, and especially with the two girls forced to stand now, due to the lack of empty bar seats, it seemed like a perfect time for her to make a polite exit. "These are all you," she said, motioning to Chanel and Makayla as she stood up, leaving her bar stool. "I'm Zoey, by the way," she added a second later with a small laugh, realizing that she hadn't even introduced herself to Nick. "And you know, I might actually take you up on that. I'm here with my roommate though, and I'm not sure if she's into that, so I'll definitely try to catch you before you leave if she's down. And thanks for the shot!" With that, Zoey headed back to the table where Riley and Hudson were sitting. Though she felt bad dropping back in on their conversation when she had just left them, in hopes that Riley would actually be able to make a move on this guy, she didn't feel all that bad since she had really been the one to set them up in the first place. "Sorry to crash, I'm sure lots of good things are being said," she said, re-establishing herself in the booth, "But is it just me, or was Jetta leaving right now really abrupt and kinda weird?" She didn't want to seem dramatic or mean, so she left it at that. "One minute she was talking to that guy who helped move her TV in earlier, and the next, she's running out the door."

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Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Riley Paige Character Portrait: Jetta Babin
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Riley Paige
Hex Code: #8365A1
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When the girls left 'to go to the bathroom', Riley had little time to protest. She wouldn't consider herself a shy person by nature, but she did get uncomfortable when she felt out of her element. Her interaction with guys had only ever been with those who were no more than a couple years older than her. Hudson obviously didn't look old, but he didn't look like he was in college, and late twenties to Riley, someone who was still getting used to the fact that she wasn't a teenager any longer, was a pretty adult thing. She wasn't so much uncomfortable as she was uncertain because she felt like even more of a child next to him. There was also the fact that Riley wasn't the type to lead the discussion. She really enjoyed getting to understand the vibe, especially around strangers, and participating in the conversation through listening. Having already built this manifestation of Hudson to be intimidated by, coupled with the fact that she hadn't really had anytime to gauge him, she was surely thrown for a loop. Thankfully, he broke the ice in such a smooth way, Riley only registered it when she noticed that she was feeling significantly less awkward. Her outward demeanor likely hadn't changed much in the few seconds she'd been listening to Hudson, but they were significant enough for her to reflect and wonder why she had made such a big deal out of talking to him. Going off his words alone, he seemed really down-to-earth, a feat that anyone with that characteristic would be appreciate. The fact that he was able to correctly guess that the model compliment wouldn't phase her (not because she was shallow, but because, like Hudson had said, it was cheesy) made Riley feel the most at ease. Simply because she felt less on the spot and like she was being required to flirt with him. It felt more like a conversation, and him being able to somehow tell that she wasn't the type for that pick up line was something she appreciated. Maybe she just had bad run ins with guys, but most of the ones she knew wouldn't even notice that about a girl, and if they did, they'd simply ignore it.

Granted, Riley was still feeling a bit intimidated just because Hudson did seem totally out of her league, but the paralyzing effect had disappeared. "Yeah, we actually all go to NYU." That seemed like the perfect gateway to turn the conversation to him. Riley didn't necessarily enjoy being the focus. She didn't find herself particularly interesting, and was more intrigued by others, and she had a bad tendency to believe she was taking up too much space, thereby stealing it from someone else. But she also was curious. She was hoping he wasn't one of those young, self-made typhoons because that would just be her luck. Riley was clearly shortcutting herself here, especially if her studies alone said anything, but she wasn't competitive by nature, so as soon she felt like she had met her match or better, she wasn't hard for moving aside. Part of it was just her humble nature, but a large extent of that was from insecurity. Before she got the chance to inquire about him, Jetta came over, and just as quickly, disappeared. While Hudson had been talking, she had caught a quick glimpse at the bar when Chanel had come in with her vibrant entrance. It had only been a second's glance, so from Riley's perspective, it looked like Zoey was just making friends that fast. She, of course, would have assumed Jetta was in the mix somewhere, but hadn't been looking hard enough. So it was definitely strange and out of the blue for Jetta to just disappear like that, enough so that Riley was pulled from the moment with Hudson, newly jolted by the encounter. She did smile in his direction, chuckling again at his smoothness as he slid the glass her way. She wasn't sure what to say next, because she wasn't the type to just think Jetta's actions weren't concerning. To buffer the time, she raised one of the glasses a little. "You're going to think I'm an alcoholic if I down both of these."

Zoey appeared shortly after, and it was a welcome interruption, especially with what she said. It was the confirmation Riley needed. Of all the possible reasons that Jetta could be acting the way she was, her thinking that she and Zoey were cliquing up and plotting against her was the last one. Not only because it was so grossly false, but because it was actually offensive. To plan to dump someone on a night out was a morally disgusting thing to do, so to somehow construe in your head that two people you barely knew were doing such a thing was grounds for being insulted. This was especially true when there was no evidence to back the accusations up (as far as Riley was concerned). Riley's phone had been in her purse the entire they were at the bar, and the one time she did text Zoey that night was during dinner, but even still, there was no way for Jetta to know that she had been texting Zoey of all people. Like Zoey had reasoned to herself, though Riley wouldn't claim this out loud because she didn't want it to seem like she was actually bothered, if anything, out of the group, Riley would be the one who should feel paired up against. Not only because of the dare, but because out of the three, Riley was surely the quietest. It would seemingly be a lot easier for her to feel like she was out of the loop because she wasn't extroverted like her two roommates. Like Jetta, Riley was also learning about the two girls. Sure, she knew Zoey prior to now, but they were familiar acquaintances at best. Riley knew everything was being done in good fun, though, and she assumed that since Jetta didn't seem to have any problems taking the dare, that she was caught up to speed as well. If Riley knew where Jetta's head was at, she would actually think it quite hypocritical of the girl to go talk to Hudson without her consent, and then act as though she and Zoey were pimping her out because they didn't want to hang out with her. Especially since they had been the ones to invite the girl out to begin with. Even without all of that knowledge, it certainly gave off bad energy and subconsciously made Riley question going out with Jetta. In the most ironic of ways, if Jetta continued to treat the girls as if they were a pair of villains trying to gang up on her, she'd surely catalyze that very fate, forcing the girls closer due to them being ostracized by their roommate due to her flagrant claims.

"No worries," Riley said with a soft smile, since she actually was quite grateful for Zoey's appearance. She didn't want to just jump up and leave Hudson since that would be rude, but she also wasn't going to let her roommate just leave like that and act like it was totally normal. "I didn't get that either. She seemed kind of upset to me. Did something happen up there?" Riley looked back towards the bar at the group that Zoey had just left. In the moment, she wasn't offended by Jetta's sudden exit, she was really just confused, but later, she might feel some kind of way about the girl just leaving like that. You could never tell with strangers, but Riley was always under the impression that the pack stayed together. They could separate, but they didn't disintegrate. Especially not at night by yourself. "I'm going to text her," she announced, opening their group chat.

To: Jetta, Zoey

Jetta, you ok? You just sort of left out of nowhere and it seems like something is wrong. Zoey and I wanted to make sure everything's all right.

Feeling a bit of embarrassment, she looked up from her phone, flashing Hudson an apologetic smile. "It's not a night out without a little bit of drama." While she didn't want to totally change the subject, she didn't want Jetta to suddenly become the focus of the night. She did seem perfectly capable, and maybe even like the type who would be offended by someone checking in on her (but maybe she was thinking that because the girl suddenly seemed to be in a bad mood). Riley normally wouldn't let her friend just walk out like that, but she was still tiptoeing with Jetta, and unsure what was written in the script for this kind of situation. Texting the girl seemed to be the best medium. "I see you were quite popular over at the bar," Riley nodded to Zoey then to the bar where Nick and the girls were. She finally got a good look at the girls and quietly wondered if it was just that specific corner of the bar that was oddly attractive. Placing her phone on her table so that she would hear it when Jetta, hopefully, texted her back she looked to Hudson, though she was also addressing Zoey. "I was actually just about to ask Hudson what he does. You pick out a mind reader. He guessed that this cheesy pick up line wouldn't work, and that we were students, but the last part was probably obvious."

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Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Riley Paige
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ZOEY . SAIDI
Hex Code: #551a8b
Zoey was glad that she wasn't the only one who sensed that Jetta's exit was sudden, unexpected, and carrying some sort of negative emotion. It bothered her for many reasons. The biggest of them was that she was genuinely confused, and wondered if something that Oscar had said to her had set her off. It had literally been seconds since they sat down that Jetta had bolted up though, and since they were sitting right beside each other, even with her focus on Nick, Zoey was sure that she would have heard if Oscar had said something that offensive and appropriate. The night was still young, and especially since Hudson had just bought them a free round of drinks, Zoey thought that it was actually off to a nice start. A bar like this seemed like the ideal place to get to know her new roommates, because it was relaxed enough where you didn't have to try to be upbeat and keep up with people dancing and going crazy, but it also wasn't dead and dreary. It was the perfect in between, and for Zoey, the perfect place to be on a cold winter's night. Additionally though, she also felt like this put her in a weird position, because now it surely looked like she had done something to upset Jetta, or at least disinterest her enough to just leave. While she had known Riley better than Jetta, she didn't know Riley well enough that she wasn't worried that the girl would think that she might have done something wrong to cause all of this. It was a weird situation to be in, and that wasn't even considering how strange it was to leave your two roommates talking to guys they had never met, who were clearly a few years older than them. Zoey was too confused at this point to even think about incriminating Jetta as being careless, but the whole encounter did rub her in a weird way as she settled back down comfortably into the booth.

"Girl, I have no idea," she said, shaking her head in slight dismay before Riley said that she was going to text Jetta. Her smile returned as the conversation turned back to Hudson, though she looked to Riley with a surprised expression after she explained why Hudson was a mind reader. "Really, you're not into cheesy pickup lines?" she asked Riley. She knew that they were, exactly as labeled, cheesy, but for some reason, Zoey always found it to be endearing and silly when a guy used one, mostly because whenever she had heard them, the guy had been doing it knowing it was cheesy and would be taken half-heartedly anyway. "Some of us aren't high maintenance like Riley. A little 'if you were a fruit, you'd be a fineapple' ain't never hurt nobody!" she insisted boldly with a laugh. "But this girl deserves to be high maintenance. You should be honored that she was able to squeeze you in tonight, Hudson." The alcohol was probably getting to Zoey by now, especially after that last tequila shot, but she didn't really realize it, and she also wasn't that drunk where she was sloppy. Just a little obnoxious, but in the fun kind of way. "So yes, Hudson, what do you do? Hopefully it tops the CEO she was just talking to at the last bar we were at!" she asked, teasingly on her end, though she wasn't sure if it fully translated to him, outside of the wide grin she was wearing sipping her drink.

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Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Riley Paige
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#, as written by Thunder
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Hex Color: #BEA353
Hudson laughed as Riley insisted that he would think of her as an alcoholic if she drank both drinks. He wouldn't have thought that. He wasn't a big fan of mixed drinks, though he would have them from time to time. He often felt like they were too watered down and sugary, especially from bars that didn't seem like their bartenders were the type to be well trained in making perfect cocktails. He wasn't picky or elitist enough to verbalize those thoughts, but even given that she was a skinny girl, he doubted that the alcohol in it would be enough to really do much to her. Then again, he was a guy with a lot of muscle on him, so it was easier to assume that that much alcohol was minuscule. "Come on, I wouldn't judge you like that!" he insisted, though he didn't push the glass towards her or anything because he didn't want to seem too pushy.

Zoey then returned, apologizing for "crashing" their conversation, though Hudson didn't see it that way, and then proceeding to discuss with Riley how their blonde roommate had left. He was glad that Riley had mentioned, albeit playfully, that it wasn't a night out without drama, simply because he was happy with himself for correctly picking up on the tension that he had felt when Jetta had taken her jacket from them a minute ago. He knew that girls, especially college-aged, tended to come with lots of drama. He didn't think that in an insulting or demeaning manner, but simply a factual one. He remembered back in high school and college how it seemed like every other day one of his female friends hated a new girl. Even to this day, he felt like a lot of the girls he socialized with carried around too much drama with them. That wasn't to say that guys couldn't be dramatic and unnecessarily petty too, because they could be, but Hudson found girls to be much more passive aggressive about their problems, whereas guys were aggressive, and would hash it out in the moment and then move on.

He was going to insist that it was fine, and that if they wanted to go sort it out there was no pressure to stay with him, though he doubted that even needed to be said, but by the time he had finished swallowing some of his drink, Zoey was colorfully responding to Riley's comments about him. Even if she was putting him in a position that others would likely feel was awkward and uncomfortable, Hudson couldn't resist smirking. This was probably the alcohol in her shining through, though he didn't know her at all to say so for sure, but she was still funny. The two of them were an interesting pair, and he wouldn't have believed them if they had told him that they didn't know each other that well. Riley was the more reserved, yet poised and more thoughtfully spoken one, while Zoey was vibrant, humorous, and carefree seeming. They meshed well from his point of view, even if he caught the embarrassed look that Riley was wearing after her friend spoke. "Daaaaammn, CEO?" he asked, playing along because he got the sense that Zoey was really just talking out of her ass. "I mean, that's the ultimate goal one day, but I haven't reached it yet. I was working as a gym teacher at a high school, actually, and I recently quit that to focus full time on personal training. [color=#BEA353]"The money's a little better and I want to open up my own gym in the near future, so it just seemed like it was time to go all in on it." Smiling lightly, he continued, "And just because I know that's not gonna let me beat out the CEO, I will name drop and tell you that I train Karlie Kloss pretty regularly when she's in New York. She's one of those models, you know who I'm talking about?" Looking back at Riley, he continued his lameness from earlier. "I mean, I know you must know her, but what about you, Zoey?"

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Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Makalya Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Collin Forrester Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Nasiri Character Portrait: Oscar Teenson Character Portrait: Kamon Leavitt Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Neil Vincent Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Kaz Martin Character Portrait: Ruby Barr Character Portrait: Riley Paige Character Portrait: Griffin Hughes Character Portrait: Jetta Babin Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Dylan Taylor
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Saturday, January 7th, 2017 || 1:00 PM

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Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Ruby Barr
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#, as written by Thunder
There were days when Hudson sometimes wondered if he had made the wrong move by quitting his teaching job to fully embrace his physical training career. A teaching job was a steady job, and during it, he still had summers off to act as a full-time trainer. He was still getting to teach people about health and how the body worked. It hadn't been his passion, though. It was the safe route, and it had done its job for the few years that he had worked as one. He was glad, overall, though, that he had dropped it to work full time as a personal trainer. In the end, the salary was nearly the same, and though it didn't offer the same job security as working for a school did, he felt like it offered more potential. The uncertainty of it was what kept him dreaming bigger, and kept him pursuing the dream of eventually opening up his own gym. It was still out of reach right now because he didn't have the finances or investors lined up for something like that, but he was planning. His time would come, he often reminded himself. He just needed to keep his mind focused on that end goal.

After he finished wiping down the equipment that his last client of the afternoon had been using, Hudson spent forty-five minutes completing his own workout before heading to the showers. He was sweaty and feeling fatigued, but it was that tiredness that somehow felt good. It felt like an accomplishment, and as he checked himself out in one of the mirrors on his way out of the locker room once he was dressed again, the accomplishment felt even more worthwhile. Though Hudson wasn't nearly as much of a conceited jerk as he had been in his younger days, when that college frat-boy mentality had been second nature to him, he didn't think that there was any harm in admiring his own strengths. If his appearance happened to be one of his best qualities, than so be it. It wasn't like he didn't work hard to maintain it. With that in mind, even if he was humble and truly wasn't the type of guy who expected girls to spread their legs just at looking at him, he still was a bit disappointed that last night hadn't ended in any action. The girls that he had been talking with at the bar had been cool and attractive, but it just didn't lead to where he hoped it would. While it was mildly disappointing, he didn't take it as too much of a hit to his ego. Today was Saturday, and as he told himself, Saturdays were usually luckier when it came to getting that type of action. After a hard workout, he was feeling even more invigorated in that sense.

As he returned to his apartment building, he found himself stuck behind a small group of people who were slowly trailing up the stairs behind a couple guys moving furniture. As to not seem bothered by the delay, he remained a few steps behind them as he slowly paced himself up the flights of stairs. He definitely made a mental note of how moving to this building so far seemed like a good move; all three of the girls who looked over eighteen were all smoking hot. Noticing that was all it took for Hudson to want to make an initiative at being friendly, so he caught up to them. "Need help with that?" he asked the only brunette of the group, once they had reached the landing of the flight they were on. She had a large box in her hands that, if not heavy, at least seemed inconveniently sized for her. "Moving sucks, I actually just moved in here a couple days ago myself, so I feel your pain."

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Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Ruby Barr
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If Makayla had been there, she probably would have chided Holly for touching and talking to one of the men who was clearly busy trying to carry a heavy piece of furniture up the stairs. Brooklyn didn't care though. The prospect of Holly getting them caught up in any unnecessary conversation was unappealing, but she didn't care about the fact that Holly was being a burden to these two guys who were just trying to do their job. In fact, now that they were stuck walking behind them, it seemed well-deserved for the slow-down that they were causing. It wasn't fair, but if nothing else, it reflected that Brooklyn's patience was dwindling for the day. Maybe it was karma, though, that a few seconds after she failed to deter Holly from interacting with the movers, Cara and another girl appeared behind them and caught up to them on the stairwell. Brooklyn had only glanced back in their direction momentarily to put faces to the voices, but even as Cara introduced her to the girl, as her roommate, she paid them no mind. She was half tempted to push past the movers and tell Cara to bring Holly back to Makayla, simply because even a few more minutes of socializing suddenly seemed unbearable, but she refrained.

Luckily for the men in front of her, it took only seconds for Holly's attention to be redirected away from them when voices from behind emerged and soon, she spotted Cara and another person, holding a box, coming up the stairs. Holly had stopped in her tracks then, a smile growing on her face as she waited for them to reach where she and Brooklyn were slowly moving up the stairs. Only when Brooklyn nudged her did she continue to walk up the stairs, but she did so slow enough that she was only a step above Cara and the other girl. "Hi Cara!" Holly said, speaking over the two of them because she needed her presence to be acknowledged, even if they were in the middle of a conversation. "Do you like my b--" She had begun to show Cara that she was carrying the dog-shaped purse Cara had given her for Christmas, when she heard her apartment number, her old roommate's name, and surprisingly managed to piece the two together. "You get to be my new roommate?! You're my new roommate! Yay!" By then, Holly had abandoned her post a step above them, and had found a spot next to Ruby, whose name she still didn't know. Despite the girl clearly struggling to hold the box in her hands, Holly felt compelled to grasp her arm out of excitement and endearment. "We've been waiting for you for forever! I was gonna move into your room because it was empty and Makayla's been being mean to me lately, but she said I better not even think about going in there," she recalled, as if Ruby knew who she was talking about. "But now you're going to live there! You're going to love Chanel! She's eight feet tall and loves juice made out of vegetables! And she's not even an alien! She's just from Pennsylvania!" she exclaimed.

Brooklyn hadn't been interested in this girl, who simply by observing Cara's actions, seemed to be a friend of Cara. However, when it was revealed that she was going to be moving into Holly's apartment, Brooklyn couldn't resist laughing aloud. It was a spiteful laugh, but arguably her favorite kind of laugh. "Oh my God, you're fuuuuucked," she said, smirking and glancing back at Ruby. "I don't know you, and I don't know who you fucked over recently to get this kind of karma, but getting stuck living with this one and the alien from Pennsylvania is some sort of fresh hell." Brooklyn literally had no reason to act like Chanel was a bad roommate, but it wasn't atypical for Brooklyn to be mean with absolutely no logic behind the comments or actions. Then again, for her, having to live with two people who were known for being upbeat and peppy (even if one was far more controlled than the other) truly did seem hellish. They were nearly at the fourth floor, just one set of stairs left, when a guy emerged from behind them and offered to help Ruby with her box. Brooklyn didn't even turn back this time to see if she recognized the guy. In fact, she grabbed Holly's arm and maneuvered past the men, not caring if it was rude and impatient to do so. She was feeling slightly amused, but still tired of socializing, so she wanted to dump Holly ASAP so she could get on with her day.

"I'm so excited that my new roommate-slash-BFF-slash-sister in law-slash-beautiful angel friend is moving in today! Makayla didn't even tell me she was coming!" It was quite apparent that Holly was overflowing with excitement, as she hadn't even objected to Brooklyn pulling her away from the group and up the stairs, or to her trash talking her and Chanel. She was processing a lot at once, and there was a million and one questions zooming through her mind that she wanted to ask Ruby. The first should have been what her name was, but Holly had hundreds lined up that seemed more important than that. "Are you excited too?!" she asked Brooklyn, though even if she wasn't, it wouldn't have dampened Holly's own energy now.

Brooklyn knocked on the door of Holly's apartment, but didn't wait for Makayla to answer. She fished the popcorn from Whole Foods out of one of the bags, took the grocery bags that Holly was holding for her, and spoke loudly through the door. "Makayla, I'm here to return your child!" she called out, before looking to Holly with a more serious expression. "You better be good for her, you hear me? Quit being so annoying and she won't have to 'be mean' to you."

"Thanks for the popcorn, Brooke-y Brooke Brooklyn!" Holly chirped as Brooklyn headed across the hall to her own apartment. "Love you forever!" She was nearly bouncing with energy, overwhelmed by it really, and that was the only reason for why she didn't think to return to the stairs, and squeeze past the movers who were nearly at the floor, just to continue to talk to the girls.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Ruby Barr
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Ruby Barr
Outfit
Hex: #A52A2A

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C A R A - F O R R E S T E R

Location: 304 W 14th Street
Outfit: This
Hex Code: #1BB3F5
Ruby wasn't one to get overwhelmed by things easily. She could stress herself about things that deserved to be stressed out over, and she definitely could obsess over little details that didn't deserve that much thought, but in the moment, situations didn't typically stress Ruby out. It was difficult to overthink something that you were living in the moment, at least compared to how easy it was to do after the fact. Right now, though, Ruby was feeling overwhelmed. Things were okay when she first started speaking to Cara. Once their pace slowed behind her movers, and one of the girls in front of them began energetically engaging with Cara, she felt herself tense up a little bit, but only, at first, because it meant that she had to be friendly. Being friendly wasn't difficult for Ruby; she was truly a nice person by default. Making a good first impression while struggling to carry something, and feeling guilty for holding people up was a bit more difficult, though she managed a genuine smile as Cara introduced them to her. When the redheaded girl enthusiastically confirmed that she was moving into her apartment, only to be met by the blonde beside her laughing cynically about how Ruby was "fucked", she felt nothing less than uncomfortable. It was hard for her to even process what Holly had said after being told that, and as she turned to Cara in confusion, seeking some sort of clarification over that comment, she wasn't met with any comfort.

Cara, capable of being just as cold as Brooklyn when she felt like it, was wearing a smirk that was oddly similar to the one Brooklyn had worn before slipping past the movers with Holly to get to their floor. "Honestly, she's right. You're totally screwed," she said, a giggle escaping as she followed in the small gap between one of the movers and the wall that Brooklyn had slid through, to leave Ruby alone with a guy who had just recently approached them. It wasn't a nice thing to do, especially since Cara knew Ruby enough to a point where she probably should have actually offered to help her move in, but Cara wasn't in the business of being nice. At least not to people who didn't have anything to offer to her, and Ruby seemed to fall under that category. Not only did she not have anything to offer to her, but the mention of her having her own practice made Cara assume that she meant she was a lawyer and had her own law practice. She didn't think of it in terms of the medical possibilities, but had she known she was a doctor, it would have brought the same level of annoyance - if not a greater one, because it just reminded Cara that she had done nothing with her life so far, and everyone else had. Being less than helpful to Ruby wasn't going to destroy her seemingly successful life, but it was going to make Cara feel better for the moment, so it seemed worth it as she returned to her apartment.

"I... I'm okay..." Confused and taken aback by what the two blondes had just said (and by the seeming eccentricity of the redhead, though that still hadn't settled with her to process it yet), she found herself paused in her pursuit up the stairs, even though the movers had made it up to the fourth floor by then. She typically would have been more accepting of someone's help, and more friendly, but she was feeling uncomfortable and anxious and a whole lot of other emotions. This wasn't the best start to moving in somewhere; that was for sure. "Thank you though," she followed up with, after she realized that she was staring blankly ahead and needed to return to the present. Taking a few more steps upwards, she added, "I'm glad that I won't be the only new face around the building, though. This is my floor, but hopefully I see you around some time. My name is Ruby." This was more cheerful, polite, and in character to who she was, and she offered him a pleasant smile before heading down the hallway. The men had set her dresser down outside of the closed door that Holly stood outside of, and they told her that they were going to head back down to join the other movers to start bringing up the rest of her stuff while she got inside. Because she assumed that Holly was going to let them in, she didn't fish inside of her pocket for her key, but she did set the box on the floor while she waited. Her eyes momentarily searched the now empty hallway for any sight of Brooklyn or Cara, but they had clearly already entered their apartment. "Do you happen to know why Emily moved out?" she asked, keeping her voice pleasant and curious, though now she was beginning to wonder if the girl hadn't moved out due to her job transferring her out of state, as she had told Ruby in their minimal contact through the apartment transfer process. Maybe she had moved out because as the girls seemed to put it, this wasn't the most ideal living situation. The thought of it made her stomach feel sick because while she wasn't an uptight person, she also had never been in a situation where people had blatantly told her she was screwed.