City Living

New York City

a part of City Living, by BurningBridges.

None

BurningBridges holds sovereignty over New York City, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
6,281 readers have been here.
23,154 readers have visited this universe since BurningBridges created it.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

https://www.roleplaygateway.com/roleplay/a-new-york-life

Setting

Default Location for City Living

Minimap

New York City is a part of City Living.

40 Characters Here

Makalya Wright [282] "Patience is a virtue."
Holly Maddon [267]
Deja Bennie [116]
Sam Harris [95] "I'll be okay, is that what you want me to say?"

Start Character Here »


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

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✧ NICK MORENO ✧
Dialogue Color: #bb1a39

Nick had been seated by the window, a spot that was preferable to him because he was assuming at that point, that Roman wasn't coming. Only a few minutes had passed since he had texted the guy, but he was already at the restaurant, so even if Roman answered in ten minutes saying he'd come down, it would be too late by then. He figured that this meal would be spent alone, so being able to people watch while eating would be ideal. He had passed along his drink order to the waitress as soon as he sat down, which was why he had missed spotting Roman coming into the restaurant, but he was pleasantly surprised when he saw the guy approaching his table soon after.

"If the last few weeks say anything, the demand for coke has never been higher than it is right now, so I'm in a good mood, yeah," he offered with a smirk. Money definitely wasn't an issue right now, but it never was for Nick, and that was only because he didn't care about money. He didn't not care about it in the way that rich people did, where money wasn't an object and they had so much of it where they could literally afford anything. He just didn't value money that highly. He didn't dream of being a millionaire, and was content with having enough money to pay his rent, eat as much food as he pleased, and buy nice shoes or clothes occasionally. He had a backpack full of cash stuffed in the back of his closet, but that was as close to a savings fund as he thought that he was ever going to get. In a city like New York, regardless of how many dealers they were as competition, there was always lots and lots of people willing to buy drugs, so it was an industry that kept Nick afloat. He had a fair amount of territory after doing this for a few years, so his cash flow was steady as long as he put in the work. "I think I'm gonna get a hero and spaghetti," he said, his tone a bit uncertain since he hadn't really looked over the menu well. He had heard about the place before Roman, obviously, but places like this still seemed somewhat odd to him to. Nick was a simple guy, and places like this seemed just as silly to him as they probably did to Roman. He didn't get the point in paying what he could only imagine was typical sky-high NYC rent prices just to sell meatballs (or to primarily sell them). However, even if the quality of the food was good enough to justify it in itself, he knew that in today's culture, the novelty of the idea of a place like this was probably also what lured people in. It wasn't a typical diner or Italian restaurant or sub shop. It was unique, something to tell your friends about, and the kind of place that Nick probably wasn't alone in just wanting to try out once to see what it was about.

"What've you been up to? Didn't expect you to be down here too." The question was posed lightly and casually, simply what it was, with no hidden agenda. Even if Manhattan was a small island, it felt big sometimes because there was a lot of stuff packed in it tightly. You could walk down your apartment's street and pass five fast food joints, two coffee shops and a handful of grocery and drug stores in a ten minute span. Unless you had a purpose to go to a specific destination, there usually wasn't much of reason to have to commute too far. They were a fifteen minute subway ride away from home, and though that wasn't too far, it was an unjustified distance to be without a reason. As far as Nick knew, Roman's gym wasn't down here, so he assumed that he was probably meeting up with a friend or something, but he was still curious, and also just trying to maintain conversation.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Chanel Nasiri

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Hex Code: #c7256e
Outfit: This
Chanel definitely wasn't looking forward to go backing to school. Despite having only taken a semester off, she still hadn't been in school since last spring. She wasn't really the type to get nervous about things, even things she dreaded. She wasn't terrible at school either which made it all the more unusual, and that peculiarity of her feelings only intensified them. She was very self-assured and always had been, so when she suddenly took herself by surprise it was taken a bit more extremely than the average person. She thrived in being self-sure about herself in many aspects, even despite all of her internal issues that she was dealing with. Chanel didn't like feeling as though she didn't have a handle on herself because it was one of the few things she did have a handle on. She was, however, excited about finally having a change in routine after a month of nothing but working and anxiously waiting for the first day of classes. Given her personality, it was probably no surprise that she was non-committal and got bored easily. In fact, the only reason she was still at her current job was because she knew she couldn't risk quitting. That didn't mean that she hadn't been casually browsing for other positions, not even ones that offered better pay, but just ones that piqued her interest. She even started doing research on how to be a dance instructor, but for now, she had to focus on what was in front of her.

It was only her third day back, having started that Monday. Even though she wasn't stoked to be back in school, she was thankful enough that her schedule wasn't a pain in the ass. She didn't have Friday classes and none of her classes were before 11am or after two on any of the other days. It made it a lot easier for her to pick up hours since she could work an early morning shift or an afternoon one. The fact that it was only a five minute walking distance from the apartment was also an added plus after taking into account that it took her 30 minutes to get to school. Her manager was pretty understanding of her being in school, so she wasn't too stressed about getting hours, but it was still a relevant enough worry. The past two days she had actually come in early and finished her shift in the afternoon but today wasn't one of those days. While she normally would have relished in having a day off, she was anxious to get in as many hours as she could.

It shouldn't have been as much of a stressor as it was given her unique circumstance surrounding the extra ways she brought in money. The thing was, while she knew she was a pretty girl and had never minded exploiting her looks in innocent ways--like getting free drinks when she was out with friends--it wasn't like she was so full of herself where she felt totally justified in getting paid for it. Granted, she wasn't just sitting in a room while an old man admired her face, but it was exploitative on both ends. It was still odd to her and the many interactions she had had were enough to make her want to never talk to another man again, but she wasn't in a position where she could deny going to dinner for a couple hundred dollars without feeling like a complete idiot. Still, she didn't actually enjoy it so to speak, as she couldn't ever shake the fact that most of these men were old enough to be her father and many of them older them him, which was why she was still banking on pulling in as much cash as she could from her own labor. It meant less time needed to be spent 'sugaring,' but when she did find out she wouldn't be working today, she didn't pass the opportunity to schedule a date with one of her bitches. She still didn't know what to call them without feeling totally weird about it. She sure as hell wasn't going to call them her daddies and they weren't her friends either, and 'client' made her feel like more of a prostitute than she ever felt. Calling them her bitches made it feel like she had more power in her hand and was funny enough to make the whole ordeal a lot more lighthearted, which was what she needed. She wasn't necessarily ashamed since it wasn't like she was literally sleeping with people for money, but she was insecure and embarrassed about it enough to have not told anyone. It had started out as a joke between two friends and after they all freaked out after Chanel successfully 'sugared' after a date with someone, Chanel had no intention of keeping it up. She wanted to see how far she could go with it though, and it was too much of a security now for her to want to totally abandon it, especially after she got deeper into world of sugaring and learned more about it.

Chanel was home shortly before three. She didn't want to not do anything for the rest of the day despite being pretty tired from the past few days. Luckily for her, because she had been so busy lately, she had fallen behind on a lot of chores. She needed to clean out her leftovers, do laundry, and go grocery shopping. Clearing out her leftovers was the easiest thing to do and she figured she could unload her groceries while her laundry was in so she would go ahead and go out now. She was still fully dressed and only needed to slip her coat on, but when she got a text from Cara, she became excited at the prospect of having plans. The girl had only mentioned tonight, but Chanel figured it wouldn't hurt to ask about doing something right now. She didn't take into consideration that girl wasn't actually home yet since she just assumed the girl was out of class for the day and had no other responsibilities to take care.

To: Cara
omg I need one too!!!! you're a psychic this is why i love you :) are you okay though? i was about to head out anyways if you wanted to tag along and take your mind off things

To: Cara
or just be a good friend and keep me company anyways ;D

Since she was already on the way out, instead of waiting for a response, she decided she would just knock on the girl's door to speed up the process, and because she was getting a little impatient to finally do something spontaneous and fun.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Collin Forrester Character Portrait: Chanel Nasiri

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C O L L I N - F O R R E S T E R
Outfit: This
Hex Code: #7d9959
Oddly, like his sister, Collin only had class on Monday and Wednesdays this semester. The other three days of the week, however, he was expected to be completing his eight credit internship at his father's investment firm. The majority of the company's offices were in Connecticut, but they still maintained a floor of an office building in the financial district as their New York location. Collin had spent more time at the Connecticut headquarters than the smaller New York location as a kid, since that was where his father typically worked, but the majority of his internship would occur at the New York location. His father had always been a workaholic, and he expected Collin to be that way as well. His company was his life, and as Collin and Cara both jointly seemed to believe, it was the most important thing in his life. Even if Collin knew that his father loved him and Cara, he was still confident that if asked, his father's proudest achievement would be his company. It had always been the priority over his kids' academic or extracurricular activities, and though that had never bothered Collin horribly, he definitely grew up feeling distant from his dad. If it wasn't just from the lack of free time that his father had, as for much of Collin's youth, his dad made the commute (albeit only about an hour and ten minutes) to the Connecticut campus, than it was because he and his dad didn't have much in common. Agreeing to be a finance major stemmed partly from Collin's desire to connect with his dad and feel valued. He wanted to make him proud, and if that meant following in his footsteps and eventually taking over his father's prized possession of a company, than that was what he was going to have to do. Luckily for Collin, his upbringing had given him a head start in many ways, but in this situation, in terms of his knowledge of the financial industry. He did well in all of his major related courses because he had a strong background in it. It was really all his father talked about over family dinners growing up, and when Collin turned eighteen, his birthday gift had been a sizable amount of money that his father had helped him invest, and that he had been trading with since then.

Typically, Collin would have been in the office until five or six. If he was a typical intern, the hours would have extended much longer, but as the son of the founder of the company, he was cut a little bit of slack. Today was an exception though, because he had spent the morning in Connecticut. His father wanted him to sit in on an important meeting with a new international client, and by the time he got back to the city after that, it was nearly three o'clock. He only had time to swap his formal attire for sweatpants and a t-shirt when there was a knock at the door. Assuming that it was Cara or Brooklyn knocking because they forgot their key, he was a tad bit annoyed, but because he didn't know which of the two it was, he didn't move too slowly to answer it. Had he been sure it was Cara, he would have dragged his feet as much as possible, but he wasn't that comfortable with Brooklyn (or willing to purposely annoy her). On his way to the front door, he checked his phone and realized that it likely wasn't Cara, because she had just texted him.

To: Cara
It's Alice's birthday tomorrow. He wants to do Nobu and I don't think you can get out of it but good luck.

When he opened the front door, he was surprised to see Chanel. He smiled though...he definitely smiled. "Hey, what's up?" he asked in a way that was surprisingly cool given how pleased he was to see her. He wasn't in love with her, but over the past few weeks, Collin had come to realize that he had a crush on Chanel. He knew he had no business feeling that way about his sister's friend, especially with that time in Disney, but he couldn't help it. Between that brunch, and then a more recent encounter this past weekend when Chanel had come over to his place while he was hosting a party, he just knew that he had feelings for her. She was beautiful, funny, sweet, energetic... her vibe was just as attractive as she was. He was aware that a girl like her was way out of his league, though, but that wasn't enough to keep him from hoping for a miracle.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

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ROMAN || KILLENS
Outfit with this
Hex code: #11519E
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Roman wasn't a very picky person when it came to food. And since he didn't really have an appetite for anything, it made the decision making process all the more easier. He did study the menu a little harder than he typically would have just because he did want to see if there was something that could interest him, but he quickly just picked the first things that stood out once he understood how the menu worked. There was one thing he always found room for, and that was dessert. He still wanted to try a full meal, but if it came to the point where he couldn't stomach it, he figured something sweet would be his next best bet. Plus, he just liked checking out the dessert menu when he went out. If it was included in the main menu, it was usually the first page he turned to. This time it was an afterthought, but he looked at the section more seriously. He settled for something simple: their milk and cookies, but instead of milk, it came with a White Russian. And in an odd moment of kindness, he decided he would get something for Brooke as well. Brooklyn wasn't known to be very nurturing, but she did tend to look out for Roman in very thoughtful ways. That wasn't why Roman decided to get her anything, but just because it was something he wanted to do. While they weren't very affectionate towards each other, Roman did still think of her as a friend, and as a friend, it wasn't that strange to just do something nice for that person. He decided to get the same dessert for her as well since he doubted meatballs was really something she was interested.

He planned on just putting in the order towards the end of the meal since he would be taking it to go anyways, but since he also intended to just drop it by Brooke's when he got back to the apartment, he thought it made sense to check if she was home, or even awake.

To: Brooke
you at your place?

"Yeah, I was actually just a couple minutes down the street," Roman said as he moved the menu away from him. As he looked outside he quietly thought to himself that that short walk from his friend's to here would have been a good opportunity to get in a smoke. It wasn't urgent, nor did he feel like getting up and standing outside for a few minutes just to do that. He turned back to Nick, shrugging his shoulder to indicate that nothing had really been up, despite that being far from the truth. Nick was also one of Roman's closest friends, but the two of them also had a friendship that wasn't typical of what you saw with a lot of other friendships. Roman wasn't above sharing his feelings with Nick because of fear of feeling weak as guy. Roman was just more of an internal person, and not only that, was someone who didn't like appearing like he was struggling. A lot of it was from pride, but as he got closer to Nick and Brooklym, another part emerged and that was from him actually caring about the two and not wanting to cause any issues. Of course, a friend that would expect you to keep all your troubles to yourself because they didn't want to deal with them was not someone to call a friend, but Roman was good at finding ways to rationalize things so that he had an excuse to keep things bottled. That wasn't to say he even really had a desire to open up though. As strange as it seemed to be so closed off, even with your closest friends, it seemed just as strange to him to want to be vulnerable. Additionally, the two of them tended to mirror each other's personalities and he liked how chill and calm things tended to be with Nick. In some ways, he liked to maintain that feeling and not worry about other things on his mind. It wasn't so much that he felt he couldn't open up to Nick because of Nick, but also because he enjoyed being able to just eat meatballs for no stupid reason and be able to take his mind off things without feeling like he was trying to take his mind off things. "Just visiting a friend from school I hadn't seen in a while."

He didn't bother to mention exactly why he had gone to visit his friends. His general response was enough for it to seem like he had traveled a 15 minute subway ride out just to see someone which, by Roman standards, would suggest that that person was important to him. In reality, quite the opposite was true. Calling the guy a friendly associate would have been a stretch in Roman's mind, but that was coming for someone who didn't like people in general, so what it took for him to consider someone a friendly associate was probably a lot more than it took for most others. "But to be honest, I forgot how annoying that guy is. He's like the male version of Chanel just talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. I had to get out of there before I shot myself in the head." Bringing Chanel up, on top of the discussion of drugs just second prior made him think of Makayla. Whether that was a good thing or not was debatable, but he was reminded of her and how much she seemed to smoke. He knew that Nick sold to her and had mentioned how the girl could handle her weed, and for no other reason than curiosity, he entertained his wonder. "Have you seen Makayla recently? I don't know why I thought you and her smoked a few times," he said. "I could just be making shit up." He thought to himself how he himself hadn't seen her in...probably a couple of weeks? Which wasn't surprising, but the last time he did communicate with her was before that incident at her place with Holly and the random guy. Holly was still alive, so he assumed everything worked out, but it was a crazy enough experience that it made him still shake his head even now when he thought about it. And, in an out of character move for Roman who was typically more calculative and tight-lipped, went ahead and brought it up, not thinking about the definite potential for it to open up more questions. "I was at her place one night and some weird shit went down when she wasn't there and I thought for sure she was going to come knocking on the door ready to gut me. I think that was when Chanel came over looking for you for some weed."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ruby Barr

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Ruby Barr
Outfit
Hex: #A52A2A
By now, Ruby had mostly settled into her new apartment. All of her belongings had found their new homes, her room was neat and tidy, and she had become accustomed to her new routine. Because she was a quiet person, arguably seeming detached or in her own little world sometimes, having roommates had never been a struggle for her. She did her own thing and didn't bother people, but was still friendly and approachable when the time called for it, making her a pretty ideal person to live with. The issues that had given her major anxiety over the first couple of weeks living in the apartment were less on her mind by now too, thankfully. It would have been a lie to claim that she hadn't worried about Cara's claims. The claim neglect was what worried her the most, but every day, even from inside her bedroom with the door closed, she was guaranteed to hear at least an hour's worth of combined laughter coming from Holly somewhere else in the apartment. She seemed like such a happy girl. Ruby was an early bird herself, so she was often awake while Makayla was getting her ready for school, and that was something that was consistently done too. Holly was always dressed, fed, and sent off to school. From what Ruby could tell, Makayla wasn't passing out at night from drugs or alcohol, unable to take care of Holly, who also didn't seem as incapable as Cara had made her off to be. There was certainly something different about her, as Ruby had determined very early on in their interactions, but it clearly wasn't debilitating. Even if her roommates weren't as quiet as she was, Ruby felt like they wouldn't be a problem. She enjoyed people with personalities, big or small, familiar or different, and now that she knew that she felt pretty comfortable in believing that she didn't need to get the law involved, she was content with learning about her roommates, even if that was just from afar.

Currently, Ruby was at work. She sat on the comfy chair in her warm, cozy office, opposite a nine year old boy. He was a new patient of hers, only there for his second time today. His parents had become concerned about his emotional instability following their messy divorce, and were seeking counseling. His mother seemed insistent that Ruby prescribe him something, claiming that that was what psychiatrists were for, but Ruby was not the kind of doctor who was ever eager to prescribe children medication when it didn't seem necessary. She wanted to figure this boy out first, and learn what he needed and what was bothering him... not dope him up so he was too tranquilized to react to what probably were valid travesties in a nine year old's world.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Collin Forrester Character Portrait: Chanel Nasiri

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Hex Code: #c7256e
Outfit: This
Since she thought Cara was home, she thought the door would open immediately. While she wasn't waiting for a long time, Chanel was now excited to hang out with her friend after a busy couple of days. To keep her excitement up, she instinctively pulled out her phone and opened Instagram. She checked the notification at the top right of her feed, indicating she had a DM. As expected, it was from the group chat she had with three other girlfriends where they just sent each other things they saw. They were typically funny videos or makeup tutorials, and a lot of political ones from one girl in particular. What she was greeted with wasn't anything to get excited over though, as it was just five back to back posts relating to Rihanna and a cute quip mentioning that Chanel needed to model for the celebrity so that the rest of them could finally get the in. Humoring herself, she responded that that would be nice but she wasn't tall enough, which was ultimately met with a prompt 'fuck you' from the shortest girl of the group.

"Hey girl," Chanel said when she heard the door open, her eyes still on her phone for a brief second. When she looked up, her face mirrored her surprise. "Or girl's brother who obviously lives here so I shouldn't be surprised when he opens the door." There was also the added fact that Cara and Collin obviously sounded different because they were opposite sex, but it was easy to miss obvious things when glued to your phone. While it wasn't the Forrester she was expecting, she still maintained the excited look on her face, not just because she was still able to socialize (unlike if Brooke had answered the door), but she was also pleasantly surprised to see him. After their brunch last month, they had actually hung out a few more times. In Chanel's mind, it was innocent enough, but that was what she had to tell herself to silence the odd feeling she got that told her she wasn't supposed to be hanging out with her friend's little brother. Even if it was innocent, it wasn't like Cara knew about it, so there was a questionable element to their interactions, and that was only furthered after this weekend. Nothing crazy happened. They hadn't slept together or anything, and it was just by mere coincidence that she saw him in the hall carrying a case of beer and he invited her over. Being the known social butterfly she was, when she got enough drinks in her, she had even fewer boundaries than before, so she easily got a little cozier with Collin than she probably should have been. But still, she told herself there was no harm in him having his arm around her at a party or her being physically close to him at times. That might have easily been the case, and easily acceptable if it didn't sound like an alibi instead of simple fact. Acting normally was the best option though, because that felt like actualizing the fact that nothing secretive was going on.

"But I am surprised you're still in sweats at three in the afternoon," she said, looking him up and down in mock contempt. "If you continue being that lazy, you'll get nowhere in life," she mused. With Collin, one of the main ways she liked teasing (or arguably flirting) with him was by purposely acting like he wasn't as wealthy as he was and by 'lecturing' him on the principles of hard work and pulling yourself up by the bootstraps, neither of those things that Collin would have had to do given the cards he was dealt in life. "My Uncle Al did the same thing and now he's living in his car outside of sketchy gas stations. You won't have that moderately pretty face to rely on forever, but," she said with an exasperated sigh, as if she was truly exhausted over having this conversation. She waved her hands in surrender, "Don't take my word for it. I'm only a trillionaire, what do I know."

She was done being silly, but she still interrupted her antics by laughing at herself. "No, but seriously. I was just here to pick up your sister and give her a little cheer up!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Collin Forrester Character Portrait: Chanel Nasiri

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C O L L I N - F O R R E S T E R
Outfit: This
Hex Code: #7d9959
Chanel was an interesting girl. In a lot of ways, she was actually quite similar to Holly with how she behaved. She didn't cross boundaries, and she didn't act like a five year old... there were obviously many things that set them apart, but her vivacious personality was similar to the younger girl's. Additionally, as seen here, her capability of taking one subject and spinning it into something random mirrored the younger girl's. In Chanel's case, the tangent at least connected with the topic at hand to an extent, so it wasn't totally Holly-like, but she was still quirky. "Well, unlike your Uncle Al, I actually just got back from Connecticut. Had to sit in on some meeting with new international clients from Singapore. I'd tell you what it was about, but I doubt a graphic design major like yourself would really understand." Collin was only teasing Chanel too, and the silly smile on his face coupled with his tone, spoke to that. He truly wasn't the kind of person that felt like people whose strengths fell outside of math and science were dumber than those who were good at STEM subjects. In fact, he would be the first to admit that he couldn't draw a stick figure if his life depended on it, and that he didn't have a creative bone in his body. Surprisingly though, he always had a strong appreciation for the fine arts. One of his favorite pastimes to this day was watching Broadway shows and other musical or acting-based productions, and he had visited every art museum in all of the boroughs.

"Cara's not here though," he explained, masking the disappointment in his voice that came with realizing that Chanel wasn't here to see him (even if he knew that it was unrealistic to believe that to begin with). He pressed the home button on his phone to check the time before looking back at Chanel. "I'm guessing that she's on her way home from school. What does she need a 'cheer up' for?" He didn't know if he was going to regret asking that. The last thing that he wanted to hear about was any "girl" problems that his sister might have been having. He didn't need to know who she was sleeping with or trying to sleep with, who had broken her barely-existent heart, or what girl she was sending vicious text messages to for some petty social crime. "She's been complaining to me about having to go to our stepmom's birthday dinner at Nobu. If you want an opportunity to remind yourself of how normal your family is comparatively, feel free to tag along and watch Cara's purest bitchy side come out and my dad cut her down." He raised his eyebrows and smirked as he added, "Sometimes it gets tense, but it's always an entertaining show, for sure."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Chanel Nasiri

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Image
Hex Code: #c7256e
Outfit: This
Chanel didn't react to hearing that her friend wasn't home until a beat later, as she was watching Collin for some indication that he was just being an asshole and pulling her leg. When that didn't happen, she was a bit confused and didn't yet process how it wasn't too surprising by the time Collin mentioned that she was likely back from school. Even as the semester progressed, Chanel would probably still have to ask Cara when she was done with class just because she always struggled with grasping other people's class schedules. It wasn't that big of a deal because her own friends had to clarify with her as well. Since Cara's schedule was pretty tame this semester, though, Chanel having to consult the girl on her availability probably wouldn't be much of an issue. Not only did she not know her friend's schedule (understandably), she also didn't have any idea why the girl needed a cheer up. She still hadn't received a response back from the girl, so she couldn't do much in the way of answering Collin's question, but those three things together (her nothing being home, not being there because of school, and not knowing why she needed a pick me up) made her realize just how hastily she was moving.

"Hey!" Chanel said with a soft glower as she extended her arm and swatted Collin in the chest. "Don't call my precious sunflower a bitch, bitch." Chanel knew well enough that 'precious sunflower' wasn't the most conclusive description for Cara, but she did feel obligated to stick up for the girl even if she knew that Cara could be mean to Collin. When Cara presented a similar sentiment about her brother in his absence, Chanel didn't jump to his defense in the same way she did for the girl. She had never known the boy that well, but even now she couldn't really defend him in the same manner because it would definitely seem weird. That being said, she would tell Cara to play nice and try to vouch for Collin a little bit, not out of any allegiance to him, but mostly due to her own issues with her siblings on top of the fact that, from what little she had gathered from their brief, surface interactions, he didn't seem that bad. Of course, she couldn't be a total hypocrite, since she was pretty similar and it wasn't all rainbows and sunshine with her brothers either. Collin didn't seem as bad as her brothers, who drove her to her wits end, but she was definitely biased against them.

"But I can assure you my family is not as normal as you give them credit for," Chanel said with a soft chuckle. "That could be what's bothering her though." Chanel didn't actually know about the Forrester's as a family, but this wasn't the first time she had heard of this stepmother. It didn't come up enough for Chanel to say anything with confidence, but if memory was to be trusted, she wanted to say that some of the issue with the stepmom was because she was young. Or was it something else? She wasn't entirely sure, but Chanel knew enough that Collin mentioning their stepmother didn't have her confused. What it did make her question was why he didn't have any issue with the woman. And even if Cara could be pretty dramatic, she didn't think that she could dislike the woman so bad as to not want to go to a birthday dinner. Of course, Chanel was being a bit shallow on the topic as well, as it wasn't that odd or unheard of to not to be around someone who you disliked, and being obligated to made things worse. Even still, she wouldn't have thought that a birthday dinner would incite a wine night, so she still felt like there was something more to the story. Even if there wasn't, and while Chanel did appreciate the invite and wouldn't hesitate to provide some moral support to her friend, she doubted the girl wanted her friend to see any shenanigans. Or, on the flip side, maybe she did, so long as it was Cara herself who was causing them. It was a coin toss for sure. If she were to be objective and honest with herself, though, there wouldn't be any denying that she would also be interested in going because Collin would be there, even though she wouldn't be able to fully interact with him like they were now. It probably wouldn't even seem as strange as Chanel was thinking in her head, because even before now, Chanel had always been friendly with Collin, like she was with most other people. She considered anyone who was nice to and receptive of her to be a friend, so technically Collin had been her friend for as long as his sister, but that was really just semantics and didn't speak to the depth of their relationship, which was basically non-existent outside of him being her friend's quiet younger brother. Chanel's sweet and talkative personality made it hard for it to seem strange with her being extra friendly with anybody, regardless of how well she knew them, and it wasn't like she was going to be holding his hand or spoon feeding him. She was simply overcompensating for the thoughts going through her head that she wanted to ignore. In a way, going to the dinner would be like killing two birds with one stone, but she wasn't yet there to that realization.

"I wouldn't go for entertainment, I'd go for moral support. But only if she wants me to come," she said, raising a brow at him. Then, in a way that was quite indicative of her character in not wanting to hurt people's feelings unintentionally, and the added fact that she cared more than before to not hurt Collin's feelings, she waved her hands as if to erase her words. "Not that I don't appreciate your invite, but you know," she said, shrugging to signify what should be known. Given how things had been going between the two of them, it made sense to assume that by 'you know' she meant that was what she meant. And in some ways it was, but she didn't want to address that because then it would, again, make it seem like something was actually happening, and of course it wasn't. So she clarified lightheartedly. "I feel like she might kill you if you try inviting her friend to something that might turn into the Upper East Side version of a telenovela," she said with a smirk. "But, I will see what I can do. Unless it's one of those places where there are like 4 different forks, then I'll just have to be a bad friend." Probably evident from her quip, she had never heard of Nobu, but she didn't want to agree to something where she felt totally out of her realm. "I'll be back over later anyways because we're having a wine night, so you might want to put that invite on hold anyways because only the best can handle Chanel two days in a row," she humored before realizing Collin hadn't actually stated when this dinner was taking place. "Wait, when is the dinner actually?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

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#, as written by Writer

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H O L L Y . M A D D O N
Outfit: This (left) with this
Hex Code: #db0083

It was only by luck that Holly was actually walking in the direction towards home once she left the ice cream shop. She had no idea where she was going, and even if she had walked these streets before with Makayla at one point or another, she never paid enough attention to be able to recognize that now. It was only after walking about ten minutes that she remembered that she was supposed to be taking the subway, and that as she walked, she needed to be on the lookout for a subway station. At the very least, she did remember that she needed to take the B or D train and transfer to the E train at the Washington Square station, but now as she walked further from that route, the trains she needed to take would likely differ even if she did cross paths with a subway station. Even if being lost would have been a scary feeling, that wasn't what was upsetting Holly. She typically struggled with realizing when people weren't interested in socializing with her. It was a good example of "ignorance is bliss" because even if other people could cringe at that lack of realization, because Holly didn't pick up on it, she thought that almost everyone was a good person and a friend. People were friends to her by default, in her mind, until they did something to prove otherwise. Today, and likely thanks to her new medication focusing her a bit better, she picked up on it faster than she ever had before (even if it still took the girls being quite direct about it for her to realize it). The sting of rejection was bad enough, but given that it was something that Holly dealt with so infrequently, and also considering how genuine she was in her own reactions with people, it hurt even worse. To her, the only logical explanation for why those girls didn't want her around was because they could somehow tell that she was on this medication, and it was making her unlikable. Never before had anyone told her to go away (outside of Brooklyn, maybe, but to Holly, Brooklyn was joking 99% of the time that she said that.

She passed by restaurants, a tech shop, a Starbucks, and a store with lingerie in its windows, among other things, as she aimlessly walked. She was preoccupied with her emotions, upset and somewhat angry. She walked close to the buildings, trailing a hand against the windows as she walked past them. Had Makayla been there, she would've told her to stop it, probably citing that she should because there was no need to be touching and catching germs from everything, or because stores didn't want her fingerprints all over their windows. Makayla wasn't there though, but oddly, Holly caught view of another familiar face. Or two, actually! Nick and Roman were sitting inside one of the shops that she stood in front of, and although her bad mood was still present, the excitement of familiarity masked it for a moment as a smile reached her face. Obnoxiously, she banged her fist on the glass window that separated her from the boys to catch their attention (and probably that of any other people in the surrounding area of the restaurant too). She didn't wait for their reaction before heading inside of the shop, deeming it unnecessary to even look up and read the name of the shop she was entering. "Hello little boys!" she announced with a laugh as she hurried past the hostess to the table that Roman and Nick sat at. "Why are you near my school?!" she asked with another laugh, because the "absurdity" of them being near her school seemed funny somehow. "Are you guys on a date?! Brooklyn told me that you're gay!" she said, quite seriously as she looked at Nick, before adding, "I wish she was here!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

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✧ NICK MORENO ✧
Dialogue Color: #bb1a39

Nick simply nodded at Roman's explanation for being in this part of town. It wasn't a reason that warranted any further questioning or thought on his part. Roman was a grown adult just as much as Nick was, and even if he ever felt like he had reason to worry about the guy, he rarely actually addressed it with him. It played in part due to his own personality. Nick was non-confrontational for the most part. When he was set off, there was no going back, but in situations that didn't rely on anger, he often acted very neutrally, and remained un-involved for as long as possible. When they had been dating, sometimes he would discuss Roman with Brooklyn, but she was fairly similar to Nick when it came to their mutual friend. All three of them had their vices and demons, so it felt hypocritical to act like any one was worse than the other. None of them had jobs that would keep them afloat into adulthood, at least to an extent where they could live good lives. Brooklyn probably qualified as being an alcoholic, Nick couldn't go a day without smoking, and who knew what Roman was on. Nick truly didn't know exactly what kind of drugs Roman used outside of the "excusable" ones that he occasionally hooked him up with, and a big reason for why he didn't know was because he didn't want to know. There was a considerably less amount of guilt involved with dealing hard drugs to strangers or people who were simply seen as customers, over dealing them to friends.

"Yeah, yeah, I have," he said, nodding once more as Roman brought up him smoking with Makayla. Her name felt random being brought up, especially in the context that Roman was bringing it up in. His memory wasn't crystal clear, and a lot of days blended into each other for Nick, but he vaguely remembered going out with Chanel and Makayla a few weeks ago. Where Roman had been to him during that time was unknown to him, but as he tried to follow the vague story, it didn't make sense. If Nick had been with Makayla and Chanel, what the hell was Roman doing in their apartment? "What the hell were you doing over there?" he asked, voicing his question out loud. Holly's involvement didn't even cross his mind, but he couldn't disregard her existence for long, because it seemed like his thoughts (or lack thereof) had spoken her into existence.

The loud banging on the glass right beside him nearly gave him a heart attack. He had been looking at Roman, and then had glanced towards the waitress on the other side of the shop, so he hadn't had a chance to watch the bright red hair that would have prepared him for something like that. The chance of running into Holly in this big city anyway, especially a considerable distance from home, was slim in itself. She came in quickly and was speaking before anyone could really react, and when she referenced her school, he supposed that her presence made a little bit more sense. Seeing her without Makayla, though, was odd. Walking home from school was an innocent enough event, and probably the only situation that Nick could understand Holly being alone for. Despite being sixteen, and being old enough to navigate the entire city on her own, Holly obviously was not capable of what most sixteen-year-olds were. Her mere demeanor and the way she was speaking right now in a public place (that she hadn't been invited into) spoke to that.

He looked at Roman for a second with a taken back and confused expression, really unsure of how to react to this. Unlike Roman, Nick wasn't the type to typically be snarky or abrasive towards Holly. At the same time, he was no Makayla or Cara who was capable of coddling and comforting her. He typically only interacted with Holly through Brooklyn or Cara, when he had been living in that apartment. He wasn't good with kids because he really didn't know what to do with them, and in terms of that, Holly definitely counted as a kid. "Brooklyn lied when she told you that. I'm not gay," he explained, noting how bizarre it felt to even have to say that out loud. Glancing back towards Roman, unsure of how to proceed, he looked back to Holly. "So, uh, are you on your way home?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Collin Forrester Character Portrait: Chanel Nasiri

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

Outfit: This
Hex Code: #1BB3F5

To: Chanel
I'm omw home! Where are you going?

She didn't acknowledge Chanel's question regarding her state of wellness, not because she didn't see it or because she was perpetrating inattention, but because it wasn't something she could explain over text. Even just trying to think of a response to acknowledge that quickly over her phone made her feel like she was being dramatic. Maybe she was, but she was still entitled to her feelings. She was allowed to feel overwhelmed with school when she wasn't used to taking this many credits. She was allowed to be annoyed with someone she barely knew who was talking her ear off after six straight hours of class. She was allowed to feel spiteful towards Collin after he pointed out the obvious, regarding how it would be difficult for her to get out of her stepmother's birthday dinner. It was the last of those things that was bothering her the most, but dealing with it on top of everything else only made it worse. Some would say that Cara was dramatic merely for making a big deal about being forced to attend a birthday dinner. It was unlikely that it was just going to be Alice, her father, her and Collin. There would probably be a couple friends there as well, maybe ten or fifteen people in total, so it wasn't like she was going to be forced to interact with the woman directly. It wasn't about that though. This was about the principle of it all, and that principle was that she did not like this woman, and because of that, there was no reason that she should be expected to occupy the same space as her. The number of times that she had been reprimanded for being "disrespectful" to this woman felt infinite. Her father was a smart man by many people's definition, so why he could not comprehend that they would never be able to co-exist was beyond her. There were so many reasons for why Cara disliked this woman, but it didn't take a rocket scientist to guess that someone would find it difficult to accept a woman who was only four years old older than her as a stepmother. Four years! The thought of that could send Cara's blood pressure skyrocketing almost immediately.

To: Collin
Idk why the fuck anyone would want someone who hates them at their birthday party... Is she that friendless and desperate that she needs one extra body there to make it look like she has a life? When I kill myself I'm going to frame her to make it look like a murder and I swear to god if you don't tell the private investigator that she threatened to kill me numerous times, I will haunt you forever.

Okay, so maybe Cara was dramatic. A tiny bit... .00001% of the time, if you asked her. She didn't think so though, and given her stubborn tendencies, it was unlikely that anyone else's opinions on the matter would ever change her mind. Her whole life was a drama, narrated by herself, and somehow she was always the victim, but it was a spot she was comfortable in at this point (probably because in reality, she was typically anything but the victim).

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

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#, as written by Writer

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H O L L Y . M A D D O N
Outfit: This (left) with this
Hex Code: #db0083

Holly didn't believe that Brooklyn would lie to her, but she didn't fixate on Nick's gayness after he denied it. She hadn't been saying it to tease him in the first place, and had only brought it up in a factual manner, so it didn't seem worth the argument. Because Brooklyn fed Holly derogatory comments here and there about Nick, and because she had a few personal encounters with Roman to make her feel a certain way about him, she wasn't as thrilled to see these boys as she would have been to see anyone else. In fact, Holly wasn't even sure if they counted as friends (and that said something, given how loose her criteria for friends was). Still, they were familiar to her at a time when she was already feeling down (and lost), and she didn't necessarily dislike them either.

"Yes," she responded, nodding confidently to Nick. While his question probably came with a similar tone that the questions of the girls from a few minutes ago came with, it had taken Holly a few minutes with them to pick up on being unwanted, and the same would go for here too, unless one of the boys were more direct with her. "I am on my way home..." she repeated, sounding more unsure that time, as she had to remind herself that that was what she was supposed to be doing. She wasn't supposed to be inside of some restaurant talking to Nick and Roman. She was supposed to be on a subway heading back to West 14th Street. She didn't know how to do that now, though. Unlike how it worked farther up town, she was still low enough where the street names didn't have numbers. If she walked up a few more blocks, she would (possibly) eventually realize that after 5th Street comes 6th, and after 6th comes 7th, and so on. There was a strong chance that she wouldn't even make it that far without getting distracted again, and she was mildly aware of that. "I need to talk to Brooklyn first though! It's an emergency. Can you ask her to come here? Or I'll use your phone to talk to her!" Brooklyn would know what to do, Holly thought. She was smart.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

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ROMAN || KILLENS
Outfit with this
Hex code: #11519E
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Roman wouldn't say he disliked Holly. Even for him that would be a bit extreme because to him, like everyone else, she was a kid and she didn't do enough for him to genuinely dislike her. That being said, he wouldn't say he liked her at all either. Even if he wasn't trying to be mean, he probably he less good things to say about her than bad things, and not in a way that was damning to her character, but in ways that weren't serious enough for him to hold any vendetta against her. She was hyperactive, annoying, had no boundaries and no filter (and not in the way he generally respected, like with Brooke). Chanel was quite similar and he would more assuredly say he disliked the girl, but with Holly, as with most things regarding the girl, things were different with her and he understood enough that she wasn't intentionally trying to be a pain in the ass. She was endearing and innocent enough for him to not hold any actual grudge against her. Plus, if his actions from the past month said anything, he did care about Holly enough to not want anything bad to happen to her. So while he did shoot her a cold look after she startled him by tapping the glass, and then by her dumb comment about him and Nick being gay, he wasn't about to go off on her despite having the urge to flick her in the forehead. Still, while he could fathom that Holly was a unique individual with unique exceptions, he didn't have enough patience, like say Makayla or Cara, to fully accommodate to her differences. For now, he could settle with an eye roll and quietly wondering how the hell he got so lucky as to run into her.

Perhaps learning a bit from his last experience, he was more critical of her being out by herself. If she couldn't survive Disney (which he still thought was stupid given her age), then she surely couldn't maneuver New York on her own, despite growing up here, an added fact that only peeved Roman more as it made him realize just how incapable she was. He noted the uncertainty in her voice, which definitely confused him since he couldn't imagine Holly had too many things to do after school besides go home, so why she seemed unsure when she said that seemed off to him. He didn't know her or her sister's lives, but he assumed Holly didn't walk home alone, so he even questioned if she was supposed to be by herself to begin with. Then again, he also knew Makayla wasn't dumb enough to misplace her sister. Her declaration that there was some type of emergency only furthered his suspicion and made him raise his brow, newly interested in what was going on. But he also couldn't help but sigh internally as it was apparent that it would likely be a very dumb thing to just let her walk out with that confused look on her face, meaning they were stuck with her. His slip up in Disney was a dumb one as well, but it made more sense given the context of the time. Now, it didn't really make much sense for anyone besides Makayla to be watching her and he knew Makayla was good for taking care of the girl. "Brooklyn's taking a nap and doesn't like being disturbed by annoying people," Roman said matter-of-fact. "What's the emergency? Where's your sister, Holly? Don't you usually walk together or something?" The last part was just something he assumed. He really had no idea what their routine was, but he figured it wasn't that far of a stretch to assume so. While he had been annoyed that the girl wasn't able to handle being on her own back at Disney, he understood that being lost in a children's park--where there would obviously be security for that exact matter--was a lesser offense than being lost in a big city. He also felt it made sense to assume someone helped her get home because surely if Holly had been getting herself home this entire time, then Disney wouldn't have been an issue. When he ran through that sentiment again, though, he was quickly able to rationalize how that wasn't necessarily a sure assumption as anything that was loud enough, colorful enough, or weird enough would attract the girl.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

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#, as written by Writer

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H O L L Y . M A D D O N
Outfit: This (left) with this
Hex Code: #db0083

"If she doesn't like being disturbed by annoying people then we should probably call her from your phone, Nick!" Holly concluded. It wasn't meant to be said with any sort of shade, though it definitely was meant that way. To Holly, Nick was a bit preferable over Roman, simply because Roman had been mean to her twice in the past few months. The first was in Disney (something that Holly had not forgotten about), and the second was when he spilled wine in her apartment and got her in trouble for it (even though that wasn't what actually happened). Nick wasn't Holly's favorite person either because of the things Brooklyn had told her about him, but he hadn't personally wronged her. Then again, if she was actually thinking the logic of things through, Brooklyn would definitely deem Roman to be more preferable than Nick, since Nick was the only one of the two that she seriously seemed to talk poorly about. Not surprisingly, Holly didn't even consider that Roman was referring to her as being the annoying person. "It's a girl emergency! If it was a boy emergency I would ask you, because you're part Ro, part man," she said, laughing at her own strange joke. "But it's not! It's a girl emergency!" Holly wasn't using the "girl emergency" lie knowing that socially, men usually stopped pressing when that excuse was used. It was the awkward statement you could make to get any male teacher to let you out of class immediately, without a second question. Holly's reason for using it was far more innocent, though. She just felt like listing it as an emergency exclusive to girls would prove to Roman and Nick that their opinions on the matter wouldn't be any help.

"And I do usually walk home with Makayla but not today! I'm going home by myself because she has to help people clean their teeth! She's not going to be a dentist though. She's going to be something else! I forget the name but they help dentists... like with cleaning your teeth." The title of dental hygienist was escaping her at the moment, even though she had pressed Makayla for every detail on what she had been doing for the past few days since she started her internship. They had both been lucky that the dental office that Makayla was placed at for her internship was accommodating with their situation. Makayla was supposed to intern at her assigned site for thirty-five hours a week, from nine o'clock to five o'clock, for eight weeks. Her supervisor was allowing her to work from eight o'clock to three o'clock with no break, essentially doing thirty hours a week, and making up the missed hours at the end of the program, by doing an extra week or so. This special schedule allowed her to still drop Holly off at school in the morning, though it cut too close for her to pick her up from school. For the past two days, Holly had been waiting for thirty minutes on the steps of her school until Makayla could get there, but her sister had attempted today to let her try going home alone, after a few days of walking her through the steps to get home together. It was supposed to help Holly become more independent while also cutting down on Makayla's hectic day, but clearly, it wasn't going as well as Makayla had hoped. Unbeknownst to Holly, though, her sister had started paying $15 a month to add her iPad onto their phone plan, so with it in her backpack, Makayla was able to track Holly's movement over GPS. Makayla definitely wasn't stupid or ignorantly optimistic about Holly's capabilities.

"It's too late for lunch and too early for dinner, so why are you guys here?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Collin Forrester Character Portrait: Chanel Nasiri

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C O L L I N - F O R R E S T E R
Outfit: This
Hex Code: #7d9959
"It's tomorrow," Collin answered. He understood Chanel's reasoning for not wanting to immediately accept his invitation. It was smart for both of them, really. She was right that if Cara found out that he was going around inviting someone who was supposed to be her friend to a family event, she would probably be annoyed at best. Speaking to his own paranoia, Collin also figured that it could be suspicious. The last thing that he needed was his sister suspecting that he had a crush on Chanel. It was bad enough when she found out that he had slept with Brooklyn a few times, but oddly, he thought that having a crush on her good friend would be different than having a crush on her enemy. At the very least, he was sure she would see it as an equal level of betrayal as feeling that way towards Brooklyn. "But yeah, that makes sense," he agreed. "It's mostly sushi and that kind of stuff, so I don't know if that makes it an automatic no for you, but at the very least, there's always tons of alcohol at any Forrester family event, so that'll work in our favor," he offered with a chuckle. The claim wasn't completely true, because most Forrester family events were supposed to be proper enough that it wasn't supposed to be centered around drinking, but even if it was supposed to be a background element, there was always a plethora of alcohol. When they went out to eat at establishments, money wasn't an object to their father, so it wasn't unusual for him to purchase bottles of wine, even if they only ended up drinking half of it as a table before opting for a different one. He was sure that a birthday party for his stepmother was sure to be a lively one, especially since she was only turning twenty-eight. Like Cara, Collin found the stark age difference between his father and stepmother to be peculiar. It was uncomfortable at first, but unlike his sister, Collin took the time to realize that Alice wasn't trying to step in and be their new mother. She was a nice girl who was supportive and sweet, but not overbearing. Her youth showed not only physically (because even Collin thought she was hot), but in her personality too, because she definitely had played a role in the divide between herself and Cara. Collin couldn't blame her, really, but she had definitely been petty and stirred the pot her fair share too, even if it was just as a reaction to Cara's hostility. The bottom line was that Collin didn't have a problem with her though, and he knew that his father appreciated him being kind to the woman.

He glanced at the message that Cara sent him and couldn't help but to roll his eyes. "This is what I have to deal with on a regular basis," he said, shaking his head, though mildly amused at his sister's drama. "She just texted me saying, 'I don't know why the fuck anyone would want someone who hates them at their birthday party... Is she that friendless and desperate that she needs one extra body there to make it look like she has a life? When I kill myself I'm going to frame her to make it look like a murder and I swear to god if you don't tell the private investigator that she threatened to kill me numerous times, I will haunt you forever.'" He looked back at Chanel as if he was expecting some explanation from her for why the proclaimed "precious sunflower" was acting like this, but only jokingly so, since this was nothing new to him. "Which means that you better be drinking wine if you plan on hanging out with her tonight."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

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✧ NICK MORENO ✧
Dialogue Color: #bb1a39

The way that Holly responded to what had been intended as a slight dig to her from Roman was amusing, and Nick couldn't fight back a smirk as she suggested that Roman was the annoying one. Holly was definitely a funny kid. Even if Nick couldn't really understand her, and didn't know how to deal with her in an appropriate manner given her behavior a lot of the time, she was still funny. She had a lot of personality to her, if nothing else, and he didn't know where she came up with have of the things that came out of her mouth. Coming off of his appreciation for that humorous remark, and coupled with Brooklyn apparently telling people he was gay, Nick pulled out his phone and texted Brooklyn while Holly continued to talk.

To: Brooklyn
Holly just showed up alone at a restaurant Roman and I are eating at on Stanton St. Says there's an emergency and wants to talk to you.

He was purposely discrete and didn't downplay the "emergency" that Holly spoke of, even though he was pretty sure that there was no real emergency, because he figured that it would give him a better shot at actually getting Brooklyn to answer. Nice was not a word that anyone would immediately use to describe Brooklyn, but she also wasn't as evil as she sometimes seemed. Plus, Nick knew that whether she wanted to admit it or not, she had a soft spot for Holly. Even if he doubted that there was a major emergency, seeing Holly without Makayla was peculiar. He had been semi-distracted during her explanation of where Makayla was, but he probably would have struggled to follow the story regardless, especially once "dentist" was brought up. He had no idea that Makayla had ever been to college, nonetheless that she was currently taking classes, and in dental hygiene at that, so the story didn't make sense to him.

Allowing Roman the opportunity to explain why they were eating, if he chose to do so, Nick didn't wait for a response from Brooklyn, and instead, called her. He didn't bring the phone to his ear, just held it on the table so as not to draw attention to himself, until he finally saw that she answered, at the very last ring. Smiling, he handed the phone across the table to where Holly stood. "It's Brooklyn," he stated, looking back to Roman with a light smirk. "That's what she gets for calling me gay. Who the fuck has she been telling that to, anyway?" he said. He wasn't so insecure that the comment really bothered him, at least in the specifics of being gay. What bothered him, or more-so, what he was curious about, was how else she was slandering him, and to who. He deserved it, sure, but he still wanted to know what the people in the building, or other mutual friends, had apparently been hearing about him.

Just then, the waitress passed by. She looked towards Holly unsurely, probably contemplating whether she should offer another chair, but when Nick caught her eye, he shook his head, as if to dismiss that the woman had to worry about the girl. "We're ready to over, if you've got a minute," he said to her, hoping to get on with it in the politest way possible. When she confirmed that she was ready, he began. "I'm gonna get a hero with the classic meatballs, and classic tomato sauce, and a side of spaghetti too" he stated. Flipping to the drinks page, he contemplated just getting water, but now that they potentially had to deal with Holly for a few more minutes, he decided he deserved another drink. He didn't recognize any of the beer names, and wasn't into that hipster IPA bullshit. "And just a glass of Maker's Mark, neat, please."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Collin Forrester Character Portrait: Chanel Nasiri

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By the time that Cara got home, she was cold, but her mood had simmered down slightly. She was still a little worked up over her brother and father's combined audacity to think that it should be expected of her, in any way, shape, or form, to support her stepmother, but she was still pretty confident that she was going to get her way in the end. She thrived on having the upper hand, or if not that, then at least the last word, and she was certain that that was something she was going to be able to get in this situation. For some reason, the walk up the stairs felt ten times longer than it typically did today. She wasn't carrying groceries or shopping bags, but her body felt tired and heavy, and it was a relief once she finally reached her floor. She was surprised when she got there, to see Chanel standing outside her apartment. It wasn't a major surprise, given that she had just been texting with Chanel, and she figured that the girl had just jumped the gun and came over looking for her, but since they had been engaged in a conversation, she thought that she would have realized she wasn't there and left. She didn't know how long she had been speaking to Collin, or about what, so she supposed that she probably just got there.

"Hey," she said, forcing a smile as she approached them. Collin definitely received a colder glare from her, but it was a subtle one, as she returned to look back at Chanel with a smile. "Sorry, I ended up walking home. Some weirdo from my last class was stalking me and I just could not bare standing there chatting while I waited for an Uber," she explained. "Where are you going?" she continued, stepping inside and looking back at Chanel, signaling that she could come inside too, as she spoke.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Collin Forrester Character Portrait: Chanel Nasiri

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Hex Code: #c7256e
Outfit: This
Chanel figured Cara was probably adding in her own dramatics, but she didn't anticipate the severity of it, so Collin reading Cara's message was still a surprise to her. Especially since that wasn't the vibe she was getting on her end, but it was so juxtaposed that Chanel had to check her phone again to see if she missed something. While she hadn't missed anything to the tune of suicide threats, she had missed a text from her. "Yeah, yeah," she said. "I'll just be the good friend and brother today, I guess." It was probably the normal sentiment that siblings were supposed to be there for each other, but that wasn't always the case, and Chanel knew that wasn't the set up with the Forresters. So she wouldn't have really been picking up any of Collin's slack since those responsibilities didn't seem to be a part of their typical relationship. "You can't say she isn't creative though," Chanel proposed, trying to say something in her friend's favor as she began to text the girl back. She figured the girl would be a while by this point, and she didn't want to keep standing in Collin's doorway; oddly enough, she was for once beginning to feel her presence and thought that she might be lingering. Before she got the chance to excuse herself, or respond to Cara's text, the girl appeared in the hallway.

"Hey girl. Don't worry about it." Chanel greeted her with a sweet smile as she followed her inside, closing the door quietly behind her. "I was just going to do a little Tour de New York and run some errands. My fridge is on E, so I was going to hit up Trader Joe's or something before I starved to death. Nothing big. And I guess it shouldn't take too long," she said after a beat, mostly thinking out loud as she checked the time on her phone. "Because I have to come back and change for something this evening. But I'll still be able to do wine tonight if you wanted to." Chanel considered making a playful jab at Collin, glancing towards his direction for a second as she pondered, but she ultimately decided against it and, if he was looking in her direction, just gave him a quick faux-confrontational snarl before turning back to his sister.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

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Outfit: Here
Hex Code: #91415d
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H O L L Y . M A D D O N
Outfit: This (left) with this
Hex Code: #db0083
"Hi Brooklyn!" Holly said, speaking cheerfully. In this situation, one would have imagined that Holly would have immediately followed the greeting up with some explanation as to why she needed to speak with her, but she didn't. She smiled, the phone pressed to her ear, but she said nothing else, almost as if in that nanosecond, she had forgotten that it had even been her who had pushed for the call to be initiated.

"What's your emergency, Holly?" Brooklyn responded impatiently. The cheerfulness on the other end of the line was confirmation that she shouldn't have answered Nick's calls. Admittedly (though maybe not admittedly out loud), seeing a text from Nick claiming that he was randomly with Holly and that she had an emergency did make Brooklyn feel uneasy. The randomness of it in itself was enough to have her curious, albeit morbidly so. On top of that, considering that Stanton Street wasn't too close to their apartment, and that it was easy to infer that Holly had showed up at the restaurant alone and without Makayla, she had reason to believe that maybe there was an actual emergency. She had clearly given Nick too much credit though, since she didn't think he would be enough of an ass to pretend that there was one when even he must have known that there wasn't.

"I need to tell you in person. Can you come here and I'll tell you on the way home?" Holly wasn't typically someone who felt embarrassed, but for some reason, she was too embarrassed to admit out loud that she was lost. Especially in front of Roman and Nick, who she already felt were less loving than other people she considered to be friends. Maybe it was her medication, or coming off of the poor encounter with the school girls, or a mixture of both, but she was feeling less careless. Not in a way where anyone would outwardly pick it up. She hadn't suddenly become meek, but it was a change that she felt internally and she didn't like it.

"No. I'm hanging up." And yet she didn't. Not immediately at least. She paused a second to give Holly a chance to answer, because her heart wasn't as cold as she often acted like it was.

"No, no, don't! Um..." Her eyes bounced around the room as she tried to get inspiration for an excuse for why Brooklyn needed to come help her. "Roman is choking on a ball of meat!" Luckily, by then, the waitress had taken Roman's order and left, because the oddness of it probably would have attracted a concerned look. Between her not just calling it a "meatball" and clearly lying about anyone choking, it was a strange statement to make, and though she was trying to sound serious on the phone, she couldn't help but to laugh at her own claim.

Why she didn't just hang up then, she didn't even know. This whole "emergency" thing had clearly been a lie, and Brooklyn was going to punch Nick in the arm for bothering her the next time she saw him. She was tired from working all day, and the last thing that she wanted to do was speak to Holly on the phone as she laid in bed, cold with wet hair fresh from the shower, trying to relax. "I'm calling your sister." It was a statement, but also meant as a threat. This time though, she wasn't interested in letting Holly try to reason her way into wasting more of Brooklyn's time. She clicked to end the call, and went straight to texting Makayla. She didn't know where the girl could have possibly been, to allow Holly to be off running around wild on the streets of New York, but she had convinced herself after that call that it wasn't her problem.

To: Makayla
Your kid is harassing people at some restaurant on Stanton St. Sucks to be you and them.

To: Nick
Expect an invoice for my valuable time that you just wasted.

To: Nick
And don't be fucking stupid. Call an Uber, put her into it, and text her sister that she's on her way home.

"She hung up on me," Holly frowned, handing the phone back to Nick. "Can you call her back and this time, tell her she's not allowed to do that?" Deciding that there was also an alternative option, she looked towards Roman, then. "Or can you call Cara?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Chanel Nasiri

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"Something this evening?" Cara repeated, glancing back at Chanel with a curiously devious look. For all she knew, the "something" that Chanel had to change for was a fitness class or job interview. However, that didn't stop her from wanting to believe that it was something more fun and devious. "Some-thing, or some-one?" she pressed with a smirk as she continued back and into her bedroom. Placing her books down on her dresser, she sat down on the edge of her bed. She didn't really need to change her outfit if they were just running errands, but she was still cold from being outside, so she felt like prolonging her time inside by at least a few more minutes. "I need to get on your level," she said with a sigh. "I just feel like I have no interest in dating lately, you know? Everyone that I get set up with sucks. They're either too conceited, too short, or are 'entrepreneurs' - A-K-A druggies gambling their parents' money away." It was probably ironic that Cara would criticize someone else for being as similarly unambitious as she was, but to her, it was different when it was a guy living off of their parents' money. At their age, it was probably still acceptable either way, but she had been raised in a way where she believed that the man in the relationship was supposed to be successful and capable of taking care of her, even if she absolutely did not need it. "I just need a real man."

As she stood up and switched out some of her things into a new purse, she continued to go off on her own tangent. "Or maybe I don't. I mean, at our age, why should we settle down? God only knows that I don't want children for years, and there's literally no one who's good enough for either of us. Most guys are disgusting pigs, right?" she concluded, turning back towards her bedroom door since she was then ready to leave. She wasn't in any rush, but she knew Chanel was probably on some sort of timeline, so she would deal with the cold sooner than desired since she had no real reason to need to wait.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makalya Wright Character Portrait: Brooklyn West

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#, as written by Bandit
The past week had been stressful for Makayla. She had went through with her plan to restart school, albeit a bit reluctantly. After taking years off from school, getting back into it wasn't easy, but it wasn't even re-familiarizing herself with the material that was the trying part. It was the time that this semester was going to take from her. She already had very little free time to herself already, so she knew that she was crazy for doing this. There was a small piece of her that told her that this was the right move, though. If she wasn't going to go back to school now, she never was going to. Her credits for her dental hygiene program would expire after this semester, which would mean she would have to start over, essentially. If it came to that, Makayla knew that she would be frustrated enough to just never try again. It was either finish college now, or never finish it, and if never finishing it meant that she was going to spend the rest of her life living check to check, working jobs that she hated, then it seemed worth it to at least try. Starting school full time meant that she had to quit her day job as a cashier, though, and even if the pay at that job sucked, it was money that she needed. Thankfully, she qualified for enough grant-based aid and loans that she would be receiving a refund check of about three thousand dollars... but apparently, it wouldn't be issued to her until sometime next month.

So, on top of being stressed about restarting school and having even less time to herself, she now had to worry about literally have thirty-nine dollars to her name until she got paid next Friday. But the stress didn’t end there! Nope! Because she was in her last semester of school, the credits she was taking were all internship credits. At the end of the semester she did have to submit an internship evaluation paper, but she never needed to go to the actual school’s campus. Instead, she had to work at an actual dental office to get clinical hours that would allow her to become licensed. There wasn’t much wrong with that, other than the time commitment that it required, and how it interfered with her responsibilities regarding Holly. She could drop Holly off at school without a problem, but she was technically supposed to work until five o’clock. Her supervisor had been flexible enough to let her leave by three o’clock daily while allowing her to make up the hours at another time, but even getting out at three o’clock meant that Holly was going to be out of school before she could get to her. Since she had been attempting to give Holly more freedom lately, Makayla had decided to give her a chance to come home alone. The alternative was forcing her to sit on the steps outside of school until she could get to her, which would probably be half an hour or so after school ended. If Holly could get home by herself, it would save Makayla time and energy, and possibly even allow her to go back to her scheduled schedule of doing her internship until five o’clock everyday.

Today was the first day that Holly was supposed to get home by herself (after a couple of days of practicing the routine with her), so Makayla was definitely nervous. The business of her internship kept her mind off of it for most of the day, but by the time that she got out, a little past three, she was rushing to get home to make sure that Holly was there. Unbeknownst to Holly, she had added the girl’s iPad to her monthly phone plan simply so that she could track it via GPS, but as she rushed to board the subway, she didn’t have time to check it before losing service. By the time that she regained service, she received Brooklyn’s text message, and it was safe to say that her blood pressure jumped a few points just by reading it.

To: Brooklyn
What restaurant?

She texted the girl back immediately, ready to jump on the subway again, but given that there were tons of restaurants on Stanton St., there was no point in getting on a train unless she knew exactly where she was going. β€œI’m going to fucking kill her,” she mumbled under her breath as she pulled up the GPS tracking app. Of course, the stupid thing was claiming that Holly’s last reported location was her school, which apparently wasn’t true.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

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ROMAN || KILLENS
Outfit with this
Hex code: #11519E
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Roman shook his head at Nick, indicating that Brooklyn proclaiming Nick was gay wasn't anything to worry about. It was a short, silent version of saying 'Me too, mate. It's her thing.' and his facial expression, which was more than a snort and an eye roll, said enough. He was more surprised to see Brooklyn actually answering his phone call. He didn't know that Nick had just sent a message to Brooke, prefacing everything, so from his perspective, it seemed a lot less innocent and a lot more telling (albeit incorrectly) that she would answer his call, since she supposedly hated him so much. Roman wasn't involved in whatever it was they had going on right now, which seemed like nothing, but Roman knew, at least for Nick, that it wasn't that simple. He didn't really want to believe that Brooke despised Nick either, because even he would be surprised if she was able to just turn off her feelings for someone--especially someone like that--without so much of a blink. He wasn't necessarily hoping they'd get back together, but he did miss it being the three of them. And because of Brooke answering Nick's seemingly random call, it made him smirk and think that maybe he wasn't the only one, and reaffirmed his beliefs that Brooke didn't hate Nick as much as she proclaimed.

He missed part of Holly's faux conversation as he placed his own order, taking a beat longer as he tried finding exactly what it was his getting on the menu. He was one of those people who always seemed to forget what he was ordering, and if he didn't have his finger pressed to it, he couldn't remember. And even if he could, he still looked down to the menu to read it off. By the time he tuned back in, unfortunately not missing Holly's comment about him choking of meat, the conversation had all but ended, not surprisingly. "Shocker," Roman said where Holly declared that Brooklyn had inevitably hung up on her. Roman was keen on just watching this unfold, despite being annoyed that he was going to play babysitter, at least in part, until Makayla showed up or something else since he obviously couldn't let her just leave and wander alone in her...Holly-ness. It was a miracle that she wandered into the store they were at, because knowing her, she would have stumbled into the wrong place at the right time with the wrong crowd and ended up upside down in a ditch somewhere. However, he was only here for being patient with her presence if she didn't bother him, like she was doing now. He cleared his throat at her mentioning he call Cara, and then a few times more as though he caught something in his throat. He wasn't sure why Holly, who had the width of attention of a coin was somehow still associating him with Cara after all of these weeks. It didn't help that he had started to bring up part of what happened that night to Nick, and of course if Nick reminded him of it in front of Holly, Holly would spill everything. It probably seemed a little cruel to take advantage of Holly's wild imagination and flighty behavior so that he could gaslight and save his own ass, but he would rather than the alternative, because even with the alternative of everyone knowing, he'd still have to deal with Holly being annoying. In both situations, there was one common denominator, so he might as well use it to his advantage.

"You just don't stop talking, do you? Unfortunately, Holly, I don't bother people who obviously don't like me," he said, which was as big a lie as any, especially given that Cara was the subject at hand, and his relationship with her started by purposely trying to get under her skin. He did think that this could be a good foot-in-the-door tactic, especially since Holly technically owed him one after interrupting his night. "But if it'll get you to shut up..." He pulled out his phone, pretending to search for it even though it was still in his phone. "You're lucky I didn't delete it after Disney," he said aloud, for no other reason than to discretely explain why he had her number in the first place. Like Nick did, he sent Cara a text, assuming she would answer if it was Holly and not him.

To: Cara
i found your puppy on the other side of the city. you should do a better job taking care of her.

To: Cara
i told her she gets one phone call before i abandon her, so you should probably pick up when she calls

Holly obviously wasn't on the other side of the city, and he was being a bit mean in acting like he was actually going to abandon the girl. He wasn't sure if Cara would seriously believe that part of his messages, but he was confident that she had enough doubt and lack of respect for him that, to be on the safe side, she would play it safe. Plus, since it was Cara, he just wanted to be irritating. He clearly had no idea that she was snubbing Holly and was under the assumption that if Holly wasn't with Makayla, it was because she was following Cara around. "If she doesn't answer," he said, handing the phone to her as it rang, "You can't talk for the rest of the time, and then I'm going to call your sister and tell her what a brat you're being. Again."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Chanel Nasiri

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Image
Hex Code: #c7256e
Outfit: This
Chanel laughed innocently as she followed Cara to the back, purposely delaying giving a response while Collin was still in earshot. It wasn't like she was dating him or anything, so it wasn't like she needed to have some explanation ready, but it wasn't a serious date and she didn't want it to seem like that just because she didn't want to get into the habit of lowering her standards of what a real date was. At least, that was what she told herself was the real reason behind her polite giggles. Chanel only shrugged with an amused smirk on her face as she silently thought of responses to Cara's thinking-out-loud commentary. "I mean stability is nice," she said nonchalantly, grinning the while because stability wasn't something that Cara was really in need of, at least not in the way that Chanel was thinking of. Cara probably did need someone to stabilize her, but as far as other things went, her things were pretty stable. She didn't need to settle down because basically everything was settled for her, but nevertheless, she understood where the girl was coming from; Chanel didn't want to settle, even though it pretty much felt like she was settling so that she wouldn't have to settle in the future. "I wouldn't say they're pigs, per say," Chanel said as she closed Cara's bedroom door behind her. As they crossed through the living room she continued, "I'd say their time-wasting soul leeches with a shared agenda to make every decent girl's life worse than it was before, but that could just be a me thing."

"So trust me, you don't want to be on my level. No point in going to level 1 when you're at level 5. But c'mon." She nudged Cara as they walked down the steps. She was sure the dating scene for the two of them were very different, even outside of the kind of guys they were looking for or talking to and how they were seeking these guys out. Chanel's 'dating' situation alone spoke to that level of truth, but even still, Chanel felt like Cara could afford to be a lot pickier than she could be for multiple reasons. "I know it's not that bad, seriously. I know you've got a bunch of fine ass heirs in your DM's wanting to know if blondes really do have more fun; don't play me. And I bet they're all doable, but you're not giving them a chance. I mean, unless that's not what you're looking for?" Chanel stopped on the platform, her hand on her chest in shock at the possible notion that Cara wouldn't be solely interested in people who resembled her. She gasped theatrically as she continued down the steps. "Could my friend possibly have a taste--no, a desire for something a little less Bartholomew from the Upper East Side and a little more Caleb from Brooklyn?" She eyed Cara suspiciously, like she was trying to get her to admit that she had a crush on somebody.

"I mean, you basically just described your social circle, right? Rich heirs, entrepreneurs, probably a little bit conceited," Chanel said, the ending bit in a baby voice as she pinched Cara's cheek, half-implying that she was really describing Cara as well. "But it's okay because we still love her. I mean seriously, either you're exaggerating and you've got dudes lined up for days and you're just being pickyyyy because Bartholomew is a shy 6'1 and only wearing a $2,000 suit that he probably got from Saks Off Fifth or you're getting pounded every weekend and baby boy just isn't hitting it right and is leaving you wondering if it would be better with Jake from State Farm. I know some people who are into ugly dudes, I'm just saying it might be a thing for you. I mean, when's the last time you slept with someone anyways? It couldn't have been that long, right?" She didn't mean to answer for Cara, or pose the question so that the girl would feel bad to admitting that yes, it had been a while, but she honestly thought Cara was just being Cara about things. It was hard to imagine--as unfair as it was to Cara because no one should be held to the expectation that every facet of their life is in order just because they're in a small percentage of people with certain accesses and privileges--that dating would actually be a struggle for her. Chanel was really out here dating for money, and that was the only luck she's had with men since the beginning of time, which definitely sent a negative message to her subconscious. After getting out of her own abusive relationship, it was also a lot easier to believe that people didn't realize just how good they had it.

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( disregard D:! Embarrassing! )