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Charlotte Arden

I don't know where I belong, I don't know where I went wrong.

0 · 744 views · located in United States, 2012

a character in “Damn These Wild Young Hearts”, as played by Korrye

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Sum it all up: Life was far from simple off the get go. Charlotte Arden was the result of five rounds of IVF treatment. Born three weeks premature, she was a tiny baby who came into this world with privileged parents and yet still a rough start. Duncan and Yvette Arden were by all means well off people. He was a lawyer who practiced corporate settlements, helping businesses settle the likes of patent issues and big claims. Money came in easy, especially given the size of his firm. He was a successful young man who had grown up in the Bronx. Duncan Arden had come from nothing, paying his way through law school by modeling underwear and delivering pizzas. He enjoyed the finer things in life as he had never had them himself. His wife Yvette was the love of his life, a socialite and upper east side resident who’d fallen in love with Duncan at the age of twenty-five. They met at a charity benefit for New York-Presbyterian where she was interning and completing her medical degree. They hit it off and at 28 were married. They were in love and well loved by all their relatives. Trouble came when they started to conceive of course. Yvette had a miscarriage three months into her first pregnancy at 30, complications after which made it harder to conceive naturally. Both wanted a child of their own however, and with medical magic they were able to conceive, though the process was rocky and extremely hard on their relationship to put it lightly.

From the moment she was born Charlotte was practically smothered both by her parents and doctors. Born three weeks premature, she was a mere 5 and ½ pounds. Underweight and still growing, the Ardens kept their daughter in the hospital for two weeks before bringing her home to the Upper East Side. Her mother took a leave of absence from her job – now a cardiothoracic surgeon – and raised her while Duncan continued ot practice law.

Growing up was easy, especially when money was never an issue and her parents were kind and gentle people. Of course there were fights. Charlotte’s father had a bad habit of missing her ballet rehearsals and later her diving competitions but it always blew over. Charlotte was their one and only child and she was the apple of their eye. Bright, sophisticated and charming, Charlotte never failed to please her parents, relatives or many of their various guests. She was taught formal etiquette lessons and groomed to be the WASP her mother always wanted her to be. All was well until Charlotte turned thirteen and began to aggressively swim and train.

Charlotte was a strong swimmer, and always had been since her father had her float in the pool that was part of their penthouse suite on fifth avenue. At ten she began to swim competitively and at thirteen she began to train hard to improve her scores. She was at her first meet, diving competitively at thirteen years old. She moved to the end of the board and her parents cheered so loudly she felt choked up. She could remember being proud to be there, to be apart of this meet. Her coach kept mentioning that she was an Olympic hopeful if she kept training as hard as she was. Her parents were so supportive and her mother was front row that afternoon. Only when she reached the end of the board, stepping with a half skip into her forward pike tuck, her heart felt like it stopped. The pain was blistering and so startled she slipped at the end of the board. She flipped off the diving platform but slammed her arms into it when she tried to prevent herself from falling into the water. When Charlotte fell into the pool she couldn’t move. She sank at first and blacked out rather quickly. When she woke up she was in the hospital and her mother was incredibly concerned. She was diagnosed with Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

The condition was ironically heartbreaking in that it ended any of her hopes of continuing an athletic career. [Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a condition in which the heart muscle becomes thick. Often, only one part of the heart is thicker than the other parts. The thickening can make it harder for blood to leave the heart, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood. It also can make it harder for the heart to relax and fill with blood.] Aggressive activity would have her black out or risk heart failure. Immediately her parents pulled her from any sort of swimming or competitive diving. Charlotte found herself unable to compete in simple gym classes or sports at lunch. At fourteen she felt condemned to die and live a miserable life though in truth her diagnosis was far from severe. She had lived and competed and swam as hard as she had for several years before she had had an episode. The Olympics, sure, those were out of the question. But the way Charlotte saw it, her condition was far from life-threatening if she lived right and living right didn't mean she had to sit on the couch and do nothing say after day.

When Charlotte was released from the hospital, her parents were incredibly protective. They took a family vacation to Europe, touring through Paris and Rome, though the flight was 'risky' as her mother claimed (though it wasn't at all). When they returned, her father returned to his practice but forbid Charlotte from doing any sports or exercise. Her mother was concerned and began to study the disease more closely, looking at treatment options (there really wasn't much) and dedicating herself to her job. With time, Charlotte felt smothered by her parents. They were incessantly messaging her. She couldn't go out late. She couldn't party with friends. Drugs and alcohol were out of the question. She couldn't drink fizzy drinks or anything with caffeine - they thought it would make her heart race. Life became tedious and within a year Charlotte was chomping at the bit to escape.

To kill time and remain in shape, Charlotte did a lot of walking and yoga. She enrolled herself in cooking classes and took to focusing on school. She swam and practiced her diving in secret, still enjoying it but making sure that she didn't push herself. With so much time spent at home she began to read - a lot - and even more so clean. It became a past time of hers to organize things and to ensure her parents' schedules were in order. She became something like their assistant as she grew older. When she graduated high school she was in a good place, though her parents continued to press her to stay safe and within their boundaries. Charlotte knew, however, her only way to be free of her parents' choke hold on her life was to go to college and she did - applying to Columbia for business.

At first her parents insisted that she stay at home, commuting from their upper east side apartment to campus in a town car. Charlotte disagreed, applying for residence instead. For the first time in her life she was able to live on her own and much to her parents dismay - truly be on her own, alone, though they tried calling every five minutes the first week. It got better of course and with time she excelled, both in school and with campus life. Residence opened up a whole new world for her. Sure she had gone to high school parties but her parents obsession with her safety often had her withdrawn from rowdier events, and away from friends with 'bad habits.' Columbia provided the opportunity for Charlotte to live and little and so she did, especially when she went to her first Frat party and met Archer. He was a jock, though at Columbia on a swimming scholarship. He was handsome, taller than her 5"9 stature at 6"2. He was charming and alluring. Charlotte had tired to date in high school though her parents had never let anything progress far. Archer was different. On her own, at college, she was able to do things she never would have thought of doing. They met, they talked, and she drank to the point of getting sick for the first time. He encouraged her, devil that he was, because she needed to experience it at least once (so why not?). Yet the drinking in combination with meds for her condition didn't go over so well. Charlotte ended up quite sick and while he was pressed by his friends to drop her at the hospital and leave he stayed with her and held her hair so to speak. He was fascinated with her, and her him. He was sweet and sophisticated, coming from a good family in Albany. And more so he was incredibly handsome.

Archer never pushed her but Charlotte began to feel things with him that she had never felt with anyone else. She found herself lusting for him and pushing him more than he could have ever dreamed. She spent two years with him before she brought him home for thanksgiving. Charlotte was 20, he was 21. She was in love and he with her, only things couldn't have gone worse. Yvette and Duncan were conservative. To see their daughter so...inappropriate with this man - flirty, grabby, lustful, wistful - scared them. Worse yet, Archer stayed in her room and on the last night of their stay her mother found them in bed, in the throws of passion. Thereafter he was no longer welcome. Her parents hated him for what he brought out in her. He wasn't good enough for her either in their eyes. He wasn't from the upper east side.

Yvette and Duncan did not like one bit of how college had changed their daughter. They had never agreed to her going, living on her own, to seeing this boy who made her want to try so many new things - traveling, surfing, swimming, cycling and most of all sex. They were scared for her health more than anything and so Duncan went over his daughter's head and withdrew her from Columbia. At 20 she was suddenly jobless, out of school and crushed. Archer wanted nothing but for her to leave, to abandon her parents and to be with him. Charlotte couldn't bear to do it. He fought with her, claimed she didn't love him when she did. In the end he gave up on her and when he left her, cutting off all communication ties, she was incredibly broken.

With Archer gone, Yvette and Duncan found Charlotte to be a handful. She still went out, she still swam, and did her best to keeping living. She fought with them incessantly. Within two months she had had such a fight that she nearly had a cardiac episode, facing such chest pain and stress that she demanded time alone and won. Though Duncan was hesitant, Yvette permitted Charlotte to take out an apartment on her own. Duncan purchased the building shortly after, managing it and allowing Charlotte to help with it. At 20 she's working on rebuilding her life but it feels like far more of a war zone - both with her own body and family. Where she belongs is up in the air but she wants to find out. More than anything she misses a good time out and a man in her bed. Her best friend at the moment is her dog and she wants so much more than that.

So begins...

Charlotte Arden's Story

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Character Portrait: Charlotte Arden
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#, as written by Korrye
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The financial district of downtown Manhattan was buzzing by the time Charlotte roused herself from her sleep. It was early, the sun cresting beyond her windows and letting in a fair bit of light. It shone across her bedroom and struck her face just after eight in the morning, causing the red head to roll over. Sliding her feet over the side of her queen sized mattress, Charlotte groaned. From beyond and closer to her door she heard the jingle of dog tags. Slowly, her Shiba Inu Tuck padded over. At exactly eye level with her as she lay, her face on the edge of the bed, she stared at him with pursed lips. When she exhaled, the dog stepped so close that his nose brushed her cheek.

“Oh yuck!” Charlotte snorted, her nose wrinkling as her immediate response was to retreat further into bed. Tuck jumped onto the mattress with ease instead, his paws scratching her bare shoulders as his playfulness took over. “I’m up, I’m up,” Charlotte sighed, rolling onto her back to take her dog’s face in her faces, bunching up the fur around his neck and scratching behind his perky ears. “Is it that day already? Time to tour through the buildings and seek out what no one wants to pay?” she asked with a pout. Tuck only turned his head at the sound of her voice. Shaking her head Charlotte pushed the dog off her, allowing him to settle on the end of her bed while she dressed. She was far from modest, having grown accustomed to sleeping naked years ago. It was freeing, especially when her body felt like deathtrap some days.

Once she was dressed Charlotte headed straight for her kitchen. It was still early and she had three apartment building offices to check in with on the status of rent checks, all due the day before. It was the time of month where she found herself policing the management teams her father had hired for the three buildings they owned. She didn’t like this job but it was a condition her parents had laid on her in return for letting her live on her own. They didn’t want her to enjoy herself it seemed, a thought that remained on her mind as she downed peanut butter toast and milk before leashing Tuck and taking him for a brisk walk around the block, to the park and back. The dog was more than content and tired when she left him behind, her apartment tidy but still expecting a cleaning company that afternoon – another courtesy of her parents because apparently washing floors was strenuous on her heart. She did it anyways.

As she hit the sidewalk, Charlotte hailed a cab. She would start with the apartment building furthest out from home. It was a small 16 floor building, several decades old and slotted for renovation in the coming years as soon as the plans with the architect were finalized. This was her baby, though it housed many people who were less than pleased with her ideas. The renovations would require buying out the entire building, forcing the removal of tenants who didn’t take the option to buy into the new restructuring. She was labeled a bitch and other foreign terms by many elderly tenants and run down individuals who had lived there for years. It was the last tower in the area that had yet to be renovated and the crowd it drew due to the cheap rent and open ended lease agreements was less than wonderful. Neighboring buildings often complained to her about it. She couldn’t help it. She would not be the one evicting people. She was merely working for her father, biting her lip and standing by as he planned to gut the entire place in nine months. It was his project but her baby in the sense that she had been forced to manage it and thus try to work damage control and try to help residents unable to afford the change in rent and property value find new housing.

When the cab pulled up to the curb of the rundown building, the streets were busy. As she stepped out and paid the driver, she stepped left of the main entrance, smiling as she rooted in her bag. A homeless man looked up at her from his squatting position, a small tarp over his head to ward off the sun. He smiled a toothy grin upon her approached, his eyes narrowing as he looked up at her with grey irises. He was nearly blind, his hair a twisted mass of greys and whites yet his chin had not a hair on it. His clothes were tattered but he wore a new leather coat over a thin and faded blue sweater, a gift from Charlotte upon her last visit. Fortunately her father hadn’t yet noticed the missing coat. She doubted he ever would since he had so many.

“Good morning Paulie!” she chimed, kneeling down to where he sat so that she could set her bag down on the sidewalk, rooting past paperwork and assorted pens and make-up to pull a large brown paper bag out before him. “I made soup last night. I need your opinion on it. There’s fresh bread as well as some sake. I know you miss it.”

“You good Miss Charlotte,” he smiled, his grin spreading as he took the meal into his lap. He reached out for her then and she leaned into his arms. “You kind heart. Broken hearts work better me think.”

The redhead smiled, embracing her friend before standing and recollecting her bag from the ground. They had become friends when she’d been lightheaded after a particularly heated argument with one of the tenants over a broken water heater. Her blood pressure had been stupid high and he’d sat her down next to himself before she fainted, offering her a sip of the only thing he had on him – rice wine. It had tasted awful but he made her laugh by telling her a joke. He a sweet old man. She had no idea why or how he had become homeless or why he continued to be even though she offered him hospitality. Whenever she came to the building, however, he was there and he had colorful news.

“New tenants upstairs Miss Charlotte,” he announced, pointing weakly to the sky. “Interesting people, out late lots. Smell funny too, like my nephew.”

Charlotte chuckled to herself and smiled. “I’ll check them out, thanks Paul. Take care.”

As she stepped into the foyer of the building, Charlotte found herself engulfed in silence. The manager’s office was empty, the door locked and appearing sealed. Her smile dropped quickly as she took out her key, unlocking the small room and finding it dusty and untended to. Sitting herself at the desk and leaving her bag on the floor she found a yellow post-it taped to an old computer monitor. “Gone to Florida. Back 5th. Unpaid rent list in drawer. C u then! - Irene” Shaking her head, Charlotte tore the note from the computer, reversed it and took a red pen from the bin beside the monitor.

Collecting her paper with two apartments has having not paid rent, she left the office, locking it and leaving a very bold note behind.

“You’re fired.”

Taking the stairs, as the antiqued lift intimidated her and desperately needed servicing, Charlotte climbed several floors to first visit the Williams’ family. As soon as she knocked, the man of the house answered and handed her cash payment with apologies. Apparently the manager had been away for a week and left no method of payment in their absence. It would not happen again and they looked forward to the renovations as they would be staying. The conversation as tedious and laced with ass kissing. As Charlotte stepped away and returned to the stairs, she could only shake her head and pocket the envelope of money in her wallet at the bottom of her bag.

As she approached the second apartment, Charlotte smelt a curious mixture of residual alcohol – a few abandoned bottles littered the doorway down the hall – and marijuana. She sniffed the air and promptly sneezed, the noise a low feminine squeak that had her shoulders stiffen and her eyes shut. No sooner had that happened then she knocked on the door.

“It’s Charlotte Arden, management,” she announced. Her gut seemed to tell her that this apartments tenants may not be as agreeable. "Irene left a note saying you missed your rent payment."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Christian James Coleman Character Portrait: Alexandra Hunt Character Portrait: Charlotte Arden
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The door slammed, and the girl's eyes flung open. No. No. Not again. Jumping to her feet, the girl ran around the room. At first, she leapt to the windows and tried to pry them open. Locked. Both of them. No! Moving to hide in the closet, she found that the door was locked as well. Deciding to just make a run for it, she tried the main door. Locked. No! This couldnt be happening. Tears began to spill from her eyes as she backed up into a wall and slid down to the floor.

The loud thumping footsteps were padding up the stairs. All hope was lost by now. There was no escape. Hearing the footsteps stop, there were shadows under the door. The key was being shoved in the lock, and slowly, the door swung open. "You know...you...look more...and more...like your mom...every day. So...pretty." He was trudging towards her, bottle in hand, he tipped it back, quickly downing the rest of the contents before throwing it at a wall. The glass smashed and she jumped. "Please. Don't." She could barely choke out the words behind her sobs. He grabbed her by the hair. "Shut up! You stupid little whore!" He shoved her hard against the wall, not letting go of her hair. In doing so, he pulled her head back hard, causing pain to shoot through her. He used his body to pin her there, pressing against her, running his other hand over her body and making her cringe.

And then the ripping started. He was tearing at her clothes bit by bit, the smell of alcohol was suffocating her, and every time she tried to squirm and riggle away, or let out a sound, a blow would land to her sides, her stomach, her face.

He was fiddling with his own clothing now, still holding her still even as she tried desperately to escape. "Please." She whispered, the tears coming down in waterfalls as they fell down her cheeks. His flaming gray eyes snapped up to hers and he grabbed her face. "You worthless little slut. It's your fault. This is all your fault. My wife is dead because of you!" His voice was loud as he barked at her. The glare in his eyes was cold and unforgiving.

And off were the pants. As he moved closer to her, she couldnt help the scream. "No!"


Blue eyes snapped open as the girl jolted upwards. Her breathing was ragged, and sweat was making her hair stick to her skin. It was always like this. Since she was sixteen, the nightmares had plagued her. She'd always be there. Back in her old "room". He'd come trudging up the stairs, and then the terror would commence.

With a long sigh, Alexandra Hunt laid back and stared at the ceiling, not moving, rarely blinking, and hardly breathing. She just stared at the blankness of the ceiling, and let the silence envelop her.

She'd been running with Cleo, Grey, Christian, Dani, and Jackson for almost three months now. She'd met them all after she'd left Zach behind. The 5 of them were some of the only people Alex felt like she could count on. She trusted them, though, not enough to tell anyone about her life with her father. She'd never been able to trust anyone that much. Her childhood hadn't exactly taught her to trust people. When you trust, you start to care, and the more you care, the more you have to lose.

But still, she knew she'd do almost anything for them. The six of them looked out for each other. They supported one another and kept each other going. For the first time, Alex had a group of real friends.

She'd been laying there in absolute silence for almost ten minutes before there was a knock at the door. Sitting up, a chill ran down Alex's spine and she shivered. Standing to her feet, she tugged on her jeans and boots, donned on her raggedy hoodie and walked out. She noticed Christian on the couch with a joint and nodded to him. She knew she probably looked like hell, with her makeup from the night before smudged a bit, and her hair messy and wild but hey, these people had seen her drunk, high, drunk and high, so, how bad could it be?

"Morning." She gave a faint smile before running one hand through her hair. Before she had the chance to plop down next to him, a voice rang out from the door and with a sigh, Alex trudged towards it and pulled it open. Standing before her, was a girl. The girl was...familiar. Alex had seen her once or twice before, but had never talked to her then, and she wasn't exactly excited to do so now. "...Can I help you?" She didn't smile. Didn't make any sort of facial expression. She just stood there, looking completely indifferent, and bored.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cleo Milson Character Portrait: Greyson Walker Character Portrait: Christian James Coleman Character Portrait: Alexandra Hunt Character Portrait: Charlotte Arden
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It was kind of horrible waiting for them to open the door. Charlotte looked idly at the peephole staring her level in the face. The gold trim was chipped and the looking glass portion looked cracked. All around it the paint was peeling, sanded completely in the top left hand corner. ”This place needs some TLC. Not a gutting, just some work,” she thought to herself. It definitely would have charm, especially if the color weren’t a horrible shade of green.

Idly, Charlotte looked down at the piece of paper she held in her hand. Irene’s scrawling cursive was loopy and quick, barely legible to a person who hadn’t seen it before. Apartment 1616. It was listed as having 3 tenants, though next to it was a crossed out seven. Charlotte’s eyebrows knit together unsure just as she heard the hinges on the door squeak open. The wood snarled as the threshold to the apartment behind her was revealed. Barring her from entering was a disheveled looking brunette, her hair still knotted on the side of her head while her clothes looked hastily put on. Worse, thick black eye liner and mascara from the night before caked her eyes. Charlotte swallowed, feeling the slight flush to her cheeks fade while she stumbled for words. Bringing a hand to push her hair back from her face she gulped air only to be hit by a heavy cloud of marijuana smoke that had her stifle a cough.

“...Can I help you?" the brunette asked crudely. To Charlotte she looked extremely irritated that she had even had to open the door. To avoid her scrutinizing gaze, the redhead glanced back down at the paper for a name. She was finding it difficult to be the standoffish girl she usually could be.

“I, um,” she stumbled with words, licking her lips before she looked up and across the living room to see a semi-dressed rather attractive young man holding a joint in his hand. Charlotte’s eyes narrowed to focus on him. He was in direct violation of their lease agreement. Shifting her weight, Charlotte leaned into the door frame, checking her slip of paper a second time.

“My name is Charlotte Arden. I’m here on behalf of Irene, the building manager. She noted that you missed your rent payment and, well,” she explained, looking up and into the brunette’s face with as much confidence, or whatever sass she could muster. “It’s due,” she added, biting on her lower lip as she folded the paper back into her pocket. “It says that the primary tenant is Cleo Milson though a Greyson Walker co-signed. Are either of them here?”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cleo Milson Character Portrait: Greyson Walker Character Portrait: Alexandra Hunt Character Portrait: Charlotte Arden
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Greyson just ignored Cleo's exclamations, pulling her into his embrace anyway. He held onto her tightly as she wriggled in his arms, like a fish who had just been pulled out of water, groaning sleepily at her fast and jagged movements. "Stop itttt..." He groaned, burying his head into her hair, trying to drift back off to sleep. Grey was one of those people who could fall asleep in just about any position, and this was one of his favourites, curled up against his best friend, preferably naked. Soon, she was beginning to relax into his arms, stopping her wriggling, melting into his embrace. That, he was happy about, as he began to get comfortable once again. With no speech between the two of them, Grey slowly began to drift back off to sleep once again, his eyes sliding closed.

However, his peacefulness didn't last long, and soon, Cleo was joking about him not wearing his own clothes, causing him to smile against the soft skin of her shoulder. His eyes stayed closed as he lay there, grinning at her statement. It was true, of course. He hated wearing clothes, especially when it was so warm outside. He sometimes didn't even wear clothes in the winter, despite how cold it was - being naked and walking around with no clothes on was just something he loved doing. Oh, and it teased the fuck out of Cleo. Slowly, she then turned around in his arms, and Greyson decided to open his eyes, looking into her beautiful eyes, bright blues looking into her chocolate browns. His expression changed from cocky and amused to cocky and playfully irritated when she looked underneath the bed-covers at his manhood, before shaking her head. His mouth fell open as she spoke, shocking him with her deceleration that his physiology wasn't good enough.

The male's expression didn't change as Cleo undressed herself beside him, wriggling out of the clothes that she had been wearing, before throwing them in his direction, the clothing landing on his bare chest. Being still wrapped in his arms, her change must have been awkward, but he hadn't let go. He was slightly afraid that if he did let go, that she would escape from his embrace and run back out into the kitchen again. Usually, if she did that, he would just climb out of the bed and chase her, but he barely had any energy this morning. He was too tired, too worn out, and still slightly tense from the night before, seeing that she wasn't home when he arrived back. That then brought him back to the next question that he had asked her, asking why she hadn't been in.

Grey knew Cleo too well, to not be able to see through her lie. In fact, he was a little hurt that she would lie to him in the first place, and his expression dropped the playfulness, and turned slightly more serious. "Working, huh?" He repeated, his tone seething skepticism. He made it obvious to the blonde girl in his arms that he was seeing through her lie; that he obviously knew she wasn't telling him the truth. However, before he could call her up on it, and force her to tell him when she had truly been, there was a knock at the door. His own head snapped up, confusion taking over his face. He was mirroring the thoughts of his best friend - no-one knocked at their door, unless it was something serious. Like a rent collector, or someone like the police. He groaned as Cleo barked at him, telling him to get up and answer the door. "Loving your manners this morning, baby. You're always so happy when you wake up." Grey's tone was drenched in sarcasm as he slowly pulled himself out of bed, dragging his body slowly, like a zombie beginning to move for the first time.

Maybe naked isn't the best idea if it's someone knocking... The male thought to himself as he looked around his "room", finding the pair of jeans that he had been wearing the night before. He pulled on the first pair of clean boxers that he had seen, before then putting his jeans on over the top. Before he left the closet, Greyson pointed at the clothing that his best friend had been wearing five seconds ago, a playfully stern expression taking over his face. "You, put them on before you come out. Only I'm allowed to see your sexy undies." He winked, before then exiting.

Alex had gotten there first, and Greyson walked up on the scene, his other female friend staring blankly at the female on the other side of the door, almost as if she was looking right through her. He caught the last sentence or two of the conversation, and he walked straight up to the door, ignoring the smoking boy on the sofa - he'd get to him later. "Well hello, beautiful." Greyson's cooed as he came upon the other side of Alex, leaning his topless frame against the doorway, crossing his arms over his chest. "I'm Greyson, but please, call me Grey. Charlotte, isn't it? What a stunning name, for such a stunning young lady. You want rent, huh?" He asked her, before then pulling out half of the notes from his pocket. "Do you think this is enough? If not, you can always come back to my room, and I'll see if I can find some more." He smiled in her direction, his sultry, crooked smile plastered over his face. If it was the right amount of money to pay, he'd collect the other halves from his companions later. He just wanted to get this woman out of the way, so he could get back to his bed, and his Cleo.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Greyson Walker Character Portrait: Alexandra Hunt Character Portrait: Charlotte Arden
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“Oh God,” Charlotte couldn’t help but think as a topless, and quite handsome, young man exited from behind a closed door and headed straight in her direction. “Why am I doing this job? Why,” she cursed in thought. As the stranger approached she pursed her lips and stepped back without hesitation. Her foot had been halfway through the threshold and now she had literally taken a step away from the money her father so wanted. “If I don’t get this, I’m in for another threat against all of these people.” He had taken to doing that lately. If anything went wrong with these tenants then he would try to move up the renovation date. He had previously when a young couple had been rather threatening two months ago, knife and all.

"Well hello, beautiful," he greeted her. That really did her in. As the stranger leaned against the doorframe, Charlotte felt a shameful blush bloom on her cheeks. She swallowed and fidgeted with her hands on her lap, finding that the combination of the girl’s cold stare and the handsome shirtless young man’s presence had her flustered. Of all times. She exhaled deeply and pushed a hand through her hair instead of replying to his compliment. “You wouldn’t call this body beautiful if you knew how broken it was.”

"I'm Greyson, but please, call me Grey. Charlotte, isn't it? What a stunning name, for such a stunning young lady. You want rent, huh?" he continued, introducing himself while quickly rummaging through the pockets of his jeans. Charlotte watched his hands move and caught the way in which the waistline of his pants barely clung to his hips. Greyson had no visible underwear line either and the top portion of the v-shape of his pelvis was visible, a reality that made Charlotte swallow and return her gaze to his face, gathering her words as best she could.

“Irene decided to leave. I hate to be the bad guy here, it’s not really something I do,” she explained, finding the weakness in her voice dissatisfying. “I am an independent woman and yet I fold before a shirtless man. But he’s like Archer was but better. He’s just…urgh.”

"Do you think this is enough? If not, you can always come back to my room, and I'll see if I can find some more," Greyson said with a smile, extending his hand with a fistful of raw cash. Charlotte’s eyes widened again and she moved to catch a fifty as it drifted towards the floor. Her reflex was fast but her left shoulder protested angrily. She withheld her wince, taking the money from him to count it as best she could given the scrutiny of their stares.

“This is,” she began, looking up at the brunette’s fierce and scalding gaze before returning to look at Greyson’s. “This is short. I’m sorry. I don’t want to be a pain.”

Charlotte felt like she was drowning in their disgust with her. “They could very well be people from the occupy movement. Oh God.”

“It’s just, I’m trying to save this building from being demoed and from kicking you all out. In order to push that back, rent has to be made on time. If it’s not, if there’s an incident, my father would sooner have everyone out on the street and that’s not something I want,” she rambled, releasing her breath slowly and trying to calm the rush she felt in her chest. The anxiety and stress of this scenario weighed heavily on her. She felt the heart palpitations start and she rubbed at her eyes absently to keep herself from getting worse

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Character Portrait: Greyson Walker Character Portrait: Alexandra Hunt Character Portrait: Charlotte Arden
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Alex's features did not change as she watched the girl in front of her shift, seeming to be uncomfortable standing in the line of the blue eyed girl's gaze. Many times, Alex had been told that she had eyes that seemed to be able to look through anyone, straight down to their very core. Her father told her once. Said that she had her mother's eyes. Though, the memory that followed wiped out that compliment. Zach had said it too. Multiple times. He'd tell her that she had "the most alluring blue eyes in the world." She'd just shrug it off, get out of bed, and make breakfast. Either that, or she'd light a joint. He didn't really care which she did, and he'd usually join her in both. Alex wasn't sure what she thought of her eyes, but she definitely did find amusement in the way people acted when she was staring at them.

When a voice sounded from behind her, Alex turned to look over her shoulder as Grey approached, chest bared, and jeans just barely hanging from his hips as he, like her, leaned against the door frame. Letting her eyes not-so-involuntarily run over him, she looked back up to his eyes, which, like hers, had their own sort of mystery to them. She'd be lying if she said she hadn't looked at him more than a few times since they'd first met, and she'd definitely be lying if she said that he wasn't...well...easy on the eyes, but it didn't really matter. There were a lot of handsome people out there, and Alex wasn't one to be picky.

Listening to him talk to the girl about the rent, a smirk almost passed her lips as he coated on his usual charm. The girl didn't stand a chance. Eyes moving back to the Arden girl, Alex watched her. She was stuttering. Typical. For those who hadn't met Grey, he had that effect.

When the girl's hand shot out to catch a rogue fifty, Alex rolled her eyes. Hearing that it wasn't enough, she sighed, turning and looking at Grey, her eyes boring into his. "I've got some from my...work...last night. I'll get it." That being said, she began to walk off, hips swaying as she made her way towards her...room, again running a hand through her hair. Shoving the sleeves of her jacket up to her elbows, she dug through her bag, until she found the cash she'd earned. It wasn't hard to make money in New York. Plenty of married men were always out late at night, looking for some little piece of excitement and a rush of adrenaline before they returned home to the wives, the paperwork, and the quiet, mundane existence they suffered through each day. The night was freedom, not just for her, but for them. Often she'd find them in the bars, slowly attempting to drink their minds into oblivion, and then, in she'd come, to show them what the best parts of life were. She'd take them to the place where they didn't need morals, conscience, or inhibitions. And oh the amounts they were willing to pay to get there.
Grabbing the wad of cash, she made her way back to the front door, where Grey was still talking to Little Miss New York. Hearing her comment about her father putting them all out on the streets, she rolled her eyes once more. Of course. Daddy's little girl...
Holding her hand out to the girl, she looked straight into her eyes. "Does that cover it?"

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Character Portrait: Cleo Milson Character Portrait: Greyson Walker Character Portrait: Christian James Coleman Character Portrait: Alexandra Hunt Character Portrait: Charlotte Arden
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Cleo was terrible at this lying thing. Even when she lived with her parents, she had a hard time keeping her secret life a secret. Within six months or so her parents were fully aware of where she had been at night, and who she'd been hanging out with. She was much to shifty with her eyes, and the nervousness that came with lying straight to someone's face made her stutter. Greyson knew all of these symptoms, and caught on very quickly. At least she wasn't one to blurt, she could keep a good secret. Grey would know she was lying, but it would take either a lot of persuasion or torture for her to confess. His tone sent a shiver of guilt down her spine, she hated lying to him. There was honestly no other way though, she didn't want to know what Grey's reaction would be is he found out his dear Cleo was prostituting herself for money. She was almost certain if he did find out he would be more angry than she'd even seen, and somewhere along the way he would forbid her from doing ever again. Then, being Cleo, she would rebel again him, which would only enhance the problem.

Her mind twisted around the little scenarios that glided in and out, coming up with more than a dozen situations and reactions to her job. With that, she was mildly distracted until Greyson had enough energy to answer the door like she requested. It was a little surprising, when she usually told him to do things she ended up doing it. Turning to her side and resting her head on her hand her brown eyes trailed over Greyson's naked body. He was slow moving, sleepy and entirely too handsome to be living in this rundown apartment with her and some friends.

Sometimes she wondered why Greyson just didn't schmooze his mother into letting him stay at home. There, he had an expensive sports car, a huge house, and a nearly endless spending limit. He could get away with more than what they were doing now. Perhaps it was for the adventure, to experience what it was like to live in poverty. Cleo probably would never ask him, and therefore never know his motives. This place was no different than the rest, and she found a certain comfort in the muck of the place. She was used to it, seeing as she was nearly homeless during her high school days. Not because her parents didn't want her, but because she didn't want them; living a dull middle class life. So she resorted to couch surfing, staying at Greyson's and for a time crashing at Trent's. Cleo observed as the man in front of her put on some bottoms, then her eyes drifted closed right before he playfully warned her not to leave this room without putting her clothes back on. She shook her head in a a playful disagreeing way. Then, he was gone.

Cleo listened carefully to make out what they were saying out at the door. All she gathered was that the woman at the door was collecting rent, and that Greyson was putting on the charm. She smiled to herself as she heard the woman struggling for words, he had the sort of effect on women. Cleo yawned while remembering the coffee that was done by now, she slowly brought herself to a kneeling position and collected up Grey's shirt and slipped it back on. Cleo ignored the boxers that she was previously wearing as she stood up and left the messy bed behind her. Two hooked fingers slid under the fabric of her underwear and pulled down, to adjust herself and to cover up her bum a bit. She headed straight to the coffee, Cleo also needed a smoke. Cleo spied Christian on the couch and sent a small wave and a greeting his way, "Morning, Mr. Coleman." After pouring herself a mug of black she shuffled through the kitchen junk drawer. In all reality this was quite useful, with cigarettes, condoms, matches, lighters, markers, lost hair ties and other objects of interest. Cleo soon found a couple of abandoned cigarettes, and took one for herself, and lit it. She honestly couldn't remember if there were rules against smoking in the building.. Her eyes wandered over to the woman in the doorway, looking so very uncomfortable in the presence of both Grey and Alex.

A chuckle escaped her as she watched, a puff of smoke dancing with her laughter. Cleo's eyes studied the woman as she began to get over worked, rubbing her eyes and with an expression the was unnameable. She moved toward them with her fingers tangled around the mug, her other hand on her hip, and the cigarette dangling from her lips. Cleo stood next to Grey and took a moment to nuzzle her forehead into his shoulder, careful not to burn him. Then she looked at the woman and asked "Are you okay? Do you need some water or something?" Her words were inviting and friendly like she usually was, but her tone was flat and somewhat unimpressed. She didn't want to invite the woman inside, but she didn't want her to pass out of something then sue them for it later.

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Character Portrait: Cleo Milson Character Portrait: Greyson Walker Character Portrait: Christian James Coleman Character Portrait: Alexandra Hunt Character Portrait: Charlotte Arden
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Greyson was rather happy with himself, with the way that this Charlotte girl was reacting to him. The blush that swept across her cheeks was rather adorable, and he almost felt himself feeling sorry for her, for wanting to genuinely speak to her, instead of using his charms and his smile to sweep her off of her feet. However, he didn't. It was an almost, not something that was actually going to happen. Grey never felt sorry for anyone, and this girl wasn't about to change that fact. With her words that the money was short, the brunette male sent her another sultry smile, shaking his head. "No, please don't apologize, beautiful. You're just doing your job."

Then, Alex turned to him, saying that she would head off to go and collect some more money, and he just nodded at her. His eyes followed her backside as she walked away, going into the bedroom for her bag. He had to admit, she did have a nice ass, and on more than one occasion, he had seen it bare, held it, and done various other things with it. The mere thought alone caused the topless male to smile inwardly to himself, before Alex came back. "Is that enough for you now, Charlotte?" He paused before speaking her name, allowing himself to look into her eyes as he spoke it. That was his usual routine, his way of wooing a woman, pulling her into his arms afterwards.

A few moments after, Cleo appeared, his shirt covering her thin, beautiful body, nothing covering her legs or her underwear. He glared down at her when she rested her head on his shoulder, using one of his hands to turn her chin in his direction, once she had spoken to Charlotte. "What did I say about coming out without anything on?" He growled at her, before once again turning back to look at the rent collector at the door. Cleo was right, the girl did look a little worse for wear when he thought about it, and he felt himself moving out of Cleo's embrace, taking a step forward towards the beautiful girl in the doorway. "Come in and sit down for a moment?" He asked her, wrapping his arm around her waist, making sure that he had a good enough hold on her, in case she collapsed. "I'm not going to take no for an answer." His voice was soft and caring as he spoke, leading her into the apartment.

"Christian, put that fucking thing out and move up." Greyson's voice was cold as he spoke, leading Charlotte into the apartment, and over to the sofa. "Cleo baby, get her some water please?" He turned to look at Cleo as he spoke, a smile on his face. He had known that the girl's invitation into the apartment had been a false expression of friendship, but he wasn't about to let this girl stand outside and walk around in such a state - he might have been a dickhead most of the time, but occasionally, he was a nice guy.

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Character Portrait: Cleo Milson Character Portrait: Greyson Walker Character Portrait: Alexandra Hunt Character Portrait: Charlotte Arden
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"No, please don't apologize, beautiful. You're just doing your job,” the shirtless young man told her. Charlotte was hard pressed not to notice the subtle curve to which he stood in the doorframe, his spine arched in such a way as to lean his torso slightly towards her. On a typical night out to the bar, she might have thought he was interested in her. His body language certainly showed that he was. Or so she thought. But something told her otherwise. And she was suddenly so focused on what her body was doing, the way her heart as reacting to the stress, that she couldn’t truly focus on him, or his abs, or even his voice.

"I've got some from my...work...last night. I'll get it," the brunette explained. The girl who had opened the door sashayed away to a door on the left, entering it for some time. Charlotte stood awkwardly waiting, her fingers flicking through the assorted bills in her hands to preoccupy herself and to prevent herself from staring at the gorgeous man in front of her. “I wouldn’t mind having him in my bed, how bad is that. He’s one of my tenants!” she thought to herself.

Alex returned with another handful of cash. The sight of it surprised her. As she was handed the money, Charlotte flushed fiercely. She didn’t want to mortify them in telling them they hadn’t paid rent. It seemed worse to be coming down so hard on them. She didn’t like to be the one to do this. But she had to make a living some how didn’t she?

Charlotte straightened out the bills in her hand, finding several beyond crumbled and folded. "Does that cover it?" Alex asked. Charlotte looked up from the handful of money, wide eyed and licking her lips. "Is that enough for you now, Charlotte?" Grey asked shortly after as she counted through the last of the bills. She peeled off three fifties and handed them back to Alex shakily. “This is extra,” she explained. “Your rent is only eighteen hundred.”

Her condition kicked in then, as it always did when she was under stress. A blond appeared from another bedroom. She had even more of a loping stride than the brunette, walking across the room virtually naked save for an oversized men’s shirt. Charlotte took another step into the hall as she approached, wrapping herself around Greyson before standing, coffee in hand, her free fingers holding her hips while a loose cigarette dangled from her lips. "What did I say about coming out without anything on?" Greyson asked her, looking not at all impressed with the girl who stood beside him. And close. Were they a couple? That blew certain ideas out of her mind immediately.

Charlotte wanted to pluck it from her mouth and stomp on it. They were breaking so many rules, not to mention the pot smoker on the couch. And they were making her feel so uncomfortable! Like an intruder or something. Not that she didn’t feel bad. But the pressure was there. And it got to her. The palpitations kicked in and she felt like someone was beating on her chest with a hammer, making her head spin slightly. She didn’t know what to say or do. She just clung to the money, licking her lips and trying to say good-bye so that she could leave.

"Are you okay? Do you need some water or something?" the blond asked her suddenly. Charlotte’s eyes flashed over her and she cleared her throat before shaking her head, fumbling to tuck the stack of bills into her bag so that she could find the pill bottle she always kept with her.

"Come in and sit down for a moment?" Grey asked her. She shook her head again, trying to breath alternately through her nose and mouth to calm herself down. Her refusal didn’t seem to go over well as suddenly his arm was looped around her waist and he was guiding her beyond the threshold. She winced at the strength of his chest, her hands trembling as she continued to fumble with her purse. "I'm not going to take no for an answer,” he told her. Charlotte was about ready to punch him but she didn’t want to talk. She just needed to breath and find her pills. She found herself trying to prevent him from walking her beyond the front entrance but he pushed her, forcing her to walk towards the couch where the pot smoker sat. Charlotte felt frantic, her heart beat erratic and in her ears by the time he sat her down.

"Christian, put that fucking thing out and move up," Greyson shouted. The flurry of movement was beyond her. Once seated the red head sat her bag on her lap and immediately pushed back papers to find her pills, a small discrete looking compact that when opened revealed the disopyramide medication.

"Cleo baby, get her some water please?" he ordered. “I don’t need it,” Charlotte managed. The sight of the pills was a relief. She hadn’t forgotten them and for a moment she thought she might have. Plucking two of the small doses, she tilted her head back and downed them.

As they stared at her, she closed her eyes and set the compact back in her purse. Clutching her bag, as she had nothing else to cling to like a stress ball, she counted back from ten. Slowly she felt the change come over her, the pain subsiding and her heart beat steadying. She exhaled after another minute before blinking twice and looking around at the group of rebels. Not one of them truly seemed concerned.

“I have a heart condition,” she explained, staring at her feet. “It happens. I’m okay. I can leave now.”

She almost felt like adding, “I know you don’t want me here.” But she didn’t knowing she may well piss them off and give herself another rush of anxiety in that she may have to flee. They smoke and drank and did drugs, that much was obvious from what she saw. One of them having a gun didn’t seem too far out of the picture. And she had a lot of money on her.