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Deni Pogsley

"Usually personality disorders go hand in hand with this stuff so I'm pretty normal!"

0 · 1,445 views · located in Brooklyn, New York

a character in “Dirt & Opulence”, as played by Bad Manners

Description

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Pogsley Pedigree, baby.
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Let me give you what you want.

Deni Pogsley, AKA 'Miyu' or 'Flip' rode into the world on the coattails of a cursed bloodline on the thirteenth of October. Her parents raised her in a confusing combination of Colombian and traditional Japanese values. After all, juggling Japanese and Spanish didn't make picking up English very easy. She's a Bronx baby, born and raised. To many this might mean the NYC state of mind. The 'take no shit, give 'em hell' philosophy. For Deni none of this was simply adapted to. She's always been sweet, more like her mother. Her father, a Yakuza second in command chief, instilled more shameless aggressive customs that never quite stuck.

Because she didn't really fit in with either side of her heritage, Deni eventually wandered off on her own. She was a late bloomer. Only left the nest at twenty four. To put it lightly she was vulnerable, up for corruption and boy did corruption find her in the form of bleached-blonde wily charm. Anyone who knows Miyu would say she’s polite and quiet. People on the inside might tell of a darker personality, but all in all the young woman is pretty low-profile in comparison to her girlfriend. She is merely a minor part of all operations and would prefer to keep it that way. For all the carnage and iniquity her lover requires, Deni is more of a cozy coffee type. But this doesn’t mean she can’t handle a knife. She’s probably better than the local butcher, always start stomach side down. Opening cavities is the best part, save it for last.

Deni is not only a fluent language speaker, but well read on medical work. Rumors of vampirism throughout NYC is generally just her handy work with vein draining, what can she say? She’s a pleaser in the worst of scenarios and just wants Clementine to have easier days. It's not just being a loyal companion. It's totally good business etiquette, keeping the work clean!

She came to prefer autopsy study over executions at Clementine's side when she saw how barbaric the killings could get. Say what you will, but Deni can stomach a lifeless body and break ribs a lot easier than watching someone blubber and spit teeth while begging for their life. Sadism isn't really her style. Due to it, there's actually been many disagreements between her and her lover. Deni likes to think that when she plays mortician she's helping victims have a more peaceful escape from the world, even though their deaths are usually far from peaceful.






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LEGAL NAME
Deni Miyu Pogsley.

AGE
Twenty six and counting.

PHYSICAL SPECS
5'6"/135 lbs.

DEXTERITY
Good with both hands.

EYE COLOR
Wide baby blues that take most by surprise.

STATUS
Heart's stolen and sealed by a hit heiress.

SEXUAL PREFERENCE
Homoromantic, lesbihonest (this one can be curious).

PROFESSION
Homicidal apprentice.

PERSONALITY TYPE
Advocate/Logician.

SOUNDTRACK
EOF Rmx.
Show Me.
Like a Prayer.
3 On.
Sex and Candy.


THINGS TREASURED
.x. Her cat, Akuma.
.x. Miss Clementine Tremaine.
.x. Honor.
.x. Business.
.x. Affection and kindness.
.x. Honesty.


PEEVES
.x. Condescension.
.x. Brutality.
.x. Junkies.
.x. Poor judgment.
.x. Religion.
.x. Politics.









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A note for the reader.

"I hate when someone underestimates me. I was born into this world without the leg up of having a dick between mine, so life already shorted me. My fate was decided before I was conceived and otosan taught me that if I wanted anything I'd have to take it. We may be very different but I can't deny his convictions and how mandatory they were to my survival. You know what? He underestimated me, too. Just wait and see the look on his face when he finds out little musume can perform pathology without the help of his hard earned cash for a BS degree."






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So begins...

Deni Pogsley's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dominic Bates Character Portrait: Senna Z. Character Portrait: November Mae Character Portrait: Gunner Bates Character Portrait: Deni Pogsley
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•F•L•I•P•
.{x}. I'm not scared of your stolen power .{x}.


They'd played and fucked harder than the rest in the game. Deni felt like royalty when she was wrapped up in Clementine, blood soaked or bloodless. Her lover's state of lunacy came and went with the wind; there were never dry spells really but if there were quiet nights, Clementine was antsy and eager with nylon, latex and vinyl. She would exhaust all the resources in every twitching spasm of Deni's muscles. And she loved her, she loved her, she loved her. Deni adored the lack of stillness in Clementine's fervent heart and how it beat for her, survival and bloodshed. This was perfect disease. This was infatuation. It was utter, delicious sickness of the mind.

"I'm in love with you," Deni mewed under the background chaos of NYC with windows wide open to sweep out the dashes of sex in the air, "I need you."


Born into a Yakuza influenced existence had its perks, number one was that Deni wasn't new to violence or the savagery of punishment. Sometimes she pondered the enigma that was her parents. One had to question what an Ichi reincarnate saw in a sweet souled Colombian city girl. It was a hell of a riddle, but they always seemed content. There weren't arguments that most people would expect, like clashing of values or suspicion. Deni's parents were fire and ice but they had a relationship worth envying. And they raised a book and streetwise kid, unfortunately she just didn't want to sit at either hand of her father's in a Japanese carnage syndicate.

Deni Miyu Pogsley found herself more comfortable at the edge of someone else's sanity, or insanity. Not Yuichi Pogsley's, her father's. But Miss Tremaine, the maverick. A wolf in a metropolis but never one to move in fear or deficit of reason. Deni wanted to learn to be the same, which turned out being paradoxical. Because she avoided morning coffee and proposition discussions with her father, she ended up in the hands of a killer named Clementine.

She didn't mind when the morning came and it erased the night before. Deni got used to the idea of mortal frailty. 'Ain't no rest for the wicked and money don't grow on trees'. It was probably a good thing, because it helped her keep herself in check. It was hard to believe she used to cry herself to sleep when the chips were down. Now she simply plastered a crooked sick smile on her face and lit up a cigarette. Sometimes Clementine would serve orgasms on the house, because she knew just as well that Deni may not have participated in the killings but they'd both burn if one of them got caught. Tokens of appreciation. But they'd never get caught. It was give and take, it was partnership's loyalty and a little tiny bit of business and a whole lot of pleasure and street smarts. The mornings were clear and Clementine's unclothed silhouette made everything worth it.

Deni eyed her with a fascination fit for Wuthering Heights. She traced her way down Clementine's brow and nape with barely detected kisses and snuck out of bed to text Gunner and Senna. The group chat came up bare, no replies, which was sort of weird. They probably both just did too much blow and wound up conked in bed with the cat like usual. She settled on texting them individually, asking who would be at the gentleman's club later and which side she should sit on most of the night (she knew Gunner and Senna could never be together like that out in the open, somehow as a trio of mutual friends they made it work in get together settings though). Her inbox came up dry still even two hours later, so she decided to say, "To hell with it." and stop in at the Bates residence during her jog.

Her hair was a mess. Dark and unruly and plopped sideways in a ponytail. She was clad in a sports gray getup, sweat dripping down every chiseled channel of her abdomen by the time her hands rested on her knees and she popped an earbud out. Fluid rasped around her breath like it was swelling in her lungs and she made a mental note to quit smoking. Well, truth be told, she made that note daily.

As she peered up into the windows of the Bates home she wondered what everyone had been up to. Lately Deni was a tangled misconception, intent for Clementine's pleasure and appreciation more than most things. She hoped her friends weren't too ticked at her about it. Sweaty and breathless, she edged her way to the side door and stole past Dom and his beautiful playmate, November. Also known as November Allen, THE Brooklyn heartbreaker. "I'm sweaty and gross, sorry, sorry. Morning Dom. November," Deni said as she swung around a corner and tried not to fix her focus on either one too long, cheeks red from blood rush.

Deni had to mind her own gray cerulean eyes as she lightly jogged past them and let herself into Gunner's room where she expected to see Senna, too. But it was just Gunner, laid up and lonely with his cat. Still lidded and maybe even sleeping. He looked a little washed out even with every inch of his brawn taut. Ah poor guy, he really needs a break. Deni really felt for him, and his demons. Gunner was a trooper and he really had to be if he continued loving his worst enemy's sister.

With mischief in her grin Deni removed one of her Nikes, raised her foot to the bed and hovered it above Gunner's face, "What doesn't kill you wakes you up..." She started with a whisper and then abruptly called out, "Gunner! Get up!"

She withdrew her foot before he could grab it or yell about how awful her socks smelt after a run, and quickly spun around to plop herself on his bed and retie her shoe. The room was dark and he probably liked it that way. Loved sleeping in, hated being out. He enjoyed his solitude more than most people. Wiping sweat from her brow she asked, "Where's Senna? I passed by her place, doesn't look like she's home. Thought for sure she would be here." Deni reached over to give a light chin scratch to Gunner's cat, not caring if her friend's eyes were open or not. Sure her rude awakening had jolted his senses by now, "Has like everyone in the world taken up sleeping until noon? How do you guys do it?" She felt him move a little and glanced toward him, "You look like shit G, did you have a rough night or something?" Her humor evaporated. She leaned over and grabbed his face for a split second, pursing her lips, "Some shit went down. Oh boy."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dominic Bates Character Portrait: Senna Z. Character Portrait: November Mae Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore Character Portrait: Caroline Beaumont Character Portrait: Aedan Rory Character Portrait: Bel Z. Character Portrait: Gunner Bates Character Portrait: Deni Pogsley Character Portrait: Clementine Tremaine
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ImageCaroline Beaumont

Sleep hardly provided rest. This was life for Caroline Beaumont. When she didn’t spend her days, spilling into nights, devoted to her career, she had a handful of hours to herself that she rarely was able to cherish. Lately all the extra hours she hadn’t kept herself, devoted to a certain heiress of a drug lord family, possibly one of the very same to had led to the demise of Caroline’s very own flesh and blood.

There wasn’t a day, nay a moment, that Caroline went without thinking of Ellie. Of her ability to hide the pain, of how everyone loved her, of how she laughed and made everyone glow from within. There was a photo that sat beside Caroline’s bed that she woke up to every morning, this one being none the different. Ellie was but a child, still grinning wide as simple of a notion as being outside with her family, enjoying the simple nature of being beside a river nearby their cabin. It was one of the rare time their parents spent time with them outside of the public eye, on of the rare times that Caroline knew that Ellie felt loved.

She didn’t blame Ellie for the decisions she made, hell - Caroline was within their parents favor and she still felt the incessant urge to blow her own head in just to shut them up about their precious Caroline. But possible, maybe - if it her demise, her vice, hadn’t been so readily available, Caroline would have had more time. More time to mend the bridge between Ellie and her parents, more time to have helped Ellie. Although Ellie would have probably just have pinned it as yet another attempt from Caroline to be the golden girll.

The same series of thoughts ran through Caroline’s head every morning.

It’s what kept her focused when other distractions arose, one a particular dark haired Colombian with ties to the very same source that was associated with the origin of Ellie’s absence. Senna. All Caroline could do was sigh, just the mere thought of her soft skin made every ill feeling melt away. How could something so damaged be so beautiful? It was amazing how quickly Caroline had grown to devour every morsel she could of the Zaire heiress. She was quick-witted, calm - innocent in her own sense. It killed Caroline to know that such a pure spirit had ended up suffocated by such grime, not given the light, warmth - chance to bloom.

A twinge of disappointed made Caroline’s chest cave when she checked her phone and saw no text. It was Saturday, her only allusion to a day off. Sunday was filled with emails to prep for Monday, everything else was just leading to Friday’s midnight deadline to get their additions into fact checking and formatting before it want to the printer at 3am the next morning. To Caroline, better time could be spent delving into her own personal notes, writing endlessly about the families she had learned to be behind the drug cartel with New York. Sure, there were plenty international players within the city, but these families had legacy associated within the city, generations upon generations feeding carnage to the grand apple itself.

Yet, Caroline could think of several different ways to spend her time, at least several different positions with a certain dark haired temptress.

Caroline shook, her head, she wouldn’t allow herself to succumb to Senna’s charm. She knew the woman was wanted by many, just the way people would look at her whenever she entered the room. Senna was in command of any room she entered, who wouldn’t bend over backwards to make her happy? But this wasn’t about Senna, Caroline looked back at Ellie, centering herself. It was all for Ellie, it always would be - it had to be.

Yet, Caroline had hit a while, all she could do was stare at her notes, evaluating each sector and character in themselves. Her finger would touch her keyboard and stall. Had she let herself fade? What had started as an obsession had become an infatuation.No more. There was one goal, and one goal only. To expose the underbelly of the drug market that led the desperate and damaged part of New York, one of the most illustrious of the first world, and let them bleed from the inside out. Still, reminding herself of this, of all her photos and notes - Caroline returned to those of Senna. Caroline had identified all of the players of this inner circle, knew who was conspiring with whom, which people went home with including the date and time. Each of them connected to one another in their seedy incestuous ways.

Beside the point of mere association by birth, Senna’s connections had the most intrigue. Daughter to one of the largest players in the criminal community of New York City - hell the entire Eastern seaboard, and total diplomacy among all sides, she was outright fascinating. Of course Cristobel Zaire, the current front runner for the Columbian imports, was her brother. Still her ties went deeper, rooting into each branch of the entire roster of main players, Caroline would like to say that was the main reason she began to pursue Caroline but that would be lying.

As difficult as it was, Caroline did her best to focus on the other pieces of the puzzle. There were so many to catalog from within the lions den, all too intelligent to really have any criminal charges proved against them. Dominic and Gunner Bates, along with Cristobel Zaire were the main players, of course there were others dedicated to the cause of corruption. November Allen was a phantom that appeared in Brooklyn from thin air, attaching to the Zaire business and extending the Zaire’s reach into a direct pipeline to the downtown wealth. There was a history of crime and notorious disregard for the law for every person attached to either or both families. Clementine Tremaine, known in the streets of New York City and the colt, and her pet Deni Pogsley - Aeden Rory, a man with a troublesome past...plus the fact that The Little Lady owned by a Jonathon and Annalise Moore was a regular hang out for both families didn't make it seem exactly like a family establishment as it was marketed to be.


The list could go on and one, when you offered a hot meal or some coffee, people felt like talking as long as you kept them fed and happy. Still, Caroline had learned as much as she could from the streets, she needed an in. Senna, She told herself, you have to.

But how could she take advantage of something had grown to be so pure?

Finally, Caroline couldn’t tempt herself any longer. So what if Senna was busy, they had planned for coffee - damnit Caroline would make it happen. She sent a swift text to Senna. Still on for coffee? She asked simply, Senna would respond when she had the chance, she was sure. She sat at her breakfast table with her morning tea and cup of granola and yogurt, checking her work emails. After a while her phone pinged, Senna.

Wouldn’t miss it for the world, babe. x

Caroline smiled, allowing herself to enjoy the moment before reality sat in. She had to make progress today, no more fooling around. Today she wouldn’t let her views of Senna cloud her journalistic objective. No more.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Senna Z. Character Portrait: Gunner Bates Character Portrait: Deni Pogsley
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Between them, Gunner was sure he'd be the one floundering most. He needed her more than he needed him. However much it hurt—it was apparent, it licked at the back of his mind. Left unrequited love-notes dead on his tongue. Footprints at the edge of a house he wanted to share with one person. One person, only. Senna fell asleep first, cradled in his arms. Pretty as a pixie. Much smaller than he remembered. Or else, too large to contain in one place. He reflected on missed chances and moments he could have spoken up. Changed things, maybe. Done something to keep her anchored. He didn't want to clip her wings. No, never. But he didn't want to see her whisk off into the distance either. As childish as it sounded, he wasn't ready to let her go. He'd have to, even if he did maintain a nest if she ever wanted to perch somewhere safe. She was too important not to. The promise lingered in the air. A smokescreen he wanted to cling to, wrap himself in. Her chest-falls were soft and sweet and he tried not to stare into her face, eyelashes shuttered down. A calloused thumb swept across her cheek and tucked errant tufts of hair behind her ear before he fell asleep himself.

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He felt a subtle shift. A growing emptiness. Soft footfalls padding away down the hall. Hands dragging out against the walls, seeking purchase. Even if she was trying her best to spare his feelings and slink away, Gunner noticed. Hazy eyes dragged open. Sought out any indication that she'd actually been there in the first place. His hand instinctively slipped across the bed where she'd been and rested there. Still warm. He felt foolish enough to roll to the side. Not quite foolish enough to follow her out. Or even drag himself out of bed. There was a lazy, aching beat drumming at his temples. Short narcotic fuses snapping in his skull, wasted veins of a body that he frequently mistreated. The results of a long-time affair. Sometimes, he promised himself that he would stop. This time, maybe. He was never serious. It called him back. Whispered sickly sweet guarantees that all would be well in the morning. And only followed through for a few hours. Rinse, repeat.

Curtains drawn and blankets bundled around his bare torso, tangled around his legs. He'd relocated himself onto his stomach. Mushing his face into his pillow. Arm cradling underneath it. Sleep wouldn't heal any of his ailments, but it'd pass the time. Make him think less of Senna and some girl. How things would change from now on. How there wasn't much he could do about it anyway. If it wasn't Bel huffing fire and ash in his direction... it was something else, inhibiting any attempts of happiness. Of lightness. Preventing him from moving forward. Or maybe he was doing that to himself. It was hard to tell who was shooting him in the foot these days. It took him a moment before he noticed that someone had come in. Right as a smelly sock toe-curled in front of his nose. Bleary eyes snapped open as he flopped onto his back and stared at his would-be assailant. All cheeky grins, red-faced and sweaty. Deni staring down at him. Obviously pleased with herself. Lidded eyes flicked down to her foot and dragged themselves back to her face.

A groan sifted past his lips as the tension melted from his shoulders. Gunner sunk back against the pillows. His stern expression softened around the edges, eased up a little. “Y'know, there's better ways to wake someone up,” his voice was all rough around the edges, a raspy whisper. First words of the day. Eventually he'd have to drag himself out of bed and get some work done. Whatever needed doing—whatever Dom needed him to do. With November tiptoeing around the house, it wasn't likely that it would involved much. Fingers scritch-scratched at his bearded chin when she inquired about the phantom-of-a-pixie who'd apparated out of his arms, little more than another memory he'd have to ruminate on. A soft chuckle followed. It sounded harsher than he'd meant it to. “Senna? She was here. Must've slipped out while I was sleeping.” Another laugh sounded. More genuine this time. It crinkled at his eyes, which swept up to meet Deni's, “It's easy. Better question is, how d'you wake up so damn early.”

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Rubbing at his bleary eyes, Gunner finally pushed the sheets off and stretched his arms over his head. He paused mid-stretch and flagged an eyebrow up, settling his arms back to his sides. A moment passed. As blunt as she was, that's what he loved about her. Deni wielded a frankness that could cut straight through all of the bullshit. He could count on her for telling him how it was. Which was why he often slunk to her side, full of gravelly misgivings. Worries that addled his brain far worse than any drug did. Even if darkness clung to his shoulders like an ill-fitting cape, Deni never minded. Neither did Senna. Judgments abrogated. Hands scrubbed clean. If she said he looked like shit... he probably did. A grin tipped his lips up. Flashed teeth. “Thanks, D—” his voice cut off when she leaned forward and grabbed at his face. No cheek-pinches or teasing gags. Only a genuineness he wasn't sure what to do with. She always seemed to know. Didn't matter if she hadn't actually been present.

His smile tipped down into a pensive frown. A hand drifted to the back of his neck and rested there while he churned the words in his mind. Wouldn't do any good to tiptoe around the truth. Not in front of Deni. She'd know. “Yeah. You could say that,” he sounded resigned to some uncertain fate as his shoulders dropped a fraction of an inch, “Bel wants me dead. No difference there. But Senna's got a girl now. Don't think I had a chance.” Heart in his mouth. Disappointment bleeding into his words, because he couldn't fucking help it. He'd still be there for her. Always would. “It was a hell of a night, D. Glad you missed it.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dominic Bates Character Portrait: Senna Z. Character Portrait: November Mae Character Portrait: Jasper Callaghan Character Portrait: Caroline Beaumont Character Portrait: Bel Z. Character Portrait: Gunner Bates Character Portrait: Deni Pogsley Character Portrait: Clementine Tremaine
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•F•L•I•P•
.{x}. I see right through you any hour .{x}.


Deni moved back and forth on mattress edges with a rocking annoyance so that her friend had no other choice than to rise to the occasion of her presence, unwanted or not. Gunner was placid. Maybe a little overdue for demons riding on his back but! Usually at least sort of pleased that Deni dropped in, because he was one of the few she had and vice-a-versa. He could get his breakfast drugs after she left and he probably would because G usually did most of his dirty deeds in private.

A slight arch went into the dominant straight line of her right eyebrow as she decided to release Gunner’s face which looked skeletal as hell, she suspected it wasn’t the drugs but the desolation that reeked more than her gym socks. “Yikes,” she snapped in a flat pitch, glancing at space in the bed where Senna probably cuddled earlier, “Slipped away while you were sleeping. What a hoe bag.”

She slapped her knee and let out a cackle. They both knew Senna was anything but the derogatory title and anything Deni said was mostly out of love and good humor.

Deni’s hand thrashed in a flood of black hair as she fought with a hair tie, trying to imagine why Senna would just up and disappear. That wasn’t really her style at least to Deni’s knowledge and if Deni knew ANYTHING it was that on the DL, Senna was in looveeeee with Gunner. It was joint between them both honestly, and she only knew this from noting closely how they looked at each other and the way their chests puffed at each other’s gabbing. Among just friends, nobody got that excited. They all loved each other but come on. There were butterflies fluttering and shit, Deni just shot them out of the air and reminded Senna and G that she was still in the room usually.

PEW PEW!

Ah heck. They were the best friends she could hope for aside from the pale-haired show horse back at home. And so what if they were in love? That was probably an awesome thing! But judging by the emptiness beside G, it wasn’t in motion. It was ehhhh, stopped short. Deni ignored his question about how she managed to wake up on the right side of the bed with pep in her step and eagerness to get a jog done. Well! Clocking overtime in autopsy reports just to snip the wrong vessel and get sprayed with umentionables had to be countered by some kind of therapeutic activity. Hers was getting up and taking a jog at the asscrack of dawn.

“So, are we going to cut the shit? The niceties! They’re killing me. G, I know. She loves ya, something fierce, she does, I know. You love her too. But I need the details if I you want me to offer you any consolation.” Deni twisted her spine and reached over to ruffle the mess of unruly shag on Gunner’s head, shrugged softly. She returned to her post where she respected his personal space and messed with the shoelaces that were going to make her feet sore if she didn't loosen them evenly.

Senna's got a girl.
Don't think I had a chance.
Glad you missed it.


Instinctively Deni hissed and reeled in a soap opera way, "Bullshit!" Her mane whipped as she jumped to her feet, clearly displeased with the news. "I did not spend the last year of my residency in Brooklyn liiiiistening over and over to her freaking subtle hints about being in love with you for her to run off with some girl. A girl? Hell no. I mean don't get me wrong G, I love me some pussy and I have a hell of a woman but she is the only one in this world who could show you up. And she belongs to me! They won't last. I'm not saying this to make you feel better, but they won't. No one knows Senna like you do. What the hell did she even say about it? Errr, I'm sorry G. I don't think this will stand. I really don't." Her hands and arms went wide as she paced back and forth in front of him, "Oh just wait till I see her at the club tonight. I'll strangle her pretty little soft neck! Well, not all the way, but mostly! Baka! Baka! Kono ama!"

She went a little eccentric. Her cheeks puffed up and turned rosy, eyes slits as she realized. "Heh, sorry, G, got carried away. Hey, hey, it'll all be good. Nothing gets in the way of true love, not even good head." Guiltily she grinned and tied her hair high. She punched his shoulder harder than most girls were capable of, "Hey, you're good, man. I'll hang with you tonight, we'll scope the sitch. Worse comes to worst I just have Clem waste the bitch right? Heh!!!! Okay, too soon, sorry."

Silence grew between them, Deni breathed it in deeply. She shook her head and straightened her sports bra, "It hurts like a bitch. But this thing with her and the other girl won't last. By the way, Bel is a pussy, kuso-tare yarou. I'll smack him in his teeth." It wouldn't be the first time she threatened it, and if she followed through, that wouldn't be a first either. He might have been king shit in the streets but Deni was not afraid of him and she showed it frequently. All he was really was a royal pain in the ass and Senna was his only redeeming quality, shame he didn't treat her better as a brother.

Waving, she added, "Tonight. Don't be late, I wanna' get druuuunk!" And then she disappeared. By the time she was skidding to a stop in the kitchen, she smelt pancakes and after-sex-glory mixed with Kona. How she wished she was experiencing it firsthand. She dwelled a little, swaying and peering between Dominic and November, "I would love to stay..." Neither of them budged, but a pale ghost flew into the small space to grab something from the fridge. Junkie Candy Jasper! "Heeeey!" She called out to him as he breezed past and used him as her ticket to leave without awkwardly lingering longer.

She whizzed out behind Jasper and caught up to his side even if only for a few minutes, breathed with relief, "Wow place is full of sexual tension huh?" Snorting, she slapped his back softly as if they were long time pals but really they had maybe encountered each other a few times. He was prettier than the gritty boys but thin and haggard. It reminded her of the homelessness scattered throughout the city, just how scary this side of life could get. With a small stretch she said, "I guess I'll bump into ya again soon."

She had to get back. Clementine never slept long and there were demons to play with in the bed, across the counter, against the wall...

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dominic Bates Character Portrait: November Mae Character Portrait: Jasper Callaghan Character Portrait: Deni Pogsley
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Morning's with her were a constant constellation that he could depend on. She knew him well, knew who he was and how he worked. She'd seen the parts of him that weren't as controlled as the world he created around himself was; but more importantly, she understood. She didn't push him, and he didn't push her. They simply existed.

There always came a playfulness in the early sunlight, and he always found himself wondering if she was like that with the others whose beds she shared. Did they know her the way he did? Or did they end up confused, unable to compare those bright smiles to the girl who begged to be hurt and used the night before. He had no delusions in his mind that she was anything like him, in that no one else had ever seen her wake, the way she saw him.

Like everything Dominic did, there was a routine when it came to November; one she allowed and learned and slipped into seamlessly. If their nights were all about pain and need, clawing the hurt out of one another until they finally felt better, then their mornings were about care and atonement. Soothing touches to heal the aches of needed bruises. And there was still no doubt what exactly they were to each other, still no illusions of love or something important. But there was a friendship there, a kinship, that deserved the time to promise that they were okay. That they weren't broken and lost. That at the end of the day, they still had someone to turn to.

The house was characteristically quiet when they rose, padded their way to the kitchen, uninterrupted except by a furry interloper and an unwanted joke from a wicked mouth. There was no stopping Novi though, and Dom had no energy to do so anyway.

Breakfast was tradition, coffee habit, and Dom set about his work only stopping on occasion to draw his fingers down November's bare legs, or press soft kisses to her temple. It was quiet, it was peaceful, it was just the way he liked it. So, of course, the front door swung open. Deni was through his house in a flurry of quick steps and dark hair, Asian beauty flushed from a run and glistening with sweat. She rattled off apologies, maybe said good morning, but she was gone before his sleep muddled mind could even fully understand her presence.

Bright blue eyes blinked at Novi, as if asking for conformation that the girl had been there at all, but all he got was a large smile and a comforting hand patting at his upper arm. He rolled his eyes slightly, but went back to his task. Providing for the girl who let him treat her like a whore, who loved it as much as he did and allowed him something to pour his desires into. Work his frustrations out on. The least he could do was treat her like a princess afterwords, even if it wasn't really his style. She'd earned it, with everything she gave him.

But alas, peace never lasted. As the last of the pancakes made their way to plates, another person who shouldn't have been in his house appeared, and somehow Dom had a feeling he wasn't the only one. While he had yet to see his youngest brother, somehow fate would have it that his dangerous little playmate would cross Dom's path.

Jasper Callaghan was attractive in a way that must make people know what Eve had felt when she reached for that apple, regardless of who told her not to. Even God. He was sharp edges as dark mischief and a promise that hell doesn't hurt that bad, baby. And Dominic understood, more than he wanted, why Simon couldn't seem to leave him alone.

The fatal little shit weaved his way through Dominic and November's forms, stole water out of his fridge, a pancake from his stove. And Deni, once again, was not far behind him. Pep and sunshine and everything he couldn't stand, especially this early in the morning. Dom caved. He found November, placed himself between her lazily parted legs hanging over his counter, and pushed his face into silky brown waves. Maybe if he stayed hidden there long enough, everyone would leave. They had to eventually, right?

Soft laughter reached his ears, long nails running through his thick hair. She was used to this as well, if nothing else. Dom wasn't sociable at the best of times, but specifically in the morning. Especially in a household where he could expect no on to rise early, or demand his attention. He stayed there for as long as she would let him, the rough skin of his palm sliding under her stolen shirt to rest against the soft, smooth skin of her lower back. She murmured poetry to him, feather light kisses playing along his ear, teeth sinking gently to the lobe.

It was only when her stomach growled that he pulled away, handed her a fork and dug out the syrup. They'd eat right there on the counter, never cared much for being proper. And she'd smile at him, wink, and he'd wonder what had pushed her so hard last night. What had made her come to him, tasting of bitterness and a thread tugged at too hard. But he never asked, because it wasn't his place. Wasn't his job or his concern, and he learned a long time ago that sometimes the consequences of his stated curiosity weren't worth the trails.

As always, as their time together came to a close, Dom drew her close and stole one last kiss. Softer, aware of the cut across her lip that would bleed again with a little more pressure. And he knew he would see her again, soon as fate would always have it, but he never quite knew when. He didn't worry, though.

November Mae was a ghost in the wind, but she always found her way to him.
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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dominic Bates Character Portrait: Senna Z. Character Portrait: November Mae Character Portrait: Jasper Callaghan Character Portrait: Caroline Beaumont Character Portrait: Bel Z. Character Portrait: Deni Pogsley Character Portrait: Declan Hayes
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She couldn’t get enough of the pain, a form of penance. Every night spent being thrown, dragged, slapped - she’d wake up feeling redeemed in some sick and twisted way. November had never been religious, but she believed in some way that being treated like nothing more than a whore, to be demeaned and torn down to nothing more than a means to an end let her wake up feeling like she had paid for all the shit she caused during the day. When she was with Dominic he didn’t try to be gentle with her, or worship her. He needed to hurt her as much as she needed to feel pain, each feeling control in their actions. She admired her handiwork as he cooked, the red marks her nails left behind painting his back.

There was a tenderness to Dominic in the morning that she was aware only she was privy to. Between flipping the pancakes or pouring the batter he’d return to her, course fingers tracing shapes across her skin and stealing kisses. Everything was so simple with him, nothing more than what it was. They never needed explanations from each other, or to share feelings or excuses. He never asked questions, she never did in return, yet November knew Dominic Bates knew all without having to ask. She knew Dominic used her for his own carnal desires, and while November did the same, his presence was therapeutic. With Dominic there was no games, no passive aggression - and he would wake up, albeit reluctant, make her pancakes in the morning.

Deni came through the kitchen, and when Dominic blinked at her in confusion she laughed, the delectable bite of murderous potential was of such ethereal beauty she hardly believed she was real herself. Deni had a tendency to make November’s heart flutter, a walking dream. Stunning eyes, full lips and hypnotizing hips, November licked her lips at her presence. She patted Dominic’s arm assuringly, and he carried on with her pancakes, as he should.


Playful as a kitten, November was filled with cheeky expressions and smirks any time Dominic looked over to her, they didn’t need words to enjoy their morning. Dom finished her pancakes, but before he could serve her Jasper breezed between them, stealing a pancake and water - followed by Deni. She watched as Dominic crumbled, he was tolerant of people at his best of , in the mornings November was lucky enough he didn’t throw her out on her ass, having his house flooded with random faces was more than too much for the eldest Bates.

He buried himself into her hair, she laughed. Dominic was a creature of habit, of order - and finding comfort in November’s mane was one of those habits. Her fingers ran through his hair, her body pressed against him. She pushed herself closer into him, breathing into his ear. She could stay there all day, not having to say a word with Dominic Bates treating her like the fucking Queen of England.

Her stomach rumbled, Dominic responded with no hesitation, serving her pancakes along with syrup. November’s face lit up with glee, pure satisfaction scrawled across her face with the first bite.

He treated her like a queen of a kingdom of one, showering her with affection. November was all to aware to treasure each moment she was able to share with Dominic, what he gave was a rare indulgence. What had began as a fling had become an addiction, a need for one another’s submission or domination - depending on the events of the day that had preceded them. When he kissed good bye, it always felt like the last time. Maybe it was easier to tell herself that, unable to grasp why a man of his caliber would ever treat her so well.

She returned home to a hungry cat, yet again, meowing for her affection. “Sorry, Wicked.” She said, carrying the cat to the couch where she made herself comfortable, turning on the television to melt away the hours. Occasionally checking her phone for texts, admittedly from Bel, she laid there with Wicked curled across her lap and exasperation manipulating her features.

How much longer could she keep this life up?

How much longer could she stay in one place, day after day becoming more and more tangled in the messy web of crime and hedonism? Once she was nothing but a whisper, hardly more than a character in a story written by someone else. How had she evolved from an enigma to being so transparent to an entire network of people? One cigarette burned after another, followed by one glass of wine after another. Solitude usually led to doubt, wondering how did she ever let herself become like these people?

The answer was simple, Bel.

She had found someone who saw her for the monster she was, and loved her all the more for it. It was the most euphoric drug of all time. But as their relationship became strained, as did their business. November knew what she had to do, she had leave - she always knew this. How could she stay? She was nothing but an outsider, as she always would be. November could never be respected like Dominic, or adored like Senna - or even despised on a level that can only stem from a lifetime friendship like Gunner or Bel. She was only a rotating figure, someone to fuck or use, she wasn’t part of this life.

“Fuck off.” She told herself, she always did this. Why couldn’t she just enjoy the ride, the ups and downs of life as any other person would? Where else in the world would she ever find herself surrounded by people who had demons that could be on par with her own? Aware that happiness was a myth, but nonetheless jealous of the happiness others were able to find in each other.

She would never be that girl.

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ImagePerhaps November had been too impatient to arrive at the strip club, the girls knew her too well. She shook a promise of snow and they took her into the private rooms, all too eager to party with the femme fatale. She danced with the girls, glittered skin caressing her own. A few lines off a few asses, a few kisses, a couple of bottles and November had forgotten all about her previous doubts. Why would she ever want to leave?

Legs across a caramel colored lap with creamy colored arms wrapped over her shoulders, November couldn’t stop watching the scene unfold around her. Four lovely ladies, all there for a private show all for her. Something within her snapped, she was unable to give a fuck anymore. The lights flashed, the music pounded and November’s eyes were wide. A girl brought her a drink and a smile, leaning in to whisper in her ear. “Mr. Zaire is in the VIP section, just so that you are aware.”

“Psh, fuck that.” The girls laughed and held her closer, she kissed them each in turn.

More dancing, more perfect bodies, a line or two more - November was unaware how much time had passed but she was sure she had the word W A R N I N G : reckless
stamped across her forehead. When she emerged from the private room, the club was packed. She danced in a line with the girls as they went back to their prospective place, unable to stop herself to pull the delectable caramel treat into herself before the girl ran off. “You come back to me.” She said with a wink.

**The essence of her wept from the walls like secrets, only kept between them, were breathing upon her entry. Cartilage darted in contortions of instinct. He didn’t look her way, but knew damn well she was there. Text messages riddled them both blank, blasé, lukewarm and too pent up for either of their own good. Love and loathing. En noviembre más dulce. But he knew better than to shoot her a look - any look. Grievances plaited from her tabs to his, the romps and lines all assumed in good fun were becoming anything but. They stayed. They kept the shit up, playing their sport in spite of its proneness to push blood between tight teeth. Gashes in mouth. DNA swapped and lost and burned on the flicking tongues, the pain of belonging to no one and everyone, this moral slivered, that one immortal. Modern romance really wasn’t shit like letters worn scarlet. Shakespeares or Margaret Mitchells. It was more like infernos adapted to, never escaped. Dante could tell you about that.

Then again, so could Bel. - sacri xx


She knew where Bel was, it was as if she could sense him. He didn’t have to look to give her a glare, it penetrated her. It was hot, like he knew where her mind was. If she showed any acknowledgement, it wasn’t intentional. What she did notice was that the Bates had arrived, conveniently located next to the bar. Dominic sat idly, unamused, with his signature whiskey and dominating demeanor. November couldn’t pretend not to intentionally cross their path as she went to the bar once again, but before she could order a drink an arm wrapped around her waist pulling her down into a lap. She fit so well against him, his arm pulling her in tight.

“Oo!” she giggled, framing Dominic’s face between her hands. “Rather fresh tonight, aren’t you?”

He looked off as if she hadn’t even spoken, sipping his whiskey. Amidst the strobe lights and dancing ladies he still managed to look like a sculpted statue, still and unflinching. She reached for his drink, he pulled it away and gave her a look to say You’ve had enough. She pouted, but he was right, he always was. He looked back out, not even a grunt. He didn’t have to, he knew she was aware that he was right.

Instead of putting up a battle, November enjoyed her view, slipping bills wherever she could. She even managed to get a lap dance whilst on Dominic’s lap, although she was obviously much more excited than Dom. When she made eye contact with Bel, he was joined by Senna who was snuggled up to a nice blonde piece.

They finally had themselves at a lock of curiosity, gazes trafficked and congested with the high tension of ‘I could fuck you right now’ or ‘I could kill you right now’. She had the mosaic facet of those snarling woods that kept Snow White scared out of her wits for years. Eyes smoldering like mahogany coal, recoil on a snapped blink as her brain fired up breakdowns of situations said square gone rounded for the sake of cutting corners. Dominic’s arms were about her hourglass waist and Bel twitched with acknowledgment, again. Tu no eres mio. Oh yeah, we’re liars and cheats baby. Our tug-o-wars been instated by lack of degree and copious predisposition to paroxysm and how damn good it hurts. - sacri xx

She couldn’t continue to ignore him now, November shifted her weight to stand but Dominic held her down, grunting in protest.
“Dom, I have to go.”
Grunt. Bullshit, stay.
“You know I can’t.”
Grunt. Stay.

He closed it by kissing her shoulder.
She sighed, resisting a grin. “Five minutes, that’s all.”

Although Dominic wasn’t one to smile, she knew there was inward grin with a sense of victory. She felt him shift to say something to Gunner, motioning presumably to the blonde wrapped around Senna. November gave him a look to say Be nice. that he ignored, still staring off intently into empty space. Five minutes passed, November leaned to whisper in Dominic’s ear, unable to resist the urge to nibble, “Five minutes are up or else I’m going to have to start charging.” He almost chortled.


Aware Dominic would be watching her walk away, fixated on her dark tresses, November didn’t bother to shift down the hem of her dress. Without Dominic to stop her, she grabbed a drink and looked back to the Bates to see them all staring intently at Senna and her friend. November rolled her eyes, approaching the Zaires. The blonde was unable to ignore the intent stares of the group of intimidating men from the other end, November could feel the heat of their gaze.

“Don’t worry about my boys over there, they just like to stare.” November joked, greeting Senna and her girl with a kiss on the cheek. “November.” She said, motioning to herself.

”Caro.”

November smiled, clinking her glass against Caro’s. “Cheers.”

Bel was seated up in reluctance next to a blond that buzzed in a still waters run too deep sorta’ way, he didn’t give her alotta’ visual regard. That was his sister’s piece now. And she stunk of something suspect. More over, wore her hair in those sublime girl-next-door waves, mane chopped cuts above her shoulder like she just discovered herself but really still had no fucking clue who she was. Played minor league queer eye shit and looked at Senna one day and thought, “Oh! Shiny!” So the story goes. It would end with a poor post college experiment in sexuality, maybe worse if Bel had anything to say about it. The bliss settled into the smirk on Senna’s face with her porcelain laced in Caroline’s tawny fingers couldn’t be argued, unfortunately, and he wanted nothing to do with it. He’d take Laz over this shit any day {that was biased though, wasn’t it?}. Felt like he snagged bone remnant in his throat as he grunted low, “Three cheers, why don't we. Insult the holy trinity and pay homage to our fair lady while we bathe in the overall atmosphere of sus games.”

A crooked cocky grin cracked his lips and boasted white teeth. He pulled Sen aside and his inked arm enveloped her as he growled against her tresses, noted her bruise, how it spelt Aedan, how her swinging fixation that landed on Caroline was becoming a cause for concern. The words sizzled. Gums pale and slicked with whiskey. The tattooed surface of palms too big to rest on shot glasses rippled, circulation vermilion, irked when he felt November approach. His focus swiveled and never faltered along the curve of her silhouette, her confrontation boiling too close to the brim of the pot. Burners hissing. Roaches all scattering, rats running fast. - sacri xx


“Give me a moment.” November said, leaving Caro alone at the table to deal with the discomforting stare of the Bates boys. “Everything okay?”

Bel’s look told her it was anything but, mostly at her mere presence. She ignored him as Senna returned to Caro’s side, taking advantage of the chance to leave.

Here it comes.

“Bel, she’s a grown ass girl - “
”Novi stay out of this.”
“Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to?”
”You are in no position to give input about dating life of my sister, or anyone for that matter.”
“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”

Soles on those feet must have ached with the ire of a thousand skirmishes never launched ‘cause she was all sorts of rigid, swelter coming off of her like she was about to open a vein to acquit fire. His November. Never his. The contagious fever that sweated him into insomnia. And yet. Never his. He breathed slow, stood to loom over her but maintain distance amid every point lost. All the communication out the window. Nothing but animosity, past lover bullshit and grudges like they hadn’t somehow did a real bang up job of running a notorious partnership. Long time coming, he guessed with something more bitter than salt bound to gurgle up and out. “First, it isn’t your god damn place. Second, don’t march your ass up to me like you’re entitled to conversations with my family. You forfeit that privilege nightly. Right, yeah. Third, Senna doesn't have shit to do with ourbusiness. You come with this Busch-league-ass attitude like I didn’t try to apologize, then bounce that pretty little ass of yours over here to bark. Not tonight Novi.” - sacri xx

Image“What do you want from me, Bel? You go around fucking whoever you want, waving that shit in my face and what am I supposed to do? Sit there and take it? F U C K that. You know what? Fuck you! I’m done, fucking done.” She had been squeezing her glass tighter and tighter as she spoke, but as she cursed the man before her it broke from underneath her grip, slicing her palm. Senna, who had returned to Caro’s side went to tend to November’s wound. November pulled away, stepping back, still looking at Bel. “Don’t call me, don’t text me - nothing. And don’t come fucking ringing my bell when you realize you fucked up because I’ll be gone.

She didn’t bark. She bit, chewed, and spit him right the fuck back out. This was the seething image of a woman scorned. "Remember who you dance 'tween, usted es un santa, mi amor." He knew it well. Would have copped a plea had she not laid her exit bare and unapologetic. Knew it was over, that she was under oath privy and unkind. That it was cutting her up more than the glass prickling little mitts and manicured fingers. So what did he do? Clenched her bleeding digits, borderline crushing, glass shared in bilateral assault, clots that would mix and dry like sour reminders of their memoir’s end. “Make sure you mean that, kid.” He rolled. And she slipped out of his grasp, disgusted by his touch. Shattered the rest of the ware below him so his boots could grind 'em. So they didn't stay - she was done keeping the shit up. - sacri xx

She threw the remainder of her glass at his feet, blood stained crystals shattering into thousands of pieces. It was then she realized she meant it, she was gone. Maybe the epiphany was written in her expression, because when she looked at Bel there was almost a calm in them that they both know she spoke the truth. She couldn’t say any more, she wasn’t even angry anymore. Blood dripping from her fingers, she walked off without another word, headed to the back entrance. She was sure Dominic had just witnessed everything, but she couldn’t speak to him while she was in this state. Dominic was many things to her, but she had yet to see him do much comforting that didn’t involve body slamming her against a wall.

In her wake, five dripping thorns, a sloppy shrug and look of disdain. Cleft between index and thumb. He sucked on the wound and shook plasma onto the carpet, “Have a beautiful night girls.” He headed for a back room. - sacri xx

No one was at the back door, she lit a cigarette, hands shaking and painting her lips with fresh blood as she brought her cigarette to her lips. The drugs had began to wear off, she was nearly sober at this point, but to exhausted to note her surroundings. The cocaine had her trembling, and her palm was still bleeding, and the adrenaline had her mind in all directions. Maybe in another state she would have noticed she wasn’t alone. There was the sound of gravel shifting under the weight of a shoe then a sharp pain followed by b l a c k n e s s.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dominic Bates Character Portrait: November Mae Character Portrait: Jasper Callaghan Character Portrait: Bel Z. Character Portrait: Deni Pogsley Character Portrait: Declan Hayes
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Honestly, between the pancake in his right hand and the cold water in the other, Jasper wasn’t the least bit curious about who was following after him. That is, until he felt a hand on his back in a familiar gesture and realized the voice belonged to none other than the effervescent homicide sweetheart herself; Deni. "Wow, place is full of sexual tension huh?" Jasper snorted in response, a grin hidden somewhere between biting the lid off of his water bottle and testing out Dominic’s pancake. Ten out of ten, if you were wondering. Hat’s off to the chef. (and shirts, and pants, and…). “I’m just amazed you waltzed through a house full of Bates’ penis and didn’t even touch one,” Jasper teased, watching with amusement as she proposed possibly seeing him again later and went on her way. There was a vague idea in the back of his head of Deni having a girlfriend (or was it more of a handler?), but Jasper never paid much attention to significant others, especially those belonging to people who caught his interest. Deni was cute, sure, but there’s something about having murderous hands and a careless demeanor. Like a simple graze of the hand could easily break the skin; a caress could absentmindedly become a choke hold. It got Jasper thinking, to say the least.

And he did love to be choked.

Still, Jasper couldn’t help but think about his heroin. It wouldn’t be long before he was flickering through the streets, between alleys, along highways as diaphanous and lost as mist. That liminal feeling, something like the lull between nightfalls when you’re only an invention of darkness meant to vanish in the morning light. Sickness wasn’t here yet; merely lurking in the post. Junky limbo. But apprehension wouldn’t let him rest and there was no reason to sugar coat it - smack was a vicious cycle. And here, after all this time, Jasper thought himself a wolf. I mean, that’s what it takes to make it through all the misery and desperation and death. Most people saw Jasper as a dangerous sin wrapped in both angelic eyes and a devil’s smirk; it made their hearts pound with distrust, clouded their better judgement with bewilderment, and even though they saw it coming, they couldn’t look away, because once you’re tied to the tracks there’s no moving for a train. And yet, it was smack that held it’s teeth against his throat. Growling. Waiting for him in the dark. Howling against his hair. To his own shadow, "you’re just overreacting." Against his wrist, “you are fine." A lie, ”everything is alright." And yet a cold and contemporary hand of power has outstripped his intelligence and replaced it with it’s own instinct for survival.

Should’ve stuck to methylone.

Or maybe no drugs at all? The thought brought a knowing smirk to Jasper’s face as he started on his way. Through all the bullshit, there was some pleasure to be found in slowly killing yourself. One could argue that that was just the demon’s trick. Take you to your lowest point and convince you to top yourself. Get you thinking a room in hell with your name on it wasn’t so bad. As if the worst part of you was simply all of you. Post-heroin thoughts were heavy; the olive branch that life extended to Jasper every morning splintered and fractured under their weight, threatening to break altogether. Yet Jasper wouldn’t give up this life. Even if it was reaching its s e l l - b y date. Probably passed. It made him sweat. Didn’t sit right. Though people had tried to convince him it was okay to just throw it out, he swore - he swore - it was still good.

The thought of a high led him to Mel. Decent neighbor -- crazy bitch, but when you’re a junky (and don’t bother not to actually look like a junky) you relinquish the right to have normal friends. He’d learned this. Jasper also knew that when she saw him, the last thing she saw was a temptation, save for the knowledge of an easy sell. And he kinda liked that. Mostly because it kept him accountable. He’d run off on a few plugs - you may even say he’s run off on the plug twice - and had to lay low as a result. But Mel wasn’t the type to let anything slide. She didn’t lurk, she hunted, and was more the type to show up to your place with a semi and hoodie, minus the mask because she wanted you to see her coming, the soles of her sneakers dripping red; the only Red Bottoms she had an interest in. (of course, Jasper wouldn’t know anything about that; he was out of town if somebody asks).

“Babe, how are-”

“Was wollen sie?”

“There you go with that german shit, nobody can understand you. Nobody knows that you’re saying!”

"Damn it, Jasper, what the hell do you want?”

Usually went a little something like that. Her j’s sounding like y’s, narrow eyes scrutinizing the sight before her but never quite able to deny a friend the usual discount, $20/oz codeine, something to hold him over until the next time he really used. His greatest need would always be smack, but for now, he didn’t have to spend much on that, just his body.

Jasper returned home to shower and get high. One of his favorite combinations, and probably the only thing he ever really did in the empty box of an apartment. Nothing but the bare essentials. A mattress on the floor. Toothbrush on the sink. The few homey things he had had long since been sold, and Jasper couldn’t be bothered to buy a new bed frame or a soap dish, or anything else, really, that would make the place seem friendly and livable. Not that it mattered. He wrangled himself out of his clothes and hopped into the shower, the combination of hot water and washing off grime making the euphoria of his high a little better.






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It didn’t surprise Jasper to see the same familiar faces at the strip club. Bates and Zaires. A never ending saga of malice and betrayal, a testament to the body’s capacity to endure life. An unfamiliar face slinked through the crowd. Jasper normally wouldn't think anything of it, except for the fact that said character could go toe-to-toe with Jasper if matching the pale, post-hardcore-punk, fiend aesthetic were a competition. He threw back a shot, meaning to keep the face in the back of his mind but knowing good and well that he wouldn’t. The girls were nice. Powerful men even better. But hooking was up usually the second goal; an afterthought. He normally targeted joints like these for the easy drugs. The only reason Jasper could get in was because he’d forged some sex-for-drugs alliances - his fare was always covered. But more importantly, if the big dogs were here, his pet couldn’t be too far behind. Jasper found a spot, secured a couple shots from interested onlookers (who says women were the only one’s who could show up with no money, get in free, and still leave drunk?) and watched the show unfold, a canvas of lithe, athletic bodies on beat with the music.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dominic Bates Character Portrait: Senna Z. Character Portrait: November Mae Character Portrait: Jasper Callaghan Character Portrait: Caroline Beaumont Character Portrait: Simone Bates Character Portrait: Bel Z. Character Portrait: Gunner Bates Character Portrait: Deni Pogsley Character Portrait: Declan Hayes Character Portrait: Clementine Tremaine
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•F•L•I•P•
.{x}. I won't soothe your pain .{x}.

Returning home to grace and grisly was a breather wanted aside from exercise pit stops. Deni's brain was muddled with questions about her two closest friends having an off moment. It seemed too weird, and not in a way that implied Gunner wasn't yelling the truth. But in a way that would imply he wasn't exactly saying everything. Because face it, G never wore bags under his eyes like Chanel or anything, but the ones on his face today looked like heart weight. He was candid and short. That was the way G was so she wasn't surprised. But something was amiss! And she'd be damned if she didn't get to the bottom of it and straighten it right the hell out. 

Buuuut ... not before she rolled around in a higher thread count play land with her antsy hands all over her love in an anxious fit of, "Wake up and kiss me." Clementine grazed the sheets and rolled her hips, friction between her and Deni that drove the girl simply wild. A profusion of Snow White hair covered the pillows in an extra silken layer. Flip cradled one of them at the crook of her elbow and wrapped her other arm tightly around Clementine's chest, squeezed just enough to give her the rush of potential harm and then bit through the planted plush of her kiss to bruise flesh of the neck. Gasps between a sliding palm and all sorts of bloodthirsty noise and desire. They came to know it as their beaten path. The couple was a traditional clash, and Deni liked the way Clementine fell breathless and showed her bones when she licked between breasts against goose bumps and requisites. Today wouldn't be an exception. 

It was hard to tell where one began and the other ended like a maze of messy love and hunger. Sweat laid thicker than the aftermath of her jog and by the points of climaxes, Deni held one thumb to each mandible. She wanted to see how deep the pain and pleasure went in the eyes of her soulmate. The pupil extended, then swallowed itself. Clementine's spine jerked and her hands gripped hair. They fucked and fought like just a fling but man did they know how to love. Their mutual fascination was an ambrosial infection. When periodic wars in bed were over, Deni dragged herself to an iPhone charger and reminded her friends she would see them later. Clementine ducked out of the affair, Deni chalked it up to business as usual. 

She had no problem riding solo. The codependency or lack thereof didn't seem to make messes in the other aspects of day to day life, and Deni could handle herself unlike many people she knew. She didn't need to show anyone up or act gauzy, gaudy, flaunty. In fact in spite of guaranteed VIP specs, she showered and tied her hair into braids and hardly put effort anywhere else. To be clad in black was enough.

With Clementine worn on her arm she might have stepped her game up. But she wasn't! Truth be told, though Miyu could kill a one-man fashion show with demonstrated simplicity it just wasn't her favorite thing. She was comfortable in her Calvins, or a pair of free runs. Or hell, both. All of it! Her sports bra could double as a very tight haute crop top with a Nike logo and so that's what she settled on. It's not like Gunner would give her shit for it. If anyone were going to choke on their stripper served beverage it might be the youngest Bates who everyone knew had the entire world beat at fashion. That was indisputable. Deni favored his flickered distaste for poorly ensembled outfits, because sometimes it was a ball to watch him mumble a drag about badly tailored lengths and jewelry bound to leave the skin green. Those Bates boys!

Eyebrows lengthened over bright eyes in an even sweep and bare arch that cast mystery over her face. It was hard to tell Deni's general emotions from her face alone, even harder from her eyes. The brows pointed in a sort of aggressive way. It gave her a look of hard contemplation, plotting, scheming, overall fear-inducing if registered by the wrong person. Clementine was intimidating as hell but Deni certainly learned a thing or two from it.

ImageSo when she strolled into the club in nothing short of an ebony gym getup and circular blacked out lenses she might have had a particular air about her. One that said, "I tip cocktail waitresses uptown double your nightly income." and chiseled out in the projection of a toned abdomen. The girls were pretty and even more talented with their lust for fuckaerobics on the pole. It was not surprising to see Dom and Novi enjoying the show, or, really just Novi, and Dom hiding in her hair much like earlier that morning. Before Deni could approach to say hello, Novi had wandered to an opposite corner. Deni followed her with her eyes and much to her coy pleasure... There was Senna Z. Baaaaby girl.

Deni could have opened the can of worms but it wasn't her style. She was more clean cut. And when she scanned the blonde piece next to Senna, Gunner's brief footnotes on letdown made all the sense in the world. Deni hung back to scrutinize and snatch down a few drinks. Before long something exploded in the general atmosphere, and Bel and Novi were at it, with some small remarks from Senna and a discomforted look on her girl's face. Deni couldn't help but chuckle because the repetitive cycle of her people was sometimes just too much. There was blood in the air, anger, jealousy, more heartache than what clung to Gunner's exhaustion and it was enough to make the mortal soul sick. Sighing, Deni glanced to Aedan, notoriously known for his slightly better hand at the work Deni had just picked up. He approached Dom and then soon came Bel. Awkwardly she removed herself, uninterested in theatrics of familial war and envy.

She however didn't miss the detail of someone unfamiliar slinking in tow with November's aggravated exit... Who was that? The only glimpse she caught was some metal in the skin, dark hair. Scrunching her nose, she racked her brain for answers she couldn't find and then wandered with a drink in hand until she saw Jasper with a line winding for his affections. Or maybe it was just the opportunity to buy him a drink.

Unabashed she cleared the way and rolled her eyes and slapped a Benjamin on the counter, "I'll get you some. Save your stamina for the real freaks in the back." Chuckling, she toasted to him and collapsed beside him on a plush beanbag that had probably been Lysol'd hopelessly many times. She didn't care. She put her hands on worse things, still beating hearts. Fingered the voids that released final breaths and gave them something sweet to pass onto the next world with. But Deni wasn't so sweet, at the end of it all. She'd have to live with that in her own head. Her own prison. "Sorry to interrupt your party," she cocked her neck to glance over at Jasper's junkie pulchritude. Shit, it makes people look like they haven't slept since conception and he kind of wore it like a glove. Fascinating. She had to wonder what his insides looked like from all that crap. One day she might know. She wasn't proud to admit it, either.

Tinted lenses slid down the bridge of her narrow nose so that crystal hues could peek up at him, "I selfishly decided to make you my social slave for at least twenty or so minutes. I'm plotting." She raised her glass yet again and looked over toward Senna and her new found playmate.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dominic Bates Character Portrait: Hani Kim Character Portrait: Senna Z. Character Portrait: Chloe Williams Character Portrait: Caroline Beaumont Character Portrait: Aedan Rory Character Portrait: Simone Bates Character Portrait: Bel Z. Character Portrait: Deni Pogsley
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You'll feel better when you wake up...

Gunner didn't. Not if he was being honest. Deni's chipper tone resonated in his panging skull. A reminder of where he needed to drag his ass, if he didn't want to hear about it later. He'd read the message beeping across the screen of his phone. Strip club? Bronx escort. It almost made him snort. He smothered his cheek against his pillow and exhaled sharply. Imagined his bones shifting back into place. His thoughts shivering in sequence, huffing out the blooming ache already setting roots in his chest. Fucking pathetic.

He'd support her anyway. Always did. Always would. Needn't whisper anymore words against her birdcage collarbone. In the cress of her hairline, threaded behind her ears. That was gone. Those moments. He wondered how long he'd miss them. His hand drifted next to his face, palm-down. He drew it into a tight fist and dragged his tongue across the back of his teeth. Probably just as long as he'd miss Bel. He'd long burnt that bridge with his familial silence. Buried his chances when he walked away. It was a Bates curse that would continue nipping at his heels. A fine line he walked. Two sides that adhered to his sensibilities. Promised sharper knives and no distinction between right or wrong—silence or wagging tongues. Either way, they'd feed him to the dogs.

Just a matter of time.

Blue curtains stretched out to allow a lick of sunlight into his bedroom. Crooked enough to offer a beam of the outdoors. Gunner watched Dominic toil in the garden. Hands turning over the soil and occasionally trailing across the petals. There were sides, angles, slants of Dom that most people would never see. Wouldn't have the opportunity to see. Not like this. Hunched in the sweltering sun to transplant flowers from one spot to another, in order to keep them alive. Like he did with all of them, really. As much as Gunner strong-armed anyone threatening his older brother, and his business, Dom operated in the background. Pulled invisible strings and tipped over dominoes. Kept him from stepping over any lines he wasn't aware of. Kept his chin tipped over the surface. Kept him from drowning.

This was Dom's garden. All of it.

He was just a part of it.

Maybe, the angry-looking spotted lilies tickling against the window.

He didn't mind.

...swear to God I'll make up everything and more when I get back one day.




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Strobes of red and blue danced across the walls. Painted them into strips. Revealed slavish tongues and hunched hounds tapping knuckles in perverts-row. Velvet-covered seats riddled around the circular stage. Closest to the gyrating, hip-swinging girls crawling on their knees. Buckling down for dollar bills, slipped into lacy thongs. Winking long-eyelashes and puckering full lips. Gunner noticed. He might've paid them a glance. But he wasn't interested. Not his gig. This wasn't his scene. But Dom was here—so he was too. A gun in hand. Nothing more, nothing less. He'd been here before. Of course. Knew where all the exits were located. Recognized familiar faces weaving and bobbing in the crowd of hounds. The smell of sweaty bodies greeted his nostrils as soon as they ducked inside.

Seedy business attracted all likes of gun-totting, smack-dealing gangsters. Besides what normally happened behind closed curtains, transactions occurred. Alliances were made. Blood swilled together. Fingers twisted and sometimes, fists were drawn: cocked and loaded. Why they would pick this place of all places to do business? He didn't know. He supposed only crooked cops sniffed at their heels. Here to have a good time, like everyone else. Bulky bouncers kept the place under lock and key. Kept goodie-goodies from wandering too close. They were wolves and dogs and beasts curtailing whatever herds they claimed. The whole damn place felt like a smothering blanket pressed up against his face. He didn't really want to be here, but in that grumbly haze of self-pity he'd promised Deni that he would and if Dom was here, it was his business to be here. Supposed he might've enjoyed this a bit more, under different circumstances. Running around with Bel and Senna when things were simpler. Now, not so much. Everything was complicated.
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Gunner slipped in beside Dom and sat alone. Shrugged off wandering hands wrapping around his bicep. Mumbled when shots were shoved in front of him. Ignored the croons of birds who craned over his bulky shoulders, whispering that he should just have one drink. Some of the girls knew him by name and stopped in to say hi. Knew all of the Bates and Zaires because their parties often carried themselves here. But, he wasn't interested in any lingering touches. Didn't want to bring anyone home with him. Besides, he wasn't the type of guy to rip into some hapless girl if it didn't mean anything. The only necks he wrapped his hands around were those he put down. Exposed collarbones and soft fingers in a place like this hid claws and sharp teeth. Opportunists who dug into leather wallets and fled at the first sight of daylight. As wretched as he felt, he didn't feel like filling in those spaces with a warm body. He leaned his forearms across the clean counter top and glanced sidelong. Noticed November sliding into Dom's lap as if she'd been there all along. A sultry kitten wrapping herself around him, sans purr.

He noted Simon sweeping through the doors with Hani clipped to his elbow. Fashionably late, as usual. A smile almost tipped across his lips. Stopped-mid twitch and settled into a frown. He inclined his head. Nodded to acknowledge that he was fine. They were all fine, in one place. Seeing Hani step into a place like this made him feel odd. He was, however, somewhat relieved that she'd come with Simon. He trusted no one else to accompany her. Even if they hardly talked anymore... he wanted her safe. Wanted what was best for her. He doubted it was Bel. Problems clung to his heels like weights. Threatened to send him to the depths: drowned him. Even so, he was relieved there was someone to wipe his knuckles clean. Pull him away from himself. Temper the anger that bubbled and threatened to spill over. He was a bomb sizzling at both ends. Couldn't blame him. If Bel was a walking grenade tick-ticking away, he was the one dancing with lions. Cawing for a death-wish.

It didn't take him long to notice Dom leaning back in his seat. Gunner followed his gaze towards the Zaires. He would've been lying if he said he hadn't noticed Senna walk in with the blonde bomb shell. Felt the sickness rise in his guts, green-envy that made him turn his head away. But now, Dom wanted him to look. So he did. Could see the clear distaste coloring his features. Dragging his lips down into a scowl that spoke volumes. He didn't want her here, so close in his vicinity. He wanted her gone. Probably wanted him to wring his hands around her pretty little neck to make her disappear. He couldn't. Wouldn't. Not to Senna. He said as much before looking away from them. He turned back towards the counter top and stared at his battered knuckles. Opened his hands, stared at his palms and crushed his hands into fists, “She told me 'bout her.” Barely a whisper. Only audible to Dom, and maybe November, if she was paying attention.

Fucking pathetic.

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Giggling pair of girls leaning into each other like proper lovers. Kissing necklines. Whispering sweet-nothings in plain view. It only seemed real when it was right in front of him. He'd support her, that's what he'd said last night. Whispering in a euphoric tundra, wasted under the weight of such a promise. Lingering in the warmth she left behind. Gunner tapped his fingers and ordered himself a whiskey. He normally tried to keep straight while watching Dom's back. Normally sniffed snow to keep him focused on the task at hand. But his head still bugled like a pair of drums and liquor had the auspicious numbing effects he craved for. He threw his head back and finished the glass before turning back towards Dom. Surprisingly, Bel had joined him. Probably bristling at the sight he'd seen. Seemed like even ladies weren't exempt from his watchful eyes. Baby always deserved better. He tended to agree.

Another body occupied the space November had left. Slinked in when he hadn't been paying attention. She wrapped around Dom like a scarf. As if she belonged there. Gunner wondered what Nov would have thought about that. Would she bare her teeth? Mark her territory? Scream at the top of her lungs like she'd just done with Bel? Would've been a sight to see. Nov was a firecracker. Dom had the habit of attracting explosive women. The kind who would build you up and destroy you in the same breath. He didn't say anything. It wasn't any of his business who Dom chose to fuck. As long as they didn't dip their toes into any of his own affairs, it was fine. As soon as Bel leaned into Dom and pointedly called Caroline a snitch, Gunner finally twisted towards them. He probably looked like shit. Exhausted, trying to conjure something up. A warning. Something that didn't sound like he was agreeing that something should be done. Despite the quiet wish tickling at his bound fists, his expression shifted. Hoped the spite didn't leak through too clearly.

It took everything in him to grumble, “Don't fuck this up for her.”

This wouldn't turn into a fucking shit-show. Not on their account.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Senna Z. Character Portrait: Jasper Callaghan Character Portrait: Caroline Beaumont Character Portrait: Gunner Bates Character Portrait: Deni Pogsley
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Jasper had just tilted a glass to his lips, the burn drowning out both vice and physiognomy for the time being, when he sensed Deni slide up beside him and offer to buy the next round. Jasper normally wasn’t one for people or socialization when he was off the clock, so to speak. With his usual targets being busy and what not. But as she toasted to him and collapsed into a beanbag, eyes glowing witch-bright in the dim light, he couldn’t fight the Cheshire cat grin that formed on his face like a cruel mask. He never turned down a handout. Jasper set his glass down just as she started in on her spiel -- "Sorry to interrupt your party." He teetered between apathy and sympathy; between wanting to leave altogether in favor of fixing some problems of his own, and wanting to both caress, purge, and cut her riotous skin against his own sallow and sun starved integument. He doesn’t comment. Not at first. Breathes in the scent of revelry, lets the alcohol simmer with his knuckles pressed to his lips. "I selfishly decided to make you my social slave for at least twenty or so minutes. I'm plotting."

“I’m flattered,” he turned to look at her with an amused hum, only partially slighted by the fact that his unsolicited attention wasn’t going to be channeled into something even the least bit sexual. She slid dark lenses down her nose to reveal equally dark machinations and Jasper followed her gaze with curiosity until it landed on Senna and a blonde piece he didn’t recognise. Ordinarily, he wouldn’t think anything of it. The romantic conquests of other people didn’t concern him until it needed to. But this wasn’t about him, and after finding within himself some semblance of a fuck to give, it didn’t take long to compile the collective leers around him and take a guess; no one wanted the outsider around Senna. Or alive. Whichever came first, and he’d been around the scene long enough to know how that ended. It was a valid concern, he supposed, even if he felt Deni’s worry was well trodden and ultra common - the protective hovering of a concerned friend. Nevermind that that shit was corrosive and counter intuitive to self preservation. “You plotting against that?” Jasper motioned towards the blonde and Senna with a tilt of his chin before giving an enigmatic snort of indifference. “Good luck, babe.” Jasper had made a domain for himself on the fact that people often met their nightmares not in dark, sinful alleys but in angelic faces, so he knew first hand the difficulty of convincing someone their nascent fascination was no good.

Not that he thought it would be particularly hard for anyone in the Bates-Zaire circle to literally remove her from the equation; the amount of uneasiness centering around her had him inclined to believe it needed to be done. Perhaps he knew first hand, maybe not. When you carve your name into someone’s side, strip aside all the sinew and muscle to reveal the raw truth as you are, and they still don’t listen. Insist you were soft. That’s when you need an outsider with clear vision to snap you out of your daze. Even still, Jasper smiled sharp at the edges, teeth flashing against the prussian blue of the club with the kind of satisfaction that only comes from recognizing the hiss of another as the same as your own. That’s how snakes find each other, after all. That’s how he knew for sure she was trouble. But Jasper also couldn’t think of any way that solution - decimating the blonde - would add up to one big happy family. Where cynicism and malice and hereditary responsibility muddied the blonde bombshells image, Senna must have seen refracted light and he could only imagine the outcome should they turn her into a goddess misremembered; two deaths instead of one.

The fallout would be glorious.

“I mean, I’m sure you’re fantastic at what you do,” (peel my skin back and show me). He set his eyes back on Deni, “and it’s awfully noble of you to take up for a heartbroken friend -- Gunner’s your stake in this, yeah?” Jasper reached behind him for another drink, swirling the glass in thought. It wouldn’t hurt him to take a few notes in regards to who was connected to who in this web of debauchery and death, but he could assume, it being a given that Simon and Dom were otherwise preoccupied the other night, Gunner was who she had some kind of relationship with. “But you can’t ignore the fact that there’s an obvious fuckin line to roast blondie over there, a line you’re at the end of, let’s just be honest. I doubt you’ll be able to swoop in like the sexy anti-hero and save the day,” Jasper thought out loud with a snicker and swig of his drink.

“Anyway, anyway,” Jasper held up both hands before he could slip into a rant, “lemme shut the fuck up before your twenty minutes go by and I have to charge you somehow.” It was as much a revelation as it was a joke, seeing as Jasper’s affections were fleeting and wild at best and his hands were much too small to hold ineffectual infatuation unaccompanied by a chemical cocktail. He ran his hand through his hair with a sigh, maintaining a quiet air of reticence while his thoughts began to shift to something more pressing and personal; his own personal demons. Of course, he wouldn’t be killing his off anytime soon. Only keeping them copacetic and well fed. What he’d give to permeate his tissues in premature death right now. “What’s your plot, babe? Lay it on me,” a brittle and cruel sound as he propped an elbow on the counter and rested his chin on a closed fist, not at all meaning to sound patronizing and yet unconcerned with the challenge of his timbre. Given that Deni was neither interested in him nor offering him something of value, there was no reason for him to placate and purr. And fuck him if that in and of itself was Jasper's own and only form of amity. This was a no sympathy league, and yet a fleeting fascination had him abhorrently hopeful that she'd get what she wanted.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dominic Bates Character Portrait: Hani Kim Character Portrait: Senna Z. Character Portrait: Jasper Callaghan Character Portrait: Chloe Williams Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore Character Portrait: Aedan Rory Character Portrait: Simone Bates Character Portrait: Bel Z. Character Portrait: Gunner Bates Character Portrait: Deni Pogsley Character Portrait: Adam Larson
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"There ain't no way in fucking hell I'm letting you out without a scratch."





That night, they made love to one another like they hadn’t caressed one another in years when in fact it had only been some twelve hours since they last touched one another, with the intent of fucking like old sweethearts. Somehow that night felt more intense than any night preceding it. Maybe it was because they had to maintain their inside voices as there sweet innocent little angel slept unawares just down the hall. It could have been because of the ruckus that occurred early during the wee hours that the Little Lady had her legs open up until she finally closed them, having experienced enough for one night. Regardless, the moment their room was sealed off by a thin piece of wood they called a door, Anna was thrust into the door at hip level as Jona buried his face into the crook of her stretched out neck. His partner in crime made giggling sounds one would expect of an innocent schoolgirl while her hands roamed and said otherwise. Somehow the idea of trying to remain quiet made the whole of it seem as if they were having an affair, desperately trying to avoid letting the wife or husband become privy to their fucking while said husband or wife was next door unaware of the interlopers. After a certain point, Jona’s leg could no longer take the weight of holding her up, so as he attempted to set her down on the bed he had been so intent on re entering her that he had forgotten that his pants were still at his ankles. To make matters simple, the pair tumbled to the floor and snickered at one another.

If they didn’t know any better it would have been easy to have judged them and see that they were still new thus being clumsy in the act of love making. Of course, they were no strangers to it regardless of the location so they simply resumed where they were.Then again, the giddy way in which they explored one another it was almost as if they were nervous and were unsure of what to do but they knew exactly where to place a warmed moist hand or where to place kisses so light the skin shivered. As a result of one of those familiar spot, a deep throated chuckle erupted from within Jona, a feat not often witnessed by those not welcomed in these parts of their home. Only the bearer of his child knew what to do with her lovers body. Of how to make him squirm and ready to burst. He knew the ropes just as well and often times it became like a game to see who would give out first. It wasn’t until their alarms went off that they found themselves in bed layered in sweat and their own sweet, nearly sickening, scent of their love. Somewhere along the way they had moved to the proper place of love making. Almost at the same time, the two turned in to face each other and smiled at one another. Jona leaned closer to give her a kiss however Anna had other ideas.

After one last round together, the two sauntered out into their shower and washed each other. It almost led to another love making moment. Wrapping his waist with a towel, Jona was the first to exit the bathroom to find his daughter sitting atop their bed. “Good morning love.” Meg grinned a gap toothed smile and giggled, “morning daddy.”.





Unlike the night before, The Little Lady didn’t have as many patrons passing through her skirts so for a moment she had a brief respite from all the thrashings that went on inside. Jona worked the bar as usual, Anna and Meg were nowhere in sight for their presumably weekly girls night out. It wouldn’t be until their little angel grew older or could understand the significance of having that night out. The grump was happy with the quiet buzz that emanated from the four or five booths and tables that were occupied. It wasn’t everyday that the bartender got some peace and quiet and while he hates to admit, is actually quite relieved that he doesn’t have to worry about his wife and daughter. The previous night had only reminded him of how foolish it can be to have the both of them there especially when those two damned nitwits were involved. Angrily wiping down a mug, Jonathan glared out into the restaurant. A few of the patrons happened to glance up and flinched upon seeing the face their bartender was giving them. Although from Jona’s perspective, he was imagining the two nitwits in his restaurant and throwing them out by the ear. “They ought to be taught some manners.” in muttering this, he realized the naivety of his words and snorted. Shaking his head, the bearded man setting the mug back in place and grabbed another one to pass the time.
As he wiped down a second glass mug, the grump thought back to earlier that morning. Senna had come in to pay her respects for the damage her unruly brother had caused. The bartender still wasn’t quite over his actions and it was up to Anna to alleviate the tension between the two. From what he understood, Anna had struck a deal with the younger Zaire. The young beauty would have to make use of herself and work for them. It would certainly have to be long enough to pay off the cost of the damage the dimwit had caused. He chose not to partake in their conversation as the mere thought of the older Zaire made him grumble under his breathe. Somewhere in him, the bartender was fuming silently, just waiting to release that pent up irritation on something or someone. As soon as he came to that realization one of the waiters called from the kitchen.
Rolling his eyes, and let out of a huff of annoyance. “What the fuck is the problem now?” With cane in hand, Jona limped over to the kitchen doors and threw them open. Brown eyes scanning the large room for the face that may or may not meet his fist. A grim line settled on his face as the waiter that called him waved him over. Stepping around on the shelves, Jona noticed that she the kitchen phone to her ear and also wore an expression of annoyance. “What?” She raised a finger as she quickly barked into the phone in rapid fire spanish. The grump rubbed the back of his head to keep himself from snapping at the waitress. He was old enough to catch most of what she was saying and he growled when he heard just that one word or name rather, Lars. At once Jona tore the phone from her grip and yelled. “What the fuckin hell did he do this time!?”

The waitress shook her head. She almost felt bad for the kid but he had caused enough trouble that she was surprised her employer hadn’t kicked him out yet. Chest rising and falling angrily, Jona slammed the phone back into the cradle and hurridely limped out. “Close up our Lady when she’s had enough. I’m going out.” The waitress simply gave a nod and threw on the jacket that meant she was in charge. He snatched his jacket from the coat rack and stormed off into the night, lighting a cigarette as soon as he stepped out.





By the time Jona had gotten there, he was just finishing up his second cigarette. Flicking it to the ground, he stomped on the remains and adjusted his jacket. He forced himself to take a deep breathe as he didn’t feel like making a scene in someone else’s place. He had enough trouble for one week, so he calmly entered the strip club and scanned the dimly lit room. Ignoring the advances of some of the dancers, the bartender spotted the troublemaker and slowly made his way over. The kid was flanked by two of the hustlers but he still had the nerve to give Jona a cheeky smile. Almost at once, all the anger that had been building up inside Jone broke through the flimsy wall that was his control. With quick steps, Jona lashed out and punched the kid square in the jaw, garnering a few screams of surprise. “You fuckin dipshit! You’re still a damn minor and you honestly think you could actually spend time in here? And you had the fucking balls to actually get it down with one the dancers!? You must be out of your goddamn mind! You’re lucky we weren’t busy today or I swear to the good Lord I would have left you here for them to deal with.” At this point, Jona was more or less screaming and had attracted the attention of the other patrons. His appearance was a bit disheveled but a quick hand running over the stray articles of clothing and hair settled it back down. Brown eyes glared from underneath lowered eyebrows, daring the hustlers to try and remove him from the premises. “Fucking bastard. What can I do?” He jerked his thumb at Adam, not bothering to mention him by name at this point. When the kid tried to speak up, Jona glared over his shoulder. The expression on Jona’s face got worse as one of the hustlers presented him with a small dose of crack. “He was doing lines on our ladies asses and even tried giving it to them. He's also underage for drinking and being in here although I don't see how the fuckin kid managed to pass with such a shitty ID.” The owner glared at the two of the hustlers and frowned. “Jesus Adam. Really? I don't know if you're trying to be like them or if you're just fucking stupid.” Jona rubbed the area around his temples and gave out a sigh. By his stance he was still pissed and unless the kid thought it a good idea to say something, he wouldn't get punched again.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dominic Bates Character Portrait: Senna Z. Character Portrait: November Mae Character Portrait: Jasper Callaghan Character Portrait: Caroline Beaumont Character Portrait: Aedan Rory Character Portrait: Bel Z. Character Portrait: Gunner Bates Character Portrait: Deni Pogsley Character Portrait: Daisy A.
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⟝BEL⟞
Image


Glittered linings. That's something a person isn't likely to see in the city, save for whatever light is at the end of the tunnel. It's probably nothing more than the fractal luminescence punched through broken glass. All silver, promising. Aftermath of a rigged accident, exsanguination. It could go any way. The sports were messy. People, messier. This life is so rarely forced and more frequently chosen by the brazen and well - admittedly hopeless. Determination and purpose are abundant, but success... No. Crack pipes lead to cracked pipes upside the head. Fingers dipped in ivory, the daubed white-on-gum necessity, familial struggle, blame games. Homicide ordered straight up and the rocks aren't ever desired because this fucked hack job of a Brooklyn birth has come to recognize corpse rot as victory. Welcoming death is one thing, playing it is another.

The feeling of hell is smug and snug when the cards are laid right, but Bel's deck was coming up awfully short. He rolled fragments of shot ware in his palms, let the pace come slow, a memento of his muñeca storming out and swearing no return. Blood trails were painted on the cage of a fresh beverage and he jerked uneasily when Gunner side eyed the small (yet totally necessary) exchange between his brother and Bel. He tasted the Maui undertow and their first cigarette when he glanced at G for the only time in years, where there was no intent to snap. The vaguest nod was given, the bold cut of his left shoulder tipped barely enough to let a diadem fall in the event of negotiating with saboteurs. Slugged a drink. Slid the gratitude, bloodied and emptied, right back down the counter. "I don't condone brutality to women. But make it slow. She smells like tabloid." His pitch was low. Unforgiving. Gunner wanted for a different approach - his words stuck to Bel's temple and rolled around in fine print in front of his face. He could have mulled those over. Could have given his old friend a serrated question about why it would 'fuck things up' for Baby, but there wasn't a good reason to go there. It was proof enough that Gunner still stood behind Senna, and wanted her happy. Even if things had gone to god awful shit between Zaires and Bates. They all cherished their Baby. Bel, considering his particularly rigid personal state, was on the opposite edge of usual demeanor when he chose to appreciate the middle son's plea. Did that mean he would honor it? That Dom would honor it? That anyone would step down from the precondition of snubbing a threat when they saw one slither up to their Baby? Fuck no. But it was appreciated. Bel dug his heels into the proposition, its consummation. Tonight was no night for salted wounds and a decade under a burned bridge.

This changed nothing, the malice still burned red hot. Dom was reassuring. Short and to the point. Bel had seen the slightest traces of human proof on this earth simply vanish the way flies do when coming within a few inches of the Dionaea muscipula, for that man's creed. This man. The one who put the grinding bone in Bel's mouth, because he cradled the matrons Bel would die for. Because they loved what Dominic gave them. It wasn't material, it wasn't capsules catalyzing euphoria or sleep. It wasn't money nor drugs nor comfort. In the end. Dominic was a creation crooked, fell not foreign but something scarce all together. He had stories to tell yet stopped when those he looked after grew into heavy shoes. Now, his Seabreeze scrutiny was overlaid ashen with the cold only a life of dirt and dissolution could bring. The kind of chill that gets up under the sheets and clings like ivy. Howbeit, everyone wanted for what he gave even if he felt like it was nothing. He gave everyone all of him. And that's why Bel would always lose.

Image"Gracias," resounded like a prayer on its last leg as he frisked the length of his chops with a laden mitt, and he didn't look at either Bates boy when he closed, "For understanding." Funny how a stalking sociopath with a slaughterous shift didn't cause extreme dismay, but she did. Bel sewed it up terse not for heredity and hate, but her. He didn't forget her. How she could fuck things up for the business, when it was still a combined effort between Gotti and Andres. It'd been years easily since she had the audacity to come up in a stomping ground she was so happy to abandon. That she dared show her pretty little mug at all was mystifying. That she fuse it to Dominic's shoulder with aweless address, like she belonged anywhere near either party, was criminal. Her black hair spilled over him and hailstone hit where his heart should have been. Bel watched Dom, motionless and aware. That his Juliet forgot her suicide but not her lines and come all the way home. What a cue to fuckin' bail. This wasn't his war, Bel knew that. But damn it all if he didn't want her laying in an icebox on top of sweet Caroline. It appeared as though some loyalties would lie forever, deep and devoted.

Baby bangs were swept askew as an aftermath of a tempest caught between buildings will often do. The slope of her frame was violently more woman than he remembered, without any remnant of girl in sight. Her eyes: bambi ballistic with unapologetic nostalgia. Skin tight, soft at the chasms and just begging for attention. But the universe knew only one man could have it, could have all of her. And it made all the sense in the world that that man would be Dominic. Perhaps this churned the contents of Bel's stomach because it was the same with November. And Baby was gone with a wind now whispering the name Caroline, then a sour reminder like Daisy rears her pretty, little sick head....

A junkie's a junkie.

A shiver rattled the looming six foot something of stone cold Zaire blood, and skirred through the rest of him like the residual whir of electroshock. A chatter in chassis generally unheard was raining from his very being something akin to clammy condensation. Fuck he'd hate to admit it, but he was feeling a disheartening lack of oversight. But some things just had to be. Was he going to let a pack of brassy beauts go sending his BP through the roof? He couldn't, there was only one worthy of that shameful gut reaction and she was no longer present. His mind was looking for her in spaces she swore to never touch again. A closure glance granted the sight of Aleksei offspring unfurling in Dominic's lap. Sneaky kitten. "Mother fuck," he breathed sharply, knowing trouble when he saw it, "Shit." She had ten rangy perennials between two hands and the evidence of their ache was in the way one framed Dominic's jaw. Like she was trying to relive the last time she'd done the same or crawl inside his pulse again. A man's remorse was little different from a woman's, save for the pain not so quickly donned at first blush. Daisy was like Dom in that way. Just a fraction of the heart sore smoking gun, dangling from her index, and Dom's... Pinched between canines on the tip of a tongue that would never admit he was dying slow in her truancy. Why'd Bel know it so well? 'Cause that's how it felt for mere minutes November spent away. Then the hours came like ballast on the chest, and days, edacious acid to paranoia. What would weeks and months feel like.... Years? He didn't know. He didn't wanna' know that kind of pain.

Finding unconditional love in a mephitic tomb might as well'a been considered null. Novi gave Bel the unthinkable, but had she not given it to the eldest Bates son, too? Did she leave any for herself? And how would she manage the production of her well-given passion upon this blast from the past hassling slants with few spoken words? Daisy was softer. Moved with satin persuasion and murmurs, where November would purr into a switch blade. Nothing between Daze and Dom was a secret, but shit everyone at the club ought to be glad November wasn't around to witness. Selfishly, Bel half wished she was. But on his private mission to tearing down the yellow-haired outsider, he had to take things with a grain of salt.

He could see her giddy surprise. The bouncing melodrama, as though she didn't expect a show coming into a drain arena where the upper end dancers only sold their pussy for septum solved diamonds and aphrodisia was just a testament for sobriety consigned to oblivion. Whatever her shtick was intended to be was looking more and more extra the longer Bel hung around. He couldn't take much more of her thigh grips on bebita. And when he'd had his fill, tank brimming on myriad, he saw Dom spilling Daisy out of his lap and found little reprieve. It was knocked when she took it with some fucked up sense of confidence, slinking off of him. She expected that. Why did Bel want to see her hurt? Secrets saved for another episode but surely not forgotten. Daisy watched with hacked curiosity as he moved to Aedan and turned his back entirely on her. But she was never once surprised, did not sink with disappointment. In fact her face said something like, "Yeah, I deserve that, but I knew it before I came in here." And what did the vixen do then but fucking smile right at Bel. Not at first - she reserved that for the one she loved, t h e n put her sparkling gaze on Bel. It was bound up, sent a dizzying punch to his nerves and by instinct he barked, "What the fuck are you smiling at?" A grin slain short, she let her head dip and shake...

[/i]"Good seeing you, kid."[/i]

He didn't stay to watch her leave. He had to go first, save the words at a dry broil lodged in his neck for a different night. What could have been easy fun and gags between watching Jasper pull sad souls and Deni verbalize loathing the ever loving shit out of Bel, turned into a bad break up scene decorated with a copious amount of unwanted guests. The two previously mentioned had sidled up in a cozy corner. Gossip twisting the space among them, no doubt. Deni's devious eyes were downcast gray and beside her, Jasper swirled a drink and looked at Bel's little sister, wildly entertained. He couldn't stomach any more.

Whether it was one dive bar or the next that riddled him more a disease than a man, he wasn't sure. Morning would split across the upper atmosphere and all too soon. It would tell him he'd had too much, thought the least, sold everything he had on him at the time and lost his jacket amid it all. Impiety had taken him to bed, dispatched without a pause for breath. Another night in so called paradise. So the theme went. A thin sweat licked his skin; with its weight came hollow holes around goggles that saw the world too clearly. Before the sun could amplify another ugly truth he saw himself home. A ball and chain didn't have her arms around him, nor vice versa. There were no sultry giggles to accompany hell himself or follow him from the bar. Seclusion got the nod, opted and appropriate. Maybe this was the only time he'd ever chosen something even half right. The devil sung quietly in an echo of Bel's dragged route, told him not to go home, promised with perched wolves under a sheep's disguise that if he just took a taste of his own product he might feel half the heaven that his girl was. But he wasn't a fiend. Had little in common with the likes of Jasper. Aedan. Daisy.

He shuddered. Tornadoes had better chances of landing on his destination than he at this point, but amber and fire were out through his ears and chasing the persuasion of evil into a new day. Nothing left of it. He had to get his shit together if there were any hope at all of being productive – being at work. Bel rounded a block, his block, six times exactly, before sliding lock bars by keyholes to find sanctuary. It was nowhere in sight, not by stoop or doormat. Familiar things that should have given breaths of relief were only miserable fuckin’ reminders that this life was getting too heavy.

There was something resting on him. It was kindred to sleep paralysis, only he wasn’t sleeping. He was painfully awake. It was lamented as he locked the door behind him without anyone to accompany. “Cómo puedo hacer que esto funcione… Mierda.” A drink intent to induce numbness swished, he loosely grasped it and leaned into the island counters. His place was dark. There was no need to put on even the lowest of lights, to convey he was home. The shallow of this dwelling was barely occupied. Not even Bel could say he was entirely there, that he was utilizing space for anything other than bare existence. Wallowing could ensue, but he was also not entirely sure that he was sad. Cartilage to bone ratio twisted in an attempt to communicate agony, and he realized he’d been holding every bit of tension in each limb without regard for how rigid posture would feel at the end of the night.

But he didn’t get the chance to relax. Not when a shock of sound put its desperate hand through glass – and this, apparently, had also become a recurrent cadence to his life. Bel saw no color and no pattern, didn’t even snap on the hard wired end of impulse for his piece. He could have killed with his hands and felt nothing. So it was.

In fact, the padding gait was almost leisure. He contemplated pulling his shirt off as though this would be the last step in his nightly routine before curling up in bed. Something was out of place, and he hadn’t felt it by the crunched autumn in the air. He’d long switched those faculties off and blinked away a brief smear of intoxication as he peered into the hall, where the visage of something gory and blurred let itself in. Or was trying to. Such reckless nature fell behind the commotion. The tender rupture went on fumbling and Bel’s oxygen deadened when he recognized who just busted out the oblique window of his front door. Headlong, by the last branch of survival and just desperately grappling for anything. Anyone. S o m e o n e.

She was looking for one person.

A call for him crawled out of her like an art passed, giving up the ghost. She broke her way in so soon after swearing him off. Only as a skeleton of what he’d seen hours earlier. With track marks, with bruises – with things he didn’t put there. That no one should have put there. Things that simply didn’t belong. These monstrosities wrapped about her in brushstrokes of blue, yellow, black. Drew her a piece of horror fiction now bound for the sad reality of Brooklyn and its inescapable consequences. Consequences Bel was ready to kill for. Sapless bract was lost in her hair the way his digits should have been, and she was lost in this juncture of assault. Disgrace hit him first, then bitter ferocity that could only be compared to a need for extermination. The inability for a ticket, dirt paid and maladies washed away had him wordless and scooping her, childlike to the table. China shattered as he cleared it for the body barely breathing. Risen in his throat: potent tenacity lost. He felt less than human, useless to have possibly let this happen. It would have been easier to swallow rocks than say anything. And everything said, everything jeopardized between them was forgotten.

“Hey,” he croaked, ashamed to speak to her, scared to touch her for fear that she may disintegrate and seep through his fingers, “Hey, baby.” He moved across her face so vaguely that he wasn’t certain he could sense her warmth. Terror was so rarely experienced for him in this way. Maybe he’d felt invincible to a fault, now it came to a head and he didn’t know how to meet her flesh with his for the first time since they’d met.

ImageScared. Plain scared – and what did this mean she felt? Had been feeling? Who did this to her? His animus needed no discourse. The things he was going to do were unthinkable but he wasn’t going to ever let go of her again. “I’ll kill them,” he promised, forearm scantily across her, “And you’re gonna’ be alright. Lo prometo, mi amor. Alright? You hear me?” Everything given came hardly over whispers, dashed by daydreams they didn’t get to seize before some sick son of a bitch had his fix with her body as a conduit for a barbarity even Bel didn’t play. “What can I do?” How could he even supplicate at the darkest hour – one of which the vast majority was spent on his part, wasted, fucking up, not being around. He should have chased her out that door. "I love you," leaves were combed away by his tedious efforts, "I love you." He should have let her know sooner.

He should have done it different.

But things were gonna’ be different.

From here on out.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dominic Bates Character Portrait: Hani Kim Character Portrait: Senna Z. Character Portrait: Jasper Callaghan Character Portrait: Chloe Williams Character Portrait: Jonathan Moore Character Portrait: Aedan Rory Character Portrait: Simone Bates Character Portrait: Bel Z. Character Portrait: Gunner Bates Character Portrait: Deni Pogsley Character Portrait: Adam Larson
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#, as written by Ivisbo



Carmine Bates was perched on at the kitchen counter when he finally made it back home, typing away at her laptop with all the seriousness of a wall street lawyer. Glasses balanced on her nose, tea steaming on her right, and a stack of woman style magazines on her left, she didn't even look up when Simon entered the kitchen.

"Mom" He greeted her from behind, setting his bags down so he could wind his tattooed arms around her thin shoulders as she continued to type, pretending to ignore her youngest son in favor for her latest 'job', "If you are organizing another fashion show, you know I need front seats"

He could feel her body visibly relax at his presence- though she was used to him not coming home for multiple nights in a row, he knew it still bothered her under the surface. Always watchful but never too intrusive, Carmine kept to herself just enough to allow Simon to think he had the run of the town- secretly she had her talons loosely wrapped around him, whether it by making Dominic keep tabs on it or sending out a driver to pick him up when she knew his whereabouts. Simon didn't care, he knew his mother liked to have a sense of control in her life and didn't mind being just that for her.

"Simon, you know you are way to big to lean on me like this" Always a calm voice, though it was now laced with mild irritation. He chuckled, his beard rubbing against her exposed shoulders as he moved to plant a sloppy kiss on her cheek.

"Excuse me for showing you my love, mother" Simon stepped away and around the counter to avoid her too-slow swat meant for the back of his head. He popped a hip against the marble counter top and watched his mother remove her glasses and pinch a tired worry-line off her forehead. For an older woman, Carmine was absolutely stunning. Maybe it was the years she'd spent with little worries, when their cashflow came in easy and she lived her life just for her children. Recently he'd been able to tell her age more- small things like crows feet, forehead lines, aging skin, aching shoulders, grey visible in her grow-out. It worried him, although he knew aging with a silly thing to worry about.

"I was worried, you've been gone three nights in a row. Usually I can tell at least when you come home for a shower"

Simon sighed and turned away favor of the fridge, sensing an argument and not wanting to get into it right now. Shopping with Senna had relaxed him for the most part, but if he allowed himself to his mind could easily slip back to the image of Jasper above him, arms caged on either side of his head and the prick of a needle grazing against his throbbing throat. He could almost just replace Jasper's hand with his own, remove the other boy entirely and give himself the needle- skin would break easily, a small bead of blood would be all he would loose, then his body would relax as the drugs filtered through him and slowed everything to a dull crawl-

He opened the fridge, the rush of cool air simmering his mind, "I was at Gun and Dom's, you don't need to worry so much", his eyes traced the mountains of tupperware and frozen meals, wishing that his mom would keep something edible in the fridge and not just copious amounts of leftovers. With a sigh of frustration he shut the door a little too harshly, turning to face the Bates matriarch whom was regarding him with a cool, even stare. A very Dom look, something Simon always thought his older brother had obtained from their father.

But maybe Dominic was more like his mother then he thought.

"Are you doing alright?" Carmine was perceptive as always, especially when it came to her baby. She could see his tight shoulders, stiff neck, the obvious soreness of his muscles from his late night activities, the way his eyes seemed to shift everywhere but hers.

Simon smile and rolled his eyes, playing it off easily even though he wasn't alright at all, "Im fine. Just need a shower and a nap" He grabbed the bags he'd deposited earlier and left the kitchen, ignoring the heavy gaze his mother followed him out the room with.

ImageSafe in his room, he deposited himself on his black leather sofa without turning on a light. In the dark he could easily dig out what he needed- flick of the lighter, in hale, hold, then a slow stream of pure white smoke deflates his chest and allows his body to fully relax into the cushions. Fuck, he needed that hours ago- the restlessness in his bones made his over active mind nauseatingly fast, just the small confrontation with his mother had made the anxiety build up in his throat like bile. He hadn't been home in a few days and although he always had weed on him, there was nothing like siting on his couch by himself and letting his body sink into his own allotted self-medication. By himself, he could feel his mind teeter, let the constant stream of thought sift away and loose the tension from his shoulders. He relaxed, his usual perfect posture mellowed, and he let himself lean back and close his eyes and not give a shit.

Maybe Jasper as right, maybe this made more sense then everything else.

The buzz of his phone his his pocket startled him more then normal- it bothered him that even high, Jaspers tar still filtered through the haze.

    [From: Hani]
    [Hey...a drink? If you’re free]

Fuck yeah he was free.

    [From: Simon]
    Always free for you ;) Hows about you meet me at the strip in an hour? I owe you a few drinks, we can get wasted and hide from our problems together

Eagerly his fingers flung a text back at her and he hoped off the couch with energy that hadn't been present before. One shower, another smoke, and a change later, and Simon was hollering down the stairs a quick goodbye to his mother. He dressed more casually then he normally did- simple black tee, levi's, a dark fur-lined jacket- clothes that he didn't care much for. Cause Simon was higher then he'd been in a while and he had no interest in making it back home again tonight- he wanted someone new to wipe away the insistent creeping thoughts of pale junkie tattoo flesh and cocked needles.


Image


The heat coming from the stage lights and the gathered sweaty bodies makde the place smell like exactly what it was, a joint meant for to feasting your eyes naked, hot contorted bodies. Pure sex, where woman used their power in a way that made the opposite sex turn primal. Although Simon preferred men for the most part, he could never deny that a the hot shit that pulled themselves up on the polls in next to nothing and ground their asses for bills didn't turn him on. It air was thick and sweaty, either from the crowded stages or the grinding bodies in the back of the strip next to the DJ. He pushed slowly through the crowd, idling racking his eyes over the stages and lingering on a few that caught his eye, though he moved on faster then most. Attractive, sexy, but nothing that really got him going farther then pure aesthetics.

He ordered a whiskey for Hani and himself- he didn't know what the small girl drank, but figured he couldn't go wrong if it was top shelf liquor. Down the bar he caught sight of Gun and Dom, both looking as stubbornly unhappy as usually. Dom, his usual scowl in place, didn't even smile when he nodded at Simon in greeting- so Simon beamed down the bar like the good little brother he was. He had a mind to head over and bother the two until he got at least a smirk, but decided he was too high to deal with their cantankerous 'fuck-off' presence. He loved his brothers, but why the fuck did they come to a strip if all they wanted to do with sit and glower at everyone else? Instead he paid and snuck through the crowds, found Hani at a booth out of the way, and handed over her drink.

Whiskey in hand and eyes dancing across the crowded sweaty bodies and half naked woman, Simon let his eyes roam for familiar faces. Generally he always saw someone he knew here- his brothers, the Zaires, some of the woman that always seemed to be hanging off of either of the elder Bates arms, Jasper... and as if on cue, said demons sickly dark aura stood out amongst the rest, his bad posture and sneering smirk already grating on Simons nerves. He was talking to someone, he couldn't see from here, and he hated the sickly feeling of jealousy that crept through him. Jasper wasn't his, he didn't want him, but right now he couldn't help the possessive way he wanted the tear him away from the crowd. He clenched his glass hard, taking a long sip of the burning liquid, and tore his eyes away.

There was no need to get wrapped up in that tonight, not when he'd spent all day avoiding the shit that was Jasper Callaghan and had a room full of other choices. Maybe he'd go unnoticed in this dark booth, maybe Hani's light presence would steer the demon away, or maybe Simon should give in and let things go their own course-

Fuck that.

He easily found the 'other choice' of the night, grinding against one of the half dressed girls like he planed to unload himself right on the dance floor. A skinny, blonde, tattooed junkie, grudgingly Simons new type. He tipped back the glass and winked at Hani before slipping through the crowds to join the undulating bodies in the back. He supposed he should have been bothered that the skinny kid looked eerily like Jasper when he slinked up along Simon's taller frame, or he should have been bothered when he could see the faint dusting of coke under his noes when he turned around to grind full frontal. But fuck, Simon was resigned that the sickly junkie type was his thing for now, even though he knew they only lead to trouble.

And a few more shots into the night left him really not giving a fuck anyway.

At some point they'd moved from the dance floor to a booth, his eyes focusing across the table at the ridiculous kid- Lars, he'd heard him say in a thick Brooklyn accent Simon wasn't entirely sure was real- was either talking a mile a minute or had his nose plugged up with coke. Right now he was concentrating on taking a hit off some strippers ass, laughing at himself and offering up the white powder when he saw Simon staring.

“Hey man, want a bump?”

There was a moment where Simon actually shifted to move around the table, his body moved forward without even a thought, inky black Jasper-like fingers tugging him with promises that everything would feel so much better, before his mind caught up to his actions and he let the movement propel him upwards and out.

The bathroom was disgusting, but the water felt good against his burning skin. The light in here filtered out green, bounced off the dirty tiles and illuminated his dark bags and strung out eyes. He looked like he hadn’t slept in days, but he new that was just his nerves eating away at him. With slippery fingers he scrambled for his lighter and a joint, inhaled, and instantly relaxed- though he knew it was only temporary, he took solace knowing that this still worked.

Back in the main room he caught sight of Jona making a bee-line through the crowds. Something about the furrowed antagonizing brow and uneven gait caught Simon’s attention over the slithering bodies and smell of sex. He’d come to terms with his attraction to the older bartender, he spent many nights making lewd comments over the bar in attempts to get some sort of reaction. But Jona had a wife and a kid, something even Simon knew not to fuck with. Much.

He caught up with Jona just as he was decking the coke kid- Lars- in the face and a few bouncers were dragging him up. He waited idly behind, not one to interfere (the kid probably deserved it anyway, remembering the way he was snorting off the stripers earlier) before slipping up next to Jona with a goofy grin once the scene had settled, “ Whatever that shit was seems more trouble then its worth” He had to lean over and whisper in Jonas ear for him to hear him over the club noises, but Simon preferred the proximity anyway.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dominic Bates Character Portrait: Senna Z. Character Portrait: November Mae Character Portrait: Chloe Williams Character Portrait: Caroline Beaumont Character Portrait: Aedan Rory Character Portrait: Bel Z. Character Portrait: Gunner Bates Character Portrait: Deni Pogsley Character Portrait: Daisy A. Character Portrait: Kaelin Rory
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»SENNA«
Image


Pierian.

Childlike diversion came and went like the poetry of sinners. She'd never taken a step beyond the boundary known as bereavement, not to fall from seventy stories and be cradled by the crumpled coffin ladle of automobile wreckage. Nor hideously overdosed, reemerging with baby pink lips confounded, chest swinging. And certainly not alongside a lover, beige inoculated, their nerves a tangled mess of bare vigilance as they on dying breath shrugged at their syringe delinquency. But she had known the afterlife well. Had she not, she wouldn't recognize the charisma of its opposite. She was not ready to eat the crows of Brooklyn. She wasn't ready to die.

Senna shifted in the corner booth of fluorescent swept debts, not in part - quite the same as show girls. Her declaration of refusal was between the palm pulse of she and Caroline's grasp. But something about the guarded and unapologetic audits of her brother, even his sworn enemies, had her admittedly in a state of microscopic reconsideration. She knew after all, bringing Caroline into this place was proliferated with threats.

Not pretty, the colophon of Senna's light switch love interest had all eyes on herself and her shiny new right hand. This tool, not by any means meant to be, was garnering extra attention. No comity left. None expected. Her best guess is that life goes on, and she abides quietly with a pull of the hips. Caroline fell into her lap in a way that was beyond close for comfort to those around them. The euphoria behind shocks of dandelion hair bespoke of being wet, i n e x p e r i e n c e d. Untouched. A dusky pout was always in place, but she substituted it for a coy rock of her mouth which cracked corner vague into a smile and puckered to trace a slender neck. Senna knew what she was doing, that, they were looking for a show, really. She’d give it. Besides, the club was burning out in terms of holding her attention. Even with the blowout between Bel and November. Caroline, on the other hand, seemed overtly giddy.

“Has its days,” Senna sighed, drink in hand, leaning back into a cushion, “All dogs do.” Of course the feline like presence of the room belonged to maybe Chloe - Deni. One or both, and quite frankly, Senna had ashed the cigarette of her excitement and patience long ago. A bad feeling settled into her gut once Daisy showed up. Everyone could pretend like they didn’t see her, but she was hard to miss.

The warfare of nostalgia set in heavier than the bruise across her brow, and she leaned her forehead into the structure of her counterpart, creasing it. Burdensome, really. Nostalgia and sitting across the room from someone she’d just shared a bed with. A bed she didn’t want to leave. What was worse was having Daisy slide in, half kimono’d with her tiny waist and inky hair cast around her face the way it always was. It forced Senna to remember better and worse days. The latter perhaps warped her brain in a way that couldn’t be imagined even by the psychos she loved most. Speaking of psychos, her eyes grazed the shell of Aedan shortly before he up and disappeared, and pondered his presence in a way that might have said, “I bet you feel real proud right now.” And she couldn’t knock it. A heroin hedonist with the lacking in brakes made for a hell of a night and she couldn’t hate him anymore than she could have asked him to do her again. But when she recalled the lie spun like fine silk to fall on eager ears, protecting her now girlfriend, she kept her scrutiny up off of him. Avoided him like the plague.

Messy, messy.

Yeah, she knew it would be. It always was and it didn’t tend to clean itself up in a jiffy when things looked up, either. Perhaps the worst part of living in such a cesspool was less the people and more the circumstances and routines bred by them. There was an old saying about how once something manifests, it stays in motion. A body in motion tends to stay in motion. All that, and what not. Which meant the world of physics was granting evil immortality with little ramifications and plenty of bloodshed recoil. It made Senna mumble, “Mother fucker,” out loud and slam her drink back to counter herself immediately, “I’m tired.” But wasn’t everyone in the place? Yeah, they were.

And then there were the unidentifiable silhouettes that she thought familiar, but couldn't see long enough in the right strip of light to really know. It all felt too dangerous suddenly. She glanced over someone hollow, someone like something she already knew too intimately and watched it fall devil wise toward Chloe's company.

I gotta' get the fuck out.

A better shelter than shadow, Gunner sat up next to the baron with a sort of invisible mass cloaked around him. He looked just like she’d left him, maybe worse, and she didn’t want to tell the difference. Didn’t know how the hell she could take something so good and twist it up in her feeble hands, but she always managed to. Dominic wasn’t long for the likes of this place, and that was to no surprise. If he couldn’t hide in Novi or someone else, he’d dip alone or alongside the next best thing. They all loved lotus eating more than the beating of their own souls, but sometimes it was a close tie out. Much as they all thought they were alone they never really were. One cat always dragged in another. So the mess went. Over, and over, and over again.

ImageIn the company of wolves a person often finds that creature alliance is a fickle son of a bitch [no pun intended], yet somehow lays like the fruitful peace of a treaty between tandems that have accepted a common enemy. Everything was so fucking mercurial. Usually she didn’t want to complain but she was sodden with the strain of her free choices and was sick to death of being in a room full of them, past and present. She thought it better to peel out quick while the wounds were still kind of dry. Ripping them raw didn’t seem an alternative, she just wasn’t going to allow it. Not with tensions strung tighter than a guitar Dominic would rather smash than play or, traps rigged up right under everyone’s nose. Didn’t it just seem like, these days… They were all waiting to fall in on each other and lay their shit bare? That right there - the impending bloodlust? She forecasted it daily and watched the dam get a little weaker every week.

“We should cut this place,” she kissed it into prettier words, “Solo tu y yo.”

She couldn’t be paid to keep the baggage of everyone else’s evening and knew well enough that she had to keep hers in check. Some things weren’t fair. Well, about three hundred percent of existence wasn’t. She’d made a wrong turn or five and needed to bust the u. Maybe home. Maybe somewhere warm, under the covers or between Caroline’s thighs.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dominic Bates Character Portrait: Senna Z. Character Portrait: Jasper Callaghan Character Portrait: Caroline Beaumont Character Portrait: Aedan Rory Character Portrait: Bel Z. Character Portrait: Gunner Bates Character Portrait: Deni Pogsley Character Portrait: Daisy A.
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»SENNA«
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Taking propriety in the midst of a blood war was easier said than done. It called for grace executed in a ‘pour oil on troubled waters while holding the candle of an open flame’ way. If anyone could have done it, it was probably Persephone.

But she was nowhere to be found, guesses were as good as the next and who could have the balls to conjure something so pure to the playing field of something so prosaic? She’d better be found at the foot of woven ivy. Some golden tide not Brooklyn brewed ‘twix brack and packed banks with the bodies, stories of a dozen boys and girls too curious. Not within the company of purgatory and its endless bidding. Far the fuck away from this place. Where flowers are immortal, likely, and halo’d changelessly to dark hair and eyes transitioning from glass to innocence without a single missed beat. Something like paradise. Something better. A place to go to rest. With pastures to shelter the sempiternal sleep deserved by bones too weary, somewhere far the fuck a w a y.

From one chimera to the next, Baby has kept most of her second selves as well as the third to herself. Especially when it came to Caroline. There’s no reality realer than the one she’s stumbled through under strobes, the trickle of a cocaine nose. Felicity is a cheap thrill plaited between plastic and dust; fauna is a part of her she’ll never get back no matter how many petals she settles into her mane. There’s only one person in the entire universe who’d take every reflection of Senna Zaire, blackout or glowing white. And he wasn’t by her side for the sake of her happiness rather than his. Morbid and mordant, the girl is a fucking criminal.

Because whether she’d like to admit it or not, things could never just be. Not inside the earth that abided by only a scorch policy as per Bates y Zaire divinidad. Dios bendiga, amén and all that shit.

She pulled on the skin of her wrists with more loathing than the recovering junkie bedside to a suicide watch one too many times to think that there was romance or understanding at the end of the road. Had seen too much and too little. Of course in all things knew, that there was some fleeting gone and hell if that ain’t ironic. But Baby was going to take what was hers even if it wasn't truly hers, because it presented itself with an open palm and, "Thank you for bringing me here." If that didn't beg her name in the dark, then nothing did anymore. She'd taken an albatross to high heeled soles when she left, though, finding a rasping difficulty lodged in her throat that abjured something about 'goodnight' to or from Gunner. The atmosphere was the equivalent to a bed of stones and she shouldn't have missed his so soon. But they loved each other, right? No wishes, blankets or words were needed for that. He knew just as well as she did. Hoped he did, when she passed by and disappeared from the awkwardness that had probably seen much better days, even between these two families.

ImageYou could love hard, that much was true. You could try even harder, and screw your courage to the sticking place while lacing up the shoe because you knew all along it God damn fit. But fate is fate, and it always has its way. If it doesn't want you there, it'll put you here. The bottom line isn't when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. It's that lemons are bitter, there's no shortage of them and get fucking used to it, kid.

It was one thing to accrue all the bad publicity worthy of a scandal but another to then have the judgment of Deni from the corner curled up to Jasper. It all hit like steel to lungs, and Baby was taking credit where it was due with maybe just a pinch of salt. She couldn’t even begin to wrap her head around what those two were saying, and how bad it might sound at the tail end of Flip’s sarcasm mixed with the skewed haze of Jasper’s current state. Whatever that was.

"I'm just glad we got the meet and greet out of the way," somehow she managed to purr it, blushed luminescence fallen like lace to her counterpart and flawless in New York darkness, "Now we never have to do it again.” Anxiety was hidden behind a laugh that she let out like a shot, followed with a gradual gesture of a thumb to baby hairs the color of dandelions. Caught at the sugar and liquor of a kiss no sweeter than cloud nine itself she relinquished the thought. Instead, raked fingers in a daffodil copse and tangled them there. And wished she could have held it longer, pressed into the person she’d laid a lot on the line for. She tried to wash the images and sounds from her head, hoping to summon the nightly blur she traded for this. But all was fair in love and war – yeah, something like that.

Yet the questions and reminders steamrolled Senna like a thousand knives. Who – what – why. It’d be some kind of lie if she said she didn’t expect it, the problem was she wasn’t ready so God damn soon after unraveling years of confidence and secrets with her best friend, someone she loves. What was worse was November and Bel having a very typically November and Bel quarrel, all eyes somehow on Senna and Caroline instead, and Daisy blowing in like a late guest to her own debut and even that was very much the same. She guessed most things didn’t change, no matter how bad it was wanted of them.

Then there was Dom, sidelining and side-eyeing with blues intent for something coldblooded. Aedan followed in suit. Call a spade a spade. The devil was at work even when he was clocked out for the evening all because he had the right mortals playing for him. There was proof in that, catching the sleepless gaze of an addict who loved getting his hands dirty beside curious silence that secretly had a niche for such disaster. It was trouble. All of it always was. Dominic couldn’t help himself, his Baby knew that from afar – one too many cozy evenings spent with Daisy in withdrawal taught her well. Teaching an old dog new tricks wasn’t impossible, just highly fucking unlikely when the proclivity ran this deep, up like a tempest inside the brain of sobriety on her behalf. Fuck. Fuck.

F u c k.

ImageIt was alright, really, she’d known the language of double dealing since she stopped daydreaming shorelines and honest livings. Probably just found it a little too hard to look Caroline in that paper tiger face of hers and swear it was all just nothing. Another day of bullshit would be one too many, but she couldn’t cut to the chase any more than she could cut her own fucking drugs. Damn. Had she really become so fond of gambling? The inquiries sent her around the bend, but she feigned humor, passed it off, sat passenger to Miss Caroline and the divine honor of her companionship. Crossed fingers and rosary would be needed to keep her around, in spite of the most intoxicated infatuation. Senna hoped.

“It’s all a long, boring story,” lies pushed through her teeth like drying concrete, “November and Bel have an ongoing shit fest of a relationship. My friends and family are over protective. November doesn’t work the club, from what I know. But who knows. Who knows with any of them, really.”

She did.
She knew all of it.
Hopefully that truth wouldn’t find her in the morning, or the next day.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Deni Pogsley
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寸先は闇
Twenty y.o.
4-10-2011
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An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind -Hammurabi’s Code

I’m so tired I can’t stand. I’ve been cramming for months for one hundred and TWENTY credits, early completion. So you know what that means. Extra credits on hours I already don’t have, because my face has been stuck to surgical casebooks when I should be sleeping. But it’s looking bleak. I feel like I’m selling myself to thieves and I am standing here naked. I go to yawn discreetly…

Ma backhands me in the ass to keep my spine right and otousan is grinding his teeth. I’m embarrassed all around. It’s bad enough that they both think I should have made it this far on my own. I can only imagine the sales pitch they made to this dean and his board director and it’s really humiliating to be standing here. My parents sitting on either side of me makes it hard to tell if they’re here to make sure I don’t fall over, or to overplay how undeserving they think I am for a break. I haven’t fully bloomed yet and will I ever get to? Hard to tell if they believe I’ve got it all under control and can take more pressure or if they believe I’m an amateur who needs to fight for my right…

To party? Nope. Haven’t even had a light dusting of blow in the past year while all my fellow students were dropping Molly or acid or whatever at electric water lily festivals. When the halls were so empty I was reviewing The Mont Reid for fun. Just the thought of Wolfgang Stehr makes me want to go to sleep, I’m soooooo tired…

“私たちは契約を結んでいる.”

I’m wide awake now. That doesn’t sound or look academic. Otousan is poker faced and nods. The spectator, or who they told was a trainee for administrations, is Korean. She doesn’t even know she’s a spy. I want to take her aside and tell her I’m just as lost and confused but I have Indian burns on my wrists from my mother knowing me too well. I stay quiet and I wait…

“Write this down, Ji Su Park.” The dean forces a smile and the young mouse eagerly goes to her pen and paper. “Even as a model student, there is not much we can do as your scholastic peers to guarantee you an early graduation. Unfortunately there are many demands and conditions and in Ivy Leagues, we need total faith before we…”

The pop sounds like a whisper. It rings off again and is lost and sealed in the office. The mouse drops in a heap that isn’t loud enough for her body and it hurts that someone’s daughter is going out like that. It’s so quick. Quiet. At least it was clean. At least it was clean…

“Do any special favors.” He derides in Japanese while the only living matrons in the room are forced to be stoic. Like we were just out for sake and dumplings. Like there isn’t somebody’s child leaking on the carpet. He straightens his tie and otousan swabs the silencer placidly. I know what he’s thinking. He did this for me. And I better not screw it up. Because everything runs so much deeper than what is only seen on the surface. Everybody has their secrets…

I want to look at her but I can’t. I know how this works. I should know. I should be an expert. I am. And I will be. I’ll be the best with no room for error. That’s what happens next. “Congratulations, Miyu, for your accelerated doctorate. You worked hard for this.” I nod respectfully. I fold my hands and am suddenly very alive. Very awake. Very plugged in. Ma bows her head knowing better than to speak in her Colombian tongue, she’s only here for collateral. My parents would die and kill for me…

“私はあなたと私のビジネスを楽しんだ.”

I never want to feel this way again. I won’t let somebody die alone like that, in a room full of people they don’t know, on the floor. Cold and alone. It’s just wrong. If I have to use any of this for anything I’m going to do it differently. This world needs a new rule book…

At home I go straight to my room and get in bed with my Jimmy Choo’s and blazer on. I don’t change and I don’t sleep. I see Ji Su Park’s young eyes begging for a chance and a way out. I know how she felt. I know how badly she wanted it without realizing what she really wanted. I hear the friction of my father’s perfect handshake. She never had a chance. She didn’t get to bloom. Ji Su Park cries in the dark…

So do I.

“私はあなたと私のビジネスを楽しんだ.”