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Holly Maddon

0 · 911 views · located in New York, NY

a character in “In The Concrete Jungle”, as played by Writer

Description

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Name:
Holly Jade Maddon

Preferred Name:
Holly

Age:
16

Birthday:
May 2nd

Sexuality:
Heterosexual

Hometown:
Orlando, FL {Age 0-5}
Memphis, TN {Age 5-12}
New York, NY {Age 12-16}

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Personality:
Her most notable characteristic is definitely how energetic she is. As long as she is awake, she makes her presence known through her constant chatter and curious questions. She struggles to keep her attention centered on one thing and is known to jump from task to task, and even stop mid-sentence in a conversation if something new catches her attention. She would never go out of her way to insult or be mean to someone, but lacks a speech filter and tends to say things that she overheard and weren't intended to be repeated, or ask invasive personal questions. She's naive, absentminded, inattentive and forgetful, but she rarely does any of this intentionally, and it's mostly related to her ADHD. It certainly gets annoying, especially when there are nine other people stuck in the same room as her, but she usually fails to see any signs of people getting tired of her. She's a cheerful and optimistic person, who, for the most part, is always happy.

One of her major faults is how dependent she is on other people. If it weren't for her sister, she most likely would already be dead by now. She is not intelligent book wise and the same goes for her street smarts. Not only does she struggle to read people, but like a child, she tends to trust everyone and expect them to be just as genuine as she is. Her naivety and overall delayed development is probably linked to her learning disabilities and drug damage done while she was in the womb, but the years of abuse probably play a role in it too. They caused her to become easily nervous, jumpy and emotionally unstable.

Likes:
Candy, dogs, sunny days, nail polish, hot showers, socializing, gifts, attention, watching movies, her sister

Dislikes:
Arguments, school, being called stupid, rain, milk, coffee, isolation, silence, darkness, bugs, spicy food

Fears:
She has many "normal" fears, with spiders, clowns and rodents topping the list, but her biggest fear is probably school. She did so poorly throughout her academic career and it not only resulted in humiliation in the classroom, but physical abuse at home, so it's tied to painful memories for her.

Dreams:
Holly's dreams vary drastically depending on the moment, but they all share the similarity of being virtually unattainable. Between wanting a dog, a pool, meeting Zac Efron... they're just not going to happen. What would be most beneficial for her at this point would to get her high school diploma or GED and manage to get some sort of normal job and living situation.

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History:
Holly's mother, Amy, was probably the worst candidate for motherhood. She had had a poor childhood herself, and ran away from home when she was sixteen, to live with a boyfriend who was ten years her senior, in Florida. He dumped her a few months after the move, but she had no money to return home, and her family didn't want her back either. She ended up turning to prostitution to make a living, and through her interactions there, picked up on cocaine and methamphetamine addictions. Amy was eighteen when she scored an attractive businessman for the night, but he left her with far more than a nice payout. He left her pregnant, and though she probably could have saved up for an abortion if she wanted to, she didn't. Instead, she continued to work and funnel all of her earnings into drugs, secretly hoping that it'd kill the baby before she had it. Things didn't go her way, and at twenty-five weeks, she gave birth to a premature baby girl, Holly Jade Maddon.

Amy was in a relationship at the time of Holly's birth, and it was under his influence, that Amy agreed to keep Holly. She didn't want a kid, and neither did he, but they knew that their welfare benefits would increase substantially with a child, especially one that was born so prematurely. That was the only reason why the pair kept the child around, really. For the most part, she spent most of her toddler years being neglected. Her mother's boyfriend's teenage sister would usually babysit her, but in a trailer littered with used syringes, crack vibes, and an aroma of marijuana that made even her hair reek of the drug, it was clear that Holly's welfare was not at the top of anyone's priorities.

Holly probably would have been removed from her mother's care by the time she entered grade school and the government was forced to monitor her well being, but it came before then. When Holly was four, her mother's boyfriend had an affair and got another woman pregnant. Amy stayed with him through all of this, but well that child was born and the mother demanded child support, the boyfriend insisted that Amy demand that of Holly's father as well. The money was the only motivation that they had to track down the man, and they got really close to getting their cash. However, when it was disputed whether her father was actually her father or not, they were ordered to get a blood test to confirm that she was his offspring. When she was taken in to do it, a CPS investigation was launched due to the malnourished and clearly neglected, and possibly abused state that she was presented in. Her mother and boyfriend were arrested for child endangerment and neglect when a warrant was served on the house and its conditions exposed. Holly was set to be put into foster care permanently, but the DNA rest revealed that her father was really her father, and per her grandmother's insistence, they took her in.

She was six when she made it to Memphis and started her new life at her grandmother's home. It was really nice at first, especially compared where she came from. She had her own bedroom, with a real bed, and clothes that were always clean and fit her correctly. Plus, there was a pool in the backyard and a kitchen that was constantly filled with fresh food. A child who came from an upbringing like hers couldn't ask for much more, and for the first year, she was allowed a happy and normal childhood. However, about a year into her new life, it was apparent that none of the extra tutors and support classes that her grandmother enrolled her in were helping her in school. She was being held back in kindergarten, of all things, and at age six, couldn't write her own name or even recite the alphabet correctly most of the time. She wasn't disobedient in terms of being a bad child, but she couldn't follow directions because she couldn't focus enough to pay attention to them. She was too active, and yet to disengaged from the things she was supposed to do. This, in addition to the diagnosis of her having a severe case of ADHD, dyslexia, and various subject-specific learning disabilities, didn't sit well with her grandmother, who wasn't going to stand to have a granddaughter who was born out of wedlock, and was also incredibly delayed academically and emotionally. She thought that maybe some good old fashioned discipline would somehow shake the attention deficit from the child, and so for a while, whenever Holly did poorly in school, it would result in physical disciplinary action at home. Of course, this did virtually nothing to fix the problem, and if anything, it got worse as she got older, and learned through her grandmother, father, and her peers, that she was incompetent. At the age of eight, when an uncle moved back in temporarily, Holly became the victim of not only "well-intended" physical abuse, but sexual abuse as well. It wasn't a regular thing, but just because it wasn't a nightly occurrence didn't mean that it didn't damage her.

When she was seven, her half-sister moved in. At first, Holly didn't have much of a relationship with her. Her grandmother didn't encourage the two to spend time together, and in fact, Lateefah was actually sent to live in the pool house when she moved in. However, Holly was desperate for a companion and it was just in her nature to engage anyone who was around her. At some point, one of her many attempts to befriend Tee must have worked, because she actually began to allow her to hang around her. Having Lateefah made life easier for Holly in more ways than one, but she became more than just some half-sister to her, she became like a protector. She was the one who stepped in enough to put the sexual abuse to a halt, and was there to lift her confidence and spirits, after a horrible week at school.

Unlike Holly, Lateefah inherited their father's intelligence, and when she was seventeen, she left for college. Understandably, Holly was devastated and felt like she had been abandoned. The only person who she really felt like she could turn to was gone, and she didn't know how to handle it. She was still facing the backlash from doing so poorly in school, being at barely a first grade level at age nine, and with Lateefah gone, it made her susceptible again to being "babysat" by her abusive uncle. It took three years of dealing with that for Holly to reach her breaking point, and for a girl who's normally so optimistic and energetic, her even having a breaking point says a lot. Whenever her uncle would abuse her, he would leave her with a "gift" which was basically her promising to keep their "little secret" to themselves. It was money, usually a ten or a twenty, depending on how much she struggled, and because Holly always associated that money with bad emotions, she kept it all hidden in the back of her closet. When she decided she wanted to run away, that was what she used when she got off of the school bus at the wrong stop, the one that was in the center of town. That was where she found a bus station, and was able to get a ticket to New York. She only called to tell Lateefah the good news when she was actually in New York, using the payphone at the bus station.

Job:
Holly doesn't work. She relies on her sister for money.
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Height:
4'11

Weight:
87 lbs

Hair Colour:
It's naturally a shade of dark brown, but it's been dyed red since she left home.

Face Claim:
Ariana Grande

So begins...

Holly Maddon's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Oliver Mitchell Character Portrait: Colton King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Location: Manhattan, NY
Date: Friday, October 16th 2015
Time: 3:00 PM

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart

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L A T E E F A H ~ E K W E N S I - H A R T
"Yay, more sacrifices. So much fun."

Outfit
Location|| The Basement
iPod|| Pompeii by Bastille
Mood|| Stressed (Secretly)

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H O L L Y ~ M A D D O N

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Instead of being upset about the amount of things she ended up selling today, Lateefah honestly should have felt uplifted. After all, the diamond bracelet and earring set her ex-douchebag actually garnered her a good hundred and the books double that price at the bookstore. Setting aside the fact that she had grown rather fond of the Alice Walker and Octavia Butler Columbia had taught her about - and the fact that an Ivy League institution even thought of the importance of eliciting some of the greatest black minds of their generation. No.. What was important was that she had a good extra three-hundred dollars, which was a lot more than the twenty dollars she started the day with. Now, she could start figuring out winter clothes and not think about the last call girl service she provided, which really wasn't sex like most of the others thought. Last night, it had been her and this man in his forties who got drunk enough to complain about his wife's infidelities, how his youngest child isn't his, and got extremely clingy.

And ignore the queasiness from this morning...and every other morning from this last month.

As she and Holly exited the train station and made their way back into the busy streets of New York, Lateefah glanced down, firstly, at her clock. She would have to be clocking in to work within the next hour, but she wanted to make sure Holly had something to eat before she did so. "Alright, babe, we've got a little extra cash. Do you wanna go see if Luke can make us mac and cheese at the pub, or do you wanna go somewhere else?" To which the redhead responded with, almost on a deadpan really, "Is mac and cheese your favorite food?"

Lateefah rolled her eyes at the question since it honestly didn't have an answer and she knew her sister. Knew that it was exactly what she wanted. So, despite tossing the redhead a seemingly annoyed glare, a grin eventually broke through the pursed lips and she leaned over to wriggle the girl's sides, effectively tickling her. "I know it's yours," she replied. "And since you wanna have an attitude, that's all you're getting. And here I thought I'd treat you to dessert..." Of course, there was no real attitude on Holly's part and Lateefah was still going to get her dessert, but she decided to tease the child anyway. Besides, there was nothing like messing with her sister that lifted Lateefah's spirits up, even if she really was going to miss her copy of Bloodchild by Octavia Butler. All for Holly, she reminded herself mentally. It's all for Holly..

"Grandma always said you were the one with the attitude," Holly corrected her, although the seriousness she wanted to portray fell flat as she couldn't stop her giggling soon enough. Lateefah only grinned wolfishly before ceasing her torture on her sister and the two continued walking in the cool October afternoon. They were only a few stores down from the pub anyway. "I want to get ice cream tonight," she declared after. "Do you have to work? And we should see a movie." Lateefah chuckled at the excitement on the girl's face and the things she wanted to do. "Okay, slow down there, champ. I've got work in an hour. We can get ice cream at Finn's. Do you want it with pie or cake?" Lateefah followed up afterwards, resolving to approach one thing at a time. However, as luck would have it, Holly wasn't letting her desires go unanswered. "I want it with a movie," she insisted. Lateefah fought back another eye roll and sighed. Lateefah really wasn't going to blow all of their money in the next few days just because Holly wanted something. She coul allow a small splurge, sure, since she had already paid her agreed amount of loan money back at the first of the month and their medical insurance. Which was why they only had so much left to begin with. But, of course, Holly did not understand that.

But still, Lateefah exercised patience as she explained, "But sweetie, I have work until 10 tonight. We might not get to see a movie til tomorrow." Then she went and asked one thing Lateefah really did not her asking. "Do you think Brooklyn will take me to a movie tonight?" Holly inquired. Lateefah felt herself tense up at the mention of the one person in the entire basement that she actually could say she hated. Holly lacked insight on a lot of things, but the conflict between Lateefah and Brooklyn was impossible to ignore. Holly found it hard to give up interacting with Brooklyn, even if those interactions caused the fights between Tee and Brooklyn. Still, a knowing smile found its way to her face as she posed this question, which gave Lateefah pause, but she followed it up almost instantly with a second. "Why do you work so much?"

"Holly, Brooklyn's not a nice person and I already told you this before. Do not go and bother her. Do that and you get no ice cream at all." Lateefah warned, steadily staring her sister down sharply before softening her gaze at the latter question. "And I told you this before too, I wanna get some of my student loans off my back so when I find us an apartment, I can have enough saved up to not worry too much. Then I could look for one steady job and we can go to the movies once every month." And of course, leave it to Holly to ignore the last thing she said in favor of acknowledging what she wanted to be acknowledged. "Nick thinks she's a good person and you like Nick!" Holly reasoned, before switching back to their original conversation abruptly. Maybe it had something to do with Lateefah whirling back around to face her, a rebuttal on the tip of her tongue until she realized that Holly was already on another subject. "Is mac and cheese your favorite food just because it's mine?"

By that point, they were outside of the pub and Lateefah had to massage the bridge of her nose for a second before replying to her sister, "No, Holly, I love it because it was the first thing I knew how to make for you before I left for school, remember." The response took far more patience on Lateefah's part and she was beginning to think she needed to go ahead and pay for a shot of tequila before starting her shift. Holly made a face after that before looking down, attempting to mutter under her breath but not really mumbling, as she said, "I always behave and yes, of course I remember when you left me all alone." Lateefah only replied with a casual roll of her eyes, wrapped an arm around the girl's shoulders, and then headed inside to the first small booth she saw. It was a small restaurant, bar really, but at least at a table she could trust that Holly wouldn't start touching things. The last thing she needed was to owe Finn for a bottle of Merlot.

A few minutes later, her fellow waitress, Iris, showed up, and Lateefah smirked at the expression on her face. Relax, prom queen. Just ordering dinner with her and then I'll clock in. Get me two chicken mac and cheeses and two Sprites."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart

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Recently, Brooklyn seemed to wake up every day feeling more sick than the last, and vowing to never even sip alcohol again. That promise would be broken by the time that she managed to stand up without feeling like the world was spinning, and she was already trying to figure out what to order upstairs to combat her hangover. She could take a million painkillers and drink a case of Gatorade, but nothing killed her hangovers like more alcohol did. In her defense, she didn't spend all of her life completely intoxicated. On days like today, when she was only waking up around two o'clock, she would try to drink some water, gather a change of clothes, and go upstairs, not to the bar, but up another level, to Finn's private apartment. Brooklyn had actually lived up there at one point, and if any boundaries were set after she moved into the basement with Nick and Roman, she refused to acknowledge them. She had a membership at a gym down the block, and that was where she usually showered, but lately, she couldn't imagine waiting to shower until she got there. This was more convenient, so, Finn's apartment had become her first stop of the day, where she would shower and get ready for the day, even if like today, the day had actually started hours ago.

If she didn't have a handful of dirty clothes and toiletries, she would have went directly from blow drying her hair and putting on makeup, to the bar where she was sure a gin and tonic would help her sort out this massive headache. Instead, she headed all the way back downstairs, and luckily for everyone, including Roman, who she noticed still asleep on the other side of the room, Nick wasn't back yet. It was nearing three o'clock now, so she had been awake for almost an hour, but when she was hungover, it took Brooklyn at least two hours to fully wake up, and even then, her "awake" personality wasn't bright and cheery. Seeing Nick would have catapulted her into bitch-mode, despite her unsure about what they were actually fighting about the night before. It was all a blur, but if it came down to it, she could find something to nitpick to get pissed off about. Maybe it would be the way that he didn't tell her he was leaving this morning, even though she would have clawed his eyes out if he did actually wake her up, or how she hated how he always reeked of smoke. If she wanted to start a fight, Brooklyn always found a reason to do so.

After returning her things downstairs, and noting that she needed to bring her and Nick's things to the laundromat sometime today, she headed back up to the bar level. On her way in, she made a pit stop in the bar's public bathroom to double check her makeup. Just in case Nick did come in, she wanted to be looking good, and more importantly, not hungover. Even though he was bound to know that she had been heavily intoxicated the night before, she hated how he could use that as something against her. How she needed to stop drinking because she turned into such a horrible person, and how she wouldn't know that she wasn't being that horrible person, because she couldn't even remember what was said. Within those few minutes, Nick had walked right past the bathroom and down to the basement, and Lateefah and Holly had arrived in the bar. She was off her game, with a headache that made even the dim restaurant seem too bright, so she didn't even notice the pair sitting at a table as she found a seat at the bar. Finn came over soon enough, but the hand she held up, telling him to stop before he had even started, was basically her universal sign that she was too hungover to engage in conversation before a drink. He read it and obliged, sending a gin and tonic her way a moment later.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Colton King

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#, as written by Thunder
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"Well, well, well, if it isn't Miss Ivy League and her red-headed Energizer Bunny," Colton hummed, an amused smirk fitting his face in a fashion that was typical to him interacting with Tee. Realizing there were only two chairs at the table, he didn't miss a beat in turning to the empty one beside them, taking a chair and sliding it under himself, to make their party of two, a new and improved, party of three. He was definitely a night person, so this occurrence was probably a bit off, even for him. He liked to push Lateefah's buttons frequently, even when they were in public and not in the midst of undressing each other, but he usually did it when he had at least a couple of drinks in him. At the moment, he was completely sober, and resenting himself for it. He had to admit that his head did feel lighter today, waking up without the grogginess of a hangover, but it wasn't like he was purposely trying to cleanse himself of alcohol and drugs. Yesterday afternoon he had spent his last couple of dollars buying weed, which meant that he had no alcohol to drink all night, which meant that he wasn't able to get a good night's sleep. His weed was gone by ten o'clock too, so he was forced to go to bed in a state that wasn't exactly sober, but felt sober to him, and by ten o'clock this morning, he was awake. After many futile attempts to fall back to sleep, he accepted being awake and left the basement, on a quest to make some money.

He had little luck, and after spending hours out, trying to scout out potential pickpocket victims, he accepted that he wasn't going to get more than the twenty-five dollars and the subway card he had found in the one wallet he got. It wasn't bad and would cover a case of beer and some bud, at least. Colton had become the type of person who was okay with living day by day, so it didn't bother him much. Being sober made it worse, because it allowed those thoughts about how he needed to at least get his act together enough to get his job back at the deli he worked for, to resurface. He knew they were true, too. Working at the deli wasn't a real career, but it was steady money and made him a productive member of society. Drinking beer, smoking, and then stealing for more money to do the same, was no way of life, and he knew it, but it was a habit that he knew was going to be hard to break. On his walk back home, he considered making a detour and going to the deli. He was sober now, so that was a good start, and he could appeal to the owner about how he had had a rough week... make up some story about how he found out his mother had cancer or something... and how he needed a second chance. It probably could have worked, but the short term reassurance of his twenty-five dollars was enough to keep him walking towards Finn's, where he was now faced with a fun situation.

"I hope you ordered enough for the three of us, Tee. I haven't eaten all day," he continued, his look mocking seriousness as he strummed his fingers against the table. When the waitress came by with their drinks, Colton was quick to take one of the two sodas for himself. Having lived under Finn's for three years, Colton probably should have remembered the girl's name. There were only a handful of employees there. However, he didn't even have a clue, so he turned his head to wink at her, offering a, "Thanks, beautiful", instead. It allowed him to get by on not knowing the girl's name, and was an extra little bit of fuel to irk Tee.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Colton King

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#, as written by Writer
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"You always make things fancy," Holly noted after Tee placed their order for chicken mac and cheeses. She wasn't complaining, and she was used to Tee having better taste in food than she, but she felt the need to point it out for no reason in particular. She remembered growing up, how Tee was a good cook, maybe even better than their grandmother. Holly couldn't complain about it. When her grandmother became fed up with the granddaughter who couldn't read or sit still for more than a minute, Lateefah was basically tasked with her, and Holly spent many nights consuming whatever Lateefah was in the mood to cook. Surprisingly, as a child, she was probably a better eater than she was now. Now, she ate like a bird. She'd either pick at whatever she was served (and whatever Lateefah ordered), claim that she wanted something else, or say that she wasn't hungry at all. A lot of the time, it wasn't even her trying to be difficult. She just had a small appetite, that seemed to grow ten times larger when sweets were brought into the picture. "Why do you think that her mom named her Iris?" Holly followed up with, a moment later. Although Tee was right, and she would likely fare better in Finn's book by sitting in the small booth and not at the bar, Holly preferred sitting up there more. There were things to touch, and people to look at and talk to, and here there were just salt and pepper shakers... which were in Holly's hands as soon as she noticed them. "And why did you call her a prom queen?" she added, placing the pepper down after a moment, as she attempted to focus on the salt. With each shake, a few of the crystals would fall onto the table top, and before she could help it, her thoughts were moving again. "Do you think it's going to snow a lot this year?"

Holly was too preoccupied with her salt to notice Brooklyn when she made her way to the bar, but not enough to be able to ignore Colton, who pulled a chair up to the end of their booth. As if it were instinctive, Holly looked at Lateefah with an annoyed glare. She had no real reasons to dislike Carson, but because Lateefah seemed to be bothered by him (and Holly wasn't perceptive enough to even suspect that there was any type of sexual tension behind that act), she felt like she needed to be too. So, his presence seemed like an intrusion, and what made it worse, was that he lunged for her Sprite the moment that Iris set it down. Of course, that had her reaching to Lateefah's, because Holly wasn't going to be the one to lose out because of the very annoying Colton. Normally, Holly would have tried to come up with some comeback to tell him to go away. It would be nowhere near as witty and harsh as what Tee would come up with, but she didn't have many filters, so if Holly was feeling something, she was quick to get to the point of it. However, as Iris stepped away, she had a clear view of the side profile of Brooklyn, and well, the threat of no ice cream had her seriously contemplating her next move for a very long millisecond. "I need to stretch my legs from sitting here all day waiting for my mac and cheese!" she exclaimed as she pulled her gaze away from Brooklyn. It shifted towards Colton, where she returned to her clearly bothered expression, and then to Lateefah, who she offered a cheesy smile to.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Colton King

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#, as written by Writer
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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Colton King

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L A T E E F A H ~ E K W E N S I - H A R T
"Don't make me throw up."

Outfit
Location|| The Basement
iPod|| Pompeii by Bastille
Mood|| Nauseous (Surprisingly)


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Lateefah pointedly ignored Holly's statement about her making things fancy. It was a Holly thing to say and it all had everything to do with how Holly ate now that they didn't have a home. Or maybe it came with her age...Lateefah honestly didn't know. It was why she had ordered mac and cheeses instead of something else, because even with the addition of chicken - it was the easiest thing to put on Holly's palate. She'd mostly have to worry about Holly picking the meat or something along those lines, but even with her "new" appetite in regards to foods that weren't sugar, Holly scarcely ever turned down mac and cheese.

"Maybe Iris is her favorite plant, Holly," she answered, staring at her sister as she started fiddling with both the salt and pepper shakers, sighing. Not a second later, Lateefah was wiping up the mess with napkins from the napkin dispenser, a small smirk playing at the corner of her lips at the perturbed expression on Holly's face as the girl's big eyes lulled around the room. She was probably wondering why they weren't sitting at the bar and Lateefah was going to let her keep on wondering. "And probably because she was a prom queen. Iris graduated high school last year, remember? She came to work wearing the tiara and you wanted it because it was sparkly, so she gave it to you?" She added, coaxing the girl to consider one of the items Lateefah hadn't had the heart to pawn yet. It wasn't one of those flimsy tiaras you found at the party store, but the harder material and it was still in spectacular shape. Mostly because Lateefah made sure that it was.

"Stop making a mess, Holly, and it's already cold so it probably is going to snow s - " In the midst of both answering and chiding Holly, she was assaulted not only by the sound of Colton's "unwelcome" voice but also by the sudden mix of food smells wafting in the air. It was a bit peculiar for her to be affected by something as miniscule at that and maybe it had something to do with someone opening and closing the front door...but the combined scents of sharp, saltiness and bread and cigarettes and something sweet and something she probably would recognize if it wasn't driving her crazy made her feel...nauseous. It was killing her how the past month consisted of her feeling this way, having to walk outside or escape to the bathroom to rid herself of the bile forming in the back of her throat because too many different scents were hitting her at once.

"It's too early in the evening to deal with you already, King," she warned him, cradling the left side of her head in one hand and forcing herself to breathe through her mouth instead, putting on as much of a composed face as she possibly could. When he decided to make himself comfortable by pulling up a chair, Lateefah rolled her eyes in feigned annoyance, though the unsettled sensation in her stomach persisted. Maybe she just needed to drink something...and then Colton stole the first sprite that they ordered and Holly took one. Lateefah would never take her sister's and tossed a glare at Colton when he turned to thank Iris, leading Lateefah to mutter loud enough for the waitress to hear, "Don't make me throw up." Iris smirked before meeting her gaze and Lateefah, feelingly slightly clammy, requested, "Get me a water, babe. With limes." She glanced back at the two she sat with, trying to smile at Holly's statement but failing because she needed to leave. Now. "I'll be back, Holly. Going to the restroom," and to Colton, with a sharp stare, "Do not antagonize her." She didn't wait for a response from either, just sliding out of the booth and high-tailing it to the bathroom as fast as she could while still only walking. She caught Brooklyn's profile and only thought for a second that she would genuinely take ice cream privileges away from Holly if she so much as even breathed in Brooklyn's direction.

Soon enough, she was in the pub's female restroom and standing before the first open stall she could find. Which was clean thankfully...but nothing would come out. Despite the nausea and the now small headache forming, there was nothing, only an build-up of saliva that she quickly spit into the toilet before flushing it, taking large gulps of air before going over to the mirror over the sink. Lateefah had her suspicions - her denial game wasn't strong enough to deny her her intelligence - but still...it didn't have to be that. It could be close to that time of the month, considering she usually started within the next few days. So what if she hadn't come on last month; she had been unbalanced before, it was probably stress. But there was a sinking feeling in her belly, whether or not she was ready to face it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Colton King

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#, as written by Thunder
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"Come on, Columbia, don't be so dramatic," Colton smirked when Lateefah commented on him making her sick. He leaned back in his chair, and didn't lose his expression, even as Lateefah got up and claimed she was going to the bathroom, before warning him not to bother Holly. He rolled his eyes, and would have retorted with something smart, had she waited even a second. She didn't though, and instead, he could only follow her with his eyes until she turned the corner. Then, he was left alone with Holly. She looked like she was ready to leave the table too, and when Colton turned to follow look in the direction of her glance, he saw why. There at the bar, Brooklyn sat with a glass in her hand. He was too far away to tell what she was drinking, but he suspected it was alcoholic, and he was jealous. The Sprite would do, especially since it came with a little hit to Tee, but if it were tainted with rum, it would have been even better.

"You sure you wanna do that, Red?" he questioned, swirling his straw around the drink idly as he looked towards Holly. "If I'm remembering correctly, things don't usually go well when you and Brooklyn hang out. She'll get mad at you, then Tee will get mad at you, and that's not cool, right?" Colton was never eager to interact with Holly, and especially not without Tee there. He didn't want her to be his responsibility, mostly because he didn't know how to deal with her. He was the youngest child in his family, so it was never like he had younger siblings to gain experience from, and he rarely saw any younger cousins. In addition, he had grown to resent his father so much, that Colton doubted that he even wanted children of his own. He didn't want to have to give up his own interests, but also didn't want a dependent to be have their life ruined because of that. Besides, Colton didn't even trust himself with his own care sometimes. There was no way that he could ever be responsible enough to take care of a kid, and Holly was one, but right now, he was trying. He figured that it might win him a few points later on, when she was asleep and he could hang out with Tee, in the way that they usually hung out in. "Besides, don't you want to talk to me? You'll talk to everyone else, and not me? Come on, Holly, that's not cool," he said, with feigned hurt.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Colton King

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The prom queen nickname made sense because Holly did remember the tiara. She recalled how if Iris hadn't given it to her, she probably would have pulled it from the girl's head, if for nothing else, then just to admire it up close. However, the plant comment wasn't as clear. Iris wasn't a plant's name, it was a human name. She would have pressed Tee on the issue, failing to consider that her own name was one of a plant as well, but that was when she noticed Brooklyn, and when Lateefah got up abruptly to go to the bathroom, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to leave too. She could go talk to Brooklyn, just say hello and ask her why she was sitting all alone when they could tell Colton to leave and give her his seat, and then be back at the table by the time Lateefah returned. Even if she wasn't that quick, didn't Lateefah tell her not to go and bother Brooklyn? She would never bother Brooklyn! That was absurd! She was going to do the opposite of bother her, actually. She would go over, ask Brooklyn if she was lonely, probably ask her why she didn't come over and say hello first, maybe sit down beside next to her, and if she was wearing earrings or a bracelet, it was possible that she might reach over and try to touch them, but still, definitely not being a bother! Then, when Brooklyn agreed that she was lonely, like Holly was sure she would, she would invite her back to the table, and show Lateefah that Brooklyn wasn't a bad person after all!

"Yes, I do really want to do this!" Holly rebutted quickly, though she hadn't even noticed that Colton had actually caught on to what she was thinking of doing. He couldn't just leave it at that, and let her leave, though. She had gotten to her feet and wanted to shimmy out of the booth past him, but he kept talking, and Holly's attention span left her forgetting her original plan for the moment to listen. What he said did make sense... she didn't want Brooklyn or Lateefah to get mad, and even though she didn't think that she would cause them to, she didn't want them to fight with each other. Then there was her craving for ice cream, and well, that seemed to be just as important as everything else she was considering. "I don't like to talk to you because you're annoying," she explained blatantly, though she was taking what he said into consideration, and in the midst of it, had taken her seat in the booth again. She sipped from her soda while gazing at him with skepticism. Holly could talk to anyone about anything, that was indisputable, but because had a notion that Colton was bad and bothersome, and she didn't think he was going to be nice to her.

"Annoying? Didn't expect that word, especially coming from you, but alright," Colton responded, his smirk returning as Holly sat down again. Hearing her, of all people, call him annoying was definitely amusing, and it was even better that he had actually, somehow managed to get her to forget about Brooklyn for the time being.

Holly wasn't analytical, so the "especially coming from you" line didn't hold any offensive weight in the conversation. She just narrowed her eyebrows, still unsure of what she wanted to do here. Her instincts told her to engage Colton in a conversation, maybe about why he stole Lateefah's Sprite, or about his tattoos, or how Tee had denied her request to see a movie tonight. At the same time, she remembered how frequently her sister would tell Colton to get lost. "Lateefah doesn't like you, you know," she informed him, when her mind was made. "You should leave before she comes back so you don't put her in a bad mood."

"I know she doesn't like me, but that's only because she loooooooves me," Colton argued. He was trying to be playful, but he knew it was probably bordering on taunting, only because Holly was sensitive and maybe Tee was right, and he did have a reputation for being antagonistic. "That's what she told me last night, at least," he added, knowing it was unnecessary, but throwing in a casual shrug, as if he was just as innocently confused as Holly probably was. As if to save him from himself, before he could engage with Holly any further, he spotted Iris approaching with two plates of food, and he held a finger up to Holly. "Hold that thought, Red. Looks like our food's here." Lateefah would probably be back any moment, and Colton wasn't going to leech off of her, so he refrained from sliding the plate that had been placed in Lateefah's spot, in front of him. He was hungry, but he'd grab McDonald's later on. Without Lateefah there to irk, he only smiled at Iris, and glanced back at Holly. "Looks good, yeah?"

Lateefah would never love Colton! It was an impossible and gross claim, and it had Holly wanting to go find Lateefah, just to tell her how arrogant and annoying Colton was being. By this point, she wasn't even thinking about Brooklyn, and was ready to object and tell Colton how wrong he was, when he silenced her. Iris was back, and this time, with Lateefah's water and their mac and cheese. "Thank you, Iris the prom queen," Holly grinned, amused with herself for being able to use Tee's nickname herself, now that she was reminded of the meaning. Colton was right. The food did look good, but his voice again, reminded her that she didn't like him. "Yes, but you can't have any. There's only two for me and Tee, because you're going to leave before she comes back," she insisted, though her eyes had shifted from him, back down to her food.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Colton King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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When Cara left the basement on July 4th night, she didn't think that she was never going to return. She was on her way to a club, when she ran into girls that she went to high school with. They invited her to a house party at her ex-boyfriend from high school's new apartment, and she couldn't say no. After hooking up with her boyfriend that night, her plans changed dramatically, and she was at a point where she didn't think she was ever going to return to the basement again. She didn't care about the possessions she had left there, since it was mostly just clothes and personal care items. It was all replaceable to Cara, and she didn't feel an ounce of guilt about leaving it all there. Honestly, she didn't even feel guilty about not warning anyone that she was never coming back.

She ended up seeing Brooklyn a week later, and had to hear about how rude she was, and how they all thought she was dead. Cara doubted that was true, but she apologized and allowed Brooklyn to be dramatic. Aside from seeing Brooklyn a couple of times over the three months, Cara had no contact with anyone else. She wanted to leave that part of her life behind her, especially since she was too embarrassed to tell her ex-boyfriend turned current boyfriend, that she had ever been homeless. Technically, she told herself, she wasn't actually homeless. She chose to live there. If she really needed to, she could have flown to Florida to live with her grandmother, or dropped her pride for good, and begged her father to let her stay at home again. It was what she did when she found out that her boyfriend had another girlfriend, after all. Admittedly, that didn't work out, which was why Cara was now on her way back to the basement, after three months gone. That was only because whenever Cara was home, her personality shifted. She went from the carefree, simple and kind, to petulant and demanding. For some reason, she was so hung up on hating her stepmother, that she refused to compromise, even slightly, and it always ended in screaming matches where her father would tell her that she was an adult, and if she didn't want to follow the rules of his house, she could move out. The catch, was that he would only pay for her rent if she were going to school at the same time. He had enough money to support her for twenty lifetimes, but he didn't want Cara to just be a trust fund baby. She didn't want to be that either, but she also refused to just conform to what he wanted. Apparently, she was so stuck on wanting to be right, and wanting to seem like she could make her own decisions, that returning back to the basement somehow seemed like her best option right now.

By the time her cab dropped her off in front of Finn's pub, she was questioning that thought process. Was she making a mistake by doing this? After her first meetup with Brooklyn, the brunette treated her normally, but what if no one liked her anymore? She had always thought that she did a good job at being down to earth and seeming like one of them. Cara didn't want to seem like she was spoiled or treating this as a joke, because what was a temporary "vacation" for her, was their reality. They didn't have a luxury gym on the Upper East Side to shower at every morning, fitted with $50 bottles of shampoos and laundry service. In the dead of winter, they actually had to consider whether they could afford to take a cab to wherever they needed to go, while it wasn't even a question for her. She could afford real food, warm clothes, and the security of knowing that this was only temporary. It sucked, but Cara always reminded herself that it wasn't her fault that she ended up being more fortunate than they. Besides, she did her best to share as little about her life as possible. Nick and Brooklyn knew a good amount of it, which meant that Roman probably knew too, and Holly pried enough that she had shared a lot there too, but aside from that, she didn't think people could judge her. The fact that she came in today, in an outfit that definitely screamed 5th Avenue over homeless didn't help her case, but in her defense, when she got dressed today, she had no intention of returning. That decision only came around noon, when her stepmother called a "family meeting" and tried to explain the "house rules" for the millionth time while Cara was on her way out the door to meet friends for lunch at an Italian restaurant, Spigolo. Obviously, things went downhill from there...

As Cara walked into the pub, her first thought was to seek out Finn, ask who was downstairs, and then plan her next move from there. She didn't want to go downstairs and make a scene if everyone was there, because she wasn't interested in attention. It would probably make her uncomfortable, if anything. Plus, now she had to worry about Roman and how potentially awkward that reunification could be. Cara had basically forgotten about their night together since leaving, but disappearing the night after sleeping with him literally left whatever that was, unfinished and unexplained.

When she walked in, the first person she noticed was Brooklyn, and she naturally hurried towards her. She didn't even look towards the other side of the room, where Colton and Holly sat. At least with Brooklyn, there wouldn't be the shock factor of her showing up now. It had only been a week or so since she saw the brunette, and they had actually been planning off meeting up tomorrow night anyway. "Brooklyn!" Cara exclaimed, taking the seat beside her and placing her bag on the counter. "I know this is unexpected and random, but I need to stay with you guys again. Please tell me there's still space!" Though she was pretty frantic, and caught up in explaining herself, Cara noticed the glass in Brooklyn's hand. She hoped that it was just seltzer or Sprite in there, but Cara knew Brooklyn better than that. It was three o'clock, though, so she supposed that wasn't too early to be drinking on a Friday.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Oliver Mitchell Character Portrait: Colton King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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The night before had been an unpleasant one for Kiara. Prostitution was never a glamorous gig, but there definitely were nights that were better than others. On a great (and rare) occasion, she would find some middle-aged man who was in-between on whether he was really going to do this, and hire someone to sleep with him. It was frequently a guy who lived a very vanilla lifestyle and was probably stepping out on his wife for the first time. Usually with these guys, she could fuck him once, and he would think that was all he paid her for. A lot of the time, she'd be able to use the shower of his hotel room, and if she felt like it, maybe even take advantage of the nice room and sleep over with him. Most of the time, however, it wasn't like that for her. Work for her usually consisted of fucking a guy in the bathroom of a bar, or in a cab or alley outside. She didn't work for a pimp, because she had tried that route already and managed to get out, and she wasn't going to go back to it. However, working on her own meant that she didn't have job security, and her clients tended to be the scummiest people one could imagine. She didn't make much money, and sometimes, she'd finish the job and they'd refuse to pay her. What could she do? Run to the police and tell them that she was working as a prostitute and was ripped off? That would land her in jail, if she could even make it that far before the guy tried to strange her, or something.

It was an extremely dehumanizing job, and it wasn't even like she ended up with good money to compensate. Most of the time, Kiara was just barely getting by. The fact that she tended to indulge in alcohol and drugs over necessities played a role in that, though. For Kiara, it was just necessary to get high or blackout-level drunk after working. She didn't want to think about what she had just done, and that was the only way that she could actually escape this reality. It was what she had done last night when she got back to the basement. She spent ten dollars on a cheap bottle of vodka that she had a fair amount of upon getting into bed, and then took the Quaalade that the man she fucked an hour before tried to convince her to take while she was with him. She was out like a light within fifteen minutes of taking the pill, and probably would have slept for a solid twelve to thirteen hours, had Holly not woken her up that morning. She managed to fall back asleep for a few hours, but it wasn't that same deep sleep that she craved, especially when she knew that she was hungover. For a while, she was actually so dead feeling, that she couldn't even muster up the energy to get sick to at least give her stomach a chance to settle down. When everyone started coming in and out, and she was too awake to drown out the sounds, she decided to just get up, though. A good amount of the vodka she had had the night before came up before she was able to leave the bathroom, and then she left the basement. She buried herself in a men's size large NYU sweatshirt that she had taken from the lost and found at the gym she had a membership to a few months back, along with a pair of leggings and combat boots.

She spent most of her day doing laundry, walking, and enjoying the rest of her vodka out of a water bottle. Although Kiara never had much money to shop, she enjoyed going into stores anyway. Sometimes she found the courage to snag something little here and there from stores. It was usually just a pack of gum or a box of Midol, little things that wouldn't be missed much. Usually, though, she just browsed in an attempt to kill time, and distract herself. Today, she found that she had made a good choice by heading into a Trader Joe's, as she replaced the need for lunch with a plethora of their free samples. When her feet started hurting, she headed back to the pub. She wanted something to mix the rest of her vodka with, and she decided that maybe she could convince Finn to give her a glass of soda for free. It wasn't like he didn't give Brooklyn and Nick, and probably even Tee and Holly, meals and drinks on the house all of the time! Then again, Kiara knew that she wasn't close with Finn, and was actually one of the ones that irritated him the most, but it was worth a shot.

Upon entering, she was sidetracked when she saw familiar faces at the bar. There was Isaac, closest to her, and then on the other side, Brooklyn, and was that... Cara? Preppy young blondes weren't a common sight in Finn's bar, and with a closer look, Kiara confirmed it was her. She was definitely surprised to see the girl who had disappeared months ago, but before she got into that, she embraced Isaac from behind. "Glad to see you're alive," she teased as she sat down beside him. Kiara considered Isaac to be one of her realest friends here. She didn't feel like an addict, at least not compared to him, but she knew that he understood what she was doing with drugs. She worried for him a lot, but when she wasn't even in control of her own life, she knew that she couldn't try to force him to change either. They were all addicted things for reasons, and not just because they were rebellious kids and drugs were fun. "So, what've we got here today? Looks like Malibu Barbie is back, trying to engage with Godzilla, for some reason that's beyond me. Who else are we dealing with?" she inquired playfully as she gazed around the bar. She didn't know if Isaac was in one of his downer moods, when he was coming off of a drug or not, but she tried engaging with him anyway.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Oliver Mitchell Character Portrait: Colton King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Somewhere in between her first and second drink, Brooklyn noticed the trio sitting in a booth across the room. She had only tilted her head to the side to look at them briefly, before turning back to the bar, but once she realized that they were up here, it seemed impossible for her to release any of the tension that she felt wracking her bones. "They" consisted of Lateefah, Holly and Colton, but mainly just the first two. Actually, if Brooklyn wanted to be extra petty, she would just say that it only consisted of Lateefah. Sure, Holly was the stem of her issues with Lateefah, but she could deal with Holly. She wanted to deal with Holly, at least. She'd sacrifice the money to buy a roll of duct tape to wrap around the girl's mouth, and a leash to keep her unable to rifle through Brooklyn's things, and then she wouldn't have any problems with Holly. With Lateefah... well, that was an entirely different story. Brooklyn despised her. Secretly, and she wouldn't even admit it to herself, she respected the girl for being an older sister to Holly, but without thinking of that, Brooklyn couldn't stand her. She thought that she could stand up to Brooklyn, as if she were some hero that was rushing in to save the day, when all she really was, was some loser who was probably faking that she had a college degree, and yet, still managed to think that she was superior to her. Even thinking about it, had Brooklyn internally reciting, 'Really, bitch?', as if she were getting ready to engage in one of their frequent verbal (with threats to go physical) arguments.

She did her best to pretend that the bitch and her annoying sister weren't there, and it took a lot, but soon she was able to focus on just the immediate space in front of her. She kept her eyes on her glass and methodically sipped from it every so often. Before long, she was mentally in her own world, oblivious to the sports game on the television across the room, the loud conversation Finn was having, or the music that was playing on top of all of this. She didn't notice Oliver, or Isaac, or Kiara, or even Cara, until the blonde was literally right next to her and speaking. She left Cara speak without saying a word herself, not because she was shocked at seeing her, but because she was still trying to remain in her own zone. She didn't want to get into a bad mood today, especially when she was still feeling so physically drained from the hangover. However, when Cara stopped speaking, ending it with a request to move back in, Brooklyn couldn't resist smirking. "What? Did they kick you out of the J. Crew catalog that you were living in, or something?" she questioned as her eyes roved over the girl. She looked pretty, and Brooklyn was sure that the outfit was probably worth the amount of money that most of the kids in the basement made in a month. Cara wasn't showy on purpose, but it just happened with her. She was a lot better now (or when she left in July) than she had been when Brooklyn first met her, but it seemed like it would be impossible to fully shake the spoiled rich girl from Cara. It wasn't necessarily a bad thing, especially not to Brooklyn, who lusted over lives like Cara. That was probably the only reason why Brooklyn had accepted her, at first. Because she wanted to be her.

"There's room for you, yeah. I've been looking for a reason to get rid of Lateefah anyway," Brooklyn added, instinctively nodding her head back towards the table she had last seen Tee at. "I can't tell you that all of your stuff is still down there, though. You know how they are... like vultures. Your shit was pawned within a week of you leaving," she continued, still smirking. She wasn't joking though. She doubt it mattered to Cara, since money clearly was not an option to her, even when she apparently had no where else to reside, but she found it funny. And admittedly, Brooklyn had taken a few things for herself. It wasn't like she wouldn't have done that when Cara was around anyway, though. "Did Daddy tell you you were only allowed to have five mansions, and not six, and that's why you're here?" she asked after a moment. A fight with her father seemed like the only reasonable scenario for Cara returning. When Brooklyn had last spoken to her a week ago, there hadn't been any mention of wanting to move back in, but Brooklyn was aware that that was the only reason why Cara was out here. She didn't get along with her father and stepmother, and at least from what Cara said, they "hated her" enough to kick her out onto the streets. Brooklyn doubted that was completely true, but as her drinks started to hit her and make her feel more of a human than a zombie, she was curious.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Colton King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Holly and Lateefah's food did look really good, and it wasn't like Tee would notice if he took a bite before she got back, but Holly would. He had probably already crossed over into antagonizing territory by teasing her about how much Tee loved him, and he was sure the girl would get more riled up if he denied her order and had some of the food anyway. He finished off Lateefah's Sprite, watching as Holly looked at her food. "Chill, Red. I'm not here to eat your food, but it doesn't look like you are either. You know, you have to put it into your mouth in order for it to count as eating. Staring at it doesn't actually count," he advised. He didn't really care about whether Holly ate or not, but if she did take a few bites and in what wouldn't be a surprising move, claim that she didn't want anymore, he figured he could try to convince Tee to let him have it. As he looked back at Lateefah's plate, he considered taking some of hers once again. He wasn't starving but he was hungry, and it did look good.

Still contemplating, he shifted slightly in his chair, so that he no longer had his back completely towards the rest of the pub. As he did so, he noticed that a few more of the others from downstairs had begun to congregate around the bar. There were Kiara and Isaac on one side, which wasn't very surprising. He hadn't seen Isaac in a couple of days, but that wasn't infrequent for him, or anyone, really. They all did their own things, and since a lot of their lines of work required "night shifts", it was typical that even if they were in the basement at the same time, one was asleep and wouldn't know it. A few of Finn's customers sat beside the pair, and Colton skimmed over them quickly, before his eyes fell upon a familiar pair, who brought an automatic smirk to his face. It was Brooklyn and Cara. The former, he smirked at, just because she was so easy to bother. Brooklyn was hot, in that "bitch who hates the world and will punch you in the face if you touch her" kind of way. Colton liked to insist that there was sexual tension between them, mostly on her part, but it was likely just plain, old tension. He wasn't looking to sleep with her, anyway. Firstly, Tee was fulfilling those needs for him, and secondly, he didn't doubt that Nick would kill him if he even tried it. Cara was more of the reason for his smirk. What was Blondie doing back here? Hadn't she found her Prince Charming/Ken Doll to run off into the sunset with? He'd have fun inquiring about that later on, but for now, Cara being back brought another thing to the table. Now, he hoped, Tee would be able to get out more with him. Cara was a lot of things, but she was most useful as a free babysitter for Holly. Maybe now, he didn't have to wait until the always-hyped up girl fell asleep to get some alone time with Lateefah.

"I'm going to go see where your sister is," he said to Holly, as he turned back to look at her. "You've got to stay here and guard the food, though. You see all of those people by the bar? They're all hungry as hell, and, oh, damn, Isaac's over there too. He told me the other day that mac and cheese was his favorite food, so you definitely can't leave this table, or he'll take it before you even notice. Alright? Wait here, guard the food, and I'll be back in a minute with your sister." The comment about Isaac was, of course, a completely made up situation, but he felt like Holly was the type of person who needed that extra insistence that she needed to stay at the table. Especially with Cara randomly back, and only a few yards away, he was sure it would be hard to get her constantly-fleeting attention to focus on staying at the table. If anything, though, she had seemed insistent on him not eating her and Tee's food, so he surmised that maybe she would care enough to want it to protect it from Isaac, the newfound mac and cheese bandit. He didn't give Holly much time to respond, knowing that no matter what she said, if she wanted to get up, she was going to do it anyway. Instead, he headed towards the back of the pub and waited outside of the women's restroom, deciding to catch Tee before she got back to the populated bar. He could spring the good news on her, and maybe she'd be up for some alone time before clocking in. He eyed a storage closet across the small hall, and thought that no one would notice if they slipped in there for a few minutes...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Ugh, typical Brooklyn! Cara thought at Brooklyn's initial greeting. She was so difficult and snide sometimes, but Cara was used to it. She just maintained her pleading look, resisting an eye roll, even as Brooklyn pushed on, making fun of her situation. Cara knew how ridiculous this all was, or at least, how ridiculous it all probably seemed to everyone who didn't know what it felt like to be her. She was being spoiled and delusional to the real problems of the world, maybe, but Cara didn't think it was fair for her feelings to be invalidated simply because the others here had it worse than her. It wasn't her fault that they had been dealt a bad hand in life. Was she supposed to just act like her life was peachy and perfect, just because they couldn't get their acts together? That mindset was something she was able to extend towards some of the people in the basement, the ones who she thought had potential, but just weren't using it. It didn't, however, cross over to the ones likes Holly and Tee. As Cara peered around curiously, she picked out Holly sitting in a booth, but didn't move towards her, and instead, spun back around as Brooklyn kept talking. She knew that Lateefah and Holly were two people who didn't deserve to be out here. They deserved security and safety, and a real life. Those were all things that Cara had just given up in order to prove a point to her father, or make herself seem independent... or something. She didn't really know what she was aiming for by doing this, but it felt like the only option that she had right now.

"Shut up," Cara complained, slapping Brooklyn's arm gently when she finished speaking. "But seriously, please don't tell anyone that I was home and stuff. If you haven't already. Like, just say that my grandma was sick and I had to go visit her out of state or something. I don't want everyone to judge me." Again, Cara considered that maybe this was her thinking that she and her problems were far more important than they actually were again. Brooklyn had said that the others had taken the things she had left behind, so that obviously didn't suggest that they were too worried about her or her whereabouts. Still, she didn't want to be known as that girl who was a joke. Not anymore than she already felt like she was. She didn't want pity, since she knew that she didn't deserve it compared to everyone else, but she also didn't want people to brush her off as not understanding anything about life, because she felt like she did.

"I didn't tell anyone anything. Not even your lover boy," Brooklyn objected, giving Cara a side-eyed smirk as she finished the rest of her drink. She wanted to order another drink, but she knew that she didn't need one right now. She was drinking to kill her hangover, not prepare for tomorrow's. Brooklyn honestly hadn't told anyone where Cara went. She hadn't done it to protect Cara, because at the time, that wouldn't have made sense. She had only kept Cara's location a secret, because Brooklyn liked having more knowledge than other people. It made her feel powerful, and in control.

"Thanks," Cara responded, although this time, the eye roll was unstoppable. She didn't even chide Brooklyn for calling Roman that, because she didn't want to get into that subject right now. It wasn't something that she was excited to think about. "I think I should go say hi to Holly. Come over... if you're going to be nice." The second part of the sentence was added with a warning look, and was spoken when Cara had already gotten off of her bar stool and started towards the booth on the other side of the bar. The redhead was sitting along at the table with a bowl of food in front of herself, and one by the other side of the booth. At the end of the table was an empty chair where Cara had seen Colton in moments before.

"Holly!" she squealed, standing on the outside of Holly's side of the booth. She extended her arms, and for the first time, realized that she had missed living in the basement. Maybe it wasn't so much the living that she missed, but the people. Like Holly. A girl who was so willing to give love to anyone she crossed paths with. She was fun and energetic, and gave Cara a sense of family that she hadn't felt in a while, or maybe even ever. "I missed you! You look so pretty! Where's Tee?" she spoke.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Oliver Mitchell Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Kiara brushed over Isaac's comment about not feeling alive, not because she didn't hear it or didn't emphasize for him, but because she didn't think she could give him any advice. He was clearly coming down from a high, and she knew how he was feeling, but at least from her experience, there was no way to combat that feeling. Nothing she could say would help, so she tried to keep the conversation moving without focusing on the bad. "Oh, come on, Cara's not that bad," she returned, when Isaac commented on how he hoped she wasn't trying to get Brooklyn to let her come back. Granted, Kiara had only been in the basement for four months, and only one of those included Cara living there too. However, she had never had a problem with the girl. She didn't know her story very well, and maybe it was stereotypical, but Kiara didn't think it took a detective to look at Cara, and know that she didn't grow up in the hood. She knew that poverty wasn't the only thing that constituted a bad life, but at the same time, she thought that she could have dealt with the neglect she faced at home, had her home been a mansion in the Hamptons. Whatever problems that Cara had had to have been laughable compared to what everyone else was facing. Her living with them was disrespectful in a way, because one could assume that she thought whatever minuscule problem she had was equal to theirs, but at the same time, she wasn't obnoxious.

"Besides, I didn't get a chance to ask her if she had a brother before she went MIA. You know I'm gonna be all over that and, hell, I'd take a sister too. Marrying is the easiest way to get into that life. It's a fact," she declared. For a girl like her, it seemed like it would be the easiest, maybe even the only way to get out of the circle of poverty. She didn't have a high school diploma or her GED, so she couldn't go to college. She didn't have the money to get her GED either. A high school diploma wasn't necessary for a lot of entry level positions, but it was for most of the reputable ones. If she wanted to, Kiara could've gotten a job at a fast food restaurant or something, but when it came down to it, she also didn't want to commit to a real work schedule yet. Nothing could be worse than how she made money now, and after every night of working, she vowed to look for a real job, but it never happened. She wouldn't be able to pass a drug test, and she wouldn't be able to wake up regularly to meet her shift requirements. She had an endless amount of excuses on hand, but Kiara really was going to try to look for a job, especially with the seasonal rush approaching, where it would be easier to get a retail job.

"Hopefully Tee is around." Kiara commented, agreeing that it was likely that the girl was around. She glanced back at the table Holly was at, watching as Cara left Brooklyn and approached it too. "Maybe today Tee will be the one to knock Brooklyn out like one of us has been needing to do," she commented snidely, but while offering Isaac a playful smile. She meant it, but luckily, Brooklyn hadn't pissed her off today to where she was actually feeling aggressive. "So everyone besides Nick and Roman are here, and I guess that leaves me wondering what you're up to. Besides drinking..." she started, taking his glass and sipping it, "Coke and whiskey, of course," she added, returning the glass and meeting his gaze.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Colton King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Holly frowned as Colton commented on her not eating the food. She was going to eat it, but not yet. It was too hot, or at least she guessed it was, since she hadn't even picked up a fork to take a bite yet. Plus, Lateefah wasn't back yet, and Holly didn't want to start eating and then get distracted by her sister returning. And if she needed another reason, she would blame Colton for distracting her. Not that the people walking past their booth weren't just as much of a distraction. The bright red t-shirt one man was wearing caught her attention, and had Colton not been in the way, she would have gotten up to tell the man that she liked it. Then there was a woman behind him with hair that was curly enough to remind her of the character Merida from the movie Brave. But, no, this woman's hair was a jet black color, and not orange. And her skin was loose and wrinkley, so she definitely couldn't be a Merida look alike. Who did she look like? Before Holly could continue that thought any further, she was focusing back in on Colton, who started taking again. He was saying something about the mac and cheese and her staying at the table to guard it, before her mind refocused on the music playing, just as the song switched. She didn't recognize it, but that didn't mean that her attention wasn't going to reign in on it for a moment before switching back to Colton. He finished by saying that he was going to get Tee, and Holly didn't object, for one, because she wanted Tee back, and secondly, because she wasn't sure what he had said exactly. Instead, her frown only intensified.

Feeling like this- confused, and lost, and struggling for control over her own thoughts, was so common to her, and yet it wasn't something that she was comfortable with. It was almost sickening how lost she could feel within her own thoughts sometimes. A lot of the time, she wanted to be able to focus, but it just wasn't possible. She would remember something that happened days ago, or a color would pop out at her, or she'd hear a snippet of a background conversation that was interesting, and her attention was gone. Mentally, it was rare for her to ever be in one place for longer than a minute.

"I am going to eat it," Holly murmured when Colton had already left, and that part of the conversation was long over. She was in an unusual mood right now. It was one of frustration and agitation, possibly a bit of tiredness since she had woken up early this morning, and if macaroni and cheese wasn't making her feel better, things didn't look good. Especially since Tee was working tonight and had shut down the possibility of them seeing a movie. The only thing she could think of that might do the trick, was talking to Brooklyn. As she looked away from the table and back to the bar, her line of sight was interrupted by a blonde walking towards her. Cara! That was something different. Holly hadn't seen Cara in months and didn't know if she would ever actually see her again. Seeing the blonde in fall clothes was different than the last version of Cara that Holly remembered, too.That was the one who always wore pretty dresses and bright summer colors. This Cara was just as nice looking, and it was the first thing that Holly commented on, despite leaving Cara's question unanswered. "I like your vest." She allowed Cara to hug her, and wrapped her arms around the blonde as well. She had a lot to talk to Cara about, so the first thing she insisted on, was that Cara stay. "You can sit here!" she exclaimed, pointing to Colton's chair. "Me and Teefah were saving it for you. She's in the bathroom, but she's going to be back very soon because she ordered us dinner and we have to eat it before she starts working." As Holly spoke rapidly, she reached out to touch the bracelet on one of Cara's wrists, because it was impossible for her to stay focused on what she was saying while there was so much "new" to be examined. "Did you leave because you had to go to college?" It seemed like a good explanation for Cara's disappearance, and was the first thing that came to her mind when she thought of someone she loved leaving.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Cara smiled genuinely as she took a seat in the chair that Holly had offered to her. She knew that Colton had been sitting there moments before, but she doubted that he would get offended, or that he was even coming back. Since when were he and Holly friends? It was more likely that the tie between him and Holly fell upon Tee, who Cara still hadn't seen yet, but she didn't think it was anything to take note of. "Thanks, Holl," she said, in response to the compliment and welcoming in general. She laughed lightly as she took the girl and all of her bounciness and energy in. It was something that tired everyone, including Cara, out at some point, but she tended to have a lot of patience with Holly, and was actually missing this. The youthfulness and the pure happiness and appreciation for the littlest things was something that you didn't find often in people, nonetheless people stuck in their situation... or Holly's situation. Cara still felt bad about grouping herself in the same category as everyone else.

When Holly spoke about her and Lateefah needing to eat before Tee started her work shift, Cara could only imagine that mean that Tee was still waiting table. It made her feel worse, knowing that a girl who had put in an immense amount of work into her education, and had come out with an Ivy League degree, was waiting tables, when she had so much potential. It's not your fault! Just because you could have went to college, and never would have had to even think about loans, doesn't mean you need to feel bad that other people have issues! "College? Oh, no, I actually had to visit my grandma in Florida for a little while," Cara stammered, though she knew that Holly was probably the last person she had to trick into believing something. She tended to take things at face value and though it was probably dangerous for Holly, it was something that made life easier for everyone else. "But that's not important now! I'm just happy that I'm back and can hang out with you," she smiled. Happy wasn't exactly the right word for how she was feeling... but there it was again, with Cara knowing that she had no right to complain about where she was, because it wasn't the only option she really, truly had. Looking from Holly and then down to her food, she suggested, "You should start eating. I'm sure Tee will be back any minute, and you want to be finished by the time she has to work, right? Maybe if she says it's okay, you can come with me, and maybe Brooklyn too, so I can pick up some things I need since I'll be staying here again for a little while."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Colton King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Brooklyn had no desire to follow Cara across the bar, over to where Holly sat. She glanced backwards and watched Cara prance over to the redhead, but turned back around, uninterested, a moment later. Brooklyn couldn't say that she truly hated Holly, because despite the vibe she put off, she wasn't heartless. She saw Holly as being the same outgoing and cheerful and full-of-love girl that everyone else saw her to be, and those were all traits that were not hate-worthy. Brooklyn didn't like when the rambunctiousness, lack of boundaries and respect for personal space interfered with her life, and she didn't hesitate to snap at Holly when it happened, but she didn't hate her. She hated her sister for trying to intimidate Brooklyn for putting Holly into her place, but she didn't hate Holly specifically. Still, she wasn't going to go out of her way, leave her seat by the bar and purposely engage with Holly when she was still trying to nurse this resilient hangover of hers.

She shook her glass, which was now empty aside from a few ice cubes at the bottom. She could've ordered another one... and her body was telling her that that was the right thing to do, but it was half past three, not eleven o'clock at night. She wasn't trying to get drunk, just allowing herself to be awake while not feeling dead, and maybe it would take a few minutes to feel it, but she decided to give those first two drinks a chance to do just that. She left her empty glass on the counter, not even looking towards the other end of the bar where she heard Finn's booming laugh coming from, as she stood up. Finn was incredibly good to all of the kids in the basement, and his kindness had been extended to Brooklyn before any of the others. It wasn't uncommon for Finn to refuse to accept payment on drinks and food from some of them, especially the girls, but Brooklyn was at a point where she could afford to pay for her own things. Somehow, she always ended up spending enough where despite her good pay, she ended up with only a fraction of it by the end of the month, but regardless, she always forced Finn to take some of it. The couple of hundred dollars she would give him a month was nothing compared to what actual rent would cost her, and she doubted that it even covered the amount of free alcohol he let her have.

She didn't tell Cara that she was going back downstairs, and even as she headed back and briefly saw Lateefah and Colton chatting down the small hallway where the bathrooms were, she didn't utter a snide remark. She didn't have the energy for cattiness at the moment, and now that she was showered and felt clean, she decided that she might as well rest for a little while and let the hangover die off. With Holly upstairs, at least she could count on having peace and quiet for a few minutes, so long as Nick stayed away too. As she relaxed on her bed, she noticed that some of their storage containers were skewed differently than how she had left him. It was clear that someone had been rummaging through their things, and she could tell that it was Nick. It striked her as odd that she hadn't seen him up at the bar, but as she did a double take, she remembered that Roman's bed was now vacant. Nick must have come down while she was upstairs, woken up Roman, and the two were off together somewhere. It wasn't unusual, but Brooklyn decided that if she was in a petty mood later on, she'd use Nick running off without even checking in with her as a complaint against him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Colton King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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L A T E E F A H ~ E K W E N S I - H A R T
"Sweetie, I wouldn't trust you with my Prada and we both know I can't afford it."

Outfit
Location|| Finn's Irish Pub
iPod|| Pompeii by Bastille
Mood|| Amused


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The left corner of Lateefah's mouth curved until her lips parted and she was snickering at Colton even believing for a second that she would leave him alone with Holly purposefully. Granted, their current interaction spelled nothing but good nature. However, Lateefah was far from unintelligent. There was no way in hell she would leave her sister with Colton for too long without worry. He would get too irritated fast and Holly...Holly might actually run away. And then they would all be in some kind of trouble because there was only so much Holly couldn't do on the streets of New York if she ran out because she was being emotionally overloaded. She did, eventually, give an impressed raise of her eyebrows at him being able to convince Holly to stay still.

"Hmmm...such a gentleman," she remarked on a purr, amusement dancing with the lilt of her voice, her smirk widening once Colton got to the gist of why he had come to the back of the pub. Which...of course, led to them. It wasn't a conversation she typically lived having at work. Particularly when Holly was but a ways away, the others were probably lurking around, and well...they were at her work. Off or not, this was where Lateefah worked and while a heated thrill raced through her at the idea of giving in for the first time this week, she really couldn't. Maybe for a few minutes...

...nope. Nope to the nope-ity nope nope.

Not here.

"Awww, don't tell me smooth as a rolling storm Colton King's been all hot and bothered all week cuz of little ol' me," she teased, left hand rising discreetly so that her fingers could trail up abdomen to his chest leisurely, taking a measured step towards the male while her eyes flicked over to the rest of the pub. She seemed to recognize the back of Brooklyn disappearing, but any of the others remained (hopefully) oblivious. Returning her gaze back to Colton, Lateefah smiled, bringing her face close to his, fingers creeping teasingly to the collar of the shirt he was wearing, eyes slightly hooded as she proffered, "How about this, hot stuff? You let me get through this shift, I'll see if I can convince Cara to take care of Holly for the night, and once I'm done, I'm all yours for the night." It gave her pause, fleetingly, that Cara was even in the vicinity, but Lateefah didn't give herself or Colton a chance to think on it any longer.

Without preamble, she fisted the collar of his shirt in her hand and then captured his lips with hers, the press of her mouth against his firm and heated. It didn't last long, but even Lateefah wasn't immune to the effects of not having had sex for the entire week. She'd just been really busy and honestly, she should not feel as alive as she did when she kissed Colton. Yep, not a thing she should feel and she should go back to teasing. Now. Pulling away, Lateefah took a breath before expelling it on a grin, releasing him and walking away, but not before tossing a, "That is, if you can last that long," over her shoulder before appearing back into the main vicinity of the pub.

Immediately, her eyes trained on her sister and the blonde she was seated with whom, she had no doubt about now, was Cara. Painting a smile on her face (and no, the smile did not also have something to do with kissing and teasing Colton at all), she approached the duo, sliding back into her seat and training the blonde with a seemingly unwelcome stare. At least, it could have been perceived as unwelcoming if the smile biting at the corners of her lips didn't spell out the warmth she held for the not-exactly homeless girl. "Well, if it isn't Princess Blondie returning to the rest of us peasants. We good enough for you now?" Her words weren't as biting as they could have been, but there was a residual sting from when Cara had left, and instead of acknowledging that, Lateefah turned her attention then to Holly. "Eat your food, Holly. It's going to get really cold."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Holly pulled her hand away from Cara's bracelet, in exchange for grasping her drink and taking a sip of it before speaking again. "Your grandma lives in Florida? I was born there, you know! It's warm there and that's where Disney World is, and there are beaches too, but I didn't live in that part of Florida where the beaches are. Why does she live in Florida and not New York?" Holly didn't remember much about Florida. Her time as a resident of the state spanned only a few years, and luckily, she had been young enough at the time where she didn't remember much of the neglect she ensued with living there. After moving in with her grandmother, she had returned to the state only one time, on a family vacation to Disney World. She was around eight years old at the time, but the eight years following had allowed much of her memories of the trip to escape her. She remembered that it was hot, that there was a pool with a water slide at the hotel, and that she had gotten lost at Magic Kingdom after wandering away from her family. That was all, really, and most of the stories that Holly liked to share of Florida or that specific trip were ones that she made up, but likely believed to actually be true.

She just nodded eagerly as Cara commented on eating, and Tee being back, and then went on to invite her shopping with her and Brooklyn. She would eat at some point, but right now didn't seem like a good time. How could she talk if she had a mouth full of food? Holly was too excited that Cara was finally, and suddenly back, that she didn't want to take a break to eat, even if her food did look good. "Yes! Tee will say that's fine, because she has to work tonight anyway," Holly insisted. She enjoyed shopping a lot, even when the shopping didn't actually consist of buying anything. Even in little corner stores, Holly easily found herself entertained with walking through the aisles and touching, examining, and attempting to convince Tee to buy her everything. Whether it was a piece of candy or some type of office supplies that she would never use, Holly always managed to convince herself that it was something she just had to have. With Cara, shopping was always extra fun, because the blonde actually let her buy things. It was never frivolous spending, and like Tee, Cara wasn't okay with Holly buying things that they had no need for, but she could get away with adding more things to the basket than she could in her sister's presence. That alone, excited her, and the possibility of Brooklyn coming along made it even better.

Lateefah appeared just as she finished her exclamation, and glossing over her sister's insistence that she start eating, she addressed Tee excitedly. "Cara was away all this time because she was visiting her grandma, Tee. In Florida! Like where I was born... Florida." She picked up her fork and began to stir her food absentmindedly, as she continued. "And she said I can go shopping with her and Brooklyn tonight, okay? Since you have to work?" She took a bite of her food after speaking, only to remember that she had stayed at the table all this time to guard not only her food, but Tee's too! "Aren't you gonna eat too? I didn't let Colton have any, and he was being really annoying. He said you loved him." The disgust was evident on Holly's face, but disappeared a second later, a clear indication that her thoughts were moving. She took another bite of food, sipped her drink again, and reached back for Cara's wrist. "Don't you like Cara's bracelet, Tee? When we have money again, we should buy all of your bracelets back."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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It was understandable how people could get overwhelmed by Holly. There was so much energy in her, that it really did seem impossible for the girl to control herself. For the most part, Holly didn't seem bothered by it. She had probably spent her entire life with such a flighty mind, that it was just what she was used to. Even when she seemed to ignore common social norms, as she was doing now, Cara didn't mind it. Holly was harmless, and usually amusing. Nothing she did was done with malicious intentions, and when Cara just wanted someone to distract herself with, Holly always made herself readily available. She extended her arm further down the table to make it easier to Holly to fiddle with the bracelet that was on her arm, but she made a mental note that she probably shouldn't have worn it, or the other pieces of jewelry she was wearing. Again, she hadn't woken up this morning and gotten dressed with the intentions of returning to the basement, but coming back wearing a designer bracelet didn't help her case. Holly was enthralled by it, or else Cara would have subtly slipped it off then and put it into her bag. She didn't want to seem showy, and though she guessed it was inevitable, she didn't want any attention on her just because she was returning.

As Holly seemed to focus in on her excuse for disappearing, Cara wondered if it was wrong to lie. It was just a white lie and it wasn't going to hurt anyone. She didn't want to have to explain to everyone that yes, she did have a suitable home that she could live in, and yes, her last three months were wonderfully normal while they were still stuck here. Maybe no one besides Holly would buy it, and even if they did, the fact that she'd be able to come up with money to fly to Florida to visit her grandmother on a whim didn't make the story that much more helpful, but it seemed like the best alternative. "I do remember you said that," Cara confirmed with a smile. She watched Holly's expression light up as she went on about what Florida was like, before questioning why her grandmother lived there, and not in New York. "She doesn't like the cold winters up here. She's scared that she's going to slip on the ice and break her hip," Cara explained, a small smile tugging at her lips. That was true, at least. Her grandmother had lived in New York for her whole life, but after her husband died seven years prior, she moved into the beach house they had in the sunshine state.

Only a moment after Holly insisted that Lateefah would be fine with her coming shopping that evening, the brunette appeared, and Cara could only offer her a meek smile. Holly would accept her back unconditionally, that much was already apparent. With Brooklyn, it wasn't that big of a deal either, since Cara had seen her multiple times since leaving. With everyone else though, and especially Lateefah, who she was actually friends with, Cara didn't know what she was supposed to say or do. She'd use the "visiting sick grandma" lie with her too, but she felt like she owed her some sort of genuine apology for just disappearing. Now didn't seem like the time, though. Lateefah made a sarcastic remark about it, and then Holly jumped in with her lie, so Cara just smiled. "It's not like that, Tee," she insisted in a light tone, almost playful, as her smile remained. She didn't press it any further, mostly because Holly continued talking. She listened as Lateefah told Holly to eat, and Holly ignored her, only to start eating moments later, and then tell Lateefah to eat too. The back and forth exchanges between the sisters was something that Cara had missed, but what caught her attention more was when Holly claimed that Colton said Lateefah loved him. It made her laugh audibly, and in an attempt to not have to focus on her bracelet, that Holly turned the conversation back to, she tried to push that one. "Don't tell me that you and Colton are a thing now!" she said, eyeing Lateefah playfully. Cara had slept with Colton a few times when she had first gotten to the basement. It was just for fun, an attempt for her to prove to herself that she could be "bad", and she had no feelings for Colton then or now. She wasn't pressing it out of jealousy, but more so out of amusement, because she was sure Colton was just being the same, overconfident jackass that she knew him to be.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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L A T E E F A H ~ E K W E N S I - H A R T
"Whaaaaat? Me and King!? Never!"

Outfit
Location|| Finn's Irish Pub
iPod|| Pompeii by Bastille
Mood|| Neutral


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Lateefah's eyebrows rose in acknowledgement as Holly excitedly supplied her with Cara's explanation about being absent, tossing a rather unimpressed look Cara's way. The smirk that she had on her face earlier when she first acknowledged the blonde was still there, but...but Lateefah knew there was some lie to what Cara fed Holly. Holly might have been oblivious to it, but Lateefah knew better. Knew that unlike everyone else, Cara had a choice. She could easily come and go as she pleased whereas Lateefah had to contend with what she could until she felt secure enough to try for better. It was one of those few things that irked her about her friend, this inability to see how easily she had life and how...unreasonable she was being trying to pretend like she was like everyone else. But Lateefah didn't call her on it. Instead, listening to her sister's insistence to eat and knowing that she needed to do so in order to not pass out while working, Lateefah ignored Cara's claim about the situation not being exactly what it was.

And she probably could have dug more into her food had Holly not let it be clear that Colton was surely not going to go the night without hearing her mouth. Did he...did he really? Lateefah shoved the forkful of pasta into her mouth and thanked her fucking lucky stars that Holly had returned to eating instead of asking for clarification for whatever fuckery Colton told her. But, seriously? What part of do not antagonize her sister - or tell her in any shape or form without Lateefah being present - did that dumbass not understand? Lateefah barely tasted the cheesy pasta as she had half the mind to find the asshole who was soooooo not trying to get laid tonight when Cara pressed her about it.

"I..." Lateefah really was going to say something, an excuse - a lie when she turned to Cara, officially putting off her response to Holly's ever-changing subject matter as they pertained to conversations. But she bit her lip, feeling herself about to say something...something definitely not excuse-like. More like I'm-obviously-lying-and-you-should-know-cuz-it's-obvious. And that was far from herself, so she took the time to sip her water before responding firstly to Holly. "If you go with Cara, then you need to behave. And yes, I do love her bracelets. Maybe if you promise me that you'll be good while you're out with her and Brooklyn, I'll give her money and you can buy a bracelet or two." She refused to fully acknowledge the fact that Brooklyn would be included in their activities or the loss of Lateefah's own jewelry, turning fully to her friend and sliding her fork through her food idly. "Don't even kid yourself. There is nothing going on between me and Chuck Bass' reject brother. He's not even my type." The words, while they flowed easily from Lateefah's mouth, felt...felt stale. And they were...wrong, to some degree, but she couldn't place why they felt wrong. But they were out and she wasn't taking them back and she really needed to eat and move this conversation along. "But what about you, blondie? Don't tell me you haven't snatched up your own little Ken Doll?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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"I always behave, Tee!" Holly objected, tossing her sister her the best version of a frown that she could muster up when she actually wasn't actually angry. She looked towards Cara as she considered making a demand for the blonde to vouch for her always behaving on their outings, but decided against it. Holly was always as lively as she was with Tee, when she was with Cara, but Cara was patient enough that she rarely ever snapped at her. It wasn't like Lateefah did often either, but there was obviously a difference in the patience level of someone who had to deal with her 24/7, compared to someone who spent a couple of hours a day with her, if that. She didn't stop herself from responding to Cara because she expected Cara to say otherwise, though. Instead, she stopped speaking because Cara was asking Tee if she and Colton were actually seeing each other, before Lateefah shut that down. "Who's Chuck Bass?" she inquired. The name didn't seem familiar. Holly watched as much television as she was allowed when they lived with their grandmother, and at Tee's ex's apartment, but Gossip Girls wasn't a show that she was familiar with. She preferred movies over television shows. Surprisingly, it was more possible for Holly to sit in front of the television for two hours straight watching a movie, than it was for her to watch a thirty minute cartoon. It was why she liked going to the movies so much. She was able to sit through them and actually focus, with minimal fidgeting.

Aside from questioning this Chuck Bass character, Holly didn't linger on what her sister and Cara were saying much longer. She took a few more bites of her food and finished her glass of Sprite, before sliding the bowl across the table towards Lateefah. "I'm not hungry anymore," she declared. She turned away from the girls for a brief second as she searched the room again for something more exciting to do, but was brought back to the conversation when she replayed what the girls had been talking about a minute before. "Tee doesn't like Colton. He was lying, but she does like Nick, except Brooklyn likes him too, so she can't really like him. She said Brooklyn's a bad person." Her comment didn't have much of a purpose and jumped around from topics, but it reflected her thoughts at the moment. She realized that Brooklyn's bar stool was now vacant, and that didn't seem good. They were supposed to go shopping, which reminded Holly of Lateefah's promise that she could buy a bracelet, and then of Cara's bracelet, and then back to her vest. "Can you give me money so I can buy a vest like Cara's too? Or can you skip work tonight and come with us. I promise Brooklyn won't be mean to you, right Car?" The vest Cara was wearing was probably too thin to serve as a winter clothing essential, but Holly honestly would have requested anything that stuck out to her. The idea of Lateefah coming with them only made Holly more excited, and more so, antsy to actually go. She felt like she had been sitting in that booth for years at this point.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Cara only smiled as the girls discussed the conditions on which Holly would come with her. She didn't jump in to reject the idea of Lateefah giving her money to cover the bracelets that Holly wanted. It didn't feel right, especially when she was trying to maintain the image that she was even just somewhat on the same level as them. With her luck, she'd accidentally end up coming across as being dismissive or like she was better than them. She knew that Lateefah was just being her typical strong and witty self by giving Cara a playfully cold welcoming, but she also understood it. Like always, she decided that she wouldn't actually use the money that Tee gave her, but she wouldn't outright reject it either. She'd just tuck it away and then give it back to Holly when the got back to the basement.

Lateefah shut down the idea of her and Colton being anything in a manner that was just as amusing as Cara expected it to be. While Holly seemed puzzled over the Chuck Bass reference, it brought a quick chuckle out of Cara, who knew exactly who Lateefah was talking about. "I don't think Colton's is anyone's actual type," she agreed. He certainly wasn't hers. Being a lazy criminal wasn't the most endearing occupation one could have, and his tendency to hit on any female didn't make him boyfriend material either. However, she would admit that there was something alluring there. For her, it had been the thrill of being with someone who was so wrong for her. It made her feel like she was getting back at her father, though it wasn't like the man had ever found out. Plus, no one could deny that Colton was very attractive. He had a rugged look to him, but he pulled it off in a way that didn't make him look dirty, so much as it made him look tough. She wouldn't have blamed Tee for sleeping with him if she knew it, but she never would have guessed that there were actual feelings there. It wasn't like Lateefah would even admit that to herself, so there was no way that Cara would have known, especially after being gone for three months. Besides, she thought that if there was something there, Holly would have known, and everyone knew that if Holly knew something, everyone else would find out soon enough too. "And... no comment on that," she added, after Lateefah questioned her about her own love life. She could tell Tee suspected her grandmother story was not entirely true, and admitting that she had spent the summer with her ex boyfriend would completely invalidate the story. She would probably confess and share the details later on, but the last thing she needed was Holly thinking she was a liar.

Holly was talking a mile a minute, something that Cara realized would take a little bit of getting used to again. She did, however, smirk, when Holly recalled Tee saying that Brooklyn was a bad person. That wasn't surprising. Even months ago, before Cara left, the animosity between Lateefah and Brooklyn was evident. She was honestly surprised that neither of them have killed the other, especially while Cara was gone. She always tried to be the one to mediate between the two, but neither of them ever wanted to compromise, and it allowed for sharp tension to be present whenever the two did interact. "I don't know if I can promise that," Cara responded, when Holly attempted to persuade Lateefah into skipping work by insisting that Brooklyn would be nice. Even if Brooklyn was nice, there was no guarantee that Tee would want to be nice to her either. She smiled at Holly, but allowed the smile to turn into a smirk as she looked towards Tee. "How are you and Brooklyn, though? Finally become friends?" Cara felt weird again, when Holly asked for more money from Lateefah, and tried to insist that her sister skip work, which meant that she wanted more money and for Lateefah to not make more money. "I don't think we're going to go anywhere that sells vests like this," Cara said, looking towards Holly with a soft expression. "I need to get blankets, and I guess a new mattress and things like that. We can look at the bracelets in Forever 21 if you want, but we should save vest-shopping until tomorrow, when we can go to a store that just sells vests."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

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Image"Yeah, you better hook me up," Isaac joked as he took another drink of his soda, setting the empty glass aside. It was hard joking about Kiara's job sometimes, because he knew how much she hated it. Having a sugar daddy in her position probably wouldn't be the worst of plans, but it wasn't exactly funny. Then again, when life sucked as badly as it did for them, laughing about it was sometimes the only thing they could do.

"Please don't go to jail for killing some homeless bitch," Isaac muttered, and then maybe set up a little straighter to figure out where the hell Brooklyn was and hope to god she didn't hear him. She didn't, she wasn't around, she must have gone back down to the basement or something. "Orange really isn't your color, and I'm not sure they'd let me visit you." It was a joke, of course, he doubted things would ever get that violent between the girls, but he still wanted his feelings on the subject noted.

His nose wrinkled up as Kiara's sights sat on Cara once more, and he shook his head even as he downed his spiked drink because he knew there was no way he was going to deny her. "I am way too sober to go over there," he complied. But Holly was there, Tee too, and he liked them well enough to deal.

"If all else fails, the hotdogs down the road are cheap and decent," Isaac muttered as he stood up, stretching out and then dropping an arm over Kiara's shoulder before they headed to the booth the three other girls were gathered around. "Hey Tee," he greeted with a nod, then let Kiara go to tug at the end of Holly's ponytail. "Hey Kiddo. What's up?" It took him a moment before his eyes finally dragged up to Cara, but his smile was genuine. He really didn't have a reason not to like her, so he could be nice. "Cara. Fancy seeing you around."